…you know everything is fubar. I’ll save the author for the end:
No sooner had Hezbollah taken the two Israeli soldiers hostage [Mad Biologist: Eight soldiers were also killed] than Israel unleashed an air war — on Lebanon. The Beirut airport was bombed, its fuel storage tanks set ablaze. The coast was blockaded. Power plants, gas stations, lighthouses, bridges, roads, trucks and buses were all hit with air strikes.
Within 48 hours, it was apparent Israel was exploiting Hezbollah’s attack to execute a preconceived military plan to destroy Lebanon — i.e, the collective punishment of a people and nation for the crimes of a renegade militia they could not control. It was the moral equivalent of a municipal police going berserk, shooting, killing and ravaging an African-American community, because Black Panthers had ambushed and killed cops.
If Israel is not in violation of the principle of proportionality, by which Christians are to judge the conduct of a just war, what can that term mean? There are 600 civilian dead in Lebanon, 19 in Israel, a ratio of 30-1, though Hezbollah is firing unguided rockets, while Israel is using precision-guided munitions.
Thousands of Lebanese civilians are injured. Perhaps 800,000 are homeless.
Yet, whatever one thinks of the morality of what Israel is doing, the stupidity is paralyzing. Instead of maintaining the moral and political high ground it had — when even Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan were condemning Hezbollah, and privately hoping Israel would inflict a humiliating defeat on Nasrallah — Israel launched an air war on an innocent people. Now, 87 percent of Lebanese back Hezbollah, and the entire Arab and Islamic world, Shia and Sunni alike, is rallying behind Nasrallah.
So who’s the author? Patrick Buchanan.
Just how deep does this rabbithole go?
Not that surprising. Buchanan has a fairly long history of looking at Israel critically. One of a very few right wing pundits that doesn’t belong to the Whatever Israel Can Do No Wrong Club.
Pat Buchanan is one of the long time and leading Israel bashers, and borderline antisemite. The attached is an antidote to his tripe.
Blame the terrorists, not Israel
By Alan M. Dershowitz | July 24, 2006
THE HEZBOLLAH and Hamas provocations against Israel once again demonstrate how terrorists can exploit human rights and the media in their attacks on democracies. By hiding behind their own civilians, the Islamic radicals issue a challenge to democracies: Either violate your own morality by coming after us and inevitably killing some innocent civilians, or maintain your morality and leave us with a free hand to target your innocent civilians. This challenge presents democracies such as Israel with a lose-lose option and terrorists with a win-win option.
There is one variable that could change this dynamic and present democracies with a viable option that could make terrorism less attractive as a tactic: The international community, the anti-Israel segment of the media, and human rights organizations should stop falling for this gambit and acknowledge that they are being used to promote the terrorist agenda. Whenever a democracy is presented with the lose-lose option and chooses to defend its citizens by going after the terrorists who are hiding among civilians, this trio of predictable condemners can be counted on by the terrorists to accuse the democracy of “overreaction,” “disproportionality,” and “violations of human rights.” In doing so, they play into the hands of the terrorists and cause more terrorism and more civilian casualties on both sides.
If instead this trio could, for once, be counted on to blame the terrorists for the civilian deaths on both sides, this tactic would no longer be a win-win situation for the terrorists.
It should be obvious by now that Hezbollah and Hamas actually want the Israeli military to kill as many Lebanese and Palestinian civilians as possible. That is why they store their rockets underneath the beds of civilians. That is why they launch their missiles from crowded civilian neighborhoods and hide among civilians. They are seeking to induce Israel to defend its civilians by going after them among their civilian “shields.” They know that every civilian they induce Israel to kill hurts Israel in the media and the international and human rights communities. They regard these human shields as “Shahids,” or martyrs, even if they did not volunteer for the lethal jobs. Under the law, criminals who use human shields are responsible for the deaths of their shields, even if the bullets that kill them come from policemen’s guns.
Israel has every self-interest in minimizing civilian casualties, whereas the terrorists have every self-interest in maximizing them — on both sides. Israel should not be condemned for doing what every democracy would and should do: taking every reasonable military step to stop the killing of their own civilians. Now that some of those who are launching rockets at Israeli cities have announced that they have new surprises in store for Israel that may include chemical and biological weapons, the stakes are even higher. What would Israeli critics regard as “proportioned” to a chemical or biological attack? What would they say if Israel tried to preempt such an attack and, in the process, killed some civilians? Must a democracy absorb a first strike from a weapon of mass destruction before it fights back?
