I'll grant you that Israel has some seriously crazy enemies among Iran and Hezbollah. But I fail to see how pissing off the Lebanese helps the situation any. The moderate Israelis know this, God bless them. Maronites have traditionally been allies with Israel. I still am. But I will not turn a blind eye to radicalism and violence and racism whether it comes from the Sons of Allah or the Sons of Abraham. The way to peace is not behind a tank!
God bless you! You are truly writing with the "warrior maiden" spirit of Eowyn! ;-)
That's why this whole situation was so terribly sad. Last years Cedar Revolution was a perfect example of how Muslims and Christians could co-exist and live in freedom. Dressed in red and white, these Lebanese Christians, Muslims, and Druze, chanted, "Freedom, Liberty, Sovereignty" and held aloft crosses in one hand and copies of the Koran in the other to show the world that they are united across sectarian boundaries. They were saying loud and clear that they had hear the message that John Paul II told them during his historic visit in 1997. He told them that they can live in peace if they forgive one another and see each other as true human beings.
You can't imagine how much it meant to the Lebanese (all Lebanese regardless of religion) that John Paul II came to Lebanon. He made a point to speaking to all of the religious groups and the ceremonies were attending by everyone.
If you want to see true religious tolerance, look at the way the Maronite Patriarch is regarded not only among the Maronites but among all the other Lebanese faiths. He is genuinely regarded as a man of wisdom. He is respected by everyone, which is why George Bush invited him to the White House during the Cedar Revolution. Bush was essentially saying that he wasn't sure which Lebanese politicians were for real and which were in the pay of Syria, but he could be certain that the Patriarch was the real deal voice of the freedom-loving Lebanese.
The one heartening thing throughout all of this is that the Lebanese are not becoming sectarian again. Hezbollah was hoping that that would happen, which is why they started branching out into the Christian neighborhoods -- hoping to get the Christians made and the Shia. Instead the Christians took in Shia refugee families. My other worry was that this would make Lebanese rally around Hezbollah because seeing IDF missiles raining down on your home and family has the effect of making one forget that Hezbollah started this by making war with Israel. It would have been best if Israel enacted a cease-fire in that first week right after the Arab world condemned Hezbollah. That would have been perfect! Because everyone was freshly pissed off at Hezbollah for disrupting the stability of the region. But the longer it continued, and the more the world saw the Lebanese people bearing the brunt of the devastation, the world lost sight of Hezbollah's ultimate culpability. I think Israel made a huge mistake, and they accomplished nothing -- other than legitimizing Hezbollah, which is now being invited to the negotiating table. That's why in the end behaving like a bully is not only immoral, it's also politically stupid. Friends don't let friends destroy themselves. If we're really Israel's friend, then we wouldn't have fed-ex'd them more bombs.