November 30, 2006

Hugging the flag

By Abu Kais

Tomorrow, Hizbullah’s orcs and friends will invade downtown Beirut in an attempt to topple the government.

March 14 is asking its supporters to hug their flags and wait for the storm to pass.

Prime Minister Fouad Siniora delivered another pretty speech which I won’t quote, because I think it’s useless, given that the man will keep turning the other cheek until he ends up on Hizbullah and Assad’s cross.

My emotions are clearly running high. All I see in front me, as a Lebanese Shia, is Nasrallah's face as he kidnaps my child into the servitude of his dark lords.

Earlier today, I published this post on my blog:

When Israel launched its retaliatory war in Lebanon this summer, some in Lebanon shouted: "We are all Hizbullah."

On Friday, Syria and Iran will launch an attack on Lebanon. They have recruited an Islamist militia armed and funded by an anti-democracy clerical regime. They have also recruited a mentally disturbed former army general with Napoleonic tendencies. They have recruited Palestinian refugees and Syrians languishing under a despotic regime.

They have recruited a “president” who thinks his duty is to call for civil disobedience against the very government he heads.

They have recruited Lebanese “citizens” brainwashed by theology and false messiahs.

On Friday, Lebanon will be attacked. Downtown Beirut will be sullied by the boots of Iranian, Syrian and Aounist orcs.

March 14 should not let this happen unopposed. If Hizbullah thinks it has the right to “defend” Lebanon any way it sees fit, then we have the right to fight for its future.

Downtown Beirut belongs to all. Do not let it be sullied by the defenders of darkness.

Beat them to freedom square. Form a human shield around Rafik Hariri’s site; Another Human shield around the government building; A Human shield around Samir Kassir’s statue; Human shield around Gebran Tueni’s An-Nahar; Human shield around the Martyrs’ statue.

March 14, mobilize the masses to Baabda. Resume the Cedar Revolution.

If they are all Hizbullah yesterday, today and tomorrow-- we are all Lebanon, forever.

Very few agreed with my call. I don’t understand what we, Lebanese, are waiting for. More assassinations? Nasrallah thanking Syria again? My argument is this:

There are no available means in Lebanon to ward off Hizbullah and Aoun. They will not be stopped until an offensive is launched, and it won't be through his cabinet or parliament. My family is there and I don't want war to break out. It probably won't. But giving them flowers and turning the other cheek won't cut it. The army, security forces and the presidency cannot touch them because they are practically in control of all that. Let's admit this for once. Siniora is completely helpless. There is nothing he can do, even if he wanted to. Take it from Berri. He goes with the flow, and the flow right now is towards Iran. With the US's hands tied up in Iraq, I don't see any other solution but to duke it out. I don't mean war, but tit for tat, street for street, and [the presidential palace in] Baabda is the target. Enough with wasting time. They have made up their mind.

I am willing to be convinced that there is another solution. I just don't see what it is.

Update. Lebanese blogger R from Voices On The Wind agrees: march to Baabda.

The lines are drawn, and its obvious who is about to cross them. I suggest that March 14 pre-empt any "opposition" moves and mobilize its own public to camp in downtown, in defence of the Siniora government. The Siniora government should prove that it is worth defending, by appointing new ministers to replace the resigned 6 and murdered 1 and then wait for the general in baabda to sign, which he won't. At that point, it would be time to march to baabda... Take the initiative goddamnit...

Posted by Abu Kais at November 30, 2006 05:36 PM
Comments

We do need to go on the offensive, but to an even greater extent than you are calling for.

I completely agree with Waleed Jumblatt: if the Syrian regime is allowed to continue unfettered in Lebanon, it will. Is it time to turn their tactics against them?

Posted by: Charles Malik at November 30, 2006 06:52 PM

Orcs?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 30, 2006 07:23 PM

I thought it an apt description.

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

Posted by: Ron Snyder at November 30, 2006 08:17 PM

Demonizing one's political opponents to the point that they are, well, demons, kinda reduces my estimation of the analysis.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 30, 2006 09:02 PM

Orcs?

Spot on.

Posted by: Carlos at November 30, 2006 09:42 PM

dpu, I'd love to hear your friendlier description of Hizbullah. Try to mention ponies; everybody likes ponies.

Posted by: bgates at November 30, 2006 10:21 PM

Abu Kais -

First, what's the deal with Aoun? Is he a charasmatic power monger more interested in power than Lebanon and his sect in Lebanon, the Christians? Or is he simply a weasel? Please explain....

