Tag: Hezbollah

Syria: Intervening Not Now But Later

Syria2 A full-scale US military intervention in Syria is off the table, as is a no-fly zone. The US decision to provide arms to Syrian opposition forces is nonetheless intended to shift the military initiative away from Assad regime. But the opposition is splintered, which has allowed the Hezbollah-backed government forces to level the playing field. Although the outcome remains unclear, it may be time for Western governments to begin serious planning for potential post-conflict stabilization operations.

At this stage it appears the Assad regime has the momentum, aided in particular by Hezbollah but also Iran and Russia.  US and European efforts to provide direct military aid to the Syrian opposition have been slow to take shape, which in combination with regime gains on the ground have fed the new conventional wisdom that Assad is on course to hold on to power.

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That’s just sick, or “we haven’t had a good Israel-Palestine flamewar here yet… let’s hope I don’t start one”

I don’t post a great deal on Israel-Palestine issues. I basically want to see a peace deal that involves an equitable variant of the two-state solution and that empowers moderates on both sides. I don’t have much sympathy for those who want to paint the conflict in black-and-white terms, and I get sick of the way that advocates of one side or the other spotlight the various infractions of their opponents.

But f*ck it, this is just sick:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently visiting Malta, welcomed the prisoner exchange and sent his greetings to Kuntar upon his release from Israeli prison.

Abbas’s Fatah party organized a rally in Ramallah to celebrate the release of Kuntar and the return of the remains of Mughrabi. “This is an historic victory over Israeli arrogance,” said Ahmed Abdel Rahman, a top Fatah official and advisor to Abbas.

He described Kuntar as a “big struggler” and Mughrabi as a “martyr who led one of the greatest freedom fighters’ operations in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

He added that on this “important” day, Fatah “salutes Hizbullah and its leaders and fighters.”

Fahmi Za’arir, a Fatah spokesman in the West Bank, said his party was proud of all those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Palestinian “revolution and people.” He
described the attack carried out by Mughrabi and Kuntar as heroic and legendary.

Kuntar was among those given a hero’s welcome by the Lebanese state.

To understand what’s wrong with this picture, read this and this–but only the latter if you can deal with the sadistic murder of a preschooler.

The Israeli government should never have agreed to this swap. No matter what the Jewish religion holds about the remains of its adherents, they’ve taken another step towards empowering Hezbollah and demonstrating that violence is the best way to extract concessions from them.

And yes, both sides have bloody hands concerning children. That’s not the point.

UPDATE: better posts, better commentary available at the usual suspects’.

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