Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Temporary End to the Fighting?

This just in: the US and France reached agreement on a Security Council resolution to end fighting between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said. An official with knowledge of the talks, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the draft calls for a "full cessation of violence" between Israel and Hezbollah, but would allow Israel the right to launch strikes if Hezbollah attacks it.

The draft Franco-American ceasefire resolution "'does not say immediate cessation of violence,' said the official, who spoke anonymously because the draft had not yet been made public. That appeared to be a major victory for the U.S. and Israel." according to the AP.

115 Comments:

Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

wtf??

The United States and France reached agreement Saturday on a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at ending the fighting between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas,

Who France? Who US?

Where are the Israelis. Where are the Lebanese? Why is Hizb'Allah not to be wiped of the face of the planet?

This is mad.

ADE (speaking on condition of anonymity)

8/05/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...

It's only a draft resolution. Next comes the inevitable dickering within the Security Council. It would be premature to speculate how that will turn out since we don't know the precise to terms of the Franco-American draft.

In the meantime, the Israelis are telling the good citizens of Sidon to leave.

8/05/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Achillea said...

I'll also note it says a full cessation of violence, not an immediate one.

8/05/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Novangli said...

I am always fascinated by the arrogance of diplomats. How exactly do third parties negotiate settlements and presume to speak for others? Until the principals in a conflict engage with one another, such pronouncements are the usual hot air. Pay them no mind.

8/05/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"I am always fascinated by the arrogance of diplomats."

Not the heads of state that they represent while they're diplomatizing?

Don't compartmentalize it.

8/05/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

This is wonderful, all is well with Franco/American relations.
****************************
Maybe not so pertinent to the post, but in line with recent ones:

Victor Davis Hanson’s in his latest column, On the Brink of Madness cited the amoral west as incapable of moral judgment. It struck me as his most damning one to date. I share his frustrations completely and the following paragraphs struck me as too sadly true.
It is now a cliché to rant about the spread of postmodernism, cultural relativism, utopian pacifism, and moral equivalence among the affluent and leisured societies of the West. But we are seeing the insidious wages of such pernicious theories as they filter down from our media, universities, and government — and never more so than in the general public’s nonchalance since Hezbollah attacked Israel.

These past few days the inability of millions of Westerners, both here and in Europe, to condemn fascist terrorists who start wars, spread racial hatred, and despise Western democracies is the real story, not the “quarter-ton” Israeli bombs that inadvertently hit civilians in Lebanon who live among rocket launchers that send missiles into Israeli cities and suburbs.


Reading this week the BBC "Have Your Say" has lead me to simply conclude that we are entering a period where the battle lines have hardened. Reason and logic are no longer effective. I feel that I have done my homework, I researched the history of Palestine from the start of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century, I read information on the Balfour Declaration, I read about the Zionists buying (not stealing) barren lands and making them productive. I read about Arab uprisings in the 1930's. I know the history about the Grand Mufti and his relationship with Hitler. I know about the history of Israel since 1948. I know who is at fault here. I have seen article after article about the hate emanating out of the Islamic mosques. I have seen Islamists terror attacks worldwide. I have been very disappointed to see Arab and Muslim reactions and attitudes when the US led coalition has tried to bring sanity and stability. The Iraqis and the Lebonese in particular have not only greatly disappointed me but have also opened my eyes to the depth of the insanity which pervades the Muslim world.

I'm am tired of arguing with those who are pathologically incapable of seeing the Truth. The rest of the Western world can descend into madness, but I know where I will stand and what I will not submit to.

8/05/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Ironically, I just opened a can of Spaghetti-O's for my toddler.

8/05/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

So we're being unilateral all over the place, France is being included (take THAT Lefty moonbats), Condi is still flying around the globe consulting everyone who agrees to be consulted, the UN's Security Council is in full discussion mode ... and Israel bombed Beirut yesterday, is bombing Tyre today, and will bomb Bekaa Valley tomorrow; and Nasrallah is begging someone - ANYone - to get a "ceasefire" declared NOW.

Way to be team players to the Bush Administration, and for Israel: Go, Jews, Go!!!

8/05/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger chickenlittle said...

I believe this is peace in our time!

8/05/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

JF'ingKerry wants to fire Bolton.

Right here in the middle of all this, JF'ingKerry wants to fire Bolton.

8/05/2006 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Interesting snippets:

Sri Lanka has tightened up security after the Tamil Tigers massacred 100 Muslim men whom they suspected had told security forces about the rebels' movements.

Also, Human Rights Watch thinks Hezbollah is guilty of war crimes. "'Lobbing rockets blindly into civilian areas is without doubt a war crime. Nothing can justify this assault on the most fundamental standards for sparing civilians the hazards of war.' Hezbollah claims that some of its attacks are aimed at military bases inside Israel, which are legitimate targets. But most of the attacks appear to have been directed at civilian areas and have hit pedestrians, hospitals, schools, homes and businesses."

8/05/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

chickenlittle said...
I believe this is peace in our time


Chicky babe, you're fighting for the reference.

ADE

8/05/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

ffe said...

It would be premature to speculate how that will turn out since we don't know the precise to terms of the Franco-American draft.

And here among the Belmont Club Comments, we don't like to do anything to add to the epidemic of permature e-speculation.

8/05/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Maybe VDH's column was relevant to the post.

Could it be that this Franco/American agreement while probably futile, is a gesture placating the amoral west. Perhaps this is the bureaucratic paperwork done so that historians will be able to record that some rational people tried to avoid what, if the irrational have their way, could be one of history's more horrifying bloodlettings.

8/05/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Another example of how politics is linked at the hip to war.

The 172nd Stryker Brigade deployed to Baghad. "Several Stryker armored fighting vehicles were seen today in Baghdad's mostly Sunni neighborhood of Ghazaliyah in the western part".

But.

Iraq the Model asks: why is America so reluctant to take on Moqtada al-Sadr after all he has done and all that he is acknowledged to be? "So what are you in America going to do while we still have the chance, still have the determined leadership and while there's still hope?"

So both Israel and the US plainly see where the danger comes from, but on both sides there are many who want to keep the lid on and leg the diplomats work their "magic".

The ceasefire is a perfect example of procrastination. A complete cessation of hostilities. But not yet. The check is signed, but it's in the mail.

8/05/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

http://fkclinic.blogspot.com/2006/08/must-clean-windowsmust-clean-windows.html

"Ms Arroyo expressed the nation’s “indignation and outrage” over the death of two household helpers—Mary Jane Pangilinan and Michelle Tomagan—who she said were trying to escape their employers to join the evacuation of their compatriots....“Our request to our OFWs and to their loved ones here, please tell them don’t take unilateral action,” Conejos said. “If your employer refuses to release you, you must call the embassy. Don’t attempt to leave on your own, especially if in so doing you will endanger your life.” He advised them to instead contact the Philippine embassy in Beirut because labor attachés and embassy officials there were “very adept on these things” and would negotiate for their release.

The maids died after jumping out of windows....And now we read the spin.....LINK ->

Labor Undersecretary for International Labor Relations Manuel Imson said, "Initial verbal reports indicate the two were cleaning windows when it happened. We're still waiting for the official police reports to tell us if they fell, jumped, or were pushed. From initial reports, they (deaths) happened in the normal course of work.".....

There were persistent reports that most Lebanese employers were preventing their Filipina domestic helpers to repatriate back to Manila....

update: Manila Bulletin affirms at least one was killed trying to escape down bedsheets.. link2 says they are the first Philippine casualties of the war...

Ironic, isn't it, that with 30 000 Pinoys in Lebanon, the first two casualties were due to employer abuse and not Israeli Bombs?"
* * *

Color me shocked and amazed that Lebanese Arab/Muslim employers are just as mean and vicious as Saudi Arab/Muslim employers.

8/05/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Wretchard:
The check for the ceasefire may be in the mail but the bill for the cost of implementation is yet to be determined. I'm not talking about the cost to send third parties to southern Lebanon, I'm talking about the future costs due to past failures. Failure to neutralize Hesbollah, Syria, al-Sadr, Iran, militant Islam.

