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Axis of Hypocrisy—Russia, US, UK, Italy, France Urge Israeli Restraint

News Abroad




Mr. Olshaker is a longtime freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Jewish Press, TomPaine.com, and other publications.

“Russia, France, Britain, Italy Criticize Israel’s “Disproportionate Use of Force”
--AFP headline, July 14, 2006

This week marks the anniversary of a massacre eerily connected to today’s news—the July 18, 1994 terrorist bombing of the seven-story Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 95 people and wounding more than 200. A similar bombing in March 1992 destroyed the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people. The governments of Argentina, the US, and Israel suspect Iran of carrying out the attacks through its Hezbollah hit men.

The 1994 terrorist attack—the worst in Argentine history, and the biggest mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust, outside of Israel—should have served as a sobering wake-up call to the kind of rational people who assume there must be logical motives underlying terrorist behavior, or a rational answer to a variation on a familiar question: “Why do they hate…random, unsuspecting Argentine civilians?” Many among us still cannot acknowledge that there is pure, irrational evil in the world, and that there is no negotiating with it.

The term “disproportionate response” dominates coverage of Israel’s current reaction to acts of war launched by Hamas and Hezbollah, terror gangs whose charters call for the destruction of Israel, acting as proxies for Iran, whose president reiterates his genocidal threats every few days.

So it is fitting to look back and ask whether Israel responded proportionately to the Buenos Aires killings and thousands of Iran-financed attacks on Israeli civilians over the past decade.

The answer is no. A proportional reaction clearly would have been to respond in kind—to destroy a heavily populated Iranian embassy and blow up innocent Iranians in Tehran as well as in cities like London and Los Angeles. Instead, Israel acted with stunning disproportionateness, offering to provide humanitarian aid to Iran following its devastating earthquake in late 2003. The Iranian government turned down Israel’s offers of help, thus condemning a countless number of its own people to death simply to spite the Jewish state.

And yet, much of the world either views Israel as the perennial villain, or regards Iran and Israel as what one recent article about Iran’s announced genocidal plans called “two parties to a dispute.” A dispute about what—whether Jews in Buenos Aires and Tel Aviv have a right to live? In advising Israel, the nations currently meeting at the G8 summit would be wise to keep in mind the stated genocidal intentions of Iran and its terrorist subcontractors; and more important, remember that “proportionality” has not been a key consideration in their own reactions to Islamic terror attacks.

For instance, the Russian foreign ministry declared, "One cannot justify the continued destruction by Israel of the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and in Palestinian territory"—this from the same Putin Administration that slaughtered Chechnya Muslims by the thousands in a single military assault in 1999. (Israel has dropped thousands of leaflets warning residents to flee civilian areas used by Hezbollah as terrorist bases in violation of the Geneva Conventions—did Russia take any such humanitarian precautions?) Russia recently killed Shamil Basayev, a Chechnyan terrorist leader notorious for targeting and killing children, yet honors Hamas as a legitimate political entity to do business with, even though its leadership deserves the same fate as Basayev, for the same exact reasons.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Israel to practice restraint after coming under attack on two fronts, yet the Bush Administration was hardly the model of restraint when it reacted to a single day of terrorist attacks by invading two nations at the other end of the planet and overthrowing their governments.

The current administration has maintained a longstanding double standard when it comes to Israel’s struggle against terror. After Israeli forces killed terrorist mastermind Ahmed Yassin, White House spokesman Scott McClellan and UN Ambassador John Negroponte used the same phrase—“deeply troubled”—to describe the administration’s reaction (in contrast to the joyous reaction over the US killing of al-Zarqawi). Even Israel’s nonviolent self-defense in the form of an anti-terrorist barrier met with White House disapproval. As reported in the Forward (October 10, 2003), “The administration has said it may deduct what Israel spends on the fence from loan guarantees... ‘We have made it clear that the fence...is a problem,’ Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Washington Post, in language that has been echoed by Bush.”

Rice’s call for proportionality was echoed by both Italy and the United Kingdom, partners with the US in the war in Iraq, an undertaking that neither its supporters nor detractors would describe as restrained. Tony Blair’s spokesman said of Israel’s recent military response, “The British government hopes that actions will be proportionate.” Yet restraint is easier to preach than to practice—shortly after the Islamic fundamentalist subway-and-bus massacre of July 7, 2005, British police chased down and shot to death an innocent Brazilian man—a horrific yet understandable act in a nation traumatized by terror.

Yet when it comes to practicing a double standard toward Israel on the terror issue, it is France that appears to occupy a league of its own, practically elevating hypocrisy to an art form. This is revealed in the dramatic contrast between President Chirac’s hostility to the anti-terror policies of Israel (going as far as to embrace terrorists who target Jews), and his iron-fisted response to the young French Muslims who overwhelmingly targeted property, not human life, in the French riots of late 2005:

  • On October 28, 2004—five months after Yasser Arafat’s Fatah murdered eight-month-pregnant mother Tali Hatuel and her four young children, execution-style—Chirac wrote a note of encouragement to the terrorist mastermind, who was being treated in a French hospital: “I wish that you could resume as soon as possible your work at the service of the Palestinian people…[France] will always stand next to you.” Yet on November 6, 2005, Chirac vowed to punish all who “sow violence or terror” in France.
  • In early 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including dangerous terrorists—the kind of concession that the French government, among others, welcomed as a step toward peace. Later that year, French authorities arrested thousands of young rioters, vowing to prosecute, imprison, and in some cases deport them. Releasing them as a goodwill gesture never appeared to be an option under consideration.
  • In July 2004, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier visited Arafat in his Ramallah compound, where he was confined after it was found that he had resumed his involvement in serial murder of civilians. Barnier scolded Israel for limiting Arafat’s freedom of movement: “I’ve seen the situation, and it is not suitable for him nor for the Palestinian people.” Yet the state of emergency declared in France in late 2005 empowered the government to limit the freedom of movement of countless innocent citizens by imposing curfews enforced by imprisonment and fines. It also provided for bans on public meetings, and house searches without a warrant—measures that would be widely condemned as “trampling the Bill of Rights” if they occurred in the United States.
  • “…as Jacques Chirac explained to Ehud Barak [in 2000], Israel, being the stronger side, must be the first to stop [the use of force, in its attempts to fight terrorism]” (Yaacov Lozowick, Right to Exist). For Chirac himself, however, being the “stronger” side carried no obligation to be the first side to stop the use of force or make concessions; on the contrary, the stronger side—his side—must dominate, period. Chirac proclaimed, “The law must have the last word. The republic is quite determined, by definition, to be stronger than those who want to sow violence or fear.” As reported by Amir Taheri in the New York Post: “The French authorities hit back, sending in Special Forces, known as the CRS, with armored cars and tough rules of engagement.” The CRS is described as having a “brutal reputation.”
  • Although instructions to shoot the elderly wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer and dump him off a cruise ship came from Arafat’s headquarters, Chirac’s reaction to Arafat’s death was to visit the hospital and announce, teary-eyed, “I came to bow before President Yasser Arafat and pay him a final homage…with him disappears a man of courage and conviction” and urge Palestinians to “continue to be faithful to Yasser Arafat’s memory.” An Associated Press report during last year’s intifada in French cities described an atrocity that brought back memories of the Klinghoffer tragedy: “Attackers [in a Paris suburb] doused [a] woman, in her 50s and on crutches, with an inflammable liquid and set her afire as she tried to get off a bus…” Chirac never announced any intention to find those responsible, arrange generous funding for them, and engage in peace talks with them, even though Chirac apparently needed his own peace partners in order to negotiate an end to what his police commanders described as “a state of war.”
  • After Israel was forced to hunt down terrorists in Jenin following the 2002 Passover massacre, Le Monde—displaying an obscene form of anti-Israel bias that has become more acceptable and commonplace during the Chirac administration—published a deeply dishonest and bigoted cartoon depicting Israelis as Nazis exterminating the population of the Jenin “Warsaw Ghetto,” further fanning the flames of anti-Semitism at a time when French Jews were being assaulted and synagogues and Jewish schools were being firebombed in epidemic numbers. Yet, although distortions and lies intended to demonize Israel are acceptable in the French media, merely reporting the facts about the French Muslim uprising was deemed inflammatory and therefore censored. “[France’s] largest private television network, TF1, refrains from airing footage of burning cars or buildings…The state-owned television channels, France 2 and France 3, have stopped reporting on the number of cars torched by rioting young immigrants every night…Explaining their restraint, TV execs say that they want to avoid inciting further violence.” (Wall Street Journal)
  • As reported by Martin Peretz of the New Republic, “France went into a frenzy to mobilize the countries of the EU at the UN to vote ‘yes’ on the General assembly resolution calling on Israel to take down the security barrier it is building against Palestinian terror.” Yet Chirac surrounded himself with a cozy barrier of protection when he went to lay a wreath in honor of fallen soldiers in late 2005. “Exceptional security measures were taken for Armistice Day ceremonies attended by President Chirac…under the watch of some 3,000 police officers…” (Agence France-Press) On November 16, the same day AFP reported that vandalism had declined “almost down to levels seen before the unrest broke out on October 27,” the French senate voted to extend the nation’s extraordinary emergency measures into 2006. Just to be safe.

Chirac’s hard line was already well-established before the Muslim riots of 2005. In 2003, Israel National News reported that he “thwarted a European Union condemnation of a strongly anti-Semitic speech by the Malaysian Prime Minister.” Yet when hate speech occurred within France, the Chirac government’s response went far beyond mere condemnation. “More than three dozen imams whose preachings are violent or do not conform with French values have been expelled since 2003,” the Associated Press reported.

Nor does the current French administration hesitate to use massive deadly force against noncombatants, as they proved in 2004. After Ivory Coast warplanes killed nine French peacekeepers and an American aid worker in a bombing raid, the French struck back against the Ivorian military—but the story did not end there. On November 6, 2004, French helicopter gunboats fired on unarmed protestors crossing a bridge in Abidjan, the capital of Cote d’Ivoire; on November 9, French forces fired on another crowd of protestors at a hotel. The final toll was 57 unarmed civilians killed and over 2,200 injured, according to the Ivorian government; French estimates are lower. The French government has rejected all demands for an investigation. And yet…responding to the October 26, 2005, suicide-bombing that killed six Israelis and wounded dozens in a Hadera marketplace, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman warned Israel that protecting its citizens by targeted killings of the terrorists would be “contrary to international law.”

It would be fitting if the G8 leaders were to acknowledge the anniversary of the 1994 blast that leveled the Buenos Aires Jewish community center—a tragedy that deserves the same solemn commemoration as 9/11 in the US, 7/7 in the UK, and 7/11 in India—and take it into account when assessing the nature of the evil that has struck Israel, and what Israel’s response should be. Unfortunately, Chirac will surely not be among the leaders who will acknowledge the Hezbollah threat and react accordingly. As Olivier Guitta noted in his article “The Chirac Doctrine,” “The French government has continued to resist calls not only from Washington and Jerusalem but also from some within Europe to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization, preferring instead to categorize the group as a ‘social’ organization.”

Perhaps the world leaders meeting in St. Petersburg as a new war rages will remember how the Allied leaders responded to the Nazi threat, for the current attack on Israel is eerily identical to Hitler’s aggression. Then, as now, diplomacy was tried for years and failed. Then, as now, the ceding of land for peace only produced further attacks. Then, as now, the aggressors had the same two goals: to exterminate the Jews, and to impose their nightmarish form of fascism on the world. As Hamas terrorists, whose charter calls for genocide of Jews and the eradication of Israel, proclaimed in a recent video, “We will rule the nations, by Allah’s will, the USA will be conquered, Israel will be conquered, Rome and Britain will be conquered.”

Journalist Patrick D. O’Brien, writing at clarityandresolve.com, has aptly summed up the international scope of the threat: “…the future of Western liberal democracy is squarely in the sights of very bad men who want to drag all of us—whether we are liberal, conservative, or centrist, and whether or not we support Israel—into the wretched pit of barbaric medieval theocracy they believe to be God's will. The Sunnis of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and al-Aqsa are in lockstep with Shia Hizbullah to light the fuse in Israel as Iran puts the finishing touches on Allah's fiery final answer to the might of the infidel. The future is here, and there is scant time to shape it into the hopeful image of liberty and justice that our children deserve.”

It is unlikely that there were many calls for “proportionate response” after Pearl Harbor and Hitler’s invasion of Poland. The operative phrase at the time, both as policy and rallying cry, was “unconditional surrender” of the enemy. As author Melanie Phillips recently wrote, “Israel is our collective front line” in the Iran-led war on the free world. If the major world powers will not actively help Israel to defeat Hezbollah and Hamas as decisively as the Allies crushed Germany and Japan, the least they can do is to refrain from pressuring Israel into “restraint” that would not expected of, or practiced by, themselves or any other nation under endless attack.


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omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Ebbitt
I thank you for a clear, unequivocal and candid statement of your position/ideas/ideals and, possibly, vision, on this mother of all, as far as we are concerned, problems: the aggressive, racist and expansionist, i.e. Zionist, state of Israel.
I will address your points in the same order you made them.
1-All that you have stated in support of Israel’s alleged “rights” and “claim” to a homeland in Palestine boils down to the fact that the Jews did dwell at some era in past history in Palestine which is neither disputed nor unique to them in Palestine .
Others did before and after them.
(Looking forward to hear your views on the UNIVERSAL validity and applicability of the basis on which Jewish claims are made.)
Never the less and although I categorically do NOT concede Israel's right, or claim, for a nation/state in Palestine I can understand the Jewish attachment to and special relation to Palestine and Jerusalem.
Both considerations would warrant a sizable Jewish confessional, as distinct from national, community residing in Palestine and NOT a nation /state.

A separate Jewish nation /state for Jews set in the heartland of the Arab nation and Moslem world (look at a map of the ME) would necessarily specify a set of interests ,affiliations and loyalties that are separate and distinct from the indigenous population’s Arab environment. This would, and did, inevitably dictate a set of policies that will draw it closer to the WEST, whence most of its inhabitants has come, and distance it and them from their immediate environment thus marking it and them as ALIENS in both Palestine and the greater Arab nation and unavoidably ALIENATING them from it; as has actually happened.

AS a separate confessional community in Palestine the Jews would/could have had everything in common with their surroundings except their confessional affiliation, as NY Jews presently have with the rest of NY and the USA, whereas as a separate nation/state they would have/had nothing in common with their surrounding except a fiercely DISPUTED land Which is exactly where things stand now.


2-Once the Zionist choice for a separate Jewish nation/state, as distinct from a Jewish community residing in Palestine , was made two consequential results came into being:
2.1- That that Jewish nation/state should be Jewish ( as Jewish as France is French, according to Wiseman) thus requiring a Jewish majority i.e. an Arab minority or no Arabs at all which would entail and constitute an act of AGGRESSION against them considering that the indigenous Arab population constituted an overwhelming majority!
2.2-The DISLOCATION, DISPOSSESSSION, DISFRANCHISEMENT and SUBJUGATION of this indigenous population and SUPPLANTING them with Jews to constitute the Jewish nation/state.

That made/make it inescapable that this intrinsically aggressive and reprehensible, and totally unacceptable to the indigenous Arab population, Zionist model of nation building was a prerequisite, a sine qua non, for the establishment of Israel in Palestine.
Which makes impossible NOT to conclude that the nation/state that came into being as a result of the application of this model is necessarily aggressive, racist ( Jewish majority or exclusivity) and expansionist and as such is irredeemably immoral and illegal.
Your non equivocal condemnation of this Zionist model of nation building dictates an equally unambiguous condemnation and rejection of its output; the state of Israel.

