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July 20, 2006 7:36 AM   Subscribe

Propagenda? By now most have seen the pics of the Israeli Girls whom were said to be writing --english--messages on Israeli missles that would soon be headed into Lebanon. But how many know the details behind it?
posted by Unregistered User (96 comments total)

 
Weak FPP, sorry.
posted by Mr. Six at 7:40 AM on July 20, 2006


Why not put this into Yesterday's thread? That thread is not even 24 hours old.
posted by caddis at 7:41 AM on July 20, 2006


Is that your attempt at a pun?
posted by rxrfrx at 7:42 AM on July 20, 2006


From the first site: the kids are low class, not educated, have never...
And yet they can write. Apparently the word "education" means something different in Israel.
posted by c13 at 7:42 AM on July 20, 2006


A single comment from two days ago was more informative and less hysterical than this entire post.
posted by prostyle at 7:44 AM on July 20, 2006


The referenced Lisa's blog post, which is better.

But it's still the "details" from an Israeli source, so it's not exactly unbiased.
posted by smackfu at 7:45 AM on July 20, 2006


In keeping with my pledge (to myself) not to be critical of what gets posted but instead to leave it if I dislike, I note but this: if an item is via an arab source, it is biased; if from an Israeli source, it is biased. Fact: during wars, many people of both genders and all ages have make "comments" upon weapons that were to be used. For a more serious view of children and war,
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/do_history/young_people/civil_war.cfm
posted by Postroad at 7:49 AM on July 20, 2006


surely there's a more tangential and random tidbit to be dug from this international crisis.
posted by Busithoth at 7:49 AM on July 20, 2006


I can't quite make out the messages but I believe this one says:

"I was dating a Hezbollah boy and the funny thing is, we're doing to him what he has been trying to do to me."

and

"I believe it's an old Groucho Marx joke, but I never want to be part of a world region that would have me as a member."
posted by geoff. at 7:57 AM on July 20, 2006


They're aiming for this kid:



It's like a bloody Red Rover.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:57 AM on July 20, 2006


Yeah, it's definitely the fault of those wily photographers.

Who is allowing children to get that close to active munitions in the first place?
posted by bshort at 8:02 AM on July 20, 2006


I'm a photographer... thanks for this post, very interesting.
posted by BobsterLobster at 8:07 AM on July 20, 2006


They're uneducated, but they can write in English. Come on, we're not stupid over here.

In keeping with my pledge (to myself) not to be critical of what gets posted but instead to leave it if I dislike, I note but this: if an item is via an arab source, it is biased; if from an Israeli source, it is biased.

True, but I think that this is propaganda directed at Americans, not Israelis.

And can someone explain to me why Google Earth has high res imagery of Pyongyang, North Korea, Beruit, Lebanon, and Tehran, Iran, but no high res imagery of Israel?
posted by Pastabagel at 8:07 AM on July 20, 2006



A single comment from two days ago was more informative and less hysterical than this entire post.
posted by prostyle at 10:44 AM EST on July 20 [+fave] [!]


Actually, I think the comment above that one is more informative:

at this point i'm just so tired of sweeping generalizations or blanket statements about either side.
posted by timory at 8:00 AM EST on July 18 [+fave] [!]


Right. What we really need is a blanket generalization that covers both sides, because twith each passing day, the two sides become more alike.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:11 AM on July 20, 2006


It's like this: Israeli kids are inherently good, Palestinian and Lebanese kids are inherently evil. If Israeli kids appear in a photo to do something "bad" then there is an explanation, most likely it being the fault of filthy foreigners, If Palestinian kids appear in a photo doing osmething "bad" it's because of the inherent evil of their culture, and they deserve the harsh retribution that is no doubt coming their way.
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


And can someone explain to me why Google Earth has high res imagery of Pyongyang, North Korea, Beruit, Lebanon, and Tehran, Iran, but no high res imagery of Israel?

I can. Google Earth has stated time and again that they will remove imagery if a country asks them too. Israel has asked. North Korea, Iran, Lebanon have not.

This was in The Times a few days ago. I'll find you the link.
posted by FeldBum at 8:12 AM on July 20, 2006


And can someone explain to me why Google Earth has high res imagery of Pyongyang, North Korea, Beruit, Lebanon, and Tehran, Iran

Because of the limited diplomatic contact. Google Earth's image supplier will reduce resolution on the request of the State Department, who will make that request if your consulate asks them to.

So, note what countries haven't made that request....
posted by eriko at 8:12 AM on July 20, 2006


Hmm, just saw these links on The Guardian news blog. Not such an impressive fpp if that's the source.
posted by BobsterLobster at 8:13 AM on July 20, 2006


They're not missiles, they're 155mm high-explosive howitzer shells fitted with point-detonating (impact) fuzes. Fuzes would not be fitted to the shells unless they were about to be fired. The howitzer that will fire them is in the background in the first photo.

*Numerous* messages were written on U.S. rockets, missiles and bombs as the U.S. launched its unprovoked attack on Iraq (most of them along the lines of "Take this Saddam, for 9/11"). Many of these were filmed by the media on the U.S. aircraft carriers. The documentary "Why We Fight" includes the story of a NYC police officer whose son was killed on 2001-09-11; the guy gets his son's name written on a bomb to be dropped on Iraq, and he even gets a report from the mission when it was dropped.

Later he discovers that the connection between Iraq and 2001-09-11 does not exist, and he is remorseful.
posted by jellicle at 8:13 AM on July 20, 2006


And can someone explain to me why Google Earth has high res imagery of Pyongyang, North Korea, Beruit, Lebanon, and Tehran, Iran, but no high res imagery of Israel?

