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Neil Mick
07-24-2006, 02:56 PM
I've been following the ongoing Israeli invasion of Lebanon recently, and my government's non-response (read, thumbs-up support and rush-order issue of more bombs, more weapons) to the war-crimes.

So, where are we at now? The Israeli army has killed 370 people (at about a 10:1 ratio, of the Hizbollah attacks), made about 900,000 refugee's, destroyed wholesale Lebanon's infrastructure, and what does the government of Israel's ally--the US--do? They pass a bill offering 100% support to the war-crimes. Bush gives the military incursion (a well-planned military operation, presented more than a year ago) (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/21/MIDEAST.TMP) the green light, while Condi finally (sort of) does her job and arrives in the MidEast, facetiously calling these war-crimes the "birth-pangs of a new MidEast." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/21/AR2006072100889.html) :grr:

And if you're looking for a balanced perspective from the US mainstream media: look elsewhere. Amid the techno-rave soundtrack, we see a completely one-sided perspective from CNN, (of course!) Fox, et al. I had to search to find one carefully worded article on CNN about the costs of war.

BBC, as usual: was a bit more balanced (sort of...the latest was all IDF perspectives), offering pictures of the wholesale destruction, now completely panned by the UN.

What can you do? Well, when the mightiest armies of the world decide that a weak nation in the MidEast needs to be flattened, in order to stop a few hundred extremists: the least you can do is not be fooled by the mainstream media's attempt to act as a press release by the Israeli army. Stay vigilant: read beneath the headlines. To quote one song: don't believe the hype!

Writing your Congressman is good, altho they gave nearly total support in their votes (in the Senate, all 100 voted in support; while in the House, only 8 Congressppl dissented). March in local protests, if/when they are in town. Or, best of all, organize your own. These are OUR tax-dollars going over to drop widespread death on the heads of the Lebanese people: WE bear some of the responsibility.

shodan 83
07-24-2006, 03:52 PM
So solve the problem, you have a government in Lebanon which is one only in name, Hezbollah has a “constitutional clause” to eliminate Israeli, Hezbollah places it infrastructure in civilian locations and launches raids across the border, kidnaps and kills Israelis. Israeli left the northern regions of Lebanon and it was viewed as weakness and an opportunity by Hezbollah. Is the response justified, I don’t know, but imagine being Israeli, surrounded by governments and quazi governments bent on its destruction? I don’t have any answers, and you won’t get one from this administration, that’s for sure, the Bush administration has turned a deaf ear to the problems of the Middle East, except for creating a new training ground for the terrorist of the world to cut their teeth. Fix the problem and they’ll be giving you the Nobel Prize for peace for the remainder of our lives.

Ron Tisdale
07-24-2006, 04:00 PM
I think it all sucks. People just keep dying, and no one changes anything. Par for the course I guess.

Ron

ChrisMoses
07-24-2006, 04:10 PM
Agreed, it sucks, but like the Israeli Embassador said last week, the US is in no position to comment on countries attacking states which harbor terrorist organizations. We set the precident, wrote the rules as it were and Israel is running with it. Boy, sure glad we 'stayed the course....' :crazy: Next time we should at least elect a *trained* monkey.

DanielR
07-24-2006, 05:02 PM
I thought BBC's coverage was ok.
I'm hoping something good's going to come out of this mess, although it's going to be tough to establish a serious peace-keeping force in southern Lebanon capable of dealing with Hezbollah if necessary.

shodan 83
07-24-2006, 05:33 PM
Daniel, do you believe a peacekeeping force is capable of doing what the name implies? Haven’t we been here before? I mean when do you engage, who is the enemy when you have ostensibly a guerilla militia who will target peacekeepers as well as their primary objective. Soldiers are just that they need an enemy and an objective. Hezbollah will find all the objectives they need, peacekeepers and Israelis, I hate to sound so pessimistic, but I do not see a change other than a radical approach to oppression and the right to live in a presumed safe environment. You can blame Israeli for a lot, but the right to secure their border is not one of them, there is plenty of blame to go around in this situation.

Mike Hamer
07-24-2006, 06:32 PM
I dont like thinking about the harsh truth of the situation, I dont really watch the news, and I hardly ever read the paper....That stuff is messed up.

Neil Mick
07-24-2006, 07:13 PM
It's good to see the range of responses, without it spiralling into a "Jew vs. Arab" harangue. Of course, the political situation is far more complex than that. IMO, the IDF "solution" is going to be much more detrimental to Israel, in the end.

So solve the problem,

An excellent idea. But, do you think that wholesale destruction of Lebanese infrastructure and military actions teetering dangerously close to war with Syria, will solve anything? I sure don't.

you have a government in Lebanon which is one only in name,

Sorry, but this is a vast oversimplification. Lebanon certainly DOES have a gov't, in more than name...at least, they DID, before Israel decided to "get medieval." Sure, it was flawed, and probably too much influenced by Syria: but "regime change, at the point of a gun" has been conclusively proven as fallacious (see Iraq).

Hezbollah has a "constitutional clause" to eliminate Israeli

Yeah, so? Let's look at the facts:

* Hezbollah has a few missiles with poor accuracy that has, so far, filled about 40 people, while leaving the infrastructure untouched.

Number of people whose lives are upended by the attacks...unknown. But, let's be generous, and say 1000 (grieving relatives, people who had to move, etc).

* Israel, OTOH: has one of the most advanced armies in the world, courtesy of US weapons mfgr's and the US. There is even talk of MacDonnell Douglas and Israel working together to create an Israeli version of their own F-16.

The Israeli attack on Lebanon has left the carefully built-up infrastructure, airport, and facilities in ruins. Life in Lebanon is in a shambles as close to 1 million people had to relocate: people who are told to evacuate southern Lebanon, while the the Israeli military shoots at fleeing vehicles.

Somehow, this collective punishment on the Lebanese seems unbalanced, to put it gently.

Hezbollah places it infrastructure in civilian locations and launches raids across the border,

You can't know that, for sure. Not even the Israeli army is conclusive, on where Hezbollah is. More properly, they are mingled within the civilian populations because the southern Lebanese support Hezbollah (for obvious reasons).

And, I'm sure that this latest offensive will be a massive PR coup for Israel, don't you?? :dead:

kidnaps and kills Israelis.

Actually, if you delved a little deeper: you'd know that Israel started the whole mess by kidnapping 2 civilians (odd, isn't it: how this little-known factoid never makes the mainstream press).

And, don't even get me started on the 9000 Palestinian's held in indeterminate "judicial detentions." :grr: And, while I don't condone kidnapping anyone: holding hostage military prisoners is not a war-crime (Hezbollah's indiscriminate firing on civilian's IS, tho). But, Israeli offensive certainly DOES qualify as a war-crime.

Israeli left the northern regions of Lebanon and it was viewed as weakness and an opportunity by Hezbollah. Is the response justified, I don't know, but imagine being Israeli, surrounded by governments and quazi governments bent on its destruction?

Yes, imagine. Now, imagine being armed with nuclear weapons and having at your beck and call of the most powerful military power ever, in the history of the world? Sorry, Eric: it simply does not equate.

I don't have any answers, and you won't get one from this administration, that's for sure, the Bush administration has turned a deaf ear to the problems of the Middle East, except for creating a new training ground for the terrorist of the world to cut their teeth.

Oh, I think the Administration does have answers: Israel, go ahead and slaughter with impunity!

Fix the problem and they'll be giving you the Nobel Prize for peace for the remainder of our lives.

Sure enough. But, I humbly suggest, again: that collective punishment is not an answer. We've been there, done that...now it's up to us to demand an alternative.

Neil Mick
07-24-2006, 07:24 PM
no one changes anything. Par for the course I guess.

Ron


like the Israeli Embassador said last week, the US is in no position to comment on countries attacking states which harbor terrorist organizations. We set the precident, wrote the rules as it were and Israel is running with it.

I dont like thinking about the harsh truth of the situation, I dont really watch the news, and I hardly ever read the paper....That stuff is messed up.

Sorry, fellas: but this isn't good enough. You can shrug your shoulders and fatalistically mutter "life goes on;" you can pass it off as "situation normal;" you can hide your head and ignore the news (altho, yes, I sympathize)...but the simple fact of the matter is that WE--that is, the US gov't--just approved an emergency shipment of bombs that will be directly sent to Lebanon, courtesy of the F-16's that we so generously gave them. OUR tax dollars are reponsible.

Worse, I have no doubt that people would STILL be dying if Condi, et al, were to do her job and attempt a negotiated end to hostilities yesterday. Perhaps, tho: if Israel's vaunted ally were to take some other stand aside from their Kafka-esque notion that "the threat of Hezbollah must be completely eliminated, before talks resume" (read: the people of Lebanon must be thoroughly punished for voting for Hezbollah); I believe that this exercise in military excess would at least be conducted with a little more restraint.

But, I think you guys are spot-on about Israel taking it's cues from the excesses in Iraq. Imagine if we never invaded: would this "world war 3" have even happened? Who can say...?

ChrisMoses
07-24-2006, 07:32 PM
Short of taking up arms against what I consider to be an administration full of war criminals, what would you have us do? Volunteer with local progressive groups? OK, done that. Get out and vote? Yup, done that too. Write letters to my congresswomen? Yup, done that, and I'm on their mailing-lists. We're seeing the global rise of the religious non-rational right. A lot of us were yelling and screaming about this YEARS ago, but NASCAR was on, so the monkey won.

NagaBaba
07-24-2006, 08:47 PM
There will be no 3WW for the moment, because we are talking here about Business. A LOT of money. For example: somebody produces weapons, he must find a market to sell it. If there are no real needs in the moment (Peace&Love), he will create new needs, as in old, good marketing 'routine'.
Hezbollah and Israel are simple pawns on world chess-board. They are being used by powerful groups of interest like marionettes. The real question is no how many ppl will get killed, but how much money some ppl will earn from this investment.

Neil, you seem to be very naïf. Don’t take too literary a word ‘democracy’. Wake up, grow up. You have exactly ZERO influence on your government. Me too. We are simple mortals.
However if you represent for example some powerful energy holding, cartel of oil companies, there will be very different story. They will even help you to fake your own death to protect you from Justice, because you covered them during investigations. Everything is possible.
That how the world is working today.

DanielR
07-24-2006, 09:22 PM
do you believe a peacekeeping force is capable of doing what the name implies?I guess that would depend on the composition of this force, its mandate and lots of other things. Certainly, deployment of such a force would only be possible as part of a political process and only when some sort of settlement is reached, especially with regards to the disputed Sheba Farms territory and the status of the Hizbollah militia.
Short term, I have no illusions about this: even if Hizbollah is pushed away from the border, they have the capability to reach Israel from farther north within Lebanon. However, I don't see what else can be done. Destroying Hizbollah completely would probably require a prolonged and bloody ground operation, and I don't think that's going to happen.

dps
07-24-2006, 09:41 PM
Neil, you seem very agressive for someone who studies the "Art of Peace".

Guilty Spark
07-24-2006, 09:51 PM
do you believe a peacekeeping force is capable of doing what the name implies?

No. Peacekeepers would just become targets. For peacekeeping to work you need peace in the first place. Keeping peace.
Western peacekeepers would just be considered an extension of Israel.

Both sides want to kill each other. Both sides feel they have the moral highground. Lebanon government can't do squat about Hezbolah. If they directly oppose them then they will just turn on em. Not to mention hezbolah was democratically voted in to the government.

Szczepan Janczuk echos my thoughts on the matter. It's all about money now. It's a buisness.

I wouldn't think for a minute this isn't exactly what Hezbolah wanted. Israel killing civlians. Osama pulled the same trick against the US. He knew exactly what the US would do when he bombed the twin towers.

aikigirl10
07-24-2006, 10:49 PM
... simple mortals


i love it

Dajo251
07-25-2006, 12:21 AM
my only comment on WW3 is god I hope not, no good can come of it.....

Hucqie
07-25-2006, 12:38 AM
Neil

I am by no means a supporter of these hostilities (from either side), but I think that you "facts" are a, little biased and misguided.

To say that only about 1000 Israelis have been affected by the incursion is not quite accurate, I have family in Israel that I speak to regularly and right now they are spending most of their days in air-raid bunkers trying to stay safe from the over 2000 missiles that have been fired at them.

There are no winners in any conflict like this, I agree with Szczepan in that Hizbolah and Israel are just pawns in the conflict, I think that it is more about nuclear weapons in Iran than big business.

From the tone of your responses you are clearly passionate about this issue. I am however not sure whether you are looking for a discussion about the conflict in the Middle East, or a soap box from which to state your "facts".

Brandon

Neil Mick
07-25-2006, 01:10 AM
Short of taking up arms against what I consider to be an administration full of war criminals, what would you have us do? Volunteer with local progressive groups? OK, done that.

1. Stay vigilant: read beneath the headlines. Go beyond the pablum of the mainstream.

2. March in protests.

3. Write your Congressman.

4. Don't hide your head in the sand. I seem to recall something about Aikido, and posture, and not letting one's head slump forward... ;)

5. Oh, and one other thing: boycott Israeli products.

Now, as far as your message of fatalistic doom and gloom...yes, it IS an uphill battle; and yes, the baddie's often DO win. But, I can quote several historical events where injustice was turned on its ear, through popular struggles, both large and small.

South Africa, and apartheid? Gone now, through international pressure and boycotts. The Vietnam War? Foreshortened because the Pentagon was worried about the Army spread too thin, should the protests break out into revolt (and, another little-known fact: protests WITHIN the Army. Look up the movie "Sir No Sir" for more on this). Child labor? Mother Jones led a parade of 8000 kids to the vacation-spot of Theodore Roosevelt, to protest child labor. Now we have child labor laws, in place.

Yeah, it's an uphill battle and the baddie's often win...but one thing's for sure...if we don't fight the good fight, they certainly WILL win.

To quote Big Bill: Don't mourn: organize! :cool:

Writing your Congressman is good, altho they gave nearly total support in their votes (in the Senate, all 100 voted in support; while in the House, only 8 Congressppl dissented). March in local protests, if/when they are in town. Or, best of all, organize your own. These are OUR tax-dollars going over to drop widespread death on the heads of the Lebanese people: WE bear some of the responsibility.

Neil Mick
07-25-2006, 01:15 AM
There will be no 3WW for the moment

Yes, I was speaking ironically.

Neil, you seem to be very naïf. Don't take too literary a word ‘democracy'. Wake up, grow up. You have exactly ZERO influence on your government. Me too. We are simple mortals.

And, a government is elected by...whom? That's right: people. WE are responsible. So please, take your defeatist statements elsewhere.

However if you represent for example some powerful energy holding, cartel of oil companies, there will be very different story. They will even help you to fake your own death to protect you from Justice, because you covered them during investigations. Everything is possible.
That how the world is working today.

True enough (and, wasn't it awfully convenient for Ken Lay to pass on, shortly before he was to be locked up? Too bad the gov't couldn't sieze the assets of a dead criminal. But, that's the tale for another time). ;) But nonetheless, the people DO have power...unless, of course: they simply take your apathetic homilies to heart and let the Powers that Be just roll them over, like a set of duckpins...

Neil Mick
07-25-2006, 01:16 AM
Neil, you seem very agressive for someone who studies the "Art of Peace".

"Peace" does not = "Passivity"

(see Gandhi, for reference)

Neil Mick
07-25-2006, 01:30 AM
Neil

I am by no means a supporter of these hostilities (from either side), but I think that you "facts" are a, little biased and misguided.

To say that only about 1000 Israelis have been affected by the incursion is not quite accurate, I have family in Israel that I speak to regularly and right now they are spending most of their days in air-raid bunkers trying to stay safe from the over 2000 missiles that have been fired at them.

OK, let's say it was more than 1000. How about 10,000?

It's still a drop, compared to the ocean of 1,000,000 displaced. There simply IS no comparison.

From the tone of your responses you are clearly passionate about this issue. I am however not sure whether you are looking for a discussion about the conflict in the Middle East, or a soap box from which to state your "facts".

Brandon

Oh, please, Brandon: I humbly suggest that it is you, who are biased. I have no relatives in Israel: I simply look at the news--ALL sides of the news. I see the same old, same old drumbeats for war from mainstream...funny how familiar the tune sounds. Almost exactly the same, as in March, 2003.

And, biased facts? I challenge you to find one fact I've posted, that's incorrect. Is it not true that those 370 victims were mostly civilians? Is it untrue that life in Lebanon has been completely disrupted? Funny, I look to the Israeli news, and I see no such events occurring, in Israel.

But forget all that...tar my opinions with the smear of bias. OK, guilty as charged. But I put it to you: how will this military offensive help the situation? Will a massive aerial bombardment followed by ground troops do squat, to eradicate Hezbollah? Will it show the Lebanese people that supporting Hezbollah is wrong?

No, it won't: if the example of the Iraqi invasion is any indicator. More likely, the support of Hezbollah will widen, and grow; just as the support for Iraqi insurgents grows in response to US occupational excess.

Neil Mick
07-25-2006, 01:38 AM
what would you have us do?

Oh, one MORE thing, you can do (darn these 15 min edit rules)...write your media outlet, and tell demand a more balanced view, than a perspective from the views of the Israeli Army.

(edit-note: "Don't mourn: organize!" was Joe Hill, NOT Big Bill. Sorry... :blush: )

Mark Freeman
07-25-2006, 05:44 AM
The 2 most disturbing things I have seen on the BBC within the last few days are:

Last night John Simpson reporting from Israel, saying the Condi Rice position has been taken by the Israeli's as a 'stalling' strategy, and that Israel are free continue as they wish. The civilian deathcount is approx 10:1 Lebanese/Israeli. So this is set to continue for the time being. I wonder how many young arabs/muslims will be drawn into the wider conflict as a result?

A couple of nights ago Newt Gingrich (sp?) was interviewed, and to be honest my blood ran cold listening to his assertions that we are already in WW3. So the question mark can officially be removed from the head of the thread Neil.

We are all part of this whether we like it or not. There are no easy answers, innocent people are going to die, they always do. That doesn't mean that we can't do 'anything', what we can do is quite limited but Neil does make some good suggestions. US foreign policy is understandably there to look after it's own, foreign lives are expendable when it comes to this administrations desire to rule the roost.

As a citizen of the US's main backer in their current overseas forays, I would like to request that my american cousins throw out this government and re-elect a decent one, and in return we'll try to do the same over here. A poll in one of todays papers show that 60 odd percent of the british people are against Blair's position in relation to Bush. Not a good sign for either of them. I realise that the US doesn't need us to do whatever it wants, but it must be comforting to Bush that Blair will just go along with whatever he want's and then defend that position to the UK electorate as the right and 'moral' thing to do.

I must admit my faith in 'people of faith' is at an all time low, which if you knew from where I started is very low indeed. The slaughter of innocent life seems to be all in a day's work, they will find justification in any weasley way that they can. The hypocrisy of their actions does nothing to instill hope in the secular world. :(

Anyway, I've got work to do, can't let WW3 get in the way of earning a crust ;)

regards,

Mark

dps
07-25-2006, 06:12 AM
Neil, There are many conflicts and wars that the U.S. are involved in. Why do you pick this one to talk about?

Amir Krause
07-25-2006, 07:39 AM
I will not claim to be unbiased - I am. I am Israeli and a Jew. I live in Tel-Aviv though, so I was not under attack yet.
But Neil, reading your posts, you are much less balanced then I am. Actually, I have read many Lebanese-Bloggers who are much more balanced then you are.

* Hezbollah has a few missiles with poor accuracy that has, so far, filled about 40 people, while leaving the infrastructure untouched.
Number of people whose lives are upended by the attacks...unknown. But, let's be generous, and say 1000 (grieving relatives, people who had to move, etc).

How would you react if Santa Cruz was bombed with 20 missiles a day, falling at random places? What would have been the response you would have expected from your government?

The number of Israeli currently affected in their daily lives is around 1.2 million people (a fifth of the population), of those, many are Israeli Arabs. Relatively, only a very small number were killed or injured, but this is due to a very high level shelters built in Israel, and particularly in the north, which has been bombed around the 70s too. All modern apartments have a room that is a shelter, or a shelter per floor, in places built earlier, the cities built shelter every several hundred meters.
Many of these 1.2 million people stay at the shelter for the second week now, with no recess, most with no air conditioning. Only a minority goes to work. Air raids sirens are activated every few hours, at best, they give you 30 seconds

Hezbollah (HA) targets the larger Israeli cities, and intends to create as many civilians dead as possible. This is evident not only by their targets -- the largest cities in the area, but also according to the timing of the attacks. The HA lower effect has to do with ability, not with intention!




But forget all that...tar my opinions with the smear of bias. OK, guilty as charged. But I put it to you: how will this military offensive help the situation? Will a massive aerial bombardment followed by ground troops do squat, to eradicate Hezbollah? Will it show the Lebanese people that supporting Hezbollah is wrong?

No, it won't: if the example of the Iraqi invasion is any indicator. More likely, the support of Hezbollah will widen, and grow; just as the support for Iraqi insurgents grows in response to US occupational excess.

I do have doubts with regard to the usefulness of the a military response. But, I keep failing over the following problem:
What other option are you offering to Israel to follow that would be truly effective? I found none, and so, I must hope the Israel government will be able to utilize the military in a way that

Do consider the following requirements for your solution:
* It has to do only with the Israeli/Lebanon/Hezbollah conflict, leave the Israeli-Palestinian conflict alone (the latter is so complicated).
* It has to stop all attacks on either side, for at least the next 4 decades (actually, a single decade would suffice).
* This is the middle-east and all parties are likely to behave accordingly. Signing an agreement means nothing without sufficient means of enforcing transgressions.
* The state of Israel has to remain in existence.
* Despite the UN declaration of Israel withdraw of all of Lebanon, you may suggest Israel to enter discussion with regard to the Shabaa-Farms area.
* Tried terrorists (who murdered civilians) should not be released prior to the end of their terms. And again, Palestinians have nothing to do with this conflict.

I have not succeeded in finding any such solution. Since I am aware of the HA theological positions, which they publish; the support HA has in local Shiite population, for multiple reasons, a primary being HA success in establishing a state within a state in Lebanon, in addition to the religious tendencies and local hate of Israel (some of which is justified).

If you can not suggest a good solution. Think again about your own moral right to blame others for choosing a solution you deem as bad




Actually, if you delved a little deeper: you'd know that Israel started the whole mess by kidnapping 2 civilians (odd, isn't it: how this little-known factoid never makes the mainstream press).
I read something about this, it had to do with the Gaza strip situation, Not Lebanon. The Palestinians did not stop firing their rockets into Israel, even after Israel withdrew from Gaza. If anything, the attacks into Israel were intensified, since the Palestinians no longer had settlement to fire at. As far as international law, and realistic views, this is a totally different situation, though similar.


There is a reason all western countries did not condemn the Israeli decision to go to war. In this case there is not doubt about the identity of the aggressor -- HA. HA has attacked Israel 60 times since Israel withdraw of all of Lebanon in 2000, I am writing about attacks -- not transgression, but rather rockets fired, soldiers kidnapped (this is the second such occasion), and such. No serious country can accept such actions of war against it without consequence. Such a war is legitimate related to international law.
The fact most governments try to hide, is the responsibility here belong to the Lebanese government as a whole, and not only to HA. A government has to be responsible for all acts performed from inside its boundary. There is a way for governments to come out clear from attacks on neighboring countries, it has to arrest those perpetrators and bring them to justice. Jordan and Egypt has done this when a single soldier of them fired on Israeli tourists, Israel has done this to Jews establishing "resistance movements" to attack Arabs. The Lebanese government is given leeway in this regard, for two reasons: Its political weakness as a government of a country just coming out of the Syrian occupation, and the possibility it could assist in solving the issue. As a rule of thumb -- Israel attack over Lebanon is as justified a war as can be, not a war crime as you describe.


Comparing the casualty ratios is not a relevant way to make justice. This is logic of the type: "if I attack you for no reason and you win against me in knock-out, living me shattered, then you are at blame and I am righteous". As I wrote previously, the Israeli death toll is mostly limited by the HA abilities compared to the Israeli sheltering. Had the firepower ratio been reversed, with HA having the upper hand, does anyone have any doubt the Israeli death toll would have been a hundred fold? I, and the most other Israelis, are not happy for any civilian who died in Lebanon, does the same sentiment go the other way around?
The facts are that HA uses civilians as shields, hides it's headquarters in residential buildings. Fires from within civilian neighborhoods, and hides weapons inside mosques and private lodgings. Israel can not attack HA without harming "civilian" Lebanese, particularly not those who actively support it.

I can try to give some partial reasoning for the Israeli targets of attack. Do remember, I was not privy to secret intelligence, so I can only speculate:

Beirut, the focus of the attacks is a region that houses the Hezbollah headquarters for years. Reporters who visited there said this area was guarded by Hezbollah activists, foreigners were not allowed to visit without escort. People did live there, the Hezbollah headquarters was housed in several separated floors of a living house, with probably sympathetic tenants. If you listen closely to the news, you will find Israel only bombed specific targets in the city. Israel has not unleashed a full attack against the civilians yet.
Further, it turns out Hezbollah hid long rage weaponry in the city, one such missile launcher was destroyed last week (at first the Lebanese thought it is an Israeli aircraft and were joyous about it).

The airport could have been used by Hezbollah for multiple options: receiving ammunition from Iran directly is one, getting supporters of Jihad (as arrived to Iraq) is another.
The roads and bridges have similar reasons to be targets, it is very difficult to identify ammunition convoys driving in an open and unthreatened freeway, once they have to travel slowly, in narrow roads, and with the population slowing them down as it travels in the opposite direction, the detection and annihilation is much easier. True, it is cold and harsh solution, but wars require such.
Another target Israel is bombing is HA businesses. HA has lots of those, including banks, hotels, houses etc. These are legitimate targets in a war.

I would like to point to you the number of dead Lebanese, as evidence of the Israeli army attempt to lower the civilian casualties. There were about 400 dead reported by the Lebanese government. The Lebanese government says the reports are only on civilians, but, how would one know if a person without a weapon in his arms, had just activated a rocket? What of those who hid them in their houses, are their houses considered as weapon stocks and they are guards, or are they civilians?
How about comparing it to the death toll in Iraq in the last two weeks? Despite the superior firepower, Israel is actually killing less people. You hear all this talk about Israeli ground forces going in. Supposedly it is an escalation that would result in more civilian casualties. What is the alternative solution for a military to stop the missile fire? To annihilate the area into a parking lot? Is this more humane?


War against terrorists is much more difficult, and I doubt the Geneva Convention (http://www.genevaconventions.org/) anticipated this. The problem is that terrorists tend to use the convention rules as their own shield, they hide among the civil population in a way that actually nullifies the convention intention. In cursory reading (you could find more):, I found that people being suspected of hostile activity against an army, are not protected by the convention, see 4th convention

Art. 5 Where in the territory of a Party to the conflict, the latter is satisfied that an individual protected person is definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the State, such individual person shall not be entitled to claim such rights and privileges under the present Convention as would, if exercised in the favour of such individual person, be prejudicial to the security of such State.

While looking at the convention (did not read it in depth), I was surprised to find out the articles included against misusage, actually nullify it's meaning when fighting terrorists. For example:
The terrorist hiding actions turns everyone around a fighting scene into "person is definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the State". A population which supports the fighting and hides weapon is performing hostile act and no longer protected. Thus, in a struggle such as Israel is facing now, a good lawyer (or better international standings) would probably thwart any accusation. I am not a lawyer, nor a specialist of international legalities. So I would rather not quibble about those particulars based on my cursory reading.


Obviously, this is not the intention of the convention writers. And this does not coincide with the Israeli expectations of our army for morality.
We, the Israelis, demand higher morality of our own army, and often enough, we have paid for it with blood.

Let me paint you a simple situation, and let you understand the real moral dilemma faced by commanders:
Rockets are being fired on a city. The Radar indicates the origin is a particular village, yet the Radar resolution is not sufficient to point you to a single window or house, but rather to large blocks. The houses are so dense armored vehicles are ineffective and would only be a target. The intelligence you have points to great support of the local population towards those firing at you. The intelligence further indicates some people hold rocket shelters in their basements, due to support against you, and also, since this brought them money for renovations. It is also clear the enemy has mined the area and fortified firing positions inside residential houses in anticipation of ground troops entry.
Ask yourself -- How should an army commander respond?
Should he ask for air-strikes and artillery to wipe out the village?
Suppose he has intelligence of several particular houses holding weapons, the weapons accuracy and high density of houses does not enable him to limit the distraction.


What should he do?


The commander decided he will risk it, and send infantry inside despite the risk. One of his platoons is caught in an ambush, many injured and dead. He can not evacuate them in the current situation. What should he do now? Is this time to call in the air/artillery support despite the risks to the locals? Should he decide to level some houses with heavy machinery in order of changing the field of battle.

This is the type of situations commanders face while fighting with terrorists, constant moral dilemmas. The story I wrote above is actually based on the situation that was in Genin. Palestinian propaganda tried to paint it as a massacre, the UN inquiry exonerated Israel of these suspicions.


Personally, I admire those soldiers who are willing to risk their lives not only for the patriotic cause, but to save the lives of innocent among our enemies as well, while the other side uses those people as shields. The Israeli education I grew up on remembers those who died this way, and places them as our martyrs in this war.
I am not sure I could do those acts myself, nor am I sure I would have been happy knowing my child or brother is risking his life when other means are possible, only to reduce the risks for the enemy population, particularly if this same population actively support the enemy (if only in civilian ways). This is a thing people can only expect, we may not demand it.


Amir

Ron Tisdale
07-25-2006, 08:10 AM
I have to admit...Amir makes a much better case than Neil.

Neil, as Chris said, once all of those things have been done, what else would you have us do? Armed revolution? I didn't vote for this pissant government.

Actually, if you delved a little deeper: you'd know that Israel started the whole mess by kidnapping 2 civilians (odd, isn't it: how this little-known factoid never makes the mainstream press).

Please ellaborate with specifics.

Best,
Ron

Amir Krause
07-25-2006, 11:11 AM
Some Lebanese writers I would like to recommend on:

http://beirutspring.com/

http://lebanesebloggers.blogspot.com/

http://blissstreetjournal.blogspot.com/

http://jamalghosn.blogspot.com/

Make no mistake, the writers there do not support Israel (the last is pro - HA), but there are enough writers there, wishing for peace, that give me hope. Many of the writers there explain the complexity of the situation, rather then succumb to some black and white world-view.

Those are the people I wish to have peace with. Those are the people affected by my country being
at war with HA.

If one wishes to ask what the trigger was, look at their posts on July 12th and the couple of following days. You can also read how difficult and dangerous it is to live in Lebanon now. While I can not condemn this war, I am aware of the cost, to both sides.
I would agree this was only the trigger, the reasons of the conflict were apparent for a long time to anyone living here (Israel or Lebanon).

Amir

Guilty Spark
07-25-2006, 11:46 AM
Neil I have to agree with Amir, your posts are comming across with a heavy bias.

* Hezbollah has a few missiles with poor accuracy that has, so far, filled about 40 people, while leaving the infrastructure untouched.
Number of people whose lives are upended by the attacks...unknown. But, let's be generous, and say 1000 (grieving relatives, people who had to move, etc).

I don't like playing the numbers game. 100 dead is bad, 50 not so much... When we start to play that game life looses it's value quickly.
All life, in my opinion, is sacred.

Both sides in this fight are doing dumb things. Both sides are at fault. When you start to pick things apart, playing the numbers game and assigning who did what to how many people I think you really take away from the over all tradgity of the battle. Both sides are loosing people, period. Blowing up bridges stops (hinders) innocent people from fleeing the frontlines. It also stops hezbolah from bringing forward more rockets and supplies.
It's all too easy (but not fair) for us not directly involved to try and apply our logic to a military & political situation.

shodan 83
07-25-2006, 12:09 PM
Some Lebanese writers I would like to recommend on:

http://beirutspring.com/

http://lebanesebloggers.blogspot.com/

http://blissstreetjournal.blogspot.com/

http://jamalghosn.blogspot.com/

Make no mistake, the writers there do not support Israel (the last is pro - HA), but there are enough writers there, wishing for peace, that give me hope. Many of the writers there explain the complexity of the situation, rather then succumb to some black and white world-view.

Those are the people I wish to have peace with. Those are the people affected by my country being
at war with HA.

If one wishes to ask what the trigger was, look at their posts on July 12th and the couple of following days. You can also read how difficult and dangerous it is to live in Lebanon now. While I can not condemn this war, I am aware of the cost, to both sides.
I would agree this was only the trigger, the reasons of the conflict were apparent for a long time to anyone living here (Israel or Lebanon).

Amir

Thanks Amir, interesting reading, keep safe!

Neil Mick
07-25-2006, 04:48 PM
I have to admit...Amir makes a much better case than Neil.

Perhaps, that's because I haven't yet had a chance to respond.

Neil, as Chris said, once all of those things have been done, what else would you have us do? Armed revolution? I didn't vote for this pissant government.

I thought I made myself clear...in short, make your views well-known. Pls see my above-posts.

And, merely because you did not vote for this gov't: we, as American's, are all responsible for the actions of our gov't.

Actually, if you delved a little deeper: you'd know that Israel started the whole mess by kidnapping 2 civilians (odd, isn't it: how this little-known factoid never makes the mainstream press).

Please ellaborate with specifics.

Best,
Ron

My mistake: the 2 civilians kidnapped were Palestinian, claimed by the IDF to be Hamas militants. Hamas denied this claim.

Noam Chomsky (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKq38COoTG8&search=Noam%20Chomsky%20Lebanon) makes the connection very well (and yes, I can provide alternative sources, for those who claim bias)

Neil Mick
07-25-2006, 06:15 PM
Something wonky is going on with aikiweb...it's downloading at a snail's pace.

After reading these responses, I decided to take it to the RW court-of-opinion...first, my housemates; then, to my harshest, most fierce critic of all--the one person who will argue me, toe-to-toe, until the bitter end.

My partner, and gf. :eek: :eek:

While she agreed with my position, she DID agree that my tone came off as a little harsh. Sarcasm, she noted: does not read well on the screen (nor, in forum posts).

So, with this in mind: I apologize, and will attempt to convey a more reasoned response.

Now then:

I will not claim to be unbiased - I am. I am Israeli and a Jew. I live in Tel-Aviv though, so I was not under attack yet.
But Neil, reading your posts, you are much less balanced then I am. Actually, I have read many Lebanese-Bloggers who are much more balanced then you are.

Perhaps you are responding to my tone, rather than my statement of facts. So far, poster's here have yet to refute a single fact, that I have posted.

How would you react if Santa Cruz was bombed with 20 missiles a day, falling at random places? What would have been the response you would have expected from your government?

I would respond with anger, with fear. I would be in "survival-mode." I would be especially afraid if the local TV networks presented one-sided views of the situation.

One thing I would NOT be, is rational. And, reasoned reponses are exactly what is needed.

The number of Israeli currently affected in their daily lives is around 1.2 million people (a fifth of the population), of those, many are Israeli Arabs. Relatively, only a very small number were killed or injured, but this is due to a very high level shelters built in Israel, and particularly in the north, which has been bombed around the 70s too. All modern apartments have a room that is a shelter, or a shelter per floor, in places built earlier, the cities built shelter every several hundred meters.
Many of these 1.2 million people stay at the shelter for the second week now, with no recess, most with no air conditioning. Only a minority goes to work. Air raids sirens are activated every few hours, at best, they give you 30 seconds

Yes, the situation is grave. But at the end of the day, your buildings are still standing; your water is still drinkable; and Tel Aviv Airport is still standing. In short, your infrastructure is still intact.

Hezbollah (HA) targets the larger Israeli cities, and intends to create as many civilians dead as possible. This is evident not only by their targets -- the largest cities in the area, but also according to the timing of the attacks. The HA lower effect has to do with ability, not with intention!

Which is typical of terrorists and paramilitary organizations.

I do have doubts with regard to the usefulness of the a military response.

Aha! We do agree.

But, I keep failing over the following problem:
What other option are you offering to Israel to follow that would be truly effective? I found none, and so, I must hope the Israel government will be able to utilize the military in a way that

Do consider the following requirements for your solution:
* It has to do only with the Israeli/Lebanon/Hezbollah conflict, leave the Israeli-Palestinian conflict alone (the latter is so complicated).

Sorry, but we can agree to diagree. It certainly DOES have everything to do with the Palestinian conflict. Militarily, from Hezbollah's and Hamas' perspective: it makes a lot of sense...force Israel to fight on two fronts.

* It has to stop all attacks on either side, for at least the next 4 decades (actually, a single decade would suffice).

Look, you can take this back to ancient times: but the reality on the ground is that Israel and the US made clear initiatives to punish Palestine and Lebanon for voting Hamas and Hezbollah into office. This is where the current conflict arises.

is the middle-east and all parties are likely to behave accordingly. Signing an agreement means nothing without sufficient means of enforcing transgressions.
* The state of Israel has to remain in existence.
* Despite the UN declaration of Israel withdraw of all of Lebanon, you may suggest Israel to enter discussion with regard to the Shabaa-Farms area.

And, don't forget the Golan Heights, and Syria.

* Tried terrorists (who murdered civilians) should not be released prior to the end of their terms. And again, Palestinians have nothing to do with this conflict.

And again: we can agree to disagree.

If you can not suggest a good solution. Think again about your own moral right to blame others for choosing a solution you deem as bad

Sorry, but this does not wash. Simply put:

The ends do not justify the means

I suppose, for example: that the problem of Saddam Hussein with regard to the Iraqi people has been well taken care-of. Yet, as we now well-know: the cure is worse than the disease.

I read something about this, it had to do with the Gaza strip situation, Not Lebanon.

Yes, you're right: my mistake.

The Palestinians did not stop firing their rockets into Israel, even after Israel withdrew from Gaza. If anything, the attacks into Israel were intensified, since the Palestinians no longer had settlement to fire at.

And, how many people have the Qassam rockets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qassam_rocket) killed?

Israeli cities and towns have been the main target of Qassams. In some areas, such as Sderot and some Israeli settlements in Gaza, shelling occurred frequently. They usually land in open areas, but Qassam rockets have killed 6 to 8 Israelis, three foreign workers and some Palestinians to date.

