Why Israel's Campaign Will Likely Fail





Mr. Creswell is an associate professor of history at Florida State University and a writer for the History News Service.

Many Americans see Israel's response to the capture of three of its soldiers as entirely justified. Why not, they ask, punish those who hold these men? Surely no other country would act differently in similar circumstances. The Bush administration agrees. It strongly supports Israeli military action in Lebanon against Hezbollah.
 
Yet Israel's military campaign is unlikely to succeed. In fact, it will probably backfire. Once before, Israel -- under the pretext of a justifiable military response -- harbored ambitious goals and expanded a local conflict into something larger. It didn't work then and it won't work now. Only U.S. diplomacy then prevented a bad situation from getting even worse. And only U.S. diplomacy can prevent the present crisis from spiraling out of control.
 
In 1982, Israel invaded southern Lebanon in order to raze Palestinian Liberation Organization bases used to fire rockets into Israel. But just like the bombing of Tyre and Beirut now, the true goal of the Israelis then was something different. That goal was to destroy the PLO and drive the Syrian Army out of Lebanon.
 
Although concerned that Israel's larger plan might lead to war, the United States chose not to exert pressure on it to desist. Convinced that the United States would not interfere, Israel continued with its audacious gambit. The mighty Israeli Defense Force rolled into Lebanon. Yet, unaware of the true aim of the campaign, the force failed to prepare itself properly and found itself bogged down against the Syrian Army.
 
While the Bush administration hesitates to use diplomacy to resolve the current crisis, the United States took action in May 1983. Determined to end the expanding conflict, U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Envoy Philip Habib engaged in a round of shuttle diplomacy and brokered a cease fire. Israel eventually withdrew the IDF from Lebanon in 1985, save for a "security zone" along the length of the Lebanese-Israeli border that Israeli forces occupied until 2000.
 
Israel's campaign in 1982 provoked Hezbollah -- then a fledgling group made up of diverse militant Shia -- to coalesce into the powerful force it is today. In addition, 241 American servicemen, sent to Lebanon to oversee the withdrawal of the PLO from Lebanon, perished in a terrorist attack in Beirut.
 
The situation today obviously differs from that in the early 1980s. The Cold War has ended, which enables the United States to focus on other issues besides its rivalry with the Soviet Union. In fact, Russia today is playing a constructive role in the Middle East, unlike the days when the hammer and sickle flew over the Kremlin. In addition, both Lebanon and Iraq have installed governments friendly to the United States.
 
Yet the similarities between Israel's attacks on Lebanon in 1982 and 2006 are striking. As before, Israel's invasion of Lebanon has weakened Arab moderates and empowered extremists. Today, the democratic government of Lebanon is on the verge of collapse, with Syria and Hezbollah poised to fill the vacuum.
 
Moreover, the invasion is driving the bitter terrorist rivals, the Palestine-based Hamas and Hezbollah, together in a lethal partnership. Israel now faces coordinated attacks on two fronts. Israel is also once again falling prey to "mission creep" -- initially setting limited goals, then expanding them markedly.
 
Israel has the right to defend itself, but this military campaign will not achieve its goals. Despite Israel's overwhelming military advantage, a battered but unbroken Hezbollah will live on to recruit and thus fight another day. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice now heads to the troubled region. She needs to employ U.S. power and influence to bring the warring parties together.
 
In 1982, the United States used its diplomatic might to engineer a settlement. American failure to do so today will ensure that Israelis and Lebanese continue to die in vain.
 


This piece was distributed for non-exclusive use by the History News Service, an informal syndicate of professional historians who seek to improve the public's understanding of current events by setting these events in their historical contexts. The article may be republished as long as both the author and the History News Service are clearly credited.


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More Comments:


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I agree, but it seems to me there is more to the story. The (atypical) miscalculations of the Israelis and the (typical) corrupt blundering of the Bush Administration are not the only mistakes being made. Hezbollah obviously had a huge stockpile of rockets and it looks to me that the Israeli rampage against it and against Lebanon has forced it (Hezbollah) to shoot its wad sooner and more forcefully than it wanted to.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/25/2006

Andy,

Yea, your right! Those ingrates, especially, after all the West has done for them over the past (86) years, one would think they'd be on their hands and knees blowing us.

Maybe, we can take the neutron bomb concept up a notch to create a DUMB bomb (Despicable Undiscriminating Moslem Bomb) that on impact segregates Islamic fighters from the general civilian populace to kill only those gutless scum hiding within civil society.

This type bomb would be much more efficient/ acceptable/clean than the amazingly precise dumb munitions we currently employ. Sorta, like a talking Barbie doll being infinitely more intelligent than the non-talking toy.

Get on this quick Andy as it could be a financial windfall to someone with your aptitude for invention.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/25/2006

Andy,

You write, "everyone is enlisted for terrorism."

While driving down the road in your gas guzzling SUV, A/C howling, to the tunes of a fine Germanic Umpah band blaring songs to the Fatherland on the Bose, did you ever take the time to wonder why?


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/25/2006

Ugarit,

We don't know each other yet, (maybe, all the better for you) however, my posts above are pure sarcasm. If I may be so rude (as I usually am) I would venture to say that you are not an American, therefore, struggle with understanding our ill humor.

Kinda, like Americans, who struggle with British humor like Monty Python, The Goons (Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan) or Benny Hill.

One thing you will learn, if you keep posting as part of our community, is that I am the least Hitler-like American you will ever run across here at HNN especially, since I look bad in a comb fan mustache and unkept in uniform no matter how elaborate/ceremonial. I do like hefe-weissbier so I could be a great innkeeper at a German Hofbrau. Does that qualify for membership in the Hitler youth?


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/25/2006

HNN Community,

Regardless of opinion the historic presentation here is exceptional. City of King David.

Very nice. Enjoy all...


http://www.cityofdavid.org.il/hp_eng.asp


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

Unfortunately or fortunately for Middle east Muslims, alleged civilians become alleged collateral damage much more often than in wars where the army does not hide its un-uniformed soldiers among it’s women and children. This is the apparent drawback of the despicable, and gutless strategy of Muslims. So closely intertwined is the population that there is no separating the army from the general public. Effectively, they ARE the same.
That said, Israel and other western State’s armies are amazingly precise with isolated strikes that remove weapon-firing infantry from among intelligence and support


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

Isn't it revealing that the only suggestions for solution to the Islamofascist insanity are impossible or unattainable?

Nonetheless, IF your dumb bomb were possible, I suspect that it would kill everyone within reach just as conventional bombs because everyone is enlisted for terrorism.


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

b'tselem? Good choice of an anti-Israel source. I guess we should believe em cause they're Jews? hahaha


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

I didn't know my ilk (haha) was nationalistic. Well I guess I learn something every day about my ilk. I thought my ilk was soft and furry.

Izz talkin bout world economics I aint just talkin bout no American.

Talkin bout specious arguments, how bout the one that conomies that are not exactly like America are not capitalist? WRONG!

Socialism? You seem much more Communist to me.


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

Throughtout all my research of the Muslim/Jew conflagration one truth continually arises, "cultural incompatabilities". Muslims do not value human life as do Israel and the West. When dying for the cause is something that a culture aspires to, it removes the rational interest of most to protect the population. Some day Islam will have to reform their thinking or total devastation might be the only way for the world to survive.


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

Now you're getting it!


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

Ugarit,

How childishly trite. Yawn....


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

Lorraine:

When are you gonna learn that Capitalism is the economic system of the world? As much as you detest it, there simply is no competitor.

America does not dictate economics to the world though it has a very big say. France, Germany et al are also big players. Even behemoth China has found itself having to conform to capitalism in order to provide for its people.

Little quick on the racism card there victim. You should hold it back longer until someone says something that can reasonably be argued as racist to play. It sounds silly when you use it as a starter. It's kinda like the game "hearts". You know how to play?


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

Lorraine:

When are you gonna learn that Capitalism is the economic system of the world? As much as you detest it, there simply is no competitor.

America does not dictate economics to the world though it has a very big say. France, Germany et al are also big players. Even behemoth China has found itself having to conform to capitalism in order to provide for its people.

Little quick on the racism card there victim. You should hold it back longer until someone says something that can reasonably be argued as racist to play. It sounds silly when you use it as a starter. It's kinda like the game "hearts". You know how to play?


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

Fair? The piece is childish propaganda. Author starts off saying Israel will fail, then Author's example was that Israel pulled out in '82 (and didn't fail) later, says Hizbola today will get the crap kicked from it, but will fight again.