The world must come to recognize the cynical way in which terrorists exploit civilian casualties. They launch antipersonnel rockets designed to maximize enemy civilian deaths, then they cry “human rights” when their own civilians — behind whom they are hiding — are killed by the democracies while trying to prevent further terrorism. The idea that terrorists who use women and children as suicide bombers against other women and children shed crocodile tears over the deaths of civilians whom they deliberately put in harm’s way gives new meaning to hypocrisy. We all know that hypocrisy is a terrorist tactic, but it is shocking that others fall for it and become complicit with the terrorists. Let the blame fall where it belongs: on the terrorists who seek to kill enemy civilians and give democratic enemies little choice but to kill some civilians behind whom the terrorists hide. Those who condemn Israel cause more civilian deaths and make it harder for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank.
How the world reacts to Israel’s military efforts to protect its citizens will have a considerable impact on future Israeli steps toward peace. Prior to the recent kidnappings and rocket attacks, the Israeli government announced its intention to engage in further withdrawals — this time from large portions of the West Bank. Israelis think of it as “land for peace.”
But how can Israel be expected to move forward with any withdrawal plan if all it can expect in return is more terrorism — what the terrorists regard as “land for rocket launchings” — and more condemnation when it seeks to protect its civilians?
Alan Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard and author of “Preemption: A Knife that Cuts Both Ways.”
I call bullshit. If you can figure out where the rockets are coming from, and if you can get your counter-battery fire on-line in time to actually have a chance of catching the hostile units before they retreat, then you can make a case for civilian casualties being ‘collateral damage.’
But there is no way that launching punitive expeditions against a friggin’ airport is a reasonable response to having a couple of rockets lobbed over your borders.
At the moment, Israel is fighting what amounts to an undeclared war, on the thinnest possible casus belli, in the course of which Israel is indiscriminately hitting targets that are of a most questionable military nature, to achive a political goal that has only the most platonic connection to the casus belli.
Maybe someday a situation will arise that’ll make such conduct justifiable. But the smart money says that Hell will have a hockey champion first.
The following is in response to your Israel bashing post.
Those Poor, Innocent Lebanese
By Irwin N. Graulich August 4, 2006
Let me get this straight. You allow one of the largest terrorist organizations in the world to set up shop throughout your country. You permit them to completely take over the entire southern third of your country and you claim to have seen nothing.
You allow the terrorists to build sophisticated, fortified bunkers and you did not see any heavy equipment building them. You allow the Hezbollah terrorists to move into many of your towns and villages, including the complete takeover of one of the largest neighborhoods in Beirut, where they proceed to build numerous, complex command and control centers … and you claim ignorance.
You allow the terrorists to store weapons, bombs and rockets in your basements. You turn a blind’s eye when they carry arms into your restaurants, stores and buildings. Yet you call yourself an “innocent civilian.”
You sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas. You sleep with missiles, you wake up dead.
You watch the parades with hundreds of thousands of participants including children screaming, “Jihad. Death to Israel, Jews and Americans,” burning American and Israeli flags. Goose-stepping soldiers with Nazi-like salutes receive your cheers–and all of you “innocent civilians” did not see a thing (even though you were captured on videotape).
There are giant posters of the rubenesque terrorist leader, Hasan Nasrallah, all over Lebanon with headlines declaring the imminent destruction of Israel. Yet you choose to elect this terrorist party to your government–and all of the so called “innocent Lebanese” do not know anything about anything.
Twenty thousand rockets and launchers are shipped into your country along with other military equipment by plane, truck and ship, and the government industrial complex knew absolutely nothing; and neither did all those “poor, innocent civilians” who are now crying.
The Lebanese “knowingly allowed (aka aided and abbetted)” murderous terrorists to proliferate in their sovereign nation. Like spoiled teenagers, they now refuse to take any responsibility. Of course there are some truly innocent civilians, but there were hundreds of thousands of beautiful German babies and mothers in Dresden and Berlin who were blown to bits. If an attack emanates from your country, the entire country is responsible. That is how life works. Sometimes it is unfair.
I hate when people lie to my face and expect me to believe their vile fabrications. Does the Muslim world really think that the vast majority of Americans are that foolish? Only the quislings at CNN like Larry King, Nic Robertson, Wolf Blitzer, et al will fall for this Joseph Goebbels-style propaganda.
The confused, immoral left and their paper of record, The New York Times only see “innocent civilians throughout Lebanon.” Europe, that moral bastion which gave birth to Nazism, will look at photos of men, women and children in despair, without putting the image into its proper context. Yet countries like Sweden, Switzerland and Ireland, who could not decide whether to support Hitler or Churchill during WWII, can drum up the moral authority to criticize Israel today. And leave it to Vichy, France 2006 headed by Jaques “Petain” Chirac to condemn Israel’s response.