There is a reason all western countries did not condemn the Israeli decision to go to war. In this case there is not doubt about the identity of the aggressor -- HA. HA has attacked Israel 60 times since Israel withdraw of all of Lebanon in 2000, I am writing about attacks -- not transgression, but rather rockets fired, soldiers kidnapped (this is the second such occasion), and such.

Clearly, this is a problem that must be addressed: but again, the ends do not justify the means.

No serious country can accept such actions of war against it without consequence.

I'm sorry, but I question the term "actions of war," here. War occurs between two countries--not a country and a paramilitary group. And who is paying the costs of this "war?" The Lebanese, and residents of Haifa.

Who stands to benefit? Iran, and Hezbollah.

Such a war is legitimate related to international law.

Please elaborate. From where I stand, there is no provocation for Israel to invade either Lebanon or Gaza and inflict massive humanitarian disasters.

And if you quote UN statutes at me, that is surely to backfire. I believe the count of Israeli violations of UN mandates stands at 67.

The fact most governments try to hide, is the responsibility here belong to the Lebanese government as a whole, and not only to HA. A government has to be responsible for all acts performed from inside its boundary.

Again...agree to disagree. Such a narrow interpretation of international law would mean that the US had the righ to invade Cambodia, in 1970; or that Haiti has every right to attack the Dominican Rebublic, when rebels flee to their borders.

International law, luckily, is not so entrenched, as all that.

There is a way for governments to come out clear from attacks on neighboring countries, it has to arrest those perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Sure. Something certainly has to be done. But, I suggest (as I did when we decided to invade and bomb Afghanistan, to get OBL) that what needs to be done is more along the lines of a police action, rather than a military assault. Cooperative joint-ventures with the Lebanese military and police, within their borders.

But now that all this damage is done--what first needs to happen is Israel needs to establish some rapport with the Lebanese. Reparations for all the recent damage done, would be a start.

Would it work? I have no idea. But I guarantee that this military engagement, will not achieve the stated goal of eradicating Hamas. Instead, it will create a lot of homeless, desperate refugee's with nothing to lose...a perfect choice, for foreign and local insurgencies everywhere.

As a rule of thumb -- Israel attack over Lebanon is as justified a war as can be, not a war crime as you describe.

Again, I disagree. A military power is bound by international law to respect the lives and infrastructure of civilians...simply look at pictures of the total devastation, and you can see that this is not the case.

Comparing the casualty ratios is not a relevant way to make justice. This is logic of the type: "if I attack you for no reason and you win against me in knock-out, living me shattered, then you are at blame and I am righteous".

Noo...again, not true. Using the IDF model of logic, they are basically saying that, "If I attack you (for various reasons) with firecrackers; then you have every right to kill me, my family and to destroy everything that we own."

Again...the ends do not justify the means.

As I wrote previously, the Israeli death toll is mostly limited by the HA abilities compared to the Israeli sheltering.

Every abuse has its own logic...they have to justify their abuses, somehow. This current engagement is no exception.

Had the firepower ratio been reversed, with HA having the upper hand, does anyone have any doubt the Israeli death toll would have been a hundred fold?

No, you're absolutely right: Hamas would not hestitate to inflict maximum damage on the Israeli populace. This would make it no less wrong.

I, and the most other Israelis, are not happy for any civilian who died in Lebanon, does the same sentiment go the other way around?

Do you mean, among Hezbollah, or among the Lebanese?

I cannot speak for Hezbollah (and, why would I want to?); but I imagine that there are a lot of Lebanese refugee's wishing ill upon the Israeli's.

But, I also imagine that there are many more Lebanese who do not wish ill upon anyone.

The facts are that HA uses civilians as shields, hides it's headquarters in residential buildings.

Source, please?

Fires from within civilian neighborhoods, and hides weapons inside mosques and private lodgings. Israel can not attack HA without harming "civilian" Lebanese, particularly not those who actively support it.

Nonetheless, the IDF has a legal obligation to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. This is simply not being done.

I can try to give some partial reasoning for the Israeli targets of attack.

Oh, Amir: now you are falling into the dangerously slippery slope of apology.

Do remember, I was not privy to secret intelligence, so I can only speculate:

The airport could have been used by Hezbollah for multiple options: receiving ammunition from Iran directly is one, getting supporters of Jihad (as arrived to Iraq) is another.

The airport was a civilian infrastructure, protected, again: by international law.

I have an alternative suggestion, for you--

Rather than blowing up an airport that was proudly hailed by Lebanese as their first step away from the horrors of their civil war...perhaps a better solution would be to establish a covert (and joint) investigation with the Lebanese security (and, possibly: Interpol) to assess the exact usage of this airport by Hezbollah.

But, we'll never know. All we have now is the IDF claim that it was (possibly) used for military supply by Hezbollah; and a large pile of rubble, and bodies.

The roads and bridges have similar reasons to be targets, it is very difficult to identify ammunition convoys driving in an open and unthreatened freeway, once they have to travel slowly, in narrow roads, and with the population slowing them down as it travels in the opposite direction, the detection and annihilation is much easier. True, it is cold and harsh solution, but wars require such.

Wrong. Wars require an adherence to international law.

The ends do not justify the means.

If we go down this path: then I suppose that Israel was justified in targeting a Lebanese military logistical unit trying to repair the damage; or that Israel can shoot at fleeing cars (all the while making announcements for the Lebanese to flee the South), because these cars might be ferrying Hezbollah dissidents.

At this rate, we can rationalize anything...even, that Israel has every right to attack Lebanon, because their govt might be secretly supporting the attacks.

You may have heard of this rationalization. In the US, Bush called this doctrine "pre-emptive strike." We used it to attack Iraq, in the failed premise that he may be preparing for a nuclear strike, against us.

Another target Israel is bombing is HA businesses. HA has lots of those, including banks, hotels, houses etc. These are legitimate targets in a war.

Amir, is there anything that the IDF is not allowed to bomb, or destroy?

I would like to point to you the number of dead Lebanese, as evidence of the Israeli army attempt to lower the civilian casualties. There were about 400 dead reported by the Lebanese government. The Lebanese government says the reports are only on civilians, but, how would one know if a person without a weapon in his arms, had just activated a rocket?

Women and children are rarely inducted as fighters, for Hezbollah, AFAIK.

How about comparing it to the death toll in Iraq in the last two weeks? Despite the superior firepower, Israel is actually killing less people.

Wait...on the one hand, you say that the direct comparison of Lebanese deaths in this conflict is irrelevant. On the other: you state that the IDF is acting "with restraint," because their body-count is less than in Iraq.

So, which is it, Amir? Comparisons do matter; or they don't? Because from where I sit, you've gone far, far, down that slippery slope indeed, even within this one post.

You hear all this talk about Israeli ground forces going in. Supposedly it is an escalation that would result in more civilian casualties. What is the alternative solution for a military to stop the missile fire? To annihilate the area into a parking lot? Is this more humane?

Amir, you cannot believe how close your rationale sounds to me, to the arguments I have previously had with people about the Iraqi invasion and occupation. It is seriously creeping me out.

War against terrorists is much more difficult, and I doubt the Geneva Convention (http://www.genevaconventions.org/) anticipated this. The problem is that terrorists tend to use the convention rules as their own shield, they hide among the civil population in a way that actually nullifies the convention intention. In cursory reading (you could find more):, I found that people being suspected of hostile activity against an army, are not protected by the convention, see 4th convention

I did. I took your advice and read the 4th convention. Notice tihs part, especially...

Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

In each case, such persons shall nevertheless be treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may be.

They might have forfeited rights of communication: but they are still entitled to be treated with humanity, as well as a fair and regular trial.

I have yet to hear of any such trial (or even, ANY news, for that matter) of the 2 Gazan's arrested for being suspected Hamas militants. But, no matter.

While looking at the convention (did not read it in depth), I was surprised to find out the articles included against misusage, actually nullify it's meaning when fighting terrorists. For example:
The terrorist hiding actions turns everyone around a fighting scene into "person is definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the State". A population which supports the fighting and hides weapon is performing hostile act and no longer protected.

OK, after some looking: I THINK that you're referring to Article 5, of Convention IV. If you're suggesting that the Israel Army can wave its collective arm at all of southern Lebanon and assume that, since a lot of them support Hezbollah that they can bomb and shoot at will...I must respectfully disagree. You cannot know for sure who is the collaborator and who is the innocent civilian, in such cases. Convention IV (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Geneva_Convention) is very clear on this point:

Article 33. No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
Pillage is prohibited.
Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.

Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions collective punishments are a war crime. Article 33 states: "No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed," and "collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited."

By collective punishment, the drafters of the Geneva Conventions had in mind the reprisal killings of World Wars I and II. In the First World War, Germans executed Belgian villagers in mass retribution for resistance activity. In World War II, Nazis carried out a form of collective punishment to suppress resistance. Entire villages or towns or districts were held responsible for any resistance activity that took place there. The conventions, to counter this, reiterated the principle of individual responsibility. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Commentary to the conventions states that parties to a conflict often would resort to "intimidatory measures to terrorize the population" in hopes of preventing hostile acts, but such practices "strike at guilty and innocent alike. They are opposed to all principles based on humanity and justice."


We, the Israelis, demand higher morality of our own army, and often enough, we have paid for it with blood.

Morality, in my book (and with respect): does not extend to the use of white phosphorus (http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2006/mideast.crisis/video/) (click on "Littlest Victims Suffer, July 23)

White phosphorus is a banned weapon (and please, please: don't quibble with me on whether or not it's banned, or not). Hardly something I'd be proud of.

Nor, would I be terribly proud of my military using cluster bombs, on civilian populations. (http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/24/isrlpa13798.htm)

Ask yourself -- How should an army commander respond?

With restraint, which does not presently seem to be the case.

Should he ask for air-strikes and artillery to wipe out the village?

The Geneva Conventions are clear on this point.

Suppose he has intelligence of several particular houses holding weapons, the weapons accuracy and high density of houses does not enable him to limit the distraction.

What should he do?

I think the more apropos question is," What should he NOT do?"

Neil Mick
07-25-2006, 06:26 PM
Neil, There are many conflicts and wars that the U.S. are involved in. Why do you pick this one to talk about?

Because, it is our President who is supporting the continuation of war.

It is our Secty of State who is not advocating for immediate ceasefire talks. It is our Congress who voted, nearly unanimously, to wholeheartedly support Israel.

It is our tax-dollars funding the quick-shipment of bombs...bombs that will be used to drop on the heads on innocent civilians.

I wouldn't be half so torqued about this if our gov't debated the issue, a bit more. But to unquestionably support and provide ordinance to a hyper-aggressive ally is outrageous.

Neil Mick
07-25-2006, 06:45 PM
A couple of nights ago Newt Gingrich (sp?) was interviewed, and to be honest my blood ran cold listening to his assertions that we are already in WW3. So the question mark can officially be removed from the head of the thread Neil.


I'd take the rantings of Newtie (an endearment his mom uses) with a big grain of salt. Perhaps this IS WW3, but IMO, there is plenty of wiggle-room.

One thing's for sure...if the current military onslaught is allowed to continue for a full 3 weeks: we'll be a lot closer to WW3 than were were, at the start.

Thanks for the positive feedback...the exclamations of dismay and disagreement with (what I thought were) mild suggestions were quite surprising! You'd think that I really WAS advocating armed rebellion (whoops: sarcasm again)! :eek:

Guilty Spark
07-25-2006, 08:29 PM
Geneva convention works only when someone follows it. I'm always surprised at how some people act like it's set in stone. Governments are like businesses, they find loop holes.


With regards to what generals should and shouldn't do, are we not getting a little out of our lanes?
I'm of course quite biased about this but honestly, the situation when you're on the ground "over there" is so different from how it's often portrayed in the media that you're ahead of the game if you even have half the story.

We can't sit here and pass judgment on hindsight or act like arm chair generals.

What DO you do when someone is shooting at you while hiding behind a woman with a child?
When a car full of civilians who were paid $200, races towards your checkpoint. The people responsible knowing you will open fire as per your rules of engagement killing them which gets splashed all over the news.
When someone starts shooting at you from a mosque church hospital or cultural building knowing full well you're in for a media frenzy when you return fire in order to defend yourself or accomplish your mission.
When they place HQ and ammunition depos around or inside civilian structures loaded with people (and lets not be naive, this is a standard operating procedure all over the world).

The situation on the ground is different and bias among the media isn't unheard of. They know what pictures to take, they know what questions to ask and they know what to say in order to lead views down towards a certain conclusion. It's all about the delivery.

Alcohol not suspected as a factor in teens death
Compared to
Alcohol NOT RULED OUT in teens death!

We need the whole story (and to be on the ground) before we should even begin to comment or decide what's appropriate use of force and whats not.

Like I said, this whole tit for tat Israel fired 10 rockets well Hezbollah only fired 8 but killed 17 more people than Israel stuff needs to stop.
I've "enjoyed" spending a year surrounded by people who have played the tit for tat they did this they did that game for almost 1000 years. I have pictures of a mass grave from 1300AD that the village uses as an excuse to fire random shots at people from another town.

This breeds hate because you're always justifying actions. You're always remembering the specific details which makes it easier to hate someone. We need to step back, acknowledge there is a problem and address the whole issue and stay away from the feuding neighbors mentality.

In a way I see this as aikido. The minute you take sides you join the fight. You need to not focus on single issues but see the whole situation.

Neil Mick
08-01-2006, 08:17 PM
One week later, and aikiweb's finally back up. Whew.

In that one week, I've seen my initial concerns vindicated. 34 children (or what's left of them) carried out in bodybags (or, cheap carpets when they ran out of those) from Qana when the IDF decides that it's OK to level anything standing that may/may not (as, I am dubious to Israel's claim that there were rockets Hezbollah firing nearby) be hiding militants.

In watching the latest from Lebanon, I've been progressively sickened...and vindicated. But I so wish I were wrong. If that were so: I could find some solace in the idea that these people didn't needlessly die over some trumped-up claim that Israel is only defending itself. I could rest easier, knowing that my President and Secty of State were doing their jobs, attempting to stem off further violence by allowing this wholesale destruction to continue.

But, I wasn't born yesterday. I rest with my contention, made a week ago: the ends do NOT justify the means. Simply saying "Gosh, we're sorry," when murdering 64 civilians, and then going right ahead with more bombings is outrageous.

Geneva convention works only when someone follows it. I'm always surprised at how some people act like it's set in stone. Governments are like businesses, they find loop holes.

Which does not exclude human rights and international law violations, one little bit.

With regards to what generals should and shouldn't do, are we not getting a little out of our lanes?
I'm of course quite biased about this but honestly, the situation when you're on the ground "over there" is so different from how it's often portrayed in the media that you're ahead of the game if you even have half the story.

We can't sit here and pass judgment on hindsight or act like arm chair generals.

My taxes: my responsibility.

We need the whole story (and to be on the ground) before we should even begin to comment or decide what's appropriate use of force and whats not.

All I have to do is see those little bodies being carried out in those white bags: and that's enough, for me.

The ends do NOT justify the means.

In a way I see this as aikido. The minute you take sides you join the fight. You need to not focus on single issues but see the whole situation.

We're ALREADY taking sides...we're telling Israel that it's fine to do whatever you like--murder UN observers? Sure, go ahead. Drop laser-guided bombs on civilians? Hey, have some more. :grr:

To give you credit, Grant: your post was written a week ago. You may/may not feel differently now. But I'm sorry, I cannot for a second condone unlicensed assaults on UN and civilian populations, just because Hezbollah itself commits war-crimes.

As you said (in a different context): tit for tat fails to accomplish the objective. If Israel is attempting to alienate Hezbollah from the Lebanese: they've only succeeded in accomplishing the exact opposite.

Neil Mick
08-01-2006, 08:36 PM
what else would you have us do?

Update: in the past week, I discovered something ELSE you can do...

1. Adopt your counterpart. Find someone who is your counterpart in Lebanon (perhaps a Lebanese Aikidoist, someone in your occupation, or your age). Write to them, and offer moral support (or monetary if that's your inclination).

I wrote to an artist who has been making the news recently, and has a blog, here: http://beirutupdate.blogspot.com/

2. Give to a nonprofit aid source that is helping the victims. I found one such, here: http://atrissi.com/helplebanon/

Guilty Spark
08-01-2006, 08:45 PM
Which does not exclude human rights and international law violations, one little bit.

I'm enjoying watching how effective international law is in saddam hussains trial. Judge judy would probably have better luck.

My taxes: my responsibility.
Your right, the military HAS to be accounted for. There is a difference between that and a civilian's opinion on how things should be done. Your obviously intitled to your own opinion, thats to military we citizens are allowed to have our own opinion. Few weeks ago they wanted to kill a guy in afghanastan because he wanted to be a christian instead of following islam, In iraq they assassinated a tennis player for wearing shorts.

I'm not saying that you should just turned a blind eye to the military because thats their circus, I'm just saying sometimes you have to take more unseen factors into consideration.

All I have to do is see those little bodies being carried out in those white bags: and that's enough, for me.
The ends do NOT justify the means.
To give you credit, Grant: your post was written a week ago. You may/may not feel differently now. But I'm sorry, I cannot for a second condone unlicensed assaults on UN and civilian populations, just because Hezbollah itself commits war-crimes.

I hear you man. It's insane all the children being killed. I'm reminded of the islamic terrorists killing those 300ish school children in russia.
I wish Israel wasn't killing kids in the process and I wish Hezboillah wouldn't have kidnapped those 2 soldiers in the first place and started this. I wish Hezbollah wouldn't have attacked that Israel tank with a rocket after Israel agreed to a 2 day cease fire so civilians could flee the area.

I'm hearing a lot of talk that Israel purposefully targeted that UN outpost because they felt the UN was giving Hezbollah intelligence (by accident) because they were using unsecure radio transmissions or something.

I just don't blame Israel for getting fed up with being attacked and wanting to get rid of Hezbollah in the first place. It just sucks we live in a world where these type of us situations happen over and over.

Huker
08-02-2006, 10:01 AM
I honestly wish I had time to delve into this argument, but I'm at work. I'm reading so many posts trying to justify Israel's actions in this war. The fact is that what Israel is currently doing is wrong, both morally and legally. Yes Hezbollah has killed civilians. Guess what: Israel has also killed civilians and in far greater numbers. Does "Butcher of Beirut" ring any bells? That's just a small example among many. Israel is indescriminately bombing civilians using their military power and that of the united states. Now I'm hearing that Canada is also supporting Israel's actions, which infuriates me further. There is absolutely no justification for Israels actions here. If they think they are the victims/the good guys (I'm not saying the are or aren't, but that's their mindset as far as I know) then they have the DUTY to act in a manner becoming of that title (ie: invade with ground forces maybe?). Needless to say the 500lb bombs they're dropping on Lebanon like confetti certainly beat the tiny rockets that Lebanon periodically fires into N. Israel. If you kick me in the shin on the street, is it ok if I kill you and your whole family for the transgression? No.

The above argument also applies to the absurd notion that Hezbollah uses civilians as human shields. Clearly Israel has no regard for civilian life in Lebanon. So why? Makes no sense. Stop the demonizing lies.

Why are there questions floating around about international law? This is absolute. Israel is bound by the UN charter and international law, which state quite clearly that civilians are to be left out of a conflict if at all possible. I'm sure the laws apply to this situation given the 800+ civilian deaths. As for politicians finding loopholes, well, lets just say cheating is cheating and cheating is wrong, so get 'em out. The ones who find the loopholes are the bastards that have gotta go.

Like I said, I'd love to finish, but I've got to go.

Guilty Spark
08-02-2006, 11:08 AM
The above argument also applies to the absurd notion that Hezbollah uses civilians as human shields. Clearly Israel has no regard for civilian life in Lebanon. So why? Makes no sense. Stop the demonizing lies.

:confused:

Needless to say the 500lb bombs they're dropping on Lebanon like confetti certainly beat the tiny rockets that Lebanon periodically fires into N. Israel
A few (thousand)harmless sounding teeny tiny rockets compares NOTHING to evil 500 pound bombs.
No bias there myfriend.

A Canadian soldier in Kandahar was recently injured in an indiscriminate rocket attack. I think you might be surprised at the damage some of these little rockets can cause. Tiny rockets that kill are okay, big rockets that kill are bad?

Comparing what hurts more is silly and once again tit for tat.

Huker
08-02-2006, 11:41 AM
Spark,

Perhaps if you had read my post, you would have noted that I condone the killing of civilians regardless of who does it. My point comparing rockets to the 500lb bombs was that one side is doing damage that is minimal by comparison. The bombs that are being dropped by Israel can level a city block while the rockets used by HA can't even destroy a large building.

As for bias, yes I am indeed biased. Anyone who isn't should give their head a shake. There is no room for debate on this one. Read the history between Israel and Lebanon and see for yourself.

"Comparing what hurts more" is not silly at all. I wouldn't downplay it by calling it something like "tit for tat". People are dying and there is a definite gap in numbers between the two states.

Neil Mick
08-02-2006, 12:19 PM
I'm enjoying watching how effective international law is in saddam hussains trial. Judge judy would probably have better luck.

Oh, please. This is an oversimplification. If you wish to ignore the finer details of applying international law, then be my guest. But, how about looking at the circumstances surrounding his trial, OK?

For instance, the fast and loose games with just how much of the particulars of the trial are publicized (I'm sure that Hussein has many a tale to tell, about his former bud's now in power at the big White Mansion). And what about the difficulties of administering justice in an illegally occupied country, where the major players in his trial sometimes get a bullet, for their troubles?

Contrast this, with S. Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Committee's, or with recent charges allowed to proceed against Pinochet. International law and justice is an elusive beast: but your arguments against leave out much of the whole picture.

If the US, as primary caretaker of the Geneva Conventions, were to properly do its job: international law would be in much better shape. But still, that does not mean that we should totally give up on int'l law altogether.

Your right, the military HAS to be accounted for. There is a difference between that and a civilian's opinion on how things should be done. Your obviously intitled to your own opinion, thats to military we citizens are allowed to have our own opinion. Few weeks ago they wanted to kill a guy in afghanastan because he wanted to be a christian instead of following islam, In iraq they assassinated a tennis player for wearing shorts.

And assassinating a tennis player has relevance, to kids being used as target-practice in Qana, how....?

I'm not saying that you should just turned a blind eye to the military because thats their circus, I'm just saying sometimes you have to take more unseen factors into consideration.

Like, apologizing for atrocity, maybe...?

It's insane all the children being killed. I'm reminded of the islamic terrorists killing those 300ish school children in russia.
I wish Israel wasn't killing kids in the process and I wish Hezboillah wouldn't have kidnapped those 2 soldiers in the first place and started this. I wish Hezbollah wouldn't have attacked that Israel tank with a rocket after Israel agreed to a 2 day cease fire so civilians could flee the area.

Sorry, but it simply does not equate.

Speaking of "unseen factors:" the ongoing military operation was planned nearly a year in advance. In an earlier post I mentioned that this operation would take about 3 weeks.

Now, how do I know this? I do, because that is what is on the IDF itinerary...in the PowerPoint prsentation made by an IDF officer, nearly a year ago. This war is not a retaliation: it's a preset military operation.

The IDF has already stated that they intend to destroy 10 buildings, for every one that Hezbollah destroys. Last I checked, Israel is not at war with Lebanon. Yet, their operations and conventional methods of attack are solely aimed at the Lebanese.

In international law-speak: this is called "collective punishment," and it is illegal as it gets. Worse, it's ineffective. Israel's quickie 3-week plan to neutralize Hezbollah is doomed to failure: and the Lebanese are going to pay the price for their ineptitude.

In the end, of course: the US and Israel will pay, as well. When another 9-11 rolls around, we won't NEED to ask "why do they hate us?" We'll just have to remember the events that took place in Qana...that is, if we're not blinded, again, by the lies of our leaders.

Kevin Leavitt
08-02-2006, 12:33 PM
all major military operations are planned way out into the future. National Military Strategy is done years out. You have to war game and plan for contingencies and particualr scenarios way before you ever want to execute them.

To me it is a "no kidding" you really don't think the IDF planned this years in advance?

Doesn't necessarily mean conspiracy or has anything to do with the fact that it was a forgone conclusion that they will attack. Just good military planning.

Not going to get into the politics of it. Frankly I don't know enough about it to argue it. Just pointing out what should be obvious from a military strategic point of view.

Just because you study martial arts and prepare yourself for possible scenarios does not necessarily mean you are planning on attacking someone!

Neil Mick
08-02-2006, 12:43 PM
all major military operations are planned way out into the future. National Military Strategy is done years out. You have to war game and plan for contingencies and particualr scenarios way before you ever want to execute them.

Doesn't necessarily mean conspiracy or has anything to do with the fact that it was a forgone conclusion that they will attack. Just good military planning.

Fine. Good military strategies require planning. But let's not kid ourselves that this is over some IDF hostages and a few poorly aimed rockets lobbed at Haifa.

Israel has made it clear that it is not interested in ceasefire, or negotiations. Nor, it is painfully clear: is it interested in the welfare of Lebanese civilians...contrary to international law.

It's one thing to make a good plan in preparation for a military attack: quite another to proceed with it, heedless of the suffering you've caused.

DanielR
08-02-2006, 12:56 PM
...a few poorly aimed rockets...
Hezbollah marked the resumption of strikes on northern Israel with a record number of some 210 rockets (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/745563.html)

Kevin Leavitt
08-02-2006, 12:58 PM
No problem with your statements concerning cause Neil. I don't really know enough about it to comment on either side. I think war sucks personally and it pains me greatly to see another one start, for any reason.

As far as suffering and connecting it to the causes. If you look deeply into it, I have always find that it goes way deep and in some way, we are all responsible even if indirectly.

I watched the movie Syriana the other night. Really makes you think hard about how the choices we make even to drive to the grocery store contribute to the "karma" of the whole thing. Good movie!

Guilty Spark
08-02-2006, 01:03 PM
Hey Tanner, I guess I missed that in your post. I felt like you were painting Hezbollah as a victim. There is a difference in damage being caused by both sides. I still wouldn't consider 2 or 3 odd thousand rockets as something minor. I'm glad they are causing less injuries. I'm sorry Israel's bombs are causing more. My argument is the intent. Both sides don't seem overly concerned about civilian casualties. The fact that one side is less effective doesn't mean meach to me. Do you think if Hezbollah had the means to kill more people they would choose not to? I doubt it.

As for bias, yes I am indeed biased. Anyone who isn't should give their head a shake. There is no room for debate on this one. Read the history between Israel and Lebanon and see for yourself.
I'm not biased. I think both sides do stupid hateful things. From firing a rocket into a building to kill one person to someone blowing themselves up in a crowded market. Not cool.

People are dying and there is a definite gap in numbers between the two states.
Fair enough but I'm not going to put a value on who's life is more important. Every death because of this stupid fight is one death too many, regardless of who's side it's on. The fact that one side is more successful than the other doesn't take away from that. Is that everything you base your argument on? What if Israel were sitting on their hands while rockets were fired at them and Israel suffered 10 times more casualties, would you be "on their side"? I'm sure a lot of people will say yes, I'd still find it hard to believe.

Neil, you'll have to forgive me, international law isn't my thing. You've obviously done your homework on it and it's something that interests you. I'd be silly trying to debate you over it ;)

I DO agree International law and justice is an elusive beast. I watch what's going on in the news and it looks like a joke.

Speaking of "unseen factors:" the ongoing military operation was planned nearly a year in advance. In an earlier post I mentioned that this operation would take about 3 weeks.
I can imagine that. I can see how Israel would want to move in and take hezbollah out of the picture once and for all. That takes away from the whole idea that they went to war over 2 soldiers and it's over kill now doesn't it?
Thos soldiers being kidnapped were perhaps a final excuse to move in.

Yet, their operations and conventional methods of attack are solely aimed at the Lebanese.

Ya I can see that. Makes it hard for me to feel sorry for Israel.

In the end, of course: the US and Israel will pay, as well. When another 9-11 rolls around, we won't NEED to ask "why do they hate us?" We'll just have to remember the events that took place in Qana...that is, if we're not blinded, again, by the lies of our leaders.
And we elect those leaders :)
You're really emotional (for lack of a better word) about this stuff. I can rreally appriciate that.

I'm not going to send money to non-profit organizations. I donated $300 to the Tsunai relief stuff and after hearing about how bad the Red Cross crapped the bed and screwed that up I think I'll pass on giving to them again for a long time.

Instead of writting your congress member etc.. why don't you go to Israel and protest their government. Try and put pressure on them to stop what their doing. Go to Lebanon and help evacuate people or try and reach the hezbollah somehow and convince them to stop. I know that sounds insane but hey it might work. Maybe you will have a change of opinion when your feet are on the ground or maybe your opinion will be validated.
I know if they ask for people to go over there and act as peacekeeprs or whatever I'll be one of the first to volenteer.
I doubt there will be any peace to keep. Both sides hate each other, for real and imagined reasons.

Israel is faced with a crappy option.
Sit there and continue to be exposed to terrorist attacks OR go do something violent about it with a view to protecting themselves from future harm.

Neil Mick
08-02-2006, 03:43 PM
Hezbollah marked the resumption of strikes on northern Israel with a record number of some 210 rockets (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/745563.html)

Oh..sorry: a few hundred poorly aimed rockets. Better?

But, since you want to get technical...

Number of Israeli civilian casualties: 20 dead
Number of Israeli wounded: 418
Number of Israeli's displaced: 300,000

Number of Lebanese civilian casualties: 400-832 (reports vary)
Number of Lebanese wounded: 3243
Number of Lebanese displaced: 900,000+

Number of dead on either side, that will advance the cause of peace: 0

Number of Hezbollah rocket attacks: 210
Number of Israeli bombing sorties: nearly 2000 (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f2/Lebanese_Areas_Targeted_7-15_to_7-27.jpg)

Estimated cost of damage to Lebanese infrastructure: Nearly $2B
Estimated cost of damage to Israeli infrastructure: unknown. After searching for 1/2hr: I'm guessing that it's not severe

Environmental damage: 25,000 tonnes of oil spilled along the (formerly) beautiful Lebanonese (200km) coastline, causing breathing problems, fish deaths, and threatening the habitat of the endangered green sea turtle.

Other outrages: Israeli use of cluster bombs, white phosphorus, and dU munitions against civilians.

Idiotic bonehead statements-of-the-month (so far):

Israel's chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, "We will turn Lebanon's clock back 20 years."

Nasrallah: "You wanted an open war, and we are heading for an open war. We are ready for it."

Number of Hezbollah/IDF officials indictable for war-crimes: (in the words of the sheriff, in the movie "Billy Jack," after BJ trashed some yahoo's in a bar and a deputy asked the sheriff, "Aren't you going to arrest someone...?"

The sheriff replied in those immortal words...)

"Where do I start?" :disgust:

Huker
08-02-2006, 03:48 PM
Unfortunately, its not that simple. Israel has introduced two options where you've placed one. Sure, anyone would have a problem if they were being hit with rockets or anything else. If I were in that situation, there's no doubt I'd want to do something. So, obviously sitting on their hands is not the expected course of action. Israel has chosen to do something about it. However, in the place of a moderate, rational response, they've taken things to the extreme. Hezbollah has very limited military capabilites, partially because they are simply a paramilitary group likely without any official funding from the Lebanese gov't. As far as I know, they have rockets for long range and rifles for short range. They have no tactical fighters, no tanks, no long range artillery, and no way to get past Israel's perimiter defenses for an invasion. Israel, on the other hand, has all that and more. Israel has chosen an extremist option. It has chosen terrorism. If they had a problem with Hezbollah, they could have urged the Lebanese military to handle it, or invaded from the ground and faced the losses in infantry, or taken a diplomatic course of action, or nearly any other course. The indescriminate shelling of civilians with such transparent explanations and cover stories is sickening. Absolutely sickening. Every time I watch CNN I feel like I'm being called an idiot. They have killed so many civilians where so few could have suffered. Yes I admit that Hezbollah is guilty of killing civilians, but Israel has killed civilians at a ratio of at least 25:1 in 3 weeks. This figure reflects hate. You're watching one of the ugliest atrocities committed by any party in a long time and Israel is the one doing it.

All this, plus nearly every country with any political pull is urging Israel to stop and negotiate while Israel shrugs them off. It is absolutely unbelievable what is going on. The title of this thread is very good. It has reflected a fear that I've had (but ignored) since I started looking into the middle east. War has broken out. How big it gets depends on the actions of the democratic countries versus those of the arabic countries. So far, the war is turning into a proxy war. Israel gets weapons and funding from the US and possibly support from Canada, while Hezbollah allegedly (not quite proven yet) gets support from Iran and Syria. This is looking a lot like Vietnam, but has the potential to explode into something much larger. Be scared and follow the fundamentals of martial arts. Know your enemy.

Until next time.

Huker
08-02-2006, 03:49 PM
Is Hezbollah a victim? Maybe. Is it a scapegoat? Certainly.

The real victims here are the Lebanese civilians who are suffering and dying for no reason.

Neil Mick
08-02-2006, 03:51 PM
Israel is faced with a crappy option.
Sit there and continue to be exposed to terrorist attacks OR go do something violent about it with a view to protecting themselves from future harm.

Wrong. There IS a "third way." and I'm surprised that you don't even consider it. They COULD simply agree to peace talks and a prisoner exchange.

DanielR
08-02-2006, 03:51 PM
Oh..sorry: a few hundred poorly aimed rockets. Better? <snip> Number of Hezbollah rocket attacks: 210 A little, but not quite. 210 rocket attacks today. Over the course of the conflict - I'm guessing in the thousands. Seems to me, this makes quite a bit of a difference if one wants to convey an objective point of view.

Neil Mick
08-02-2006, 03:57 PM
Instead of writting your congress member etc.. why don't you go to Israel and protest their government. Try and put pressure on them to stop what their doing.

Been there: tried that.

But it amazes me the number of times I've heard the ever-popular refrain of "if you don't like what's going on: why don't you go to...?"

So, instead of my stock response, Grant: here's my tailored-one:

Because, the problem is right here. I have little doubt that hostilities would end tomorrow, if Bush were to get on the phone to Olmert and tell him to stand down, or else no aid.

Go to Lebanon and help evacuate people or try and reach the hezbollah somehow and convince them to stop.

Riiight...it'll all stop, when Hezbollah stops...uh huh. :rolleyes:

Neil Mick
08-02-2006, 03:59 PM
A little, but not quite. 210 rocket attacks today. Over the course of the conflict - I'm guessing in the thousands. Seems to me, this makes quite a bit of a difference if one wants to convey an objective point of view.

The proof of the pudding is in not how many firecrackers you lob: but in how many people lie dead, when the smoke clears.

The ratio now stands about 20:1, most of those 20 being civilians. But, thanks for the correction.

James Davis
08-02-2006, 04:09 PM
Because, the problem is right here. I have little doubt that hostilities would end tomorrow, if Bush were to get on the phone to Olmert and tell him to stand down, or else no aid.




For that matter, he could probably say that to lebanon as well. It's strange that we support governments that are aggressive to us. We feed the people of N. Korea, so that their govt. can spend their money on missiles. :freaky:

James Davis
08-02-2006, 04:10 PM
Wrong. There IS a "third way." and I'm surprised that you don't even consider it. They COULD simply agree to peace talks and a prisoner exchange.
and encourage more kidnappings.

Mike Sigman
08-02-2006, 04:11 PM
Fine. Good military strategies require planning. But let's not kid ourselves that this is over some IDF hostages and a few poorly aimed rockets lobbed at Haifa. Actually, it's over years of attacks by Hezbollah and the killing of a number of Israeli civilians and military personnel. It's fairly simple... if Hezbollah never attacked Israel, Israel would never attack Hezbollah. Why don't I see any condemnation of Iran and Syria? I don't mind seeing Israel's faults brought out, but it's suspicious when all the screaming is about Israel, Neil. And of course that's a silly comment on my part because everyone knows that you're simply and anti-American screamer. :)
Israel has made it clear that it is not interested in ceasefire, or negotiations. Nor, it is painfully clear: is it interested in the welfare of Lebanese civilians...contrary to international law. "International law"? The UN has called for the disarming of Hezbollah, Neil. Where have you screamed about that not being done? Hezbollah has been responsible for the killing of American civilians, blowing up of planes, deliberate civilian attacks (as opposed to military attacks), using civilians as shields, etc..... but why don't you complain about that? Because this is another of your anti-American rants, utlimately. Why do you pretend differently? Show me some rants of yours about the deaths, etc., committed by Islamists, the Arabs in Sudan, the corruption at the UN, etc. Nothing. Your rants are purely anti-American and anti-Jew... very trendy; very California; very Santa Cruz.
It's one thing to make a good plan in preparation for a military attack: quite another to proceed with it, heedless of the suffering you've caused. I notice the number of "women and children" killed in the building at Qana has been quietly lowered, BTW. And no one yet has explained how the building didn't collapse until 8 hours after the airstrike, etc. Meaning simply that there are a number of unanswered questions about exactly what happened, despite Neil already accusing Israel of doing it. Which post number is the one where you scream at Hezbollah for launching rockets deliberately from within a civilian-populated area, Neil? Just tell me the post number and I'll go read it. Since you're so ethical and such a logical thinker, I'm sure you must have screamed about it somewhere. :)

I.e..... where is the balance in your discussions? We already know you hate the Jooz.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Neil Mick
08-02-2006, 04:26 PM
and encourage more kidnappings.

Wrong. Read your history: Israel has agreed to this strategy before, when outright aggression failed.


you're simply and anti-American screamer.

this is another of your anti-American rants, utlimately.

Your rants are purely anti-American and anti-Jew... very trendy; very California; very Santa Cruz.

I.e..... where is the balance in your discussions? We already know you hate the Jooz.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Oh, Mikey, Mikey, Mikey...

You're so predictable...like a broken record stuck on the same old song: here you come with your "anti-American bias!" "Hater of Jews (note spelling)!" rant.

SO predictable.

I won't bother to respond to each of your points, as they are adequately expressed in the mainstream media (but I do find your attempt to downplay the Qana massacre a bit stomach-turning).

NOR, will I bother to rise to your usual Left-baiting...

But, I WILL take this opportunity to "balance the posts," as it were.

