Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 25, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

GAZA UPDATE....An aide to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, tells the Guardian that various Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have agreed to a deal in Gaza:

The deal, agreed on Sunday, is to halt the rocket attacks in return for a cessation of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, and to release Corporal Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured on June 25, in exchange for the freeing of Palestinian prisoners at some point in the future.

....According to the aide, Israel is willing to release Palestinian prisoners in return for Cpl Shalit but insists the exchange will not be simultaneous and its release of prisoners will be described as a "goodwill gesture" and not as a direct exchange.

This has been accepted by Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister, and the Hamas political movement but not by Khaled Meshal, the Hamas leader in Damascus. Mr Meshal wields considerable power because he controls funds donated by Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. The military wing of Hamas, which is holding Cpl Shalit, is particularly dependent on the money from Mr Meshal.

It's always wise not to get too excited by reports of a possible "deal" in the Middle East, but this is still positive news. For one thing, if Meshal decides to buy in, it might be an indication that Iran and Syria are interested in cooling down a situation that's spiraled far beyond what they originally envisioned, and that in turn might be a sign that they're willing to put some pressure on Hezbollah to turn down the heat in Lebanon.

Then again, maybe not. In any case, stay tuned.

UPDATE: Brad Plumer provides some additional background here.

Kevin Drum 4:17 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (114)

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Comments

Fingers crossed ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 25, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

possibly yes, possibly no. i am kinda stumped when trying to make out if either side thought this is where things would stand by this stage of this nightmare. maybe one or both parties have overreached or maybe its all part of the master plan. still stumped.

Posted by: mike on July 25, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

good

Posted by: cleek on July 25, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Hopefully, this isn't true. Israel has Hezbollah on the defensive, and should keep going. When your opponent is drowning, throw them a bomb instead of a life preserver.

The war persists because the palestians are unable to destroy the jews, and the jews have been far too reluctant to respond with proportionate force. That has to stop, some time.

Posted by: American Hawk on July 25, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

OTOH, if Hamas cooperates despite Meshal's not buying off, it is positive because it shows that Hamas sees its role as a Palestinian political movement as more important than serving foreign paymasters.

If Hamas doesn't cooperate, its pretty much Israel-Palestine as usual.

Of course, "agreement" and "cooperation" aren't the same thing here; within minutes of any agreement notionally being in force, debate will begin over which side is breaking it most flagrantly and, therefore, justifying the other in returning to violence, if the parties hold true to form.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

it might be an indication that Iran and Syria are interested in cooling down a situation that's spiraled far beyond what they originally envisioned

I think you swallowed the sinker.

I for one would be surprised if the Hamas politicians (or Meshal) even know if Cpl Shalit is alive.

Posted by: Al is dead on July 25, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk: Hopefully, this isn't true. Israel has Hezbollah on the defensive, and should keep going. When your opponent is drowning, throw them a bomb instead of a life preserver.

You know, I would actually agree with this sentiment if this were a normal war (ie, the overthrowing of Saddam or the Taliban).

However, Israel cannot "drown" Hezbollah without conducting a wholesale slaughter of innocent people - yes, trolls, innocent people; not every Lebanese is a member of Hezbollah - and that should not be tolerated by any decent person.

Which of course means that AH loves the idea, but the rest of us should be happy if a deal is in fact reached.

Posted by: mmy on July 25, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

"...jews have been far too reluctant to respond with proportionate force..."

Entirely correct! They have responded with disproportionate force.

Posted by: Whack a NeoCon for Christ on July 25, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

What has struck me about the whole crisis in the ME or whatever CNN is calling it, is the fact that Hezbollah, despite bringing ruin to the entire country of Lebanon, is widely admired and respected. Why? Because of the good works that they do.

If the Bush administration were really interested in winning "hearts and minds" of the various Arab countries, they would emulate this type of behaviour.

Posted by: Michele on July 25, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk presents his answer, known in shorthand as the "Final Solution."

Posted by: Cal State Disneyland on July 25, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

"It appears that Syria's main concern is the investigation into the murder of the Lebanese prime minister, Rafiq Hariri. If Syria could be assured that the investigation does not continue, there are indications that Syria would be willing to be helpful on many issues, not just the release of Israeli soldiers," Mr Abbas's aide said.

If true, Mr Abbas's aide is the equivalent of Gomer Pyle in the diplomatic corps.

Posted by: Al is dead on July 25, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

So are you telling me the "collective punishment" is working?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Israel can't stop bombing Lebanon until they destroy all of the Red Cross's ambulances!

Posted by: R.L. on July 25, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

However, Israel cannot "drown" Hezbollah without conducting a wholesale slaughter of innocent people - yes, trolls, innocent people; not every Lebanese is a member of Hezbollah - and that should not be tolerated by any decent person.

A lot of innocent Germans died in world war 2. By that logic, we should have held off, until we could develop bombs that only killed Nazis.

Every war has casualties. This one is going to continue until all the Jews are dead, or the radical corner of arab society has been exterminated. I know which I prefer.

Posted by: American Hawk on July 25, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

"However, Israel cannot "drown" Hezbollah without conducting a wholesale slaughter of innocent people - yes, trolls, innocent people; not every Lebanese is a member of Hezbollah - and that should not be tolerated by any decent person."

I thought "collective punishment" only makes the Moslems more radical and stronger? I wonder why they now want a cease fire and willing to release someone they went through the trouble and effort to kidnap?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

"Every war has casualties. This one is going to continue until all the Jews are dead, or the radical corner of arab society has been exterminated. I know which I prefer."

Don't you mean the moderate arab society? If you can believe polls, the majority want to see Israel destroyed.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

It does, Freedom Fighter. This is the last gasp of the civilian leadership trying to make themselves relevant. They didn't conduct the capture operation and they are rapidly losing the ability to influence the militants.

