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Robert Scheer: Israel’s Dependency on the Drug of Militarism

Posted on Aug 1, 2006

By Robert Scheer

Those who mindlessly support Israel, right or wrong, from President Bush on through the cheerleaders in Congress and the media, betray the security of the Jewish state. They are enablers who have encouraged Israel’s dependency on the drug of militarism as a false escape from the difficult accommodations needed to bring peace to the Middle East.

For too many pundits and politicians, bombing just seems so much simpler—until, as happened in Qana, Lebanon, on Sunday, those bombs blow up to your nation’s disgrace, slaughtering scores of innocents, whose only crime was to be in the crossfire. The alternative to such excessive violence—an authentic peace process—had been supported by every American president since Harry Truman. Yet it was abruptly abandoned, indeed ridiculed, by the Bush administration, which bizarrely believes it can re-create the Middle East in a more U.S.-friendly form. The president has framed this process with a simplistic good-versus-evil template, which has the Christian West and Jewish Israel on an unnecessary collision course with the Muslim world.

Israel foolishly jumped at the tempting opportunity presented by Bush, who believes all the complex issues dividing the Middle East can be neatly summarized as the choosing of sides in a playground game called “the post-9/11 war on terror.”

“The current crisis is part of a larger struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror in the Middle East,” Bush said Monday. “When democracy spreads in the Middle East, the people of that troubled region will have a better future.” Apparently, Bush is unclear on the fact that Lebanon’s prime minister—elected after the country’s celebrated “cedar revolution”—has condemned the uncritical support provided by the United States for Israel since this conflagration began. Or that Hezbollah is an important part of that democratic government because of its popularity among the Shiite Muslims of southern Lebanon. Bush’s neoconservative foreign-policy cabal argued that troublesome regimes, such as that of Saddam Hussein, could be easily transformed into pliable, West-leaning democracies. Instead, the opposite has happened. Throughout the region, elections hyped by Bush have turned out to be a vehicle for the expression of religion-fueled rage against Israel and its U.S. sponsor.

Even the elected leaders in “liberated” Iraq are denouncing Israel and the United States. On Monday, the Iraqi prime minister appeared at a memorial service in which he and other speakers condemned Israel. Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani, the most important leader in post-Hussein Iraq, broke from his usually circumspect public statements to denounce this “outrageous crime,” while Moqtada al Sadr, leader of the country’s most powerful militia and a key parliamentary bloc, railed against “the ominous trio of the United States, Israel and Britain, which is terrorizing Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and other occupied nations.”

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Meanwhile, Israel, with U.S. support, has ignored what it had learned through its occupation of Palestinian territories and previous disastrous attempts to subdue Lebanon: Compromise from a position of strength is more effective than seeking a pyrrhic total victory. Not only has each attempt to crush local resistance begat more radical and disciplined enemies, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, but the likelihood of rage-fueled “blowback” is exponentially increased.

“There’s going to be another 9/11, and then we’re going to hear all the usual claptrap about how it’s good versus evil, and they hate us because we’re good and democratic, and they hate our values and all the other material that comes out of the rear end of a bull,” London Independent correspondent Robert Fisk told interviewer Amy Goodman of the radio program “Democracy Now!” after watching dozens of children’s corpses being stuffed into plastic bags or wrapped in rugs.

It is true that the Israeli withdrawals of the past half-decade, nearly complete in the case of Lebanon and cynically minimal in the Palestinian territories, did not resolve all the disputes or stop all violence. Yet the abandonment of the peace process and the renewed reliance on bombs will prove far more costly for Israel. Long after Bush is gone from office, Israel will be threatened by a new generation of enemies whose political memory was decisively shaped by these horrible images emerging from Lebanon. At that point, Israelis attempting to make peace with those they must coexist with will recognize that with friends such as Bush and his neoconservative mentors, they would not lack for enemies.


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By John Earl, August 15, 2006 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
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This New Yorker article by Seymour Hersh really blew my mind!

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060821fa_fact

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By sleeper, August 15, 2006 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I read the two articles and found there is more information then I expected.  Its amazing how underhanded this plan for War has been and continues to be.

I think Israel has to fight their own battles.  I am not opposed to them destroying the nuclear capabilities of Iran.  We do not need to be involved in any further occupation of either Iraq or Iran.

I was suprised to see the refence to treason in the “Next War” article.  I think there are probably a number of areas where the neocons in our legislature along with their commerades in staff or intelligence positions have collaberated to deceive, defraud, and otherwise rob the middle class taxpayers of America.  I truly hope they all are exposed and procecuted.

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By john Earl, August 15, 2006 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060828/alterman

Eric Alterman’s Nation article about the Neocon dreams of extending the war in Lebanon reinforces the impression I got from the Rolling Stone article on the “next war.

“http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/10962352/iran_the_next_war

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By sleeper, August 14, 2006 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t get it. How can anyone complain that Israel is moving in to Lebanon?  As long as the rocket and missles continue to reach Israel then they will secure the land neccesary to remove the threat.  They will not just stop and let these idiots fire rockets that have minimal guidance into populated areas.  Israel attempts to minimize the colateral damage.  Its hard when the opposition hides behind children.

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By Star deGeil, August 14, 2006 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think Israel has superceded its power.  Do they really think getting back 2 soliders is worth the murder of hundreds of people.  Where is the comparison?  Where is the sense?  Now, you wont read this in any American owned media but there is also intelligence that claims Israel kidnapped a Dr and his family and Hezbollah responded by kidnapping 2 soliders.  Naturally, you only hear about the Hezbollah kidnapping and not the Israeli kidnapping because the American press never allows you to hear the side of the Arabs.  Rather, those that own the media in America, prefer to paint the Israelis as the good guys and may sure the Arab voice is never heard.  The unfairness of this is never even questioned.  The only reason anyone is paying attention to the aggression of Israel, that, as usual, are claiming to protect their homeland, (one given to them by the UN, despite the fact that it belonged to the Palestinians who occupied the land when the UN decided the refugee Jews had to be put somewhere after WW2 and no other nation wanted them, so they dropped them in the Middle East because the Jews claim an historical right to the land, despite the fact, most Jews in Israel are European Jews who came from Russia and are not Semites at all), is because this action of aggression is so over the top.  Yes, they want to say that its Hezbollah’s fault Isreal is killing so many innocents, but few buy that.  Israel made the choice to go into Lebanon twice (war crime) and decimate the structure and population on their own.  They want to say that Hezbollah puts the citizens in front of them as shields, but who is dropping the bombs. Israel!!!!  That remains a fact no matter how they try to rationalize that to the contray.  And no amount of labeling people “anti-Semitic” that have eyes to see that fact, is going to change truth.  Israel made the choice that made them murderers before the world as now all eyes are looking at Israel and Israel cant blame anyone but themselves, though most times they find a way to point out the other guys faults and never their own.

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By Star deGeil, August 14, 2006 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think Israel has superceded its power.  Do they really think getting back 2 soliders is worth the murder of hundreds of people.  Where is the comparison?  Where is the sense?  Now, you wont read this in any American owned media but there is also intelligence that claims Israel kidnapping a Dr and his family and Hezbollah responded by kidnapping 2 soliders.  Naturally, you only hear about the Hezbollah kidnapping and not the Israeli kidnapping because the American press never allows you to hear the side of the Arabs.  Rather, those that own the media in America, prefer to paint the Israelis as the good guys and never give any voice to the Arabs.  The unfairness of this is never even questioned.  The only reason anyone is paying attention to the aggression of Israel, as usual claiming to protect their homeland, (one given to them by the UN, despite the fact that it belonged to the Palestinians who occupied the land when the UN decided the refugee Jews had to be put somewhere after WW2 and no other nation wanted them, so they dropped them in the Middle East because the Jews claim an historical right to the land, despite the fact, most Jews in Israel are European Jews who came from Russia and are not Semites at all), is because this action of aggression is so over the top.  Yes, they want to say that its Hezbollah’s fault Isreal is killing so many innocents, but few buy that.  Israel made the choice to go into Lebanon twice (war crime) and decimate the structure and population on their own.  They want to say that Hezbollah puts the citizens in front of them as shields, but who is dropping the bombs. Israel!!!!  That remains a fact no matter how they try to rationalize that to the contray.  And no amount of labeling people that have eyes to see that fact, anti-Semitic is going to change truth.  Israel made the choice that makes them murderers before the world as now all eyes are looking at Israel and they cant blame anyone but themselves.

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 10, 2006 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #17735 by ed_tru_lib on 8/10 at 2:55 pm

Fascinating! Utterly fascinating that anyone would expose him/herself like you do!

You know, I do believe you have reached a category of blog comment that will be the subject of much research in the years ahead ...

Does someone like you really believe what you post? Or are you simply trying to sabotage the views you espouse?

Fascinating.

And that you don’t say who you are ... of course, I CAN understand that part of it.

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By ed_tru_lib, August 10, 2006 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment
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Hilding Lindquist-My SINCEREST apologies my friend. Please excuse my insensitivity. I had thought I was merely being somewhat humourously ironic, perhaps with just the slightest hint of blogpost sarcasm, when I implied you were mentally-challenged. I assure you Sir, I HAD NO IDEA IT WAS IN FACT THE CASE, and genuinely beg your pardon. The truth is Hilding, I had NEVER ACTUALLY HEARD of Cobb Elementary School in Duluth, which you attended, until you mentioned it, and so OF COURSE had no idea it REALLY WAS a school for children with “special needs.”
I have always been a big supporter of the Special Olympics, and am CERTAIN you were a proud and tenacious competitor in them.
Perhaps I let a little envy of your having been from Duluth, which I have never had the pleasure of visiting (my “cousin Hobart” was purely fictional) but I understand is a lovely city-virtually the Newark of the Great lakes, color my judgement.

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By Sylvia Barksdale Morovitz, August 9, 2006 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As I understand it, Israel is committing this carnage against Lebanon because the Hezbollah captured 2 Israli soldiers!!  I interpret their actions as massive overkill and bullying akin to that of GW Bush.  There simply is no justification for the innocents killed in this endeavor.  It is murder, like those killed by the US in Iraq!  Obvioiusly, they do not realize they’re emulating one of the maddest leaders since Adolph Hitler!  Quite as obviously, they do not realize that their behavior will someday get them annihilated from the face of the Earth.

Some years ago CNN ran a program on the Israli occupation of the West Bank.  A woman had been driving in her vehicle with her young son in the back seat and a bullet had grazed his shoulder.  When asked by the reporter if she would consider moving elsewhere her answer was that God had chosen them to occupy that part of the world and she would never leave.  I thought it was one of the most unthinking and bizzare remarks I’d ever heard.  An example of a mind-set that could not be more astounding, meaning that the land she resided on meant more to her than the life of her child.

It’s far past time that Truman’s bill to keep Israel armed to the teeth with American taxes be abolished.  Americans should not be compelled to suffer for foreign nations to fight unjust wars on their assets.  As long as this pattern of events continues, Israel will have no incentive to seek peace with their neighbors!

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By Sleeper, August 9, 2006 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with these statements entered by Jeff:


If the Arabs put down their weapons today there would be no more violence.

If the Jews put down their weapons today there would be no more Israel.

This has continually happening since Israel came into existence.  It really isn’t our problem.  We do not have any need to commit our troops to this conflict.  That is what frightens me.  We do not belong in Iraq or involved in Lebanon except in maybe some humanitarian role of bring in food and medicine to the populus that suffers from the results of have a militia fighting in their back yard.

The deaths to civilians in Lebanon pale in light of the devatation we have caused in Iraq.  We need to get out and let them have their civil War.  We do not have to provide the targets for their revolution also.

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By Quy Tran, August 9, 2006 at 7:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Friends or foes cannot beat, humiliate, insult and smear this nation. Only the law-breaking and uncivilized firm of Bush, Cheney & Cos can do that with the accomplices at Senate & House of Representatives.

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By morgan-lynn lamberth griggsy, August 9, 2006 at 7:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bukko right about confirmation.I am so glad you can understand my points ! The Israelis ,Palestinians, and the Lebanese need a truce. Any truce would disarm Hezbollah and get Israeli army out of both Lebanon and Palestine. We do not need bigoted statements about any of those peoples .

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 9, 2006 at 1:11 am Link to this comment
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Quite simply, Israel miscalulated by striking back so disproportionately at Hezbollah. Now the prospects for long term peace have been put in a tenuous state ... considering the fact that we (the USA) have squandered our status as an honest peacebroker in the Middle East ...

And the Neocons, the Rapturists, and the Zionists keep yelling the Bush cheer, “Bring it on!”

“Whatever happens, we have got/the Gatling gun and they have not.”[sic] -Kipling

Change “Gatline gun” to “nukes” and we have the mindset of the Armageddonists.

Christine Ockrent, “regarded as on of France’s most respected broadcasters”, posts on The Washington Post’s PostGlobal page of its website the following:

<Quote:>
Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 08/ 7/2006
Lebanon, A New Stronghold for Iran

Paris, France - Whatever the outcome of this war, Hezbollah will be seen as the only Arab force able to win over Tsahal. Its hold over Lebanon will give Iran and the Shias more leverage than ever, weakening the neighbouring regimes, strengthening Iran’s capacity to be the sole Muslim superpower and enhancing its nuclear ambitions. Lebanon will suffer from more internal conflicts and will be an easy prey to even tighter Syrian-Iranian control.
<Endquote>

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/christine_ockrent/

ps to ed_tru_lib: I AM concerned by your fixation on “special needs” children ... most people don’t crack jokes in reference to them in a demeaning way. Why do you do it?

On the other hand, maybe you are a Islamist[sic] in a pro-Israel disguise ... trying to get me to think pro-Israel types are whacko ... so, is it really you or are you trying to fool me?

Fascinating, when I think about it. You are out there in that nether world of non-reason where you really could be anything! Wow!

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By ed_tru_lib, August 8, 2006 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hildy-you forgot to say “ah”. O no prob little buddy, I guess you were in a frenzy. But hey, I thought you’d be all excited about my cobb school recollection. Anyway Hamoud..er..hildy..I talked to my cousin Hobart and he says you have a good memory. He was indeed the one who beat you up for doing better than him at math. He said the teacher had asked you both “how much is 2 + 2” and you had answered “22” and he had answered “oreos” so the teacher thought you had a better answer. But what the hell-you were just a couple of 19 year-old kids in the sixth grade, so why worry about it now. And clearly you’ve kept up your bible studies. BTW-Israel was founded by some the greatest, liberal/socialist thinkers of the last century, mostly agnostics, including the openly atheist Ben-Gurion. They didn’t want to make a paradise for all Israelis of all faiths or none, from the camel-dung strewn desert the few nomadic “palestinians” had going there, because any “god” had told them to, unlike the nutcase allah-freak hezbollah, who seemingly beleive in an inexhaustable supply of virgins waiting for them after their martyrdom. They wanted to do it because of the 5000 years of their history there, because of the holocaust (and preventing another one) and most of all because it was right.
O Hobart says he wants to get together with you-you can weave a few baskets together just like in school, and chuckle over old times-just, ya know…word to the wise Hilda-TRY not to piss him off this time. To be honest he’s not as nice a guy as he used to be back at cobb, but he is sorry about kicking your ass with his good shoes from his bar mitzvah.

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By Jimbo, August 8, 2006 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If anybody thinks that the UN or NATO can make any kind of peace between Israel and its neighbors, they have forgotten that the UN created the state of Israel and that the UN is consequently viewed with varying degrees of mistrust by these neighbors.  If wealth is any indication, the oil wealth of these neighbors and their ability to manufacture or purchase weapons will ultimately inundate Israel.  Also, the expense of running this war will ruin Israel, and their income from tourism will shrink to nothing.

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 8, 2006 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #17362 by ed_tru_lib on 8/08 at 12:40 pm

I know hondo needs help. Thanks, and I am sure hondo thanks you ... but you STILL don’t address the issues I raised ...

Like Israel and the UN resolutions it chooses to ignore ... while calling on the Palestinians and Hezbollah to abide by the resolutions impacting them. Not much Old or New Testament there.

And I know I shouldn’t bait you and hondo ... but you get in such a frensy and it is so much fun to watch, and it kind of exposes the way you think ... so I can’t help it! (And my comments say a lot about me ... see you don’t even have to say that now ... I’m helping you like you helped hondo. Ain’t this FUN!)

