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Old 07-28-2006, 02:36 PM   #1
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Israel/Lebanon conflict Part II

If you want to debate Iraq, please start another thread.

If you want to reply to a (non-Iraq) post from the old thread, please just cut and paste it into your post here.
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:38 PM   #2
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Originally posted by Irvine511




the insurgency has been successful in making sure that the new government doesn't actually govern anything and in creating an Iraqi Civil War that Colin Powell, David Frum, Peter Galbraith, and many other former neocon cheerleaders all acknwoledge exists. further, the insurgency is funded and fueled by Iran, much like the Viet Cong were funded and fueled by China and Russia. Baghdad will soon likely slide after Basra into the unofficial new Iranian empire. it's another proxy war of attrition, and we've lost again.

here's some interesting analysis:

[q]I spent a total of seven months in Lebanon recently, and I never could quite figure out what prevented the country from flying apart into pieces. It barely held together like unstable chemicals in a nitro glycerin vat. The slightest ripple sent Lebanese scattering from the streets and into their homes. They were far more twitchy than I, in part (I think) because they understood better than I just how precarious their civilized anarchy was. Their country needed several more years of careful nurturing during peace time to fully recover from its status as a carved up failed state.

By bombing all of Lebanon rather than merely the concentrated Hezbollah strongholds, Israel is putting extraordinary pressure on Lebanese society at points of extreme vulnerability. The delicate post-war democratic culture has been brutally replaced, overnight, with a culture of rage and terror and war.

What is happening in the Lebanon is a tragedy for the Lebanese, a horrible - and terrifying - conundrum for the Israelis, and a disaster for US policy in the wider struggle against Islamic extremism. And, oh yes, it is not, unfortunately, going to bring an end to Hezbollah...

“What will become of us?” is the question on everyone’s mind. No one can know what will happen after Israel lifts its siege and the temporary national unity flies apart into pieces. And it will fly apart into pieces. The only question is how far the pieces will fly and how hard they'll land.

http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001203.html

[/q]


ultimately, it doesn't matter how many tanks and troops the Israeli military has. Israel is a democracy, and Israelis are not prepared (nor should they be) for a prolonged and bloody re-occupation of Lebanon that will not guarantee security and is akin to the Little Dutch Boy putting his finger in the dyke. isn't it clear, at this point, that occupation is simply not a solution. it creates far more problems than it solves. it breeds long-term radicalization while providing only a modicum of short-term security.

it's quite clear that these military actions are simply not going to bring an end to Hezbollah, only an effective, centralized, empowered Lebanese government would be able to do that.
As the US military on the ground in Iraq has repeatedly said, there is no Civil War in Iraq at this point. Once again, the level of sectarian fighting and the area's effected by sectatrian fighting are not consistent with what a Civil War would look like in a country the size of Iraq. In addition, the Iraqi's have a united democratically elected government in place. The actions of less than 5% of the population obviously can make situations in certain area's very unstable, but that does not make it a Civil War.

Iran does not fuel the Sunni insurgency. Most Sunni insurgence do just fine with equiping themselves with the massive stockpiles of munitions left in Iraq from Saddam's regime, as well as some supplies that makes it into Iraq from Syria.

There have been some weapons supplied to some Shia insurgent groups as well as some shaped charged IED's. But most IED's continue to be made from 152 mm Howitzer rounds of Saddam's former military of which there is a massive supply located in hidden caches around the country. Most attacks on US forces continue to come from Sunni insurgent groups.

Far from being apart of any Iranian "Empire", the south of Iraq is still very divided among Shia groups who occasionally fight with each other. Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution and a former head of Clinton Administration policy on Iraq has cited the fact that the most likely chance for a Civil War in Iraq exist inside the Shia community itself and not between the other ethnic groups in Iraq. But that detailed analysis slips by minds to intent on casting Iraq as a victory for Iran and every Shia in Iraq as a stormtrooper marching to the orders of Tehran.

Basra is not apart of Iran, nor has it collapsed. Iran has influence in the area, but they don't have 8,000 troops like the British do, who by the way have found Basra to be a more peaceful place than Northern Ireland was for them in the early 1970s.



Israel is ready to do what they have to, to insure its security. Removing the rocket threat from Israel does not mean Israel has to re-occupy Lebanon in the way they did from 1982-2000. A buffer zone can be created that will prevent the attacks and will be a difficult if not impossible area for Hezbollah to operate in. It only requires pushing the fighting 20 miles from the border.

Military capability is a huge factor and will certainly be a huge factor if Lebanon ever wants to re-establish control over their country. The renewed military capability of Hezbollah because of the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon is a huge factor in this crises as well. Its obvious that the withdrawal six years ago was a major mistake. Instead of empowering the Lebanese government and military, it only made Hezbollah stronger.

Hezbollah's numbers have increased over the past 6 years without the Israeli's in Lebanon, so the idea that the Lebanese need Israeli military action as a recruiting tool is false. Israeli towns are being rocketed, and not responding to those attacks because of some theory that it will only make things worse is insane. Israel has not survived and prospered for the past half century because it decided to not use military action in response to invasions and attacks on its territory.

