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Old 08-03-2006, 03:13 PM   #166
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
Ahmadinejad: Destroy Israel, End Crisis



Plenty of nuance to suck on here.
What a nutjob. We say *do not destroy Israel*.
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Old 08-03-2006, 03:22 PM   #167
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Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
My argument all the way through this thread is that Israel are playing right into the terror groups hands, increasing, not diminishing, their support. You are right, this/these groups don't give a flying fuck about Palestinians, but it's handing them a cause on a platter.
I don't fundamentally object to "playing into their hands"-type arguments, and they're a big part of why I think the conflict with Hezbollah calls for a UN solution--not Israel's current "solution," which I find both unacceptably inflammatory and unacceptably destructive. But I do feel that the Palestinian situation's influence, as a motivation for supporting militant Islamist groups, is often overstated, and I'm troubled by the way these arguments tend to collapse the distinction between saying "This state subjugates and oppresses a people we find solidarity with, and is therefore our enemy" and "This state is illegitimate because its people have no right to be living in these lands at all." The former line of thinking is common enough in geopolitical conflicts the world over, but the latter as a corollary of the former is not, even in conflicts which likewise emerged from messy imperial/colonial era decisions. Admittedly Israel is a unique case, in that its ranks were dramatically swelled upon attaining statehood by refugees arriving from a totally different cultural sphere, even if a slowly but steadily growing core had been there for centuries, and I guess this is where the "foreign entity"-type thinking comes in. Perhaps I'm somewhat blinded here by emotional loyalty to the idea of Holocaust refugees, but I do find it a bit hard to believe that one could leap from professing "Israel subjugates and oppresses the Palestinians" to supporting a militia group professing "The Jews have no right to live here" unless, on some level, one already believed the latter.

Or is it purely a question of convenience? Is that the idea? "Sure their views about Israel are a bit over the top, but hey, at least they're willing to fight back and maybe that'll nudge Israel back to the negotiations table"? In a way, it would be reassuring if the motivation were that "pragmatic," because a two-state solution is not going to magically end Palestinian poverty and social disarray, and it's not going to restore all Palestinians who were displaced from what became Israel to the lands their families originally lived on, and it's not going to give them sovereignty over Jerusalem either. But in theory a "pragmatist" would be willing to cut their losses at that point, and give up on participating in, sponsoring, or hosting violence, or the refusal to extend recognition (currently, only Jordan and Egypt recognize Israel). Because if you didn't really believe Israel has no right to exist, you'd have no reason left to support those things, however indirectly, at that point. Right?

I just find it a bit hard to believe. I don't mean this as an argument against the moral rightness of a two-state solution--it's still the right thing to do, regardless of what Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood, or whoever else says. But geo-politically speaking, obviously it has the potential to enhance tremendously the ease with which these groups could attack Israel; there are only so many buffer zones the IDF has the capacity to fortify. And it wouldn't require absolute majority support for such groups, either; a small minority willing to do the dirty work, plus a larger minority willing to fund them and tolerate their presence, is all you'd need to make things really dangerous. But if everyone's really so pragmatic, in theory this shouldn't be a major problem.

I guess I just think the number of people who are still fundamentally smarting over the fact that Israel exists at all is higher than you seem to think it is. And if that makes them willing to support the presence of groups like Hezbollah in places like Lebanon now "because Israel oppresses the Palestinians," it makes me worried about what further illogical rationalizations they might support once the Palestinians have a (flawed and troubled like others) state of their own.
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:53 PM   #168
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Good point Yolland....right now, they don't even need their own state to try to wipe out Israel from....they've got their buddies in Lebanon doing the dirty work for them.

oops



Don't mean that to sound derogatory to Palestinians...right now, they truly are some of the wretched of the earth....but you KNOW what I mean.....

And Yolland, glad to see that someone shares my POV. It's nice to see someone other than a person like me, who lost many of her near-distant ancestors to outright genocide (The Armenians in 1915) , is able to take this "destroying Israel" stuff as seriously as it should be. It's a huge psycological barrier, and you have to have gone through it or be closely related to someone who has survived it, and sit there listening to them crying as they bear witness into a tape recorder decades later, to be albe to relate. it really does put on that planet Mars.

I will try to explain this sometime....whaterver the politics, or motives, I truly understand the innate Israeli MENTALITY....passed down over generations....
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:16 PM   #169
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Interesting article from Sunday's New York Times about the social role of Hezbollah (as opposed to its military or political role) in South Lebanon. I'm pretty sure you need registration there to read a 2-day old article, so I'll post a chopped-down version of it (mostly what I cut out were personal anecdotes).
Quote:
Charity Wins Deep Loyalty for Hezbollah

By SABRINA TAVERNISE
The New York Times, August 6, 2006


TYRE, Lebanon, Aug. 5 — Hezbollah fighters move like shadows across the mountains of southern Lebanon; its workers in towns and villages, equally as ghostly, have settled deeply into people’s lives. They cover medical bills, offer health insurance, pay school fees and make seed money available for small businesses. They are invisible but omnipresent, providing essential services that the Lebanese government through years of war was incapable of offering. Their work engenders a deep loyalty among Shiites, who for years were the country’s underclass and whose sense of pride and identity are closely intertwined with Hezbollah...."The trees in the south say, 'We are Hezbollah.' The stones say, 'We are Hezbollah,'" said Issam Jouhair, a car mechanic. "If the people cannot talk, the stones will say it."

