The tide turns

30 Jul, '06

Some say that this war is much more than meets the eye, as it is in reality not more than a political game increasingly looking like being played by amateurs at the expense of the hapless Lebanese, caught in the middle, and are paying for it with their lives, property and a whole country’s infrastructure, all of which have just been repaired and were raring to go!

Alas, dumb conspirators think that they can force through their “New Middle East” child by allowing battles like these to continue unchecked, and allow more children to be slaughtered, and have the temerity to characterise what is happening now as nothing more than birth pangs!

If and when this “New Middle East” is ever born, it will be no more than an ill-formed aborted foetus.

To me Israel has already lost the war; while the winner is already determined regardless of military outcome. Joining Israel’s loss are its new and old friends: Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

The winners in the world’s public opinion is Nasrallah and his Hizballah who have already achieved what the Muslim Nation could not throughout its more than 1400 years history. Could such an outcome be comparable to that other battle in which another son of the Prophet laid down his and his companions’ lives in a just stance for truth, against a vastly superior army?

That’s for history to decide.

Today; however, all Muslims are virtually a single sect, today all Muslims are Hizballah!

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Comments (169)

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  1. Mike C says:

    How could Israel not know what the outcome would be? Tragic and astonishing, at the same time……

  2. abdalla says:

    amen mahmood.
    for once, someone has the balls to openly support what’s right.

  3. Wog Blogger says:

    Hey Mahmood. Man, this is one depressing post to read.
    If even you, a Muslim man with a lovely family who likes his formula one and his tech stuff, and who can spot a hypocrit in his own Bahraini parliament, can happily declare yourself are on the side of Hezbollah – Hezbollah, a terrorist organisation that started this whole freakin’ warflash, who are poof hating women oppressing Islamic fundamentalist fascists and terrorists, who do nothing for Lebanon (shove the hospitals, man the only reason they build is cos they won’t let anyone else into sthern lebanon) except give it a lousy name internationally, if even you can think Hezbollah is a side worth being on, then it’s not just crazy Muslims like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah (or Hizbollah) it’s moderate Muslims too.
    In which case I have a bunch of confidence in saying every non-Muslim person on earth – Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Hindu, Shinto, Atheist Agnostic etc etc – is an Israeli today.
    I reckon you’re on the losing side, Mahmood.
    I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.
    I think the reason there is no ceasefire is the rest of us watching are happy for the Israelis to take out Hezbollah and any civilians used by Hezbollah to shield their mafia-like activities as well. yes, civilians.
    Cos you see, we’ve been listening to crazy Muslims for years now, always ‘death to Israel, Death to America’ ‘From the River to the sea…’ ‘The Holocaust wasn’t really that bad’ ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ etc etc and now even you are buying into it.
    That’s why on balance the rest of the world doesn’t really care much when a mideasterner is killed.
    For us, it’s actually one less terrorist or one less self-pitier blaming everything on the jews.
    Sorry man. This comment, – which is written with the saem passions as your post, I think – seems awful, I acknowledge that it is awful.
    But you mideast guys just bring it on yourselves.
    Why aren’t you angry at Hezbollah? No need to answer. You’re not angry at them because you think it is a decent thing for them to ignore their govt, cross into Israel in an act of war and to attack Israel, kill soldiers and hold others to ransom.
    And don’t think I am not familiar with the commonly self-pitying mideast response “but Israel too the shebaa farms and has prisoners blah blah blah…..”. It is not even remotely the same. Israel has been the target of annihalation repeatedly, and still is. Israle isn’t trying to say Lebanon shouldn’t exist. Hezbollah on the other hand – the team you support – wants Israel totally gone.
    You and me are very far apart, man. What a depressing post.

  4. tooners says:

    Have you read any of the blogs about what Hezbollah is doing to the ppl of Lebanon? How ppl are afraid or were or still are afraid to leave their houses because of them and such? How they’ve killed innocent civilians and such – the Lebanese?

    I don’t support what Israel is doing nor do I agree w/ it but I also think that Hezbollah is wrong.

    But they are stronger now than before and it will only get worse. This stuff will never stop because of pride and revenge. It’s sad.

  5. jasra jedi says:

    Wog Blogger, Tooners

    Before you get on Mahmood’s case, a few points.

    Hizbollah was wrong to provoke the IDF.

    However,

    The completely disproportionate response of Israel (with full support of the US), the bombing of Qana right before a potential ceasefire, and the ensuring riots of Beirutis in Beirut against the UN and the statements that the Israelis have been making all along tells me that:

    1. Israel was going to go after Hizbollah at some point or another. Irrespective of who provoked who.

    2. Hizbollah is considered a terrorist organization only by Israel and the US. Not by the rest of the world. And like it or not, she is a legitimate player in the current Lebanese government. Deal with it.

    3. Whether Hizbollah played by Israeli rules or not, Israel’s real objective in this war is wo fold: weaken Hizbollah, and ensuring that any ceasefire involves discussions with Iran and Syria.

    4. Israel chose to use Lebanon as the battleground for this war. Without giving a damn about the Lebanese. (Look at Qana)

    So, as a liberal Arab myself who might even come to the left of Mahmood, I have to concur with him that Israel has already lost this war. As has the US. And Hizbollah has managed to gain eveyone’s respect because it is becoming very very very obvious that Israel does not want a ceasefire that is not going to involve the disarmament of Hisbollah as guaranteed by Iran and Syria.

    Israel does not give a hoot about Lebanon. So any premature blame on blaming Hizbollah for the start of these hostilites is now beginning to shift .. did you see the Lebanese riots against the UN?

    Israel will not leave until she gets what she wants. An excuse to bring Iran and Syria down to heel. Which is why the Lebanese finally told Condi that she wasnt welcome any more. The real reason for the war has emerged.

    I think the Israelis knew this would happen. I dont think the Americans did. Bush Jr never had the intellectual curiosity to travel abroad before he became President. Now, the world will pay a price for the ignorance and arrogance of the US administration.

    God help us all.

  6. Loki says:

    I think the tide is turning too. The main loser ofcourse if Lebanon which is being bombed back into time. The other loser will be Israel. They don’t get it, you can’t beat down HizbaLlah with military power. This invasion has done for Israel exactly what the Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have done for the US. Create more enemies.

  7. Polemicist says:

    When I read Mahmood’s post and his last sentence “all Muslims are virtually a single sect, today all Muslims are Hizballah!”, I got the impression that he was making an observation about what is taking place in the world, rather than stating his own personal opinion about the legitimacy of Hezbollah.

    And I agree. This war has made Nasrallah a hero for not only Shia, but Sunni Muslims around the world. This is what I think Mahmood meant when he said that Nasrallah has won.

  8. M says:

    Mahmood,

    Now I am really confused. Every Muslim is a member of Hezbollah? This is a religious thing? Makes what Steve the American said right all along doesn’t it? I have wondered if he has been rolling on the floor laughing at the Nazi post with Ibn, and I am sure this one will send him over the edge.
    It is indeed sad that the Arab world, and now apparently the entire Muslim world, would side with Hezbollah. Must be more of that tribalism and my enemy stuff you talked about the other day. Not withstanding that, that is no reason the rest of the world has to sink or operate on the same level. I do understand it after reading the comments on your blogs over the last week; they have been very enlightening in many ways. I hope I can keep an open mind, but it gets harder and harder to do so I can understand the enemy stuff.

    I agree the tide has turned, but in my opinion, it is not Israel or America who have lost, because they were never in the game to begin with were they? Unfortunately, it is the people of the ME, who had made great progress in reversing the status quo, that have lost the most. No double standards; they have allowed themselves to be played and sided with the home team, and now are stuck for a very long time with their home boys controlling their destiny. Too sad.

    jasra jedi

    “The completely disproportionate response of Israel (with full support of the US)
    1. Israel was going to go after Hizbollah at some point or another. Irrespective of who provoked who.
    2. Hizbollah is considered a terrorist organization only by Israel and the US. Not by the rest of the world. And like it or not, she is a legitimate player in the current Lebanese government. Deal with it.
    3. Whether Hizbollah played by Israeli rules or not, Israel’s real objective in this war is wo fold: weaken Hizbollah, and ensuring that any ceasefire involves discussions with Iran and Syria.
    4. Israel chose to use Lebanon as the battleground for this war. Without giving a damn about the Lebanese. (Look at Qana)”

    A little one sided don’t you think? Looking at it from the outside, I just don’t buy it. Some reason you hold Israel to a different standard than Lebanon?

    Loki

    “I think the tide is turning too. The main loser ofcourse if Lebanon which is being bombed back into time. The other loser will be Israel. They don’t get it, you can’t beat down HizbaLlah with military power. This invasion has done for Israel exactly what the Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have done for the US. Create more enemies.”

    I hear this a lot from people about creating more enemies; perhaps you ought to consider that people don’t care anymore if it does create more enemies. Perhaps they think those enemies are going to be there irregardless of force or diplomatic measures being employed.

  9. IHateJews says:

    lol at wog blogger
    if you call hezballah a terrorist group, then you are calling our prophet a terrorist also??because he used to fight with the jews also.
    what do you call usa and israel??? gay love birds???? if israel had the brains they would of traded the hostages in the first place rather than doing all this
    yes and we all want israel gone
    cant wait til iran nukes israel/usa :))))))

  10. Ramy says:

    tooners and Wog blogger,

    come on… admit it…..you guys have lost it in the media, on the battle field on all the sides of the war and figures are showing the disaster that the Israeli government is facing now.

    You are now only trying to make news through claiming that Hizbollah was hidden in a building full of kids and women…..and making a bigger number of civilian deaths.

    Lebanon has won the war because the lebanese are now united

    Hizbollah have made a historic achievement and will impose their rules on Israel.

    think of it this way, Hizbollah will not give out the 2 soldiers no matter what happens….Israel wants the soldiers back, Hizbollah will set the rules…the Lebanese government has lost all it has, the infrastructure, the civilians, everything….and now what will you do?

    Israelis will soon get sick of this and revolt against their government
    because they are not doing any achievements…..

    Israel will re-build lebanon and pay indemnity to Lebanon and then we will think about giving you the 2 soldiers.

    Other wise, burn Lebanon we don`t care anymore….this is the way the Lebanese are thinking now….

    Kill as much as you can claim as much as you want, the world is against Israel now except for your pimps the US.

    I said on previous posts that victory is coming and Thanks Mahmood, you proved me and my ‘new’ idol Hasan Nasrallah right.

    And please don`t believe all the blogs you read… this is typical opinion forming, look at the facts, read between the lines….take the other point of view and the other side of the story.

    Losers……

  11. Wog Blogger says:

    Mahmood, Jasra Jedi & Polemicist, my comment was really quite harsh, I know. And I so don’t want to slam Mahmood, cos I think so highly of him otherwise. I appreciate the civil tone JJ & P used so here goes with some civility on my side.
    For me, sitting in Sydney, I observe the mideastern Muslim world, Persians and Arabs and North Africans, as being blighted by a deepseated hatred of Israel that makes even the most charming urbane and internationalised folks terrorist apologists, terrorist sympathisers and worst of all actual terrorists.
    Seriously.
    Nasrallah is a fat 46 year old jackass who does not mention Lebanon as a nation at all. He is no friend to the Druze or other Christians and he is a declared enemy of the jews even for their mere presence in the mideast.
    He is mafia. He is a disgusting woman oppressor and poof hater.
    He has a pathological hatred, like the Iranian president and too many mideasterners of the mere existence of Israel.
    Nasrallah is a laughing stock in Australia. Yet another in a long line of dress wearing fat fanatics, like Sadr, who never actually fights anything himself but settles for inciting hatred.
    Nasrallah is not a stateman, he is not even a formidable enemy.
    He is just the cowardly leader of a violent sect of madmen who fire on average 100 rockets into Israel a day without caring where they land or whether they even have any impact.
    The Israelis have been at this for 2 weeks and the Arab media is frankly embarrassing, acting as if every day past 6 (i.e the 6 day war) is some sort of victory.
    Israel has bombarded Hezbollah villages and the airport runways plus the roads into Syria – to prevent the Hezbollah madmen from taking the hostage soliders out of Lebanon and to stop Nasrallah getting to Damascus.
    JJ I think you apologise far to fast for what Hezbollah has done.
    M I think you play up Lebanon’s ‘destruction’ far too much for what has happened. It is not broken.
    P even if you and M are right and Nasrallah is thought of as a hero, that is absoluteyl nothing to be proud of and I wonder what else you can say after making that observation.

    I say it is just shameful. Hezbollah has a gun on its flag. You guys have seen that, right? Why aren’t you furious with them?
    Why don’t the Lebanese who want peaceful coexistence with Israel lock them out of their homes? Is it because Lebanese don’t want peaceful coexistence? I think the Christians do but Hezbollah won’t let Lebanon do it.

    We get back to the critical issue – the west can no longer tolerate folks who are going to see the good in madmen like Hezbollah.
    God help us – we only need his help because the Party of God – Hezbollah – are so damned intent on warring with Israel.

    Bottom line if Hamas, elected to govern, is making noises about recognising Israel, where does that leave Hezbollah and Iran and Syria? Nowhere. That is why they suddenly decided to enter Israel, kill Israeli soldiers and hold 2 hostage and have refused to give them back for 2 weeeks even though the Israelis will go home if they get their soldiers back.
    Hezbollah does not want Israel to exist.
    That is disagraceful. And if most Muslims support Hezbollah, knowing that that is Hezbollah’s position, then most Muslims have disgraceful views. .
    I mean, that conclusion is inescapable.

    I know this is long, and I know it’s incendiary. I write it for Mahmood cos I am a fan. But not about this. I do think this is the critical issue of the age. We must all be able to talk about it honestly.

  12. Wog Blogger says:

    Well, the IHateJews guy certainly makes my point for me a bit, eh?
    Ramy, I am in Oz. Oz is right behind Israel with the US, so is Canada, so is the UK, so is India etc etc. The whole US pimp thing is yet another manifestation of this weirdo pathology going on in the mideast. The US gives $2b a year to Egypt. you bothered about that? Probably not, eh? Just bothered about Israel….so boring.
    You tell me to be careful about relying on the blogs. But you refer to the media war as having been won by Nasrallah.
    You must be watching AlManar.
    Right now the ‘terrible massacre’ media coverage is about Qana. I thought you said you were winning?

  13. F says:

    Interesting points being made.

    Hizbollah has done well to show that a militarized small group
    can take on Israel.

    Israel occuped Lebanon for 15 years plus. They did not sit on
    the Lebanese soil and get a sun tan. They went in and tried
    killing the PLO, sided with groups and created a bloodbath.

    Innocent people did not get killed while Israel was in Lebanon?
    Innocent people are getting killed in West Bank and Gaza.
    Who is killing them? Israelis.
    Its nice thought that Israel apologizes are ‘accidentaly’ killing children.
    Do you honestly think there will be no revenge?
    Do you believe that it is a God given right for Isreal to kill Arabs?

    Do you have children?

    Would you like to see them killed ‘accidentally’? A few bombs
    here, a few bullets there. Hey, it was accidental. Sorry. See
    ya tomorrow.

    Hizbollah grew out of the killing fields of Israel’s occupation of
    Lebanon. It seeks revenge. Israel moved back to most of the
    ‘original Palestine’ borders. Hizbollah wants its Lebanese people
    back from Israeli prisons.

    A trade is on the cards. Sheba farms have to go back to Lebanon.
    Hostages will be exchanged and Hezbollah will become a civilian
    political party.

    Lebanese have suffered immensely. They have in the past and
    they will in the future. Keeping the Arab neighbors in turmoil benefits
    Israel – the vast amount of support they get from US war machine.

    Palestine has to be recreated. Arab countries will recognize Israel as long
    as a real Palestinian state is recreated in Gaza and the West Bank.
    Israel is not happy that Arabs wish to recognize it. They want more
    lands and they wish to take the Palestinians out completely.

    Hizbollah has gained the respect of many Muslims and non-Muslims.
    They are all tired of seeing the rogue state, Isreal, getting away with it.

  14. Cindy says:

    WE WON AGAINST THE JOOOS AND THE GREAT STATAN!!!

    Yes, we are the losers. But you, as the winners get the “BIG PRIZE”!!—Shi’a Law. That’s right, for your un-waving support of Hezbollah you get to cover your women in burka, shut off your internet and satellite TV (unless of course you are propaganda for the State of Islam) and teach your sons how to wire a bomb timer to a cell phones! Get that car out of the garage Mahmood, there is only so much room in your house for missiles and the dog house is filled to the rafters! You won’t even to get to complain that you paid the cash price to keep your family out of this nasty “war” part of Jihad because “they” are just like “us” you are either with us or against us! And there is a US navy base RIGHT THERE IN BAHRAIN!!

    Israel and “The Great Satan” lost now get off your butts and start being WINNERS!

    /Sarcasm off.

    Iran thanks you. Now be sure to let us know when it starts to suck to be the winner.

  15. Polemicist says:

    Wog: “P even if you and M are right and Nasrallah is thought of as a hero, that is absoluteyl nothing to be proud of and I wonder what else you can say after making that observation.”
    I am not proud of it. I never said or implied such a thing.

    Wog: “Nasrallah is a fat 46 year old jackass who does not mention Lebanon as a nation at all.”
    Wrong. Anyone who has observed Nasrallah’s rhetoric over the years will have noticed a very strong shift from describing Hezbollah as “defenders of Islam”, to “defenders of Lebanon”. I don’t take his word for it, but Hezbollah DOES mention Lebanon quite a lot in their rhetoric (especially after the liberation South Lebanon and entering mainstream Lebanese politics).

    And one more thing. Not only has this war united the different sects of Muslims, but it has also united many different Muslim and non-Muslim sects within Lebanon (unlike the situation during the 1982 invasion). One of my close friends is a Maronite from Beirut who despises Hezbollah, he really hates them. But when I spoke to him at the start of this war two weeks ago he told me “I know I shouldn’t be feeling this, but after seeing what the Israelis have done to my country I wish for Hezbollah to respond with as much damage as possible on Israel.” Of course, this is the opinion of only one individual Lebanese Christian, but it says something.

  16. Ramy says:

    wog Blogger,

    I don`t care whatever you say, it seems you have no idea what you are talking about….just take care of your kangaroos and don`t talk about something you have no information about.what do u know about hezbollah? or about Lebanon, do you even know where they are on the world map?

    Mahmood,

    have you noticed? how everybody turned against you?
    Truth hurts i guess…but they just wont admit it.

    losers….

  17. Will says:

    “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other”

  18. Polemicist says:

    More on how this war is uniting all the different sects in Lebanon behind Hezbollah:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0728/p06s01-wome.html

    The stakes are high for Hizbullah, but it seems it can count on an unprecedented swell of public support that cuts across sectarian lines.According to a poll released by the Beirut Center for Research and Information, 87 percent of Lebanese support Hizbullah’s fight with Israel, a rise of 29 percent on a similar poll conducted in February. More striking, however, is the level of support for Hizbullah’s resistance from non-Shiite communities. Eighty percent of Christians polled supported Hizbullah along with 80 percent of Druze and 89 percent of Sunnis.

    Lebanese no longer blame Hizbullah for sparking the war by kidnapping the Israeli soldiers, but Israel and the US instead.

    […]

    “Look what America gives us, bombs and missiles,” says this educated, middle-class professional. “I was never a political person and never with Hizbullah but now after this I am with Hizbullah.”

    The accuracy of the survey at a time like this can be questioned, but it still says something.

  19. M says:

    F,

    “Hizbollah has done well to show that a militarized small group
    can take on Israel.”

    We all know those kind of tactics could do that from the beginning for any small group blah, blah, blah, but we also all know if Israel wants to play hard ball, they can.

    Every day I am gratful that I am an American, because my children and I have time. Hezbollah, Lebanon and the Arab world haven’t won anything even though Ramy thinks so. They have lost time, and it’s not going to be pretty getting back to where they were before they got played by Ramy’s heros.

    Wog,

    “M I think you play up Lebanon’s ‘destruction’ far too much for what has happened. It is not broken.”

    I don’t think it’s broken, and I don’t think I said anything about Lebanon’s destruction; in fact, I think Israel could have choosen to do much more if they were really serious. They did what they could get away with and still get the world’s attention to focus on the problem which, I assume, was the end game. I agree with JJ that Israel knew it would eventually have to deal with Hezbollah and the Lebanese again; it’s what their leaders get paid to do so I don’t see a thing wrong with that. I don’t think Hezbollah and the Lebanese get a free pass out of the deal either, and I think “Muslims” are fools for getting sucked into it and choosing sides on such a low standard. Do wish Israel would have played the PR game better and not responded so fast and furious and maybe given the Lebanese government more time, but I think the Lebanese would still have sided with Hezbollah even if Israel had never responded in any fashion. Things are what they are, and it’s going to be a long time before it changes.

