July 31, 2006

One Fourth of Instapundit

I am going to be one fourth of Instapundit this week. Glenn Reynolds is on vacation and he asked me, Ann Althouse, Megan McArdle, and Brannon Denning to fill in for him.

So you'll see me there as well as here.

Thanks Glenn!

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 31, 2006 09:49 AM
Comments

I hope you can bring the readers there some insight into the situation in Lebanon. I am amazed at how little understanding there is on the right.
I miss my country....

Posted by: LibraryLady at July 31, 2006 12:16 PM

Reguarding what was written in an earlier post:The worst policy is to attack cities. Attack cities only when there is no alternative.

I'VE GOT TO SAY THAT'S A SILLY STATEMENT. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE! THE MISSILES ARE BEING LAUNCHED INTO ISRAEL FROM THE CITIES, SILLY!

Posted by: Joe at July 31, 2006 01:04 PM

Ramsay Short, editor of Time Out Beirut, seems to be a victim of the Stockholm Syndrome. The Hezbollah forces have essentially captured he and his fellow Lebanese non-Islamist friends. These Muslim thugs play for keeps and would not hesitate to put a bullet in Mr. Short’s brain. And he is very well aware of this harsh fact. So what does this journalist do? Mr. Short attacks Israel! This is logically senseless and perhaps even cowardly. The central reason why Israel is being criticized is because it’s the safe thing to do.

Posted by: David Thomson at July 31, 2006 01:06 PM

“I ask, will other Arab countries and leaders have the courage to acknowledge that Israeli life is equal to Arab life? Will Israel have the courage as well to acknowledge that Lebanese life is equal to Israeli life, and that all life is priceless? I believe that most Israeli and Arab citizens would answer in the affirmative. Can we get their governments and their leaders to do the same?”

---Michel Aoun

Another obvious example of the Stockholm Syndrome. Aoun is slandering Israel and indulging in moral equivalency. The IDF is going out of its way not to kill innocent Lebanese. The blame for all these deaths belongs solely to Hezbollah.

Posted by: David Thomson at July 31, 2006 02:12 PM

Michael,
A recent article in the Spectator speculated that the large March shipment of arms that created a little bit of an uproar in Lebanon at the time was sent by Tehran to HA through Damascus and that the Lebanese authorities were totally informed of the contents of that shipment; sophisticated missiles.
If the above is true, especially the part about the knowledge of the Lebanese authorities, then I suspect that transforms the Lebanese government into willing accomplices in the illegal activities of HA. Obviously, to add insult to injury as a Lebanese citizen, I resent being lied to by my own government.
Does any of the readers have any information regarding the validityof the above claim.

Posted by: ghassan karam at July 31, 2006 02:15 PM

David: Aoun is slandering Israel and indulging in moral equivalency.

No, he isn't. He's trying to build common ground on a set of decent civilized values.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 31, 2006 02:22 PM

Even if he is "slandering" Israel, surely you must prefer his article to the "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" rants from Hassan Nasrallah.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 31, 2006 02:23 PM

I ask, will other Arab countries and leaders have the courage to acknowledge that Israeli life is equal to Arab life?

An interesting, but irrelevant question. First off, I would argue that Arab leaders have treated Israeli life as more important than Arab life for quite some time now, as they have sent their subjects on multiple figurative and literal suicide missions in vain, fruitless and hopeless attempts to "wipe the jews off the map." There's also their curious calculation to allow for grossly unequal prisoner swaps, devaluing their own cause (obviously they don't have as many prisoners to swap, but if they wanted to treat all lives the same, they would insist on a 1 to 1 ratio).

Second, one of the main "protaganists" to the conflict seems hell bent on fighting this war to the last Lebanese, and they don't care how many Arabs die, except that, for them, the more the better.

Proof:

In a letter to the editor of the Berlin left-wing daily Die Tageszeitung (TAZ) a Lebanese Shia explains how after Israel’s withdrawal from South Lebanon, Hezbollah stored rockets in bunkers in his town and built a school and residence over it.

I lived until 2002 in a small southern village near Mardshajund that is inhabited by a majority of Shias like me. After Israel left Lebanon, it did not take long for Hezbollah to take have its say in other towns. Received as successful resistance fighters and armed to the teeth, they stored rockets in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers! A local sheikh explained to me laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rockets depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.