If you bothered to read my blog, you'd know that I took part in helping to organize an international Aikido conference in 2005. There were about a half dozen Israeli Aikidoists there, and I consider them my friends. It comforts me (a little bit) that they are mostly living outside the targeted areas (I hope): but I know that they are under a great deal of stress, right now. They, too: are in my thoughts and my prayers.

In point of fact, Mike: my concern partly stems from my wish for Israel to survive. From my perspective, this military operation is about the worst thing that Israel can do for itself. This assault will, IMO, insure more Arab hatred toward Israel, more homeless and desperate refugee's, more membership drives for extremist groups.

It saddens me to see people of any nationality die for an empty cause. But some of us learned from the lessons of Vietnam, of Afghanistan, of Iraq. You simply cannot solve the problems of a paramilitary insurgency, by methods of conventional warfare, and occupation.

It's a terrible thing, that people have to die to relearn this terrible lesson. I guess, we'll all just have to wait for people like you, to catch up in their education. :rolleyes:

Mike Sigman
08-02-2006, 05:06 PM
I won't bother to respond to each of your points, as they are adequately expressed in the mainstream media The main question was for you to point me to the posts where you show your balanced discussion. There are none, are there? (but I do find your attempt to downplay the Qana massacre a bit stomach-turning). Tell me why. I saw people print the same thing about the "Jenin Massacre" and how anyone questioning it was somehow subhuman (or even worse: Jewish). Yet the Jenin "massacre" turned out to be incorrect. I asked you how you KNOW the Israelis did a "massacre" in a place where Hezbollah, *contrary to international law* was deliberately attacking Israel while hiding in a civilian area. You haven't answered.If you bothered to read my blog, you'd know that I took part in helping to organize an international Aikido conference in 2005. Kewl. And your posts that balance the anti-Israeli posts are which ones????? In point of fact, Mike: my concern partly stems from my wish for Israel to survive. Ah... THAT'S why you singularly blame them. You're doing it as a token of your great concern for them. I should have known. This assault will, IMO, insure more Arab hatred toward Israel, more homeless and desperate refugee's, more membership drives for extremist groups. Er.... I don't know if you realize it, but it's in the Koran to hate Jews, Neil. War upon Jews is called for as is war upon Christians. Poor Hindus are hated just because they're there and they make good slaves. All this has been going on far longer than the "State of Israel" excuse, Neil, so don't worry about making nice to the Muslims so they won't "hate the Jooz". That's a pretty specious reason and you know it. It saddens me to see people of any nationality die for an empty cause. But some of us learned from the lessons of Vietnam, of Afghanistan, of Iraq. You simply cannot solve the problems of a paramilitary insurgency, by methods of conventional warfare, and occupation. Oh, Neil.... you're so noble. Sighhhhhhh. Now where are those balanced posts?????

Regards to Santa Cruz

Mike

Huker
08-02-2006, 05:12 PM
I'm home from work now and I promised myself I wouldn't sign on and make new posts, but conversation on aikiweb rarely generates this much participation and interest.

I was waiting for someone to play the "anti-Jew"/"anti-Semite" card. It usually happens on most forums at some point and almost always when someone says something negative about Israel. First off, no one here has said "Jews" where "Israeli" was more appropriate. Maybe I missed something, but so far as I can tell, the conversation has been reasonably clean in this respect. Second, not all Jews are semitic/Israeli. Many are born right here in N. America. Wierd. How about we just agree not to get into the whole "you're a Jew hater" business since I'm sure we've all seen that comment make most good discussions go right down the sh**ter. As for anti-Americanism, well, in referense to Niel, he's already explained his grievance since his tax dollars are headed straight into some poor Lebanese family's home.

Mike Sigman wrote:
Actually, it's over years of attacks by Hezbollah and the killing of a number of Israeli civilians and military personnel. It's fairly simple... if Hezbollah never attacked Israel, Israel would never attack Hezbollah.

Keep in mind that the reason that Hezbollah even exists is because of Israel's former occupation of S. Lebanon...for 18 years. Hezbollah formed and kicked them out. This only ended a few years ago, but does it finally explain why Hezbollah kids don't play with Israeli kids? On top of that, it is debatable what happened first, whether Hezbollah attacked first or Israel. Even in the story presented 3 weeks ago, some news sources have said that the captured Israeli soldiers were picked up on the Lebanese side of the border. Given the supporting arguments that I've read, I'm more inclined to believe that, but most of you will probably think that's just more bias talking. Maybe it is, but that's the way I see it.

James Davis wrote:
and encourage more kidnappings.

I hate these buzzwords. Israel used them during the whole Gilad Shalit ordeal. "Kiddnapped" and "hostage" were pretty popular. Personally, I like to call them Prisoners of War. Why are the 10,000+ POWs in Israel not called "kidnapped hostages"? The reason is simple: propaganda. It gains international sympathy for Israel, who btw, seems to always get their say while the Arab parties are left in silence. :disgust:

Mark Uttech
08-02-2006, 05:14 PM
Theories abound. Although aikido is now being taught and practiced in 87 countries, half a million children under 18 are being used as 'child soldiers' in 85 countries.

Mike Sigman
08-02-2006, 05:41 PM
First off, no one here has said "Jews" where "Israeli" was more appropriate. I think even the media has recognized and commented on the well-known joke that "Just because you don't like Israel doesn't mean you don't like Jews". I'm assuming you're not saying it seriously?

I asked for the balance. Where's yours? Point me to the posts discussing the various international laws Hezbollah broke, etc.... because they have actually broken laws regarding borders, kidnapping, using civilians as shields, etc. There's plenty to dissect on both sides... I was questioning why it's so one-sided.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Hogan
08-02-2006, 06:10 PM
and encourage more kidnappings.

Yep - that's exactly what happens:


http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-07-25-hezbollah-surprised_x.htm?csp=34

"A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrillas did not expect Israel to react with an all-out offensive after the capture of two soldiers, the first acknowledgment by the group that it had miscalculated the consequences of the raid two weeks ago.

He said Hezbollah had expected "the usual, limited response" from Israel after the two soldiers were seized by guerrillas on Israel's side of the border on July 12.

In the past, he said, Israeli responses to Hezbollah actions included sending commandos into Lebanon, seizing Hezbollah officials and briefly targeting specific strongholds in southern Lebanon.

Komati said his group had anticipated negotiations to swap the Israeli soldiers for three Lebanese held in Israeli jails, with Germany acting as a mediator as it has in past prisoner exchanges."

It's all a game to hezbollah....

Huker
08-02-2006, 06:12 PM
Mike Sigman wrote:
I think even the media has recognized and commented on the well-known joke that "Just because you don't like Israel doesn't mean you don't like Jews". I'm assuming you're not saying it seriously?

I'm not 100% on what you mean with this one. I have no problem with Jews, and as far as I can tell, no one here but you has equated "Jew" with "Israeli" when you called Niel "anti-Jew". That was my point.

Mike Sigman wrote:
Point me to the posts discussing the various international laws Hezbollah broke, etc.... because they have actually broken laws regarding borders, kidnapping, using civilians as shields, etc. There's plenty to dissect on both sides... I was questioning why it's so one-sided.

Of course, Hezbollah has broken laws, even though they still don't technically qualify as military. So far, the biggest problem is civilian killing. I've said this before. I've also shared my feelings towards "kidnapping" in previous posts. The technical term is "prisoner", which is not contrary to international law. I've also already commented on Hezbollah using civilians as shields and why I think that is BS propaganda. Read back a bit. I've only posted today, so you shouldn't have to go far.

If you're wondering why the discussion is one-sided, have a look at how one-sided the fight is. Who is committing the greater atrocities? What is the GREATER evil? That's where I'm focusing.

Mike Sigman
08-02-2006, 07:52 PM
Of course, Hezbollah has broken laws, even though they still don't technically qualify as military. So far, the biggest problem is civilian killing. I've said this before. I've also shared my feelings towards "kidnapping" in previous posts. The technical term is "prisoner", which is not contrary to international law. I've also already commented on Hezbollah using civilians as shields and why I think that is BS propaganda. Read back a bit. I've only posted today, so you shouldn't have to go far.

If you're wondering why the discussion is one-sided, have a look at how one-sided the fight is. Who is committing the greater atrocities? What is the GREATER evil? That's where I'm focusing.I don't really respond to nonsense posts. Hezbollah, part of the Lebanese government (Israel could legally attack the Lebanese government for allowing Hezbollah to kill and kidnap Israelis (I hope you don't think this is the first time Hezbollah has done this... tell me you're not that silly), has attacked Israel across the internationally-recognized borders, after years of firing rockets, killing Israeli civilians and killing Israeli soldiers. Hezbollah has been responsible for many hundres of US deaths and has hijacked planes, blown them up, killed civilians, etc. And you're saying Israel is the "greater evil"? This is nonsense. You're not able to reason because your ideas are already fixed... as are Neil's. Start looking at both sides of the issue instead of just hating Jews because it's trendy.


Mike Sigman

Huker
08-02-2006, 08:43 PM
Mike, could you at least show me the courtesy that I show you? I don't understand why you feel the need to talk down to me. I find your post very condescending and would appreciate it if you could at least be polite.

Thus far I have made every effort to avoid confusing Jews with Israelis. I'm afraid that the confusion is on your end, not mine. You are being petty and irrational by saying that I hate Jews because I disagree with Israel's response to Hezbollah.

Although I can't say that I know of everything that Hezbollah has done, I've heard nothing of them hijacking planes or taking/murdering hundreds of US hostages. If this is the case, then I'm truly sorry. Know that I have no love for such tragedies.

Even if Hezbollah killed hundreds of US civilians, drove a plane straight into whatever, can someone please explain to me why thousands...sorry...hundreds of thousands of civilians in Lebanon deserve to pay the cost? We're talking people just going to work, sitting in class, getting ready for breakfast...just living normally. Have you seen the photos of kids with half a head left? How about the burns from white phosphorous (which is a banned weapon)? How about the half-buried corpses of so many women, men and children? The total devastation of civilian infrastructure? How about bombed hospitals in Lebanon? Have a look. Just type it into google, you'll find plenty. Then explain the "measured response" of the Israelis.

You're right, my ideas are fixed. Give me good solid reasons backed by evidence why Israel deserves any support for this disgusting atrocity. Change my mind. I'll even help you out a bit: You won't do it simply by talking down to me, calling me a bigot, or thinking I'm naive.

Guilty Spark
08-02-2006, 09:25 PM
Neil, the difference between a 240 rockets in a day and 240 rockets in 3 weeks seems like a big deal. Just whatevering it adds to bias don't you think? If we're going to play the attrocity game lets call a spade a spade and not dismiss one sides while throwing the spotlight on the other.

Wrong. There IS a "third way." and I'm surprised that you don't even consider it. They COULD simply agree to peace talks and a prisoner exchange.
Ya, I guess they could. Do you really understand the scope of hate we're talking about here? Generations born into hate just putting their anger down and shaking hands? I wish that could happen, having been in simular situations I just can't put too much faith in that hapopening.

You've said you've been there and tried that. To what end? You've physically gone to Israel and interacted with the government?

I'm not so sure everythign would stop if the US said okay guys everyone out of the pool.
Riiight...it'll all stop, when Hezbollah stops...uh huh.
Well if everything DIDN'T stop then Israel would clearly be the agressor.
Would Lebanon be in this situation if they wouldn't have kidnapped those soldiers?

Tanner,
Hezbollah has very limited military capabilites, partially because they are simply a paramilitary group likely without any official funding from the Lebanese gov't. As far as I know, they have rockets for long range and rifles for short range. They have no tactical fighters, no tanks, no long range artillery, and no way to get past Israel's perimiter defenses for an invasion. Israel, on the other hand, has all that and more.
The US thought they were safe from terrorist attack too. They may not have any methods of getting past Israel's defenses for an all out invasion but they don't have to. Thats not how they operate. They go into Israel and kidnap people. They go into Israel and blow themselves up at crowded markets. Tanks are expensive, people aren't.

Israel could ask the government in lebanon to take care of the hezbollah threat but lets be serious. What would Hezbollah do if the fragile lebanese government came to their door and said that? They'd get a big FU and told to go away.

"International law"? The UN has called for the disarming of Hezbollah, Neil. Where have you screamed about that not being done? Hezbollah has been responsible for the killing of American civilians, blowing up of planes, deliberate civilian attacks (as opposed to military attacks), using civilians as shields, etc
Well said Mike.

Even if Hezbollah killed hundreds of US civilians, drove a plane straight into whatever, can someone please explain to me why thousands...sorry...hundreds of thousands of civilians in Lebanon deserve to pay the cost?
They don't but you could ask why Israel citizens have to live in fear because of Hezbollah running unchecked and out of control in lebanon. Is it fair for them?

Israel is going to face the same problem I've been saying the US has in Iraq. Destroy a building killing civilians by accident and all of a sudden you just convinced 3 more dudes to join the 'bad guys'.

gdandscompserv
08-02-2006, 09:32 PM
Oh sorry. I saw this thread title and thought it was Dan and Mike's thread. :D

dps
08-02-2006, 09:42 PM
Oh sorry. I saw this thread title and thought it was Dan and Mike's thread. :D
It is Mick and Mike's thread. :)

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 12:24 AM
I was waiting for someone to play the "anti-Jew"/"anti-Semite" card. It usually happens on most forums at some point and almost always when someone says something negative about Israel. First off, no one here has said "Jews" where "Israeli" was more appropriate. Maybe I missed something, but so far as I can tell, the conversation has been reasonably clean in this respect.

Tanner,

You're so right, on this one. Up to this point, I was wondering when someone would cry "anti-Semite!" Sure enough, it had to be our very own lurking "not-quite-quasi-Aikidoist," Mikey.

And, his MO doesn't seem to change, does it? He comes in hard and fast with the name-calling and racist-baiting, and then he tsk-tsk's all the rampant name-calling, abounding in the posts.

I don't really respond to nonsense posts.

Good advice...I think I'll take it, in regard to your anti-Semite fishing expeditions. Go find some other fish to catch, troll...this one's not biting.

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 12:29 AM
Grant,

No time to respond at length, but I thought I'd briefly touch on your first point...

Neil, the difference between a 240 rockets in a day and 240 rockets in 3 weeks seems like a big deal. Just whatevering it adds to bias don't you think? If we're going to play the attrocity game lets call a spade a spade and not dismiss one sides while throwing the spotlight on the other.

Sorry, but I was responding to Daniel's post. It was an error: not an attempt to downplay the deaths. But even so: I still hold to my earlier post:

Number of Israeli civilian casualties: 20 dead
Number of Israeli wounded: 418
Number of Israeli's displaced: 300,000

Number of Lebanese civilian casualties: 400-832 (reports vary)
Number of Lebanese wounded: 3243
Number of Lebanese displaced: 900,000+

The proof of the pudding is in not how many firecrackers you lob: but in how many people lie dead, when the smoke clears.

The ratio now stands about 20:1, most of those 20 being civilians. But, thanks for the correction.

It's not in how many missiles you lob: it's in how many people died. And, you surprise me. Weren't you the one who said that number-crunching was inappropriate? Tsk.

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 12:30 AM
It is Mick and Mike's thread. :)

Now THAT is funny!! :D :D

DanielR
08-03-2006, 12:32 AM
Listened today to this interview with a young Israeli writer (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5600631). He said something very simple, quite naive but it did strike a cord with me: this is a strange war. All sides said they weren't interested in widening the conflict too much; there seems to be a general consensus that it should be over in a week, or two, or three; that this time is not going to be sufficient for Israel to finish off Hezbollah completely; that some sort of political solution is going to have to be found. If this is true, why not finish it today?
Problem is, a rocket landing 70km inside Israel strikes a totally different cord.

Tanner, the tone of your posts is such that I would be surprised if someone ever takes the time to debate the underlying issues of this conflict with you. Indeed, why bother if you yourself are saying that there is no room for debate on this one (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=148662&postcount=40) and that your ideas are fixed (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=148745&postcount=65)?

For what I think is a reasonable, no-nonsense military and political analysis of this war from the Israeli perspective I would recommend Ze'ev Schiff at Haaretz.com; some of his recent analysis articles are here (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?sw=schiff&itemNo=745774), here (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?sw=schiff&itemNo=745274) and here (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?sw=schiff&itemNo=744452).

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-03-2006, 03:36 AM
I won't even bother taking sides here! What worries me - from a completely uneducated viewpoint, which possibly describes that of most people exposed to only the mainstream "fluff" media - is that the conflict between the Israelis and Arabs is too complex to be easily bargained over between a set of groups. As yet there seems to be no common set of issues that can even be put on the table and compromised on by all influential groups. It's not like South Africa where civil war was avoided by everyone agreeing how to live together within the same borders: here there are groups which do not even accept the legitimacy of the Israeli state, under which circumstances one can only see a continued struggle for survival by the Israelis, and fall-out all over the region. Bah, perhaps if the situation gets so bad for all concerned that something simply must be compromised on for pure survival, then negotiations can get underway. Idon't have much hope of that happening in my lifetime though...

Mark Uttech
08-03-2006, 05:48 AM
I see that my attempt to create a diversion (post #60) did not work. As the Japanese say with a shrug: "so desu ka."

dps
08-03-2006, 06:46 AM
I see that my attempt to create a diversion (post #60) did not work. As the Japanese say with a shrug: "so desu ka."
The righteous are not so easily diverted. :)

dps
08-03-2006, 06:57 AM
"While Owl's little routine is that of Knowledge for the sake of Appearing Wise, Eeyore's is that of Knowledge for the sake of Complaining About Something and Rabbit's is that of Knowledge of Being Clever. As anyone who doesn't have it can see, the Eeyore Attitude gets in the way of things like wisdom and happiness, and pretty much prevents any sort of real Accomplishment in life. "

The Tao of Pooh

Mark Uttech
08-03-2006, 07:00 AM
How long does it take for a lightbulb to change?

dps
08-03-2006, 07:04 AM
How long does it take for a lightbulb to change? I don't know. How long does it take for a lightbulb to change?

Mike Sigman
08-03-2006, 07:57 AM
You're so right, on this one. Up to this point, I was wondering when someone would cry "anti-Semite!" Sure enough, it had to be our very own lurking "not-quite-quasi-Aikidoist," Mikey.

And, his MO doesn't seem to change, does it? He comes in hard and fast with the name-calling and racist-baiting, and then he tsk-tsk's all the rampant name-calling, abounding in the posts. And the balanced posts, I ask again, are where???????

Just by your own posts on this thread, you're obviously against the Jews, Neil. Are you going to say that you're not, with the posts here for everyone to read??

The discussion forum itself is an open archive to your anti-American rants. You started off with the looney-tunes "hate George Bush" stuff of yours that is uncontrolled. Then, typically of the Far, Far Left (like, what could be expected to be found in Santa Cruz), it can be predictably found that all your posts side with anything that is against or could possibly be made to work against the Bush's administration. "Any Enemy of George Bush is a Friend of the Far Left".

But that wasn't enough. Now it's mutated into "Any Enemy of the United States is a Friend of the Far Left". Your posts are archived proof of that, Neil. So when I point it out that you're anti-American (and anti-Jew) you do the only thing you can do and that's try to go back to the personal, making it that I'm the bad guy for pointing out what is obvious to anyone who wants to read your rants. :D

It's not me exposing you, Neil... you're exposed by your own writings. You're not *balanced*, fair, or rational.... your'e a fruit-cake lefty, so anything you say is spuriously unbalanced. You've discredited yourself... not me. So think about yourself and take the blame fairly for once

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
08-03-2006, 08:02 AM
It's not in how many missiles you lob: it's in how many people died. And, you surprise me. Weren't you the one who said that number-crunching was inappropriate? Tsk. Want to do a numbers crunch on the number of Nazis that died in the last days of WWII and blame the Allies for atrocities? You're grabbing anything you can, regardless of what the Arabs did to initiate the war, to use and show that Israel is the bad guy. You're simply against the Jews in every post. Your lip service couple of tsk, tsk's about Hezbollah are about as believable as your stray "I support the troops" when you talk about the US, Neil. Why don't you simply say it out loud... you hate the US and you hate Israel. Don't try to package it with some smarmy BS that is *always* just another lead-in to why the US is bad and Israel is bad. Lay it out there, Neil. :p

Mike

Luc X Saroufim
08-03-2006, 08:14 AM
i grew up in Beirut, I'm supposed to get married there next year. my wedding plans are tentatively cancelled, my family is hiding up in the mountains, and every day i am watching my country, the area closest to my heart, get flattened.

on the flip side, Lebanon is one of the most diverse religious countries in the world. i take pride in this fact. Shi'ites are only a fraction of the Lebanese population, and there are a lot of Lebanese who want Hezbollah out just as bad as Israel does.

on the other flip side, Israeli's are not animals. they do not want to kill civilians, and they are good people. the truth of the matter is that this army seems highly inexperienced. they have the firepower, but this is one of the few times they have reached significant resistance, and their inexperience is showing with miscalculated attacks and a plethora of civilian casualties. they need more training.

on another flip side, it was Israeli occupation that created Hezbollah in the first place. it was also Israeli occupation that created Hamas. again, this does not mean that Israel is not trying to secure peace.

on another flip side, Hezbollah has very little respect for Lebanon by attacking Israel without consent of the Lebanese government. they are not unifying Lebanon, they are tearing it appart worse than Israel is.a

bottom line: your viewpoint is your own, but nobody is right, and everybody is right. they only truth we can agree upon is that war is bad.

i am proud of the fact that i can watch my country get flattened and not have feelings of scorn or hatred. my only concern is that while bridges can be rebuilt, my family cannot.

here's to a quick resolution, a lasting peace, and my close friendship with some good Israeli people.

Guilty Spark
08-03-2006, 08:54 AM
Gernot,
here there are groups which do not even accept the legitimacy of the Israeli state, under which circumstances one can only see a continued struggle for survival by the Israelis, and fall-out all over the region.
Exactly.
Some groups do not want peace. Some groups define their faith and existance on the idea of destroying the other side. BOTH sides have these war mongers.
Attempts at peace will be constantly challanged by these groups until you remove the hateful groups from both Lebanon AND Israel.

on another flip side, Hezbollah has very little respect for Lebanon by attacking Israel without consent of the Lebanese government. they are not unifying Lebanon, they are tearing it appart worse than Israel is...

here's to a quick resolution, a lasting peace, and my close friendship with some good Israeli people.

Luc right on. I hope you get a chance to get married where you want, your family is okay and we get to see some pictures.
Perhaps if more people had your attitude and wisdom we wouldn't be in this situation. In fact I know we wouldn't. People far too often pick a side and condem attrocities by one side yet convient;y over look ones that happen by their own side. Or just brush it off. "Whatever sure they did that but look at what the other side did!"
It's a shame.


It's not in how many missiles you lob: it's in how many people died. And, you surprise me. Weren't you the one who said that number-crunching was inappropriate? Tsk.
Neil, I'm full of surprises buddy :)
There may be good reasons for number crunching, they obviously DO help paint an over all picture. I myself prefer to steer away from it. I brought up that point because I felt like for someone who does use numbers as weight in their argument, the difference between 240 tiny rockets and 2000+ rockets was given a wave of your hand. "Big deal" more or less when I would consider it more weight to the argument. Of course it was just a mistake, perhaps I'm reading too much into it because I'm expecting a biased point of view (which isn't a slight)
The proof of the pudding is in not how many firecrackers you lob: but in how many people lie dead, when the smoke clears.
I missed this eairlier and I see your point.
Neil you have some great points and in a lot of wars I mirror your feelings towards unchecked and out of control governments.

That said I can't help but mirror a lot of what Mike does about you. You come across with a very pronounced I hate George Bush, I can't stand the US, Israel are monsters while seeming willing to, for the most part, overlook what Hezbollah has done.
on another flip side, Hezbollah has very little respect for Lebanon by attacking Israel without consent of the Lebanese government
That was a great point he brought up.

Neil I think you might be able to win more people over to your side of the argument OR even just get people thinking about your views if you didn't come across as such a fanatic. I read your posts and before I can start rolling your ideas around in my head I say to myself wow this dude is biased. He really hates the US. It's very hard to look at your argument from a neutral perspective when I know your arguments and facts are presented 100% from an anti-US and anti-israel platform. I hope that makes sense?

DanielR
08-03-2006, 08:57 AM
here's to a quick resolution, a lasting peace, and my close friendship with some good Israeli people.I'll drink to that!

Jim ashby
08-03-2006, 10:13 AM
Thousands dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, millions directly affected. All over an argument about who's got the best imaginary friend.
Humanity, gotta love 'em!

Huker
08-03-2006, 11:06 AM
Niel Mick wrote:

Tanner, the tone of your posts is such that I would be surprised if someone ever takes the time to debate the underlying issues of this conflict with you. Indeed, why bother if you yourself are saying that there is no room for debate on this one and that your ideas are fixed?

You're right. I should have been clearer with this and sound less absolute. I was trying to encourage people to change my mind about the situation by bringing up facts supporting their arguments. I didn't mean to sound like my opinion couldn't be changed.

I'm seeing some more constructive posts today. Last night was a bit of a flame war.

James Davis
08-03-2006, 11:09 AM
There may be good reasons for number crunching, they obviously DO help paint an over all picture. I myself prefer to steer away from it.
There might be nother reason that there is such a glaring difference between the number of casualties for Israel and Lebanon...

How many bomb shelters are available to the citizens of Lebanon? I hear that Israel has quite a few, and that the air raid sirens give you a couple ticks of time to get to them.

Conversely, the Lebanese people have weapons caches kept by Hezbollah in close proximity to their homes. :crazy:

Hence, the Lebanese casualties.

James Davis
08-03-2006, 11:19 AM
When I previously stated that a policy of negotiating and "prisoner swapping" would lead to more kidnappings...
Wrong. Read your history: Israel has agreed to this strategy before, when outright aggression failed.

Yeah. Then terrorists chose to take away more people to prod Israel (and a few other countries) into releasing more prisoners.

When I read some history, I came to this conclusion:

If it's made apparent that kidnapping people to use as bargaining chips will get terrorists the things that they want, more kidappings will take place...

...and probably less negotiation.

Mark Uttech
08-03-2006, 11:27 AM
My plate is empty; does anyone have the last word?

Stanley Archacki
08-03-2006, 11:28 AM
First of all, I wanted a little discussion about this term "World War 3". To me no current war or collection of wars rises to this level. Nor is the world on the brink of war without some highly implausable changes taking place.

This is what drives me nuts about the American "War on Terror" rhetoric. If we are involved in an indefinite war for our values or our existence, where's the rationing, where's the war economy, where's the draft, where's the victory gardens, and where are the battles? Surely, if there were any enemy out there that posed such an existential risk to the US or the West as the Republicans say, we would be trying harder. Is 130,000 troops in Iraq not getting the job done? Draft a two million man army and send 500,000 of them to the Sunni Triangle. Maybe that would work. If the United States is defeated in Iraq, it will be because of our own farcical handling of it, not the inherent strength of the Iraqi resistance. If the US had followed the Powell doctrine and sent in overwhelming force to begin with, Iraq would be much different today.

None of the Western countries are today on a war footing. None are mobilizing. The US is piddling away their treasury and armed forces on small insurgences created by the mismanagement of the aftermath of the September 11 attacks by the US administration. If we were at really war, and not pursuing trumped up police actions meant to circumvent international law and human rights, Bush would have told the US citizens they must sacrifice and fight. Instead he told them to go shopping.

World wars involve battles where tens of thousands of combatants die in ONE DAY. This has not happened this century, and will not happen unless major powers with major militaries confront each other.

I'm not being sarcastic. I want an honest discussion. What are some situations that people on this board feel might bring about confrontations of major conventional forces? I'm talking US vs China, or at least India vs Pakistan. Insurgencies and Fourth Generation warfare might be bloody and horrible, but will NEVER bring about the destruction that the twentieth century witnessed twice. What are the chances of Israel or the United States or Russia or Germany or France actually engaging on the battlefield with a worthy adversary, both fighting like they mean it? Given today's geopolitical situation?

Just some things to think about before throwing around the term "World War 3".


Second, why DO we pay so much attention to the Middle East? I mean specifically the Israel/Palestine conflict. Other areas directly involve oil, but this doesn't, so don't say it's just oil.

We follow this conflict, yet ignore conflicts in Africa and Latin America. Latin America could be said to be more economically important to the US than the Near East or Levant. The US has bee involved there, to the detriment of many poor people and resistance movements. Yet Leftists (yes, I'm one) continue to talk about Intifada and demonize Israel, while virtually ignoring the School of the Americas, and death squads murdering union activists. Why? Why are we facinited with this conflict, on the Left and Right?


As a US citizen I agree that my government is involved, and this is wrong. I just want us to end our involvement. I want the horrible war to end, but I will not venture to assign blame, nor to "root" for a side. It is not my concern. Yet I'm much more interested in US involvement in my own hemisphere, and resent that it gets so little attention.

Stan

James Davis
08-03-2006, 11:32 AM
Why are the 10,000+ POWs in Israel not called "kidnapped hostages"?
I guess it's because they're being held in a detention facility (and not hidden in someone's basement somewhere).

Does the government of Israel have reason to believe that they blew up Israeli citizens (or tried to)?

Did they receive trials?

I'm at work, and my lunch hour is over. :( I look forward to reading everybody's posts later on.

James Davis
08-03-2006, 11:38 AM
None of the Western countries are today on a war footing. None are mobilizing. The US is piddling away their treasury and armed forces on small insurgences created by the mismanagement of the aftermath of the September 11 attacks by the US administration. If we were at really war, and not pursuing trumped up police actions meant to circumvent international law and human rights, Bush would have told the US citizens they must sacrifice and fight. Instead he told them to go shopping.

World wars involve battles where tens of thousands of combatants die in ONE DAY. This has not happened this century, and will not happen unless major powers with major militaries confront each other.

I'm not being sarcastic. I want an honest discussion. What are some situations that people on this board feel might bring about confrontations of major conventional forces? I'm talking US vs China, or at least India vs Pakistan.
I don't think China would openly attack us right now. We owe them too much money!

We are at war, though. Economic war. China's #1 trading partner is Wal-Mart, right? They're flooding our market with cheaply made goods so that the good stuff can't sell...

Today, this seems to be how battles are waged. :crazy:

Stanley Archacki
08-03-2006, 11:57 AM
I don't think China would openly attack us right now. We owe them too much money!

We are at war, though. Economic war. China's #1 trading partner is Wal-Mart, right? They're flooding our market with cheaply made goods so that the good stuff can't sell...

Today, this seems to be how battles are waged. :crazy:


In our global economy, no country gets a discount on raw materials. If one country manufactures goods cheaper than another, it's because labor is cheaper there. What does this mean? Either Chinese workers will successfully agitate for rights like American workers did from the 1870's to the 1930's, and the price of Chinese goods will rise, or American workers, their power weakend, will continue to cede rights as we have been since the 1950's. Thus the cost of American goods and the standard of living of the American worker will fall.

Supply and demand can explain it, but don't forget the effect of workers themselves as a contributor to supply and demand, and as agents of history.

But, alas, this leads into another multi-page non-Aikido rant thread!

Stan

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 11:59 AM
you're obviously against the Jews, Neil.

The discussion forum itself is an open archive to your anti-American rants. You started off with the looney-tunes "hate George Bush" stuff of yours that is uncontrolled.

Then, typically of the Far, Far Left (like, what could be expected to be found in Santa Cruz),

Now it's mutated into "Any Enemy of the United States is a Friend of the Far Left". Your posts are archived proof of that, Neil.

you're anti-American (and anti-Jew) you do the only thing you can do and that's try to go back to the personal, making it that I'm the bad guy for pointing out what is obvious to anyone who wants to read your rants. :D

your'e a fruit-cake lefty, so anything you say is spuriously unbalanced. You've discredited yourself... not me. So think about yourself and take the blame fairly for once

Regards,

Mike Sigman

As they say in the song...send in the clowns... :rolleyes:

You know, Mikey: the tone and ranting banter of your posts reminds me of a certain post'er (I cannot mention his name--the only restriction on my speech here--because if I do, quick as clockwork, he will write a long, ranting letter of outrage to Jun, demanding that his name be removed) who used to rant against me over in AJ. Over and over he'd ask me the same 5 questions about
Iraq: don't the Iraqi's deserve democracy; aren't there WMD's in Iraq, blah blah blah.

He went on and on about my anti-American'ism, too. Eventually, he tried to hound me here with no success. Finally, he asked Jun to delete all his posts here, as I'm sure that they are a significant cause for embarassment, for him.

And so we saw the last of this certain post'er. IMO, good riddance...he was little better than a troll.

I used to have this theory about raging Conservatives and political posting, on aikido websites. You're right: I've done my share of exercising my political opinions, and I began to notice a pattern: most of the most ardent Conservatives on aikido sites either didn't currently practice, or weren't even Aikidoists. Take yourself, for example.

Initially, I thought that perhaps Aikido changed their political beliefs. But I realized, last night, that I had it backwards...people who hold such intolerant views generally aren't drawn to a martial art that is an expression of love. No other martial art says that it is love. Maybe it's as simple as that.

Sure, there are Conservative's in Aikido that I've had fierce online tussles, and there are even some Aikidoists who think that I really AM too extreme in my sentiments: but I've noticed that (with very few exceptions) they all want to make nice and not have any lasting hard feelings.

I cannot say the same for those non-Aikidoist post'er's...that fellow over on AJ has privately threatened to "take me on, for real," should we ever meet. :rolleyes:

But the active practictioner's all seem to want to be friends, no matter what our beliefs. And the same goes here...if they came to my city (the one you so often malign), they'd be welcome, no matter their beliefs. If they needed a place to stay: they wouldn't have any worries.

It's something I like about Aikido...it really DOES feel like a family, at times. I'm guessing that other martial arts are the same (when I studied Capoeira, for instance, there was a lot of comeraderie...but there was a lot of annoying, distracting competition, especially btw the different schools), but at least in Aikido, we can express our differences without repeatedly (and obnoxiously) calling each other's patriotism or ethnic tolerance, to account.

**************************************************'

But I diverge, sorry. More to the point, your posts increasingly take the stance of troll-baiting. You call me anti-American, anti-Jewish, etc numerous times in every post, now.

I thought I made myself clear, earlier: but let me restate in bold, in case you missed it...

Go find some other fish to catch, troll...this one's not biting.

You seem hell-bent on catching fish, to the exclusion of anything else I say. You want to discuss issues? Great.

You want to turn this thread into a Jew vs Arab mudfest? Look elsewhere, troll. This fish will only eventually hit the ignore button, at your repeated attempts.

And the balanced posts, I ask again, are where???????

You should ask that question, of yourself.

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 12:05 PM
Nazis that died in the last days of WWII

Lay it out there, Neil. :p

Mike

Oh, BTW, Godwin's Law (http://torontotory.blogspot.com/2005/07/godwins-rule-of-nazi-analogies.html)...you lose. :p

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1 (i.e. certainty).
There is a tradition in many Usenet newsgroups that once such a comparison is made, the thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress."

The purpose of this law, as explained by Mike Godwin himself, is not to determine who wins an argument, but rather to:

"make discussion participants see how they are acting as vectors to a particularly silly and offensive meme...and perhaps to curtail the glib Nazi comparisons."

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 12:14 PM
i grew up in Beirut, I'm supposed to get married there next year. my wedding plans are tentatively cancelled, my family is hiding up in the mountains, and every day i am watching my country, the area closest to my heart, get flattened.

on the flip side, Lebanon is one of the most diverse religious countries in the world. i take pride in this fact. Shi'ites are only a fraction of the Lebanese population, and there are a lot of Lebanese who want Hezbollah out just as bad as Israel does.

Thank you for bringing this up. I wanted to mention the fact that Lebanon is a diverse, cosmopolitan society: very well-read.

on the other flip side, Israeli's are not animals. they do not want to kill civilians, and they are good people. the truth of the matter is that this army seems highly inexperienced. they have the firepower, but this is one of the few times they have reached significant resistance, and their inexperience is showing with miscalculated attacks and a plethora of civilian casualties. they need more training.

Which gives me an opportunity to bring up another point...

I tend to distinguish btw "Israeli's," "the Knesset," and the "IDF." Even tho the Israeli's are responsible for what their gov't and army do, they are not, in fact: actively committing these atrocities.

It's easy to forget these details when your anger is up. A wounded Lebanese recently looked up into the face of a Western reporter and asked: "Why are you doing this, to us?"

Extreme violence fuels this anger and blurs this distinction. It's important to remember the obvious...that people are not necessarily their gov't's.

on another flip side, it was Israeli occupation that created Hezbollah in the first place. it was also Israeli occupation that created Hamas. again, this does not mean that Israel is not trying to secure peace.

on another flip side, Hezbollah has very little respect for Lebanon by attacking Israel without consent of the Lebanese government. they are not unifying Lebanon, they are tearing it appart worse than Israel is.

Yes, extremists tend to lose the finer points in their search for their narrow goals.

bottom line: your viewpoint is your own, but nobody is right, and everybody is right. they only truth we can agree upon is that war is bad.

i am proud of the fact that i can watch my country get flattened and not have feelings of scorn or hatred. my only concern is that while bridges can be rebuilt, my family cannot.

here's to a quick resolution, a lasting peace, and my close friendship with some good Israeli people.

Well said. I hope that your family comes out all right, through this conflict.

Mike Sigman
08-03-2006, 12:16 PM
As they say in the song... Snip attempt to change the conversation to "Mike Sigman". Where are the balanced posts, Neil? Look at your constant, one-sided, sickening attempts to slander the Jews of Israel or simply the US?

Where are the posts that discuss the other side? Don't claim that you somehow represent Aikido.... you smear the martial art when you claim that your one-sided crap is somehow representative of the attitude in Aikido.

Come out from behind the hakama and admit what you are.

Mike Sigman

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 12:18 PM
When I previously stated that a policy of negotiating and "prisoner swapping" would lead to more kidnappings...

Yeah. Then terrorists chose to take away more people to prod Israel (and a few other countries) into releasing more prisoners.

When I read some history, I came to this conclusion:

If it's made apparent that kidnapping people to use as bargaining chips will get terrorists the things that they want, more kidappings will take place...

...and probably less negotiation.

