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July 31, 2006

Comments

Formerly_David'sNumberOneFan

"(...)Israel is a humane democracy(...)" my arse.

They are savage barbarians.

The people responsible for this will burn in the fires of hell for eternity.

You call yourself a Christian and yet you condone this behaviour.

You are an absolute disgrace to anything resembling civilisation.

Two wrongs do not make a right and if Hezbollah initiated the current crisis (which is arguable) it still does not entitle a so-called "humane democracy" to react as it has.

One of the fundamentals of christianity is to replace the Old Testament's "an eye for an eye" with "if you are slapped across the left cheek show the right one".

Instead you encourage those who have changed "an eye for an eye" to "an eye for four".

Last week you stated that "we all owe Israel a debt of honour". Not in my name.

You disgust me.

David Vance

Glad you are formerly my number one fan, as you are clearly on the same side as the savages. No Jihad here, pal.

Formerly_David'sNumberOneFan

I'm on the side of the savages ? (and I presume you mean the Hizbollah).

How in God's name can you come to that conclusion ? Because I don't think that Israel is doing a great job ? Because I am appalled and disgusted by 30+ young children murdered by the Israeli Air Force ?

Well if that makes me "on their side", so be it. Fool.

Check the 'milking it' article:

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/

Now some facts.
There is video footage captured by the IDF of Katyushas being launched from the village.
The Israeli Air Force did not know of the presence of 'civilians' in the building destroyed.
There is a time lag between the building being hit, and its collapse.

Does anyone actually believe that the Israelis targetted the building whilst KNOWING that there were non-combattants inside. Given the fact that the Israelis distributed leaflets urging the population to leave, what were those people doing there: who stopped them leaving?

David Vance

FDNOF,

Calling me "a fool" does nothing for your argument.

If you call Israel "savage barbarians" then you betray yourself.

In fairness, whilst we have disagreed in the past, you have normally made sensible points. But on this, you are off-beam.

Formerly_David'sNumberOneFan

I called you a fool because you equate my disgust with the death of 30+ children with being a jihadist. That's a ridiculous claim.

I called Israel savage barbarians because their actions at the moment are not those of a civiilsed western humane democracy. They are every bit as bad as those they are fighting.

I believe it is you who is completely off-beam and is blinded by his hatred of "terrorism" (I use this word with inverted commas because it seems that you can define everything/anything as "terrorist" in order to suit your argument - such as stating that all persons remaining in South Lebanon are terrorists. I will not accept that). You are blinded to the extent that you cannot even see that the end does not always justify the means, and that in order to retain some humanity and "civilisation", actions speak louder that words or ideas.

David Vance

FDNOF,

This is a war. It is a war against militant Islam. It is global in scope. And Israel is on the frontline. Hezbollah are the savages that use human shields, who are dancing with glee at what they achieved in Qana, and you entirely overlook this. What DO you want Israel to do about Hamas/Hezbollah, have them over for a nice chat and invent another phony peace?

Jihadists are clear on this even if you are not. They seel to wipe Israel off the map. They care nothing for a Hudna other than the tactical benefit it gives them.

No one said fighting terrorists was going to be easy, but some us will continue to stand by Israel. 100%.

ernest young

Like everything else in this morally relative world, the definition of barbarism is also relative.

That Hezbollah, Hamas, et al, encourage children to become suicide bombers, would indicate that they do not consider the killing of children to be that bad, or barbaric, certainly not in the way that we in the West do, - until it comes to pleading to the media, of course.

Given their scant regard for children, and knowing full well how emotive any child's death is in the West, I would not put it beyond them to make a 'sacrifice', to further their cause, and to engender sympathy at the UN, and elswhere. After all, they have been known to do something similar in the recent past.

Yes, you are correct, I have scant regard or respect for terrorists, or their cause, especially when they are prepared to shelter behind 'intimidated' civilians, who would likely face death if they refused to cooperate.

David Vance

Ernest,

Well said.

Felix Quigley

Ernest

You are on the right tracks there. Please follow it up.

Colm

I have absolutely no doubt that everything said by ernest and David is true with regard to the attitudes of Hamas and Hezbollah and I do not think that Israel would deliberately target civilians out of some perverse desire to kill as many Lebanese people as possible. However, it is not wrong or weak or 'surrendering' to expect civilised sovereign states which includes Israel to accept responsibilty for their actions and to acknowlege that you can't just keep carrying out the same military actions if the level of civilian casualties is going to be so grevious.

It isn't acceptable to just plough on attacking Hezbollah where they hide behind civilians and that in order to get them we have to kill dozens of innocent women and children and if so , so be it. So be it isn't good enough. It's difficult I know, but some other way of dealing with this must be found.

Eamonn

"some other way of dealing with this must be found"

But there's the rub. What? A new, even more useless UNIFIL force? A useless UN resolution? One thing is clear, Hezbollah will already be making plans for the resupply of rockets to Lebanon from Iran and Syria. That's the problem.

