Abetting Catastrophe in Lebanon

"Certainly, there is outrage among non-Shia politicians and people who blame Hezbollah for dragging Lebanon into a futile war. But so devastating has been Israel's campaign that Hezbollah's provocation is fading into distant memory."
Thus, popular opinion shifted toward Hezbollah. One poll in early August found that 71 percent of Lebanese supported Hezbollah's initial capture of the Israeli soldiers and 87 percent backed its retaliation after Israel's attack.

Prime Minister Fouad Siniora formally thanked Hezbollah's leader "for his efforts" and "all those who sacrificed their lives for the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon." By August, even Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, long a Hezbollah critic, declared that he had to support the group in response to "brutal Israeli aggression."

He added, "All American policy in the Middle East is at stake because their failure in Palestine, then failure in Iraq, and now this failure in Lebanon will lead to a new Arab world where the so-called radical Arabs will profit." It doesn't take a genius to imagine that many of those with families shattered, homes destroyed, and lives uprooted will eventually vent their fury on Israel, and perhaps America."

Doug Bandow is a Washington-based political writer and policy analyst and a member of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy.

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