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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Jul 08th
The Cost of War PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roger Eddé   
Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Roger Eddé
Roger Eddé

(Excerpts from address by Roger Edde at International workshop by the Strategic Foresight Group in Antalya, Turkey March 16, 2008)

July 2006. We were enjoying a good summer on the sand beaches of Byblos. Business was good at the Eddé Sands resort reaching the 5000 count of high-end customers on weekends, night and day. Fully booked for the season. Glamourous weddings  and events at all venues.

Then a Hezbollah kidnapping of 2 Israeli soldiers, followed by a punishing month of Israeli retaliation against all of Lebanon abruptly ended a promising tourist season.

A bomb dropped on the fuel depot of a power plant was enough to soil the entire coastline of Lebanon with a thick black wave, killing every tourist-related  and fishing-related industry. Lebanon’s wellness vacations were poisoned.

The human cost exceeded 1200 deaths, 4 times as many injuries, massive exodus within and without the country. The immediate financial cost of that month of war reached the 15 billion dollar mark, according to our most reliable economists. Flight of investors and developers are not included.

But that wasn’t all. The 1701 UN Resolution, forced on all parties to the conflict, has not assured a ceasefire yet. The wounds are wide open. Hezbollah is investing its so-called “victory”  (al Intissar, because it was able to survive the Israeli punishment) against the Lebanese democratic regime.

It has rearmed, occupied the economically  vital Central District of the capital. The government of Lebanon, its Parliament, its Presidency have all been made either dysfunctional or rendered empty or simply paralyzed, with the democratic majority itself frozen by the fear of confronting the threats of mayhem, repeatedly sent via  airwaves by the leaders of  “The State of Hezbollah”. 

Mayhem is made credible by carefully planned factious incidents. Hezbollah has been definitely  emboldened by its self-made propaganda of having  eradicated the image of  invincibility of the Israeli military machine. Israel’s self-confidence crisis, widely and loudly displayed, has helped the Hezbollah propaganda more than its own network of self-promotion.

As for Hezbollah’s allies in Palestine, starting with Hamas and Jihad, they in turn have suddenly been emboldened to believe that they can and will, as the Hezbollah, use similar logic and means of war against Israel and its partners for peace among the Arab moderates. Absolute victory against Israel, the international order and Arab moderates have become suddenly credible in the minds and hearts of Arab and Moslem public opinion across the Arab and Moslem world.

Suddenly the cost of a ‘tit for tat’ war between Hezbollah and Israel extends to threaten the international peace and demonize peacemakers.

The ‘smarty’ Likudniks and their fellow neo-cons in Washington have once more demonstrated their ‘superior intelligence’ in promoting the idea to separate Syria from Iran by offering Lebanon back to Syria in exchange for disarming Hezbollah. A remake of an old movie that failed in the 70’s, the 80’s and the 90’s, allowing the Hezbollah to emerge as a threat to regional peace higher than anything preceding it. Tactics similar to the Israeli rationale for emboldening Hamas against Fatah to divide and rule with the Palestinian nation under occupation. Short-term tactics that end in long-term strategic failures to make peace and recognition of the Jewish Nation-State along side of a Palestinian Nation-State.

The tactics of playing Syria against Hezbollah failed to grasp the true meaning of the Iran/Syria alliance that intends to replace the Soviet Union as a counter power to the Free World. A strategy of survival for the Syrian regime, but for the Islamic Republic it is a strategy of deconstruction of the World Order, starting with the Arab Moslem Nation-States, for the purpose of reconstructing the Nation of Islam with the Persian Khalifat, the Willayat Al Fakih Khalifat. In that alliance Iran is by all means in the driving seat and Syria is unable even to eject itself out of the alliance without loosing its regime’s already slim chances of survival.

So, the real cost of the war of the summer of 2006 has become de facto the death of the logic of peace. Some in Israel, fearful of the “land for peace” process, may have felt smart for that outcome. They may be happy to have Arabs and Moslems reject the Peace Process. It has spared them the bad reputation of having to reject the pressure for peace themselves. Israel cannot resist the international pressure for peace making without the critical negative contribution of Arab and Moslem extremists, nurtured and promoted by the Iran-Syria alliance.
They can only resist international pressure for peace  by blaming it on Palestinian and Arab renewed radicalism and terrorism.

Yet, they fail to grasp the magnitude and depth of their “smartness” because the monster they are feeding is becoming less and less containable. A threat not only to the Israel they think they serve by helping her resist pressures for peace, but to International Peace itself.

What we feel as the greatest threat is a growing disgust of the International Community leading to a withdrawal syndrome that shall leave the region stretching from the  Eastern shores of the Mediterranean to the oil rich shores of the Arabian Gulf,  drowned in their intercene wars, burned down to extinction. The extinction of the Order of Nation States and  moderate Islam.

Such a war for Lebanon, Israel, Arab moderates throughout the region, can end in total evaporation with exile or death as the only choice left. An outcome that still forces the armies of world order to rush back to save their vitalk interests.

The cost of unfinished wars has always been throughout history far higher than the cost of peace-making wars   conducted with wisdom, resolve and a clear vision of peace-making through strength and sense of justice and fairness to all.

Roger Eddé
President ASSALAM PARTY,The Lebanese Peace Party
March 15, 2008

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