3- I heartily welcome your support of the inalienable Palestinian Right of Return to their homeland Palestine that would redress the horrendous crime committed against , reestablish the applicability of basic human rights to the Palestinians and constitute the ultimate sine qua non for peace .
Regards



omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

None of the above negates Israel's intrinsic AGRESSIVE and EXPANSIONIST nature, from day one of its establishment, nor refutes my assertion to the same.
If anything, your failure to address the specific points I made answering your specific questions confirms my contention.


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Ebbitt
The ongoing events of the last fortnight will eventually blow over and hostilities will cease for now.
It will restart sooner than later though in X years/months/days.
The thing to note however is that each successive confrontation is taking longer to stop , the intensity of the fight, including civilian casualties, is increasing and the size of the actual battle front, directly and indirectly engaged in the fight, is expanding.
Now it is the Arabs plus Iran.The next round it will be the Arabs plus Iran plus Turkey etc etc.
An unmistakable message is dawning on all: A Zionist nation/state, by definition a racist alien body, in Palestine is increasingly and irrevocably unacceptable to the whole region/culture and the clash of civilizations or WW III ,if you wish, is becoming progressively inescapable.

Pity; for instead of the peace, quiet and security the Jews were looking for , particularly post the traumatic Holocaust, their selfishness, blindness and racism that led to invade and colonize Palestine have engaged them into an unending cycle of violence that can not end in their favour.
Is it divinely, or genetically, preordained that they shall NEVER have peace?
Once again I neither revel nor gloat at the prospect not only because of the cost we will pay but equally for the cost they and the whole world will pay.

Your stand re Israel's alleged "rights" is , though totally unacceptable for the reasons mentioned earlier, could be attributed to your well formulated dictum :"That America has been totally hypnotized/ mesmerized by the Jewish myth for 230 years that has created a population that is pliable/subservient/ defensive of Jewish needs/ wants. "

That you, a seemingly humane and progressive man, should be a conscious and willing victim of that myth surprises me.
However whether a conscious or unconscious victim I still look forward ( for the third time)to read your comments re the UNIVERSAL validity and applicability of the "foundations" on which the Zionist claim on Palestine was made.
The question is inescapable.
That is WHERE , ultimately, the answer lays for humankind: is it acceptable to reestablish some mythic historic cultural/confessional link to dislocate, dispossess, disfranchise and subjugate an indigenous people from and in his homeland and supplant it with aliens selected and gathered on purely racist/confessional criteria?
I wish you well
Regards


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Br Ebbitt
To be honest with you I am at a loss re what is it that you advocate, refute or inquire about in your last post(#93756) for me to respond to.
However I heartily welcome your sage conclusion that:"Israel ( and the whole Middle East/my addition) will only find peace when it joins the world community/ rights this wrong and re-establishes an opportunity within Palestine for all natives both Jew and Arab."
Should you have in mind other points to discuss it will be my pleasure to respond to the best of my limited abilities.
Keep well, God bless
Regards


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Recent events go to show, once more, that the basic elements of the situation did NOT change NOR will they EVER change: Israel’s ability at destruction, great by any standard, the total and unconditional US support of Israel, verging on the limitless, and the escalating and ever deepening Arab/Moslem will and ability to resist both and fight on.
If anything all three basic factors are gaining in strength and are being progressively ingrained as seminal foundations of the respective positions of their combatants.
Recent events in Lebanon proclaim the “official” end of the search for “peace” era and the return to total, infinite and timeless confrontation.
The exact end of the “search for peace” era was actually the 1973 war when US direct military intervention frustrated Arab, Syrian/Egyptian, efforts to liberate their lands occupied in the 1967 war.
The US message, latter confirmed by the invasion and conquest of Iraq, was unmistakably clear and was correctly interpreted by both the Israeli right and the Arab/Moslem rejectionist, of Israel’s very existence, front: the USA was not out to protect ”the existence of Israel”, which the war in way threatened, but to ensure its absolute regional superiority and advance its expansionist and domineering designs and Israel in no way had diminished its territorial expansionist and domineering ambitions.
Thence dates the inexorable rise of both the Israeli Right and the Islamist Jihadist movement and the decline, to the present state of virtual demise, of the “peace camps” in both domains.
The Camp David “peace “ agreement, born out of virtual Egyptian capitulation, as much as its byproduct the Oslo agreement, equally and consequentially born out of Fatah and PLO capitulation, not only failed to establish genuine peace but also launched the violent anti “peace” movement with the assassination of its author President Saddat in Egypt and the rise of Hamas in Palestine.
The war now is engaged by Hamas, Islamic Jihad , Hisb Allah, a lukewarm Syria and an increasingly dynamic Iran.
No matter how it will develop and end, it is certainly NOT the last war nor will the number of combatants decrease.
If anything it is the First War in which the Islamist movement takes the lead against an openly aggressive and expansionist Israel supported by, for the first time,its declared ideological, as distinct from political, ally the USA of the Zionist/ neocon alliance fronted by President Bush.
Therein lays the seeds of historical, epoch making, total cultural/confessional confrontations and generations and generation’s long wars; the modern history replay of the Crusaders’ war in a much more dangerously armed world
That is definitely bad news for ALL.


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

With a logic and style best epitomized by such gems of erudition and prose as :"True, Syria is "lukewarm," but that's thanks to the urine trickling down Assad's trousers." it is truly a pointless waste of time and readers' attention to try to out Kovashev, a mean task in it self by any standard, the original Kovashovist .


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

That the feverishly hoped for, and studiously cultivated, confrontation between a "minority sect" and the Arab and Moslem Sunni majority will detract from and diminish ALL Arab and Moslem hostility to the pernicious and racist Zionist creed is being irredeemably demolished on a daily basis by the outpouring of public support for the Shiite Hisb Allah all over the Arab/Moslem world.
Nothing throughout the ages long alienation between the two major sects of Islam, the Sunnis and the Shiites, has brought them closer to each other as their common implacable enmity to Zionism and Israel!
Hisb Allah's heroic confrontation with Israel is building a tremendously durable new bridge between the two!


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman
You seem to be documenting only the day by day expansionism of Israel, which is tantamount to ascertaining that in those many days in which there was NO exchange of fire there was NO war between us.
That is, to put it mildly, silly!
My point is that Israel by its very aggressive and racist nature is intrinsically an EXPANSIONIST alien state and has been from day one of its inception.
Historical/numerical proof of Israel intrinsic expansionist nature is presented in my post #92917.


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Better that Iran gets the A bomb than it remains an Israeli monopoly. Any differences that existed, and still many do, with Iran are trifles when compared with the existential conflict with the usurping , racist aggressive and expansionist Zionist state of Israel, the imperialist implant in the region.
If you fail to understand that I will NOT call you "stupid", that is cheap name calling, but will tell you that you are blind to the facts or, which is more probable, you are wallowing in wishful thinking!


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Me Ebbitt
Should the Pat Robertson creed of Zionist/Evangelist/Christianity become the unshakable creed of the majority of US citizens and the dominant formative force of US policies then we, that is YOU and US, are in for a very bad run and the future is truly dark for both.

It is NOT a coincidence that the recent spectacular rise of violent Islamism ran concurrently with the emergence, and present domination, of neocon-Evangelist/Zionism fronted by President Bush.

The thing to note is that, except for Iran, violent Islamism is NOT YET in command of the apparatus of state(s).
Hizb Allah is only a, scale 1/1000, model of things to come and things to be.

However as the invaded party, the object of conquest and aggression, we have no alternative but to resist and fight on.
The USA, under Bush/Robertson , or equivalent, being the prime enemy, has an alternative: to withdraw .
A replay of Viet Nam where US withdrawal did not diminish its intrinsic security/interests etc sadly effected only after the cost in treasure and BLOOD became unbearable?

WALT and MEIRSHAMMER seem , to me, to have taken that first, crucial, preliminary step towards that move.
Regards


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Q1- "How your assertions remain to be proven, that a country that has repeatedly withdrawn from lands from which it has been attacked and yet simultaneously "expansionist" - are not "stupid" - is still in your court." (E.Simon #92871)

A1-An elementary rule of natural and common law (including "laws" that have different punishments for the same crime depending on the religious affiliation of the criminal)is unequivocal in that you do not have to kill everybody you come across to be designated as a killer.
It is enough to kill only one person to become a killer!
It is enough to steal only once to become a thief!

Withdrawal from "some" occupied lands does NOT negate nor nullify the crime of expansionism as long as other occupied territories have been annexed dedejure ( according to Israeli, not international,law) or defacto.
I- Occupied Palestinian Lands annexed by Israel dejure (according to Israeli, not international, law):
a- Every single square inch of land falling between the Mediterranean Sea and Israel's 1967 (armistice) borders that was NOT part of Israel's land allocation according to the UNGA Partition Plan and resolution.
b-Arab East Jerusalem and surrounding areas "officially" annexed by Israel post 1967.
II-Occupied Palestinian Lands annexed by Israel defacto:
a-Every single square inch of land on which Israeli settlements were constructed on lands occupied by Israel post 1967.
b-Every single square inch of land contained by the Israeli constructed WALL that falls East of its 1967 borders.

According to the UN Partition Plan some 52% of the total land area of historical Palestine was allocated for the "Jewish Homeland".
The present total area of Palestinian lands NOT annexed by Israel either dejure or defacto, according to the latest alignment of the WALL, is some 20 % of the total area of historical Palestine .
This means that Israel's present acquisition of (100-20) 80% of historical Palestine includes some (80-52) 28 % of annexed land above and beyond the Jewish Homeland/Israeli UN land allocation.
The acquisition and retention of every single square inch of these 28% of the total area of historical Palestine, being part of the 48 % allocated to the Arab Palestinian people by the Partition plan, is an act of territorial expansion by an expansionist power.

Q2-"To where would Israel withdraw, and how many times would it have to willingly do so, in order for it to no longer be "expansionist?" E.Simon #92871
A2-To within the borders delineated by the UN Partition Plan for the "Jewish Homeland"!

(According to the UN Partition Plan of Palestine special provisions were made for Jerusalem not included in the above to concentrate on the central point of the very EXPANSIONIST nature of the Jewish state from day one of its establishment.)


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Ebbitt
"Your task now is to sell the remaining (220) million American's hooked on Christ."
AS a matter of fact I do NOT believe it is crucial for me to succeed in selling(?) the other (220) million Americans "hooked on Christ."
It would be nice but it is NOT crucial although that figure of 220 millions is hugely exaggerated in the context of our discussion.
For one thing the USA does not have 220 million Evangelists, the sect most prone to succumb to Zionist claims, for another it is not ipso facto that all Evangelists will.
I do not accept the premise that even all Evangelists are irredeemably blinded to history, politics and justice.
If any thing the way I read the US religious scene, as it plainly expressed itself and its stand in the pre invasion of Iraq phase, a great number among them was against the Zionist inspired BUSH/WOLFOWITZ war of conquest and destruction of Iraq and said so .
I recall those strongly opposed to that neocon/Zionist initiative included (correct me where I go wrong) included the Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopalian and other main stream Protestant Churches ie all main stream US Christianity( and some reform Rabbinates) except the Evangelists .
World wide the anti group included the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox,the Anglican, the Coptic, the Lutheran etc in addition to all those US Christian Churches with international spread .
Which leads us to another important point: Zionism/Israel's last stand, presently evolving/will be to totally identify its racist, aggressive and expansionist cause with Christianity and the Christian world.
Granted that violent Fundamental Islamism will assist it in this respect its campaign is bound to fail for two main reasons:
1-Contrary to US mass media allegations, part of a patently concerted brain washing campaign (Murdoch &Co), violent Fundamental Islamism is NOT the rapidly ascending main stream Islamism.
2-Total identification with the Zionist/Israeli cause will eventually exert a very heavy price that main stream Christianity will find itself unwilling to pay since it has no real, genuine stake/interest in it.
Main stream Christianity will eventually come to the conclusion that support of racist, aggressive and expansionist Zionism is as absurd, unethical, amoral and unGodly as was/is the " blood of Christ"/Deicide myth and will discard the former as it did with the latter.

Keep well, always a pleasure and intellectually stimulating to "dialogue" with you.
Regards
Omar


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Friedman, you are repeating for the umpteenth time the same old Likud propaganda crap. Israel has borders like every other country in the world and cannot excuse its barbarism or tyrannical occupations through some kind of exceptionalist BS. This regurgitated AIPAC propaganda is tiresome in the extreme, and you need deprogramming big time.

There are legitimate security concerns in Israel, of course, and I never said there weren't. But pretending that Israel is somehow exempt from normal civilized behavior WEAKENS rather than strengthens the security of its people.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

You may have no stake in Israeli politics, Mr. Friedman. But Likud extremists have a stake in dupes such as you, who accept their propaganda on faith, rather than thinking for yourself. You repeat the Likudnik-AIPAC lines here incessantly.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

The main language of the Mideast is Arabic, Friedman. Does your knowledge of the "region, its history, its culture and people" include a knowledge of that language? If not, does that prove that you know "nothing about the Mideast"?

In any case, the issue here is not knowledge, it is bias. Based on what I have seen of your many posts on HNN (which must be close to mine and Arnold's put together), when it comes to Islam, the Mideast, and especially to Israel, you read selectively in order to butress your preconceived biases (which happen to coincide closely with the stock positions of what used to be called the "right wing" in Israel), not in order to learn or understand. And even that reading is put to poor use, because you tend to rely more on often on your own faulty memory of what you have read, than on careful checking and citation. Even if these impressions based on hundreds of prior exchanges, are totally incorrect, your bias on this page alone is manifest and significant.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

The aggressive slaughtering of hundreds of civilians and wreaking widespread destruction of the physical infrastructure of a sovereingn foreign country, in order (allegedly) to neutralize a few dozen terrorists within that foreign country may or may not qualify as "state terrorism", but it is hardly "taking great pains to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties." The kidnapping of Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah was an act of brazen violence against which any country would be morally entitled to respond. But not morally entitled to willfully kill and injure hundreds of innocents, and make refugees out of tens of thousands more. This dubious sort of collective punishment - reminiscent of the Nazis wiping out whole villages in retribution for the single act of one inhabitant- is moreover, highly likely to create more future Araba terrorists than are disposed in the present, thus weakening the national security not only of Israel, but of the USA as well.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

...but not in the class, or offering the historical insight, of "Cabaret."

One make to make "headway/ progress toward solving the issues facing the Israeli/ Palestinian/ Lebanese people" is to refute the erroneous and fatalist view perpetuated -directly or indirectly- by persons such as our Mr. F. here, that such such progress is impossible and that all that is left to do is to prepare for the inevitable & unavoidable violence,war and mayhem to come.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Israel's supporters..,desperately try to spin history ??? !!!

No "Israel supporter" on HNN amounts to clod of Dead Sea sand compared to the towering all-time U.S. greatest supporter of anything the most fanatical Israeli state terrorist ever wanted or dreamt of: George W. Lap Poodle Bush - the incompetent American traitor you have blindly worshipped in hundreds of prior posts, Mr. Thomas.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. Thomas, your claim to an anti "big government" belief is ludicrous.

On this website, you have been a prolific and extreme supporter of the American occupation of Iraq under the Cheney-Bush administration, easily the most Israel-like act of bogusly pre-emptive folly in American foreign policy history: hundreds of billions of taxdollars spent killing tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and producing large new generations of recruits for anti-American Islamic terrorists. A towering and colossal example of inept, wasteful and counterproductive big government.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

The recent kidnapping of several Israeli soldiers does not remotely compare, in scale, scope or historical significance to the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. Notwithstanding a number of useful points made in passing, this article is a classic example of paranoia-based Likudnik delusion. Why HNN continually runs such garbage without running the comparably propagandistic BS from Al Jezerrah or the like surely has nothing to do with the mission statement of a "history" website" claiming to "open to people of all political persuasions."


