With Friends Like These.....It's No Wonder We Have So Many Enemies

Joe Lieberman says he suspects Iran is behind Hezbollah actions. This isn't based on any government information, just wishful thinking on his part. Lieberman is an ardent supporter of Israel, who has been " pressuring US to attack Iranover it's civilian nuclear program, a right Iran has as a signee to the NPT. (Something that Israel has not signed)
Lieberman has said the Israelis are the most direct victims of the attack, where 12 have died, as opposed the Lebanese, where a paltry 73 civilians have died. At a slightly over 6 to one ratio, one would think that the Lebanese would be the most direct victims of the attack, but everyone knows that Arab lives aren't as valuable as Israelis.
Lieberman also puts the blame for the current escalation of violence on Palestinian militants who tunneled under the border and attacked an Israeli army post killing two soldiers and capturing a third. He neglects to mention that the problems really started before that when, IDF forces killed a family of ten on vacation when shelling a beach in Gaza.But once again, one sees that Palestinian lives aren't as valuable as the lives of Israelis. Lieberman also said he's uncertain the US sending a special envoy would be helpful, but he did say he hoped the US could use diplomacy to help negotiate a cease fire. As if the Bush ADD-ministration knows how to use diplomacy!
Lieberman has also stated that Iran is behind the current escalation even though Hizbullah says it destroyed Israeli tank crossing the border(July 12, 2006, which was Wednesday). The US imposed deadline for Iran to end it's legal uranium enrichment program is rapidly approaching, and Lieberman says they are "provoking this crisis for the purpose of not quite distracting us, but flexing their terrorist muscles as the world begins to pressure them to stop their nuclear weapons development", when in reality, it is Israel pressuring the US over Iran attack.And since the US has been hard pressed to get it's citizens behind another war that will drive oil prices higher, cost more US blood, and likely end up in another quagmire, perhaps Israel felt it was time to take matters into their own hands. Of course, Israel asks to play down Jewish angle on war with Iran, as they don't want to be portrayed as war mongers.
Hezbollah has denied the rocket attack on Haifa that Israel has used as an excuse to bomb Lebanon. Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem said any bombing of Haifa would be "a reaction and not preemptive." Apparently, they understand preemptive strikes are illegal, something that Israel and the US don't.
Bush ADD-ministration press secretary Tony Snow has said, "The president is not going to make military decisions for Israel", even though it's perfectly okay for Israel to make military decisions for the US (see above). So while the rest of the world has asked "the use of force should be balanced… In any case, bloodshed should stop as soon as possible" (Vladimir Putin), one can see that the use of force by Israel, nor the reporting in the US has ever been balanced.
Now in the current situation, I realize that both parties are to blame. You can't lay this all at Israel's feet with out laying some of it at the Arab nation that refuses to recognize Israel.(Although, it should be noted, back in 2003,Iran offered to recognize Israel. That was when their president was a moderate. Following the US invasion of Iraq however, Iranians voted in a more hardliner, Ahmandinejad, and we have the current situation there).But while terrorists have been targeting military installations as of late , Israel has continued retaliating against civilian targets. Acts of collective punishment such as destroying Gaza infrastructure and power stations are illegal under international law, and only serve to create more sympathy in the Arab world for the plight of the Palestinians. And when a Qatar resolution backed by 15 Arabs nations was introduced in the UN Security Councilcondemning Israel for using disproportinate force the measure was killed by the US, the lone veto on the measure. And while Iran may fund Hezbollah to the tune of $100 million a year, the US funds Israel to the tune of $3 billion annually. It is the US support that has made it the target of terrorists worldwide, and until we work toward a more equitable solution in the MidEast, there will never be peace. (Which suits the Religious right just fine, peace in the Mid East means the start of the rapture, and as pious they may be, it would appear that none of them are quite ready to meet their maker).
Joe Lieberman claims his loyalty isn't to the Democrat Party. It's easy to see where his loyalty to his, and it's not the United States. And he's not alone.


abi said...

You have to wonder, is the current escalation the event that makes the entire Middle East blow up? And is that outcome exactly what Israel and the US are hoping for, so they can have a pretext to exert control over the entire region?

tp said...

I would have said "out of the question" a few months ago- but, that veto- what the hell? What the hell is going on?

podvizhnik said...

Two questions (and they are really questions). One: if you believe that Israel's actions have been disproportionate in the last few days, then what would an appropriate or proportionate response from Israel have been? Two: Is it really, absolutely, plain flat-out impossible for Lieberman to be a friend to both Israel and U.S. interests?

Lew Scannon said...

One: Collective punishment, such as blowing up Palestinian power plants is not appropriate retaliation for the kidnapping of one soldier.
Two: Lieberman is a public servant. A servant cannot have two masters. He cannot possibly serve both equally, since what's in Israel's interests is not necessarily in the US's best interests.

That Damned Jezebel said...

Why go for the airport first knowing this would also endanger lives- Americans included that would be trapped?

What about the lives of the 25,000 people in Lebanon??

If Israel's response was appropriate, what response should America have to that? To the indifference about 25,000 Americans?

I hear you that you are asking sincerely. What do you think the answers are to the points you raise?

I am not going to concede that Lieberman cannot have two masters, in those terms. But the trouble is that the backlash will be even MORE anti-Israel sentiments. Will that help the peace process?

podvizhnik said...

