Democrats & Liberals Archives

Lebanon: The New Afghanistan

Criticism of Israel is flying fast and furious from the right and from the left. Yes, everybody admits, Israel was attacked by Hezbollah and it has a right to defend itself. But do they have to use such disproportionate force? Do they have to kill women and children? We must have a cease fire immediately. I don’t recall anyone saying anything like this when U.S. invaded Afghanistan in reprisal for 9/11. What’s the difference?

From the right, a moderate Republican, Senator Chuck Hagel has agitatedly said:

“The systematic destruction of Lebanon is uncalled for and we’re all going to pay a high price for this. This has to stop.”

Included in his statement is a request that our government have serious discussions with Iran and Syria. I agree with this wholeheartedly. But I decry the above remark, which implies that Israel is the bad actor here.

Those on the left have been more ferocious in their condemnation of Israel. Adam Shatz of the Nation has a big op-ed in the L.A. Times today titled "'Oops, Sorry' Doesn't Let Israel Off the Hook", in which he finds Israel's actions reprehensible and not consistent with its professed ideals.

It seems that we Americans have 2 standards: one for ourselves and another for Israel.

Afghanistan was a struggling country when the Taliban took over and Osama bin Laden established the headquarters of Al Qaeda there. After recruiting and training terrorists from Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab countries, he got 19 of them to fly into American buildings and kill 3,000 people. It wasn't long before we attacked Afghanistan in order to destroy Al Qaeda. Plenty of civilians were killed. What little infrastructure the country had was sorely broken. Did anyone complain? No. We all thought it was unfortunate, but something that needed to be done in our fight against terrorists.

The situation we are faced with in Lebanon today is exactly the same. Lebanon was a country getting back on its feet when a guy named Nasrallah took over Hezbollah. Under the influence, advice and care of Iran (and with help from Syria), he built a militarily-capable and well-armed terrorist group, which attacked Israel. Israel, worried that Hezbollah has and can get more long-range rockets possibly capable of reaching Tel Aviv, responded as any country would. It counter-attacked. Civilian casualties ensued. Extremely few people are finding fault with Nasralla and Hezbollah. Everybody seems to be pointing the finger at Israel.

Why the difference? Isn't it clear that Israel is fighting terrorism? Don't we see that Israel is fighting our war? Can't we see that Israel vs. Hezbollah is a proxy fight for America vs. Iran? If we are eager to win the war against terrorists we must do all in our power to help Israel win. If Israel loses, U.S. loses and Iran wins.

The only way we can win this fight is if Hezbollah is defanged. We cannot agree to a cease fire unless provisions are included for demilitarizing the Hezbollah.

Lebanon is the new Afghanistan. As we did in Afghanistan, we must do all in our power to remove the Hezbollah gang and help rebuild a democratic, peaceful, prosperous and strong Lebanon.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 1, 2006 5:59 PM
Comments
Comment #172631

Most Americans still support Israel. I think what you are running into is opponents of Bush seeing this as part of HIS overall policy. I bet there is a high corelation between opposing the president’s policies in Iraq and opposing Israel. Obviously, this is not 100% as your own example indicates.

It is also because Lebanon is much more connected to the world than Afghanistan and it is Arab, so Arabs care more. And it is Israel, so Arabs care more.

I don’t think the Israelis have much choice and I think we need to support them, but the longer this goes on, the harder it will get.

Posted by: Jack at August 1, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #172632

Israel is not fighting terrorism as much as it is feeding terrorism. As long as Israel battles terrorists by mostly killing the civilian population around them by more than a 20 to 1 ratio they will never defeat it. They are terrorism’s best friend, as we are in Iraq, helping the terrorist organizations recruit more members than they could ever do by themselves.
With there actions in Lebanon the last few weeks Israel has set back the fight against terrorism years.

Posted by: mark at August 1, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #172637

mark -

I agree. No one ends terrosim with violence… it just feeds the cycle.

BTW - how can we support Israel against Hezbollah when the leader of Iraq belongs to the party (Dawa) that made Hezbollah what it is today?

Posted by: tony at August 1, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #172641

Paul:
Nice take on the situation. I have wondered if we can conclude that if we had taken a more forcefull stance against Al Qadea ealier, could we have prevented 9-11. IMHO we could have, but as a nation, we had neither the foresight nor the will to do so. Please note that I am not blaming President Clinton nor any other politician for this, but am saying that there was very little attention paid to terrorism before that attack. In the light of the progressive nature of terrorist attacks, Israel would be foolish to cave to pressure that would allow Hezbollah to rearm with more powerful missiles from a state that is dedicated to acquiring nukes, and also has other forms of WMD’s.

Mark:
I am curious about your stand that “Israel is not fighting terrorism as much as it is feeding terrorism”. What do you think Israel can do to stop terrorism. Leaving the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon didn’t work, it only allowed a terrorist network form a defensive network from which they could hide behind and attack Israel. My point here being that if you can’t placate a people and end terrorism what option do you have?


Posted by: submariner at August 1, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #172644

Jack,
Support of Israel cuts across the spectrum more than more issues. In the last poll I saw, 51% of Americans supported Israel. It is a majority, but not a commanding one.

Submariner,
“… If you can’t placate a people and end terrorism what option do you have?”

Treating them as equals would be a good start. Making Israel a secular government, with equal rights for all and protections for individuals would be even better. Separating church and state would be an outstanding option for governments of the Middle East.

Until they do, I see no reason to arm or support any of them. Trade? Ok. Respectful relations? We can do that. But no more.

Posted by: phx8 at August 1, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #172647

I for one am 100% behind Isreal. Every day as I watch the news I cheer them on like a real cheer leader. They are doing what we should be doing (Hitting hard and Hitting fast) It is unfortunate that civilians are being injured and killed, but they should have the common sense to get out of harms way. They know that Hezbollah is using them as shields.

Posted by: fuzzwart at August 1, 2006 7:17 PM
Comment #172649

phx8
What you suggest isn’t, will not,and never will happen. Middle East countries will never go secular. The fighting there always was and always will be religious. The best thing we can do now is stay out of this one and let Israel and Hezbollah fight it out.

Posted by: KAP at August 1, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #172653

The left in America are holding their tongues because they want to control the government here, deep down they don’t want Israel to wage war against these people “does anyone remember Hillary’s hug and words to Arafat’s wife” as soon as they are allowed to talk freely again thats whether they win or lose in November they will be the knife that plunges in the back of Israel….go Israel don’t stop until you have completed your mission.

Posted by: peter at August 1, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #172654

“It is unfortunate that civilians are being injured and killed, but they should have the common sense to get out of harms way. They know that Hezbollah is using them as shields.”

Wow - it sounds like such a bummer for those stupid civilians who don’t leave… guess they fit in with all those morons who couldn’t get out of New Orleans.

And why would they know that Hezbollah is using them as sheilds? Hezbollah lives among them, and runs their schools and government (southern Lebanon.) How could they see it anything other than a ruthless attack by Israel - it’s what they’ve grown up to beleive.

Posted by: tony at August 1, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #172655

KAP,
Ironically, Lebanon could actually be a great candidate for a secular, liberal democracy. Before the civil war in 1975, they were very functional.

Unfortunately, the Israelis have bombed Lebanese ports, intersections, aerial towers, bridges, and other infrastructure. Hundreds of civlians, people utterly uninvolved with Hezbollah, are dead. It will be a looooong time before the people of Lebanon turn to the US.

Maybe the Europeans can lead the people of the Middle East towards functional, secular, democratic governments.

Sadly, we cannot.

Posted by: phx8 at August 1, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #172657

peter:

(sports announcer voice) “And wow, what a play. Israel scores an amazing 60 with that awesome play in Gana. Bob, I think they should extra points for those kids. Toss in the 4 UN workers - wow. It’s been a lopsided game up till now, but that doesn’t it mean it hasn’t been exciting. That is, if your an Israeli fan.”

Yea… whooop whoopp… 2 …4… 6….8… who de we eviscerate?!

Posted by: tony at August 1, 2006 7:45 PM
Comment #172658

Tony,

Hurricane Katrina didn’t sneek up on anybody. Morons might be a little harsh but you’re on the right track.

You make my point about Hezbollah using them a shields. They live among each other.

Posted by: fuzzwart at August 1, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #172659

Except Paul, Israel is driving what was a fractured country into the arms of Hizbullah. Israel imagined that punishing civilians in Lebanon by destroying it’s infrastructure and carelessly killing civilians (at best) would alienate most lebanese from Hizbullah. Instead, it has achieved the direct opposite.

Israel has also deliberately killed 4 UNIFIL troops from Canada, Finland, Ghana and Fiji respectively. How do I know? Because an Irish Army officer attached to UNIFIL spoke to his IDF counterpart 6 times over 7 hours to have the shelling stopped. Each time, he was assured that it would be stopped. Finally, the position was destroyed and the men killed when struck by a guided bomb. This UN position was marked on all IDF and IAF maps for many years. Now, in order to believe that it was a mistake, one would have to assume a level of incompetence on the part of the Israeli Defence forces that I think no half witted person would believe. One would have to believe that Israeli military communications were conducted by carrier pigeon. The question that arises then is why? Perhaps they do not want the eyes of the world on their actions. After all, did they not do the same in 67 with the USS Liberty?
http://www.ussliberty.org/

Let us also remember that Lebanon is not Afghanistan. This was the great white hope for democracy in the Mid East. A country that was wracked by a vicious civil war for so long, being so painstakingly rebuilt and having its divisions healed. A senior Israeli officer boasted that they would turn Lebanons clock back 20 years. Informed readers will know that 20 years ago Lebanon was engulfed in the height of that bitter civil war. How can any civilised person wish that on a neighbour? What Israel is doing is engaging in the collective punishment of the Lebanese people for the crimes of Hizbullah. We should also not forget that the formation of Hizbullah was a direct response to the cynical Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, when Israel blamed the PLO for the attempted asassination of the Israeli ambassador in London despite knowing that is was in fact organised by Abu Nidal. As Rafael Eitan, the chief of staff of the IDF said ” Abu Nidal, abu shmidal, we need to screw the PLO!” The IDF, under Ariel Sharon, allowed their proxies into the Palestinian refugee camps in Sabra and Chatila, were they carried out massacres under the eyes of Sharons troops. The Kahane commission of Inquiry (Israel) concluded that Sharon bore personal and indirect responsibility for the massacres. It also held that he Sharon was unfit for ministerial duty.