We see here a schism between Hamas politicians and Hamas militants.

Posted by: Al is dead on July 25, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

FF-- true, a lot may want it. But only a certain percentage are willing to blow up Israeli school children to amke it happen. Those are the ones that need to be eradicated.

Posted by: American Hawk on July 25, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

fighter:
maybe cause the israelis found a face-saving way to give them some concessions for his return, which is what usually happens in these cases, and what could have happened before the israelis destroyed lebanon and what little infrastructure they had in gaza.

as for lebanon, hawk:
yeah, that's the problem. a little zyklon b should do the trick, eh?

Posted by: tomwashere on July 25, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK
So are you telling me the "collective punishment" is working?

Um, no.

Hamas' demand initially, before Israel responded with massive force, was for a prisoner exchange. So the Israeli action has managed to get Hamas to (maybe) agree to their own initial demands which Israel rejected.

Essentially, Israel would be, with the agreement, giving into the initial demands of Hamas, but killing a lot of Palestinians just to avoid the impression of being soft when they finally get around to giving in.


Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

So why did the Hamas "militants" agree to it then? If what you say is true, then, wouldn't that be counterproductive from the "militant's" point of view?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

We see here a schism between Hamas politicians and Hamas militants.

It would also be a good result if there was more infighting, and Israel was left alone. That may be the best possible result.

Posted by: American Hawk on July 25, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

"FF-- true, a lot may want it. But only a certain percentage are willing to blow up Israeli school children to amke it happen. Those are the ones that need to be eradicated."

So, ideologically, there's not much difference between a moderate Moslem and a radical. The only difference between the two is that radicals are willing to carry out actual attacks?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

FF-- At this point, that appears to be the case, yeah.

Posted by: American Hawk on July 25, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

"Israel must destroy Hezbollah. At times war IS the answer."

Problem with liberals is that they don't give war a chance.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK
So why did the Hamas "militants" agree to it then? If what you say is true, then, wouldn't that be counterproductive from the "militant's" point of view?

How is it counterproductive for them to get exactly what they initially sought to attain by the capture?

Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

I know which I prefer.
Excellent, Mr. Hawk. Would you like fries with that?

Posted by: America, Fuck Yeah! on July 25, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

It would also be a good result if there was more infighting, and Israel was left alone. That may be the best possible result.

The most likely result of a schism is that the Hamas government hides impotently in basements somewhere while Hamas militants continue to fight Israel with missiles, bombs, guns, and knives.

A failed and powerless state is not "the best possible result" if you are trying to eliminate terrorism.

Posted by: Al is dead on July 25, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

It is doubtful that Iran and Syria--if they have had as big a hand in this as is rumoured--are in a situation spiralled beyond what they originally envisioned. The disproportionate Israeli response was definitely an intended consequence (if only by Hizbollah).

Posted by: kntrla on July 25, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK
Liberal columnists appear to have invented the term "proportionate response" out of whole cloth.

Er, no. This is clear historical ignorance. The concept of proportionality as a limit on the moral application of war derives ultimately from the Just War doctrine, which while initially a Christian doctrine, has been influential in the development of customary international law and secular philosophy of the justification of war. And, while lopsided casualty counts may lead one to suspect disproportionality, proportionality is not simply a matter of equality of harm; rather, the proportionality that must be considered is between the harm inflicted through war and the harm avoided by the war.

(Now, of course, the circumstances of civilian casualties, aside from concerns of proportionality per se, can indicate other moral and/or law of war problems, such as intentional targetting of civilians or indiscriminate attacks where the danger to civilians is unjustified by any reasonably anticipated military benefit, which simply cannot be justified even when the enemy does the same thing.)

Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK
Problem with liberals is that they don't give war a chance.

As if all sides in the Middle East haven't been given plenty of a chance to settle things through war.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK
ideologically, there's not much difference between a moderate Moslem and a radical. Freedom Fighter 5:17 PM
There is no difference between a radical Zionist and an Israeli. Nor, is there any value in making deals with them. They will be certain to renege or to commit new atrocities.
Hezbollah must destroy Israel. At times was IS the answer. mhr 5:17 PM
Without any understanding of the history of the enmity, the recent and horrific events like the 1982 invasion, there is no difference between the rhetoric of either side. At one time, the US was a peace maker; but Bush was too lazy and his actions have destroyed American credibility. Posted by: Mike on July 25, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely, I know you're fighting the good fight, but responding to Freedom Fighter [sic] is like arguing economics with a Marxist.

Notice, too, the way he continually refers to "Moslems" even though he knows the proper term is "Muslims." Why? Just to be an asshole. If he'd been around forty years ago he'd probably talk about "colored people."

Note to mhr: paragraphs are your friend.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on July 25, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

So why did the Hamas "militants" agree to it then

How did you infer that? Did you read the article?

All the sources appear to be associated with the Palestinian government. They indicate that militants will follow their spiritual leadership in Syria and that pressure needs to be applied to that leadership. I don't see any indication that "militants" have agreed to anything at this point. A three day decreasing trend in rocket attacks is a good sign, but hardly great evidence for anything.

Posted by: Al is dead on July 25, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Law of War". This is an oxymoronic jade of some sort, right?

Posted by: America, Fuck Yeah! on July 25, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Essentially, Israel would be, with the agreement, giving into the initial demands of Hamas

The initial demands from Hamas' military wing were for Israel to release the almost 500 women and children that they kidnapped and are holding without charges and/or trial, in exchange for the Israeli soldier.

There is nothing in the /Guardian/ article which says that Israel agreed to anything more than to release an unspecified number of "prisoners" at an unspecified time in the future.