It kind of reminded me of this summer when Hezbollah and Syria (in my firm opinion) purposefully picked a war with Israel... the Lebanese didn't do anything? and all publically (at least) had to run to support Hezbollah. "We are all Hezbollah today".... it was obvious then that Hezbollah and Syria could do as they willed at any time.

Are the forces "of good" strong enough to overcome the thugs and orcs? Are enough good people in Lebanon fed up and want it to change?
Enough to STAY IN LEBANON (not leave for Canada or the US) and fight off Syria and Hezbollah and expose them for the violent thugs they are?

In Poland there was Walessa, Unions and a Polish people tired, angry and willing to go to the mat by the millions to demand freedom from a foreign entity.

In Lebanon you have a fractuous, disjointed, apparently tired people and as you said "they have the Army, Presidency and police".......

I don't like them odds.

It seems like they are more committed than the "good guys"... just as they truly are in Iraq.... the Americans don't realize the real score/battle being waged in Iraq and its signifigance for the future of the entire Region/World.... they still think in terms of PRO BUSH or ANTI BUSH.

I'd bet a lot more people in Lebanon understand the real score there.

What do you think of that analysis? Please reply Abu Kais.

Mike

Posted by: Mike Nargizian at November 30, 2006 10:27 PM

I actually agree with you, Abu Kais (as I did on your other blog).

And I don't think using the word "Orc" takes away from the analysis. People who think it does really don't seem to realize what Hizbullah is doing to Lebanon. They ARE orcs.

How long do you turn the cheek when you're being slapped around, murdered, tortured, and insulted? At what point does one realize that the enemy is beyond reason? Extending the olive branch has been tried for the past 2 years. The other side simply doesn't want your olive branch. They just want you to offer yourself in chains as a slave to them.
There is no negotiating. Time to do something.

Posted by: Bad Vilbel at November 30, 2006 10:35 PM

Demonizing one's political opponents to the point that they are, well, demons, kinda reduces my estimation of the analysis.

DPU, at what point does someone stop being a 'political opponent' and start being an enemy?

Posted by: rosignol at November 30, 2006 11:04 PM

It seems like they are more committed than the "good guys"... just as they truly are in Iraq....

Yes.

This is an insoluable problem.

The Democrats who would "...pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty..." are no more.

At some point, the jihadis will go too far and the US will be well and truly committed to the fight... but it seems that things are not yet to that point.

Damn shame. The number of people who will die will be orders of magnitude smaller if we deal with Iran sooner instead of later, but not enough people see that.

the Americans don't realize the real score/battle being waged in Iraq and its signifigance for the future of the entire Region/World.... they still think in terms of PRO BUSH or ANTI BUSH.

Some of us do. The main reason I voted for Bush in 2004 was because I thought he understood what was at stake better than Kerry did.

Posted by: rosignol at November 30, 2006 11:34 PM

DPU,
I strongly suspect that were you to live in or have family in Lebanon or elsewhere in the Levant you might be less accomadating of "political opponents" the likes of Hezbollah and the Assad regime. Moral relativism is a really neat concept from a computer chair in North America. I know you have good intentions, but the orc analogy is coming from Abu Kais a Lebanese Shia for cryin' out loud. I can't imagine what he and his compatriots must be feeling.

btw Abu Kais I loved the analogy. Nasrallah and his fawning groupie admirer Sadr in Iraq have always looked like sinister fat Orcs to me. I guess that would make the current Supreme Leader in Persia the rough equivalent of Saruman the evil wizard. Although personally I think Khomenei actually looked like him while he was still alive(sadly his evil spirit still lingers).

Posted by: Rommel at November 30, 2006 11:40 PM

Well Rommel (and others), I do live in Lebanon and I have a family in Lebanon and I worry of things if Hizballah were to take complete control of the government(*) and I still agree with DPU; two sides demonizing each others will not lead the discussion or the country anywhere.

Just another vote for less name calling and cheap gratuitous comparisons, no matter which side one agrees with.

  • A worry which surely will not happen anytime soon
Posted by: Anonymous Leb at December 1, 2006 12:48 AM

This isn't the 1970's, hezbollah has the means of crushing the opposition if civil war broke out.

Be sensible and give them proportional representation.

Posted by: nm at December 1, 2006 05:11 AM

Hey y'all, this is DPU's M.O.

He did it to me when we got into a long debate about whether or not ANGRY Arab's blog "dripped with hatred" or not.