You will never have an effective, centralized Lebanese government, with a military that can control its internal security as long as Hezbollah is armed to the teeth and allowed to equip itself the way they have been for the past 6 years partly due to the Israeli withdrawal. You will never have a long term solution to the problem as long as Hezbollah is not disarmed.

Israel may not be able to disarm every single Hezbollah fighter, but they can weaken Hezbollah enough to insure their security needs. If Israel has to re-occupy parts of Lebanon for the next half century, it is ready and willing to do that. It occupied parts of Lebanon for 22 years, at relatively low costs in terms of casualties with the support of the Israeli population. Opinion polls in Israel have never been stronger in favor of military action than they are now.



On Israel's part though, it appears that they have been far to restrained and limited in their military action up to now. The Israeli military high command asked to government to expand operations recently, but the government rejected that option for now. 50,000 Israeli reservist have been called up though, and Israel will obviously be prepared in the coming days and weeks to take any military action it deems necessary for the safety and security of it citizens, just as it has successfully done for the past 58 years.
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:44 PM   #3
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Anitrim,

The fact that there has been some Taliban activity from Pakistan and Al Quada still has cells in Pakistan hiding in an area where the United States is not allowed to operate does not change the extrordinary accomplishments in Afganistan over the past 5 years. When was the last time Afghanistan had a democratic government and a chance for peace and prosperity like they do today? Take a look at Afghanistan's 5,000 year history as well as what happened the last time a foreign power invaded and attempted to change things in Afghanistan and I think you will see just how successful this operation has been.
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:47 PM   #4
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After all this blatant rejection of the global community, if that $100 per gallon of oil transpires into a global depression, the political climate could change dramatically in the West against American interests.
Big whoops, I meant $100 per BARREL.
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:59 PM   #5
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AliEnvy,

Why would the sunni insurgency want the United States to remain in Iraq when the United States is the reason they are currently out of power and the biggest obstacle to their regaining power over the country?


Take a look at US monthly casualties in Iraq since the war started, and you'll notice that they peaked in April 2004 and have not increased beyond that level since then. Whats more, for two consecutive years now starting from April 2004, US casualties have gradually been decreasing despite the fact that the United States maintains the same level of engagement and troop levels that it has had since that time.


The cost of the war financially in Iraq is rather small relative to past wars the United States has fought in. In fact, the United States is currently spending less as a percentage of GDP, on the military and the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, than it did during the peacetime of the 1980s on the military. The US economy is currently the strongest it has ever been in US history with the exception of the last two years of Clintons time in office.


The United States and coalition allies invaded Iraq with the approval of the UN Security Council resolution 1441 and currently occupies Iraq with the approval of UN Security Council Resolution 1483. The number of countries involved on the ground in Iraq is similar to the 1991 Coalition in terms of the relative non-US contribution to the effort on the ground.

The Bush administration is concerned about the security needs of the region and the world as this heavily impacts the United States.

The price of oil is indeed a concern, but this is also heavily impacted by forces outside the middle east like demand in India and China. As long as middle east oil supplies is not some how siezed, sabotaged or taken off the market, there is not going to be a global depression. A recession does always remain a possiblity, but its doubtful speculation over events in Lebanon/Israel would cause that, although it obviously causes short term increases.

Pursuing a ceacefire that will not hold, and will only be a temporary benefit to some people in Lebanon and northern Israel is not a solution to the problem.
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:24 PM   #6
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[q]Tide of Arab Opinion Turns to Support for Hezbollah

DAMASCUS, Syria, July 27 — At the onset of the Lebanese crisis, Arab governments, starting with Saudi Arabia, slammed Hezbollah for recklessly provoking a war, providing what the United States and Israel took as a wink and a nod to continue the fight.

Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for more than two weeks, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official statements.

The Saudi royal family and King Abdullah II of Jordan, who were initially more worried about the rising power of Shiite Iran, Hezbollah’s main sponsor, are scrambling to distance themselves from Washington.

An outpouring of newspaper columns, cartoons, blogs and public poetry readings have showered praise on Hezbollah while attacking the United States and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for trumpeting American plans for a “new Middle East” that they say has led only to violence and repression.

Even Al Qaeda, run by violent Sunni Muslim extremists normally hostile to all Shiites, has gotten into the act, with its deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, releasing a taped message saying that through its fighting in Iraq, his organization was also trying to liberate Palestine.

Mouin Rabbani, a senior Middle East analyst in Amman, Jordan, with the International Crisis Group, said, “The Arab-Israeli conflict remains the most potent issue in this part of the world.”

Distinctive changes in tone are audible throughout the Sunni world. This week, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt emphasized his attempts to arrange a cease-fire to protect all sects in Lebanon, while the Jordanian king announced that his country was dispatching medical teams “for the victims of Israeli aggression.” Both countries have peace treaties with Israel.

The Saudi royal court has issued a dire warning that its 2002 peace plan — offering Israel full recognition by all Arab states in exchange for returning to the borders that predated the 1967 Arab-Israeli war — could well perish.