Furthermore, Israel is notorious for backloading their end of an agreement, and then finding excuses to never deliver.

My guess is that striking the agreement has more to do with the Hamas political wing attempting to re-exert control over the military wing than with their belief that Israel will ever actually deliver on its promises.

Posted by: Disputo on July 25, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely
Er, no. This is clear historical ignorance. The concept of proportionality as a limit on the moral application of war derives ultimately from the Just War doctrine, which while initially a Christian doctrine, has been influential in the development of customary international law and secular philosophy of the justification of war.

How about zero/zero? That'd be the ideal proportions.

In any continued proportional exchange, Israel loses since their population is smaller. Attrition favors the larger population.

The worst fights are the ones where each side thinks it can win. Better to recognize the inevitability of losing, and retreat and live to fight another day. Or maybe even consider peace with Israel.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 25, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK
How about zero/zero? That'd be the ideal proportions.

Well, yes, that's why aggressive war (i.e., any war undertaken by the power who has the clear choice between 0/0 and some worse option) is held to be wrong (both morally in general, and something people got hung for at Nuremberg.)

In any continued proportional exchange, Israel loses since their population is smaller.

Um, no, again, proportionality is not a simple matter of matching casualties.

The worst fights are the ones where each side thinks it can win.

Not really; fights where one side thinks it can win, and the other side thinks it can't but also thinks the other side won't stop short of extermination are at least as bad, if not worse, as the focus then becomes on inflicting harm. The worst are probably ones where both sides are convinced that is the ultimate goal of the enemy, whether or not they believe victory is possible (and, among those, the worst are probably where at least one side is correct in that belief.)

Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK
cmdicely, I know you're fighting the good fight, but responding to Freedom Fighter [sic] is like arguing economics with a Marxist.

That's not fair at all, I've had some productive and interesting debates about economics with Marxists (they aren't all religious fanatics, even if most are.)

Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely said: Essentially, Israel would be, with the agreement, giving into the initial demands of Hamas, but killing a lot of Palestinians just to avoid the impression of being soft when they finally get around to giving in.

I just have a few minutes and only scanned the news, so let me know if I'm wrong, but isn't Hamas' new offer (if it's genuine) to exchange Shalit now for Israeli promises to eventually release prisoners?

If so, that's not really Hamas' original demand, which was an actual swap. As it is, if this goes through, Israel will almost certainly renege if rocket or border attacks resume, so Hamas would in effect have to maintain a cease-fire until the prisoners are released, and Israel would presumably not be under any publicly announced timetable to do so.

It's a little reminiscent of the Cuban missle crisis resolution, in which Kennedy agreed to dismantle the Turkish missles. Because this happened later, and was not announced, world opinion viewed the U.S. as the 'winner', and American prestige went up (course, escalation in Vietnam was just around the corner). This was also a major reason for Kruschchev's forced retirement.

So I'm not sure, if this goes through, that it can really be said that Israel has gained nothing by its Gaza invasion. Of course 'just war' and strategic considerations may yet make it a mistake. But it seems to me there is a substantial difference between Hamas' initial and present demands, and Hamas' prestige will take something of a blow, as they have retreated much further from their original demands than has Israel.

Posted by: ChiSox Fan in LA on July 25, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

The reckless Israelis have now killed UN observers in their irresponsible bloodlust, using bombs paid for with American tax dollars. I dont know about you, but I didnt ever sign up to have my taxes go to fund state-sponsored terrorism, did you?

Can I get a voucher for the cost of all of the arms we have provided to Israel under the ruse of foreign aid???

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on July 25, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Israel has been trying the "let's kill them all" approach for years, and it has never worked and shows no sign of working now. All it has ever done is breed more terrorists. Hezbollah, for example, was created in response to the Israeli occupation of Lebanon in 1980. Time to try something different.

OTOH, it did give American Hawk and FF hard-ons. Probably for the first time in months.

Posted by: CN on July 25, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Hamas' demand initially, before Israel responded with massive force, was for a prisoner exchange. So the Israeli action has managed to get Hamas to (maybe) agree to their own initial demands which Israel rejected."

Only if you consider getting their nose bloodied doesn't count for anything.

For example, if I'll only agree to your deal if you let me beat the shit out of you. Did you really get original deal?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Since the number of Jews who have answered the questions raised by this article is zero, and the number of Jews who have ignored it is all, and it is so relevant to this thread, I feel it needs to be posted again:

WHY DOESN'T THE MEDIA PUBLISH THIS? I wonder indeed.

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. One wonders if it is standard practice to wear a bulletproof vest inside a hot tank. One would think that the tank would be bulletproof enough not to require such a vest. Can Israeli tanks stop bullets, or not?

Later reports, from the New York Times and Guardian, tell use that Shalit suffered only minor injuries to his abdomen and one arm, even though everyone else in the tank was severely wounded or killed. Shalit would have been less than three feet away from those killed (there is no spare room in a tank).

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? Did his minor wounds bleed profusely, or was it the other soldiers blood and guts all over him. Pity their bulletproof vests didn't save them.

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. Anyway 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. Yes, the Jews are evil people.

Posted by: watcher on July 25, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Only if you consider getting their nose bloodied doesn't count for anything.

Only if you are such a monster as to refer to 120 dead Palestinians, including 26 children, as a bloody nose.

Posted by: Disputo on July 25, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

"How did you infer that? Did you read the article?

All the sources appear to be associated with the Palestinian government. They indicate that militants will follow their spiritual leadership in Syria and that pressure needs to be applied to that leadership. I don't see any indication that "militants" have agreed to anything at this point."

So who will release the kidnapped soldier? Are you saying the "Palestinian government" is holding him hostage?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

"If he'd been around forty years ago he'd probably talk about "colored people.""

