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The Mughniyeh Enigma

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Posted on Feb 26, 2008
Mughniyeh coffin
AP photo / Hussein Malla

Hezbollah supporters carry the coffin of top commander Imad Mughniyeh, draped in a Hezbollah flag. Hezbollah’s chief has accused Israel of assassinating Mughniyeh, killed in a car bombing in Damascus, Syria, and has vowed revenge.

By Scott Ritter

(Page 2)

Assessments of this sort put forth by the Bush administration and others fly in the face of reality and fact. Coordination between Sunni and Shiite is anathema for most Sunni fundamentalists, who view the Shiites as apostates; al-Qaida training literature places the Shiite as the second-greatest enemy of Islam, behind Sunni heretics, and ahead of Israel and the United States. Iran nearly fought a war with the Taliban and its al-Qaida allies in 1999, following the Taliban’s massacre of thousands of Shiite Hazara in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, along with several Iranian diplomats and their families. Many of the more extreme elements within al-Qaida are known as “taqfiris,” or those who believe in the repudiation and elimination from Islam of all impure elements. To them, the Shiites are among the most impure. The natural inclination between Shiite and Sunni, especially at the level of fundamentalists, is to oppose one another, more often than not violently. The concept of a “nexus of terror” naturally linking these two forces together is difficult to imagine, let alone document. It would take a compelling cause for any such linkage to be formed, directly or indirectly. Such a cause exists, and it can be defined by one word: Palestine. 

The cause of Palestine is not a natural rallying point for most Sunni fundamentalists associated with al-Qaida. For all the language of global jihad, most Sunni fundamentalists are in fact quite parochial, focused primarily on “cleansing” Islam only insofar as it impacts them personally. Thus, an Egyptian member of the Muslim Brotherhood is almost exclusively focused on ridding Egypt of “heretics” such as President Hosni Mubarak, and not supporting global jihad or the Palestinian cause. Similarly, Sunni fundamentalists in Afghanistan are more concerned with establishing Islamic purity in their respective areas than they are with exporting Islam abroad. While there are those elements of Sunni Islamic fundamentalism that do in fact espouse global jihad, they are very much in the minority and, more critically, isolated from any traditional foundation of support. Stateless, these extremists are prone to being isolated from the rest of Islam due to a combination of conditions—their inability to bond with the natural fabric of Islamic society (family, tribe and nation), and the violence of their actions, which are rejected by nearly the entire Islamic world. These stateless jihadists are in fact little more than parasites, and they require a host cause from which they can nourish. Palestine represents such a cause.


One of bin Laden’s overarching objectives was to get the United States to commit to a course of action that pitted it in a life-and-death struggle with Islam. The horrific attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were intended to accomplish this, but in fact backfired when the majority of Islam expressed revulsion at the murder of thousands of innocents. It took the invasion of Iraq by the United States to breathe life into bin Laden’s dream. Afghanistan today remains a remote battleground in the “global war on terror,” with American forces engaged in little more than a fruitless manhunt amid the backdrop of an internal struggle for power within Afghanistan and Pakistan. The American invasion of Iraq created the spectacle of a Christian nation invading and occupying, in brutal fashion, a Muslim people (albeit ruled by a secular dictator). But even this horrific blunder by the United States, left in isolation, was not enough to inspire a universal condemnation by the Islamic world, if for no other reason than that the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein was viewed by most Muslim nations as an embarrassment. The resistance to the American occupation of Iraq comes almost exclusively from Iraqi sources, with foreign jihadists comprising a distinct minority used more as disposable munitions (i.e., suicide bombers) than a philosophical center of gravity. But what the American invasion of Iraq did accomplish, coupled with the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan, was to create the impression of a larger struggle between the West and Islam that has come to be defined by a separate ongoing occupation, carried out by an American ally viewed by many in the Muslim world as more U.S. proxy than U.S. friend. The occupier in this case is Israel, with Palestine being the occupied territory. Since 9/11 didn’t capture the imagination of the Muslim world, and Afghanistan and Iraq couldn’t hold the attention of the Muslim world, bin Laden and his circle of followers have opportunistically picked up on Palestine as the issue of the moment. Unlike 9/11 and Iraq, it’s an issue that sticks.