‘Course it clutters up the comments, so if you could simply respond to the points I raise, we could all get along ... whadaya think ‘bout that, big guy?

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By ed_tru_lib, August 8, 2006 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well it looks as if Hilding has a new obscession besides the old testament-wondering if he knew any of us from the good ol’ days at Cobb School in Duluth. Well, you CERTAINLY didnt know me there Hildy, and I very much doubt you knew Hondo, but you might have know my cousin Hobart. Cobb you see, was what is known a a “special needs” students’ school. Anyway Hilding you’ll be glad to know that since graduation Hobart has always held a good job at Goodwill, and always been able to take care of himself. Although he did admit to me he voted for Bush cause “hey if Britney says he’s cool, thats good enough for me” Aw good old Cobb-wish they’d had a little more emphasis on social studies, but hey at least they spent 2 periods a day on that perhaps even more important class-“Not Drooling” Anyway, seriously,  Hilding you were right about our having been quite cordial to each other previously in our posts, and I apologize for the “limpwrist” remark. I was just responding, I honestly think in kind, to your then immediate previous post to Hondo, who wasn’t there to defend himself, which he does admirably on his own, when he is.

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By Christine Jones, August 8, 2006 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i’m new to this site but am happy to find such an array of divergent opinions expressed with such vigor. things are rather staid here (at university—-name withheld since i’m supposed to be studying right now).

historically, i’m sure israel has committed horrendous abuses, but so has hezbollah, as human rights watch has shown. there’s blame and blood to be shared on both sides. a way out? so many things have been tried and so many have failed. the future looks rather grim.

must add that i’m puzzled by the squeamishness about sex references some have made here. i suppose you americans see this as irrelevant, but since i’m a corrupt european, i find it rather amusing, if not immediately germane. so many of our political figures get caught with their knickers down in this or that scandal and so of course it spills over into our discourse. things get out of hand and somehow chats about the offending m.p.‘s kinks (or whoever) get turned into chats about one anoher’s supposed kinks. silly, but i confess also fun.

i think one of your american authors, truman capote, philip roth, or some such, said ‘sex is poilitics.’ maybe that’s what this kibble gent’s point was. i admit, i found his comments frequently amusing and well said but he did rather tend to go on. sometimes less is more, mr. kibble.

in any event, i thought he at least made it clear that he didn’t give a tinker’s damn about anyone else’s poxy practices but was responding to what some other blogger had said earlier and, it would seem, irrlevantly about your former president clinton’s hijinkx. and i thought he rather extensively condemned hezbollah. correct me if i’m wrong.

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By John Earl, August 8, 2006 at 10:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My brother forwarded an email letter sent to him by a Jewish friend about the cruelty of Islamic justice. I turned to Snopes and got this:

http://www.snopes.com/photos/gruesome/crushboy.asp

Now that Hezbollah, as well as the Israeli leadership, has been accused of war crimes don’t we have enough atrocities without manufacturing them?

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 8, 2006 at 10:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #17313 by Hondo on 8/08 at 7:50 am

But-but-but hondo ... I answered your questions and you never responded to my answers ...

Have you forgotten about me, your sweetcakes ... oops, I mean sweetcheeks?

See: Comment #17122 by Hondo on 8/07 at 12:02 am

“Hilding gave me a lesson in the history of rhetorical questions (You need to get out more, sweetcheeks! Next time just answer the questions, OK?).”

By the way, you didn’t go to Cobb Elementary, Duluth, Minnesota, did you? Just thought I’d ask ...

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By Hondo, August 8, 2006 at 7:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Kibbles and Bits, I thought we were talking about Israel and Hezbollah here. How do your rants about deviant sex have anything to do with that? You’re a pretty twisted guy!

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By John Earl, August 8, 2006 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If people could just keep theirs minds on war and off sex… Here’s something to think about:
http://progressive.org/mag_galeano0906b

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By MikeReagan, August 8, 2006 at 6:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The world now knows Bush is a 30 year recovering drug addict alcoholic silver spooner who mental case pissed off Daddy railroaded through with his big oil billions and connections all the way to the Supreme Court in order to enact revenge for getting ejected in 4 years for a peasant peon named Clinton.
This completely despicable bastard Dubya has destroyed everything America stands for including the fact that this nation is not one for kings or dynastys as the Bush Crime Family is trying to make it out to be.
Bush has singlehandedly destroyed America and more than doubled the national debt to 9 trillion while tripling gasoline prices and spying on Americans with his tyranny Lincolnized Marxist govt he calls a democracy.
Impeachement is required and conviction with jail and execution of not just GW Bush but the entire Bush Crime Family including Daddy Bush who is responsible for the destruction of this nation.

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 7, 2006 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #17207 by ed_tru_lib on 8/07 at 2:16 pm

“Ah Hildegarde Limpwrist, or whatever your name is, thank GAWWDD YOU FOUND me”

Wow, I haven’t been called that since grade school by a kid who was always pissed off because I got better grades in math. That’s pretty good. You didn’t go to Cobb Elementary in Duluth, Minnesota, did you?

And I thought we were being fairly reasonable in our give and take ... but I enjoy a little levity also. And good proof readers are worth their weight in platinum ... would you mind looking over all my stuff here at truthdig on a regular basis? ... I tend to make typos and tense errors and mix singular nouns with plural verbs and stuff like that there ...

But the theme of this thread is the reliance of Israel on the military solution ... “Israel’s dependency on the drug of militarism as a false escape from the difficult accommodations needed to bring peace to the Middle East” ... and as we were discussing, there is some history here ... millenia of history. Which I was pointing out ... and it ain’t just Old Testament stuff ‘cuz there has been a whole lot of UN resolutions since 1948.

Like Sgt. Friday used to say, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

But I can understand why you might want to NOT discuss the facts ... on the other hand, maybe I should wait until I find out if you went to Cobb?

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By M Henri Day, August 7, 2006 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If anyone knows an Ariadne with a ball of yarn made of really good, strong spider-spun silk, could they please ask her to visit this thread ? Participants here seem to have utterly lost the original thread proposed by Robert Scheer ; i e, the alleged addiction to the drug of militarism from which the state of Israel is said to suffer. Instead of discussing this question, many participants have turned to remote analysis of each other’s sexual proclivities. My decades of experience as a psychiatrist leads me to believe that it is necessary to exercise caution when attempting to analyse what makes people with whom one has had no contact tick (indeed, it is rarely easy to understand people with whom one <u>has</u> had a relationship, professional or personal), and I should like to suggest that we get back to the original subject raised by Mr Scheer and confine our analyses to the public pronouncements and even more importantly, the public actions of the protagonists in the drama that has been playing out in Southwest Asia these last nearly sixty years. What people do in bed, on the rug, behind the refrigerator, etc, may be of great interest to our gossipy primate species, but it is less relevant to our pursuits here, and most importantly, extremely difficult to verify….

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By ed_tru_lib, August 7, 2006 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ah Hildegarde Limpwrist, or whatever your name is, thank GAWWDD YOU FOUND me-I was missing your mature, and rational posts, particularly the last one directed at my honorable friend and colleague from across the aisle, Hondo. BTW-things aren’t “migrated”-they “migrate,” and since the other blog had all but disappeared, I wanted to make sure the minority here, of sincere-but-just-wrong about Israel’s need/right/intention/godDAMN well-gonna-have-an-effective defense of itself, could see how the mudslinging, slimesucking, pseudo-lefty losers on that blog were so similar to same here, especially when it came to MINDLESSNESS,  and perhaps realize they had more in common with the tragically-few-in-number truth-seeking true progressives here, or even the one sensible conservative. I’m long past caring what the flat-out anti-semite fascists and other mental home residents or escapees think.
O and geez Hildy, you sure are obscessed with the old testament. There sadly have been, and probably are now, a few of the Jewish right-wing fundamentalists in positions of influence in Israel (just as in this country, minus the “Jewish” and “few”) who are hurting the peace process, but Israel was proudly founded as a great, progressive, liberal/socialist SECULAR state by men who were mostly agnostics or, as in the case of Ben-Gurion, an open atheist. Yitzak’s Rabin’s assassin was, like you, a literal old-testament freak, who had far more in common with the hezbollah murderers, than with most of his fellow Israelis. Sorry to hear about your blood pressure problems though. I hear that stuff can affect judgement sometimes-heck your probably normally quite a kosher guy.

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By Mad as Hell, August 7, 2006 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kibble: When discussing hypocracy, there are SO many juicy tid-bits that don’t have to be racy to be hilarious:
Like Orren Hatch defending Clarence Thomas’s sexual harassment of an employment with impassioned moral outrage, and having the same moral outrage AGAINST Bill Clinton in the Paul Jones case, despite the fact that Thomas had CLEARLY harassed the lady, and that Clinton had not. (He asked, she said “no”, he said “OK” and her job and day to day work were un-affected).  So Hatch clearly points his moral outrage to help GOP positions and hurt Democratic ones, even if he has to take diametrically opposite positions!

I still love how the Right-Wingnuts love to say Clinton got away with a crime.  They know even less law than I do.  It’s true Clinton lied under oath, but most people don’t realize that it still did NOT constitute perjury.  Why? For perjury to take place, the lie must be relevant to the case.  Since the judge ruled ALL of the Monica Lewinsky evidence irrelevant to the Paula Jones case (ML was happily consenting to her affair with WJC, so there was nothing resembling harrassment there, and Lucienne Goldberg’s harrassment of Linda Tripp doesn’t count!), no perjury took place.

As for “Obstruction of Justice”, that was laughable.  One of the articles of Impeachment sent to the House floor actually had the gaul to say that WJC obstructed justice by having his lawyers use every LEGAL means to delay the case.  That article was voted for by EVERY GOP House leader, but failed to be approved.  At least SOME Republicans felt that impeachment should have a legal basis and not be TOTALLY partisan.

There’s enough hypocracy there to keep you busy for years—especially with Newt, Livingston and Hyde all voting for despite being philanderers themselves.

But while I am truly bothered by the religious right’s need and desire to invade the most intimate parts of our bodies (especially the ladies) with their absurd and insulting laws, and by those laws CLEAR violation of everything our Bill of Rights stands for, I really don’t give a damn what they do sexually as long as it’s between happily consenting adults, and it’s in private so I and my kids don’t have to see it.

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By paul kibble, August 7, 2006 at 11:40 am Link to this comment
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ReComment #17145 by Mad As Hell:

You stated that Hondo’s “sexual proclivities/desires are of no interest to me.  Nor do I appreciate blind speculation on them.”

Why, gosh, neither do I. I really don’t care what other people do in bed (unless I’m in bed with them) and in fact have waged a long war to keep our friends on the supposedly anti-government right out of the bedroom, an area where privacy rights should reign. Speculation on Hondo’s proclivities thus interests me only insofar as it illustrates a characteristcally hypocritical obsession on the right about who’s doing what to whom.

Example: on a previous blog, Hondo launched into a rant about Clinton’s notorious blowjob and his arrest and conviction on rape charges—-oh, wait, I guess the jury wasn’t quite convinced by the cold, hard facts on that latter indictment. Those goddam liberal judges—or is it juries?

And what, exactly, did that swipe at Slick Willy’s willy have to do with the topic at hand? Absolutely nada, anymore than smearing a peaceful grandmother as a “slut” on his site had any bearing on the subject under discussion.

(“Slut,” of course, isn’t an example of the kind of sexually tinged name-calling Good Christian Hondo pretends to despise; it’s just an neutral label on an objective phenomenon.) Clearly,Hondo suffers from a terminal case of what D.H. Lawrence called “sex on the brain”—-though the sex in this case is always someone else’s.

I offered instances of right-wing violations of those holy-matrimony vows, to which Hondo responded with characteristic duplicity that they were morally wrong but at least not illegal. (Neither was having consensual sex with Lewinsky; lying to Congress about it was.) Hmmm. Is bestiality—-one of the examples I offered—-illegal? Anti-abortion extremist Neal Hosley, who thinks it’s OK for him to have control over any pregnant woman’s body, apparently thinks not. From an exchange with Alan Colmes

AC: “You had sex with animals?”

NH: “Absolutely. I was a fool. When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule.”

AC: “I’m not so sure that that is so.”

I’m not so sure that bestiality isn’t illegal in Georgia, either—-despite Hondo’s claim to the contrary. Check the criminal law code on that one.

I never shared the Reichian view on the relationship between sexual repression/perversion and political conservatism.
There are plenty of kinky mofos on all both sides of the aisle.

I can only offer anecdotal evidence from my background in psych. Many of the patients I’ve seen over the years who have some major issue with their sex lives or identities have tended to come from politically and religiously conservative backgrounds. Obviously, they’re not all “peverts”—-a loaded word that 50 or even 25 years ago described persons who engaged in acts that are now recognized as statistically if not “morally” “normal.” But they have tended to be more frustrated, angry, and confused than the rest of us on the ole knockin’-boots thang.

And more out of touch with the discrepancy between what they say or think and what they actually do. I.e., in everday, non-clinical parlance, hypocritical.

So should they be called on this? You betcha!

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By Mad as Hell, August 7, 2006 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
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Euro:
You reveal yourself as a committed anti-semite with that quote.  Did you think we were all too stupid to be able to Google it and find out that you pulled it off a Holocaust denial site?

The VERY FIRST places with that quote on Google were all Holocaust denial sites = neo-nazi.

See, I am WELL aware that the nazi racist movement can NEVER succeed again because of the Holocaust.  So they have been trying to convince people for YEARS to doubt the existence of one of the MOST documented horrors in human history.  People who are inclined to hate Jews leap on every tid-bit, shred, and out-and-out LIE in their march to bring back the nazis.

They are truly diabolical and I see you, with your bogus quote, that’s the newest version of the blood libel, have cast your lot with them.

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By p. toman, August 7, 2006 at 9:38 am Link to this comment
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To #17099 by paul kibble (comment #17099) and Bukko (comment #16976): You guys nailed it on Hondo. His own site really is empty…it’s like dropping a dime into a well and waiting for the echo to come back (it never does).

No wonder he’s wandered over to truthdig. His own kind don’t even want to pay him any attention. But how could you take him seriously on any level?...although kibble’s right in saying his entertainment value was high (at first). He’s thinking, “Well, maybe if I can’t get anyone from my side to listen, at least I can annoy or bore—-sorry, “teach”—-some liberals for a while.” 

Speaking of his own kind, just heard that Pat Robertson (a commie fag) now believes that global warming exists…and is mostly caused by humans. Sad. Even Christian Hondo’s allies are abandoning him. A lonely life and geting lonelier by the minute.

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 7, 2006 at 6:42 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #17122 by Hondo on 8/07 at 12:02 am

Gee, hondo, you’re no FUN any more ... well, actually you are ... but you don’t respond to the facts I presented ... I thought I would deserve a little bit of respect seeing’s as how I afforded you some ...

I mean you just keep yelling and screaming and carrying on at everybody!?

And how was I to know you really, REALLY wanted answers to those questions when you had already answered them ... and then when I DID give you MY answers, you dissed ‘em.

I just don’t think that is FAIR, hondo. And here I thought you would be a good source of humor ... y’know that’s a pretty rare commidity these days.

And we could, like, carry on a conversation, a reasonable discussion like ... here on ww.truthdig.com ... whadaya say to that? you big strong guy, you, hondo. (Hope you like compliments, ‘cuz I do.)

But you have to stop all this yelling and screaming and carrying on like you do, and talk reasonable like ... or I won’t discuss things with you ... y’all hear me now, don’t be being mean and nasty.

(See ... this is so much fun! Ooooh, I just love it when you call me sweetcakes! Gets me all warm and tingly inside ... which is pretty darn hard to do these days for a 67+ year old man on blood pressure medicine with bad eyesight and ... well, most folks don’t wanna know. But anyway, hondo, it IS fun ... hope you hang in here.)

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By Euro, August 7, 2006 at 5:01 am Link to this comment
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And, finally, the truth about the massacre at Qanna (and another shock for Christian and Liberal Zionists):

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3283720,00.html

With a fuller discussion here:

http://www.rense.com/general72/rabb.htm

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By Mad As Hell, August 7, 2006 at 4:36 am Link to this comment
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Y’know, both Hondo and I think the other is an insane maniac divorced from reality, 99% of the time.  I find his analysis of domestic and foreign policy to be terrifying and hilarious, based on pure fantasy.  I’m sure he thinks the same of me. 

