November 08, 2006

For the Record

From Lebanon's Naharnet.

U.N. experts have found no evidence to support a press report that Israel used depleted uranium (DU) munitions during its July-August offensive on Lebanon, the U.N. Environment Programme has said.

"The samples taken by the UNEP scientists show no evidence of penetrators or metal made of DU or other radioactive material," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said in a statement in Nairobi Monday.

"In addition, no DU shrapnel, or other radioactive residue was found. The analysis of all smear samples taken shows no DU, nor enriched uranium nor higher than natural uranium content in the samples."

In October, the British daily The Independent said samples of soil taken from two bomb craters in Lebanon showed high radiation levels, suggesting that uranium-based munitions had been used.
UPDATE: As it turns out, Robert Fisk made the original hysterical bullshit claim. Big shocker, that. It could have been an innocent mistake, in theory. Fog of war, and all that. But Fisk makes his living off hysterical bullshit claims. So he gets no pass. If I believed half of what that man writes about Israel and America, I'd hate us too. (Thanks to Charles Malik in the comments.)

UPDATE: Hezbollah showed up in the comments. O joy.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 8, 2006 07:38 PM
Comments

I guess we can now add the depleted uranium myth to the list of all the other bogus accusations lobbed at Israel (flat fatima, green helmet man, the fake bombing of the red cross ambulance...). All those staged photos and lies did Israel's opponents more harm than good. It seems that now whenever a photograph or story comes out that makes Israel look bad there are hordes of bloggers going over every fact/pixel looking for evidence that the claim/photo isn't true. Although I'm not sure what affect English-language blogs have in the Middle East. The Arab street seems to really love conspiracy theories, especially ones that make Jews/Israel look bad.

Posted by: Fern R at November 8, 2006 08:25 PM

They should have been more clear than simply saying "The Independent."

It was Robert Fisk who reported on the depleted uranium.

He quoted British doctors affiliated with an NGO. I hope they lose their funding. Such reports are no joking manner, and the level of fear in Lebanon rose dramatically.

We inhaled a lot of dust throughout the conflict, much of it making our eyes, nose, and mouth tingle, as gun powder soaked air does.

Posted by: Charles Malik at November 8, 2006 09:24 PM

If I were in Lebanon at the time the last thing that would have made me nervous is yet another hysterical bullshit claim by Robert Fisk. Taking him seriously is bad for a person's mental health.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 8, 2006 09:40 PM

Agree that it is insufficient to identify source as The Independent; one must single out that it's Fisk. He's a notch lower than some of the other reporters at that paper.

Oh, and one kind word for Fisk: sometimes he's the only chap there in the thick of things.

Posted by: Solomon2 at November 8, 2006 10:06 PM

Yes Michael, the UN did report that this was not true. However, why don't you mention what the UN did find in Lebanon?

Try this for flavor:

Phosphorus Shells

But then again, why am i not surprised that you did not mention this?

Cheers,
L.

Posted by: Lazarus at November 8, 2006 10:08 PM

Because, Lazarus, there is no controversy over whether or not Israel used phosphorous, as Israel admits to using it.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 8, 2006 10:47 PM

Taking [Fisk] seriously is bad for a person's mental health.

The sooner more people figure this out, the better.

Posted by: rosignol at November 8, 2006 10:50 PM

My god, is phosphorous toxic? This isn't the same WP used in fireworks and 10th grade science labs is it? We are all going to die.

Posted by: mike at November 8, 2006 10:59 PM

Yes Michael, they did ... two months after the fact. That doesn't mean you shouldn't mention it ... "for the record," that is.

Cheers,
L.

Posted by: Lazarus at November 8, 2006 11:06 PM

Well, Lazarus, Israel also used bullets, artillery shells, surface-to-surface missiles and a number of other weapons that you and I would rather not be hit with. Using phosphorus isn't a war crime. If it were, I would beat them up over it in print. Or, in this case, in pixels.

I didn't think anyone was particularly worried about this, so it didn't occur to me to draw attention to it. Anyway, you didn't mention it on your blog either. I know because I checked your "search box." So can I safely assume you also don't think this is a terribly important detail?

There are far bigger complaints to be lodged against Israel than this. (The entire air campaign, for example.)

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 8, 2006 11:18 PM

I am glad you feel that there are larger complaints. But for the sake of completeness, phosphorus bombs used against civilians are banned by Geneva treaty; although this puts us in a catch-22 situation, as it can not be proved that Israel did actually use them against civilians.

And just FYI, it was mentioned in my blog, although I didn't use the term "phosphorus" ... I had translated an article from arabic back in July on this, and at the time, the words "chemical" was used.

Cheers,
L.

Posted by: Lazarus at November 8, 2006 11:27 PM

...But for the sake of completeness, phosphorus bombs used against civilians are banned by Geneva treaty;...

Which is a distortion. Targeting civilians is what is banned, the specific weapons used to do so are irrelevant.

White Phosphorous is generally used in flares used to illuminate targets (it's an easy way for troops on the ground to tell the guys flying the airplanes "drop the bombs here"), as well as in the decoy flares aircraft use to distract heat-seeking missiles. Just about every military on the planet has this equipment, uses it regularly, and has done so for decades.

But for some reason, when the Israelis use these things, they get accused of war crimes.

Posted by: rosignol at November 8, 2006 11:50 PM

Yes, Rosignol is right. The intentional targetting of civilians is a war crime whether it is committed with nuclear bombs, white phosporous, suicide bomb belts, conventional bullets, Katyusha rockets, highjacked airplanes, or a baseball bat. The weapon used makes no difference.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2006 01:10 AM

Unfortunately, I fail to see where I directly accused Israel of war crimes in this comment section ...

However, using incendiary weapons (of which phosphor bombs are part of, and baseball bats, conventional bullets, etc. are not) against civilians was banned by the convention on certain conventional weapons. My error was to say it was part of the Geneva conventions; that ban is actually part of the United Nations convention (protocol III).

Posted by: Lazarus at November 9, 2006 01:20 AM

Unfortunately, I fail to see where I directly accused Israel of war crimes in this comment section ...

Ha ha! Then what, exactly, is the purpose of your comment?

However, using incendiary weapons (of which phosphor bombs are part of, and baseball bats, conventional bullets, etc. are not) against civilians was banned by the convention on certain conventional weapons. My error was to say it was part of the Geneva conventions; that ban is actually part of the United Nations convention (protocol III).

Just sayin'! Nothing to with Israel!

Posted by: Yafawi at November 9, 2006 02:30 AM

The probable purpose of Lazarus' comments is to keep everyone talking about the imagined crimes of Israelis rather than the real crimes of his countrymen - or possibly even himself.

Note this kind of dishonesty is effective. When was the last time anyone on this board mentioned Hezbollah's unprovoked attacks on Israel?

Posted by: Solomon2 at November 9, 2006 04:39 AM

"although this puts us in a catch-22 situation, as it can not be proved that Israel did actually use them against civilians"

Seeing as how their enemies' central strategy is to dress like civilians so the Israelis can't tell who's who, yes indeed it would be hard to prove.

Posted by: Ralph Phelan at November 9, 2006 04:59 AM

Seems this one's already disproved... at least according to INN.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=114786

Posted by: Barry at November 9, 2006 05:22 AM

I am quite surprised at this post. When you say “If I believed half of what that man writes about Israel and America, I'd hate us too,” you are implying that it is because of what journalists write, people in the Middle East hate Americans. I rather think it is because of American policies in this part of the world that everyone hates the Americans. You as a journalist discredit yourself by making a statement like this.
Another even poorer statement that is coming from a journalist like you is ‘Taking [Fisk] seriously is bad for a person's mental health.’ You’re not playing in the same league as Fisk. Fisk is not infallible - no journalist is - but with his track record, I think you should be a little more careful when accusing him of being 'hysterical'. I know of no journalist that is better informed and double checks his facts than Fisk. I do believe he is emotional at times, but your commentary is pompous and pretentious

Posted by: Sietske at November 9, 2006 07:02 AM

"I know of no journalist that is better informed and double checks his facts than Fisk."

Whaaaaaaaat??!! Have you ever fact checked Fisk? The same guy who during the recent war, said in the same paragraph the Israeli's were too arrogant to put an antimissle platform on their warship, but they were willing to put a "vulcan cannon" on board, ignoring the easily checkable fact that the "vulcan cannon" is the antimissle defense (Google "CWIS"; takes 1 second to check). The same guy who wrote as proof that an Israeli aircraft was shot down: " One had a figure 225 written on it. It wasn’t in Arabic numerals, it was in Roman numerals." (Anyone ever seen an aircraft with "CCXXV" painted on the sides?) The same guy who tried to claim that the Hezbollah missles didn't exist? The one's they ended up firing at Israel just recently?

When you say "I know of no journalist that is better informed and double checks his facts than Fisk", you accuse Fisk of accuracy. And that is simply not the case with him. Think what you will of the man, but please, don't ever accuse him of factual accuracy; the evidence shows otherwise.

Posted by: ElMondoHummus at November 9, 2006 07:31 AM

I know of no journalist that is better informed and double checks his facts than Fisk.

Then apparently you don't read the work of too many journalists.

Fisk has become an internet verb: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisking

"To fisk" an article is to address or correct distortions, lies and misleading statements in a story. Robert Fisk is a propaganist, not a journalist. I trust the reporting of MJT infinitely than Robert Fisk, though Fisk no doubt enjoys popularity among his fellow Israel haters and Islamic "militant" apologists in the Middle East.

Posted by: Hollowpoint at November 9, 2006 08:08 AM

So where did these people actually get samples from?

Ironic that they don't mention where they took their samples from. Why do I have the impression that they did not get them from Al Khiam?

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 08:35 AM

Mr. Totten,

Regarding your cheap shots at Mr. Fisk, I presume your hero is Mr. Friedman? In which case may I encourage you to actually go beyond the Orientalist perspective, to gain at least an ounce of credibility amongst your wider (non-Orientalist/non-fascist) readership?

Regards,
A Hizbullahi from the South.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 08:39 AM

It takes a lot of nerve for a Hizbullahi to call me a fascist.

Get a life, buddy. Or do you enjoy getting bombed halfway to the moon by the Israelis?

Yes, I prefer Tom Friedman to Robert Fisk. He's not a fascist, he's a liberal. Unlike yourself.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2006 08:50 AM

Anyone know anything about the tons of cluster bombs that Israel reportedly dropped even as they were negotiating to cease hostilities? As far as I know, these reports haven't been refuted. Are children's limbs still being blown off? War crime, anyone?

Posted by: John at November 9, 2006 09:01 AM

I think Hollowpoint did not quite understand the definition of 'fisking' in Wikipedia correctly. It says 'he term Fisking, or to Fisk, is blogosphere slang describing ruthlessly detailed point-by-point criticism that highlights errors, disputes the analysis of presented facts, or highlights other problems in a statement, article, or essay.' So what are you accusing him of? To lie or distort facts? I do not see the link between the articleat all. Explain please.

Posted by: Sietske at November 9, 2006 09:02 AM

John,

Using cluster bombs isn't a war crime, but it probably should be. And yes, Israel used them.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2006 09:04 AM

The US uses them, too.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2006 09:04 AM

Sietske,

Robert Fisk gets "fisked" more than anyone else. So his name became the verb. People who have never even heard of Robert Fisk know what "fisking" is. The verb is now more famous than the noun.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2006 09:07 AM

Mr. Totten,

Unlike you, I have not painted anyone with blanket statements.

I would say that it is a bit childish of you to make such statements about being bombed to the moon by the Israelis, given that the primary victims of the Israelis have not been the Hizbullah fighters, but rather the babies, women, the elderly, and in general civilians. It is a shame that your so-called liberal hatred has blinded you to the facts, that while we have fought with honour on the battlefield (and the ratio of Israeli civilians to soldiers killed is testimony to that), the Israelis have attempted to take out their anger at their inability by bombing our people, our bridges, our homes, basically everything BUT us. However, if you choose to present the 500 dead figure that Israel claims it achieved (notice how Israel phrases its achievements - in terms of kills and amount of territory occupied; which indicates what they really are after), at least give us some proof of this; I remember during the war they were constantly repeating this figure, and the other 50% figure of rocket launchers destroyed. Tell me, Mr. Totten, since you insist the Israelis bombed us halfway to the moon, what did this bombing-to-the-moon campaign achieve? What achievements can one speak of, at least without sounding as laughable as a clown (or Tzipi Livni apologizing for the Beit Hanun massacre and claiming it was unintentional - I wonder, how many mistakes can one make in the span of uhh, let's say 2 months?) would sound. But since your liberal self chooses to brag about the bombing-halfway-to-the-moon, I presume you are also bragging about the similar bombing to the moon of the 4 UN officers? Or is human life valuable depending on where they hail from, and what colour their skin is, or which God they pray to?

Regards,

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 09:16 AM

He should be forced to give this back.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 9, 2006 09:17 AM

Er, what IS an Orientalist? I thought it was a classification of scholars, but where does an Hezbollah fan get the 'facist' part?

Posted by: Curious at November 9, 2006 09:22 AM

Yo, Mr. Hezbollah. You don't know who you're arguing with, so I suggest if you want to have that fight you go somewhere else.

How dare you complain about the Israelis bombing civilians? I get to complain about that. You don't. You bombed Haifa and bragged about it. You are an apologist, and perhaps even a perpetrator, of war crimes.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2006 09:28 AM

Mr. Totten,

I am really amazed at your usage of fallacies to divert from the point I raised;

Regardless of who I am and how hypocritical I might be, your response still constitutes a fallacious diversion.

As for accusing me of bombing Haifa - that got you a bit distressed, didn't it? - that's a bit of an assumption, isn't it?

An apologist - how am I justifying anything? I did not even raise that point. If you choose to forge your arguments based entirely on fallacies of attack on the person, that's an entirely different matter. However, again, it shows more about your standards, than mine.

I am here to discuss respectfully; if you cannot place your biases behind you for a moment, then that says quite a lot about your tolerance and alleged liberal values.

Respectfully,

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 09:33 AM

AlGhaliboon,

Maybe if your fighters didn't hide among your civillians, the Israelis wouldn't have killed so many of them.

But you can't make the same claim about Israel. Tell me, which Israeli units were you targeting when your side targeted Haifa? And Safed? And Nurit?

Posted by: elmondohummus at November 9, 2006 09:39 AM

Al Ghaliboon, if you're here to discuss this respectfully then you can start by not throwing "Orientalist" and "Fascist" around. That is not a way to get on my good side.

Also, if you are looking to argue with someone who thinks Israel did a good job in Lebanon, you're on the wrong blog.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2006 09:43 AM

Gents, let this be an occasion to exchange thoughts - please take it easy on the discourse, there hasn't been disrespect but the language is quite agressive, kindly tone it down for us to follow an interesting discussion.

Regards

Posted by: Lira at November 9, 2006 09:46 AM

Mr. Hummus,

I am afraid that it is not your lack of knowledge of the functional and organizational and tactical aspects of the Resistance that shapes the reality of the situation, namely it is not the scale by which to determine whether or not we hide amongst civilians. However, in as far as our strategies and tactics are based on secrecy and avoidance of the possibility of collaborators tipping us off, we function away from population centers, in very small groups who wear military fatigues. However, I have said more than enough; I would say that if the other side is unwilling to take advice and learn from what we are trying to show it, to its benefit on the battlefield, then what more can we do? However, since you insist that we were indeed hiding amongst civilians, then wouldn't the bombings have achieved at least as many, or at least half as many (to be generous) Hizbullah fighters? What explains, then, the intentional targeting of civilian convoys, ambulances, and so on? Or were these carrying rockets, too? Ironic, all of Lebanon saw photos of those trucks and civilian convoys targeted; they were aid trucks carrying medicines/flour, they were civilian cars carrying civilians who were fleeing after receiving the "warning" leaflets (notwithstanding that the roads were bombed, too, which made it practically impossible for the civilians to flee). I notice you conveniently left those out, and stuck immediately to the allegation - as yet unsubstantiated - that we hide amongst civilians.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 09:49 AM

Alright Mr. Hezbollah, if your part of the Resistance (and not an garrison to Iran) why the hell did it attack Israel in the first place? It doesn't occupy any of your land, and if your after prisoners, I've heard Syria has many of them (who are probably worth more the child-killer Samir).

Posted by: Curious at November 9, 2006 09:55 AM

Mr. Totten,

Let me be incredibly honest; I have read your blog for some time, but have refrained from commenting. I can say that I find your views abhorrable, in so far as they (more often than not) justify murder based on Israel's right to self-defense. Mr. Totten, if Israel wanted to defend itself, if Israel believed we were on an equal footing as human beings, if Israel believed in human rights, if Israel believed in the real rules of war, let it fight on the battlefield, let it invade and snatch our rocket launchers from us. To hide behind F-16s and then make unsubstantiated accusations that we hide amongst civilians to justify the kill-of-the-day, is not my idea of fighting like real men. Thus, I consider your views as justifying Israel's attitudes, which do not abode well for human rights (disregard the fact that I might be a hypocrite; this does not make the argument invalid). Moreover, you imply that Israel did not do a good job in Lebanon. What do you mean by that, and would you have said the same if Israel had gone in and practically eliminated us (and killed just as many civilians, let us not say more, to make the comparison on an equal footing)? Kindly elaborate.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 09:55 AM

The Hezbolli believes he is entitled to his own facts.

Posted by: Solomon2 at November 9, 2006 09:59 AM

Mr. Curious,

First of all, Israel does occupy our land. If Israel wanted to give us no excuse to keep our arms, why does it not give us the patch of land that we are demanding?

Second, Israel holds our prisoners, and these prisoners were supposed to be exchanged as per an understanding in the 1st negotiations after the 2000 capture of the 3 soldiers & Tannenbaum, at a later stage, and the Israelis backtracked on this understanding. Hence, we took matters into our own hands, and rightly so.

Third, it is not just the issue of land or prisoners, but the maps of minefields that Israel refused to hand to the UN.

Fourth, we did not attack Israel. Our targeting (given that we merely have a ceasefire between us) of the soldiers was legitimate; what was not legitimate, however, was the open war declared by Israel, whereupon our civilians were massacred, our infrastructure attacked, etc. This is in fact where we started to fire our rockets into civilian areas, and these areas were full of military and strategic sites. For example, Zar'it and Avivim were strictly military zones, as were large areas surrounding Kiryat Shemona, Kfar Gil'adi, etc.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 10:00 AM

Solomon2 care to advance a constructive comment?