Hamas rejects any effort to label its movement as extremist, and, though it is a religious organization, it has vociferously rebuffed all efforts undertaken by al-Qaida to piggyback the cause of global jihad onto the matter of a Palestinian homeland. Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has repeatedly underscored that his group’s mission is to secure a Palestinian homeland and that its military struggle will never expand beyond confronting Israel inside Israel or in the occupied territories. While Hamas has no global agenda, it has attracted the attention of Islamist elements around the world beyond the parasitic opportunism of al-Qaida, including Hezbollah, the parent organization of Imad Mughniyeh.

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Hezbollah began as a radical outgrowth of the Lebanese Shiite militia group known as Amal. In 1979, following the Islamic Revolution in Iran, radical elements of the newly formed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command traveled to Lebanon in an effort to export the concept of Islamic revolution. Many of these Iranians took Lebanese wives and became an integral part of the Shiites of southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. The call for Islamic revolution did not catch on, however, and many of the original cadres of Revolutionary Guards were transferred back to Iran when Iraq invaded. The Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon in 1982 dramatically altered the political landscape among the Shiites. The Iranians rushed reinforcements to Lebanon to support their Amal allies, until nearly 1,500 Revolutionary Guards were deployed. These forces helped fight the Israeli army to a standstill, and became a critical part of the resistance movement that grew inside Lebanon.


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By Chris D, March 12, 2008 at 9:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent comment.  You libertarians often make a huge amount of sense.

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By Tony Wicher, March 2, 2008 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

On the contrary, under my understanding of universal democratic principles, no “people” is entitled to have its own country. I said that separatism does not work. That applies to all people, not just Jews. For example, I oppose the black separatism of a Louis Farrakhan just as much as Zionism, and for exactly the same reasons. White separatism was practiced in United States until the civil rights ended it. It was also practiced in South Africa until ended by the great Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. 

Where there is separatism there must be conflict. There must be war. That is a law of human nature.

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By Tony Wicher, February 29, 2008 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

PH,

Instead of saying Obama must kiss the rings of Jews, perhaps we could put it in a nicer way and say that at this point, Jews are an important part of Obama’s coalition. He needs Jews. Palestinian sympathizers are a much less influential voting block. It is a tribute to his political skills that he can get both sides to support him, and it gives me hope that he can bring them together in a constructive peace process.


Good article. The movement for one democratic state continues to gain momentum.

Three religions.
One Holy Land.
One Democratic State.

You like this slogan?

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By PatrickHenry, February 29, 2008 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

I enjoy reading your posts, I find them very entertaining and revealing.

Lilmamzer, you epitomize the arrogant self serving zionist which has given the jewish religion a bad name.

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By PatrickHenry, February 29, 2008 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Obama has to get into office first, kissing the rings of jews who control the editorial pages and the news rooms of not only in the media in America but those contolling media worldwide.

I’ll bet Obama curtails some of the Israeli access which has gone unabated these past 7 years, bye bye neocons.

Heres something for you lil.  Who invented you. Baron von Zionistein.

  http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/959229.html

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By Tony Wicher, February 29, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Look, lil, I’m against Zionism and you’re for it. You call Obama a “Zionist”, although he has never called himself that. I would not, but if it makes you feel good, knock yourself out. It does not follow that we agree on “nothing”.  We both want peace and justice -at least I hope so. We agree that “Obama has a fundamental sense of justice and fairness and nothing in his past or present rhetoric and positions suggests he would play the race and bigot card…”. We are both supporting him, because we both believe that whatever happens, these values will guide him. The question is whether Obama can persuade both Zionists and Palestinian sympathizers that that he has both their interests at heart and will not betray either side. Then there can be successful negotiations.

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By lilmamzer, February 29, 2008 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

“I’m glad that you and I can agree to put our faith in Senator Obama to handle this problem. “

I agree with you on nothing.

Obama is a Zionist - quite the opposite from you. Agreed? (didn’t think so)

Obama does not wish to destroy the State of Israel as you would like to have it.

Obama has a fundamental sense of justice and fairness and nothing in his past or present rhetoric and positions suggests he would play the race and bigot card and deny the Jews the right to self-determination in their historic homeland.

You are a bigger fool than I could have imagined if you believe Obama is thinks the way you do.

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By lilmamzer, February 29, 2008 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

“To me, we see the right answer standing before us in President Barack Obama - not separatism, but integration, the path of Martin Luther King…”

Prepare to be disappointed that your Jew-problem fixation will not be addressed to your satisfaction by Obama. He is a Zionist, and so was Martin Luther King. Obama has been explicit in his support for Israel as the sovereign hoimeland of the Jewish nation, as was King two generations earlier.