His sexual proclivities/desires are of no interest to me.  Nor do I appreciate blind speculation on them. Being a sexual pervert has no connection to being a right-wingnut and the constant attempt to connect the two as effect and cause bothers me.  Just because it is clear that Ann Coulter has some sort of problem (can Matt Blunt ever forgive himself for sleeping with her?) doesn’t imply all right-wingnuts do, just as Ted Kennedy’s and Bill Clinton’s inability to stay faithful has no such implication for the Left or liberals.

But even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Hondo’s 2 questions are sound ones: Does anyone REALLY believe that if Israel laid down her arms peace would reign? There would be a 2nd Holocaust and then all the factions would kill each other fighting over the bones.

If Israel’s enemies stopped attacking her would there be peace?  Most likely.  But here we have to remember that Israel, UNLIKE HER NEIGHBORS is still a functioning democracy and there is, sadly, a faction that advocates continuing and on-going war to “regain the Holy Land”.  They would tear down the Dome of The Rock without a 2nd thought.  And they support the Likud and Benyamin “What A Yahoo”.  Yet so, SO many Israelis, like most people everywhere, would much prefer to live in peace with their neighbors that I don’t think that faction would stand a CHANCE in the face of a REAL peace effort on the part of Israel’s enemies. 

The peace with Egypt has survived for 25 years now.  All Egypt had to do was negotiate in good faith.  There’s the answer to Hondo’s 2nd question.

BTW, I have always found it odd that the Fundamentalists in America support Israel…For a long time they didn’t and hated Jews going back to the 19th century.  But in their apocalyptic view, Israel is necessary for the 2nd Coming so they support it.  Ain’t religion weird?

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By Euro, August 7, 2006 at 4:09 am Link to this comment
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What is the final objective of Zionism?

One fact mostly overlooked by fundamentalist Christian-Zionists is that the Jews are expecting their own messiah (who is most certainly NOT Jesus Christ).  This Jewish messiah will rule not just the Jews but the whole world from Jerusalem at the centre of a Greater Israel.  What sort of rule do the Zionists expect this to be?  Perhaps the late former Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin can give us a clue.  According to him:

“Our race is the Master Race. We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.”

Compared to that, and if one were forced to choose, then life under Sharia Law might not seem so bad after all.  Ah, but it is just an unrealizable Zionist fantasy you may say.  Really?  Are not American workers already slaves to Zionists, providing Israelis with one of the highest standards of living in the world at the expense of their own?  Are not American lives and resources already being commandeered to fight the Zionists’ endless battles for them?  And, if your political leaders are not already licking the feet of the Zionists, then I have to say that it sure looks like they are from everywhere else in the world.  With America’s power (the “rod of iron”?) at their beck and call, why should there be any limits to what the Zionists can achieve.  But don’t expect them to wait around for some Jew to turn up claiming to be the messiah, since, according to many Zionists, the Jews themselves, resurrected after the “crucifiction” of the Holocaust, are the messiah, and to them will accrue all the wealth and glory in the world.

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By Euro, August 7, 2006 at 3:51 am Link to this comment
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What would be the ultimate terrorist act?

‘We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.” I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.’ - Martin van Creveld, professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as quoted in The war game PDF September 21, 2003.

Ever wondered why Israel needs so many nuclear weapons? Surely that bastion of goodness and light amidst the evil and darkness of Islam couldn’t be threatening to destroy the whole world out of narcissistic spite?  Could it?

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By Euro, August 7, 2006 at 3:44 am Link to this comment
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Mad As Hell

Talking of hypocrisy…

What IS terrorism?

If any Middle Eastern group succeeded in setting off a radiological, so-called “dirty”, bomb in the US, the UK, or Israel, then nobody on either side here would hesitate for one moment to call this an act of outrageous terrorism.  And yet, for at least a decade or so, all three of these countries have been spraying the Arab parts of the Middle East (including now the Lebanon) with highly toxic depleted uranium (DU) dust from their spent munitions with some of the results seen here:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~stgvisie/VISIE/extremedeformities.html

And see:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20060503&articleId=2374

I don’t know if the insistance on using these weapons is down just to callous stupidity, or because it is in the interests of yet more war profiteering for Cheney’s Halliburton group (which handles the processing of the DU in the USA), or is a deliberate attempt at genocide of the Arabs (“A land without people…”), but, even taking into account John Bolton’s formula for calculating “moral equivalence” (which seems to be based on Rabbi Yaacov Perrin’s infamous dictum that “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”), I, for one, would be unable to see any moral high ground from which the US, UK, and Israel could complain if they did receive the same in kind.

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By Bukko in Australia, August 7, 2006 at 1:17 am Link to this comment
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Kibble: One of the nice things abour reading blogs posts from like-minded people is that it’s a confidence-builder to have one’s viewpoints reinforced. Aha! Confirmation that I was right! And of course, you are…

As for the nutter raving on the corner, and on this thread, is that his mind is the only one that counts for the current U.S. administration. President Cheney, Karl Rove and their monkey puppet Bush don’t care about the opinions of anyone in the reality based community. The only peanut gallery they’re playing to is people like Hondo—the ones who only know whatever garbage they’re fed on Fox News.

That’s why you can have situations like last Friday when Donald Rumsfeld told Hillary Clinton that she’d have a “ding-donged hard time” (or whatever other silly cracker phrase he used) finding when he uttered optimistic predictions about how it would go in Iraq. On Air America Radio (we listen to downloaded podcasts here) they played sound clip after sound clip of him doing just that. But on Fox (which we mercifully can’t get) I’m sure they heard none of that. So Rummy’s dummy statement sat unchallenged by people with no memory of the past.

It’s sad, because you and I and the sensible majority in America know he’s wrong. But the 30% of the population that belongs to the cult is all that matters. That’s why Hondo matters. Your psychological perception of him is spot-on. particularly the sexual part. But isn’t it scary that the men with the guns are operating in his world, and not ours? It’s like we’ve entered the world of that nut on the corner…

Mate, I am SO glad I’m out of the U.S! Australia will suffer when it all comes crashing down, as it inevitably does when mentally ill people are allowed a free run. You’ve seen how they destroy their lives when they’re loose and off their meds. The trouble is that when the U.S. hits the wall of reality, it’s going to cause unimagineable suffering and death across the planet.

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By paul kibble, August 7, 2006 at 12:34 am Link to this comment
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Re Comment #17055 by ed_tru_lib: I didn’t need a “no-spin-zone type paper” of whatever political stripe to break the news that Mel Gibson is a vicious anti-Semite. The “scoop”  simply confirmed the depth of his pathology, but said pathology has been in evidence at least since his S&M classic “The Passion.”

Mel’s pop epic about that Man from Galilee was, among other things, clearly an indictment of those Christ-killing kikes. The script for “Passion” drew heavily on the Gospel of St. Matthew, as well as on the scribblings of the anti-Semitic mystic Anne Catherine Emmerich.

As long ago as 1995, Gibson, in a touching display of filial piety, made his allegiance to Daddy Hutton’s ideas and obsessions quite plain:

Gibson: [My father] writes books about canon law and Catholicism.

Playboy: Have you read them?

Gibson: Yeah. He is pretty sound canonically and theologically. He’s a bookish guy. Uses words I’ve never heard of.

Playboy: What does he have to do with the Alliance for Catholic Tradition, which one magazine called “an extreme conservative Catholic splinter group”?

Gibson: He started it. Some people say it’s extreme, but it emphasizes what the institution was and where it’s going. Everything he was taught to believe was taken from him in the Sixties with this renewal Vatican Council. The whole institution became unrecognizable to him, so he writes about it.
(Playboy, July, 1995).

And again the devoted son tells us: “My dad taught me my faith, and I believe what he taught me. The man never lied to me in his life.”
(New York Post, January 30, 2004)

And here’s Mel on allegations that Hutton’s a Holocaust denier:“That’s bullshit…I don’t want to be dissing my father. He never denied the Holocaust; he just said there were fewer than six million. I don’t want them having me dissing my father. I mean, he’s my father.”
(The New Yorker, September 15, 2003)

Do you hear Mel saying “I love my Dad, but on this Holocaust business, he’s dead wrong”? Isn’t Mel stetching the “father” part of that Biblical injunctioon to “Honor thy father and mother” rather suspiciously thin?  What more proof do you need that his visceral anti-Semitism, far from being a mere “cultural construct,” is as close to being hard-wired into his DNA as is humanly, or inhumanly, possible? Would you settle for a picture of Mel on an Aryan website celebrating his courageous stand against the Jewish enemy(“White Christian Martyr Smeared by Jesus-Hating Hebes”)? This poisoned little apple never fell far from the tree.

And notice Mel’s sly evasions on the actual number of those murdered in the camps:

Q: You’re going to have to go on record. The Holocaust happened, right?

Gibson: I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. . . Yes, of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century, 20 million people died in the Soviet Union.
(New York Post, January 30, 2004)

Got it? Mel’s head starts hurting when you throw all those big numbers at him. Europe, the Ukraine—-it all kinda blurs together. With so many dead bodies piling up over the years, can anyone really say for sure how many Jews died at Auscwitz and elsewhere. Subtext: Daddy MAY have been right about that “less that six million” estimate.

Tim Rutten’s terrific article in the 8/5/06 edition of the L.A. Times has an even more important point to make:

“More to the point, why hasn’t the press reopened the discussion of Gibson’s financially successful but controversial movie, ‘The Passion of the Christ’? When it was released two years ago, there were some who argued that, apart from its lurid sadomasochistic aura — critic Leon Wieseltier called it ‘a sacred snuff film’ — Gibson’s narrative was studded with the kinds of anti-Semitic caricatures once associated with medieval passion plays.”

“A much larger number of commentators and clergymen, particularly those hand-selected by the filmmaker and his people for private screenings, solemnly assured their readers, audiences and congregations that this was all a lot of anti-religious nonsense. More important, many of them personally vouched that Gibson is not an anti-Semite.”

“Looking back, it’s hard to see how so many people could have so completely overlooked the obvious warning signs.” ( See http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-rutten5aug05,1,2313645.column?coll=la-news-columns )

Well, perhaps not that hard.

As for the source of your “break,” I agree with Oscar Wilde that the truth is never pure and rarely simple, but sometimes one side can lay claim to having a firmer grasp of that sometimes elusive entity than another.  Whether that side can be identified with a specific ideological position—-emananting from the right or the left (or what passes for a left in this country)—-should be a matter of indifference.  In the past I’ve agreed with Krauthammer, George Will, even Bill Buckley. I’ve also vehemently disagreed with The Nation. I’ll continue to do so in the future.

P.S.: Hezbollah is a murderous pain in the ass, all right, but what are you going to do with it, or them? Why is a rigidly fundamentalist Shi’a organization—-or at least its civil/social development wings, and, admit it, often its military wing, too—-so appealing to so many Muslims (and some non-Muslims) in the Arab world? Why is Sheik Hassan Nasrallah so widely revered there? Because Iran, Syria, and (still) parts of Lebabnon and many in the Islamic community see Hezbollah as a legitimate organization opposing the “territorial incursions” of the Israeli government.

A bum rap for Israel? Yes and no—-as you euphemistically put it, Israel has made “mistakes.” Perhaps these are some of the “mistakes” you have in mind: the expulsion of the indigenous Arab population in 1948 and 1967? The occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip?  The well-documented human rights abuses against Palestinians? Hezbollah wasn’t born in a vacuum.

Remember also that the civil arm of Hezbollah operates (or did operate)  a number of hospitals, clinics, and schools in Lebanon, as well as offering technical assistance and training to farmers. It also has (or had)  extensive social asistance programs.

Hezbollah’s kidnappings clearly played a key role in provoking the current conflict. That fact will be hardly persuade many in the Muslim/Arab world that the organization is made up exclusively of bad guys.

Hezbollah was brought into being in 1982 after when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon. But that was after an assassination attempt on then-ambassador to the U.K. Shlomo Argov and the shelling of Northern Israel by the PLO. But that was after——well, the cause-and-effect chain goes on and on, doesn’t it? And will go on. And on. And on.

Identify the source of this quote: “There have been heavy civilian casualties in Lebanon; there have been civilian casualties in Israel as well. I deeply deplore the extensive human suffering caused by these developments.”  Condi Rice or Kofi Annan in 2006? No, the U.N. Secretary General in 1982.  Deja vu?

The wondeful Abrahamic religious tradition, which in it varying incarnations inflicted Judaism. Christianity, and Islam on us, has always had and will always rack up a very decent body count in the name of divine right.

Ostensible political motives aside, the lyrics from the theme to Exodus, a movie celebrating the founding of the Israeli state, give a better sense of the root feelings of entitlement underlying nationalistic/territorial aspirations: “This land is mine/ God gave this land to me/ This brave and ancient land to me.” etc./ ad nauseum. Translated into Arabic, it could just as well serve as the anthem of Islamic jihadists. If Jehovah, or Allah, is your real estate agent, then who cares if the sales agreement has to be signed in blood?

(And, yes, I know: Israel is officially a secular state, just as we are. No religious sentiments shape their foreign policy any more than they do ours. Uh-huh.) 

Despite the fact that we and Canada and Israel and the U.K. list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, a “Beirut Center for Research and Information” poll from 26 July of this year showed that 87 percent of Lebanese support Hezbollah’s fight with Israel, up by 29 percent on a similar poll from February. But Hezbollah also has strong support from non-Shiite communities. 80 percent of Christians polled supported Hezbollah along with 80 percent of Druze and 89 percent of Sunnis. In another poll from July 2005, 74 percent of Christian Lebanese viewed Hezbollah as a resistance organization.

Does Hezbollah use terrorist tactics? The record speaks for itself: the 80’s of kidnappings of Westerners in Lebanon; the Beirut truck bombs that killed more than 200 Marines in ‘83; the ‘65 highjacking of TWA flight 847; the bombing of Jewish targets in Argentina in ‘92 and ‘84, etc.

But if you really want a “safe and secure Israel,” perhaps you should be prepared to explain to those who are NOT (or were not) Israel’s sworn enemies about the reasons for all that “unfortunate” collateral damage in Lebanon—-damage that will only ensure that, if anything,  Israel in the future will be even more unsafe and less secure than ever. Per Human Rights Watch worker Peter Bouckaert:

“The world doesn’t seem to put much credence in the testimonies of Lebanese civilians, preferring to buy generic Israeli statements about Hezbollah using civilians as human shields, ‘precision strikes’ at terrorist targets, and a ‘proportionate’ bombing campaign. But after days of contradictory statements about Qana, the Israeli military was reported as saying it had no indication of rocket fire or Hezbollah presence in Qana on the day of the strike, and had bombed the area in retaliation for rockets launched days earlier.”

“Israel’s claims about pin-point strikes and proportionate responses are pure fantasy. As a researcher for Human Rights Watch, I’ve documented civilian deaths from bombing campaigns in Kosovo and Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq. But these usually occur when there is some indication of military targeting: high-ranking members of Saddam Hussein’s regime present in a house just before it is hit, for example, or an attack against militants that causes the collateral deaths of many civilians.”

“In Lebanon, it’s a different scene. Time after time, Israel has hit civilian homes and cars in the southern border zone, killing dozens of people with no evidence of any military objective.”

“My notebook overflows with reports of civilian deaths. On July 15, Israeli fire killed 21 people fleeing from Marhawin, including 13 children; no weapons, no Hezbollah nearby. On July 16, an Israeli bomb killed 11 civilians in Aitaroun, including seven members of a Canadian-Lebanese family on vacation; again, no Hezbollah, no weapons. On July 19, at least 26 civilians were killed in Srifa when Israeli bombs flattened an entire neighborhood; no evidence of military targets. On July 23, at least seven civilians were killed when Israeli warplanes bombed dozens of cars trying to flee the south after receiving Israeli instructions to evacuate immediately; no indication of weapons convoys in the vicinity. The list goes on, with about 500 civilians killed so far.”

“Israel says the fault for the massive civilian death toll lies with Hezbollah, claiming its fighters are hiding weapons inside civilian homes and firing them from civilian areas. But even if the Israeli forces could show evidence of Hezbollah activity in some civilian areas, it could not justify the extensive use of indiscriminate force that has cost so many lives.”

“Not only has Israel failed to distinguish between military and civilian targets; its own officials suggest that they have decided any civilian still in the south is fair game. Last week, Justice Minister Haim Ramon reportedly said, ‘All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah.’”

