January 11, 2007

The Siege of Ain Ebel

AIN EBEL, SOUTH LEBANON – Amid the steep rolling hills of South Lebanon, a mere handful of kilometers from the fence on the border with Israel, sits the besieged Christian community of Ain Ebel. It is often said that Lebanon is a victim of geography; few Lebanese are as unlucky as those who live in Ain Ebel. For decades the people in this village have been caught between the anvils of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hezbollah on one side, and the hammer of the Israeli Defense Forces on the other.

Ain Ebel.jpg

I visited this small town with my American friend and colleague Noah Pollak from Azure Magazine in Jerusalem. Two men, Said and Henry, from the Lebanese Committee for UNSCR 1559 – an NGO which advises the Lebanese government and the international community on the disarmament of Hezbollah – safely escorted us down there from Beirut.

Alan Barakat from the Ain Ebel Development Association waited for us outside a small grocery store owned by his uncle. He agreed to tell us about what happened to his community during the war in July, when Hezbollah seized civilian homes and used residents as human shields.

Alan in Ain Ebel.jpg
Alan Barakat from the Ain Ebel Development Association

Ain Ebel is small, and we walked the streets on foot. I didn’t see nearly as much destruction as I saw in the Hezbollah strongholds of Bint Jbail and Maroun al-Ras which I visited earlier the same day. Downtown seemed intact. This was not a surprise. The residents are implacably hostile to Hezbollah and always have been. This was not a place where the Party of God could dig in, build bunkers, and store weapons. Ain Ebel was, as they say, a “target poor” environment. That did not, however, stop Hezbollah from using it as a battleground.

“There is a valley just below Ain Ebel,” Alan said. “I will take you there later. Until the army came after the war Hezbollah closed it. It was a restricted military area. They built bunkers there, and stored Katyusha rockets and launchers. When the war started they moved the launchers out of the valley and into our village. When the Israelis shot back they hit some of our houses.”

Ain Ebel Damage 1.jpg

In Bint Jbail and Maroun al-Ras whole city blocks were pulverized from the air. Some houses and buildings were merely damaged, but many were demolished to their foundations. Nothing remains of whole swaths of these towns but fields of mostly-cleared rubble. Hezbollah controlled Bint Jbail and Maroun al-Ras both during and before the war. Houses were used to stockpile weaponry and were often otherwise turned into military targets.

Ain Ebel, however, was used only as a place to hide and as a place from which Hezbollah could launch rockets at the Israelis. Katyusha launchers weren’t placed inside houses. They were, for the most part, placed next to people’s houses. Most of the property damage, then, was caused by shrapnel rather than by direct air strikes. Israeli targeting in South Lebanon wasn’t random or indiscriminate. It varied considerably from place to place, depending on what Hezbollah was doing in each place.

Ain Ebel Damage 3.jpg

“No one is helping us,” Alan said. “We are paying for all the reconstruction with our own money.”

“You aren’t getting any of the reconstruction money from Iran?” I said.

“Of course not,” Alan said. “Of course Iran is not helping us rebuild our houses.”

The Iranian government is sending money, via Hezbollah, to at least some Lebanese people whose homes were damaged or destroyed during the war. If Alan is telling the truth, though, that money is not exactly evenly spread.

Reconstruction had progressed more in Ain Ebel than elsewhere, even so. In Bint Jbail the only noticeable improvement was that most of the rubble had been cleared out of the way. Ain Ebel was less damaged, so there was less work to be done.

Ain Ebel Damage 2.jpg

“Were people still living in Ain Ebel during the war?” I said.

“Yes, of course,” Alan said. “Most of us stayed in the village for the first 18 days.”

“Were people were still living in the houses that Hezbollah seized?” I said.

“No,” Alan said. “Hezbollah only took over houses that had no one in them.”

We came across a crater in the middle of a residential street on the edge of town left by an Israeli artillery shell.

Noah Artillery Crater Ain Ebel.jpg

“Did anyone here try to stop Hezbollah?” I said.

“How?” Alan said. “We have no weapons. Some people told Hezbollah to leave, but they pointed guns in our faces. Shut up, go back in your house, we were told.”

At the southern edge of town is an open field with a direct view to the south toward Israel.

Field of Grass Ain Ebel.jpg

“Hezbollah could have set up their rocket launchers here instead of in town,” Noah said. “It’s a straight shot into Israel.”

“The houses and trees gave them better cover,” Alan said. “The valley below, though, gave them even better cover than the village. If that’s all they cared about they would have stayed there.”

We walked back downtown. I wanted to find at least one more witness who stayed in Ain Ebel during the war.

Noah and I went toward the grocery store owned by Alan’s uncle. A poster on the wall outside warned children about minefields left behind by the Israelis.

Beware Land Mines Ain Ebel.jpg

A convoy of French soldiers from UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon, rolled down the street.

UNIFIL Convoy Ain Ebel.JPG

Some French soldiers stopped at the same grocery store. Noah badly wanted to ask them what, exactly, they were doing. But they weren’t allowed to speak to us since we didn’t have a permit from the United Nations authorizing an interview.

French Soldiers Ain Ebel.jpg

A grim-faced soldier placed five bottles of red Lebanese wine – Chateau Kefraya, to be exact, which is really good stuff – on the counter. Noah couldn’t resist making fun.

Wine Bottles Ain Ebel.jpg

“Are those for Hezbollah?” Noah said.

“No,” said the soldier without showing even a trace of a sense of humor.

“Are you going to buy some chocolates, too, while you’re here?” Noah said.

The French soldier ignored him.

I could not help but laugh at the sorry state of French-American relations, even in a place like South Lebanon where we’re more or less on the same side. I quietly suggested to Noah that if he really wanted to tease them he should ask if they were shopping for cheese to go with their wine.

“The French like to spend time in Ain Ebel,” Alan said. “They are welcome here, they feel comfortable. They help our economy. In Bint Jbail some of the residents make slashing motions across their throats with their fingers when they see UN soldiers.”

I felt bad for laughing when I heard that. South Lebanon is a hard place. UNIFIL isn’t allowed to disarm Hezbollah and prevent the next round of war. That would require their authorization as a combat force. But they do what they can within their sharply proscribed limits, and they spend most of their time in a shattered and hostile environment.

Alan’s uncle behind the cash register stuck up for the French.

“I feel safer now with them here than I’ve felt for more than 30 years,” he said.

It was easy to find another civilian who stayed in the village during the war. He said he would happy to talk to me as long as I promised not to publish his name. He didn’t even tell me his name, so he has nothing to worry about. I’ll just call him “Jad.”

I turned on my voice recorder. Alan translated.

“So you stayed in Ain Ebel through the whole war?” I said.

“Yes,” Jad said.

“At what point did Hezbollah come to the village and fire their missiles?” I said.

“During the war they took some uninhabited houses at the edge of our village and stayed there.”

“Uninhabited?” I said.

“Yes, uninhabited. Nobody was there, so they took them. They were eating in there, sleeping in there, and maybe doing some reconnaissance.”

“Did they ever go into houses where people were still living?” I said.

“No,” he said.

“Okay,” I said.

I wondered if Hezbollah deserved credit for not encroaching on people’s personal space, but Jad answered that question before I could ask it.

“They chose specific houses because nobody was living there and nobody would know.”

“Did they choose to come to this town for strategic or tactical reasons?” Noah said. “Or was it because it’s a Christian town?”

“Strategically, of course,” Jad said. “It’s a high peak. It is very good strategically. But they could have chosen these parts, these lands...” He gestured with his arm toward the valley below, the place Alan promised to take us next. “It would have been more protection for them than this village. So why did they come here? I think it’s because it’s a Christian village. They do this.”

“Did anybody who lives here try to get Hezbollah to leave the village?” I said.

“We don’t have any arms,” Jad said. “Hezbollah has arms. But there was this incident that happened. Next to a guy’s place they were firing Katyushas – you know, missiles. They were firing from the house. This guy went out and said Please, do not fire from our home, from in front of our house. My father is very ill and there are some children in the house. They came to him and said Shut up, go in your house, this is none of your business.”

Home Reconstruction Ain Ebel.jpg

What Jad said closely matched what Alan had told me.

Then he told me something off-the-record. He made me turn off my voice recorder before he would say it. I cannot and will not relay what he told me. But he wanted me to know that the people of Ain Ebel did use clever non-violent counter-measures against Hezbollah, and that Hezbollah has no idea what they did. I know what they did, but he wants it to remain a secret so they can do it again in the future. He did not, by the way, tell me they passed information to the Israelis.

I turned my voice recorder back on, but I didn’t realize until later that it got stuck on “pause.” So I’ll have to paraphrase what he said next.

He told me that 18 days after the start of the war a large group of civilians decided it was time to leave Ain Ebel and flee to the north. They were no longer willing to stay while Israel fired back at Hezbollah’s rocket launchers. It was too dangerous, and Hezbollah insisted on staying and endangering those who lived there.

So they fled the area in a convoy of civilian vehicles. It was safer, they figured, to travel in a group than alone.

On their way out of the village, Hezbollah fighters stood on the side of the road and opened fire with machine guns on the fleeing civilians.

I was shocked, and I asked Alan to confirm this. Was it really true? Hezbollah opened fire on Lebanese civilians with machine guns? Alan confirmed this was true.

"Why?" I had an idea, but I wanted a local person to say it.

Because, Alan said, Hezbollah wanted to use the civilians of Ain Ebel as “human shields.” I did not use the phrase “human shields.” These were Alan’s own words.

Fortunately, Hezbollah didn’t kill anybody when they opened fire. One person was shot in the hand, and another was shot in the shoulder. This was enough, though, to do the job. The civilians turned around and went back to the village under Israeli bombardment.

Alan then took me, Noah, and Said down into the valley below the village, the previously restricted military zone where Hezbollah built bunkers, dug fox holes, and stashed weapons before they moved their operations into civilian areas.

A young man named Victor came along for the ride. He thought it would be cool to check out the area now that someone would show him.

Victor Ain Ebel.jpg

Alan told us to stay on the road because Israeli landmines might still be around. There are, perhaps, more landmines in South Lebanon than there are people.

Hezbollah Valley 1.jpg

“Did Hezbollah build this road?” I asked.

“No,” Alan said. “It is agricultural.”

Victor spotted some camouflage netting in one of the bushes. He and Noah pulled it out.

Noah and Victor Hezbollah Netting.jpg

“Radar scattering,” Noah said as he read the tag. “This is American.”

Radar Scattering.jpg

He tried to cut the tag so he could keep it as a souvenir, but it wouldn’t come off.

The valley did seem like it would have provided better cover for Hezbollah than the village. The sky above was open enough that Katyusha rockets easily could be fired directly at Israel. Camouflaged fox holes and bunkers among the bushes and trees provide much better protection than houses that can be easily spotted by the Israeli Air Force and that show up prominently on satellite and aerial surveillance photographs. No Israeli infantry would want to go into that valley without first softening up the area with air strikes and artillery. It was the perfect environment for ambushes and sniper attacks.

The sun dropped quickly below the horizon. South Lebanon is in the region known as the Upper Galilee. It is not as high as the Mount Lebanon range in the north, but it was high enough that the cool Levantine air of early winter turned frigid as the light went out of the sky.

The funny thing about Middle Eastern war zones is how serene the natural environment often is. Wars in the popular imagination usually occur in ugly places. But the front lines of the Arab-Israeli conflict often look like somewhere that might be popular among hikers and backpackers if they weren’t so dangerous.

“There is a destroyed bunker up ahead,” Alan said as he stepped off the road. “Come on.”

“Is it safe?” I said. “What about landmines?”

“I have been here before,” Alan said. “Hezbollah was here. It should be safe.”

So we stepped off the road and walked toward one of Hezbollah’s demolished fortifications. I walked gingerly and tried to step in the footprints of others.

Trees Hezbollah Valley.jpg

There was no sound in the valley but our own footsteps and breath. Alan was probably right that there were no landmines in the immediate area. Otherwise Hezbollah would have dug in somewhere else.

But what about unexploded ordnance from Israeli cluster bombs? Those were still lying around. You might as well have stepped on a landmine if you end up kicking a bomblet on accident.

Dark Trail Hezbollah Valley.jpg

The faint cold light of dusk illuminated the sky like a back-lit screen, but all was dark in the valley on the trail beneath the trees. I tried to imagine what it must have been like if Israeli soldiers walked the same path only a few months before. Did they feel like American soldiers in the jungles of Vietnam? Some Hezbollah fighters wore the uniforms of the Israeli Defense Forces. They used night-vision goggles. They hunkered down in fox holes and waited.

Hezbollah Fox Hole.jpg
A Hezbollah fox hole

The valley must have been reasonably safe or Alan wouldn’t have taken us down there. But the enveloping darkness and the all-too recent violence made me wonder, although not very seriously, if Hezbollah had really been flushed out and kept out.

The bombed-out bunker was just up ahead under some trees. It was, indeed, very well hidden.

Destroyed Hezbollah Bunker in Valley.JPG

“If I were going to build a bunker, this is where I’d put it,” Noah said.

Nevertheless, it was hit. And it was hit badly. Anyone who was inside during an air strike would surely have been killed. But I didn’t see any blood or other evidence that it was occupied at the time.

We dug through the rubble.

“There was a sink,” Alan said and pointed to the right of the entrance.

Sink Hezbollah Bunker.jpg

“And here is some cable for faxes and phones.”

“Look,” Victor said. “A lid from a weapons crate.”

Weapons Crate Lid.jpg

“Dude,” Noah said. “Check out the shower head.”

Sure enough, there was a shower head at my feet.

Shower Rod Hezbollah Bunker.jpg

It was impossible to tell when the bunker was hit, whether it was at the beginning, during the middle, or at the end of the war. Since there was no evidence that anyone was inside when the strike came, I assumed it was hit in the middle or at the end after Hezbollah had already moved into the village.

I’m not a military forensics expert, if there even is such a thing. But everything Alan told me about Hezbollah relocating to Ain Ebel during the war seemed to add up and match the physical evidence I could see. The valley obviously was used as a military area, and so was the village.

We walked back to the car in absolute darkness and drove for a minute or so. Alan parked alongside an open ditch next to the road.

“The Israelis were here,” he said. “They left some of their food.”

At my feet was an empty can of tinned fish. Some of the words on the can were written in Hebrew.

Israeli Food South Lebanon.jpg

Alan was right. The Israelis were there, recently enough that no one had bothered to pick up their trash yet. I tossed the can of fish back into the ditch, thinking with a grim almost-certainty that they would be back.

Post-script: If you like what I write, please click the Pay Pal button and help make it happen. These trips are expensive, and I have to eat and pay bills. Your donations are the only thing that makes my work possible. I would do this for free if I could, but we don’t live in a Star Trek money-free universe yet.

If you would like to donate money for travel expenses and you don't want to use Pay Pal, you can send a check or money order to:

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Many thanks in advance.

All photographs copyright Michael J. Totten and Noah Pollak

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 11, 2007 10:23 PM

Comments

That can of fish reminds me of halava that one of the local stores imports. It comes in two sets of packaging, Hebrew packaging and Arabic packaging, both made at the same factory I think. I never bothered to check exactly where it's made, but I always assumed that it came from Israel... No doubt Arabs won't buy the version that's labeled in Hebrew.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 12, 2007 12:28 AM

Another good entry Michael.

I read Brigitte Gabriel's book, 2/3 of it.... I wonder how close Ain Ebel is to the Christian town she grew up in South Lebanon... forget the name.

1 question... when can we get entries with hot Lebanese (Christian I assume) babes in Beirut again? All we get is Hezbollah Lover and the dank, depressing, Big Brother, backward world of Hezbollahland... (exclusing this post)

Now those posts made me actually want to visit Beirut.

LOL!!

Mike

Posted by: Mike Nargizian at January 12, 2007 01:09 AM

A great post as usual. Thanks

Posted by: Alawna at January 12, 2007 02:34 AM

Michaël bravo one more time for your great post. Thanks for this very interesting blog

Posted by: Emma at January 12, 2007 03:13 AM

If what you said about Hizbollah men shooting at civilians, why didn't you go interrogate the two people who were wounded? Where are they? Probably still in the village they were not allowed to leave???

And their is a contradiction in your story. Alan first said for the first 18 days they stayed, then left. But then said that they had tried to leave the village but weren't allowed by Hizbollah. How did they leave the village in 18 days when the war lasted 34???

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 03:27 AM

"How did they leave the village in 18 days when the war lasted 34???"

Just realised that this comment ^ might confuse some people. What i meant is, if they weren't allowed to leave the village by force coming from "hizbollah" during the whole war (as alan claimed), whcih lasted 34 days, how come he claimed earlier that the villagers had left at the 18th day of the war?

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 03:43 AM

"And their is a contradiction in your story."

Given that you often doubt Michael's reports on Hizbullah's actions; would it be true to say that IF everything Michael said was true, you would agree that Hizbullah is evil?

Posted by: Andrew Brehm at January 12, 2007 05:15 AM

"IF everything Michael said was true, you would agree that Hizbullah is evil?"

Good question Andrew, and I'll bet you won't get an honest answer.

Another question for HL. Why do you suppose the Isralis did not level Ain Ebel like they did Bint Jbail. Clearly Ain Ebel was engaged by the Israelis, look at the damage, but it was not heavily bombarded. How do you explain that?

Posted by: mnm at January 12, 2007 05:24 AM

Also HL I don't see what is significant about the 18 and 34 days. Did it ever occur to you that some people left and perhaps Hez decided at some point to stop letting people leave?

Besides, if Allan is lying, why not say that Hez took over peoples houses while they were still occupied? He said they didn't. How do you explain that?

Posted by: mnm at January 12, 2007 05:31 AM

Michael,
I suggest that you insert some maps to show the location of the villages.

The story about Ain Ebil is similar to a Sunni village in the South where HA tried to fire missles but the Sunnis told HA to go away from their village.

Posted by: Ghassan at January 12, 2007 06:15 AM

It must be noted that the eye witness accounts given here are consistent with a report in the New York Times from July 28, 2006:

"But for some of the Christians who had made it out in this convoy, it was not just privations they wanted to talk about, but their ordeal at the hands of Hezbollah -- a contrast to the Shiites, who make up a vast majority of the population in southern Lebanon and broadly support the militia.

''Hezbollah came to Ain Ebel to shoot its rockets,'' said Fayad Hanna Amar, a young Christian man, referring to his village. ''They are shooting from between our houses.''

''Please,'' he added, ''write that in your newspaper.''

...Many Christians from Ramesh and Ain Ebel considered Hezbollah's fighting methods as much of an outrage as the Israeli strikes. Mr. Amar said Hezbollah fighters in groups of two and three had come into Ain Ebel, less than a mile from Bint Jbail, where most of the fighting has occurred. They were using it as a base to shoot rockets, he said, and the Israelis fired back.

One woman, who would not give her name because she had a government job and feared retribution, said Hezbollah fighters had killed a man who was trying to leave Bint Jbail.

''This is what's happening, but no one wants to say it'' for fear of Hezbollah, she said."

Posted by: Mertel at January 12, 2007 06:59 AM

"IF everything Michael said was true, you would agree that Hizbullah is evil?"

Hezbollah IS evil. And so is anybody who puts ideology before people. That's Hezbollah to a tee.

Posted by: Carlos at January 12, 2007 07:26 AM

IF everything Michael said was true, you would agree that Hizbullah is evil?

No, just heartless. Nuking civilians is evil. And calling on civilians to leave a village, then bomb their convoy is evil.

"Another question for HL. Why do you suppose the Isralis did not level Ain Ebel like they did Bint Jbail."

Because people in Ein Ebel are anti-hizbullah, if they are attacked, they'll become pro-hizbollah. And because one village is christian, the other is a town and shia. Thats why.

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 07:28 AM

IF everything Michael said was true, you would agree that Hizbullah is evil?

No, just heartless. Nuking civilians is evil. And calling on civilians to leave a village, then bomb their convoy is evil.

"Another question for HL. Why do you suppose the Isralis did not level Ain Ebel like they did Bint Jbail."

Because people in Ein Ebel are anti-hizbullah, if they are attacked, they'll become pro-hizbollah. And because one village is christian, the other is a town and shia. Thats why.

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 07:28 AM

By the way MJT.

Im working on a portfolio to propose a documentary or TV show. I would like to do it about the devisions between peoples views about hizbollah and israel.

I would like to send you some kind of questionaire, just a few questions long, only 5-7 questions, you can answer the questions anytime you want because i know you're a busy man and probably wouldn't bother with such things, i would understand if you can't and would appreciate if you did me the favour and accepted. The questionnaire can either be sent to your email or ill post it here, where-ever you prefer.

Please reply as soon as possible.
Thanks.

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 07:32 AM

No, just heartless. Nuking civilians is evil. And calling on civilians to leave a village, then bomb their convoy is evil.

No, just innacurate. Yet purposefully hiding amongst civilians in order to deter Israeli attacks and then use those casualties as propaganda-- now that's evil. In fact they are war crimes according to the Geneva convention. Mind you, not the faky little "war crimes" Leftists and Arabs accuse anybody they don't like of, but the REAL legal definition kind of war crime. Nasrallah should be tried and hanged for crimes against the Lebanese people.

Posted by: Carlos at January 12, 2007 07:53 AM

The can says pretty much what you would expect: Chunk Tuna in Vegetable Oil. The black circle to the right says it's produced under stringent kosher supervision and identifies the religious organization.

Great report.

