Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Who Won?

The Lebanon ceasefire has been in place since 14 Aug 2006, and at current time, it is still holding. The Israelis and the Hezbollah groups are restraining their fire. How long it will remain, nobody really knows.

Yet both sides are claiming victory. Israel and most of their supporters said that they have won. Bush said Israel won.

Israelis however are mixed on who has won.

The Hezbollah said that they are the victors, and Arab supporters claimed the ceasefire will not hold.

The Hartford Courant said that there are no winners or losers, but victims.

Both Israel and the Hezbollah groups have not won. It is more true that both lost something and gained more hatred for each other. Their supporters try to prop each other up with statements of victory which is in some ways a self-delusion. Nobody won.

Who won?
- Ask the 1 million Israelis who were forced to leave their homes.
- Ask the 800000 Lebanese who were evacuated from their cities.
- Ask the Israeli soldiers and family who lost their children in the war.
- Ask the Hezbollah who suffered casualties.
- Ask the parents of anyone living in that area, who lost a loved one in the war.
- Ask the world. Ask the victims. Ask the inside conscience.

How can anyone claim victory amidst much hatred and bloodshed? Is victory defined as destroying the other party? What about sowing the seeds of hatred? What about the wars burning the hopes of innocent people on all sides? Which is more powerful? A missile of explosives or a mission of mercy? Which is more humane? An extermination of the enemy or an affirmation of each other's existence? Which is more hopeful? Investing in arms or investing in aid?

In wars, there are no winners. Only victims.

Perhaps when the allies of Israel stop supplying arms to Israel, and when the allies of the Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations stop their military support. Perhaps a de-militarised zone is strongly enforced by an group of civilians comprising people of both sides. Perhaps.

Until then, the ceasefire is like a ticking time device, which nobody knows when it will trigger the next war.

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