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

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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.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Gyges, August 2, 2006 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Educate yourself folks.  If you haven’t read these works yet you should:

(a) Israel Shahak “Jewish History, Jewish Religion”.  (Chapter 1 alone might tell you more than you want to know about poor little Israel);

(b) “A Clean Break: Strategy for Securing the Realm” by Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser. (When not working for ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu, who do you think employs them?)

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By Bryan, August 2, 2006 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Syd (16286) and Mrs. Aylene Kovensky(16268). Ron hansing (16268); Mad AS Hell (16245)

When you people start using Krauthammer, who never in his entire life has written a word of criticism of Israel, and Dershowitz—the bonfide card carrying apologist for every atrocity israel has and shall commit under the sun, then it is obvious that you are indeed desperate.

MAD AD HELL (16245)demands in utmost horror, “I really don’t know what Israel is supposed to do…Rollover and DIE so that the fundamentalists can FINALLY have a major victory…”

Cool down ole boy. There is a lot of ground between rolling over and dying and your relentless building of the settlements in the West Bank. How about stopping them bulldozers? Will that lead to Israel’s “rolling over and dying?” I mean the dispossession of the Palestinian is an ongoing affair and the alternataive to stealing, robbing, confiscating histheir land is Israel’s “rolling over and dying.?” That is a big leap! Some logic, sir. 

Ron Hansing (16226) shrieks out: “Israel gives up Gaza, and then Hamas, launched rockets into Israel.” Well sir, not quite. A lot happened in between that you did not follow: the constant incursions into West Bank and capturing of Hammas personnel, indiscriminate shelling into Palestinian homes and the most evil and vicious act of all: the cutting of funds destined for Palestinians and thus attempting to exterminate them or bring them to their knees by slow starvation and disease. This is called “Collective Punishment.” The Nazis practiced it as too did Joseph Stalin. You are not aware of these, and I cannot help you for your heart has been hardened. And that is the tragedy of this story.

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By Joe, August 2, 2006 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I love Bob Scheer’s opinions.  On this one I couldn’t disagree more.  Not that the piece lacks any validity.  It just ignores important points of a complicated situation.  The Krauthammer piece (comment #2) is brilliant.  We haven’t seen 1% of the outrage directed against Israel directed against Sudan.  More people have died in one month of the genocide in Sudan than in 60 years of the Israeli-Arab conflict (by orders of magnitude).  So why are Jews/Israelis held to a different standard.  I think the biggoted, virulently anti-semitic comments by people like #3 and #5 are a good indication of why.

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By richard, August 2, 2006 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

when are we directing the fire towards the financieers of this outrage so they will think twice about paying both sides for this bloodbath because it will be their own end.
It is time to kill the spider of imf and federal reserve sytem.
obviously the politicians are again too limited in their thinking stop the well of money for all wars and you stop war and poverty.

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By Don S., August 2, 2006 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After Germany was in ashes after WW2, why was Palestine chosen to be split up.  Why was not half of Germany given to the Jews and others who were the target of extermination?

After all, the Palestinians are from an area that was once called Palestine.

Don S.

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By Kirby, August 2, 2006 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This event in Lebanon is just one more trigger leading towards a 10 year war in the Middle East brought to us all by the same people who staged the Sept 11 attack in NY (See Loose Change 911) , the invasion of Iraq and Afganistan, the stolen elections of 2000, 2004, (and soon to be) 2006. The US has been completely taken over by a cabal of Neocons with control of the CIA, FBI, Armed Forces, all media outlets and the defense industry. They are right on schedule according to their September 2000 blueprint for global domination “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”. Next are Syria and Iran, then Sudan and Somalia. At home, plans include another “mass civilian casualty-producing event” in order to eliminate the need for a 2008 election and complete the transition to a military dictatorship. Remember, “the Constitution is just a piece of paper” (Bush statement). America needs now to see the total picture. (Try http://www.globalresearch.ca for starters.)

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By Glider549, August 2, 2006 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One message I keep hearing in this forum is how Israel is occupying palistinian land. Hmmm,,are you talking about the West bank? The same West Bank that Jordan owned before being part of 66 war against Israel? Where Israel was attacked on all sides by Jordan,Egypt,Syria, armor from Iraq, and load of financial backing from other arab states. I’ll tell you, if I was attacked by all of my neigbors at once, out numbered, out gunned, but fortunatly not outsmarted and fought back so hard I actually gained land, I would certainly keep it. And by the way, when Jordan had the West Bank they didnt even let the palistinians have there own government, or police force. Did the world condeme Jordan? Heck no! Lets just face it, most of the world and alot of the USA just plain hates Jews. Israel is allways in their eyes the aggressor against the ‘poor,helpless, peaceloving, rocket launching, suicide murdering terrorist, radical muslem groups’. Stop standing up for terrorists who use civilians as human shields Harry.

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By Freaky Dick's Chimp, August 2, 2006 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We are witnessing the Zionist version of Lebensraum, as practiced by the Wermacht in Russia in the ‘40s, and the the USA in Iraq right now. The failure of such policy rests on two features: Brutalization of the indigenous population, and a chronic shortage of infantry. For reasons unknown, Israel has decided to embark on a suicidal venture, and its minion, the USA, has fettered itself to a soon-to-be corpse. It is unfortunate that so many innocents will have to die. That said, serious scientists have stated that a 70-90% die-off of humanity is necessary to return this planet to sustainability. Perhaps this is the goal of the western central banks that finance all wars. That could explain why the Israelis and the USA consistently use omnicidal depleted uranium weaponry. Or maybe they just like mutants.

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By earle, August 2, 2006 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A little known fact that I came across on AntWar.com. 

Israel’s economy is as large as South Korea’s.  As you know, South Korea fields a large and modern army, navy and air force.  We US tax payers do not send $6 billion to S. Korea to subsidize their military.  Why do we subsidize Israel’s when their economy is as large as the S. Korean?

American Jews.  AIPAC.  JINSA, Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, Richard Perle, Wolfowitz, Leeden, Feith, Schumer, Harman, Lantos, et. al.; the whole lot of the Zionist fifth column.  They not only take money from us suckers, but they also take marching orders from Tel Aviv.