OK, so you say that collective punishment isn't an acceptable proportionate response to the kidnaping of one soldier. But you didn't answer the question. What would be?

I have to add that I'm gratified to see you quoting from Scripture (Matthew 6:24). However, that quote is not really applicable to politics, since every politician serves many masters; his consituency, the public at large, and his party, not to mention special interests for good or ill. Israel's interests and those of the US are sometimes similar, such as the suppression of Muslim terrorists and the spread of democracy in the Mideast. It would be informative and interesting to see a list of areas where Israel's interests don't coincide with ours, thereby supporting your case that Lieberman does not do well to back Israel. Any ideas?

Lew Scannon said...

Israel is not concerned with the spread of democracy in the middle east, and is the main cause of terrorism in that region because of it's inappropriate responses in situations such as this.
The racist Zionist regime in Israel has shown that they will sell us out to acheive their goals, as in the Jonathan Pollard case, where in Israel he is a hero, while in the US he sits in prison for trading our nuclear secrets with our enemy. Then there is the current AIPAC spy scandal, where members of the Israel lobby were caught once again with sensitive defense documents from the Pentagon. Or the 200 Israeli spies expelled from this country whose links to 9/11 are classified. Even now, they are shelling Lebanon with no concern for American citizens there, with approval of people like Joe Lieberman, thereby proving when it comes to loyalty, Lieberman places Israel above the US, which is why you cannot have someone with dual loyalties in our government, America comes second, even when Israel is clearly in the wrong.
The two soldiers captured by Hizbullah were on the Lebanese side of the border. An appropriate response to this situation would be to have Israel make a formal apology for violating the sovereignity of Lebanon, as a start, and perhaps an apology for the accidental death of the family of ten killed on a Gaza beach by IDF shelling. The real aim of the current incursion (which has been in the planning stages for a month at least) is to set up a puppet government in Lebanon, which was the purpose of the 1982 incursion that left Israel mired in that country for years.

tp said...

The question "what WOULD be an appropriate response" is certainly not to start a war every time there is an incident otherwise all extremist groups would need only kidnap somebody to start world war three.

Should we give them that sort of power? Especially groups that are not recognized, not part of the loop, that dont sit at any table, have no headquarters, cannot be dealt with? Who make demands that-if honored, would trigger a chain reaction of more demands?

We cannot start wars over every crime committes by a foreign government. Its terrible and unfortunate when people are hurt or victimized.

ThatDamnedJezebel said...

What is an appropriate response to genocide under the geneva conventions? I dont see anybody starting wars when millions are systematically killed, eliminated. Even when Hussein killed his people, we did not run over there to "start Democracy".

I think these are some examples of why people feel this is an out of proportion reaction. Gives small irrational extreme groups a lot of power too.

Yet with large scale massacre, no bombs start flying.
Kill thousands with machetes? Well, not our business. Its ridiculous what warrants intervention and an attack and what does not. N Korea isnt being invaded either in a pre emptive "liberation" maneuver.

abi said...

podvizhnik, instead of bombing Lebanese civilians and infrastructure, the Israelis should work with the Lebanese to get rid of Hezbollah.

Lebanon has pretty much abandoned southern Lebanon to Hezbollah because the government is too weak to do anything about them. Israel should be glad to help them with this problem.

And don't forget, Hezbollah came into being after Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982.

Anonymous said...

One: if you believe that Israel's actions have been disproportionate in the last few days, then what would an appropriate or proportionate response from Israel have been?

Kidnap two Hezbollah fighters and kill 7?

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, just wanted to say that I agree with Abi bombing the infrastructure is the surest way to turn the Lebanese in the North into a full-fledged enemy--the South is already there.

Elizabeth Branford said...

Right on, Frog!

romunov said...

To me, the argument of recognizing a state (Israel by say Iran) goes out the window, when Israel doesn't recognize Palestine, even though the same resolution that created it, created also Palestine.

Another quote, do unto others as you would have them do on you.

And please, stop invoking the holocaust. People responsible for it are either shitting their diapers or are really really super dead.

Anonymous said...

And please, stop invoking the holocaust. People responsible for it are either shitting their diapers or are really really super dead.
And none of them are from the Arab world, either. Shouldn't "Never again" apply to everybody?

Shea Gadfly said...

It wasn't the first time Israeli soldiers were kidnapped...it wasn't one soldier, it was two (but what difference does the amount of soldiers kidnapped make?). What do you think would happen if terrorists were allowed to build forces along the Canadian border & then came across and kidnap our soldiers? I think the Canadians would have to address the problem and if they didn't then they would be stating their allegiance with an enemy that we would have to address for them which is what is happening.

"Lebanon has pretty much abandoned southern Lebanon to Hezbollah because the government is too weak to do anything about them"

So what you are saying is that the Israel army is only attacking Hezbollah because there are no Labanese left in Southern Lebanon? So what are you arguing about then?

And then...even more ridiculous

"The two soldiers captured by Hizbullah were on the Lebanese side of the border."