Eamonn

This is the situation; read and learn:

http://www.opendemocracy.net/conflict-middle_east_politics/perspective_3754.jsp

Lebanon: the missing perspective
Roger Scruton
20 - 7 - 2006


The heart of the war in Lebanon is Hizbollah's challenge to Lebanon's national sovereignty, says Roger Scruton.

Alex Klaushofer, in her openDemocracy article, is right to emphasise the Lebanese tradition of inter-communal cooperation, and its attempts to form a national loyalty above religious faction: it is what made the old Lebanon, the self-consciously Phoenician mediator between east and west, such a beacon of light in a region of darkness (see "Lebanon: unity within diversity", 17 July 2006).

It is also what made Lebanon offensive not only to Syria, where the Alawi minority clings precariously to power, but also to Iran, which looks to Lebanon as the proving-ground for its foreign policy. Lebanon is the only country with a Shi'a minority large enough to form a government, and the purpose of Hizbollah (founded by Sheikh Fadlallah in 1982, and funded first by Iran and subsequently by Syria) was to radicalise the Lebanese Shi'a and prepare the way for an Islamist coup d'état.

However, Klaushofer is surely wrong to imply that the old Lebanese project, of a multi-confessional democracy, can be readily revived, or that Hizbollah can be marginalised or disarmed by the Lebanese themselves. In his openDemocracy columns, Paul Rogers criticises Israel for its over-violent and destabilising reaction to Hizbollah's incursions. But he too seems not to have taken note of the real nature of Hizbollah, and writes as though the cause of the current war (and war it is) is simply Israeli aggression, combined with American partiality towards the Israeli cause. The fact is that Hizbollah is a force operating in Lebanon, but supported from outside the country, depending on both Syria and Iran for its arms and logistical support, and maintained in a state of hysterical belligerence by its own high command.

Under Lebanon's national pact of 1943 that Klaushofer rightly extols, the army was to be recruited from all the sects, in numbers proportional to the populations, as they were at the last legal census. The purpose was to ensure that no sect could use the army as a means of overthrowing the constitution. The minister of defence was to be a Greek Orthodox – in other words, a member of a minority sect that had the confidence of both Sunni and Maronites yet was itself too small to attempt a seizure of power. The hope was to build up a "patriot army" that would defend the secular settlement against religious madness, and also secure the territory of Lebanon as the territory of an independent nation-state – the first goal being deeply offensive to Muslim radicals, the second deeply offensive to Syria.

At present, because of the long-sustained breakdown in the old confessional constitution, the minister of defence is a Shi'a, and 75% of the Lebanese army is Shi'a. This preponderance is owed less to confessional bias (though that exists) than to the fact that young, unemployed Shi'a from rural districts are by far the easiest recruits – a demographic trend not foreseen when the confessional state was set up. Not surprisingly, the Lebanese army, confronted with the task of disarming Hizbollah, refused to enter into conflict with its co-religionists, and has relinquished the southern border to this heavily armed, and insanely belligerent Islamist faction. Hizbollah's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has declared war on Israel on behalf of his "party", knowing that the costs of the war will be borne by the Lebanese people, and not by his own militia, which will melt into the countryside when the going gets tough.

No doubt there are many indigenous Shi'a who sympathise with Hizbollah, and maybe even endorse its pro-Syrian policies. However, it should be remembered that the current situation, in which Hizbollah has effectively entered into war with Israel in partnership with Hamas, is not one that corresponds to the rooted sympathies of Lebanese Shi'a. Not only is Hamas a Sunni organisation; it is also the Lebanese Shi'a from the south who have suffered most from the lawless exploitation of their country by the armed gangs of Palestinian refugees. It is bound to go against the grain, for most Lebanese Shi'a, to be allied with the Palestinians in a war that cannot in any case be won.

Although none of that justifies the Israeli incursions, it is surely relevant to point out that peace cannot come to the region except through negotiation between sovereign states, and that this negotiation can be effective only if all military forces in the region are controlled by sovereign states. This control of military forces within its territory has not been achieved by the Palestinian authorities; nor is it now exemplified by the Lebanese government, as the current prime minister Fouad Siniora openly acknowledges.

Israel's current assaults can be seen as attempts to disarm those factions that impede negotiation, rather than an attempt to replace negotiation with force. So it seems to me, at any rate. And as for Hizbollah, it is now abundantly clear that only Israel can disarm it – though whether the cost of doing so will be acceptable is quite another question.


Colm

Eamonn

I admit I don't have an answer, but I can't accept that in a situation where civilians in large numbers are going to be killed, you just carry on with the same strategy. It isn't acceptable to kill a 1,000 innocent civilians if that is the price for killing a 100 Hezbollah terrorists.