Too bad you won’t spend as much time trying to integrate the 22 Arab nation-states with the same bigoted zeal you display towards the lone Jewish state. Why is that? And if you did, you’d have your work cut out for you. nearly a million Jews from Arab lands were expelled and dispossessed for no reason other than that they dared to live as Jews in a majority Arab population. Israel, of course, has over a million Arab citizens, yet the Arab states are essentially ethnically-cleansed of Jews.

Don’t let that essential fact keep you from your Jew-problem crusade, though.

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By lilmamzer, February 29, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

You have a Jew-problem, and it’s a bad one. You are, in fact, a bigot. I say that not as one who wants to call another person names, but because your repeated calls to deny to the Jews what you would deny to no other people is the essence of bigotry, and it is ugly.

No matter, Wicher, your ideas are neither new nor humane nor fair, and least of all just.

And you will not see your destructive vision come to fruition, ever.

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By Tony Wicher, February 29, 2008 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

By lilmamzer, February 28 at 1:29 pm #

Wicher - you are a bigoted fool. If your opinions have any sway, it is one that is detrimental to the cause of justice, peace, and fundamental fairness.
——————————————————————————
lil,

Before you got to this last statement, I thought we were talking. I was agreeing with you. Why did you want to go and call me names?

I think Zionism is and always has been a bad idea, bad for the whole human race, including Jews. I understand that it is a reaction to millenia of anti-Semitism culminating in the Holocaust, but still I do not believe that Jewish separatism is the right answer, any more than I believe that black separatism is the answer to racism against blacks. To me, we see the right answer standing before us in President Barack Obama - not separatism, but integration, the path of Martin Luther King, of Nelson Mandela. I think this is at the core of Obama’s values and he will apply them to this situation. What’s done is done; there has been pervasive anti-Semitism, there was Hitler, there was a Holocaust, the state of Israel was founded, there was a Naqba, and now we are here.

In the long run I believe Israel’s “demographic problem” is insoluble. History will require Israel to evolve beyond being a Jewish state to a fully integrated multicultural democracy. The question in my mind is how this process can be managed peacefully to the benefit of all concerned.

I’m glad that you and I can agree to put our faith in Senator Obama to handle this problem.

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By Paolo, February 29, 2008 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

I’m always reluctant to comment on these pages dealing with the Israel-Palestine issue, as the discussion quickly turns into a written version of the Jerry Springer Show.

Ritter’s best comment is that “Palestinian Terrorists” can also be seen as “Palestinian Freedom Fighters” depending on your perspective. Even the killing of the Marines in the barracks in Lebanon can be seen as such [though Ritter of course, as a Marine, would object].

If, say, the Chinese set up military bases in California, and tried to referee (and therefore exacerbate) conflicts among various ethnic groups there, do you think some oppressed group that got the short end of the deal might decide to blow up one of the Chinese barracks? Ah—but that would be “terrorism.”

After all, all the Chinese did was force all the Black people out of Watts and relocate them to the Mojave desert. What’s wrong with that? Then Watts was taken over and settled by Native Americans.

And then, all the Caucasians were removed from Beverly Hills, their homes turned over to Mexican Americans, who had an ancestral claim on the area and were given instantaneous citizenship under the “right of return” law.

Do you think some of those who were forced out of there homes might be motivated to kill Chinese troops? But that would be “terrorism,” wouldn’t it?

As a libertarian, I say get all US troops out the Middle East, today. We are playing the same impossible role as the Chinese in the above scenario. Once foreign meddlers are removed from the scene, people can resolve their conflicts peacefully.

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By lilmamzer, February 29, 2008 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

Wicher - you are so tedious.
PT posts a link only, to some Chomsky article, and I respond with my opinions.
And you demand an academic critique with conventional attributions and format?

HA HA HA HA HA

Ahhhhh. That felt good.

I don’t give a rat’s ass if anyone here even reads my posts, let alone agrees with or even understands what I write. I post here for my own amusement, you fatuous, bigoted, left-wing fringe oddball.

If you’ve read any Chomsky, and you had a thinking, critical mind, you would have at least acknowleged the validity of my opinion, if not actually agreeing with it.

Everything you post, Wicher, is a (minor) joy for me to read.

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By PatrickHenry, February 29, 2008 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

The Israelis retaliated by killing 20 Palestinians, many of them innocent civilians.

