Screwing Up In Lebanon

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Michael Totten (whose excellent report from Kurdistan you could be reading in the August issue of Reason if you'd just subscribe already) does not share my confusion over Israel's goal in Lebanon. But he knows someone has blundered:

I sympathize one hundred percent with what Israel is trying to do here. But they aren't going about it the right way, and they're punishing far too many of the wrong people. Lord knows I could be wrong, and the situation is rapidly changing, but at this particular moment it looks bad for Israel, bad for Lebanon, bad for the United States, good for Syria, and good for Iran.

There is no alternate universe where the Lebanese government could have disarmed an Iranian-trained terrorist/guerilla militia that even the Israelis could not defeat in years of grinding war. There is no alternate universe where it was in Lebanon's interest to restart the civil war on Israel's behalf, to burn down their country all over again right at the moment where they finally had hope after 30 years of convulsive conflict and Baath Party overlordship.

The Lebanese government should have asked for more help from the international community. The Lebanese government should have been far less reactionary in its attitude toward the Israelis. They made more mistakes than just two, but I'd say these are the principal ones.

What should the Israelis have done instead? They should have treated Hezbollahland as a country, which it basically is, and attacked it. They should have treated Lebanon as a separate country, which it basically is, and left it alone. Mainstream Lebanese have no problem when Israel hammers Hezbollah in its little enclave. Somebody has to do it, and it cannot be them. If you want to embolden Lebanese to work with Israelis against Hezbollah, or at least move in to Hezbollah's bombed out positions, don't attack all of Lebanon.

Israel should not have bombed Central Beirut, which was almost monolithically anti-Hezbollah. They should not have bombed my old neighborhood, which was almost monolithically anti-Hezbollah. They should not have bombed the Maronite city of Jounieh, which was not merely anti-Hezbollah but also somewhat pro-Israel.

In a separate incident, Totten makes the mistake of showing some sympathy for an acquaintance who has now become a refugee, and the anti-idiotarians or whatever they call themselves these days give that a Rupert Pupkinesque "Better luck next time, suckers," prompting Totten to do to his commenters what Israel is now doing to Lebanon.

As noted, I am genuinely puzzled by Israel's strategy in Lebanon, so I can't say I agree or disagree 100 percent with its actions (beyond being 100 percent opposed to war in all its forms). But if you're going to claim total agreement on a goal, I'll have to refer to my hero Col. Mathieu from The Battle of Algiers (quoted from memory): "The only question that matters is: Are we going to stay in Algeria? If you answer yes, you must accept all the consequences." The only wrong move in war is the one that makes you lose. That fact doesn't change just because this time people you love are paying the price.

NEXT: A Little Ditty About John and Dan

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  1. “There is no alternate universe where the Lebanese government could have disarmed an Iranian-trained terrorist/guerilla militia that even the Israelis could not defeat in years of grinding war.”

    I think we should ask Charles Paul Freund about that before giving up:

    https://www.reason.com/0211/fe.cf.the.shtml

    (And why doesn’t Reason publish more fiction? Freund’s article/story was fabulous.)

  2. Olmert must be an idiot. I can’t believe Israel would shoot itself in the foot like this.

    And as usual, the uber-Zionists of the internet are far too busy proclaiming the moral rightness of the Israeli military killing the country’s enemies to think about trifling issues like strategy, proportionality, and responsibility.

    Seriously, Assad must be laughing himself silly. What a blunder.

  3. I don’t ever recall reading a piece containing a greater number of the word “should” than this one.

    I don’t have a favorite in this conflict, but I do know self-inflating hindsight when it rears its stupid head.

  4. Joe’s right, and so is Totten. It is one thing to go after Hezbolla, it is quite another to drop bombs on people who just a year ago were busy taking their protest babes to the street for freedom. Israel has a right to self-defense, but they’re far, far too aggressive in this.

  5. The war against the non-Hezbollah parts of Lebanon is just going to make it more difficult to go after Hezbollah, and they so seriously need, and deserve, to be gotten after.

    When I first heard that Hezbollah had started the rocket campaign and Israel was going after them, I thought it would be a good thing for Lebanese politics. Not only would a group that’s probably more dangerous, globally, than Al Qaeda take a big hit, but the rest of the country might have turned against them. Oh great, look what those idiots have gotten us into now.

    Now that’s all gone. Now Hezbollah, and not the protest babes that legendarily drove out the Syrians, gets to claim the mantle of Lebanese nationalism. There’s a better than even chance that Syria goes back into Lebanon in the next couple of months, and that just sucks.