I thought it was the proper term back then?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Only if you are such a monster as to refer to 120 dead Palestinians, including 26 children, as a bloody nose."

Maybe that would give the Hamas pause the next time they consider venturing into another country to kidnap her citizens.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

I dont know about you, but I didnt ever sign up to have my taxes go to fund state-sponsored terrorism, did you? Can I get a voucher for the cost of all of the arms we have provided to Israel under the ruse of foreign aid???

I'd like to see the US send the billions that normally go to Israel every year to Lebanon instead in order to rebuild the infrastructure destroyed by Israeli-launched US bombs. I figure Israel is unlikely to ever pay for the damage they have caused, so lets just cut-out the middle man.

We just have to make sure that Halliburton isn't involved.

Posted by: Disputo on July 25, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Dude, read the article. It says the Palestinian government is not in control. They hope some guy in Syria can persuade the militants (holding the soldier/body) because he supposedly controls the purse strings.

Posted by: Al is dead on July 25, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

"Dude, read the article. It says the Palestinian government is not in control. They hope some guy in Syria can persuade the militants (holding the soldier/body) because he supposedly controls the purse strings."

Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have agreed to stop firing rockets at Israel and to free a captured Israeli soldier in a deal brokered by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.

Did I miss something?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes, the story is a total fabrication. A fake provocation to start a war. Yes, the Jews are evil people."

That's a nice theory. But, why did Hamas take credit for the kidnapping?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

The reckless Israelis have now killed UN observers in their irresponsible bloodlust

Yep. Not only did the Israelis managed to kill 4 Indian UN peace keepers with a bomb, they kept firing on the position during rescue operations. I guess now we know how serious they were about havign a UN force on the ground.

I'm just waiting to hear the MSM spin when the Israelis eventually attack the USS Liberty....

Posted by: Disputo on July 25, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter said: "So who will release the kidnapped soldier? Are you saying the "Palestinian government" is holding him hostage?"

Cpl Gilad Shalit is sipping coffee in Tel Aviv.

Read my article above. The entire "kidnapping" is an OBVIOUS fabrication by the Jew press.

Posted by: watcher on July 25, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK
I just have a few minutes and only scanned the news, so let me know if I'm wrong, but isn't Hamas' new offer (if it's genuine) to exchange Shalit now for Israeli promises to eventually release prisoners?

IIRC, that's pretty much how past "prisoner exchanges" have tended to work between Israel and Palestinian groups, the Palestinians demand an exchange, and a deal is worked out through a backchannel where the Palestinians release whoever they are holding and then the Israelis later release some prisoners as a notional "good faith" gesture while denying its an actual explicit quid pro quo.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Did I miss something?

Yeah, you missed the last three paragraphs of the /Guardian/ article.

Stop playing the fool.

Posted by: Disputo on July 25, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter said: "why did Hamas take credit for the kidnapping?"

WELL THEY DIDN'T.

"The Hamas 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." from the Telegraph article linked to in the post.

Freedom Fighter, if you really want to understand the mechanics of the fabrication,....

The Jew press claims that the Popular Resistance Committees, the armed wing of Hamas and the (previously unknown) Army of Islam were jointly responsible for the kidnapping of Shilat.

Why three groups you may ask?

The reason for three groups, is so that each of them might believe that the other has the "kidnapped" soldier, when, in fact, none of them have him. He is sipping coffee in Tel Aviv.

And why did a "previously unknown" group put up its hand?

Well, just in case one of the groups had doubts that the other group had the "kidnapped" soldier, they certainly couldn't be sure the "previously unknown" group didn't have him,... because after all, they don't have any idea who is leading, or anyone in, this unknown group.

So the reason for the weird "I did it arrangement," is so that the Jew press can claim that the Arabs claimed responsibility, when all they have done, is to NOT deny they did it.

Oh yeah, the "previously unknown" group is a Jew invention. It doesn't exist, except in the Jew newspapers.

Posted by: watcher on July 25, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Kofi Annan says the killing of UN observers was intentional.
.

Posted by: VJ on July 25, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK
Not only did the Israelis managed to kill 4 Indian UN peace keepers with a bomb, they kept firing on the position during rescue operations. I guess now we know how serious they were about havign a UN force on the ground.

I think its possible to read to much into this about Israeli attitude toward a UN force; neither Israel nor anyone else has, of course, ever taken UNIFIL seriously because of their non-mandate, and part of that is that Hezbollah positions are often located in close proximity to UNIFIL positions. I don't know if that was true with this headquarters facility, though the fact that there were 14 other Israeli attacks in the immediate vincinity suggests that either (1) Israel has gone completely insane and is deliberately targetting UNIFIL, or (2) they at least thought some substantial Hezbollah target was in the area.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Watcher, can't you go do your stupid highschool research project somewhere else. No one believes you're real.

Posted by: Al is dead on July 25, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK
Kofi Annan says the killing of UN observers was intentional.

This is overstated; Annan says it was "apparently deliberate" and has asked Israel to investigate it, that's not the same thing as concluding it was in fact intentional.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

'cmdicely' posted:

"This is overstated"

Take it up with Charlie Gibson.
.

Posted by: VJ on July 25, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

In other words Israel is now cutting the deal that was offered in the beginning, before all the bombing and invading.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on July 25, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK
Take it up with Charlie Gibson.

If Charlie Gibson had posted it in this thread, I would.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Red Cross vehicles,U.N. observer posts,fleeing civilian vehicles! When you're trying to destroy a whole country everything is a target!

Posted by: R.L. on July 25, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

One bomb left! Monastery or Nunnery?