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

The latter day Laurel and Hardy routine above is so far off (not only from the topic -which should surprise no regular reader here- and from any meaningful historical insight, but also) from my personal background as to be truly comical. Best laugh I've had on HNN (Hilarious Nutcase Network?) in weeks.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Simon, I am even less familiar with this your latest (and presumably utterly irrelevant, as usual) tangent than you evidently are with the point of my original post. As a budding comedian you are well advised to be aware of the limits of obscurity.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I agree with the general observation that much "garbage" (and in my view even more gobbledygook) has come from Mr. Baker lately. But whether Israel is "expansionist" depends on how you define that term. It is not per se "garbage."

Since the 1967 war, Israel has been building "settlements" on the occupied West Bank, in order (in part) to be able to eventually formally annex land there. This has been a consistent and very well documented policy and practice over the past four decades. Israel in 2006 is far less expansionist that Napoleonic France, Nazi Germany or even 19th century USA. But is is more expansionist than most other countries today. Whatever the true motivations, seeking to gain control of a "buffer zone" of South Lebanon also involves territorial expansion. I don't think this point gets Mr. Baker very far, but the debate here shows the bias of the "Israel can never do anything wrong" crowd which often dominates HNN comment boards and to which Baker's often cryptic and unjustifiable posts at least offer a kind of counter-bias, notwithstanding the absurdity of both forms of bias.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

? ? ?


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

N.,

As you know I am in full support of the existence of Israel but, would be even more excited if a Palestinian state was equally provided for. Better yet, a joint Israeli/ Palestinian shared state would be most ideal/ desirable. There is more than enough land/opportunity for all to fulfill their individual/collective dreams of a secure/ safe/ viable life. This view may not meet with approval by many others but, it is the opinion of this taxpayer who's dollars are sent to a country, Israel, that I believe really doesn't need/ require any financial assistance from the US whatsoever. There are other more important uses for this money and Israel is a financially sound nation.

Back on topic... To frame the legal argument based on the 1917 Balfour Declaration/British Protectorate status of Palestine has little legal validity, if any, as again an outside power forced it's will/ compliance on a weaker peoples. That many Jewish people entered Palestine illegally circumventing quota figures set by the 1939 'White Paper' limits on immigration was barely challenged although the sinking of the Struma was tragic.

The May 15,1948 creation and subsequent wars/annexations can be viewed to be strong legal justification but, without the weight again of Britain now, the US, world opinion is divided and the legality of Israeli actions clearly challengeable in a fair/open forum. The US has never issued a challenge or failed to use it's veto power when the actions of Israel is questioned within the UN Security Council. Strong arm legal tactics are not the rule of law. If might makes right therefore, legal, then my argument is mute but, forced rule of law in reality is no law at all.

I may be confused, as is usually the case, but am totally lost as to the refugee argument. If the Palestinians were not displaced by Israel in the first place then there would be no refugees to be concerned over. Then you go on to say that the problem could be solved if only other Arab states would absorb them. Why can't they return to their homeland within Palestine proper? As I stated there is more than enough room.

The population of world wide Palestinians is 9.3M with 3.7M West Bank/ 2.5M Gaza and 1.2M Israel but Jordan 2.6M has a sizable population with .3M Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia each. Israel population is 7M with a density of 787/sq mi. (40th)/world. Plenty of room. If California can make the Imperial Valley bloom the Negev should be easily reshaped. Maybe we can give them a homeland in Oklahoma. There is plenty of open space/cheap land and sand.

Have a good evening...


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Omar,

Good evening. I am very excited to have the opportunity to continue our discussion and glad that you were able to read my latest post to facilitate continuation of our dialogue. The events of the past weekend do not bode well for the world but, something had to give. Let's pray that this storm passes quickly and that both Israel/ Hizbollah show considerable restraint to spare the lives of innocent/non-combatants caught in the crossfire.

For ease in discussion of this highly complex subject may I suggest that we tackle each of your finely made points one at a time as this will better aid in my understanding/ education/ level of comprehension? We have the remainder of the week/ this thread to ourselves and will be able to touch upon each of the areas you present above beginning with the question of Israel's right to existence within the area in/ around present day greater Jerusalem more thoroughly.

Unfortunately, you will never be able to convince me that Israel does not have a right to existence somewhere within the current lands that it now occupies. This has absolutely nothing to do with your excellent arguments/ historical foundation & precedence/ well tailored erudition. The cause of my problem/consternation is rooted in the strict rearing/ education/ ahistorical beliefs molded by/ under the stone chiseled fists of the Catholic Church. Like many Americans, I am thoroughly bastardized/ indoctrinated as to Israel's infallibility/ meaning/ undeniable place within the order of all things Jesus.

This may be the least recognized/greatest of all the Jewish conspiracies. That America has been totally hypnotized/ mesmerized by the Jewish myth for 230 years that has created a population that is pliable/subservient/ defensive of Jewish needs/ wants. There is no question that we have anti-Semites/ Jew haters but they are in a distinct/tiny minority. Yes, I do know staunch Catholics who dislike/claim that Jews are Christ killers but, they are fringe lunatics.

The fact that Jesus was a Jew, made Galilee His home, was baptized in the Jordan, preached/walked the lands of Judea, gave the greatest speech/ teaching in the history of mankind with His Sermon On The Mount, briefly dominated the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, was crucified on Golgotha, was risen to appear to two travelers upon the road to Emmaus and elsewhere throughout Judea for the forty days prior to His Ascension is reason enough for many to defend the lands generally from Kadesh/north to Dead Sea/south to Joppa/east and Gilead/west as that of the Jew and therefore, Israel.

The map is divided by Dan, Asher, Nephtali, Issachar in the north/ Mannasseh, Ephraim, Gad in the center/ Dan, Benjamin, Reuben, Juda, Simeon in the south. The borders of this world are surrounded by Philistines (Gaza), Phoenicians (Lebanon), Aramaeans (Syria), Ammon (Jordan) and Egypt.

For many American Christians the belief that Jerusalem is a Jewish city/ancient capitol is widely held and that the surrounding land is that of the Jew. The fact that the Jew was exiled from this homeland is of little value to many who equate this struggle/return to that of the trials/tribulations/ parables of Christ. Further, for the Bible to be foretold in all it's glory the Revelation of Jesus Christ by John Patmos must come to fruition with an Armageddon that centers on the Jewish State within the general geographic range of present day Israel. The complete conquest of Jerusalem/ destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and rebuilding of the Temple Mount is paramount to the Revelation parable and fulfills the desires of the rapture crowd within this nation.

I am interested on you take of the mythical Jewish state presented here versus the factual Palestine as you present in your well written post.

Have a good night Omar... see you tomorrow.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Omar,

You're right, my number (220M) is too high and based on those Americans who consider themselves as religious/ personal belief in a higher power. Many denominations/ leaders did speak out against the Iraq War but, those voices have been silenced by the Administrations Faith Based Initiative dollars. The only way this pathetic pack of hyenas can get buy in of their ridiculous policy initiatives is through pay offs. No support for the war, no Jesus dollars. Pat Robertson's 'Operation Blessing' alone has been awarded grants totaling $20M. Many Christians are dying in Lebanon under the Israeli bombardment but, Pat 'the Rat' will not broadcast that fact on TV.

Now that we have established America's Jesus fixation as the main reason for support of all things Israel and the relationship of WASP's/ their preachers in driving the Israeli agenda we can move on to point 2. That the Jewish nation/state should be Jewish and the forceful removal of the native inhabitants to create this pure bred Jewish state.

This is one area on contention, as I have as stated elsewhere here at HNN, with Israel's population at 7M with a density of 787/ sq. mi. (40th). The fact/thought that Israel even wants a pure Jewish state smacks of the Aryan efforts of the Nazi menace that attempted to extinguish the Jewish nation/unbridled hypocrisy.

Palestinian population is 9.5M with 3.7M West bank, 2.5M Gaza, 2.6M Jordan, 0.3M Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and USA each with Israel 1.3M

There are 4,255,120 Palestinian refugees registered through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as established under General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) December 11, 1948. One third of these refugees reside in concrete blockhouse ghettos. What is the difference between these refugee camps and those of Auschwitz?

Like I've stated previously Israel has more than enough room/ ample money to take in/ assist/ create a better life for 4.3M refugees. The fear for Israel, as a democracy, is that Palestinians will dominate as a voting block is pure conjecture/ cop out. If treated with dignity/ respect, given a viable opportunity for self betterment/ education for children / decent living arrangements people will vote their pocket book not by race.

Israel will only find peace when it joins the world community/ rights this wrong and re-establishes an opportunity within Palestine for all natives both Jew and Arab.

Take care... talk at you again tomorrow.



Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

You fellows are much too heated and really not making any headway/ progress toward solving the issues facing the Israeli/ Palestinian/ Lebanese people.

A little comic relief is in order from my fave Mel Brooks just as Sean Hannity is currently announcing that Israel has crossed over into Lebanon as I post...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iU9QuXNMxY8&;search=jews%20in%20space

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGp0hCxSg98&;search=springtime%20for%20hitler

I just totally love Mel and really like YouTube...

Carry on...


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Peter,

With all the brilliant/ talented/ well intentioned/ good hearted posters here at HNN myself, excluded for I meet none of these attributes (there has to be a lowest common denominator in all sampling groups) the lack of any reasonable solutions let alone, a single offering, is staggering.

I read the exchange above with great interest/ anticipation hoping to garner that one idea/ ray of hope that would bring this crisis under control. But, alas, it is not to be.

The gloves are off! It's hockey night across Canada. Grab a Molson's, sit back and enjoy.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Hey Omar,

I did not forget you. Basically, my point 2 is to advocate Israel absorbing the Palestinian refugees to provide a homeland within it's current borders. Israel has enough room/ money especially, with all the US tax dollars she eats up, like a hooker that fails to give service, to provide a good life for all Jews and Arabs.

As for your third point, I do heartily support the return of Palestinians home to live with Jews within the current borders of Israel. There will be some issues and it cannot be a mass immigration but, a controlled/ rigorously monitored one with UNRWA refugees receiving priority. Start with 60K annually and increase to 100K in five years. Anymore than that and massive crisis/ civil strife will ensue.

We know in reality that none of this will ever come to fruition as Palestinians do not have enough money to grease the wheels of Western power brokers while the Jews have too much money to gum up the works/maintain the status quo.

We'll see how the current Israel/Hizbollah War plays out as this will be a huge factor in determining the direction/ amount of change, if any takes place. For Hizbollah to continue the fight (16) days in is a major victory in and of itself. Israel has yet to unleash her full fury so the nesx week will be very telling.

Take care. Have a great weekend.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Omar,

Hello. Let's put aside my opinion/ beliefs and your worthy/ hard earned efforts to convince me, the lone wolf, that what you are selling is the elixir of undeniable truths. Pretend that I am already unquestioningly sold on your viewpoint to which, in reality, I concur on many of your ideas/ statements/ beliefs/ truths. Your task now is to sell the remaining (220) million American's hooked on Christ.

That being said, you missed the thrust of my post. That Jesus is King, Israel His Home, the Bible His Word, the Jewish People His People and the Land He walked upon His very own special place where He choose to make Himself known to mankind and freely give of His life's blood to free this unworthy species from sin in order to offer us the only path to salvation and His Father's eternal bliss in heaven.

Powerful stuff that is fully supported/ played up/ parlayed by Israel to keep the American population subservient. This Jewish myth controls/ dominates US foreign policy since WWII and the current Bush Administration is a Christian fundamentalist dream, Israel's meal ticket, the secularist bane and the Moslem/ Pan Arabist worst nightmare.

For hundreds of years the only book the vast majority of illiterate peoples of the West were ever exposed to was the Bible and only as told to them by the few pulpit propagandists who were ordained to preach this 'Good News'. One only needs to look at the history of the Catholic Church to see just how bad this news was for those who did not conform/ were deemed unacceptable by the Holy See.

Today we have the Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson that drive home the Israel myth. If you have access to a satellite dish check out Pat Robertson's 700 Club and you'll see first hand what I am describing. Ignorant crackers controlled by a smooth talking Bible thumper preacher who touts the wonders of Israel/ Holy Land while admonishing the Moslem and inciting his minions to kill the Arab demon.

The life/ times/ prophesies of Jesus are ingrained in full blown ignoramuses/ morons/ salt of the earth types that dominate the landscape and their inbred leaders who then dictate/ drive the discourse here in the US. Until you can sell them a better myth/ product than the Jewish 'Christ on stick' you don't stand a snowflake chance in hell of defining/establishing a Palestinian claim to any of the lands within the geographic borders that I outlined above.

I'll try to generate some reasonable discussion to your other points/ questions tomorrow as they are much tougher for someone at my limited level of learning.

Good night my friend.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

This article chases the same Israeli ghosts Iran/ Palestinians/ France all the while providing no alternatives/ reasoning/ solutions other than an overwhelming military response. Let's just break out the nukes as you all are wasting too much of my valuable time and tax dollars. Let's start with Syria as they're causing all this 'shit' according to our diplomacy challenged wordsmith/ national embarrassment/ fearful leader George W. Bush. Get on with it already, pack of spineless gits.

When the real enemy of peace to Israel and the US is finally illuminated/ targeted/ destroyed, the Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia, we will win the War on Terror. Until then we are chasing our tails moving in a never ending circle of confusion/ illusion/ lost opportunity.

Blow on the dice, come on World War III... baby needs a new pair of shoes and Newt Gingrich needs a 2008 endorsement from the end timers Evangelical right.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

N.,

Your argument from a legal standpoint supports only the Jewish claims while ignoring the rights of the indigenous Palestinian pre-1947. What of their rights. The formation of the Jewish State usurped/ dispossessed/ displaced these people without consent/ fair retribution/ slightest concern or consideration. As an Attorney you know full well that the law is only as good/ valid as the weakest contingency that it protects. Since these laws fail miserably/ not at all in the obligation of protecting the very weakest they are null/ void/ phony concocted pieces of parchment not suitable for outhouse use.

Now we see the unspeakable brutal bloodbath that Israel has unleashed upon the innocence in Lebanon and Gaza. Where is their justice/ mandate? Women and children to which the internet photo's of the dead/dismembered are even too gruesome for a creep like me to post upon these pages. A people that the world has passed by/ want like to forget/ just go away and that the benevolent Jewish people have trampled upon with little care or conscience for the past (60) years.

When you got yours, screw the other guy. Let him get his own.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Mr. Simon,

You are one clueless individual. Drop down to the postings under Larry Schweikart essay to read my comments with Mr. Baker as to what I believe then get back to me.

I fully understand what the sinister machinations of Hezbollah and Hamas have created/implemented. However, the plight/corner that they were placed in 1947 without consideration of their needs/ wants has spawned this blow back. They're just nothing more than niggers to be pushed around/ stolen from/ abused/ killed all for the 'sacred sand' of the holy land. What a bunch of propagandized/ rewritten history to suit the Jewish peoples guilt complex/ mistreatment of a fellow man.

Before you tag someone as a sympathizer, know what it is that you speak.


john crocker - 8/2/2006

Are you comfortable with Bush's verbal and political gaffs?


Steve Broce - 7/31/2006

You will have to reframe your question, John.

