July 27th, 2006

Disarming Hezbollah: either way, the punishment is war

The war in Lebanon has dominated the news, the blogosphere, and the thoughts of so many people, including myself.

The mind casts about for a solution. Indeed, there must be a solution right?

Some blame the usual targets, Israel and the US. The UN has come in for criticism as well, and rightly so. The government and people of Lebanon, who have failed to root out Hezbollah and in fact have often lauded it, bear some responsibility.

But there is little doubt in the minds of most thinking people that the lion’s share of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the black-clad puppeteers behind the action, Iran, and their henchmen and disciples, Hezbollah, as well as their Syrian middlemen. The penetration of Hezbollah into so much of Lebanon has been a slow but steady one, and by now the entwinement is so thick and tangled that it’s hard to see how it can be undone without terrible destruction of innocent people, and the destabilization of the country. Some of this has already happened.

But the mind searches for solutions, because the possible outcomes are so dreadful to contemplate. This morning, while casting about for the views of others, I came across this piece by Michael Totten.

The peripatetic Totten was in Lebanon fairly recently, a long sojourn in which he reported on what he saw there. What’s his solution? Unfortunately, he doesn’t have one. What he offers is a certain perspective, and it’s not a comforting one.

Here’s Totten on the topic of disarming Hezbollah, describing what he saw in Lebanon a few months ago, when neither he nor anyone foresaw the exact course of events to follow:

Many Lebanese Christians, Sunnis, and Druze were getting so impatient with the impasse over Hezbollah’s weapons they threatened to reconstitute their own armed militias that were disbanded after the war. Peaceful and diplomatic negotiation over Hezbollah’s role in a sovereign rather than schismatic Lebanon was not going to last very much longer. Once the rest of Lebanon armed itself against Hezbollah, a balance of terror would reign that could explode into war without any warning. That was the danger. That was the nightmare. That’s why Hezbollah had not been disarmed…

Totten saw the peace in Lebanon at the time as an uneasy and temporary one. Despite whatever polls might have said about Lebanese support for Hezbollah, he saw the people as more frightened of its power than approving. Of course, we have no way of knowing how representative Totten’s informants were, or whether his impressions were skewed by seeing a small sample of the Lebanese people. But still, he was there, and did his best to learn what was really going on.

Now, Totten says that in the heat of this war the Lebanese are angry at the Israelis. Temporarily:

No one is running off to join Hezbollah, but tensions are being smoothed over for now while everyone feels they are under attack by the same enemy. Most Lebanese who had warm feelings for Israel — and there were more of these than you can possibly imagine — no longer do.

This will not last.

Totten makes a prediction about what will happen after. His “after” assumes (as I think it is correct to assume) that this particular episode, the hot war with Israel, will not end with the eradication of Hezbollah in Lebanon. He writes:

My sources and friends in Beirut tell me most Lebanese are going easy on Hezbollah as much as they can while the bombs are still falling. But a terrible reckoning awaits them once this is over.

Some Lebanese can’t wait even that long….

My friend Carine says the atomosphere reeks of impending sectarian conflict like never before. Another Lebanese blogger quotes a radical Christian war criminal from the bad old days who says the civil war will resume a month after Israel cools its guns: “Christians, Sunnis and Druze will fight the ‘fucker Shia’, with arms from the US and France.”

For those who want Hezbollah out of Lebanon, this may sound like a solution. Totten addresses this idea:

Israeli partisans may think this is terrific. The Lebanese may take care of Hezbollah at last! But democratic Lebanon cannot win a war against Hezbollah, not even after Hezbollah is weakened by IAF raids. Hezbollah is the most effective Arab fighting force in the world, and the Lebanese army is the weakest and most divided….

To Totten, Lebanon has been essentially powerless from the start. It had one of two choices: war or accommodation. Since the war against Hezbollah was unwinnable by the weak and divided Lebanon, it chose the latter.

But there’s no accomodation possible with a force such as Hezbollah. Know your enemy; accomodation only buys them time, I’m afraid.

And, in the end, Totten also seems to be saying this. He has great compassion for the dilemma the Lebanese people faced, and still face:

Israel and Lebanon (especially Lebanon) will continue to burn as long as Hezbollah exists as a terror miltia freed from the leash of the state. The punishment for taking on Hezbollah is war. The punishment for not taking on Hezbollah is war. Lebanese were doomed to suffer war no matter what. Their liberal democratic project could not withstand the threat from within and the assaults from the east, and it could not stave off another assault from the south. War, as it turned out, was inevitable even if the actual shape of it wasn’t.

The quote that struck me most forcibly was this, which bears repeating:

The punishment for taking on Hezbollah is war. The punishment for not taking on Hezbollah is war.

It immediately brought to mind a statement by Winston Churchill, he of the silver tongue, when speaking about a similar accomodation sought by the militarily weak British and French prior to WWII:

Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.

And please, spare yourself the trouble of informing me that the situation isn’t quite analogous. I know it’s not. But the similarity is this: sometimes what seems like a choice is no choice at all. When dealing with certain enemies bent on destruction and conquest, how can one avoid battle? Sooner or later, the conflagration will erupt. And is it better in the end for it to erupt sooner rather than later, when the enemy is stronger and more deeply entrenched?

The punishment for taking on Hitler was war. The punishment for not taking on Hitler was war. World War.

In the middle of all of this, into my head popped some lines by the ancient Persian (Persia=Iran) poet Omar Khayyam. Somehow they seem apropos to the feeling of futility and confusion, of powerful forces working in mysterious ways that can’t be foreseen.

Omar, a fatalist, didn’t believe very much in the ability of human beings to control their own destiny. He wrote, so long ago, that:

We are no other than a moving row
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show;

But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days;
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

I’m not ready to subscribe to the level of fatalism of Omar Khayyam. But it does seem right now that the people of Lebanon are “but helpless pieces” in a game being played–if not by the Master of the Show, then by the puppet masters of Iran.

And this verse of Khayyam’s, with its strangely prescient geography (“Naishapur,” Omar’s birthplace, is a city in what is now Iran; and “Babylon” is the ancient word for Iraq), seems apropos as well:

Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.

80 Responses to “Disarming Hezbollah: either way, the punishment is war”

  1. kcom Says:

    The post-Munich period proved that the absence of war is not the same as peace. Sometimes it’s just maneuvering room to move your armies for the next battle. Hitler took great advantage of that period of “peace” to get into position to destroy Poland and France and (he hoped) Britain.

    The simplistic calls for a ceasefire that would only serve to let Hizbullah recover their ground and maneuver their forces for the next battle, to their advantage, is a modern example of the mistake that Chamberlain made. It doesn’t serve peace. It serves war.

  2. anon Says:

    “But there is little doubt in the minds of most thinking people that the lion’s share of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the black-clad puppeteers behind the action, Iran, and their henchmen and disciples, Hezbollah, as well as their Syrian middlemen.”

    Hezbollah was formed after the 1982 destroying of Lebanon and the killing of over 20 000 civilians. They are Lebanese Shia who, yes recieve support from Iran and Syria.