Remember the old television commercials? "You can pay me now or you can pay me later."

It's been my experience that now is always cheaper.

8/05/2006 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Let's see, how long did we discuss Iraq in the UN? It was a year or so after 9/11, wasn't it? That'll do here.

Meanwhile, Germans found two professionally built suitcase bombs on commuter trains, actually found them in Lost'n'Found. There was a package with Arabic writing indicating it came from Beruit. What did the Germans do to make the Islamofascists mad at them?

And now Iran openly admits supplying long-range rockets to the Hez, and being in the process of stocking them with SAMs.

Yeah, a "ceasefire" is what is called for, no fighting back by the good guys!

We can only hope these latest talks with France are as honest, open and well-meaning as France's talks with us leading up to OIF. Backstabbing bastards, Bolton can handle them.

8/05/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Novangli said...

trish (9:18):
Hardly compartmentalizing. "Heads of State" today are simply the lead diplomats. Show me a Western leader with moral clarity and the confidence of his/her convictions. The professional yakking class and delusional peaceniks only defer the bloodletting and deepen the pool of blood that will be spilled.

8/05/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

whit,

"You can pay me now and you can pay me later". Now is cheaper.

Of course it is. I remember an old economics class where the professor explained that "lay away" made no sense. You could save the money in a bank and earn interest to boot. Yet sadly, a lot of people pay later and a lot of people lay away.

I'm beginning to think that diplomats operate according to the principle 'never solve a problem today that you can leave until tomorrow' -- when it will be somebody elses. Pacifism is often the art of ensuring that your children, not you, get to experience the horrors of the battlefield. I can see how this could make sense. My only problem is enshrining this attitude as virtue.

8/05/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretchard said...
whit,

"You can pay me now and you can pay me later". Now is cheaper.

Of course it is. I remember an old economics class where the professor explained that "lay away" made no sense


Well, actually, there is good economic rationale to 'paying later' and it is simply based on your obtaining a greater rate of return then the cost of the interest. All this is really not applicable to politics and war because it is not simply a 'zero sum game'.

8/05/2006 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I guess there's always the hope that the bad guys will "see the light" sooner or later. That's the fig leaf, anyway, covering western diplo-deferment. Lately, tho, little by little, the rhetoric out of the Jihad Nation is disrobing the west of the fig leaf.

8/05/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger redaktør said...

The cost of extracting oil in the ME is $5 per barrel. Anything above $5 + 15% profit, is a sucker's fee. We are continuously being taken for a ride by the bandits in Russia, Saudia, Iran, Iraq.

8/05/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Buddy, that requires a simplistic interpretation of their just being Good guys vs Bad guys. There is plenty of bad on all sides in the ME and the world in general. Simplistic approachs seem to devolve to all out war pretty quickly.....I guess many here view that as a good thing.

8/05/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, okay, Ash, for you, I'll change it to "there's always hope that the good guys will see the light".

8/05/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger redaktør said...

You'd think that perhaps finding themselves sitting on hundreds of billions of barrels of oil as its price quadrupled in value over the past three years would have eased the feelings of victimhood among the muslim population.

8/05/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Wretchard, (10;13):

Noting that Strykers are reported in Baghdad.

IMO, until the Iraqi governmnet begins to truly monopolise power, no amount of "show" will do.

Al-Maliki has got to gain control and quickly. Either his Army or ours must do whatever it takes to institute civil order.

The sad thing is that everybody knows what al-Sadr (like Nasrallah in Lebanon) is all about and yet, nothing is done. This is what Desert Rat raved about for weeks. He was right.

8/05/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

redaktor said:

You'd think that perhaps finding themselves sitting on hundreds of billions of barrels of oil as its price quadrupled in value over the past three years would have eased the feelings of victimhood among the muslim population.

Well, the people who actually gain from the sale of oil are not the sort of people who share that wealth with the "victims" in the "muslim population" but they are the sort of people who cover up their selfishness by drumming up hatred of Israel and America in the same way a matador waves a red cape.

8/05/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger anonymouscoameq said...

"The draft Franco-American ceasefire resolution "'does not say immediate cessation of violence,' said the official, who spoke anonymously because the draft had not yet been made public. That appeared to be a major victory for the U.S. and Israel." according to the AP."

How does a ceasefire resolution help if it does not call for an immediate ceasefire? Doesn't that make it a "non-ceasefire" resolution? Could this be a resolution that, behind diplomatic double speak, in effect gives Israel UN authority to continue to attack Hezbullah?

France would like Israel to demolish Hezbullah and then allow French soldiers to go in to to get credit for helping Lebanon get back on its path towards democracy and sovereignty, but the French are too proud/embarrassed to say they need/want/appreciate Israel's help.

8/05/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Ash, you started trolling a couple of threads down.

You're chumming. Throwing out garbage just hoping to get a strike.

The fallacy of your arguments as been the posits that the "right" offers only the stick and no carrot. Give me a break!

Also, your statement that simplistic approaches devolve quickly to war is ridiculous. How old are you? 9 or 10? Obviously, you're too young to know much about the Middle East. If so, you can be forgiven for your idealist zeal.

8/05/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Right--why wouldn't continuing to rely on failed approaches be "simplistic"?

8/05/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

all that has happened is that another truth of arafat has been painfully learned:

Say one thing in the west/UN, and keep shooting.

Bush has learned what the Palestinians/Arab world had perfected.

SPEAK OUT OF BOTH SIDES OF THEIR MOUTH AT THE SAME TIME.

This is wonderful, at the same time, the USA is shipping more weapons to Israel via Britian, but now any more info is blacked out.

and Israel IS doing things..

6 days til Heathers Metrics...

8/05/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

I didn't know the USA and France were in a shooting war. I must have been asleep. I know about the economic war, but when did it becomes a shooting war?
I say 'no' to a truce with France. Bomb Paris and they'll surrender. Heck, bomb someplace close to Paris and they'll surrender. New York should be close enough. The New York Times to be precise. That way we could kill two frogs with one bomb, so to speak.
Plus the bomber crews could leave right after breakfast and be back in time to get to the mess hall before it closes for lunch. I'm sure the French would appreciate that.

8/05/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Fenrisulven said...

I am always fascinated by the arrogance of diplomats. How exactly do third parties negotiate settlements and presume to speak for others?

France & England had no problem surrendering Czechoslovakia - they even made the Czech ambassador wait outside while they negotiated with Hitler. We know how that all worked out. Yay diplomacy...

It will interesting to see how the UNSC waters this resolution down. As Mark Steyn says, by the time the UN gets around to action everyone is dead. Maybe Israel can use that in its favor this time around.

8/05/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger j willie said...

Whit, Wretchard:

RE: "You can pay me now or you can pay me later". Now is cheaper.

Perhaps most ironically and hunorously expressed via the character "Wimpy" from the Popeye cartoons - "I'll gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today".

8/05/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Fenrisulven said...

Ash: that requires a simplistic interpretation of their just being Good guys vs Bad guys.

You agree that Hezbollah is one of the Bad Guys right? And Syria. And Iran. Echo?

What about the Nazi's? You agree they were bad, right? Or am I being "simplistic"...

Simplistic approachs seem to devolve to all out war pretty quickly.....I guess many here view that as a good thing.

Uh-huh. To paraphrase another - if cease fire's were so effective, why does they continue to need so many? Perhaps because its a "simplistic approach".

You would root for "world peace" to feel good about youself, but then look away as another 6 million Jews are slaughtered.

I prefer a Victor's Peace.

8/05/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

The USA needs to supply Israel with some B-1 bombers. They are obsolete by American standards, but still state of the art for the rest of the world.
With B-1's the IAF could bounce the rubble in Iran instead of Lebanon. Not sure what difference that would make, but it allways good to spread the pain around in these sort of situations. IIRC, there are 40 some in storage. Ship a dozen to Israel and see how the Mad Mullahs like living in their bunkers.
It will take a few months, so there will be time to getthem into action before any cease fire goes into effect.
BTW anybody know where a pool on the cease fire is? I'm thinking somewhere between Yom Kipper and New Years.

