Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 21, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

WIDENING THE WAR....I suppose this isn't unexpected, but it's hardly comforting either:

Israel called up a few thousand reservists today, in possible preparation for a more extensive ground operation in southern Lebanon, as its warplanes continued to hit targets there and to drop leaflets warning residents of villages to leave their homes and head northward.

The consensus theory here seems to be that Israel will spend a few weeks degrading Hezbollah's military capability and then withdraw, allowing an international peacekeeping contingent to patrol southern Lebanon. But that's harder than it sounds. Israel may well be able to destroy Hezbollah's watchtowers and some of its rocket launching capacity, but Hezbollah's ability to wage guerrilla war is unlikely to be seriously damaged. This means they'll keep fighting, which in turn means that Israel will find themselves unable to leave Lebanon since (a) they won't be willing to leave under fire and (b) no international peacekeeping force will take over unless there's a peace to keep.

This is pretty much what happened to the United States in Iraq. The original plan was to swoop in, destroy Saddam's army, and then withdraw all but a token force within six months. But the rising insurgency made that impossible and three years later we're still there. Likewise, Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon was also supposed to be a brief affair, and it ended up lasting 18 years.

This isn't to say the situations are precisely comparable, but they do have a certain disquieting assonance. Once a country introduces serious numbers of ground troops into a conflict, it's pretty much committed to staying until it can credibly declare victory, and in guerrilla wars that can commit them for a very long time. Ze'ev Schiff implies ("1982 versus 2006") that the Israeli government and the IDF are well aware of this and know what they're doing here. I sure hope he's right.

Kevin Drum 11:51 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (258)

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Comments

Good comparison. And yes, Israel is going to be there for quite a while this time as well, with the same results as last time (leaving with its tail between its legs). Because there are no military solutions to the problems that confront the Middle East right now. Been there, done that.

Time to talk.

Posted by: Chuck on July 21, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

If the IDF's intention is to degrade Hizbullah's capabilities in southern Lebanon, it might be useful to discuss why they are targeting and destroying economic infrastructure elsewhere in the country, e.g., Beirut.

Posted by: Wonderin on July 21, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

This means they'll keep fighting, which in turn means that Israel will find themselves unable to leave Lebanon since (a) they won't be willing to leave under fire and (b) no international peacekeeping force will take over unless there's a peace to keep.

There's a third option: c) militarily attack and declare war on Syria and Iran. Since Syria and Iran are the ones financing, arming, and backing Hezbollah, once those countries are liberated by Israel and America, no one will be to support Hezbollah anymore. Without any support from those countries, Hezbollah will be powerless.
The people of Lebanon will then be able to overthrow Hezbollah just as Eastern Europeons were able to overthrow their Communist dictators when the Soviet Empire was losing power and could no longer support the Eastern Europe Communist parties. The liberation of Lebanon will produce a domino effect so that freedom and democracy will spread out throughout the rest of the Arab and Muslim world.

Posted by: Al on July 21, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Echoing Wonderin, if the Gaza is any indication, Isreal will degrade the civilian infrasturcture in Lebanon. Surely this will win friends for them and discourage support for Hezbellah or whatever may take its place. This has always worked so well for Israel.

As for the US "original plan" for Iraq. Well, maybe the admin said that publicly at one time or another, but there are no real indications the it was really the plan. The permanent bases suggest otherwise, and I'm pretty sure no military plans exist saying it would work that way. Neocon fantasies are not the same as plans. And as we well know, what this administration says is no actual indication of what it is planning.

Posted by: Martin on July 21, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

This has to be parody Al. Seriously, dude, you and what army? Ours is a little busy at the moment with your previous adventure.

Posted by: Ghlade on July 21, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, do you have a book coming out or something? You took a week off not too long ago, and your posting has been light for awhile.

Posted by: sq on July 21, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, different plans to attack Lebanon were drawn up a year ago. Plan A isn't working, so Israel is switching to plan B:
sfgate: Israel set war plan more than a year ago.

Posted by: Andy on July 21, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

If the IDF's intention is to degrade Hizbullah's capabilities in southern Lebanon, it might be useful to discuss why they are targeting and destroying economic infrastructure elsewhere in the country, e.g., Beirut.

Because freedom is on the march. As they march backwards we will march in.

Israel has other objectives than Hizbullah. Either that, or they just can't tell the difference between Hizbullah and Lebanon - which sounds farcical, but is simular to the sorts of blindness we exhibit in Iraq.

Posted by: JohnN on July 21, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Did you have to go to a thesaurus to get "assonance"?

Posted by: SW on July 21, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

I heard an interesting point on Hardball - by taking out Saddam, we essentially did Iran's bidding - we did in 2 months what Iran tried to do in 8 years - topple the regime of Saddam Hussein. Ironically, during the 8 year war, we supported Iraq. By taking out the Sunni Saddam, upseting the Shia-Sunni balance that Saddam provided, the Shia in Iran are now a power broker in the Middle East, influencing Iraqi Shia and the Hezbollah, controlling events from Bagdad to South Lebanon. By eliminating a smaller threat, Bush has created a larger threat.

Posted by: Andy on July 21, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Wonderin,

Lebanon is smaller than Connecticut.

Posted by: clod on July 21, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

So, Andy, if Israel's "planning for war" is bad, and Bush "not planning for war" is bad, that's quite a catch-22 you've created, don't you think?

Posted by: Thomas on July 21, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

the difference with the US/Irak situation is that the Israeli army doesn't baklks at killing civilian. A sort of collective punishment.

Posted by: Jack on July 21, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

As WaPo points out today, the President wants to wipe out the 'root cause' of terrorism.

Next up. War to wipe out the root cause of people's desire to fuck.

Posted by: nut on July 21, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Al, I hope that was parody, because if it's not, when are you going to sign up for the Middle East Liberation Tour (MELT)?

Posted by: T2005 on July 21, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Don't be so hard on Kevin - his career is at risk with each post. Should he or his bloggers stray too far from the Israeli line- POOF! career over!!

No conspiracy, no cabal, just POOF! game over...

amazing no?

Posted by: Charles on July 21, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

I beg the US military to enforce a no fly zone over northern Israel. I am on my knees praying to no god that the US suspend all aid to Israel. I am trying very hard not to listen to the natural response to return in kind what Israel is doing to the Palestinians and the people of Lebanon. I am trying very hard not to become one of them and act out my inner Kapo.

Posted by: Hostile on July 21, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

And then Al maybe we can buy all of the children in the World a new puppy.

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on July 21, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

I think you're wrong Kevin. The longer this stuff goes on, the more Hezbollah looks like the PLO, a group that made the Lebanese pay for attacks that were not in the public interest.

The Lebanese practially cheered Israel when they forced the PLO to withdraw to Tunisia. If Israel withdraws to a more defensive posture only to be drawn in again by Hezbollah attacks, the Lebanese will blame the militia as long as Israel limits thier attacks to the border areas.

Posted by: enozinho on July 21, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Israel may well be able to destroy Hezbollah's watchtowers and some of its rocket launching capacity, but Hezbollah's ability to wage guerrilla war is unlikely to be seriously damaged. This means they'll keep fighting"

Since that's always been the case anyway, why wouldn't Israel destroy watchtowers, rocket launching capabilities, weapons depots, communications centers, etc.. of Hezblahhh??

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

al said:There's a third option: c) militarily attack and declare war on Syria and Iran. Since Syria and Iran are the ones financing, arming, and backing Hezbollah, once those countries are liberated by Israel and America, no one will be [sic] to support Hezbollah anymore. Without any support from those countries, Hezbollah will be powerless.
The people of Lebanon will then be able to overthrow Hezbollah just as Eastern Europeons [sic] were able to overthrow their Communist dictators . . . .

I too think this must be parody al. There seems to be a great deal of confusion in this post about the governments of Syria and Iran and the populations of these countries. "Liberating" Syria and Iran means that the people are currently being coerced by their governments--that they do not support them. Do the majority of Syrians and Iranians want to be "liberated" from their governments? Are they against their governments' policy of supporting Hezbollah? Because if they're not, any government they select will STILL support Hezbollah. Unless Western countries install a puppet government to advance Western interests. Like we propped up Saddam to fight Iran after Iran chased out our man the Shah. Can we stop making the same mistakes over and over?

Posted by: cowalker on July 21, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Lebanon is smaller than Connecticut."

If your point is that the place is so small that they simply can't help taking out civilian targets, that doesn't say much for the IDF air forces. Perhaps we should take back the F-16s and laser-guided bombs until we can determine that they're better shots?

Posted by: Wonderin on July 21, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

we did in 2 months what Iran tried to do in 8 years - topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Gee, and I thought the Iranians were fighting in that war because Saddam invaded them.

Maybe not everyone has visions of toppling regimes just because we do.

Posted by: Wapiti on July 21, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I heard an interesting point on Hardball - by taking out Saddam, we essentially did Iran's bidding - we did in 2 months what Iran tried to do in 8 years - topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Not exactly news -- though it's no surprise that the TeeVee gasbags would take three years to notice the obvious. Before our glorious adventure in Iraq, a variety of sceptics suggested that Iran would eventually turn out the be the only beneficiary of the whole bastard idea. Chalabi's interesting relations with Tehran made it difficult to ignore Iran's angle in the forlorn scheme. Well, difficult for anyone who wasn't a paid shill or media gasbag.

Posted by: sglover on July 21, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

"(b) no international peacekeeping force will take over unless there's a peace to keep."

So this "international peacekeeping" force is only useful where peace has already been established, but useless where fighting exists?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Thom: A "plan" is not the same thing as a good plan.

Whoever's posting in Al's name: Great parody today, but you left out the part where the Lebanese people greet their Israeli liberators with flowers.

Posted by: Alan in SF on July 21, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK
This means they'll keep fighting, which in turn means that Israel will find themselves unable to leave Lebanon since (a) they won't be willing to leave under fire and (b) no international peacekeeping force will take over unless there's a peace to keep.

While clearly an international "peacekeeping" force by definition can't take over until there is a peace to keep, international forces under UN mandates intervening before a peace exists are not, at all, unknown (UNPROFOR in the Balkans, MONUC—right now—in the DR Congo, among others).

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK
The people of Lebanon will then be able to overthrow Hezbollah

Hezbollah doesn't rule Lebanon now.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

"So this "international peacekeeping" force is only useful where peace has already been established, but useless where fighting exists?"

I urge all readers to review what the UN "peacekeepers" have been doing for the last several years in the Congo. They are actively engaging hostile forces there, and I by "actively engaging," I mean they are attacking and taking out armed militias.

UN forces - anywhere - are limited only by the limits that "we" place on them.

You want a beefy UN presence in southern Lebanon. We can make it so, if we want to.

Posted by: Wonderin on July 21, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Our occupation in Iraq is going so well that Israel felt the need to undertake its own occupation in Lebanon. Of all countries that should know better... This will be the biggest bungle in a long time for Israel, and unfortunately, Lebanon is headed for the same brand of anarchy that is taking place in Iraq right now.

Posted by: j_ny on July 21, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, Parody Al, democracy has already spread throughout Lebanon. They elected Hezbollah.

Posted by: Alan in SF on July 21, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK
The longer this stuff goes on, the more Hezbollah looks like the PLO, a group that made the Lebanese pay for attacks that were not in the public interest.

And what was the result of Israel invading Lebanon to deal with the PLO? A new armed resistance movement formed within Lebanon, not to support the PLO, but to repulse Israel. And thus was born Hezbollah.

You think Israel gets a better result invading Lebanon to deal with Hezbollah?

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

By taking out the Sunni Saddam, upseting the Shia-Sunni balance that Saddam provided, the Shia in Iran are now a power broker in the Middle East, influencing Iraqi Shia and the Hezbollah, controlling events from Bagdad to South Lebanon. By eliminating a smaller threat, Bush has created a larger threat.
Posted by: Andy on July 21, 2006 at 12:28 PM

Precisely. The problem is that 3-4 years ago nobody in the administration had any idea of the political ambitions of the Shia in Iran. To the extent it occured to any of them we have to remember that they were under the spell of Chalibi. More accurately, all Muslims looked alike to Bush, Cheney and Friends.

It would have been really nice if anybody in authority in the Administration had any real foreign policy experience, or at least the intelligence to listen to grownups. We might have avoided the mess created by the invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 21, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

The people of Lebanon will then be able to overthrow Hezbollah

Hezbollah represents the largest ethnic/policital group and poorest people in Lebanon. Hezbollah is Lebanon.

Posted by: Hostile on July 21, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Do the majority of Syrians and Iranians want to be "liberated" from their governments? Are they against their governments' policy of supporting Hezbollah? Because if they're not, any government they select will STILL support Hezbollah. Unless Western countries install a puppet government to advance Western interests. Like we propped up Saddam to fight Iran after Iran chased out our man the Shah. Can we stop making the same mistakes over and over?

Posted by: cowalker on July 21, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Very simplistic thinking. Religion-wise Syria is a mirror image of Iraq. The Syrian government is Alawite (off shoot of Shia) representing 12% of the population, while Sunni Muslims represent 75% of the population. Any shakeup in Syria is most likely to yield a Sunni dominated government. Why would a Sunni Arab Syrian government want to support Hezbollah, the tool of Shiite Persian Iran?

Watch the news - the Sunni Arab states in the region - Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia - are all condemning Hezbollah's behavior. They resent Iran and resist its ambition to dominate the region

Posted by: Campesino on July 21, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

I went back and read Al's post. I want to know what he is smoking, because that has to be some good shit.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 21, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Did you have to go to a thesaurus to get "assonance"?

I dunno...you don't have to know what the word precisely means for the phrase "they do have a certain disquieting assonance" to seem apt. ;)

My guess is that Kevin had to learn the word when prepping for his SATs and has been aching for an opportunity to use it ever since. With me, it was "brachiating."

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely
Hezbollah doesn't rule Lebanon now.

They may not rule Lebanon, but they certainly have them by the short hairs.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 21, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

By taking out the Sunni Saddam, upseting the Shia-Sunni balance that Saddam provided, the Shia in Iran are now a power broker in the Middle East, influencing Iraqi Shia and the Hezbollah, controlling events from Bagdad to South Lebanon. By eliminating a smaller threat, Bush has created a larger threat.
Posted by: Andy on July 21, 2006 at 12:28 PM

Precisely. The problem is that 3-4 years ago nobody in the administration had any idea of the political ambitions of the Shia in Iran. To the extent it occured to any of them we have to remember that they were under the spell of Chalibi. More accurately, all Muslims looked alike to Bush, Cheney and Friends.

It would have been really nice if anybody in authority in the Administration had any real foreign policy experience, or at least the intelligence to listen to grownups. We might have avoided the mess created by the invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 21, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Iranian influence in Iraq will be a short-term thing. Iraqi Shia want help in getting control of the Sunni there. Once that happens, there will be inevitable clashes between Iraq and Iran again. Iraq is Arab and Iran is Persian and the cultural divide will continue. The LA Times had a great article a few months ago telling how the Iraqi Imams are all ready to retake their "rightfull" place at the head of Shiism. Remember, all the holy places of Shia are in Iraq. Iran won't take that lying down. Conflict is inevitable.

Posted by: Campesino on July 21, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

They may not rule Lebanon, but they certainly have them by the short hairs.

I think you're thining of Israel, Mike.

By the way, any more thoughts on whether Israel's attacks on civilians are "intended to produce terror and fear"?

How about "Shock and awe"?

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Hezbollah represents the largest ethnic/policital group and poorest people in Lebanon. Hezbollah is Lebanon.

Posted by: Hostile on July 21, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Not really. Hezbollah is Shiite. Latest estimates on Lebanese demographics:
Christian 40%
Sunni 26%
Shia 26%
Druze 5%

http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2005/51604.htm

Posted by: Campesino on July 21, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Ron B -- I agree with your observations and would add that the number one priority for Americans should be to get rid of the Republican rule that has squandered lives, credibility, wealth, and much of our military capability. Other concerns must be secondary at this point.

Campesino -- Do you think that we can liberate Syria, or would it turn into a failed state like Iraq?

Posted by: Detroit Dan on July 21, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory
They may not rule Lebanon, but they certainly have them by the short hairs.

I think you're thinking of Israel, Mike.

Are you saying that Lebanon approved of firing missiles into Israel and kidnapping Israeli soldiers? Before Israel responded?

If they didn't, it would sure seem to me like Hezbollah was committing criminal acts, by Lebanonese law. Wonder why they weren't stopped by the Lebanonese?

By the way, any more thoughts on whether Israel's attacks on civilians are "intended to produce terror and fear"?

No, but I am sure that that is what Hezbollah's goal is. And Hamas too. Which makes sense, since they are terrorists.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 21, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

enozinho:

> The Lebanese practially cheered Israel when they forced the PLO
> to withdraw to Tunisia. If Israel withdraws to a more defensive
> posture only to be drawn in again by Hezbollah attacks, the
> Lebanese will blame the militia as long as Israel limits
> thier attacks to the border areas.

I dunno, eno. I have a great deal of respect for your views
on the ME, but I think, as others noted, that the context is
different. The PLO were interlopers in Lebanon; Hezbollah
is a homegrown resistance movement formed by Lebanese Shia
precisely in response to the first Israeli invasion.

The secularized, West-leaning Lebanese in the north of the country
certainly won't cotton to Hezbollah fighting Israel and getting
their infrastructure blown up in the process; they have other
priorities. But that's going to be trumped, I think, by the rural
Shi'ite support in the south -- and that's where they get their
recruits from, and who they've helped with their social services.

This is not well-fed and decadent Arafat
urging conflict on from a bunker here ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

"Because there are no military solutions to the problems that confront the Middle East right now. Been there, done that.

Time to talk."

What is there to talk about? Wasn't pulling out of the disputed territories supposed to bring about peace? Wasn't that the only thing standing in the way of peace in the region? Seems to me the time to talk has come and gone.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Wonderin,

I was saying no one has any room to move. There's a lot of people in a very small space.

If you combined the whole area of Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, it still wouldn't be half the size of Maine.

If you've got a lot of thugs standing on the sidewalk throwing rocks through your windows, do you call the cops, or do you move away? If you can only move a few blocks and the thugs follow you and are still throwing rocks through your windows, what do you do? If you call the cops, they start fighting with the cops. The cops arrest some of them. Then all their pals show up and fight with cops. Then characters in other countries, for their own purposes, start sending help to the thugs to fight with the cops, who are by now the army.

When people complain about 'all the land', there's hardly any land at all. Israel, by itself, is smaller than Vermont.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

cld:

Ahhh ... the broken windows theory of sectarian conflict :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

"I urge all readers to review what the UN "peacekeepers" have been doing for the last several years in the Congo. They are actively engaging hostile forces there, and I by "actively engaging," I mean they are attacking and taking out armed militias."

