MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
The Lebanon debacle and other crises have precipitated great debates in Israel, the USA, Europe and the Middle East, about Middle East strategy, war and peace issues, performance of the IDF, assymetric forces, terror, Iranian nuclear weapons, the Palestinian issue, and the nature of the conflict. These are all very weighty and worthy issues, that are taken seriously by every policy analyst and pundit. Only one little detail is generally neglected. Nobody talks about what the events tell us about reality, and the fact that almost nobody has a coherent policy to deal with that reality is almost universally neglected.
What is the policy goal of the US in Lebanon. Is it to implement resolution 1559 and disarm the Hizbullah, or to help Seniora stay in power (apparently these are contradictory goals) or to get Israel to surrender Shebaa farms to the Lebanese? Do the Americans really view Fuad Seniora as a "good guy?" How do they view the Hezbollah??
Here is an excerpt from an interview given by the American Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice:
We understand from the above, that according to the American Secretary of State, the Taif accord is not really an agreement but a mysterious "something called the Taif Accord," which presumably it was beneath her dignity to study and understand. Probably she didn't look into the character of Nasrallah or the program of the Hezbollah too closely either. She simply decides US policy according to the customs of Washington DC and the way the winds are blowing there. All the fanatic genocidal terrorists that Dr. Rice has met in the past alway gave up their arms, meek as a lamb, upon conclusion of an agreement. Surely Nasrallah will voluntarily give up his arms, just as soon as his terms are met. These terms are Hezbollah take over of Lebanon and destruction of Israel, as discussed in the Hezbollah program. The Seniora government that the US supports is committed to supporting the Hezbollah. Not surprisingly, UN SC 1701, the cessation of hostilities resolution, which is the only one that the Lebanese and their French allies would agree too, leaves the whole matter of disarmament of the Hezbollah up to the Lebanese government, which is controlled by the Hezbollah.
Perhaps it is just as well, then, that the current US administration shies away from fostering the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. CALME, An organization that includes former negotiators is pressing for active US intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, longing for the days of the Clinton-sponsored peace process. Symptomatically, this group includes both Dennis Ross and Robert Malley, who each drew opposite conclusions about who was at fault for the failure of the negotiations. If they ever get the process started again, what policy will these two recommend? The peace process failed because it was founded on unrealistic perceptions about the nature of the conflict and the nature of the protagonists. There is no evidence that the CALME "luminaries" as they please to call themselves, have become wiser for their experience. CALME is oblivious of reality now as well. Israel cannot negotiate with the Hamas, because the Hamas refuses to negotiate peace. This minor detail is ignored in all their calls for US involvement. What peace process can the US foster until the Hamas is removed from power or changes its policy? The US was unwilling to send even one US soldier to enforce the peace in Lebanon. How can they be taken seriously as guarantors of an Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
And what of the French policy? What are we to say of the French Foreign minister, who insisted that Iran is a great force for stability in Middle East? Do the French recognize Middle East realities? Do they have any policy besides trying to annoy the US, get in the way, and protect some clients in Lebanon?
Lebanese political pronouncements have been mostly surrealistic for about 20 years. If you believe Lebanese commentators, the most important Lebanese is the "liberation" of Shebaa farms, which were never Lebanese, "sister" Syria is a great ally of Lebanon, the "heros" of the Hezbollah are its main support. That farrago of nonsense results from the fact that any Lebanese journalist or politician who dares to utter the truth is quickly sent to meet his or her maker, joining Rafiq Hariri, Gebran Tueni and a host of other lumniaries. Perhaps nobody noticed that the height of unreality was reached by Elias El Murr, the Lebanese Secretary of Defense, who warned that the Lebanese army would not tolerate any violation of the cease fire by the Hezbollah:
The Arab League never could have a real policy, because it has no real power or cohesion. The Arab League policy standby is that money buys influence. Therefore, they met and decided to give money to rebuild Lebanon, in order to compete with Iran. This is a commendable decision, but it is hardly likely to discourage Iran and the Hezbollah in a serious way.
