Skip

Activist aid convoy defies Israeli "no-drive" zone
August 10, 2006 4:44 PM   Subscribe

This Saturday, an aid convoy of internationals and civilians plans to make a political statement by risking their own lives to deliver desperately needed aid from Beirut to the south of Lebanon in defiance of the Israeli military. Israeli threats to bomb any moving traffic have put a halt to aid convoys through traditional channels and curtailed the ability of journalists to cover the conflict. But the activists are hoping extensive media coverage of their "non-violent direct action" generates political pressure to protect them as they head for the "no-drive" zone without any guarantee of safety from the Israeli government.
posted by mano (54 comments total)

 
Interesting idea. Their rhetoric on the webpage makes it pretty plain that they are only interested in preventing Isreali attacks; they say nothing about stopping the rocket attacks coming from Lebanon. For someone who claims to be non-violent, that seems more than a bit half-truthy.
posted by nomisxid at 4:52 PM on August 10, 2006


.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:54 PM on August 10, 2006


Coming up at 11: Voluntary human shields for terrorists surprised to be blown up. "Where's the outrage?"
posted by Krrrlson at 5:21 PM on August 10, 2006


mano: Is your international aid convoy directed by Green Helmet Guy, perchance?
posted by analogue at 5:21 PM on August 10, 2006


Wow, nomisxid. You really hit the nail on the head. The only other thing to add, I guess, is that at least Hizbollah is not curtailing the ability of journalists to cover the conflict, although it is now called, by some, Hizbollywood, using fauxtography.

The suffering of civilians in both Israel and Lebanon is terrible; it seems like America and Iran are fighting a war through proxies, and the unfortunate people in the middle are getting squashed.

Marginally related, but awfully interesting, is this piece from Ali Eteraz on British Muslims and their motivations for becoming terrorists.
posted by Adamchik at 5:23 PM on August 10, 2006


I'm always impressed by the courage of those who place themselves in clear danger to help others -- Rachel Corrie, Tom Fox, Tom Hurndall, and anyone who joins this convoy. They're counting on so many things to work, in particular the decency of those in charge/wreaking havoc, and failing that, the decency of the people who (indirectly) elected them. I hope their action in this case helps.
posted by surlycat at 5:26 PM on August 10, 2006


After all, this technique worked really well for Rachel Corrie.
posted by mendel at 5:30 PM on August 10, 2006


As long as only a bunch of lebanese get killed, i don't think krrrlson cares. There's always a very good excuse as to why they deserved to die.
In this situation, trying to deliver aid to people in dire need makes you a voluntary human shield.
posted by mulligan at 5:31 PM on August 10, 2006


Back in the 1960s, one trick always watched for by the Quakers and Catholics when doing nonviolent protest was people sneaking up behind the nonviolent group trying to throw bottles and rocks over their heads at the police, to provoke the police to charge into the nonviolent protesters.

I hope the convoy has a plan for what to do if rocket volleys are launched from near the highway while the convoy is passing, to draw fire.
posted by hank at 5:36 PM on August 10, 2006


I have nothing to add
posted by Postroad at 5:39 PM on August 10, 2006


hank: are you implying that the launching of rockets near the highway while the convoy is passing is not part of the plan?
posted by analogue at 5:40 PM on August 10, 2006


mendel: wow. That's a great, but depressing, link.
posted by kfx at 5:47 PM on August 10, 2006


they are only interested in preventing Isreali attacks

You're upset that they're only trying to stop 90% of the casualties, instead of 100%? Seems like you're the one drawing an equivalence that smacks of truthiness.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:06 PM on August 10, 2006


I hope they have a big god who does a mean umbrella impression, cause I'm not seeing anything else that's going to protect them from the Israeli's. Mashallah, Shalom, Le'Chaim, Go with Cosmic Blueberry, Good Luck, you're gonna need it.

The Israelis have sworn to kill everyone and anyone that moves. They've shown quite a willingness to do just that. They're not going to let aid in, because they don't want those people to get help, or food, or care. They want those people to die. They want everyone they target to die. It's pretty simple really.

