Hezbollah's War, Hezbollah's Responsibility

The loss of civilian lives and infrastructure in south Lebanon is the direct result of Hezbollah’s terrorist strategy: They hide behind civilians while launching attacks from population centers. Hezbollah alone is responsible for the damage that Lebanon continues to endure, despite the numerous voices casting blame in Israel’s direction.

Israel's week-long military campaign against Iran- and Syria-backed Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon has effectively debilitated the group's terrorist infrastructure while completely undermining its ability to wage a meaningful response to Israel's incursion.

According to the IDF, upwards of 50% of Hezbollah's military capabilities have been destroyed thus far, and its remaining capacity to threaten Israel should be neutralized within two weeks.

Countless images have surfaced from the ground in south Lebanon that show a completely decimated region, leading many to question whether Israel is restricting itself to Hezbollah targets. Israeli officials, meanwhile, insist that they are exercising caution so as not to target civilians, though conceding that mistakes will happen in times of war. How, then, does one account for the seeming discrepancy between what the images show and what the officials are claiming? It's simple, really.

Much like the Palestinian terrorists in Gaza and Judea and Samaria, Hezbollah operations are neatly organized around and within population centers in Lebanon. The majority of rockets issued by Hezbollah originate from residential zones, which invariably leads to an exaggerated level of civilian casualties.

Of course, this cowardly technique pays high dividends for terrorists and, most notably, in the realm of public opinion. As civilian casualties mount, public opinion shifts toward the terrorists' favor; this, in spite of the fact, that they alone are culpable for the deaths.

The destruction that south Lebanon has endured evinces this fact. As previously noted, 50% of Hezbollah's military capabilities have been destroyed as a direct result of Israel's offensive. Were Hezbollah not operating from civilian areas, this would not be the case.

Hezbollah, meanwhile, has all but admitted that it has suffered irreparable damage as a result of Israel's campaign. According to reports, the terrorist group has reached the point where withdrawal from the Israel-Lebanon border is an outcome that they are willing to entertain:

The stunning campaign it (Israel) has waged against Hezbollah has reportedly brought the militia to a point where it is willing to discuss Israel's major demand - that it pull back several kilometres from the Israeli border, perhaps to the Litani River.

Reports from Beirut yesterday said that Hezbollah officials had declared readiness to discuss the pullback proposal as well as a ceasefire with Israel but were not willing to discuss Israel's demand that it disarm.

Hezbollah's talks of a cease-fire are highly premature, as Israel -- for the first time in recent memory -- has expressed and demonstrated that it is unwilling to negotiate with terrorists. Moreover, any such talks will have to wait until the captive Israeli soldiers -- Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev -- are released by Hezbollah, unharmed.

Many another critic of Israel's military operation has suggested that the real victim here is the fledgling democracy in Lebanon. (Similar arguments have been made about Israel's operation in Gaza as well as the effects of the international community's decision to restrict aid to the Palestinians.)

There is, however, a major difference between a democratic state and a state with democratic elections. Fair elections are a necessary, NOT SUFFICIENT, component of democracy. Actually, several ingredients must be present in order for a country to be recognized as a democracy. Here's one: a democratic state has a monopoly on the use of force within its borders.

In Lebanon's case, the state is weaker than Hezbollah and, therefore, the use of force is out of the Lebanese government's hands. As a result, Lebanon is not in a position to tame the terrorist beast that Israel is now confronting. Until Hezbollah's military capabilities are diminished, Lebanon will be incapable of reaching a democratic status.

Needless to say, Israel should continue exercising caution throughout its military operation, utilizing every tool at its disposal to limit civilian casualties. Nevertheless, it would be a serious misjudgment to blame Israel for the loss of civilian life and infrastructure. After all, Hezbollah terrorists initiated this war with Israel and they continue to use civilians as shields against Israeli reprisals.

Posted by Dr Politico at July 19, 2006 4:29 PM
Comments
Comment #168904

only one thing to say Isreal is to blame for eveything ,Why do we back this violent state.

Posted by: gregg cazian at July 19, 2006 4:44 PM
Comment #168908

You said it brother…

I watched the CNN news when they interview the representitive from Hezbollah. When directly asked about kidnapping the soldiers he said it was because, to paraphrase, Israel was a bully for the last 40 years.

I add to your comments in saying that fine maybe Israel was a bully reforming itself and it pulled out of Gaza and Lebanon. Even then Hezbollah attacked.

So you hit me 40 years ago, does that mean I can always retaliate 50 years later after you made some amends? I think not.

Posted by: ChrisC at July 19, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #168909

Dr Politico,
“Hezbollah alone is responsible for the damage that Lebanon continues to endure…”

Really? I thought the Israelis were bombing Lebanon.

“Israel should continue exercising caution throughout its military operation, utilizing every tool at its disposal to limit civilian casualties.”

I have an idea. Do not drop bombs on civilians.

As Kilgore Trout once said:
We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.


Posted by: phx8 at July 19, 2006 5:00 PM
Comment #168912

Hey - we all know that bombs don’t kill people, it’s their targets that sometimes look like women and children that kill people… right?

Israel should show restraint? Really? They dropped 500lb bombs into busy intersections to get back at terrorists who were no where near there… They want to kill to try a little of their own SHOCK AND AWE. As far as Hezbollah’s military power, they’re like weeds… you can pull all of them you can see, and they we be easily replaced in a week. And their funding and military firepower comes from Iran… don’t think Israel has done anything to change or limit that.

Fighting militia groups is a very tricky business because you can’t ignore or under respond to their acts of violence, but if you go tough on them, you will almost always kill more civilians than terrorists - and that breeds more terrorists.

Personally, I don’t like either side because neither side places any sincere value to human life (other than their own) - it’s all about some religious thing or another… Both religions represented here condemn violence and murder, yet both sides find rationalizations to excuse their behavior but not the behavior of the other’s.

They both want to kill each other - and both sides should be happy right now. Israeli leaders get to flex their muscles, and Hezbollah gets to watch it “stock” rise with the anger and new thirst for revenge. Now, if we could just get all the people who want to simply live their lives and raise families out of the way… then these guys could just go hog wild on each other. Sick and twisted way to live and die - but whatever rocks your boat, I guess.

Posted by: tony at July 19, 2006 5:08 PM
Comment #168911

Dr. Politico,

Very good article. Most people fail to realize that Hezbolla has been bombing, attacking, harassing Israel for decades. They are a politial/ideological group that is based in Lebanon. If the Lebanese government doesn’t want Isreal to lob bombs thier way, maybe they should get rid of the problem themselves. Til now, it hasn’t been of immanant importance. Now it is. Now Lebanon needs to act like a civilized, modern people and get rid of the terrorists in thier mists.

Greg,

your post was stupid - go back to sleep.

Posted by: Ilsa at July 19, 2006 5:08 PM
Comment #168913

phx8
Maybe you should tell Hezbollah to stop launching rockets into Israel. Maybe the Lebanese government should crack down on the Hezbollah terrorist causing this problem. The problem is Hezbollah even Saudi Arabia’s government says it’s Hezbollah causing all the problems.

Posted by: KAP at July 19, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #168919

No argument here. The people arguing that Israel is somehow responsible for this seem to be woefully uneducated about recent history.

Posted by: Max at July 19, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #168922

Phx8

Question: Is it EVER possible to support war in your opinion?

I cannot think of any significant war where at least some civilians did not suffer. Thousands of French civilians died around Normany, killed by U.S. and British bombs. You probably know that a large number of people were (are) killed when defensive guns try to shoot down enemy bombers. Should they not shoot?

So you would just let the most agressive guy be the ruler, since you can do nothing to oppose him that would not risk innocent lives.

Pacifism is a great idea only as long as we don’t try to put it into practice against nasty people.

Posted by: Jack at July 19, 2006 5:26 PM
Comment #168924

KAP,

“Maybe the Lebanese government should crack down on the Hezbollah terrorist causing this problem.”

That seems like a good solution. No question, this should have been handled by the Lebanese government. They needed help, and that help should have been forthcoming from the international community, led by the United States.

There is a novel concept. Leadership from the US.

But reigning in Hezbollah is a short term solution. Until people change their minds and their hearts, this kind of violence will continue. It is only a question of how long it takes to re-arm.

Sewing hatred will bring more people into the conflict, unless so many die there is no one left to fight.

Posted by: phx8 at July 19, 2006 5:30 PM
Comment #168925

Tony

How do you know there were no terrorists near that intersection?

Let me answer for you to save you some time and anti-semitic pandering. You don’t know.

Those lobs that Hezbollah throws into Israel have been killing, maiming and hurting far more that what Israel is doing. Picture a baseball game. The batter hits a long drive to deep center field, right up against the wall. The center fielder retrieves the ball and throws to a cutoff fielder so that the cutoff fielder can relay to do the best play for an out. The reason the center fielder does that is for speed and accuracy. Th center fielder could or would rarely be able to nail a good enough throw to home plate to get the runner. Now that distance is in most cases more thatn 400 feet and less than 500 feet. Those bombs that Hezbollah lobs are just like that center fielder. They just lob them into Israel to see what they can hit. Only they are being thrown more than 1000 feet. They are racking up frequent flier miles to get to their first virgin faster. Actually their accuracy is terrible. But if you throw a handful of marbles straight up into the air above you, you can bet that you are going to get hit on the body somewhere, but you don’t know ahead of time where.

My recommendations for reading you would not adhere to, so we aren’t even going there.

Posted by: tomh at July 19, 2006 5:30 PM
Comment #168926

Dr. Politico

BTW-I like the post. Clear and concise.

Posted by: tomh at July 19, 2006 5:31 PM
Comment #168931

phx8
This war has been going on for 5000yrs do you really think hearts and minds will change.

Posted by: KAP at July 19, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #168932

Jack,
I am not a pacifist.

I opposed invading Grenada & Panama.
I supported the First Gulf War.
I supported the intervention in Bosnia, and I supported intervention in Rwanda, though that never happened.
I opposed the mission to Somalia.
I supported invading Afghanistan.
I opposed invading Iraq.

So war as a moral intervention, for the humanitarian purpose of preventing genocide, is justifiable. This scenario demands international cooperation. It is a peacekeeping scenario, intended to stop spiraling violence.

But war should be a last resort.

The Israelis and Hezbollah have danced this dance before, and until someone changes some minds, nothing material will change.

This is Fourth Generation Warfare, Jack. Forget the Third Generation World War II mentality of mobil warfare. It is a different beast. Fight only when forced to fight; and for victory, re-examine the nature of war today, and re-examine what it means to actually win.

Posted by: phx8 at July 19, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #168933

One wonders what Hezbollah hoped to gain. Inaccurate rockets can’t win a win; capturing a couple of Israeli soldiers isn’t likely to gain much, epecially when Israel is currently refusing to negotiate (publically at least) to get back the soldier captured by Hamas.

If Hezbollah was hoping to win a PR victory, that seems to have failed since so many Arab leaders have condemned the attacks and, apparently, the masses in the Arab world are disgusted by Hezbollah’s actions.

But if Hezbollah’s aim was to de-stablize Lebanon (with Syria’s and/or Iran’s blessing), then it may be succeeding. As a fledging and weak democracy, Lebanon may find itself under greater influence by the power players in the region.

The question is, how does Israel and the United States respond in such a way as not to de-stablize Lebanon?

Posted by: Trent at July 19, 2006 5:53 PM
Comment #168939

I think Iran’s intention is to have Israel do what it cannot do without attracting international condemnation. They saw what Israel did to Hamas over one kidnapped soldier (who I haven’t seen returned there either) and they likely said “hmm, I wonder what happens if we do the same then have Hezbollah start launching rockets out of Lebanon”.

And so the idiotic hawks in Israel’s government oblige Iran’s strategic goals by destabilizing and radicalizing the newly minted Lebanese government, and we oblige by standing by and doing absolutely nothing. Why? Because we are all about acting not thinking, and it would be hypocritical to expect anything more out of Israel than we do ourselves.

So, acting, but not thinking, Israel creates a larger threat to its north by reacting disproportionately to a smaller one, and holding responsible a government for a militia it doesn’t have the power or independence to deal with.

Why the hell are we playing in Teheran’s hands? What does that accomplish? When’s the last time we successfully destroyed a terrorist group by conventional warfare without inflaming the strategical situation?

Though Cheney, Bush, and all these Israeli’s pay lip service to a new kind of war, in practice, they have no damn idea what they’re doing. We need better strategical minds in charge than these, or else we got to send the people we have through remedial strategy classes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 19, 2006 6:07 PM
Comment #168941

tomh -

“Let me answer for you to save you some time and anti-semitic pandering.”

Well, thanks for the insults - but your assumptions lack anything viable. I’m assuming you are calling me anti-semitic… which is laughable, but pathetic. In case you need this:

—-
Anti-Semitism (alternatively spelled antisemitism) is hostility toward or prejudice against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group, which can range from individual hatred to institutionalized, violent persecution.
—-

“How do you know there were no terrorists near that intersection?”

Because the Israeli government stated that those roads were taken out to prevent travel on a major road. They didn’t even hint that they were trying to hit terrorists - they were after the road, so it’s very safe to guess that the road (which was full of commuters) had no terrorists.

I agree that Hezbollah is completely to blame for their part in this war, but it is Israel that is recklessly attacking innocents in attempts to bring Hezbollah to it’s knees. It won’t work, as long as they have working knees.

I have no idea how to make sense of the baseball analogy… I think I kind of get it, but it’s a bit of a stretch. Btw - the Katyusha rockets being used have a range of 45 kilometres.

Posted by: tony at July 19, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #168947

Phx8

“The Israelis and Hezbollah have danced this dance before, and until someone changes some minds, nothing material will change.”

Yes. Hezbollah minds will change when more of them assume room temperature and when their infrastructure is shredded.

I also agree about your different generation of war. I am really impressed at how well the Israelis are doing this. Not only are they targeting precisely Hezbollah assets, but their small teams are roaming around at mopping up the bad guys on the retail level. This is one of the best operations we have seen.

But to repeat, you need not worry. We will work - work real hard - to end this conflict in a couple of weeks.

Hezbollah is our enemy too. They brought this hell down on themselves. The more of them who within the next few days learn first hand that the 72 virgins thing is a load of crap, the better.

Posted by: Jack at July 19, 2006 6:36 PM
Comment #168949

Stephen, I agree with you up to a point. That point is when you condemn the US for letting Israel fight. I grant you that Iran is pulling strings, but they are just as inept as we are at planning. They DO play a much better victim. The two are not the same thing, however. They have much more to lose, and in that sense, Israel is taking advantage of a clear opportunity. They know that Iran won’t show its real hand, and so, for the moment, they have a clear enemy. And every other nation that doesn’t stand to directly lose something has agreed in condemning Hezbollah. I think that says something, and it is not the norm.

I’m just not sure how you arrived at the conclusion that a buffer zone around Israel was playing into Iran’s hands. They stand to gain from bad press, but they can manufacture that without supplying people with rocket launchers. I really do think the Israeli response was unexpected, and Israel knows this, and now they have a diplomatic advantage so long as they accomplish their military goals in an effective and timely way. Of course, the risk is that they won’t.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 19, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #168950

Dr P
IRAN’S war. Hezbollah is the proxy party, the guns for hire, mercenaries. Punish local Hezbollah postions in Lebanon, force them to make a stand. When they do, crush them.

Reading Augustine - “According to the eternal law, which requires the preservation of natural order, and fobids the transgression of it, some actions have an indifferent character, so that men are blamed for the presumption if they do them without being called upon, while they are deservedly praised for doing them when required. The act, the agent, and the authority for the action are all of great importance in the order of nature.”

My take? Israel wins inspite of anti semetic leftist rants. Iran’s patsies are paying the price for their blood money, for the declaration of inhumanity as a religion. Good riddance.

Posted by: JR at July 19, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #168955

I think some people might want to read up on the recent history in the area. Hezbollah has been loosing power and support with the general public lately. They knew, or at least hoped Israel would react the way they did to help foster support for themselves. Again, both parties involved with this shore up their base and gain momentum for their cause.

It’s only going to get worse in the next few years.

Posted by: tony at July 19, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #168958

Kevin 23-
I don’t mind them trying to eliminate Hezbollah positions. That would actually be justified and sensible. It’s all the extra punitive strikes and bombing of infrastructure that gets them in trouble. If people understand that the Hezbollah militias brought this crap on themselves, and Hezbollah militants are the only ones getting an Israeli boot in their keister, then people will get the idea that Hezbollah has it coming, if they’re not sympathizers.

If, however, Israel blindly attacks civilian positions, it makes the Lebanese think that Israeli’s are taking the fight to them unfairly, and that they need somebody to defend them, which Hezbollah is more than willing to do.

Israel, from the looks of it, is not going in with precision raids, but instead is taking the tack of dropping bombs in civilian rich zones. They even got the PM up in arms about this.

Please don’t assume that I’m trying to negate Israel’s rights to defense. I’m just saying that this strategy of retribution against the Lebanese, only serves Hezbollah’s agenda.

JR-
Anti-semitic? You care to back that charge up with proof? Last I heard, our problem was with Israel’s strategy and policies, not it’s ethnic make-up. Fact is, Israel attacks might damage Hezbollah, but it’s unlikely to kill it and no guarantee exists that there won’t be an even worse group set up in its place. Which is not to say don’t destroy it, but rather kill it so that it’s kind of movement stays dead. That means destroying the motivation for people to join up, to support it. So far, the bombings have not had that effect.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 19, 2006 7:32 PM
Comment #168959

So, the sweethearts at hezbollah have set up road blocks to keep the innocent civilians from leaving south Lebanon. Once again these wonderful people are using human shields and the defenders of the terrorists have nothing to say about that. Let me guess, it’s George Bush’s fault. The intellectual hypocracy of the anti-Israel crowd, knows no bounds, does it? So, don’t forget, when Hezbollah sets up and fires a missile from the roof of an apartment building, it is Israels fault and should not eliminate the threat.
We can only hope that after another broken peace treaty, we will stop listening to the endless and meaningless justifications for racism and murder. Just out of curiosity, how many broken treaties does it take before we understand that we are dealing with lying, murderous groups who should not be allowed any freedom to continue their hate and murder campaigns?

