November 14, 2006

At Last

I've been waiting for someone from Lebanon to finally say it: Abu Kais, a Shia from the South, accuses Hezbollah of treason.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 14, 2006 03:49 PM
Comments

It's just good to know that no one has a monopoly on opinions in Lebanon.

Posted by: Omega80 at November 14, 2006 04:17 PM

There are more opinions than people in Lebanon.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 14, 2006 04:21 PM

This is not a facetious question. If anybody in Lebanon (or outside it, for that matter) says anything derogatory about "H", is their life imperiled? Hariri was assasinated because he challenged Syria's authority. Are the people of Lebanon safe enough to oppose "H", Syria and Iran?

Posted by: Judith at November 14, 2006 04:43 PM

Judith, a quick answer to your question would be yes, more Lebanese now dare oppose Hizbullah. And they are. And I think that's why Hizbullah is so enraged and wants veto power. They thought they could inherit Syria, but they are being challenged. Now more than ever.

Posted by: Abu Kais at November 14, 2006 05:28 PM

Judith, in response to your question, Ali Hamade in the leading Lebanese daily an-Nahar, has been writing incredibly strong columns in response to Hezbollah. He's been doing it on a consistent basis, and they've been incredibly hard hitting.

Posted by: Tony at November 14, 2006 05:48 PM

For instance, he referred to them as "the Pasdaran of Lebanon" (Pasdaran is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards) and in his latest column he asks them whether their loyalty is for Lebanon or the velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jursiprudent -- the Khomeinist doctrine).

Posted by: Tony at November 14, 2006 05:50 PM

And just as a quick note, on the issue of the Pasdaran.

During this latest war, the Hezbollah flag saw yet another reinvention. All of a sudden, there appeared an additional Quranic verse under the logo which read: "prepare against them whatever (armed) force you can muster."

This was no coincidence. This verse is part of the logo of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (which looks almost identical to that of Hezbollah -- that's not a coincidence either).

The Hezbollah flag first read The Islamic Revolution in Lebanon (in the 90s, for tactical reasons, it was changed to the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon). The Pasdaran is short for Farsi Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Engelab-e Islami, which means "the army of the guardians of the Islamic revolution." The Islamic revolution is the Khomeinist revolution. That is Hezbollah's pedigree.

By refering to them as Pasdaran, Ali Hamade was once again calling a spade a spade.

Posted by: Tony at November 14, 2006 06:00 PM

In fact, a quick correction. I don't mean to imply that the flag with the verse is a "new" thing. In fact, it was in fact used by Hezbollah in the past. It had just been put aside for a while and was revived during the war.

Just to be clear.

Posted by: Tony at November 14, 2006 06:05 PM

I just hope enough Lebanese of whatever confessional group realize that Lebanon can't become a modern, stable and wealthy country so long as fanatics like Hezbollah have the ability to distabilze things.

My fear is that as Hezbollah feels the heat, they'll play the "we must be united against Israel" card. The result of this strategy is to make anybody who is against Hezbollah appear to be with Israel. Basically Israel-hating tribalism at work.

Lebanese who oppose Hezbollah and Syrian/Iranian domination of their country have to realize that they actually have an ally in Israel.

But that might be a bridge too far for most Lebanese to accept. So long as most Lebanese consider Israel their mortal enemy, Hezbollah and Syria and Iran will be able to manipulate popular hate of Israel into their favor. This will be at the expense of a prosperous and stable Lebanon.

Posted by: semite1973 at November 14, 2006 06:40 PM

My fear is that as Hezbollah feels the heat, they'll play the "we must be united against Israel" card. The result of this strategy is to make anybody who is against Hezbollah appear to be with Israel. Basically Israel-hating tribalism at work.

They've already been doing that. No longer effective.

Posted by: G at November 14, 2006 07:25 PM

What's so cheerful about calling almost third of the Lebanese, traitors?

Posted by: AR at November 14, 2006 07:36 PM

AR,

No one said the Shia are traitors. Abu Kais is himself a Lebanese Shia from the South.

Hezbollah is loyal to Lebanon's enemies, and Hezbollah lets those enemies dictate Lebanon's foreign policy.

If a radical American militia loyal to Iran took over parts of the United States, started a unilateral war with Mexico, and threatened the American government, we would say those people are guilty of treason.

It's not cheerful or fun, but a spade is what it is.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 14, 2006 07:44 PM

Hezbollah is loyal to Lebanon's enemies, and Hezbollah lets those enemies dictate Lebanon's foreign policy.

By lebanese law, neither Iran nor Syrian are enemies. Also, I don't know what does it mean to be loyal to Iran or Syria, when all the "March 14" leaders are pro-western as you said and in reality they are just pawns in the Saudi tyrants hands! If you're following Lebanese politics closely you would notice how the US ambassador is dictating the "March 14" leaders' moves. He is intervening with every single detail in the Lebanese political scene. If this is sovereignty, then what is foreign intervention? and how it is difference from the Syrian intervention. (Iranian intervention was and still minimal, BTW)
Now, don't tell me that Lebanon should accept Saudi-American intervention because it is for the sake of democracy. Reality on the ground proves otherwise. I can't believe US or a tyrant will care much about other peoples' freedom. If indeed you, abu kais, Tony, ..etc. wants democracy, then why Hizbullah's move is so outragous?! A resignation is a democratic act, hitting the streets is democratic... no?

MJT, lebanon is more complicated than you think. You can't just impose anything in Lebanon (that is the lesson that the Lebanese should've learned after their 15 year-old civil war).
And the "March 14" is simply refusing to share power with Hizbullah by refusing to give third the ministers to the opposition(not for Hizbullah but opposition in total) and refusing its opposition itself! They just want Hizbullah to disappear and that just won't happen. If they have accepted a change in ministerial chairs we won't be this mess.

Posted by: AR at November 14, 2006 08:09 PM

I'm not familiar with Lebanon but I get the impression it's trajectory is tragic on account of all the outside players (U.S., Syria, Iran, and others) protecting their perceived interests in this small country. It's as if every conflict in the ME is played out miniature style on the backs of the Lebanese population.

Posted by: mike4678 at November 14, 2006 08:13 PM

Mike4678, you are correct.

I would say the US and France should leave Lebanon the hell alone for exactly that reason. But if that happens Lebanon will be swallowed whole by Syria and Iran once again.

AR: I can't believe US or a tyrant will care much about other peoples' freedom.

Tyrants definitely don't care.

Some Americans do and some Americans don't. It depends. The US government argues with itself about these questions all the time. James Baker doesn't give two shits about you and will sell you to Syria all over again if he's given the chance and if Syria pretends to "help" in Iraq. I, on the other hand, do care. So do many people in the US government in each of our political parties.

Some view your country as a tool, some view you as a partly democratic country that we should help for moral and ethical reasons, and some don't think about you at all, ever. I can usually figure out which is which and I help you if you're unsure in some cases.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 14, 2006 09:58 PM

What's this "at last"? Hmph, Michael! I called HA traitors back in July right here on your own blog!

:)

Posted by: bad vilbel at November 14, 2006 10:58 PM

I don't remember BV, sorry!

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 14, 2006 11:04 PM

You may start celebrating, because this is the best you can muster. These people hate our guts because we proved the imcompetence and defeatism of the ruling "majority", ALL Arab leaders (including Syria for that matter), the "arab league", and so on. You htae our guts because we proved that Israel would never set foot in Bint Jbeil or Yaroun or Aita Al-Sha'ab or Addaiseh or Yarin or Beit Yahoun, even if they flattened all these villages and towns. They would never set foot let alone stay there. We proved that we are not the Palestinians nor the Egyptians nor the Syrians nor the Jordanians. And you hate us and our guts for that. We set a precedent and you wish to destroy us before it spreads to Palestine, to Egypt, to Syria, to Jordan. You are afraid, and your fear prompts you to attack and defame.

So, you can quote whoever you want, you can endorse whatever "tekhwin" (accusation of treason) you want, but you can never erase facts on the ground, and these facts are: Israel will never set foot into Bint Jbeil or Yaroun or Aita Al-Sha'ab or Addaiseh or Yarin or Beit Yahoun and the rest of our villages. They may drink some tea in Marja'youn or other Christian villages where we have no presence, but that's more or less about it.

You hate our courage. You hate the fact that we are not afraid of martyrdom. You hate the fact that we are not defeatists. You hate the fact that we are here, and will remain here no matter how much you incite against us, and you hate the fact that we will grow and get stronger, rather than the other way around. You hate the fact that you can never be like us.

And we see right through you.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 12:59 AM

Sounds like you need to look in a mirror, AlGhaliboon.

Posted by: rosignol at November 15, 2006 01:14 AM

You didn't learn much in your time here, AlGhaliboon. You have absolutely no idea why we see you the way we do. And it seems to have really riled you up that a Shia from South Lebanon sees you the very same way.

Perhaps it's time now for you to seek an audience somewhere else.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 15, 2006 01:29 AM

I remember BV, but there's the issue that Abu Kais raises about both of you -- mere blogosphere voices.

However, calling Hez "traitors to Lebanon" seems a good rallying cry to unite the Sunni & Druze anti-Hez folks. Perhaps Berri and other Amal folk who are Shia rivals can use it.

What about those Christians who are cozy with Hez? Who is discussing the Christian factions? Aren't there some calling Hez traitors?

A tragedy of the peaceful Leb people is that they fail to understand that "rule of law" requires the ability of the "law" side to enforce, with violence and guns, their rules. If the de jure "rulers" don't have enough guns on the ground, they won't be rulers de facto.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at November 15, 2006 01:35 AM

Mr. Totten,

On the contrary it does not rile me up at all. It amuses me, though, that's for sure.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 01:45 AM

What about those Christians who are cozy with Hez?

They are lost.

I know several people (in person) who are members of the FPM. Two of them said they will fight Hezbollah to the death if they refuse to disarm indefinitely. I wonder how much longer they will be able to tolerate this alliance.

It will not last. It cannot last. And I would not say the FPM is guilty of treason. They are playing realpolitik in the Lebanese system, and they have legitimate complaints about March 14 that I cannot begrudge them.