I mean, if you let aid in, then the Arabs live. Nobody wants that. Haven't you seen the news? Arabs hate our democracy. Therefore, it's only fair that Israel paints the rubble of the only Arab democracy with the blood of murdered Lebanese children.

After all, what could possibly go wrong with a plan that turns an entire country into refugees, destroys the infrastructure and murders their women and children?
posted by dejah420 at 6:30 PM on August 10, 2006


It's funny how few Rachel Corrie stories include photos like this. Peace, yo.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:39 PM on August 10, 2006


If you intentionally interfere with a war, are you still considered a civilian? Just because you're not armed doesn't mean you might not cause losses on the other side, by doing things like running blockades or reporting troop positions.

I think a fairly reasonable Israeli response would be to go out and arrest the convoy members as peacefully as possible. I can understand the motives of the convoy, but I can also understand how Israel would consider it totally unacceptable for civilians (especially civilians from other countries) to try to interfere with their military, and not want to allow it as a negative precedent. If civilians start going out there and interfering with these sort of situations, they're just going to get themselves killed and put in danger.
posted by Mitrovarr at 6:40 PM on August 10, 2006




bashos, I think 1 life is as important as 1000. More to the point, I think it's willfully naive to think that isreal would stop fighting back, so long as hezbollah is firing rockets at them. Christians are the ones who are supposed to sit there and turn the other cheek. Jews seem to follow the eye-for-an-eye method.


If you don't want both sides to stop killing, you don't want either side to stop killing.
posted by nomisxid at 7:05 PM on August 10, 2006


You missed a memo or two TedW. The current talking points is that there are no such thing as arab civilians, only degrees of combatant.

When, and I'm depressingly sure it's when not if, Israel blows up this convoy that's exactly what the vapid scumfucks who justify war crimes will say.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:11 PM on August 10, 2006


Holy shit, the LGFers really came out of the woodwork in this thread. Bizzare. Explain to me how these people could stop Hizbollah rockets, since you seem to demand that they do so.

Is there a problem getting medical supplies and food to the people who need it in Israel? No.

Is there a problem getting medical supplies and food to the people who need it in Lebanon? Clearly there is.

The fact that people trying to get humanitarian aid to people who need it is somehow a moral failure really shows the, well, viciousness of the warmongers.

You know it's amazing; these people are more outraged that a person would take a dead baby out of an ambulance to be photographed then the fact that a baby is dead. It's really bizarre and twisted, actually.
posted by delmoi at 7:47 PM on August 10, 2006


Anyway, I don't see why Israel wouldn't fire on this group, since they could be smuggling Rockets in, or something.
posted by delmoi at 7:48 PM on August 10, 2006


It is not clear to me how Hezbollah (al Qaida) violating international law gives Israel (the US) sanction to do so.


Should the Special Commissions note any facts which they consider contrary to the stipulations of the present agreement, they shall at once draw the attention of the Power governing the said zone to these facts, and shall fix a time limit of five days within which the matter should be rectified. They shall duly notify the Power who has recognized the zone.

If, when the time limit has expired. the Power governing the zone has not complied with the warning, the adverse Party may declare that it is no longer bound by the present agreement in respect of the said zone.

posted by techgnollogic at 7:58 PM on August 10, 2006


I'll preface this post by saying Fuck Hezbollah.

That being said, I do hope that the parties (on both sides, clearly) that are responsible for the indiscriminate murder of civilians are tried for war crimes ASAP. If the US makes moves to prevent this we deserve another 9/11.
posted by mullingitover at 8:57 PM on August 10, 2006


It's funny how few Rachel Corrie stories include photos like this. Peace, yo.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:39 PM PST on August 10 [+] [!]


Yeah, it totally changes my opinion to learn that Ms. Corrie was angry. Good one.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:13 PM on August 10, 2006


I think the problem here is that people somehow seem to be clinging to this notion that war has rules or even should have.

Think about it. When someone says "This means war," that doesn't mean "I'm going to do shit to you within reason." No, it means "The gloves are off and anything goes."

