Friday, July 28, 2006


Via Billmon and CSM:
The stakes are high for Hizbullah, but it seems it can count on an unprecedented swell of public support that cuts across sectarian lines.According to a poll released by the Beirut Center for Research and Information, 87 percent of Lebanese support Hizbullah's fight with Israel, a rise of 29 percent on a similar poll conducted in February. More striking, however, is the level of support for Hizbullah's resistance from non-Shiite communities. Eighty percent of Christians polled supported Hizbullah along with 80 percent of Druze and 89 percent of Sunnis.

There's a myth aggressors in a war often subscribe to that assumes destroying towns and cities will terrorise the local population into divorcing themselves from those elements of their polity that are their aggressor party. It almost never works. In the Second World War, the Nazis began bombing British cities and towns, and all that did was increase British resolve in standing up to the Nazi menace. Even when the Allies turned German cities into rubble, the Germans still fought for every inch of ground until the Red Army sat in the Reichstag. The US bombed Hanoi, and every hamlet, village and trail in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos they could find, but Ho Chi Minh's Vietnamese kept fighting. Right now Lebanon is under attack by a foreign power. Its cities, roads, bridges and people have been destroyed, killed and maimed. Hizbollah is the only group in Lebanon actively resisting, and resisting well. A fortnight into the conflict and the most powerful army in the region can't even definitively hold a few small border towns but have managed to kill large numbers of Lebanese civilians of all walks of life. It is no bloody wonder Hizbollah's support is increasing. This cannot work in Israel's long-term interest.
A view of what this could mean can be found here.

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