I used the phrase metaphorically, but DPU tasked me to find examples of ANGRY Arab dripping with hatred, which is a fool's errand for me since DPU would no doubt dipute my examples of ANGRY Arab dripping with hate.

Now he takes issue with the use of the term Orc, playing his usual semantic games while ignoring the big picture.

What next DPU, you gonna ask Abu Kais to give examples that some of the Hezbollahis are Orcs???

Posted by: Zak at December 1, 2006 06:13 AM

Demonizing one's political opponents...

DPU, it's not like the Liberals vs. the Conservatives vs. the NDP, unless, of course, the Conservatives were AK-47 toting martyr-dreaming religious fanatics beholden to a (at least one) foreign power, who drags the entire country through wars due to their need for "adventurism" in a vain attempt to justify their massive weapons stockpile.

Other than that, it's just like Canada.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at December 1, 2006 06:17 AM

DPU, it's not like the Liberals vs. the Conservatives vs. the NDP, unless, of course, the Conservatives were AK-47 toting martyr-dreaming religious fanatics...

If peace is to come to the region, it will be done by making peace with enemies. One doesn't make peace with "orcs". That only leads to perpetual war.

It's possible to recognize enemies and the evil that they do while still allowing them their humanity. That allows eventual redemption.

I see no benefit to labeling them with a subhuman term.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 06:25 AM

This isn't the 1970's, hezbollah has the means of crushing the opposition if civil war broke out.

Ah, no, they don't. They have lots of people trained to wear uniforms while marching, and not nearly as many people trained in urban combat.

It takes a lot more than ~12,000 or so fighters to dominate a country with almost 4,000,000 people.

By way of comparison: The US has 152,000 soldiers in Iraq, a country of ~28,000,000 or so people. That's one soldier per ~184 or so Iraqis.

One of the biggest criticisms of the US's approach to dealing with the insurgency in Iraq is insufficient manpower.

Hizbullah is estimated to have around 12,000 fighters (mostly reservists with more enthusiasm than training). That's one fighter per ~316 Lebanese citizens.

Hizbullah has the means to make life in Lebanon miserable for everyone. They are not capable of "crushing the opposition".

Posted by: rosignol at December 1, 2006 06:32 AM

DPU,

They let Hizballah into the political process - they tried treating them like any other faction.

Clearly, that hasn't worked out too well for the rest of the Lebanese.

I understand their anger.

But fine, Hizballah are psychotic, selfish, childish, martyrdom-seeking religious fanatical foreign agent non-orcs.

But I suppose they are people too....

People,
People who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world

Posted by: SoCalJustice at December 1, 2006 06:48 AM

Now he takes issue with the use of the term Orc, playing his usual semantic games while ignoring the big picture.

This medium relies on words to carry intent. Discussing that intent or the words themselves are hardly "semantic games". If I were to call you an ignorant Nazi, and you objected to my use of those words, and I responded that you were simply playing semantic games with my words, would that fair?

Also, complaining when people attempt to hold you to what you have said seems a bit craven. Doing so after the issue seems to have been settled amicably is disingenuous.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 06:50 AM

But I suppose they are people too....

I become concerned when people begin discussing other groups of people as subhuman. Now, back to the topic of the post...

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 06:54 AM

Are you concerned with how Hizballah is behaving today (and every other day, for that matter), as well?

Personally, I think the rest of the Lebanese have a right to be, well, pissed off when their "national resistance" is engaging in massive pro-Syrian street protest with the stated purpose of toppling the current government right on the heels of engaging in a military conflict that got their country nearly destroyed.

It might not bring out all the warm and fuzzy feelings in the non-Hizballah Lebanese.

I'm watching the protests on Al-Jazeera right now. The terms "sheeple" comes to mind - because they are protesting for, at a minimum, the continuation of a miserable situation and, more likely, for the stiuation to get worse. Why? Because they don't care - because "misery" is part of their jihad - dragging everyone down with them back to the 8th century.

It's a disgrace.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at December 1, 2006 07:02 AM

DPU: "If peace is to come to the region, it will be done by making peace with enemies."

Son, in the real world sometimes your enemies don't want peace.

Sometimes they just want you crushed.

The choice then becomes: Fight or die.

Hezbollah is unreasonable. They don't want peace. The only peace they'll offer is one that gets them more control. You can offer all the olive branches you want right up until their boot hits your neck. They are orcs.

