Tuesday, July 25, 2006
More words from a reluctant war
Smoke billows from a terrorist stronghold in southern Lebanon
Hezbollah took us hostage
Hezbollah didn’t only take 2 Israeli soldiers hostages, but he took Lebanon hostage and gave it to its masters (Iran & Syria) as a bargaining chip. Do we Lebanese have a saying in all this? Did Hassan Nasrallah ask us, the Lebanese, if we agreed on such operation? He doesn’t care. He thinks he is untouchable and any decision he makes, we the Lebanese, must obey it. After all he is a Muslim religious leader and Allah path is the right one. He threatened every single Lebanese, right after kidnapping the Israeli soldiers, he asked all Lebanese to stand by his resistance or else. Or else, what? You will pull your Imam Ali sward and cut our heads?
Mano, writing on the Ouwet Front, a Lebanese Forces blog.
What the Lebanese think of Hezbollah
I think all the Arab flag wavers need to find someone Lebanese to speak to. Not Syrians with Lebanese passports, and not Shiaas either. Find yourself a Sunni Lebanese, a Christian, Durzi or Marouni. Talk to them. Ask them about what they think of Hezb ‘ollah…
Guess what? Not a moment goes by without them cussing at Hezb ‘ollah. And they too believe that Hezb ‘ollah is armed to the gills with Syrian and Iranian weaponry. Even the Syrians I spoke to admit that Syria supports Hezb ‘ollah with material.
So it irks me when I read that Egyptians - the politically immature mixed in with the blindly nationalistic Nasserites for example - cheer on Hezb ‘ollah like they have a vested interest in the continuation of this lunacy. Sorry, but you aren’t even Lebanese! It’s easy for us Arabs to support an organisation that wrecks havoc against our ‘enemy’ but does it on someone else’s expense.
I mean, if Hezb ‘ollah decided to open shop in Sinai, and fight Israel from across our border, how many Egyptians would cheer then? Even if it meant having to contend with parts of Cairo being shelled back to the stone age, literally? I highly doubt it…
Mindbleed, Arab blogger writing “to Arab brothers” [Warning: Language alert on this site].
How the U.N. legitimizes terrorists
Part of the goal of organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas is to gain moral legitimacy for their terrorist tactics by having them equated with the conventional military tactics used by democratic regimes. Only the morally obtuse--or perverse--cannot recognize the difference between a terrorist group that targets civilian population centers with anti-personnel weapons designed to maximize civilian casualties and a democracy that seeks to prevent terrorism by employing smart bombs designed to minimize civilian casualties.
Annan knows better than to suggest a moral equivalence. He is fully aware of the tactic employed by terrorists of launching their rockets from, and hiding behind, civilian shields, so as to make democracies have to kill some civilians to get at the terrorists.
But Annan heads an organization that is so anti-Israel that as the late Abba Eban, the early Israeli ambassador to the UN, once put it: "If Algeria proposed a resolution that the Earth was flat and that Israel has flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 120 to 3, with 27 abstentions."
Many such resolutions have been passed by the General Assembly, including the notorious one equating the Jewish national liberation movement with "racism." Other one-sided resolutions have been passed by the General Assembly legitimating terrorism. Only the U.S. veto--which does not operate in the UN General Assembly--has prevented one-sided resolutions by the Security Council.
If a space alien from a distant planet were to land at the UN, he would come away with the impression that Israel is not only the sole offender in the Middle East, but the worst offender in the entire world. He would single out Israel for condemnation and exclude it from membership on many UN bodies, on which Syria, Lebanon and Iran serve in positions of honor.
Annan himself has a long history of one-sided condemnations of Israel. In March 2004, Annan "strongly condemned" Israel's targeted killing of Sheik Ahmad Yassin, the terrorist leader of Hamas, without condemning Yassin for his murderous actions or his organization for the murder of Jewish civilians. In December 2003, Annan "strongly condemned" Israel's assault on a Palestinian refugee camp where two gunmen were thought to be hiding. And in 2005, he issued the most tepid of statements--expressing "dismay"--at threats by Iran's president to "eliminate" Israel, a member nation of the UN. The list goes on and on.
And even worse than the one-sided condemnations that ignore Hezbollah and Hamas are the numerous statements that perversely suggest moral equivalence.
The UN peacekeepers on the Lebanese border have turned out to be collaborators with Hezbollah, videotaping the Hezbollah kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers in 2000 and then refusing to release the video--which could have helped in the rescue--on the grounds that it might compromise their "neutrality."