  20. Batzi says:

    Mahmood,
    I just noticed that one of the bloggers has his user name as “IHate Jews”. JJ, I wonder how such a user name fits within your definition of anti-Semitic?
    Do you, Mahmood, think it is appropriate in this kind of a discussion to flaunt hatred before one even expresses ones’ views? Where are the so -called open minded bloggers, the ones that claim we, the Jews/Zionists are the racists?
    I do not know if anyone protested that, but I certainly find it offensive and reigster my protest to it.
    In my view, it is certainly more offensive than Brian’s comments to JJ. Yet you did take the time to rebuke Brian for it….
    Batzi

  21. “Today; however, all Muslims are virtually a single sect, today all Muslims are Hizballah! ”

    Amen.

  22. IHateJews says:

    yes and iam sure every one hates jews and you americans hate muslims am i wrong??

  23. F says:

    Definition of a Semite:

    1) A member of a group of Semitic-speaking peoples of the Near East and northern Africa, INCLUDING the Arabs, Arameans, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Hebrews, and Phoenicians.

    2) A Jew – added recently*

    3) A descendant of Shem

    According to American Heritage Dictionary http://www.dictionary.com

    *Language is constantly updated and reflects present day usage. For example, 30 years ago the word gay represented happiness. Today, it represents peoples who are homosexual.

  24. Joe says:

    All this does is clarify. The muslims can’t hide behind womend and children anymore. It’s war. They’ve wanted it for years. It in the koran. Let’s just get on with it. Just don’t be surprized if it’s not the hidden imam that shows up.

  25. F says:

    M

    ‘ Every day I am gratful that I am an American, because my children and I have time. ‘

    I am happy that you are an American and that your children have time.
    I hope they will have all the luxuries of a good life, become outstanding
    citizens in their society, have high moral values and do good for the
    less fortunate around.

    I am happy that I’m Arab and proud to be Muslim. I hope my family will have the luxury of having a good life, that they will become outstanding
    citizens in our society, have high moral values and do good for the
    less fortunate around.

    I wish that to all peoples of our planet – whatever color or creed they be.

  26. F says:

    Joe,

    Muslims stand by Peace. They look for peace first.

    Muslims can only declare war if they are attacked first.
    When they have no choice but to defend their family
    and faith, then there will be a war.

    Should any Muslim attack a peaceful people, then that
    person has sinned and God will surely punish him.

    If you study the time of the Crusades, the Muslims proposed
    and maintained peace treaties several times in order to avoid
    conflict and bloodshed. It was the Crusaders who were constantly
    breaking it.

  27. F says:

    Shia law does not exist.

    There is Sharia law (Islamic law)

    There are two main sects (Sunnah and Shia) and they have their own interpretations of Sharia law.

    Sunnah and Shia have different political views. This mainly stems for
    the political climate that took place after the Prophet (P.B.U.H) passed
    away.

  28. Shachar says:

    F,

    You speak with a lot of emotions (understandable), but I think you have not thought your arguments through, or you would have understood the impass they imply. To quote:
    Do you have children?
    Not myself, but let’s assume I do.

    Would you like to see them killed ‘accidentally’? A few bombs
    here, a few bullets there. Hey, it was accidental. Sorry. See
    ya tomorrow.
    I’d rather them be accidentally shot than deliberately so, which is what is happening right now. The terrorist organizations (be them Hamass, Hizbolla or anyone else) deliberately kill my people. I (collective) retaliate, attempting to single out those who are seeking to hurt me. They (understandably, if you do not care about being humane, which they obviously don’t) hide behind civilians. My weapons (or, sometimes, my intelligence knowing where they are) are not good enough to single them out well enough, and innocents are being killed.

    Now, tell me. Which is better? I can see that, in a way, being shot accidentally is worse, because you are then doubly opressed, both by the people who use you as a shield and by the people who seek them out. Still, you seem to be letting someone responsible for (at least) half the problem off without reprimand. Hell, you even praise them.

    And the impass? I’ll shoot your own words at you, if I may. After my children are being aimed at by your people:
    Do you honestly think there will be no revenge?
    Do you believe that it is a God given right for Arabs to kill Israelies?

    Sorry, I reordered two words in your original sentence.

    The bottom line is this. So long as revenge is sought, there can be no chance of ever breaking the cycle. Even your fail-proof Nasrallah managed to hit innocent Arabs by mistake (reminder – he was aiming at innocent Jews, which are fair game), which, theoretically, means that revenge is now required on him, right?

    Shachar

  29. Ingrid says:

    Good grief, you’d think since mahmoud wrote in english it would be easy to understand what he meant. As polemicist said, he was making a statement. It’s not a matter of condoning to come to the conclusion that Israel and the US (what’s new there) lost the war. It’s been the talk of the blogosphere as people were writing about the possible manner by which Israel had to retreat in order to save face. But..for those who like to pit the world into ‘us vs them’, jews agaist muslims etc.. this will be a victory of sorts. That said, no one has won. Really. I think that humbe thought needs to get through anyone’s thick heads when you count the many dead and count how democracy is equally a farce, here in the US. The big picture will yet be revealed as to the ‘real reason’ Israel reacted in full force. As I was participating with the blogathon 2006 on the subject on torture and especially the US’ participation (guantanamo etc), during one of my search for topics I stumbled upon a site that talked about some pipe line being built and that the invasion of Lebanon was planned way before.. don’t know if it’s true and I will try to find that site again. The thing is, look past what you see. When the big military nations (as in size of country or military capability) participate in any exchange, rest assured, there is something behind it. It is all about the resources, the emotional religious factor is just what gets the ordinary folks to jump on the bandwagon for the call of war..
    Ingrid

  30. Joe says:

    F,

    Let me guess you where educated in a U.S. university. Your history is wrong. Islam was spread by the sword. They killed and conquered christians and jews. The region was islamic when your prophet was born. The truth is becoming clearer day by day. Like I said all this is merely clarifying positions. You want war you got…I will never be a dhimmi.

    Take this a a post card from the american street.

  31. M says:

    Don’t mean to be rude, F, but I have to leave for a while.

  32. mahmood says:

    Thank you Polemicist and Ingrid. At least you two seem to be able to comprehend what you read!

    Wog Blogger, get off your high horse. I’m not looking for your approbation nor approval. You understood me wrong and went into a rant. I hope that has done you good. All it did for me is understand how full of hate you are. You would probably find blogs on the internet more akin to your way of thinking, because this one is certainly not what you are looking for. Once you have reconciled your thoughts and feelings about the issues discussed, you are more than welcome to respectfully and open-mindedly contribute to our discussion.

    Hater, I’ve just had a chance to check the blog so I haven’t had a chance to ferret out your IP address; rest assured that I shall and it will be published here, your choice of username will also be banned and your comments will be edited to reflect that change. You are not welcome here. I hope I can make myself clear, have some dignity and disappear.

    Name: IHateJews | E-mail: zxc@hotmail.com | IP: 82.194.62.22 Unfortunately he’s logging in from Bahrain, and of course s/he does not represent Bahrainis.

    Ramy, you need to hand in that PR certificate because you certainly do not qualify as a person who have studied the subjects. Tell me, how can you even start to bring people to your point of view if you continuously call them losers? Get a grip for God’s sake. We don’t want to start another war here, what we want to do is find that more and more illusive bridge to allow people to meet and realise that on both sides they are just human beings!

    Now I’ve got a few things to attend to, until then, I urge you to understand what you read and not just blindly jump to conclusions.

  33. Joe says:

    Ingrid,

    Typical marxist analysis. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Muslims want to kill you if you won’t convert. and a world run by mulsims is the only answer that will satisy them.

    If there was a muslim controlled government running israel and they changed the name and killed the jews the world would applaud. Then when the freak secular humanists realized that their heros hate them as much as they hate the jews and they have to convert or die we’ll see how their faith is scientific materialism stands up to the sword of allah. They’ll be reciting the koran and praying towards mecca in an istant. They’re cowards and feckless.

    Unfortunately I won’t convert. I’m christian. I maybe martyred in this fight. but I will never forsake my Lord. I think it’s time all christian unit and come to the aid of christians around the world being killed, slaughtered and held in slavery in the muslim world.

    Maybe we could start by taking back Lebanon. There used to be far more christians in the country. But they’ve left or have been killed by muslims. No world outrage. But the lack of world outrage doesn’t change the facts.

  34. mahmood says:

    Joe, pack your bags and take your hate with you. We do not appreciate your presence. Now bugger off.

  35. sadiq says:

    Surely, Islam was spread by the sword.

    Even today, the Saudi flag carries a sword and the words “There’s no God but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s prophet”.

    Mu’ammar Qaddafi’s son’s name is Saif al-Islam (The Sword of Islam)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saif_al-Islam_Qaddafi

    Of course, Christianity was also spread by the sword, for example, in South America.

    So much of swords and organized religions…

  36. Ash says:

    If all Muslims really are Hizbollah then we really are looking at the opening moves of World War III. So, Mahmood, much as I like and admire you, I hope you are wrong on this one.

  37. Josephine says:

    Dear jasra jedi,

    Imagine yourself in Batzi’s place (or for that matter, any other Jew) when faced with such statements:

    yes and iam sure every one hates jews and you americans hate muslims am i wrong??

    I can understand how you feel when you write:

    You know what frustrates me the most about having a discussion with Arabs is that they sometimes get emotional. And when they hear a point they dont like, they get very personal and find a way to hit back.

    I hope you will agree with me, this is more than just “hitting back!”
    This is hatred of the worst kind, hatred for the sake of hatred, hatred of the desperate when they are left with no arguments! How pathetic!

    F.

    To your words:
    I wish that to all peoples of our planet – whatever color or creed they be.
    I say AMEN! We need more like you!
    Also, your definition of a Semite:
    “1) A member of a group of Semitic-speaking peoples of the Near East and northern Africa, INCLUDING the Arabs, Arameans, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Hebrews, and Phoenicians”

    supports Batzi’s argument that Arabs were not kicked from israel because they were the wrong race. This definitely classifies them as ONE race. Hope you take note, Ibn.

    Batzi,
    I know you were leaving and do not know when you will be able to read my words. Just know I am beginning to understand the enemy your country is facing. The more I read comments like these, the more I realize how much Israel needs to be strong!

    I wish you the best of time when you are away and shall be looking forward to your coming back. Shalom
    Josephine

  38. F says:

    Schachar,

    To clarify:

    One, take any individual who looses his children will seek revenge.
    If I come to your home and do this ghastly deed, you would want to
    come to my home and punish me for the crime.

    In this situation, the Israelis, collectively are punishing and killing people.
    Yes. Do the Israelis think there will be no revenge? Do you think its
    an issue of using smart bombs or just destroying a whole people. Qana’s
    losses today will not breed hatred for Israel?

    Israel cried that the Palestinians don’t have a true representation. US
    agreed. The Palestinians, without a state, are holding elections. Who
    got elected? Hamas. Both Israel and the US don’t want to recognize
    the party that the Palestinian people elected. Are you blaming the
    Palestinians? There were assassinations taking place in Gaza by the
    IDF. Civilians and children were getting killed. Cease-fire in place and
    this is happening. Do you honestly think, keeping in mind the conditions
    that the Palestinians live in, elements will not want to seek revenge?

    Now, suppose I’m an Israeli. I’ve emigrated to this land or my parents
    came here. This land is holy land to us and God promised it to us. We
    have roamed the planet for 2000 years and we want to come back home.
    Arabs are living here, but they are not developed and scattered all over.
    We need to shift them, destroy them or steal their lands and make a
    lasting Jewish state. The Palestinians are not happy that they’ve moved.
    So what. This is God given land. We will fight and kill should they want to
    move back to the villages that are renamed and the cemetaries that
    are no more marked. Palestinians displayed in the millions. They want
    revenge. I am fighting them. I killed a few. They have children. I kill some
    more. The Palestinians are killing my people and taking away what I
    own today. Let them roam for a couple of thousand years.

    Arabs state have accepted Israel and full diplomatic ties will be developed
    only when a Palestinian state (all of Gaza, all of West Bank and Arab
    Jerusalam as its capital). The offer is not acceptable to the Israelis. More
    settlements are being made in West Bank and around Jerusalem. D

    Lebanese P.O.Ws and Sheba farms need to be returned to Lebanon.
    Golan heights to the Syrians. Peace talks to be discussed.

    If the Israelis consider this seriously, then I’m sure Syria and Lebanon
    will join in. Hizbollah will become a civil party. Its military will merge with
    Lebanese army.

    I would want peace for your people and mine. Would you?

    F

  39. Che says:

    The reason for what is happening in the middle east today is this:
    Excerpts from the Jewish Holy book , The Talmud :
    (This is not a racist attack , im just stating facts)

    “The Jews are called human beings, but the non-Jews are not humans. they are beasts.” TALMUD: Baba Mezia, 114b (page referrals).

    “Even though God created the non-Jew they are still animals in human form. It is not becoming of a Jew to be served by an animal. Therefore he will be served by animals in human form.” TALMUD: Midrasch Talpioth, p 225, Warsaw 1855.

    “A pregnant non-Jew is no better than a pregnant animal.” TALMUD: Coschen Hamischpat 405.

    “If you eat with a non-Jew it is the same as eating with a dog.” TALMUD: Tosapoth, Jebamoth 94b.

    “If a Jew has a non-Jewish servant or maid who dies, one should not express sympathy to the Jew. You should tell the Jew: “God will replace ‘your loss’, just as if one of his animals had died.”” TALMUD: Jore Dea 377.

    “Sexual intercourse between Gentiles is like intercourse between animals.” TALMUD: Sanhedrin 74b.

    “it is permitted to take the body and life of a Gentile.” TALMUD: Sepher Ikkarim III c 25.

    “A heretic Gentile you may kill outright with your own hands.” TALMUD: Abodah Zara, 4b

    “Every Jew who spills the blood of the godless (non-Jews), is doing the same as making a sacrifice to God.” TALMUD: Bammidber raba c 21 & jalkut 772.

    Joe’s comments are racist hate speech …. why is it still not deleted ?

  40. jasra jedi says:

    Wog Blogger ..

    You state ” JJ I think you apologise far to fast for what Hezbollah has done.”

    I dont recalling justifying what they did. I am merely saying that irrespective of what they did or did not do, it is becoming very clear to me that Israel and the US wanted this war in order to start defining the new middle east. First on the agenda, bring Iran and Syria to the table. How? Through Lebanon. The fact that Hizbollah took two soldiers is akin to the assasination of Archdule Ferdinand in WW1. It provided an excuse for war.

    F: Nice analysis.

    Batzi: The ihate blogger is anti Jewish clearly. And Mahmood has already taken steps. But, what do you think of the language used in the Talmud? How would you define that? Anti non Jew?

    Everyone else .. I dont know how many of you have ever been to Lebanon. What is interesting is that when you leave Beirut and go south, and you see the schools and the hospitals, you realize that they are built by Hizbollah, run by Hizbollah and maintained by Hizbollah. They are actually quite a good civil government because they provide services to their constituency that the government is not able to. Why is the government not able to do so? Because, the rest of the world (Syria, Iran, Israel and the US) keep weakening it time and time again through foreign interference rendering them absolutely incapable of governing anything.

    And this is why, even if Nasrallah were to be assasinated tomorrow, another grass roots organization will spring up in its place. Providing services to the people that the government is not able/chooses not to do.

    And this is what Israel needs to understand. As does the US.

    Has anyone ever wondered why the world went quiet after the Hariri assasination? What happened to the report? Where did the US outrage go so suddenly? What kind of back door deal was negotiated with which player to maintain status quo? And, were, perhaps, the Syrians and the US on the same table this time?

    So many questions.

    So many civilians dead.

    And the blood continues to flow.

  41. Jared in NYC says:

    Che’s comments are verbatim from a website for the National Socialist Movement, aka the American Nazi Party. Some of his quotes are malicious mistranslations, and most are fictitious:

    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Cyprus/8815/qts.html
    http://www.rense.com/general21/tal.htm

    Mahmood – I can’t agree with every single word you write, but you rock. I know it’s a hard job to stimulate and moderate useful dialogue while keeping the haters at bay, but I haven’t seen anyone doing a better job of it. Anywhere.

    I’m not sure if anyone has covered this point yet, but I think one reason for way this conflict has unfolded is the failure of Isreali intelligence. I suspect that they would have tried to prevent, if they knew about it, the aquisition of so many sophisticated weapons by Hibollah on their northern border. Eventually they figured it out. The kidnapping of the soldiers and the response were probably both opportunistic, though both sides had been preparing to take advantage of whatever opportunity presented itself.

    They both got what they were after.

    Jared

  42. Shachar says:

    F,

    I could argue with the historical incorrectness (land was bought from the Arabs, they were not evacuated by force, at least not until things got messy due to Arab violence), but I think this is a moot point. You do not appear to be trying to argue with me, so I’ll keep this side of the discussion to a minimum.

    Arabs state have accepted Israel and full diplomatic ties will be developed only when a Palestinian state (all of Gaza, all of West Bank and Arab Jerusalam as its capital). The offer is not acceptable to the Israelis.
    Well, the thing most unacceptable to us (to me, to be precise) is the ultimatum – either grant us everything we want or we will kill your civilians. This is not negotiations, or even appealing to justice. This is extortion.

    There are subtelties (such as the above mentioned historical inaccuracies) that make the entire discussion way to muddied to point a definite finger at who’s to blame. So long as one sided discussions are made along Arabs, and more to the point, so long as violance is justified because of “past wrongs” (and see my previous post for why this view is distorted), there is no way that Israel CAN perform a real ciesefire.

    The real thing that bothers me is this. Throughout the discussions I’ve seen on this blog, Israelies who appologize for anything and everything Israel does, Israelies (such as myself), saying “Sure, we are doing regretable things, and some mistakes, but….”, Israelies who seem elated by some precived victory (to me, illusionary), and Israelies that are clearly motivated by pure hatred. In short, I’ve seen here a cross-section that seems surprisingly representative of the opinions I also see in Hebrew talkbacks. This is particularily surprising, considering that this is a blog run by a Muslim Arab, primarily aimed at Arabs.

    I have also seen many Arab responses. I have seen pure-hatred responses, I have seen pseudo-scientific hatred responses, and I have seen pragmatic responses (i.e. – Israel is an obvious wrong, but what can we do to make the conflict end). What I have not seen is a single Arab speaker who says “Yes, Arabs have made a few mistakes along the way”, or even, pardon my balsphme, “Arabs have also done morally questionable acts”.

    If this blog is as representative of the spectrum of opinions in the Arab society as it is of the spectrum of opinions in the Israeli society, we have a huge problem here. It cannot be that innocent people are targeted on a daily basis for several decades (almost a century), and of a group of 300 million people you will find people who will say “Stop doing that because it’s stupid. It only hurts us”, but not “Stop doing that because it’s just wrong”.

    To me, it means that even the people who will acknowledge that Israel has a right to live still have it engrained in them that killing Jews is morally ok.

    And this makes me wonder whether piece is, at all, possible.

    Shachar

  43. mahmood says:

    Thank you Jared, I shall continue to try to maintain an open forum dedicated to closing gaps, rather than opening wounds.

    JJ, so sorry, I should have put your name top of the list in my initial response. You know that I have an awful lot of respect for you, your views and intellect. An omission on my part. Sorry.

  44. david says:

    its interesting at any point to see who has the real power.

    karl marx sitting in the british museum didnt look powerful.

    christ on the cross didnt look powerful

    the israelis with their war machine – do look powerful as does bush……… but take away the army and how much power have they really got? its hard to kill ideas with guns

  45. Shachar says:

    jasra jedi,

    It seems, if your claim regarding the Israeli motives is correct, that Israel picked the worst possible time to retaliate. Syria was already under fire for the Hariri assasination. Iran was directed to the UN security concile. All Israel had to do was… wait.

    If anything, the current war plays into the hands of Syria and Iran, and Lebanon is just an inconsequential victim to them.

    Shachar

  46. Brian says:

    Hi Shachar

    Been missing you on “Smart Move Sherlock”. Just one question: you pleaded guilty on Israel’s behalf to Ibn’s “Crime Number 2”:

    “The Zionist gangs that had merged into the IDF conveniently proved them quite right, in proceeding to massacre some Arab villages as the war drew on, and kicking Palestinian Arabs out of their homes in areas they occupied outside and inside the UN voted lines, because they were of the wrong race. (non-Jews).”

    Batzi – as did I – admitted to those bad things happening, as bad things happen in every war, but Batzi put it that it was because the Palestinians were seen as the enemy, not because of their race.