Posted by: Akiva at January 12, 2007 07:58 AM

H Lover,

How many innocent civilians need to be killed before heartless becomes evil?

Posted by: Jeff at January 12, 2007 09:23 AM

This is my first time to post here and thoroughly enjoy the informative work you do.

Thanks.

I've been reading up on this for the past few days and just recently discovered the comment section. I found your blog via another website I frequent to learn more about the region. Your website makes a fine addition and shall be included in my attempt (although sometines vain) to piece context and perspective.

Much appreciated,
Anuts

Posted by: anuts at January 12, 2007 09:32 AM

So, HL, deliberately moving your battlefield to maximise the chance that children get killed is not evil? Turning your machine guns on innocent families trying to flee a war zone is not evil?

What sort of hate-filled moral vaccuum do you live in?

Posted by: Mertel at January 12, 2007 09:57 AM

You're all minors with really dumb arguements. Im just waiting for MJT to accept or refuse my offer MJT when you see this post, scroll up and see what i writ, thnks

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 10:13 AM

"You're all minors with really dumb arguements."

Here we go; this comment thread has now truly been "internetized".

Countdown to Hitler comparisons commencing.

Posted by: Nate at January 12, 2007 10:23 AM

Hezbollah Lover, it's probably best that I not be involved in a pro-Hezbollah project.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 12, 2007 10:25 AM

At the end of a comments section on an earlier post, I started this exchange, which I would like to continue:

Hello to the people I have encountered before on "From Beirut to the Beltway." I have two related questions for the Lebanese posting here (even expat Lebanese). I am asking them to try to gain an understanding of what is going on in Lebanon and it is sometimes more useful for me to think about things in pieces.

First:
Do YOU think Israel has territorial ambitions in Lebanon at all?
Do YOU think Israel has territorial ambitions in Lebanon beyond stopping missile fire or Hezbollah or Palestinian border raids into Israel (meaning if the border were quiet would Israel have any territorial ambitions in Lebanon)?

Second:
How do you think other Lebanese would answer the same question?

For any answers that presume territorial ambition in Lebanon on the part of Israel, please describe what you think those ambitions are.

For purposes of this question, please ignore Shebaa Farms (I am not telling you to ignore it generally if you think it is important; I just mean that is not the issue I am asking about).

In case it is at all relevant to your answer (and it shouldn't be), I am an American.

****
HL responded thus:
"Do YOU think Israel has territorial ambitions in Lebanon at all?"

They obviously do when they occupy the south for 18 years, don't they?

They surely do when they occupy the 7 villages for 59 years, don't they?

The obviously do when they occupy the Shib'a farms and Kfar Shouba for 38 years, don't they?

If they didn't have any such ambitions, why don't they just leave them? Isn't worth the hassle it's causing. Give the land back to it's rightful owners.

***
And I responded to him:

What do you think Israel's ambitions in the region are? What is it you think they want? Do you think if Hezbollah disarmed and the Lebanese border was quiet, i.e., neither Hezbollah or Palestinians in Lebanon launched missiles or conducted raids over the border than Israel would still have territorial ambitions in Lebanon? If yes, then what would they want and why?

I still haven't heard from any other Lebanese? Maybe this thread is just dead.
*******

That's as far as it got and I would like to continue the conversation here, especially with other Lebanese, since it is just as relevant to this post. I hope people don't mind.

Posted by: dontgetit at January 12, 2007 10:39 AM

Here is an account of armed Druze villagers in a place called Al Mari preventing HA from firing rockets from their village.

Of course there is no way I can verify the veracity of this account, and for all I know HL may be a 60 yo Thai grandmother. But it is plausible (as is HL's self-identification as a Lebanese in London), and is consistent with both M. Totten's and the NYT accounts.

Posted by: Bruno at January 12, 2007 10:44 AM

mnm writes: "Why do you suppose the Isralis did not level Ain Ebel like they did Bint Jbail. Clearly Ain Ebel was engaged by the Israelis, look at the damage, but it was not heavily bombarded. How do you explain that?"

HL writes
"Because people in Ein Ebel are anti-hizbullah, if they are attacked, they'll become pro-hizbollah. And because one village is christian, the other is a town and shia. Thats why."

I didn't ask that HL, the town was attacked, but not leveled. As you state, they did not attack the christians because the Israeli's don't want to turn christians in the town to pro-hez.

So you acknowledge that Hez was fighting from Ein Ebel, and that Israel doesnt bomb indescriminately then. Right?

So why was Hez in town? I'm beginning to think that you are cool with the whole human shield concept. Is that assumption correct?

Posted by: mnm at January 12, 2007 11:01 AM

Hmmm... the Zionist tuna was apparently packed in oil, as I can decipher from rusty Hebrew.

Excellent Job, Michael.

Posted by: Zak at January 12, 2007 11:11 AM

No, No, No seriously. Its a Uni project, ill even give you the final report if you want, and if you think it's biases in ANY way, you can withdraw your comments and ill sign to any deal of the sort.

The point of the program is that it's not biased, and its a report, not evaluation. All i do is take comments made by you, an american (i chose you because it would look nice to have your name on that report :D) and of those of different backgrounds i.e. muslims, arabs, british, black, white etc and i also have to take statistics from different media outlets i.e. CNN, BBC, ITV, FOX etc and just put them in a report.

I'd really appreciate it and i promise it's not biased, it'll surprise you by how fair it will be. If you don't trust me so much it's ok. Please reply one more time :D and PS can someone please teach me how to do bold and italics? :(

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 11:18 AM

HL,

Who are you working with on this project?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 12, 2007 11:24 AM

...it'll surprise you by how fair it will be.

You admit so much without even knowing it.

Posted by: Carlos at January 12, 2007 11:24 AM

To mmmm -

Where do you want hizbollah to fight from? The Moon?

The fact is Hizbollah's power lies in its invisibility and secrecy as well as the factor of surprise during wars. They are not made for conventional wars where two armies aligne themselves on two frontlines and rush at each other. The last time that happened was in WW2.

Another thing, you really think that the IDF didn't use houses in south lebanon for covers? Its a military tactic my friend. When IDF invaded Bint Jbeil, you think they said "oooh a civilian house better stay away from here, ill try re-locating myself in that open field right there exposed to the enemy dadadada and my name is lala, my mums dipsey and we live in teletubbie land..." Obviously not. This war was a house to house war, and street to street, alleyway to alleyway and corner to corner.

Alot of israeli soldiers actually died when the houses they were in were bombed by hizbollah using anti-tank weapons. So, i really don't know where you're trying to lead me here. If hizbolah did intend to use human shields, they would have forced some families into those houses they operated in, correct? If they can supposedly force a whole village people to stay, they could force a family or two to stay at the same house used by hizbollah, easy. But the fact is, they didn't.

So what if the village was attacked, half Marous Al-Ras was bulldozed, the other half had every single house bombed by at least one or more missiles. Anyways nearly every village, town and city in lebanon was attacked one way or another, except the ones in the mountains. Even a christian CHURCH all the way up near tripoli was bombed, what was there? If a katyusha was launched from near that church, it wouldve landed somewhere between beirut and sidon lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZNViirWTnk

Watch this ^ and see what hizbollah + Aita look like. We ain't no petite Mehdi army or Talibani guy with a skirt around him and an AK bigger than his head and sandles.

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 11:34 AM

If the Algerians in the fifties, or the revolutionary Iranian resistance to the Shah, Hizballah in the eighties, or the Jewish defence leagues in the war of 1948, had only been willing to come out from their villages and fight in nice straight lines in the fields, they could have been annihilated by tank columns and airstrikes, and maintained their moral purity. Hurrah for the Shah of Iran, the French colony of Algerique, Israeli military rule in Lebanon, and Egyptian control of Tel Aviv.

Seriously, folx, guerrillas fight in villages and subject their civilians to the risk of reprisals from the attacking military. Traditionally, it is nevertheless the attacking military in question who is responsible for said civilian casualties. The jujitsu operation where guerrillas are evil because militaries kill their supporting civilians is rather threadbare. When the military is not responsible for the civilians they kill, you have arrived at warped moral logic. Generally speaking, when someone other than the person A who kills the person B is responsible for it, you're warping.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the story of Hezb shooting at the Christians was true. Yeah, it's a war crime. I'm not amiss to its publication, either. But let's not kid ourselves, the relationship between the commiting of war crimes and whether the organization is therefore "evil" is rather flexible.

We live in a world where bombing civilians from the air is morally cost-free, but shooting them from the ground is a big no-no. The winners write the morality as well as the history books.

In any event, the relevant question, as always, is not the morality of the other guy's actions but the morality of one's own.

Posted by: glasnost at January 12, 2007 11:38 AM

HL, in the examples below replace "[" by "".

[b]This text will be in boldface[/b]

Like this

[i]This text will be in italics[/i]

Like this

For links, just type [a href="http://(your link e.g. /www.michaeltotten.com)"](your text)[/a]

And it will show as:

(your text)

Posted by: Bruno at January 12, 2007 11:39 AM

MJT,

Well, it's kind of an independent peice of work and will lose marks if i get any help at any stage of the report.

The interview with you will be my Primary Source of research. If i just copy paste some of your comments, that will be secondary. You can answer any of my questions, ignore any if you don't like them, make your answer as long or as short as you like. If you're a bit busy, which you probably are, you can take your time i don't mind. :) PS ill give you a look at the final report in few days after i get the answers (its supposed to be an interview) and if you want anything changed or don't like the looks of it you can withdraw it or moderate anything you want.

A unit of the report is on copyright and bibliography, i have to refer to you as being a source. If you wanted to withdraw your answers and i still used them, they would probably send you an email before they mark it (examiners) and if you say you withdrew the interview, i'll be withdrawn from any exams for 5 years and get disqualified. So no dishonesty from my part, believe me lol. :)

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 11:42 AM

To implement the examples above, replace the square brackets ] [ by the angular brackets >

Posted by: Bruno at January 12, 2007 11:42 AM

[i]Testing[/i]

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 11:44 AM

itesting/i

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 11:45 AM

Hezbollah IS evil. And so is anybody who puts ideology before people.

It's a wonderful principle and all, but every violent organization on the planet, including the United States Armed Forces, puts ideology before people and is therefore evil. They do so by a) taking actions that kill other people and b) taking actions despite knowing that others will try to kill them for it.

And that's only limiting it to violent actions, which you didn't even specify. When you talk about nonviolent putting of ideology before "people", you can indict everyone on the planet five times over.

Perhaps you should specify. Like, "so is any middle eastern group that shoots at people unless they really believe they're doing it for "democracy", or some other good* reason."

*to be specified later

Posted by: glasnost at January 12, 2007 11:46 AM

"i"testing"/i"

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 11:46 AM

.i. testing ./i.

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 11:47 AM

i dont get it, its not working :( but much apreciated bruno, thanks. :D

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 11:48 AM

No dude, replace the ] [ in my examples by >

Posted by: Bruno at January 12, 2007 11:50 AM

Thank you bruno :D

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 11:51 AM

LOVE YOU

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 11:53 AM

Glasnost: Traditionally, it is nevertheless the attacking military in question who is responsible for said civilian casualties. The jujitsu operation where guerrillas are evil because militaries kill their supporting civilians is rather threadbare.

"Threadbare" or not, it's a war crime.

It isn't even remotely threadbare when we're talking about people in a place like Ain Ebel who are not even remotely "suporting" civilians.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 12, 2007 11:55 AM

Hey, HL. Seeing you call everyone around here "dumb" and "minors" and then watching you try and post something (anything!) in italics is champagne comedy! Here's a hint: next time just click on "preview" instead of "post" to save yourself some more embarassment.

Posted by: Mertel at January 12, 2007 11:56 AM

HL, the characters you are needing to use is the greater-than and less-than characters. On my keyboard you press Shift and the , or . keys. They don't seem to come up when you simply type < and > because they are special to HTML. (There is a way to type it so literals show but I forget.)

Hope that helps.

Posted by: nichevo at January 12, 2007 11:58 AM

Oh, and hey, not to start problems or anything, but objectively, did Mike publish the story of Hezb shooting the Christians with more evidence supporting it than the AP had when they published Jamil Hussein's story of the Shiites setting the Sunnis on fire?

Looks like hearsay both times to me. Personally, I think both organizations were right to tell the respective stories, as both of them are interesting and minimally plausible, but I doubt the conservative blogosphere will get on a crusade about producing sources and corrobrating evidence this time around.

I think this story was fine to publish - it's just a good example of how aggressive journalism, good , bad or witholding judgement, often has a hard time standing up when you grill the s*it out of it. If you're the AP, and an audience has been trained to fear and hate you, you're screwed. If you're a blogger, where audiences tend to be primal and polarized either way, you can get away with it.

Posted by: glasnost at January 12, 2007 11:59 AM

The problem with your line of argument, Glasnost, is that you seem to be saying all is fair in war. That is a dangerous road, my friend. War itself is an evil, but morality in war is important for reasons that I should not have to get into.

Anyway, it's not true that only victors write the history books unless the losers are exterminated to the last. See Carthage.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 12, 2007 12:00 PM

Oh, there they are, < and > FYI. Enclose the tags in < > and you're all set.

Posted by: nichevo at January 12, 2007 12:00 PM

MJT,

Well, it's kind of an independent peice of work and will lose marks if i get any help at any stage of the report.

The interview with you will be my Primary Source of research. If i just copy paste some of your comments, that will be secondary. You can answer any of my questions, ignore any if you don't like them, make your answer as long or as short as you like. If you're a bit busy, which you probably are, you can take your time i don't mind. :) PS ill give you a look at the final report in few days after i get the answers (its supposed to be an interview) and if you want anything changed or don't like the looks of it you can withdraw it or moderate anything you want.

A unit of the report is on copyright and bibliography, i have to refer to you as being a source. If you wanted to withdraw your answers and i still used them, they would probably send you an email before they mark it (examiners) and if you say you withdrew the interview, i'll be withdrawn from any exams for 5 years and get disqualified. So no dishonesty from my part, believe me lol. :)

What you say?

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 12, 2007 12:02 PM

Very interested to find out what the method they used against Hezbollah was. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: mantis at January 12, 2007 12:02 PM

Glasnost, I named my source Alan Barakat and even took a picture of him. How is this related to Jamil Hussein, who may or may not even exist?

As far as my second source in Ain Ebel, I told you I used a psuedonym.

What I published here is a more in-depth version of what the New York Times published. Someone included an excerpt from that story above.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 12, 2007 12:02 PM

Where do you want hizbollah to fight from? The Moon?

glasnost, HL,

So if I'm not hiding in someone's house then I must be standing on the moon? LOL. Good one. Must be the Arab version of the moon landing. I didn't know they even had a space program. You fool, there are plenty of places to put your rockets besides civilian neighborhoods where you know many will die when Israel tries to destroy them.

And lest we forget, Jan Egeland, the UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs-- and no friend of Israel-- said Hesbollah were “a bunch of cowards hiding behind women and children.” Wow. Coming from the U.N., who basically hate Israel, that's pretty powerful stuff! LOL. He said that he “cannot understand how someone could be proud that there were more women and children hurt than armed militants.” And he “call[ed] for the Hezbollah to immediately stop mixing with the civilian population.” But Hezbollah did not listen to Egeland. Instead they fired their Katyusha from behind the apartment in Qana knowing that it was filled with civilians.

Hesbollah = cowards

Posted by: Carlos at January 12, 2007 12:04 PM

"Threadbare" or not, it's a war crime.

What, conducting military operations from within civilian areas is a war crime? For the guerilla organization doing it? But not for the military organization doing it back?

Is that actually, you know, an official war crime, in a UN convention, and so forth?

So... guerilla organizations are war criminals by definition?

Well, if the UN says so, I guess it must be true, (ha! just dutifully following the liberal line here), but you know what happens to rules that prove to be practically impossible to follow in practice, right?

After all, therefore the African National Congress were war criminals, and the Kosovo liberation army were war criminals, and the Kurdish reistance against Saddamn Hussein were war criminals, and the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban were war criminals, and... on and on and on and on...

Posted by: glasnost at January 12, 2007 12:05 PM

So bottom line who killed more civillians the Israelis or Hezbollah ?

Posted by: John Ryan at January 12, 2007 12:06 PM

"Seriously, folx, guerrillas fight in villages and subject their civilians to the risk of reprisals from the attacking military. Traditionally, it is nevertheless the attacking military in question who is responsible for said civilian casualties. The jujitsu operation where guerrillas are evil because militaries kill their supporting civilians is rather threadbare. When the military is not responsible for the civilians they kill, you have arrived at warped moral logic. Generally speaking, when someone other than the person A who kills the person B is responsible for it, you're warping."

Really. My grandparents both faught (that is paternal grandfather and grandmother) in the Algerian liberation war (and the War of the Sands that came right after it against Morocco) and they will tell you flat out: the ends justifies the means. They won independnece, lots of Algerians died but even more didn't have to live under the burden of French apartheid (which isn't to say that Algerian rule has been perfect, but most would prefer it to France). They got a glorious result using rather bloody means; the French got a humiliating result using even worse as well as the "conventional". One has to take responsiblity for the people they kill. The big conventional forces are reluctant to do this, they make excuses "the maquis cheated!" but who took those lives? Who was really responsible? The one that fires the shot and kills them or the one who runs past them and "makes them a target"? The impatient or the one in hiding? It's a tough question. I really can't answer it myself. I guess whoever wins/controlls how the story is written decides. Just like my grandparents are "terrorists" to the French and wil never be the heroes that I and other Algerians were raised to see them as, or how the French are baby killing monsters and are not the "heroes" winning presidential elections and honorable medals that French 'war criminals" get in Algeria. Who's the honorable one and who's the coward? Keep in mind that fighting "in the open" would mean generations more of slavery and oppression from abroad. Does the end justify the means?

Posted by: Nouri Lumendifi at January 12, 2007 12:07 PM

Glasnost, I believe the crucial difference is whether the guerrilla force is using civilian areas as concealment (which is ok in most cases), or relying on the opposite side reluctance to harm civilians to fire with impunity (which is perfidy). From MT's report, the rockets were fired from the village not because it offered better concealment (the wooded valley would do just as well), but because the civilians might dissuade Israel from counterattacking, or would provide good propaganda if they did.

If HA wanted to fight from the village purely for tactical reasons, it would help rather than prevent the civilians from leaving.

Posted by: Bruno at January 12, 2007 12:08 PM

Glasnost, some of us care about morality in war. Our military officers take these questions very seriously, and I'm glad they do or I would hate them.

If you think everyone is equally bad, that's fine for you. I'm glad everyone doesn't think like that, though. Because if we're all equally bad there is no point in doing what we can to fight honorably or humanely.

Organizations like Hezbollah should be glad, too, because if the Israelis didn't care about morality in war Hezbollah would no longer exist. Most, if not all, of South Lebanon would be destroyed.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 12, 2007 12:10 PM

"If HA wanted to fight from the village purely for tactical reasons, it would help rather than prevent the civilians from leaving."

How do you know it isn't just a fabrication made by these people. I don't see the sight where the convoy was bombed, or any pictures of cars with bullet holes in them, or a pic/interview with any of the two wounded people.

And MJT, did you read what i said or are you just going to ignore me?

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 12, 2007 12:13 PM

Mike, definitely talking about the Hezb shooting at civilians anecdote, rather than your whole story.

I see on a second read that you have two sources, one with a name, vouching for the story. The point is that the blogosphere swarms on reporters who publish hearsay stories. The further point is that they do so very selectively. Jamil Hussein's existence has been confirmed by the Iraqi government, actually. There's no physical evidence of the story of the shooting incident, only

So perhaps this story is okay because it has two people, one with a name and one without, vouching for it, whereas the AP story has one person with a name, and no support from a second, unnamed source. I'm not such that's a consistent standard being used, though.

In any event, Mike, I don't think journalists should be denied the right to publish these kinds of stories, or personally attacked for it. Sometimes a witness story is all the witness has. I'm just attacking the general hypocrisy of the anti-MSM blogger audience. You could have skipped Alan entirely and put the whole thing down to "Jad", and only Hezbollah lover would have questioned it, and he would have questioned it even if you had DNA samples and bullet casings, and nobody's listening to him regardless of whether or not his questions were valid, which would also be random.

Posted by: glasnost at January 12, 2007 12:16 PM

HL, if you choose to think those people are lying there is nothing I can say to convince you otherwise.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 12, 2007 12:17 PM

So bottom line who killed more civillians the Israelis or Hezbollah?

Confession time. Israel killed more civilians! Yes, it's true. Inevitable given that Hesbollah used them as human shields, exposing them to retaliatory fire.

And Hesbollah killed more combatants than Israel did! That's also true. But equally inevitable considering the IDF was in front of-- not behind-- the Israeli civilians it was sworn to protect.

But that may be a wee bit much for the intellectually obtuse Arab and morally confused Leftist to grasp. But for the rest of you, there it is.

Posted by: Carlos at January 12, 2007 12:20 PM

Glasnost: I'm just attacking the general hypocrisy of the anti-MSM blogger audience.

Fine, but you can please keep me out of it. I have not said word one about Jamil Hussein except just now when you compared my reporting to the AP's. I haven't been following that story very closely, and that's because I think it's boring.

Iraq is a huge and complicated mess. Jamil Hussein is a footnote at most.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 12, 2007 12:21 PM

Fine MJT be like that

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 12, 2007 12:23 PM

HL, I don't feel comfortable with your proposal. It's nothing personal.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 12, 2007 12:25 PM

"How do you know it isn't just a fabrication made by these people[?]"