Further Paul, Israel has form when it comes to such massacres of civilians, not least in the same place, qana, in 1996. At that time they shelled a UN compound where civilians were seeking refuge and managed to kill over 100 of them. This I repeat was in a UN compound. Israel of course apologised, claiming that this had been caused by “incorrect targeting based on erroneous data.”

It really won’t do. Even if the US media will not tell the truth about Isreali Zionist imperialism, the rest of the world’s media is witness. The difference between American media and European media in relation to this conflict, is that in Europe, it is possible to see criticism of Israel in respected journals and broadcasts as well as sympathy for the Israeli position. That spread of views seems to be sadly missing in the land of the free and of free speech.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 1, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #172661

“Hurricane Katrina didn’t sneek up on anybody. Morons might be a little harsh but you’re on the right track.”

My previous post was satire.

Posted by: tony at August 1, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #172662

Tony:
I respectfully disagree. Terrorism is a tactic used by peoples that cannot/will not meet an adversary head on militarily. If not by force, how then do you end it. Also, IMHO the guilt by association is a defense for a terrorist network, how then can we justify attacking Osama? How then can we even oppose slavery? In every situation there is a right or wrong….IMHO Hezbollah, Syria and Iran made a major miscalculation as to what Israel’s reaction would be and also their sucess in hurting Hezbollah.

Ph8x:
I have noticed in your posts(please correct me on this if I am wrong or misrepresenting your view in any way) that you seem to be hold Israel responsible for having mixed religion and politics. I would like to ask you how a Jew would fare in any country that has directly supported Hezbollah? Are you willing to demand that Syria and Iran, Egypt, the UAE, Iraq…et al treat the Jews the same? IMHO we all would. But if that is the whole basis for saying that Israel is wrong for attacking Hezbollah, I simply ask who fares better, a Palestine in Israel, or a Jew in these other countries?

Just a note…..I have read,but not posted here in a while. IMHO the debates have been turning into a partisan war no matter the meat of the post. This is the first in a long time that has been staying on topic and at least on facts. My hat is off to all that have posted on this thread.

Posted by: submariner at August 1, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #172663

phx8
Maybe Lebanon but the rest of the middle east no way. Unless Lebanon gets Hezbollah out I affraid they to will have a radical islamic government also, they need to stand up and get rid of Hezbollah.

Posted by: KAP at August 1, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #172666

“I respectfully disagree. Terrorism is a tactic used by peoples that cannot/will not meet an adversary head on militarily.”

OK, but since this whole incident started with attack on Israeli soldiers (the very definition of military) and Israel retaliated by attacking civilians… doesn’t that make Israel the terrorist?

“If not by force, how then do you end it. Also, IMHO the guilt by association is a defense for a terrorist network, how then can we justify attacking Osama?”

If we had taken Osama out rather than being distracted by going into Iraq, then we would’ve disabled a large portion of al Queda… and doing so with minimal casualties would’ve prevented the creation/motivation for more terrorists.

“How then can we even oppose slavery? In every situation there is a right or wrong….IMHO Hezbollah, Syria and Iran made a major miscalculation as to what Israel’s reaction would be and also their success in hurting Hezbollah.”

Again, you can not kill (physically) a political and/or political movement. Kill indiscriminately and it will spread like wildfire - even if you kill absolutely every single initial member of the terrorist organization. You have to kill the forces that are behind these organizations and offer a better alternative.

BTW - since the organization that basically started Hezbollah is now in charge in Iraq - how do we handle this situation if/when Iraq decides it must stand up for Hezbollah/against Israel? What do we do when we see our weapons being tossed at Israel from Iraq and visa versa?

Posted by: tony at August 1, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #172668

For those of you who do not support the actions Israel has taken I would be curious to know just how you think they should respond to the attacks on them. Should they send Hezbollah a letter telling them that its not nice to shoot missles at cities in Israel and would they please stop? Should they just accept missle strikes as a fact of life and do nothing? Unless Israel bloodies Hezbollas nose really good they will not get the message that Israel is not going to tolerate these attacks.

Posted by: Carnak at August 1, 2006 8:17 PM
Comment #172669

Submariner, all too often in the West we convenienty accept the cliche that terrorists are just crazed irrational fanatics. In Ireland, we have had some knowledge and experience of terrorists over many years. What we have learned is that terrorism is a response to unaddressed injustice. Now it may not be nice, and it may not be pretty, but if the powerful abuse their power against the weak, who cannot respond symmetrically, they will respond asymmetrically. This is what we call terrorism. All too often it is driven by a sense that that injustice is being ignored and the weak are being oppressed.

All to often in the West, we recoil in horror at the very mention of terrorism, unthinkingly accepting the consensus that these people are mindlessly set on simply evil actions. If those who feel they are being oppressed see no way of entering a fair dialogue, they will respond with whatever means at their disposal. That is why jaw jaw, at least as a first response, is better than war war. But we only have to have our buttons pressed with the word terrorism, and we will support any suppressive action. Problem is, such suppressive action usually begets more, not less terrorism.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 1, 2006 8:19 PM
Comment #172670

Carnak -

Can you try typing without so much spin…? It’s hard to follow.

Posted by: tony at August 1, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #172672

Paul - well said.

It’s odd that we immediately adopt the idea of “democracy over terrorism” when terrorists in this case (Hamas & Hezbollah) are democratically elected & Israel only recognizes political power for Jewish people? Israel responds to attack on it’s military by attacking civilians.

I also just discovered today the connection of Dawa to all that has been going on in the Middle East for 50 years. OK - let me see if I have my history correct:

In the mid-80s, we train and arm Osama Bin Laden - among others in the Jihad against USSR.

We also prop up Saddam Hussein because he is against Iran (including Dawa)

We also prop up the Taliban in Afghanistan because they are anti-USSR.

Osama sucker punched us on 9/11/01 and is still on the loose.

We kicked the Taliban out in favor of the previous Afg. government - and right now, it’s a toss up as to who is actually in charge of Afg.

We invaded Iraq to get rid of Saddam (probably the only player in this debate who had nothing to do with 9/11) and ended up giving Dawa control of Iraq through free elections.

Oh yea, and we helped set up Hamas in free elections as well.

Am I missing anything?

Posted by: tony at August 1, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #172673

tony,

I didn’t see anything in your comments about how you feel Israel should respond to the missle attacks. And since you don’t seem to like the fact that Arab civilians are dying in the Israeli attacks I was wondering who you think the Hezbollah missles are aimed at, civilians or troops?

Posted by: Carnak at August 1, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #172674

submariner

Obviously there are no easy answers for a solution to bring peace in the Middle East. It is just as obvious that Israel’s tactics involving war and bloodshed have gotten them no where in the last 50 years. Did they make peace with Eygpt by bombing the Hell out of their women and children? Of course not. I’m not saying they have no right to defend themselves but what they have done in Lebanon(killing a few dozen terrorists, creating thousands) not only makes no sense but is not in there or the worlds best interest. To most of the world Israel has become a terrorist state.

Posted by: mark at August 1, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #172675

Paul in Euroland:
I dont disagree with your facts about the massacre in 1996, but let us put it in context. The attack was in response to an attack on Israeli population centers. Rockets were fired from that position and Israel returned fire. Although civillian deaths are horrible and should be avoided, at any time time you are fired upon you should return fire. Hezbollah has a tactic of firing from civillian centers(which is against the Gevena Protocols) and depending on casualities for the condemnation of Israel. What should Israel do? Not return fire? If this is the case, what would inaction lead to? As a matter of fact, has Hezbollah ever honored a cease fire? If Hezbollah cannot be trusted to honor a truce, what should Israel do? How many times should jaw-jaw be tried before a direct action be taken?

I would humbly submit to you that the destruction of infrastructure in Lebanon is not intended to punnish the people of that country, but rather a tactical necessity to deny the people that are attacking Israel logistical support. Denying logistics is the first step in defeating someone in a war. The question then is Israel in a war? I fully believe so and therefore believe that their actions are justified. If rocket attacks come from a certain area, that area should be targeted for counter battery fire. That is what happened(IMHO) both in this year and in 1996.

As far as addressing injustices, I refer to my previous post, Who is treated better Yadda yadda yadda. At some point this becomes irrelevent, whereas we need a starting point for solutions in the stead of determining fault, and this point has been reached. Where then do we start? I suggest that we start by examining the current crisis and starting there. If you have a better solution please inform me and I will find it intriguing and will study it.

Tony:
If a democratically elected group(Hamas or Hezbollah) commits an act of war on a nation state and then fires from civillian population centers in violation of the Gevena Protocols, why condemn the response in stead of the provication? Personally, i was estatic about the elections of Hamaas and Hezbollah simply for the fact that finally organizations that use terror could be held accountable as nations in the stead of small groups.

As far as your current time line, I dont dispute it. However I would point to a paralell timeline involving Cuba and the United States. The main differences being that there were no invasions, but as a result we have never came closer to destroying planet Earth as a result. Neither time line have much relevence to the solutions though.

I am going to go to log off after this post, but I will respond about the same time tomorrow. Again, my hat is off to all that are looking to solutions in the stead of blame.

Posted by: submariner at August 1, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #172680

” The main differences being that there were no invasions, but as a result we have never came closer to destroying planet Earth as a result. Neither time line have much relevance to the solutions though.”

No solutions in all that, but hopefully some lessons… not like we’ve any track record in learning lessons in the Middle East.

As to your point about elected nations attacking and then retreating to hide among civilians… of course that is despicable. (Carnak - of course Hezbollah is attacking citizens… I’ve stated my thoughts on this quite a few times in this post.) The problem I have with Israel - that mirrors my own fears about US involvement in the Middle East - is that the line between Sovereign States acting in accordance with international law (or the lack there of) and terrorist acts have been totally blurred. We are now down to routing for a particular side and we (US & Israel) have lost our moral clarity and our moral high ground.