    Israel created them you stupid fuck.

    And you are not a ‘thinking person’.

    You are a fucking liar.

    If you were a thinking person you would acknowledge the facts.

    Israel continues to illegally occupy Arab lands. Cheba farms, Gholan Heights Palestinians territories. And thats why Hezbollah still exists as a militant group.

    You stupid fuck.

    Israel has over 9000 Palestinian civilian and Lebanese civilians held without charge. That is a fact. The other fact is that the Israeli government has acknowledged they are held as “bargaining chips” to get back IDF dead and captured from Lebanon in 1982 – which they destroyed and killed over 20 000 civlians – with no pretext either – the same easily refuted lies that ‘thinking’ people eat up as easily as you type bullshit on your black site every fucking day.

    My sincerest hope is that you and your family are targeted by Al-queda and suffer as much as the Lebanese you regard with such racist disregard.

    You are a piece of shit.

    Fuck you.

    Once again, I’ve left this up just to show the extraordinary mindset of many in the opposition. And, interestingly enough, “anonymous” here has the same server as our friend “stevie.” Same origin, same host, same charm and style, same everything. From the fair city of Toronto, Canada.

    Edited By Siteowner

  3. JonBuck Says:

    There’s been an amazing emount of frothing at the mouth from the left going on here lately.

  4. Capn Billy Says:

    Know your enemy, one of which is anon | 07.27.06 – 2:31 pm. This individual is either a Muslim who wishes Israel destroyed and their citizens massacred or one of their useful idiots. Such reprobates should be shunned by all decent people, and I will certainly ignore any further posts by this creep. Israel has every right to defend itself, the foul-mouthed diatribes of this creature and its like notwithstanding. Want to show your appreciation for the IDF soldiers who are pursuing this rabble? Go to:
    http://burgeridf.org/

  5. armchair pessimist Says:

    Neo,

    Actually, anon up there is worth a read, but not for the reason he might think.

    The left has the advantage of rabies. When do we get mad, and how do you think it will show?

  6. cb Says:

    Neo-Neocon,

    I don’t know what you’re feeling about your comments section these days, depressed I would imagine. Not that you need reminding, but should you be interested in a sort of long time readers view, your comments section is pointless these days. I used to read the comments, but jeez, it’s gotten ridiculous. Still love your posts, though!

  7. Capn Billy Says:

    It may be depressing, cb | 07.27.06 – 3:01 pm, but I am pleased that Neo has chosen to leave the comment by anon | 07.27.06 – 2:31 pm up for all to see. “By their works shall ye know them.”

  8. nomdenet Says:

    Neo, apologies for my fellow Torontonian. Trolls can cause a lot of damage to the comments tone.

  9. anon Says:

    The problem with Totten’s analysis is that he’s too nice a guy. His compassion for the suffering of the Lebanese won’t let him point out the unpalatable truth about them. Any country or people which allows a foreign power to grow a statelet inside its borders doesn’t deserve the name.

    His remark

    But democratic Lebanon cannot win a war against Hezbollah, not even after Hezbollah is weakened by IAF raids. Hezbollah is the most effective Arab fighting force in the world, and the Lebanese army is the weakest and most divided…

    reminds me not of Churchill but of the old joke:

    Q: How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?

    A: Nobody knows.

    I would ask the Lebanese: what?! you let them bring 17,000 missiles across from Syria; what?! you let them bring Iranian engineers in to build 23 border posts across your most volatile front line; what?! you have an army of 80,000 and they have at most 3,000 regulars and you still won’t act, even after six years of Israeli absence and one year of Syrian, and with a UN mandate on your side.

  10. jf Says:

    I appreciate your commenting on Mr. Totten’s very lucid piece. It is obvious to me that:

    Lebanon’s helplessness is
    America’s helplessness is
    Israel’s helplessness.

    I, for one, am not happy about America-Israel-Lebanon helplessness, especially in the face of Hizballah-Syria-Iran.

    My IF’y question:

    IF Hizballah’s military is crushed,
    – AND –
    IF Syria is crippled (destroy air force and tanks),
    – AND –
    IF Turkey, et al, interdict Iranian arms shipments by air,
    – AND –
    IF the Bekaa Valley is under some imaginable anti-Syrian Lebanese Army control…

    …would Lebanese pluralism & democracy have a chance?

  11. Huan Says:

    I also believe that in order for Israel to destroy Hezbollah now and future, they will need to do more than just “disarm” Hezbollah. Part of Hezbollah power, both practically and public relation wise, are the social services Hezbollah provides in Southern Lebanon. Practically, they are the de facto government in Southern Lebanon because the central government of Lebanon cannot “keep the trains running on time” sort to speak. And this translates to political power that grants them legitimacy regionally. And this also has endeared them to Europe, granting them international legitimacy in the eyes of some as well.

    Thus this war presents a second opportunity for the central Lebanese government to reassert itself in Southern Lebanon. With international assistance, primarily US but also EU, the central government should do all it can (without Hezbollah) to rebuild and provide for Southern Lebanon after the ceasefire and while Hezbollah seek to rebuild itself and its paramilitary infrastructure.

    This is how Hezbollah can be destroyed. Degrade its military forces in war; marginalize its social services in peace. Have to win both.

  12. morris1782 Says:

    While anon expressed himself in foul language (which should be condemned), he did make an interesting point which happened to be quite true.

    During its occupation of Lebanon which began in 1982, Israel abetted horrific atrocities in Lebanon (of which the massacre at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps is only one example).

    Hezbollah was able to grow so quickly largely as a result of those events, because of the anger that was generated in Lebabon against Israel. (Newton’s third law seems to apply in politics: to action there’s an equal and opposite reaction…)

  13. Derek from the UK Says:

    I do not share the underlying sense of glee underpinning most of the posts on this site at the opening up of a new front in the “War on Terror”. Rather, I regret the suffering on both sides.

    I remain confused as to what the objectives of the Israeli action are. Whilst it is beyond me to work out the throught processes of Hizbollah radicals, I do, perhaps naively, search for some rationale behind the Israeli strategy, so enthusiastically supported by the US. Unfortunately I find none.

    The stated aim of the Israeli mission is to destroy Hizbollah, free the two kidnapped soldiers and stop rockets being fired into Israel. Have any of these been achieved yet? Do any of them look like being achieved any time soon? If not, then what is the point of sacrificing IDF lives, not to mention the hundreds of Lebanese civilians?

  14. grackle Says:

     

    Trolldom has a continuum from lite to heavy. A heavyweight like neo has highlighted above is actually kind of fun to read every once in awhile. They are so off-target, frequently demonstrating an ignorance of rather widely known facts, that they almost(but not quite) seem comical. Perhaps I’m wrong but it does seem to be a trait of the left that is not mirrored by the right. I read lefty blogs and I see few on the right who descend into such raw hatred. I’m wondering if anyone has any links to corresponding rightwing comments on a Kos-type blog exhibiting a similar degree of blind hatred? In order to guarantee authenticity they would have to be dated before the date of this comment, just in case someone has the bright idea to post phony comments. And of course we need to confine it to political blogs.

