Israel/Palestine et al... Who's Right?

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Postby bignaf » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:05 pm

:groan:
this was bound to happen, and is what Hizballah was planning all along: after Lebanon flagrantly disregarded the terms of the ceasefire and decided not to disarm Hizballah and allow them to remain in S. Lebanon, and allow arms to come through, Israel obviously had to stop the rearming of Hizballah itself. which it did. which Annan condemened as breaking of the ceasefire, which Hizballah will now use as an excuse to restart the war, but now the world will say Israel started it by "breaking the ceasefire." I guess all the stupid weterners will be punished when they are killed by the Muslim fundamentalists when they take over the world over the next century. for some reason, that doesn't satisfy me... :(
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Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:32 am

France in “Lebanon”

” In recent weeks, France stepped forward to act as a broker of peace in Lebanon. “Act” is the key verb in that last sentence, as it now would seem that the only other verifiable part of the sentence is “in recent weeks.”

To correctly parse that sentence, one must understand that when France suggested it wanted to broker peace in Lebanon, it did not necessarily mean “broker” or “peace” or “Lebanon” in the way we might understand those words. The same is true when France further suggested it wanted to “lead” a “strong” “multinational” “force” there”



:rolleyes: heh
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Postby shostakovich » Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:33 pm

Oh, oh! I think my Top Cynic of the BBB crown is in big time trouble. :roll: :roll:
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Postby GreatCarouser » Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:02 pm

Got this in the inbox today:

Iran's Grand Plan

As Israeli troops moved into southern Lebanon, they began coming to the
realization that the infrastructure of bunkers, launching sites, and
missiles that Hezbollah built up is even more elaborate and sophisticated
than Israel had expected. All of it was done through the financial support,
bidding and training from Iran. Israel is now estimating that Iran has spent
billions of dollars to create this network.

Why? The answer is clear and speaks to why Israel's chief of staff Dan
Halutz has described this battle as possibly Israel's most crucial since the
War of Independence. Iran is generating a three-pronged threat to Israel's
very existence. By developing a nuclear weapon, by arming Hezbollah to the
teeth, and by public statements of its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran
is trying to recreate the idea that Israel's existence as a Jewish state is
not a sure thing, that the notion that Israel is now a permanent entity, if
not a beloved one, which had taken hold in the Middle East in recent years,
is not true.

Israel, the United States, and indeed the entire civilized world must
understand the nature of this threat now and must not equivocate in
combating all three dimensions of this sinister Iranian strategy.

Undoubtedly, the huge infrastructure that Iran has built up with Hezbollah
in south Lebanon would have been expanded in the coming years in parallel
with Iran's nuclear development so that the time would arrive when Iran
could threaten Israel from Teheran with a nuclear bomb and from Lebanon with
chemically-tipped missiles.

Indeed, it wasn't the extremist Ahmadinejad who expressed Iranian intentions
most clearly but the more "moderate" Iranian leader Rafsanjani who several
years ago chillingly said with regard to the nuclear issue that Israel is a
tiny country and one nuclear bomb would devastate the country while Iran was
a large country that could sustain ten such bombs.

This is what Israel's war against Hezbollah is about. It is to begin to
reverse Iran's implementation of its plan for Israel's destruction. Of
course, it is not Israel's problem alone because Iran's aspirations threaten
the Gulf states, ensure nuclear proliferation throughout the region, and
menace the west through terrorism and the spread of Islamic extremism.

The west should be fully supporting Israel, as has the United States, in
this struggle for its own interests. At the very least, the world must
understand that Israel will defend itself and do everything in its power to
destroy Hezbollah and combat the Iranian threat. It has no choice.


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Postby GreatCarouser » Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:53 pm

This is Frank Rich from the NY Times, I will link to some of the polls he cites below:

Five Years After 9/11, Fear Finally Strikes Out
By FRANK RICH

THE results are in for the White House’s latest effort to exploit terrorism for political gain: the era of Americans’ fearing fear itself is over.

In each poll released since the foiling of the trans-Atlantic terror plot — Gallup, Newsweek, CBS, Zogby, Pew — George W. Bush’s approval rating remains stuck in the 30’s, just as it has been with little letup in the year since Katrina stripped the last remaining fig leaf of credibility from his presidency. While the new Middle East promised by Condi Rice remains a delusion, the death rattle of the domestic political order we’ve lived with since 9/11 can be found everywhere: in Americans’ unhysterical reaction to the terror plot, in politicians’ and pundits’ hysterical overreaction to Joe Lieberman’s defeat in Connecticut, even in the ho-hum box-office reaction to Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center.”