Dr. Mounir Herzallah
Berlin-Wedding

(translated from the German by David Ouellette)

German Original:

Ich wohnte bis 2002 in einem kleinen Dorf im Süden nahe Mardschajun, das mehrheitlich von Schiiten wie mir bewohnt ist. Nach Israels Verlassen des Libanon dauerte es nicht lange, bis die Hisbollah bei uns und in allen anderen Ortschaften das Sagen hatte. Als erfolgreiche Widerstandskämpfer begrüßt, erschienen sie waffenstarrend und legten auch bei uns Raketenlager in Bunkern an. Die Sozialarbeit der Partei Gottes bestand darin, auf diesen Bunkern eine Schule und ein Wohnhaus zu bauen! Ein lokaler Scheich erklärte mir lachend, dass die Juden in jedem Fall verlieren, entweder weil die Raketen auf sie geschossen werden oder weil sie, wenn sie die Lager angriffen, von der Weltöffentlichkeit verurteilt werden ob der dann zivilen Toten. Die libanesische Bevölkerung interessiert diese Leute überhaupt nicht, sie benutzen sie als Schilder und wenn tot als Propaganda. Solange sie dort existieren, wird es keine Ruhe und Frieden geben.

Dr. Mounir Herzallah
Berlin-Wedding

http://judeoscope.ca/article.php3?id_article=0429

As for this:

Will Israel have the courage as well to acknowledge that Lebanese life is equal to Israeli life, and that all life is priceless?

I bet they would love to, but it's a very hard thing to do when the lives that the Lebanese have lead have allowed for an Iranian proxy militia on its Northern border with 12,000 missiles just waiting for glorious martyrdom.

I am disgusted and saddened by what is happening to Lebanon right now. It breaks my heart. And i know there's probably not much they could do about Hizballah, but expecting the Israelis to live with that is somewhat unfair too.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at July 31, 2006 02:37 PM

“No, he isn't. He's trying to build common ground on a set of decent civilized values.”

Aoune may have the best intentions (like Sir Neville Chamberlain), but he is unwittingly surrendering to the forces of totalitarianism. Such sentiments merely encourage the Hitlers and Stalins of the world. If the West had avoided killing innocents at all costs during WWII---the Nazis and their allies would have won. Think of Portland, Oregon if the police refused to engage in gun battles with criminals just to make sure innocent citizens are not hurt. In a very short while, your city would be turned into a hell hole.

Posted by: David Thomson at July 31, 2006 02:45 PM

Michael,

Please correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't the shady Aoun and his pact with the devil part of the cause of this mess?

I can't help but to see political opportunism in his WSJ piece...

Posted by: Josh at July 31, 2006 03:25 PM

A politician engaging in political opportunism, Josh? Hardly something new.

I detect a hint of political opportunism in Olmert's Zero Percent Solution as well.

The best we can hope for is that political opportunism isn't the only reason for a politician's actions...

Posted by: monkyboy at July 31, 2006 03:38 PM

At the risk of sounding somewhat harsh:

Michel Aoun needs to shut the f*** up.
After all this is a guy who allied himself with Hezbollah, upon his return from exile, compromising both his own principles and those of a democratic state, for the sole purpose of political gain and maneuvering.

I blame his alliance with Hezbollah in LARGE part for the inability of the Siniora government to get much accomplished in the national dialogue. Aoun gave Hezbollah a non-sectarian legitimacy they did not possess and made it much harder to marginalize them over the past year.

Posted by: Bad Vilbel at July 31, 2006 03:48 PM

David Thompson,

I'm fairly certain that in Portland,OR, and in the USA at large, police does in fact try very hard not to harm civilians, during their police activities.

When hostages are taken, at a bank robbery, say, the police does not blow up the building, they bring in negotiators.
When engaged in a high-speed chase, police will disengage if the suspect endangers civilian traffic.

I don't know where you get your facts from, but they're incorrect.

(Although i do understand the point you were trying to make)

Posted by: Bad Vilbel at July 31, 2006 03:52 PM

Josh: Please correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't the shady Aoun and his pact with the devil part of the cause of this mess?

Yes. But if he wants to distance himself from that supremely idiotic mistake and be a reasonable person for a change, that's great.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 31, 2006 03:58 PM

Bad Vibel:
I have enjoyed your posts and I have learned a lot from them. And Israel has not handled this situation well, especially the air only campaign. I have one slight problem with the Bank hostage analogy. You are right on how bank hostage situations gebnerally work. But during most bank hostage situations the kidnappers are not launching missles at the passing traffic and killing people while they are holding the bank hostage. And usually the negotiaters don't let the hostage takers keep the bank after they get the hostages back. I am not trying to say that Israel doesn't need to change their tactics but the bank analogy has lots of holes in it.