We support (or at the very least, excuse) attacks on civilians because that’s what the terrorists do. We condone torture because that’s what the terrorists do. We are fast becoming the mirror image of our enemies… and who is the victor in that?

I do not have any respect for Hezbollah or Hamas. Hamas, of all others, had a small chance (not like the US or Israel ever gave them a chance) but they did have a chance with Europe to prove they could rise obove their terrorist means if given the chance - and they failed completely. Hezbollah walked right up to Israel and begged for a response… but again, I believe this was a ploy for the current situation in order to raise the visibility and political power for hezbollah. Israel gave them exactly what they asked for… but I don’t think the citizens of Lebanon were in on the deal. They’re just dying… much like the poor and disabled died in New Orleans. “Why didn’t they leave?!” “Those who don’t leave will be considered Hezbollah militia.” At least New Orleans is in the US (a developed, rich in resources country) - what chance do most of the citizens in southern Lebanon have.

Posted by: tony at August 1, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #172681

Submariner, your facts are just a little bit off. In fact, the first massacre at Qana was in a UN compound. There was no Hizbullah fire from this compound.. None, zip, nada, zilch. There was Hizbullah fire from around this compound, but not so close as to confuse a competent military as to where it actually was coming from. Further, it was not a single strike on the UN compound. It was many shells.

You speak of the destruction of infrastructure being predicated on denying logistical assets to the enemy. Are you for real? Hizbullah is certainly a disciplined force. But it’s armaments are largely small arms. They don’t have tanks, armoured vehicles. What they have is by and large AK’s, RPG, Katushas, and apparently a small number of more sophisticated Iranian missiles. They do not have a huge arsenal to transport across Lebanon, their military capabilities being mostly concentrated in the south. Given Israel’s air supremacy over lebanon, with drones and combat aircraft flying at will, any significant movement of military hardware could easily be interdicted discretely as it raises its head.

Even supposing for a moment that there might be a military advantage in attacking Lebanese infrastructure, can it be right, or even wise, to so even indirectly punish civilians by destroying their country. War is a game of hearts and minds. There were many in Lebanon who had little regard for Hizbullah. That is now dissipated. They say openly now, we are all Hizbullah. And wouldn’t you if someone came bombing your streets, killing innocents and causing havoc. Isn’t it true, that nder pressure, we tend to see the enemy of my enemy, as being my friend? And if a belligerant power attacked the US, sorry, not even the US, but your city, town or village, would you really care what justification they claimed? No, neither would I.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 1, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #172682

Israel is a Jewish State because it was necessary for there to be one. There was no country that would take the Jews prior to and during the second World War. That lesson was one we shall never forget.

And, yes, we do think that Israel should have higher standards of behavior. We also think that the US should have higher standards of behavior. Instead, both the US and Israeli governments are showing their testosterone instead of their intelligence.

In fairness, the US has more alternatives than Israel, because it is not in any danger of being pushed into the sea by surrounding enemies.

Still, as an American Jew, I am torn and grieving with every day that passes as we watch the carnage that may halt Hezbollah but will definitely inspire more rabid hatred.

What the US has done in Iraq and its failure to approach any kind of diplomacy has increased the sentiments and actions against Israel, and unified the Islamic world as never before. Israel is a handy target, and is seen as an effective surrogate for the US.

In a time where both countries need statesmen, we have an obscene joke in Washington, and a bull headed leader in Israel. It will likely take a serious change of leadership in both countries to change anything. All four countries, if you count Lebanon and Palestine.

There are no easy answers. There are no good guys. Everyone has reasons. No one has any capacity to look at long term ramifications.

Posted by: dana at August 1, 2006 9:32 PM
Comment #172684

“But do they have to use such disproportionate force? Do they have to kill women and children?”

Yes, they should use disproportionate force. They should make the cost of attacking Israel higher than the Muslims are willing to pay. Hezbollah hides among women and children so they can’t be attacked without killing women and children. The civilians Hezbollah is hiding amongst are Hezbollah supporters. They make Hezbollah’s terror campaign possible. They are Muslims, just like Hezbollah and adhere to the same genocidal ideology.

Posted by: traveller at August 1, 2006 9:36 PM
Comment #172685

Paul in Euroland and Mark:
We disagree, but the quality of comments and respect for opposing views shown merit further debate(IMHO). I have answers(and questions about all 3 of our positions) and would like to continue this. I should be able to post tomorrow About 5:00 EST and hope you will continue the dialogue. Thanks.

Posted by: submariner at August 1, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #172687

Dana,I am heartened to hear a reasoned contribution to this debate. Such offerings are all too rare. But your fear of Israel being driven into the sea is misplaced. Israel is the regional superpower. There is no power, or combinations of powers in the region, who can seriously threaten Israels survival.

The real issue is the issue of Zionist imperialism. It is about Israel expelling the arab palestinians and taking over their land. Anytime there was a prospect of a peaceful settlement and the PLO or Hamas were on ceasefire, the Israelis broke them, usually with targeted asassinations. The fact is that Israel has no intention of settling the feud with anything that comes within an Irish mile of UNSCR 242. The facts are out there for anyone who cares to inform themselves instead of offering slogans.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 1, 2006 9:43 PM
Comment #172688

Dana, just a quick correction. You say that there was no country willing to take the Jews prior to or during the second world war. In fact, it was the zionists who massively opposed the US and the UK from taking Jewish refugees, becuase that would have upset their dream of a Jewish state in Palestine. See link below;

http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/antisemitism/holocaust/gedalyaliebermann.cfm

Nothing is what it seems.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 1, 2006 9:51 PM
Comment #172690

traveller

You’re joking right? A two year old a Hezbollah supporter? A one year old a Hezbollah enabler? Oh, I get it, they are Muslims. Of course they deserve to die.

Posted by: mark at August 1, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #172693

They are Muslims, just like Hezbollah and adhere to the same genocidal ideology.
Posted by: traveller at August 1, 2006 09:36 PM

Funny, if someone said they were black, or irish, or God forbid, Jewish, it would be instantly recognised as nazi like racism. But of course they are only Muslims, so that doesn’t matter then. The funny thing is, this Muslim radicalism or fundamentalism only seems to have taken widespread hold over recent decades. Now I wonder why that could be? How is it, that a religious community that was relatively peaceful so recently, can be changed so rapidly?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 1, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #172702

———Paul Siegel— I would like to see the UN take
care of this mess, It’s high time they took the
responsibility for doing what they are being paid to do, We can hardly afford becoming the big bully
on the block. I believe we have more than enough
irons in that part of world already. I see no need
too add our two cents, unless they need our help.

Posted by: DAVID at August 1, 2006 10:33 PM
Comment #172703

Sorry to join in late…

There’s one very big difference between Lebanon and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, the government (Taliban) supported the terrorists (Al Queda). When we went into Afghanistan, we not only had to root out the terrorists; we also had to topple and rebuild their government.

That’s not the case in Lebanon. The Lebanese government opposes Hezbollah, but simply isn’t strong enough to stop them. Unlike in Afghanistan, the best solution in Lebanon involves STRENGTHENING the current government, not overthrowing it.

As far as Israel’s actions are concerned… well, I think they have every right to do what they’re doing — just as I think they have every right to occupy the Palestinian Territories. But, just like with Palestine, having the right to do something doesn’t necessarily make it an intelligent choice. Terrorism thrives in power vacuums. While fighting the terrorists, Israel is creating yet another power vacuum. They’re weakening the power of the Lebanese government, which will simply make that region of Lebanon even harder for them to control.

The Israeli government has a history of making very poor choices. As much as we consider them an ally, I hope we’re not following their patterns. I hope we’re not looking at the Israeli model of anti-terrorism as the model for us to adopt. Their model has led to a half-century occupation of Palestine… I seriously hope we don’t plan to be in Iraq that long.

Oh, and Traveller… Your Muslim=Terrorist logic scares me. I thought we got past that kind of bigotry in the ’60s… I guess not.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 1, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #172704

DAVID,

I would like to see the UN take care of this mess, It’s high time they took the responsibility for doing what they are being paid to do

So you’re in favor of an immediate cease-fire, then? Because that’s what the UN’s role would be. Read the UN charter if that’s unclear to you. The primary purpose for the existence of the UN is to stop international conflicts. It’s not to topple dictators, or to clean up terrorists. It’s to broker peace.

If the UN got involved in Lebanon, it would be to do the same thing they did in Kuwait — push out the invaders, and stop the fighting. Period. That’s it.

Is that the right answer to the problem? I don’t know. But, if not, then don’t call in the UN.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 1, 2006 10:43 PM
Comment #172706

——Rob C——That’s precisely what I want!

Posted by: DAVID at August 1, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #172708

Rob Cottrell

Better late than never. Excellent post, you make more sense out of this than anybody.

Posted by: mark at August 1, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #172710

Nothing can stop a war quite like peace.

Posted by: ChristianLeft at August 1, 2006 11:12 PM
Comment #172712

ChristianLeft,

Nothing can stop a war quite like peace.

Yes, but is it worth it to stop the war without getting rid of the problem that started the war to begin with? Are you just postponing the inevitable?

The ideal solution would have been to get Hezbollah to disarm without bloodshed. The current solution, disarming them by force, is one of many less-than-ideal solutions. But is there a worse solution than having a bloody conflict, with hundreds of civilian casualties, then ending it WITHOUT disarming Hezbollah? Doesn’t that give you the worst of both worlds?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 1, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #172713

mark, Paul in Euroland, Rob Cottrell,

The adults raising those 1 and 2 year olds are Hezbollah supporters. They are to blame for the tragedy of children being killed in war. They are the ones who put them in harm’s way.

You should learn something about Islam. It is not a “religion of peace”. It is a religion of hate, intolerance and war.
It has never been peaceful. Abu Ala Al-Mawardi taught that Muslims living in the Dar al-Harb (Land of War-anyplace not under the yoke of Islam) were to adopt temporarily a peaceful attitude until they feel strong enough to drop the pretense. This is based on Muhammad’s example at Mecca where he accepted a truce but broke it as soon as he was strong enough.

