Jul 18, 2006

Sources: Bush Gave Israel "Green Light" for Lebanon War

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Left: Israeli heavy artillery firing against a suspected Hezbollah target in South Lebanon; courtesy of AP

(London) British, European and Israeli sources told British newspaper The Guardian that US President Bush gave Israel the "green light" for its widely condemned military attacks in Lebanon.

"It's clear the Americans have given the Israelis the green light," said a senior European official. "They [the Israeli attacks] will be allowed to go on longer, perhaps for another week."

Over 240 Lebanese civilians have been killed in the past week from attacks by Israeli forces. Power stations, roads, bridges, and other civilian infrastructure have been targeted in addition to suspected Hezbollah strongholds.

13 Israeli civilians have been killed by Hezbollah rockets fired from southern Lebanon, mainly toward the Israeli port city of Haifa.

Lebanese PM Fouad Siniora said that Israel was "opening the gates of hell and madness" on Lebanon, and that Israel's response to the capture by Hezbollah of two soldiers had been disproportionate.

"Israel now is a terrorist country that is committing every day a terrorist act," he said. "What Israel has been doing is cutting the country to pieces."

Siniora estimated that the damage to Lebanese infrastructure is in the billions of US dollars.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't this criminal Bush been impeached????

historymike said...

"Criminal?" I'd have to see the evidence.

As far as impeachment goes, I don't think the Dems have the votes, and it would be an exercise in futility. They would lose, and they would look foolish - it would probably backfire and end up helping the GOP.

Kate said...

Over the weekend the Saudi P.M., Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain all condemned Hezbollah's activities.

I think this is huge. I am unaware of any time in history that the Arab 'league' for lack of a better term, split. This will only further destabilize the area.

Dariush said...

Kate: "Over the weekend the Saudi P.M., Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain all condemned Hezbollah's activities."

In his latest column, William Lind examines the tactics of Hezbollah within the context of the reality of Fourth-Generation War:

With Hezbollah's entry into the war between Israel and Hamas, Fourth Generation war has taken another developmental step forward. For the first time, a non-state entity has gone to war with a state not by waging an insurgency against a state invader, but across an international boundary. Again we see how those who define 4GW simply as insurgency are looking at only a small part of the picture.

I think the stakes in the Israel-Hezbollah-Hamas war are significantly higher than most observers understand. If Hezbollah and Hamas win – and winning just means surviving, given that Israel's objective is to destroy both entities – a powerful state will have suffered a new kind of defeat, again, a defeat across at least one international boundary and maybe two, depending on how one defines Gaza's border. The balance between states and 4GW forces will be altered world-wide, and not to a trivial degree.

So far, Hezbollah is winning. As Arab states stood silent and helpless before Israel's assault on Hamas, another non-state entity, Hezbollah, intervened to relieve the siege of Gaza by opening a second front. Its initial move, a brilliantly conducted raid that killed eight Israeli soldiers and captured two for the loss of one Hezbollah fighter, showed once again that Hezbollah can take on state armed forces on even terms (the Chechens are the only other 4GW force to demonstrate that capability). In both respects, the contrast with Arab states will be clear on the street, pushing the Arab and larger Islamic worlds further away from the state.

Hezbollah then pulled off two more firsts. It responded effectively to terror bombing from the air, which states think is their monopoly, with rocket barrages that reached deep into Israel. One can only imagine how this resonated world-wide with people who are often bombed but can never bomb back. And, it attacked another state monopoly, navies, by hitting and disabling a blockading Israeli warship with something (I question Israel's claim that the weapon was a C-801 anti-ship missile, which should have sunk a small missile corvette). Hezbollah's leadership has promised more such surprises."



Great stuff also from Buchanan in his latest WorldNetDaily column:

The Lebanon that Israel, with Bush's blessing, is smashing up has a pro-American government, heretofore considered a shining example of his democracy crusade. Yet, asked in St. Petersburg if he would urge Israel to use restraint in its airstrikes, Bush sounded less like the leader of the Free World than some bellicose city councilman from Brooklyn Heights.

