Monday, July 31, 2006

Cycle of Tragedy

Cycle of Tragedy - again, the tragedy of war was brought home with the death of more than 50 civilians in Lebanon, including women and children, all of whom were taking shelter from a bombardment launched by Israeli planes. The Israelis claimed that they had given prior warning for residents to flee. Indeed many did, but this extended family chose to stay. Apparently, the Hezbollah 'martyrs' are again hiding behind women's skirts and children's cots when they launched missiles against Israel in the vicinity of these now collapsed houses.

War is never pleasant, it is destructive of lives and property, of a livelihood and opportunities. The world admits that the Hezbollah provoked the conflict first where they continue to lob bombs into Israeli residential areas. So what happened to the women and children in Lebanon today could very well happen to Israel's women and children tomorrow. I think the Israelis want to stop, but if stopping means that the Hezbollah can re-group in Southern Lebanon to fight another day, then any such armistice, such respite from the carnage, can only be temporary.

Can the world community, and the UN in particular, which already has its hands full with Iran's and N Korea's nuclear ambitions, stay focused on keeping the two sides apart when the guns stop and rebuilding takes place? Is there political will in Lebanon and the rest of the world that is calling for a stop to the current conflict to rein in the Hezbollah and their openly avowed mission to destroy Israel? Will Iran and Syria stop fighting via proxy?

If the answers are NO, then, sadly, tragically, the war will go on, must go on for otherwise, it will just be a reprieve to salve the souls of participants and onlookers before another war begins. It is well to remember that this conflict was started by the Hezbollah for no good reason than to join in the kidnapping game than the Hamas first started in the Gaza Strip. Hezbolla never expected such as ferocious response from the Israelis. Thus was the relative peace and development for more than a decade in Lebanon broken, engulfing innocent women and children into a conflict which the Hezbollah was and remains trigger happy about. As much as bombs are lobbed into Southern Lebanon, missiles continue to rain down on Israel, though, fortunately for the Hezbollah, their missiles have not had been as accurate nor destructive as the Israelis'.

The Hezbollah was in Lebanon 10 years ago. If the Hezbollah is given a reprieve and peace comes again, how long will it last before they break the peace again? Another 10 years? The key question to ask, after all is said and done is, who broke the peace? and so who should mend it - permanently?

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