Which is it?

Truth is that IF there was a failure in '82 it was the failure to stomp Hisbola into dust when given the chance coupled with the continual diplomatic failure of "shuttle diplomacy."

Any honest person knows that Israel has NEVER lost. They won't lose this time even if they only set Hezbola back 10 years.


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

Silly rabbit…trix are for kids. Israel’s priority is for Israeli security. As it should be. And they should care about the region at the expense of their survival because? Your “appeasment” diplomacy is an unqualified failure, especially when applied to terrorists (not states).


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

"We find that US and Europe control more than 65% of global economy with hardly 14% of global population."

Huh? The way capitalism works is that possessing the most capital allows you to invest into the system most. Since when is population the engine of capitalism. Of course, being from India that prejudice is understandable.


ugarit ebla - 8/3/2006

"Hizbullah's attacks stem from Israeli incursions into Lebanon
By Anders Strindberg
NEW YORK

As pundits and policymakers scramble to explain events in Lebanon, their conclusions are virtually unanimous: Hizbullah created this crisis. Israel is defending itself. The underlying problem is Arab extremism.

Sadly, this is pure analytical nonsense. Hizbullah's capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 was a direct result of Israel's silent but unrelenting aggression against Lebanon, which in turn is part of a six-decades long Arab-Israeli conflict.

Since its withdrawal of occupation forces from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Israel has violated the United Nations-monitored "blue line" on an almost daily basis, according to UN reports. Hizbullah's military doctrine, articulated in the early 1990s, states that it will fire Katyusha rockets into Israel only in response to Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians or Hizbullah's leadership; this indeed has been the pattern.

In the process of its violations, Israel has terrorized the general population, destroyed private property, and killed numerous civilians. This past February, for instance, 15-year-old shepherd Yusuf Rahil was killed by unprovoked Israeli cross-border fire as he tended his flock in southern Lebanon. Israel has assassinated its enemies in the streets of Lebanese cities and continues to occupy Lebanon's Shebaa Farms area, while refusing to hand over the maps of mine fields that continue to kill and cripple civilians in southern Lebanon more than six years after the war supposedly ended. What peace did Hizbullah shatter?

More ...


ugarit ebla - 8/3/2006

I'm posting to improve your knowledgebase and thought process.


Steve Broce - 8/3/2006

It's great that you post all these links to articles, but do you have any thoughts of your own on the subject?


ugarit ebla - 8/2/2006

It's a great website, too bad it's based mostly on mythology.


ugarit ebla - 8/2/2006

Great title and article

With Allies Like Israel, U.S. Needs No Enemies


Steve Broce - 7/31/2006

-*-“Has there been any video footage of the human shields the media speculates about?”

Yes there are pictures, Amin

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,19955774-5007220,00.html


-*-“where do the civilians go if the infrastructure is bombed out? What if they don't have anywhere to go?”

You are not saying that it is impossible to leave an area that is going to be bombed, are you Amin? As to where do they go—almost anywhere is better than staying in an area that is going to be bombed.

-*-“Why don't the Israelis figure out that the ppl they're hunting also can read, and will probably be the first ones out of the strike zone if they drop leaflets?!”

Of course the Israeli’s know that Hezbollah can read and may leave the area. They drop leaflets anyway. To protect lives, Amin. Lebanese lives, Amin. Possibly at the cost of Israeli lives, Amin.


Charles Edward Heisler - 7/31/2006

Lorraine, what is your point? Do you assume that there is a "less innocent" party or parties in this dust up?
What period in human history can you point to that has enjoyed universal peace and good will? Surely any knowledge of this history will show that the nature of man is to war--it is universal and the only choice any of us have is to choose a side.
Can Hezzbolah reserve a burka for you?
You confuse with your interest in feminism and your support of a 15th Century religion that discriminates against women--you seem conflicted.


Amin Ali Golmohamad - 7/31/2006

If your statement is to be taken as true andy then no news sources is credible. Makes any news source anyone quotes useless.


Amin Ali Golmohamad - 7/31/2006

What do you mean by Hezbollah mixing with civilians? As far as I know they find from many bombing strikes that very very few are actually men of a fighting age, with no proof that they are actually belligerents. How have they proved that Hezbollah is hiding with civilians? Has there been any video footage of the human shields the media speculates about?

If the attacks are truly surgical, why is Israel using cluster bombs in crowded places?

If Israel wants to avoid civilian casualties, they say they will drop leaflets...so the civilians know they have to go... where do the civilians go if the infrastructure is bombed out? What if they don't have anywhere to go?

Why don't the Israelis figure out that the ppl they're hunting also can read, and will probably be the first ones out of the strike zone if they drop leaflets?! Hezbollah soldliers surely must know how to hide, they're not too far off a standing army.


ugarit ebla - 7/30/2006

Hitler would be very proud of the two of you. Congratulations.


ugarit ebla - 7/30/2006

My bad.

I misread the article. I humbly retract that argument.


Steve Broce - 7/30/2006

Look, Ugarit, if you really want to make the case that the Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanon, you really need to learn how to read a map.

After that, you need to address Nasrallah’s statements denying that the Israeli’s were in Lebanon. That would require that you establish that you are more familiar with Hezbollah’s operations than the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/737821.html


Steve Broce - 7/30/2006

Oren Ben-Dor’s personal opinions are exactly that-personal opinions. I do not find the opinions of the likes of Ben-Dor persuasive because his personal opinions in these matters are ill-considered and obviously biased against Israel.

What else is there to say about someone who advocates that Hamas continue to engage in terrorism against Israel.


Steve Broce - 7/30/2006

Ugarit, what is your point?

Aita al-Shaab is in Lebanon. Your quote says that the Israeli soldiers were seized across the border from Aita al- Shaab. The only border near Aita al-Shaab is the Israeli border. Ergo, across the border from Aito al-Shaab is in Israel. That means the soldiers were seized in Israel.


ugarit ebla - 7/30/2006

So you don't contest any of his comments?


ugarit ebla - 7/30/2006

"The sources said the Israeli soldiers had been seized at around 9 a.m. [July 12th](0600 GMT) across the border from Aita [Lebanon] al-Shaab, some 15 km (nine miles) from the Mediterranean coast."

I added the [...] parts

source



Charles Edward Heisler - 7/30/2006

Ah Lorraine you finally gave me an opening. You ask "...how much logic
is there in a war?" and I am pleased to say--some very simple logic. Winners keep all and write the history.
Since Israel is killing bad guys, bad guys that we in the United States will have to deal with, I say a bullet saved is a bullet earned and the ultimate logic is that dead Islamofacists carry no bombs into pizza parlors. I will leave you with a good old American saying which encompasses exactly what the United States' policy toward Israel should be in this matter---"Let the big dog eat!"


E. Simon - 7/29/2006

Golmohamad,

I'm not sure why it escaped you that these are personal interpretations (notice terms such as "I think," etc.). They do not require citations since the person posting it is the primary author. They originated in his (my) head.

Also, noting the absence of evidence or citations also doesn't require citing, because, well... we don't live in an alternate dimension where something comes from nothing. Where there is nothing we don't conclude something... that is, until someone else manages to produce it.

If someone wants to provide evidence to back up their counter-claim, that's their responsibility.

And most of said counterpart's claims (in OTHER matters) were shown to be not very good ones anyway - but that's beside the point.

It's not my job to argue his case for him. Hence, the whole effort to convince... Perhaps that dynamic escaped you.

What a weird request.


Ranjit Goswami - 7/29/2006

Yes, you are right. US alone is little less than 300 million compared to 6.45 billion+ for the world. However I meant US and Europe together.

I am sorry if few of you readers found the article to have a racial tone. That was not the intention.

However when one looks at composition of UN security council (permanent members), one understands how deep rooted this capitalism is over democracy and human rights. Less than 15% of people control 80% of Vetoing rights. We can't have for ever human rights and democracy in paper only. So when within US and even in China we see divergence of wealth (Pareto's principle), it only becomes obvious under present capitalism system.


Amin Ali Golmohamad - 7/28/2006

E. Simon, could you provide citations for your claims? Your counterpart has provided a link that is a portal to half a dozen reliable sources.