In case you haven’t noticed, it is Muslims carrying out the scourge of terrorism around the world. Islam’s core ideology of jihad, empire and genocide has spawned it. It isn’t bigotry to state a demonstrable truth.
It is the study of Islam, not bigotry, that fuels my contempt for it. My study began with the simple question, “What is the truth?”. The answer lead to the conclusion that Islam is the greatest evil mankind has ever faced.

Posted by: traveller at August 1, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #172716

—-Paul Siegel— I Think the time has come for all
countries of the world except those which support
terrorism, must have an immediate summit meeting,
an decide how much more destruction they are going to allow an place a corriente or blockade. an seal
all terrorists supporting countries at their borders and all supplies halted until these folk
disarm them selves, or pay the consequences, what
ever the rest of the world dictates should be
done. Since most countries have had some problems,
with terror, there should be little resistance.

Posted by: DAVID at August 2, 2006 12:01 AM
Comment #172717

By placing armed forces amongst the civilian population hezbolla guarentees civilial casulities. These casulities are the result of hezbolla activity not Israelie activity.

Posted by: dave at August 2, 2006 12:03 AM
Comment #172718

————THE CARROT AN THE STICK AS THE ONLY WAY——

Posted by: DAVID at August 2, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #172721

dave,

By placing armed forces amongst the civilian population hezbolla guarentees civilial casulities. These casulities are the result of hezbolla activity not Israelie activity.

To the civilians, does it really matter whose fault it is?

DAVID,

That’s fine for countries that openly support terrorists. But what about countries where terrorists thrive WITHOUT government support (i.e. Lebanon)? Do you blockade/sanction those countries, too?

traveller,

So, because one group of Muslims believes in terrorism, they all must? Do you honestly believe that all of my Muslim friends and coworkers are secretly plotting my death?

In pre-Israel Palestine, there was a Jewish terrorist group called Lehi, that believed that terrorism was a right and responsiblity of all Jews. In a published statement, they claimed…

We are quite far from moral hesitations on the national battlefield. We see before us the command of the Torah, the most moral teaching in the world: Obliterate - until destruction.

They claimed that the Torah taught them that their non-Jewish enemies were to be obliterated — that there were no innocent civilians in such a war. Now, by your logic, the beliefs of this one group would be enough to condemn all of Judaism.

Thus, I find your logic to be flawed.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 2, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #172722

Paul in Euroland,
There are black Republicans and anti-semitic Jews. Everything you read on the internet isn’t automatically true.

Your statements about Zionism reveal a biased ignorance of astounding proportions. I will not apologize for Israel, or condone the actions of its government, neither can I stomach someone who reports that it was all the Jews’ fault that they were slaughtered. …And rape is the fault of the woman who simply must have appeared provocative….

Zionism was the hope of a people who had been decimated and reviled through history. It meant self reliance, self respect and the hope of a place of safety in the historic homeland when the world had largely turned its back. It was highly idealistic. That is why we do expect that Israel should have higher standards of behavior.

Hamas and Hezbollah are determined to push Israel into the sea. This cannot be ignored. Israel has blinded itself to the horrors it is committing. Hatred and fear all around….

I will not generalize from the militant Islamic extremists to all of Islam. But neither will I pretend the militants are merely a nuisance, or apologize for their actions. Israel and the US are creating more of them by their behavior. That is basic stupidity.

But you, sir, are reporting what amounts to egregious anti-Semitic propaganda as unquestioned truth. Read other histories. You sound like Mel Gibson.

Posted by: dana at August 2, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #172723

——RobC—I believe your personal feelings and personal attacks on others judgments, would seem
to detract from any logical judgments you might
offer, I haven’t seen any one attack you, or some
of your off cuff remarks!

Posted by: DAVID at August 2, 2006 12:40 AM
Comment #172726

I stumbled across the following article:

“Is There a Hope to “Reform” Islam? An analysis of the real roots of Islamic terrorism and possible solutions”

The author proclaims: “As one who was a member of one of the most fanatical groups in Islam, GI in Egypt, and as a person who has resisted Islamic fundamentalism when I realized its threat some 20 years ago, I feel that it is my obligation toward mankind to declare that the origin of Islamic Terrorism is deeply rooted in the way Muslims understand their religion. In other words, in Islamic teaching itself.”

He goes on to say: “I have been into Churches and Synagogues where they were praying for you and for peace - and at the same time - your Muslim preachers in the Mosques are saying loudly, “Oh Allah make their children Orphans, .. Oh Allah make their wives widows, and even (most recently), Oh Allah make the uterus of the Infidels’ wives fibrotic”…………… If this is what you want your religion to be … do not blame those who will say “shame on Allah, and shame on your religion”

http://www.isralert.com/archives/2004/11/is_there_a_hope.php

Please give it a look.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at August 2, 2006 1:18 AM
Comment #172729

Excellent post, Paul. I’m not sure that the fight is a proxy war between the US and Iran, but I agree with the general sentiment.

I don’t think the Israelis have much choice and I think we need to support them, but the longer this goes on, the harder it will get.

I said that almost three weeks ago. This incident could have led to an outcome so much bigger and better than just disarming a rinky-dink terrorist outfit. All the Sunni Arab governments actually supported Israel. That’s never happened before, and it could have been the lever necessary to create a viable Palestinian state and isolate Iran in the region.

Unfortunately, that chance was squandered by President Bush’s refusal to insist on an immediate ceasefire.

The Lebanese government opposes Hezbollah

No Rob. Hezbollah is a freely elected part of Lebanon’s government. In fact, the protracted fighting has shifted more Lebanese government support towards Hezbollah. Nobody has to like it, but that’s the way it is.

The solution to the problem is political, not military. Israel is not going to deliver some “knock-out blow” to Hezbollah any more than we’ve managed to deliver a knock-out blow to the insurgency in Iraq.

That being the case, there’s no reason not to implement an immediate ceasefire and then send in a robust multinational force with a mandate to use all necessary means to disarm Hezbollah.

Posted by: American Pundit at August 2, 2006 2:14 AM
Comment #172732

Remarks of Brigitte Gabriel, delivered at the Duke University Counter Terrorism Speak-Out


I’m proud and honoured to stand here today, as a Lebanese speaking for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. As someone who was raised in an Arabic country, I want to give you a glimpse into the heart of the Arabic world. I was raised in Lebanon , where I was taught that the Jews were evil, Israel was the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea.


When the Moslems and Palestinians declared Jihad on the Christians in 1975, they started massacring the Christians, city after city. I ended up living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17, without electricity, eating grass to live, and crawling under sniper bullets to a spring to get water.


It was Israel who came to help the Christians in Lebanon . My mother was wounded by a Moslem’s shell, and was taken into an Israeli hospital for treatment. When we entered the emergency room, I was shocked at what I saw. There were hundreds of people wounded, Moslems, Palestinians, Christians, Lebanese, and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to their injury. They treated my mother before they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn’t see religion, they didn’t see political affiliation, they saw people in need and they helped.


For the first time in my life I experienced a human quality that I know my culture would not have shown to their enemy. I experienced the values of the Israelis, who were able to love their enemy in their most trying moments. I spent 22 days at that hospital. Those days changed my life and the way I believe information, the way I listen to the radio or to television. I realized I was sold a fabricated lie by my government, about the Jews and Israel , that was so far from reality. I knew for fact that, if I was a Jew standing in an Arab hospital, I would be lynched and thrown over to the grounds, as shouts of joy of Allah Akbar, God is great, would echo through the hospital and the surrounding streets.


I became friends with the families of the Israeli wounded soldiers: one in particular Rina, her only child was wounded in his eyes.
One day I was visiting with her, and the Israeli army band came to play national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they surrounded his bed playing a song about Jerusalem , Rina and I started crying. I felt out of place and started waking out of the room, and this mother holds my hand and pulls me back in without even looking at me. She holds me crying and says: “it is not your fault”. We just stood there crying, holding each other’s hands.


What a contrast between her, a mother looking at her deformed 19 year old only child, and still able to love me the enemy, and between a Moslem mother who sends her son to blow himself up to smithereens just to kill a few Jews or Christians.
The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in values and character. It’s barbarism verses civilization. It’s democracy verses dictatorship. It’s goodness verses evil.


Once upon a time, there was a special place in the lowest depths of hell for anyone who would intentionally murder a child. Now, the intentional murder of Israeli children is legitimized as Palestinian “armed struggle”.


However, once such behaviour is legitimized against Israel, it is legitimized every where in the world, constrained by nothing more than the subjective belief of people who would wrap themselves in dynamite and nails for the purpose of killing children in the name of god.
Because the Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that murdering innocent Israeli civilians is a legitimate tactic for advancing their cause, the whole world now suffers from a plague of terrorism, from Nairobi to New York , from Moscow to Madrid , from Bali to Beslan.


They blame suicide bombing on “desperation of occupation”. Let me tell you the truth. The first major terror bombing committed by Arabs against the Jewish state occurred ten weeks before Israel even became independent.
On Sunday morning, February 22, 1948 , in anticipation of Israel ‘s independence, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists on Ben Yehuda Street , in what was then the Jewish section of Jerusalem . Fifty-four people were killed, and hundreds were wounded. Thus, it is obvious that Arab terrorism is caused not by the “desperation” of “occupation”, but by the VERY THOUGHT of a Jewish state.


So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing, allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism, now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. It’s time to all stand up, and support and defend the state of Israel , which is the front line of the war against terrorism.


Posted by: Keith at August 2, 2006 2:37 AM
Comment #172733

This is a translation of a letter to the editor in the German leftwing daily, Die Tageszeitung. It’s from a Lebanese Shiite.

I lived until 2002 in a small southern village near Mardshajund that is inhabited by a majority of Shias like me. After Israel left Lebanon, it did not take long for Hezbollah to take have its say in other towns. Received as successful resistance fighters and armed to the teeth, they stored rockets in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers! A local sheikh explained to me laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rockets depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.

I am really apalled that some Americans do not support Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism. Surely we would not let a foreign nation repeatedly shoot missiles into say, New York? We would neutralize that threat.

Posted by: Max at August 2, 2006 2:39 AM
Comment #172735

Keith, the incredible bias in your last post does not acknowledge the facts on the ground in Lebanon, or in Iraq/Afghanistan/Indonesia/etc. for that matter.