Posted by: Lira at November 9, 2006 10:04 AM

Our targeting (given that we merely have a ceasefire between us) of the soldiers was legitimate

May I remind you that Lebanon is officially at war with Israel? By your logic anything that Israel might do is legitimate.

Posted by: Yafawi at November 9, 2006 10:12 AM

By your logic anything that Israel might do is legitimate

Technically, that statement is incorrect. As per the April 1996 agreement, there were set guidelines on what was or wasn't acceptable. And up until July 2006, those guidelines were followed to a certain extent. Unfortunately, other dynamics over the past year convinced Israel that agreements were meant to be broken ...

Posted by: Lazarus at November 9, 2006 10:14 AM

As for Haifa, Mr. Hummus, let me enlighten you, Haifa is an industrial center, indeed Israel's biggest industrial and weapons technology center, containing many strategic sites. Moreover, in as far as you justify the bombing of the infrastructure to prevent the movement of Hezbullah fighters and the resupply of their rockets, the same argument would go for us, and yes, in case you were not aware of this, we did hit a significant number of weapons storage and transit facilities. Also note that the two very sensitive tactical and strategic sites, Yodefat and Eilabun, are located south of Carma'il and west of Tiberias respectively.

But let me ask you what was the strategic importance of bombing the bridge near the casino (and a few other bridges), in Christian Mount Lebanon?

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 10:14 AM

May I remind you that Lebanon is officially at war with Israel? By your logic anything that Israel might do is legitimate.
Untrue. Anything that Israel may do against military targets (and infrastructure proven to be of military use) would be legitimate, but that's about it (in plain English: NOTHING MORE than that). Afraid you cannot justify mass-murder on these grounds, though I am sure Israel does not need to provide any justification/explanation.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 10:17 AM

why does it not give us the patch of land that we are demanding?

Because the U.N. says it isn't yours.

these prisoners were supposed to be exchanged as per an understanding

It was Hezbollah who violated the "understandings" by not even providing information about the state of health of Israeli prisoners. In the most recent conflict, the cessation-of-hostilities agreement called for the unconditional release of Israeli "abductees" - another treaty promise that Hezbollah decided to violate.

it is not just the issue of land or prisoners, but the maps of minefields

Not a major obstacle, I think.

Fourth, we did not attack Israel. Our targeting (given that we merely have a ceasefire between us) of the soldiers was legitimate -

Exactly backwards.

There's no moral or legal argument left for you, Hezbolli. Why should anyone listen to you? Do they not endanger their very souls by following you? And are you not lost yourself, until you seek redemption by submission?

Posted by: Solomon2 at November 9, 2006 10:22 AM

Al Ghaliboon, if you have been reading my blog for a long time then you know that I think Israel's invasion of Lebanon was stupid. More stupid, though, is Hezbollah's war against Israel and Hezbollah's claim of "victory."

If you are tired of war with Israel (maybe you aren't, maybe you like war, but I know some moderate Hezbollah supporters who are tired of the whole thing) you need to realize that it is possible for you to resolve the outstanding issues without getting thousands more Lebanese (and Israeli) people killed.

I know you don't believe me, and I won't be able to convince you, but let me give you some honest advice: Read Ha'arertz every day for a year. It's an Israeli newspaper with an English edition. You won't like everything you read there (obviously), but at the end of the year you will know and understand your enemy far better than you do now.

Here's some more advice. If Hezbollah wants to be respected by Americans, stop saying Death to America. When you declare yourselves our enemies, we will treat you accordingly. Americans have short attention spans and do not hold grudges. We can change the terms of the relationship any time you're ready.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2006 10:23 AM

Final advice, Al Ghaliboon. If you don't like getting bombed by Israelis, stop shooting and kidnapping Israelis. They will bomb you again if you keep that up.

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live in a normal country that doesn't explode?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2006 10:29 AM

Here's some more advice. If Hezbollah wants to be respected by Americans, stop saying Death to America. When you declare yourselves our enemies, we will treat you accordingly. Americans have short attention spans and do not hold grudges. We can change the terms of the relationship any time you're ready.

You can substitute "Israelis" for "Americans" in that passage, and it will still be true.

Posted by: Yafawi at November 9, 2006 10:31 AM

Mr. Totten,

You and I both know that what Israel did was more than just invasion; in fact, it was not the invasion itself that we have an issue with (we welcome anyone who wishes to fight us face to face on the battlefield), but the aerial attacks that Israel was waging, which did not harm us at all, but killed a significant number of our civilians - reminding you, our families (yes we do have loved ones too, Mr. Totten, so I say as a friendly comment, please think twice before you paint us as monsters and brag about bombing our families to the moon).

What we did was merely what we had promised to do; we had warned of it time and time again, because the understanding that we had arrived to in the previous negotiation was not respected, and our prisoners remained in Israeli jails, and our people continued to be maimed and killed by mines.

Mr. Totten, you underestimate our intelligence. We read Ha'aretz, and we read much more than Ha'aretz, and much more than the English versions of the Israeli press. We read much, much more than that, I can assure you.

Our enmity towards America stems from our hatred of its policies, which have left our people everywhere, in Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere among ruins. We hold no grudges towards the average American citizen, but towards the general American policy, which treats us as unimportant, as merely puppets and machines to be manipulated for their interests. We reject and fight any attempt to subjugate us and take our dignity and honour away. You will find that we are not much different in that respect from nations that take pride in their history and civilization, and aspire to practice and maintain their sovereignty. We want and demand treatment on equal terms, not as inferiors. That is the root of our struggle against America.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 10:32 AM

Hezbollah showed up in the comments. O joy.

Well, just from a quick glance at the comment thread above, I'd say that the discussion has been civil and informative. So far.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 10:34 AM

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live in a normal country that doesn't explode?
I have lived in many countries - countries that would fall under the categorization of "the west" and "the first world", countries that don't explode. Countries that don't explode because they export their explosions to my country and bring death and destruction to my people.

However, in my dealings with these people - Americans, and yes, even Israelis - I have felt the arrogance and their feelings of superiority, and their condescending attitudes towards my peoplel - Arabs and Muslims. I chose to leave exactly because I found it unbearable to live in a country that looks down upon us in this manner, although again I tell you, I have nothing against the average American or westerner. You will find that many, many of us, have lived and experienced the west in 1st person, not through the accounts of others. And we have chosen this path exactly because of it. We have come to be convinced that our people's dignity must be raised from the ground, our culture, traditions, religious beliefs revived, if we are to have a chance of demanding our rights as human beings. We stand for justice. Our past notwithstanding, we have shown that we are willing to take a logical path based on free will rather than imposing anything on others, including our fellow Lebanese.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 10:42 AM

We reject and fight any attempt to subjugate us and take our dignity and honour away. You will find that we are not much different in that respect from nations that take pride in their history and civilization, and aspire to practice and maintain their sovereignty. We want and demand treatment on equal terms, not as inferiors.

I think this is an important point that is often ignored in discussions about the politics of the Middle East, and is probably one of the primary forces behind the origins of the Zionist movement in the first place - ethnic sovereignty, pride, and honour to a people historically deprived of it.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 10:46 AM

We are not much different in that respect from nations that take pride...We want and demand treatment on equal terms, not as inferiors. That is the root of our struggle against America.

There it is. He's grown up in a tough neighborhood where the big and strong always bully the weaker into obedience. In such an environment big bullies are defeated when others bullies gang up on them, and there's no better way to inspire bullies to band together than to propose taking down the biggest "bullies" in the neighborhood - Israel and the United States.

The idea that there could be someone big and strong out there who isn't primarily interested in fighting is quite a foreign concept, something to be rejected outright even if understood, for he would still feel small and weak. He's projecting his values upon law-abiding free nations and using that to justify his attacks.

For the Hezbolli, this isn't about security or religion. It's about pride and power. In the West he'd be in jail, intensive therapy, or a CEO. Such structure is not available to him, or simply is not desired because it is so at odds with his indoctrination.

(time's up, gotta go)

Posted by: Solomon2 at November 9, 2006 10:48 AM

For the Hezbolli, this isn't about security or religion. It's about pride and power. In the West he'd be in jail, intensive therapy, or a CEO.

Because being a CEO is insane or criminal?

There is nothing wrong with desiring pride, and many of us who already enjoy the privilege of power and pride take it for granted. Labeling others that seek the same as criminal or insane is, well, uncharitable to say the least.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 11:00 AM

"The heart of tyranny is those who are seen as inferior seeking notoriety."

AlGhaliboon, your arguments are clear, articulate and very well presented. You are obviously well educated and familiar with the United States and Israel. Furthermore, your arguments look to be of your own invention, and not the repeating of a "party line" which is evidence that you are a convinced believer, and not merely a dogmatic.

(I once had a conversation with a native of Hong Kong, we went back and forth with her broken English until I asked about how HK was now that China had taken control. She switched to perfect english and began to speak with American aphorisms and idioms as she spoke about how great HK was now that the Chinese government had regained control. It was the most chilling example of propoganda and indoctrination I had ever encountered.)

However, fair speech can mask a foul heart.

I ask you why should you be respected, and treated as equals? You admit to targetting, with admittedly very inaccurate weapons, civilian centers. You claim this is necessary. You also demonize Israel for targetting civilian centers wherein you have always drawn support and power.

I ask you why should the international community submit to kidnapping and blackmail? You demonize the United States for doing it, as well as Israel, yet you do it yourselves. You then claim your own is legitimate, yet theirs is not.

I ask you why should we hold you as anything more than a "me as well!" faction of a defunct culture? Your methods, rhetoric, and approach seem to be simply adopting the patterns and philosophies of your oppressors, instead of overturning and changing them. You seem less "freedom fighters" than a power-hungry faction.

I ask of you, if you are resisting, what are you resisting? It seems to me, behind your pretty rhetoric, that you are only resisting the fact that you are not in charge to manipulate, kill, and control as you see fit. What paradise of freedom do you wish to create if you win?

The United States took an English hegemony and turned it into a democracy. You seek to take a democracy and turn it into a hegemony.

I see no reason why we should give you any of the respect you seem to crave.

Posted by: Berkeley Non-conformist at November 9, 2006 11:01 AM

However, in my dealings with these people - Americans, and yes, even Israelis - I have felt the arrogance and their feelings of superiority, and their condescending attitudes towards my people - Arabs and Muslims.

Well, if you guys had even one country that's a nice place to live, we might want to emulate you.

But, it's good to know that you don't feel arrogant or superior!

Posted by: Yafawi at November 9, 2006 11:05 AM

Well said, Berkeley Non-conformist! (I didn't see your comment until I posted mine.)

Posted by: Yafawi at November 9, 2006 11:10 AM

The Psalmist says "Lord, be the judge between the accuser, oppressor and I." Modern Man says "Lord, make me the accuser and oppressor."

I think we should all know which the most meritorious position.

Posted by: Berkeley Non-conformist at November 9, 2006 11:11 AM

Because the U.N. says it isn't yours.
The UN also says many things, it says that Israel should not violate Lebanese airspace. Does Israeli violation justify our retaliation against Israel in any shape or form? If not, why not? Because it's Israel after all?

What the UN says on who that land belongs to, is irrelevant. The UN in fact has proven to be unreliable when it comes to border issues, as seen in the drawing of the blue line, and how they gave part of our land to Israel (at Misgav 'Am) to avoid giving Barak domestic headaches.

It was Hezbollah who violated the "understandings" by not even providing information about the state of health of Israeli prisoners.
The understanding I am referring to was not actually part of the process of negotiations itself, but merely appended to it; namely, that following the exchange, there would be a 2nd round in the near future, which would settle once and for all, all the outstanding issues of exchange (prisoners, maps, etc.) between Israel and Lebanon.

Why should anyone listen to you? Do they not endanger their very souls by following you? And are you not lost yourself, until you seek redemption by submission?
They listen because they believe wholeheartedly in the justice of our arguments and cause. They listen because we are one and the same: Hizbullah is the people, and the people are Hizbullah. We are from the people and for the people. Our history attests to this. We have given Lebanon more martyrs and restored its dignity more than any other party. We have restored the lost pride of the Arab and Muslim peoples. We do not need anyone to listen to us. We believe, and we act. The rest are incidental byproducts, rather than deliberately sought after. We are not lost; we have shown those who were lost, the way. And we have proven time and again that we stand by our word. Our honesty and faith are our keys to success in our struggle for liberation and against injustice.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 11:13 AM

DPU, very quickly:

No, pride had little to do with Zionism. The desire to (1) be secure and (2) practice Judaism did. Originally Zionists wanted not their own state, but a subsidiary one; they were aware of "the folly of power", as Einstein put it. Only bloody events starting in the nineteen-twenties convinced Zionist leaders that independence was necessary.

The CEO comment is there to point out that there are people in the West with the similar motivations, yet there are constructive outlets available to suit such ambitions. Am I the only one who notices that when terrorists seek recruits in a particular neighborhood, they often try to destroy large productive businesses that provide employers and employees with pride, hope, and financial and physical security? That's what happened to the factories in Sadr City, and the greenhouses in Gaza.

Posted by: Solomon2 at November 9, 2006 11:21 AM

We want and demand treatment on equal terms, not as inferiors.

You'll get it, at least from me, when you no longer start wars and kill people because you have emotional problems.

My West Beirut landlord lost tens of thousands of dollars in his restaurant business because of that war you and Nasrallah started. Are you going to tell him that this is the price he must pay for your pride? What about his pride? What about his need to take care of his children and provide for them? Doesn't he count, too? He's not a Zionist or an imperialist. He's a middle class Lebanese guy who owns a restaurant and wants to live in a country that doesn't explode.

Look. I've spent a lot of time in Lebanon. I love that country as much as anyone who is from somewhere else and spent only seven months there possibly could. If you want my respect, that's easy. Join the Lebanese project. Choose to build instead of destroy. Don't start wars that get little girls in two countries -- one of which is your own -- killed.

The reason pretty much nobody in this discussion thread respects you is because you choose war over friendship and peaceful coexistence. We can change the terms of our relationship whenever you're ready, but it is you who must change. Americans are not going to side with or respect people who scream Death to America and fire missiles at cities because they lack pride.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2006 11:28 AM

alghali, why do I see so many pictures of you chumps wearing baseball hats and saluting like nazi's? Why can't you guys come up with your own stuff, you are a parasite.

"Our enmity towards America stems from our hatred of its policies"

I hate you and your crappy death cult, who gives a fuck what you think about anything. Good job ruining lebanon for all the reasonable decent people who try to live there.

Posted by: mikek at November 9, 2006 11:28 AM

"...We reject and fight any attempt to subjugate us and take our dignity and honour away..."

Do you understand how that philosophy will necessitate a perpetual state of hostility with your fellow humans forever or until you personally command the entire universe? For in essence, the term "us" has to be defined by you first. Is it Shias in Hisbollah only? Shias only? Shia Hisbollahs that follow only Nasrallah? See where this goes? What happens when the Sunnis who support you against the infidels when it's needed eventually return to their contempt for your version of Islam as in the turmoil in Iraq? Not even considering problems at the clan level, family level. When it's all about pride, honour, and dignity it is a neverending competition not cooperation. That's where democratic countries have the advantage. Instead of fighting each other, we compete and cooperate at the same time. We haven't perfected the system, but it's evolving. See, that's one reason the Democrats are back in the driver's seat. The majority of voters decided the Republicans were heading in the wrong direction. Just as they did when they were fed up with the Clinton administration and the Democratic majority in Congress. Votes, not civil war in the streets.

You personally are seemingly intractable in your beliefs. And if your remarks and points here are indicative of the mindset of whatever your "us" defines, then the world peace is eternally doomed. Simple as that. And if you think the US is tough to deal with, just wait until you have to explain your pride thing to the Chinese infidels who will be the next world #1 power. They scare the US a lot more than any "us" does. China doesn't care about anything but China. And we are their number one customer, and even worse their number one debtor now. Crap.

Posted by: allan at November 9, 2006 11:32 AM

Mr. Hez -

Your terms are laughable. Were Israel to give you your invaluable patch of land, return to you all of your murderers, and offer up a detailed map of remaining land mines, we are to believe that those concessions would relieve you of your injured pride? Somehow, I doubt it. Not all of us (western liberals) are as stupid as you think sir. Many of us realize that there will always be yet another grievance; another way for you to justify your fascistic impulses. And for good reason, as those like doubleplusungood are eager to indulge you to mollify their own self-imposed guilt trips. But at some point you and your ilk will have to make a choice: either stop trying to behead anyone who calls you a mean name or, god forbid, looks at you funny, or continue poking the tigers in the eyes to make you feel better about yourself. In short, worry about yourself and your own, and leave others to live in peace, or die. I become more cynical by the day; I don't think you are long for this world.

And no, doubleplusungood, having an inferiority complex does not excuse his yearning for totalitarianism.

This has been fascinating Michael, thank you for the forum. Where else can one interact with a real life Hizbulli?

Posted by: obe at November 9, 2006 11:40 AM

I ask you why should you be respected, and treated as equals?
Because we are human beings, and human beings deserve a minimum level of respect for basic rights, right to self-determination, equality, freedom. We do not ask you to love us. Far from it. Nor do we beg you to respect us. We have come to realize that we must first rebel against our own, to make our resistance against the others meaningful. We have fought against our own tyrants and oppressors with as much vigour as we fight our non-Lebanese oppressors. We have fought against the corrupt (including Shi'ites) in our own country to the best of our abilities, and continue to do so.

You admit to targetting, with admittedly very inaccurate weapons, civilian centers. You claim this is necessary. You also demonize Israel for targetting civilian centers wherein you have always drawn support and power.
The bases of our fight were honourable and just; those of our enemy were not. If we have done what we would not have done otherwise, it is because was imposed upon us. Again I tell you, our intention was not to kill civilians, and the civilians in Israel had shelters to hide in (except in Arab areas), but to strike the heart of Israel and halt its economic and more importantly military activities. In this we were rather successful. If it had not done it, the war would've gone on for a very long time, and our people would've been collectively starved as the people of Gaza are. We adhere to justice, but our responsibility and holy duty to protect our people from further harm necessitates that we take the road that has been imposed upon us.

