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Tony Bourdain trapped in Lebanon.
July 14, 2006 3:15 PM   Subscribe

Tony Bourdain trapped in Lebanon. (On Jason Perlow's very good blog; also seen in the NYPost via TFS Appetizers.)
posted by rxrfrx (222 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
This should make for a pretty good episode, assuming he doesn't get exploded.
posted by rxrfrx at 3:15 PM on July 14, 2006


NOW IT"S SERIOUS!!!
posted by mr_roboto at 3:18 PM on July 14, 2006


So is this mefite's sister.
posted by delmoi at 3:19 PM on July 14, 2006


More from Boudain..
posted by Artw at 3:24 PM on July 14, 2006


Bam!
posted by Flashman at 3:29 PM on July 14, 2006


Anybody can explain me what the hell is happening with Israelis bombing airports (civilian I gather maybe incorrectly), highways and bridges ?
posted by elpapacito at 3:30 PM on July 14, 2006


IMHO, it looks like Israel's desire to go ape on the Palestinians has finally gotten the better of them.
posted by Aquaman at 3:33 PM on July 14, 2006


Flashman wins
posted by rxrfrx at 3:34 PM on July 14, 2006


elpapacito - As far as I can work out they apear to have gone completely fucking insane. Fortunately thye are not (yet) picking on anybody with much of a capacity to fight back, but I expect there will be really quite disasterous consequences to this.

I'm sure that fans of failed states (such as the terrorists and criminals who thrive in them) are rejoicing loudly at this.
posted by Artw at 3:34 PM on July 14, 2006


I'm loving the strong reaction form the rets of the wirld, which consists of sitting on their hands and going "umm...".
posted by Artw at 3:36 PM on July 14, 2006


Anybody can explain me what the hell is happening with Israelis bombing airports (civilian I gather maybe incorrectly), highways and bridges ?

There is intelligence suggesting that the hostages will be taken to Iran, either by air, or via Syria. Hizbollah, of course, is funded and supported with Iranian and Syrian money/knowhow. The attacks on bridges, roads and airports is to prevent this from happening. The runways on the airports were bombed, not the terminal.

I will supply a link shortly. This is the proffered explanation, at any rate.
posted by kosem at 3:37 PM on July 14, 2006


IMHO, it looks like Israel's desire to go ape on the Palestinians has finally gotten the better of them.

Or Hezbollah, even!

They're eliminating Hezbollah's ability to remove the kidnapped soldiers from Lebanon into Syria or Iran. As a bonus, they're trying their level best to blow the shit out of some dudes that like lobbing rockets randomly at civilians. Which, the last time I checked, civilized people didn't condone, explicitly or implicitly. You think Israel should stop? They've made their demands. Return the soldiers and stop firing rockets as Israel. Seems pretty reasonable to me...
posted by loquax at 3:38 PM on July 14, 2006


They're eliminating Hezbollah's ability to remove the kidnapped soldiers from Lebanon into Syria or Iran.

ALL THREE OF THEM. Totally worth it.
posted by delmoi at 3:40 PM on July 14, 2006


I'm loving the strong reaction form the rets of the wirld, which consists of sitting on their hands and going "umm...".

You mean about how Hezbollah should have been disarmed years ago, yet Syria and Iran continue to fund them and give them weapons? Agreed, the world has done nothing to protect the lives of innocent Israelis, to its great shame.

Want Israel to stop? Simple, have these terrorists return the kidnapped soldiers and stop lobbing bombs at civilians. Doesn't seem so insane to me...
posted by loquax at 3:42 PM on July 14, 2006


TBH It looks more like a calculated attempt to destroy Lebanons economy. Because if it was more of a shithole like the Palestinian portions of Israel it would generate less terrorists or something.

The whole thing is insane, stupid and very saddening. I'm sure that if Hezbollah had known that all it had to do to cause so much chaos and get Israel to act so stupidly was abduct some soldiers it would have done so a long time ago.
posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on July 14, 2006


Weird, sorry, thought my first post didn't go through. Two rhetorical flourishes for the price of one! And on preview, it looks like preview isn't really working.


ALL THREE OF THEM. Totally worth it.


Agreed. Well, about the two that Hezbollah kidnapped anyways. And the 600 rockets fired at Israel over the last few days, and the thousands more over the last 6 years since Israel left Lebanon.
posted by loquax at 3:44 PM on July 14, 2006


loquax - unfortunately the George Bush school of balck and white geo-political analysis is fuck all use in the resal wold, and simply painting lebanese civilians as the enemy and bombing the shit out of them really doesn't cut it.
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM on July 14, 2006


TBH It looks more like a calculated attempt to destroy Lebanons economy.

Syria and Iran don't need Israel's help for that.
posted by loquax at 3:46 PM on July 14, 2006


Be safe Tony. If anyone can handle a situation like this, it's you.

Loquax, Israel is bombing a civilian fucking airport. Not a Hezbollah military base, but the main airport of a sovreign nation called Lebanon. As for smuggling the hostage to Iran, WTF are you smoking? Why would Iran do something that would invite a bombing? Unbelievable. I'd invite you back to reality, but frankly, you aren't welcome here any longer.

More generally, here's David Ignatius on Israel's aggression and "step back in time."
posted by bardic at 3:46 PM on July 14, 2006


Loquax is high on Israeli truthiness, I don't think confronting him with facts or appeals to simple humanity is really going to have much effect.
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on July 14, 2006


Artw, the UN tried to pass a resolution against Israeli bombing of Lebanese civilians, but the US (John Bolton) blocked it.
posted by bardic at 3:48 PM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


From Artw's link:

"We're not getting a show out of this . . . I just wanna hang out and drink at the bar. The mojitos here are great.

"They're bombing right now in southern Beirut. I can hear the explosions. The thing is, the people here are really, really nice and totally embarrassed by Hezbollah and horrified by the bombings."

After spending Monday and Tuesday eating his way through Beirut and befriending locals, Bourdain and his crew partied at local nightclubs into the wee hours. "This is a party town," he explained. "Everyone in this city is [bleeping] gorgeous. It's like L.A. It's a totally international, sophisticated city. Everyone speaks English and throws dollars around."


As unenviable as it is for anyone to be stuck in a crisis zone, there's a time and a place to strike a bon vivant attitude. Given Bourdain's treks to isolated regions of the globe, and his encounters with people of humbler backgounds, you'd think he'd be a little more in check with the situation at hand.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:53 PM on July 14, 2006


Hezbollah's leader, Hasan Nasrallah, said an hour passed before Israeli forces set out to recover the captives, giving Hezbollah time to smuggle them to a place he called "safe and far, far, far away."

TBH It looks more like a calculated attempt to destroy Lebanons economy. Because if it was more of a shithole like the Palestinian portions of Israel it would generate less terrorists or something.

Given the history of Lebanon, its struggle with Syrian and Iranian influences both directly and through Hizbollah, what you said makes no sense whatsoever, Artw.
posted by kosem at 3:54 PM on July 14, 2006


TBH I don't see anything wrong with that. Drinking at the hotel bar is the time honoured passtime of international travellers trapped in warzones.
posted by Artw at 3:54 PM on July 14, 2006


If Israel wants to carpet bomb its neighbors into oblivion, fine--but they should do it without the military and moral support of the United States. The sooner the better, since people will realize how morally bankrupt the politicians and military leaders of that rogue nation are.

Honestly, read the Ignatius piece--we know how this song ends for God's sake. How is returning Beirut to the stone age yet again going to lead to a different outcome?

Here's a hint--not every person in Lebanon supports Hamas or Hezbollah. In fact, many of them want the same type of piece that Israelis do.

So by indiscriminantly bombing Lebanese moderates, Israel achieves what? Please hope me to understand this one.
posted by bardic at 3:56 PM on July 14, 2006


Want Israel to stop? Simple, have these terrorists return the kidnapped soldiers and stop lobbing bombs at civilians.

Actually, if you read e.g. the NYTimes reports from the past few days, there's a third demand required before Israel stops attacking civilian infrastructure in Lebanon: the banishment of Hizbullah. It's a pretty huge undertaking (and political upheaval) to be completed at gunpoint. If you believe some of the reports (a WaPo one comes to mind), Lebanon is currently moving in that direction, surprisingly enough.

Really though, using the kidnapped soldiers as an pretense to force this dramatic change in the region is a pretty bullshit excuse. At least when you are using your own civilian casualties (e.g. 9/11) you get some sympathy for a period of time.
posted by rxrfrx at 3:57 PM on July 14, 2006


Hizbolla crossed the border wed morning after a rocket attack. They crossed a UN recognized border that israel has not crossed since the full-pullout. This was an instigation during a time of weakness for the state due to the ruckus in gaza. I think all the destruction is terrible, but legitimately, hizbollah made itself a part of this conflict. They brought this reaction upon themselves.
posted by Kifer85 at 3:58 PM on July 14, 2006


Loquax, Israel is bombing a civilian fucking airport.

They bombed the runway after an act of war was committed against Israel by the defacto government of Lebanon. Fair game, sorry. Hezbollah lobs hundreds of rockets specifically at Israeli civilians to kill and maim as many as possible. No comparison, sorry.

but the main airport of a sovreign nation called Lebanon


That nation has not existed for more than 30 years. I'm not the one that has a problem with reality here.

simply painting lebanese civilians as the enemy and bombing the shit out of them really doesn't cut it.


Too bad the only one who thinks that's what Israel is doing is you. Lebanon's own people are horrified at being run by a terrorist gang. Killing every single agent of Hezbollah, Iran and Syria in Lebanon will do nothing but wonders for the long-suffering people in that pseudo-state.

Artw, the UN tried to pass a resolution against Israeli bombing of Lebanese civilians, but the US (John Bolton) blocked it.


The UN passed two resolutions calling for Hezbollah to disarmed. Nobody gave a shit and the rockets and murder kept coming. How's that for Israeli truthiness? Or do you believe that the Israeli government woke up one morning and decided that it was high time they killed as many Lebanese civilians as possible? Have you even been following what's been going on? Has your perspective on right and wrong become so skewed that you believe that Israel does not have the right to protect itself from maniacs hell-bent on its destruction? When should they act, if not after being pelted by bombs and having civilians and soldiers alike attacked? When Hezbollah's rocket technology allows them to reach Tel Aviv? When they can tip the rockets with Iranian nukes? Should Israel have simply sent a strongly worded letter to the puppets in Beirut? Or passed another UN resolution that will accomplish absolutely nothing?
posted by loquax at 3:58 PM on July 14, 2006


you'd think he'd be a little more in check with the situation at hand.

Really? But he's always that sort of bon vivant character. It would be totally unsettling to see him react otherwise.
posted by rxrfrx at 3:58 PM on July 14, 2006


They bombed the runway after an act of war was committed against Israel by the defacto government of Lebanon.

Um, what the fuck?

