So that's where the freedom babes ended up...

Remember the Freedom Babes? Those sun-nuzzled honeys with Cedars of Lebanon painted on their cheeks, who hogged the cameras at Martyr's Square and put a surge of hope (warblogging might help me score chicks?) into the pants of desktop warriors everywhere? The anti-Syrian freedom foxes even created a vogue for the theory that "beautiful women are always on the cutting edge of social trends" (which would be news to anybody who was on the internet before about 1999). It turns out they're also on the cutting edge of some very old social trends. Yahoo News takes you to a protest outside the Israeli consulate in New York:



Democracy-whiskey-sexy diehards, never known for their gallantry, will object that these two ain't all that. (A lie: The one on the left is at least as presentable as any of the girls of March.) The picture also has the signs of being one of those dozen-people-crowded into-a-narrow-frame setups that for the past three years have been used to make pathetically small "pro-Bush" rallies look slightly less unimpressive. But maybe it's time to reconsider the Freedom Babe theory of forward progress. (Even at the height of the fever I'd have traded all these coozes for one old man with electrical-tape eyebrows.) The French army may not be very good at fighting wars, but when they executed Mata Hari (whose incredible life story is always worth reading), they understood something no warblogger ever figured out: Don't put your trust in a pretty face.

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  • ||

    The one on the left is at least as presentable as any of the girls of March.

    Just the one? Maybe my standards are different than your's Tim, but both of these daughters of the Fertile Cresent(assuming that is they're linage) fall well into my "sexy" scale.

  • ||

    This post seems to imply that the freedom babes in question are being obviously anti-semitic (those "very old social trends" Tim mentions), and while it's possible that they're actually shouting all sorts of anti-semitic racial epithets, that's really not apparent from that photo. That picture shows Lebanese civilians protesting the attacks of a hostile foreign power, and I don't see why that's either surprising or alarming. I can only assume that if some neighboring country was bombing the crap out of America, destroying huge swaths of civilian infrastructure and killing tons of noncombatants, we might be mistreating their flags, too.

  • ||

    I think they are following those old anti-Semitic trends because they are blaming Israel solely; an honest anti-war honey would trod upon a Hezbollah flag or trash its symbol.

  • ||

    Iron Lungfish,
    I've always been curious as to how the term "anti-semitic" came to mean anti-Jewish rather than the broader literal interpretation. Unless the "freedom babes" are self-loathing, it seems a little odd to label them anti-semitic since they ARE Semitic (Assuming they are Arab.), too. Can anyone enlighten me? Why not just call people "anti-Jewish" rather than hijacking the term for an entire ethnic group?

  • ||

    I think they are following those old anti-Semitic trends because they are blaming Israel solely; an honest anti-war honey would trod upon a Hezbollah flag or trash its symbol.

    Right, it's Hezbollah's fault that Israel is attacking unrelated Lebanese civilian targets. Actually, according to your logic in earlier threads, the people of a nation are responsible for militant groups in their midst, so they should stomp a Lebanese flag as well.

  • ||

    That's right, Mo. Refusing to stand up to evil is granting it your personal moral sanction. Or do you think governments just "happen to occur" and we're all just powerless to stop it?

    Personal responsibility, Mo...when the U.S. slides into statism, who should you blame? The people who go about their daily lives and do and say nothing.

    attacking unrelated Lebanese civilian targets

    Please provide a link or evidence that Israel is just targeting civilians willy-nilly. I sense you're just blustering again.

    Again, what should Israel have done? What would you have prescribed for them instead?

