Is the Destruction of Hezbollah the Answer?

Israel has termed its invasion of Lebanon a preemptive move to safeguard its integrity and security against radical Islamic organizations like the Hezbollah. It is portraying the unfolding events in a way that the destruction of Hezbollah would be the panacea to a large part of the Middle East crisis.

However, what has to be understood is the fact that organizations like the Hezbollah do not run on mere ideologies or quests for material gains; they run on religious fervor and emotions. This means even if the rocket-and-rifle Hezbollah is gone, the fervor-and-zest Hezbollah is still there. Religious feelings and emotions never accept defeat. They reemerge, resurge and reestablish with very little financial means of subsistence. They are highly susceptible to inspiration and manipulation. They are resilient and formidable. Worst of all, they can potentially enjoy monetary, financial and technical backup from different states.

This means, even if Israel is successful in obliterating Hezbollah, the prospects for another such organization to form and foster relations with countries like Iran and Syria are healthy.

This helps us to realize that Israel ’s military campaign against Hezbollah is not the panacea for such a problem. If Israeli strategists and policymakers do not realize this, they are mere duffers. If they do and still continue their quest to pound Lebanon ’s infrastructure and people with bombs, they have grim intentions which they are hiding in the guise of an attack over Hezbollah.

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29 Responses to “Is the Destruction of Hezbollah the Answer?”


  1. 1 Inquisitor July 25, 2006 at 6:31 pm

    “Religious feelings and emotions never accept defeat.”

    We ought not to confine our understanding of ‘religion’ to the traditional definition of it as derived from the traditional expression of it. Rather it is the ‘motivating force’ factor that determines when a phenomenon becomes a religion. Nationalism, or in this context, the reason why Israel does what it does, is motivated by ‘fervour’ and ’emotions’ just as much as it does in the case of so-called ‘terrorists’ and ‘religious fanatics’. Secularity may be just as religiously pursued as any non-secular religion.

  2. 2 The Artist July 28, 2006 at 1:41 am

    I had the special gift of hearing Dr Shirin Ebadi (the Nobel Peace Prize Winner from Iran) speak this weekend at The Earth Dialogues in Brisbane Australia.

    She expressed powerfully that the old ways of bombing someone into submission did not work. The only answer she stated was to address the causes of violence or it will continue to reemerge in other forms.

    Mikhil Gorbachev was also a speaker at `The Earth Dialogues’. He now heads Green Cross. He spoke of the need to use solar power as a source of energy, as this was available to all nations both rich and poor. His organisation provides funding to help develop solar power around the world.

    with best wishes, The Artist

  3. 4 ariadneK July 29, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    Hezbollah should be destroyed. End o’ story.

  4. 5 Jon July 30, 2006 at 3:42 am

    The destruction of Hezbollah is the only answer and you can add Hamas and Islamic Jihad and all the other Islamic Fundamenalist militant. They all want the destruction of the Jewish State and have made that claim on numerous occassions. You can say that the response by Israel may have been excessive, but they have the right to defend themselves from Hezbollah and Hamas. Hezbollah thought that if they kidnapped two soldiers they could use them as bargaining chips to get some of their fellow terrorists released fom Israeli prisons. Just because the Muslim world thinks that is an acceptable practice, most of the world doesn’t.

  5. 6 Benjamin Solah July 31, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    I totally disagree that the conflict and the attraction to groups such as Hezbullah is religious. I’m a proud Marxist and totally secular, but I do not support the right of such an apatheid state, such as Israel to exist. It was founded on the dispossesion of the Palestinian people. This is a very clear political position taken up by people of all races and religions.

  6. 7 Darrell August 1, 2006 at 3:22 am

    The bottom line is that if Hizbollah and the other terror groups put down their weapons there would be peace… If Israel unilaterally disarmed there would be another Holocost. So to answer your question Hizbollah must be destroyed as any form of military force in Lebanon.