I don't. My argument in any case was that if MT's report is correct then HA clearly committed war crimes in Lebanon. There is really no doubt HA committed war crimes against Israeli civilians by firing those rockets.

Now, I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of MT's sources, and they are corroborated by the NYT piece. So, in my judgment, I believe the story is plausible. Of course this is a subjective (but not unthinking) call, and you clearly disagree.

Posted by: Bruno at January 12, 2007 12:26 PM

You could've just said, not just ignore me like im a fool.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 12, 2007 12:26 PM

If you think everyone is equally bad, that's fine for you.

I don't think everyone is equally bad. I'm not a Hizballah supporter. I just practice very tough love for people I do support, like March 14.. and you. I don't waste my time denouncing Hizballah on here. Hizballah isn't listening. If I ever meet one in person and there's some reason to suspect he's listening, there would be plenty of things to challenge one about.

Or for another way of looking at it, I support people and organizations situationally, not automatically. But I support more than any person or organization, consistency in perception and responsibility in behavior. I tend to give Western sides a lot of crap, because they're my side, and they're the ones I have access to, and I cam have better expectations of being listened to. But the target selection is opportunistic.

In this case, I'm not sure that the international community is really ready to make "operating within civilian areas" a war crime. I'm not sure they're ready to consistently enforce it. And I'm not sure it results in good things. If strictly enforced, it would make overthrow of all governments anywhere automatically a war crime if anyone involved was armed or violent. That has implications for the future.

Posted by: glasnost at January 12, 2007 12:28 PM

Alot of people seem to be chatting alot about hiding behind and infront of civilians.

Beirut was bombed. Well, atleast the outskirts which are more densely inhabited than the centre. How is that justified?

The biggest blow to free speech was served by the israeli's by bombing siveral TV stations in lebanon, including Al-manar, liban tv transmission tower, another telecommunications tower in beirut, and rumours were spreading that al jazeera was next, but im sure some kind of negotiation went on between qatar and israel. On top of this, Al-Noor radio station was also targetted.

Please don't tell me there was a katyusha hiding behind all of them?

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 12, 2007 12:31 PM

glasnost: When the military is not responsible for the civilians they kill, you have arrived at warped moral logic. Generally speaking, when someone other than the person A who kills the person B is responsible for it, you're warping.

What complete and utter bullshit. As Dershowitz recently argued: "A bank robber who takes a teller hostage and fires at police from behind his human shield is guilty of murder if they, in an effort to stop the robber from shooting, accidentally kill the hostage." And I would add, the police would not be culpable of any crime in almost every enlightened democracy.

So bottom line who killed more civillians the Israelis or Hezbollah?

The real question is who tries to kill more civilians. And the bottom line is, if Hezbollah lay down their weapons there would be peace, and if Israel lay down their weapons there would be no more Israel.

Posted by: Mertel at January 12, 2007 12:33 PM

The biggest blow to free speech was served by the israeli's by bombing siveral TV stations in lebanon,

Israel violated Hesbollah's freedom of speech! Will those ruthless zionists stop at nothing!!!

Hehehe! Really good one, you jokester. LOL. I can't stop laughing at that one. Pure comedy.

Posted by: Carlos at January 12, 2007 12:36 PM

and ps., Hez did not kill more combatants than the IDF, but they did kill more Israeli soldiers than civilians, that much is true.

Posted by: Carlos at January 12, 2007 12:38 PM

Organizations like Hezbollah should be glad, too, because if the Israelis didn't care about morality in war Hezbollah would no longer exist. Most, if not all, of South Lebanon would be destroyed.

I'm glad the IDF cares about morality in war, too. Unfortunately, it's hard to win admiration for one's moderation in destruction unless there's some sort of obvious contrary benchmark. People tend to emphasize the lack of moderation in any one action, rather than than presence of it. Guerilla organizations have a similar problem. When was the last time someone patted an eco-liberarion-movement member on the back because they only commit arson, and refrain from assassinating people?

The above represents a challenging situation for a military to overcome. On the other hand, to the extent that the Israeli army has been more restrained than the Syrian army in operating in Lebanon, we should expect to see correspondingly greater support for Israel and lesser for Syria...

maybe.

Posted by: glasnost at January 12, 2007 12:39 PM

"I just practice very tough love for people I do support, like March 14.."

Hahahahaah nice one glasnost. All of March 14 is corrupt, half its leaders are war criminal murderers (GaeGae, Jumblat, Gemayel family etc), Harriri is trying to set up his own militia (2 days ago a military US airplane was spotted in beirut airport. The security force, which is controlled by ahmed fatfat the zionist, who is part of march 14 + future party + government, were unloading weapons from it. Now we know why the culprits who killed ahmad mahmood used pistols, mini-harriri is bringing them all in, from the US.

Then, who watched yesterdays news? It was the biggest embaresment for the March 14 alliance. Bremertz, the guy in charge of the harriri assasination, gave a brief of his report. It concluded that both iran and syria complied with the investigation, but he also listed 10 other countries did not assist. When he asked for permission to reveal the 10 countries who were making it a very hard job for bremertz to complete the investigation, the US and France rejected. Russia then urged bremertz to reveal the 10 countries responsible for not complying and assisting the investigation. Again france and the US both rejected it and here we are. lol what does this say? I'd say it raises some suspicioun that france and the US are two of those 10.

They probably need more time to replace their names with those of iran and syria. Both of the latter countries were named as being countries who complied and co-operated with the investigation ;).

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 12, 2007 12:39 PM

"Israel violated Hesbollah's freedom of speech!"

No, idiot. They violated a nations freedom of speech.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 12, 2007 12:42 PM

No, idiot. They violated a nations freedom of speech.

And Hesbollah violated its own nation's right to be ALIVE and live in villages that aren't bombed out husks of their former selves because the only other place from which to lauch their rockets apparently was on the moon.

Posted by: Carlos at January 12, 2007 12:46 PM

I was recently in Lebanon (2 weeks in December) and also went to the south and drove thru the towns Michael writes about. His desciptions are very accurate. I was a part of a relief effort and we helped fix up some homes that were damaged in the war. We also went into many homes ion the evenings to visit with the people (mostly Shia) and were very warmly received. We also had one meeting with a Hezbollah leader in one town and talked with him about Jesus and how He can give us love and peace. I hope to go back again some day and am grateful for the chance to go this time. Thanks for your great work Michael.

Posted by: airgore at January 12, 2007 12:47 PM

A bank robber who takes a teller hostage and fires at police from behind his human shield is guilty of murder if they, in an effort to stop the robber from shooting, accidentally kill the hostage." And I would add, the police would not be culpable of any crime in almost every enlightened democracy.

I don't think this makes sense either. It's a legal and rational inaccuracy designed to support police because we like them better than bank robbers. What about when the policeman fires an automatic weapon into a crowd of people in a bank, aiming at the visible patch of torso of a bank robber shooting out a window at police officers?
What if the bank robbers are robbing from a computer terminal in Hoboken, and the police pull a no-knock raid on the wrong house?

Posted by: glasnost at January 12, 2007 12:53 PM

HL, if you choose to think those people are lying there is nothing I can say to convince you otherwise.
Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 12, 2007 12:17 PM

Don't be ridiculous, of course you can! Just post their pictures, names and addresses, names of relatives, and anything else Hez would need to track them down and kill them and their families. What could be more simple?

But HL would have to act quick to interrogate them personally before they are slaughtered, otherwise it would still be all hearsay to him.

Posted by: nichevo at January 12, 2007 01:08 PM

HL, everyone's corrupt, but not everyone works with Bashar Assad, tyrant and dictator, to perpetuate war in the Middle East.

Who am I to pass judgement on the arming of Christian and Sunni militias? That's how these situations tend to ultimately work out, HL, either no one has them or sure enough everyone will end up having them.

Posted by: glasnost at January 12, 2007 01:13 PM

We also had one meeting with a Hezbollah leader in one town and talked with him about Jesus and how He can give us love and peace.

Airgore, what an interesting story that is. Just curious, what's the name of your organization? Do they have a website? I could have sworn I heard that Hizballah didn't let outsiders in to do relief work.

Posted by: glasnost at January 12, 2007 01:17 PM

What about when the policeman fires an automatic weapon into a crowd of people in a bank, aiming at the visible patch of torso of a bank robber shooting out a window at police officers?

What about it? A minute ago you were telling us that the context is completely irrelevant, all that matters is that 'A' killed 'B'. Now suddenly the context, actions, motives and intent are all important. You can't have it both ways, my friend.

Posted by: Mertel at January 12, 2007 01:18 PM

glasnost: Or for another way of looking at it, I support people and organizations situationally, not automatically.

Well then your support must be of great value to whoever is getting it at that particular moment. Tell me, did you see Saving Private Ryan? Remember the opening scene? Remember about 22 minutes in when those GIs shot the two Germans coming out of the bunker with their hands raised? "Look Ma, I washed for supper!" So at that point, glasnost, who did you hope would win the war?

As for the jabber about police firing automatic weapons into a bank, this tactic is much deprecated in conventional police procedure. However, if the criminal had his thumb on the detonator of a big bomb, you might be a little more risk-tolerant in your calculus.

Posted by: nichevo at January 12, 2007 01:19 PM

Hezbollah lover, here's a little something from the Geneva Conventions:

Article 37.-Prohibition of perfidy

1. It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy. The following acts are examples of perfidy:

( a ) The feigning of an intent to negotiate under a flag of truce or of a surrender;

( b ) The feigning of an incapacitation by wounds or sickness;

( c ) The feigning of civilian, non-combatant status; and

( d ) The feigning of protected status by the use of signs, emblems or uniforms of the United Nations or of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict.

2. Ruses of war are not prohibited. Such ruses are acts which are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce him to act recklessly but which infringe no rule of international law applicable in armed conflict and which are not perfidious because they do not invite the confidence of an adversary with respect to protection under that law. The following are examples of such ruses: the use of camouflage, decoys, mock operations and misinformation.

You claim to be a Uni student, so presumably you are capable of comprehending what this quote means. But I will spell it out anyway: what Hezbollah did was a war crime. Putting yourself where the enemy cannot take you out without killing civilians is a war crime.

A war crime to which you obviously have no objection whatsoever.

Posted by: Omri at January 12, 2007 05:40 PM

The Geneva Conventions can be found here; scroll down for article 37.

Terrific post, as always, Michael. I can't help wondering why, if people don't trust what you say, they keep coming back to read your posts and post their doubts: it's very weird behaviour, if you ask me!

Posted by: Abu Nudnik at January 12, 2007 06:53 PM

What about it? A minute ago you were telling us that the context is completely irrelevant, all that matters is that 'A' killed 'B'. Now suddenly the context, actions, motives and intent are all important. You can't have it both ways, my friend.

Indeed. I hold the cop responsible in both cases. Case Two is to demonstrate the futility of the contrapositive, never holding the cop responsible.

Using force to coerce someone to protect your life is probably its own crime, but is not one and the same event with the killing of the protector.

Posted by: glasnost at January 12, 2007 06:55 PM

HL: You could've just said, not just ignore me like im a fool.

You are a fool.

Posted by: AG at January 12, 2007 07:07 PM

What, conducting military operations from within civilian areas is a war crime?

Not unless the organization conducting the operation is doing so in the hope that the presence of civilians will deter attacks- that would be a war crime, but proving it is basically impossible without telepathy.

However, strikes against military targets within civilian areas are explicitly not war crimes.

For the guerilla organization doing it? But not for the military organization doing it back?

Yep. Explicitly.

Is that actually, you know, an official war crime, in a UN convention, and so forth?

Yep. Geneva Conventions, even.

So... guerilla organizations are war criminals by definition?

Yep.

Being a 'lawful combatant' requires that you distinguish yourself from the civilians via a distinctive mark recognizable at a distance.

The thing that keeps guerillas from being annihilated is blending in with the noncombatants.

Well, if the UN says so, I guess it must be true, (ha! just dutifully following the liberal line here), but you know what happens to rules that prove to be practically impossible to follow in practice, right?

Yeah. Lefties make all kinds of excuses for the rule-breakers, mostly along the lines of how the rules are 'unfair', or 'those resisting an occupation are entitled to use all means to do so', ad nauseum.

After all, therefore the African National Congress were war criminals, and the Kosovo liberation army were war criminals, and the Kurdish reistance against Saddamn Hussein were war criminals, and the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban were war criminals, and... on and on and on and on...

Amusingly enough, that is not necessarily the case. You see, the relevant rules generally do not apply to conflicts entirely within one country's borders- civil wars and the like.

So if Hizbullah does something noxious to the Israelis, there's a good chance that it's a war crime... but would not necessarily be if the opposing force was, say, the Lebanese army.

Want cites?

Posted by: rosignol at January 12, 2007 08:08 PM

What if the bank robbers are robbing from a computer terminal in Hoboken, and the police pull a no-knock raid on the wrong house?

Hoboken crime is low and mostly gangster related. Gangsters don't tolerate random, petty crime in "their" town. If the police raided one of the local social clubs the people inside would probably be better armed than the police. For that and many other reasons, they don't do no-knock raids here. You haven't done your research.

It's a legal and rational inaccuracy designed to support police because we like them better than bank robbers.

Of course we like the police better than we like bank robbers. We like sheepdogs more than we like rabid pit bulls. People are funny that way.

If an reporters described a robbery, should he/she be obligated to give equal weight to the robber's point of view - and if they didn't would you question his/her bias?

Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints..who's argument is that? Does his opinion deserve equal weight?

Posted by: mary from hoboken at January 12, 2007 08:15 PM

Damn Glasnost, you are getting SCHOOLED!

Posted by: Zak at January 12, 2007 08:33 PM

Guerrilla warfare per se is not a war crime. If they follow the rules spelled out in the Geneva Conventions they are considered to have combatant status and have some of the same rights as regular members of the armed forces.

It's when guerrillas (or anybody) launches attacks behind human shields that it is a war crime. In international conflicts, guerrillas must distinguish themselves from the civilian population if they are preparing or engaged in an attack. At a minimum, guerrillas must carry their arms openly. (Protocol I, Art. 44, Sec. 3)

Civilians must not be used to protect military installations or operations against attacks. (Protocol I, Art. 51, Sec. 7)

Feigning of civilian or non-combatant status is perfidy and prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. (Protocol I. Art. 37, Sec. 1).

Hesbollah have violated all of these conventions, and bragged about it! They have launched attacks behind human shields in violation of the Geneva Convention's provision for the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, which prohibits the use of civilians as military shields. They have purposely mingled amongst the civilians to hide their combatant status. They have hidden their rockets amongst civilians in order to immunize them from Israeli attack.

The result has been the death of innocent Lebanese non-combatants and the obliteration of their property. Hesbollah are the only ones to blame for this. And because of this Nasrallah is a legitimate war criminal according to the letter of the law. And I don't mean "war criminal" like the clown Leftists do who nobody takes seriously. I mean it like the Geneva Convention means it. A certified genuine authentic war criminal. He should be captured, tried and executed as such. Yet Arabs praise him, and Leftists apologize for and excuse him. Truly disgusting.

Posted by: Carlos at January 12, 2007 10:51 PM

Organizations like Hezbollah should be glad, too, because if the Israelis didn't care about morality in war Hezbollah would no longer exist. Most, if not all, of South Lebanon would be destroyed.

And seeing how much international good will it gained Israel, at considerable human and economic expense, I imagine next time they fight, the gloves will come off, and Israel will stop confusing PR with morality. (Assuming Peretz and Olmert are removed by then. What a pair of buffoons.) War is... war.

There is a difference, albeit a fine one, between being ruthless and being evil or immoral. Deliberately seeking to endanger civilians, TRYING to increase civilian casualties to feed the media -- that's cynical and immoral.

Saying, "We have to win this sucker, and that means we have to eliminate the enemy wherever we find them -- even if they hide under women's skirts and in schools and play dirty," is cold and necessary in a fight for your nation's survival -- tragic, but not cynical, not evil.

Posted by: Pam at January 12, 2007 11:37 PM

I'd like to compliment Hezbollah Lover. Although his perceptions are not mine (contrary I'd say) - I do think he is making the effort to come here and explain his views against an overwhelming part of the 'opposition' - and it's exactly this sort of discussion that is worth reading (not the average nod-your-head-in-agreement kind - because those are confirming ones only)

There should be more places and possibilities where opposite sides can discuss with each-other instead of staying in their own fenced-off 'territory'.

Tse.

Posted by: tsedek at January 13, 2007 02:48 AM

Has anybody considered the cost-effectiveness of dropping MAC 10s with spare clips in all the non-HA villages in South Lebanon? I'm absolutely serious here. It won't increase the effectiveness of HA, and it might decrease their ability to pull this human shield crap.

Posted by: Mark Poling at January 13, 2007 05:49 AM

Glasnost, the difference between "Jamil Hussein" and "Jad" is that Michael followed journalistic ethics and told us the latter was a pseudonym to protect his source, while the AP did not do so. Therefore, when bloggers found out that the Iraqi Interior Ministry said they had no such person on their payroll, they responded appropriately by questioning exactly who JH is.

Nearly two months after the original questions were poo-poohed by the AP, suddenly they 'remembered' that it's actually a pseudonym, even though none of the 61 stories that cite this named source say so. Throughout the course of this controversy, the story of four mosques and dozens of victims being burned has changed several times. But the AP "stands by their story." Which one?

One of the refreshing things about MJT's coverage is that he freely discloses his biases. We know where they might give him a blind spot. We can take that into account when we read his work.

Posted by: The Monster at January 13, 2007 07:08 AM

All this commentary about all the relative morality vis a vis Hizbo is actually quite hilarious. The only battles they are able to win are the propaganda battles and they did quite effectively because to them there are no rules. Human life is cheap; any dead, in any circumstances, are classified as martyrs, so its all within the party line.

The entire Qana story is the best metaphor. Aerial/satellite photos show the rocket launchers speeding into apartment building garages. Greeen Helmet vids show HIzbo using corpses (from who knows where) to set up propaganda shots. And then of course there are the famous 'missled' Red Cross ambulances that were demonstrated by Zombietime to be a total fraud.

And the MSM ate it all up without burping.

Civilian casaulties help the cause and in fact turned the whole propaganda war. The individuals don't matter as they are very useful. They are martyrs and besides, they are getting off laid in some ethereal hyperdimensions as their rewards.

Posted by: ankhfkhonsu at January 13, 2007 07:17 AM

"But I will spell it out anyway: what Hezbollah did was a war crime." - Omri

Ok, thats one. How many did israel commit? if hizbollah commited a war crime, how many war crimes did israe commit?

How many UN resolutions did it defy?

How many acts of terrorism did it carry out?

Under the geneva conventions, any land captured shouldn't be annexed,but if it was to be annexed, the state which captured the land is responsible for security of the people living their, if their are no people living their then no people should be brought to live their. The perfect example of israel breqaking just that one convention is by building countless settlements on land not rightfully theirs and by terrorising the palistinian people.

By using bombs with low-enriched uranium in the core (a british team of scientists found traces of uranium in bomb craters in lebanon at 13 sites!). The use of cluster bombs in civilian areas. The constant fly-overs taking place to this day. The constant break-ins to lebanon (3 days ago IDF group was told to retreat after advancing 50 metres into lebanese soil). Still holding lebanese land. Taking water from the wazzani and threatening the lebanese state that if they built a water pump to take water from that wazzani river (which springs from lebanese mountains and ends in israeli held territory) "severe action would be taken". Explain to me how you justify that? What about when they bombed the lebanon army barracks when that particular party (lebanese army) did not fire a single bullet at israel. What about when they bombed 18 factories in lebanon? what about when they made those drop-in operations in tyre and baalbak where they captured innocent civilians, tortured them and then released them (a unique case was a man called hassan deeb nasrallah who was captured because they thought he was...well, you know who lol and then they thought he must have been a family member but turned out he, nor the rest of the 7 people who were captured with hassan, were family, nor operatives or the genral secretaries of hizbollah). Even if hassan deeb nasrallah had family links with nasrallah, does that mean he's a terrorist too? He didn't have a gun and nor was he fighting the IDF in the south, so he has nothing to do with it. So israel is breaking your own geneva convenssion omri. Trust me, the list goes on and on about israeli attroceties. It is unimaginable how many war crimes they've commited and how many UN security council resolutions they ignored. Im going to try and find the web-page where i saw over 100 UN resolutions defied.

BTW the UN does not claim hizbollah to be a terrorist organisation, but resolution 3379 stated that Zionism to be a form of racism and racial discrimination.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 13, 2007 07:54 AM

HB,

defying U.N. resolutions doesn't make a war crime. Neither legally nor, in my personal opinion, morally. Nice try though.

Posted by: Carlos at January 13, 2007 08:08 AM

HL: "resolution 3379 stated that Zionism to be a form of racism and racial discrimination."

This says more about the UN General Assembly than about Israel or Zionism.

Posted by: Bruno at January 13, 2007 08:16 AM

HL,
If the UN (Unifil) would do their task - then Israel wouldn't have to do it for them, right?
Btw: the zionism - racist claim was recalled. Strange that not many people seem to know that...

Posted by: tsedek at January 13, 2007 09:54 AM

Thank you Michael for writing about Ain Ebel. A friend of South Lebanon already told it to me, but so far this story has not been mentionned on the MSM. Since the 'liberation' of 2000, Hezbollah has been harrassing the Christian population in the South. There are other stories like this in Jezzine, Marja3youn and other Christian towns.

