Before last summer Hezbolah was a minority force in a Lebanon. Before last summer most Lebanese saw Hezbolah as group of fanatics funded by Syria and Iran who could not be trusted to rule Lebanon. But Nasrallah, working jointly with Ahmadinejad and Bashar Al-Asad outsmarted Ehud Olmert and thanks to his naivete have now placed Hezbollah at the center of Lebanese politics.

With a minor provocation of the kind that Sharon would have ignored, Hezbollah managed to get Israel to invade and cause so much fear in Lebanon that public opinion completely turned. And now Syria, Hezbollah´s supporter, went from being perceived mainly as an invader to being seen as a saviour mainstream party of Lebanon.

How could Olmert make so many non Hezbollah Lebanese see Hezbollah as a group they can trust? In my opinion because Ehud Olmert made the same mistake asGeorge W Bush which is basically to act so radically against radicals that in the end the radicals end up looking like moderate to most of the people they are trying to appeal to.

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Majort on December 2, 2006  · 

Hello Martin,
unfortinately, i believe, you are right in your commenting. Looking at the situation in Lebanon, i would think, we are about to see happen what happened in Palestine, in Ireland and in many other countries with continuing civil war.

* The young generation is born and continues living with a civil war situation.
* Politics are not able to stabilize the situation or don’t want to for their own benefit.
* Economy is being driven out of these countries, because they are not stable.

Economy and jobs would help bring welfare and different thinking. Helping local people building up something they want to be proud about – and: Forget about war or neighbors, they like to mistrust.

It’s not only Mr. Olmert – it is about the near-east system of war-winners and war-loosers.

Anyhow: Thanks for adressing this topic! And: Give peace a chance!


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Jonas on December 3, 2006  · 

Lebanese politics is driven by sectarian divisions. People dont really change camps except for some Christian groups that are looking after their own power and economicalinterests. I think that Syria, Iran and Hezbolla have become more bold following last summer’s conflict and therefore feel confident to create mass ralies and challenge the governement. However having spokent to some Lebanese people recently I dont see that Hezbulla has gained support from any other groups, they are still detested, and there is a large fear that Syria again will get its grip over Lebanon.

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GILLES on December 3, 2006  · 

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who control totally the Hebollah , called for Israel to be “wiped off the map”
You’re right in term of public opinion , but it was the cost Israel had to pay for life.

A little comparison could help to better appreciate the situation in Israel
The civil War in Spain made lot of victims in both camps.
It was one of cruellest. But sometime violence can’t be avoid!!.

In Israel and in conflict of middle east, vigilance towards oneself, towards his camp, empathy with all the victims, even those of our enemies is a must. I would add especially those of our enemies – because it is the foundation of our humanity-
But we should not forget that Iran and Hezbollah (its hand in Lebanon ) makes progress day after to get nuclear weapons.
In this war Israel have successfully destroyed many (unfortunately all ) launching bases in south Lebanon. and obtained an international presence in the region;. And lost the sympathy of Lebanese !!!
We should hope that If Iran get nuclear power ( and it will soon) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not be able to operate from south Lebanon or reach Israel from Iran.

In the conflict of Middle East like in the civil war of Spain, there is a camp of the Evil, a camp which hate freedom, the democracy; This camp of Evil had allies and accomplices.
This camp of the Evil shouted “Viva la muerte” and did not fear the martyr or public opinion. Like Fascism in Spain, Hezbollah and Iran must be blocked-up by all means and including weapons.
The public opinion in Libanon or in the rest of the rest of world is worthless in this circumstances. Israel have the right to fight to live. No country, no leader could make any diplomatic progress to stop Iran. Would be interesting to know yr opinion on that ?

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ouriel on December 3, 2006  · 

Which minor provocation are you refering to Martin? the kidnapping of 2 soldiers and the killing of 8 others within israeli border? Or just the launch of tens of missiles on Israeli Land?

Not reacting was impossible. Where i join you that Olmert reaction was wrong because it did not lead israel to clear diplo/military victory

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Killy-the-Frog on December 4, 2006  · 

If Israel could stop colonizing/invading Palestinian territory (UN recognized separation) like it is still done every months, then a peace will have a chance. But now, colonization continue while Israel speak about peace.
It seams that Israel find that the cost of this colonization (Palestinian attacks, intifada, etc…) is lower than the interest.

So, the war is not going to end any soon.

I am just afraid that one day Israel will not be the most powerful states in the area, and that Israel will be destroyed (Because USA will stop protecting Israel not to start a World War III).

Please, give a chance to the peace.


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GILLES on December 5, 2006  · 

Not a single person who know effectively the situation can believe the ‘old story of colonies’.
Remember, when Ariel Sharon achieved to dismantle the colonies in Gaza and Cis-Jordania at this EXACT moment Hezbollah have intensified bombing of civilian in the north of Israel
Hebollah is nothing else than Iran and Syria,
Iran and Syria need and encourage this conflict.
Colonies and Palestinian are the latest of their thought!!
Remember after the departure of army from the territories, Palestinians as a sign of hope and peace have elected Hamas. Who immediately declared “ Israel must disappear ‘.
What else is needed to accept the fact, the usage of “colonies “ is just a ruse…
When shall we realise that, today the real danger is NOT coming from Israel or from US.
The danger for Israel and the rest of the democratic world is coming from Iran and Islamic world.
We understand Islam as religion, since it is used as a political mean to impose antidemocratic values; and this is not anymore a theory developed by crazy individuals, it is now the plan of powerful and rich nations.

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CHIDONE on December 5, 2006  · 

I think that the actual military campain was well founded, not only that, world public opinion, during the first week of the war, was in favor of the Israeli attac (including Sunny Arab countries supported the campain).

Nevertheless, I do belive that Olmert, Pertz and Halutz made a mistake in the ops. Starting with outdated army equipment and undertrained reserves that were sent to the field.

I agree with ouriel that the mistake was not the war itself but the way it was managed.

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Martin Varsavsky on December 6, 2006  · 


But do you agree with me that, unfortunately, Hezbollah now has many more supporters in Lebanon and in the world in general than before the war?

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cutlerpod on December 12, 2006  · 

HezboSyrIran deflects their own inadequacies (fascist, totalitarian political systems, rule by mafias, lack of freedom on every level) and combines it with a 24/7 agitprop machine feeding poison to an uneducated impoverished mob to create an Orwellian 15 minutes/15 days/16 years of Hate.

If someone shoots at my house, I’m not concerned about how that person shooting, or the people in his family, think about me during or after I shoot back. Olmert and the Israelis’ only mistake was not to shoot back more intensively – and to your argument, possibly with better aim (avoiding Beirut).

I agree the radicals end up looking like moderates – but for all time or just for now? In the short term you are perhaps right, but in the end, the radicals are radicals, and ultimately killers and thieves, it is not true that they are moderates – the truth has a way of creeping out no matter who rules the skies or the airwaves or the iranian petrodollar welfare system.

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