Comfortable with what?


john crocker - 7/31/2006

Are you comfortable with it?


john crocker - 7/31/2006

Israeli bombing of Southern Lebanon began on July 12 after Hezbollah captured 2 and killed 3 Israeli soldiers. Hezbollah missile attacks on Israel began on July 13, killing 1 and injuring 10 Israeli civilians. This was respnded to by strikes on Southern Lebanon (including the airport) that killed 45 civilians.

Hezbollah is a terrorist group and its techniques are unconscionable. Hezbollah has now killed 52 Israelis (19 of them civilians). Israel has killed at least 545 (over 475 of them civilians). Hezbollah attacks have displaced 10s of thousands of Israelis. Israels attacks have created about 900,000 refugees. This is why the world community is condemning Israel, not because of a lack of empathy.

..."or Hezbollah engaged in silly wishful thinking and thought Israel would not respond the way it has,"

I guess the world has engaged in silly wishful thinking in hoping Israel would act in a calcualted and responsible way.

"Because, John, it is very easy for the rest of the world, which is not experiencing thousands of missile strikes, to express its disapproval of the actions of a country which IS experiencing those missile strikes. In short, John, the rest of the world’s ass is not on the line. I can guarantee you, if the rest of the world was on the receiving end of those missile strikes, they would not be so disapproving."

So only the country attacked can judge the apropriate response?


Steve Broce - 7/30/2006

"You may not find comfort in it, but you are certainly comfortable with it."

You know, John, I've questioned your ability in the amateur psychology department before. Let me suggest that you have not the slightest idea about what I’m comfortable with and what I’m not comfortable with.


That being said, let me suggest that just as I have urged you not to take yourself so seriously, let me urge you not to take Bush’s occasional mis-turned phrase so seriously.


Steve Broce - 7/30/2006

-*-“Do you really believe that destroying a neighboring fledgling democracy's infrastructure and killing hundreds of its innocent civilians is "about right" as a response to kidnapping 2 soldiers?”-- John Crocker, 7/29/06

-*-“Israel's destruction of the Lebanese roads and airport was according to you about the hostages, not the rockets. That is why I failed to mention the rocket attacks on Haifa previous to Israeli bombardment.”-John Crocker, 7/30/06.

As you can see, John, your original assertion concerned the destruction of the infrastructure AND the killing of hundreds of Lebanese and referenced only the kidnapping. Now you claim that you didn’t include the thousands of rockets, because my post referenced Israel’s immediate reaction to the kidnappings.

This is sophistry on your part. The vast majority of the Lebanese civilians killed were killed after Hezbollah started firing the rockets and were a result of Israel trying to stop Hezbollah from firing the rockets. Actually, very few Lebanese civilians were killed in Israel’s initial attempt to prevent the removal of their kidnapped soldiers.

In short, John, you can’t honestly refer to the sum total of the collateral damage done by Israel and then whistle past the thousands of rockets that Hezbollah has fired at Israel, as though the two events are somehow unrelated.


-*-“If it is what one would expect and appropriate, why did you earlier state that Hezbollah underestimated what Israel's response would be.
Are they less equipped to predict Israeli response than you?”

I have never said that Hezbollah underestimated Israel’s response. I obviously do not have a pipeline into Hezbollah’s inner workings. I HAVE allowed for the possibility that there was a “misunderestimation” by Hezbollah of Israel’s response, but that is, of course, speculation on my part.

Actually, my strongest impulse is that having just watched Israel’s reaction to Hamas’s identical action in Gaza, Hezbollah had to know that Israel would have a strong reaction to the kidnapping of its soldiers. I have made that argument in this very string.

That being said, Hezbollah may have gotten more than it bargained for by escalating the situation by firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian targets.

As for whether I’m more equipped to predict Israeli response than Hezbollah, I guess there are two possibilities. Either Hezbollah expected the response, in which case I’m correct when I say that the response was about what one would expect or Hezbollah engaged in silly wishful thinking and thought Israel would not respond the way it has, in which case I guess I was better equipped than Hezbollah to predict Israel’s response, since I am not at all surprised by the response.


“If it is expected and appropriate why is it that virtually the entire world community other than the US and Israel thinks that it is inappropriate?”

Because, John, it is very easy for the rest of the world, which is not experiencing thousands of missile strikes, to express its disapproval of the actions of a country which IS experiencing those missile strikes. In short, John, the rest of the world’s ass is not on the line. I can guarantee you, if the rest of the world was on the receiving end of those missile strikes, they would not be so disapproving.


john crocker - 7/30/2006

You may not find comfort in it, but you are certainly comfortable with it. It does not seem to bother you that he regularly makes these verbal and diplomatic gaffs.

Perhaps I am misreading you and it does bother you. If not why don't you find it disturbing?

I responded to your use of the word the way I did because it bothers me that far too few people are disturbed by his gaffs.

Perhaps I was unfair and you are disturbed by his diplomatic gaffs and I conflated your opinion of his verbal gaffs with his diplomatic gaffs.


john crocker - 7/30/2006

I am not biased against Israel, nor am I biased for Israel. Israel's destruction of the Lebanese roads and airport was according to you about the hostages, not the rockets. That is why I failed to mention the rocket attacks on Haifa previous to Israeli bombardment. The purpose of the question asked was to determine if you believed that Israel's response was calculated and in their best interest. You answered affirmatively.

"Given those facts, Israel’s response is what one would expect and appropriate."

If it is what one would expect and appropriate, why did you earlier state that Hezbollah underestimated what Israel's response would be.
Are they less equipped to predict Israeli response than you?
If it is expected and appropriate why is it that virtually the entire world community other than the US and Israel thinks that it is inappropriate?


Steve Broce - 7/30/2006

John, this is why civilians are getting killed in Lebanon...


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


Steve Broce - 7/30/2006

John, Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers AND fired thousands of rockets at Israel. Your pointed omission of the rockets leads me to believe that you have some bias against Israel. Why else omit the obvious?

The truth is, John, that no country can forever endure rocket attacks, ambushes, and kidnappings of its soldiers. Given those facts, Israel’s response is what one would expect and appropriate.

As for whether I “believe that Israel's response was calculated and in their (sic) long-term interest”, my answer is “unquestionably” and “hopefully, if they see the operation through”.


Steve Broce - 7/30/2006

No John, you're humorless because you wrote a galactically pompous explanation for why "misunderestimate" was not grammatically correct.

As for finding “comfort” in Bush’s occasional mangling of the English language, as I said, I find “humor” not “comfort” in it. Shall I try the “Crocker approach” now, and pretentiously explain the difference to you?


john crocker - 7/29/2006

If I don't appreciate your "humor" I'm humorless?

A serious question though. You appear to be on the inside of a phenomenon I cannot understand. How can people seem to find the social and verbal gaffs of our cheif executive somehow comforting?


john crocker - 7/29/2006

Do you really believe that destroying a neighboring fledgling democracy's infrastructure and killing hundreds of its innocent civilians is "about right" as a response to kidnapping 2 soldiers?

Do you believe that Israel's response was calculated and in their long-term interest?

"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and the whole world would soon be blind and toothless." - G


Steve Broce - 7/29/2006

And , John, some people are just so humorless that they find nothing funny.

Like I said, try not to take yourself so seriously.


Steve Broce - 7/29/2006

That’s an interesting bit of amateur psychology. I’m not sure what your qualifications for such things are, but I don’t find your speculative diagnosis very persuasive.

The plain truth is that Israel’s initial response was to try to rescue their soldiers, first by a limited incursion into Southern Lebanon, which was quickly repulsed and then by cutting off Hezbollah’s abilities to remove the kidnapped soldiers by bombing bridges, putting up a naval blockade and cratering Beirut airport’s runways.

Hezbollah responded with massive rocket attacks, directed against civilians targets.

Frankly, Israel’s response has been about what should be expected, given the provocation.


john crocker - 7/28/2006

I understand you meant it as a joke, just as the thousands of others before you. It's just that sometimes something is stupid and funny and sometimes it is just stupid. At this point whatever funny might have been hanging on to that word has long since gone and all that is left is the stupid.


john crocker - 7/28/2006

Do you really think Olmert made that calculation based on what was in the long term benefit of Israel. It seems far more likely to me that comming on the heals of Sharon he was afraid to look weak and so acted in a dramatically forceful way.


Steve Broce - 7/27/2006

God, John, how do you breath with such a stuffed shirt?

It's a joke. It is a term which Bush famously used. I don't consider it a "brilliant new word"

Go forth and try not ot take yourself so seriously


Steve Broce - 7/27/2006

As I said, John, the Israeli government has decided that crushing Hezbollah is in Israel's best long term interests. That is apparently the calculation that they have made. You may have a differing opinion, but as they say, opinions are like certain bodily orifices, everyone has one and yours is probably no better than anyone else’s.

As for someone filling the vacuum, the plan seems to be to get some international force into Southern Lebanon to keep the peace. It remains to be seen how well that works.


john crocker - 7/27/2006

"It isn’t necessarily easy to act in a “calculated way” while missiles rain down on you, John."

The job of leaders isn't always to do what is easy, it is to do what is best for their people.

"-which may cost Hezbollah its survival as a viable military threat."

I doubt Israel's offensive will have much long-term damage. Even if somehow Hezbollah is crushed the vacuum they leave will quickly be filled.


john crocker - 7/27/2006

I realize that this is entirely off topic but...

"mis-undersetimation"?
Does this mean they somehow understimated incorrectly? We were trying to underestimate, but didn't get it right and overestimated instead. Or is it just redundant. If you underestimate it is obviously a mistake.

It was a malaprop, not a brilliant new word.


N. Friedman - 7/25/2006

Peter,

Do not put words into my mouth. This is another example of your unwillingness to be fair or reasonable. Rather, you are blurting out trash, insulting as you go along.

I have no idea whether the Arab Israeli dispute can be resolved. What I do think is that it is very, very unlikely to be resolved in the near term. The middle and long term are a different story.

I certainly would like the dispute to be resolved. The sooner the better.


Steve Broce - 7/23/2006

It isn’t necessarily easy to act in a “calculated way” while missiles rain down on you, John.

Israel obviously has decided that crushing Hezbollah is worth ceding whatever short-term gain inures to Iran from “acting in a less calculated way”.

There is also the factor which I stressed in my first comment—there may have been a “mis-underestimation” of the Israeli response-which may cost Hezbollah its survival as a viable military threat.

But for now, nobody, including the G-8, is talking much about sanctions for Iran—which is a clear gain for Iran.


john crocker - 7/23/2006

If Israel's response to the Hezbollah kidnappings are so obviously to the benefit of Iran, would it not have been more to Israel's benefit to respond in a more calculated way?


Steve Broce - 7/23/2006

“As far as of today the official number of civilian casualties is 10:1 in "favor" of Israelis, those Israelis that "took great pains to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties". Are you an archi-hypocrite or just want to win over the truth by all means?”

The fact that Hezbollah, despite its best efforts and the firing of thousands of rockets, has been successful in killing few Israelis is a good thing, or don’t you think so, Arnold.

As I posted elsewhere, Hezbollah has a track record of imbedding its terrorism infrastructure in civilian areas of Lebanon. This accounts for the tragic, but unavoidable civilian casualties.

It has been widely reported that Israel has, in many cases, leafleted areas that they intended to strike, before actually striking, in order to minimize civilian casualties. They do this to minimize civilian casualties, Arnold, in spite of the fact that it also gives Hezbollah time to clear out. Heard of Hezbollah leafleting any neighborhoods, Arnold?

Fact is, Israel uses precision weapons to hit Hezbollah targets and NOT hit civilians. They don’t indiscriminately bomb Lebanese civilian areas, despite the fact that is where Hezbollah has chosen to hide.

What does Hezbollah do? They deliberately fire rockets at civilian targets, in order to maximize civilian deaths. That is what I meant when I said that Hezbollah maximizes civilian deaths and Israel attempts to minimize civilian casualties.

That is why your “10:1” ratio is meaningless. Hezbollah would dearly love to change the ratio around and has fired thousands of rockets at Israel in pursuit of that goal.

As for your completely off-point example of Russia and China, let me say this-If China had imbedded its military assets in civilian neighborhoods, as Hezbollah does, the story would have had a different ending-many more civilian casualties.

If you want a more on-point story about how Russia conducts punitive military action try this link to some pictures of Grozny

http://users.westnet.gr/~cgian/grozny.htm

By the way, if China had fired thousands of missiles at Russia during this “incident”, like Hezbollah has done to Israel, I suspect that the story would have ended in a way that you wouldn’t be touting as “restrained”.


Steve Broce - 7/23/2006

“As far as of today the official number of civilian casualties is 10:1 in "favor" of Israelis, those Israelis that "took great pains to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties". Are you an archi-hypocrite or just want to win over the truth by all means?”

The fact that Hezbollah, despite its best efforts and the firing of thousands of rockets, has been successful in killing few Israelis is a good thing, or don’t you think so, Arnold.

As I posted elsewhere, Hezbollah has a track record of imbedding its terrorism infrastructure in civilian areas of Lebanon. This accounts for the tragic, but unavoidable civilian casualties.

It has been widely reported that Israel has, in many cases, leafleted areas that they intended to strike, before actually striking, in order to minimize civilian casualties. They do this to minimize civilian casualties, Arnold, in spite of the fact that it also gives Hezbollah time to clear out. Heard of Hezbollah leafleting any neighborhoods, Arnold?

Fact is, Israel uses precision weapons to hit Hezbollah targets and NOT hit civilians. They don’t indiscriminately bomb Lebanese civilian areas, despite the fact that is where Hezbollah has chosen to hide.

What does Hezbollah do? They deliberately fire rockets at civilian targets, in order to maximize civilian deaths. That is what I meant when I said that Hezbollah maximizes civilian deaths and Israel attempts to minimize civilian casualties.

That is why your “10:1” ratio is meaningless. Hezbollah would dearly love to change the ratio around and has fired thousands of rockets at Israel in pursuit of that goal.

As for your completely off-point example of Russia and China, let me say this-If China had imbedded its military assets in civilian neighborhoods, as Hezbollah does, the story would have had a different ending-many more civilian casualties.

If you want a more on-point story about how Russia conducts punitive military action try this link to some pictures of Grozny

http://users.westnet.gr/~cgian/grozny.htm

By the way, if China had fired thousands of missiles at Russia during this “incident”, like Hezbollah has done to Israel, I suspect that the story would have ended in a way that you wouldn’t be touting as “restrained”.


Steve Broce - 7/23/2006

“-*-The aggressive slaughtering of hundreds of civilians and wreaking widespread destruction of the physical infrastructure of a sovereingn foreign country, in order (allegedly) to neutralize a few dozen terrorists within that foreign country may or may not qualify as "state terrorism"

The death of innocent Lebanese is much more a result of Hezbollah’s policy of intertwining itself into the civilian infrastructure than to any “aggressive slaughtering” by Israel. And the estimate of “a few dozen terrorists” is a silly, gross underestimate of Hezbollah force in Lebanon.

It has been widely reported that Hezbollah purposely imbeds its weapons and infrastructure in civilian areas of Lebanon. It is also widely reported that in many cases, Israel drops leaflets in neighborhoods it intends to strike before it actually strikes, to give civilians time to get out. This, despite the fact that it also gives Hezbollah time to move its weapons. Heard of Hezbollah giving prior notice of its attacks, Pete?


“-*-The kidnapping of Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah was an act of brazen violence against which any country would be morally entitled to respond. But not morally entitled to willfully kill and injure hundreds of innocents, and make refugees out of tens of thousands more.

This is a pathetic attempt to gloss over the thousands of rockets that Hezbollah has fired at Israel in the past few weeks. That you would post a comment about this subject, excoriating Israel for it’s reaction, and not even mention the missiles is very revealing about the extent to which you will white-wash the facts to criticize Israel, Pete.