It’s not as if the White House didn’t pull out all the stops to milk the terror plot to further its politics of fear. One self-congratulatory presidential photo op was held at the National Counterterrorism Center, a dead ringer for the set in “24.” But Mr. Bush’s Jack Bauer is no more persuasive than his Tom Cruise of “Top Gun.” By crying wolf about terrorism way too often, usually when a distraction is needed from bad news in Iraq, he and his administration have long since become comedy fodder, and not just on “The Daily Show.” June’s scenario was particularly choice: as Baghdad imploded, Alberto Gonzales breathlessly unmasked a Miami terror cell plotting a “full ground war” and the destruction of the Sears Tower, even though the alleged cell had no concrete plans, no contacts with terrorist networks and no equipment, including boots.

What makes the foiled London-Pakistan plot seem more of a serious threat — though not so serious it disrupted Tony Blair’s vacation — is that the British vouched for it, not Attorney General Gonzales and his Keystone Kops. This didn’t stop Michael Chertoff from grabbing credit in his promotional sprint through last Sunday’s talk shows. “It was as if we had an opportunity to stop 9/11 before it actually was carried out,” he said, insinuating himself into that royal we. But no matter how persistent his invocation of 9/11, our secretary of homeland security is too discredited to impress a public that has been plenty disillusioned since Karl Rove first exhibited the flag-draped remains of a World Trade Center victim in a 2004 campaign commercial. We look at Mr. Chertoff and still see the man who couldn’t figure out what was happening in New Orleans when the catastrophe was being broadcast in real time on television.

No matter what the threat at hand, he can’t get his story straight. When he said last weekend that the foiling of the London plot revealed a Qaeda in disarray because “it’s been five years since they’ve been capable of putting together something of this sort,” he didn’t seem to realize that he was flatly contradicting the Ashcroft-Gonzales claims for the gravity of all the Qaeda plots they’ve boasted of stopping in those five years. As recently as last October, Mr. Bush himself announced a list of 10 grisly foiled plots, including one he later described as a Qaeda plan “already set in motion” to fly a hijacked plane “into the tallest building on the West Coast.”

Dick Cheney’s credibility is also nil: he will always be the man who told us that Iraqis would greet our troops as liberators and that the insurgency was in its last throes in May 2005. His latest and predictable effort to exploit terrorism for election-year fear-mongering — arguing that Ned Lamont’s dissent on Iraq gave comfort to “Al Qaeda types” — has no traction because the public has long since untangled the administration’s bogus linkage between the Iraq war and Al Qaeda. That’s why, of all the poll findings last week, the most revealing was one in the CBS survey: While the percentage of Americans who chose terrorism as our “most important problem” increased in the immediate aftermath of the London plot, terrorism still came in second, at only 17 percent, to Iraq, at 28 percent.

The administration’s constant refrain that Iraq is the “central front” in the war on terror is not only false but has now also backfired politically: only 9 percent in the CBS poll felt that our involvement in Iraq was helping decrease terrorism. As its fifth anniversary arrives, 9/11 itself has been dwarfed by the mayhem in Iraq, where more civilians are now killed per month than died in the attack on America. The box-office returns of “World Trade Center” are a cultural sign of just how much America has moved on. For all the debate about whether it was “too soon” for such a Hollywood movie, it did better in the Northeast, where such concerns were most prevalent, than in the rest of the country, where, like “United 93,” it may have arrived too late. Despite wild acclaim from conservatives and an accompanying e-mail campaign, “World Trade Center” couldn’t outdraw “Step Up,” a teen romance starring a former Abercrombie & Fitch model and playing on 500 fewer screens.

Mr. Lamont’s victory in the Connecticut Democratic senatorial primary has been as overhyped as Mr. Stone’s movie. As a bellwether of national politics, one August primary in one very blue state is nearly meaningless. Mr. Lieberman’s star began to wane in Connecticut well before Iraq became a defining issue. His approval rating at home, as measured by the Quinnipiac poll, had fallen from 80 percent in 2000 to 51 percent in July 2003, and that was before his kamikaze presidential bid turned “Joementum” into a national joke.