War doesn't have rules. More importantly, war shouldn't have rules. Rules make things safer. Rules make things make sense and allow you to build charts and tables estimating casualties and losses and other euphemistic terms for people that got blown the fuck up. If war actually stayed a bloody chaotic mess, maybe there would be less people willing to support one. Rules also tend to favor people with money. If you've got money, you tend to set the rules in your favor and the only way for someone poorer to win is to throw the rules out the window.

Israel's problem is that for the longest time they've been trying to play by the rules the rest of the world has agreed to (in the absence of an actual war you might notice) and the Hezbollah and the numerous forces arrayed against Israel are not.

It's quite OK for us not to bomb civilians or blow up infrastructure and take prisoners and treat them humanely (although we seem to be skipping that last bit), we've not really been at war for a good thirty years. The last time the US was in a real war, we started bombing villages and doing shit that was not quite up to the Geneva Convention too.

Now Israel has recognized that playing by the rules isn't really working and unlike America who could just fucking give up and go home, Israel has to stay and fight because you can't just pack up a whole country and go some place else. Especially when the whole region wants you wiped from the Earth, no matter how you draw the boundary lines.

Hezbollah and other entities know this is a war they can't win by the rules and so they don't abide by the rules. I can respect that.

Hell, Americans should respect it. Every war we fight where we have a chance of losing, we break some sort of rule.
Revolutionary war -- guerrilla fighting
WWII -- we dropped nuclear bombs on a country that would have surrendered with one minor concession on our part.
Vietnam -- good Lord the stuff we did there, and we still lost because the Viet Cong weren't playing by the rules either. They launched attacks from innocent villages and recruited civilians to lead people into ambushes or just to walk a grenade into a camp. The Viet Cong did this sort of thing because they wanted to win and believed they were in the right.

Hezbollah has the same reasoning and they are using every trick and nastiness they can to win.

Israel is simply smart enough and honest enough to recognize the situation and see that they have two choices: Continue to play by the rules, keep in favor with the world, and eventually lose,
or
throw out the rules too and do some shit that looks truly fucking vicious, knowing that sometimes that is what it takes.

I personally hope things get resolved one way or another soon. Hopefully before others get dragged into the mess, because if the US gets involved personally, I guarantee we'll do something truly fucking awful...
posted by BeReasonable at 10:58 PM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, the LGFers really came out of the woodwork in this thread. Bizzare.

That seems to be happening more and more lately.
posted by homunculus at 12:01 AM on August 11, 2006


That seems to be happening more and more lately.

Well, this is the first time I've really seen them dominate the first few comments like this, especially spouting their idiotic 'fauxtography' conspiracy theories.

A few staged photos out of tens of thousands does not invalidate the fact that a war is going on. People who believe that are no better then those who believe that photos 'prove' no plane struck the pentagon, or that the moon landing was fake.
posted by delmoi at 12:24 AM on August 11, 2006


War doesn't have rules. More importantly, war shouldn't have rules.

Yawn. No rules, no sympathy. No rules, no morality. I mean, why support people who place no value on human life other then their own.
posted by delmoi at 12:26 AM on August 11, 2006


these people are more outraged that a person would take a dead baby out of an ambulance to be photographed then the fact that a baby is dead

delmoi, I think it is you who is being wrongfully idealistic. The Hizbollah's battle strategy is to attack from crowded areas, the more women and children near the rocket site, the better.

They are willingly endagering the lives of these women and children because they know that the Israelis will have no choice but to retaliate and attack those launch locations.

When when those innocents are hurt, the media circus arrives on cue and delmoi posts a comment on mefi because it's what's on the news.
posted by analogue at 12:41 AM on August 11, 2006


Hezbollah is practicing human sacrifice, infanticide by bomb, and you sympathize.
posted by techgnollogic at 3:55 AM on August 11, 2006



It's funny how few Rachel Corrie stories include photos like this. Peace, yo.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:39 PM AEST on August 11 [+] [!]

Fuck you're a dickhead.
posted by wilful at 3:59 AM on August 11, 2006


I have to second BeReasonable. Rules are nice and all, but in the battlefield it's kill or be killed. Until those documents containing rules actively stop bullets and bombs from hurting people, you'll see them ignored as soon as things get ugly.