[snip]

That Tel Aviv is maneuvering us to fight its wars is understandable. That Americans are ignorant of, or complicit in this, is deplorable.

Already, Bush is ranting about Syria being behind the Hezbollah capture of the Israeli soldiers. But where is the proof?

Who is whispering in his ear? The same people who told him Iraq was maybe months away from an atom bomb, that an invasion would be a "cakewalk," that he would be Churchill, that U.S. troops would be greeted with candy and flowers, that democracy would break out across the region, that Palestinians and Israelis would then sit down and make peace.

How much must America pay for the education of this man?

the perpetual refugee said...

Bush's knowledge of the middle east political dynamic is too simplistic. He has further endangered the U.S. with this latest proxy war.

Kate - what is really going on is a Sunni vs. Shi'ite political game. You see it happening in Iraq. The Sunni countries do not want a powerful (or delusional) Shi'ite force in the Middle East (Hizbullah). That is the reason for their condemnation.

It has unfortunately come at a very high price. Their regimes will be weakened by the anger within their communities. People will now hate Israel even more after watching so many dead bodies being carried away on TV. And the standing of the U.S. across the world is going to be further eroded.

A very sad time indeed.

Madison Guy said...

Now Kristol is calling on us to take advantage of Israel’s momentum by attacking Iran. They just don't know when to stop. The Middle East is turning into a black hole that threatens to eat everything, and at the same time, the freakin’ idiots who dragged us into Iraq on a tide of neocon rhetoric to start this all are haunting my computer. I need an exorcist!

Kate said...

dariush - I agree with this "I think the stakes in the Israel-Hezbollah-Hamas war are significantly higher than most observers understand" very much.

And refugee I agree with the Shi' and Sunni matter - but this has escalated out of control.

Madison - I think the reason Iran is on the hotseat is because they are supplying arms - not to the Lebanese state but to Hezbollah. And from what I read - most of the league of Arab nations feels that Iran instigated the border crossing and kidnapping of soldiers that sparked this matter.

I don't think this is a neocon issue - I think it's a problem for the whole world. Lebanon is getting beaten to a pulp. And I seriously doubt that they were aggressors in any way.

historymike said...

Kate:

I think that the relevant problem that madison guy addresses are what I call the "neo-Khans," or the war-mongering crowd among Bush's advisors.

We now have even Newt Gingrich trumpeting "World War II" as a call to arms, as well as to his 2008 presidential run.

For Newt, this war is a chance for the US to redeem itself by widening the US involvement in the Middle East and attacking the states (Syria and Iran) who do not play ball the way we want.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Somehow I seriously doubt that Israel waits for anyone to give them a green light...

"Siniora estimated that the damage to Lebanese infrastructure is in the billions of US dollars."

That phrase "US dollars," is an unfortunate choice of words.

Borg said...

"We now have even Newt Gingrich trumpeting "World War II" as a call to arms, as well as to his 2008 presidential run."--"History"mike

--

I was under the impression that World War 2 ended in 1945.

Could be wrong.

Anyway, hey, I heard that a few thousand Hezbollah supporters poured out into the streets today carrying signs that say "ISLAM WILL DOMINATE".

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable assessement to me.

(Now where in the bloody hell did I put that chopping block?)


I'm on your side now. Death to the INFIDELS. Now someone, quick, cut my head off!

historymike said...

(here's what the previous comment should have read):

I think that the relevant problem that madison guy addresses are what I call the "neo-Khans," or the war-mongering crowd among Bush's advisors.

We now have even Newt Gingrich trumpeting "World War III" as a call to arms, as well as to his 2008 presidential run.

For Newt, this war is a chance for the US to redeem itself by widening the US involvement in the Middle East and attacking the states (Syria and Iran) who do not play ball the way we want.

Sorry for the typo.

Stefan Schmidt said...

Here are some facts:

Israel had 18 years to clear out Hezbollah.

9/10 of the victims of Israeli’s “response” are civilians (over 200 civilians so far).

Hezbollah has only managed to kill over 20 Israelis (around half of them are soldiers).