So whats new?

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By Tony Wicher, February 28, 2008 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

Re lilmamzer, February 28 at 7:30 pm #

Why is my opinion ignorant? Because you disagree with it? I’ve read Chomsky, so my opinions are hardly ignorant. That’s an asinine thing to say, Wicher, but not surprising coming from you. His field is linguistics, but it’s completely irrelevant what his academic credentials are; his soul appears corrupted.


——————————————————————————-
lil,

You say you have read Chomsky so your opinion is not
ignorant. What you have not done once is to accurately quote Chomsky, in context (say from the article above) and presented your objections in a clear, objective and rational way. So far you have not shown that you have read or understood one word that he says. No one, therefore, should take you seriously.

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By lilmamzer, February 28, 2008 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

You have said not one word to substantiate your ignorant opinion of Chomsky, one of the finest scholars in the world.

Why is my opinion ignorant? Because you disagree with it? I’ve read Chomsky, so my opinions are hardly ignorant. That’s an asinine thing to say, Wicher, but not surprising coming from you. His field is linguistics, but it’s completely irrelevant what his academic credentials are; his soul appears corrupted.

Wicher, it’s not defamatory to say that Chomsky is a pop-culture icon of the far-left. It’s a fact. That is why you rush to defend him and the other bobble-heads here always link to him. It makes y’all look bad, really, it does. Chomsky is a laughingstock and for good reason.

He was (and may still be) a brilliant academic linguistics professor, but his bombastic screeds are neo-Marxist pablum.

That’s not defamatory, just a statement of fact. His world-view is as simplistic as it is outmoded and discredited. And what’s worst of all is the equivocation mindset he helps perpetuate. Actually, it’s beyond equivocation. Reading his articles leaves one with the distasteful feeling of having heard an American citizen hold this country’s mortal enemies in higher esteem than his own. The good part is that he is a fringe character and will never be seen as anything more than that. As I’ve said before, he should stick to grading papers and stop embarrassing himself.

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By Tony Wicher, February 28, 2008 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

lil,

You have said not one word to substantiate your ignorant opinion of Chomsky, one of the finest scholars in the world. All you done in this post is to insult him and lie about him. You have not even tried to adduce a single argument that might convince another person. Why should anybody be interested in your bile?

I don’t agree with Chomsky about everything. But this is not criticism, this is defamatory garbage.

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By Ga, February 28, 2008 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

A car bomb to kill a car bomber because car bombing is bad.

That is not justice.

The dissenters like Ritter and Chomsky are not defending Mughniyeh but are pointing out the hypocrisy of assasination justice.

A typical refrain from the arrogant supporters of assasinations via bombings such as this (and our and Israel’s use of missles) is that “we” are assasinating people who kill innocent people. That it is entirely okay to kill “bad people.”

The Western Ethic is killing is bad, but killing bad people is good. Which means, therefore, that killing is not always bad. Killing is good, when killing bad people.

We are justified in killing those we determine to be bad.

Are others justified in killing those they determine to be bad?

And then, what happens when there is “collateral damage” and innocent civilians are killed by “us” when “we” hand out this kind of justice?

Killing those who kill innocents is good, right?

But “we” kill innocents—like some hundreds THOUSAND in Iraq—by accident, right?

Fools all of you arrogant pricks who support assasinations as it ONLY LEADS TO ANOTHER GENERATION OF RETRIBUTION.

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By Ga, February 28, 2008 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

You call him a terrorist, of course, as he is trying to terrorize a population into turning on it’s own government’s policies.

Better to ask though, is: what drives a terrorist to do what he does?

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By Ga, February 28, 2008 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

But lets go back into the history of why the Marines were in Lebanon, then, if you can come up with any links to support your theories…...

Why has America ever sent Marines into other countries (other than the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam)?

They were sent many times over many years to many places. Always, always they are sent to protect “American interests.” From protecting/evacuating civilians to prop up dictators to help protect American business. Any many other reasons. But always, always, for “American interests.” This too can be said for CIA covert actions.

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By lilmamzer, February 28, 2008 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

By Ga, February 28 at 3:43 pm

Re: Re: Noam Chomsky on Mughniyeh

More equivocating crap from the discredited fringe far-left icon Chomsky.

And just what was wrong with what Chomsky wrote? Was his facts wrong? If so, what exactly and what is the real truth? Be specific. Simply stating that something is “crap” is a useless, meaningless argument. May make you feel good, but it refutes nothing Chomsky wrote. Where are all your scholarly articles we can comapre it with?

