Army Response: Better, but not Enough. (Updated)
The words used by our politicians and our military have got to change. Along with their actions.
Mohamed Ismail, a civilian, doing work for and with the Lebanese Army as shot dead two days ago. In my book, the shooting killed an innocent Lebanese civilian (bad enough) AND was an assault on the authority of the army, pure and simple.
The army suspects Jibreel forces PFLP-GC (Syrian-Palestinian) near the Syrian border, and has send commando forces and tanks to the Jibreel (illegal) bases in the Bekaa. The show of force is necessary of course, but not enough. This mild/moderate so far approach has been the subject of my 3 last posts.
The Army is now saying: "we would not sit back handcuffed if we are attacked. We shall defend ourselves."
GOD DAMN IT, YOU ALREADY HAVE BEEN ATTACKED, AND THE BASE YOU ARE SURROUNDING IS ILLEGAL.
To add insult to injury, and previous insult:
PFLP-GC's Lebanon representative Anwar Raja has confirmed that the group's guerrillas had taken 6 Lebanese soldiers hostage in Sultan Yacoub, but only for one hour on Wednesday. They were turned over to the army's intelligence command in the Bekaa unmolested, Raja said.
The creeps apparently took 6 army soldiers hostages. Should we think it's "OK" because they were "only" held for one hour, and thank God released unharmed. We are "lucky" the PFLP-GC was magnanimous, and decided the soldiers had a right to be on Lebanese territory, or whatever.
Has your head exploded or not yet?
HAS THE ARMY BEEN ATTACKED AGAIN OR NOT YET?
Does anyone in Lebanon understand that this CRAP will go on, and spread, and worsen to every thug in Lebanon? Why should any thug fear the authority of the State and the law? Without that, those expecting a stable secure Lebanon where the economy and other things are fixed are deluding themselves, big time. I don't even want to get into how the breakdown of authority led to the 75-76 disaster.
UPDATE AND CORRECTION (October 28/29): The army suspects a member of Fateh-Intifada (not PFLP as stated in my post) in the killing of Mohamed Ismail. The army denies 6 hostages were taken. I wonder why the PFLP spokesman said they took hostages then. The latest reports are that the army has eased he pressure( ??? the army/government want to negotiate). Yeah. That'll show them, and impress people who have been trampling on Lebanese authority for over 30 years.
Like my first sentence in this post says: I am not just advocating stronger military action. The government has to get tougher on those groups and their sponsors. The government should publicly pressure Mahmoud Abbas to do more. Also it should pressure Syria to do more and to further damage their local allies politically. Ditto the Arab League. In other words a PR campaign for the long term.
A commenter below says the army cannot handle this type of job. If that is true we are in deep, deep, trouble. And Lahoud, the "builder" of the new army has found reason number 4056 to resign.
UPDATE2 (October 29) Here's what Saniora said today about the Bekaa situation (Naharnet):
"But there is no intention for military action. Such action is absolutely out of our political dictionary," he said. What if you're attacked Fuad? Is the army joking when it is sending troops?
I give up. (See my comment below in "comments" section)