Satellite restrictions implemented by the US on Israel's behest — mainly due to Israel's not-so-secret nuclear weapons program.
posted by Mr. Six at 8:13 AM on July 20, 2006


I just answered my own question:
For security reasons and in accordance with an agreement Israeli has with US-based companies that provide satellite imagery, images of Israel with resolution higher than 2 meters per pixel are barred from sale.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:14 AM on July 20, 2006


"...but no high res imagery of Israel?"

This quite possibly, might have something to do with it Pastabagel.
posted by Unregistered User at 8:17 AM on July 20, 2006


Pastabagel writes "They're uneducated, but they can write in English. Come on, we're not stupid over here."

Indeed. I've been wondering why more sites didn't pick up on that interesting detail.
posted by clevershark at 8:18 AM on July 20, 2006


The goddamn apologia over here needs to stop because it is bordering on state-sponsored propaganda:

*Numerous* messages were written on U.S. rockets, missiles and bombs as the U.S. launched its unprovoked attack on Iraq (most of them along the lines of "Take this Saddam, for 9/11"). Many of these were filmed by the media on the U.S. aircraft carriers. The documentary "Why We Fight" includes the story of a NYC police officer whose son was killed on 2001-09-11; the guy gets his son's name written on a bomb to be dropped on Iraq, and he even gets a report from the mission when it was dropped.

You obviously are aware of a lot of the details about this. Why do you deliberately neglect to mention that it's U.S. soldiers and airmen doing the writing on those bombs? It may still be in bad taste, but as they are the one's doing the actual fighting, they are entitled to some have bad taste. That's the first distinction.

The second distinction is that while the servicemen themselves could write anything they wanted, under the program you mention, civilians were only allowed to put the names of their children who died. That's a lot different than the smug "With love from Israel".

The third distinction is that the U.S. military takes extraordinary pains to avoid hitting civilian targets. There have been accidents, cases of mistaken identity, but the U.S. military wasn't randomly bombing city intersections.

The final distinction is this - Israel is not the United States, please stop drawing this analogy. The U.S. pays to support Israel, not the other way around. Therefore, the U.S. gets to do things Israel can't. Yes, it's unfair. So's life.

Now compare this to the stupid shit that pre-teen israeli girls are writing on artillery shells deliberately aimed at civilian neighborhoods as their mom stands by watching approvingly. Do you really not understand how this is orders of magnitude more disgusting than the US case, even for those who might support israel?
posted by Pastabagel at 8:31 AM on July 20, 2006


Years ago I manned the front desk at one of the three major distributors of content for public radio for a while. One of the tasks was sifting through what came into the general email box; I read a lot of random comments from people not very clear on what the actual origins of the radio they were listening to was, who had apparently done some searching on the internet and decided we were "public radio central headquarters." And I noticed this pattern: people would write in ranting about the pro-Israeli bias of some particular coverage, and other people would write in ranting about the pro-Arab bias of the same piece. This happened repeatedly, public radio getting impugned for representing the pervasive evil bias of the media... from both sides. As far as I can see at this point there is plenty of blood and plenty of blame to go around, but there is one thing I'm certain of: whoever is to blame for the horrible mess going on right now between Israel and Lebanon, it isn't those children. Or any children.
posted by nanojath at 8:47 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


I can't believe this is still here. The "real story" is a "my friend's friend knows somebody that was there" blog post of a Google chat transcript? Gah!
posted by antifuse at 8:56 AM on July 20, 2006


The third distinction is that the U.S. military takes extraordinary pains to avoid hitting civilian targets. There have been accidents, cases of mistaken identity, but the U.S. military wasn't randomly bombing city intersections.

If the military took "extraordinary pains", do you think 40,000 civilian deaths in Iraq seems about right?
posted by ladd at 8:57 AM on July 20, 2006


...deliberately aimed at civilian neighborhoods...

Citation?
posted by inigo2 at 8:58 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


What a tempest in a teapot and an excuse for Israeli-haters to impugn Israel and ignore Arab aggression with one-sided screeds. Or for blindly pro-Israelis to find every excuse possible for Israel and place all blame on Palestinians. Either way, these debates are always poisoned from the beginning.

You obviously are aware of a lot of the details about this. Why do you deliberately neglect to mention that it's U.S. soldiers and airmen doing the writing on those bombs? It may still be in bad taste, but as they are the one's doing the actual fighting, they are entitled to some have bad taste. That's the first distinction.

Distinction without a difference. If US soldiers write messages on bombs at the behest of a civilian, how is this fundamentally different than the civilian doing it themselves? The US bombs are also half a world away, so there is no chance for US citizens to write on the bombs themselves once they are in the field. In this case, the field was the home of these girls.

The second distinction is that while the servicemen themselves could write anything they wanted, under the program you mention, civilians were only allowed to put the names of their children who died. That's a lot different than the smug "With love from Israel".

Really? I watched that documentary and there was no "program" that I am aware of. The guy had to send a bunch of emails and it went up and down the chain of command until he got an answer. It was completely ad hoc. If you know more about a specific program, please link to information about it.

The third distinction is that the U.S. military takes extraordinary pains to avoid hitting civilian targets. There have been accidents, cases of mistaken identity, but the U.S. military wasn't randomly bombing city intersections.

While Israeli has hit many civilian targets in the past, the bombardment so far in this conflcit has been explicitly targeting military installations, roads, and bridges, not civilian neighborhoods. At least they are representing themselves as trying to do this to the same extend the US represents itself as trying to avoid civilian carnage in Iraq.

Now compare this to the stupid shit that pre-teen israeli girls are writing on artillery shells deliberately aimed at civilian neighborhoods as their mom stands by watching approvingly. Do you really not understand how this is orders of magnitude more disgusting than the US case, even for those who might support israel?

I don't understand. Your points are either not thought through, potentially incorrect, or virtually meaningless. But please, continue to pretend that this non-incident reinforces whatever point of view you already had.
posted by Falconetti at 9:12 AM on July 20, 2006


Poor, innocent, misunderstood, Israel. (there is not an eyeroll image macro in the world big enough to accompany this post.)
posted by keswick at 9:26 AM on July 20, 2006


If the military took "extraordinary pains", do you think 40,000 civilian deaths in Iraq seems about right?