And what of Israeli policy? Israel, unlike Lebanon or the Arab League, has never lacked for policies. Usually Israel has several contradictory policies as once, and pursue all of them. Often it turns out that none of them were based on reality. The basis of all Israeli policy until 1967 was that Israel was dangerously weak and could not afford to think about peace. Almost by accident, this was disproved in the 6-day war, or seemingly disproved. The basis of all policy after 1977 was that Israel was invincibly strong. The hawks tried to base a policy of "to hell with everyone" on this strength, resulting in the first Lebanon war and the proliferation of settlements under Shamir. When that proved impossible after the Gulf War, the doves tried to execute a policy of "We can make peace from a position of strength. We can take risks for peace because we are strong and have strong allies." That policy resulted in fanatics blowing themselves up in Jerusalem supermarkets when negotiated agreements disintegrated, and international guarantors went into hiding. The next shift was to a policy of "We can withdraw and set
es are still offered as serious alternatives, as if nothing happened. In its editorial today, Ha'aretz writes, amazingly enough:
Another dose of unreality, a dangerous one, was added by Deputy PM Shimon Peres, who said:
Elsewhere in the Middle East, policy discourse is at least coherent. Iran wants to be a regional power, and eventually to achieve a "world without Zionism and without America." The Syrians want the Golan Heights back, at least, and eventually Palestine and Lebanon, which they consider to be part of Syria. The Hezbollah want to control Lebanon and drive the Jews into the sea. All of them have used the war to advance their aims, with a bit of help from Russia, France and even Condoleezza Rice.
The Syrians and the Iranians and the Lebanese Hezbollah know what they want, and for now at least they are united. They know who is an enemy, who is a friend, who is a fool who doesn't know the Middle East, and who can be corrupted and used for immoral purposes. They all seem to have, at last a realistic assessment of their own strengths and weaknesses, and a shrewd assessment of their enemy's weaknesses. Bashar Assad was wise to avoid the tempting target of the undefended Galilee, offered during the first days of the war, owing to Israeli failure to call up reserves. Hassan Nasrallah was wise to set realistic war goals: staying alive. The Iranians were wise to insist, over and over in the face of the contrary evidence, that they are not arming the Hezbollah, but also savvy enough to partake in the "victory" of the Hezbollah. And now the Hezbollah and the Iranians have control of southern Lebanon again, and will distribute aid and bend the populace, the Lebanese army and UNIFIL to their will. Meanwhile, the Americans and the Arabs talk about giving aid to Lebanon, but they would have nobody to distribute it, and no way to control the situation, the French led international force melted into a farce, and the Israelis are too busy blaming each other for details like peace with Syria.
* Note - Nobody questioned the "kentulminaries" mentioned in USA Today and quoted in many blogs. Alert reader Dr Hugh Mann asked what these might be. The State Department transcript
http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2006/70740.htm shows them to be in fact "cantonment areas." Too bad. I rather fancied that they might be something exotic, like special arms dumps devised by a Sir Kent (of India) during the Sepoy rebellion.
Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000500.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to email@example.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.
Replies: 32 comments
Yes, I suppose you could say that Hamas refuses to negotiate peace. Especially when Israel refuses to even meet with Hamas for negotiations, I suppose you could make up anything, and according to Israel it would become truth. It is implicite that Al-Queda refuses to negotiate peace with the US, that is because we have not sat with them to negotiate this. What kind of F'd up logic is that? Here we are once again with a biased moderator, spewing forth more propaganda instead of a balanced observation of the events as they unfold. I am absolutely amazed that Hezbollah is restraining themselves in an attempt to comply with a cease fire and yet Israel continues operations within Lebabnon under the cover of night. Who is the agressor here? What is the point of agreeing to a cease-fire only to undermine it a few days later and attempt to blame it on the enemy who has largely abidded by the agreement? What I mean here is Israel's explanation that they were attempting to stop weapons transfers. Simply put, that is not Israels job. Large scale operations don't happen over night, you can't take matters into your own hands. Once again that is a sticky situation, do you allow the enemy to restock or act to prevent it. If you prevent it you risk the end of the cease-fire, thus taking a step back away from peacefull negotiations. Negotiations, in the end, is the only way to win a war. Also Ami, you are placing all factions under Iran's hand in one bucket. That is not fair and cannot be accurate. I hope your government does not take this approach with their tactical decisions. Israel cannot pound them all into the earth, neither can we (US) do this for you. The answer is to devide an conquer. Win over moderate Hezbollah and moderate Syria, negotiate with them. When all is said and done, human nature is selfish, if they have what they want, they will not come to the aid of Iran.
Posted by OMFG @ 08/21/2006 06:55 PM CST
In saying that Hamas refuses to negotiate peace, I am simply stating a fact that Hamas themselves announce, day and night. They say they will never make peace with Israel. If Israel met all their demands, they would agree to a truce, like the one that Muhamed made with the Meccans, or Salaheddin made with the Crusaders.
Only degenerates who hide behind mysterious initials spread disinformation to the contrary.