Which only shows that you seem to get out of history, what you wanted to read into it, in the first place. The POINT was that Israel attempted first to use violence; then when that failed, they agreed to prisoner exchange.

Funny, in your litany of tirades against Hezbollah (not that they aren't warranted), you seem to forget the Lebanese prisoners kidnapped by the IDF, or the 9000 Palestinian prisoners held in indefinite "Administrative detentions," in violation of Geneva Conventions.

Yep, history can certainly underscore your preset views...if you only read into it, what you already believe.

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 12:19 PM
Come out from behind the hakama and admit what you are.

Mike Sigman

Last chance, Mike...eliminate the personal attacks, or face the ignore-squad.

Your choice.

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 12:20 PM
Did they receive trials?

No, they did not. They are held in indefinite detention.

Mike Sigman
08-03-2006, 12:27 PM
Last chance, Mike...eliminate the personal attacks, or face the ignore-squad.You're the guy claiming that your extreme hate views represent good Aikido attitude. That's your attack on Aikido... not mine on you.

Interesting how you keep trying to trivialize the idea that you're a ranting radical by attacking personally anyone who brings it up. Do you really think that such superficial defenses really convinces anyone reading the thread? I.e., do you just assume everyone who reads your glib words is simply dumb?

Frankly, your views are so extreme I hope you keep posting the one-sided garbage. It is, as one Aikidoist mentioned, simply an embarrassment for Aikido... but what the hey.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 12:35 PM
I missed this eairlier and I see your point.
Neil you have some great points and in a lot of wars I mirror your feelings towards unchecked and out of control governments.

That said I can't help but mirror a lot of what Mike does about you. You come across with a very pronounced I hate George Bush, I can't stand the US, Israel are monsters while seeming willing to, for the most part, overlook what Hezbollah has done.

That was a great point he brought up.

Neil I think you might be able to win more people over to your side of the argument OR even just get people thinking about your views if you didn't come across as such a fanatic. I read your posts and before I can start rolling your ideas around in my head I say to myself wow this dude is biased. He really hates the US. It's very hard to look at your argument from a neutral perspective when I know your arguments and facts are presented 100% from an anti-US and anti-israel platform. I hope that makes sense?

Grant,

I don't hate the US...actually, I love America. We have some great values here. To put it in the words of Greg Palast, we're the biggest losers on the planet. We originated as a bunch of washed-up refugee's and built the greatest gov't of tolerance yet.

Go to any country in the world...go to Vietnam, and ask them...do you like America? And they love us! Ask them the same about Russia, and they laugh. Ask them their feelings toward China, and they'll probably hit you. But they love the US (in spite of some of the things we've done).

What they DON'T love, is George Bush...and that's because W isn't an American. He was raised in an insular, blue-blood upbringing with a red carpet laid out at his feet. He didn't have to scrounge to get into a school; he never worried a day in his life about getting drafted, or finding a job. He cuts the educational budgets and livelihoods of American's without a second thought. That makes him about as American as Tony Blair, in my book.

And when he (and his cronies) talk about war: they don't know what they're talking about. Frankly, neither do I...never been in one...but I luckily don't have to make decisions about who to send off to war. I DO know that war is the failure of diplomacy, and the human spirit. War is NOT a means to diplomacy: a fact that Bush and Condi would seem, to disagree.

I also know education, tho: and I can see with my own 2 eyes what his Administration has done to this country. Does this make me anti-American? Not in my book. The anti-American lost the election...twice...yet nonetheless sits in the big White Mansion, giving out orders that he'll never comprehend the effects.

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 12:41 PM
Niel Mick wrote:

Tanner, the tone of your posts is such that I would be surprised if someone ever takes the time to debate the underlying issues of this conflict with you. Indeed, why bother if you yourself are saying that there is no room for debate on this one and that your ideas are fixed?

Tanner,

Actually, I didn't say this...Daniel did. But, I agree that you shouldn't fix your opinons in a debate, esp regarding the ME.

If there's anything I learned, it's that the ME is a very complex, convoluted place. Nothing is simple.


I should have been clearer with this and sound less absolute. I was trying to encourage people to change my mind about the situation by bringing up facts supporting their arguments. I didn't mean to sound like my opinion couldn't be changed.

I'm seeing some more constructive posts today. Last night was a bit of a flame war.

Yeah...I agree. We can all do better here, than flame wars. :cool:

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 12:45 PM
Pot,


you're a ranting radical

kettle,

by attacking personally anyone who brings it up. Do you really think that such superficial defenses really convinces anyone reading the thread? I.e., do you just assume everyone who reads your glib words is simply dumb?

black.

I assume that people can see who's the real troll, here. I see no one else taking up your banner....now THAT's telling.

Frankly, your views are so extreme I hope you keep posting


Good, we are in agreement. See? Aikido really DOES work! :cool:

Now, when you can post a comment sans the personal attacks, drop me a line, OK?

Otherwise...this fish ain't bitin'.

Mike Sigman
08-03-2006, 12:59 PM
Now, when you can post a comment sans the personal attacks, drop me a line, OK? Hmmmm.... look at your post a couple before this one and the smear you do on George Bush *personally*. Not his policies.... him personally. Not a balanced discussion... a one-sided rant. Just like most of your posts.... one-sided rants.

Yet everytime you're called on this stuff you begin to attack the person who calls you on it and you begin mentioning personal anecdotes that "prove" you are a nice guy. Heh. :)

You're very predictable, Neil.

For the foreign readers: You have to understand that Neil is from an area of California (famous across America as having eccentric, non-realistic people) that is extreme even for California. When Neil implies that George Bush "isn't an American" because Bush wasn't raised like normal people, this is a pretty hilarious comment coming from an area so out of touch with reality that it's used as the butt of jokes on national TV. As Neil likes to say, "Pot, kettle, black". ;)

Mike

Stanley Archacki
08-03-2006, 01:22 PM
I know we've all had a lot of fun with our egos for the last few pages, but could we be a little more topical?

Do people think this might lead to a wider (World) war?

Why does this conflict, and its injustices, whatever you perceive them to be, garner so much of our attention, to the exclusion of other conflicts?

gdandscompserv
08-03-2006, 01:27 PM
My plate is empty; does anyone have the last word?
WORD :p

Guilty Spark
08-03-2006, 01:34 PM
Do people think this might lead to a wider (World) war?

Even more so then whats going on in Afghanistan, Iraq Africa and tensions with North Korea China and Iran?
No I think were on a pretty steady course as it is.

Why does this conflict, and its injustices, whatever you perceive them to be, garner so much of our attention, to the exclusion of other conflicts?
In a word,
Media.

The war in Iraq is getting old. Hey they bombed another police station, viewers are loosing interest.
Here comes a new conflict that has (reality TV addicted) viewers glued to the TV screen. Think about it. Take your average north american viewer. How far away from reality TV is this?

I wouldn't even dare to guess the difference in civilian deaths in Africa compared to Israel and Lebanon but you don't see Africa splashed all over SNN. Why? It's old news.
Didn't Norman Schwarzkopf say something to the like of 'You don't win a war until CNN says you've won'.

Mark Uttech
08-03-2006, 01:44 PM
Sometimes it seems that everyone posting on this particular thread is an embarrassment to aikido. But that isn't true either. It kind of reminds me of an old zen story: "Even the first word, the last word, is not a word."

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 02:04 PM
You have to understand that Neil is from an area of California (famous across America as having eccentric, non-realistic people) that is extreme even for California.

Wrong again, as usual. I am NOT "from" California. :rolleyes:

I know we've all had a lot of fun with our egos for the last few pages, but could we be a little more topical?

Yes, good point. Let's leave the trolls to find fish in other ponds.

Do people think this might lead to a wider (World) war?

Presently, no: but it well could. If Israel attacks Syria (as BushCo seems to want them to do)...that's it, IMO. Game over.

Why does this conflict, and its injustices, whatever you perceive them to be, garner so much of our attention, to the exclusion of other conflicts?

Because, the violations are so stark, so blatant.

Israel seems to take this so overboard because they are being attacked with rockets from outside.

Lebanon and the UN are taking this so hard for obvious and clear reasons.

The real surprise, IMO, is the response from the Bush Administration. Their unqualified support, to me, is a jaw-dropping wonder.

IMO, their support is an indirect reason why Israel has committed so many warcrimes, so quickly, in this conflict. If they were held to a tighter rein, they'd act with more restraint.

Neal Earhart
08-03-2006, 02:12 PM
I think all us need to reflect upon how extremely fortunate we are to be able to practice Aikido in relative peace and freedom. We are able to go to our dojos and practice, while people around the world are dying from wars caused by anger, hatred, money, and religious differences.

-peace to all

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 02:44 PM
We are able to go to our dojos and practice, while people around the world are dying from wars caused by anger, hatred, money, and religious differences.

-peace to all

Neal,

All true, but I think we need to do more than that. As Americans, we have a personal responsibility to try to stop this use of our tax dollars. It was the core reason I started this thread.

But moving on from beating a dead horse...

Daniel and Amir have provided some excellent links for viewpoints into this conflict. I'd like to take this opportunity to do so, as well.

First, there is the very fine Mosiac, (http://www.linktv.org/mosaic/streamsArchive/index.php4) which "presents a selection of news reports...throughout the Middle East." Well worth the 1/2hr.

And then, of course, there are the reports of Robert Fisk, int'l correspondent for the Independent. He lives in Lebanon, and his articles are therefore very poignant. Check him out, here. (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/index.html)

Neal Earhart
08-03-2006, 03:03 PM
Neal,

All true, but I think we need to do more than that. As Americans, we have a personal responsibility to try to stop this use of our tax dollars.

I have made my voice heard. I have voted in every single election (local, state, national) that I have been eligible for in my lifetime. Not to digress to far, but I have issues with Americans who don't like how their town, state, or our country are being run and don't exercise their right to vote.

I personally don't like how this country has been run for the last 6 years, and hopefully this November people who think the same will go out and vote in large numbers to force changes in our governments policies.

I am planning on volunteering at the voting location in my district to try and make sure that everyone who is eligible to vote and wants to vote has the opportunity to do so.

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 03:06 PM
I have made my voice heard. I have voted in every single election (local, state, national) that I have been eligible for in my lifetime. Not to digress to far, but I have issues with Americans who don't like how their town, state, or our country are being run and don't exercise their right to vote.

I personally don't like how this country has been run for the last 6 years, and hopefully this November people who think the same will go out and vote in large numbers to force changes in our governments policies.

I am planning on volunteering at the voting location in my district to try and make sure that everyone who is eligible to vote and wants to vote has the opportunity to do so.

Excellent. :cool: Gambatte!

Luc X Saroufim
08-03-2006, 03:22 PM
Do people think this might lead to a wider (World) war?



i can't speak for everyone, but this is my POV:

Iraq is doing to the US what Hezbollah is doing to Israel.

in 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and frankly, took it over pretty easily. they occupied southern Lebanon all the way to the Litani River, and even a few more miles north of that. that's about 30 miles of direct occupation.

fast forward to today: look how much resistance they are facing when they cannot even secure a 1.5 mile buffer zone in souther lebanon. they cannot even dream of coming close to the litani river. hezbollah has improved tremendously, and contrary to what the IDF keeps claiming, the only reason the fighting has gone on this long is because Israel is having a very, very tough time.

back on topic: don't be concerned for a wider war, be concerned for Lebanon. Hezbollah is a Shi'ite militant group. Israel is pissing off Shi'ites, not arabs in general. stronger support for Hezbollah will put Lebanon in more danger in the future. support from Syria and Iran is possibly the worst thing that could ever happen for Lebanon.

Israel is fueling this support, so Lebanese Christians, Druu's, Maronites, and Sunni's are all being drowned out, while only the Shi'ite population is being heard.

so Lebanon would benefit from Israel kicking out Hezbollah, but it looks like they're only making them stronger. as if that's not bad enough, the country is completely destroyed.

Lebanon is in *really* tough shape right now. in my opinion the only good that can come out of this is if Hezbollah is significantly weakened and the rest of the Lebanese population get equal authority.

Mark Gibbons
08-03-2006, 03:22 PM
....
The real surprise, IMO, is the response from the Bush Administration. Their unqualified support, to me, is a jaw-dropping wonder.
...
.


Why would this be a surprise? The Bush admin has declared war on terror and expects complete support from our allies. Given that view point why would they give less support than they would expect in the same circumstances? The results may be tragic but it hardly seems surprising or inconsistant.

Mark

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 03:30 PM
Why would this be a surprise? The Bush admin has declared war on terror and expects complete support from our allies. Given that view point why would they give less support than they would expect in the same circumstances? The results may be tragic but it hardly seems surprising or inconsistant.

Mark

The surprise is the unequivocal support, even tho there seems near complete agreement (among neutral observers) that war crimes are being committed.

At the very least, I'd expect a neutral call from Bush to stop the war crimes, and the attacks on the UN.

And then there are the use of cluster bombs, white phosphorus, and dU. Sure, the US has done all of this, but it still comes off as a shock when the US is silent.

Perhaps I AM a little naive...I expected better. :uch:

Stanley Archacki
08-03-2006, 03:38 PM
It was mentioned that the unlikely World War would inevitably arise from involvement of Syria or Iran. I still find this doubful. Unless Syria or Iran proved the touchpoint for a war between some stronger powers, I believe that neither would stand a chance in a prolonged war with a great power.

I still think for a world war to happen, we would need countries like the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China or India to be at war with each other . This I still fiind unlikely. Nothing short of this would force the US population to make sacrifices consistent with a world war.

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad a world war is unlikely.

I just get tired of the hyperbole surrounding events in the Middle East.

Luc X Saroufim
08-03-2006, 03:40 PM
Why would this be a surprise? The Bush admin has declared war on terror and expects complete support from our allies.

and complete support is the last thing they're getting. In Iraq, and in Israel. there are justified reasons for this.

the US and Israel are the only parties that don't want the fighting to stop. there are also fully justified reasons for this.

the rest of the international community wants the fighting to stop, and there are also good reasons for this.

like i said in my first post, everyone is right. we all have very good reasons for feeling the way we do, but i don't "expect" people to agree with me.

"you're either with us, or you're not" - that's a great mentality if you're the King of Spain in the 16th century.

Guilty Spark
08-03-2006, 04:29 PM
And then there are the use of cluster bombs, white phosphorus, and dU.

Whats wrong with that? Are they against some kind of convention now??

Mike Sigman
08-03-2006, 04:44 PM
Hey Neil.... I think this must be you speaking Spanish. At least it's exactly the way you come across. ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI0_VzFxTzs&search=chavez

Guilty Spark
08-03-2006, 04:46 PM
And the minute a natural disaster hits or they need military assistance out come the smiles and the we love USA signs :)

James Davis
08-03-2006, 04:46 PM
Funny, in your litany of tirades against Hezbollah (not that they aren't warranted), you seem to forget the Lebanese prisoners kidnapped by the IDF, or the 9000 Palestinian prisoners held in indefinite "Administrative detentions," in violation of Geneva Conventions.

Litany? Tirade?

Neil, I've been very careful to keep my comments and questions from being incendiary or long-winded.

You should be flattered that I'm about to use a "Neil-ism":

Pot. :)

Kettle. :p

Black. :D

Yep, history can certainly underscore your preset views...if you only read into it, what you already believe.

Yup. That's true for just about every individual or group on the planet. If one ignores enough history, they can justify (to themselves) just about anything they do.

I guess that's why it's repeating itself so damn much. :(

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 05:21 PM
Hey Neil.... I think this must be you speaking Spanish. At least it's exactly the way you come across. ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI0_VzFxTzs&search=chavez

Thanks. Being compared to someone like Chavez is, to me, a compliment.

However, since you obviously meant it as yet another attempt to flame-bait, you leave me no choice.

READY!
AIM!
IGNORE! (click)

Gosh, the intelligence level just went up 10 points, on my monitor! :hypno:

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 05:24 PM
Litany? Tirade?

Neil, I've been very careful to keep my comments and questions from being incendiary or long-winded.

You should be flattered that I'm about to use a "Neil-ism":

Pot. :)

Kettle. :p

Black. :D

Great. Now how about attempting to answer the question, instead of baiting...or, would that be too much trouble, to ask...?

Guilty Spark
08-03-2006, 05:36 PM
Neil you missed two questions I was curious about,

Quote:
And then there are the use of cluster bombs, white phosphorus, and dU.

Whats wrong with that? Are they against some kind of convention now??
You've said you've been there and tried that. To what end? You've physically gone to Israel and interacted with the government?

Mike Sigman
08-03-2006, 05:53 PM
Gosh, the intelligence level just went up 10 points, on my monitor! :hypno:Too bad it didn't go up anywhere else in the room.

Lessee... carefully avoiding the topic of how one-sided your political rants are, you finally figure the easiest way out of an embarrassing question is to "banish" the person who is asking the obvious. Kewl. I'll just comment freely without including you in the discussions about your continued one-sided and often false claims.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 07:58 PM
Neil you missed two questions I was curious about

Sorry. With so many posts flying around, I missed a few.

And then there are the use of cluster bombs, white phosphorus, and dU.

Whats wrong with that? Are they against some kind of convention now??

In and of themselves, no (altho, I think that they should be. But, I'm just a guy with an opinion). But, when you use them against civilian populations...that's a whole different kettle of landmines.

Cluster bombs: (http://hrw.org/reports/2006/lebanon0806/2.htm#_Toc142299220)

In addition to strikes from airplanes, helicopters, and traditional artillery, Israel has used artillery-fired cluster munitions against populated areas, causing civilian casualties. One such attack on the village of Blida on July 19 killed a sixty-year-old woman and wounded at least twelve civilians, including seven children. The wide dispersal pattern of cluster munitions and the high dud rate (ranging from 2 to 14 percent, depending on the type of cluster munition) make the weapons exceedingly dangerous for civilians and, when used in populated areas, a violation of international humanitarian law.

White Phosphorus: Used as an illumation aid, there are no violations. Used as a direct weapon, (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/middle_east/4441902.stm) however, is a different story.

White phosphorus is covered by Protocol III of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons, which prohibits its use as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations or in air attacks against enemy forces in civilian areas.

The US - unlike 80 other countries including the UK - is not a signatory to Protocol III.

Israel (http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/NORM/4F63DC0452DC95BEC1256402003FD28B?OpenDocument) IS a signatory to the Convention.

There are no bans on dU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium) per se, but

There are four rules derived from the whole of humanitarian law regarding weapons:

Weapons may only be used in the legal field of battle, defined as legal military targets of the enemy in the war. Weapons may not have an adverse effect off the legal field of battle. (The "territorial" test).
Weapons can only be used for the duration of an armed conflict. A weapon that is used or continues to act after the war is over violates this criterion. (The "temporal" test).
Weapons may not be unduly inhumane. (The "humaneness" test). The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 use the terms “unnecessary suffering” and ”superfluous injury” for this concept.
Weapons may not have an unduly negative effect on the natural environment. (The "environmental" test).
It has been argued that DU weapons fail all four tests.

I think you know my moral and ethical stance on using depleted uranium on civilians, and so I won't elaborate.

You've said you've been there and tried that. To what end? You've physically gone to Israel and interacted with the government?

I have physically gone to Israel and attempted to get into Palestine, as an international observer, yes. As far as "interacted with the gov't:" well, that all depends upon how you define "government."

Needless to say, it did not go well.

DanielR
08-03-2006, 08:06 PM
...Robert Fisk, int'l correspondent for the Independent. He lives in Lebanon, and his articles are therefore very poignant. Check him out, here. (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/index.html)
Poignant they may be, but objective? Reading his latest (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14341.htm):
Hizbollah is killing more Israeli soldiers than civilians and the Israelis are killing far more Lebanese civilians than they are guerrillas
If Mr. Fisk was a mathematician, I would have no problem with this statement. He's not, however, so it's unfortunate that he fails to qualify that statement with mentioning that Hezbollah is indiscriminately firing hundreds of rockets at population centers daily, and it's just lucky for the Israelis that the military technology Hezbollah possesses doesn't allow them to inflict greater civilian casualties. Mr. Fisk also fails to mention that the fact that Hezbollah manages to kill more Israeli soldiers than civilians is also due to the fact that IDF is conducting a ground operation, engaging the Hezbollah militants and sustaining casualties in the process.

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 08:20 PM
Poignant they may be, but objective?

I'm sorry, but I thought that it was understood that objectivity is a seriously difficult, if not impossible, goal to attain, on this conflict.

If Mr. Fisk was a mathematician, I would have no problem with this statement. He's not, however, so it's unfortunate that he fails to qualify that statement with mentioning that Hezbollah is indiscriminately firing hundreds of rockets at population centers daily, and it's just lucky for the Israelis that the military technology Hezbollah possesses doesn't allow them to inflict greater civilian casualties.

Would-a, could-a, should-a. They don't have 'em; they're not using 'em: and so the point, is moot.

Mr. Fisk also fails to mention that the fact that Hezbollah manages to kill more Israeli soldiers than civilians is also due to the fact that IDF is conducting a ground operation, engaging the Hezbollah militants and sustaining casualties in the process.

Again, all very nice: but when the smoke clears, all that matters is WHAT is destroyed, and HOW MANY are dead, or wounded.

I can come to your neighborhood and lob 2000 cherry bombs all over the place.

2000 sounds like a big number.

YOU can come to my house and drop ONE bunker-buster bomb.

1 is a very tiny number. But I assure you, I won't be getting up to complain online, if you did. You, OTOH, would likely live to see the dawn.

As you said earlier, rockets landing inside Israel strikes a different chord. But, it's a psychological chord, at that. Tel Aviv is not saturated with refugee's; Israeli infrastructure still stands; and I see no land forces massing over the Israeli border.

Nor, do I hear about dU, cluster bombs or white phosphorus being used on the Israeli's.

Yeah, Hezbollah has to answer for firing indiscriminately on civilian's and (if they are) using civilians as shields: but the ends do not justify the means. Indiscriminate destruction and firing on civilians violates international law.

DanielR
08-03-2006, 08:36 PM
all that matters is WHAT is destroyed, and HOW MANY are dead, or woundedYou don't think intent must be taken into account? It is in criminal law, why would warfare be different?

Mike Sigman
08-03-2006, 08:39 PM
Yeah, Hezbollah has to answer for firing indiscriminately on civilian's and (if they are) using civilians as shields: but the ends do not justify the means. Indiscriminate destruction and firing on civilians violates international law.Glossing over the many "international law" violations Hezbollah commits, which Neil shrugs off since they're only doing it against "Israel" and Lebanese civilian shields don't apparently qualify for much of a conversation to Neil... It's easy to notice that Neil doesn't mention that taking out Lebanese rocket sites saves Israeli lives. Neil would prefer that "Israel not respond to Hezbollah attacks as long as Hezbollah is attacking Iraeli civilians from behind the shield of Lebanese civilians". For Israel to take out Lebanese rocket launchers to protect Israeli lives is "breaking international law".... Israel should, according to Neil's logic, simply let their civilians get killed so that his specious BS about "international law" sounds good.

What absolute, self-centered, delusional shrugging off of Israeli (read "The Jooz") life, Neil. You don't even understand your extreme insults to Israel, do you?


Mike Sigman

DanielR
08-03-2006, 08:42 PM
I thought that it was understood that objectivity is a seriously difficult, if not impossible, goal to attain, on this conflict.Agreed. There are better and worse attempts at attaining it, however, and Mr. Fisk doesn't seem to be doing a very good job. But then again, maybe objectivity is not among his goals.

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 08:45 PM
You don't think intent must be taken into account? It is in criminal law, why would warfare be different?

Yes, let's just bomb and invade any country with the intent of attacking us.

We tried that already, remember (see pre-emptive strike)? Didn't work then: doesn't work now.

Agreed. There are better and worse attempts at attaining it, however, and Mr. Fisk doesn't seem to be doing a very good job. But then again, maybe objectivity is not among his goals.

Please: I could easily say the same about just about any journalist.

Your reservations sound like sour grapes.

DanielR
08-03-2006, 08:56 PM
Yes, let's just bomb and invade any country with the intent of attacking us.Maybe I wasn't clear: I was talking about the intent of Hezbollah's rockets - to hurt as many civilians as possible - and about taking it into account when comparing the casualty counts on both sides.
I could easily say the same about just about any journalist.You most certainly could. Question is, would it be as part of an attempt at objectivity?

DanielR
08-03-2006, 09:06 PM
let's just bomb and invade any country with the intent of attacking us.Come to think of it, if the intent is present and obvious, is supported by intelligence or even put into action by the country with the said intent - why not?

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 09:07 PM
Maybe I wasn't clear: I was talking about the intent of Hezbollah's rockets - to hurt as many civilians as possible - and about taking it into account when comparing the casualty counts on both sides.

I understood you, all too well. File "intent" under "pre-emptive strike," for casting blame, as it fits in the same category.

If you want to put intent into the mix: you can leave Israel blameless, for blowing up entire Palestinian blocks, because some suicide bomber yahoo's met on that block, and "intended" to take out 1000's of people.

So what if they only had 10lbs of dynamite btw them?? They certainly "intended" to kill as many ppl, as possible!

You can take "intent" very, very far, if you're using it as an excuse or justification.

And, from my limited knowledge of international law: "intent" to attack certainly IS a justification to attack first: but you have a long, long way to go, before you prove that Hezbollah "intends" to invade and attack Israel, in the same manner that Israel is doing to Lebanon.

In the end, the argument is specious, speculative, and moot.

You most certainly could. Question is, would it be as part of an attempt at objectivity?

I'm sorry: but "objectivity" is, again: an overused term. For instance, Robert Fisk himself said that he doesn't want to be "balanced" when reporting a conflict with a clear aggressor. Why would anyone want to balance a report on the invasion of Kuwait with Saddam Hussein's rationale (except as backstory)?

I don't find your sources very "objective," either, Daniel. As Luc X Saroufim so well pointed out, earlier: everyone has a piece of the truth, and is justified in how s/he feels.

The only news sources I really distrust, are those with an agenda. FoxNews, for example.

Come to think of it, if the intent is present and obvious, is supported by intelligence or even put into action by the country with the said intent - why not?

Because, as was made painfully clear with the invasion of Iraq: intelligence can be cherry-picked; "present and obvious" intent can be fuzzed or overstated (see "We cannot wait for verification to appear in the form of a mushroom cloud"); and the actions of countries are rarely clear.

For instance: are the pronouncements of Hezbollah REALLY what they want, or is it empty sabre-rattling? PROVE to me that they REALLY would do all that you say, if they had the weapons.

Heck, I'll even up the ante: I'll give anyone $50 in cash, if they can conclusively prove that Hezbollah would do everything to Israel that Israel is doing to Lebanon, given the chance and the weaponry.

Without a team of psychics and a crystal ball...good friggin' luck.

DanielR
08-03-2006, 09:19 PM
You can take "intent" very, very far, if you're using it as an excuse or justificationI'm not entirely clear then what is your answer to the question whether intent should be considered. What you've said so far sounds to me as "no, because it's too complicated".

In the end, the argument is specious, speculative, and moot.Heh. I'm glad there's at least someone out there who's able to arrive at such level of confidence.

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 09:22 PM
I'm not entirely clear then what is your answer to the question whether intent should be considered. What you've said so far sounds to me as "no, because it's too complicated".

Nope. I'm saying that when a country wants to prove another's intent: all they have to do is cherry-pick what they want, and ignore the rest.

In reality, leaders often say (or do) one thing, while meaning to effect something else. It's the nature of politics.

Nikita Kruschev: "We will bury you!!!"
Reality: we have very little means to match your nuclear capability; but we will overwhelm with rhetoric.

W: "No child left behind"
Reality: "No child left unfunded"

Proving intent is practically impossible, sans crystal ball and psychics.

Heh. I'm glad there's at least someone out there who's able to arrive at such level of confidence.

Hey, if it's so easy to prove: it should be the easiest $50 in the world, to make, right? So, what's stopping you?

DanielR
08-03-2006, 09:34 PM
If you have an extra $50, better give it to Jun. This thread of the discussion is tangental anyway - I think it was you who said "let's bomb and invade any country with the intent of attacking us". Note that you didn't say "any country we think may have the intent of attacking us". Wouldn't you agree then that the sarcasm in this statement is most naturally interpreted as "I think it's inappropriate to invade a country with the intent of attacking us"?

There's no need to prove the presence of the intent to attack on the part of Hezbollah: it simply did. What you delve into next is the question of proportional response. To me, again, it's also plainly obvious that the intent of Hezbollah's rocket attacks is to kill as many civilians as possible. But since you've already declared this argument as "specious, speculative, and moot", I won't object if we close it.

Neil Mick
08-03-2006, 09:45 PM
If you have an extra $50, better give it to Jun.

He already got $10: the rest is going to my dojo dues. ;)

This thread of the discussion is tangental anyway - I think it was you that said

"let's bomb and invade any country with the intent of attacking us". Note that you didn't say

"any country we think may have the intent of attacking us".

Nope. I believe it was you who said:

it's just lucky for the Israelis that the military technology Hezbollah possesses doesn't allow them to inflict greater civilian casualties.

And I contend that in the real world, there is no way to determine what they'd do, given the weaponry, and so the argument is speculative.

Wouldn't you agree then that the sarcasm in this statement is most naturally interpreted as "I think it's inappropriate to invade a country with the intent of attacking us"?

Hey, find me a clause in the Geneva Conventions to support your contention, and I'll eat humble pie. Till then...

There's no need to prove the presence of the intent to attack on the part of Hezbollah: it simply did. What you delve into next is the question of proportional response.

Look, you're the one to bring speculation into this. You speculate that if they could, Hezbollah would, if they had greater weaponry: inflict greater casualties on Israel (as if this is some sort of justification for violations of international law).

I stated that you cannot prove that Hezbollah would respond in the same manner, as Israel, if they had the same weaponry.

So far, you have yet to prove your contention. And, obviously, you can't.

We can go round and round this point, but I agree: it's tangential. Let's move on...

Guilty Spark
08-03-2006, 09:59 PM
Sorry. With so many posts flying around, I missed a few.
I can imagine, no worries.

I have physically gone to Israel and attempted to get into Palestine, as an international observer, yes. As far as "interacted with the gov't:" well, that all depends upon how you define "government."

Needless to say, it did not go well.
Awesome. Good way to put your money where your mouth is.
I don't agree with your perspective but I have respect for anyone willing to put themselves in harms way for what the believe in.

dps
08-04-2006, 06:57 AM
" When there is no desire, all things are at peace." Lao-Tzu

Mark Uttech
08-04-2006, 09:06 AM
"Imagine all the people, living together in peace. Imagine." - John Lennon

Mike Sigman
08-04-2006, 09:26 AM
From yesterday's "Times of London"

Times: [T]here is a sense in the world, and you must be aware of it, of lack of "proportionality". Many people question how after two soldiers kidnapped and eight killed by Hezbollah we are now seeing upwards of 400 dead and rising in Lebanon. How can such an initial incident justify such a huge response from Israel?

Olmert: I think that you are missing a major part. The war started not only by killing eight Israeli soldiers and abducting two but by shooting Katyusha and other rockets on the northern cities of Israel on that same morning. Indiscriminately.

Now we know that for years Hezbollah - assisted by Iran - built an infrastructure of a very significant volume in the south part of Lebanon to be used against Israeli people. The most obvious, simple, way to describe it to the average British person is: can you imagine seven million British citizens sitting for 22 days in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham in Newcastle, in Brighton and in other cities? Twenty two days in shelters because a terrorist organisation was shooting rockets and missiles on their heads? What would have been the British reaction to that? Do you know of a country that would have responded to such a brutal attack on its citizens softer than Israel did? Based on my knowledge of history no country in Europe would have responded in such a restrained manner as Israel did.

I don’t want now to draw comparisons [but] one could ask the question what precisely did the European forces [do] in Kosovo 10 years ago. How many innocent civilians were killed in Kosovo 10 years ago? We can draw on and on these comparisons.

What are we talking about? More than a million Israelis are sitting 22 days in shelters because of the fear of terrorists. In every single case...that we kill an uninvolved civilian in Lebanon, we consider it as a failure for Israel. And you know how many Israelis raise their voices as a result of this? And they don’t have to because we feel that we failed when we killed uninvolved people.

The difference between us and Hezbollah is that when we kill innocent people we consider it a failure, when they kill innocent people they consider it a success.

Tell me, who are they aiming at when they shoot already 2800 rockets on Haifa, Hanariya, Akko, Sefat, Afula and the rest of the places, if not to kill innocent people? So I’m sorry for every individual that was killed that was not involved.

And by the way, how do you really know that 400 innocent civilians were killed? How do you know who is innocent and who is not? Why? This is not an army. They don’t wear uniforms that distinguish them from other civilians. We didn’t attack any of the Christian quarters of Beirut. We didn’t attack any of the Christian residential areas in any part of Lebanon. We attacked only those areas where they had the Katyusha launchers, where they had the missile launchers, where they had the command positions of Hezbollah, where they had the storage houses, the logistic centres and so on and so forth.

So the fact that people were killed there who were not dressed in uniforms doesn’t mean that they were innocent civilians. There were Hezbollah people, they are the terrorists. Did you ever see terrorists dressed with military uniforms like we have in our army? No.

Huker
08-04-2006, 10:05 AM
Olmert Wrote:
"Twenty two days in shelters because a terrorist organisation was shooting rockets and missiles on their heads? What would have been the British reaction to that? Do you know of a country that would have responded to such a brutal attack on its citizens softer than Israel did? Based on my knowledge of history no country in Europe would have responded in such a restrained manner as Israel did."

That's pretty speculative. I don't think Olmert is making a very powerful argument here. Then again we did drop that A-bomb on Japan...

Olmert:
"In every single case...that we kill an uninvolved civilian in Lebanon, we consider it as a failure for Israel. "

How sad. :rolleyes: Makes me feel so, so sorry for Israel's moral plight. :disgust:

Olmert:
"Tell me, who are they aiming at when they shoot already 2800 rockets..."

More numbers, but I'll agree that a few innocents were killed.

Olmert:
"And by the way, how do you really know that 400 innocent civilians were killed? How do you know who is innocent and who is not?"

Shoot first, ask later...or just shoot and don't ask.

Olmert:
"We attacked only those areas where they had the Katyusha launchers, where they had the missile launchers, where they had the command positions of Hezbollah, where they had the storage houses, the logistic centres and so on and so forth."

Didn't see any Katyusha launchers on the ambulances or in the airport. Nor the hospital, nor in Qana, nor...

Sorry, Mike. I'm not personally attacking you or anything. I'm just picking things apart a bit. I see Olmert as another Bush, so I take just about everything he says with a big grain of salt.

Huker
08-04-2006, 10:15 AM
Tanner wrote:
I see Olmert as another Bush

Just to correct myself: I should say that I see Olmert as a warmonger, not quite identical to Bush.

Guilty Spark
08-04-2006, 10:26 AM
Olmert: I think that you are missing a major part. The war started not only by killing eight Israeli soldiers and abducting two but by shooting Katyusha and other rockets on the northern cities of Israel on that same morning. Indiscriminately.

Puts a whole new spin on 'Just kidnapping 2 soldiers'

The difference between us and Hezbollah is that when we kill innocent people we consider it a failure, when they kill innocent people they consider it a success.

Tell me, who are they aiming at when they shoot already 2800 rockets on Haifa, Hanariya, Akko, Sefat, Afula and the rest of the places, if not to kill innocent people? So I'm sorry for every individual that was killed that was not involved.

Which is why in the end Hezbollah are terrorists and need to be stopped.

DanielR
08-04-2006, 10:29 AM
I see Olmert as a warmongerTanner, I don't know how familiar you are with the Israeli political situation; Olmert and his party won the last elections on a centrist platform that advocated continuation of withdrawals from the occupied territories. Again, not going into the whole issue of "proportional response" and how well the kidnappings of soldiers by Hamas and Hezbollah are being handled, I think your characterization of Olmert as a warmonger is quite off.

Edit: please consider these latest reports:
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is said to be reluctant about expanding Israel's ground operation (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746580.html)
And here (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746281.html) Olmert is actually blamed by the Israeli right for ignoring the Lebanon security problem while being the deputy prime minister in Sharon's government, during his election campaign and during his tenure as the prime-minister.

Edit: This, however, (http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/4CC21D25-66EA-45BC-B627-168C47D936CF.htm) would quite qualify as warmongering.

Mike Sigman
08-04-2006, 10:31 AM
Olmert:
"Tell me, who are they aiming at when they shoot already 2800 rockets..."

More numbers, but I'll agree that a few innocents were killed. I realize that those were just "number" of "Jooz" to you, but maybe if someone killed a few members of your family and wanted your whole country dead, you might catch on. But in your case, I doubt it. You insult people who have been attacked and then you think someone responding to you has an attitude problem, don't you? Olmert:
"And by the way, how do you really know that 400 innocent civilians were killed? How do you know who is innocent and who is not?"

Shoot first, ask later...or just shoot and don't ask. Why don't you answer his question instead of trivializing it? Because you know he makes a logical point, but you don't want to admit any good on the part of the "Jooz", do you? How trendy.
Olmert:
"We attacked only those areas where they had the Katyusha launchers, where they had the missile launchers, where they had the command positions of Hezbollah, where they had the storage houses, the logistic centres and so on and so forth."

Didn't see any Katyusha launchers on the ambulances or in the airport. Nor the hospital, nor in Qana, nor... You were there? Can you explain why the building in Qana was standing 8 hours after the supposed bombing and then, it seems, suddenly exploded killing, it turns out, 28 people, not 60-something? As a matter of fact, you have no facts... you simply repeat everything negative you can about the "Jooz" because you don't like them. Not that you're smart enough to have a defensible reason to not like them, it's just trendy. Hate SUV's. Hate Bush. Hate Jooz. Hate the US. Don't mention anything wrong that the UN or the EU has done, things which have cost a million more lives, easily. Just hate the trendy stuff. ;) I love you guys.... you make yourselves such easy targets because you use "feelings" in your arguments rather than facts. Give me the full facts on some post instead of Jew-hating.Sorry, Mike. I'm not personally attacking you or anything. I'm just picking things apart a bit. I see Olmert as another Bush, so I take just about everything he says with a big grain of salt. You're not "picking" anything apart. You're sniping and not using any facts from both sides, nor are you presenting any logical arguments. You parrot whatever you think you should say that will keep you in good stead with your "peer group", just like young kids do. And like a young kid, you're not able to realize what long-term consequences are. Try to impress me with some facts, presented from both sides and with a strong argument supporting your stance. At the moment, all you have is "Hate Bush", "Hate the Jews", and "Any enemy of the US is a friend of mine".... just like Neil Mick.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Huker
08-04-2006, 10:41 AM
You know what, Mike? I'm really getting tired of you putting words into my mouth and slandering my name. I can see why Neil wants to ignore you and I think I'll join him on that one.

