Saturday, August 19, 2006

Okay, I'm back. For real this time.

Well, after a brief scare in which HP gave me the wrong tracking number and managed to convince everyone (themselves included) that they'd shipped my computer to Albuquerque, it came today. I'm back, this time for sure.

It's late and I'm tired, so I'll only put in a little bit about the late conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. (I promise, barring major new developments, I'll start harping on something else soon.)

I'm sorry to say it, but strategically Hezbollah won. Just barely, and in such a Pyrrhic fashion that they can't stand to "win" like that again, but the so-called "Arab Street's" expectations are so low by now that merely surviving against Israel for more than a couple weeks is seen as a massive victory, and that perception is enough of a boost for Hezbollah to make it worth it to them. Tactically, Israel won every battle, but in the end none of it's objectives were achieved. Hezbollah is not disarmed, it is still present on the Israeli-Lebanon border, and the kidnapped soldiers whose capture sparked this whole thing were not recovered. And to top it off, the real losers in all this were the Lebanese people, bombed back into Third World status after Hezbollah used them for cover.

And in the meantime, France is chickening out after promising to lead the UN peacekeeping force, outdone by an order of magnitude by Bangladesh in troop numbers committed. Good luck to the Lebanese army in disarming Hezbollah. I sincerely hope that this turns out all right, but as usual the prospects seem dim.

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