Who said so? The Lebanese? Not that Israel hasn't had it's darker days and in fact can be blamed for a great deal of suffering (from inception) as can the British for creating the state itself, but are you really trying to say that they should apologize? Are the Lebanese going to apologize for allowing Hezbollah to take over the border? Is the Iranian government going to apologize for saying that the Holocaust never happened and that the Jews are infidels in their part of the world? Of course none of this will happen. I suggest you walk a mile in their shoes before you spout this kind of nonsense. They are completely surrounded on all sides by people who hate them. Tell me...what is a Palestinian. If you can define that then you are brilliant. Were the Syrians and the Lebanese happy when the Israelis withdrew from the border more than a year ago...Were the Palestinians (whatever they are..) happy when Israel pulled out of the Gaza strip? No, they will not be happy until Israel is eliminated altogether. Be a little bit honest with yourself; Tell me that isn't true.

podvizhnik said...

Fascinating. No one here has an actual answer to the question: what is an appropriate response for Israel to undertake when two of its soldiers are kidnapped? Which is a criminal act, even when done to soldiers--even soldiers you don't like. But on this evidence, there's no such thing as crime anymore. *deep breath* God help us if Islamist terrorists strike again here. Apparently there's nothing we could do.

Lew Scannon said...

Apparently you are as ill-informed as you are supportive of a state that since it's inception, when it was created by the UN out of the country of Palestine (you know, where all the Palestinians that you are ill-equipt to define come from)forty years ago, has used terrorism to advance it's agenda. From the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte by the Stern gang in 1948 to the assassination of the Hamas chief of Police in Gaza last month, it has used the terrorists tools to provoke reactions that allow them to retaliate with no regard for human lives.
In 1946 the Irgun (headed by soon to be prime minister Menachim Begin)blew up the King David Hotel (dressed as Arabs, the first Israeli false flag operation)and in 1954 Israeli operatives were caught planting bombs in British, American and Egyptian buildings in Cairo (known as the Lavon Affair)dressed as Arabs, who were to be blamed. Terrorism started with Israel.
Let me ask you this: Do you support the minutemen, the heavily armed right wing nut jobs who have stationed themselves at the border between the US and Mexico to shoot any illegals from crossing the border? That's exactly what Hizbullah is, heavily armed nut jobs making sure Israel doesn't cross the Lebanese border, since the Lebanese army and government were weakened by the occupation of Israel forces following the 1982 invasion, as well as by the civil war there brought on by an average of 1.4 border violations by Israeli forces between 1967-74.
It's interesting your bringing up the president of Iran, and how he should apologize for being a Holocaust denier.Did you know that he only made these statements after Israel threatened to take out Iran's civlian nuclear power program? Iran has a right as a signee to the NPT (something that Israel hasn't signed) to develop nuclear power. Why shouldn't Israel apologize for their statements? In fact it still has been pushing for an attack (By the US or themselves) against Iran's nuclear facilities, even after the IAEA has found no reason to believe they are doing anything but enriching uranium for peaceful purposes after numerous inspections (once again, something that Israel doesn't allow for their facility at Dimona).
This is why the Arab states hate America. Not because we are free, as suggested by our idiot president, but because we have two sets of standards, one for Israel and one for the rest of the Arab states.
What I can't believe is someone who could defend a stae such as Israel that would kill you in a heartbeat if there was something to be gained by it. They crushed American Rachel Corrie as she tried to stop a bulldozer from destroying a Palestinian home (see, Palestinians have homes, although not many, as since it's inception Israel has destroyed over 40, 000 Palestinian homes, as well as olive groves over 100 years old, that have been the livelihoods of Palestinians for many generations. But a being a Palestine denier, you don't believe in that). All the Israelis have to do is waggle the Holocaust in front of you and you get all misty-eyed so you can't see they are doing the same thing to the Palestinians(oops, I forgot. You deny the existence of the people of Palestine. How convenient for you, would want to think that you support genocide, now do we?)
I believe Israel has a right to exist as much as the Palestinians have a right to self-determination (you know, that democracy thing we here Republicans crowing about)as defined by the original UN resolution that created the state of Israel (or is the UN only relevant when it can be used to justify wars and prevent any recriminations against Israel for it's many innappropriate actions by a US veto in the Security Council)
An appropriate response would be for Israel to work through diplomatic channels for the release of the two soldiers. Not to blow up a country that has hardly recovered from the last time Israel blew it up. This is all to involve Syria in the mess, which would then bring Iran in to it, since they have signed a pact to come to Syria's defense in case of an attack, which would then give Israel the excuse to attack Iran, something they've been itching to do for the last two years.
You're right, there is no such thing as a crime anymore. Under international law, preemptive strikes are a criminal act, but it doesn't stop the US and Israel from making them *deep breath* God help us if you should ever stop drinking the kool aid and realize that 9/11 was an inside job.You're right. Under the Bush/Cheney regime, there is nothing we can do.

Troll Watcher said...

When the US breaks international law, akin to committing a crime, how can we condemn others for doing it as well?

TP said...

The answer is that there needs to be an international court, some mechanism for arbitration, for such incidents.

This will happen again, somewhere. Eventually there needs to be a solution to co existence that goes beyond bombing and retaliation with no end in sight.

The two state solution is essential, and there needs to be a point where we stop saying "well THEY did it why cant we".

Why? Because everybody will lose eventually in this. Its time to show what stability for the Palestinian people could look like for them, their children.

If anything comes from this crisis let it NOT be that all it takes is a kidnapping (or two!!!) to wreak havoc!!!!!