Posted by: R.L. on July 25, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

though the fact that there were 14 other Israeli attacks in the immediate vincinity suggests that either (1) Israel has gone completely insane and is deliberately targetting UNIFIL, or (2) they at least thought some substantial Hezbollah target was in the area.

Annan claims that Olmert assured him that UN positions would not be attacked. If that is true, it doesn't matter that Hezbollah targets were located nearby. Otherwise, the assurance is meaningless.

("Sorry we killed Condi. Yes, we promised not to kill her when in Bierut, but she happened to be near a Hezbollah target, so we had no choice....")

Posted by: Disputo on July 25, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK
Annan claims that Olmert assured him that UN positions would not be attacked. If that is true, it doesn't matter that Hezbollah targets were located nearby.

Well, it doesn't matter to the evaluation of the question "Is Israel's word is worthless when it comes to promises of restraint in military actions?", it does matter to the question of "Was Israel deliberately targetting UNIFIL positions or was it collateral damage from attacks targetting Hezbollah?".

I'd say that both questions are important, the second moreso if only because the answer "Yes" to the first question is well established independently of this particular action.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 25, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

[Annan] asked Israel to investigate it

I'm sure they'll investigate this with the same thoroughness that they investigated their attack on the USS Liberty.

Posted by: Disputo on July 25, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

cmd,

Point taken, but I'd argue that there is little daylight between the questions, "Was Israel deliberately targetting UN positions?" and "Did Israel attack Hezbollah positions knowing full well that it was likely that a nearby UN position would get hit?"

Seems pretty clear to me that this is an intimidation ploy, complete with the necessary plausible deniability.

Posted by: Disputo on July 25, 2006 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

If you really want to understand American foreign policy, you have to know this:

George W Bush is a Jew (who pretends to be a Christian)!

This partly explains the weirdness of the man and why he never acts like a Christian.

Here, have a look at him praying at the Wailing Wall.

He could be praying to Allah, but it doesn't look like it. And what is that funny cap thing on his head?

Yes, Bush is a Jew, he has Jews all through his family tree.

For example, Levi Pierce and his mother Barbara Pierce (Levi and Barbara are related) are both Jews.

Pierce is an Americanization of the Jewish name Perez/Peretz/Peres. The name is of Hebrew origin. According to Genesis 38, Pharez (the spelling Perez is also used (in the First Book of Chronicles)) was a son of Judah born to Tamar (who incidentally, was Judah's daughter in law (Judah, the father of the Jews, was a dirty old man)).

In case you are interested Levi and Barbara Pierce are related as follows:

Thomas Holbrook (d. 1677) m. Jane Powys
.John Holbrook m. Elizabeth Stream
|.Hannah Holbrook m. Ephraim Pierce
| .Ephraim Pierce m. Mary Low
|  .Mial Pierce m. Judith Round
|   .Nathan Pierce m. Lydia Martin
|    .Isaac Pierce m. Anna Fitch
|     .LEVI PIERCE m. Betsey Slade Wheeler
|      .Elizabeth Slade Pierce m. Courtland Philip Livingston Butler
|       .Mary Elizabeth Butler m. Robert Emmet Sheldon
|        .Flora Sheldon m. Samuel Prescott Bush
|         .Prescott Sheldon Bush m. Dorothy Walker
|          .GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH m. Barbara Pierce
|           .GEORGE W. BUSH, US President
.Thomas Holbrook m. Jane Kingman
 .Peter Holbrook m. Alice Godfrey
  .Sylvanus Holbrook m. Naomi Cook
   .John Holbrook m. Zilpah Thayer
    .John Holbrook m. Rhoda Thayer
     .John Holbrook m. Mercy Hill
      .Chloe Holbrook m. James Pierce
       .Jonas James Pierce m. Kate Pritzel
        .Scott Pierce m. Mabel Marvin
         .Marvin Pierce m. Pauline Robinson
          .BARBARA PIERCE

Doesn't that mean BUSH's mother is his cousin? Always though Bush was inbred.

In the 2004 US election you got to choose between the Jew Kerry and the Jew Bush.

Some choice,... like the choice between the front side of a piece of paper, or the back side.

So the result of the election has already been decided before you get to "choose".

I would rather have the Iranian type of election.

And hears a couple of snaps of Bush's grandaddy,.. sure looks like a Jew to me:

Prescott Sheldon Bush with Ike.
Prescott Sheldon Bush with Nixon.

Posted by: watcher on July 25, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

The automated wackjob spam is on a recursive loop.

Posted by: Al is dead on July 25, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Watcher! Look out behind you!!! It's a guy in a yarmukle!! Booga-Booga!!

Posted by: Pat on July 25, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

The Israeli leadership have gone from saying they were going to destroy Hezbollah, to saying they were going to disarm Hezbollah, to now saying that they are going to send Hezbollah "a strong message".
.

Posted by: VJ on July 25, 2006 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

The thing I don't understand is why the hell do we give Israel such free rein. They haven't done us any favors except stir up the middle east causing threats to world oil supplies. I get the feeling they would bomb US positions if we got in the way of their "self defensive" ethnic cleansing. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I really wonder why we give this little postage stamp of a country so much money and complete free reign with our best weapons when it's completely counter productive to US interests? Anyone? Left over cold war stategery, liberating the holy land from Muslims, Jewish voters in the US?? Seriously what gives???

Posted by: Adventuregeek on July 25, 2006 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

"The thing I don't understand is why the hell do we give Israel such free rein."

Because Bush is a Jew (see above article).

Because nearly everyone in the Bush administration is a Jew.

Couldn't be simpler, could it.

Posted by: watcher on July 25, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

No, you couldn't be.

