I notice that the news seems much more focused on Israel’s invasion of Lebanon than on the attacks Israel is undergoing. So, let’s recap events here for a second:
- Hezbollah runs most of southern Lebanon as its own fiefdom, with the Lebanese government doing nothing to stop them.
- Hezbollah launches years of random rocket attacks and border attacks against Israel, with minimal Israeli response (since the pullout from Lebanon years ago, at the UN’s urging).
- Hezbollah crosses into Israel and kidnaps two Israeli soldiers.
- THEN Israel starts airstrikes on Beirut, hoping to prevent the movement of the soldiers to Iran or Syria and to cripple communications between Hezbollah and those enemy governments.
Imagine for a second that the Mexican government abdicated responsibility for its own border and allowed a terrorist group to start launching random rockets against San Diego. What would the US do? Damn right! We’d invade that entire country. We’d put F-18s into the air and A-10 Warthogs and we’d find those rocket sites and blow them up. We might even create a DMZ that’s ten or 100 miles deep to prevent further attacks. And if the terrorists came across our border in the night and kidnapped two of our guys and the Mexican government said, “Sorry, we can’t help,” do you think we would sit idly by? Of course not.
But should we put US Marines back in Lebanon? Tough call, frankly. But if you want a glimpse of what it was like the first time around, read Distant Valor, by C.X. Moreau. It’s a novel, but it’s one of those novels that you know rings true, written by someone who was there. It was last republished by ibooks, which is now bankrupt, so finding a copy may be a challenge, but check your library for the prior Forge Books hardcover, or buy it used It’s also still available from Brilliance as an audio book. You won’t regret reading this powerful novel that Kirkus described as “A haunting slice of military life that unsparingly catalogues the risks, rewards, pain, and joys of casting one's lot with warriors.” And we all know how tough Kirkus is, so this must be a good read!