Democrats & Liberals Archives

Israeli Attack On Lebanon Was Likely No Surprise To U.S.

One would think that from the slow response in evacuating U.S. citizens from Lebanon that the U.S. was taken totally off guard by the Israeli attacks. Somehow that seems unlikely as both the US and the UK are blocking efforts at quickly arriving at a cease fire.

They want to give Israel at least another week to "inflict maximum damage on Hizbullah." Not to mention maximum damage on those inside Lebanon. Apparently the total destruction of the physical infrastructure of Lebanon; the deaths and wounding of civilians; and inflaming the anger of the world; are minor considerations in the bigger game.

"The US is publicly denying any role in setting a timeframe for Israeli strikes. When asked whether the US was holding back diplomatically, Tony Snow, the White House's press spokesman, said yesterday: "No, no; the insinuation there is that there is active military planning, collaboration or collusion, between the United States and Israel - and there isn't ... the US has been in the lead of the diplomatic efforts, issuing repeated calls for restraint but at the same time putting together an international consensus. You've got to remember who was responsible for this: Hizbullah ... It would be misleading to say the United States hasn't been engaged. We've been deeply engaged."

Steven Cook, a specialist in US-Middle East policy at the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations, said: "It's abundantly clear [that US policy is] to give the Israelis the opportunity to strike a blow at Hizbullah ..." (MacAskill et al, Guardian, 7/19/06)

Despite the allegations by the US, UK, and Israel that Iran and Syria are behind (or supporting) Hizbullah in Lebanon, they were taken totally by surprise at the missiles being used by Hizbullah forces. In particular they knew nothing about Hizbullah having a C-802 Iranian missile which struck an Israeli ship last week. The Israeli's are also claiming that Syrian-made munitions are being used.

It seems to me, that weapons made by a nation do not necessarily mean that those weapons were "provided by" that nation. After all, there is a global arms market - and the US is the largest player in that market. Apparently the firearm of choice in conflicts around the world is the Russian Kalashnakov rifle. Does that mean that Russia is "supplying" those arms? Perhaps, or perhaps it is "just business as usual."

While the US, UK, and Israel wag threatening tongues at Syria and Iran, the munitions, missiles, tanks, and planes being used by Israel came straight from the United States. In fact, Israel may be violating U.S. law in firing on civilians and civilian infrastructure:

"Section 4 of the (U.S.) Arms Export Control Act requires that military items transferred to foreign governments by the United States be used solely for internal security and legitimate self-defence," says Stephen Zunes, professor of politics at the University of San Francisco.

"Since Israeli attacks against Lebanon's civilian infrastructure and population centres clearly go beyond legitimate self-defence, the United States is legally obliged to suspend arms transfers to Israel," Zunes told IPS.

Frida Berrigan, a senior research associate with the Arms Trade Resource Centre at the World Policy Institute in New York, is equally outraged at the misuse by Israel of U.S.-supplied weapons.

"As Israel jets bombard locations in Gaza, Haifa and Beirut, killing civilians (including as many as seven Canadians vacationing in Aitaroun), it is worth remembering that U.S. law is clear about how U.S.-origin weapons and military systems ought to be used," Berrigan told IPS."

According to the Deen article (citing the Congressional Research Services), the United States has become virtually the sole provider of arms and military equipment to Israel. The U.S. is also a major Israeli military funding source paying about 23% of Israel's total military budget. Deen also reports that: "In December of last year, Lockheed Martin was awarded a 29.8-million-dollar contract to provide spares part for Israel's F-16 fighter planes.."

Meanwhile the "neo-conservatives are calling for unconditional U.S. support" of the Israeli offensives in Palestine and Lebanon. Hillary Clinton is being backed by Fox News for publicly supporting Israel's ongoing offensive. This is truly no surprise given Clinton's ongoing move to the right to be seen as a "centrist" candidate (as is Lieberman purportedly). Of course there is a lot of "unconditional support" for Israel in Washington with so many folks having dual US/Israeli citizenship (see links below). If I were Israeli, I would have to wonder about whether the US supports Israel, or whether the US uses Israel as a proxy in the Middle East.