Posted by: kevin peters at July 31, 2006 06:41 PM

No sure why it's a mistake.

Lebanon needs a strong central government. If it turns out to be a Hezbollah government...it will still be better than anarchy.

I think most people would prefer to live in Tehran today than Beirut during the Civil War.

Of course, America neocons and most Israelis may see things differently...

Posted by: monkyboy at July 31, 2006 06:48 PM

Monkeyboy:
At least the trains will run on time, eh.

Posted by: kevin peters at July 31, 2006 06:59 PM

Monkeyboy,

I take it you haven't lived in Beirut during the civil war. I did. I'd take that over living in Tehran any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Posted by: bad vilbel at July 31, 2006 07:07 PM

My Syrian friend Said moved to Beirut during the civil war and LOVED it compared with his homeland under the boot of Hafez al-Assad.

I wouldn't want to live in Beirut during a civil war, but fortunately I'm not stuck choosing between that and a totalitarian dungeon.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 31, 2006 07:10 PM

Hmmm,

What would Thomas Hobbes say about a country with a weak government?

In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Maybe Hezbollah should at least get a vote before everyone dusts off their AKs and jumper cables...

Posted by: monkyboy at July 31, 2006 07:18 PM

West Beirut was very peaceful for most of the civil war, so says Mrs. Caveman. In fact, the relative peace and quiet was only shattered when a certain General Aoun picked a fight with Syria, a fight he could not win. Syrian artilley ravaged much of Beirut, and Aoun accepted an overly kind evacuation from the French. The parallels between Aoun then and Nasrallah now are fairly plain to see. Both somehow cultivated exaggerated notions of themselves and how far their fellow Lebanese would follow them. Both of them wrought massive destruction on Lebanon. What will come of this man this time around?

Posted by: Caveman at July 31, 2006 07:39 PM

Caveman,

I was there for all of that. You and Mrs. Caveman are correct on all counts (including the Aoun-Nasrallah comparison).

Cheers.

Posted by: bad vilbel at July 31, 2006 07:42 PM

Bad vibel:
Yes, monkeyboys right. How dare you "dust off your AK's and jumper cables" you war monger you. Just sit back, accept the order and social services from your new Hezbollah masters and give up that silly notion of political pluralism and multi party political systems.You silly lebanese can't handle that sophisticated form of polity anyway. Just ignore the fact that Nas has already promised a Hezbollah version ofthe "Night of the Long knives" for his political opponents after he disposes of Israel, in fact it will be good for you, you will be able to go to work in peace and let your new masters handle that complicated governing thing. Welcome to the soft bigotry of "world opinion" and "we must have stability at all costs" that the rest of the world has planned for Lebanon.

Posted by: kevin peters at July 31, 2006 07:45 PM

Hehe Kevin,

As opposed to "democracy" the neocons promise?

I think Mark Twain had the best description of the con being pulled here.

His main point is the democracy the neocons of his day were trying to export was a little different than our domestic brand....but it came in the same pretty wrapper:

We all know that the Business is being ruined. The reason is not far to seek. It is because our Mr. McKinley, and Mr. Chamberlain, and the Kaiser, and the Czar and the French have been exporting the Actual Thing with the outside cover left off. This is bad for the Game. It shows that these new players of it are not sufficiently acquainted with it.

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~drbr/sitting.html

Good stuff...Mr. Clemens would have no problem seeing what the Republicans are up to.

Posted by: monkyboy at July 31, 2006 07:56 PM

From the previous thread- "The real battle is after the end of this war. We will have to settle score with the Lebanese politicians. We also have the best security and intelligence apparatus in this country, and we can reach any of these people who are speaking against us now. Let us finish with the Israelis and then we will settle scores later." This is what Heezbollah has planned for Lebanon and Monketboy endorses it. For your own good , of course, so just shut up and take it bad vibel.

Posted by: kevin peters at July 31, 2006 08:09 PM

Who is this man who appears at bombed buildings and poses with dead children?

Posted by: PeterUK at July 31, 2006 08:12 PM

PeterUK, I have to agree with the commenter at rogerlsimon who said Jean Reno.