But are they doing it in a disproportionate manner?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Hezbollah were organized by Iran and work as the Iranian influence in Lebanese politics.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

"If you call the cops, they start fighting with the cops. The cops arrest some of them. Then all their pals show up and fight with cops. Then characters in other countries, for their own purposes, start sending help to the thugs to fight with the cops, who are by now the army."

According to Kevin Drum, the international version of cops will only ride to the rescue when everything thing's been settled and resolved.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Campesino, those figures are almost certainly bogus. You can read the hedges wide and clear - State's website simply says it's putting up figures from Al-Nahar. Most credible indepedent experts describe Shiite Muslims as the largest demographic group in Lebanon.

Posted by: glasnost on July 21, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

bob,

Yes, broken windows are exactly where sectarian conflict starts.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

This is pretty much what happened to the United States in Iraq.

You mean to say that Hizbollah doesn't actually have rockets? And that after learning Hizbollah doesn't have rockets the Israelis will stay around and rebuild Lebanon? I don't think so.

After a few weeks there will be most likely one of the 2 following ouctomes: (1) Hizbollah will be disarmed; (2) Hiabollah will not be disarmed.

Which outcome do you prefer? Which outcome will be most disappointing to you?

Hizbollah, Hamas, and Fatah all keep their military (men and materiel) mixed in with their unarmed populace. This practice contravenes the post-WWII Geneva agreements, but those organizations have denounced the Geneva agreements and agreed only to be bound by their interpretations of the Mohammed's teachings. Thus, Hizbollah, Hamas, and Fatah can not be combated, much less disarmed, without killing their civilians. It's a dilemma: when the Lebanese civilians die, do you put the blame more on Israel (ignoring the culpability implied by the Geneva greements), or do you put the blame more on Hizbullah? You can't be neutral, in my opinion, because Hizbullah is amassing weaponry to attack Isreal: hoped-for neutrality implies a judgment against Israel.

In this case, you really have to decide whom you want to lose.

Posted by: republicrat on July 21, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

So the people who want to spread democracy in the area want to destroy Hezbullah and Hamas primarily because they won elections and now hold the powers of the state.

Posted by: nut on July 21, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

An overlooked item in the news today is Lebanon's promise to fight "side by side" with Hezbollah if the IDF invades with ground troops. What I interpret this to mean is that there is an understanding between Israel and the Lebanese govt to engage in some shadow boxing friction after the IDF has swept the Shia neighborhoods, allowing the Lebanese Army to back the IDF out and take over the turf, with the cachet that comes from "driving off" the invaders. Then if the Lebanese Army needs support or assistance from the EU or other peacekeepers they have a fig leaf to justify calling them in for help.

Posted by: minion of rove on July 21, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

The land area of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip combined is 10,420.9 sq mi.

Consolidated metropolitan area of New York City, 10,457 sq mi.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Are you saying that Lebanon approved of firing missiles into Israel and kidnapping Israeli soldiers? Before Israel responded?

There's no evidence the Lebanese government was aware of Hezbollah's plan to capture -- not kidnap, thank you very much -- Israeli soldiers, nor had the ability to prevent it.

If they didn't, it would sure seem to me like Hezbollah was committing criminal acts, by Lebanonese law. Wonder why they weren't stopped by the Lebanonese?

Again, you imply the Lebanese had the awareness and capability to stop Hezbollah, an assertion not at all in evidence. Frankly, I am not familiar enough with Lebanese law to know if Hezbollah's operation against Israeli soldiers was illegal, although I do dispute your use of the term "kidnapping" -- the term is "capturing."

By the way, any more thoughts ...?

No

Imagine my surprise.

but I am sure that that is what Hezbollah's goal is. And Hamas too. Which makes sense, since they are terrorists.

But, again, Mike: why do you keep pointing to Hezbollah and Hamas, who we agree are terrorists, when you're asked about the actions of the US and Israel?

The effect of Israel's actions has been to inflict terror and fear -- not to mention hundreds of civilian casualties -- and, frankly, it's difficult to credit anything but the notion that they are, in fact, intended to do so. And again, the stated intention of the US' intial aerial blitz was "shock and awe" -- that's different from "terror and fear" exactly how?

Frankly, Mike, pointing to Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations is pretty thin beer when justifying the actions of the US and Israel.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

"So the people who want to spread democracy in the area want to destroy Hezbullah and Hamas primarily because they won elections and now hold the powers of the state."

Of course kidnapping and killing of a soverign nation's members of the armed forces, or launching rockets into civilian centers had nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

If you've got a lot of thugs standing on the sidewalk throwing rocks through your windows, do you call the cops, or do you move away?

Call the cops? Pussy. That's what a shotgun is for.

After a few weeks there will be most likely one of the 2 following ouctomes: (1) Hizbollah will be disarmed; (2) Hiabollah will not be disarmed.

It's this kind of astute, counter-intuitive, far-seeing political analysis that keeps me coming back here.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

Hamas is a racist organization whose charter cites the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Other than the Koran, it's the only external document mentioned.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

After a few weeks there will be most likely one of the 2 following ouctomes: (1) Hizbollah will be disarmed; (2) Hiabollah will not be disarmed.

Which outcome do you prefer? Which outcome will be most disappointing to you?

republicrat, your question presumes that Israel's tactics are likely to achieve the outcome of disarming Hezbollah, an assertion that is not at all in evidence. Given that, how dare you imply that critics of Israel's policy somehow desire to see Hezbollah not disarmed.

You're using the same dishonest -- and, frankly, loathsome and insulting -- rhetoric as defenders of Bush's disastrous Iraqi adventure, wherein critics were accused of being "objectively pro-Saddam" or "wanting the terrorists to win."

It is not at all established that the policy under issue is certain to win, effective, or even wise. Indeed, I contend that Israel's willy-nilly inflicting civilian casualties in Lebanon -- to say nothing of destroying painfully rebuilt infrastructure and political cohesion -- is counterproductive to Israel's interest -- to say nothing of the united States'.

By the by -- even if Hezbollah is disarmed, so what? They can always rearm -- and this time, I'd imagine, they'd want to concentrate in surface to air missiles, rather than ground to ground.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

The 1982 invasion of Lebanon had much grander goals than a quick expulsion of the PLO (although Ariel Sharon didn't bother to explain them to the Cabinet, much less the Israeli people). They intended to create a winner in the Lebanese civil strife, establishing a government under the psychotic killer, Maronite Bashir Gemayel. And when Bashir was assassinated, then his brother Amir. And when it became obvious that the Christians weren't able to retain their primacy in the Lebanese government, then they set up their own independent fiefdom south of the Litani (i.e., what is now Hezbollahland) under command of the South Lebanon army, a militia so fake they wore IDF uniforms.

I don't think the present war has any of these lofty (yet stupid) ambitions.

Posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on July 21, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Campesino, those figures are almost certainly bogus. You can read the hedges wide and clear - State's website simply says it's putting up figures from Al-Nahar. Most credible indepedent experts describe Shiite Muslims as the largest demographic group in Lebanon.

No, I believe Campesino is largely correct. Muslims are the largest single demographic group in Lebanon, but that includes both Sunni and Shia. Shia are the largest group of Muslims in Lebanon, which are themselves the largest group, but not by themselves the largest.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK
In this case, you really have to decide whom you want to lose.

I want Hezbollah to lose in terms of the declared aims of both sides, but I also want Israel to lose in terms of their apparent aims which go well beyond their declared aims.

This isn't really unusual; its very easy to want what someone says they want to achieve, and to see it as perfectly legitimate, but to believe that their means chosen to get it are both unlikely to achieve it, indeed counterproductive to that end, and quite bad for reasons beyond that, and most likely aimed at serving a non-overt agenda.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Hamas is a racist organization whose charter cites the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Other than the Koran, it's the only external document mentioned.

So what? Of course Hamas is deplorable. How does that justify Israel's attacks on civilians?

Does it ever occur to your people that you're currently using exactly the same justification -- such-and-such a group is evil and a threat -- that the terrorists use?

Color me unimpressed.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

An overlooked item in the news today is Lebanon's promise to fight "side by side" with Hezbollah if the IDF invades with ground troops. What I interpret this to mean is that there is an understanding between Israel and the Lebanese govt to engage in some shadow boxing friction after the IDF has swept the Shia neighborhoods, allowing the Lebanese Army to back the IDF out and take over the turf, with the cachet that comes from "driving off" the invaders.

That's interesting. The more obvious interpretation would seem to be that the Lebanese Army would resist, as best it can, the invasion of its soveriegn territory -- its right, of course, under the UN charter.

Hmmmmm....maybe Israel's bombing of Lebanese Army barracks makes sense after all...

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

There was an article the other day that mentioned that there hasn't been a proper census in Lebanon since the 30s and the proportional representation in the Lebanese government is based on the figure from that era.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Campesino, those figures are almost certainly bogus. You can read the hedges wide and clear - State's website simply says it's putting up figures from Al-Nahar. Most credible indepedent experts describe Shiite Muslims as the largest demographic group in Lebanon.

Posted by: glasnost on July 21, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Cite some

CIA says 39% Christian

https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/le.html#People

In any event, I don't think anyone says Shiia are the majority

Posted by: Campesino on July 21, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew J. Lazarus: I generally agree with your desrciption of 1982 invasion but we don not know what their plans this time around are.

You can't simply say that the present war has none of those lofty ambitions.

History has a nasty habit of repeating itself, especially in the middle east.

Posted by: GOD on July 21, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK
The 1982 invasion of Lebanon had much grander goals than a quick expulsion of the PLO (although Ariel Sharon didn't bother to explain them to the Cabinet, much less the Israeli people).

If this effort doesn't have other hidden goals, why the attacks on non-Hezbollah (particularly civilian) targets well outside of the area Hezbollah's military wing occupies?

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Of course kidnapping and killing of a soverign nation's members of the armed forces, or launching rockets into civilian centers had nothing to do with it.

so killing members of a sovereign nation's armed forces, and launching explosives into civilian centers, is justification for attacking civilian targets in retaliation?

You do realize, Freedom Fighter, that you've just justified a retaliatory strike by Lebanon, as Israel has done exactly that? It's just that Lebanon doesn't have the capability.

Which, come to think of it, does little credit to Israel's military -- their ability to devatate a relatively unarmed and defenseless neighbor is only impressive to the chickenhawks' lust for war porn.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

They may not rule Lebanon, but they certainly have them by the short hairs.

And yet last week Mike was arguing with me that the US military, with 40,000 troops in Baghdad, could not be said to be in occupation of that city, while now he's arguing that Hezbollah, with only a few thousand armed men (see globalsecurity.org), is powerful enough to hold Lebanon "by the short hairs."

Ok, so the RSM rule is 40,000 soldiers from the world's most powerful military -- not large enough to control one city. But 3,000 or so lightly armed fighters -- enough to control a country.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Shi'a Muslims of the Twelver Sect are the single largest religious group in Lebanon today. They are generally believed to be between 30 and 40 percent of the total population, although estimates vary wildly. They have traditionally been the poorest community in Lebanon

From Wikipedia.

Posted by: Hostile on July 21, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Of course kidnapping and killing of a soverign nation's members of the armed forces, or launching rockets into civilian centers had nothing to do with it.

Hey, we do that to Iraq all the time -- does Iraq have justification then to attack us?

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Will all you people get a clue? The only reason this war started is because Israel tried to talk to hizbullah. Israel gave them what they wanted in its pullout of southern Lebanon six years ago. The fact that hizbullah continues to attack is a sign that they have not given up their dream to erase Israel entirely. These are not people you talk to. First get hezbulah out of lebanon , then talk and get a u.n. force.

Posted by: sickandtired on July 21, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that hizbullah continues to attack is a sign that they have not given up their dream to erase Israel entirely.

If Hezbullah's dream is to "erase Israel entirely," lobbing a few SCUDs and capturing a couple of soldiers seems like a piss-poor way of bringing it about.

"Erasing Israel entirely" would require attacks that more closely resemble what Israel is doing to the sovereign nation of Lebanon.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

'Attacking civilians'? How would you know?


Does it ever occur to your people that you're currently using exactly the same justification -- such-and-such a group is evil and a threat -- that the terrorists use?


Terrorists wouldn't tell you they're doing it because they're wrong, would they? Ann Coulter says things about liberals that are actually true of conservatives.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I don't have a direct line to Ehud Olmert. Maybe he does have Sharon-like fantasies of what to do in Lebanon. But color me skeptical of the destruction of the airport and highways as evidence. Hezbollah doesn't get its rockets by helicopter drop, at least I don't think so. It seems much more likely that they get supplies by air and road.

I think there was some expectation that the 'permissible' Israeli retaliation would be a few airstrikes confined to the border area. Why? What is the use of 'proportionate' response that doesn't prevent recurrence of hostile acts of war?

Posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on July 21, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

last week Mike was arguing with me that the US military, with 40,000 troops in Baghdad, could not be said to be in occupation of that city

What are they -- there for a convention?

Not in control of the city, obviously. Not occupying it? Pull the other one.

RSM's grasp of geopolitics seems to boil down to "us good, them bad."

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

One of the biggest problems with the current Israeli response is this: it's ludicrous. They're angry at Iran and Syria so they bomb Lebanon. And bombing Lebanon is supposed to so hurt Iran and Syria that they'll stop whatever it is that is making Israel angry.

How does that work? It's as if we were so mad at Cuba that we bombed Belize. Is the world just completely nuts or is it only the people who are in the papers?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on July 21, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

How can anyone outside the intelligence service know whether those are exclusively 'civilian' targets or not? Hezbollah has organized the whole Shia society of southern Lebanon around themselves.

Again, you're simply not thinking about the extremely small, cramped size of the place, 70% the size of Connecticut, and the Shia region of it is smaller still.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

'Attacking civilians'? How would you know?

There are reportedly several hundred dead civilians -- including not a few children -- who I'm sure would love to be able to debate your skepticism.

In addition, the radio reported this morning that a number of the trucks bombed by the Israelis on a particular road were loaded with produce bound for market. Terrorist fruits and vegetables, no doubt.

Terrorists wouldn't tell you they're doing it because they're wrong, would they?

So then are we wrong to denounce their justifications? Or are we wrong to adopt them? Or is it just that Bush's apologists will adopt any handy excuse to carry water for him?

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Erasing Israel entirely" would require attacks that more closely resemble what Israel is doing to the sovereign nation of Lebanon.

If Lebanon is a sovereign nation, then why doesn't it control its own southern border? Its sovereignty appears to end at the Litani. Or perhaps is a sovereign nation that commits acts of war against Israel. I realize that the Lebanese government, with its weak army and with Hezbollah in the government, is hardly capable of stopping Hezbollah even if it wanted to, but why this precludes the Israelis from defending their borders is not one bit clear to me.

Let me also explain the problem with Hezbollah's professed dedication to the erasure of Israel. It means, assuming they are serious, simply, that there is very little use opening any sort of long-term peace negotiations with them. They weren't satisfied with the long-overdue Israeli departure from Southern Lebanon. Is there any particular reason to believe that they would stop shelling Israel even in the event of a complete withdrawal to the 1967 borders? Or is the idea that Hezbollah gets both the 1967 borders and carte blanche to continue offensive operations against Israel? That's a pretty simple question. Hezbollah appears to believe that the answer is 'Yes'. I think I'll take them at their word.

Posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on July 21, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

How can anyone outside the intelligence service know whether those are exclusively 'civilian' targets or not?

Ah....exclusively civilian, is it, now? Let me guess: Those dead civilians in the collapsed apartment buildings are...collateral damage!

Two words, my friend: Beirut Airport. Israel enjoys total air superiority over Lebanon. There is no reason at all to destroy the civilian airport -- particularly in such a spectacular -- indeed, "shock and awe"! -- fashion as blowing up the fuel depot. Regardless of what threadbare justification tossed out, and I've yet to see one that passed the laugh test, it was clearly a collective punishment attack against a civilian target.

Funny, we used to hang people for that sort of thing.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK
It's as if we were so mad at Cuba that we bombed Belize.

I think the analogy is more clear if you replace "Cuba" with "al-Qaeda" and "Belize" with "Iraq".

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

'trucks loaded with produce', oh, honestly.

You missed the point, the terrorists ape the justifications of the opposite side to confuse people. There is a truth in the conflict, and they want the truth.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

This is grotesque. It makes me sick to my stomach.

This is Israel sending a message to the Arab world: "Don't try to get above your station. We're 'the only democracy in the Middle East' and we're going to keep it that way. Don't try to build a modern society, because we'll just destroy it."

Lebanese society was quickly growing and, if it had continued, it would eventually have become as prosperous as Israel, or more so. Israel didn't want that to happen. It would ruin its narrative. So it engaged in genocidal terrorist attacks on Lebanese infrastructure and civilians.

The idiotic U.S. support of these war crimes will spark more terrorism. This doesn't benefit us in any way at all. We should be in the forefront condemning the shitty little country and supporting Lebanon's right to self-defense. We should be arming Lebanon, not Israel.

Words cannot express the contempt I hold for Israel. I really, really hope that Israel's opponents are strong enough this time to wipe out the shitty little country once and for all. As far as I'm concerned, Israel lost its right to exist when its voters rewarded the murder of Yitzhak Rabin by voting in Netanyahu.

Posted by: Firebug on July 21, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

It's as if we were so mad at Cuba that we bombed Belize.

I think the analogy is more clear if you replace "Cuba" with "al-Qaeda" and "Belize" with "Iraq".

Clarifying the disjunction and insanity works better with fresher material.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on July 21, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

The airport is where planes land.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

It's as if we were so mad at Cuba that we bombed Belize.

If memory serves me right, one of Bush's geniuses in the DoD suggested attacking al Qaeda somewhere in South America, becuase they'd never expect it. (Indeed not!)

If Lebanon is a sovereign nation, then why doesn't it control its own southern border? ... I realize that the Lebanese government, with its weak army and with Hezbollah in the government, is hardly capable of stopping Hezbollah even if it wanted to

I was going to answer your question, but it seems to did it for me.

but why this precludes the Israelis from defending their borders is not one bit clear to me.

Spare me the straw man. "Defending their borders" != "attacking civilian targets," "decimating the Lebanese Army" (which did not attack Israel), "inflicting collective punishment on Lebanon's citizenry" or "destroying Lebanon's civil and political infrasturcture."

Rip that one up, Andrew. No one is arguing Israel's right to defend its borders, but rather their obviously excessive tactics against Lebanon's civilians, which are not only disgusting but also likely counterproductive.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that hizbullah continues to attack is a sign that they have not given up their dream to erase Israel entirely.