Posted by: BOB at July 19, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #168961

As usual, many will shout “peace” while safely esconded tapping on their computer keyboard. When the bully is outside their door they may have a mind-changing carthesis…but I doubt it.
I am very impressed with the citizenry of Israel voicing over 90% support of their governments actions against the threat. I believe if U.S. cities were imperiled by a hostile force just outside our borders we might muster 50% support for action at any price. 25% would still be chanting “peace” and picking flowers to hand the invaders as they entered our country. The remaining 25% would be in meetings to understand how they could politically capitalize on the situation or be making urgent phone calls to the U.N. Jim

Posted by: Jim Martin at July 19, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #168962

Stephen, what other options do they have? Every step backwards (in appeasement) that they take, the militants take one forward (in aggression). By your example, if the Israelis keep letting the militants escalate the game, at what point do they get to stop the game?

The game is over now. Let the cards fall where they may. Israel, government and people, are tired, and want an end to it, one way or the other.

The timing of this was generated by Iran and Syria. Perhaps because they felt that we are engaged in several other theaters. Who really knows? Not me, that’s for certain. But the bottom line is this (IMO): Israel is reacting. This is the way they do business. You kill one of mine. I kill 100 of yours. It works. The eye-for-an-eye thing doesn’t work when you are severely outnumbered.

Posted by: Bruce P at July 19, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #168963

Bob,
“Just out of curiosity, how many broken treaties does it take before we understand that we are dealing with lying, murderous groups who should not be allowed any freedom to continue their hate and murder campaigns?”

Spoken like a true Native American.

Posted by: phx8 at July 19, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #168965

Jim,
The Israelis differ from us in one important respect. I bet Israel does not sell its port security to the United Arab Emirates.

Posted by: phx8 at July 19, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #168967

“Just out of curiosity, how many broken treaties does it take before we understand that we are dealing with lying, murderous groups who should not be allowed any freedom to continue their hate and murder campaigns?”

You seem to be covering both groups in this war, and it’s not the two armies that worry me, it’s the human shields they use. Both sides kill, and it’s usually the bystanders. It’s hezbollah that always kills randomly - but given that Israel on average kill 6-10X more, I think they both fail to consider human life in face of their political agendas.

“Israel is reacting. This is the way they do business. You kill one of mine. I kill 100 of yours. It works.”

Yes, they are reacting… but it’s not going to work now anymore than it has in the past. Most people dying in this conflict are civilians - and that always creates lasting hate for one side or the other. They will kill each other indefinitely… because…

“When the bully is outside their door they may have a mind-changing carthesis…but I doubt it.”

This playground is fully of bullies, and none of them want to share. I simply want the other kids of the playground for a while - then let the bullies go at each other’s throats. Diplomacy only works here for very short amount of time.

Posted by: tony at July 19, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #168969

“As usual, many will shout “peace” while safely esconded tapping on their computer keyboard. “

And this differs from the ones who shout “war”?

Posted by: tony at July 19, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #168971

Out of Israel:

Israeli spokesmen speak only of small ground crossings into the south and air strikes against several war material trucks crossing in from Syria. However, those ground incursions extend to central and eastern Lebanon as well as the south, targeting Hizballah strongholds and launching sites, and include several cross-border raids into Syria in pursuit of fleeing Hizballah terrorists and for the interception of incoming groups. Weapons cnvoys destined for Hizballah are also being struck on the Syrian side of the border. To conceal the extent of their losses, Hizballah has instructed its people not to hold burials.

GO ISRAEL!!!!!!!

Posted by: tomh at July 19, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #168973

Stephen- Are we certain that this “indiscriminate” bombing is not aimed at known underground bunkers? Some people here are very dramatically painting Israel to be this monster who likes to kill innocent people for fun. How do we know ANYTHING about those casualties other than they are dead? Women and children in that region are well known to be as big a threat as the men…they just try to stay out of camera view. Of course they are going to be hailed as innocent, but we have no idea what they were doing, thinking, or planning or going to do. I’m VERY hesitant to question Israeli intelligence before this all plays out. It is not in their interests at the moment to make their intelligence known to the public. However, if they are bombing dense areas with no discernable military targets therein, I believe they have definately invited more unrest, and they will have to deal with the fallout. I would like to think that Israel is not that stupid, but with hate ultimately driving public sentiments on both sides, I will reserve my judgements on the Israeli military actions until I have the clear benefit of hindsight.

The clear truth is that they are under attack, and now the only way for anyone to “win” is to eliminate Hezbollah. Too many people have already dies to fail at that mission. I hope they continue to threaten the US, because we now have bases within stricking distance, and Israelis on the ground to clean up any mess. There is no room for peace until the question of “what will Israel do if we attack them?” is answered completely and in such a way as to disinterest official governments from taking sides. This has so far been the case. They will still be underhanded, but there is no stopping that without prosperity…and right now, it is not Israel’s responsability to hold hands with their enemies and guide them to the promised land. Arab nations need to step up and be accountable for both what they can, and cannot do.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 19, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #168975

“GO ISRAEL!!!!!!!”

You seem to be really enjoying this… have you made up any new drinking games for the occasion? I bet ya they have some mean tailgating going on in Jordon!

Posted by: tony at July 19, 2006 8:08 PM
Comment #168980

If you listen to Stephen and some of the rest, this war between Israel and Hezbollah, was a conspirticy between Israel and the US to get hezbollah and hamas to cross the border and kidnap soldiers( there is a difference between kidnapping and being a POW), then Israel can go into Lebanon and take down hezbollah. Wow watch out maybe it is the little green men at Area 51 doing the mindmeld thing.
Never mind that hezbollah is hiding within the regular population and still shooting and firing missles at Israel. As far as destroying a intersection with no hezbollah around, that is possible, but if it is a supply route then you stop the supplies from getting to the terrorist, and the shooting and missles stop.

Posted by: KT at July 19, 2006 8:31 PM
Comment #168982

“As far as destroying a intersection with no hezbollah around, that is possible, but if it is a supply route then you stop the supplies from getting to the terrorist, and the shooting and missles stop.”

yes - but you do it when the intersection is empty.

Posted by: tony at July 19, 2006 8:33 PM
Comment #168985

Tony

I don’t know what ya got goin’, but they do not call it rationale or common sense; maybe naivete. An intersection in enemy territroy. I am trying to shell that intersection so that supply lines are interupted. I am firing from several miles away. Ok, guys ya ready? Here we go. On my signal fire. Ready, opps there goes somebody, we don’t know who. Ok, Ready? oops there goes bicycle and wait there goes two cars. Ok, Ready? Here we go. FIRE! oops, there goes somebody, really gone. Sorry about that. That scenario is what I think you might expect. But the truth is that this is war, and you must take that intersection out to prevent the enemy from resupply of anything. There have been other writings that tend to put this whole situation into the attitude and mindset of a video game. Those are games. This is life and death. Get real those of you who can’t see that.

Posted by: tomh at July 19, 2006 8:45 PM
Comment #168989

tomh -

It was hit with a missile from a jet - at peak rush hour. This isn’t life and death - it’s death. It’s war. Some seem to want to cheer it on… I find it the most horrible act from mankind.

Of course, no one is going to stop these people from killing each other, so you also have accept reality as it is, not as you wish it to be. Both sides could decide to live in peace - but that’s not the way they want it to be.

One major issue for us - we’re completely booked up in Iraq, and if this spills over the borders much more, we’re going to be in the middle it and securing the government in Iraq will be impossible, and so will a quick exit. Our American soldiers could end up paying a heavy price if this continues much longer.

Posted by: tony at July 19, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #168996

One of the best written articles that I have read. You have got it right. Most of the comments are from people who lack understanding of Hezbollah and terrorists in general.

Who’s fault is it that an “innocent” is killed…Israel which dropped the bomb to destroy Hezbollah’s weapons, or the Hezbollah putting the weapons in a populated area, in a house occupied by women and children? Obviously it is Hezbollah’s fault.

Posted by: RH at July 19, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #168998

I just heard that the Israelis have bombed a Hezbollah bunker and may have killed off the senior leadership. It was 100 feet underground. Hezbollah claims that none of their guys were there and it was just a mosque under construction. Who builds a mosque 100 ft below ground?

Posted by: Jack at July 19, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #169000

Tony,

The empty roads were bombed to prevent Syria from being able to rearm Hezbollah AND to prevent them from taking the kidnapped soldier into Syria or Iran. They have every right to do that. Hezbollah could stop all this in an instant.

Posted by: G.K. at July 19, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #169001

Jack, we don’t agree on a lot, but I wonder also who would build a mosque 100 feet underground. Close to it was Hitler, and he was trying to do the same thing, get rid of all the Jews. Maybe it is history repeating itself, now all the leadership of hezbollah has to do is commit suicide, but wait all the liberals will say Israel or US supplied the bullet and the gun and therefore helped pull the trigger.

Posted by: KT at July 19, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #169004

“The empty roads were bombed to prevent Syria from being able to rearm Hezbollah”

the road wasn’t empty - 12 dead

Posted by: tony at July 19, 2006 9:34 PM
Comment #169008
the road wasn’t empty - 12 dead

Hezbollah could stop all of this in an instant. What don’t you get about that?

Posted by: G.K. at July 19, 2006 9:40 PM
Comment #169011

Stephen, Tony, David R Reamer, Px8.. I bet all of you would let hezbolla fire rockets off your roofs! Singing kum-by-ya….. We love taxes, and all dictators!!!

Posted by: nathan at July 19, 2006 9:45 PM
Comment #169012

“Hezbollah could stop all of this in an instant. What don’t you get about that?”

I think I’ve covered this previously… Of course they could… but they don’t. I don’t get anything about all this - it’s stupid.

nathan -

that was weak… come on, you can do better than that.

Posted by: tony at July 19, 2006 9:52 PM
Comment #169027

BOB-
Hezbollah is responsible for it’s actions, as is Israel, as is Bush. None are entirely responsible, but we can speak to what each does: Hezbollah provoking, Israel overreacting and using it’s needlessly alientation shows of force in a vain attempt to intimidate folks, and Bush having provided no policy alternative.

Bush is responsible for letting Israel take the gloves off, which has allowed Sharon and others like him to pile one belligerent mistake after another, participating in the peace process with obvious bad faith. He doesn’t understand that sometime inaction, stasis, tension, negation, inhibition are necessary parts of successful strategies.

I have no problem with somebody killing the people who dare to rain rockets down on civilians, and the targeted capture and destruction of those who lead this. But the more collateral casualties we see here, the worse off things get. What Democrats are asking for is a dialing down and reconsideration of the response. Rather than play into these bastard hands, we should find some way to both defend Israel, and sidestep the poisoned dagger of Hezbollah’s agenda of destabilizing the legitimate government.

Jim Martin-
And many will shout war from a similar safe position. Those typing peace, at least, will wish for others what they have themselves, rather than inflict on them what they are safe from. I remember how much support Bush had in the Wake of 9/11: over 90%. Regardless of whether you have it in your heart to see us as patriots and fellow Americans, the left is no worse at supporting our country in its time of need than the right

It makes me sick to hear that bullshit knowing what I myself think and believe. It is bitter insult and one we have suffered time and time again from the right, and from the Republican Party. More bitter still is being divided about a threat that heeds no party lines.

Bruce P.-
It always amazes me how broadly people define appeasement. I want nothing of the sort because Hezbollah just wants to destroy Israel. The thing is, they’re not the ones you deal with. If you are handed bastards like Hezbollah, who will not compromise, then you go to the neighbors and other citizens of the country who might not be so close. You negotiate with them, and see if you can’t sweet talk your way into having your new friends cut off Hezbollah at the knee. Hezbollah and other forces can escalate at their pleasure, at least until such time as they are deprived of their support. So the key is, draw the lines you have to, negotiate with your enemies potential rivals, and then relieve your enemy of the ability to escalate further, or maintain their ability to fight.

Reaction without thought, without plan, will only end up playing to the benefit of those who know how to provoke others towards their ends. Let’s not be the puppets of these sick bastards, let’s be the ones cutting Hezbollah’s strings.

tomh-
We should be more cautious. Do we want Syria involved in this war? Get Syria involved, and this becomes an all new kind of mess, with Israel vulnerable to attacks from the side. I’m sure they can take care of themselves, but the bloodshed that this rather well armed nation could inflict would be devastating to the country, and perhaps require our assistance. Get us involved, and that complicates things, or rather it simplifies them in a way we are in no shape to handle, short of conscriptions.

As for hitting an intersection, I’d think the place to really hit would be far outside of town. You don’t need to cut off the water at the end of the hose if you close off the valve at the start of it. Also, if you’re firing into a city, one intersection is unlikely to be sufficient to cut off supplies. If they’re small enough, you could run them through the buildings themselves. If larger, the other streets and roads could serve just as well. This is game, life and death as it is, and the other side is very competitive. That’s the real world: just being tough and taking every shot will not win the war.

RH-
If Hezbollah puts women and children in danger, why not frustrate their aims by not chunking bombs on them. Put a few special forces down on them instead. If you can’t manage a humane war and keep the moral high ground from an jet fighter, you do things another way.

Nathan-
It’s a brave thing to take such long odds on a losing bet.

Kevin 23-
Is there any distinction between innocent and guilty in your view? I mean, if a few innocent people die unintentionally in the course of a focused military response, or general war, that’s one thing, but you seem to be implying an altogether different definition of things, one which threatens to put this whole affair into the abyss.

The nightmarish scenario is that there are people in charge of the military response who want an escalation, another war to show the futility of messing with Israel. All well and fine if it happens by accident, but if done intentionally, it’s no smarter than any war started on purpose. How many people throughout history have started wars to their own regret? How many rulers have been told they would destroy a great empire if they started a war, only to find out it was their own. Wars are not certain affairs, even when one side has a huge technical and manpower advantage.

The thing to do with Hezbollah isn’t necessarily put them to the sword down to the last man. No, what you do is destroy the force, like Von Clausewitz would say: cut off supplies, cut off reinforcements, cut off the aid of allies, destroy the leadership, destroy the popular support. Ultimately, we can settle for making Hezbollah incapable of continuing its provocation for one reason or another. I think we start there, with some kind of UN or third party brokered cease fire, coupled with a deliberate effort at ending Hezbollah’s days as a force in Lebanese politics. I’m not sure what that might exactly involve, but it starts with getting the situation secure.

KT-
If you listen to me, you would know I have no truck with the conspiracy crap. I just think Hezbollah’s goading Israel into destabilizing Lebanon, and the fools in charge there are taking the bait.

I think destroying Hezbollah will be much easier if there is some kind of cease fire enforced. The relative calm and the penetration of independent forces into the country will allow clearer intelligence, more use of ground forces, and other benefits. We should let them cut their own throats, not aid them in cutting ours.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 19, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #169029

As far as destablizing the Lebanese government goes, that would only become a serious problem if Israel’s campaign caused the Lebanese population at large to embrace Hezbollah, which would in turn permit Hezbollah to marginalize and/or drive out the native Lebanese authorities.

I see no indication that this is happening. In fact, the opposite is true.

The Lebanese know damn well that Hezbollah is a tool of Syria and Iran which doesn’t have Lebanon’s interests at heart, and the last thing they want is to either have another Syrian OR Israeli occupation of their country.

Their government is already VERY unstable. But the reason for this is the lingering influence of Syrian intimidation after the so-called “Cedar Revolution.”

Of course they’re unhappy at being caught in the middle once again, and there’s no love for Israel being generated here. But neither is any of this raising Hezbollah’s prestige—quite the contrary.

From Israel’s point of view, a weak and ineffectual Lebanese government, one that doesn’t even adminster the southern half of the country, is worse than no government at all.

A moderate Lebanese government that talks peace (and no doubt sincerely wants peace) ends up providing diplomatic and rhetorical cover to the radical elements that are the de-facto rulers of southern Lebanon.

This is NOT a tolerable situation for Israel, just like it wouldn’t be for any nation. And it’s not a tolerable situation for Lebanon either. Israel is actually doing Lebanon a huge favor here.

Posted by: Mr P at July 19, 2006 11:51 PM
Comment #169034

Stephen,
Well said.

I keep wondering how much of the current situation was planned by one or both sides.

In June, a shell killed 7 innocent Palestinians at a beach. Israel apologized, then later denied responsibility for the explosion.

Hamas kidnapped a soldier, supposedly in retaliation.

Israel responded by destroying a power plant in Gaza, the only source of power for that area.

Seeing this, Hezbollah kidnapped two soldiers, and killed several others. They must have known this would provoke a severe response. But how far did this decision go outside of the immediate group of perpetrators?

Israel responded with a massive bombing campaign, and Hezbollah launched missiles at civilian targets.

The timing of this outbreak might have been unpredictable, but the strategies of each side have probably been in place for years.

Israel will use conventional military superiority to conduct a short, intense, and very bloody 3GW attack.

Hezbollah will use 4GW and bide its time.

I think it is very interesting that the West Bank is relatively quiet. Does this mean The Wall works?

Should Israel consider building walls around its northern borders and around Gaza?

Posted by: phx8 at July 20, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #169035

Stephen D.

Syria is involved as well as Iran.

Israel has been entering Syria to destroy supplies enroute to Hizbollah. They also have chased some Hizbollah terrorists into Syria and killed them there.

For the record Iran does nothing without Ras Putin’s approval.

Putin to Binejab (sic) to Noballoh (sic)

Posted by: tomh at July 20, 2006 12:12 AM
Comment #169036
Bush is responsible for letting Israel take the gloves off, which has allowed Sharon and others like him to pile one belligerent mistake after another, participating in the peace process with obvious bad faith. He doesn’t understand that sometime inaction, stasis, tension, negation, inhibition are necessary parts of successful strategies.

What an astoundingly delusional comment. Stasis? We’ve had a “peace process” going on for years upon years now under Sharon, Arafat, Clinton and Bush. And where has it led? Who has operated in bad faith here?

It’s led to Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank. It led to Israel offering Palestine an independent homeland with a capital in Jerusalem.

What was Palestine’s response to the Clinton-engineered offer? A second intifida. What has been Hezbollah’s response to Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanaon? Rockets, cross-border kidnapping, and terrorism.

Not even Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity could have come up with something more damning than the so-called Democratic solution: “sometimes inaction, stasis, tension, negation, inhibition are necessary parts of successful strategies.”

Inaction. Stasis. Tension. Negation. Inhibition. Those could have been bumper stickers for John Kerry.