They are not Christian jihadis.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 15, 2006 01:45 AM

In what sense are we lost? Being lost means not knowing what you are doing, which isn't the case in this particular situation.

If you don't understand something about a particular course of action, please ask and i'll explain...

Posted by: Omega80 at November 15, 2006 02:00 AM

Omega, I asked at least 20 FPM people about the alliance with Hezbollah and why they liked Michel Aoun. I got 20 completely different answers, 10 of which completely contradicted the other 10. I therefore decided not to write about Aoun at all because he made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

I haven't been in Lebanon for quite a while and maybe you guys have become more coherent since then.

Anyway, I understand your reasons because you explained them on a previous thread. I'm sure you know what you're doing (at least you think you do), but somehow there are people in your party who want to kill your allies. Explain that one to me if you can.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 15, 2006 02:09 AM

Micheal, these people feel like all of us do, which is that they want Hezbollah to be disarmed because their arms are holding the country back in so many ways.

They can't understand how we can be calling for this, but at the same time be close to them. It just boils down to that, lack of understanding about the essence of what we are doing. There are many in Lebanon who still have the fear of the "Other" in them, including many in the FPM. There are still many people that have an image of armed guys with beards running around, and get spooked at that image.

We want Hezbollah disarmed, but see the way about doing it differently than others do. We believe that "March 14" really has no plan to disarm Hezbollah, while we do. Our long term plan is one not of aggression and ultimatums, but one whereby we create conditions to solve the core reasons why Hezbollah holds on to its weapons (which is not Israel). Thus, they will eventually disarm voluntarily, which is the only way for them to disarm. Using force won't lead to their disarmament, but rather Civil War, where really no one wins, just pointless death.

So what do you think? Push Hezbollah into a corner where tensions will be so high that the slightest spark could make things spiral out of control, or engage them and try to calm them down, try to bring them towards the center? After all, they do what they do out of fear, a fear of things going back to the way they used to be in Lebanon. That past situation was not good to them.

Some people can't understand what we do because it is a natural human response to want to punish and isolate those that threaten and misbehave. However, that is not always the best solution to the problem, and may not be a solution at all.

Ghaliboon knows Hezbollah will have to disarm, even if he won't admit it, he knows it is going to happen, sooner rather than later. The alternative is Civil War, or the country getting split up into Cantons. Either way, Hezbollah's constituency does not end up the winner, so the best solution for them is to disarm. They are just dragging their feet because to give up their weapons, they want something in return and are basically trying to get the best deal possible. They are just trying to get more and more concessions basically.

Let me put it to you this way: Hezbollah knows that if they stay armed for a long time, the other communities will get armed as well. So when everyone is armed, Hezbollah's weapons can no longer be used as leverage or as a substitute for lack of political power in the country. They become useless for their goals. In order for everyone else not to get armed, they have to give up their arms. So they have a certain timeframe with which to get the best deal possible before they won't get any deal at all.

The FPM just wants to make this whole process easier by lowering tensions and negating the risk of armed conflict. Some people grasp this, some don't.

Posted by: Omega80 at November 15, 2006 02:31 AM

Ghaliboon knows Hezbollah will have to disarm, even if he won't admit it, he knows it is going to happen, sooner rather than later. The alternative is Civil War, or the country getting split up into Cantons.

What do the Hez gain by remaining a part of Lebanon other than a whole lot of human shields to hide behind?

Posted by: rosignol at November 15, 2006 03:00 AM

An economy...

Posted by: Omega80 at November 15, 2006 03:02 AM

...and what does the rest of Lebanon get?

Posted by: rosignol at November 15, 2006 04:20 AM

You hate our courage. You hate the fact that we are not afraid of martyrdom. You hate the fact that we are not defeatists. You hate the fact that we are here, and will remain here no matter how much you incite against us, and you hate the fact that we will grow and get stronger, rather than the other way around. You hate the fact that you can never be like us.

This is hysterically funny! We hate your courage? You mean the courage of hiding behind women and children while you fire your pathetic weapons at other women and children? And you think we want to be like that?

You are so desperate to impress others, so desperate to be seen as something other than the impotent little thug that you are; how miserable you must be. I'd pity you if I could stop laughing at you.

Posted by: Michael Smith at November 15, 2006 05:34 AM

Using force won't lead to their disarmament, but rather Civil War, where really no one wins, just pointless death.

Sometimes civil wars are necessary and conclusive. Sometimes it is the only way to eliminate an evil. It took the death of 600,000 Americans to eliminate the evil of chattel slavery within our borders -- and as terrible as that loss of life was, it certainly wasn't pointless.

Posted by: Michael Smith at November 15, 2006 05:42 AM
These people hate our guts because we proved the imcompetence and defeatism of the ruling "majority", ALL Arab leaders (including Syria for that matter), the "arab league", and so on.

That's quite a list of people who hate your guts, which seems to include a large portion of Lebanon. AlG, can you clarify for me exactly who you are fighting for?

We proved that we are not the Palestinians nor the Egyptians nor the Syrians nor the Jordanians.

You needed to fight a war to prove that? I didn't realise the international pressure on you to acknowledge that you're another country was so intense. Sorry to hear that.

You hate our courage. You hate the fact that we are not afraid of martyrdom. You hate the fact that we are not defeatists. You hate the fact that we are here, and will remain here no matter how much you incite against us, and you hate the fact that we will grow and get stronger, rather than the other way around. You hate the fact that you can never be like us.

We don't hate you because of your courage. Although I disagree with most of the comments on this issue, most of the people here hate you because they perceive you as cowards that fight behind women and children. Do you understand that people don't see you the way you see yourself?

And we see right through you.

That's lovely for you.

Posted by: Petrit at November 15, 2006 06:22 AM

Michael,
> "We hate your courage?"

I suppose to you it sounds as stupid as the "They hate our freedom" sounds to the rest of the world.

Fact is you don't care about their courage (or lack of it) and no one in the world gives a damn about your freedom.

rosignol,
> ...and what does the rest of Lebanon get?
A country?

Unless you are advocation we split the tiny country into 4 (sunni, shia, christian, druze) ?

And then when two christians fight we resplit there country into two ?

And Michael,
I don't know about treason, to me i sounds too far fetched, but I believe all power should stem from the people. If over half the country is in favor of the opposition then to me that gives them legitimacy.
March 14th won the election by allying themselves with Hizballah and relying on an election law that is rotten, to you that might not matter but to some (just some) of us Lebanese that is more important than the weapons.

About the 20 response of why they like Michel Aoun most of the responses I hear are centered around his anti corruption stance which resonates with many people because of the 40 billions of debt, but is there a reason why there can't be many differnt responses? Isn't that the case for any other leader?

And why are you surprised the FPM people don't want Hizbollah to hold on to their weapons indefinitely?
Even in the agreement FPM had with Hezb they insisted to have that written.

Posted by: Anonymous Leb at November 15, 2006 06:23 AM

Petrit,
You said
> most of the people here hate you because they
> perceive you as cowards that fight behind
> women and children

I disagree, I think people here hate them for many reason (some valid and some invalid) and that is barely one of them.
Regardless of the fact if it is true or not (I don't have proof but I suspect it is just a myth) people have hated hizballah for years, and that allegation has only been given to them a few months ago so it can't be the real reason.

Posted by: Anonymous Leb at November 15, 2006 06:33 AM

Anonymous, I agree. In fact, I don't think many people hate Hezbollah at all - most people in "the west" barely understand who they are or what they want.

I was making the comment more to indicate that I don't believe that most people hate Hezbollah because of their "courage", which seems to be a point of pride for AlG.

Posted by: Petrit at November 15, 2006 06:39 AM

The United Nations is reporting that several hundred Islamist fighters from Somalia were brought to Lebanon during last summer's war to fight for HezbAllah against Israel. The Somalis were paid for by Iran and Syria.

http://today.reuters.com/News/CrisesArticle.aspx?storyId=L13897046&WTmodLoc=IntNewsHome_C4_Crises-2

Posted by: The Observer at November 15, 2006 07:11 AM

Hm.

Looks like the Rangers will be going back into Somalia at some point.

Can't say I'm surprised.

Posted by: rosignol at November 15, 2006 07:48 AM

I would say that, like it or not, the only figure who is not a traitor by definition (meaning that he is not aided by or doing the bidding of an outside power) is Michel Aoun today. I am not with FPM, in fact I am with no one in this rotten sectarian system, but Hezbollah are no more traitors than March 14th who, as someone pointed out here, are aided and abetted and doing the bidding of the US and certainly Saudi Arabia. If anyone wants to argue that Saudi Salafism is less revolting than Iranian theocracy just because they strategically ally themselves with the US, I would like to hear that argument. So by that count Hezbollah are traitors and March 14th are, too.
And I agree that giving the opposition a mere third when they unarguably represent more in terms of popular support is only fair, given the precarious state of affairs and the looming uncertainty of Israel's intentions to attack again.

Posted by: unaligned Lebanese at November 15, 2006 07:59 AM

Mr. AlGhaliboon,
your views intrigue me.
could you plz visit my blog and
leave me a msg?

It's not that I agree with you
but (!) I'd like to know where
your (obviously) good intentions
stems from.

I won't care if you turn me a cold
shoulder, of course, but - as a
HUMAN BEING - I'm truely curious....

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 08:28 AM

If anyone wants to argue that Saudi Salafism is less revolting than Iranian theocracy just because they strategically ally themselves with the US, I would like to hear that argument.

From the US's point of view, yes. When we tell the Saudi government "this is a problem" the powers that be in the country (some of them, anyway) try to do something about it.

When we tell the Iranian government "this is a problem" we get the 'you're number one' salute and "Death to America", or something roughly similar.

I hope this helps you understand why Americans tend to think the Saudi government is less bad than the Iranian government.

Posted by: rosignol at November 15, 2006 08:29 AM

Omega80,

Your posts were very helpful to me. They portray a position that makes much more sense than all the blabber one finds on the FPM blog.