8/05/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Buddy,

As I was saying last week, I think Ash is probably a nice person, the kind who would be a good friend.

We should certainly allow him (or her) to continue posting opinions, and listen respectfully.

But I am fairly certain all argument, however gentle and reasoned, is in vain.

Jamie Irons

8/05/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Fenrisulven said...

/I hate to paraphrase w/o attribs, so I went back and searched. Via Powerline:

Thomas Sowell:

"Peace" movements are among those who take advantage of this widespread inability to see beyond rhetoric to realities. Few people even seem interested in the actual track record of so-called "peace" movements -- that is, whether such movements actually produce peace or war.

Take the Middle East. People are calling for a cease-fire in the interests of peace. But there have been more cease-fires in the Middle East than anywhere else. If cease-fires actually promoted peace, the Middle East would be the most peaceful region on the face of the earth instead of the most violent.

"World opinion," the U.N. and "peace movements" have eliminated that deterrent. An aggressor today knows that if his aggression fails, he will still be protected from the full retaliatory power and fury of those he attacked because there will be hand-wringers demanding a cease fire, negotiations and concessions.

That has been a formula for never-ending attacks on Israel in the Middle East. The disastrous track record of that approach extends to other times and places -- but who looks at track records?"

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2006/07/21/pacifists_versus_peace

8/05/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger j willie said...

Regarding the temporary end to fighting, this excerpt from my blog post Uncertain Prospects in Lebanon elaborates on one of the many negative consequences from an early ceasefire:

If Israel has not clearly demolished Hezbollah when this conflict ends and Bush/Condi cave on ceasefire (to avoid potential domestic political blowback from vetoing a France/Russia/China ceasefire proposal that Blair may have to go along with to stay in office), then Hezbollah will be viewed as the winner, will have the cover to silence its critics in Lebanon and the Axis will have become a much “stronger horse”, to use Bin Laden’s words, in the eyes of the Muslim world (most of whom lack the education for any sort of nuanced understanding of world politics, or, for that matter, beyond their immediate existence. Accordingly, Ahmadinejad, Assad, Nasrallah, etc. will be emboldened to take on riskier pursuits and will be in a much stronger position to draw others over to their side.

As further developed in that and a subsequent post, a cynic (realist?) would also be extremely wary of a potentially treacherous role to be played by France going forward.

8/05/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cogitatus Incognito said...

A few thoughts before we get too excited/depressed about the 'accomplishments' of diplomats:

Anyone who thinks Bush and Bolton allowed the French to pull a fast one on us or the Israelis hasn't been paying attention these past few years to either Bush or Bolton.

Anyone who thinks the UN is going to seriously impact the direction of this war hasn't been paying attention to the history of the UN for the past 40-some years.

Anyone who thinks Hezballah is capable of refraining from attacking Israel doesn't understand the mind of fanatics. Any marginally serious attack gives Israel another new excuse to go to work on Hezballah.

I'm guessing the Israeli's will make the thrusts toward the Latani River and the Bekaa we've all been encouraging them to make. Possession is 9/10ths and all that. Hez-bo's can't refrain from fighting. IDF grinds them down from both the north and the south over the next 60 days while the world works out what the specific make-up of the UN force will be and makes their 'Cease-fire Resolution number 3,508,795 look all pretty and shiny for posterity.

Iran's drop-dead date of August 22 will pass with the Hezballah tied up in fighting for their miserable lives. Doesn't that make Iran the laughing-stock of the Sunni world: 'What? Where's your Hidden Imam? Why isn't he smiting the infidels throughout the lands?'

8/05/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jamie, you're right--the Ash's of the world deserve a pat on the back for showing concern over the "next" life-or-death. The next after that, tho, ain't on their radar, no matter how many are all but certain to pile up.

8/05/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Mark --

All true, within the context of regional Despots who are comitted to the 5 pillars, death to Israel, we are the greatest shia and will help the 12th Imam climb out of the well ... and all that.

These Despots Share a common value with their "Infidel" friend Kim Il, of North Korea.

An absolutle obsession to preserve their own power position and priveleges.

They have proven daily willing to sacrifice their own children, and all other things of lesser value in order to preserve themselves and their own twisted vision of past present future.

Now that there is some serious doubt about Nasrallah, he is engaging in all and any doubletalk to preserve himself, and in the future that will mean "acting tough" in order to maintain position among his armed populace, which will require launching never ending strikes of any kind, small and large against Israel and now western interests.

If Nasrallah is hunted down and is mouthpiece media apparatus dismantled, will the Mullah's react in a different way to strike out also sensing a threat to their all important Survival instinct ?

Or just more beligerance, doubletalk and cheat & retreat until they achieve a sufficient stockpile of "superweapons" ?

Iran signed on to the Chemical Weapons Treaty, but I haven't read ANYWHERE of them destroying one once of their Stockpiled VX or Sarin, and their are good reports that they are still producing about 1,000 or more tons of the stuff each year.

Add Nukes to the mix and you have Dangerous Despots indeed, some who already have used their own children to clear minefields ahead of troops in the Iran/Iraq war.

Nukes in the hands of medieval tribal savages, will the west stop them ... personally, I'm not counting on it.

8/05/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Lone Star said...

Hello Wretchard,

First post here, but, have been a reader for a long time.

To those that are upset over the idea of a ceasefire, I propose that this has been the goal of this operation from the begining. I believe that Israel staged this operation in order to set the conditions necessary to allow a multi-national force to come in and disarm Hezbollah. I believe that the US, France and Israel have been planning this for some time, just waiting for Hezbollah to provide the provocation.
I also believe that it is part of a larger plan to isolate Iran. Prepping the battlefield for the coming war with Iran, so to speak.

8/05/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Heads of State" today are simply the lead diplomats.

- novangli

As long as we've got that straight.

8/05/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Cogitatus Incognito said...

Scott,

God comments. As to your last question: In this age of irony and postured disillusionment I hate to sound like Pollyanna, but: Yes. Bush will stop them.

My assessment is that Bush nurses things along until after the November election and then he goes for Iran's throat. Bush is that rare politician who thinks more of his responsibilities than of his image. He will not leave Iran to a future president. It's just not his style. And once the elections are done, there is nothing to stop him.

The Democrats think they have a chance to take back power, but they're just believing their own press and biased polls. It'll be the 2002 and 2004 elections all over again, with the Republicans holding onto power to the great shock of the Democrats and the media.

Bush can then provoke, prod, bully or do whatever he wishes to bring the Iranian issue to a head so that it's resolved on his watch.

8/05/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

I have long wondered about people like Ash who seem to regard it as somehow a great insight to point out that dividing a conflict into good and bad is somehow simplistic and therefore, ummm... bad. Wait a minute, that would be simplistic.

Of course it's easy to say that no side in a conflict is "all evil" or "all good." Of course its easy to realize that both sides can engage in bad behavior. I'm not sure why those who point this out feel that it's so incredibly significant.

The good/bad binary is probably a very simple construct in the brain, allowing us to filter the vast amount highly complex stuff in our world. It's very much correlated to the urgency of and the nature of the situation. If someone is trying to kill you, "me good, they bad" is a good conclusion to quickly come to. Whether or not you should put something on layaway may be a little more subtle because it's probably not as urgent. Plusses and minuses begin to appear.

Lastly, human beings are imperfect. No one or no collective will ever be absolutely good. However, it is prudent to regard those who want to kill you as evil, even if they might have good table manners.

8/05/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

It's always foolish to engage in a dialog with a fool.

How do the US & France expect a non-state, terrorist organization to respond to a call for cease fire - as if they feel they have some authority over the devil.

What they are calling for, in essence, is an Israeli cease fire. No other way to spin it.