The facts currently are that OVER 80 % of LEBANESE CHRISTIANS SUPPORT HEZBOLLAH NOW against Israel and the U.S. - up astronomically - , and that even the majority of Christians around the globe condemn Israel’s disproportionate response as well as the diplomatic support and military backing (“precision” ammo, tanks, planes, etc.) provided by the U.S.

By doing so, we have only created a very strong perception of ourselves as pure-bred old-school Crusaders, missionary soldiers targeting the people we and we alone declare to be heathens. Bush stating that he is “the Decider” and telling Palestinian ministers that “God made me invade Iraq” does not really help our case.

We are not in the process of destroying extremist Islam. Not by far. Through our rethorics and actions we are only strenghthening it as lot of moderate muslems see no other option than to protect their way of life, their infrastructure, their children and their future against Christian Crusaders led by someone who talks to the Christian God.

As long as we keep strengthening that image, terrorism (which you can’t simply war against as it is just a tactic in waging war, just like precision bombings - you have to strengthen the moderate muslims) will keep increasing.


Posted by: Josh at August 2, 2006 5:36 AM
Comment #172736

But you, sir, are reporting what amounts to egregious anti-Semitic propaganda as unquestioned truth. Read other histories. You sound like Mel Gibson.
Posted by: dana at August 2, 2006 12:34 AM

Dana, it is not me who made these charges. I am only the messenger. In fact, as you will know if you followed the link, these charges were made by orthodox Jews. Similar charges are made on the web site of Neuteri Karta, another orthodox Jewish site. Don’t shoot the messenger!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 2, 2006 5:41 AM
Comment #172737

The solution to the problem is political, not military. Israel is not going to deliver some “knock-out blow” to Hezbollah any more than we’ve managed to deliver a knock-out blow to the insurgency in Iraq.

That being the case, there’s no reason not to implement an immediate ceasefire and then send in a robust multinational force with a mandate to use all necessary means to disarm Hezbollah.
Posted by: American Pundit at August 2, 2006 02:14 AM

As an old friend of mine says, common sense is a wonderful thing, pity its so uncommon!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 2, 2006 5:49 AM
Comment #172738

Remarks of Brigitte Gabriel, delivered at the Duke University Counter Terrorism Speak-Out
Posted by: Keith at August 2, 2006 02:37 AM

Kieth, wasn’t it the Christian Falange that went into the refugee camps in Lebanon and massacred civilians? and isn’t this the culture that your heroine comes from? It certainly wasn’t Arabs who carried out this action, tho’ the Israelis allowed the falange into the camps and stood by as they carried out their gruesome evil. As I mentioned earlier, Sharon was severely censured by the Israeli commission of enquiry set up to investigate these massacres. So please, there is enough blood and gore and condemnation to go around.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 2, 2006 5:55 AM
Comment #172739

—-Max—-I would like to know why two groups in all
the world have hated one another for thousands of
of years. I have not walked in their shoes or
sandals, an no matter how much a person studies, or
applies some reason or rhyme to this subject, an I personaly have,
not found any Ideology that shows
any one, being able to come up with a permanent
solution. Until these groups find a way to co-exist
with one another, the rest of us must be careful
not to cast stones in either direction. It is incumbent on us however, to maintain peace which
means the inclusion of all the other Countries
an that will be no small feat.

Posted by: DAVID at August 2, 2006 5:56 AM
Comment #172742

“I don’t recall anyone saying anything like this when U.S. invaded Afghanistan in reprisal for 9/11. What’s the difference?”

Actually, people did say that invading Afghanistan and killing approximately 4,000 Afghanis might not be the best way to deal with terrorism. i.e. starting an oxymoronic war on an abstract noun is not necessarily the best approach (tending to lead to an us v. them situation where entire peoples are pitted against each other - Bush’s clash of civilisations/crusade) if what is intended is isolating, capturing and bringing to just those reponsible for mass murder. War has an unfortunate consequence of killing lots of innocent people and provoking resentment, and resistance.

There were other voices out there, calling for cooler heads, you just didn’t bother to hear them.

Yes, the Taliban were awful…unfortunately the treatment of women in that country is based on ideas (traditional) which do not depend on a Taliban for their survival, women are still very much second class or third class non-citizen chattels, a token member of the Afghan parliament living under armed protection does not equality make.

Remember the Taliban asked for evidence of Osama Bin Laden’s involvement and offered to extradite him (normal & internationally recognised criminal law procedure). Instead the US bombed Afghanistan, killing many people and in the ensuing confusion Bin Laden could flee.

It was not wise foreign policy. You cannot bomb a country into modernity. Funding for schools (pro-western, pro-equality & secular), money for infrastructure & development and an agreement with the Taliban to co-operate in finding Al Quaeda (with US special ops on the ground to assist) would have had more long term success. Now Afghanistan is once again the source of 90% of the heroin in Europe (and this in a country occupied by US & UK troops). Afghanistan is once again crater ridden and bomb scarred with a traumatised populuation, yes, some men shaved their beards, some children fly kites, but when you watch footage of Afghanistan, how many women do you see walking the streets uncovered? They did get their pipeline though.

Posted by: abhcoide at August 2, 2006 7:09 AM
Comment #172743

“Afghanistan was a struggling country when the Taliban took over and Osama bin Laden established the headquarters of Al Qaeda there.”

You forgot to mention that Osama was once a CIA agent.

Posted by: abhcoide at August 2, 2006 7:10 AM
Comment #172744

Also, you could mention that the Taliban were supported (and armed) by the US against the USSR.

Posted by: abhcoide at August 2, 2006 7:12 AM
Comment #172745

and after inflicting them on the Afghanis you bomb Afghanistan to get rid of them. Killing innocent Afghanis. A liberation by any other name would smell the same.

Posted by: abhcoide at August 2, 2006 7:13 AM
Comment #172747

Rob cottrell,

The Islamic holy scriptures require jihad without end until the entire world is under the Muslim yoke. Believers are admonished to kill all the infidels who will not submit to Muslim domination. This is their holy writ.
So-called “Muslim extremists” haven’t hijacked Islam. They are following the practice and commandments of its founder. The so-called “moderate Muslims” are deceiving the infidels, as commanded by Muhammad.

Posted by: traveller at August 2, 2006 7:48 AM
Comment #172752

submariner:

Are you willing to demand that Syria and Iran, Egypt, the UAE, Iraq…et al treat the Jews the same? IMHO we all would. But if that is the whole basis for saying that Israel is wrong for attacking Hezbollah, I simply ask who fares better, a Palestine in Israel, or a Jew in these other countries?

You are aware, of course, that Iran has a Jewish MP? And according to him, Jews in Iran aren’t treated that badly:

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=10491

Posted by: Jarandhel at August 2, 2006 8:31 AM
Comment #172753

traveller -

First - “Believers are admonished to kill all the infidels who will not submit to Muslim domination. This is their holy writ.” That’s a complete crock. I would suggest you read up on Islam and the faith… here an interesting place to start : http://islamonline.net/English/In_Depth/ViolenceCausesAlternatives/Articles/topic01/2005/08/03.shtml

Second- Name me a single religion that has not been “hijacked” in order to justify mass slaughter of “nonbelievers”. Of all religions, I would put Christianity at the top of worldwide offenders. It’s a base problem when those who follow a faith allow it to be taken over by those seeking power.

Posted by: tony at August 2, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #172755

“Whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. (Al-Ma’idah 5:32)”

Posted by: tony at August 2, 2006 8:41 AM
Comment #172763

Paul does have a nice take on this situation. What we Americans just do not understand is that this is a enemy who has clearly stated their intent. “Kill Jews and take back the land”. Negotiations will not change their stance……as if they would listen to what their second most hated enemy has to say or the great while elephant…the UN..

A second observation is that Israel is not so much bent on fighting a “controlled” war as the US seems to have adopted the last 40 years. The blood of innocent civilians killed is not on the hands of Israel but on the terrorist. The rest of the world has not caught on to this. In the long run, (imo) fewer lives will be lost and maybe……just maybe these cowards will stop putting their military zones within residential districts.
For a group of religous zealots who have so much to look forward in the afterlife, they have zero courage when it comes to the prospect of fighting a war like men. I am convinced the only way to stop them is through complete destruction but I do hope by some complete miracle, “negotiations” can do the trick.

Posted by: Curmudgeon-at-large at August 2, 2006 9:33 AM
Comment #172764

What ever happened to advocating for peace? I think that the criticism and leveled on Israel today applies equally to the U.S. We illegally bombed Iraq and more people have died there since we invaded than ever died under Sadaam. Keep in mind that it is illegal to use U.S. arms to kill innocent civilians. Why hasn’t anyone mentioned that?

Are we really fighting terrorism? It looks more like imperialism to me. We should have learned a lesson from Afghanistan. The more we thrust these middle-eastern countries into chaos the more terrorists are created.

The people of the U.S., Israel and Lebanon do not profit from the endless wars. Only the politicians and business leaders benefit. I say we all take a step back and demand that our leaders begin a dialogue to promote peace.

Posted by: Tracy at August 2, 2006 9:35 AM
Comment #172770

Tracy,

That sounds like the French approach. How far into Israel does Hezbollah need to go before Israel can defend themselves? The only thing Israel has done is be born Jews. What part of “annhilation” do you not understand? Ironically, many were saying the same things during the days of Hitler. Russia signed a treaty with Hitler and Hitler conseqently unleashed “Lightning War” on their nation not long after. I suppose we really do not learn from history.

BTW, most reports have Sadaams killings at 1 million. I have seen no numbers in this war close to that. I suppose the muslim on muslim killings are the fault of this administration as well?

http://www.iraqbodycount.net/database/

Posted by: Curmudgeon-at-large at August 2, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #172771

Tracy, It is imperialism. But Hezbollah and Iran are also promoting imperialistic notions. Neither the Arabs or Jews can any longer claim clean hands in this mess.

If there are any moderate Arabs left in the middle east they need to get with the idea that Israel is not going away.

The Palestinian problem has never been addressed in a sincere fashion by Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Israel, Iran or Iraq. Egypt and Jordan seized Palestinian lands as did Israel.