Regardless of one's sympathies on the issue of Israel, Palestine, or Lebanon (and beyond), the destruction and loss of life is unconscionable. Civilians always bear the brunt of war. Apparently civilians are "acceptable losses." However, it distresses me that increasingly violence and war seem to be a ready response - regardless of the costs. One must ask who benefits from the wars and conflicts. By and large, the biggest benefactors are those who sell the arms and those who are contracted to rebuild societies after the destruction is done.

Dual Citizenship Issues
Ed Toner, Original Dissent, Pres. Bush's Minority Advisers

Kurt Nimmo, Another Day In The Empire, Condi Rice: Christian-Zionist Pit Bull

Sam Hamod, Information Clearing House, The Myth of Tiny, Little Israel: Zionist Tentacles Everywhere

Stephen Green, CounterPunch, Serving Two Flags: Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration

Posted by Rowan Wolf at July 19, 2006 11:54 AM
Comments
Comment #168829

It is not government policy to arrange for the evacuation of civilians. It is done at the civilians expense. I dont believe you understand the importance of Isreal in the world. I am not surprised that both parties are backing isreal. It is the logical thing to do. They are doing nothing that we wouldnt do if we were in thier situation. They are simply attacking a terrorist group who refuses to coorpirate with the regulations set forth by the world. Now as for your arms dealer comments. The idea that we sell arms to another country for security is fine. We are however saying that Iran is supplying weapons to lebanon for the sole purpose of use on isreal. Now the strikes made on Lebanon are for self defense. They are simply counterstrikes and preimptive counterstrikes.

Posted by: Anthony at July 19, 2006 12:57 PM
Comment #168832

preimptive counterstrikes?!?

How far hypocrisy could go!? Any preemptive strike could never be, by its own definition, a counterstrike.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 19, 2006 1:14 PM
Comment #168837

“It is not government policy to arrange to evacuate citizens.” It should be, the richest nation ever can spend billions on war but can’t evacuate their own fellow citizens. What does that say to the people? We don’t give a f*ck about you, die, we don’t care. Just give me your tax money. These are dangerous messages to send and doesn’t help an already suspect / corrupt government in America. It disgusts me. I don’t think Isreal is that important, well all that more important than anyone else for that matter. I wouldn’t support Isreal and don’t think we should support them killing hundreds of civilians. Look at Iraq though, thousands of civilians killed, so its plain to see that the US government doesn’t care about killing civilians and won’t pressure Isreal to be more accurate with their targets. Children are dying. It just creats more future problems. The never ending cycle. You can’t fix a problem when the methods you use only create more future problems. Again, disgusting. Is Isreal really cooperating with the regulations set forth? They are still in the west bank. Anyone who says they are is stupid or lying. So if neither side is cooperating who is at fault? I don’t understand this stance of supporting Isreal no matter what. I think its a dangerous policy. I am sick of listening to those in power / republicans / conservatives say Iran and Syria are behind this. Where is the evidence. News flash, you have no credibility, I want to see facts, I will not just believe what you say anymore. Your suspect. Your motives are suspect. Instead of saying this is what is happening show me facts. I wish we had a better and smarter leader right now, we desparately need one.

Posted by: dee at July 19, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #168846

why do you lefties support the war in afganistan? That was a soverign country - right? Fact is, we considered the Taliban linked to the terrorists of 9/11, and we went in to afganistan to exterminate them. I want everyone who doesnt understand this yet to go to a mirror and repeat the following until it sinks in…

TERRORISM TRANCENDS BOUNDRIES!!!

Get it??? SHould Isreal attack Hezbollah? @#$@# YES! Will Isreal have to go into another country to do that? Of course. The real question you should be asking yourself, is why hasnt Lebanon, or Syria, or Iran made efforts to disband an internationally recognized terrorist group from their country? The answer of course is because they cant or dont want to. If it is the first reason, then it is up to the international community to “help out” so to speak. If it is the latter….well - what would you do?