Huker
08-04-2006, 10:54 AM
Daniel,

I understand that you, as well as many Israeli citizens, no doubt see Olmert as a great man. Even though he is reluctant to expand the ground assault, it would have been a more rational response to begin with, as opposed to bombing Lebanon. I would have seen that response as "measured" and would likely have fewer problems with it.

Heh, I won't debate you on the article about the Iranian president. He makes me nervous since I have only a limited idea how far he'd really be willing to go, given the opportunity.

Well, work is calling. Perhaps I can talk more later.

Tanner

Mike Sigman
08-04-2006, 11:11 AM
You know what, Mike? I'm really getting tired of you putting words into my mouth and slandering my name. I can see why Neil wants to ignore you and I think I'll join him on that one. Be honest. You've been raised in an area and an era where you can say offensive things about "Bush", the "Jews", the "US", etc., and it's just totally upsetting to have your insults publicly made fun of.

I do that same ridiculing of the Far Right when they try to sell "intelligent design", forced prayer in school, etc. In other words, I don't like extremists of any sort. You just happen to be an extremist. An intelligent extremist would have admitted that "yes, my view is a little one-sided", but since you and Neil want to pretend that you're really somehow balanced, I don't see any reason to not make fun of you. Put me on ignore. I like to think that I'm known by my many friends.... but I also like to be known by the type of people that are my enemies. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DanielR
08-04-2006, 11:23 AM
I understand that you, as well as many Israeli citizens, no doubt see Olmert as a great manIt actually seems that you do misunderstand my posts. Nowhere did I suggest anything about Olmert's "greatness". I merely try to offer some perspective, especially in light of very strong, often emotional statements that are being made here.

I doubt very much that too many Israelis ever thought or now think of Olmert as a "great man". I think they do support the government's actions for now, and in very general terms, but the picture may quickly change if more and more soldiers die in the ground operation, and especially since it's becoming clear that neither the bombardment of Hezbollah strongholds and the infrastructure, not the ground operation, are managing to curb Hezbollah's rockets.

Huker
08-04-2006, 11:49 AM
Daniel,

Ok, I see your point now. I have made a few emotionally charged posts on this thread. This kind of thing makes me angry. I was no less angry about 9-11 or the London bombing, or even the war on terror.

Back to the subject of Olmert:
He may not be a warmonger in some people's books, but it is obvious that the actions of Israel, which he represents, haven't helped his international image very much. He has escalated the fight, in my opinion, to an unnecessary degree. This makes me feel as though he is less inclined towards peace and moreso towards conflict. His specific objectives are known only to him and those he chooses to share them with, but they clearly do not include the well-being of the Lebanese civilians. These things, in my opinion, make him a warmonger.

Respectfully

Neal Earhart
08-04-2006, 11:59 AM
Bridge bombing paralyses Lebanon aid pipeline By Michael Winfrey
59 minutes ago

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Israel's bombing of key highway bridges in northern Lebanon and strikes at a Hizbollah stronghold in south Beirut paralyzed United Nations aid convoys on Friday, but other aid continued to arrive by air and sea.

Air strikes against four bridges on the main coastal highway linking Beirut to Syria stalled an eight-truck convoy carrying 150 tonnes of relief and cut what the United Nations called its "umbilical cord" for aid supplies.

The bridge at Maameltein, just north of Beirut, was split along its center by a huge crater which partially engulfed the crushed shell of a minivan. Further north, another bridge lay stretched out in the valley it once spanned.

"The whole road is gone," said Astrid van Genderen Stort, senior information officer for the UNHCR refugee agency.

"It's really a major setback because we used this highway to move staff and supplies into the country."

The U.N.'s World Food Program (WFP) called off planned convoys southwards to the port city of Tyre and Rashidiyeh after air strikes on a southern Beirut suburb prevented drivers from reaching the convoys' departure point.

A third convoy carrying food, water and sanitation equipment south to the town of Jezzine departed as planned.

The International Organization for Migration said it had to postpone evacuating 2,000 more people, including 720 Filipino and Sri Lankan workers, on the coastal road this weekend.

"There is nowhere to put them in Beirut," said spokeswoman Jemini Pandya. "We urgently have to find a way to get them out."

The UNHCR was also forced to put off trips around Beirut to assess the needs and deliver aid to up to 400,000 people living with host families or in schools and parks in the area.

Estimates of the total number of displaced people range from 800,000 to one million, with around a fifth of that number believed to have fled to neighboring Syria.

RELIEF CONTINUES

Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior steamed into Beirut port with 40 tonnes of aid for Medecins Sans Frontieres.

The International Committee of the Red Cross received 100 tonnes of food, sleeping mats, kitchen sets and other supplies and said it made at least three forays into hard-hit areas in the eastern Bekaa valley and around the port of Tyre.

Ten tonnes of tents and shelter materials from China came by plane from Jordan, as did an equal amount of high-energy biscuits and medical supplies from the WFP.

"Thank God. The fact that our northern lifeline has been cut makes this flight all the more critical," said WFP spokesman Robin Lodge. "But still, it's just a drop in the ocean."

U.N. Children's Fund UNICEF began immunizing tens of thousands of Lebanese children to help prevent epidemics of diseases like measles and polio.

The U.N. has asked for $150 million in emergency assistance but said it had so far received only $25 million in pledges. It also warned a looming fuel shortage could bring power plants, hospitals and water pumping stations to a halt.

"The lack of fuel for power plants and other utilities is dire," said U.N. spokesman for Lebanon Khaled Mansour. "It could bring the country to a grinding halt in days."

Israel has agreed to let two tankers pass through its naval blockade but their owners have refused to proceed without an actual written guarantee of safety for war insurance purposes.


http://news.yahoo.com/fc/world/mideast_conflict

Neil Mick
08-04-2006, 12:06 PM
Good morning,

I saw a very incisive report on DemocracyNow! ("Is America Watching a Different War? American, Lebanese and Israeli Panel on How the US Media is Covering the Invasion of Lebanon") (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/03/1359222) yesterday, about the media coverage on the Lebanon invasion.

It touched on how well the Israeli PR manages the news from Palestine and Lebanon, and how we in the US often see a very different, more managed view of foreign affairs, than the outside world (of course, I already suspected as much, but I need a constant reminder, as it often takes time to sink in :hypno: ).

Some good points brought up:

PETER HART: One of the first things to understand is that the media in this country are obsessed with a timeline, establishing when history began in this story. And usually in the media, it begins when Palestinians attack. CBS reporter Bob Simon said just as much a couple of weeks ago on the evening news. June 25th, Hamas captures an Israeli soldier. That's when history began. July 12th, Hezbollah does the same, captures two Israeli soldiers. That's when this story begins.

You can appreciate this history, but you have to ignore a lot of very relevant history: dozens of Palestinians dead in Gaza in the months prior; the attempt to destroy the Palestinian government in Gaza; the fact that the day before this capture of an Israeli soldier in the West Bank, two Hamas members, alleged Hamas members, were captured by Israeli forces in Gaza, crossing that border. We hear a lot of talk about borders and sovereignty being the story, but when Israel crosses that border, it's apparently not a story.

The same is true in Lebanon. There's a lot of context to that story that predates July 12. In late May, a member of Islamic Jihad was killed in Lebanon. Many people in Lebanon and Israel actually think Israel had something to do with it. Border skirmishes had been going on for the past month and a half or so. These are things that are excluded from the timeline. If you read your newspaper, they have a graph, they have a chart. Almost all of them have done this. And they begin on June 25. They begin on July 12. And they ignore all of this relevant back story.

AMY GOODMAN: You were mentioning Bob Simon; you mean, Bob Schieffer of CBS?

PETER HART: Bob Simon did that. Bob Schieffer pretends that the timeline doesn't matter. He says this is the Middle East. It doesn't matter who did what. These are irrational people, which is at best lazy and, I think, at worst downright bigoted.

and

AMY GOODMAN: Gideon Levy, you work for Ha'aretz in Israel. What is the Israeli press reporting?

GIDEON LEVY: You see always in times of war they're also changing a little bit, and what happens to the entire society happens also to the media, mainly becoming more united, more nationalistic, more militaristic, and even more chauvinistic and violent. Same happens here, though I must tell you there is a sense of criticism already now about this war, but mainly about tactical aspects of it. Should we use the territorial option or not? Did the army function well or not? Questions like this are being raised already now.

My main criticism about the Israeli media right now is a very old one, namely ignoring almost totally the sacrifice of the other, the sacrifice of the Lebanese people, the destruction, the killings. All this is covered in the Israeli media in a very, very hidden way, modest way, and really out of proportion, so that the Israeli reader is not really exposed to pictures and reports that the European reader is exposed to. This, I think, is not something to be proud about.

and

HABIB BATTAH: When I'm watching the media coverage here from Lebanon, I'm reminded of -- the American media coverage -- I'm reminded of being in Qatar during the Iraq war, the beginning of it at least, and watching how the use of sources on American media reflected the policy of the United States government. And those sources are mainly retired military analysts. I was watching a show last night, Hardball on MSNBC, and the three guests were two American generals and a former colonel. So there really isn't a diversity, and these sources allowed assumptions they made that kind of slip under the radar, and these assumptions typically would assume the best of Israel and the worst of Hezbollah.
So the conflict isn't approached from an objective point of view. It's approached from reflection of the policy of the government.

Catch the video stream, if you can. There's a really good portion of a documentary, in the segment.

DanielR
08-04-2006, 12:35 PM
This makes me feel as though he is less inclined towards peace and moreso towards conflict. His specific objectives are known only to him and those he chooses to share them with, but they clearly do not include the well-being of the Lebanese civilians.
Tanner, I agree that the Israeli government's response is very forceful. The situation is complex, however, and the government must balance its own public opinioin, the deteriorating image of Israel in the world's eyes, the approaching UN resolution, the need to punish and weaken Hezbollah, the need to clear room for the peacekeepers if this plan ever materializes, the recommendations of IDF, etc, etc. As of now, the immediate objectives of the operation as formulated by the Israeli government are quite known - to push Hezbollah to Litani river, to take out as much of Hezbolla's rocket launching capability as possible, and to capture as many Hezbolla militants as possible for future bargaining. I have no idea how the latest bombing of the bridges furthers these goals, for now it looks more like collective punishment to me, but I'll wait for additional analysis to form my opinion.

Neil Mick
08-04-2006, 12:43 PM
I think your characterization of Olmert as a warmonger is quite off.

Uh huh: the guy's a real Gandhi.

Something our readers in the military here could verify...withdrawal is sometimes a military tactic...esp if undertaken, unilaterally (see Gaza).

http://www.globalexchange.org/countries/mideast/palestine/3949.html

Why We Cannot Talk to Hamas (http://www.globalexchange.org/countries/mideast/palestine/3946.html)

Edit: This, however, (http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/4CC21D25-66EA-45BC-B627-168C47D936CF.htm) would quite qualify as warmongering.

As might some of these notions:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20004074-601,00.html


Q: He made some remarks last night (Tuesday) indicating that the way the War on Terror had gone was not ideal, that relying on force and alienating the Muslim world was a mistake. Does this alarm you, do you think that he's wobbling, to put it frankly?
A: I think he said there is a war that has to be fought, he said we have to win the war against global extremism and that we have to win it at the level of values and at the level of force. And I entirely agree with him on both levels.

Q: Will Israel reserve the right to respond in future of leave it to the international force.
A: Israel will never, ever allow anyone any more to attack Israel without response.

Q: How has the military campaign gone?
A: I think that the military campaign has been brilliant.

Yes: one thing you have to say for the IDF...they sure know how to shoot a target...esp when it's brilliantly marked, by a large, Red Cross (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14352.htm) :grr:

Q: How much longer is left -- days? weeks?
A: I don't think it will take weeks. I think that a resolution will be made sometime next week by the UN Security Council and then it depends on the rapidity of deployment of the international forces into the south of Lebanon. Obviously, as I said, we will not pull out and we will not stop shooting until there is an international force that will effectively control the area.

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0714-24.htm

The prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, referring to how his country would respond to having two of their soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah, told a joint news conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, "The Lebanese government is responsible. Lebanon will pay the price."

Adhering to his favorite policy of collective punishment, Olmert, added, "…those responsible for the attack will pay a high and painful price." So attack a country because a rebel group in south Lebanon captured two soldiers.

http://counterpunch.org/brooks07042006.html

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lost no time in exploiting Hamas' capture of an Israeli soldier to justify Israel's long-planned re-occupation of the Gaza Strip and mass arrest of the Hamas leadership. In his haste, he has inadvertently achieved a rare thing. He has managed to reduce the absurdity of Israel's position to a known ratio: 9000 to 1.

Some warmongers scream for blood: while others quietly wail at the loss of it...all the while ordering the soldiers to push on, and eshewing calls for peace, and negotiation.

In the end, I suppose: it all depends upon the power of your vocal chords, and the sentiments of the choir to whom you're preaching.

But hey! Wake me up when the guy gets nominated for the Medal of Freedom, or the Nobel Peace Prize, will ya? At the age of irony in which we live: I have little doubt that that's next.

Mike Sigman
08-04-2006, 12:47 PM
Oh please. The Arab League declared war on Israel in 1948, not the other way around. Lebanon, Syria and all the other Arab and Muslim country members except for Egypt and Jordan are still officially at war with Israel. Israel has shown again and again they want to live in peace. However, every time Israel pulls back, it's attacked again. If Israel wanted to, because Lebanon is still officially in declared war with it and because a part of the Lebanese government attacked Israel, Israel could bomb Lebanon into surrender.

The PLO, Fatah, Hamas, Hizballah and Islamic Jihad all have covenants and constitutions calling, not for an independent Palestinian state, or for a sovereign Lebanon, but for Israel's destruction. People like Neil Mick would be delighted if Israel was destroyed.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

James Davis
08-04-2006, 12:52 PM
Great. Now how about attempting to answer the question, instead of baiting...or, would that be too much trouble, to ask...?
What question? Did you pose a question to me personally?

DanielR
08-04-2006, 01:01 PM
it all depends upon the power of your vocal chordsWell, I personally don't adopt this approach in this discussion, which I cannot say about your contribution.

Neil Mick
08-04-2006, 01:04 PM
What question? Did you pose a question to me personally?

Yes, I did. But, I understand if it got lost in the mix (I tried to cut and paste the flow of conversation, but it got lost in the flurry of posts). Apologies.

So, to put it simply:

you seem to forget the Lebanese prisoners kidnapped by the IDF, or the 9000 Palestinian prisoners held in indefinite "Administrative detentions," in violation of Geneva Conventions.

Also, consider:

The Score: 9,000 Prisoners to 1? (http://counterpunch.org/brooks07042006.html)

Israel already holds (Palestinian and Lebanese) prisoners hostage, without trial; without news of their status, in violation of international law.

In the past: they've initiated hostage exchanges. Now, you tell me...who's the bigger terrorist: the nation that engages in kidnappings and hostage-exchanges as policy, or the militant groups that decide to buy into the currency of exchange?

Or even: does it matter, who started it?

Neil Mick
08-04-2006, 01:06 PM
Well, I personally don't adopt this approach in this discussion, which I cannot say about your contribution.

Actually, Daniel: I was referring to the leaders' vocal chords...not yours.

Apologies for the misunderstanding.

Mike Sigman
08-04-2006, 01:14 PM
Israel already holds (Palestinian and Lebanese) prisoners hostage, without trial; without news of their status, in violation of international law.

This is BS. I notice Neil likes to quote the famously distorted Far Left columnists and avoid any other sources. Palestinians are tried... in fact they are incarcerated and not outright tortured and killed the way the Islamic countries do it. American hostages by Hezbollah were tortured, beaten, fed rat poison, shot in the head, etc., etc., and people like Neil Mick will never mention it. ;)

Mike

DanielR
08-04-2006, 01:33 PM
No, I did understand you, Neil. What I was referring to was your tendency to pepper your posts with unwarranted additions of the type "the guy's a real Ghandi". To me these types of remarks look unnecessarily inciting. But that's your style, it seems, so maybe it can't be helped.

To the point: again we're going into semantics of the terms that are being used here vs. the natural tendency of this discussion to always go back to the question of proportional response. My responses to Tanner were based on the definition of a warmonger as "one who urges or attempts to stir up war". Talking strictly about this war with Hezbollah, it was "stirred up" by Hezbollah's provocation. I'm afraid you're going to say that Hezbollah's provocation was "stirred up" by Israel's policies in the last decades, and then we're going to have to roll back thousands of years to the origins of the "stir-ups". So it looks like this is a dead end, too.

Neil Mick
08-04-2006, 02:30 PM
No, I did understand you, Neil. What I was referring to was your tendency to pepper your posts with unwarranted additions of the type "the guy's a real Ghandi". To me these types of remarks look unnecessarily inciting. But that's your style, it seems, so maybe it can't be helped.

I'm sorry to read that you feel the need to resort to personal attacks to get your point across, Daniel.

Unless you've changed your name to Ehud Olmert, this comment was not directed at you. I generally feel that public and political leaders are open game. The leaders themselves don't usually post on aikiweb; and the the nature of their jobs subjects them to all manner of critique. But still, it's one thing to say that "the guy's a real Gandhi:" quite another to turn the remark to a personal slur, to an online post'er.

Well, I personally don't adopt this approach in this discussion, which I cannot say about your contribution

isn't, per se, a personal attack: but it's treading mighty close.

And, I personally do not feel the remark unwarranted. The tone of your remarks has been a mild defence of Olmert's position of peace, and I take issue with that.

Up to this point, I have quietly congratulated you on your avoidance of personal slurs, so pardon me if I hold you to a higher standard, than most.

But, allow me take this opportunity to clarify the difference btw a generic remark, and a personal remark: it's really quite simple..."hate the game, not the player," or "criticize the remark, not the person." It's one thing to say that that remark is a typical, sarcastic response; another to call the person who made it, sarcastic.

The alternative, of course, is to follow the well-trod route that Mike Sigman seems to employ, and to pepper every other sentence with a personal slur. I doubt that this is your goal, but your slip seems directed at me personally, and is therefore disappointing.

I feel that I have taken pains to be polite: but if you choose to continue, the ignore button is always a potential option...as I am not interested in degenerating into mutual personal attacks. Been there, done that...and I find it pointless.

DanielR
08-04-2006, 02:46 PM
I apologize for the "maybe that can't be helped" bit, it was unnecessary.

Neil Mick
08-04-2006, 02:49 PM
Things you can do, part deux:

BOYCOTT ISRAEL COMPANY LIST


AOL Time Warner
Apax Partners & Co Ltd
Coca-Cola
Danone
Delta Galil Disney
Estée Lauder IBM
Johnson & Johnson Kimberly-Clark
Lewis Trust Group Ltd L'Oreal
Marks & Spencer Nestle
News Corporation Nokia
Revlon Sara Lee
Selfridges The Limited Inc
Home Depot Intel
Starbucks Timberland
McDonald's Arsenal FC

These companies all actively support Israel and its policies. Boycott their products, and make sure to tell them why.

You can find a list of their brand-names, here (http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-brands.html)

Neil Mick
08-04-2006, 02:52 PM
I apologize for the "maybe that can't be helped" bit, it was unnecessary. Do you not agree however that you routinely use a good dose of sarcasm in these discussions, thus "that's your style"?

Yes, I do: and I apologize for that. It's something that I work to minimize, but the line btw irony and sarcasm becomes a hard one to walk, at times.

Sometimes, you have to be ironic, to avoid screaming at the TV-set. Sorry if it gets in the way of polite discourse.

such comments are completely counter-productive if you're interested in conversing with people who don't always agree with you?

I dunno about "completely counter-productive," but point taken.

DanielR
08-04-2006, 03:14 PM
How has Arsenal FC made the list?

Edit: never mind: got it here (http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-arsenal.html)

Mike Sigman
08-04-2006, 03:15 PM
I'm sorry to read that you feel the need to resort to personal attacks to get your point across, Daniel.

((snip))
The alternative, of course, is to follow the well-trod route that Mike Sigman seems to employ,
((snip))
...as I am not interested in degenerating into mutual personal attacks. Been there, done that...and I find it pointless.

Heh. There's a common problem in training we call "SPD"... "Self Perception Disorder". Neil may be one of the most uncontrolled cases I've ever seen. HIs idea of "not a personal attack" is to call Bush a moron... and not understanding why people laugh at him. ;)

Mike

DanielR
08-04-2006, 04:13 PM
You can find a list of their brand-names, here (http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-brands.html)I would also recommend browsing around the web site, and reading some of the explanations how some of the companies made the list (http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-israel.html). Some of that is pretty disturbing stuff. The style is quite telling: "zionist", "Zionism" are clearly used as slurs, IDF reservists are "thugs", the term State of Israel is always offered in quotation marks. There are also fatwas (http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-fatwas.html), one describing Israel as being "in a state of war with Islam and Muslims".

Here's Brian Lehrer of WNYC's commentary (http://www.wnyc.org/news/articles/38823) on the related subject of academic boycott proposed by some British academics several years ago.

James Davis
08-04-2006, 04:37 PM
Yes, I did. But, I understand if it got lost in the mix (I tried to cut and paste the flow of conversation, but it got lost in the flurry of posts).

Ok.

Apologies.

Accepted.

In the past: they've initiated hostage exchanges. Now, you tell me...who's the bigger terrorist: the nation that engages in kidnappings and hostage-exchanges as policy, or the militant groups that decide to buy into the currency of exchange?

The people that want to continue to exist, or the militant groups whose promary goal is their destruction?

Or even: does it matter, who started it?

It might have, once. I don't think it does now. What matters is how we can stop it. None of the parties involved have any plans of stopping what they've been doing so far...

Neil Mick
08-04-2006, 04:47 PM
IDF reservists are "thugs"

Yeah, you're right: I had issue with that one, too.

Boycott's are a very personal choice, and I second your adviso to choose the boycott with care. Still, it's an effective strategy, and worth some thought.

Lucky I don't drink coffee, or Starbuck's would be on my list... ;)

Neil Mick
08-04-2006, 05:01 PM
The alternative, of course, is to follow the well-trod route that Mike Sigman seems to employ, and to pepper every other sentence with a personal slur. I doubt that this is your goal, but your slip seems directed at me personally, and is therefore disappointing.

Darn these 15-minute edit rules!

OK, a retraction. I would like to retract any comparison btw Daniel's and Mike's posts. The comparison was unfair: and in point of fact, I was attempting to edit this out before the time limit hit.

I find Daniel's posts, in the main, to be equable in tone and reasonable in response. Even tho we sometimes disagree, he often takes care to avoid personal remarks--a quality I find quite refreshing. I find his posts lack the inflammatory and trollish nature of Mike Sigman's posts, and to compare the two is simply unfair.

Sorry, Daniel. :ai: :ki: :do:

Mike Sigman
08-04-2006, 06:58 PM
OK, a retraction. I would like to retract any comparison btw Daniel's and Mike's posts. The comparison was unfair: This from the guy who has done nothing "fair" in comparisons during any of his post themes and who repeatedly avoided direct questions asking for him to show where any of his posts were fair or considered both sides.

This from the clown who is advocating a "boycott" of the Jews because they are defending themselves.

This is low comedy from a guy who fools mainly one person... himself. Start doing impartial analyses of situations before you slander a whole nation (Irael) because of your petty biases, Mick.

Mike Sigman

Neil Mick
08-05-2006, 06:23 PM
Here's Brian Lehrer of WNYC's commentary (http://www.wnyc.org/news/articles/38823) on the related subject of academic boycott proposed by some British academics several years ago.

Great. That was then: this is now. Much of his reservation over boycotts is the idea that in the ME there are "bad actors" everywhere; that a boycott is a thinly veiled gesture of anti-Semitism.

Yet, many of the tactics used by Israel WERE the same as those in S. Africa. The author lightly dismisses these arguments as "misleading," and then moves on without exploration.

Sorry, but Israel's attack on Lebanon certainly does earn a boycott, in my book, for their utter destruction of Lebanese infrastructure (and threats of more of the same). They show n inclination of restraint.

Sure, the website listed has some overly harsh words in describing Israeli's and IDF soldiers (ones that I would not use, myself); but I do not need to pledge their vow of allegiance, to march in their parade...if the parade is just.

The second they call for the abolition of Israel, of course, is the second I bow out. But still: a boycott certainly IS merited, in this case.

Neil Mick
08-05-2006, 06:28 PM
None of the parties involved have any plans of stopping what they've been doing so far...

Not, according to the latest news... (http://rfe.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/08/A451B5E8-4DB8-4D21-AC69-5E2E6865BE60.html)

Nasrallah also told Israel that "if at any time you decide to stop your campaigns on our cities, villages, civilians, and infrastructure, we will not strike with rockets any settlement or Israeli city."

Mike Sigman
08-06-2006, 09:17 AM
The Qana "Massacre" is beginning to look more and more like the "Jenin Massacre", which the news media had to grudgingly admit that they'd been duped on (some admitted it.... all dropped the subject of the media's comlicity as quickly as possible).

In the case of Qana, the original number of deaths was greatly exaggerated. The building fell/exploded probably hours after a Israeli strike happened "nearby". Only women and children were in the building... no men. A Lebanese magazine has reported that children were "placed" in the building before the tragedy. The Reuters news agency photographer, an Arab, gave doctored and staged photographs of the aftermath (the same one who did the Reuters photograph that Reuters has had to publicly disavow this morning). Even though it doesn't look right, every sensible person is saying "wait and see when all the evidence is in".

But not people like Neil Mick. The propaganda campaigns that the enemies of the US use are designed to get the anti-Americans out raising hate against Americans and American allies... Neil Mick fulfills this description in most of his posts. No sensible person really considers that Neil is doing anything more than constantly denigrating the US and Neil should just be upfront about it instead of pretending that he's somehow being helpful.

Let's wait and see on Qana. On the levels of disproportionality that the anti-Americans, like Neil, keep wringing their hands about (they're always wringing their hands when Israel or the US is winning, it seems, and wanting to "call a halt to the conflict" in order to give the enemies one more time to regroup)... the "disproportionality" doesn't stand up. Twenty-eight people *may* have been killed in an Israeli airstrike in a response to 150 rockets fired deliberately at Israeli civilians, but is that disproportionate. None of the EU allies decried the "disproportionate" responses they themselves did when Serbs attacked the NATO positions in that war. "Disproportionate" is, let's face it, simply a word in the propaganda war to make Israel quit going after the enemy that attacked it. Everyone knows it. One side, Neil's side, thinks a few lies and exaggerations are worth it if the bad guys can ultimately win.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Amir Krause
08-06-2006, 11:43 AM
i grew up in Beirut, I'm supposed to get married there next year. my wedding plans are tentatively cancelled, my family is hiding up in the mountains, and every day i am watching my country, the area closest to my heart, get flattened.

on the flip side, Lebanon is one of the most diverse religious countries in the world. i take pride in this fact. Shi'ites are only a fraction of the Lebanese population, and there are a lot of Lebanese who want Hezbollah out just as bad as Israel does.
on the other flip side, Israeli's are not animals. they do not want to kill civilians, and they are good people. the truth of the matter is that this army seems highly inexperienced. they have the firepower, but this is one of the few times they have reached significant resistance, and their inexperience is showing with miscalculated attacks and a plethora of civilian casualties. they need more training.

on another flip side, it was Israeli occupation that created Hezbollah in the first place. it was also Israeli occupation that created Hamas. again, this does not mean that Israel is not trying to secure peace.

on another flip side, Hezbollah has very little respect for Lebanon by attacking Israel without consent of the Lebanese government. they are not unifying Lebanon, they are tearing it appart worse than Israel is.a

bottom line: your viewpoint is your own, but nobody is right, and everybody is right. they only truth we can agree upon is that war is bad.

i am proud of the fact that i can watch my country get flattened and not have feelings of scorn or hatred. my only concern is that while bridges can be rebuilt, my family cannot.

here's to a quick resolution, a lasting peace, and my close friendship with some good Israeli people.


Hi Luc

I hope by the time your wedding should be, all will be calm and Beirut will return to flourish (as far as I understand, the damage is still rather focused). Wish all your family and friends are well and will stay out of harms way.

I wish all Lebanese were like you, and then peace would have been here a long long time ago. And we could have all met and trained together.



Amir






It is debatable what happened first, whether Hezbollah attacked first or Israel. Even in the story presented 3 weeks ago, some news sources have said that the captured Israeli soldiers were picked up on the Lebanese side of the border. Given the supporting arguments that I've read, I'm more inclined to believe that, but most of you will probably think that's just more bias talking. Maybe it is, but that's the way I see it.

Well, perhaps you had better recheck your facts. The kidnapped were a group of reservists, on their last day on the border line, patrolling inside the border. They were not even fully equipped, let alone crossing the border in some planned incursion. Hezbollah fired rockets on the two vehicles they drove killing 3 soldiers and capturing 2 soldiers. It is true some of the soldiers killed that day did enter Lebanon, in a tank, in pursuit of the kidnap.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1150885976658 [this report was written before all the facts were clear, the identity of one of the captured is assumed to be Druz while he was a Jew, not that this truly matters].
I guess you will doubt such sources, so how about an Islamic board I found in English: http://www.aimislam.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=429
You can also read the top lines of this blog (again, not an Israeli source):
http://www.beirutbeltway.com/beirutbeltway/2006/07/hizbullah_why_d.html

Nasrallah revealed that Hizbullah "has been planning for this operation for almost five months now. We didn't inform the Cabinet of the plans to capture these soldiers."

If you do read that page, you will note they are reporting not only of a well planned attack but also of a diversion, which was firing rockets and mortars at Israeli villages all along the border. I remember hearing about those rockets on the news that day, before the kidnap was reported.


As far as looking at fabricated stories, how about the story below: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286966,00.html

Reuters withdraws photograph of Beirut after Air Force attack after US blogs, photographers point out 'blatant evidence of manipulation.' Reuters' head of PR says in response, 'Reuters has suspended photographer until investigations are completed into changes made to photograph.' Photographer who sent altered image is same Reuters photographer behind many of images from Qana, which have also been subject of suspicions for being staged






I hate these buzzwords. Israel used them during the whole Gilad Shalit ordeal. "Kiddnapped" and "hostage" were pretty popular. Personally, I like to call them Prisoners of War. Why are the 10,000+ POWs in Israel not called "kidnapped hostages"? The reason is simple: propaganda.

Because many of those people you count were tried and placed in prison for planning to bomb and/or kidnap civilians. Even most of the others did get visitations from their families and the Red-Cross (I seem to remember a recent statements these visitations are stopped until Gilad Shalit will be returned).



Didn't see any Katyusha launchers on the ambulances or in the airport. Nor the hospital, nor in Qana, nor...


Where did you see a Katyusha launcher? Or perhaps Israel has not been hit by over 2000 missiles so far and it is all a propaganda of us Zionists?
So far, I have seen pictures of Katyusha launchers inside Mosques and weapons inside hospitals (both are violations of the Geneva convention and make those places no longer protected). I have seen pictures of multiple launchers in residential neighborhoods.

Is HA hiding among civilians? How about believing a UN official, who is certainly not supportive of Israel (Israelis stopped expecting the UN support a long time ago):

At the same time, I repeatedly and publicly appealed from within Lebanon that the armed men of Hizbollah must stop their deplorable tactic of hiding ammunition, arms, or combatants among civilians. Using civilian neighborhoods as human camouflage is abhorrent and in violation of international humanitarian law.
http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocusnewsiraq.asp

or, here, a journalist who actually visited the HA offices:

The chief spokesman for Hezbollah is…. His office is on a low floor of an apartment building in the southern suburbs of Beirut, which are called the Dahiya. Hezbollah has five main offices there, and all are in apartment buildings, which helps to create a shield between the bureaucracy and Israeli fighter jets

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/021014fa_fact4


For instance: are the pronouncements of Hezbollah REALLY what they want, or is it empty sabre-rattling? PROVE to me that they REALLY would do all that you say, if they had the weapons.

Sorry, but given this logic. I see no reason to even try and discuss anything with you. Hezbollah and Iran clearly present their intentions to eradicate Israel off the map. So, you choose they can not mean the things they state again and again. Why do you not believe Nasrallah when he states:
I am against any reconciliation with Israel. I do not even recognize the presence of a state that is called "Israel." I consider its presence both unjust and unlawful. That is why if Lebanon concludes a peace agreement with Israel and brings that accord to the Parliament our deputies will reject it; Hezbollah refuses any conciliation with Israel in principle. example from 2000 http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/hzblhnsr.htm
or:

If they go from Sheba’a, we will not stop fighting them. Our goal is to liberate the 1948 borders of Palestine...[Jews] can go back to Germany or wherever they came from.
Hassan Ezzeddin, chief spokesman for Hezbollah 2002 (Israel was out of Lebanon)
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/021014fa_fact4



Instead, you judge just by the numbers of dead. Guess what, I am happy less Israelis die, I care less for Lebanese civilians then for my fellow soldiers of which I know some and some belong to my family. Still, I would prefer the Israeli army to cause less civilian death in Lebanon, and pictures of dead children are an horror in my eyes, be they Lebanese Shiite, Israeli Jews or Israeli Arab (many of which were killed).

There is a reason for the ratios of death:
* Israeli Jewish and Jewish-Arab combined areas are better sheltered.
* Many of Israeli Arabs died because they did not expect to be bombed and therefore cared less for installing shelters (and many of them built without required permits and such and so avoided the extra cost of building a shelter for every family in new/renovated apartments and houses).
* Lebanese are rarely sheltered in an organized way. Plus, the Israeli munitions are more modern and thus have more penetration.

However, related to the number of munitions fired at Lebanon, the Lebanese death toll is also quite small. The reason for this is Israel is not seeking how to kill as many Lebanese as possible.



And, from my limited knowledge of international law: "intent" to attack certainly IS a justification to attack first: but you have a long, long way to go, before you prove that Hezbollah "intends" to invade and attack Israel, in the same manner that Israel is doing to Lebanon.


Another presentation of the same “logic”:
I see, it is allowable to preempt against intent, but not to retaliate after an attack. Any response to an attack must be proportional to the attack, so if I attack you with a multitude of blows and I am weak and inexperienced, you may not defend yourself since you are an Aikido Yundasha, and you must only evade or absorb all my attacks until after you will find out I “accidentally” scratched one of your eyes? If you hold me in a lock and I resist, you must release me before I am damaged since the damage I gave you so far is minor.

The concept of proportion was never there once a war has been declared. Guess what, it so happens Israel and Lebanon are already at war, since 1948. For the convenience of the readers, I will give some examples for proportion of other countries, just of my memory:
how about the US response to Japan attack on Pearl Harbor? Oops, mentioning WWII and assuming you support the US – I guess you’ll just claim it was not justified and the US should have negotiated.
How about the “righteous” French?
France, sinking a Green-Peace ship which intended to sail into French-Guinaa (wait, isn’t French in Europe, how can it have land in the so far away, is this not colonialism? Naah, can’t be. Only Israel is a colonialist country towards adjacent areas it is attacked from, European countries can not be colonialist). French bombing in Africa after some soldiers were shot. French president his country has nuclear weaponry to deal with terrorist threats.
Need I continue with England and Falkland. Spain threatening with war in reaction to Morocco trying to take sovereignty on some minor islands hundred of meters from Morocco shore which Spain holds as its own (You do know of Gibraltar being Brit and the cities opposite it in Africa being Spanish). Russia in Chechnya …

I think I will stop here, anyone with eyes in his head can see the concept of proportion has never been adhered to by any nation under attack. In fact, most European and other countries react to attacks on their conceived interests, as strongly as they react to attacks on their civilians, army or soil.



Going home. I hope I will be here tomorrow, and Nasrallah will not live up to his threat of throwing rockets at Tel-Aviv.


Amir

Huker
08-06-2006, 03:29 PM
Amir,

If you really want to get into sources, we can. I just don't really see it going anywhere. We've both read news reports supporting either side as well as seen plenty of photos. Personally, I've seen fewer photos of piles of dead Israeli civilians as opposed to Lebanese, but that's just me.

We've also been through numbers and intentions etc..., so I'm going to skip on a bit.


Instead, you judge just by the numbers of dead. Guess what, I am happy less Israelis die, I care less for Lebanese civilians then for my fellow soldiers of which I know some and some belong to my family.


That's fine. I'm sorry to hear you care less for people who have nothing to do with the conflict than for those who have signed up to put their lives on the line for their country. A ground invasion would have had many casualties on both sides, no doubt, but I'd rather see that than the massive destruction to civilians and their infrastructure, regardless of their country of origin.

how about the US response to Japan attack on Pearl Harbor? Oops, mentioning WWII and assuming you support the US -- I guess you'll just claim it was not justified and the US should have negotiated."

That's true. That is among the worst atrocities in history. The creators of the bomb and those who dropped it are traitors to humanity. Could it not have been dropped in a more remote location? Like the sea of Japan, or somewhere nearby, but not on civilians? I'm sure the Japanese would have noticed a huge ball of light off in the distance.

Israel is not the only colonialist country. Again, words are being put into my mouth. French colonialism led to the First and Second Indochina Wars, as well as other conflicts. England's colonialism led to quite a few wars throughout history as well. I guess we can both agree that colonialism is bad.

Sorry for the short post, I'm busy at work until 5pm. Talk to you soon.