What is the general timeframe in which HA has to commit to disarming or the other factions will arm also?

e

Posted by: e at November 15, 2006 09:33 AM

Israel treated Hezzbbollah with kid gloves. When those Hezzbbollah men were hiding under the sofa with the woman sitting on top as cover and the weapons stashed in the bedrooms, our soldiers did not shoot everyone in the house like they should have done; they took those Hezzbbollah men to safety in Israel. Personally, I don't care for any Lebanese. I have the minority opinion right now. But Hezzbbollah keeps this up and tries to screw our economy again, and Israel's patience with Lebanese Jihadi bravado WILL come to an end.

Posted by: mikhael at November 15, 2006 09:47 AM

To whoever said that we hide behind women and children, I dare you to show me one pic, one proof, or evidence if you like, that we do that.

Just one.

Thank you.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 09:49 AM

AR,

"I can't believe US ... will care much about other peoples' freedom."

I admit that I am pretty ignorant of Lebanese politics. In this post, you show your ignorance of American politics. A Hizbullah supporter has been explaining on this blog how the underlying reason for his acts is because he wants respect. In other words, this man (and many more) are acting to raise their self esteem. In a like manner, Americans want to feel like we are great people, "a city on the hill" providing light to a dark world. Reasonable people can debate about how much good we have actually done. Nonetheless, this belief is a basic conceit of the vast majority of, but not all, Americans, spanning the spectrum from liberal to conservative.

One might think it is a bit silly for us to go around doing good works so we can say "look at me--I am a great person!" (to put our own self-esteem projects in the most negative light possible.) Nonetheless, we actually care about other people's freedoms even if it only for the catharsis.

P.S. I do not intend by this post to agree with your underlying point that we employ almost god-like power to manipulate your politics.

Posted by: JBP at November 15, 2006 09:50 AM

It was on Israeli TV. Anyone from Lebanon should have been able to pick up the broadcast.

Posted by: mikhael at November 15, 2006 09:53 AM

Michael,
> "We hate your courage?"

I suppose to you it sounds as stupid as the "They hate our freedom" sounds to the rest of the world.

Fact is you don't care about their courage (or lack of it) and no one in the world gives a damn about your freedom.

Oh, I see, the mind reader has spoken, and, in one omniscient pronouncement, he has defined my beliefs for me, just as AIG did in his rant.

Interesting how similar your tactics are to his. I grant you, it is much easier to address the other party's argument when you get to decide what he really believes. It's a lot less work than addressing what he actually says.

Posted by: Michael Smith at November 15, 2006 09:58 AM

Al G,

"...You hate the fact that you can never be like us."

How could I not see it before? America with its weak military envies the great warriors of Hizbollah!

You asked for pictures of Hizbollah fighters hiding behind women and children. Here is video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ez_1AzOiZ8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42W2pdH-gpI

