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What Peace Did Hizbullah Shatter?
August 7, 2006 11:38 AM   Subscribe

What peace did Hezbollah Shatter? asks Anders Stringberg in the Christian Science Monitor, a paper that has won the Pulitzer seven times and is particularly well-known for its in-depth coverage of the Middle East. Relying on the most recent United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) report , Strindberg believes that Hezbollah's attacks stem from Israeli incursions into Lebanon. In the same publication, another commentator says that the latest Levantine crisis is a 'moment of opportunity' but only if the U.S. asks Israel the hard questions.
posted by Azaadistani (162 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
From the Posting page:

If you're making a post about Israel or Lebanon or Hezbollah or even Iraq you should reconsider, as many recent threads have ended in shouting matches that do nothing good for the site or the community. If you do insist on posting about those subjects, make sure it's actually something of major importance or at the very least interesting, and not just another news blip about war.
posted by LarryC at 11:47 AM on August 7, 2006


Strindberg believes that Hezbollah's attacks stem from Israeli incursions into Lebanon.

Or that Hezbollah was formed in 1982 with the explicit purpose to destroy Israel - essentially a second Holocaust.


From the 1988 Hezbollah Manifesto:

"We see in Israel the vanguard of the United States in our Islamic world. It is the hated enemy that must be fought until the hated ones get what they deserve. This enemy is the greatest danger to our future generations and to the destiny of our lands, particularly as it glorifies the ideas of settlement and expansion, initiated in Palestine, and yearning outward to the extension of the Great Israel, from the Euphrates to the Nile.

Our primary assumption in our fight against Israel states that the Zionist entity is aggressive from its inception, and built on lands wrested from their owners, at the expense of the rights of the Muslim people. Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated.

We vigorously condemn all plans for negotiation with Israel, and regard all negotiators as enemies, for the reason that such negotiation is nothing but the recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Therefore we oppose and reject the Camp David Agreements, the proposals of King Fahd, the Fez and Reagan plan, Brezhnev's and the French-Egyptian proposals, and all other programs that include the recognition (even the implied recognition) of the Zionist entity."


See also: Frontline: Hezbollah - From Bullets to Ballot Box
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:53 AM on August 7, 2006


Thank you for pointing out that which I would have read given that I did just make the post. I believe that the articles posted are of major importance, particularly because such views are rarely put forth in the American media. They are analytical pieces, and read in combination with the UNIFIL report, analyze the present and recently-historic situation, rather than just more 'news blips about the war'.
posted by Azaadistani at 11:56 AM on August 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


What The_Jesse_Helms said...
posted by twsf at 11:58 AM on August 7, 2006


From "a visiting professor at Damascus University, Syria"? Look out below. The history sounds a little different from the Washington Post. Even the UN condemned the recent Hezbollah attacks. We also saw the unfortunately (killed) UN observer's words that Hezbollah was using UN positions as shields.

To balance this extreme version, you might try the other end of the spectrum, such as this account of the "refugee problem". The truth is probably somewhere in between. You have to admit that there are some pretty unusual instances of media bias on the topic recently, including Reuters admitting that it has faked photos.
posted by Adamchik at 12:00 PM on August 7, 2006


In response to the note on the posting page highlighted by LarryC, I would like to point out that the responsibility for the "shouting matches" falls on the commenters, not on the fpop post.

That said, the CSM article is very interesting, and the interim report will make good reading once the site is working again.

Yet, absent such a frank conversation, US officials should at least have the courage to ask themselves how it is in the American national interest...

The slant of the article aside, I have not heard any administration official make the case how support for this helps the U.S. national interest. No one seriously believes it is even possible to destroy Hezbollah (without replacing it with something worse), so that is not a valid justification for the US. In other words, the argument from the American standpoint should not be "does this make sense for israel," but rather "do israel's actions make sense for us."
posted by Pastabagel at 12:04 PM on August 7, 2006



Or that Hezbollah was formed in 1982 with the explicit purpose to destroy Israel


Anders Strindberg, formerly a visiting professor at Damascus University, Syria

So? The American left cares not for such trivialties. As long as they can find a new justification for agreeing on the happy fact that an aggressive defense is 100% wrong because it harshes the mellow. Anything more than a bullet aimed at hitler's heart is a war crime, ya know.

Also, human shields and suicide bombings are A-OK!
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 12:06 PM on August 7, 2006


Hm, yes, three links to The Christian Science Monitor, a Wikipedia link about the Christian Science Monitor, and a link to a U.N. fact sheet, all of which is certain to engender intelligent, considerate discussion among all parties to whom it's important because this post, unlike the hundreds before it, is a very special snowflake, melting in the desert of war and opinions. Whee.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:06 PM on August 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Galloway on Sky News

worth watching
posted by Unregistered User at 12:08 PM on August 7, 2006


An alternative view from RAND:
Israel has accepted the existence of a Palestinian state, and is committed to exiting the occupied territories for the most basic reason — demographics. Polls show Israelis realize they cannot protect their security by occupying a population with a non-Jewish majority. Israelis would prefer a negotiated path to peace, but it takes two sides to make peace. Unfortunately, there is no prospect of meaningful talks for a comprehensive agreement between Israel and a Hamas government that refuses to renounce terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist.

Lacking a negotiating partner, Israel has for some time regarded unilateral withdrawal from the Palestinian territories as the only way forward. But for Israel to proceed with plans to withdraw from the West Bank, it is convinced the "withdrawal equals weakness" mindset must be changed. Hence its decision to carry out powerful retaliation for Hamas and Hezbollah attacks to demonstrate both its capability, and more importantly its resolve, to strike back at its attackers.

For a time, it looked like the Israeli pullout from Gaza might reduce tensions. Hamas declared a so-called "hudna" or unilateral cease-fire. But over the last few months it had become a sham as Hamas militants in Gaza fired scores of rockets into Israel, even causing a village to be evacuated.

At first, Israel exercised restraint at the Hamas provocations and then began limited counterattacks. Once Hezbollah and Hamas decided to kill and capture soldiers inside Israel and send more rockets into Israeli towns and cities, Israel shifted to the more muscular response we have seen on our TV screens. This escalating cycle of violence dramatically demonstrates the danger of even relatively small incidents.
posted by magodesky at 12:09 PM on August 7, 2006


Great post. Thanks.
posted by tkchrist at 12:14 PM on August 7, 2006


Israel has violated the United Nations-monitored "blue line" on an almost daily basis, according to UN reports. Hizbullah's military doctrine, articulated in the early 1990s, states that it will fire Katyusha rockets into Israel only in response to Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians or Hizbullah's leadership; this indeed has been the pattern.

Violations of the blue line are not attacks on civilians or Hizbullah leadership. Meh, this is just a nice little propaganda piece, hardly something of major importance. By the way, your link to the report is to some temp folder and isn't working. Can we see the report please?
posted by caddis at 12:17 PM on August 7, 2006


Galloway has a really good point, for most of all our lives, Isreal has occupied Lebanon, over an over again. and if I remember, Israel started thier state with what could be considered terrorist attacks against the Great Britain.


So enough "One side is better then the other" eh? this is a war and both sides fight with what they have.

It's a War, and it's a bad war that any sane person would halt now. (Not that we have anyone sane in a position of power right now)
posted by Elim at 12:25 PM on August 7, 2006


we are all so fucking liberal around here
posted by matteo at 12:26 PM on August 7, 2006


but we don't like Bush, so that makes it OK
posted by matteo at 12:26 PM on August 7, 2006


So? The American left cares not for such trivialties. As long as they can find a new justification for agreeing on the happy fact that an aggressive defense is 100% wrong because it harshes the mellow. Anything more than a bullet aimed at hitler's heart is a war crime, ya know.

Also, human shields and suicide bombings are A-OK!


C'mon, that's a little disingenuous. I mean most anti-Israeli posters here on metafilter will at least throw in a one-sentence "Of course, Hezbollah are monsters, too" or "The Palestinians are just as bad, but..." before launching into their screed. Our dearly departed bardic was a master of this. You'll never see an FPP from that POV coming from these sorts, of course, but most will at least make a token effort to cover their backside.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 12:28 PM on August 7, 2006


Sorry about the UN Report. Here's the link. Scroll down to the penultimate paragraph and click on the hyperlink at the word 'report'. The Report is a PDF linked through there.
posted by Azaadistani at 12:32 PM on August 7, 2006


No one seriously believes it is even possible to destroy Hezbollah (without replacing it with something worse),

One version of 'the truth' has it that Hamas was created by some arm of the Isrieal government to prevent the PLO from growing. His(Hez?)bollah was a reaction to Hamas.

If the above is the reality then the statement of Pastabagal is correct.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:33 PM on August 7, 2006


Adamchik: Ynet is hardly a credible or unbiased source. Just look at all the adverts on the site. Ynet cites no other source for its information stating that the UN observers were used as shields by Hezbollah. On the contrary, Kofi Annan has condemned Israel for the UN observers the IDF killed.
posted by Azaadistani at 12:38 PM on August 7, 2006


the ghost of Ken Lay's Profile
member since: July 25, 2006

So his (Assuming Gender here) lack of knowledge as to what Meta is about is understood, and I give him the benifit of the doubt. But Ken, you've been Skewl'd, Learn, quit being inflamitory please M'kay?

Thanks.

Enjoy your visit.
Tip your server and please bus your own table...

***We seem to have a lot of Noobs who assume they know a lot about all the Mefi's of lat. Hmmmmm?
Astro-turfing?***
posted by Elim at 12:42 PM on August 7, 2006


No one seriously believes it is even possible to destroy Hezbollah (without replacing it with something worse),

I didn't mean to suggest that Israel would create a terrorist group or has created one in the past. I meant simply that the level of violence necessary to eliminate Hezbollah might inadvertently create conditions out of which another more violent group arises.

Sheesh.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:45 PM on August 7, 2006


http://emperors-clothes.com/archive/hez.htm

http://counterterrorismblog.org/2006/07/hizballah_activity_in_north_am.php
kidnapping a few soldiers while for years sending in rocketgs is hardly a bewnigh presencve in S. Lebanon...but read these tgwo csources, hardly biased, as to what Hezbollah is all about
posted by Postroad at 12:46 PM on August 7, 2006


At last a war where nobody is truly right, and there are no good guys. I've waited for it for all of my life since all the other ones.
posted by illovich at 12:46 PM on August 7, 2006


Thanks for the report. Reading it shows that these incursions were by air. No one was attacked, except perhaps sonically. The report essentially refutes rather than endorses the views put forward by Stringberg. There were two flare-ups in February and May but they were resolved by July. The kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers were pure provocation on the part of Hezbollah. I can not say that I agree with Israel's response; I agree more with the second CSM article you cited. However, that Israel's response was perhaps tactically in error has been well discussed here and the first article is in error about the reasons for the kidnappings. How does this amount to something of major importance? Meh.
posted by caddis at 12:49 PM on August 7, 2006


the benign UN?
http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20060728/cm_huffpost/026008
and don't overlook the simple fact that Syria, notable for its peaceful stances, is allowed a rotating seat at the Security Council but Israel is banned because of the numerous votes from the Arab bloc...
posted by Postroad at 12:50 PM on August 7, 2006


SO, Ladies and Gent's what do we do about this one?