Israeli has publicly stated that a ‘strong’ Lebanese government is good for Israel but Israel has bombed a Lebanese military base anyways (killed some off-duty officers).

Most (if not all) of the bombing campaigns waged by the Israelis against the Lebanese happened outside of Hezbollah strongholds in the south and North East.

Israeli is demanding that certain UN resolutions be enforced (in regards to disarming Hezbollah) but Israeli has ignored similar UN resolutions in regards to occupying certain Palestinian territories.

Israeli frequently assassinates “terrorist” leaders in sovereign nations and has currently arrested (and is holding without trial) many Palestinians and Lebanese “terrorists” but declares it ‘an act of war’ when Hamas and Hezbollah engage in the same activity.

Israel is one of the wealthiest countries yet receives the most US aid (most of this ‘aid’ goes into their military which is one of the most sophisticated in the world thanks to US ‘aid’ and technology).

The Zionist movement started off as a “terrorist” organization---many “terrorist style’ bombings occurred across Europe and Palestine.

Most of the residents of Israel are in fact Ashkenazi Jews who have no claim (based on ancestry) to Palestine since their genealogy is mostly European.

Dariush said...

Speaking of the neokahns, opposition to them and their Perpetual War agenda is rising from some unexpected quarters. Several people seem to have recovered their long-missing cojones all at once.

George Will in his latest Washington Post column:

The administration, justly criticized for its Iraq premises and their execution, is suddenly receiving some criticism so untethered from reality as to defy caricature. The national, ethnic and religious dynamics of the Middle East are opaque to most people, but to the Weekly Standard — voice of a spectacularly misnamed radicalism, "neoconservatism" — everything is crystal clear: Iran is the key to everything.

"No Islamic Republic of Iran, no Hezbollah. No Islamic Republic of Iran, no one to prop up the Assad regime in Syria. No Iranian support for Syria . . ." You get the drift. So, the Weekly Standard says:

"We might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait? Does anyone think a nuclear Iran can be contained? That the current regime will negotiate in good faith? It would be easier to act sooner rather than later. Yes, there would be repercussions — and they would be healthy ones, showing a strong America that has rejected further appeasement."

"Why wait?" Perhaps because the U.S. military has enough on its plate in the deteriorating wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which both border Iran. And perhaps because containment, although of uncertain success, did work against Stalin and his successors, and might be preferable to a war against a nation much larger and more formidable than Iraq. And if Bashar Assad's regime does not fall after the Weekly Standard's hoped-for third war, with Iran, does the magazine hope for a fourth?

As for the "healthy" repercussions that the Weekly Standard is so eager to experience from yet another war: One envies that publication's powers of prophecy but wishes it had exercised them on the nation's behalf before all of the surprises — all of them unpleasant — that Iraq has inflicted. And regarding the "appeasement" that the Weekly Standard decries: Does the magazine really wish the administration had heeded its earlier (Dec. 20, 2004) editorial advocating war with yet another nation — the bombing of Syria?



And Juan Williams on Fox News Sunday, laying into PNAC Bill:

Well, it just seems to me that you want…you just want war, war, war, and you want us in more war. You wanted us in Iraq. Now you want us in Iran. Now you want us to get into the Middle East, where I think there's a real interesting dynamic at play. I think it's psychological on the part of Israel and many of its supporters, and I'll throw you in here...you're saying, why doesn't the United States take this hard, unforgiving line? Well, the hard and unforgiving line has been, we don't talk to anybody. We don't talk to Hamas. We don't talk to Hezbollah. We're not going to talk to Iran. Where has it gotten us, Bill?

Good comments also in the above link from plenty of fed-up Americans.

Dariush said...

The silence of American churches in regards to the ongoing devastation of Lebanon has also been very telling.

You would think that, even if Muslim lives are worth nothing, bombs falling onto Christian neighbourhoods and towns, with pinpoint precision accuracy, would cause at least some ruckus to be raised by those who claim the mantle of Jesus Christ.