    And the neoconservatives who show so much class on Totten’s comment thread don’t even care. So much for their former core value of nurturing Arab democracy. Some other core value seems to have gotten in the way.

  6. Joe: I think that’s a pretty fair assessment, I’m generally quite pro-Israel…but I’m also quite anti-foolishness. It makes a lot of sense to go after Hezbollah, it makes none to drop bombs on people who’d gladly be your allies because they’ve gone through so much trouble trying to get Hezbollah to leave their country.

    Now what are the anti-Hezbollah Arabs in Lebanon supposed to do? They can leave, maybe get to a stable part of the world. They can leave and stay in the area, mainly in the neighboring countries that mostly suck. Or they can stay in Lebanon and likely be bombed right along with the terrorists. It’s not a good situation, it’s deplorable, and it could have been avoided had Israel used a bit more of Valor’s better part.

  7. Excellent post, Tim.

  8. And not to mention the anti-Hezbollah non-Arabs in Lebanon…silly Tim, good to remember that the place has many sorts of residents.

  9. History teaches us nothing? Hitler could have put millions of anti-communist Russians and Ukrainians on his side, but no, he had to kill, imprison and enslave them as the Wehrmacht moved East. Now the Israelis seem to be making a similar mistake.

  10. this site is a (mostly) lagoon of sanity in nitwit times.
    Thanks.

  11. The war against the non-Hezbollah parts of Lebanon is just going to make it more difficult to go after Hezbollah

    Actually, the attacks on Lebanese infrastructure are most likely designed to isolate and trap Hezbollah in the South and to disrupt its supply lines.

    If the Lebanese don’t want Israelis bombing their bridges and airports, they shouldn’t let them be used to support attacks on Israel.

    Not breaking down the infrastructure supporting Hezbollah will make it harder, not easier, to do them mortal damage. Leaving the transportation network untouched will simply allow Hezbollah to pull back, to either widen the war or escape into Syria.

  12. Creech, I remember reading that the Germans were initially welcomed as liberators when they reached the Ukraine.

    Didn’t work out, though…

  13. ‘Course, leave it to the Hiz to shun all those new supporters Iz is drivin into its arms.

    “Roadblocks have been set up outside some of the villages to prevent residents from leaving, while in other villages Hizbullah is preventing UN representatives from entering, who are trying to help residents leave. In two villages, exchanges of fire between residents and Hizbullah have broken out. (Hanan Greenberg)”

  14. R.C. Dean,

    Not breaking down the infrastructure supporting Hezbollah will make it harder, not easier, to do them mortal damage.

    Are you predicting something here?

  15. “Creech, I remember reading that the Germans were initially welcomed as liberators when they reached the Ukraine.”

    Because years earlier, Catherine the Great moved tons of Germans into the Ukraine. Of course they’d welcome the Germans.

  16. R.C. Dean,

    Remember when you were apparently arguing that the “Cedar Revolution” was a result of the war in Iraq?

    https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2005/03/a_domino_effect.shtml

    Is the current situation in Lebanon also a result of that?

  17. not sure what got into me today, but for some reason (especially bored i guess) i actually read the comments at salon.com and michaeltotten.com.

    i can confidently say i won?t be doing that again. now, if you?ll excuse me, i need a drink. and a shower.

    -cab

  18. From the link posted by Yup: “The opportunity arises partly because the hated Saddam Hussein is gone, replaced by a weak, terrorist-wracked Shiite-led Iraqi government, propped up by a bleeding America.”

    That level of hypocrisy is so high that it surpasses funny and crosses over into being nauseating.

  19. Tim,

    Hope your family is still safe and has the dough to get out of Lebanon.

    Might give a shout out to antiwar.com which had a link to the Totten commentary at least last night.

  20. “Creech, I remember reading that the Germans were initially welcomed as liberators when they reached the Ukraine.”

    Because years earlier, Catherine the Great moved tons of Germans into the Ukraine. Of course they’d welcome the Germans.

    No, Catherine sent the German settlers mostly to the Volga. The Ukrainians welcomed the Germans because Western Ukraine had only been Soviet for two years and as far as the Ukrainians knew nothing could be worse than the evils of Stalinism. And inside the pre 1939 borders were millions more Russians, Ukrainians, etc. who were quite ready to fight the Communist government that had been collectivizing and terrorizing them. But realistically Hitler was not in a position to coopt the anti-Communist elements in the Soviet Union – the whole point of the war was to carve up the Ukraine and Western Russia and divvy it out to Nazi officers who were going to enjoy the Junker lifestyle as Ukrainian and Russian serfs toiled in the fields. It wasn’t a vision even the anti-Communists were anxious to get behind. Israel’s position in Lebanon is not comparable, they really should have been able to a better job isolating hizbullah without trashing all of Lebanon.