If Hezbullah's dream is to "erase Israel entirely," lobbing a few SCUDs and capturing a couple of soldiers seems like a piss-poor way of bringing it about.

"Erasing Israel entirely" would require attacks that more closely resemble what Israel is doing to the sovereign nation of Lebanon.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK First off the attacks by Israel are justified as they are trying their best to avoid civillian casualties while eliminating the threat to them; whereas Hizbullah specifically targets civillians. Secondly, I dont see how firing missiles at large metropolitan cities such as Haifa would be a piss-poor way to wipe out Israel.

Posted by: sickandtired on July 21, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Suppose a civil airliner tried to take off or land from Beirut airport during this and the Israelis shot it down, that would look great, wouldn't?

It's more practical, and more humane, to simply bomb the runways. But, I think Gregory would prefer the spectacle of still more civilian casualties to decorate his error.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

"You do realize, Freedom Fighter, that you've just justified a retaliatory strike by Lebanon, as Israel has done exactly that?"

Who cares about justification when the fighting has already started? And why would anyone care about retaliatory strike, if elements out of Lebanon already initiated the first strike?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

The airport is where planes land.

Duh. And given Israel's total air superiority over Lebanon, nothing lands -- or takes off -- save with Israel's blessing. Therefore, attacking the civilian airport was unnecessary, except as an act of collective punsihment or to inflict terror and fear on the populace. Now, do you have a rebuttal, or not? So far you don't.

'trucks loaded with produce', oh, honestly.

Yes? You have a point to make? The reporter didn't see civilian trucks, perhaps, and made them up? That it really was terrorist fruits and vegetables?

You missed the point, the terrorists ape the justifications of the opposite side to confuse people.

It seems now that the side you're defending is now the one aping the justifications of the other side. So again you beg the question, are we wrong to denounce their justifications? Or are we wrong to adopt them? Or is it just that Bush's apologists will adopt any handy excuse to carry water for him?

There is a truth in the conflict, and they want the truth.

Frankly, you're doing a pretty poor job of establishing that your perception of the truth is at all credible.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Hey, we do that to Iraq all the time -- does Iraq have justification then to attack us?"

Do they? Do Iraqis want to attack us?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Firebug has gotten in touch with his inner Kapo. I understand, but it just leads to more violence. It is US military aid to Israel that allows for the killing of so many civilians, so perhaps Firebug should turn attention to the US government and wish for its demise instead.

Posted by: Hostile on July 21, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Words cannot express the contempt I hold for Israel. I really, really hope that Israel's opponents are strong enough this time to wipe out the shitty little country once and for all. As far as I'm concerned, Israel lost its right to exist when its voters rewarded the murder of Yitzhak Rabin by voting in Netanyahu."

I think the freedom loving Palestinians are totally supportive of not allowing anyone who disagree with them to have the right to exist.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

You have a naive imagination, except where you imagine Israeli villainy, then the detail seems endless. Trucks loaded with innocent produce. Who could think anything might be underneath?

Who are we to denounce their justifications? Hezbollah hasn't ceased to lob missiles over the border since Israel withdrew, but you seem never to notice.

Ann Coulter says things about liberals that actually are, literally, true of conservatives. Palestinians ambitions are literally the same ambitions they ascribe to Israelis. Social conservatives understand only themselves and bullying, Republicans and muslims are almost exactly the same kind of people, that's why Republican views on these circumstances are often more true than not.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

First off the attacks by Israel are justified

Well, simply asserting it doesn't make it so, but you're partly right -- Engaging Hezbollah in self defense is justified. Engaging in collective punishment of a civilian populace that had nothing to do with the attacks is not at all justified. Nor, I might add, is giving Israel a free pass.

as they are trying their best to avoid civillian casualties

Well, objective evidence indicates they're doing a pretty lousy job. But still -- How do you know? Israel says they are, and you believe it, right? As cld said, "There is a truth in the conflict, and they want the truth. "

while eliminating the threat to them

Destroying Lebanon's political and civilian infrastructure "eliminates the threat" how, exactly?

whereas Hizbullah specifically targets civillians

True. So what? Israel is pissing away its moral high ground, and you're cheering them on. Hardly the action of a supporter, I'd say.

Secondly, I dont see how firing missiles at large metropolitan cities such as Haifa would be a piss-poor way to wipe out Israel.

Given the relative inaccuracy, limited range and general ineffectiveness of the missiles in question, the fact that you don't see how sporadic rocket attacks on a single city are a piss-poor way to wipe out Israel says, I'm afraid, more about your own deficient logic than anything else.

Suppose a civil airliner tried to take off or land from Beirut airport during this and the Israelis shot it down, that would look great, wouldn't?

Lackign any basis in reality, cld now turns to hypotheticals. Nothing was flying, cld. Taking off a civilian airline would have been suicidal.

Moreover, again, having total air superiority, the Israelis could have easily communicated with, intercepted and attempted to escort any civilian aircraft using the airport.

It's more practical, and more humane, to simply bomb the runways.

Than shooting down a civilian airliner? Undoubtedly. But, of course, since shooting down a civilian airliner was not at all a realistic possibiliy, the fact remains that Israel engaged in collective punishment against a civilian target. There's also the fact that Israel bombed the fuel depot as well -- a rather more spectacular target than "humanely" bombing the runways. Oddly enough, cld fails to mention this element of the attack, not its undoubted effect in producing -- yes! -- terror and fear.

But, I think Gregory would prefer the spectacle of still more civilian casualties to decorate his error.

Well, since you have so far failed to demonstrate any "error," the rest of your analysis is rather worthless, I'm afriad. I can see why your deficient rhetoric would cause you to reach for an ad hominem, but it seems that it's you, cld, who is arguing in favor of attacks on civilians, while I am arguing against. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

You have a naive imagination, except where you imagine Israeli villainy

Sadly, cld, I don't have to imagine Israel's attacks on civilian targets; the evidence is all over the news.

Trucks loaded with innocent produce. Who could think anything might be underneath

Actually, cld, it seems to be you with the active imagination. If you have any evidence that anything was underneath, present it; otherwise, the fact that has been established is that the trucks were civilian, and you have presented nothing but imagination to say otherwise.

And that's only one example of the civilian targets and civilian dead that have been documented. Now, if cld were honest, he/she/it might speculate that Israel attacked any truck on the road, civilian or otherwise. Indeed, I expect this is probably the case. That simply means that Israel is demonstrably acting with reckless disregard for civilian lives, as seems to be the case. Yet it's cld who imagines some nefarious means to justify Israel's actions.

Hezbollah hasn't ceased to lob missiles over the border since Israel withdrew, but you seem never to notice.

Au contraire, cld; I've cited Hezbollah's rocket attacks specifically, and affirmed israel's right to defend against them. How that right justifies attacking civilians is something you have yet to establish.

it's also becoming increasingly clear that many on these forums -- I'll name names: cld, Freedom Fighter and a few others -- don't really give a damn about the justifications. Israel is kicking ass, and they support it -- regardless of who is really doing the suffering. That attitude is far more disgusting than the evident disregard for civilian life Israel is showing.

Palestinians ambitions are literally the same ambitions they ascribe to Israelis.

Not exactly. Palistinians' ambition is to have a state, something Israel already does.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

How can you type so well while blind?

If shooting down a civil airliner wasn't at all a realistic possibility, that hardly says much for the Israeli airforce, does it?

If you are, personally, so remarkably capable of identifying a military target, targets carefully involved with the civilian population, yet that do not have any civilian population anywhere near them, then I really think you had best volunteer for the army since that is an extraordinary talent.

Where is the origin of your belief that every Israeli action is meant, it's 'undoubted effect', to produce terror and fear?

And bombing a fuel depot doesn't have a military significance?

How do you type while blind, this is the mystery.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone catch the Condi press conference? Absolutely Orwellian.

Posted by: nepeta on July 21, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, I think you could save us all some time by specifying positively what tactics are permissible for the Israelis to use in attempting to stop Hezbollah rocket attacks (leaving aside the captured soldiers for the moment).

I would also appreciate it if you would estimate your program's probability of success.

Posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on July 21, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

then withdraw all but a token force within six months

Funniest line ever. Unless you're serious and consider 30,000 troops, the number called for after six months a token force.

Posted by: klyde on July 21, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone heard whether Israel has Arrow anti-missile systems deployed near Haifa?
I'd have expected them to at least *try* to knock down some of the incoming rockets. And it would make sense that those systems would be deployed where there is a threat - Hezbollah territory would seem to qualify.

So, not having heard anything, I am guessing that one of the following is the case:
- Katyushas are too small for Arrow to be effective (or cost-effective)
- they weren't deployed there
- they were deployed and are failing

Given the system is supposed to have been based on the Patriot and improved on it - if the last option is the reality ... what the fcuk did we spend all that $$ on the Patriot for?

Posted by: kenga on July 21, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

As long as Hezbollah can use their own population as human shields they should be allowed to remain inviolate, no matter what they've done?

Looking at a truck full of produce from the air, how do you see what's underneath? Gregory, use your magic crystal and astral project the answer to me.

I've cited Hezbollah's rocket attacks specifically, and affirmed israel's right to defend against them. How that right justifies attacking civilians is something you have yet to establish.

I think the whole content of my previous few posts has done exactly that.

The Palestinian ambition to have a state could have been realized at almost any point of the past sixty years, but their only ambition, their only purpose is the destruction of Israel, and every time they might have had a state they've managed to, just conveniently, thwart it.Their only concept of nationality is contra-Israel.

'Palestinians' have never had a state in this region, never had their own economy, 80% of the Ottoman region of Palestine is outside the area in dispute, which is smaller than New Hampshire.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, we do that to Iraq all the time -- does Iraq have justification then to attack us?

Actually isreal does it all the time, well did it all the time. Why do you think Hezbollah continues to demand a prisoner exchange? isreal holds dozens if not hundres of Lebanese rounded up during the occupation and held for years without charge or trial.

Posted by: klyde on July 21, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fries: Do they? Do Iraqis want to attack us?

Seems they not only want to do actually do so about 50 to 60 times a day, yes. But since Israel is justified in invading Lebanon because Hezbollah bombed Israeli civilian sites, and since we bomb Iraqi civilian sites, then it seems the Iraqis are certainly justified.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

I've cited Hezbollah's rocket attacks specifically, and affirmed israel's right to defend against them. How that right justifies attacking civilians is something you have yet to establish.

I think the whole content of my previous few posts has done exactly that. The Palestinian ambition to have a state could have been realized at almost any point of the past sixty years, but their only ambition, their only purpose is the destruction of Israel, and every time they might have had a state they've managed to, just conveniently, thwart it.Their only concept of nationality is contra-Israel.

Look, you moron, he was talking about Israel's strikes against Hezbollah in Lebanon, and you pretend to answer him with some blather about Palestinians. Just so you know, Hezbollah is not Palestinian -- Hezbollah is composed of Shiite Lebanese whose aim is the creation of a Shiite theocracy in Lebanon, while the Palestinians are not (mainly) Shiite and not Lebanese.

While everything in that region is intertwined, your answer had literally nothing to do with what he was asking you about. It's as if we invaded Canada and you justified it because of the threat we faced from Mexico. If you can't think, at least look at a map once in a while.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

cld wrote: Trucks loaded with innocent produce. Who could think anything might be underneath

You might very well have a bomb strapped to your body underneath your clothing. How could anyone be sure that you don't? Therefore, the police should shoot you on sight.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 21, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK


Stefan,

He was talking about Palestine in the sentence, Not exactly. Palistinians' ambition is to have a state, something Israel already does.

That was the basis for my answer to that statement.His other madness was aptly answered previously in that post.

I am sad to see Stefan reads none of my posts, I always read his.

Hezbollah made the assault against every town in northern Israel and kidnapped the two soldiers in support of the Palestinians in the present circumstances, as they have said.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist, You might very well have a bomb strapped to your body underneath your clothing. How could anyone be sure that you don't?


Isn't that the whole story of the last ten years?

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

If shooting down a civil airliner wasn't at all a realistic possibility, that hardly says much for the Israeli airforce, does it?

Au contraire, cld -- it says enough for the Israeli air force's total air superiority that nothing was flying.

Moreover, if a genuinely civilian airliner -- full of, say, American and Europeans fleeing the flighting, which Israel prevented from evacuating by air -- did take off, the Israelis would have hardly been obligated or forced to shoot it down.

Israel had total air superiority. Therefore, there was no need to destroy Beirut's civilian airport. All you offer in defense is hypotheticals.

If you are, personally, so remarkably capable of identifying a military target, targets carefully involved with the civilian population, yet that do not have any civilian population anywhere near them, then I really think you had best volunteer for the army since that is an extraordinary talent.

and from another post

Looking at a truck full of produce from the air, how do you see what's underneath?

So, it's okay if Israel bombs a civilian target, if it can be plausibly argued that it might have been a military target? By these posts, cld is asserting Israel's right -- nay, its obligation -- to attack apparently civilian targets on the off chance that they might be, or be near, military targets.

As for the hundreds of dead civilians, I guess, oops, oh well.

I can only repeat that striking at Hamas and its rockets are one thing; attacking Lebanons political and civilian infrastructure -- which Israel is unquestionably doing -- is quite another.

Where is the origin of your belief that every Israeli action is meant, it's 'undoubted effect', to produce terror and fear?

The origin of my so-called belief that every Israeli action is intended to produce terror and fear is your own imagination ot your dishonesty, take your pick.

That the destruction of Beirut's civilain airport is intended as such, well, the origin is Occam's Razor.

And bombing a fuel depot doesn't have a military significance?

Bombing the fuel depot of a civ8lian airport that you acknowledge had had its runway destroyed, no, has very little military significance. It did make good visuals, though, and again, had the effect of producing terror and feat in Beirut's civilians much more effectively than humdrum anti-runway bombs did. Funny, that...

As long as Hezbollah can use their own population as human shields they should be allowed to remain inviolate, no matter what they've done?

Well, again, you're presuming that Israel has attacked nothing but military targets -- an assertion that runs counter to the available facts. And furthermore, one might imagine that Hezbollah would mingle with the population in order to make an attacker reluctant to incur the consequences of indiscriminate slaughter of civilians. But hey, if you want to advocate Israel playing into its enemies' hands, you go right ahead.

I think the whole content of my previous few posts has done exactly that.

Unfortunately, my rebuttals have shown that you've failed to do exactly that.

'Palestinians' have never had a state in this region

Why the scare quotes? But you hit on the problem -- UN Resolution 242, which paved the way for the State of Israel, also called for a Palestinian state. surely you aren't wholly ignorant of the Israeli/Palestinain conflict, or the fact that neither side are exactly angels?

their only ambition, their only purpose is the destruction of Israel

That statement is simply false, cld. Although you've used a number of fallacies, inaccurate paraphrases, straw men and generally poor argumentation, I've given you the benefit of the doubt in presuming you're an honest commentator, but no more. With that, cld, I think we're done.

Andrew: I think you could save us all some time by specifying positively what tactics are permissible for the Israelis to use in attempting to stop Hezbollah rocket attacks (leaving aside the captured soldiers for the moment).

Noting that Israel has no right to target civilians, and indeed a positive obligation not to under international law, does not obligate me to describe what else they should do. What's permissible is not targeting civilians, full stop. Again, "attempting to stop Hezbollah rocket attacks" != "attacking Lebanon's political and civilian infrasturcture." That's twice now you've conflated "attempting to stop Hezbollah rocket attacks" with the vastly greater scope of what Israel is actually doing, and twice i've been forced to correct you. If you do so again, I will assume that you, like cld, are simply dishonest.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Hezbollah is composed of Shiite Lebanese whose aim is the creation of a Shiite theocracy in Lebanon,

Is that what they were planning to do with those 20,000 rockets, or however many it was? Were they playing the Iranians, promising to destroy Israel but planning to use the rockets inside Lebanon?

I don't think so. Hizbollah's policy since the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon has been to increase its military power so that it can destroy Israel, and that's why it has the backing from Iran. Hezbollah may still be interested in inflicting a Shi'ite theocracy on Lebanon, but it is certainly interested in destroying Israel.

Posted by: republicrat on July 21, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

You might very well have a bomb strapped to your body underneath your clothing. How could anyone be sure that you don't? Therefore, the police should shoot you on sight.

Especially in a war zone where it is known that people have bombs strapped to their bodies. right now, almost all trucks in some sections of Lebanon, such as the roads to Damascus, are in fact carrying munitions, so attacking them is the right thing for Israel to do.

Posted by: republicrat on July 21, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

That was the basis for my answer to that statement.

...the statement you answered, albeit incoorectly, was in response to your earlier post that "Palestinians ambitions are literally the same ambitions they ascribe to Israelis."

...a misconception that I simply corrected. You brought up the Palestinians, cld, and Stefan is right to call you on it.

As to the rest, how Israel's undisputed right justifies to defend against Hezbollah's rocket attacks justifies attacking civilians is, indeed, something you have yet to establish. All you've done is waver between the excuses that the targets might have been military, that genuine military targets were too close to civilians (which, of course, by no means obligates Israel to attack them), or that the attackes were not, in fact, against civilians. As I've noted, none of these excuses stands up to the laugh test.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

I think the real Al died in the fighting against the fake (um, real) Zarqawi. Hence, this is one of Al's body doubles posting here.

Posted by: Red on July 21, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

right now, almost all trucks in some sections of Lebanon, such as the roads to Damascus, are in fact carrying munitions

Any evidence at all for this assertion?

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

enozinho: the PLO was an outside group that came in and took advantage of Lebanon's civil war, setting up their own little mafia state. The Shiites cheered when they were forced out, but then created Hezbollah (a native group) when the Israelis wouldn't leave.

Posted by: Red on July 21, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Hezbollah may still be interested in inflicting a Shi'ite theocracy on Lebanon, but it is certainly interested in destroying Israel.

As pointed out above, regardless of what Hezbollah is interested in, it could hardly "destroy Israel" with even 20,000 rockets whose range precludes them from striking most of Israel's territory.

Israel, again, is certainly justified in taking out the rocket sites anyway, but the exaggeration hardly does credit to the poster's credibility.

Oh -- it's republicrat. That's okay, he/she/it had none left to begin with.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, UN Resolution 242, which paved the way for the State of Israel, also called for a Palestinian state.


Exactly. But they have never declared a state. Why? Not even a government-in-exile.

If they did they couldn't play the innocent victim. If they did they would no longer be a non-state entity, they would be another Arab government, a power player, that is, a threat in Arab politics, immediately torn apart by the outside, the way Lebanon is just a province for diplomacy by other means.

if a genuinely civilian airliner -- full of, say, American and Europeans fleeing the flighting, which Israel prevented from evacuating by air -- did take off, the Israelis would have hardly been obligated or forced to shoot it down.