As for “sticking up for Islamic Jihadi murderers,” that just tells us more about you than he. Chomsky points out, in detail, the hypocrisy of the Western leaders, who have great gobbs of blood on their hands. You and your kind seem to think that America/Israel have pristine pasts and have never done anything even remotely wrong, and that everything everybody else has done is totally without any justification and is only because “they hate us.”

I said what was wrong in my post, but you clearly don’t get it. I called Chomsky’s writing “equivocating crap”. Do you know what that means?

All governments are flawed and fallible and make mistakes, but I’ll bet you my house that you live in a Western democracy and not, say, in Gaza or Syria or Iran. If your leaders have so much hypocrisy and gobs of blood on their hands, why stay here if the Islamic Jihadi guys represent a viable alternative for you?

Again, equivocating crap, which is Neo-Com Chomsky’s broken-record mantra, is, frankly, just pathetic, but not nearly as much as it is for those who incessantly quote and link to him.

Chomsky writes as if the citizens of the United States and Israel have no moral collective right to defend themselves against enemies whose sole reason for existence is genocidal. That much is plain, and that’s more than enough to discredit him from serious consideration in any constructive discourse.

Has it never occurred to you why dead-end leftists like Chomsky will never move beyond the far-left fringe and be considered anything other than an ideological zealot espousing hugely unpopular viewpoints?? Here’s a hint: it’s not because the vast majority of Americans are stupid (how often I read that elitist argument here) and it’s not because the vast majority of Americans don’t have a fundamental sense of fairness and decency.

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By Ga, February 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

More equivocating crap from the discredited fringe far-left icon Chomsky.

And just what was wrong with what Chomsky wrote? Was his facts wrong? If so, what exactly and what is the real truth? Be specific. Simply stating that something is “crap” is a useless, meaningless argument. May make you feel good, but it refutes nothing Chomsky wrote. Where are all your scholarly articles we can comapre it with?

As for “sticking up for Islamic Jihadi murderers,” that just tells us more about you than he. Chomsky points out, in detail, the hypocrisy of the Western leaders, who have great gobbs of blood on their hands. You and your kind seem to think that America/Israel have pristine pasts and have never done anything even remotely wrong, and that everything everybody else has done is totally without any justification and is only because “they hate us.”

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By PatrickHenry, February 28, 2008 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

I hope Obama continues to maintain good relations with Israel and its neighbors after we cut their allowance. 

Since when has U.S. AID become an entitlement? Before the federal government cuts its own citizens benefits, it should begin here.

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By lastdaywatchers, February 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Mughniyeh, Bin Laden and the like have been prophesied in the May 15th Prophecy

To know with 100% accuracy what will happen next go to the May 15th Prophecy at http://lastdaywaychers.blogspot.com

It has predicted the Invasion of Iraq by Turkey and more

Do you really want to know the TRUTH?

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By Lastdaywatchers, February 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Only the May 15th Prophecy has gotten with 100% accuracy what is happening in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran

The Turk have invaded Iraq just like the prophecy said, what will happen to the like of Mughniyeh, Bin Laden

Go to http://lastdaywatchers.blogspot.com and you will see for yourself

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By lilmamzer, February 28, 2008 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Wicher, you wite: “I am putting my hope in President Obama.”

This is what Obama said two days ago in an interview with Ynet News of Israel:

Q: Some people in Israel and some Jewish American leaders have expressed concern that you would be more sympathetic to the Arab side because of your Muslim background. How do you respond to this argument?

OBAMA: People who know the facts are not worried about my commitment to Israel’s security and the US-Israel relationship. I have overwhelming support among the Jewish community that knows me best, which is the Jewish community in Chicago. It may be that my family roots in Africa and my childhood experience in Indonesia give me some insights that allow me to practice effective diplomacy in the Muslim world. I certainly hope so. And that ability can be used to benefit American interests and Israel’s security, and, I hope, help build a better relationship between both our countries and the Muslim world.

Q:  For many years, Israel has considered the occupant of the White House a very good friend. Will this friendship continue if you become president?

