Monday, August 14, 2006

As the dust settles, can we see winners?

Many people are of the opinion that Hizballah came out victorious since the War with Israel began on July 12. They say that:

- Israel's month long campaign did nothing to hamper Hizballah's ability to fire into Israel, which was openly evident yesterday when Hizballah fired 250 rockets;
- Israel spent tremendous military effort into this war - costing it US$1 billion/week for four weeks (a minor blow);
- Israel has lost major political capital in the world's eyes because the world sees in the Qana massacre and the 1,170 dead Lebanese (mostly civilian), the brutality of the Israeli military and government;
- Israel has made more enemies now than it ever had in the Arab and Muslim world and even outside;
- The belief that Israel is the strongest army in the Middle East has been shattered, increasing despair among Israelis, and increasing its neighbours' will to challenge Israeli policy;
- According to certain Jewish lawyers in Tel Aviv, this War will prove to be the beginning of the decline of the State of Israel as we know it. He estimates it won't happen tomorrow, but that this War will be the start of a long decline.

All relevant points, with which I mostly agree. Nevertheless, in this war I don't believe there were winners. There were only losers.

The UN and its Security Council showed their impotence in being unable to act in time; Lebanon lost over a thousand of its people, its infrastructure and economy; Israel lost financially, militarily and in morale; the world has lost because of our society's inability to prevent the madness, death and destruction of war from ruling and defining our lives. Our world's bloody history has failed to teach us that collective good and cooperation is our ultimate goal as human beings. Not ethnic goals. Or religious goals. Or political goals.

As the dust settles, I can see no winners in this War.
Only losers.

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