What do we do about two sides not getting along?

I for one feel Jerusalem as an International city and un-occupiying by all sides might be a start.

any other ideas?
posted by Elim at 12:50 PM on August 7, 2006


Postroad, Thats more a result of Israel Pissing off more Folks than Syria does. so it's up to them to resolve that.
posted by Elim at 12:52 PM on August 7, 2006


kidnapping a few soldiers while for years sending in rocketgs is hardly a bewnigh presencve in S. Lebanon...but read these tgwo csources, hardly biased, as to what Hezbollah is all about
posted by Postroad at 3:46 PM EST on August 7 [+] [!]


I think we're getting somewhere in the protracted argument over this particular outbreak.

At least my position that Israel has gone overboard is not based on the actions or state intent of Hezbollah. In other words, it doesn't matter in the context of the recent escalation of violence by Israel that Hezbollah was to eradicate Israel. They obviously can never accomplish that objective. Furthermore, that's always been their stated purpose, so what changed between June and now?

Hezbollah needs to go, but Israel won't get rid of them this way.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:53 PM on August 7, 2006


I for one feel Jerusalem as an International city and un-occupiying by all sides might be a start.

any other ideas?
I say we give Jerusalem to the Buddhists.
posted by magodesky at 12:55 PM on August 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


posted by Elim What do we do about two sides not getting along?

I for one feel Jerusalem as an International city and un-occupiying by all sides might be a start.

any other ideas?


1. Strap explosives and detonater to torso
2. Board crowded bus
3. ???
4. Prophet!
posted by fandango_matt at 12:56 PM on August 7, 2006 [3 favorites]


Anders is such a fun character. His writings are hosted on this super-fun "historical revisionist" site. These guys know quality when they see it!
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 12:59 PM on August 7, 2006


SO, Ladies and Gent's what do we do about this one?

We need a war on monotheism.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:00 PM on August 7, 2006


Postroad: the same old bitching about the UN as anti-Israel. The US has vetoed 43 odd Security Council resolutions critical of Israel since 1972. Which other country has had the benefit of such protection in UN history? Name one, and then we can talk about the machinations of the 'Arab bloc'.
posted by Azaadistani at 1:00 PM on August 7, 2006


Fandango_Matt: I have enjoyed many a good laugh at your musings and posting, alas this time I did not.

For shame, for shame!

Go away and kick a puppy or something...
posted by Elim at 1:03 PM on August 7, 2006


This thread isn't ending in shouting matches at all!
posted by blucevalo at 1:04 PM on August 7, 2006


Right. The UN did such a bangup job with resolution 1566 and unifil, its crazy for anyone to do anything but what the UN says. All the time. Those guy know quality when they see it!
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 1:05 PM on August 7, 2006


I for one feel Jerusalem as an International city and un-occupiying by all sides might be a start.
posted by Elim at 3:50 PM EST on August 7 [+] [!]



I don't really think this wider conflict is about Jerusalem, truth be told. Too many parties in the region, including the Likud party in Israel, seem to need the conflict because they are defined by it and derive their power from it. It is a powerful symbol, and great fodder for rhetoric, but nothing for these nations to wage endless war over.

This conflict has continued for over 50 years in fits and starts in one form or another. It will never end. That doesn't mean we shouldn't negotiate, but we should be realistic about the chances for success.

I'm convinced at some point a nuke is going to be set off somewhere by someone in the next 30 years, and I'd prefer that it be over there in the Middle East and not here in the U.S. or in Europe. Maybe that's what it will take to end the fighting once and for all.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:05 PM on August 7, 2006


I agree with Michelle_hermosabeach. Womyn are underrepresented in Hezbollah, and they need their own terrorist organization. They could call it Herbollah.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:08 PM on August 7, 2006 [2 favorites]


How many votges hs the Arab b loc in the UN and how many has Israel? How many times has an arab nation or nations invaded Israel? I have no interest in getting into a shouting match on this issue, but the UN, if you will defend them, did not carry out the madate it passed to disarm Hezbollah, a "private" army...and the result is what we now see. As for what is really going on, it clearly goes beyond Israel and Lebanon:
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20060807.aspx
posted by Postroad at 1:08 PM on August 7, 2006


Maybe the US might like to rebuild the infrastucture of Gaza and the Lebanon using some of the $2,500 Million plus it normally gives to Israel.
Investment in the dirt poor Palestinian people might help win "hearts and minds". All that is presently happening is a massive PR campaign for the extremists. If some fucker bombed my home and killed my wife and kids I can see the reason in becoming a freedom fighter. Israeli military intelligence is called into question.
posted by adamvasco at 1:16 PM on August 7, 2006


Anders is such a fun character. His writings are hosted on this super-fun "historical revisionist" site. These guys know quality when they see it!
As was already discussed earlier in the Ota Benga thread, a lunatic/monster/charlatan using someone's writings to give credence to their own misconcpetions or lies does not constitute proof that the referenced writings are incorrect or untrue.

Just because Nazi intellectuals loved Nietsche is not proof that he was an anti-semite, and just because the holocaust denial circus links to Anders Stringberg's article doesn't mean that he's wrong or bad or has anything to do with holocaust denial.

I haven't read the Stringberg piece yet--so I'm not endorsing it --but I'm guessing he's not in la la land if what he wrote is being published by the CSM.
posted by illovich at 1:18 PM on August 7, 2006


Thats more a result of Israel Pissing off more Folks than Syria does. so it's up to them to resolve that.

Resolve that? The issue is, how many of those folks are pissed off simply by the fact Israel is. A lot of them own't be happy unless Israel is gone, and that's not really a good place to start from.
posted by inigo2 at 1:18 PM on August 7, 2006


I don't think the "You started it!" - "No, you started it" - "No, you started it!" is really going to get anybody anywhere. Both sides are zealously (religiously?), and disingenuously, passive-aggressive about the whole thing, and have been for millenia. Two tribes, both bent on vengeance over something so old they've both forgotten everything about what it was originally, except that it was probably REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT.

If it wasn't tanks and bombs and rockets, it would be: "You stole my goat!" - "Well your goat pissed on my olive tree!" - "Well your olive tree was planted on land that belonged to my great uncle!" - "Well your great uncle insulted my maternal great-grandmother's niece!" - "Well your maternal great-garndmother's niece stole a pot from us!" "Well dammit I'm going to throw a rock at you!" - "Well dammit I'm going to hot you with my stick!" "Ow! Ow! I'm being attacked!" - etc.

/rant
posted by carter at 1:22 PM on August 7, 2006


hit, not hot. Dammit.
posted by carter at 1:23 PM on August 7, 2006


What Peace Did Hizbullah Shatter?

If you broadly define peace, none. But when you get right down to it, the "they did it first" argument just starts you down a long, decades (centuries? millenia?) long road of perceived violations and mistreatment. It truly may be that there's no peace to shatter in the Middle East, and there never will be.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:24 PM on August 7, 2006


posted by adamvasco Maybe the US might like to rebuild the infrastucture of Gaza and the Lebanon using some of the $2,500 Million plus it normally gives to Israel.
Investment in the dirt poor Palestinian people might help win "hearts and minds". All that is presently happening is a massive PR campaign for the extremists. If some fucker bombed my home and killed my wife and kids I can see the reason in becoming a freedom fighter. Israeli military intelligence is called into question.


Maybe Lebanon and the Palestinians could first renounce terrorism and help Israel arrest the leaders, members, and supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah. Once they stop supporting terrorism with their indifference/silence, maybe then we can talk about peace and rebuilding. No, seriously.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:25 PM on August 7, 2006


also, what carter said
posted by pardonyou? at 1:25 PM on August 7, 2006


so? the american left cares not for such trivialties. as long as they can find a new justification for agreeing the happy fact that an aggressive defense is 100% wrong because it harshes the mellow. anything more than a bullet aimed at hitler's heart is a war crime, ya know./i>

Well, I don't know about a bullet, but this seems to be pretty bad, if true.

posted by c13 at 1:26 PM on August 7, 2006


Strindberg believes that Hezbollah's attacks stem from Israeli incursions into Lebanon.

Or that Hezbollah was formed in 1982 with the explicit purpose to destroy Israel - essentially a second Holocaust.


This is not necessarily true. The nullification of Israel as a state is much different than the extermination of the Jewish population. Israel's problem is that it wants to be a liberal democracy; however, it can't be unless it allows equal rights and representation of Muslims. Allowing representation of Muslims would go against the Jewish framework that defines Zionism. My personal stance is that religion tied with politics is a no-no, so I am very suspect of this Jewish "democracy." The muslim states of the Middle East aren't much better; however, two wrongs don't make a right, but instead double the wrongs. Comparing Israeli Jews with those of Nazi Germany seems awkward. The Holocaust was much different. German Jews weren't in control of Germany, and they certainly didn't have the military hardware, or nuclear weapons, that Israel does now. It could be even argued that Gaza and the West Bank act as concentration camps.
posted by j-urb at 1:28 PM on August 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Postroad-

I read that article you linked. If you were an ordinary Lebanese citizen, what do you think you'd be feeling right now?

The reason *Arabs* in the region, not just Shia and sunni muslims, are rallying behind Hizbollah is because they are standing up to Israel. Not because they want to destroy israel or for their ideoplogy, but because they are the only group standing up to what is unversially believed to be an Israeli-US conspiracy to take over the region.

These are the same people who celebrated after 9/11. If you stand up to the strong guy, then you are a hero to the downtrodden.

It does not matter whether the average person in the region is right or wrong about the facts and underlying causes. They are oppressed by their governments and believe their are oppressed by a menagerie of imaginary foes. Unless we in the West understand this, the war will never stop.

In Arab eyes, this is winning.

Of course it is, because whenever the Israelis and the US don't win, they feel they've won. Hezbollah et al. aren't fighting to destroy Israel. They aren't stupid. They know they can never achieve this. They are fighting because fighting gives them power over and credibility with their own people.

