I found a couple of interesting articles by Jim Muir, a BBC correspondant who’s been reporting on mid-East issues forever. Read and enjoy.
Things to note:
Muir doesn’t think that Israel can repeat it’s ‘success’ of the Lebanese invasion of 1982, which saw the PLO leadership evacuate Beirut and ship off to Tunis for a short time. This is because Hezbollah is home-grown (more or less), and reportedly enjoys support from the majority Lebanese Shia population. That’s not to say that all Lebanese Shia support Hezbollah, but that enough of the Shia population supports them to keep them going. It is entirely possible that Hezbollah’s support base could grow within Lebanon, as it is apparantly growing outside of Lebanon. They won’t be boarding boats for Tunis any time soon.
He also doesn’t think that the UN or any other group (NATO?) would be successful in containing Hezbollah even if the IDF is successful in
permanently driving out all civilians from southern Lebanon creating a buffer zone in southern Lebanon. In his words, what nation will be successful in containing Hezbollah where Israel has failed? Sounds like a recipe for a ground troop meat grinder, even if those unfortunate troops are wearing blue helmets.
Finally, as we can all plainly see, the wider Arab world is not happy with the USA over their carte blanche approach to Israel, given the huge civilian toll exacted this month in Lebanon. Their one-sided approach to diplomacy in the region will probably completely ignore the ongoing IDF operation in Gaza, which fueled Hezbollah’s recent actions in the first place. Even if a diplomatic agreement includes a pullback from Gaza (which I consider unlikely), it will certainly ignore the root cause of the violence in the region: the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories and the unabated expansion of settlements in the West Bank.