Posted by: Vox P. at January 13, 2007 10:05 AM

Michael, very informative posts, as usual! I wonder, didn't you put in danger the guys who were your guides in South Lebanon, by posting pics, mentioning names, etc. I'm thinking that even the fact that you were in a grocery story and the owner talked to you... in a village everyone knows everyone, so its easy to connect the dots. Perhaps in the future, even if the ppl agree to let you take pictures of them, you should not post any on your blog. Bad things happen, and I'm sure you know it.

Thanks for reporting from the South!

Posted by: Manuela at January 13, 2007 10:11 AM

Btw: the zionism - racist claim was recalled. Strange that not many people seem to know that...

Not strange at all, as the Arab news outlets and usual suspect Leftwing blogs are VERY selective about how they cover Israel. You might even call them censorious about the information they permit to filter down to their drones and bots.

Posted by: Carlos at January 13, 2007 10:42 AM

HL: "resolution 3379 stated that Zionism to be a form of racism and racial discrimination."

That resolution was rescinded. I am curious to know if any other General Assembley resolutions have ever been rescinded?

The General Assembley has no moral authority. It is simply a tyranny of the majority. Between the Arab and Islamic countries and anti-Western Third World nations, the Arabs could get the GA to vote on a resolution saying the moon doesn't exist and it could very well get a 2/3 majority.

The only legally binding UN resolutions come from the Security Council.

Posted by: Zak at January 13, 2007 10:58 AM

Manuela,

I don't publish names or photographs of people who want to remain anonymous.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 13, 2007 10:58 AM

"But I will spell it out anyway: what Hezbollah did was a war crime." - Omri

HL: Ok, thats one. How many did israel commit?

HL, you continually use the same argument that was attempted, and ruled illegitimate, at Nuremberg. Namely you attempt to defend the crimes committed by those you support by pointing your finger at others and claiming that they've done bad things too. It's the same lame argument used by prepubescent school kids and laughed at by their teachers.

Nonetheless, I'm glad to hear you admit that Nasrallah is a war criminal. We're making some progress.

And in answer to your question, how many [war crimes] did Israel commit? At last count: None.

Posted by: Mertel at January 13, 2007 11:11 AM

"Not strange at all, as the Arab news outlets and usual suspect Leftwing blogs are VERY selective about how they cover Israel."

Nothings stranger than your p.o.v's and claims. For your knowledge, i got the resolution from the guardian, not a very leftist newspaper nor is it arab.

"You might even call them censorious about the information they permit to filter down to their drones and bots."

Everyone knows that during the war it was the zionists who filtered the news in israel. They told the anchors what to and what not to report on. Every anchor and reporter had to submit their reports to the media/info ministry oin israel which are then processed, then modified or disallowed or allowed.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 13, 2007 02:05 PM

micheal,
before writing this whole article, read what human right wash report about the war:
1. there were no evidence supporting the claim that HA used civilians as human sheilds
2. if it was true that HA tried to use civilians as human sheilds this will not justify the act of violence that israel did to civilians.

and cluster bombs is by itself a huge crime, espacilly when they drop it in the final days of apllying the ceasfire.

and by the way i am christian and i beleive HA more than your freinds coz they dont have evidence that support the things they are saying, it is obviously they hate HA, they are free though, and they are trying to destroy his image.
and dont forget that in the ME people tend to lie a bit more than anywhere else it is a middle easter bad habit especially when they want u to feel better and most welcome this is called hospitalization some how....

Posted by: sarah at January 13, 2007 02:09 PM

Every anchor and reporter had to submit their reports to the media/info ministry oin israel which are then processed, then modified or disallowed or allowed.

HL,

processed and modified my ass. The IDF censored reports on military movements that would endanger the operation. That is the extent of Israeli censorhip. Hesbollah did that too. The only difference is Hesbollah threatened to kill journalists who reported the wrong thing, while in Israel they merely threatened to expel them.

Posted by: Carlos at January 13, 2007 02:24 PM

HL - The Grauniad (as it is affectionately known in some quarters) is "not a very leftist paper"? LOL! Sweetie, you need to expand your reading repertoire.

Thanks, Michael, for all your reporting. Getting in-depth, on-the-ground coverage of areas about which the MSM is content to parrot conventional wisdom is invaluable. Keep safe.

Posted by: Audrey at January 13, 2007 03:23 PM

Hezbollah Lover: Everyone knows that during the war it was the zionists who filtered the news in israel. They told the anchors what to and what not to report on. Every anchor and reporter had to submit their reports to the media/info ministry oin israel which are then processed, then modified or disallowed or allowed.

This is not true. I reported from Israel during the war and never had to do any of this. And I met with several members of the IDF, including official spokesman. I even tagged along with the IDF in the region near Gaza. They did not censor me in any way whatsoever.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 13, 2007 03:35 PM

Sarah: dont forget that in the ME people tend to lie a bit more than anywhere else it is a middle easter bad habit

No kidding.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 13, 2007 03:36 PM

I just got done catching up on a bunch of your posts. Do you know what strikes me? It is that the land is beautiful. I envision it as agricultural fields, small villages and some light industry. Have you ever been to Wyoming or Montana? These are hard scrabble places. Southern Lebanon is not.
I dream of the day that the rocks and rubble will be cleared away and HUMANS will be able to live in peace. The fact that all this destruction is happening in the name of religion just makes me sick.
Actually, that is not exactly the case. The devestation that has taken place in Southern Lebanon is about power mostly, not religion.
I have read all the comments on this thread. To those that argue against Israel, the West, et al I ask; what is it that you think HB hopes to gain if not power within the country of Lebanon?
Possibly someone could enlighten me however, from what I understand, HB started firing rockets into Israeli territory and kidnapped soldiers before the IDF struck back. Why did they do that if not for power within their own country? Did they mean to take Northern Israeli territory? Were the Israeli's encroaching on their nation? I think not.
What a terrible shame all of this has been. Look at the photos. Envision the land in peace. Look at the foxholes and bunkers. Can you see vegetable farmers and fruit trees?
Why do some demand torment from others if not for power?

Posted by: Babs at January 13, 2007 04:11 PM

"The Grauniad" - Audry

Well, i dunno who the grauniad are, but no, the guardian isn't leftist.

"Sweetie, you need to expand your reading repertoire."

Well, from the looks of your spelling, i think you should too.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 13, 2007 04:59 PM

"This is not true. I reported from Israel"

What? I swear you said you're not a reporter...well, well, well, it looks like that middle eastern habbit is getting to you, isn't it hahahaha

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 13, 2007 05:01 PM

the only restriction given to all reporters during the war was not to film the surrounding areas of where katusiyahs fell -

Posted by: tsedek at January 13, 2007 05:07 PM

At the risk of being banned, I have to ask again why HL is still allowed to post his trash on this blog. Surely there is no one reading this blog that is so poorly informed on the ME that they are "educated" by HL and his perspective/opinions/fantasies.

Using an analogy that is perhaps overused; would an Allied blogger have allowed Goebbels to post his trash during WWII? It is MJT's blog, so he can do whatever he deems appropriate, but golly darn!

Posted by: Ron Snyder at January 13, 2007 06:06 PM

Ron, I'm certainly not going to ban you.

I don't really know what to do with HL. Probably nothing at least for now. He's a bit more polite than he was when he first showed up, and some people seem to think his comments are interesting as a window into a Hezbollah supporter's mentality. You don't see that everywhere in the blog world.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 13, 2007 06:47 PM

"before writing this whole article, read what human right wash report about the war:"

What's the term for a typographical Freudian slip? Can we call it a Jungian slip, maybe? Anyhow, that was good for a chuckle.

On Ron's side -- I think we do have a pretty good sense how terrorist partisans think, MJT -- but I appreciate your courtesy to others. There's always the old-fashioned 'ignore' function -- if your eyes glaze over after HL's second or third post per article, just skip them. Works for me.

Posted by: Pam at January 13, 2007 07:11 PM

Why should you do anything about HL? His views aren't worth a dime, but that doesn't make him a troll.

Posted by: Carlos at January 13, 2007 07:42 PM

Interesting info Michael. The evil that Hezbollah has inflicted on both Lebanon and Israel is reprehensible. Ant the UN force is a joke; perhaps better than nothing; but still a joke.

Yet, I detect a certain animosity towards Israel in your post Michael, why is that ?

Posted by: Cappy at January 13, 2007 08:21 PM

"The Grauniad" - Audry

Well, i dunno who the grauniad are, but no, the guardian isn't leftist. -HL

Ah, yes, they are. Famously so.

From the relevant wikipedia entry:

[...]

Stance

Editorial articles in The Guardian are generally in sympathy with the liberal to left-wing ends of the political spectrum. This is reflected in the paper's readership: a MORI Poll taken between April-June 2000 showed that 80% of Guardian readers were Labour Party voters (cited in International Socialism Spring 2003, ISBN 1-898876-97-5); according to another MORI poll taken in 2004, 44% of Guardian readers vote Labour and 37% vote Liberal Democrat1.

[...]

"Sweetie, you need to expand your reading repertoire."- Audry

Well, from the looks of your spelling, i think you should too. -HL

From later in the same Wikipedia entry-

[...]

The Guardian in the popular imagination

The name the Grauniad for the paper originated with the satirical magazine Private Eye; it came about because of a reputation for text mangling, technical typesetting failures and typographical errors, hence the popular myth that the paper once misspelled its own name on the page one masthead as "The Gaurdian".

HL, please consider the suggestion that you expand your reading list seconded.

Posted by: rosignol at January 13, 2007 08:42 PM

It's funny isn't it MJT, how people's hypocracy cries out at me for belonging to an arab world with no democracy and freedom (excluding my own country lebanon, ofcourse) as if it's my fault, but at the same time want to censor me out of the blog because my opinion is different to yours and some of theirs.

Its a crazy world man.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 13, 2007 08:42 PM

Hizbo Blower, you can't help it.

You're just a wanker.

Posted by: ankhfkhonsu at January 13, 2007 08:49 PM

The Labour Part nor its members are leftists. They are along the middle, they moved further to the right after becoming New Labour Paty. Lib Dems certainly aren't leftists either.

A leftist party would be the respect party, sir.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 13, 2007 08:50 PM

The Labour Part nor its members are leftists. They are along the middle, they moved further to the right after becoming New Labour Paty.

That was just ditching economic ideas that didn't work (and were running the economy into the ground). Simple pragmatism, not ideology.

Lib Dems certainly aren't leftists either.

Sure they are.

A leftist party would be the respect party, sir.

Who said that only one party could be leftist?

The existence of another party farther to one extreme of the political spectrum does not make a less-extreme party 'centrist' or 'moderate'... it just makes them less extreme.

Posted by: rosignol at January 13, 2007 09:06 PM

Cappy,

Re:"Yet, I detect a certain animosity towards Israel in your post Michael, why is that ?"

I think one of the reasons for that is he is upset about the way he was treated at the airport. Maybe, he doesn't realize that EVERYONE is treated like crap at the Israeli airport(and let's face it, most airports). My husband is Jewish, an Israeli citizen in fact, and was almost not let in the country because he flew with his American passport (he wasn't born in Israel and only lived there a year) instead of his Israeli one. They gave him a hell of a time, but we didn't let it spoil or trip.

I think Michael needs to understand why Israelis are called "Sabras." :)

Posted by: Corinne at January 13, 2007 11:09 PM

MJT:

Excellent work, as a piece of on the scene reporting from plausible eyewitnesses backed up by physical evidence [no evidence of "fauxtography"!].

My only major concern is that you may have exposed your guide to retaliation. (Pixelising or black-striping identifying features and disguising names and other details?)

Onlookers [and HL]:

It is highly interesting to see HL and his convergence across Islamist terror-support and the same sort of leftist-socialist anti-western ideological alliance that is reflected in say the Ahmadinejad-Chavez axis.

Further to this, observe that HL is evidently blissfully unaware of the extent of his biases.

For, if one can read the Guardian and not notice that it is a secularist- leftist- progressivist journal -- though one that does try to be fair -- one is plainly less than objective. [NB: if one is immersed in an ideologically intense environment and at least partly internalises it, one-sided and incorrect statements may very well seem "obvious" or "true." That is why it is important to look for accuracy across the scope of material facts, balance/ fairness, context/background and an attitude of respect for others in reporting.]

It is therefore saddening to see that if HL is indeed a media studies major/film producer - in- training or something like that, s/he is so evidently unaware of many blatant perspective markers at say the Guardian. S/he plainly needs to learn and practice some basic critical thinking skills and, for preference, also some basic worldview analysis. [I am here thinking about being aware of the outlines of major worldviews and developing ability to examine major comparative difficulties of such explanations across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power.]

That way HL may do some real service to his/her people, and to the wider ME and world. (We need more journalists capable of giving us a sound, honest, "rough, first draft of history." There is already a glut on the propagandist market!)

HL:

BOTTOMLINE: Maybe, you should be studying MJT as an exemplar of evidently honest journalism in a dangerous region [despite such mistakes as are inevitable], not viewing him primarily as a target for worn-out propagandistic comments.

Cheerio

TKI

Posted by: kairosfocus at January 14, 2007 12:43 AM

Re:"Yet, I detect a certain animosity towards Israel in your post Michael, why is that ?"

I think one of the reasons for that is he is upset about the way he was treated at the airport.

Not once when I wrote this article was I thinking of my experience at the airport.

I have trouble with some of Israel's policies, especially in Lebanon where they consistently screw up. But I am supporter of Israel in general, including Israel's right to defend itself with military force, and I think anyone who follows my work closely knows this.

What in this article makes anyone think I have animosity towards Israel? Because I'm not an open cheerleader? What?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 14, 2007 01:04 AM

I've also been accused lately of hating the Shia, and during the July War I was accused of being both too biased toward Israel and too biased toward Lebanon.

(sigh)

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 14, 2007 01:09 AM

Kairosfocus's comments about HL are on the mark.

For example, HL when boasting about the great achievements of Hezbollah, wrote:

“A whole section of a country [Lebanon] as vast as the south is, accounting for nearly 1/4 of the country…”

Indeed, southern Lebanon “vast”? ALL of Lebanon is 10,400 sq km, about 0.7 times the size of the State of Connecticut in the United States, and HL is actually boasting about Hezbollah’s activities in only one-fourth of that land area. I doubt that anyone has referred to Connecticut or, say, Northern Ireland in the UK as “vast” recently.

HL’s imagination and his claims of great achievements are, compared to the very same kinds of tasks required in other countries with larger land areas and populations many times greater, rather ordinary. For, far more tasks are carried out daily in fully developed urban highly populated areas (with freeways, subways, etc.), and there are dozens of well-developed urban areas in the world, many actually as large or larger in area as all of southern Lebanon, and with populations multiple times greater.
http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/largest-cities-population-125.html

Propagandists exclude one or more relevant facts, like data for the rest of the world, and then proceed to embellish their perspective. Thus, if southern Lebanon is “vast” then whatever Hezbollah does in Lebanon must be as a parallel to that vastness, great.

Posted by: JAS at January 14, 2007 01:49 AM

PS: HL, a warning: if you pass on contact details to Hez orthe like, and MJT's contacts are credibly exposed to being hurt or killed as a result [cf here Q 9:5, 29 in context of the resulting history of dhimmitude], you would then be an accessory to terrorism, maybe even murder. (Forgot to add that note.)

Posted by: kairosfocus at January 14, 2007 01:53 AM

HL, a warning: if you pass on contact details to Hez orthe like, and MJT's contacts are credibly exposed to being hurt or killed as a result [cf here Q 9:5, 29 in context of the resulting history of dhimmitude], you would then be an accessory to terrorism, maybe even murder.

I'm curious if that would bother you, HL.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 14, 2007 04:03 AM

MJT and JS:

Pardon the extensive citations below, but they are highly relevant to the events being described and discussed.

I note:

1] I am not accusing HL, just warning him/her, in a context where he/she is an open supporter of an openly terrorist organisation. (Indeed, arguably Hez is in part the Division-strength, Lebanon-based "Foreign Legion" of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.)

2] If HL is living in the UK (as the above suggests) or another similar EU jurisdiction, even on prudential grounds alone, it should concern HL. [In part, that is why I have posted this.]

3] It would be interesting to see HL's response to the proposed EU Charter of Muslim Understanding, starting with Article 1:

>> We will respect all other non-Muslim religions in word and deed by issuing a clear fatwa with an immediate effect prohibiting . . .

c) The use of any force in any form for whatever grievances felt or actual

d) Forbidding the killing or targeting of any civilian or civil institutions2 in Islamic and non-Islamic countries as a way and means of addressing any of our grievances.>>

4] Article 5 is just as interesting . . .

>>As peace-loving and peace-promoting people domiciled in Europe, and equally believing that Islam is a religion of peace that promotes co-operation and collaboration of all peoples irrespective of their religious or ethnic or gender backgrounds:

a) The notion and all teachings of violent physical Jihad is to be regarded as invalid, inappropriate and irrelevant— hence inapplicable

b) Therefore all Qur’anic Jihad verses encouraging physical violence, whether implicit or explicit, or any other quotations from any Islamic source, be that Sunnah or the sayings of the Prophet or that of the learned scholars or leaders of Jihad at any given time or place, are to be regarded as inapplicable, invalid and non-Islamic.

c) All Qur’anic verses that could be of inciting nature religiously, ethnically or discriminatory in regard to gender are just historical and will be regarded as non-effective for today’s world

d) These verses will be either deferred or suspended until such time as scholars find a solution for their interpretation.>>

5} So is Article 6:

>>Based on the acceptance of equality of all mankind, brotherhood of all and the freedom and sanctity of all human life, and based on the principle that “whosoever slays one man is as though he has slain the whole of humanity,” all acts of terrorism are prohibited, shunned and outlawed:

a) No suicidal mission undertaken for whatever the reason is justified

b) No violent physical Jihad operation will be regarded as sacred

c) No one who chooses to die in such an operation will be regarded as martyr.>>

I'd say this charter is an interesting play on the "protected person" [dhimmi] status accorded non-Muslims of Christian and Jewish faith under Muslim rule ever since the pact of Umar and even Mohammed's pact at Yathrib/Medina.

Over to you, HL: are these terms of coexistence acceptable? If not, why not? (More directly: Why, then should westerners accord you the privilege of participating in civil dialogue in this or other forums?]

MJT, thanks for your patience.

TKI

Posted by: kairosfocus at January 14, 2007 05:12 AM

Hizbo Blower, you can't help it.

You're just a wanker

nice level

Posted by: Lira at January 14, 2007 05:53 AM

"BOTTOMLINE: Maybe, you should be studying MJT as an exemplar of evidently honest journalism in a dangerous region [despite such mistakes as are inevitable], not viewing him primarily as a target for worn-out propagandistic comments." Kairosfocus

Ye, you're right. Which is why i was hoping to interview him and use his opinions and beliefs in my report which will produce a portfolio of researched subjects and matters. And which is why he thought i'd probably bite back and never granted me the privelege. I tried, i seriously did, but he was so content on not granting me that just one favour, which would probably do him more good than me, that he blanked me for a very long time. That in itself was very rude considering the respectful way i approached him. Clearly, that wasn't apreciated on his side. dunno why.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 14, 2007 07:49 AM

to kairosfocus:

I support hizbollah, hizbollah is in lebanon, not europe. They have never engaged in any violent acts against their peoples neither on or off their lands.

And yes, i do accept the charter because i do not feel being agressed against and certain not opressed by anyone here in the UK. I on my part don't believe in suicide bombings being the best way of gaining anything at ll. It might gain someone attention, but negative attention, which would do that persons cause more harm than good. Sayyid Hassan Nassrallah also doesn't seem to think that suicide bombings are effective neither. The biggest prrof of it being only one person has done such an operation under nasrallah command. Ans that person didn't blow himself up in a plaza or mall, nor have any other hizbollah suicide bombers have. This particular person was in his car and targetted an IDF convoy in the middle of no-where.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 14, 2007 08:41 AM

PS, im the person that believes all people living in a certain country or society, should respect and be obediant to that countries rules, laws and ethics.

This does not mean someone doesn't have different views than those of the state, but should be expected to follow the current laws etc until they are changed.

PS: Im a british citizen, too. I have british citizenship and passport, just like any other british person.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 14, 2007 08:47 AM

HL, you need to remember that Hezbollah is listed as a terrorist organization by the government of my country, and of Britain as well. It is not a good idea for me to to be involved in a project sponsored by someone who supports them. I do not want to be rude, but you are putting me in an awkward position here.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 14, 2007 08:57 AM

What happened to Glasnost? Gone off to spread some of that "tough love", I suppose...

Glasnost:
"I could have sworn I heard that Hizballah didn't let outsiders in to do relief work."

Yes, I heard that one, too. ...Mind you, I think that was back in the summer, when Green Helmet was organising the big humanitarian gig. Now things are quieter and the camera crews have gone, I don't imagine ole Greenie's too bothered about the odd infidel turning up for a bit of harmless rebuilding work.

Glasnost:
"Indeed. I hold the cop responsible in both cases."

No shit. Who'd'a thunk it?

Glasnost:
"Case Two is to demonstrate the futility of the contrapositive, never holding the cop responsible."

So if that was the contrapositive, what exactly was the original statement? If you're up for a formal logical wrangle, we might as well state things as clearly and concisely as possible before we don the gloves...