Ignore the fact that while your side is engaged in inaction, stasis, tension, negation and inhibition, the other side is actively killing you and planning to do it again.

Inaction, stasis, tension, negation and inhibition indeed! Now I remember why (on the national ticket at least) I no longer vote Democratic.

Posted by: Mr P at July 20, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #169037
If you are handed bastards like Hezbollah, who will not compromise, then you go to the neighbors and other citizens of the country who might not be so close. You negotiate with them, and see if you can’t sweet talk your way into having your new friends cut off Hezbollah at the knee.

Sweet talking? Are you freaking kidding? The Lebanese are hostages in their own country, hostages to Syria and Iran with Hezbollah as their prison-guards. What happened to Rafik Hariri? He was assasinated by Syrian agents? What happens, then, when despite all your high-minded Democratic sweet-talking, your potential allies are all murdered?

Well, even more sweet-talking is in order, apparently.

While we’re at it, maybe if we sweet-talked the Tibetans, they’d drive out the Chinese occupiers.

Maybe if we sweet-talked villagers in the Sudan, they’d be free of genocide. And of course we all remember how we defeated Germany by sweet-talking the French, Poles, Russians and concentration camp victims.

Posted by: Mr P at July 20, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #169039

Stephen-

In regards to the question of making a distinction between guilty and innocent, I really do think there is a difference. But there is no clear cut distinction in these nations between an ordinary person, and a person who may explode or be carrying an explosive. The videos of the Gazan women carrying munitions really hit home for me … I can really sense the struggle when I see the gritty details and compare this to my relatively comfortable existance.

So we are left with very murky waters. On one hand, most civilians do nothing to aid terrorism. But nobody seems to do anything to stop it either. I am not in the position to judge the entrenchment that violence has in the people’s lives, but there is definately a real willingness to accept a certain level of inherently dangerous activity. I know if I thought there was a group next door who was stockpiling rocket propelled granades, I’d either move away or I’d rally support against them to drive them out. Thank god I am not in the position to make that kind of decision, but it is difficult to understand the victim mentality of a person who allows known terrorists to pray beside them, and to conduct questionable activities in the same neighborhood that their kids play in.

By far the biggest thing that bothers me about the current critisisms of Israeli aggression, and even that of American actions in Iraq, is when people critisize the soldier on the ground for not being more discriminating, or more patient, or anything other than scared shittless and looking out for number one. So in that sense, I believe that the military necessarily opperates under different rules than a police force would. But enemies should know this, and do everything they can to prevent a military conflict.

I definately do not think that killing innocent people is justified by the military not wanting to take any chances, but there is definately a certain expectation level that there will be casualties. Like I said before, hindsight is 20-20, and everyone needs to temper their actions knowing they will eventually have to answer for any attrocity that occurs, but if asked right if Israel should be using police tactics or military tactics, I say military. That being said, there are definately risks involved in going to war where there is at least some alternative. But I’d take the risk at the moment, because moral high ground doesn’t come to Israel very often, and they are legitimately concerned about security.

I agree about your advocation for more special opps and similar tactics. However, I can’t let myself second guess those with much more info than I have. But hopefully we will know very soon whether or not this “mosque” really held Hezbollah officials or not, for example. I share your concern for what you called the “nightmarish scenario”. One can always fear the worst about military leaders, but you have to trust the training and that the soldiers believe in their cause. I can’t even begin to think about what could be in store were the conspiracy theories true. The US should be in close communication with Israel and not let them go beyond the focussed mission they’ve stated.

At the end of the violence, if there is one, Israle needs to help them rebuild the cities. They can’t leave the residents of these war torn communities high and dry. That they didn’t stand up to those with guns should not warrent the punishment of having to pick up the pieces alone. Those people are the hope in the days following violence. If they win them over, they’ve won overall. If not, they will fight another day.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 20, 2006 12:43 AM
Comment #169041

This whole argument can be put in perspective very easily.
If Hezbollah or Hamas disarmed hostilities would end. If Israel disarmed they would be annihilated

Posted by: Keith at July 20, 2006 12:50 AM
Comment #169049

Keith,
Did you know there was a civil war in Lebanon, one that last 15 years? It pitted a kaleidoscope of militias against one another: Christians, Sunnis, Shias, Druze, and more. Not everyone in Lebanon defines themselves according to their relationship with Israel.

It is not a coincidence that the Hezbollah refused to disarm in accordance with Resolution 1559. Historically, the Shias have been at the bottom of the Lebanese food chain. The Hezbollah represents an combination of a variety of militias from the early 1980’s, and this group has defended the relatively weak Shias against the other factions in Lebanon, as well as against the Israeli invasion.

At some point, the Shias of southern Lebanon and southern Beirut will need to be integrated into the national life of Lebanon. Hezbollah (and Amal) were well on the way when they won seats in a democratic election.

If it is not Hezbollah, it will be a nearly identical group. As you may have noticed, no one in the world likes the Israelis, and only the US will defend their actions, even when the action is a response to provocations by Hezbollah.

The question is how to encourage this integration of a Shia political entity into Lebanese government, and how to create a situation in which Israel can exist in peace.

Personally, I believe they should become a secular state.

But that will not happen. A more practical solution would be to build a wall around the country, like the one enclosing the West Bank. It will keep the neighbors away from Israel, and Israel penned away from the rest of the world.

Posted by: phx8 at July 20, 2006 1:36 AM
Comment #169056

phx8
“If it is not Hezbollah, it will be a nearly identical group. As you may have noticed, no one in the world likes the Israelis, and only the US will defend their actions, even when the action is a response to provocations by Hezbollah”

What different does it make if everyone in the world hates Israel. Why do you think Israel is hated. Could it be 40 years of UN and Islamic propaganda. People hat Israel because they believe lies.

Israel has been forced to be at war fo 60 years. Everytime they give concessions it comes back to bite themselves in the ass.

If you ask me it is past the point where they should tell the “Palestians” in the West Bank and Gaza to go home to Jordan.

You and the rest of the moral relativists have to get out of your rut and remember that Israel like any other Sovereign nation has a right to defend itself.

If the terrorists would stop attacking Israel would not have to retaliate.

Posted by: Keith at July 20, 2006 2:23 AM
Comment #169058

phx8,

You have a point about this being 4th generation warfare, but what do you propose Israel do? Should they just give Hezbollah a free pass to murder Israeli citizens because they violate the rules of war and fire from residential neighborhoods?

Posted by: 1LT B at July 20, 2006 2:44 AM
Comment #169067

1LT B, both Israel and the US (and Lebanon) should be requesting an international force on the ground in Southern Lebanon with the mission — and the ability — to disarm Hezbollah and secure the border with Israel. Right now.

Long term, it’d also help if our military focused more on training and equipping to win the 4GW conflicts were fighting now and will soon fight in Lebanon than on a war with China that’ll never happen.

There is, however, a major difference between a democratic state and a state with democratic elections. Fair elections are a necessary, NOT SUFFICIENT, component of democracy. Actually, several ingredients must be present in order for a country to be recognized as a democracy. Here’s one: a democratic state has a monopoly on the use of force within its borders.

Wow, Dr. P! A red columnist who understands the situation on the ground in Iraq. That’s rare.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 20, 2006 4:56 AM
Comment #169071

Tomh,

How do you know there were no terrorists near that intersection?

Let me answer for you to save you some time and anti-semitic pandering. You don’t know.

And we don’t know if there were terrorist near that intersection either. What we *do* know is that among civilians killed, there’s women and kids. Many. All were terrorists? All were standing near terrorists?
What’s your kids per terrorists killed ratio limit?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 20, 2006 5:53 AM
Comment #169072

“Those lobs that Hezbollah throws into Israel have been killing, maiming and hurting far more that what Israel is doing”.

Oh dear god tomh.

Do you ever get the facts right?

Please switch off Fox and try to get your information from some reliable sources, watch the extent to which they disagree, or agree and be wary of inadequacies with their reporting (don’t take anything for granted). With a variety of news and information sources you will be able to get a clearer picture of events in the Lebanon. Use google news, you have no excuse for being so woefully uninformed.

Israeli casualties are no more that 24 at this stage, the number of dead Lebanese civilians is estimated at 300, the number of dead Palestinians is over a hundred.

Lebanese infrastructure is destroyed, no airport, bombs have destroyed bridges, roads, a hospital, no one is safe there.

Israel is among the most militarily advanced nations in the world. You name it they probably have it. Laser guided missiles - inc. Patriot Missiles - and the best in US hardware, tanks, helicopters, f16s.

Hezbollah have a few rockets capable of reaching into Israel but they are incapable of doing much damage (as compared to the Israeli eqivalent) so Israeli casualties are very small by comparison.

Hezbollah terrorists are awful and their actions are unforgivable but look at what Israel as done. It’s no angel. It has just destroyed Lebanon (with the intention of “setting Lebanon back 20 years”)and killed over 300 civilians, injured many others and displaced half a million people…a humanitarian crisis which began over two kidnapped soldiers. How many Lebanese are in Israeli prisons?

Posted by: abhcoide at July 20, 2006 6:08 AM
Comment #169080

Oh boohoo, let’s take out our pity blankets and cry a river for the hezbollah, because the UN and everybody else is against them for starting this with the kidnapping. A TERRORIST IS A TERRORIST IS A TERRORIST. A wolf in sheeps clothing does not make one a sheep. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, hamas is a terrorist, ARAFT was a terrorist, now just a dead terrorist.
As far as the soldiers shooting innocent civilians unfortunately it happens, and if you have never been shot at then, you don’t know how it is. You get tunnel vision and see mainly what is just in front of you, your heart races, everything is heighten. You are there to do a job, but your main job according to your mind is to protect yourself.
If we listen to all the liberal, peace loving people here, Israel should stop shelling, move back to their border and open them, and when hezbollah comes in do nothing. Let them do their suicide bombs, lob missiles, and kidnap anyone they want. Grow up and take off the rose color glasses.


Posted by: KT at July 20, 2006 7:56 AM
Comment #169081

A very good read for those who want to understand the issues and past of this region.


One interesting sentence in all of this history:

“The Husseini family killed both Jews and members of Palestinian Arab families opposed to their hegemony. The Yishuv (Jewish community) responded with both defensive measures, and with random terror and bombings of Arab civilian targets, perpetrated by the Irgun (Irgun Tsvai Leumi or “Etsel,”).”

http://www.mideastweb.org/briefhistory.htm

Posted by: tony at July 20, 2006 7:59 AM
Comment #169085

“The existence of Israel has continued too long. We welcome the Israeli aggression. We welcome the battle we have long awaited. The peak hour has come. The battle has come in which we shall destroy Israel.”

No, not Nasrallah. That is from a 1967 Radio Cairo broadcast.

Yet there are those that are blaming this on the present administration. Funny stuff.

Posted by: Bruce at July 20, 2006 8:29 AM
Comment #169089

What is terrorism?

Can any of you tell me the difference between Hezbollah capturing an Israeli soldier and Israel imprisoning a civilian? For those who use logic rather than propaganda as a basis of argument, there really is scant difference.

Can any of you tell me the difference between Israel bombing civilians and appropriating occupied land and Hizbollah sending a rocket into Israel? Again, logically there is no difference.

My point is that when it becomes an official policy of a government, splinter group, rebel group, etc. to target civilians you have terror. Argentina in the ’70s. Guatamala in the ’80s. That’s why there are international laws on the conduct of war - many of these the USA initiated and signed to after WWWI and then after WWWII to criminalize Nazi & Japanese tactics.

So tell me, what is the difference then between Israel and Hizbollah when they target civilians in this war? Why is one a terrorist and the other innocent?

There is no difference now between Israel and Hizbollah in their tactics. so if you call one a terrorist, then you have logically labeled the other the same.

Posted by: Acetracy at July 20, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #169091

This is a good run down of Hezbollah activity IN AMERICA. They are more than a local Israeli problem.

Posted by: Jack at July 20, 2006 9:09 AM
Comment #169102

The republicans are so up to their ears in making excuses for the failed invasion and occupational quagmire in Iraq

…the only thing they can do now is promote anything that has to do with military combat.

…the only reason why the Israeli military use of force is condoned by the republicans is because the republicans are already well versed in making excuses for military actions as a solution.

…the republicans can’t take the high road and try and help Israel and Palestine achieve any cease fire or truce (albeit temporary at best) is because of the low standard republicans have towards the concept of diplomacy


Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 20, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #169103

Simply put,

the republicans are war-happy.

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 20, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #169105

KT,

If we listen to all the liberal, peace loving people here, Israel should stop shelling,

Yep.

move back to their border and open them, and when hezbollah comes in do nothing. Let them do their suicide bombs, lob missiles, and kidnap anyone they want.

Nope. Show me one “liberal peace loving people” post saying that!

Grow up and take off the rose color glasses.

One should take *on* his glasses and read (no, not re-read) some posts before trying to put his words in others mouths.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 20, 2006 9:49 AM
Comment #169108

Stephen,

I can’t really disagree with anything you said (much to my chagrin). Other than to say that I do not believe this conflict will ever end. The most frustrating part for me is that the basis of this conflict goes alllllll the way back to a man name Abraham. We are all cousins of some sort. It’s just sad, that’s all. I hate to sound like some card-carrying liberal pansy, but why can’t we all just get along?

I guess if I had to say “this is the most realistic end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, I would bet it would have to be the cancellation of Israeli statehood. Why? Because we will never be able to remove islam from the earth (and we shouldn’t). If there is one muslim alive, the threat of this conflict survives.

Posted by: Bruce at July 20, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #169110

KT, by the way:

You get tunnel vision and see mainly what is just in front of you, your heart races, everything is heighten. You are there to do a job, but your main job according to your mind is to protect yourself.

So does civilians trapped in a conflict. The sole difference between soldiers and civilians is the former have a weapon, while the later usually don’t.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 20, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #169116

It’s funny how the debate on this thread seems to be simple…

…is military use of force something Americans should condone.

You don’t have to be a peace-loving left-wing liberal hippie baby boomer to know that military action is not the first choice.

What’s not being taken into consideration are the why diplomatic relations have ceased.

It’s easy for anyone support a decision for military use of force.

It’s hard to support continued diplomatic relationships with neighboring countries.

Israel and Palestine are at constant conflict.

Their actions in kidnapping soldiers/military use of force is the by-product of failed diplomatic relations.

It seems many here at the republican blog believe that war is an example of problem solving.

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 20, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #169118

You’re either fighting a battle of swords or

you’re fighting a battle of wits.

War if for those who fight without wits and

peace is for those without swords.

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 20, 2006 10:17 AM
Comment #169120

Benji,

How would you solve the conflict in the short-term, and in the long-term?

Posted by: Bruce at July 20, 2006 10:20 AM
Comment #169128

Hezbollah has been able to maintain its base of operations in Lebanon amongst the civilian population because they support Hezbollah. No insurgent group can survive in an area without the support of the local residents.
Hezbollah is based in residential areas making the targeting of those areas necessary to kill the terrorists. They’ve actually made it easier to destroy them because no matter how many terrorists you kill, if you don’t destroy their support infrastructure they will continue to operate.
The people criticizing Israel’s conduct of this war have no understanding of insurgency. Israel obviously understands it very well and have decided that enough is enough.
The statement that Israel is targeting more than just Hezbollah is probably correct. I doubt that they are the only jihadists operating in Lebanon.

Posted by: traveller at July 20, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #169130

traveller -

Think of this like an American ghetto with gang-activity. You know your neighbors are probably involved with some bad stuff, but if you confront them about it - you or someone in your family dies. Trying to tie in the citizens of Lebanon with support for Hezbollah is like tying people who live in the slums with supporting the drug trade.

Watch CITY OF GOD sometime, and then tell me how many people living in southern Lebanon support Hezbollah. (I know the movie is Brazillian, but just connect the dots.)

Posted by: tony at July 20, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #169132

Acetracy,

More moral relativism. You really have no concept of what is going on over there.

You really can’t tell the difference between a sovereign state jailing a civilian for a crime and terroists coming over the border and kidnapping 2 soldiers.

CNN did a report the other day with, I believe it was Nick Roberts, getting a tour of Beirut with a Hezbollah “spokesman”. He showed him one of the buildings that was blown up and said lots of civilians lived there. When the reporter asked how many casualties there were, the spokesman said luckily none they evacuted before the bombing. LUCK HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. The Israelis droped thousands of leaflets telling the civilian population to leave because the area was going to be bombed.

If you can’t see the difference between that and lobbing rockets (that you have no idea what they are going to hit), I really feel sorry for you.

This has been the MO for Israel’s enemies for 60 years. Attack Israel and then when Israel retaliates go to the international community and scream about the response.

Posted by: Keith at July 20, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #169133

Keith -

Both sides are involved in war mongering… but if you want to go back in time, how do you reconcile this:

“The Husseini family killed both Jews and members of Palestinian Arab families opposed to their hegemony. The Yishuv (Jewish community) responded with both defensive measures, and with random terror and bombings of Arab civilian targets, perpetrated by the Irgun (Irgun Tsvai Leumi or “Etsel,”).”

How long do we justify revenge? How long do we support either side in a war where mostly civilians die?

Posted by: tony at July 20, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #169134

Philippe-

“One should take *on* his glasses and read (no, not re-read) some posts before trying to put his words in others mouths.”

Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? On other threads, you’ve specifically done this to me and others, then when it gets done back to you, you whine and cry about how unfair it is.

I guarantee you that if you were on the ground in Lebenon, Gaza, Iraq, etc…you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a civilian and a terrorist. And there is all different shades of gray to deal with as well. You want to really tell me that you would never make a mistake? Remember that you are in constant fear of death, and you, unlike the enemy, are wearing a uniform which to them, resembles a big target.

I lost track of how many times I’ve asked you to respond, but you never do. But you do love taking people’s words out of context, and whining about the same hapenning to you. Indecision and hypocracy at its best. And next time you go on and on about the “innocent” people in Lebenon, at least disclaim it by saying they are the only casualties in this war who had a fighting chance to escape and live, albeit somewhere else temerarily.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 20, 2006 11:38 AM
Comment #169137

Kevin23,

Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? On other threads, you’ve specifically done this to me and others, then when it gets done back to you, you whine and cry about how unfair it is.

Check my response on that thread, where I just concede that I’ve wrongly put the word “every” in your mouth in place of “most”.