Steve Broce - 7/27/2006

Ugarit, quoting the personal opinion of someone like Oren Ben-Dor, who counsels Hamas to continue violence against Israel, is not very persuasive.


ugarit ebla - 7/27/2006

"The very creation of Israel required an act of terror. In 1948, most of the non-Jewish indigenous people were ethnically cleansed from the part of Palestine which became Israel. This action was carefully planned. Without it, no state with a Jewish majority and character would have been possible. Since 1948, the "Israeli Arabs", those Palestinians who avoided expulsion, have suffered continuous discrimination. Indeed, many have been internally displaced, ostensibly for "security reasons", but really to acquire their lands for Jews."

Source


ugarit ebla - 7/27/2006

"As its citizens are being killed, Israel is, yet again, inflicting death and destruction on Lebanon. It tries to portray this horror as necessary for its self-defence. Indeed, the casual observer might regard the rocket attacks on Israeli cities such as Haifa and my own home town, Nahariya, as justifying this claim.

While states should defend their citizens, states which fail this duty should be questioned and, if necessary, reconfigured. Israel is a state which, instead of defending its citizens, puts all of them, Jews as well as non-Jews, in danger."

Source


E. Simon - 7/27/2006

The wikipedia's reference for how anti-Semitism has been defined doesn't appear to you to "have any basis in etymology"?

This would suggest that the term was not actually coined in the 19th-century to describe specific attitudes stemming from racist ideas.


Lorraine Paul - 7/27/2006

William, we are in complete agreement that people have to be 'taught' to hate. I'm a great admirer of Rogers & Hammerstein, not just for their musicality, but for their humanitarianism - remember that song from "South Pacific"? Unfortunately, in this day and age there is quite a bit of "teaching" going on.


Lorraine Paul - 7/27/2006

By the way E, loved that little 'preferred by some' comment! LOL


Lorraine Paul - 7/27/2006

Well, Wikipedia's reference does appear to have caused some controversy. It doesn't appear to me to have any basis in etymology or biology. To my mind it has more to do with expediency.

To establish a link between anti=Semitism and anti-Zionism could be viewed as an insult to those who have suffered from this evil over the centuries. After all, comparing my criticism with what Israel is doing today and the overt burning alive of Jewish peoples during the inquisition and the insidious anti-Semitism practiced by the 'civilised' modern day (refer Groucho Marx) does seem a trifle absurd.


Lorraine Paul - 7/26/2006

You were the one reverting to 'uniforms' in the 80's.

Hmmm! so you think I'm having a stroke, I thought it was because I kept hitting my head against a brick wall!

I repeat...there are no heroes in this conflict!


Lorraine Paul - 7/26/2006

Steve, perhaps both of us are being 'illogical'. After all, how much logic is there in a war?


Steve Broce - 7/26/2006

Lorraine, by your logic, if your countrymen had gone to Germany in 1943 to “visit the rellies” and got caught in a bombing raid, it would have been the Brits fault.

That is an interesting perspective, but not one shared by many rational people.


Steve Broce - 7/26/2006

Ugarit, given your penchant for claiming things for which there is no evidence, why don’t you post a links for these things.

And Ugarit, try and make it a serious source, not some wacko website, like “Global Research


Steve Broce - 7/26/2006

Lorraine, go to a mirror and look at your face. Is one side drooping? Do you feel a tingling on one side? Do you have equal strength on both sides? Do you have blurred vision?

I’m just trying to come up with some explanation of why you have become incoherent. Stroke, perhaps?

As I have said, the UN humanitarian chief has described the Hezbollah as “cowardly” for mixing with civilians and causing their death. You rewind to the early 80’s to Hezbollah’s founding.

How does that justify what Hezbollah is doing now?


Steve Broce - 7/26/2006

So?

Hezbollah has been firing rockets into Israel for years. They have built their stockpiles to what they claim is an arsenal of 13,000 rockets.

Israel, watching these events unfold, decides that it would be prudent to plan for the eventuality that Hezbollah might begin massively firing these rockets into Israel and that the IDF might have to go into Southern Lebanon to put a stop to it.

And this means what, exactly, Ugarit?


ugarit ebla - 7/26/2006

"More than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving PowerPoint presentations, on an off-the-record basis, to U.S. and other diplomats, journalists and think tanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail. Under the ground rules of the briefings, the officer could not be identified."

Source


Steve Broce - 7/26/2006

-*-"Hizbollah said they captured the Israeli soldiers inside of Lebanon. Lebanese police also said this was the case."

Where is your evidence that Hezbollah is making that claim?

Nasrallah, in fact, has specifically DENIED that Israel entered Lebanon, except for the tank which entered Lebanon to recover the kidnapped soldiers

Nasrallah, in fact brushed aside questions about Hezbollah operations in Israel, saying that Hezbollah would operate against occupation “anywhere, including Tel Aviv”

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/737821.html

Do you claim to know more about what Hezbollah is claiming than Nasrallah?


-*- “Once the Israel soldiers were arrested on Lebanese soil Hezbollah saw this as an opportunity.”

More nonsense. Nasrallah claims that the operation to kidnap tha soldiers was “planned long ago”.

http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2006/07/13/hezbollah_attack_puts_israel_on_a_second_front/?page=2

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/12072006/6/n-world-hizbollah-says-israeli-soldiers-seized-swap.html

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&;cid=1150885980993


Do you know more about Hezbollah operations than Nazrallah?


ugarit ebla - 7/26/2006

"Since 2000, Hizbullah violated the Blue Line on the Israeli-Lebanese border 100 times, while Israeli violated that line 11,782 times. (These numbers are based on UN observers and were cited by Lebanese Speaker of Parliament in his interview with Al-Arabiya TV)."


E. Simon - 7/26/2006

It was the understanding of most peoples in modern times, but not the concern of the Europeans who perfected such practices historically. "Anti-Semitism" as a term came to be applied to Jews because the other major group of Semitic people, the Arabs, didn't develop words for what it meant to persecute themselves. And there were precious few other distinctly Semitic peoples left around for persecution after their conquest of them. But I guess these basic facts weren't reported by whichever Australian media sources are preferred by some.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-semitic

We can no sooner abolish etymology than we can economics.


E. Simon - 7/26/2006

Yes, I heard of this comment too and it does sound troubling.

At this point it is hard to tell if it was just a boilerplate, off the cuff
comment, psychological warfare, or part of an actual targetted campaign. In the absence of further, compelling evidence to link the comment specifically to any of the above, I'll choose to reserve judgment.

I think that Israel is smart enough to understand that a failed state in
Lebanon is not in its interest, as conditions close enough to that were what has allowed Hizbullah to flourish. I think the statement was probably meant more as a stern warning to the Lebanese government to take greater charge over the affairs that take place in their country, and that the damage itself was done to cripple Hizbullah's military capacity in the absence of that charge - not specifically to punish Lebanon.

Provide better evidence to indicate otherwise, of course, and I could always change my mind.


William Redfern - 7/26/2006

I cited the Protocols as an example, foremost, of credulity. One could add the reports of Hezbollah having shot down an F-16 (yet unable to produce any wreckage). Or the cheering throngs in the streets when Saddam announced he was defeating the coalition forces during Desert Storm. The ability to believe what one desires to believe, rather than attachment to the reality principle, is what dominates. That applies to Israelis clearing seeing an insignia on an ambulance from a speeding jet at night.

But on the Protocols front, the Wikipedia article suggests that it dates from as far back as 1897, was mentioned in the Russian press by 1902, published there in 1903, and though Henry Ford had it published in 1920, it was debunked as far back as 1921.

The extraordinary thing is its continuing influence in the Middle East. It remains a bestseller, and it is endorsed as factual and used as educational material in schools by Hammas, Hezbollah, the PNA, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. It's been endorsed by Nasser, Gaddafi, and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

How do you deal with people who can't distinguish between fiction and non-fiction, and who fill their childrens' heads with hate? That's the real challenge. Hate has to be taught. Until people aren't taught to hate, no number of ceasefires or treaties will ever bring piece.


Steve Broce - 7/26/2006

Really---where's the evidence?


ugarit ebla - 7/26/2006

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Hizbollah said they captured the Israeli soldiers inside of Lebanon. Lebanese police also said this was the case.

Once the Israel soldiers were arrested on Lebanese soil Hezbollah saw this as an opportunity.


Lorraine Paul - 7/26/2006

LOL....Are you telling me I should never lead the Queen of Spades???


Lorraine Paul - 7/26/2006

William, I'm surprised that you didn't give attribution to the Protocols of Zion. It is my understanding that they were written at the behest of Henry Ford. Yes, THE Henry Ford!

Perhaps they were smuggled into the Middle-East via Ford motor cars! LOL


Lorraine Paul - 7/26/2006

As opposed to the 'factual and unbiased' reportage by pro-Israeli sources!