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By Tim, August 2, 2006 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another view from Prof. As’ad AbuKhalil

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2006/08/nation-magazine-is-now-fair-and.html

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


The Nation Magazine is now Fair and Balanced. The American Left and the Middle East: the case of Robert Scheer (again). By the way, notice that Lebanese voices are missing from the various articles about Lebanon in the Nation magazine. And notice that the magazine has an article titled “View from Israel” but no “View from Lebanon.” But then again. According to the Nation, Arabs have no view. Furthermore, some of the writers on the Israeli war have served in the Israeli army, and for the Nation magazine that qualifies as expertise in the Arab world. Scheer says: “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.” First, notice the term “excessive violence.” So it is not the violence of Israel that is objectionable, but the “excess” of it. So if Israel commits less massacres, one would have been able to support it. So this is a call for 4 massacres instead of 8, say. He then wants the US to go back to “the peace process.” Oh, ya. American foreign policy has been “fair and balanced” until George W. Bush assumed office. Yes, go back to the splendid US foreign policy of previous years. Oh, ya. Then Scheer says: “Israel foolishly jumped at the tempting opportunity presented by Bush.” Notice that criminality and the perpetration of massacres become “foolish.” Merely foolish. And then the thrust of the article becomes clearer at the end: “Israel will be threatened by a new generation of enemies whose political memory was decisively shaped by these horrible images emerging from Lebanon.” So killing Arabs is not bad in itself, but is bad because it is bad for Israel on the long term. OK.

posted by As’ad @ 10:56 AM link

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By jack, August 2, 2006 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s so hard to interpret when what you are told is a bunch of mistruths, or one-sided, or inflamatory; when what you see is the pawns doing what they believe - in fact believe so much that they are willing to die for that cause, whilst the real game is played by people who conduct their moves through Chinese whispers; when there is a completely separate agenda going on; when there are different levels of control, with different end-goals.  Take the iluminati - what is their role?  It depends entirely on the perspective of the author!  There is nothing completely apparent and much that contradicts the supposition that they are fuly in control.  Same for the leaders - the reasons for strange actions and evidence of hidden agendas pile up quickly.  Then there is the “international bankers” (who overlap the iluminati to some degree) and the one world government jargon - which is blamed for many an agenda ... yet the UN, which is the most likely vehicle for a single government, is almost completely impotent, unable to force Israel to adopt a single resolution and is completely ignored by everybody, apart from being a gathering place for discussions. 

So, watching the news, reading the news behind the news, digesting the conspiracies and tying it all together - it is a complete mess and makes not one bit of sense at all!  Just what is going on?  I’d have to say “a lot of different things, by different people with different agendas, some of them conflicting with each other even though they are on the same side”.

One thing is absolutely certain though - most leaders in the west are paranoid, delusional and close to schizophrenic!

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By Mad as Hell, August 2, 2006 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s amazing to find myself agreeing with Charles Krauthammer about anything.  I suppose even a broken clock is right twice a day.

“Al” and “Truth” are simply the typical anti-semites who blame everything wrong with the world on the Jews.  6 BILLION people on the planet, and 14 million are somehow responsible for all the troubles.

Somebody tell me what Hezbollah is doing to prevent its rockets from hitting Israeli citizens and children.  Answer: Nothing and everything they can to INCREASE that atrocity. 

What is Hezbollah doing to protect Palestinian cititzens?  Answer: Nothing and everything they can to INCREASE that atrocity.

Then some character like “Al” or “Truth” tries to tell me that it’s OK for Hezbollah to kill innocents and put other innocents at risk, but that Israel can’t do that.

The bottom line is: They want Israel and all Israelis to die. They want every Jew everywhere in the world to die.

And they want the Jews to accept being slaughtered as only right…again.

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By shiva, August 2, 2006 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All the shouting and righteousness by Israel’s supporters and critics, but what about certain fundamental facts that are necessary to consider before reaching a conclusion or opinion? Examples: 1) Look at a map of the Middle East, and see if Syria contiguously abuts Iran, and therefore can tranship Irani missiles to Lebanon based Hezbollah? Nope, they have to pass either through Turkey or Kurdish or other regions of Iraq. They are not contiguous, and spies and intelligence are carefully watching the region for arms and foreign fighters, right? What are the chances of this transhipment happening for 12,000 missiles since we invaded Iraq in 2003, or from now on? Conclusion: a false assertion by Bush and Israel. The map says it all.
Example: Two Israeli soldiers were abducted in the Sheeba Farms area on July 9 or 10th(?), Israeli occupied territory recognized as Syrian by the UN, and donated to Lebanon. So how can these soldiers have been “kidnapped” on Lebanese soil? Example: If UN Resolution 1559 is supposed to be faithfully executed by Lebanon to vacate Hezbollah troops in the south, then why isn’t Israel faithfully executing the 1967 UN Resolution 242 to return all Arab lands to the pre-war borders (Golan, West Bank, Gaza, etc.)? And UN Res. 338 from 1973? Such hypocrisy…
Example: 9 Palestinan ministers and 25 Palestinian govt. legislators, all properly elected in January 2006, were abducted by Israel and put in Israeli prisons several weeks before the new Lebanon conflict started. Islamic Jihad captured an Israeli soldier of French origin at the Gaza border to use in a prisoner exchange, but Israel just started another set of assassinations and bombings in Gaza.
Example: When the two Israeli soldiers were captured to use as bargaining chips for Lebanese children and women prisoners held by Israel, Hezbollah did NOT fire any missiles into Israel, but immediately asked for a prisoner exchange. Instead Israel started bombing Lebanon, and Hezbollah then responded with missiles into Israel as a resonse. And it goes on and on. Most people reach conclusions without any true picture of the facts, sequence, chronology or causes.

Fact:The decades long fact that tells the most truth is that ten Arabs die for every Jewish person as the conflict endures…

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By Jim Eagle Feather, August 2, 2006 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The one thing that is gaining by all these wars is a worldwide desire for a strong New World Order: Goble UN Empire; with is own evil army and pack judges little responsible to the wishes of the average individual human.  Fighting city hall is difficult, fighting a national government or being heard by it is nigh well impossible. But fighting for your rights with a WORLD GOVERNMENT…Yeah, I LOOK FORWARD TO THAT.
But all the little sheeple of the world totally freak when they see a drop of blood or a crying baby, even though all their governments got to where they are by trampling down some people or nation. Unless you are Eskimo, Australian Aborigine, or SA Bushman, the chances are your forefathers (fathers – family) spent much of their time slaughtering whole cities and peoples in war-sport. Shall we recount the glorious rise of England, as Saxons hacked up an island of Celts? I know, I know, you’ve evolved from there.  Like I believe that.  But I for one am for world government and wisely used tyranny – though I have doubts whether the present contenders will act in any way wisely.  And why do I support such foolishness?  A multitude of reasons, but few that are commonly espoused.

Pertaining to the subject of the Geneva Conventions. I believe they have made war more humane for armies, but, alas, they have made things worse for civilians.  Gen. Sherman was correct that “War Is Hell”, and it ought to stay that way so that men would not so gleefully run to have wars.  One thing is certain: the so-called rules for genteel warfare have caused several wars to last LONGER than they would have other wise. And they have made it more likely that asymmetrical (guerrilla warfare) will take place. This has taken the fighting away from fields of battle (such as the no-man’s land of Verdun) and dispersed it over all the areas of civilian population.  For before such war conventions,  armies faced by guerrillas would simply wipe everyone out, man woman and child. The upshot was that if any weak nation sought to use asymmetrical warfare, its attempt did not last long.  It’s hard to blend in with the local population when the Roman Legions are rounding up that population (those that survived the pillage) to sell them as slaves.  But toward modern times conquerors became squeamish. Take for example Spain during Napoleon’s period. The French were quite mean in Spain, but still they had no stomach to kill vast segments of Spanish the civilians.