I ask you why should the international community submit to kidnapping and blackmail? You demonize the United States for doing it, as well as Israel, yet you do it yourselves. You then claim your own is legitimate, yet theirs is not.
To label this a kidnapping is not exactly accurate; these were soldiers in an area that does not have a peaceful border (but only a ceasefire), indeed, not even an international border that is agreed upon (blue line is not international border as you might know). Also, how do you suggest that we would have gotten our prisoners back? How would we have gotten our prisoners back if we had not carried out the operation in 2000? If Israel wanted to take away all our excuses for remaining armed (thereby strengthening internal Lebanese opposition to our weapons), why did it not free our prisoners in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, until we forced it to do so by capturing their soldiers?

You seem less "freedom fighters" than a power-hungry faction.
We do not seek power; we seek justice. That justice often cannot be achieved except by holding power is why we have entered the Lebanese political scene and run in elections. We are, unlike all other parties in Lebanon, a party that provides extensive social and health services to the local population (irrespective of sect or support for the Resistancee); we, unlike all other parties in this country, have coupled our coming to power with many benefits to our people. The regions that we are present in are the poorest of the poor in Lebanon. There is almost no government presence there, and this is not because we exist to begin with, but because they do not care, never did so;

I ask of you, if you are resisting, what are you resisting?
We are resisting all oppressors, be they local or foreign; we are resisting all those who wish to see us be slaves to American policies and interests (including those who are already slaves, like the KSA, and all other Arab countries); we are resisting those who wish to see our waters appropriated by Israel. We are resisting all those who wish to take us back to our past position of deprivation and humiliation, which you might or might not know about - I recommend that you look up the conditions of the Shi'ite community of Lebanon before the Lebanese civil war.

You seek to take a democracy and turn it into a hegemony.
We do not seek to hegemonize. We have stated time and again our willingness to work within and for the system. Our belief in the Islamic jurisprudence (Wilayat al-Faqih to be more precise) still exists, but we do not believe in imposing it on anyone; our struggle for the Islamization of Lebanese society is merely on a grassroots level, and strictly voluntary. We do not use force to impose beliefs or political support on anyone. We cannot do so because this goes against our religion, because there is no compulsion in Islam (note that we do not consider Bin Laden, the Qutbists, & co. as Muslims).

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 11:40 AM

"We have given Lebanon more martyrs and restored its dignity more than any other party. We have restored the lost pride of the Arab and Muslim peoples. We do not need anyone to listen to us."

THAT is a telling statement.
Lebanon WANTS martyrs?
Lebanon has gained Dignity from being crippled?
And if you don't need anyone to listen to you, why are you making so much noise?

Posted by: lindsey at November 9, 2006 11:52 AM

I hate you and your crappy death cult

.... aaaand there goes the civility.

And no, doubleplusungood, having an inferiority complex does not excuse his yearning for totalitarianism.

Where did I say anything even close to that, obe? Methinks you're hearing things.

Christ, it would be nice to have a reasonable discussion for once without people putting words in other people's mouths. It's so very lame.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 11:55 AM

You'll get it, at least from me, when you no longer start wars and kill people because you have emotional problems.
First of all, we do not have "emotional problems". Second, we did not start a war; in fact, our very raison d'etre was the Israeli occupation. Nor have we ever started wars; we have conducted operations and these operations have been with the purpose of getting our rights from a country that otherwise refuses to even recognize our legitimate existence.

My West Beirut landlord lost tens of thousands of dollars in his restaurant business because of that war you and Nasrallah started. Are you going to tell him that this is the price he must pay for your pride? What about his pride? What about his need to take care of his children and provide for them? Doesn't he count, too? He's not a Zionist or an imperialist. He's a middle class Lebanese guy who owns a restaurant and wants to live in a country that doesn't explode.
It is not so much about pride as it is about sovereignty, freedom, and honour - in my opinion honour and vain pride are two different things. When America was hit by terrorist attacks, did it fold its arms and wait for them to hit again? Notwithstanding that the whole Iraq war is a sham. Why did USA react? Why don't we have the same right to react to an equally tragic sequence of events? When we were fighting and dying for liberating the south, they all called us terrorists. But liberation only came through our struggle and martyrdom, not through a set of statements that leaders in Damascus and Ramallah make without even wanting to see the plight of their people. As for your middle-class landlord, what makes him and his plight any more important/valid than the more than 1 million lower-class, unemployed Lebanese?

We do not wish to have anything to do with Israel. At the same time, we do not accept that anyone dictate to us that we should make peace with it. We will make peace with it when the time is right for our people to come to terms with the crimes committed against them, and when we get an apology and reparation from Israel for its crimes against our people (we have all lost people in our conflict against Israel; myself/my family included). Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the war drummers in Tel Aviv who come up with massacre after massacre out of the blue.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 11:58 AM

We do not wish to have anything to do with Israel.

Whatever. You've got to be kidding.

If Israel didn't exist, you'd have to invent it.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 9, 2006 12:05 PM
DPU, very quickly:

No, pride had little to do with Zionism.

Really?
We Zionists wear our Judaism as a badge of honor. This has become so much a matter of course with us that it fills us with amused astonishment when we behold others timidly concealing it as a stigma. In countries of mixed nationalities our colleagues have proclaimed their Jewish nationality, while demanding a regard for the needs of the Jewish people and a respect for their ethical individuality equal to that shown other peo­ples. To our youth Zionism gives pride in their history, faith in themselves, and the moral support of an ideal.
Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 12:06 PM

"There is nothing wrong with desiring pride, and many of us who already enjoy the privilege of power and pride take it for granted. Labeling others that seek the same as criminal or insane is, well, uncharitable to say the least." - DPU

Okay, those are your exact words. My point is that his desire for pride is not, in my mind, a reason to accomodate or approve anyone's violent acts. Is that something we can agree on?

If so, then I do not think it is constructive for you to pimp his inferiority complex. It only emboldens this disingenious position as it shows them that they can, indeed, sway sympathizers with this argument. When in fact, as I postulated, I believe that their thirst for violence will only be slaked when there is no one left with whom to disagree.

I hope that's reasonable enough for you.

Posted by: obe at November 9, 2006 12:09 PM

My point is that his desire for pride is not, in my mind, a reason to accomodate or approve anyone's violent acts. Is that something we can agree on?

Not a reason, certainly, but recall that the Zionist movement itself excused some fairly hideous acts on the basis of safety, security, pride, and honour. Why would we excuse this for one political movement, yet not another?

If so, then I do not think it is constructive for you to pimp his inferiority complex.

Pimp? And then you have the audacity to say "reasonable enough?" No, sorry.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 12:15 PM

My point is that his desire for pride is not, in my mind, a reason to accomodate or approve anyone's violent acts. Is that something we can agree on?
Would that not remove the entire Zionist enterprise? Or is that to be taken for granted?

As for your implication that I am here to be pitied, or to receive support, you could not be more mistaken. This is the heart of the problem; you cannot win against an enemy that you do not understand, presuming that we are USA's enemies (being on the U.S terrorist list, and being awarded with our "fair" share of DU bombs every now and then, via the UK, Kuwait, and other Arab puppet states). So, do yourself a favour and educate yourself on what we truly want, otherwise you are bound to be met by failure after failure, as Iraq & Afghanistan indeed demonsrate.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 12:16 PM

Ali,

Forgetting all your ridiculous lies for a moment, let me enlighten you to something.

Every Israel supporter, myself included, would be delighted to have peace with you. If you came forth and said 'lets have peace' and found a way to work it out, Israel would make peace with you.

What is very clear to us all is that you arent interested. You want to destroy Israel as a state, kill as many Jews as possible, and support terror worldwide.

This is why all of your arguments are meaningless. One side wants peace and the other wants war. You could end all of that suffering you lament if tomorrow you got up and declared that you are ready for peace talks and come up with a reasonable plan for peace. But you arent interested. So you will continue to suffer, both by bombs and your own delusions of righteousness until one day your grandchild wakes up and asks himself 'What was all this for? We gained nothing and could have ended it generations ago'.

You are a sad deluded person who is guaranteeing suffering for himself and his people for generations. I have no pity for you or your supporters. You get what you deserve when you reject peace and demand war.

Posted by: Joe at November 9, 2006 12:18 PM

Forgetting all your ridiculous lies for a moment, let me enlighten you to something.

If the basis of your discourse is that the other party is lying, then you're wasting everyone's time by participating. Either dismiss them as a liar and do not discuss, or do them the favor of assuming that they are being honest, and discuss. Any other option is verbal masturbation.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 12:21 PM

presuming that we are USA's enemies

Why would anyone presume that?

Hassan Nasrallah: America, America you are the Great Satan.

http://www.memritv.org/Transcript.asp?P1=1053

Nasrallah: This American administration is an enemy. Our motto, which we are not afraid to repeat year after year, is: 'Death to America.'"

http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP86705

Oh yeah. It's because of stuff like that.

I almost forgot for a second.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 9, 2006 12:22 PM

What is very clear to us all is that you arent interested.
How is that clear? What do you base your accusations of our desire to kill Jews (the people of the book) on?? And just because Olmert the war criminal and terrorist says he wants to talk to Siniora means the Israelis want peace? I will tell you what the Israelis want, and they think this is the right concept of peace. They want peace on their own terms. In other words, peace that for us would be deemed unjust. You know how the cliche saying goes, we'd rather die on our feet than live on our knees. Now the rest of the details, which you will raise in the context of us "complaining" about Israeli bombardments, these would have to fall under the rules of war, which Israel has not shown any willingness to abide by.

We refuse to submit to blackmail. That is what Israeli "peace" gestures are all about.

Moreover, real peace does not come between leaders, but between people. I do not see how that can happen when you have one side having committed massacre after massacre against our people, without even having accepted full responsibility and made reparation payments. That is like saying that the Jews should make peace with Germany after the Holocaust and "let bygones be bygones".

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 12:24 PM

"That is like saying that the Jews should make peace with Germany after the Holocaust and "let bygones be bygones"."

DPU, do you still think people need to be civil to this person?

There really is no point.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 9, 2006 12:27 PM

Oh yeah. It's because of stuff like that.
Rather, it is primarily because of our alleged responsiblity for the bombings of the marine barracks.

Did you also know that Mr. Nabih Berri - leader of our competitor the Amal party/ex-militia, who is now allegedly mediating the "national dialogue" in Lebanon and shuttling back & forth between Riyadh,Beirut, and God knows where else, is also on USA's terror list? In case you did not know, Mr. Berri's militia Amal clashed with Hizbullah during the later stages of the civil war, and in fact one of the causes for the clash was the issue of William Higgins, regarding whom Berri collaborated with Israel and USA? More food for thought. A mystery that Memri does not solve for you.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 12:32 PM

Jihadis like AlGhaliboon have this strange idea that they have the right to make war eternally while demanding that there never be any consequences. They combine the murderousness of vendetta with the self delusion of the religious fanatic.

Not only can such an attitude only bring suffering to generation after generation, but it's also suicidally archaic - no one, no groups even, can survive in the modern world where technology makes even genocide an instant, push-button affair, if they cannot respect their neighbors' right to life.

AlGhaliboon and his sort doom their own decendents. I already grieve for the wars they will start, and the populations, probably their own, that, given their insistance on blood, cannot survive in this modern world where slaughter is instant and easy.

You believe that God is on your side. But it's funny how God never actually helps. No matter how much the preacher screams that God demands blood, if you cannot make peace with the world you are doomed. You will all die screaming Allah Akbar, and I doubt that God will notice.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 12:37 PM

Rather, it is primarily because of our alleged responsiblity for the bombings of the marine barracks.

Whatever. You're the one who wrote "presuming that we are USA's enemies."

And now, suddenly, you come up with an obvious reason. Shocker.

Find as many reasons as you like. Or not. Who cares?

It's plain as day, despite your games.

Cheers.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 9, 2006 12:38 PM

Ali,

You didnt answer anything.

What is your current problem with Israel? Shebaa farms? you can guarantee that if they were convinced that you would truly end fighting them that you would get in tomorrow. The fact that everyone is aware of (and admitted by Hezbollah) is that this is all a pretext to destroying Israel. Nasrallah has said it as well as many others. Dont make believe that your fight is about reparations. Your fight is about destroying Israel. You are not interested in peaceful co-existence.

The way that you got into this mess is by hosting the PLO who massacred and murdered innocent Israeli civilians. When Israel came to root them out you suffered as well, but now that they have left, what is your complaint? The fact that when you hosted the PLO you suffered? Whose fault is that?

You claim that you are mad at what they did to you. Great. And they are mad at what you did to them. This is true in all wars. Peace means finding a way to move forward in spite of the past. State your demands and if they are reasonable and if Israel could truly believe that you truly meant to accept peace, you would get most of your demands. But no person with an ounce of sanity believes that Hezbollah wants peace after all, they themselves admit what their true aims are.

The problem is that you have said openly and repeatedly that you are interested in nothing less than the destruction of Israel. That isnt negotiatiable.

And so, you and your children, and your grandchildren will all suffer horribly for your absolutist demands and fanatical devotion to getting yourselves into endless pointless wars. No matter how weak you think Israel is, if they truly believed their survival was at stake, they would unleash on you suffering that would make any past suffering look miniscule. And why should it even come to that? You can have peace tomorrow if you really wanted it. But you dont.

Posted by: Joe at November 9, 2006 12:41 PM

Sorry, DPU, I don't care what the Zionist movement has or has not done in the past. If I thought that Israel (or the Zionist entity or Germany or the US or Norway) were using carefully cultured victimhood as a cover to committ murder, then I would say so. Your inability to do so is a major moral blind spot.
And I'm sorry if the word "pimp" offended you, I didn't realize that it had been deemed, ahem, double plus ungood. Again, I was trying to point out that your support of his rationalization only increases his own will to justify his murders. Please dispute this argument on its merits instead of objecting to the language in such Orwellian fashion if you disagree.

Mr. Hez -

Perhaps you have a point. I naively assumed that I knew what you wanted. Perhaps it is my narrow Occidental mind. But I judge you on your actions, not your pathetic propaganda. You make the mistake in believing your own lies. You can bribe and intimidate the populace there to "support" you, but if others are successful in their attempt build a free and honorable Lebanon, they will abandon you. If a free and honorable Lebanon is what you desire, then you should know that your marginal utility in continued violence is close to nil. What does it accomplish towards that end but, as you say "give Lebanon more martyrs and restore its pride". Nothing. But you know that. And that's how I know you don't care anything about freedom or safety for your people.

Posted by: obe at November 9, 2006 12:46 PM

This is the heart of the problem; you cannot win against an enemy that you do not understand, presuming that we are USA's enemies...

Trust me, my fellow Americans and our politicians are slowly beginning to understand our enemies. Perhaps we didn't understand before invading Afghanistan and defeating the Taliban or attacking Iraq and defeating Saddam, but we're learing fast. We understand that like yourself, our enemies are not rational and can not be reasoned or negotiated with.

You only understand violence and death. No amount of prisoner exchanges, land concessions or land mine maps will quench your thirst for killing. The next time Hezballa follows the orders from their Iranian and Syrian masters to attack Israel, you shouldn't count on the US to pressure Israel to use restraint, as was the case in the last conflict.

Even left-wing Americans are getting tired of making excuses for your irrational, violent, backwards ideology.

Posted by: Hollowpoint at November 9, 2006 12:47 PM

Whats with the baseball hats alghal?

Posted by: mikek at November 9, 2006 12:48 PM

Josh,

I do not blame you for your limited understanding of our religion, based mostly on misrepresentations thereof by terrorists like Bin Laden, Zarqawi, and their followers. But while not knowing is not a guilt in and of itself, not wanting to know/learn is not a good thing. Your understanding of the term Jihad is shaped by - as I said - what the non-Muslim world talks about in reference to mostly 9/11. Jihad is a much deeper concept than you think it is; it is a struggle to remain in our faith; it has nothing to do with killing or justifying crimes/murder.

We do not demand - and never did - that there be no consequences for our actions. We knew full well what the consequences would be when we waged our resistance and liberation movement against Israel, with which we liberated the South of Lebanon. We accepted it as the necessary sacrifice in quest for justice. We are not afraid of martyrdom; we seek it. At the same time, we value life and try to preserve it as much as possible. We have experienced, in our tumultuous history as Shi'ites in an overwhelmingly Sunni region, all sorts of oppression and massacres; we have overcome these and will continue to overcome these, and you may accuse us of pursuing vendettas or endorsing religious fanaticism, but our religious fanaticism and our deep respect for life have ensured our continuity (through a concept called "Taqiyya" that Shi'ites practice when in danger - namely hiding that you are a Muslim or Shi'ite to preserve/save your life).

You are free to believe that God does not listen, but faith is the pillar of our existence; moreover, we serve God rather than the other way around. Our entire lives are attempts to live the way he wants us to, and to serve him, because that is the only right path.

Anyway, this is a bit irrelevant; but just thought I'd point out the difference between mainstream understanding of Jihadism and what Jihadism really means in Islam.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 12:49 PM

Joe,

My name is not Ali. Where did you get that from?

What is your current problem with Israel?
Many things. Its past crimes against our people (including the July war), its refusal to acknowledge these and make reparations, its refusal to take back the Palestinian refugees, its violation of our sovereignty, its occupation of Sheba'a farms, Kfar Shouba Hills, the 7 Shi'ite villages; its definition of what its FINAL borders are; its desecration of our Holy places in the Holy Land, and on and on it goes.

The fact that everyone is aware of (and admitted by Hezbollah) is that this is all a pretext to destroying Israel.
Where has Hezbullah admitted that this is a pretext to destroy Israel?

Your fight is about destroying Israel. You are not interested in peaceful co-existence.
We have stated that while our struggle is not independent of the larger Arab-Israeli conflict, we are willing to accept any solution that is acceptable for the Palestinians, and which would finally resolve the whole conflict. However, we are not ready to be neutralized so that Israel would continue practicing its massacres against the Palestinians (Muslims) and destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The way that you got into this mess is by hosting the PLO who massacred and murdered innocent Israeli civilians.
We, namely the Shi'ites, were at odds with the PLO. It was Israel's unwise indiscriminate actions against our people that earned itself an enemy such as us, who are dedicated to getting our full rights back from Israel if it ever wishes to get us to recognize its legitimacy.

When Israel came to root them out you suffered as well, but now that they have left, what is your complaint? The fact that when you hosted the PLO you suffered? Whose fault is that?
The PLO left in 1982. Why did Israel remain in Lebanon? Wasn't their purpose rooting out the PLO? The PLO left to Tunisia. What explains the 18-year occupation?

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 01:03 PM

I do not blame you for your limited understanding of our religion, based mostly on misrepresentations thereof by terrorists like Bin Laden, Zarqawi, and their followers...