You might wnat to check your rightwing-loon-society issued fact sheet on that one.
posted by Artw at 4:00 PM on July 14, 2006


by the defacto government of Lebanon

Hizbullah is not the de facto government of Lebanon. It has influence and has control of some regions. These are not the same things.
posted by rxrfrx at 4:01 PM on July 14, 2006


*peace, but feel free to call Dr. Freud
posted by bardic at 4:01 PM on July 14, 2006


You can certainly bet that influence will increase.

No good will come of this, of that you can be sure.
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on July 14, 2006


hizbullah has had seats in the lebanese cabinet since the syrians left last year.
posted by Kifer85 at 4:04 PM on July 14, 2006


Hizbullah is not the de facto government of Lebanon

Hezbollah does hold posts in the Lebanese government.
posted by rottytooth at 4:04 PM on July 14, 2006


Loquax. If Israel really only cares about the rockets, they're certainly spending a lot of time talking about those kidnapped solders. Plus Israel has been firing rockets back the other way too. A month or so ago they killed a family out on the beach including a 7 year old girl (or something like that) in Gaza.

This is mostly about those few kidnapped solders, whose lives really just aren't worth all this destruction and potential death, sorry, they're not. I know you think 1 Israel life is worth 100 Lebanese or Palestinians or whatever but they're not.
posted by delmoi at 4:04 PM on July 14, 2006


Hezbollah is a political party with several seats and veto power. Saying they are the "defacto" government is like saying the democrats are the defacto government of the US.
posted by delmoi at 4:05 PM on July 14, 2006


Hizbollah =/ the entire nation of Lebanon
posted by bardic at 4:05 PM on July 14, 2006


Hizbullah is not the de facto government of Lebanon. It has influence and has control of some regions. These are not the same things.

When the Prime Minister of a country is afraid for his life because of the assassination of anyone who speaks out against Syria and Hezbollah, when Hezbollah has control of about 25% of your parliament, when it operates with impunity across the country, and when its allies the Syrians run the rest of the country, yes, Hezbollah/Syria/criminals are the de facto government of your country. It was an act of war, and in fact, Hezbollah has declared war. If "Lebanon" cannot or will not control them and subdue them, then Israel must treat them as representative of the state.
posted by loquax at 4:05 PM on July 14, 2006


It's all madness. Forget occupying Iraq. Israel and Lebanon, and Palestine should come under international jurisdiction.

By no means do I support abducting solders but this is an escalation of disproportionate measures. "Ow you broke my finger, now let me sever your arm, bet you think twice about breaking my fingers again eh?"

They have tried time and time again to respond overpoweringly to medium level provocation, and it has worked so friggen well. All it does in reality is encourage this cycle to continue unto how many generations? Perhaps a wall is an excellent idea, only surround the entire country 50 feel high and put a dome on it.
posted by edgeways at 4:07 PM on July 14, 2006


A month or so ago they killed a family out on the beach including a 7 year old girl (or something like that) in Gaza.

Yeah, something like that. Might want to check that story out one more time.
posted by loquax at 4:07 PM on July 14, 2006


They only bombed the runway of the airport? That big, central place where civilian airplanes are constantly taking off and landing?

Just like that suicide bomber in Tel Aviv, he was only bombing the pizza parlor. Human beings just got in the way.

You're sick.
posted by bardic at 4:08 PM on July 14, 2006


I know you think 1 Israel life is worth 100 Lebanese or Palestinians or whatever but they're not

delmoi--i have not seen loquax engage in any calculus of that sort. No one is relishing in this conflict, but you cannot expect Israel to not respond. How many hundreds of lebanese civilians have been killed so far?
posted by Kifer85 at 4:12 PM on July 14, 2006


By no means do I support abducting solders but this is an escalation of disproportionate measures.

This is not just about soldiers. It is about Hezbollah operating with impunity, killing and attacking Israeli civilians in blatant disregard of UN resolutions, and with the overt support of Syria and Iran. It's about them wanting to kill every Israeli, every Jew. This is not something that happened overnight, it's been 6 years in the making. Apparantly, that's how long Israel was willing to wait after they left Lebanon for the world and Lebanon to follow through on their promises before they had to act to stop the violation of their borders and the murder of their people. Their response thus far, no matter what you believe, has been tempered and restrained compared to what Israel can do.
posted by loquax at 4:13 PM on July 14, 2006


loquax - so let me get this straight - dangerous extremists have influence over the Lebanese government, so Israel is bombing the shit out of the entire country, marginalising any moderates that might have opposed the extremists and trashing the economic recovery which may have helped foster a moderate middle class interested in peace and democracy.

Great plan. I mean, it won't actually achieve anything useful, and it will kill plenty of innocent peoples, but at least Israel will avoid having to do any tough thinking and will get to engage in some exciting, violent action. I bet the self-righteous Israeli twat equivalent of you is feeling real good right now.
posted by Artw at 4:13 PM on July 14, 2006



something like that
posted by edgeways at 4:14 PM on July 14, 2006


yeah, they can always nuke 'em I suppose.
posted by edgeways at 4:16 PM on July 14, 2006


You're sick.

Dude. They bombed the runway when there was noone there, and there were no planes taking off or landing. Not a hard thing to do. The Lebanese people are innocents being held hostage by terrorists. Israel went to great lengths to explain this, and to explain that they are not attacking Lebanon, but Lebanon's oppressors. But believe whatever you want and I'll do the same.
posted by loquax at 4:16 PM on July 14, 2006


The Israeli Ambassador said that Hezbollah hides missiles in people's houses all over Lebanon, so they're allowed to hit everything they want. /insane

I think it's that Olmert overreacted to seem like a tough guy and not it's escalated. Throwing Iran in is just a present to our administration.
posted by amberglow at 4:17 PM on July 14, 2006


Listen, and this is the last bit of derail I'll participate in. Also, for the record, I don't think that the current military operations are terribly productive, or the right thing to do. Better, in my mind, and justified entirely, to retaliate only in Southern Lebanon, and only against Hizbollah. This operation is a little drastic to my mind, but it is not the indiscriminate bombing of civillian targets by any means. The threat of transfer to Iran and Syria of the soldiers is very real, has happened before. Does it justify the blockade? I don't know. I don't think so, but it's not a clear call.

Of course, bardic, it's especially sad that this is Lebanon--and this is why holding Beirut responsible doesn't make much sense. This is really between Hizbollah (and therefore Iran, and to a certain extent Syria) and Israel.
Relations between Lebanon and Israel are qualitatively different than relations between Syria and Israel, or Iran and Israel. History bears this out.

The truth remains, however: Hizbollah is a part of the governing coalition in Lebanon and sua sponte attacked Israel from their position of unchallenged control over Southern Lebanon. Everyone knows that official "Lebanon" can't do a damned thing about it.

Also, the topic of kidnapped soldiers in Israel has a long, emotional and painful history. Israel is not "using" the soldiers as an excuse to force change in the region. The change in the region that is happening is that Hizbollah upped the ante and converted their presence in Southern Lebanon from worrisome to intolerable.

Israel has coped with the occasional rocket fired by Hizbollah into Northern Israel since 1982. This is very definitely because Israel and Israelis understand that Hizbollah =/ The entire nation of Lebanon. If Syria launches rockets into Israel qua Syria, different story entirely.

All that said, this makes me want to cry.

That, and I dig Tony Bourdain's style and wish him and all the innocents caught up in the middle of this, from Beirut to Haifa, the best of luck.
posted by kosem at 4:17 PM on July 14, 2006


now it's escalated.
posted by amberglow at 4:17 PM on July 14, 2006


kosem, they're hitting Beirut tho, not just Hezbollah strongholds.
posted by amberglow at 4:18 PM on July 14, 2006


so Israel is bombing the shit out of the entire country,

How about we stop right there and actually discuss what's happening?

Still, at least any racially dodgy notions that "Jews are smart people" can be firmly dismissed once and for all.

Classy! Now that I know where you're coming from, I don't need to bother with anything else you say!

Re: the gaza beach bombing:
"Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch" - He later recanted, and it's now widely accepted that it was a Palestinian land mine or something. Gotta run so I can't look it up.
posted by loquax at 4:21 PM on July 14, 2006


loquax, I'm sure the Lebanese are less than grateful for their Israeli "friends" to be bombing the fuck out of them and installing a naval and air blockade.

Honestly, have you read any of what you've posted so far?

Simple question: With Israel bombing Lebanese civilians, who do you think benefits the most?

Here's a freakin' hint: Hezbollah and the fence-sitters who are now likely joining them in droves.
posted by bardic at 4:22 PM on July 14, 2006


...a Palestinian land mine or something...

They probably just tripped and fell down some stairs or something.
posted by Artw at 4:24 PM on July 14, 2006


Classy! Now that I know where you're coming from, I don't need to bother with anything else you say!

Note to self: Avoid gallows humour when dealing with idiots.
posted by Artw at 4:25 PM on July 14, 2006


artw, ive flagged you already, you seriously need to cool it.
posted by Kifer85 at 4:27 PM on July 14, 2006


Just like that suicide bomber in Tel Aviv, he was only bombing the pizza parlor. Human beings just got in the way.

Who exactly got killed when they bombed the runways? Not commenting any of the politics of this (because both sides are wrong), but bombing a nations' airfields is one of the first things you do when you're attempting to enforce an economic blockade, which Israel is doing. Hezbollah will re-build (which they did last night) and Israel will re-bomb (which they did this morning) until this thing comes to an end. Comparing it to a suicide bombing is just strange...
posted by SweetJesus at 4:28 PM on July 14, 2006


Here's a freakin' hint: Hezbollah and the fence-sitters who are now likely joining them in droves.

Agreed. Because the Lebanese people are so goddamned stupid that after 30 years of conflict, being maniupulted and controlled, when Hezbollah stupidly starts a war with Israel, they'll rush right into their arms!

Here's a freakin' hint - people are smarter than you seem to give them credit for, and the Lebanese know who their enemies are, and Israel isn't on that list (even if they're not quite friends, either).
posted by loquax at 4:30 PM on July 14, 2006


There was a Hezbollah MP just on BBC claiming that "we (Hezbollah) kidnapped them (the soldiers)". The BBC anchor was trying to give him a way to weasel out of it ("Do you condone the kidnappings?" repeatedly) but the dude was adamant that the whole of Hizbullah (not just their armed wing) was justified in doing so and behind it 100%. The Lebanese PM (in an interview afterwards) all but admitted he can do jack squat about Hezbollah, and called on Israel to stop the attacks as "the whole of Lebanon is not responsible". There's probably more chance of Israel listening to him than Hezbollah though.
posted by PenDevil at 4:32 PM on July 14, 2006


the Lebanese know who their enemies are, and Israel isn't on that list

Um, your assesment of human nature is a bit weird, you know that right?
posted by Artw at 4:32 PM on July 14, 2006


I don't know if any person is "smart enough" to see their friends and family members blown to bits, not to mention the indignity of not being allowed to travel indefinitely, and not feel incredibly pissed, if not murderous, towards the people of Israel. Honestly, unless you're huddled in a bomb-shelter in Beirut right now, you have not standing with which to say this is "OK" with the majority of the Lebanese populace.
posted by bardic at 4:33 PM on July 14, 2006


*not=no
posted by bardic at 4:34 PM on July 14, 2006


Um, your assesment of human nature is a bit weird, you know that right?

