If anyone in the West needed a concrete example of “why they hate us,” one really needs to look no further than the acts of terrorism being carried out by the Israeli government in Lebanon.
First, let’s be clear. Israel has the right to defend itself. But what Israel is trying to do is affect a political change by using violent action against an unarmed civilian population. And that’s terrorism.
Pure and simple.
And here’s the rub for Arabs. When an Arab country, Iraq, invaded Kuwait, the whole world was up in an uproar! The UN passed resolutions denouncing the invasion, and the West lead an attack to repel the invasion based on those UN resolutions. One of the justifications for the 2003 Iraq invasion was again Iraq’s apparent flouting of UN resolutions. (It turns that they weren’t. But I digress.)
Yet when Israel invades an Arab country, the West seems strangely silent on the matter, except for the US, which has pointedly not called for an immediate cease-fire, only for a cease-fire once Israel has secured its position. (Of course, it’s not like Bush can complain… he’s doing the same thing in Iraq. But I digress again.) Further, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice appeared to actually condone the attacks with her preposterous and naïve comment that the invasion was the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.” Israel has occupied foreign territory for 40 years in contravention of numerous UN resolutions, and has invaded Lebanon – again – but the West does nothing but sit back and fret. And there’s not much of that going on, either.
The ultimate irony is that Israel will never achieve its security goal with this action. This is just what Osama bin Laden and his Islamists want. They want to see Israeli and American soldiers stomping over the region like bulls in a china shop. Right now, Israel is doing more recruiting for Al Qaeda than bin Laden could ever hope to do.
For every Hezbollah terrorist taken out in this offensive, dozens of civilian families have suffered casualties and perhaps gained a new appreciation for the Islamist cause. Some may even become jihadists. Burying family members has been known to radicalize people.