Seeing television snippets of wounded or dead Lebanese with people sitting on the ground crying and calling them all “innocent civilians” is the same as looking at a photograph of the armpit of Christie Brinkley and saying, “Here is the photo of a supermodel. Isn’t she beautiful?” The armpit picture is only a part of the story. When human beings see babies or mothers hurting, no matter what, we feel the pain. If we saw baby pictures of Charles Manson, we would want to cuddle him.
We cannot look at photos of so-called “innocent civilians” in a vacuum. It is important for all “moral, decent” human beings to realize that the compassion emotion is similar to the sex emotion. Often times, it interferes with truth, logic and morality.
Listen up, all you “Innocent Lebanese along with your innocent, Hezbollah supporting government.” Do you want to know why your towns, villages and cities are smoldering? Do you want to know why 800,000 people are homeless and 600 are dead? Do you want to know why your infrastructure is devastated?
The answer is: “The Jews are simply not going to pack up their little valises and walk into gas chambers again. The Jews will not be taken from their homes and marched into the Mediterranean Sea by Nazis or Hezbollah-Hamas-Syrian-Iranian, Nazi-like sympathizers.
The Jews in Israel or anywhere else are just not going to allow themselves to be shipped away like you dream about every day. Attention all radical Muslims throughout the entire world and Jacques Chirac. The Jews will not be walking into death camps or graves ever again, and if you dare try it, Qana, Tyre, Nabatiyeh, Bint Jbeil, Kounine, Beit Yahoun, Rashaya, Baalbek, Majdel Zoun, Ayt-a-Shab, etc. will all look a whole lot worse than Dresden and Berlin. And Beirut may in the end become hotter than Hiroshima.
Attention Lebanon–your country is smoldering because Jews are sick and tired of being murdered. You keep pushing those pathetic, weak, Torah studying Jews by using terrorism and kidnapping soldiers and all, yes all, of Lebanon will be smoldering.
I urge any person that will be having dinner with Sayed Hassan Nesrallah, the big fat brave man hiding in his little rat hole while his fighters are being picked off like little olives on a tree, to make sure his life insurance is fully paid.
Nasrallah is just a pimp for Iran, sending out his Hezbollah terrorist hookers to “screw the Jews.” The amazing thing is that Iran is not an Arab country. They should not be involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. They do not border Israel, so there is no Iranian territorial dispute where they claim, like everyone else, that Israel occupies their land. Yet, Ahmadinejad’s (pronounced–“a mad dog on Jihad”) hatred for Jews and Israel rivals that of Adolf Hitler.
It is no wonder that the Iranian president feels this way. Israel is supreme in virtually every area–technically, militarily, scientifically, culturally, morally and religiously. Each attempt by macho Muslim/Arab countries to destroy Israel has been met with a totally devastating, humiliating defeat. Like Saddam, the skinny little Ahmadinejad aspires to be the big hero of the Muslim world.
Ahmadinejad should not be deluded into thinking that he will get off as lightly as the Lebanese. He does not comprehend is that Israel will not use a tongue depressor when they capture him and his associates. Should Iran dare make one wrong move on Israel, Israel will simply “Beat the Shiite out of them!
So you continuously post articles written by others that repeat Israeli state-terrorist propaganda as a half-assed “response”? What’s the matter, can’t think for yourself? I don’t even know where to start with that utterly hateful and inhumane tripe except to note that it was obviously written by a monster with the exact same mindset as Osama bin Laden. That’s something you apparently share.
Also, it’s interesting to note how your first article completely contradicts the message of your second article. Dersho(lack-of)witz is arguing that Israel is doing all it can to avoid civilian casualties, the other idiot is claiming that Israel isn’t and that the civilians deserve it. Get your Israel-can-do-no-wrong message straight before commiting to it.
You have made a good point relative to posting articles by other people who obviously disagree with you. Therefore, I will take this opportunity to respond to your Israel bashing as follows.
The issue of proportionality is a phony issue. There is no such thing. There is only winning and losing and proportionality is for losers. The problem here, both in Lebanon and in Iraq is the timidity of the US, British, and Israeli governments and their obsession with the avoidance of causing collateral damage. Roosevelt and Churchill, during WW 2 did not at all concern themselves with collateral damage. Had they done so, Mr. Hitler might well have witnessed the trimumphal march of his SS legions through the streets of London, not to mention Washington D. C, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston while Mr. Tojo might well have witnessed the triumphal march of his legions through the streets of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. It is long past time for the three musketeers, Bush, Blair, and Olmert to cast aside their aversion to collateral damage and start behaving like Churchill and Roosevelt. Churchill and Roosevelt won their war, the three musketeers are losing theirs. And don’t tell me that there is a difference between these wars and WW 2. Hizbollah, Hamas and Amadinejad are every bit as evil as Hitler and Tojo, and will only cease their agression when they have been planted 6 feet under.