     

  15. Don Says:

    morris1782 wrote: Hezbollah was able to grow so quickly largely as a result of those events,

    During the Lebanese Civil War, Shi’a Muslims committed horrible attrocities against Palastinian Sunnis.

    Given this fact, why would Maronite Christian attrocities against Palastinian Sunnis ‘grow’ Shi’a Hezbollah?

    Is it OK for Shi’a to murder fellow Muslims, but it’s not OK for Christians?

    Here is an interesting Wiki quote:

    In ‘Pity the Nation’, Robert Fisk quotes a fellow Times correspondent:

    “The destruction of Sabra is so great that few not living below ground can have survived. The way in which Amal and the Palestinians fought in the corridors of the hospital for the old in Sabra while the patients were still there indicates that neither side cares too much for civilians caught in crossfire. The way in which the Palestinians build their houses over the bunkers must make civilian casualties inevitable. But they want it both ways. If you ask how many fighters they have they say all Palestinians are fighters, men, women, and children. But then they yell if a woman or child gets killed.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_camps

  16. stumbley Says:

    “Have any of these been achieved yet? Do any of them look like being achieved any time soon?”

    We are entering the 2ND WEEK of conflict. Are people so enamored of Hollywood or video games that they’ve forgotten that war (REAL war, not the bloodless H’wood, video-game kind) takes time? WWII took 6 YEARS. WWI took 4. Vietnam lasted 10!

    The reason Israel seeks to destroy Hezbollah is that Hez seeks to destroy Israel. It’s a matter of survival. Why is that SO HARD to understand, Derek?

    I’m also unaware of the “glee” you ascribe to commenters here. Very few of neo’s readers feel any kind of warmth for conflict (though there are some that might). War is, as Sherman said, hell. But it is a sometimes necessary hell. Would you have felt the same about self-defense in 1936 if you had been living in Poland, Derek? If you answer yes, then imagine yourself in Kiryat Shmona. How do you feel now?

  17. Don Says:

    Derek from the UK,

    What do YOU suggest Israel do?

    I happen to think that military force is key to stopping terrorism. My concearn is that Israel won’t go far enough (or is restrained), and that they will end up with another ‘peace’ like the one that withdrawing from Lebanon in 2000 achieved.

    Destroying Hizbollah will likely be a long hard journey. Best to get started on it ASAP.

  18. morris1782 Says:

    I remain confused as to what the objectives of the Israeli action are.

    I’m guessing that Israel’s objective is the following:

    1) Decimate the Shiite population in Lebanon, hoping that this will bolster the Christians and Sunnis, who, Israel thinks, will be more inclined to accept a peace with Israel than will the Shia.

    2) Destroy infrastructure and create chaos in Lebanon, and blame it on the Shia for having “harbored” the Hezbulla, hoping to turn the est of the country against the Shia.

    Basically, Israel’s goal is to drive a wedge between the Shia and the Sunni. It’s the classic strategy of “Divide and conquer”.

  19. someone Says:

    Fatalism is the middle eastern disease, and I’m afraid Totten contracted rather a serious case of it in Lebanon.

    (Why will their never be democratic revolution in Iran? That same stupid fatalism.)

    For Totten the illness goes under the cover of the chic notion that Hizb’allah is invincible. Nasrallah’s desperate calls for hudna suggest otherwise.

  20. morris1782 Says:

    We are entering the 2ND WEEK of conflict. Are people so enamored of Hollywood or video games that they’ve forgotten that war (REAL war, not the bloodless H’wood, video-game kind) takes time? WWII took 6 YEARS.

    Ah, but the combatants are utterly mismatched (Israel has weaponry a thousand times more powerful than Hezbolla), and so this war should have ended much more quickly.

    That this is taking so long is utterly damaging to Israel. Why? Remember that old axiom: “A resisting/guerrilla army wins merely by not losing. An invading/occupying army loses merely by not winning.” By this logic, Israel is losing so far and Hezbollah is winning.

    And the longer this goes on, the more Israel loses the P.R. warfare, too.

  21. nyomythus Says:

    “By this logic, Israel is losing so far and Hezbollah is winning.”

    In your wet dreams

  22. stumbley Says:

    Morris, respectfully: no matter how “mismatched” forces are, it still takes TIME to dislodge well-entrenched, defended positions. There will be a limit to how many casualties Hez can absorb, just as there will be a limit to the amount of casualties Israel can absorb. It’s a matter of who wants to win more.

    Frankly, at this point, as an American and supporter of Israel, I don’t give a d*** about “international opinion.” They hate the “Great and Little Satan” anyway, who cares anymore? Really, what could America or Israel do, short of committing suicide, that would satisfy “international opinion”?

  23. senescentwasp Says:

    Morris,
    Is that what they believe on the planet you’re from?

  24. Don Says:

    Ah, but the combatants are utterly mismatched (Israel has weaponry a thousand times more powerful than Hezbolla), and so this war should have ended much more quickly.

    This ignores complicating factors, specifically:

    1) Geography
    2) IDF restraint due to civilians

    On the ocean, in the air, and (one expects) in space, superior force tends to dominate. On land, that also is largely true in open spaces. When you get into mountains, forests, swamps, and cities that is no longer so true.

    IDF acts in a civilized manner and shows restraint, while Hezbolla hides behind civilians like cowards. This complicates things significantly.

    IDF needs time and a free hand to do the job at hand. If this job isn’t done now, it will have to be done later, but then at greater expense.

  25. Don Says:

    stumbley,

    International opinion is largely rooted in envy. As long as we are a success, we will be hated. If we become a failure, we won’t be liked (anymore than Mexico, Syria, France, or other failures are liked), but we won’t be hated, at least not as much.

  26. jgr Says:

    Neo, thanks for your meditation. It is an antidote for much of the somewhat frenzied talk in many quarters.

    A people must survive, however that may be.
    Whatever it takes; that is Israel’s case. And it is ours, too, no matter how much ‘international opinion’ disregards unpleasant facts.

    Whether AlQ, or Hez, or Hamas, Islamofascism menaces the UK, Canada, and, of course, US.

    And look at the poisoned nature of the Arab world. (I remember just North Africa and the Algerian massacres, but I could be talking about the Sudan, or..) Theirs is a death god–eager for victims– who relishes sacrifice, especially that of its own believers

  27. proud neocon Says:

    Morris1782,

    “Hezbollah was able to grow so quickly largely as a result of those events, because of the anger that was generated in Lebabon against Israel. (Newton’s third law seems to apply in politics: to action there’s an equal and opposite reaction…)”

    Don’t waste your time there Morris, cause and effect relationships are not relevant to us “thinking” Neocons. Nor, for that matter, any Scientific law.

    It’s just this simple: Israel, Good. Lebanon, Evil.

    Proud Neocon

  28. senescentwasp Says:

    Faux proud,
    Aren’t you just the cutest little troll? A little shallow as we would expect, but it is a interesting ploy.