Is that 40,000 count directly from US bombs and guns? Or is that including roadside insurgent bombs as well?
posted by antifuse at 9:27 AM on July 20, 2006


Why is everyone against [PICK ONE ONLY]:

...[ ] Israemerica?

...[ ] Palesrabia?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:31 AM on July 20, 2006


nanojath wins, by a mile. We ALL come to the I-P issue with baggage, with preconceived sympathies that act as a filter for all of the "news" and/or "facts". As Israeli Peace activist Amos Oz likes to put it, this is not a struggle between right and wrong, it is a struggle between right and right.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:31 AM on July 20, 2006


And can someone explain to me why Google Earth has high res imagery of Pyongyang, North Korea, Beruit, Lebanon, and Tehran, Iran, but no high res imagery of Israel?

Huh?

I just zoomed in on Tel Aviv. I could make out individual cars and trees. Not individual people on the beach, sure. But there is high-res imagery of Israel; I just looked at it. It's right there, big as life and twice as ugly, on google earth and maps.google.com.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:32 AM on July 20, 2006


"We was framed?" OH, GIMME A FUCKING BREAK!
I'm not about to get particularly shocked or surprised by a bunch of kindergarten-age children falling prey to patriotic warmongering. Like that was anything new. I'm frankly rather angrier about roads, airports, power stations and all sort of civilian infrastructure being bombed to smithereens in the name of "fighting terror" (never mind the hundreds of dead and hundreds of thousands of refugees). Honestly, if Israel wanted to strengthen its enemies even further, it couldn't be doing worse.
posted by Skeptic at 9:32 AM on July 20, 2006


there is not an eyeroll image macro in the world big enough to accompany this post.

pssst... img tags have height and width attributes... don't let the bougie find out.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:38 AM on July 20, 2006


keswick:

1) Arab terrorists (whether from Lebanon, Gaza, or the West Bank) target civilians, whereas Israelis target militants who regretably surround themselves with civilians so as to maximize the pr damage that Israel does to herself when striking back;

2) Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend herself against existential threats. In the current crisis, we have a party, Hezbollah, which holds seats in the government of another sovereign nation, Lebanon, and receives funding and arms from two other sovereign nations, Iran and Syria, which has been repeatedly attacking Israel, in violation of international agreements signed with the cooperation of the UN - so Israel defends herself;

3) The very existence of the state of Israel owes a tremendous amount to the recognition granted by the UN in 1948, which has been duly ignored by the Arab states ever since.

Is Israel perfect? No. Not by a long shot. Ask any Israeli, and that's exactly what they'll tell you. They'll probably engage you in a LONG political discussion about how to fix the problem by voting differently, about how most Israelis would love to have peace with their neighbors - some would even say that they care not a wit about sharing the old City of Jerusalem, just so long as they GET SOME FUCKING PEACE.

Ask many (a lot? most?) Arabs, and they'll feed you some line fed to them by their "governments" about driving the Zionist filth into the sea.

Who's more humane?
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:42 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


While Israeli has hit many civilian targets in the past, the bombardment so far in this conflcit has been explicitly targeting military installations, roads, and bridges, not civilian neighborhoods.

Erm, hasn't Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz of the IDF said something about turning Lebanon's clock back 20 years?
posted by Skeptic at 9:45 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


While Israeli has hit many civilian targets in the past, the bombardment so far in this conflcit has been explicitly targeting military installations, roads, and bridges, not civilian neighborhoods.

then why are most of the people being killed civilians? ... i don't give a damn what they say they're targeting, they're hitting civilian targets ... if it's not deliberate, it shows an ineptitude and carelessness that is criminal negligence ... especially now that it's been demonstrated that these bombings are having a major effect on the civilian population

this is a crime of war ... as is hizbollah's indiscriminate rocketing of israeli territory

in a just world, the leadership of both sides would be put on trial and convicted of war crimes
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 AM on July 20, 2006


I once came upon this website while doing some research on another topic. The domain name itself is inherently racist. The articles are all very biased against arabs. I would treat any article on this site as being unbiased and agenda driven. Though I don't think I need to tell MeFi'ers that.
posted by burhan at 9:48 AM on July 20, 2006


I can think of no more reliable source of information than "Lisa" posting on "Sandmonkey."
posted by Jatayu das at 9:48 AM on July 20, 2006


Israel has clearly stated her goal - to disarm Hizbollah. Me, I happen to think that the Israeli intellignece services are pretty good, and I think history bears this out (Entebbe, anyone?), but, as I stated up-thread awhile, I bring my Israeli-sympathetic mindframe to this debate. So if they are striking the airport, bridges, roads, etc - it is for strategic purposes. Does this make life difficult for the Lebanese - of course! I don't think there's an Israeli out there who would deny that. The question is, who's responsibility is that? From Israel's perspective, how 'bout you stop bombing our borders and shooting and/or killing our soldiers, and we'll leave your infrastructure alone?
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:49 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thanks fingers_of_fire, I concur..

I'm not surprised many still hold to the "one side good one side bad, we're with God they're with the Devil" sort of thinking and emotionalism.

I think Lenin called such people "useful idiots"--which is a great description. This is exactly what they are, whether they are true believers for the right or true believers for the left, the Iraeli's or the Arabs is unimportant--they are much easier to control. The point is convincing BOTH SIDES of the left/right spectra of ideology (without any inbetweens or any other choices), so that the same people can manipulate two totalitarian systems toward New World Order that is without any ideology except the ideology of power and management. The Bones groups and Wall Street have funded both the Nazis and the USSR at the same moment. If you want to stop being a pawn, you have to stop accepting the board as it is laid out.