Right back atcha. Have a good night!
posted by loquax at 4:35 PM on July 14, 2006


Juan Cole today: "Is the Arab Spring turning to Dust under Israeli Bombardment?"

I agree that this issue is bigger than just Israel bombing Lebanon--this whole house of cards known as Bush's foreign policy in the Middle East is being exposed for what it is. Much more quickly than I expected, but still.
posted by bardic at 4:43 PM on July 14, 2006


so Israel is bombing the shit out of the entire country

What Israel Bombed:

Shortly after 6 a.m. yesterday, Israeli jets fired three rockets into runways at Beirut International Airport. Israel alleged that the airport was being used by Hezbollah to transport arms and citing fears that the captured soldiers might be smuggled out of Lebanon.

Israeli jets bombed highways and bridges in Southern Lebanon.

An Israeli missile hit Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV studios in southern Beirut. A station official said that one person was hurt but broadcasts continued.

An Al-Manar transmission antenna that was hit near Baalbek, and stopped transmissions in that area.

Israeli bombs hit a civic center attached to a Shiite mosque near the town of Baalbek.

What Hezbollah Bombed:

When Israel annoucned a naval blockade of Lebanon. Hezbollah responded by firing rockets into the northern Israeli towns of Safed, Nahariya, Kiryat Shmona, and Karmiel.

In the 48 hours following the capture of the Israeli soldiers, Hezbollah launched over 700 katyusha rockets into Northern Israel. The rockets repeatedly pounded the towns of Kiryat Shemona, Safed, Rosh Pina and Nayariya.

Hezbollah attacked the Israeli city of Haifa, 40 kilometers south of the Israel/Lebanon border, with rockets.

Casualties

Israeli: Eight Israeli soldiers were killed, two captured and five more wounded. Four civilians have been killed, and 120 civilians were wounded. A gunboat was fired upon and heavily damaged.

Lebanese: One Hezbollah member has been killed as well as two soldiers in the Lebanese army. Lebanese security officials have so far reported that 63 Lebanese civilians have been killed and another 167 had been wounded by July 14.
posted by SweetJesus at 4:46 PM on July 14, 2006


If you hit the infrastructure that supports a country you hit the entire country.
posted by Artw at 4:50 PM on July 14, 2006


The assumption that bombing someone's national infrastructure doesn't affect the lives of the people that live their is bigotry, simply put. What, those dirty Lebanese camel drivers? Surely they don't need their precious airport or harbor or highways!

Again, who benefits the most from what Israel is doing now in bombing the civilian populace and infrastructure of, in Bush's own words today, a "fragile democracy"?

Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, and Iran.

Thanks for playing Israel. Sorry you couldn't learn your lessons from two decades ago.
posted by bardic at 4:54 PM on July 14, 2006


After those mice attacked my bag of birdseed for the third time this month, I burned the house down. That'll show'em.
Shame about the nieghbor's kid, though.
posted by 2sheets at 5:01 PM on July 14, 2006


Watch--our govt. will say that information given us from Israel and taken from captured/bombed Hezbollah people/places will make it imperative that we attack Iran immediately.
posted by amberglow at 5:03 PM on July 14, 2006


Artw, how is this different from the US invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11? Al Qaeda was responsible for both military and terrorist attacks on the United States and was based in Afghanistan. The government of Afghanistan was heavily influenced by AQ and refused to take action. So the USA bombed the country and sent in troops.

Hezbollah is responsible for both military and terrorist attacks on Israel and is based largely in Lebanon. The government of Lebanon is heavily influenced by Hezbollah and refused to take action. So Israel is bombing the country and sent in troops.

What's the difference?
posted by Justinian at 5:04 PM on July 14, 2006


The totally obvious point that destroying infrastructure seriously fucks people's lives and causes deaths and sickness aside, you also have to consider how much this stuff costs. After the fighting is calmed down, how much resources will it take for the people of Lebanon to rebuild the international airport? This is a major vacation destination. This is the livelihood of a people who are trying to recover from years of civil and international war. Death and sickness aside, it's gonna cost them billions just to make the transport system work again.

Israel has the power to directly attack Hizbullah in a fashion that, while would still kill civilians, is rather clean and targeted compared to rocket attacks and suicide bombings. It has not gone that route, but rather has decided to destroy civilian infrastructure. That's the problem. We're totally used to the "Israel explodes the house of a bad guy, and kills him plus 10 children" story on the evening news. The current situation is a little out of the ordinary.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:05 PM on July 14, 2006


Well, rxfrx, if those ten children had the presence of mind not to be born on land promised to one tribe by the Godhead Itself, then then we wouldn't have to kill them, now, would we?
posted by joe lisboa at 5:10 PM on July 14, 2006


This is all quite idiotic.

The whole region should lose their sovereign status and be kept under the watchful eye of the international community, much like kids whose parents are abusive or mentally deficient become wards of the state. No one within 2,000 miles of Jerusalem should be allowed to own so much as a pointy stick.
posted by mullingitover at 5:10 PM on July 14, 2006 [4 favorites]


Justinian: there are several good video pieces and books now available that detail the initial phases of the Afghanistan operation. It involved CIA infiltration and cooperation with anti-Taleban forces in a nuanced move to change the balance of power in the country (plus, we gave the warlords mad dollars). This was followed by a later phase involving Army attacks on Taleban.

This would actually be a fantastic way for Israel to deal with Hizbullah: deploy large amounts of cash to the non-Hizbullah elements in the Lebanese government in an effort to destabilize the Hizbullah influence on the government, followed by direct confrontation with Hizbullah forces in the relevant regions of the country.

Or, hay, they could just bomb the civilian infrastructure of the entire country.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:11 PM on July 14, 2006


I'm not going to express any opinions as to whether or not Israel's actions are justified (I have an opinion on this, but I don't want to discuss it here). I do, however, get a strong sense that bardic might be right about one thing: Iran could be the big winner here. What efficient use of a proxy army! Iran itself is going to be practically untouchable here, but let's look at what they get out of this: chaos on Israel's borders, destabilization of a somewhat hostile Lebanese government, and a total distraction of the G8 summit from discussions of their nuclear program. I mean, think about that last one: suddenly, Iran's nuclear ambitions are no longer a global priority!

I'm beginning to gain real admiration for the way Iran's leadership has been able to maneuver geopolitically. Just five years ago, who would have imagined the degree to which they've been able to improve their situation? They've gone from being surrounded by relatively stable enemies (Sadaam's Sunni-ruled Iraq on one side; the Pakistan-supported, Sunni Taliban on the other) to having serious influence on their borders in semi-chaotic situations that have caught up and befuddled their #1 (rhetorical) enemy. Plus the nuclear program, which they're seeming more and more likely to get away with. They are well-positioned to be the regional hegemon for the 21st century.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:14 PM on July 14, 2006 [2 favorites]


Yep, if real life were a game of Diplomacy, Iran would be my hero. Unfortunately enough for all of us it is not.
posted by Justinian at 5:16 PM on July 14, 2006


I just realized what it was about this post: It's like that old parody headline: Michael Jackson and 1 Million Dead in Nuclear Blast
posted by amberglow at 5:18 PM on July 14, 2006


I always thought Bourdain to be a bit of a douche. But this humanizes him. Look past his devil-may-care comments, and he's obviously terrified.

Oh, and killing children = bad.
posted by turducken at 5:18 PM on July 14, 2006


You only need two moves

a) one idiot attacks because he feels wronged
b) another idiot counter-attacks because he was attacked

and we enter a logic loop that the first should stop first , the second should stop second otherwise nobody should just fucking stop (or at least try NOT to escalate !) It keeps going on till nobody remember why the fuck the first attacked and why the second bothered escalating ; the details of who did what to who and when become intricate and nothing is forgotten, except that nobody bothers stopping and thinking "wait, we are only piling up more and more dead...what the fuck ?"

Meanwhile extremist in both group keep fomenting population, possibily because they need to respect their extremistic positions or because they profit from the military exchange.

Damn this is so stupid.

rxrfrx writes "The current situation is a little out of the ordinary."

A little ? It seems to me Israel is being pushed into burning moral high ground in exchange for pointless muscle showing....remembers me of a country that was pushed into invanding another one to liberate the population from an evil dictator they helped in another administration ; instead of employing tactiques used to break and take control of other little countries they went for full scale invasion and generated MORE of the same tactique they teached so well.
posted by elpapacito at 5:19 PM on July 14, 2006


"I don't have a solution but I certainly admire the problem." -- Ashleigh Brilliant
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:20 PM on July 14, 2006


They crossed a UN recognized border

But what are the borders the government of Israel says 'this is the nation of Israel'?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:34 PM on July 14, 2006


Israel wishes to put Lebanon into the same position it put Israeli occupied Palestine into-

Either expel the militants (who enjoy increasing support every time a car is blown up in the middle of a busy civilian street using Israeli gunships bought with US dollars) and create a civil war; or don't, and create a war with Israel.
posted by rollbiz at 5:38 PM on July 14, 2006


The UN passed two resolutions calling for Hezbollah to disarmed. Nobody gave a shit

Other than when its in "your favor", is there anyone who've cared about UN resolutions?

Ya gonna sling UN resolutions about, the line forms on the right for 'following UN resolutions'.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:42 PM on July 14, 2006


He he

Keep it up Israel you are making more and more fans around there


I like the guys that won't be happy until completely destroyed

You killed 70 people in less than 2 days so you'll have around 70 families hating jews, so keep it up you're close

Oh by the way thanks to America for helping

I hope I'll live to see that day of no mercy
posted by zouhair at 5:43 PM on July 14, 2006


rough ashlar writes "But what are the borders the government of Israel says 'this is the nation of Israel'?"

The government of Israel recognizes the same Israel/Lebanon border as the rest of the world, with the exception of those states which do not recognize Israel at all.

What are you trying to get at?
posted by mr_roboto at 5:44 PM on July 14, 2006


I always thought Bourdain to be a bit of a douche.

Love the Bourdain.

Bone in the Throat was a wonderful, funny, light hearted book
and all I could think as I read it was 'I bet this guy is the most
fun to hang out with'.

Loved Kitchen Confidential, and love his TV work. He's the
*real* Naked Chef.

