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#22710 - 08/03/06 12:57 PM Lebanon
Daniel Offline
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Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Time to kick the dust off the politics forum . . . .

I don't understand Israel's approach in Lebanon because I don't see how anyone can think that there's really a military solution there. Hezbollah isn't stupid enough to engage in a direct confrontation that it would be sure to lose. If Israel occupies southern Lebanon, won't Hezbollah just move to northern Lebanon? If Israel invades northern Lebanon, won't they just move to Syria? And when Israel's military forces withdraw, won't Hezbollah return with more popular support than before due to the resentment that Israel is creating among formerly moderate Lebanese?

It seems to me that we've seen this movie before. Israel tried a get tough, wipe them out approach with Hamas, but they couldn't go after Hamas leaders and fighters without punishing the entire Palestinian population. And though Palestinians were angry at Fatah's corruption, I can't help but think that Israel's actions also increased Hamas's popularity and helped get them elected.

I understand Israeli anger and frustration at having missiles (which have been pretty ineffective, by the way) lobbed at them. But sometimes acting out of anger and frustration doesn't help the situation but makes it worse. That's why we have frontal lobes, to keep us from doing things we'll regret later on. It seems to me that Israel's actions have already made Hezbollah stronger, a result that could have been foreseen if anyone had thought about it for more than five minutes.

And the U.S. isn't helping the situation. If we really want to support Lebanon's emerging democracy, why aren't we supporting what Lebanon's prime minister wants: an immediate cease-fire? Condi Rice says we have to work on "root causes," but there is no explanation as to why the fighting must continue in order to address those problems. We can work on root causes anytime, anywhere, if those involved have the will to do it.

I can accept it when others have different points of view based on a plausible set of assumptions and reasonable arguments. But this situation just makes no sense to me except as a way of lashing out. And lashing out seems so obviously counterproductive that I fail to comprehend why Israel is doing it, and why the U.S. is supporting it.

Recommended reading: this Slate article on the "false choice" of addressing root causes v. an immediate cease-fire.

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#22711 - 08/03/06 01:22 PM Re: Lebanon [Re: Daniel]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
Agreed!

And I would like to know who is going to foot the $2 Billion and growing reconstruction bill! The entire Lebanon infrastructure (communications, roadways, shipping etc) has been obliterated...

Not to mention the HUGE amount of environmental damage that is being caused by the bombings... Fires, an oil slick covering over 40% of the shoreline!

It seems that Israel is taking the same approach that the US has been taking in Afghanistan and Iraq... And that is going so well for us right now...
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#22712 - 08/03/06 06:13 PM Re: Lebanon [Re: Daniel]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
Daniel I agree with your analysis of Israels actions.

Dillbag wrote
Quote:

It seems that Israel is taking the same approach that the US has been taking in Afghanistan and Iraq... And that is going so well for us right now...




I do not think that we can say anything unsupportive of Israel. After all, wouldn't we do the same thing if a terrorist group blew up a building here?

At least Israel is getting more of the real terrorists than we would.


Edited by mworking (08/03/06 07:11 PM)

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#22713 - 08/03/06 06:54 PM Re: Lebanon [Re: mworking]
Daniel Offline
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Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
After all, wouldn't we do the same thing if a terrorist group blew here?

In defending Israel's actions about two weeks ago, Hillary Clinton also asked how we would respond if missiles were being fired at us from Canada. I wrote her that I don't think we'd bomb the Montreal airport, would we?

And I think the better example would be: what if some terrorists launched a missile at Canada from Greenwich Village? Would we say: "OK, Canada, you can now bomb Manhattan--oh, and take out the city's water supply and electrical grid while you're at it"?

I do not think that we can say anything unsupportive of Israel.

I do support Israel, just as I support my own country. And support, true support, means pointing out when you think they're making a mistake. While Israel may be killing more "real terrorists," the question should be whether they're creating even more in the process. I just don't see any result here that leaves Israel better off than they were before, which makes the situation so mind-boggling absurd to me.

What Israel could have, and in my opinion should have, done was something on a far smaller scale along with a message to the U.N. that there is an international resolution requiring Hezbollah to disarm, and if the international community doesn't get serious about it, then Israel will because they're tired of these random rocket attacks. Maybe we'd wind up in the same place, but Israel should have at least given the rest of the world a chance to intervene. That way they'd look at least a little bit better than they do now.

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#22714 - 08/03/06 07:22 PM Re: Lebanon [Re: Daniel]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
I mangled my orriginal post and have edited it.

What I was trying to say, was that we like them destroyed a country of innocent people so that we could get a few terrorists. Uh, Uh , oh never mind that's not why we went to Iraq was it. It was weapons of mass destructon, really never mind I really am confused - but I still dont' feel we can aford to say anyting to Israel.

Remember I am not arguing at all with your analysis. I agree that they may well be simply creating more hatred and more terrorists. I said the same of us too. I am pretty sure that we have not yet done Iraqis any good, and that we have not lived up to our promise of provding them with better lives even though weve killed at least 100,000 people in Iraq (Our official count something like 30,000).
.