What WOULD happen if, say, Mexico, did this to us? Reach for those nuke codes??? What?

WeezieLou said...

........and please, stop invoking the holocaust. People responsible for it are either shitting their diapers or are really really super dead....

to understand israel, which does not mean supporting it's actions, it doesn't work to NOT understand the impact of the holocaust. many studies on 2nd and 3rd generation holocause survivors show the powerful impact that still has. i don't want to be as reactive against israel as israel is against its enemies. i want to understand more.

Shea Gadfly said...

Lew you are part of the reason that the Jews of Northern Europe didn't come here after WWII. You hate them and like many then, you wouldn't have them as neighbors just like the Palestinians (who are now made up of many refugees from other neighboring countries...not the ones who lived with the Jews and Christians in the area previously). If you want I can point out some of the horrible acts of terrorism against Israel but don't act like two soldiers got kidnapped and the Israeli's went all nut job crazy for no reason. When you do this, you just further my point that they are surrounded by people who hate them and won't be happy until the state is wiped off the face of the planet. Maybe that's what should be done? Kill all the Jews in Israel and return it to it's rightful owner(even though the Jews were in Israel even before there was a Muslim religion). Hey if we kill all the Jews then you and your Palestinian buddies (who have been nothing but angels in their illustrious history) can move on in a big sunshiny wave of perfect bliss.

Shea Gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shea Gadfly said...

And yes I support keeping our borders secure...only an idiot wouldn't.

Lew Scannon said...

I hate Jews? What led you to this conclusion? I don't believe I ever stated that or even thought it, nor do I believe the Palestinians are totally innocent either.
It seems that one can criticize any country in the world, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, China, even the good old United States (but only when the president is a democrat), but Israel seems to be the only country which cannot be criticized. Even when they do something wrong, to even suggest that they have automatically makes you an anti-semite. What a fortunate position they have to be able to commit horrendous acts against Palestinians with impunity. Perhaps that's why they continue to commit them, any time they are brought before the UN, the good old US vetoes any measure against them.
I don't believe Israel should be wiped off the map either. They have as much right to a homeland as the Palestinians do, which is why it was included in the original UN resolution that created Israel.
I believe that evryone is entitled to equal rights, but the Palestinians in Israel are treated as second class citizens in their own country. You may think this is right, I however see it as injustice, and something that a decent freedom loving American shouldn't stand for, any more than than they should condone terrorists acts, whether carried out by Palestinians or Israelis. Wiping out the inequities of the Middle east would go a lot farther towards ending terrorism than bombing and killing people, but I guess I'm not as hate filled and racist as you seem to be.
I, too, support keeping our borders secure, but I also extend that right to every other country as well, including Lebanon.

WeezieLou said...

i think no country should be ceded the moral high ground. when this happens, the only result can be double standards. israel must be as accountable for its actions as any other country. co-existence is what the world is about, not territorialism. leave the marking of territories to dogs. and, gadfly, don't you dare call me anti-semitic! you don't know me from jack.

Elizabeth Branford said...

Thank you, all, for your ideas.

Consider that people (us) have trouble DISCUSSING things from the comfort of the living room, office- imagine how hard to interact peacefully when a family member has been murdered or hurt. Imagine if you lost your home or your dignity or had to live in a country that refused you citizenship because you had no "home".

We have trouble being civil and we have no history together, and no malice. Imagine how hard it must be to pursue peace when violence consumes your life.

How easily people become angry, defensive, point fingers. Maybe we can see something in that tendency, about why people react in anger and rage as opposed to diplomacy.

Shea Gadfly said...

Good points...I doubt any of you are racist. I was just trying to point out that it seems like you are blaming one side for the problem. I agree both need to be accountable but one side is a state and the other is a terrorist organization. This makes it pretty hard to work anything out...especially since both sides consider the other inferior and an unwanted nuisance. Sorry if I offended anyone...I did get angry which goes to Lily's point and I apologize. It's a pretty tough time to be impartial. Almost everyone has to choose a side and that doesn't usually work out too well.

Shea Gadfly said...

Also...beat it you communists (just kidding)

Lew Scannon said...

Well, I can see your point, but I was merely trying to add balance. Often, violent acts carried out by one set of extremists are repeatedly mentioned, while the other set of extremists violent acts get brushed aside. Both sides are wrong, so how can you pick a side? I'm sure that neither side represents the opinion of a majority of their own people, much the way our President doesn't represent a majority of Americans.And while one side is a state, that is all the more reason it should be more responsible, and not behave like the terrorist organization.

Kathy said...

Great discussion, although the comments about hating Jews were needless. Lew pretty much pinpointed the problem and the reason why there will never be peace in the Middle East as long as the US stays involved:

We have two sets of standards, one for Israel and one for the rest of the Arab states.

Funding Israel to the tune of $3 billion annually while spending hundreds of billions to detroy Iraq and Afghanistan pretty much shows where our priorities lie - not to mention our double standards when it comes to nuclear energy, religious freedom, etc.

WeezieLou said...

Not to disrupt the 'group hug' too quickly.....the palestineans are NOT a terrorist organization. Hamas, hezbollah, those are the terrorists. Even Israel, which has a very clear no-negotiating-with-terrorists stance negotiated with arafat and other palestinean leaders. and good point, elizabeth, abt the difficulty even an anonymous community can have hashing these issues out.