First of all, a little historical background. Hitler, who was fighting a two-front war against the British and the Russians and already had his armies overstretched from Urey to the Balkans, not to mention couldn’t even get his navy accross the english channel in the Battle of Britain, couldn’t possibly have sustained an invasion of the continental United States when the two were separated by an entire ocean. Second of all, the fact that the practice of collective punishment was carried out to some extent during WW2 (over 60 years ago) doesn’t automatically justify it. In WW2, Roosevelt also propped up Joseph Stalin, a man who commited even worse murders than Hitler, and basically handed him over half of formerly Nazi occupied territory. Is this, in your mind, justified?
And one final question: what is the line of demarcation that makes those Aye-Rabs evil and Israel good? Is it something substantive or is it just the fact that they’re a bunch of “terrorist lovin’ rag-heads”?
1. The line of demarcation is that Hizbollah delibertely and with malice aforethough murdered 247 US marines in Lebanon in 1983 with a homicide bomb attack (yes, I know you will bring up the incident of the USS Liberty; should you do so, I will discuss that at that time). In addition, Mr. Amadinezad has as recently as Saturday, called to the elimination of the State of Israel. To my knowledge, Israel has not called for the elimination of the
State of Iran. Furthermore, it was 19 Aye-rabs who flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, not 19 Israelis.
2. Your analysis of the issues related to WW 2 leave much to be desired. First of all, Hitler came very close to eliminating the Soviet Union from the war in 1941. Had he paid some attention to his generals, particularly Guderian, he might well have accomplished this feat. Second of all, his failure to invade and eliminate Great Britain was due to the fact that he never seriously considered doing so. In addition, in the air bombardment of Great Britain in 1940, he made several strategic and planning errors. In particular, are the failure to take out the radar stations and the failure to build a fleet of 4 engine heavy bombers. Had he not made these errors, he might well have sucessfully carried out an invasion in 1940. Removal of Great Britain and the Soviet Union from the war, both of which could have been pulled off, would have left him in a position to build a large navel force, including aircraft carriers, which, given the threat from Japan would have placed the US in a precarious position.
3. Roosevelt and Churchill propped up Stalin for the very good reason that he was considered the lesser of the two evils. There can be no question that Hitler was the more dangereous of the two men because of his messianic complex which convinced him that he was destined to rule the world. Fortunately, Stalin lacked that complex, although he was, like Hitler, a sociopath and a megalomanic.
1. I hardly see why that should be the line of demarcation I am looking for. I am asking why you pretentiously throw around labels like “evil” with reference to everyone in the middle east but Israel. To start with, if the second article you posted in any way reflects the views of Israel (not saying it does, though I find it naturally hard to believe that all but few in Israel are as shockingly barbaric as the author of it is), then I fail to see how the mentality sets them apart from OBL or Zawahiri. And btw, Marines are considered valid military targets in a state of warfare (such as when a soverign nation is invaded by a foreign power). They can hardly be equated the 600 (nearly all) civilian deaths in Lebanon. And if you want to talk about murder, the U.S. has been enabling some of the most murderous regimes in the middle east for the better part of the post WW2 era. Remember, it was us who turned a blind-eye to Saddam’s slaughter and installed the murderous Shah of Iran, to name a few.
2. Yes, historical retrospection can inform us that if literally everything had gone right for Hitler that he may have defeated Britain and Russia and may have then been in a position to cross the Atlantic and invade the continental U.S.. My analysis is only that after his defeats in the battles of Britain and Stalingrad respectively he had lost any possible chance of being in a position to cross the Atlantic and invade north America. Also, the battle of Britain was decided by Hitler’s loss in the air-campaign, but even if they had been defeated Hitler would have had to deal with the Royal Navy upon ground invasion. Yes, they wouldn’t have had the air cover, but faced with the prospect of an invasion of the British Isles I find it hard to believe that they would stayed in dock. And there is also some question of whether a ground invasion of America would have been successful. Witness our failures in Korea, Vietnam and now Iraq and Afghanistan along with the Soviet Unions failure to successfully occupy Afghanistan. All small countries and all virtually without resources, and yet they managed to either hold up or drive out occupying forces. Now imagine what an occupying army would have faced in the very large, very rich and well armed continental U.S. None of this matters however, as “argumentum ad worlwartwoum” doesn’t automatically validate war crimes.