Israel, for it’s part, needs to stop talking out of both sides of it’s mouth. The Arab states need to stop promoting a culture of death as a political solution.

As long as there are outside forces playing on the enormous impacts of the oil wealth, there will not be peace in the Middle East. There have been no honest brokers. What we are watching is the naked expression of that power struggle. We all share in the shame of this evil struggle. Both Israel and the Arabs need to moderate. Sadly, when those leaders have emerged, they have been assasinated.

For America’s part, Oil independence is the only thing that will make me a believer of our ability to honestly broker any peace deal there.

Posted by: gergle at August 2, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #172775

Curmudgeon-at-large,

The problem is that, in the long run, Israel is increasing terrorism, not decreasing it. By attacking Hezbollah in their civilian hideouts, they’re also attacking the civilians — and therefore driving those civilians further and further away from peace and into the waiting arms of the terrorists.

Israel’s goal of defeating terrorism is admirable. But with their current methods, they are shooting themselves in the foot. They’re creating power vacuums, which is exactly what the terrorists need to thrive.

The only thing Israel has done is be born Jews.

That’s not entirely true. Arab/Muslim terrorism against Jews did not exist in any significant quantity prior to the British taking over Palestine after WWI, even though the region had a significant Jewish population before then. As much as people want to play this as a RACIAL or RELIGOUS war, most of the current Arab vs. Jew problems in the region today can be traced back to POLITICAL problems caused by the British Mandate. Those problems were so bad that they spawned JEWISH terrorists who fought the British authority. And when that authority transitioned into Israeli hands, many of the POLITICAL problems of the region transitioned with it.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 2, 2006 10:15 AM
Comment #172804

Paul in Euroland,
You are very careful not to tar the rest of Islam with the brush of the extremists, Why then are you so willing to condemn Israel from the writings of the extreme ultra-Orthodox? Even within Israel, there are extremists in religion who believe that since the saviour has not come there should not be an Israel. And you cite as evidence for your thesis the viewpoint of extremists.

Zionism was not a conspiracy. It was the thirst for a safe haven; a homeland.
I suggested you read other histories. That is exactly what I meant.

In order to get a feeling for the reality of a situation, you have to see a multitude of viewpoints. Reality is complex. That is precisely why we can condemn the actions of Islamic militants and yet see that the actions of the US and Israel are also damaging and furthering the extreme polarization.

I certainly would not take a one sided extremist write up as the truth about the Troubles and of all of Ireland.

Posted by: dana at August 2, 2006 11:38 AM
Comment #172808

Rob,

I don’t believe you will find to many in Lebanon ready to become friends with Israel even if they did not attack. The terrorist are not exactly making friend with the civilians either since in many many instances they are threatening death to those who do not cooperate.

The peace talk is a mystical dream that finds no basis in reality. The hate goes back 4000 years, not to some British mandate. Muslims and Jews have been at war since Issac and Ishmael and as long as Israel exists, it will be a problem.
Hezbelloah is having success, since we find those condemning Jews for protecting themselves. I suppose using human shields and human bombs is quite a grand idea and will continue among the terrorist. Its working.

Posted by: Curmudgeon-at-large at August 2, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #172810

Tracy

“We illegally bombed Iraq and more people have died there since we invaded than ever died under Sadaam.”

Can’t let that one fly by. Do you have any legitimate statistics for that.

“Keep in mind that it is illegal to use U.S. arms to kill innocent civilians.”

Again not sure where this comes from. Maybe you mean it is illegal to use U.S. weapons to target civilians.

Posted by: Keith at August 2, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #172819
The hate goes back 4000 years, not to some British mandate. Muslims and Jews have been at war since Issac and Ishmael and as long as Israel exists, Posted by: Curmudgeon-at-large at August 2, 2006 12:07 PM
Ummm, Islam was founded in the 7th century, about 1400 years ago Posted by: Dave1 at August 2, 2006 12:50 PM
Comment #172828

Curmudgeon-at-large,

The peace talk is a mystical dream that finds no basis in reality. The hate goes back 4000 years, not to some British mandate. Muslims and Jews have been at war since Issac and Ishmael and as long as Israel exists, it will be a problem.

Care to back this one up with some facts? Yes, we know that they were fighting over 1000 years ago (Islam hasn’t existed for 4000 years…), and that they’re fighting today, but you seem to have skipped centuries of history in your synopsis. Let’s not forget the Middle Ages, when Jews were moving from Europe to the Middle East, because the Muslims were MORE TOLERANT of them than the Christians were. Or as recently as 100 years ago, when Arabs were talking about uniting with their Jewish cousins to throw off the yoke of the Ottoman Turks (who, by the way, were Muslims).

When the Zionist movement really got off the ground in the early 1900s, they were looking at several places to build a Jewish homeland — not just in Palestine. They looked at areas in Europe and the Americas, but felt that there was too much anti-Semitic sentiment there. (And, in the case of Europe, they were proven right just a few decades later.) So they chose to flock to Palestine, where they thought they had a better chance of being accepted!

Sure, things have never been peaches and roses between the Jews and the Muslims, but they managed to live in relative peace for hundreds of years before the 1900s. Then something happened. Their races didn’t change, nor did their religion. What changed was the POLITICS of the region.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 2, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #172831

This is a tough issue. I expressed my view, and I fully understand opposing views. I feel good that we can discuss this without any recriminations.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at August 2, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #172840

I think this conflict boils down to whether or not you believe that Israel has a right to exist, and as long as most Arab nations answer “no,” Hezbollah and other groups like them will have no shortage of willing recruits. This fight is as much about territory as it is about religion. The Arabs in the Middle-East don’t recognize Israel’s claim to the land and until they realize that Israel isn’t going anywhere, missiles will continue to fly on both sides.

I’m not saying that Israel is blameless in the current situation, but we must remember that they were the ones who were attacked. I wouldn’t have advocated this magnitude of a response, but Hezbollah should have expected something in return. Make no mistake I abhor any loss of innocent life, but every nation has a right to defend itself and I think a lot of Americans are getting a little sanctimonious about the situation, especially considering what’s going on in Iraq where upwards of one hundred thousand innocent Iraqis have lost their lives.

I agree with President Bush’s stance on the situation (it feels weird typing that). I think that we don’t have any right to stop Israel from defending herself until we can provide assurances that the attacks from Lebanon will cease. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is with peacekeepers and I’m yet to see any country clamoring to deploy their soldiers between two armies actively waging war on each other.

My heart goes out to the innocents in Lebanon and I wish a swift end to the fighting, but they have to understand that the Israelis don’t like their neighbourhoods exploding any more than they do, and until Hezbollah disarms the bombings will continue.

Posted by: Christian at August 2, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #172869

tony,
I HAVE been reading up on Islam…

“And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers” (Sura 2:191)

“And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors” (Sura 2:193)

“Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Shaitan (satan). Fight therefor against the friends of the Shaitan; surely the strategy of the Shaitan is weak” (Sura 4:76)

“…then seize and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from them a friend or a helper” (Sura 4:89)

“…if they do not withdraw from you, and (do not) offer you peace and restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them; and against these We have given you clear authority” (Sura 4:91)

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” (Sura 8:12)

“And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should only be for Allah; but if they desist, then surely Allah sees what they do” (Sura 8:39)

“So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lay in wait for them in every ambush…” (Sura 9:5)

“Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace, and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people” (Sura 9:14)

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgement of superiority and they are in a state of subjection” (Sura 9:29)

“O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil)” (Sura 9:123)

Maybe you should, too.


“Name me a single religion that has not been “hijacked” in order to justify mass slaughter of “nonbelievers”.”

OK- Islam. It hasn’t been hijacked. The mass slaughter of unbelievers was practiced and commanded by Muhammad. ( He is known to have personally murdered hundreds of people and ordered the massacres of thousands more)

“Of all religions, I would put Christianity at the top of worldwide offenders.”

It isn’t even close. The Muslims have slaughtered millions, and continue to this day. Darfur is one example.

A major difference between Christianity and Islam is that those who kill in the name of Christ violate his teachings. Those who kill in the name of Islam obey Muhammad’s teachings.

Posted by: traveller at August 2, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #172873

Paul in Euroland,
You are very careful not to tar the rest of Islam with the brush of the extremists, Why then are you so willing to condemn Israel from the writings of the extreme ultra-Orthodox? Even within Israel, there are extremists in religion who believe that since the saviour has not come there should not be an Israel. And you cite as evidence for your thesis the viewpoint of extremists.
Posted by: dana at August 2, 2006 11:38 AM

dana, if Judaism is anything, it is a religion. You complain of taking the viewpoint of “ultra orthodox Jews” as if theirs was an extremist position. Well, I don’t know a lot about the Jewish faith, except insofar as I believe, as one raised in the Christian tradition, that we share the same old testament. I know nothing about the talmud or torah. However, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, I believe that the exodus from Israel and injuntion to not form a Jewish state by G-d until the coming of the Messiah, is not really controversial or extreme. It is core faith. This quote I found on wikipedia - “For Jews, the Torah was traditionally accepted as the literal word of God as told to Moses. For many, it is neither exactly history, nor theology, nor legal and ritual guide, but something beyond all three. It is the primary guide to the relationship between God and man, and the whole meaning and purpose of that relationship, a living document that unfolds over generations and millennia.” Now if the people behind the web sites I mentioned -
http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/index.cfm
http://www.nkusa.org/AboutUs/Zionism/greatgulf.cfm

are experts in Jewish tradition and teaching, as they proclaim themselves to be, then perhaps we have to listen to them. As I say, I am no expert, perhaps those who are more knowledgeable than me can let us know. But my understanding is that these people are in fact true to traditional Jewish teaching on the return to Israel.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 2, 2006 5:38 PM
Comment #172891

traveller -

Wow, so you picked the quotes that say KIL without so much a copying the point being made… hmmmm. WHY?

Have you tried to search on quotes in the Bible that mention KILL or STONE?

Any person bent on violence will find justification. Anyone bent on truth will something completely different. Don’t look at web sites, try reading actual Islamic texts.