As Michael Totten, proud member of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders and long-time Israel Firster, had to say:

There is no alternate universe where the Lebanese government could have disarmed an Iranian-trained terrorist/guerilla militia that even the Israelis could not defeat in years of grinding war. There is no alternate universe where it was in Lebanon's interest to restart the civil war on Israel's behalf, to burn down their country all over again right at the moment where they finally had hope after 30 years of convulsive conflict and Baath Party overlordship. …

Israel should not have bombed Central Beirut, which was almost monolithically anti-Hezbollah. They should not have bombed my old neighborhood, which was almost monolithically anti-Hezbollah. They should not have bombed the Maronite city of Jounieh, which was not merely anti-Hezbollah but also somewhat pro-Israel.



Now that Israel is raining death down on central Beirut, and Christian towns and neighbourhoods, while barely even nicking Hezbollah itself, it's quite likely that Hezbollah's stature will be given a boost among all the Lebanese. Even the perpetual handservants of the Israelis, and vanguard of the "Cedar Revolution", the Maronites, have suffered many casualties - to say nothing of the destruction of their homes and communities.

Ah, the "Cedar Revolution". Good times, good times. Yesterday, the neokahn blogosphere was encouraging them with chants of "show us your tits". Now the very same people are chanting "show us your innards".

I think they've finally realized that, "Franco-Phoenician" pretensions aside, they're just sand niggers, after all. And, as John Bolton very clearly laid out, the blood of the chosen is sacred, whilst the blood of the goyim is not.

Meanwhile, for all too many American Christians, the lives and livelihoods of Lebanese Christians (to say nothing of Palestinian Christians) matter not at all. The words and message of Jesus Christ himself matter not at all. Instead, what matters are latter-day "Rapture Ready" heresies spouted by false prophets like Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, John Hagee and the like:

"The road to the Resurrection shall be paved in blood by the IDF. So sayeth the Lord."

Kate said...

dariush - I can assure that the churches are not silent on the matter. Maybe their media spokes people are quiet.

We prayed and are praying daily for the people in the mid-east. All of them. For peace.

We also pray that our world leaders will act fairly and make good decisions. And that God will help them to do that.

I think that's a more important dialogue than keeping everybody up to date through the media. Puh..

That's all I can do from this end - except trying to figure out exactly what it is that IS happening.

Borg said...

"heresies spouted by false prophets like Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, John Hagee and the like:"--St. Darius

--

Are you a Christian? Who are YOU to decide what is heresy and what is sound theological doctrine?

Borg said...

"I think they've finally realized that, "Franco-Phoenician" pretensions aside, they're just sand niggers, after all. And, as John Bolton very clearly laid out, the blood of the chosen is sacred, whilst the blood of the goyim is not."--St. Darius

--

Your screeds are becoming hysterical. What of the Arab nations that have condemned the actions and incitements of Hezbollah as being the root cause of the present conflagration?

Am I to believe that they're simply "Islamophobic"?

Borg said...

Incidentally, from al-Reuters:

"ATLANTA (Reuters) - A federal grand jury indicted two U.S. citizens on Wednesday on charges of plotting “violent jihad” and undergoing paramilitary training in northwest Georgia to prepare themselves for terrorist acts.

Syed Haris Ahmed, 21, born in Pakistan and a student at Georgia Tech, was arrested in March. Wednesday’s charges superseded an earlier indictment against him, adding three counts of material support of terrorism and a foreign terrorist organization.

FBI officials in April arrested Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, born in 1986 in Bangladesh. He was also added to the indictment.

Both men developed contacts with other supporters of jihad, traveling to Toronto, Canada, and made video clips of “potential terrorist targets” in Washington including the Capitol building, the indictment said.

“Ahmed, Sadequee and another person known to the Grand Jury engaged in physical and rudimentary paramilitary training including activities with paintball guns in northwestern Georgia,” said the indictment filed at Atlanta district court.

It said Ahmed traveled to Pakistan to get paramilitary and religious training with the aim of fighting in Kashmir, while Sadequee went to Bangladesh in part to support jihad."

The plot thickens.

Dariush said...

Borg (if you've settled on an identity, that's good enough for me),

My knowledge of Christianity comes from Belloc, Chesterton, Pilgrim's Progress and St. Augustine.

