Leading deadly duffers of Hezbollah and Hamas have finally surveyed the damage that their misjudgment has inflicted on their own people, perhaps partly out of fear that these long-suffering victims might decide to terrorize them.
As a result of the self-imposed reality therapy, leaders of both organizations have expressed their regrets. In fact, all the better to wail, they have vowed to build their own Wailing Wall.
The source of materials for the project will be the plenteous shattered bricks and cement that their provocative behavior has reduced many an otherwise upright building to.
Hassan Nasrallah, the loose-cannon head of Hezbollah, expressed regret about the death and destruction his ill-judged murder and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers rained down on the generally hapless citizens of Lebanon.
During a quick and guarded appearance on Lebanon?s new TV station, he confided, ''We did not think, even one percent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on July 11 ... that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not.''
Thanks, guy, but can you run the film backward to make the demolished buildings arise again and bring the dead back to their families?
Obviously, he needs to spend more time at the proposed Wailing Wall, since other comments reveal he is not yet entirely cleansed of his deadly dumb judgment, saying, ''The current Israeli situation and the available information tells us that we are not heading to another round,'' but he went on to say any possible attacks on Israeli troops are ''legitimate'' as long as even one Israeli soldier remains in Lebanon.
In regard to Israeli violations of the UN ceasefire, which Israel regards as more of a watchful cessation of all-out hostilities, he noted that his to-die-for-him group would ''choose the time and place'' to strike back. ''If we have been patient until now, it does not mean we will be patient forever, but we are not obliged to reveal the limits of our patience.''
His whereabouts are unknown, since he went into hiding on the first day of the war and no doubt has some concern, should he reemerge, about the validity of life-insurance policy. (See our Spoof of the Week, "Bin Laden's Garden," where he makes an expected appearance.)
Meanwhile, another born-again wailer, Ghazi Hamad, a former Hamas newspaper editor and spokesman for the current Hamas government, bewailed the repeated incursions into the Gaza strip various Palestinian terror groups have provoked by their irresponsible doings.
In an article in the Palestinian paper Al Ayyam, he admitted, ?Gaza is suffering under the yoke of anarchy and the swords of thugs.? He wailed on that after there was so much optimism when Israel departed from Gaza a year ago that, due to Palestinian misconduct ?life became a nightmare and an intolerable burden.?
He actually called on Palestinians to look to themselves, not Israel, for the reasons. ?We?ve all been attacked by the bacteria of stupidity. We have lost our sense of direction.? He continued to lament, ?Please have mercy on Gaza. Have mercy on us from your demagogy, chaos, guns, thugs, infighting. Let Gaza breathe a bit. Let it live.?
He even questioned how productive it is for his fellow advocates of self-destruction to fire rockets into Israel, particularly since the attacks cause few Israeli casualties but lead to many Palestinian deaths when the Israelis retaliate.
Even the usually recessive Syrian conniver, President Bashar al-Assad (and quite a basher, too) assured UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, we are told by Annan, that his nation will ?take all necessary measures? to implement paragraph 15 of UN resolution 1701, which calls on all countries to prevent the sale or supply of weapons to entities in Lebanon without the consent of Lebanon?s government and UN peacekeepers.
As for the Arab citizenry themselves, the tale of woe is a mixed bag, between fury and remorse on one wrung hand and misguided praise for Hezbollah on the other.
In Qana, Lebanon, an elderly man looked from a hilltop at a crater where his home once stood, and said, "I built this home for my children. I don't know what I am going to do next."
He now has a view of the newly built memorial for 29 of his fellow citizens who were killed in the town.
And a mother in Marjeyoun wailed in her former living room, "We are trying to be strong for the children, but inside we are dead."
Yet another woman, ?unlearned in the world?s false subtlety,? stated, "The children, don't they (the West) see the children, the families? When you see what Israel has done, then you understand why Hezbollah made what it makes."
Woe is me. Will she and others
never learn that the talk should not be so much about effects but more about causes?
Meanwhile, appearing detached as usual, the superficially ebullient Kofi Annan continued to trundle about the Middle East like a misplaced Good Humor man.
While in Lebanon, he said he?s convinced the Lebanese are serious about preserving the ceasefire and moving to a permanent peace. ?They believe that, handled properly, they can use this moment to strengthen their state.? The Lebanese are committed, he believes, to ?the idea that you cannot have a state within a state, but have to have one authority, one law and one gun. I believe the Lebanese because they have seen what has happened to their country.?
Of course, he neglected to mention the nation?s sticky disinclination to disarm Hezbollah.
Annan also made a quick trip to Iran, where he emerged from talks with its persistently bellicose president as if he had met, instead, with an Islamic Santa Claus. He said, in reference to Lebanon, that Ahmadinejad "reaffirmed his country's support for the implementation of resolution 1701." Reaffirmed? When did he ever unambiguously affirm it?
And get this: Kofi said, ?On the nuclear issue, the president reaffirmed to me Iran's preparedness and commitment to hold negotiations" with Western powers to solve the impasse over his country?s suspect nuclear activities. Of course, Ahmadinejad, on the very first day Annan?s visit, pulled the Persian rug out from under him, as he "reiterated that he did not accept suspension before negotiations." Apparently, not after them, either.
Of course, amid all of these mournful doings, the leading spokesman from remote control, Aman al-Zawahiri, released another detached video, featuring a well-known and highly wanted American convert to Islam, with the pretended purpose of inviting Americans to convert to Islam.
And now the real motive of Al-Qaeda and its irreverent henchmen becomes ever clearer; they are conducting an old-time religious war; you know, the kind that went out with the Inquisition.
Of course, we?ll all convert, Aman. We?re always impressed with messages from a pediatrician turned child killer. And, once we do convert, we can all live together as peacefully as the Shiites and the Sunnis who think shooting one another in the back of the head is just religious fervor as usual.
We can easily, in fact, imagine an entire world made up of such a warring dichotomy. There would be only one redeeming grace: combat would be limited to Muslim vs. Muslim.
Of course, the West might in turn invite al-Zawahiri to become Christian, Jew, or, less likely but even better, a person who is holy because he believes in the sanctity of life, a very accommodating ethic especially for a healthcare provider like Zawahiri was before his turban squeezed his brain cells too hard.
My, but hasn't this article been a flamer? Must have been a provocative week.
Let's wrap it up with the hope that in time the crowds in front of the Arab Wailing Wall will grow. These victims of their own mischievous misjudgment obviously need to spend an awful lot of time there, contemplating the destruction of their own lives, property, and hopes before the ruin of the remains of, if you will allow the possibly contentious metaphor, their own Solomon?s Temple.