Posted by Ami Isseroff @ 08/21/2006 11:54 PM CST
Posted by Rod Davies @ 08/22/2006 10:49 AM CST
Rod Davies says that Hezbollah is the proxy army of Syria. Ami tells us that they are beholden to the Iranians. Which is it? (Shiite fundmentalist) Iran and (Sunni secular Ba'athist) Syria are hardly bosom buddies. Isn't the reality here that Hezbollah is a domestic Lebanese outfit who take financial and material support from wherever it's available without compromising their own political independence?
Ami, again you describe Nasrallah as a fanatic genocidal terrorist. Put up some evidence of this please? (Not the outdated rhetoric of the Hezbollah Program, please) I see an Islamist Lebanese politician and militia leader who certainly has extremely negative views about Israel and Jews in general but no actual plans to drive anyone into the sea. Hezbollah's military strategy is plainly designed for defence and deterrence.
Regarding Hamas, a 20 year ceasefire IS peace and the offer should be taken seriously. Israel certainly has sufficient resources to keep tabs on what the PA is up to and pre-empt any serious threat. It suits the Israeli Right to pretend there is no-one to negotiate with and these two latest Israeli wars of choice are designed to ensure that situation continues.
When alleged moderates are prepared to give the hawks such cover and credibility it's unsurprising there is no progress.
Posted by Spike @ 08/23/2006 03:42 PM CST
Syria (run by Alawi minority member Assad) made an alliance of convenience with Iran and has been regularly issuing statements of support for Iran. Part of this support is expressed in supplying (and allowing Iran to supply) the Hezbollah. The Hezbollah in turn, is happy to support the presence of "sister" or its agents in Lebanon. When Syria was in Lebanon, it controlled Hezbollah very effectively.
All this is known to all and can be ascertained from Lebanese newspapers, the SANA press agency and other sources available in English even to people who move their lips when they read. However, Iranian Hezbollah was created by Shiites who studied in Iran and in Karbala under Iranians and is the counterpart of the Iranian Hezbollah. It is financed and controlled by Tehran. Therefore there is no contradiction between saying that Syria and Tehran can control them. Shi'a Iran also finances the Sunni Hamas these days. Iran is interested in leading the Islamist revolution for all Muslims. That is not good news for Arabs anywhere, and that is why some regimes are less enthusiastic supporters of Hezbollah than you are, Spike.
Posted by Morator @ 08/24/2006 12:07 AM CST
So now a request for evidence is classed as "enthusiastic support". I am almost tempted to rest my case right there.
For the record, I am opposed to Hezbollah and everything they stand for (except for their right to defend Lebanese territory from a much stronger hostile force). However my opposition does not require that I demonise them. (In the same way incidentally as many lefties & Arab nationalists demonise Israel).
I take my political lead on Palestine from people like Gush Shalom who certainly do live in the Middle East, do have access to the relevant information and do have a serious stake in getting these things right. They certainly do not like Hamas and Hezbollah, but they are prepared to analyse what those organisations actually represent and try and find openings for dialogue.
(By the way, your statements about outsiders' ignorance of the facts remind me very much of what we used to hear from white South Africans in the anti-apartheid days. And I suspect much Israeli arrogance vis a vis the Arabs stems from their own 'superiority as Westerners').
More seriously, deciding in advance of any actual negotiations that a 20 year truce is simply an opportunity for one side to prepare to destroy the other is a counsel of despair (and the German phrase is perhaps a clue to the mindset). As we have seen in Northern Ireland, peace has its own momentum and it is hard to rebuild popular support for war once the economic and social benefits of peace are apparent. Secondly, most of the support for the extremists is produced by the actual conditions of occupation; once those are alleviated, it will be much harder to garner support for terrorism. These are common factors to every similar struggle the world over - not that much local knowledge is actually required to extrapolate them to the Midle East.
I assume your contention that "Iranian Hezbollah...is the counterpart of Iranian Hezbollah" is a mistype. Leaving that aside, perhaps you could peruse this:-
and let us know how accurate you feel it is. It looks pretty plausible to me.
Posted by Spike @ 08/24/2006 05:34 PM CST
Incase you are not aware, reality is not a linear progression of generalizations. Hezbollah and Syria do in fact have moderates among them as do any and all social groupings. I'm sorry you are prejudice.
Thank you for further proving my point about you being biased. Oh, and your personal blow on my character almost made me shed a tear.
