Tuesday, August 15, 2006

All Right!! We Won!!

Clearly Isreal did not come out of this affair any better off. Nonetheless is it not a true testament to the willful blindness that the human mind is capable of when driven by hate or overzealous belief that any Lebanese can look at scenes like that in the picture and view it as a victory at all? Is this devastation an acceptable price to pay to kill, what, a few dozen IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens? The tangible results seem damn paltry, just minimal death and destruction born by the Israelis. The intangible results - prestige, stature - seem to have more value. Still, in toto it wouldn't appear to add up to all that much, except when you realize that these gains came at little cost for certain parties. Hezbollah got to free ride on the whole of Lebanon, they wrote the check that could only be cashed by all the citizens of Lebanon. Not just the tangible assets of civic infrastructure but the intangible stock of promise and opportunity for a brighter future have been wiped out. Highly concentrated gains (Hezbollah) and diffuse costs (Lebanon), just like we have here with interest groups vying for tax dollars and other economic rents, except the stakes are much larger and much more serious, literally life and death. If you think our politics is nasty as we fight over things like pension funding, social security and healthcare, the aftermath of this war within Lebanon will be a shocker. I'm afraid the bloodshed to come in Lebanon among the Lebanese will be much worse than the war with Israel.


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