I haven't posted anything on here in a while. Probably out of sheer laziness, but mostly because I view this blog as my personal sounding board. And right about now, with all the new developments in the Mideast, I feel like sounding off.
Unless you've been in a very deep sleep the last 48 hours, you'd know that there is a major conflict going on right now in the Middle East. I'll spare you the complete background here, but essentially, Israel has initiated a full-blown attack on Lebanon in response to two Israeli soldiers that were captured and held by Hezbollah (a political party based in Lebanon, considered by many as a terrorist organization). It's important to note that this group does not represent Lebanon or the Lebanese government. It is a separate faction that operates and acts on it's own, in this case without the backing of the government. Small factoid: Hezbollah was originally formed as a means to help fight Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon areas. Most of their financial backing and support comes from Syria and Iran (at least in the early stages of its development), keep that in mind for a moment.
Back to today's conflict. We have a dangerous situation playing out right now with some very intense attacks being carried out across various Lebanese targets, such as key bridges and highways, TV stations, and their international airport. Not to mention a simultaneous attacks taking place on Gaza over another Israeli soldier that has been abducted by Hamas. We essentially have a potential war heating up which will only get worse as the days go by.
Now here's my frustrations with all this. Israel has basically crippled Lebanon and killed over 55 civilians in the process, all in an effort to get back two soldiers. Not to minimize the lives of these soldiers in any way, but the Lebanese people, which are basically caught in the crossfire, are dying and key communication and travel facilities are being destroyed as we speak, forcing thousands of innocent people to suffer. And by the way, Lebanon/Hezbollah has nowhere near the military strength that Israel has and very little capabilities in defending itself.
So what's the rest of the world doing about it? In addition to the EU, Russia and France have spoken against Israel's attacks on Lebanon. The UN offered a resolution to order Israel to halt the attacks, only to be vetoed by the US. Bush went on to say that Israel has the right to defend itself.
Here we have a perfect example of why there is so much resentment in the Arab world for the US and their relationship with Israel. This is yet another instance of Bush displaying outward support for Israel, when it's clear to virtually the entire world that they've gone too far. This veto essentially means that the US is prepared to stand by will the bombings continue and Lebanon and Gaza suffer more and more devastation. And what's even worse is that this veto will further isolate the US from the Middle East and create even greater contempt for Bush and his administration.
That said, this was a golden opportunity for Bush to show some evenhandedness in his dealings with Israel and the Arab world as a whole. The impact of this decision will be huge, and it will only fuel the conflict and create more sympathy for Lebanon by it's neighboring Arab nations. Iran and Syria will see that no one is coming to Lebanon's aid and it'll be just a matter of time before they get involved. And that's when this whole war will take a serious turn for the worse.
In fact, I'm pretty certain that Bush is smiling on the inside. Hezbollah and Hamas are not very US-friendly organizations. Israel is only helping to carry out Bush's Middle East cleansing efforts of anyone or anything that might impede the war in Iraq.
Ultimately, I'm just concerned with the way this administration continues to turn a blind eye to what's really going on in the Mideast. The President consistently finds a way to push the US further and further away from ever improving our relationship with the Middle East, and it's not getting better anytime soon.