Sunday, August 27, 2006

New Fisk

Why should Europeans protect Israel?


I usually like Fisk. He knows the region and he is willing to say stuff others won't. Or can't. But this a fairly stupid piece.

For one thing, he says:
The UN may deny that it is a buffer zone for the Israelis - but if it was a buffer zone to protect Lebanese (the numerically higher victims of this latest war), it would be based, surely, inside the Israeli frontier.

And how would that work, exactly? Unlike Hizbollah, the main "strategic" asset of which is the ability to lob inaccurate missiles into a neighboring country from short range, Israel obviously would not be prevented from precision bombing any target in Lebanon that it wanted to by a "buffer zone" within its own territory.

Fisk's logic--that the force can't be formed to protect the Lebanese because it is not based in the country that attacked Lebanon simply does not deserve to even be called "logic."

It is worth considering what would have happened in the absence of the UN resolution. Israel would have gone ahead with a ground invasion, and would have kept up its bombing. In that sense, precisely why is it wrong to claim that the resolution and the force it authorizes protects Lebanon as well as Israel? And what is so bad about protecting Israel anyway, given that that county's tendency to grossly overreact to even non-existential threats is itself a major threat to security in the broader region?

I don't think this force will work, either. But it is better than any alternative right now. And its chances would be a lot better if European countries would really step up and contribute--especially the French, whom America's amateur UN ambassador let outmaneuver the US in passing this resolution.

Of course the US and UK can't send forces, because their governments have totally squandered any credibility in the region with their misadventures in Iraq. Sorry, but whether Europe is "being asked to atone for the sins of their grandparents" or not, they are the only ones who can stand a chance of preventing a conflagration involving countries of the region other than Lebanon and Israel in the coming year.

Posted by MSS : 8/31/2006 11:08:00 AM