OBAMA: Absolutely yes. I will carry with me to the White House an unshakeable commitment to the security of Israel and the friendship between the United States and Israel. The US-Israel relationship is rooted in shared interests, shared values, shared history, and in deep friendship among our people. It is supported by a strong bipartisan consensus that I am proud to be a part of, and I will work tirelessly as president to uphold and enhance the friendship between the two countries.
============================

There have been other recent interviews and quotes from Obama which show he is, at heart, a Zionist, in that he understands and supports the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their homeland of Israel.

Wicher - you are a bigoted fool. If your opinions have any sway, it is one that is detrimental to the cause of justice, peace, and fundamental fairness.

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By lilmamzer, February 28, 2008 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

That’s a fair assessment, but I doubt Israel will re-occupy Gaza in the traditional sense. More likely you will see a hard military campaign to crush Hamas, its leadership cadre, and its ability to kill Israeli civilians by projecting power beyond Gaza (i.e. Kassam missiles). I hope it happens soon. The indiscriminate Arab murders of Israeli civilians is truly gruesome - witness the missile strike on the college in Sderot where a father of four was murdered yesterday.

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By lilmamzer, February 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Y A W N

More equivocating crap from the discredited fringe far-left icon Chomsky.

You fools keep regurgitating the same old spam. Never a new idea or shred of compassion. Just clinical, applied Marxist dogma by a linguist who should stick to grading student papers in his field rather embarrassing himself by sticking up for Islamic Jihadi murderers.

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By Tony Wicher, February 28, 2008 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

Which came first? I think we have to say that first came the Zionist invasion. Justice requires that Israel has to stop denying the Nakba - the ethnic cleansing of 1947-49 - just as they demand that the world recognize the Holocaust and compensate its victims. If Israel will do this much, there can be meaningful negotiations. But of course there will be none as long as Hamas keeps firing those stupid rockets.

I am putting my hope in President Obama. If anyone can work some negotiating magic, maybe he can.

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By Tony Wicher, February 28, 2008 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

Howard does not respond in any meaningful sense. He just regurgitates Israeli government talking points. I agree, it’s no use talking to him.

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By gUSTO, February 28, 2008 at 12:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THE MARINES WERE NOT THERE TO PROTECT ANY LEBANESE, THEY WERE THERE AS ALWAYS TO PROTECT AMERICAN BUSINESS INTEREST. WE NEVER SEND TROOPS ANYWHERE TO PROTECT DEMOCRACIES; IT IS ALWAYS AMERICA’S CORPORATE INTEREST.

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By benderramma, February 27, 2008 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What came first? The chicken or the egg? Endless debate. Please stop. Talk to each other What do you have to lose? One thing is for sure you cannot trust the mouth that whispers in your ear. Readymade minds. The questions are the same the answers are always different. What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?

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By Blackspeare, February 27, 2008 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

The killing of Mughniyeh will not stoke the fires of the militants, but the continued Hamas rocket attacks and Israeli reprisals will do the trick.  Hamas’ strategy is to derail any serious negotiations between the PLO and Israel and they’re almost there.  As the Kassams do more and more damage and inflict injury and death to Israeli citizens, Israel will have no choice but to re-occupy Gaza.  And th-th-th-that’s all folks!

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By bill payne, February 27, 2008 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rogers appears to speculate on February 12, 2008 that some made money of the start if the iraq/iran war.

http://www.edn.com/article/CA6531582.html

jim rogers bio
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Rogers

How the Iraq/Iran War Got Started

http://www.prosefights.org/thecanadian/thecanadian.htm#gotstarted

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By PatrickHenry, February 27, 2008 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

Do you think there is truth behind this?

http://just-another-inside-job.blogspot.com/2007/04/zionist-s-killing-of-us-marines-in.html

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By jleman, February 27, 2008 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

As you point out, not having been brought to trial and proven beyond a shadow of doubt to have “murdered” marines means he is “alleged” to have murdered marines.
Not to rain on anyone’s parade or the thought of unjustly fallen comrade-in-arms but as exmilitary I remember taking an oath to uphold the Constitution. And under the UCMJ(Uniform Code of Military Justice) I remember reading the catch 22 about having a responsibility to refuse to obey an unlawful order. Just because one has a wacko for a Commander-in-Chief and puts other wackoes in place over the military doesn’t make their orders legal when the political leaders send the military on illegal actions. Few stand up against the orders as war means promotions and an enlarged military for the officiers. No generals or admirals are prosecuted; those who should know exactly what is occurring.
My view at the time was that a bunch of back thumping politicians sent those guys over there for votes back here and by doing so they put a great big bull’s eye on them.