  • ||

    Mo,

    So Israel is just supposed to sit there and let Hezbollah fire rockets into its territory? Oh I get it, the Michael Young "why can't they just attack the South" theory. That is a great idea because Hezbollah would certainly just sit there and wait for the Israelis to come and kill them. They would never do anything unsporting like move to other areas of Lebenon where they knew the Israelis wouldn't bomb. They would just sit there and wait to die like the North Vietnamese did when the U.S. tried limited bombing during the Vietnam war. Isreal has a right to act in self defense and destroy Hezbollah. The cannot destroy Hezbollah if they restrict their bombing to one area of the country. I feel bad for the Lebonese, but the fact remains they have armed militias firing rockets at another country. The whole thing stinks but it is entirely Hezbollah's fault. Let's all hope that there can at least one good thing come from this tragedy; that Isreal absolutely obliterates Hezbollah killing its leaders and mortally wounding its rank and file.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    That picture shows Lebanese civilians protesting the attacks...

    It is more likely that these chicks are Americans whose forebears were Lebanese given that they're protesting in NY.

  • ||

    Cavanaugh, thy name is schadenfreude.

  • ||

    Ayn_Randian,

    I'm under the impression that a lot of Lebanese would love to get rid of Hizbollah, but that it's not something they have the strength and ability to do.

    John,

    I think if Hizbollah actually moved to a different area of the country, Israel would have a strong argument for bombing there. But it makes no sense to say they should bomb in the north because they would move there.

  • Jennifer||

    Personal responsibility, Mo...when the U.S. slides into statism, who should you blame? The people who go about their daily lives and do and say nothing.

    What are you doing to prevent this slide, Ayn Randian? Does griping on the Internet count as "doing something?"

    Hey, it's not my fault the US slid into statism--you should've seen some of the comments I made on Hit and Run!

  • ||

    a lot of Lebanese would love to get rid of Hizbollah

    They would love to get rid of them so much, that they granted them 23 seats in their governing legislature. If they are the majority and really wanted to get rid of them, they would. I don't buy the "powerless Lebanese" argument...further, if Lebanon really wanted to step up to the plate and get rid of Hezbollah, I would bet all they would have to do is ask the U.S. or Israel, better yet.

  • Sandy||

    The alternative to not attacking bridges in the north or central Beirut, or power generation for Maronite villages (who were, prior to this conflict, at least moderately pro-Israel, and believe me, they stomped on some Hezbollah symbols in their time) is NOT "just taking" rockets. Nobody has criticized them for going after Hezbollah's military capabilities, but the number of rockets still being fired at Israel suggests they have been eschewing some of those military targets in favor of destabilizing the first true government Lebanon has had in 25 years.

    If I were an Israeli with family members killed by Hamas after the fourth day of fighting in Lebanon, I'd be asking why the raids aren't fully targetted at Hamas's military capability.

  • ||

    Bombing Lebanor where the Hizbollah isn't is pretty dumb. Just like the joke of the drunk who looks for the key to his house across from the street where he dropped them because it is better lighted...

  • ||

    What are you doing to prevent this slide, Ayn Randian?

    The best I can Jennifer, attempting to educate my friends and family about government's outrageous trangressions against liberty, writing articles and letters for local media and websites advocating the freedomist ideal, donating money to pro-liberty groups. It may not be much, but if the U.S. were in imminent danger of falling into totalitarianism, and I didn't speak up, well, I get what I deserve.

  • ||

    when the U.S. slides into statism, who should you blame?

    Ayn Randian,

    When the U.S. slides into statism? Aren't we there? Hasn't the slide continued pretty much unabated for 200 years? Can you give me examples of how you been able to slow or stop the slide? Other than your action-oriented posts on libertarian blogs, of course...

  • Sandy||

    Argh, not Hamas, but Hezbollah. Well, I'd be asking about Hamas as well.

  • Jennifer||

    The original Ayn Rand should have done something to prevent Russia's slide into Communism, rather than turn tail and run away. Why were the looters able to confiscate her father's store? Because they had the sanction of the victim.

  • ||

    Right, because when Israel, with its far superior military, was able to maintain control of Hezbollah when they occupied Lebanon. Only when they left Lebanon did Hezbollah become an issue again. And destroying Lebanon's own infrastructure, including military barracks and power, is going to give the Lebanese the ability to shed Hezbollah.

    If the people are powerless to stop Hezbollah, then they should bear the brunt. Everyone is in agreement that Syria is the source of this problem. Why no attack on the responsible party if this is about personal responsibility?