  7. 8 Neil August 1, 2006 at 5:59 am

    Unlike Benjamin, whom I have met and who is not at all bloodthirsty, I accept the existence of the State of Israel but wish it were very different from what it is at this moment. There was a time when many socialists admired the new state as a model, hard as that might be to believe today, but at that time its leadership was generally speaking not religious. Indeed, I have met many Israelis who do not like to be called “Jews” as that implies a religious position they do not subscribe to. I also despise Hezbollah’s undoubted habit of endangering civilians by launching its rockets from the middle of villages, just as I utterly deplore the ruthlessness involved in destroying the villages in order to get at the rockets. Darrell has a point at least when he says that those who support the abolition of the State of Israel, many of whom are also Holocaust deniers (but not Benjamin, as far as I know, would end up with more blood on their hands than any friend of humanity would want to see.

    While I would not dare to say MyScribbles and I are of one mind on all this, I can see that he is not an extremist and, like me, would much rather that sanity prevailed for the sake of all who are simply trying to live in this part of the world. America unfortunately has not helped much in recent years. Quite the reverse in fact. And the fact that the Israeli government are now a pack of extremists themselves does not help either. See Today’s top post on WordPress: Letter From American In Ramallah.

  8. 9 Gina Cobb August 1, 2006 at 11:04 am

    While there is something to be said for the position that destroying Hezbollah doesn’t mean the end of Islamic terrorism, I question the premise that religious terrorists are impervious to being destroyed militarily.

    The argument here is that, “Religious feelings and emotions never accept defeat. They reemerge, resurge and reestablish with very little financial means of subsistence.” But has history proven that out? Not entirely. For example, Japanese kamikaze pilots went to their deaths worshiping their own emperor as a god. The dominant Shinto religion held that the Japanese emperor, like the Egyptian pharaohs and the Roman Caesars, was a descendant of the gods and a god in his own right. Although not a doctrinal belief, there was also a popular notion that kamikaze pilots would earn a free trip to heaven, just as al Qaeda suicide bombers believe today.

    Despite all of this, when the United States used overwhelming force in Japan, the Japanese surrendered, the war ended, and the United States, demonstrating its fundamental decency, established a functioning, independent democracy in Japan. Japan is now a world leader in business and technology and its people live side by side in peace with every other democratic, peace-loving nation in the world, including the United States.

    Thus, I don’t think history bears out the assertion that combatants motivated by religious fervor can never be defeated. The example of Japan proves that this is not necessarily so.

    Further, I question the premise that Islamic terrorists are truly motivated by their religion. If they are so motivated, they are motivated by what is the worst and lowest in their religion, not by any part of their religion that is worthy and honorable. I think that religion is just a cover, and what really motivates Islamic terrorists is a desire for power and envy at the success of the United States and other freedom-loving democracies around the world.

  9. 10 Gina Cobb August 1, 2006 at 11:09 am

    I should add that the source for what I stated above about Japanese kamikaze pilots is: http://www.rotten.com/library/death/kamikaze/. I quoted it directly and meant to include the quote marks.

    Also, despite my argument that religious movements are indeed susceptible to military defeat, I believe that the question raised by this post is a legitimate one for discussion and debate. There are probably historical examples to the contrary, and I would love to hear them. Perhaps if we compare and constrast ways in which religiously motivated but basically evil groups were and were not defeated throughout history, we can draw some useful lessons for how to win this war.

    Because losing it is not an option. Whether we like it or not, Islamic terorists have been at war with the West for at least 30 years now. They are deadly serious. Either they will prevail, or we will.

  10. 11 Neil August 1, 2006 at 2:56 pm

    While it can well be argued that Hiroshima and Nagasaki shortened World War II and MAY have saved some lives, it is also a fact that Japan would have been defeated without the use of atomic weapons. Even General MacArthur believed that.) All the relevant factors pointed to a Japanese defeat by the time the decision to use the bombs was made. The kamikaze pilots were a great nuisance, but in the total picture were not all that significant, being a desperation move be a country whose fate really was sealed. (I studied the history of period at Sydney University, by the way. I was alive at the time too, if not very old, and my father and an uncle were fighting the Japanese as members of the Australian Air Force, up very close and personal in my uncle’s case.)

    Religious fervour explains a lot of the style of Japanese fighting in World War II, but nationalism and economic issues really were more important. The “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” was a rationalisation for old-fashioned empire and a thirst for raw materials, especially oil.

    War on ideologies (religious or not) is a problematic thing, and I lack Gina Cobb’s confidence in military solutions. I am however encouraged by the fall of Communism in the 1980s, which when it came down to it had very little to do with what anyone did militarily.