Hamas is content to remain in Palestine because it knows that as long as the squeamish Western world looks on, Zionism would never just wade in Mongol-style and slaughter everyone on two legs. Israel has such power, especially in a treeless region like Gaza. But because of squeamishness, the slaughter does not begin, and hence the populous hangs around for 50 years as the Zionists try to slowly torture the stubborn diehards into giving up. The upshot is that after 50 years both sides have become extremely cruel and cold hearted.  A quick short slaughter of, say 30,000, souls in 1967 would have resulted in a quick victory, while the rest of the people in the occupied lands would have submitted or moved on.  What would be worse? 30,000 slaughtered Mongol style, or a dribbling war that goes on and on for 50 years whilst both side become more and more inhuman?  Actually in old time just the THREAT of a slaughter was all that was necessary. 

But as per the Geneva Conventions, let’s not forget that just a short time ago (1950s – 80s) the West was defended by the US threat to MURDER millions of Russian Civilians in a massive nuclear strike.

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By ed_tru_lib, August 2, 2006 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bob Sheer is one of the great journalists. Indeed, alas, it is redundant to say one of the LAST great journalists. But he is very wrong here. Look at the hate and extremism in most of the posts that support your position, Bob. Israel was, and is, far from perfect. In defending itself from this big-oil/big-weapons/big media bought and paid for attack by the usual insane religious-extremist trained terrorists, Israel has made some serious mistakes. But the bottom line is what it has been for almost six decades. Israel has an absolute right to live safe and free behind secure, unattacked borders. Despite the utter, raving evil, whether expressed by “leaders” like hitler, or the ayatollah, or bin laden, or of posters like nettie, truth, or al, Israel is going to continue to exist, and do what it has to, to do so. The pseudo-left, who really are only of the left in the sense of apparently having left their anti-psychotic medication at home, will, like the terrorist murderers they embrace SO enthusiastically, lose. The true left may well criticize (fairly) Israel’s mistakes, but will always be committed to its survival, which so tragically has to, at the moment, as so often before, include defending itself-not perfectly, but, you’d better beleive, well.

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By Ghandi, August 2, 2006 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“There is no path to peace. Peace IS the path”

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By M Henri Day, August 2, 2006 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nice to see, Syd, that you have found a moral compass - and such a prime example of the breed ! If while studying Mr Krauthammer’s oeuvre, you come across a US or Israeli atrocity he is not willing to defend in the most passionate language, please advise….

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By Syd, August 2, 2006 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

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

What other country, when attacked in an unprovoked aggression across a recognized international frontier, is then put on a countdown clock by the world, given a limited time window in which to fight back, regardless of whether it has restored its own security?

What other country sustains 1,500 indiscriminate rocket attacks into its cities—every one designed to kill, maim and terrorize civilians—and is then vilified by the world when it tries to destroy the enemy’s infrastructure and strongholds with precision-guided munitions that sometimes have the unintended but unavoidable consequence of collateral civilian death and suffering?

To hear the world pass judgment on the Israel-Hezbollah war as it unfolds is to live in an Orwellian moral universe. With a few significant exceptions (the leadership of the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and a very few others), the world—governments, the media, U.N. bureaucrats—has completely lost its moral bearings.

The word that obviates all thinking and magically inverts victim into aggressor is “disproportionate,” as in the universally decried “disproportionate Israeli response.”

When the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, it did not respond with a parallel “proportionate” attack on a Japanese naval base. It launched a four-year campaign that killed millions of Japanese, reduced Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki to cinders, and turned the Japanese home islands into rubble and ruin.

Disproportionate? No. When one is wantonly attacked by an aggressor, one has every right—legal and moral—to carry the fight until the aggressor is disarmed and so disabled that it cannot threaten one’s security again. That’s what it took with Japan.

Britain was never invaded by Germany in World War II. Did it respond to the Blitz and V-1 and V-2 rockets with “proportionate” aerial bombardment of Germany? Of course not. Churchill orchestrated the greatest air campaign and land invasion in history, which flattened and utterly destroyed Germany, killing untold innocent German women and children in the process.

The perversity of today’s international outcry lies in the fact that there is indeed a disproportion in this war, a radical moral asymmetry between Hezbollah and Israel: Hezbollah is deliberately trying to create civilian casualties on both sides while Israel is deliberately trying to minimize civilian casualties, also on both sides.

In perhaps the most blatant terror campaign from the air since the London Blitz, Hezbollah is raining rockets on Israeli cities and villages. These rockets are packed with ball bearings that can penetrate automobiles and shred human flesh. They are meant to kill and maim. And they do.

But it is a dual campaign. Israeli innocents must die in order for Israel to be terrorized. But Lebanese innocents must also die in order for Israel to be demonized, which is why Hezbollah hides its fighters, its rockets, its launchers, its entire infrastructure among civilians. Creating human shields is a war crime. It is also a Hezbollah specialty.

On Wednesday CNN cameras showed destruction in Tyre. What does Israel have against Tyre and its inhabitants? Nothing. But the long-range Hezbollah rockets that have been raining terror on Haifa are based in Tyre. What is Israel to do? Leave untouched the launch sites that are deliberately placed in built-up areas?

Had Israel wanted to destroy Lebanese civilian infrastructure, it would have turned out the lights in Beirut in the first hour of the war, destroying the billion-dollar power grid and setting back Lebanon 20 years. It did not do that. Instead it attacked dual-use infrastructure—bridges, roads, airport runways—and blockaded Lebanon’s ports to prevent the reinforcement and resupply of Hezbollah. Ten thousand Katyusha rockets are enough. Israel was not going to allow Hezbollah 10,000 more.

Israel’s response to Hezbollah has been to use the most precise weaponry and targeting it can. It has no interest, no desire to kill Lebanese civilians. Does anyone imagine that it could not have leveled south Lebanon, to say nothing of Beirut? Instead, in the bitter fight against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, it has repeatedly dropped leaflets, issued warnings, sent messages by radio and even phone text to Lebanese villagers to evacuate so that they would not be harmed.

Israel knows that these leaflets and warnings give the Hezbollah fighters time to escape and regroup. The advance notification as to where the next attack is coming has allowed Hezbollah to set up elaborate ambushes. The result? Unexpectedly high Israeli infantry casualties. Moral scrupulousness paid in blood. Israeli soldiers die so that Lebanese civilians will not, and who does the international community condemn
for disregarding civilian life?

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By Al, August 2, 2006 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Israel had not gone in there in 1948 like the arrogant shits that they are this mess would not have happened.

ALL OF THIS IS ENTIRELY THEIR FAULT. THEY ASKED FOR IT AND WILL SUFFER FOR IT. THE LEBANESE WON’T FORGET AND NOR WILL THE REST OF THE MUSLIMS COMPLETELY SURROUNDING ISRAEL

This is not to say that all Jews are too blame either…only the zionists. It makes me sick to watch CNN and Fox and all I hear about are how many rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanon. What about the air strikes on Lebanon by Israel? The claim that the captured soldier started this is also bullshit. Israel is holding half of the palestinian governement which they kidnapped before this all started!!! Is everyone insane? How come people support Israel without question? It’s fucking crazy!

All this talk about the land belonging to them since Roman times is bullshit. What about native north americans? Can they make the same claim? What if they armed themselves and reclaimed THEIR land? Would the white guys fighting back be considered terrorists?