    Some unrelated targets, from CNN:

    In its ongoing air assault, Israel's military targeted Beirut, hitting a vehicle in the city's Christian neighborhood -- shocking residents who do not wholly support the Islamic militant group

    Israeli forces bombed the Jiyeh power plant south of the Lebanese capital early Sunday, Lebanese army sources said

    In the city of Abdeh, about 50 miles (about 80 kilometers) north of Beirut, three Israeli missiles struck an army barracks, officials said, killing six soldiers and wounding 28.

  • ||

    Do you have a point, Jennifer, or are you just trying to tear me down?

    This is why libertarianism [insert comment about why we're not getting anywhere], because you mention that it's time people actually do something and everyone sits around going "oh yeah, well what about you..what have you done?"

    At least I am making an attempt.

    Freakin' crab bucket effect.

  • Jennifer||

    Do you have a point, Jennifer . . . At least I am making an attempt.

    First of all, how do you know that the Lebanese haven't made attempts too, only perhaps their attempts failed as spectacularly as did your "educate my friends" campaign to turn our own country into a freedom-lover's paradise? The fact that your failures didn't lead to anything so bad as Hezbollah resounds to our government's credit, not yours.

    My point, incidentally, is that I have little reason to take seriously an American sitting in the comfort of his climate-controlled computer room blaming Lebanese teens for the fact that Hezbollah runs loose in their country. If Colombia gets the military wherewithal to invade us, and bombs your home into rubble, can I take it that you will serenely say "this is my fault for not doing enough to stop the US government from dumping herbicides all over their farmland?"

  • ||

    Ayn_Randian falls into collective thinking quite easily:

    "They would love to get rid of them so much, that they granted them 23 seats in their governing legislature"

    Just like you would like to get rid of drug warriors so much that you granted them nearly 100% of the government. I guess Cory Maye has a right to kill your family now.

    "That's right, Mo. Refusing to stand up to evil is granting it your personal moral sanction. Or do you think governments just "happen to occur" and we're all just powerless to stop it?"

    No, but any given individual may decide that it is more important to live for his family than it is to die in a vain attempt to fight his state. Again, how come you're on the internet and not out shooting at the evil welfare state that is oppressing you and your neighbors?

    And finally, the canard of all collectivists, from Marx, to Lenin, to Mao: But we didn't INTEND to harm anyone! Our intentions were pure...:

    "Please provide a link or evidence that Israel is just targeting civilians willy-nilly."

    I guess if you're killed knowingly or recklessly, it's not murder. Make you sure you try to use that argument to your local prosecutor when do your duty by violently resisting the state that you claim oppresses you and others.

    Personal responsibility is PERSONAL. Not collective. I have no responsibility for what someone else does, even if they claim to be doing it my name, unless I personally, voluntarily support them. And when I voluntarily shoot a gun and kill an innocent, I am responsible for killing them. Noone else. I may be justified in shooting my gun, but I am never justified in killing an innocent, only my liability may be mitigated. It can't be any other way, unless you are positing that the innocent, when he sees me draw my gun to shoot at third party in his vicinity, has the absolute right of shooting me to defend himself from me.

    That, my friend, is personal responsibility. Something that Insta-Sellout libertarians and neo-Objectivists and other collective identity "libertarians" know absolutely nothing about.

  • ||

    can I take it that you will serenely say "this is my fault for not doing enough to stop the US government from dumping herbicides all over their farmland?"

    It won't be serene, but yes, it will be our fault for allowing such immoral practices of our government, for which we pay and have a say, to run rampant.

    *Sigh* I see your point, however...perhaps things have to get so bad that the we pull a "Founding Fathers" in America again...

  • ||

    Jeez... I just lost all respect for you Jennifer...

  • Jennifer||

    it will be our fault for allowing such immoral practices of our government, for which we pay and have a say, to run rampant.