A question, Watcher. How do you manage to post there in the doublewide trailer and bang your sister at the same time? Do you type with one hand or something? Also, is West virginia getting the hot weather we have here in DC? Just wondering ...

Posted by: Pat on July 25, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

In no particular order:

1. Momentum. The US's strong relationship with Israel dates back to the 60s and 70s, when Arab nationalism was Soviet-aligned.

2. Natural affinity, especially of elites. Israel is a true Western democracy, the only one in the mideast. American officials, scholars, and businessmen feel at home there, in some ways more so than in Europe, since Israel shares the US's patriotic-nationalist and (more recently) religious attitudes more than Europe does.

3. Jewish political and economic power in the US, both on the right and on the left.

4. Until recently, it never cost us much. The Gulf oil-producing states were not front-line states, and their anti-Zionism was purely theoretical and scarcely their relations with the US.

5. A curious confluence of interests between the American and Israeli right wings. Both reap political gains from Arab hostility and terrorism. And then there's the small messianic/Rapture minority in each electorate.

That pretty much sums it up for me. As the costs of the relationship rise, however, sections of the US elite and many average Americans are starting to defect. I am not sure the Israelis or most American Jews realize this is happening.

Posted by: brooksfoe on July 25, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

A Jewish boy beat me up on the playground when I was seven and when he pushed me I peed on myself by the monkey bars. Jews! Jews! Jews!

Posted by: Watcher on July 25, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

to brooksfoe's list I'd add:

oil industry: Israel is a near-proxy for US force projection in the oil-rich ME region; as a bonus, anytime ME instability increases oil prices, the US oil industry makes a killing.

military industry: the billions the US gives every year to Israel is in essense a subsidy to the US military industry, which they have come to rely on.

Posted by: Disputo on July 25, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

"One bomb left! Monastery or Nunnery?"

How about a mosque? Since it's where the Moslems churn out jihadis and store weapons, it's basically a barracks, thus very legit target.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Because Bush is a Jew (see above article)."

You are in good company as plenty of liberals believe the Jews and Chimpy Bushitlerburton were behind 9/11.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 25, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter = Watcher ?

Posted by: B on July 25, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

However, Israel cannot "drown" Hezbollah without conducting a wholesale slaughter of innocent people - yes, trolls, innocent people

According to news reports today, 120,000 Lebanese have fled to Syria, and 18,000 Lebanese fled Bint Jbair in response to Israeli leaflets. Those people were not attacked. there is no "wholsesale slaughter" of Lebanese.

It's bad enough without these grotesque exaggerations.

There have been more good quotes today from the Hizbollah leadership about the necessity to destroy Israel. but they were reported in the main stream media, so I won't post them. I seem to be the only reader here who takes them seriously.

Posted by: republicrat on July 25, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter = Watcher ?

Posted by: B on July 25, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe, but I doubt it. Freedom Fighter is the peron who, about six or seven months back, was exposed here after trying to repeatedly post claiming to be a soldier serving in Iraq. In fact, he admitted to being a teenager who still lives with his parents. Seriously.

Posted by: Pat on July 25, 2006 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

Israel is now beyond the pale. They are out of touch with reality. They are on the road to committing genocide, at which the whole Israeli experiment would be destroyed.

Go Hezbollah!!! Stop Israel from destroying itself.

Go Israel. Get a grip!!!

Posted by: Detroit Dan on July 25, 2006 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

That pretty much sums it up for me. As the costs of the relationship rise, however, sections of the US elite and many average Americans are starting to defect. I am not sure the Israelis or most American Jews realize this is happening.

I hope that's really the case, but I fear many are finding more and more in common against their shared Islamic enemy. It seems to me to be such a one sided relationship that I would think financial interests would eventually bring some sanity to the situation (ie. little things like Intel's main chip development center in Haifa being shutdown). However fiscal self interest seems to be taking a back seat to being hell bent for messianic self destruction lately. I mean isn't a stable prosperous Lebanon more important for the US than a few kidnapped Israeli soldiers.

Posted by: Adventuregeek on July 25, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

Israel has lost its moorings (not to mention the U.S.). They are on the path to genocide. I pray for victory by Hezbollah -- the truly righteous in this war.

Israel -- You need to get your head together. You are screwing up once again (see Hebrew Bible for previous instances of your stupidity).

Go Hezbollah!!!

Posted by: Detroit Dan on July 25, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

Israel -- You are doomed if you continue your stupidity.

I pray for victory by Hezbollah and the those who are not blinded by seeming military superiority.

Israel is on the wrong path.

Turn back. Turn back...

Posted by: Detroit Dan on July 25, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

I have been a life long supporter of Israel. But they are truly on the path to genocide.

Wake up O' Israel. You are on the wrong path.

Hezbollah is on the side of righteousnous. You are blind, O' Israel. Wake up or you will be destroyed.

Let it be so, O God in heaven, if you truly exist.

Go Hezbollah!!! Long live the true freedom fighters!!!

Posted by: Detroit Dan on July 25, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

I see Hizbullah's second in command is saying that they hadn't expected such a big response, figuring things would go the usual way- a litle fighting, then a prisoner exchange.

Problem was, no way could Olmert stand for that- already under pressure as a civilian and a moderate, failure to react in a strong way would have led to the collapse of the unilateral withdrawal policy, and led to Netanyahu coming to power- and then we would have seen some stuff coming down

Posted by: MikeN on July 25, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Israel, Yahweh will not deal kindly with this. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is chicken-shit murder of innocents using weapons supplies by the Roman Empire, you are a one. Hezbollah is David. You are Goliath.

Wake up, O' Israel, or you will be vanquished.

Or else maybe Dick Cheney is right. The truly stupid and immoral will prevail.

This is not what Israel is about. WAKE UP ISRAEL!!!