You keep offering olive branches, Hez will keep offering bullets and bombs. You might have the moral high ground, which may comfort you in your grave.
You see it as a political game, Hezbollah sees it as a military action.

Posted by: Spade at December 1, 2006 07:04 AM

Are you concerned with how Hizballah is behaving today (and every other day, for that matter), as well?

Yes.

Personally, I think the rest of the Lebanese have a right to be, well, pissed off...

Yes, me too.

It might not bring out all the warm and fuzzy feelings in the non-Hizballah Lebanese.

Yes, I agree, absolutely.

I hope this helps dispels any notions that I might have a poster of Nasrallah over my bed, or that I think of the non-Hezbollah Lebanese population as untermenschen.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 07:09 AM

DPU, welcome to the world. Americans, and mostly white Americans at that, are the only people on earth who demonstrate any concern whatever at someone salting their conversation with derogations of others' race, religion, etc.

Posted by: Stacy at December 1, 2006 07:09 AM

The choice then becomes: Fight or die.

Then your solution would be the extermination of Hezbollah and it's supporters?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 07:10 AM

Americans, and mostly white Americans at that, are the only people on earth who demonstrate any concern whatever at someone salting their conversation with derogations of others' race, religion, etc.

Sheer comedy. Thanks for the early morning chuckle.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 07:13 AM

Yes, Canadians are indeed superior.

But, for the record, Hizballah is neither a race nor a religion.

And it was a Lebanese Shia who ruffled your feathers to being with, anyway.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at December 1, 2006 07:20 AM

Yes, Canadians are indeed superior.

Where did that come from?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 07:27 AM

Then your solution would be the extermination of Hezbollah and it's supporters?

You seem to be forgetting (or ignoring) that it is the other party that is forcing you to make this choice by refusing to allow you to live in peace.

Posted by: rosignol at December 1, 2006 07:28 AM

But, for the record, Hizballah is neither a race nor a religion.

And it was a Lebanese Shia who ruffled your feathers to being with, anyway.

Actually, I'm confused by the entire comment? What is this in reference to?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 07:28 AM

You seem to be forgetting (or ignoring) that it is the other party that is forcing you to make this choice by refusing to allow you to live in peace.

I'm forgetting nothing. I'm asking if that is the solution that some have in mind.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 07:29 AM

DPU: Then your solution would be the extermination of Hezbollah and it's supporters?

Why do you assume that "fighting" one's enemies means extermination?

You might not have a poster of Nasrallah in your bedroom, but it sounds like you ought to.

Posted by: Zak at December 1, 2006 07:48 AM

Why do you assume that "fighting" one's enemies means extermination?

"Fighting" is an unstable state. There are only two possible long-term outcomes - peace, or one side gone.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 07:54 AM

You might not have a poster of Nasrallah in your bedroom, but it sounds like you ought to.

Do you wish this dialog to degenerate to name-calling? If so, keep up the insults.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 07:55 AM

I'm forgetting nothing. I'm asking if that is the solution that some have in mind.

Most wars have been fought until one side either surrenders or is exterminated.

While fighting just to exterminate a group- giving no quarter and not accepting surrender- is morally wrong, it is not morally wrong to continue to wage war against an enemy who does not surrender.

Posted by: rosignol at December 1, 2006 08:04 AM

While fighting just to exterminate a group- giving no quarter and not accepting surrender- is morally wrong, it is not morally wrong to continue to wage war against an enemy who does not surrender.

I am not disputing that. But one might want to consider the fact that Israel was not able to disarm Hezbollah. And, at least in my book, if one is unlikely to be able to militarily defeat an enemy, then dialog is all that is left. Well, that or your own defeat.

Assuming that the most desirable outcome is peace through dialog, then it is necessary to eventually engage Hezbollah politically. If the current membership is too extreme, then steps need to be taken to moderate it over time so that political dialog is possible.

As I've said before, I'm hardly any kind of expert on Lebanese politics, but calling them orcs doesn't seem like a step toward anything good.

It's interesting that people here seem outraged that someone would object to calling them this, and would equate such an objection to full-fledged support for Hezbollah.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 08:16 AM

In war, the side that strikes first, with their full strength, wins.

Israel demonstrated that in the Six-Day War... and is still condemned today, for not quietly letting five Arab armies exterminate them.

The international community has handed down its judgement: reality is an imperfect place, that still requires brutal and barbaric acts be committed from time to time to ensure survival. For the high crime of imperfection, they have determined that reality must no longer be graced with the existence of human civilization.