Posted by: JBP at November 15, 2006 10:05 AM

~~~~~To whoever said that we hide behind women and children, I dare you to show me one pic, one proof, or evidence if you like, that we do that.

Just one.

Thank you.
Posted by AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 09:49 AM~~~~~

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/25/world/middleeast/25sunnis.html?ex=1314158400&en=8c506b51d98e4d2b&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

???

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 10:08 AM

hahaha,, a sunni village. Yeah, great. and on the payroll of Hariri too. may i show you the pictures of the Marwahine massacre wearing t-shirts with the picture of Hariri on them?

Try again.

Thanks,

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 10:11 AM

Let me clarify, pictures of the mourners of the Marwahine massacre wearing t-shirts with Hariri pictures on them.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 10:25 AM

Al,
Why won't HA let the Red Cross visit the Israeli prisoners?
Tsedek can you ask him also? He more often than not responds to you.
e

Posted by: e at November 15, 2006 10:37 AM

Unaligned Lebanese: Hezbollah are no more traitors than March 14th who, as someone pointed out here, are aided and abetted and doing the bidding of the US and certainly Saudi Arabia.

The US is not an enemy of Lebanon. It is okay to have allies. You're screwed if you don't have allies.

If anyone wants to argue that Saudi Salafism is less revolting than Iranian theocracy just because they strategically ally themselves with the US, I would like to hear that argument.

No one in the US will make that argument. Except maybe the scumbag James Baker.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 15, 2006 10:38 AM

Try to remember, Unaligned Lebanese, that Saudi Salfafists destroyed the World Trade Center in New York. They are not our friends.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 15, 2006 10:43 AM

Mr. AlGhaliboon,

do you humanely believe they's put on political stickers instead of showing their grieve?

???

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 10:45 AM

"To whoever said that we hide behind women and children, I dare you to show me one pic, one proof, or evidence if you like, that we do that."

Here's letter from a Lebanese Shia, recently published in a German newspaper:

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

Dr. Mounir Herzallah
Berlin-Wedding

Posted by: Mertel at November 15, 2006 10:46 AM

Mr. e.,
about the israeli prisoners:

i don't think Mr. AlGhaliboon wishes to respond.

your question has been asked many-a-times, he's seen it, he prefers not to respond. His prerogative, I guess :)

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 10:47 AM

Mertel, I did not ask for articles, I asked for solid evidence, and you gave me a "testimony" by a person who, for all we know, might not even exist or if he does, has provided no proof that his claims are nothing more than lies. In any case, since you are claiming that we do hide behind women and children, it is up to you to prove it. It cannot be taken for granted. What you are essentially saying by posting this article, is that I should disprove this guy's claim. Get real. I want pictures, because only pictures would ascertain beyond a doubt that this is true and not mere propaganda.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 10:50 AM

"To whoever said that we hide behind women and children, I dare you to show me one pic, one proof, or evidence if you like, that we do that."

From the Egytian weekly, an investigative article on Hizbullah's Children's Militia:

"Hizbullah has customarily recruited youths and children and trained them to fight from a very early age. These are children barely 10 years old, who wear camouflage uniforms, cover their faces with black [camouflage] paint, swear to wage jihad, and join the Mahdi Scouts [youth organization]...

"The children are selected by Hizbullah recruitment [officers] based on one criterion only: They must be willing to become martyrs."

http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP127606

Posted by: Mertel at November 15, 2006 10:53 AM

Mr. AlGhaliboon:

1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9J2U0FR7Q0I&mode=related&search=

2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHpkl9AJYb0

3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ8fSkSMhjw&mode=related&search=

4) http://www.youtube.com/index?&session=gAJ9cQEoVQxlcnJvcl9maWVsZHNxAmNfX2J1aWx0aW5fXwpzZXQKcQNdhVJxBFUGZXJyb3JzcQVdcQZVOlRoaXMgdmlkZW8gaGFzIGJlZW4gcmVtb3ZlZCBkdWUgdG8gdGVybXMgb2YgdXNlIHZpb2xhdGlvbi5xB2FVCG1lc3NhZ2VzcQhdcQl1Lg==

More?

Please your response, thank you ;)

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 10:54 AM

BTW, you'll find some pictures in the link....

http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP127606

Posted by: Mertel at November 15, 2006 10:55 AM

"We hate your courage?"

Completely delusional.

We have contempt for you because you doom your people and cause mischief (and death and wars) by refusing to make peace. And because you turn south Lebanon into a police state; we DO consider freedom to be a human need, and we believe that thugs like you who deny your people freedom are harming your own people, deeply.

As long as we see that you are harming your own people we can't have anything but contempt for you. Your supposed "courage" doesn't even register - we just don't care about "courage" in the pursuit of a harmful cause.

So if you want to know how you look too us, forget courage and realize that being harmful to your people makes you less of a man in our eyes not more of a man. We see you and very low, not exalted at all.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 15, 2006 10:56 AM

Tom Grey says:
I remember BV, but there's the issue that Abu Kais raises about both of you -- mere blogosphere voices.

However, calling Hez "traitors to Lebanon" seems a good rallying cry to unite the Sunni & Druze anti-Hez folks. Perhaps Berri and other Amal folk who are Shia rivals can use it.

What about those Christians who are cozy with Hez? Who is discussing the Christian factions? Aren't there some calling Hez traitors?

A tragedy of the peaceful Leb people is that they fail to understand that "rule of law" requires the ability of the "law" side to enforce, with violence and guns, their rules. If the de jure "rulers" don't have enough guns on the ground, they won't be rulers de facto.

You're right. Abu Kais, myself, and many others are voices. I'd argue that voices are just as important as actions though. Most revolutions, most big sweeping changes throughout history started off with ideas, and with writings.

But that is neither here nor there.

Calling HA "traitors" is not a sectarian comment (as you know, Abu Kais himself is Shia), nor does it in any way absolve anyone else (christians included) from wrongdoing.
To me, it's really a very simple definition: A traitor is someone who acts against the interest of their country and serves the interests of a foreign country. I could say this about HA just like I could say it about the former South Lebanon Army guys.
As a matter of fact, a good number of the so-called Leaders in Lebanon are former warlords from the civil war era, who at one point or another committed what I would dream to be treason (Geagea, for example).

But again, that's neither here, nor there. TODAY, there is one group and one group alone who is acting against Lebanon's interests, and disregarding the state institutions (however weak they might be) to run their own army, their own state, and their own foreign policy. That is the very definition of Treason. They've also been whining for the past week about the government "excercising a monopoly on decision making" (i.e without them, since they quit)....A comment that i find particularly irksome and hypocritical, considering HA themselves exercised a "monopoly on decisionmaking" when they started a war with Israel without consulting any of the other Lebanese factions, or the people at large.

Sorry for the rant, but the hypocrisy, lies, and bullshit coming out of that camp is so far beyond anything anyone older than 5 should be able to comprehend.

Posted by: bad vilbel at November 15, 2006 10:58 AM

Dumb question, perhaps, but is there any indication that the presence of UN troops has loosened the grip of Hezbollah on the local Shia in the border area? It seems to me that as long as the South of Lebanon has effectively been cordoned off by Hezbollah -- that is the impression I have from reading this blog, correct me if I'm wrong -- there is no way that things are going to get better in the South unless some Shia have the freedom to distance themselves from Hezbollah.

Posted by: Alioops at November 15, 2006 11:04 AM

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=37278180-a261-421d-84a9-7f94d5fc6d50

http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr04.pdf

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,19955774-5007220,00.html

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=5f691619-ef23-4a68-b565-a3780773ee1e

http://www.aina.org/news/20060808193908.htm

http://www.metransparent.com/texts/southern_cleric_interview_annahar.htm

The last one is most condemning , i suppose, Mr. AlGhaliboon.

Would you care to respond to that?

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 11:07 AM

Tsedek, I am not just saying it, there are pictures to prove it.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:08 AM

Ah yeah, those supposedly "drone" shots. Did you know, we can design such videos from scratch.

Again and again and again, all I see is a source of "light", and videos can be manipulated. I want a pic, and a clear one, that shows that we hide behind women and children. A clear one, not some sham video manufactured by your IDF.

For the record, we do not even need to have our rocket launchers MOVED.

And make more sense, firing from inside a building? Yes, from the kitchen window. And you guys had drones 24/7 all over the south, how come you couldn't shoot ANY of the Katyusha launchers if what you say is true? We were firing from UNDER YOUR NOSES to the last minute of the ceasefire, and you did not know where on earth these Katyushas were coming from.

But keep fooling yourself, the next round might be an even bigger victory for us, and maybe we would even liberate our 7 villages.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:15 AM

Al,
What about the prisoners? Why are you evading the question? Why won't HA let the Red Cross visit them?
e

Posted by: e at November 15, 2006 11:19 AM

Mertel, the link from "memri", is a joke.

left top is a photo from a popular gathering.
left bottom is a photo from Ashura.

the other 2 are photos from Al Quds day rally.

by the way i can also show Jewish kids with guns, and they are real guns not toy guns. that makes them terrorists, and that means the settlers are training and recruiting terrorists. i can see you adopt the same standards.

i love it when people find no other way out of their lies but to cite memri.

keep bluffing.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:22 AM

AlGhaliboon, I'm curious what your motivation is for having so much blind faith in Hezbollah.

What would happen to your life if you ever stopped believing that Hezbollah is good?

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 15, 2006 11:22 AM

You will hear about your prisoners when you get them back. And they will only get back (in coffins or otherwise) when you hand us our prisoners and a number of other things.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:23 AM

Al,
I asked why you won't let the Red Cross visit them, not about how and when we will get them back. Please respond to the question.
e

Posted by: e at November 15, 2006 11:25 AM

Josh,

As simple as this: I would never stop believing that Hizbullah is good, and have never contemplated it, and do not wish, nor feel the need to, contemplate.

It is not blind faith. It is belief in God, and an attempt to serve him in any way. That is what our life is all about. Serve God and do justice and fight oppressors.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:27 AM

Repeat after me, God is not Nasrallah, Nasrallah is not God.

God is not Khamenei, Khamenei is not God.

You're welcome.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 15, 2006 11:30 AM

AlG, you ignore the text, and all the other evidence provided. Nonetheless, here's some more from Human Rights Watch.

"Human Rights Watch’s research found that on a number of occasions Hezbollah unjustifiably endangered Lebanese civilians by storing weapons in civilian homes, firing rockets from populated areas, and allowing its fighters to operate from civilian homes. Hezbollah also used children as active combatants, another violation of the law."
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/10/05/lebano14336.htm

Don't worry, I don't expect nor care whether you respond. No doubt you will just follow your usual pattern: deny it, then later admit it and justify it as part of your jihad to release a certified child killer.

Posted by: Mertel at November 15, 2006 11:32 AM

Why would Red Cross visit your prisoners?

They will not.

I could also ask the same about why Israel did not let the Red Cross visit our prisoners in Atlit prison, and why Israel does not let the Red Cross visit Palestinian prisoners.

But it is irrelevant. Your hostage-taking and crimes are "legalized" by the "international community", ours are not. Sticking by the so-called international conventions which Israel itself has not respected (but calls for respect only when it is on the losing end) is therefore irrelevant.

We are in the real world, and we do not trust anyone but God and our brothers in God. You sound laughable when you bring up this point, because you should realize that your enemies will not give up a card they hold in their hand just to stick by the rules of the game which you yourself have not respected. Sort of like why we fired those Katyusha rockets. You've got a lot to learn, it seems.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:32 AM

The definition of a fanatic, it doesn't matter what he hears or sees or is told:

"I would never stop believing that Hizbullah is good"

Posted by: Mertel at November 15, 2006 11:33 AM

Mertel, I dare the HRW to give us pictures, since they are so sure of this.

Our children do not fight, unless you count 21 year-olds as children. The youngest martyr has been 17-years-old and he was Ahmad Qassir, and he was not really with Hizbullah.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:35 AM

Sameer Quntar is not only allowed Red Cross visits. He is also currently studying by correspondance at an Israeli university (political science, I think). Really harsh with child killers, are we.

Posted by: Disk on Key at November 15, 2006 11:38 AM

Al,
Thanks for the lesson that the ends justify the means. You are right, I have a lot to learn.
Over to you Tsedek.
e

Posted by: e at November 15, 2006 11:39 AM

Disk on Key, I was not referring to Samir Quntar. Do not change the point. I was talking to Atlit prison, the prisoners who were released only after the hijacking of TWA flight 847, and also about the prisoners in Al-Ansar camp and al-Khiam.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:40 AM

"I want a pic, and a clear one, that shows that we hide behind women and children. A clear one, not some sham video manufactured by your IDF."

I guess AlG is going to have to take this picture himself. Anyone else who gets close enough is going to be shooting with something other than a camera....

I'm just waiting for him to condemn Hamas for openly pleading for women to act as human shields last week.... can't wait to hear that....

Posted by: Mertel at November 15, 2006 11:41 AM

As simple as this: I would never stop believing that Hizbullah is good, and have never contemplated it, and do not wish, nor feel the need to, contemplate.

Do you know what a sin of omission is? That's sinning by refusing to do something.

What you're refusing to do is to consider the possibility that your favorate group is doing more harm than good, refusing to consider the possibility that you are doing more harm than good.

And no matter what the answer to those questions would be, refusing to ask them is refusing to take responsibility, refusing to accept the pain of responsibility. And being irresponsible is always a sin.

Don't fool yourself, your refusal to consider is avoidence of pain, it is selfish and it is the opposite of courage.

It is not blind faith. It is belief in God, and an attempt to serve him in any way. That is what our life is all about. Serve God and do justice and fight oppressors.

1. Hizbullah is not God. To serve Hizbullah is not necessarily to serve God. Just because they SAY that they are the same doesn't make it necessarily true. You should know that. Every group claims to be the definition of Good. They can't all be right.

2. How will you fight oppressors when there is no one oppressing your people? What if Hizbullah becomes the most oppressive force in Southern Lebanon?

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 15, 2006 11:44 AM

Ah, now that you have nothing to prove your preposterous allegations with, you move to Hamas. What does Hamas have to do with what Hizbullah does? Do we or do we not hide behind women and children? PROOFS, please. If you CANNOT PRODUCE THEM, you should stop making these claims.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:45 AM

You're talking history, man. I grant that Al Khiam was a shame, like the rest of our relationship with the SLA (it corrupted both sides).

But you people wanted Quntar and took prisoners to release him. Give them what he's got.

Posted by: Disk on Key at November 15, 2006 11:50 AM

"As simple as this: I would never stop believing that Hizbullah is good, and have never contemplated it, and do not wish, nor feel the need to, contemplate."

Allow me to summarise:

"One who will not change his mind doesn't have a mind to change."

or perhaps:

"Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind."
W. Somerset Maugham

hold on, even better:

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."
Winston Churchill

Posted by: Mertel at November 15, 2006 11:51 AM

No need to hide behind women & children when you have Somali mercenaries to do the dirty work.

Posted by: The Observer at November 15, 2006 11:52 AM

Josh,

The reason I have never contemplated it is that I believe in God and the Prophet Muhammad, and follow the Qur'an. My acts are just, non-oppressive, and definitely responsible. Anything that goes against God's word and the Prophet's teachings and sayings, is something I would never do. It is not so much about Hizbullah as it is the belief in the righteousness of our struggle, and this has become the collective mark of Hizbullah. We serve God every minute of our lives, so Hizbullah is not the only thing that we serve God with.

There will always be oppressors in the world, there is always oppression from within and without. When people stop trying to dominate us, and when there are truly no oppressors we will put aside our weapons and go on with our lives. Our weapons are not an end but a means to an end. And that end is justice, equality, and preventing and putting an end to all attempts at dominating us and oppressing us.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:52 AM

Al,
There is a western concept called "beyond reasonable doubt". Mertel and Tsedek have proven their case beyond reasonable doubt. You want what we call in the West "certainty". That is a level of proof rarely reached and no sane person asks for such level of proof.
Could you prove that it was the IAF bombing Lebanon and not Americans flying planes with Israeli insignia? Come on, prove it to me. And don't quote Israeli papers. That was intentional lies to fool you.
e

Posted by: e at November 15, 2006 11:53 AM

Mr. AlGhaliboon,

You thought you had exclusivity on this:

~~~We are in the real world, and we do not trust anyone but God and our brothers in God. ~~~

???

Excuse me, sir, but aren't you just a bit over-arrogant now? What do you think I and many others believe in?

Anyway, in this fashion one can ALWAYS claim this-or-that material is fake. If I'd say you were fake it also would be a fact for whoever wanted to believe it, no?

You see video's taking RealTime - and instead of explaining why those launchers were endangering civilians and why people complained about 'your' presence in their village, you cry wolfe. That's children's game, Mr. AlGhaliboon, I'm very (I mean this most earnestly) dissappointed in you.

Also, I'm very dissappointed in how you let yourself be swept off your feet and 'threaten' "they'll return in their coffins" (etc. as if this makes any positive impression) us. We, whoever "we" are, are not threatened by you. NEVER. Please never ever forget that. It's in BOTH our benefit that we talk. However, if one side is determined to declare 'war' que sera sera - then: so be it.

Still interested in discussing our region?