Have a look at this pic:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c9/Jean_Reno.jpg

Posted by: Josh at July 31, 2006 08:21 PM

Big talk from a low-level Hezbollah member...or maybe even just a creation of the reporter, Kevin.

I'm sure if you talked to any low-level Republican back in 2000, they would parrot Bushie's promises of balanced budgets, states rights and no nation-building attempts.

Posted by: monkyboy at July 31, 2006 08:57 PM

MB:
Well, here are a couple of qoutes from your man Hassan Nasrallah- "Our strength is the willingness to sacrifice our Blood, Souls, Children, Fathers, and Families." "The most honourable death is death by killing, and the most honourable killing and the most glorious martrydom is when a man is killed for the sake of Allah, by the enemies of Allah, the murderers of the prophets(ie the Jews)" Sounds like your "low level Hezbollah member" is paying attention to the leader you want to put on the throne.

Posted by: kevin peters at July 31, 2006 09:24 PM

Monkyboy,

Hassan Nasrallah himself said the same thing. See my Insta-link to the Walid Jumblatt interview.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 31, 2006 09:25 PM

I didn't say the Israelis would be happy with him running Lebanon. I said Lebanon needs a strong government, and unless the IDF comes up with some 4th quarter magic...Nasrallah and Hezbollah will be the strongest group in the country when this is over.

As for his rhetoric, it sounds like pretty standard stuff....not that different than "Axis of Evil."

Posted by: monkyboy at July 31, 2006 10:02 PM

MJT,

Over at Insta, you write/link:

"LEBANON'S FOREIGN MINISTER Tareq Mitri proposes the deployment of the Lebanese army in the south and the disarmament of all non-state militias."

But if you read U.N. Sec. Couns. Res 1559, and specifically the statement by Mohamad Issa (which is a pretty cool name, actually), the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of Lebanon, he says that "there were no militias in Lebanon. There was only the national Lebanese resistance, which appeared after the Israeli occupation and which would remain so long as Israel remained. The resistance force existed alongside the Lebanese national forces. Lebanon determined the presence and size of the force, depending on the country’s need."

This is one of the problems - the refusal of Lebanon to even acknowledge - from the beginning - that 1559 called for them to disarm Hizballah, despite the fact that the rest of the resolution calls them to do just that.

So how do we know this new statement isn't just as meaningless as Issa's reservation statement in 1559 itself?

This discussion is a fiction, with the two sides talking past eachother, and the West pretending that 1559 says something to which the Lebanese government has agreed to.

Yes, it was legally imposed on them. But how do we know this newest proposal isn't the same doublespeak?

Posted by: SoCalJustice at July 31, 2006 10:20 PM

MB:
No one asked you who would please the Israelies or claimed that you were saying that. The problem with a Hezbollah government is that they want an Iran style Islamist state and they have promised a political ethnic cleansing for anyone who opposes one. And your endorsement of totalitarianism over "anarchy" was used by Mussolini, Pinochet, Stalin, Hitler, Franco, Marcos, and numerous other tyrants to justify the crushing of political opposition for the sake of stability. They promoted internal and external violence in their lands, bemoaned the anarchy of their countries, and promised security and order in exchange for the yoke of their dictatorship. If Hezbollah was interested in leading an independent and multi party Lebanon they would probably have the endorsement of Lebanese citizens like Bad Vibel.(BV< I apologize if I am distorting your views) But even after the Syrian assasination of the recognized head of Lebanon Hezbollah lead the protests to keep the Syrian occupation of Lebanon going.They don't mind occupation, it just depends on who is doing the occupying. And of course they instigated the latest war which, sadly, Israel has botched and produced the chaos that Hezbollah wanted so they could "rescue" the country and reinstate Syrian and Iranian controll of Lebanon. Yes, Beirut, as you wrote, could be like Tehran or Damascus. A multi party charade with a small group of Mullahs making all the actual decisions. A totalitarian state.

Posted by: kevin peters at July 31, 2006 10:31 PM

Kevin,

I'm an atheist, so it's all Greek to me.

Israel limits whom Christians can marry and where Muslims can live.

In America, the Christians want to turn woman into baby machines and are getting loads of pork through Bushie's "Faith-Based" programs.

I'm sure the Muslims would bring their own special laws to a government, but I don't see them as any worse than the other flavors.