3. Yes, perhaps he was the “lesser of the two evils” for more than the reason that he wasn’t part of the axis at the time of U.S. intervention, but that doesn’t matter. And there may be a perfectly good explanation as to why, after German surrender, he was simply allowed to keep his recently “liberated” eastern Europe. I’m asking you to clearly provide the moral line of demarcation that makes Israel inherently more moral than it’s Arab neighbors, this observation was only meant to throw a monkeywrench in your co-opting Roosevelt and Churchill to demonstrate the inherent morality of Israel’s slaughter of Lebanese civlians.
I call Godwin. And I call bullshit, too. The premise of SLC’s second article is wholly fallacious.
Speaking of a ‘Lebanese government’ is a sick joke. The country hasn’t had an independent government since, what? ’75 or something? In case you failed to notice, there was this little civil war going on right up until 16 years ago.
A civil war that broke out, as it happens, when the US and Israel decided to back the phalangists in their putsch against the PLO (the phalangists are the guys with the nazi-like salute, by the way, not Hezbollah).
The militias from that civil war were never disarmed, and probably have more weapons than the official government. The government which was, by the way, run from Damaskus until less than a year ago.
To blame a government that has existed for less than a year, in a country effectively run by militia leftovers from a civil war started by the very countries doing the blaming takes a very special kind of outlook… I believe the Yiddish word for that outlook is chutzpah.
Since Tyler has done such an excellent job of demolishing the fallacious WWII analogy, I have little to add: Only that both the scope and the nature of the conflict was radically different.
During WWII, crippling the German and Japanese military-industrial complex was essential to eliminating their war-fighting capabilities. Lebanon has no war-fighting capabilities to eliminate, and hence the destruction of its military-industrial complex (such as it is and what there is of it) is questionable at best.
WWII was also fought between highly centralised countries – i.e. countries where the government actually had more and better guns than the population.
Now, on to the ‘line of demarcation’ that’s supposed to convince us that Israel does no wrong in bombing Lebanese civilians:
There was a civil war going on. The US was supporting the other guys. To argue that it is a heinious and unforgivable crime comparable to the holocaust to kill uniformed soldiers, deployed into a warzone by a country that takes an active part in the ongoing war, displays a pronounced degree of hypocricy.
Which relates to Lebanon precisely how?
More specifically, it was 19 Saudis, trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan, recruited in Germany and operating out of Hamburg.
This still has nothing whatsoever to do with Lebanon.
Oh, and just to add this extra little touch of irony to SLC’s Ahmedinejad reference, Iran is not an Arabian country.
1. I never said everybody in the Arab world was evil. I specifically said that Hamas, Hizbollah, and Amadinejad were evil. They do not represent everybody in the Arab world. By the way, even though Iran is not an Arab state, Amadinejad is attempting to dominate the Arab world through alliances with his fellow Shiite Moslems. This is why the other Arab governmenst were reluctant to to criticise Israel too vigorously at first. The reason that they have become more strident of late is not because of Israeli tactics; its because, contrary to their expectations, Israel has failed to win.
2. The notion that everything had to go right for Hitler is complete balderdash. Hitler lost because of his mistakes and errors in judgement, not because “everything didn’t go right.”
3. Unfortunately, the views expressed in Mr. Graulichs’ column do not reflect the views of most Israelis. Most of the population of Israel, as reflected by the votes received by the Labor party and Kadima, still believe that somehow appeasement will solve their problems. Like Peretz and Olmert, they suffer from Chamberlains’ disease.
4. Concerning the civilian deaths in Lebanon, the Lebanese are fortunate that the late Hafaz Assad, the dictator of Syria is not the head of the Israeli government. Back in 1982, when faced with Islamic extremists in the city of Hama, Assad surrounded the city with hundreds of artillary pieces and initiated a bombardment which lasted several days. Unlike the IDF, he had no interest in preventing collateral damage and in fact an estimated 20000 people were killed, most of them innocent civilians. This is referred to in Thomas Friedmans’ book, “From Beirut to Jerusalem” as Hama rules. Olmert has a long way to go to catch up with Assad in the butchery department.
1. This individual apparently thinks its okay to kill American marines. I am afraid that my reaction is quite different. People who kill American soldiers are no damn good.
2. The conflict in Lebanon relates to Iran because Hizbollah is a wholly owned subsidirary of Iran and is following their instructions. Hizbollah, by its own rhetoric is 100% in agreement with Amadinejad.