By the way - the analogy of the AK soviet made gun and the Iranian Mid Range Rockets doesnt work AKs are easy to come by and knock off AKs are made all over the world. An Iranian made missle is a little different dont you think?

PS I think the lebanese are a beautiful people and have an interesting history. It is a shame that they arent strong enough to rid their country of these animals themselves.

Posted by: b0mbay at July 19, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #168850

My problem is that we can’t seem to hit the “animals.” Stop killing innocents. Remember 9/11. How did we feel when civilians were killed? Why would they feel any different?

Posted by: dee at July 19, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #168853

rowan,

Quick question:

What responsibility do these people have to get out of there on there own?
(why would you live in an area like this and not have a contigency plan to get the heck out of there?)

It looks like none…
That’s right, it’s always the governments responsibility, AND then they complain about the conditions.

Posted by: Cliff at July 19, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #168854

Rowan Wolf, suspending arms sales to Israel seems to be the sensible course of action, since they have violated the terms of those contracts, but it should be done without any kind of announcement that would encourage Hizbullah and Iran. I think the new Israeli government is trying to get something done before changes in our government might affect them adversely.

Dual citizenship is a fake issue. People are just trying to get the full benefits of citizenship from both countries, and I do not blame any Brit, Italian, or Israeli for doing that. They are allies, not hostile governments. I actually object to renunciation of citizenship by immigrants from more hostile governments, like Cuba, where retention of citizenship might prove useful in the future.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 19, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #168859

Cliff,
From what I have read, most of the US citizens in Lebanon are either working there, or going to school there. I think that there is a responsibility of the US corporations (Microsoft, Pepsi, Coke, and others) to help get their workers - particularly their out-country workers - out of harms way.

I also feel that there is a responsibility for the US government to try to get our citizens out of harms way - certainly other nations, including Nigeria, take on that responsibility.

Generally speaking US citizens in Lebanon have not entered Lebanon to place themselves in the middle of trouble any more than tourists hit by the tsunami in 2005 did.

Obviously, people need to try to do their best to protect themselves. However, all reports seem to indicate that Israel’s bombing and blockades are there to stop movement out of the country.

Bombay,
I personally hold the unpopular position that we should not have invaded Afghanistan.

Regarding missiles versus rifles - perhaps you forget the tens of thousands “missing” US RPG’s that are “somehow” out there on the open arms market. Remember the (brief) flurry of media reporting on terrorists with RPGs using laser sites to take down commercial aircraft in the US? My guess is that other munitions are as well.

Posted by: Rowan Wolf at July 19, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #168861

It is a persons own responsibility to get themselves out of war zones. It is not the governments responsibility. War can presumably happen at any point in the world and the government cannot simply pick up anyone who finds themselves in trouble. If the government does save you you are responsible to pay back the government for the help. This is not a new concept we do it at sea all the time. If you are at sea and your boat capsizes and you need to be rescued the coast gaurd charges you for it. This is the same policy of nearly every country on the planet.
Isreal does have a right to defend itself from an unlawful terrorist group. It is conducting lawful airstrikes. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 called for all milita to disband. They have not.

Posted by: Anthony at July 19, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #168871

I’m a liberal and I disagree with Rowan. So let’s not lump all “lefties” together.

Hezballah is to Lebanon as the Taliban is to Afghanistan. When U.S. was attacked by the Taliban, we went in there to get rid of it. Now Hezballah, another terrorist group, attacks Israel. Why shouldn’t Israel go in and destroy the Hezballah?

Why shouldn’t the U.S., which has decided to get rid of terrorists, go into Lebanon and help Israel with the job?

Civilians are dying because Hezballah has purposely located its rockets in civilian neighborhoods. The responsibility for the carnage falls directly on Hezballah.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at July 19, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #168873

Paul is right. Although I don’t think the Israelis need much of our help at this time. We can just let them do the needful things.

As to the peace efforts, I am sure the U.S. will work hard - very hard - to establish a cease fire. It just may take us about three or four weeks to get going. Too bad about that, but we just can’t clear our calendar before then.