“So if you are too frightened to flee southern Lebanon, or are sick, injured or too poor to pay the more than $1,000 it now costs to get out, you are a ‘terrorist’ and eligible for attack. As for those who heeded the Israeli warnings to flee, the roads are littered with bombed civilian cars, many with white flags still attached to their windows. After all, the Israelis tell us, they could have been transporting arms. Israel is prefabricating excuses to justify killing civilians.”

“Tragedies happen in the fog of war, but Israel’s strikes on civilians can’t all be excused as accidents or mistakes. The unacceptably high death toll is the natural result of Israel’s failure to distinguish between civilian and military targets, and Israel is responsible for the deaths.”

“Israel must target its fight on Hezbollah, not Lebanese civilians.”

A point-by-point refutation of these charges, please. Or simply this: how will that all-purpose Rummy-style get-out-of-jail card (“Stuff happens”)re these casualties help bring a lasting peace to Israel, or for that matter, to the Middle East?

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By Hondo, August 7, 2006 at 12:02 am Link to this comment
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Rastaraskle—I meant “amoral”—lacking moral sensibility; not caring about right and wrong. I believe that Israel is clearly in the right in this conflict. I believe that this simple fact is self-evident. To ignore that self-evident fact is amoral.

To the liberals who agree with me—God bless you for that, and I mean that sincerely. It is true that all of us can get so caught up in stereotyping the people we view as “the opposition”, that we forget that total groupthink doesn’t exist in any group of people. Ed Koch wrote an op-ed about Israel within the last week that proves that very point.

To the liberals who disagree with me on this issue—You people don’t have one shred of morality, intelligence, or historical perspective. Most of you refused to even comment on the 2 questions I raised. Ignoring the questions doesn’t make them go away! A couple of you did tackle the questions, but came up with the wrong answers (you can repeat the class in the summer, students!). Hilding gave me a lesson in the history of rhetorical questions (You need to get out more, sweetcheeks! Next time just answer the questions, OK?). Most of the Assembled Masses of the Cuckoo’s Nest just continued to foam at the mouth and call me names. Very impressive! And you wonder why most Americans wouldn’t vote for any of your candidates for dog catcher!
One final comment for Sidney (Comment #16983)—The word you’re looking for is “lying”, not “exaggerating”, and, yes, liberals do feel the need to lie in order to make a point. Exhibits A-Z: everything written by Robert Scheer on the missnamed site Truthdig.com. Exhibits AA-ZZ: Everything written by Bukko and his Cracked Nut Brigade on the same site.

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 6, 2006 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #17055 by ed_tru_lib on 8/06 at 11:52 am

Ah, ed_tru_lib, not so fast ... it really isn’t fair migrating your discussion over here from “The Photos That Damn Hezbollah.” ... I might not have found you ... but I did ... so let’s pick up the thread ... and kind of reason this thing through. Are you up to it?

This is keeps us current over here also:

Re: Comment #17037 by ed_tru_lib on 8/06 at 10:11 am

Following: Comment #16637 by Hilding Lindquist on 8/04 at 9:28 am

Following: Comment #16496 by ed_tru_lib on 8/03 at 2:55 pm

Following: Comment #16458 by Hilding Lindquist on 8/03 at 11:50 am

Following: Comment #16261 by ed_tru_lib on 8/02 at 10:45 am

Kicked off by: Comment #16217 by Hilding Lindquist on 8/02 at 7:29 am

So, ed_tru_lib, you dropped the ball ... how come? ... is it just easier to write mindless insults when you don’t agree with others?

Reason is the enemy of fundamentalism. Spinoza was right 350 years ago and he is still right today.

Just review the list of UN resolutions against Israel and why they were made, and then tell me again that Israel has clean hands in this conflict. And I am not saying Hezbollah has clean hands either. But Israel is my nation’s ally, and since we call ourselves a Christian nation ... and a teaching atttibuted to the person called Jesus is that I should be concerned about the 2 x 4 in my eye before I worry about the sliver in someone else’s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_UN_resolutions_concerning_Israel

And as I believe, in accordance with other teachings of the same Jesus, that it is up to the strong to break the cycle of violence, and I do believe we are a strong nation, quite possibly the strongest ever ... we should be the peacemakers, as in “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”

You see, it is so OLD Testament to be going around killing men, women, children, and even the animals in the name of Jehovah.

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By jon b, August 6, 2006 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment
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Sydney Genden says “scores implies at least 40”.

Here’s a link which says score is a group of 20. Robert Sheer is correct and you are wrong.
http://www.ask.com/reference/dictionary/ahdict/110381/scores
Regardless, this is not a linquestic forum and please do not treat it as one.

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By Rastaraskle, August 6, 2006 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment
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The Photos That Damn Hezbollah?
All the pictures show is an anti-aircraft gun.  The article in the Herald Sun reads:

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.

Others show a militant with AK47 rifle guarding no-go zones after Israeli blitzes.

Another depicts the remnants of a Hezbollah Katyusha rocket in the middle of a residential block blown up in an Israeli air attack.
Herald Sun

What I read about Katyusha rockets is that they don’t have the range to hit Israel.
Think Murdoch may be lying?

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By paul kibble, August 6, 2006 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #16976 by BUKKO in Australia. You’re right, of course. That loud clang echoing through cyberspace is just the sound of Hondo banging the metal plate in his head with a copy of Ann Coulter’s latest contribution to American Lit. (Look for it in the fiction section of your nearby Barnes & Noble.)

On the advice of another blogger in this space, I quit reading Hyundai’s posts (including this one) for the same reason I no longer pay attention to the homeless crazy who rails against the commiejewfaggotfeminazi conspiracy every day outside the local supermarket: he’s shrill, repetitious, and clearly brain-damaged, with nothing original, or even interesting, much less entertaining, to say.  Ever. Like Hyundai, between collecting SSI checks and begging his shrink to up those meds, he obviously has way too much time on his hands.

But, like Hondo, our local crazy thinks he’s been granted special access to some Conservative Epiphany and therefore it is we, not he, who are crazy. Eyes glinting with dim wit, he cackles and sputters every time he thinks he’s scored an unanswerable argument. No antipsychotic med known to man could ever penetrate that titanium Wall of Delusion.

For all I know, he and Hondo are, in fact, one and the same—-in fact, wasn’t that a laptop I saw lying on top of that shopping cart he uses for transporting his sad little handful of worldly belongings?

At least give Hondo credit: against some very stiff competition, he’s managed to cinch the title as Most Boring Blogger of the Year—-or is it Decade? Oh, fuck it: Decade. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

You do raise an interesting question, Bukko: why does Hondo spend so much time using a leftish forum as a Hyde Park platform from which to screech and flail around his certifiably bizarre little crotchets? Re his powers of persuasion, he’s actually said one thing that suggests he may have briefly brushed up against reality: “I’m not that good!” And here I thought he was incapable of self-insight.

Let’s be honest: most blogs, left or right, are preaching to their chosen choirs. If you really have ideas to share, then you normally want to share them with your ideological allies. You may briefly want to play the gadfly on, say, Little Green Footballs (right) or The Huffington Report (left), debate this or that issue, but deep down you know that you’re not going to bring anyone into your camp. After a time, you therefore move on and consolidate members of your own (as Georgie would say) base through the civilized exchange of ideas and experiences. 

That is, unless you’re a sad, lonely, essentially powerless and seriously disturbed loser who’s gonna show the world that, by God, you may have fucked up your life but you can always make up for that hard, cold fact by revenging yourself against your “enemies” out there in cyberspace. Then your “mission” becomes to “teach” the infidels the Revealed Word of Hondo in hopes of scoring some dim Pyrrhic victory. Well, gamers like to play virtual war, too.

Continuing to prod this poor, wounded, foaming-at-all orifices beast with a sharp stick is cruel and unusual punishment, especially since rigid, humorless authoritarians with delusions of (as I’ve said elsewhere) adequacy tend implode all on their own anyway. So, yes, we should just sit back and let nature take its inevitable course. 

As I’ve noted before, Hondo embodies perfectly what Richard Hofstadter calls “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” especially in terms of what our friend likes to call “cold, hard facts.”  (They are, of course, warm, malleable clay, selectively culled and tendentiously interpreted bits of info that can be molded to fit his preconceived notion of the truth.)

But if your brain resembled, as Hondo’s does, a lump of moldy Swiss cheese, would you be able to track even the simplest point? Like most mentals, Hondo (hiding behind his pathetic 10-year-old-boy John Wayneish moniker—-oooo, what a stud!) fantasizes that he has an exclusive patent on The Truth when, of course, he hasn’t been on speaking terms with reality since that post-Nam PTSD (untreated and untreatable)  kicked in.(Ah, the legacy of our Southeast Asia adventure. . .)

Hondo, in fact, reminds me of a delusional patient—-I’ll call him Jeff—whom I had occasion to treat years ago. He was housed on Unit B, the ward of the hospital reserved for violent psychotics. Hospital staff new to the ward would fall into the trap of trying to “reason,” with Jeff, “reorient him to reality,” etc.

These attempts invariably failed because, you see, it was WE, not Jeff, who were sick, we were the “nutjobs” who had “lost it.” (Note Hondo’s reference to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—-bet he’s seen that particular bird more than once.) We were all agents of the international Commie conspiracy and we might be able to fool others but not, by God, Jeff.

The more staff tried to present Jeff with “the cold, hard facts,” the more agitated he’d become, until the session would culminate with his screaming, “You can all go fuck yourselves! I know I’m right. God said I’m right! No one can shut me up!”

One day, the Chief of Staff took us aside and said, “Listen, when you argue with him like this, all you do is reinforce his pathology. The best thing to do is let him rant, just nod and say, ‘OK, Jeff, you’re right.’ And if he becomes too disruptive, put him in isolation, bring out the restraints and, if necessary, give him a shot of Prolixin.”

I suspect that our friend Hondo has a history similar to Jeff’s, or, at least, similar to our Prez’s—-a history of substance abuse followed by a “life-changing” decision for Christ, and also, as a Viet vet—-unlike AWOL Georgie—-experience with PTSD. Certainly he has some of the classic features for certain psychoses as described in DSM-IV: the obsessive repetition of fixed ideas, the ritualistic speech, the substitution of reality with an impregnable belief system, the quasi-religious delusion that his fantasies of absolute righteousness are God-inspired, etc.

So Bukko, what we should do is follow the example suggested by the Chief of Staff of that hospital: don’t reinforce Hondo’s pathology by pretending you can have a reasonable debate with him. The depth of his illness is unreachable by conventional therapy. Since we can’t put him in isolation {as he’s noted before, “I’m not going anywhere”), let him go on screaming himself hoarse in his padded cell, in search of his “Lieberman-in-the-rough” or “reformable Hezbollah guerilla” or whatever phantasmagoric windmill he’s tilting at this week.

P.S.: Hondo pretends to find the often colorful invective ditrected against him just terribly naughty-poo because of its ad hominem nature(but calling liberals “whackos” is OK). Also, because of its often Rabelaisian exuberance—-meaning it sometimes alludes to sex (which makes twice-borners hysterical). Since such allusions assume Hondo has actually had sex with someone other than himself, I’m not sure why he’d take offense. That would be like telling him his cyberspace skirmishes remind you of a Jedi warrior in combat. In both cases, you’re dealing with purely imaginary experiences. (Which, of course, are the only experiences Hondo understands.)

On the contrary, I’ve always assumed the above-mentioned invective was clearly a tip of the hat to none other than. . .Ann Coulter, that model of rhetorical restraint. Here are some of Annie’s golden oldies: Pamela Harriman is a “whore,” Bill Clinton should either be “impeached or assassinated,” Justice Stevens should have poison put in his creme brulee, Gloria Steinem is a “termagant” who “had to sleep” with a rich liberal to fund Ms. magazine, and—-per her chat with Donnie Deutsch last night (7/25/06) on “The Big Idea”—-Bill Clinton is “a latent homosexual” (just as, of course, Hilary is a closet Lesbian).

(Of course, like me and Kenneth Starr, Ann is naturally prurient about other people’s sex lives, but this last bit about Slick Willie’s willy is an odd charge coming from a mid-40ish, childless she-male who’s never found the right, or Right, partner of either sex with whom to consummate holy matrimony. But Relationship Expert Annie apparently also has the inside dope on the real motives behind Bill’s tomcattery.)

Needles to say, in Hondoland, none of the foregoing are examples of name-calling; they’re just “cold, hard facts” based on logic and reason.  Or maybe—-to use the kind of recklessly inventive phrase that Hondo might employ—-they’e just another instance of a banged-up, tarnished, and very empty pot calling the kettle black.

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By ed_tru_lib, August 6, 2006 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment
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Hondo-I am and always have been a liberal, and I know the answer to your question is-if hezbollah laid down their weapons and agreed to no longer attack Israel, there would be peace, for all, including all non-Israelis in the area. You are insulting me, who agrees with you strongly, at least on this issue, and you’re insulting even the few sincere progressives who have posted here and other sites/blogs with some fair questions about Israel’s actions and decisions in this debacle for them, as well as for the Lebanese, which was certainly caused by Hezbollah, but which Israeli mistakes, it can no longer be denied, are at least one cause of prolonging.  Please stop calling the shrill, shrieking pseudo-left frauds and anti-Israel trolls, who are calling you names, or “responding” to you with their customary venom “liberals.” They are about as liberal as another essentially anti-Israel individual-Pat Buchanan, and about for the most part apparently as sane as hezbollah’s good buddies-the 911 hijackers. And to the few other sincere liberal and progressives here, who may agree with Hondo and I about this war, or not, but are by definition committed to a safe and secure Israel-lets give this conservative a hand for so enthusiastically carrying the ball.

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By eCAHNomics, August 6, 2006 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
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Hondos two questions are illegitimate because the two entities—Israel & Hizbollah—do not have the same starting points. Kind of like asking what would happen if a husband said he would stop beating his wife and she said she would stop fighting back. (I suppose we’ll disagree on who’s the husband & who’s the wife in the analogy.) Not to mention that neither side ever would.

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 6, 2006 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #16937 by Hondo on 8/05 at 6:42 pm

Ah yes, “a teachable moment” ... hondo, is right ... every human being should be treated with the respect he or she deserves.

But just to be clear about one thing, me and my friends have not yet decided that hondo is ridiculous as claimed ... though he “might” be, as I suggested ...

Hondo wants me to respond to his/her questions, and we all deserve to be taken seriously with respect ... no matter what ... as long as violence is not involved ... or threats thereof:

From: Comment #16764 by Hondo on 8/04 at 10:08 pm

<Quote:>
“Yes, FrikkenKid, the world is that black and white. That’s one of the major problems with liberals; they make everything so needlessly complex, and then act as if that was some great sign of intelligence.

“Let’s end the discussion with a couple of very simple questions.

“1. What would happen if Hezbollah would decide today to lay down their weapons and promise to never again fight against Israel? Answer—the war would be over and nobody else would die.

“2. What would happen if Israel would decide today to lay down their weapons and promise to never again fight against Hezbollah? Answer—Hezbollah would murder each and every man, woman and child in Israel.

“It’s really just that simple, FrikkenKid. Why can’t liberals comprehend real basic truth like that?”
< End quote>

But there is a problem with Hondo’s questions. Hondo has already provided answers. That is normally considered a rhetorical question by the person to whom it is addressed.

rhetorical question n.

  A question to which no answer is expected, often used for rhetorical effect.

(See dictionary.com)

But since Hondo apparently does not fully understand the normalities of reasoned discussion, let’s assume for a moment that he/she is really asking those two questions.

Then what it shows is what appears to be a failure to address the historical context of the conflict ... much like Israel demanding Hezbollah to abide by UN resoultuions that sanciton Hezbollah while Israel picks and chooses the UN resolutions it will abide by.

Somehow some people keep forgetting the explosives in the milk cans that Ben Gurion’s group (pre-State of Israel) used to blow up the British military way back when (amongst other actions we now call terrorism when Hezbollah does it ... maybe not literally equivalent, but certainly in the same vein) ... and the tit for tat violence that has continued until today ... so no, Hondo, there is no guarantee that if Hezbollah lays down its weapons that the war would be over.

And I for one am not asking Israel to lay down its weapons ... it has every right to defend itself.

But it seems I remember an UN resolution requiring Israel to go back to its pre-1967 war boundaries.