8/05/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I'll let you all sort it out about Israel (95/5, 90/10, etc,) but these Islamist Bastards are pure 100% USDA Certified Evil Son of a Bitches. Period.

8/05/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Enscout, I think what they are really doing is giving Olmert what he really wants (ie. a chance to stop the war that he no longer has the stomach for.)

8/05/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger TmjUtah said...

I fully support reticence and due deliberation in the pursuit of this ceasefire.

All consideration must be paid to root causes, the culutres involved, and the past forty or fifty years of diplomatic maneuvering preceding these current events in Lebanon.

I think that fourteen months of U.N. debate ought to be appropriate; we might be ready by then to start crafting provisional drafts for consideration by then.

Any faster and we'd be guilty of "rushing", wouldn't we, and it's always important to take the necessary time to ensure that everyone's views are heard and weighed.

I'm sure Bolivia doesn't want to be left out of the loop.

Kill more, Israel. There will always be more, but the ones you kill today won't be there tomorrow. And who knows, maybe Syria or Iran will screw up and then we'll all be in the fight.

8/05/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wretchard - Pacifism is often the art of ensuring that your children, not you, get to experience the horrors of the battlefield.

I like that one, Rick. Part of the pleasure of your writing is those unique angles and ways of expressing something in different, but quite pithy phrases.
========================
Novangli said...
I am always fascinated by the arrogance of diplomats. How exactly do third parties negotiate settlements and presume to speak for others? Until the principals in a conflict engage with one another, such pronouncements are the usual hot air. Pay them no mind.


No, if you want that luxury, you must withdraw from treaties, charters, covenents that bind you to diplomatic or legal rulings by others.

If you are advocating Israel leave the UN, there will be perhaps 178 or so of the 182 countries hastening to open the exit door.

The legitimacy of China and France sitting on the permanent council, given their WWII loser status and modest contributions since, is another debate.
============================
Whit - I feel that I have done my homework, I researched the history of Palestine from the start of the Zionist movement ...

From the rest of your post, it is clear that you have only read zionist sources and have been suckered into several zionist lies and myths that only have a base of believers in America. By limiting your reading, you have not been informed - only successfully propagandized.
=======================
Mark said...
A few thoughts before we get too excited/depressed about the 'accomplishments' of diplomats:

Anyone who thinks Bush and Bolton allowed the French to pull a fast one on us or the Israelis hasn't been paying attention these past few years to either Bush or Bolton.


The last few years have not exactly been good for the reputation of Bush as a man aware of the issues, able to articulate them, or being "too savvy", to let anyone pull a fast one on him. All he lacks is a "kick me sign" on his back for his many misjudgments of issues (playing LBJ-like spendthrift, China trade & weaponry, Iraq, Katrina, immigration) or people (Putin, Miers, Congress, Chalabi, Chirac, Kerick, Abbas, Tommy Franks, Grover Nyquist, etc.)

Bolton, on the other hand, appears quite competent. A very smart, "gets things done" guy. As a neocon, he tilts to Israel, but enough people are watching the guy to keep him honest.

8/05/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

Teresita,

The people that drum up hatred of Israel and America (and now Shiia on Sunni) do so not only to cover up their selfishness, but to satisfy their greed; greed for greater and greater profits. The wars that are constantly staged in the ME are staged for the express purpose of artificially inflating the price of oil. The bandits in Russia, Saudia, Iran, Iraq, have turned this racket into an art form. And we keep letting them get away with it.

8/05/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

No wonder Bush and Bolton are going along with these discussions. Have you read Draft U.N. Resolution on War in Lebanon ?

OP3. Also reiterates its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders, as contemplated by the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement of 23 March 1949;

...

OP5. Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty and authority;


I say Hey! What are we fightin' for? Ain't no way in hell the Hez, Syria or Iran will agree to any of this for more than the few days it takes to get the Israelis to stop killing bad guys.

And now we go to the 15 member Security Council. Who is going to stand up for the Hez? O sure, they'll all "deplore the violence" and call for "protection of civilians and social order" but will they really try to defend the indefensible - these war crimes by the Hez of constantly attacking civilians indiscriminately? Probably not, but we have to assume the French, Russsians and Chinese will do all they can to undermine the West, just as they did before OIF.

------------

On the topic of domestic American politics, Bush clearly ran on "sticking to his guns" and he beat that lying fool Kerry by over 3 million votes. The Dems know that the American voters do not trust them with national defense, especially during war time, so their only chance of winning is to deny there is any war going on, except of course for that useless, futile, illegal, unilateral war on Iraq, which has no more to do with world politics than do all the blood drops in O.J.'s truck, driveway, socks, etc. have to do with anything. The jury said so.

Lately when my liberal friends insist that I should go to Iraq and fight the war, and bring my kids with me, if I support the war --- I tell them if they don't want to fight the war, then they should volunteer themselves and their families be the first to die in the next 9/11.

- - -

John Samford, the B-1 is far from obsolete. They are our leap-forward upgrade over the B-52, and they are the backbone of our conventional bomber fleet. We only built a total of 21 B-2's, the B-1 is our primary heavy bomber. (And they never use the Minuteman, and they demobilized the Peacekeepers years ago. arrgghh)

8/05/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

cedarford,

what zionist propoganda and myths would that entail? I'd love to hear your version of history, as fanciful as it may be.

In any event we're two days into my test and it looks like things are proceeding accordingly.

Israel has never been serious about this from day one and it's obvious that the untested leadership of Olmert, Peretz and Livni has failed miserably. They will all be gone by the end of the year. The positive to come from this is that Olmert's surrender plan is finished.

Israel has fought a war against Iran and Syria without laying so much as a feather on either of them.

They have 600,000+ troops when mobilized and the most they've had in Lebanon at any one time is from 5-10K. IOW, in this "war" that Israel has acknowledged is existential, they've committed 1-2% of their forces to fight it. Obviously any war where you commit 1-2% of your forces to fight is one you don't intend to win.

Israel should have responded to this from day one by taking down the Lebanese power grid, nuking the Dahiya and Harat Heik in S. Beirut, nuking Hermel and the Bekaa Valley and announcing for all to hear that if the two soldiers are not returned unharmed within 24 hours that the regime in Syria will cease to exist and that if they are subsequently not returned within another 24 hours the regime in Tehran will cease to exist.

All this is just for show.

8/05/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger anonymous said...

According to:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=746668&contrassID=1&subContrassID=1

"...at this point Hezbollah's commitment is only to cease fire on Israel if Israel stops attacking targets in Lebanon, but it is not pledging not to fire at IDF troops inside Lebanon."

So Israel stops attacking Hezbullah but hezbullah will not stop attacking Israeli troops in Lebanon.

This does not sound like a workable cease fire.

8/05/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger texas said...

I've been thinking about Israel's innability thus far to deter or stop the rocket attacks, and the upcoming problem of what to do about Iran.

Under the best outcome of the cease fire (the buffer zone filled with effective 3rd party troops) seems like a short term and not very effective fix. HB will just get bigger, longer range missles.

For Israel, one approach would be to tell Lebanon, Syria and Iran that each rocket fired over the Israeli will be considered an act of war, and will get one (or more) rockets or bombs back into Lebanon, Syria, or Iran, at a target of Israel's choosing. Be very public about it. Then go after the power grids, dams, ports, bridges, and other high value targets. Aim for maximum economic damage. Make the Arab governments control the terrorists, or lose their economy.

For Iran, there has been a lot of discussion about the difficulty of hitting all the hidden and dug in nuclear facilities. An alternative is to hit the power grid. No power, the 50,000 centrifuges don't spin, no nuclear weapons. And the targets are big, out in the open, and very difficult to harden or hide. Lots of economic collateral damage, of course. Wonder what the effect of that would be on the population's enthusiam for Iran's weapons program ?

8/05/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

"An alternative is to hit the power grid. No power, the 50,000 centrifuges don't spin, no nuclear weapons."