  21. Godwinned by Creech at July 18, 2006 04:52 PM!

    I understand both sides in this and I think Israel is erring on the side of overwhelming force. Although for the Israelis living within the ever-widening rocket range of Southern Lebanon, how many rocket attacks should I be expected to live through?
    I gotta feel that a lot of what Lebanon did was pay lip service to wanting Hezbollah out, rather than applying for help from the international community or Israel, (God forbid). If my neighbor’s demonstrably aggressive dog attacks my kids, who am I going to blame?

  22. Maybe Totten had to close the comments field down on his site because his often bad writing/reporting attracts war-wongering cvnts.

    In other news I just read Israeli commandos kidnapped Michael Young’s family, took them to Israel and executed them.

    Mr. Young is in the process of writing a tear-stained op-ed blaming Syria for their deaths.

  23. “What should the Israelis have done instead? They should have treated Hezbollahland as a country, which it basically is, and attacked it. They should have treated Lebanon as a separate country, which it basically is, and left it alone.”

    Yes, yes, yes. To the extent possible, this seems exactly right. I don’t buy proportionality. If every member of Hezbollah ends up dead, it was a good response.

    What I do absolutely get is the notion that Hezbollah’s enclave in the south should be treated as a separate country that just attacked a sovereign state. You warn civilians what is about to happen and let the range of the rockets keep the fighters close to the border. You THEN cut of retreat and pound them into dust.

    The mis targeting that is going on is any targeting that harms greater Lebananon and was not essential for the above strategic scenario.

  24. Now there’s a well-deserved screenname.

  25. take home lesson.
    You beat and abuse a dog.
    Endlessly.
    You get bit.
    Everybody blames the dog.

    Do I have it right???

  26. Tolly,

    Blame the neighbor. Shoot the dog. (Don’t shoot the neighbor.)

  27. What should the Israelis have done instead? They should have treated Hezbollahland as a country, which it basically is, and attacked it. They should have treated Lebanon as a separate country, which it basically is, and left it alone

    Sweet Jeebus! Did Israel acquire a magic “make your enemies drop dead without hurting absolutely anyone else” ray gun while I wasn’t looking? Did the Hez suddenly stop insinuating all its military assets into civilian areas? Does Lebanon have a separate system of roads, harbors, airports and communication systems just for the use Hezballah?

    Israel should not have bombed Central Beirut, which was almost monolithically anti-Hezbollah…

    This isn’t a war of demographics! Israel is attacking Hezballah command and control as well as any communication or transportation assets they might use. There isn’t any evidence they have even gone after Hez weapons or troops in any serious way, yet. They intend to immobilize the Hez first.

    Would it kill people to read a little bit about contemporary tactics before criticizing Israel’s actions? I swear many people talk about military conflict as if they were political campaigns.

    I feel for Totten and his loved ones but I think he is clueless when it comes to analyzing military actions.

  28. “If the Lebanese don’t want Israelis bombing their bridges and airports, they shouldn’t let them be used to support attacks on Israel.”

    Absolutely. Of course, that would require an Arab country that borders Israel (Lebanon) to build and maitain a strong, competent military. That would require the help of the U.S. That is something Israel and its American supporters have successfully fought against for decades.

  29. “Sweet Jeebus! Did Israel acquire a magic “make your enemies drop dead without hurting absolutely anyone else” ray gun while I wasn’t looking?”

    I think you could read that argument purely as one about geography. Don’t blow central power generation, blow transmission to the south. Define an area you want to be dark and miserable in the south and tear it up. Just don’t tear up anything else.

    That said, I don’t know where IDF bombs are falling, so they may or may not be targeting incorrectly by this model.

  30. The disingenuous finger-wagging at all Lebanese aside, Israel is in the right here. They pulled their troops out of southern Lebanon years ago and placed them behind an established, recognized border. The Israeli soldiers were captured in raids that required crossing that border. Hizbollah needs to be weakened and taken out if possible.

    I would say the same about the Gaza situation. They pulled their settlements (good) and troops (puzzling and bad) out of Gaza and were looking to do the same in the West Bank in some form. The Israeli soldier there was, again, captured in a raid that required crossing a border.