When I said that you damand to avoid the consequences for your actions, I did not base my statement on Bin Laden's comments but on your own.

I'll get back to this later but I have to leave the house now...

But I leave you with one principle to consider:

A war will continue until one side is defeated (and usually destroyed) or until peace is made. But your side obviously, always rejects peace, so you leave only complete defeat as the only conclusion. Your chosen enemies will eventually tire of being harmed and simply slaughter you, and having chosen eternal warfare over peaceful coexistence you will be to blame, dead though you'll all be.

However your children, your neighbors, your families, your people, all dead by your side will not be to blame, not all of them. They'll be the victims of your foolishness.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 01:14 PM

Oops I messed up a tag. That post should have read:

I do not blame you for your limited understanding of our religion, based mostly on misrepresentations thereof by terrorists like Bin Laden, Zarqawi, and their followers...

When I said that you damand to avoid the consequences for your actions, I did not base my statement on Bin Laden's comments but on your own.

I'll get back to this later but I have to leave the house now...

But I leave you with one principle to consider:

A war will continue until one side is defeated (and usually destroyed) or until peace is made. But your side obviously, always rejects peace, so you leave only complete defeat as the only conclusion. Your chosen enemies will eventually tire of being harmed and simply slaughter you, and having chosen eternal warfare over peaceful coexistence you will be to blame, dead though you'll all be.

However your children, your neighbors, your families, your people, all dead by your side will not be to blame, not all of them. They'll be the victims of your foolishness.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 01:16 PM

now, suddenly, you come up with an obvious reason. Shocker.
An obvious reason? What's so "obvious" in the following statement: "our alleged responsiblity for the bombings of the marine barracks."

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 01:17 PM

“My name is not Ali. Where did you get that from?”

I read the beginning of your name wrong. Sorry.

“ its refusal to take back the Palestinian refugees, its desecration of our Holy places in the Holy Land, and on and on it goes.”

In other words, the existence of Israel as a state.

“its violation of our sovereignty”

There was no violation until you started the war.

“its occupation of Sheba'a farms, Kfar Shouba Hills, the 7 Shi'ite villages; its definition of what its FINAL borders are”

These are minor issues which would definitely be resolved if you wanted peace.

“Where has Hezbullah admitted that this is a pretext to destroy Israel? “

What is the pointof debating if you don’t wish to be honest? There are hundreds of such statements. I am sure you have heard them and not only that but you admitted it yourself above.

You can use google for a moment and find many examples. Here is but one:

http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/021014fa_fact4

"If they go from Shebaa, we will not stop fighting them," he told me. "Our goal is to liberate the 1948 borders of Palestine," he added, referring to the year of Israel's founding. The Jews who survive this war of liberation, Ezzeddin said, "can go back to Germany, or wherever they came from." He added, however, that the Jews who lived in Palestine before 1948 will be "allowed to live as a minority and they will be cared for by the Muslim majority." Sayyid Nasrallah himself told a conference held in Tehran last year that "we all have an extraordinary historic opportunity to finish off the entire cancerous Zionist project."

“The PLO left in 1982. Why did Israel remain in Lebanon? Wasn't their purpose rooting out the PLO? The PLO left to Tunisia. What explains the 18-year occupation?”

The fact you decided to replace the PLO as the aggressor. Do you think they were there for the beaches, the nice shade?

Posted by: Joe at November 9, 2006 01:30 PM

You're right. Once again. It's practically uncanny.

After the barracks bombing, the idiot Americans should have presumed that it was the Dutch or the Buddhists that consider America their enemy, especially considering all the "Death to America" rallies in Amsterdam and Shanghai, that continue to this day.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 9, 2006 01:37 PM

One more point as I run out the door. You chose not to acknowledge what I said about warfare being obsolete in a modern world where a population can be exterminated with the simple press of a button.

But that is the case. Consider that 60 years ago 100,000 people died in a single day in Tokyo, and the same number in one night in Dresden. And Hiroshima and Nagasaki proved that this could happen faster than a night, in less than a single second.

So far your enemies have been merciful. But no one can be intrasigent, demanding the impossible on pain of death in this modern world. Your enemies could stop being merciful at any time. They could slaughter you all in less than a single second.

Your Jihad is from a different era, from a world where men killed with swords. Where there was no reason that wars ever had to end.

That world is long over, and now you only continue to live because your enemies are more merciful than you are. Once you understand this, you will see that winning is impossible. It's a dream from another century. You can only fight until your enemy decides he'd rather have peace, even at the cost of the guilt of pushing those buttons.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 01:38 PM

You have not caught up with Einstein's famous remark, calling for peace now that the world has atomic weapons. He said: "Everything has changed except our way of thinking."

The world has change. Now your thinking must change, if you are not to die foolishly, every one of you.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 01:44 PM

Understand that I'm not talking about nuclear weapons only, just what war means in a world with advance technology. War has become absurd. It's no longer tenable, period.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 01:46 PM

In other words, the existence of Israel as a state.
How does the existence of the state of Israel necessitate the desecration of our Holy Places?

There was no violation until you started the war.
Which war are you referring to? The 1982 invasion? We did not exist before Israel's invasion. The war of liberation of the south? That was taking place in Lebanon, and it was our legitimate right to kick out the occupiers who were there for no reason (this is not a chicken or the egg game, south Lebanon is LEBANON, not Israel, and Israel was in South LEBANON); the 2006 operation that was used as an excuse to launch a war? I am referring to the violation of our AIRSPACE way before that, before 2000, and between 2000 and 2006. So, technically, our capture of the 2 soldiers was a retaliation.

What is the pointof debating if you don’t wish to be honest? There are hundreds of such statements. I am sure you have heard them and not only that but you admitted it yourself above.
Let us not take such personal shots about honesty, I could make them too if I wanted to, but I am not doing so. There are hundreds of such statements, please come up with one where Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says that this is merely a PRETEXT to destroy Israel.

New Yorker? A reporter at large? Someone who from the start reveals his bias and calls us terrorists? At least he could TRY to claim neutrality for his own reputation....

The fact you decided to replace the PLO as the aggressor. Do you think they were there for the beaches, the nice shade?
Aggressor? So our operations inside the occupied territories, namely South Lebanon, were acts of AGGRESSION? What a nice concept. So Israel chose to occupy part of Lebanon because we were attacking it to free that part. Yeah, that makes sense.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 01:47 PM

So far your enemies have been merciful.
And we're supposed to be grateful? This is EXACTLY why Israel should be disarmed, or a nuclear balance should be achieved in the region. And then you wonder why anyone in the region would want to get nukes? Are you for real? Israel has shown it does not value human life; it has committed massacre after massacre against innocent women and children, do you think we rely on their goodwill?

At any rate, I already said that we would rather die fighting than live as slaves. But the fact that you are aware that Israel might commit such a crime against humanity and choose to endorse its nuclear capabilities, is indicative of your moral standards, I would say, or at least your agenda of wanting us to be subjugated and to submit to western rule. But here's the bad (or good?) news for you. We will fight to the last man, and bury our children with our own hands, if it will mean that we will prevent (or die trying) such a thing from being a reality. We are Karbala'is, carriers of the spirit of martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 01:55 PM

Now I really am leaving, but I've noticed that you pick and choose phrases from my arguement that you can take out of context, slightly.

I suggest that, in the privacy of your own heart, you consider what the meaning of all of my words are taken together, rather than a few chosen to be easy to answer. Take on the harder problem I'm talking about rather than childishly easy one of attacking a phrase here and there without thinking.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 02:01 PM

You dont like my sources that Hizbollah seeks to destroy Israel? Here's another.

"When Israel ended its 18-year occupation of Lebanon in 2000, Nasrallah declared, "We have liberated the south. Next we'll liberate Jerusalem." "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/14/AR2006071401401_pf.html

How about this. Can you show me an official statement of Hizbollah regarding Israel which in any way says that they accept the idea of Israel existing. There are plenty of sources that say the opposite, all of which you will claim to be unreliable. Do you really think this is an argument you can win? Are you really trying to say that Hizbollah is open to the idea of the existence of Israel? Lets debate reality instead of fantasy.

I also find it funny how you describe Israel's 'desecration' of muslim holy sites. The most holy Jewish site in the world is the Temple Mount of which the Israeli's gave full control to the Waqf. I presume you mean desecration as in 'Jews walk there'.

You refer to violation of sovereignty, but there was no violation for years until your war, so how can that be listed in your list of grievances? You brought it upon yourself.

When I referred to why the Israelis remained it was because it became clear that you were planning to take the place of the PLO in terror attacks against the Israeli populace. A belief which turned out to be true. So that is why they stayed to fight you.

This is all irrelevant. You will always find reasons for grievance until Israel ceases to exist. If Israel came to you tomorrow and offered you all of the lands you dispute as well as a graduated release of all prisoners in exchange for full peace you would not take it. You would demand that they engage in war with you and your kids and grandchildren.

And when you moan and groan about all your suffering at the hands of the Israelis you can look in the mirror and blame yourself for continuing this useless state of war. When those poor children die in Qana you are their butcher for making a war when there doesnt need to be and for shelling civilians populations (Kiryat Shemona, Tzfat, etc...) from the cover of these poor children.

Posted by: Joe at November 9, 2006 02:01 PM

Here to follow is a basic lesson in why Americans simply do not, nor care to understand Hezboli mindset, as exhibited by our friend AlGhaliboon:

Our history attests to this. We have given Lebanon more martyrs and restored its dignity more than any other party… We are not afraid of martyrdom; we seek it.
-AlGhaliboon

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
-George S. Patton

Until you understand the difference between these two world views you will never grasp why we consider your ‘Resistance’ and its concordant bragging about ‘numbers of martyrs’ to be fundamentally psychotic, irrational, and contemptible.

One final note; all of your arguments presume our ignorance of Nasrallah and the fundamental charter of Hizb’allah. How unfortunate for you.

Posted by: Michael at November 9, 2006 02:04 PM

DPU, do you still think people need to be civil to this person?

Absolutely. My own knowledge of the history of the Arab/Zionist conflict is woefully inadequate, although I'm part way through Benny Morris' Righteous Victims at the moment (a great read, by the way). I've read all of MJT's postings from Lebanon and Israel with a lot of interest, but haven't heard a lot from the Hezbollah perspective.

AlGhaliboon strikes me as erudite and intelligent in presenting his arguments. While it would be nice to see solid arguments in response, so far there's a lot of spittle and name-calling, which doesn't reflect well on those with a differing point of view.

To my mind, it's more than worthwhile to at least hear the other side's perspective. When that perspective is put forward in a reasonable tone, I'm not sure why it provokes a venomous response instead of reasonable arguments.

At any rate, I expect the tone to continue to degenerate here, and with it the worth of the discussion.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 02:06 PM

This is all irrelevant. You will always find reasons for grievance until Israel ceases to exist. If Israel came to you tomorrow and offered you all of the lands you dispute as well as a graduated release of all prisoners in exchange for full peace you would not take it. You would demand that they engage in war with you and your kids and grandchildren.

I hate conjecture presented as fact.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 02:13 PM

DPU,

Nevermind.

I thought I highlighted one of his "arguments" to which all decent people would not only find incredibly offensive, but which illustrates that he is not a person of good will - but you didn't bat an eyelash.

To each their own.

Cheers.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 9, 2006 02:15 PM

"I hate conjecture presented as fact."

It is a rational conclusion based on the words of our guest here.

Should he wish to disagree and claim that he would like a rational peace I would love to hear it.

Posted by: Joe at November 9, 2006 02:17 PM

I thought I highlighted one of his "arguments" to which all decent people would not only find incredibly offensive, but which illustrates that he is not a person of good will - but you didn't bat an eyelash.

I have already seen a dozen arguments here that I find deeply distasteful. That doesn't mean that it's an excuse for me to be a big-mouthed prick about it.

Other's mileage, of course, may vary.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 02:18 PM

It is a rational conclusion based on the words of our guest here.

Everyone, including the most delusional psychopaths, believe their own conclusion to be rational. They often don't make a good basis for fact. however.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 02:19 PM

"The mark of an immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Wilhelm Stekel

Of course, dying together for an absurd cause is not the way adults act, it's the way children act. Dying toghether is less painful than admitting that what you've been taught is wrong and has to change, but being that responsible means standing alone.

If you'd kill your children rather than take the responsibility and stand alone against those among your own people who doom them, then you are no man at all.

You must be less than a slave, you must be mindless. You must be too cowardly to care, too cowardly to give your children the life you owe them if caring and if being responsible means standing alone like an adult. You would rather die than care, rather die than think, rather die than see, rather die than be a good parent, rather die than be human because you are too afraid to stand alone.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 02:20 PM

Well, not everyone can react to ridiculous, hateful and cynically self-serving analogies with as much ease and grace as you do.

I apologize on everyone's behalf.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 9, 2006 02:21 PM

Should he wish to disagree and claim that he would like a rational peace I would love to hear it.

No. Presenting a strawman and then demanding that others demolish it in order to prove it incorrect is a mug's game. If you are earnest in your desire to discuss this issue, you would ask his position, and then debate that, if necessary. You would not state your conjecture as though it were gospel.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 02:24 PM

Exactly Josh. Hizb'allah does not conduct resistance. It conducts temper-tantrums with high explosives.

Posted by: Michael at November 9, 2006 02:24 PM

Well, not everyone can react to ridiculous, hateful and cynically self-serving analogies with as much ease and grace as you do.

I eagerly await your analysis of his analogy, why you think it hateful, cynical, and ridiculous, and why everyone else should instantly come to the same conclusion that you do and end their civility.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 02:29 PM

Because compared Israelis to nazis, even though the only reason they went to Lebanon in the first place is because the PLO was staging terror attacks from their safe haven there.

And if you think that's even remotely a fair comparison, add "World War II education" to your current studies on the Arab/Israeli conflict.

why everyone else should instantly come to the same conclusion that you do and end their civility.

I have yet to be uncivil to him. I simply don't blame others for not granting him the respect you believe he deserves, based on his "erudition."

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 9, 2006 02:36 PM

Josh,

We are talking about the issue of pretexts. You said that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah directly admitted that we are using all those issues as a pretext to destroy Israel. Where did he say so? I still await the quote in which he admits that all of this is a pretext rather than legitimate concerns/rights?

Why should we recognize Israel in return for nothing? Israel does not recognize our legitimacy, or the legitimacy of our people's grievances and their right to resist the occupation.

We do not see any obtacles in recognizing Israel in borders that would be deemed acceptable to the Palestinians, and a final settlement that would see the folder of Palestinian refugees closed for good. At the very least what Israel should do is give the Palestinian refugees their legitimate and internationally recognized right, and that is the right of return and reparation for all those who suffered losses of property, family members, etc.

We are opposed to the Zionist entity because it is based on injustice and disposession.

I presume you mean desecration as in 'Jews walk there'.
I do not understand your obsession with proving our anti-Semitism. The Western Wall, or al-Buraq wall, is as holy to us as to the Jews. In fact, the Western Wall was not part of Jewish religious importance until after the dispersion of the Jews, and indeed the wall is not part of the temple as is commonly known. Also, they are carrying out excavations under the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which has highly increased the chances of its collapse.

You refer to violation of sovereignty, but there was no violation for years until your war, so how can that be listed in your list of grievances? You brought it upon yourself.
Again, WHICH war? I am telling you - and you can accuse me of lying but that won't go well with UNIFIL daily reports between 2000 & 2006 - that the Israelis violated our airspace on a daily bases before we launched the war that you accuse us of launching...

it was because it became clear that you were planning to take the place of the PLO in terror attacks against the Israeli populace. A belief which turned out to be true. So that is why they stayed to fight you.
Heh, going back and arguing about something based on knowledge that was not available at the time? That's fallacious my friend. Also, what part of: "our raison d'etre was Israeli occupation" did you not understand? How does that prove that we were planning on carrying out terror attacks against Israeli populace?!? What is this preposterous assumption based on??

This is all irrelevant.
It is not. How can it be? I am telling you that regardless of what led to the Israeli invasion of 1982, fact is, Israel practiced indiscriminate attacks against our people, turning us against them when we had no historical grudges against them that one can speak of.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 02:40 PM

If anyone in this particular conflict can fairly be compared to the Nazis:

One group has, at a minimum, adopted a certain, shall we say, style, let alone wallowing in mountains of anti-Semitic paranoia and propaganda.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 9, 2006 02:42 PM

And if you think that's even remotely a fair comparison, add "World War II education" to your current studies on the Arab/Israeli conflict.

I'm already know something of that conflict.

Because compared Israelis to nazis, even though the only reason they went to Lebanon in the first place is because the PLO was staging terror attacks from their safe haven there.

I understand why Israelis would find being compared to Nazis deeply offensive, but in this case, he was comparing the Arab sense of resentment against injustices from the Israeli state to that that of the Jews against Germany. While I think it a poor choice of analogies because of differences in scale and because of the emotional backlash such comparisons elicit, I don't think the intent was to call Israelis Nazis, but rather to put the resentment in historical terms that we're familiar with.

I have yet to be uncivil to him. I simply don't blame others for not granting him the respect you believe he deserves, based on his "erudition."

You don't think that he has been measured in his tone, or think that he has been uncivil? Where?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 02:45 PM

Josh, I find your accusation that we do not care about our people and our children offensive to say the least; we care for our children as much as you do for yours, and the Israelis do for theirs. We would like to limit our fight to the battlefield, so let them fight like men and leave our children out of this. However, that they do/will not do so does/will not make us accept their blackmail so that our children would live - only to be slaves. We absolutely reject even the idea of it. If that means we do not care about our children, then by all means go ahead and call us whatever you want.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 02:50 PM

SoCalJustice,

Where did I compare Israelis to Nazis?

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 02:56 PM

I don't think the intent was to call Israelis Nazis, but rather to put the resentment in historical terms that we're familiar with.

Well, it's nice of you to give him that much credit.

But those terms we're familiar with is the wholesale and racist slaughter of 6 million fully integrated and contributing citizens of European nations whose soul "crime" was not being born "Aryan."

Even granting your reasoning behind his use of such a comparison (which I do not, but even if I did), it is offensive.

DPU, for those who follow these arguments alot, that is a typical argument made by individuals on his side - comparisons of Jews and Israelis to Nazis. So those of us who follow these arguments are used to such rhetoric and tend to not credit the arguers better angels.

You don't think that he has been measured in his tone, or think that he has been uncivil?

That's not the point. Measured, sure. Selective, obviously. Disingenuous, inredibly. Offensive, purposefully.

