So what is it? A victory for Israel or Hezbollah? From the beginning the talking heads have been saying that if Hezbollah does nothing but survive, it will be a victory for them. They clucked on about how Hezbollah framed the conflict in those terms.

Econo-Girl has only this to ask:

Doesn't the media have complicity in framing the conflict that way? Isn't it disingenuous to say, over and over, that Hezbollah has only to survive to win when you are part of what is making that true?

And what is the lifespan of spin, anyway? How long are people going to think within the narrow confines of what is outlined for them? Two years? How long did that crap about Saddam Hussein being involved in Sept. 11 last? You can't hide behind the green curtain forever.

Econo-Girl posits that it was a defeat for both sides. After all, they had to compromise. Israel is very disappointed in its own performance and failed to wipe out Hezbollah completely. Hezbollah wasn't going to win in the end and they knew it, so they cut their losses and cease-fired now. What Hezbollah got was their own existence, the purpose of which was negated when Israel withdrew from Lebanon. But this entire conflict has highlighted to everyone the problems of a government not in control of its own territory. So the powerful role of Hezbollah will not be permitted in the future because of the MidEast war it almost sparked.

It probably was more of a defeat for Israel, but the conflict isn't really over yet. The bullets have just stopped flying, that's all. Let's wait and see.


Anonymous said...

CC - don't worry, Lebanon will soon have a unified government with total control over its territory. Bad news is that it will be dominated by Hezbollah and its allies. THAT, is the reason why Hezbollah is the winner.

Econo-Girl said...

I think it's too early to tell how it will shake down.

Anonymous said...

The media? The Israelis themselves created a lot of their own problems. There was, at the beginning of this campaign, talk about destroying Hizballah, from people very high up in the Israeli government, inclluding PM Olmert. This got racheted down a bit after a few days, but when you start out with that as a declared goal, and don't achieve it, it's not the media's fault.

The talk, in the last week and half, about occupying Lebanon up to the Litani, was pretty stupid, too, given that Israel's last occupation of Lebanon didn't go so well.

The media was also not responsible for the change of attitude among people in Lebanon who were previously not fans of Hizballah-like leaders of the Maronite Christians. Israeli bombing of Christian towns was. (Why, in the name of reason, did they hit Jounieh?)

Hizballah hasn't given up much of anything, and they are now popular among people who were previously enemies of Hizbalah. Heck, the Saudis took an anti-Hizballah stance and have had to back down from it.

As for Hizballah's role not being permitted, who is going to stop them? Lebanon's Army (which is mostly Shiite, anyway) is poorly armed and equipped, and even more poorly led, and may be smaller than Hizballah (once Hizballah has augmented its main fighters with reserves). Hizballah is definitely better led, armed and equipped than the Lebanese Army.

Israel has shown they aren't willing to take the costs of disarming Hizballah.

I know there is all sorts of bellicose rhetoric about how we can take down Hizballah, right before marching into Tehran, where we will be greeted by cheering crowds, but that is notcredible. The last time we were in Lebanon, things didn't go too well for us, and Ronald Reagan decided that we'd wasted enough blood and treasure there and sensibly got us out. (He'd unsensibly got us in to begin with, but that's another story).

UNFIL. in the past, has not proven capable of doing much to restrain Hizballah. The French, who are supposedly going to lead this massive peacekeeping army, are curreently having issues with another peacekeeping effort in the Iwory Coast, and had problems similar to ours when they joined us in "peacekeeping" in Lebanon in the 1980s.

This war was a loss for Israel and for the Lebanese civilian population, but Hizballah has come out of it a victor.

There is a possibility that they will get a swell head and decide that this means they can liberate Palestine from the Zionist Crusaders, in which case they will get beaten, but for now, they're enjoying the fact that they were able to frustrate the Israeli government.


The Lazy Iguana said...

Hezbollah won this one. Why do you think they provoked Israel anyway? Because they thought a few bottle rockets would wipe out Israel? No, it was to get Israel to level cities like they did.

Hezbollah will have far more power in Lebanon than they had before the conflict. People who at one time might not have 100% supported Hezbollah will now, because their home and place of employment is gone. Or their family was killed.

Fifth Floor Girl said...

Another interesting development is that Malaysia is sending troops into Lebanon.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Check out my post on "fascism" today. I think I did a fairly decent job with it.

Fifth Floor Girl said...

Lazy Iguana - Read the blog and can't disagree with your conclusion.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Fifth floor - from the cool non-blogger registered name you use I will just assume that the "fifth floor" is in a building very few people can access, or for that matter even get close to.

I take your "can't disagree" comment as proof I am not crazy.

Fifth Floor Girl said...

Lazy Iguana,

Yeahmm. Fifth Floor. Something like that. If you see someone show up bearing the non-blogger name "Seventh Floor Guy" or "Top Floor Dude", everyone bail! :)

The reason I can't disagree with you is because you have put some pieces together in a very effective way. You're not crazy. I love to talk politics and the "f-word" has come up a time or two among people from whom I never would have expected it.

I'm far too libertarian (lower case) to believe these police state tactics can come to anything good. The slippery slope may not be a good debating tactic - but sometimes it fits! Further, it really does nothing to protect national security in my opinion.

Keep writing! It's important that reasonable people start discussing these issues. This is our country and it's about time we take it back.

A. U. American said...

Hey fifth-floor girl:
You are right on. I used to be a staunch supporter of conservative Republican ideals, but am now a registered "not affilliated." The solution to terrorism has to be political; whether, or not, we like it, we may just have to sit down with terrorists (Hezbollah, Hamas, et al) to discuss peace. Bear in mind that Israel's "founding fathers" were are all terrorists (according to the Brits, whose colonial aspirations in my opinion, are the root cause of the ills in today's societies)!
On another note, Malaysia is a very strange country. Although it does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, it is sending peacekeeping troops. Hmmm... Can you guess why? I do not think it is only just out of goodwill, but also because of political pragmatism AND more (read: Islamic connection).

A. U. American.