    That struck a chord with me, and I referred to the Palestinans taking their leadership from the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the anti-Semite who collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II and helped recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS.

    Let me ask you Shachar, would you still plead guilty to Crime 2, of barbarity carried out because the Palestinians were of the wrong race? or would you instead agree that the acts were carried out under the motivation of emnity?

    Brian

  47. Johny says:

    Mahmood and Others.

    Being an Religious Jew and not recognizing Che’s qoutes, I went to the sources themselves to check, and it’s all bullshit. no such words exist (and to you CHE, most of the quotes are wrong, just by seeing the names – they mix a lot of names of books that are not connected).

  48. Loki says:

    M-

    I hear this a lot from people about creating more enemies; perhaps you ought to consider that people don’t care anymore if it does create more enemies. Perhaps they think those enemies are going to be there irregardless of force or diplomatic measures being employed.

    If you want to defeat Hizbollah or any other Freedom fighters/ Terrorists / whatever you want to call them. You can try one of three things:

    1 – Destroy them. In this case, its impossible.
    2 – Take away their cause.
    3 – Take away away their support.

    If the Palestinian people get a real state and the illegal settlements are dismantled it will go a long way to doing 2 and 3. The idea that all Arabs are out to destroy Israel and all jews is a myth which is encouraged by Israeli education and media.

  49. Brian says:

    Just to add, in the light of my last question to Shachar, that I am not by any means ‘hung up’ on little points of days back, nor unmindful of the events of today.

    Just as was put eloquently by the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, I deeply mourn civilian deaths and look forward to the time that Lebanon enjoys peace and security

    Brian

  50. jasra jedi says:

    Mahmood ..

    No worries re omission at all! None of us are looking for recognition. Just a way to expand the dialogue. 🙂

    Shachar ..

    I have heard alot of my Israeli friends complain that for the first time ever, they were used by the Americans to do their dirty business for them in the Middle East by fighting a war not of their own choosing and not at their own timing.

    Brain ..

    And why is your point relevant in this post about Qana? Or do you not want to address what happened this morning? And how brilliantly the IDF managed to do for Lebanon what many before had tried and failed – which is unite MOST Lebanese behind Hizbollah? Siniora joined Nasrallah in asking for an unconditional ceasefire and asked Condi not to come. Blair and Merkel also asked for an immediate ceasefire. But the IDF .. still going strong.

    Shachar .. I never thought I would say this, but I doubt Sharon would have allowed Israel to lose such significant ground in a mere 19 days … I expected more wisdom from the Israeli leadership. As to your point about how Arab leadership screws up? I think that you should spend some time on this blog going over old posts. You will find plenty of criticism against our leaders. Including the very first post Mahmood put up on Lebanon where he was questioning Hizbolla’s judgement.

    Incidentally, a fact that most people forget here is that Hizbollah is NOT a terrorist organization. Only in the eyes of the UK/US and Israel. The rest of the world don’t consider it as such.

  51. Brian says:

    JJ

    Please note that I have learned from this forum from my friend Ibn.

    You will see from my post above that I have learned from him how to answer a question before you asked it.

    Well, it was my fellow semite Abert Einstein that noted that time is relative, and opened up the possibility of this ability that Ibn and I have of answering questions before they were asked.

    Salaam

    Brian

  52. Brian says:

    JJ

    ..of course I also mean your fellow semite – and fellow peace lover – Albert Einstein. On a very sad day we can all hope for peace amongst Semitic people and for the whole world.

    Brian

  53. Loki says:

    On a very sad day we can all hope for peace amongst Semitic people and for the whole world.

    Amen

  54. Shachar says:

    Brian,

    I did not “admit” to Ibn’s stated motives. I don’t think they are true. Still, one cannot deny that during 48, regrettable things did happen. That I have to acknowledge, not because Ibn asks me to, but because it’s true. There were well defined reasons that brought about these actions, but they are still as unjustifiable as terror attacks today. That’s also the reason I refused to acknowledge his “Crime #1” and “Crime #3”.

    Jasra Jedi,
    Basically, what you are saying is that we have the option of a corrupt but smart leader, or a well-meaning but stupid. Sounds a little like Mahmood’s post about the Baharein’s elections.

    Yes, I find it very hard to say that I can justify, wisdom wise, the course this war is taking. I think that a more well-thought out action would have resulted in both better results to Israel AND less civilian casulties to Lebanon.

    What I cannot do, however, is say that the actions were unjustified. A neighbouring country crossing the border (internationally acknowledged one, at it) and performing acts of hostility is a declaration of war by any book you would care to read. You can claim (and I may agree with you) that the result was stupid on Israel’s behalf, but I will not agree it was not called for. Anyone saying to Israel “Yes, you were stronger. Yes, you were attacked, but no, you should only respond with mild force” is talking nonsense. What is the meaning of “stronger” if you do not make use of this force when attacked?

    So, Israel was definitely manipulated by Syria and Iran, and possibly also by the U.S. Lebanon was likely manipulated by the first two parties, and obviously so was most of the rest of the Arab world (if we take what Mahmood said as correct). I can’t say I’m happy about it at all. I just don’t see what I can do about it.

    Lastly, regarding Hisbollah being a terror organization. I don’t know how everybody sees it. What I do know is that a friend let me hold, yesturday, a small ball-bearing metal ball. It was dented on five sides, and was taken from a missle shot at Haifa on Tuesday. This is not a weapon that will impress a tank, or make a difference to a concrete building. This is a weapon meant to kill people, the more the better. It is designed to have a maximal kill radious, it is extremely imprecise to direct at the best of conditions (and Hisbollah are not shooting it at the best of conditions), and it was aimed at the heart of a civilian city. In other words, these actions by Hisbollah spell “intent to kill civilians”. You can define it as a terror tool, or you can define it as a crime of war, but I fail to see what other definitions fit this.

    Shachar

  55. Got Oil? says:

    Loki,

    Nothing is impossible. What happened in Quana is war with no mercy, although the Israeli’s gave fair warning for everyone to leave the building. Guess the families couldn’t afford the exhorbant taxi fairs. So much for Muslim brotherhood.

    Israel has land based and submarine based nuclear missiles, I forget how many, but certainly enough to obliterate every overpopulated, 3rd world shithole in the Middle East.

    If the Arab world persists in it’s downward spiral into psychosis, if it continues to export terror to *every* other civilized part of the earth, then the time will come when populations will feel they have no other choice than to say ‘To hell with them’, and the Middle East will be, for all practical purposes, destroyed.

    That’s the tide that is turning. All of this nonsense about ‘We are all Hezbollah’ may certainly be true, but so what? The Arab world is a singularly uncritical, non-self reflecting entity. A perusal of MEMRI will show what is served on Arab TV. Have Arabs produced anything of worth lately other than Jihadi porn? Take away your oil, and the world would have nothing to do with you.

    And some interesting facts are emerging from Quana. Preliminary reports indicate that Hizzy was firing rockets from the hotel in question. Furthermore, the hotel collapsed 8 hours after the missle strikes. So this begs the following questions:

    1.) Where is the Arab worlds outrage at the Hizzies blatant use of the hotel as a rocket launching pad?
    2.) Why were people still in the hotel 8 hours after the strike?

  56. If all Muslims are now Hizballah, it’s not because of who Hizballah are– of course it’s because of who Hizballah is fighting against. And hatred of Jews has been used to unite people before- it’ll happen again too. (Wouldn’t want to offend anyone with the technically incorrect euphamism “anti-Semitism”; “Jew-hatred” works just fine and is more direct.)

    Hizballah is using every tactic imaginable to increase the numbers of Lebanese civilians Israel kills. They are firing their rockets from civilian areas, sometimes even fighting their way into non-Shi’a towns in southern Lebanon to do so. They are actively preventing civilians of all persuasions from leaving southern Lebanon. There can be no official accounting, but everyone knows that some part of these Lebanese civilian casualties are Hizbollah (or were a few minutes earlier). For them, it’s all about getting those casualty figures higher on both sides.

    And Hizbollah is winning the media war. The BBC, CNN, and Reuters have proven themselves the enablers of these Hizbollah tactics. I’m sure that the reporting on al-Arabiya and al Jazeera make Fox look like pikers. I won’t even get into Hizballah’s flagrant violations of the laws of war here- only the West and Israel will be held to those standards.

    The biggest loser in all this are the non-Shi’a Lebanese. Lebanon won’t be able to return to the previous status quo. The flaw in the Cedar Revolution was Hizbollah and it’s refusal to disarm and become a normal constituency. It won’t happen now, and Lebanon will be ruled by thugs who hate Jews more than they love Lebanon. On the other hand, once the war ends and the unifying Israeli strikes stop, Lebanon may fall again into civil war.

  57. skribe says:

    Today; however, all Muslims are virtually a single sect, today all Muslims are Hizballah!

    That’s a neocon wet dream.

  58. Wog Blogger says:

    Hey Mahmood. I know I wrote some strong stuff and I will keep it civil from now on. Taking your post with some of your others I did feel it was a show of support from you for Hezbollah. Otherwise, why quote Chomsky and picture the Independent and mock Bush and Rice? You are doing all the things that pro-Hezbollah’s do. I want to capture this real clear – I am not full of hate, man. Certainly not for you and not for Lebs either. I am pro-wog, and that includes Lebs. But not the lousy characteristics of wogs. And there are some lousy ones. I prefer to notie them and complain about them. I have not the slightest respect for fat religious fanatics in dresses who start wars, like Nasrallah. That’s not hate. It’s not hate for me to notice that Nsrallah started this by snatching soldiers and firing rockets all day into Israel just as the Palestinians might have decided to recognise Israel.
    That’s ridicule. Different thing altogether.
    Anyway, I’m gonna lay off this for a bit. Plenty of others have views too. Thanks for not banning me or anything.

  59. M says:

    F,

    “I wish that to all peoples of our planet – whatever color or creed they be.”

    So do I, F, for no other reason than they deserve it.

    I want to thank you for expressing your opinions in such a straighforward and honest manner. I appreciate your efforts to make others understand your point of view.

  60. Anonymous says:

    I am a Sunni and it kills me seeing Hizballah putting the Islamic Religion to such destruction and hate.. it kills me seeing them to be ‘the face’ of the middle east.. and if i had neighbors like Hizballah, I would too go out of my mind and destroy the hell out of the country’s infrastructure and it’s innocent people (who r to this day literally blinded to the true nature of these guys).. sadly of all this, the Arab leaders are simply silent in this instance and dont take a very critical look at Hizballah, it was perhaps good for Egypt/Saudi/Jordan to declare it was a stupid mistake Hizballah did in the first place (let us not forget this war started because the idiots kidnapped some soldier).. but that declaration went noooo where did it???

    Cant we just declare fatwas on people who kill people in the name of Jihad? Cant we all agree it is simply not in our human nature to really know who is the enemy and not take lives and leave it to God to act upon it? Cant we just live normal lives where our families and kids live in peace and learn how to make money for themselves through going to school and teaching them human morals and starting their own businesses?

    I dont blame the Israelis going wacko all of a sudden and I clearly blame us ‘Arabs’ for not defending your true faith here and for failing in making any good future for the next generation of people who will question why the idiots of today didnt do that much to save the situation..

    ALL I see is pride and showing off and who can beat who.. All I see is some idiots with a lot of pressure just blew off their lids and try to see who can bring the best punch, and who could come out of it all being innocent, moral and successful ..

    Soo sadd..

  61. Anonymous says:

    Israel has land based and submarine based nuclear missiles, I forget how many, but certainly enough to obliterate every overpopulated, 3rd world shithole in the Middle East.

    Better check your facts about submarine missles.

  62. mahmood says:

    The really soo sadd thing about this whole incident is that it has taken an unfortunate event like this to expose the likes of you.

    I am proud and glad to have a lot of Sunni friends and can tell everyone from my own experience that this twit does not represent the Sunnis nor Muslims for that matter.

    Now go find that whole you crawled from and get back in there.

  63. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    I’m surprised by your response. I thought you prohibited hate speech on your blog. Oh, and it’s “hole”, not “whole”.

    I would have preferred for the post not to be anonymous, but if even liberal Mahmood reacts so (relatively) violently, I can see why it is.

    Shachar

  64. mahmood says:

    I don’t want to delete everything that I don’t agree with, otherwise I will be called a comment nazi or something… that particular comment I did want to keep in order to show people the other side of the story; as the commenter clearly shows that not everyone is with Hizballah not because they don’t support their fight against Israel per se, but because of them being Shi’as, which is something even more sinful as far as they are concerned.

    That’s the typical Wahabi/bin Ladenist response and their murderous intent has already been demonstrated on 9/11 and since then too.

  65. Anonymous says:

    ‘Anonymous’:

    Re. the ‘submarine based nuclear missiles’ comment, I suspect the writer was referring to the three Dolphin boats, soon to be six (or even nine, depending upon whom you read).

    These vessels are multi-purpose in nature, capable of firing torpedoes and/or Harpoon cruise missiles, the latter further capable of being nuclear tipped (the Popeye system). Each sub can carry 16 such weapons.

    The submarines can also carry the Israeli-designed Popeye SLCM system, with an estimated range of some 1500km+ and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

    At this time, one Dolphin is routinely deployed to the Red Sea or Mediterranean, another to the Persian Gulf, and the third to refit/repair.

    This force structure is clearly designed, in concert with operational deployment patterns, to provide comprehensive targetting coverage of every major Mideastern urban center: Tehran, Qom, Abadan, Baghdad, Basra, Bahrain, Qatar, Riyadh, Mecca, Medina, Alexandria, Cairo, Damascus, Amman, etc are all within easy range of such weapons.

    So it appears that the Israelis, unsurprisingly, DO possess a sub-based nuclear deterrent.

  66. Shachar says:

    Mahmood,

    I don’t see Shi’a hate in that comment. I see wild disagreement with both Hizbollah’s course of actions, as well as with their claim that violence is what being Muslim is about. Nothing tribal specific came to me, neither on first nor on second reading of the comment. The word “Shi’a” doesn’t even appear there.

    This does not, necessarily, mean that it’s not there. I do not consider myself qualified to judge the subtelties. Then again, it is also possible that you are/were over sensitive to something that simply wasn’t there.

    To my Israeli eyes, you gave an emotional outburst over someone’s opinion, which was not fundumentally different than the one I or Batzi voiced. The only difference I could spot is that the speaker was self proclaimed Muslim, and thus (again, to my tribal-ignorant eyes) ruining the “All Muslims are now Hizbollah” line. That led me to come to the conclusion that dissenting voices are simply unwelcome even in such enlighted areas of the Muslim world as this blog.

    I understand you see tribal hate in that comment. I think that, if you replace the single occurance of the word “Suni” with the word “Muslim”, there will be no cause left for that feeling of yours. Whether it was an unfortunate choice of words on anonymous’ part, or a real indication of impure motives, it is impossible for me to tell.

    Shachar

  67. Ramy says:

    mmm……

    Well i can see now that every person here is an expert….

    How can you judge that Hezbollah are fighting in civilian areas? have you seen them ? Actually do you know how they look like? what they wear….

    How did Qana 2 happen? 60 people of which 30 children and 20 women and 10 elderly.

    I assume all of them are Hizbollah, I am sure that Israel through its latest spying equipments has videos and records about where Hizbollah are… right? Why not show the proof that they are fighting between the civilians…. Israel now claims to hold an investigation in the Qana incident, i bet on my life that nothing will come out. They will just say that it was a mistake and not even apologise.

    Where is Hezbollah? How are they launching all these Missiles to Israel, while spy planes and satellite images are all over Lebanon. Israel is not seeing them? Israel is not even airing one video proving their words….
    How are they launching the missiles without Israeli soldiers noticing ? I think Israel is disregarding the guerillas and going fot hte civilians to divide the lebanese….again but Lebanon now is different than it was in 1982. It is getting more and more united.

    Please find here below a brief history about the lebanese relationship with Israel :

    1948: First war between Israel and the Lebanese army.

    1949: March 23 armistice signed between Israel and Lebanon.

    1948-67: Military actions increase.

    1968: – First of the feddayin Palestinian raids in the ‘Arquoub region of southern Lebanon.

    – Israel attacks Beirut International Airport destroying 13 aircraft belonging to MEA Airlines

    – Palestinian refugees begin settling in Lebanon.

    1978: “Operation Litani” Israeli army invades Lebanon.

    1978-2000: After a partial withdrawal from Lebanese territory, Israeli forces continue to occupy the southern part of Lebanon.

    1980-2000: The Lebanese resistance, composed of several groups, increases it’s attacks on military targets and Israeli soldiers.

    1982: “Operation Peace for Galilee” Israeli army invades Lebanon.

    1993: “Operation Revenge” Arial bombarding, shelling of Lebanese towns and villages by the Israeli army and their proxy-militia, the South lebanese Army (SLA).

    1996: “Operation Grapes Of Wrath” Arial bombarding, shelling of Lebanese towns and villages by the Israeli army and their proxy-militia, the South lebanese Army (SLA).

    2000: May 25 – Complete withdrawal of Israeli forces as a result of heavy losses inflicted on them by the Lebanese resistance.

    The massacres carried out by Israeli armed forces in Lebanon are too numerous to mention. However here are a few examples :

    October 30 1948: During operation “Hiram”, 94 villagers at SULHA died when an apartment building was blown up by the 7th brigade ( the “Haganah”) of the Israeli army. The rest of the villagers were evicted from their homes and forced to leave the village.
    According to the Israeli historien BENNI MORRIS

    October 31 1948: The villagers of HOULA were assembled in 2 houses which were then blown up by the Israeli army causing 80 civilian deaths.
    According to The Children of HOULA Association

    1978: During operation “Litani” 3 massacres were carried out by the Israeli invasion forces.

    – at ABBASIEH 81 civilian victims, aged 2 to 80.

    – at KHIAM 31 civilian victims, all under the age of 50.

    – at KAWNIN 29 civilian victims, all of them children.
    Source Sud-Liban: Tragédie … op.cit.p.

    September 16 1982: Lebanese mercenaries and the Israeli army kill 1500 Palestinian refugees at SABRA AND CHATILA camps.

    April 18 1996: During operation “Grapes Of Wrath” the Israeli Air force bombed and killed 106 Lebanese civilians (almost all either women, children or old men) who had taken refuge in a UN shelter in the village of CANA. A further 110 civilians were injured

    And the irony is that israel was asked to apologise by the UN and pay redemption for the building that was destroyed which of Israel never did. They haven`t payed, they haven`t apologised and they haven`t explained why this happened.

    Thanks beloved neighbours ( is this ok Mahmood?)

  68. Ramy says:

    To all,

    And some illustrations here below about the moments we share with Israel:

    http://www.fromisraeltolebanon.org/

    thanks beloved neighbors

  69. mahmood says:

    Shachar let’s agree to disagree then, as my reading between the lines of that comment certainly is offensive to me as the inference is definitely there. If I interpretted it wrong, I welcome a correction from the original author.

  70. Bubz says:

    The subtleties you mention are probably that Anonymous there was referring to Hezbollah being primarily a Shi’a group, and then saying that Shia’ism is not really Islam.

    “and I clearly blame us ‘Arabs’ for not defending your true faith here ”

    Thats probably where mahmood is coming from. Again, I’m Sunni and can safely say that this guy/girl doesn’t represent me.

    *Chuckles* And if you replace the word ‘Sunni’ by Muslim, even then it works because a true Muslim simply doesn’t hate. Especially not in the face of dissent (contrary to the media and whats going on in the world right now)

  71. Anonymous says:

    Bubz:

    “because a true Muslim simply doesn’t hate.”

    If I may ask, what is your definition of a ‘true Muslim’? I take it you disavow Islamism as ‘non-Muslim’? Would they be apostates, or heretics, or….?

    I’m genuinely interested in your comments on this matter.

  72. Shachar says:

    Bubz,

    Do talk to Ibn, then.

    Personally, I suspect that a true Muslim hates, just like everybody else. We are, all, human. You can say that Islam teaches not to hate, but Islam teaches so many great things that are being ignored, that I doubt this particular point is the one to hinge on.

    Shachar

    P.S.
    If memory serves me right, the Qorean states that Jihad can only be directed against non-Muslims and non-Jews. Can anyone with actual knowledge on the matter confirm/deny?

    Sh.

  73. F says:

    M

    Thank you for your kind comments. I believe a dialogue with all
    peoples is important. Looking foward to having fruitful discussions
    with you and everyone here.

    Shachar

    Referring to my post and your reply.

    a) Arabs ‘sold’ land – a minority for sure
    b) Argue with you – no point. looking for solutions and how to get there
    a) Not an ultimatum, but a solution
    b) I want peace for our peoples. Do you? Y/N

    What are your thoughts of a solution with Lebanon, Syria and Palestine?