The fact is, no country can forever endure rocket attacks, ambushes and kidnappings of its citizens and soldiers. Hezbollah has been rocketing Israeli civilians for years, albeit at a lesser frequency than the last few weeks.

If you want to blame someone for the civilian deaths in Lebanon, save the majority of your opprobrium for the real “aggressive” party in this dispute-Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.


E. Simon - 7/23/2006

What sovereignty did Lebanon exert over the Party of God (Hizbullah)?

I eagerly await your advice - and the military tactician's credentials upon which you would offer it - for how to prevent a country's infrastructure from being used by an enemy for communications, transportation, resupply, command and control and other strategic purposes, without destroying or incapacitating it in some other way that you could explain...

The civilian casualties bring great sorrow to many on all sides. It sure doesn't seem to me that Israel is rejoicing in them. How those deaths would not be in vain if Israel were to end hostilities with Hizbullah's arms and capacity to launch them into the homes of millions of inhabitants of Northern Israel and its coast - intact, (subjecting both sides to the potential for future wars), is something I'm wondering whether you might like to address.

As it stands, only Soviet sympathizer Scherban seems to understand the grounds from which you make your "collective punishment" claims.


Arnold Shcherban - 7/23/2006

As far as of today the official number of civilian casualties is 10:1 in "favor" of Israelis, those Israelis that "took great pains to avoid unneccessary civilain casualties". Are you an archi-hypocrite or just want to win over the truth by all means?
Forget it... Your types are not worth
to even debate against.

I would like to remind the other folks
in this audience about one historical episode, though maybe uncharacteristic
one for the the both sides involved.
Chinese military was making multiple excursions into the former Soviet Union's territory in 60s, and one night murdered several dozens of Soviet national border guards in sleep.
The Soviets, who never responded before, did respond that time by destroying many hundreds of Chinese
SOLDIERS and, unintentionally or not, several dozens of civilians who happened to be at the zone of intense military activity at the time, but never bombed any civilian installations, whether they were also used for military purposes or not, not mentioning bombing the densely populated by civilians urban areas
in any of the Chinese cities.
That short and well-measured military response against the military of the opposite side effectively ended the military conflict, though animosity between Soviets and Chinese stayed there for decades to come.
Though being a totalitarian, brutal empire, in this particular instance
Soviets presented the world with the exemplary controlled military response
to the criminal activity of the opposing side, which by the way was
a huge country with enormous human military potential, and therefore constituted immesurably greater threat to the Soviet national security, than just several thousands of poorly equipped militants that never stood and still don't any chance against mighty IDF
(plus USA that's always ready to fight on the Israel behalf).
The last example, by the way, is an excellent rebuff to the supporters
of the US invasion to Iraq, the country that situated thousands of miles away from the US and that allegedly (with or without WMDs) consituted a "great threat" to the US
national security.


Steve Broce - 7/22/2006

“I don't have to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah explicitly, since any half-brained can read out such condemnation from the content of my comments”

This just keeps getting better and better. Arnold, have you ever heard the advice” when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging”?

So let me get this straight-you criticize supporters of Israel, whom you refer to as “Likudniks”, because they, unlike apologists for Hezbollah and Hamas, like yourself, don’t condemn terrorist actions of Israel. When called on for an example of when you ever criticized Hamas or Hezbollah, you piously assert that you don’t have to EXPLICITELY condemn Hamas or Hezbollah because such criticism can be “read out” of your comments.

OKaaay. Why don’t you link to the three comments that you have made in the past which contain your strongest “implicit” condemnation of Hamas and Hezbollah?

By the way, I’ll take the “Shcherban” wishy-washy pledge too: I solemnly declare that I condemn all terrorist acts committed by Israel. I also take note that the bombing of Beirut airport is most assuredly not a terrorist action.

Of course, for you, Arnold, who apparently has no sense of context, anything which would interfere with the delivery by Iran of weapons to Hezbollah, including rockets, apparently is a terrorist activity, so I don’t expect agreement.

The fact that you would call the interdiction of Hezbollah’s weapons, which they use every day to terrorize Israeli’s, a “terrorist action” while pointedly not mentioning one word about the use of these weapons by Hezbollah tells me everything I need to know about you .

Actually, Arnold, Israel took great pains to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties when they bombed the airport. Can you say the same for Hezbollah’s use of the missiles that arrived at the airport?


N. Friedman - 7/22/2006

Peter,

I read from all sides regarding the history of the noted region. Can you say that? What books have you read Peter? Name some.


N. Friedman - 7/22/2006

Arnold,

That is an odd comment from you. I do not claim expertise. I have, however, read quite a lot about the region, its history, its culture and people. Can Peter claim that?


Arnold Shcherban - 7/22/2006

And what makes you Mr. Freidman, such an ultimate authority on Middle East
affairs? Who are you a super Jew?
I'm a Jew myself, but I admit that I don't know a lot about Middle East
history, though I think know enough
to come to those conclusions
that I write about in my comments.
I'm also convinced that a Jew makes
the greatest contribution to Jewish cause (if such thing exists) when being unbiased, especially about Jewish matters, the same as he brings
much damage to that cause, when remaining deeply nationalistic, as you undoubtedly are.


Arnold Shcherban - 7/22/2006

Steve,

I don't have to condemn Hamas and
Hezbollah explicitly, since any half-brained can read out such condemnation
from the content of my comments, the same as I presume you understand I greeted you when saying 'Steve' above.
I would advise you to pay at least elementary respect to the general humanity and intellect of this auditorium.
However, I see now that I have to reinforce all my statements with
mottos specifically, as they say, for dummies. Therefore, I solemnly declare that I condemn all terrorist acts (as I defined them above) committed by Hamas and Hezbollah, but stick to everything that I stated
above about the respective aspects of
the US and Israel policies.
I'm convinced though that neither one of your Likudniks freinds, including yourself will ever condemn any outrageous acts of state terrorism (to take just one of the most recent ones - bombing of Beirut's International Airport), which they morally allow to commit only two countries in the world - the same US and Israel (and - to US, only 'cause the latter virtually unconditionally supports Israel.)

Until we hear otherwise coming from your side you guys have as little moral right to talk about bias, as Hoebells had.


N. Friedman - 7/22/2006

Peter,

The problem with your assessment is that you know nothing about the Middle East, have not read book about the topic and, hence, you rely on nonsense you read in the papers including, most especially, the anti-Israel rag called The Guardian.


N. Friedman - 7/22/2006

Arnold,

If we are to be historians - which I am not - our first goal ought be to describe and, later, maybe or maybe not to assess fault.

On the other hand, the notion that I am a Likudnik is, frankly, incorrect. I have no stake in Israeli politics. I think that is for Israelis to worry about.


Wendell K Fry - 7/21/2006

I do not think Israel to be faultless. I read about how hard and painful it was for Palestinian Christians also displaced by Israel's moving in. However, through efforts of Christians to live by their book, there is a reconciliation movement between Palestinian Churches and Jewish Christian Churches in the area, a very peaceful endeavor, though painful to forgive, but because they have the same goal.

Yet, when Hamas started to retaliate, everyone paid for it, including the Christians, and it was very bad. I wasn't happy with Israel to hear that. (I'm not happy to hear about any injustice, or claim of injustice) But to some extent, the Palestinians' approach has invited harshness and crude treatment, by not using civilized peacable measures, but force.

The Palestinian Muslims would do better instead of fighting to force an issue, rather do things like use the best negotiating tactics in good faith, and invite in the Media to get a good view of the injustices, and with the world seeing in a more prolific manner, will pressure Israel to change what it must. (though the media can paint any picture they want, there's no guarantee of honesty and integrity)

I think the problem, like N. Friedman says, is that rather than work through reason, and wise persuasion (i.e. bring the eyes of the world in in a more persuasive manner, too), the Palestinians rejected the agreement and started to try to force the issue, inviting escalating harsh treatment, even if out of self preservation. You can't be peacable and nice to your neighbor if they foment rage and hatred along with threats, constantly. Then there is no rest, and the Palestinians invited this, however unjust it seems. Peace doesn't come through an eye for an eye method of justice, because men always seem to take an ear or nose along with it. This is not the answer. Weapons of war are designed for war, but not meant for it. They are meant to deter war. No one wants to fight and have people die.

Well, Ahmedinijad (if I spelled his name incorrectly, forgive me for saving time) might want to fight and kill and annihilate, but probably out of his sense of justice, though I think twisted.

We become like children accusing one another of stupidity and evil motives because we all don't see things from the same perspective.

We must agree that the current modes used by the Palestinians are not effective or desirable in a true pursuit of justice and peace. They've invited anger and war through crying out to Hezbollah in Syria and Iran and Lebanon. Israel, though some of their activities have seemed extreme (how hard do you swing a sword at someone already swinging one at you?) has in good faith negotiated for peace. (Did you see them drag their own people crying and clinging to their previously occupied territories? In any book, that is good faith)

To think of some hidden agenda in Israel that they would somehow seretly take back the territories unprovoked is to accuse falsely.

If Palestine wants to be free, then they shouldn't be thuggish. Be good neighbors and after Israel gets it that they are serious, there will be peace.


Steve Broce - 7/21/2006

“While the latter, criticising Israeli authorities, does acknowledge and
condemn the terrorists actions of Hamas and Hezbollah, the former did
not apply the same critical approach
to the similar actions of Israelis.”

Oh brother. Arnold, can you repeat the phrase “holier than thou”?

The difference is that invariably the terrorists plot to kill innocent civilians where Israel plots to avoid innocent civilians.

What is really putrid of the apologists for Hamas and Hezbollah, like you Arnold, is that you either draw some rough moral equivalence between the terrorists and the Israeli’s or you assign some moral high ground to the terrorists.


Besides, when did you condemn the actions of Hamas and Hezbollah?


E. Simon - 7/21/2006

You know, Mr. Ebbitt, it might behove you to read what you're responding to before calling others "clueless." Just where did I tag anyone as a "sympathizer" of any group. Oh.. I see, nowhere. "(P)otentially sympathetic...?" Yes, and even with the disclaimer that as Westerners the potential exists for such descriptions to equally apply to any of us, without any judgment of you specifically noted around that observation. Big difference. And not something anyone should have seen much reason to take as an insult. But since you refer so much to Mr. Friedman's descriptions to offer analyses you generally seem to consider as honest as they are descriptive, I'll just go ahead and second his agreement with me - not that such agreement would clarify the impulses that prompted your objections. Though it obviously should.


N. Friedman - 7/21/2006

Peter,

My goal was to note legal claims. You, by contrast, do not seem to know the difference between a legal claim and an historical desription.


N. Friedman - 7/21/2006

Patrick,

I explicitly noted the Arab claim. Please note that I said if a state for Palestinian Arabs is to be created, it requires Israel not to assert its entire claim.

I think if we are to be historical, we might also note that, until rather recently (i.e. after Israel's creation), Palestinian Arabs did not much, if at all, distinguish themselves from those we now call Jordanian or Syrian Arabs. Which is to say, when the UN voted for partition, they were creating something new on the Arab side and, at the time, not sought by Arabs from Western Mandate Palestine who, at the time, thought, by and large, that they were either just Arabs or were Syrian Arabs. And, even the creation of Israel did not wholly change that. Note that the Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza did not seek a Palestinian state. It was, instead, the events of June 1967, which delivered a message that Israel was not likely to be defeated by ordinary force of arms, that spurred the political movement sometimes called Palestinianism.

My point is that the Israelis would not be acting in bad faith by asserting a claim to all of the land.


Arnold Shcherban - 7/21/2006

There is one cardinal difference between position of Likudniks, represented by Simon, Friedman, and
their supporters, and the position
of the opposing side.
While the latter, criticising Israeli authorities, does acknowledge and
condemn the terrorists actions of Hamas and Hezbollah, the former did
not apply the same critical approach
to the similar actions of Israelis.
In fact, in their fanatical and ahistorical comments they never blame any Israel's governments (but, exclusively, the Muslims) for any actions of the past or present, albeit being too "soft" towards Arabs, in general, and Palestinians, in particular.
This is uneniable fact, and this what the ultimate bias is.


N. Friedman - 7/21/2006

Patrick,

The problem here is that Israel did not create the problem. The Arab side - and those who claimed to represent the Palestinian Arabs - rejected the UN compromise and then started fighting. They did not need to do that. Such was a tragic mistake but it was their mistake, not the mistake of the Israelis.

As Mr. Simon says, there have been countless opportunities to address the problem of the refugess and, now, largely their offspring. [Note: Historically, the offspring of refugees have not been considered refugees.] Lebanon, Syria, etc., could absorb these people, just as Israel absorbed 650,000 refugees from Arab countries out of the 857,000 ultimately expelled.

Hard is it sounds, the refugee problem is a problem but it is a self-created problem that the Arab side could cure at any time, just like Germany solved the problem of Sudeten refugees, etc., namely, by absorbing them.


Steve Broce - 7/21/2006

“-*-The formation of the Jewish State usurped/ dispossessed/ displaced these people without consent/ fair retribution/ slightest concern or consideration.”


How many nations can that be said about, Patrick?

The state in which I live used to belong to Mexico. Would you support the Mexicans shooting rockets into California? What other nations do you deligitimize because they were formed from land belonging to others?

“-*-A people that the world has passed by/ want like to forget/ just go away and that the benevolent Jewish people have trampled upon with little care or conscience for the past (60) years.”

The Israeli’s have tried to barter land for peace for decades. The Palestinians are not buying. Barak made them the best offer they could have hoped for-all of Gaza and 90+% of the west Bank. Arafat spat on the offer. Even when Israel withdraws from every square inch of Gaza and Lebanon, the Palestinians use the vacated land to stage attacks. Israel was on track to vacate the West Bank, but I guess the Palestinians blew that.


E. Simon - 7/21/2006

Yes, Mr. Ebbitt. When an out of control militia pays people to hide missile launching instruments in their homes and apartments directly across a border from where you live, and uses the infrastructure of that country to amass those weapons imported from a country that is actively developing nukes while loudly pledging itself to your destruction, let's see how half-heartedly you decide to take the idea of neutralizing this militia and decapitating their potential for further threat after six years of their threats and endless ballistic attacks. The precise reason that neurosurgical oncology is hard is BECAUSE of the many links within the field of operation. Damage is not only inevitable, but regrettable because it was not intentional - at least not by the surgeon. What the cancer had in mind is a different story.

The problem with the Palestinian idea of justice is that neither they nor their supporters want it per se. They want to convince gullible, potentially sympathetic Westerners like you and me that Israel needs to undergo a thorough delegitimization. Opportunities that would have been acceptable under the circumstances to any other refugee group have been available, but never taken. He who seeks equity must not deny it to himself. But I suppose that is why the nearly 1 million Jewish refugees from the Arab world have never pledged themselves to the destruction of the people that threw them out of their homes nearly 60 years ago. They were sincere in being able to achieve recompensation of both their ability to succeed materially in life and national self-determination. The worst enemy of these goals to the Palestinians are their own leaders.


E. Simon - 7/20/2006

You know, it's a false dichotomy to equivocate using stronger arguments in defending Israel with some sort of false assertion (straw man) that ANYONE here has argued that "Israel can never do anything wrong." Who here has stated that? Well, let's see... oh. No one. But carefully reading would not allow Peter to sound as reasonable as he would like to seem. No matter how much less reasonable Bakr himself is.

Bash Omar on his inflated, baloney statements. Doing so should stand on its own. Your own need to dissociate yourself from others who attack his claims is completely unecessary, however. No one assumes any affiliation on your part beyond what you somehow feel a need to disclaim.


