Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Robert Fisk On Lebanon

Yet another argument for engagement. The al-Qaeda now fighting in the refugee camps would not have come had America been smarter, according to Robert Fisk.

It is too simple to claim that this is Syria's work. Syria may have an interest is watching this destabilisation, even - through its security networks - assisting these groups with logistics. But other organisations might have found common interest; the Iraqi insurgents, for example, even the Taliban, perhaps equally small groups in the Palestinian occupied territories. That's how these things work in the Middle East, where there is no such thing as responsibility - only a commonality of interests. Perhaps the Americans might have learnt something about this if they had not two years ago insulted the Syrians for allowing fighters into Iraq - at which point, the Syrians halted all military and intelligence co-operation with the US.


It's America's fault That is, when it is not Israel's fault.

If these internecine Palestinian disputes appear tiresome, it should be remembered that many have their origins in the Lebanese civil war, when Arafat's PLO fought on the Muslim side against Christian Maronite militia.

As always, Fisk ends with a cheap threat. Struggle and you will make it worse.

If the siege of Nahr el-Bared continues, however, it may not be so easy to control the Palestinian groups in Beirut and in the south of Lebanon. And then the Lebanese army - which is all that stands between peace and anarchy here - will be even further stretched.

15 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

Giving Jihadists Legal Status:
---
Every Senator Should Read The Bensman Series From The San Antonio Express News
Posted by Hugh Hewitt
The four part series I noted below is must reading for every senator considering amendments to the draft immigration bill which, at its unveiling, made no provision for treating illegal aliens from countries with known jihadist networks differently from Mexican or Central American immigrants.

Some amazing graphs from part 2:

5/22/2007 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hugh was reading some interesting stuff about the elements in the Mexican Govt being very co-operative with our DEA and other agencies, sharing info on known and suspected terrorists, knowing full well that if a major attack is staged from across the border, things will rapidly change, and billions now fed into their economy from illegals here will begin drying up.
---
On a less promising note was some source saying we were recruiting agents for Iraqi Borders from our Border Agents here!

5/22/2007 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger John Lynch said...

You mean Robert Fisk is saying it's all America's fault? STOP THE PRESSES!

Dog, man... you know the drill.

5/22/2007 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Remind me again: why are we quoting Robert Fisk?

If the Lebanese hadn't forced the Pals to live in refugee camps for fifty years, and if the refugee camps hadn't become armed no-go zones for the Lebanese authorities, and if Lebanon didn't have a weak government, then this wouldn't have happened.

Somehow I don't think it's the US's fault that the Leb Army is lobbing large numbers of artillary shells into a Pal armed refuge camp.

Sometimes a military conflict between an Arab govt and a bunch of terrrorist is just a military conflict between an Arab govt and a bunch of terrorists.

5/22/2007 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger William Tyroler said...

That's how these things work in the Middle East, where there is no such thing as responsibility - only a commonality of interests.

Yeah, pretty apt description of Rabid Robert's journalistic credo, too.

5/22/2007 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Utopia Parkway beat me to it when he said: "Remind me again: why are we quoting Robert Fisk?"

Unless you're a gullible moonbat, there's not much point in reading anything that Fisk writes.

5/22/2007 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

The locals cheer when the Army strikes the armed group in amongst the "Palestinian" refugees in their camp (or prison). That warms my heart or have I been spun by some obscure agenda?

Iran may feel that they are about to be attacked and this is just part of a smoke screen they are putting up.

5/23/2007 02:09:00 AM  
Blogger JoseyWales said...

So Fisk is back from planet Loon?

Bush mismanaged the hell out of this war but not-being-nice to Syria for killing our troops ain't it.

If anything, the US should have been tougher on Syria from week-2 of the war, when they were still in awe and crapping in their pants.

And Fisk, here's Pelosi in Syria. What did she get: jailed democrats in Syria and more mayhem for Lebanon

5/23/2007 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Only in the deliberately upside-down world of totalitarian apologists like Fisk could complaints about Syrian interference in Iraq be considered an 'insult' to be
answered (quite naturally, of course) with 'uncooperation' and belligerence.

I'm sure what we were getting from Syria was misdirection, at best.