And that's exactly what happened. They delayed shutting the airport while some civil airliners escaped. But without physical control of the airport, how can you say what's on any plane that might arrive?

You still don't tell me how you can know just what structures might or might not contain Hezbollah military assets. When a suicide bomber blows up a Pizza Hut, where's the military target? Where is your sense of balance?

Your statement, The effect of Israel's actions has been to inflict terror and fear -- not to mention hundreds of civilian casualties -- and, frankly, it's difficult to credit anything but the notion that they are, in fact, intended to do so.

Not my imagination, that's your imagination speaking. A remarkable imagination where airports and fuel depots have no military significance.

Gregory, your arguments make no sense in the context. The area is really, really small. All of Lebanon is 70% the size of Connecticut, and the Shia region in the south is a lot smaller still, little more than the size of one county in the US. What could you attack without hitting someone? And, even giving Hezbollah the benefit of the doubt in this, where could they put their junk without being right in the lap of a hundred civilians?

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

America and Isreal should learn that while the countries we invade don't do shock and awe all that well we don't do occupation all that well.

Posted by: darby1936 on July 21, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Palestinians ambitions are literally the same ambitions they ascribe to Israelis."

I suppose you're right, I should have said 'mirror image'. They mean to eradicate Israel, and presume the same the feeling is reciprocated. This is why I was talking about how social conservatives only understand others in reference to their own naked id.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

"Seems they not only want to do actually do so about 50 to 60 times a day, yes. But since Israel is justified in invading Lebanon because Hezbollah bombed Israeli civilian sites, and since we bomb Iraqi civilian sites, then it seems the Iraqis are certainly justified."

Yes but, those 50 to 60 bombs go off in markets, bus stops, police stations, school etc... unless these are places where you'd find Americans, I'd say the attacks are directed at Iraqis.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

You might very well have a bomb strapped to your body underneath your clothing. How could anyone be sure that you don't? Therefore, the police should shoot you on sight.

Except then, of course, any thinking terrorist would start carrying bombs with a dead man's switch -- i.e. a trigger that will prevent the bomb from going off if held down, but once released will cause it to detonate. Think of a grenade with the pin pulled out. Shoot the man, therefore, and you cause him to release his grip and blow the bomb.

Got any more bright ideas?

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Why do you think Hezbollah continues to demand a prisoner exchange? isreal holds dozens if not hundres of Lebanese rounded up during the occupation and held for years without charge or trial."

Israel is really being unfair here. Because we all know when Israel's citizens are captured, they'd never be held without charges or trials.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

right now, almost all trucks in some sections of Lebanon, such as the roads to Damascus, are in fact carrying munitions

Gregory: got any evidence for this assertion?

He can't, because it's a nonsense assertion -- "almost all in some" is so vague and broad a qualification that it is literally meaningless. Is that 1%? 10% 100%? Who knows?

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, All you've done is waver between the excuses that the targets might have been military, that genuine military targets were too close to civilians (which, of course, by no means obligates Israel to attack them), or that the attackes were not, in fact, against civilians.


I never waver.

And I've never said Israel was 'obligated' to attack anything.

But you can't actually know any of that. Unless you're in the Israeli military intelligence service so you're just talking through your hat. As if trucks driving into a war zone have never before been known to carry military supplies. Gregory, you're grasping at the bar stool.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yes but, those 50 to 60 bombs go off in markets, bus stops, police stations, school etc... unless these are places where you'd find Americans, I'd say the attacks are directed at Iraqis.

No, the attacks are also directed at American combat patrols. Or do you think those 1 to 3 Americans a day who are dying in Iraq are dying as the result of mysterious unknown accidents rather than guerilla attacks?

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

After a few weeks there will be most likely one of the 2 following ouctomes: (1) Hizbollah will be disarmed; (2) Hizbollah will not be disarmed.
...
It's this kind of astute, counter-intuitive, far-seeing political analysis that keeps me coming back here.

So, what do you really worry about more? That Hizbollah will have thousands of rockets aimed at Israel, or that they won't?

Some writers up above have suggested that Israel is trying to "destroy" Hizbollah and Hamas. All evidence is that they are trying to disarm Hizbollah and Hamas. If Israelis wanted to destroy Israel and Hamas, then they'd do so.

To repeat a point: Hizbollah, Hamas and Fatah all store (and in some cases make) their weapons in civilian locations, using their own populaces as hostages or human shields. There is no way to disarm Hizbollah without killing civilians. Sparing Lebanese civilians in southern Lebanon therefor contributes to Hizbollah military power over Israel.

There are some gruesome simplicities here: Hizbollah will either be disarmed or not; killing the Lebanese "human shields" is a price of disarming Hizbollah; the UN ordered the Lebanese govt to disarm Hizbollah (and Syria not to support Hizbollah), but the Lebanese govt hasn't the power to do so (and Syria is in defiance); Iran, the ally of Hizbollah, has promised to destroy Israel; the desire to destroy Israel is motivated by the existence of Israel, not by its particular borders or policies.

from 560BC until 1948, the land now called Israel was ruled by foreign empires: Babylonian, Persian, Alexandrian, ... . When the Jews started migrating toward the future "Zionist entity", the land was ruled by the Ottoman empire. When Israel won its first war of independence, it won independence from the empire of Great Britain. Israel's neighbors tried to destroy in in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973; the "occupied territory" was acquired in the war of 1967, and most was returned after the treaty between Egypt and Israel; Jordan signed a treaty with Israel without demanding return of the West Bank, and the treaty with Egypt does not demand return of the Gaza Strip. If the land does not belong to Israel, then it belongs to Great Britain, or to Turkey, or to Baghdad (from the era of the Caliphates), or the Byzantine Empire. There is not sense in which it belongs to Hizbollah or the Palestinians, but the fundamental fact of war is that those people are trying to take it, and Israel is trying to disarm them.

Posted by: republicrat on July 21, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

"America and Isreal should learn that while the countries we invade don't do shock and awe all that well we don't do occupation all that well."

Considering where Japan and Germany are where they are today, I think it's safe to say you are wrong.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly. But they have never declared a state.

False. They never accepted the partition in Resolution 242, but an Arab "All-Palestine Government" under the Grand Mufti was set up; the real reason no viable Palestinian state was formed seems to be the fact that Palestinian national organizations were, even then, sponsored by outside players, and pawns in a bigger intra-Arab dispute, that between Hashemites (Transjordan and Iraq) and, essentially, everyone else (Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt).

The 1948 war against the newborn Israel was largely a war of which Arab faction was going to be dominant in the Arab world; which is why, in the runup to that war, Transjordan's Arab Legion violently suppressed forces loyal to the "All-Palestine Government" (which was aligned with the Egyptian faction).

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Apologies -- I see that the bomb strapped under the clothing scenario was a hypothetical proposed by SecularAnimist, rather than by republicrat. My point about the dead man's switch still applies, but my "got any other bright ideas?" was misdirected, as I'd thought republicrat had proposed that as a justification for shooting people on sight rather than himself replying to SA. A round of apologies to both of you.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

UN report today is that about 30% of Lebanese casualties are children.

Second, remember the Israeli general who, at the start of this who;e thing, said that they were going to take Lebanon back 20 years; he meant 1986, with all the destruction then.

Third, the Lebanese army is basically proportional representation so a good proportion is Shia, and more than half Islamic. They've never had a chance of disarming the Hizbullah even if they had the power on paper. The UN force was not mandated to fight to supress the group; the Security Council who wrote the mandate included the US who have a veto over anything they don't like.

How many times have they been the only one to vote against resolutions and to veto them? Isn't there a little madness in believing the whole darn world is wrong and only Israel and the US are sane?

As to the much mentioned pull out from Gaza and S. Lebanon, let's use the thug example. If the thugs that have been living in your house, and trashing it while they are there, then move out into the street and, in the case of house Gaza, won't let you in or out of any door or window except by their permission, and then metaphorically jostling and spitting on you and only letting you go to the end of the street, you might continue to resent them somewhat. You think? Well, in both Palestinian and Lebanese territory, these gansters did more than just trash the place.

Both sides are as lacking in morality, it's just that the bully Israel has never shied away from killing ten of "them" for any one of "us". And they have the US financed arms to do it. Whoopsy-do. Has anybody got anywhere these last 40 years using violence.

Time to talk, and talk the whoel thing out. It's no good separating out the Palestinians from the rest of the mix.

Posted by: notthere on July 21, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

kenga, Patriot missiles were positioned near Haifa but didn't seem to work against the small rockets that Hezbollah uses.

Posted by: michele on July 21, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly. But they have never declared a state. Why?

Oh, I was mistaken -- you really do need a history lesson in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But again, this conflict Israel's targeting civilians in its current actions in Lebanon ... how, exactly?

But without physical control of the airport, how can you say what's on any plane that might arrive?

Having total air superiority, of course, the Israelis did have physical control of the airport. And, of course, being a war zone, the arriving aircraft cld cites are yet another example of his/her/its imagination. his hypotheticals, again, fail to characterize Israel's destruction of Beirut's airport as anything other than an attack on a civilian target -- and one meant to collectively punish and terrorize the civilian populace, at that.

You still don't tell me how you can know just what structures might or might not contain Hezbollah military assets.

Of course not -- because, obviously, if you don't know, you shouldn't bomb them. You still don't tell me how you justify bombing structures that might contain civilians or Hezbollah military assets -- are you saying Israel is merely criminally reckless?

When a suicide bomber blows up a Pizza Hut, where's the military target? Where is your sense of balance?

There isn't one, obviously, and such an attack is rightly condemned. But again, why do you insist on justifying Israel's attacking civilian targets by pointing out that Hezbollah does the same? "We only do what the terrorists do" is a pretty piss-poor excuse," and again, I contend that Israel pissing away what claim it has to the moral high ground, which you cheer, is a serious mistake. As yet, you've failed to summon a response.

Not my imagination, that's your imagination speaking. A remarkable imagination where airports and fuel depots have no military significance.

Well, as to the latter point, again you're dishonestly stating my contention, which is hardly a suprise at this point. But it is hardly my "imagination" to state that the "effect of Israel's actions has been to inflict terror and fear -- not to mention hundreds of civilian casualties." That this has, in fact, been their effect is a matter of record.

Gregory, your arguments make no sense in the context.

My arguments that Israel should not be targeting civilians makes perfect sense in the context that Israel is, in fact, targeting and killing civilians.

The area is really, really small. All of Lebanon is 70% the size of Connecticut, and the Shia region in the south is a lot smaller still, little more than the size of one county in the US.

So what? Israel could still attack Hezbollah assets there without needing to destroy Beirut.

What could you attack without hitting someone?

No one is talking about attacking "without hitting someone." Another straw man. Are you now suggesting, though, that Israel's killing of hundreds of civilians is not negligence, but merely incompetence? Your defenses get more feeble by the moment.

And, even giving Hezbollah the benefit of the doubt in this

No one, least of all me, is giving Hezbollah the benefit of the doubt. Yet another straw man, and a particularly dishonest one.

where could they put their junk without being right in the lap of a hundred civilians?

But again, this argument bears little relation to the facts -- that Israel is in fact targeting civilian and political infrastructure that has nothing to do with Hezbollah, and in areas far removed from the southern regions -- not the least being heavily populated Beirut.

Collateral damage is one thing. Deliberately attacking civilian targets is another. Again, at this point your evident characterization of the dead civilians in Lebanon as legitimate military targets simply excuses you from consideration as an honest commentator.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

"No, the attacks are also directed at American combat patrols. Or do you think those 1 to 3 Americans a day who are dying in Iraq are dying as the result of mysterious unknown accidents rather than guerilla attacks?"

I am confused. Are the 50 to 60 attacks directed at Americans or Iraqis? Or are you now saying maybe 3 out of the 50 to 60 attacks are directed at Americans?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Offtopic, but you can't beat this for an opaque situation,

http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=71367

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan wrote: I see that the bomb strapped under the clothing scenario was a hypothetical proposed by SecularAnimist

To clarify ...

cld wrote sugggested that Israel was justified in bombing Lebanese trucks carrying "innocent produce" because "anything might be underneath."

I responded that by that argument, the police would be justified in shooting cld on sight since "anything" (e.g. a bomb) might be "underneath" his clothing.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 21, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fries: I am confused.

Yes, that's always been apparent.

Are the 50 to 60 attacks directed at Americans or Iraqis?

There are approximately 50 to 60 attacks/IEDs etc. a day on average directed at military targets. There are additional unknown hundreds of attacks a day on Iraqi civilians.

Or are you now saying maybe 3 out of the 50 to 60 attacks are directed at Americans?

You should learn the difference between deaths caused by an attack and the attack itself. Not every attack results in a fatality.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

This is splitting hairs on the initial so-called 'cause' of this war, but it was news to me. It turns out (I read this from Noam Chomsky on 'Democracy Now') that Israel 'disappeared' a Palestinian doctor and his brother just one week before the capture of the Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah. Whether the Hezbollah capture of soldiers then was a 'tit for tat' operation by Hesbollah is at least worth consideration. What sane people all know, though, is that until there is a 'fair' apportionment of land for a Palestinian state there will be no end to the back and forth. And I certainly agree with those who consider the Lebanese (and Gaza) assaults by Israel to be completely disproportionate and immoral.

Posted by: nepeta on July 21, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

"There are approximately 50 to 60 attacks/IEDs etc. a day on average directed at military targets. There are additional unknown hundreds of attacks a day on Iraqi civilians."

Really? Where did you get that figure? The number that's been reported is around ten/day.

"You should learn the difference between deaths caused by an attack and the attack itself. Not every attack results in a fatality."

Or better yet, you should learn to post facts rather than make up numbers out of thin air.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

...There is not sense in which it belongs to Hizbollah or the Palestinians....

Posted by: republicrat on July 21, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Don't conflate a subset of one group of people with the another whole people. Native Americans might say there's no way this land belong to the Quebecois and citizens of the United States. There's no logical connection.

If at least some of the land there doesn't belong to the people who lived there all this time while the Caliphate, Ottomans and British passed through, then it obviously doesn't belong to any of the immigrants of the last 60 years. And that's just as stupid in arriving at a solution.

People like you want conflict for conflict's sake. And I sometimes think that is exactly what Israel wants. Never allow any other polity to mature. Blood into the sand.

Posted by: notthere on July 21, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I never waver.

We're all impressed at your steely-eyed resolve, I'm sure.

Your arguments, on the other hand, have veered all over the map.

And I've never said Israel was 'obligated' to attack anything.

Then your defenses on the grounds that civilian casualties are in, or near, legitimate military targets fall flat. If Israel is not obligated to attack a particular target, then not doing so on the grounds of avoiding civilian casualties is an option -- indeed, an obligation. Alas, there are hundreds of dead Lebanese as evidence that Israel attacks anyway, even though as you imply they don't have to.

But you can't actually know any of that. Unless you're in the Israeli military intelligence service so you're just talking through your hat.

Au contraire, cld. I described a report of civilian trucks with cargoes of produce. You scoffed, yet you have pointed to no evidence that they were anything other than what the report said they were.

There's no question that Israel destroyed these trucks. They may well have presumed that the cargoes were military, but that doesn't mean the cargoes were military, nor does it make the drivers any less dead, nor does it change the fact that Israel did, in fact, attack a civilian target, even if you claim they were justified in doing so. One also does not need to be in Israeli intelligence to know that if these were civilian trucks, than at best Israel attacked them without knowing if they were civilian or not.

As if trucks driving into a war zone have never before been known to carry military supplies.

The fact that trucks could deliver supplies into a war zone does not mean that these trucke were, in fact, doing so, or render civilian cargoes into military ones after the fact. This may be the most fallacius argument you've yet made, and that's a bold statment.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Or better yet, you should learn to post facts rather than make up numbers out of thin air.

Freedom Fries: Now With Irony!

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

All evidence is that they are trying to disarm Hizbollah and Hamas.

Actually, no, all evidence is that Israel is attacking Lebanon in general, not just Hezbollah. But thanks for playing.

If Israelis wanted to destroy Israel and Hamas, then they'd do so.

Your statement presupposes that Israel is capable of destroying Hamas and Hezbollah, which of course begs the question of why they haven't already done so.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

To repeat a point

I hate to break it to you, but in order to repeat a point, you have to make one.

There is no way to disarm Hizbollah without killing civilians. Sparing Lebanese civilians in southern Lebanon therefor contributes to Hizbollah military power over Israel.

Shorter republicrat: Of course Israel is targeting civilians, and they're justified in doing so, by jingo!

Nice to have that out of the way, republicrat. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK
Noting that Israel has no right to target civilians, and indeed a positive obligation not to under international law, does not obligate me to describe what else they should do. What's permissible is not targeting civilians, full stop.
I do not think, Gregory, that someone who writes such a miserable cop-out as the above should be describing other posters as dishonest. You see, reading this, I came to the conclusion that you aren't interested in stopping Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel (which, of course, target civilians). I didn't even ask you to explain what Israel should do, which is also a political issue. I merely asked what forms of retaliation you find permissible. Your refusal to answer the question turns what might be an interesting discussion of appropriate response into a silly guessing game ('Can Israel do this?') in which I dare say the answer will always be 'No'. (With the possible exception of Hezbollah's 'Go back to Europe.')

I don't think your interpretation of international law is that impressive, either; or, more accurately, I don't see why it doesn't outlaw all aerial bombing and long-range artillery by anyone, anywhere. While this idea is appealing, I don't think that the Geneva Conventions have every been interpreted that way for other countries.

Posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on July 21, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Considering where Japan and Germany are where they are today, I think it's safe to say you are wrong.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Seems to me they knew what they were doing. Then we had an administration that planned years in advance of the peace, had clear goals and objectives and a means to get there. And the foresight to set up international institutions to facilitate international cooperation.

Somewhat different from today's sorry lot, in all aspects, don't you think?

Posted by: notthere on July 21, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

But, cmdicely, you prove me true.

Gregory,

What history did I miss?


Half the time I never really know what Gregory is talking about. His whole purpose seems to be to complain and you're impervious to reason, then claim reason is 'hypothetical'. Not getting the military significance of an airport or a fuel depot is a little much even by the standards of some posters here.

Again, you can't possibly know what the Israeli military intelligence knows about these places, so you're just making it up to fit your prejudice. --what other word could really apply?

But again, why do you insist on justifying Israel's attacking civilian targets by pointing out that Hezbollah does the same?

Why are you so certain to hold Israel to a higher standard than anyone else? This is just a convenient peg to hang some other kind of antagonism on.

No one is talking about attacking "without hitting someone." Another straw man.

Yet this is exactly what you're doing.

But again, this argument bears little relation to the facts -- that Israel is in fact targeting civilian and political infrastructure that has nothing to do with Hezbollah, and in areas far removed from the southern regions -- not the least being heavily populated Beirut.