3. The statement that Germany/Japan in WW 2 are different then Lebanon is completely irrelevent. The object of both WW 2 and the current activity in Lebanon is exactly the same, namely winning. One doen’t win by fighting with both hands tied behind ones back. One wins by using both fists and hitting as hard as possible.
4. I would agree that much of the Israeli air compaign is ill directed. In that regard, I agree with Colonel Peters and Charles Krauthammer who have heavily critized Olmert for trying to win the war on the cheap. The problem here is similar to the problem faced by the US in Iraq. Both the IDF and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are headed by air force officers who are enamored with smart munitions. They have forgotten (if they ever knew) that wars are won by grunts on the ground.
5. Are you now claiming that Saudis arn’t Aye-rabs?
6. Are you now claiming that the PLO is an indigenous Lebanese faction? The fact of the matter is that the PLO was just as foreign to Lebanon as Syria, Israel, and the US. The civil war in Lebanon erupted because the private militia attached to the PLO did not have Lebanons’ interest at heart but were using Lebanon as a base to continue their war with Israel, just as they had previously used Jordan, prior to Black September (by the way, the number of Palestinians killed in Black September exceeds the number killed during the current intifada). Removal of the PLO was clearly in the best interest of Lebanon.
‘Disproportionate’ in What Moral Universe?
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, July 28, 2006; A25
What other country, when attacked in an unprovoked aggression across a recognized international frontier, is then put on a countdown clock by the world, given a limited time window in which to fight back, regardless of whether it has restored its own security?
What other country sustains 1,500 indiscriminate rocket attacks into its cities — every one designed to kill, maim and terrorize civilians — and is then vilified by the world when it tries to destroy the enemy’s infrastructure and strongholds with precision-guided munitions that sometimes have the unintended but unavoidable consequence of collateral civilian death and suffering?
To hear the world pass judgment on the Israel-Hezbollah war as it unfolds is to live in an Orwellian moral universe. With a few significant exceptions (the leadership of the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and a very few others), the world — governments, the media, U.N. bureaucrats — has completely lost its moral bearings.
The word that obviates all thinking and magically inverts victim into aggressor is “disproportionate,” as in the universally decried “disproportionate Israeli response.”
When the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, it did not respond with a parallel “proportionate” attack on a Japanese naval base. It launched a four-year campaign that killed millions of Japanese, reduced Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki to cinders, and turned the Japanese home islands into rubble and ruin.
Disproportionate? No. When one is wantonly attacked by an aggressor, one has every right — legal and moral — to carry the fight until the aggressor is disarmed and so disabled that it cannot threaten one’s security again. That’s what it took with Japan.
Britain was never invaded by Germany in World War II. Did it respond to the Blitz and V-1 and V-2 rockets with “proportionate” aerial bombardment of Germany? Of course not. Churchill orchestrated the greatest air campaign and land invasion in history, which flattened and utterly destroyed Germany, killing untold innocent German women and children in the process.
The perversity of today’s international outcry lies in the fact that there is indeed a disproportion in this war, a radical moral asymmetry between Hezbollah and Israel: Hezbollah is deliberately trying to create civilian casualties on both sides while Israel is deliberately trying to minimize civilian casualties, also on both sides.
In perhaps the most blatant terror campaign from the air since the London Blitz, Hezbollah is raining rockets on Israeli cities and villages. These rockets are packed with ball bearings that can penetrate automobiles and shred human flesh. They are meant to kill and maim. And they do.
But it is a dual campaign. Israeli innocents must die in order for Israel to be terrorized. But Lebanese innocents must also die in order for Israel to be demonized, which is why Hezbollah hides its fighters, its rockets, its launchers, its entire infrastructure among civilians. Creating human shields is a war crime. It is also a Hezbollah specialty.
On Wednesday CNN cameras showed destruction in Tyre. What does Israel have against Tyre and its inhabitants? Nothing. But the long-range Hezbollah rockets that have been raining terror on Haifa are based in Tyre. What is Israel to do? Leave untouched the launch sites that are deliberately placed in built-up areas?
Had Israel wanted to destroy Lebanese civilian infrastructure, it would have turned out the lights in Beirut in the first hour of the war, destroying the billion-dollar power grid and setting back Lebanon 20 years. It did not do that. Instead it attacked dual-use infrastructure — bridges, roads, airport runways — and blockaded Lebanon’s ports to prevent the reinforcement and resupply of Hezbollah. Ten thousand Katyusha rockets are enough. Israel was not going to allow Hezbollah 10,000 more.