Elizabeth Branford said...

Well I did not mean to judge, as those that know me know I get pretty heated and upset too. I'm just saying its hard .
My point was just to say that it isn't so easy to ascertain who is right, and what the solution should be.

I had hopes that maybe with Arafat out of the mix, things might get better.

Things are not better. I think Israel is also reacting to the timing as they were starting to withdraw, right? There are trust issues too. Power issues. History.

Maybe I dont have the clearest sense of all this, I try, but these are complicated matters.

We're all just trying to make sense of it. Tonight on Lou Dobbs the idea was put out again that violence on all sides should be ended, period, under threat of force against whoever starts it up again. Is that realistic?

Anonymous said...

end the war by threatening use of force?

Lew Scannon said...

First off, you need a president who's going to use diplomacy, or knows how to use it, or even believes in it. Then you need a president who's not going to give Israel a week to carry out operations, which consist of destroying airports, bridges, etc, while he and his corporate buddies are off galavanting in the nude at Bohemian Grove.
This is all part of a bigger "Clean Break", to pave the way for an attack against Syria (which is why they are being blamed for the actions of Hizbullah) while not giving Iran (which has vowed to come to Syria's aid in case it is attacked) a foothold in Lebanon to strike back at Israel when Israel strikes Syria. That will leave Iraq in the way between Israel and Iran, and you can use your imagination from there on in.
Can you say October surprise?

RichM said...

Whose land is it anyhow?

Maybe that's what should be done? Kill all the Jews in Israel and return it to it's rightful owner(even though the Jews were in Israel even before there was a Muslim religion).

When Moses and Joshua were standing on Mt. Nebo looking across the Jordan River valley at Jericho. Hey wait a minute, looking at Jericho. Who in the hell built Jericho? Who lived there? Who are the rightful inhabitants of that region? And if you came into my courtroom and told me a burning bush told you the land was yours......

RichM said...

Ah, that previous post... This should have been in quotation marks: "Maybe that's what should be done? Kill all the Jews in Israel and return it to it's rightful owner(even though the Jews were in Israel even before there was a Muslim religion)."

Shea Gadfly said...

"Who are the rightful inhabitants of that region? And if you came into my courtroom and told me a burning bush told you the land was yours......"

At least someone or something told them it was their land...just kidding, I already apologized and explained that I was aggravated but go ahead and take snid-bits of what I said...I could care less. The fact is both the Palestinians and the Jews are like that little kid who told you to get off his property when you were a kid. They don't want to share the Holy Land and worse still they don't even know how to share it. My main point to begin was that the state of Israel didn't fire the opening salvo but everyone wants them to apologize for reacting when this is how they react and their enemies react to engagement. Nothing new so why should they apologize anymore than the Lebanese or the Syrians...we all know Hezbollah won't and therefore they shouldn't be treated like victims. As for Palestinians, they aren't some sort of aboriginal entity. Don't kid yourself...ever since the chance of free land had come to pass there have been refugees from numerous countries lining up at the door like it is the second coming of a land grab not seen since the U.S.'s bygone wild western days. Not that I blame the people who have come to partake in said land grab as I would do the same if my government was corrupt (way more corrupt that our government mind you), if I had no job and no prospect of getting one, if the sect of my religion was outnumbered ten to one with the consequence of that being dire, and with no hope in sight. But now they are there and they realize there isn't enough to go around there either so they want more. The Palestinians aren't all terrorist but a noticable number of them support terrorism and cry out for blood every time they sense injustice (they especially like to dance in the streets with guns, once again just kidding but they aren't terrorsits...hmmm).

All I wanted to portray was that no one is clean here...don't portray the Jews as selfish because they don't want to turn over their land. I bet you wouldn't want to if the Native Americans came to your back door and demanded that you move out of the house that you saved your whole life to buy. It's just not as simple as Jews started it, the U.S. and most of Europe supported it and now look the natives are reacting so bully for them. Sorry it's just not that simple...especially since it's the Holy Land.

My outrageous suggestion of the day that I am sure will be misinterpreted to make me look like a jerk is that all of the religious sites (yes, Christian too) be excavated by the U.S. government (through our contract partner in all nefarious deeds, Haliburton...don't worry Bill Clinton probably signed off on the contracts with them just like he did in Iraq before Bush was even sober). Haliburton would dig and subsequently dump all the debris of said religious sites into the middle of the ocean dirt and all. Let's see how many Jews, Christians and Muslims move there and claim that it's their birth right to live there. They'd all be so confused and horrified that they would be united against us and then we'd unify the region. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Elizabeth Branford said...

Well- no. Hmm. What can I do with you, Gadfly? If it was a simple right-wrong matter it would be solved right now.

And many Palestinians have places to live but are not on equal footing or necessarily given citizenship by many of the countries they have gone to. Its alot of issues. Some say hezbollah provoked this and had been preparing for it, have all along had an interest in antagonizing Israel. On the other hand, how many people will be killed on both sides?
There's a lot to it, both sides have some valid gripe from where they are standing.
I dont know that eradicating the religious symbols or buildings would change the way they perceive the situation and the land.

Its not about what other people think- make your comments and if need be, back them up. I dont think this blog has typically been about being pleasant.