These are the facts. Lebanon is a very small place, with a lot of people in a very small area. There is no part of Lebanon that is far removed. The southern part of Beirut is the Shia part, where Hezbollah has its' offices.

And to you these facts have no relation to truth?

How do we understand then where your truth lies, except as some hip sounding way of justifying grandad's antisemitism. I only say that because you are so intransigent, so otherwise impervious to anything but justifying your kneejerk antagonism.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

First off the attacks by Israel are justified as they are trying their best to avoid civillian casualties...

I keep reading this and hearing it but what's the evidence for it?

Posted by: ckelly on July 21, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

A really, really good analysis of the situation in the Asia Times by Pepe Escobar:

Leviathan Run Amok, Escobar

Posted by: nepeta on July 21, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Angrew:

For my part, I do not think that anyone who proposes the tendentious little game you did has any standing to be describing anyone as dishonest.

You see, reading this, I came to the conclusion that you aren't interested in stopping Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel (which, of course, target civilians).

Your misapprehension of the facts are your failing, not mine. but again I must ask, why, oh why, are Hezbollah's deplorable tactics used to justify Israel's?

I didn't even ask you to explain what Israel should do

Actually, you did.

I merely asked what forms of retaliation you find permissible

Well, of course, retaliation is a not the same thing as self defense, but again: Noting that Israel has no right to target civilians, and indeed a positive obligation not to under international law, does not obligate me to describe what else they should do. What's permissible is not targeting civilians, full stop. If it makes you happy, I'll say that the set of permissible tactics includes those that do not target civilians.

Your refusal to answer the question turns what might be an interesting discussion of appropriate response into a silly guessing game

No, your question is what turned the discussion of Israel's current tactics into a silly guessing game. Although I can certainly see how you'd like to change the subject from what Israel is doing -- targeting civilians -- to what Israel is not doing -- tactics that do not involve targeting civilians.

I'm sorry discussing hypotheticals about behavior Israel has obviously eschewed is more interesting than its deplorable actions at the moment, but again, that' your failing, not mine.

in which I dare say the answer will always be 'No'. (With the possible exception of Hezbollah's 'Go back to Europe.')

Again, I have affirmed Israel's right to exist and defend itself, so at this point I can only characterize this statement as willfully dishonest.

I don't think your interpretation of international law is that impressive, either

I asserted that collective punishment of civilians and targetign civilians is against international law. If that doesn't impress you, you might want to Google "Nuremburg", for starters.

I don't see why it doesn't outlaw all aerial bombing and long-range artillery by anyone, anywhere.

You raise an intriguing point. But of course aerial bombing and artillery can be employed against military, not civilian targets. It's just that such is not the case here.

While this idea is appealing, I don't think that the Geneva Conventions have every been interpreted that way for other countries.

Which is neither here nor there to the question of if they would be, or should be. But I can't help but observe that massive aerial and artillery bombardment seems, on the whole, to gone out of style. Again, it's a pity Israel seems to desire to buck this trend.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

...justifying grandad's antisemitism. I only say that because you are so intransigent, so otherwise impervious to anything but justifying your kneejerk antagonism.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

As here, intransigence is the name of the game in the Middle East and it only takes a small minority on either side.

Clearly the Israelis have been accurate enough to hit bridges, power stations and sub-stations. They have also been accurate enough to hit Hizbullah's office building. Then again they've been accurate enough to hit appartment blocks with a high probability of occupants other than one or two Hizbullah. The number and nature of the casualties give the lie to any particular restraint by the Israelis. They are not even claiming to have killed any large number of Hizbullah. One of their generals was loose enough to predict that they were going to bomb Lebanon back 20 years. I'm sure he knew the plan.

So, in response to some ongoing terrorist acts that both sides are guilty of in their own way, Yes, I would have to say the Israeli reaction has been disproportionate.

As to rising to war crimes or crimes against humanity, the law includes the word "reasonable" in targeting that makes it pretty arguable in coming to any court based conclusion. I'll just say the Israeli actions, not unexpectedly, rise to the very height of callousness, and therefore depravity.

And noone is saying that Hizbullah are any better. But Israel chooses not to be.

Posted by: notthere on July 21, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Last post for a while, kids, as it's almost dinner time.

Half the time I never really know what Gregory is talking about.

Rest assured your ignorance and lack of logic have been more than obvious.

His whole purpose seems to be to ... claim reason is 'hypothetical'.

Regardless of how reasonable they sound to you, speculation about facts that have not actually been shown exist are, at best, hypothetical. I was being charitable.

Not getting the military significance of an airport or a fuel depot is a little much even by the standards of some posters here.

And again, I can only cite the dishonesty of this characterization.

On the other hand, claiming the Beirut civilian airport had "military significance" does not, in itself, the attacks on what is undeniably a civilian target. And, of course, I've already pointed out that the fuel depot of an airport whose runways have been destroyed has precious little "military significance" -- but it does blow up real good, resulting in that ol' terror and fear again -- a point that cld has conspicuously failed to address. Small wonder cld prefers his/her/its dishonest characterization.

Again, you can't possibly know what the Israeli military intelligence knows about these places, so you're just making it up to fit your prejudice. --what other word could really apply?

I wish I were making up the hundreds of dead civilians, including children. And, again, while you scoffed about civilian trucks, and made vague references to what "Israeli military intelligence knows" about them, you have failed to provide a shred of evidence that they were anything other than what they were reported as -- indicating, at best, that whatever Israeli military intelligence thought it knew was wrong.

But further, it's a completely dishonest and bogus argument t justify Israel's attacks on plainly civilian targets by speculating (or hypothesizing," if you will) about what Israeli military intelligence might have known. Civilian targets are civilian targets, cld, and if you're going to claim that Israeli military intelligence had knowledge that made them legitimate, the burden of proof is on you. But I suspect that you're just hypothesizing, again.

I'll also observe that it's interesting that I've twice been accused of prejudice -- presumably against Israel -- when I have affirmed its right to exist and defend itself, and merely questioned that its inflicting civilian casualties is not in its interest. Fascinating, really.

Why are you so certain to hold Israel to a higher standard than anyone else?

I don't. I deplore attacks on civilians equally.

This is just a convenient peg to hang some other kind of antagonism on.

What antagonism?

Yet this is exactly what you're doing.

No, it isn't. I'm suggesting -- no, demanding, really -- that Israel target Hezbollah but not civilians. Why is that so difficult for you to comprehend?

These are the facts. Lebanon is a very small place, with a lot of people in a very small area. There is no part of Lebanon that is far removed. The southern part of Beirut is the Shia part, where Hezbollah has its' offices.

Frankly, cld, your protestations about Lebanon's small size are unpersuasive. Again, regardless of who lives where, Israel is undeniably targeting areas and infrastructure that have little or nothing to do with Hamas.

And to you these facts have no relation to truth?

Well, I hadn't meant to get into metaphysics here. I simply assert that the "facts" you claim are not as true as you seem to think they are, and do little to support your justifications.

How do we understand then where your truth lies, except as some hip sounding way of justifying grandad's antisemitism. I only say that because you are so intransigent, so otherwise impervious to anything but justifying your kneejerk antagonism.

I was waiting for that, cld, and you didn't disappont. I am only antagonistic to the slaughter of civilians, and impervious to your flawed argumentation. That you so spectacularly fail to justify Israel's actions hardly makes me an anti-Semite -- for starters, your contention presupposes that Israel's actions are in its best interests, which, of course, is what all this is about -- but your statement does excuse you, once and for all, of being taken seriously or being considered an honest debator.

We are done here, cld. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

'First off the attacks by Israel are justified as they are trying their best to avoid civilians casualties...
I keep reading this and hearing it but what's the evidence for it?


How about the fact that they have killed fewer civilians in a week than the U.S. did in a single day in Iraq. When you compare Israels military campaigns to virtually any other countrys military action youll notice that Isreal has far fewer civilian casualties than the US, Russia, France, etc. compare the numbers.

Posted by: Lurker on July 21, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Seems to me they knew what they were doing. Then we had an administration that planned years in advance of the peace, had clear goals and objectives and a means to get there."

When you say "years", did you mean 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?

"Somewhat different from today's sorry lot, in all aspects, don't you think?"

I don't know, how can you say? The administrations back then destroyed whole cities where civilian casulaties numbered in the hundred of thousands, is that preferrable?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

"We are done here, cld."

Cut and run... why am I not surprised?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

why am I not surprised?

Because you're reflexively dishonest, of course.

Besides the fact that cld has revealed him/her/itself as a dishonest poster to rival even you, FF, I already said it's dinnertime. Ciao.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

nepeta, it seems that the IDF just killed that Palestinian doctor they kidnapped a little while ago. At least, that's what the news banner at Haaretz is saying.

Posted by: michele on July 21, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

"Because you're reflexively dishonest, of course."

Really? And by claiming fuel has no military significance is honest?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, who just makes things up. He has denied the military significance of airports, fuel and trucks. What can one say?

I'm not arguing about what Israeli military intelligence doesn't know, I'm arguing about what you can't possibly know. You can't possibly have one part of the info they have on this.

Your interest in the welfare of innocents and your insistence on not understanding geography don't hold much water when taken together.

(I called him an unconscious anti-semite), I was waiting for that, cld, and you didn't disappont

Touched a nerve, eh?

This is not a simple situation and trying to understand it from a simple view or romantic view of the underdog will never achieve anything.

Following back the succession of insults and abuses, one after another, trivial things built on trivial things, until there is a wall of small insults that have to be taken seriously, to find to some key event or turning point that clarifies it all, leads one back to the Jewish immigration in to Ottoman Palestine in 19th century.

This particular chain of insults began when Hamas signed a document that some said implicitly recognized Israel's right to exist. As if to shore up their street cred Palestinians immediately kidnapped an Israeli soldier and demanded he be exchanged for, ahem, 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Did they think they'd get it? Someone here is demonstrating a disproportionate sense of values.

Then the leader of Hezbollah, living in Damascus, announced that Hezbollah would do everything in its power to support the Palestinians in this, showered dozens of rockets onto northern Israel and kidnapped two more Israeli soldiers. Does this really help the Shia of Lebanon?

When the Ottoman Empire disipated the national status of its constituent parts was up for grabs. The Palestinians ended up with --80% of Ottoman Palestine.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

"nepeta, it seems that the IDF just killed that Palestinian doctor they kidnapped a little while ago. At least, that's what the news banner at Haaretz is saying."

Don't forget the part about Israelis eating Palestinian babies, I see them in newspapers all the time.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

And while various groups of humans slaughter each other in various wars, the great war of aggression by the humans species against all other life on Earth continues:

Earth Faces 'Catastrophic Loss of Species'
by Steve Connor
July 20, 2006
The Independent / UK

Excerpt:

Life on earth is facing a major crisis with thousands of species threatened with imminent extinction - a global emergency demanding urgent action. This is the view of 19 of the world's most eminent biodiversity specialists, who have called on governments to establish a political framework to save the planet.

The planet is losing species faster than at any time since 65 million years ago, when the earth was hit by an enormous asteroid that wiped out thousands of animals and plants, including the dinosaurs. Scientists estimate that the current rate at which species are becoming extinct is between 100 and 1,000 times greater than the normal "background" extinction rate - and say this is all due to human activity.

[...]

Scientists estimate that 12 per cent of all birds, 23 per cent of mammals, a quarter of conifers, a third of amphibians and more than half of all palm trees are threatened with imminent extinction. Climate change alone could lead to the further extinction of between 15 and 37 per cent of all species by the end of the century, the scientists say: "Because biodiversity loss is essentially irreversible, it poses serious threats to sustainable development and the quality of life of future generations."

There have been five previous mass extinctions in the 3.5 billion-year history of life on earth. All are believed to have been caused by major geophysical events that halted photosynthesis, such as an asteroid collision or the mass eruption of supervolcanoes. The present "sixth wave" of extinction began with the migration of modern humans out of Africa about 100,000 years ago. It accelerated with the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago and began to worsen with the development of industry in the 18th century.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 21, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Again, you imply the Lebanese had the awareness and capability to stop Hezbollah, an assertion not at all in evidence. Frankly, I am not familiar enough with Lebanese law to know if Hezbollah's operation against Israeli soldiers was illegal, although I do dispute your use of the term "kidnapping" -- the term is "capturing."

Hezbollah sits on the Lebanese parliament or governing body, no? Don't they have seats in the government? A quick google...

Yes. After the 2005 elections, Hezbollah won eight new seats, giving the group twenty-three seats in the 128-member Lebanese Parliament. In addition, Hezbollah has two ministers in the government, and a third is endorsed by the group.

Since the Lebanese government is composed partially of Hexbollah, and it *is* their country, they should either know about it before hand or do something about it after the fact. Unless they can't. In which case, the Lebanese government does not have a monopoly on power within their state. I guess you want Israel to just take it up the ass, while Lebanon says, "Sorry for the missiles, its just those wacky Hezbollians."

to capture -- not kidnap, thank you very much

What? So any terrorist group automatically "captures" people rather than "kidnaps". WTF? Kee-rist, Gregory.

Either Hezbollah is a state actor, in which case I guess if Lebanon was at war with Israel and Hezbollah was an arm of the Lebanese military you could call it capture, in which case Israel can take the war to all of Lebanon. Or Hezbollah is just a bunch of raghead terrorists who want Israel destroyed and act in manner to bring it about, in which case it is "kidnap" and I hope the perps all die a painful death.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 21, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, who just makes things up. He has denied the military significance of airports, fuel and trucks. What can one say?

Gregory is pro-Hezbollah.

Shame on you, Gregory, for defending and running inteference for a terrorist organization that has played a direct role in the killing of american civilians and servicemen (not that you care about them, since it's just a "capture" when you catch one and chop of their head). Shame on you for being a stooge for militant Islam. When is your training class in Pakistan?

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 21, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Or Hezbollah is just a bunch of raghead terrorists who want Israel destroyed and act in manner to bring it about, in which case it is "kidnap" and I hope the perps all die a painful death.

So the US forces captured by the Viet Cong in Vietnam and by the Pathet Lao in Laos, say, weren't captured but were "kidnapped"? That would mean, then, that they weren't POWs, so why did the Dept. of Defense consider them such?

By the way, nice touch on the ethnic slur of "raghead." Very persuasive.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

new news banner at Haaretz;

Canada asks Israel about claims ship carrying Lebanon evacuees was attacked

Haaretz is an Israeli Jewish newspaper

Posted by: michele on July 21, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

It should be apparent to everyone that Israel has long ago adopted the persona of the thing it fears most: the vicious Kapo.

Unfortunately, the US supplies the truncheon this vicious Kapo uses to beat Palestinians and other Arabs into submission. America has helped make the world a disgustingly violent place. Those of us who oppose US armed military aggression are reduced to impotently listening to a little girl cry in a darkened room. O Allah! forgive us.

Posted by: Hostile on July 21, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Either Hezbollah is a state actor, in which case I guess if Lebanon was at war with Israel and Hezbollah was an arm of the Lebanese military you could call it capture, in which case Israel can take the war to all of Lebanon.

Well, they certainly "can" take it to all of Lebanon if they're interested in losing in the long run as per the George W. Bush School of Advanced Strategery, which they oddly seem to be. If their goal is actually the elimination of Hezbollah, though, this seems rather counter-productive.

The fact is that the Beirut government had little or no control of Hezbollah. A similar situation would be if a Kurdish group based in Kirkuk conducted an attack against Turkey, and Turkey, on the basis that the Kurds were part of the Iraqi governing coalition, bombed Basra and Baghdad in response.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike wrote: Or Hezbollah is just a bunch of raghead terrorists ...

If the members of Hezbollah were black Africans, would you refer to them as "niggers"?

Somehow, I think you would.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 21, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

What? So any terrorist group automatically "captures" people rather than "kidnaps". WTF? Kee-rist, Gregory.

Israel a few days ago captured eight Hamas Cabinet members and 20 legislators in the Gaza Strip, which was reported in the papers as a "capture" or "arrest," even though they were not charged and even though the Israelis admitted this was done purely as a bargaining chip:

When asked if the Hamas officials would be freed if Shalit were released, Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh, the head of Israel's central command, saw a direct link. "I think so," Naveh said. "The decision to arrest them came from the political level ... and I think the political level's perspective could change" if Shalit were to be freed, he said.

I fail to see, then, how the capture of civilian legislators without charge by the soldiers of a foreign military is an "arrest," while the capture of an armed soldier after a firefight is a "kidnapping."

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

That analogy would be better if there was a Kurdish part of Baghdad. The southern part of Beirut has a Shia population, and it's where Hezbollah has their national offices.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Michele...Thanks for the info. I'm off to Haaretz.

Posted by: nepeta on July 21, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK
...The number that's been reported is around ten/day.Freedom Fighter 4:42 PM

Attacks against Americans in Iraq increase to 35 per day
That number is probably low-balled and doesn't include attacks on Iraq security forces and the unknown number of attacks on civilians in the civil war conflict.

Posted by: Mike on July 21, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Personally I'm getting a little impatient....
I really do wish all these crazed religious sects would some how manage to annihilate each other....

Just imagine - No muslim - no jew - no christian....

Holy Land my ass.....

Posted by: Git'R Done on July 21, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

...When you say "years", did you mean 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?

"Somewhat different from today's sorry lot, in all aspects, don't you think?"

I don't know, how can you say? The administrations back then destroyed whole cities where civilian casulaties numbered in the hundred of thousands, is that preferrable?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 21, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if you are actually so ignorant or so addicted to that perculiarly right-wing intellectual dishonesty of comparing as similar that which would only seem so to the ignorant. Hence the sycophantic 25% who just can't let go of a lieing, dissembling, corrupt administration.

WWII began in Sep. '39 and the US didn't join 'til Dec '41. VE day 8th May, '45, and VJ day August '45. When do you think they started planning?

In '42, the Atlantic Charter and Europe First. By December '43, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin had agreed on the principals of the UN. Bretton Woods, July '44. Later, division of Europe, boundaries, etc. Marshall Plan actually an addendum in '47.

WWII was an actual war that pitched whole economies against each other with the real threat of total domination by a fascistic alliance. Technology was not a fraction of today's. Before and at the start of the war there was much debate about the morality of bombing. People believed cities might be razed. The Germans had already given a demonstration at Guernica. Then came Warsaw and Rotterdam. Then London. At that time the RAF could not put bombs in the right county in nighttime. Later USAAF "precision" bombing was only so in comparison to area bombing. So the die was set. And the debate cointinues to this day. Ask the population of Dresden or Rostok, Hiroshima or Tokyo.

Hard choices were made out of necessity, and consciously so, back then. Both the Germans and the Allies believed that their bombing would beat their opponent into submission. Did it?