Posted by: tony at August 2, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #172904

tony,

The quotes ARE the point, and they are not taken from web sites. They are actual Islamic text.(the Sura references are chapter and verse) They are just a few of the 100 or so “holy war verses”.
There are many verses in the Bible that mention killing. None command Christians or Jews to wage unending war with people of other beliefs until the entire world is subjugated, killing or enslaving those who refuse to convert. The Koran and Hadiths do command it of Muslims. (Judaism and Christianity explicitly require voluntary conversion) The Koran also requires the imposition of one of the most barbaric law codes in history-the Shari’a.

When I began my study I had no opinion on Islam because I didn’t know anything about it. In fact, I believed the “religion of peace has been hijacked” nonsense. I began with the question, “What is the truth?”. I have studied the Koran and read books about Islam, its history and ideology, both pro and con. As I have increased in knowledge objective curiosity has given way to disgust and contempt for this evil and the man who set it loose upon the earth.

Posted by: traveller at August 2, 2006 8:08 PM
Comment #172915

Yes - the quotes you’ve listed are the point, but not like you want the point to be. You’ve gone through, just as the terrorsists have done, and hand picked the quotes that support your desire without any reference or incorporation of the overall message of Islam.

Again, every religion I am aware of has made this part of their pre-war planning. It’s no more a part of the Islamis religion than it is of Christianity.

Look at the quotes one represents from their religion and you will see what their true motivation is.

(Studying a religion is far more than quotes… just as running a Goverment is far more than the daily sound bites.)

Posted by: tony at August 2, 2006 9:32 PM
Comment #172923

“Care to back this one up with some facts?”

Yes Rob,

If you look at the Christian Bible you will find that Ishmael is the father of the Arab people and was at war with his brother Issac even in the womb. This is about 4K years ago. The people in the land Cannan {Israel}were at war with the Jews from the time they occupied the “promised” land…p..People like the Palestenians (Philistines) and the Edomites. The hate and war goes beyond the birth Islam, it goes back to the very beginning of these people’s cultures. These cultures understand and remember this history unlike we in the West. This is why we just don’t get it.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 2, 2006 9:56 PM
Comment #172929

tony,
You said my statement was “a crock”. I chose those quotes to prove that my statement wasn’t “a crock” and I did just that.
Jihad is central to Islam. Islam has been spread by war,murder and enslavement (dhimmitude) since Muhammad invented it in 622. The “extremists” are practicing Islam as Muhammad did.
As for the “overall message of Islam”, it is that Man exists as the slaves of Allah and unbelief is not to be tolerated. All charity (zakat) is for believers only and Allah’s love is conditional. Islam is a totalitarian ideology with absolutely no tolerance for any other belief system. Wherever Islam is dominant Muslims demand that everyone, whether Muslim or not, is subject to Islamic law. This is beginning to be evident in Eurabia.
One of the problems with quoting the Koran is that it is internally inconsistent and self contradictory. Some things that are allowed in one place are forbidden in another, and vice versa. Jihad is one of the more consistent requirements.

Posted by: traveller, at August 2, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #172958

Paul in E.
Strange that you are telling me that you know more about what Judiasm must really believe than I could possibly know. This is called Chutzpah.

As a Jew (and all my ancestors were Jews, too. And so are my children), I really must disagree with you. Maybe you should step back a bit. If all Jews believed what you are describing, then there wouldn’t be an Israel, would there? So, that should clue you in that there are different viewpoints, at the very least.
Also, Judiasm is not simply a religion. It is a culture, and a history. Actually, it is a bunch of cultures, and notoriously difficult to define.
We are amazingly heterogeneous. And never unanimous.
Clearly, you don’t see that.

But,then, I could say that from my viewpoint all Christians are exactly the same, hardly differentiable. I mean, they all consider this Jesus guy to be their savior, don’t they? I never could understand why one bunch was killing another in your country, after all what could they possibly have a disagreement about? Do they eat their eggs from different ends?

Seriously, though, you have seized upon extremist writing to justify your opinions. And that is precisely how your statements come across, as both ignorant and as justification for an anti-Semitic belief system.

I am sure you do not want to be identified in that way. So, go read some Michael Lerner or something.

Posted by: dana at August 3, 2006 2:12 AM
Comment #172966

Everyone is calling for peace in the middle east. GREAT!… Now, can we get a common concensus on what peace is? Is it the absense of violence, Is it when everyone stops shooting, Or is it when a people can live without fear of being invaded.

I’m being serious here. I think a lot of people don’t really know the meaning of peace.

Posted by: tomd at August 3, 2006 5:43 AM
Comment #172969

—-curmudgeon— (we just don’t get it)
I would rather say over the years most of us
became civilised! An do not act like heathens, an
barbarians.

Posted by: DAVID at August 3, 2006 7:01 AM
Comment #172971

tomd
Peace is loving your neighbor,in actions, not just words.

Posted by: mark at August 3, 2006 7:12 AM
Comment #172978

traveller -

I can not change your personal read of Islam - but from personal experience (friends who follow Islam, readings & studying) I know that you are wrong. It is only a violent religion when people choose to follow it that way… and that is no more true of Islam than Christianity or any other religion.

You seem to want to paint the religion as bad so that you can more easily paint the followers of Islam as bad. here’s a hint - there are extremely few totally evil people just as there are very few totally good people. Trying to color the world this way only leads to violent misunderstandings and vicious expectations of others.

There are 1.4 Billion people who follow this religion - so you expect anyone to believe that there are 1/4 of the world population following evil & have violent tendencies? Let’s be realistic about this.

IMO - all religions suck. They start with wonderful people who have amazing views and understanding of how to live life well - then the people who see possibilities of power and money take ahold of it and turn it in to hierarchies and rituals - “unbelief is not to be tolerated.” (Spanish Inquisition & Crusades)

But to suggest that this religion is based in evil and violence, and that the followers must therefore be evil and violent is serving only one purpose - making it more tolerable to kill these people.

Posted by: tony at August 3, 2006 8:30 AM
Comment #172986

Tony,

What version of Christianity do you see calling for death and jihad of unbelievers? Any religion for that matter? Don’t use the crusades since that is way before any of our times and in reality had nothing to do with God or christianity. Can you point out anything since 1100AD that we can do something about?

I see Sunnis killing Shi’a and Wahhabis wanting to kill everyone RIGHT NOW. If you know anything about Islam then you know Muhammad was not above violence and killing depending on which history book one wants to believe. To lump all religions in with Islamic fascism is disingenious.

Posted by: Curmudgeon-at-large at August 3, 2006 9:18 AM
Comment #172988

Paul in E.
Strange that you are telling me that you know more about what Judiasm must really believe than I could possibly know. This is called Chutzpah.
Posted by: dana at August 3, 2006 02:12 AM

dana, if you truly read the post referred to, you will know that I overtly stated my ignorance of Judaism. Perhaps you can enlighten me as to whether the prohibition on the return to Israel is or is not a part of mainstream Jewish teaching?

As for Ireland, well, for the ignorant, the conflict was about different branches of Christianity fighting for supremacy. In fact, is was about invaders coming into the land and displacing the indignous people. As it happened, these interlopers were Presbyterians (largely from Scotland ) and these were planted in the land in order to cement British power in Ireland. The natives over centuries never accepted them, or British rule. That is why in the early years of the last century, my country finally found freedom and independence in the greater part of the Island, but only after a bitter and vicious war of Independence. As a native of Ireland, who grew to maturity during it’s economic rebirth, well after the war of Independence and the Civil War that followed, I instinctively understand how it feels to be oppressed in your own land. It is in the blood and bone of the Irish. The folk memory is one that does not fade easily when your history is as painful as that if Ireland is. The conflict in Palestine is grounded by the vile injustices and oppression of Israel on the natives of that land. And as a Jew, you will be well aware that there are many Jews, both in the diaspora and in Israel itself who agree with that analysis. You may think that I have anti semitic tendencies, but I have only the greatest respect for many Jews who show their humanity in great compassion for their fellows, of whatever stripe. We are after all, people of the book, our cultures are shaped by the book, whatever the present state of individual or national fidelity to our respective faiths. Justice however requires of all of us, that we speak to injustice and oppression and call it by its name, and many Jews will not make an exception simply because the oppressor happens to be Israel. I salute their Godliness.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 3, 2006 9:26 AM
Comment #172996

“and in reality had nothing to do with God or christianity.”

Of course not - but that’s my point with the current hijacking of Islam by terrorists/extremists.

Do you remember Robertson calling for the death of Chavez? Hardly a Christian way of doing things… but again, that’s my point. People use religion to do a huge amount of violence. Can you name a single war that did not have some sort of religious component? However, that does not make the religion itself violent or evil… only those who practice their religions in violent and evil manners.

I have no problem pointing out the shortcomings of the practice of religion - but i also do NOT see a difference between them in the manner. I also know that religions have been used for extreme good.

God does not cause violence in human to human conflicts… man does.

Posted by: tony at August 3, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #172998

“To lump all religions in with Islamic fascism is disingenuous.”

To lump Islamic people in with Islamic extremists is disingenuous. Also, fascism is based on large part by corporate financial control… how does this fit in with Islam? SOunds good, but it’s wrong term.

“Fascism is a radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.”

Posted by: tony at August 3, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #173020

tony,

Fascism is a radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism
Isn’t that the definition of Bush Republicanism?

Posted by: Dave1 at August 3, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #173029

Perhaps you can enlighten me as to whether the prohibition on the return to Israel is or is not a part of mainstream Jewish teaching?

Paul in E,
Once more and then we shall call it a useless discussion.

No, it is not a part of mainstream teaching.

The point I was trying to make, and that apparently you do not understand, is that Jews are a people, not only or exclusively a religion. One can be anywhere from an extreme Orthodox literalist, to an atheistic radical and still confidently self identify as a Jew. Asserting that a narrow and extreme philosophy is THE true representation of Judiasm is both faulty and self serving in supporting a prejudicial attitude.

Your description of Ireland made one point I was trying to get you to see, which was that opression is a terrible thing. The Jews suffered this for generation upon generation, and Zionism was a movement to return to the homeland and re-create a home where this would not happen, ever again. It was highly idealistic.

The problem in part is that there are more than one group who consider that area a homeland. And the multiple assertions of homeland are all true, depending on exactly when you are looking at the history of that area. The only solution is to find a way to live in parallel, if not at least respectfully together.