I guarantee you that if you were on the ground in Lebenon, Gaza, Iraq, etc…you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a civilian and a terrorist.

Agreed. So, how Israeli could magically do it when bombing Lebanon areas?
You can’t have both way.

You want to really tell me that you would never make a mistake?

I’m french. Jump to your favorite conclusion yourself. All are valid.
;-)


And next time you go on and on about the “innocent” people in Lebenon, at least disclaim it by saying they are the only casualties in this war who had a fighting chance to escape and live, albeit somewhere else temerarily.

Hum, are you saying that, for example, Haifa (spel?) israelis civilians didn’t have any chance to escape and live, only lebanese? You kidding, right?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 20, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #169138

Acetracy-

So many holes in your logic that it would take all morning to point them all out. When you build arguments, you must account for every brick. Not just make some random analogy and universally apply the rule. And where do you get off saying that Israel is “targetting” civilians. First, you have no idea how to tell a civilian v. a terrorist (not even the military can tell most times…and they have the intel). Second, you have no idea what they are targetting, whether they are even hitting what they aimed at, or if there is some hidden target like a bunker that does not meet the eye when watching on TV from 6000 miles away. You don’t know any of the things which are necessary premises to your statements. So, your statements demonizing Israel are meaningless.

But I would really love to know why you sincerely seem to believe that Israel is no better than Hezbollah. I think it is insanity to tell you the truth. But I can’t be certain. You seem to only be interested in the aftermath. Do you not realize that Hezbollah is carefully putting as many civilians at risk as possible WHILE stepping up attacks to make it impossible for Israel to withdraw? In other words, it is not Israel targetting civilians as Hezbollah using them as sheilds. Sad state of affairs to be sure, but Israel are NOT terrorists. The two ARE different. The entire world seems to know the distinction, but you don’t? Hint: one wears a uniform, one doesn’t. Finally, Israel is responding to the THREAT…not directly retaliating for the kidnappings and bombings. The threat is real.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 20, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #169140

“a fighting chance to escape and live”

You’re suggesting that the people who are dying in Lebanon choose to die because thet would not leave? Same for the people in New Orleans who chose not to leave? I’m guessing both have similar demographics - poor. Rich people lock the doors, grab their passports and leave - poor people have no means to leave and nowhere to go.

I completely agree that fighting terrorists in the middle of civillians is a huge problem. You can easily make mistakes and taking precations can get you killed.

My philoshopy is this: get ‘em Burger Kings! People with homes and good lives don’t tend to blow themselves up for whacko causes. People, for the most people just want to live their lives, raise families and die of old age.

Posted by: tony at July 20, 2006 11:58 AM
Comment #169139

Philippe-

“So, how Israeli could magically do it when bombing Lebanon areas?”

They aren’t…they drop leaflets and warn citizens to evacuate…then they go after military targets. Period. They know that they are not magical…and you can’t expect them to be. But you also can’t expect them to roll over and die either.

“Hum, are you saying that, for example, Haifa (spel?) israelis civilians didn’t have any chance to escape and live, only lebanese?”

That’s amazing information. I had no idea that Hezbollah sent warnings before they unleashed the rockets. I’m pretty sure the Israeli warship got a morse signal of impending missile just before it exploded too right? What on earth are you talking about? How were Israelis supposed to know Hezbollah had advanced Iranian rockets and would launch them at a city never before hit by one? You’ve really got me stumped. Unless you believe the Israeli citizens assumed the risk by settling the land to begin with (which is about the most extreme position to take), you are defeating your own point.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 20, 2006 11:58 AM
Comment #169142

Tony-

A warning is a warning is a warning. Ok? Can we agree on that? Because that is all I am saying. No more. Everything else is circumstance. But I know I would get the hell out of dodge if my neighbors were provoking a world power from next door.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 20, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #169143

Tony,

What is the context for that quote? When was it said, who said it?

Posted by: Keith at July 20, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #169146
“So, how Israeli could magically do it when bombing Lebanon areas?”

They aren’t…they drop leaflets and warn citizens to evacuate…then they go after military targets. Period.

So its sorting out terrorists from plain civilians by leaflets. Hum. How a F16 drop leaflet over a car they are about to fire at the next seconds?
What about the civilians who can’t leave? Turn into terrorists?

That’s amazing information. I had no idea that Hezbollah sent warnings before they unleashed the rockets.

Damn, I should have explicitly write “the second day of conflict”, here what I get for not. Anyway, it take no god power (pun untended) to know after the first rockets on Haifa that in next days others will eventually come.

How were Israelis supposed to know Hezbollah had advanced Iranian rockets and would launch them at a city never before hit by one?

After the first day of war, they can’t ignore it anymore. Since day two, israelis in north Israel have as much chance to evacuate as lebanese in south Lebanon. Well, except that Israel infrastructure is not destroyed, contrary to Lebanon one.
But, yeah, who need pratical roads and bridges while fleeing combat zone…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 20, 2006 12:11 PM
Comment #169148

Tony,

These people are not killing people because they are poor. They are doing it because they are fanatics.

The people who flew jets into the towers and the pentagon were upper middle class.

Posted by: Keith at July 20, 2006 12:11 PM
Comment #169151

Keith,

I googled;

Husseini family killed both Jews and members of Palestinian Arab families opposed to their hegemony.

The first three responses had the quote.

Posted by: Rocky at July 20, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #169153

Phillipe

Where to start. Your logic is so flawed, as to border on the irrational.

The Israelis are dropping leaflets 24 hours before bombings. They are also calling every home with a recorded message.

Hezbollah just shoots rockets that it has no idea whare they will land.

Israel also does not store military equipment and ordnance in neighborhoods and next to hospitals, schools and temples.

Posted by: Keith at July 20, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #169155

“So its sorting out terrorists from plain civilians by leaflets. Hum. How a F16 drop leaflet over a car they are about to fire at the next seconds?
What about the civilians who can’t leave? Turn into terrorists?”

You are not only getting facts wrong (it was not mere seconds of warning…more like days!), but AGAIN you are putting words in my mouth. I’ll keep it simple for you. THEY HAD WARNING!!! And noone said they are terrorists…only that they had warning! Is that simple enough?

And the mere fact that, “on the second day” (mind you this is AFTER they’ve committed an act of war) Israelis had notice of danger does not mean they knew WHERE these rockets would land. At least Israel has targets. Hezbollah doesn’t care…they just want to provole and kill by randomly firing at Israeli territory. Unless they evacuate the whole territory, no one is safe unless in a bomb shelter. In other words, they fall without any meaningful warning other than that other rockets have fallen in parts of N. Israel too. That’s a whole different type of threat Philippe…NOT the same.

Next.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 20, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #169158

Tony

We are going back to 1936 and talking about the Husseini family that was supported by Hitler because they were fighting the British.

How far off topic do you need to get in order to make a point.

Israel wasn’t a state yet.

Posted by: Keith at July 20, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #169165

abhcoide

The monitor you use to see what tv I watch needs repaired. I don’t get my news from Fox. But, you can still keep lobing those barbs and mis-aimed shots. They don’t effect or affect anybody.

Posted by: tomh at July 20, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #169166

American Pundit,

International peacekeepers sound like a good idea, but where will they come from? If America sends any, the terrorist will just start shooting us long enough for the high minded peaceloving folks to say that we’ve lost too many soldiers and that we need to withdraw. Israel will trust peacekeepers from Muslim nations the same way Bosnian Muslims trusted Russian peacekeepers in Bosnia. Muslims won’t trust European peacekeepers for being Western “Crusaders.” If China sent over peacekeepers, they’d probably blow away a whole village for one Chinese soldier being killed. Not that China would send anybody anyway, nor would most other nations.

Furthermore, Israel recognizes that all peacekeepers will do is keep them from finishing off the Hezbollah leadership and infastructure and allow the terrorist time to regroup and lick their wounds. Stonewall Jackson talked about “keeping up the skeer” ie constantly pursueing a retreating enemy and never giving him time to regroup so as to ensure his complete defeat. This is exactly what Israel will do now.

Acetracy,

That post of yours is so idiotic I’m not even going to belittle myself and try to argue with it as you wouldn’t even listen. You’re head’s either so far in the sand or up your fifth point of contact that I doubt you could see any element of truth or sense if it hit you at the speed of sound.

benji,

A very witty and nice sentiment. Here’s another: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Maybe the Israelis should just try singing to the insurgents or reading them romantic poetry. Hell, the terrorists might just die from laughter and prove you right.

You should watch “A Few Good Men” and take notes when Jack Nicholson gives his little speech about walls being defended by men with guns. The fact that he’s the villian of this little drama doesn’t invalidate what he says. It has been a recognized fact from history that being prepared for war is a good way to prevent it. A Roman historian whose name escapes me said “He who desires peace should prepare for war.” Not much has changed, and pretty little platitudes won’t change it now.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 20, 2006 12:50 PM
Comment #169172

Why is it in the mindset of the leftists, liberals, europeans, et.at., that must respond to a thunderstorm as Katrina, or a terrorist as part of a government instead of a criminal, and well, you get the idea. To those people, they never see things straight and simple, it’s always their superior interigence that see through things as a prism.

Posted by: tomh at July 20, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #169181

If you cannot support Israel now, we will all know if you are anti-Israeli on all occasions. We must remember that it was Hezb Allah that attacked first. Hezb Allah is funded by Syria and Iran, so they share the blame. The Lebanese gov’t failed to disarm Hezb Allah and the UN failed, as usual, to enforce it.

Posted by: Disgruntled 15 yr. Old at July 20, 2006 1:28 PM
Comment #169185

Let’s not divorce force from wit here. If you expend a great deal of force, but achieve nothing, you’ve handed the enemy a win in terms of the other opportunities you passed up, and the resources you spent in the process of your attack.

The key is to find what keeps the enemy forces able to sustain the fight and destroy that, by whatever means are appropriate. Peace can be the absence of the ability to use force, or it can simply be the unwillingness to use it. People may have a greater interest in peace, financially, political, socially, religiously, etc. Or they may know that the other side has them in a strategic hold which either negates an advantage they have, or puts them in a vulnerable position.

Regardless, the notion of working towards peace being the unmanly action is just pure bullshit. We’re not asking that Israel let Hezbollah win. We’re asking for moderation in their actions. That moderation served them well in the Gulf War, where it meant that Saddam Hussein’s bid to draw them into the conflict and break up the coalition was a failure.

We want them to focus more on Hezbollah, less on Lebanon. None of this guilt by association crap.

Earlier, Mr P asked about bargaining with the non-Hezbollah forces. He implies that I’m simply being naive about the whole thing, calling Lebanon a prison, and Hezbollah it’s guards.

Well he should consider a few things. During WWII, there were many native partisan groups going around committing acts of guerilla warfare on the Germans. Taking that approach, their harrassment was useful to us, in that it occupied their time, their effort, and their resources in doing things that weren’t useful to them. He also forgets Afghanistan, where the Taliban was essentially overthrown by our client warlords. If we had just used our own soldiers to surround the escape routes at Tora Bora at the end, we could have ended Al Qaeda and the Taliban right then and there.

It’s always more useful to have somebody working for you that the people in country are willing to cooperate with, or who can use their knowledge to your benefit.

If we were to go to war with China, it might be to our advantage to encourage uprisings and unrest within the country, to encourage dissenting political groups within the country to undercut their Communist masters.

The Red Column here is too quick to lump people together, to apply the label of Islamofascism to the Middle East, and ignore the important distinctions that can be used to generate such strategical advantages.

In the case of the Lebanese people, we have potential informants, counterinsurgents, political rivals and the like who we can support, and in turn be supported by.

It’s no different than using wedge issues to win elections. Find the weaknesses in support, supplies and motivation for our enemies, and exploit them. War isn’t all action. A lot of it is preparing and thinking out your action. War is not merely be about the spectacular use of force.

1LT B-
The problem with Nicholson’s character is that he justifies all kinds of illegal actions in the name of standing on that wall, as if he is privileged by his defense of this country to follow just those rules he thinks are right.

War can sometimes make one feel more righteous than one really is, everything founded upon the opposition of the enemy. The unfortunate fact remains, though, that merely being opposed to an enemy that you think is wrong doesn’t guarantee the appropriateness or wisdom of what is done in the name of that fight. We shouldn’t be so boxed in with our thinking.

It’s time for the GOP and Israel to stop thinking of this in terms of force, and start looking at things in terms of how to bring the right outcome. I doubt songs around the campfire will be the strategy there, but I also doubt that the cavilier use of heavy force will be that either.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 20, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #169187

“These people are not killing people because they are poor. They are doing it because they are fanatics.

The people who flew jets into the towers and the pentagon were upper middle class.”

I never said fanatisism was only practiced by the poor - but it is caused by the suffering of the poor.

“We are going back to 1936 and talking about the Husseini family that was supported by Hitler because they were fighting the British.

How far off topic do you need to get in order to make a point.

Israel wasn’t a state yet.”

Off topic? Sorry, didn’t know history had an expiration date. This is where the hatred started (actually, it started around 1911…) This should give you sense that there has been brutality and terrorism on both sides - and both sides will continue. You have to understand the roots of a problem to find a solution that works. Blindly killing terrosists without an understanding of what made them a terrorist will always results in more terrorists.

I don’t want to love or hug a terrorist - I want them to go away. I want their philosophies and practices to go away.

Posted by: tony at July 20, 2006 1:50 PM
Comment #169189

Stephen,

You make a point about bringing about the right outcome, but the problem is not Israel and the GOP. Its Hezbollah, Hamas, and their sponsors in Syria and Iran. Until they are willing to concede Israel’s right to exist, this whole debate is academic only in its nature. Part of any plan for long term peace should include guarantees from the world, particuarly the West, to rebuild Palestinian infastructure. If they can become reasonably prosperous and be given something other than the death of Israelis to live and die for, the terrorist movements will probably die out. Someone with a wife and kids and a job has something to live for and is less likely to become a terrorist than someone starving, unemployed, and homeless. In the end, the world, to include the Arab world that uses the Palestinians as pawns and has done nothing to help them for 50 years despite their oil wealth, needs to offer the Palestinians something other than the death of Israel to live and die for.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 20, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #169190

Tony,

Again wonderful sentiments but we live in the real world. To the islamists there is only one outcome, the destruction of Israel and thenthe rest of the west. This is what they believe in and everything else is just an act. They play the propaganda war better than anybody.

Have you any idea why after 40 years people are still liveing in “refugee camps” in the West Bank and Gaza. It’s not Israel’s fault it is their own leaders. They want to keep them down so they can point to them and say look what the world has done to these poor people. Some of the richest countries in the world are supposedly on their side, but yet they do nothing to help them. Why. Because they don’t care about them.

Actually terrorist attacks against Jewish settlers started in the 19th century.

Posted by: Keith at July 20, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #169197

ok, lets compile our arguments:

A) Kick the shit out of H&H with carpet bombing

B) Attack H&H while attempting to avoid civ casualties

C) Set up a working infastructure while Spec Ops eliminates terrorists on the Ground

D) set up a working infastructure without destroying terrorists, in hopes that they will become so hopped up on Starbucks that they wont care anymore.

I’m all for bombing the shit out of Hezbollah for another couple of days to get the major stuff destroyed, then the UN as a group can rebuild Lebanon, and install a working infastructre, that brings an end to the poverty and destitution that helps foster the terrorism.

Palestine- Hamas is the major party, and if they want to recieve international aid, and not get bombed, needs to accede to a thourough simultaeous serch and dismantling of all of the militant headquarters in the country. Then they can start acting like a working government, with international aid, and no shelling by Israel and no terrorist acts against Israel.

Posted by: flodigary at July 20, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #169198

Dr. Politico:

Nice for you and me to be on the same side for a change.

Hezbollah built a huge armament capability. They say it has about 10,000 - 14,000 rockets. Some of their rocket launchers can reach all the way to Tel Aviv. Why do you suppose the Hezbollah has done this? Are they or Lebanon under attack? No way!

Hezbollah has attacked, and their attack has nothing to do with prisoner exchanges. Hezbollah, with the aid of Syria and Iran, is trying to destroy Israel. That’s it.

Israel has responded militarily. How could they do otherwise? If the Cubans hurled rockets at Miami, would you recommend the U.S. not use “excessive force”? This is ridiculous.

Israel, unlike Hezbollah, is doing whatever it can to avoid hitting civilians. Bombing of the airport and other Lebanon locations was done to prevent Syria and Iran from sending new military supplies.

Those unfortunate civilians that were killed were effectively killed by Hezbollah.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at July 20, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #169202

“Again wonderful sentiments but we live in the real world. To the islamists there is only one outcome, the destruction of Israel and thenthe rest of the west.”

Keith -

I understand the real world we live in, so now I am trying to see the world as I want it to be - to find solutions that might actually last. As far as your comments about Islam, it’s only the extreme fanatics that feel that way - most people who follow Isman are specifically non-violent. Read the Koran… it’s much less tolerable of violence than the Bible. But like all religions, when wackos read these books, the find words they can twist to thier own agendas.

Posted by: tony at July 20, 2006 2:49 PM
Comment #169207

I think the recent move by Hezbollah is only for the appearance of “wiping out Israel.” They need to boost their base and increase local and international support for their organization. The whole BS about prisoner exchange was that - an excuse to try and add legitimacy to this whole fiasco.

Posted by: tony at July 20, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #169208

The only proper solution to this conflict is as follows.

The US should arm the Lebanese government to the same degree that it arms its Israli counterpart. This way Lebanon could disarm Hezbollah in a manner more fitting to their civilian population.

I agree that Israel has the right to defend itself, but we must not forget how Israel is able to defend itself.

Does Lebanon not have the right to defend itself. If it is not capable of doing so and ridding the country of Hezbollah isn’t it in our interest to give it such power.

The fact that Israel is ridding the Lebanese of Hezbollah does not help. In fact, as we will soon see it will only create more recruits. Sure…Israel is stronger than Hezbollah. Sure Hezbollah started the conflict….does that mean that Israel has the right not to *THINK*? Does that mean that the US has the right to turn a blind eye to a military power that it created?

Posted by: justathought at July 20, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #169218
International peacekeepers sound like a good idea, but where will they come from? If America sends any, the terrorist will just start shooting us long enough for the high minded peaceloving folks to say that we’ve lost too many soldiers and that we need to withdraw.

