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Old 07-21-2006, 05:55 PM   #256
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
Who's "justifying" dead Lebonese?

I've questioned the victimization of the Lebonese by Hezbollah.

If there was a time for "bravado" - why is it focused on the Jews now instead of the free run by Hezbollah?
why is the bravado focused on the israelis? you mean, why is a legitimate government saying that they would fight against an invading army if they have to? as in, 'why are they complaining about being bombarded'?
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:09 PM   #257
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I appreciate the thoughts and opinions expressed here. I find some of the sentiments coming from Lebanon contradictory. Perhaps there is silent cheering for Israel that Hezbollah is being removed. According to accounts from the region, Hezbollah's military capacity has been reduced by 50%. Perhaps at some point they will have the confidence to help finish off Hezbollah.

perhaps if Lebanon really wanted to stand up to Hezbollah they'd invade Iran?

i'm cheering for Israeli to dismantle Hezbollah just as i'm hoping there's no ground war and no more innocent dead Lebanese and i'm hoping there's no humanitarian crisis due to the destruction of the infastructure.
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:11 PM   #258
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Lebanon has a regular, uniformed army. I agree if they wanted any chance of success in a fight with Israel, they would have to abandon this in favor of guerrilla warfare.

Has Lebanon been "invaded" by Hezbollah? We essentially hear both "Yes" and "No". Hezbollah holds some seats in the government. They build schools and other public works. But we also hear that the people of Lebanon do not want Hezbollah. Instead of just writing off the silence as something they could not speak out against, we can question it - especially in light of vocal public challenges against Israel (who is getting rid of their Hezbollah problem).
Well,the problem is that Israel's "getting rid of the Hezbollah problem" also includes bombing Lebanon and killing Lebanese citizens (unfortunately), so yeah, I suppose they'd be a little less eager to cheer such actions on. This rough analogy, admittedly, but it's like asking whether Americans would cheer on, an African nation, let's say, if they started bombing Georgia and Mississippi to get rid of the Klu Klux Klan.

Most nations take their sovereignty pretty seriously, and are more likely to get riled up about on attack among themselves, than a "crazy group" among them that attacks OTHER nations.

I do think your statements about SOME passive support for Hezbollah may be true, but I still think the burden of protest you place on the "Lebanese people" as a whole is too heavy. It is, as irvine pointed out, however, convenient if we want to justify Israel's actions towards Lebanon.
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:16 PM   #259
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I'd like to hear what you guys think is the out here for both sides. What'll it take to settle it? Is there a pragmatic or political middle ground?

Assuming Israel isn't seriously thinking that they won't stop the military action until Hezbollah is completely disbanded, Israel's "out" will need to be a solution that shows they got their kidnapped soldiers back unconditionally.

But Hezbollah will need to show they got something in return. The freeing up of some (20? 100? 1,000?) women and children from Israeli prisoners, or something.

And these kinds of non-agreed-upon positions are usually done through third parties and in an "unlinked" manner. Meaning that yes Hezbollah returns the Israeli soldiers, and then in a completely unrelated (of course) process, Israel frees up some prisoners, perhaps at a later date. Those are all the roll-out politics of these things. And we've seen them before between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Where do you all stand on a resolution to this crisis? nb, sting, do you see unconditional Hezbollah surrender as the only path? irvine, a-wanderer?

[I just can't believe that innocent people are dying when there are political solutions available...solutions that we all know will be employed at some time in this crises; unfortunately, "timing" also becomes a strategy...gotta have a war first...show we're all very serious...then after everybody's pretty scared and violenced out, then we can sit at a third-party table. I find this kind of approach quiet horrific.]
It sounds like you've got a good grasp on this situation, as sad as it is, as well as what it will take to solve it. Definitely, some serious third party intervention is needed. As to what the solution should be. . .I don't know. If it were simple, we'd have a solution already, I suppose. It seems like the Lebanese government needs to be tested in it's resolve to get Hezbollah out of it's country. There needs to be some offer to help do that. Something other than this using shotgun to kill a fly approach that Israel isusing.
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:06 PM   #260
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Negotiating with Hezbollah opens a whole new series of issues. What type of entity are they exactly? Can you have diplomatic negotiations with a freelance organization? An analogy would be the City of Los Angeles negotiating with the Crips or Bloods to cease criminal activity.