From the article: Which explains why the Arab world has fallen behind the rest of the planet in almost every measure (economically, politically, education, science).

Hubris never helped anyone. Many of the states in the U.S. are more culturally backward than Lebanon. I doubt very much that creation science is taught in ordinary Lebanese biology classes.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:29 PM on August 7, 2006


Since Israel joined the European Union two years ago my colleagues and I can now travel to Lebanon (which joined five years earlier, at the same time as Palestine) without changing any money. Which is just as well because Beirut's stupidly expensive for a weekend's clubbing without the moneychanging hassle. I'm feeling underpaid. Working as a translator at the United Nations sounded like a glamour job, with the relocation of the Headquarters to Jerusalem all kinds of things were happening, but now I'm looking enviously at all the trendy French speakers working in Software in all the shiny new buildings on the coast. Money everywhere, and the regions longest traffic jams - "Europe's California" indeed. Strange to think how different it all was twenty years ago.
posted by grahamwell at 1:36 PM on August 7, 2006


I’m not up on some of the details. I was curious about how Hizboullah kidnapped the soldiers. Whether they ran into Israel, grabbed some guys, and ran out or whether the Israeli soldiers were on the other side and were captured or what. Obviously there’s some discrepancy in language as well. But sort of a moot point either way when either side targets civilians. Although I can’t condemn the Israelis for ‘invading’ while disparaging them for indiscriminately killing. Troops are more focused that rockets (given certain conditions of course) and certainly more valuable.
I would have to slightly disagree one of with Pastabagel’s points in that a nuke set off anywhere by anyone opens the door to nuclear escalation everywhere. Obviously if it’s got to happen one would rather have it outside one’s own country. But I’d argue any nuke detonated anywhere puts us all in greater danger. I would go to or allow for great extremes to prevent that from happening.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:37 PM on August 7, 2006


Azaadistani-

You can look at Canada's National Post among other sources to see that the UN observers noted Hizbollah activity in the area of their post.

I think that the very complicated nature of this conflict has brought out that, even if you aren't sure that you like varied sources, such as YnetNews, Cursor, Debka, and Aljazeera all have something interesting to contribute.
posted by Adamchik at 1:44 PM on August 7, 2006


These are the same people who celebrated after 9/11.

Yea, them damn 5 dancing men
posted by rough ashlar at 1:54 PM on August 7, 2006


UNIFIL reported Wednesday Hezbollah fired four rockets at Israel "from the vicinity" of three UNIFIL positions in the area of Tibnin. UN emergency relief co-ordinator Jan Egeland has also branded Hezbollah "cowards" for using Lebanese civilians as human shields as they launch attacks on Israel or Israeli forces.

Yet so many in the west refuse to acknowledge this.

Hezbollah: We will setup our positions among the women and children and when we die as noble martyrs the Israelis might kill a woman or child. The west will blame them! Ha Ha!

The West: Baby-killing animals! I understand Hezbollah's rage now!

Those Hezbollah chaps are pretty clever.
(Hezbollah) Received as successful resistance fighters, they appeared armed to the teeth and dug rocket depots in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers! A local sheikh explained to me laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rocket depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians.
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 1:56 PM on August 7, 2006


fandango_matt - maybe it would help if the principals or their proxies were invited to the negotiating table. Instead there is stick waving at Hamas / Hizbullah and condonance of Israel's actions against the Lebanese state by Washington.
Lebanon and Gaza both have democratically elected governments even though US does not agree with Hamas.
The double standard is sickening. It seems to be the Europeans who are pressurising for a cease fire, unwanted by Israel and USA. Until the USA realises it is part of the problem it aint going to be part of the solution.
posted by adamvasco at 1:57 PM on August 7, 2006


Smedleyman . So, here is what happened to the soldiers to start this:

A reserve unit from the 5th Regiment of the Nahal light infanty division was doing a standard rotation on the border. It was considered an easy assignment, compared with being stationed in the territories, since there was little chance of something going wrong. This was the last of their 35 maximum days of reserve duty for the year. On the very last day of their reserve service, a two Hummer patrol travelled along the border road within Israel, and Hezbollah attacked.

Without prior warning, a heavy rocket attack began against Israeli bases and settlements along the northern border. This was designed as a destraction. The two-vehicle patrol itself came under Hezbollah fire, three soldiers and their Druze driver were killed, two were captured, and many others were injured in the nearby outpost where the patrol travelled from -- all reservists. Four more soldiers were killed when they attempted to try to go after the Hezbollah kidnappers.

Hezbollah crossed into Israel to carry out this attack, even they have said as much. The reservists were totally unprepared for what happened, generally, Hezbollah has limited itself to an occasional rocket or gun attack across the border, but this was a well-planned assault.
posted by blahblahblah at 2:00 PM on August 7, 2006


posted by adamvasco maybe it would help if the principals or their proxies were invited to the negotiating table. Instead there is stick waving at Hamas / Hizbullah and condonance of Israel's actions against the Lebanese state by Washington.
Lebanon and Gaza both have democratically elected governments even though US does not agree with Hamas.
The double standard is sickening. It seems to be the Europeans who are pressurising for a cease fire, unwanted by Israel and USA. Until the USA realises it is part of the problem it aint going to be part of the solution.


I'm not sure what is to be gained by negotiating with Hamas and Hezbollah, since their stated goals are the destruction of Israel. But perhaps someone smarter than me can answer that.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:04 PM on August 7, 2006


Violations of the blue line are not attacks on civilians or Hizbullah leadership.

No, they're not. Which is why they didn't start shooting them untill after israel responded with force after two people were kidnapped from the border.
posted by delmoi at 2:05 PM on August 7, 2006


I'm not sure what is to be gained by negotiating with Hamas and Hezbollah, since their stated goals are the destruction of Israel. But perhaps someone smarter than me can answer that.

Well, if you negotiated with them, they might change their goals? I mean duh.
posted by delmoi at 2:06 PM on August 7, 2006


Womyn are underrepresented in Hezbollah, and they need their own terrorist organization. They could call it Herbollah.

How about Lezbollah?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:08 PM on August 7, 2006


Allowing representation of Muslims would go against the Jewish framework that defines Zionism.

Explain that to the twelve current Arab-Israeli Knesset members.
posted by rottytooth at 2:09 PM on August 7, 2006


posted by delmoi Well, if you negotiated with them, they might change their goals? I mean duh.

Yeah, that's been tried, several times, and it doesn't seem to be working, does it?
posted by fandango_matt at 2:12 PM on August 7, 2006


Amway I'm a little bitter about the whole thing. It just seems like Israel is making a bunch of lame excuses to continue the violence and avoid progress. I mean, Hamas wins an election (against a highly corrupt PLO) and Israel response by cutting off the government.

Just because an organization once wrote a mission statement saying that they wanted to end Israel as a nation, which people interpret in the most violent way possible as calling for the death of all the Israelis it's irresponsible to claim that what they want in another holocaust.

The other problem is that, you know, goals can change. And one of the ways they can change is to negotiate. But Israel won't even attempt negotiation. They won't even try. They would actually prefer to run around killing people then even begin to negotiate. It's one thing if negotiations break down, but to not even try is, IMO, despicable.
posted by delmoi at 2:16 PM on August 7, 2006


Yeah, that's been tried, several times, and it doesn't seem to be working, does it?

What do you mean? I don't recall very many Israelis being killed at all until they started this campaign in Lebanon. Israel's discussions with Arafat and the PLO eventually resulted in the end of the last intafada and the creation of the Palestinian Authority. The PLO originally wanted Israel whipped off the map too.
posted by delmoi at 2:19 PM on August 7, 2006


Explain that to the twelve current Arab-Israeli Knesset members

Explain that to the Palestinians who can't vote in the elections, even though west bank settlers can. Why is that? The Israelis have, since Hamas one the last election arrested 40 members of their parliament. They may some day become their own country, but that day isn't anywhere close. So why can't they vote? Why haven't they ever been allowed to vote? Many of them were originally refugees from Israel proper.
posted by delmoi at 2:22 PM on August 7, 2006


I don't recall very many Israelis being killed at all until they started this campaign in Lebanon.

There were more than a few Israelis who were killed prior to the Israeli campaign in Lebanon.

This covers just up to June 2002.
posted by blucevalo at 2:24 PM on August 7, 2006


posted by delmoi What do you mean? I don't recall very many Israelis being killed at all until they started this campaign in Lebanon.

I guess you haven't been paying much attention for the past several years.

Israel's discussions with Arafat and the PLO eventually resulted in the end of the last intafada and the creation of the Palestinian Authority. The PLO originally wanted Israel whipped off the map too.

As I remember, Clinton got Israel to agree to give Arafat everything he wanted, and Arafat turned it down, preferring to continue his legacy of bloodshed instead of building on the peace and land he was offered.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:25 PM on August 7, 2006


Just because an organization once wrote a mission statement saying that they wanted to end Israel as a nation, which people interpret in the most violent way possible as calling for the death of all the Israelis it's irresponsible to claim that what they want in another holocaust.

Don't make me quote the Saddam song from South Park.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 2:25 PM on August 7, 2006


I notice all of the commentators from the Israeli govt on the BBC have South African and American accents. Why is it that immigrants are allowed to live in Israel just because they're Jewish but Arab families forced off their land are not and have to live in concentration camp-like squalor in Gaza? That is the problem, and if Hizbollah are for the "destruction of Israel" and the creation of a Palestine where all people can have equal rights regardless of race and religion, then I agree with 'em.
posted by dydecker at 2:25 PM on August 7, 2006


Just for the record, I think Hezbolla sucks and was certainly acting recklessly in kidnapping those solders, because they put all of Lebanon on the line by doing it. But, there was not really any way to anticipate the response.
posted by delmoi at 2:27 PM on August 7, 2006


Resolve that? The issue is, how many of those folks are pissed off simply by the fact Israel is. A lot of them won't be happy unless Israel is gone, and that's not really a good place to start from.

More the Reason to try and be a bit more neighborly no? If I move into a neighborhood where every one hates me, what would I try?

A) House Warming, invite the neighbors over for a barbecue and Lawn Games?

b) Kill the previous landlords (The British), blame the neighbors, take all the water for my lawn, start Fights on my lawn Buy Guns for my family and shoot anyone who complained BEFORE they got on my lawn?
posted by Elim at 2:27 PM on August 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Don't make me quote the Saddam song from South Park.