    Anger comes from humiliation. Humiliation comes from getting your ass kicked every time. And, getting your ass kicked occurs when you are just stone stupid.

  29. felix Says:

    It appears the only way to stop the missiles beng fired is for Israel to reoccupy Southern Lebanon. This is indeed unfortunate because Israel does not want to reoccupy, but given that Hez won’t leave the area, and there is no other military (even NATO) who can disarm Hez, what other choice is there?

    Even pushing Hez north, won’t entirely stop the missiles as some have a long range. I assume now that Israel has called up the reserves, it will likely pursue the reoccupation starting soon.

  30. Ymarsakar Says:

    I think you know by now, Neo, that asking for quarter and to be spared, is to only invite the opposite. If you want peace and a lack of opposition, you must become aggressive and war like.

    Asking to be spared, will invite no quarter after all.

    From the fair city of Toronto, Canada.

    From the fair, tolerant, and progressive city of Toronto, Canada.

  31. Sally Says:

    I just wanted to say that I too appreciate neo’s leaving the post of that deranged troll up for all to see. What accounts for all the foam and spittle (other than a genetic predisposition)? Perhaps the fact that Israel has been given a freer hand than it’s enjoyed for some time to attack its enemies, and the terrible fear, as a result, that the Israelis might actually succeed in destroying a substantial portion of them. That fear can be seen in the other terrorist-symps here as well, though they display a little more self-control than barking-mad “Stevie”. They try to comfort themselves with the mantra that any Israeli response will “just create more terrorists”, but that’s more their hope than a reality, and they can’t seem to shake the persistent dread that, in the face of this determined attack, the game might be up, and Arabs might increasingly start to look for other, better ways to find fulfilment than pointless “martyrdom”.

    And then who will the lefties have left to pursue their proxy war on the West? Chavez? Kim Jong-Ill? Castro? Ah, it’d be funny if it weren’t so sad. Or vice versa.

  32. promethea Says:

    Here’s the big idea, that so many seem to miss:

    Hezbollah is part of Iran’s army, and Lebanon as now constituted is either a “failed state” or a “terrorist-controlled” state–controlled by Iran.

    Hezbollah must be destroyed–that means killing as many of them as possible and controlling the area that they controlled. Maybe some WMD might also be found in the Bekaa Valley.

    Sure I feel sorry for the Lebanese–but not real sorry. The analogy to Vichy France is quite apparent. The Lebanese and their non-government or terrorist-controlled government are part of the problem of worldwide Iranian jihadist ambitions.

  33. morris1782 Says:

    barking-mad “Stevie”. They try to comfort themselves with the mantra that any Israeli response will “just create more terrorists”, but that’s more their hope than a reality, and they can’t seem to shake the persistent dread that, in the face of this determined attack, the game might be up, and Arabs might increasingly start to look for other, better ways to find fulfilment than pointless “martyrdom”.

    Alas, all the newspaper reports suggest that the latest action by Israel has only inflamed and unleashed tremendous anger at Israel all over the Arab world. Not only that, it is also bringing Shia Arabs and Sunni Arabs (who are usually not-so-close) together in unity.

    Israel may have set in motion forces way beyond its control through its recklessness. A textbook case of overreaching and hubris.

    Israel initially stated that its goal was to recover Gilad Shalit, the captured soldier, and the two other soldiers who were captured by Hezbollah. Many days have passed and Israel hasn’t yet been able to recover any of the three. When it started the operation it thought that it was to be a quick and easy victory, but now it is increasingly looking like a quagmire.

    Olmert is clearly totally inexperienced — a huge bungler, in fact, based on what’s happened so far.

  34. grackle Says:

     
    I remain confused as to what the objectives of the Israeli action are.

    It never fails to amaze when the anti-war crowd keeps asking the same question, over and over. The answer is: to kill as many terrorists as possible for as long as possible – an objective that should be heartily supported by any fair-minded person with a true grasp of the issues. Sadly, it looks as if Israel has decided to try half measures with Hezbollah – a one mile safety zone will accomplish little. And Israel is further ham-stringing itself by announcing its tactical intentions ahead of time by the warning leaflets. Doesn’t everyone grasp the simple fact that the terrorists are warned along with the civilians? That Israel is forced to do this, is held to an impossibly high standard of warfare, is ample demonstration of the topsy-turvy nature of world politics and the cleverness of the terrorists, who are expert propagandists.
     

  35. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “This is indeed unfortunate because Israel does not want to reoccupy, but given that Hez won’t leave the area, and there is no other military (even NATO) who can disarm Hez, what other choice is there?”

    Not entirely true. NATO could disarm Hezbollah, and even the UN could, quickly and easily. It would, however, require an armed military action and the deaths of large numbers of terrorists, who magically turn into innocent civilians the moment the AP cameras are rolling. The UN bureaucrats have made military action politically impossible for themselves, and are doing their best to make it politically impossible for NATO.

    In other words, it’s not that they can’t, but that they won’t. In the short term, the result is the same, but understanding their real motivations will help you understand their long term plans.

  36. dicentra Says:

    Alas, all the newspaper reports suggest that the latest action by Israel has only inflamed and unleashed tremendous anger at Israel all over the Arab world.

    The Arab world hates Israel as a matter of doctrine. They will continue to hate Israel until they are three weeks cold in the grave, and this even if they succeed in destroying Israel.

    When someone hates you that vicerally and irrationally, you stop trying to fend off their hate because it’s an exercise in futility. International condemnation of Israel and the US may end up backfiring: we’ll get to the point where we say, “screw them, good is never good enough. We’re doing what we want.”

    Israel may have set in motion forces way beyond its control through its recklessness. A textbook case of overreaching and hubris.

    Israel is being reckless. Hez lobbed rockets into Israel, expecting to get the usual “restraint” (e.g., no response). Hez kidnapped soldiers. HEZ set in motion events beyond its control. Is that hubris or just plain stupidity?

    Many days have passed and Israel hasn’t yet been able to recover any of the three.

    Why do you suppose that is? Because “violence never solved anything”?

    When it started the operation it thought that it was to be a quick and easy victory, but now it is increasingly looking like a quagmire.

    How do you know that Israel thought this would be a quick and easy victory? Why would Israel think this would be a quick and easy victory? Crap, even I know that getting rid of Hez is no cakewalk. Why would people experienced in war think it is?

    And. “Quagmire”? After two weeks? You might need to take a bit more Ritalin or ADDerall or whatever they’ve got you on: your short attention span is showing.

    You must be young. No sense of history. No idea of how these things work. Too many bloodless video games…

    And furthermore, if one more person insinuates or states that we create our own enemies by fighting them, I’m gonna scream. It’s like saying that battered women create their own batterers by being female. It’s like the criminal who says, “don’t move or I’ll shoot,” so you move, he shoots, he says, “look at what you made me do.”

  37. morris1782 Says:

    And furthermore, if one more person insinuates or states that we create our own enemies by fighting them, I’m gonna scream.

