The Hezbollah is basically a terrorist state within a state that is struggling to modernize. This is not a new phenomenon for Lebanon. The Lebanese government has never been truly stable for an extended amount of time. But it has generally been a state that is much more modernized than most Arab states. The Hezbollah threatens to not only destabilize the leadership of Lebanon. It basically keeps the entire country hostage to the whims of Iranian regional domination. The Hizbullah dominates the entire southern area of Lebanon, and uses it as a launching pad against Israel whenever it chooses to.
A Peaceful Oasis in the Middle East
Lebanon is a small country. It has a very interesting recent past. As recently as the 50’s and the 60’s, Lebanon was a country where young children spoke French, Arabic, and English on a rather high level. It was sort of a foothold for modernity in the Arab area of the Middle East. But in the 70’s a Civil war between different groups of Arabs wreaked havoc on the country. In 1982, following countless attacks on northern Israel, Israel retaliated. Israel’s Army went in deep into Lebanon, even reaching Beirut, the capital. But it seems that Israel made a strategic mistake. It helped install a pro-Israel leader, Bashir Gemayel, as leader of the country. This didn’t last long. He was assassinated shortly after. Ever since then, Lebanon has never been a stable country. Syria and Iran have alternatively dominated it, and it has turned into a constant thorn to the northern area of Israel.
Will Israel have to go back in and clean out the arsenal of thousands of missiles that face it from Lebanon? Of course, we hope not. But, it seems more likely that it will indeed be necessary one day. The ideal situation would be if Israel and the international community could prop up a Lebanese leadership that would clean up it’s own country. But that seems unlikely in the near future. No country can live endlessly with a growing missile threat on it’s borders that gets greater and greater from year to year. The oasis is in the past. Before the past becomes the future, it will probably be a rough path ahead.