Posted by: Jack at July 19, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #168875

Sure Israel has the right to protect itself just as Arab nations have the right to protect themselves. If Israel were more cooperative with their neighbors then things would be different. The fact is that you can’t just take land from people and expect everything to be alright.

The land that creation of Israel as a state created this whole problem; therefore, they should be more compromising and willing to work with Arab nations.

Posted by: dckat at July 19, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #168878
Hezbollah is to Lebanon as the Taliban is to Afghanistan.

This is just factually inaccurate. The Lebanese government does not support Hezbollah. The PM has come out numerous times against them.

Civilians are dying because Hezbollah has purposely located its rockets in civilian neighborhoods.

And Lebanese civilianize are dying because Israel is responding in kind.

What Israel is doing to Lebanon, while no worse morally, is clearly no better. They punishing an entire country for the actions of a terrorist group they don’t have any control over.

Posted by: justin at July 19, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #168886

justin,

So what is Israel supposed to do?

Bend over?

Posted by: Cliff at July 19, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #168892

“Sure Israel has the right to protect itself just as Arab nations have the right to protect themselves. If Israel were more cooperative with their neighbors then things would be different. The fact is that you can’t just take land from people and expect everything to be alright.

The land that creation of Israel as a state created this whole problem; therefore, they should be more compromising and willing to work with Arab nations.”

The land which is now Israel is only a small part of land stolen from the Jewish people. Reclaiming stolen property is not theft. It is justice. In this case, token justice.

Israel was attacked. Israel is now defending herself against her attackers. That is justice.

BTW, I am a liberal.

Posted by: Allen at July 19, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #168893

lebanon does not support hezbollah, but if they cant get rid of them, what should Isreal do? Isnt doing nothing (almost) as bad?

Rowan, we can go around all day about US arms here and russian arms there, but the question still remains - who is supplying Hezbollah with their weapons? WHO?!?!?!?

Damn you Paul - I agree with your statement 100% (even the part about grouping lefties)…

Posted by: b0mbay at July 19, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #168894

We should be thanking isreal for doing the cleaning up in thier neck of the woods. As i stated before Hezbollah should have been disbanded by the UN ordinace. Now dont kid yourself while true Hezbollah does not control lebonon. Its influence there is great. And they have thier bases thier. It is the logical place to go to attack them.

As for the whole isreal needs to be a little nicer becuase they took the land from them is ludicris. Nearly all nations are created after some type of conflict. Besides that every nation around isreal attempted to take it after it was created. They all failed. They reason they are mad is not becuase the land was once thiers. They are mad becuase they could not take the country by force and now there are Jews in the area. Make no mistake this is a religiously fueled conflict. Hezbollah does not want jews in thier holy area.

Posted by: Anthony at July 19, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #168897

Cliff – that’s a false dichotomy, contrary to what some around have been saying there are other choices besides ‘no nothing’ and ‘destroy a country’. In my view, if this is in fact an effort to neutralize Hezbollah, which I think is doubtful, it’s a tactical disaster. Lebanon has been, and was on the verge of becoming again, a moderate member of the world community. Their PM is western educated and a former executive for Citibank. They could be a natural ally of Israel. Maybe instead of bombing the hell out of them, Israel could have helped them train their police forces, supplied intelligence and helped them build their economy. People don’t support terrorists when they have something to lose. The only thing that Israel is going to do is strengthen Hezbollah’s grasp on the population, a population that largely doesn’t currently support them. Remember, 50% of Lebanon is Christian, hardly a good candidate for Islamic Terrorists. And they have made major efforts to remove Syrian influence from their country.

In any time of war – its always the most violent that come to power simply by virtue of their violence. I suspect this is what we will see in Lebanon.

Posted by: Justin at July 19, 2006 4:26 PM
Comment #168899

Dear International Friends of OneVoice,

There are rockets flying into Israel’s Northern towns as far down as Haifa as we write this, while the people of Gaza are in fear for their homes and lives, without electricity and running water. People are suffering, people are dying and people are afraid. It’s a crisis. We are writing to tell you though not to give up on us, or to give up on hope for an end to the conflict.

