More and more, it appears that Israel has determined that its goal is to cripple Hezbollah. If that trick can be managed, it will deliver a blow not only to Hezbollah but also to Syria and Iran and the entire Militant Islamist movement.
It also would produce a huge benefit for the vast majority of Lebanese who do not want their country run by Hezbollah/Syria/Iran and who do know that the Israelis have no wish to remain.
Since disarming Hezbollah is what is called for by the “international community” in UN Security Council Resolution 1559, it is hard to see how even the French could call such an action disproportionate.”
Oh well, the UN also passed resolutions agaist Saddam Hussein but condemned the US led coalition in Iraq, so I am not so sanguine as Cliff that the international community wont begin to moan about Israel's actions. Still the nation of Israel has a founding notion of "Never Again" and the ability to turn places into smoking craters. No, I am not so terribly worried about Israel.
What has really grabbed my attention is North Korea. North Korea has well and truely screwed themselves by alienating China. North Korea has grabbed Chinese trains and not given them back. They have launched 7 missiles. The question becomes what damage can they do before there are no more people alive in North Korea? Ed Driscoll digs up a old Christopher Hitchens piece on North Korea:
North Korea broke down in the 1990s and lost an unguessable number of people to sheer starvation. The survivors, especially the children, have been stunted and malformed. Even on a tightly controlled tour of the place—North Korea is almost as hard to visit as it is to leave—my robotic guides couldn't prevent me from seeing people drinking from sewers and picking up individual grains of food from barren fields. (I was reduced to eating a dog, and I was a privileged "guest.") Film shot from over the Chinese border shows whole towns ruined and abandoned, with their few factories idle and cannibalized. It seems that the mines in the north of the country have been flooded beyond repair. In consequence of this, and for the first time since the founding of Kim Il Sung's state, large numbers of people have begun to take the appalling risk of running away. If they make it, they make it across the river into China, where there is a Korean-speaking area in the remote adjoining province.
Kim Jong-il and his fellow slave masters are trying to dictate the pace of events by setting a timetable of nuclearization, based on a crash program wrung from their human property. But why should it be assumed that their failed state and society are permanent? Another timeline, oriented to liberation and regime change, is what the dynasty most fears.
Now here is John Bolton, US ambassator to the United Nations:
This Resolution also demands action. It sends an unequivocal, unambiguous and unanimous message to Pyongyang: suspend your ballistic missile program; stop your procurement of materials related to weapons of mass destruction, and implement your September, 2005 commitment to verifiably dismantle your nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs. It is not just Pyongyang, though, that must act. It also "requires" Member States to do what they can to prevent the transfer of resources to the DPRK missile program or the procurement of missile-related items from the DPRK. The United States expects that the DPRK and all other UN Member States will immediately act in accordance with the requirements of this resolution passed by the Security Council.
This is the first UNSC resolution on North Korea since 1993, reflecting the gravity of this situation and the unity and determination of the Council. We hope this Resolution will demonstrate to North Korea that the best way to improve the livelihood of its people and end its international isolation is to stop playing games of brinkmanship and restore its missile moratorium, return to the Six-Party Talks and implement the terms of the Joint Statement from the last round of those talks.
We look forward to North Korea's full, unconditional and immediate compliance with this Security Council Resolution. We hope that North Korea makes the strategic decision that the pursuit of WMD programs and threatening acts like these missile launches, make it less, not more secure. We need to be prepared, though, that North Korea might choose a different path. This is why it is important that if the DPRK does not comply with the requirements of this Resolution, the United States and other Member States have the opportunity at any point to return to the Council for further action.
I think it likely that Kim Jong-Il is more like to make a last Ahab-ian gasp with what is in his possession:
". . . from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."Be sure and look at North Korea from night.