I've been consumed with the conflict and escalation of violence in the last several days between Israel and Lebanon, and for the record, I believe the damage is disproportionate. That said, it's more an observation than a judgement. It is disturbing to read that when the UN Secretary General called for an immediate ceasefire (TWICE) the UN Security Council has twice been unable to reach a resolution calling for, in unambiguous language, exactly that. Shortly after the first, the UN Observation post in Southern Lebanon was bombed with what investigations may later reveal to be precision guided missiles. Yesterday's bombing of a refugee shelter in Qana was followed by the announcement of a 2-day voluntary Israeli moratorium on airstrikes (which it reneged under 24 hours ago with resumed airstrikes in Tyre).
The Hezbollah have already gotten maximum mileage from this conflict as Arab world struggles to identify with the Palestinian cause via Hezbollah proxy. The impression among arab people is that their governments are powerless to do anything (which is quite accurate.) Meanwhile the Hezbollah continue to rain missles on the civilians in Israel whose US-backed military return the volley with exponentially higher destruction.
There was an interesting quote the other day where a Lebanese explained why Lebanon did not need US emergency aid: The US sends us blankets and sends Israel precision weapons. No thanks. Keep your blankets.
The US needs to begin taking a better look at its situation in this area of the world. Everything it's advocated has seemingly gone awry: The rise of Hamas through democratic elections or the hell that is Iraq and Afghanistan.
The images above indicate the places where I make my living. Far away from this conflict bu engaged nevertheless through a hyperreality: the bombardment of instant images. Also, an interesting post over the last weeks has been from João Ribas, a cultural critic and curator, on "How Democracies Lose Small Wars."
Posted by on July 31, 2006 8:05 PM | Permalink