    Clarify Jihad – It means struggle. Jihad is a daily ritual. Struggle to
    be a good man. Struggle to be a better parent. Struggle to provide
    a better living for your family. Struggle to help society.

    In times of war, when an Islamic nation is attacked and you are
    defending your people and your faith, then Jihad/struggle is declared
    against the people who wish to fight instead of making peace.

    In times of war, all faiths (Christian, Jewish, Hindu, etc.), living in
    Muslims countries are to be protected like anyone else.

    Muslims, like Jews and Christians, are people of the book. We all
    believe in one God. Muslims respects all Prophets including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. Muslims consider the first Muslim to be Abraham.

    Moses, on his way to the Promised land, came upon Arab tribes. He
    told them about his faith. They did not accept it. He said that a Prophet
    will come from you and he will bring you the message of God.

  74. Shachar says:

    F,

    a) Arabs ’sold’ land – a minority for sure
    b) Argue with you – no point. looking for solutions and how to get there
    I can answer point a or agree to point b, but I’m afraid I’m going to find it very difficult to do both. I’d rather go with b.

    a) Not an ultimatum, but a solution
    Well, I think we have a problem here. If you are going to tell me “I want A, B, and C, non-negotiable, and until I get it, you will have civilian casulties from suicide bombers”, I see it as an ultimatum.

    On the other hand, if you say “I want A, B and C”, dropping the “non-negotiable” part, then I’m willing to negotiate. Agreeing to A, B and C as a precondition to having a negotiation, however, does not count as “having a negotation”.

    b) I want peace for our peoples. Do you? Y/N
    Of course I do. The more interesting question is “how do you go about getting one”.

    Shachar

  75. F says:

    Shachar,

    I am glad we agree that we desire peace.

    Now, what is your solution that will bring
    lasting peace to the Palestinians, Lebanese,
    Syrians and Israelis.

  76. F says:

    The truth of Blair’s ‘urgent diplomacy’

    Blair and his masters regard ceasefires as a weapon, a means to a political end

    by Robert Fisk

    The Independent

    July 29, 2006

    I dropped by the hospital in Marjayoun this week to find a young girl lying in a hospital bed, swathed in bandages, her beauty scarred for ever by some familiar wounds; the telltale dark-red holes in her skin made by cluster bombs, the weapon we used in Iraq to such lethal effect and which the Israelis are now using to punish the civilians of southern Lebanon.

    And, of course, it occurred to me at once that if George Bush and Condoleezza Rice and our own sad and diminished Prime Minister had demanded a ceasefire when the Lebanese first pleaded for it, this young woman would not have to spend the rest of her life pitted with these vile scars.

    And having seen the cadavers of so many more men and women, I have to say – from my eyrie only three miles from the Israeli border – that the compliant, gutless, shameful refusal of Bush, Rice and Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara to bring this bloodbath to an end sentenced many hundreds of innocent Lebanese to death. As I write this near the village of Blat, which has its own little list of civilian dead, it’s quite clear that many more innocent Lebanese are being prepared for the slaughter – and will indeed die in the coming days.

    What was it Condoleezza Rice said? That “a hasty ceasefire would not be a good thing”? What was Blair’s pathetic excuse at the G8 summit? That it was much better to have a ceasefire that would last than one which might break down? Yes, I entirely understand. Blair and his masters – we shall give Rice a generic title to avoid the obvious – regard ceasefires not as a humanitarian step to alleviate and prevent suffering but as a weapon, as a means to a political end.

    Let the war last longer and the suffering grow greater – let compassion be postponed – and the Lebanese (and, most laughably, the Hizbollah) will eventually sink to their knees and accept the West’s ridiculous demands. And one of those famous American “opportunities” for change – ie for humbling Iran – will have been created.

    Hence, in the revolting words of Lord Blair’s flunky yesterday, Blair will “increase the urgency” of diplomacy. Think about that for a moment. Diplomacy wasn’t urgent at the beginning. Then I suppose it became fairly urgent and now this mendacious man is going to “increase” the urgency of diplomacy; after which, I suppose, it can become super-urgent or of “absolutely” paramount importance, the time decided – no doubt – by Israel’s belief that it has won the war against Hizbollah or, more likely, because Israel realises that it is an unwinnable war and wants us to take the casualties.

    Yet from the border of Pakistan to the Mediterranean – with the sole exception of the much-hated Syria and Iran, which might be smothered in blood later – we have turned a 2,500-mile swath of the Muslim world into a hell-disaster of unparalleled suffering and hatred. Our British “peacekeepers” in Afghanistan are fighting for their lives – and apparently bombing the innocent, Israeli-style – against an Islamist enemy which grows by the week. In Iraq, our soldiers – and those of the United States – hide in their concrete crusader fortresses while the people they so generously liberated and introduced to the benefits of western-style democracy slash each other to death. And now Lord Blair and his chums – following Israeli policy to the letter – are allowing Israel to destroy Lebanon and call it peace.

    Blair and his ignorant Foreign Secretary have played along with Israel’s savagery with blind trust in our own loss of memory. It is perfectly acceptable, it seems, after the Hizbollah staged its reckless and lethal 12 July assault, to destroy the infrastructure of Lebanon and the lives of more than 400 of its innocents. But hold on a moment. When the IRA used to cross the Irish border to kill British soldiers – which it did – did Blair and his cronies blame the Irish Republic’s government in Dublin? Did Blair order the RAF to bomb Dublin power stations and factories? Did he send British troops crashing over the border in tanks to fire at will into the hill villages of Louth, Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal? Did Blair then demand an international, Nato-led force to take over a buffer zone – on the Irish, not the Northern Ireland side, of the border?

    Of course not. But Israel has special privileges afforded to no other civilised nation. It can do exactly what Blair would never have done – and still receive the British Government’s approbation. It can trash the Geneva Conventions – because the Americans have done that in Iraq – and it can commit war crimes and murder UN soldiers like the four unarmed observers who refused to leave their post under fire.

    And what of the Hizbollah, faithful servants of Syria and Iran, and its leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, God’s first servant, perhaps, but that of Damascus and Tehran a close second? I have long believed that its attack across the Israeli border was planned months in advance. But I’ve now come to realise that Israel’s assault on Lebanon was also planned long in advance – as part of the American-Israeli project to change the shape of the Middle East. The idea that Nasrallah is going to kneel before a Nato general and hand over his sword – that this disciplined, ruthless, frightening guerrilla army is going to surrender to Nato – is a folly beyond self-delusion.

    But Blair and Bush want to send a combat force into southern Lebanon. Well, I shall be there, I suppose, to watch its swift destruction in an orgy of car and suicide bombings by the same organisation that yesterday fired another new longer-than-ever range missile that landed near Afula in Israel.

    The Lebanese government – democratically elected and hailed by a US administration which threw roses at its prime minister after the US state department claimed a “cedar revolution” – has just caught the Americans off guard, producing a peace package to which the Hizbollah has reluctantly agreed, starting with an immediate ceasefire. Can Washington ignore the decision of a democratic government? Of course it can. It is encouraging Israel to continue its destruction of the democratically elected Hamas government in Gaza and the West Bank.

    So stand by for an “increase” in the “urgency” of diplomacy – and for more women with their skin torn open by cluster bombs.

  77. Ethan says:

    Once again, I ask – how do you negoatiate with people who have genocidal ambitions?

    Or more appropriately – how do you fight against suicidal hate that has been brainwashed into the fighting force over generations?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1832930,00.html

    Hizbullah prides itself on its secretiveness and discipline. “We don’t take anyone who knocks at our door and says ‘I want to join’. We raise our fighters. We take them when they are young kids and raise them to become Hizbullah fighters. Every fighter we have believes that the ultimate form of being is martyrdom.” The three men nod their assent.

    Shia symbols and mythology play a big role in the ideology of Hizbullah, especially the tragedy of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the prophet who in the 7th century led a few hundred men against the well-organised army of the caliph in Damascus. He was slain in Karbala, and Shia around the world commemorate these events in Ashura.

    “Every one of those fighters is a true believer, he has been not only trained to use guns and weapons but [indoctrinated] in the Shia faith and the Husseini beliefs,” Ali says.

  78. Aliandra says:

    Jasra: And Hizbollah has managed to gain eveyone’s respect

    Not sure what you mean, Jasra. Hezbollah provoked Israel into devastating southern Lebanon. If that act has gained the respect of the Arab world, then that doesn’t say much for the Arab world.

    I hope it’s not true, because it’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  79. F says:

    Ethan,

    Question I ask, how do you negotiate with a people who have
    genocidal ambitions?

    more appropriately – how do you fight against an oppresser, with
    unlimited weapons, who shows the world that it is a victim.

    Hizbollah was created in the killing fields of South Lebanon when the
    Israelis forces occupied it. Hizbollah is now coming home to roost.

    Solution – find a 3rd party that will negotiate between the two.
    Cease-fire in place. Negotiations will take a set amount of time and
    amicable and equitable solution would be reached. UN will issue a resolution and both parties will have to abide by it.

    interesting article –

    The Shame Of Being An American

    By Paul Craig Roberts

    Dr. Roberts [send him mail] [paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com] is Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute [http://www.independent.org/] He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review, and was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

    Gentle reader, do you know that Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing in southern Lebanon? Israel has ordered all the villagers to clear out. Israel then destroys their homes and murders the fleeing villagers. That way there is no one to come back and nothing to which to return, making it easier for Israel to grab the territory, just as Israel has been stealing Palestine from the Palestinians.

    Do you know that one-third of the Lebanese civilians murdered by Israel’s attacks on civilian residential districts are children? That is the report from Jan Egeland, the emergency relief coordinator for the UN. He says it is impossible for help to reach the wounded and those buried in rubble, because Israeli air strikes have blown up all the bridges and roads. Considering how often (almost always) Israel misses Hezbollah targets and hits civilian ones, one might think that Israeli fire is being guided by US satellites and US military GPS. Don’t be surprised at US complicity. Why would the puppet be any less evil than the puppet master?

    Of course, you don’t know these things, because the US print and TV media do not report them.

    Because Bush is so proud of himself, you do know that he has blocked every effort to stop the Israeli slaughter of Lebanese civilians. Bush has told the UN “NO.” Bush has told the European Union “NO.” Bush has told the pro-American Lebanese prime minister “NO.” Twice. Bush is very proud of his firmness. He is enjoying Israel’s rampage and wishes he could do the same thing in Iraq.

    Does it make you a Proud American that “your” president gave Israel the green light to drop bombs on convoys of villagers fleeing from Israeli shelling, on residential neighborhoods in the capital of Beirut and throughout Lebanon, on hospitals, on power plants, on food production and storage, on ports, on civilian airports, on bridges, on roads, on every piece of infrastructure on which civilized life depends? Are you a Proud American? Or are you an Israeli puppet?

    On July 20, “your” House of Representatives voted 410-8 in favor of Israel’s massive war crimes in Lebanon. Not content with making every American complicit in war crimes, “your” House of Representatives, according to the Associated Press, also “condemns enemies of the Jewish state.”

    Who are the “enemies of the Jewish state”?

    They are the Palestinians whose land has been stolen by the Jewish state, whose homes and olive groves have been destroyed by the Jewish state, whose children have been shot down in the streets by the Jewish state, whose women have been abused by the Jewish state. They are Palestinians who have been walled off into ghettos, who cannot reach their farm lands or medical care or schools, who cannot drive on roads through Palestine that have been constructed for Israelis only. They are Palestinians whose ancient towns have been invaded by militant Zionist “settlers” under the protection of the Israeli army who beat and persecute the Palestinians and drive them out of their towns. They are Palestinians who cannot allow their children outside their homes because they will be murdered by Israeli “settlers.”

    The Palestinians who confront Israeli evil are called “terrorists.” When Bush forced free elections on Palestine, the people voted for Hamas. Hamas is the organization that has stood up to Israel. This means, of course, that Hamas is evil, anti-Semitic, un-American and terrorist. The US and Israel responded by cutting off all funds to the new government. Democracy is permitted only if it produces the results Bush and Israel want.

    Israelis never practice terror. Only those who are in Israel’s way are terrorists.

    Another enemy of the Jewish state is Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a militia of Shi’ite Muslims created in 1982 when Israel first invaded Lebanon. During this invasion the great moral Jewish state arranged for the murder of refugees in refugee camps. The result of Israel’s atrocities was Hezbollah, which fought the Israeli Army, defeated it, and drove it out of Lebanon. Today Hezbollah not only defends southern Lebanon but also provides social services such as orphanages and medical care.

    To cut to the chase, the enemies of the Jewish state are any Muslim country not ruled by an American puppet friendly to Israel. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the oil emirates have sided with Israel against their own kind, because they are dependent either on American money or on American protection from their own people. Sooner or later these totally corrupt governments that do not represent the people they rule will be overthrown. It is only a matter of time.

    Indeed Bush and Israel may be hastening the process in their frantic effort to overthrow the governments of Syria and Iran. Both governments have more popular support than Bush has, but the White House Moron doesn’t know this. The Moron thinks Syria and Iran will be “cakewalks” like Iraq, where ten proud divisions of the US military are tied down by a few lightly armed insurgents.

    If you are still a Proud American, consider that your pride is doing nothing good for Israel or for America.

    On July 20 when “your” House of Representatives, following “your” US Senate, passed the resolution in support of Israel’s war crimes, the most powerful lobby in Washington, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), quickly got out a press release proclaiming “The American people overwhelming support Israel’s war on terrorism and understand that we must stand by our closest ally in this time of crisis.”

    The truth is that Israel created the crisis by invading a country with a pro-American government. The truth is that the American people do not support Israel’s war crimes, as the CNN quick poll results make clear and as was made clear by callers into C-Span.

    Despite the Israeli spin on news provided by US “reporting,” a majority of Americans do not approve of Israeli atrocities against Lebanese civilians. Hezbollah is located in southern Lebanon. If Israel is targeting Hezbollah, why are Israeli bombs falling on northern Lebanon? Why are they falling on Beirut? Why are they falling on civilian airports? On schools and hospitals?

    Now we arrive at the main point. When the US Senate and House of Representatives pass resolutions in support of Israeli war crimes and condemn those who resist Israeli aggression, the Senate and House confirm Osama bin Laden’s propaganda that America stands with Israel against the Arab and Muslim world.

    Indeed, Israel, which has one of the world’s largest per capita incomes, is the largest recipient of US foreign aid. Many believe that much of this “aid” comes back to AIPAC, which uses it to elect “our” representatives in Congress.

    This perception is no favor to Israel, whose population is declining, as the smart ones have seen the writing on the wall and have been leaving. Israel is surrounded by hundreds of millions of Muslims who are being turned into enemies of Israel by Israel’s actions and inhumane policies.

    The hope in the Muslim world has always been that the United States would intervene in behalf of compromise and make Israel realize that Israel cannot steal Palestine and turn every Palestinian into a refugee.

    This has been the hope of the Arab world. This is the reason our puppets have not been overthrown. This hope is the reason America still had some prestige in the Arab world.

    The House of Representatives resolution, bought and paid for by AIPAC money, is the final nail in the coffin of American prestige in the Middle East. It shows that America is, indeed, Israel’s puppet, just as Osama bin Laden says, and as a majority of Muslims believe.

    With hope and diplomacy dead, henceforth America and Israel have only tooth and claw. The vaunted Israeli army could not defeat a rag tag militia in southern Lebanon. The vaunted US military cannot defeat a rag tag, lightly armed insurgency drawn from a minority of the population in Iraq, insurgents, moreover, who are mainly engaged in civil war against the Shi’ite majority.

    What will the US and its puppet master do? Both are too full of hubris and paranoia to admit their terrible mistakes. Israel and the US will either destroy from the air the civilian infrastructure of Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Iran so that civilized life becomes impossible for Muslims, or the US and Israel will use nuclear weapons to intimidate Muslims into acquiescence to Israel’s desires.

    Muslim genocide in one form or another is the professed goal of the neoconservatives who have total control over the Bush administration. Neocon godfather Norman Podhoretz has called for World War IV (in neocon thinking WW III was the Cold War) to overthrow Islam in the Middle East, deracinate the Islamic religion and turn it into a formalized, secular ritual.

    Rumsfeld’s neocon Pentagon has drafted new US war doctrine that permits pre-emptive nuclear attack on non-nuclear states.

    Neocon David Horowitz says that by slaughtering Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, “Israel is doing the work of the rest of the civilized world,” thus equating war criminals with civilized men.

    Neocon Larry Kudlow says that “Israel is doing the Lord’s work” by murdering Lebanese, a claim that should give pause to Israel’s Christian evangelical supporters. Where does the Lord Jesus say, “go forth and murder your neighbors so that you may steal their lands”?

    The complicity of the American public in these heinous crimes will damn America for all time in history.

  80. Solas says:

    Even for Robert Fisk, that is an appallingly poor standard article. I don’t even now where to begin, so I’ll just address one point which I’ve seen raised over the last few days:

    But hold on a moment. When the IRA used to cross the Irish border to kill British soldiers – which it did – did Blair and his cronies blame the Irish Republic’s government in Dublin? Did Blair order the RAF to bomb Dublin power stations and factories? Did he send British troops crashing over the border in tanks to fire at will into the hill villages of Louth, Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal? Did Blair then demand an international, Nato-led force to take over a buffer zone – on the Irish, not the Northern Ireland side, of the border?

    That statement displays a woeful ignorance of history. You’d imagine a Brit would know better. First of all the IRA were active in 32 counties. In most cases they did not need to cross any border as they were already in the north. The IRA is an illegal terrorist organisation, designated as such by both the British and Irish governments. The IRA is not a political party therefore never was in power. The British never needed blame Dublin, as the IRA was a threat to both states and both states worked together to get rid of the IRA. No international border policing was need as it was done in cooperation with both governments. When it came to the IRA, both states were on the same side, fighting against the IRA.

    What a stupid man! He seems to just stir the pot for a living.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Muslim genocide in one form or another is the professed goal of the neoconservatives

    That’s absolute rubbish, like most of the hysterical arguments the author makes.

  82. Ash says:

    These supposed parallels with the Irish situation are a nonsense. During the Troubles, the IRA never formed part of the Irish government and never operated with impunity in Ireland. Nor did they ever launch thousands of rockets into England. Had the Irish government done as the Lebanese government did and allow the terrorists to form part of the government without also requiring them to disarm, then the IRA’s actions might very well have been regarded in Britain not as criminal but as an act of war by the Irish State. The result then might well have been all out war. But it never happened because at no point did the Irish government sanction the IRA’s activities or accept the IRA as part of government. Furthermore, the IRA’s objective was simply an end to British governance of Northern Ireland; they never bragged about how they intended destroying Britain itself and wiping out all Britons.

  83. M says:

    Ramy,

    “Where is Hezbollah? How are they launching all these Missiles to Israel, while spy planes and satellite images are all over Lebanon.”

    Are you saying Israel is bombing itself? Do have some evidence you would like to share with everyone?

  84. Bubz says:

    M,

    Another something – since they do have all these satellite images and spy planes and what possibly is the strongest intelligence agency in the world – how come it’s children and women and eldery and civilians that are being blown up? How come its unarmed UN observers that are dying?

    I have no doubt that percision missles are being used, I have no doubt that the intel is accurate, and that the targets are meticulously chosen as the Israeli Goverment and army say they are – but one COULD assume that all the damage to civilian and government property and the loss of civilian lives could very well BE that ‘percision’ they’re aiming for?

    Again, I’m not saying that is whats happening – all I’m saying is one could draw that conclusion.

  85. Anonymous says:

    Bubz;

    How come its unarmed UN observers that are dying?

    You might want to checke this from the UN’s own site:

    http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/unifilpress.htm

    July 25 has Hezbollah firing on the UN:
    “This morning Hezbollah opened small arms fire at a UNIFIL convoy consisting of two armored personnel carriers (APC) on the road between Kunin and Bint Jubayl.”

    Another UNIFIL press release: “Hezbollah firing was also reported from the immediate vicinity of the UN positions in Naqoura and Maroun Al Ras areas at the time of the incidents.”

    So the claim that the UN were deliberately targeted when there were Hezbollah fighters nearby who were the actual target is weak at best.

    Also this, which shows the Hezbollah flag flying next to the UN flag:

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/004340.html

    one COULD assume that all the damage to civilian and government property and the loss of civilian lives could very well BE that ‘percision’ they’re aiming for?

    From an Australian newspaper:

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,19955774-5007220,00.html
    Which says: “The images include one of a group of men and youths preparing to fire an anti-aircraft gun metres from an apartment block with sheets hanging out on a balcony to dry. “

    Jan Egeland of the UN even condemns Hezbollah behavior. You might want to consider that Hezbollah fires from civilian areas because it’s the best way to make Israel look bad. I’m sure they write off the civilians as “martyrs”. Instant ticket to heaven and all that.