War should be as heinous as possible. Maybe then we -- as the human race -- will stop engaging in it. (Probably not, but a man can dream.)

If you want war with rules, go buy Battlefield 2. Otherwise, get ready for some nasty business.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:41 AM on August 11, 2006


Just nuke it.

Just nuke the entire fucking middle east to glass. Temple mount? Sheet of radioactive glass. Dome of the rock? Sheet of radioactive glass.

Humanity obviously cannot be trusted with this toy, so take it away. Nobody get the "holy" land. Anyone wanting to spend the brief remainder of thier life on "holy" land is wlecome to camp out on the glowing glass, dusted with cobalt.

Maybe after all the Allah and Jehova spouting assholes have died from acute raditation poisioning, we can actually try to make peace between people.
posted by eriko at 5:16 AM on August 11, 2006


eriko, it would probably be more grown up to sit down all the parties involved in the region and explain in a clear calm tone that, no, daddy lied, your god doesn't exist.

Kids always take that approach well.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 6:06 AM on August 11, 2006


They are willingly endagering the lives of these women and children because they know that the Israelis will have no choice but to retaliate and attack those launch locations.

Oh certainly. As we all know, when states get antagonized, they have no choice but to start a bombing campaign.
posted by effwerd at 6:29 AM on August 11, 2006


They are willingly endagering the lives of these women and children because they know that the Israelis will have no choice but to retaliate and attack those launch locations.

analogue, majority of Israeli military bases are near or inside civilian areas as well, not to mention government buildings. Given the inaccuracy of Katyusha rockets, what kind of choice to retaliate does it give Hezbollah?
posted by LeavenOfMalice at 6:36 AM on August 11, 2006


War doesn't have rules. More importantly, war shouldn't have rules.

By this logic, Americans needs to stfu about 9/11.

And again, for the mouth-breathers in this thread--all Lebanese civilians are not members of Hezbollah. Of course, given Israeli aggression, more and more of them are becoming members, or at least sympathizers. Hell, most of the world is--just ask the Iraqis in Baghdad now revelling in their freedom to march in support of Hezbollah.
posted by bardic at 6:57 AM on August 11, 2006


I admire the noble gesture, but I hope to hell they've all said their farewells to their next of kin and their life-insurance policies don't have war-zone exlcusions. Getting your @$$ shot at trying to rescue somebody in immediate danger is one thing, but delivering food, water and medical supplies through a free-fire zone is another. The Rachel Corrie comparison seems apt; this is potentially suicide as political theater.
posted by pax digita at 7:12 AM on August 11, 2006


LeavenOfMalice: Did you forget that the Hezbollah has no accurate means of targeting anything in particular inside of Israel? How would they go about targeting an Israeli military base? They fire the Katyushas in the general direction of Haifa and then scramble.

Israel, on the other hand, bases most of its attacks on accurate sattelite data of Katyusha launch sites.

Hezbollah has at its discretion the ability to fire rockets from many parts of a village, but they'd rather fire the rocket from behind market, a school or a UN aid post than from an area less densly populated with innocents. They are keenly aware of the consequences of their actions, and they count on evoking sympathetic voices in folks like delmoi.
posted by analogue at 7:51 AM on August 11, 2006


It's really interesting: on the one hand, Hezbollah is the classic terrorist organization. Suicide bombings, kidnappings, blowing up US Army barracks back in the 80s...

On the other hand, the political wing runs schools and hospitals.

The UK and Australia don't count the political/humanitarian wing as being a terrorist organization. The US and Israel do.

Does this mean that the Israelis are counting it as "Killing Terrorists!" when they blow up a school or hospital?
posted by mullingitover at 9:13 AM on August 11, 2006


Israel is simply smart enough and honest enough to recognize the situation and see that they have two choices: Continue to play by the rules, keep in favor with the world, and eventually lose, or throw out the rules too and do some shit that looks truly fucking vicious, knowing that sometimes that is what it takes.
--posted by BeReasonable

Congratulations! You win today's Ironic Username Award!
posted by EarBucket at 10:00 AM on August 11, 2006


"If you intentionally interfere with a war, are you still considered a civilian?"

