Wednesday, July 26, 2006

No rules in a knife fight

Lebanon made a deal with the devil. It thought that if they ignored Hezbollah's control of the southern third of Lebanon they could live a good life. Never mind that Israel would get shelled or rocketed or attacked from south Lebanon, the cappuccinos kept flowing in east Beirut. Well, when you allow your tenant to keep a pack of rabid pit bulls in the apartment next to yours, don't be surprised if your party is interrupted by the neighbors sick and tired of being menaced and bitten by the pit bulls. Not according to Lebanese President Emile Lahoud.

Lahoud tells Der Speigel that Hezbollah freed Lebanon and that Lebanon had no idea where Hezbollah was and thus couldn't disarm them. Lahoud said Israel is wrecking the government's authority to deal with Hezbollah even though they never dealt with them, as required by U.N. Resolution 1559 which required Hezbollah to disarm, in the six years since Israel left Lebanon. When asked the obvious question about simply returning the seemingly forgotten kidnapped Israelis soldiers, something almost no reporter asks anyone these days, Lahoud said, "The exchange of prisoners has always worked perfectly in the past. The Germans above all were very helpful in this process. It is unclear whether that will happen this time. It's a charged atmosphere." Sounds like Lahoud considers Hezbollah's invasion of Israel to kidnap soldiers just a small part of a big game. "We steal your soldiers, you negotiate for their release. Wait, you can't bomb us! That's against the rules!" Sort of reminds of the knife fight scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. "Rules? In a knife fight? No rules!" At which point the declarant is kicked in the groin. Well Lebanon got kicked in the groin and their response is Israel is not playing by the rules in this knife fight. Maybe Lebanon should have thought about that as Hezbollah, the private militia of 20% of its Parliament and two of its ministers, pulled out the knife and put it against Israel's throat for the last six years.

And what does the President of Lebanon think of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah? "Hezbollah enjoys utmost prestige in Lebanon, because it freed our country. All over the Arab world you hear: Hezbollah maintains Arab honor, and even though it (Hezbollah) is very small, it stands up to Israel. And of course Nasrallah has my respect." Sounds like Lahoud likes those rabid pit bulls in south Lebanon more than he likes a growing middle class building a country and drinking cappuccinos.


Blogger JDG said...

Good heavens that's well put.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Lahoud skirts around another issue - none of the countries who profess such solidarity with the Palestinians really want them around.

The quote "Their birth rate is three times higher" is the sort of thing you'd hear from any other hypocritical bigot.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

I left that out since it really speaks for itself. He's only concerned about them because they will demographically overtake them. And they call Jewish nationalism racism. Go figure.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

If there are no rules in a knife fight, then why don't we just toss the Geneva Convention in the garbage?

8:28 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

We seem to be doing so, but I'm not aware that Israel beheads people with butcher knives or makes suicide bombers out of their wives and daughters and sons and fathers and sends them out to kill children as Hizbullah and its supporters do. I'm not aware that Israel hides behind its citizens to maximize Israeli casualties. I'm certainly not aware that Israel plants bombs all over the world to kill Australians, Americans, Spaniards and British and then plants more to blow up the paramedics. I'm absolutely sure that no thought has ever been given to following the Geneva conventions by Hizbullah or Hamas, much less any other vestiges of respect for anyone's humanity.

How do you respond to such an enemy other than with massive force? When has any nation not acted so and survived?

I know I'm as prejudiced as anyone, but I do not believe that al Qaeda or the government of Iran and Syria and the militias it supports have any interest in any other policy than killing all Israelis and perhaps all Jews as well. That attitude is no secret. I do not believe that their goal is to restore the occupied territories or seek any kind of peace save the peace of death. The lives of the Lebanese or the refugees of Palestine seem to be of no interest or importance except as hostages and tools toward their publicaly avowed goal: the complete annihilation of Israel.

How do you deal with such an enemy?

Israel has certainly run roughshod over the rights of others yet they do not compare with the abominations of Islamic terrorist groups.

What would you do if you had control over Israel's actions?

What do you think is the goal of Hizbullah or the Taliban or al Qaeda or Iran or Syria?

9:55 AM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

Israel has the capacity to vaporize every Arab country with the push of a button. But it doesn't. I wonder if the Arab countries would show the same restraint against Israel? In 1973 Israel came close to nuking Syria and Egypt but didn't even though they almost were overrun by those armies intent on destroying them. I wonder if Syria and Egypt had had the bomb in '73 would they hesitate for an instant to start the war with nuking Tel Aviv. I think not. The only difference between criticism of Israel and any other country beseiged with neighbors planting bombs on their buses and starting wars is that Israel is largely comprised of Jews. If a Muslim kills a Muslim, as in Iran-Iraq war, Lebanese civil war, Jordan/Black September, Iraq-Kuwait war, Iraq civil war, Egypt killing protesters, Syria leveling the city of Hama killing maybe 20,000, etc., etc., etc. it's business as usual. But a Jew kill a Muslim because the Muslim fires rockets into Haifa? Well then the world must condemn it. Islamic radicalism or whatever you want to call it, these bomb laying terrorists are ruining the world. Pick a side.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

The side has been picked for me.