    The only party actually aiming for civilian casualties as a tactical plan are the Hezzies.

  86. M says:

    Bubz,

    I think Ramy’s point was that he was questioning if Hezbollah actually was launching rockets at Israel, but I could be wrong about his opinion. I’m just wondering what he knows that the rest of us don’t cause when I turned on the TV in the first few days, I clearly saw some rockets being launched from Lebanon into Israel. Also saw some artillery going the other way as well. Is Ramy saying there are spies or something inside Lebanon launching rockets at Israel to start the entire conflict? Hezbollah never fired any rockets or what? What’s the deal, Ramy?

    “but one COULD assume that all the damage to civilian and government property and the loss of civilian lives could very well BE that ‘percision’ they’re aiming for?”

    Undoubtedly one could assume that if one were so inclined to do so. I would never make that assumption unless I had absolute proof that was the intention all along. There is, however, objective informtion from the UN’s own observer who was killed recently that seems valid in this instance unless Ramy can produce something other than his subjective opinion.

  87. Ramy says:

    M,

    what i mean is that the declared deaths among Hezbollah are only arround 2o while the number of casualties during this war is 800, have you seen the photos?

    Any Hezbollah in there?all of them are kids….

    tell me where is Hezbollah in this?

    Hezbollah is launching rockets at israel…. but all the spy planes and the continous watch over southern lebanon, Israel is only locating civilians and killing them and claiming that Hezbollah is hiding between the civilians….

    Where are the Hezbollah in those pictures?

    http://www.fromisraeltolebanon.org

    M, you completely misunderstood me…..

    Ramy

  88. Ethan says:

    Where are the Hezbollah in those pictures?

    I don’t mean this as an attack, but to paraphrase Mahmood: “We are all Hezbollah.”

    Now I do understand what he meant by his words – even though I find them mis-chosen – it was his choice to stand behind them, and I respect him enough to not make a fuss over them, but I will use them to support a point:

    Almost the whole of the Shia south -is- Hezbollah. Since the radical group is the one providing the services, the money, the loans, the education, it is a major mental stretch to consider that the youth and the people are not at some level brainwashed by their ideology. If not for Hezbollah, the Shia of Lebanon were treated like crap. Jihad through winning of hearts and minds!

    And Hezbollah’s ideology is not very different than what one would find in the textbooks of the Hitler Youth. Death before dishonor. Martyrdom for the greater good, and a propaganda outfit that would make Goebbels proud.

    The major difference is that the Schutzstaffel and the Weirmacht did not hide in civilian areas, and trumpet live civilians as shields, and dead ones as propaganda.

  89. mahmood says:

    That’s a rather superficial and exposed, Ethan. So is your comparison of Shi’as to Nazis.

    Not sure what you’re getting at other than yet again insulting Islam… Be careful my friend, people will think that you have an agenda!

  90. Loki says:

    must be that hearts and minds thing we keep hearing about….

  91. Ibn says:

    Shachar,

    Bubz, Do talk to Ibn, then.

    Whats this for?

    -Ibn

  92. M says:

    Hi Ramy,

    I’m going to cut you some slack here, and let’s just assume I misunderstood your words.

    If I understand you this time, you are saying that Israel targets civilians as a matter of routine, and they do it intentionally.

    You are saying Hezbollah is launching rockets at Israel.

    You are saying that Israel is falsely claiming Hezbollah is hiding among the civilians.

    By default, you are saying that the UN observers were lying, mistaken blah, blah, blah when they said Hezbollah was operating near them.

    Is that what you are saying?

    Also please tell me: “tell me where is Hezbollah in this?”

    You tell me. Where is Hezbollah, who are they and what do they do and why?

  93. Ramy says:

    Hey M,

    Hizbollah is a result of the below lovely relationship with Israel, please read carefully and judge for yourself… just be objective and think if you were a Lebanese what would you do?

    1948: First war between Israel and the Lebanese army.

    1949: March 23 armistice signed between Israel and Lebanon.

    1948-67: Military actions increase.

    1968: – First of the feddayin Palestinian raids in the ‘Arquoub region of southern Lebanon.

    – Israel attacks Beirut International Airport destroying 13 aircraft belonging to MEA Airlines (I don`t know why)

    – Palestinian refugees begin settling in Lebanon.

    1978: “Operation Litani” Israeli army invades Lebanon.

    1978-2000: After a partial withdrawal from Lebanese territory, Israeli forces continue to occupy the southern part of Lebanon.

    1980-2000: The Lebanese resistance, composed of several groups, increases it’s attacks on military targets and Israeli soldiers. (to free the land)

    1982: “Operation Peace for Galilee” Israeli army invades Lebanon. (all of Lebanon)

    1993: “Operation Revenge” Arial bombarding, shelling of Lebanese towns and villages by the Israeli army and their proxy-militia, the South lebanese Army (SLA). (right after the civil war)

    1996: “Operation Grapes Of Wrath” Arial bombarding, shelling of Lebanese towns and villages by the Israeli army and their proxy-militia, the South lebanese Army (SLA). (as soon as Lebanon staarted breathing)

    2000: May 25 – Complete withdrawal of Israeli forces as a result of heavy losses inflicted on them by the Lebanese resistance. (except from Shebaa and the prisoners in te Israeli prisons)

    The massacres carried out by Israeli armed forces in Lebanon are too numerous to mention. However here are a few examples :

    October 30 1948: During operation “Hiram”, 94 villagers at SULHA died when an apartment building was blown up by the 7th brigade ( the “Haganah”) of the Israeli army. The rest of the villagers were evicted from their homes and forced to leave the village.
    According to the Israeli historien BENNI MORRIS

    October 31 1948: The villagers of HOULA were assembled in 2 houses which were then blown up by the Israeli army causing 80 civilian deaths.
    According to The Children of HOULA Association

    1978: During operation “Litani” 3 massacres were carried out by the Israeli invasion forces.

    – at ABBASIEH 81 civilian victims, aged 2 to 80.

    – at KHIAM 31 civilian victims, all under the age of 50.

    – at KAWNIN 29 civilian victims, all of them children.
    Source Sud-Liban: Tragédie … op.cit.p.

    September 16 1982: Lebanese mercenaries and the Israeli army kill 1500 Palestinian refugees at SABRA AND CHATILA camps.

    April 18 1996: During operation “Grapes Of Wrath” the Israeli Air force bombed and killed 106 Lebanese civilians (almost all either women, children or old men) who had taken refuge in a UN shelter in the village of CANA. A further 110 civilians were injured

    And the irony is that israel was asked to apologise by the UN and pay redemption for the building that was destroyed which of course, Israel never did. They haven`t payed, they haven`t apologised and they haven`t explained why this happened.

    they are normal people who have made it their belief and their mission to free Lebanon from Israel

    I think i answered why they do that…..

    Another point:

    Tell me what is the UN doing? Who is the UN? the UN is an American puppet… all they do is make decisions for the US to blindly disagree with them….and annul them
    even the UN has been bombed by Israel. Hezbollah is hiding there? or again, collateral damage.

    Ramy

  94. Dan says:

    I understand, I think, why Mahmood and others would say ‘we’re all Hizballah.’ After all, the IDF seems to bomb with impunity, and no one stands up to them… except, Hizballah. Much the same impulse, I might add, that leads many Jews to identify so strongly with Israel, the “little state” that stood up and fought for its people when so many Jews, for so long, were at the mercy of other people… with tragic consequences.

    But, at heart, there’s a kind of tribalism here on both sides: the harm done to one’s own is all, the harm done to the “other” is rationalized away. The deaths at Qana were ‘just what happens in war,’ the hundreds of rockets fired at civilians in Israel are “self-defense,” the techniques of Hizbollah–which do indeed maximize the risk to civilians–are justified against a “technically superior enemy”, the IDF aerial bombardment–itself deeply morally problematic–is just “coercive leverage.” That sort of thing.

    In my own naive way, I think of this not as which belligerent, but in the same way that numerous newspapers reacted to 9/11. If, on that day, even the French were “Americans,” then these days we are all “Lebanese.” The fighting must end. Only the extremists gain, and the costs are too high for the innocent.

  95. jasra jedi says:

    Dan ..

    Interesting point. However, how does the IDF justify bombing the infrastructure in Beirut? The airport? The roads? The power stations? If Hezbollah’s base in Southern Lebanon, then why dismantle the whole country?

    Israel has said time and time again that their issue is with Hizbollah, Syria and Iran. Then, how can they justify what is happeneing to Lebanon?

    And why havent they gone into Damascus? Or Tehran?

    Or do they really have some other obejctive for the war? Some other target?

  96. Ash says:

    @JJ – blowing up airports, roads, power stations etc is absolutely the norm in war. My own grandfather did this when he was in the RAF fighting against Germany in WWII. Bridges, roads, factories that may or may not have been producing munitions – all were targets. The primary intention was to destroy the German military’s supply routes and communications. No doubt countless German civilians died in those raids, just as countless died when German bombs rained down on British cities. Whether you agree with Israel or not, clearly it considers itself to be at war and it is using exactly the tactics that countries at war have used ever since the advent of long-range missiles and aerial warfare. Argue that the war itself is wrong if that’s what you think, but the actual tactics that Israel is using are ordinary military tactics and not the slightest bit unusual.

  97. Ramy says:

    Ash,

    The difference between WWII and this war is that WWII was between 2 nations while israel is now claiming to only target Hezbollah.

    And all Hezbollah are in the South so what does the northern ports have to do with it?

    What does the airport have to do with it?

    I`ll explain to you, Israel is playing the divide and rule card which worked with it in 1982.

    Israel took advantage of the internal divisions between the different sects in Lebanon and created the 20 years civil war between the Lebanese and during this time, Israel was living in peace.

    Now they wanted to do the same by making all the lebanese pay the for price of Hezbollah. And this way it will create separation amongst the Lebanese who agree with Hezbollah and those who don`t……Those who are with Iran and Syria and those who aren`t….

    However, things are different now, the war that Israel has announced against Lebanon is only increasing unity among the Lebanese because we learnt from our mistakes. We can never trust our lovely neighbors.No matter what, not one Lebanese will stand with Israel. All these massacres and deaths of our brothers, cousins, friends, families in front of our eyes…..

    This is what Mahmood means by “everybody is Hezbollah now”.

    This is the losing card that israel was betting on.

    Ramy

  98. Am Yisroel Chai says:

    I’ve read a fair number of the comments here, but many seem to be engaged in flights of fancy instead of objective reality.

    The truth of the matter is that Israel is setting out to destroy Hezbollah AND to dissuade anyone from hosting its presence, or that of other terror groups, in the future. To destroy Hezbollah, it’s cutting roads and bridges, making it more difficult for Hezbollah to move personnel or weapons into Syria or Northern Lebanon. This is sound military strategy.

    As we’ve now seen, the Qana affair appears to be a Hezbollah scam, complete with buildings ‘exploding’ hours after any Israeli presence, bodies which have been dead days, not hours, and the odd presence of the ‘Green Helmet Man’ who keeps showing up in staged poses–when he’s not over in Tyre (!!) doing the same thing. Even more oddly, this fellow–who must be the busiest paramedic in the known world, as well as an amateur actor–was able to travel without problem between Tyre and Qana on a road which supposedly had been ‘cut’ by Israeli airstrikes, making it (we’re told) ‘impossible’ for the Qana villagers to evacuate.

    So: a road which is in fact open, a staged media event using a building which mysteriously blows itself up when no Israeli forces are anywhere nearby, and bodies which are clearly not of recent origin. Plus Mr. Green Helmet, who may seen rival ‘Baghdad Bob’ in his histrionics.

    Clearly Hezbollah is losing, and know it, if they’re resorting to cut-rate spectacle such as this.

    Here’s the skinny, folks: you tried, and lost, in your attempt to obliterate Israel in 1967. Instead, she relieved Jordan of the West Bank and Egypt of the Sinai.

    She returned Sinai to Egypt following the Camp David accords; if the West Bank should go to ANYONE, it should be to Jordan, whose government can decide what to do with it. In any case, Israel has evacuated nearly all of the WB as well and built a barrier to keep death-cultists from coming across and blowing up Sunday lunchers.

    Israel was promised ‘peace’ if she left the WB; instead, she got more suicide attacks.

    Israel was promised peace if she left Gaza; instead, she got more than 800 rockets launched at her in the last year.

    Israel left Lebanon years ago, and ever since has had to deal with rocket attacks from there, too.

    Now, it’s probably dead easy to think ‘so what, they’re just Jooz’, but how would YOU react were you being rocketed every day, in exchange for having withdrawn from several territories? And if you had–as you thought–reached peace agreements, only to find that your adversaries merely redoubled their attacks? Would you sit still and do nothing?

    The Arabs have, yet again, screwed up. Apparently only Jordan and Egypt have the sense God gave fruit flies, and have made peace with Israel. The rest still harbor insane delusions about ‘destroying’ Israel. It ain’t gonna happen, folks. Every time you provoke her, or lie about wanting peace, then attack her, you will only get smacked down harder, and harder, and harder.

    Israel has tried the peace and kumbayah approach, only to be betrayed. There’s no reason for her to act with restraint now. If you hate someone, and keep telling the world that that person must be killed, you have no reason to indulge in anger or self-pity when that person comes for you, looking to kill YOU.

    You’ve created this mess by consistently screwing Israel over, so let’s hear no more self-righteous claptrap or whining now that Israel is taking you at your word and taking measures to ensure that you cannot hurt her.

    The Middle East seems to have a real problem dealing with reality, retreating into either bullying or self-pity as the occasion suits. Clearly Israel is giving you an object lesson on ‘why it’s important to keep faith over agreements, and why governments had better rein in their sponsored death-cult thugs.

    And make no mistake: Israel CAN, and will, if need be, take out every state in the Mideast in order to ensure the survival of her people.

    And that’s that.

  99. Ramy says:

    Am Yisroel Chai

    “And make no mistake: Israel CAN, and will, if need be, take out every state in the Mideast in order to ensure the survival of her people.”

    This is the long term objective of Israel, this is what Israel is made for, this is what Israel is teaching its children, this is the belief of Israel…..from the Nile to Euphrates river. isn`t that the flag? the religion? the history Israel is trying to make? for 3000 years you wanted to be back to the promised land and you got Palestine within 50 years and you can wait for 100 years to get the whole pie.

    This is why ‘She’ is facing all this resistance. And we all know about the new ‘weak’ and ‘shattered’ Middle East that US and Israel are promoting. remember the divide and rule card?

    This is why it is in Israel`s interest that no country in the region has economic prosperity and the example is Lebanon whereby at the beginning of each summer season, a small exchange of bombings between Israel and hezbollah gets the widest media coverage ever…

    I tell you my friend, Israel was getting ready for this for a long time now, because they went out of Lebanon in 2000 in a bad manner. They wanted revenge from Hezbollah and that`s why arround 200 spies have been caught in this operation from various nationalities. This is why the maps of each and every bridge be it small or big it was destroyed in the first two days.

    Iran and Syria are next but Israel and US decided let`s get small fish out first (Hezbollah) than we will kick the big ones.

    There is a check mate in the region, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Israel (the order from East to west on the world map) Iran and Syria are surrounded from left, right, up and down. Why?

    It`s a matter of survival of identity of nationality of existance.

    Nile to the Euphrates, this is why…..the promised land, this is why….even if it takes a 100 years, you waited 3000 another 100 won`t hurt, just play it slowly but surely…..Israel will get there.

    But in the presence of Syria and Hezbollah and Iran, Israel is going nowhere. The other countries are just greedy and are only thinking on the short-term benefit rewards from mother US. While we are thinking about our children and their future, we don`t want them to become like the palestinians (with all due respect) without a nation or a country or a land or a passport.

    Judge for yourselves. this is how i think about it.

    Ramy

  100. Ash says:

    @ Ramy – the difference you describe doesn’t alter the fact that a) Israel considers itself to be at war and b) Israel’s actions are in no sense unusual in modern warfare (indeed, they are remarkably constrained compared to those that commonly occur in modern wars). And yes, Israel is going after Hezbollah but Hezbollah forms part of the Lebanese government and has been engaged in hostilities from within Lebanon for a very long time, seemingly with impunity. While “the State of Lebanon” has not declared war upon Israel, part of its State machinery – the part known as Hezbollah – certainly has and has repeatedly engaged in acts of war against Israel.

  101. Ramy says:

    Ash you are only talking about one point the rest is meaningless?

  102. Ibn says:

    Am Yisroel Chai,

    I think you have mis-guided frustration. Allow me to elaborate:

    Israel was promised ‘peace’ if she left the WB; instead, she got more suicide attacks.

    Israel was promised peace if she left Gaza; instead, she got more than 800 rockets launched at her in the last year.

    Israel left Lebanon years ago, and ever since has had to deal with rocket attacks from there, too.

    What you do not realise is that the ideology of your country, is what is a focal point in this conflict. Why should land consessions matter, when your country is governed by an ideology which is expansionist and racist to begin with? How does that work? This does not mean that I support Islamist movements by the way. I work against them. However, this is the source of your country’s problems. This is a source of the animosity, and this is what you fail to realise. As long as your goverment does not acknowledge what I have labelled:
    Israeli Crimes number 1, 2 and 3, then you can rest assured there will always be conflict.

    I hope that you, presumably an Israeli citizen – a representative of your country, take it upon yourself, to at least provide a personal acknowledgement of those crimes which your country is responsible for. I can sympathize with the plight of the Jews after WWII, but that in no way justified Crimes 1, 2 and 3. Understand, that it is through acknowledgement, that real peace can be sought. We already have one Israeli, “Shachar”, already acknowledge Crime # 2. This is probably a bigger step to peace than 10 years worth of politicians gathering and bickering together. I have alot of respect for him for this, and I really believe his efforts to bring real peace are sincere. I invite you, another Israeli citizen, to do the same.

    What you should take away from here is this – as long as there is no effort to reconcile Israeli Crimes 1, 2 and 3 by your people and government, you will always be resisted. It was secular groups a couple decades ago, Islamist groups today, and who knows who tomorrow. Because nothing has addressed the fundamental problems, which are Crimes 1, 2 and 3. The best case scenario for you in this case is a tactical peace. This means that in Israel’s best case scenario, all entities that oppose it for whatever reasons are disarmed, and cannot harm Israel even if they want to. In their minds, they oppose Israel, but their hands are tied. This is different from what I call a “moral” peace, in which peoples’ genuinely do like Israel, and have no issue with it, almost like no one really minds Switzerland.

    Although this will bring about “peace” in the short term, eventually someone somewhere somehow will find a way to effectively mount an opposition. Humans are by far the most resilient and adaptive creatures. And the motivation for that will be because you never addressed Crimes 1, 2 and 3.

    -Ibn

  103. M says:

    Hi Ramy,

    Thanks for your response. I understand you are a lot closer to the situation than I am, and it is more personal for you as it is for some of the Israeli posters here.

    “just be objective and think if you were a Lebanese what would you do?”
    I have strived to remain objective which is probably easier for me to do since I have no horse in the race. After reading your list and some of your other posts, I have to honestly say I am in disagreement with your position that Israel is the big bad wolf; there is more than enough blame to go around.

    What would I do if I were Lebanese? I guess I would be trying to deal with my anger at Israel for not taking a more diplomatic approach early on but also those in Lebanon who were so afraid of where the Lebanese people were headed that they felt compelled to cause a confrontation. I guess I would be hoping that things happen for a reason, and that Lebanese will move forward with their own agenda rather than defaulting to Hezbollah.

    Now what would I do if I were Israeli? I think I would get a well stocked bomb shelter and come out every five years and see who is bombing who. What would you do, Ramy? Be objective.

  104. Ash says:

    @ Ramy – it’s all the same point. This is what happens in wars. There’s no such thing as a nice, humane war and since the advent of modern warfare there’s no such thing as a war in which civilians don’t bear the brunt of the casualties and the destruction. In terms of civilian lives, it would be great if wars were still fought on battlefields far from centres of population but it hasn’t been that way for well over a century. Among recent and current wars, Israel-Lebanon is perhaps the least bloody, not the most. Compare it to the conflict in D.R. Congo, where around 4 million have died since 1998; or to the genocide in Darfur, where several hundred thousand have died and the killing goes on to this day, largely ignored by the West, by the Muslim world, and by the UN. How about Chechnya? Or Indonesia’s ongoing and bloody colonisation of West Papua? Yes, I agree that the plight of ordinary Lebanese is terrible, but to present Israel’s actions as somehow uniquely or exceptionally savage is absurd.