Posted by: t at November 15, 2006 11:55 AM

But you people wanted Quntar and took prisoners to release him. Give them what he's got.
Yes, definitely we are giving them what they deserve, and that is just treatment. So no need to worry when it comes to that. Our track record in terms of treatment of prisoners is clean. Something that cannot be said for Israel, with what they did to Mustafa Dirani, Jawad Qasfi, Anwar Yassine, and thousands of other Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners. Maybe when we hold your prisoners for as long as you've held some of ours, they will get the same treatment in terms of getting university education. I am sure you would want them to remain in our hold for that long. We can only oblige if that is your wish.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:56 AM

Mertel and Tsedek have proven their case
Actually they have not proven anything, let alone their case. I still await their proofs, of the so-called hospitals, etc. being built on bunkers.

Tsedek, I never threatened, please review the statement on the issue of coffins, it was merely a way of pointing that there is the possibility that they might be dead, we do not wish to confirm their fate as of yet.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 11:58 AM

above msg was mine, sorry don't know why "t" showed up :(

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 11:59 AM

Your hostage-taking and crimes are "legalized" by the "international community", ours are not. Sticking by the so-called international conventions which Israel itself has not respected (but calls for respect only when it is on the losing end) is therefore irrelevant.

Actually no. International humanitarian law is not reciprocal. When one side is in breach of that law, it does not give the other side the right to also breach the law. This is a fundamental of international law.

You may argue that this law is not applied fairly, and you would (in my opinion) be absolutely right. However that does not give you the right to breach that law. It does however give you the right to work to change those laws, to participate in the process of making this world a better place through peaceful means.

If you are arguing that such conventions are irrelevant, why do you make such a fuss about Israelis targeting civilians? By your own argument, targeting civilians is normal and acceptable.

Posted by: Petrit at November 15, 2006 12:00 PM

I wouldn't bother e. He has admitted that he will never admit Hezbollah does anything wrong. Therefore he has to ignore or dismiss or defend anything that points to the contrary.

You could probably show him pictures of islamic terrorists destroying the world trade center and he'd likely say it was a zionist conspiracy... hang on a sec....

Posted by: Mertel at November 15, 2006 12:00 PM

You will hear about your prisoners when you get them back. And they will only get back (in coffins or otherwise) when you hand us our prisoners and a number of other things.

Again no. The Geneva Conventions are absolutely clear about prisoners of war, and the Red Cross should be given immediate and free access to them under those Conventions.

And again; if you do not abide by these laws, and believe them to be irrelevant, then you should also stop accusing Israel of breaching them.

Posted by: Petrit at November 15, 2006 12:03 PM

Mertel, actually I denounced the 9/11 terrorist attacks a number of times on MJT's website. Bin Laden, Zarqawi, etc. are terrorists.

International humanitarian law is not reciprocal. When one side is in breach of that law, it does not give the other side the right to also breach the law. This is a fundamental of international law.
I did not argue that this wasn't the case. In fact, my argument was based on realpolitik. Something that Israel has argued since its establishment.

I am not arguing that such conventions are irrelevant, but they become pretty much irrelevant when the other side does not respect them (this does not mean I am saying they can be violated on our part). And ours is only a response to Israel's violation, I do not see why you are so obsessed with something that we've done how many times now? Twice. Israel does it 24/7. Go and ask them to stop it, and when they stop it we will let the Red Cross visit the soldiers. Until then it is a negotiation card when Israel refuses to give us our prisoners back.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 12:05 PM

Al,
To Western people, Mertel and Tsedel have proved their point beyond reasonable doubt. If you choose a jury of average Americans, they would conclude, given the evidence, that HA was hiding behind civillians. The evidence proves this beyond reasonable doubt but does not reach the level of certainty that you require.
e

Posted by: e at November 15, 2006 12:07 PM

~~~~~Ah, now that you have nothing to prove your preposterous allegations with,~~~~~

Mr. AlGhaliboon,
it's proven. you just refuse to accept the truth.

there ain't nothing the IDF can do that will ever represent the truth for you. does this mean we're fighting a war NEXT to each-other instead of against each-other?

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 12:07 PM

The point is that these Conventions do not become irrelevant simply because they are breached, whether by one side or both. In many ways, they become more important, because they remain as a yardstick by which we can judge our own behaviour.

Go and ask them to stop it, and when they stop it we will let the Red Cross visit the soldiers.

Please refer to my other point; these are not reciprocal arrangements, and the two issues are unrelated from a humanitarian point of view.

The reason that I am "obsessed" with this issue is because I believe that the Conventions are a cornerstone of a civilised world, where the wounded and captured - whether military or civilian - are protected. And I have seen too many people suffer in the breach of them - in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq - to want to give up that cornerstone so easily.

Posted by: Petrit at November 15, 2006 12:10 PM

The old "I only killed once and there are serial killers out there that are going unpunished so you should le me go also".
Way to go Al. You are starting to slip.
e

Posted by: e at November 15, 2006 12:11 PM

it's proven.
Still waiting for those pictures.

Petrit, again what you are saying makes no sense. You say you have the best of intentions, I believe you, except that you have made no effort to bring up the issue of Israel violating these same conventions 10,000 times more than we have done. It has nothing to do with your argument that one wrong does not justify another, but rather, my argument is that, since you claim you are concerned with the violation of this, shouldn't you also show as much concern (if not more, actually you should show 10,000 times more concern than you show for this case) for what Israel is doing? I do not see you doing that. Which proves my point. Also, I am sorry, BUT does this also mean that we should've folded our hands and relied on israel's good will to withdraw from our occupied lands in 1982, and then in 1985??

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 12:16 PM

'Our track record in terms of treatment of prisoners is clean': yeah, sure. Like our soldiers Fink and Alsheikh who were abducted in 1985 and were never seen alive again. Dirani was given a lawyer to sue the state through. Can Regev and Goldwasser sue you?

Posted by: Disk on Key at November 15, 2006 12:18 PM

To Western people, Mertel and Tsedel have proved their point beyond reasonable doubt. If you choose a jury of average Americans, they would conclude, given the evidence, that HA was hiding behind civillians.
Misleading, in bad faith too.

These videos can be false for all we know, and yes this would be invalidated in any Western court. The fact that it can be disputed and would not pass as proof or even evidence is exactly why Israel has not made extensive use of them.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 12:19 PM

Al,
Your point is that the so called Israeli transgressions justify your transgressions. Don't cloud the issues. Why don't you let the Red Cross see the prisoners and make Israel look really bad?
e

Posted by: e at November 15, 2006 12:20 PM

Careful with that phrase "just treatment". Those are soldiers you attacked, unprovoked and took prisoner, they're not criminals.

Justice is what you apply to criminals. You should be treating prisoners of war humanely, not with justice.

When you say "justice" we think, what does that mean? Have you cut their heads off?

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 15, 2006 12:21 PM

given to you, mr. AlGhaliboon. plz re-check above msg.

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 12:21 PM

Dirani was given a lawyer to sue the state through.
Oh brilliant. After they did the unspeakable to him for how many years?

At least do not mention Dirani as an example... for shame..

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 12:22 PM

Al,
For all we know there can be UFOs and you can be Dana International posing as Alghaliboon.
You are resisting evidence that for every normal person would be sufficient because it doesn't suit your propoganda. The combined evidence from video and testemonials is overwhelming.
e

Posted by: e at November 15, 2006 12:23 PM

Those are soldiers you attacked, unprovoked and took prisoner
Arguably provoked. But we already had that debate. Arguably also criminal.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 12:24 PM

When people stop trying to dominate us, and when there are truly no oppressors we will put aside our weapons and go on with our lives.

Israelis don't want to dominate Lebanon, they want peace. And Lebanese democracy isn't oppression, so there are no oppressors only reactions to your own provocations. So why don't you go on with your lives?

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 15, 2006 12:24 PM

Ok, AlGhaliboon, I have to ask you to please leave now or post fewer comments. You are dominating my blog. It was interesting for a while, but this is my blog not yours.

Don't take it personally. I can't let any one single person dominate these discussions for so long. I would say the same even if you and I were in complete agreement about politics.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 15, 2006 12:28 PM

The combined evidence from video and testemonials is overwhelming.
Yes, as overwhelming as the non-presence of the drones over the Fijibatt station in Qana in 1996.

But then, anything that does not appeal to you, you would only need to use the "anti-Semite" argument, like you did in the case of Qana in 1996.

I am challenging you without slurring you. Something your country is unable to do.

I am still awaiting those pictures. Oh, and since you claimed that we HIDE BEHIND WOMEN AND CHILDREN, please also provide pictures of us actually hiding behind women and children, or if you want to base your argument on videos, you can alternatively provide videos showing us hiding behind women and children (since you give us so many details, it means you know something that WE don't). Waiting.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 12:28 PM

Mr. AlGhaliboon,

what's done is done. does that mean we have to go on doing it?

why should the soldiers - now kidnapped - or your prisoners (three of them were on israeli tv only a couple of months ago with their LAWYERS - suffer because in the past prisoners have suffered in enemy-custody?

there exists no time in your world (as there exists in the israeli captivity conditions, as were shown on tv) to improve and make things better so a less hostile environment comes into existence - which offers grounds for more understanding both ways?

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 12:29 PM

Arguably provoked. But we already had that debate. Arguably also criminal.

And you stop short of answering the question. You would justify Hizbullah cutting their heads off but not admit to it (I doubt you even know).

That's exactly what I expected of you. Of course you have different standards for yourself. I wonder how you'd react if Israel executed the members of Hizbullah they've captured?

Not justice if they do it, but of course you claim it's justice if you do it. Hypocracy

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 15, 2006 12:29 PM

Mr. Totten, if you are asking me to leave, I can do that. I realize that it can get a bit too much when you have one person effectively debunking all the so-called arguments of more than a hundred people. But for you that's "domination" (whatever you mean by it), and you immediately stick to the "this is a personal site", which is fine, and I respect it. I realize not everyone is up to the challenge of constantly having their arguments and false information debunked (I realize you did not address the correction regarding "March 14"'s electoral success). Still, it was good while it lasted. And appreciate the space for the debate.

Regards,

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 12:32 PM

Al,
The evidence was given and has proven the case beyond reasonable doubt. All your petty grievances and tanturms cannot change that. Now you are equivocating between "civillians" and "women and children" and trying to inject doubt. Your low debating tricks won't work. The evidence is overwhelming.
e

Posted by: e at November 15, 2006 12:32 PM

~~~~~Oh, and since you claimed that we HIDE BEHIND WOMEN AND CHILDREN......~~~~~

video's, pictures, eye-witnessaccounts.... all of this and you still deny?

they (you) are not actually standing right behind women and children, but you (they) are firing from within populated civilian neighborhoods. That's about the same... Mr. AlGhaliboon!