Israel’s response to Hezbollah has been to use the most precise weaponry and targeting it can. It has no interest, no desire to kill Lebanese civilians. Does anyone imagine that it could not have leveled south Lebanon, to say nothing of Beirut? Instead, in the bitter fight against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, it has repeatedly dropped leaflets, issued warnings, sent messages by radio and even phone text to Lebanese villagers to evacuate so that they would not be harmed.
Israel knows that these leaflets and warnings give the Hezbollah fighters time to escape and regroup. The advance notification as to where the next attack is coming has allowed Hezbollah to set up elaborate ambushes. The result? Unexpectedly high Israeli infantry casualties. Moral scrupulousness paid in blood. Israeli soldiers die so that Lebanese civilians will not, and who does the international community condemn for disregarding civilian life?
Tyler and I can hardly be said to be at fault for not noticing that, seing as you refer to 9/11 in your justification for the ongoing campaign against Hezbollah and Lebanon. For your information, 9/11 has less than nothing to do with Lebanon, even less to do with Hezbollah, and had no Iranian connection whatsoever.
I suppose you have some intelligence that you’d like to share that happens to support that view.
A more likely explaination is that what started out as a normal incident along the Israeli-Lebanese border was escalated into something resembling a war. Obviously, criticism intensifies when one side unilaterally escalates the conflict in this fashion.
Hitler lost because he attacked Russia. Perhaps the Germans could have taken Moscow. Maybe even Stalingrad and Leningrad. But recall that by that point, half the Russian industrial complex was tucked away behind the Ural range and the infrastructure and industry further west was demolished. If you call taking the 4 or 5 major cities in western Russia a victory, sure, the Germans could have won – maybe.
One last note on the European theatre: While estimates obviously vary wildly, most credible historians hold that the bombing campaign over Germany had only minor effect on the German military-industrial complex, and did not seriously impede their war-fighting abilities.
And when you come right down to it, the fighting in the European theatre was decided at Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad – and it was decided in ’41 through ’43 – before and during the initial phases of the Allied air war on Germany. After Stalingrad – up to which point the Allies had played virtually no telling part in the war in Europe, Germany had lost the war and was in full retreat.
On another note, though, it is utterly ridiculous to presume that the pacific front was decided by the willingness of the Allies to accept collateral damage. The Pacific theatre was primarily a naval and airial theatre – by the time the bombers reached the Japanese Home Islands, Japan’s war-fighting ability had been decimated.
Leaving aside for the moment that two wrongs do not make one right, and the fact that noting that your allies compare favorably to murderous dictators might be kind of counterproductive in convincing people that your allies are Good Guys, the Lebanese in question should also be happy that they were not living in Fallujah in the closing months of ’04…
I smell special pleading.
It continues to amaze me that Americans can and do support the deployment of their uniformed personnel to combat zones with explicit mandate to shoot and kill combatants of one or more side(s) of the combat in question, and still put up a show of deeply felt moral outrage when those people your soldiers were sent explicitly to kill have the temerity to actually shoot back.
Hezbollah recieves funding from Iran. Whether the funding comes from official sources or non-government fundraising is disputed.
The Colombian Contras recieved substantial funding from the US. Does that make the Contras a ‘wholly owned subsidiary’ of the US State Department?
Al Qaida has recieved prodigous funding, training and logistical support from the US. Does that make Al Qaida a ‘wholly owned subsidiary’ of the US State Department?
This is the fundamental problem with the Israeli approach.
‘Winning’ in the context of war, is usually defined as achieving one’s political and diplomatic objectives through the application of military force.
In the current war, Israel’s declared political and diplomatic objectives are the cessation of attacks by Hezbollah upon Israel and the support of the Lebanese government in the suppression of Hezbollah.
Leaving aside for the moment the fact that further destabilising the Lebanese government is unlikely to render them capable of, much less willing to, suppress Hezbollah, it is highly questionable whether the cessation of Hezbollah attacks can be achieved through military means.
Hezbollah is not a standing army that can be destroyed on the field of battle. It is a political movement as much as a guerillia force.
Uprooting an entire political party that has obtained entrenched support from the local population has never been achieved through a military campaign that did not end in the occupation of the defeated country.
Which leaves Israel with basically four options.
Option #1: Israel can move in, occupy Lebanon and carry out a de-Hezbollahfication of the Lebanese political structure (which, judging by the lessons of Germany takes about 20 years, relative stability, massive economic aid and an external enemy to rally the population against.
Israel cannot afford 20 years of continued occupation. The region is anything but stable, Israel is both unwilling and incapable of providing the requisite economic aid, and Israel is the biggest external enemy the Lebanese rally against.
Option #2: Israel can massacre the population of Lebanon.