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#22715 - 08/03/06 07:31 PM Re: Lebanon [Re: Daniel]
alicex4 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 3400
Some people are never satisfied with Israel's response, no matter the response, it is always viewed in a negative light.
The UN and international community in general is a joke when it comes to enforcing anything. The UN has had resolutions (from 300 something in 1973, to 1550 in 2000 and 1559 as late as 2002) and nothing is enforced. More pious platitudes from the self absorbed politicos like Kofi (Israel deliberately targeted the UN peacekeepers - thanks Kofi that was so unbiased and professional) and company. UN 1559 called for "the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias. It also called upon all parties concerned to cooperate fully and urgently with the Council for the full implementation of all its resolutions concerning the restoration in Lebanon of territorial integrity, full sovereignty and political independence." We can see how well that was upheld, Hizbollah still exists, and is still a threat to the region. Get on their website, like Hamas, they call for the destruction of Israel. How can one negotiate with a group who's stated mission is Israel's destruction? That information seems to always be left out of the peace equation. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the solution to the Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel, Iranian state media reported. "Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented," Mind boggling, your destruction is our intended goal, please stop defending yourself so we may implement it. You tell me how it is logically possible to negotiate with these kinds of factions? Israel is taking the bull by the horns because noone else will do anything to stop Hizbollah and Hamas.

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#22716 - 08/03/06 07:43 PM Re: Lebanon [Re: alicex4]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
I am so fucking sickof the word terrorist. I am going to turn into one if I hear it used as justification for a superior force to obliterate and dominate a weaker adversary. Why doesn't anyone...ANYONE ever talk about the reasons why Lebanese guerillas would kidnap Israeli soldeirs, or why middle east fundamentalists would fly airplanes into American buildings. There IS a reason. Why do we always have to resort to military violence to solve the fucking conflicts?? The questions I am asking are rhetorical obviously. dealing with the reasons "why" would mean restructuring foreign policy on a wide scale, which is something we are just not willing to do. But good God stop blaming the "terrorists" for everything. Stop telling us how we are advancing liberty and democracry across the world. Be honest and tell me the real reason Israel is so important to us that we continue to risk making enemies of every middle east nation just to protect them. Please someone explain this to me.

RR

If I hear the word terrorist one more time I'm gonna be a mushroom cloud layin' motha fucka!

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#22717 - 08/03/06 08:13 PM Re: Lebanon [Re: RangerRob]
alicex4 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 3400
."I am so fucking sickof the word terrorist. I am going to turn into one if I hear it used as justification for a superior force to obliterate and dominate a weaker adversary."


Dude, I didn't use the word terrorist. I think "destruction of the Zionist state" pretty much sums up the issue for Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran. I think I was generous calling them factions.


Are you an advocate of Proportionality in war? I never heard of a proportional victory.


One of the greatest ironies in this whole situation is that Israel was created by the UN!

"Life is a prime maniacal risibility." VK Ratliffe

You are no doubt a proponent of proportional force, a joke considering it is a war. I never heard of a proportional victory in any war.


Edited by alicex4 (08/03/06 08:15 PM)

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#22718 - 08/03/06 09:58 PM Re: Lebanon [Re: alicex4]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Yes, Hezbollah calls for the destruction of Israel. But that doesn't answer the question as to what is the best way to deal with them. Is Israel's actions hurting Hezbollah or helping them? Did Israel's strong-arm tactics against Hamas diminish their influence or help get them elected into power?

I agree that Hezbollah and Hamas are the bad guys. But I don't see how "taking the bull by the horns" is weakening the bull. It seems more to me that Israel walked right into a trap. In this case, it would have better to have done nothing. Now, doesn't Hezbollah have more credibility, more recruits? (And let's not forget that it was Israel's occupation of Lebanon that helped create Hezbollah in the first place.)

As for the threat posed by Hezbollah, they launched 130 missiles recently and killed 7 Israelis. At that rate, they could shoot their arsenal of about 10,000 missiles and kill 538 Israelis. Israel has already killed over 600 Lebanese civilians and wounded thousands, not to mention all the homes, water supplies, and electricity grids destroyed. Guess how many more people are going to support Hezbollah when the Israelis withdraw, as they eventually will. I'm not arguing for proportionality; I'm arguing for what works, and I don't see how this problem has a military solution, especially when Hezbollah will never directly face the Israeli armed forces in a conflict Hezbollah would be sure to lose.

I support Israel. I just don't see how this action is in their own interests. If someone can explain to me how Israel can possibly come out ahead by doing what it's doing, I'd appreciate it. I view Israel's actions "in a negative light" not because I am anti-Israel, but because I just don't understand how it works in their favor. People shouldn't do something for the sake of doing something if it's going to make the situation worse.

Update: here's a site with a running total of deaths in the conflict so far, according to the BBC.
Israel: 67
U.N.: 4
Canada: 8
Lebanon: 900

The site has a coffin icon for each death, and it takes a lot of scrolling to get to the end of the Lebanese section. It's not about proportionality, but about whether it's right. Given that most of the Lebanese coffins do not represent Hezbollah, and that most of those Lebanese coffins probably represent added resentment by people in the region towards Israel, it gets harder and harder for me to see how Israel's actions are either justified or long-term productive.


Edited by Daniel (08/04/06 04:14 AM)

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#22719 - 08/03/06 10:49 PM Re: Lebanon [Re: Dillbag]
oenophore Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
If Satan exists, he's laughing his ass off - chalk one up for the Forces of Darkness.
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