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Thursday, August 10, 2006


The "status quo ante"

Israeli and U.S. and British government officials, not to mention various pundits and politicians, keep telling us they would really just love a ceasefire in Lebanon, but it can't be a ceasefire that returns the situation to that horrible status quo ante (that and "robust force" are the buzzwords du jour). So just what was that much-feared status quo ante? Hizbollah had accumulated lots of weapons, clearly. But had they been using them? According to this article, which summarizes UNIFIL reports from the time Israeli forces withdrew from (most of) Lebanon in 2000, there were a grand total of 16 rocket attacks during that seven-year period, producing a grand total of six injured, none dead (and none of them, by the way, clearly attributed to Hizbollah). In the Israeli assault which is intended (or so we are told, so let's pretend) to preclude a return to that frightful time, 120 Israelis are now dead (2/3 of them soldiers).

Meanwhile, in Lebanon, the status quo ante is something I'm sure the Lebanese people would just love to get anywhere near. I keep thinking about New Orleans, a city in the richest country in the world, still not rebuilt a year after sustaining major damage. How long is it going to take Lebanon to rebuild? And who do you think is going to pay for rebuilding all those destroyed roads, bridges, power stations, airports, and buildings? I'm looking at you, fellow American taxpayer. The same folks who paid for the destruction. Leaving even less money to pay for rebuilding New Orleans and everything else that's falling apart right here in the United States.

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