1LT B, I think you’re wrong about that. Americans know the difference between a good war and an unnecessary war. If US intervention is clearly to stabilize Lebanon, secure Israel, and create a system of alliances that check Iranian/Shiite terrorist ambitions in the region, then most Americans would agree it’s worth it.

I’m always surprised by the low opinion of their fellow Americans that Republicans have. If everybody supports the Afghan war but not the Iraq war, then you have to believe it’s the validity of the Iraq war that’s the problem — not Americans.

If China sent over peacekeepers, they’d probably blow away a whole village for one Chinese soldier being killed.

That’s funny. They’re not doing that in Haiti. I think you got some bad intel on China. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Chinese peacekeeping troops deply to South Asia and Africa in the near future. They have a lot at stake there.

Furthermore, Israel recognizes that all peacekeepers will do is keep them from finishing off the Hezbollah leadership and infastructure and allow the terrorist time to regroup and lick their wounds.

Where? If there’s a capable international force on the Israeli border then Hezbollah can’t operate against Israel from Lebanon. And by helping the Lebanese army disarm Hezbollah, we help the Lebanese government gain the monopoly over the use of force within their borders that Dr. P rightly says is necessary to create a strong state that will not allow terrorists to operate within its borders.

If we learn nothing else from Iraq, let’s learn that lesson.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 20, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #169219

tony,

“Read the Koran… it’s much less tolerable of violence than the Bible.”

Nice fantasy. You should read “The Great Divide” and “The Sword of the Prophet”.

Posted by: traveller at July 20, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #169234
Americans know the difference between a good war and an unnecessary war

It is unbeleivable that even with the proof staring one in the face certain people still want to make the above ridiculous point. The reality is that President Bush should be given props for placing American power in the correct location almost as if he had a crystal ball. American power is in both borders of Iran and within spit wad range of Israel’s enemies. Its is time to get it on! Way to go Israel and God Bless President Bush.

Posted by: frankxcid at July 20, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #169248

First of all, if you support Hezbollah then you support a terrorist organization that has declared war on the U.S. They have attacked U.S. civilians and military personel since 1982. That’s a fact, and there can be no debate. I’m not even including the Beirut barracks and embassy bombings because Hezbollah has denied responsibility for those. They have claimed responsibility for numerous other attacks against us. Islamic Jihad is the sister organization of Hezbollah. We are fighting them in Iraq right now, and they participated in the first World Trade Center bombing.

Hezbollah is not a part of the Palestinian question, and even the Palestinian Authority has said that Hezbollah and Hamas are the reasons there is no piece. Hezbollah is Lebanese. They were founded by Iran to prevent Lebanon from falling into foriegn control during their civil war. Their mission states that their goal was to rid Lebanon of all outsiders. Funny how all the outsiders pulled out except Syria, and Hezbollah has always supported Syria - AN OUTSIDER!

The Taif Agreement (which ended the Lebanese civil war), and UN Resolution 1559 require Lebanon to disband Hezbollah. Instead, they invited Lebanon into their government, and sought no outside help to remove Hezbollah. Why? Because they don’t want Hezbollah to go away. If Lebanon were serious about ending this violence then they would offer to help Israel to remove the terrorists. Instead, they stated that they may join with Hezbollah against Israel. The argument that Lebanon has been trying to get rid of Hezbollah, but were too weak to do so no longer holds water. If they were too weak, they should have asked for help, and they should jump at the chance for Israel’s assistance (which has been offered).

This fighting could end today, but Hezbollah and Hamas don’t want peace. The G8 said that the soldiers should be returned, the attacks to stop, THEN Israel is expected to halt the attack. Israel agreed to this offer. If they get their men back safely (yeah right, Hezbollah has a history of executing Israeli hostages) and the attacks stop - Israel will end it’s attacks. From now on it is on Hezbollah and Hamas’s hands. They started it, and they’ve been offered a peace proposal. They have only responded with more attacks.

There can be NO blaiming Israel for starting or continuing this conflict. There was a peace agreement in place with both groups. They violated the peace agreements, not Israel. Israel has offered peace, they denied. At the end of the day we have two terrorst groups that have openly declared war on the U.S., and attacked us on numerous occasions. We have two enemies attacking a friend. You should be ashamed of yourselves for supporting the enemy.

Posted by: Destro at July 20, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #169287

1LT B-
I don’t think Hezbollah can be counted upon to work for peace. Any sensible peace plan has to marginalize them in favor of some other voting block in Lebanon. This time, they must be disarmed, first thing, no exceptions. They made a bad situation worse, and although Israel can be blamed for taking the bait, Hezbollah and those they proxy for were responsible for setting it out.

Aside from that, I think you and I are on the same page here.

Destro-
Name me the folks who actually support Hezbollah. I doubt you’ll find a lot of sympathizers. I think it’s much more likely that Hezbollah was involved in the barracks and embassy bombings than in the Current Iraq situation and the 1993 bombing. One of the major reasons is the Shia inclination of the group, as opposed to that of its counterparts in al-Qaeda, who ran the show in New York both times. Now proxies for Iran are definitely involved in Iraq, but, not Hezbollah, I think. There you have the Sadrists filling in.

As for asking somebody’s help in dealing with Hezbollah, you have to ask who. If you look on a map, Lebanon has two neighbors: Syria and Israel. Not a great set of choices, really. Syria’s responsible for the problem in the first place, and Lebanon has some pretty dark memories of Israel’s intervention. So, they were probably biding their time, appeasing Hezbollah so they could some day wriggle out from under them.

The problem here comes in Israel’s real ability to completely knock these people out of commission. I don’t think that’s completely possible. I think waiting for Hamas and Hezbollah to become friends is waiting too long. I think there has to be outside intervention, with an enforced settlement between the two. The alternative is we keep this war going because the trains are headed to the front anyways.

As for supporting the enemy? I could very well blame you guys for supporting them by jumping at Hezbollah’s bait. There are any number of degrees of actions that Israel could have used. They did not have to start deliberately punishing civilians. The hotter the heads get in Israel, the more the cooler heads in Iran can provoke them to their liking. The key here is not to dance to your enemies tune, mindlessly responding to them, but instead to play things smart. Defend where you need to. Otherwise, keep your wits about you.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 20, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #169291

bruce,

Yes the republican party is the party where war is the answer.

Let Israel bomb Lebanon. That’s a great solution. That’s a great idea. That’s a great plan.

The republicans are full of solutions.

The republicans are full of ideas.

The republicans are full of great plans.

War is the solution.

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 20, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #169294

You know the more I think of it I see why the republicans choose war over any other possible solution.

Diplomacy?

That’s for those peacenik, liberal, left-wing, anti-christ nutballs.

Multi-national cooperation,

That’s for those U.N. suckers who are no match for the ideological superiority of the republican party and their almight decider.

No the first resort should be military action.

War is the solution, at least according to the republicans.

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 20, 2006 9:45 PM
Comment #169317

“War is the solution.”

In this situation, it is.
One of Islam’s core tenets is the complete annihilation of the Jews. It is one of the major goals of jihad. To the Muslims Mohammed is infallible and all his commands must be carried out. One of his commands is to kill all the Jews and any infidel that refuses to convert or submit to dhimmitude.
They cannot be reasoned with. They feel no pity or remorse and they absolutely will not stop.
As history shows, diplomacy is an exercise in futility.
War is the solution because the jihadists won’t allow anything else.
No amount of wishful thinking or attempts to project western values onto Islamic culture will change it.

Posted by: traveller at July 20, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #169321

Yes war and death are the solution, to the republicans

republicans have no diplomatic abilities.

republicans don’t have the ability to unite.

republicans can only divide and start wars.

republicans love to hate

republicans love war

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 20, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #169330

benjifromtheDNC,

You’ve been sniffing too many unicorn farts. You’re babbling.
So, what’s your solution? I have a feeling it’s something that’s been tried and failed more than once.

Posted by: traveller at July 20, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #169336

benjifromthednc

I think you better find the Koolaid. You must be have worked up a thirst thinking up all this witty banter.

Posted by: Keith at July 20, 2006 11:31 PM
Comment #169347

you must be have worked up a what?

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 21, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #169348

well anyway,

hope you all have fun war mongering…

republicans love war

republicans love to hate.

hate and war are republican “core” values

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 21, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #169362

Benji,

Can you please mail some of that crack or whatever it is you’re smoking to me? I’d love to escape from reality as you’ve obviously done. Can you say anything that would lead us to believe you have the slightest glimmer of intellect? I gotta tell you pal, you’re making your side look pretty damned stupid right now. Several of the liberal posters here are intelligent and capable of debate in a civilized manner. You are not. Do everyone on the left a favor and shut your cock holster!

Posted by: 1LT B at July 21, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #169371

Do everyone on the left a favor and shut your cock holster!

Posted by: 1LT B at July 21, 2006 12:44 AM

well butter bar,

you must be an expert on civility

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 21, 2006 1:10 AM
Comment #169372

oh,

and i’m not a liberal

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 21, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #169379

Benji,

A 1st LT isn’t a butter bar, that’s 2nd LTs. Also, how the hell do you describe yourself politically? I’m going to guess “progressive” since every good democrat long ago figured out that liberal was a term not to self apply since it turns most voters off.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 21, 2006 1:57 AM
Comment #169390

Keith,

The Israelis are dropping leaflets 24 hours before bombings.

Oh, really? They still hope on surprise striking Hezbollah leaders. Warning them 24h before the strike sounds a very bad strategy.

They are also calling every home with a recorded message.

You really have to provide facts (any links to share?) to back such doubtfull claim. I read several articles about expats who left friends in south Lebanon and can’t contact them because the phone system is destroyed since days.

Hezbollah just shoots rockets that it has no idea whare they will land.

Agreed. They’re stupid, that’s a well known fact.
Israel just shoots where they claim they perfectly know Hezbollah are there. Then, why these 7 canadians killed in a car while they were evacuating? Since when canadians looks (and wear, for that matter) like islamists???

Israel also does not store military equipment and ordnance in neighborhoods and next to hospitals, schools and temples.

Good for them. Doesn’t give them a free pass for taking absolutely NO responsability in the “collateral damage” they creates when they choose (nobody here is forcing them to push the button, that’s their call, it’s not a reflex move, not after doing it again and again since 8 days !) to drop a bomb.

And, so far, when most casualties are not Hezbollahd but civilians, the “collateral” damage done is not civilians but Hezbollah.
Hurray for shock and awe doctrine.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 21, 2006 4:03 AM
Comment #169394

Kevin23,

“So its sorting out terrorists from plain civilians by leaflets. Hum. How a F16 drop leaflet over a car they are about to fire at the next seconds? What about the civilians who can’t leave? Turn into terrorists?”

You are not only getting facts wrong (it was not mere seconds of warning…more like days!),

How F16 firing at a moving car that could eventually be drive by civilians trying to evacuate - following own Israel advice! - south Lebanon is actually warning them since “days”?
That’s ridiculous claim.

I’ll keep it simple for you. THEY HAD WARNING!!! And noone said they are terrorists…only that they had warning! Is that simple enough?

Oh, I see. We warned them, so we’re not responsible anymore, that’s their all fault now. Is it right?
Funny how it’s always double standard for you guys. White House was warned about 9/11, Katrina, New Orleans levees breach risk and Iraq civil war aftermath several days or months before these events. But still US government reply since “how could we know that it will happened”. Bullshit.

Warning people doesn’t wash the blood on your hands if innocent(s) are killed anyway, especially when you know many will but choose to proceed.

If a policeman trying to kill a criminal in the middle of a crowd place fire in cold blood, killing several civilians, and eventually (but not necessarily) the criminal too, are you the one to give him a medal or a trial?

The fact Hezbollah use civilians as human shield explain why so many civilians have been killed by Israel attacks. It explain it, but it’s not an excuse for continuing to do it.

And the mere fact that, “on the second day” (mind you this is AFTER they’ve committed an act of war) Israelis had notice of danger does not mean they knew WHERE these rockets would land.

They knows these rockets max range is 45km and Hezbollah are firing them pretty much blindly. They don’t have to worry for every rockets hitting empty field, they have to focus on the north Israel cities under rocket range, which means pretty much Nahariyya, Akko, Haifa, Tiberias and Nazareth. Aka North Israel district.

Lebanese knows Israel could (and actually do) strike *every* part of Lebanon. Which make no place to evacuate, if they’re not shoot while driving north, safer enough. Not even the Christian suburb or Beiruth. Go figure.

At least Israel has targets. Hezbollah doesn’t care…they just want to provole and kill by randomly firing at Israeli territory.

And the best reaction toward provokers is… ?
Israel is excatly giving what Hezbollah (and Syria and Iran behind them) what they were expecting. They play by terrorists rules, when Israel should be smarter than that.

Unless they evacuate the whole territory, no one is safe unless in a bomb shelter.

Rocket max range: 45km. 5% of Israel lands is under 45km of it north border. Whole territory, really? I didn’t see report saying Tel Aviv or Jerusalem are evacuated.

But I’ve seen many saying half a milion of lebanese were displaced, over 22,000 of expats want to flee Lebanon.
Share your numbers telling you it’s a symetric war, please.

In other words, they fall without any meaningful warning other than that other rockets have fallen in parts of N. Israel too. That’s a whole different type of threat Philippe… NOT the same.

Hey, I agree, the threat to Israelis is NOT the same than the threat to Lebaneses.
I guess we won’t agree about which one is worst, though, but at least we must agree that both exists.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 21, 2006 4:40 AM
Comment #169395

Kevin23,

So its sorting out terrorists from plain civilians by leaflets. Hum. How a F16 drop leaflet over a car they are about to fire at the next seconds? What about the civilians who can’t leave? Turn into terrorists?

You are not only getting facts wrong (it was not mere seconds of warning more like days!),

How F16 firing at a moving car that could eventually be driven north by civilians trying to evacuate - following own Israel advice! - south Lebanon is actually warning them since “days”?
That’s ridiculous claim.

I’ll keep it simple for you. THEY HAD WARNING!!! And noone said they are terrorists only that they had warning! Is that simple enough?

Oh, I see. We warned them, so we’re not responsible anymore, that’s their all fault now. Is it right?
Funny how it’s always double standard for you guys. White House was warned about 9/11, Katrina, New Orleans levees breach risk and Iraq civil war aftermath several days or months before these events. But still US government reply since “how could we know that it will happened”. Bullshit.

Warning people doesn’t wash the blood on your hands if innocent(s) are killed anyway, especially when you know many will but choose to proceed.

If a policeman trying to kill a criminal in the middle of a crowd place fire in cold blood, killing several civilians, and eventually (but not necessarily) the criminal too, are you the one to give him a medal or a trial?

The fact Hezbollah use civilians as human shield explain why so many civilians have been killed by Israel attacks. It explain it, but it’s not an excuse for continuing to do it.

And the mere fact that, “on the second day” (mind you this is AFTER they’ve committed an act of war) Israelis had notice of danger does not mean they knew WHERE these rockets would land.

They knows these rockets max range is 45km and Hezbollah are firing them pretty much blindly. They don’t have to worry for every rockets hitting empty field, they have to focus on the north Israel cities under rocket range, which means pretty much Nahariyya, Akko, Haifa, Tiberias and Nazareth. Aka North Israel district.

Lebanese knows Israel could (and actually do) strike *every* part of Lebanon. Which make no place to evacuate, if they’re not shoot while driving north, safer enough. Not even the Christian suburb or Beiruth. Go figure.

At least Israel has targets. Hezbollah doesn’t care they just want to provole and kill by randomly firing at Israeli territory.

And the best reaction toward provokers is… ?
Israel is excatly giving what Hezbollah (and Syria and Iran behind them) what they were expecting. They play by terrorists rules, when Israel should be smarter than that.

Unless they evacuate the whole territory, no one is safe unless in a bomb shelter.

Rocket max range: 45km. 5% of Israel lands is under 45km of it north border. Whole territory, really? I didn’t see report saying Tel Aviv or Jerusalem are evacuated.

But I’ve seen many saying half a milion of lebanese were displaced, over 22,000 of expats want to flee Lebanon.
Share your numbers telling you it’s a symetric war, please.

In other words, they fall without any meaningful warning other than that other rockets have fallen in parts of N. Israel too. That’s a whole different type of threat Philippe NOT the same.

Hey, I agree, the threat to Israelis is NOT the same than the threat to Lebaneses.
I guess we won’t agree about which one is worst, though, but at least we must agree that both exists.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 21, 2006 4:46 AM
Comment #169397

My english is bad enough that wrong quoting could make it unreadable sometime. Sorry.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 21, 2006 4:47 AM
Comment #169400

Destro,

If they (Lebanese) were too weak, they should have asked for help,

They did. Several times. Remember 1559 resolution? It was in september 2004, after Lebanon ask help to push Syria out of its borders, including disarming Syria-sponsored militias still there (Hezbollah). But help never came.
Instead, world powers (France included, mind you, I’m not saying french are better here) just try to get as much diplomatic credit as possible when Syria visible presence in Lebanon move into the back…

, and they should jump at the chance for Israel’s assistance (which has been offered).

You call destroying your nation “assistance”???

You should be ashamed of yourselves for supporting the enemy.

Oh, look, the “Us or Them” oversimplified view of the World again!

Lebanon is not the enemy here, Hezbollah is.
Still, it’s Lebanon who is currently destroyed (“sacrified” come to mind too), while Hezbollah seems to be well alive, thank for their sponsors states, Syria and Iran. It should have been a short “Shock and Awe” war but after 9 days Israel strategic experts are now publicly conceding this could be far more longer because Hezbollah resistance is stronger than they expect… Sure, lebanese civilians are under “Shock” but it seems Hezbollah are not so much under “Awe” yet. Why should they, they start it!
Meanwhile, Syria and Iran are winning both time and power in Islamists hearts and minds and Israel is creating as fast as possible the next generation of Hezbollah fanatism by turning lebanese civilians into haters of Israel.
Nice move.

