Category Archive 'Treaty of Westphalia'

18 Jul 2006

Exploiting the Gaps in the Westphalian System

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Austin Bay notes the way in which Iran and Syria take advantage of illusory concepts of nation-state sovereignty to hide behind “Lebanon” while using surrogates to make war on Israel.

When fired from positions in southern Lebanon or Gaza, the extended-range Katyushas place roughly sixty percent of Israel’s population in range. (That’s my estimate.) All of Israel’s major cities and towns may soon be a bull’s eye— Hezbollah leaders boast of striking beyond Haifa and “beyond beyond Haifa.” Indeed, there are indications that longer range rockets are being employed. These rockets are “FROG-type” — free rocket over ground. They lack guidance systems but have more reach. They may be able to carry chemical warheads (the Russian series of FROGs could carry chemical warheads).

But now for the layer complexity: Hezbollah hides these weapons among apartment houses and in villages— other words, nests of rockets in neighborhoods.

These neighborhoods and villages are controlled by Hezbollah, not the Lebanese government.

Israel is being fired upon from a Lebanon that “is not quite Lebanon” in a truly sovereign sense.The rockets, of course, come from “somewhere,” but Hezbollah’s “somewhere” is a political limbo in terms of maps with definitive geo-political boundaries. Lebanon is a “failed state”— a peculiar failed state (its not Somalia), but nevertheless failed. It will continue to fail so long as the Lebanese government cannot control Hezbollah—and control means disarm.

So Hezbollah attacks Israel with ever more-powerful, longer-range rockets, then hides behind the diplomatic facade of the greater Lebanese nation state.

Thus terrorists and terror-empowering nations, like Iran and Syria, abuse the nation-state system— or exploit a “dangerous hole” in the system..

Iran and Syria then appeal to the United Nations (a product of the Westphalian “nation state” system) to condemn Israel for attacking Lebanon— when Israel is attacking Hezbollah, which “is and is not Lebanon.”

H/t to Glenn Reynolds.


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