N. Friedman - 7/20/2006

Peter,

The problem with your argument regarding the WB - or, as that area is known to most of history until the time of Israel's creation, Judea and Samaria - is that you raise a legal term, "occupation," and then interpret it as defining the history of the region, which it does not. It merely is a legal categorization regarding disputed territory. Such term does not even define the entire legal issues since, in fact, Israel has a legal claim (i.e. the Palestine Mandate, which remains, legally speaking, in effect), long pre-dating 1967, to the entire territory which Jordan renamed the West Bank, perhaps to assert a claim by eliminating the references to Jewish history.

As you may no doubt know, the issue of Israel's borders has always been a question. In particular, the issue is whether all the land from the Jordan to the Mediteranean is Israel or whether only the land held in 1949 is Israel is not a simple question. Now, if there is to be a state for Palestinian Arabs, the argument goes that Israel cannot control all of the land which, according to the Palestine Mandate, was to be part of the Jewish National Home. And, in addition, if one examines UN 242 carefully, it refers more than by implication to the states coming to terms on boundaries that will be recognized and secure. Again, that suggests that, legally speaking, Israel has a claim to at least some of the land captured in 1967. Otherwise, the resolution would merely have called on Israel to withdraw - which it does not do -.

Now legalities aside, one normally thinks of expansionism as a country expanding into a country. Israel is not expanding into the Judea and Samaria. Such territories have been held by Israel since 1967 and were part of the original Palestine Mandate. Countries which told territory for that period of time are not deemed expansionist for settling people on land already held. Or, should we call India expansionist since it holds Kashmir and call China expansionist merely because it holds Tibet? Now, a country may be expansionist, but settling people in territory held for more than a generation is not expansionist. Such is the norm in the world.


N. Friedman - 7/20/2006

Omar,

The idea here is to say things that have at least some plausibility. You have not done that.

The notion that the Israelis have unlimited ambitions, as your argument suggests, has no relationship to facts. In fact, it is contradicted by the facts.

Were Israel expansionist, the country would not have ceded 90+% of all territory it ever captured. I ask you, why would Israel give up the huge Sinai, with its large supply of oil, if it were expansionist? Does not giving up a supply of oil make it more difficult to expand? And does not giving up land for a mere treaty undermine your theory? Frankly, it does for anyone remotely rational.

What you are really saying is that you do not like Israel. As a result, you think that any imaginable garbage can be said. In this case, your expansionist statement is not only wrong but contradicted by the country's history. Which is to say, the country's actual history, which includes giving up large swaths of land, not to mention valuable resources, for basically nothing tangible, simply cannot be accounted for by your theory. That can be said categorically. Or, in simple terms, your theory is wrong.

Now, you are free not to like Israel. But, when you peddle garbage, expect to be called on it.


Louis Nelson Proyect - 7/20/2006

I wonder how in the world such a Likudnik rant ends up on a purportedly scholarly website myself. I do know that George Mason University is a neocon rat's nest, but one would expect a bit more judiciousness when it comes to disseminating trash such as this.


E. Simon - 7/20/2006

Expansion requires acting out of claims. Poisoning the well doesn't.


N. Friedman - 7/20/2006

Mr. Thomas,

I think you mis-read Mr. Cohen's article. Knowing, as I do, that Mr. Cohen is pro-Israel might give you second thoughts before recasting his article.

He does call Israel a mistake, which is different from indicating that he would undo it. His argument is for Israel to be cautious. By mistake, he meant that a non-Muslim country in that region creates difficulties, as is perfectly obvious given the developments in that part of the world. However, he distinguishes mistakes from crimes, which is the take of much of the Muslim regions and of our own Omar.

In this regard, it would be reasonable to say that he would treat Israel akin to the host of other countries around which there are long-standing conflicts. India and Pakistan come to mind.


E. Simon - 7/20/2006

I'm not trying to have anything both ways. Ahmadenejad's railing vitriol against Israel doesn't enjoy the level of popular resonance amongst his populace as does the issue of nuclear energy as a matter of national pride. I think any analyst looking at the situation understands this. What I said is that he presents the two together as, what might possibly appear, a way to to attempt to link two or more issues politically. There's no inconsistency in this perspective.


N. Friedman - 7/19/2006

john crocker,

In response to your comment: "You can't have it both ways," I think what is argued is that Iran uses nasty rhetoric about Israel in order to create a distraction with respect to its nuclear agenda.


N. Friedman - 7/19/2006

Arnold,

You write: "Israel has never withdrawn its troops from the Arab territories occupied in 1967 voluntarily."

That is simply not so. Israel gave up the entire Sinai. That amounts to more than 90% of the territory captured in 1967 and retained in 1973.

As for ignoring dozens of UN resolutions, why should there be so many resolutions about Israel? Why not China? Why not Russia? Both countries have done ten times worse than Israel. Why not Sudan, where 2 million people died between 1983 and 2000 and where slavery - i.e. people sold at auctions - continues so that there are more than 100,000 such slaves in the country and who knows how many sold to people in the Gulf states? Why not Saudi Arabia which does not allow non-Muslims to live in the country, except in secret, as citizens?

I do not see your point about UN resolutions. The reason that there are so many resolutions about Israel has to do with Big Oil. Were the issue one of deserved condemnation, then Sudan, China and Russia would top the list. Israel would not even make the list.

The issue for Israel - and you should read what Omar writes since he holds the view of the typical Middle Eastern Arab - is that its rulers are the wrong religion. Lest you doubt me, consider this statement by Geneive Abdo - a near apologist for the Islamists -, from her interesting book No God But God, Egypt and the Triumph of Islam, (Oxford University Press 2000):

The Grand Sheikh's battle with his conservative critics boiled over in December 1997, when Tantawi hosted an unprecedented meeting at al-Azhar with chief rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, leader of Israel's Ashkenazi Jews. Held just before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and amid growing outrage in the Arab world toward Israeli intransigence in the stalled Oslo peace process, Tantawi's meeting was nothing short of explosive. Ordinary Egyptians had never accepted the Camp David peace accords, or for that matter any attempt to normalize relations with Israel. Most Muslims saw the invitation of the chief rabbi into the very citadel of Sunni Islam as a complete betrayal of the fifty-year effort against the Jewish state.

Egypt's most respected Islamic thinker, Seleeem al-Awa, spoke for many when he bitterly denounced the visit on the front page of the Islamist daily al-Shaab and wrote a letter of protest to the Research Academy. "I did not believe my eyes when I read that the Grand Sheikh met the Zionist rabbi in Cairo.... It is as if the Zionists want to declare before the whole world that they have achieved normalization with the symbol of Sunni Islam and the entire Islamic world, and with the Sheikh of al-Azhar himself."

"Why did you headquarters become the site of normalization with the Zionists? How are we going to welcome Ramadan with the biggest spiritual defeat of the modern age?" al-Awa asked.

Tantawi was filled with consternation. He had never expected that such a meeting would outrage the Muslim world. Shaken and tense, he defended himself in a long interview with a Qatari satellite television channel that was broadcast in Egypt and across the Middle East. The interviewer asked Tantawi why he had decided to meet the rabbi, when his predecessor, Gad al-Haq, had refused.

"I followed in the footsteps of our Prophet, peace be upon him. He met Jews and had a dialogue with them.... Was I supposed to refuse to meet him, so he'll go to his country and say the Sheikh of al-Azhar was unable to meet me?"

"What is you answer to Dr. Seleem al-Awa who said this meeting is more dangerous than any form of normalization?" the interviewer asked.

"This is the logic of cowards and pacifists," Tantawi replied. "Can Dr. al-Awa deny that the Prophet and his companion Abu Bakr met with the Jews? And after that, they say 'normalization.' What normalization?"

Tantawi's response did little to pacify his critics with al-Azhar. In fact, the controversy handed the traditionalists the evidence they needed to challenge his suitability to hold Sunni Islam's highest position. "What we read about the meeting between the Sheikh of al-Azhar and the Israeli rabbi shocked us all," commented Yahya Ismail, the general-secretary of the Azhar's Scholars' Front. "We must abide by fatwas issued by senior scholars since 1936, which are official fatwas that forbid dealing with the occupying Jews with any weapon other than jihad (holy struggle) until they evacuate from our lands."


This is not about Israel's behavior. The issue is people who have a mindset akin to people living in the Middle Ages. They believe that only Muslims legitimately rule.



N. Friedman - 7/19/2006

Omar,

Israel is not expanding. While I disagree with pretty much everything you write, the expanding line is, frankly, wrong.

Look at the map. In 1967, Israel expanded. In 1980, Israel began to contract. In 1982, Israel expanded slightly. In 2000, Israel contracted. In 2005, Israel contracted further.

The question to ask is whether Israel's contractions spur the Arab and Muslims to fight? If it does, then Israel would be pretty foolish to cede any more land.


john crocker - 7/19/2006

Sorry for the mistype. I was refering to the MEK (Mujahideen-e-Khalq).

The nuclear talk is usually accompanied by saber rattling, but the reverse is not as often true.

"This allows Ahmedenijad to merge that impulse politically w/the hatred of Israel he simultaneously broadcasts. He likewise rallies against wealthier government officials in bids to increase his popularity."

It seems you are saying here that verbally assaults Israel in order to increase his popularity at home, yet

"The Iranian people, aside from being some of the more pro-American in the region, also tend to be less swayed by incitement against Israel."

You can't have it both ways.


Frederick Thomas - 7/19/2006

Interesting points, let me respond to some of them:

-the logic of Cohen's argument is well stated in his article: In the latter part of the 20th century it does not make much sense to conquer a country and ruthlessly drive out or murder most of the inhabitants, then conquer ever more by repeating the procedure three times. At least, that is true if you wish to have a peaceful existence.

-I am not sure which countries Cohen wants to deligitimize, but it probably does not include the US. You can bet that he thought long and hard before mentioning Israel, however.

-I did not bring my post to its natural conclusion, but it is this: that Iran primarily will contribute increasing weapons and money to Israel's overthrow until it happens. A series of nuclear cruise-missile attacks from cargo ships well-offshore is the likely vehicle, and will be very hard to stop. They could do the same thing to us, for that matter, and that would also be hard to stop.

-Mr. Clark, if you had read more than first sentences of any of my posts before doing your Daffy Duck imitation, you would have noticed that I am against any big government party, which puts me at odds with both US parties, just less so against the Republicans. The worst aspect of Mr. Bush' regime is that they rolled over after 9/11 when Bush publicly told Sharon to stop butchering Palestinian kids in the West Bank intefada, and Sharon responded with a raised middle finger and a blast from the pro-Israel US press, which settled the matter. Bush should have stood up like a man, made his case to the people and done the right thing for humanity, but did not do so.

-It will be with no joy that I see, in some sad future year, that what is left of Israel is uninhabitable for the following 50 years and useful to no one, and much of the middle east with it, but that's the way I honestly see it happening, unless there are some very big changes. (There won't be. Israeli voters are incorragably arrogant.)


Arnold Shcherban - 7/19/2006

You only can dream of possessing my
outstanding analytical and intuitive
faculties on political, philosophical, and sociological subjects.
And my prognostic skills in those areas are beyond comparison.
You're miserable fly trying to knock off elephant of thought.


Arnold Shcherban - 7/19/2006

<... are not MY specialty>
Unbiased, non-nationalistic, and
historical analysis of events and facts is not either.


Steve Broce - 7/19/2006

It would be interesting to try and get Cohen to list all the countries that he thinks were "mistakes".

Fred, I bet Cohen probably thinks this country was a mistake.

At at any rate, not that Cohen would ever do it, but I bet you would be surprised at all the countries on Cohen's list.


Rob Willis - 7/19/2006

News flash #1: Israel ain't leavin'.

News flash #2: If Cohen is right, then they should just nuke anything even remotely hostile until there is finally peace.

Saying it is one thing, backing up the logic is another. Cohen is a hack if he made those statements with a straight face.


Frederick Thomas - 7/19/2006

As in Washington Post Cohen, who at last comes forth with a little truth, that Israel was a terrible mistake, and that because of that mistake, and the utter brutality of Israeli policy, there can and will be no peace while Israel exists.

Mr. Cohen also points out that Israel's enemies now include large rich countries such as Iran and Indonesia, whereas heretofore only the Arab Islamists were involved.

Yet here on HNN, Israel's supporters, probably knowing that what Mr. Cohen says is true, desperately try to spin the history so that no one believes them anymore.

The future is clear. Yesterday, an Israeli warship was destroyed by Iran's C-802 version of the Chinese silkworm cruise missile, off Beirut. This has been kept from the news reports fairly successfully, but it happened.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/15/ap/world/mainD8IS4D300.shtml

That hard-to-detect, low-flying missile can carry nuclear weapons, and can be programmed to attack land targets, such as Tel Aviv, and Iran has hundreds of these missiles in stock.

At some point that attack will surely happen, and all the brutality and spin in the world will not stop it. It points out the futility of believing one's own propaganda, does it not?

Is Israel's retention of a hundred underage and female prisoners worth it, or should they have traded them for the two guys held by Hitzballah?


E. Simon - 7/19/2006

I don't know what the MPK is, but pro-Americanism (or at least, significant anti-anti-Americanism) has been documented by many, NYT's Kristoff last year for instance.

If you'll notice, the saber rattling is always accompanied by declaring nuclear _energy_ in itself to be a matter of national pride, which does resonate. This allows Ahmedenijad to merge that impulse politically w/the hatred of Israel he simultaneously broadcasts. He likewise rallies against wealthier government officials in bids to increase his popularity.


E. Simon - 7/19/2006

Like anyone else who simultaneously does not live in reality and obsesses with his perverse vision of how he wishes the world were, you didn't respond in kind to the many gaps I pointed out in these newest versions of your manifesto. What point would there have been to my responding to what you wouldn't address in the first place? Ah, but the answer to that my friends lies in an armchair jihadist's inability to reason, let alone his other multiple intellectual and personal failings. The state of his region bears witness to this. Notice how Omar's modified title to the post reflects his lack of any care for his own self-destruction, so long as he gets to indulge his urge to destroy those whom misunderstands as well as he indoctrinates himself to hate. The bloodlust he confusingly sees in others is his own.


john crocker - 7/19/2006

The Iranian government may not have majority support, but does have the support of a segment of the population. Why does Iran continue its saber rattling with little concrete action, unless it is for a domestic audience.

As for the popularity of America in Iran. I recently read (sorry I can't find the article) about the MPK refusing American support for fear of losing credibility. If the country is so pro-American why would an American connection cost credibility? This is not to deny some pro-American sentiment in Iran, but much of it seems to be fading due to our current foreign policy and much of what is left is more in the vein of "the enemy of my enemy."


E. Simon - 7/19/2006

Once your mind further releases its death grip from its obsession with the moribund ideology of Communism, you very well may come to accept that while money is an important determinant of many things in life, it is not the only one. Not by a longshot.

At that point you'll probably put your blinders around a different focal point to get constantly confused by.


E. Simon - 7/19/2006

Almost as short as the previous one. As I said, the Kaopectate must be working for you. Long, drippy, watery irrelevant posts, sprinkled with undue elements of undigested ideological particles are not MY specialty.


Arnold Shcherban - 7/18/2006

I have to look for "Kaopectate" through Google, but I finally realize
the reason of your frequent reference
to diarrhea: the one usually speaks
about what he struggles with a lot.


Arnold Shcherban - 7/18/2006

...Plus, the real politick that according to you I replace with conspiracy theories teaches us one
priceless analytic strategy: follow the money. It easy to see that I consistently employ this strategy (naturally, along with other ones) when formulating my arguments, while
you rarely (almost never) do.
So much for my conspiratory tendency,
historical slut!