All that's left to do, is carry out their sentence through the long, slow, and painful process of stripping the natural world of all forms of human civilization. Maybe once it is gone, reality will have the decency to clean itself up and be perfect.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at December 1, 2006 08:19 AM

I am not disputing that. But one might want to consider the fact that Israel was not able to disarm Hezbollah. And, at least in my book, if one is unlikely to be able to militarily defeat an enemy, then dialog is all that is left. Well, that or your own defeat.

Perhaps you got the abridged edition?

Assuming that the most desirable outcome is peace through dialog,

The most desirable outcome is a lasting peace. How it is attained is secondary.

then it is necessary to eventually engage Hezbollah politically. If the current membership is too extreme, then steps need to be taken to moderate it over time so that political dialog is possible.

I hope you are aware that what you have just typed is so vague that it can be taken as an endorsement of assassinations targeting the most extreme members of hizbullah.

Would you care to be more specific?

As I've said before, I'm hardly any kind of expert on Lebanese politics, but calling them orcs doesn't seem like a step toward anything good.

I've noticed that a lot of people (particularly Europeans) seem to think that calling people names is the first step towards dehumanizing them, which leads to convincing yourself that they're sub-human, which supposedly makes it easier to kill them.

It's interesting that people here seem outraged that someone would object to calling them this, and would equate such an objection to full-fledged support for Hezbollah.

Dunno. Aside from your tendency to take, um, 'contrarian' positions on a lot of things, you come across as leftish, which is a viewpoint many people associate with favoring the non-Israeli side of the middle eastern mess.

It's jumping to a conclusion, but it's a conclusion that is correct more often than it's wrong.

Posted by: rosignol at December 1, 2006 09:01 AM

"Then your solution would be the extermination of Hezbollah and it's supporters?"

Basically. They can throw down their arms or die.

That's what they'd do to their enemies. I believe in doing unto others as they would do unto me.

There's a word for doing that to your enemies. It's called "winning". I'm sure not going to shed any tears of Hezbollah and their ideology was wiped out. To paraphrase another guy, Hezbollah has chosen war and death as their path and the rest of the world should give them all they want.

It is, after all, what they want to do to others.

Posted by: Spade at December 1, 2006 09:09 AM

Aside from your tendency to take, um, 'contrarian' positions on a lot of things, you come across as leftish,...

I would hope so.

... which is a viewpoint many people associate with favoring the non-Israeli side of the middle eastern mess.

I am, unfortunately, unable to control other people's brains, so the best I can do is correct them when they make mistaken assumptions. It should be remembered, for example, that the Zionist movement was originally socialist.

It's jumping to a conclusion, but it's a conclusion that is correct more often than it's wrong.

It's find that it's generally wrong to rely on mind-reading skills in a discussion.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 10:00 AM

Basically. They can throw down their arms or die.

Aside from wondering who will bell the cat, I seem to recall that aside from the example at Carthage, this approach has some problems, particularity in modern times when liberal democracies are involved.

It does have a certain Sgt. Nick Fury and His Howlin' Commandos air about it though.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 10:02 AM

It's find that it's generally wrong to rely on mind-reading skills in a discussion.

You may have noticed that I'm not one of the people jumping to that conclusion.

Posted by: rosignol at December 1, 2006 10:07 AM

"I seem to recall that aside from the example at Carthage, this approach has some problems, particularity in modern times when liberal democracies are involved."

I could come up with a laundry list of examples since Carthage, but WW2 is the easiest on my lunch break.

It only becomes a problem when folks like you start worrying about how your opponenets "feel" and such.

Posted by: Spade at December 1, 2006 10:09 AM

You may have noticed that I'm not one of the people jumping to that conclusion.

Yes, thank you for that.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 10:09 AM

...but WW2 is the easiest on my lunch break.

You may have noticed that the world has changed somewhat since WW II, and that this is not total war.

It only becomes a problem when folks like you start worrying about how your opponenets "feel" and such.

Only a fool would not consider the mindset of all involved in conflict, and how actions will affect that mindset. Call it wishy-washy liberal over-concern about "feelings" if you want, but I find that it allows one to more accurately predict political outcomes. Like the one in Iraq, for example.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 10:13 AM

Aside from wondering who will bell the cat...

You're kidding, right?

Either the US will do it, or it won't get done.