The facts are simple, no war has ever been ended by complete annihilation of the enemy. No matter how much war mongering authorative groups in the region partake in, they will gain nothing from it, outside of more animosity tword the other for several more generations to come. Anyone who says they cannot see this is either retarded or a liar. Holding pride in the fact that your people are bullying another people should be acustomed to holding pride in the fact that you've sh@t your pants. It is simply moronic.
Posted by OMFG @ 08/24/2006 06:59 PM CST
I have been reading commentaries here ever since Israel decided to get it's "two soldiers" back from the so called by Israel and the US terrorists. I almost left Lebanon, I was actually waiting in the line of people leaving the country. I changed my mind when I heard the Israeli planes bomb yet another civillian area in Beirut. For about ten days before that I saw and heard the planes as they bombed less than 700 meters from where I was staying. For many nights we could not sleep from the sound of the MK plane. MK a term I learned this past war of Israel on Lebanon, thank you Israel for the education. I am writting to say congradulations to Israel and all it's peace loving people who supported this brutal and barbaric war on Lebanon, or as most Israeli's and their allies say "the war against Hizbullah". As most Israeli's did not see what happened due to the restrictions that the DEMOCRATIC state of Israel imposed, I am certain most will not agree with what I will say here and especially since this blog seems to be visited by mainly blinded pro Israeli and the supporters of truth and justice are mostly asleep like I was. But thanks again for the DEMOCRATIC state of Israel, there are many more people around the globe that are waking up and starting to see how Israel is a beast that will definitley be tamed. A beast that lost all so much support from around the world. You talk about a just cause, where the hell does anyone get that from. Because two soldiers were taken by a group that only came to be because of the DEMOCRATIC state of Israel occupying Lebanese land for over 20 years. The group that you call terrorists, are your doing just like Hamas. Where the hell do you get the right to say your state has the right to defend it self and the Lebanese don't have the same rights. Israel DID NOT COMPLY WITH UN RESOLUTION 425. They ran out of Lebanon with their tales shoved between their legs and then said we comply with UN resolution 425 after 20 YEARS. Who the hell makes you an expert on the Shibaa farms. The farms are owned by Lebanese and not Syrians. Yes the syrians were their when Israel captured and occupid the arab land. This was due to the weak Lebanese government at the time. This does not change the fact that the farms are Lebanese and the Lebanese government took exception to this matter and the decided that the matter will be decided soon when the borders are marked. In any case the land is not Israeli, so get the hell out of them. You talk about having the right to hit "Hizbullah" that were showring Israel with missles? Again, you were off somewhere and may not have heard of the whole story or you chose to swallow parts of reality. The Hizb did not fire anything into Israel until the Israeli's started bombing civillian areas. So go get a coffe and read the facts. The Hizb wanted to swap the Lebanese prisoners for the Israeli prisoners nothing more nothing less. But of course the DEMOCRATIC state of Israel wont negotiate with terrorists as you say. Israel has kidnapped Lebanese, has assasinated Lebanese, has come into Lebanon by air sea and land , there were complaints to the UN with 11000 violations against Israel since the year 2000, the year that made Hizbullah the major player in the region. I will repeat this ELEVEN THOUSAND TIMES ISRAEL VIOLATED LEBANESE LAND. So just because the world is blind to these facts, the Lebanese are not. Just because Israeli's are on a self destruction course, the lebanese know the truth. Just becasue the arrogance of Israel is accepted in the world, the Lebanese wont accept the bull from Israel.
Posted by Mike Jebara @ 08/24/2006 10:14 PM CST
Sorry for the typing errors.
Posted by Mike Jebara @ 08/24/2006 10:17 PM CST
A moderate is someone whose views are a moderation of another more extreme paradigm. Thus a moderate may be someone who belongs to a political group that proposes genocide, but holds the view that the potential victims should not be murdered but merely enslaved. From the perspective of the extremist the moderate holds a view that is weak and tolerant. From the perspective of a liberal democrat both are extremists, just one is more extreme than the other.
However the presence of "moderates" may be meaningless if they are unable to influence their groups direction and the course of events.
Although you may be correct in stating that no nation has ever succeeded in absolutely annihilating another, there are plenty of instances in which one group has so reduced another through violence that they have for all practical purposes ceased to exist. In my opinion the threat of genocide is counterproductive because it simply strengthens the resolve of the other to resist, in the same way that executing prisoners merely encourages soldiers to fight harder.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 08/24/2006 10:18 PM CST
More recently the IRA overplayed its hand when some of its people killed a Catholic civilian and his sisters campaigned to force the IRA to surrender them to civil justice. The power of the IRA is such that despite this murder occurring in a crowded pub full of local people, no witnesses were willing come forward.