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By mike peters, February 27, 2008 at 7:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I must say Mr. Ritter’s assertion that “radical militant Islam…lacks a central theme, cause, creed, or motivating factor, save one, martydom”

  Is just plain 100% wrong;  Radical Militant Islam is consistent over the years in it’s words and subsequent actions that it is fighting imperialism-first russian and now U.S.-the great satan.  Ridding the Arabian peninsula of foreign troops, a violation of the Koran; has been a stated cause and theme over time, martyrs just a tool.

  These stated themes, motivating factor’s and causes are the swamp from which the mosquito’s-martyrs/suicide bombers come. 
  Drain the swamp-A homeland for Palestinians,terminate the U.S. support for OilRobberShieks and torturers like Egypt, and voila, overnight no more sucide bombers, no more martyrs. 
 

  Credit for the swamp metaphor to N.Chomsky.

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By PatrickHenry, February 27, 2008 at 4:31 am Link to this comment

I voted for him twice.

Chalmers, you misunderstand, I got out of the USMC months prior to the tragedy which occured in Lebanon to the 22nd MAU, many friends of mine were killed in that event.  Payback was long overdue.

Targeted assassinations are criminal and I suspect Israel is behind this one and others.  In doing this they have made our own politicians targets.  Politicians surround themselves with their own personal armies and coupled with secret schedules makes them hard to pin down or arrest.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 27, 2008 at 1:46 am Link to this comment

Actually, they were Barack Obama’s words, Howard…... “the crucible of the sword” as applied to white men in particular.

But lets go back into the history of why the Marines were in Lebanon, then, if you can come up with any links to support your theories…...

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 27, 2008 at 1:42 am Link to this comment

Next you’ll be saying that about Ralph Nader. He’s Lebanese too, uhh, PatrickHenry.

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By odlid, February 26, 2008 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Howard, with his usual accuracy…
“...[US]were there to help Lebanon, not occupy it.”

Right, Howard. I suppose this is why Reagan used a revived WWII battleship to randomly bombard coastal towns in Lebanon, while withdrawing, to deflect criticism of his disastrous policies in the region. What has Lebanon ever done to us?

Howard, you have a habit of posting any made-up nonsense which pops into your senselessly cruel mind, usually suggesting that the poor and helpless have been responsible for their own destruction.

Please accept my invitation to post elsewhere.

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By PatrickHenry, February 26, 2008 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

http://www.debka.com/article.php?aid=1336

If anyone deserved to go, Mughniyeh did.

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By nils cognizant, February 26, 2008 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I admire Scott Ritter for his devotion (mostly) to peaceful solutions, the consequences of our actions being paramount. A minor gripe I have with Ritter is his adoption of the term “terrorist.” This word is used by varied interests to support whatever argument is being made at the moment. The term has lost all precision.

My more general criticism of Ritter’s analyses is that he still accepts nationalism as a rationale for action. This is apparent in his previous remarks in support of Turkish military ventures and here with his understandable citing of the loss of Marines in Lebanon during the Reagan years. The truth is that moronic military incursions by our political leadership is responsible for most of the injuries to our military personnel.

Imagine the response of the US Marines to a military occupation of the US by a foreign power. The Marines, we would hope, would use their low-light scopes at every opportunity and explode anything explodable within enemy ranks.

Last thing to consider is that we in the US, the Chinese, Russians, French, Israelis and British, all maintain nuclear delivery systems targeted at major cities around the world. This nutty and criminal posture dwarfs any activity of any “terrorist” organization which has ever existed. I would very much like for Mr. Ritter to read the several general-circulation books written by Zbigniew Brzezinski and possibly incorporate a larger world-view into his already fine, insightful articles.

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By ocjim, February 26, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Look at the utter failures of the Bush administration, especially in his so-called war on terrorism. As Scott points out, this war is won with the mind, the heart, and with ideas. None are in the province of the heartless, mindless, and incompetent Bush regime.

Like any radical idea, you defeat it with intelligence, example and hope. Revenge against your enemies is exactly the tact of terrorists.

So what does that tell you?

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By Howard, February 26, 2008 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

This guy beat Navy diver Stedham to death while his hands were tied; and killed Marines in their barracks while they were there to help Lebanon, not occupy it. A muderous gangster if there ever was one.

As was said here in earlier messages, ” Live by the sword and die by the sword”  !!