Glasnost:
"Using force to coerce someone to protect your life is probably its own crime, but is not one and the same event with the killing of the protector."

Spot the mendacious little omission there. That first sentence implies that our robber's simply hiding behind someone out of fear for his life. The proper analogy is that he's using someone as a shield while he attempts to murder his way through as many of the assembled police as possible, thus turning the police's reluctance to shoot into a weapon to be used against them (and anyone else in his firing line). Just as Hizbollah have used civilians to attempt to draw the claws of the IDF.

Glasnost:
"I tend to give Western sides a lot of crap, because they're my side, and they're the ones I have access to, and I cam have better expectations of being listened to. But the target selection is opportunistic."

Hats off --- rare to find candour like that. Amazing though, how unashamed he is of the admission. And for someone who clearly not only loves to congratulate himself on his enlightened even-handedness, but who is a self-proclaimed crusader against bias in all its forms, he's chosen a jolly peculiar target: he could've opted for any of the innumerable screamingly skewed anti-Israel blogs instead of a vaguely pro-Israel one which does try to be impartial. After all, it's not as if nobody else tends "to give Western sides a lot of crap". If you live here in the UK, the crap is all you'll see...

...And finally, thank you, thank you, thank you, HL! You made my day, you beautiful human being! First, the observation, "You're all minors with really dumb arguements", before the difficulties with the HTML tags, and then, the icing on the cake --- that quote, "the guardian, not a very leftist newspaper"!!! You slew me with that one. And then, when I thought I could take no more, the coffee and mints arrived; the description of New Labour and the Lib Dems as middle of the road! Inspired! I love you, man.

...And I'm thinking of using that last quote as my e-mail signature: "A leftist party would be the respect party, sir.". Doncha just love that fantastic "sir" on the end there? Worthy of His Obsequious Gorgeousness himself. You rock, HL: keep blogging!

Posted by: Paul at January 14, 2007 09:51 AM

" and of Britain as well."
Thats not true MJT, Hizbollah isn't listed as a terrorist organisation in britain nor in the EU parliament.

Check it up and you'll know.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 14, 2007 11:39 AM

"And finally, thank you, thank you, thank you, HL! You made my day, you beautiful human being!"

You seem kind of extatic and some-what on a bonner because of some comments i made. If you were old enough you would know the lebaour party ditched its socialist agenda long time ago, just after the cons got into government. In britain, we have a concencuel system in a way, and an adversarial one in another. The Labour and cons probably hate each other, but must adapt each others good ideas to survive.

You seem to be very sarcastic about my comments, but hardly make any contribution what so ever other than your hyped up fraf.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 14, 2007 11:46 AM

Labour*

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 14, 2007 11:46 AM

Quoting from the UK Home Office website:

Hizballah External Security Organisation:
Hizballah is committed to armed resistance to the state of Israel itself and aims to liberate all Palestinian territories and Jerusalem from Israeli occupation. It maintains a terrorist wing, the External Security Organisation (ESO), to help it achieve this.

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/security/terrorism-and-the-law/terrorism-act/proscribed-groups

Posted by: Kolya at January 14, 2007 12:06 PM

For the sake of clarity, the Home Office reference to Hizballah I quoted above, is taken from their list of proscribed organisations.

Posted by: Kolya at January 14, 2007 12:11 PM

Hizbollah Lover, what is you opinion regarding the Protocols of Zion?

Posted by: mikek at January 14, 2007 12:33 PM

Michael, your reporting is priceless. Thank you again for these invaluable insights.

I do have one complaint, though. You're obviously biased toward Israel...or maybe Hezbollah, or maybe those hot-looking Christian protest babes (my own personal bias).... No, I've got it! You're biased towards OBJECTIVITY, you nervy bastard, you! AND YOU'RE RIGHT IN OUR FACE WITH IT! How CAN you look yourself in the mirror every morning with that attitude? ;-)

Keep 'em coming!

Posted by: mac at January 14, 2007 01:45 PM

Britain believes hizbollah in lebanon is not a terrorist organisation, but considers all military cells operating outside of lebanon are terrorist cells.

Hizbollah has never engaged in an armed conflict outside its borders, although it does assist the palistinian hamas group with arms, logistics, media and political support.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 14, 2007 02:16 PM

I've never read the book or done any research around it. A week ago was the first time i even heard of it. But sinc e MJT thinks its controversially sick, anti-semitic, racist etc and a myth, then i'll share the same view for now.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 14, 2007 02:18 PM

Michael going to Ain Ebel then allowing HL an interview would be a bit like interviewing Chinese dissidents then debriefing with the Chinese authorities. It would be a betrayal and a danger to your sources.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 14, 2007 02:48 PM

Who do you refer to when you say "your"???

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 14, 2007 02:50 PM

Netherlands General intelligence and security service

2.2.3 Lebanese Hezbollah
Investigations have shown that Hezbollah’s terrorist wing, the Hezbollah External Security Organisation, has been directly and indirectly involved in terrorist acts. It can also be concluded that Hezbollah’s political and terrorist wings are controlled by one co-ordinating council. This means that there is indeed a link between these parts of the organisation.

The Netherlands has changed its policy and no longer makes a distinction between the political and terrorist Hezbollah branches. The Netherlands informed the relevant EU bodies of its findings.

http://www.fas.org/irp/world/netherlands/aivd2004-eng.pdf

Posted by: Kolya at January 14, 2007 03:35 PM

The Netherlands has changed its policy and no longer makes a distinction between the political and terrorist Hezbollah branches.

So according to the Dutch government Hezbollah Lover is a terrorist lover.

Posted by: Carlos at January 14, 2007 03:39 PM

HezbAllah Lover -
You could've just said, not just ignore me like im a fool.

I've been commenting on this site for years. Been to blogger conventions. (Though I missed the latest get together that Totten was at in NYC)

And 90% of the time Totten doesn't respond to what I write.

You hog the entire comments secction with your ADD Constant Attenntion Seeking 20 minute posts..... and you get mad when he doesn't reply to "your offer"?
LOL...
I wish you'd just go away so I could read through the comments section without having to constantly hold down the down arrow key every other second to skip your Wordy Drivel.

My Offer Hezballah Luvver
Why don't you take a trip to Hezballah Land of Paradise and report back next year perhaps.....

Totten -
Why don't you provide some props to Lebanon and put up another report from Beirut with some more pictures of hot Twenty something Lebanese College girls.

SERIOUSLY THOUGH MICHAEL J T.
Your reports are invaluble but we both know it won't make 1 difference when Hezballah starts the next war for Iran and Syria.
Al Reuters, AP etc... will be right back to publishing Hezballah Propoganda pictures.... and the UN will get right back to condemning Israel..... at least I'll have some nice pictures to look at before hand.

Best Regards,

Mike

Posted by: Mike Nargizian at January 14, 2007 04:14 PM

I guess the destruction of the Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires was a result of spontaneous combustion...and the indictments of the Iranian government officials and the mountain of evidence, after a 10 year investigation, demonstrating that the whole deal was carried out by their their hizbo-monkey operatives is just more Zionist-MSM propaganda.

Posted by: ankhfkhonsu at January 14, 2007 04:32 PM

You're a joke man. You was probably gods gueni pig t see how joke+human turn out to be. Or maybe you're just another experiment god did to see what happens when conjoin a human body with a monkey's attitude. I dunno which one, maybe ill pray one day and ask abraham to ask god which one it was.

Posted by: hizbollah lover at January 14, 2007 04:33 PM

Michael, thank you for your blog.

Re HL:

I agree with you and some of the commenters that hearing HLs perspective is interesting and possibly useful.

Nevertheless, HL's posts show a consistent and improving propagandist at work, rather than any exchange of ideas. HL's ongoing rhetorical improvements and experimental changes of tactics are most interesting and damning. If you felt uneasy about cooperating with HL's media project, you might want to consider whether the benefits of hearing HL's view outweigh the costs of his/her developing more of the propagandist skill that Hezbollah is infamous for.Her/His chosen field (media studies) only reaffirms the possiblity that we have a budding toy scatterer/corpse wrangler/ambulance driller on our hands. They have already learned to play the MSM like a fiddle, perhaps they now want to get a handle on the blogosphere too.

Please consider the costs of educating a right-blogosphere savvy hezbollonchik.

Posted by: Ben Ze'ev at January 14, 2007 06:25 PM

Wow, Wow! A propagandist huh? What am i, Goebbels for supporting Hizbollah and having different views than yours.

Im on this blog because its stupid to go on another blog where all people sit and argue about the number of topics they agree about. I know myself more than any of all of you.

Let me set it straight. Im a 17 year old student, of lebanese origin living in london afteremigrating here 9 years ago. I was 8 when i came to this country. For everyone who thinks i've been brainwashed, i've spent more time in Europe than in my own country. I don't think anyone is able to brainwash me at the age of 8! I lived in switzerland and germany from 2months until i was 4 just incase any of you think hizbollah did some kind of brain transplant to indoctrinate me.

The only thing i knew when i was so little is that my country was at war with another country. Whenever we would have to flee because israel was planning an invasion, my parents didn't ued to say big bad wolf is after me, they used to tell me we're going to visit grandma. Or they used to tell me it's eid and we're going to celebrate in beirut. Those are the parents i had. I didn't have an osama wonna be telling me "son, israel is the devil and when you grow up you should kill them just like they kill us". When half my school mates went missing after every "eid" my dad used to tell me that they went holiday and would be back soon, or they moved houses because in eid houses are cheaper, or than that person moved to a new school because it just opened up etc.

I even still remember the Qana massacre. When i once flicked the chanel from cartoon network to a new channel, i saw all these bodies torn up and being unearthed by the familiar UN. My dad saw me and shouted at me and turned the TV off. I asked him is that where my friends were, he said no, it was just a lebanese movie and none of it was real.

Everything i know about anything was in this country and my dad is by far anything but an ignorant man or a fundamentalist or hardcore revenge seeking war-mongering terrorist. Then, when we had to finally leave my country i asked him why, you know what he said. He told me remember that karate film (karate kid), i said ye. He told me you've always wanted to play karate right? i said yes. He told me yye well, the country we're going to has alot of karate teachers, and better schools.

To this day he doesn't admit the real reason we came to this country was because the SLA threatened to slaughter him, his family and demolish their houses if he didn't join them. He still tells me the real reason is education. He still doesn't admit the real reason was because he had to be recruited in 3 jobs to make a living because our own government abandoned us impoverished and war-torn. To this day i still don't know everything about my own dad. I hear these kind of things when he's talking with a family member or my mum and brings them up occasionally.

Whenever i tell him that i heard him the other day talking about how his friend died in some operation he was involved in, or how this or that etc anything about his military history, he would tell me "naaaa, all i did was cook eggs" But i know for sure he was a militant for 4 years, and a good one at that, as well as a spy, sometimes operating from within israel, for another 2 years. I've even met the guy who used to be his commander and he's told me alot about my dad that are too long to say here but lets just say he's got the heart to face death/danger and take the risks, but not the heart to cause death to others.

So, please stop it with the goebbels, terrorist lover, spy, agent, operative, hizbollah watchman, wanker, palistinian refugee or w,e, names you've called me. Certainly not a brainwashed kid. I didn't even know what hizbollah was when i was in lebanon. And just incase you're wandering, i've spent more time reading blogs, books, newspapers, reports etc that oppose my views, than agree with them.

Posted by: Hezbollah Lover at January 14, 2007 07:11 PM

Q.E.D.

A wanker and a baby wanker at that.

Posted by: ankhfkhonsu at January 14, 2007 07:36 PM

"Q.E.D.

A wanker and a baby wanker at that." - ankhfkhonsu

Why, you're an amazing intellect. Please teach me!

Posted by: Hezbollah Lover at January 14, 2007 07:42 PM

And just incase you're wandering, i've spent more time reading blogs, books, newspapers, reports etc that oppose my views, than agree with them.

HL, this is precisely the point.

Firstly it seems that your views don't seem to change or shift one bit. It sounds like you are a diehard Hezbollah fan. This is really difficult to understand when you spend so much time reading Michael's objective and balanced posts. Which brings me to my second point - it shows that Hezbollah are not some romantic resistance group who resist invasion against bloodthirsty, conquering imperialists. I find it really strange that you can read so much yet process so little. Even if you are 17 years old, you might begin to doubt the wisdom of calling yourself "hezbollah lover".

You're putting a lot of effort into defending yourself. I wouldn't worry that anyone here is attacking you on a personal level.

Its just that you continue to support Hezbollah and your alias is Hezbollah Lover, so I find it odd that in your last post, you were trying to distance yourself from Hezbollah.

Posted by: Jono at January 14, 2007 07:42 PM

HL.. Sometimes when defending yourself, you dig yourself a deeper hole. How do you expect the rest of us to interpret these 2 things that you said about your father ?

Everything i know about anything was in this country and my dad is by far anything but an ignorant man or a fundamentalist or hardcore revenge seeking war-mongering terrorist.

AND THIS:

But i know for sure he was a militant for 4 years, and a good one at that, as well as a spy, sometimes operating from within israel, for another 2 years

Posted by: Jono at January 14, 2007 07:48 PM
HL:
"I don't think anyone is able to brainwash me at the age of 8!"

No, of course not: you have to be over 18 before brainwashing is possible. Everyone knows that...

HL:
"To this day he doesn't admit the real reason we came to this country was because the SLA threatened to slaughter him, his family and demolish their houses if he didn't join them. He still tells me the real reason is education."

Listen to your dad: he's got more sense than to nurse grudges or glorify terrorists.

Posted by: Paul at January 14, 2007 07:57 PM

Or HL is a little old Shia granny in a burka and earphones in a secret underground bunker under the Dahiyya, mastering the blogopshere when not strategically positioning herself in front of the next sucessfully struck military target with upraised hands and an expression of woe to the tune of "All Your Fakes Are Belong to Us"
http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/184421.php

Or its a teenage Japanese girl in a "Hello Shiite" tshirt.

Who knows. Who cares.

All I see is someone who is adept at switching from bellicose rhetoric to emotional appeal to flawed or fabricated facts and hard logic. Someone who could win over more than a few casual readers not in posession of the facts, if not to his side, then at least to recognise his side as morally equal.

So much for the impostor learning the ropes theory.

If this really is a 17 year old kid in the UK, this is a pretty smart kid indeed. But smart in a very unusual way, or perhaps not too surprising one given his background. this smart kid just admitted to being a Hezbollonchik of the highest pedigree by blood, and no matter how smart he seems impervious to reason.

His intellect shows no ability to absorb or assimilate new facts. He is smart but not adaptive. His brain is set firmly on "enemy" and will not budge. But he is doing his best to be persusive to members of the reading audience (not necessarily posters on the blog)

A smart, loyal enemy who is only now coming into his own. Proud son of a man who sounds like an intimate of the likes of Imad Muginyeh.

Do we really want to help him acquire and sharpen these skills ?

Incidentally, does dad qualify as a terrorist by the British definition ?

Posted by: Ben Ze'ev at January 14, 2007 08:01 PM

I will defer to the experts, but it seems to me that HL is more likely to be a committee than a single entity. So HL, if you are even half as smart as you say you are,it should be no problem for you to show us you really are just one 17 year old.
Good luck.

Posted by: littleboylost at January 14, 2007 08:14 PM

i know for sure he was a militant for 4 years, and a good one at that

he's got the heart to face death/danger and take the risks, but not the heart to cause death to others.

Please tell, HL, how do you become a good "militant" without causing "death to others"?

Posted by: mertel at January 14, 2007 08:16 PM

Hey, at least HL takes my word for it that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is racist trash.

Here is the Wikipedia entry, by the way.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 14, 2007 09:19 PM

MR Totten,

You said "Said and Henry, from the Lebanese Committee for UNSCR 1559 - an NGO which advises the Lebanese government and the international community on the disarmament of Hizballah."

Where is this NGO registered? and how does it advise the Lebanese government?

The organisation which is formed and run by Walid Phares in the states, with US gov grants, to promote anti-Hizballah sentiments amongst the Lebanese but has never actually gone beyong the rhetoric to offer any viable options for how this is to be done?

Wouldn't you want to check the advisory role claims before stating them??
For those who want to know more, go to youtube and look up the following "walid phares", or "brigitte gabriel"

Also, all the Lebanese saw photo footage and tv reports of the FPM's drive in Ain Ebl shortly after the war, to financial distribute funding to the people of the tower to allow re-building and to compensate for crops even.

When the forum is up and running, go to www.lfpm.org and search for a thread on "ain ebel".

this blog is looking more and more like a propaganda site.

Posted by: Robert at January 14, 2007 09:48 PM

this blog is looking more and more like a propaganda site.

Blah blah blah.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 14, 2007 10:52 PM

"Hey, at least HL takes my word for it that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is racist trash."

Try calling it racist trash after they steal all of your gold. Go ahead and try it.

Posted by: mikek at January 14, 2007 10:54 PM

Try calling it racist trash after they steal all of your gold. Go ahead and try it.

What does this mean? Who is "they?"

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 14, 2007 10:59 PM

"What does this mean? Who is "they?"

The elders. Seriously, a friend of a friend of a friend had their kids stolen and eaten for passover. Think about it, your kid may be next.

Posted by: mikek at January 14, 2007 11:15 PM

Blah blah blah.

My reaction exactly. You can just tell that all of the effort it would take to try to figure out exactly what he's talking about would be wasted time.

Really Robert, if you have actual information then come back whenever you're not foaming at the mouth and explain it cogently, if you're capable of that.

It's such a common tragedy of the middle east that it turns people into rabid dogs. Too angry (or perhaps hate-filled) to communicate, or think clearly either. There's nothing that destroys a man's ability to reason like aggression; and middle eastern culture seems to cultivate aggression, and thus promote incompetence and stupidity along with violence and hatred.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 14, 2007 11:29 PM

MJT, HL (and others):

Several quick points; thanks for responding:

1] HL: I support hizbollah, hizbollah is in lebanon, not europe. They have never engaged in any violent acts against their peoples . . . i do accept the charter because i do not feel being agressed against and certain not opressed by anyone here in the UK . . . I on my part don't believe in suicide bombings being the best way of gaining anything at ll.

First, where murder is committed does not change the resulting significance of blood-guilt, or the implications of the EU charter as a renunciation/ denunciation of murderous jihadism.

So, your comment rings just a bit hollow. That comes out very fast as soon as we see . . . Hez was in effect the major pioneer of modern suicide bombing, right there in Lebanon, and then globally. As Wiki summarises:

. . . Hezbollah's bombing of the U.S. embassy in April 1983 and attack on United States Marine and French barracks in October 1983 brought suicide bombings international attention. Other parties to the civil war were quick to adopt the tactic, and by 1999 factions such as Hezbollah, the Amal Movement, the Ba'ath Party, and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party had carried out around 50 suicide bombings between them . . . Hezbollah was the only one to attack overseas, bombing the Israeli embassy (and possibly the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association building) in Buenos Aires; as its military and political power have grown, it has since abandoned the tactic.

Hez is also precisely a jihadism organisation that commonly uses terrorism and intimidation, also it subjugates and oppresses so-called Dhimmis. Indeed, the use of the Christian villagers MJT remarks on above as hostages/ civilian human shields [nb the machine gunning to force many of them to remain in the village] during the recent campaign is precisely a case in point. It also happens to be the war crime of perfidy, as documented by another commenter.

BTW, neither the UK nor Argentina can credibly be accused of oppressing Muslims as a class; but that did not prevent both countries from suffering suicide bombings at the hands of Islamist terrorists. So, your claims that you do not feel oppressed in the UK ring very hollow indeed.

2] . . . someone doesn't have different views than those of the state, but should be expected to follow the current laws etc until they are changed.

“Changed” like this . . . ?

. . . the exploitation of the weak, the unjust system of distribution and denial of the rights of nations, will end with the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (AS). In the government of the Imam man will witness real economic welfare throughout the world without any discrimination. The main issue in his global government is carrying out social justice and one of the main products of social justice is a highly developed economy that leads to the blossoming of moral and spiritual values as emphasized by the dynamic teachings of Islam . . . . Another beautiful moment of the Savior's [i.e. the Mahdi's] appearance is the coming down of Prophet Jesus (PBUH) from heaven. Hazrat Mahdi receives him courteously and asks him to lead the prayers. But Jesus says you are more qualified for this than me . . . Imam Mahdi will be the leader while Prophet Jesus will act as his lieutenant in the struggle against oppression and establishment of justice in the world . . . . he will dominate the east and the west to fill the earth with justice.

Translating: according to this Christmas Day statement on an official Iranian web site, the Mahdi/ 12th Imam -- with the assistance of the Muslim eschatological "Jesus" [as opposed to the Jesus known from history and from well documented, authentic Christian teaching ever since C1] -- will conquer the world and subject it to Islamic law, on pain of death for disobedience to same.

The sort of "justice" we can expect from that attempt [which most assuredly will fail, probably horribly bloodily] is aptly illustrated by what Hezbollah has been doing in S Lebanon (and elsewhere), and by the sort of case in Iran where a 17 yo girl who defended herself and her 16 yo niece from gang rape was recently sentenced to hang as a murderer. All because brandishing the knife she had in her purse and then stabbing one attacker in the hand were not enough to make them back off, so in extremis she stabbed one in the chest, ultimately fatally. In my book, she should be given a medal!

Sorry, as a Caribbean person who lives day by day with the lingering results of colonial oppression, I have no interest at all in "swappin' black dog fe monkey."