The IRA, and the Protestant equivalents, are still potent forces in NI. With the outbreak of peace that have simply moved more of their resources into crime. The IRA / Sinn Fein obtained political pre-eminence on the Republic side through violence directed towards the catholic community in the first instance. Punishment beatings, executions, and so on were common place. Sinn Fein always had plenty of money from overseas donors and through crime to promote itself, unlike SDLP. (Even today in the Irish parliament there are demands that Sinn Feins finances are investigated as they have so much more money than any other party.)
The lessons of Northern Ireland are that armed factions must first be starved of funds. Secondly the economy must be built up to ensure that there are alternative opportunities, and reduce dependency upon the terrorsit groups. Thirdly the remaining fighters must be hunted down and tried for the crimes they commit.
Applying the same strategies to the Palestinian groups would be much more difficult as regional governments consent to open fund raising, and western governments allow fund raising under the cover of humanitarian charities. Also as fast as the international community seeks to develop the Palestinian economy, the Palestinians pursue actions which lead to its demise.
People like to refer to Northern Ireland in reference to the Middle East, but in truth there is almost no similarity at any level.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 08/24/2006 10:38 PM CST
Thank you Rod for showing us along with the US the type of human rights that you propose for the arabs with your statement "Today the Israelis provide the distraction to justify the absence of basic human rights and law. You ahve shown the Arabs and Muslims clearly by your actions in Lebanon. Keep these types of human rights to yourself and people like yourself and leave the arabs fight among themselves if that's what you think. However I believe you are affraid of the arabs uniting and you have no care for any arab.
Posted by Mike Jebara @ 08/24/2006 11:01 PM CST
To Mike Jebara,
I am a United States citizen. I have lived in the United States for 32 of my 33 years of life. YOU SIR ARE 100 PERCENT ACCURATE IN YOUR STATEMENTS. People like Ami and other right wing idiots in the United States are the real terrorists. Let me prove this to you Mike.
Now for all the right winged idiots, especially Rush, who will say that we can't be weak, all those psycho left wingers, are going to kill us all. I only have to say this again. Was JESUS WEAK??? WHY WOULD GOD TEACH TRUE CHRISTIANS ON HOW TO BEHAVE AS A HUMAN IF IT IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS. IS GOD WEAK????
MIKE THE REASON TERRORISTS EXIST WETHER IT IS IN THE MIDDLE EAST OR HERE IN THE UNITED STATES (EX. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY), IS BECAUSE OF SOME KIND OF REACTION. LIKE I SAID IF IRAN, SYRIA AND LEBANON WHERE HANDLED BY MOTHER TERESA AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THOSE COUNTRIES WOULD BE OUR ALLIES TODAY AND WE WOULDN'T HAVE ANY ENEMIES. THE UNITED STATES ACTIONS IS WHAT GAVE BIRTH TO TERRORISTS IN THE MIDDLEAST. THAT IS FACT, NOT AN OPINION.
WHY WAS THERE NEVER A MUSLIM JIHAD AGAINST TRUE SAINTS, LIKE ST. NICKALAUS, ST. PATRICK, MOTHER TERESA, AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER SAINTS IN THE PAST????
FOR ALL THE PEOPLE THAT ARE THINKING THAT OF COURSE THERE WERE PEOPLE THAT ATTACKED CHRISTIANS AND, THERE WERE THE CRUSADES WHERE MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS BATTELED, BUT ONCE AGAIN, CHRISTIANS THAT BATTLED ARE NOT REAL CHRISTIANS. JESUS SAID TURN THE CHEEK.
MOST SAINTS AND MOST TRUE CHRISTIANS IN HISTORY WHEN FACED WITH PERSECUTION WHERE LOVING TILL THERE DEATH. DO ALL THE REPUBLICANS FORGET THAT ST. PAUL AND MANY SAINTS IN THERE BIBLES DIED PREACHING LOVE AND DID NOT FIGHT BACK.
I CANNOT RECALL THAT ST. PAUL AND THE OTHER 10 DISIPLES AFTER LOVING JESUS, FELT LIKE TAKING A WEAPON FOR ARMS AND KILLING HUMANS IF THEY DID NOT AGREE WITH THE GOSPEL (MEANING GOOD NEWS).