That’s the boundaries I support it to defend.

Partial list of UN resolutions regarding Israel:

# Resolution 127: ” . . . ‘recommends’ Israel suspends it’s ‘no-man’s zone’ in Jerusalem”.

# Resolution 162: ” . . . ‘urges’ Israel to comply with UN decisions”.

# Resolution 171: ” . . . determines flagrant violations’ by Israel in its attack on Syria”.

# Resolution 228: ” . . . ‘censures’ Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control”.

# Resolution 237: ” . . . ‘urges’ Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees”.

# Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967): Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area. Calls on Israel’s neighbors to end the state of belligerency and calls upon Israel to reciprocate by withdraw its forces from land claimed by other parties in 1967 war. Interpreted commonly today as calling for the Land for peace principle as a way to resolve Arab-Israeli conflict

# Resolution 248: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan”.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_UN_resolutions_concerning_Israel

So, hondo, does that answer your questions?

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By John, August 6, 2006 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
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This from Hondo:

<<What would happen if Hezbollah decided today to lay down their arms, give up the fight, and permanently disarm?>>

Response:  Israel would continue its viloation of UN Resolution 242; it would continue to illegally hold Lebanese prisoners; it would continue to occupy Lebanese land: it would continue to build illegal settlements; it would continue to oppress and humiliate Palestinians; it would continue to illegally confiscate land from Palestinians; and it will not stop until they take every inch of land that THEY claim to be given to them by God.

<< What would happen if Israel decided today to disarm and to stop fighting? >>

Response: Hezbollah would continue to take military action to free the illegally held prisoners; force Israel out of illegally held Lebanon land; maintain a military deterrent on the border against Israeli aggression; and help the Palestinians as much as possible. And they would continue to press for the UN nations to enforce the legal UN order for Israel to give up the settlements and return to the 1948 UN designated borders, and to comply with the UN demand that Israel respect the “right of return” of all the Palestinian refugees from Lebanon.

It is quite easy to see who the real bad guys are.

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By ed_tru_lib, August 6, 2006 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
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One of life’s true, and all too infrequent pleasures, is to witness instant(almost) karma. Although there have been several sincere posts here by legitimate progressives that, like Sheer in this case, simply have it wrong, most are by the same pseudo-left anti-Israel-all-the-time-for-any-or-no-excuse lunatic trolls who post their venom throughout truthdig sites, and the web. And some are from the outright insane, evil anti-semites, who make the previous category look, well, ALMOST sane but just BritneyBushtwin-dumb by comparison.
Both categories, and many of the same posters, are represented at the blog from earlier last week-“The Photos That Damn Hezbollah.” Here is a photograph of terrorists cowering in a previously
undamaged section of Beirut, heedless of the impending injury and death to their own people, when they shoot and Israel then shoots back to defend itself. Most of the first posts from the assorted variety of nuts, didn’t just SUGGEST that the photo and story were a fraud, because they came from a Murdoch-owned Australian newspaper. They arrogantly said so outright.
Well last night that no-spin zone-type paper was the one which broke the story of how Mel Gibson, the right’s show-business darling ever since Charleton Heston had to take Alzheimer’s-induced retirement, has a long, well-documented history of association with an Australian anti-semetic, holocaust-denying group. Not just his father-HIM. Its on Huffington Post’s front page now-wonder why Truthdig hasn’t picked it up yet? Guess even a fox “news” affiliated paper gets it right, AND ethical sometimes. And those comments about how the hezbollah cowards story was fabricated-how MINDLESS can you get?

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By Rastaraskle, August 6, 2006 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
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Sidney,
In your post 16983 you fault Mr. Scheer for
exaggerating.  Read differently, you’ll note
he was understating the case.

For too many pundits and politicians, bombing just seems so much simpler — until, as happened in Qana, Lebanon, on Sunday, those bombs blow up to your nation’s disgrace, slaughtering scores of innocents, whose only crime was to be in the crossfire.  Robert Scheer

Read it as “bombs have killed scores of innocents, the most notorius being at Qana.” 

Also, his article was posted August 1, the HRW report came out August 2.

Additionally, along with 28 dead, there are still 13 missing which are presumed to be buried in the rubble.  The total may yet rise to your definition of scores.

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By Rastaraskle, August 6, 2006 at 10:55 am Link to this comment
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Hondo,
In response to your 2 questions in post #16937:
Would the answer be “The same thing that happened
to the Native Americans?”

BTW, did you mean “amoral” or “immoral” in that
earlier post?

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By john colombo, August 6, 2006 at 10:39 am Link to this comment
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The following is from stephenl on 8/02

<<I’d be interested to know what Mr. Scheer would have considered an appropriate retaliation to Hezbollah’s recent intentionally provocative attack. One that would have reasonably maintained Israel’s ‘position of strength.>>

My answer to that is:

Israel’s strength is indisputable. It doesn’t have to prove it at the loss of much Israeli and Lebanese life and treasure and, most of all, with the inevitable loss of all international respect and support. No matter how this comes out militarily, it will be a massive defeat (yet to be realized) for Israel. They have finally raised the possibility that their only friend in the world will be America—not a very reliable friend, when all the chips are down on the table.

By this stupid military blunder, Israel will have lost their very right to exist in the eyes of the world of nations. The same nations that established its right to exist in 1948 - and that UN declaration is Israel’s only legal right to exist today.

Considering such a consequence of their totally reprehensible criminal behavior, the prudent response would have been to negotiate a swap of the prisoners that they have been illegally holding for so many years. To view that as “cutting one’s losses” would be a monumental understatement.

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By Nathaniel Turner, August 6, 2006 at 10:24 am Link to this comment
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In light of the cry of respected Middle East observer Prof. Juan Cole that, “It makes no sense” and Guardian newspaper reports that Israeli fighter jet pilots have broken off attacks based on their own “common sense” that innocent civilians are being endangered, I hope you will repost this analysis.

Capitalism has begun wheezing and sputtering under the influence of its fatal contradictions. One of the more graphic illustrations of the system’s growing irrationality is being vividly painted now by one of its forward outposts—Israel. The state that Zionism created has begun sensing its mortality and is thrashing around accordingly. The guardians of the state are clearly in the grip of fear and uncertainty. The indiscriminate bombing in Lebanon and Gaza and the resultant killing of civilians and destruction of infrastructure, the kidnapping of Hamas legislators, the targeting of a U.N. observer post and now the outrage on Qana are desperate acts increasingly outside the bounds of common sense.

Completely out of the blue on several recent occasions and in leaflets dropped on the Lebanese, Israeli leaders have felt compelled to mention their power to erase Lebanon from the planet. The Israelis are blustering past the graveyard and their bully’s trepidation is bound to grow now that their adventure has gone badly. Prime Minister Olmert and his security cabinet are moving in fits and starts. When the Israeli military’s nose was bloodied at Bint Jbail they gave up on the idea of driving to the Litani River to establish their so-called buffer zone. When the security cabinet realized the electrifying effect of this turn on the Arab people, they poured troops across the border and returned to their original plan but deep down they know that militarily speaking, only a Pyrrhic victory is available against Hizbollah.

One thing the Israeli assault on the Gaza and Lebanon has made clearer is the alignment of forces in the Arab and Muslim world. Ironically, in different fashions both Hamas and Hizbollah were creations of Israel. Hamas was supposed to act as a counterweight to the Palestine Liberation Organization when Israel considered the PLO the most immediate threat to their domination of the Arab majority. Hizbollah filled the gapping chasm Israel created with the 1982 invasion and years long occupation of southern Lebanon. Both Hamas and Hizbollah have, through years of disciplined work and organizing, woven themselves into the lives of the respective peoples they seek to liberate. What a stark contrast with the rich Arab boys who have created the cult they call al-Qaeda. See the clownish Ayman al-Zawahiri rush to his camcorder after Hizbollah faces down the Israeli military to spout some silly rhetoric about a caliphate from Spain to Iraq in front of a poster that screams, “Please remember us, we did 9/11!”

Under normal circumstances the impending death of a form of racism like Zionism (see the picture of young Israeli girls writing messages and drawing on missile warheads soon to rain down on Lebanon) and the establishment of a secular state on the territory Israel now occupies where Palestinian Arabs of various religious persuasions and Jews could peacefully co-exist as equals would be cause for human celebration. Unfortunately, the insanity that clearly grips Israel means they will likely resort to attacks on Damascus and Tehran and then to use of their nuclear arsenal when all else fails. And that, on a larger scale, is the dilemma that the whole world faces as the capitalist system spearheaded by the United States passes into history.

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By Mad As Hell, August 6, 2006 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
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Hey! Hondo! Stop calling all these anti-semitic types who apologize for every rabid moslem fundamentalist atrocity and condemn Israel for everything “liberals”.

I know you think I’m insane, and you know I think you are, but clearly you have NOT noticed that in this, one, RARE instance, we are both arguing in parallel.  I figure it can happen since even a broken clock gives the right time twice a day.

You also call me a “liberal” regularly (and some other less complimentary things).  You accuse all liberals of being anti-Israel and pro-Hezbollah, yet clearly I am neither.  So you’re gonna have change your tune about “liberals” if you want to continue to pretend to be intellectually consistent.

But I expect you’ll come up with some reason to weasel out of it.

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By John Earl, August 6, 2006 at 10:07 am Link to this comment
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Interesting POV in Rolling Stone:

http://www.rollingstone.com/nationalaffairs/?p=383#more-383

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By Sidney Gendin, August 6, 2006 at 3:28 am Link to this comment
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Mr. Scheer says that “scores of innocents” were slaughtered in Qana by Israel’s bombs.  “Scores” implies at least forty.  As we now know, from the investigation by Human Rights Watch, 28 were killed.  That’s bad enough, but facts do matter.  We don’t have to exaggerate to make a legitimate point.

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By Bukko in Australia, August 6, 2006 at 2:03 am Link to this comment
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For those of you who are bothered by Hondo, why not go over to his blog and chat to him? The addy is: ChristianConservatives.blogspot.com

It will give you a better idea of what he’s all about. (Which is about all you’d expect.) Otherwise, I’d say he’s not worth the bandwidth!

You’ll need to register with the Blogspot organisation to comment on his site, but it’s not rocket science to do so. (I was able to, after all…) Better there than here. And it’s a lonely blog! Almost no comments on any of his posts. Wonder why? Please give some company to this lonely, frustrated soul.

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By Rastaraskle, August 5, 2006 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment
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My first time logging on and I notice many don’t appreciate Hondo.  Could someone please explain why.
Thank you.

I mean, I did notice he said it was “ammoral” not to support Israel and I don’t know if he meant
“amoral” or “immoral”.  I hope that he would clarify.

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By Hondo, August 5, 2006 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment
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Here we are, all you wacky liberals. We have arrived at what I like to call a teachable moment. In Comment #16764, I asked two very simple questions, and I provided the answers to those questions. Go back and refresh your memory, if you need to. What was the liberal response to my two questions?
1. Fadel Abdallah called me a parasite, a coward, low, “right at the bottom of reason”, and irrelevant. But he didn’t respond to my questions.
2. Hilding Lindquist compared me to William Hung, and talked about how ridiculous she and her friends think I am. But she didn’t respond to my questions.
3. Kevin99999 rails against the “Jewish lobby” in this country, but he doesn’t respond to my questions.
4. Eurodove criticizes Israel for not adhering to the Geneva Convention, when it is Hezbollah that is in violation of the GC by using human shields. Once again, however, Eurodove doesn’t respond to my questions.

Are any of you mental midgets able to discern a pattern here? I, the conservative, posed two very reasonable questions and used facts, logic and reason to answer those questions. You, the liberals, couldn’t refute my facts, so you engaged in character assasination, demonization, name calling, and the like. This is par for the course for liberals. The facts are never on your side, so you attempt to stifle debate through grade school histrionics.

I will repeat my questions, and I invite responses. What would happen if Hezbollah decided today to lay down their arms, give up the fight, and permanently disarm? What would happen if Israel decided today to disarm and to stop fighting? The answers to those questions should end all debate on who the “bad guy” is in this conflict.

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By d, August 5, 2006 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment
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Anti-Semitic? I have never been sure, but are the present day majority of Israel, semitic?

I see alot of people on here, also just repeat crap.  Hezbollah has not caused the death of civilian in Israel in over 6 years.
(until Bombs fell on Civillians in Lebanon)
And Israel, has never stopped raids into LEBANON.
So, as far as I know, They are both wrong. For killing civillians. But what Israel has done to
these people for 60 years, is THE PROBLEM. Israel has a record, and it is not pretty.
You see what Democratic really means to Arab countries. The US can not be trusted.
Rice just gave a speech to Cubans, said elect who you want, and say what you want. Tell that to Lebanon and Palistine, who just had elections.
Now you know why Bush, pushed Syria out of Lebanon. So it could be destroyed. In the name of spreading freedom!

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By John Colombo, August 5, 2006 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
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The following is from stephenl on 8/02

<<I’d be interested to know what Mr. Scheer would have considered an appropriate retaliation to Hezbollah’s recent intentionally provocative attack. One that would have reasonably maintained Israel’s ‘position of strength.>>

My answer to that is:

Israel’s strength is indisputable. It doesn’t have to prove it at the loss of much Israeli and Lebanese life and treasure and, most of all, with the inevitable loss of all international respect and support. No matter how this comes out militarily, it will be a massive defeat (yet to be realized) for Israel. They have finally raised the possibility that their only friend in the world will be America—not a very reliable friend, when all the chips are down on the table.

By this stupid military blunder, Israel will have lost their very right to exist in the eyes of the world of nations. The same nations that established its right to exist in 1948 - and that UN declaration is Israel’s only legal right to exist today.

Considering such a consequence of their totally reprehensible criminal behavior, the prudent response would have been to negotiate a swap of the prisoners that they have been illegally holding for so many years. To view that as “cutting one’s losses” would be a monumental understatement.

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By Mad As Hell, August 5, 2006 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
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“Hey Mad As Hell
It is totally false that Israel welcomes any person from whatever part of the world, without taking into account ethnicity, religious beliefs, etc, etc.
How can you say so? “

Hamster (named for a disgusting rodent) Where did I say that?  What I said was: “But in Israel, if you were born there, you are an Israeli citizen, even if Arab and Moslem, and, most importantly, can VOTE!”  This is COMPLETELY true!  Arabs and Moslems have been elected and seated in the Knesset.

“Have you been in Israel as a foreigner?
I have been there and your comment is totally false!
How can you say such a lie? “

Simple.  I never said that.  How come you COMPLETELY ignored that atrocious way ALL of Israel’s neighbors treat anyone who isn’t Arab or Moslem?  Are you going to tell me that a Christian or a Jew in Tunisia or Syria is treated better than an Arab is Israel?  Who’s the liar here?  Not me!

“Are you an adult, mature? “

I like to think so.  AARP has started hassling me, my spouse and kids seem to respect me.  How about you?  You’ve called me a liar by claiming I said something I never said.

“And, by the way, you say in the US everybody is welcome, if you born in the US you are automatically US citizen. 
That is pure “ink and paper”, but that is not reality.
Ask the Mexicans, and, in general, all of the unwelcome sons of latino “illegal” inmigrants. “

Here, you don’t have an effing clue!  I GUARANTEE you that everyone born on US soil is AUTOMATICALLY a citizen.  It’s in the US Constitution and EVERY effort to end that has, thankfully died.  The children of illegal immigrants if they are born on US soil are FULL-FLEDGED AMERICANS!  Please be intelligent enough to differ between the treatment of illegal aliens, legal aliens, and American citizens.

“Ask all fo that “shit” citizens, that you regard as criminals, dumbs, idiots, animals.  Ask all of them who you treat refert to as scum, it is, all the Mexicans and Latino boys and girls that born in the US and see if they are regarded as “Americans” “

You mean, I presume, like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales?  Or United States Senator Robert Menendez (my senator)? Or Governor William Richardson of the state of New Mexico.  All of them are those Latino “shit” citizens you refer to.  I assume you include my beautiful second child, whom we adopted and is Latin American by birth, and is now a full-fledged All-American boy, brown skin and all.  In case you didn’t catch the irony, it means you don’t know SHIT about me or what I think or how I think. 

“Ok, live you American Dream, I know it is a beautiful Dream, so I’d better do not wake up from your so lovely Dream.
Unfortunately, you believe your own lies. “

I certainly don’t believe yours!