Imagine -- accusing the Soviet Union of attempting to destabilize Central American in the 70's and 80's prompting the Kremlin to halt military and intelligence cooperation with the U.S.

Geez.

Calling Fisk's delusions simply 'mistaken' is too kind. He's the spawn of people like Willi Munzenberg and Mihail Suslov, part of a pandemic loosed upon the West for which we currently lack the antidote.

5/23/2007 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Yep, what Palestinian militants in Lebanon need is more . . . democracy! Question for Buddy Larsen, Aristides, or any other BCer who wants to take a crack at it. Are you a Bob Kerrey-style "principled liberal"?

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=Y2VlYzQyYTk3MWYzNDkxMzM1YzZiMmM0NmY2OGQ4ZTY=&w=MA==

Senator Kerrey is a principled liberal. Only a principled liberal could so vividly capture the cynical irony here. Though conceived as vital to our national security, the Iraqi chapter in the war on terror has been conducted, since Saddam’s expulsion, as a Wilsonian experiment. It assumes — against all reason and experience — that we’re all one human family, that everyone craves freedom, that everyone would use freedom the same enlightened way, and that we, the superpower, have a special obligation to make it happen. If the experiment were being conducted by liberals, rather than by George W. Bush, Democrats would be its staunchest defenders (and conservatives its wariest skeptics).

Iraq, however, is a frustrating slog precisely because it is an exercise in democracy building, not mere jihadist repulsion. Sen. Kerrey wants to have both Bush’s grandiose democracy project and Webb’s Spartan terrorist smacking … all without occupying anyone. It can’t be done.

We want, of course, to believe that we can democratize Islamic radicals into submission — it’s much more congenial than killing them or cooling their jets in Guantanamo Bay so we can get the intelligence needed to kill them before they kill us. But it’s a fantasy. The cold record shows that jihadists are much better at using democracy to pursue their ends than democracy is at quelling jihadist pathologies.

5/23/2007 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...

"Perhaps the Americans might have learnt something about this if they had not two years ago insulted the Syrians for allowing fighters into Iraq - at which point, the Syrians halted all military and intelligence co-operation with the US."

Huh? Ignoring Fisk's exaggeration that US reactions amounted to "insulting" the Syrians, I ask this: What exactly were the American's supposed to do? Fisk is implying that there's some magical portion of the spectrum where the US opposes the Syrians without insulting them and manages to get what it wants with such proper action. Missing from his analysis is the fact that going to the Syrians for help in stopping a problem the Syrians created is like paying mob heavies for "protection" ("It'd be a shame if something bad happened to this country...") and therefore playing right into their hands.

I just cannot stand the fact that, among his myriad faults, Fisk would rather the US be so gulllible. Does Fisk truly understand the nature of conflict? From reading much of his previous work, I'd guess not, as for him any conflict, however minor, equals the US's or Israel's fault, regardless of who's involved or what degree of influence either the US or Israel has on the situation.

What stinks is that some people consider him an intellectual. But hey! Even a four foot tall man is a giant among midgets, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised...

5/23/2007 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Isn't Fisk the guy who got the crap beat out him by a Taliban street gang, and then praised them for it?

hey, his politics are the *least* of his twists--

5/23/2007 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

reocon, if you don't quit trying to stick Kerrey to my butt, I'm gonna start sticking Father Coughlin to yours--
:-D

5/23/2007 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

"I ask this: What exactly were the American's supposed to do? Fisk is implying that there's some magical portion of the spectrum where the US opposes the Syrians without insulting them and manages to get what it wants with such proper action. Missing from his analysis is the fact that going to the Syrians for help in stopping a problem the Syrians created is like paying mob heavies for "protection" ("It'd be a shame if something bad happened to this country...") and therefore playing right into their hands."

These observations would condemn this as more of stupid anti-American Fisk except for one unfortunate fact - the above approximates the current Bush/Maliki policy of engaging with neighbouring countries and was discussed between the Syrian regime & Condoleeza in Damascus last month.

What we are witnessing is a rare event - Fisk getting something half right.

5/24/2007 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Poor Mr. Fisk is still fighting windmills.

5/25/2007 10:54:00 PM  

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