There is a choice today. You seem to dismiss the morality as trivial. You justify your behavior with the gwot. This is only a threat to us -- and is becoming so -- by overreacting and fanning the flames. Hysterically, this administration has done this very successfully because they follow the inflammatory example of the latterday Israeli policies. And that's why you are wrong.

Try not to be so arrogant in your belief in this demonstrably failed "brains trust" we have for leadership. At the rate they're going we may all live (or not) to regret theirs.

"You have nothing to fear but fear itself."

Posted by: notthere on July 21, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

That analogy would be better if there was a Kurdish part of Baghdad.

There is. Until very recently (numbers now are a bit spotty because of the civil war and the recent ethno-religious cleansing) about 800,000 to 1 million Kurds lived in Baghad, making up about one-sixth of the city's population.

The southern part of Beirut has a Shia population, and it's where Hezbollah has their national offices.

That is not, however, the only place in Beirut Israel is bombing. A friends's family are Lebanese Christians, and their residential neighborhood in the northern part of Beirut was bombed a few days ago.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Attacks against Americans in Iraq increase to 35 per day That number is probably low-balled and doesn't include attacks on Iraq security forces and the unknown number of attacks on civilians in the civil war conflict.

Yes, that's the number they'll admit to. They often don't count a static IED explosion as an "attack," either, but reserve that term for encounters with the enemy in which fire is taken or exchanged.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory is pro-Hezbollah. Shame on you, Gregory, for defending and running inteference for a terrorist organization...

You're firing on 50% of your cylinders, Mike.

Some people believe that extermination of ones enemies is probably not the best long-term strategy. Some people believe in finding non-violent solutions. That doesn't mean they favor one group over another. On the contrary, it means they understand that there are two sides to any conflict and that de-escalating a conflict requires that we make an effort to see both sides.

Gregory isn't pro-Hezbollah. He is pro-humanity.

It's called civilization. Won't you join in?

Posted by: obscure on July 21, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

I stand corrected.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

The Lebanese Social Affairs Minister was just on NBC News where she blamed Iran and Syria for using Hezbollah to drag Lebanon into war.

It does neatly distract from both Iran's nuclear bomb and Fatah and Hamas shooting at each other in their own parliament.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Git'R Done wrote: I really do wish all these crazed religious sects would some how manage to annihilate each other. Just imagine - No muslim - no jew - no christian.... Holy Land my ass.....

The religion that is really responsible for all the violence in that region is not Christianity, Judaism or Islam. It is oil. It is the military-industrial-petroleum complex. And its leaders are not in churches, synagogues or mosques. They are in the boardrooms of the multinational oil companies, the multinational armaments companies, the White House and the Pentagon.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 21, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

me:If Israelis wanted to destroy Israel and Hamas, then they'd do so.

gregory:Your statement presupposes that Israel is capable of destroying Hamas and Hezbollah, which of course begs the question of why they haven't already done so.

destroying Hizbollah and hamas isn't the Israeli goal, disarming them is the goal.

me: There is no way to disarm Hizbollah without killing civilians. Sparing Lebanese civilians in southern Lebanon therefor contributes to Hizbollah military power over Israel.

gregory: Shorter republicrat: Of course Israel is targeting civilians, and they're justified in doing so, by jingo!

wrong again: Israel is targeting rocket stores, and they are justified in doing so. There is no humane way to attack an enemy that intetionally mixes its weapons and civilians (and doesn't provide shelter for civilians), but Israel is targeting the weapons. There are Lebanese reports that Hizbollah has prevented civilians from fleeing the targets.

Posted by: republicrat on July 21, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

If those Lebonanese civilians were just frozen embryos the President would be personally doing everything possible to keep them alive. Too bad they are just real live brown human beings.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 21, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Just imagine - No muslim - no jew - no christian....

Holy Land my ass.....

Posted by: Git'R Done on July 21, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

You know, GWB said something about colonizing Mars. Surely there's something in the Prophets and Revelations to convince them all to up-sticks and take their fight "over there".

It does represent the god of war, and the soil is the right color. Probably needs some good fertilizer.

You know, if we then just maintain the world's population as then is, we'll probably have a sustainable planet.

Posted by: notthere on July 21, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

This is copied from a previous thread (with a small omission) because I can't believe you are all just ignoring it:

Israel Fakes a Provocation (the "kidnapping" of Cpl Gilad Shalit)

The following passages in italics are from

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/06/26/wmid26.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/06/26/ixnews.html

Last night two Israeli soldiers were killed and another kidnapped in a dawn attack by Palestinian militants who tunnelled under Gazas heavily protected border.

The attackers, believed to number seven or eight, surprised Israeli forces when they appeared at first light through a tunnel on open ground 300 yards inside Israel near a kibbutz.

Gaza is built on old semi-consolidated sand dunes. It is extremely unlikely that anyone could tunnel 500, or more, yards in the sandy ground of Gaza (300 yards into Israel plus 200 yards of no-mans land plus more to the tunnel entrance), without the tunnel collapsing at some point.

They split into three groups before launching simultaneous attacks on three Israeli defensive positions - a look-out tower, plus a tank and an armoured personnel carrier, both dug in, facing Gaza.

If you were only seven or eight, would you split into three groups? If you were only two, or three, would you attack a tank over flat ground, manned by four soldiers waiting inside to kill you?

They blew open the tanks rear doors with a missile fired from point-blank range before tossing grenades inside. Two of the tank crew died and another was severely wounded but the final crew member, the gunner, was forced out of the wreckage at gunpoint.

The rear doors are blown off and a few grenades popped inside. Tanks are not made to fall apart. Blowing off the rear doors would have taken a blast sufficient to seriously hurt those inside. The grenades would have then made mincemeat of them.

Later reports mention that Shalit survives all this while only hurting his arm, even though everyone else dies or is severely wounded. Shalit would have been less than three feet away from those killed (there is no spare room in a tank), but survived without a scratch (except, perhaps to his arm).

Israeli trackers said they found his blood-stained bulletproof vest close to the Gaza perimeter fence.

The militants force Shalit to take off his bulletproof vest and leave it close to the Gaza concentration camp fence, in order to help the Israelis with their investigation.

By the way, whose blood is it on his bulletproof vest? Since later reports indicate it wasn't his, I guess he had the other soldiers blood and guts all over him. This means that he was very close to those killed by the grenades, which means he should have been severely injured, or killed, himself.

Meanwhile, two other militants attacked a nearby concrete watchtower.... The troop carrier was also damaged in another attack but it was unoccupied. The attackers then escaped back into Gaza by cutting their way through the perimeter fence.

Interestingly, the attackers escaped easily by cutting through the (electrified) perimeter fence, yet cutting through the perimeter fence in order to get in, was so hard to do, that they burrowed through half a mile of sandy ground instead. Something wrong with this story, perhaps?

After all this commotion, the soldiers in all the nearby Gaza concentration camp guard-towers, manage to miss a few Arabs running the 300 yards, over flat ground, back to the perimeter fence, miss them when they cut through it, and miss them running across no-mans land to safety. Any why, you may ask, did they not return through the tunnel they had painstakingly dug? Perhaps, they wanted to prove the total incompetence of the Israeli soldier.

If you believe this sad tale, I have a bridge to sell you.

The Hamas political leadership sought to distance itself from the incident last night when a spokesman said it had no knowledge of the fate of Cpl Shilat. Ghazi Hamad, a spokesman, said: "We are calling on the resistance groups, if they do have the missing soldier to protect his life and treat him well."

Yes, the Hamas political leadership had no idea of the fate of Cpl Shilat, as the story is a total fabrication.

If you are not already convinced that the whole story is a fabrication, ask yourself; What were the four Israeli soldiers doing in the tiny confines of that dug-in tank? Ask your self; How long were they going to continue sitting in that tank? All day perhaps, or till they roasted in the desert sun? Or, till another group of four took over on the next shift? And of course, having four soldiers in just one tank, wont provide a defense, so there will have to be hundreds of tanks and hundreds of soldiers all sitting in these tanks,...

all waiting,... all waiting,... all waiting,.... for exactly what?

Waiting for Palestinian children to throw stones at them, perhaps? Perhaps, waiting attentively for militants to dig a half mile tunnel through sandy soil, pop up, and rush them over flat ground, but not attentively enough to see them approach? Perhaps, they were waiting for the Egyptian army to materialize, Star Trek like, from their bases hundreds of miles away on the other side of the Suez canal? I dont know,... you tell me why?

Yes, the story is a total fabrication. A fake provocation to start a war.

Posted by: NoLongerWatching on July 21, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ron definitely makes the most assinine comment of the day, congratulations. Winning this award comes naturally though to him.

Posted by: Jay on July 21, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK
There are Lebanese reports that Hizbollah has prevented civilians from fleeing the targets.

Terrorism is a tactic of the weak who want to be strong; the only way it succeeds is if it manages to provoke a response that radicalizes a population and drives them into the arms of the terrorist, and gives them the power to directly confront and defeat an enemy that they otherwise could not.

So, of course, Hezbollah is acting in the hopes of getting Israel to kill Lebanese civilians; this is not a surprise. That's what terrorists do.

But that doesn't explain why Israel is accommodating them, nor does it make it wise for Israel to do so.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you for the Hezbollah point of view NoLongerWatching. I hope they pay you well.

Posted by: Jay on July 21, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

That's exactly what terrorists do, kill people. And they kill people whether were in the middle of diplomacy or in the middle of war. Doesn't matter to them.

So we either talk and hope for the casualty rate to be, in Madeline Albrights words, "acceptable", or we fight.

Posted by: Jay on July 21, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin writes:

"This is pretty much what happened to the United States in Iraq. The original plan was to swoop in, destroy Saddam's army, and then withdraw all but a token force within six months. But the rising insurgency made that impossible and three years later we're still there."

It's now pretty obvious that this was NEVER the plan. The plan was to set up a docile puppet government and keep it in line from our fortress in the Green Zone, while we house tens of thousands of troops in the four permanent bases surround Baghdad that are currently under construction. Unfortunately, they screwed it up and have no Plan B.

Posted by: Slideguy on July 21, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

So the US forces captured by the Viet Cong in Vietnam and by the Pathet Lao in Laos, say, weren't captured but were "kidnapped"? That would mean, then, that they weren't POWs, so why did the Dept. of Defense consider them such?

I miss your point, Stefan, since I wasn't in power back in the late 60's and was not in position to set or debate semantics. If you want to do so, go find Melvin Laird.

By the way, nice touch on the ethnic slur of "raghead." Very persuasive.

It doesn't begin to "capture" my absolute disgust for them.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 21, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Secular Animist
If the members of Hezbollah were black Africans, would you refer to them as "niggers"?

Somehow, I think you would.

I'm surprised that you would take offense in any way, given the ad hominems on Bush, republicans, and conservatives in general that pass for reasoned debate and the slurs around here. People who live in glass houses...

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 21, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't begin to "capture" my absolute disgust for them.

Absolute disgust for Arabs -- I think we can read RSM's posts on the Middle East accordingly in light of this knowledge.

I'm surprised that you would take offense in any way, given the ad hominems on Bush, republicans, and conservatives in general that pass for reasoned debate and the slurs around here. People who live in glass houses...

Now he's comparing racial and ethnic slurs to political insults? A pathetic justification for a disgusting act.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

As to the thought police language patrols trying to transmute "kidnapping" into "capturing" I thought international law required nation-states to have a monopoly on violence. When a serial killer is put to death it's called an execution, when it's done by angry family members it's called a murder. Now back to your food-fight.

Posted by: minion of rove on July 21, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

notthere: Don't conflate a subset of one group of people with the another whole people. Native Americans might say there's no way this land belong to the Quebecois and citizens of the United States. There's no logical connection.
...
If at least some of the land there doesn't belong to the people who lived there all this time while the Caliphate, Ottomans and British passed through, then it obviously doesn't belong to any of the immigrants of the last 60 years. And that's just as stupid in arriving at a solution.
...
People like you want conflict for conflict's sake. And I sometimes think that is exactly what Israel wants. Never allow any other polity to mature. Blood into the sand.

If it is only true that "some" of the land belongs to a people who have lived there continuously, then the original U.N. partition of 1948, rejected by the Arabs, is a reasonable basis for a solution. Of the nations of the Middle East that were created by European powers (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Israel) or combat (Saudi Arabia) or some combination, Israel is the one whose existence is constantly challenged militarily and legally. Israel is the nation whose existence is now threatened by the combine of Hizbollah, Syria, and Iran. but it was threatened from the start, in 1948, by invading armies from Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. The desire to destroy Israel arises from its existence, not particular boundaries or policies, but it has at least as much right to exist as any nation in the area.

The current military threat to Israel consists of rockets stored in civilian buildings. If (contrary to my claim) it legally can not destroy that military weaponry, then it legally has to wait until the threat is sufficiently large (size of warheads, range of rockets, number of rockets) to destroy it. The U.N. has called for the disarmament of Hizbollah, but as usual with the U.N., it has no willingness to enforce its mandates. This action by Israel carries out a U.N mandate, and legitimately enforces its right to exist. At least according to any legal standard that supports the right of Lebanon and the other nations to exist.

To recapitulate these and other points:

1. the Geneva conventions prohibit the intermixing of military facilities and civilian facilities, and these conventions are flouted by Hizbollah, Hamas and Fatah (and indeed, the entire Islamic world);

2. Israel has at least as much right to exist as any other nation in the region, and to defend itself it has to disarm Hiabollah now;

3. The disarmament of Hizbollah has been ordered by the U.N.;

4. the only neighboring nations to recognize Israel under U.N. resolution 242 are Egypt and Jordan, so a literal reading of U.N. resolution 242 does not obligate Israel to withdraw from or cede more land that it has already;

5. the neighboring nations other than Egypt and Jordan have not even recognized the first U.N. resolution respecting Israel.

I am happy to note that the U.S. congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution in support of Israel in the present conflict. It is the right thing to do because Israel is in the right in this conflict, and its enemies are in the wrong in this conflict.

The Hizbollah raid across the border was the catalyst for this large reaction, but the Israeli action is justifiable, and I am glad that the Congress and Administration are supporting Israel. I'll note in passing that the U.N. is having its problems with Hizbollah's backers in Syria and Iran as well; and the G8 and Arab League issued statements strongly blaming Hizbollah for the current war.

If there is a wrong side in this combat, that wrong side is Hizbollah.

Posted by: republicrat on July 21, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

an item of good news:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060721/wl_nm/germany_iran_dc

Posted by: republicrat on July 21, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

"The desire to destroy Israel arises from its existence,..."

What crap.

The desire to destroy Israel arises from the fact that the Jews ethnically cleansed somewhere between 750,000 and a million Christian and Muslim Arabs from their homes in 1948 Jew land grab.

If you had been thrown out of your home and not allowed to return, you would be still fighting as well. I certainly would be. I would never give up, and I would teach my children to hate the Jews who did this to me. You see how it goes on?

Posted by: NoLongerWatching on July 21, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

So Hezbollah is some all-powerful, all knowing force that grows no matter what you do...hmmm makes Al-Queada sound like a bunch of frat boys. No work ethic, I tell ya...
Seriously, H wouldn't be there if anyone else was taking care of these folk. Iran could give some of these people a place to live, instead of shipping arms. We could give some of these people a place to live, instead of giving aid to Israel.
Another thing. I sense a distinct tinge of excitement in this war, even amongst our lefty friends. Why do we want the Bush administration to get engaged? Their disengagment from world affairs at the start of the adminstration was possibly the smartest thing they ever did.
Please don't send Rice to completely fuck it up.

Posted by: doug r on July 21, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

Still full of lies, Jay

Republicrat --- Israel claims legitimacy, was given membership of the UN and therefore must abide by UN Resolutions. Whether Israel is recognised by other countries is irrelevant. One reads a lot of rubbish here on Wash Mnthly, especially, but this one is full of daftness.

Every single one of you who is posting begins from a base of 50 years of being assailed by Zionist propaganda, school and college, newspapers and television, film. You have been conned rotten.

When I lived and worked in the neighbourhood of Palestine it was clear that Israel was always the aggressor, often cleverly manipulating and goading the surrounding Arabs into action, so it could then claim holier than thou when it retaliated. It has always retaliated completely disproportionately.

It is surely a waste of time for you all to discuss a peace-keeping force, because Israels army has been financed and supplied by the US, thus a force entering the Palestine area would have to be made up from soldiers prepared to fight not only Israel but also the might of the US and the UK (puppydog Blair!).

I have posted elsewhere this last week that a peace-keeping force can function only if there is some sort of truce or armistice with both sides willing to abide by the forces actions. Israel has not and has never intended to pay the slightest notice to any UN operation designed to require it to comply with any sort of instruction. The only exception was UNEF, set up post-Suez, and Israel was scared, because its first general, WAG Burns of Canada, had suffered from the chicanery (cheating+ for you assonance sufferers!) and lying in his previous post of General Commanding UNTSO(P), -- United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation for Palestine. Burns commanded contingents of soldiers from older countries, many of whose officers, at least, had been to war. Burns was prepared to shoot at Israeli incursions. It was a little easier for him than it would be for such a force today, because US Congresses and Administrations were not yet such lapdogs of Israel and had not yet got round to giving Israel anything it wanted including $3billion every year for starters.

Because of the abysmally uncritical idiots in Congress and Administration It is completely futile to expect those concerned with International Affairs at any level of our government to do anything but continue on their path to destruction of the US as a serious power. They are a combination of too brain-washed and too stupid to begin even to consider that they do not know what they do not know, that their actions are the result of that brain-washing and also the famous There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance -- that principle is contempt prior to investigation. (Herbert Spencer).

There will be peace in the Near East only when the United States wakes up to its having been propagandized for many years that it is in the USs interest to support Israel: it is not. With free market Russia bigger than us, with more people, exponentially more oil, likely to merge with Western Europe, it is in our interests to be friends with those who own most of the rest of the oil, not least because there qre more than a billion of them with whom we can trade.

Israel is even less democratic than the US (We are NOT a democracy, but a plutocracy; our government is by Big Business, Of Big Business, For Big Business!). It has no historic basis for an existence separate from the other Palestinians/Cannanites, and certainly the illegal immigrants from the 1920s on, together with their descendants should be sent back where they came from. How many of you know that the Old Testament is a work of political fiction/propaganda written in about 632BC, that there is no evidence anywhere that Abraham existed, that there is positive evidence there was no Exodus, no time in Egypt, no wandering in the Sinai or anywhere else (thus no Moses), almost certainly no David, no Solomon, that neither "Solomon" nor David built a lick, (That includes the Temple, guys!), that Israel was an organised society in the north of Canaan/Palestine, populated by Palestinians/Canaanites when the semi-nomads who later became the Hebrews/Jews were completely unorganized and uncohesive societally? Thus even the name Israel today is a con. Only a small number of people were exiled to Babylon, because archaeology shows that organized life went on in Judah throughout that exile.