The situation today makes it very difficult to talk about conflict resolution - to see an end to the conflict. Sometimes it is easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel, at the moment the tunnel is dark. But this crisis and this conflict will end, and we say that with sobriety and rationality. As much as we feel helpless today, as rational people we must see any crisis as an opportunity to rise up and overcome the reasons that brought that crisis.

The situation will come to an end, when we do not know. In the meantime both people suffer so badly. Believe us that no-one is happy with this life. We want everyone around the world to know that we, and many friends and colleagues like us at OneVoice, are working to change this situation. We are ready. We are ready to do anything necessary to help end this situation. We have done so many activities and introduced so many people to OneVoice and it always gives them hope and energy. We can not and will not lose all of this however hard it is at this moment. We will strive to improve this life.

A resolution to the conflict may seem like a dream, but let us dream it and keep helping us do whatever we have to do to make it a reality. The day will never come when Israelis and Palestinians are prepared to accept living with this situation. How far we are from the day when we have a situation we will accept is hard to say, but we will work for it, even as the fighter jets and rockets go overhead, we will work for it.

Thank you,

Saed and Elad

Saed has been involved with OneVoice for around a year. He visits the OneVoice office to meet with other youth leaders and staff at least once a week and has even pioneered his own workshops on OneVoice in Ramallah, which have recruited many new volunteers. He spoke about OneVoice in Synagogues, community centers and campuses during OneVoice’s International Education Program tour to Canada.

Elad has also been volunteering for around a year. He uses his Arabic and Hebrew language skills to speak with both Arabs and Jews about the work of OneVoice and has served to educate and recruit activists in the Region and also in the US, where he spoke at over 10 venues on behalf of OneVoice during their International Education Program tour to New York.

OneVoice is a grassroots, non-partisan Israeli-Palestinian group working to empower moderates to stand up against extremism and seize back the agenda for conflict resolution. At a time when extremists are once again dominating the agenda, its need to exist and to deliver could not be more crucial

Posted by: Jake Hayman at July 19, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #168901

justin,

Come on…
You’re telling Israel to sit there and take it…
Israel cannot outwordly “help” Lebanon without the terrorist going bezerk in their own land and you know it. Israel is currently helping the Lebanese government and their future, but they cannot say it out of fear of internal terrorism.

Posted by: cliff at July 19, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #168906

cliff - im hesitant to even reposnd to this.

Im not telling Israel to ‘take’ anything. Im saying that if their goal peace and stablity are their strategy, this is a tactial error. Israel and openly help who ever they want. And its not like Hezbollah isnt going berzerk now. I fully understand that you feel this war is justified. Im simply pointing out that there are more roads that ‘nothing’ and ‘war’, roads that in my mind are more morally correct as well as tactically superior.

The notion that bombing a country some how helps that countries governments is simply bizarre.

Posted by: justin at July 19, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #168916

justin,

Do you really think that your solutions are even viable? Lebanon cannot get help from Israel, that protocol is unthinkable and will be until there IS a lasting peace.

The terrorist are thinking one thing…All Israel must die…

Israel is thinking one thing…Over YOUR dead body…

Posted by: Cliff at July 19, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #168920

Israel obviously has the right to defend themselves. Yes Israel is helping Lebanon by helping them to get rid of hezbollah. Lebanon can’t do it. Israel can.

I would hope that if someone captures two of our soldiers that we would go full force after them as well. It may make them think twice before doing that again.

I do hope they run hezbollah out of lebanon then both countries could be friends and good trading partners. Hezoballah would never allow that but with them out of the way then there is hope.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at July 19, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #168921

Rowan,

I must say i’m totally in agreement with Paul Seigel. Within about two weeks time Israel was attacked both by Hamas and then by Hezbollah. What were they to do? Israel had begun to make concessions in recent years, at what point do they have the right to say, “we must defend ourselves?”

Hezbollah and Hamas know quite well that their actions effect ALL of the Palestinian and Lebanese people. The anger should be directed towards Hezbollah and Hamas, not Israel. Even with the most modern technology we all know that “collateral damage” is a fact of war.