I hope he makes it out safely.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:46 PM on July 14, 2006


By the way, the thoery that Israel has been so wonderful and humane as to make more surgical strikes than has Hezbollah kind of falls apart when you consider the war technology that makes it possible, which the U.S. has basically bought or given to Israel and not to Hezbollah, Lebanon, or the Palestinian government.
posted by rollbiz at 5:55 PM on July 14, 2006


mullingitover : The whole region should lose their sovereign status and be kept under the watchful eye of the international community,

I've actually argued something similar in the past. Rather than let people fight over these contested lands, turn all the holy sites into an international park. All visitors are welcome. Staff it with guards chosen from the international community, the less affiliated with the religions of the area the better.

Other than carried by the security staff, no weapons are allowed in the park.

Wouldn't this solve many of the problems?

Not that anything like this could ever happen, but as an outsider, it seems like an equitable solution that would make everyone less mad.
posted by quin at 5:56 PM on July 14, 2006


Not that anything like this could ever happen, but as an outsider, it seems like an equitable solution that would make everyone less mad.

There is no room for logic and reason in the Middle East.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 5:58 PM on July 14, 2006


zouhair: I like the guys that won't be happy until completely destroyed... I hope I'll live to see that day of no mercy

I'm sorry, what? You can't wait until Israel is completely destroyed? That is what you're saying, right? I just want to make sure I understand that before I say anything else.
posted by inigo2 at 5:59 PM on July 14, 2006


I'll say it, inigo. Zouhair = anti semitic bastard.
posted by Justinian at 6:08 PM on July 14, 2006


The government of Israel recognizes the same Israel/Lebanon border as the rest of the world,...
What are you trying to get at?


I've seen someone claim that Israel doesn't have borders the government of Israel reconginizes.

I can't find on the web anything to prove or disprove such a claim other than maps (drawn by some party which may reflect anyone's feelings)

So I'm trying to noodle out if such a claim is correct or not. Odds are documents like 'X latitude Y longitude to V latitude W longitude to ... shall define the borders' are actually not on the web. So the claim won't be something I can check on w/o spending a lot of time and money to go to a place with such source documents.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:08 PM on July 14, 2006


rough ashlar writes "I've seen someone claim that Israel doesn't have borders the government of Israel reconginizes."

The borders of the West Bank are disputed, and the presence of settlements confuses the issue further.

There are no such issues to the North, however. The border with Lebanon is well-established.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:11 PM on July 14, 2006


As unenviable as it is for anyone to be stuck in a crisis zone, there's a time and a place to strike a bon vivant attitude. Given Bourdain's treks to isolated regions of the globe, and his encounters with people of humbler backgounds, you'd think he'd be a little more in check with the situation at hand.

I think you've got that ass-backwards. Bourdain really made me suddenly think about the Beirut regular joes as just that; urban party people going WTF? I can relate to that, and relating to people in Beirut is pretty damn important, given the unending soldiers/bombing sites/destroyed buildings footage from the Middle East Boom of the Day news reports we see grinding on every evening. You tune it out.

Bourdain suddenly made me check that.
posted by moneyjane at 6:14 PM on July 14, 2006


state of war in beirut. waiting for the unknown...we have no idea what will happen to us. all roads out of lebanon have been blocked an bombed by the Israeli forces via air and naval strikes. airport bombed. and we are paralyzed. our legs broken. and this is what war looks like, ladies and gentlemen.

2 bombs just went off right this moment...and we are unafraid but angry.
posted by PenguinBukkake at 6:26 PM on July 14, 2006


From what I'm reading, it sounds like most Lebanese are decent people who just want to go about their day-to-day business and enjoy life, but somehow a militant religious minority has gotten control over the government and the armed forces, and now all the citizens are having to pay the price for that.

Thank goodness nothing like that could happen here.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:27 PM on July 14, 2006 [2 favorites]


Bone in the Throat is a cool book, but "lighthearted"?

spoiler:

When the climactic battle takes place in a restaurant kitchen (touche), a bad guy has his face pressed into a salami slicing machine, if I remember correctly.

As for the analogy to the invasion of Afghanistan, the attempt was made to isolate and then kill the Taliban, which wasn't entirely succesful, obviously, but relatively easy to do given the lack of urban areas. Now, Israel is making no pretense of trying to avoid civilian casualities--since every Lebanese home is considered a potential staging area for a rocket attack, the Israeili military has done the required logic-torture to make bombing innocents perfectly acceptable (kind of ironic, given their history in Europe circa 1930-1945).

But hey, the US bungling of the Iraqi occupation empowered Iran only so much. It takes a real clusterfuck like what the IDF is doing to Lebanon now for Iran to really come into its own as a regional, if not a national, power. The new geopolitical logic? If you don't have nukes, get 'em fast because that's the only way to protect yourself from the US or its puppets i.e. Israel.
posted by bardic at 6:29 PM on July 14, 2006


Bardic: perhaps you could provide some evidence that Israel is indiscriminately bombing random lebanese homes? They are clearly targetting airports, bridges, and roads, but what evidence do you have that they are indiscriminately targetting private homes?
posted by Justinian at 6:33 PM on July 14, 2006


The whole region should lose their sovereign status and be kept under the watchful eye of the international community

You realise that people live in the region, right? People who have the right to choose how they're governed and by whom.
posted by bunglin jones at 6:34 PM on July 14, 2006


Israeli strikes demolish Beirut suburb.
posted by Jimbob at 6:39 PM on July 14, 2006


its puppets i.e. Israel.
posted by bardic at 6:29 PM PST


Wait... I thought the US was the puppet of Israel?

http://mparent7777.livejournal.com/10243164.html
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/whoiscongresslisteningto.html

Oh, where are the strings and who's pulling off whom?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:40 PM on July 14, 2006


From the Juan Cole link above: "'It's a massacre,' sobbed a woman, held up by her husband as they stepped gingerly though the rubble."

Oh, but I forgot--these are magical pixie-dust Israeli bombs, purchased from the US, and they only hit terrorist homes. My bad.
posted by bardic at 6:41 PM on July 14, 2006


Jimbob, the article indicates that Hezbollah's headquarters were in the suburb hit by missle fire. That's clearly a military target. There is not nearly enough information in the article to tell, beyond that, whether the strikes were indiscriminate or not.
posted by Justinian at 6:42 PM on July 14, 2006


Bardic, we must have different definitions of "indiscriminate", I guess. The home in question belonged to a Hezbollah cleric.

If the war against Hezbollah is legitimate, attacking membres of Hezbollah is legitimate. The question is whether the war is legitimate in the first place.
posted by Justinian at 6:44 PM on July 14, 2006


And as noted above, destroying infrastructure is an assault on the people who use them, end of story.

Or are you saying you'd have no problem if your street and car and nearest airport were destroyed over night, especially if many of your neighbors relied on the tourist industry for their livelihood?

But again, your argument shouldn't be with me. Go to a Lebanese restaurant or cafe (I can recommend a few if you're in the DC area) and let them know how all of this bombing is for their own good, champ. Bring your running shoes and wear a helmet.
posted by bardic at 6:44 PM on July 14, 2006


Artw, how is this different from the US invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11?
What's the difference?
posted by Justinian at 8:04 PM EST on July 14 [+fave] [!]


I've heard this argument and a lot of its corollaries over and over.

The difference is that Israel is not the United States. The United States has obligations and responsibilities that extend well beyond its right to defend its borders. We have to protect Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from Syria and Iran. We have to protect Japan and South Korea from North Korea. We have to protect Taiwan from China. These are legal, bilateral treaty obligations. All you pro-IDF types can call me when Israel has one-billionth of the responsibilty of the U.S. military. Until then, sorry I'm not impressed by the shelling of a fucking runway.

This latest round started because they kidnapped two soldiers. Now that you've invaded? four more have been kidnapped.

Israel's move here is catastrophic for the only party in the conflict that most of the users of mefi should care about, the United States, becasue that's where you eat, sleep and live your lives.

What I'm worried about is Israel bombing a target in Syria, because rockets lunched from there are hitting their positions in Lebanon, and then Syria retaliates by bombing a U.S. military position in Iraq.

Then what? What do all the armchair Israeli generals think should happen then? What do the hezbollah apologists think should happen then? What the fuck do you think Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney are going to do to the map of the Middle East if that happens? And who is going to pay for it? You in Israel? You in the PLO?

Should the US go after Syria and fight a two-front, no wait, a three-front war in the Middle East with 150,000 exhausted troops? Keep it up, both of you.

I now understand why the only power able to keep peace in that region was the Roman Empire.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:56 PM on July 14, 2006


And as noted above, destroying infrastructure is an assault on the people who use them, end of story.

I predict this particular assault and this particular ensuing (entirely justified of course) outrage will not be the end of the story...
posted by scheptech at 7:10 PM on July 14, 2006


I'm sorry, what? You can't wait until Israel is completely destroyed? That is what you're saying, right? I just want to make sure I understand that before I say anything else.

I'm pretty sure he's saying he's angry at Israelis who won't stop until the whole thing is destroyed. That's how I read it, at least.

Israel has the right, just like any other nation, to defend itself when attacked, especially when it's within its own internationall-accepted borders. However, I do think when you have a long record of:

A. Kidnapping the other side's soldiers/paramilitary/leaders, and holding them for years in secret prisons with no trials or charges

and

B. Consistently, when your own soldiers are kidnapped, make deals with the other side to release their prisoners...

you need to show restraint when deciding how to react to a blatant provocation. Destroying civilian infrastructure, bombing civilians, and acting like one Israeli life is worth hundreds of any others, especially when you have 10,000 arab prisoners rotting in jails, many of them with no evidence or charges against them, is not the way to go.

What I can't stand is the lack of balanced media in the United States. The entire story is about the suffering of the Israelis, and the hundreds of rockets. Not to say it isn't a bad situation there, but so far these rockets have killed 2 people. Not to mention that the hundreds of kidnapped Arabs in Israeli prisons, and the previous prisoner swaps, are never mentioned.
posted by cell divide at 7:11 PM on July 14, 2006


amberglow: I thought the exact same thing when I first saw the headlines the other day. It seems rather orchestrated, like a scenario out of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
posted by shoepal at 7:11 PM on July 14, 2006


amberglow: I thought the exact same thing when I first saw the headlines the other day. It seems rather orchestrated, like a scenario out of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
posted by shoepal at 7:11 PM PST


Naw......no governement would ever lie to its citizens about the lives and fates of a small number of other citizens for justification of some kind of military action.

You kooky foil hat wearers.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:23 PM on July 14, 2006


But what about the pig?!
posted by homunculus at 7:26 PM on July 14, 2006


yup, shoepal, and the timing is just right--the GOP needs the distraction enormously, and loud voices are shouting for us to go after Iran, but we need a reason (made up or not). It's doomed to fail, but will probably ensure the 06 elections. We know they don't care about actual lives--Lebanese, Israeli, Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian--or ours. And isn't the toppling of more regimes part of the whole neocon/PNAC handbook? And isn't Israel supposed to be helping, according to that?