Southpark is the height of reasoned argument.
posted by delmoi at 2:28 PM on August 7, 2006


OH! and keep moving the Fence so I get a bigger lawn! I miss anything?
posted by Elim at 2:29 PM on August 7, 2006


this was a well-planned assault.

And one that was foretold, read about Operation Truthful Promise. Hezbollah told its supporters long ago that they would not rest until their last prisoners were out of jail. In the past they were able to grab or kill Israeli soldiers or civilians and barter for their remains or handover in exchange for prisoners. They obviously planned to do it again, and finally found their opportunity. In the end, they may end up getting their last prisoners out of Israeli jail, you watch.

I think it's terrible what's going on and that Hizbollah is a terrible force in the region. I feel that way about religious fanatics on both sides.

But I think Israel reaps what it sows. From the earliest days of the Jewish state, Sourthern Lebanon and its water was considered fair game for expansion of "greater Israel". Even pre-state, the Litani River, Hasbani River and the Wazzani Springs were recognized as key water sources for Israel's survival. Only problem is, they're in Lebanon.

Israel's invasion of Lebanon created a reason for Hizbollah to exist, and gave the poor Shi'a south respect, power, and importance. Before that they were the odd men out of Lebanon's Christian-Sunni power structure. Israel's atrocities, abuse of the South, and utter disregard for non-Israeli life turned millions into supporters and radicalized what had been a poor and undynamic region. Pulling out in 2000 only showed that the only way to get Israel to do what is essentially the right thing (leave land which doesn't belong to you) is to relentlessly battle them. The same lesson was learned with regards to the hundreds of prisoners Israel takes, often by midnight kidnapping such as we saw a few days ago from a hospital near Beirut. So what's happening now is not at all surprising, and has everything to do with Israel's desire for control if not possession of land and water and Hizbollah's desire for power and respect.
posted by cell divide at 2:29 PM on August 7, 2006


he issue is, how many of those folks are pissed off simply by the fact Israel is.

Given that Hizbollah was formed at time that Lebanon was occupied by Israel, I don't think that was their biggest problem.

What I don't get is why people think that Israel's enemies are all motivated by some innate, irrational, existential anti-Semitism rather then by Israelis actions. As if the only thing they could be upset about the fact that Israel exists rather then shit like what's going on in Lebanon right now.
posted by delmoi at 2:32 PM on August 7, 2006


if Hizbollah are for the "destruction of Israel" and the creation of a Palestine where all people can have equal rights regardless of race and religion [em. mine]


posted by boaz at 2:34 PM on August 7, 2006


Pulling out in 2000 only showed that the only way to get Israel to do what is essentially the right thing (leave land which doesn't belong to you) is to relentlessly battle them.

Exactly. And reacting with this spasm of violence tells Israel's neighbors that they can't be safe unless Israel really does go away, or forever forswears this kind of violence. I mean how can the people of Lebanon ever be certain some random nut-job won't fire a rocket into Israel? Things can seem fine, you have a blossoming democracy, and then all of a sudden in two weeks nearly a thousand people are dead and your infrastructure is destroyed. That kind of behavior makes people think that the only way to be safe is for you to go away.

What Israel should do is foster their own terrorist groups to fight Hizbollah gorilla style. I mean it sounds bad but in actuality a lot less people would get killed, and they wouldn't lose the moral high-ground as they have here.
posted by delmoi at 2:38 PM on August 7, 2006


"if Hizbollah are for the "destruction of Israel" and the creation of a Palestine where all people can have equal rights regardless of race and religion [em. mine] [unlikely]".

Well, if that were ever to happen, it would need to be driven from inside Israel. Even if a nation could invade Israel the Israelis would end up forming terrorist groups and it would just be another long bloody mess.

But honestly, what needs to happen is for everyone to just calm down. Cut out the violence as much as possible (which means Israel needs to stop responding to every provocation with a tantrum) in order for all this hatred and bitterness to wash away with time.
posted by delmoi at 2:42 PM on August 7, 2006


Pastabagel, A nuke is likely, but it wont end the fighting, just "break the taboo". U.S. hawks have had all the fancy toys for sooo long & can't use em'. But we might get lucky: Iran & Pakistan might stay out of it.

An interesting option here might be the following: Develop a gas weapon causing semi-permenent paralysis, but not usually death. Being paralyzed for months/years doesn't make you a mayrter, it just means you look stupid & your host country spends lots feeding you.

And Israel's hawk would look stupid too once Israel starts paying for the care of civilian casualties several years later. Everybody wins when war is too expensive to fight!
posted by jeffburdges at 2:43 PM on August 7, 2006


Cut out the violence as much as possible (which means Israel needs to stop responding to every provocation with a tantrum) in order for all this hatred and bitterness to wash away with time.

What planet are you living on? It will never wash away; the best we can hope for is an uneasy truce. If the human experience teaches us anything, it's that hatred and bitterness has a remarkable way of festering through generations -- as if ancient conflicts become encoded into descendents' DNA. And the ME is Exhibit A of this phenomenon.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:51 PM on August 7, 2006


I had a fantasy that 40,000 Chinese Soldiers decided to Park in South Lebanon, and dared BOTH sides to shoot at them. Ah it was a sweet dream.

I also had one about Batgirl and a walrus, but that ended badly..
posted by Elim at 2:52 PM on August 7, 2006


Oh cmon, delmoi, I was really just noting that Hezbollah isn't exactly a big supporter of religious freedom. You don't really need to continuously rephrase your one comment as a reply to each new post.
posted by boaz at 3:00 PM on August 7, 2006


Thanks, blahblahblah.

There are several options for a world response on the table and none of them should be driven by the left/right dichotomy in the United States. Mostly it seems to be Syriana driving Bush, which may be why many Jewish folks in the U.S. aren’t supporting him. Or not. Maybe it’s a pro-choice thing. Either way the JP said it (the U.S.’d like to see the war spread to Syria - Bush said it himself - “they need to get Syria to get Hezboulla to stop doing this shit”) the question is how.
In this Israel and the U.S. (under the current administration) interests might be at cross purposes. The Israelis have treaties with Jordan and Egypt, if it can get one with Lebanon that could reduce Hezboulla’s power - especially if Israel helps the Lebanese government extend it’s power to the borders.
The problem there - for the U.S. (under Bushco) and for Hezboulla (and Iran and Syria) is that would diminish our respective influences in the region. A lot of “let’s you and him fight” going on out there. I agree with Bush that an Israeli invasion is them defending themselves (from Hezboulla rockets) but to seriously argue that taking diplomacy off the table is an option is just plain stupid. Nor do I think anyone on the left is asserting the Israelis should just sit there and take a beating. In fact I haven’t seen many good ideas from any quarters.
What should stop in the U.S. however is attempts to own this conflict politically. I can’t see an advantage to being politically associated with anyone not aiming towards peace. And obviously that is exactly what the asshole elements (there, here, France) in this conflict are doing, playing to their own teams. There are compromises that can be reached and established as the new stability, but it doesn’t look like anyone wants that.

“What Israel should do is foster their own terrorist groups to fight Hizbollah gorilla style.”
Gorilla style:

posted by Smedleyman at 3:00 PM on August 7, 2006


Allowing representation of Muslims would go against the Jewish framework that defines Zionism.

Explain that to the twelve current Arab-Israeli Knesset members.


And what political power do they have? There's 120 members and they have 12 representatives! In the Israeli-occupied territories there are 2.4 million in the West Bank and around 1.4 million in Gaza. Israel's population is about 6.5 million. You do the math.
posted by j-urb at 3:01 PM on August 7, 2006


caddis says: Violations of the blue line are not attacks on civilians or Hizbullah leadership.

delmoi replies: No, they're not. Which is why they didn't start shooting them untill after israel responded with force after two people were kidnapped from the border.

But does so after this gem:
Without prior warning, a heavy rocket attack began against Israeli bases and settlements along the northern border. This was designed as a destraction. [ref: link]

So, I'm guessing that Katyusha rockets were not used in this attack? That Hiz'b'Allah was only promising not to use **THOSE** rockets over there, but these right here are still okay to shoot into Israel?

Boy, this can be confusing at times....
posted by dwivian at 3:06 PM on August 7, 2006


/sorry, JP = jerusalem post - July 30. Syriana - from the philosophical thrust to remake the middle east region to serve U.S. ends. Maybe the best thing that can happen long term is a balkinization out there that forces the region to work collectively to compete economically with the U.S. , European and Asian blocs. But that’s just me pissing in the wind really.
(and although I disagree, I’m not refuting your argument delmoi, just joking about the guerrila mispelling)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:12 PM on August 7, 2006


L
posted by Smedleyman at 3:13 PM on August 7, 2006


Hmm, rationality in a religious conflict? Nope.
posted by mischief at 3:16 PM on August 7, 2006


Without prior warning, a heavy rocket attack began against Israeli bases and settlements along the northern border. This was designed as a destraction. [ref: link]

Hmm, I didn't realize that rockets were used in the initial kidnapping. Still, the only people who died were the ones who followed them into Israel. Not that I'm defending Hizbolah's actions.
posted by delmoi at 3:16 PM on August 7, 2006


I had a fantasy that 40,000 Chinese Soldiers decided to Park in South Lebanon, and dared BOTH sides to shoot at them. Ah it was a sweet dream.

We should get the North Korens to do security.
posted by delmoi at 3:19 PM on August 7, 2006


I hear They Work Cheap...
posted by Elim at 3:21 PM on August 7, 2006


Koren = koran? Hmmmm
posted by Elim at 3:21 PM on August 7, 2006


Explain that to the twelve current Arab-Israeli Knesset members.

They would probably be able to explain it to you far better then you could to them.
posted by cell divide at 3:41 PM on August 7, 2006


"I hear They Work Cheap..."

I hear They Fight Crime!
posted by Smedleyman at 3:50 PM on August 7, 2006


delmoi: Still, the only people who died were the ones who followed them into Israel

Huh? Did you mean 'into Lebanon'? If so, you are in error.... from that same comment above:

The two-vehicle patrol itself came under Hezbollah fire, three soldiers and their Druze driver were killed, two were captured, and many others were injured in the nearby outpost where the patrol travelled from -- all reservists.

Now, if you meant "weren't killed by these here specific rockets....."

I'm still not getting why it is important, though. Hiz'b'Allah struck into Israel, fired rockets into Israel, killed people, captured military forces, and then acts all surprised when Israel does what it has often done -- overreacts.
posted by dwivian at 3:51 PM on August 7, 2006


I'm still not getting why it is important, though. Hiz'b'Allah struck into Israel, fired rockets into Israel, killed people, captured military forces, and then acts all surprised when Israel does what it has often done -- overreacts.