Its not an easy discussion, people are very divided. Even in peace groups, people are divided. This came up even at certain rallies. You have the right to your opinion.

I cant judge because I really dont know.

Shea Gadfly said...

I think Hizbollah (or is it Hezbollah...won't they decide how to spell the name of their terrorist organization) had any choice but to antagonize Israel. The Syrians were told to stay out of Lebanon. They pulled out but were replaced by Hezbollah. The excuse was given that Hezbollah is there to protect the border in case the Israeli's try to spread their border again...They didn't and so Israel was saying, "what the f"..."Why are they still there?" To legitimize their reason for being there Hezbollah stole into Israel (the same way Hamas did) and kidnapped soldiers. Israel got pissed about it and now Hezbollah has a reason to be in Lebanon.

Lew Scannon said...

Actually, no. You're wrong. The Israeli soldiers were arrested in the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border.Here's your confirmation. The Israeli plan of action was put in motion more than a year ago. This is all a ploy to set up a deep buffer zone. In other words, it's a preplanned land grab set off by Israel violating the Lebanese border that had been planned by Israel for more than a year.

podvizhnik said...

We still haven't heard what Israel ought to do about the kidnapped soldiers. Hezbollah wants Israel to release Samir Kuntar for them. Kuntar is a pleasant fellow who is in jail for smashing a four-year-old girl's head in with a rifle butt, after shooting her father dead in front of her. The last exchange two and a half years ago traded 400 Lebanese prisoners for one Israeli businessman the the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.

I am well aware of the career of the Stern Gang, Irgun, and the rest of it. One of my oldest friends is a Brit who was stationed in Palestine in 1946-48 and who has related to me many stories about the troubles of that time. Those acts were directed at the British troops as much or more than at the local Arabs, many of whom sold their property to Jews--in proper legal form, and often at very high prices. Of course, it is quite politically incorrect to remember that now, just as it is also politically incorrect to remember that the Palestinian Arabs' leader, the Grand Mufti, had been arm-in-arm with Hitler only a couple of years earlier.

This is a knotty problem that none of us are going to solve. But we can help by remembering the facts--all the facts--and naming names.

Lew Scannon said...

So tell me, do you feel that Israel's response is appropriate. These are not defensive measures Israel is taking. These are (very) offensive measures to once again violate the sovereignity of Lebanon. And as proved by my above link, it was Israel who crossed over into Lebanon first.
I have mentioned in previous comments what an appropriate response was, however, you must have skipped over those parts. Perhaps if they would have stayed within their own borders, the soldiers would be at home withn their families now, and there would be no problem. Are the lives of hundreds of Lebanese, who had no part in the capture of the soldiers, not worth as much as the two soldiers? On the news, they are quick to mention the slightest injury to any Israeli, yet we are never to hear of the hundreds of dead Lebanese women and children caused by Israel forces.
Which is the way it is with the media, Israel is never portrayed as the bad guy, even when they have started the agression, as in this case. All we hear about is the two soldiers, we never hear of the family killed on the beach at Gaza by IDF shelling on June 9. Or the attempted assassination by Israel on June 13 that left nine Palestinians dead. Or another assassination attempt on June 20, which killed three Palestinian children and wounded 15 more. By my count, that's twenty people dead. Let me ask you, what would the appropriate response for the Palestinians to take in these cases? Take Israel before the UN, where any resolution against them will be vetoed by John Bolthead? Stand there and let Israel bulldoze their homes, burn their olive groves and be grateful for that? How can the US claim to stand for freedom and justice when it sanctions atrocities such as these?

tp said...

Did you happen to catch the Ambassador from Syria today on Wolf Blitzer? About how nobody will even talk to him, that diplomacy is nonexistent, and in america foreign policy is being conducted through tv and pr.

comandante agi said...

I see that Joementum has already infected this thread!

glenda said...

The Palestinians are being oppressed, Israel has a seige mentality, this outcome was inevitable.
Taking the Palesinians land from hem to right a wrong done to the Jews in WWII was not the solution. Two wrongs do not make a right. I fear there will never be peace in the mideast.

That Damned Jezebel said...

Too much Joementum in too many threads!

podvizhnik said...

I have to question your statement that we "never" hear of the Palestinian dead or of Israeli misdeeds. You yourself seem easily able to garner facts and figures, and you mention the case of Rachel Corey, as one example, which was a headline story everywhere.

I also question you statement that an appropriate response by Israel would be to work through diplomatic channels. If their people were being kidnapped by Iranian, Jordanian, Syrian, or Lebanese, that would be appropriate. However, Hezbollah is not a country or government, and has no diplomatic standing. They are widely known to be backed by Iran, but Iran is not answerable for them. Apart from the nature of what Israel has been doing (and your statements about the "racist Zionist regime" make your views of that clear enough), Israel is a State, and has diplomatic standing. The idea of putting diplomats to work with Hezbollah makes as little sense as sending the US State Department to work with Shining Path or FALN.

abi had the best statement so far, which is that Israel should work with the Lebanese government (which is a legitimately elected one) in order to extricate Hezbollah. The problem here is Syria. The Baby Assad government in Syria is a totalitarian establishment which cannot tolerate any genuine Arab democracy on its borders, and the Lebanese and the Israelis both know that very well. The real solution is multilateral action to clear Lebanon of immediate danger from Syria. It would be nice if this could happen through the UN, but this sort of thing is not what the UN was designed for. NATO was designed for just this purpose, protecting small democratic states against infringement by larger non-democratic ones. Perhaps ... just perhaps ... what is needed is regime change in Damascus. Beaming VOA-style information into Syria via transmitters in Beirut and Baghdad would be a good start, and perhaps dusting off some of the other less-dangerous Cold War tactics. Everyone in Lebanon, and Syria, needs to know that being peaceable does not mean they have to be friends with Israel. It does mean that putting up with terrorism in their midst is not an ongoing option for being a part of a wider international community.