Sad indeed. May the zionist Jews reap what they’ve sown…

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By FRAN, August 2, 2006 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems that ‘god’, whatever that concept conjures up to you, whatever religious denomination you happen to have been born into, is always at the root of all violence, every atrocity, all ethnic cleansings, holocausts and wars. Noone seems to have learned FROM history although humans have more tools to get information and pass it along. The ‘empire’ vision that inspires the wet dreams of the neo-conartists is driving America’s bloodthirsy foreign interventions . We have greatly succeeded at spreading hatred worldover by our callous and bigoted treatment of the entire Muslim populace. This corrupt cabal now representing America is not interested in differentiating sectarian alliances and legitimate claims that have historically formed the basis of the mindset of Muslim populations whose ancestors have occupied these lands for thousands of years. Their complete arrogant ignorance translates itself on the world stage accordingly, portraying us as the incarnation of the crusaders of old. We are heading toward doom by creating more vindictive enemies, bent on our destruction. Israel perpetrates crimes on Palestinians that they themselves were humiliated by at the hands of hate-fueled Nazis. They build walls and succeed at only sealing themselves behind them, shutting out the very precious meaning of life by denying liberty to themselves and to those other ‘semites’ they occupy at gunpoint. Here, the finally out-of-the-closet racists are now the occupiers of our country. They are free to call for building our very own wall, to secure our ‘homeland’ from yet another scapegoated brown skinned enemy, our most unfortunate Latino neighbors, who, at one time, actually themselves, occupied much of our America. All the world’s digusting history, all the carnage, failed empires, armies of various gods that turned humans into monsters, is now repeating it’s ugly cycle by the hands of Americans and Israelis. ‘Never again’, the buzz words for Jews to galvenize them to be ever vigilant and strong, means nothing if those words meant never again for only US only. Here we try to define our enemies as barbarians and treat them as such with our complete disregard for the ‘collateral damage’ we inflict. Now, we have become the true barbarians, defending torture and playing god by deciding who is ‘with us or against us’ in the holy war we wage by decree of madmen with weapons of mass destruction never before so lethal or readily deployable. I am destroyed on a personal level, being a Jew by birth, because I never could have imagined that Israel would degrade itself by committing acts of such inhumanity. I am equally distraught at the behaviour of my country, the ceding of power to a cabal of fraudelently religious zealots, fundamentalist agents of greed and corruption, amoral assholes bent only on serving themselves. History, if this period of time will ever be recorded in this nuclear age helmed by the worst among us, will tell our story and it will, yet again, be a tale of extreme caution, meant to teach future generations NOT TO REPEAT!

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By truth, August 2, 2006 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment
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First of all this whole conflict dates back to 1945/1946 when the jews with the help of the Uk government went to palestinian land to form Isreal.They brought with them destruction and death to helpless Men,women and children and displaced over 20million people. That was 60 years ago.In that period their was no Hamas,Hezbollah etc.They have created their own enemy from the families and friends they slaughtered 60 years ago and continue to slaughter to this day.You ask youself this question.
What would you do if your whole family was slaughered and your home destroyed and the person or nation who did this is living like a king across the street from you, what do you live for. Would you be looking for PEACE OR REVENGE?.

PLEASE ASK YOURSELVES THIS QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU START LABELLING PEOPLE WHOSE LIFE HAVE BEEN DESTROYED BY ISREAL AS TERRORIST.WHAT WOULD YOU DO?.
If isreal didn’t have the backing of the USA, there will be peace in the Middle-East because they will have no choice. But because they can get unlimited Arms from the USA they do not care.
This will be the begining of the End for isreal.

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By Tom, August 2, 2006 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment
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Scheer is right, military action is NOT the
ultimate solution; only diplomacy, and a political
answer will prove effective and bring some sense
of justice to all sides in The Middle East.
    Otherwise, the fighting will continue to go
on, as it has for too many decades.
    Robt. Fisk, who knows Lebanon better than
nearly any other foreigner, also recognizes the
need for an immediate cease-fire; and a just and
lasting peace, for all involved. 
    The military extremists on BOTH sides have
turned Lebanon and Iraq into a bloodbath; with
civilians paying the highest toll in suffering.
On a human level, how can anyone try and justify
such disgraceful thinking, and actions?

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By Aylene Kovensky, August 2, 2006 at 11:05 am Link to this comment
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Let’s try starting in the present. Who started this latest bloodbath?  The 3 excellent articles below hopefully will provide new insight. I don’t have much time to deal with this. We are at a critical point in my husband’s 8-year-old whistleblower suit and I’m busy reconciling my- self to the massive injustices etc. of this govt. while trying to keep communication going with my family in Haifa who took in 4 relatives from Safed over 2 weeks ago, who then have been “nomading it” near Jerusalem for the past few days etc.  But I must respond. Here are the articles. 1. an indictment by a Lebanese of his own people for not doing more to stand up to Hizbollah “The most hypocritical people on earth” (info # 033007/6 EV) Sunday 30 July http://www.menapress.com  2. Release from The Lebanese Canadian Coordinating Council (LCCC), “Mr. Harper, stay the course do not succumb to calls for neutrality in the war against terrorism”
http://www.10452lccc.com/lccc releases/ release.lcccc.htm and 3. Arithmetic of Pain, By ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ. Please open your minds and hearts and read them.

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By artsnooze, August 2, 2006 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
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The president, his principal advisors and his base constituency theologize their politics on the basis of Old Testament prophecy.  Their talk about World War III is, I think, informed by a belief that we are in the End Times.  Tony Blair, whom many Britons accuse of being a Twig on the Bush, is also a religionist.  Shock and awe aside, there are many in the Pentagon, and Tony Cordesman, a military analyst, as well, who continue to consider bombing ineffective.  We arm Israel from political habit.  Bob, you did well to lose your election to the second district seat so many years ago.

artsnooze

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By Nettie, August 2, 2006 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
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Please, please, please…everyone who really thinks the Israelis have a legitimate dog in this fight need to learn their history, actual history and not religious/political rhetoric. Look at the Balfour Agreement, look at Amnesty Int’l archives, read Chris Hedge’s 2 articles, great digs, just excellent.  Hey! find out what the Iraelis did to the Hamas for which the kidnapping of these soldiers were “retaliation.”  It’s all insane.  If the Israelis were not listening to the Bush crime family, they MAY not have decided to employ their uber BOMBING of civilians in Lebanon….yah, right, they “drop leaflets.”  As if.  They have been planning this this since ‘03!  Sound familiar??  This entire region will go up in flames if there is not world-wide demand for a cease fire, that is honored.  But now emotions are so damn high, that would be a miracle even if world leaders did get off their asses.  I believe in miracles, however.  I believe people who are long suppressed and abused will often become the abusers AND they may realize what they are doing and STOP.  We are supposed to be progressing as civilizations.  We can do more than fight and weep.  Every individual in every country can tell their leaders to intervene and persuade Isreal to stop now.  Yeah, and we need to leave Iraq now, too….even tho’ we don’t like the Shiites and we’ve made a mess with our rigged “elections.”  We are not bringing democracy to the Middle East and Israel is not a democracy.  ARE WE?  Oh, and thank you, Mr. Scheer!  Spot on, as usual!