Yeah yeah, I agree with that Hizbolla "started it." I'm not trying to claim otherwise.
posted by delmoi at 3:55 PM on August 7, 2006


delmoi: Still, the only people who died were the ones who followed them into Lebanon*. Not that I'm defending Hizbolah's actions.

That is incorrect. Four soldiers (three reservists and a Druze driver) were killed in the initial attack within Israel, two were captured. Four more died in the pursuit (3 in a tank, one trying to rescue people in the tank after it was hit, if I remember correctly).

*You say "Israel" in your actual quote, but I think you mean Lebanon
posted by blahblahblah at 3:59 PM on August 7, 2006


I grew up as a semi-observant gentile in a semi-observant Jewish suburb of Baltimore, and I became aware of the partition of Israel not long after it happened. As a child I thought, “How can that work? You can’t just kick thousands of people out of their country and move new ones in.” I put it aside as one of those things that adults understand and kids don’t.

I’m well aware of the horrors of the holocaust. I had one language teacher who had tattoo numbers from Auschwitz on her forearm and another who served as an interpreter at the Nuremberg trials. Nevertheless its looking more and more like my first take on partition was right... and it scares the hell out of me.
posted by Huplescat at 5:58 PM on August 7, 2006


I blame Democracy.

From a post of mine the other day.
The way I saw it unfolding... Hamas was democratically elected, they continued their rhetoric and homemade rocket attacks on Israeli settlements. Right about the time they were going to fold into the PLO (which has already explicitly recognized Israel's right to exist), a Palestinian family was blown to pieces on a beach. Then the first Israeli soldier was kidnapped in response, then the tanks rolled back into Gaza in response, and THEN Hezbollah did their raid in response...then Israel carried out an already planned military excursion to destroy Lebanon's infrastructure and to try to terrorize the Lebanese people into submission. Sorry, but chasing away nearly 1,000,000 civilians from their homes by destroying entire neighborhoods can only be called "terrorism"...at least by sane people.
This has unfolded since the election in Patestine.

A quote I saw the other day illustrates how misguided the idea of democratic-pixie-dust can be..

"Reactionary [extremist] Islam does not fear elections, it wins them"
posted by wah at 6:09 PM on August 7, 2006


I blame Democracy.

Say what you want about democracy, but I think Israeli democracy is the problem. If it were not a democracy, if it was not a democracy, it could have solved the Palestinian problem. Either ejected them, or made peace. Plus it wouldn't have to worry about voting rights -- since no one could vote. Instead you end up with this absurd bloody compromise.
posted by delmoi at 6:45 PM on August 7, 2006


That is incorrect. Four soldiers (three reservists and a Druze driver) were killed in the initial attack within Israel, two were captured. Four more died in the pursuit (3 in a tank, one trying to rescue people in the tank after it was hit, if I remember correctly).

You know you would think that the mainstream news would spend a lot more time discussing exactly how this thing started, but if you watch CNN you'd think that Hizbollah was just firing rockets into Israel at random for years before this started. In fact, that is what I thought for a while.
posted by delmoi at 6:48 PM on August 7, 2006


delomoi: but if you watch CNN you'd think that Hizbollah was just firing rockets into Israel at random for years before this started. In fact, that is what I thought for a while

You'd be right. Hezbollah has fired rockets for years into Israel, without direct response. For example:

In November, 2005, Hezbollah fired katushyas at Israeli towns and sent a force over the border.

And in December, 2005, Hezbollah fired Katushyas at Israeli border towns.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:04 PM on August 7, 2006


It is really upsetting that people don't know the history of Hezbollah attacks across the international border. Delmoi, why did you come to believe that Hezbollah was not carrying out random rocket attacks?

In addition to the incidents above, Hezbollah kidnapped and killed three soldiers in 2000. It attacked (unprovoked) in 2001 (many, many times). In 2002, there were at least 5 seperate Katushya attacks on towns: Kiryat Shmona, Kfar Yuval, Ein Kinya and Majdel Shams were hit over the course of several months. There was also a shooting attack in 2002 that killed five civilians, and many more incidents....
posted by blahblahblah at 7:21 PM on August 7, 2006


on the phone

Olmert---Well, we plan to blow a few things up and then make the trade.

Cheney----No, no. Go for it. Shoot the works across Lebanon and make a good demonstration on the border.

Olmert----Huh?

Cheney---Suuuuurrre. Listen. You start blasting Shiites in Lebanon and that's bound to get Iran's back up

Olmert---Get Iran's back up?

Cheney (smirk beginning to deploy across his face)-----Of course. We want them to do something stupid.

Olmert---Get them to do something stupid?

Cheney ( rolling his eyes)----If Iran does almost anything, I got U.S, public opinion on my side to pound them. That story about your soldier being taken to Iran? That was mine. That story about your soldier in the Iranian embassy in Damascus? That was mine. Heck, every bad thing on the cables you hear about Iran is mine.

Olmert---You wanna invade Iran?

Cheney-----Oh hell no. We just wanna pound them for a bit. The voters love that stuff. Then, when we begin to warn of Iranian revenge, we get the cling tight voters who are scared.

Olmert----Huh? Look, Dick, I don't know about.....

Cheney-----Come on, buck up! It will be fun. Look. You just take care of the Lebanon stuff and we'll take care of the Iranian stuff. Won't be long before we double your...hell triple your aid package. You could do a lot with 9 billion a year, you know.

Olmert----Well, I guess it would be OK.

Cheney---Trust me. I'm an expert at this stuff.
posted by wrapper at 7:42 PM on August 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hilarious if it's not so tragic

Some people, once, found excuses for Nazis or Apharteid or Red Khmers atrocities and now they are finding excuses for Israel for more than decades of occupation, apharteid, deportation, .....

So much for freedom
posted by zouhair at 7:52 PM on August 7, 2006


Say what you want about democracy, but I think Israeli democracy is the problem. If it were not a democracy, if it was not a democracy, it could have solved the Palestinian problem. Either ejected them, or made peace. Plus it wouldn't have to worry about voting rights -- since no one could vote. Instead you end up with this absurd bloody compromise.
posted by delmoi at 6:45 PM PST on August 7


My friend, the will of the people is the only will.

Totalitarianism is never the answer, whatever the cost. Whatever the cost.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:02 PM on August 7, 2006


I thought the juxtaposition of these two articles in the CSM was pretty interesting: Israeli Refugee Camp - Lebanese Refugee Camp.

Specifically, that Palestinian refugees were playing host to Lebanese refugees .... and that the Israeli refugee camp has a water slide and a theater.
posted by boaz at 8:21 PM on August 7, 2006


You'd be right. Hezbollah has fired rockets for years into Israel, without direct response. For example:

Two incidents is not really that big of a deal. Certanly not big enough on a day-to-day basis to justify this response.
posted by delmoi at 8:39 PM on August 7, 2006


Totalitarianism is never the answer, whatever the cost. Whatever the cost.

Eh, look at Egypt or Jordan. A monarchy and a dictatorship, and they've had piece with Israel for decades.
posted by delmoi at 8:42 PM on August 7, 2006


Got to love it when the mouthbreathers like ghost of ken lay start smashing away spastically (in that special-ed way) at their strawmen. It's so cute how they're unable to back up anything with facts.

Like:

So? The American left cares not for such trivialties. As long as they can find a new justification for agreeing on the happy fact that an aggressive defense is 100% wrong because it harshes the mellow. Anything more than a bullet aimed at hitler's heart is a war crime, ya know.

Which is clearly not the case with the people on this thread who are critical of Israeli policy in this current war. Fuck, we all know about the truth's liberal bias, right? So much better to strip down your political enemy's argument into some oversimplification that it's not rather than actually attempt to take it on vis a vis its merits.

Or Arch_Stanton, with his adorable attempts at sarcasm, trying to belittle people by questioning their actual commitment to the concept that yes, this is a complex issue even if we believe that Israel's military leadership is conducting itself in a vile manner. Of course we all know he has trouble with complex things like counting above five. That's why he avoids 'em like the plague. I'm guessing the 'we don't like what Israel is doing even if we also don't like Hezbollah' thing probably makes him feel like his head's going to explode. You know what douchey? I hate Hezbollah. I hate all extreme religious bastards. I hate everyone who tries to settle problems with violence. You can take that to the bank. And I despise Israel's treatment of Palestinians for a half century, as well as their destruction of Lebanon. All at the same God-damn time. It just so happens that my country is backing Israel in this clusterfuck. But go ahead back to sucking on your fingers, because I know you can't get your little mind around that.

In other words, you're both a couple of mouthbreathers and dishonest cowards. Hey, are you guys actually Cheney and Rumsfeld in disguise?! That would be so cool.
posted by the_savage_mind at 8:45 PM on August 7, 2006


Hezbollah has everything to gain by prolonging this conflict as long as possible. As long as Israel continues to bomb Lebanon, Hezbollah trades the lives of a few current members for support, recognition, and winning future members from other Middle East and Muslim nations with extremist groups. Never mind the complete erasure of Lebanon's progress and citizenry who have nothing to do with this conflict - the innocents killed are labeled as martyrs to the cause under the propoganda machine.

Israel can't voluntarily back down now: there's too much at stake. Olmert has promised to dismantle Hezbollah at any cost and protect its citizens with unlimited force. Quitting now just invites all two-bit extremist groups to start kidnapping soldiers. There's really not much else to say.

The big winner? Iran. The world has completely forgotten about their nuclear program and its popularity profile has gone up considerably for being supportive of Hezbollah.

Sigh. I think it will come down to Middle East nations pushing Hezbollah and the Western world pushing Israel to secret ceasefire talks or Israel getting into an all-out war with its neighbors. There's just too much pride on the line for open, official negotiations.
posted by junesix at 9:03 PM on August 7, 2006


Eric Hofferwas a longshoreman who turned into a
philosopher, wrote columns for newspapers and some books. He was a non-Jewish American social philosopher. He wrote nine books and won the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here is one of his columns from 1968.

ISRAEL'S PECULIAR POSITION by Eric Hoffer (LA Times 5/26/68)


The Jews are a peculiar people: Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.

Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no
refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it, Turkey threw
out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out
heaven knows how many Chinese-and no one says a word about refugees.
But in the case of Israel the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees.
Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee
calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed
by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace
terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace .

Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover but should Israel be
defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June [1967] he would
have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save
the Jews. No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is
worth the paper it is written on .