Good heavens! You two are textbook examples of bias and prejudice, all wrapped up in self-congratulation.


Lorraine Paul - 7/26/2006

Before all this blew up, it was the understanding of most people in the world that both Arabs and Jews were Semitic. Therefore, I am puzzled as to how they came to be 'separated'.


Lorraine Paul - 7/26/2006

Steve, using the English vernacular, you are all over the shop! Firstly, why don't you actually read the posts before replying to them? You have been told that back in the early 80's Hizbollah was a fledgeling organisation which grew out of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Surprise! surprise on that one!

Fox news 'reports'? <going off into gales of laughter>.


Lorraine Paul - 7/26/2006

Steve, you destroy your own argument. If I was visiting Beruit and an Israeli bomb landed on my building, you can bloody bet I would blame the Israelis!!

Further, Steve, at least I am clear-sighted enough to admit there are NO heroes in this. I'm not waving my little Aussie flag and going "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oy! Oy! Oy!"

Hmmm! what do you chant, Steve while you're waving your little Stars and Stripes?

E


Lorraine Paul - 7/26/2006

Well, this undeclared war certainly doesn't have any scurrilous phrases such as 'humanitarian bombing' attached to it!

Steve, how many times must I ask that some of you access other news sources than Fox? You lot over there are very badly served as far as 'news' goes. I only have to turn on my nightly news on the TV to see the devastation wrought by the bombing. I also tune in to the excellent current affairs programmes on our very own Radio National.

Just go to your web-browser of choice and type in Radio National+Australia. But be careful, you might learn something which you won't hear about on Fox.


Lorraine Paul - 7/26/2006

Andy,
Why is it that you and your ilk think that the 'world' begins and ends at the borders of the US?

I suggest that you look around and see how many mixed economies there are. The internet isn't just for scoring points with specious arguments such as the population of another's country. Also, not everyone goes weak at the knees and hides under the bed when the word 'socialism' is mentioned.

Now, now, Andy....come on out I promise not to say it again!!


michael Randolph stephenson - 7/26/2006

I agree Mr. Creswell emphatically but there is another factor that will make Dr. Rice's mission far more difficult that Philip Habib's shuttle diplomacy. In the early 1980s we were not at war in the region with the expressed objective of crushing another terror group. Of course the Bush administration believed with questionable intelligence that Saddam Hussein was supporting al-Quada. It will be difficult to bring the Israelis to heel while we are also fighting a potentially losing effort ourselves. The only real outcome will be that the Israelis and Lebonese will accept peacekeepers and many of these will be killed also.


michael Randolph stephenson - 7/26/2006


N. Friedman - 7/26/2006

ugarit ebla,

Saying inflamatory things does not make them true.

Yes, Palestinian Arabs were displaced during the various wars started by Arabs to prevent the creation and to destroy Israel. Many Jews - actually, more Jews than Arabs - were displaced as a result of these wars. So, would it be appropriate to say - and following your logic - , that Arabs periodically attempt, and somtimes succeed, in ethnic cleansing?


N. Friedman - 7/26/2006

Well said, Steve!!!


N. Friedman - 7/26/2006

ugarit ebla,

Let me guess. You think you will change people's opinions by posting "news" items.

As I mentioned, you are not properly posting. This is a discussion site, not a "new" posting service.


Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

B'Tselem and Human Rights Watch are not credible sources with respect to Israeli Military “atrocities”. Both groups have political agendas which put them in conflict with Israel.

Both groups conduct “investigations”, then make incendiary charges based upon those “ investigations” frequently these organizations based their “investigations” on staements from people who are beligerents towards Israel.

Interviewing anti-Israel Palestinians and then concluding from these statements that the IDF is guilty of something is a dicey proposition, at best. Remember the “Jenin Massacre” that supposedly resulted in the death of 500 Palestinians during IDF operations in the West Bank? Those reports of “massacre“ were based on the statements of Palestinians in the area. The problem? Only 58 Palestinians were killed, the vast majority Palestinian fighters.

Who can forget HRW’s recent indictment of Israel for the artillery shelling death of a Palestinian family on the beach in Gaza? Or their belated acknowledgement that the death was actually in all probability caused by unexploded ordinance buried at the beach?

At any rate, NGO monior has identified both HRW and B’Tselem as groups with anti Israeli or political agendas that make them biased.


William Redfern - 7/25/2006

This article suggests, as I suspected, that Hezbollah simply miscalculated when it pulled off this operation. Whether others havemiscalculated, or will miscalculate, remains an open question.

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/07/25/D8J37I5O1.html


Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

Ugarit, Ugarit, Ugarit.

You are making an argument that neither the Lebanese government nor Hezbollah itself is making.

Hezbollah has not made the claim that the Israeli soldiers were in Lebanon. Quite the contrary, they stated that the soldiers were taken to secure the release of Hezbollah fighters held in Israel. One of those Hezbollah fighters was identified by name- Samir Kuntar, who is serving multiple life terms for murdering Israeli civilians, including a 4 year old girl, whose skull Kuntar crushed with a rifle butt.

Hezbollah television, Al-Manar, announced that Hezbollah captured the soldiers in a raid into Israel, on 07/12/2006.

For god sake, Ugarit, Nasrallah himself announced at a news conference that Hezbollah had been planning a raid to kidnap Israeli soldiers for a year, to trade them for Hezbollah prisoners in Israel.

I ask you again, aside from your moonbat, anti-Globalization website, what evidence do you have to support your conjecture that the Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanon.

By the way, I noticed that you identified the link only as “source” in your post. After I clicked on it, I realized why. Global Researcher is an anti-Globalization website with a strong anti-American, anti –Israeli bias.

One sentence in the piece that you link to says it all:

“Whether factual or not, these alternative accounts should at the very least raise serious questions as to Israel's motives and rationale for bombarding Lebanon.”

In other words, even if the information is false, it should STILL raise questions about Israel.
They apparently don’t have much faith in their own sources.

But you’re right about one thing, Ugarit. Something suspicious did happen on July 12—a terrorist group, acting in a criminal manner, kidnapped two Israeli soldiers to use as bargaining chips in a cynical attempt to free Hezbollah murders. That is pretty suspicious.


William Redfern - 7/25/2006

Obviously the ambulances were visible, or they wouldn't have been hit. But the idea that insignia are clearly visible AT NIGHT from the air in speeding aircraft is as believable as that Middle Eastern bestseller, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

For fun trip through the dark recesses of Middle Eastern viciousness and credulity, read this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion


N. Friedman - 7/25/2006

ugarit ebla,

This is not a news comment website. Please stop posting unexplained stories.


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

I think you already know.


N. Friedman - 7/25/2006

ugarit ebla,

Your point?


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

A better analogy is Israel being equivelant to Serbia, since Israel periodically attempts, and somtimes succeeds, in ethnic cleansing.


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

This "problem" won't be solved the way Israel is doing it.

Israel tried to crush Hezbollah when it occupied Lebanon for nearly 20 years and it failed. Of course, Israel killed over 15,000 Lebanese in the process. State terrorism.


N. Friedman - 7/25/2006

Peter,

I think it is rather premature to determine who has miscalculated or whether all involved have miscalculated.

What can be said is that the fighting wages on with no end in sight.


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

"Red Cross ambulances destroyed in Israeli air strike on rescue mission"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1828142,00.html


N. Friedman - 7/25/2006

Mr. Paul,

If I might ask, how might a country fight a war that causes no harm? I recall, back in the 1990's, that the US fought a war with Serbia, basically from the air. People were actually killed in the war, if you recall, and many of those killed were civilians. What I do not recall is the war being described as particularly brutal.

How are Israel's acts any different from those of the US except that Hezbollah, unlike Serbia, is able to fire missiles at Israel while Serbia could do nothing about the US?


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

There is so much contradictory information. Other stories have said that Israel has been planning this attack on Lebanon for about a year.

Source
"These sources contend that Israel sent a commando force into southern Lebanon and was subsequently attacked by Hezbollah near the village of Aitaa al-Chaab, well inside Lebanon's southern territory. It was at this point that an Israel tank was struck by Hezbollah fighters, which resulted in the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the death of six."


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

Where is the evidence of what you say? You may very well be right.

Look I'm willing to admit that I'm wrong but there is something very suspicious with what happened on July 12th.



Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

Ugarit, for crying out loud, the tank was inside Lebanon trying to rescue the Israeli soldiers that Hezbollah had kidnapped from Israel.