    If there is an answer, I think it lies with young people like the author of this blog, and many others on all sides, who still wish to reach out to people everywhere in an enquiring and sharing spirit. May there be more of that, and a lot less hate, and a lot less bellicosity.

    Consider Death Tolls for the Man-made Megadeaths of the Twentieth Century, which I plan to blog about shortly. It is depressing, but essential, reading.

  11. 12 guppyman August 3, 2006 at 8:48 am

    This means, even if Israel is successful in obliterating Hezbollah, the prospects for another such organization to form and foster relations with countries like Iran and Syria are healthy.

    Yet if they do nothing, they have to deal with the current one who is devoted to Israel’s destruction….

    I think I’d rather deal with a possibility than a certainty when it comes to people wanting to blow you up….

  12. 13 Job August 3, 2006 at 9:03 am

    I would say the demise of hezbollah will hopefully bring peace.

  13. 14 Flo August 4, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    Why should Israel sit back on let Hezbollah launch rockets into its cities? Just because Hezbollah choose to use human shields doesn’t mean Israel must put up with constant attacks on its innocent civilian population.

  14. 15 Jamie Stern-Weiner August 4, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    Flo: Firstly, I recommend you read HRW’s latest report, which states that the ‘human shields’ excuse cannot explain, let alone justify, the massive civilian death toll in the assault on Lebanon.

    And n0-one’s suggesting Israel should “sit back”. Some are merely requesting that Israel confine its response to within the dictates of international law and basic morality.

  15. 16 Jon August 5, 2006 at 7:38 am

    Jamie,

    Hezbollah strongholds are right in the middle of heavily populated areas and the attack on Qana that enraged so many of the Muslims was the direct result of a rocket attack launched from the building. So don’t sit there and act like the idea of Hezbollah is using the Lebanese people is not real. Using civilain structures, including Mosques are tactics employed by terrorist guerilla’s.

  16. 17 Atalee August 5, 2006 at 9:32 am

    “Further, I question the premise that Islamic terrorists are truly motivated by their religion.” I agree with Gina Cobb. I believe that a lot of Hezbollah’s motivation is political rather than religious.

  17. 18 Jamie Stern-Weiner August 6, 2006 at 1:18 am

    Jon: Firstly, you need to distinguish between Hizbullah militias and Hizbullah political offices. There is a difference – the political wing of Hizbullah is completely legal, it is only the military wing that must be disarmed under Resolution 1559, and it is only the military wing that poses a direct threat to Israeli civilians.

    You mention Qana. Again, I recommend you read that HRW report. It is true that in the past week or so Hizbullah had fired from Qana. However, in the 24 hours before the strike there were no Hizbullah militants or weapons or anything in that Qana building. The HRW report – which actually examines evidence as opposed to taking Israeli claims as fact – doesn’t say Hizbullah doesn’t sometimes locate near civilians. What it says is that this cannot explain the scale of civilian deaths inflicted by Israel, let alone justify it.

  18. 19 Jon August 6, 2006 at 4:31 am

    Jamie,

    The leader of Hezbollah is the top terrorist in their organization and all of his henchman below him just follow his orders, it is you that seem to be thinking that there is a difference.

    They are moving the locations of where they launch their rockets since they are mounted on the back of trucks. Hezbollah needs to be disarmed and that will allow the peace process to move forward and then they can work on the terrorists of Hamas that keep attacking Israel from Gaza and the West Bank.

  19. 20 Jamie Stern-Weiner August 6, 2006 at 7:46 pm

    You’re mixing up points. I agree Hizbullah need to be disarmed – Resolution 1559 calls for the disarmament of all militias. It doesn’t call for the dismantling of Hizbullah as a political party. There *is* a difference between the main chunk of Hizbullah, which builds schools, runs in elections and so on and the military wing which commits acts of terrorism. I’m not saying they’re seperate organisations, I’m saying that only one poses a direct threat to Israel.

    Yes, they move their rockets around, which is what makes the air-war Israel is carrying out so ineffective. Ineffective against Hizbullah rockets, but not ineffective against the people of Lebanon, who are the real targets of the Israeli war.