There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or
when two Blacks are executed in Rhodesia. But when Hitler slaughtered Jews
no one remonstrated with him. The Swedes, who are ready to break off
diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did not let out a
peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and
ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.

The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely
because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at this moment Israel is our
only reliable and unconditional ally. We can rely more on Israel than Israel
can rely on us. And one has only to imagine what would have happened last
summer [1967] had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war to realize how
vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.

I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will
it go with all of us. Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us.
posted by semmi at 9:05 PM on August 7, 2006


Oh, and as usual the US will turn a blind eye and stick with a no comment stance. And after a few months of this carnage, call in the support of the UN (that has been denouncing this conflict the whole time to no effect), talk about the negotiations it has initiated between Israel and Lebanon (even though the other party should be Hezbollah), and then claim all the credit as soon as there's a lull in fighting.

US maintains great relations with Israel for not denouncing its over-aggressive actions, maintains positive/neutral relations with other Middle East nations for not denouncing Hezbollah/Muslim extremism, and once again pats itself on the back for being a promoter of peace and democracy.
posted by junesix at 9:18 PM on August 7, 2006


semmi, I think that shows how much has changed in 40 years.
Had Nasser triumphed last June [1967] he would
have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save
the Jews. No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is
worth the paper it is written on .
This is crap. If there were an invasion that threatened to destroy, utterly and completely destory, Israel, there would be an international outcry, at there is while Israel seems bent on destroying Lebanon.

The world community has changed in that it seems to favor the underdogs. Israel is no longer an underdog, not with $5B a year in military aid.

This is why Israel's constant use of the "they're trying to kill us (with rocks)" excuse is wearing a bit thin.

The IDF mission statement is wrong. Israel is now strong enough to actually lose a war and survive. They are still acting like they aren't.
posted by wah at 9:23 PM on August 7, 2006


wah - what exactly do you think is the goal of Hezbollah? Or Hamas? Or Iran? It is exactly as it appears in semmi's post - to thoroughly and utterly destroy Israel. Now - what do you think Israel's goal is? To destroy Lebanon? To kill every Arab that inhabits a country that borders Israel? Or to live in peace?

As for the underdog question - I personally think it's bullshit, numbers and strength ought not be confused with what's right. That said, there are, what - 1 billion Arabs on the planet and something like 20 million Jews? There are how many Arab member states in the UN? And how man Jewish ones? People cite the US exercising veto power in the UN on Israel's behalf like it's some kind of proof that there's a Jewish conspiracy. In fact, it seems pretty logical to me that the UN cannot be trusted to make impartial judgements where Israel is concerned - precisely because Israel is so VASTLY outnumbered in the UN and in the world community.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:09 PM on August 7, 2006


fingers, Hizbollah's goal is not to kill every Jew in Israel, as you seem to be implying. It is the dismantling of Israel as a Zionist entity. Big difference.

And every country is vastly outnumbered in the UN and in the world community. A Jewish state is as silly an idea as an Arab one, the difference is that Israel pretends to be a democracy while it practises state-sponsored racism whereas Saudi Arabia et al admit they live in the thirteenth century.
posted by dydecker at 11:49 PM on August 7, 2006


"The assault on Lebanon was premeditated - the soldiers' capture simply provided the excuse. It was also unnecessary."
George Monbiot
and fandago_matt - No dialogue No solution - as shown by both IRA + ETA.
posted by adamvasco at 12:08 AM on August 8, 2006


Hizbollah's goal is not to kill every Jew in Israel, as you seem to be implying. It is the dismantling of Israel as a Zionist entity. Big difference.

Please explain, in as much detail as possible, what "dismantling of Israel as a Zionist entity" involves.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:18 AM on August 8, 2006


It involves putting Arabs back in power and then allowing the Jews to be mercilessly persecuted by the Arabs, including of course being killed en masse for the crime of being Jewish, until they flee to the US which will accept them as refugees. That is the plan.
posted by caddis at 12:39 AM on August 8, 2006


oh ye of little faith. it involves people of different races learning to live together on the same street, which might not be about to happen. But I fail to see why reasonable people who can't get with this idea should support one side over the other in the meantime.
posted by dydecker at 1:25 AM on August 8, 2006


I wish, I wish ... I wish that history were different and that the United States had stepped forward and become the Jewish homeland after World War II. THAT would have been so much cooler, for the U.S. as well as for the world.

I wish that governments in the Middle East weren't religious or that if they have to be religious they would follow human rights principles for the minority groups.

Well, clearly I'm on crack.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 1:26 AM on August 8, 2006


Please explain, in as much detail as possible, what "dismantling of Israel as a Zionist entity" involves.

That's easy, it means that Israel and the occupied territories become a single, secular, true democracy with universal suffrage under a new name and governmental structure. With no extra-special privileges for people, especially those who aren't even citizens, because they are 'racially' jewish.

Fuck right of return for diaspora! Fuck it in it's "lets stack the deck so we can pretend to be a democracy" asshole.
posted by blasdelf at 1:52 AM on August 8, 2006


Whatever Hezbollah's stated aim regarding the state of Israel is (kill all the Jews according to the right, replace the *regime* according to the left) it can be pretty obvious to everyone that it is impossible.

Israel says that Hezbollah had about 20,000 rockets. They have fired more than 2000 in the last month and managed to kill... 94 Israelis, most of them soldiers.

So lets look at Israels stated aims: Stop the rocket attacks, destroy Hezbollah and return the soldiers... So far we have seen that each day, Hezbollah are able to fire more and more rockets (90/day in the first week, 190/day last week), with attacks reaching further into Israel than ever before, and no sign of the kidnapped soldiers.

In the meantime Israel have radicalzed the Lebanese population so much that Hezbollah has more support than ever, and there have been more Israeli casualties in the past month than in the past few years.


Fandango_matt: what exactly do you think is the goal of Hezbollah?
Ignoring the 'kill hte Djoos!!1' rhetoric, which after all is just as irrelevant and pointless the 'kill all the arabs' rhetoic of extremist Israelis (and Ann Coulter), I believe Hezbollah's aims are:
* Returning of the Lebanese prisoners held by Israel
* Return of the Shebaa Farms
* Get the southern Lebanon land-mine map
* Stop Israel invading Lebanese territory (land, sea and air)

If these aims were met, it would remove the reason for the existance of Hezbollah's military wing, and the majority of Lebanese would call for them to disband, or become a part of the Lebanese army (sadly, if Israels response would have been more proportionate, this would have probably have happened anyway)
posted by nielm at 3:50 AM on August 8, 2006


Many nations, states, and empires arond the world have lasted millenia in a consistant form. But never in the holy lands. The holy lands are the one place on earth so coveted that no nationn there in recorded history has ever lasted even more than a paltry 300 years.

Israel is fucked. Whichever moron had the bright idea to set up the nation there ensured that it would never see peace, nor last more than a few generations. The founders of Israel wrote the inevitable destruction of Israel into the very fibre of Israel. Smart fucking move. America won't be waxing forever, and the way Bush is taking things, sooner rather than later, Israel's military stength will be evaporating, yet new generations of hate are being created all around.

What has all this got to do with the state of affairs today? Not much, or quite a bit. Whatever. I'm quietly hopeful for a new global diplomacy that isn't sabotaged, but this is my pessimism.

Alternatively, if you're the right type of religious, this suggests the world might end in your lifetime, because judgement day apparently needs an Israel, and if Israel cannot be expected to last very long, then presumably the end of the world happens before then.

Um, ouch.

The end is nigh! You heard it here first folks :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 4:17 AM on August 8, 2006


delmoi: Two incidents is not really that big of a deal. Certanly not big enough on a day-to-day basis to justify this response.

Again, if you read my second post, you would see that Hezbollah has fired rockets (or morters) at Israeli towns much more than twice - the two incidents I mentioned in my first post were in November and December, 2005. There were many others, for which the UN has criticized Hezbollah, and then done nothing.

The hope has always been, on the Israeli side, and especially the Israeli left, that if they did what the international community wanted, they would be supported by the international community. Lebanon is such a source of anger because Israel exactly followed UN procedures, and was still subject to cross-border attacks, and nobody seemed to care.

nielm: Israel says that Hezbollah had about 20,000 rockets. They have fired more than 2000 in the last month and managed to kill... 94 Israelis, most of them soldiers.

But their capabilities have been growing exponentially. The Katushyas are only good against civilians in the open, filled with ball bearings as they are (what a wonderful defensive weapon!). The newer weapons, like the Zelzams, can do much, much more damage, and Iran was sending more. Do you think that it would have been better for this conflict to happen later, from an Israeli perspective?


I believe Hezbollah's aims are:
* Returning of the Lebanese prisoners held by Israel
* Return of the Shebaa Farms


And Shebaa Farms is an entirely manufactured excuse. The UN didn't support it, and even Syria won't officially agree that the Farms are Lebanese. As for the Lebanese prisoners, there are three of them. One killed a family of four and admitted it, by the way. I don't think anyone believes that Hezbollah would have simply disarmed if these conditions were met, rather than finding another causus belli. Perhaps some source that supports your view?

nielm: If these aims were met, it would remove the reason for the existance of Hezbollah's military wing, and the majority of Lebanese would call for them to disband, or become a part of the Lebanese army (sadly, if Israels response would have been more proportionate, this would have probably have happened anyway)

Any evidence for this? Israel responded proportionality in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, was Hezbollah disarmed?
posted by blahblahblah at 5:40 AM on August 8, 2006


Has there been any proof that the Israeli soldiers are even still alive? As soon as Israel started pounding Lebanon, it seems it would have been in Hezbollah's interests to kill the kidnapped Israeli soldiers right away. This 1) prevents Israeli from "winning" by covert rescue of the soldiers and 2) prevents Hezbollah from looking weak and incompetent (for not being able to hide its prisoners from the Israeli army).
posted by junesix at 7:33 AM on August 8, 2006


Do you realy think they give a f*** about those two soldiers?

As America needs an enemy continuosily (so they can spend more money on defense than on any other part of american life), so is Israel, In need of a war to wage so the american help (money money) never ends.

The problem is this help will end sooner or later, and I bet sooner, then the policy of kill and then talk will turn over Israel.

Even now almost 70 to 80% of palestinians want peace, but I doubt the Israeli population is on the same peacefull mood, only because they know they have more guns and they can wipe all arabs around, but they are wrong, they only can make those arabs more extremists.