The hyperbole that has greeted the Lamont victory in some quarters is far more revealing than the victory itself. In 2006, the tired Rove strategy of equating any Democratic politician’s opposition to the Iraq war with cut-and-run defeatism in the war on terror looks desperate. The Republicans are protesting too much, methinks. A former Greenwich selectman like Mr. Lamont isn’t easily slimed as a reincarnation of Abbie Hoffman or an ally of Osama bin Laden. What Republicans really see in Mr. Lieberman’s loss is not a defeat in the war on terror but the specter of their own defeat. Mr. Lamont is but a passing embodiment of a fixed truth: most Americans think the war in Iraq was a mistake and want some plan for a measured withdrawal. That truth would prevail even had Mr. Lamont lost.

A similar panic can be found among the wave of pundits, some of them self-proclaimed liberals, who apoplectically fret that Mr. Lamont’s victory signals the hijacking of the Democratic Party by the far left (here represented by virulent bloggers) and a prospective replay of its electoral apocalypse of 1972. Whatever their political affiliation, almost all of these commentators suffer from the same syndrome: they supported the Iraq war and, with few exceptions (mainly at The Wall Street Journal and The Weekly Standard), are now embarrassed that they did. Desperate to assert their moral superiority after misjudging a major issue of our time, they loftily declare that anyone who shares Mr. Lamont’s pronounced opposition to the Iraq war is not really serious about the war against the jihadists who attacked us on 9/11.

That’s just another version of the Cheney-Lieberman argument, and it’s hogwash. Most of the 60 percent of Americans who oppose the war in Iraq also want to win the war against Al Qaeda and its metastasizing allies: that’s one major reason they don’t want America bogged down in Iraq. Mr. Lamont’s public statements put him in that camp as well, which is why those smearing him resort to the cheap trick of citing his leftist great-uncle (the socialist Corliss Lamont) while failing to mention that his father was a Republican who served in the Nixon administration. (Mr. Lieberman, ever bipartisan, has accused Mr. Lamont of being both a closet Republican and a radical.)

These commentators are no more adept at reading the long-term implications of the Connecticut primary than they were at seeing through blatant White House propaganda about Saddam’s mushroom clouds. Their generalizations about the blogosphere are overheated; the shrillest left-wing voices on the Internet are no more representative of the whole than those of the far right. This country remains a country of the center, and opposition to the war in Iraq is now the center and (if you listen to Chuck Hagel and George Will, among other non-neoconservatives) even the center right.

As the election campaign quickens, genuine nightmares may well usurp the last gasps of Rovian fear-based politics. It’s hard to ignore the tragic reality that American troops are caught in the cross-fire of a sectarian bloodbath escalating daily, that botched American policy has strengthened Iran and Hezbollah and undermined Israel, and that our Department of Homeland Security is as ill-equipped now to prevent explosives (liquid or otherwise) in cargo as it was on 9/11. For those who’ve presided over this debacle and must face the voters in November, this is far scarier stuff than a foiled terrorist cell, nasty bloggers and Ned Lamont combined.



Zogby Poll


CBS Poll (pdf)

Newsweek Poll

Pew Poll

The Gallup poll is subscription only...
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Postby Shapley » Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:40 pm

You can find most of the polls at http://www.pollingreport.com
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Postby dai bread » Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:26 pm

bignaf wrote:
dai bread wrote:
bignaf wrote:I think keeping people talking actually makes things worse.


It's not often that I agree with Winston Churchill, but his remark that "jaw jaw is better than war war" is right. As one who had been in "war war" at least 3 times, he knew what he was talking about, on that matter at least.

did you read the rest of my post, explaining that statement? it should render your comment irrelevant.


Yes I did. I don't altogether agree with you. I think any talk is better than none, even if a solution is a long time coming. It was the Korean war, wasn't it, where the 2 sides spent several months arguing about the shape of the table? Foolish and frustrating, and the end result is unsatisfactory, but at least the shooting stopped eventually. I believe MacArthur's "solution" was to nuke China.
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Postby bignaf » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:00 pm

in this case, this ceasefire will just mean a longer fight, since Hizballah will rearm. a little more fighting, and taking a stand for a strategically-concieved ceasefire, would probably mean much less fighting in the long run.
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Postby Shapley » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:32 pm

It's been said in conservative circles that the Bush administration dragged out the cease-fire negotiations in order to give Israel time to batter Hezbollah's installations sufficiently before the cease-fire took place. If this is true, then I would expect they awaited the green-light from Israel before agreeing to the terms.