And unlike the leaders of Israel and America, Nasrallah has actually lost a son in battle...hehe, can you imagine one of Bushie or Cheney's kids getting anywhere near one of their wars?

I agree there's a chance Nasrallah could bring about another Taliban-like state, but it is not a certainty.

Posted by: monkyboy at July 31, 2006 10:52 PM

Please expose the Qana PR

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/
who is the "green helmet guy"??

more here :http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Diplomacy/8997.htm
Hezbollywood? Evidence mounts that Qana collapse and deaths were staged

Posted by: Ayn at July 31, 2006 10:52 PM

Let's not get carried away here and start with the conspiracy theories. Ok?

Posted by: bad vilbel at July 31, 2006 11:02 PM

Nasrallah could bring about another Taliban-like state

He and Hezbollah would die trying.

No sect in Lebanon can dominate the other sects without triggering war, and no sect - not even the well-armed Shia - can win one without a foreign backer with tanks and troops on the ground.

Lebanese civil war is doomed to failure and stalemate. Everyone, except perhaps for Hezbollah, knows this in their bones. That's why Hezbollah has not been disarmed by force.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 31, 2006 11:05 PM

That would seem to be a barrier to a real democracy in Lebanon, Michael.

I don't recall Bushie inviting too many Democrats into his governemnt after his 52% "mandate"...yet Lebanon is 60% Muslim...won't they rule eventually anyway?

Posted by: monkyboy at July 31, 2006 11:18 PM

It is irrelevant that Lebanon is 60 percent Muslim. Lebanese do not think of themselves in such terms. Lebanese Muslims think of themselves as "Sunni" or "Shia," not "Muslim."

Lebanon is ~40 percent Shia, ~35 percent Christian (made up of Orthodox and Maronites mostly), ~20 percent Sunni. Huge percentages of all sects are completely secular.

No theocracy is possible with those demographics unless an outside power imposes it with overwhelming brute force.

I do not see why you think this is an obstacle to democracy. On the contrary, it all but forces pluralism in Lebanon as long as no one gets too unhinged from reality and tries to take over.

If Nasrallah is trying to take over and hold sway over the state, Lebanon will explode.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 31, 2006 11:30 PM

Let me second Michael's comments here.
It took us 15 years (1975-1990) to learn that civil war only buys us a stalemate and lots of destruction.

People have been asking over the past few weeks: Why didn't the anti-Hezbollah Lebanese take up arms against Hezbollah, or why didn't the army take on Hezbollah.

The Lebanese people have been traumatized by our civil war at a very primal level. Not unlike the trauma of Somalia '93 for the US. A somewhat insignificant event in terms of actual casualties, yet one that haunts every administration's decision-making process when it comes to "peacekeeping".

Civil war might be in the cards, once this is all said and done, but i frankly don't think the Lebanese have the stamina to go through a second civil war. I also can't see a single sect ever dominating the country. This plurarlity that is Lebanon is both our biggest asset and our biggest weakness. Always has been, always will be.

We might be angry at Israel today, for being the one dropping the bombs, but ultimately, that will pass, and the so-called "unity" you see today, in the face of a foreign attacker (justified as he may be) will soon fade back into the usual divisions and infighting.

Posted by: bad vilbel at July 31, 2006 11:54 PM

Aren't the labels "Sunni" and "Shiite" a little...arbitrary...when it comes to politics?

The neocons don't seem to have any problem linking "Sunni" Syria and "Shiite" Iran as the two ends of a terrorist pipeline...

Posted by: monkyboy at August 1, 2006 12:19 AM

Aren't the labels "Sunni" and "Shiite" a little...arbitrary...when it comes to politics?

No way, not in Lebanon.

The neocons don't seem to have any problem linking "Sunni" Syria and "Shiite" Iran as the two ends of a terrorist pipeline

That's because Syrian and Iran have formed an actual real-world alliance. Syria formed that alliance because they ain't got anything else. The Iranians did it because they are trying to dominate the Middle East, and they need "friends."

Anyway, the government of Syria isn't Sunni. It's Alawite, a heretical offshot of Twelver Shiism.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 1, 2006 12:25 AM

Seems a bit of a stretch to say Sunnis and Shiites would link across countries but wouldn't unite to run a single country. I think Sunni support for Hezbollah will fade slower than the Christain's when the show is over.

As for Iran trying to "dominate" the Middle East, I don't think their actions support that claim.