    No, but you create your own enemies by needlessly maltreating people and humiliating people. For example:

    “On a visit to Israel, Jose Saramago [nobel prize winner in literature] declared to Portuguese radio station Antenna 1, that “It must be said that in Palestine, there is a crime which we can stop.”

    “He added that only by visiting the territory and seeing first-hand the repressive policy adopted by Israeli soldiers against Palestinian civilians, could the injustice of the situation be understood. He reported that he had seen an ambulance carrying a pregnant Palestinian woman stopped at the border. She was refused entry and the baby was delivered in the vehicle. Others have not been so lucky.

    “In one incident, in October 2001, a pregnant Palestinian woman was left dying in the street near a checkpoint which had refused her entry, with the Israeli soldiers standing around laughing and jeering at one less terrorist being born.”

    — “A Tale of Two Nobel Prize Winners”,
    http://ellissharp.blogspot.com/2006/07/tale-of-two-nobel-prize-winners.html

    Morris

  38. kcom Says:

    “He reported that he had seen an ambulance carrying a pregnant Palestinian woman stopped at the border. She was refused entry and the baby was delivered in the vehicle.”

    And you know why that is, Morris? It’s because the Palestinians have been caught on more than one occasion using ambulances to ferry explosives or to use as car bombs. Now would you let an ambulance from an entity dedicated to your destruction rush into your territory unchecked? Not if you’re smart, you wouldn’t. If the Palestinians did not so systematically violate the Geneva Conventions in mixing civilian activities with military, the Israelis would be much freer to treat civilians as civilians without risking the lives of their own citizens.

    P.S. The same goes for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Civilian casualties would be far less likely if Hezbollah weren’t so cavalier with the lives of their own people and didn’t put them at such great risk by hiding behind them while launching rocket attacks.

  39. kcom Says:

    “Not only that, it is also bringing Shia Arabs and Sunni Arabs (who are usually not-so-close) together in unity.”

    You mean like the unity of the Arab League meeting a few days ago when virtually every Arab country took the opportunity to denounce Hezbollah and refused to support them? That unity?

  40. senescentwasp Says:

    morris,
    You’re a hopeless case. You’ll change no minds here and you’ll simply become an object of pity for your tunnel vision.

    Some enemies are enemies because their ideology requires them to be enemies. Islamo-Fascists pride themselves in being enemies of the West and Western values. They need killing and the killing will have to go on until there are no more of them to kill.

    We are not all going to join hands and sing Kumbaya. There will be no “kiss of peace” exchanged.

    If you don’t like that and you are fortunate enough to live in a western Liberal democracy, than contend for power and change the policies you don’t like. My guess is that your side is melting like an iceberg in the Gulf Stream. Pretty soon you are going to have to make a decision and it won’t involve writing comments on blogs. You will have to go to extra-political methods to contend for power or you will have to shut up.

    My hope is that a lot of of your compatriots, and possibly even you, take the Jeffersonian option to water the Tree of Liberty. It will clear the air and provide a sobering object lesson, while allowing the rest of us to get on with the task.

  41. Sally Says:

    Morris is of the same ilk, and likely on the same side, as Stevie, even if he’s managed so far to control himself a little better. Nevertheless, though he says “alas” when he speaks of the “tremendous anger” that (he hopes) is unleashed against Israel, I think it’s pretty clear that the prospect excites him. Partly this is evident from his uncritical acceptance of the most scurrilous anti-Israeli atrocity stories, and partly from the alacrity with which he siezes on the perennial leftist dream of Western “quagmire”.

    But what Morris and his terrorist “freedom-fighters” are missing altogether is the “tremendous anger” that’s building up, slowly but surely, in the West against those who wish to bring about that culture’s demise. That’s an anger which is far from its full expression as yet, but which, if it ever gets to that point, will scour the entire region of the Middle East and far beyond.

  42. morris1782 Says:

    kcom wrote: “Not only that, it is also bringing Shia Arabs and Sunni Arabs (who are usually not-so-close) together in unity” — You mean like the unity of the Arab League meeting a few days ago when virtually every Arab country took the opportunity to denounce Hezbollah and refused to support them? That unity?

    By “Arab country”, you and I are talking about completely different things. You are talking about the rulers, while I was referring to the common people — the people on the street. Because these countries have unelected, autocratic governments (often US-supported, like in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc), what the rulers say often does not reflect what the people in the street are thinking and saying.

    It is the rulers who attend the Arab League meetings, and so you get a misleading impression. See below.

    New York Times,
    July 26, 2006
    Op-Ed
    By BERNARD HAYKEL

    “But now Hezbollah has taken the lead on the most incendiary issue for
    jihadis of all stripes: the fight against Israel.

    “Many Sunnis are therefore rallying to Hezbollah’s side, including the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan. The Saudi cleric Salman al-Awda has defied his government’s anti-Hezbollah position, writing on his Web site that “”this is not the time to express our differences with the Shiites because we are all confronted by our greater enemy” .”

    Source:
    New York Times,
    July 26, 2006
    Op-Ed
    By BERNARD HAYKEL
    [Bernard Haykel, an associate professor of Islamic Studies at New York University, is the author of the book“"Revival and Reform in Islam".]

  43. Ymarsakar Says:

    If people don’t got anything important to say, to the point of attacking morris, they got a problem.

  44. douglas Says:

    If hizb’allah is destroyed, you won’t be seeing pictures of their sheikh and little yellow flags for sale in the bazaars of the islamic world anymore. They’ve got lots of bandwagoners now, but we’ll see how that holds up. Anyone seen any bin ladin pics for sale lately?? Al Zarqawi?? No??

    Has anyone noticed that the logo of Hizb’allah is a militant fist clenching a Kalishnakov over a globe symbol and in arabic “only one party – party of god (hizb’allah). In case you never gave it a thought, it’s pretty clear they are interested in Islamic (Shi’ite) world domination, not just “protecting” Lebanon. To be blind to things which are so painfully obvious such as this…. well, it’s rather discouraging really…

  45. douglas Says:

    found this over at LGF- bet you didn’t know that Hizb’allah attacked UN peacekeepers TWICE this week! IDF evac-ed and saved his life. Annan- no commment.
    link to LGF

  46. Roger Says:

    kcom writes: “You mean like the unity of the Arab League meeting a few days ago when virtually every Arab country took the opportunity to denounce Hezbollah and refused to support them? That unity?”

    You’re misinformed, kcom. See the front-page article below from today’s New York Times:

    July 28, 2006
    Changing Reaction

    Tide of Arab Opinion Turns to Support for Hezbollah

    By NEIL MacFARQUHAR

    DAMASCUS, Syria, July 27 — At the onset of the Lebanese crisis, Arab governments, starting with Saudi Arabia, slammed Hezbollah for recklessly provoking a war, providing what the United States and Israel took as a wink and a nod to continue the fight.

    Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for more than two weeks, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official statements.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/28/world/middleeast/28arabs.html?ref=world&pagewanted=print

    – Roger.

  47. Adam Says:

    Douglas,

    But the same UN document,
    http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr08.pdf
    also says:

    UNITED NATIONS INTERIM FORCE IN LEBANON
    (UNIFIL)
    Naqoura,
    24 July 2006
    PRESS RELEASE

    [..]