In just about every place in the world but Iraq, power plants are pretty easy to repair and build, constructed of largely commodity components, which any number of countries would be happy to supply in order to make sure their oil arrives.

"Lots of economic collateral damage, of course. Wonder what the effect of that would be on the population's enthusiam for Iran's weapons program ?"

What was the effect of 9/11 on the US population?

8/05/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Some developments:

Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog called the Franco-American draft ceasefire plan "an important development" but said Israel would continue combat operations for the time being. (AP/Guardian)

For the time being.

In a related international development, Ayman al-Zawahri announced an Egyptian militant group Gamaa Islamiya, led by the younger brother of the militant who assassinated Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat, has joined al-Qaida. (AP)

8/05/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Bridget said...

lone star,

I tend to agree with you about the cease fire being the goal to start with. I think the Israelis will do as much damage as they can to Hezbollah military assets and kill as many fighters as they can, but they can't eliminate Hezbollah at this point. It simply can't be done.

Instead, I think their goal is the creation of an international inspection and monitoring team, like UNSCOM, but unlike UNSCOM, supported by the government of Lebanon and backed up with military force from NATO (fig leaf provided by the Lebanese military).

If successful, a group like that could provide a long term solution to the disarming of Hezbollah.

8/05/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"What was the effect of 9/11 on the US population?"
---
Nobody can remember.
Can Oliver Stone Save us?

8/05/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger phil g said...

Perhaps the French/US proposal is the result of French finally deciding or being convinced to get some skin in the game. The French/US proposal could possibly be an entry for a NATO implementation. This is France's historic area of influence, it's time for them to get off the bench and onto the field. I'd imagine that if either France or US or NATO plan on leading the international force in that region, they'll want HB defanged as much as possible so they've made the deplomatic move to keep information flowing while Israel continues to work. This might be another 'face card' for us on the table. How's Iran's hand looking?

8/05/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

(this is an edited excerpt from a larger screed cross-posted at my own site.)

My frequently insightful brother made a statement today of unusual succinctness and clarity. 1) Europe in the middle ages was very much hobbled by its obstinate focus on the Bible. Medicine, literature, mathematics, astronomy, history... Every area of human concern was truncated and subordinated to Biblical-Spiritual-Christian doctrine.

2) The Islamic world is stuck in that mode now. Their society and religion are the legacy of many centuries in a harsh and demanding region of vast deserts, that rewarded the raider more than the builder or gardener. They suddenly find themselves rich beyond the dreams of most countries, from oil wealth that they did not themselves have the technology or inclination to develop. They have not experienced and have no respect for the long discipline by which western countries gradually and painfully arrived at their current level of industrial sophistication.

3) Without a deep comprehension of how their wealth came into their hands, they do not value the attitudes, disciplines, and skills that are necessary to develop and maintain technology, and nor do they grasp the intellectual freedom which derives from Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian heritage that lead finally to the Renaissance.

Of course, it’s Culture not Biology.(Naturally, the Politically Correct Crowd will say that’s just as insulting.) In the Arab-Islamic world the word “sheik” is an honorific reserved for a male who has committed the text of the Qur’an to memory. Astricted by sacrosanct tradition to treat the rote memorization of its sacred text as the highest possible intellectual achievement, Islamic nations of the modern era reject as pointless or even subversive the diversion of their energy to the study of modern technologies and sciences.

Farouk El-Baz is a respected American scientist of Egyptian roots, who added his scientific and technological expertise for years to the Apollo Program. In the past he served as Anwar el-Sadat’s science advisor, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and director of Boston U Center for Remote Sensing. He has written a few penetrating articles about the failures of the modern Islamic world, and the internal forces that have contributed.

A few excerpts from the website http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/710/feature.htm:

Although the Arab region is considered oil-rich and wealthy, all indications point to its knowledge deficit. This fact is clearly conveyed in the Arab Human Development Report: Building a Knowledge Society that was issued in 2003 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report, which I helped to review prior to its publication, pointed out that the Arab region trails behind all other regions in knowledge indicators, except sub-Saharan Africa. These indicators included the number of books, newspapers, radio stations, television channels, telephone lines, personal computers and Internet access.
...
• The number of patents produced by Arabs is meager; during the past two decades, South Korea registered in the US over 44 times the number of patents from all Arab countries combined.
...
• ... the number of books translated in all 22 Arab countries is equal to one-fifth of those translated into Greek.
...
• Although Arabs constitute five per cent of the world population, they produce only 0.8 per cent of the literary and artistic literature.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
Within the West, just as there is an intensifying co-dependency between the Elite Liberal-Socialist Leaders and their welfare-voting-block clients, there is at the higher level of transnational cultures, a similarly intensifying co-dependency between the Transnational Progressives (with all the baggage of Post-Modernist / Deconstructionist / Moral Relativist / Unresolved-White-Liberal-Guilt), and the radical Islamicist components of the Muslim world, cynically ready to accept support from even those they despise.

Socialist-Liberal-Progressives define deficiencies in their designated victim groups as having been caused by Western excesses, colonial depradations, racism, bigotry, capitalist greed, Christian chauvinism, et cetera. They refuse to acknowledge any internal basis for the madness of Islamic fanaticism. They ignore 14 centuries of Islamic Jihad, the conquest by military assault of much of the world (that Charles Martel and the Franks stopped in France in 732, and the defenders of Vienna successfully resisted in the 1680’s); they ignore the text of the Qur’an and the Hadith that call for the faithful to expand Islam to rule infidel lands.

As a Christian (however conflicted and confused!) I think it is vital to be fully informed about how Islamic regimes treat “infidels” among them.

It is vital to inform ourselves, to look at sources that challenge our assumptions, and to resist the acquiescence of the Transnational Progressives in the assault by Islamic Fascists on our civilization.

8/05/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Fiddler:
Did you once say you took music lessons in Oxnard?
(Just Curious what you were doing way out there, if so.)

8/05/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Cedarford: So I'm a victim huh?

Maybe you can share some wisdom and truth that will disabuse me of my notions.

I'm listening.

8/05/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Achilles Jones said...

Sarah,

We all love you; us lurkers too. And we understand your need to vent, but this nuking business is just silly.

You are correct that we have not seen any real attempt to fight a deterring war, and now it is too late to re-establish the credibility of the IDF and Israel's will to fight (i.e., will to survive).

NOthing would do more to change the psychology of the situation right now than Olmert's fall and the ascension of Netanyahu. That will bring about a new sense of Israeli resolve.

The only question is how to make the change in government look like the deliberate will of an enraged and awakened nation, rather than looking like a Spanish style regime change by terror. Waiting until year end is too late.

The next big bombs must be political ones in Israel.

Then the gloves can come off.

But nukes must never be mentioned until the Islamic bomb is detonated. Then Mecca and Medine and all the other holy sites must be supernaturally protect by Allah, or become glass through the will of pigs and monkeys.

But thanks Sarah. You're great.

8/05/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Never give politicians and diplomats a break. Graveyards are filled with their mistakes.

The same Churchill, who is praised for courage and fortitude in one context, was rightly excoriated for Gallipoli.

Mere mortals should take care at whose feet offerings are laid.

On that a He’brew is in order.

8/05/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I wonder what will be the immediate impact of the nature of this fighting in military technical terms.

Missile defense now looks good to everyone except those three or four people who still think that Ronald Reagan was an idiot. Unguided short range rocket defense, such as that would have been made possible by the cancelled laser system (and thanks to the Belmont Club Crew for the update on that) now looks desirable as well. It does not even have to work 100% - war is primarily a psychological conflict and the knowledge that you can do more than sit there and pray is a valuable commodity.

Ironically, this is another case where we should have seen it coming. The MRLS system developed by the US and employed by the IDF is so much more capable than the rockets used by Hezbolah. MLRS even has the capability to "shoot and scoot" much better than Hezbolahs's systems. A digital link sends data to the crew, who drive to the specified location, push three buttons to close the blast shutters, elevate and point, and fire. The specified number of rockets are fired and then they get a new set or orders to scoot to somewhere else. The rockets have a 20 mile range and normally are armed with 844 anti-personnel bomblets.