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By Bryan, August 2, 2006 at 10:06 am Link to this comment
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Resonse to 16215 (Alex of Sherman Oaks)
1.) When terrorists are lobbing hundreds of rockets daily onto one’s homes, ...”

This is totally incorrect. “The hundreds of rockets” (if so at all) only started after, I repeat, after, Israel’s relentless bombardment of Lebanon. Go backand read the newspaper clips.

2.) Israel has repeatedly given up land for promises of peace…”

This is nonsense.  As Robert Shearer correctly asseses, the land it relinquished was “cynically minimal in the Palestinian territories…” IF I occupy 100% of your land and give back 5%, that hardly can be called giving up land and for peace.

Do you know that Barak alone establihed over 120,000 settlers in the West Bank? How will you feel if your property is being grabbed right under your eyes and you cannot turn to any law court for help, for the bullldozers are operating under the orders of the law courts. Who do you then turn to? eh?

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By earle, August 2, 2006 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
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After more than 30 years of watching this slow moving train wreck, I have come to the conclusion that certain American Jews and certain Israelis are beyond the reach of rational discussion.  It is literally impossible for them to see cause and effect.  They have fifty obfuscations for every one of their actions. 

If it were up to me, I would simply cut off all funding for Israel, and refuse to run interference for them in the UN.  Let them build their walls, kidnap, execute and bomb to their hearts content.  But not another American penny for them.

Then we’ll see how much longer their criminal action continues.  Then we’ll see how much longer they can come up with excuses for their crimes.

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By Doug, August 2, 2006 at 9:44 am Link to this comment
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Robert Scheer’s analysis of the current Middle East situation is insightful and thought provoking.
Yes, all sides in the current situation have made huge investments in the military drug.
Recognition of those investments and their impact is a crucial piece of the Middle East puzzle.
Another crucial piece to understanding the conflict is to understand why Arabs, across many cultures and countries, seem to so intensely hate Israel.
Why do so many Arabs refuse to even acknowledge Israel’s right to exist?  What has caused such animosity to build?
A helpful technique might be to ask the question from the perspective, “What has Israel done to engender such hatred among Arabs?”
We might start a dialog on that question. 
Here’s a start:  About 60 years ago, Israel chose a path to Nationhood.  Israel choose (understandably, given, the then recent events of WWII) to take an “Us versus Them” / “Militaristic” approach, and to build, a National Jewish Homeland, in the middle of a land populated, mostly, with non-Jews.  Israelis choose a path which would, in Israel, by default, make all non-Jews, second-class citizens.  During its gestation period, the gov’t of Israel planted the seeds of hatred time and time again, as the nascent Jewish government of Israel started to exercise greater control over non-represented Muslims and Christians.

Might the recent history of South Africa be helpful in understanding the long-running, no-end-in-sight conflict in the Middle East?

When white Europeans migrated en masse to South Africa during the early 1800’s to setup a white gov’t in black South Africa, was that a prescription for trouble?  How did the white government of South Africa eliminate ANC led terrorism?

At this point, Israel has traveled so far down the military/police-state path that a leader with the combined capabilities/standing of Sadat, Mandela and Gandhi would be needed to lead Israel and the region to peace.

Someone better step forward soon.

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By william moore, August 2, 2006 at 9:43 am Link to this comment
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Come on folks, let’s get real here. The bitter, twisted root which continually feeds sustenance to ALL sides of this spreading toxic bloom is none other than religion itself. The irony is that all sides, Muslim, Christian and Jew, claim to worship the SAME god. You’ve no doubt heard of the Holy Trinity? Here we have the Unholy Trinity. What with all the carnage going on, God must feel something like a helpless virgin forced to watch three murderous thugs fighting in the street over the right to sleep with her. (Oops… did I say “her”?)

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By Bryan, August 2, 2006 at 9:41 am Link to this comment
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Resonse to 16208
“For my hero of Ramparts Magazine fame to lower himself to such dribble…”

Mr Shum Davar,

Does it occur to you that your hero may be right again? Simply because his thesis happens to be distasteful to you, does not mean that he is lowering himself to such dribble! Maybe the man is hitting it on the head—one more time. ‘Truth is often unpleasant,’ you ever heard that saying?

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By Mad as Hell, August 2, 2006 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
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I really don’t know what Israel is supposed to do…Rollover and DIE so that the fundamentalists can FINALLY have a major victory in their overtly stated goal, Domination of the World as a radical extreme Moslem state.

But what of the Palestinians?  They have been pawns, not just of Israel and the US, but of their supposed Arab and Moslem brethren, who used them as nothing but cannon fodder for their own agendas.  Yet, when there have been chances for the Palestinians to establish a state of their own, to have a foundation, they have ripped it apart. The best deal they EVER could have hoped for from Israels, under Ehud Barack, was rejected by the late Arafat.  They were offered 90% of what they wanted and STILL said no.

Is it any wonder that Abba Eban said “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”  They have missed SO many…all egged on by Iran, Syria, and, yes, Al Qaeda (since we didn’t finish the job in Afghanistan since Mad King George had to go to war in Iraq).

True, the establishment of Israel in 1948 was done rather oddly, but was there ANYTHING done by the “outraged” Arab states at the time for the Palestinians? How about in 1956? 1967? 1973? Get the point?  Who took them in, said, “Come to our country. We speak the same language, worship in the same mosques, share our culture.”  Who? Nobody!  The Arab lands cover a vast track the size of Canada, much of it empty, but nobody had a place for the Palestinians.  Only a narrow strip of land the size of New Jersey.

It’s true, Israel has made many of its own problems worse.  The liberal open-minded but tough era of the Golda Meir devolved in the right-wing religious nutiness of Likud—like a precursor to our own era first of Ronald Reagan, and now the dreadful Mad King George.

But just when things were looking good for Israeli relations with the Palestinians, DESPITE the ascendency of Hamas, Hamas and Hezbollah deliberately perpetrated bold, inflamtory actions to frighten and enrage the Israelis.

I am amazed at the universal condemnation of Israeli bombs falling on Lebanese civilians, but NONE on Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli citizens.  The Israelis would prefer not to kill children, even when Hezbollah DELIBERATELY places rocket launchers close to them.  But Hezbollah doesn’t give a DAMN about killing Israeli children.  Sorry, I take that back. They DO give a damn—it’s their goal to kill Israeli children and innocent civilians.  And the Arab world cheers them on.  And nobody condemns Hezbollah.

Do I think Israel could have handled it better? Of course.  Do I think Hezbollah has ANY justifcation? No. As the Syrians invaded and tried to control Lebanon before, now they are doing it again. It is Syria’s goal to annex Lebanon, crush the Chistian Lebanese, and nobody’s calling them on it.

Naturally, Mad King George has been totally ineffectual having blown all good will and moral leadership in his “prove my manhood” war in Iraq, which is the new Viet Nam.