Depends on what you do.

I wish we could remove the delineation of military versus civilian. It gives the illusion that being in the military means one no longer has to behave in a civil manner. Being in war means murder is okay. You're defending your country, so God doesn't count that. It's not really murder if you can convince God your enemy is an infidel or a terrorist or something other than human. As if God would fall for that. Yet that's all over the Old Testament. God favors one side or the other in battles. Turns the other way when the walls of Jericho fall. Turns Lot's wife into salt because she glances back at his handiwork.

Guess I'm no longer worshipping the Judeo-Christian god, or Muslim god for that matter. Not sure which god I'm worshipping anymore, but I'm pretty sure He's a god that looks at the "war isn't really murder" argument about the same way Penn Jillette looks at Scientology. Then again, I don't thik Penn believes in a god, so maybe that's an unfair comparison.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:04 AM on August 11, 2006


What we have here is a prisoner's dilemma.

Both the Israeli military and Hezbollah have a choice, avoid civilian deaths, or blow the poor bastards to hell.

While it would be generally in Israel's best interest if both combatants only targeted civilians, no matter what Hezbollah does, Israel is better off militarily by not playing by the rules and striking against civilians.

The same holds true for Hezbollah: Lebanon is better off if neither party attacks civilian targets, but Hezbollah gains a military advantage from attacking civilians no matter what Israel does.

This leads to an outcome that is bad for everyone, but is equally bad for everyone and thus more acceptable to the combatants than a unilateral obedience to the rules.

Ad to this the fact that Hezbollah is only a portion of the Lebanese government and therefore has externalized much of the cost of Israeli rule breaking, and the fact that Hezbollah can likely only win against Israel through a long term war of attrition that targets civilians, and the whole situation seems to have been rigged to cause civilian casualties from the beginning.
posted by Richard Daly at 10:20 AM on August 11, 2006


Er,
While it would be in Israel's best interest if both combatants targeted only Military personnel...

Not sure how that snuck in there.
posted by Richard Daly at 10:23 AM on August 11, 2006


nomisxid: you say "I think it's willfully naive to think that isreal would stop fighting back, so long as hezbollah is firing rockets at them."

Uh, about that, the head of Hezbollah said that his group would stop firing rockets if Israel ceased bombing lebanese infrastructure and civillian targets. This is one of those times that you have to scratch your head, and wonder if Israel really wants to stop the rocket fire. Why else would they turn down such a good deal for them? They wouldnt even have to stop going after Hezbollah, and they would be safe from rocket attacks.

So not everything the Israeli military does (duh, what threat does a sewage treatment plant pose?) is for security reasons.

PS: Its also willfully naive for people to try to understand this operation as a response to the rockets. The rockets started AFTER the Israeli raid began, making the rockets a "response" to Israel, not the other way around.
posted by mano at 11:08 AM on August 11, 2006


mano: Uh, about that, the head of Hezbollah said that his group would stop firing rockets if Israel ceased bombing lebanese infrastructure and civillian targets. This is one of those times that you have to scratch your head, and wonder if Israel really wants to stop the rocket fire. Why else would they turn down such a good deal for them? They wouldnt even have to stop going after Hezbollah, and they would be safe from rocket attacks.

One of the first rules of dealing with terrorists and terrorist organizations (of which Hezbollah is one) is that you don't negotiate. They can never be trusted, any deal offered is almost guaranteed to be offered in bad faith, and they couldn't restrain their members to comply with a deal even if they wanted to. It's the same with this deal; Hezbollah could always say 'well, that's not us, that's some other militant' or whatever when the rockets start flying, but Israel would still be expected to keep up their end of the bargain.

It would also be a military disadvantage; if Israel has to go door-to-door looking for Hezbollah militants, they're going to lose a lot of soldiers.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:44 AM on August 11, 2006


LeavenOfMalice: Did you forget that the Hezbollah has no accurate means of targeting anything in particular inside of Israel? How would they go about targeting an Israeli military base? They fire the Katyushas in the general direction of Haifa and then scramble.