Based on countries invaded, it looks like America and Israel are trying to "dominate" the Middle East.

I think Iran will settle for being one of China's posse like all the other cool kids in Asia. Being friends with America and Israel looks like a real drag these days if you're a Muslim country.

Posted by: monkyboy at August 1, 2006 01:08 AM

MB:
Try reading what Michael wrote, you will learn. Syria isn't Sunni, it's Allawhite. Days before this war began Iran announced that it would attack Israel if it attacked Syria.Not Lebanon, Syria. Iran and Syria are cooperating regarding Lebanon. And you are forgetting that a large portion of the Sunni's and Shia in Lebanon are used to living in a non theocratic state.Of course lebanon is going to have a Muslim influence, but that is a far stretch for your advocating a Shia theocracy like Iran. I personally think that Hezbollah will eventually win and turn Lebanon into an Islamo fascist dictatorship but I dread that idea because of the decades of suffering under the boot of the Mullahs. Religous police, bloggers arrested for speaking their mind, women forced to shut up and follow the patriachal religous rule of their masters, er, husbands, Women being clubbed in the street because their chador is too short or they are showing to much of their hair,thousands of candidates erased from the ballot for religous infractions, arbitrary dictates from a small clique of religous powerbrokers, that is Iran and that is what you are advocating for Lebanon.

Posted by: kevin peters at August 1, 2006 09:33 AM

kevin,

I was not advocating a Muslim theocracy for Lebanon. Muslim governments in countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, etc. are all quite different. There is no reaon to assume a Muslim-led Lebanon would automatically become a theocracy.

Posted by: monkyboy at August 1, 2006 12:53 PM

Monkeyboy:

"No sure why it's a mistake.

Lebanon needs a strong central government. If it turns out to be a Hezbollah government...it will still be better than anarchy."

I can't possibly see how. Even the horrors of civil war are preferable to some forms of totalitarian governance. Not that Hizbullah would even be able to enforce itself on the whole of Lebanon, at least not without the aid of a foreign power's military to subdue it. Despite all odds, Lebanon was progressing quite admirably towards a government that the United States, Europe, and Israel could trust as a broker for true peace in the region. Despite this dire and awful setback (as I hope it merely is), I think it would be a most momentous mistake for the West to give up on Lebanon's proclivity towards moderation and détente policy, set as it is within a sea (or should I say a desert wilderness) of extremist despotism . I think Michael understands this.

Or perhaps you think it prudent for Syria to redeploy into the country and completely quash all semblance of true democracy, liberality and progress in Lebanon?

"I think most people would prefer to live in Tehran today than Beirut during the Civil War."

That depends entirely upon what part of Beirut they'd be living in. Besides, Lebanon under Hizbullah is likely to have much severer restrictions on political dissent than even present-day Iran. They will absolutely terrorize the Christian, Druze, and Sunni populations if they even think to speak against them.

"Of course, America neocons and most Israelis may see things differently..."

As do most Lebanese.

Posted by: Kevin at August 1, 2006 11:37 PM

Regarding your comment in Instapundit that Israel shouldn't have bombed Beirut: if Hezbollah sets up its headquarters in southern Beirut and can forid the Lebanese government and army from going into a 12 block area, why shouldn't that area be bombed? Can't the Lebanese government exert authority in its own putative capital?

Posted by: Jim at August 1, 2006 11:47 PM

MB:
I have no problem with the idea of a "muslim" led Lebanon. There is a large Muslim population in Lebanon so of course they will have a major imput in any government. It was your endorsement of Hezbollah, a group that has openly announced that it 's goal is a Islamist state, a theocratic dictatorship. And as far as your well, I'd rather live in Tehran qoute you may want to ask the 16 year old girl who received the death penalty for having sex how lovely Tehran is.

Posted by: kevin peters at August 2, 2006 09:22 AM

Michael:
It would be interesting for you to share with your Instapundit readers what principle you use to determine your postings.
PD

Posted by: PD at August 3, 2006 04:44 AM

MT:

A follow up with what I have not heard from my previous posting!

So just a blogosphere version of the propaganda we receive in the MSM (Fox TV, etc.)?!

Ok. (With your silence,) at least there is (implicit) honesty about it.

However, it doesn't help the GR Instapundit "brand".

I will follow up with the real Instapundit next week! Perhaps we can get a real dialogue going on this!

PD

Posted by: PD at August 4, 2006 04:23 PM
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