Lew Scannon said...

Your response is humorous!"Syria is a totalitarian establishment which cannot tolerate any genuine Arab democracy on its borders",sounds more like Israel! When the Palestinians chose Hamas over Fatah, what did the Israelis do? Demand the world cut off relief for all palestinians, merely for excercising their right to vote for whom they choose! And it's military incursion into Lebanon has destroyed what little fragile democracy was there.
"The real solution is multilateral action to clear Lebanon of immediate danger from Syria." The real danger here is not Syria. Syria isn't bombing civilians. Syria hasn't destroyed bridges, airports, seaports, and power plants. The immediate danger to Lebanon is Israel.And the United States.
Syriahas requested talks with the US to find a solution, but has been rejected by the US.Bush has rejected calls for a ceasefire. But Syria didn't start this, Israel did when two of it's soldiers were captured inside Lebanon, as a jump start to a military plan that had been in place for over a year
"Perhaps ... just perhaps ... what is needed is regime change in Damascus."Funny, but I was raeding over at Jews Against Zionism of how before the creation of Israel, there were lots of Jewish people in Palestine, and they had no problems at all with their non-Jewish neighbors.
"The Zionist movement which was formed at the latter part of the last century, sought to endow the Jews with a nationalistic character which was heretofore strange to them. It sought to deprive them of their historically religious character and offered in substitution of faith in G-d and adherence to the Torah, and belief in their ultimate redemption by the coming of the Messiah, a nationalistic ideology and the possibility of establishing through political media, a Jewish national homeland...."
"Orthodox Jewry all over the world and the Orthodox Community in the Holy Land in particular, immediately sensed in this stage of Zionist success, the threat of grave danger for the religious future of Jews. The Arab inhabitants began to exhibit open hostility to their Jewish neighbors. The British government failed to distinguish between the Orthodox community, who for generations in habited the Holy Land, and the newly arrived Zionist immigrants.

With the acquisition by the Zionist nationalists of the power to organize communities in Palestine, they formed the Vaad Haleumi Leknesset Yisroel (National Jewish Council Committee). This committee ignored the rights of the Orthodox veteran dwellers who did not recognize this validity of Jewish nationality, and whose identification as Jews was solely with their loyalty to their religious heritage. The religious inhabitants, on the other hand, shuddered at the prospects of spiritual disintegration of World Jewry, with the new rise to power of the Zionist nationalists.

The Orthodox inhabitants actively objected to being subject to the authority of the secularists. They appealed their cause to the League of Nations, who consequently granted them a "Right of exclusion" to the subjugation to the Vaad Haleumi, which rights provided that any Jew wishing not to be incorporated into the Vaad Haleumi, may remain lawfully independent if he so stated his wish in writing. Thousands of Jews did so.

Such was the case until November 1948, when the United Nations finally sanctioned the establishment of a Zionist State. We do not doubt that their success in finally realizing their goal was due in great measure to their having misled the world into viewing the Zionist cause as the Jewish cause. The formation of the Zionist state resulted in the automatic deprivation of the autonomy heretofore possessed by the Orthodox inhabitants of the Holy Land."
Perhaps...just perhaps, regime change is needed somewhere else.

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podvizhnik said...

Well, you clearly have a blinkered hatred for Israel, despite your CYA protestations that you recognize its right to exist--which is not much of a concession, since we extended as much to the likes of North Korea, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Idi Amin's Uganda, and Mugabe's Zimbabwe. It's also clear that support for Israel is what tarnishes Lieberman in your view. At least you're not the sort of creature who's going after Lieberman in order to buttress support for the Dem front-runners for '08, namely, Hilary and JFK (as he seems to wish to be known). I will add only that regime change happens regularly in Israel. It's called free elections--something unknown in the land of your friends, Syria.

Having said that, I am not going to let you paint me into the corner of being a blind defender of Israel, because I am not. But any further talk at all with you about Israel is useless. I am, rather, defending Joe Lieberman's right to speak in support of Israel if he so chooses. I will finish up with a few more thoughts about Syria. Direct talks between the US and Syria are, actually, not worth pursuing. The US and Syria are not direct players with regard to each other; the only thing the Syrians need to know from us is what they aleady know. Talks between Syria and Israel on the one hand, and Syria and Lebanon on the other, are worth pursuing.

Syria is not the peaceful partner you make it out to be. They did occupy Lebanon for many years, doing much damage while they were there (not excusing Israel). You also seem to have forgotten how the Assad regime obliterated the city of Hama, with over 50,000 deaths there, and those were its own citizens. How much less are they to be trusted with tender regard for non-citizens? (If Israel were to wipe Hebron off the map, I doubt you would be so quick to forgive and forget.)