I know the following comparison is “hokey” at the very least but just imagine if we allowed a political party to gain power in the US that advocated the destruction of an entire nation/culture/ideology, etc. based at least partly on religious ideology and we sat silently while our newly elected administration violated our own constitution time & time again while also violating international law, at what point might we expect a “backlash”?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 19, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #168927

Those who intentionally cross the planet, and position themselves in or near a war zone, must accept responsibility for their decisions, and bear the consequences if things go bad. They made a foolish choice in placing themselves in a hostile part of the world, in the first place.

It is simply not the US taxpayers responsibility to rescue them from their bad decisions.

I have genuine sympathy for the people of Lebanon, but it is limited. They share a great deal of responsibility for their plight by failing to rid their nation of a terrorist group, and instead, allowing Hezbola to set up shop among them. I am saddened by the destruction, and loss of human life, but truly, what did they expect? Could they really believe that Israel would just sit there and take rocket after rocket, yet not respond because the launch point was in a civilian neighborhood?

One could easily argue that the people of Lebanon paved the way for their destruction through their own inaction.

One could also make the same argument about us.

The left is ignorant, or at least has a fundamental misunderstanding of Arab culture, and this puts us all in considerable danger. Arabs respect STRENGTH. Those who want to negotiate, co-operate, appease, and live in peace, appear WEAK to the Arab mind. Weakness, is looked on with scorn, contempt, and disrespect. The left’s desire for peace, only encourages and emboldens those who worship at the alter of hatred and violence.

This phenomena is not exclusive to the Arab culture. Ronald Reagan was frequently cited as the most popular American president - in the former Soviet Union - simply because he was perceived as a strong president. Iran returned our hostages after 444 days, because they understood the same.

Let’s not forget, they KEPT those hostages for 444 days, simply because, before Reagan came along, they perceived us as being weak.

In both instances, their analysis was correct…

History has proven many times, that our failure to project strength and resolve, only invites more terrorism. Examples include, Somalia, the Khobar towers, the USS Cole, the embassies in Kenya, and Tanzania. Even the Marine barracks in Lebanon. All were attacked, and “in the interest of peace”, there was no effective response.

Osama more or less admitted that our failure to retaliate effectively, inspired, invited and paved the way to 9/11…

In a way, one could argue the singular point that the USA and Israel is at “fault” because we have not effectively “communicated” with the terrorists, and the Arab world at large, in the language that they truly understand - the language of STRENGTH.

Now is the time to correct this communication problem, and enlighten those who would destroy us.

“Restraint” is the last thing, anyone needs …

Posted by: Islamisevil at July 19, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #168928

“Do you really think that your solutions are even viable?”

Do you really think yours is? i have 60 years of history that says it isnt. But lets go another round, I’m sure things will be different this time.

“I do hope they run hezbollah out of lebanon then both countries could be friends and good trading partners.”

Yes. I’m positive the Lebanese will have nothing but good will. Think of all the jobs being created, someone is going to have to rebuild the airport, the highways, the housing. If theres one thing that makes 2 countries friends - its one of the destroying the infrastructer of the other.

“I know the following comparison is “hokey” at the very least but just imagine if we allowed a political party to gain power in the US that advocated the destruction of an entire nation/culture/ideology, etc. based at least partly on religious ideology and we sat silently while our newly elected administration violated our own constitution time & time again while also violating international law, at what point might we expect a “backlash”?”

That doesnt even make sense. PEOPLE: Lebanon != Hezbollah. They do not sponsor them or support them. A better anology would be Mexico attacking the US for the actions of some bone headed milita man on the border.

Posted by: justin at July 19, 2006 5:35 PM
Comment #168929

while Israeli troops have inasmuch regularly equalled the recent catalyst involving kidnapping and have a decidedly heavy hand in these matters, the million-dollar question is what in the world did Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, or Lebanon, for that matter, expect? Are they trying to create a new DMZ or something? Well I can bet who’s gonna control that border, and it ain’t gonna be the fledgling democracy with their Hezbie representatives. Whether what has now become a ground war is worth the loss of innocent lives is certainly a consideration - and we could talk about that for hours. But even without the global climate and the war on terror, there may have been a better time to decide to disappear a couple of guys from the IDF. And the IDF wants their guys back for a cease fire. It all sounds reasonable to me. Hezbollah is bringing all this !@#$ on themselves and sadly, many others.