Your knowledge of Islam comes from Little Green Footballs, The Religion of Peace and Prophet of Doom.

Thus begins and ends our conversation. Feel free to converse with yourself however.

Pink_Slip said...

Dariush, it's good to see that people are finally wise to William Kristol's empire-building lunacy. I'd like to put that guy on the front line.

Borg said...

"Your knowledge of Islam comes from Little Green Footballs, The Religion of Peace and Prophet of Doom."--St. Darius

--

Actually, tot, I had the option of visiting a mosque will taking religious studies classes in college.

While we didn't linger long on Islam while I was taking the requisite courses to complete my degree (which, incidentally, is in Religious Studies) , I do know something of Islam outside of the websites you have mentioned.

But, as the good Lord said, "Ye shall know a tree by the fruit that it bears."

And Islam, sadly to say, seems to bear a particularly noxious fruit.

BTW, it takes no great intellect to disparage your ideological adversary with insults, or to demean him rather than answer his charges.

A little humility would suit you better.

But, tell me: How would you go about settling accounts in the present conflict? Or can you do that?

I actually know that you can't, since your solution would be the obliteration of Israel, and the murder of Israelis.

So, why do you keep beating around the bush, huh? Just come right out and tell us you fancy driving Israel "into the sea".

Bottom line: you're a genocidal, anti-Semitic, anti-American, pro-Al-Quaida loony , who raves and rants feverishly in support of the enemies of freedom.

Just get it off your chest man, for the love of God.

Tsk. Tsk.

Such a coward.

PS: I don't give a damn who or what you've read.

Borg said...

Is Israel justified in its strong military action against Hezbollah and Hamas?

Yes, on three levels. First, Israel had withdrawn from both Gaza and Lebanon so there wasn't even the usual excuse of "resisting occupation" to justify the launching of rockets into Israel and the unprovoked attacks on and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. If anything, the argument can be made that Israel's mistake was not earlier enforcing a stated policy of zero tolerance of aggression once it pulled out of the two areas.

Second, Hezbollah and Hamas are not just engaged in violence and terror. These organizations seek to severely weaken Israel and to create a situation where Israel's very existence is once again threatened. Israel clearly needs to respond to these threats – not only to stop this current aggression, but to make clear that it will not stand for greater threats down the road.

Third, Israel's ability to survive and prosper for decades in a region where enemies abound has been due to its strength and deterrence which held off cross-border aggression because of fear of a massive Israeli response. Hezbollah and Hamas, together with Syria and Iran, decided to challenge and even collapse that deterrence capability through their rockets, which, particularly in the case of Hezbollah, are even more lethal and long-ranging than Israel anticipated.

Weapons technology advances mean that in the future, Israel will likely have to deal with the specter of missiles armed with chemical weapons. Israel understood that it must end the barrage now or else it will never end, and will jeopardize Israel's fundamental security and existence as an independent state.



Maybe so, but Israel has been accused of a "disproportionate" response that may undermine the Lebanese government. Why is this necessary?

Israel must take into account questions of proportionality, including the impact on civilian populations and the impact on the government of Lebanon. In fact, it has been doing exactly that. Its goal in Lebanon is clear – to eliminate the Hezbollah threat to Israel, mostly by dramatically weakening its firepower and leadership and creating a situation where the Lebanese army will finally take control of southern Lebanon, which the UN had already mandated six years ago.

To achieve that goal, Israel is targeting Hezbollah's infrastructure – its military installations, its political headquarters, its media outlets.

It is also targeting Lebanese infrastructure in a measured way to slow down and eliminate the massive flow of weapons from Syria and Iran which has made Hezbollah such a menacing force. Thus, Israel struck the Beirut airport to retard the arms flow and to prevent Hezbollah from shuttling out of the country the two captive Israeli soldiers – but not to a degree that the airport would be severely damaged and unable to reopen. The major highways to the Syrian border have similarly been targeted – again to prevent the removal of the Israeli soldiers into Syria and to prevent a new influx of arms from Syria. It is Hezbollah and its infrastructure that is under attack, not the Lebanese people. While there have been tragic civilian casualties, Israel has been leafleting residential neighborhoods with advance warning of impending Israeli attacks, providing opportunity for civilians to evacuate the areas.