I’m not supporting Hezbollah, I’m supporting Lebanese, once again hostage of a conflict between Israel and Syria. But it seems Israel have enough balls to attack Lebanon but miss some to take Syria directly… Too bad, their real “nation” enemy is there since decades.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 21, 2006 5:14 AM
Comment #169401

justathought,

Good post, I agree with you.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 21, 2006 5:25 AM
Comment #169403

Phillipe,

Well put! Its my understanding that Israel took out the roads and bridges etc to both prevent Hezbollah from being able to move the kidnapped soldiers from Lebenon and to prevent Hezbollah from being resupplied by Syria. I do believe that Hezbollah still bears the responsiblility for what happened to Lebanon, but I bet if Israel started a massive bombing campaign against Syria they’d have a better chance of getting their soldiers back, provided they haven’t been killed already. Once Israel does this, thier next target should be Iran, and they should be pounded as well. Iran would like to believe it has a competent military. I’d love to see how they would react if the Israelis kicked their asses up between their shoulders.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 21, 2006 5:26 AM
Comment #169404

benjifromtheDNC

Remember that Democrats have taken this country to war far more than Republicans. Also, name one time in history diplomacy wasn’t tried. You can’t because it doesn’t exist.

Stephen Daugherty

Islamic Jihad IS in Iraq, and WAS involved in the 93 bombing. It’s a fact, but please feel free to check it out. The 93 bombing was a coalition of 5 terrorist groups with OBL in the lead. Islamic Jihad is a sister group to Hezbollah. Many terrorist experts believe they are one in the same. Using two names for political clout. Hezbollah is widely hated in Lebanon by the civilians because they supported Syria.

The Lebanese government made no attempt to reach out to the international community to seek help. They had far more options than Israel and Syria. They could have gone to Egypt, Jordan, or the UN to at least make their plight known. Now they are proclaiming they will stand with Hezbollah. Time will tell if they do.

The notion that Israel is knowingly attacking civilians is so simple minded and incorrect it’s mind numbing. Those who have never served always cite collateral damage as intentional, or irresponsible. This is due to the lack of knowledge, and experience. If you want Israel to be “proportionate” then you are saying that they should launch 2000 rockets into civilian populations in sounthern Lebanon. Like Hezbollah is doing. Instead, they are using planes, tanks, and troops to make it as much a precision attack as possible. Hezbollah has made no such attempt.

The infrastructure is being attacked because Israel doesn’t want Hezbollah to be resupplied. It’s a common and ancient tactic used by all militaries. You will find it in The Art of War, The Book of 5 Rings, Clausewitz: On War, and Napolean’s Maxims of War. All great reads by the way. Yes, Israel is warning the population to get out. Yes, there will ALWAYS be collateral damage in conflict. Always has been, always will be. It’s sad but true. To say that Israel is wrong because of a few civilian casualties is ludacris.

As for “jumping for the bait.” I’m afraid you have it backwards my friend. Hezbollah’s bait (as with all terrorists) is to use human shields. So when you strike the terrorists you have to engage them amonst the civilian population. They won’t come out and fight, and doing nothing is NOT an option. Israel only had one other option. Go to the international community and ask for them to get their soldiers back. We all know that would not have happened. Israel had to go get their men because no one else would have.

You’re forgetting that Israel offered peace, but was turned down. The bombings and violence ONLY continue because the terrorists are waging a media war. By hiding amongst civilians the civilian casualties go up, and Israel looks bad. However, Israel is not the bad guy.

This is really very simple. Did you support us going into Afghanistan? If no, you’d be an idiot. If yes, then you have to support Israel going into Lebanon. It’s the SAME thing. We went into Afghanistan because the government was giving comfort to terrorists who attacked another country. Israel is going into Lebanon because Lebanon gave comfort to terrorists who attacked another country. Both the US and Israel offered a peacefull resolution, and both were turned down. The US and Israel both used air power, and ground forces, and unfortunately civilians died in both cases. Difference is, the US ousted the Afghan government. Israel hasn’t done that yet. We would be fools to be hypocritical.

I do hope that the multinational force is put on the ground, but I hope they are bold enough to take out our enemies. If no other force goes - then we should go. Our bombs are far more precise than Israel’s, and maybe the civilian casualties would be reduced if we took over the air campaign. They can handle it on the ground for now.

Posted by: Destro at July 21, 2006 5:27 AM
Comment #169406
Once Israel does this, thier next target should be Iran, and they should be pounded as well.

Umm… And then what? Aren’t you guys tired of not having a plan for anything? Don’t you guys ever wonder why you never get the breaks? Why things just keep getting worse?

This is exactly why al-Qaeda endorsed Bush’s re-election:

“It is not possible to find a leader more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom.

Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization.

Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected.”

Happy days for bin Laden…

Posted by: American Pundit at July 21, 2006 5:44 AM
Comment #169414

American Pundit,

Here’s my tenative plan. Any time that Israel is attacked by Hezbollah, they immediately bomb Syria and Iran, preferably thier leaders if they can find them, some other vital interest that is extremely expensive and difficult to replace otherwise. Make terrorism have actual costs to the nations that sponsor it. If the Israelis get lucky, they just might be able to take out the corrupt leaders of these nations and give a homegrown democratic revolution a chance. At the very least, they’ll show them that sponsoring terrorism is not something that will be tolerated and there will be consequences.

Also, could you cite your quote that I’m presuming is from bin Laden? Not to be a Doubting Thomas, but I would like to see where you got that from and read it over for myself. Thanks.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 21, 2006 6:17 AM
Comment #169415

Destro,

This is really very simple.

Yeah, real world is really very simple, is a well known fact.

Did you support us going into Afghanistan? If no, you’d be an idiot. If yes, then you have to support Israel going into Lebanon. It’s the SAME thing. We went into Afghanistan because the government was giving comfort to terrorists who attacked another country. Israel is going into Lebanon because Lebanon gave comfort to terrorists who attacked another country.

Afghanistan government was officially supporting terrorists and was oppressing its people.
Lebanon government didn’t give confort to Hezbollah, they failed to disarm them, they failed to get their several call for help heard and they were not oppressing lebaneses.

Nothing is the SAME in real world. At best, it looks similar from short focus. Try to take a longer focus.

What about nations that are as publicly supporting terrorism as Afghanistan were?

Why we don’t attack none of them since Afghanistan but, instead, some other weak nations that happened to be in the wrong place (between Israel and Syria, between Iran and Syria)?

Doesn’t attacking Syria and Iran make way more sense when it come to fight against terrorists sponsored states than Lebanon or 2003’s Iraq?
What a Global War on Terror if we don’t target the well known terrorism nations first?

I support France joining US to go after Afghanistan in late 2001, mind you.
But I don’t support Israel sacrifying Lebanon integrity to, they think, get ride of Hezbollah.
Because hate survives people, killing people don’t stop the hate. Israel should know it better than any other nation on earth after 60 years of conflict in Middle East.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 21, 2006 6:25 AM
Comment #169450

1LT B,

“This is exactly why al-Qaeda endorsed Bush’s re-election:

“It is not possible to find a leader more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom.
Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization.”

Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected.”

“Also, could you cite your quote that I’m presuming is from bin Laden? Not to be a Doubting Thomas, but I would like to see where you got that from and read it over for myself. Thanks.”

After reading this I recalled something during the election about OBL endorsing Kerry, so I started searching.
Typing into the search engines “Osama bin Laden endorses John Kerry” resulted in page after page of hits. The were mostly parodies with a few nut cases sprinkled in the mix. Typing in “Osama bin Laden endorses George Bush” had the same results as the Kerry search, that is, it took me to the same OBL endorses Kerry sites, except there were a few Dem and Soc sites along with parodies saying OBL endorses Bush.
I didn’t find AP’s quote anywhere, not even in the parodies. I did find the OBL speech that is the source of the endorsment of Kerry claims.

english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/79C6AF22-98FB-4A1C-B21F-2BC36E87F61…

I found nothing that would warrant taking claims of OBL endorsing either Kerry or Bush seriously.
It looks like someone just pulled something out of his butt to bash Bush.

Posted by: traveller at July 21, 2006 9:52 AM
Comment #169458

This blog is funny. Anyone whose posts can imply a disagreement with others is immediately asked if they are a liberal.

The implication here is that anti-war is only for liberals.

So what does that make the conservatives?

Pro War?

Posted by: LL at July 21, 2006 10:11 AM
Comment #169466

Traveller, AP didn’t say it was a quote from OBL himself but from Al Qaida. Looks at their statement endorsing Bush re-election in these news:

FOXNews
BBC News
Al Jazeera

Interesting enough, the Reuters and Yahoo stories were both conveniently gone some weeks after. Googling on the original Reuters march 18, 2004 story title, “Purported al Qaeda letter calls truce in Spain” still return some insteresting and consistent results, though.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 21, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #169492

Watchblog Moderator, what happened to my previous post in reply to traveller where I was providing several links to the original March 18, 2004 Reuters story titled “Purported Al Qaeda Letter Calls Truce in Spain” about Al Qaida endorsing Bush re-election in ‘04???

Please, don’t tell me I’ve to re-post it!?
Well, at least now traveller you get some more food (hint: search on title in quotes) to give to Google to find this statement…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 21, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #169494

Philippe

This is an excerpt from Today’s NY Times

On Thursday, Israel continued its large-scale air attacks on Hezbollah positions and equipment. It also leafleted southern Lebanese villages, made taped phone calls, informed local leaders and broadcast messages in Arabic to warn residents to move north of the Litani River if their villages contained Hezbollah assets or rockets, but gave no deadline.

Posted by: Keith at July 21, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #169509

“Oh, I see. We warned them, so we�re not responsible anymore, that�s their all fault now. Is it right?”

Philippe,

You have this terrible habbit of not understanding the thrust of the statements made. I said they had warning, and Israeli casualties had no such benefit. I never said that bad acts would be justified, but merely that the tactics being used by Israel were much more humane than those of Hezbollah.

All things being equal, would you not prefer to be a Lebenese citizen with a phone message, leaflet to read, and radio and TV all warning you of impending danger to specific areas…or would you prefer to be an Israeli and have rockets raining down without warning. I’d prefer to be able to get out of harm’s way. And I’m still wondering how you are so certain that these cars being targetted are merely innocent civilians…you are demonizing Israel for no good reason.

Maybe there is a good reason, but you can’t just assume the worst and leave it at that.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 21, 2006 1:44 PM
Comment #169511

I’m also not sure how my view on this conflict got transformed into me agreeing with Bush on a variety of other issues. I am really not a very big fan of Bush…I disagree with almost every domestic and foreign policy that his administration has championed. That I happen to agree with his stance on this particular issue doesn’t change that.

And your analogies don’t have any significance to the topic. Police and military are just not the same Philippe. And once again, you’ve focussed on the actual damage done to pass judgement on whether the mission was necessary. They are responding to the THREAT…NOT the actual damage. This is not eye for an eye, this is a security issue. I dont feel like you’ve understood anything I’ve said.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 21, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #169522

Philippe,
I copied and pasted the title into my browser and read the article.
I stand corrected.
You accept an endorsement from al-Qaeda at face value, of course?

Posted by: traveller at July 21, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #169525

Kevin23 and others,

Either you need a course in English or you are just refusing to debate my point which is this label “terrorism”.

You excuse Israel killing civilians because these innocent people shouldn’t be living near a war zone. Then tell me, why does Israel put settlements into the West Bank and the Gaza strip in the first place. Aren’t they putting civilians into a war zone?

I so not support Hezbollah at all. However, I do not support Israel’s policy of non-negotiation, occupation, arrest w/o trial, and destruction of the Palestinian economy. Why?

Because Israel’s policy right now is only fueling further hatred of the country. If Israel wants peace, then why settlements? why the occupation? It is the same policy we face with the NeoCons in this country.

If we had spent the billions given to the Israeli army on reconstruction of the MidEast, I promise you there would be no war. But when a people have no state, no economy, no future - you will have rebellion.

And the stupid remark the the Koran wants to kill all the Jews. I am sorry, but the Koran protects Jews. It is the New Testament that damns the Jews. Christians have killed millions of more Jews than Muslims.

Posted by: Acetracy at July 21, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #169536

Acetracy,

Do you have any idea how many billions of dollars have already gone to the “Palestinian” people. Most of it is still in Paris in Arafats lefover bank accounts.

Israel left Gaza and destroyed there own settlements there. What was there reward for this. Continued rocket fire and terrorist attacks from Gaza.

I’m sorry but the only solution for Israel is to continue fighting until they win.

Posted by: Keith at July 21, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #169540

I just got done reading The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind, and it says that in regards to Bin Laden’s October Surprise message, That the CIA concluded that his strategic intent was to throw the election to Bush. The notion was that Bush was predictable. Also: Bin Laden’s numbers in the Middle East tracked to Bushes.

The trouble with reacting the way Bush and Israel react to events, is that it’s predictable. Because it’s predictable, it can be allowed for. You don’t have somebody trying to think several moves ahead of you, you have somebody one move behind you.

I do not believe we should go easy on terrorists. No, I think we should match them in the ingenuity we use.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 21, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #169542

Acetracy-

Refusing to debate your point? Your point is fatally flawed. That was my comment…and I refuse to argue the merits of an argument that is flawed to begin with. Your premise is that Israel TARGETS civilians. I find this to be an irresponsable thing to be assuming, let alone basing your whole point on it. That civilians died does not equate to their having been targetted.

In regards to the question of what is terrorism: I cannot give you a comprehensive definition as that would take too much time and space, and much would have to be made of circumstance. However, I do not believe that Israel is a terrorist as you claim. If you’d like, give me your reasoning as to why they are the same as Hezbollah, and I’ll debate it with you. But you cannot make a far fetched, baseless claim to start out with, and expect anything but dismissal of your post.

“You excuse Israel killing civilians because these innocent people shouldn’t be living near a war zone. Then tell me, why does Israel put settlements into the West Bank and the Gaza strip in the first place. Aren’t they putting civilians into a war zone?”

Again, you are equating acts of terror and violence to the acts of creating settlements? That is, at best, a stretch. At worst, a complete lack of thought.

So in short answer, I don’t need any English lesson…you may need a history or logical reasoning lesson though.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 21, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #169545

Israel, in my mind, is not wrong for wanting to defend itself. It’s wrong for not thinking ahead of the enemy. I don’t think it’s coincidence that after seeing Israel’s response to Hamas over that soldier, they kidnap a couple themselves and start shelling.

A state of war is a drain on resources and could always turn to the disadvantage of the parties involved. It doesn’t get better when participants have unrealistic wishes or demands to make, or when they’re trying to work some geopolitical mojo.

If somebody knows you will respond a certain way, they can take advantage of your predictability and lead you to do things you’d otherwise be too smart to do.

In this War on Terror, where the enemy displays considerable agility, can we afford to be so stupid? Fighting a war to get back soldiers is stupid. You do a lightning quick midnight raid and you yank them out. Don’t use it as an excuse for escalating the conflict. That will only serve the purposes of those who want that escalation themselves, who want to stoke the paranoia and antagonism of the Arab countries, and muffle the voices of moderation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 21, 2006 3:35 PM
Comment #169548

Kevin23-
The Settlements are a provocation, a taking of land that’s supposed to belong to the Palestinians for the use of the Israelis. It’s not the equivalent of terrorism, but it’s its own kind of wrong.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 21, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #169550

Stephen makes the best case against the current Israeli action I’ve read yet. But I disagree on one point: I do not believe that this perticular response by Israel was predictable. At least not to this degree.

But you raised a great point in that even where we see ourselves having every right to do something, the mere fact that it is predictable may very well be a reason to not do it. And lets face it, kicking the shit out of the enemy used to be much cleaner work, now it involves all different shades of grey.

But the totality of the circumstances are certainly not known to anyone outside the conflict, and I think the current threat itself justifies at least the dissolution of Hezbollah through force.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 21, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #169552

“The Settlements are a provocation, a taking of land that’s supposed to belong to the Palestinians for the use of the Israelis. It’s not the equivalent of terrorism, but it’s its own kind of wrong.”

I don’t disagree with this one bit, but it’s no where near an act of war.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 21, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #169553

Stephen,

The West Bank is still disputed territory. Currently populated by “Palestinians” and Israelis. As such Israel can assert it’s right to be there.

I don’t think Hezbollah would anticipate the ferocity of the Israeli response to the capturing of their soldiers. You also seem to have forgotten the 8 dead soldiers and the 100’s of rockets they fired accross an international border into a sovereign nation.

Posted by: Keith at July 21, 2006 3:48 PM
Comment #169554

1LT B, that endorsement of Bush was from the al-Qaeda affiliate Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades published in the Arabic language daily al-Hayat in March 2004. It’s worth repeating:

“It is not possible to find a leader more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom. Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization.

Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected.”

It was followed by an official al-Qaeda endorsement on the Arabic news web site www.elaph.com in April of 2004:

Al-Qaeda hopes George Bush will win re-election “because he acts with force rather than wisdom or shrewdness, and it is his religious fanaticism that will rouse our (Islamic) nation, as has been shown. Being targeted by an enemy is what will wake us from our slumber.”

Which was followed by a Bush endorsement by the head of Iran’s security council in October 2004:

The head of Iran’s security council said Tuesday that the re-election of President Bush was in Tehran’s best interests, despite the administration’s axis of evil label, accusations that Iran harbors al-Qaeda terrorists and threats of sanctions over the country’s nuclear ambitions.

“We haven’t seen anything good from Democrats,” Hasan Rowhani told state-run television in remarks that, for the first time in recent decades, saw Iran openly supporting one U.S. presidential candidate over another.

Every major terrorist organization in the Middle East endorsed Bush’s re-election and were fearful of a Democratic President — and rightly so. Bush has done nothing but play into their hands.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 21, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #169567

AceTracey

You say the NT condemns the Jews. The NT of the Holy Bible as ordained by God my creator does not condemn the Jews. Quite the opposite. They are Gods chosen people. People who claim to be christians have killed Jews. The only claimed to be christian; they weren’t. One of the main tenets of the Islamic beliefs, is hate Israel and kill the Jews. It appears that you rely on too many outside sources rather than direct reading of the proper documents

Posted by: tomh at July 21, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #169590

Philippe Houdoin

What’s your military experience? Non? How about your experience with Iraq and terrorists? Non? Mine is far more extensive. Which is why I am going to pick apart your ridiculous statement that we should go after all terrorist sponsoring states at the same time. One - Iraq had extensive ties to terrorism. If you don’t believe that then you must withdraw yourself from the debate because you are only espousing your opinion, and facts aren’t relevent in your book. They also had ties to Al Qaeda, and even Tarik Aziz (Iraq’s Prime Minister under Saddam) admitted so. Iraq was in fact the nation that posed the greatest threat to the US. Non of our other enemy states had shown the fortitude to attack us - he did. Yes, he attacked us. He shot at US warplanes after the 91 cease fire, and attempted to assassinate a former president. So no, attacking Syria or Iran would NOT have made more sense than continuing our war with Iraq. That’s basic common knowledge. We are also attacking several terrorist cells, and their goverment supporters in dozens of countries. Look at the counter terrorism maps where our forces are operating. We are in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia, and here at home. Just because there are two major conflicts now doesn’t mean we aren’t engaged elseware. Also, pay attention to France in the Ivory Coast. They’ve been accused of atrocities there, and no one is reporting.