Hezbollah is nowhere but everywhere. In this city, the gateway to the fighting and the location of several of southern Lebanon’s largest functioning hospitals, clues about its fighters surface daily. A doctor at one of the hospitals, Jebel Amal, said it currently had about 450 patients. Hospital officials, however, seemed eager to show off a few wounded women and children, but would not allow access to any other patients. On Wednesday, a mass funeral was canceled. Authorities cited the security situation. Minutes later, the sound of rockets being launched swooshed from an area near where the burial was to have been held.

"Just because I’m sitting here in this café doesn’t mean I’m not a resistance fighter," said Haidar Fayadh, a cafe owner, who was smoking a water pipe as his patrons sipped tiny plastic cups of coffee near pictures of Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah. "Everyone has a weapon in his house. There are doctors, teachers and farmers. Hezbollah is people. People are Hezbollah..." Mr. Fayadh said, with the Hezbollah station, Al Manar, flashing on the television screen behind him.

The group is at once highly decentralized and extremely organized...Most connections with the group are indirect. Its fighters are a part of the population, and identifying them can be close to impossible..."They are ghosts," said Husam, a thin unemployed man in a black T-shirt who was waiting for coffee at Mr. Fayadh’s shop. "Nobody knows them."

Hezbollah’s help for Mr. Fayadh came in the form of a canceled electricity bill. Some months ago, a bill amounting to thousands of dollars came for his café. He could not pay it. "Hezbollah intervened for me to get the price down," he said, fiddling with his empty plastic cup...The bill came from Beirut. The electric company had sent out bills for a large sum before, something that was particularly frustrating for Mr. Fayadh, who had to transfer his four children from private to public school two years ago, because he could no longer afford the $1,000 annual fee for each child. He blamed the government of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which he said was corrupt and arrogant, ignoring the needs of southerners. That sentiment is expressed by many here, who see themselves as separate from the Lebanese in the north and center of the country who support a government coalition that is often referred to as March 14, for the day in 2005 when thousands rallied to support them. "I don’t trust them," Mr. Jouhair said, as a Hezbollah station played on a radio under a small tree near his tire changing shop. "They do not represent me."

Hezbollah members also act as silent police, keeping tabs on neighborhoods. Members in cars cruise about, stopping and asking questions at any sign of commotion. Late Friday afternoon, in a suburb of Tyre, men gathered to speak to [this reporter] and, within minutes, a bearded man in a button-down blue shirt and belted slacks walked up to the group. "What’s going on here?" the man said, squinting in the sun. "What is she asking about?" Residents identified the man as the Hezbollah security officer in the neighborhood. He carried a hand-held radio and fielded three cellphone calls in the course of a few minutes. He refused to identify himself. When asked about Hezbollah in the area, he replied, "Hezbollah is us, from the smallest child to the oldest man."

Several residents who knew Hezbollah members said they were trained and groomed for up to five years before becoming full-fledged members. The military wing is so secretive that sometimes friends and family members do not know a loved one is a part of it...[Jouhair's neighbor, Hani] Rai said he was stunned to learn that a close friend of his, Muhammad, was a Hezbollah fighter. He learned of his membership only after his killing some years ago. Rai has also been helped by Hezbollah: It paid for a relative’s heart operation.
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Old 08-10-2006, 07:59 PM   #170
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So once again we go back to the notion that the people of Lebanon are not victims of Hezbollah, but are willing to set aside the terrorist activities in exchange for the receipt of some charity.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:20 AM   #171
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
So once again we go back to the notion that the people of Lebanon are not victims of Hezbollah, but are willing to set aside the terrorist activities in exchange for the receipt of some charity.
Well, it prove to me that poverty helps terrorism. if the only way to maintain my family ( by getting food, education and healthcare ) i would think twice before rejecting Hezbollah especialy when the other option is no future at all.
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Old 08-11-2006, 09:05 AM   #172
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We've already seen how the poverty leads to terrorism idea is a fallacy.
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:53 PM   #173
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Cease Fire

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html

Quote:
U.N. vote on Lebanon cease-fire resolution expected
Cease-fire plan includes buffer zone, international peacekeepers

Friday, August 11, 2006; Posted: 5:45 p.m. EDT (21:45 GMT)

Israeli soldiers Friday march along the Lebanese-Israeli border in northern Israel.

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- France and the United States said Friday they have agreed on a final text of a resolution that could end the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

It was distributed to the full U.N. Security Council in a closed-door session that began about 3 p.m. ET. Key Security Council members are hoping for a vote later Friday.

The resolution contains a "very robust mandate" for the use of an international peacekeeping force, a U.N. State Department official said.

In the Lebanese capital, Beirut, sources close to the negotiations said the deal would create a 400-square-mile zone inside Lebanon from which Hezbollah militia would be excluded.