If armed police are surrounding a dangerous man who is holding hostages around him, they don't just target him and accept that as long as they kill him if the hostages have to die too that's ok. They take painstaking efforts to find other solutions. Israel and the whole International community should try so too.

ernest young

The old problem of what happens when the 'unstoppable force', meets the 'immovable object'.

If some of the effort expended in denigrating Israel for defending itself, were expended on explaining to Israel's neighbours, the consequence of their persistent terrorist acts, then we might well be nearer to a solution, when eventually all parties get to the negotiating table.

Unfortunately, the extensive and long standing anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe, is transmuted to Israel, thereby, even if subconciously, bolstering the confidence of those who wish for Israel's demise.

At present the only answer to what seems the total intransigence of Syria and Iraq, appears to be the use of force...

Eamonn

And what you won't find on BBC news:-

http://judeoscope.ca/article.php3?id_article=0429

Authentic or propaganda by the Zionist entity?

In a letter to the editor of the Berlin left-wing daily Die Tageszeitung (TAZ) a Lebanese Shia explains how after Israel’s withdrawal from South Lebanon, Hezbollah stored rockets in bunkers in his town and built a school and residence over it.

I lived until 2002 in a small southern village near Mardshajund that is inhabited by a majority of Shias like me. After Israel left Lebanon, it did not take long for Hezbollah to take have its say in other towns. Received as successful resistance fighters and armed to the teeth, they stored rockets 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 rockets depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.

Dr. Mounir Herzallah
Berlin-Wedding

(translated from the German by David Ouellette)

Peter Turner

Israel is on the horns of a dilemma - if it takes action against Hezbollah it is said to be punishing Lebanon as a whole for the offenses of Hezbollah and overeacting to the threat. If it does not take action then Hezbollah will continue its provocations until Israel is forced to respond. It is a lose/lose scenario for Israel and a win/win situation for Hezbollah.

Why does this situation exist? It exists because we, in the West, although capable of understanding this dilemma and the dreadful consequencies of allowing its continuation, are not able to apply a logical analysis because we are blinded by our emotive response.

Nobody, least of all Israel, wants to see children and civilians killed - but this is what happens when an enemy deliberatly hides amongst a civilian population. Unfortunately, this is how war is probably going to be fought for the foreseable future and unless we learn how to deal with these tactics effectively we may have no future.

Thank God that America, at least, supports Israel.

David Vance

Thank God indeed, Peter.

Colm

Felix doesn't believe that to be the case .

ernest young

Colm,

As with any nation in these troubled times, the U.S. has a many faceted approach to international politics, and while the main, and popular thrust is in general a support for Israel, there is a not insignificant section of government that does not think that way. That section is largely represented by the State Department, which oversees much of the diplomatic activity of the U.S.

Condoleeza Rice is at present head of that department, and it is quite marked how her stance re Israel as changed since taking the job.

I think it would be true to say that, at the moment the State Dept. has a pro Arab bias, much in common with most of Europe.

The State Dept. has long been the home of many Europhiles, who think that anything European just has to be fine, after all, 'they have all that culture', etc, etc.. they all seem to be 'wannabe' Frenchmen, or Germans, - not so much wannabe Britons though! - I wonder why? In this respect they are much like the Hollywood bunch of activists, who seem to hate anything American, (which they have indirectly had a hand in shaping,)but love Europe. So it is hardly surprising that their thinking is influenced by European trends.

That they tend to be mostly Democrats, would suggest that the left leaning politics of Europe are more attractive to them than the traditional 'middle of the road', anti communist stance of most of the U.S. electorate.

I think that it is from the State Dept, rather than from the White House, that Felix, and others get the impression that the U.S. is not standing by Israel.

Parcifal

Agree with the sentiments here by the heavyweights. I spoke to an Arab sometime ago and he told me that the mullahs in Iran tell the people: "Its better to be cruel than kind, as kindness makes you weak"
hence we see Hezbollah using civilians for their ends, and they care not for these people. The Jihadi are feeling their losses.
we have to be tougher than them, and never forget that we are kind not cruel. That is what we stand for.

Mike's America

David: The opinions expressed by "Formerly_David'sNumberOneFan" and others like him are truly frightening.

It's like we are reliving the 1930's and the spirit of Neville Chamberlain is alive and well in the minds of many of these folks who find comfort in their prejudices and delusions and denial.

World War II was a horror that scarred the world forever and it's a nightmare that could have been prevented.

We're in a similar period today. We have the makings of a global man made disaster happening right in front of us every day in so many small and seemingly insignificant ways. And the folks who just cannot see the danger for what it is will surely condemn us to suffer the horror that could follow.

Don't know if you folks have already discussed the movie "Obsession" which documents the growing danger.

It's online here:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6162397493278181614&hl=en

Homepage for the film with more info is:

http://www.obsessionthemovie.com/

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