The charge of a disproportionate response is unwarranted. It has the effect, if not the intent, to undermine Israel's war of necessity against Hezbollah and Hamas, necessary for Israel's security, necessary for Lebanon's integrity as a state, necessary for the Arab world's stability and necessary for the civilized world's struggle against international terrorism.



How has the international community reacted to Israel's actions?

There is, of course, the usual anti-Israel activity: introduction of UN resolutions critical of Israel, charges by countries such as France, Spain, Ireland, Sweden and Norway focusing on Israeli "overreaction." In a circumstance where the case is overwhelmingly in Israel's favor, this reflexive anti-Israel sentiment is troubling.

Still taking into account the usual response to such situations, the mildness of the criticism in some circles has been striking. There has been a focus on the threat of Hezbollah and Hamas from international leaders and there even been support for Israel beyond the United States, as seen in positions and statements by Canada, Great Britain, Australia and Germany among others.

Even more significant are comments from some Arab states and the Lebanese government. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, while making sure to condemn Israel, have made clear that Hezbollah and Hamas by their aggressive actions take on a heavy blame for the current crisis. Their willingness to point the finger away from Israel, not a common reaction in the Arab world, reflects the threat posed to their own regimes by the power of Islamic extremism.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese government itself, undoubtedly reflecting the will of the people, is finally talking about taking control of the south from Hezbollah and accusing Hezbollah of illegitimately dragging the whole nation into war.


Didn't Israel unilaterally withdraw from Lebanon and Gaza?

Yes, Israel withdrew its troops from south Lebanon in May 2000, and unilaterally uprooted its presence in the Gaza strip – including settlements – in August 2005. Polls at the time demonstrated that both redeployments had the support of the majority of Israelis.

In light of the attacks from Gaza and southern Lebanon, however, there has been much discussion in the Israeli media about the impact and prudence of those redeployments.

Clearly, the fear expressed by critics of the withdrawals – that Israel will appear to be weakening in its resolve in the face of terror and that the lesson for Hezbollah and Hamas is that terror works – resonates.

In the case of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, there have been many Kassam rocket attacks on Israel's south, and particularly on the town of Sderot since last summer's disengagement. On the other hand, it has been pointed out that the steep rise in rocket attacks is only in comparison to the period leading up to the withdrawal, which was quiet because Hamas didn't want to do anything that might cause Israel to change its mind. Indeed, for several years before that, Kassam attacks were just about as high as during the post-withdrawal phase.

On the other side, however, Israel is benefiting within the international community and with its own domestic audience as a result of the withdrawals. Internationally, even countries like France that have been very critical of Israel, acknowledge that there was no excuse for the attacks by either Hezbollah or Hamas since Israel was not in Lebanon, nor in the Gaza Strip. Richard Haas, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, pointed out that the Lebanese government had six years to implement the UN resolution to take over the south of the country and disarm Hezbollah, but did nothing, allowing Hezbollah to run free. Haas was thereby giving context to what Israel is doing in Lebanon, which would have been very different were Israeli forces still in southern Lebanon. Similarly in Gaza, the fact that Hamas continued to attack after Israel's withdrawal gives Israel some leeway in responding, along with the confirmation by the international community that Hamas – which now controls the Palestinian Authority government – is extremist and a terrorist group.

In some ways, more significant is the internal consensus in Israel that has emerged, not over the wisdom of unilateral action, but over Israel's right to take military action. Because Israel is no longer in the territories or in southern Lebanon, the left joins the right in standing with the Government in support of a strong military response which might not have been the case had the Israeli army still been in these areas. Just as was the case when then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians a state at Camp David and the Palestinians said no and turned to violence in September 2000, so today the Israeli public is united in its shock and anger at this violence after Israeli withdrawals. This is tremendously important because it leads to a strengthening of determination and a resilience in the people which is so necessary in a crisis.




What are US interests in this struggle?