Lebanon didn’t ask for 1559, the world did that to get Syria and Hezbollah out of Lebanon. No one acted as you said. Including Lebanon. Israel is not attacking civilians openly as Hezbollah is. If they were, there would be more that 100-200 civilian casualties. Israel is not stating that Hezbollah is stronger than they thought. They are stunned that their air campaign didn’t work. They fell into the trap that many Americans fall into. Air power alone can win a conflict. This will never be the case, and now they realize that they have to use more ground troops. Which will be more precise, and lead to less civilian casualties but be seen as an invasion by Lebanon. I’ve never defended Israel’s doctrine in this conflict. Indeed it is flawed. You must use ground troops, and Lebanon should help.

Yes, Lebanon should join the fight with Israel on the ground. This will reduce collateral damage, and end hostilities more quickly. Lebanon has extensive knowledge of Hezbollah they could share with Israel to make their attacks more precise, but they don’t share it. When you are bound by two agreements to end Hezbollah’s reign, and you don’t act. One day someone will. We are seeing that now.

We are not at war with Lebanon, and I will say this again: the Lebaneze people hate Hezbollah. Why, because Hezbollah supported the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. That doesn’t mean the government hates Hezbollah. Lebanon knows Israel. They know if you poke them enough with a stick they will respond. Lebanon has not been engaged with Israel diplomatically since its new government was elected. Why didn’t they go to Israel and tell them they can’t control Hezbollah, and any attack on Israel is not condoned by Lebanon?

The world is far simpler than you think. The origins of problems are comlex, but the response is simple. Act or don’t act. If you act will you use diplomacy or force first. Very simple. There is far less grey in the world than many people think, though some exists.

You missed my point about Afghanistan completely. If you know a terrorist organization is in your country, operating out of your country, attacking your neighbors, and you do nothing - you ARE supporting terrorism! Lebanon did nothing, and Israel sees that as supporting Hezbollah.

This is very much an US vs THEM world we live in. There are aggressors and responders, evil and non-evil, good and bad. You can’t remain neutral in this conflict. They won’t accept your neutrality, and they will kill you for not being with them. You can not like the tactics, the battle plan, or the leadership, but there is no debate - it’s us vs them. Even Chirac said he would nuke any state that sponsored a terrorist attack on France. Many may be afraid to engage, but they are very much on our side.

So I ask you this. What should Israel have done? I know you don’t support Hezbollah, and I don’t care if you’re a liberal or not. That’s not what this is about. For me we have:

-Two enemies of the US who have attacked us attacking a friend.

-We have a country that allowed one of those groups to conduct those attacks even though they did not partake in them.

-We have the Lebanese people caught in the middle which sucks.

-Our friend has offered a pretty simple peace plan to end hostilities which was denied.

-Our friend believed air power alone would win, but it failed (duh).

-We know negociations would not work to get the IDF soldiers back, and Israel should not give up more terrorist it has captured than it already has.

-Hezbollah wants a prisoner exchange because they didn’t get convicted terrorist Samir Kuntar in the 2004 prisoner exchange.

-Lebanon is curently in violation of Res 1559 for “refusing to disband Hezbollah” (UN words not mine), and Syria was in violation until recently.

-Hezbollah believes Shebaa Farms is Lebanese territory even though the entire world says it’s Syrian. They’ve used that as an excuse to attack Israel all these years.

Resolutions don’t work, negociations don’t work, international pressure didn’t work, peace agreements don’t work (both Hezbollah and Hamas violated peace agreements they had with Israel by attacking Israel). They had 3 soldier kidnapped and almost a dozen killed. All diplomatic channels have failed in the past several years. So what should they have done?

Posted by: Destro at July 21, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #169591

Keith,

Thanks for the link about warning phone call. I stand corrected.

Kevin23,

the tactics being used by Israel were much more humane than those of Hezbollah.

Thank god they are, otherwise Israel were actually turn into a terrorist state itself.
Still, it doesn’t make continuing fire at zones where you do know that cilivians predictibily will be collateral damage the most human thing to do.
I’m not the only one saying that, I think a see a report about UN Human Right commission saying that both Hezbollah (obviously) but also Israel could be facing war crime for in full knowledge putting civilians at risk of death.

Being much more human than terrorists doesn’t seems that hard, btw. Pretty much everybody should.

All things being equal, would you not prefer to be a Lebenese citizen with a phone message, leaflet to read, and radio and TV all warning you of impending danger to specific areas…or would you prefer to be an Israeli and have rockets raining down without warning.

After a quick look at last casualties in both sides, without doubt I choose being an Israel citizen. I’ve better chance to not being killed, not having to evacuate and to not have to live in a destroy country.

I wish you the best at reconstruting your life a well as the whole Lebanon infrastructure and disarming the remaining Hezbollah if you have choose to be a lebanese citizen at this *game*.

And your analogies don’t have any significance to the topic. Police and military are just not the same Philippe.

This police analogy was not mine but someone else in this thread. Sorry if you take as mine.

And once again, you’ve focussed on the actual damage done to pass judgement on whether the mission was necessary. They are responding to the THREAT…NOT the actual damage.

The actual damage are very real (Lebanon is destroyed) when the threat remains to be evaluated with greater precision. I usually focus on reality, on the ground, before focusing on possibilities. As with the never found WMDs in Iraq…

This is not eye for an eye, this is a security issue. I dont feel like you’ve understood anything I’ve said.

I fear I’ve understood at least enough to make me feel scary that anyone could void all responsabilities in continuing to kill civilians. It’s so anti-Geneva conventions I’m disgusted.

I think we should agree we both totally disagree and ends this all.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 21, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #169601

Philippe,

“After a quick look at last casualties in both sides…”

This is exactly what you cannot do. Unfortunately, when real leaders make decisions that may cause casualties, they don’t have the benefit of seeing the next day’s death counts. So you failed to see the point AGAIN.

I’m going to agree that we totally disagree, as you suggest, but I leave it at this: there are those who would condemn based soley on hindsight, and there are those who believe that so long as the intentions were good, it doesn’t matter how much damage you cause to the enemy. I am in the middle, and I really hope you are as well. But you would really make it the responsability of the military to protect civilian safety, infrastructure protection, and every other problem that may come up in every instance without the benefit of hindsight and while under extroardinarily stressful and fearful conditions (and add to that the fact that the enemy could very well be any ordinary looking man, woman or child)…I am more inclined to say that the role of the military men and women should be very simple: accomplish your objectives and win battles…then let the politicians sort it out.

To oversimplify, I put faith that the military act in good faith to not target anything without good reason, you assume they do not. The truth is in the middle somewhere, and until the dust settles, we just don’t have much to go on other than death counts showing Israel is doing more damage, and the security threat evidenced by rockets fired at random civilians showing Hezbollah as the more careless and inhumane aggressor.

It actually reminds me of the difference between the fear caused by the snipers in DC or Arizona more recently, and the lack of fear people have for driving a car. Surely driving is much more dangerous, but it just doesn’t give that same sense of fear that is caused by someone who kills randomly with no discrimination. Israel is fearful of the sniper type threat, while Lebenese are feeling the wrath of the sheer numbers of casualties. Both are regretful for any rational person, but I think it is popular belief that the bigger “monster” would be the sniper as opposed to the bad drivers.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 21, 2006 8:08 PM
Comment #169608

Acetracy,

“And the stupid remark the the Koran wants to kill all the Jews. I am sorry, but the Koran protects Jews.”

Sura5:60
But even the stone behind which a Jew hides will say, “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”…

Just one of many passages that curse the Jews.

“It is the New Testament that damns the Jews.”

Nope, not anywhere. Remember that Jesus is a Jew.

“Christians have killed millions of more Jews than Muslims.”

Nope. The Muslims have been slaughtering Jews (and Christians) since 622. Christian persecutions don’t even come close.

You really should read some actual history and religion instead of PC propaganda.

Posted by: traveller at July 21, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #169639

In my opinion, The Israelis have the right to defend themselves and attack an enemy that kills without any regard to Israeli civilians as well as Lebonese civilians.If Hezzabello and Hamas was so concerned about innocent Lebonese civilians, why do they hide behind them. also, I believe that Liberal democrats should wholeheartedly support Israels war on Terror, lots of jewish votes in this country, that vote Democrat, could be disenfranchised. This proportionate force BS is a crock too, the key to winning any war is to kill more of the enemy, the fact that civilians die is the disproportionate number through every war in history. Anyone that thinks only military combatants die in war is either stupid or ignorant of history. Innocent deaths can only be stopped when the villain is defeated quickly, in this case, terrorists that fire rockets then cry about the fact that people are dying should be destroyed. Peace will not happen until the Hamas and hezabello are killed. The shame of it all is the fact that so manyare rooting for the terrorists, if we ever lost or were occupied the first ones executed would be the ones walking up to the occupiers with flowers and white flags. They wouldn’t tolerate protesters at all. The rest would have to fight for them.

Posted by: George at July 21, 2006 10:32 PM
Comment #169666

The West Bank was disputed territory, but according to the peace plan it was going to the Palestinians. So, going there and setting up shop in spite of the agreement is a bit provocative.

On the subject of inter-religious bashing? The infamous quote about the the jews hiding behind rocks and trees being given up by them is Hadith, not Qu’ran. Hadith are the supposed sayings of the prophet, and are of lesser authority. They’re basically hearsay, though some are more authenticated than the others.

There are some passages that speak ill of the Jews, but both the Jewish scriptures and the New Testament do the same. What was meant to be constructive criticism and a distinction of a new religion from it’s religious rivals has been amplified throughout history for the purposes of Bloodshed. Sad, really, since those people basically follow the path of unrighteous behavior that earned the Jews opprobrium from God at various times.

It is to be considered that in the Quran, the Jews and Christians are considered people of the book, and to be treated like brothers, that Jesus is venerated(As is the Virgin Mary), attributed a virgin Birth (though he was created like Adam, rather than conceived by the holy spirit.) The Gospels and the Torah are considered Holy Scripture.

So why the Antisemitism now? Israel, and post-colonial headaches. Israel and it’s people are easy targets for those who want to peddle cheap propaganda to prop up their cause.

Really, I think those who use religion as an excuse for violence miss its point. The Qu’ran prohibits aggressive war, Christ preaches nonviolent resistance, and even the much criticized eye-for-an-eye talonic law of the Torah is meant to short-circuit the cycle of vengeance and counter vengeance. Additionally, much of the Ten commandments enjoins against making trouble with your neighbor.

People looking for reasons to do bad things can find them in the bible by misinterpreting passages dealing with violence and war. Those looking for goodness and wisdom cand find that too, and will in fact find that the deeper part of the pool in all cases.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 22, 2006 2:05 AM
Comment #169677

George,

Peace will not happen until the Hamas and hezabello are killed.

Nope. Peace will happen when no more people hate enough Israel to stay at perpetual terrorist war with it. If by using a tactic to kill the ones who hate you you ruined the lifes (and country) of far more people, you’re not solving the problem but simply spawning next generation of terrorists.

The shame of it all is the fact that so manyare rooting for the terrorists

Oh, look, again the “it’s Us or Them” line!

I’m rooting neither for terrorists neither for the Israelis that reject any of their responsability for sacrifying Lebanon in their attempt to kill Hezbollah. And I dare to NOT live in your binary world, too.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 22, 2006 4:51 AM
Comment #169681

Kevin23,

“After a quick look at last casualties in both sides…”

This is exactly what you cannot do. Unfortunately, when real leaders make decisions that may cause casualties, they don’t have the benefit of seeing the next day’s death counts.

IIRC, the choice you ask me to make was as a citizen, not as Israel leader. And you don’t have to be prescient to see that being anywhere in Lebanon these days is nothing sane will want, compared to be somewhere in Israel. You don’t need to see the next day’s damage to already know that pretty much all Lebanon is destroyed. I make my choice based on known and well reported fact.
Only if tomorrow someone was about to nuke Israel, I’ll have made the bad choice you ask me to do.

So you failed to see the point AGAIN.

Indeed, I failed to see you’ll change the question *after* I answer it. How fool am I!?

Israel is fearful of the sniper type threat, while Lebenese are feeling the wrath of the sheer numbers of casualties.

Isn’t being fearfull the exact expected result of terrorists? How is that winning against terrorism?
We don’t win against terrorism by playing exactly by their rules. We must be clever than that.

If I knew a clever way to do it, I’ll be already working for counter-terrorism in my own country, so I’m not saying I’m clever enough to know *the* solution against terrorism, but I’m not stupid enough to NOT seeing when we’re still trying the same exact “solution” as ever: violence. It didn’t work before that great. Never did. Why do you expect a different result this time? Do you bet on chao theory and/or chance to change the result this time?

but I think it is popular belief that the bigger “monster” would be the sniper as opposed to the bad drivers.

It’s also popular belief that you don’t cure a patient’s cancer by killing him.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 22, 2006 5:48 AM
Comment #170020

Philippe:

All of Lebanon is NOT destroyed. Most of the country is in tact. There is heavy damage to the transportation infrastructure because Israel needed to cut Hezbollah’s supply lines. Not because they are being mean. Most of northern Lebanon is fine. Remember that Beirut is in the middle to the far west. Tyre is the key to this whole battle. So watch it closely.

To paraphrase your analogy: If you were Lebanese, and an Israeli leaflet landed on your head telling you to leave because Israel was going to attack, you’d wish you were Israeli so you had less chance of dying.

Uh, no. You should leave because you were warned that an attack is imminant. Don’t give me this crap that they might not have been able to leave. Lebanon is a small country, and you can walk to relative safety (at least out of the “leaflet zone”) fairly easy as thousands are doing now. Personal responsibility has to come into effect sooner or later. If I get a leaflet dropped on my head telling me to leave because an attack is coming - I LEAVE! Whether I have a car, stomache ache, broken leg, migrane, or whatever. If I stay it is MY fault if I get injured - not the attacker’s. Common Sense 101: If you ignore a warning - you accept the consequences.

I can’t believe you cited the UN Human Rights Counsil (LOL). The BIGGEST joke in the UN. As if anyone should listen to such member nations as: China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Tunisia, Pakistan, Russia (all with terrible human rights records), Zambia, and the best of them all Cuba. I don’t trust a damn thing they say, and neither should you.

Disclaimer: the UN Human Rights Counsil contains 47 member nations that must be approved by a 96 of 191 majority vote. The nations above are not the only members. The UN as a whole has more dictatorships, communist regimes, monarchies, totalitarian states, islamic states, etc. than it has free republics, or democracies. So a simple majority vote of freedom hating countries around the world gets you on the counsil - great. Let’s not forget that the counsil’s predecesor, United Nations Commission on Human Rights, voted the US off the commission for the first time in history in May, 2001 (before 9/11, or for any of Bush’s policies to have made an impact) implying that Clinton’s human rights policies were in question.

March 2006, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of creating the new human rights body, with the resolution receiving approval from 170 members of the 191-nation Assembly. Only the United States, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and Israel voted against the Council’s creation, claiming that it would have too little power and that there were insufficient safeguards to prevent human rights-abusing nations from taking control. Just a little background so you know who they are when you quote them again. We saw the potential for abuse, and we were right.

You’re forgetting a key element as to why the casualties are different for the Israelis, and why the IDF attacks in areas occupied by civilians.

The Katyusha rockets are an anti-personel weapon. That means they are not a high explosive bomb. They are more like a claymore mine. When the rocket explodes you typically don’t get this great big explosion that blows people and buildings up. You get thousands of pellets that shoot out in every direction looking for flesh to rip apart. It is designed to fire into large congregations of people, and spray them with pellets. Because Hezbollah is using them on cities, where most people are inside protected by buildings, the loss of life has been limited. Anyone caught outside, however, is in serious trouble. The Katyusha rockets also give out a hell of a stream of smoke from the point of launch to the target. Hezbollah is going into civilian areas to fire the rockets. We all know that. When they fire the rockets the IDF can see where it was fired from, and they attack. It’s a sort of wild weasel opperation.

This is what I’m getting from all of your posts, and please correct me if I’m wrong, and explain. You believe that Israel is only allowed to defend itself if the enemy is not surrounded by civilians. If they are attacked from a civilian area where militants are hiding, they shouldn’t do anything but grin and bear it. What if the enemy never leaves cover of civilian areas?

No one is saying that it is fair to the Lebanese people to be used as human shields by terrorists, but it’s not fair to the Israelis to not be able to respond because the terrorist are hiding among civilians. Again, I don’t like the air campaign the IDF has used. They didn’t use the precision equipment we offered them (now they are asking for it), and they didn’t use enough ground forces (now they are). They believed they could win from the air, and no military can. You said that Israel will never destroy Hezbollah with it’s military. You’re right, but does that mean you don’t fight? We’ll never get rid of terrorists altogether, so should we not engage them? We’ll never win the war on crime either, so should we stop arresting criminals?

I still would like an answer to my previous post to you. What would you have done if you were Israel? Diplomacy failed, the peace agreements were violated, they turned down your peace proposal because they want a convicted terrorist released, the UN didn’t help either. What would you have done?

A just war is better than an unjust peace
The needs of the many outweigh the needs, and the wants, of the few
Posted by: Destro at July 23, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #170188

Destro,

All of Lebanon is NOT destroyed. Most of the country is in tact.

Oh, that why around 22,000 foreigners wants to flee Lebanon while pretty much none wants to flee Israel? And there is way more than just Lebanese integrity destroyed. The political change that was working to move Lebanon into the most democratical promising arab nation was killed some days ago. Too.

Before, Hezbollah have only a weak political weight, while the moderate parties were the majority. Guess who is now seen as weak and who seen as protectors by lebanese?