  105. Ramy says:

    So we should wait until we become like chechnya or Congo?

    My friend i spoke about the ”plan’

    isn`t the plan real? This is the Zionist plan my friend.

    This is why Israel is considered as a Cancerous cell in the Middle East. The expansionist approach and belief.

    This is why Hezbollah and other organisations are present. They are the effect of the cause (israel)

  106. jasra jedi says:

    Am Yosrael Chai ..

    Aah. We have ourselves a Macchiavellian on this site. Welcome.

    You state “If the West Bank should go to ANYONE, it should be to Jordan, whose government can decide what to do with it.”

    Thst’s interesting. Turn the West Bank/Jordan into the the 2nd state of the two state solution that your government supposedly supports? We all know that if that were to happen, then Palestinian faction groups would emerge on the ‘new’ borders, similar to what Hizbollah is doing in South Lebanon. So, at some point, Israel will find a way to fight back, and will hold the Government of Jordan accountable for what she is allowing the newly formed “QuwatAllah”* to do on her soil, and Israel will bomb the hell out fo the Jordanian airport and bridges and infrastructure.

    And, then … what? Israel will *stay* in Jordan like it tried to stay in Beirut in 1982? In the interest of national security?

    Or is this the beginning of Eretz Israel? O, as Condi has been calling it recently, ‘The New Middle East?’

    Ash.
    I hope it is now clear why it is important to distingush between Lebanon and Hizbollah. At some point, the precedent set in this war will continue.

    *QuwatAllah means Power of God. I just made that up to see what would denote the meaning of Hizbollah, except bigger and better. 🙂

  107. Dan says:

    jasra jedi – the strategic rationale behind the bombings seems to be twofold: (1) to make it too costly for the Lebanese government and people to continue to allow Hezbollah to exist as a “state within a state” and (2) to shut down resupply/escape routes for Hezbullah.

    As I’ve argued on my own blog, I think the first rationale is misguided. I think we can see the evidence for ourselves that, as is usually the case, aerial bombardment of civilian targets is, in strategic terms, counterproductive. I also don’t see what possible good it does the Israelis to destroy Lebanon’s fragile state and infrastructure. I can’t say much about the second rationale, except that the strategic benefits don’t seem to outweigh the costs.

    If the question is “how do they justify it to themselves?” Well, I assume they say that this is war, and you have to do dirty stuff in war. How do the enemies of Israel justify Hizbullah’s indiscriminate attacks on Israeli population centers? Much the same way, I imagine. Do I believe that either sides is acting in accordance with jus in bello (justness in war) ethics? Nope.

  108. Ethan says:

    That’s a rather superficial and exposed, Ethan. So is your comparison of Shi’as to Nazis.

    There’s a lot more nuance to my post than you’re reading, Mahmood. I no way do I claim that all Shia are Nazis. That, prima facie, is not true, and I have nothing to gain by saying it. However, Hezbollah, given everything I have read of them, including their charter, their rhetoric and the fact that they ‘raise their fighters from birth’ for the purpose of ‘martyrdom’ for ‘Islamic honor’ leads me to quantify that the ideology of that organization is quite like that of the Nazis.

    Now, if you would like to make the inference that by commandeering your words I am hereby painting all of Shi’ism with a broad brush, that is, of course, your perogative. Given the facts of Hezbollah, I would be pained to champion their cause, just as I would be pained if it were the World Church of the Creator who stood up to defend against my enemy.

    In short – one may support a just cause, but even a just cause can be fought for by unjust actors. The presence of an unjust actor does not make the whole cause unjust.

    If that were true, than every cause would be unjust.

    Not sure what you’re getting at other than yet again insulting Islam… Be careful my friend, people will think that you have an agenda!

    Interestingly enough – this post was one in which I did not insult Islam at all, neither was it my intent. Someone write down that date for future reference.

    … Unless, of course (and I find this unlikely) that you equate ‘Islam’ and ‘Hezbollah’s violent fundamentalist ideology’. If so, then truly we have reached a state of cognitive dissonance given the Wafa Sultan post above.

  109. Ethan says:

    I can’t say much about the second rationale, except that the strategic benefits don’t seem to outweigh the costs.

    We don’t know (and perhaps never will) if the benefits outweigh the costs. Truly, more than 90% of Beirut is untouched. The specific targeting of airports and roadways is exactly what I would do in a strategic tabletop game: hamper and cut off the means of resupply.

    Hezbollah excels at guerilla combat – they know the territory and use disinformation and propaganda to push political pressure on the other actor. With mounting causalties of the attacking force and near-unavoidable civilian casualties (on the Lebanese side) and targeted civilians (on the Israeli side) given the nature of the conflict – Hezbollah is running a test of will on Israel. Who will fold first? Right now, Hezbollah has a mighty hand.

    Without resupply, the war of attrition is reversed. Even though they have a great hand now, they will start losing cards unless they can get support.

    And who will support them? Syria or Iran. The supply lines are damaged. Syria can offer only limited support that way. If Syria decides to step in ‘officially’, the conflict will escalate desperately out of control. Assad’s regime could fall apart. If Syria moves, Iran may too – then the whole region is, in a word: Fucked.

    —Conspiracy below—
    But what if Iran moves first?

    In crazy-go-nuts world, which we have somehow found ourselves in since Sept 11, Iran may play a trump card. Ahmedinejad said that “Israel has pushed the button of its own destruction”. Iran will soon have the capability to make good on such threats.

    What happens if Iran nukes Tel Aviv on Aug 22nd? That’s the day that Iran has promised will be a ‘surprise’.
    —End conspiracy —

    I have a feeling that Syria and Iran are more crafty than that. If Hezbollah ‘loses’, they’ll leave Nasrallah out to dry, and cynically claim victory over the pile of rubble that is what will be left of Lebanon. Syria may then be able to turn Lebanon back into its client state.

    It’s a lose-lose situation. The only way to win is not to play. Unfortunately, it seems as if the players have guns to their heads and are not allowed to -stop- playing.

  110. Eric Jacobson says:

    Ethan:

    Your ‘conspiracy’ notions aren’t terribly far off, given Tehran’s nutty policies, and the ongoing ‘destroy Israel’ sentiment found in so much of the Mideast:

    “What happens if Iran nukes Tel Aviv on Aug 22nd? That’s the day that Iran has promised will be a ’surprise’.”

    That would be the day the (rest of the) world will remember as ‘Annihilation of the Mideast Day’, when Israel responds with every nuke in her arsenal, most likely ending the territorial and physical existence of most of the Mideast (but leaving the oilfields intact? Doubtful).

    Which is precisely why Arab states must:

    1) Recognize Israel’s right to exist;

    2) Engage PEACEFULLY with Israel, as civilized states do in the absence of war;

    3) Vigorously crush any extra-territorial groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas;

    4) All live happily together.

    ====

    If this doesn’t happen–if the Mideast continues to sanction groups which press for ‘death to Israel’ or its constituent states continue to work toward Israel’s destruction–then ‘the Day’ will surely arrive, most likely sooner than later. Can any sane person doubt it?

    Work for peace. Genuine peace.

  111. mahmood says:

    Nice, Eric, use threats of annihilation to render peace. Very astute.

    What about looking for another avenue? How about finding a “win-win” situation, rather than the above threat which has been often repeated in the discussions we have had here over the last three weeks? Do you really think that if you crush someone’s dignity that much they will just cow to your wishes?

    Like I said, it’s much better to find win-win scenarios than the one you espouse.

  112. Eric Jacobson says:

    Mahmood:

    Please understand that I am not, personally, making any threats–nor would I ever do so. What I AM doing is attempting to point out the likely consequences of a particular path which still seems to be promoted by fanatics. That in itself is a ‘value-free’ exercise, much as if someone in early August 1914 had told Europe “if you all follow your various alliance commitments, an isolated incident in the Balkans is going to drag all the major powers into conflict. Do you wish to continue on this course?” Obviously I am not in favor of ‘crushing’ anyone, much less blowing up the Mideast. I would infinitely rather address issues, peacefully, with recognition of our common humanity on ALL sides.

    What I’m trying to do is point out that there is a basic flaw in the current attitude of ‘destroy Israel’, namely that Israel cannot be destroyed without having her, in return, destroy her attackers. That’s not a ‘hope’ or a ‘threat’, simply a statement of high probability.

    This is merely an empirical observation: I’ve tried to keep all the issues of ‘who is responsible for the current state of affairs’ out of it. Bluntly, we can all of us decide to forget past grudges and start afresh, based on the recognition that Israel is not going to just ‘vanish’, now or ever, or we can continue down this path of constant violence. Given that the likes of Tehran are doing their damndest to develop a nuclear capability, and have expressed a desire to use it once they possess the weaponry, what is the likely outcome? As I see it, there are only two possibilities:

    1) Tehran (or some state armed with nukes in the future) attacks Israel. This will inevitably elicit a massive Israelis response. I’m presuming that no sane person wants this;

    2) Tehran gets nukes, but decides not to use them, which puts the current regime in a very bad light vis-a-vis all those who believed and hoped it would do so. In a word, the mullahs and the President would be seen as having foresworn their own promises to ‘destroy Israel’.

    Personally, I hope the latter happens, and that Iranians get rid of their masters, leaving the Mideast a bit safer.

    ====

    That’s all I was saying: that, given current trends, there can be only one end to this: an attempt to destroy Israel which will in turn lead to the destruction of most (if not all) of the Mideast. That is the inexorable logic of the situation.

    I offer as an alternative the decision NOT to try to destroy Israel, but to live in genuine peace. Yes, by all means the Palestinian people should have the West Bank and Gaza, to live in PEACEFULLY, foreswearing fantasies of destroying Israel. Better to have ‘half a loaf’ than none at all; better to have a stable, prosperous state in the WB and Gaza than an utterly destroyed, desolate land both there and elsewhere in the Mideast.

    So if you misunderstood my intent, I apologize for not writing clearly. I am trying to offer a way for EVERYONE to live and prosper, Jew, Christian, Muslim, atheist, whatever, rather than the alternative of ever-increasing death and destruction. Personally, I feel that the best hope for genuine peace will only arise when everybody agrees to move forward peacefully, rather than resorting to weapons to resolve their differences–especially in an age of nuclear weaponry.

    Pax.

    Eric

  113. Ash says:

    @JJ – I’m not sure what distinction there is to be made between Hezbollah and Lebanon in terms of the conflict itself. The Lebanese government proved too weak to control Hezbollah or perhaps tacitly approved of its actions – either way, it allowed it to operate as a state-within-the-state, to continue its attacks on Israel, and to form part of the government itself. As a consequence, it’s not possible to disentangle “Hezbollah” from “the Lebanese government” or indeed “Lebanon”, which in turn means that Hezbollah’s continued assaults have come to be considered acts of war rather than as criminal acts. One can debate the nuances, ambiguities and details of this scenario forever but in broad outline it is nevertheless how the situation is currently understood by its most powerful actors and it’s the reason why even those countries and global organisations calling for a ceasefire are unwilling to get more involved or to engage in outright condemnation of Israel.

    I think you are right that “the precedent set in this war will continue” but I also think that the “precedent” precedes this war in many ways and on many levels. Globally, it seems very likely to escalate tensions between “Islamic extremism” and what I’ll generically refer to as “non-Muslim countries” (interestingly, some of the strongest public support for Israel I’ve been seeing lately comes not just from the USA but also from India). Where that could lead is anyone’s guess but self-evidently it won’t be a good place.

  114. Eric Jacobson says:

    Ash:

    Good comments. I’d only add that Indian support for Israel isn’t really surprising, since India herself is laboring under the attacks of various Muslim groups seeking a Pakistani-or independent Kashmir.

  115. mahmood says:

    Amen, Eric. I agree with you.

    However, I would rather see Israel disarm itself of its nuclear weapons and just use that energy for peaceful purposes. Thus keeping this whole volatile area clear of nuclear weapons.

  116. Eric Jacobson says:

    Mahmood:

    I would love nothing better for a situation to arise in which Israel could feel safe in disarming, and turning the uranium and plutonium over to peaceful uses for the whole region. Imagine the possibilities if the Mideast could use all of those military budgets for, oh, improved infrastructure, education, agricultural improvements, water schemes. Good grief: it boggles my mind. And all that human potential could finally be realized, right across the region.

    I just wonder if local rulers truly would want such a thing. What think you?

  117. Scott says:

    >Amen, Eric. I agree with you.

    Essentially, Eric is parroting the threats of the big boys. Well
    done Eric – must take an incredible amount of mental effort.

    >However, I would rather see Israel disarm itself of its nuclear
    >weapons and just use that energy for peaceful purposes. Thus
    >keeping this whole volatile area clear of nuclear weapons.

    Makes sense, but will they do it? How deep is the awareness
    of the nuclear menace in the collective deliberations of the
    Israeli government? If you nuke your neighbours, you nuke
    yourselves. At least these suicide-bombers are only killing
    themselves. Israeli nukes will be Masada ver.2.0 – killing
    themselves and taking their families with them. Oh, and
    poisoning the land that my little Bahraini siblings call their
    own.

    Now that’s what I call stupid.

    Scott

  118. Will says:

    I found this very helpful in understanding the history of Lebanon.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/networks/radio4/aod.shtml?radio4/faultlines

  119. Eric Jacobson says:

    “Essentially, Eric is parroting the threats of the big boys. ”

    I thought I’d made my position clear…

  120. Jared in NYC says:

    You did Eric, but not to someone who believes that murdercide bombers are only killing themselves.

  121. mahmood says:

    Eric, I believe that the Arab world leaders have used the Palestinian/Israeli issue as “Juha’s Nail” as the Arab saying goes: i.e., hang everything on it!

    They have used the Palestinians specifically as scapegoats to prop up their royal thrones; there is not a single country in the Middle East that would offer Palestinians naturalization and integrate them within their societies. Jordan, itself composed of a majority of Palestinians denies them that right, stating the excuse that they are only temporary refugees and if they do naturalize them, then they would neutralize the Palestinian/Israeli issue and that will be forgotten with time. They use this “Juha’s Nail” and say that all Palestinians should return to their homeland. Good. Okay, that’s one point of view.

    The other of course is that they continue to spend on their military and police apparatus under the guise of preparing them for battle against the Zionists, while in actuality – as we have seen in Desert Storm – they are the first to run away from the front and buy American “protection” to defend their countries; and continue to use the excuse that these forces, their own that is, are there to defend the homeland. What they really mean of course – and this is no news – is that they will be exclusively used to oppress their own, and propagate their rule. Syria is a good example when they excelled themselves by changing their constitution to ensure hereditary rule.

    What could be done if the region – one day in the far distant future – enjoyed peace, security and democracy? Heck, it will cease to be an Arab world as another civilization must have taken over the reigns of power!

    I just couldn’t see this happening in my lifetime.

  122. Ethan says:

    What could be done if the region – one day in the far distant future – enjoyed peace, security and democracy? Heck, it will cease to be an Arab world as another civilization must have taken over the reigns of power!

    That’s an uncomfortable statement, Mahmood. In fact, I would be the first to say that that sentiment may exactly be what the Islamists fear. Their ‘clash of civilizations’ sees their extremist Islamic theology is compatible with only the 7th century – a culture of strongarm control and submission to it.

    If it is, as you say ‘another culture’ that must take control of the Middle East to propel it to prosperity, peace, security and the like.. Does that indicate a general failing in Arab civilization? Is that not what the Islamists fight against? To preserve their culture against the encroaching western model of prosperity and modernism?

  123. Ethan says:

    More conspiracies!

    If you can all it that. I consider it a very interesting bit of archaeology:
    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/07/25/ireland.psalms.ap/index.html

    The book was ‘frozen’ open to Psalm 83.

    Psalm 83:
    1. A psalm, a song of Asaph.
    2. O God, have no silence, do not be silent and do not be still, O God.
    3. For behold, Your enemies stir, and those who hate You raise their heads.
    4. Against Your people they plot cunningly, and they take counsel against Your protected ones.
    5. They said, “Come, let us destroy them from [being] a nation, and the name of Israel will no longer be remembered.”
    6. For they have taken counsel with one accord; against You they form a pact.
    7. The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites.
    8. Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre.
    9. Also Assyria joined them; they were the arm of the children of Lot forever.

    10. Do to them as [to] Midian; as [to] Sisera, as [to] Jabin in the brook Kishon.
    11. They were destroyed in En-Dor; they were [as] dung on the ground.
    12. Make them, their nobles, as Oreb and as Zeeb, and as Zebah and as Zalmuna all their princes,
    13. Who said, “Let us inherit for ourselves the dwellings of God.”
    14. My God, make them like thistles, like stubble before the wind.
    15. As a fire that burns in a forest and as a flame that burns mountains.
    16. So will You pursue them with Your tempest, and with Your whirlwind You will terrify them.
    17. Fill their faces with shame, and they will seek Your countenance, O Lord.
    18. Let them be ashamed and terrified forever; let them be disgraced and perish.
    19. Let them know that You-Your name alone is the Lord, Most High over all the earth.

    Now that’s just freaking creepy.

  124. Scott says:

    >At least these suicide-bombers are only killing themselves

    I meant to say that at least they’re only killing themselves with
    reference to their own side. My mistake: I should have written
    a lot more clearly and used Mahmood’s preview feature to check
    what I’d written. Obviously the suicide bombers are killing those
    that they perceive to be their enemies too. That’s what bombers
    do, yes?

    Yes the suicide bombers are killing civilians, yes what they do is
    obscene, but Israeli nukes are the ultimate suicide bomb. What
    burns me is the patronising oh-if-only-the-Arabs-were-like-us-
    they’d-have-Utopia crap that comes out of American pundits
    at times like these. Oh, and the way the Arabs are blamed for
    Israel having nuclear weapons. That’s a peach.

    Scott

  125. Ethan says:

    but Israeli nukes are the ultimate suicide bomb.

    Bad analogy.

    Israel would only use that option if it were fought to the last, and already about to die.

    Suicide bombers come from a demographically expanding group whose heads have been filled with extremism and hatred.

  126. Eric Jacobson says:

    Ethan:

    “Bad analogy.

    Israel would only use that option if it were fought to the last, and already about to die.”

    Exactly. I was about to write just that, but you beat me to it!

    I’d also mentioned that Islamofascism probably counts MUSLIMS as its primary victims. If we were to count up the number of Muslims killed by Islamofascists in Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, etc I’d bet the total would exceed the number of non-Muslims.

    Moral of story: the first victims of the ‘take us back to the seventh century’ movement are Muslims themselves.

  127. Eric Jacobson says:

    Mahmood:

    I wanted to reply to your thoughtful post:

    “Eric, I believe that the Arab world leaders have used the Palestinian/Israeli issue as “Juha’s Nail” as the Arab saying goes: i.e., hang everything on it!”

    From what I’ve read, you’re absolutely right. And isn’t this always the case, throughout history? If you want to divert your populace’s attention from the failings of your own rule, blame ‘the other’. It’s a great tactic: you can claim that everything is the fault of some shadowy conspiracy, or of some other ethnic group. Got an employment problem? Blame another group. Is your society restive? Blame the ‘agents’ of some other group. Environment going to blazes? It’s the fault of ‘those others’. If it’s not Jews, then it’s blacks, or Mexicans, or Catholics, or Protestants, or….

    Unfortunately, wars also start this way, when a ruler needs to REALLY divert attention from domestic problems, the answer usually seems to be ‘let’s go attack thus-and-such, and keep our population busy slaughtering and being slaughtered’. That’s my concern re. Iran, which now has a fairly huge population of young adults who really don’t want to live in a theocracy and–like the rest of the planet–would much rather get on with improving their lives, having children, and living to a peaceful old age; and, oh, yes, being able to share in some of the high living standards they see other nations enjoying. I can just imagine Iran’s ruling class thinking ‘good grief, what to do? I have it! Let’s start a war!’

    And, of course, we’re facing similar dilemmas over Taiwan, large areas of Africa, and perhaps even South America. This planet’s not a very safe place lately.

    “They have used the Palestinians specifically as scapegoats to prop up their royal thrones; there is not a single country in the Middle East that would offer Palestinians naturalization and integrate them within their societies. Jordan, itself composed of a majority of Palestinians denies them that right, stating the excuse that they are only temporary refugees and if they do naturalize them, then they would neutralize the Palestinian/Israeli issue and that will be forgotten with time.”

    Lovely. Simply lovely. In a way I deeply pity the Palestinians, because they are used as a means to divert attention, via the ‘Israel-Palestine’ conflict, from the domestic problems of other countries. It’s bad enough trying to establish some sort of stable society–but what if your own neighbors have a vested interest in keeping you poor, angry and helpless? Where to turn? I don’t know the answer, but to me this state of affairs is a little slice of hell, right here on earth.

