Iran And Syria Caused The War, And They Should Pay The Price
Lebanon is not so innocent either. For many years, going back to the kidnappings of Americans in Beirut more than two decades ago, Lebanon allowed itself to be used by the Iranian and Syrian-sponsored terrorists of Hezbollah. It rented out its territory as a whore rents a room. It was willing to allow a neighbor to be attacked by its "guests." It ends up just as guilty as they are.
In 2000, when the Israelis left south Lebanon, the understanding was, and a U.N. vote mandated, that the Lebanese Army would replace Hezbollah on the Israeli border. The Lebanese government did nothing to implement the agreement. Now, its corrupt prime minister, Fouad Siniora, pleads for peace. He should have thought of the price Lebanon would have to pay long ago. His country has been accessory to murder and now it is getting an inevitable payback.
But just as Spain became a venue for Nazi experimentation in the 1930s in the Spanish Civil War, Lebanon is also being used by the Iranians and Syrians to carry out their deadly plan to destroy Israel, oust the West from the Middle East and, in their planning, enslave us all through their control over the world's oil. Sheer imperial greed, more than advance of the Muslim religion, is the prime motive.
Iran is also building a nuclear weapon. Before it is allowed to move one more step towards that goal, its present government should be removed. No means should be ruled out. Iran has caused much too much trouble already. It is dangerous not only to Israel but to the rest of the world. It has been assisting in attacks against U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Now, it must be dealt with in no uncertain terms.
In Syria, the regime of the thug, Bashar Assad, hopes now to have it both ways, to support Hezbollah, to serve as a transit point for Iranian manpower and weapons heading into Lebanon, and to host the real leader of Hamas, even while not being attacked itself. It has also provided its own weaponry to Hezbollah. Just this morning, Syrian-made missiles were used to strike the Israeli city of Haifa.
Assad shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. A legitimate Israeli war aim is to oust his regime. An international trusteeship should take over Syria for the foreseeable future. Its people are clearly, in the light of history, unfit to rule themselves.
Already, in four days of warfare, many civilian lives have been lost. But as William Tecumsh Sherman said after the battle of Shiloh, that the South would not give in until the war was carried to the Southern civilians, so the war now must necessarily target civilians. It is Arab civilians who have been firm supporters of terrorism. Now let them too reap the whirlwind, just as the inhabitants of Dresden did.
In another disgraceful result of the sorry tenure of Andres Martinez as editorial pages editor of the L.A. Times, the paper's Current section this Sunday has not a single article on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Martinez, who is lazy, letting major events occur without an editorial the next day, does not seem to appreciate what's news, another of his faults.