As maycocksean notes, if there was a simple resolution, we would likely have it already. In an ideal world, you would have UN control of the border zone between Lebanon and Israel, plus border control to prevent the influx of weapons from Iran and Syria. If the UN is to be effective, it needs to be effective at that level.
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:18 PM   #261
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Originally posted by Judah
I'd like to hear what you guys think is the out here for both sides. What'll it take to settle it? Is there a pragmatic or political middle ground?

Assuming Israel isn't seriously thinking that they won't stop the military action until Hezbollah is completely disbanded, Israel's "out" will need to be a solution that shows they got their kidnapped soldiers back unconditionally.

But Hezbollah will need to show they got something in return. The freeing up of some (20? 100? 1,000?) women and children from Israeli prisoners, or something.

And these kinds of non-agreed-upon positions are usually done through third parties and in an "unlinked" manner. Meaning that yes Hezbollah returns the Israeli soldiers, and then in a completely unrelated (of course) process, Israel frees up some prisoners, perhaps at a later date. Those are all the roll-out politics of these things. And we've seen them before between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Where do you all stand on a resolution to this crisis? nb, sting, do you see unconditional Hezbollah surrender as the only path? irvine, a-wanderer?

[I just can't believe that innocent people are dying when there are political solutions available...solutions that we all know will be employed at some time in this crises; unfortunately, "timing" also becomes a strategy...gotta have a war first...show we're all very serious...then after everybody's pretty scared and violenced out, then we can sit at a third-party table. I find this kind of approach quite horrific.]
Lets remember that this is not the first time that Hezbollah has launched a raid into Israel in an attempt to sieze Israely soldiers. They have actually been trying to do this for some time now and have made multiple unsuccessful attempts. They have also been rocketing northern Israely towns at various times over the past year. So the problem goes well beyond the simple abduction of the two soldiers.

The Hezbollah rocket threat to northern Israel must be ended or at least heavily contained to end the state of siege that Hezbollah has put 2 million Israelies under. I think Israel should invade Lebanon and create a buffer zone 15 to 20 miles into Lebanon to insure that Hezbollah will not be able to hit Israely territory with the vast majority of the rockets it has.

Then diplomacy in the region will have to work out a settlement under which Hezbollah is disarmed and releases the prisoners, Israel withdraws and a strong UN force takes it place on the border, and Lebanon receives a massive increase in aid to rebuild its infrustructure as well as build a Lebanonese military force that at a minimum can control its internal security affairs and can prevent Hezbollah or any other group from re-equiping itself once they have been disarmed.

Many Arab governments are upset at what Hezbollah has done, and there is an excellant opportunity to put extraodinary pressure on Syria to help in the process of disarming Hezbollah. But until that process works, I think Israel will have to occupy part of Southern Lebanon indefinitely if it wants to end the current rocket threat to northern Israel. It may involve further military action beyond that as well.