“Have a nice day! “

I have been. Thanks. You have a nice day, too.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 5, 2006 at 10:00 am Link to this comment
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I’ve noticed the irritation of many readers with this ghost called “hondo.” After reading few of his rants, I decided to skip reading them for the sake of my health. Since I decided to comment on this topic, here’s my 5 cents worth :
(1) This animal is a parasite who thrives on having people pay attention to him; so the best way to deal with him is to ignore him totally; that would practically kill him.
(2) As you can see he’s a coward, who does not dare to write his real name, let alone asking him to go to Iraq and be killed there like a dog.
(3) “hondo” in Spanish means either “profound”, “deep” or “low.” Obviously, the last of these three definitions apply to him.

So Mr. hondo, you’re “en todo lo hondo”, which means “right at the bottom” of reason or thought; you’re irrelevant!

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 5, 2006 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #16764 by Hondo on 8/04 at 10:08 pm

Oh my gawd, hondo! You make my day!!!

I’ve started printing out your comments and pinning them to my cork board for my friends ... some of whom are still wondering what all the fuss is about ... like “Aren’t Israel and her supporters being reasonable?”

Then I let them read your comments ...

I can understand why you don’t give your name or stuff ... but then again you might become an instant idol ... like that kid who couldn’t sing.

I try not to get personal around here, but you have shaken my resolve ... like I keep falling off my chair laughing.

But then, again, us old farts are a wee bit unstable in our “normal” state.

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By Hamster, August 5, 2006 at 12:29 am Link to this comment
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Hey Mad As Hell

It is totally false that Israel welcomes any person from whatever part of the world, without taking into account ethnicity, religious beliefs, etc, etc.

How can you say so?

Have you been in Israel as a foreigner?

I have been there and your comment is totally false!

How can you say such a lie?

Are you an adult, mature?

And, by the way, you say in the US everybody is welcome, if you born in the US you are automatically US citizen. 

That is pure “ink and paper”, but that is not reality.

Ask the Mexicans, and, in general, all of the unwelcome sons of latino “illegal” inmigrants.

Ask all fo that “shit” citizens, that you regard as criminals, dumbs, idiots, animals.  Ask all of them who you treat refert to as scum, it is, all the Mexicans and Latino boys and girls that born in the US and see if they are regarded as “Americans”

Ok, live you American Dream, I know it is a beautiful Dream, so I’d better do not wake up from your so lovely Dream.

Unfortunately, you believe your own lies.

Have a nice day!

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By kevin99999, August 4, 2006 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment
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Given the carnage in Lebanon being wrought by the jewish state, its disturbing to see that the media, including the so called progressive blogs like huffingtonpost.com, are still hung up on comments made by Mel Gibson with multiple banners, as if what Gibson said is far more outrageous than the actions and policies of the jewish state. The media and these progressive have yet find a voice expressive outrage over the killing of the nation. This is hypocracy of the highest order…which against shows the power of jewish lobby in this country.

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By Eurodove, August 4, 2006 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment
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Mad As Hell

I hold Israel to the very same standards that I hold all nations, i.e., those of the Geneva Conventions, which Israel has signed.

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By Hondo, August 4, 2006 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment
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Yes, FrikkenKid, the world is that black and white. That’s one of the major problems with liberals; they make everything so needlessly complex, and then act as if that was some great sign of intelligence.
Let’s end the discussion with a couple of very simple questions.
1. What would happen if Hezbollah would decide today to lay down their weapons and promise to never again fight against Israel? Answer—the war would be over and nobody else would die.
2. What would happen if Israel would decide today to lay down their weapons and promise to never again fight against Hezbollah? Answer—Hezbollah would murder each and every man, woman and child in Israel.
It’s really just that simple, FrikkenKid. Why can’t liberals comprehend real basic truth like that?

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By John Earl, August 4, 2006 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
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http://www.cw.ua.edu/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/08/03/44d1a36d168f1

Article by University of Alabama student who was evacuated from Lebanon.

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By joh, August 4, 2006 at 10:07 am Link to this comment
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What about Israeli anti-Semitism?
Israeli spokesmen (notably, UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman) are claiming that Israelis mourn the life of every Lebanese child that has been lost.  “This is the difference between us,” they say, accusing their enemies of celebrating the loss of Israeli lives.  We haven’t yet seen the Lebanese dancing in the streets, but we have seen the photo of the young Israeli girls who were allowed/encouraged to write messages on bombs soon to be dropped on Lebanese children.

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By FrikkenKids, August 4, 2006 at 8:22 am Link to this comment
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Nice try, Hondo.  The “I know you are but what am I defense.”  That works up to maybe around grade 4 or so, but not for adults.

I never said I supported Hezbollah.  I didn’t get much into it, but I did conclude my post with “I’m no fan of Hezbolla but to continue to insist that Israel was attacked without provocation shows a deliberate intention to ignore facts.” 

Frankly, I think both sides are acting despicably.  Further, to answer your question, I don’t believe that “liberals always take the side of the terrorists” and I think you probably know better.  I wasn’t taking sides with terrorists, I was pointing out that you, and so many people like you, defend Israel in this war by saying that they were attacked without provocation.  They weren’t.  You know that.  You still tell the lie.  Everyone still tells the lie.  Why do you insist on telling that lie?  It’s a damn lie! 

This war is the latest step of continual back and forth fighting that has been going on for years.  You say “The Palestinians were conducting terrorist attacks against Israel, so Israel defended herself.”  No shit.  Palestinians and Israel have been attacking each other back and forth for years.  As my post pointed out, “between September 2005 and June 2006, 144 Palestinians in Gaza were killed by Israeli forces…(but) no Israelis were killed as a result of violence from Gaza.”  Both sides (or actually all three) are to blame in this whole thing, but to insist that Israel is only reacting to attacks is asinine.  How can you possibly justify saying that? 

Terrorists killing civilians is unjustifiable.  A powerful state displaying such casual disregard for civilian life in a hunt for terrorists is just as unjustifiable.  If terrorists are hiding in a civilian neighborhood, there are better ways to get to them than with missile attacks that end up taking out apartment buildings full of women and children and then dismissing any accountability by saying the missile was aimed at terrorists.

Why can so many people (like you, Hondo) not see the difference between a person who believes the Israeli campaign is excessive with too many civilian deaths (and civilian infrastructure destruction) and a person who supports terror?  The world is not so black and white.

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By Mad As Hell, August 4, 2006 at 4:35 am Link to this comment
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“In truth, your problem is simply racism.  You regard non-Jews as being lesser human beings, and possibly not human beings at all “

Eurodave:  What are you, blind?  In WHAT mid-east state is a Jew or Christian treated as ANYTHING better than a 3rd class citizen, if that? To them, non-arabs and non-Moslems are less than human and don’t deserve ANY human decency.  Where was your outrage when Tunisia expelled all the Jews, even the ones who had been born and raised there?  That’s OK, I guess to you.

The Arabs treat Palestinians as less the human, hate them and only see them as a pawn.  Show me ONE Arab state that welcomes Palestinians.  Just one!  But being blind and a hypocrite you ignore the fact that racism and apartheid and race and religious intolerance are FAR more prevalent in Israel’s neighbors than in Israel.

Nobody seems to have problem with all the religious-based Islamic states, but somehow those rules don’t apply to a Jewish state. Why is that?  Why can Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Yemen, Iran, etc, etc all can be Islamic states where Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists are decidedly UN-welcome be OK in your book, but not Israel?

It’s because you are a hypocrite, EuroDave.  You won’t hold Israel’s neighbors to the same standard you hold Israel to.  If you did, you’d see she has perfect right to defend herself, and that those Islamic fundamentalists are in YOUR backyard as well, all over Europe.  Why?

Because you hypocritical Europeans treat the Arab and Islamic immigrants in YOUR countries as 2nd and 3rd class citizens as well.  How many European nations recognize ANY child born in their territory as a citizen?  The USA has done it for 230 years.  Born here? You’re an American!

My kids go to school with kids whose parents came from all over the world, are all colors and religions, and they are ALL American kids.

How many European countries can say that?  France, only now, is trying to force assimilation of the North African immigrants, after decades of seeing them as invisible.  Germany for decades wouldn’t recognize children born in Germany of Turkish workers as German citizens.

But in Israel, if you were born there, you are an Israeli citizen, even if Arab and Moslem, and, most importantly, can VOTE!

So, EuroDave, look to your own house. Clean your own house, and don’t pretend to be noble by holding Israel to a standard you won’t and don’t hold her enemies to, enemies that would happily destroy her and kill every man, woman and child there without a shred of remorse.  THOSE are your heroes.

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By Eurodove, August 3, 2006 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment
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Hondo

‘It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.’ - Ariel Sharon, as Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

If you were evicted from your land would you just acquiesce meekly or perhaps become what you call a terrorist?

In truth, your problem is simply racism.  You regard non-Jews as being lesser human beings, and possibly not human beings at all (‘A land without [real] people for a people without land’).

Israel was born through terror and sustains itself through terror.

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By Hondo, August 3, 2006 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment
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FrikkenKids asks a very good question in comment #16463—“Do you simply ignore information that goes against your beliefs?” I hope that question was directed to the mirror, because FrikkenKids completely ignores one very important fact. The Palestinians were conducting terrorist attacks against Israel, so Israel defended herself. Unfortunately for the innocent civilians living in Gaza, the Palestinian terrorists used human shields, just like Islamofacist terrorists do everywhere. Any innocent loss of life is the fault of terrorists, not Israel.
Maybe FrikkenKids can answer a question for me—Why do liberals always take the side of the terrorists? I would sincerely like for someone to answer that for me.

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By Chris Long, August 3, 2006 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
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DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
OK, it’s time to smell the coffee; the Israeli experiment isn’t working so well, maybe never did. So how about a new approach.
What if you can’t lay legitimate claim to territory that used to be home land of your ancestors 2000 years ago, maybe that’s why the Indians have to manage gamboling casinos for the next 500 years; (they have to buy back Manhattan before they can move back “home”).
So George if your listening and need some foreign policy ideas, consider this, you could move all the stuff that really matters, out of the territory currently known as Israel and park it somewhere deep in the heart of Texas so the Jewish community can live peacefully in whatever democratic manner they are inclined.
  Its a small country and the Sea of Galilee would look good, dug out somewhere between your ranch and Cindy Sheehan’s new place, maybe you could kind of keep an eye on things in your spare time.
I mean there’s a lot of talk about Israel’s Arab neighbors and how they should make room for displaced Palestinians at their place. What about Texas, it’s hot and kind of sandy; if you don’t think that’ll work George, then it’s time, as the Monty Python crew said “for something entirely different”.

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By FrikkenKids, August 3, 2006 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment
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As much as I hate to provoke further foolishness from the likes of Hondo, his question #1 has to be addressed - simply because the response is so easy and obvious and because it truly shows him for the eyes-closed, ears plugged, ranting idiot he seems to be.

From Hondo:
“Many questions come to mind as I read this screed from Robert Scheer.
1. Why is support for Israel mindless? Israel was attacked, without provocation, by bloodthirsty terrorists determined to kill Jews. Israel took the logical step of self-defense. It would be mindless (not to mention ammoral) not to support Israel.”

Sir, do you simply ignore information that goes against your pre-determined beliefs?  Just three days ago, this very site linked to a Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting reminder that in fact Israel was NOT attacked without provocation. 
http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20060731_down_the_memory_hole/
Here is a very brief, and very important quote from that article:

“between September 2005 and June 2006, 144 Palestinians in Gaza were killed by Israeli forces, according to a list compiled by the Israeli human rights group B’tselem; 29 of those killed were children. During the same period, no Israelis were killed as a result of violence from Gaza.”

That’s 144 dead muslims and 0 dead jews in less than a year.

The article also goes on to summarize the back and forth fighting between Israeli forces and Hezbolla fighters over the past several months.

I’m no fan of Hezbolla but to continue to insist that Isreal was attacked without provocation shows a deliberate intention to ignore facts.  One who makes an argument in that way is simply a fool.

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By James Dahlgren, August 3, 2006 at 11:38 am Link to this comment
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The dialog here shows how hopeless the situation is. People on both sides are more entrenched in their positions then the stalemated armies of WWI. Ron Hansing points out that the creation of Israel was sanctioned by the U.N. That is an unfortunate fact that certainly helps to discredit the U.N. Would he support the right of a new Kurdistan to defend itself if the U.N. had given its approval to taking a piece of California to create a new Kurdish state? It sounds absurd, but the U.N. has just as much right to give Californian land to the Kurds as it did to give Palestinian land to European Jews. The difference is that Palestine was already occupied by Great Brittan and the Palestinians had no voice on the world stage. It is true that many Arabs have wanted to eliminate Israel since its inception. When you recognize Israel for what it is, a country created by Europeans by taking land from non Europeans, you can understand why there will always be some Arabs calling for the destruction of Israel. Don’t the Arabs and Palestinians have the right to defend their lands? Defending their land means destroying Israel.

If one has any empathy, and makes a sincere effort to look at the situation from the Israeli perspective, one can understand their behavior. Jews were treated abysmally by Europeans for centuries. In Eastern Europe pogroms or massacres in Jewish villages and ghettos were a popular means of distracting the population from the economic problems and abuses of the aristocracy. For a time Germany provided a safe haven for Jewish immigrants who became well integrated into the community and became some of Germany’s leading businessmen, academics, and community leaders. The acceptance of Jews in Germany was similar to their contemporary position in the United States (where there has always been an undercurrent of anti Jewish sentiment). After the way that the Germans turned on them, it is easy to understand how nothing short of their own country can make many Jews feel secure. Unlike the politicians of the Western Democracies, When Israelis say “never again” in reference to genocide, at least where Jews are the potential victims, they genuinely mean it. After being the victims so many times for so long, they are no longer willing to play that role and are willing to sacrifice as many innocent Arabs and Palestinians as it takes to maintain their military advantage.

There would have been a nice touch of justice in taking land from Germany to create the new state of Israel. (Something the “lunatic” president of Iran has suggested.) But, after all, despite Germany’s atrocities during the war, Germany was a part of western Europe. It just wouldn’t be right to take land from Western Europeans and give it to Jews. So, as one of its first acts, the fledgling United Nations (dominated by the European victors of WWII) gave into the pressure of the Zionists who had been conducting an extensive public relations campaign along with a terrorist one. It was a beautiful solution. Take land from Palestinians, who simply don’t count, and create a new Jewish state which will attract many of the remaining European Jews that weren’t all that popular in European countries anyway. By supporting this new state of Israel, the United States could assuage the guilt that it should have felt for the way it turned away droves of Jewish refugees that were fleeing Nazi persecution.

So we have the situation where Israel insists that The U.N. had the right to take land from Palestinians and bestow it on Israel, but it doesn’t have the right to tell Israel to give back the land it seized in 1967. The United States insists that Israel has the right to use as much force as they deem necessary in self-defense of the land taken from Palestinians, but Palestinians don’t have the right to resort to violence to reclaim land taken from them. It is natural that The U.S. should support Israel’s position since we are both country’s founded by Europeans that pushed aside the unfortunate people already living there. It’s unfortunate for Israel that it wasn’t founded a century earlier when exterminating indigenous populations was much more widely accepted. Israel has been very effective in their public relations conveying the idea that it’s all about fanatical intolerant Jew hating Moslem’s, and not about European imperialism. The rise of militant Islamists is a direct response to being pushed around by the West and the inability to compete on a more direct military level. It’s ironic that Moslem’s have historically treated Jews better than Christians have. When southern Europe was under Moorish control, Jews were treated with a tolerance that was unheard of in the Christian countries of Europe. When El Cid drove the Moors from Spain the Spanish Inquisition followed and most of the Spanish Jews fled to Turkey, a Moslem country. Intolerance seems to be one of the lessons that the Islamic world has learned well from the West.

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By felicity smith, August 3, 2006 at 10:59 am Link to this comment
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Many of the impassioned commentators on this site need to remember that every cause is at the same time an effect and every effect is at the same time a cause. Something never comes from nothing.  It is true of all phenomena and all noumena. If one were to systematically work backward from the conflict between Israel and Palestine, or even the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, work backward from every event, a cause would be found and that cause would be the result of a previous event. What is so off-putting in the impassioned rants on the Middle East issue are the obdurate stands commentators take - Israel is completely blameless, Palestine is completely blameless, Hezbollah is completely blameless, or, if you will, Israel is all to blame, Palestine is all to blame, Hezbollah is all to blame.  Such are in complete violation of all universal law.