Jews lived in Jerusalem under islamic rules peacefully for years and years, and now under jewish rules they live in hell.
posted by zouhair at 7:53 AM on August 8, 2006


zouhair - you mean, like having rocks thrown at them as they went to pray at the Western Wall? Yup, I agree - Jerusalem under Palestinian rule was the embodiment of religious tolerance. What we need to do is return ALL of Israel to Arab rule - I'm sure the safety of the Jews will be well taken care of. Just ask the Iranian Jewish community.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:17 AM on August 8, 2006


Is it at all possible to even mention Israel without the most grotesque false dilemmas coming up? It seems that's what most Israel-related discussions amount to.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:20 AM on August 8, 2006


zouhair: Even now almost 70 to 80% of palestinians want peace, but I doubt the Israeli population is on the same peacefull mood, only because they know they have more guns and they can wipe all arabs around


You know what this discussion needs? More demonization. Please get your facts straight, at least, because, as of May, 70% of the Israeli public supported negotiation. And, while many Palestinians support the ida of peace, there is also between 29% and 77% support for suicide bombings (depending on which bombing) against Israeli civilians as well. (The PSR, a Palestinian think-tank, has a lot of interesting poll data, for those interested). This is not a simple problem.

And, despite your assertion, Israelis certainly cares quite a bit about captured soldiers, historically. They traded 436 prisoners for 3 bodies in the past. Besides which, a large part of the support for the war is not about the soldiers, but rather about the Israeli perspective that there are repeated unprovoked attacks over an international border by an increasingly well-armed militia.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:22 AM on August 8, 2006


Oops, should have linked directly to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) mentioned above. The latest poll data is that 56% of Palestinians support violence against civilians in Israel and 61% support recognition of Israel if Israel recognizes a Palestinian state.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:30 AM on August 8, 2006


Is it at all possible to even mention Israel without the most grotesque false dilemmas coming up?

No. At least not in my experience (which is more than passing).
posted by wah at 9:35 AM on August 8, 2006


Blahblahblah, I call bullshit.

Israel aggressively invaded and occupied Lebanon for 18 years... did THAT disarm Hizbollah?

Fuck no. And you know it. It created and strengthened Hizbollah.

And this new invasion (and ultimately occupation) will do the same... only worse because of the flames fanned by the US occupation of Iraq.

This illegal invasion of a sovereign nation, that is disproportionate killing of hundreds of innocent harmless civilians— women and children, will do nothing but create more problems and enemies for Israel.

Israel in three weeks has destroyed an entire country. Displaced nearly a million people form their homes. Killed hundreds... eventually thousands as this goes on.

And you sit there and claim that as "Self defense?"

Shame on you.
posted by tkchrist at 9:43 AM on August 8, 2006


Since when did Lebanon change it's name to Hezbollanon? I must have missed that Rand-McNally map supplement.
posted by JJ86 at 9:56 AM on August 8, 2006


Re-thought my balkinization idea. It occurs to me that at the time, that’s the sort of thing the Brits were doing, setting up governments intrinsically at odds with each other. The trick would be to lay down something - an incentive not a negative incentive (like a nuclear exchange) - that all parties have to cooperate to get into. The UN (or the U.S.) could do that, if anyone wanted it to.
*refuses to get further into issues in the thread without a set of tire chains*
posted by Smedleyman at 10:04 AM on August 8, 2006


oh ye of little faith. it involves people of different races learning to live together on the same street, which might not be about to happen.

Is this your idea of a detailed explanation? Let me guess, the first step to achieving your happy vision is "steal underpants."
posted by Krrrlson at 10:13 AM on August 8, 2006


Since when did Lebanon change it's name to Hezbollanon?

Since the government of Lebanon offered public support and praise for the Hezbollah and thanked it for its actions.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:14 AM on August 8, 2006


tkchrist: Blahblahblah, I call bullshit....And you sit there and claim that as "Self defense?"

...err, I am confused. about what exactly you are calling "bullshit" on, really. Can you please quote what you objected to?

Of course Israel created Hezbollah during its occupation, and then it left Lebanon, as Hezbollah demanded, forced out by their guerilla attacks. So Hezbollah won, and liberated Lebanon... But then Hezbollah continued to attack purely civilian targets in Israel over the last five years, creating new casus belli to justify them. What, exactly, was anyone doing to prevent these attacks from happening? I'd like an example, please.

And, you are throwing the word illegal and disproporiate around alot, I don't think you know what those words mean in this context -- proportionality is not an obligation in war, nor is entering hostile territory illegal. Protecting civilians certainly is an obligation. Any attempts by Israel to purposefully harm civilians should be roundly condemned, as should the use of rockets by Hezbollah purely against civilian targets.

So stop with your ridiculous "shame on you" - I never said that cvilian deaths were justified, or that Israel has a right to do whatever it wants. I did say why Israelis feel the way they do, and the (undisputed) history of Hezbollah attacks on Israeli territory. That does not negate the suffering of the Lebanese in this war, but it does explain why Israel decided to take action, whether or not you believe that action is justified, and that is all I was stating.

Feel free to reread my posts, and next time, be a little less bombastic and a little more balanced.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:16 AM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


Krrrlson, I am no expert on Israel or Palestine. Never claimed to be and usually avoid these threads like the plague. I have no detailed explanation for how to get there from here, but it seems to be inevitable that the only way this 50-year war is going to stop is if Palestinians/Israelis work out a way to live together in the secular state of Israelistan where all vote and live with equal rights under the law. You might scoff that this is hopelessly niave hippy bullshit, but billions of people round the world do the same thing every day without managing to kill each other, and one day that area of the world will too.

Maybe not in my lifetime though.
posted by dydecker at 10:41 AM on August 8, 2006


One million arabs live in Israel in peace, if not with fully equal rights. Day to day life between Jews and Arabs in Israel is peaceful-- the two CAN live together, they are more alike then they are different. It's the leaders on both sides who use the differences to enhance their own powerbase. In the end if there is to be peace, it will probably have to come from an outside framework, ensure equal rights for all, and then take a long time of non-response to provocative violence from fringe groups to maintain.
posted by cell divide at 11:07 AM on August 8, 2006


Can someone tell me what rights Israeli Arabs don't have? I understand that the situation is FAR from perfect, prejudices run deep and discrimination is rampant. But it's also my understanding that Israeli Arabs in theory have all the rights of any citizen of the state of Israel. The only difference I can think of that rings a bell is that Arabs are not required to serve in the army.

Again, I mean this as an honest question - I'm not asserting that life for Israeli Arabs is peachy. But sometimes it is inferred if not outright asserted that there is institutionalized, codified racism. Can someone expand on this?
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:40 AM on August 8, 2006


a handy summary
posted by dydecker at 12:12 PM on August 8, 2006


Good link dydecker.
This just about sums it up: "What most Westerners fail to recognize is that Israel as an ethnically exclusive Jewish state is fundamentally incompatible with the definition of Israel as a democracy. Israel can be a Jewish state or a democracy, but not both."
posted by adamvasco at 12:31 PM on August 8, 2006


Good. Now can someone show me where it is stated that Israel aspires to be an ethnically exclusive state? Near as I can tell, the goal of the founding fathers of Israel was to provide a home for Jews on the land that they believed was their birthright, so that Jews could freely practice their religion without the constant fear of pogrom/holocaust that has plagued them for 3000 years. This goal and religious tolerance are NOT mutually exclusive. You leave us alone to worship, we'll leave you alone.

Tom Friedman made the same point some 20 years ago in From Beirut to Jerusalem, except he was a bit more subtle about it. Paraphrase: only two of the three conditions can ever be met at the same time - that Israel exist (1) as a Democracy (2) with a Jewish majority (3) on the land that it currently occupies.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 12:51 PM on August 8, 2006


Blah it was this quote:

Israel responded proportionality in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, was Hezbollah disarmed?

The implication of which is that this current disproportionate response by Israel is therefore justified and will achieve a cessation of hostilities by Hezbollah.

And this invasion is NOT justified. Israel has merely handed the region to extremists.

proportionality is not an obligation in war

Oh.It's WAR, now? Since when has Israel declared war on Lebanon? Show me where they have said this? This is "supposedly" an "incursion" against Hezbollah "strong-holds." Riiiiiight.

So, naturally we have to blow the fuck out of Lebanese cities and civilians. You know. To incur.

Is is interdiction? Incursion? Or war?


I never said that civilian deaths were justified, or that Israel has a right to do whatever it wants.


Get out. You can't have it both ways.

Let me paraphrase you then. Correct me if I'm mistaken (as I'm sure you will as you hem and haw with more duplicitous spin). But here is your argument thus far:

Blah: "It's ok to use disproportionate force that we know up front will inevitably, but indirectly, result in massive civilian casualties and eviscerate a nation... but deliberate targeting... well that should be condemned."

oooh. "condemned"

Howz about not done in the first place, eh?
Shame on you again. That is some fucked up thinking.
posted by tkchrist at 1:18 PM on August 8, 2006


tkchrist - let me get this straight - ISRAEL is responsible for the extremist presence in the region? NOT Iran or Syria - you know, the people who actually give the extremists MONEY and WEAPONS. And it's not the fault of the people who paint Israel as the source of all evil in the world while ruling their populations with an iron fist? And it's not the fault of the rhetoriticians who indoctrinate children from a young age with hatred of all things Jewish? No, it's ISRAEL's fault that there are extremists in the region?

To quote you - that is some fucked up thinking.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:25 PM on August 8, 2006


ISRAEL is responsible for the extremist presence in the region?

That's not what tkchrist said. He said Israel has handed the region to the extremists with this current action.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:33 PM on August 8, 2006


ISRAEL is responsible for the extremist presence in the region?

All extremists? Did I say that? No. Israel IS responsible for the rise and creation of Hezbollah with their previous 18 year occupation of that country. This is a fact.

That Iran and others fund Hezbollah is simply an easily exploited and logical use of proxies against a perceived enemy. Much as the US did in Central and South America and Africa.

Nice Strawman. Please continue with asking me if I still beat my wife.
posted by tkchrist at 1:34 PM on August 8, 2006


tkchrist- In addition to randomly accusing me of duplicitous spin, and engaging in random tsk-tsking, your response alternates wildly between ends and means, and you ignore my initial questions.

For example, you said that you objected to this sentence: "Israel responded proportionality in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, was Hezbollah disarmed?" Again, what I wrote is true, of course, so your stated reason for outrage at me is that: "The implication of which is that this current disproportionate response by Israel is therefore justified and will achieve a cessation of hostilities by Hezbollah."

And your alternative is, what? Continued attacks across an international border? Your posturing seems to be ignoring the fact that Hezbollah has repeatedly attacked Israel for five years, even after the UN certified the Israeli withdrawal, firing rockets at civilian cities and towns. I asked you about this before, and you seemed to studiously ignore it. It looks like Israel has a better chance to disarm Hezbollah through this fight than it did through five years of effort through the UN.