As of right now, Israel has 400 Main Battle Tanks and 20,000 ground troops along the border ready to go into Lebanon if told to do so. There are already small numbers of Israely troops moving through parts of southern Lebanon. Israel has dropped leaflets all over Southern Lebanon warning aproximately 500,000 Lananese people in the area to leave. I think once those who choose to leave have done so as well as other evacuations of foreigners in other parts of Lebanon have been completed, Israel will move in to end Hezbollah's activities in these area's. It appears that many of these evacuations have already occured and many towns in Southern Lebanon are empty now. A ground invasion could probably come at any time now.
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:22 PM   #262
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How considerate of the Israeli military to warn 500,000 Lebanese to leave if you don't want to get killed. Don't worry about the damaged roads, odd missile or airstrike raining down from above, not to mention finding a mode of transportation or being able to afford to leave, just leave. How considerate, I guess this makes it ok if civilians die, they were warned.
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:38 PM   #263
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How considerate of the Israeli military to warn 500,000 Lebanese to leave if you don't want to get killed. Don't worry about the damaged roads, odd missile or airstrike raining down from above, not to mention finding a mode of transportation or being able to afford to leave, just leave. How considerate, I guess this makes it ok if civilians die, they were warned.
Its in Israel's interest to cause as little civilian loss of life as possible. Israel understands that some people will not be able to leave or won't leave and they are prepared for that situation. What is Hezbollah doing to help these people? Nothing but engaging in the activities that have caused this situation as well as trying to stay as close to the civilian population as possible to maximise the number of civilians that get killed as Israel attempts to hit them.
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:34 PM   #264
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what israel really needs to be congratulated on, is their obvious long-term vision for their current acts.

cause these excessive and brutal attacks on lebanon will only kill the insurgents, and any child or young person who saw first hand how his family was killed and his home destroyed by war planes will never want to become a suicide agent in the future.

this is a sure-fire way to deal with future violence. i'd like to extend my hand to israel for the way they've decided to deal with this situation... because we all know war and destruction is the most intelligent and final response.

i expect the mid-east to be fully settled within two weeks... furthermore, i expect a long-term peace agreement to be ratified and adhered to by all member states of the area, and for it to last several decades.
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Old 07-22-2006, 02:00 PM   #265
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Originally posted by STING2

The Hezbollah rocket threat to northern Israel must be ended or at least heavily contained to end the state of siege that Hezbollah has put 2 million Israelies under.

Agree with most of that, but defeating Hezbollah is the tricky part. If most Hezbollah fighters retreat into Beirut, how does Israel intend to defeat them? Bomb the city into oblivion or go in there and fight street to street, which is what Hezbollah is likely wishing for...a looong-term Fallujah/Baghdad kinda fight? You can see Hamas fighters joining Hezbollah, and then an "Al-Qaeda in Lebanon" branch springing up, Islamists pouring in from surrounding Arab countries to join the fight. If it's a long fight, the U.S. will need to support Israel, possibly with military resources (probably not troops, but equipment), and then you have the U.S. basically involved on three fronts in the mid-east.

Not to be alarmist, but i can see this becoming an expanding cluster-f@#% (well, i guess it is already).
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Old 07-22-2006, 03:37 PM   #266
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what israel really needs to be congratulated on, is their obvious long-term vision for their current acts.

cause these excessive and brutal attacks on lebanon will only kill the insurgents, and any child or young person who saw first hand how his family was killed and his home destroyed by war planes will never want to become a suicide agent in the future.

this is a sure-fire way to deal with future violence. i'd like to extend my hand to israel for the way they've decided to deal with this situation... because we all know war and destruction is the most intelligent and final response.

i expect the mid-east to be fully settled within two weeks... furthermore, i expect a long-term peace agreement to be ratified and adhered to by all member states of the area, and for it to last several decades.
The reason that Israel has survived for the past 58 years surounded by enemies has been because they have been willing to use military force early and as often as need be to insure their security and survival. They have one of the highest standards of living in the world despite the threats they face, while their neighbors live in poverty due largely to an obsession with conquering Israel.

Israel has indeed had a long term vision and they have successfully made it work for 60 years despite all the odds against them. Its brought them prosperity and a way of life that is found in most first world countries. U2 brought POPMART to Israel, they did not bring it to any of Israels neighbors.

What is the longterm vision of the Palestinians, Hezbollah, Lebanonese people, Syrians for the region? What have all the attacks and invasions of Israel accomplished over the past 58 years for THEM? What have all the suicide bombers accomplished over the past 58 years? Is there an independent Palestinian State as a result of these actions?