To repeat, I haven't been uncivil and called him any names. I just don't blame others who have. I recognize him for what he is, and chose not to give him credit for engaging in honest discourse, no matter how "polite" he may appear.

Off for the night. Have a good one, I mean that. I appreciate your attempts to raise the level of discourse, I just don't think this guy is worth it, least of which because of his obvious dissembling on whether or not Hizballah considers itself to be America's enemy.

To be American in the extreme: duh.

Anyway - in a great mood because of the election results.

Not going to let a Hizballah dude ruin my day.

Good night.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 9, 2006 02:58 PM

Not going to let a Hizballah dude ruin my day.

Y'know, no matter how much I disagree with someone else's ideas, I find that as long as the discussion is reasonable in tone with respect on both sides, it doesn't ruin my day. I'm mystified by why others can get so bent out of shape by someone else's opinion.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 03:16 PM

The number one thing I will personally take away today from the forthright comments of AlGhaliboon is that I now more fully comprehend that Lebanon is up against a most difficult, if not impossible, task of ever demilitarizing Hisbollah and creating a peaceful, democratic country. I now see why some here have already acceded to the certainty of the next violent episode in the region.

The only contradiction I have seen in AlGhaliboon's comments was the reference he made to hiding the fact one is a Shi'ite when in danger versus the admonition to martyr oneself for that very same religious distinction. Martyrdom must be a contextually sensitive act then. Otherwise, he has laid out a well explained platform that is easily comprehended and which allows neither room for moderation, nor negotiation.

I take it that once Israel has been dealt with to their satisfaction, the next group to feel their wrath and desire for justice shall be the Sunnis who have abused them for centuries before this current abusement from the Israelis. Huge reparations should be forthcoming in that regard considering the oil reserves alone. Perhaps that is the source of distancing from and contempt for Bin Laden and Zarqawi, as stated above. And Syrians are mostly Sunni also, correct?

I, for one, am very grateful for what I have learned today. Can you imagine this discourse in say the NY Times? And on top of that I have access to the secret location of an abandoned Corvair somewhere in the wilds of Colorado. Some blog you have here, Mr Totten.

Posted by: allan at November 9, 2006 03:51 PM

One group has, at a minimum, adopted a certain, shall we say, style,...

Whatever that link was to, it was too slow-loading to view. But I take it it was of Hezbollah members giving the straight-armed salute?

I have no idea if the Hezbollah use of this salute has its basis in mimicry of the Nazi salute, and would hope not. But it should be remembered that this is also the Roman salute, historically used for swearing allegiance and oaths, and it was even used in the US during the pledge of allegiance until the forties. It's is still used for swearing oaths by the government of Taiwan and as their military salute. The Tamil separatist movement also uses this salute.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 04:04 PM

Josh, I find your accusation that we do not care about our people and our children offensive to say the least; we care for our children as much as you do for yours, and the Israelis do for theirs. We would like to limit our fight to the battlefield, so let them fight like men and leave our children out of this. However, that they do/will not do so does/will not make us accept their blackmail so that our children would live - only to be slaves. We absolutely reject even the idea of it. If that means we do not care about our children, then by all means go ahead and call us whatever you want.

I stopped in for one second between errands to see what you replied. Instead of taking the time at this very moment, I'm going to simply point out that there are a number of obvious falacies in your arguement. Take a moment to imagine what my responses to your arguement would be, I think you'll realize that you've been lying, not least to yourself.

Your children are not slaves unless you're the one making them so.

The Palestinians are not your people - you keep them in the worst refugee camps in the middle east, precisely because shiites like yourself don't want Sunni Palestinians living in Lebanon, making Sunnis a majority. Right now, Iran, who pays Hezbollah, is also paying groups just like yours to slaughter more Sunni brothers in Iraq.

And of course the most aggregious error is your pretense that you don't support attacking civilians. You don't support Israel attacking your civilians, but you'll support anyone who attacks Israeli civilians. That's war after all, and you're not going to change the nature of war just in the false hope that the war you insist on making forever will somehow not lead to your own extermination. Sorry, that's not war anymore. I told you that warfare is absurd in this century. The Iraq war was only possible because Saddam was weak. Once one side isn't weak anymore, only a fool would fight, because in the future, war will equal instant genocide. Welcome to the 21st century.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 04:05 PM

Anyway I answered quickly and carelessly, so don't fault me for being crude.

There are some truths in what I said that I believe bear some reflection. Please consider, please stop and think for a while.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 04:08 PM

Allan,

I do not see how the issue of Taqiyya & martyrdom are contradictory. Taqiyya at any rate is done in rare cases (and of course as long as the person holds true to his faith in his heart), and not in all cases where there is war. In other words, Taqiyya is usually practiced in cases where the issue is restricted merely to being Muslim/Shi'ite and being persecuted for it (this can be explained by the Sunni persecution of Shi'ites throughout the ages), rather than general warfare.

Our weapons are not eternal, as Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah already pointed out. We feel that we can disarm when the army is capable of preventing Israeli occupation of our land as much as we did in the July war. We also need guarantees and most importantly the disarmament of Palestinians in & out of the camps in Lebanon; the rest are minor issues. Until then our weapons will continue to be the one and only deterrence against Israel. At the end of the day, our absolute loyalty and allegiance is to Lebanon.

As for Bin Laden, Zarqawi, & co., we do not merely distance ourselves from them. We condemn their terrorism in the strictest of terms. They are unbelievers. This has nothing to do with the Sunni-Shi'ite issue, except for the fact that the Saudi Arabians have been generously funding Wahabism throughout the Muslim world.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 04:13 PM

And I must say, the offense is not that I point out the obvious fact that Hezbollah is deadly to your children, to shiites and to Lebanon, the offense is that you allow and support Hezbollah to continue to be a deadly threat to your children, to shiites and to Lebanon. Assuming that you are Lebanese, you are quite exactly a traitor to your people.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 04:14 PM

The Palestinians are not your people - you keep them in the worst refugee camps in the middle east
The Palestinians are in refugee camps because settling them elsewhere would mean giving up on the right of return. The Palestinians are treated despicably in that they are not allowed to practice certain jobs - absolutely. This is due to the despotic rulers of the M.E, which are all supported by USA.

Also, Shi'ites are an absolute majority in the Middle East, and only in Iran do we have a Shi'ite government. The rest are Sunni controlled governments, except for the Alawite Ba'ath regime in Syria. How does this explain the fact that they have not naturalized the Palestinians?

As for the claim that our views of the Palestinians are shaped by the Sunni-Shi'ite split, where does the issue of nationalism come into play here? Or are you saying we do not have national allegiances and loyalties, only religious/sectarian ones? Are we, as Shi'ites who support Hezbullah, Lebanese? If not, why would we even care about what the Lebanese do to the Palestinians? If so, why would we not care about the settlement of Palestinians in a place that is not theirs - for what? so that the Israelis would live happily ever after?

Right now, Iran, who pays Hezbollah, is also paying groups just like yours to slaughter more Sunni brothers in Iraq.
Proof, please.

You don't support Israel attacking your civilians, but you'll support anyone who attacks Israeli civilians.
Another hollow accusation.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 04:23 PM

Sorry, meant to say, "Shi'ites are an absolute MINORITY in the Middle East."

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 04:24 PM

Ok, now you're just lying.

This conversation is over.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 04:25 PM

Assuming that you are Lebanese, you are quite exactly a traitor to your people.

Sigh. The name-calling never stops, does it?

Easily done for those without much ammo in their intellectual belt.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 04:25 PM

Easily done for those without much ammo in their intellectual belt.

Funny I was just noticing that that you're talking cross purposes with everyone who has something to say that's relevent to the real world, to these matters of life and death, oppression and freedom etc.. Is your own durth of insight due to lack of "intellectual" "ammo"?

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 04:31 PM

Ok, now you're just lying.
Since you're dead set on defaming me in this manner, at least give me the benefit of telling me what I'm lying about. And if you've already decided the nature of my feeling towards Sunnis, Palestinians, Israelis, and everyone else in between and beyond, and want to merely hear what you have decided on, what is the point of discussing to begin with?

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 9, 2006 04:35 PM

At least give me the benefit of telling me what I'm lying about.

Every single word in your post at 04:23 PM, and I mean every single word.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 04:37 PM

Funny I was just noticing that that you're talking cross purposes with everyone who has something to say that's relevent to the real world, to these matters of life and death, oppression and freedom etc.

No, I'm talking at cross-purposes with those that think that snide name-calling passes for discourse. And you have no idea where I stand on the issues of life, death, oppression, or freedom. You know squat. You're the arch typical numb-skull who thinks that squeals of "liar!" qualify one as a defender of freedom. Well, you ain't, bub, you just can't hold up the end of an argument without histrionics.

And this conversation is over. Seeya.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 04:46 PM

And this conversation is over.

Permanently, I hope.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 9, 2006 04:51 PM

Well said, Alan! This has been most enlightening, and no, I cannot imagine seeing this in the Times!
I don't mean to be disrespectful (since that's what he craves so much), but AlGhaliboon's arguments remind me of a child cornered in a sandbox (no pun intended!) throwing out insults and and threats toward anyone who disagrees. A first-class temper tantrum! Sadly for him and others who behave similarly, temper tantrums only go so far in convincing others to listen respectfully.
Again, most enlightening and entertaining.

Posted by: sallyo at November 9, 2006 04:53 PM

Michael, aside from a couple of speed-bumps (my own lapse into name-calling in the my last comment included), this was one of the more interesting comment threads here in a while. Hope we'll see more like it.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 04:56 PM

..throwing out insults and and threats toward anyone who disagrees.

I haven't seen a single insult or threat from AlGhaliboon. Can you show me which one you're referring to?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 04:58 PM

This has been absolutely fascinating. Whether you agree with him or not, our Hezbollah representative has been very articulate and well tempered in his comments. It actually reminds me very much of an NPR interview I heard in ’99 or 2000 with a similarly well spoken official representative of the Taliban government of Afghanistan, who explained how GREAT the gentle Taliban was, and how the west had nothing to fear from them. I am not comparing the two ideologies, if that is the right word, just the propaganda. In any case, I doubt one would ever see anything like this in the media. Kudos MJT!

-L

Posted by: lindsey at November 9, 2006 05:32 PM

Josh, nice exit strategy

Posted by: Lira at November 9, 2006 05:46 PM

I find it highly enlightening that the main cheerleader and spokesman for the hezbollah fellow here is a Lefty-Liberal, DPU (see his blog).

This confirms anecdotally the overt yet ironic merging of the Western Left and ths islamofascist right.

Posted by: Joe at November 9, 2006 06:03 PM

I find it highly enlightening that the main cheerleader and spokesman for the hezbollah fellow here is a Lefty-Liberal, DPU (see his blog).

Yes, please, see my blog, I could use the traffic. But calling me a cheerleader is not only insulting, but it's either a lie or plain stupidity.

Our Hezbollah friend has presented his arguments and opinions clearly, and he has attempted to respond, without rancor, to more than one insult. And this is all that I have pointed out, and only when people have been insulting.

That isn't "cheerleading," not by a long shot.

I've been waiting for someone to pose questions or present arguments that might be a bit more difficult to answer, but it seems that no-one is up to much more than name-calling.

And speaking of name calling, don't call me a fucking liberal, I'm not even close to a liberal. I'm fine with "leftist," though.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 06:23 PM

And to clear up any further potential confusion about my political credentials for those here who are not long-time MJT commenters (newbies) and are unfamiliar with leftists, I refer you to this handy chart on my own blog. I'm just a smidge to the left on the NDP on that chart, although nowhere close to commie-land.

As for my views on the Zionist/Arab conflict, as I said, I'm ignorant on the issues, which is why I was hoping for some decent rebuttals. Again, hardly qualifies as "cheerleading" Hezbollah.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 06:38 PM

We are resisting all oppressors, be they local or foreign; we are resisting all those who wish to see us be slaves to American policies and interests (including those who are already slaves, like the KSA, and all other Arab countries); we are resisting those who wish to see our waters appropriated by Israel. We are resisting all those who wish to take us back to our past position of deprivation and humiliation...Why should we recognize Israel in return for nothing? Israel does not recognize our legitimacy, or the legitimacy of our people's grievances and their right to resist the occupation.

Compare to:

...With the occupation of the Ruhr, France had accomplished a conspicuous breach of the Versailles Treaty. In so doing, she had also put herself in conflict with a number of signatory powers, and especially with England and Italy. France could no longer hope for any support on the part of these states for her own selfish campaign of plunder. She herself, therefore, had to bring the adventure - and that is what it was at first - to some happy conclusion. For a national German government there could be but a single course, that which honor prescribed. It was certain that for the present France could not be opposed by active force of arms; but we had to realize clearly that any negotiations, unless backed by power, would be absurd and fruitless. Without the possibility of active resistance, it was absurd to adopt the standpoint 'We shall enter into no negotiations'; but it was even more senseless to end by entering into negotiations after all, without having meanwhile equipped ourselves with power.

- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Posted by: Solomon2 at November 9, 2006 06:42 PM

Aside from Godwining the thread, what the hell was that supposed to do? Do you really think that the two passages are in any way comparable? Why? Do you think that similar statements about negotiating from a position of power could not be found from, say, the Israeli government?

Dude, that was seriously weak.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 06:50 PM

AlGhaliboon,

Would you care to explain what holy places did the Argentinians desecrate in order to earn the terrorist attack from Hizzbullah?

Posted by: Carlos2 at November 9, 2006 07:15 PM

Okay, Al Ghaliboon, I appreciate that you’re willing to put up with an online forum where you have no friends and where you face dozens of people who hate your guts and wouldn’t weep if a bomb dropped on your head.

I hope you notice something else, too, though, while you’re here. All of us think the Arab-Israeli conflict is stupid. No one here wants to see it continue. We all want Peace Now. Even the most flaming right-wing nutjobs in America would rather see a peaceful Middle East than a Middle East that explodes. Have you noticed that a lot of people in this discussion have tried to persuade you to give up the fight for your sake and for the sake of your children rather than for our sakes or for the sakes of the Israelis?

I'm sorry you had a bad experience in the West. And I mean that sincerely. If you were treated badly because you're an Arab, a Muslim, or both, that was wrong. It was wrong. Period. Full stop. That does not, however, mean it is okay for you to join a "resistance" movement that fires missiles at random strangers in other countries who have never met you.

Most Lebanese are lovely people. Some members of your party, though, treated me monstrously. But you will not find me joining a Death to Lebanon movement as a way to get over it.

No one wants to enslave you. Americans fought a civil war with each other 150 years ago and we settled the issue of slavery forever. All we want you to do is stop fighting your neighbors. That’s it. And the reason we want you to stop fighting your neighbors is because we’re tired of getting dragged into your wars.

You do have emotional problems. You, personally, have emotional problems. You said so yourself. Resistance heals your wounded pride.

Obviously resistance pays off for you in some way or you wouldn’t do it. If all you got out of it was bombs for breakfast, you would find something a little less destructive to do.

You aren’t winning the war against Israel in any militarily objective sense. You can’t conquer their territory, and you can’t repel an invasion. You couldn’t even hold your own ground on the fence. Israel could flatten every last house in Lebanon and you couldn’t stop them. The reason they don’t do it is because they don’t want to. On some level, I think you know this. It took the Israelis a month to kill 1,000 Lebanese. If their objective was simply to kill people they would kill 1,000 an hour and no one would be able to stop them.

Anyway, the Israelis and the Americans are not who you need to worry about. If you keep dragging your country into destructive wars against the will of the majority, you may find yourself lynched in the streets. I try not to predict Middle Eastern politics and events, but I have met quite a number of Lebanese Christians and Druze who would love to strip you of your shirt and strap electrified jumper cables to your chest before dragging you through the streets by your nose. And this was before you blew up the country again. One of the reasons I opposed Israel’s invasion of Lebanon is because I knew it would make this horror show all the more likely to play itself out.

I don't think you have any idea just how nasty the animosity toward you is in your country. If you think we Americans are giving you a hard time on this blog, try pretending you're a Maronite who hates "dirty Shia" and hanging out in Jounieh and Achrafieh. I'll tell you what you can expect. One Lebanese guy I know (he reads this blog and he might even show up to say hi) told me he thought the American invasion of Iraq was stupid as hell but is glad it happened anyway. The reason he's glad? Because Zarqawi (he said this last year) is now free to run around Baghdad and massacre Shia. It can get that bad in Lebanon. It was that bad in Lebanon when I was two-thirds finished at my university. I'm only 36 years old. It is not ancient history.

If Geagea and Jumblatt give the orders to fight, you’re really screwed. All of Lebanon will be screwed. They, personally, have given orders to fight before. And their orders were carried out. If I were you, I would quit while I was “ahead” and not mess with them anymore.

You don't have to live with Israelis. But you do have to live with Lebanese. What you do affects them, and your "resistance" means they get killed, too. They don't want to be "martyred." They're trying to get something productive done in Lebanon, and you guys are running around the south like a street gang with a foreign policy.

Some Americans like to egg these people on. They want to see the rest of Lebanon rise up and resolve the Hezbollah problem once and for all. That is my Lebanese nightmare. You know as well as I do how bottomlessly dark a place Lebanon is when it breaks.

If Lebanon explodes again, as it did in 1975, don't expect the international community to come in and save you. Hardly anyone will want to go there after what happened last time and after what's happening now in Iraq. Lebanon will be dismissed as a terminally deranged country, another Gaza, another Somalia, another nation murdered by hate.

I’m impressed with the political progress made since 1991. Most Lebanese really do want to put that behind them. For various reasons, though, your group is the last to progress and figure out that violence will not solve your problems. Whether you realize it or not, and whether you want to or not, you are teaching your countrymen that they may have taken the gun out of politics too quickly.

Believe it or not, I wish you well and hope you find a way to make peace with your country and with your neighbors.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2006 07:28 PM

I'm just entering the fray here, but it looks like a heated battle. I'll add my 2 cents.

AlGhaliboon.

What did the 231 American marines in Beirut do to be bombed by Hezbollah ?

Posted by: Jono at November 9, 2006 07:29 PM

Would you care to explain what holy places did the Argentinians desecrate in order to earn the terrorist attack from Hizzbullah?

The last person that I would have expected an effective riposte from would be Carlos, but he delivers. Although I would have left off "holy", as I don't see much in the way of this being a religious struggle.

Kudos, Carlos.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 07:48 PM

"We are opposed to the Zionist entity because it is based on injustice and disposession."