That’s exactly my point. Obviously, Hezbollah is not able to hit military bases without hitting civilian areas so why doesn’t Israel build military bases far outside the cities, preferably close to the borders to become an easy target. Otherwise they are knowingly endangering Israeli civilians.

After all, that is what is expected of Hezbollah, to wear identifiable uniforms, drive identifiable vehicles and be sitting ducks, outside of civilian areas, to Israeli laser guided bombs ~ anything less makes them cowards, right?

Anyway, I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy. To me both of them are cowards without any moral backbone, the only difference is that one side has bigger guns.
posted by LeavenOfMalice at 11:44 AM on August 11, 2006


Btw, did anyone see them on America's Got Talent last night? Is that their new act, debunking stupid magic tricks?
posted by empath at 11:52 AM on August 11, 2006


analogue writes: They are keenly aware of the consequences of their actions, and they count on evoking sympathetic voices in folks like delmoi.

Not like delmoi needs defending, but fuck this noise. First off, he's being sympathetic to the non-Hezbollah Lebanese (a vast majority) civilians being mindlessly slaughtered at worst, or having their rights taken away (they can't travel domestically without fear of being bombed, and they can't leave the country since Israel has placed an embargo on it). In that, you make him sound like he's unique or something--he's not. Other than the United States, Israel has no allies or moral support in this effort. Blair has paid them some lip service, but he's facing huge pressue at home from a population that is sick and tired of being dragged into Israel's bullshit regardless of the consequences. Second, as has been stated many times, condemnation of Israel's actions doesn't equal an endorsement of Hezbollah. As mentioned, they're both morally reprehensible, but one side has better toys than the other. Third, the conventional wisdom is that Israel is sacrificing some of its moral standing for a firm, resolved, Realpolitikal answer to the Hezbollah problem once and for all. Thing is, it isn't working. If the IDF really wants to push to the Litani River (it's pretty clear to me that Olmert is bluffing), at the rate they're going, they're going to lose thousands, not hundreds, of troops. Thing is, Israel and the US banked on the fact that they could nonchalantly get French peace-keepers to come in and pick up the pieces -- guess what? -- the French called bullshit too, like the rest of the world. So in addition to civilians and military losses, Israel has also lost politcal ground here. The big winner is, of course, Hezbollah. Much like the US empowering Iran via Shia proxy in Iraq, Israel is playing directly into Hezbollah's plans. The idiots.

Shorter: It's obvious that many won't share my moral condemnation of Israel in this matter, but at least look at the facts and realize that Israel isn't even acting in its own best self-interest. Olmert has blundered, the world has galvinized in its distaste for Israel's disregard for innocent human life, and the vaunted IDF has proven to be pretty lame. Remember why they invaded Lebanon? To stop Katyushas, overtly. Guess what's still falling into Israel?
posted by bardic at 12:14 PM on August 11, 2006


War should be as heinous as possible. Maybe then we -- as the human race -- will stop engaging in it. (Probably not, but a man can dream.)

War without rules doesn't work in the nuclear age. Also, even the era of "total war" only lasted about a century and a half (from the French Revolution till WWII) before that, and after, war has had rules (at least in Europe, anyway). Total war is an invention of the French Reign of Terror.

Total war in Vietnam would have meant using Nuclear weapons. Is that what you would have wanted? Is that what you think is a good idea?

And what are you advocating anyway? Are you saying since there are no rules, what Hizbollah is doing is OK? Or are you saying Israel should just firebomb and nuke Lebanon? If it's the latter, well, what motivation is there for me, as an American to support that? None that I see. Israel needs American support to exist, and for American support it can't be running around slaughtering people.

Oh certainly. As we all know, when states get antagonized, they have no choice but to start a bombing campaign.

Plus lets not forget that the Hizbolla didn't start firing rockets until after Israel started bombing in response to the kidnapping attempt, which didn't kill any civilians (but did kill solders)

One of the first rules of dealing with terrorists and terrorist organizations (of which Hezbollah is one) is that you don't negotiate. They can never be trusted, any deal offered is almost guaranteed to be offered in bad faith

Who came up with that rule? Negotiating with the IRA seems to have stopped the violence in Northern Ireland.