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By aren haich, August 2, 2006 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
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In the equation: Israel versus Arabs and Moslems all talk of morality is pretty much irrelevant.
If you want to see how the conflict is going,  keep a watchful eye on casualty ratios of the two sides; especially those of IDF casualties compared to the Arab fighters.

Israel had to quit Lebanon in 2000 because its casualty ratio contra Hezbollah had become unacceptable.
Israel always takes it on Arab civilians when casualty ratio in the military field becomes unfavourable and too painful to bear. The 10-1 Lebanese-Israeli civilian casualties today are an illustration of this Israeli unwritten law of inevitable consequences.
The hostilities we are witnessing today were sparked when IDF soldiers not only performed badly in their clashes with Hamas and the Hezbollah; they also suffered the humiliation of being taken prisoners by their enemies.
The honour of IDF had to be restored somehow. 
This how the Israeli daily Haaretz put it: “The IDF absorbed two painful blows, which were particularly humiliating, and in their wake went into a war that is all about restoring its lost dignity.”
What Lebanon is living through these days is how Israel is going about obliterating painful memory of a recent military setback.

As for the future of Israel in the Middle East: the Jewish state is going to be swamped/drowned in the sea of Arabs and Moslems encompassing it.
It might be unfair to Israel; but numbers are going to be the ultimate deciders of the Middle East conflict. 
This final outcome, when the Jewish state in the heart of Middle East will cease to exist, can come sooner or later.  Israel’s behaviour In Lebanon will hasten rather than delay this outcome.

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By Paula Kline, August 2, 2006 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
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I don’t understand why no one seems to get that the policy of the Bush administration is all out chaos and war in the Middle East.  These are not People to them.  It is a land of resources and wealth that is there for the taking.  Brown people simply cannot understand the NWO and the means to make the wealthiest of the wealthy richer.  The World Bank and similar organizations have been plundering countries for decades now, reducing them to dependency and slave wage conditions, perfect for major corporations to go in and take the resources and leave all but the very few nearly destitute. 

The people of the Middle East are simply ‘in the way’ of the U.S. mission to loot, pillage, and plunder the lands and resources.

Have you noticed that as things worsen, and the ‘democracy and freedom issues’ are slipping disasterously away, that the very people who made this happen get medals of honor or are promoted to very influencial posts?  The plan was NEVER for freedom and democracy. 

We need to stop formulating our arguments around the ‘Big Lie(s)’ the administration have given us, and look at what the ‘Results’ are on the ground.  We need to focus on what has actually happened, and, that the people responsible are lauded.

This was the goal, chaos and all out war, to keep the people in desparation and fear forever, and to keep them from being able to protect their lands and resources from being sold out from under them. 

Everything is working according to plan, and these criminals, who are raking in cash by the cargo ship load, are as happy as can be.  WW III, who cares as long as they get theirs.  Nuclear/smuclear, holocost/schmolocost.  Reality, aside from hard cash, does not register in these peoples minds. 

These greedy neocons’ world view is completely different than the majority of people on the earth.  They understand and know our world view well.  They think we are a bunch of suckers.  And suckers deserve to be taken advantage of.  Read John Dean’s book, “Conservatives without a Conscience”.  There are numerous studies he sites that describe the values and motivations of these people.  And they are seriously skewed and demented.

We need to start the dialogue of the reality on the ground—how it is rewarded, and maintained, to show that the ‘Big Lie’ is, in fact, a Big Lie.

Paula Kline

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By Quy Tran, August 2, 2006 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
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Only sub-human can carried out bloodiest acts at Qana.

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By Nathaniel Turner, August 2, 2006 at 8:40 am Link to this comment
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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 ll, August 2, 2006 at 8:30 am Link to this comment
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This is why so many Jews are disavowing the Democratic Party, even though they agree with most of its philosophy.  Israel is not trying to bomb its way to peace; it is trying to set back an enemy that usually targets its civilians, particularly its youth (Pizza Restaurants). It is fighting for its very survival against an enemy that brainwashes its own into killing themselves, so that they can kill Jews.  It is fighting back in the hopes that Lebanon will take back its own county against an enemy that hides behind women and children and then calls foul when they are hit, because Israel will fight back.  It will not lay down and die.  Israel wants peace, but not at any costs.  Not at the costs of its very existence.  Israel had a right to exist.  It was the land of the Jews before the Greeks. Once does not have to believe in the bible, to accept that Israel’s claim to the land dates back before the Roman Empire.

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By ron hansing, August 2, 2006 at 8:20 am Link to this comment
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I don’t really get it. Israel gives up Gaza, and then Hamas, launched rockets into Israel. It seems to me that Gaza and lebanon is a proxey for the islamic fascists from Iran. What is Israel supposed to do, not fight back? Should have Poland and France not resisted Germany, but offered a diplomatic settlement? Seemed to me that appeasment didn’t work in WWII, nor will it work today when one deals with fanatics who have in their constitution the goal to push the Jews into the sea. (Not to mention, to kill all heretics who will not convert to their religion.)

History in the present is difficult to evaluate. I do not know what will come of this. But the future will tell us whether this is a disaster or a victory for stability in the Middle East.

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By Osprey, August 2, 2006 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
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Thanks - “cut our losses NOW” we need to get out of Iraq and the ME. Leave these people alone we’ve done enough damage - unnecessarily.

As you say, I’m more scared now than after 911.

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By lifewriter, August 2, 2006 at 8:08 am Link to this comment
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Mr. Sheer touches on something here, but I wish our leader’s addiction to war would be more fully explored by the media, by the critical voices of dissent today: indeed, the Israeli military will not lack for enemies if they continue on this destructive path.  Indeed, the military US will likely not lack either, given their penchant for bombs as a means to change.

But we must remain aware that at the end of this exercise, lucrative military industrial contracts await both parties.  It’s also the case, if history is any example that the unlucky recipients of these expensive munitions will seek out armaments of their own, perhaps from China, perhaps from Russia or elsewhere.  But, both sides inevitably win.  Money spent, money reinvested.  Property gained, civilians – as in all other wars across our checkered and bloody history – die by the thousands for the benefit of the few. And another, more powerful volley of smart mortar rounds, directed energy weapons, and new satellites will likely be deployed to further push back the bad guys.

See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10805240/

Perhaps more intriguing is the increasing military occupation of near-earth-orbit outer space.  Although it might seem far removed from ancient quarrels over the Holy Land and the birthplace of civilization, the ability to dominate in a given theater of war is largely dependent on remote surveillance and guidance capabilities.  Paired with an already overzealous fetish to blow up enemies, the military components of Israel and the US are poised to overtake and control the free world’s ability to communicate.  Should this occur, we’ll witness another birthright stolen away in the name of national security.  In the name of military industrial profits.

See http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:jJ68FfoV9FkJ:www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1149572653979&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull+us+and+israeli+anti+satellite&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1

In closing, President Carter had some very interesting words in yesterday’s Washington Post, which illuminates the conflicting strategies of those involved in the ongoing, never-ending War on Terror:

A major impediment to progress is Washington’s strange policy that dialogue on controversial issues will be extended only as a reward for subservient behavior and will be withheld from those who reject U.S. assertions. Direct engagement with the Palestine Liberation Organization or the Palestinian Authority and the government in Damascus will be necessary if secure negotiated settlements are to be achieved. Failure to address the issues and leaders involved risks the creation of an arc of even greater instability running from Jerusalem through Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran.