The Lebanese are well aware too that we paid for the Israeli weapons that are bombing them (the whole world is), and we'll get payback for that too. Are there any people who aren't hating us lately?
posted by amberglow at 7:55 PM on July 14, 2006


I am watching the news and checking Web sites this evening, and thinking of a summer day visit to Masada from more than 30 years ago. I looked down from the top of that plateau back then, on the old Roman camps, and the laboriously built siege ramp, and out on to a ceremony of IDF inductees being sworn in, that happened to be going on amidst the few hundred other tourists wandering around the site.

And I remember thinking, in that place of ancient enmities, on that clear, warm sunny summer morning all those years ago, that there would be no true peace in this land, again in my lifetime. There are too many claims, too long a history of injustice, too many causes for conflict, for there ever to be peace in that part of the world.

Until the last rock holding hand has bashed in the skull of the second to last person there, there is no chance for peace. That is why it is called the Holy Land.
posted by paulsc at 7:56 PM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


cell divide, I read it the opposite way (the same way justinian did), which is why I asked.
posted by inigo2 at 7:59 PM on July 14, 2006


yup, cell divide--they didn't even start to mention the Lebanese killed until hours and hours had gone by : I went back and checked CNN's reporting, via TVeyes.com, and discovered that throughout the day CNN repeatedly reported on the lone Israeli civilian causality without making any mention of the more than 50 Lebanese civilian casualties. To be exact, CNN did that at 10:31 a.m., 11:02, 12:09 p.m., 12:19, 1:00, 1:30, 1:52, 2:00, 2:17, 2:30, 2:50, and 4:04.

Note that at 12:05 p.m. CNN did report that "at least 45 Lebanese civilians have been killed in this offensive," but that's because the news channel was airing a feed from CNN International, which seemed to understand one of its fundamental responsibilities in covering bloody, revenge-driven political conflicts was to report civilian deaths suffered on both sides. In fact, a check of CNN Europe's reporting yesterday afternoon showed CNN Europe routinely reported on the death of the Israeli woman and as well as death of nearly 50 Lebanese civilian. CNN's U.S.-based anchors and reporters though, seemed mostly unable or unwilling to do the same. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:06 PM on July 14, 2006


Point of order: How does one kidnap a soldier, esp. one armed, on duty, and operating under orders?

How many soldiers did the US Army kidnap in WWII?
posted by eriko at 8:08 PM on July 14, 2006


Eriko: You kidnap a soldier by grabbing him or her and holding him/her outside of a prisoner of war camp run according to the geneva convention. Where are those soldiers being held? What, you don't know? I guess they were just kidnapped rather than being held as a prisoner.

(What this says about Guantanamo is left as an exercise for the reader.)
posted by Justinian at 8:15 PM on July 14, 2006


Among the loads of bullshit coming out of the IDF, behold: Hezbollah now has both a navy and unmanned, strike-capable aircraft.

Uh huh.

And don't get me wrong--Hezbollah is a bunch of thugs, but when a (relatively) weak bully tries to goad a stronger one into a fight, sometimes it's best not to take the bait.
posted by bardic at 8:15 PM on July 14, 2006


I can't be anti-semitic because I'm semitic too

and when friends of yours get their all family slaughtered by ISrael you'll change your mind
posted by zouhair at 8:28 PM on July 14, 2006


Anybody can explain me what the hell is happening with Israelis bombing airports (civilian I gather maybe incorrectly), highways and bridges ?

Do any of you know how to read a fuckin NEWSPAPER?
posted by HTuttle at 8:30 PM on July 14, 2006


Zouhair, you know full well that antisemitism refers specifically to anti-Jewish bigotry, not bigotry against semites in general.

The very fact that you said "I can't be anti-semitic because I'm semitic too" with a (presumedly) straight face is appalling. It's a ridiculous canard spread by bigots along the lines of "I'm not racist, some of my best friends are coloreds".
posted by Justinian at 8:35 PM on July 14, 2006


The Guardian:
Israeli politicians and army officers brushed aside international criticism and said their goal was to force Hizbullah's disarmament. So far at least 73 people, nearly all civilians, have been killed in Lebanon since the bombing began three days ago.
I wish I could say that this wasn't going to turn into a clusterfuck of legendary proportions, but both Israel and the US seem determined to get Iran invovled, and when it gets to the point where Iran stops shipping oil to China and plunks a couple of tankers in the Straits of Hormuz, we're going to see just how fucked up this can get.
posted by eriko at 8:37 PM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


They want to make lebanese people live in hell so maybe they'll get rid of Hizboallah, but in fact they are making the recruiting process easier, go on Israel you're on the right track

only 57 killed and some families made homeless?? wtf keep it up
posted by zouhair at 8:37 PM on July 14, 2006


Jesus fucking wept, what a goddamn mess. I was born during Israeli conflict (30 years ago!), I've never known serious remission of Israeli conflict, and I expect to die without knowing it.
posted by boo_radley at 8:38 PM on July 14, 2006


anti-semitic is not anti-Israel. One is a nation; the other is a group of people who share a religion or religious heritage.

All night (and i assume all day too), it's the Israelis who keep trying to bring Iran into it. Every single spokesperson i've seen has mentioned them and tried to tie them in. (and of course Iran's president is taking the bait--i wish he would be smarter too)
posted by amberglow at 8:38 PM on July 14, 2006


zouhair, you're odious.
posted by boo_radley at 8:39 PM on July 14, 2006


PNAC, 9/01: Hezbollah

Hezbollah is one of the leading terrorist organizations in the world. It is suspected of having been involved in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Africa, and implicated in the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. Hezbollah clearly falls in the category cited by Secretary Powell of groups “that mean us no good” and “that have conducted attacks previously against U.S. personnel, U.S. interests and our allies.” Therefore, any war against terrorism must target Hezbollah. We believe the administration should demand that Iran and Syria immediately cease all military, financial, and political support for Hezbollah and its operations. Should Iran and Syria refuse to comply, the administration should consider appropriate measures of retaliation against these known state sponsors of terrorism.

posted by amberglow at 8:44 PM on July 14, 2006


zouhair, you speak the truth.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:51 PM on July 14, 2006


so far, i think only one person has it right.

it was a little lebanese boy, interviewed last week.

he said, "god help us all."
posted by lord_wolf at 8:55 PM on July 14, 2006


zouhair, you're odious.
posted by boo_radley at 5:39 AM CET on July 15

Maybe, but a LOT less than Israelis, they do NOT WISH to see people dead, THEY KILL THEM

and believe it or not when you kill people you make their family and friends angry. I am the friend

By the way America cannot backup Israel for eternity and Israel with no help from anyone make it the right way to get wiped out by angry people around her when that comes.

Instead of puting all her force to make peace, it...shit go on Israel they are still some guys there on the corner that still don't hates you

I won't cry that day.
posted by zouhair at 8:59 PM on July 14, 2006


By the way America cannot backup Israel for eternity and Israel with no help from anyone make it the right way to get wiped out by angry people around her when that comes.

If you think it would be just America having Israel's back if they were in danger of getting wiped out, you are deluded.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 9:02 PM on July 14, 2006


they shot who? ... in sarajevo? ... where's that?

when it gets to the point where Iran stops shipping oil to China and plunks a couple of tankers in the Straits of Hormuz, we're going to see just how fucked up this can get.

exactly right ... this is a crisis and the world needs to make sure it doesn't escalate further ... loquax can argue all he likes about the "right" of israel to do this ... and zouhair can argue all he likes about how hezbollah's "justified" ... but the bottom line is that world peace is in serious danger and both israel's and hezbollah's goals and interests must take second place behind the interests of the world at large

a cease fire is critical ... otherwise ... remember early 2006 with fondness because the future's not going to be as good
posted by pyramid termite at 9:03 PM on July 14, 2006


Zouhair, you'd really do better to keep quiet than to make it look like support for the innocents being bombed = racism. Haven't you mentioned before that you've lived in the US? If you have, you must have met enough Jews in your life to know that they aren't just a homogenous band of crazy-eyed warmongers. Some of the most outspoken critics of Israeli brutality are Jews, for example Noam Chomsky. You could take them as allies, or you could just go on yelling about how you hate them. Which do you think would be of more benefit to the people who have bombs falling on their heads at the moment?
posted by leapingsheep at 9:08 PM on July 14, 2006


"Ironically, the much-trumpeted Cedar Revolution, the only example of the success of the Bush doctrine that neoconservatives can still point to, could be brought down by the Likudnik policies of Israel that the neo-cons so champion. It took Lebanon more than 20 years to recover a degree of stability and civil peace after the last major incursion. How long will it take to recover from the unraveling of the stability that American and Israelis policies are helping to bring about?"
posted by homunculus at 9:14 PM on July 14, 2006


zouhair, you didn't answer my initial question. I'm just trying to understand what you're saying.
posted by inigo2 at 9:18 PM on July 14, 2006


"Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn.

Ironic. Who is this Bourdain guy anyway? I like gourmets about as much as I like fashionistas. Same cultural relevance.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:19 PM on July 14, 2006


Of course I don't say all Jews are bad and I didn't say that Hizboallah is good too.

By the way Chomsky is not loved by Israel, and the fact that Israel so powerfull makes it more guilty of th deads (not wishfull deaths but real deaths, that left people destroyed)

And when those people get killed a smart president making pig jokes
posted by zouhair at 9:21 PM on July 14, 2006


No I don't want Israel to be destroyed but that will happen because Israel is doing it's best to make people hate her more and more and secondly if that happens (and it will if Israel continues her policy of kill and don't discuss) I won't cry.
posted by zouhair at 9:24 PM on July 14, 2006


Talkin bout the pig
The pig
The pig - uh
Pa-pa-pa-pa-pig
Goddamned pig
posted by homunculus at 9:32 PM on July 14, 2006


Some of the most outspoken critics of Israeli brutality are Jews, for example Noam Chomsky. You could take them as allies, or you could just go on yelling about how you hate them. Which do you think would be of more benefit to the people who have bombs falling on their heads at the moment?
Israel doesn't listen to critics, just like the present administration here. It doesn't matter what any Jewish -- or Gentile -- critic says--they know we've got their back and won't cut off the gravy train, altho we should at this point. This has to be being done with our consent, to escalate matters in the region. Worse things have been done to Israel than just kidnappings, and the reaction was nowhere near as overdone.
posted by amberglow at 9:33 PM on July 14, 2006


No I don't want Israel to be destroyed but that will happen because Israel is doing it's best to make people hate her more and more and secondly if that happens (and it will if Israel continues her policy of kill and don't discuss) I won't cry.

What about the US? we're doing our best to make more and more people hate us too (damn them for that, btw).
posted by amberglow at 9:34 PM on July 14, 2006


Not a lot has been mentioned in this thread about Hizbollah bombing Haifa and thereby displaying missile reach far greater than they had previously been capable of. Haifa is the third most populous city in Israel. It's one thing for Israel to "tolerate" the persistent bombing of her Northern border, but when the bombs start falling in major population centers, is it any wonder that the response is escalated?