Your insistence that the Jews are usurpers who have no right to that tiny strip of land and your repeated citing of an extremist viewpoint does no credit to your capacity to understand the complexity of issues, which is the hallmark of an open mind.

Simplistic views are neither accurate nor can they work.

Posted by: dana at August 3, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #173042

“Fascism is a radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism”

Tony,

That is exactly what the terrorist organizations are all about, Islamic fascism. They want political authority and power here and in the process they are promised sexual enlightenment on the other side since they are pleasing Allah. I’m not sure what you mean by “lumping Islamic people”, my post never implied such a thing.
In my estimation Wahhabis makes up maybe 5-10% of the Muslim population? We are Westernized, and try as we may, we will never be able to completely understand these people nor they us. The cultural divide is just to great.

Posted by: Curmudgeon-at-large at August 3, 2006 1:31 PM
Comment #173049

“tomd
Peace is loving your neighbor,in actions, not just words.

Posted by: mark at August 3, 2006 07:12 AM”

Mark,
I submit that you are wrong. If we are next door neighbors and you love me in actions and not just words and I shoot at your house every night would you describe that as peace?

Can someone else define PEACE for me? Everyone wants it but it seems no one knows what it is.

Posted by: tomd at August 3, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #173064

tony,

“It is only a violent religion when people choose to follow it that way… and that is no more true of Islam than Christianity or any other religion.”

Then why isn’t the world being scourged by Christian or Buddhist terrorism?

“You seem to want to paint the religion as bad so that you can more easily paint the followers of Islam as bad.”

Where have I said that? I haven’t tried to paint anything. All I’ve done is express the conclusions I’ve reached by studying the religion.

““unbelief is not to be tolerated.” (Spanish Inquisition & Crusades)”

That is a violation of the teaching of Jesus. It IS the teaching of Muhammad.

““and in reality had nothing to do with God or christianity.”

Of course not - but that’s my point with the current hijacking of Islam by terrorists/extremists.”

The “terrorists/extremists” are practicing Islam as Muhammad practiced it and the Koran states that he is infallible. They haven’t hijacked anything.


“IMO - all religions suck.”

Goodbye, credibility.

Posted by: traveller at August 3, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #173098

Your insistence that the Jews are usurpers who have no right to that tiny strip of land and your repeated citing of an extremist viewpoint does no credit to your capacity to understand the complexity of issues, which is the hallmark of an open mind.

Simplistic views are neither accurate nor can they work.
Posted by: dana at August 3, 2006 12:26 PM

Dana, you are reading things into my comments that simply are not there. I never suggested that the Jews are usurpers in Israel. I believe that planting a new state in what was the homeland of the residents of Palestine was a harsh medicine for those people to accept. However, UNSCR 242 is the international legal position with regard to the state of Israel, and I do not argue against that.

However, the manner in which Israel has settled the west bank with extremists, many it has to be said American Jews, is a clear statement of intent with regard to 242. And Israel has never indicated that that it accepts 242 verbatim, only that it is the basis for a settlement. And yet they still intend to retain parts of the west bank, in such a way as to leave the Palestinian areas essentially unviable bantustans. Really, this is not about religion, it is about justice and fairness and resistance to imperialism. Furthermore, Israel will not countenance the return of Palestinian refugees into their homes in Israel because it would mean the end of Israel as a sectarian state and it would have to become a secular democracy. I can imagine that as a Jew you may well have a strong sense of protectiveness for Israel. Perhaps that protectiveness blinds you to elements Israeli policy that many of all religions and none around the world unhesitatingly condemn.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 3, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #173104

as a postscript Dana, you speak of oppression against the Jews over generations, which I freely acknowledge. Will you also not acknowledge the oppression of the people in the west bank and Gaza by Israel? It hardly needs saying that the Palestinians have been extremely badly led, not least by the PLO and Arafat. But that does not wash away the massive innjustice done to them.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 3, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #173137

traveller -

So, I need you for credibility? I had no idea….

You keep saying that you’re not “painting”anything then go on to say that Islam is a violent (evil?) religion… but of course that means all followers of Islam are violent (Evil?)

There are quite a few families in my neighborhood who follow Islam, and they prove you to be completely incompetent in your studies.

“Then why isn’t the world being scourged by Christian or Buddhist terrorism?”

You mean aside from the current crusade lead by our fearless leader who was told by God to invade Iraq? Or do you want to go back a little further in time?

Posted by: tony at August 3, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #173138

Will you also not acknowledge the oppression of the people in the west bank and Gaza by Israel?

I never argued about that.

Posted by: dana at August 3, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #173144

tony,
It was your statement that “all religions suck” that blew your credibility. It shows an inability to differentiate between them.
yes, Islam is an evil and violent ideology. It doesn’t follow logically that all its believers are evil or violent. Most have a genuine desire to worship God. Many follow Islam because they’ve never been exposed to anything else. They have been deceived by Satan.
the war in Iraq (I strongly oppose it) doesn’t fit the definition of terrorism.

Posted by: traveller, at August 3, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #173147

traveller -

OK, so now they’ve been wanting to follow GOD but were deceived by SATAN… wow, so all this is coming from a Christian point of view. No wonder.

Another thing major religions have in common: absolute fear and suspicion of other religions. Your religion has to be good, so that means the other religions have to be bad. I hope I am getting this wrong, but from most Christians I have met, I doubt it.

You have convinced yourself that a religion, followed by people who wish to live a good life worshipping their god (not yours)… but it’s different and so it is evil and violent. Of course there are violent and evil examples trying to be supported (justified) by Islam.

Back to my main point - all world religions are used for evil purposes, but none are followed solely by evil people, and none were founded on evil beliefs. You can choose to see things differently, but you will then not see things as they truly are.

It is for exactly this reason that I choose to avoid any organized religions. They have grown too big to ever function again as they were meant to, and most of their efforts go to managing their businesses and trying to take over as much of the world as they can. Doing good and living right has become trivial.

Most all of the world’s evils are support on the shoulder of religion - and no world religion is exempt.

Posted by: tony at August 3, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #173157

tony,

“…so all this is coming from a Christian point of view. No wonder.”

No wonder what? You’re not making sense.


“You have convinced yourself that a religion, followed by people who wish to live a good life worshipping their god (not yours)… but it’s different and so it is evil and violent.”

It isn’t evil because it’s different. It’s evil because it’s god commands its followers to do evil.
Other religions are different from Christianity but not evil. Buddhism and Hinduism, for example. They are pagan idolaters but their holy writ doesn’t command them to do evil. Islam has a special hatred for Buddhists and Hindus, nearly as ferocious as the hatred for the Jews.

I haven’t convinced myself that Islam is evil. Islam convinced me.
I’ve studied it and observed it as practiced around the world in my lifetime. The terrorism, the violent oppression of other beliefs wherever it is dominant, the utter disregard for life displayed by its adherents, the barbaric code of Shari’a forced on all who are unfortunate enough to live in Muslim dominated lands are not the practices of a religion of peace and goodwill.

Posted by: traveller at August 3, 2006 10:30 PM
Comment #173211

traveller -

I completely disagree that Islam is more violent or evil that other world religions (except maybe Buddhism… I’m sure it’s probably had oppression in it’s past, but it’s not something I’ve studied.) I might give you this point: Islam is much less tolerant of people’s vices and actions than modern day Christianity - and that’s mostly driven by the society Christianity exists in today. We don’t tolerate open violence or oppression in the name religion anymore (but it’s not been that long since we have.)

But for you to blanket every single person following Islam because the actions of a few (and statistically, it’s a very small number) is not very realistic. You said it yourself “they are trying to worship GOD but were deceived by SATAN” - and that’s an extremely “Christian” way of seeing things. If, as a country, we were to continually see things this way - the enemy and everyone around him, are evil, then we will never make peace with them.

I do not want to live like the Israelis… everyone trip to the market could be your last. But that is where we are heading, unless we can openly accept people for who they are, and not blinded by who we think they are.

Posted by: tony at August 4, 2006 6:34 AM
Comment #173223

tony,

You’re refusing to face reality. Open your eyes to the events of the last 30 years, and the 1400 before that.
You’re also mischaracterizing my position. I haven’t blanketed every single person following Islam. Being a Christian, of course I see the world from a Christian perspective.
The Islamists are my enemy and they are evil. There can never be peace with them. Theirs is a totalitarian and imperialist ideology. Their definition of peace is complete world domination under Shari’a. They will accept nothing less.

” I do not want to live like the Israelis… everyone trip to the market could be your last. But that is where we are heading, unless we can openly accept people for who they are, and not blinded by who we think they are.”

That kind of Pollyannaish thinking is what strengthened the Islamists and made them bold enough to restart the jihad. It also ignores the fact that genocide against the Jews is one of Islam’s core tenets.

Posted by: traveller at August 4, 2006 8:28 AM
Comment #173271

“You’re also mischaracterizing my position. I haven’t blanketed every single person following Islam. Being a Christian, of course I see the world from a Christian perspective.
The Islamists are my enemy and they are evil. There can never be peace with them. Theirs is a totalitarian and imperialist ideology. Their definition of peace is complete world domination under Shari’a. They will accept nothing less.”

That’s exactly what I thought your position was. Your review and study of Islam is based on this position, so i would expect it to be impossible for you to come to any other conclusion. That is the reality from your perspecitve, and I except that. However, the worldwide perspective is something quite larger and more complex - and until people from your perspective start seeing things clear of those perspectives, we will never find peace that works. And no matter the hatred and righteousness of any war, unless you can find peace at the end of it, then war for it’s on ends can only be described as evil in the name of GOD. And I’m pretty sure that’s a huge sin. (And most people on either side solely support war in the name of their religion.)

Posted by: tony at August 4, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #173792

the only way to end this war with the muslims is to kill all the mullahs and convert the rest to christianity.

Posted by: b ruce at August 7, 2006 11:38 AM
Comment #173832

“the only way to end this war with the muslims is to kill all the mullahs and convert the rest to christianity.”

If we’re talking genocide, I think I know a quicker path to peace.

Posted by: tony at August 7, 2006 2:18 PM
Post a comment