SO I WILL REPEAT ONE MORE TIME FOR THE IDIOT RIGHT WING CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE VIEW THAT IS JUST PURE LIES AND HYPOCRITICAL TOWARDS THE MIDDLE EAST. EITHER YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN AND YOUR ASS BETTER BE BEHAVING EXACTLY LIKE JESUS, OR YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN AND YOU ARE GOING STRAIGHT TO THE HELL THAT YOU PREACH ABOUT. SO WHAT WOULD JESUS DO WHEN 2 SOLDIERS WHERE KIDNAPPED??? LOVE THEM. WHAT WOULD JESUS DO IF IRAN THREATENS TO WIPE OF ISREAL OF THE MAP???? LOVE THEM. IT IS NOT WEAKNESS, IT IS STRENGTH TO LOVE AN ENEMY, THAT IS WHY IT IS SOO DIFICULT.
IF YOU ARE SCARED TO DIE FROM A TERRORIST OR A NUCLEAR WEAPON FIRED FROM IRAN, THEN AGAIN I QOUTE JESUS "DO NOT BE AFRAID". AGAIN FOR ALL THESE RIGHT WING CONSERVATIVES, IF YOU KNOW JESUS IS GOD, AND THAT HE DEFEATED DEATH THEN DO NOT BE AFRAID OF TERRORISTS.
FOR THE PEOPLE THAT NOW ARE SAYING BUT THEN HOW WILL WE DEFEND THE UNITED STATES??????
MIKE, GOOD LUCK TO YOU. LIKE I SAID I AM A PROUD UNITED STATES CITIZEN, AND I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT NOT EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES REPRESENTS THE TERRORIST REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THE TERRORIST STATE OF ISREAL.
Posted by john @ 08/25/2006 05:17 PM CST
To Mike again, I forgot to mention one more detail.
It is extremely hypocritical of the United States to point one finger at Islam of the misusers of Islam, when the United States of America which stands for human rights are not following there Christian values. One more time Mike, they are hypocrites. I hope that Lebanon and all of its citizens can forgive us for being asshoooles and not standing up to the true Christianity that our right wing republican party stands for. Just remember that they are ignorant, slow, and incapable of having a heart. That is why they are angry most of the time and that is why they hate the lefties.
Posted by JOHN @ 08/25/2006 05:32 PM CST
in my opinion
Posted by skydiver @ 08/25/2006 09:38 PM CST
Religion is not the problem, the urge to "convert" people is just a sad, pathetic desire to control others; most likely due to the fact that you are a weakling pud smacker. Religion is only a tool used to convey idea's, almost like a language. It puts idea's in a context. If people twist the context, like ..oh ..I don't know..every christian that I've ever met, then it can become harmful. But just as a gun does not kill people (people kill people), religion also does not kill people. Evil men come into power, through whatever means and they impose their wills upon those that are of lesser intelligence, and in turn using the sheep population to impose his/her will upon his neighboring states. This is what is happening. Omhert...EVIL. Iranian president...whatsisjamommabean or what the hell ever....EVIL. Children of Israel...Stupid. People of Iran...Stupid. Who pays the price in the end? The stupid people. If they had a lick of brains they would kill the ones calling the shots, not eachother.
Posted by OMFG @ 08/26/2006 12:08 AM CST
I wanted to add a viewpoint to this discussion about the war in Lebanon.
America had already in the beginning of this year made serious preparations for a possible war against Iran. When the deal between Russia and Iran, to get the new air defence system from Russia to Iran, was finally settled in April, these plans were rapidly further advanced.
Concerning the war in Lebanon the idea was as put shorty to defeat Hezbollah in advance and to use Israel to do it. Hezbollah should be provoked to do an attact to get an excuse to start a big campaign against it in southern Lebanon.
My thoughts are based on American articles published already in April in America. Please read especially:
THE IRAN PLANS
An exctract from the article:
"... the Pentagon adviser on the war on terror said of Hezbollah. This
Please also read :
And various articles as available:
Both Israel and Lebanon are thus victims of American plans against Iran?
Posted by Hannu Virtanen @ 08/26/2006 01:20 PM CST
Well Rod, thank you for the history lesson on Ireland. Of course, nothing you wrote has the slightest relevance to my point, which was that the "Peace Dividend" from a generation-long ceasefire will be a powerful disincentive to restart the conflict.
Even if Hamas' offer is not well-intentioned, after 20 years of peace, economic development and hopefully prosperity, would Palestinians as a whole be inclined to re-start a war which would reduce their homes to rubble yet again? After 20 years of Palestinian democracy Hamas would hopefully no longer be in power, let alone in a position to start a war, and the idea that they could accumulate sufficient firepower and political will to destroy the Israeli state seems fanciful in the extreme.