Mike Sigman
08-06-2006, 05:21 PM
This grasp-at-straws idea that Israel is somehow "disproportional" because it kicks the butt of the country/faction that attacks it is being ridiculed in any serious legal circle in which it is mentioned. Here's a pretty good column responding to a previous article by a couple of liberals who were misusing the "disproportional" idea as a furtherance of the attack on Israel:


The column by Sullivan and Atwood contains a fundamental mischaracterization of what jus in bello, the law of how armed conflict must be conducted, says about proportionality. Wars may be fought to defeat the military capabilities of an enemy aggressor and not only as an actuarial exercise. As Joshua Brook put it in an excellent piece in the New Republic Online, whether the amount of force employed by Israel is proportionate to the amount of force used by Hezbollah and whether the number of Lebanese civilians killed by Israel is proportionate to the number of Israeli civilians killed by Hezbollah may or may not be legitimate policy questions, but have nothing to do with the concept of proportionality as that term is used in international law. Once armed conflict develops, a state is simply not limited to responding only in kind. An attacker risks that its armed forces will be dealt a blow disproportionate to its initial attack. As my Wall Street Journal column discusses, Israel is not violating international law in Lebanon. Meanwhile, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran are continually violating international law in this conflict.

In addition, Israel's conduct compares favorably to how its most powerful accusers -- Russia, China and the EU have behaved when their own interests have been threatened.

China killed hundreds of peaceful Tiananmen Square protestors in 1989. It has for five decades occupied Tibet, slaughtering tens of thousands; and it vows to invade Taiwan if it declares independence. Neither the Tiananmen protesters nor Tibet nor Taiwan has ever threatened to "wipe China off the map."

Russia has fought since 1994 to suppress Chechnya's independence movement. Out of a Chechen population of one million, as many as 200,000 have been killed as Russia has leveled the capital city of Grozny. Chechen rebels pose no threat to "wipe Russia off the

All of the leading EU countries actively participated in NATO's 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999. The military goal was to stop Yugoslavia from oppressing its Kosovar minority. NATO bombs and missiles hit Yugoslav bridges, power plants and a television station, killing hundreds of civilians. Yugoslavia posed no threat to the existence of any of the EU countries that bombed it.

Compared with how China, Russia, and the EU have dealt with non-existential threats -- and despite the law-flouting behavior of Hezbollah, Iran and Syria -- Israel's responses to the threats to its existence have been remarkably restrained rather than disproportionately violent.

Do Atwood and Sullivan believe that the U.S. was acting disproportionately when it took over all of Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks by al Qaeda terrorists based in that country? When the U.S. killed thousands of civilians in and conquered Germany and Japan following Germany's aggression in Europe and Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor? In none of these cases was U.S. existence at stake the way tiny Israel's is in the face of the stated determination of Iran and Hezbollah to wipe Israel off the map. If Atwood and Sullivan are holding Israel to a double standard, my question is why? Their op-ed certainly does not make a case for such a double standard.

Professor Orde Félix Kittrie
The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
Arizona State University
orde.kittrie@asu.edu
web page: http://www.law.asu.edu/Kittrie

DanielR
08-06-2006, 06:25 PM
A ground invasion would have had many casualties on both sides, no doubt, but I'd rather see that than the massive destruction to civilians and their infrastructure, regardless of their country of origin.Just a thought - Tanner, what makes you think a massive ground operation would have resulted in less civilian casualties? How many civilians in southern Lebanon, even only south of Litani, would've ended up in the midst of it - say 150,000? What would happen in Tyre, population 117,000, if IDF were to enter it with all its might, searching for rockets, launchers and Hezbollah militants? I'm no military expert, but I'm not so sure the civilian casualties would be smaller.

Well, the draft of the UN resolution has been released, but it's not clear how implementable it is, even if it were to pass the vote. IDF is not going to withdraw from southen Lebanon before UNIFIL is reinforced, Hezbollah is not likely to stop attacks before IDF withdraws, and new UN troops are not likely to arrive until some sort of cease-fire is in place.

Neil Mick
08-06-2006, 06:27 PM
Hi Luc

I hope by the time your wedding should be, all will be calm and Beirut will return to flourish (as far as I understand, the damage is still rather focused). Wish all your family and friends are well and will stay out of harms way.

Given the stated aims of the IDF and Olmert: this wish grows increasingly unlikely (and a tad schizophrenic, considering your later claim that you don't really care about the Lebanese: but more on that, later).

Well, perhaps you had better recheck your facts. The kidnapped were a group of reservists, on their last day on the border line, patrolling inside the border. They were not even fully equipped, let alone crossing the border in some planned incursion. Hezbollah fired rockets on the two vehicles they drove killing 3 soldiers and capturing 2 soldiers. It is true some of the soldiers killed that day did enter Lebanon, in a tank, in pursuit of the kidnap.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1150885976658 [this report was written before all the facts were clear, the identity of one of the captured is assumed to be Druz while he was a Jew, not that this truly matters].
I guess you will doubt such sources, so how about an Islamic board I found in English: http://www.aimislam.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=429
You can also read the top lines of this blog (again, not an Israeli source):
http://www.beirutbeltway.com/beirutbeltway/2006/07/hizbullah_why_d.html

It's so easy to pick and choose your timelines, isn't it? You're in good company, Amir: if you read my earlier post about how the Israeli PR manages the news that both you and I see on the mainstream.

Poor, poor Israel. It was simply minding its own business, when these eevel Hezbollah terrorists swooped down, and kidnapped two reservists.

But the devil is in the details, isn't it? If you look back to the beginning of this mess: Hezbollah didn't just wake up and decide it was a good day to kidnap some IDF reservists, did they?

No: what they stated was that they were

"Implementing our promise to free Arab prisoners in Israeli jails,"

Arab prisoners? Perhaps Hezbollah didn't start this game of kidnapping...hmm.

There are still three Lebanese prisoners held in Israeli jails, among them the longest held Lebanese prisoner Samir Kantar, who was captured in 1979 after killing an Israeli scientist and his daughter during an attack on a northern Israeli coastal area.

Hezbollah captures two Israeli soldiers (http://in.news.yahoo.com/060712/43/65tzi.html)

So, rather than being the blameless party...there certainly is cause to suspect that Israel is just as guilty of playing the kidnapping for points sweepstakes; as is Hezbollah.

But really, it's silly to try and scream, "They started it!!" as if that's a justification to commit human rights violations. Let's move on.


many of those people you count were tried and placed in prison for planning to bomb and/or kidnap civilians.

Yes, this is the stated excuse. Of course, many are ALSO placed in indefinite "Administrative Detention," with no trial, no charges, no word to their families. Just poof! Disappeared, into a black bureaucratic hole.

Where did you see a Katyusha launcher? Or perhaps Israel has not been hit by over 2000 missiles so far and it is all a propaganda of us Zionists?

I have no doubt that you've seen Katyusha launchers by the score, on TV. What I imagine you've not seen much of are the levelled Lebanese city-blocks or the HRW Report (http://hrw.org/reports/2006/lebanon0806/2.htm#_Toc142299220) on the needless and excessive targeting of Lebanese civilians.

Since the start of the conflict, Israeli forces have consistently launched artillery and air attacks with limited or dubious military gain but excessive civilian cost. In dozens of attacks, Israeli forces struck an area with no apparent military target. In some cases, the timing and intensity of the attack, the absence of a military target, as well as return strikes on rescuers, suggest that Israeli forces deliberately targeted civilians.

Please, Amir: feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

So far, I have seen pictures of Katyusha launchers inside Mosques and weapons inside hospitals (both are violations of the Geneva convention and make those places no longer protected). I have seen pictures of multiple launchers in residential neighborhoods.

Is HA hiding among civilians? How about believing a UN official, who is certainly not supportive of Israel (Israelis stopped expecting the UN support a long time ago):
http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocusnewsiraq.asp

or, here, a journalist who actually visited the HA offices:

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/021014fa_fact4

Fog of War is No Cover for Causing Civilian Deaths (http://www.forward.com/articles/8233)

"Hezbollah should bear responsibility for civilian deaths because it mixes its fighters and arms with the civilian population."

Not so quick. International humanitarian law does prohibit the deliberate use of civilians to shield fighters and military assets, and it requires all parties to do everything feasible to station their forces away from civilians. Clearly Hezbollah sometimes is violating these prohibitions, but despite the Israeli military's claims, that doesn't begin to account for the high Lebanese death toll. In many cases, Lebanese civilians who have survived air strikes on their homes or vehicles have told Human Rights Watch that Hezbollah was nowhere nearby when the attack took place.
In any event, even the use of civilian structures alone isn't enough to justify an attack. They become legitimate military targets only if Hezbollah troops or arms are present at the time, and the military value of their destruction outweighs the civilian cost. Human Rights Watch's research shows that repeatedly that wasn't the case.


Sorry, but given this logic. I see no reason to even try and discuss anything with you.

And so you reveal the inflexibility of your position. Too bad.

Hezbollah and Iran clearly present their intentions to eradicate Israel off the map. So, you choose they can not mean the things they state again and again. Why do you not believe Nasrallah when he states:
example from 2000 http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/hzblhnsr.htm
or:
Hassan Ezzeddin, chief spokesman for Hezbollah 2002 (Israel was out of Lebanon)
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/021014fa_fact4

Oh, I have little doubt that Hezbollah would dearly love to do terrible things to Israeli's, en masse. But this is hardly a justification for collective punishment.

The obligations to respect international humanitarian law, including to refrain from deliberate or indiscriminate attacks on civilians and to take all feasible precautions against civilian casualties, persist regardless of the conduct of one's opponent. Grave breaches remain war crimes. Otherwise, it would take just one side's charge of abuse, one side's claim to have been the victim of aggression, to return to the era of total war in which all civilians are fair game.

Instead, you judge just by the numbers of dead.

You know: I was thinking about your last post, where you asked how I'd feel if some yahoo's rocketed my country with Katyusha's. But it's difficult to put it in geopolitical context, considering the relative positions of the US and Israel.

But here goes: suppose an extremist group of Mexican guerilla's decided that Mexican territory was unfairly wrested from it by the US (all true). Suppose they got a little sick of the eternal chants of "Remember the Alamo!!" across the Texan border and decided that a little payback was long overdue.

So, these fellows...with a little startup from Cuba and Venezuala (stretching the point, I know) kidnapped a few National Guardsmen and began shelling Las Cruces and other border-towns with some poorly guided rockets.

Now, under these circumstances, is it OK for the US to

1. Ignore international law and indiscriminately fire upon Mexican cities, even when the extremists were nowhere near?
2. Target civilian infrastructure, promising total annihiliation if Houston gets hit?
3. Refuse to allow full access to international aid, even going so far as to hit Red Cross ambulances?
4. Invade Mexico?
5. Target nearby UN observation posts, shelling repeatedly even after calls to stand down were made?

Not, according to international law. But, this seems to be less of a concern for you, and for your and my political leaders.

Guess what, I am happy less Israelis die, I care less for Lebanese civilians then for my fellow soldiers of which I know some and some belong to my family.

Now, THAT is a real tragedy. I cannot say how I'd feel, given the above hypothetical scenario. But, I would hope that I could see past the national boundaries and feel sorrow for the deaths of anyone: no matter what their nationality.

Still, I would prefer the Israeli army to cause less civilian death in Lebanon, and pictures of dead children are an horror in my eyes, be they Lebanese Shiite, Israeli Jews or Israeli Arab (many of which were killed).

I would prefer the Israeli Army, AND Hezbollah, to cause NO civilian deaths. YOU might see some positive benefit for Israel coming out of this: but I don't. In the end, IMO: Israel will suffer, too. :(

There is a reason for the ratios of death:
* Israeli Jewish and Jewish-Arab combined areas are better sheltered.

* Many of Israeli Arabs died because they did not expect to be bombed and therefore cared less for installing shelters (and many of them built without required permits and such and so avoided the extra cost of building a shelter for every family in new/renovated apartments and houses).

Not according to what I heard:

"Absence of Air-Raid Shelters in Arab Neighborhoods in Haifa
Al Jazeera, Qatar" (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7709770748288241630)

* Lebanese are rarely sheltered in an organized way. Plus, the Israeli munitions are more modern and thus have more penetration.

And, mayhap they were caught unawares, being bombed as they slept.

Darn those Lebanese civilians! Getting in the way of good US/Israeli craftsmanship! It must be THEIR fault, for the high civilian casualty-rate: it COULDN'T be the IDF's fault! After all: your bombs are laser-guided "smart" bombs, right?

However, related to the number of munitions fired at Lebanon, the Lebanese death toll is also quite small. The reason for this is Israel is not seeking how to kill as many Lebanese as possible.

Oh, thank gods for that! I suppose the nation of Lebanon should get on its knees and be thankful, that the collective punishment is dealt out so mercifully, right?

Another presentation of the same "logic":
I see, it is allowable to preempt against intent, but not to retaliate after an attack. Any response to an attack must be proportional to the attack, so if I attack you with a multitude of blows and I am weak and inexperienced, you may not defend yourself since you are an Aikido Yundasha, and you must only evade or absorb all my attacks until after you will find out I "accidentally" scratched one of your eyes? If you hold me in a lock and I resist, you must release me before I am damaged since the damage I gave you so far is minor.

You know that you're on slippery-slope-land, when you start comparing Aikido technique, to indiscriminate bombings and military operations.

Sorry, but pre-emptive attack simply does not exist as a justification for attacking another nation.

If you insist on putting it in misleading metaphors..OK, here's one for you. I'm walking down the street, and I see my old enemy coming towards me, with a bad look in his eye. He started things off nasty (in my view) several years ago by playing his music too loud, and since then its only gotten worse. He's kidnapped my dog, made nasty comments to my girlfriend, and now he's putting his hand in his coat pocket, reaching for what is obviously a knife.

So, it's OK to pull out my .38 and blow him away, right? Too bad he was only reaching for a cigarette...

The concept of proportion was never there once a war has been declared. Guess what, it so happens Israel and Lebanon are already at war, since 1948.

Oh, so that makes it all OK, right? Well, don't mind ME, Amir: you and Israel can just blow away anyone who stands up, right? For that matter, pardon me while I urge the US President to drop a nuc on N. Korea! After all, we've been at war since the '50's (in spite of N Korea's repeated attempts at normalization).

You've been at constant war since '48, and so why bother with a silly detail like international law, or collective punishment?

For the convenience of the readers, I will give some examples for proportion of other countries, just of my memory:
how about the US response to Japan attack on Pearl Harbor?

Actually, if you knew your history: Japan was fully justified (according to the dictates of pre-emptive attack) in attacking Pearl Harbor, as the US media and US politicians at the time were making a big stink about the merits of invading Japan, at the time.

Japan had much more cause to fear a US attack, than the converse.

You see where slippery-slope arguments get you?

Oops, mentioning WWII and assuming you support the US -- I guess you'll just claim it was not justified and the US should have negotiated.

I guess you'll give incorrect and misleading glimpses into a history that you obviously require more study.

There's a REALLY good reason to consider Godwin's Law, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law) and to avoid references to WW2. It's an emotionally charged and unique historical event, and mischaracterizations to contemporary events are easy (see W's Attempts to Cast Himself as Churchill, during the Invasion of Iraq).

How about the "righteous" French?
France, sinking a Green-Peace ship which intended to sail into French-Guinaa (wait, isn't French in Europe, how can it have land in the so far away, is this not colonialism?

And you think that this was justified, why??

Only Israel is a colonialist country towards adjacent areas it is attacked from, European countries can not be colonialist).

And I implied that this was true, when??

French bombing in Africa after some soldiers were shot. French president his country has nuclear weaponry to deal with terrorist threats.

And this is a positive development,,,why??

Need I continue with England and Falkland.

Oh, please do. So far, you've hit a perfect score of zero on the hit parade. :crazy:

Spain threatening with war in reaction to Morocco trying to take sovereignty on some minor islands hundred of meters from Morocco shore which Spain holds as its own (You do know of Gibraltar being Brit and the cities opposite it in Africa being Spanish). Russia in Chechnya …

Multiple abuses by others, do not make it right. Does Guantanamo, Baghram and Abu Ghraib suddenly give a green light for all nations to open up their own, private gulags??

I think I will stop here,

Oh, please, why stop here?? You were just taking a merry ride down that slippery-slope-slide!! You looked like you were having such fun!

Wheeeeeeeeeee!!! :uch:

Next, I imagine you'll be on about why Sabra and Chatilla were such a grand idea by way of the Bataan Death March! :crazy:

anyone with eyes in his head can see the concept of proportion has never been adhered to by any nation under attack.

Wrong.

The Germans destroyed the village of Lidice Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and killed 340 inhabitants as collective punishment or reprisal for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by commandos not from the village during World War 2. The British used collective punishment against villages which concealed Communist rebels in Malaya in 1951.

In 1956, Britain officially used collective punishment in Cyprus in the form of evicting families from their homes and closing shops in an area where British soldiers and police had been murdered, to try and get information as to the identity of the attackers.

In the First World War, Germans executed Belgian villagers in mass retribution for resistance activity. In World War II, Nazis carried out a form of collective punishment to suppress resistance. Entire villages or towns or districts were held responsible for any resistance activity that took place there. The conventions, to counter this, reiterated the principle of individual responsibility.

Article 33. No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
Pillage is prohibited.
Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.

Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions collective punishments are a war crime. Article 33 states: "No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed," and "collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited."

Going home. I hope I will be here tomorrow, and Nasrallah will not live up to his threat of throwing rockets at Tel-Aviv.

Amir

Yes, Amir: I hope the same, for you. As I do, for the Israeli's hiding in their shelters, and for the Lebanese running from their oppressors, and for those who are dying at this moment, cut off from all international aid, far away from their homes.

Good night.

Mike Sigman
08-06-2006, 06:43 PM
It's so easy to pick and choose your timelines, isn't it? You're in good company, Amir: if you read my earlier post about how the Israeli PR manages the news that both you and I see on the mainstream. Actually, every survey and study in the last 5 years has shown that the mainstream media is undeniably liberal. It's possible that distorting the news and lying about the facts is simply considered acceptable if it's in the cause of being liberal.... here's a good example of how the press doesn't report something in Israels favor, in an article from the "Quarterdeck":
*******************
A Hezbollah rocket blast also injured three Chinese peacekeepers on Sunday, the Chinese state media reported, citing a Chinese officer. The report not specify where the attack occurred or whether the peacekeepers had been hospitalized.
The attack came hours after China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing told U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a telephone conversation that the world body should take tangible measures to ensure the security of U.N. peacekeepers, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.


When Israel hit a UNIFIL/UNTSO post a couple of weeks ago, Kofi Annan went on worldwide television to express his anger at the "deliberate targeting" of UN personnel by the IDF. He demanded access to the area for an independent UN investigation. Only when Canada, whose soldier was among the four dead, insisted that Israel had not deliberately targeted the UN position but a Hezbollah launching site that the UN had allowed them to build nearby did Annan finally shut up.

Now Hezbollah has attacked and injured a UNIFIL contingent -- and where is Kofi Annan's outrage? Where is the worldwide media coverage? Where is the global diplomatic condemnation?

Oh, wait a minute -- Hezbollah aren't Jooooooooooos. I forgot.
******************

Here's an example of Neil Mick deliberately lying. Despite it having been pointed out several times previously in the thread that Hezbollah not only kidnapped 2 Israeli soldiers, but also killed 6 other soldiers, and then began bombarding Israel, here is how Neil continues to lie about what happened:

Poor, poor Israel. It was simply minding its own business, when these eevel Hezbollah terrorists swooped down, and kidnapped two reservists. Would anyone want to listen to or take "Aikido" lessons from this sort of person. Aikido is supposed to be about balance, not lies.

Mike Sigman

Luc X Saroufim
08-06-2006, 06:44 PM
to those of you that still question proportionality, maybe this analogy will help:

Hezbollah move like lice. they bomb Israel, then at 6 o'clock, they're home watching tv. they're radical militants, not military. they are highly mobile, and bounce around very quick.

here is why Israel is failing in the air: every try and hit lice with a sledgehammer? not gonna happen, which is why Israel switched to ground fighting to begin with.

and obviously, Israel does not know the land, especially Northern Lebanon, as well as Hezbollah.

this is why they're making mistakes.

i don't defend Israel fully. i support their cause against Hezbollah, because i think Hezbollah is nothing but a virus to Lebanon. Iran and Syria are too scared to take on Israel and the US, so they finance Hezbollah to do it. Lebanon gets destroyed, but Iran and Syria remain intact. cowards.

at the same time, enough is enough. both sides have proved their point, and a stalemate is inevitable. the question is, how many more Israeli and Lebanese civilians have to die?

this started off as a potential war, and is turning into nothing more into a game of chicken between the US and Iran. either Iran stops backing Hezbollah, or US tells Israel to stop.

DanielR
08-06-2006, 07:20 PM
It's so easy to pick and choose your timelines, isn't it? Neil, aren't you doing the same thing by dragging a terrorist captured by Israel in 1979 into this argument? You know this timeline can be extended indefinitely, and it's not going to help resolve the immediate situation at hand. You gotta start the timeline somewhere. The current hostilites between Hezbollah and Israel were initiated when Hezbollah attacked Israeli soldiers on Israeli soil, while launching rockets at civilian areas in northern Israel. Is this in dispute?

So, these fellows...with a little startup from Cuba and Venezuala (stretching the point, I know) kidnapped a few National Guardsmen and began shelling Las Cruces and other border-towns with some poorly guided rockets.So what is ok for the US to do in this case? How is the US to stop the shelling of the border towns? Is it ok to shell back, or is it considered an invasion, which is not ok? If the shelling back doesn't help, since the experience shows that smaller, mobile rocket launchers are hard to hit, what's next? And let's add one more thing to the equation: the Mexican government is either unwilling or unable to rein in those guys.

But the devil is in the details, isn't it? If you look back to the beginning of this mess: Hezbollah didn't just wake up and decide it was a good day to kidnap some IDF reservists, did they?This pattern that seems to be present in your argument - periodically acknowledging that what Hezbollah did was bad, and then proceeding to variations of "they did it because Israel is bad too" - can't this be used the other way around too, for a never-ending tit-for-tat argument? "Israelis bombed civilians, that's bad, but they only did it because rockets were fired from the same area 10 minutes ago".

Luc X Saroufim
08-06-2006, 08:55 PM
"they did it because Israel is bad too" - can't this be used the other way around too, for a never-ending tit-for-tat argument?

+ 5,280.

who *really* discovered North America?

which came first, the chicken or the egg?

who fired the first bullet between Israel and Hezbollah?

only a lifetime dedication to these issues can remotely begin to give these answers. there's no point in going there.

Mike Sigman
08-06-2006, 09:02 PM
who fired the first bullet between Israel and Hezbollah?

only a lifetime dedication to these issues can remotely begin to give these answers. there's no point in going there.I don't think there's any moral equivalency between Israel and the Arabs who have attacked them since Mohammad put it in their "holy book" that there was to be constant jihad against Christians and Jews... and killed all of them he could get his hands on. It's sort of like saying "who fired the first bullet between the Cops and Robbers" as far as I'm concerned.

The Arabs are still fighting a 7th Century war and the rest of the world had moved on to making microchips while the Arab countries are at most making potato chips. Let's stop with the equivalency stuff and just call a spade a spade. If there wasn't oil in Arab countries, none of these equivalency discussions would be going on today.

Mike Sigman

Luc X Saroufim
08-07-2006, 12:50 AM
Let's stop with the equivalency stuff and just call a spade a spade.

yeah, it's that simple :rolleyes:


It's sort of like saying "who fired the first bullet between the Cops and Robbers" as far as I'm concerned

not a surprise, given your linear view of a complex situation. if you're trying to convince me that my homeland is nothing more than a glorified oil refinery, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Luc X Saroufim
08-07-2006, 03:35 AM
I don't think there's any moral equivalency between Israel and the Arabs who have attacked them since Mohammad put it in their "holy book" that there was to be constant jihad against Christians and Jews...

furthermore, by putting "holy book" in quotes you're basically insulting every Muslim in the world.

i wonder if you've ever heard of this book called the Bible. people have been slain and slaughtered over religion *WAY* before Mohammed ever stepped foot in this world.

Luc X Saroufim
08-07-2006, 04:06 AM
I wish all Lebanese were like you, and then peace would have been here a long long time ago. And we could have all met and trained together.

it takes two to tango.


I care less for Lebanese civilians then for my fellow soldiers of which I know some and some belong to my family.


and i spend my nights praying that every Israeli is not like you.

Mark Freeman
08-07-2006, 04:42 AM
I don't think there's any moral equivalency between Israel and the Arabs who have attacked them since Mohammad put it in their "holy book" that there was to be constant jihad against Christians and Jews... and killed all of them he could get his hands on. It's sort of like saying "who fired the first bullet between the Cops and Robbers" as far as I'm concerned.

The Arabs are still fighting a 7th Century war and the rest of the world had moved on to making microchips while the Arab countries are at most making potato chips. Let's stop with the equivalency stuff and just call a spade a spade. If there wasn't oil in Arab countries, none of these equivalency discussions would be going on today.

Mike Sigman

And you have the cheek to call Neil one sided Mike, you've just let your inadequecies spill out for all to see.

Like your president you see things as simplistic as "the good guys and the bad guys", pathetic.

You're constant references to "Jews / Joooos / Jooooz" shows some pathalogical problem you have, no one else here is mentioning anything other than the Israeli position in relation to Hezbullah and Lebanon.

Don't bother defending yourself.

Mark

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 07:48 AM
And you have the cheek to call Neil one sided Mike, you've just let your inadequecies spill out for all to see.

Like your president you see things as simplistic as "the good guys and the bad guys", pathetic.

You're constant references to "Jews / Joooos / Jooooz" shows some pathalogical problem you have, no one else here is mentioning anything other than the Israeli position in relation to Hezbullah and Lebanon.

Don't bother defending yourself.

Mark Well I'm not defending myself, Mark. However, I'd make a note that you're confusing me jerking someone's chain with me really being concerned with an issue. It's you that seems to have some heavy emotional investment in this stuff... not me. And when you get to tossing in the obligatory shot at our prosaic president, I can only shake my head.

"No one here is mentioning anything other than"....????? Probably you didn't notice, but Neil has insulted a whole nation constantly, their PM, our president, etc., etc..... you don't see anything fun about pulling the chain of someone who supposedly teaches Aikido who is so politically biased toward one side? Actually, I think you don't. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 08:02 AM
furthermore, by putting "holy book" in quotes you're basically insulting every Muslim in the world.

i wonder if you've ever heard of this book called the Bible. people have been slain and slaughtered over religion *WAY* before Mohammed ever stepped foot in this world.I've heard of the Bible. It doesn't call for constant war on anyone who is not a follower of Yahweh or Christ. It was not the "revelations" of only one man. There is an order and logic to the Bible, not vague ramblings with no beginning or end.

There a some things that happened long time ago in the Bible and in Christianity (BTW, I'm not very religious and I'm not Jewish... but I did have to take a number of mandatory religion courses in college).... however Islam today has its followers killing and conquering others in Africa, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East, Pakistan/India, etc., etc. Pretty much every large terror group in the world is now Islamic. The equivalency that "other people used to do it, too" simply doesn't work.

Now that Islam has got its energy back from the horrendous barbarities that led to its breakup in World War I, it's back on the road. This is NOT a "religion of peace". Everyone is beginning to understand that, now. Instead of looking just at "terrorism", the actual religion itself is coming under scrutiny. Instead of trying to point the finger at what is wrong with Israel, the US, etc., Islam needs to look at itself. If the hatred of Jews wasn't written into the Koran, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Mike Sigman

Mark Freeman
08-07-2006, 08:56 AM
It's you that seems to have some heavy emotional investment in this stuff... not me. And when you get to tossing in the obligatory shot at our prosaic president, I can only shake my head.


I'm wondering which part of my post, that was primarily to point out the hypocrisy inherent in your posts, that belies my heavy emotional investment?

The fact that I take a pop at someone for being overly simplistic is just as I see it. I doubt if I am alone in this view.

"No one here is mentioning anything other than"....????? Probably you didn't notice, but Neil has insulted a whole nation constantly, their PM, our president, etc., etc..... you don't see anything fun about pulling the chain of someone who supposedly teaches Aikido who is so politically biased toward one side? Actually, I think you don't.

Two points, 1, Neil may or may not have been insulting, but if you call him to task, and then go on to insult others yourself, ( your simplistic views of Islam will insult many muslims, your simplistic view of arab nations also ) well.....don't be surprised when the bird of hypocrisy flies overhead and offloads onto your pate. ;)

2, So someone can only (supposedly?) teach aikido if they are politically neutral? give me a break. :p

regards,

Mark

Amir Krause
08-07-2006, 08:58 AM
Well, I did wake up this morning at 06:00 hearing a large Bum, but, it was not a missile.

I decided I am not going to argue with Neil his "slippery slope" and strange setting of “time-lines”, nor will I argue with facts I find to be absurd and conspiracy assuming at best. I also can not find any common ground with a person who truly cares as much for all, a person who does not place his family, friends, relatives and country folk – first. A person who believes all wars are wrong on all sides, and those side carry equal blame, regardless of their reasons, the impossibility of a peaceful solution sometimes, or one side actually being attacked.
I find it strange such a person can live with his conscious when he knows and believes he lives on occupied ground (by his own admission), yet he does nothing about this. But who am I to judge?
There is no point for a common discussion here, his values are so different to mine, we could not communicate. Sorry, I am not going to descend to an argument of deaf, and as far as me and him are concerned, this is the situation.

As I previously wrote, I find much more common ground with Luc Saroufim, who is Lebanese, but recognizes the difficulty on both sides of the border. I am sure he would tell he cares more for his Lebanese country men then he cares for Israelis. I would not expect anything else.

I will however bring some facts and some of the Israeli view-point on some of the issues related to this war:

Facts: Samir Kuntar, one of 3 Lebanese currently held in Israel was never kidnapped from Lebanese soil! Rather, he is a Lebanese who was apprehended, in Naharia, several kilometers south of the border, on April 22 1979, after inserting from the sea to attack this city and murdering with his own hands an Israeli civilian and his daughter, another policeman was killed in this terrorist raid, he commanded. He was sentenced to serve 542 years (life imprisonment). He never disavowed his actions and kept



one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl's skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.

The words of Smadar Haran Kaiser, whose husband and daughter Kuntar murdered, and whose second daughter died while hiding from the raid. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A2740-2003May17&notFound=true




Israeli perspective - Looking at this war as a separate issue:
Israel occupied Lebanon at 1982. While I do believe Israel had good reason to enter Lebanon at the time – the PLO used it as a staging ground for firing Katyusha missiles at Israel North on a weekly basis. I also believe the reason of some in the Israeli government were wrong – trying to control the Lebanese government. And I am certain Israel should have retreated from Lebanon shortly after the incursion, rather then occupying some section of south Lebanon and making very slow retreat until the year 2000.
At the spring of 2000, Israel withdrew fully from Lebanon, even the UN acknowledged it (Israelis do not consider the UN to be a friendly organization, since it has some 47 countries which vote against Israel on an Automatic basis and refuse to recognize Israeli existence). There is one rather small area – Shabaa (2x14 km is the larger estimate of it, and it is unclear) that Lebanon claimed belongs to it, while the UN claims it is not Lebanese but rather Syrian and Israel should therefore give it to Syria once a peace treaty is achieved.

Since 2000, Israel has been attacked 60 times until the current conflict. Those Attacks passed across the internationally recognized border.
In one of those attacks, done in October 2000 (shortly after the withdraw), 3 Israeli soldiers were kidnapped and later died from wounds, there is some evidence that for this attack the Hezbollah masqueraded itself as UNIFIL officials. Further, UNIFIL “peace keeping” soldiers in Lebanon saw and took video of Hezbollah preparing the ambush, they chose not to report this and prevent the attack, and it took 2-3 years for the UN to acknowledge it has those tapes and let Israeli intelligence watch them. The end of that kidnap situation was only achieved a couple of years ago, in a prisoner swap after which Sammir Kuntar (I think there was another one but not sure) were the only Lebanese left in Israeli prison. Israel even promised to release them if Hezbollah would give Israel definite knowledge of the captured Pilot Ron Arad, who is missing since the 80s (he was not kidnapped but captured, there is a distinction).

During those 6 years Israel has violated the Lebanese airspace with aerial reconnaissance flights into Lebanese air-space, but Israel only retaliated to Hezbollah attacks in a measure for measure way, “proportionally”, responding to artillery on army outposts in returning fire only, and not initiating anything. All initiative was in Hezbollah hands and they have tried several additional capturing of soldiers.

The Lebanese government did not take control of the south after Israel withdrew from its borders. For the first few years, one can not blame Lebanon as it was in fact occupied by Syria (who still holds 300 Lebanese without trial), but since last Year Lebanon is free. And still the Hezbollah hold the Lebanese side of the border and build its own outposts along it, and the Lebanese army is nowhere insight. The Hezbollah has two ministers in the Lebanese government and about 14 parliament members selected in democratic elections. Hence, trying to make a distinction between Hezbollah attacking Israel and Lebanon doing it as a nation is not so simple from the international Law point of view – a country has responsibilities towards its neighbors.

During the last decade, Israel is looking for diplomatic solutions for the conflicts with Arabs. The Israeli Lebanese dispute over the Shabaa farms was handled by the UN, had UN decided otherwise, Israel would have retreated. Thus, Israel wsa in a state of war with Lebanon, but only because the Lebanese were not willing to officially recognize Israel existence, accept the UN decision, and make peace. Instead, they kept the state of war and let Hezbollah attack Israel with impunity.
Seeing the retreat was not helpful to achieving peace or even calm, since Israel has continued to be attacked from the area it retreated from, forced a change of paradigm.

Israel has tried the diplomatic approach for the last 6 years. Israel protested to the UN more then once (you will not find any UN decisions on this, did I not mention the automatic majority?). Hezbollah has not changed its behavior throughout this time, it kept harassing Israel and preparing for a larger conflict, the Lebanese did nothing to stop this. For a variety of reasons, the Israeli government found this attack to be the trigger, I’ll admit, Israel had a choice here, it could have negotiated and keep waiting for the next attack, which would have surely come (see HA spokesmen describing their agenda in my previous message).

A country has the right to exist peacefully, without attacks from across international borders. Even if neighboring countries does not agree with some actions or policies, it does not give them the right to attack from across the border. Once an attack across a border is applied, it is an act of war, and the attacked country has the right to consider it as a Casus-Beli and attack. As I demonstrated previously War is never proportional when counting the body bags. Thus, Lebanon has not a right to attack Israel due to the Palestinian situation. An organization such as


These are some of the reasons Israel treats this kidnapping differently then previous occasions. I’ll not deny this, there were other reasons for the government deciding to act now, some international\military considerations (before Iran has an A-bomb, US placement and opinions, Syria milary situation …) some internal politics, and some personal, I will elaborate on the last since I suspect it is the very relevant:
- Ehud Barak initiated the retreat, he had to make it appear like a success.
- Sharon was the initiator of the previous incursion into Lebanon, and the driving force with all the wrong reasons. Further, he was implicated in letting the Lebanese Christians kill Palestinians at the Sabre and Shatila massacre, Israeli committee found he could have stopped the massacre yet did not, his punishment was not to be minister of defense ever again (strangely enough, he was chosen to be PM and was relatively successful).


I hope this gives some perspective as for the reasons of the Israeli attack.


I do hope I can still find some common ground wit Tanner, and wish to keep trying.


If you really want to get into sources, we can. I just don't really see it going anywhere. We've both read news reports supporting either side as well as seen plenty of photos.

Well, in some case the conspiracy theories do amaze me, but, whatever,


Personally, I've seen fewer photos of piles of dead Israeli civilians as opposed to Lebanese, but that's just me.

There are more Lebanese dead then Israeli, nobody is disputing this. As I said, I would prefer no civilian casualties at all, but if there must be, I prefer my side to have less, I will not apologize for this. And I doubt you would have felt otherwise if we were talking of Canadians.
I would not accept the body bag counting as a sole criteria for who is right. Again, think of Aikido or empty handed conflict – if you beat an assailant, does it make you guilty?
In a war, when armies clash, civilian people die. Unfortunately, more of the socially weak die, the wealthier Israelis fled to the center, away from the rockets (on their own account) the government (trying to be capitalistic and for other reasons I do not support) is not subsidizing this, hence, the socially weak stay and get hit.
Civilians death is particularly true in this type of war, with an enemy that immerses itself in sympathetic civilians, an enemy who only wears uniforms if it will give an advantage and knows even the death of its own civilians will act in its favor (it does – look at your own opinions) and uses it. I believe this thread has multiple examples of war and its consequences for civilians, can you point to a single war in which civilians were not harmed? The civilian numbers are only lower when the war is in unpopulated areas, but once the war zone is populated, all wars had such costs. This is a sad fact, Israel being one side in this conflict has nothing to do with it. I wish we could have found a better solution that would have been followed by all.



I'm sorry to hear you care less for people who have nothing to do with the conflict than for those who have signed up to put their lives on the line for their country.

I live in Israel, military service is mandatory. Perhaps this is one reason we care for our soldiers at least as much as we care for our civilians. As we speak, I have a brother serving in the army (he is not a combatant to my great relief). I served several years and so did my other brother. My work room-mate was already called once to army reserve in this conflict, and I might be called too.
Hence, Israelis do not view our army as “they”, unlike some countries who send only “volunteers” (who for some reason are mostly from some socio-economical background).
I would have been ashamed of myself had I considered the lives of my fellow country-men as less important then those of others. From my point of view it is very clear: Israelis first, others later.
I do admire Israeli soldiers who are willing to endanger their lives in order of saving civilian lives, my education actually brings me to expect this of our soldiers, but I would never dare to demand such behavior (risking oneself for another) and I do not think anyone else has that right.


A ground invasion would have had many casualties on both sides, no doubt, but I'd rather see that than the massive destruction to civilians and their infrastructure, regardless of their country of origin.

Actually, I suspect the ground invasion will cause much more destruction in any area it reaches. HA is fighting back fiercely, and this makes this war even more devastating.


Israel is not the only colonialist country.

I disagree, [B]Israel is not a colonialist country[B]. Some of the countries calling against Israel are. Israel did occupy some territories and keeps hold to them, but the reasoning behind this occupation is not similar at all to the colonialist agenda. If you do not understand even this basic fact, and recognize the differences between Israel reasons and actions and the colonialist agenda, your entire judgment of the situation is far more then flawed:
Colonialist countries grab territories they were not attacked from. Those territories were not adjacent to those countries. The main reason for holding those territories is economical, not fear for existence.
You could argue the Israeli fear for survival is unjustified, but you should acknowledge it and accept it as a part of the conceptual reality. Just like I accept the Palestinians [B]feel[/B[ they were robed of their land though I disagree with this feeling.

