Lebanon – The Unwitting Conflict Bearer
‘Beware of Small States’ is an immensely absorbing and thoroughly researched book on Lebanon’s critically turbulent history which unavoidably evolves into the history of Middle East’s Arab – Israeli conflict. The author David Hirst, explains how Lebanon endured seemingly endless turmoil since its independence from France in 1943 and played an unwilling role, for the prevailing unrest in that part of the world all this while. The book is not an easy read by any means. This is history with all its ugly truths and some more.
Hirst based his arguments and analysis on real geo-political facts and the events that sowed the seeds of imminent conflict that caused the six Israel – Arab wars to date and the rise of Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) resistant movement, to how Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini‘s militant group, Hizbullah started the Jihad to liberate Palestine from Israel’s grip. David Hirst documents these facts succinctly to show how all these complex elements are co-related and where the root-cause to the conflict lay.
For those as ignorant as I was on the conflicts that plagued Middle East, Hirst helps by underlining that the current state of affairs was born from the forming of the independent Jewish state called Israel on Palestine land shortly after the end of World War II. And this underlying issue became the thorn that caused Lebanon more than 40 years of turbulent existence which it had no hand in the making.
Like the author put it, Lebanon became the ‘battleground of other people’s wars’. Alas, being geographically poised to offer such a ground for two warring parties, unwittingly and inevitably Lebanon got drawn into the ‘Arab – Israeli struggle‘ on Lebanon’s land. And so, this waging of proxy wars in Lebanon grew into a regional and international quagmire that has lasted till the Obama’s administration today with no resolution in sight. As a result, Lebanon suffered as a nation despite its sovereign status.
In conclusion, David Hirst tells that the inspiration to write this side of Lebanon’s history; a country where he has made his residence for half a century came about during the 33-day war perpetrated by Israel on Lebanon in 2006. Nonetheless, at every turn, the Arab-Israeli struggle kept intruding as an intrinsic part of the country’s politics that made this book into a perspective of that ‘struggle‘ viewed through Lebanon’s lens in more ways than intended.
He needed and wanted to tell the world how this small nation became the pawn that other powerful hands maneuvered and ultimately destroyed for their gain sake but hardly gained anything at all at the end. He couldn’t have written a better book. I now have a totally different view on Israel but one must seek knowledge from all angles before making a personal conclusion on such a complex matter.
David Hirst has made his opinion well and true. It’s up to us now who read ‘Beware of Small States’ to seek more facts from opposite sides if any; to make up our own minds. However, I think David Hirst has revealed the truth spot on and no more is really required.
- ‘Israel Planning Third Lebanon War’ (tipggita32.wordpress.com)
- Does the Bible Predict Israel’s “Nuclear Shield?” (zionistoutrage.com)
- | From Balfour to Obama: Colonial Thinking on Palestine. (truthaholics.wordpress.com)
- Israel draws sea boundary different from Lebanon’s (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Beating the Drums of a Broader US-NATO Middle East War (tipggita32.wordpress.com)