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By John Earl, August 3, 2006 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
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Text of Working Assets letter to my Congreeman that I signed:

I’m writing to ask that you support and co-sponsor House Concurrent Resolution 450, introduced by Representative Kucinich of Ohio. This resolution is the best chance for an end to rising civilian casualities in the region and should be passed by Congress right away.

How many innocent lives will be lost –- on both sides of the conflict—before America steps up and takes a leadership role? We have a moral obligation to stop the violence and initiate efforts towards peace in the region -– which is exactly what this resolution does.


An immediate cease-fire will put an end to the needless loss of life. Multi-party talks are the only way for all the parties to air their grievances peacefully and come to a settlement. Finally, an international peacekeeping force will clearly be necessary to implement U.N. Resolution 1559 and disarm the militias such as Hezbollah that threaten Israel and destabilize the entire region.


So I ask that you support Representative Kucinich’s resolution and demonstrate American leadership towards a peaceful resolution of this conflict. I look forward to your response to my lett

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By Mad as Hell, August 3, 2006 at 8:30 am Link to this comment
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Hondo, you idiot—We are on the same side for once on this one.

Rabbit is like all other anti-semites: Israel is the source of all the problems in the mid-east.

Israel’s zionism is fascism.

Well, these two statements have a real problem.

The first is pure idiocy because the Middle East is ALWAYS filled with problems, between the corrupt governments and the power-hungry monster who all want to be the new Caliph who unites the Islamic world (like Qadaffi, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Gamel Abdul Nasser, the Irani ayattollahs).  Isreal is just a chess piece to play in that game.

Why is Zionism so much worse than the TOTAL non-tolerance in every other mid-east state?  Only in Lebanon does a Christian have a chance a full citizenship (but that will end if Hezbollah and Syria get their way).  Even liberal, Democratic Turkey has problems with it: I’ve heard Turkish politicians say it’s not possible to TRULY be a Turk unless you are Moslem.  So it’s SO unacceptable in Israel, but it’s perfectly OK from Morroco to Iran up to Afghanistan.

Is somebody being a hypocrite here?

I don’t deny that Israel has problems with non-Jewish citizens, but they have been able to vote and get elected to the Knesset.  No other state in the Middle East exceeds Israel in that openess.  They may not be perfect but they are STILL a hell of a lot better to their minorities than anybody else over there.  But the standards their neighbors are held to are not the same as the standard that Israel is held to.

People like Rabbit forget that on the day of its birth, the Arab states united to wipe Israel out.  When they mounted the 1967 invasion, the goal was to wipe Israel out and murder every Jew there.  In 1973, that was the goal again.

But Israel is just supposed to take it and not fight back.  I guess the Israelis aren’t listening to folks like Rabbit—and don’t intend to.

Other countries are attacked and when victorious take over their attackers’ territory and only give it back if and when they want and if and when the loser has TOTALLY changed.  Look how long it took Japan and Germany to get back lands—and some if it NEVER went back.  East Prussia and Danzig are now totally Polish—Gdansk was Danzig and is where Solidarity began.  Germany will never get that back.

But Israel gave back the Sinai, relinquished control of Gaza, and most of the West Bank, despite having won it from her attackers.  Only Israel must give it back.  Again, the double-standard.

Face it: Israel is, to the Arab and Moslem world, nothing more than pawn to distract the people from their real problems.  From 1000 to 1400 years into its existence, Christianity tried to do the same thing, mounting “Crusades” to free the Holy Land from the “Infidels”, rather than deal with the problems of Europe honestly.  Now the leaders in the middle east, 1400 years after Islam began, are trying to mount their own “Crusade” for exactly the same reasons.

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By son nguyen, August 3, 2006 at 8:22 am Link to this comment
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Not by hatred is hatred appeased. Hatred is appeased by not-hatred. This is an eternal law.  The Buddha

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By ron hansing, August 3, 2006 at 8:21 am Link to this comment
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why is it that no one has the guts to print their full name. if you beleive in something, don’t be ashamed to use your real name.

And to bryan, the guy whose afraid to give his full name, i do not schriek!. but you do. Nor do i have a hard heart. and the info you state is false. stick to reality and truth. the facts speak for themselve. Israel left gaza, and hamas launched rockets into israel. israel retaliated to the launch sites, than hamas kidnapped an israelis soldier, than israel captured 20 some hamas cabinet members.

as far as withholding money that is owed hamas, it would be stupid to give a gun to someone who swears to kill you. the reality is that the state of israel exist, and this was sanctioned by the UN. like it or not, it’s a reality. get over it. stop dwelling on the past. focus on the future.

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By Hondo, August 3, 2006 at 6:23 am Link to this comment
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Many questions come to mind as I read this screed from Robert Scheer.
1. Why is support for Israel mindless? Israel was attacked, without provocation, by bloodthirsty terrorists determined to kill Jews. Israel took the logical step of self-defense. It would be mindless (not to mention ammoral) not to support Israel.
2. We are “enablers who have encouraged Israel’s dependancy on the drug of militarism as a false escape from the difficult accomodations needed to bring peace to the Middle East.” Wow! So much liberal hooey, so little time! Don’t liberals understand that the only way peace will reign in the Middle East is if we kill the terrorists that start all of the fighting? Don’t liberals believe that a country has the right to defend itself from attack? Don’t liberals believe that national security starts with a strong military? The answer to all of the above is, “No, liberals don’t understand.” Maybe that’s why liberals can’t win major elections.
3. Why do liberals blame Israel for civilian deaths in Lebanon? let’s take this slow, so even liberals have a chance to grasp the point. Hezbollah fired rockets at Israel. Those launch sites were in heavily populated neighborhoods (a direct violation of the Geneva Convention). Israel wiped out the launch sites, which they had an absolute right to do. What were they supposed to do? Just let Hezbollah keep firing? Sit down and have coffee with the terrorist so that we can all just get along? The civilian deaths are the fault of Hezbollah, not Israel.
4. Why do mindless liberals like Scheer refer to “the post 9/11 war on terror” as a playground game? Why does Scheer ridicule the notion of choosing sides? Why does Robert Fisk classify all of the very provable reasons for Islamofacist terrorist attacks against Israel and the West as crap? I’ve got news for these mental midgets. The U.S. is locked into a war not of our making. Islamofacism is an evil force that is determined to destroy Israel, the United States, and Chrictianity. They will use any means necessary to accomplish their goals. The U.S. and Israel must be leaders for the forces of good to eradicate this evil from our world. This is not claptrap and it’s not “material that comes out the rear end of a bull.” It is truth and it is common sense. Americans have rightly been asked to choose sides. Judging by the results of the 2004 election, I would say that almost 63 million Americans have spoken loud and clear.

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By M Henri Day, August 3, 2006 at 5:11 am Link to this comment
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Re : Comment #16376 by Tony Bains

Disarming «evil systems» seems like a brilliant idea - although your catalogue, which includes four nations that during the last half century have not been particularly noted for making war on their neighbours or elsewhere around the world, and one that seems to have done (and is doing) little else, certainly needs updating with at least two nations, the US and the UK, which have killed more people abroad than all these other states combined. But who is going to bell these particular cats ? The only who people can, without unleashing a war that will certainly put an end to Nature’s little experiment with intelligence of our sort on this planet, are the residents of the these countries themselves. The United States, the UK, and the state of Israel all have political systems which, to greater or lesser degree, enable citizens to influence the policies pursued by their respective governments (even though, in the US and the UK, at least, civil liberties are becoming more and more restricted, with the growth of the «unitary executive» even in countries with a parliamentary system like the UK). To prevent this influence from being exercised, the old trick of convincing the people that they are surrounded by enemies who threaten their very existence, and that all opposed to aggressive war are cowards and traitors, is being used to the full. Our task must be to show people that this is a bluff and a lie, and that it is those who advocate more and more armaments (called, in one of the greatest perversions known to human language, «defence») amd more and more war (called, in a similar perversion, «bringing democracy to XXX» are the real threats to their own existence and that of others. Not easy, but if we do not succeed, it’s game over for real….

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By Bryan, August 3, 2006 at 4:32 am Link to this comment
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Reply to 16325 by Joe
“So why are Jews/Israelis held to a different standard.”

All these are lame excuses. Not a good comaprison at all.

US is not supplying armaments that are going to kill the Darfurians in the Sudan. USA has not been diplomatically shielding Sudan and backing it all the way. US has not given Sudan over 100 billion dollar in aid which it uses to destroy the Darfurians as it does to Israel. Therefore we need a different standard to judge israel. It is our creation, our baby, we nurtured it, nourished it and turned it into the monster that it has become. And the excuse for it has been that it is an island of Western Civilisation in a sea of evil. Really!

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By Tony Bains, August 2, 2006 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment
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Reply to :

Comment #16286 by Syd on 8/02 at 1:04 pm

’Disproportionate’ in What Moral Universe?
By Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post
Friday, July 28, 2006

Let me put things straight here, Israel is absolutely wrong for waging a war against women and children. Israel behaves in a non-civilised manner for doing such a horrific crimes against humanity and God himself. Take as an example a civilised country like Great Britain. When IRA soldiers wentured across the border, bombed, killed and took English soldiers for prisoner exchange, what did English do? Did they distroy all infrastructure of Ireland? Did they bombed inocent civilians, did they kill small children in their sleep? C’mon people, what we are all seeing in Lebanon serves only to open world’s eyes and clearly see that we are dealing here with a monstrous system, a true axis of evil on Earth who doesn’t even care about fragile environment. Bombarding oil reservoars in Beirut? That’s a disaster of it’s own. The world should unite all powers to disarm all evil systems on Earth (North Korea, Iran, Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Only then we would be able to relax and start living without fear of the uncertain future for us and our children. Focus on environment, alternative fuels, cancer,...

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By ermanno barone, August 2, 2006 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment
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AIPAC+ADL+CNN+FOX+ABC+MSNBC+CBS+HANNITY AND COMBS+BILL O’REILLY+CAVUTO+BECK+HOLLYWOOD+ALL MEDIA(PRINT<VISUAL<ORAL)+CONGRESS(SENATE>HOUSE OF REPS)=UNITED STATES OF ISRAEL. It has come to this..alas my poor country, mine own USofA….I knew you well.
Shame on all of you responsible for bringing so much shame and world condemnation to our once proud country, shame upon you, you dastardly traitors for costing our nation so much anguish and pain, so many deaths and so much treassure…shame on all you treacherous NEOCONS: Perle, Wolfowitz,Feith, Kristol, Krauthammer..and humanoids of the same ilk…for bighting the hand that feeds you.

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 2, 2006 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #16230 by Nathaniel Turner on 8/02 at 8:40

“Unfortunately, the insanity that clearly grips Israel means they will likely resort to attacks on Damascus and Tehran and then to use of their nuclear arsenal when all else fails.”

The sooner we all realize this is what we are faced with, the sooner we can get on with the business of restoring sanity to our world: Israel and the Neocons are willing to use nuclear weapons in pursuit of their goals.

Each of us has the potential to be the pebble that redirects the boulder rumbling down the mountain. None of us can hide behind the disclaimer, “What can I do?”

The message of Jesus (attributed to a man named Jesus) conforms to our new knowledge of chaos theory. If we have faith of mustard seed, we can move (redirect) the mountain.

I keep telling everyone, Israel’s replay of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho in the name of Jehovah is so DAMN Old Testament. Israel is stuck in its tribal past.

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By Jim Hanley, August 2, 2006 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment
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ISRAEL VERSUS PALISTINE AND THEIR ALLIES!

This whole conflict began in 1948 when the Jews with the help of the Uk Government invaded palestinian land to form Isreal! They wreaked havoc, destruction, 
and slaughtered helpless men, women and children! Later with help from the US, the
murder continued while displacing over 20 million people. In all that intervening time
there was no Hamas, Hezbollah etc.The Israelis’ created the enemy! from the families
and neighbors of those they continually displaced, and slaughtered over the years.
Now, ask youself this question:
What would ‘you’ do if your family was slaughered, your home destroyed, and those
responsible continued to bring shame and disgrace on your People and Nation by
expanding their seisure, annexing, and occupying of your Nation’s Hallowed Land?

Would you “turn the other cheek” ?
Or seek VENGENCE?

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By Eurodove, August 2, 2006 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment
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I hope that you Americans feel that your military aid to Israel has been money well spent.

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j260/XPyEP4bP61VbYp7Q/IsraeliGifts.jpg

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 2, 2006 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment
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When the Peace Now Movement in Israel is reported to have been supporting the Israeli State-sponsered terrism, one would be right to conclude that rational and decent Jews are increasingly becoming a rare breed. That’s why when I hear or read a decent rational Jew, I feel a little consolation. That’s why I would like to share with the readers of truthdig, the following voice of reason and sanity: Jonathan Cook:
**********************************************

Five Myths That Sanction Israel’s War Crimes

By Jonathan Cook

07/26/06 “Information Clearing House’——
This week I had the pleasure to appear on American radio, on the Laura Ingraham show, pitted against David Horowitz, a “Semite supremacist” who most recently made his name under the banner of Campus Watch, leading McCarthyite witch-hunts against American professors who have the impertinence to suggest that maybe, just maybe, Arabs have minds and feelings like the rest of us.

It was a revealing experience, at least for a British journalist rarely exposed to the depths of ignorance and prejudice in the United States on Middle East matters—well, apart from the regular wackos who fill my email inbox. But five minutes of listening to Horowitz speak, and the sympathy with which his arguments were greeted by Laura (“The Professors—your book’s a great read, David”), left me a lot more frightened about the world’s future.

Horowitz’s response to every question, every development in the Middle East, whether it concerns Lebanon, the Palestinians, Syria, or Iran, is the same: “They want to drive the Jews into the sea.” It’s as simple as that. Not even a superficial attempt at analysis; just the message that the Arab world is trying to finish off the genocide started by Europe. And if Laura is any yardstick, a lot of Americans buy that stuff.

Horowitz is keen to bang the square peg of the Lebanon story into the round hole of his claims that the “Jews” are facing an imminent genocide in the Middle East. And to help him, he and the massed ranks of US apologists for Israel—regulars, I suspect, of shows like Laura’s—are promoting at least four myths regarding Hezbollah’s current rockets strikes on Israel. Unless they are challenged at every turn, the danger is that they will win the ground war against common sense in the US

The first myth is that Israel was forced to pound Lebanon with its military hardware because Hezbollah began “raining down” rockets on the Galilee. Anyone with a short memory can probably recall that was not the first justification we were offered: that had to do with the two soldiers captured by Hezbollah on a border post on July 12.

But presumably Horowitz and his friends realized that 400 Lebanese dead and counting in little more than a week was hard to sell as a “proportionate” response. In any case Hezbollah kept telling the world how keen it was to return the soldiers in a prisoner swap.

Hundreds of dead in Lebanon, at least 1,000 severely injured and more than half a million refugees—all because Israel is not ready to sit down at the negotiating table. Even Horowitz could not “advocate for Israel” on that one.

So the chronology of war has been reorganized: now we are being told that Israel was forced to attack Lebanon to defend itself from the barrage of Hezbollah rockets falling on Israeli civilians. The international community is buying the argument hook, line, and sinker. “Israel has the right to defend itself,” says every politician who can find a microphone to talk into.

But, if we cast our minds back, that is not how the “Middle East crisis,” as TV channels now describe it, started. It is worth recapping on those early events (and I won’t document the long history of Lebanese suffering at Israel’s hands that preceded it) before they become entirely shrouded in the mythology being peddled by Horowitz and others.

Early on July 12 Hezbollah launched a raid against an army border post, in what was in the best interpretation a foolhardy violation of Israeli sovereignty. In the fighting the Shiite militia killed three soldiers and captured two others, while Hezbollah fired a few mortars at border areas in what the Israeli army described at the time as “diversionary tactics.” As a result of the shelling, five Israelis were “lightly injured,” with most needing treatment for shock, according to Haaretz.

Israel’s immediate response was to send a tank into Lebanon in pursuit of the Hezbollah fighters (its own foolhardy violation of Lebanese sovereignty). The tank ran over a landmine, which exploded, killing four soldiers inside. Another soldier died in further clashes inside Lebanon as his unit tried to retrieve the bodies.

