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Stu-6
07-16-2006, 01:59 AM
Thinking about the current situation with Israel and Lebanon: Could we consider both of to be democratic governments? If so does that complicate our support for Israel? While Hezbollah is not a democracy most of the infrastructure attacks have been on what would be considered Lebanese targets. Does this mean that Israelís action could be subversive to the closest thing there is to an Arab democracy? While resent US policy has revolved around the idea of democratizing the Arab world.

Derek
07-16-2006, 07:17 AM
Both should be considered democratic governments. However, Lebanon has elected members of Hezbollah into their parliament and Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization by the international community. It's not the style of government but who is in charge of the country that matters.

I dont believe that Lebanon being democratic would have any impact on decisions. If Israel does not defend itself it would eventually be wiped off the map. Hezbollah, Iran, etc. are all dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Then the Middle East would lose the only established democracy that supports the GWOT.

While democracy may be the final goal, it is not the means to the end. The USA has removed elected governments in the past only to institute another form of government [Iran, 1953] when it felt that it was not in the country's best interests at the time. Establishing democracy in Arab Nations is far down on the list of priorities to rooting out terrorism currently.

Derek

Stu-6
07-17-2006, 10:06 AM
I agree and that is what worries me. Our interventions in Iran helped create the current Iranian government. I worry that our current support of Israeli actions will look just as shortsighted in hindsight. I think we would make a lot more progress against terrorist if we would live up to our ideals.

Jones_RE
07-17-2006, 06:13 PM
Both are democracies, but both are also weak, unstable and violent.

Lebannon's central government lacks the power to disarm Hezbollah. Even if they had the power, they lack the will because they do NOT want to fight another civil war. Lebannon is also unstable at the moment, because the government is operating without Syrian control and with a massive armed militia camped in the Bekka valley. Lebannon is violent: not only are there continued assassinations against political leaders unpopular to Syria but Hezbollah has conducted a continuous series of rocket attacks and cross border raids.

Israel is weak in terms of geography (no strategic depth), small population, political will (no prolonged wars, casualty sensitive, sensitive to press/popular opinion) and intelligence capability. Israel's political system has always been notoriously unstable - few governments last more than a couple of years. The fact that Israeli politics is populated by the same returning cast of characters each election cycle simply means that the swings in policy with each election are more pronounced. Israel is famously willing to fight and will use collective punishment, retaliation and assassination to accomplish its ends.

Is it any wonder they come into conflict?

Stu-6
07-18-2006, 12:19 AM
That is an good point, neither of these states are exactly stable. I had been thinking about weakness and instablity in Lebanon but Israel has its share of issues too.