The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Will it degenerate into war?

Tuesday 18 July 2006 at 11:39 pm

Truth be told, I actually don’t know what to say about the current conflict(s) in the Middle East. Israel’s sudden military campaign against Hezbollah strikes me as slightly insane, the perfect way to stoke a war in a region that isn’t exactly the most stable in the world.

But I also recognise Israel’s right to protect itself from terrorists; the initial Hezbollah attack was pretty brazen (albeit poorly reported here). The response seems popular within Israel, probably because it makes the government appear strong — and given that, I can understand why Aussies in Lebanon are crying to our government for help as if it’s a superpower that can deploy navy ships to the region within two days. (Speaking of the Aussie government, little John’s visit to Timor-Leste today seems to have been little more than a meet-and-greet; I wonder if they talked about Timor Sea gas deals?)

The Israeli attacks also came as a shock to me because I’ve been busy writing (rather theoretically) about how the risk of traditional war between equally-matched states is lessened in the contemporary world because states are more interdependent than they used to be … and while that’s still true for Southeast Asia, I guess the Mid-East is always a bit exceptional.

At least I can say this with certainty: the Israeli campaign is doing a great job of drawing attention away from the Gaza Strip. And Iraq, for that matter …

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