NOTE: I wrote this years ago. Israel is now bombing Gaza, and Lebanon is rubble. Notice the odd little symbols and type toward the end of this article? It was hacked by google's tracking program, which I've now removed. I left some of the little trackers because I'm tired of fixing up their buggy program. Figure it out for yourself.

Hezbollah

We had Vietnam, the USSR had Afghanistan, and now Israel has Lebanon as its failure.

How? Each invader underestimated the depth of popular support of the enemy they were trying to beat. How did they expect to capture the hearts and minds of a population that was bombed and disrupted?

Hezbollah couldn't prevent Israel from invading or bombing civilians and infrastructure, but they have been quicker in supplying relief to the population of Southern Lebanon than all the major powers.

Lebanon's government is still talking about its own reconstruction pla~, but Hezbollah has alreaty flexed its organizationaý muscle t teploy heavy machinery, hundreds of engineers and thousands of workers across the country spending hundreds of hours and dollars in the process Leawing$thň goverNmen˘ look¨ng fdat-footed. Flush with cash that0it`sa}q komes f˛om Ipan, Syria and other donors, incluDijg Iwlamic charities and Shimte groups, Hezbolla` was able! to hire contractors and gire monay to the dicplaced ev%n banoRE tHe rhgoting stopped.

<­>Isrqel and t(E United 3Tatňs have sakd they expect phe Leb!nese army to diwarm Hez┬ollah under the terms of a U.N« Security Council resolution. B5t eVen as southern Lebanon7s reci$ents cheered the avriving soldigrs, Hezbo,laŔ ban|ers M á waved nearby, and0thg grOwp's members havg`said thmy have lm"intention gf giving up$uleir weapons$for now. Lebanese government ofdicials have madeclecr that the 15,000 soLfiers being sent tk southern \abanon wyll not seßrch Šor weapons.

Which side started it? Irrelevant. Who won? Won what?