I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The ignorance of the neocons

When I talk about the neocons here I am referring to both the cons in the United States and the leadership of Israel. I don't think they can be separated and the question of who is leading who is irrelevant. The thing that gets them both into trouble is the ignorance of the nature of the enemy. This results in at least two problems; 1.- they end up doing what the enemy wants them to do and 2.- they do it badly. When they invaded Iraq the Bush administration did exactly what both Osama bin Laden and Iraq wanted them to do. The US got rid of a mortal enemy of both Iran and al-Qaeda and at the same time fired up the Muslim world. The administration did not understand the religious and cultural conditions in Iraq. George Bush didn't even know there was more than one kind of Islam and Bill Kristol told us the hate between the Shiite and Sunni factions was a myth. The result in Iraq has been chaos.

We see the same thing playing out in Lebanon. Bill Scher at LiberalOasis was perhaps the first to suggest that...
....a key reason why Hezbollah provoked Israel by abducting soldiers was to scuttle progress towards resolving Israel's occupation of Shebaa Farms.
That's right, the Israelis did exactly what Hezbollah wanted them to do. While there was never any doubt that the powerful Israeli army could get like what appeared like a win as Bilmon pointed out that is just the beginning:
The problem, from an Israeli point of view, is that even if the IDF does succeed in clearing southern Lebanon of Hizbullah fighters, the likely response from the great powers, including the US ofA, will be to pat Olmert on the back, tell him "job well done," and then let the Israelis deal with the nasty job of occupying the ground they have cleared.
Sounds a bit like Iraq don't you think? In addition the Israelis have fired up the opposition even more. At the New York Times Robert Pape explains how the cons and Israel fail to understand the nature of Hezbollah.
Contrary to the conventional wisdom, Hezbollah is principally neither a political party nor an Islamist militia. It is a broad movement that evolved in reaction to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in June 1982. At first it consisted of a small number of Shiites supported by Iran. But as more and more Lebanese came to resent Israel’s occupation, Hezbollah — never tight-knit — expanded into an umbrella organization that tacitly coordinated the resistance operations of a loose collection of groups with a variety of religious and secular aims.

In terms of structure and hierarchy, it is less comparable to, say, a religious cult like the Taliban than to the multidimensional American civil-rights movement of the 1960’s. What made its rise so rapid, and will make it impossible to defeat militarily, was not its international support but the fact that it evolved from a reorientation of pre-existing Lebanese social groups.
Be sure and read the rest.

So history will continue to repeat itself as long as those in power continue to deny reality.

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