    “They use this “Juha’s Nail” and say that all Palestinians should return to their homeland. Good. Okay, that’s one point of view.

    The other of course is that they continue to spend on their military and police apparatus under the guise of preparing them for battle against the Zionists, while in actuality – as we have seen in Desert Storm – they are the first to run away from the front and buy American “protection” to defend their countries; and continue to use the excuse that these forces, their own that is, are there to defend the homeland. What they really mean of course – and this is no news – is that they will be exclusively used to oppress their own, and propagate their rule. Syria is a good example when they excelled themselves by changing their constitution to ensure hereditary rule.”

    Yes; I recall the Hama uprising of 1982 (is that right?). Mr. Assad used the military to utterly crush not just the rebels, but to pretty much level the entire city, with casualties in the thousands–a feat (if you can call it that) which Israel never tried to achieve or ever wanted to. What sort of government obliterates its own citizens wholesale, ‘guilty’ and innocent alike? Shades of Saddam Hussein.

    “What could be done if the region – one day in the far distant future – enjoyed peace, security and democracy? Heck, it will cease to be an Arab world as another civilization must have taken over the reigns of power!”

    “I just couldn’t see this happening in my lifetime. ”

    I’m depressed, so I must agree with you. I guess the first step would be somehow, some way to get rid of the autocracies by popular action, but I’m not sure how that could happen. Given the recent horrific affairs in Iraq, I’m afraid that any overthrow of the ‘strong men’ would merely unleash sectional strife and meddling by Iran, etc.

    Well, I can hope that humanity will one day learn to live at peace with itself. I’m not overly optimistic, however. As an infidel, I can drown my sorrows in drink, at least 🙂

    Thanks for a great post.

  128. Scott says:

    OK, I admit I’m focussed rather narrowly on the issue
    of Israel having nukes. That guy Schell wrote “The Fate
    Of The Earth” and I read it as an adolescent. I haven’t
    been the same since.

    >Israel would only use that option if it were fought to
    >the last, and already about to die.

    If Israel was about to die, then there’d be no point in
    using the damn’ things. A nuclear holocaust would
    simply be an act of spite, condemning future generations
    of Mid-Easterners to living on contaminated land, resources
    and even DNA. If you live far enough away, of course,
    you don’t have to let this Masada madness bother you.

    Re: the Lebanon. If Israelica and Iran have issues with
    each other, they should deal direct, instead of trying to
    screw each other using the Arabs as a condom and
    instead of using Lebanon as their sandbox.

    Listen to the majority of the citizens of this planet,
    and get out of Lebanon. It’s what most of the world
    wants to happen. All this other stuff is just blather.

    Scott

  129. Ethan says:

    A nuclear holocaust would
    simply be an act of spite, condemning future generations
    of Mid-Easterners to living on contaminated land, resources
    and even DNA.

    Considering the spite leveled at Israel since the 1940’s, I’d say that if you have nothing left to lose …

    I mean, isn’t that the justification of the Palestinian bombers? They have nothing left. All they can do is resist with their bombs and their bodies and their kids strapped with grenades.

    It would be a pyrric victory for the Jihad to destroy Israel, but lose -everything-. Let us hope that it doesn’t come to that.

  130. Jared in NYC says:

    Scott,

    Your ire seems directed exclusively at Israel. While they certainly deserve criticism, I’d like to ask what you think their response ought to be when their soldiers are killed and kidnapped inside their own territory, and their population centers are targeted with thousands of ballistic weapons designed to kill as many civilians as possible. Also, I’d like your opinion about Hizbollah’s tactics. It appears to me their clear strategy is to maximize misery among Lebanese civilians – a goal at which thy’ve had considerable success. I’m geniunely interested in your comments.

    Jared

  131. Ethan says:

    It appears to me their clear strategy is to maximize misery among Lebanese civilians – a goal at which thy’ve had considerable success.

    As I said before – it’s a win-win situation.. for now. Misery can be twisted into blame: Using a cynical nationalistic/religious language, Israel is at fault for everything! Hezbollah hides rockets in a civilian building, it’s Israel’s fault. Those rockets go off, killing everyone inside, it’s Israel. Civilians are prevented from escape by Hezbollah fighters? Israel.

    That tactic will only work so long.

  132. jasra jedi says:

    *disbelief*

    You boys really believe that Hizbollah started this war. And that all Moslems are Islamofacists.

    Enjoy the rest of this thread whilst you guys pat each other on the back. And, continue to talk amongst youselves and support your own theories. Just like the US/Israel government. Thats the way to real peace. Come up with your own problem definition, and insist on your own solution. And completely IGNORE the fact that the problem is getting bigger and bigger and bigger with time …

  133. Jared in NYC says:

    Jasra,

    I do believe that Hizbollah initiated the war in Lebanon. If you disagree, I’m happy to discuss it – it may be that we agree on the basic facts and not every aspect of their interpretation. Perhaps we can, at the very least, help each other undertand our perspectives. I’m disappointed that you wish to characterize me as believing that all Moslems are Islamofascists. Even a casual review of my posts over the past year reveals no such thing.

    Jared

  134. Ibn says:

    Eric Jacobson,

    From what I’ve read, you’re absolutely right. And isn’t this always the case, throughout history? If you want to divert your populace’s attention from the failings of your own rule, blame ‘the other’. It’s a great tactic: you can claim that everything is the fault of some shadowy conspiracy, or of some other ethnic group. Got an employment problem? Blame another group.

    Wait a minute, wait a minute. Yes, people can use the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a scapegoat, and maybe it has been used that way. But that does not take away from the severity and illegitimacy of Israel to begin with. As if, if tomorrow all Arab countries implemented long and much needed social reforms, that the Israel/Palestinian problem would somehow go away? And how would that happen?

    Seriously, consider: If tomorrow, all Arab countries became what I want them to become the most – secular democracies dedicated to the protection of individual rights, how would that make any difference regarding Israel’s illegitimacy, as well as its past and present injustices? In fact, wouldnt it give even more credance and pressure for Israel to drastically change? And if you are unwilling to acknowledge Israel changing its ways now, why would you change your mind should Arab countries suddenly become the beacons of light and freedom on planet Earth?

    To you, the source of the Israeli/Palestinian problems, are the dictatorial regimes of the Arab states. But in reality, the source of the Israeli/Palestinian problem is squarely Israel – its constitution, its actions past and present, and its legacy. It wouldnt make a difference if the Arabs are ruled by cruel and sadistic dictators, or fuzzy peace loving vegetable eating rabbits. The source remains the same: Zionist Israel.

    In a way I deeply pity the Palestinians, because they are used as a means to divert attention, via the ‘Israel-Palestine’ conflict, from the domestic problems of other countries. It’s bad enough trying to establish some sort of stable society–but what if your own neighbors have a vested interest in keeping you poor, angry and helpless?

    ….Wow – this is probably the-most-despicable thing I have heard. Here, you have a robber, kick out the owner of a house onto his neighbour’s front yard, and then you come out and chastise the neighbour for not making room for the owner? And not only that, you hope for this so that we can all “forget about the past and move on”? You are despicable.
    If you really DO pity the Palestinians, perhaps you would dedicate one phrase or sentence, to chastising the Israelis, as well as their government for putting the Palestinians into their current predicament in the first place.

    The most important reason for the Arab regimes to change their ways and culture, is because we must learn how to respect human individual and property rights. This in turn allows us to be able to adequately defend ourselves from all threats, both foreign, and domestic. Domestic threats are centered on those Arabs who would seek the usurp the rights of other Arab individuals by force for their own motives. Foreign threats would be other peoples’ and nations (like Israel) who apparently can just waltz right into the heart of the middle east, declare an exclusivist jew-only country, and get away with it. It is because of both these types of abominations that we need freedom – true freedom. Because free minds, when allowed to function without hindrance, can then be productive members of society who will find ways to protect themselves via their own nation-states.

    -Ibn

  135. Aliandra says:

    Ibn;

    While the Israelis have certainly done badly by the Palestinians, the behavior of the surrounding countries has not been much better. How many of your countries will offer them them asylum? Kuwait and several other Gulf countries kicked out hundreds of thousands of Palis during Gulf War 1. Even Egypt has it’s own “security fence” between it and Gaza. And they get treated like second class citizens in a lot of middle-eastern countries.

    The Israelis don’t deserve all the blame here. The surrounding countries have been using the Palestinians, exploiting them as guerrillas in their proxy war against Israel The Palestinians get chewed up between them. They get poorer, and more bitter. The crappy leadership they’ve had in didn’t help either.

    Look, 1948 can’t be undone and you’re wasting time being mad about it. Even Germany accepted the loss of a big chunk of land to Poland and got on with life. What needs to be done is to stop Israeli settlement expansion and encourage more responsible behavior from the Palestinians, and well as the Arab governments – rather than gnashing your teeth about something that happened 58 years ago.

  136. Meggie says:

    Hello Mahmood,
    I don’t want to get onto this ill-tempered bandwagon. All the major protagonists seem to be out of range of my rolling pin anyway.
    I just wanted to mention that your closing sentence in the original post cast me into a state of despair. I can’t have been the only reader who misunderstood it as a personal endorsement of Hizbollah, and their tactics.
    I thought we’d lost you Mahmood, and it was devastating.
    I think I understand now that your closing remarks were more of an assessment of public mood in the Arab world. If so, I apologise for misunderstanding your point.
    Please tell me if my assessment is wrong.

    Best wishes to You, Frances, and the Bairns, also your dear Mother (hope she is coping with her loss).
    Hint: Make cakes, or grow strawberries, and you always have an excuse to go round and check up on how she’s doing. And they never suspect that’s what you are actually doing.
    “Hello Mam, I’m coming round your place with a home-made fruit cake…..”

    Meggie

  137. mahmood says:

    your initial assessment is wrong. the intention was to show the general feeling on the street I was swamped with.

  138. Ibn says:

    Aliandra,

    rather than gnashing your teeth about something that happened 58 years ago.

    The Zionist Jews were apparently gnashing their teeth about something that happened 2000 years ago – mainly, the mass exodus the Romans imposed on the Jews in the Roman province of Palestina. If they can go back 2000 years, why cant I go back 60?

    In fact, you know what? Since Zionists can get away with using force and expelling masses of people from a given region and have absolutely no retribution for it, and then founding a country, then why are we giving Hezbollah such a hard time? Perhaps they too found their motivation from past Zionists, and are simply partaking in the painfull (but apparently justified) process of killings, bombings and mass evacuation of people from a territory … maybe they are trying to found Eretz-Hezbollah! So if the Zionists were justified in what they did 60 years ago, then why arent Hezbollah justified in doing it today?

    They get poorer, and more bitter. The crappy leadership they’ve had in didn’t help either.

    I agree that current Arab countries might be using them to further their own cause. But even with this agreement, why are you not placing blame squarely on the perpetrator? You worry so much about the Palestinians becoming “more bitter”, more so that the original crime of making them bitter to begin with! It is almost like you are reflecting Ben Gurion’s sentiment when he said that “the old will die, and the young will forget”. As if you want to state “Nothing to see here! Just history in the making! Lets move along, move along. ” You are fooling no one.

    Look, 1948 can’t be undone and you’re wasting time being mad about it.

    Question: Can we undo the holocaust from 1941-1945? Tragically, we cant. So are we to simply throw our hands up and say “Lets not brood over it, lets just forget about it and move on”. No. Thats not what should happen, and thats not what is happening. Do we in fact say “we are wasting time being mad over it” like you suggest? Israel was certainly still very mad at Eichman when it found and abducted him in the 60s, 20 or so years after the holocaust.

    So we do not forget, as you suggest.

    Instead, we study the causes of the holocaust.
    We study the events during the holocaust.
    We study the ideologies that led to the holocaust.
    We study the psychologies that led to the holocaust.
    We study the complacancies that led to the holocaust.

    And in the end, we come up with phrases like “Never Again”.

    We teach our children about its criminality, because we never want it repeated.
    We write books about its immorality because we never want it repeated. We make movies about its horror because we never want it repeated.
    We quickly denounce individuals who come one iota close to being indifferent to it, because we never want it repeated.

    So now do me a favour Aliandra, and extrapolate your mind if you can a little bit, so that you are able to accomodate the wishes that we have of never seeing the catastrophe of founding an illegitimate country on occupied soil via killings, and forced exacuations, especially not on racial and exclusivist grounds, like the Zionist-Jews did. To this, I say, Never Again.

    But I do not see the acknowledgement from Israelis on the crimes that have been commited, namely, Crimes 1, 2 and 3 that I have outlined before.
    I do not see mainstream books written on the evil of Israel’s creation.
    I do not see mainstream articles on the evil of Zionism.
    I do not see mainstream talk show pundits on the injustice of creating a racially exclusivist state via killings and forced relocations on racial grounds.

    This is not seen. And to the extent that there is no acknowledgement for past crimes, means that they are that much more likely to manifest themselves in future crimes. How many times did the various governments of Germany have to apologise and give reparations to Israel before Israel stopped bugging them about it? Can you imagine Israeli concern, denounciations, and maybe even actions, if Germany refused to even acknowledge the immorality of the holocaust and simply say “Shit happens. Move on.”? If you are unprepared to accept this, then be unprepared to accept a reversal of my motivation for wanting to see Israeli own up fully for its own crimes in 1948.

    One more thing: This has nothing to do with 1948. This has everything to do with 2048. This has nothing to do with our grandparents. This has everything to do with our grandchildren. Us Arabs cannot remove what pain Zionism has inflicted on our grandparents. But we can mitigate what pain Zionism inflicts on our grandchildren. And if that means the destruction of the government and people who support this inhuman ideology, then so be it. I hope it never comes to it, and that the Israelis come to their senses soon enough. But if they dont, then I for one will lose no sleep at night over their complete annihilation.

    -Ibn

  139. jasra jedi says:

    Jared,

    My comment was more to Ethan and Eric. Not to you. I should have specified. Apologies.

    Having said that, I dont think that Hizbollah started the war. I think they gave the Israelis an excuse to launch a full frontal which has been planned for a while. The end game being a redrawing of the ME map. Lebano, unfotunately, was (or rather, is) mere collateral damage.

  140. Jared in NYC says:

    No apology necessary Jasra. I think we don’t agree completely, but we’re not that far apart.

    I’m too lazy to look up my own comments, but I opined on one of these threads recently that the Hizbollah attack was opportunistic in the sense that they stayed prepared and had the intent, and just waited for the right moment… and that Israel’s massive response seems to be of the same character.

    My best guess about why Israel responded this way is because of intelligence failure. It seems clear now that Hizbollah has been amassing sophisticated armaments for some time I think the Israeli’s learned this rather late in the game, and so were waiting for an opportunity to do something about it.

    It’s all so damn depressing. I think I need a news break.

  141. Ethan says:

    My comment was more to Ethan and Eric. Not to you. I should have specified. Apologies.

    I would like to point out that I do not paint all Muslims with the brush of Fascism. I am not Steve (Is he even around anymore, or did he place the straw that broke Mahmood’s* back much as he-who-will-not-be-named did?)

    On the other hand, I will disagree strongly with any argument that begins with ‘Hezbollah didn’t start this war’. They themselves have said that they’ve built up in preparation, and it was they, not Israel, who crossed a sovereign boundary demarcated by the UN to commit an act of war this time.

  142. Eric Jacobson says:

    Scott:

    “If Israel was about to die, then there’d be no point in
    using the damn’ things.”

    Yes, there would. That’s the whole point of a ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ doctrine: the utter certitude that, if you destroy your enemy, he will infallibly destroy you in response. If there’s the slightest doubt that Israel would in fact retaliate, such doubt in fact makes the current situation less rather than more stable, as that doubt gives encouragement (by making them think that they might possibly ‘get away with it’) to those who want to see Israel destroyed.

    Moreover, there IS a point to Israeli retaliation, and though it’s brutal, it’s also legitimate: revenge. By your logic, if somebody came into your house and killed your entire family–and as you heard the shots you ran downstairs with your shotgun (let’s say)–there would be no reason for you to shoot that person dead. In fact, he could say ‘darn, I’m out of ammo so I guess you’re safe, pal!’, and therefore there would be no reason for you to shoot him. Your family’s dead, he can’t kill you, and so what’s the point?

    Perhaps your moral compass and mine differ, but I fear I’m not so ‘morally advanced’ as to be able to put down my shotgun and say ‘you know, there’s no point; c’here and give me a big ol’ hug!’ No: I’d blow the bastard off his feet. I wager you’d do the same, as would anyone who’d just seen their family murdered.

    “A nuclear holocaust would
    simply be an act of spite,”

    ‘Revenge’ would be more apt.

    “Listen to the majority of the citizens of this planet,
    and get out of Lebanon.”

    Allow me to be blunt: in legal terms, the citizens of the planet who aren’t being rocketed and bombed by Hezbollah have no legal standing in this matter, and can go to hell.

    Odd how you so casually dismiss the hundreds of Israeli casualties from never-ending terrorist attacks, but weep tears of grief when Israel finally does something. Odder still that you whine about an Israeli campaign which kills civilians by accident (and, btw, Qana looks like a big ol’ Hezbollah PR stunt rather than an Israeli accident–or had you not been following the press lately?), but say zip about a Hezbollah campaign whose only purpose is to kill civilians. I guess your moral compass and mine DO difer, thank God.

    So please drop the so-superior attitude, Scott. You are siding with murderers who get their jollies by blowing up civilians and who create false ‘massacres’ at Qana, while condemning all efforts by Israel to defend herself. The hypocrisy is astounding.

    Got it?

  143. Eric Jacobson says:

    “Wait a minute, wait a minute. Yes, people can use the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a scapegoat, and maybe it has been used that way.”

    I must agree with Mahmood that it HAS been used that way as a means to divert attention from domestic crises in various Mideastern states.

    “But that does not take away from the severity and illegitimacy of Israel to begin with.”

    You’ve hit the nail squarely, Ibn. So long as you, or anyone else, fails to recognize Israel’s right to exist, then there can be only one end to the conflict. I mean this in all honesty, not as a ‘threat’ (as friend Scott so badly misinterprets it): in an age of proliferating nukes, when one side keeps on asserting that the other has no right to exist, what will the outcome invariably be? My plea is that Israel’s right to exist MUST be recognized as fact by all parties in the Mideast, or all parties will eventually end up being destroyed in a true Armageddon. I’m assuming that nobody–apart from the mullahs who’ve stated that they don’t mind seeing 100 million Muslims killed so long as Israel is, too–wants this outcome; hence my outline of the inevitable future if the parameters of this equation aren’t changed now.

    “As if, if tomorrow all Arab countries implemented long and much needed social reforms, that the Israel/Palestinian problem would somehow go away? And how would that happen?”

    You have cause and effect backward. What Mahmood and I are saying is that the Palestinians have been used as a convenient way to divert attention from the need for reform, not that such reforms would ‘solve the Palestinians’ problems’. Only the Palestinians can solve their own problems, first and foremost by having a government which offers something more than terrorism against Israel as its raison d’etre.

    And that’s the choice: does the Mideast decide to live in peace with Israel, such that everybody benefits? Or does it decide to continue on a road which will ultimately lead to everyone being screwed? I’d opt for the former, even if it means conceding that ‘Israel is here to stay’.

    “Seriously, consider: If tomorrow, all Arab countries became what I want them to become the most – secular democracies dedicated to the protection of individual rights, how would that make any difference regarding Israel’s illegitimacy, as well as its past and present injustices?”

    Well, for one thing, leaving aside matters of ‘legitimacy’: secular democracies are the least prone of all forms of government to simply attack other nations. That’s not to say it cannot happen, but free-state governments which cause their own people to suffer by attacking neighboring states tend to do very badly in the polls. Also, ‘war’ has a terrible effect on the economy, to say nothing of the effect on the young male population who have to go fight. Which is why, historically, it’s monarchies or tyrannies or oligarchies which tend to be the most warlike.

    “In fact, wouldnt it give even more credance and pressure for Israel to drastically change? And if you are unwilling to acknowledge Israel changing its ways now, why would you change your mind should Arab countries suddenly become the beacons of light and freedom on planet Earth?”

    It doesn’t matter whether Arab states are free, ‘beacons of light’ or not. That would be a fantastic outcome, definitely, but says nothing about Israel’s right to exist. The core of my argument is basically that adopted by Jordan and Egypt: like Israel, or hate her, but she’s here to stay. That being so, one can either exist in a state of war, or of peace, with her, and as Lebanon is finding out, you cannot simply stand aside and claim that attacks launched from your national territory are ‘nothing to do with us!’ If you cannot police your own territory, Israel has the right to do so (as does any state in the same situation).