Frankly, I haven’t heard that Hezbollah claimed that the kidnapped soldiers were in Lebanon and I would like to see a reliable report of that.


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/742275.html

Written about the 12th of July:

"At 12:15 PM, an IDF tank was hit in South Lebanon...."

I know this may not be sufficient, since this may not be the first fight with Hezbollah on that day. Nevertheless, I would not be surprised that they were in Lebanon.


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

Recommended Reading:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/742257.html


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

It would not be unusual at all that Israeli soldiers were inside Lebanon on July 12th. Israel has done this in the past. Nothing Martian about it. Hezbollah claimed it, Lebanese police claimed, but of course, you're going to discount those statements.

Can you provide evidence that these soldiers were captured on Israeli territory?

I am not sure which scenario is the truth. I'm willing to admit that.



Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

Actually, Ugarit, Rice did not call for a cease fire. At least not until the Hezbollah "problem" is solved.


Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

Look, Ugarit, you can belive martians were in Lebanon, if you want to. That doesn't make it so.

Get some persuasive evidence that the Israeli's were in Lebanon before the attack and we'll talk.

Until then, get serious.


Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

And Lorraine, your counter is just the sort of unthinking, reflexively anti-Israel drivel that we all associate with Lorraine Paul.

Let me explain it to you again. I’ll make it simpler.

If your countrymen want to roam the world, I say “good on them”. But when they do, they should always bear in mind that other countries are not necessarily as nice as your country. Some places, like, say, Lebanon, have for years allowed a terrorist group, Hezbollah, to fire rockets and mortars at its southern neighbor. Your countrymen should also bear in mind that such terrorist groups really don’t care about the safety and enjoyment of your countrymen.

These groups might, with no notice to your countrymen, suddenly escalate the situation by firing thousands of rockets into its neighbor. When that happens, the neighbor will probably respond. If your countrymen are visiting at that time, they are likely going to get caught up in that response. If that happens, they should blame the terrorists, because the terrorists started it.

That is why your countrymen should be very, very careful about visiting countries where the terrorist run the place.

Now, if your countrymen should visit, says New York, on a nice fall day in September, where we DO NOT let the terrorists run the place, bad things might still happen. Terrorists might fly a plane into the building that your countrymen are visiting. If that happens, they should blame the terrorists, because they are the ones that started it.

See how that works.

Now then, you claim that Israel “bombed a hospital.” I would like to see the evidence for that.


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

If true, it does'nt matter if Israeli soldiers were inside Lebanon when they were captured by Hezbollah and before the Israeli invasion?

BTW, I am not sure if that AP story is accurate. I'm trying to find other sources.


Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

Hezbollah called for a cease fire because Israel is kicking the sh*t out of them.

Rice called for a cease fire for an entirely different reason.


Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

Come on, get serious


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

"Israeli Cluster Munitions Hit Civilians in Lebanon
Israel Must Not Use Indiscriminate Weapons

(Beirut, July 24, 2006) – Israel has used artillery-fired cluster munitions in populated areas of Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said today. Researchers on the ground in Lebanon confirmed that a cluster munitions attack on the village of Blida on July 19 killed one and wounded at least 12 civilians, including seven children. Human Rights Watch researchers also photographed cluster munitions in the arsenal of Israeli artillery teams on the Israel-Lebanon border.
" Cluster munitions are unacceptably inaccurate and unreliable weapons when used around civilians. They should never be used in populated areas. "
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch"

http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/24/isrlpa13798.htm


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

"20 July 2006: Israeli Soldiers use civilians as Human Shields in Beit Hanun

B'Tselem's initial investigation indicates that, during an incursion by Israeli forces into Beit Hanun, in the northern Gaza Strip, on 17 July 2006, soldiers seized control of two buildings in the town and used residents as human shield.

After seizing control of the buildings, the soldiers held six residents, two of them minors, on the staircases of the two buildings, at the entrance to rooms in which the soldiers positioned themselves, for some twelve hours. During this time, there were intense exchanges of gunfire between the soldiers and armed Palestinians. The soldiers also demanded that one of the occupants walk in front of them during a search of all the apartments in one of the buildings, after which they released her. "

http://www.btselem.org/english/Human_Shields/20060720_Human_Shields_in_Beit_Hanun.asp


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

Come on! No takers?


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

And the Arabs are accused of having too many conspiracy theories!

Hezbollah came about as a para-military force to stop Israeli aggression and occupation of Lebanon.


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

Hizbollah called for a ceasfire before Rice did. I guess then with your logic Hizbollah cares more about Lebanon. Which it does. That's why they expelled Israeli forces (in the second invasion by Israel) in the first place.


ugarit ebla - 7/25/2006

Israel's chief of staff, Lt Gen Dan Halutz, told Israel's Channel 10: "If the soldiers are not returned, we will turn Lebanon's clock back 20 years."


Lorraine Paul - 7/25/2006

Steve, your response was the usual piece of inane tripe I would expect from a closed-minded product of a, largely, closed-minded society.

Some countries, Steve, are outward looking not immersed in a hamburger eating/big brother/fox news/we are the best/self-congratulatory stew! Citizens of many other countries like to get out in the world and travel. Some like to go back and look at the places their parents/forebears left, for whichever reason. Or else they would like to take the 'kiddies' to meet the relatives they left behind. This may come as a shock to you, but Australia is mainly comprised of people from all over the world. We even have some yanks living here!

Now perhaps if a yank had been visiting New York City to show off the new baby to the yank rellies, or they were a little bit homesick and had come back for a visit and the date was 11 September, I'm sure by your reasoning they just should NOT have been there! And, according to you, serve them right if they were.

As for 'graciousness' just what is gracious about bombing a hospital? I suggest you read a bit more widely than you are at the moment. In fact, twist the dial now and again, if you dare!


Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

You don't get it, Ugarit.

Westerners are much sorrier to see Lebanese , even Lebanese terrorist get killed than Lebanese terrorist are to see Westerners, even innocent Westerners, get killed.


Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

Really Lorraine, do you have any evidence that Jan Egeland did not make those comments?

Or is it just convenient to discount Fox News because they report an inconvenient fact?


Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

Hey Lorraine, why don’t YOU read the Geneva Conventions, particularly with respect to combatants mixing with civilians-strictly verboten.

The war is not being conducted “indiscriminately”—my country is giving Israel the finest precision guided munitions to ensure that it is not indiscriminate. It may be brutal, but you really have to blame that on Hezbollah. They are the ones raining down rockets on Israeli cities. 2500 of them, so far.

“-*-Further, my fellow countrymen and women are fleeing from Lebanon to escape the bombings. They are Australians. What do they have to do with Hezbollah?”

What do they have to do with Hezbollah? I’ll tell you. They chose to go to a country where for years Hezbollah has fired rockets at Israeli cities. This isn’t news to anyone who is the least bit familiar with the Mideast. If they didn’t know that they were going into a country where a portion of the nation is controlled by terrorists, then they should have known.

If they have a beef about what is going on in Lebanon, they should take it up with the people that started it. Hezbollah. You really don’t expect Israel to endure 2500 rockets because your Countrymen had the bad sense, bad judgment, or bad timing to go to country where terrorist are allowed to conduct their own wars against neighboring countries, do you?

And while you’re at it, tell your Countrymen to be thank their lucky stars that they went to Lebanon, where Israel has the graciousness to warn civilians with leaflets of exactly where they are going to attack and when. If your countrymen had gone to Israel, I can guarantee that Hezbollah would not offer the same courtesy.


Lorraine Paul - 7/25/2006

Omigod! too funny. Using a foxnews article as a legitimate source for information.


Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

Ugarit, you want to argue this issue both ways-

You insist that Hezbollah is a “legitimate political and military force”. If that is so, then when they attacked Israel, they committed an act of war on behalf of the Lebanese government. Lebanon therefore must bear the consequences of the aggression of its “legitimate political and military force”-including bombing of legitimate infrastructure

You claim “milk factories” were targeted. I would like to see your evidence of that one.
Bridges, airports, roads rail targets are all legitimate infrastructure targets. And of course, Hezbollah and its weapons stocks are also legitimate-even if it is located in civilian areas.

But then you complain that Israel is “collectively punishing” Lebanon. You even complain that some Israeli claimed that Israel would “set back Lebanon 20 years”, noting that the Israeli said “Lebanon” and not “Hezbollah”

But, Ugarit, if Hezbollah is a “legitimate political and military force”, as you claim, then Hezbollah represents Lebanon, indeed Hezbollah is Lebanon. Lebanon must be responsible for what its “legitimate political and military force” does, including the 2500 rockets that it has fired at Israel.