In fact it is the continued conflict and routine harassment from the IDF which allows the extremists to recruit and build popular support, not abstract anti-semitic propaganda in Palestinian classrooms.
If this site was indeed set up to try and bring Israelis and Arabs closer together, characterising one side as implacable homicidal maniacs rather than ordinary human beings who have reacted to a genuine historical wrong done to them (and will react differently once that wrong is ameliorated) seems a questionable approach.
Incidentally, as it's so effective, perhaps the Israelis should have tried this "gift of flowers" approach with Hezbollah rather than reducing Lebanon as a whole to rubble.
Posted by Spike @ 08/26/2006 08:35 PM CST
"it is hard to rebuild popular support for war once the economic and social benefits of peace are apparent. Secondly, most of the support for the extremists is produced by the actual conditions of occupation; once those are alleviated, it will be much harder to garner support for terrorism."
I agree with the above. Any war against any power, even if your power might be a bit stronger is a hard struggle and you would even by winning suffer a lot. If the life in a country is reasonable good and the neighbour is not doing any harm to the country it isn't easy to gather any reasonable support for a war against the neighbour country?
"In fact it is the continued conflict and routine harassment from the IDF which allows the extremists to recruit and build popular support..."
In fact I think that in the longer run the way to 'win' Hezbollah is to start little by little some cooperation over the border instead of continuous harassment by war airplanes flying over the border.
Posted by Hannu Virtanen @ 08/26/2006 11:35 PM CST
"It is an open war until the elimination of Israel and until the death of the last Jew on earth." (Hezbollah statement, 1992) http://www.nysun.com/article/10439
"The Jews invented the legend of the Nazi atrocities... Anyone who reads the Qur'an and the holy writings of the monotheistic religions sees what they did to the prophets, and what acts of madness and slaughter the Jews carried out throughout history... Anyone who reads these texts cannot think of co-existence with them, of peace with them, or about accepting their presence, not only in Palestine of 1948 but even in a small village in Palestine, because they are a cancer which is liable to spread again at any moment." (April 9, 2000) http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.24667,filter.all/pub_detail.asp
"Throughout history, the Jews have been Allah's most cowardly and greedy creatures. If you search the entire face of the Earth, you will find no one more miserly than the Jews, or more greedy." (Sept. 28, 2001) Al Manar; to be found on http://sigcarlfred.blogspot.com/2006/08/what-roosevelt-and-churchill.html and other places.
"If the Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." (Oct. 22, 2002)
Posted by Ratna @ 08/27/2006 07:16 PM CST
If the Arabs were truely committed to those beliefes, I can assure you, there would be no Israel. Hezbollah runs their mouths and occasionally take pot shots at Israel. Israel makes few statements, and yet their actions prove to be louder than any Arab cries of outrage. Alot of people here in the US say we won't be satisfied until Bush-Co is all dead, yet GWB does not come and shoot us down in the streets like dogs. Words and actions are two different things, actions speak louder than words. What Israel is saying with their actions is very frightening. In fact the world should be VERY concerned about their actions, it is not the Arabs that I fear, they have little to benefit from attacking the US. But Israel, has the un-ending support of the last super power to gain from attacking us and pointing the finger at their neighbors. "Through Deception Thou Shalt Wage War."
Posted by OMFG @ 08/28/2006 09:30 PM CST
Widespread Arab anti-semitism is undeniably a fact; putting a start date on it or pinning down causes is too complicated to attempt here. But definitely it was never as bad as Christian anti-semitism before Israel was established, so it seems to be more of a reaction than a spontaneous phenomenon.
However if Hezbollah is an Iranian puppet and the Iranians want to kill all the Jews, why haven't they started with the several thousand who live in Iran? Furthermore, Nasrallah last year shook hands with Noam Chomsky, who is definitely Jewish and even supports the two-state solution in Palestine.
I have seem those statements attributed to Nasrallah a number of times. Maybe he did say those things, although they seem to be the same sort of internet-currency as some of the alleged quotes from Zionist leaders which we are all familiar with. I suggest you try tracking down some primary sources before recycling them yet again.(In fact, perhaps that's something the people who run this site could usefully do - seriously).
Certainly I have seen other statements which entirely contradict those (and Hezbollah in practice has seldom ventured outside Lebanon, hardly what we would expect from a wealthy organisation dedicated to stamping out Jews worldwide when there are so many soft targets available...)