Under the draft resolution, the number of U.N. troops in the area would be increased from 2,000 to a maximum of 15,000; they would be joined by 15,000 Lebanese troops.

The troops are charged with ensuring Hezbollah doesn't operate between the Blue Line, which marks the Lebanese border with Israel, and the Litani River, according to the draft.

The Associated Press, quoting an individual close to the Israeli government, said there's a "good chance" Israel would accept the new cease-fire proposal.

Lebanese government officials, cited by the AP, said Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora was studying the document and contacting politicians in his country for their input.

Earlier Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had ordered an expanded military offensive in Lebanon under the belief that the U.N. resolution did not satisfy Israeli security concerns, Olmert's spokesman, Asaf Shariv, told AP.

But even as Israeli forces massed along the border with Lebanon, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev told AP that Israel was still open to a negotiated solution.

"Our action does not exclude a diplomatic option. On the contrary, we are following developments in New York closely," he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan prodded the Security Council to act by week's end "to save civilians on both sides from the nightmare they have endured for the past four weeks." (Watch why Arabs are leaving Israel -- 2:42)

Israel's Security Cabinet earlier this week approved the expanded offensive, which Olmert ordered Friday. Under the plan, Israeli troops could push up to the Litani River, 18 miles (29 kilometers) inside Lebanon.

War in 31st day
At least two people were killed and 20 others wounded when an Israeli airstrike hit a convoy of Lebanese Army and civilian vehicles, Lebanese security sources said.

The convoy initially consisted of 80 Lebanese security force vehicles carrying more than 350 people, as well as about 100 civilian vehicles. Other civilian vehicles joined it later, officials said.

The civilians, many of whom had been trapped in southern Lebanon for weeks, went to the Lebanese Army base in Marjeyoun on Thursday in hopes of receiving safe passage away from the violence.

The convoy left Marjeyoun after fighting there earlier in the day. It was in the Bekaa Valley town of Kefraya when it was hit, sources said.

Many of the vehicles were on fire, and emergency personnel couldn't reach the wounded because of other Israeli airstrikes in the area, sources said.

The Israel Defense Forces said it had no information on the strike but added that it didn't authorize any convoy to leave Marjeyoun.

A spokesman for the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, Milos Strugar, said UNIFIL received a security clearance from the IDF and was escorted out of Marjeyoun by the IDF.

Earlier in the day, Hezbollah TV reported that Hezbollah forces destroyed an Israeli gunboat off the coast of Tyre, Lebanon, killing or wounding a crew of 12, the AP reported.

The Israeli military denied Hezbollah's claim, the AP said.

The southern suburbs of Beirut were rocked Friday by at least 11 explosions from Israeli airstrikes.

In the northern part of the country, Israeli airstrikes on a bridge near the Syrian border killed 11 Lebanese civilians and wounded 13, according to Lebanon's security forces. The bridge was between Abboudiyeh and the Aarida crossing, sources said.

Israelis forces occupied the base in the largely Christian town Thursday as they moved toward a nearby area where Hezbollah fighters reportedly fired rockets into Israel, said Lebanese military intelligence and Lebanese police. (Watch as Israel puts more pressure on Hezbollah -- 2:49)

Thirty-one days of fighting have killed 123 Israelis, including 40 civilians, and 861 Lebanese, mostly civilians, according to authorities in those countries.

The conflict began July 12. Israeli attacks were prompted by the Shiite Muslim militia Hezbollah kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers in a raid into northern Israel.

CNN's Elise Labott and Liz Neisloss contributed to this report
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:58 PM   #174
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I hope that this works. It's about time too.
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:54 PM   #175
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The UN forces must go well beyond their memo-writing mandates. Uness the forces have full enforcement powers (and be willing to engage), any ceasefire might as well be called "Hezbollah reloading time".
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:59 PM   #176
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The French have used the phrase 'robust' before to describe a situation of where U.N. peace keepers could engage in military action without prior attacks. That's the same phrase used above so it looks like you'll get your wish nbc.
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:03 PM   #177
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We've seen plenty of adjectives describing strong UN resolutions. They are as effective as if they used a larger font to print the resolution.

The devil will be in the details.
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:25 PM   #178
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*Has fingers crossed*
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:41 AM   #179
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I would hope a cease fire agreement brings lasting peace to the people of the region, not just some attempt to make those distant from the problem feel better about themselves.
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Old 08-13-2006, 10:40 PM   #180
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Complete Draft of Resolution 1701

This lays the ground for a ceasefire, an Israeli withdrawal, a combat-ready UN force empowered to assist the Lebanese government in clearing all combatants from the Litani River area, and the provision of international humanitarian aid for Lebanon--all good, all necessary as well, IMO. But once again, like the long string of failed resolutions and accords preceding it, it provides no mandate for anyone besides the Lebanese government to take responsibility for ensuring the disarmament of Hezbollah (or the other Lebanese militias) and the cutting of its supply lines to Syria and Iran. That makes it very hard for me to see this resolution as anything other than a temporary stopgap measure--providing some desperately needed short-term relief, but otherwise likely only to "succeed" in postponing, not preventing, the next stage of this conflict.
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