Rather than open diplomatic channels to calm the violence down and start the process of getting its soldiers back, Israel launched bombing raids deep into Lebanese territory the same day. Given Israel’s worldview that it alone has a right to project power and fear, that might have been expected.

But the next day Israel continued its rampage across the south and into Beirut, where the airport, roads, bridges, and power stations were pummelled. We now know from reports in the US media that the Israeli army had been planning such a strike against Lebanon for at least a year.

In contrast to the image of Hezbollah frothing at the mouth to destroy Israel, its leader Hassan Nasrallah held off from serious retaliation. For the first day and a half, he limited his strikes to the northern borders areas, which have faced Hezbollah attacks in the past and are well protected.

He waited till late on June 13 before turning his guns on Haifa, even though we now know he could have targeted Israel’s third largest city from the outset. A small volley of rockets directed at Haifa caused no injuries and looked more like a warning than an escalation.

It was another three days—days of constant Israeli bombardment of Lebanon, destroying the country and injuring countless civilians—before Nasrallah hit Haifa again, including a shell that killed eight workers in a railway depot.

No one should have been surprised. Nasrallah was doing exactly what he had threatened to do if Israel refused to negotiate and chose the path of war instead. Although the international media quoted his ominous televised message that “Haifa is just the beginning,” Nasrallah in fact made his threat conditional on Israel’s continuing strikes against Lebanon. In the same speech he warned: “As long as the enemy pursues its aggression without limits and red lines, we will pursue the confrontation without limits and red lines.” Well, Israel did, and so now has Nasrallah.

The second myth is that Hezbollah’s stockpile of 12,000 rockets—the Israeli army’s estimate—poses an existential threat to Israel. According to Horowitz and others, Hezbollah collected its armory with the sole intent of destroying the Jewish state.

If this really was Hezbollah’s intention in amassing the weapons, it has a very deluded view of what is required to wipe Israel off the map. More likely, it collected the armory in the hope that it might prove a deterrence—even if a very inadequate one, as Lebanon is now discovering—against a repeat of Israel’s invasions of 1978 and 1982, and the occupation that lasted nearly two decades afterwards.

In fact, according to other figures supplied by the Israeli army, at least 2,000 Hezbollah rockets have already been fired into Israel while the army’s bombardments have so far destroyed a further 2,000 rockets. In other words, northern Israel has already received a fifth of Hezbollah’s arsenal. As someone living in the north, and within range of the rockets, I have to say Israel does not look close to being expunged. The Galilee may be emptier, as up to third of Israeli Jews seek temporary refuge in the south, but Israel’s existence is in no doubt at all.

The third myth is that, while Israel is trying to fight a clean war by targeting only terrorists, Hezbollah prefers to bring death and destruction on innocents by firing rockets at Israeli civilians.

It is amazing that this myth even needs exploding, but after the efforts of Horowitz and Co. it most certainly does. As the civilian death toll in Lebanon has skyrocketed, international criticism of Israel has remained at the mealy-mouthed level of diplomatic requests for “restraint” and “proportionate responses.”

One need only cast a quick eye over the casualty figures from this conflict to see that if Israel is targeting only Hezbollah fighters it has been making disastrous miscalculations. So far some 400 Lebanese civilians are reported dead—unfortunately for Horowitz’s story at least a third of them children. From the images coming out of Lebanon’s hospitals, many more children have survived but with terrible burns or disabling injuries.

The best estimates, though no one knows for sure, are that Hezbollah deaths are not yet close to the three-figures range.

In the latest emerging news from Lebanon, human rights groups are accusing Israel of violating international law and using cluster grenades, which kill indiscriminately. There are reports too, so far unconfirmed, that Israel has been firing illegal incendiary bombs.

Conversely, the breakdown of the smaller number of deaths of Israelis at the hands of Hezbollah—42 at the time of writing—show that more soldiers have been killed than civilians.

In fact, although no one is making the point, Hezbollah’s rockets have been targeted overwhelming at strategic locations: the northern economic hub of Haifa, its satellite towns and the array of military sites across the Galilee.

Nasrallah seems fully aware that Israel has an impressive civil defense program of shelters that keep most civilians out of harm’s way. Unlike Horowitz I won’t presume to read Nasrallah’s mind: whether he wants to kill large numbers of Israeli civilians or not cannot be known, given his inability to do so.

But we can see from the choice of the sites he is striking that his primary goal is to give Israelis a small taste of the disruption of normal life that is being endured by the Lebanese. He has effectively closed Haifa for more than a week, shutting its port and financial centers. Israeli TV is speaking increasingly of the damage being inflicted on the country’s economy.

Because of Israel’s press censorship laws, it is impossible to discuss the locations of Israel’s military installations. But Hezbollah’s rockets are accurate enough to show that many are intended for the army’s sites in the Galilee, even if they are rarely precise enough to hit them.

It is obvious to everyone in Nazareth, for example, that the rockets landing close by, and once on, the city over the past week are searching out, and some have fallen extremely close to, the weapons factory sited near us.

Hezbollah seems to have as little concern for the collateral damage of civilian deaths as Israel—each wants the balance of terror in its favor—but it is nonsense to suggest that Hezbollah’s goals are any more ignoble than Israel’s. It is trying to dent the economy of northern Israel in retaliation for Israel’s total destruction of the Lebanese economy. Equally, it is trying to show Israel that it knows where its military installations are to be found. Both strategies appear to be having an impact, even if a minor one, on weakening Israeli resolve.

The fourth myth is a continuation of the third: Hezbollah has been endangering the lives of ordinary Lebanese by hiding among non-combatants.

We have seen this kind of dissembling by Israel and Horowitz before, though not repeated so enthusiastically by Western officials. The UN head of humanitarian affairs, Jan Egeland, who is in the region, accused Hezbollah of “cowardly blending” among the civilian population, and a similar accuation was levelled by the British foreign minister Kim Howells when he arrived in Israel.

In 2002 Israel made the same charge: that Palestinians resisting its army’s rampage through the refugee camps of the West Bank were hiding among civilians. The claim grew louder as more Palestinian civilians showed the irritating habit of gettting in the way of Israeli strikes against population centers. The complaints reached a crescendo when at least two dozen civilians were killed in Jenin as Israel razed the camp with Apache helicopters and Caterpillar bulldozers.

The implication of Egeland’s cowardly statement seems to be that any Lebanese fighter, or Palestinian one, resisting Israel and its powerful military should stand in an open field, his rifle raised to the sky, waiting to see who fares worse in a shoot-out with an Apache helicopter or F-16 fighter jet. Hezbollah’s reluctance to conduct the war in this manner, we are supposed to infer, is proof that they are terrorists.

Egeland and Howells need reminding that Hezbollah’s fighters are not aliens recently arrived from training camps in Iran, whatever Horowitz claims. They belong to and are strongly supported by the Shiite community, nearly half the country’s population, and many other Lebanese. They have families, friends, and neighbors living alongside them in the country’s south and the neighborhoods of Beirut who believe Hezbollah is the best hope of defending their country from Israel’s regular onslaughts.

Given the indigenous nature of Hezbollah’s resistance, we should not be surprised at the lengths the Shiite militia is going to ensure their loved ones, and the Lebanese people more generally, are not put directly in danger by their combat.

If only the same could be said of the Israeli army and airforce. One need only look at the images of the victims of its strikes against residential neighborhoods, cars, ambulances, and factories to see why most of the dead being extracted from the rubble are civilians.

And finally, there is a fifth myth I almost forgot to mention. That people like David Horowitz only want to tell us the truth…

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His book “Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democatic State” is published by Pluto Press. His website is http://www.jkcook.net

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By Rabbit, August 2, 2006 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment
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Mad as hell

“6 BILLION people on the planet, and 14 million are somehow responsible for all the troubles.”

That’s not exactly right.  Many Jews are staunchly opposed to the Zionist terror state and especially its current war crimes.

Otherwise that was about right.  Disgusting too it is.  One nation of hubris filled, vengeance fuelled and massively decietful mongrel Khazars, not even Semites, holding the planet to ransom.

Disgusting!

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By ed_tru_lib, August 2, 2006 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment
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As Winston Churchill said, when criticized by more conservative members of his own party, about Britains’s rapid support of, and rapid alliance with, Stalinist Russia after the nazi’s invaded-
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend. If the devil was fighting Hitler, I’d make a deal with the devil.”
As much as it pains me to say it, for once what I’ve always thought of, since before the 2000 election theft, as the Exxon/Halliburton regime, as well as their media apologists e.g. Krauthammer, have got it right. As do the true, traditional left. And a great, independant, humanist journalist like Bob Sheer has got it dead wrong.
There is nothing “mindless” about not just the support, but the enthusiastic support of American political figures across the board for Israel. In the case of liberal support, because as always it is the right thing to do. In the case of President Bush-who knows what his true motivations are? But I won’t try to express better my quite mindful feeling that Churchill did, in expressing his feelings in 1941. Bush and Krauthammer, for once have it as right as do President Clinton, Senator Clinton, and Howard Dean. Sheer, and the shreiking anti-Israel at-all-times-with-any-or-no-excuse crowd, have it dead wrong. A murdering coward, who will hide in a previously unattacked residential area of Beirut, and fire his missiles to kill Israelis in Haifa, heedless of the safety of his own people in surrounding buildings, will never negotiate. He will keep cowering and killing until he is killed. As in the past, like any free, democratic society Israel has made mistakes in this defense of its homeland and people, and may make still more. Hopefully one of them will not be to fail to utterly destroy the hezbollah terror threat permanently.

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By Hondo, August 2, 2006 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment
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Why is it so hard for liberals to take the side of good, when good battles evil? Robert Fisk is quoted above as saying that this kind of thinking is claptrap. I would say that liberalism is claptrap. Israel has every right in the world to defend itself by any means necessary. They were attacked by sick, evil, bloodthirsty terrorist animals, and the only way that Israel will be able to defend herself will be to exterminate those animals. I applaud what they are doing. Of course, liberals don’t feel that way. Liberals always take the side of terrorists.

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By Collin, August 2, 2006 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment
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Land for Peace didn’t work.
The wall helps.  But it doesn’t stop missiles.
What’s left—“talk”?  That hasn’t worked for the last 30 years.

Collin

http://www.evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com

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By John U., August 2, 2006 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment
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Bush should have called up Sharon and Arafat on 9/12 and simply said “this b.s is over now and you will settle this once and for all in the next few weeks” and that Israel would have to withdraw to its pre 1967 borders, protected by a US or UN force. Israel managed to radicalize everyone around it through 40 years of intransience and brutal occupation and its unwillingness to ever settle for any ‘real’ peace while it expanded its illegal colonies aka settlements and went for the “Greater Isreal” concept under the phony guise of ‘security’ instead. When this plan finally flopped and they withdrew from Lebanon and Gaza the region had become so poisonous that it led to this current fiasco. Then the idiot US dropped two democratically elected governments (Hamas and Lebanon) like a rock fully exposing the sham about it trying to ‘spread democracy’ and fully destroying what little credibility it had of being an impartial arbiter. The result can only be described as war crimes, though it doesn’t look like the perpetrators will be in prison any time soon.

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By TruthPlease, August 2, 2006 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment
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I’ve got an idea for the Bush administration and Israel to try - “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  It’s an idea started by a Jewish guy from Israel, and all Right Wing Christians like GW ought to recognize it, too.  Not that Jesus would recognize most “christians” these days.  He spoke often about caring for the poor and vulnerable in society - he constantly chided the rich and powerful about hypocrisy and their down-trodding of those less fortunate - He said over and over to practice the faith of his fathers, not just mouth the words and then keep on raping and pillaging.  What kind of bombs would Jesus use, George W.???  How is it that we are the “good” guys, but we are also the biggest weapons suppliers - When did hypocrisy and lies replace honor and human value?  The average American does not wish our nation to be a murderous empire built up to protect the multinational interests of Big Oil, yet ALL Americans are hated equally because of the decisions made by this Corporate Oligarchy.
Where can I get a disclaimer notice that I do NOT advocate the war policies of this band of thugs?  And to say that it’s all Israel and not up to us is just passing the buck.  I do believe Israel has just as much right to exist as anyone - violence is not the answer for ANYONE, Jewish, Christian, Atheist or Muslim, but we ARE aiding Israel and that makes us an accomplice when they bomb innocents - Collateral Damage is a horrible excuse for killing citizens who also have no control over their own government’s policies.
If Collateral Damage is an acceptable scenario, then why were we so upset about 911?  To the muslim extremists, the husbands, wives, children, mothers, fathers, firemen, policemen….everyone in the towers and on the planes were simply “collateral damage” in a greater war.  If we’re doing it to them, how can we expect them not to do it to us?  Do unto others as you WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU!  Not as they are doing, but what you WISH they were doing!  Einstein ( a pretty smart, jewish PACIFIST) said that insanity was doing the same thing over and over but expecting a differant result - that pretty much describes everyone’s actions in the Middle East, doesn’t it?  How ‘bout trying something new and differant, folks?  Oh yeah - that would be bad for the bottom line.  And true ‘Christian’ humility.
I’m certain Jesus is crying his eyes out over all to this.  Why not clothe the poor and feed the orphans and widows instead?  How about turning the other cheek and all that meek stuff in the Bible?  After all, doesn’t Karl Rove…er, I mean George W. keep trumpeting that we are a Christian nation of Laws?  I guess that only applies if your campaign contribution is big enough to get their attention.

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By Jeff, August 2, 2006 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment
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For all the bloodshed and shouting, one conclusion is inevitable!

Regardless of your feelings about the crisis between Israel and the Palestinians and Arab neighbors, even if you believe there is more culpability on Israel’s part for whatever reason, the following two sentences really say it all.

If the Arabs put down their weapons today there would be no more violence.

If the Jews put down their weapons today there would be no more Israel.

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By doud, August 2, 2006 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment
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mr. scheer, it occurs to me they are both israel and the u.s. getting what they want. they want consolidated power in the middle east. they have used israel fromthe outset as local thugs and now have set up a sad puppet regime to foment more religious wars so that mossad and bushclan and blair don’t have to do all the killin’. not so? perfect plan, and you are not a true journalist if you run the bungling party line. THEY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING AND THEIR VICTIMS KNOW TOO. they have been burying their dead for a long time without rest. please identify the state terrorists. the u.s. sending laser missiles and diplomatic cart blanche. the israeli’s mowing em down in genocidal fashion. as per usual. why do you always write as if our goverment were not insanely yet systematically raping pillaging and murdering for resources land and profit, easily slaughtering the indigents.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 2, 2006 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment
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To The 21st Century Fascists of the World: U.S. Current Administration:

Killing children while sleeping! This is the most coward, savage and terrorist acts there is; instigated and cheered by you, with your filthy dollars, your weapons of mass destruction and you immoral approval. May the Just God send on the White House, the Pentagon and the Congress a few meteors or eathquakes with their epicenter in the heart of these machines of murder and terror!

To the Israelis Who Support this Zionist Crime:

You are a bunch of cowards, hiding behind your superior weapons of mass destruction. You know if it was a man to man fight, the old fashion way, you’ll not last for hours, because you’re so coward to fight face-to-face. You have to go with your weapons of mass destruction, under the cover of the night to kill sleeping children. This is the only glory you’re capable off, you bastards. I was once a naive moderate person who thought peace would be possible with you. Consider that that person was killed along with those innocent helpless children you massacred. I will join Hasan Nasrallah group and fight you till victory or death. You are the most sick and arrogant savages that are there in the world today; and my consolation is that I know for sure that “arrogance comes before the fall.”

To the Arab and Muslim Masses: Here’s the solution: The defeated and slumbering Arab and Muslim masses must wake up; should come out in millions, surround the palaces of the evil coward and corrupt rulers of the Muslim-Arab world, all of them, no exception, and give them a chance to surrender for just trials or else!

Then the Arab-Muslim masses should give the oath of allegiance (Bay’ah) to the courageous and noble Sheikh Hasan Nasrullah as their Khalifah of a united Arab-Muslim world. Just doing that would turn the tide against the evil Zionists and their filthy American supporters. They don’t have to start a war against Zionism and the U.S. right away. They have to spend few years arming themselves for determent, including nuclear weapons. That would put an end to the American-Israeli monopoly, and possibly then the evil arrogant ones would be humbled to sit down and then we can dictate our terms for them to stay alive!

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