As promised (at least in part)
So I'm in the relative safety of Tel Aviv, far from the craziness of the North and the South. Everything here is as normal. Coffee shops, malls, street life all continue. The only disruption was a wonderful demonstration against this pointless and murderous war the other day. I expected 200 people to come and was delighted to see around 1,000. It's not that much, but at least we can show that there is no consensus for this craziness.
So anyway, a bunch of generals decided they're fed up with not using lots of big bombs and now have an excuse to use them. Ilan Pappe points this out well:
Imagine a group of high ranking generals who simulated for years Third World War scenarios in which they can move huge armies around, employ the most sophisticated weapons in their disposal and enjoy the immunity of a computerized headquarters from which they can direct their war games. Now imagine that they are informed that in fact there is no Third World War and their expertise is needed to calm down some of the nearby slums or deal with soaring crime in deprived townships and impoverished neighborhoods. And then imagine - in the final episode in my chimerical crisis - what happens when they find out how irrelevant have their plans been and how useless are their weapons in the struggle against the street violence produced by social inequality, poverty and years of discrimination in their society. They can either admit failure or decide none the less to use the massive and destructive arsenal at their disposal. We are witnessing today the havoc wreaked by Israeli generals who opted for latter course of action.Check out the article. He makes quite a bit of sense, though I'm not sure about his claims re the military's mode of action. The Israeli army has in recent years used leftist theory (Derrida. Seriously.) in planning urban warfare and has developed techniques far beyond Pappe's "[sending] Israel’s best and fiercest to run after boys and girls in the alleys of Nablus or Hebron".
In the end, these analyses are silly. There are bombs falling all over Lebanon, the entire Israeli air force is being used in pure aggression, for the first time since 1973 ('82 wasn't quite full force, IIRC). Over 100 warplanes in Lebanese territory at any given time. Lest we forget (though CNN won't let us), there are also people dying in Israel. If a chemical factory in Haifa gets hit, a lot of people will die rather horribly.
This is the essence of much of world opinion: one side forgets Arab deaths, the other Israeli. All sides forget that the numbers don't matter. Israel has killed lots more Lebanese, and the use of force is totally disproportionate, but to be honest, I don't care. I don't give a shit about 'asymmetrical warfare' or 'disproportionate use of force'. People are dying, and those still alive are suffering, everywhere. This is useless and will not bring to anything positive.
I have a political analysis on the motives of both sides. I'll post some of those ideas later, but for now: forget the numbers, forget the
Remember: It makes no difference. Small people with ideas too big for them. Enough.
In the land of the dying
We've been walking together
I've been crying for me
You've been crying for you
And the desert just smiled and drank all our tears
In the desert of hate
In the land of the dying
We keep killing the children
As you keep crying for you
And I keep all my tears just for me