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By Blackspeare, February 26, 2008 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

There you go again Ritter——applying logic to an illogical situation——whatsa matter mit you??!!

Anyway it just proves that wars of attrition just plain suck!  WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE WIN A WAR DECISIVELY AND FOLLOW THROUGH FOR A CHANGE!

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 26, 2008 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Actually,  Bubba, you and Scott Ritter are quite wrong about “the lure of martyrdom” in Islam. It is far more central as a theme of self-sacrifice than people in the West care to understand these days.

It was also once central to Christianity but the story of Easter has been so usurped that it has become almost as irrelevant as the Western version of Christianity itself.

To understand this, one must realize the significance of the story of the battle of Karbala and other such historical events in Islam and how they have molded Islamic thought throughout the centuries. http://i-cias.com/e.o/karbala.htm

Even Christianity is really an Eastern religion (Palestine is West Asia) and Americans and Westerners in general have lost their understanding of it as their religion. http://www.ezsoftech.com/mazloom/karbala_gallery.asp

One must understand what is Ashura and who is Husayn to understand anything about Islam http://www.channel4.com/culture/microsites/K/karbala/

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By Bubba, February 26, 2008 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

Excellent essay, Scott. 

“Radical Islamic fundamentalism of the sort that produces an Imad Mughniyeh is a nebulous entity lacking a central theme, cause, creed or motivating factor, save one: the lure of ‘martyrdom.’” 

You could take out the “lure of ‘martyrdom’” entirely; radical Islamic fundamentalism would remain.  The central theme—regardless of the merit or demerit of its rationale, some of the activities that may follow from it, or anything else—is justice. 

“The key to winning the so-called global war on terror hinges not on our ability to kill terrorists but rather our ability to create conditions that stop producing terrorists.” 

Exactly.  It doesn’t hinge on eliminating the lure or “martyrdom.”  And “conditions” to could be shortened to ~condition~: justice.  Strive successfully for that, and the rest will follow. 

“There must be a policy of jihad de-legitimization.” 

Rather than delegitimise jihad, which would mean yet another campaign ~against~ something, why not promote non-violent resistance?  Non-violent resistance leaves little room for criticism and puts much more pressure where much more pressure is due: on the bastards who do not want justice but simply to dominate. 

“Resolving the Palestinian issue would not cure all that ails the Middle East. But it would go a long way in restoring a sense of stability, a foundation of peace upon which any lasting agreement between Israel and its neighbors, or for that matter the United States and the Middle East, might be built.” 

No justice, no peace.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 26, 2008 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Weell, there ya go, Lefty. Barack Obama would have praised it as “the crucible of the sword”, uhh. Its just a Lebanese “tea party” so why are you upset??? For “god + country” (Allah + Lebanon).......

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 26, 2008 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Yes, thanks, nefertiti, its typical of the USA (and Israel) to demonize whoever they wish to attack. I was hoping someone would ask where the proof is…...

The main problem for Lebanon was its civil war, not what the precious Americans or Israelis were up to. How would Ritter and his marines have helped???

The Lebanese Christian militias were perhaps more of a problem than any Islamic (or Islamist) organization then.

Apart from that, Lebanon never saw peace again as a result of the inevitable conflict between the PLO and the Israeli state, Palestinian refugees, etc etc.

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By nefertiti, February 26, 2008 at 5:12 am Link to this comment

Douglas
it was not proved that Mughnia was behind the attacks on the Barracks , it was alleged . the ISraelis never approved of the US forces being there witnessing their Daily Crimes against humanity they wanted them OUT of there, many say it was israel behind such a crime to push the US forces out of them. Mughia was not against Infidels (there is a 40% christians in Lebanon ) he was against those who killed his own people and occupied his land and committed war crimes .

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 26, 2008 at 3:50 am Link to this comment

“He is alleged to have carried out numerous attacks against the United States, killing hundreds, but for me, a former Marine, it is the loss of 241 of my fellow servicemen, the majority of them Marines, in an attack on a Beirut barracks attributed to Mughniyeh…”

So what are you saying then,  Scott Ritter? That the USA finally had him liquidated as an inconvenience? That’s not so unusual anyway, is it?

Don’t forget that Lebanon is as much a Christain country as Islamic. Why does the USA always mess things up when they arrive to ‘help’?

To Mughniyeh then, the USA was just another infidel, another invader, another illegal occupier. You were HIS enemy and he wouldn’t have given a damn about you, either, Ritter.

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