Wed, 26 Jul 2006 18:33:29
I feel as if the world is caught in a time warp: a pugnacious bald right wing Israeli Prime Minister has invaded southern Lebanon in an attempt to destroy a group he calls terrorist. A conservative Republican Administration has given the Israelis the green light to crush said extremists and is buying time for them to do so. Is it 2006 or 1982? I keep expecting the Cars the Police Dire Straits and Men At Work to be back on the charts.
I’m always conflicted whenever the Middle East conflict explodes for the umpteenth time. My two best friends growing up were Jewish and Lebanese so I can *always* see both sides of the argument in the region. Unfortunately the religious nutcases are on the job on both the Israeli and Arab sides which makes an untidy area even messier.
I’m unsure as to why Prime Minister Olmert believes that he can move briefly into southern Lebanon crush Hezbollah and get out without destabilizing the Lebanese government. It didn’t work very well when Prime Minister Begin invaded Lebanon in 1982 to wipe out the PLO: that invasion gave birth to Hezbollah. The Middle East is the region where nothing works for long;especially when the Bush administration gets involved. They’re guaranteed to screw everything up; it’s what they do best. Even British Tory Labour Prime Minister Poodle Blair is working for a cease fire in place instead of making Lebanon the latest template for the neocon’s fantasies.
I was in Beirut when I was a tadpole just before the last civil war broke out. The Lebanese just want to be left alone to make money off of horny Saudis and drunken Kuwaitis. And Israel needs to stop making the same mistakes over and over again. It’s not only Back To The Future in Lebanon it’s Groundhog Day. The last time Israel went into Lebanon they were bogged down there for years.
There was a brief time back in the Nineties under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that Israel was on the verge of becoming a normal country. Unfortunately an Israeli extremist ended that era by murdering Rabin who was one of my political heroes. It was one of the worst days of the Twentieth Century; especially for the ordinary people in Israel and Lebanon who just want to be left alone to live their lives.
I couldn’t resist slipping the Men At Work reference into the title Colin Hay is one of my favorite singer-songwriters: his solo work has been criminally overlooked IMO. Also “Who Can It Be Now” was a monster hit in 1982. Finally the leave me alone in peace theme of Colin’s lyrics fit the world situation both then and now:
Who can it be knocking at my door?
Go ‘way don’t come ’round here no more.
Can’t you see that it’s late at night?
I’m very tired and I’m not feeling right.
All I wish is to be alone;
Stay away don’t you invade my home.
Best off if you hang outside
Don’t come in – I’ll only run and hide.
Who can it be now?