Israel has one of the top 20 standards of living in the world. Lebanon, Syria, The Palestinian Occupied Territories, Iran, all rank near or around #100 in standard of living. After 58 years, why haven't people in these countries developed a long term vision that does not involve destroying Israel but rather improving the lives of their families and communities? Invading Israel or launching suicide bombers into Israel is not the path to peace and greater prosperity. Its not the path to an independent Palestinian State.

Israel has what it wants and will do everything in its power to protect it. Hezbollah and Humas can spend another 60 years with their supporters doing what they did during the last 60 years and it will only make things worse for their people. Where is their non-violent movement? After 60 years of failure using only violence, would it hurt if they actually tried to have a non-violent movement to address their concerns? Where is their longterm vision and goals? Israel has already accomplished theirs and simply does what it can to protect and insure they continue to live and enjoy the prosperity they have despite the attacks on them.
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:10 PM   #267
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Agree with most of that, but defeating Hezbollah is the tricky part. If most Hezbollah fighters retreat into Beirut, how does Israel intend to defeat them? Bomb the city into oblivion or go in there and fight street to street, which is what Hezbollah is likely wishing for...a looong-term Fallujah/Baghdad kinda fight? You can see Hamas fighters joining Hezbollah, and then an "Al-Qaeda in Lebanon" branch springing up, Islamists pouring in from surrounding Arab countries to join the fight. If it's a long fight, the U.S. will need to support Israel, possibly with military resources (probably not troops, but equipment), and then you have the U.S. basically involved on three fronts in the mid-east.

Not to be alarmist, but i can see this becoming an expanding cluster-f@#% (well, i guess it is already).
Israel will do what it needs to, to insure its security. Israel occupied parts of Lebanon for 22 years and only withdrew 6 years ago. The main reason for the Israely incursion now would be to end the rocket attacks on Northern Israel. This would involve establishing a buffer zone 20 miles beyond the border. Provided most Lebanonese people leave this area, there will be no real opportunity for insurgents to be active. It would be a 20 mile by 20 mile area devoid of anyone except IDF forces. Any non-IDF persons entering the area could be regarded as hostile. In such an environment, its impossible to have an insurgency because there is no civilian population to blend in with and hide behind.

Because of this, once this small area is cleared, Israel is unlikely to suffer many casualties occupying it for an extended time. Israel does have the option to go all the way up to Beirut as they did back in 1982 and occupy the area, but that will probably not be necessary for simply protecting Israely towns from rocket attacks. Over 18 years of occupation, the Israely's suffered 675 killed in action, which is not the heavy casualties that so many mistakenly suggest that Israel suffered. Israel can occupy a larger area and Hezbollah despite its support among much of the population is far from being invincible in such a situation as many in the media have suggested.

But, its more likely that the Israely operation in Lebanon will be more limited in scale than what they did in 1982. While Hezbollah would still be armed, they would have been pushed beyond the range needed to hit towns in Israel with 98% of their rockets. Essentially, the threat they posed to Israely civilians with such weapons would have been ended and cross border incursions by them would not be likely given the new border is 20 miles further north.

Disarmament of Hizbollah will likely be accomplished through negotiations and pressure on Syria. Israel will probably not have to do this alone or with their military. Israely withdrawal from Lebanon actually becomes a key negotiating tool, one they would not have without going into Lebanon.