If, however, you insist that Lebanon is not responsible for what Hezbollah does, then you can’t very well claim that Hezbollah is a “legitimate political and military force”.

BTW, Ugarit, it has been widely reported that Israel has dropped leaflets in civilians areas before bombing so that the civilians can leave. The Israeli’s do this despite the fact that it also allows Hezbollah to leave.

Heard of Hezbollah dropping any leaflets, Ugarit?


Lorraine Paul - 7/25/2006

'those few parliamentarians'. Stop airing your ignorance for all the world to see. There is one and one only Hezbollah member of parliament in Lebanon!

Repeat One, just in case you didn't see it.


Lorraine Paul - 7/25/2006

Sir, I suggest you read the Geneva Conventions.

Further, my fellow countrymen and women are fleeing from Lebanon to escape the bombings. They are Australians. What do they have to do with Hezbollah?

The invasion and bombing by the IDF is indiscriminate and brutal. Certainly not the way a 'conventional war' should be waged and how it is viewed in civilised countries.


Lorraine Paul - 7/25/2006

Andy, when are you going to realise that the rest of the world does have some input into how they want it to be developed and governed. The US model is not the be all and end all of good government and good management.

There is always a better way, and you might learn something if you didn't keep thrusting your way forward as the only way!!

Also, using racism to bolster your weak argument is just what I would expect from a slug like you!


Steve Broce - 7/25/2006

“Hizbollah is a legitimate political and military force in Lebanon.”

If this is true, then Hizbollah represents Lebanon and as such, attacks on infrastructure targets in Lebanon are legitimate warfare. If you insist that Hezbollah is a “legitimate fighting force” of the nation of Lebanon, then the Lebanese people must properly bear the brunt for Hezbollah aggression.

Furthermore, if Hizbollah is a legitimate military force, then they are violating the rules of warfare by mixing with civilians. At least according to the UN humanitarian chief, who decried Hizbollah’s “cowardly blending” with civilians and causing the death of hundreds.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,205352,00.html

“-*-BTW, Hizbollah fighters do have uniforms on.”

Really? I’ve seen reports that Hizbollah fighters were not wearing uniforms and were hiding amongst civilians.

At any rate, my original post referred to the Hizbollah attack on the Marines in 1983. What was the uniform of the day back then?


E. Simon - 7/25/2006

In using the description "conventional" I'm referring primarily to the tactics, not the politics.

What we have is basically a proxy war between Israel and Hizbollah, at the behest of Iran. Hizbollah is taking advantage of the fact that Lebanon was either too weak or unwilling to exercise its sovereignty over the extragovernmental activities and military "adventurism" of this group, to quote the Saudi king. I am not sure what kinds of historical parallels would be available for this situation, or how useful they would be, but I think the unconventional politics of the current situation can still be summarized in a way that allows for rational analyses. It seems to be more of a concern in the modern world than of any other era.

To sum it up the politics, you have a terrorist/guerrila/resistance group that is taking advantage of Lebanon's weak/recovering/formerly failed state status to wage a proxy war on behalf of an aspiring regional hegemon - Iran. Fighting the fight to exterminate Israel is one way to appeal to the less cultivated hearts and minds of the region - which typically can't vote anyway and thereby bear the brunt of the costs of unprovoked wars, and Iran - seeking greater power status, is willing to take advantage of that situation in this quest. Obviously the Israelis feel a need to project significant deterrent capacity in the face of existential threats, as it estimates they can materialize physically sooner rather than later. A ceasefire is not in Israel's interest with Hizbullah's military capacity intact, as the other side has little deterrent to not re-attack, and the Iranians know that the longer they can keep this distraction going, the less time and energy will be available to the G-8 to pressure Iran to curb its significant deviations from its nuclear non-proliferation treaty obligations.

That pretty much sums it up, as best I can see. There are other important details, of course, and other historically interesting ways to "subjectivize" our understanding of these events - but I didn't want to go too much longer given the scope of your post. But using failed states as a haven or cover for aggressive military, non-state actors (with the added twist that in this seems they seem to be a state-sponsored proxy) seems to be the basic theme, and its the most significant recurring geopolitical theme of concern in today's world.


E. Simon - 7/25/2006

Was it an Israeli in a position of high leadership within his government or this operation, or just your misreading of the short blurbs that Google was able to return to you in your frantic search for web hits without gleaning beneath the surface of what any articles or otherwise reputable sources actually say?


E. Simon - 7/25/2006

I said: "it depends on their methodology and agenda," not, "it depends on whether or not they have an agenda."

Why should I take seriously anything you say, when you've proven - at least a couple times in one day - that you can't even read what is clearly stated in these posts of mine - which are neither that long nor complicated - to which you can't resist responding?


Vernon Clayson - 7/25/2006

ebla, I just restated your opinion, you spoke of military personnel. You sound like some of the counter culture types of the 60s, they were wrong and you are wrong. Terrorists are not necessarily revolutionaries, random senseless killing is hardly the means to end change society. You'd do better asking who funds these Hezbollar programs, surely you don't believe that these fanatics have the financial means to fund anything. They are an arm of foreign governments, mercenaries at best. They may be part of the political structure in Lebanon but even those few parliamentarians are arms of foreign governments, also financed by outside influences. It isn't really about a future paradise and 72 virgins, it's about power and control today. Dupes like you believe you are at the front of some grand movement, unless you are a born Muslim, they hate you as much as they do infidels and one another.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

I just figured it out. When historical facts get in the way one needs to change topics!


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

This is from July 12th. What were the Israeli soldiers doing in southern Lebanon before Israel invaded? The wording of this AP story is problematic and seems to attempt to confuse the reader.

Attacking and capturing the Israeli soldiers on Lebanese soil is even more legitimate.

"The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them."

http://www.forbes.com/technology/feeds/ap/2006/07/12/ap2873051.html


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

It must be not going too well for Israel if Rice is considering a ceasfire.


Ronald Dale Karr - 7/24/2006

How is the current situation in Lebanon a "conventional war"?? The Lebanese army is pretty much staying clear of the conflict, even though its nation is under attack from a foreign power.

Isn't that--well--unconventional? Can you think parellel historical examples?


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

I can't remember which Israeli leader said this:

to paraphrase "... we will set Lebanon back 20 years"

note how the word Lebanon is used and not Hezbollah. That's an admission that Israel is out to punish a country, i.e. collective punishment.

I know it's hard for you to believe this, since in the US Israel is worshiped and Arabs are made to look the devil.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

Every living being and institution has an agenda. Therefore, I guess you will always claim that Israel does not perform "collective punishment".

Israel's doctrine has been mainly "collective punishment" of its enemies. The proof is its actions and its victims . This is not an Israeli invention. They learnt it from the British occupying forces in Palestine.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

Of course, everyone knows that!!! So what's your point?


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

"military personnel are legitimate targets for opposing military personnel"

Wow! So I guess no country can be liberated without "terrorism" since most revolutionaries would not be counted as legitimate military personnel. Do you see how absurd that logic is?

Who came up with that definition? One day terrorism is the deliberate attack on innocent civilians and then no it's attack by people who we label terrorists. That's a cyclical argument. Clearly this redefinition is politically motivated.

Hezbollah is a formal party in Lebanon which is also a member of the Lebanese parlimantant. Besides their para-military wing their most important wing is their social wing. The latter wing provides schools, hospitals, welfare to the poor, etc. They are providing to the Lebanese what the government could/does not.


Frederick Thomas - 7/24/2006


..to a discussion which goes too quickly emotional, doctrinaire, and mythical. Your comments are much appreciated, as is their cool tone.


Vernon Clayson - 7/24/2006

ebla, military personnel are legitimate targets for opposing military personnel. Hezbollah members can hardly be considered as military personnel in the ordinary definition. They represent no country and have no formal and recognized chain of command designated by an organized governemnt, both of which are basic to a true military status. They are basically a rabble operating in a country without the will or the power to comtrol them. They are extralegal, stateless and otherwise nondescript, hardly a defined military, they are a gang. Further, having possession of weapons does not make them a military. It makes them a danger to civil and orderly life and Lebanon deserves what they get for allowing them to operate in their country. The movement did not start unbeknownst to the Lebanese government, they are complicit.


E. Simon - 7/24/2006

We'll see. It depends on their methodology and agenda. And not denying any specific claim would not mean that I support the broader argument that you're making.