The Administration has stood with Israel in general and in international fora, such as the UN and the G-8 Summit - while cautioning Israel not to undermine the Lebanese Government (which is in Israel's interest as well). The US appreciates that this is not Israel's fight alone; it is part and parcel of the struggle against Islamic extremism and terrorism. The US recognizes that an Israeli victory over Hezbollah and Hamas will be a major step in the war against terror, among other reasons because it will give confidence to US allies like Egypt and Jordan that the tide is turning their way and against Syria, Iran and their extremist Islamist allies that operate throughout the region.

On the other hand, an outcome where Hezbollah and Hamas appear to be victorious will undermine moderate regimes throughout the region and open the way for further takeovers by the Islamic extremists.




Will the war expand?

While Syria and Iran are behind the aggression of Hezbollah and Hamas, Israel seems intent at this point on cutting off the two states' ability to supply the terrorist groups weapons without directly confronting them. How this will evolve is uncertain, but as of now there does not seem to be an interest on both sides to expand the war in that way.

Regarding Iran, Israel cannot help but view the current struggle in the context of the approaching showdown over Iran's nuclear bomb. Today's issues of deterrence, of the question of the ability of the international community to act against terror, of the role of Hezbollah as a surrogate for Iran will all have an impact in the months and years ahead concerning international decision-making toward Iran and the bomb. Again, a firm hand now in the case of Hezbollah could pay dividends down the road toward Iran.



What about the Israeli soldiers who were kidnapped?

Israel sees no end to the crisis without the unconditional freeing of the soldiers. Hezbollah's early propaganda campaign to compare the seized Israelis to Israel's imprisonment of mostly terrorist Hezbollah figures was ludicrous to begin with and seems to have petered out. The kidnapped soldier issue remains critical to Israel as part of the larger effort to restore deterrence. Just as Israel must prove to the extremists that they cannot fire missiles into Israel with impunity, so they also must learn that there is no incentive to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

Finally, it is important to recognize that this conflict goes far beyond the issue of kidnapped soldiers, as heartbreaking and fundamental as that is. It involves the unprovoked aggression against Israel, the most serious within the country since the 1948 war, which Israel must permanently put an end to if it is to live as a free nation.

Israel's Crisis FAQ.

Borg said...

Incidentally, just in case anyone goes away thinking Hezbollah is simply an Israeli headache, here is a list of current Hezbollah activity within North America.

Borg said...

Anyway, to lighten things up abit:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls President Bush and tells him:
“President Bush, I called you because I had a dream.”

Bush: “What was the dream about, Ahmadinejad?”

Ahmadinejad: “I dreamed that USA was rebuilt and on the top of each house there was a flag.”

Bush: “And what was written on the flag?”

Ahmadinejad: “Allah is big, Allah is great!!!”

Bush: “You know what Ahmadinejad, it’s good that you called because I had a dream too. In my dream Iran was rebuilt and on the top of each building there was a flag too.”

Ahmadinejad: “what was written on the flags?”


Bush: “I don’t know, I can’t read Hebrew!”

Berserker said...

Ditto what borg said!

Does anyone remember the fact that Israel withdrew from S. Lebanon in the 96 only after the US and other members of the Monitoring Group promised no more crap from Hizballah?

Here's a tidbit:

Following is the text of a letter written by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres on 30 April 1996:

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

With regard to the right of self-defense referred to in the Understanding dated April 26, 1996, the United States understands that if Hizballah or any other group in Lebanon acts inconsistently with the principles of the Understanding or launches attacks on Israeli forces in Lebanon, whether that attack has taken the form of firing, ambushes, suicide attacks, roadside explosives, or any other type of attack, Israel retains the right in response to take appropriate self-defense measures against the armed groups responsible for the attack.

With regard to the prohibitions on the use of certain areas as launching grounds for attacks, the United States understands that the prohibition refers not only to the firing of weapons, but also to the use of these areas by armed groups as bases from which to carry out attacks.

--end of letter--

And, oh. The Security Council resolution that demands that "Calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-
Lebanese militias."