The Air Force still wants to deploy conventionally armed Minuteman - and I suspect this will get a boost. The ability to drop a few on Syria or Iran and let them think about what it would be like if they had been nuclear warheads sounds good in theory.

Then there is the network-centric warfare techniques learned in Iraq. Applying them to Hezbolah in Lebanaon might yield interesting results.

8/05/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

achilles jones

re: "The next big bombs must be political ones in Israel."

You may have found the best explanation yet for why Hezbollah has not launched its heavy long-range missiles against Tel Aviv and points south. If and when they so do, Mr. Olmert's government will be proved hopelessly inept. Of course, a cease-fire now would save both Hezbollah and the Olmert government.

Why would either side complain?

The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You're always
A day
A way!

8/05/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Sarah wrote:

Israel should have responded to this from day one by taking down the Lebanese power grid, nuking the Dahiya and Harat Heik in S. Beirut, nuking Hermel and the Bekaa Valley and announcing for all to hear that if the two soldiers are not returned unharmed within 24 hours that the regime in Syria will cease to exist and that if they are subsequently not returned within another 24 hours the regime in Tehran will cease to exist.

Believe it or not, there are other great powers with nuclear weapons that wouldn't take kindly to the first use of atomics since 1945 over a kidnapping (I'm thinking Russia, which might feel threatened by Israel tossing those things around), and if the Jews did that, Israel would cease to exist. It would only take about 10 H-bombs, tops.

8/05/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Heraclitus said...

Hmmm...could the Israeli re-entry into Southern Lebanon be seen as an attempt to redress the harm caused by their prior precipitous withdrawal? Did this prior withdrawal embolden the hardliners in Iran to their current level of risk taking?

Air power is greatly over-rated in some regards. It did not stop German industrial production in WWII and it cannot root out infantry in broken terrain who have had sufficient time to prepare proper defensive positions.

If Iran were to be considered the principal geo-political threat to U.S. interests in the oil patch with nuclear capability potential as the tip to the Iranian spear, then breaking that potential is a key point of focus.

Air power and economic sanctions have no chance of either stopping nor slowing down a potential Iranian drive toward nuclear capability. That will require boots on the ground. Iran is a large mountainous country with a population of 75 million. Boots on the ground in Iran will take a U.S. mobilization effort nearly equal to that of WWII, which includes the draft. The question becomes, how good is a conscript army against a determined for on their own territory where that foe has modern weapons and the terrain favors the defensive? In WWII the Italian campaign and the Hurtgen forest answer at the time was that the defense under those conditions can put up a pretty good show.

Which leads me to my point. I think the present conflict in South Lebanon is the perfect test bed to answer the question of how boots on the ground in Iran might play out. Just how good are modern man portable infantry weapons in favoring the defense fighting on its own territory willing to give up ground when needed with the goal of conserving its fighting forces while sucking the invader into an ever growing cauldron?

As such, my belief is that the U.S. should not try to wind things up in South Lebanon too quickly and should supply Israel with everything needed to continue the ground war if they so wish. Indeed, whatever Israel needs to go on a full war footing should be provided. The lessons learned will be invaluable to save American lives down the road.

8/05/2006 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

Teresita,

Yeah, I was a little taken aback by that comment.

8/05/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Doug,

Violin lessons from Betty Dayton 1958 to 63. Dad tasked to Pacific Missile Range.

8/05/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

I've been thinking along the lines of Lone Star, that the current Israeli engagement in Lebanon was planned in concert with the US, GB, and perhaps France. Remember Chirac's sudden warning to terror sponsors awhile back were France to be attacked? Seems quite plausible that a few world leaders are taking Ahmadinejad's apocalyptic dark utterances seriously, that there's credible evidence of a horrific threat coming soon to Israel and perhaps to Europe and the US (either at the outset or in response to the West's response to a devastating attack on Israel.)

Olmert, acting rather out of character and perhaps not perfectly on script, nevertheless suddenly moving to degrade Hamas and Hezbollah is just part of it. There's adjoining territory to soften up and "secure" east and north of Israel, prisoners and caches of paperwork to capture for more intel and evidence, and diplomatic dickering to give our side time to set up the next act: degradation of Iran's nuke program and one hopes the country's bully prestige along with it. Assad will be given a "choice" to stand down or be pushed down, and other regional regimes will cry crocodile tears over our attack on the Mullahs' domination fantasies.

8/05/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Heraclitus,
"Air power and economic sanctions have no chance of either stopping nor slowing down a potential Iranian drive toward nuclear capability"

That's completely wrong. Airpower w/conventional weapons would be able to completely stop Iran's nuke program, if we were willing to use it.

8/05/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Technicalities aside, de-stabilizing Iran is as simple as what others here have stated for Lebanon. Simultaneously destroy transportation assets, power assets, and financial assets. May take a few rounds of this, but.....

And, if you really want to get mean, food assets. Wandering hordes of Persians looking for a home in Sunni land.

Sort of a Shiite Diaspora....

I know, not sensitive, ignoring the "real moderate muslim", sabre-rattling, "we are too civilized", etc.

So, how has history taught us to change a religion? No falling back on Naziism as religion, or Communism as religion. Without destroying it, how do you change the mores of any religion?

8/05/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Heraclitus said...

exhelodrvr: Not completely wrong. Without boots on the ground there are no guarantees. Iran is too large and weapons grade uranium enrichment too easy via the centrifuge route to be 100% sure conventional air strikes will work so I think you have to leave boots o the ground as an option.

Look at it this way, if you put 75 million Americans in a country the size of Iran, do you think a foreign power could keep them from making nukes while being hammered by conventional air power. I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Another consideration is keeping the oil tankers moving against the threat of Iranian anti-ship missles holed up in caves along their side of the Gulf. Conventional air power can't be guaranteed to stop that either.

If a modern Israeli missle ship can be hit, what chance does a tanker have?

Between the nuke development capability and the anti-ship missle threat, the U.S. has to have boots on the ground as an option.

Southern Lebanon is a good little experiment to see what it would take in that regards.

8/05/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Heraclitus,
"Look at it this way, if you put 75 million Americans in a country the size of Iran, do you think a foreign power could keep them from making nukes while being hammered by conventional air power."

Absolutely. The question is whether we would be willing to put the effort into doing it.

8/05/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Whit - Lets just say that anyone with an impartial education into ME events can pick you out as a duped Zionist sock-puppet -- as easily as one can pick out a bin Laden Salafi, or Mohammed al-Sadr supporter.

whit said...
Cedarford: So I'm a victim huh?

Maybe you can share some wisdom and truth that will disabuse me of my notions.

I'm listening.


If you are truly interested in ME events, stop being so guillible in only reading zionist sources. Keep your reading 1.3rd or so zionist, 1.3rd the opposition, 1.3rd voices outside jewish-owned publishers of opinions and essays. Chistopher Hitchins is a good start.

8/05/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Dang Sarah,I guess that heel Achilles Jones and Teresita put it more succinctly than I ,but I'm worried about you gal.
Last week I was speculating that your 24/7 hysteria stemmed from an extremely lengthy time of the month,but now I don't know.
Your nuke comment made me think that maybe it was a prescient glance into the menopausal mind of one Hilary Rodham;maybe the day she caught First Lothario Billy Jeff servicing Lindsay Lohan in the alcoves of the White House.
Get some rest ,2008 is along way off.You have to learn to pace yourself.

8/05/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

trangbang68,

Some of us wimmenfolk may completely agree with you on policy particulars, but if you bring hormones into it, then it's a female's duty to inform you that men also have hormonal "swings" and go through menopause. Lob those missiles veeerrry carefully, dear sir.

8/05/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

In the immortal words of the chubby guy on Cheers, "Women, can't live WITH 'em, can't live with 'em.
:-D

8/05/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

And, in the immortal words of most women, "Men!"