And moreover, let me reiterate what has been said earlier in this thread - northern cities in Israel have been under consistent (if sporadic) attack in the six years since the pull out from Lebanon. They keep getting shelled. Why on earth should Israel (or ANY nation) allow this to go on? Hizbollah has openly declared war on Israel, Israel is fighting back.

The biggest losers in the whole equation are the Lebanese people, but who do you think considers their well-being more - the Israelis or Hizbollah? In other words, my guess is that most Israelis would rather not harm a single Lebanese person, whereas most Hizbollah don't care about the harm that comes to the Lebanese, so long as the vile Jew is killed.

/patiently awaits his inevitable flaming
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:46 PM on July 14, 2006


Hilarious how the topic of this thread got shoved aside after only 4 comments, yet the thread is nearly 150 comments long.
posted by crunchland at 9:55 PM on July 14, 2006


fingers, Hezbollah only declared war after Israel started bombing the shit out of Lebanon. Israel started all of it with a massive overreaction to a small event. We had hostages in Iran 26 years ago, and we didn't do anything like what Israel did and is still doing in retaliation.
posted by amberglow at 10:05 PM on July 14, 2006


Hezbollah (thanks for the proper spelling) has been continuously bombing Israel for YEARS. I was there in '96 - my girlfriend at the time was living in the north and spending nights in her bomb shelter. Israel withdrew from the "security zone" in 2000, and lo and behold, the katyushas have kept raining down.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:09 PM on July 14, 2006


Not a lot has been mentioned in this thread about Hizbollah bombing Haifa

So far there is no actual evidence (yet) that a rocket fired from Lebanon actually hit Haifa. I know it's been reported up and down, but my Israeli friends are telling me that no one's actually seen this supposed missle, there has been no new info on it anywhere. And of course Hizbollah denied it (not that I'd trust them), but then later said they had new weapons that could potentially hit Haifa... Of course that was yesterday, it may be that they've recovered the evidence and are figuring out what Hizbollah actually has.
posted by cell divide at 10:09 PM on July 14, 2006


My point being that it's a little short-sighted to say that Israel "started" this. What Israel "started" is her response. The roots of that action go back long before the two soldiers were kidnapped.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:12 PM on July 14, 2006


But Israel has been bombing them too, for years. What set this shit off was the kidnapping, so Israel says. You really think that Hezbollah wouldn't have bombed Haifa before if it could have? They would have done it in a second--not waited til now.
posted by amberglow at 10:13 PM on July 14, 2006


You realise that people live in the region, right? People who have the right to choose how they're governed and by whom.

When a person murders another person, it's appropriate to reduce that person's rights and privileges for the safety of others. When a society murders people, it's only appropriate to restrict the rights of that society. Really this fetishization of democracy is idiotic. Lebanon is a democracy, by the way. A real one, where everyone can vote.

If the war against Hezbollah is legitimate, attacking membres of Hezbollah is legitimate. The question is whether the war is legitimate in the first place.

If the war against the Japanese is legitimate, attacking the homes of Japanese is legitimate. Hezbollah is a political party with a large portion of the population belonging too it.


The difference is that Israel is not the United States. The United States has obligations and responsibilities that extend well beyond its right to defend its borders. We have to protect Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from Syria and Iran. We have to protect Japan and South Korea from North Korea. We have to protect Taiwan from China. These are legal, bilateral treaty obligations. All you pro-IDF types can call me when Israel has one-billionth of the responsibilty of the U.S. military. Until then, sorry I'm not impressed by the shelling of a fucking runway.

There's another more important fact. We can get away with it. There's no reason the US shouldn't invade a country like Afghanistan if we're attacked. We actually have the ability to occupy and reconstruct the country. Iraq on the other hand... Israel is a small country that's been fighting off and on for decades. It clearly can't "win" it can only prolong the misery, and this is a step in that direction.

Plus, unlike the invasion of Afghanistan which was a success as far as making the US safer by removing Al Quada's operational HQ without generating too much animosity in the world the attacks on Lebanon do nothing to stop Hezbollah and engender a huge amount of pain.

Anyway, maybe Israel intends to go all the way to Iran and stop their nuclear program (dragging us along for the ride, I'm sure). Way to go Bush the "diplomat".
posted by delmoi at 10:14 PM on July 14, 2006


I have to say--Bush hanging with Putin and no visible Cheney or Rumsfeld while all this escalates does not look good at all, i don't think. Condi is a giant failure in that region, and she's the only bigshot I've seen on TV talking about this.
posted by amberglow at 10:16 PM on July 14, 2006


My point being that it's a little short-sighted to say that Israel "started" this. What Israel "started" is her response. The roots of that action go back long before the two soldiers were kidnapped.

I thought up this metaphore earlier. It's like two guys every time they see eachother one smacks the other in the face. Then one day, one of 'em pulls out a gun and shoots the other. Naturally we get upset at the shooter.
posted by delmoi at 10:16 PM on July 14, 2006


Sorry I should have said, we don't know what type of rocket, or where it was launched from, wrt Haifa. In other words, no one knows what Hizbollah has or what damage it could potentially do.
posted by cell divide at 10:18 PM on July 14, 2006


Anyway, maybe Israel intends to go all the way to Iran and stop their nuclear program (dragging us along for the ride, I'm sure). Way to go Bush the "diplomat".

It's much more that we're sending them out to do that, delmoi. Israel cannot drag us anywhere--they wouldn't still exist if it wasn't for our billions each year.
posted by amberglow at 10:20 PM on July 14, 2006


What about the US? we're doing our best to make more and more people hate us too (damn them for that, btw).
posted by amberglow at 6:34 AM CET on July 15

funny, but don't worry it's just your grand-grand-children that gonna pay this bill
posted by zouhair at 10:31 PM on July 14, 2006


... when the oil runs out, US great grand children and Arab great grand children will both be living under the Chinese hegemony anyway :)

Back to the serious topics though, I think the most depressing aspect of this whole thing is the utter lack of leadership from the US. It's still possible to be Israel's #1 friend, and try to exert some control over the situation and help wind things down. Although the US strategy during the Israel-Lebanon war during the Reagan administration was also full of holes, at least the President and his staff were engaged, on the ground, and you didn't have so much fear of things spiralling out of control.
posted by cell divide at 10:37 PM on July 14, 2006


actually, delmoi, my understanding is that Israel's stated goal is to disarm Hezbollah. You may question her ability to accomplish that goal, but that is in fact what they are going for - thus accomplishing the same goals that we accomplished in Afghanistan.

As to your point about Israel only "prolonging the misery", again, I think it depends on what the goal is. When you say Israel clearly can't "win", what do you imagine her idea of victory looks like? A Middle East free of Arabs? A Jewish state the extends from Damascus to Cairo to Riyadh?

In my opinion, to a large number of Israelis, "winning" simply means having a land in which to work, raise their kids, and practice their faith. I believe that many (most?) of them would gladly share it with people who don't observe the same faith, provided that there was a mutual respect.

I think many (a greater percentage) of the Arab world considers "winning" to be the utter destruction of Israel as a nation and the Jewish people. Not the entire Arab world at all by any means - but a greater percentage. You just simply don't see an Arab peace movement.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:45 PM on July 14, 2006


SORRY, delmoi - I linked to your user profile when I meant to link to your comment. Perhaps some kind administrator could correct that?
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:47 PM on July 14, 2006


"... Condi is a giant failure in that region, and she's the only bigshot I've seen on TV talking about this."
posted by amberglow at 1:16 AM EST on July 15


Cupcake Condi has some experience of being pushed around in conflict situations, that she probably doesn't want to repeat. In the Middle East, she's worse than a failure as Secretary of State, she's a liability who makes Madeline Albright look like Einstein.

At any rate, I've done my bit to return this thread to it's original tack, with the cupcake bit...
posted by paulsc at 10:59 PM on July 14, 2006


Really this fetishization of democracy is idiotic. Lebanon is a democracy, by the way. A real one, where everyone can vote.

I'm by no means a democracy fetishist, delmoi, but I think that suggesting that overturning sovereign rights in favour of some sort of why-can't-we-just-get-along theme park is idiotic... at the very least, it seems to ignore the everyday realities of the people who live in the region.

And I realise that Lebanon is a democracy.
posted by bunglin jones at 11:23 PM on July 14, 2006


Israel's saying that the missiles Hezbollah are using are Iranian.
posted by amberglow at 11:51 PM on July 14, 2006


And I realise that Lebanon is a democracy.

People would do well to remember this, and get over the whole "Israel is the only democracy in the middle-east" bullshit.
posted by Jimbob at 12:04 AM on July 15, 2006


People would do well to remember this, and get over the whole "Israel is the only democracy in the middle-east" bullshit.

Do people really say/think that?
posted by bunglin jones at 12:21 AM on July 15, 2006


actually, delmoi, my understanding is that Israel's stated goal is to disarm Hezbollah. You may question her ability to accomplish that goal, but that is in fact what they are going for - thus accomplishing the same goals that we accomplished in Afghanistan ...
In my opinion, to a large number of Israelis, "winning" simply means having a land in which to work, raise their kids, and practice their faith.


Well, how does this action accomplish that goal? Either they roll up and occupy, incurring Iraq-style losses every day, or they just bomb shit and then leave, ruining the economy (good luck getting tourists now!), which would immediately result in more rocketeering. So again I have to ask, in what way does their current action bring them closer to their goal? It can only ever be a temporary fix, yet another cycle in a base-line of constant violence. Which is why I say it "prolongs the misery".

You don't "Win" piece, you build it.

I'm by no means a democracy fetishist, delmoi, but I think that suggesting that overturning sovereign rights in favour of some sort of why-can't-we-just-get-along theme park is idiotic... at the very least, it seems to ignore the everyday realities of the people who live in the region.

Just because people want things doesn't mean they should have them. The "everyday reality" of the people who live in the region involve constant low-level violence punctuated by bouts of orgies of violence. I don't think there is any value in preserving that.

I obviously don't think the "entire" Middle East should become a "theme park" just that the US should stop supporting everything that Israel decides to do, vetoing every UN resolution and join the rest of the world in putting in sanctions.
posted by delmoi at 12:21 AM on July 15, 2006


Do people really say/think that?

All the time, bunglin jones.

I constantly see people here, and elsewhere, saying "we have to defend the only democracy in the middle east from the arabs who want to push it into the sea".

Shit, people, even Iran has what are generally considered fair elections. A friend of mine ran for president there.

But it looks like some folks don't actually have much faith in democracy.
posted by Jimbob at 12:29 AM on July 15, 2006


Israel's saying that the missiles Hezbollah are using are Iranian.

Fucking classic.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:04 AM on July 15, 2006


Yeah, and delmoi, I actually think arguing more or less the same point, only I'm not arguing it particularly well.
posted by bunglin jones at 1:29 AM on July 15, 2006


Interesting observation in one of the responses to the IC article. I noticed this, myself, and found it a bit... unsettling.