    But the word "allow" doesn't work in this case. I have no doubt that if you could actually stop Plan Colombia it would be gone. And for all that you disagree with me on many things, I think you know there'd be no Plan Colombia if I had any actual say in things, either. But I don't and you don't. What did you personally do to "allow" our government to do such things? What could you have done differently to make Gitmo not exist? Nothing.

  • ||

    Jennifer, not to go Schoolhouse Rock on you, but we do have a say, it's called the First Amendment, coupled with political activism and voting. Past that, we have the ability and hopefully, the drive, to speak out against statism whenever and wherever it rears its head, from college campuses to our dinner tables.

    Or is libertarianism just another word for cynical and jaded?

  • ||

    Randian,
    I'd like to know how you think Lebanon could eliminate a problem that Israel failed to eliminate when they occupied the nation for 20 years.

  • Jennifer||

    Or is libertarianism just another word for cynical and jaded?

    You say "cynical and jaded;" I say "realist." But could you answer my question: what could you, personally, have done to make Plan Colombia not exist? If your answer is "nothing," which I suspect it is, then you do not bear direct responsibility for this.

    (And I'm asking for realistic solutions, not "I personally could have taken some guns and led a revolution which wiped out everyone in the DEA and every member of government which voted for it.")

    P.S. to Tim Cavanaugh: it really isn't fair to judge a woman's beauty based on a snapshot taken of her in mid-yell.

  • Warren||

    What could you have done differently to make Gitmo not exist? Nothing.

    That's not entirely true. One could "stop enabling" our government by not paying taxes, or moving to another country. More committed radicals would shout publicly that they refuse to pay taxes and force the government to prosecute and incarcerate them.

    Now I am 100% against Gimo, Plan Columbia, etc. but I don't have anything close to the courage or commitment to get myself arrested. I don't expect you to either. But it is wrong to say that we are impotent. There is more that we could be doing. Actually I think I might get myself arrested if I had a leader like Gandhi, or MLK to follow.

  • ||

    I don't think it's impossible to foment change in this country. It's just hard--we're big, and big things have a lot of inertia. To overcome that inertia takes a lot of people changing their ways or, perhaps, a smaller number of people banging the drums for change over a sustained period.

    Still, I am not the government. Nor do I have the power or the resources to fight against everything bad that the government does in my name. It's one of the reasons I'm attracted to libertarianism, because I see it primarily as a way to change the nature of government, to reduce it to a scale where the power of the government to do bad things at all is strictly limited. I'm just fascinated by the fact that left and right wingers think that a system that over and over and over again has allowed things that appall them to occur when the other party is in power is just peachy, without ever stopping to consider that maybe the system itself is the problem, not which joker is running it this year.

    On the flip side--and I've said this before--libertarians are usually people who want to live their lives free of government intervention. As such, they're the least likely to get politically involved or to turn to the government for solutions to problems. I have maintained and still maintain that there are large numbers of partial and full-blown libertarians in our society, but this "apathy" is a killer when it comes to galvanizing them to rework our political system.

  • ||

    Ayn, you are correct.

    As a Greek Orthodox, I know many Arabs. And there is a sizable number of Christian Arabs in Lebanon and Syria (who are not terrorists). And I feel for them.

    But Hiz was ELECTED to positions of power. They are not just roaming gangs. They have a political platform and a PUBLIC agenda--which was very clear in their campaign promises.I.e. they were voted into power.

    People have a responsiblity to get rid of their crazies. I dont care what religion they are or even if they have a religion.

    But if bombs are dropping on you right now and you voted for Hiz, you have only yourself to blame.

  • ||

    Does griping on the Internet count as "doing something?"

    Evidently.

  • Jennifer||

    But if bombs are dropping on you right now and you voted for Hiz, you have only yourself to blame.

    What if the bombs are dropping on you but you did NOT vote for Hezbollah? I sure as hell didn't vote for any of the bozos in my current government.

  • Jennifer||

    One could "stop enabling" our government by not paying taxes, or moving to another country. More committed radicals would shout publicly that they refuse to pay taxes and force the government to prosecute and incarcerate them.

