Cost of War
by Roger Eddé
from address by Roger Edde at International workshop by the Strategic
Foresight Group in Antalya, Turkey March 16, 2008)
2006. We were enjoying a good summer on the sand beaches of Byblos.
Business was good at the Eddé Sands resort reaching the 5000 count of
high-end customers on weekends, night and day. Fully booked for the
season. Glamourous weddings and events at all venues.
Then a Hezbollah kidnapping of 2 Israeli soldiers, followed by a
punishing month of Israeli retaliation against all of Lebanon abruptly
ended a promising tourist season.
bomb dropped on the fuel depot of a power plant was enough to soil the
entire coastline of Lebanon with a thick black wave, killing every
tourist-related and fishing-related industry. Lebanon’s wellness
vacations were poisoned.
human cost exceeded 1200 deaths, 4 times as many injuries, massive
exodus within and without the country. The immediate financial cost of
that month of war reached the 15 billion dollar mark, according to our
most reliable economists. Flight of investors and developers are not
that wasn’t all. The 1701 UN Resolution, forced on all parties to the
conflict, has not assured a ceasefire yet. The wounds are wide open.
Hezbollah is investing its so-called “victory” (al Intissar, because it
was able to survive the Israeli punishment) against the Lebanese
has rearmed, occupied the economically vital Central District of the
capital. The government of Lebanon, its Parliament, its Presidency have
all been made either dysfunctional or rendered empty or simply
paralyzed, with the democratic majority itself frozen by the fear of
confronting the threats of mayhem, repeatedly sent via airwaves by the
leaders of “The State of Hezbollah”.
Mayhem is made credible by carefully planned factious incidents.
Hezbollah has been definitely emboldened by its self-made propaganda of
having eradicated the image of invincibility of the Israeli military
machine. Israel’s self-confidence crisis, widely and loudly displayed,
has helped the Hezbollah propaganda more than its own network of
for Hezbollah’s allies in Palestine, starting with Hamas and Jihad, they
in turn have suddenly been emboldened to believe that they can and will,
as the Hezbollah, use similar logic and means of war against Israel and
its partners for peace among the Arab moderates. Absolute victory
against Israel, the international order and Arab moderates have become
suddenly credible in the minds and hearts of Arab and Moslem public
opinion across the Arab and Moslem world.
Suddenly the cost of a ‘tit for tat’ war between Hezbollah and Israel
extends to threaten the international peace and demonize peacemakers.
‘smarty’ Likudniks and their fellow neo-cons in Washington have once
more demonstrated their ‘superior intelligence’ in promoting the idea to
separate Syria from Iran by offering Lebanon back to Syria in exchange
for disarming Hezbollah. A remake of an old movie that failed in the
70’s, the 80’s and the 90’s, allowing the Hezbollah to emerge as a
threat to regional peace higher than anything preceding it. Tactics
similar to the Israeli rationale for emboldening Hamas against Fatah to
divide and rule with the Palestinian nation under occupation. Short-term
tactics that end in long-term strategic failures to make peace and
recognition of the Jewish Nation-State along side of a Palestinian
tactics of playing Syria against Hezbollah failed to grasp the true
meaning of the Iran/Syria alliance that intends to replace the Soviet
Union as a counter power to the Free World. A strategy of survival for
the Syrian regime, but for the Islamic Republic it is a strategy of
deconstruction of the World Order, starting with the Arab Moslem
Nation-States, for the purpose of reconstructing the Nation of
Islam with the Persian Khalifat, the Willayat Al Fakih Khalifat. In that
alliance Iran is by all means in the driving seat and Syria is unable
even to eject itself out of the alliance without loosing its regime’s
already slim chances of survival.
the real cost of the war of the summer of 2006 has become de facto the
death of the logic of peace. Some in Israel, fearful of the “land for
peace” process, may have felt smart for that outcome. They may be happy
to have Arabs and Moslems reject the Peace Process. It has spared them
the bad reputation of having to reject the pressure for peace
themselves. Israel cannot resist the international pressure for peace
making without the critical negative contribution of Arab and Moslem
extremists, nurtured and promoted by the Iran-Syria alliance.
They can only resist international pressure for peace by blaming it on
Palestinian and Arab renewed radicalism and terrorism.
Yet, they fail to grasp the magnitude and depth of their “smartness”
because the monster they are feeding is becoming less and less
containable. A threat not only to the Israel they think they serve by
helping her resist pressures for peace, but to International Peace
What we feel as the greatest threat is a growing disgust of the
International Community leading to a withdrawal syndrome that shall
leave the region stretching from the Eastern shores of the
Mediterranean to the oil rich shores of the Arabian Gulf, drowned in
their intercene wars, burned down to extinction. The extinction of the
Order of Nation States and moderate Islam.
Such a war for Lebanon, Israel, Arab moderates throughout the region,
can end in total evaporation with exile or death as the only choice
left. An outcome that still forces the armies of world order to rush
back to save their vitalk interests.
cost of unfinished wars has always been throughout history far higher
than the cost of peace-making wars conducted with wisdom, resolve and
a clear vision of peace-making through strength and sense of justice and
fairness to all.
President ASSALAM PARTY,The Lebanese Peace Party
March 15, 2008