The poverty creates terror argument doesn’t really apply in Lebanon, if you ask me. They don’t seem to have a weak economy or have a tremendous amount of need to buddy up with Israel. After all, that would be quite strange given their history. That being said, however, I’ll just cut and paste a few thoughts I read yesterday on BaseballCrank:

I’ll just say that the history of that country and their various governments’ collective blind eyes to Muslim aggression is once again proving the quick road to a humiliating kick in the crotch - one that civilians, sympathetic and otherwise, will continue to feel unless they can figure out a way to force the jihadists out onto the fringe of local Arab politics.

Shame on the Lebanese for letting a group like Hezbollah become such a powerful force in their national government and military. But let’s not let the IDF off the hook either, since what happened recently to three of their soldiers to kick this whole thing off has been happening for decades to any and all opponents of Israeli military dominance in the region. Israel needs to be held accountable for their actions and made to understand the counterproductivity of acting as if the US will back them up NO MATTER WHAT they do. And the Arab/Muslim nations of the world need to pull their collective heads out of their backsides and figure out that they cannot win the jihad their extremist brothers espouse without the incurrence of suffering and loss on a scale that could serve to endanger their existence as a culture.

Posted by: macsonix at July 19, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #168935

Rowen Wolf—who the hell are you?—-try doing a little homework next time you post

Posted by: charlie wyckoff at July 19, 2006 6:01 PM
Comment #168946

“Rowen Wolf—who the hell are you?—-try doing a little homework next time you post”

charlie wyckoff,

Well, it’s Rowan, not Rowen. While I’m sure Rowan would be only too glad to answer you, I’ll give you my two nickels worth: Rowan’s undoubtedly expressing his opinion and he’s done an excellent job of supporting his opinion.

I disagree with his opinion but the last time I looked America had freedom of speech. Now, do you have any actual opposing opinions or did you simply drop in to spread Republican hate?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 19, 2006 6:30 PM
Comment #168966

Charlie - who am I? You could check my profile.

Kansas Dem, thanks for the correction on my name. It is Rowan not Rowen and Wolf not Wolfe. One other correction - I am she not he. which may contribute to why I (stereotypically) am less of a brute force supporter than most who comment on the stuff I write.

Interesting points folks are raising.

Posted by: Rowan Wolf at July 19, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #168977

Civilians are getting killed on both sides and I don’t understand why the MSM only focuses on Israeli civilians. Ten times more people are being killed in Lebanon and they ain’t Hezbollah either.

Posted by: PoliticalCritic at July 19, 2006 8:13 PM
Comment #168986

It always seems to come back to Israel “stealing” the land from the Arabs. If Israel would just give the land back, everything would be fine.

Well, let me pose a question. The land where your house is sitting was probably once owned by a Native American tribe, land was stolen from them.

Given the above proposition, the ancestors of those native people would be justified in attacking your house and killing anyone they found inside.

Israel stole nothing from anyone. “Palestine” has never been a country, but a region of the Middle East. The peoples who lived there and allegedly “evicted” by the Jews were Jordanians, Iranians, Egyptians, Syrians and Iraquis abandoned by their own countries.

Israel, on the other hand, was a nation in Palestine more than 2,500 years ago. All the partition of 1948 did was “restore” the nation of Israel, not create it.

It is unfortunate and sad that so many Lebonese are dying. But, when you choose to “dance with the devil …”

Posted by: ulysses at July 19, 2006 8:45 PM
Comment #169017

I caught an interview of a terrified and angry Lebanese mother of a sick child that says all I care to . “Stop it! Just stop this war. Don’t you know we have a sick boy here?”

Posted by: BillS at July 19, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #169019

ulysses,
So all these children of Lebonan, their sisters, brothers, aunts, mothers, grandmothers, deserve to die because they are “dancing with the devil.”???????

