Monday, July 31, 2006

The Hot Angry Summer

Its hot out and I'm pissed. Although I haven't posted in 6 weeks, I have been making comments during this time in various blogs and if you've read any of them, you have probably seen how angry I've been getting.

So why? Why the anger? Well partly because I'm incredibly busy at work while trying to sell my house in one of the hottest summers we've ever had in Ottawa.

But mostly, for the past 20 days, I have seen the the blood being spilled in the Middle East and I have seen our government and many conservative commentators blindly support Isreal in everything they do, bending and twisting their pretzel logic to justify and excuse every atrocity. Making assinine statements like the reactions was "measured" even while innocent Lebanese cvillians, who had nothing to do with Hezzbollah, were dying at rates 6 to 10 times that of Isrealis. Even today, 95% of the casualties in this war are Lebanese civillians.

I have seen this conflict used as an excuse to bash UN, from blaming them for the deaths of their observers, to implying they were actively helping Hezzbollah to slagging true heros like Romeo Dallaire. I have witnessed the conflict being used as a crass, tasteless platform for fundraising for the Conservative Party, based on exaggerations and outright lies - instead of doing everything in its power to try to end the conflict, our government and ruling party has helped to keep the conflict going and then used it to make money for the party. Disgusting.

Well, enough is enough. Hear this and hear it clearly:

1. Isreal is wrong. It has the right to defend itself, but in a proportional fashion. When two soldiers are captured during operations in Lebanon, the response is not to send missle strikes into Beruit, to destroy the Lebanese infrastructure or attack convoys of fleeing civillians. "Dropping leaflets" is simply PR - you don't destroy the means of escape for a civillian populace and then demand they escape (which they now can't do) and act suprised when civillians are killed en masse in your attacks. The IRA used to phone in warnings, did that excuse all the people killed i their various pub bombings back in the 80's? Did that mean the victims of those pub bombings were at fault? I thought not.

Killing and targeting civillians is a war crime no matter who pulls the trigger.

2. Hezzbollah is wrong. It has refused to live up to the accords that ended the Lebanese civil ware by disarming. It has been lobbing indestrminate Kaytusha missle into Northern Isreal for years, targeting civillians and such things as hospitals. But Hezzbollah is not simply a "terrorist" organization - they are a lot more and this is where they draw there populatity and support. Check out The Galloping Beaver's series on the war in Lebanon and the information on Hezzbollah. You cannot defeat an enemy that you do not understand or underestimate.

Killing and targeting civillians is a war crime no matter who pulls the trigger.

3. This conflict CANNOT be ended through military action. Period. Isreal has invaded and attacked Lebanon in order to destroy Hezzbollah, which was created in response to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon by Isreal. This military action is only strengthening Hezzbollah, not weakening it. This support has now crossed traditional cleavages - Sunni, Druze and Christians now support Hezzbollah in its fight. Anyone who thinks there is a military solution to this is a fool. Period.

Our government and the government of the United States are on the wrong side of history in this. Unconditionally supporting agressive, disproportionat pre-emptive war is wrong. The US has already shown it is slipping in "facsism with a friendly face" and Harper seems to want us to follow.

Compare this months reaction from a Republican US president to the reaction of another Republican US President to a similar situation in the Suez. In 1956, the US president was still interested in fairness and doing the right thing. Today, it is ugly self-interest and proxy war.

Perhaps if I get some more time later in the week I will try to make a post about possible solutions. For now, read a little Sun Tzu and think about this phrase:

"Out Hezzbollah Hezzbollah"

7 Comments:

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Deanna said...

Hurrah! You're back! :)

I'm sorry you're busy and angry but I'm happy to see you posting again.

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger RJL said...

1. Isreal is wrong. It has the right to defend itself, but in a proportional fashion. When two soldiers are captured during operations in Lebanon, the response is not to send missle strikes into Beruit, to destroy the Lebanese infrastructure or attack convoys of fleeing civillians.

Hezbollah crossed into Israel, killed three soldiers and kidnapped two others. Five more Israeli soldiers were killed in fighting later on.

 
At 9:55 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Actually RJL, that version is very much in dispute. It was initially reported that the soldiers were captured in Lebanon. If you read the posts at the Galloping Beaver, Liberal Catnip and Billmon, to name a few, you will see that there is compelling evidence that those two soldiers were captured in Lebanon.

Which makes more sense, that 2 soldiers were captured during a covert Isreali operation into Lebanon (which happens quite a bit and justifyably so) or that Hezzbollah climbed an electrified fence (or took the effort to tunnel underneath it, depending on whom you ask) managed to predict the random movement of the IDF at the border, successfully fought them, captured two soldiers then brought those soldiers back across the border (either by ladder or tunnel).

Sorry, but the lattter makes no sense whatsoever. And niether does then proceeding to bomb Beruit airport in retaliation.

I am not buying it.

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger Candace said...

"very much in dispute" - one link, to my knowledge.

HEZBOLLAH talks about taking the soldiers from Israel. I'm thinking, if there was a "dispute" that Hezbollah would be all over it.

People on the left jump all over right bloggers for linking to ONE source that argues with every other source, but it's ok in reverse?

However, I would agree that BOTH parties are in the wrong. It is no longer enough for Israel to portray the victim, nor is it appropriate for Hezbollah to park their rocket launchers in apartment buildings & houses.

 
At 7:48 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Canadace,

That one link talks about at least 3 independant sources in cuding the Hindustan Times, a Turkish newspaper and AP's original report. Couple that along with the analysis by Dave, Juan Cole and others any you have to wonder.

More to the point, captured or kidnapped, the Isreali response is way out of proportion.

BTW, there is talk of a swap to solve this problem, ironically.

 
At 12:38 AM, Blogger Alan said...

I don't think Irgun was acting on the orders of Haganah. Irgun was a splinter organization.

Peace in the middle east is a simple proposition, expounded upon in detail on numerous occasions by various respected leaders of the Muslim world. Simply allow the Muslims to exterminate the Jews. Pax Arabica.

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Alan,

I take it this should have been with my post above...but ok no probs. My information has it that haganah order it and had Ingrun, under Begin, carry it out. Now perhaps Haganah simply blessed the operation. It hardly matters, they know of it and okayed it - an act which today when carried out by hezbollah is considered (rightly) barbaric terrorism.

As for your Pax Arabica, you are being too simplistic. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan have already made peace with Isreal. The Saudis presented a peace plan supported by most Arab states in the region that called for a two state solution.

Pax Arabica may indeed be peace in the common sense of the word, just not on terms that Isreal would accept (giving up cmletely the West Bank and Gaza and the partitioning of Jeruselem).

Don't assume the readicals speak for the majority.

 

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