As johnmccutchen said you also hear if not from Rice then from someone else "But Israel has the right to defend itself". But when Bush himself used this exact line yesterday he phrased it as "Israel has a right to defend herself."

Is this genderization, if that's the word, of an entire nation used in any other case that anyone's ever heard of? I can't picture an official saying "Of course Uruguay has a right to defend her borders," much less "Zimbabwe has every right to protect himself from aggression" etc.

The formulation just strikes me as very odd to the point of creepy. Are we to cast the entire [very heavily armed, almost certainly to including nuclear weapons] nation of Israel as a delicate flower of femininity, and any military actions by its neighbors as implicitly tanamount to a threat of rape?

Any enlightenment on the history or origins of this usage appreciated, including examples of uses in reference to other countries which are escaping my mind at the moment.

posted by dreamsign at 2:05 AM on July 15, 2006


Israelis, they do NOT WISH to see people dead, THEY KILL THEM

when you kill people you make their family and friends angry. I am the friend


think what you want of zouhair's ideas, but the man is a one-liner machine
posted by matteo at 2:07 AM on July 15, 2006


dreamsign, refering to countries as "her" is actually a more traditional, formal way of speaking. Countries are feminine, like ships.
posted by Jimbob at 2:25 AM on July 15, 2006


Shit, people, even Iran has what are generally considered fair elections.

When your elected officials can be overruled by a claque of mullahs, that's not a democracy.

Lebanon's 'democracy' is only a few months old, dating from when the Syrians pulled out. When a foreign army is calling the shots, whatever you have is not democracy. (I wouldn't point to Iraq as a shining example of democracy, either. Not yet.) If the Lebanese and Iraqi democracies are still around in a few decades, I'll believe in them. Right now, they're flying on a hope and a prayer.

Turkey might be a candidate for a second Middle East democracy. It's not Arab, it is largely Moslem, but many would say it's not a Middle Eastern country, it's European. Certainly the Turks, who want to get into the EU, would say that.

Egypt holds elections, but the same party seems to win every time, and there is heavy-handed repression of opposition voices.

So, it's a stretch to say there are democracies in the Middle East except for Israel.

Metafilter: I'm by no means a democracy fetishist.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 2:51 AM on July 15, 2006


Our elected officials can be--and are--overruled by mullahs too, Slithy. (see morning after pill, health and science in general, abstinence-only int'l funding, anti-gay constitutional amendments, etc)

Iran Fever

The neocons outside the White House are quite antsy that we haven't yet spread the bloodshed and instability from Iraq to Iran.

And this week, they see an opportunity. ...

posted by amberglow at 3:06 AM on July 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


amberglow: so any law, or even legislative proposal, that you don't like is no different than Iranian mullahs overruling their elected officials by religious decree?

You don't have a 'democracy fetish' either, do you?
posted by Slithy_Tove at 3:17 AM on July 15, 2006


Lebanon's 'democracy' is only a few months old, dating from when the Syrians pulled out. When a foreign army is calling the shots, whatever you have is not democracy.
...
So, it's a stretch to say there are democracies in the Middle East except for Israel.


It's a stretch to say that an infant is a human, so bombing it is entirely OK. Seriously though, how can you say it's a "Stretch" to say that Lebanon is a democracy? It is a democracy. There is no "but". Temporally, it has only been a democracy for a while. But today it is a democracy, tomorrow? Well, we'll see I suppose. It seems less likely then a couple weeks ago.

The only one "Stretching" anything is you.

With respect to Iran, you could make the argument is more complex. The United Kingdom's elected officials can be over-ridden by the Crown, does that make it not a democracy? It's worth pointing out that Ahmadinejad, who everyone complains about was democratically elected. It's Ahmadinejad, not the mullas who we're dealing with on the Nuclear issue, etc. Ahmadinejad has a democratic mandate from the people, and he seems to have a pretty free hand. It's worth keeping that in mind when discussing the issue.

Also, I think it's a bit of a stretch, really to say that Israel herself is truly a democracy. After all, when settlers lived in the west bank, they could vote, but Palestinians could not, even though the only government was the Israeli government. To say that one group of people, based only on their religion (the settlers) can vote, but another group (the Palestinians) cannot would make Israel a pretty poor democracy. (that said, may democracies throughout history have not had universal suffrage)

Also, now that the Palestinians have the "Palestinian authority" things are a little different.

Nevertheless, in comparing the countries, Lebanon is actually the most democratic.

Anyway, The fact that Israel is a democracy is in my mind more an indictment of democracy in general then the inverse. If Israel had a dictatorship they would have ether ejected the Palestinians or made peace by now.
posted by delmoi at 3:38 AM on July 15, 2006


By the way America cannot backup Israel for eternity and Israel with no help from anyone make it the right way to get wiped out by angry people around her when that comes.

Israel cannot drag us anywhere--they wouldn't still exist if it wasn't for our billions each year.

Yeah, but they have the nukes. And really good pilots. Anyone want to bet on them going gentle into that good night?

Condi is a giant failure in that region, and she's the only bigshot I've seen on TV talking about this.

I could be wrong (and [deity or DON'T HAVE ONE, DAMMIT!] of choice knows I could be wrong,) but wasn't her foreign policy concentration Russia before she got her previous advisor job?

Hilarious how the topic of this thread got shoved aside after only 4 comments, yet the thread is nearly 150 comments long.

No shit. I was hoping for a good Bourdain flamewar (where I would be on the pro side. If you're not cooking your deep fried fries the way he cooks his deep fried fries, you're really fucking up your fries. I mean, it's not a revolutionary way to cook fries or anything, but he's the guy I learned it from. And they're fucking awesome.)
posted by Cyrano at 5:18 AM on July 15, 2006


Israel is an apartheid system. That is not democracy.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:19 AM on July 15, 2006


rxrfrx - oh, really? Tell that to the Arab members of the Israeli knesset. I'm not saying that it's perfect - by a long shot - by that apartheid shit is so tired.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:03 AM on July 15, 2006


Bourdain flamewar (where I would be on the pro side. If you're not cooking your deep fried fries the way he cooks his deep fried fries, you're really fucking up your fries.

Ok, I'm game. Where's a link to this deep fried fries?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:20 AM on July 15, 2006


fingers of fire: Please elaborate. There are thousands of people living in camps/ghettos on the outskirts of Israel, their parents evicted from their homes and sent to these areas. These people are not free to take their family and rent a flat in Jerusalem. They are not free to cast a vote in favor of a party that supports a different policy towards Israel's neighbors. They are not free to vote to make Israel a nonreligious state.

This is not democracy. This is government by racism.

Apartheid is a convenient word. If it merely means "South African government by racism" to you, well, then it should suffice to say that you should know exactly what I meant.
posted by rxrfrx at 8:22 AM on July 15, 2006


Just asking what race are the Israeli's? And what race are the Palestinians?
posted by PenDevil at 8:35 AM on July 15, 2006


Boudain Vs Ramsey, who would win?
posted by Artw at 8:35 AM on July 15, 2006


I'm not saying that it's perfect - by a long shot - by that apartheid shit is so tired.

Totally, man. If the Palestinians had wanted their land so bad, they wouldn't have run off when the Israeli's came a-knocking with guns in hand.

And the whole "Israel is a Jewish State" thing is just a coincidence, you see. If more Arabs wanted to live there, and were to outnumber the Jews, well it wouldn't be a Jewish state anymore and that'd be fine with the folks in charge.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:42 AM on July 15, 2006


If the Palestinians had wanted their land so bad, they wouldn't have run off when the Israeli's came a-knocking with guns in hand.

And the whole "Israel is a Jewish State" thing is just a coincidence, you see. If more Arabs wanted to live there, and were to outnumber the Jews, well it wouldn't be a Jewish state anymore and that'd be fine with the folks in charge.


You shouldn't post when you're drunk.
posted by bshort at 9:35 AM on July 15, 2006


What are the circumstances by which those thousands of refugees found themselves living in those squalid conditions? Please do not misunderstand me - I'm not saying it is the fault of Joe Palestinian that his lot in life is so wretched. I'm simply saying that, in 1967, Israel acted in self-defense against the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria, and in so doing captured some land. At different times, some Israelis have tried to give back some or all of that land (while other Israelis have sought to annex it and disregard its inhabitants). What they have asked for in return is certain security guarantees. These guarantees have not been met, and Israel has responded accordingly. NOT without fault - Israel is responsible for plenty of fuck-ups and an hideously large amount of loss of life. But Israel has also, on several occasions, presented terms by which it is willing to make peace with her neighbors. And more often than not, the reply has been delivered via Katyusha rockets and incendiary rhetoric. Despite that, groups like Shalom Achshav continue to advocate for peace. Where is the Arab equivalent?

If the plight of the Palestinians is so wretched, why doesn't the rest of the Arab world pitch in - certainly Saudi Arabia and Iran, with all their oil wealth, could afford to send enormous amounts of aid to the Palestinians to help insure better living conditions, health care, food supplies, etc. Why do you suppose they aren't stepping up? Because having a Zionist boogie-man in the neighborhood diverts the attention of the masses from the real problem - that Saudi Arabia and Iran are run by corrupt regimes.

Given the circumstances, I think there is a world of difference between the Palestinians living in or near Israel and blacks living in apartheid South Africa. Both situations suck, but to equate them is to use too broad a brush.

(PS - yet another tragic aspect of this is the utterly incompetent non-leadership coming from the US. I was in Israel in '96, as the Oslo accords began to unravel, and from what I saw, it was WORKING. There was a LONG way to go, but it was WORKING...)
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:47 AM on July 15, 2006


Let us also not forget that the state of Israel declared independence only AFTER she was legally recognized by the United Nations - at which point the entire Arab contingent of representatives to the United Nations walked out of the General Assembly and vowed to disregard the vote. I know that the trail of UN resolutions pertaining to Israel and her neighbors is long, complicated, and fraught with problems on both sides - but it seems to me that this is where it all began, with the Arab representatives thumbing there collective nose at a UN decision, and immediately declaring war on Israel.

Among the results of all of this has been the seemingly endless bloodshed on both sides and the tragedy of the plight of the Palestinians living as refugees.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:59 AM on July 15, 2006


who is "she"?
posted by mulligan at 10:30 AM on July 15, 2006


Zouhair.

Dude.

Seriously, learn the frikkin' language man. I can't understand a damn word you're saying.
posted by geekhorde at 10:46 AM on July 15, 2006


Ok, I'm game. Where's a link to this deep fried fries?