---

But anyway, the arguments in this thread are pretty lame, Either war has no rules, in which case what Hezbollah is doing is fine, or it does, in which case what both of them are doing is lame, with Israel causing far more death and destruction.
posted by delmoi at 12:45 PM on August 11, 2006


Fuck you're a dickhead.

Yes, that's the usual response when you don't like what you see.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:57 PM on August 11, 2006


Delmoi,
Total war was never invented. Total war is the natural state of war and aggression. To fight until your enemy is completely gone, that is what came first. Rules for war came later. Like I pointed out, everyone makes up rules for war until things aren't going their way. Then they go out the window and history decides who was right to do what.

And yes, I'm saying if the US wanted to win, they should have nuked all of Vietnam until it was no more than a smoking radioactive heap. That was pretty much the only way the US could have won. The Viet Cong were too motivated and I sincerely doubt even a couple of nukes would have allowed the US to win. A win would have required total destruction and even then I don't know. This is a lesson the US should have taken into Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan, but we seemed to have blanked it out, much to our dismay.

Obviously, Israel can't nuke Lebanon because of fallout and such, and I'm not advocating for such an action. However, what I am saying is that when it comes to war, both sides are right, because when you are waging a war, you're only concern is to win. Hezbollah firing rockets and kidnapping soldiers to trade for prisoners -- A-OK. Israel bombing anything that moves or doesn't -- A-OK. It is war. You do anything you can to win a war. Considerations of right and wrong don't enter in to the equation. You can't apply rules to something as hugely monstrous as war. As soon as you do, you'l lose to someone who doesn't play by your rules.

Now just to speak to the "irony" of me making these comments, let me just say I don't want craploads of people dying on either side. Last time I checked the Israelis and Lebanese were human, so as long as they don't take my parking space, I've got nothing against them. But, I believe if people could just see that war really has no rules, maybe we could recognize that war isn't really a good thing. Like I said before, when everything is far away and sanitized, it's easy to support. If everything you heard about war seemed an affront to logic, reason and human decency, as you say, what's the incentive to support that?

But to your other point, let me beat a dead horse. The IRA want England out of Ireland. The Hezbollah charter states "(our) struggle will end only when this entity (Israel) is obliterated." (http://www.ict.org.il/Articles/Hiz_letter.htm) I'm not judging Hezbollah. They are doing what they think is right, and relativistically every side has some good arguments. So in the absence of an absolute right or wrong, I tend to pick a side based on my personal prejudices and experiences. Anyone that claims to be doing God's business and that business just happens to be killing lots of people, well I just can't get behind that.

And yes bardic America does need to stfu about 9/11. Or maybe, we need to stfu and do something to prevent another one.
posted by BeReasonable at 1:47 AM on August 12, 2006


BeReasonable writes: And yes bardic America does need to stfu about 9/11. Or maybe, we need to stfu and do something to prevent another one.
posted by BeReasonable at 4:47 AM EST on August 12 [+] [!]


No, no, no. That's not fair. I happen to believe in objective standards for human conduct. And that's not what I said.
posted by bardic at 3:17 AM on August 12, 2006


Actually badic your post says
War doesn't have rules. More importantly, war shouldn't have rules. {--those are my words in your post
Then you said:
By this logic, Americans needs to stfu about 9/11.

So I agreed with you. If you take my argument to it's logical conclusion, 9/11 was an OK thing for terrorists to do because to them it's war. So America should stoppping talking about how horrible it was and how unfair and whatnot and do something to prevent another one.

I don't know what's unfair about what I said, because it is what you said. I don' t think you meant that statement to indicate you hate America or anything like that. I don't hate America either. I hate war. I'm just saying when you try to pretend war has rules, it only ends up doing more harm than good.
posted by BeReasonable at 11:00 AM on August 12, 2006


« Older Prophets and Profits on the Burning Shore   |   Katrina every day Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post