3] Hizbollah has never engaged in an armed conflict outside its borders

Priceless: by direct implication, what we saw in Israel in July, where Hez's operatives bombarded Israeli civilians across an internationally recognised and approved border [as a "distraction"}, and kidnapped soldiers on patrol on the Israeli side of that border, is INSIDE "its borders."

Similarly, attacks a whole ocean away in another continent, in Argentina, are INSIDE "its borders."

That of course arguably reflects the Islamist view that the whole earth belongs to Allah, and is to be subjugated under his prophet, laws, and warriors. [Not to mention: the classic Islamic teachings of Takkiya etc imply that one can mislead or even lie to those against whom one is conducting jihad of the tongue; aka propaganda.]

All of this dovetails with Hez's charter circa 1985:

We are the sons of the ummah (Muslim community) - the party of God (Hizb Allah) the vanguard of which was made victorious by God in Iran [NB: Iran is said in the traditions, to be where the black flag army will rise up to lead the Mahdi's global conquest, hence, e.g. the apocalypric Mahdism of Mr Ahmadinejad]. There the vanguard succeeded to lay down the bases of a Muslim state which plays a central role in the world. We obey the orders of one leader, wise and just, that of our tutor and faqih (jurist) who fulfills all the necessary conditions: Ruhollah Musawi Khomeini....We are an umma linked to the Muslims of the whole world by the solid doctrinal and religious connection of Islam, whose message God wanted to be fulfilled by the Seal of the Prophets, i.e., Muhammad. Our behavior is dictated to us by legal principles laid down by the light of an overall political conception defined by the leading jurist....As for our culture, it is based on the Holy Koran, the Sunna and the legal rulings of the faqih who is our source of imitation

4] For everyone who thinks i've been brainwashed, i've spent more time in Europe than in my own country. I don't think anyone is able to brainwash me at the age of 8!

Location, per se, has nothing to do with being immersed in a highly ideological environment. Secondly, being of young age in such an environment, in the home, in the community,in the Mosque or even at school, is precisely the perfect context for deep indoctrination. And, from a later cite, it seems that your father was a Hez operative against Israel, which makes a highly ideological home environment more than likely.

Just a basic test, since Hez is rabidly anti-Israel: what is the significance of [1] the year 1919, [2] the name Feisal Hussein, [3] the name Chaim Weizmann? [Hint: if you cannot objectively answer this, you cannot discuss the Arab-Israeli dispute in an informed way. Cf discussion here.]

Besides, I am not inferring from an assumed past for you; I am observing from how you fail to reason accurately and fail to recognise obvious reality today. Your abject failure to recognise the Guardian for what it manifestly is, is all too diagnostic.

So are the sophomoric bombast and closed mindedness -- a classic fallacy BTW -- that unfortunately keeps on cropping up in your comments. Observe how several other commenters are also highlighting it.

I cite to you immortal words by Alexander Pope:

A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

As someone who has taught young students of your claimed age basics of critical thinking and those of a few years on the basics of philosophising, I advise you to take the time to learn how to think straight in a world of media etc spin.

[BTW, you will find there is more than one side to the Qana stories, too . . . first time around and the second time around in the 10th anniversary year. IN BOTH CASESTHE PERFIDIOUS USE OF CIVILIAN HUMAN SHIELDS LED TO CIVILIAN DEATHS. These deaths were then cynically exploited by the same terrorists responsible for the deaths, for propaganda purposes. That tells me all I need to know about whether supporting Hez makes sense, and what such support says about one's character.]

___________

So, I think Jono should have the last word:

it seems that your views don't seem to change or shift one bit. It sounds like you are a diehard Hezbollah fan. This is really difficult to understand when you spend so much time reading Michael's objective and balanced posts. Which brings me to my second point - it shows that Hezbollah are not some romantic resistance group who resist invasion against bloodthirsty, conquering imperialists. I find it really strange that you can read so much yet process so little. Even if you are 17 years old, you might begin to doubt the wisdom of calling yourself "hezbollah lover".

TKI

Posted by: kairosfocus at January 15, 2007 12:19 AM

Mikek, I'm at the end of a long day and maybe not hitting on all cylinders, but that damn well better be sarcasm.

Posted by: greeneyeshade at January 15, 2007 12:33 AM

MJT (and HL):

Sorry, I should have added this, as excerpted from Aristotle's 300+ BC The Rhetoric, which was written with the judidial murder of Socrates ringing in his ears:

Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker [ethos]; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind [pathos]; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself [logos]. Persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible . . . Secondly, persuasion may come through the hearers, when the speech stirs their emotions. Our judgements when we are pleased and friendly are not the same as when we are pained and hostile . . . Thirdly, persuasion is effected through the speech itself when we have proved a truth or an apparent truth by means of the persuasive arguments suitable to the case in question . . . .

No wonder Jesus said in that famous C1 disciples' prayer usually known as The Lord's Prayer: forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us . . .

Maybe, it is just possible that we can drain the pools of venom and find a way together to make real peace -- not temporary hudnas to be set aside whenever a suitable excuse crops up?

[That trick has been going on ever since Mohammed used an excuse to march on Mecca with 10,000 men; nigh on 1400 years ago -- the Shabba farms excuse tactic is very, very familiar, in short. Similarly, just what were the early Muslims "defending" all the way from Yathrib/Medina to the Indus in the East and France in the West?]

I hope we can learn from history and the great teachers, so we will not be doomed to repeat the worst chapters of history; this time with nukes in play . . . and in such an exchange I am not betting on Iran, HL. (Can't you see Iranian colonialism and subversion in Lebanon for what it is, and the likely consequences for your homeland? Similarly for Syria, increasingly an Iranian client state? "If it walks like a duck, quacks, . . .")

HL: over to you.

TKI

Posted by: kairosfocus at January 15, 2007 01:38 AM

"I will defer to the experts, but it seems to me that HL is more likely to be a committee than a single entity. So HL, if you are even half as smart as you say you are,it should be no problem for you to show us you really are just one 17 year old.
Good luck."

www.freewebs.com/xdcsclan

Visit the link, you should see a pic of me. It's kind of small but it's the best i can do cuz im in the library right now. PS that website is one made by counter strike clan called XD which im a part of.

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 15, 2007 07:27 AM

HL, although I (clearly!) think most of what you wrote above is nonsense, for all that its worth I believe you are exactly what you claim to be. The idea of a bunch of bearded psyops dudes in a basement in Beirut posing as a 17 yo Counter Strike addict is a bit too conspirazoid for me...

But I have to ask: Do you play as T or CT? ;-)

Posted by: Bruno at January 15, 2007 07:40 AM

HL -- You are becoming parasitic. Get your own blog. MJT -- he's siphoning gas out of your car.

Posted by: Pam at January 15, 2007 07:40 AM

HL,

If I understand correctly, and if what you are saying is true, your dad removed you and the family from Leb in order to give you a chance at a better life, and perhaps for safety reasons.

Why don't you do him a favor and do something more productive with your time. You probably owe him at least that much.

Posted by: mnm at January 15, 2007 07:53 AM

"First, where murder is committed does not change the resulting significance of blood-guilt"

Go tell that to the IDF, they seem to be good at carrying out such acts. As for you trying to refer to hizbollah as the murderes, i redirect you to the fact that hizbollah is a reactionist group. Seek and heal the cause not the reaction. As for you saying that Sometimes hizbollah attacks israel and on their soil. Sometimes, the best defense is offense. What do you want hizbollah to do, sit their and wait until they are attacked and then defend the land? That's both stupid thing to do as well as ignorant of the fact that the surprise factor is sometimes the best way to gain the upper-hand.

"or the implications of the EU charter as a renunciation/ denunciation of murderous jihadism."

It's an EU charter concerning EU citizens and EU nations, nothing more nothing less. I, as a muslim, do not accept being told what to believe or deny religiously in the name of an EU charter made by god knows who. I reserve the right to have my own beliefs concerning my faith and religion. The EU charter is explicitly made for EU residents and is a reference for moral conduct in EU lands. WHat that means is it is unlawful to wage jihad in the EU because someone told you to. The EU can not tell you the rules outside it's borders, unless they were the "world order" government i've heard of so many times....

"Hez was in effect the major pioneer of modern suicide bombing, right there in Lebanon, and then globally."

I did not deny the fact that hizbollah used suicide bombings, i'm just saying it's been a very long time since they have done so. All suicide bombings were targetted at military targets, never civilian ones. The first ever suicide bombing which hizbollah took responsibility for was in tyre in 1985 which was against an israeli army barracks. It killed 100+ IDF personel as well as mossad and shin bet agents (the barracks was a centre for intelligence and logistics).

"Hezbollah's bombing of the U.S. embassy in April 1983 and attack on United States Marine and French barracks in October 1983 brought suicide bombings international attention."

Hizbollah's was officially provlaimed existant and it's manifesto claimed in 1985, 2 years after those bombings. These bombings were blamed on hizbollah and hizbollah was held primary convict of the bombings...nearly 18 years later. It's clear that these bombings are used as a political weapon to desperately try convict hizbollah as a terrorist organisation that massacres innocent civilians. To this day, no hard evidence has been brought to convict hizbollah guilty of the bombings. In 2005, after the harriri bombing (surprise surprise) the argentinian court ruled that it had enough evidence to conclude that hizbollah had a role to play in the bombings, but was not directly the main culprit. Why was it allowed that a governmental court to make such convictions and not a UN tribunal or trial? No defense witnesses/informers or appeals were presented at the court on behalf of any representative from hizbollah. In 1983, it was a group called "Islamic Jihad" which took responsibility for US and french marines barracks bombings (in my view justified - foreigners attacking and occupying land, any resistance against them is justified. Italian were spared because they didn't take any sides. America took israel side, and france took the maronites side since civil war was still raging.)

"Other parties to the civil war were quick to adopt the tactic, and by 1999 factions such as Hezbollah, the Amal Movement, the Ba'ath Party, and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party had carried out around 50 suicide bombings between them "

Theres no such thing as the ba'ath party in lebanon. Hezbollah not once was engaged in a suicide bombing mission since 1992.

"Hez is also precisely a jihadism organisation that commonly uses terrorism and intimidation, also it subjugates and oppresses so-called Dhimmis."

Dhimmi is not a people, entity or object. Its a law. What terrorism and what intimidation? If it's terrorising the IDF into submission and intimidating it to breaking point, then i have no comments to make. Im not going to say im either with or against. I think all of you know why.

"Indeed, the use of the Christian villagers MJT remarks on above as hostages/ civilian human shields [nb the machine gunning to force many of them to remain in the village] during the recent campaign is precisely a case in point."

I have not been presented with any evidence what so ever. No bullet holes in any of the cars or any pics/interviews with any of the two people wounded.

"Sorry, as a Caribbean person who lives day by day with the lingering results of colonial oppression, I have no interest at all in "swappin' black dog fe monkey.""

That's for you to deside. You don't see me clling you a traitor nor terrorist for any of your internal opinion. Nor should you interfere in lebanese affairs and calling some-one who supports a legitimate party in lebanese main-stream politics as a terrorist or war-monger or whatever reference you try to infer.

"Priceless: by direct implication, what we saw in Israel in July"

It's priceless you think that this war and problem started when july 12th starting ticking on your clock. This conflict goes way back and has yet to be settled.

"where Hez's operatives bombarded Israeli civilians"

Hizbollah fired 6 rockets into israel on july 12th. I dunno what bombardment you're on about. If hizbollah wanted to bombard israel, they would've done what they did in october 2000 carrying out the same operation, they would've bombarded every israeli position and outpost all along the border.

"across an internationally recognised and approved border"

Half of the distance of the southern border is classified as "disputed" by the UN.

That of course arguably reflects the Islamist view that the whole earth belongs to Allah, and is to be subjugated under his prophet, laws, and warriors. [Not to mention: the classic Islamic teachings of Takkiya etc imply that one can mislead or even lie to those against whom one is conducting jihad of the tongue; aka propaganda.]

PS, I went to a sunni english school in tyre when i lived in lebanon. Not a hizbollah belonging school, nor a shia one in that sense.

"IN BOTH CASES THE PERFIDIOUS USE OF CIVILIAN HUMAN SHIELDS LED TO CIVILIAN DEATHS."

Where's your evidence? Your claims are baseless. I fail to understand how a clearly marked UN building sheltering hundreds of lebanese refugees could have been used as a civilian "shield". Your claims are baseless...pure and simple lies to try gain moral high-ground. In Qana-1, Israel said they bombed the UN HQ by "accident", no reference to human shields. I do not know one time where israel butchers civilians and blames it on "terrorists" were using them as human shields or it was a "mistake" and a "full investigation€2 will be carried out...Never once did they bear any fruits.

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 15, 2007 08:14 AM

"But I have to ask: Do you play as T or CT? ;-)"

LOL, to tell you the truth, i play CT. Their guns are better :D

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 15, 2007 08:16 AM

For those who want to know more, go to youtube and look up the following "walid phares", or "brigitte gabriel"

I'm already very familiar with Brigitte Gabriel. She's a Lebanese christian who dares speak out against Hesbollah and radical islam. That's somehow supposed to be sinister just because you're a terror lover like HL? Her family was a victim during the civil war of precisely the kind of human shield tactics the same radical muslims used in the recent battle against Israel. Of course Ms. Gabriel can only speak freely from the safety of exile. Your buddies would kill her otherwise.

And yes, you are a terror lover if you support Hesbollah. Even the politically correct Dutch(!) governmen has recognized them as a terrorist organization apparently.

Posted by: Carlos at January 15, 2007 09:16 AM

hezbollah lover, your lack the ability to produce an unbiased report relating to hezhollah. You show a remarkable ability to disbelieve anything that shows hezbollah might have done something that is better left outside public knowledge lest it paint an unflattering picture.
You've got a personal agenda & it'll show in any report you do. Better stick to doing a report on basket weaving or something.

Posted by: d00d at January 15, 2007 09:31 AM

Kairosfocus:

Very well put. Thanks for the Aristotle focus/link, as it is succintly the essence of the so-called debate with this unfocused and manipulative child.

Posted by: ankhfkhonsu at January 15, 2007 10:29 AM

I think it is unfortunate that this is almost entirely about HL.

Posted by: Zak at January 15, 2007 10:39 AM

where's glasnost?

I'm only here during regrettable lapses of my concentration. When I'm not here, things are as they should be.

Yeah. Lefties make all kinds of excuses for the rule-breakers, mostly along the lines of how the rules are 'unfair', or 'those resisting an occupation are entitled to use all means to do so', ad nauseum.

Roisignol:

Heh. I enjoyed your response.

Of course, the converse point to you here: Hmmm. Wonder who got to be in the room when the governments sat around and decided what was and was not a war crime? What a coincidence, the exact thing that makes guerrilla warfare possible.

Forgive me if I acted a little more ignorant than I am. (You know how it is when you no longer remember the details until you hear them again). The point was to get confirmation of the points leading to the conclusion: that war crimes laws that outlaw the basics of asymmetrical warfare, operating from within civilian territory, are DOA in practice. Don't blame the lefties - puhleeze. blame every government that's ever funded this kind of behavior, which is most of them, starting with.. Iran and Syria in Hezb's case, and the U.S. and Israel in other cases, and France, Pakistan, Russia, Indonesia.. can we move on?

Glasnost, I believe the crucial difference is whether the guerrilla force is using civilian areas as concealment (which is ok in most cases), or relying on the opposite side reluctance to harm civilians to fire with impunity (which is perfidy).

This is an interesting distinction. I don't know if it squares with Rosignol's description, and yes, I'm too lazy to re-read the conventions right now. Does "concealment" ever really not rely on a reluctance to harm civilians? What is firing with impunity? Is that firing from the same location more than once? Basically, it seems to me like an attempt to split something that may not really be splittable. Conveniently, a government can then claim "concealment" for guerilla orgs they like and "impunity fire" for ones they do not.

Look, the reason we respect war crimes laws in argument, is that they correspond to actual direct harm done to people who supposedly don't want to be involved in combat. A law that makes everyone a war criminal who fights "near" someone who doesn't want to be involved in combat is a silly law and gets no traction, because it basically outlaws war. No direct harm has been done by the "war criminal" to the civilian. Outlawing it for the good guys, but not the bad guys, or outlawing it all the time and ignoring automatic violations when we favor the other guy is dumb.
On the other hand, If you're forcibly detaining civilians under threat of harm as literal human shields, that's a sensible definition of a war crime. I think we can all agree on that. To the extent Hizballah does that, I'll get on board and say: that's bad. We can add them to the list of people who do things I think are bad.. wait, they're already on there. Ok, actually, we can move on to some greater point.. if there is one.

The Monster:

That's a logical explanation of the difference that contrasts with my knowledge of the relevant facts. I am not aware that "Jamil Hussein" is or was a psuedonym: it conflicts with the coverage I read that the Iraqi government recently admitted that the man exists. I've assumed that bloggers were simply running down the AP for printing a story for which they had only witness testimony, after governments attempted to pretend that the witness exists. That would be bloggers swallowing government lies in order to help them trash the AP. I'll hold to my version for now, but thanks.

Pam:

There is a difference, albeit a fine one, between being ruthless and being evil or immoral.

Pam, I'm glad you believe what you believe. I don't think everyone else plays by your rules. In other words, the difference is something that you have chosen, not something inherent. As for me, I'm not in the business of killing civilians either way, so tell it to someone who is.

Paul:

Hats off --- rare to find candour like that. Amazing though, how unashamed he is of the admission. And for someone who clearly not only loves to congratulate himself on his enlightened even-handedness, but who is a self-proclaimed crusader against bias in all its forms, he's chosen a jolly peculiar target: he could've opted for any of the innumerable screamingly skewed anti-Israel blogs instead of a vaguely pro-Israel one which does try to be impartial. After all, it's not as if nobody else tends "to give Western sides a lot of crap". If you live here in the UK, the crap is all you'll see...

Look at it like this, a**hole. By mildly subjecting pro-Israel sites to logical criticism, i.e. helping them gain a better understanding of the societal dynamics they study, I help the corresponding society adapt and prosper in some small way. If I was to go give a lot of crap to anti-Israel sites, I would only be helping them survive, adapt, and prosper. Why should a pro-Israel guy like myself do that? I'm not ashamed of anything. Why should I be? I hope that answers your questions. F*ck off.

Mary:

Of course we like the police better than we like bank robbers... If an reporters described a robbery, should he/she be obligated to give equal weight to the robber's point of view - and if they didn't would you question his/her bias?

Well, you sure did one-up me quite nicely. Cheers to you. On the other hand, you also utterly sidestepped the point of the hypothetical. We create, repeal, enforce, and obey societal rules based on their utility.

As demonstrated, universally holding the bank robber responsible for all conceivable police violence committed during a robbery fails to provide incentives for the police officer to avoid committing indiscriminate violence to anyone else in the area during robbery time, or during the course of preventing said robbery. Thus it is unuseful to society. Of course, I highly doubt the law is written to immunize police officers from all committable violence during robbery prevention. The exception is, I'm sure, much more limited. Neverthless, it is irrational, contra-causal, and incorrect to hold a criminal responsible for violence committed by the government in attempting to punish, interdict, halt, or prevent the crime. Thus I believe. If you don't, fine. Have a nice day.

Posted by: glasnost at January 15, 2007 12:24 PM

HL : "Hizbollah fired 6 rockets into israel on july 12th. I dunno what bombardment you're on about."

As if firing a single rocket and the direction it was fired would not be perceived as an act of war. A rocket fired violates peaceful coexistence and six rockets fired are six violations.

Rockets do not determine or follow borders—-borders are the cartographic claims of governments and governing bodies.

If someone anywhere has either a rocket or rocket launcher in his possession independent of federal government authorization or issuance and fires it independently in the direction of other civilians---that act violates civil order, and the ones who fired the rocket are the exact sources of an aggression. Anarchy, like war, is disorder.

If six rockets were fired in your direction and hit near your backyard I’m betting that you would call it a bombardment. In the Middle East if one person is killed the words 'murder' or 'assassination' are used, and if any more than one person is killed then the word 'massacre' appears in bold print.

Posted by: JAS at January 15, 2007 02:32 PM

Neverthless, it is irrational, contra-causal, and incorrect to hold a criminal responsible for violence committed by the government in attempting to punish, interdict, halt, or prevent the crime. Thus I believe. If you don't, fine. Have a nice day.

You are entitled to believe whatever you want, I just hope you never have any role in the real world that has anything remotely to do with security - national or otherwise.

Of course, the bank robber firing at police was a flawed analogy. More accurate is the idea of a criminal, hiding behind civilian hostages, who is firing rockets, not at police, but directly and indiscriminately into a heavily populated area.

In this case, were glasnost to be in command (I shudder at the thought) the police would be totally incapacitated and unable to stop the perpetrator, lest they accidently shoot a hostage and have glasnost charge them with murder.

Posted by: mertel at January 15, 2007 03:03 PM

HL,
Don't you have some French verbs to conjugate or some math problems to solve? Don't they give homework in schools in London? Better yet, should you not be on MSN chat trying to score a date with some hot girl?
HL is a typical "gifted" teen. Yeh, they are smart but they have one track mind and don't have enough life experience to look at different facets of a problem. Instead of fantasising about Pamela Anderson's boobs,HL is glamorizing Nasrallah. What a waste! What' s the matter with the kid?
I think a trip back to the old homeland might set him straight about real reality not the virtual reality he is living on the net. Poor kid! I mean the kid tries hard but he has 0 insight and 0 self reflection. He certainly has potential but needs to grow up a little.