Jihadis complaining about Jewish nationalism, is equivalent to Nazis complaining about Polish nationalism. Islamism/Jihadism is an imperialist expansionist fascistic supremacist movement, bent on world domination and subjugation. Its proponents use propaganda and tactics that mirror those of Nazis, because to a large extent they share identical views and goals. Jihadis allied with the Nazis during WW2, their leaders even worked with Hitler towards the Final Solution.

In my perfect world, Jihadis would be marched back across the desert from where they came from, barefoot and without water. Similar to how the Russians force marched of Nazis back to Germany, barefoot in the winter snow.

Posted by: mikhael at November 9, 2006 07:50 PM

AlGhaliboon,

The borders of Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and the entire middle east were determined on a somewhat arbitrary basis by the major colonial powers after WWI. Prior to that war, there was no international concept of the independent country of Lebanon, or even of Israel (excepting ancient times, of course). I am struggling to understand how you can simultaneously claim that Shebaa Farms and those other areas are yours and also reject the authority of the UN and international community in order to make this claim. It seems to me that if you reject the UN's demarcation of Shebaa Farms as belonging to Syria, you might as well reject all of the borders in the middle east that were legitimized by the authority of the UN. Why not claim Syria or Iraq as your own, then? It would also neatly solve the problem of the Palestinians, as there would be no Palestinians to speak of, only another group of Sunni Arabs who should, for all intents are purposes, be able to settle anywhere else in the Sunni Arab world. I think this is a major reason why most are incredulous as to your claim that territorial grievances stop at Shebaa Farms, Kfar Shouba Hills, etc.

In addition, it's unclear why you have assumed the Palestinian issue as your own. For example, why are you fixated on right of return and reparations for Palestinians and not, say, for the Muslims that were forced out of India when it was partitioned into India and Pakistan? Clearly, then, it's not a matter of religion. It's also not a matter of nationalism, as the Palestinians are not your people.

You said above, "The Palestinians are in refugee camps because settling them elsewhere would mean giving up on the right of return." Why not let them make that decision? If Israel and the Palestinians came to an agreement, would you also decide on the refugees' behalf that such an agreement would be insufficient, and thus the "resistance" must continue? In that case, are you not now claiming sovereignty over the Palestinians?

Please explain, then, why Hezbollah should claim the Palestinian issue as its own, because right now, it seems like you are using the Palestinians as a pretext to maintain a state of war against Israel. Otherwise, it's unclear why, if your other non-Palestinian concerns were addressed, you would not be amenable to a peace agreement with Israel.

Thanks, I look forward to your response.

Posted by: JF at November 9, 2006 09:14 PM

Oh man, at last, some serious and thoughtful arguments. From my own view at least, well done guys.

AlGhaliboon, I too look forward to your response.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 9, 2006 09:25 PM

Hope we'll see more like it.

I don't. Too many in the west mistake civility and manners for reasonableness and good faith.

Words are cheap and lying is easy. Actions are what matter. And hizbullah's actions have made their nature quite clear.

Posted by: rosignol at November 9, 2006 11:50 PM

AlGhaliboon,

It's always a pleasure to debate with someone you disagree with but whose command of english and logic is robust enough to command respect. I apologize that my post was more oratory than question, but I am glad that you did treat my questions seriously, as I am curious how you believe in regard to them.

Unfortunately, beyond that I have a few things to point out about the way your responded.

Because we are human beings, and human beings deserve a minimum level of respect for basic rights, right to self-determination, equality, freedom.

Too true, and well said. However respect is something aside from acknowledgement. I will defend, bleed, and die for a child but I do not respect it. I’m not asking, as a human, what you deserve (Indeed, you do deserve more than what American Realpolitik has given you) but what you have done, as a movement, to earn respect.

If we have done what we would not have done otherwise, it is because was imposed upon us . . . We adhere to justice, but our responsibility and holy duty to protect our people from further harm necessitates that we take the road that has been imposed upon us.

Also, how do you suggest that we would have gotten our prisoners back?

I don’t have any practical suggestions for life on the ground, but you are simply confirming what I believed in the first place: That you are lowering yourselves to the standards of your oppressors instead of transcending them. Thus, power buys respect.

Perhaps it is in premises that we differ. I quote the Christian Prophet “He who is greatest among you must be the servant of all.” Thus, in one of the few moves by my government which I can say is consistent with our checkered Christian Heritage, the United States still leads the world in aid, to all countries. Unfortunately, unlike yourselves, even the well-meaning in the US do not have access to the ground-level contacts that you have and even well-meant aid has a distinct tendency to be taken by the strongest. See Somalia, Iraq, and others.

We are resisting all those who wish to take us back to our past position of deprivation and humiliation, which you might or might not know about - I recommend that you look up the conditions of the Shi'ite community of Lebanon before the Lebanese civil war.

While I am not a scholar of the region, I am passingly familiar with what you refer to. However, your resistance is just that: History, the past. Your current goal seems to be parallel to what I said at the beginning of my post “People considered inferior by others and seeking notoriety.” I concede that you may be put upon, but simply being put upon does not make you oppressed.

I am honestly curious to whom you do think is oppressing you, and whether there is a difference between slave and client in your mind.

Our belief in the Islamic jurisprudence (Wilayat al-Faqih to be more precise) still exists, but we do not believe in imposing it on anyone; . . . We cannot do so because this goes against our religion, because there is no compulsion in Islam (note that we do not consider Bin Laden, the Qutbists, & co. as Muslims).

I am curious, as I have heard that unlike the Pauline epistle to the Romans, which states that each type should be judged according to their knowledge of the truth, Islamic judgment comes irrespective of ostensible knowledge of the truth. Not having a Quran (and, more embarrassingly, having no knowledge of Arabic) I am unable to determine this.

I doubt the sincerity of any repudiation of Osama, since organizations which are allied with him tend to suffer terribly at angry western hands. Since it is in part the US which you are resisting, as you have implied, I see it as a contradiction that a man who has actually struck at the US, as you have struck against Israel, would be your enemy, or at least not an ally of convenience.

We do not use force to impose beliefs or political support on anyone.

I seem to remember Nasrallah said something about Hizbollah marching on the streets of Beirut should Lebanon not give Hizbollah more say in the government. Correct me if I am wrong.

Posted by: Berkeley Non-conformist at November 10, 2006 01:48 AM

I doubt the sincerity of any repudiation of Osama, since organizations which are allied with him tend to suffer terribly at angry western hands.

Hezbollah is a shiite militia, and Osama and his organization is committed to slaughtering, let alone oppressing Shiites. You needn't doubt AlGhaliboon's sincerity in repudiating Osama.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 10, 2006 02:34 AM

AlGhaliboon's tools =

sophism

n : a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone

dissimulation

To disguise (one's intentions, for example) under a feigned appearance.

To conceal one's true feelings or intentions.

These are the common tools of the Muslim.

Don't waste too much time on this fellow, he is just a tool of a 7th century death cult.

The Hobo

Posted by: Robohobo at November 10, 2006 04:32 AM

Carlos,

What is the bases of your claim that Hezbullah is responsible for the bombing at the Argentinean Jewish center?? Mere speculation?? Because if we can pass off speculacation as facts then we can also be quite speculative as to who was responsible for the assassination of one of the masterminds of the Sabra & Shatila massacre (who was due to give testimony at the Hague), the assassination of Mr. Rafiq al-Hariri, Mr. Tueni, and on and on it goes, aside from the 80 civilians who were killed in the assassination attempt against Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah (but that's not terrorism), for which the CIA was responsible. So, Mr. Carlos, tell me, based on what do you arrive to the conclusion that Hezbullah was responsible for that attack, and what makes that attack any more barbaric than the cold-blooded murder of more than 80 civilians in the middle of the city, in a failed assassination attempt?

Again I eagerly await your proofs that we were responsible for it. If you know something the Interpol and Argentine authorities don't, be sure to let them know.

--

Mr. Totten,

That the Arab-Israeli conflict has evolved into the height of stupidity is one thing; that it is a genuine struggle for justice on the part of those who have been dispossessed (note that I am not even talking about the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the zionists' claims to that land - I suppose that is a moot point if you consider the new heights, or rather, lows, that this conflict has reached) is another. That the Jews have an equally legitimate grievance is undeniable; however, we were not the ones who dispossessed them and ghettoized them in Europe (granted that our own corrupt leaders - especially in Iraq, referring to the "Farhud" - facilitated their departure, or even kicked them out of the Arab countries), nor were we the ones who dispossessed them before they even made their way to Europe. Having lived the oppression of the zionists, I cannot possibly sympathize with their cause (which is phrased in a way as to be perceived and practiced as a zero-sum game) and cannot but consider them my enemies. However, when the zionists show willingness to admit their mistakes and take steps to alleviate the situation, we can prove to be very open to dialogue, as we have indeed proven over the course of the years, in particular between 1992 - 2006, in many ways previously unexpected.

My experience in the U.S and elsewhere in the west does not stem merely from a personal experience per se, but rather from the prevalent attitudes towards us in these countries; granted that I have met many individuals who respected me as a human being and showed genuine interest in my culture, traditions, and even religion, but these were more isolated phenomena. Now I am not saying that people should show interest in my culture, etc.; that is not the point. The point is that when people go out of their way to debase an entire people/nation based on the acts of a few who do not even represent those people (referring especially to post-9/11 USA), and when this evolves into general policy approvals that would impact the lives of my people, this is what I have a problem with.

You say that some members of my party treated you monstrously, who were these, and what were their positions? Were they merely supporters or full-fledged members? There is a very big difference between the two. At any rate, I don't know the circumstances of your experience (and it might be irrelevant in the context of this discussion for all we know), but unless you experienced this at leadership levels I would say that this has been a strictly individual (and unnecessarily reactionary) initiative and not representative of the official line of the party or the attitudes of its members.

Resistance HAS indeed paid off. We have liberated our country. It is easy to talk about it now after the fact, without knowing what the situation would've been like had we not resisted and had we let the Israelis go around and settle our land and use up our resources. But this does not mean that we have not paid a price for our resistance activities; we have, and it has been a very heavy price. But we have come to accept it as part of our fate, and faced its challenges rather than run away from it. Villages and houses may be destroyed, but they can be rebuilt, and indeed we have done much rebuilding over the years with our own sweat and toil; but dignity once gone can never be restored. We do not bow down except to God. That is definite, absolute, FINAL. And it does not stem from any "emotional problems", but from our deep devotion to God's word through the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The logic of the resistance is not occupation of any enemy territory (though I can tell you that we were in an enemy town for quite some time during the war, and left it after some time), nor the logic of a regular army that tries to hold its ground. We are a guerilla movement, Mr. Totten. We welcome occupiers to our villages, but can promise them that they will never remain there. Our strategy is one of deterrence and preventing occupation, not offensive achievements. Regarding your
assertions about the internal Lebanese scene, you could not be more mistaken. First of all, you refer to Geagea and his few minions who hate Muslims (and not just Shi'ites) and who have got nothing better to do (that's what happens when the days of killing by I.D are over), but I ask you, how many followers does Geagea have? How representative is Geagea of the Christian community? Better yet, how many seats did Geagea win in Mount Lebanon, the Christian heartland? The one and only representative of Christians (and many Muslims too) is General Michel Aoun, with whom we have a Memorandum of Understanding. General Aoun & his supporters know the meaning of martyrdom, because they were the only ones who also fought to prevent occupation. As for Jumblatt, I ask you, do you know how big (or rather, small) the Druze community is? At any rate, I would not count on Mr. Jumblatt's words if I were you; he changes his tone as quickly as the weather changes in the most metereologically volatile region in the world.

Mr. Totten, I have been to Achrafieh, Dbayeh, Junieh, I have been to the very heart of the Christian Mount Lebanon recently, I have interacted with hundreds and seen thousands of Christians, and I have not come across anyone calling me a dirty Shi'ite; your perspective is constrained by Lebanese war-time rhetoric. Those same Christians were the only ones who sheltered our people in their own houses without second thoughts, who gave our families their all, who provided our families with aid, water, food, when they were condemned to sleeping in public parks because Mrs. Nayla Muawad the minister of social affairs ordered public schools in Beirut to shut their doors in our people's faces, and when Mr. Hariri was saying that his palace was open to Saudi nationals. We do not forget and would NEVER deny the goodwill that people show to us, Mr. Totten. I recommend that you revise your view of the current Lebanese internal scene, because it is not too accurate.

Who is the "they" that you refer to, on the issue of wanting to build and prosper and not be martyred? Our martyrdom is for a cause, not some form of suicide; our martyrdom is first and foremost for the existence and continuation of Lebanon; if these people do not agree with the concept of martyrdom, they might as well not have complained about Syrian occupation; it is the very rejection of martyrdom by these very leaders who now form the chorus of regime change in Syria, that brought upon Lebanon 15 years of Syrian hegemony; had these people believed in something called dying for one's own freedom and national sovereignty, as General Aoun's dedicated soldiers did, the war of liberation would've been fruitful. But I understand that this went against U.S interests on the eve of the Gulf war, and so Lebanon was the scapegoat, and the verdict was read by the very now-anti-Syrian chorus that is singing from Qoraytem, al-Mukhtara, and al-Arz (Hariri, Jumblatt, and Geagea respectively) - though I would very much doubt that these people are genuinely anti-Syrian rather than merely against the Alawite regime and looking to replace it with a Sunni one.

Finally, who are the "most Lebanese" that you refer to? Mr. Totten, do you realize the demographic realities in this country? I am not referring to the idea of whether or not most Lebanese want to put the past behind them, but rather to the very concept of "most Lebanese" that we hear every so often in reference to Hezbullah. I ask you, who are the "most Lebanese"? And on what do you base your claim that most Lebanese want to let bygones be bygones??? By the same token, do most Lebanese want to forget about the prisoners in Syrian jails because not doing so might mean that they would be bringing about instability (and perhaps even destruction)? So, let us forget about these prisoners - is that your idea of building and prospering (funny if it's true, because I don't see you recommending the same to the Israelis, but I guess Israeli soldiers' lives and far more valuable than our fighters and our national army soldiers' and even civilians' lives)? What have the critics of our military operations to capture Israeli soldiers achieved, through, say, diplomacy? What can one achieve with diplomacy against pariah powers whose sole purpose is to remain and maintain power at the cost of human rights, and the lives of thousands and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of civilians? One should speak from a position of superiority on such matters ONLY when one has achieved; what have the people you mentioned, achieved? What have "most Lebanese" - assuming that you are referring to the non-Shi'ites or non-supporters of Hizbullah at any rate - achieved in following the other leaders? And what do they aim to achieve by giving (allegedly! because the so-called ruling "majority" is a sham) them the mandate to use Lebanon as a base to launch verbal, diplomatic (and possibly also military) attacks on the Syrian regime? Why should we have given up on our just struggle to free our prisoners in 2000? So that a bunch of Maronites - who were the ones fleeing the country as WE and OUR people in the south were getting bombed - would brag about the prosperity of their fiefdom in Bcharre while the rest of us wallow in poverty and servitude to their interests and the interests of the Saudi investors? I say, let the Saudis enjoy the beaches of Tel Aviv, they are not welcome here at the expense of our dignity.

--

JF,

For us the international community is irrelevant; in fact, the July war has proven our doubts and convinced many who were skeptical about our arguments against this so-called goodwill of the international community, that we were right from day 1. The UN is a tool of the superpowers; it is a body that is meant to legitimize the actions of these powers to the people at large, and always ignored when necessary. Our claims to the Sheba'a farms, Kfar Chouba hills, and 7 villages, are based not merely on the borders drawn by the colonial powers, but by the people who actually used to live there, and who identify as Lebanese. However, in as far as the borders were indeed drawn arbitrarily, we strive to unite the Arab and Muslim worlds; we realize that this is a very difficult task given that there are many who are working actively in the opposite direction, not least of all the Saudi Arabians under the directions of the U.S administration(s), but we do nevertheless want to achieve such unity, and believe that it is the only right path; there are no borders in Islam, nor ethnic/racial discrimination/biases.

Regarding your claim that the Palestinians may be settled elsewhere in the Sunni Arab world, what makes your suggestion valid?? We are talking here about the land - irrespective of who controls it today or will control it tomorrow - that these people are indigenous to. The Palestinian movement has been nationalized, as any resistance movement usually is, however it is based on the very basic argument and assumption that the indigenous people have the right to live on their own land (certainly you admit this if you recognize the most basic tenets of modern zionism).

As for why I am allegedly fixated on the Palestinians, how am I fixated on them? Did you even ask me about what other causes I believe in and am an advocate of?? The issue here has been, and continues to be, the Middle East region, and as such, being based in the region, makes our involvement in its own politics and struggles more suitable and possible than would our involvement in the struggle of Muslims elsewhere.

About letting the Palestinians decide their own fate, sure. But no Palestinian refugee in Lebanon - the most highly politicized of Palestinian refugees, I would argue - would accept not returning to their homeland. The others in Syria, Jordan, etc. may, but the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon never will. In fact, in so far as we are constrained in the seats allocated to us in the confessional system, we are unable to institute any meaningful policy changes in this respect should the Palestinians even accept such a thing, which would go against the wishes of most Lebanese to begin with.

I don't think we need to use anything as a pretext to maintain war against Israel. Israel has given us enough pretexts (if we are looking for any, that is, as per your claim) already, to go on for at least another 50 years (though only God knows what would happen in the meantime). Do we need more? I don't think so. Also note that nowhere did I say that Sheba'a farms, Kfar Chouba hills, 7 villages issue will be sealed with the Palestinians' acceptance of a final settlement. That has nothing to do with our claims to our own land.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 10, 2006 04:33 AM

Again I eagerly await your proofs that we were responsible for it. If you know something the Interpol and Argentine authorities don't, be sure to let them know.
- AlGhaliboon

Consider it done.

As reported in the Boston Globe:

http://www.boston.com/news/world/latinamerica/articles/2006/10/26/arrests_sought_in_argentina_bombing/

BUENOS AIRES -- An Argentine prosecutor yesterday sought the arrest of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, accusing him of approving the 1994 car bombing that killed 85 people at a Jewish community center in the Argentine capital.

Prosecutor Alberto Nisman charged that six other Iranians and a Lebanese were involved in the attack, including a top Hezbollah figure, Imad Fayez Mugniyah. Mugniyah is already wanted by the United States for allegedly plotting the 1983 bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut and the 1985 hijacking of a TWA airliner, which resulted in the murder of US Navy diver Robert Stethem.