Remember that Beirut is in the middle to the far west. Tyre is the key to this whole battle. So watch it closely.

Both Beirut (150 km north to Lebanon border with Israel) and Tyre (30 km) is daily under heavy attacks since start. Tripoli was (240 km), too.
The air and sea blocus is not limited to south Lebanon, stop kidding.

Sure, while Israel is currently, step by step, shifting their operation to a more grounded one, the conflict zone will be more and more limited to south border and the capital. But in the first two-three days, it was NOT. Exposing lebanese risks pretty much everywhere in Lebanon, except for most empty regions. Unfortunatly, in these first days, nobody was living in empty regions (hence the name) but many evacuated there since.
Leaving the ones who can’t move behind them.
The ones who don’t want too, I agree.

To paraphrase your analogy: If you were Lebanese, and an Israeli leaflet landed on your head telling you to leave because Israel was going to attack, you’d wish you were Israeli so you had less chance of dying.

First, that’s not “my” analogy. Second, it’s not an “analogy”. Third, read again the choice Kevin23 asked me to make (and changed the rules after I replied…) :

All things being equal, would you not prefer to be a Lebenese citizen with a phone message, leaflet to read, and radio and TV all warning you of impending danger to specific areas or would you prefer to be an Israeli and have rockets raining down without warning.

To which I replied that considering how powerfull Israel is compared to Lebanon, I’ll choose without any doubt being a israel citizen because there is less chance I’ll dying here. Check the well-reported numbers (and well known by civilians themselves) of civilians casualties in both sides. Ten times more lebanese civilians than israel civilians.
Everyone sane will choose the same side.

BTW, if even when they got warnings lebanese have still more chance to die than israelis who got no warnings, I guess warnings doesn’t counter-balance all disproportionate reaction side effects.

So, yes, I dare to tell you I’ll prefer be right now an israeli citizen living in north Israel and without any “rockets coming” warnings than a lebanese one living in south Lebanon with whatever leaflets and phone calls and voice warnings. Because, according to previous days, the latter have more chance (10 times) to die than the former.

Simple math.

If I stay it is MY fault if I get injured - not the attacker’s.

Sure, if I’m killed after my murderer said to me “Run, or I may kill you!”, and I refuse or can’t move, it’s *all* MY fault, my murderer have NO responsability. None. Null.
Doesn’t work.

Warnings doesn’t get you off your responsabilities. You choose to fire a weapon, you have responsability of its consequences, as a pro-“personal responsability” like you should know. If a civilian can escape its personal responsability, a nation can’t escape its national responsability. Like bombing another nation.

Most often, responsabilities are shared, whatever the proportion. But in NO case you’ve NO responsability for using a weapon!

Even in self-defense situation, you should better fight back at your attacker(s) only, not innocent bypassers.
IIRC, we have a thread on WatchBlog about an US state (or was it just a county?) after relaxing its self-defense rules. Pretty much everyone except the gun lovers were afraid of the idea that people would justified fire in a crownd by self-defense and would tried to reject *all* responsability if such law relax was to happened.
(BTW, someone knows if it was relaxed or not?)

Common Sense 101: you’re responsible for your act(s). Only them but *all* of them.
Rejecting your acts responsability on the other side is plain wrong, even when the other side responsability is bigger and worst, your is your. Period.

Common Sense 101: If you ignore a warning - you accept the consequences.

Could I take this should apply too about global climate change warnings? No? Why?

I can’t believe you cited the UN Human Rights Counsil (LOL). The BIGGEST joke in the UN. As if anyone should listen to such member nations as: China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Tunisia, Pakistan, Russia (all with terrible human rights records), Zambia, and the best of them all Cuba. I don’t trust a damn thing they say, and neither should you.

[…]

Only the United States, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and Israel voted against the Council’s creation, claiming that it would have too little power and that there were insufficient safeguards to prevent human rights-abusing nations from taking control. Just a little background so you know who they are when you quote them again. We saw the potential for abuse, and we were right.

Why should I trust more a few nations (two of them being heavily involved in the current Middle East crisis) than a report signed by at least half of 170 nations, some of them not being involved in it?

I do know that this UN new HRC will be as powerless as the previous body and that among its members there is enough unwilling to make Human Rights consideration a point, except for political gain.
But how does it differ to the Human Rights consideration of US toward Iraqis civil war risk compared to Bush political agenda? Gitmo? Or french soldiers misbehavior in Rwanda? In Ivory Coast? France jails? 10% of americans being in jail?
Every nation on earth have more or less a bad Human Rights records, for political reason (an short term gain). Does it make every supranational Human Rights bodies liars automatically?
Does only UN HRC reporting the bad humantarian situation in Lebanon? Does all news media over the world biased when they reports more lebanese than israelis civilians casualties?

Does you eyes alone can’t recognize when a destroyed bridge, a collapsing building, a wounded children, people fleeing by feet, bodies on the sides of a road, bombs falling in a urban area etc are displayed on your TV or others media that the humanitarian situation is castatrophic in Lebanon?

You believe that Israel is only allowed to defend itself if the enemy is not surrounded by civilians. If they are attacked from a civilian area where militants are hiding, they shouldn’t do anything but grin and bear it. What if the enemy never leaves cover of civilian areas?

No, I’m for Israel taking its share of responsabilities in the lebanese civilians “collateral damage” and the Lebanon infrastructure destruction, instead of rejecting it *all* on Hezbollah. They acts, they make choices, they’re responsible for them. Same for Hezbollah.

Even in self-defense, you’re still responsible for your acts, and you may eventually be fully excused if you kill your attacker, but still considered responsible for its death (aka responsible but not guilty). And fully responsible for innocents you may have killed in the process (aka responsible *and* guilty).
Your moral values should not change because it’s “war”.

Israel should move to ground attacks. Looking his his enemy in the eyes. A soldier will see in a 3 years old lebanese eyes he’s not an enemy. Bombs can’t.

You said that Israel will never destroy Hezbollah with it’s military. You’re right, but does that mean you don’t fight? We’ll never get rid of terrorists altogether, so should we not engage them? We’ll never win the war on crime either, so should we stop arresting criminals?

“Proportionate” actions, keeping in mind that you win against terrorism by stopping play by their rules. Let’s try NOT fearing them that much, for example. Ignoring them or commit fully to face them, on the ground, not from distant air strikes.
Let’s try learning why they became terrorists, too. Let’s try cutting terrorism roots instead of leafs.

I still would like an answer to my previous post to you.

Sorry, I miss it:

What’s your military experience? Non? How about your experience with Iraq and terrorists? Non? Mine is far more extensive.

I guess I should get it as granted, right?
Anyway, my military experience is indeed limited to my draft periode, 15 years ago, in a peacefull Europe. Happy me.

Iraq was in fact the nation that posed the greatest threat to the US. Non of our other enemy states had shown the fortitude to attack us - he did. Yes, he attacked us. He shot at US warplanes after the 91 cease fire, and attempted to assassinate a former president.

Meanwhile, both North Korean and Iran are making some progress toward missiles and nukes technologies but, hey, look, they shot at US warplanes and try to kill a president!
You’re right, after all, who care about missiles and nukes these days?

Also, pay attention to France in the Ivory Coast. They’ve been accused of atrocities there, and no one is reporting

Hum, well at least two of most read french newspapers had. I even remember myself going to on abidjan.net web forums to get another view of the events. And it’s a shame the french soldiers who killed this ivorian were freed of charge. For the fire on irovian crownd, investigation is still pending, but I’ve no doubt about its shame conclusion. If France don’t officially take responsability here, at least I recognize that french soldier killed in cold blood this ivorian and have most probably open fire on people at a bridge and while defending Ivory Hotel access. Both was bad behavior.
Destroying IC air force capabilities was not, thought.

Resolutions don’t work, negociations don’t work, international pressure didn’t work, peace agreements don’t work (both Hezbollah and Hamas violated peace agreements they had with Israel by attacking Israel). They had 3 soldier kidnapped and almost a dozen killed. All diplomatic channels have failed in the past several years. So what should they have done?

Change tactic. Search another way.
Resorting to the same old reaction, violence, didn’t work before either, why should one think it will this time?

Resolutions don’t work *alone*. International pressure do work enough sometime, but it needs having enough moral or common geostrategic momentum, something Israel is losing currently due to a bad PR after disproportionate response on Lebanon.

Israel should have diplomatically confronted *first* Lebanon and UN members about 1559 resolution, asking for its enforcment now and there. Instead, from one of the party, they became judge and party in the conflict. And tried the flawed tactic of winning war against terrorists from air.

Disarming terrorists means take they arms from them, one after one. It means troops, many of them, should walk Lebanon and disarm them.
Lebanon government can’t do it alone (nor, maybe, they want to do it, agreed). Israel can’t ever, with a more powerfull army. US, Israel best friend, is busy in Iraq and Afghanistan. And everywhere according to you (too bad Somalia is not “everywhere” anymore).

Which reduce any suppliers of this kind of 1559 enforcing troops to the “rest of the world”. Considering that a quite huge part of it is muslims, I guess we can’t hope that much help from them. What else? EU come to mind, and among her France. I’m fully for France proposing to both expand the UN FINUL mandate to allow troops to assist actively with Lebanon army in disarming Hezbollah and for France to largely contributing to these troops. As she already did, in fact.

And I do know that’s not a perfect solution. The FINUL will be the new favorite target of Hezbollah. But at least it take it away from Israel and an international troops will not be seen as a colonial or empire force here to stay.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs, and the wants, of the few

With such quote, the international community should prevail everytime a majority among her came into agreement!
With such quote, say bye bye to any minority group.
With such quote, you can’t justify anymore Iraq war by former president assassinate attempt and a few US airplanes being shooted at.

With such quote, you can’t go unilateral anymore.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 24, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #170627

Correction:

If a civilian CAN’T escape its personal responsability, a nation can’t escape its national responsability.

I hope it was read by everyone as an obvious mistake.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 25, 2006 5:58 PM
Comment #171191

Wow, you completely missed the point and had fun dodging a lot of what I said. Before I start I would like to say that I agree with you about Somalia. Blaim Murtha for that.

If you want to keep making the argument about attacking Iran or N. Korea we are going to go in circles. If the US attacked Iran or N. Korea you wouldn’t support it, I assume. Once nuclear weapons have been aquired (thanks Clinton), you take the military option off the table unless there is nothing left. You have to negociate. Which we are trying to do. As you can see, you can’t negociate with madmen. I encourage you to read those books I mentioned in earlier posts. You NEVER attack the strongest part of your enemy. You ALWAYS attack the weak link. Iraq = weak link in the axis of evil.

I never said that Israel wasn’t responsible for their actions or mistakes. Again, I don’t like the air campaign because of the risk to civilians, but you have to acknowledge that Hezbollah is using civilians as shields here. EVERYONE in the worlds has said that. The debate has been: should Israel attack an enemy that hides amongst civilians, and how should they attack. I say they should attack, but on the ground where they can see if it’s an innocent kid, or a kid that has an AK. Which Israeli troops have reported.

Find another way. I love this argument. The other way is force. Israel has used diplomacy in every facet exept to give up the land of Israel, or Shebaa Farms. Hezbollah says it is still around because Shebaa Farms is Lebanese territory, but the whole world unanimously says it’s Syrian territory. Israel has given every concession asked of them in regards to Hezbollah, and Lebanon. Yet they are still attacked unprovoked, why? Samir Kuntar is why. Hezbollah promissed to get Kuntar released in the last prisoner exchange in 2004. The terms for the exchange were:

30 Lebanese and Arab prisoners, the remains of 60 Lebanese militants and civilians, 420 Palestinian prisoners, and maps showing Israeli mines in South Lebanon were exchanged for an Israeli businessman and army reserve colonel kidnapped in 2001 and the remains of the three IDF soldiers kidnapped in 2000, and executed. I don’t remember hearing any cries of disproportionality then. Remember those soldiers were kidnapped, and three were executed.

Who is Samir Kuntar? He is a convicted terrorist serving 4 life sentences for murdering 4 Israelis. He executed a 4 year old girl by putting her head on a rock, and smashing her skull with the butt of his rifle. That’s why Hezbollah attacks Israel. To get this bastard back. Hezbollah has looked those little kids in the eyes, seen they weren’t armed, and murdered them anyway on purpose.

So we know diplomacy doesn’t work because the only diplomacy Hezbollah wants is for convicted terrorists and murderers to be released from Israeli prisons. The UN has been in Lebanon this whole time allowing Hezbollah to violate 1559, and arm themselves with 13,000 anti-personel rockets. The UN has also done nothing to stop the incursions into Israel to kill and kidnap Israelis for these “prisoner exchanges”. So what other way is there? Why aren’t you call for Hezbollah to seek a diplomatic alternative? Again, Israel has offered a very simple and fair peace plan that Hezbollah rejects. Israel wants this to stop, Hezbollah doesn’t.

The US was right about the UN Human Rights Counsil as I proved. If you are going to compare the US, France, etc to Cuba, China, and others on the counsil in terms of human rights violations - you’re messed up. I’m throwing that argument aside because it’s absurd. Why should you listen to a few countries in the UN when the majority says something different? Here’s why. There are 192 member nations to the UN. 89 of them are free countries. That’s right, most of them are not free countries. I don’t listen to nations that don’t allow their people to live free. You can if you want.

I also never said that northern Lebanon wasn’t attacked, but the fact remains that most of Lebanon has seen little to no violence. That’s all over every network there is right now so it will be easy for you to see that I’m telling the truth. Beirut is a major center for Hezbollah, and that is why it was struck. Another thing that ALL of the networks have been doing is talking to Lebanese refugees about the conflict. They are all reporting that the majority of them are angry about the damage Israel has done to Lebanon, but they want Israel to succeed. This is because most Lebanese do not support Hezbollah outside of southern Lebanon. This has surprised many anchors.

Yes, 30,000 foreigners are fleeing Lebanon while people are going to Israel. You forget that 500,000 Lebanese citizens are heading north (where there is little fighting), and seeking shelter. 700,000 Israelis are living in shelters right now. They are running for their lives in Israel as well, and more of them are being displaced. You must keep the casualties in perspective to the weapons they are using. Hezbollah is using the Kyutusha rocket. It is not a high explosive charge. It’s an anti-personel rocket designed to kill people in the open. Not blow up buildings.

If Israel pays retribution to Lebanon after this is over, will that satisfy you demand for Israel to take responsibility? Are you going to demand the Lebanese government take responsibility for allowing Hezbollah to start this? Are you going to demand that the UN take responsibility for not enforcing 1559, and doing nothing all these years to keep Hezbollah from attacking Israel repeatedly. Israel left Lebanon 6 years ago. They have been attacked over half a dozen times by Hezbollah, and they respond diplomatically, not militarily. Yet the attacks keep coming. Are you going to demand Hezbollah take responsibility for starting this? Will you demand they pay retribution for the damage they caused in Israel, and Lebanon?

A few more things then I have to go. Murdering and killing are two completely different things. Murder is what Hezbollah does frequently by targetting civilians. To murder means to kill an innocent with premeditated malice. There is no evidence that Israel has deliberately targeted civilians in order to kill them. Hezbollah is famous for renting property from civilians to hide their weapons. They are firing from positions next to civilians to use them as cover.

If you want Israel to take responsibility for unintentionally killing civilians (I agree), then you have to make the same demands of Hezbollah who intentionally kills civilians.

If you want Israel to seek a diplomatic solution (which they have), then you should have the same demands of Hezbollah.

If you want Israel to bear responsibility for attacks on Lebanon, then you have to ask the Hezbollah (who started this whole thing there), the government of Lebanon (which allowed Hezbollah to operate), and the UN (which did nothing about Hezbollah) to bear the same responsibility.

Don’t believe for a minute that an international force will not be seen as conquerers, or occupiers. It was an international for that helped give birth to Hezbollah in the 80’s. The last time an international force was in Lebanon, violence was at an all time high. It didn’t work then, and I doubt it would work now. NATO would be the only option for such a force. NATO succeeds where the UN fails.

Israel’s only options for long term peace with Hezbollah is adhere to Hezbollah’s demands, which are:

-Release ALL Arab, Palestinian, and Lebanese prisoners you have. Terrorist or not.

-Give Lebanon Shebaa Farms (which the world will not allow Israel to do because this is Syrian territory, not Lebanese).

-Dismantle the land of Israel so it ceases to exist.

So where is the diplomatic solution here. Hezbollah is not as extreme as Hamas (thank you for not defending them), so you may be able to get them to live with an Israeli state, but you have one other demand that can’t be met because the world won’t allow it, and another that is completely unresonable.


The needs of the many outweigh the needs, and the wants, of the few

I’m so sorry you can’t understand perhaps the greatest piece of wisdom on the planet. It protects the minority because their NEEDS are equal to everyone else’s. The population of the world is represented by this quote, not governments. If the government of Congo casts a vote in the UN they do NOT speak for their population because their population has no say in their government. I don’t justify the Iraq War with the attempted assasination of Bush Sr. Every single reason given for Iraq has been proven. Saddam’s ties to terrorism are lengthy and well known. This correlation is made even more desperate by the fact that he refused to give up his WMDs, and could have armed these groups with them in the future. By removing him, we helped to protect the world’s population from the indiscriminent terrorist attacks from groups he supported. Especially if he armed them with NBC knowledge. If he didn’t give that technology to terrorists then we have prevented him from using them on his enemies in battle, and civilians (his and others) again. If nothing else we have saved the Shia population of Iran from his wrath. Charles Duelfer said in his report that Saddam was maintaining his WMD capability primarily to counter Iran. The US was secondary. You and I can debate Iraq another time, but come prepared.

Here’s my military background so you don’t think I’m some know it all.

US Army infantry, air assault, pathfinder, marksmanship instructor. Counter terrorism unit (not special forces) headed up by FBI during Millenium Plot. Middle East was my area of expertise. I was tracking Bin Laden before anyone knew who he was, and I was doing counter terrorism work long before 9/11. I was on call for Iraq 3 times under Clinton because we caught him violating the cease fire. This includes his purchasing a stolen Soviet nuclear reactor (this is not classified). I have extensive knowledge of terrorism, and Iraq’s involvment with it.

It’s been a good debate, and I want to thank you for not defending the indefensible - Hamas.

Posted by: Destro at July 27, 2006 6:11 PM
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