Posted by: Detroit Dan on July 25, 2006 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

There have been more good quotes today from the Hizbollah leadership about the necessity to destroy Israel. but they were reported in the main stream media

republicrat, the Israeli desire to destroy Hezbollah is official policy and constantly repeated. When Nasrallah talks about destroying Israel he isn't saying "kill all the Jews"; when Israel talks about destroying Hezbollah it isn't saying "kill all the Shia".

I am as strong a defender of Israel as you are likely to find. But the Israeli instinct to destroy the freely chosen and legitimate political organizations of their opponents is suicidal. Same goes for Hezbollah. It's not that we don't take these statements "seriously". It is that we think that they are part of a mutual disease. It took Israel 30 wasted years to recognize the legitimacy of the PLO; they never gave Hamas a chance. That Hezbollah does not recognize Israel's right to exist does not make them any less the legitimate representative of Lebanon's Shia. They cannot be ignored. If you want peace, you need to cut a deal with them. Neither Israel nor Hezbollah recognizes the other side's legitimacy; neither one has the capacity to destroy the other side. So all that "must be destroyed" rhetoric is crap.

I think Israel is right to fight this war to maximize its bargaining position with Hezbollah. But it ought to recognize that Hezbollah are the people it's going to be dealing with, because they are the ones in control of southern Lebanon.

Posted by: brooksfoe on July 25, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk writes:

A lot of innocent Germans died in world war 2. By that logic, we should have held off, until we could develop bombs that only killed Nazis.

By 1944, Germany had invaded most of Europe including Poland, France, and the Soviet Union. They tried to bomb Britian into submission, and had killed millions of civilians. The Allied bombings were proportionate. The Israeli response, however justified, was not proportionate. Your comparison is simplistic and nonsensical.

Posted by: Andy on July 25, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Israel is being dealt its greatest defeat ever, and they don't even see it. After all, the great satan is backing them down the line. ISRAEL -- Only 35% of Americans support Bush. He is death.

Hezbollah will only be defeated by genocide. Don't go there Israel. That would be the foolish end to a great endeavor...

Posted by: Detroit Dan on July 25, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the update Kevin. You might as well close the comment section though.

Posted by: B on July 25, 2006 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Here is what I don't get about the situation in the Middle East; we keep hearing that the Palestinian problem is the key to the whole dilemma. If only the Palestinians could get a fair deal, everything would be OK.

What I want to know is, if the other Middle Eastern nations are so concerned about Palestine, why haven't they done more to help? There is sufficient wealth in that region to turn Palestine into a decent country.

Posted by: cajun on July 25, 2006 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

The earnest Jewish state surrounded by hostile neighbors is now seen as the bully on the block. Israel and the U.S. are joined at the hip. George W. Bush, the biggest fool to walk the planet in recent years, is now one with the face of Israel.

What the F? Where is the advantage to Israel in being so closely allied with the stupidest f'ing idiot to ever to roam the White House? Where is the advantage to the U.S. to being allied to the likes of the grossly obese and totally indifferent to the human condition abomination that was Ariel Sharon?

Israel has truly lost its way and become the refuge of thugs. The United States will rise again from the ashes of the bankrupt rule of the current thugs who stifle our intellect and strangle our morality.

Go Israel. Go U.S. Break the bonds of oppression. Long live intellect and morality...

Posted by: Detroit Dan on July 25, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

cajun,

One step at a time. No people can prosper while oppressed as Israel oppresses Palestine. Israel has become a military bully. They destroy indiscriminately. Put yourself in the shoes of any Palestinian. You could achieve nothing, because Israel would punish you for the acts of others.

The Israelis are the modern day equivalent of the ancient Israelis. LOST. They worship at the altar of U.S. made Apache helicopters and the comfort of knowing that Condi Rice and George Bush will support them no matter how many innocent lives they destroy.

Israel will prevail, but they must get back to being more savvy with regard to world opinion. Which would you rather have on your side, nuclear weapons or world opinion?

Nuclear weapons will enable you to annihilate the bad Islamists. World opinion is for wimps. Right?

Stand up for the Israel that is a beacon to the world! Stand up for the Israel of Golda Meir!

God bless Israel...

Posted by: Detroit Dan on July 25, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Israel is getting beaten by a country .7 times the size of Connecticut. Israel, with the might of the U.S. beyond it, can barely conquer the smallest of border villages! This is truly a miracle -- the kind of miracle that occurs when one side is totally immoral and the other is driven by the knowledge that they are fighting for kith and kin.

Israeli guns are killing Israelis with friendly fire. That should tell you something. Israel has lost its chi...

Posted by: Detroit Dan on July 25, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

aw fuck. Never release prisoners.

Israel should try, convict, and execute terrorists immediately to avoid problems like this.

If they're innocent, sure - they don't deserve to be convicted. But if the enemy wants them, that means they're valuable - and they should have been executed, if for no other reason, than to diminish the enemy's capability.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on July 25, 2006 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

Israel is getting beaten ...
Posted by: Detroit Dan on July 25, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Compare the Israeli death toll with the Lebaneese death tool.

(civillian vs "miltary" - whatever the latter means for Hezbollah)

Who's getting beaten?

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on July 25, 2006 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Probably another little item that you should know, is that CHENEY is most probably a Jew as well.

In the 2004 US election not only did you got to choose between the Jew Kerry and the Jew Bush.

But you get Jew vice-presidents as well.