Finally, This is why they call it prop-agenda the evolution of propaganda. It us not so much the control of what we think, but the control of what we think about, we have got to break free of this aristotle binary semantic straight jacket, it is killing us.
posted by Unregistered User at 9:51 AM on July 20, 2006


I am old enough to recall that JFK, president, told Cuba/Russian to get rid of those missles aimed at the US--or else . They did.
posted by Postroad at 9:52 AM on July 20, 2006


pyramid termite, what do you make of Israel's claim that Hizbollah is hiding artillery in civilian homes? Isn't it a war crime to use humans as shields in war? Isn't that what Hizbollah is doing? Wouldn't that also account for the Israeli claim that they are striking at military targets, despite the high number of civilian deaths?

There's a great Golda Meir quote about the Palestinians - can't find it at the moment - but I think it beautifully summarizes the Israeli position on Arabs and warfare. She says something to the effect of this - that Arabs inflict two atrocities on the Israelis - first, they kill their children. Secondly, they put Israel in a postion where she is obliged to defend herself, and that inevitably means killing Arabs. To Golda Meir, these were equal tragedies.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:54 AM on July 20, 2006


Addendum:

I like many others am trying to understand this International Crisis in doing so I look for various Epinions.

I found the following to be quite intereting, however controversial he/it may be.

False Flags, from ex-Delta Force operative Stan Goff's blog:

"The border of Southern Lebanon and Israel is a seamless web of intervisible Israeli outposts with night vision devices, tied together with ground surveillance radar, plowed-flat and raked daily to see footprints, and backed by quick reaction forces. Israelis routinely make incursive patrols into Lebanon. It is nearly impossible for an organized group of Hezbolla or anyone else to cross the border south, much less capture prisoners there. The very notion that this was an incursion INTO Israel is propped up solely by the credulity of the general public that knows nothing about military operations. In reality, the idea is as ludicrous as the Easter Bunny."

Can anyone shed more light on that?
posted by Unregistered User at 10:01 AM on July 20, 2006


pyramid termite, what do you make of Israel's claim that Hizbollah is hiding artillery in civilian homes? Isn't it a war crime to use humans as shields in war?

yes ... but how many artillery units were hidden in beruit international airport? ... how many in the power plant? ... how many in beruit, and did they actually have the capacity to reach israel? ... the israelis tell the southern lebanese to evacuate, but then bomb the roads and tell the lebanese that all pickup trucks and such will be considered targets

the israeli reaction has been disproportionate ... and i'm afraid that countries in the middle east have learned something that will be fatal to our interests there ... that the u s will talk about democracy in the middle east and do everything to encourage it ... but if one of those democracies happens to be in the way of american or israeli interests, they're on their own ... we're not going to lift a finger to defend them ... just as we're not really lifting a finger to stop the sectarian violence in iraq

the results of this war will not contribute to peace in the middle east ... and they will not make israel a safer country in the long run ... or even the short run
posted by pyramid termite at 10:06 AM on July 20, 2006


While Israeli has hit many civilian targets in the past, the bombardment so far in this conflcit has been explicitly targeting military installations, roads, and bridges, not civilian neighborhoods.

Really? Does this look like a military installation to you?
posted by c13 at 10:13 AM on July 20, 2006


Ah, the Lebanese democracy - brought to you by the good folks of Iran and Syria. Listen, I'm not denying that, all things considered, Lebanon was on the right track - except that, everytime someone who Bashar Assad didn't like gained any notoriety, he met with an unfortunate accident. But look - if Israel is serious about disarming Hizbollah, and Hizbollah is entwined within Lebanese society - what do you expect? Isn't Beirut airport an asset that can assist Hizbollah in it's declared war against Israel? Why on earth shouldn't Israel bomb it? Israel bombed neighborhoods in Beirut where Hizbollah has a strong presence. Again, it is absolutely tragic for those innocent Lebanese - but the solution is to hold Hizbollah responsible. That's what Israel is doing, and that's what the other Lebanese - and the rest of the Arab world, for that matter - should be doing also.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:15 AM on July 20, 2006


Any piece of 'artillery' that could be hidden in somebody's apartment is not much of a piece of artillery.
posted by Flashman at 10:20 AM on July 20, 2006


Flashman - that's pretty much reflected in the relative casualties on both sides.
posted by Artw at 10:22 AM on July 20, 2006



Grrr...Stan Goff's comment
posted by Unregistered User at 10:26 AM on July 20, 2006


c13, do you know what was in that building? Is it at all possible that it maybe could have housed Hizbollah weapons?

Also, thanks for the fucking NSFW - GRAPHIC IMAGES! label.

shalom - salaam,

fingers
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:28 AM on July 20, 2006


Really, flashman? Just how big is a katyusha?
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:29 AM on July 20, 2006


the other lebanese were incapable of holding hizbollah responsible ... they didn't have the guns to disarm hizbollah and no one offered to help them do so, so they could comply with u n resolutions

i might point out that the origins of hizbollah were in the occupation of lebanon by israel ... and that this campaign will probably have similar unintended consequences

disarming hizbollah is probably impossible unless one targets the parties backing it up - syria and iran ... and doing that is impossible without causing a war that will have world wide consequences

as the stronger party, israel has a certain responsibility to ensure that its actions do not endanger the stability of the middle east, and thus, the world ... quite bluntly, the world has overriding interests that are more important than those that concern israel and hizbollah - such as, keeping the oil flowing in the middle east ... the current war is too dangerous to be allowed
posted by pyramid termite at 10:30 AM on July 20, 2006


Lebanon Israel Facts the Media Isn't Telling You?
posted by Unregistered User at 10:45 AM on July 20, 2006


c13, do you know what was in that building?

And do you know what was in the surrounding buildings? Sure dosen't look like military hardware to me.

And if you can't see the goddamned "WARNING" in large red letters at the top of the page, I doubt that NSFW in font 12 would do you any good.

finger.



