Friday, August 18, 2006

Lebanese General Has Tea With Israeli Soldiers and Gets Arrested

I understand that each nation-state has laws which are important to them due to both historical and cultural reasons. I also understand that as someone who has never done military service that I lack an understanding of military rules and how soldiers should behave. With that said, I’m still having trouble figuring out why Lebanese General Adnan Daoud is under house arrest and under investigation.

According to news sources, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) seized the barracks where General Daoud was in command. His garrison was lightly armed and simply wasn’t equipped to fight off the IDF, so they didn’t resist. General Daoud was recorded on video serving and drinking tea with the IDF soldiers and walking with the IDF soldiers in the courtyard of the barracks. One day later General Daoud, his soldiers and civilians under the protection of UN peacekeepers left the area and headed north. The video footage was shown on Israeli TV and later was shown in Lebanon.

This is the wrinkle as written in the Daily Star from Lebanon:

Lebanese law forbids any dealings with Israel because a state of war exists between the two countries despite the Armistice Agreement of 1949. Lebanese citizens who have dealings with Israelis are subject to arrest and prosecution. (click here for the full article)
Now I don’t know about you, but his actions sound reasonable. It sounds like being pleasant, drinking tea and walking around with the Israelis instead of yelling “die, bitch, die” and letting off a few rounds was the better way to go. As stated above, it's reported that he and his soldiers were released along with civilians.

However, maybe I’m missing something. In fact, I’m sure I am missing something. It seems because he had a friendly encounter rather than a hostile one he’s now royally screwed. Ironically, it seems like General Daoud could be someone to teach officials on both sides of this some lessons in non-violent communication and how to engage rather than anger your opponent.

This one is irking me because, like I said, I don’t know much about the region or this conflict. However, it would seem that someone smart enough to engage the enemy, get himself, his troops and civilians out safely should be commended and not punished.

So help me out and give me some insight into why he’s in big trouble right now.

More articles:
Lebanese General Held Over Israeli Video
Lebanese General jailed for having tea with IDF before war broke out
Lebanese General Arrested For Conversing With Israelis

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