Have a nice day and may all wars find a long term peaceful end soon.

Amir

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 09:10 AM
I'm wondering which part of my post, that was primarily to point out the hypocrisy inherent in your posts, that belies my heavy emotional investment? Please, Mark... look at your various posts and worries about how bad the US is. I'm afraid to get into a discussion about politics with you because you might burst into tears, you're so emotional. ;)

The fact that I take a pop at someone for being overly simplistic is just as I see it. I doubt if I am alone in this view. Two points, 1, Neil may or may not have been insulting, but if you call him to task, and then go on to insult others yourself, ( your simplistic views of Islam will insult many muslims, your simplistic view of arab nations also ) well.....don't be surprised when the bird of hypocrisy flies overhead and offloads onto your pate. ;)
Please. I'm not being overly-simplistic about Muslims, Mark. They are the people running the top 10 terrorist groups around the world. That's a fact. The call for Jihad and the diatribes against Jews, Christians (and you're aware of the Hindu thing, right?) are facts of life.... there is nothing in Judaism or Christianity that even remotely can be honestly compared in this moral equivalency charade. People haven't been honest enough calling this out... the "let's hide it an not offend the Muslims" approach has only resulted in more killing around the world. YOU play "let's not offend the Muslims" if you want.... just don't act like that's the correct course everyone should take and therefore we'll make them do it, as you chaps in England are so happy to do in order to be politically correct. :p

Let's quit worrying what we can do for the Muslims to make them happy.... let's step back and see what they can do to straighten out their own messes. Frankly, although I was fairly even-handed about Islam some years ago, and I'm sure there are a percentage of Muslims that are "good people", I'm getting a little tired of the constant warfare and bickering and slavery and genocide that their religion seems to bring about. And I have no idea what to do about it other than say.... "you guys have a problem; fix it; then you can complain".

And Mark, I admit that I make these posts with about the same emotional engagement as I do in throwing a dart at the board... but you don't. Please don't pretend that you're not fairly emotional about these issues. It would disappoint me. ;)

Cheers.

Mike

statisticool
08-07-2006, 09:23 AM
Would anyone want to listen to or take "Aikido" lessons from this sort of person.


Perhaps they have actually studied with teachers for a time and are not just internet loudmouths.

Mark Freeman
08-07-2006, 09:45 AM
Amir,

thanks for your insider perspective on this crisis that we are all focussed on right now.

My hope is that both sides will cease hostilities before things become 'out of control'. The longer the destruction goes on, the longer it will take to gain any lasting settlement, if that is even possible.

I believe the document needed to be accepted by all parties for a ceasfire is being rewritten by the US & France so that all sides can make that first step.

I can't even begin to understand the complexity of the middle east, and the west usually learns to it's peril that when they try to impose their own version of how it should be done in this arena, they usually get bitten on the backside.

What are the solutions? Bombing the crap out of each other is not a viable long term option, is it?

Europe after WW2 was a battered and broken place, after so much hurt, there was only one sensible way forward, to link together in a co-dependant collection of free states. Something that has proven to be very successfull in terms of 'peace' for its citizens. The countries that supported facism then, are productive partners in the union now.

Is there any optimism that this type of solution would be possible for the middle east?

Are centuries old religious divisions insurmountable? Is the middle east doomed to endless years of war?

If I was religious I'd pray for all in this region, but as I'm not, all I can say is, I hope for your own sakes, you can work this out with the minimum of further bloodshed.

Peace

Mark

Amir Krause
08-07-2006, 10:51 AM
I care less for Lebanese civilians then for my fellow soldiers of which I know some and some belong to my family.

and i spend my nights praying that every Israeli is not like you.

Can you honestly say you care for the Israelis just as much as you care for your loved ones? For your community? for your country-men?


Otherwise, you are just like me.

Amir

Huker
08-07-2006, 11:02 AM
Just a thought - Tanner, what makes you think a massive ground operation would have resulted in less civilian casualties? How many civilians in southern Lebanon, even only south of Litani, would've ended up in the midst of it - say 150,000? What would happen in Tyre, population 117,000, if IDF were to enter it with all its might, searching for rockets, launchers and Hezbollah militants? I'm no military expert, but I'm not so sure the civilian casualties would be smaller.


Provided the ground forces were mindful of civilian well-being, as they should be, it would certainly be possible to minimize civilian casualties. Ground forces would be physically present when attacking, plus they'd be using smaller arms, which is an added control. That's just the way I see it.


Well, in some case the conspiracy theories do amaze me, but, whatever,


Just because someone is telling the story from a different perspective does not imply that their tale is a conspiracy theory. Anything I post is supported by events that I read about in news from around the world. Thus, they are supported. So, there goes your "theory" theory.

Sorry, I've got to get back to work. I'll try to post something more constructive later on. I hate just defending my opinions and not really contributing. :p Until next time.

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 11:10 AM
Provided the ground forces were mindful of civilian well-being, as they should be, it would certainly be possible to minimize civilian casualties. Ground forces would be physically present when attacking, plus they'd be using smaller arms, which is an added control. That's just the way I see it. And your military training and expertise come from where?Just because someone is telling the story from a different perspective does not imply that their tale is a conspiracy theory. Anything I post is supported by events that I read about in news from around the world. Thus, they are supported. So, there goes your "theory" theory. Anything you post seems to be supported mainly by your anti-Jewish bias, more than anything else. If you presented both sides of the fact, deplored Arab atrocities daily, like you've deplored Israel daily, you might be more believable.

You have all the fervor that the Right Wing loonies have when they try to slip their beliefs in "because Jesus would have wanted it". I always question the ethics of the people who claim to be on the "moral high-ground" side, yet these same people will lie, present one-sided facts, etc., because "it's for your own good". Please. If someone is not smart enough to recognize their own biases, just how smart can they be in their commentaries/opinions?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Amir Krause
08-07-2006, 11:13 AM
Europe after WW2 was a battered and broken place, after so much hurt, there was only one sensible way forward, to link together in a co-dependant collection of free states. Something that has proven to be very successfull in terms of 'peace' for its citizens. The countries that supported facism then, are productive partners in the union now.

Is there any optimism that this type of solution would be possible for the middle east?


I think this is too optimistic yet. Look at the situation all around Israel, Lebanon was the only democracy, and it was too weak to control HA. The US tried to turn Iraq into a democracy - look at the results.

Mike blamed Islam and claimed Judaism and Christianity are different. I doubt that. Judaism has become different due to necessity - Jews were mostly a depressed minority up until recently. Thus, it is impossible to judge. The end of Christian warfare is something new in the world, a thing of the last couple of centuries at most and has more to do with less followers then anything else.

I believe the reason for the wars is most of us are like me, not like Neil Mick (according to his statements). Our community, local culture, nation and religious belief (including secular), or the collective is part of our very own identity. When someone hearts one of those things, our personal identity is harmed, and we react to it as if it were a real attack. Thus we act violently to attacks on the collective.
Once a particular element becomes less important to our identity, as religion is currently in most western cultures, we can look at attacks on it with a calm mind, and not react. Thus, you can see the Islamic violent demonstrations against the caricatures of Muhammad. The stop of religious war in Europe, the rise of national wars and the current peace (based on forming a new identity – EU citizen).

Had we all been like Neil Mick, not considering our identity to be based on our community. There would have been no reason for a war.


For a change to occur in this region, people would have to change their concept of identity. Anything else will not last. I do not see such a change occurring.
So far, I have seen Israel failing measurably in creating such a change even to supportive Arab-Israelis (Druze, Bedouin and many villages who actually supported Israel since 48). They find themselves pushed out of the communal identity instead of being accepted.
I do see a change in the surrounding Arab world identity towards the other side. It is becoming more radical. The extremists use Islam to form their group identity, even when it requires them to distort it. Some elements that assist in this direction are:
* Corrupted Arab leaders,
* Having Israel as a scape-goat for all problems,
* Seeing the life quality in the west, and envying it (Israel existence next door, is not helpful here either).
* Clash of values between tradition and modern\west.

Amir

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 11:30 AM
I think this is too optimistic yet. Look at the situation all around Israel, Lebanon was the only democracy, and it was too weak to control HA. The US tried to turn Iraq into a democracy - look at the results.

Mike blamed Islam and claimed Judaism and Christianity are different. I doubt that. Judaism has become different due to necessity - Jews were mostly a depressed minority up until recently. Thus, it is impossible to judge. The end of Christian warfare is something new in the world, a thing of the last couple of centuries at most and has more to do with less followers then anything else.Hi Amir:

I'm that last person to think that democracy is any kind of answer. I tend to think of humans more in terms of animal behaviour (to which they conform quite predictably, wanting to propagate their own lineage, gaining territory, etc.) than I do of them as some ideal with sainthood just waiting to happen if everyone is raised with equal wealth, etc. I.e., my view is more clinical and removed than to allow me to think we just need to make more efforts and the Arabs will turn into "good Christian boys and girls", like so many westerners think. Heck, I've been in combat and seen how quickly the veneer of civilization falls off under not-too-much stress... I'm not a big one for "civilization" and "democracy".

This idea of Christians, Jews, Arabs, etc., "used to fight religious wars" is cool, but it doesn't work for the present. It's like trying get off of an assault charge in court because the guy you hit was in a fight with you when you both were children. Let's stop with the "used to" stuff that happened centuries ago. The Muslims are causing the current problems.

Even without oil there would be (and there was) a serious Muslim problem, because of the tenets of the religion (think of what the Ottoman Empire did). No matter how much we like to think that "there is a good human being under there", if they are taught to kill you and they believe killing you is justified, something needs to be done. I think the time is approaching for force... it is what the Arabs use on the people they have conquered (and the current ones all around the world) and it is what they understand most. Anything else is weakness, in their eyes... we know that because we have tried it for decades. While we have our complacent appeasers in various countries, and their thoughts should be listened to of course, there are also a lot of people that realize the years of aid, welfare, assistance, etc., has done nothing to ameliorate the problem. I suspect that when the Muslims begin to realize that the world is getting angry and is not believing the doctored pictures, BS stories, etc., that they have fed the press, then the Muslims will begin to react more realistically. Forget the 'equivalency' stuff that doesn't work... let's go to "tough love".

My opinion.

Mike

Mark Freeman
08-07-2006, 11:43 AM
Please, Mark... look at your various posts and worries about how bad the US is. I'm afraid to get into a discussion about politics with you because you might burst into tears, you're so emotional. ;)


Please. I'm not being overly-simplistic about Muslims, Mark. They are the people running the top 10 terrorist groups around the world. That's a fact. The call for Jihad and the diatribes against Jews, Christians (and you're aware of the Hindu thing, right?) are facts of life.... there is nothing in Judaism or Christianity that even remotely can be honestly compared in this moral equivalency charade. People haven't been honest enough calling this out... the "let's hide it an not offend the Muslims" approach has only resulted in more killing around the world. YOU play "let's not offend the Muslims" if you want.... just don't act like that's the correct course everyone should take and therefore we'll make them do it, as you chaps in England are so happy to do in order to be politically correct. :p

Let's quit worrying what we can do for the Muslims to make them happy.... let's step back and see what they can do to straighten out their own messes. Frankly, although I was fairly even-handed about Islam some years ago, and I'm sure there are a percentage of Muslims that are "good people", I'm getting a little tired of the constant warfare and bickering and slavery and genocide that their religion seems to bring about. And I have no idea what to do about it other than say.... "you guys have a problem; fix it; then you can complain".

And Mark, I admit that I make these posts with about the same emotional engagement as I do in throwing a dart at the board... but you don't. Please don't pretend that you're not fairly emotional about these issues. It would disappoint me. ;)

Cheers.

Mike

Once I've dried my eyes, I'll try to continue :p

I am not politically neutral and neither are you. If you can accept the current state of affairs without feeling anything, then you are either blissfully ignorant or so enlightened that you are above us mere mortals.

The Israeli's are not innocent, and neither are the arabs that oppose them, they are however pawns in a larger game. Other countries have vested interests in the conflict as it is, there is a cynical disregard for the innocent lives being lost on both sides. The recent G8 meeting was a prime example of a massive missed opportunity to bring things to a swift halt. Blood is on the hands of many in this current round of hostilities.

Tony Blair stands shoulder to shoulder with your illustrious leader. The fact that the overwhealming majority of his country does not want him to be so close, matters not a jot to him. His Foriegn Office and his ex Foreign Minister are opposed to his stance, but he continues to support Bush with the messianic zeal of the true fanatic. Most of us here can't wait for him to vacate office. I voted for him and wish I hadn't.

As for your personal jibes at me, I could care less :rolleyes: If your only means of defence is to attack, your options are limited. Fire away, your sharp tongue is little to be fearful of ;)

regards

Mark

p.s.I fudamentally oppose pandering to muslim or any other religious sensibilities. I am a committed secularist and will speak out against all dangerous or deluded thought.

Amir Krause
08-07-2006, 11:55 AM
Provided the ground forces were mindful of civilian well-being, as they should be, it would certainly be possible to minimize civilian casualties. Ground forces would be physically present when attacking, plus they'd be using smaller arms, which is an added control. That's just the way I see it.


I think you are wrong.
Imagine a ground force entering into a town and being fired upon, how do you think they will react?
They will grab cover as swiftly as they can, try to identify the source of fire, fire back and call for support of bigger guns at it. They may then recognize another source of fire, and divert fire at it too (not instead of the original target). False detections do not count for them - they fight for their own survival. The destruction surrounding the force could be huge.
If the force is hit and can not function, then since Israeli do place a lot of care for our soldiers, rescue operations will be launched, having heavier fire power to shoot at any-threat (HA knows of the Israeli care for our wounded, contrary to its concept of sacrifice and Shahids, and so it would move more firepower too). A larger fight takes place, many more die, on both sides.
The worse wars the world had were symmetric and proportional -- two sides of equal power using all they have and not being able to win, thus killing tens of thousands of warriors, infrastructures and civilians. Look at the history.



Just because someone is telling the story from a different perspective does not imply that their tale is a conspiracy theory. Anything I post is supported by events that I read about in news from around the world. Thus, they are supported. So, there goes your "theory" theory.

There is a difference between an outright lie being repeated and a different perspective. I do not have a problem with the first, but you must be willing to admit the second. The kidnapping taking place inside Lebanon, is a hideous lie, particularly since HA itself says it planned the operation meticulously for 5 months. How could that be done for an ambush? Add the fact these soldiers were reservists, did you see how long it took Israel to enter reservist forces into Lebanon after the ground operation started? Further, one could see the kidnap arena after the fact in pictures and TVs all around the world. If you can so easily believe such an outright lie, then you should examine your own biases.

Myself, for balance, watch multiple networks, not only Israeli ones, nor do I trust Fox, but also BBC & CNN (all are available on our cables). I try to read Lebanese bloggers reports of the situation. Look at diverse sources in and outside of Israel (the Israeli Haaretz is great easy source for me, since it has very liberal standing and still in Hebrew, I do try to read other sources in English when the time permits).


Amir

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 11:56 AM
I am not politically neutral and neither are you. If you can accept the current state of affairs without feeling anything, then you are either blissfully ignorant or so enlightened that you are above us mere mortals. No, Mark, I tend to look at long historical trends when I view things. For instance, I tend to lump the Vietnam thing simply into the wholesale attempt by Russia to economically, politically, etc., try to control countries and the West respond by trying to block attempts. That was the essence of the "Cold War", if you step back and look at it.

The essence of the current war with Islam has not a lot to do with Israel, in my opinion, but is a conflict that stems from a fairly coarsely-goaled religion that has relied on force to grow over many centuries. A conflict is inevitable. "Neutral"? Think of me as not being too engaged in the short term. I see people like Neil Mick as simply the product of a soft, western country. He and his ilk are to be expected. I see you as a similar product. As I mentioned before, most of England and France were for unilateral disarmament before WWII... a stance which, interestingly, wound up causing far more deaths than a pre-emptive strike on Germany would have cost. Europe never learns. I tend to write them off as historically being bickering, self-serving, and inept (look at Kosovo for a recent example of letting a situation get out of hand for lack of willpower). But don't think that I rate the US much higher.
The Israeli's are not innocent, and neither are the arabs that oppose them, they are however pawns in a larger game. Other countries have vested interests in the conflict as it is, there is a cynical disregard for the innocent lives being lost on both sides. The recent G8 meeting was a prime example of a massive missed opportunity to bring things to a swift halt. Blood is on the hands of many in this current round of hostilities.

Tony Blair stands shoulder to shoulder with your illustrious leader. The fact that the overwhealming majority of his country does not want him to be so close, matters not a jot to him. His Foriegn Office and his ex Foreign Minister are opposed to his stance, but he continues to support Bush with the messianic zeal of the true fanatic. Most of us here can't wait for him to vacate office. I voted for him and wish I hadn't.

As for your personal jibes at me, I could care less :rolleyes: If your only means of defence is to attack, your options are limited. Fire away, your sharp tongue is little to be fearful of ;)

regards

Mark

p.s.I fudamentally oppose pandering to muslim or any other religious sensibilities. I am a committed secularist and will speak out against all dangerous or deluded thought. You're more involved in the short range than me, Mark. Civilization is a tenuous thing, not something that is waiting to happen to everyone if you're just nicey-nice to them. ;)

Mike

Huker
08-07-2006, 12:06 PM
I think that peace in the ME could be possible if all parties would settle down for a while and genuinely tried to solve the problem.

Regardless of who was there first or who it belongs to, the establishment of Israel as a state seems to have sparked a great deal of controversy in the ME. Muslims in the region feel that they were pushed away from Israel territory one way or another, thus leading to the denial of Israel. No doubt, the entire region in question has been home to Jew and Muslim throughout history, and in many cases the two groups peacefully coexisted. It is not impossible to revert to that if they could set their grievances aside and actually solve the problem. It makes no sense to dissolve the state, as the pres of Iran wants, because that would lead to the deposition of many people who have called the country home for the last few decades. However, it does not make sense to continue to deny Muslims full access and rights in the state. When I say this, I am not talking about Arabic Jews, but the more oppressed Muslim groups in Israel. So, both sides have differences to set aside and past transgressions to let go of before peace talks can take place.

Well, lunch is over. I hope you're all having a good day.

Amir Krause
08-07-2006, 12:14 PM
Tanner Hukezalie

Is athe following source more believable? It tries to explain the difference of facts and fiction:
http://impeachpac.org/?q=node/1609

You are aware even Hezbollah has not claimed the story you believe. It has blamed Israel in planing a war in October but for some reason, which has been rescheduled due to HA operation. This is another obvious lie, but not the one you chose to believe.


Amir

t

Amir Krause
08-07-2006, 12:20 PM
However, it does not make sense to continue to deny Muslims full access and rights in the state. When I say this, I am not talking about Arabic Jews, but the more oppressed Muslim groups in Israel.


There are no Arab Jews that are being treated differently, Arab and Jews are nationalities.
There are Israeli Arabs, which are Arabs that lived in Israel since 1948 and recieved citizenship automaticly, and many other Arabs that recieved Israeli citizenship for some ther reason.

Then there are Palestinians, who were not inside Israel at 1948 and have lived outside it. Many of those live in the "occupied territories"m occupied by Israel from Egypt and Jordan at 1967, after the first declared war on Israel and the second joined the attack despite Israeli repeated requests.
Of those areas, only Jerusalem has been appended to Israel, and any Arab living there had the right of getting a citizenship.

Going
Amir

Neil Mick
08-07-2006, 12:27 PM
Well, I did wake up this morning at 06:00 hearing a large Bum, but, it was not a missile.

Now why does this fail to surprise me?

I decided I am not going to argue with Neil his "slippery slope" and strange setting of "time-lines",

Because you can't

nor will I argue with facts I find to be absurd and conspiracy assuming at best.

Yes, my facts often interfere with your feelings. Sorry that it's this way, but there IS a simple remedy...

It's called a "search engine." Easy to use; and a good tool against assumptions of international law.

Try it sometime.

I also can not find any common ground with a person who truly cares as much for all, a person who does not place his family, friends, relatives and country folk -- first. A person who believes all wars are wrong on all sides, and those side carry equal blame, regardless of their reasons, the impossibility of a peaceful solution sometimes, or one side actually being attacked.

You lost me on where I think a peaceful solution is impossible :confused:

I find it strange such a person can live with his conscious when he knows and believes he lives on occupied ground (by his own admission), yet he does nothing about this.

BIG newsflash, Amir:

WE ALL LIVE on OCCUPIED GROUND

And, you know NOTHING about me and my beliefs and practices, save what I choose to write, here. So please, stow the judgement-calls, OK? You'll notice I make no judgements about YOUR life and practices; so kindly give me the same courtesy.

But who am I to judge?

Exactly.

There is no point for a common discussion here, his values are so different to mine, we could not communicate.

Oh, but I beg to differ. I understand YOUR argument, all too well. It is partly based upon your emotions and fear (by your own, earlier, admission); and you choose not to understand my argument, as it runs too counter to your beliefs.

I argue with people about politics online because it helps me to better understand the world. Simply debating with you has helped me to understand the feeling (NOT, the actual reality) on the ground within Israel, at the moment; and I thank you for that.

Sorry, I am not going to descend to an argument of deaf, and as far as me and him are concerned, this is the situation.

Because you simply cannot. Your posts so far take a similar pattern: first you come out with an emotionally tinged plea to try to understand what it's like, to be attacked. Next you generally segue into a one-sided history of Israel woes, usually ignoring the why's, the where's, or the backstory of how these things occur.

As a final course you present a tortured justification of Israel's murderous foreign and occupational policies via a badly interpreted understanding of international law, and history (I thought the Pearl Harbor example was particularly priceless).

Face it, Amir: you find no common ground because you choose not to.

As I previously wrote, I find much more common ground with Luc Saroufim, who is Lebanese, but recognizes the difficulty on both sides of the border.

Apparently, he does not feel the same way.

Neil Mick
08-07-2006, 12:40 PM
And you have the cheek to call Neil one sided Mike, you've just let your inadequecies spill out for all to see.

Like your president you see things as simplistic as "the good guys and the bad guys", pathetic.

Don't bother defending yourself.

Mark

furthermore, by putting "holy book" in quotes you're basically insulting every Muslim in the world.

i wonder if you've ever heard of this book called the Bible. people have been slain and slaughtered over religion *WAY* before Mohammed ever stepped foot in this world.

Folks,

A word of advice: let's not feed the troll. Mike has a pattern on AW, too: he comes online and is fast and loose with the insults; and then he just loves it when people get angered and insult him back (it's the raison d'etre for a troll...to pull the argument into an emotional sphere, descending into backbiting). Then, if he gets a dose of his own medicine, he simply says "I don't respond to insults," as if he never started the slimefest, in the first place.

(My fave Mike S. comment that he eternally seems to use...commenting on someone's Aikido skill or teaching abilities, based upon what they write, online.

Ya gotta love a man so endowed with such amazing mindreading properties that he can judge their physical skill, without ever having met them...ahem)

So, let's just leave the troll to rage in isolation. From the quotes posted, I can see that Mike S. has evolved almost not at all, from his overly simplistic, FoxNews-fed perspective of the world.

In a word...next.

Neil Mick
08-07-2006, 12:54 PM
the wars is most of us are like me, not like Neil Mick (according to his statements). Our community, local culture, nation and religious belief (including secular), or the collective is part of our very own identity. When someone hearts one of those things, our personal identity is harmed, and we react to it as if it were a real attack. Thus we act violently to attacks on the collective.

You know, Amir? I resent this attempt to isolate me as if I were some sort of oddity you find at the zoo. Your point is well-taken: but you ignore a vital aspect...that Israel is primarily motivated by fear, right now.

Explain this: if Israel is responding solely to a rush to defend the collective--then why are you continuing to attack, even as Hezbollah has put ceasefire options on the table?

No, there is more at play here...there is
1. Media-fed fears
2. The intransigence of your leaders and insistence in carrying out its military operations, in spite of the operation's lack of effectiveness
3. The desire of Israel to inflict collective punishment, on Lebanon (again: why does the IDF fire upon Lebanese civilians when there are no Hezbollah troops around; and why does it not allow relief and medical supplies to come into Lebanon? Why tell civilians that they MUST leave S. Lebanon or be shot; and then turn around and shoot at fleeing civilians?

You dodged these critical questions, because they don't fit into your fear-driven political view, IMO. If I am wrong, please feel free to correct my mistake...but I imagine, you can't)

Had we all been like Neil Mick,

The strange zoo creature that he is :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

not considering our identity to be based on our community. There would have been no reason for a war.

Again, you have a point: but you ignore the factors of racism and politics, in your model.

For a change to occur in this region, people would have to change their concept of identity. Anything else will not last.

I'm with Luc, on this one...I pray that other Israeli's do not hold your beliefs. Otherwise, Israel is doomed.

Neil Mick
08-07-2006, 12:56 PM
internet loudmouths.

Perhaps we should keep the personal attacks to a minimum...whaddaya say...?

Neil Mick
08-07-2006, 01:07 PM
Neil, aren't you doing the same thing by dragging a terrorist captured by Israel in 1979 into this argument? You know this timeline can be extended indefinitely, and it's not going to help resolve the immediate situation at hand.

No, I'm not. I was using the argument that Hezbollah justifies its actions for something Israel did. My point (which I thought I made clear) was that it's POINTLESS to say "they started it;" as justification for this war, and illegal invasion (notice? Amir never mentions this very salient point: Israel is violating a UN Resolution 425. (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/UN_Security_Council_Resolution/425) Hmmm...selective memory...?)

So what is ok for the US to do in this case?

Sorry, Daniel, ran out of time. I'll get back to this one (I love hypotheticals).

Gambatte!

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 01:15 PM
No, I'm not. I was using the argument that Hezbollah justifies its actions for something Israel did. My point (which I thought I made clear) was that it's POINTLESS to say "they started it;" as justification for this war, and illegal invasion (notice? Amir never mentions this very salient point: Israel is violating a UN Resolution 425. (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/UN_Security_Council_Resolution/425) Hmmm...selective memory...?) This is too ludicrous. "All the world is stupid except for Neil Mick?". Israel left Lebanon. 425 was not fulfilled on the part of the Lebanese and Hezbollah, so Hezbollah attacks Israel again. There IS NO "resolution" that prevents Israel from defending itself.... but maybe if you tell the lie long enough, a few sad souls will join you, Neil. I love it.... Israel defending itself against border incursions and rocket attacks is "illegal". Those nasty "Jooz".

Mike Sigman

DanielR
08-07-2006, 01:22 PM
Israel is violating a UN Resolution 425Well, to agree on this we need to at least establish an agreeable answer to the Mexico-US hypothetical, so I'll wait for your take on this.

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 01:55 PM
(My fave Mike S. comment that he eternally seems to use...commenting on someone's Aikido skill or teaching abilities, based upon what they write, online.

Ya gotta love a man so endowed with such amazing mindreading properties that he can judge their physical skill, without ever having met them...ahem) Nah.... I can tell. I've been around martial arts so long that I can spot the BS artists who hide out in the "easy" martial arts like Taiji, Aikido, etc. They're not really into martial arts, but using martial arts as some vehicle to foster their own personal philosophies, etc. Easy to check out, Neil. I've never seen one of the obvious partisans, like you are, that can really do martial arts. But hey... I could be wrong, all I need is for you to show me.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 02:02 PM
"Siniora, who wants an immediate halt to the conflict, accused the Israeli air force of “a deliberate massacre” in the southern village of Hula, saying “more than 40 martyrs” had died there Monday."

Then when the news media went there and wanted to see the bodies:

"He later retracted his statement, saying it turned out that only one person had been killed."

This culture that depends so heavily on lying, killing Jews, killing Hindus, killing westerners, etc..... this is the culture Neil wants to hold up as the "good guys"? I have trouble seeing what his logic is.... but I understand that it is driven by hatred and self-loathing. It's an extension of "rejection of the common culture", a symptom usually shown by the young, but which is permeated our Far Left to a great degree, no matter what the age or country. :)

Mike

statisticool
08-07-2006, 02:30 PM
I've been around martial arts so long that I can spot the BS artists..


Fortunately, so can many others..

Kevin Leavitt
08-07-2006, 02:32 PM
I always find it interesting the "Karma" that war creates. Every major "war" that we've had since 9-11 has a post that is started by Neil and then it goes on for a long time with people posting back and forth and arguing about war and who is right and who is screwing who over etc.

Again, just an observation, but I always find it very interesting that aikido people especially who are supposed to be about "healing" and "resolving" conflict spend all their time talking about "who started it" "who is wrong" and "who is justfied" and "no I'm right, your wrong".

It would be encouraging once to hear people in the aikido community to drop all that static and discuss "okay...how do we really solve it".

I understand there are no short term resolutions and therein lay the problem and the frustration that drives us to argue amongst ourselves.

I have enough common sense to know that we can't all run in there with our hakama and start meditating and doing kokyu tanden ho with both sides! :)

Again, just find it interesting the trend that I see over the years. You can really take a cookie cutter script, change the names of the sides, dates, and the few key players (except for Bush apparently :)) and you have a new thread!

Huker
08-07-2006, 02:54 PM
There are no Arab Jews that are being treated differently, Arab and Jews are nationalities.


This isn't quite what I said and, as I understand it, Arab is a nationality and Jew is representative of a religious group. Am I incorrect? I suppose Arab is a term I've used incorrectly. In its place I should say Lebanese- or Palestinian-Israeli. My bad.


There are Israeli Arabs, which are Arabs that lived in Israel since 1948 and recieved citizenship automaticly, and many other Arabs that recieved Israeli citizenship for some ther reason.


This is the group I was talking about. In many cases they're not treated as equals in Israel, facing discrimination from many sources. Although I shouldn't point fingers, since the same thing happens in my country with some ethnic groups, I just thought I'd bring it to light since we're on the topic of the ME.


Then there are Palestinians, who were not inside Israel at 1948 and have lived outside it.


The above applies to this group as well. Many used to live in the borders of what is now Israel, but no longer do because of discrimination.


Of those areas, only Jerusalem has been appended to Israel, and any Arab living there had the right of getting a citizenship.


So did African-Americans prior to the '60s, but easier said than done.


Of those areas, only Jerusalem has been appended to Israel, and any Arab living there had the right of getting a citizenship.


I was only trying to say that Israel and the surrounding countries have their differences and clearly don't get along. If they could put their hate aside and negotiate (actually offer each other something worthwhile) then things would probably start to heal over.

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 02:58 PM
I have enough common sense to know that we can't all run in there with our hakama and start meditating and doing kokyu tanden ho with both sides! :) Whoa! It's just possible you set yourself up to getting burned at the stake, Kevin. Sorry... it's in the Loyalty Oath, section B-19Z.

;)

Mike

Huker
08-07-2006, 03:16 PM
Kevin,

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, things get off topic pretty quick, especially in online discussions. But then again, this does help to keep things interesting.


Again, just an observation, but I always find it very interesting that aikido people especially who are supposed to be about "healing" and "resolving" conflict spend all their time talking about "who started it" "who is wrong" and "who is justfied" and "no I'm right, your wrong".


You're right. We're not really working out a solution. Things have come to us chewing at the edges while the core problem gets bigger and bigger. Perhaps it would be good to get back to the thread topic of whether the situation in the ME could result in a 3rd world war. Remember, though, that aikido (and martial arts in general) are about morality, above all else. When discussing morality, things usually get heated since generally, no two people's morals are 100% compatible. Of course, this then leads to the "I'm right, you're wrong" thing we see on this thread.

Kevin Leavitt
08-07-2006, 04:43 PM
Thanks Mike, I will have to read that one! :)

Neil Mick
08-07-2006, 09:24 PM
Every major "war" that we've had since 9-11 has a post that is started by Neil and then it goes on for a long time with people posting back and forth and arguing about war and who is right and who is screwing who over etc.

Memory tends to focus upon the negative: and forget the few bright moments.

If you had nothing else to do in your life and chose to review those Iraq threads: you'd notice that they didn't ALL descend into the "right/wrong" paradigm. We just tend to remember the negative; to the exclusion of the positive.

Guilty Spark
08-07-2006, 09:35 PM
"easy" martial arts like Taiji, Aikido,
Not sure what Taiji is, but easy aikido? booooo ;)


Again, just an observation, but I always find it very interesting that aikido people especially who are supposed to be about "healing" and "resolving" conflict spend all their time talking about "who started it" "who is wrong" and "who is justfied" and "no I'm right, your wrong".


Great points Kevin.

No one has really offered any solid methods of creating peace in the region.

Ground forces would be physically present when attacking, plus they'd be using smaller arms, which is an added control. That's just the way I see it.
Tanner. There is a lot of wisdom in not commiting ground forces (infantry) to the battle unless absolutely required.
Ground forces DO have perhaps more control but the minute they get in trouble the first thing they do is call in air support or fire from artillery guns and tanks.

As well, with ground forces present you become a static target. Suicide bombers love nothing more than check points. Worst still their not above putting a family in a car and forcing them to race towards a check point. The check point follows their rules of engagement, opens up on the car and presto. You have X soldiers shooting a car full of Y civilians which gets splashed (and biased) across the news.

Neil Mick
08-07-2006, 09:51 PM
suppose an extremist group of Mexican guerilla's decided that Mexican territory was unfairly wrested from it by the US (all true). Suppose they got a little sick of the eternal chants of "Remember the Alamo!!" across the Texan border and decided that a little payback was long overdue.

So, these fellows...with a little startup from Cuba and Venezuala (stretching the point, I know) kidnapped a few National Guardsmen and began shelling Las Cruces and other border-towns with some poorly guided rockets.

Now, under these circumstances, is it OK for the US to

1. Ignore international law and indiscriminately fire upon Mexican cities, even when the extremists were nowhere near?
2. Target civilian infrastructure, promising total annihiliation if Houston gets hit?
3. Refuse to allow full access to international aid, even going so far as to hit Red Cross ambulances?
4. Invade Mexico?
5. Target nearby UN observation posts, shelling repeatedly even after calls to stand down were made?

Not, according to international law. But, this seems to be less of a concern for you, and for your and my political leaders.

OK, back to the hypothetical.

But since you pushed the question past its initial intentions, I have to add a new element, for reality's sake.

And to do that, I'm going to have to resort to science-fiction (strange, but true! ;) ).

Send in the Martians.

OK, so the Martian's are on really close terms with the US: they provide heavy military and material support...and the relationship is reciprocal. The US has a heavy influence on the Martian gov't, to the extent that the US practically has its own supporters (the "NeoQuark's") installed in the Martian gov't. The US is heavily invested in getting Martian support; and so it manages the media that the Martian's see of the US-Mexico dilemma. The US PR machine on Mars is impressive...possibly the greatest PR effort ever, in the history of the world (Earth). The reason for this is the Martian's have no other method of knowing what's happening on Earth.

Anyway, you get the idea...

So what is ok for the US to do in this case?

Again, what is "OK" is up to international law. No unlawful detentions without a trial, no photographing of prisoners, etc.

So, it's OK to shoot back; not OK to shoot indiscriminately at civilian's, etc.

How is the US to stop the shelling of the border towns? Is it ok to shell back, or is it considered an invasion, which is not ok?

You're asking the wrong question. You should be asking: is it effective, or not, to shell back at a paramilitary guerilla group.

If the shelling back doesn't help, since the experience shows that smaller, mobile rocket launchers are hard to hit, what's next? And let's add one more thing to the equation: the Mexican government is either unwilling or unable to rein in those guys.

Here's what's next: stop treating the problem as if it's a conventional war, btw convential powers. The US would have to quit invading Mexico, and start working with the Mexican gov't. Reduce popular support for the guerilla's. Work with local authorities and treat it as a criminal matter; rather than a military one. Give full reparations to the Mexican gov't, and work to restore Mexican good will (this would mean taking down that pesky Separation Wall).

Encourage bi-lingual education programs on both sides of the border; and foster bi-gov't'l goodwill programs. In short, work WITH the Mexican's to stop the shelling, rather than AGAINST them, as if all Mexico were responsible.

It's the militarist thinking that got the US into the situation in the first place. (To add to the metaphor,) the US actually encouraged the militants, to undercut Mexican nationality an a "too clever by half" move (cf, Hezbollah and Mossad). Take out the bombs, knives and the guns: and work instead on fostering goodwill.

Its militarist thinking that got them into the current situation: militarist solutions will not solve the problem.

This pattern that seems to be present in your argument - periodically acknowledging that what Hezbollah did was bad, and then proceeding to variations of "they did it because Israel is bad too" - can't this be used the other way around too, for a never-ending tit-for-tat argument? "Israelis bombed civilians, that's bad, but they only did it because rockets were fired from the same area 10 minutes ago".

Sorry, (http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/08/02/lebano13902.htm) but this is simply untrue.

Human Rights Watch researchers found numerous cases in which the IDF launched artillery and air attacks with limited or dubious military objectives but excessive civilian cost. In many cases, Israeli forces struck an area with no apparent military target. In some instances, Israeli forces appear to have deliberately targeted civilians.

In one case, an Israeli air strike on July 13 destroyed the home of a cleric known to have sympathy for Hezbollah but who was not known to have taken any active part in the hostilities. Even if the IDF considered him a legitimate target (and Human Rights Watch has no evidence that he was), the strike killed him, his wife, their 10 children and the family’s Sri Lankan maid.

On July 16, an Israeli aircraft fired on a civilian home in the village of Aitaroun, killing 11 members of the al-Akhrass family, among them seven Canadian-Lebanese dual nationals who were vacationing in the village when the war began. Human Rights Watch independently interviewed three villagers who vigorously denied that the family had any connection to Hezbollah. Among the victims were children aged one, three, five and seven.

The Israeli government has blamed Hezbollah for the high civilian casualty toll in Lebanon, insisting that Hezbollah fighters have hidden themselves and their weapons among the civilian population. However, in none of the cases of civilian deaths documented in the report is there evidence to suggest that Hezbollah was operating in or around the area during or prior to the attack.