BTW, this is what Katusha looks like. Don't worry, its entirely safe for work.
posted by c13 at 10:47 AM on July 20, 2006


The projectiles, yeah are pretty small like 4 feet(and inaccurate, this is like throwing a handful of large, explosive and occasionally deadly rocks a dozen or so kilometres), but they are useless without something like this, which, if it's parked in some olive grove, sure, blow it up, fair play.
But either way, those weasel words are barey even used by these IDF spokedrones. Mostly they don't even bother even with that minimal justification, it's just well, too bad it's their fault for living there, for existing.
The scale of the destruction, and the sheer coldness of these people who are supposedly on the same side as us, is just breathtaking. This isn't going to make the average Lebanese dude hate Hezbollah, it's going to make him join Hezbollah.
posted by Flashman at 10:51 AM on July 20, 2006


If the military took "extraordinary pains", do you think 40,000 civilian deaths in Iraq seems about right?
posted by ladd at 11:57 AM EST on July 20 [+fave] [!]


Considering that number includes all of the attacks by insurgents, all the roadside bombs, etc, yes that number does seem right. From the iraq body count site:

The count includes civilian deaths caused by coalition military action and by military or paramilitary responses to the coalition presence (e.g. insurgent and terrorist attacks). .

While Israeli has hit many civilian targets in the past, the bombardment so far in this conflcit has been explicitly targeting military installations, roads, and bridges, not civilian neighborhoods. ...I don't understand. Your points are either not thought through, potentially incorrect, or virtually meaningless. But please, continue to pretend that this non-incident reinforces whatever point of view you already had.posted by Falconetti at 12:12 PM EST on July 20 [+fave] [!]

Ugh. The Israelis have stated quite clearly that bombing the bridges, airports and harbors was done to prevent the hostages from being taken out of the country. It had nothing to do with whether they were of military value.

Distinction without a difference. If US soldiers write messages on bombs at the behest of a civilian, how is this fundamentally different than the civilian doing it themselves?

I don't know how to argue against this, because the logic is so bizarre as be unassailable. On preview, I actually argued it, by I erased my comments. This is a distraction. What the US did or didn't do is irrelevant, again because of my other point, which is the US gets to do things Israel can't. Period. This isn't the discussion.

The discussion is that this photo is disgusting, and evidences a certain bloodlust on the part of average israelis that would probably surprise most americans.

And to addres your most insipid point, my previsouly held point of view was that Israel should have wiped out Hamas and the terrorists in the occupied territories. I supported Israel. This activity here is completely undefendable, and I suspect you know that.

Israel wants to disarm Hezbollah. It doesn't have that right. It might be an worthwhile objective, but that doesn't translate into a legal right.

And furthermore, who are we kidding, this wasn't about disarming Hezbollah. It is now, after the mess began, and Israel discovered that Hezbollah has missles and unmanned armed drones. I guess the Mossad is pretty much on par with the CIA.

The objective when this started was to force the return of the two soldiers. That's what Israel itself said when it started. I've defended Israel in the past, but that doesn't obligate me to defend every idiotic move they make. Because one of these days, that bravado is going to get a lot of Israelis killed.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:58 AM on July 20, 2006


the other lebanese were incapable of holding hizbollah responsible - couldn't agree more, pyramid termite, which is why Israel felt the need to step up. I also agree that Iran and Syria will likely keep feeding the beast that is Hizbollah. What is your suggestion? Should Israel just "tolerate" aggression on her northern border? The alternative is to go after Syria and Iran, which, I agree, would be disastrous - but it's looking more and more likely, I'm afraid.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:00 AM on July 20, 2006


Third of Lebanon casualties are children, says UN

Nearly one third of all casualties in the Lebanon-Israel conflict have been children, according to the United Nations’ emergency relief co-ordinator, Jan Egeland.
posted by Unregistered User at 11:00 AM on July 20, 2006


my suggestion is that israel concentrate its efforts on finding the rockets in the field and taking them out ... i realize that this is a difficult task but it is possible

israel's stated goal of disarming hizbollah is not possible ... they already tried to do that and failed
posted by pyramid termite at 11:10 AM on July 20, 2006


israel has, in essance, attacked the people of lebanon in the hope that they will blame hezbollah for their suffering. this hasn't worked, and won't work. instead, it will bolster hezbollah's popular support, just like the blitz bolstered the british will to resist. collective punishment galvanizes the punished.

as for the restrained precision of israeli target-selection policy, i see no evidence that hezbollah has been damaged at the least, and much evidence that lebanese (and canadian, etc) civillians have been killed en masse.

as for the necessity (never mind the ineffectual nature) of israel's violent response to hezbollah capturing two soldiers - did israel need to respond to saddam's scuds in 1991? as usual, the moral highground involves turning the other cheek, and if hizbollah wanted to swap prisoners, why not swap, and use it as an excuse to act magnanimously, open diplomatic channels, secure intelligence assets, and prepare for later campaigns of assassination?

it's weird. it's like the israeli leadership stopped playing go and started playing bloody knuckles.

i'd like to suggest a moniker for this little campaign:

Operation Linebacker III.
posted by sayke at 11:15 AM on July 20, 2006


the other lebanese were incapable of holding hizbollah responsible - couldn't agree more, pyramid termite, which is why Israel felt the need to step up. I also agree that Iran and Syria will likely keep feeding the beast that is Hizbollah. What is your suggestion?

Here's the problem. Israel decided what it needed to do, and then went ahead and did it. The U.S. felt obligated to go to the U.N. before attacking Afghanistan and Iraq. Recall all of the meetings, all of the presentation etc. And the US didn't really have to do it of course, because no one could stop us anyway, but they did it anyway.

But Israel is somehow above this standard, and can act on its own without consulting the internation community before "stepping up"?