This is a real test for the UN. If it cannot--or will not--distinguish between terrorists who target civilians and a democracy that seeks to stop the terrorism while minimizing civilian casualties, it has become part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.
Alan Dershowitz, describing how the U.N. legitimizes terrorists.
A pictorial of anti-Semitism
Before arriving in South Florida this weekend, I had heard from several friends in the area that the Miami Herald was providing slanted coverage of the war in the Middle East. I had visited the web site, but that was largely a collection of wire stories.
Then I saw Saturday’s paper. The most prominent headline on the front page, in the center, above-the-fold, was “The human cost of war.” Immediately below was surprisingly brazen bias. Before I describe more, look for yourself…
Joel Mowbray showing one example in a long line of brazen mainstream media bias against Israel.
“Proportional” -- new anti-Semitic code word
If by chance you have the search engine LexisNexis and you punch in the words "Israel'' and "disproportionate,'' you run the risk of blowing up your computer or darkening your entire neighborhood. Just limiting the search to newspapers and magazines of the last week will turn up "more than 1,000 documents.'' Israel may be the land of milk and honey but it certainly seems to be the land of disproportionate military response -- and a good thing, too.
The list of those who have accused Israel of not being in harmony with its enemies is long and, alas, distinguished. It includes, of course, the United Nations and its secretary general, Kofi Annan. It also includes a whole bunch of European newspapers whose editorial pages call for Israel to respond, it seems, with only one missile for every one tossed its way. Such neat proportion is a recipe for doom.
The dire consequences of proportionality are so clear that it makes you wonder if it is a fig leaf for anti-Israel sentiment in general…
Readers of my recent column on the Middle East can accuse me of many things, but not a lack of realism. I know Israel's imperfections, but I also exult and admire its achievements. Lacking religious conviction, I fear for its future and note the ominous spread of European-style anti-Semitism throughout the Muslim world -- and its boomerang return to Europe as a mindless form of anti-Zionism. Israel is, as I have often said, unfortunately located, gentrifying a pretty bad neighborhood. But the world is full of dislocated peoples and we ourselves live in a country where the Indians were pushed out of the way so that -- oh, what irony! -- the owners of slaves could spread liberty and democracy from sea to shining sea. As for Europe, who today cries for the Greeks of Anatolia or the Germans of Bohemia?
These calls for proportionality rankle. They fall on my ears not as genteel expressions of fairness, some ditsy Marquess of Queensberry idea of war, but as ugly sentiments pregnant with antipathy toward the only state in the Middle East that is a democracy. After the Holocaust, after 1,000 years of mayhem and murder, the only proportionality that counts is zero for zero. If Israel's enemies want that, they can have it in a moment.
Richard Cohen, telling us why “a ‘proportional response’ is madness.”
The inhumane nature of an immature ceasefire
We know that the missile that wrecked an IDF warship and killed four sailors on July 15 was manufactured in Iran to a Chinese design. We know that Hezbollah's longer-range weapons are commanded by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. We know that Hezbollah's fighting forces were equipped and trained by Iranian officers. And we know above all that Hezbollah is financed, equipped, and trained by the Iranian secret service. It carries out terror missions on behalf of Iran. For all practical purposes, Hezbollah is an arm of the Iranian state.
And when Hezbollah goaded Israel into war, the war it triggered was not a war between Israel and Lebanon.
The war Hezbollah provoked is a war between Israel and Iran, with Hezbollah as Iran's proxy--and the people of Lebanon as Iran's victims. The Lebanese have been kidnapped by Iran as surely as those two Israeli soldiers abducted on the northern border.
Israel has recognized that tragic fact. It has fought this war on its northern border as humanely as it can. Flip the switch in Beirut and the lights come on; open the taps, and the water flows. Essential services have been spared. The runways at Beirut Airport have been bombed to stop reinforcements to Hezbollah, but the control towers and the newly built terminal have been spared because Lebanon will need them later.
Unintended civilian casualties have tragically occurred, as they do in any war. But Israel's sincere and costly attempts to minimize the loss of innocent life present a stark contrast with Hezbollah's deliberately atrocious war methods.
Hezbollah has boasted that it has tried to fire missiles into Haifa's chemical factories, in hope of releasing gases to poison the civilian population. Hezbollah rocket warheads arrive crammed with ball bearings, so as to inflict maximum death and suffering upon the civilian populations at which they are fired.
Nobody wants the war to last a minute longer than it needs to. But ironically, letting this war go to the finish would be a far more humane policy than the UN's call for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire.
Thoughts from David From, resident fellow at AEI.