“Hezbollah fighters must not hide behind civilians – that’s an absolute – but the image that Israel has promoted of such shielding as the cause of so high a civilian death toll is wrong,” Roth said. “In the many cases of civilian deaths examined by Human Rights Watch, the location of Hezbollah troops and arms had nothing to do with the deaths because there was no Hezbollah around.”

Statements from Israeli government officials and military leaders suggest that, at the very least, the IDF has blurred the distinction between civilians and combatants, arguing that only people associated with Hezbollah remain in southern Lebanon, so all are legitimate targets of attack. Under international law, however, only civilians directly participating in hostilities lose their immunity from attack. Many civilians have been unable to flee because they are sick, wounded, do not have the means to leave or are providing essential civil services.

Neil Mick
08-07-2006, 10:12 PM
No one has really offered any solid methods of creating peace in the region.

See my post, above.

OK, now--allow me to step outside my current line of argument.

Let's suppose (told you: I LOVE hypotheticals) for a moment that Israel is completely justified in everything that it's doing; that it is allowed to bomb indiscriminately, to invade whomever it wants, to capture anyone they like, shoot at ambulances, whatever...all in the name of self-defence.

OK, so you have a country defending itself, using all ordinary and extraordinary means at its disposal.

So what have you got, for your troubles? So far, you have 1000+ Lebanese killed; infrastructure a shambles; a war spiralling out of control...what do you have to show for it?

You have nothing. Hezbollah is still active, and still shelling Israel.

I think even Kevin would agree with me, that militarily, the current Israeli operation is unsuccessful, your leaders' claims notwithstanding. Apparently, even IDF pilots and reservists are starting to question the reliability of intelligence.

Israeli Pilots deliberately Miss Targets (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1838437,00.html)

At least two Israeli fighter pilots have deliberately missed civilian targets in Lebanon as disquiet grows in the military about flawed intelligence, The Observer has learnt. Sources say the pilots were worried that targets had been wrongly identified as Hizbollah facilities.
Voices expressing concern over the armed forces' failures are getting louder. One Israeli cabinet minister said last week: 'We gave the army so much money. Why are we getting these results?' Last week saw Hizbollah's guerrilla force, dismissed by senior Israeli military officials as 'ragtag', inflict further casualties on one of the world's most powerful armies in southern Lebanon. At least 12 elite troops, the equivalent of Britain's SAS, have already been killed, and by yesterday afternoon Israel's military death toll had climbed to 45.

Yonatan Shapiro, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot dismissed from reserve duty after signing a 'refusenik' letter in 2004, said he had spoken with Israeli F-16 pilots in recent days and learnt that some had aborted missions because of concerns about the reliability of intelligence information. According to Shapiro, some pilots justified aborting missions out of 'common sense' and in the context of the Israeli Defence Force's moral code of conduct, which says every effort should be made to avoiding harming civilians.

Shapiro said: 'Some pilots told me they have shot at the side of targets because they're afraid people will be there, and they don't trust any more those who give them the coordinates and targets.'

He added: 'One pilot told me he was asked to hit a house on a hill, which was supposed to be a place from where Hizbollah was launching Katyusha missiles. But he was afraid civilians were in the house, so he shot next to the house ...

'Pilots are always being told they will be judged on results, but if the results are hundreds of dead civilians while Hizbollah is still able to fire all these rockets, then something is very wrong.'

I made my point in the post above that a conventional military solution is untenable, in fighting a paramilitary guerilla group, to (as Luc so well put it) use a "sledgehammer against fleas." A hearts and minds campaign is what, IMO, would be more effective.

In the Iraq thread: I repeatedly went out on a limb, claiming that there would be no wmd's found, in Iraq.

I gotta tell ya: it really sucks to be Cassandra. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassandra)

But I'm going to don the prophesorial robe one more time, and put my neck out on a limb. Since my head is still on its virtual shoulders: I feel pretty confident about this prophecy, too.

But, of course: you never know--it doesn't pay to get cocky. But here goes...by the end of this conflict (assuming it doesn't spill over into an Israeli-Syrian war), we'll see...

1. The survival of Hezbollah;
2. Hostilities end with a prisoner exchange;
3. Israel will offer neither reparations, nor apology, to Lebanon;
4. Lebanese infrastructure completely destroyed;
5. Widespread human rights disasters;
6. More refugee camps;
7. Israel's "problems" remain unresolved;
8. But one bright spot! The shelling of Israel will stop...Hezbollah has to run out of rockets, someday. :dead:

I just have to say...I HATE being Cassandra :( :uch: :(

Neil Mick
08-08-2006, 01:08 AM
GO GEORGE GO!!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93SCANJpspw)

Mark Freeman
08-08-2006, 05:11 AM
GO GEORGE GO!!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93SCANJpspw)

He's not one to hold back is he.

He is often being smeared by Murdoch press, accusations abound, non of them have been found to be true. The US have tried to shut him up, and have so far failed. The UK govt also. The last election saw him beat a very popular black female Labour candidate, simply by his opposition to the Iraq invasion.

I don't agree with everything he says, but you have to give the guy his due, he is passionate about speaking out for the people who get crapped on.

If a poll was held ( In the UK) with the question asked "who's word would you trust more, Blair, Bush or Galloway?" I think I would be pretty safe in predicting that Blair and Bush would struggle for 2nd and 3rd place, ( anyone reading from the UK care to confirm/deny? )

I'd also like to add that the interviewer on the news programme seemed to be only interested in provocation and not on listening and probing to draw out any weaknesses in Galloways position.
He has a much harder time with the BBC which many see as a left bias organisation.

Today Blair is saying - "we really ought to be hurrying up with the peace process" - while US planes are refuelling in the UK loaded up with weapons bound for Israel. No wonder Galloway gets hot under the collar!

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
08-08-2006, 05:30 AM
It would be encouraging once to hear people in the aikido community to drop all that static and discuss "okay...how do we really solve it".

I understand there are no short term resolutions and therein lay the problem and the frustration that drives us to argue amongst ourselves.

Hi Kevin,

it's not all mud slinging, ref post # 200 I asked a number of questionsWhat are the solutions? Bombing the crap out of each other is not a viable long term option, is it?
Europe after WW2 was a battered and broken place, after so much hurt, there was only one sensible way forward, to link together in a co-dependant collection of free states. Something that has proven to be very successfull in terms of 'peace' for its citizens. The countries that supported facism then, are productive partners in the union now.

Is there any optimism that this type of solution would be possible for the middle east?

Are centuries old religious divisions insurmountable? Is the middle east doomed to endless years of war?

Amir in post 204 went some way to answering the questions and was definitely on the pessimistic side.

At our level we can debate, suggest, argue and rant. The best thing about any forum is that people from all sides are free to communicate. Propoganda is much harder to foist on a gullible public, not that that stops them trying.

Keep talking everyone,

regards,

Mark

Mike Sigman
08-08-2006, 07:48 AM
He's not one to hold back is he.
I believe George held back, but finally answered the one question our congressional committee was trying to get him to answer. After much posturing, he answered it. He was reluctant because he knew that he'd been lying about taking the money. Everyone knew he took the money. Ultimately he will go to jail, or course, but many liberals are proud that George sells out their country and wants the West to lose. That's George; that's liberals.

But don't say he doesn't hold back.... it's on film where he was "holding back". Blustering and making liberals cheer, maybe, but he was holding back. He's a lying, petty criminal, but since he was "in your face" and rude, he's the hero of some fairly shallow people. He's no different that the lying heroes of some of the Far Right who abscond with money but who mention "Jeezus" at every breath, thus saying the magic words that make them redeemable.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
08-08-2006, 08:07 AM
Incidentally, the Far Left organization, Human Rights Watch, has been under considerable heat the last few days and they're protesting, but they're suddenly unleashing a flurry of letters to Arabs now that the bias has been documented and they stand embarrassed. A good encapsulation of some of the exchanges:

http://www.ngo-monitor.org/archives/infofile/bell_roth_310706.html

And of course, this is one of the organziations that Neil Mick constantly references. Does anyone have an example of any source other than a leftist one that Neil has ever used in his threads, BTW? I'm curious.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Amir Krause
08-08-2006, 08:28 AM
Israeli Pilots deliberately Miss Targets (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1838437,00.html)


A simple example of different perspectives for the same reality:
Already several days ago, I heard on local TV one of the Israeli air-force colonels stating the pilots will not shoot in situations described in the article - if they believe there are un-involved civilians in a building or when they can see for themselves the inteligence is wrong. He was very proud about this and considered this an indication of the IDF morality.
This article takes the same behavior the IDF air-force colonel was very proud about and paints it the other way around. As if the pilots are subversive in acting this way, rather then following the standard orders as the air-force colonel said and I believe to be the case.

I would note article is pointing to one very real fact, the Israeli intelligence about the Hezbollah is not as amazing as some try to paint.
HA was very successful in misleading the Israeli intelligence in some cases, or letting it only get a partial idea of the location of some of it's means. While at the first couple of days, it is likely most air-strike targets were based on long-term intelligence, and the Israeli success rate in destroying rocket stores was significant (though it is also probable HA was successful in misleading the intelligence as to believe some innocent residential were storage places). One can safely guess no more such targets exist any longer, and current targets are based on more intelligence gathered during the war.

Thus we would all get increased numbers of innocent civilians killed on the Lebanese side and HA is the only group which can count this to their benefit :(

I would point to the known fact that rocket launches are identified based on radar and optical measures. The likelihood of mistakes in identifying the source of a launch is poor. And thus it is easy to fire back.
The army problem is, the terrorists are aware of the anticipated return artillery and air-strikes. Thus, they use timers for the launchers, and have time to hide. Hence, the bombing of likely hideouts and escaping cars in the area immediately surrounding a rocket launch. I disagree about the illegality of such an act, but I agree it does cause more innocent civilian casualties.


Amir

Amir Krause
08-08-2006, 08:59 AM
Amir never mentions this very salient point: Israel is violating a UN Resolution 425. (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/UN_Security_Council_Resolution/425) Hmmm...selective memory...?)


Let me see, this decision was accepted at 1978, I do not remember if there was a cease-fire afterwards (I was only 6 yrs old, did not care much for the new back then). I took your advice and found the following source about this decision: The UN. (http://www.un.org.lb/un/template.asp?id=326)

Looking at the page, you will be surprised to find out Israel did retreat from Lebanon and cease-fire, already at 1978. You will note this decision requires Israel to immidate action in section 2, and it was fullfilled.
Lebanon on the other hand did not ever truely take control of the southern border, as implied it should do in this very same statment. Since Lebanon did not take control, the PLO continued attacks on northern Israel through the border, mostly using Katyusha missiles. And finally in 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon..


I should point out the decision is quite against Israel, and disregards the Lebanese responsibily, which should be surprising considering the descrition of circumstances in the sameUN. (http://www.un.org.lb/un/template.asp?id=326) page:

In March 1978, after Israeli forces invaded Southern Lebanon following a Palestinian commando raid in Israel, the Security Council called on Israel to cease its military action against Lebanon's territorial integrity and established the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
(I placed the bold)

Sadly this does not surprise me as around the same dates, the UN also declared Zionisem is racisem. Israelis have never been able to trust the UN for unbiased position. With 47 member states whose position is automaticly against Israel (most refuse to recognize Israel even exists), the outcome of all votes regarding the issue is quite consistently against Israel. Further, Israel has recognized this fact already during the 1950s and hardly gave consideration to the UN opinion afterwards: "No point in trying to be nice when you will be blamed as the agressive bully whtever you do".

Israeli high moral in times of war (compared to other armies) has always been the result of intenral Israeli public opinin and expectations, not of the outside world.


Amir

DanielR
08-08-2006, 09:06 AM
Take out the bombs, knives and the guns: and work instead on fostering goodwill.I don't disagree with this. You expanded quite a bit on the long term part of the solution you're proposing (with a good degree of vagueness and naivete, but I'm generally with you on all the things you proposed, so I'll limit my reservations in that respect to "easier said than done" for now); what's your solution for the immediate problem of the shelling of the border towns? Are you still saying that the US army is not to cross the border to deal with the immediate threat, even if the Mexican government is inadequate in its response?

Mike Sigman
08-08-2006, 09:33 AM
Sadly this does not surprise me as around the same dates, the UN also declared Zionisem is racisem. Israelis have never been able to trust the UN for unbiased position. With 47 member states whose position is automaticly against Israel (most refuse to recognize Israel even exists), the outcome of all votes regarding the issue is quite consistently against Israel. I think the latest statistics I heard were that fully one-fourth of all resolutions passed by the General Assembly are against Israel. No resolutions to speak of, in regard to known Arab atrocities, get voted on and passed. The answer has been obvious for a number of years now... the corruption and bias within the UN is so great that it must be dissolved. Next time, perhaps and organization of democratic states will emerge, leaving the totalitarian states on the outside... they never help anyway.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Amir Krause
08-08-2006, 10:12 AM
OK, back to the hypothetical.
Here's what's next: stop treating the problem as if it's a conventional war, btw convential powers. The US would have to quit invading Mexico, and start working with the Mexican gov't. Reduce popular support for the guerilla's. Work with local authorities and treat it as a criminal matter; rather than a military one. Give full reparations to the Mexican gov't, and work to restore Mexican good will (this would mean taking down that pesky Separation Wall).

Encourage bi-lingual education programs on both sides of the border; and foster bi-gov't'l goodwill programs. In short, work WITH the Mexican's to stop the shelling, rather than AGAINST them, as if all Mexico were responsible.

It's the militarist thinking that got the US into the situation in the first place. (To add to the metaphor,) the US actually encouraged the militants, to undercut Mexican nationality an a "too clever by half" move (cf, Hezbollah and Mossad). Take out the bombs, knives and the guns: and work instead on fostering goodwill.

Its militarist thinking that got them into the current situation: militarist solutions will not solve the problem.


Actually, I think you are pointing towards the right direction for the long run. This solution would have worked very effectively for the model presented here. I noticed you have not proposed to give the "Mexicans" anything of their original demands -- you did not suggest to return Texas nor California!

Your suggestion actually describes an approach to change the way people perceive their communal identity -- for example: "Encourage bi-lingual education programs on both sides of the border". And this is the reason it would work in the long run.

There are some differences however between the hypothetical and the Israeli Arab reality I would like to point out, these differences affect some core issues and so I would like to see how you would have suggested to solve them:

* I do not know your region, but in the ME such a solution would require at least a century, if not more.
One problem is what will happen during this century. Most likely, at least for the first decade or so, sporadic missile attacks and terrorists bombs on the 300 miles from the border or so (technology continues to advance). From a US perspective, such a situation is actually acceptable (though I doubt your fellow Americans would agree considering the number of attacks actually suffered on US soil in the last 300 yrs), the US will probably have much less civilian population along the border, people will move elsewhere. Given the US size -- no problem. For Israel -- this is impossible; we do not have anywhere to run to. Further, 20 Israeli casualties are like ~1,000 American casualties if one can judge life by ratio to total population.
A second problem would be the "Mexicans" you are trying to educate will be labeled traitors by their fellow extremist country-men. Those latter are planting bombs in "your" educational and support institutions and continuously hamper your efforts. At the same time calling "your" institutions an "imperialist attempt to educate us to slavery" they lead populous parades and burn the institutions you have built to the ground.

* You assumed the "Mexicans" Govt. will cooperate, what happens when the "Mexican" Govt. continuously refuses to cooperate and even start the reconciliation process?
The "Mexican" Govt. refuses to cooperate . It keeps claiming it is too week and is not up to the task of fighting those terrorists. The "Mexican" Govt. actually refuses to condemn the terrorist actions against you. If you listen carefully, you can hear some people admit there are some reasons for this:
a. A large minority of Mexicans (40%) hate you for deep cultural and religious reasons. The Govt. fears any cooperation with you will make it fall in a democratic fashion.
b. The terrorist have some Govt. members. Those members oppose and veto any willingness of the other members to compromise. They are in the Govt. discussion a preferential situation for convincing.
c. Some "Mexican" Govt. members actually fear for their own lives. The terrorists and their supporting countries have already demonstrated their willingness to kill opposing political figures. The international bodies have opened investigations, but have not done anything concrete despite the obvious reasons for the murder.
d. Some of the surrounding south American countries are strongly opposed to you. Those countries have strong connections with the "Mexican" and exert both political pressures on the Govt. They have no qualms about financing opposing institutions and active resistance.

How would you create the initial cooperation?

* After a lot of international pressure, and acknowledging your superior military might. The "Mexican" Govt. actually announces it will cooperate with you. It demands you will respect its sovereignty though. Hence, the "Mexicans" Govt. demands it will manage all the reconciliation efforts on its side of the border.

Your intelligence and the media show the financing you have arranged with the assistance of multiple international bodies is going to building educational institutions, but the curriculum is not conciliatory in nature, but instead, it is 100% anti-American, racist (the white man is responsible for all the problems in the world …) and national. When you try to protest, the "Mexican" Govt. answer they can not interfere due to democratic freedom of speech reasons.

The "Mexican" police is very uncooperative, and keeps leaking the information about impending anti-terrorist actions before acting. Thus the terrorists continuously escape. When one of your intelligence sources is identified, he is accused of spying and is sentenced and shot. After tremendous international pressure, you succeed in forcing the "Mexican" police to arrest several terrorists. They are sentenced within a day, in "Mexico", rather then being extradited as they should have been according to your agreement. The sentences are disproportional short (2 years for multiple murderers). As if that is not enough, you find out the prisoners are actually held in hotel conditions rather then real arrest -- they may leave as they wish, contact anyone they wish, and get as many visitations as they wish.

You may find out the "Mexican" Govt. is actually using some percentage of the money it has with your assistance, to fund some of the terrorist organizations (those politically favorable). Some Govt. members openly admit this and claim they must get those arms to defend against the extremist groups. Others admit in international media the main purpose is to be ready against your next aggression.

The "Mexican" Govt. continuously blame you for violating your common agreement: not transferring enough funds, trying to influence the funds destination not respecting the agreement with regards to their sovereignty. It also blames you for any act of criminals among the US population who damage a "Mexican". The "Mexican" Govt. is very quick on the trigger of blaming you for any wrong doings one of your border guards has done while searching for terrorists on the border passes.

If anyone thinks my imagination is that rich. Sorry to disappoint you -- all is taken from the ME recent past and was repeated more then once, the last two examples are more or less Lebanon and Palestine.
I intentionally painted a very one sided picture. The reality that was here was much more complex then that, and would have required a book. Some Israeli Govt. dragged their feet cooperating no less then the other side.

I would agree with you, the US could suffer the transitional phase, which would likely take a century or so, and get the peace. I doubt the US would have acted this way, or any other similar large country I know of. I do know Israel is not capable of sustaining this level of damage for such a duration, hence the attempt to use military force supposedly, the policy is having both the carrot and the stick (as opposed to yur suggestion of carrot only). I agree the military is not always the right solution, and is used too often. I also agree I do not see enough attempts of the type you have described The carrot is not presented often enough.


I am also wondering what happens if you find out the "Mexican" population is fanaticly religous and is not willing to accept your existnce and cooperate at any level. I seem to remember you wrote in your Blog about Palestinian Aikidoka being pressured to boycot a friendship meeting you participated in - suppose they would ave refused without any pressure?



Amir

Amir Krause
08-08-2006, 10:32 AM
Just one more short philosophical note, about values and personal preception:

The first step is the increase of individualisem, at the cost of tribal thinking. The more I think about this, the more I see this as the diffrentiating issuw between cultures here (ME and this bord).


Democratic values like equlity, law etc. can only be effective if each person is an individual, in a tribal society, the tribe (extended family, city, social group, nation, religion) is comes first and things are examined with respect to thebenefit of the group. A cop would not arrest his brother the theif...


Amir

doronin
08-08-2006, 01:49 PM
Actually, I think you are pointing towards the right direction for the long run. This solution would have worked very effectively for the model presented here. I noticed you have not proposed to give the "Mexicans" anything of their original demands -- you did not suggest to return Texas nor California!

...

I am also wondering what happens if you find out the "Mexican" population is fanaticly religous and is not willing to accept your existnce and cooperate at any level. I seem to remember you wrote in your Blog about Palestinian Aikidoka being pressured to boycot a friendship meeting you participated in - suppose they would ave refused without any pressure?

Very good and informative post, Amir!

.

doronin
08-08-2006, 02:18 PM
Neil, I'm reading your posts... You seem to live in some virtual reality, in a world you created for yourself in your imagination. May I remind you that the trick is to remember that others may not share your "reality"? Do you play computer games too much?

You manage to filter facts to satisfy your current beliefs too well to pretend being an unbiased person.

Neil Mick
08-08-2006, 04:51 PM
Neil, I'm reading your posts... You seem to live in some virtual reality, in a world you created for yourself in your imagination.

Do you play computer games too much?

Dmitry,

A simple glance at your range of insults, cross-referenced with where you live (and the highly filtered news media that you're likely getting on the tube), tells me all I need to know, to take your post with more than a few grains of salt. It's not at all surprising that you attempt character assassination over debating my facts.

You manage to filter facts to satisfy your current beliefs too well to pretend being an unbiased person.

If you'd bothered to read (all) the posts, instead of coming to this with your OWN bias...you'd find that NO ONE HERE pretended to be unbiased...myself included.

May I remind you that the trick is to remember that others may not share your "reality"?

Good advice...now, try practicing it, yourself.

Next!

Neil Mick
08-08-2006, 05:06 PM
Let me see, this decision was accepted at 1978, I do not remember if there was a cease-fire afterwards (I was only 6 yrs old, did not care much for the new back then). I took your advice and found the following source about this decision: The UN. (http://www.un.org.lb/un/template.asp?id=326)

Looking at the page, you will be surprised to find out Israel did retreat from Lebanon and cease-fire, already at 1978. You will note this decision requires Israel to immidate action in section 2, and it was fullfilled.
Lebanon on the other hand did not ever truely take control of the southern border, as implied it should do in this very same statment. Since Lebanon did not take control, the PLO continued attacks on northern Israel through the border, mostly using Katyusha missiles. And finally in 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon..


I should point out the decision is quite against Israel, and disregards the Lebanese responsibily, which should be surprising considering the descrition of circumstances in the sameUN. (http://www.un.org.lb/un/template.asp?id=326) page:
(I placed the bold)

Sadly this does not surprise me as around the same dates, the UN also declared Zionisem is racisem. Israelis have never been able to trust the UN for unbiased position. With 47 member states whose position is automaticly against Israel (most refuse to recognize Israel even exists), the outcome of all votes regarding the issue is quite consistently against Israel. Further, Israel has recognized this fact already during the 1950s and hardly gave consideration to the UN opinion afterwards: "No point in trying to be nice when you will be blamed as the agressive bully whtever you do".

Israeli high moral in times of war (compared to other armies) has always been the result of intenral Israeli public opinin and expectations, not of the outside world.

Amir

Amir,

I don't see the need to respond to your (selective) historic points, as you've already expressed the futility in attempting to see my view. So, rather than argue a one-sided historical debate: I'm going to limit my response.

I'm sure you have a (to you) good apology for every single one of Israel's actions since their inception. Needless to say, we can agree to disagree.

If you choose to ignore the fallacy of slippery-slope arguments: it's not my job to show you the light.

Neil Mick
08-08-2006, 05:08 PM
A simple example of different perspectives for the same reality:
Already several days ago, I heard on local TV one of the Israeli air-force colonels stating the pilots will not shoot in situations described in the article - if they believe there are un-involved civilians in a building or when they can see for themselves the inteligence is wrong. He was very proud about this and considered this an indication of the IDF morality.
This article takes the same behavior the IDF air-force colonel was very proud about and paints it the other way around. As if the pilots are subversive in acting this way, rather then following the standard orders as the air-force colonel said and I believe to be the case.

Sorry, but that's YOUR spin, on it. Personally, I think that the article wasn't taking a moral stand, one way or the other.

But, Refuseniks are seen by Leftists here (self, included) as highly moral. If anything, the villians in the article are the leaders who choose to bomb civilian targets based upon poor intel.

You have to wonder about ppl who see every little thing as some sort of negative spin on their country. Feeling a tad..."defensive," perhaps?

I would note article is pointing to one very real fact, the Israeli intelligence about the Hezbollah is not as amazing as some try to paint.
HA was very successful in misleading the Israeli intelligence in some cases, or letting it only get a partial idea of the location of some of it's means. While at the first couple of days, it is likely most air-strike targets were based on long-term intelligence, and the Israeli success rate in destroying rocket stores was significant (though it is also probable HA was successful in misleading the intelligence as to believe some innocent residential were storage places). One can safely guess no more such targets exist any longer, and current targets are based on more intelligence gathered during the war.

Thus we would all get increased numbers of innocent civilians killed on the Lebanese side and HA is the only group which can count this to their benefit :(

I would point to the known fact that rocket launches are identified based on radar and optical measures. The likelihood of mistakes in identifying the source of a launch is poor. And thus it is easy to fire back.
The army problem is, the terrorists are aware of the anticipated return artillery and air-strikes. Thus, they use timers for the launchers, and have time to hide.

Yes, timers...that HAS to be it. The IDF doesn't shoot at civilians, NO!! They're just shooting at HA positions using timers!

Perhaps they also beamed themselves aboard the Starship Enterprise, too. :rolleyes:

Apology, apology, apology...it never ends, really. Once you start down that long slide, there's no real end to it. Your army can do no wrong: it's just the nefarious evil, of everyone else. :dead:

Neil Mick
08-08-2006, 06:02 PM
what's your solution for the immediate problem of the shelling of the border towns?

Easy: return the prisoners that the US has illegally detained (illegal border-crosser's, in this hypothetical, I suppose). The Mexican's have already stated their willingness to negotiate...it's the US leaders who are so gung ho on invasions, and muscular conventional wars.

The Martians aren't helping either.

Are you still saying that the US army is not to cross the border to deal with the immediate threat, even if the Mexican government is inadequate in its response?

That's exactly what I'm saying. Crossing the border would rightly be seen as an invasion. Another alternative is an OAS-led multi-national peacekeeping force along the border.

The major problem (in the hypothetical) is the US's image as an aggressor, and its constant living in fear. A completely different approach is needed...perhaps a new quasi-state where the Mexican separatists can live on their own?

Actually, I think you are pointing towards the right direction for the long run.

Excellent. It's good to find some common ground.

I think that most of us here are in agreement that the "military option" is not tenable, in the long-run. It certainly paints the US (read: Israel) as the bad guy.

This solution would have worked very effectively for the model presented here. I noticed you have not proposed to give the "Mexicans" anything of their original demands -- you did not suggest to return Texas nor California!

No, but I think SOME land concessions are possible. I WAS going to suggest returning Hawaii (stolen, OUTRIGHT...true story...from the Hawaiian kingdom. The Hawaiian descendents are still peeved about it, understandably) to the Hawaiian's.

Your suggestion actually describes an approach to change the way people perceive their communal identity -- for example: "Encourage bi-lingual education programs on both sides of the border". And this is the reason it would work in the long run.

Yes. We might slightly disagree on terms, but I think we generally agree on the principle of winning hearts and minds. :cool:

There are some differences however between the hypothetical and the Israeli Arab reality I would like to point out, these differences affect some core issues and so I would like to see how you would have suggested to solve them:

* I do not know your region, but in the ME such a solution would require at least a century, if not more.

Agree to disagree. The US and USSR were locked in a Cold War that lasted 50 years, with no end in sight. I well-remember a group of W Germans who came to my High School German class and were asked if they thought if E and W Germany would ever re-unite. Unanimously, they said no.

Revolution (the nonviolent kind) is sudden, and swift. I can cite several examples: end of the English occupation of India; S Africa and apartheid, etc.

Change can occur very rapidly.

One problem is what will happen during this century. Most likely, at least for the first decade or so, sporadic missile attacks and terrorists bombs on the 300 miles from the border or so (technology continues to advance).

Not to mention, the large influx of war-torn refugee's, without a home or hope...perfect candidates for membership in extremist groups.

From a US perspective, such a situation is actually acceptable (though I doubt your fellow Americans would agree considering the number of attacks actually suffered on US soil in the last 300 yrs), the US will probably have much less civilian population along the border, people will move elsewhere. Given the US size -- no problem. For Israel -- this is impossible; we do not have anywhere to run to. Further, 20 Israeli casualties are like ~1,000 American casualties if one can judge life by ratio to total population.

Well, yeah: the hypothetical breaks down when you consider size and population.

A second problem would be the "Mexicans" you are trying to educate will be labeled traitors by their fellow extremist country-men. Those latter are planting bombs in "your" educational and support institutions and continuously hamper your efforts.

You will always have people who are dead set against peace. And sure, there will be setbacks. But, in the end, military options only achieve short-term gains, at best.

Aikido teaches that principle, all too well. You leave someone with an injury: they nurse a grudge. If they can ever return the favor, they will.

At the same time calling "your" institutions an "imperialist attempt to educate us to slavery" they lead populous parades and burn the institutions you have built to the ground.

Two steps forward, for every step back.

* You assumed the "Mexicans" Govt. will cooperate, what happens when the "Mexican" Govt. continuously refuses to cooperate and even start the reconciliation process?
The "Mexican" Govt. refuses to cooperate . It keeps claiming it is too week and is not up to the task of fighting those terrorists. The "Mexican" Govt. actually refuses to condemn the terrorist actions against you. If you listen carefully, you can hear some people admit there are some reasons for this:

Again, some ppl will not be won over. But remember, the US gov't started a lot of its own problems, in the hypothetical. They helped start the Mexican rebel movement. They are the ones taking military aid from the Martian's.

Talking the talk is one thing: but ppl will start to believe, when the "US" walks the walk.

a. A large minority of Mexicans (40%) hate you for deep cultural and religious reasons. The Govt. fears any cooperation with you will make it fall in a democratic fashion.

Which might well happen. Two steps forward: one step back. But, military posturing, invasions and shelling will certainly accomplish one thing--it will make a formerly extremist group be seen as saviours and defenders of their country.

My way would disempower the extremists, at their power-base...force them to wage their own hearts and minds campaign.

And I have historical precedents for this. Britain got NOWHERE trying to strongarm the IRA. Eventually, they saw this and the IRA joined the political arena.

b. The terrorist have some Govt. members. Those members oppose and veto any willingness of the other members to compromise. They are in the Govt. discussion a preferential situation for convincing.

To be expected.

c. Some "Mexican" Govt. members actually fear for their own lives. The terrorists and their supporting countries have already demonstrated their willingness to kill opposing political figures. The international bodies have opened investigations, but have not done anything concrete despite the obvious reasons for the murder.

Terrorists will always be willing to murder ppl opposing their beliefs: no matter what your policy. This fact is immaterial, to the hypothetical.

d. Some of the surrounding south American countries are strongly opposed to you. Those countries have strong connections with the "Mexican" and exert both political pressures on the Govt. They have no qualms about financing opposing institutions and active resistance.

How would you create the initial cooperation?

At last.

One word? Reparations. Free the prisoners. (OK, that was 4 words...sorry :) ).

* After a lot of international pressure, and acknowledging your superior military might. The "Mexican" Govt. actually announces it will cooperate with you. It demands you will respect its sovereignty though. Hence, the "Mexicans" Govt. demands it will manage all the reconciliation efforts on its side of the border.

Your intelligence and the media show the financing you have arranged with the assistance of multiple international bodies is going to building educational institutions, but the curriculum is not conciliatory in nature, but instead, it is 100% anti-American, racist (the white man is responsible for all the problems in the world …) and national. When you try to protest, the "Mexican" Govt. answer they can not interfere due to democratic freedom of speech reasons.

No, that is not the nature of fund-granting organizations (something I know a little about). This wouldn't fly.

The "Mexican" police is very uncooperative, and keeps leaking the information about impending anti-terrorist actions before acting. Thus the terrorists continuously escape. When one of your intelligence sources is identified, he is accused of spying and is sentenced and shot.

And, what was this "intelligence source" doing, spying in a sovereign country, hmm? Pretty suspicious, if you asked me.

Look, when I said we have to get rid of the bomb, the knife, and the gun: I also meant the tit-for-tat spygames. The assassinations, the kidnappings, the extrajudicial detentions: they all gotta stop.

Sure, the US will take some hits in this hypothetical...it's not a perfect, rosy picture...even in a hypothetical. But, this constant war for constant peace is in no way serving anyone, but one group--the warmakers and the warhawks. The "NeoQuarks" benefit, as do Boeing, MacDonnell Douglass, Hallibutron, and Blackwater (in both the hypothetical, and reality), as well as their shareholders. They LOVE war.

After tremendous international pressure, you succeed in forcing the "Mexican" police to arrest several terrorists. They are sentenced within a day, in "Mexico", rather then being extradited as they should have been according to your agreement.

Then, it's time for the "US" to use its considerable influence within the UN. And BTW, Amir: I have to say that you're going a long, long way to attempt to stretch this hypothetical to show that it wouldn't work.

Why the animosity, for an idea proposing peace (and please: don't tell me its been tried before. For every time Israel stretched out its right hand: I can show you an example where it was playing evil, underhanded games, with its left)?

The sentences are disproportional short (2 years for multiple murderers). As if that is not enough, you find out the prisoners are actually held in hotel conditions rather then real arrest -- they may leave as they wish, contact anyone they wish, and get as many visitations as they wish.

2 steps forward: one step back.

You may find out the "Mexican" Govt. is actually using some percentage of the money it has with your assistance, to fund some of the terrorist organizations (those politically favorable).

Public media campaign, and expose, with full UN mandates forthcoming.

Some Govt. members openly admit this and claim they must get those arms to defend against the extremist groups.

Nope, no dice. Peaceful funds for peaceful groups.

Others admit in international media the main purpose is to be ready against your next aggression.

Others will say lots of things: did you think that all enemies would fall down, when the "US" plays nice?

The "Mexican" Govt. continuously blame you for violating your common agreement: not transferring enough funds, trying to influence the funds destination not respecting the agreement with regards to their sovereignty. It also blames you for any act of criminals among the US population who damage a "Mexican". The "Mexican" Govt. is very quick on the trigger of blaming you for any wrong doings one of your border guards has done while searching for terrorists on the border passes.

Assumption, and pure speculation.

If anyone thinks my imagination is that rich. Sorry to disappoint you -- all is taken from

one side of

the ME recent past and was repeated more then once, the last two examples are more or less Lebanon and Palestine.

Somehow, I'm guessing that the full tale hasn't been told...even in your hypothetical. The "US," to this point, hasn't been playing a fair game of peaceful measures: and if you say that they have...again, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

I intentionally painted a very one sided picture.

Glad you admitted it.

The reality that was here was much more complex then that, and would have required a book. Some Israeli Govt. dragged their feet cooperating no less then the other side.

I would agree with you, the US could suffer the transitional phase, which would likely take a century or so, and get the peace. I doubt the US would have acted this way, or any other similar large country I know of. I do know Israel is not capable of sustaining this level of damage for such a duration, hence the attempt to use military force supposedly, the policy is having both the carrot and the stick (as opposed to yur suggestion of carrot only).

Sticks, being much like swords in this example: have two edges; and cut both ways.

I agree the military is not always the right solution, and is used too often. I also agree I do not see enough attempts of the type you have described The carrot is not presented often enough.

And so we DO agree, untimately. Good.

I am also wondering what happens if you find out the "Mexican" population is fanaticly religous and is not willing to accept your existnce and cooperate at any level. I seem to remember you wrote in your Blog about Palestinian Aikidoka being pressured to boycot a friendship meeting you participated in - suppose they would ave refused without any pressure?

OK, Amir, as you said: the ME is a complicated place...even in the most mundane of exchanges. Please don't take a simple exchange out of context, to prove your point.

In that instance, things got WAY out of hand because of something someone said, along the way. I'd prefer not to bring that up, if you don't mind: as it was personally embarrassing (I wasn't the one who misspoke, but I was indirectly responsible), and I'd rather not dwell on mistakes made in the past.

Neil Mick
08-08-2006, 06:11 PM
But look: I'll make this really simple for you, Amir...you don't even HAVE to wrack your brain for RW examples in the ME where peace failed.

I can tell you why the model would fail, in a heartbeat. One, simple word:

Business.

The reason why Hawaii was annexed was over business-interests. United Fruit (I think it was) convinced the US gov't that the Hawaiian gov't was opposed to the US. Almost overnight, the US got annexation-fever.

The same for the ME, and my hypothetical: war is good business for someone.

So: the only way that these methods would TRULY work, is to place human interests, over business. And it won't be easy: remember the Russian coup that took place and almost got Gorbachev deposed? That was from old-guard Russian generals in communique with a few Pentagon warhawks, who didn't want to see an end to the Cold War. You think that these generals didn't have solid ties to the weapons-makers?

They don't call it the military-industrial complex, for nothing. Israel is most definitely tied into the US military-industrial complex. Break that cycle, and you're one step closer to peace in the ME.

Neil Mick
08-08-2006, 06:16 PM
P.S. I have to laugh at the people who come on here and attempt to prove me wrong, via character assassination (e.g., you live in an alternate reality; you're one-sided; you're naive; etc; ad nauseum).

Funny how they don't go after my facts...facts that are universally agreed upon (with, maybe: the exception of Amir...sort of). No, they need to attempt personal attack to tear down my central thesis: that Israel is going down the wrong path, and is committing wholesale human rights violations, in the process.

No one has yet denied or disproven these central points. More like, they've attempted to justify them. Well, when you have everyone from Kofi Annan to Jimmy Carter (of all ppl) to the Pope saying essentially the same thing...well, there you are.

Collective punishment is, in the end: still collective punishment...apologies or no.

P.P.S: Last Saturday, a rally of 5000 Israeli's met in Tel Aviv to protest the invasion of Lebanon. They called on IDF soldiers to refuse orders (gee, do ya wonder if it got front coverage on CNN, or IBA-TV??). Guess I'm not alone, in my "alternate reality," after all. ;)

Mashu
08-08-2006, 06:40 PM
P.P.S: Last Saturday, a rally of 5000 Israeli's met in Tel Aviv to protest the invasion of Lebanon. They called on IDF soldiers to refuse orders (gee, do ya wonder if it got front coverage on CNN, or IBA-TV??). Guess I'm not alone, in my "alternate reality," after all. ;)

I saw that too. Might have been CNN or Euronews. Some of those chicks were hot.



Sorry :)