The people of the Middle East deserve peace and justice, and we in the international community owe them our strong leadership and support.
-  Former president Carter

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By John Earl, August 2, 2006 at 7:42 am Link to this comment
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The Fisk interview on Democracy Now! was moving. Robert Fisk’s sense of despair really came through.

Now, unfortunately, it’s too late to curtail the disastrous effect that Israel’s misguided ( even if it might have been carefully planned for months ) response to Hezbollah’s minor provocation will have on the security of Israel. It’s too late to do anything about the tragic long-term effects of America’s misadventure in Iraq for that matter.

A University of Alabama student who was interning at the Lebanon Star has an interesting perspective.
http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wual/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=948658

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By Alex of Sherman Oaks, August 2, 2006 at 7:24 am Link to this comment
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Two questions:

1.) When terrorists are lobbing hundreds of rockets daily onto one’s homes, what in your view would be a “non-excessive” response?

2.) Israel has repeatedly given up land for promises of peace, and instead has ended up with no peace and with terrorists in much closer proximity to Israel’s cities and towns. So if you don’t want Israel to bomb its attackers, and Israel’s enemies won’t abide by negotiated agreements, what DO you want Israel to do when its civilians are being blown up?

It’s your right to criticize a course of conduct. But if you object to Israel’s chosen mode of self-defense and fail to suggest a potentially workable alternative (when the only rational one, negotiation, has repeatedly failed), what is the logical conclusion? Hezbollah has cleverly established itself among civilians and children, so Israel should just accept Hezbollah’s attacks and refrain from retailiating?

That’s great PR, unless you are on the receiving end of 100 rockets a day for the next four months.

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By KISS, August 2, 2006 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
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One zealot vs another zealot. How simplistic you make this war out to be. Yes, our president has no conception of the plight of the middle east complexities. Good vs. evil is the cantor of our leaders.However let us not forget the Muslim chant of death for all Israelis. Ask yourself how is it that the Hezbollah has so many rockets? Also, how did they get them? Is this a sign of a peaceful organization? Lebanon has long been taken over with fanatics and the Lebanese seem to find that take-over just and welcomed. Since Jimmy Carter not one US President has really sought a peace-plan for the middle east. Yes I agree it is a good vs evil…but it is on both sides. There is much blame to go around on all sides.

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By shum davar, August 2, 2006 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
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Your rant VS “neo conservatives” and “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”  makes little sense & exposes your liberalism to be of the dangerous malicious French orientation, see no evil hear no evil do lots of evil!

This is not a question of “democracy” or of “peace processes.” It is a struggle that Western free democratic culture is in with the Fascist Islam represented by Iran, Hammas, Hesbollah, and their many related organizations and political fronts.  This Fascist Islam started long ago. It blossomed in Egypt in the late 60’S & early 70’s it was founded as ” The Muslim Brotherhood”, in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna. It has tentacles all over the world and is related to the extreme Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia and its cousins in Pakistan.  There are Shia and Sunni versions of this religious fascism. Your failure to identify it and call it up to shame and scrutiny is both poor journalism and probably the result of your liberal sunglasses clouding your vision.  All rational people, conservatives, liberals, reasonable people of faith, Israelis, Arabs, Europeans, Americans, all reasonable human beings would prefer dialog and negotiation to war and destruction. However, when your home is threatened not only with attack but also with obliteration, and then the bombs and rockets fall I would think that you might want to either take a protective defensive or offensive maneuver,  military or otherwise to counter and eliminate such threats to your survival and way of life. Unfortunately the West and the Liberal community has been steam rolled by the false propaganda and picture of “victimization” of the Palestinians & “poor Arabs.”  Wake up and smell the coffee, 9/11 should have been your alarm clock bell going off. These Islamic Fascists want to destroy you and your way of life. Your freedom to write, pray, dress, eat, drink, they want to be forged to the extremes of Islam’s oldest limitations and run as a dictatorship by a theocracy of Islamic fascists. 

For my hero of Ramparts Magazine fame to lower himself to such dribble makes me wonder if you still can think clearly or is it that as we get older we simply take the easy path rather then clearly analyzing problems and attempt to come up with innovative or new approaches, you have taken the easy road of misplaced criticism and making Israel falsely out to be the militaristic giant villain that you seem to claim knows nothing else but violence. We all know that that is far from the truth!  It takes partners for negotiations and deal making. The Israelis don’t have people on the other side of the table to come to simple and rational negotiation with. Only those that want to destroy them and their right to exist.  As the good “liberal” thinker I know you can be,  Shame! Shame! Shame!  on YOU !

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By Mara Evans, August 2, 2006 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
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There will be no solution until Israel and the US take full responsibility for the disaster of the occupations of Iraq, Gaza, and the West Bank, and for the disaster in Lebanon.  And neither Israel nor the US has leaders who are remotely able to take responsibility for their actions; they are capable only of projecting the blame onto their enemies.

There’s no one in the Bush administration is who capable of leadership on this. I’d like to see Carter, Clinton, Mandela, Tutu, and Queen Noor get themselves safely to the MIddle East to begin negotiations with all parties. And Queen Noor, who comments on this are thoughtful, wise, judicious, should head the committee.

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By stephenl, August 2, 2006 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
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How can Israel “compromise from a position of strength” when it is perceived as weak by Hezbollah?

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.’

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By rabblerowzer, August 2, 2006 at 6:48 am Link to this comment
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Militarism junkies abound in the world, but the number one culprit is America. Think back a moment, who has invaded or attacked more countries than us. Not the Russians, not the Chinese, nobody.

We have always been a militaristic country and at some point average Americans ought to ask themselves, what has it gained us? Of course, our living standards are higher than anywhere else in the world , but that seems to be deteriorating faster than you can say Outsourcing and Free but not fair Trade. Have we reached the point of diminishing return?

Who profits from this mad militarism?

Those who own and operate the Military Industrial Complex have skimmed most of the profits off the top, and they live like Gods. Everyone who invests in or works for the Military Industrial Complex have profited handsomely also, but those profits haven’t trickled down to the rest of us. Obviously, those who have profited from militarism haven’t been risking their lives, we have, so isn’t it fair that we demand a share of the profits?

The only way that will happen is by wresting control of the Military Industrial Complex from the plutocracy and nationalizing it. That way we all become Employee/Shareholders and get a piece of the pie.

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By Amy Albani, August 2, 2006 at 6:46 am Link to this comment
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Mr. Scheer’s comments are, as always, brilliant and insightful.  But where—except for a few voices such as Dennis Kucinich—are the congressional representatives who should be standing up and demanding an immediate cease-fire??