It should be intuitively obvious why this is historically, politically, morally and strategically impossible.
Option #3: Israel can continue to their present shock and awe tactics.
Shock and awe tactics don’t work. Never have, never will.
Option #4: Israel can accept that terrorism will be a fact of life for the forseeable future no matter what they do and move on from that point towards a negotiated resolution of the disputes they have with their neighbouring countries.
Such a resolution will necessarily include Israel ceding Gaza and the West Bank in their entirety and probably a Cypern-like solution for Jerusalem. It will also have to include massive rebuilding of and industrial aid to their neighbours.
Options # 1, 2 and 4 are at the moment politically unacceptable for Israel. Option #3 is strategically untenable.
Are you claiming that Saudis are Lebanese? Canadians are, technically speaking, Americans. Does that mean that the clusterfuck that passes for current US foreign and domestic policy should reflect upon Canada?
Conversely, while Saudis are indeed Arabs, it is utterly unreasonable to associate a Saudi attack, carried out by people who were predominantly Sunnis with the actions of a Shi’ite militia in a wholly different country.
Considering that there were massive camps of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, it does not seem a stretch to claim that the PLO was, indeed, an ‘indigenous Lebanese faction.’ Whether the PLO had legitimate interests in Lebanon is possibly another queston, but that hardly has any bearing on who started the war.
Woah, woah, woah… Hold your horses here… You’re saying that since the PLO commenced operations against Israel while based in Lebanon, they were gambling with the security of the Lebanese, because someone might decide to invade Lebanon or stir up trouble. Well, I can certainly follow you so far.
But then you say that starting a civil war in Lebanon with the objective to evict the PLO was in the best interest of the Lebanese. That’s were the wheels come off.
If the greatest threat the PLO posed to the Lebanese was dragging them into a war with Israel, then you can hardly say that starting a war in Lebanon to get rid of the PLO did Lebanon any favors…
That’s kinda like saying that walking around in a slummy neighbourhood wearing expensive jewels is a Bad Idea, because someone might stick you up, and then claiming that the guy who does stick you up and takes your jewels did you a favour, because now you no longer risk a stick-up.
That’s probably the furthest-out of all the far-out fallacies I’ve ever seen. It’s so far out that I don’t even know what it’s called.
1. Your claim that attacking Russia was the cause of Hitlers defeat is half true. His attack on Russia failed because he failed, through gross errors in judgements to eliminate Great Britain before attacking Russia (in addition, of course, to foolishly allowing Japan to involve in prematurely in a war with the US).
2. Your claim that, even if the Wermacht had taken Moscow, Hitler would have lost the war shows your ignorance of the fact that all the lateral railways in the Soviet Union ran through Moscow. Taking Moscow would have prevented Stalin from swiftly providing reinforcements to counter evolving threats both South and North of Moscow.
3. The 247 US Marines were not killed in combat. They were killed by a homicide bomber. I stand by my statement, people who kill American troops are no damn good and people who make excuses for people who kill American troops are also no damn good.
4. The effectiveness of the strategic bombing campaign over Germany is a controversial subject. There have been a great number of books, articles and treatises written on the subject. To state that the German war production was as great after, say, the middle of 1943 as it had been previously is misleading. It has been shown that during the first 2 – 3 years of the war, the fraction of German industrial production devoted to war production was much lower then in the final 3 years of the war, particularly after the weight of the US contribution began to make itself felt.
4. I stand by my previous statement that the PLO was a foreign element in Lebanon which was based there because it had been kicked out of Jordon during Black September. You apparently think that it was perfectly OK for the PLO to launch attacks against Israeli targets from Lebanon, regardless of the wishes of the Lebanese Government or voting population. I can assure you that if a terrorist organization starting using Mexico as a base to attack targets in the US, the Mexicans could expect the arrival of the 1st infantry division in record time.
5. Your statement that Japans’ war fighting capabilities had been decimated before the strategic bombing campaign (particularly the B 29 raids) began ignores the fact that Japan was prepared to fight to the last man to repel an invasion. Only the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the fear that there was more where that came from convinced the Japanese Government to surrender unconditionally.
6. Hizbollah and Iran, indeed had no direct connection with 9/11. However, they are a part of the Islamic terrorist organizations who have declared war on the West. They all have to be defeated.
A short message of support fot Hamas, Hezbollah, and indeed the Persians, and anyone who joins in the fight against the Ashkenazis as they persue their gross atacks against the Jews, who DNA analysis shows are the Palestinians.
I trust SLC will be inside a Merk when it is popped by a Metis-M. HA dont even need to use their Kornets. The IDF are too timid to go down the tunnels.