    There were nine other incidents of firing close to UN positions during the past 24 hours, with two positions suffering direct hits from the Israeli side.

    [..]

    Four aerial bombs impacted in the
    immediate vicinity of a Ghanaian position in the area of Brashit, and eleven tank rounds impacted in the immediate vicinity of a Ghanaian battalion position in the Rmaich area causing significant material damage.

    Source: http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr08.pdf

  48. grackle Says:

     
    As has been pointed out before – given the terrorists proclivity for using the hapless and very much in the way UN “peacekeepers” as shields(which may be their true purpose) – casualties among UN personnel is inevitable. Considering the amount of ordinance that’s been utilized in the last several days by Israel I’m surprised at how few UN casualties there has been. How many is it now- only two?
     

  49. Roger Says:

    Grackle: The Israelis have precision bombs (smart bombs). The UN has repeatedly given the Israelis detailed co-ordinates of the UN post location. Israel ought to be able to avoid firing at the UN if it wanted to, on account of the sophistication (smarts) of its weapons.

    The Arabs, on the other hand, do not have precision or smart weapons. So it’s comparatively easy for Arab fire to go astray and hit unintended targets.

  50. Weary_G Says:

    Getting back to the point of how you ultimately stop this, it is by crushing the puppet masters.

    Trying to fight Hezbollah in Lebanon is in one sense truly futile, because the true enemy lies elsewhere. Decimate Hezbollah and Israel gains a respite, but it will only be a temporary one. Like the Hydra, Hez will reconstitute and rearm itself and the dance of death begins again.

    Trying to fight the proxy army and not the real enemy is like fighting a fire by spraying the top of the flames with water, and not the base of the conflagration. You create some steam, perhaps lower the flames a bit, but it will not put out the fire. To kill the fire, your need to cut off its fuel.

    So, Syria and Iran must be defeated and its leadership overthrown. They are the font through which Hezbollah springs. I hold out my hopes that in Iran at least there might be a revolt, but it is not a strong one and time is running out.

    The whole world is avoiding this direct fight, even the US and the Israelis, for a number of reasons. However, time will come when the battle cannot be avoided anymore. The only thing uncertain is how much the threat will have grown by then, and how big a price will be paid. Time is not on our side, as the terrorists are supplied with bigger and nastier toys by their masters.

    My prediction is that we won’t get this through our heads (loud enough to overcome the rantings of the appeasers and apologists) before things get really ugly. Some of you think the fighting in Lebanon or Iraq is bad, too bad to even consider continuing for one more day?

    You have not seen anything yet. Some of you don’t even bother to see the corpses piled mountain high in certain regions of the world right now, because it does not dovetail with your anti-US, anti-Israel, anti-west agenda.

    People thought WWI was the worst things could ever get. WWII showed them to be horribly naive. The bitter irony is that the horrors of WWI led people to desperately ignore the growing threat of WWII, thus making its advent both inevitable and that much horrible.

  51. nyomythus Says:

    …would Lebanese pluralism & democracy have a chance?

    We almost need to build a walls around Iran, Syria, and N. Korea until they decide they want to join the 21st century and can afford to pay for the cost of the wall. We’ll slide food in and let a few out for fresh air from time to time.

  52. nyomythus Says:

    Morris said, A textbook case of overreaching and hubris.

    Like the Allied invasion of Normandy, without which, would not have ended WW2 as timely as we did — a war that might have dragged out for decades [big thanks to a previous generation]. Or nuking Berlin and Munich. If you don’t like war — then don’t cheer for the Islamofascist dictators!

  53. morris1782 Says:

    Nyomythus, many of the dictators in the Arab world seem to be US allies — ever wonder why? The House of Saud, King Hussein of Jordan, President Mubarak of Egypt….

  54. Graeme Says:

    We almost need to build a walls around Iran, Syria, and N. Korea until they decide they want to join the 21st century and can afford to pay for the cost of the wall. We’ll slide food in and let a few out for fresh air from time to time.

    Well, the US tried to do this exact same thing to Cuba for 40+ years now. An embargo, the Helms-Burton law (which discourages foreign ships to call on Cuban ports), etc. etc. A virtual wall around the island, built by Uncle Sam!

    And what has been the result? A total failure! Castro is still alive and going as string as ever.

  55. nyomythus Says:

    Morris …many of the dictators in the Arab world seem to be US allies — ever wonder why? The House of Saud, King Hussein of Jordan, President Mubarak of Egypt….

    Well Good Morning America! Our choices in life are almost never between “Good” and “Bad” — they are almost always between “Totally screwed up” and “Bad – but at least, hopefully, not totally screwed up”

  56. nyomythus Says:

    Graeme said, Castro is still alive and going as [strong] as ever.

    Yes he has still reaped havoc in the world despite sanctions, which is why sanctions and humanitarian aid never work – they only enable and pesters the problem. I’m confident Cuba will one day soon rise and become the jewel of the Caribbean – Hell I can’t wait to take the kids!

  57. grackle Says:

     
    The Israelis have precision bombs (smart bombs).

    Even with smart bombs some are bound to go astray because of human error. Couple that with the terrorists’ tactic of conducting operations in the midst of civilians and UN personnel in order to insure that UN and civilian casualties occur and we have the current situation where Israel has miraculously managed to keep the friendly fire casualties among the UN personnel to only four so far. Thanks to smart bombs the casualties have been kept to a minimum.

    many of the dictators in the Arab world seem to be US allies — ever wonder why?

    Because they were all “dictators” in the Arab world before the US forced regime changes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Before those regime changes you either did business with a despot or you didn’t do business. Does the anti-Israel crowd ever look at a map or crack a book on recent world history? Again and again we have this abysmal ‘apparent’ lack of knowledge of historical reality and almost comical restating of the obvious, the terms of which are clumsily chosen to reflect badly on Israel and the US. I guess this sort of question is greeted with cheers and nods of agreement on the Kos-type blogs or in conversations among the anti-Israeli bunch.
     

  58. kcom Says:

    “You’re misinformed, kcom. See the front-page article below from today’s New York Times:”

    I know I’ll catch heat for this but I take anything from the New York Times with a large grain of salt. We’ve seen these “Arab street” stories over, and over, and over again and while they may contain an element of truth they virtually never play out the way they are “supposed” to. Mostly it’s just wishful thinking from a certain group of people who were already of that opinion in the first place. As someone noted above, the “alas” crowd more often than not seems excited about the situation they are ostentatiously “alasing” and therefore their judgment, in my mind, is called into question.

  59. harry mallory Says:

    Roger:
    “The Arabs, on the other hand, do not have precision or smart weapons.

    They seem to be able to get their children to deliver their bombs with some accuracy. A practice explained away by the Islomofascist and some of you liberals as just compensation for Israel’s use of high tech weapons designed, in part, to limit civilian casualties.

    But as pointed out above, even high tech weapons go astray.

    Not, in my opinion, that the un-intended target wasnt hostile anyway.