Posted by Spike @ 08/29/2006 02:00 AM CST
he candidate should have:
Posted by Sohrab Navaee-Ardeh @ 09/05/2006 06:09 PM CST
uhhhhhhhh...hmm, I don't quite know what to say about that...=/
Posted by OMFG @ 09/11/2006 06:39 PM CST
we need more people like Sohrab to solve the middle east problems. LOL.
Posted by john @ 09/11/2006 07:34 PM CST
This is NOT a lecture; this is a statement of fact. Ireland and Europe are not Middle-East, with all that implies. To quote the cessation of fire in Ireland as an example to dynamics that can be created to an ever lasting peace is a folly. The 6 years "grace" period given the Hizballa, and what was done during this period is more like it. You give the Hammas or Hizballa or any one of these splinter organizations a period of "truce", and Israel will find itself in a similar mess to the one it found after the 6 years with the Hizballa. (I love to hear Americans and Europeans always referring to examples in Europe; we are not in Europe, fortunately and unfortunately, we are right smack near the craziest bunch of people on earth, please take heed).
Posted by Elis @ 09/25/2006 09:07 AM CST
To Mike Jebara,
In the Jewish tradition it says something like: "Don't judge a person when he is in pain...", obviously, your words show the hurt, and for that I simpathize with your pain on a person to person basis, and I even gloss over the cynicism and sarcasm; it's clear where you stand.
I felt you might be a person who could listen, in spite your pain, to the "other side" as well.
Posted by elis @ 09/25/2006 10:08 AM CST
Posted by shr @ 09/25/2006 02:54 PM CST
How did we get from the Hizballa issue to your dissertation, I'm not sure.
This is my biggest beef with the Arab side thesis.
However, let's turn to your specific gripes: Please read Jane Peter's book titled "From Time Immemorial", in which this self-proclaimed ex-ANTI-ISRAEL Britisher (by her own admission) decided to do an extensive research on the whole Arab-Israeli situation, and you will face the facts. Add this to Mark Twain own observations in the middle of the 19th century Palestine of a desert with nomads and a huge nothingness with the exception of the four holy cities where Arabs, Jews and Christians lived together in abject poverty, and many of your arguments are dispelled automatically.
Posted by elis @ 09/25/2006 03:59 PM CST
Yes Elis, we have got to move on. So RIGHT NOW Isreal has all the power and cards in the debate over Palestinian vs. Isreali territory. So RIGHT NOW, USE ISREALI POWER TO MAKE THE MAJORITY OF THE PALESTINIANS REASONALBLY HAPPY WITH MORE LAND AND MORE POWER, AND THEN POLICE YOUR OWN BORDERS WITH THE HUGE POWER OF ISREALI MIGHT. No thesis needed here elis, what is needed is a little unselfishness by the political leaders of Isreal to make their citizens, AND Palestinians happy.
Posted by john @ 09/25/2006 06:36 PM CST
I don't know who you are and what is your agenda, so, I'm not sure whether you say what you say seriously, or is it a tongue-in-check exersize.
Posted by elis @ 09/25/2006 09:48 PM CST
Your qoute:: "We live in the Middle-East, where ARAB population and lands dwarf Israel population and area by an order of magnitude. Given recent years of Islem's "Peace Loving" religion terrorism,worldwide, one has to be REAL WARY as to how to navigate and survive in these treacherous waters"
Yes Elis, Arab population and land does dwarf Israel's population, BUT YOU ARE JUST MAKING EXUSES FOR ISREAL. Isreal's military POWER DWARFS ARABS MILITARY POWER COMBINED MANY TIMES OVER, ESPECIALLY WHEN SUPPORTED BY THE UNITED STATES. So Isreal has the power to make peace. And about terrorism, I agree, stupid lazy religious idiots cause problems. For muslims it is terrorism and suicide bombers, but for lazy stupid christians, we also do not follow Christ. All he preached was love, go read the gospels, and you will see that Bush is nothing but a terrorist christian, just like the jews that pissed him off at the temple. People make comments about terrorists and their Islamic backing forgetting about the other stupidity of other religions all over the world doing other evils other than terrorism.
your quote: "if we were STUPID enough to allow for some return of Palestinians as a gesture of good will, we will be wiped off the map in a couple of years when demography will take over."
Yes you are STUPID Elis, in thinking that returning some land to the Palestinians would cause Isreal to be wiped of the map. You made this statement not me, lol, so your stupidity is reflected in your own statements. I am sure you are not stupid enough to suggest that the Palestinians are going to stone all the jews to death, LMFAO.
Posted by john @ 10/02/2006 06:48 AM CST
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