8/05/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

well, *that* can't be outquipped--wins on brevity--
:(

8/05/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger John Samford said...

http://www.hilltoptimes.com/archive/20010712/17.html

This is what I was sppeaking to on the B-1's. 33 are sitting in storage right now. Give them to Israel. It will take a couple of months to get them up and running and train the aircrew, but this little dust up won't be over by then.
For the doubters, Iran would be a perfect place to run a Kosovo type air campaign. Iran has enough infastructure to make it worth bombing, and despite the opinion of the English Majors amongst us, you CANNOT run a gas difusion plant off a Honda portable generator. It is physically impossbile. As in 'Laws of Physics" The power requirements are to great. You need the output of a hydroelextric dam or a nuclear reactor.
As far as Iran mounting anti-ship missiles on the straits of Hormez, they tried that back in the early to mid 80's.

http://countrystudies.us/iraq/105.htm

The silkworm is OLD tech. Air strikes on the Silkworm sites would stop that BS. Please note that the Israeli ship was caught with it's pants down. The hit was a reflection on the Captain, Not the silkworm. The Israeli Ship had a CIWS that was turned off. IN A COMBAT ZONE.
Plus closing the straits would not hurt the USA. WE get very little of our OIL from the M/E. Canada is our largest foreign supplier with Russia soon to replace Saudi Arabia ( deal was signed at the G-8 in Moscow)in that #2 spot.

http://api-ec.api.org/industry/index.cfm?bitmask=001004000000000000

The nations that will be hurt the most by interuption of Iranian OIL exports is China.
That is why there will be no sanctions against Iran. Not unless the USA and Russia cut a deal with China offering them the lions share of Iranian exports AFTER regime change. Not sure how such a deal could be kept, since a new regime in Iran will have it's own ideas about where the OIL goes.
No, the Iranian problem won't be solved thru diplomacy, since the Mad Mullahs WANT WAR and have said so serveral times since they captured the American Embassey back in '79.
All that is left to work out is the when and how.

8/05/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

sarahweddington,

By all means, continue what you are doing.

Even when I disagree, you force me to take a nanosecond to THINK about why.

Thanks!

For whatever it is worth, consider the words of the great Franklin, "The sting of insult is truth."

8/05/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger jonesy said...

Mad Fiddler said...
1) Europe in the middle ages was very much hobbled by its obstinate focus on the Bible. Medicine, literature, mathematics, astronomy, history... Every area of human concern was truncated and subordinated to Biblical-Spiritual-Christian doctrine.

Not sure your interpretation of history is correct. What hobbled Europe in the middle ages with respect to Christendom was the populace listening to Pope's and clerics instead of knowing themselves what the Bible said. The age of Renaissance and Reformation was fueled in large part by the printing press which for the first time exposed large sections of the populace to the Bible itself. Right?

Mad Fiddler said...
They suddenly find themselves rich beyond the dreams of most countries, from oil wealth that they did not themselves have the technology or inclination to develop...

Actually, the oil barons are not the ones interested in riot and war. The average ME citizen is unemployed and destitute. In the ME countries where citizens share in the oil wealth they are a little less interested in war.

8/05/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Lone Star said...

Bridget said:
"lone star,
I tend to agree with you about the cease fire being the goal to start with."

Catherine said:
"I've been thinking along the lines of Lone Star, that the current Israeli engagement in Lebanon was planned in concert with the US, GB, and perhaps France."


Well, I am glad to see that if I am loony, that I at least am not alone.

There have been just too many strange happenings since this all started for me not to believe that this has been in planning for some time. i.e;

1. The usual suspects ( France and Germany for example) not immediately condemning Israel as soon hostilities started.

2. Arab governments condemning Hezbollah instead of Israel. This one for sure did not just happen spontaneously.

3. The fact that France and the US have been cooperating much more in the last couple of years. It has been pretty low key and not much commented on, but, it is clear that we are working a lot closer together now. All the harsh rhetoric of the past is also gone.

4. The Israeli response itself. Although Nasrallah was shocked at how strongly Israel reacted to what he considered minor provocation, the rest of the world ( those that support what Israel is doing anyway) have been surprised by Israel's cautious approach. The conventional thinking was that Israel had a few weeks to crush Hezbollah, before world opinion would force a cease fire, thus, supporters have been dismayed that Israel was not committing the resources necessary for an all effort to destroy Hezbollah in the time alloted.

The above observations, have led me to believe that Israel's goal is to do as much damage to Hezbollah as possible, but, more importantly, to create the political environment that would allow a multi-national force to come in and finish the job of disarming Hezbollah.

8/05/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Sort of cleaning up the place before the company arrives. I believe that, too. Cover that flank in case Iran is next, regardless of who starts it up. Limited objective, prepping the bigger fish which will likely need frying.

8/05/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Lone Star: as Buddy says, the important thing is to reduce Hezzies utility to the Iranians. Forget the Eurotrash media, Chirac and Merkel have figured out what Bush and Rice have understood since last year: Ahmadhi-Nejad intends to go to war.

First, tame Hezbollah.

Second, geld Sadr.

THEN, denuclearize the Iranians.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

8/05/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger NortheastOxymoron said...

John Samford said,

"BTW anybody know where a pool on the cease fire is? I'm thinking somewhere between Yom Kipper and New Years."

Wow, that's really narrowing it down. Nothing like going out on a ledge. ;-) Even if multinational forces are deployed, it will likely take until after Yom Kippur.

8/05/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Lone Star said...

Chris: I agree. As I said in my first post, this is all part of "prepping the battlefield" for the coming battle with Iran. This step will eliminate Hezbollah's ability to help Iran.
The US forces being sent to Baghdad will begin the process of "gelding" Sadr.
In addition, I think we will see Syria pulled away from Iran. The result will be Iran and the rest of the extremist on one side, the rest of the world on the other.

To quote Ledeen, "Faster please"

8/05/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger NortheastOxymoron said...

"What was the effect of 9/11 on the US population?"

Especially among the fortunate Americans and others who did not lose family, work colleagues or friends, or were not directly impacted on 9/11, arguably it appears a decreasing number of Americans seemed to have been affected by that day's tragic events.

It's inexplicable to those directly impacted by those who lost loved ones, especially the further one gets from the City, DC, Boston, and the western PA crash site, but apparently not to an increasing number of Yanks. Go figure!

8/05/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Don't be fooled by the MSM blackout curtain, northeastoxymoron, you long-named son of a gun, you.

8/05/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger NortheastOxymoron said...

Buddy Larsen said...

"In the immortal words of the chubby guy on Cheers, "Women, can't live WITH 'em, can't live with 'em. :-D"

IIRC, the above quote was stated by Al Bundy. However, Norm Peterson on Cheers blessed the neterosexual male populace with the following:
"Women: Can't live with 'em...pass the beernuts." Clearly, 2 men of great insight and intellect. ;-)

8/05/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I do believe you're right--what a idiot I is, to cornfuse Norm and Al, two of our great subversives!

8/05/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

I'd love to hear Cedarford's version of ME history. Lay out for me the true history of the ME, the one untainted by "zionist" propoganda, as you term it. I'm sure you can do it in a paragraph or so.

I'd suspect that according to him the "Zionists" are the evil colonial occupiers who've plotted to destroy the ME and kill all the arabs and muslims and take their land. That everything is their fault.

His history, like that of John Pilger, Chris HitchEns(if you want people to take you seriously, Cedarford, learn to spell people's names correctly), Robert Fisk et al is nothing but antisemitism mixed with a leftist/socialist ideology that resents Israel for its relationship with America, its success, and for the fact that despite all their best efforts and their unrelenting attempts, the Jews are still there 58 years on.

Cedarford has his champion in Ahmadinejad and his minions who are preparing the Endlossung that the Fuhrer was unable to complete, and the event that will finally leave the ME judenrein as the hundreds of milions of arabs and muslims have yearned for it to be ever since May 14, 1948.

I however, like many others I suspect, have recognized his act for what it is and will call him on it.