Posted by: Ruth at January 15, 2007 03:40 PM

GLASNOST:

"Neverthless, it is irrational, contra-causal, and incorrect to hold a criminal responsible for violence committed by the government in attempting to punish, interdict, halt, or prevent the crime."

Personal Intent. That is the difference between a bank robber holding a hostage in a bank and the police who show up to resolve the situation—their role to protect and serve the public. Whatever the police do is second hand to the robber’s intentions, which are inherently criminal if he is (1) robbing a bank and (2) holding a hostage as a shield. Nevertheless, police officers are expected to follow orderly codes of procedure and it is by those stipulations that a situation will be judged in a court.

Prevention—too late if the bank robber is in a bank with a gun waving and holding hostages. To interdict or halt the robbery is precisely why the police are present. In the United States punishment is a result of court procedure and otherwise a violation of laws.

Without the criminal and his personal intentions the story is shorter.

Posted by: JAS at January 15, 2007 03:52 PM

Then again, glasnost sees no moral distinction between a police officer and a criminal. In his/her moral vaccuum the only difference is that we "don't like" criminals. What a bizarre lack of ethics, insight and morality.

Posted by: mertel at January 15, 2007 04:08 PM
"Look at it like this, a**hole. By mildly subjecting pro-Israel sites to logical criticism, i.e. helping them gain a better understanding of the societal dynamics they study, I help the corresponding society adapt and prosper in some small way. If I was to go give a lot of crap to anti-Israel sites, I would only be helping them survive, adapt, and prosper. Why should a pro-Israel guy like myself do that? I'm not ashamed of anything. Why should I be? I hope that answers your questions. F*ck off."

And there I was thinking that your brand of unprincipled sophistry was simply an attempt to feel important. Well, if "to give a lot of crap" to weblogs is really "helping them survive, adapt, and prosper", then Mike's sorted for life, with your inexhaustible supply of the stuff. You wouldn't like to come and manure my roses while you're at it, would you? Don't bother replying: I'm fed up of reading this thread now that Hezbo Lover has gone into diarrhoetic overdrive. So long, and many thanks again for working so hard in improving this site.

Posted by: Paul at January 15, 2007 04:32 PM

What Paul said.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 15, 2007 05:22 PM

Zak:
I think it is unfortunate that this is almost entirely about HL.

I second that. I'm sure Michael would agree. His blog, including its comment section, for many years has had one of the highest standards of discourse.

People would debate ideas rationally, slowly,
calmly and subtly. The focus would not be lost.

Instead, because of the efforts of one particular person who puts forward outlandish and controversial comments, the value of the comments section just plummeted.

Its not simply that this is a forum of narrow minded Hezbollah bashers. Its that people from all backgrounds are quite skeptical of Hezbollah and how its actions differ from its supposedly romantic ideals, and theres very little room for rational minds to believe Hezbollah is some kkind of popular and legitimate resistance organisation that is fighting a brutal occupation.

I don't think Hezbollah lover would like it if another person came in here and started explaining why Israel should rule the entire middle east and fire nuclear weapons at Mecca, Beirut, Damascus and Tehran. But they would be faced with the same contempt as Hezbollah Lover himself.

We don't need extremists here. Even if they try to clothe themselves in moderate language.

Posted by: Jono at January 15, 2007 06:47 PM

Hezbollah Lover,

I need to ask you to please limit your posts to two comments per thread. I'm not kicking you out of here, just asking you to please not hog the section. Thanks for understanding.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 15, 2007 07:12 PM

The hizbo kid is what he is. He is over the top, but the fact that people felt compelled to respond indicates that there was value in doing so. Personally, I felt that he was just demanding attention, in a very childish way, especially with the desperate entreaties to MJT. I ignored him, except to take a couple of digs at him when he started to get on my nerves with his wanking.

Despite his silly diatribes, there have many excellent comments in response.

There have been some unexpected comments: the suggestion that operatives of more sophisticated propagandists work the blogs to influence people who are susceptible is intriguing, and the analysis of the general basis of argument as ethos, pathos and logos was great.

It's a good threat despite the excesses of junior.

Posted by: ankhfkhonsu at January 15, 2007 10:01 PM

that was thread not threat

Posted by: ankhfkhonsu at January 15, 2007 10:02 PM

MJT, HL (And All):

I note the request that HL limit his comments in each thread to no more than two, so there is not a thread-hogging. I too will wish to return to my preferred mode of simply lurking and reading MJT's vital documentation of things we should be reading in the major media -- but aren't.

However, some further balancing remarks are clearly in order. I hope I can, having made them, return to lurking. Pardon the below, therefore.

First, let us take you, HL, at face value as a troubled teen, from a troubled region.

In that case, the advice above on straightening out how you think and live is well-merited. (I and others with a bit more experience of the world than you have, have seen too many troubled teens get into far more trouble than they can get out of -- real fast. So, we have a better appreciation of the patterns and flows of life than you have at this inexperienced stage. Doubtless, to at least some extent that includes your parents. Especially, BEWARE of those who would incite and exploit your anger at perceived injustice.)

Now, on some specific points that need balance:

1] HL: Go tell that to the IDF, they seem to be good at carrying out such acts.

This is the well known fallacy of blame shifting by turnabout accusation, intending to create a perceived [im]moral equivalency.

Thus, one becomes stuck in a cycle of finger-pointing, self-justifying, often blindly hypocritical rhetoric that ignores the only real solution -- repentance and reformation. For, as pointed out 2,000 years ago by Jesus in immortal words:

MT 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

So, whether or not the Israelis as a society and their army in particular are routinely guilty of murder -- which is in fact doubtful because of the nature of a democratic, self-critical society subject to intense global scrutiny that in fact makes them vulnerable to false accusations [as MJT is documenting] -- that has strictly nothing to do with the war crimes issues of Hez, or of your own possible complicity.

NOTE: Onlookers, observe HL's silence on my warning above about implications of reporting to Hez the identity of MJT's witnesses, just blame-shifting.

We can therefore safely but sadly infer, MJT, that any one named by you has long since been passed on to Hez for targetting. HL, that makes you liable under British law as a potential accessory to terrorism and to murder if those you pass on are murdered. I hope you have enough unseared consscience left to think about that, not only for yourself but for your family who apparently emigrated to give you a better chance in life. Don't waste that sacrifice and effort.

Further, you have a duty to the truth and the right, not just to your self-serving agendas. On that, let me call attention to Paulo, Apostolo, Mart -- so reads his gravestone, for he was unjustly beheaded by the tyrant Nero for peaceful witness [he did not blow up innocent civilians in a C1 Roman Pizzeria . . .!]:

Rom 2:6 God "will give to each person according to what he has done." 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger . . .

Further to this, an army of a recognised state [Israel] fighting an essentially defensive war [July -Aug 2006], upon provocation by a terrorist front organisation [Hez] sponsored by two terrorist backing states {Syria, Iran] is not at all to be compared to the terrorists they oppose.

2] As for you saying that Sometimes hizbollah attacks israel and on their soil. Sometimes, the best defense is offense.

Bingo. First, let us note: the deliberate -- but often ineptly targetted --launching of some 4,000 rockets at civilians is equated to a legitimate, mostly carefully and precisely targetted military counter-offensive designed to root out the attackers. On that, BTW, the 2006 campaign seems to be following the track ot the 1973 war: viewed as a disaster at the time, in the long run it turned out to be a costly success, precisely because it was not pre-emptive in response to provocations [contrast the closings of the Straights of Tiran in 1956 and 1967, which would have strangled Israel's energy supply from Iran under the Shah].

Second, the attacks in say Argentina were also against CIVILIAN sites, across two whole oceans, in a different continent.

Third, we see a situation where in 1977 and 1982, Israel's interventions -- whatever went wrong, as is inevitable in war [part of why it is said "war is hell"] -- in the face of the PLO's persistent use of S Lebanon as a base to attack Israeli civilians, is taken as "he hit BACK first." (And note here, that there was a notorious incident, in which local forces who sided with the Israelis massacred Palestinians in two refugee camps as a part of their own feud in reaction to the then very recent assassination of was it the first Gemayel. Israel held a major, public commission of inquiry, and publicly censured its officers for failing to foresee the likelihood that this would happen. On the Islamist side, murderers of civilians are usually CELEBRATED AS HEROES. Telling.)

But of course, that moral asymmetry is soon forgotten in the further finger-pointing rhetoric of alleged [im]moral equivalency.

Thus, too, is "justified" further attacks on civilians, and the onward global target: subjugation of the world under Allah, his prophet, laws and warriors.

Sorry, I ain't buying that line. I ain't swappin' black dog fi monkey!

3] It's an EU charter concerning EU citizens and EU nations, nothing more nothing less. I, as a muslim, do not accept being told what to believe or deny religiously in the name of an EU charter made by god knows who.

If you had troubled to follow up the provided link, you would see that the proposed EU charter sets out to take Muslim spokesmen at their word that Islam is "a religion of peace" -- complete with appropriate citations even through the problem of abrogation by later, sword-and-subjugation texts such as Q 9:5 and 29 etc -- and sets out to address terrorism as a distortion of Islam in that light. Thus, it constitutes a challenge to Islam to vindicate its own claim to be “a religion of peace,” in a multipolar world. {Onlookers notice that nowhere does HL effectively address the citation from the Iranian official site on Christmas Day, or its implications given Hez's status as in part a foreign legion of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards with a lot of special weapons -- i.e. 10,000 + Surface to Surface missiles and rockets stockpiled and used in defiance of UNSC Res 1559 etc.]

In so doing, it lays out key principles on which a moderate Islam as a religion of peace can be credibly built, evidently in consultation with Muslim leaders. Location and legal jurisdiction do not alter fundamental principles of morality relevant to liberty, justice and peace.

On that, let me cite Locke in his 2nd essay on civil government, a work foundational to the Western Democracy that your family has chosen to live under [Cf discussion here]:

First, in Ch 2 Section 5 he cites the turn of the C17 Anglican Theologian Hooker on the central importance of the Golden Rule [Cf Matt 7:12, etc] of Moshe and Jesus to civil society based on liberty and justice:

. . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man's hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant. [This is of course the same essential point that Paul sums up in his exposition on civil society in Rom 13:1 - 10]

Locke then uses this, brilliantly:

The state of Nature has a law of Nature to govern it, which obliges every one, and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions . . . . In transgressing the law of Nature, the offender declares himself to live by another rule than that of reason and common equity, which is that measure God has set to the actions of men for their mutual security [i.e. we see here the right to self-defense for the community, and also the individual, as is discussed at length in the work], and so he becomes dangerous to mankind

Sadly, on too much evidence, starting with the foundation books and examples, Islamic powers have historically tended to operate in precisely this destructive way. So, when say we see MJT's credible report from an unarmed Christian village that was perfidiously used as human shields for murderous attacks on civilians in another country, that should give us pause and should give us warning.

Summing up, even through the filter of a post-Christian Europe, Christendom's hard won lessons on the reformation and liberation of Civil Society have a lot to teach Islam.

3] All suicide bombings were targetted at military targets, never civilian ones.

  • And the recent barrage of 4,000 rockets, we suppose, only targetted the military . . .
  • And, the civilians used as shields . . . as MJT so ably reports on
  • Not to mention, the attacks in say Argentina . . .

4] Dhimmi is not a people, entity or object. Its a law. What terrorism and what intimidation?

First, terroism is well defined, even though the OIC could not acknowledge this, as that would implicate several major Muslim movements. Similarly, intimidation can be looked up in any basic dictionary. This is not the place for verbal games.

Next, onlookers, if you will trouble to do a web search, you will rapidly discover that Dhimmis are so-called protected persons under Islamic rule; subject to terms that are actually harsher than apartheid. That is, as basic English grammar tells us, “Dhimmi” is the noun designating those subjected to the relevant terms in Muslim law. Even so humble a source as Wikipedia observes:

A dhimmi (Ottoman Turkish zimmi, Arabic: ذمي‎, collectively: أهل الذمة, ahl al-dhimma, the people of the dhimma or pact of protection) was a "free" (i.e. non-slave), non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia — Islamic law. A dhimmi is a person of the dhimma, a term which refers in Islamic law to a pact contracted between non-Muslims and authorities from their Muslim government.

Samuel Shahid's survey on the "rights" of non-muslims in an Islamic state is chilling. For instance:

"An Islamic state is essentially an ideological state, and is thus radically different from a national state." This statement made by Mawdudi [a prominent Pakistani scholar] lays the basic foundation for the political, economical, social, and religious system of all Islamic countries which impose the Islamic law. This ideological system intentionally discriminates between people according to their religious affiliations . . . . Mawdudi states that "the acceptance of the Jizya establishes the sanctity of their lives and property, and thereafter neither the Islamic state, nor the Muslim public have any right to violate their property, honor or liberty." Paying the Jizya is a symbol of humiliation and submission because Zimmis are not regarded as citizens of the Islamic state although they are, in most cases, natives to the country.

Such an attitude alienates the Zimmis from being an essential part of the community. How can a Zimmi feel at home in his own land, among his own people, and with his own government, when he knows that the Jizya, which he pays, is a symbol of humiliation and submission? . . . .

Zimmis cannot testify against Muslims. They can only testify against other Zimmis or Musta'min. Their oaths are not considered valid in an Islamic court. According to the Shari`a, a Zimmi is not even qualified to be under oath. Muraghi states bluntly, "The testimony of a Zimmi is not accepted because Allah - may He be exalted - said: `God will not let the infidels (kafir) have an upper hand over the believers'." A Zimmi, regarded as an infidel, cannot testify against any Muslim regardless of his moral credibility [think about what that means for oppressed minorities!]. . . .

The political arena and the official public sectors are not the only area in which non-Muslims are not allowed to assume a position of authority. A Muslim employee who works in a company inquires in a letter "if it is permissible for a Muslim owner (of a company) to confer authority on a Christian over other Muslims? (Al-Muslim Weekly; Vol. 8; issue No. 418; Friday 2, 5, 1993) . . . .

This study shows us that non-Muslims are not regarded as citizens by any Islamic state, even if they are original natives of the land. To say otherwise is to conceal the truth. Justice and equality require that any Christian Pakistani, Melanesian, Turk, or Arab be treated as any other citizen of his own country. He deserves to enjoy the same privileges of citizenship regardless of religious affiliation. To claim that Islam is the true religion and to accuse other religions of infidelity is a social, religious and legal offense against the People of the Book.

5] I have not been presented with any evidence what so ever. No bullet holes in any of the cars or any pics/interviews with any of the two people wounded.

Given the just above, even if you were, the assumption would be that such dhimmis are lying. And, in fact, MJT has presented considerable evidence on [1] his general claim, [2] his integrity as a reporter, [3] the credibility of the witnesses in this case. As Simon Greenleaf -- a key founder of the modern theory of evidence -- long ago pointed out, for excellent reason, credibly qualified witnesses are not to be simply dismissed to suit one's preferences or agendas.

That self-serving selective hyperskepticism is precisely your resort.

6] It's priceless you think that this war and problem started when july 12th starting ticking on your clock. This conflict goes way back and has yet to be settled. . . . . Hizbollah fired 6 rockets into israel on july 12th. I dunno what bombardment you're on about.

You will first see that I have long since linked my own short summary on the subject of the roots of the current Arab-Israeli conflict, above.

[Onlookers, note how HL has not bitten on my test question on 1919, Weizmann and Feisal. Unless one can discuss this in a balanced way in light of evident facts, one simply does not know enough to form an objective opinion on the vexed issue. A follow up on my link will show that there was an alternatie history that was open in 1919, one that would have made all the difference to the World and the ME. Ah, “what might have been . . .”]

In the above, today, I specifically remarked on the Lebanon situation through events I am familiar with through monitoring news dating back to my teenage years when the Israelis first went up to the Litani River in 1977 to root out the Palestinian Terrorists who had been expelled in 1970 or so by Hussein of Jordan for their violation of his hospitality and provoking of a civil war. In Lebanon by 1976, they had provoked a civil war among their hosts who had naively welcomed them.

In short, HL's first statement reflects his own failure to simply read what was easily accessible to him.

Regarding the second, here is Haaretz -- one of many independent newspapers in Israel -- on the opening events of the latest Lebanon campaign:

The fighting began at about 9:00 A.M., when a group of reserve soldiers in two armored jeeps was conducting a routine patrol of the border. As the jeeps passed between Moshav Zarit and Moshav Shtula, Hezbollah attacked.

An initial inquiry revealed that the Hezbollah operatives had crossed the border earlier via a "dead zone" in the border fence not visible from any of the IDF lookout posts. There are dozens of similar "dead zones" along the northern border, though the IDF said that lookout cameras to cover this particular spot were due to be installed next week. The assailants may have used a wheeled ladder to climb over the fence.

The operatives hid themselves in an overgrown wadi about 200 meters on the Israeli side of the fence and waited until the IDF troops arrived, whereupon they attacked, apparently with a combination of explosives and antitank missiles . . . .

Simultaneously with this ambush, Hezbollah also launched a diversionary attack: a barrage of mortar shells and Katyusha rockets on communities and IDF outposts in the western part of the border area. That assault wounded five civilians, though none seriously: Some were lightly wounded, and the others suffered from shock.

As soon as this barrage began, the Galilee Division conducted a routine check to ensure that all army outposts and vehicles were still in contact with headquarters, and quickly discovered that contact had been lost with the two jeeps patrolling near Zarit. Both jeeps had been damaged in the Hezbollah assault. A rescue force was summoned to the scene, and when it arrived, about half an hour after the attack, it found the two damaged jeeps and the dead and wounded soldiers. The rescue force soon realized that two of the soldiers had been kidnapped and sent out an alert.

Let us put this in context: under applicable UN Resolutions, after havign long held a security zone in S Leb, which preventted the sort of attacks we saw last July, Israel withdrew behind the internationally recognised and certified border.

On a flimsy excuse relating to Shabba Farms, Hez simply continued their campaign in defiance of reasonable peace terms, in this case bombarding civilians and attacking and kidnapping soldiers 200 m -- ~ 1/8 mile -- INSIDE Israel. It then followed up with a month-long bombardment of 4,000 rockets that killed dosens, injured hundreds and casused massive dislocation costing US$1.5 billions.

Flimsy excuse? I cite the above, again tracing to Haaretz:

"The speaker of Lebanon's parliament warned Israel on Wednesday that Hezbollah could restart hostilities if the Israel Defense Forces does not withdraw from the Shaaba Farms - a pocket of land claimed by Lebanon but viewed internationally as part of Syria. [Cf also here].

Further to this:

It was captured by Israel from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967, which did not involve Lebanon. Israel considers the Shebaa Farms to be part of the Golan Heights . . . . The controversy over the Farms first arose in 2000, as the United Nations certified Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon was complete. Israel's annexation of the Shebaa Farms has been contested by Hezbollah (since May 2000) as a reason for its continued attacks on Israel after Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon. . . . . The dispute over the sovereignty of the Shebaa Farms resulted in part from the failure of the French Mandate administrations, and subsequently the Lebanese and Syrian governments, to properly demarcate the border between Lebanon and Syria . . . . Following France's exit from the region, the land was administered by Syria . . . . Even maps of both the Syrian and Lebanese armies continued to demarcate the region within Syrian territory . . . . The Syrian government administered the region, and on the eve of the 1967 war, the region was under effective Syrian control.

In short, if there was a legitimate dispute, it is between Syria and Lebanon, not with Israel. A "religion of peace" would surely seek to first resolve the Syrian-Israeli situation, then in that context settle the final jurisdiction of the area between the relevant parties: Syria and Lebanon. A non-state agent of another power, Iran, has no proper interest in the matter, period.

In sum, the area is generally recognised to be part of Syria, in the Golan area held by Israel in the context of Syrian bombardments and provocations leading to war in 1967 and again in 1973. Under international law, Israel is entitled to hold these lands pending a reasonable resolution, as lands used to launch wars of aggression against it and captured in defensive operations.

So, we see a shabby excuse trotted out to advance the real, murderous and even potentially genocidal agenda.

7] Where's your evidence? Your claims are baseless. I fail to understand how a clearly marked UN building sheltering hundreds of lebanese refugees could have been used as a civilian "shield".

You have simply failed to read the linked accounts, which make the point clear enough: The Israelis were replying in counter-battery to fire in 1996. By deliberate intent, Hez used as a site for firing, a UN base in which civilians were sheltering.

Perfidy: if you ignore, we continue to bombard with immunity behind a shield of humans. If you reply we claim hitting civilians deliberately, "butchery" in your words, HL. Either way, we [i.e. Hez] "win." And with the aid of a naive or Quisling international media, it too often works.

In 2006, Israel was able to show recon videos of firing from Qana including abuse of the apartment where people died.

I repeat: this is use of civilian human shields,the war crime of perfidy.

8] Zak: I think it is unfortunate that this is almost entirely about HL.

It is sad at one level, but at another, HL aptly exposes the mentality that we are confronting.

Indeed, MJT's article is about the truth on the ground: dhimmis being used as human shields as a part of a nation held hostage by those with outrageous world-conquest agendas that cannot be plainly stated to the watching world. And, should the dhimmis complain or testify, they are to be discredited and attacked, maybe silenced by murdering them.

So, we need to realise what we are facing here, for 1400 years now.