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 12:33 PM

Mr. Totten, I'm out as well.
Although I'd probably would kidnap Mr. AlGhaliboon all by myself if he'd stand right in front of me, the freedom of expression seems to be restricted to nodd-your-agreement postings on your blog, that I lost interest.

Have a nice blog time,
Tse.

Posted by: tsedek at November 15, 2006 12:37 PM

Mr. Totten, if you are asking me to leave, I can do that. I realize that it can get a bit too much when you have one person effectively debunking all the so-called arguments of more than a hundred people.

Translation: AlGhaliboon has lost all of the arguements and he's running away with his tail between his legs.

But for you that's "domination"

In English there's a phrase that everyone knows "dominating the conversation". That's what Michael was refering to and only that.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 15, 2006 12:39 PM

E,
I don't know the timeframe. There are Presidential elections in less than a years time, which will change everything. They probably have a couple of years after that.

Posted by: Omega80 at November 15, 2006 12:40 PM

Like I said, AlGhaliboon, I'm not asking you to leave because you're arguing with me and the rest of us. If that was the problem I never would have let you post here at all.

The problem is that the blog comments have become all about you. This blog can't be dominated by any one person unless that is person is -- guess who? -- me.

You have been polite and a good sport throughout, and despite our obvious vast differences I sincerely appreciate that.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 15, 2006 12:41 PM

Translation: AlGhaliboon has lost all of the arguements and he's running away with his tail between his legs.
Actually untrue. But then again, I realized you would use even THIS to score a cheap shot at me, when it was not I who backed away, and I would not have, but I was asked to. And I respect Mr. Totten's wish because it is his site.

I'm out.

All respect to those who debated/discussed respectfully.

Posted by: AlGhaliboon at November 15, 2006 12:41 PM

Petrit: Please refer to my other point; these are not reciprocal arrangements, and the two issues are unrelated from a humanitarian point of view.

What a load of crap. The Geneva Convention is a reciprocal agreement, and it is a reciprocal agreement between states only. Article 4 defines who is a Protected person, and it explicitly excludes Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention and the citizens of a neutral state or an allied state.

"Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not protected by it. Nationals of a neutral State who find themselves in the territory of a belligerent State, and nationals of a co-belligerent State, shall not be regarded as protected persons while the State of which they are nationals has normal diplomatic representation in the State in whose hands they are."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Geneva_Convention

Full Text at:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Human_Rights/geneva1.html

Posted by: mikhael at November 15, 2006 12:44 PM

"effectively debunking all the so-called arguments of more than a hundred people."

Was a cheap shot.

"But for you that's "domination" (whatever you mean by it)"

Was also a cheap shot.

"I realize not everyone is up to the challenge of constantly having their arguments and false information debunked"

Was the cheapest shot of all.

So if I threw a cheap shot it's only because I give as good as I get.

And don't pretend you've been respectful to Mr. Totten after those shameful cheap shots.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 15, 2006 12:46 PM

In any case it's simply the truth that you have lost all of the arguements if logic is the standard.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 15, 2006 12:48 PM

Sorry to pull the plug suddenly, folks. There is no way to do it gradually, though I tried to do it passive-aggressively yesterday and wind it down a bit more slowly.

I hope at least most people realize that I had to do this eventually. Some people whom I trust very much have told me I should have done it days ago. I don't know.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 15, 2006 01:00 PM

Michael Smith
I said "Fact is you don't care about their courage..."
You said "Oh, I see, the mind reader has spoken ..."

I am sorry. I thought I understood from all the comments here that Hizballah's courage is not the reason and is not related to why Americans hate hizballah. Apparently you insist I was was mistaken, I suppose you do care (or might care) about their courage , my mistake.
But I guaranty "they" don't hate your freedom and they don't care about it.

JBP and tsedek
I did follow the links you provided, thanks for the videos, (took a bit of time on my sucky internet connection ...), the kfar kana one CLEARLY shows the truck moved outside the village before shooting the rockets (google maps indicates about 100 meters outside the village) when i could have fired form inside the village! I hardly call that hiding behind women and children!

The second show missile being shot from under a building. And the third a missile battery next to a house. I believe the video is not fabricated and is real. If the building/house does not belong to a hizbollah person then, yes, the video shows the people firing the rocket were hiding behind civilian BUILDINGS (but not civilian women and children.)

For the video with the long URL i got "This video has been removed due to terms of use violation." so I cannot comment on it.

No civilian woman or child shows in any of the videos you provided am I correct? or did I miss something?

Mertel,
I think the HRW report you link to is relevant. I don't know if they have proof but if they do, indeed that mean Hezbollay is unjustifiably endangering civlians.

Since this is an Anti Hizballah thread/blog I figure it is only fair someone lended AlG. a link, so here goes ... Just for the fun of it :-)

If we take HRW word Israel has committed much more violations which I can quote too:
"Of course Hizbullah did sometimes hide among civilians, breaching its duty to do everything feasible to protect civilians and possibly committing the war crime of deliberate shielding, but that's not the full story.

Human Rights Watch investigated some two dozen bombing incidents in Lebanon involving a third of the civilians who by then had been killed. In NONE of those cases was Hizbullah anywhere around at the time of the attack. "

(my capitalization)

Same site YOU link to : http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/08/22/lebano14061.htm

"The Israel Defense Forces should provide details about a bombing on Saturday that killed 16 people in a convoy of civilians fleeing a Lebanese village near Israel’s border, Human Rights Watch said today."

Same site : http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/17/isrlpa13756.htm

Of course there are many others but you get the picture.
My point is, to me, Israel is AT LEAST as guilty as hizbollah in committing those atrocities, yet I fail to see the American people's outcry about it!

Second and more importantly, about one half of the civilian casualties were NOT in south lebanon yet ZERO missiles were launched to Israel from beirut, or the bekaa, do you also blame Hizbollah hiding behind civilians for those death the were not fighting anyone in beirut, not firing any rockets form beirut (I think no one ever pretended they fired anything from beirut)?
Why don't Americans get bothered about that? Maybe they do, but they don't express it.
I know for sure Michael did speak against it, but I have seen many people try to say it is OK (to kill civilian kilometers away from any combat zone)

Third, just for kicks, here is a clear picture of Israeli soldiers storing their munitions next to women and children.
If it was Hizballah in this picture wouldn't you call it hiding behind women and children and condemning it and citing it as reason why they are cowards?

http://ontheface.blogware.com/scheiner.jpg

PS I don't care what is being written on the bomb they are kids and I don't blame them, I blame the Israeli soldiers for "hiding behind women and children" while fighting a war.
PS2: Intentionnaly linking to the picture on Lisa's blog instead of some oh-the-horror-we-hate-jews blog.

Sorry for the too long reply.

Posted by: Anonymous Leb at November 15, 2006 01:03 PM

It was interesting while it lasted, although in the end, the arguments did become repetitive, which in and of itself lends credence to Michael's decision to pull the plug. There's no point repeating the same thing over and over. AlG made his point (and was a good sport), and that is that.

Posted by: bad vilbel at November 15, 2006 01:05 PM

MJT, I have to wonder about your reasoning here. Your SiteMeter stats are through the roof in the last few days.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 15, 2006 01:05 PM

Ouch so much happened while I was writing the long post ...
Sorry Michael I only read the last few posts after I had posted ...

Posted by: Anonymous Leb at November 15, 2006 01:07 PM

Sorry to pull the plug suddenly, folks. (MJT)

Personally I understand why it had to be done. This blog was becoming ALG vs the world (or at least the MJT world).

It would have been different had there been more sharing ALG's point of view. It would be no bad thing to see a few more in here...

Although I'd probably would kidnap Mr. AlGhaliboon all by myself if he'd stand right in front of me, the freedom of expression seems to be restricted to nodd-your-agreement postings on your blog, that I lost interest. (Tsedek)

Yes, there are a fair few in here from the 'anyone who disagrees with GW Bush is a traitor / friend of terrorists' school of thought, but all in all I think the standard of debate here is pretty high.

It's been interesting reading your points recently, so I think it's a shame you are going.

Posted by: Dirk at November 15, 2006 01:21 PM

Tse: the freedom of expression seems to be restricted to nodd-your-agreement postings on your blog

This is absolutely not true. I disagree with a lot of people who post comments here, and some people (like Double-Plus-Ungood) disagree with me almost constantly.

I wish there was more disagreement, honestly. Echo chambers are boring and useless.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 15, 2006 01:26 PM

..some people (like Double-Plus-Ungood) disagree with me almost constantly.

No I don't.

Oh, wait...

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 15, 2006 01:30 PM

Anon: No-one has stated that Israel ONLY attacked rocket launch sites. They clearly went after Hezbollah at every level: command centers, storage facilities, supply lines, roads, bridges, etc. Hezbollah may not have launched rockets from southern Beirut or the Bekaa valley (only because of distance I assume), but there is no doubt they were important military areas for them (and legitimate targets).

It is, of course, legitimate to argue that Israel was too extensive in its bombing campaign, but that does not mean they deliberately targeted civilians.

Hezbollah, on the otherhand (and AlG) have admitted to deliberately committing war crimes and targeting civilians:

"Hezbollah also sought to justify its attacks on Israeli civilians by claiming they were legitimate reprisals under certain interpretations of Islamic law."
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/10/05/lebano14336.htm

Posted by: Mertel at November 15, 2006 01:31 PM

DPU: No I don't.

See!