Bush is related to Vice President DICK CHENEY:

William French m. Elizabeth ---- (1st wife)
.Mary French m. Jonathan Hyde
 .Jonathan Hyde m. Dorothy Kidder
  .Dorothy Hyde m. Joseph Perham
   .Susan Perham m. Samuel Taylor
    .Lucy Taylor m. Jonathan Fletcher
     .Joseph Fletcher m. Rachel Emerson
      .Lucy Fletcher m. Elias Eaton Cheney
       .Samuel Fletcher Cheney m. Ella A Phillips
        .Thomas Herbert Cheney m. Margaret Ellen Tyler
         .Richard Herbert Cheney m. Marjorie Lorraine Dickey
          .RICHARD BRUCE CHENEY (b. 1941), US Vice-President

William French m. Mary Lathrop (2nd wife)
 .Hannah French m. John Child
  .Hannah Child m. John Fay
   .Jonathan Fay m. Joanna Phillips
    .Jonathan Fay m. Lucy Prescott
     .Samuel Prescott Phillips Fay m. Harriet Howard
      .Samuel Howard Fay m. Susan Shellman
       .Harriet Eleanor Fay m. James Smith Bush
        .Samuel Prescott Bush m. Flora Sheldon
         .Prescott Sheldon Bush m. Dorothy Walker
         .GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, US President m. Barbara Pierce
          .GEORGE W. BUSH, US President

Posted by: watcher on July 26, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

Stand up for the Israel that is a beacon to the world! Stand up for the Israel of Golda Meir!

Umm...Dan, Golda Meir didn't think what you think she thought.

I think you need to realize that Israel is a country born out of a horrible communitarian civil war, one comparable to Bosnia or to what's going on in Iraq right now. One of the central lessons of Israel's experience, especially the 1947 experience, was that life is a bitter struggle for existence with people who will kill you if you don't kill them first.

That lesson has proven less and less useful as time has gone on. But you probably ought to read something about Ariel Sharon, for instance. There was a terrific profile of him in the New Yorker in January. One of his seminal experiences, one he recounted to the interviewer, was at the Battle of Latrun in '47. His unit was overrun, and he was wounded in the gut, dying of thirst. He was stuck in some tall grass, next to a puddle of water mixed with the blood of the wounded. He bent down, drank the mixed filthy water and blood deeply, then got up and fought his way back through the lines to his own unit.

The message, for Sharon, implied, in my interpretation, is that life is a struggle in which you must things which are repulsive and which offend your sense of humanity; and if you don't do these things, you will die.

This is a vision of things which retains an element of truth for the Israeli situation, even today. The problem is that the other elements of the situation - that doing those disgusting, offensive things will, in the long run, keep you from ever getting out of the struggle to a better sort of place and a better society - have come to predominate. The Israelis' instincts keep bringing them back to that desperate struggle to survive, and until both they and the Palestinians can rise beyond that, they'll never get out of the cycle of violence.

But Golda approved raids of vengeance on Palestinian villages, and, of course, the long assassination campaign against the Munich terrorists. She was no peacenik.

Posted by: brooksfoe on July 26, 2006 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, watcher, Bush is a Jew. Fine.

But is he a cohen?

Posted by: brooksfoe on July 26, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Really, he's a cohen?

Posted by: watcher on July 26, 2006 at 4:19 AM | PERMALINK

If you are not already convinced that the whole story is a fabrication,   新华社北京7月25日电 中国外交部副部长杨洁篪25日与安提瓜和巴布达、巴哈马国、巴巴多斯、多米尼克国、格林纳达、圭亚那合作共和国、牙买加、圣卢西亚、苏里南共和国、特立尼达和多巴哥共和国的代表在北京举行了中国和加勒比建交国外交部间第三次磋商。 ">ask yourself; What were the four Israeli soldiers d 【提要】为了向中国渗透,盘踞在金新月的国际贩毒集团近两年越来越多地采用搭乘国际航班的贩毒方式 ">oing in  据中国日报特稿 美国前总统克林顿在黑人中曾拥有很高的支持率,因此在卸任后才会把办公室安置在黑人文化重镇、纽约哈莱姆区,并在入驻当天受到盛大欢迎。 ">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,...



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 perhap

Posted by: ss on July 26, 2006 at 6:32 AM | PERMALINK

the fact that there were 14 other Israeli attacks in the immediate vincinity suggests that either (1) Israel has gone completely insane and is deliberately targetting UNIFIL, or (2) they at least thought some substantial Hezbollah target was in the area.

I don't for a minute believe that Israel deliberately targeted the UN (and, by the by, Annan's comment that they did was over-the-top and unproductive -- it seems the disproportionality bug is catching).

But it does make hash of the claims that Israel is taking special care to only target Hezbollah and not civilians.

Posted by: Gregory on July 26, 2006 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think it makes hash of that claim. They probably are taking special care. The problem is that armed forces are very fallible. I think people need to be aware that the idea of "surgical strikes" that don't kill any bystanders is a myth, and that launching military operations is a horrible business. Which is what makes wars of choice such a generally horrible idea. But I don't think this is a war of choice.

Posted by: brooksfoe on July 26, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

But it does make hash of the claims that Israel is taking special care to only target Hezbollah and not civilians.

They've also had multiple "blue on blue" incidents of friendly fire, including one where one of their drones shot missiles at their infantry. I doubt they meant to target them.

People underestimate just how foggy the fog of war is.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 26, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

"I don't for a minute believe that Israel deliberately targeted the UN"

Why NOT. The nutcases have done it before.

Remember Qana, Lebanon, April 18, 1996?

Only massacred a hundred or so there. Stupid Jews

Posted by: watcher on July 26, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

When I was little, I had a Jewish friend. One day, when we were in the woods playing army, I asked him to show me his wiener, and he did. It made me so excited I got all gushy in my pants. Later, when I asked my daddy what had happened, he got so angry and spanked me really hard. Bad jews. Jews. They are all jews!!!

Posted by: watcher on July 26, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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