July 21, 2006

Hezbollah's Hidden Success

As Hezbollah gets pasted by Israeli ordnance, few are noting its huge political success in shifting world opinion. This is because the success it has had is of the nature of a "dog that did not bark". Israel, in the past, has used war language with reference to Hamas and Hezbollah. The diplomatic community came down on Sharon like a ton of bricks for saying such things because as non-state actors, you cannot go to war with them.

Today, Israel is joined by everybody else in using war language with respect to Hezbollah. Who protests? Nobody (or at least nobody important) seems to care that we have made a fundamental shift in how we treat non-state movements like Hamas and Hezbollah. Frankly, nobody has seemed to notice.

This is a great victory for these two movements and the entire jihadist community. They are devoted to a political form that is nonwestphalian and by language and action, the world has taken a large step in recognizing their view of the world as objective reality. The consequences are large, and very poorly thought out by the world diplomatic community so far.

What is the need for the UN except the management and pacification of the parties that can declare and wage war? Sure, there are lots of ancillary functions beyond that but that is its central duty. So, does Hezbollah get a seat? Of course it doesn't, as a practical matter. But why shouldn't it get a seat if the world now recognizes it as a party that can declare and wage war?

Posted by TMLutas at July 21, 2006 10:35 AM