Al-Zawahiri was on Al Jazeera today pledging to reclaim Spain and urging Muslims to hurry up and die for the cause. He had a picture of the burning World Trade Center behind him and a portrait of Mohammed Atta.

"It is a jihad for God's sake and will last until religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq."

Which side am I supposed to be on?

In Iran they tell young mothers that it's better to become a martyr than to raise their kids. They tell people that Pepsico is a secrt Jewish organization that stands for "Pay every penny to support Israel"

There are TV shows where Jews drink the blood of babies and yet Egypt is on Zawahiri's shit list because they're not slaughtering Jews.

I heard a young man from Dubai claim that he learned in school that all US presidents have always been Jews.

What side am I supposed to be on? I'm on my side and that's the side that isn't screaming kill, kill, kill the infidel. If anyone isn't on the side of al Zawahiri it's time to say so because there is no way to make peace when the only choices are to die or be killed.

These monsters do not want peace, they do not care about human life, they do not want to compromise. I am and will be the enemy of anyone who sides with them, apologizes for them, rationalizes away their malice by calling it the fault of the Jews.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

You have conveniently avoided answering the question about the Geneva Convention. If the US should abide by it, as I believe you and Captain have argued, then why shouldn't Israel?

Why the double standard?

If I take the "you're with us or against us" bait you're peddling in the context of Israel, then I would have to accept it when the Monkey-in-chief says it and I won't. Have some principles and consistency.

If you think it's okay for Israel to bomb the bejesus out of anyone, then admit you believe it's okay for the US to torture, rendition people, and use whatever means are necessary to fight the enemy that beheads people, plants bombs, blah, blah, blah.

Why don't you just join the Republican warmongers? Your arguments are exactly the same as theirs.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

Defending or explaining Hezbollah actions is like defending al Qaeda. That's the pick a side argument. You have people who cherish death and long for martyrdom and you have people trying to live without the constant threat of a rerun of 1973 when the nation was almost overrun. The fact is Muslims who think Islam is a perfect religion can't stand that Jews are thriving and have built a beautiful country and a strong, effective, professional and advanced military. That's why Spain's GDP is the same as 23 Arab countries combined. Anything modern or open or free or women's rights doesn't comport with their interpretation of Islam and being Jewish on top of that is even more enraging. I'll criticize Israel when I think condemnation isn't based on whether one is Jewish or not. It's anti-Semitism. Plain and simple. Where's your fury at Russia destroying Muslim Chechnya? Where's your condemnation of Hezbollah invading Israel and killing and kidnapping soldiers? Where's the blog column on Taliban slaughering of Afghans? Or car bombs between Sunni and Shiites in Iraq? I hear and read 0. When Israeli actions are debated with even a sliver of fairness as compared to every other country on earth, then I'll point out its warts. Until then warts don't mean anything compared to the cancer of Islamic killers like Hezbollah and Hamas.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I didn't make the knife fight analogy and in fact this is not a knife fight, but open war. In a knife fight two people might be killed - this is a contest with greater stakes. Even so, if your enemy surrenders, you take him prisoner - unless you're a jihadist in which case you saw of his head with a dull knife and call yourself a hero. Is this what you mean by observing the Geneva convention? What part of that convention authorizes decades of unremitting acts of terrorism?

But if you think Israel is further from observation of human rights and humane treatment of prisoners and protection of civilian non-combatants than Hizbullah, there can be no argument, because this is an absurd proposition. Israel is heavy handed and unwilling to risk the safety of its people. Hizbullah is a killing machine that uses the bllod of its people to further its cause of killing evey man woman and chile in Israel. Where is this fairness you're talking about? Does Israel behead news reporters and murder aid workers and throw grenades into the windows of school busses? Is Israel flying planes into buldings in Cairo, blowing up trains in Jordan? Is Israel trying to reclaim Spain, for heaven's sake?

Areas of Lebanon where Hizbullah is not, are not being targeted, whereas on the other side, Jews anywhere in the world and anyone who does not oppose them are considered combatants by Islamic militias. I'm sorry, I see your argument as based on false equivalences and as defending unrepentant mass murderers.

And you haven't answered my question either - is the goal of militias like Hizbullah to annihilate Israel regardless of the sacrifice or is it not? If it is, tell me how to treat them fairly. If not - well, that's not an option since they have never failed to assert that they want to kill me and my family and everyone in Israel.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

This is supposedly a fight about Hizballah, but innocent Lebanese civilians are the ones being killed. The Israelis have always been good about using covert forces to accomplish their aims, so I don't understand why they have to bomb an entire country to retrieve two soldiers who, by the way, are still alive.

Whether Hizballah respects the Geneva Convention is irrelevant to the question of whether Israel should conduct itself in accord therewith. If you are to argue otherwise, then you must accept all of W's arguments about his right to torture, etc.

I am simply asking why you hold W to a different standard than Israel. To what country are you loyal?

8:48 AM  

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