E. Simon - 7/24/2006

Because history is not destiny.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

Americans are so misinformed of Israel's actions throughout its history that it is important they know how we got here. If history does not matter then why should one care about 241 marines being killed in 1983? Or what Hitler did to the Jews of Europe, etc.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

I'm sure that you are capable of searching human rights webpages. When I come across a source. I'll let you know. However, I suspect you may deny all of them.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

There is no loss to Hezbollah to want a ceasefire since Israel is claiming not to be interested in one. However, Hezbollah knows that Israel is destroying Lebanon and it cannot afford to have this Israeli invasion continue. Yet if the Israeli invasion continues Israel will lose more. It's a balancing act, I suppose.

Hezbollah knows that most of the world is against Israeli and US policies and thus in this situation Hezbollah wants to appear (be?) more moderate than Israel, in the eyes of the majority of the world.


E. Simon - 7/24/2006

Don't you think that all your comprehensive efforts to show that Israel is so bad, would be better spend by addressing what the Palestinians could realistically do to make their situation better?


E. Simon - 7/24/2006

Mr. Ebla,

Thanks. But providing Google search terms is not the same thing as citing sources for your claims.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

It is indeed sad what has happened to Arab Jews. They should be compensated just as Arab non-jews.

I have met Arab Jews who blame the creation of Israel and the expulsion of Palestinians by Zionist militias as the main cause of the destruction of their lively hood as fellow Arabs. That being said let's not forget that Israel was actively engaged in getting the Arabs Jews to leave their countries. I would recommend reading the biography of Moshe Sharett to see how Israel assisted in harassing Arab Jews while they were in their native countries. One example is of Israeli agents bombing a synygouge in Iraq.


E. Simon - 7/24/2006

You ignore what I said completely about the need in conventional war to prevent an enemy from resupplying its arms through "bridges-" to name just ONE aspect of infrastructure - and now add fictions about targetting hospitals. All of which are unsupported by any cited sources which I requested before this post, which you - instead of responding with in kind - neglected to provide.

It seems you're upset that Hizbullah will soon no longer be capable of carrying out its functions as a "military movement" (in conjunction with its many other useful purposes about which you've enlightened us). Once that is done Lebanon will collectively be able a less dysfunctional sovereignty and your sympathizing with Hizbullah's propaganda will no longer be required.


William Redfern - 7/24/2006

I'm afraid your response does not address my point. Prof. Cresswell would have it that continuing the Israeli military activity works to Hezbollah's advantage. Yet Hezbollah is now (reportedly) seeking a ceasefire, ostensibly (if Cresswell's analysis is correct), to their own disadvantage.

Now there are many ways to explain this away. Perhaps Hezbollah is suddenly motivated by altruism. Perhaps Hezbollah is not serious, but is claiming to seek a ceasefire so as to induce Israel to greater folly. Or Hezbollah realizes there will be no near term ceasefire, and they claim to seek one for the PR advantage it would gain them. Or any other number of reasons, none of which have been offered to explain away the contradiction.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

Just google:

http://www.google.com/search?q=collective+punishment+by+israel&;start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official


E. Simon - 7/24/2006

It's a good academic point - and one that the Palestinians, in their search for "justice" might have had the opportunity to have taken advantage of had hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries not been subjected to riots and dispossession, and the subsequent realization that their rights would be better safegaurded by the mainly European Jews who were by then the majority in Israel.

But that time has passed and people move on with their lives. 'Tis a pity, I suppose.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

Hezbollah has proposed and kept ceasfires with Israel in the past. This is not unusual. What is unusual is that Americans are so misinformed.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

If Israel were not interested in punishing the whole of Lebanon then it would not be bombing bridges, power plants, milk factories, hospitals, ambulances, etc. It has been Israeli policy since its inception to punish Arabs collectively as it has been doing in the Palestinian land it occupies.

The main source that indicate Israel's interest in collective punishment is what it has done to Lebanon and what it is doing to Lebanon and what it is doing to Palestinins.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

You're right I should have said "Zionist militias". That's more accurate.

Let me add more accuracy. These Zionist militias were not native. They were mainly European colonists who were interested in creating a jewish majority homeland at the expense of the majority of the population which happend to be non-jewish.

I do hope that you know that the expulsion of non-jewish Palestinians by Zionist militias started before Arab armies attacked these Zionist militias on Palestinian land.


William Redfern - 7/24/2006

How does one square this analysis with the fact (if it is indeed a fact) that Hezbollah is now calling for a ceasefire? By the analysis offered, wouldn't Hezbollah oppose a ceasefire? Of course the reports could be wrong, but I quote from the AP:

"Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said in published remarks that the priority is for a cease-fire and he was open to discussing ideas on ending the crisis"


E. Simon - 7/24/2006

I can assure you that I'm no more misinformed than you are disingenuous and unrealistic.

This "destruction of Palestine" was contingent upon the other parties - you know, the ones for whom you purport to speak - being incapable of making competent decisions. Compromise being one of them. Zionism fulfilled more than one purpose. You focus on a single strategy. That would be fine were only honest enough to re-read your post and see that you referred to "Israel." Not "Zionist militias and organizations in Israel before its statehood was accepted by the United Nations."

I though being well-informed usually requires the ability to read. I guess I was wrong.


E. Simon - 7/24/2006

Please cite sources that indicate that Israel is interested in "punishing" Lebanon collectively. Otherwise retract - if you have any interest in clarity, intellectually or otherwise - these propagandistic insinuations. Your decision at that point will give me an indication of how honestly you intend to pursue this debate. You know, the one about the conflict going on in Lebanon.

Targetting infrastructure in wars is simply how conventional wars are fought. Have you ever had to fight one? I doubt it. That you will whitewash the purposes of Hizbullah (which intentionally targets civilian noncombattants, and hides intentionally its military hardware among them in order to win its propaganda war), while railing on about Israeli targetting of other dual-use infrastructure used by Hizbullah (which Hizbullah, were it interested in an actual war, could just as well do to Israel), seems as interesting as it does shortsighted.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

It's sad how mis-informed you are :-(

It was the sole purpose of Zionism and Israel to end the existance of Palestine and to expel as many none jews from Palestine so they can create a jewish majority in Palestine and create Israel. These are facts that even many Israeli historians acknowledge.

This destruction of Palestine was way before suicide bombers, the intifadas, Hezbollah, etc.


E. Simon - 7/24/2006

The intentions behind what Israel has been doing for decades pales in comparison to what various factions have wanted and tried at various levels of implementation to do to Israel.

It's never been a serious policy goal of an Israeli government to reverse the existence of (i.e. to exterminate) another Arab nation. Some thought they could, with varying degrees of failure, when it came to the Palestinians, following the 1967 war to exterminate Israel, but the problems behind such thinking soon became apparent once exposed. On the other hand, the sole leader of the Palestinians from 1967 until 2004 - Yasir Arafat - referred to the Oslo peace accords as a "Trojan Horse" through which Israel could be dismantled. And if you look at the Hamas charter, their designs are even worse. It's hard to not act in ways that others resent when so many among them act out those designs.

In short, intentions matter. I know it's hard for many across the world (especially in the third world and Europe) to grasp the importance of acknowledging free will in securing a safe, liberal political order, but that lack of acknowledgment doesn't detract from such importance.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

You have to understand Hezbollah is a social, political and a military movement. It provides services to many of the poor in Lebanon.

Hezbollah uses the Lebanese infrastructure because it is Lebanese just as Israeli soldiers do in Israel.

It has been Israeli policy for decades (which they learnt from the British) to punish populations collectively. The price of Israeli aggression is counter aggression.


E. Simon - 7/24/2006

Too bad the same can't be said for how Hizbullah (Party of God) uses the infrastructure in those towns.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

Israel created Hezbollah by invading Lebanon (on false pretenses surprise surprise). There was hardly a Hezbollah in 1982 to stomp. It took years for Hezbollah to form and mostly to fight Israeli occupation which lasted over 20 years.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

"How can we erase the hate for isreal"

If only you knew what Israel has been doing to the Arabs for decades you would have the answer to your question.

Please do some research. If you need recommendations I'll be happy to suggest some.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

BTW, there is no evidence that Hezbollah killed these 241 marines and denies it. You need to be aware of the fact that US "intelligence" and the use of the word terrorism is very politicized.

Hezbollah was only a year old when the 241 marines were killed. Hezbollah came about to fight the illegal Israeli occupation of Lebanon. Don't get me wrong I don't like Hezbollah's politics nor their religious beliefs. However, we must state the facts as they are.