Arnold Shcherban - 7/18/2006

<No one forced Sadat.. and a friendship between Abdullah and Rabin...>

Sadat's policy towards Israel had been dictated by two major circumstances: first - by personal and national financial interests (so-called economic and financial "incentive" package given by the US for the peaceful agreement
with Israel, which Egypt continues to receive as we speak),
second - by the realization on the part of Egyptian political leadership,
that the West, primarily US and UK
together with Israel is capable and willing to annihilate Egyptian nation (as any other Arab nation located in that richest oil region), unless the latter will launch itself onto strategic orbit parallel to their ones.
The same is true about Jordan.
Plus, as I have already partially mentioned, the respective policy allows the elite in those Arab countries that controls those countries' natural and economic resources have a really sweet (and mostly parasitic) life.
So, its money, i.e. $$$ and fear, i.e.
fear of death and fear of the anger coming from the populus of their own nations. Both the money and protection
through the support (and, again, money) are given to them by the US governing financial elite.
The same theme is played now in Iraq (with natural and national variations), where the so-called democratic government fears its own populus more than the US military
might, which put them there promising
personal golden perspectives as a payment for the treason of interests
of Iraqi nation.

In conclusion: Would you, please, reveal the public at large what exactly the "axe", including its width, that "raving lunatic" Shcherban "has to grind" when condemning or criticising
many aspects of the US and Israel's foreign and internal policy?


E. Simon - 7/18/2006

The many inconsistencies of your rambling novice legal cites aside (armistice lines vs. partition plan lines), and your preference for numbers as some kind of catch-all for justice similarly aside, your misunderstanding of the word "crime" as if every loaded label you could conjure qualifies - aside, I'll just decide to forgo the bogged-down, endless "engagement" of your quibbling that you pine for and respond by saying - extremely reluctantly - that, given the approach you take, I now understand why wiser Arab leaders can't yet trust people such as yourself with democracy.

Being able to govern oneself requires self-discipline and pragmatism. Pragmatism means being able to let go of grudges and lost opportunities. The self-discipline of making good decisions means being able to deal with the imperfection of not reducing every matter of justice to discrete, algebraic equivalents.


E. Simon - 7/18/2006

I apologize for not having a better citation, but I really have not - either contextually or directly - got the impression at all that Syria will somehow be drawn into this conflict.

As for Iran, the regime is much too entrenched, (not to mention disliked), to require a bogeyman for popular support which does not exist anyway. The Iranian people, aside from being some of the more pro-American in the region, also tend to be less swayed by incitement against Israel.


Arnold Shcherban - 7/18/2006

First of all, 100,000,000 murdered by Stalin's regime is absurd number by any standards as can be easily proved
by any reasonable Russian historian.
The real number is closer to 20,000,000, though it does not change
the essense of Stalin's regime.
Secondly, the set of totalitarian dogmas is not much different than
the set of religious dogmas the religious faith is based on.
It cannot be changed or evolved and has to be blindly followed, with the dire consequences in this life or later for the real or perceived violators.
So your emphasis on Stalin's philosophical atheism does not threaten my arguments.

And, please, stop your ridiculous preaching; this a historical, not a religious forum.





Rob Willis - 7/18/2006

John, in many ways I think you are correct, and I don't like it. Why? Because the number of options are shrinking, and have been for almost 50 years. My great fear is that only total and complete salt-the-earth conquest will settle this.

It may well happen, too. As I have stated before, we all have our limits, us (U.S.) included.

The Arab "street" needs to look carefully, very carefully, at what had been put in motion here. I can't see any decent outcomes if things continue this way. There is no historical wisdom to advise this problem, except the worst possible scenario.


Wendell K Fry - 7/18/2006

Omar, why only go back to the UN's allocation of land. The Ottoman Turks conquered the land (in fact all of the now moslem territories) in an "Expansionist" sort of way. The only free will they gave people is "Be Moslem or die".

Nor do I justify the excesses of the Crusaders, nor call them Christian as they have nothing to justify their excesses in the New Testament (Injeel). Evil is evil. Also, Mister Shcherban, Stalin the Russian Atheist murdered 100,000,000 in his atheistic, elitist rage, as to be the most barbaric last century.

Omar, surely you know the difference between aiming at Hezbollah and Hamas headquarters, and at Saddam's strategic locations with the undesirable side result of civilian casualties (I think I am answering you and Shcherban) and the direct target of civilians, i.e. blowing oneself up in as tight a crowd as possible to murder as many innocent people as possible.

If you argue them as not being innocent by association, then you lose your faulty conspiritorial argument against the US, since your argument will then seem to say that all civilians are not side casualties, but enemies, and then no horrible result (the "murder of innocents").

If you say that God gave those territories that Israel now occupies to the conquering Moslems (and thus they have rights to it) - then which "Conquering" was the right one? Then God helped Israel to conquer also, then you acknowledge that God is the one who decides the boundaries of countries and you lose ground of your argument against Israel. -

- The Bible I hear most Moslems say has been corrupted, but the Quran supports the inspiration of the Bible and tells people of the Book to adhere to it, (not run from what is supposedly corrupted) (Surah 5:46, 47) I am using the Quran not for my authority, but as what you recognize as your authority. If the Quran says that none can alter or change the words of Allah (6:34, 10:64), and if it says, "O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Apostle, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Apostle and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Apostles, and the Day of Judgement, hath gone far, far astray" - Surah 4:136, then The Bible is incorruptible and the Quran tries to abrogate God's own words, since the curse is put on those who would add to or take away from the prophecies in the book (Revelation). The Quran denies the Cross (by denying that Jesus died on it, but instead an imposter in his place), and thus denies God's Word, an irony and a conundrum, you see. The Crux of the Christian Faith is on the Grace of God through Jesus Christ shedding His blood on the Cross, dying, atoning for sin, and by His resurrection, attesting to the acceptance by the Father of His sacrifice. If there is no death on the Cross, there is no resurrection. Muhammed, then was not a prophet, but he was the imposter, gaining to himself a following to help and advance himself, his views and his people. Moslem logic is faulty and hopeful here, but has only the power of swords, the efforts of man and feelings, but not the power of God.

God's testimony to man is not just that he is a sinner, everyone knows we're not perfect, but God's testimony is that He has made a way, and is the only one who can make a way to Himself, through Himself - Jesus Christ the Son and Word of God, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

If you want truth as self-substantiation, self-righteousness, you won't hear His voice. If your heart gropes for truth, The Truth, He will certainly reach you Himself with His testimony, speaking to your heart through His Word and even through His imperfect servants. (if God can bring His perfect Word through and uses imperfect people, than there is hope for all of us)


John Chapman - 7/18/2006

It does seems like hypocrisy the axis talking about restraint but there is the wider reality, the bigger picture to consider.

Not all agree, but one of the keys to controlling terrorism and creating a climate for the growth of democracy in Iraq, is to solve the problems between Israel and the Palestinians. So, Israel is the “collective front line in the Iran-led war on the free world.” And “pressuring Israel into restraint is wise advice, I believe.

Even though Israel is justified in these attacks, they don’t serve its long-term interests. In the real world, where nothing is fair, you must not play the provocateurs' game. Especially Hamas and Hezbollah’s game. They know full well that they are no match for Israel’s military. They don’t expect to win a traditional victory.

What they do expect is to radicalize Arab politics, to convince certain Arab leaders to view Israel as aggressor and to join their cause in guerilla warfare against Israel.

What happens when civilians are killed in Israeli raids, the Arab world sees only this and the blame goes to Irael. Unfair, but that’s reality no matter how morally justified Israel is because they are only justifying and advancing the Hamas and Hezbolla political agenda.


Steve Broce - 7/18/2006

Furthermore, John, Hezbollah could not possibly have doubted how Israel would react to the provocation. They had front row seats to Israel’s reaction to the Hamas kidnapping of civilians and soldiers—less than a week before.

Could Hezbollah really have had any doubt as to what Israel’s reaction would be? Do you really believe that it was pure coincidence that Hezbollah duplicated the very act—kidnapping—that had resulted in Israel’s re-entry into Gaza?

Hezbollah and Iran got what they wanted and the timing merely confirms the motive.


Steve Broce - 7/18/2006

-*-“The crisis in Lebanon coming to the forefront of the G8 Summit hinged entirely on the Israeli response.”

What Hezbollah did was designed to elicit a response that they knew was inevitable. That the Israeli’s reacted in the way that they did is predictable and understandable. No country can forever endure rocket attacks, kidnappings and ambushes from their neighbors. Israel is particularly unlikely to endure them. Iran gave Hezbollah tens of thousands of rockets so that Hezbollah could fire them on cue. Hezbollah didn’t disappoint.

-*-“Did they do it to distract from their nuclear program that is still at least 5 yrs from completion (probably more), or did they miscalculate?”

The Iranian nuclear program may or may not be 5 years from completion. What certainly is not 5 years off are the sanctions that the program is likely to produce for Iran. That is what Iran is seeking to avoid.


john crocker - 7/18/2006

"Since the rest of your post effectively hinges on a far-off prediction in refutation of that fact, there isn't much point to addressing it further..."

So three predominantly Sunni nations condemn the actions of a Shia terrorist organization and therefor the conflict will not escalate?

If Israel strikes Damascus and draws Syria and Iran into open war other countries in the region will not be drawn to the conflict?

As for the McCarthy analogy. In case you missed the point, the analogy is the relationship not two seperate comparisons. The mullahs in Iran need an outside threat in order to hold support in spite of repressive policies. McCarthy needed an outside threat in order to hold support in spite of repressive policies. Israel and the Soviets are only compared insofar as they are the bogeymen. I fail to understand how this analogy is bizarre.


john crocker - 7/18/2006

The crisis in Lebanon coming to the forefront of the G8 Summit hinged entirely on the Israeli response.

Did they do it to distract from their nuclear program that is still at least 5 yrs from completion (probably more), or did they miscalculate?


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

Yes, the timing's important - you're entirely right. So important I think, that given the coverage devoted to the events on the ground that entirely eclipsed it, it seemed like the meeting was almost entirely nothing more than a response to it - rather than a planned event with potentially more fundamental issues to discuss.

Perhaps they'll just have to get together again in a couple weeks when this is over and do it to Iran then, if only!


Steve Broce - 7/17/2006

As I said, the spotlight of the G8 and the world is now on the “crisis in Lebanon” and not the “crisis in Tehran”. That surely benefits Iran. If you believe that Iran pulls Hezbollah’s strings (a no-brainer), then the timing of this couldn’t be more revealing as to motive.

There certainly may have been a “misunderestimation” of the Israeli response by Iran and Hezbollah. I suspect that Hezbollah’s survival, at least as an effective fighting force, may be on the line now. Hezbollah has been shooting rockets at Israel for quite sometime now and apparently Israel is fed up and intends to end it once and for all. I say bravo.

Secondarily, Iran emphasizes to the world that they have some ability for mischief-making if f—ked with over its nuclear program. That is, if Hezbollah survives.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

Steve, I'm not sure why you think Iran's pushing its proxies to the brink of their own capacities for terrorizing the region will make world leaders less likely to focus on the nuclear dreams of their sponsor.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

I really don't think you know much of what you're talking about. As reported days ago (and as I commented on through the first thread), a "regional" escalation has already been ruled out by collective Arab condemnation of Hizbullah.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060714/wl_mideast_afp/mideastunrestegypt_060714171944

Since the rest of your post effectively hinges on a far-off prediction in refutation of that fact, there isn't much point to addressing it further, let alone your bizarre comparisons between Israel and the Soviets, or Iran's leadership and McCarthy. Most commentators at this point believe that far from being a bunch of "shrewd political calculators," it was Iran that overplayed their hand.


Steve Broce - 7/17/2006

“Do Hezbollah's attacks on Israel actually serve the interests of Iran or Syria?”

As I posted in comment to a different article, these attacks, without question, inure to the benefit of Iran.

Iran and its nuclear weapons program were likely to be the hot issue at the G8 summit in Russia. Iran saw a chance to get the spotlight off the G8 summit and to make a statement to the world that it has cards to play in the game by stirring up the situation in the Mideast through its surrogate, Hezbollah. That situation is now front and center at the summit.

We all depend on oil from the Mideast. Not just the US, but Europe and China. What better way for Iran to remind the world of that fact than by roiling the oil market with some military action just before the Summit?


john crocker - 7/17/2006

Any benefit I can see in this for Iran or Syria evaporates if this escalates into a full scale regional war. Israel is as necessary for the Mullahs to retain control as the Soviets were to McCarthy. The leaders of these countries, no matter how irrational they may seem are shrewd political calcualtors. Neither Iran or Syria benefits from all out war in the middle east.

Israel suffers terribly in an all out regional war and knows it. Ehud Olmert may be trying to make his bones, but will try to stop short of provoking a war that would engulf the region.

The only people I have heard that seem to look forward to this crisis are evangelicals intent on seeing the Rapture and a few right-wing blow-hards in the U.S. (Rush and Bill Krystal) Rush has no influence on policy, so his bloviating can be ignored. The rapture right and Krystal, if he represents neocon thought, are far more worrying.

Does anyone who has thought this out rationally think that escalation of this conflict can benefit America, or anyone?


john crocker - 7/17/2006

Any benefit I can see in this for Iran or Syria evaporates if this escalates into a full scale regional war. Israel is as necessary for the Mullahs to retain control as the Soviets were to McCarthy. The leaders of these countries, no matter how irrational they may seem are shrewd political calcualtors. Neither Iran or Syria benefits from all out war in the middle east.

Israel suffers terribly in an all out regional war and knows it. Ehud Olmert may be trying to make his bones, but will try to stop short of provoking a war that would engulf the region.

The only people I have heard that seem to look forward to this crisis are evangelicals intent on seeing the Rapture and a few right-wing blow-hards in the U.S. (Rush and Bill Krystal) Rush has no influence on policy, so his bloviating can be ignored. The rapture right and Krystal, if he represents neocon thought, are far more worrying.

Does anyone who has thought this out rationally think that escalation of this conflict can benefit America, or anyone?


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

I'm sure I could find the link you provided if I were so inclined, but at this point need to point out that the preceding post is an even more tangential pathway to obscurity than any single post I've put up on the board for this essay.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

Iran might benefit, but Iran was already extensively involved. The recent show just clarifies that. I guess that fact can also serve as a preliminary answer to your third question as well, given the current, early stage of this particular conflict.

I think that whatever criticism the U.S. received for identifying an "axis of evil," the more that the overt coordination and actions of Syria/Hezbollah/Iran can be seen as an entanglement that doesn't serve virtually any other Arab leader or its 90% majority Sunni populations (as spoken to by the Saudi king just 3 days ago), the more the U.S. can isolate such increasingly irrational actors from the general trajectory hoped for by more moderate Arab regimes.

I think the actions might have been perceived as less "politically" necessary by Israeli politicians with the credentials for being as tough as Sharon had, but wiping out Hezbullah's capacity for firing more missiles on Israel's northern region and coast seem to clearly benefit its citizens. Acting this aggressively to the blackmail of kidnapped soldiers held hostage is also more important to a citizen-military (the IDF), which is much smaller, much more important proportionally, and much more close-knit than comparably matched militaries of virtually any other country. The cohesion achieved between the morale of the IDF and its country's political and strategic objectives shouldn't be underestimated, especially in light of the horrifying outcomes following different responses to previous, similar provocations by Hezbullah.


john crocker - 7/17/2006

Does Israel's response to the kidnappingserve Israel's long-term interests, or the short-term interests of politicians?

The same should be asked of the U.S. response?