There has been a two thousand year con!

Islamic Fundamentalism would have remained a small loony fringe element without the US one-eyed support for Israel from and including 1967. The Palestinians (You do all remember a substantial proportion are Christian, dont you!) noticed that the US under Lyndon Johnson did absolutely NOTHING when the Israeli Air Force strafed and almost destroyed the USS Liberty sigint ship. From the utter lack of reaction from the US they knew at that moment that Israel OWNS the United States. In case you do not know or perhaps remember, the USS Liberty was off the southern coast of Palestine listening to Israeli soldiers murdering captured Egyptian soldiers because they could not be bothered to feed them.

To return to the present. It is just not going to happen that anything will be done by anyone. Russia is busy and the EU too flabby. Therefore, Mr oh so-bamboozled Bush, ----bamboozled by Finkelstein (Finkelstein Arthur, that is) and Bodansky, with their disciples, Billy Kristol, Feith, Wurmser, Libby, Hannah, Ledeen, ------ Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and All, ---- is going to screw his country. And the Democrats, who were totally suborned long before the Republicans, are also too brain-washed.

Does it not occur to anyone that if those Bush pals, the Saudis, and the commercial Gulf States, get cross, the oil crisis of the 70s will look like duck soup.

Everyone should be saying to every single one of his or her Jewish friends, it is now an Unamerican Activity to support Israel. Are you an American or an Israeli? Decide, and act on your decision!

Two last pieces..

i). How many of you know that Israel systematically destroys every ancient Christian site it finds ---- back from when every Christian bore a great resemblance to todays Fundamentalist. Isnt funny how They --- the Robertson Gang --- support Israel.. could it have anything to do with money?

ii). Here are some quotes from Israeli leaders to remind you all what murderous thugs the US supports. Neither Hitler nor Himmler would have dared say any of them in public. This lot are so arrogant they do not care. Most of them were delivered by Mythbusters, to whom I am enormously grateful for collating them.

"It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands."
-- Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

"Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours...Everything we don't grab will go to them."
-- Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.

"Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial."
-- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 25 March, 2001 quoted in BBC News Online

"If we thought that instead of 200 Palestinian fatalities, 2,000 dead would put an end to the fighting at a stroke, we would use much more force...."
-- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, quoted in Associated Press, November 16, 2000.

"I would have joined a terrorist organization."
-- Ehud Barak's response to Gideon Levy, a columnist for the Ha'aretz newspaper, when Barak was asked what he would have done if he had been born a Palestinian.

"Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories."
-- Benyamin Netanyahu, then Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister of Israel, speaking to students at Bar Ilan University, from the Israeli journal Hotam, November 24, 1989.

"(The Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls."
-- Israeli Prime Minister (at the time) Yitzhak Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988.
(Wearing his other hat -- terrorist, Yitzak Shamir murdered Count Bernadotte, the UN Representative, in King George Avenue in Jerusalem, in 1948. You know, that same Bernadotte who saved thousands of Jews from the Germans.)

"[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs."
-- Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the 'Beasts,"' New Statesman, June 25, 1982.
(The King David Hotel in Jerusalem was blown up by Menachem Begin in 1946. Those murders, which he proudly owned, caused him never to land in London on his travels to Camp David for fear of arrest on his own admission. And, BTW, the King David was owned by an old old Egypt and Palestine-dwelling Jewish family called Moseri. They had probably evacuated to Egypt in 70-77AD!)

"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!"
-- Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

"[Israel will] create in the course of the next 10 or 20 years conditions which would attract natural and voluntary migration of the refugees from the Gaza Strip and the west Bank to Jordan. To achieve this we have to come to agreement with King Hussein and not with Yasser Arafat."
-- Yitzhak Rabin (a "Prince of Peace" by Clinton's standards), explaining his method of ethnically cleansing the occupied land without stirring a world outcry. (Quoted in David Shipler in the New York Times, 04/04/1983 citing Meir Cohen's remarks to the Knesset's foreign affairs and defense committee on March 16.)

"There is no such thing as a Palestinian people... It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist."
-- Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969.

"Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population."
-- David Ben Gurion, quoted in The Jewish Paradox, by Nahum Goldmann, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978, p. 99.

"Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves ... politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves... The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country."
-- David Ben Gurion, quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky's Fateful Triangle, which appears in Simha Flapan's "Zionism and the Palestinians pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.

"We must expel Arabs and take their places."
-- David Ben Gurion, 1937, Ben Gurion and the Palestine Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985.

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."
-- David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

Two guys called Sallem Ismail and Mythbusters posted on here on the 15th July. Those who know little about the background to the existence of modern Israel would learn a lot by reading them.

Posted by: maunga on July 21, 2006 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

maunga: Nice list of quotes.

Harping back to the Israel Fakes a Provocation (the "kidnapping" of Cpl Gilad Shalit) article above.

One wonders if it is standard practice to wear a bulletproof vest inside (probably very hot) tanks.

One would think that the tank would be bulletproof enough not to require such a vest. Can Israeli tanks stop bullets or not?

I guess one has to be prepared for militants digging a half mile tunnel through sandy soil, rushing across open ground to attack you, blasting the back hatch off your tank, and popping in a couple of grenades.

There may be some other reasons for wearing a bulletproof vest inside a tank, but I can't think of any at present.

Posted by: watcher on July 21, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

A postscript for all you racists --- Lebanese, --Christian (the biggeast group, probably), Muslim Shi'a, Muslim Sunni, and Druse, are all Semites. Palestinians, - Christian and Muslim, are Semites. Israelis are Semites. It is amazing how fast the illegal immigrants to Palestine have reverted from looking like europeans to looking EXACTLY LIKE their fellow Semites in Palestine. Can you really see any difference betweeen the famous Corporal Shalit, if he exists, and any picture you have seen of a Fatah or Hamas young man........... they all look like 'ragheads', you fine upright Aryan Amurrricans!!!!

Posted by: maunga on July 21, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Yes Watcher ---- I felt myself completely invincible in my tank. One just did not think of a HEAT scab whizing round the turret too often, or white hot slivers of tungsten shattered upon entry from an APDS pencil.

A bullet-proof would have been unbearably hot --- a tank suit was pretty warm in Europe in Winter. In the desert I wore lomng sleeves and gloves, but to avoid burns from hot armor plate. we could not have foiught in a stifling b-proof vest. Perhaps Israeli tanks haver air-conditioning. Nah, the answer is more likely to be that indeed it is an entirely fictional story --- the Israelis are REALLY good at them, -- and they got their stories wrong. I do not think modern tanks have 'doors'; they did not in my day, so this vehicle was an APC, and our fictional Cpl Shalit was an infantryman sitting inside, endlessly waiting for "Go!", poor bastard, in which case he might well have been like an
ameriucan ibnfantryman nowadays, all dressed up like a two-legged tank with his mobility completely compromised....... If you have to wear armour to play football (Real men do not and play rugby!) and lacrosse (Girls do not!), I suppose it must be expected tbhat infantrymen will waddle asbout like penguins!

Posted by: maunga on July 21, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yes Watcher ---- I felt myself completely invincible in my tank. One just did not think of a HEAT scab whizzing round the turret too often, or white hot slivers of tungsten shattered upon entry from an APDS pencil.

A bullet-proof would have been unbearably hot --- a tank suit was pretty warm in Europe in Winter. In the desert I wore long sleeves and gloves, but to avoid burns from hot armor plate. We could not have fought in a stifling b-proof vest. Perhaps Israeli tanks haver air-conditioning. Nah, the answer is more likely to be that indeed it is an entirely fictional story --- the Israelis are REALLY good at them, -- and they got their story wrong. I do not think modern tanks have 'doors'; they did not in my day, so this vehicle was an APC, and our fictional Cpl Shalit was an infantryman sitting inside, endlessly waiting for "Go!", poor bastard, in which case he might well have been like an American infantryman nowadays, all dressed up like a two-legged tank with his mobility completely compromised....... If you have to wear armour to play football (Real men do not and play rugby!) and lacrosse (Girls do not!), I suppose it must be expected that infantrymen will waddle about like penguins!

Posted by: maunga on July 21, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Know Israel, no peace;
No Israel, know peace.

Posted by: Firebug on July 21, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you for the Hizbollah point of view maunga, and I had no idea how religious you were?

Who do you worship first, yourself or Allah?

Posted by: Jay on July 21, 2006 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

Republicrat --- Israel claims legitimacy, was given membership of the UN and therefore must abide by UN Resolutions. Whether Israel is recognised by other countries is irrelevant. One reads a lot of rubbish here on Wash Mnthly, especially, but this one is full of daftness.

Every nation has to abide by the UN resolutions. That includes 242, which requires the nations to negotiate treaties with Israel in return for [any] occupied territories. Jordan and Egypt signed such treaties. And it includes 1559 which requires the Lebanese govt to disarm Hizbollah.

NoLongerWatching: The desire to destroy Israel arises from the fact that the Jews ethnically cleansed somewhere between 750,000 and a million Christian and Muslim Arabs from their homes in 1948 Jew land grab.

The Arab invasion preceded what you call "ethnically cleansed". The invasion followed immediately upon the U.N. recognition of Israel. the U.N. recognition of Israel, and the proposal of the two-state solution was the first U.N resolution respecting Israel to be ignored by Israel's neighbors.

Posted by: republicrat on July 21, 2006 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

maunga,

So much out of context in a single post, no wonder it all adds up to what you want it to say.

I usually don't reply to the overwarmed, but the Hebraic presence in ancient Egypt is really interesting and is remembered in the Old Testament only in an extremely fractured way.

The Hyksos (the Shepherd Kings) were a group who moved into Egypt from the region that is today Israel and Lebanon. They made their way into Egyptian society as clerks, functionaries or bureaucrats, as a class. The decadent Egyptian dynasty hired them, like all decadent societies, as a way of privatizing government functions claiming it keeps them from being 'politicized', while actually politicizing it to the last extremity. The Hyksos imported a large number of a related population to serve as a mercenary army and, as soon as they were established, overthrew the dynasty. The Hyksos lasted about a hundred years when a new Egyptian power overthrew them in turn.

The story of the Exodus occurs twice in the Bible and describes two different movements. In the first the aristocratic Hyksos flee north and then into the sea, scattering around the Mediterranean. In the second the army flees east, across the Red Sea, and then wanders about. Much of the mystfying and seemingly irrelevent scraps tossed in here are actually about one or another element of the aristocratic branch ('The Lord') trying to keep in touch with or exert traditional suzerainty over the mercenary branch. The symbol of the shepherd's crook dates from this episode, reflecting the aristocratic Hyksos pretension to the royal sceptre of Egypt (can't remember what it's called).

Islamic fundamentalism would be right where it is today with or without US support for anything. It's a classic revolutionary pattern, as societies abruptly gain greater expansion of wealth, opportunity and education, with some movement of popular reform, extremist groups push the society into violent upheaval. This was the case leading up to the English Civil War, The Russian Revolution, the revolutions of 1848. Al-qaeda and related elements are within this pattern, the discovery of the world by people who were, you might say, the first in their families to go to college. The groups are, in every case, conservative or puritanical. Even when they ostensibly inhabit the political left their appeal is always to the traditional understood values of the common man, or nationalism.

Posted by: cld on July 21, 2006 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

See the website http://guardian.150m.com for a lot of interesting articles on the shitty little country.

Why does Bush support the shitty little country? Because Bush is a secret Jew.

Photo of Bush praying at Wailing Wall.

He might be praying to Allah, but it certainly doesn't look like it.

This is the reason that all of Bush's actions seem ANTI-Christian.

Bush IS NOT a Christian. Bush is a Jew.

Posted by: watcher on July 22, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

The Israel-Arab conflict grows because macho politicians on both sides are only interested in killing those on the other side. Consider the 1993 handshake of Arafat and Rabin at the White House Rose Garden. Why didnt that lovely symbol produce peace? Well, the US never pressured either side, and Rabin was killed by a Jewish religious fanatic. Sharon always opposed the Oslo accords. Arafat, never a peacemaker, rejected a good 2000 settlement offer by Ehud Barak and encouraged resumption of the intifada. There's no interest in peace or long-term planning among Likud politicians or Islamists. Both groups expect the current violence to help their cause. They cant both be right. Israel has a failed state in its backyard- the Palestinian pseudo-authority (they showed how tough they are by arresting Hamas legislators) and is now destroying the state of Lebanon. Only lunatics want to be surrounded by two failed states.

Both sides are morally wrong. Why did Israel destroy roads and bridges and then tell Lebanese to evacuate? Why have Israeli aircraft attacked Lebanese army bases? Why bomb known Christian villages? This is the same shock and awe that Donald Rumsfeld thought would pacify Iraq the big high tech penis...It will have the same miserable effect in Lebanon to create civil war. Collective punishment only breeds hatred. Israel says that they will remove the terrorist infrastructure. They can destroy tunnels, but the terrorist infrastructure is mental. There is no military solution to a bad attitude of thousands of Muslims. The Israelis drove Arafat and Fatah from Lebanon in 1982 by causing death and destruction. Hizbollah is not Arafat, is not personally corrupt, and has tremendous support and sympathy from outside Muslims who will flood into Lebanon to help create a Little Big Horn for the IDF. This is not 1982: we have four wars raging in the Middle East: Iraq and Afghanistan (big wars where the US and coalition forces must be very careful where they venture), Gaza and Lebanon (little wars upon which idiots Bush and Olmert are pouring gasoline). For dessert we have Newt Gingrich and the Daily Standard saying bomb those Iranians, bring it on. They will give us nuclear war in the middle East (Paki bombs) and terrible insecurity for both the US and Israel. They don't understand 4th generation war, they don't realize that fighting an enraged Muslim world is like expecting to beat the house at a prolonged blackjack game - you may win for an hour but sooner or later the bottomless pocket of the house will clean you out. The one billion plus Muslims are a bottomless pocket. We can't kill them all; the more we permit Israel to run amok in Lebanon, the more jihadis are born. Hizbollah is more numerous and competent than Al Qaeda. Do we want a coalescence of all 4 wars in the Middle East? We have much more to lose than Hizbollah.

We would rather give money to Israel than Hizbollah, but we dont want any money going to insane killers on either side. Stop sending money and arms to Israel. Pull our troops out of the Middle East. We are deeply religious; we think that its wrong to kill and that the US promotion of Middle Eastern killing is 100% wrong. We dont want World war III. Stop the killing.

Posted by: gremlin on July 22, 2006 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Why should the United Nations or international community patrol Lebanon for Israel while declining to patrol the occupied territories?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on July 22, 2006 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

NoLongerWatching: The desire to destroy Israel arises from the fact that the Jews ethnically cleansed somewhere between 750,000 and a million Christian and Muslim Arabs from their homes in the 1948 Jew land grab.

republicrat: The Arab invasion preceded what you call "ethnically cleansed".

What I like most about you Jews is your total disregard for anything approaching truth.

The Jewish conquest of Palestine actually started in December, 1947 and finally ended about mid 1949.

The ethnic cleansing began early in 1948 and continued (off and on) till today.

The Dayr Yasin massacre occurred on April 9th, 1948. Note that April 9 is previous to May 15.

Operation "Coastal Clearing" also started in early April, 1948. I wonder why they named it operation Coastal Clearing. Note that early April is previous to May 15.

The Jews have already invaded and captured the cities of Tiberias, Haifa, Jaffa, Beisan, Safad, Acre and The Arab quarter of Jerusalem before May 15, 1948. The Arabs were forced out of these cities. I emphasize that all these cities fell previous to May 15.

On May 15, 1948, the neighboring Arab states can not ignore the theft of Palestinian land and the many massacres of Palestinians (like Dayr Yasin) and enter the civil war.

The quotes above, from Israeli leaders, show that the ethnic cleansing of the Arabs was part of the plan from the beginning.

So, republicrat, fact is a little different from your fiction.

Posted by: watcher on July 22, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Correction: Operation "Coastal Clearing" started in early February, 1948.

Posted by: watcher on July 22, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

maunga on July 21, 2006 at 10:45 PM

I can't tell whether, after all that, you conclude that israel has no right to exist, despite being recognized by the UN. I also can not tell whether you would be less disappointed by the disarmament of Hizbollah (ordered by the UN) or its continued armament and eventual destruction of Israel.

Watcher, I am actually not Jewish, but since 911 I have begun to feel like I am an Israeli. We are all being attacked now. did you think that the occasional ethnic cleansings carried out by the Ottoman Empire were actually ok, or that Israel, among the nations in that neighborhood, is uniquely disqualified to exist? the Arabs supported the annihilation of the Jews by the Germans in WWII, and opposition to Jewish immigrants went so far as to include prohibitions against even selling them land, and murders of people who sold to Jews at least as long ago as the late 19th century.

Posted by: republicrat on July 22, 2006 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

republicrat:

1) "watcher" is -- if you haven't guessed by now -- and old-school, Holocaust-denying, Protocols-believing anti-semite.

2) Taking Palestine was a huge, bottomlessly tragic mistake that the original Zionists, who were secular nationalists, never would have made.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 22, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

I want what is best for long term interests of the the United States. Nothing I have read has convinced me that an Israeli invasion of Lebanon will further US interests. If at the end of the day Hizbollah retaining control southern Lebanon is the outcome that produces the least damage to US interest then so be it.

Posted by: Scrowcoft on July 22, 2006 at 4:35 AM | PERMALINK

cld -- It is you who wrote the non-sequiturs, surely. I wrote on a theme of there being no justification for the existence of Israel because of the Old Testament since the Old Testament is fiction. I thought, BTW, that the Hyksos came from somewhat north of Palestine. In any event what has the Hyksos arrival in Eqypt got to do with the Hebrews who were not yet formed into a society then? It is an example, perhaps, of the Old Testament writers stealing events concerning others and ascribing them to themselves. I think there had, of course, been a number of Canaanites who went to Egypt in the 8th/7th century when the Eastern Delta city Migdol was being built. It would be logical for the writer-propagandists to use that work "exodus".

republicrat ---- I thought I was pretty clear. Absolutely, Israel should not exist. It is not in the interests of the US for it to do so.

Hezbollah 'ordered' to disarm by the UN? How many UN Sec Cncl Resolutions has Israel been ordered to obey? How many has it obeyed?

This is a rogue state and must be stopped. Learn some facts. I repeat, it is not in the US's interest for Israel to remain, and The Lobby has fooled the whole country.

Posted by: mauinga on July 22, 2006 at 6:05 AM | PERMALINK

mauinga:

Did you just misspell your handle -- or is somebody spoofing you?