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 15, 2006 01:38 PM

I realize that it can get a bit too much when you have one person effectively debunking all the so-called arguments of more than a hundred people. But for you that's "domination" (whatever you mean by it), and you immediately stick to the "this is a personal site", which is fine, and I respect it. I realize not everyone is up to the challenge of constantly having their arguments and false information debunked...

For what it's worth, I do an excellent job (blush) of taking a contrarian view of many of MJT's political position, and yet he has always treated me with much appreciated respect. I'd like to note as well that he's also been a generous host for this length discussion over multiple threads for several days, and I've learned much about both positions that I would have missed had I not been a regular reader here.

Should the commenters take up this discussion elsewhere, I'd be delighted to lurk there. I can be reached at double - dot - plus - dot - ungood at gmail - dot - com.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 15, 2006 03:23 PM

... "positions", I meant above. Michael has more than one position.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 15, 2006 03:24 PM

We just deserve the government we have.
Amal and the "Divine' are no better than Hariri and
company...they have both houses of glass.
It just happen they have different agendas and
will never find a common denominator.
Another compromise based on more lies is not to be discarded.The embers will remain under the ashes.
This is the fate of "Bumper States".

Posted by: kinlitt at November 15, 2006 05:05 PM

"I don't know"

I may be wrong, but the guy is from Canada. Who cares how strong his militia is?

Posted by: mikek at November 15, 2006 11:20 PM

Many thanks, DPU.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 16, 2006 12:42 AM

Mr. Totten,
"Unaligned Lebanese: Hezbollah are no more traitors than March 14th who, as someone pointed out here, are aided and abetted and doing the bidding of the US and certainly Saudi Arabia.

The US is not an enemy of Lebanon. It is okay to have allies. You're screwed if you don't have allies."

Have you seen the recent Gallup polls? More than 60 percent of Lebanese have a negative opinion of the US; more than half a "very negative" opinion of the US vis-a-vis Lebanon. If as a Lebanese I don't agree with the American agenda, don't trust their intentions, don't trust them not to pull a 1991 sell-us-out-to the Syrians or whoever again, then I might consider their meddling to be hostile. Don't forget that the US unfortunately in 1983 fired on and killed Lebanese on behalf of the rightwing Christians when their presence was meant to be neutral. And it was American bombs and the American OK that allowed bombs to rain down on every highway, airport, port, on homes, ambulances, civil resistance shelters, this summer etc.

If Lebanon is meant to be a democracy, isn't it true that the majority of people can say we don't trust their motives, we don't want their influence?

And as far as the hiding behind women and children accusation is concerned: Read Bt'selem's recent report on IDF operations in Gaza. They conclude that firing on a "launching pad" is only "defensive" if an attack from this pad is in progress. Those who launch katyushas don't stand around for hours and days waiting for the IDF to respond; therefore anything but an immediate response against a "launching pad" amounts to collective punishments. I have seen the traces of were Hezbollah's missiles were fired from in the rugged and uninhabited southern Lebanese landscape below Khiam, and I have heard only of Hezbollah launching or trying to launch from populated areas in one case-- that of Ain Ebel. That doesn't justify many many of the IDF attacks against civilian areas, including Qana were Hezbollah missiles were alleged to have been launched days before the IDF attack that killed dozens of people in their sleep.
This is an interesting article by an American journalist in southern Lebanon that refutes the hiding behind civilians claim, on grounds that civilians would not support these measures!
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/07/28/hezbollah/index_np.html

Respectfully yours,
Unaligned Lebanese

Posted by: Unaligned Lebanese at November 16, 2006 01:55 AM

Unaligned, if you keep allowing Hezbollah to commit acts of war then you better get used to lots of "collective punishment". That's the nature of war and if you don't like it then you can try what the civilized world does to avoid it, peace.

Don't come complaining to us that you don't like war when the only reason you don't have peace is that you think it's beneath your dignity to make peace.

For that matter, if Hezbollah were willing to declare peace (that's peace not a ridiculous temporary Hudna) and sign a treaty with Israel, I'm sure Heabollah would get it's prisoners back.

That's the way the west makes war, and if you don't like it, too damn bad. You're not supposed to like war. War isn't a game.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 16, 2006 02:04 AM

Unaligned Lebanese: If as a Lebanese I don't agree with the American agenda, don't trust their intentions, don't trust them not to pull a 1991 sell-us-out-to the Syrians or whoever again, then I might consider their meddling to be hostile. Don't forget that the US unfortunately in 1983 fired on and killed Lebanese on behalf of the rightwing Christians when their presence was meant to be neutral. And it was American bombs and the American OK that allowed bombs to rain down on every highway, airport, port, on homes, ambulances, civil resistance shelters, this summer etc.

Well, I'm an American and I agree with you about that stuff. We fuck up a lot. Sorry.

Don't forget, though, that the US also helped push Syria out of Lebanon. Bashar Assad told Time Magazine "I am not Saddam Hussein. I want to cooperate." He was clearly afraid Bush might kill him if he didn't withdraw his army.

The question to ask yourself is: would Lebanon be better off with no counterweight to Syrian and Iranian meddling?

I don't think you should trust us completely. We have some very stupid politicians in this country who don't know the difference between Lebanon and Liberia. Most of us mean well, though.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 16, 2006 02:06 AM

Hey AlGhaliboon,

Do you ever think to yourself:

"man, Hezbollah and the rest of us glorious jihadists are truly losers. We don't offer the world anything except neverending grivences, refugees, and fear.

We don't invent anything, we don't create anything, we just leach off the hard work of others and blow crap up for the glory of g-d.

Man, maybe we should grow up, get jobs, and try to take pride in our own accomplishments rather than having to destroy others."

Just curious if that ever goes through your mind.

Oh, and if you guys are so brave, why don't you wear your uniforms when fighting? Why do you dress up like civilians turning everyone around you into a target?

Posted by: j at November 16, 2006 02:08 AM

Oh, and Josh is right about your need to make peace with Israel. If Lebanon insists on war, then Lebanon will be attacked. That's what happens in war. If you don't want to get bombed again, I strongly suggest you start a peace movement. Lebanon needs one. Now.

I understand that Syria, Hezbollah, and so on, make this extraordinarily difficult. I also know, though, that Lebanese in general are much more interested in remaining in a state of at least cold war with Israel than Israelis are interested in bombing Lebanon again.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 16, 2006 02:11 AM

...and the American OK that allowed bombs to rain down on every highway, airport, port, on homes, ambulances, civil resistance shelters, this summer etc.

...aren't you kind of, well, completely ignoring the reason those bombs were falling in Lebanon this summer?

Something about an outfit based in Lebanon kidnapping some people and then firing a whole lot of rockets into Israel?

Does any of this sound at all familiar to you?

If I thought (as you seem to) that the Israelis just woke up one day and thought "Hey, it would be a lot of fun to bomb the hell out of Lebanon today, let's call Uncle Sam and see if he'll sell us some bombs to do it with", I'd consider the US to be irredeemably evil, too... but that's not even remotely close to what really happened.

Nothing happens in a vaccum. Cause must preceed effect. Ignoring those facts only hurts your credibility.

If Lebanon is meant to be a democracy, isn't it true that the majority of people can say we don't trust their motives, we don't want their influence?

Nope.

In the modern sense of the world, 'Democracy' means the electorate gets to decide who is going to run the country. Pedants refer to this as 'Representative Democracy', and it actually bears very little resemblance to actual Democracy (which would be every citizen voting on every issue).

And as far as the hiding behind women and children accusation is concerned: Read Bt'selem's recent report on IDF operations in Gaza. They conclude that firing on a "launching pad" is only "defensive" if an attack from this pad is in progress.

That is very weak reasoning.

Those who launch katyushas don't stand around for hours and days waiting for the IDF to respond; therefore anything but an immediate response against a "launching pad" amounts to collective punishments.

War could be considered the ultimate collective punishment.

If you don't like it, don't allow your leaders to start wars.

I have seen the traces of were Hezbollah's missiles were fired from in the rugged and uninhabited southern Lebanese landscape below Khiam, and I have heard only of Hezbollah launching or trying to launch from populated areas in one case-- that of Ain Ebel.

Sounds like you need to do more research.

That doesn't justify many many of the IDF attacks against civilian areas, including Qana were Hezbollah missiles were alleged to have been launched days before the IDF attack that killed dozens of people in their sleep.

What are you saying? That the Israelis should only attack locations while people are awake?

Why not say Hezbullah should not launch missles from urban areas instead?

This is an interesting article by an American journalist in southern Lebanon that refutes the hiding behind civilians claim, on grounds that civilians would not support these measures!

It doesn't refute a damn thing:

Although Israel targets apartments and offices because they are considered "Hezbollah" installations, the group has a clear policy of keeping its fighters away from civilians as much as possible. This is not for humanitarian reasons -- they did, after all, take over an apartment building against the protests of the landlord, knowing full well it would be bombed -- but for military ones.

The idea that you should make a distinction between a terrorist group's "political" wing and it's "militant" wing is garbage.

Posted by: rosignol at November 16, 2006 02:38 AM

Every time I come to this site and read the comments... I am filled with dread and despair and anger...

I so love the "you gotta break some eggs to make an omelette" argument - usually spoken by those who have never and will never have their lives on the line...

And fuck objectivity...

I lost a niece this summer...
in Lebanon... she was 12... trying to escape to Beirut with her family when Israeli drones fired upon them...

so tell me who I should be mad at...
Israel?
Hezbollah?
Or Northrup Grumman, McDonnell Douglas and Raytheon... just down the street from where I live...
business is good...
and they are hiring...

Posted by: El Saghir at November 16, 2006 03:13 AM

You want to know who to blame, who to be mad at?

Be mad at Lebanon for being to proud, and too driven by hatred to make peace with Israel, not to mention too tribal to have a working democracy. You should also be angry at all of your neighbors who are killing your leaders and the like to keep you that way.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 16, 2006 04:24 AM

I should have written "too tribal to have a strong democracy" rather than "working"

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 16, 2006 04:25 AM

Middle easterners always play on the dead children.