Oh.It's WAR, now? Since when has Israel declared war on Lebanon? Show me where they have said this? This is "supposedly" an "incursion" against Hezbollah "strong-holds." Riiiiiight.

Yes, it is war. And the attack across the border was an incontrovertable casus bellum, by the way, making the Israeli response entirely legal under international law. But you can't declare formal war on a non-state actor, though Nasrallah declared "open warfare" against Israel. So your statement is, in fact, ridiculous, as there is a de facto (if not de jure) state of war between Hezbollah, the occupying power in Southern Lebanon, and Israel. And, of course, in your view, Hezbollah has no responsibility for its actions as an irregular army whose headquarters and strategic locations are intermixed with civilian structures, all illegal under the rules of war.

Look, you can easily object to the means ("Israel shouldn't bomb Beruit" or "Israel should not enter Lebanese territory" or whatever) but the ends ("Hezbollah needs to be stopped from attacking Israel") seems less subject to argument. You seem to alternate about which of these facts you object to, which makes it unclear about what you are trying to argue, besides hurling invective my way.
posted by blahblahblah at 1:48 PM on August 8, 2006


As an addendum, this does not excuse any Israeli war crimes in bellum, but to say Israel was not justified in using force ad bellum flies in the face of both law and international opinion. Further, the attacks on the airport, roads, and infrastructure are legal if there is reasonable belief that combatants were using them for military purposes, through whether they were strategically smart is another issue.

And yes, this language is distant from the fact that actual people are being killed on both sides, a fact that has had a much more direct impact on me this month than on you, I guarantee. But you keep making accusations about proportionality and legality in war that are just plain incorrect, so I am trying to point out your errors. Feel free to continue your ad hominem attacks, if you would like, of course, as this is a MeFi thread about Israel, so I expect no less.
posted by blahblahblah at 2:06 PM on August 8, 2006


Spin. Spin. Spin and obsfucation.
I like this "which facts you object to" bullshit. Like I HAVE to choose or I can't object anything. Jesus buddy. What Israel is doiing is immoral. They are killing hundreds of innocent people for an objective doomed to fail. What about that can you not understand?

So. No, you look.

I can easily object to the grotesque use of military force against a piss-ant foe that is no direct serious strategic threat to Israel. I can object to the gross distortion of fact that Isaels PR machine and you are generating about the justifications, intentions and causes of this invasion.

Nasrallah declared open warfare? Oh PAH-lease. Do you seriously think Hezbollah's can take over Israel? That Hezbollah can destroy the state of Israel? The Israel that has nukes and a GDP 10 thousand times that of Hezbollah? Do you seriously think that? If you do, your smoking something.

Take away the kooky Islamic rhetoric by Hezbollah and this was a border skirmish. Part of an on going border skirmish that Israel has had with it's neighbors since it's inception. Tell me. How many civilians has Hezbollah killed. Hezbollah. Not the PLO or Hamas. Total. Give me a number?

How many has Israel killed in the last three weeks alone? 200? 300? How many will die in thext three? 1000? 2000? This is indefensible. Period.

Border disputes and terrorist attacks. They happen all over the world. Every day. And they can be settled with diplomacy and or selective use of special operations forces. Not tanks. Not bombing cities.

This invasion of Lebanon is all about Israel's contentions with Iran. Not Hezbollah. And the Lebanese people suffer in the mean time.

And of course I object to the means? I object to WARFARE as the means. Don't YOU?

And, yeah, I'm hurling invective. But, golly. Anybody that can so camly defend the kind of slaughter Israel is perpetrating deserves maybe a little invective.

Please do not bother to repley. I'm too pissed off and this will get nasty.
posted by tkchrist at 2:21 PM on August 8, 2006


tkchrist -- I don't want you to "get nasty," though your repeated ad hominem attacks are annoying. To answer your question, thirty-six people were killed and over a hundred injured, by Hezbollah's cross-border attacks in the last 5 years, since the UN declared that Israel had complied with all requirements, but before this war. And things have been getting worse: Hezbollah has also been receiving missles that can kill hundreds, but this war broke out before they obtained over a dozen. I appreciate that you believe that this situation was tolerable and just, but you are niave if you believe "this could settled with diplomacy and or selective use of special operations forces" -- both have been tried.

And of course I object to warfare, and civilian deaths, and I have stopped beating my wife.
posted by blahblahblah at 2:36 PM on August 8, 2006


You stopped beating your wife? Pfft. Pussywhipped.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:55 PM on August 8, 2006


Hezbullah kills 36 innocents over five years.

VS.

Israel 300 innocents in three weeks.

Look at that a couple of times. See where this is headed?

diplomacy and or selective use of special operations forces" -- both have been tried.

Obviously not hard enough. They gave up after only 5 years of "trying."

I like this logic. They tried invasion and occupation before - for 18 frigg'n years - but, hey, maybe this one will take.
posted by tkchrist at 5:29 PM on August 8, 2006


Please do not bother to repley. I'm too pissed off and this will get nasty.

You mean you'll post more incoherent, misleading rants and outright lies? Oh, the horror!
posted by Krrrlson at 6:12 PM on August 8, 2006


It seems to me that the attack on Lebanon has more to do with domestic Israeli politics than anything else. The stated goals of the attack (to eradicate Hizbullah and secure the return of the kidnapped soldiers) clearly have nothing to do with the bombing and incursion. Hizbullah rocket attacks are increasing as a result, which is not suprising.

The embarassing situation of having soldiers kidnapped by a small organisation turns into an excuse to terrorize an entire country. What would have been a major victory only for those within the Hizbullah mindset becomes the biggest recruitment motivation ever amongst the general population. The majority of the world is rightly appaled at this reaction.

The two entact 'Axis of Evil' countries have a combined military budget that is 4% that of the US. But as the US, UK and Israel have demonstrated, having overwhelming firepower does not necesssarily lead to winning battles in the 'asymmetrical' arena.

Diplomacy is the only way forward, the situation is not black and white no matter how much simpler that would make decision making.
posted by asok at 3:02 AM on August 9, 2006


asok, I don't believe Hezbollah is any "small organization". Small organizations don't control a large part of a country and have huge arsenals of rockets, missiles, and small arms.

tkchrist posts:
Hezbullah kills 36 innocents over five years.
VS.
Israel 300 innocents in three weeks.


I see where this is headed and I really have to wonder, what did Hezbollah expect was going to happen when they started lobbing rockets at Israel? Did they think for one second that Israel was not going to respond in this way? If I had that foreknowledge that my actions were going to result in the imbalanced slaughter of many of my innocent countrymen, women and children, would I still launch the onslaught? What does Hezbollah gain by attacking the hornet's nest? They knew the result of their actions yet THEY STILL CHOSE ROCKETS OVER DIPLOMACY!!! Do you see where this is headed? Someone has to make the effort for peace and it usually is in the best interests of those who stand to lose the most.
posted by JJ86 at 5:50 AM on August 9, 2006


asok, I don't believe Hezbollah is any "small organization". Small organizations don't control a large part of a country and have huge arsenals of rockets, missiles, and small arms.

Yes they do. All the time. At various times small organized crime groups dominate huge portions of countries all over the planet from Serbia and Somalia to Italy.

Someone has to make the effort for peace and it usually is in the best interests of those who stand to lose the most.

You guys need to make up your minds. is Hezbullah a terrorist organization? Or is it some advanced pseudo-governemnt?

The onus is on Israel - the larger stronger player - to push for diplomacy. They have the machinery and clout. They could lobby Iran and Syria to cut off Hezbullah but cutting deals.

Iran is pissed at Israel for leading the charge to interfere with Iran's nuke program. Syria is pissed at Israel for helping the cedar revolution that kicked them out of Lebanon. And in general everybody in the region uses Israel as a whipping post to stir up their own populaces.

Now, I understand why Israel moves strongly against Iran and Syria. But to say they can't negotiate with their enemies is stupid. They have over and over. And it has yielded them results. When they go about starting wars is when they get into trouble and make thinks worse for themselves. And to to say Israel in INNOCENT of violating their agreements and treaties is also a lie. They have nearly as much as the arabs and Palestinians have.

Oh. Krrlson. Nice idiot drive-by without supporting your lashout. next time pepper it with spicier bait like "antisemitic lies" and "incoherent crazy talk." These amateur trolls. Whatcha gonna do.
posted by tkchrist at 11:00 AM on August 9, 2006


tkchrist, learn to direct your conversation and hyperlink. It makes it easier to follow who you are talking to and what post you are referring to.

tkchrist mentions: Yes they do. All the time. At various times small organized crime groups dominate huge portions of countries all over the planet from Serbia and Somalia to Italy.

So if they are small groups then they should be easy for the IDF to defeat, no? A couple more weeks at the most and Hezbollah be Hezbegone.

tkchrist: You guys need to make up your minds. is Hezbullah a terrorist organization? Or is it some advanced pseudo-governemnt?

You guys? Do you think everyone is allied against you or what? How about you? Is Hezbollah a rogue organized crime family or are they a well funded mercenary army?

You might want to know that Katyusha is not the russian word for peace, so if Iran or Syria or Lebanon is interested in peace, then they might want to learn the word Mir instead of Katyusha.
posted by JJ86 at 11:43 AM on August 9, 2006


JJ86 - I don't have the time in this thread to be as careful as I should. For that I appologize.

So if they are small groups then they should be easy for the IDF to defeat, no? A couple more weeks at the most and Hezbollah be Hezbegone.

Bud. Jeebus. Think about it. That makes it HARDER. Ask yourself why the US never got rid of it's mobs and gangs?Why is the Shinning Path still going after nearly 40 years?

Perhaps you never heard of the name Al Queada?

The leadership is diffuse, the structure viral. The operational groups small. This is WHY these groups choose the guerilla structure to fight a superior force. It works. And it's the only option they have when they DON'T have the man power, technology, or resources to create a REAL military force.

And Hezbullah is BOTH a highly organized crime group and (moderately) well funded political Terror/mercenary organization. AND they are small. At least the fighter groups are small.

And they are no strategic threat to Israel. Israel knows this. Which is why they mostly ignored them as a military threat for the last five years. Israel is, by proxie, attacking Iran. And trying to get their domestic politics unified after the unpopular evictions of all those settlers.
posted by tkchrist at 12:53 PM on August 9, 2006


The Grave Consequences of Supporting War in Lebanon
posted by homunculus at 9:51 PM on August 9, 2006


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