So you're calling for -- what -- the destruction of Israel?

Wouldn't be satisfied with the '67 borders, I'd guess ...

Sorry, bro. I fight the Israel-defenders as hard as anybody around here, but I think that's taking it too far, if I happen to have made the correct inference.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 22, 2006 at 6:11 AM | PERMALINK

Jew Nazis smash Lebanon,... and are proud of their war crimes.

Makes me puke.

Posted by: watcher on July 22, 2006 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

The Nazi Jew terror bombing of Beirut continues,... and the Nazi Jews are proud of their war crimes.

The Nazi Jew terrorists kill hundreds of woman and children in residential housing blocks, and on the roads,... and the Nazi Jews are proud of their war crimes.

Hezbollah is in the south, but the Nazi Jew terrorists bomb mainly the north,... and the Nazi Jews are proud of their war crimes.

Makes me puke.

Posted by: watcher on July 22, 2006 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan
Absolute disgust for Arabs -- I think we can read RSM's posts on the Middle East accordingly in light of this knowledge.

Hezbollah, moron.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 22, 2006 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

republicrat: We are all being attacked now.

So, what wound's have you received, what family members have you lost, and what pieces of your property have been taken or destroyed in these attacks?

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 22, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

republicrat: Every nation has to abide by the UN resolutions.

Except the US, according to American conservatives, including republicrat.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 22, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Hezbollah, moron.

"Raghead," moron. The point of the discussion was that you'd referred to them as "ragheads" because they were Muslim Arabs, which is a vile ethnic slur. Your "absolute disgust" was in response to my sentence:

By the way, nice touch on the ethnic slur of "raghead." Very persuasive,

So clearly it was your use of "raghead" rather than your opinion of Hezbollah which was in issue.

You want to use ethnic slurs, it's up to you, but don't expect to retain anyone's respect. At this point the honorable thing, the polite thing, would be to apologize for the slur instead of further defending it.

Posted by: Stefan on July 22, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Advocate, please list the specific UN resolutions the US has violated.

Posted by: Jay on July 22, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe he called them ragheads because they where rags on their heads.

Why do you infer homosexuality on GW and Cheney when there is absolutely no basis? That is actually worse hate speech, which offends two groups.

Posted by: Jay on July 22, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

The appropriate thing for you to do Stefan is to apologize for being alive.

btw, "raghead" is not an ethnic slur. But your a liberal slur.

Posted by: Jay on July 22, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

republicrat: and the G8 and Arab League issued statements strongly blaming Hizbollah for the current war.

I wouldn't rely on that Arab League resolution too much. While some Arab states have blamed Hezbollah, they have all denounced Israel in quite strong terms. It's extremely dishonest to claim that they blame Hezbollah, and not Israel, for the incursion. From the Arab League's Resolutions of July 15:

The Arab League Council at the ministerial level, at its extraordinary meeting (in Cairo) on 15 July 2006:

-- As it followed very anxiously and fully condemned the escalating Israeli aggression against the Lebanese Republic and the occupied Palestinian territories;

-- And after studying the dangerous developments connected with the Israeli aggression against civilians and the infrastructure in both the Palestinian territories and Lebanon;

-- And while it affirms its complete solidarity with the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples in the face of the Israeli aggression and war machine;

-- And as it takes into consideration the developments in the exacerbating situation in the Middle East as a result of the obstruction of the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict in accordance with UNSC resolutions and the principle of land-for-peace, and the rise in the state of despair, frustration, and feelings of injustice and anger and the results of that;

-- And as it affirms the right of nations to resist occupation and aggression;

-- And after hearing the secretary general's report to the council, resolves:

1. To condemn continued Israeli attacks on Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territories that harm civilians and damage the infrastructure, and affirms complete solidarity with them in the face of what they are being subjected to, and to warn of the danger of the entire region sliding toward a confrontation in view of the current escalation by Israel in both Lebanon and the Palestinian territories;

2. To call on the international community, and the UNSC in particular, to shoulder its responsibility and to move immediately to call on Israel to completely desist from its military hostilities....

http://aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=3&id=5654

Posted by: Stefan on July 22, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

maunga,

The whole region that is now Lebanon and Israel was Greek-related or proto-Hebraic during that era. Within those categories, and, probably, often between them, they were all related, most of them nomadic or semi-nomadic. The Hyksos were probably wholly nomadic which is why they were able to easily relocate so far south.

There were plenty of formed societies, all of them ancestral to the modern day Jews and Palestinians and Lebanese.

I don't think anyone except a minority of religious maniacs would say the Old Testament justifies anything. (Though we have seen too many examples of it being said to literally justify anything).

The people who compiled the Old Testament didn't 'steal' anything, absolute verity wasn't a literary value of that early period. As more settled into village life, responding to the literary evolution of the greater Mediterranean world they codified a huge mass of disparate material into something like a coherent story-line. No one today would claim it was journalism.

But you've gone far beyond the X-Files if you're working on a three-thousand year old conspiracy theory.

Posted by: cld on July 22, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

You know, I think that's actually a fake Jay.

Posted by: cld on July 22, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan
"Raghead," moron. The point of the discussion was that you'd referred to them as "ragheads" because they were Muslim Arabs, which is a vile ethnic slur.

No. I refer to them as "raghead terrorists" because they live down to the worst connotations that that vile ethnic slur denotes. They give truth to the biases behind it.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 22, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Is Bush gay? I don't know, let's find out!


http://www.bettybowers.com/isbushgay.html


and this website loads really, really slow, but it's worth it,


http://mindprod.com/politics/bushismsgay.html

(has a photo of Our Leader in drag).

Posted by: cld on July 22, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike, dd--

Look at the fucking statistics and tell me who the fucking terrorist is, you piece of shit!
Hizbollah=roughly 1:1 military to civilian kill ratio, using primitivr weapons
Israel=roughly 1:10, using the best tech in the world.

oh wait a minute, has Israeli army actually killed ANY confirmed Hizbollah? Uh, not to speak of...it's mostly been Lebanese army soldiers.

Also, how the fuck do you expect any normal military man in the Lebanese army to get bombed by another country (Israel) and then go and do what the country that just bombed him asks him to do (disband Hizbollah) like a whipped dog????? Is there any such thing as honor in the world that you live in? This strategy is so funny it frightens me that serious people are defnding it. It would be like if our India decided to bomb the Pakistani army to rile them up into attacking.........uh....oh yeah...Kashmiri terrorists.

Everyone in the world is looking at Israel now as saying "Benchod!!! What the fuck are these people thinking?"

Rocket attacks!? fucking joke. How does it make sense to go on an adventure that will kill far more Israelis than any number of pathetic katyushas ever will? This is considered a sane policy? It's like the man who doesn't like getting cobra spit on him now and again so he decides to jump in the cobra pit. Have fun!

Posted by: Venkatasharam on July 22, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Look at the fucking statistics and tell me who the fucking terrorist is, you piece of shit!

I don't need statistics. Hezbollah is a criminal gang that hides itself behind women and children like the cowards they are. They've created their own little state within a state in southern Lebanon, fueled by Syria and Iran, and is so powerful they can't be disarmed by their own country's armed forces. Then they plunk rockets across the border into Israel on a regular basis.

Who are they accountable to? Who elects them to office, and can throw them out if the people don't want the war? Hell, the Palestinians at least semi-consciously chose their poison in voting for Hamas.

With the strength they've shown in this battle (missile on Israeli boat, mortars and rockets and deep bastions) how long do you think the rest of Lebanon would have remained out of their control?

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 22, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

RSM--

"How long do you think the rest of Lebanon would have remained out of their control"

Great point. The war is going to mean that Lebanon will definately now be controlled by Hizbollah. Good job, Israel. If you were Lebanese citizen, would you support some army that got bombed by Israel and then did its bidding??? What kind of man would support that?

Great job Israel. Turn Lebanon over to Hiuzbollah so you dont get a fucking bee-sting from katyushas every three years.Smart guys!

Posted by: Venkatasharam on July 22, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

RSM--

Would have been best for Israel for Syria to stay in there. Morons.

Posted by: Venkatasharam on July 22, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

RSM--

And unfortunately, yes, you do need statistics. Statistics are just another word for "facts". Of course Hizbollah attacks civilians...but so do they attack military positions (others here said they ONLY attack civilians, so that was my point)...same as Israel...thats the exact point....but in this one case they happen to be doing a better job of killing their actual military foe..

Posted by: Venkatasharam on July 22, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

RSM--

Oh, and are Hizbollah "cowards"?? I don't know, I'd be scared to man one of those rocket stations or stage attacks on Israeli armor. I'd much rather be sitting in the tank, thank you...

Assholes, maybe, but "cowards", no.

Posted by: Venkatasharam on July 22, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

As long as Hezbollah can use their own population as human shields they should be allowed to remain inviolate, no matter what they've done? Looking at a truck full of produce from the air, how do you see what's underneath? Gregory, use your magic crystal and astral project the answer to me.

Hence the Israelis are justified in bombing anything that looks civilian. Who knows what might be underneath?

Posted by: No Preference on July 22, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

How many civilians did you slaughter Skin Head Mike? With your raghead comment you reveal yourself to be exactly what I have called you - a blood brother to the head choppers. One who uses the tropes of nationalism to allow him to express his murderous rage on those not like him. People, when you see the bad apples giving the military a black eye by raping and murdering, you see the poisonous effect of allowing the Skin Head Mike's to infest our military.

The fact is, Skin Head Mike just hates those people because they don't have fancy clothes and cowardly murder people from the relative safety of airplanes.

Posted by: heavy on July 22, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

no preference,

Trucks driving into a war zone are military targets and they always have been.

Posted by: cld on July 22, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

How many civilians did you slaughter Skin Head Mike?

Do you approve of hiding behind civilians, Dense? Probably.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 22, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Trucks driving into a war zone are military targets and they always have been.

The entire nation of Lebanon is not a military zone, and Israel is not justified in killing anything it sees.

Posted by: No Preference on July 22, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and are Hizbollah "cowards"?? I don't know, I'd be scared to man one of those rocket stations or stage attacks on Israeli armor. I'd much rather be sitting in the tank, thank you...

Assholes, maybe, but "cowards", no.
Posted by: Venkatasharam

They hide behind civilians, ergo they are cowards. And worse. They have the civilian blood on their hands.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 22, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

No. I refer to them as "raghead terrorists" because they live down to the worst connotations that that vile ethnic slur denotes. They give truth to the biases behind it.

Ah, the racist's second line of defense: blame the victim! It's his fault for being what he is! "I only call them niggers because they act like niggers." Same rationale, really, used by the Nazis in the 1930s, "I call Jews kikes because their behavior gives truth to that word."

At first I thought that Mike's use of the word "raghead" to denote Muslim Arabs was an unfortunate hiccup, that it was the kind of language that he heard in the Navy and therefore internalized, and that no one would be more embarrassed than he to have used it. But his increasingly defensive and strident rationalizations for its use, rather than offering a shamefaced apology, are leading me to the conclusion that he really does feel this way. Shameful.

Posted by: Stefan on July 22, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

mauinga:republicrat ---- I thought I was pretty clear. Absolutely, Israel should not exist. It is not in the interests of the US for it to do so.

You gave all the supporting arguments, but not the conclusion.

My conclusion is that Israel has, on the whole, fewer crimes against it than its neighbors, and crimes of lesser magnitude, and no less legal right to exist.

My main point is that, with all the complexities of the history and the complexity of our intellects, a few fundamentally simple decisions have to be made.


A note to the others on obedience to UN resolutions: I am not sure that they matter much; the Arabs have ignored all UN resolutions that respect Israel, but critics of Israel condemn it for not respecting a widely misquoted resolution 242. I see no reason that Israel has to be held to a higher standard.

A note on casualties: Hizbollah does not admit to any casualties other than women and children; Hizbollah, but not Israel, intentionally places its weaponry in the midst of civilians, using them as human shields. Hence another simple dilemma, or decision: who is responsible for lebanese civilian deaths? Well, according to the Geneva agreements, Hiabollah is responsible. Some critics I have read (not necessarliy anyone who posts here) believe that Israel and the U.S. should adhere to the Geneva conventions, but do not believe that Israel's enemies are bound by the same conventions.

Last on this thread. I expect we'll meet on other threads.

Posted by: republicrat on July 22, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

no preference,

The entire nation of Lebanon is really, really tiny, 70% the size of Connecticut, with a lot of people crammed into it.

Posted by: cld on July 22, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan
Ah, the racist's second line of defense: blame the victim!...At first I thought that Mike's use of the word "raghead" to denote Muslim Arabs was an unfortunate hiccup...

Your repeated statements that I am painting muslim Arabs with the same brush reserved to paint Hezbollah is disengenuous.

But I'll apologize if the phrase "raghead terrorist" offended anyone. Here's what I meant to say...

"Either Hezbollah is a state actor, in which case I guess if Lebanon was at war with Israel and Hezbollah was an arm of the Lebanese military you could call it capture, in which case Israel can take the war to all of Lebanon. Or Hezbollah is just another example of the stereotypical arab criminal terrorist gangs we have seen over and over ad nauseum in the middle east who want Israel destroyed and act in manner to bring it about, in which case it is "kidnap" and I hope the perps all die a painful death."

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 22, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

The entire nation of Lebanon is really, really tiny, 70% the size of Connecticut, with a lot of people crammed into it.

I know. So what? Israel still isn't justified in shooting anything it sees, such as the aforementioned produce trucks.

The point is that Israel's response has been wildly disproportionate. The balance of 300+ dead civilians in Lebanon vs 13 dead civilians in Israel is evidence of that.

This is clear everywhere in the world except in the US. The US will get the blowback such resistance to reality warrants.

Posted by: No Preference on July 22, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

cld, get a grip! "Greek-related" and "Proto-Hebraic" are not only meaningless phrases you are in the wrong time. The Greek city-states' wars were 450-ishBC and onwards, with Alexander finally uniting them c356. Greece was not putting out anything too much 'Greek-related' when the propagandists wrote the OT in 632BC. The people who became the Hebrews were a very small group of semi-nomads who inhabited an area roughly circular, about 15 miles in radius, with the tiny settlement which became a hill fort c.700-650, later expanded to become Jerusalem, so there was nothing 'Proto-Hebraic'. the only thing 'proto' about them was perhaps proto-Canaanite, when the multitheist refugees arriveed from the north after the Assyrians decided Ahab's Israel was getting too strong and demolished the state. The refugees perhaps having somewhat overwhelmed the fast-learning semi-nomads the process of BS began.

Rmck --- Rob. I have old and sausage fingers.... It was I!

Posted by: maunga on July 22, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

manuga:

So ... leaving aside the question of whether the US should subsidize Israel, at least to the extent it does, can you please clarify your position?

Do you wish to see Israel wiped off the map? Do you wish merely for it to become the ultimate pariah state? Would you support it more strongly if it gave back the Occupied Territories?

I don't quite have you pegged as an anti-semite, but your views do seem pretty strident. I'd just like to give you the opportunity to state them explicitly before I draw any conclusions.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 22, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

O maunga!


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philistines

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic_languages


Some day you must read this history you dream of.

Posted by: cld on July 22, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Before anyone comments about anything else, go look at a map of the middle East, do you see how impossible it is to get arms from Iran, to Syria to Lebanon? I know Bush is no Rhodes Scholar, and it's obvious that rhetoric blinds us to investigating things for ourselves. But go look at that map.

Imagine you live in a country that is a superpower that has a strangle hold on the Persian Gulf, that can stop any ship at anytime, inspect the cargo and release it, whether it leaves from Iran or Syrias deep desert port.
Imagine you also have access to the best satellite system in the world, you have AWACs capabaility, you can shoot down anything with radioactive material aboard.

There is no way to get from Iran to Syria without going through either Turkey or Iraq, for weapons to get from Iran to Lebanon, there would need to be some sort of impropriety, or negligence from the Cioalition armed forces.

How many times must we dig out Bushs quote from the SOTU Address: Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of(Lets drop Saddam Hussein and insert )Israel is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

After reading, the comments from the 2004 archives, and the bitching about the Iraq war, Hezbollah has obviously taken a page from George Bush's own war manual, and decided that an attack on Israel, might be better than waiting to be attacked.

Posted by: Hamster on July 22, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Hamster
Imagine you live in a country that is a superpower that has a strangle hold on the Persian Gulf, that can stop any ship at anytime, inspect the cargo and release it, whether it leaves from Iran or Syrias deep desert port.

We can't keep drugs from crossing our borders and off our streets. You *vastly* underestimate the ease with which smugglers move goods.

Imagine you also have access to the best satellite system in the world, you have AWACs capabaility, you can shoot down anything with radioactive material aboard.

You have to know it is there. Ships provide endless places to hide things. Remember when Israel captured that ship suggling arms to Palestine? Ever wonder how many get through?

You grossly underestimate the difficulty in monitoring and controlling other country's borders.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 22, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Rob McK.

It has gone too far ----- the only peace now is after a complete dismantling. Do you not read these blogs all the time? I have said that I believe every one of the illegal immigrants should go back to where he, she, the parents, grand-parents, or great grand-parents came from. Only those Jewish residents who an show total and complete descent from those on the Turkish census of 1900 would be permitted to remain.

A fun thought is that tens of thousands would go back to Baghdad, of course. In the 20s Baghdad had the highest percentage Jewish population of any city in the world.

In 1960 "The Right of Return" and compensation would have meant peace. By no means all of the Palestinians would have wanted to go back, and the money compensation would have ended claims in the regular Semitic fashion among all religions.

After 1967 a quickly-enforced enforcing of the the flurry of Sec Cncl Resolutions would have brought lasting peace........BUT ---- The US failure to take action over the destruction of the USS Liberty was a confirmation to the Arab World that the Zionists controlled the US, so perhaps that is when it got much more difficult. BTW, the "funnies" I was consorting with at the time also believed then the Zionists OWNED Johnson and the Democrats, that Johnson had no control over the matter.

After 1973 when Egypt had effectively defeated Israel until the US, breaking its NATO commitments and agreements, took battle-ready munitions and re-armed Israel for Sharon's Showtime advance back into Egypt. Israel did, of course, thrwaten to use its nuclear weapons.......

Successive years have so entrenched-Palestinian opinion, Christian and Moslem, that now the only solution is a demolition of what is after all, argulably de jure an illegal state.

cld ---- All is explained: you are relying on wikipedia! It is written by amateurs and alterable by anyone............ not excatly reliable, Old Son.

Red State Mike ---- you do mean Communist, do you, or is it just Fascist???

You have not offered anywhere your spin on the destruction of the USS Liberty by the Israeli Air Force, and more, why you think the US Govt did nothing about it.

Posted by: maunga on July 22, 2006 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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