Posted by: rosignol at November 10, 2006 04:50 AM

Berkeley Non-Conformist,

You ask me what we have done as a movement to earn respect; I will answer that. I will tell you to

take a look at our history and how we have evovled and sought moderation; I will tell you to take a

look at the social and economic aspects of our activities, and we have done A LOT in that regard.

Whatever exists in the south is solely the work of our hands. We have an entire network of hospitals,

schools, health care centers, community centers, and on and on it goes. We also have been behind

much of the small-medium size businesses that have sprung up in our regions, and we have

supported these by investing and re-investing in them. We do not function separately from the

Lebanese economy. On the contrary, we fuel it. We have moreover an entire corps of engineers as

part of the Jihad al-Bina'a (Construction Jihad/Struggle) who have been working round the clock for

many years, especially so after widespread destruction, to repair and rebuild the damaged sites; we

have also undertaken irrigation and water reservoir projects in villages that would otherwise have no

access to drinking water. All these are the pure responsibility of the government. But the government

led by the ruling "majority" does not care, it's busy trying to bring about regime change in Syria. I

think these alone are enough to receive much respect, because it proves those who accuse us of being

a death cult wrong, and shows that we love life and seek to educate and advance our people just as

anyone else. I answered this, but I should not have done so, because first I should have asked you

what are the prerequisites for your bestowal of respect.

Regarding our prisoners and lowering ourselves to the standards of our oppressors, I think that is a

false statement; by choosing to attack their military personnel (which is a legitimate act) we have

shown that we are unwilling to stoop to their level. We could very easily kidnap/kill Israeli civilians.

Very easily, I can assure you. However, we have chosen against such an act. As for your assertion that

power buys respect, not in all cases; at least that is not our attitude to power. We have arrived to a

position of (relative) power BECAUSE we have earned respect, and continue to do so after our

sacrifices for the liberation of our country and the freedom of our people.

About U.S aid, we do not consider it aid as much as it is blackmail and cover-up on crimes the U.S is

committing itself, or shipping bombs for others to commit. If the non-provision of this aid would stop

your country's war-mongering against our people, then you can keep both your aid and your bombs.

You say our resistance is a thing of the past; I tell you as long as Israel is here and refuses to define

its FINAL borders, to make gestures indicative of wanting true peace with us (rather than some sort of

May 17 accord), and continues to show its readiness to massacre 1200 women and children and

elderly, and men, to patch up its wounded ego, our resistance is very much relevant to the present

and indeed also the future. It is not only a resistance, but also a deterrence. We resist in our every act,

in a region that is infested with collaborators, double agents, superpowers battling out for hegemony

at our own expense.

A word about our oppressors:

First and foremost, they are our own country's presidents, prime ministers, and all those who are

willing to kneel in front of their masters in the capitals of the world to keep or boost their position.

They are the ones who have boosted their familial standing in the political system at the expense of

the millions of Lebanese (our fight, therefore, was first and foremost against the prominent Shi'ite

families in the south, who had monopolized political representation of our downtrodden community;

the same cannot be said for other sects, however). They are the ones who preach us that patriotism is

about leaving your prisoners to rot in foreign prisons so that the Saudi royal family can enjoy a

peaceful summer vacation in Beirut central district (appropriated by the Hariri-Saudi Solidere). They

are the ones who take their orders from the U.S embassy in 'Awkar, then talk about our allegiance to

the Islamic Republic of Iran. They are the ones who demonize us and our people based on our

ideological belief in the Islamic jurisprudence (Wilayat al-Faqih) and spiritual relationship with the

theological authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran. They are the ones who do not hesitate to turn

Lebanon into a launchpad for the U.S project in the region, then call us "adventurers" while our

children are being killed and they are secretly happy that the war is on, because they are actually

earning $500 million more a day on their oil production. They are the ones who have nurtured and

exported Wahabism, which has turned both against us, and will soon enough turn against them in a

way unprecedented. They are the ones who will not rest until they have wiped out every single Shi'ite

from the face of the earth. They are the ones who have turned Lebanon into a Saudi-U.S theme park -

we do NOT want your money or your investments as I said. We have a phrase in Arabic, "hamiha

haramiha" (its protector and robber) . If you really have good intentions towards us, let us be. You

will find that even an American neutrality (and not support of us) vis-a-vis our conflict with Israel will

receive much appreciation from us. We are not asking for the U.S to side with us to wipe out Israel.

However, we cannot BUT consider USA our enemy when it is Israel's chief backer and funder and

weapons/bombs provider/shipper. We are oppressed but have turned our oppression into a source of

strength; we have partly broken our shackles, but much remains to be done. We are also

downtrodden. Our people all over the region and world are treated as nothings, stepped upon

whenever they try to raise their heads. We proved that it is possible to defy this and be successful. We

refuse to give our enemies for free what they failed to achieve in 33 days of intense aerial and naval

bombardment, phosphorous shelling, aerial, naval, and ground blockade, and much more. We cannot

and do not accept that the crimes of Europe result in the hostage-taking of millions of our people by 7

million Jews.

If the zionists want peace, real peace not the one Olmert and Sharon "the man of peace" (funny how

they come up with these names for the architect of the invasion of Lebanon and the massacres of

Sabra & Shatila) talk/ed about, let them prove it by giving up on their quest/dream to have peace

THEIR way (note that I am not saying that we should have peace OUR way) and accept the very

simple and straightforward international norms and laws. That's all they have to do. Very simple. But

they are not even willing to withdraw unconditionally from 1967 lands. If we break our word and

harm them in any way, or attempt to invade and drive them into the sea as they claim we will (or

would if we could - doesn't this mean that we can't? are we to believe that the West Bank & Gaza &

Golan are what are providing Israel this existential guarantee?), they can eliminate us, as someone

else mentioned, in the split of a second. Let those who have the nukes make the gesture for peace.

Regarding the issue of the knowledge of the truth; the conservative and once-prominent Akhbari

school advocated that the 'ulama were the inheritors of the Hidden Immam's religious authority; with

the coming to prominence of the Usuli school, however, things changed, and something called

"Ijtihad" - referring to legal rationalism - stole the main strage. So you have "Mujtahids" (those who

practice Ijtihad; note: Mujtahid has nothing to do with Mujahid/Mujahideen.... clarifying just in

case...) who actually study (namely, they are scholars) and interpret the Holy Qur'an and the Hadiths

and on the other end you have Muqallids (those who emulate and follow the Fatwas, i.e. religious

edicts, issued by the Mujtahid). Now not everyone is qualified to become a Mujtahid; but Muqallids

can choose their own "Marja'a Taqlid" (source of emulation), namely which Mujtahid they would like

to emulate.

About Osama Bin Laden & co., the enemy of our enemy is not our friend! Especially someone like

Osama Bin Laden, who makes no secret that he considers us Kuffar (unbelievers) and would not

hesitate to slaughter us as his predecessors have done. At the same time, that he and his Wahabi

gangs are one of the biggest threat to our existence does not mean that we will consider USA as a

friend. We consider both - Osama Bin Laden and his gangs in person, and America in terms of its

successive administrations' foreign policy - our enemies.

Last but not least, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was referring to political protests against the current

corrupt government (and not about giving more say to HEZBULLAH ITSELF in the government!),

demanding its resignation by public pressure (indeed it was not just us who are on the opposition

side, but also General Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement, which represents the majority of

Christians - take a calculator and calculate how much of the population of Lebanon that makes; 50%

Shi'ites + 25% Christians); this has been presented by the U.S as a "plot" to overthrow the

government, but show me where there is any indication that arms/violence will be used? So now we

do not even have the right to go on the streets to voice our opinions, and that falls under forcing our

opinions on others? Whatever happened to the "cedar revolution" that was so glorified in the west, not

in the least USA? That was not forcing opinions on others, especially that there were also counter-

protests? What about the "orange revolution" in the Ukraine?

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 10, 2006 06:03 AM

Apologies the post did not come up in a nice format for some reason. I repost.

Berkeley Non-Conformist,

You ask me what we have done as a movement to earn respect; I will answer that. I will tell you to take a look at our history and how we have evovled and sought moderation; I will tell you to take a look at the social and economic aspects of our activities, and we have done A LOT in that regard. Whatever exists in the south is solely the work of our hands. We have an entire network of hospitals, schools, health care centers, community centers, and on and on it goes. We also have been behind much of the small-medium size businesses that have sprung up in our regions, and we have supported these by investing and re-investing in them. We do not function separately from the Lebanese economy. On the contrary, we fuel it. We have moreover an entire corps of engineers as part of the Jihad al-Bina'a (Construction Jihad/Struggle) who have been working round the clock for many years, especially so after widespread destruction, to repair and rebuild the damaged sites; we have also undertaken irrigation and water reservoir projects in villages that would otherwise have no access to drinking water. All these are the pure responsibility of the government. But the government led by the ruling "majority" does not care, it's busy trying to bring about regime change in Syria. I think these alone are enough to receive much respect, because it proves those who accuse us of being a death cult wrong, and shows that we love life and seek to educate and advance our people just as anyone else. I answered this, but I should not have done so, because first I should have asked you what are the prerequisites for your bestowal of respect.

Regarding our prisoners and lowering ourselves to the standards of our oppressors, I think that is a false statement; by choosing to attack their military personnel (which is a legitimate act) we have shown that we are unwilling to stoop to their level. We could very easily kidnap/kill Israeli civilians. Very easily, I can assure you. However, we have chosen against such an act. As for your assertion that power buys respect, not in all cases; at least that is not our attitude to power. We have arrived to a position of (relative) power BECAUSE we have earned respect, and continue to do so after our sacrifices for the liberation of our country and the freedom of our people.

About U.S aid, we do not consider it aid as much as it is blackmail and cover-up on crimes the U.S is committing itself, or shipping bombs for others to commit. If the non-provision of this aid would stop your country's war-mongering against our people, then you can keep both your aid and your bombs.

You say our resistance is a thing of the past; I tell you as long as Israel is here and refuses to define its FINAL borders, to make gestures indicative of wanting true peace with us (rather than some sort of May 17 accord), and continues to show its readiness to massacre 1200 women and children and elderly, and men, to patch up its wounded ego, our resistance is very much relevant to the present and indeed also the future. It is not only a resistance, but also a deterrence. We resist in our every act, in a region that is infested with collaborators, double agents, superpowers battling out for hegemony at our own expense.

A word about our oppressors:

First and foremost, they are our own country's presidents, prime ministers, and all those who are willing to kneel in front of their masters in the capitals of the world to keep or boost their position. They are the ones who have boosted their familial standing in the political system at the expense of the millions of Lebanese (our fight, therefore, was first and foremost against the prominent Shi'ite families in the south, who had monopolized political representation of our downtrodden community; the same cannot be said for other sects, however). They are the ones who preach us that patriotism is about leaving your prisoners to rot in foreign prisons so that the Saudi royal family can enjoy a peaceful summer vacation in Beirut central district (appropriated by the Hariri-Saudi Solidere). They are the ones who take their orders from the U.S embassy in 'Awkar, then talk about our allegiance to the Islamic Republic of Iran. They are the ones who demonize us and our people based on our ideological belief in the Islamic jurisprudence (Wilayat al-Faqih) and spiritual relationship with the theological authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran. They are the ones who do not hesitate to turn Lebanon into a launchpad for the U.S project in the region, then call us "adventurers" while our children are being killed and they are secretly happy that the war is on, because they are actually earning $500 million more a day on their oil production. They are the ones who have nurtured and exported Wahabism, which has turned both against us, and will soon enough turn against them in a way unprecedented. They are the ones who will not rest until they have wiped out every single Shi'ite from the face of the earth. They are the ones who have turned Lebanon into a Saudi-U.S theme park - we do NOT want your money or your investments as I said. We have a phrase in Arabic, "hamiha haramiha" (its protector and robber) . If you really have good intentions towards us, let us be. You will find that even an American neutrality (and not support of us) vis-a-vis our conflict with Israel will receive much appreciation from us. We are not asking for the U.S to side with us to wipe out Israel. However, we cannot BUT consider USA our enemy when it is Israel's chief backer and funder and weapons/bombs provider/shipper. We are oppressed but have turned our oppression into a source of strength; we have partly broken our shackles, but much remains to be done. We are also downtrodden. Our people all over the region and world are treated as nothings, stepped upon whenever they try to raise their heads. We proved that it is possible to defy this and be successful. We refuse to give our enemies for free what they failed to achieve in 33 days of intense aerial and naval bombardment, phosphorous shelling, aerial, naval, and ground blockade, and much more. We cannot and do not accept that the crimes of Europe result in the hostage-taking of millions of our people by 7 million Jews.

If the zionists want peace, real peace not the one Olmert and Sharon "the man of peace" (funny how they come up with these names for the architect of the invasion of Lebanon and the massacres of Sabra & Shatila) talk/ed about, let them prove it by giving up on their quest/dream to have peace THEIR way (note that I am not saying that we should have peace OUR way) and accept the very simple and straightforward international norms and laws. That's all they have to do. Very simple. But they are not even willing to withdraw unconditionally from 1967 lands. If we break our word and harm them in any way, or attempt to invade and drive them into the sea as they claim we will (or would if we could - doesn't this mean that we can't? are we to believe that the West Bank & Gaza & Golan are what are providing Israel this existential guarantee?), they can eliminate us, as someone else mentioned, in the split of a second. Let those who have the nukes make the gesture for peace.

Regarding the issue of the knowledge of the truth; the conservative and once-prominent Akhbari school advocated that the 'ulama were the inheritors of the Hidden Immam's religious authority; with the coming to prominence of the Usuli school, however, things changed, and something called "Ijtihad" - referring to legal rationalism - stole the main strage. So you have "Mujtahids" (those who practice Ijtihad; note: Mujtahid has nothing to do with Mujahid/Mujahideen.... clarifying just in case...) who actually study (namely, they are scholars) and interpret the Holy Qur'an and the Hadiths and on the other end you have Muqallids (those who emulate and follow the Fatwas, i.e. religious edicts, issued by the Mujtahid). Now not everyone is qualified to become a Mujtahid; but Muqallids can choose their own "Marja'a Taqlid" (source of emulation), namely which Mujtahid they would like to emulate.

About Osama Bin Laden & co., the enemy of our enemy is not our friend! Especially someone like Osama Bin Laden, who makes no secret that he considers us Kuffar (unbelievers) and would not hesitate to slaughter us as his predecessors have done. At the same time, that he and his Wahabi gangs are one of the biggest threat to our existence does not mean that we will consider USA as a friend. We consider both - Osama Bin Laden and his gangs in person, and America in terms of its successive administrations' foreign policy - our enemies.

Last but not least, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was referring to political protests against the current corrupt government (and not about giving more say to HEZBULLAH ITSELF in the government!), demanding its resignation by public pressure (indeed it was not just us who are on the opposition side, but also General Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement, which represents the majority of Christians - take a calculator and calculate how much of the population of Lebanon that makes; 50% Shi'ites + 25% Christians); this has been presented by the U.S as a "plot" to overthrow the government, but show me where there is any indication that arms/violence will be used? So now we do not even have the right to go on the streets to voice our opinions, and that falls under forcing our opinions on others? Whatever happened to the "cedar revolution" that was so glorified in the west, not in the least USA? That was not forcing opinions on others, especially that there were also counter-protests? What about the "orange revolution" in the Ukraine?

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 10, 2006 06:05 AM

Mr. Rosignol,

You have come across as extremely hateful in your comments, and I have deliberately kept from replying to your provocations thus far. However, I will make an exception and reply to you, since you presented something other than childish remarks:

You quote that report, and I re-quote it for you, because it seems to me that you did not read what you posted:

"Prosecutor Alberto Nisman charged that six other Iranians and a Lebanese were involved in the attack, including a top Hezbollah figure, Imad Fayez Mugniyah."

Allow me to dissect this for you. A charge is an accusation. A charge and a warrant based on suspicion, is not proof. At any rate, reading numerous reports on this (how timely now that the west has jumped on the U.S-led anti-Iran bandwagon), I see that there are allegations that there has been a "serious breakthrough" in the case by investigators, but I see no proof. Where is the proof?

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 10, 2006 06:13 AM

Allow me to dissect this for you. A charge is an accusation. A charge and a warrant based on suspicion, is not proof.

I can only conclude that you are either unaware of the nuances of what certain words mean when used in a specific context or when said by certain people, are unaware of western judicial procedures and traditions, or are deliberately feigning ignorance. Out of respect for our mutual host, I shall assume the former until you demonstrate otherwise.

When a government prosecutor in a western nation seeks the arrest of someone, it is because they have evidence that prosecutor believes will result in a conviction in a court of law. I understand that this is probably not how things work where you are, and that it may be difficult for you to believe that there are places where it really does work that way, but please understand that I have no interest in decieving you in this matter. The laws that require certain procedures be followed in Imad Fayez Mugniyah's trial require those same procedures be followed if I am the one on trial.

In western justice systems, evidence is not made public before a trial. This is because of the procedure known as a jury trial, where guilt or innocence is determined by a group of private citizens. If jurors learn of the evidence from sources outside the courtroom, it may taint their judgement, and result in a decision of innocence or guilt based on something other than the information presented by the Prosecution or Defense. This is not considered a good thing, as sources outside of the courtroom may not have complete information about the case, or may have motives for desiring a certain result that have nothing to do with the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Because of this, evidence is never made public before a trial- if the evidence is made public, it is grounds for declaring a mistrial and dismissal of the charge.

If Imad Fayez Mugniyah believes he is innocent and the charge is either baseless or unprovable, he is welcome to go to Argentina and have his day in court. At that time- not before- the evidence will be presented by the Prosecutor, the Defense will attempt to disprove it, and a Judge or Jury will determine which party made the better case. At that point, Imad Fayez Mugniyah will either be exonorated and released, a free man with his name cleared... or he will be convicted, charged, and imprisoned.

I am curious, what legal procedures does Hizbullah use in such situations? How would an Israeli agent who was accused of bombing one of your cultural centers be accused, and who would make the judgement, and carry out the sentence? Would the accused be permitted a lawyer to defend them? What procedures would the court abide by?