Posted by: mark at July 19, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #169030

I again have to congratulate the media for distorting the views of average American. Exactly how does America benefit by being complicit in the killing of thousands of Lebanese ? Always taking the side of Israel has given us how much security not even mentioning $ 3 for gas soon to be $ 5 or more count on it. This always portraying the Arab nations as the aggressors or terrorist has damaged this country around the world and put us in bed with warmongering profiteers. You don’t see it that way because of gross distortions of our so called free press but the rest of world does and there will grave consequences which plays directly into the megalomaniac world domination position of this incompetent administration for the glory of the State of Israel and our peril. Someone said earlier we should cut off all aid to Israel. Impossible as it is Israeli occupied territory. Just today they passed a resolution admiring Israel for its restraint in killing civilians. SAY WHAT ? I’m a proud American but this insanity must stop. If you would rather listen to self serving pundits be prepared to sacrifice how many Americans ? After its all done will there be a planet earth or if we are real lucky it will still be worth living on ?

Posted by: Don Bender at July 19, 2006 11:51 PM
Comment #169040

“I am she not he.”

My bad Rowan, and my apologies for the “he” and “his” assumptions. To me gender makes little difference, but still, I apologize. Assumptions will get ya’ everytime.

BTW, Rowan is in my experience a totally unique name for a woman. War certainly would be more difficult if we all recognized each other as unique, eh?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 20, 2006 12:49 AM
Comment #169042

“I don’t understand why the MSM only focuses on Israeli civilians”

CNN hasn’t! They have showed a lot of footage of Lebanon, especially Beirut. Of course Israel is inflicting more damage on Lebanon than Hezbollah is inflicting on Israel, just as we were able to inflict the most damage in Iraq.

In this case Israel has no real other choice.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 20, 2006 12:59 AM
Comment #169045

No problem Kansas Dem. I am not offended, and what sex I am doesn’t (or shouldn’t) really make any difference in terms of the dialogue.

I agree that war would be more unlikely if we saw each other as human and of equal value. Depersonalization and objectification are unfortunate human mental capabilities in my opinion.

Posted by: Rowan Wolf at July 20, 2006 1:05 AM
Comment #169047

I said: “I know the following comparison is hokey at the very least……(Bush bashing content)”

You said: “That doesnt even make sense. PEOPLE: Lebanon != Hezbollah. They do not sponsor them or support them. A better anology would be Mexico attacking the US for the actions of some bone headed milita man on the border.”

So, Justin, should I have left out the comment calling my own comparison “hokey”? I thought my comparison was hokey.

BTW the idea of Mexico invading the USA is soooo laughable it’s ridiculous.

KansasDem


Posted by: justin at July 19, 2006 05:35 PM

Posted by: KansasDem at July 20, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #169050

“Depersonalization and objectification are unfortunate human mental capabilities in my opinion.”

Rowan,

That’s absolutely correct. I call it dehumanization. I see it happening with hispanic’s here in the USA. I lived it once when I was too young, too stupid, and too cowardly to speak out. I’ve never even seen it in print and I’ve seldom heard it spoken, but the term was “zipper-head”.

Once you categorize and label a certain population killing them is much easier. My daughter told me the “new” enemy is “Haaji”.

Zipper-head’s and Haaji’s can’t possibly be people can they? To this day I wonder what I’ve been called by my enemy.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 20, 2006 1:50 AM
Comment #169188

—Ulysses—I guess if you live next to the Devils,
you may end up dancing with them, if you get my drift?

Posted by: DAVID at July 20, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #169453

“Regarding missiles versus rifles - perhaps you forget the tens of thousands “missing” US RPG’s that are “somehow” out there on the open arms market.”

RPGs are Russian, not US.

Posted by: traveller at July 21, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #169456

Kansas Dem,

“To this day I wonder what I’ve been called by my enemy.”

infidel

Posted by: traveller at July 21, 2006 10:07 AM
Comment #169469

Israel must defend itself. It was created after the Holocaust. Enemies would like to wipe Jews off the face of the. We will never let that happen again!

Posted by: HR at July 21, 2006 11:20 AM
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