Do Hezbollah's attacks on Israel actually serve the interests of Iran or Syria?

Who benefits from escalating regional conflict?


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

Oh, and Peter, anyone who would quote from The American Conservative to make their own, sincerely-held cases, is clearly too close to the feeding trough of Pat Buchanan's interpretations of political events for the comfort of any pragmatist, let alone the comfort of any moderate.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

Sure. But at least it was creative.

Now why not go ahead and attempt some stupid false equivalence between what we've said vs. the mind droppings of Scherban and Bakr as if we were some sort of opposite extreme between which for you to broker some sort of equivocating, "voice of reason" admonishment?

Ok. I guess you won't. Have to give time for your own implied credibility the silence it needs to re-assert itself.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

That was short enough. The Kaopectate must be working.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

Scherban's garbage is as worthless in meriting a response as are the equally conspiriatorially-minded Omar's ramblings. For those marginally more familiar with the definitions of words such as "voluntary" and "willing," as in the opposite of "coerced," I note, for the record, that no one forced Sadat to reach out to Israel and convey his sincerity (at the Israeli Knesset, no less!) in regaining the Sinai for peace, nor the well-documented friendship between King Abdullah and Rabin, including the attendance of and eulogy given by the former at Rabin's funeral. Israel's withdrawal from Gaza was due to its own internal pressure and realpolitik and no great power forced Egypt to go to war once again with Israel in order show whatever prestige Sadat thought necessary for a subsequent peace treaty.

Rambling lunatics such as Scherban have an axe so wide to grind that their small minds cannot allow for an honest appraisal of what each historical actor had at stake in deciding upon and carrying out their actions. We can clearly see how conspiracy theories provide the necessary and handy shortcut for thinking in these cases. As they do for the jihadists, as they did for Kaczynski, for neo-Bolsheviks and every other assorted weirdo associating himself with the identification of nothing of any real value that actually exists, and antipathy for everything else. What they don't know could fill a book, but facts are less important to them than are the unfounded, unduly broad and bizarre theories on which their uncultivated minds cannot otherwise "thrive" - for lack of a better word.

Hopefully shorter retorts can alert the reader to precautionary disclaimers that unfortunately should have to accompany Scherban's long, drippy, verbal diarrhea.


Arnold Shcherban - 7/17/2006

Add myself to the opponents of your
pseudo-historical, chosen people's comments.
Chosen, by history, political analyst.


Arnold Shcherban - 7/17/2006

As for your latest post, Mr.Simon,
Israel has never withdrawn its troops from the Arab territories occupied
in 1967 voluntarily.
When it has, it was always done after decades of ignoring dozens of UN Assembly and UN Security Council resolutions, and many more objected and vetoed by just one other country on Earth - USA (the country that initiated more wars in modern times
than any other rogue and evil regimes
in its traditional terminology).
When it has, it was always done after
years of tremendous international pressure, sometimes, though rarely, coming even from the US itself.
When it has, it was always done through the agreements with the Arab regimes subservient to the US foreign policy in Middle East financially and
militarily (using simpler language -
through political bribery of their elites, including Islamic fundamentalists).
When it has, it was always done under the pressure of the best part of Jewish society - real democracts and
peace-loving people of Israel, not their religious fanatics and supporters of Great Israel design.

The US and Israel's elite love more than anything else to accuse other
countries in what they themselves
have been engaged for decades - terrorism; in this case - state terrorism.
The US military killed many times
more foreign civilians in the wars of the second half of 20th and over the first six years of the 21st century than any other country on the face of Earth.
The paramount of hypocrisy is that
it's the same country that time by time declares global war on international terrorism, just to kill even more foreign civilans,... and eventually create new enemies (surely terrorists, since they attack Americans) to maintain the state of perpertual war with the ultimate goal to destroy any resistance to its financial and strategic world hegemony.
This how the US carries the so-called White Man's burden, taking relay from
the declined British Empire and developing prettier on surface, but more ominious in essence form of colonialism under the most hypocritical and false pretense of
struggle for peace, stability, democracy, and human rights of all people.
(Not coincidentally, the modern descendants of the British colonizers are the most loyal of US allies, being
given their "fare" share of strategic
proceeds.)


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

How your assertions remain to be proven, that a country that has repeatedly withdrawn from lands from which it has been attacked and yet simultaneously "expansionist" - are not "stupid" - is still in your court. To where would Israel withdraw, and how many times would it have to willingly do so, in order for it to no longer be "expansionist?" Which responses to suicide bombings, hostage taking, missile attacks would not be "aggressive?" And no, any "answers" accompanied with some B.S. about Israel renouncing its own existence don't count.

My thinking, however wishful, neither wallows, nor fixates on the same buzz terms and loaded words and erroneous battle cries that can't evade your obsession, let alone your inability to open a dictionary or thesaurus. Or an inability to engage ANY argument that doesn't comport to your narrow demand that others lose the battles they've lost many times before so that they can kowtow to your frantic jihadi fantasies. War is NOT a spectator sport. If only you could accept that then it would be obvious, as it would take much more than insults to hurt your fragile existence.


Peter Kovachev - 7/17/2006

Ok, I guess Peter could be an unhinged libertarian who wandered off the paleo-conservative pastures. There's not much to eat there anymore. But don't dismiss the jaded hippie theory; obviously you haven't met some of the flotsam I have, the ones who cut-off their pony tails in the 80s, adopted the yuppie outlook, but not the upward mobility part, and settled for an intellectual goulash of bits and pieces from the past.

As for Omar, I'll have to agree in part, only because you make an excellent case with your analysis of his punctuation. If he were a fop, daddy would have imposed him on some money-tight British public school with more climbing ivies than money and unable to do much more, his schoolmasters there would have at least whipped the rules of punctuation into him. Then again, don't forget that the jihadis like to prey on gullible fops from rich families by playing on their egos, while eagerly collecting their lunch money.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

I don't know. Peter's anti-two party appeals convey the erudtion (and usually, pseudo-erudtion) of a lifelong reactionary conservative whose convenient alliances with the hard left are more Buchanan-like, than they are jaded hippy.

I'll admit to not having much of an idea about what kind of biographical influences have shaped Omar's armchair jihadism. They are more common - or at least lip-service to them - is more common than one can easily delineate. But they don't seem to necessarily suggest a less pedestrian occupation. And the son of a diplomat would be smarter than to say the things he says, in the way he says them - and not to mention would likelier be in possession of the ability to use more complex punctuation than the mere exclamation mark.

(!)


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

To put it more colloquially, the excitement Omar and his sympathizers exhibit is a result of witnessing the destruction in itself. They don't care if they live or die, win or lose, as long as they get to be a part of it. Not everyone in the Arab world is so stupid to not see his way around this mindset.


Peter Kovachev - 7/17/2006

I like to imagine the real people behind some the inimitable characters here.

My guess is that Omar is already a diplomat ... probably a son of one of the Gulf state emirs. Omar's been told by his uncle to finally complete his 12-year B.A., hence his valiant attempts and dry runs at what he thinks is political analysis. He usually makes a big splash in his first post after spending a couple of hours with Google and his pinky and index finger doing the Ctrl+C - Ctrl+V thing, but then he becomes lazy and loses his focus which is why his subsequent posts devolve into incomprehensible blubberings.

As for Peter C., it's the 60s all over again. I imagine him as a Dead Head who can't make it to the corner store without getting wallopped by flash-backs. When he gets back to his monitor, the world has changed and shifted on him yet again and that makes him mad.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

It's hard to tell here if you're attempting to dismiss Kovachev's post or to redeem Assad's nonexistent honor and irredeemable political image. But misunderstanding his own interest and the concept of reality (let alone strategy) as a whole, while his head is held captive to full battle fury, is the specialty of an armchair Jihadist such as yourself.


Peter Kovachev - 7/17/2006

In case you are not convinced about the entertainment potentials of this forum, fatima, check out Omar's new variations on my name, and have a chuckle at my expense over how, in the heat of the battle, I pile into E. Simon, who was actually piling into Peter C.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

Surely they will be more successful than Omar's and Clarke's.


Peter Kovachev - 7/17/2006

Oops. Pardon the "friendly fire" event. Let's get our diplomat flunkies to smooth this one over.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

I'm referring to Peter Clarke's comments, in case that wasn't clear. More substantial comments about the events underlying the essay have been made in response to Omar in the thread above.


Peter Kovachev - 7/17/2006

That's nice, Simon. I hope you feel better now, but do you actually have anything to say?


Peter Kovachev - 7/17/2006

The other side mocks me already, Fatima, sometimes quite effectively, sometimes pathetically, as with Omar's frequent scrambling of my name ("Koba-shaving"...whatever that's supposed to mean).

I personally welcome such diversions and enthusiastically participate with what I think are "measured responses," if I may borrow a trendy new term. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with open debates, but very few people here go beyond what parliaments and congresses in the Free World indulge in every day. Come to think of it, we're paragons of moderation here compared to, for example, what our Canadian Parliament up in Ottawa gets into before the lunch bell. Besides, Omar can't read my responses because his monitor is coated with saliva (thanks to the spittle-inducing fricatives whenever he goes into "Zionist-imperialist!" hissing convulsions) and Peter C. is an old war horse here who can take it just as well as he can give it.

I always aplaud those who want to play the moderator or social etiquette matron, as you are obviously trying to do. Attempts to bring order into a disordered universe should always be encouraged. However, the position comes with a certain responsibility, namely an obvious effort to strike a fair balance. At this you've failed. You have neither mentioned Omar's rabidly slanderous barks, nor Peter C's insulting, if ineffective, trashing of the article's author. Perhaps you are too much of a partisan to play such a role, so why not drop the scholarly persona, roll-up your sleeves, and join the fray with the rest of plebes? In other words, leave the official moderators here to do the moderating and try to make a case for or against something or someone instead. Peace, shalom and salaam to you as well!


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

Your excitement over such a proposition doesn't make it any less stupid. Read the articles again. No matter how half-heartedly, no matter how qualified, no matter how crippled by enmity, virtually no Arab leader sees it in his interest to facilitate the perennial destruction of Lebanon and unleash the IDF so that some yahoos with rocket-launchers can murder Jews, kidnap hostages and destabilize the region.

Once Iran has nukes (and the Arabs don't) we'll see how your uncontrolled rhetorical orgasms sway back into the more realistic assessment you gave last month regarding Iran's cares for the effects of the events it brings about in the course its hegemony over your hinterland.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

Seriously though, was the call for proportion made before or after the use of ballistic attacks on cities and homes in Israel?

Obviously Iran (and Omar) doesn't see it the way Peter sees it. And whether or not that fact redeems his or other criticisms of the article is not my point. A complete misunderstanding of the historically relevant perceptions and contingent reactions of the people in the region is Peter's specialty. And anyone responding to threads he creates needs to keep that in mind.

No one should fool themselves into thinking that this or any essay need be used as anything other than a springboard for creative and uncreative polemics, satire, occasional insights, practice for two-party apparatchik apprentices, Socratic appeals and counter-attacks, and some of the stupidest comments ever made. Peter himself both knows that and proves it almost every round. - again, all criticisms of the article aside.


Lisa Kazmier - 7/17/2006

The last paragraph clearly makes such a parallel:

"It is unlikely that there were many calls for 'proportionate response' after Pearl Harbor and Hitler’s invasion of Poland. The operative phrase at the time, both as policy and rallying cry, was 'unconditional surrender' of the enemy."

Clarke is correct or at the very least his point is fair comment.


E. Simon - 7/17/2006

Of course, Omar was either too stupid or too disingenuous to note the only major development here: The broader Arab disinterest in doing Iran's bidding on behalf of nothing more than some fanatically dysfunctional politicians from a minority sect.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060715/ap_on_re_mi_ea/mideast_fighting_un;_ylt=AgGlcUL50NYR8Fe0vc.QlepvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTA0cDJlYmhvBHNlYwM-

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060714/wl_mideast_afp/mideastunrestegypt_060714171944

As for the essay itself, I think it's fair to say that there are clearly distinct reasons behind the warning. For the U.S. and Britain - it's to appear "even-handed," whatever that means. France believes it has interests of historic prestige (does France ever perceive of any other sort of interest?) in Lebanon. Russia wants to soothe its Iranian doppelgangers. Other individual members of the E.U. are just appealing to their pre-E.U. tendency for appealing to fears against "inflaming" the region.

The rest of the world, including the Arabs, know enough to just sit back and wait while Israel redefines once again, who's going to either come out on top, or failing that, who will at least bother an attempt to get anything done in that backwater.


Fatima Ahmed - 7/17/2006

>"Our resident jihadist speaketh."

>"You need to use your reading >glasses, Peter C"

Mud slinging and name calling are the worst forms of rebuttal, because the other side can mock you the same (or better maybe).

Please let political and intellectual debates remaing just that: debates, rather than trying to convert them into personal offensive battles.

Peace be with you.

Regards, Fatima


Peter Kovachev - 7/17/2006


You need to use your reading glasses, Peter C. The author didn't compare Pearl Harbour to Hamas' kidnapping. He uses that example to mock the "proportional response" advocates. And where is the "paranoia-based Likudnik delusion"? It must be another mote in your eye.

Contrary to your frothing denouncements, the article actually provides one of the better historical layouts and timelines on the Arab/Muslim-Israeli conflict and makes a solid case for the argument that Israel's critics are among the world's cheeziest of hypocrites.


Peter Kovachev - 7/17/2006


Our resident jihadist speaketh.
Again, in more words then are necessary to echo what is a simplistic and by now obsolete prediction by a collection of psychotic barbarians: "We will grow and we will be victorious until we annihilate all Jews, Christians and (whoever we deem are) local infidels."

This while a third of Hamas' leadership is in Israeli jails and the rest is living in holes in the ground, and as Hezbollah is being sytematically dismantled in Lebanon by the IDF, while it's new "sole representative of the Palestinian people" communicates through sweaty, semi-coherent blabberings on tapes from "undisclosed locations."

True, Syria is "lukewarm," but that's thanks to the urine trickling down Assad's trousers. Iran is "dynamic" for sure ... as dynamic as a collection of fanatical mullahs and an insane leader can get. When their fragile hold over an unhappy population loosens after a few swift kicks, things will get even more "dynamic."

As for Israel's "expansionism," withdrawing from Southern Lebanon (without at least ensuring a demilitarized border zone) and giving away Gaza for no good reason is an odd way to "expand." Odd and stupid. Hopefully, these errors will be rectified soon, thanks to a sobered and demanding Israeli public. The best scenario will be a Lebanese army in charge south of the Litani river while the remnants of Hezbollah retire in the servants' quarters in Assad's palace, and the Hamas leadership either in Israeli jails or six feet under. These things are not only possible, but almost inevitable.

Contrary to Omar's feverish dreams, the Islamist jihadis are in big trouble. Increasingly starved of cash, methodically pounded by Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and abandoned by old friends, they try to maintain the coward's illusion of moving forward by engaging in ever-more savage attacks on targets of convenience, usually unarmed civilians. In the end it won't be the US or Israel who'll drive the last nail in the Islamists' coffin. As it's becoming increasingly obvious, the Arab governments and their public are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the failed "freedom-fighter" experiment. For all their bluster, blood-curdling promises and clowning around in camo gear, the jihadists have only managed to hurt fellow Muslims, impoverishing, dirtying and destroying anything they touch. I'd like a rink-side seat when their victims decide to turn the tables on them.

So, dream-on Omar. Victorious Mahometan armies on horseback, waving rusty swords, clad in shining suicide-bomb belts as they storm across a Juden-frei Middle East to recapture the cool fountains of Al-Andalus. Dreams are free, after all.