The US was taking sides with Israel days before the marines were killed by shelling parts of Lebanon via the USS New Jersey (I think that was the one). Once a "peace" keeping force takes sides with an occupying army then their own army becomes fair game.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

Sorry I missed that.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

True and neither are most of the towns and cities that Israel is bombing.


ugarit ebla - 7/24/2006

An attack on the military can never be called terrorism. Terrorism is intentional attacks on civilians.

Hizbollah is a legitimate political and military force in Lebanon. Just because the US and Israel say it is not then it does not make it so.

BTW, Hizbollah fighters do have uniforms on.

Yes Hizbollah fighters are legitimate targets just as Israeli fighters and American fighters.


Steve Broce - 7/24/2006

“It's interesting that the work 'servicemen' is used instead of marines. It seems its use is intended to cloak the fact this was not an act of terrorism since these servicemen/marines were not civilians. They were a legitimate target.’

I see. So 241 Marines, in Lebanon participating in a UN sanctioned peace keeping operation are “legitimate targets”. But of whom?

Hizbollah is not a legitimate governmental organization, had not declared war on the US, and were not wearing uniforms or insignia or following the rules of war. They were (and are) a terrorist organization. That means they were criminals under the rules of war. That means they are subject to execution.

Since they are war criminals, Israel would be justified in hunting each one of them down and killing them, wouldn’t they, Ugarit? They are, to use your own phrase, “legitimate targets”.

See, the problem with your logic, Ugarite, is that saying that Marines are “legitimate targets” implies that it is open season on ANY soldier of ANY country by ANY terrorist or nut case with a perceived grievance that comes along.


Lisa Kazmier - 7/24/2006

What exactly is childish is seeing that being heavy handed here strengthens the radicals most inclined to resist violently. Sharon's career has pretty much shown this. Isn't it childish of you to stress "never lost" when what is being evaluated here is regional peace and stability rather than territorial gain, which is likely your criteria.


Jonathan Dresner - 7/24/2006

"US and Europe"....


E. Simon - 7/24/2006

Surely Kiryat Shemona, Nazareth, Haifa, etc., and other perennial sites of Katyusha attacks are inhabitted by not just military personel.


Deborah Bargad - 7/23/2006

If we had left Mr. Hussein in power, none of this would be going on. Somehow he was the key to the balance in the middle east. A tyrant, a terrorist and a man so feared by his people and his neighboring states, that all remained quiet. Iran is the true WMD threat. Not to say it wouldnt eventually. Osama is still at large inciting through video and media messages. Money is the blood that gives the terrorist ideal LIFE. Cut off the money flow to the terrorist states and the heart beats no more. We are giving candy and sweets (diplomacy) to these people when we should be laying heavy sanctions and eliminating those in true power. Hizbollah and Hamas operate through cells, and they funciton independantly. Have we learned nothing from all the years in Iraq and the atrocity of Sept 11th. A terrorist can hide his machinations and strike as fast as a cobra with aggressive and lethal intent and through sheer suprise and fear........WIN. This attack on Isreal was a ruse by the Iranians to stall the hand slapping of the UN. The same thing is happening in Ethiopia right now. Islamic Militants are ruling and Somalia is stepping in to protect it. The world always becomes complacent and turns their attention to other matters and in that lack of vigilance, Terrorist Organization can again forcus their funding and oil money to restockss arsenals and flows of weapons and cash to terrorist organizations. Every terrorist needs a labotomy to eradicate the unfathomable hate and zealous aggression that lives and spreads like a cancer eating the middle east, the very world, alive!! Thats just what it would take. Cut off the head, another takes its place. How can we erase the hate for isreal, for democracy and the greed for power and control from the minds of men so that we can all co-exist in peace?


ugarit ebla - 7/23/2006

"We find that US and Europe control more than 65% of global economy with hardly 14% of global population."

The US is only about 5-6% of the global population and not 14%.


ugarit ebla - 7/23/2006

Attacks against military personnel is not an act of terrorism. Military personnel are legitimate targets.


ugarit ebla - 7/23/2006

"In addition, 241 American servicemen, sent to Lebanon to oversee the withdrawal of the PLO from Lebanon, perished in a terrorist attack in Beirut."

Since when is an attack against servicemen and act of terrorism?

It's interesting that the work 'servicemen' is used instead of marines. It seems its use is intended to cloak the fact this was not an act of terrorism since these servicemen/marines were not civilians. They were a legitimate target.


T A Reid - 7/23/2006

I agree with the author on most of what's said. However, I wonder why I never see anything mentioned of the Israel military 6-8 members who were attacked and killed by the Hezbollah in conjuction with the capture of the two? These stories and responses seem designed to continually get a message across that Israel has grossly over-reacted to this, so they in turn are the bad guys in all this. Where do you draw the line, and stop simply negotiating with terrorists every time they kill your people? Surely, a country must kill the snake if it keeps coming back and biting them?


Ranjit Goswami - 7/23/2006

Dear Editor,

Sub: Middle-East crisis shows us again that we need an Asian identity, and an Asian media of scale, size and credibility.

I do agree with Michael Creswell's views on 'Why Israeli's Campaign will likely fail'. Last few days in India in Kolkata, I have been watching BBC and CNN and sense, in-spite of not being a Muslim, and coming from the country affected most by terrorism, that media of west is deliberately or unintentionally biased.

Present Middle-East crisis and ongoing other Asian crises in North Korea, Iran make one wonder the reason of all crises in Asia.

In one article titled 'US dollar hegemony has got to go' (on 11th April 2002, Asia Times Online, http://www.atimes.com/global-econ/DD11Dj01.html), Henry C K Liu argued why dollar hegemony should go. On the contrary, amidst all economic imbalances US dollar hegemony persists even more today in 2006.

Let's try and correlate why dollar hegemony still exists with even with higher intensity (in absolute terms) and who is paying the price, in this ‘race to the bottom’ that Mr. Liu referred at in his above article with increased Asian crises.

We find that US and Europe control more than 65% of global economy with hardly 14% of global population. And unfortunately for Asia, with two-thirds of global population, we in Asia hold $ 2.9 trillion of forex reserves. With half of this reserve, Asian economies can potentially buy out Microsoft, Exxon-Mobil, GE, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Wal-Mart, Google and all the available gold for sale with central bankers of western economies. We also have 70% of global proven oil reserves and 50% of present global oil production in Asia with us (with hardly 20% of consumption). With all these we contribute hardly 22% of global economy, half of which coming from Japan alone (nominal figures). And we in Asia have 800 million Asians, more than the population of US and EU put together, who live with less than $ 1 a day.

Above facts and figures show something terribly wrong with this region.

Unfortunately for West, they have all three modern power - economic one with hegemony of dollar, military power and that of media. But their usages over years have not been at the best interest of mankind on earth; rather it has been misused often at the cost of mankind on earth and to serve the narrow interest of west.

It's high time that Asian have an Asian identity of ours. I believe a truly Asian media entity is badly the need of the hour; it can facilitate that process. As Asians, in-spite of having all in terms of resources and having practically nothing in terms of consumption, we still look at west (read US President Bush) to solve Middle-East crisis. It’s high time that we, as Asians help ourselves and regain our due rights in global geo-political and economic areas, starting with ‘Helping Ourselves’ as Mohammed A R Galadari commented in the Khaleej Times on 21st July in respect to ongoing war in Middle-East, which unfortunately rest of the world, and the UN watches on. He referred at Arab World; I am referring at Asian identity to fix many of these imbalances of present world.

My sincere request to any global media company to understand that any failure of their part in portraying right journalism and right treatment of humanity only fuel such regionalism. Western civilization in its present form is nothing more than another regionalism.

Only such a media entity can help in creating an Asian identity and help us in Asia to solve our problems, rather than looking at US president Bush, whose knowledge over History is rather poor.

Regards,

Ranjit Goswami
Research Scholar,
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.
Dated: 23rd July 2006.
e-mail id: ranjit.goswami@gmail.com

PS: The complete article and related others can be seen at http://voice-of-asia.blogspot.com/. I would also be keen to contribute research-based articles on geo-political and socio-economic issues with your publication.


Arnold Shcherban - 7/23/2006

Though not going into the heart of the matter and not criticising the calculated and anti-humanistic US diplomatic "delay", the author gives more or less fair evaluation of the current situation there, and its most
probable negative for the peace and stability in the region consequences.

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