This is a new type of conflict going on here. This is not the traditional Arab-Israeli war of the sort we had in 1948, 1967, and 1973; Egypt and Jordan are not involved at all, and even Syria's army is sitting this one out. There is no action on the Golan Heights or the Sinai. This war is between Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian backers on one side, and Israel and its US backers on the other side, with Lebanon and the Palestinians caught in the middle, as they usually are. The reason they are caught in the middle is because Hezbollah deliberately ensconces itself among them. This fact cannot be denied even by you, and you appear to be ready to bash whichever of your fellow liberals dares to speak up and acknowledge that.

Within living memory, in the '40s, '50s, and '60s, liberals could speak in support of Israel. That that is no longer true is the legacy of Arafat (who, ironically enough, was not a Palestinian, but an Egyptian). Arafat recognized that, in conflicts, liberal societies crave compromise, and give in fairly easily; his genius was to sucessfully instil this insight into his terrorist associates; that as long as even a few--even one--of them remained alive to refuse compromise and spout defiance, that that would successfully baffle the efforts of liberal societies--including Israel--to finally defeat them. This is what checked the ability of liberals to speak in defense of Israel, for (short of declaring his opponent a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, or Fundamentalist) how can any liberal refuse a chance at compromise? How do we turn this around? No one has found the answer yet; I don't pretend to have it. But whoever does find it will have the real key to lasting peace in the Middle East.

Lew Scannon said...

One Likudnik is the same as the previous.Joe Lieberman can speak in support of Israel all he wants, my question was with his loyalty. Given that he lives at US tax payer expense, his loyalty should be with America first.
Let me couch it in terms that you may understand. Israel controls the US, and by extension, it's policies. It is these policies that have America so hated in the region. Not our "freedom". This leads to terrorist attacks against Americans, which has in turn led to the erosion of our Constitutional rights. Our Supreme leader now claims the rights of a dictator. He has, for instance, claimed the right to hold people indefinitely without a trial, and the right to monitor the activities of all Americans.Moreso, he has declared war on "terrorism", a fool's errand if ever there was one, and declared the right to invade any sovereign nation he sees fit, for whatever spurious reason, to initiate "regime change", and we see how well that went over in Iraq. This in turn leads to more terrorist attacks, which then allows more suspension of civil liberties. The war in Iraq, as well as the proposed "regime change" in Syria and Iran, is at the behest of, wait for it, Israel, as part of A Clean Break, a policy that will lead to more resentment towards Israel in the region, which will give rise to more terrorist attacks, which will then give Israel more reason to attack and inflict more "regime change". It's a downward spiral that doesn't benefit the US at all, unless you hold stock in the arms manufacturing sector.
In the meantime, we send Israel aid upwards of $3 billion dollars annually, while, for instance, New Orleans is still in disarray a year following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The budget deficit increases, because we get nothing in return for this aid, it's just more taxpayer dollars leaving the country. Meanwhile, many needed social programs go unfunded. But then I forget, you would rather see people starve than get a handout from the government, a courtesy you don't extend to Israel.

podvizhnik said...

Hmmm ... $3 billion a year to Israel? That's rather even-handed, considering what we send to Egypt. Nevertheless, I'd support cutting that aid to Israel if you'd sign on to supporting what we send to Egypt. And I'd like to get it on over the Katrina boondoggle (no one's starving in New Orleans), but that's for another thread. Sayonara for now.

Lew Scannon said...

Hey, I'd like to cut all our foreign aid! We need to take care of our own before we start worrying about the rest of the world. Let faith based organizations take care of that.

That Damned Jezebel said...

Faith based organizations? Great, less birth control! Just what the world needs!

More babies, more HIV, more miseducation!

JollyRoger said...

LIEberman wonders why Ned Lamont is leading him.

I don't think anyone else wonders anymore.

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KELSO'S NUTS said...

There is nobody in the world who hates Lieberman more than Kelso does. The thought of Lamont cracking him in the primary is as exciting as the thought of the New York Mets winning the 2006 world series.

What makes Lieberman repulsive is hardly his views on Israel. I defy any reader of this blog to find a nickle's worth of difference on Israel between Lieberman and ANY major league Democrat. The most dovish American politician on Israel, paradoxically, would from an ideological standpoint fit snugly in the Center of the Likud Party.

What makes Lieberman awful is his sanctimony and meanness AND that HE is the face of Jewish America. We are an extremely varied lot, from German immigrants who arrived before the U.S. Civil war to Russian excise tax fraud specialists to Sephardim who look and cook just like any Arab. We vote about 2/3 Left and 1/3 Right. And Lieberman aside, we seem to have a lot of fun.

So, yeah, Lieberman's an Israel hawk and so is Barbara Boxer. Big deal. Lieberman has to go because he is (like Ed Koch before him) an apostate, a quisling, or to use the mordant Jewish word, a meshumed. He belongs in the Republican party "pissing out" as opposed to the Democratic Party "pissing in" to quote LBJ.

And once again, it gladdens the heart that despite Lieberman's rank corporatism and near sexual closeness with big insurance and big pharma, the little acne-scarred freak will go to his grave with less than 1% of the Lamont family's net worth. And unless I miss my guess, Ned Lamont never had to stoop so low as to write language into a budget bill indemnifying insurance companies from suits over birth defects caused by Thimerosol.

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