Into the sea

I don't have any exhaustive commentary about the newest Mideast fiasco, but a lot of commentary I've seen about it seems to be missing one point I'd like to identify. The Israeli government will be satisfied when militant attacks against Israel stop; Hezbollah and its allies will be satisfied when Israel is wiped off the map.

No, I'm not taking sides. Libertarians can find plenty to dislike about the actions of both sides—the list would take up the rest of my life.

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The Israeli government

The Israeli government technically cannot "be satisfied" about any political outcome, for it is comprised of many individuals with various desires. Now, if we are to anthropomorphize government, as you have done, then surely we would infer from its actions that the Israeli government very much wants the military conflict with Palestine to continue, at a low-level anyway, indefinitely. Which makes sense -- the institution of government is strengthened during times of conflict.

No, I’m not taking sides.

No, I’m not taking sides.

While I agree with your assessment of the situation, of what Israel and Hezbollah want, I'm also aware that your assessment is the assessment of one side. The other side disagrees all the way down to the fundamentals, as Alcibiades illustrates.

Does this mean that there is no truth, only perspectives? No, it means that in this conflict, as in many conflicts, one side is much closer to objective reality than the other, which is delusional.

The Israeli government will

The Israeli government will be satisfied when militant attacks against Israel stop

If we were debating a domestic issue and I attributed such a simple benevolent motive to the US government, would you really accept it?

If we were debating a

If we were debating a domestic issue and I attributed such a simple benevolent motive to the US government, would you really accept it?

Okay, so when Britain fought against the German enemy in WWII the reasons they were fighting were many and subtle and mostly nefarious, and really had nothing to do with stopping the German expansion. That was merely an excuse. The main reason was the oil fields of Germany, which the British were hoping to acquire.

Motives might not mean much

Motives might not mean much to those caught in the crossfire again and again.

Randall, I think that while

Randall,
I think that while you have a point about motives, that one of the key things you (and almost everyone else I hear who brings up this exact same argument over and over again, ad naseum) is that it's pretty clear to almost everyone that none of Israel's enemies really could push it into the sea. None of them are anywhere close. Hezbollah has fired off almost 1500 rockets at Israel since hostilities flared up again--over 10% of their arsenal, and they've killed less than 30 civilians? Hardly the stuff existential threats are made out of.

I think Israel would be a lot better off if they realized this. If they stop treating every small incident as though the fate of their very nation depended on immediate and overwhelming action, they would be a lot better off. Even in the best cases the law of unintended consequences makes it really tough to get good long-term results. Acting before you've had a time to think because you treat everything as a life-and-death crisis is a sure way to keep muddling things up over and over.

I'm not saying that Israel is always wrong or that Hezbollah is right, just that hyperventilating that if Israel doesn't bomb the crap out of an innocent country that Hezbollah happens to occupy a small chunk of, that Israel is going to be shoved back into the sea....it all seems rather counterproductive actually.

~Jon

"The Israeli government will

"The Israeli government will be satisfied when militant attacks against Israel stop; Hezbollah and its allies will be satisfied when Israel is wiped off the map."
Then, as usualy, they are at an impass. The conflict will not end until one side moves away. I suggest all of Israel be deconstructed and relocated to Wisconsin where they will once again set up a jewish state, block non-Jews from voting, and live happily ever after.

I would prefer being unable to move to Winsconsin to continuous fighting in the mid-east.

Hezbollah has fired off

Hezbollah has fired off almost 1500 rockets at Israel since hostilities flared up again–over 10% of their arsenal, and they’ve killed less than 30 civilians? Hardly the stuff existential threats are made out of.

You're missing the point. It is possible to make peace with Israel: just stop bombing them and stop kidnapping them. It is impossible to make peace with Hezbollah so long as Hezbollah's goal is the elimination of Israel. You yourself acknowledge that Israel is not going to disappear. Given that fact, then Hezbollah will never stop attacking, so long as their condition for stopping - for making peace - is the elimination of Israel.

Motives might not mean much

Motives might not mean much to those caught in the crossfire again and again.

Motives mean a hell of a lot to those who are in a position to act. They are key to answering the question, "what can I/my country/my organization do so that the conflict will end."