Let me guess what's going to happen next. Israel will soon reach some point of short-term exhaustion, pull out of Lebanon having accomplished nothing meaningful whatsoever, and then demand an international force be placed in Lebanon to enforce a cease fire.

In other words, Israel doesn't want to risk its ground troops in Lebanon to really clean up Hezbollah so they are going to try to get other countries' troops to do it? So Russians and Americans can get killed by roadside bombs?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:17 AM on July 20, 2006


There is a lot of "moral highground" stuff here that does not address the simple fact: Hezb ollah controls Lebanon. The Lebanonese army was to patrol the border according to UN resolution. Hezbollah does it and not the army. Hez daily sends rocket into Israel. Would you be so magnanimous if you lived in the Great Lakes region and some group lobbed rockets at you daily from Canada...then talk about moral highground to a group that has repeatedly said it will stop for nothi ng lessw than your dstructi0on.
posted by Postroad at 11:19 AM on July 20, 2006


While Israeli has hit many civilian targets in the past, the bombardment so far in this conflcit has been explicitly targeting military installations, roads, and bridges, not civilian neighborhoods

Ugh. The Israelis have stated quite clearly that bombing the bridges, airports and harbors was done to prevent the hostages from being taken out of the country. It had nothing to do with whether they were of military value.

That is a list of items I wrote: (1) military installations, (2) roads, and (3) bridges. (2) and (3) are not modified by the word "military." I can see the possible confusion in that sentence.

What the US did or didn't do is irrelevant, again because of my other point, which is the US gets to do things Israel can't. Period. This isn't the discussion.

I was attempting to respond to your points, in which you both compared US and Israel and then decried any attempt to compare them. Also, your reasoning for why they cannot be treated the same doesn't make sense on a moral level, yet you say this discussion is about how disgusting the photgraph is. But I think disgust is a moral sentiment. You may find my points insipid, but I find your views a bit illogical and incoherent.
posted by Falconetti at 11:22 AM on July 20, 2006


I just read c13's link to those photos.

You know what upsets me the most? Twenty years from now, we'll be looking at similar photos from the same neighborhoods showing the same people killing each other.

This current action in no way advances peace in the region. As someone noted, it's just going to cement opinion against Israel. Israel must know this (its obvious) and appreantly decided it can accept the risk. Great.

This guarantees another decades-long cycle of war-scale violence. Twenty years ago, it was gunfire, rock-throwing, and the occassional truck bomb. Now the terrorists have IEDs, missles and aerial drones. What will they have in 20 years?

Somebody in that region is going to get nuked by somebody else in that region. Maybe not ten years from now, but probably in the next 50. Then what?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:29 AM on July 20, 2006


You may find my points insipid, but I find your views a bit illogical and incoherent.


To clarify, the views expressed in that post. Otherwise, we are agreement on much of the overall picture.
posted by Falconetti at 11:35 AM on July 20, 2006


This current action in no way advances peace in the region. As someone noted, it's just going to cement opinion against Israel.

Exactly. If the people in those photos were not involved with Hezbollah before all this shit happened, they sure are a lot more likely to be now. Ask yourself, what would you do if your house was destroyed, if you had to pick up YOUR kid's guts off the ground. Would you really be understanding of Israel's actions? I know I wouldn't.
posted by c13 at 11:40 AM on July 20, 2006


I was attempting to respond to your points, in which you both compared US and Israel and then decried any attempt to compare them. Also, your reasoning for why they cannot be treated the same doesn't make sense on a moral level,

Of course it makes no sense on a moral level. It isn't about morality. Hezbollah certainly isn't acting morally by my standards, but neither is Israel. I bet that both think they are acting morally by their own standards.

The reason I compared the US is because someone else in this thread brought up the fact that US civilians wrote on bombs too. I was responding to make the point that they analogy doesn't work. But I was also responding to a current in a lot of threads on this topic, which is to justify Israeli action by finding something similar that the US did.

Moralilty is irrelevant - the world is a Hobbesian state of nature. In that state of nature, power dominates. The US has it, by virtue of its size, economy, and military. Russia has it. Collectively speaking, Europe has it. China will have it soon (and will probably exercise it soon). Israel does not. Lebanon does not. The UK does not. Iraq does not. Iran does not. North Korea does not. Even Japan does not.

They have to play be the rules the big powers get to make and break at their leisure. You can rail against this all you want, but it is reality.

Israel has created a disaster. The big powers will have to deal with it, and bear the long term consequences.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:45 AM on July 20, 2006


posty - hezbollah does not control lebanon. remember the cedar revolution? a democratically elected government controls lebanon, but it does not control hezbollah. however much hezbollah may influence, they do not control.

one plausible way to assist them in controlling lebanon, however, would be to attack the democratically-elected lebanese government. if that could be sufficiently weakened or destroyed, hezbollah would no doubt step into the ensuing power vacuum.

there might still be some go-players in israel after all, but i doubt anything so subtle is in the works.
posted by sayke at 11:49 AM on July 20, 2006


Moralilty is irrelevant - the world is a Hobbesian state of nature. In that state of nature, power dominates.

You have no argument about that with me. Which is why I've always liked the Burhamite (founder of National Review) idea of appealing to actual, existing power bases and supporting those power bases because they are the only real agents for change. I wouldn't appeal to the same loci of power that he does, but the reasoning is correct. Idealism or ideological argumentation in situations like this is so counterproductive I would consider it criminal. Like my grandfather used to say, wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.
posted by Falconetti at 11:51 AM on July 20, 2006


Meanwhile, Leading Saudi Sheik Pronounces Fatwa Against Hezbollah

Translation: Saudi Arabia's fundamentalist islam is threatened by Iran's.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:03 PM on July 20, 2006


Hezbollah does not control Lebanon? nonsense. The "leader" of Lebanon announced that Israel ought not do this and that because it is Hezbollah sending rockets into Israel and he and his army were powerless to prevent it. It is the Lebanonese army that was to control the border l(UN) and Hezbollah took over the task. Syria left but left a zillions spies in place. Now, just who and what is Hezbollah--here, from a trusted and non-biased source:
http://www.cfr.org/publication/9155/http://www.cfr.org/publication
/9155/
Lebanon responsible:
"Is the Lebanese government responsible for the abducted soldiers?

