It's fruitless to make moral judgments about the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, or about any of the wars going on the world today. There are no "good guys" or "bad guys" any more. There are no good wars, just bad situations. There is no such thing as "winning" a war; armed conflict is a lose-lose proposition.
A lot of high-powered defenders of Israel gobbled up bandwidth on the political talk shows today condemning Hezbollah for hiding itself among Lebanon's civilian population. Yeah, that's despicable, but guess what. That's the sort of thing guerilla style militias do. It's been that way since Clausewitz was a corporal and for a heck of a long time before that. If you're going to go after guerilla groups like these, you're going to have to carve your way through their human shield.
Maybe that's necessary in some situations. Maybe it's necessary for the Israelis to be doing that now. But necessary or no, it's not a "good" thing, and in the long run, it won't make Israel any more secure and it certainly won't stabilize the Middle East. You can safely bet your home equity that for every Hezbollah fighter the Israelis eliminate, they're creating at least two more, and every day that the conflict goes on adds a decade or so to the state of Muslim-western animosities.
In an earlier age, having the strongest nation in the world as an ally was an asset. Today, in Israel's case, it's a pair of cement shoes. Whatever moral high ground the Jewish state may claim in its present conflict is refuted by its connection to the United States. The nation that rose from a great depression to save the world from dictatorship, Fascism, and Stalinist totalitarianism is now viewed by much of the world that it saved as a mirror image of the evils it defeated. The hapless "negotiating into a fan" diplomacy Condoleezza Rice is presently conducting lends credence to the suspicion that the Bush administration is not only bound and determined to light off World War III (or IV or V or VI, however you're counting these things), but to ensure that it never burns out.
I like to think that the country I spent my adult life "defending" is not the same thing as its present government that has transformed America from a "the land of the free" into the home of liars, hypocrites and incompetent bullies. But living in a red state, I'm too often reminded that our government is, to a large extent, a reflection of the people who put it in office.
I ran into a Virginia hillbilly at a local watering hole yesterday whom I knew from happy hours of yesteryear and hadn't seen in a while. The first words out of his mouth were, "How bout them Jew boys mopping up on all them rag heads for us, huh? I'm glad as hell that colored gal ain't trying to stop them."
The Virginian then proceeded to throw a coin into the jukebox and play Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American."
When he came back to the bar, I asked him what he thought about a country western singer making money on war and human misery.
"What do you mean?" he said.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.