With the Arab governments in the region now lined up against Hezbollah as well as support from the rest of the world, significant pressure can be excerted on Syria to pressure Hezbollah to disarm. Without Syria, supplies, money and weapons cannot be given to Hezbollah in large numbers. A robust UN/multi-national force should go into Southern Lebanon as the Israely withdraw. It must be strong enough to accomplish what the Israely force withdrawing was able to do, but it also must allow the return of the civilian population. Once Lebanon is able to develop a sufficient military capability for internal security, the UN force can be withdrawn, and Lebanon will finally be able to prevent the emergence of significant non-state terrorist groups like Hezbollah on its soil.
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:38 PM   #268
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British attack Israeli tactics in Lebanon

BRIAN BRADY WESTMINSTER EDITOR

THE British government issued a fierce condemnation of Israel's bombing campaign in Lebanon last night as world leaders desperately sought a last-minute deal to avert a ground war.

As Israeli tanks massed on the border and troops made sporadic raids on Lebanese villages, Foreign Office minister Kim Howells

claimed Israel was not inflicting "surgical strikes" but waging war on "the entire Lebanese nation".

His outburst appeared to shift the British position, which has so far been to support Israel's action while cautioning restraint.

The furious round of international diplomacy, in the shadow of a return to full-scale war in the Middle East, came in advance of a visit to the region by American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today and an international "peace conference" in Italy on Wednesday.

But Howells, who was in Beirut overseeing the evacuation of thousands of Britons and who will travel to Israel today, gave a dramatic signal that many senior government figures are in despair over the failure to bring a halt to the fighting.

"I very much hope that the Americans understand what's happening to Lebanon," he said. "The destruction of the infrastructure, the death of so many children and so many people. These have not been surgical strikes.

"And it's very, very difficult, I think, to understand the kind of military tactics that have been used.

"You know, if they're chasing Hezbollah, then go for Hezbollah. You don't go for the entire Lebanese nation."
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:09 PM   #269
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If the strikes were not surgical, the discussion would be about 30,000+ dead civilians as opposed to 300. I can see Israely's talking about what the British did the last time someone launched 1,500 rockets into their country. There were 300 rockets launched into northern Israel today, what do you think the British response to the launch of 300 rockets into say, Lancashire County or the greater Manchester area in one day would be?
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:22 PM   #270
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The reason that Israel has survived for the past 58 years surounded by enemies has been because they have been willing to use military force early and as often as need be to insure their security and survival. They have one of the highest standards of living in the world despite the threats they face, while their neighbors live in poverty due largely to an obsession with conquering Israel.

Israel has indeed had a long term vision and they have successfully made it work for 60 years despite all the odds against them. Its brought them prosperity and a way of life that is found in most first world countries. U2 brought POPMART to Israel, they did not bring it to any of Israels neighbors.

What is the longterm vision of the Palestinians, Hezbollah, Lebanonese people, Syrians for the region? What have all the attacks and invasions of Israel accomplished over the past 58 years for THEM? What have all the suicide bombers accomplished over the past 58 years? Is there an independent Palestinian State as a result of these actions?

Israel has one of the top 20 standards of living in the world. Lebanon, Syria, The Palestinian Occupied Territories, Iran, all rank near or around #100 in standard of living. After 58 years, why haven't people in these countries developed a long term vision that does not involve destroying Israel but rather improving the lives of their families and communities? Invading Israel or launching suicide bombers into Israel is not the path to peace and greater prosperity. Its not the path to an independent Palestinian State.

Israel has what it wants and will do everything in its power to protect it. Hezbollah and Humas can spend another 60 years with their supporters doing what they did during the last 60 years and it will only make things worse for their people. Where is their non-violent movement? After 60 years of failure using only violence, would it hurt if they actually tried to have a non-violent movement to address their concerns? Where is their longterm vision and goals? Israel has already accomplished theirs and simply does what it can to protect and insure they continue to live and enjoy the prosperity they have despite the attacks on them.
to make it clear, i am pro-israel in terms of them having their own state.

and i understand the amount of "stress" they're constantly put under by terrorist groups.

however, this entire situation is a complete mess and will never get better. ever. not until the end of the world, whenever that happens.

it's always been, and always will be an area of most great contention.

and lives will continuously be lost as a result. a terrible shame.
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