    What will allow the peace process to move forward is, firstly, an immediate ceasefire. Then, an agreement to a prisoner exchange and a settlement of Shabaa farms (probably by giving it to Lebanon). All Israeli forces will move out of Lebanon, and Hizbullah would be disarmed.

    Then, the underlying cause of so much strife in the Middle East would have to be addressed – the Palestinian problem. For this peace process to move forward, Israel and the US need to abandon their decades of rejectionism and offer a viable Palestinian state, based on international law.

  20. 21 dotbar August 7, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    Well, it’s a start anyways! Maybe a good dose of punishment would make them back off already! Too bad they’re such cowards they have to hide behind women’s skirts and little kids. Not too kosher…

  21. 22 The Artist August 8, 2006 at 8:06 am

    I read with distress many of the comments here.

    The Earth Dialogues put on by The Queensland Government in Brisbane Australia opened my eyes.

    Nobel Peace Price Winner Dr Shirin Ebadi of Iran spoke with `POWER’ of the need for us to walk away from the `medieval’ ways of `control and domination’ and look at the root causes of unrest.

    Our world has limited resources and we all need to look at ways to share these. This issue was brought up again and again at `The Earth Dialogues’ as other powerful speakers including Mikhail Gorbachev and Dr Massoumen Ebtekar (Nobel Peace Prize) spoke with truth and heart about our world.

    Gorbachev is now head of a corporation providing funding for `people developing the sun as a source’ of energy. This will allow countries without wealth to develop, and create equal voices in our world.

  22. 23 Chelsea fc August 9, 2006 at 9:25 pm

    There is never an answer or ever will be for the distruction in the middle east. The only answer will come down to Jesus saving the Jews before the whole world destroy’s them. That’s how the story is in the book my friend. Everyone will turn on the Jews including the US and then Jesus will save then people who intitially rejected him and have for all these thousands of years.

  23. 24 Neil August 10, 2006 at 2:46 am

    I have been dropping by, fascinated by this discussion. The Artist (#22) is great, and so is her site. All I can say about Chelsea Fc is “Yikes!”

    After all is said and done, Shuja’s original point still holds good: “…Israel’s military campaign against Hezbollah is not the panacea for such a problem. If Israeli strategists and policymakers do not realize this, they are mere duffers.”

  24. 25 The Artist August 10, 2006 at 4:06 am

    This discussion has also been of great interest to me. With our world in it’s current position we all need to give a little to create something better for all.

    The quote below from Neil I feel puts it in a nutshell.

    “If there is an answer, I think it lies with young people like the author of this blog, and many others on all sides, who still wish to reach out to people everywhere in an enquiring and sharing spirit. May there be more of that, and a lot less hate, and a lot less bellicosity.”

    I know all the young people I am meeting have a special spirit and are capable of creating a much better world than the generation now holding power. I pray that they work together in peace and love to heal the wounds the old ways have inflicted,

    with best wishes, The Artist

  25. 26 OTTMANN August 10, 2006 at 1:04 pm

    If Damascus gets destoyed, Armageddon is next. How does it happen? Ahmadjihad gives to Syria to give to Hezbollah WMD’s to launch on Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Israel responds with the Sampson Option. Then comes Russia to attack Israel. The U.S. joins in against Russia. China comes in from the East against Israel and America.

    It won’t be pretty, but it will happen.

  26. 27 BM August 11, 2006 at 12:03 am

    It seems to me that the destruction of anything is wrong and the answer to nothing. Islamic or Jewish – a killer is still a killer and is wrong!

  27. 28 Kurt August 12, 2006 at 11:02 pm

    Unfortunately, after reading these comments, it seems as though we will never know peace, and that is really the only thing I want.
    Of course Hezbollah is a dangerous, fanatical religious group, and of course if they were bombed into the stone-age someone else would pop up in no time. And of course every country has the right to defend itself.
    Call me crazy, but I think, WWJD?
    What Would Jimmy Do? Bring everyone to Camp David and not let them leave until a real treaty was signed?

  28. 29 CarCheapCar December 28, 2006 at 5:16 am

    Automobile (or motor car) is expected that used car? 🙂
    Automobile engine can be harmed new car. 😦
    Automobile design.it was considered a german engineers from new car purchase —
    new car purchase


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