July 30, 2006

Al Qaeda Heading to Lebanon - And Why Israel Needs to Help Reconstruct Lebanon

Before this war even started I wrote that Israel should leave Lebanon as a whole out of its fight with Hezbollah, that the real enemies were in Syria and Iran. War in Lebanon has destroyed almost every last scrap of political capital Israel had in that country, it has a reduced a modern almost-democracy to a Third World beggar nation de-facto ruled by Hassan Nasrallah, cruelly punished the most liberal and moderate Arab population in the world, and exploded the extraordinarily fragile stability that recently was.

Now Al Qaeda says they are heading to Lebanon.

There is a lot of talk now about a multinational force (made up of who?) to enter Lebanon to protect the Israelis. If there is to be a multinational force, it will also need to protect Lebanese.

The United States contributes millions of dollars to rebuild infrastructure (etc) destroyed in wars that it fights. Afghanistan received post-war aid. Iraq received post-war aid.

If Israel prefers Lebanon on its border instead of chaos, Israel needs to seriously consider paying war reparations. The US does this as a matter of course, out of a sense of decency as well as an understanding that it helps prevent even more conflict. I see no reason why Israel cannot or should not do the same, and for the same reasons.

UPDATE: DP points out in the comments:
The US had never paid war reparations and probably never will. War reparations are what you pay if you lose a war…What the US has done is give assistance in rebuilding. This might sound like the same thing, but it is not. War reparations are mandatory. Assistance in rebuilding is conditional…Assistance to rebuild a devastated country is a wise choice.
Okay then, if “reparations” is the wrong word (and perhaps it is) I suggest Israel contribute to the reconstruction of Lebanon. This will be good for Lebanon and good for Israel…assuming Hezbollah does not become the government or get any of the money.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 30, 2006 9:52 AM

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member



Testimonials

"I'm flattered such an excellent writer links to my stuff"
Johann Hari
Author of God Save the Queen?

"Terrific"
Andrew Sullivan
Author of Virtually Normal

"Brisk, bracing, sharp and thoughtful"
James Lileks
Author of The Gallery of Regrettable Food

"A hard-headed liberal who thinks and writes superbly"
Roger L. Simon
Author of Director's Cut

"Lively, vivid, and smart"
James Howard Kunstler
Author of The Geography of Nowhere


Contact Me

Send email to michaeltotten001 at gmail dot com


News Feeds




toysforiraq.gif



Link to Michael J. Totten with the logo button

totten_button.jpg


Tip Jar





Essays

Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, The American Prospect

The Men Who Would Be Orwell
Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

Looking the World in the Eye
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

In the Eigth Circle of Thieves
E.L. Doctorow, The Nation

Against Rationalization
Christopher Hitchens, The Nation

The Wall
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic

Jihad Versus McWorld
Benjamin Barber, The Atlantic Monthly

The Sunshine Warrior
Bill Keller, The New York Times Magazine

Power and Weakness
Robert Kagan, Policy Review

The Coming Anarchy
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

England Your England
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn