Here is my opinion on the Lebanon/Israel situation: We should let Israel do whatever they want to do. If they need military or diplomatic help we should give it to them if we can. We should, however, strongly urge Israel to stop killing civilians else it would threaten our alliance with them.
Let me back up for a bit to support this thought. Let me give you an example. Say for instance that we weren’t allies with Mexico and that there was a group within the United States border that was based primarily along our southern border with them. Say this group was really against Mexico for whatever reason. Let’s for example say the group is a future version of the Minutemen and they decide that to fight against Mexican aggression (real or imagined) they are going to go over the border and kidnap the Mexican army members.
From the perspective of Mexico, the Minutemen would be an American terrorist organization that are infringing on Mexican sovereignty with acts of aggression. Mexico, by most accounts (if they were objective) would have every right to declare war on America if they wanted to. Obviously it is the American Governments job to control it’s citizens and not let them form militias that could, by their actions, threaten whatever détente we may have with our border nations.
Now, let’s take that example and apply it to Lebanon. There is a group within its borders, composed and supported by its own citizens that have acted aggressively against a bordering nation. From the perspective of Israel they are being attacked by people within the borders of Lebanon, and they should therefore have every right to declare and wage war against Lebanon.
The way they are waging war should be considered morally reprehensible by our nation. We claim to be a religiously moral nation and we should therefore act like we are. One of our allies is killing civilians knowingly in their war with another nation. The reason (from what I can gather) we are allies with any nation is that we agree with them morally and politically and consider them friends. A friend would not let another friend do something they considered morally wrong without complaining to them or trying to get them to stop.
So this is simple to me and it should be to you as well. We should let Israel fight its war against Lebanon, and at the same time we should denounce their killing of civilians. I know that the main problem you are going to point out is that Hezbollah is comprised of citizens and that is a case that legal scholars will have to argue (and should have been arguing all the way back to Hiroshima). Whose fault is this? It is clearly Lebanon’s. Think back to the Minutemen. Should Mexico kill them? Would it be morally correct? As far as war makes sense (and to me it really doesn’t), they have every right to kill and fight the people that fight them. But they should allow some time for the American government to sort it out themselves.
This can and should happen in S. Lebanon. Israel should map off a section of the country that they deem to be the taken over by Hezbollah, they should declare war on Lebanon and give it’s government time to meet it’s demands (say, remove all Hezbollah solders from the area). They should wait a fair amount of time to allow the govt. to comply. And then they should roll in their tanks and army if they don’t comply. Perhaps they should allow foreign aid workers to come in and clear out the civilians as well.
The problem is not with Hezbollah. They are inside the border of a sovereign nation and so they are part of that nation. If they attack, Lebanon attacks. And if a country attacks another, that country has every right to defend themselves.