Don't have a link. It's pretty simple though (and I think Good Eats did something similar):

1) Cut potatoes into fry-like shapes. A mandolin helps, but you're looking for thin (but not McDonalds thin,) even fries. Not ninja-weapon-looking steak fries.
2) Soak said fries in water for anywhere from an hour to overnight. Don't get really drunk and forget that you made the fries (and the ensuing miracle of you having all your fingertips) and then stash them in the back of your fridge and forget about them for a week or so. It won't be pretty come Sober Fridge Clean-out Time. Trust me.
3) OK, you've got a fryer with a temp control, right? You could do it on a stove but, fuck it, that would be hard. Set it to 275.
4) Drain potatoes and pat them dry. (I'm going to assume we're all smart enough not to throw something wet into hot oil? If not, have you ever tried deep-fried M-80's?)
5) Yah! We're finally at the good (meaning: potentially dangerous) part.
6) Toss (not really, lower them in slowly) fries in oil (peanut is my favorite, but whatever works. Sometimes I chuck some sliced onions in there as well. Let 'em burn.) Cook for, oh, six to eight minutes. You want a white-ish color, with a certain amount of droopy-ness. You'll know what you're after once you've done it a few times, but basically you're, as those Zidane Lovers say, blanching. Cook in batches and then let drain on a rack or something.
7) Time to kick it up a... Ah, shit. I can't do it.
8) Seriously, though. Once you've blanched all the fries, you need to crack the oil heat up to 375. You wanna fuck it up? Set the heat lower. You wanna fuck it up in a different way? Set it higher. 375 is non-negotiable here.
9) Batches again. At least two or three minutes cooking time, but it really depends on how dark and crispy you like your fries (oh, did I mention this whole method is geared towards dark and crispy?) It's your call at this point.
10) When you're happy with the crispy, pull them out of the oil, drain, pat dry with paper towels and then salt immediately.

11) Serve.
posted by Cyrano at 10:52 AM on July 15, 2006 [3 favorites]


mulligan took the words out of my mouth. "she"?? I prefer "it". or "pig's anus".

geekhorde, you retarded fuck: not everyone on metafilter is american
posted by mr.marx at 10:58 AM on July 15, 2006


"Hundreds in metro Detroit protest Israeli attacks"

"Italian PM And The Pope Condemn Israeli Incursion In Lebanon"

"ANALYSIS: Israel prepares for widespread military escalation" containing this chestnut: "According to the officers, if the kidnapped soldiers are not returned alive and well, the Lebanese civilian infrastructures will regress 20, or even 50 years. "

Fucking animals. I hope Israelis and American Jews realize what kind of animals and idiots are running the show now in the IDF and the government. If there was even a hint that this was about defending borders and Israeli civilians, I still wouldn't buy it. Israel wants to destroy one of the few somewhat sympathetic governments in the region. They want Beirut to become a crater again. Just fucking mind-boggling.
posted by bardic at 11:17 AM on July 15, 2006


"Hell Breaking Loose"

"Israel kills Lebanese civilians"
posted by bardic at 11:22 AM on July 15, 2006


Just asking what race are the Israeli's? And what race are the Palestinians?
posted by PenDevil


Israelis are largely "ethnically Jewish," however you'd (or, well, they'd) like to define that. Palestinians are non-Jews living in ghettos.

I see you continue to want to play word games here. Fine. Don't say "apartheid," don't say "racism." Don't talk about a lack or presence of "democracy." The situation is pretty fucking obvious, even without these words.

As a Jew, I was raised to support peace, justice, equality, kindness to strangers, respect for the disadvantaged, and so forth. I was also told to support a Jewish State surrounding Jerusalem. Cognitive dissonance.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:01 PM on July 15, 2006


Many of us American Jews do not support Israel's actions--please do not conflate us like that. ... the Holocaust continues to be profoundly important to a broad spectrum of young Jews, yet Israel appears to much less important in positively affecting Jewish identity, except for those, like the Birthright participants who have actually traveled to Israel, or the Orthodox young adults, for whom Israel has powerful positive resonance. ... (AJC study, 18-39, only 16% are Orthodox in that age group)
posted by amberglow at 12:29 PM on July 15, 2006


we're also overwhelmingly against the War/Occupation in Iraq, and against Bush's actions in the "war on terror", btw, for those who would assume otherwise, like for Israel's benefit or something.
posted by amberglow at 12:44 PM on July 15, 2006


... Levy has astutely identified the fundamental dilemma facing the Israelis, one very similar to what the United States has failed to solve since 9/11. The kidnapping of Shalit, and the inability to rescue him, has created an impression of vulnerability that requires the application of greater and greater levels of violence and intimidation, which, paradoxically, only serve to shine a brighter and brighter light upon the exposure of the vulnerability which provoked the violence in the first place. ... As for Zionism, each bomb that explodes in Gaza and Lebanon further shatters what remains of the edifice of its legitimacy. Challenged by demographic and social change within Israel, and confronted by those it has occupied and brutalized, Zionism has lost whatever idealism it originally possessed and abandoned its utopian sensibility, having been reduced by its proponents to an intellectual justification for militarism and the conscious use of unrestrained violence in order to perpetuate Israeli dominance of Palestine and Lebanon. An ideology stripped of its clothes of respectability will not long survive the cold of winter. ...
posted by amberglow at 1:34 PM on July 15, 2006


Interesting study, amberglow. In other words, for those American Jews who actually, you know, TAKE THE FUCKING TIME TO GO TO ISRAEL, to learn about things first hand from actually BEING THERE rather than simply pontificating from the safety of being on the other side of an ocean, Israel actually is a pretty cool place - NOT without problems, but not some "apartheid" state worthy of international ridicule and outrage.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 4:00 PM on July 15, 2006


Are you high?
posted by rxrfrx at 5:30 PM on July 15, 2006


I'm high!
posted by Justinian at 6:03 PM on July 15, 2006


This makes me wish I were high.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:03 PM on July 15, 2006


In other words, for those American Jews who actually, you know, TAKE THE FUCKING TIME TO GO TO ISRAEL

i'm sure they'd see lots of educational things ... i'm also sure they'd have an educational experience visiting a palestinian refugee camp, too ... or gaza ... or the west bank

gosh, who knows? ... they might even conclude that there are human beings in both places

i've never been there, so i don't know ... and frankly, the way people are treating each other over there, i don't want to go
posted by pyramid termite at 9:45 PM on July 15, 2006


Mr. Marx you retarded fuck.

Do you understand the words I am writing? Do you? Because they are in English.

My desire for Zouhair to be understood is not in any way disrespectful, you idiot. If you have a point to get across, it seriously undermines your point if you cannot spell or construct a sentence that other speakers of the language can understand.

Also, look around. See any other languages being used here? English is the de facto lingua franca of, if not the Internet, then definitely of this site.

So go fuck yourself. Asshole.

Understand that?
posted by geekhorde at 10:05 PM on July 15, 2006


I just knew some idiot was going to write something like that in response to what I wrote. But I don't give a fuck. If I can't understand what you're writing, then I'm not in the wrong for pointing it out.
posted by geekhorde at 10:06 PM on July 15, 2006


Also, I did not say that everyone on Metafilter is an American. Fucking asshole. Way to draw a conclusion. Asshole.
posted by geekhorde at 10:07 PM on July 15, 2006


geekhorde - You need to step away from the keyboard and go for a walk or something.
posted by bshort at 11:02 PM on July 15, 2006



Also, look around. See any other
languages being used here? English is the
de facto lingua franca of, if not the
Internet, then definitely of this site.

So go fuck yourself. Asshole.



pardon his french
posted by mulligan at 11:23 PM on July 15, 2006


Yeah. You're not kidding, bshort, and are probably right. I do need to go for a walk. Grab a glass of milk. Maybe read a book. Something. Sorry.

Seems like the whole world has gone batshit insane. It's really getting me down.
posted by geekhorde at 11:36 PM on July 15, 2006


Maybe we should all get high.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:07 AM on July 16, 2006


Kitchen Confidential is a great book if you haven't read it.
posted by bardic at 1:22 AM on July 16, 2006


A Cook's Tour is a good one too - lots of great travel stories
posted by concrete at 1:56 AM on July 16, 2006


i think the arabs in the region need some serious overt backing from some powerful players. it's the only way to bring balance back to the region.

i'll probably get flamed for this but the US is directly responsible for the entire mess with their unwavering and overwhelming support for israel. when you have a powerful sugar daddy who will keep funnelling money and weapons to you no matter what happens and when the other side is severely underfunded and underequipped there's really no incentive to resolve the situation peacefully.
posted by canned polar bear at 4:16 AM on July 16, 2006


i think the arabs in the region need some serious overt backing from some powerful players.

Hamas and Hezbollah already have Iran to give them support; a country that isn't exactly going to run out of cash.

the US is directly responsible for the entire mess with their unwavering and overwhelming support for israel.

Or the British: they're the ones who promised the whole of Palestine both to the Jews and the Arabs in the first place.
posted by rottytooth at 6:09 AM on July 16, 2006


Hezbollah rockets kill 8 in Haifa
posted by inigo2 at 7:03 AM on July 16, 2006


Hamas and Hezbollah already have Iran to give them support; a country that isn't exactly going to run out of cash.

overt support.. tanks, ships, warplanes and a couple of billion a year with no questions asked would level the playing field a bit.

Or the British

sure, but that was a while ago. the US is acting as israel's enabler right now.
posted by canned polar bear at 8:41 AM on July 16, 2006


Um, I'm pretty certain that the Europeans and Americans that went on holiday in South Africa were the ones that argued that the apartiet there wasn't that big a deal.
posted by Artw at 8:43 AM on July 16, 2006


"Israeli strike on city kills 9"
posted by bardic at 10:55 AM on July 16, 2006


"an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind"
posted by Artw at 11:07 AM on July 16, 2006


I'm not up on the whole sequence as outlined in the Christian bible, but, at whole point in this mess is Jesus supposed to return?
posted by Xurando at 12:50 PM on July 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm not up on the whole sequence as outlined in the Christian bible, but, at whole point in this mess is Jesus supposed to return?
posted by Xurando at 12:51 PM on July 16, 2006


overt support.. tanks, ships, warplanes and a couple of billion a year with no questions asked would level the playing field a bit.

Too bad the Soviet Empire collapsed eh? Or did you think that all those "Katusha" rockets were developed in Iran or Lebanon?

When there was a "level playing field" in the region, Israel's neighbours took every opportunity they could to try and march their Russian tanks down the road to Tel Aviv. What you see in the region today is "peace", relative to the 50's, 60's, 70's or 80's, and it's because Israel destoyed its enemies ability to directly challenge it, and because they lost their arms dealer, the Soviet Union. What you call "balance" likely means Israel's destruction, or a nuclear war destroying the entire region.
posted by loquax at 2:49 PM on July 16, 2006


If anyone bombs my Secret Boyfriend Bourdain, so help me... (fumes)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:07 AM on July 17, 2006


Transcript of a live-chat with Anthony Bourdain over on the Washington Post website. (Sorry. Too late to actually participate. I only just found out about it myself.)
posted by crunchland at 8:51 AM on July 26, 2006


Watching Beirut die, By Anthony Bourdain
posted by homunculus at 8:54 PM on July 27, 2006


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