Posted by: rosignol at November 10, 2006 07:16 AM

it is because they have evidence that prosecutor believes will result in a conviction in a court of law.
Thanks for the lengthy legal explanation; however, it was not required (although very much appreciated), for the simple reason that I - personally - do not see those proofs and do not for one second believe the claims made, so long as I do not see those proofs that have allegedly led these prosecutors to believe in the solidity of their case. Let the investigators and prosecutors present a report of their findings, like Mr. Brammertz did in the case of the assassination of Mr. Rafiq el-Hariri. Given that this is not merely an internal Argentinean affair, meaning that it involves external players - as alleged - in a crime that took place in Argentine (similar to the speculation of Syrian guilt in the assassination of Hariri and some 19 bystanders along with him), I think we are entitled to that much information, especially so when you are not merely calling forth the suspects for an interrogation, but rather for arrest. That is the logical path that investigations in crimes of such a nature take. But I understand all rules must be bent for some victims and not others (based on religion and/or ethnicity), especially so when it is designed to pursue the anti-Iran agenda of the U.S administration (behind which stands the Israeli lobby). I also understand the same set of standards do not apply to the Iranian demands to hand over the Mossad and CIA supported Shah of Iran to the Iranian authorities for his crimes against the people of Iran, including the thousands of dissenters who were interned and tortured to death in Iranian jails by the SAVAK.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 10, 2006 07:42 AM

How would an Israeli agent who was accused of bombing one of your cultural centers be accused, and who would make the judgement, and carry out the sentence? Would the accused be permitted a lawyer to defend them? What procedures would the court abide by?
Oh, sorry, the whole July war must've gone over my head. Here we are talking about the bombing of "cultural centers". Long live moral equivalence.

However, I will answer your question; Hezbullah merely tips off the security forces of suspects, or at the very worst, if he represents an immediate danger (i.e. is in the act of doing something that would harm anyone) he would be arrested and held, and handed over to the internal security forces who deal with his case however they want (so you can go ask them their question). At the height of the war more than 30 such collaborators were discovered in the act, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, and promptly handed over to Lebanese security forces.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 10, 2006 07:48 AM

Oh, sorry, the whole July war must've gone over my head. Here we are talking about the bombing of "cultural centers". Long live moral equivalence.

I was not referring to any specific event, in july or any other month.

I merely wanted to know how Hizbullah would deal with an Israeli agent who took a similar action in a third nation if your positions were reversed.

Posted by: rosignol at November 10, 2006 08:23 AM

I merely wanted to know how Hizbullah would deal with an Israeli agent who took a similar action in a third nation if your positions were reversed.
Hizbullah does not have embassies or special centers anywhere. However, let us say that we did; assuming the huge magnitude of the crime, it would elicit a demand for an international investigation, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. I would say that if the perpetrators are citizens of the country they committed the crime in, it would make sense for them to be tried there; if they are foreigners, and especially if such accusations are leveled against former diplomats, it would require less insulting measures (can you imagine war criminals Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, Amir Peretz, & co. being tried in Lebanon...?).

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 10, 2006 08:56 AM

AlGhaliboon,

Thank you for your response. It was interesting, but presented many problems that I am hoping you can further resolve.

To me you said, "For us the international community is irrelevant; in fact, the July war has proven our doubts and convinced many who were skeptical about our arguments against this so-called goodwill of the international community, that we were right from day 1. The UN is a tool of the superpowers; it is a body that is meant to legitimize the actions of these powers to the people at large, and always ignored when necessary."

To Berkeley Non-Conformist you said, "If the zionists want peace, real peace not the one Olmert and Sharon "the man of peace" (funny how they come up with these names for the architect of the invasion of Lebanon and the massacres of Sabra & Shatila) talk/ed about, let them prove it by giving up on their quest/dream to have peace THEIR way (note that I am not saying that we should have peace OUR way) and accept the very simple and straightforward international norms and laws."

The rejection of the international community and then the embrace of "international norms and laws" seems to be an exact contradiction and could easily be interpreted as insincerity (to put it diplomatically). Perhaps you could elaborate further to resolve this contradiction.

To your statement: "Our claims to the Sheba'a farms, Kfar Chouba hills, and 7 villages, are based not merely on the borders drawn by the colonial powers, but by the people who actually used to live there, and who identify as Lebanese." Not to be cruel about it, but when the last Lebanese who claims to have lived in those areas dies (of old age), will you no longer pursue these claims? If you pursue these claims, under what basis, and for how long? E.g. is it possible that at one point you will be conducting "resistance" operations because "100 years ago Lebanese claimed to have lived there"?

"However, in as far as the borders were indeed drawn arbitrarily, we strive to unite the Arab and Muslim worlds; we realize that this is a very difficult task given that there are many who are working actively in the opposite direction, not least of all the Saudi Arabians under the directions of the U.S administration(s), but we do nevertheless want to achieve such unity, and believe that it is the only right path; there are no borders in Islam, nor ethnic/racial discrimination/biases." To me, a westerner, this sounds like a breathtaking statement of colonial imperialism. In effect, you dismiss the vast majority of the Arab world's own sense of nationalism in order to subordinate it to what you believe is right for the Muslim world.

"the indigenous people have the right to live on their own land (certainly you admit this if you recognize the most basic tenets of modern zionism)." It's a worthy ideal, but history has shown this to be untrue. Zionism succeeded because the colonial powers deigned to grant it legal legitimacy (Treaty of Paris (1856), Balfour Declaration, etc.). Please contrast this with the issues of India/Pakistan, the Sudeten Germans, the position of modern Poland vs. the Kingdom of Poland prior to 1772, the issue of Kurdistan, China and Tibet, etc. Indeed, the "international community" has come to a consensus regarding the right of return for Palestinians, and it is a negative consensus. But then, you don't recognize the international community.

You said, "About letting the Palestinians decide their own fate, sure. But no Palestinian refugee in Lebanon - the most highly politicized of Palestinian refugees, I would argue - would accept not returning to their homeland. The others in Syria, Jordan, etc. may, but the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon never will. In fact, in so far as we are constrained in the seats allocated to us in the confessional system, we are unable to institute any meaningful policy changes in this respect should the Palestinians even accept such a thing, which would go against the wishes of most Lebanese to begin with."

That basically answers my question. You don't recognize the sovereignty of the Palestinian government over the Palestinian people, and reject their ability to make agreements with Israel on behalf of Palestinians. Fair enough. But then you also realize that this means you don't recognize the right of Palestinians to choose their own government and make their own decisions. Fair enough. I didn't realize Hezbollah believed in slavery. Of course, you're always free to expel the Palestinians from Lebanon, right?

"I don't think we need to use anything as a pretext to maintain war against Israel. Israel has given us enough pretexts (if we are looking for any, that is, as per your claim) already, to go on for at least another 50 years (though only God knows what would happen in the meantime)." So now that you've clarified that no matter what Israel offers for peace, you will continue the war, what incentive does Israel have to meet any of your demands (territorial or otherwise)?

Posted by: JF at November 10, 2006 09:13 AM

We are not discussing a specific event or individual.

We are discussing the abstract matter of how Hizbullah would deal with an Israeli who bombed some civilian site in a third country, which was not Israel or Hizbullahland.

Hizbullah does not have embassies or special centers anywhere. However, let us say that we did; assuming the huge magnitude of the crime, it would elicit a demand for an international investigation,

Why international? The UN has no authority to charge, arrest, or imprison anyone, much less a facility to incarcerate anyone. I am not aware of any other organization suited to this function, either (we'll give the court in the Hauge a few years to prove itself, but I won't consider it qualified until it actually convicts someone).

and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

Your proposed investigator lacks the power to bring anyone to justice.

Or did you have an organization other than the UN in mind? Please be specific.

I would say that if the perpetrators are citizens of the country they committed the crime in, it would make sense for them to be tried there;

That is how such things are usually handled, even if the perpetrator was not a citizen of the place the crime occurred.

if they are foreigners, and especially if such accusations are leveled against former diplomats, it would require less insulting measures

Former diplomats are a special case. They are generally not individually prosecutable for anything, the strongest action you can generally take against them is to either declare them persona non grata- basically, kicking them out of the country- or asking the government they work for to waive their diplomatic immunity (which is rarely granted).

This is because diplomats represent their government in a way that prviate citizens do not. What would be considered a mere criminal act when done by a private citizen could be considered a casus belli- justification for war- if committed by an accredited diplomat.

The two situations are sufficently different that it is not useful to conflate them.

Please clarify why trying a non-citizen in a court in the nation the act was committed in would be considered insulting.

Posted by: rosignol at November 10, 2006 09:27 AM

JF,

Regarding the apparent contradiction in the position on the UN & on international law, there is none; for a very simple reason: the UN is an organization. International law, while affirmed by this organization, does not have as a pre-requisite such an organization; it is a set of laws and standards (note that int'l customary law also falls under international law) that signatories to conventions, declarations (including the universal declaration of human rights) and agreements have accepted. In the case of international customary law, it is not even that (though I find the latter a bit arbitrary to say the least). It would indeed by contradictory to call for international law enforcement by the UN when one accuses the UN of inherent bias; however, I did not call for enforcement of these laws by the UN (again I would say the UN does not really have much of an enforcement mechanism in this respect, especially in conflicts of such widespread impact), but a mere respect of and abidance by their content; the whole UN resolutions thing I would say is a joke as we can clearly see. I would not mind, however, the mediation of or aid from institutions that are independent of the whole UN sphere. For example, a court of an international nature, meaning that any claims of an international nature could be presented and would be investigated and made a verdict upon; but then again, in the absence of unbiased, effective enforcement mechanisms, this, too is pretty much irrelevant (though it can perhaps have some significance in that it would bring SOME for of closure to those who have no chance to bring a mass-murderer to justice).

Regarding Zionism and indigenous people; I was not referring to success or failure; I was referring to the ideals behind them. And certainly the ideals of zionism as a movement for Jewish self-determination and self-rule are today taken for granted; if the international "consensus" that you refer to is based on the non-feasability of the return of Palestinians, what proof do we have that this is not feasible? There is enough space for all; there is enough space for at least 500,000 let us say. Why doesn't the international "consensus" accept the return of the 500,000? Because it would jeopardize the whole "Israel as a Jewish state" concept by tilting the demographic balance more and more in favour of the Palestinians. Pure & simple. The only reason it is considered to be an ideal impossible to achieve and meaningless to aspire to, is this. There is and can be no other reason.

Regarding the Palestinian government: how on earth would the Palestinian government decide what takes place in Lebanon? If it decides to take back Lebanon's refugees and settle them in the West Bank (Gaza Strip being overpopulated enough as is...), fair enough. But how can it make decisions on behalf of the Lebanese authorities? Or are you saying the Palestinian refugees should forever remain stateless even if their kin might have a state in the WB & Gaza Strip?

You said: "So now that you've clarified that no matter what Israel offers for peace, you will continue the war, what incentive does Israel have to meet any of your demands (territorial or otherwise)?"

I did not say that. You put words into my mouths. Please don't. Thank you. I said, and I don't think I could've been any more straightforward than that - "Israel has given us enough pretexts (if we are looking for any, that is, as per your claim)". I said, I repeat: ISRAEL HAS GIVEN US ... PRETEXTS (if we are looking for any [pretexts]) !!! How on earth did you jump from this point, to the conclusion that we will remain at war at Israel no matter what?? We would accept truce if Israel offers solid and final concessions on what is ours to begin with; we will give Israel full peace and normalization when it takes steps to finalize the Arab-Israeli conflict. The "land for peace"/"peace for land" concept died a long time ago. It did not work. Israel did not want it to work, because it did not want peace, at all costs, even at the cost of territorial concessions. We offer peace for peace. The land that Israel has occupied is ours and we demand its unconditional return (or at best are willing to give Israel an indefinite truce); if it is not returned, we will try to liberate it by force.

But we do not trade peace for what is ours to begin with. We trade peace for peace. That is how it should be.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 10, 2006 09:46 AM

But I understand all rules must be bent for some victims and not others (based on religion and/or ethnicity), especially so when it is designed to pursue the anti-Iran agenda of the U.S administration (behind which stands the Israeli lobby).
-AlGhaliboon

Are you seriously implying that the US, and by extension the ‘Zionist lobbying arm of Israel’ is somehow behind the Argentinean incitements of Imad Fayez Mugniyah and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjan of Iran???

You sir, really should take a closer look at the US - Argentinean relationship. You may as well start implying that Chavez is an agent of the CIA.

After reading this thread, I must state that V.I. Ulyanov would have found you inordinately useful.

Posted by: Michael at November 10, 2006 09:54 AM

Why international? The UN has no authority to charge, arrest, or imprison anyone, much less a facility to incarcerate anyone.
Did I even refer to the UN? International is not the same as UN. At any rate, an international court as I said would be pretty much ineffective without enforcement; however, even in the absence thereof, it is far better than the offensive and politicized travesty of justice that is the case with the Argentineans issuing warrants in the name of ex-diplomats.

There is no true mechanism of justice today; should there be one in the future, we would accept it. If there is none, we leave it to God, because God is the ultimate judge.

However, one more thing about the diplomat issue, you do realize that Rafsanjani is a former diplomat, correct? The "insulting" part that I mentioned was in reference to the issuing of warrants in the name of ex-diplomats of ANOTHER country (note: if the ex-ruler has fled the country where he has committed the crimes after he was deposed of, and settled in another country, I would say it would be only fair for the country seeking to try him, to demand that the country where the criminal has taken refuge, hand him over; however this does not apply to the Argentinean case).

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 10, 2006 09:56 AM

Note: I apologize in advance to any Irish Protestants or Catholics who are more familiar with the IRA situation than I am. I am merely going off of what I can find reported (Mostly in the American media), which after 9/11 is not a whole hell of a lot. If I am susbstantially wrong in my analysis, I ask to be respectfully rebuked.

AlGhaliboon,

I haven't had a chance to sufficiently look over your comments to do a point-by-point response, but I want to post my initial gut-response before I go in any deeper.

It seems to me that you wish to have respect while refusing to 'play ball' with the powers. This is something Sinn Fein, the Ukranians, and others, learned to do very quickly. Sinn Fein (The Irish Republican Army's political wing) learned very quickly that the only way to acchieve some semblance of peace was to woo the United States.

While Sinn Fein is learning now that their ultimate goal, complete re-unification of Ireland (Note: A country with an actual historical nationalism, unlike the arbitrary borders of Lebanon), is impossible, they are using their leverage with the United States to forge some sort of agreement which will keep the Prods and the Catholics from killing each other.

Bear in mind, the United States is one of the closest allies of their enemy: England. Yet, the United States has managed to come in on both sides to attempt to broker a peace which has resulted in the normalization of Sinn Fein.

I'm sorry if this seems overly pedantic, but I do believe that the Sinn Fein situation is the one that seems to most closely match your own. Their agreement to allow the United States to broker a deal and their adherence to cease fires have made them a partner worthy of respect in Ireland. They are respected not because of their violence, but because they are willing to enforce a real peace, and provide real outreach, even in the face of "political prisoners." This is something I have yet to see Nasrallah even promise, let alone deliver.

Even the United States was forced to give up its own (Korean, Vietnam for example) in order to gain peace. While this may seem morally reprehensible, it is the price of politics.

I think that will help you understand what I mean when I say that you have not done much to earn my respect.

Posted by: Berkeley Non-conformist at November 10, 2006 11:12 AM

Berkeley Non-conformist,

You talk about USA as a mediator/broker.

Please enlighten me: did USA kill 80 civilians in a densely-populated city in IRELAND in an assassination attempt on one of the IRA leaders?

Did USA ship bombs so IRA would be "bombed into submission" by having 1200 civilians killed, and 4 million held hostage for the injured ego/pride of a bully kid who refuses to sit at the negotiations table?

I await your clarification.

Ironic, though, that the inhabitants of "Syria" (including Palestine) chose USA as the possible mandatory power back in the early 20th century, as the King-Crane Commission discovered. Says a whole lot about all the things that USA did in the region to earn our unflinching wrath.

Regards,

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 10, 2006 11:28 AM

If you wany to learn about Alghaliboon's true colors, go to www.lfpm.org and look up his postings in the political forum.

An example thread with AlGhaliboon gems: http://www.lfpm.org/forum/showthread.php?t=19827

One excerpt:

"Salam Omega80,

I was not talking about what the Israelis would let or wouldn't let, I was talking about what Israelis WILL HAVE TO "let". I am afraid they will not have any other choice. It might be hard to imagine such a situation, but if the conditions are ripe for a one-state "solution", then it will also be ripe for the return of the refugees. They WILL return. Remember, as a comparison, at the beginning of the July war, Israel had placed conditions for stopping its war, one of them was that they demanded that H.A be disarmed, the soldiers be released, and NATO control the border and the south. Which one of these happened? So it's not about what Israel wants, but what Israel will have to accept, whether it likes it or not. ;)"

AlGhaliboon wants war and in the meantime he wants to cloud the issues. The mere existence of Israel is hurting his fragile psyche. All the talk about peace is pure deception.

e

Posted by: e at November 10, 2006 12:25 PM

I'm sorry if this seems overly pedantic, but I do believe that the Sinn Fein situation is the one that seems to most closely match your own.

Just a quick comment - If we're going to compare Hezbollah's war to the troubles in Ireland, Hezbollah is more comparable to the Black and Tans, a British-funded paramilitary organization that targeted civilians. The Black and tans were also paid by a foreign, enemy nation. Like the Black and Tans, most of the people in the country Hezboallah resides in would be happy to see them dead or gone.

I suggested this comparison to my Irish relatives who know something about the history of the conflict and they didn't really argue it, so I guess it's valid.

Posted by: mary at November 10, 2006 02:09 PM

e, I fail to see what your last quote of alghaliboon brings to the table, did you actually read what you quoted?

Posted by: Lira at November 10, 2006 06:32 PM

e, I also do not see what your last quote brings, aside from attempting to discredit AlGhaliboon, who has been incredibly comprehensive, patient and detailed. He's won my respect, even if you begrudge him that, Rosignol, Michael and SoCal Justice et.al., which only speaks volumes about you. I'm greatly appreciative of his efforts here, despite the hostility of neanderthals like Josh and Solomon, but fortunately aided by people of goodwill like DPU.

Posted by: Alberta at November 12, 2006 05:13 AM

Lira, you should have read a bit more of that thread.

Specifically, to comments #24 & #26.

I was not talking about submarines, I was talking about population. If 1/4th of your population perishes, and at least one city is contaminated (not to mention nuclear "pollution" that does move), who would those submarines launch nuclear warheads for? The remaining 3/4ths who would perish by a second-strike, since the enemy can absorb at least 5-6 nuclear strikes?

Nuclear balance is the end of Israel.

...

Posted by: rosignol at November 14, 2006 03:19 AM
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