Same as every other military problem, really. Everyone else on the planet loudly wishes for 'someone' to 'do something', but actually does diddly/squat to solve the problem, or offers a token contribution that's totally inadequate to actually get the job done (and hobbles that contribution with ROE that makes them next to useless in the field).

Feh.

I can't be the only person who is tired of the routine....

Posted by: rosignol at December 1, 2006 10:14 AM

Either the US will do it, or it won't get done.

Then it will not get done. If you think the US military is going to get involved in this, you're smoking something.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 10:17 AM

People, Abu Kais included, need to get a grip here. Hizballah has plenty of people with guns, but they have not attempted to storm the parliament. They're holding protests, which, if I recall, is the exact same mechanism that March 14 themselves were using months ago.

And why shouldn't Hizballah protest? From Hizballah's point of view, Israel wants them all dead, and the Lebanses government is interested in selling Hizballah's necks to Israel. Should Hizballah not feel betrayed by such a situation, or suspicious of what deals the Siniora government might make and with whom?

Before the accusations begin to fly, I like the March 14 government, and Hizb is a bunch of thugs. But these comment threads make me glad that the commentors are not running the government. Michael Aoun is a smart guy, and he's doing a noble thing, sacrificing his reputation to keep a lid on the Lebanese tensions. Hizballah is supported by the vast majority of the strongest and most numerous sect in a sect-based political system. If the rest of Lebanon tries to bandwagon against them and freeze them out, the country will eventually go into civil war.

In a natural system of power transfer, Hizballah and the Shias cannot and will not be locked out of political power forever. Polarizing Lebanon into pro- and anti- Hizballah factions is signing the country over to ruination.

Posted by: glasnost at December 1, 2006 10:27 AM

A blogger, Stan points out that there is a hidden reason behind war. This is his take on it: http://www.afreshopinion.com/2006/08/a_hidden_reason.html

Posted by: chinchette at December 1, 2006 12:32 PM

You may have noticed that the world has changed somewhat since WW II, and that this is not total war.

Has it? Has it really? It seems to me some of the more time-honored past times of humanity since the dawn of recorded history are still with us: assassination, ethnic – cleansing, war over ideology, denial in the face of unwavering foe….

How, exactly, has the world changed in since WW2 in terms of human socio-political interactions? Or since Scipio Africanus for that matter?

Posted by: Michael at December 1, 2006 01:53 PM

How, exactly, has the world changed in since WW2 in terms of human socio-political interactions? Or since Scipio Africanus for that matter?

Are you seriously suggesting that humanism, the age of reason, the growth in the numbers of liberal democracies, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the development of modern weaponry, including nukes, have had zero impact on modern human politics in the last two thousand years?

If so, wow.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at December 1, 2006 02:13 PM

One other thing has changed. The world used o be Hegelianly divided into the Masters, who were willing to risk death in order to enslave others, and the Slaves, who were willing to be enslaved in order not to risk death. However, since the advent of constitutional-rights-guaranteeing democracy, a new synthesis has arisen, that of the Free Individuals, who refuse to enslave others, and are in fact willing to risk their own lives to free them, but likewise refuse to themselves be enslaved, and are willing to kill and die to prevent same. This is the only movement that can defeat the radical Islamists, and it is growing in the hearts and minds of people across the Middle East as we speak. Walid Jumblatt himself said of seeing all of the proud purple-finger-waving first-time voters in Afghanistan and Iraq that it was the Middle Eatern equivalent of the topplig of the Berlin Wall. This movement towards consensual governments composed of elected representatives of voting Free Individuals must not allow itself to be stifled by the threat of force coming from those those who would impose themselves, or their theocratic creed, as Masters, and they themselves would rather kill and die than to allow such an imposition to happen to them.

Posted by: Salamantis at December 1, 2006 05:26 PM

Salamantis,

I am even more hopeful. I think even if quenched the fire will re-kindle.

In the long run the slavers don't stand a chance.

Posted by: M. Simon at December 2, 2006 12:11 AM

Oferrcrissakes. Can't you all see that it is OVER?

The only credible opposition to Hizbollah is Israel's military. They didn't do the job for a variety of reasons. I doubt that they want to sacrifice several hundred more scarce men to destroy the major political force in Lebanon.

The fact is, you'll have to do this yourselves, and the only way to do it is with force, and that's not gonna happen.

Demography is destiny. Nasrallah's your leader. Unless you can kill him. Will you? I doubt that.

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Posted by: ccxvxcv at December 25, 2007 09:43 AM
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Paul Berman, The American Prospect

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Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

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