8/05/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Women: Can't live with 'em...pass the beernuts.

Would sound Islamist-misogynist were it pistachios. Good thing Norm went for the beernuts.

8/05/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Since they're from Iran, they oughtta be called "pissedoffios".

8/05/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

sarahweddington,

"Cedarford, learn to spell people's names correctly"

Please, don't go there. You can have this guy's lunch without going there.

8/05/2006 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

i just found his cristopher hitchins interesting when he claims to have the truth about. what's the big deal about pointing it out?

8/05/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

sarahweddington,

re: big deal

To err is human.

This site benefits from all opinions, warts and all.

Also, I'm just protecting myself. A Margarita here, a Margarita there, soon enough it’s the dog's hair.

Hitchens is simple: Hitchens was a fellow traveler, who has seen the light, sometimes. Oh, and Hitchens, his magnificent accomplishments notwithstanding, has feet of clay.

Israel is not perfect. The question is, "Is Israel less perfect than the Arab/Islamofascist alternative?" Cedarford might choose not to address that particular query - doesn't fit the Zionist/Elders model.

8/05/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

i thus apologize for my spelling comment. no offense was intended.

i do look forward to his history lesson.

i've found though, that debating middle east history is pointless. people have their views and they won't change. it's like arguing about abortion. there's really no point.

I'm just curious to see what his version of events is, that's all. I'd like to know more about where he's coming from

8/05/2006 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Sarah, that great big bubbling pot o' facts sure enough does give some folks the "analysis paralysis".

Sure, one can delve back into the history of Israel and say the King David Hotel equals the WTC and so a pox on all houses.

Problem is, it ignores the meta-truth that one side of this fight is people who respect virtue and love their children, and the other side wrecks their children and holds to no virtue but killing your ass.

Maybe the time has come to pick a side, since not to do so is to sit on the fence nursing your complex analyses and hoping to be saved by the "simplistic" people.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"


"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.


It's jabberwocky, alright, and it's here.

8/05/2006 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger Achillea said...

Attempting to nudge this thread away from the vicissitudes of spelling, hormones, and nuclear winter and back toward the post topic ...

Ain't no way in hell the Hez, Syria or Iran will agree to any of this for more than the few days it takes to get the Israelis to stop killing bad guys.

Lebanon's sounding like they're not going to agree to it, either. Yes, after spending the past three weeks rending their garments and flinging ashes over their heads, wailing for a ceasefire, they're offered a bright, shiny UN one. And their response is along the lines of wrinkling their nose and saying "Don't you have it in blue?"

I'm normally a patient, calm, compassionate person, but I'm sliding toward "Taste of Armageddon" mode here. Along with the corruption, rape, incompetence, racism, and other glaring malfeasance, the UN has this to answer for. Too many people in the Middle East are woefully and fatally ignorant of the concept of vae victis.

8/05/2006 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger Heraclitus said...

exhelodrvr said...
"Absolutely. The question is whether we would be willing to put the effort into doing it."

For the U.S., the question is not one of will, the question is one of what is the wise course of action to promote U.S. national interests.

If air power was the be all and end all, the U.S. Army wouldn't have had to go into Iraq in the first place.

You can start a war solely with air power, but you can't win one.

8/06/2006 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Cedarford:
I'm still waiting to hear your version of ME history. You didn't actually refute one thing I said, you simply slung some mud and postured.
If I am a poorly read, "duped, Zionist sock puppet," then what are you? Why don't you tell us your version of ME history? Tell us what you read? Protocols? Mein Kampf? Lindbergh? Father Coughlin? I know that you are intelligent and do occasionally make some very good points. I just want to how an otherwise intelligent mind gets twisted. Are you Arab? Are you German? Was your Grandfather killed in the King David?

8/06/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Whit -

From your response you appear to have made up your mind already.

As years go by and you wonder why people from other nations consider you deluded on the ME, maybe then you will reflect and ask why the literate people of the rest of the world, even our closest allies, have an entirely different perspective. So the info the rest of the world uses is wrong, the info in only one country is right???

The answer is the media and textbooks in other countries do not tilt to the Zionist perspective. Only in America - are Zionist myths and boilerplate propaganda like "empty desert", "Arab interlopers", "Fled due to Radio Broadcasts from Arab leaders", "4 wars started by Arab sneak attacks" - still believed.

Even in Israel, they have distanced themselves from the clumsy propaganda dished out by ex-Stalinists who moved to Israel.

So if you are serious in learning and getting a balanced picture, I recommend the Avalon Project of Yale University that has all the British Mandate "White Papers" and reports on who stirred up what trouble between 1920-1948. The Brits were pretty straighforward on expaining what machinations and acts of the Zionists and the Palestinians had generated issues.

Also read the Palestinian perspective...which lays out and explains why so many zionist claims are fraudulent, half truths, or myths. When you read the Palestinian argument and check their claims against source documents and scholarship - notably French, British, Canadian, Australian, AND Israeli scholarship - you find that some Pal counter claims are garbage, but many are dead nuts on true.

Hitchin's "Broadcast" essay is notable and worth a read. Not just because it lays out how the "Arab Radio Broadcast" lie was demolished by Brits in the 60s, why it still suckers guillible Americans -- but because essayists consider it one of the best written in the 20th Century.

8/06/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

cedarford,

re: "ex-Stalinists who moved to Israel"

Who were these ex-Stalinist propagandists? Note, I make the distinction in this instance, as did Khrushchev, between Communism and Stalinism.

Examining first causes from the perspective of the "Other", did the United States bring on itself 9-11?

It seems to me that following your advice to whit, this must be the case, unless you are being inconsistent.

8/06/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Cedarford:
It sounds as if your mind is made up also.

One can read conflicting histories all day but at the end of the day, it's the actions of the central players that tells the true story. For my part, I'll side with Israel over the likes of Hitler, Arafat, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hesbollah, al-Qaeda, and the rest of the death-cult so-called Palestinians.

8/06/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, if we're gonna cherry-pick history for items to use against Israel, I pity the American settlers, who by the same standards would, on the basis of our treatment of Amerindians and African captives, now have to capitulate to the clear and present danger, would now have to submit to the moon-god, whose depredations are forever holy.

Nobody is "clean" -- the question is, which side is trying to climb out of the abyss, and which side is trying to throw us back into it. The question is which side are you on?

8/06/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

whit & buddy,

In my reading of Cedarford, I see someone who would be wholly with the good-guys if it weren't for those irritating Jews.

Factor out the Jews from the Western equation and Cedarford might be a reliable ally.

8/06/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Or just stay with the logic and factor out the west from the western equation.

Then the equation would be less confusing.

8/06/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

catherine said:

Some of us wimmenfolk may completely agree with you on policy particulars, but if you bring hormones into it, then it's a female's duty to inform you that men also have hormonal "swings" and go through menopause.

Also known as "Men! Oh Please!"

8/07/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

lone star said:

As I said in my first post, this is all part of "prepping the battlefield" for the coming battle with Iran. This step will eliminate Hezbollah's ability to help Iran.

The problem with "prepping the battlefield" and all other forms of set-piece warfare is that you give away to the enemy where you intend to give battle. Much better to move around and around until the birds get dizzy, and then strike where the enemy least expects you. If I were Xena and in charge of the IDF I'd abandon operations in the "buffer zone" and let the country take the hits from the deadly but militarily ineffectual short-range rockets, building up "victim equity" with world opinion while most of Hez occupies themselves with hiding out and launching them. Then I'd hang a quick right turn on the road that's supplying the rockets from Syria, and actually go into Syria, covering one flank from the Golan Heights and the other with air cover. The boots on the ground would interdict the trucks carrying rockets, and I'd have half my F-16s and all my remote-control planes orbit over southern Lebanon to conduct immediate retaliatory strikes after each launch, hoping to get the launchers and the crew. Only after the US got an agreement on the diplomatic front would I consent to leave the highway in Syria. If it was a damn good agreement I might even leave Lebanon.

8/07/2006 12:22:00 PM  

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