    Even if you did this, it would not make Gitmo or Plan Colombia go away; all it might do is let you enjoy the feeling of martyrdom while you rot in jail. And if Colombia managed to bomb our country, I doubt they'd go out of their way to avoid the prison where you're incarcerated.

    I did not ask what you could do to stand on the moral high ground; I asked how you could stop Plan Colombia or make Gitmo close down. Big difference.

  • ||

    There's no comparison. The earlier protestors were much better looking.

  • ||

    Perhaps the lesson (a lesson, anyway) is that, whether or not it's right, we do share in the credit and the blame that our societies, cultures and especially governments receive. There was no doubt a large minority of Germans in WWII who thought their government's actions were terrible, but they shared in the suffering that resulted. (Had Germany won, they would have shared in the benefits.)

    That's not necessarily RIGHT, but it is how reality works. It's also what gives us such an incentive to get our (gov't/society/etc.) to do what we think is right, rather than just let it go its own merry way. To loop back to Lebanon, what the Lebanese are now experiencing is WHY they need to destroy Hezbollah. Should events turn against Israel, we'll see why Israelis should have reined in their own government.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    To loop back to Lebanon, what the Lebanese are now experiencing is WHY they need to destroy Hezbollah.

    And while they're at it they need to destroy all earth-bound asteroids, mass-manufacture perpetual motion devices, and invent a hot fudge sundae that makes you lose weight. And if they don't do these things, they deserve to be killed.

  • Warren||

    Even if you did this, it would not make Gitmo or Plan Colombia go away

    Perhaps (but perhaps your example might inspire others), but you're missing the larger point. Plan Colombia is financed with Jennifer's taxes, by paying taxes you bare direct responsibility. It may be true that you are powerless to end it, but it is certainly true that it is within your power to withdraw your support.

  • ||

    Tim,

    (1) Where did I say "deserve"? If you let a militia occupy your "country" (which has arguably thereby ceased to be a state) and launch attacks against neighbors, they will respond and pound the living hell out of you. If you're lucky they'll be somewhat discriminate in who they pound hardest. That doesn't mean you deserve it, just that it is more certain than taxes.

    (2) I started to put in something at the end of my comment about how it could obviously be reducted ad absurdum, but couldn't find elegant phrasing and figured no one would be that stupid anyway. I thought better of you.

  • Jennifer||

    Plan Colombia is financed with Jennifer's taxes, by paying taxes you bare direct responsibility. It may be true that you are powerless to end it, but it is certainly true that it is within your power to withdraw your support.

    So gee, Warren, to be considered the injured parties here all the Lebanese civilians had to do was allow themselves to be imprisoned, or killed by Hezbollah, en masse? They're not allowed to do what I do, which is say "My government sucks but I still need to try and live my life as best I can?" Lucky for me my country has an army stronger than Lebanon's.

    On an earlier thread I'd made another Colombia analogy: the cocaine trade is tearing that country apart, and most of the cocaine demand comes from the United States. So (if Colombia had the strength to do so) would they be justified in bombing the hell out of the United States because we haven't been able to eradicate the cocaine cravings within our borders? Granted, our government's been fighting the War on Drugs for more than twice my lifetime, but they need to fight harder, dammit. And if Uncle Sam can't wipe out the demand for cocaine here Colombia can pound our national infrastructre into dust, and we deserve it for not having done more to stop the cocaine trade, right?

    Hell, I would say that the US trying to wipe out coke users is a hell of a lot easier than Lebanon trying to wipe out Hezbollah--very few cokeheads have things like rocket launchers and ammunition for them.

    By the way, did anyone answer Mo's earlier question at 10:27, regarding how Lebanon is supposed to wipe out Hezbollah when Israel couldn't do so in 20 years?

  • ||

    By the way, did anyone answer Mo's earlier question at 10:27, regarding how Lebanon is supposed to wipe out Hezbollah when Israel couldn't do so in 20 years?