Yes. Israel is correct to hold the Lebanese government responsible for their protection, despite the fact they were captured by Hezbollah, a minority faction within Lebanese politics. "There's a longstanding principle of international law that states may not permit their territories to be used for activities that harm another state,"
posted by Postroad at 12:05 PM on July 20, 2006


On the original post: Well duh, next you'll be telling us that those 4 year olds wearing "Abortion is Murder" T-shirts outside the abortion clinic where they were dragged by their parents don't actually have a clear, informed opinion on abortion.
posted by Mitheral at 12:16 PM on July 20, 2006


CANNED HEAT!
posted by clavdivs at 12:19 PM on July 20, 2006


What I'd find funny (if it weren't so fucking Machiavellian in purpose and execution) is that Israel, by bombing the shit out of Lebanese military bases (among other things), has basically made it impossible for an already weak Lebanese military to actually do anything about Hezbollah whether they were intending to or not. And they're complaining that they're forced to do what they're doing now because Lebanon can't disarm Hezbollah. Classic catch-22.
posted by clevershark at 12:32 PM on July 20, 2006


Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend herself against existential threats.

Existential?
Did Hezbollah kidnap Godot or something?
posted by poweredbybeard at 1:13 PM on July 20, 2006


Funny how all this is works...

Journal axes gene research on Jews and Palestinians

The origin of Palestinians and their genetic relatedness with other Mediterranean populations.

Oh, btw Turkish Commandos on Iraqi Border
Turkey, who warned Iraq and the United States just a day ago that it was “losing patience” over the presence of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on Kandil Mountain, is now preparing for a cross-border operation.

Commando squads were deployed to the Iraqi border and massive inland operations are now being prepared.


Welcome to the grand proxy war, the Great Game has been whittled down to manageable proportions. (Care of the US.)

Israel is the 51st US state and is the crucial outpost, the tiny geographical splinter, armed to teeth, of the hegemon.

Because the fight between Isr/ Palestine and now on the ground in Lebanon is a grand proxy war, with all the parties funded by the West. Israel is a failed state and dependent on outside funding.

Secretaries Rumsfeld and Rice, please tell us AGAIN how wonderfully things are going in Iraq!
posted by Unregistered User at 1:20 PM on July 20, 2006


In other words, Israel doesn't want to risk its ground troops in Lebanon to really clean up Hezbollah so they are going to try to get other countries' troops to do it? So Russians and Americans can get killed by roadside bombs?

Actually, this is about the only rational explanation I can find to Israel's current behaviour: since, in the long term, Israel can not face Islamic fundamentalism on its own, to get as many other powers (read: alternative targets) embroiled in the region as possible.

So, maybe there are some go players left there after all...
posted by Skeptic at 1:23 PM on July 20, 2006


bagnewsnotes.com has a great analysis of the Israeli Girls With Bombs photos . . . they look at images put forth in the media from a visual communications perspecitve.
posted by nyoki at 1:34 PM on July 20, 2006


Anyone remember Palestine? Anyone see a lot of mainstream coverage on it? CNN's got a dozen articles on Lebanon on its front page - nothing on Palestine. Same thing on FOX (no surprise there.) Even Reuters is really quiet about it.

So easily distracted.

Their government is destroyed, thanks to the U.S. colluding with Fatah to undermine the Hamas-controlled (yet, duly democratically elected) government. There were no Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians, at least not initially, but Israel felt it was OK to just start blowing up Palestinian infrastructure. It's collective punishment, plain and simple. Operation Summer Rains has ensured that the humanitarian crisis which already existed in Palestine will ratchet up to shocking proportions; Gaza City is a horror story.

While the world fusses about Hezbollah and the pretext manufactured by this conflict to provide an excuse to attack Iran and Syria, Palestine is in ruins. The best part is that Israel used our very own techniques to ensure we can't really argue about it - they had their pretext, they used our own justifications for denying aid to Palestine to justify bombing much of Palestine's infrastructure, and they've seized much of the Palestinian government - but only those we've already indicated belong to a terrorist organization, so it's OK.

We've put the lie to our mouthings about how we support democracies - we only support democracies we like. We didn't like this one, and our Middle East ally took the hint. It'll be fun to see what happens in a week or so, after our implied "go ahead, you've got a week to do as much damage as possible before we ask you to stop" free-for-all period is up.

Maybe Olmert will tell Bush and Condi to "back off" while he blows up Syria and Iran for us.
posted by FormlessOne at 1:48 PM on July 20, 2006


Would you be so magnanimous if you lived in the Great Lakes region and some group lobbed rockets at you daily from Canada

You know, somehow I suspect if that happened the US wouldn't bomb every major city, airport, and road in Canada and do its best to return Canada to a preindustrial state.
posted by languagehat at 2:17 PM on July 20, 2006


For all the apologists for Israel's aggression against and murder of Lebanese civilians, I only have this to say right now--Israel has invaded Lebanon before. You know how this movie ends, idiots.

And yeah, convenient to throw all that messy "moral high-ground" stuff out the window when the military leaders of your favorite nation decide it's convenient. Might makes right, rex is lex, etc. Those six million pissant Jews in Europe during the 1930's and 1940's? Shame they were so weak.
posted by bardic at 2:21 PM on July 20, 2006


Goddamn it people,

The current war is a small proxy for the fight between the US and Iran, a thrid world county by any means, and even bigger, between the US and anybody else about the control of the most important world energy ressources, i.e. direct or indirect control over all of the Middle East.