“If the peace option is rejected due to the Israeli arrogance,” it said, “then only the war option remains, and no one knows the repercussions befalling the region, including wars and conflict that will spare no one, including those whose military power is now tempting them to play with fire.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/28/wo...html?ref=world

[/q]



can Israeli bombs and US policy make peace between Sunnis and Shiites?
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Old 07-28-2006, 04:45 PM   #7
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"When the Allies did the same thing to France in 1944, was it a direct attack on France?"--Quote by Sting2

(Sorry. Wasn't sure how to quote over from threads).

Big difference here. France had ALREADY been invaded by Nazi Germany, the Vichy government was considered illegitimate by many French people, and the invasion was actively supported by the French Underground. It was a true liberation.

Now, I ask what exactly are the parallells between that and the invasion of Lebanon.

Furthermore, you also unwittingly (or perhaps "wittingly", I don't know) support my contention that Israel has decided to engage in conventional warfare against Lebanon as a whole to get rid of Hezbollah. After all, Normandy was part of a conventional war against nation-states, not action against a band of deadly terrorists.
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Old 07-28-2006, 06:30 PM   #8
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how about that UN resolution Blair has been pushing for? Is it coming? do you think it can cross the US barricades?

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/me...ain/index.html

edit: oh yeah, Bush is FOR it. Yet, I doubt.
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
"When the Allies did the same thing to France in 1944, was it a direct attack on France?"--Quote by Sting2

(Sorry. Wasn't sure how to quote over from threads).

Big difference here. France had ALREADY been invaded by Nazi Germany, the Vichy government was considered illegitimate by many French people, and the invasion was actively supported by the French Underground. It was a true liberation.

Now, I ask what exactly are the parallells between that and the invasion of Lebanon.

Furthermore, you also unwittingly (or perhaps "wittingly", I don't know) support my contention that Israel has decided to engage in conventional warfare against Lebanon as a whole to get rid of Hezbollah. After all, Normandy was part of a conventional war against nation-states, not action against a band of deadly terrorists.
Well, many people in Lebanon feel that they are being held hostage by Hezbollah as well. A militant terrorist organization has hijacked Lebanon and controls much of what happens in the country. Outside of Beirut, they are essentially the government and the chief authority.

Regardless, Israel must defend itself with what ever means necessary. They have every right to strike anywhere in Lebanon if it is being used by Hezbollah to launch missiles from that location or is in some way involved in the supply and support of Hezbollah's deadly operations against Israel. Israel did not start this fight, Hezbollah did. If no entity exist that can contain and disarm Hezbollah, then Israel must take matters into its own hands to protect its citizens. Hezbollah is a professional military organization, and the bomging of roads, bridges, the airport, and any other target that is being used by Hezbollah is clearly justified just as the United States was justified when it had done the same in every military action and war it has been involved in from the Revolutionary War in 1770s to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2001 and 2003.

Regardless of what you consider Hezbollah to be, a band of deadly terrorist or the real military force authority in Lebanon, the fact remains the same. In order to defend northern Israel from this military entity that is supplied by Iran and Syria through the airport, roads and bridges, it is an absolute necessity that you hit these targets to prevent resupply and the re-positioning of missiles that are being fired into Israeli cities. If southern Texas had 2,000 rockets fired at from over the border in Mexico and the Mexican military was powerless to stop it, the United States would use all means necessary to destroy and disrupt such missile strikes into the United States, to include bombing any roads, bridges, or other infrustucture being used to supply or aid or launch attacks in that engagement.
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Old 07-29-2006, 12:11 AM   #10
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A UN resolution would be nice if it meant anything. I think the UN is a great concept and we need a place for nations of the world to have representatives meet in peace. BUT the countries leaders just sit on their hands or the security council veto each other so nothing gets done. It's like a Monty Python scene from Life of Brian when they discuss their plans to attack Pilate or discuss the Romans. Sad example of the pattern of humanity.
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:06 PM   #11
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Yeah, the U.N. has problems. I wish the Security Council didn't have that veto power on the part of the permanent members. It's too bad because they need a cease-fire to stop the bloodshed as soon as possible.
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Old 07-29-2006, 04:43 PM   #12
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"F*****g Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Gibson

now this, is anti-semitism
not criticizing Israeli government policies
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Old 07-29-2006, 11:32 PM   #13
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Always look on the bright side of life...

...... ..... ..... .....
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Old 07-30-2006, 12:49 AM   #14
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Originally posted by STING2
As long as middle east oil supplies is not some how siezed, sabotaged or taken off the market, there is not going to be a global depression.
Although interestingly seizing, controlling and limiting Iran's oil supply is exactly what Bush's "pre-emptive" nuclear bunker-busters are going to pave the way for. So yes, there is going to be a global depression.
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:23 AM   #15
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Originally posted by STING2
Why would the sunni insurgency want the United States to remain in Iraq when the United States is the reason they are currently out of power and the biggest obstacle to their regaining power over the country?
Are you forgetting that Osama Bin Laden was trained and funded by the CIA to create a terrorist insurgency in Afganistan against the Soviets...which turned out to be successful...

I keep saying it, he's (re)building his army in Iraq which can only happen as long as the US is there pissing people off and joining his ranks.
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