    I, for one, don't know. But:

    (1) Israel has not controlled Hezbollah's turf since at least 2000; during that time Hez has grown much stronger.

    (2) Neither Israel nor Lebanon need to "wipe out" Hez (desirable though that would be). They just need to degrade its operational effectiveness sufficiently that it isn't provoking this sort of response.

    (3) Even if Lebanon can't do diddly about Hez, how does that actually change anything? Israel, like any state, will respond to attacks across its borders. Lebanon's ineffectiveness may make us feel more sorry for its residents, but that doesn't make Israel any more (or less) culpable for its actions there.

    On a different note, can anyone suggest good sources for information about what targets Israel is REALLY hitting in Lebanon, and why? I read anecdotes about dairy farms, etc., but rarely find links. It seems to me entirely possible that Israel really is hitting a lot of targets unrelated to Hezbollah, which would justify the outcry from so many quarters. However, the outcry I've seen appears largely disconnected from any real analysis of this issue.

  • Warren||

    So gee, Warren, to be considered the injured parties here all the Lebanese civilians had to do was allow themselves to be imprisoned, or killed by Hezbollah, en masse?

    No no no, I should have been more clear. I agree with your position it is wrong to drop bombs the Lebanese civilians. It is only your assertion that you are guiltless over what your government does that I wanted to address. That does not mean that I think you should be held accountable in the same way that the people who ordered and carried out reprehensible policies should.

  • ||

    "Democracy-whiskey-sexy diehards, never known for their gallantry, will object that these two ain't all that. (A lie: The one on the left is at least as presentable as any of the girls of March.)"

    Tim, you are funny man.

  • ||

    And here I thought we were talking about cute babes...

  • ||

    "Perhaps (but perhaps your example might inspire others), but you're missing the larger point. Plan Colombia is financed with Jennifer's taxes, by paying taxes you bare direct responsibility. It may be true that you are powerless to end it, but it is certainly true that it is within your power to withdraw your support."

    Oh come on Warren. Those of us being robbed are not in the wrong here. (And I hate the phrase "paying taxes." I "pay" taxes for the same reason I "pay" the robber: I don't like the consequences of non-payment.) Now, if I voluntarily decided to finance a terrorist organization that went around killing/injuring folks then that's quite a different story.

  • Warren||

    matt,
    You make a good point.
    But I can't quite concede that as citizens of the United States we bear no culpability (whatsoever) for the actions of our government. We all make choices and those choices carry consequences.

    I "pay" taxes for the same reason I "pay" the robber: I don't like the consequences of non-payment.
    An alcoholic might say something similar as to why he keeps drinking.

    However, I agree without reservation, that ordinary citizens should not be punished for the actions of their government. Furthermore I believe that dropping bombs on people is a horrific act that even the guilty seldom deserve. Bombing innocent people is unconscionable.

  • ||

    "An alcoholic might say something similar as to why he keeps drinking."

    I don't really think that's a correct analogy since no one is forcing an alcoholic to keep drinking. He's making an active, uncoerced choice to consume what most of us would consider too much alcohol. One can't say the same for taxes, regulations, unjust laws, etc.

  • Warren||

    I've seen enough people struggle with addiction to stand by my analogy.

  • ||

    I am disappointed that a thread on babes so quickly degenerated into all this lascivious geo-political yakkin'.

    Oh, Akira expressed a similar lament. I'm with you, homey.

  • ||

    If a person did not vote for Hiz, then then they should blame their Gov. for not controlling the crazies. But wherever they place the blame..it should not be laid at the feet of Israel.

    Hiz places their weapons in civilian areas. Israel dropped leaflets telling people to leave. What more are they supposed to do--send a personal escort to your home??

  • ||

    when the (United States) slides into statism...

    You libertarians ctack me up!

  • ||

    (1) Israel has not controlled Hezbollah's turf since at least 2000; during that time Hez has grown much stronger.

    Yes, but even in 2000, Hiz was infinitely stronger than it was before Israel's invasion in '82. Hiz didn't exist before then.

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