It's the pnac wet dream! The Grand Chess...awww, fuck it.
posted by Unregistered User at 2:23 PM on July 20, 2006


Oh, and hi, clav!
posted by languagehat at 2:29 PM on July 20, 2006


How in hell could anyone be in doubt as to where this is going?

America's ultimate strategic enemy is China, because that rising empire can and will totally eclipse America economically early in this century --

unless stopped, slowed, prevented . . .

China can afford to develop, extract, and purchase all the petroleum and natural gas in the Middle East and Caspian Basin without issue. They're friendly, and their money is good.

America cannot outbid China to do this, without borrowing trillions from China. So America is not in the game, economically. We're set to lose control of that marketplace.

Solution -- turn to the Dark Side. Go all pirate on their asses. Invade and occupy the Middle East, topple their governments, and install client states sworn to do all their business with American companies.

America simply must make these nation states an offer they cannot refuse. The alternative is to decline spectacularly as a world power.

Iran is the single biggest obstacle to this program. Iran is the show stopper. As long as Iran is not a client state of America, America cannot continue to pursue empire. China and India and Europe and Brazil and Japan step in and do business we cannot do.

This economic threat to America is the whole problem.

This is how World Wars start.

By any means, by any excuse, under any umbrella from a war on terra to outright lebensraum to nobly carrying the White Man's Burden -- America has to be the maypole in the Middle East or the region defaults to China and others who have economies that actually produce things.

If we leave Iran in place, America forfeits the Great Game.

If President Cheney and his Amazing Meat Puppet do not strike Iran before November, it will only be because they feel confident of retaining Congress.

Meaning they can wait until the spring of 2007 to topple Tehran and put the Shah's son in charge.

Their view is it has to be done. Has to be. Has to be. Has to be.

A lot of Democrats feel the same way.

"Gil Scott Heron was wrong, the revolution has been televised." " Only not the one we thought. The new "revolutionaries" have won.

This is the opening move to 'total war', "our children will sing great songs about us years from now."
posted by Unregistered User at 3:10 PM on July 20, 2006 [2 favorites]


/me quickly rounds up a posse to chase down Unregistered User as he tries to gallop off on his hobby horse.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:55 PM on July 20, 2006


Israel has clearly stated her goal - to disarm Hizbollah. Me, I happen to think that the Israeli intellignece services are pretty good, and I think history bears this out (Entebbe, anyone?), but, as I stated up-thread awhile, I bring my Israeli-sympathetic mindframe to this debate. So if they are striking the airport, bridges, roads, etc - it is for strategic purposes. Does this make life difficult for the Lebanese - of course! I don't think there's an Israeli out there who would deny that. The question is, who's responsibility is that? From Israel's perspective, how 'bout you stop bombing our borders and shooting and/or killing our soldiers, and we'll leave your infrastructure alone?

Do you not understand pronouns? You know, like "you" and "your," as in the case of "you stop bombing ... leave your infrastructure alone" ?

Those pronouns refer to different parties, and yet your sentence reads as if it's the same person.

Get this through your skull: The vast, vast majority of Lebanese civilians did not shoot rockets at Israel, yet they are the ones suffering from Israel's bombing. It's a goddamn war crime, on both sides.
posted by odinsdream at 5:21 PM on July 20, 2006


There were no Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians, at least not initially, but Israel felt it was OK to just start blowing up Palestinian infrastructure.

Right, the rockets didn't count because they were so innacurate.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:12 PM on July 20, 2006


America's ultimate strategic enemy is China, because that rising empire can and will totally eclipse America economically early in this century

Solution -- turn to the Dark Side. Go all pirate on their asses. Invade and occupy the Middle East, topple their governments, and install client states sworn to do all their business with American companies.

If we leave Iran in place, America forfeits the Great Game.

Their view is it has to be done. Has to be. Has to be. Has to be.

This is the opening move to 'total war'

That's hilarious...
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 6:36 PM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


unregistered user - there are problems with your scenario

1) china, russia and perhaps pakistan and india are not going to let it happen ... period

2) we would have to institute the draft in the u s to pull it off ... i do not believe that's politically possible over oil ... they would need another reason ... a big one
posted by pyramid termite at 8:36 PM on July 20, 2006


I wasn't frightened by UU's loopy-sounding scenario... until I read the rest of those Richard Perle quotes.

Click me and gape.

Napolean and Hitler were both visionaries, I suppose. Also, both were short. Go figure.
posted by j-dub at 12:35 AM on July 21, 2006


Some good comments on the Maderblog on this situation. (Although a lot of it is on the Canadian political response)
posted by antifuse at 12:53 AM on July 21, 2006


How in hell could anyone be in doubt as to where this is going?

America's ultimate strategic enemy is China, because that rising empire can and will totally eclipse America economically early in this century --

unless stopped, slowed, prevented . . .

China can afford to develop, extract, and purchase all the petroleum and natural gas in the Middle East and Caspian Basin without issue. They're friendly, and their money is good.


oh my....someone saw Syriana. Look, China cannot have a billion cars, fridges and a half a million miles of roads... the planet cannot sustain that. and no they cannot "Eclipse" the US. the next gen weapon systems are going to put everyone 1 and a half steps behind US. Plus the new lip service is 'green' and i told you all that YEARS ago....green republicans. Look China is a great culture but they are the worlds work shop and if we wanted, we could send them into a recession they would never come out of. Hey we are fat but we can lose weight and that is what is happening.

china cannot afford all the goodies it wants. they are filling a strategic oil reserve and want fifty billion barrels of oil to pave roads and litter the planet with junk. It cannot be sustained.

it almost endgame folks.
hey LJ
posted by clavdivs at 12:18 PM on July 21, 2006


sorry, hey LH.
even i think bombing tissue factories is harsh.
posted by clavdivs at 12:23 PM on July 21, 2006


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