  60. grackle Says:

     
    “Man on the street” interviews have zero value as far as factual information is concerned. It’s what the media does to fill the time slot when it doesn’t really have a story – or when it wants to disseminate propaganda.
     

  61. Weary_G Says:

    “Man on the street” interviews have zero value as far as factual information is concerned. It’s what the media does to fill the time slot when it doesn’t really have a story – or when it wants to disseminate propaganda.

    That’s just one item in the bag of tricks. Polls are another one. Notice how many polls there are nowadays? They serve the same functions.

    One, it gives the media something to blad or write about, to interview guests about, to do those MOS’s you mention, etc. In a way, polls allow the reporters to create the news.

    Second, the topic you raise in the poll itself puts certain issues at the forefront, which alone allows some control over the dialogue. In addition, how you ask the questions and how you interpret the results gives the media alot of leeway to skew the results. This allows them to shape the news.

  62. Don Says:

    The Arabs, on the other hand, do not have precision or smart weapons. So it’s comparatively easy for Arab fire to go astray and hit unintended targets.
    Roger

    So, does Roger really think Arabs care who their weapons hit?

  63. Tatterdemalian Says:

    I guess it just doesn’t occur to morris that Jose Saramago might be lying.

  64. Don Says:

    Graeme said, “Castro is still alive and going as [strong] as ever”.

    Yes he has still reaped havoc in the world despite sanctions, which is why sanctions and humanitarian aid never work – they only enable and pesters the problem.

    In WW1, England defeated Germany via a blockade that, among other things, starved German children. The greatest threat to England in that war (and the next one as well) was the U-boat fleet creating an effective blockade.

    But in any case, the blockade has to be complete to be effective, which means starving children. Further, it takes awhile to be effective, and that implies starving children for a long time.

    When you start making exceptions for humanitarian aid, it is unclear that such methods work; I don’t know of restricted blockades proving effective.

    If the US truely put a wall around Cuba, we could bring down Castro, but we would starve a lot of children in the process. So we don’t do it.

  65. Ymarsakar Says:

    Don, just evacuate the children, and leave the adults back in the country. They won’t mind given the choice of starvation or saving their children.

    Cold blooded? Sure, but pragmatic.

    Weary_G

    Keep going weary.

  66. nyomythus Says:

    I was of course speaking in metaphor … to isolation and unity.

  67. morris1782 Says:

    “I guess it just doesn’t occur to morris that Jose Saramago might be lying.”

    Well, many sources other than Saramago have confirmed these abuses.

    For example:

    http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/5ba47a5c6cef541b802563e000493b8c/7acac141d3593cce85257085004dd6c5!OpenDocument

    UN General Assembly
    A/60/324
    31 August 2005

    Sixtieth session
    Item 73 (c) of the provisional agenda*
    Human rights questions: situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives

    The issue of Palestinian pregnant women giving birth at Israeli checkpoints

    Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights**

    1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/7 of 14 April 2005, entitled “Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem”, paragraph 4 of which reads as follows:

    ” The Commission on Human Rights,

    “4. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to address the issue of Palestinian pregnant women giving birth at Israeli checkpoints owing to denial of access by Israel to hospitals, with a view to ending this inhumane Israeli practice, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session and the Commission at its sixty-second session;”

    2. On 21 July 2005, the Secretary-General addressed notes verbales to the Permanent Mission of Israel and to the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations Office at Geneva, in which he indicated that he would appreciate receiving any information pertaining to the implementation of the above resolution. No replies had been received at the time of preparation of this report.

    3. In addition, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) addressed letters dated 21 July 2005 to the following United Nations entities and specialized agencies represented in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process (UNSCO), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO).

    4. Information was received from UNFPA, UNRWA and WHO in the course of August 2005. WHO quoted statistics from the Palestinian Ministry of Health indicating that 61 women had given birth at checkpoints between September 2000 and December 2004 and 36 of their babies died as a result. A breakdown of these figures shows that in 2000-2001, 31 pregnant women delivered at checkpoints and 17 of the babies died; in 2002, 16 women gave birth in similar conditions and 11 babies died; in 2003 and 2004, the numbers decreased: 8 and 6 women ga

  68. morris1782 Says:

    [contd. from above]

    8 and 6 women gave birth at checkpoints and 3 and 5 of the babies died, respectively.

    5. According to other statistics provided by UNRWA, not yet complete for 2005, in the Gaza Strip, out of eight pregnant women transported to hospital, one woman gave birth inside the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance while waiting at a checkpoint. Another woman, suffering from problems in her six-month pregnancy, aborted inside a PRCS ambulance, as she was held up for one hour at a checkpoint before being allowed to proceed.

    6. According to the same source of information, 15 pregnant women in 2004 and 8 others in 2005 were delayed at checkpoints in the Gaza Strip while being transported to hospital by PRCS ambulance. These delays ranged from 1 to 2 ½ hours and increased during the evacuation of emergency cases from closed areas such as Seafa or Mahata; such patients were first brought by ambulance to the checkpoints, where they were transferred to a second ambulance on the other side. It was reported that prior coordination with the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) was necessary when these transfers occurred after crossing hours.

    7. For its part, UNFPA stated that “as a result of increased security procedures at checkpoints and the construction of the Separation Barrier, access of the Palestinian people to hospitals and medical facilities had been significantly impaired. Since 2001, UNFPA had recorded more than 70 cases of women in labour who had been delayed at checkpoints, which resulted in unattended and risky roadside births, causing maternal as well as newborn deaths”.

    8. The Palestinian Ministry of Health registered an increase of 7.9 per cent in home deliveries in the West Bank (against 0.5 per cent in the Gaza Strip) for 2005, indicating that Palestinian women preferred to give birth at home, without taking the risk of being subjected to potentially hazardous delays at checkpoints. This was also confirmed by UNFPA.

    9. Several testimonies of Palestinian pregnant women who were allegedly held at checkpoints by Israeli military were brought to the attention of OHCHR. One such testimony concerned the death of a baby girl at a checkpoint close to Salem village, Nablus Governorate, in August 2003, after her mother gave birth with the assistance of the father, who had to cut the umbilical cord himself with a stone, as both of them were waiting for a second ambulance on the other side of the checkpoint to take them to the hospital.

    10. It was also reported that although ambulances were allowed to transport patients through checkpoints during curfews, on the basis of advance coordination with IDF, delays often occurred and ambulances were forced to use secondary roads. When ambulances were not allowed to go through checkpoints, pregnant women had to be transferred from one ambulance to another on the other side.

    11. Several sources indicated that many pregnant women in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

  69. morris1782 Says:

    [contd. from above]

    11. Several sources indicated that many pregnant women in the Occupied Palestinian Territories feared that they would not be able to reach a hospital in time to give birth. The problem was more acute in rural areas, especially for those women who lived in villages cut off by checkpoints from the cities where the hospitals were located. The drive to a hospital could take several hours, even if the distance was only a few kilometres. Such journeys were impracticable at night, during curfews or when there were military incursions. Additional information received referred to more than 30 per cent of births taking place at home, increasing the risk of complications and the subsequent death of mothers or infants. A growing number of Palestinian women were requesting Caesarean deliveries as a result of psychological apprehension and the fear of not receiving adequate medical care.