The basis for this belief comes from statements made by Condi Rice.

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Postby bignaf » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:06 pm

if Israel gave the green light they're morons.
but it's highly unlikely, because Israel used political gamesmanship tactics to get as much time as possible after agreeing in principle to the ceasefire.
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Postby dai bread » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:13 am

bignaf wrote:in this case, this ceasefire will just mean a longer fight, since Hizballah will rearm. a little more fighting, and taking a stand for a strategically-concieved ceasefire, would probably mean much less fighting in the long run.


This time I agree with you, *ig. Though I would say a lot more fighting, not a little. As I understand it, Hizbollah has several hundred rockets left, and goodness knows what else.

I notice a difference in our spellings of hizbollah. Probably because of different translators, though you'd think the newspapers would standardize the spelling. Most of them use international agencies.
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Postby Shapley » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:09 am

Dai,

I had questioned that spelling in an earlier post. They used to always be Hezbollah in American papers, but during this war it was frequently spelled Hizbollah. I'm not sure where or when the change occured. It's probably one of those cases where the press was shown their error and, rather than admit it, they're trying to quietly make the change hoping no one will notice...

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Postby barfle » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:32 am

Since the term is Arabic, any spelling using the Roman alphabet is going to be a transliteration, which is anyone's best guess as to how it ought to be spelled. Since the word means "Party of God," I believe a more correct spelling would be Hezb' Allah.

But maybe that's just me.
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Postby bignaf » Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:34 am

the Google spell check likes it like this: Hezbollah, that was standard before this war. during this war I saw more Hizbullla's and Hizbollah's.
as Barfle said, since it's party of God, the last 2 syllables are Allah, I believe the first syllable is better rendered as Hizb. so it should proabably be Hizb-allah.
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Postby bignaf » Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:35 am

oh, and a little dash above the H would help.
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Postby DavidS » Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:34 pm

My old laptop died a couple of weeks ago, and I have just taken delivery of a new workstation and set it up, so I'm back in business.
Anyway, I have tried to get up to speed on this thread, and as you might imagine, being close to the action is very distressing. Israel being a small country (about the size of NJ) almost everyone knows someone or the family of someone who has been hurt or otherwise affected by the latest Hizbollah aggression. The total effect: increased determination to stand solid, united and firm against this despicable, brain-dead criminality.
As someone said not long ago: When a Lebanese child is killed due to an error (or not being evacuated from his home where rocket launchers are hidden) Israel regards this as a regrettable tragedy; when an Israeli child is killed by a rocket in Haifa, those fiends see a cause for celebration.
The war is between fanaticism and humane moderation, and nobody should be deluded into thinking that it is limited to the Middle East - it clearly is the problem of the whole civilised world.
If the sane world doesn't get its act together, we are facing the end of humanity.
So much for my venting.
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Postby GreatCarouser » Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:10 pm

"We can forgive you for killing our sons. But we will never forgive you for making us kill yours."

Golda Meir to Sadat before peace talks.

Glad you are back and 'safe' David
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Postby GreatCarouser » Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:02 pm

What is 'disproportionate'?

Frederick Forsyth reprinted from the British press.
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Postby piqaboo » Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:45 pm

1) how does one keep peace between combatants if one can not keep the physically appart (irrelevant with rockets) or beat the snot out of the one that starts fighting again?
'
2) ceasefire - " after Lebanon flagrantly disregarded the terms of the ceasefire and decided not to disarm Hizballah and allow them to remain in S. Lebanon, and allow arms to come through"
this is the bs I referred to earlier. Why does the UN continue to pretend there's any legitimate negotiation wtih the LEbanese Gvt?
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Postby OperaTenor » Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:55 pm

I spoke with a friend yesterday who has a good friend who is Lebanese, not long from Beirut. His friend contends the prevalent Lebanese sentiment is that they wish the Irsraelis would be allowed to finish the job and wipe Hezbollah from southern Lebanon. He also says the U.S./rest of the world needs to go in and beat Hezbollah to the reconstruction punch, or Hezbollah will come out of this smelling like a rose.

FWIW....
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