But now, we are seeing the emergent patterns of the Mahdist-Jihadist world war [with a lot of help from Lenin's "useful idiots" among the secularists and leftists of the North and South, who don't understand that it is Saturday first then Sunday], as it begins to cross the nuclear threshold.

THAT is what is at stake.

And MJT is doing a thankless, vital job in going in on the ground and getting the truth from eyewitnesses, backed up with undoctored photos. [MJT, maybe, you should compile a dossier of photos and other physical evidence . . .]

I think enough has now been said, and, MJT, pardon the spilling of so many bits.

Finally: Thank you MJT for an excellent, diligent, honest job. I only hope the International Media wake up to the prize they are missing in not publishing prominantly your work!

Cheerio

TKI

Posted by: kairosfocus at January 16, 2007 12:56 AM

HL,

All the fine muslim/Israel hating countries in the neighborhood to choose from and your dad goes and picks the UK for relocating the family. What, they don't have schools in Iran or Syria?

So let me hear you thank god you live in the west HL. Go ahead.

Posted by: mnm at January 16, 2007 08:13 AM

HL, CAN YOU PLEASE ANSWER EACH OF THE QUESTIONS BELOW TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY. THE ONLY REASON I USED CAPITAL LETTER IS NOT TO YELL BUT SO MY QUESTIONS STAND OUT FROM THE REST OF THE TEXT.

According to the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base and the BBC, "[f]or many years, Hezbollah was synonymous with terror, suicide bombings and kidnappings. Hezbollah's acts have included multiple kidnappings, murders, hijackings, and bombings. HL, THIS DOES NOT SOUND LIKE A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION TO YOU?

Hezbollah’s Position on Israel :
From the inception of Hezbollah to the present the elimination of the state of Israel has been Hezbollah's primary goal. Secretary-General Nasrallah’s has stated "There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel." In an interview with the Washington Post, Nasrallah said "I am against any reconciliation with Israel. I do not even recognize the presence of a state that is called 'Israel.'" HL, HOW CAN THEIR EVER BE PEACE FOR LEBANON WITH HIZBOLLAH’S RADICAL GOAL OF WIPING ISRAEL OFF OF THE FACE OF THE EARTH?

Position on Jews and Judaism:
Hassan Nasrallah has made anti-Jewish statements such as "if they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." HL, HOW CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS REMARK REGARDING THE PEACE LOVING HEZBOLLAH?

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a Shiite scholar and assistant professor at the Lebanese American University, however, argues that Hezbollah is not Anti-Zionist, but actually Anti-Jewish. She quotes Hassan Nasrallah as saying, "If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli." Regarding the official public stance of Hezbollah as a whole, she argues that while Hezbollah, "tries to mask its anti-Judaism for public-relations reasons..a study of its language, spoken and written, reveals an underlying truth." In her book, Hezbollah: Politics & Religion, she dissects the anti-Jewish roots of Hezbollah ideology, arguing that Hezbollah "believes that Jews, by the nature of Judaism, possess fatal character flaws." Saad-Ghorayeb also argues that "Hezbollah's Koranic reading of Jewish history has led its leaders to believe that Jewish theology is evil." HL, THIS IS PRETTY RADICAL THINKING THAT ONLY TEACHES AND BREEDS HATRED! IF IT DOES NOT HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN IT?

In 2004 the Hezbollah-owned television station Al-Manar was banned in France on the grounds that it was inciting racial hatred. The court cited a 23 November broadcast in which a speaker accused Israel of deliberately disseminating AIDS in Arab nations. HL, WHAT KIND OF RIDICULOUS RADICAL MUSLIM PROPAGANDA IS THIS? PLEASE TELL ME YOU DON’T ACTUALLY BY INTO THIS BS!!!

HL, FROM SOME OF THE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN I THINK THAT YOU ARE TO WELL EDUCATED TO ACTUALY BELIEVE THE WEAK MINDED RADICAL HEZBOLLAH THINKING THAT IS LISTED ABOVE…

Posted by: Hezbollah Hater at January 16, 2007 11:13 AM

kairosfocus i really feel so sorry for you. I man you must be one dumb 5 year old American kid living in a trailor home wit ur mama right?

The reason im even being allowed a limited number of responses is because i keep answering people's comment with the same dumb accusations as your's. I mean i think you've said the same things like 10 times so far, all you've done this time is try writing it in a bit better literature and a bit longer than usual so it looks interesting and challenging. Look at every single issue you bput forward, scroll up and you'll find the answers.

And yes, thank god i live in a democratic country, like that of my own, because i certainly don't like to be under the rule of any corrupt dictatorship, no thank you, i'm lebanese. Though, i prefer to be more liberal than social if you ask me, yet again socialism isn't an evil or bad thing in principle.

Posted by: Hezbollah Lover at January 16, 2007 04:00 PM

Been off the site for 2 days and the freek is still hogging entire comments sections.

MY LETTERMAN COUNTDOWN TO HEZBALLAHLuvvver being either
1) Constrained to word amount per post and/or
2) Banned

a) 1 week
b) 2 weeks
c) 1 month

I got my $$ on b). The guy's impulsive thirst for constant attention and 'domination' (in his mind) can not be controlled by him.
And he has wayyyyy too much time on his hands.

Best Regars,

Mike Nargizian

Posted by: Mike Nargizian at January 16, 2007 07:30 PM

Can we get a few memorial pictures of Hot Babes of Lebanon 05 as a break the tension post?

LOL.........

Best Regards,

Mike N

Posted by: Mike Nargizian at January 16, 2007 07:32 PM

Mr Scholar, I will try and explain it again.

The committee for UNSCR1559 is not registered in Lebanon. It does not advice the Lebanese government. These claims are false. The committee is led out of the US by Walid Phares, and is funded by the US gov through grants.

Also the people in Ain Ebl who claimed there was no compensation paid there are not speaking the truth. Lebanese television showed reports in August, of the people of Ain Ebl being compensated through the FPM.

Regards

Robert

Posted by: Robert at January 16, 2007 07:33 PM

All:

It saddens me to see that HL has now descended into personal abuse, a mark of displacing hostility to me instead of facing the issue of his need to address matters on facts and logic.

Not to mention, the need I and others have pointed out above: getting focussed on age-appropriate development tasks (such as properly completing his A Levels, which is where he should now be at 17 in the British-style schooling system; the gateway to university studies and professional standing).

HL, A Levels take at least 2 hrs per day of independent study, in addition to time on assignments and school class time. Don't let those "free periods" get to your head -- they are the bulk of the time when you should be doing those two hours. It also helps to read ahead and make your own notes for upcoming classes, so that class time is not the first exposure. Also, attend carefully to the General Paper or whatever it is now called, as it equips you with key analytical tools -- my links on basics of straight thinking will help there.

I speak as one who has sat A levels, taught them, and designed courses of about that level for a Caribbean University.

I will therefore -- sorry again MJT -- make a few short remarks in that light. Some remarks to two other commenters will also be useful.

1] HL: i really feel so sorry for you. I man you must be one dumb 5 year old American kid . . . . i keep answering people's comment with the same dumb accusations as your's. I mean i think you've said the same things like 10 times so far . . . . thank god i live in a democratic country, like that of my own, because i certainly don't like to be under the rule of any corrupt dictatorship . . . . socialism isn't an evil or bad thing in principle.

  • Had HL troubled to follow up to the blog linked in my byline, he would immediately have seen that I am for instance currently engaging the public management of the current volcanic situation in Montserrat in light of least regrets principles and multiple-scenario analyses. That alone eliminates the scenario he proposes for me. (FYI, HL, the attack to the man – argumentum ad hominem is the technical term -- fails to address the issue on the merits of fact and logic -- the only basis on which a sound conclusion can be reached, as Aristotle pointed out long ago..)
  • HL, sadly, manifests the typical signs of a closed, hostile mind, complete with projections to others of his own defects in reasoning. He needs to re-read the cite from Aristotle on how arguments work: pathos, ethos, logos. Indeed, had he followed up my links to basics on straight thinking, he would have profited thereby; similarly, a read through or Proverbs Chapters 1 - 10 [addressed to troubled, tempted teens] would help him a lot. But, it is ever a temptation of youth to be wise in one's own eyes . . . 3,000 years ago, and today too.
  • HL, has it ever occurred to you that the points I and others have raised keep having to refer to the same matrix of credible facts and issues because you refuse to engage them on the merits of facts and logic? Or, that it is only arguments that are so anchored that can make progress?
  • BTW, going over the same ground of big ideas, key facts, principles, skills and issues over and over, but making progress step by step -- a spiral, not a circle -- is the heart of the education- proverb: "practice makes perfect." Cf. my elaboration used in curriculum development, here.]
  • As to socialism, I come from a country – Jamaica -- that was in large part ruined by charismatic politicians indulging in socialist fantasies back in the 1970's; as is now going on in Iran's ally, Venezuela. An ideology with a long track record of impoverishment, oppression and development failure is simply not a morally defensible socio-economic and political system. [That holds for C19 - 20 socialism, and for C20 - 21 Islamism; those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.]
  • Oddly, there has been precisely one long-running socialist success story: the Kibbutzes of Israel. However, it was a modernisation of economic thought in light of the breakthroughs in the 1970s - 80s that has propelled Israel to the first rank of economies. In that pursuit, they have learned the importance of market incentives, the value of entrepreneurship, and the associated breakthrough impact of valuable ideas.

2] HH: Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a Shiite scholar and assistant professor at the Lebanese American University, however, argues that Hezbollah is not Anti-Zionist, but actually Anti-Jewish

Actually, Martin Luther King long ago saw the underlying fallacy in the attempt to separate anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism:

. . . Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land . . . Driven from their homeland, their nation in ashes, forced to wander the globe, the Jewish people time and again suffered the lash of whichever tyrant happened to rule over them.

The Negro people, my friend, know what it is to suffer the torment of tyranny under rulers not of our choosing. Our brothers in Africa have begged, pleaded, requested--DEMANDED the recognition and realization of our inborn right to live in peace under our own sovereignty in our own country.

How easy it should be, for anyone who holds dear this inalienable right of all mankind, to understand and support the right of the Jewish People to live in their ancient Land of Israel . . .

Of course, the Jews were never wholly driven from the land, nor did they ever surrender their claim to it, nor have they failed to return there century by century as much as they were able to.

They have also shown, both in ancient times [e.g. David's bodyguard and some of his most loyal soldiers and subjects were Philistines cf. the account of Absalom's rebellion!] and over the past 130 years, a willingness to share the land with others.

Indeed, the freest, most prosperous Arabs int he whole ME are the ~ 20% of Israel's population who are Arabs. Arab citizens of Israel sit in the Knesset and on the Supreme Court!

3] Robert: The committee for UNSCR1559 is not registered in Lebanon. It does not advice the Lebanese government.

More relevantly, it is a commonplace fact that UNSCR 1559 has been flouted by Hez [and its Iranian and Syrian backers] with impunity, which triggered the latest round of fighting.

A more balanced view of what the referred Committee, an international NGO, is about can be had by inspecting the letter/petition to the UN Secretary General here.

I excerpt, highlighting heads addressed:

12 September 2005 . . . . [to] H.E. UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan [cc members of the UNSC etc] . . . . The International Lebanese Committee for UNSCR 1559 (an International Non-governmental Organization) created by supporters of the said Resolution within the Lebanese Diaspora, with representatives and branches worldwide, wishes to raise the following issues . . . . Implementation of the UNSCR 1559 regarding the Syrian occupation . . . . Implementation of the UNSCR 1559 regarding the Iranian forces . . . . The return of Lebanese detainees in Syrian's prisons . . . . The disarming of non-Lebanese militias . . . . The implementation of the UNSCR regarding Lebanese militias . . . . The implementation of UNSCR 1559 regarding the deployment of the Lebanese army . . . . The implementation of UNSCR 1559 regarding holding democratic elections . . . . The implementation of UNSCR 1559 and UN Charter regarding the return of Lebanese refugees

These are the marks of a legitimate organisation, making a legitimate petition regarding the plight of Lebanon and those who have been driven from it as refugees, largely due to the interventions of the PLO, Syria and Iran over the past 30 years.

4] the people in Ain Ebl who claimed there was no compensation paid there are not speaking the truth. Lebanese television showed reports in August, of the people of Ain Ebl being compensated through the FPM

MJT, this is a specific fact claim, one that is testable: were there such reports on Lebanese TV? If so, were these accurate? What is the value of such assistance, if any, relative to credibly estimated reconstruction costs?

I observe on a search that Asia News has the Mayor of Ain Ebel complaining that even after a visit by the Maronite Church's leadership, not even help in rebuilding the main church in the village has been given:

The Maronite mayor of Ain Ebel, Imad Khoury Sader, talking to AsiaNews about the visit of the Maronite patriarchal delegation, said: "Alas, our church is still sleeping. How can we resume our life in a village that has been practically destroyed by shelling, which did not even spare our church of Our Lady? [NB: were there weapons next o this, a la next to Mosques?] We want to remind leaders that Ain Ebel is a village that has given much to the Church: it is enough to recall many eminent personalities of the village, like the late lamented Cardinal Patriarch Antonoine Khoraiche and Mgr Albert Khreich, killed 15 years ago, a case about which we are still waiting for the truth. How can I tell young Christians not to run to embassies to emigrate, when they see others are being helped and no one is meeting their needs?"

We see here an understandable exaggeration of the degree of damage, relative to MJT's photos. What is highly telling, is that the Mayor is complaining against his own church that even it too is not helping out at the same time as it is pleading with Christians not to flee Lebanon. This certainly seems to corroborate the above complainst MJT documents.

Similarly, MJT, would you be able to follow up on the machine gunning claim?

Could you kindly follow up and update us?

Of course, even if these two specific points are as objectors claim, that does not undermine the general report above [which is plainly corroborated by physical evidence and known general conditions], it would just mean that someone overstated a specific point. In short, while corrections on points are welcome, we must keep in mind that they do not undermine the material force of the report by MJT

__________________

All the best

TKI

Posted by: kairosfocus at January 17, 2007 12:54 AM

I am amazed you would take the time (30 minutes?) it takes to put together an extensive post to reply to HezballahLuvver. You're time would be better spent digging a hole in your backyard and then filling it.

The Countdown Continues....
Best Regards,

Mike

Posted by: Mike Nargizian at January 17, 2007 10:36 AM

Limit HL to 2 comments per thread? Ah! The Monkeyboy defense!
Let us hope it will be effective.

Posted by: Lindsey at January 17, 2007 01:42 PM

Hi Mike:

Actually, if it saves him from becoming a bomber on London's underground or the like, that would be a lot accomplished. [One of the bombers on 7/7 was a 19 y.o. Jamaican convert to Islam. What if someone had taken time to speak to him as a troubled teen falling into bad company? Not to mention Lee Boyd Malvo, a 13 - 14 yo.]

Secondly, I am forcing him and others of his ilk to either address issues on substance, or stand publicly exposed as empty-headed rage-driven extremists being manipulated to utterly indefensible ends.

It also helps us all see just what we are up against, and what it takes to address it: this is plainly not a mere matter of sweet reason and compromise here. [BTW, after taking him on, over the past several days I have seen abusive, vulgar, ill-informed commenters at my own blog. They cannot even respect the fact that the post they are using to spout off their infantile rage is about the partial success of an international effort to save a 17 yo girl from being hanged by the Islamist courts in Iran for defending herself and her niece from gang rapists! That, too, is telling.]

Cheerio

TKI

Posted by: kairosfocus at January 18, 2007 05:58 AM

Save him from becoming a bomber? Unlikely, that. He has made it pretty clear he is happy in the rear with the gear. Looking at it your way, he might be stopped from getting a sensitive job in the UK's defense organizations and passing on information, or writing more checks to mad bombers, or some such.

Posted by: nichevo at January 18, 2007 11:09 AM

If Hizbollah Lover lives in the West, it is time this scumbag was deported, or failing that, locked up indefinitely in Gitmo. We are sick of the brutal and murderous ways of not only Islamic terrorism but Islam itself, and the sheer callousness and wickedness of its followers, apologists and fawners. Hundreds of hadiths, Koranic verses and passages from the Sira are used to justify the murder of infidels. Islam has never been a religion of peace. it has always been a murderous, barbaric, misogynistic, parasitic, evil and hateful war-obsessed death cult which seeks the destruction of our civilization, is a pernicious drain on Western coffers, breeds sadistic headchopping savages, and stands against everything we hold dear. And terrorist organisations like Hizbollah, Hamas, Jemaah Islamiyah, plus terrorist-sponsoring states like Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and the like are in the vanguard of the destruction of Israel and the West. And why? For starters, they think they're superior to infidels, and hate the fact that Western infidel civilization has left them for dead in the development stakes and exposed the evolutionary paucity of Islam - a religion built in the image of its prophet Mohammed who was a robber, murderer, sadist, brigand, paedophile, misogynist and the epitome of evil. And people like Servier put it beautifully in 1922 when he described Islam thus:

“Islam was not a torch, as has been claimed, but an extinguisher. Conceived in a barbarous brain for the use of a barbarous people, it was - and it remains - incapable of adapting itself to civilization. Wherever it has dominated, it has broken the impulse towards progress and checked the evolution of society.”

as did John Quincy Adams when he wrote the following in 1829:

"In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar [i.e., Muhammad], the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE (Adams's capital letters)… Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant… While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and goodwill towards men.”

plus his description of Muslim duplicity and dishonour in the statement below:

"The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force."

And the Methodist preacher John Wesley summed up Islams destructiveness when he wrote:

"Ever since the religion of Islam appeared in the world, the espousers of it...have been as wolves and tigers to all other nations, rending and tearing all that fell into their merciless paws, and grinding them with their iron teeth; that numberless cities are raised from the foundation, and only their name remaining; that many countries, which were once as the garden of God, are now a desolate wilderness; and that so many once numerous and powerful nations are vanished from the earth! Such was, and is at this day, the rage, the fury, the revenge, of these destroyers of human kind."

Could you imagine somebody like the Archbishop of Canterbury laying it out like that, or any Western leader using these Churchillian quotes from The River War:

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men."

“Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die - but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.”

and:

“The religion of Islam above all others was founded upon the sword … Moreover it provides incentives to slaughter, and in three continents has produced fighting breeds of men – filled with a wild and merciless fanaticism.”

And neither could I. People have described the Islam versus the West struggle as a 'clash of civilizations', but it is purely Civlization versus Barbarianism, and nothing else. Muslims are convinced of the their superiority over infidels, but are confronted by their inferiority. They've invented nothing. They produce nothing. Their only contribution to humanity is death, destruction and misery on an astronomical scale. To enjoy yourself is a crime in the eyes of the mullahs. And we couldn't ever forget the celebrations on the Muslim street which followed 911. And I am proud to say that whenever there are collections for donations to Muslim countries following national disasters, I don't give a single penny. Why should I give to those who want people like myself dead or to live in misery? It is time we in the West stopped giving aid to Muslim countries, because it is throwing good money after bad, they're not grateful for it, and is only seen as jizya or tribute. There are far worthier causes elsewhere, and when we give them aid, they only use it to spread their hateful ideology - an ideology which seeks to turn us into their latest victims to add to the 1,400 year catalogue of carnage run up by the so-called religion of peace. And when Muslims riot on our streets, burn cars and buses, terrorise train and air passengers, show support for terrorists, celebrate terrorist atrocities, and call for our beheadings here in the West, they, and their entire families should be forcibly deported to their ancestral homes. No ifs, no buts. Do it with gusto, and lets not descend into the savagery and bloodthirstiness which is so apparent throughout the Islamic world.

Posted by: old peculier at January 23, 2007 01:22 PM

sorry to say : that what i call a stupid article .
1-i don't know what is the concept of resitance for you and your friend alain ?
2- ain-ebel is a great example of adaptation between christian and muslim if your friend alain is fanatic that does not mean we all ain-ebly agree with him actually he only represents him self .
3- when i look at bint jbeil the nearest place to ain-ebel i see destruction , i still smell the dead body . is it too much if ain-ebel loose a housse ?
4- lebanon for lebanese and we should protect lebanon at any price . if we suffered little bit it is nothing comparing to what they have lost . they lost : housses , families , and their life . we should respect that my dear .not to complain about bombing from our village .
5- shame on you to write such a destructive article between christian and muslim in south lebanon and ain ebel is not unlucky like u mention before actually ain-ebel is lucky to be there and we are proud of ain-ebel .
5- and by the way they pay alain to build your housse . and i hope next time such delicate article would be more objective .

Posted by: Roger at April 17, 2007 05:50 AM

This is an answer for Mr. Roger (if this is his real name)...
I don't think you represent Ainebelis either. Most Ainebelis, if not all, were against this unecessary war brought to us by an iranian puppet called hassan nasrallah. he destroyed our houses, caused the killing of many ppl (on both sides)and killed the economy and the whole summer season...
clearly you didn't have your house blown up to pieces (directly or indirectly) because of hizballah. Alain's house wasn't bombed but at least he feels with the ppl of Ainebel who lost everything. unlike you or some other communists/leftists in Ainebel who never cared about what this place really means.......
I would like also to thank Mr. Totten on his courage to go to Ainebel and write about what he saw first hand. we need more ppl like you.

Posted by: Ziad at April 17, 2007 10:58 AM

ziad read the e-mail well then comment or thank ppl . use ur brain and read well . roger is against the war too but since it happened let us keep the good relation with our sourround . that is the idea , talking bad about them will not lead anywhere .

Posted by: ain-ebly at April 18, 2007 06:46 AM
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