    Egypt and Jordan decided that the ‘endless war’ led nowhere but to eventual destruction for all concerned, and pragmatically–knowing that any attempt to destroy Israel would fail–decided on peace. They may not like Israel, but they are no longer attacking her, either. And that’s the choice: will others attack Israel, and be content to suffer retribution, until the day when the whole thing goes nuclear? Or will they stop now, however it sticks in the throat to do so, and opt for a peace in which actual progress for the whole region might be made? There are no other options.

    “To you, the source of the Israeli/Palestinian problems, are the dictatorial regimes of the Arab states.”

    No; the source of the problem is the refusal of Arab states to recognize that Israel is here to stay, and to act peacefully. Anything else merely results in more steps down the road to mutual destruction.

  144. M says:

    “I hope it never comes to it, and that the Israelis come to their senses soon enough. But if they dont, then I for one will lose no sleep at night over their complete annihilation.”

    About says it all, doesn’t it?

  145. Jared in NYC says:

    Hoping to change the tone a bit, below is a link to radio program I enjoyed that’s available as streaming audio.

    Etgar Keret, and Israeli writer, and Samir El-Youssef, a Palestinian writer (they’re friends) are interviewed about the current state of the Middle East and other topics, including a book they’ve written together:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=2-Aug-06

    Jared

  146. Ibn says:

    Eric Jacobson,

    (In the future, kindly place quotes of other people in bold so that its easier to read)

    You’ve hit the nail squarely, Ibn. So long as you, or anyone else, fails to recognize Israel’s right to exist, then there can be only one end to the conflict. I mean this in all honesty, not as a ‘threat’ (as friend Scott so badly misinterprets it): in an age of proliferating nukes, when one side keeps on asserting that the other has no right to exist, what will the outcome invariably be?

    Invariably? I dont know. No one does. But the only way I seem to be able to interpret your above statement is like this: Recognise us, or we will nuke you.

    That sounds like blackmail. Essentially, the 300 million Arabs or so who do not recognise Israel’s right to exist, are being held hostage by Israel, via its nuclear capabilities. In effect, you are using the threat of force, to force a concession out of us, that concession being, to recognise Israel. Ill let you think about that for a second – using force to make another person give-you-something. I want to see if you can draw a parallel to a bank-robbery. Eitherway, apart from the obvious defensive posture you induce by making threats on people like that, I am not surprised by that statement. This is an illegitimate nation born out of a burglary, and the spilling of innocent blood. It is only natural it will resort to making nuclear-holocaust threats. No surprise here by the “free and civilized” nation of Israel, and its sympathizers.

    All the more reason in fact to make sure that Islamic nut jobs in our countries are swiftly removed and sidelined, because it is religion that causes us to half-ass everthing, and not have coherent resistance. Religious nuts close man’s mind, and incapacitate his nation-states.

    I’m assuming that nobody–apart from the mullahs who’ve stated that they don’t mind seeing 100 million Muslims killed so long as Israel is, too–wants this outcome; hence my outline of the inevitable future if the parameters of this equation aren’t changed now

    Of course no one wants this outcome.The trick is not to die for your country. It is to make the other bastard die for his. As I said above, religious nuts are nuts. My argument however is independent of their looney stances.

    You have cause and effect backward. What Mahmood and I are saying is that the Palestinians have been used as a convenient way to divert attention from the need for reform, not that such reforms would ’solve the Palestinians’ problems’.

    Fair enough. Although I will point out the discrepancy here, is in the statement Mahmood made: They have used the Palestinians specifically as scapegoats to prop up their royal thrones; there is not a single country in the Middle East that would offer Palestinians naturalization and integrate them within their societies. . So regarding the Palestinians plight, the “horror” is not so much their hosting countries not granting them citizenship, but Israel putting them there in the first place, and having the audacity to blame their reluctant hosts for not naturalizing them.

    Only the Palestinians can solve their own problems, first and foremost by having a government which offers something more than terrorism against Israel as its raison d’etre.

    Interesting. Supposing the Palestinians tomorrow lay down all arms, and disarm themselves completely, and say “Lets negotiate” for land. If in the process, Israel sees it fit to make more settlements in occupied territory, buldoze refugee camps, etc etc, what means will the Palestinians have of defending themselves? What means would the Palestinians have of defending themselves against any forcefull conduct on part of the Israelis? What detente would they have against a mini-repeat of ’48? Nothing. Because no one really cares about them, the least of which is Israel. So they have to have their own detente. And if guerilla warfare is their only means, then how can you argue against that?

    Well, for one thing, leaving aside matters of ‘legitimacy’: secular democracies are the least prone of all forms of government to simply attack other nations. That’s not to say it cannot happen, but free-state governments which cause their own people to suffer by attacking neighboring states tend to do very badly in the polls.

    One statement: Polls didnt stop Iraq. The case for using military force against Israel (if necessary) by a secular and free Arab state has more credibility that the American case for using force against Iraq ever will be. So no, I dont buy your above statement. Polls arent a garuantee to stop wars. Plus, free and secular nations will never accept the fact that a racist state shares their borders.

    The core of my argument is basically that adopted by Jordan and Egypt: like Israel, or hate her, but she’s here to stay. That being so, one can either exist in a state of war, or of peace, with her, and as Lebanon is finding out, you cannot simply stand aside and claim that attacks launched from your national territory are ‘nothing to do with us!’

    I beg to differ. Egypt and Jordan made peace with Israel on a tactical basis. Meaning, they formalized the statement “Lets not fight”. But that statement says absolutely nothing of the moral standing of Israel. Its like reaching an agreement with the playground bully, that he wont touch you. Does that mean you like him? Does that mean the bully is a moral person? It says nothing of the sort. Its a defensive mechanism. Because at the time Egypt and Jordan could not afford another war. So they opted for a tactical peace, so that they could concentrate their money on the economy, and not defence. In effect, they took a tactical “time out – I need to catch my breath” with the bully Israel.

    I however, am not interested in appeasing playground bullies. I am interested in having them change their ways, or having their faces hit the dirt. To the extent that Jordan and Egypt made a tactical peace with Israel, is because they were and are both weaker. So they have to ask, that Israel leave them alone. Again, its like the victims of a playground bully asking him to please, leave us alone. While this buys time, and was probably a smart move on their part at the time, it wont change the bully’s behaviour. Talking and dialougue might. If that fails, brute force will work, as it works with any bully.

    Egypt and Jordan decided that the ‘endless war’ led nowhere but to eventual destruction for all concerned, and pragmatically

    The only reason they were “endless” wars was because the Arab states have alot of homework to do about how exactly to fight wars. That in turn has to do with economies, which has to do with freedoms, which have to do with individual rights. And this is where the religious fanatics hurt us most – in curbing our civil rights, and taking down all facets of human development down with them – everthing from music, arts, science, and warfare. This is why they must be eliminated, and freedoms of all Arabs garuanteed.

    No; the source of the problem is the refusal of Arab states to recognize that Israel is here to stay, and to act peacefully.

    Israel didnt come here peacefully. So there is no reason for us to act peacefully for their sake.

    -Ibn

  147. Anonymous says:

    ibn

    “This is an illegitimate nation born out of a burglary, and the spilling of innocent blood”

    Lots of nations were born on burglarized land and spilled innocent blood. There’s nothing special about Israel.

    “Israel didnt come here peacefully. So there is no reason for us to act peacefully for their sake”

    The British didn’t go to India peacefully either. But peaceful resistance made them withdraw. You might want to try acting peacefully to gain the moral high ground. Loading up your young men with bombs and promises of panting virgins isn’t helping your image.

  148. Che says:

    Guys … watch out !
    Mahmood, you gotta understand the reason behind the alarming amount of israelis and jews debating on your blog !

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,174-2289232,00.html

  149. billT says:

    Che. No biggie since its going to take more than words to change peoples views. Positive actions on the part of both sides would be nice.

  150. Jared in NYC says:

    I’m disappointed Che. Have you run out of forgeries and hate speech to mine from the American Nazi websites?

  151. mahmood says:

    Here’s a good article summarising the feelings of the normal person across the Middle East regarding the Israeli was on Lebanon that you might want to read:

    Kuwait Times :: Arab anger rising over Lebanon war

    it too agrees with my initial assessment that Today; however, all Muslims are virtually a single sect, today all Muslims are Hizballah!

  152. Lujayn says:

    Mahmood, I think Hezbollah’s support base in the Arab world now transcends Muslims

  153. mahmood says:

    Very True Lujayn.

    That’s one silver lining – if there can be any – of this war.

    And, ironically, it demonstrates that we – as Arabs – can be much stronger if we were to disregard religion completely and concentrate on problems which need resolution.

  154. Lujayn says:

    Mahmood, why do we have to disregard religion? Nobody else in this equation does. Why do we have to bend over backwards to prove we are viable partners? Nobody else does. Our united front came as a result of realizing we are all worthless in the eyes of the world, and not because we are united in religion, ethnicity or nationality.

  155. jasra jedi says:

    All men are born equal. Some are just more equal than others …

    Lujayn, don’t lose heart. Look at the Jews. They suffered so much. And, truth be told, as much as I have an issue with Israel and Zionism, I will be the first to testify that they have been discriminated against on the basis of religion and religion alone. However, they stuck together. They support each other. And as many differences that exist between then (Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Orthodox, Liberal), they do have a shared common beleif of what it means to be Jewsih to the rest of the world.

    We need to do the same. I don’t know who that ‘We’ is. I dont know if the basis for that ‘We’ is Islam, or Arab speaking, or Oil producing states, or whatever demarcation you want to use. But, that is the challenge that we, in this part of the world face.

  156. Lujayn says:

    Jasra,

    Uniting together behind murderers, at any cost, because they share my religion is not something I want to emulate. If that were the case, we would all be rallying behind the other lunatic, Bin Laden. I have seen far more Muslims and Arabs denounce Bin Laden than I have seen Israelis denounce Olmert and his murderous actions in Lebanon.

    This war was an issue of humanity. If someone had said, Hezbollah killed Israeli civilians, I would have been the first to say, you’re right. In fact, I was the first to say Hezbollah was wrong. But very few people denounced the killing of civilians in Lebanon. In fact, most argued incessantly that these were not civilians/Hezbollah was shelling from civilian areas/Hezbollah started it and other similar arguments. Tell that to entire families who were killed because they lacked resources to flee, or had nowhere to go, or believed that the Israelis couldn’t possibly shell a Red Cross headquarters. In fact, I think the Lebanese had far greater trust in the Israelis’ humanity than the Israelis deserved. They hung white flags on their cars while fleeing thinking Israelis would respect that universal symbol, but that didn’t save them from being targeted by smart Israeli missiles. Very few people here could bring themselves to say that Israel had killed civilians and that was utterly wrong, no ifs, no buts. That’s what I expected from Jewish people here, for there to really be any dialogue between us. After all, many of us could bring ourselves to say Hezbollah was wrong.

    Most will now immediately write me off as a fanatical Jew-hating Muslim, which I am not and far from it. I do believe that Judaism holds in it beautiful values, starting with Thou Shalt not Kill, and I do know there are many Jews who truly believe in the tenets of their religion and respect other peoples’ humanity even at the cost of being called self-hating Jews and traitors.

  157. mahmood says:

    Lujayn:

    Our united front came as a result of realizing we are all worthless in the eyes of the world, and not because we are united in religion, ethnicity or nationality.

    I respectfully disagree. The uniting factor we are experiencing now is binding together against an enemy. In this particular situation it is not so much of “me and my cousin against my enemy” as to the need to remove an oppressor from a scene. Having the leadership at this stage in the game be religious is immaterial, as the cause now transcends that.

    It is this that I was referring to.

    Uniting together behind murderers, at any cost, because they share my religion is not something I want to emulate.

    Exactly!

  158. Lujayn says:

    Mahmood, I dont think I am united behind Hezbollah in saying that Israel’s war on Lebanon and Lebanese citizens is illegal and wrong, and amounts to collective punishment of a whole nation and people for something they did not commit. Transpose that situation on any other country in the world, and you would have everyone jumping to call for ceasefires, not obstruct them. I think the world needs to answer for why it is rallying behind a murderer, not me.

  159. mahmood says:

    Again, I agree with you.

    This war has clearly shown how despicable the current world order is. It is inhuman and it continues to be promoted by a doltish megalomaniac with an English butler both led by a drooling military neophyte all vying with each other to try to show their version of the world who has the biggest schlong, while PEOPLE, human beings, are being cut to shreds, indiscriminately killed and a beautiful country is destroyed.

  160. Lujayn says:

    Mahmood, your candid description made me smile – first time I’ve done that here in a long time.

  161. Bubz says:

    Just a little something.

    Human Rights Watch: Israel Guilty of War Crimes

    By Juan Cole
    Informed Comment (Global American Institute)
    http://www.juancole.com/
    Thursday 03 August 2006

    Human Rights Watch, after extensive investigation, has concluded
    that the Israeli military is guilty of war crimes. HRW says:

    Israeli forces have systematically failed to distinguish between
    combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hezbollah
    in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said in report released today. The
    pattern of attacks in more than 20 cases investigated by Human Rights
    Watch researchers in Lebanon indicates that the failures cannot be
    dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah
    practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes.

    The 50-page report, “Fatal Strikes: Israel’s Indiscriminate Attacks
    Against Civilians in Lebanon,” analyzes almost two dozen cases of
    Israeli air and artillery attacks on civilian homes and vehicles. Of
    the 153 dead civilians named in the report, 63 are children. More than
    500 people have been killed in Lebanon by Israeli fire since fighting
    began on July 12, most of them civilians.

    “The pattern of attacks shows the Israeli military’s disturbing
    disregard for the lives of Lebanese civilians,” said Kenneth Roth,
    executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Our research shows that
    Israel’s claim that Hezbollah fighters are hiding among civilians does
    not explain, let alone justify, Israel’s indiscriminate warfare.”

    HRW’s investigations do not bear out the excuse that the high
    civilian casualty rate is because of Hizbullah hiding among civilians:

    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 onnection 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.
    Just from observing eyewitness news accounts from Lebanon, I had
    come to the same conclusion.

    Download Human Rights Watch report

  162. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, I’ve been enjoying my weekend and not thinking
    about any of this crap …

    >Moreover, there IS a point to Israeli retaliation, and
    though it’s brutal, it’s also legitimate: revenge.

    Nice. You really do fill me with hope for a better world. Jahweh
    started out his career as a feudal war god and he obviously
    hasn’t changed.

    >By your logic, if somebody came into your house
    >and killed your entire family–and as you heard the shots
    >you ran downstairs with your shotgun >let’s say)–there
    >would be no reason for you to shoot that person dead.
    >In fact, he could say ‘darn, I’m out of ammo so I guess
    >you’re safe, pal!’, and therefore there would be no reason
    >for you to shoot him. Your family’s dead, he can’t kill you,
    >and so what’s the point?

    By your logic I’d be running down the stairs of the house
    I stole with a tactical nuke and screwing the whole
    neighbourhood for generations to come. You poor _fool_,
    Jacobson. Are you being paid to write this tripe?

    >Perhaps your moral compass and mine differ, but I fear
    >I’m not so ‘morally advanced’ as to be able to put down
    >my shotgun and say ‘you know, there’s no point; c’here
    >and give me a big ol’ hug!’ No: I’d blow the bastard off
    >his feet. I wager you’d do the same, as would anyone
    >who’d just seen their family murdered.

    Is your mind full of bloodthirsty analogies like these? Thanks for
    the visit.

    >Allow me to be blunt: in legal terms, the citizens of the
    >planet who aren’t being rocketed and bombed by
    >Hezbollah have no legal standing in this matter, and
    >can go to hell.

    So where are you?

    We all share this planet and we have moral standing. Perhaps
    we don’t want to go to hell (wherever that is: have you
    been reading ancient incoherent religous texts too much?)
    Did it occur to you that we have the right to decide to go
    somewhere else, whatever JINSA may have in mind for us?

    >Odd how you so casually dismiss the hundreds of Israeli
    >casualties from never-ending terrorist attacks, but weep
    >tears of grief when Israel finally does something. Odder
    >still that you whine about an Israeli campaign which kills
    >civilians by accident (and, btw, Qana looks like a big ol’
    >Hezbollah PR stunt rather than an Israeli accident–or had
    >you not been following the press lately?), but say zip
    >about a Hezbollah campaign whose only purpose is to kill
    >civilians. I guess your moral compass and mine DO difer,
    >thank God.

    I would never casually dismiss the death of civilians. I
    just don’t write about it because I’m trying to focus – and
    I don’t have time to write the kind of screeds that you
    have time to write. I’m no lover of Hizbollah, but I recognise
    that Israel and others have been (unwittingly or not)
    nurturing them since 1982. I’m a secular Westerner who
    has deep DEEP reservations about hegemonic theocracies
    like Israel and Iran. I have Muslim Arab relatives whom I
    love and care deeply about. I have hopes and fears for their
    future. I don’t pray, but I hope that Eretz Israel never comes
    about to make their lives miserable.

    So, tell us about _your_ moral compass, Jacobson. What are
    your beliefs? What beliefs nurtured you? My ancestry is
    English Christian. What’s yours? What’s your interest in this
    issue that compels you to write paragraph after paragraph
    of your accept-Israel-or-be-nuked message of peace and
    love?

    >So please drop the so-superior attitude, Scott.

    I’ll drop mine when you drop yours, trojan.

    >You are siding with murderers who get their jollies by
    >blowing up civilians and who create false ‘massacres’
    >at Qana,

    Just because I’m not with you I’m with them? You
    poor _fool_, Jacobson.

    >while condemning all efforts by Israel to defend
    >herself.

    _All_ efforts? Where? Have I started on the white
    phosphorus without remembering?

    IT’S THE NUKES, STUPID!

    >The hypocrisy is astounding.

    Isn’t it?

    Get out of the Lebanon. The rest is bullshit.

    Scott

  163. Anonymous says:

    This war has clearly shown how despicable the current world order is. It is inhuman and it continues to be promoted by a doltish megalomaniac with an English butler both led by a drooling military neophyte all vying with each other to try to show their version of the world who has the biggest schlong, while PEOPLE, human beings, are being cut to shreds, indiscriminately killed and a beautiful country is destroyed.

    This is the perfect quote to practice the tags on! Thanks, Mahmood.

    Scott

  164. Anonymous says:

    “This war has clearly shown how despicable the current world order is”

    There some 60 conflicts going on in the world right now, the majority of which have nothing to do with English butlers or their megalomaniac bosses.

  165. Eric Jacobson says:

    Good golly, Scott. I couldn’t really understand most of your post: the logical structure was notably absent, as were any coherent arguments. Lotsa hate, but I’m used to that, and it leaves me unmoved.

    By your, ahem, ‘reasoning’, if Israel is destroyed she should just take her medicine and let everyone else live. That’s an interesting statement of position, to be sure.

    Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty:

    1) Do you believe Israel has a right to exist?

    2) Do you believe she has a right to respond to those who lob 800+ rockets at her over the course of a year?

    3) Do you believe she has the right to respond to acts of war against her?

  166. Scott says:

    Good golly, Scott. I couldn’t really understand most of your post: the logical structure was notably absent, as were any coherent arguments. Lotsa hate, but I’m used to that, and it leaves me unmoved.

    Blah blah.

    I know that this is a trivial detail, but why are you used to “lotsa
    hate”? I wonder if you’ll answer this.

    By your, ahem, ‘reasoning’, if Israel is destroyed she should just take her medicine and let everyone else live. That’s an interesting statement of position, to be sure.

    Thanks to Western support, Israelica outguns everyone
    around her. She doesn’t need nukes. I believe that nuclear
    weapons are as close to the definition of an ultimate sin as
    we can get.

    Answer me this: how do these nukes help Israel? They
    haven’t deterred Hizbollah terrorists, have they?

    How about your “reasoning”? Is everybody else in
    the region supposed to take Israel’s radiotherapy
    and die? What would it take to trigger this multi-generational
    suicide-bomb-and-holocaust-deluxe-package response?

    Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty:

    Which one? The topic of the thread? Your defence of Israel
    in every particular? My specific concerns with nukes?

    1) Do you believe Israel has a right to exist?

    2) Do you believe she has a right to respond to those who lob 800+ rockets at her over the course of a year?

    3) Do you believe she has the right to respond to acts of war against her?

    1) Not in her present form. Certain UN resolutions should be
    reinstated.
    2) Not by destroying the Lebanon
    3) Not by destroying the Lebanon.

    Now, I’ve answered your questions as best as I’m able.
    I asked you some. Answer those if you can. At least tell
    us openly – as I have done – what your interest is in this
    issue. Can you do that?

    And here is _the_ nitty-gritty, once more:

    Get out of the Lebanon. The rest of this discussion really
    is blather.

    Scott

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