Resolution 1559 (2004)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 5028th meeting, on
2 September 2004
The Security Council,
Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425
(1978) and 426 (1978) of 19 March 1978, resolution 520 (1982) of 17 September
1982, and resolution 1553 (2004) of 29 July 2004 as well as the statements of its
President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statement of 18 June 2000
(S/PRST/2000/21),
Reiterating its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and
political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders,
Noting the determination of Lebanon to ensure the withdrawal of all non-
Lebanese forces from Lebanon,
Gravely concerned at the continued presence of armed militias in Lebanon,
which prevent the Lebanese Government from exercising its full sovereignty over
all Lebanese territory,
Reaffirming the importance of the extension of the control of the Government
of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory,
Mindful of the upcoming Lebanese presidential elections and underlining the
importance of free and fair elections according to Lebanese constitutional rules
devised without foreign interference or influence,
1. Reaffirms its call for the strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial
integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive
authority of the Government of Lebanon throughout Lebanon;
2. Calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon;
3. Calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-
Lebanese militias;
4. Supports the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over
all Lebanese territory;

-- end of citation --

When will you Bush bashers get a clue? Are there people here suffering from Alzheimer's who can't remember 9/11? Do you need another attack just to jolt you from your "I hate Bush" moronic mantra of deranged dreamland?

Geez!

Dariush said...

Good lord, "Borg",

First you post IDF propaganda and now the "Americanized" ADL version of the same.

Well, in the words of that guy who called in to Sean Hannity the other day, "you're a fine Israeli patriot."


"A little humility would suit you better."

MWAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh shit. Stop it, dude. You're killing me. You're preaching about humility?


"PS: I don't give a damn who or what you've read."

Now, now. Temper temper. Mustn't forget about that little ulcer problem, hmmm?


"Bottom line: you're a genocidal,"

Right back atcha goytoy. Do you really wanna compare body counts?


"anti-American"

"Borg's" definition of America.

America = Gee Dubya. Our glorious leader who embodies our collective national will.

America = the State, the government. Teacher, father, mother of us all. Infallible guardian of virtue, protector of our lives and our minds (from pernicious jihadoliberal moonbat propaganda)

America = War. The force that gives our lives meaning. That which helps us to clearly delineate the world into those who are on the side of the angels, and those who are evildoers, and to correctly interpret history in light of the eternal struggle for our survival and for the advancement of our values. "Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia..."

And last, but certainly not least..

America = Israel. The Holiest of Holies. Bow down and worship for "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."


"pro-Al-Quaida loony"

Being that I've never said one word in favor of "al-Qaeda", I think it's fair to say that this is a continuation of the false dichotomy that you insert in nearly all of your posts.

Namely that either one is a fanatical, raving zionist (like yourself) or one is (objectively, at least) on the side of "al-Qaeda". And that "those who are objectively on the side of al-Qaeda" are fifth columnists hastening the day when "the head choppahs take over the woild".

I must say, for someone who claims to be such an ardent defender of Western Civilization, you have less faith in its durability and staying power than just about anybody I've ever come across. Bless your little totalitarian heart, you even dream of the day when a "serious war" breaks so that dissidents... oops, sorry "seditious traitors" will be "detained", deported or ...


"who raves and rants feverishly in support of the enemies of freedom."

Once again, EB, I'm left humbled at your capacity for introspection, which is far superior to mine.

Borg said...

Dee, the coincidences involving our long-running dispute never cease to amaze me.

I was , in fact, looking for just that particular photo of the execution of Mary Surrat and the other conspirators involved in the Lincoln assassination plot.

I have a copy from Bloodletters and Badmen, but for some reason I have had much trouble with my scanner as far as uploading from it to E-Blogger.

Thank you.

More later.

Borg said...

"Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia..."

--

No , Oceania is at war with EURASIA, NOT Eastasia...

Doubleplusungood, Comrade.

Dariush said...

"No , Oceania is at war with EURASIA"

Blast!


"I was , in fact, looking for just that particular photo of the execution of Mary Surrat and the other conspirators involved in the Lincoln assassination plot."

I had no idea what the background of the photo was. I just did a Google image search for "hanging" and it was the very first thing that came up.