    12. OHCHR and its Office in Palestine will continue to compile information regarding the issue of Palestinian pregnant women giving birth at Israeli checkpoints, in cooperation with the agencies represented in the United Nations Country Team.

    Source: http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/5ba47a5c6cef541b802563e000493b8c/7acac141d3593cce85257085004dd6c5!OpenDocument

    – Morris.

  70. Don Says:

    Ymarsakar,

    Castro would use force to keep children and other civilians in Cuba. Just like Hez uses force to keep Lebanese in the combat zone.

    Morris,

    Abuses? Since when is being delayed at a checkpoint an abuse? Perhaps if Palistinians stop blowing themselves up among the Israeli civilian population, IDF can stop the checkpoints?

    Israel pulls out of Gaza, so Hamas decides to kidnap and murder Isralis, and launch rockets into Israel, and Israel is to blame for their checkpoints?!

  71. nyomythus Says:

    Morris — if the women in my society are not getting the medical treatment they need because thugs are making it impossible to conduct any level of civility above barbarism, then I’m going to fight the thugs OR move the hell out of there, which is exactly what many Palestinians have done, living free lives in free nations and good people I might add. Life isn’t fair, just ask the man who just won a million dollars and was struck by lightning. The fact that women are the weaker of the two genders isn’t fair, otherwise they should be the ones kicking thug ass – mustering their resources to get the hell out of there. It’s like Hurricane Katrina – get off your sorry ass and get the hell out of the way, any where, but out of the way. It was not ‘Hurricane Bush’ up in the clouds whooshing the hot moist air around into cyclones.

  72. Astro-zygote Says:

    then I’m going to fight the thugs OR move the hell out of there, which is exactly what many Palestinians have done, living free lives in free nations and good people I might add.

    Is that the same advice you’d have given to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson in the 1770s?

    “You don’t like it here, Mr. Washington? Say what, you don’t like taxation without representation? Well, move the hell out of here!”

    Poor George Washington. He must have been a fool, to stay and try to fight for change, instead of “moving the hell out”.

  73. nyomythus Says:

    Poor George Washington. He must have been a fool, to stay and try to fight for change, instead of “moving the hell out”. Those are your thoughts and wishes not mine — fighting for the ideas of human freedom is worth fighting for. No relevance what so ever.

  74. tequilamockingbird Says:

    Neo, you say: “And please, spare yourself the trouble of informing me that the situation isn’t quite analogous. I know it’s not. But the similarity is this: sometimes what seems like a choice is no choice at all. When dealing with certain enemies bent on destruction and conquest, how can one avoid battle? Sooner or later, the conflagration will erupt. And is it better in the end for it to erupt sooner rather than later, when the enemy is stronger and more deeply entrenched?

    “The punishment for taking on Hitler was war. The punishment for not taking on Hitler was war. World War”.

    Immediately after recognizing the inaccuracy of the analogy, you rely on it to imply that the punishment for “not taking on (Hezbollah)” could be “World War”.

    The situations are simply not parallel and the analogy is invalid.

  75. J.H. Bowden Says:

    nyomythus–

    I find it fascinating how terrorist supporters like to mention George Washington. The idea is that one person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist, and vice versa.

    It is basic moral equivalence taught in our schools and preached in the media and Hollywood, as if fighting for liberal democracy is the same thing as fighting for a global Caliphate, and/or fighting to liquidate the world’s Jewish population.

    Discrimination — the act of making distinctions, is a new sin. “Judgmental” is the word usually used to condemn this uncaring mental act.

  76. douglas Says:

    Adam:
    But the same UN document,…
    also says:

    UNITED NATIONS INTERIM FORCE IN LEBANON
    (UNIFIL)
    Naqoura,
    24 July 2006
    PRESS RELEASE

    [..]

    There were nine other incidents of firing close to UN positions during the past 24 hours, with two positions suffering direct hits from the Israeli side.

    [..]

    Four aerial bombs impacted in the
    immediate vicinity of a Ghanaian position in the area of Brashit, and eleven tank rounds impacted in the immediate vicinity of a Ghanaian battalion position in the Rmaich area causing significant material damage.

    Source: link

    And so ???
    Were there tactical reasons for the Israelis to fire in the vicinity of the UN posts? IF this was an already recognized threat, why didn’t the UN pull it’s unarmed, useless observers out already? WHat does any of this have to do with Hizbollah firing on a UN convoy, or a UN post? Do think it at all likely that the Israelis were using ht UN post for cover?

    Thanks for the link to the original document from the UN though. At least people can’t deny it happened.

  77. douglas Says:
  78. BoydontdiscussmatterswithRockh Says:

    This blog site is hilarious. It is so full of pro-Isreali crap. I am an American first and foremost. Not an isolationist. Isreal is an ally like Italy, Japan and dare I say, Germany on this board. And even though we have nice net worth…not that that it makes ones inherent value now, does it lovers of the human race?…it didn’t make me race to a neo-con conversion. Secretly we all say, “I can’t live without that…and we have so much.” Such simple, holy boxes we build. I’m ready for the misinterpretation and slander. Yet, I’m one of you, in a very real, capitalist sense.

    Morris- I am from your precise planet. Let’s hope it’s not a Pluto. The problem this cluster of people have with you is your calm, open discourse tends to disturb those that talk tough of war but have typically never lived in or served in war.

    And I see no difference, less the “f” bombs (of course our blog site host kept this post- it inflames, bolsters her position unless you take the time to really research the claims made. Tend to remove the mask of “good” v “evil”.) between anon’s post at 07.27.06 – 2:31 pm | # and senescentwasp’s post at 07.28.06 – 1:04 am. Both overtly aggressive to the point of “scaring” the readers. Isn’t it time to attack, Daddy?

    But whenever I am on a site like this I am going to pose this question and challenge to these oh, so bolsterous, aggressive American Jews:

    Yes, here is what millions of Americans don’t say but really think about this American, Jewish, Israeli, Arab, Palestinian mess that will go on FOREVER. “Enjoy! the hell you truely live in. An eye for and eye ad nauseum” But most Americans are just too fightened by all the “anti-Semitic” conditioning going on in this country. But sadly, it’s not about Jews. Sorry, to all my Jewish American friends. And there are several. It’s about international policy, period. It’s about our budget. It’s about our children. It’s about education. It’s about healthcare. It’s about all that makes this country great and does not drag it into the middle eastern gutter Isreal is a small part of.

    People are waking up to the fact that too many American Jews are not Americans first and foremost…but pro-Israeli regardless of the facts. The sooner some American Jews with communication power, common sense, American priorities come forward with a “What’s good for Israel may be absolutely BAD, EVIL, WRONG for America.” the BETTER. And keep saying such as proud Americans to let all of us non-Jewish Americans of all sorts of race, color and creed know they really act in American interests.

  79. Joshua Taylor Says:

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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