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By R. G. Gilbert, August 2, 2006 at 6:29 am Link to this comment
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Mr. Scheer, I am reading Noam Chomsky’s book “Failed States”. I reccomend it to those who want to learn more on the background of the Israel/Lebonon mess as a history text (not a political text) to place current events in a context that supports your excellent article. The simplistic coverage we are getting from the “mainstream” media falls short of any instructive context, plays into the Bush Administration frames for the Mid-East and in general fails to see that there is no US policy beyond supplying money and weapons to Isreal.
The US has abdicated it’s vital role of “honest broker”

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By Matthew Moriarty, August 2, 2006 at 5:03 am Link to this comment
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I am of the opinion that Israel’s assault on Lebanon is so far beyond the pale they are setting a new standard in modern day depravity and barbarism. And now that there is a mass exodus of foreigners from S. Lebanon, who will remain to witness the Jewish slaughter in Lebanon? While our craven President and Hillary Clinton may get away with offering American obeisance to Israel, I think most Americans are lining up with the French Ambassador to London Daniel Bernard, when he quipped (in reference to Israel) “that sh***y little country”.

In any case, Isreal is unlikely to survive the aftermath of this most recent folly. Many will shed no tears for this pariah nation.

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By M Henri Day, August 2, 2006 at 3:08 am Link to this comment
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The Israeli state’s «dependency on the drug of militarism» is no accident, and did not begin with King George, although the latter must be held responsible for the manner in which his court has encouraged this, for weapons manufacturers extremely profitable addiction. The point is that from the establishment of the state of Israel, its leaders regarded the 78 % of Mandate Palestine they had managed to conquer in the 1947-48 war as a mere starting point for the establishment of a «Greater Israel», whose boundaries were left vague and ill-defined, and varied with speaker, time, and situation, but always encompassed vital water resources, like the Jordan and Litani Rivers, as a starting point. Thus the apartheit-like domestic policies of the state, which condemn non-Jewish, in particular Arab residents to the status of third-class citizens and the still worse treatment meted out to the non-citizen (despite that it will soon be 40 years (!) since their land was occupied - during which Israel has been in continual violation of UN Security Council resolution 242 (22 November 1967), which, «emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war», calls for the «[w]ithdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict») residents in the territories captured in the 1967 war, with road blocks, house demolitions, land confiscations, roads built on their territory on which they are not allowed to travel, and the whole sad, humiliating litany, designed to empty the land of its people, that Chris Hedges has detailed in all its poignancy. Thus the militarism and the continual wars, larger and smaller, to which the Israeli state has subjected its neighbours - who remembers whether the present war on Lebanon is the fourth or the fifth or the sixth time that Israel has invaded that land ? The reason that Israeli governments of all colours have been and are unwilling to accept that «compromise from a position of strength is more effective than seeking a pyrrhic total victory» is due to the simple fact that that «total victory», i e, the expansion of the territory controlled by the state and inhabited by <u>its</u> «chosen people» is the state’s basic strategic objective. Not until that objective is changed will the Israeli state become weaned of its addiction to militarism, nor will there be any durable and lasting peace in Southwest Asia….

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By David Macaray, August 2, 2006 at 2:12 am Link to this comment
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As reasonable and well-drawn as Robert Scheer’s argument is, I can’t take that final step and join him in his criticism of Israel. While I’ve always sided, temperamentally and philosophically, with so-called “national liberation movements”—from Basque separatists to the Viet Cong to the IRA—I’ve never been able to get completely behind the Palestinians.  As much as I (a gentile) want to demonize the Israeli as bullies, imperialists and occupiers, I just can’t bring myself to do it.  The Arabs are just too goddamn culpable. 

Every country on earth—no matter how protracted its differences with its neighbors—clings to the hope of eventually signing a treaty that resolves a dispute or ends a war.  Every country except Israel.

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By Susan Block, August 2, 2006 at 1:31 am Link to this comment
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This war is terrible for Israel. Just as Bush’s Rape of Iraq completely negated the international good will extended to America in the wake of 9/11, so Israel is spending the guilty sympathy the world gave Jews over the Nazi Holocaust in this horrid Lebanese Adventure, ontop of the horrid Palestinian tragedy. This is not to excuse Palestinian suicide bombers or Hezbollah firing katyushas at Haifa; it’s all wrong. But Israel has got to stop killing kids. Even though the Bible is filled with “righteous” murder and battle scenes of Israelites slaughtering Philistine men, women and children with “God” on their “side” (one reason why fundamentalists think these bloody wars are all hunky-dory), this is not a righteous thing for Israel to be doing now to say the least.

Actually, I don’t believe most Israelis really want to do this now. They don’t want to kill children. Who does? But they feel stuck. Since America is their über-patron, they are stuck. If Tony Blair is Bush’s Poodle, then Israel is his Pit Bull. Now it’s in a Dog Fight with another Pit Bull, and Master George won’t let Israel out of the pit. All Condi has to do is say “Ceasefire Now!” but she just keeps playing her Blood Red Sonata. Meanwhile, Israel is wreaking havoc, losing soldiers, killing children, enhancing Hezbollah’s credibility, and getting dreadful international reviews, making the world even safer for rabid anti-Semites like Mel and the guy who shot up the Jewish center in Seattle.

Does BushCo care? If not about the pulverized bodies of innocent people, at least about the horrendous PR? One can only hope. There is no good way out of Lebanon for Israel, just as there is no good way out of Iraq for America. There is only the least horrible way: Cut our losses and get out. Stop the killing now.

http://www.drsusanblock.com/blog/

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By Jean Jones, August 2, 2006 at 1:17 am Link to this comment
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GREAT!!!!!!!

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By Marilyn, August 1, 2006 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment
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Truer words were never spoke.

Stop the madness now.

Why would anyone follow our clueless leader? Has anything his administration touched become better?
After one disastrous, miscalculating or down right apocalyptic provoking decision after another improved anything it has touched?

I am more afraid for our future and our world than I was after 9/11.

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By mill, August 1, 2006 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment
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not content to fail to suppress Al Quada .... 

Mr Bush adds to our enemies with belligerent, better-than-thou foreign policy .....

.... apparently forgot that thing about when in a hole, first quit digging

.... as he digs ... and digs ....

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By comsympinko, August 1, 2006 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment
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War is a monster, the insatiable jaws of death that continue to tear apart humanity. Driven by religion, the hate generated by senseless deaths on all will continue to feed the beast.

You know, it’s funny. Before Christianity and Islam (Judaism has always been a religion of the few), the concept of religious war simply did not exist. If I’m a farmer, I worship the god of the harvest to make my crops plentiful. My neighbor, the seafarer, believes sacrifice to the god of the seas will ensure a safe voyage and a good catch. Neither is a belief of exclusivity; in fact we can see these gods to be working in tandem to our mutual benefit. Shrimp and pasta, yum! The advent of mass belief in monotheism could not but result in catastrophic conflict. I’m right, you’re wrong, and you’re going to hell. Doesn’t get a whole lot more divisive than that.

If we’re going to break free of this constant cycle of death, we need to break free of religion. There are no more adherents of Ceres and Neptune, and we are none the poorer for this. The world would see no similar decline if we erase YHWH and Allah. Time to start thinking and stop believing, else our “gods” will be the end of us all.

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By carlos townsend, August 1, 2006 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment
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once again, nicely done mr. scheer.

and for anyone reading this, go rent v for vendetta. came out today for rental.

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