Jul. 23, 2006

What is More Priceless?

When the Sakyans and the Koliyans were on the brink of war over water rights to the Rohini River, the Buddha stepped between the rival armies and asked them, "What is more priceless, water or blood?" and averted the conflict.

This wise admonition suddenly takes on a new relevance. Some bloggers have made a very good case that the real reason for the Israeli aggression against Lebanon is water. (thanks to Cannonfire and Rigorous Intuition for pointing this out)

Israel is in desperate need of fresh water, a commodity in short supply in the region, and has a history of disputes with Lebanon, relatively well supplied, over water rights.

Now the whole thing makes sense. Governments, as a general rule, never state the real casus belli out loud. The ostensible provocations from Hizbollah never accounted for Israel's systematic destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure. The goal of crippling the Lebanese state so that Israel can make a de facto annexation of the south, including the Litani does.

Watch Lebanon collapse back into a chaotic failed state, a fate from which it appeared to be emerging, and Israel announcing the need to retain the south, at least to the Litani, and possibly including a buffer zone on the north, for "security reasons." (the 21st century port-manteau excuse for any atrocity.)

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