If you were actually organizing to bring change in order to insure safety for your children then I'd be impressed.

You don't.

I'm not.

Instead I see those pictures placed on the blogs and the only reaction is people pledging their undying hatred and enmity.

Just what you need, more hatred and enmity.

Wisdom would be to pledge to end hatred and enmity. On your own side!!!

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 16, 2006 04:33 AM

El Saghir, My heartfelt condolences - may her soul rest in peace. I can understand you. Really. I do. Eventhough I blame solely the hizb for this war, I honestly can understand you.

Posted by: tsedek at November 16, 2006 04:35 AM

Anyway El Saghir, I completely agree that "dread and despair and anger" is the appropriate reaction to the situation in the middle east.

But your question is wrong. You shouldn't be asking who to blame, you should be asking, "what will make Lebanon a hopeful, less doomed place?" "what should we do?" "What can I do?"

Those are useful thoughts.

But blaming Northrup is just jerking off.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 16, 2006 05:10 AM

Rosignol and Josh (armchair) Scholar,

I really wonder what your stake is in all this, for you to write so rabidly.
"If you don't like it, don't allow your leaders to start wars." By your reckoning then citizens of any country that the US has started a war with could be justified in "collectively punishing" Americans. And (I'm assuming your American or Israeli) you live in a "democracy" of sorts and still have no control over what your leaders do or don't do, which wars they start.

You must not travel very much! I think you need to get out of the house and consider what that kind of "collective punishment" would look like. Thank God the vast majority of people in the world and the Middle East don't think like you. Your armchair analysis is quite convenient, isn't it, for you to harbor such sadistic views.
Wouldn't you say that "collective punishment" is quite al-qaedaesque? After all killing random Americans to punish the leadership of a country is what we generally refer to as terrorism.

Posted by: Unaligned Lebanese at November 16, 2006 07:26 AM

Unaligned,
Any way you look at it, the western way of war, meaning large expensive armies seeking a decisive battle, is a collective endeavor. The losing country suffers a lot, not only the combatants. If a western country fights a war on your territory, you have a serious problem. If you want to call the western way of war, terrorism go right ahead. The name you give it, will not change its nature.

After the Napoleonic wars, the Europeans decided that western armies fighting each other is not a good idea. Unfortunately, 100 years later no one was around to remember how devastating western warfare is and the same mistake was made again.

The Israeli philosophy of war is a western one. We seek to fight a decisive battle on our enemy's soil so as to win in battle and also inflict economic damage thus making war unattractive to our advesaries. This is not going to change any time soon. You can call this "state terrorism" if it makes you feel better and morally superior.

A western army has a problem reaching a decisive victory against a guerilla force like HA, but if needed we will attempt to do so, at a tremendous cost to Lebanon. This is how we work. Really, it is a take it or leave it deal. Israel is not going to change.

The nice side is that if you make peace with us, we will make you richer through trade and tourism. I can only point to Egypt and Jordan as examples.

Just leave us alone or make peace with us. If you don't want a war, control or disarm HA. If the majority want peace, then don't be timid, stand up to HA and then sit down and negotiate with us. If your pride gets in the way, don't complain about the next war. Start the process today, Unaligned, join the Lebanese peace movement.

But if your strategy is to try change Israel, instead of trying to change your fellow Lebanese, you shouldn't waste any energy.

e

Posted by: e at November 16, 2006 08:40 AM

Unaligned Lebanese: After all killing random Americans to punish the leadership of a country is what we generally refer to as terrorism.

Look, I'm not happy about Israel's war either. But this argument doesn't work at all.

Lebanese civilians were not killed at random to punish Fouad Seniora.

Lebanese civilians were killed because they were caught between Hezbollah and the IDF.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 16, 2006 11:19 AM

By your reckoning then citizens of any country that the US has started a war with could be justified in "collectively punishing" Americans.

I'm not justifying anything, I'm telling you how the world works; I'm telling you what war is.

If you allow acts of war to come from your country you are at war. And your choice are:

1. You live in the modern world where you are responsible for what your country does and better fight (democratically) to make it reasonable.

2. You're just a helpless serf in a totalitarian state, responsible for nothing, brain deliberately filled with ignorant hatred and lies. Not capable of helping but always dying whenever your owners decide it would be convenient. Serfs in totalitarian states are like guard dogs, starved and beaten so that they'll always hate and attack the neighbors.

Make your choice.

You're responsible or you're not. You're a citizen who takes responsibility or you're powerless, irrelevant, controlled, and hating on cue like a mistreated dog.

It's time to grow up, take responsibility and make peace.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 16, 2006 11:55 AM

Anyway fighting democratically means CONVINCING people. It means spreading ideas, it means changing people's minds.

That's what you need to be doing, inside of Lebanon.

And that's what I am attempting to do, however unskillfully with my passionate pleas that you must make change.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 16, 2006 12:07 PM

Everyone knows the story of the boiling frog, right? If you put a frog in a pot of water and raise the temperature slowly enough, the frog never notices how hot it's getting and never jumps out of the water to save itself.

I'm screaming so loudly because I'm trying to shock you into realizing that you're like that frog, but you've been boiling your entire life. That the situation isn't just bad, it is horrible has always been horrible and you better realize that and change.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at November 16, 2006 12:12 PM

Josh,

Too late now.

They have chosen Hezbullah. The Iranian occupying force, and soon the borders of Iran will circle Iraq, Syria, AND Lebanon.

Not a cheerful note by any means. = TG

Posted by: TG at November 16, 2006 08:59 PM

Rosignol and Josh (armchair) Scholar,

I really wonder what your stake is in all this, for you to write so rabidly.

I can't speak for Josh.

My stake in this is pretty simple. I don't want my country to fight a western-style war in the middle east because I have a pretty good idea of how many people are going to die.

I'm not referring to the American casualties. Those will be relatively light, possibly about 1% of the force deployed. Probably less.

I am concerned about the casualties of whoever is on the recieving end, both the poor SOB conscripts drafted under pain of imprisonment or execution and the civilians who are just unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Those people didn't ask for what they're going to get. The only reason they will die is because of a combination of misfortune and the stupidity or malice of their leaders.

What I want to do is get rid of certain leaders who are persung policies I believe will lead to even larger conflicts in the future. There is no way of doing that without going through those conscripts and civilians. Assassination might help, but it leaves the system of government untouched, and often the system is the real problem.

"If you don't like it, don't allow your leaders to start wars." By your reckoning then citizens of any country that the US has started a war with could be justified in "collectively punishing" Americans.

No. Attacks targeting civilians are atrocities prosecutable under the Geneva Conventions.

Attacks on military targets that may also affect civilians are allowed.

So indiscriminately bombarding residential areas in Manhattan would be a GC violation, but taking out the George Washington Bridge would be allowed, as bridges are considered military targets- despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the traffic that uses the GW Bridge are civilian.

Yeah, I know, it's a very fine distinction, and it sucks. That's the westphalian system for you- it's biggest (possibly only) virtue is that it sucks less than what preceeded it.

And (I'm assuming your American or Israeli) you live in a "democracy" of sorts and still have no control over what your leaders do or don't do, which wars they start.

Personally? Of course not. However, the US does not have autonomous zones where the government has no authority or people running around with katyushas and firing them at other countries, either.

This is because the US government (along with most other countries, modern or not, western or not) understands that it can be held accountable for what happens within it's borders and takes steps to prevent people inside the US from starting wars with our neighbors.

If the US goes to war, it is because we were attacked, or because the President asked Congress to declare war and Congress agreed that it was necessary- not because the 'Frothing Lunatic Party' used it's private militia to launch it's arsenal of rockets at the Bahamas.

You must not travel very much! I think you need to get out of the house and consider what that kind of "collective punishment" would look like.

It's ugly. We know that very well, thank you- it's a big part of why we spend so much money on our military- if there is fighting to be done, it will be done in the other guy's territory, not ours.

Why on earth did you think we give the Pentagon so much money? Their job is very explicitly to keep that kind of thing from happening here.

Thank God the vast majority of people in the world and the Middle East don't think like you.

Look at the results of 'thinking like you' compared to 'thinking like us'- we've been at peace with Mexico for over a century and a half, and are coming up on two centuries since we were last at war with Canada. Nobody in the US wants to invade Canada or Mexico, nobody in Canada wants to invade the US, and the Mexicans 'invading' the US want to mow our lawns and build us houses, not destroy things and kill people (I dunno what Canadians think of Mexicans, or vice versa).

...and somehow, you seem to think this is a fault.

Tell me, would it not be better for Lebanon to have been at peace with Syria and Israel for more decades than you could count on your fingers and for 'invading' syrians or israelis to be people who want to work for you instead of spies, saboteurs, and assassins?

Your armchair analysis is quite convenient, isn't it, for you to harbor such sadistic views.

Sadists enjoy making people suffer.

I don't.

Wouldn't you say that "collective punishment" is quite al-qaedaesque? After all killing random Americans to punish the leadership of a country is what we generally refer to as terrorism.

The difference between al Qaeda and western militaries- including the Israelis- is that when al Qaeda kills civilians, it's a successful operation.

When a western military kills civilians, it's an accident, because people in western militaries know that killing civilians does not help to achieve their goals. All it does is make the friends and relatives of the people killed sympathetic to the enemy's cause. That's why western militaries try very hard to avoid killing civilians if at all possible.

It's also why al Qaeda is doomed. Every time they pull off an operation, more Americans become radicalized, and more willing to consider previously unthinkable means of resolving the conflict. Eventually, enough Americans will be radicalized that you will start to see some truly scary candidates in American elections... and if al Qaeda keeps it up, sooner or later one of them will win.

That's why I want this resolved sooner instead of later. The longer it goes on, the uglier it will be.

Posted by: rosignol at November 16, 2006 11:54 PM

To All:

Those who are really interested in debating Lebanese politics with Lebanese, check this place: www.lfpm.org/forum

AlGhaliboon is there so are many other commentators.

Michael, hope we will see YOU as well there :)

Regards

Posted by: Lira at November 17, 2006 08:10 AM

Here's a fun thread lpfm

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