To the Editor:
Your July 15 editorial, "Assault on Lebanon" is a study in the "Now Theory" of politics and history. In the "Now Theory" nothing happened outside the last 24 to 48 hours. In the "Now Theory" the effects of what has gone before have no consequences, and a group's ultimate goal is of no meaning.
The events in Israel and Lebanon and Gaza are about cumulative impact: a year of steady kassam rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel and over five years of attacks from Hezbollah into northern Israel.
The three Israeli soldiers kidnapped by these groups were the last straw but not the cause. Hamas and Hezbollah have as part of their stated goals the destruction of the state of Israel. Hamas is the ruling party of the Palestinian parliamentary council and, in Lebanon, Hezbollah holds seats in the parliament and ministry positions in the executive.
Your reference to "Palestinian groups" whitewashes Hamas, which is an internationally recognized terrorist group. Dismissing Hezbollah as part of the Lebanese government and therefore a mainstream organization is facile and dangerous. The most pernicious organization of our time was the Nazis party in Germany. They, too, were elected. Imagine if instead of appeasement the world had stood up to them before the outbreak of World War II.
Your suggestion that this conflict is an attempt by Israel's new prime minister, Ehud Olmert, to demonstrate his resolve is offensive. Why not look to Iran and Syria for the sinister and underlying causes? Finally, this conflict has nothing to do with the "U. S. preoccupation with Iraq" and everything to do with terrorists attacking the sovereign nation of Israel.
Regional Director, Cleveland