    The political price Israel pays maybe high (and probably irrelevant) but I don’t see a better choice here.

  31. “I swear many people talk about military conflict as if they were political campaigns.”

    Most people here talk about everything as if it was a political campaign. It is weird, entertaining and sometimes frustrating but it is a political site so what can you do? 🙂

  32. Jason Ligon,

    The proportionality I was talking about was in regards to the Lebanese government, Beirut and the rest of non-Hezbollah Lebanon. Israel had deliberately chosen to widen the war to include them, even calling Hezbollah’s attack – one that was denounced by the Lebanese government and involved no assistance from them – “an attack by one sovereign state on another.” I’ve got no problem with Israel defending itself vigorously against those who attacked it, and I hope Hezbollah is reduced to four guys in a tent.

    RC, once again, you are assuming that the problem is military when you should be looking at politics. A Hezbollah convoy with a great road system and a hostile Lebanese population has much less of a chance of getting away than a Hezbollah convoy with bombed out road system and a helpful population.

    And Shannon Love’s silly ray gun straw man aside, this is not a case of collateral damage or imperfect targetting – all of Lebanon is being targetted, and the Lebanese government treated as if it were the enemy. Maybe, just maybe, Shannon, after the whole WMD/capture of Saddam will end the insurgency/the Constitution will end the insurgency/the elections will end the insurgency comedy from the last three years, you should stop assuming that people who disagree with you are ignorant, because you’ve got a pretty lousy record.

    Oh and RC? “If the Lebanese don’t want Israelis bombing their bridges and airports, they shouldn’t let them be used to support attacks on Israel.” Yes. And if the Americans don’t want jihadists bombing their skyscrapers, they shouldn’t pay their taxes and support their government as it bombs Muslim counties. People who attack civilian targets to punish their government are pieces of shit, and people who make excuses for it are the stench.

  33. “I swear many people talk about military conflict as if they were political campaigns.”

    That’s because this is a political conflict, and victory can only be achieved through political maneuvering.

    It’s time to let go of the Rambo fantasy that knocking down all the cutouts labelled “terrorist” with your pop gun is going to produce security from terrorism.

  34. I swear many people talk about military conflict as if they were political campaigns.

    I agree. Don’t over analyze the situation. Israel saw an opportunity to get rid of Hezbollah and took it.

    By the way, screw the staus quo in the Middle East, something had to give.

  35. joe,

    People who attack civilian targets to punish their government are pieces of shit, and people who make excuses for it are the stench.

    You prejudices are corrupting your analysis. What evidence of any kind makes you think that the Israeli are bombing anything with the intent of punishing the people of Lebanon.

    Israeli tactics have a very specific military goal i.e. paralyzing Hezballah’s mobility, logistics and communications. That is why they blew up transportation, communication and command nodes. Do you have any evidence whatsoever that Israel has struck a target that doesn’t fall in those categories.

    By making such unsubstantiated leaps, you risk making yourself appear to be nothing more than a bigot.

  36. That’s because this is a political conflict, and victory can only be achieved through political maneuvering.

    And war is, of course, a powerful political tool.

    It is interesting how many people talk about Israel “screwing up” by destabilizing Lebannon, as if “stabilizing Lebannon” should be Israel’s #1 priority.

    Here’s a clue for you clueless folks: Israel’s priority, where Lebannon is concerned, is “not getting attacked by Lebanese terrorists”, not “making sure the Lebanese get to vote for a democratically-elected government”. If the latter helps with the former, that’s fantastic. But given how many people in this forum — joe, Tim, et al — regularly sneer at the idea that Iraqi democracy will reduce terrorism, it is surprising that you automatically jumped to the conclusion that Israeli is safer while Lebannon is stable.

    From an Israeli perspective, all that the Syrian withdrawl from Lebannon has done has been to loosen the control the Syrians exert over Hezbollah. The non-Hezbollah Lebanese have had ample opportunity to start making moves against Hezbollah and have shown themselves to be unwilling to pay the (admittedly very high) costs that would entail. Michael Totten’s complaining friend is a good example of this — he proudly identifies himself as someone who “fights to disarm Hezbollah”, then turns around and refers to “all his Hezbollah-supporting friends”. That’s a telling statement; for starters, it indicates that his “fighting” consists of talk and nothing else, and furthermore it demonstrates that he considers the issue of Hezbollah terrorism to be less important than his personal friendships. I think that’s a position most Lebanese are in; they mainly dislike Hezbollah for the domestic harm it does, while the harm it does to *Israel* isn’t really important in their minds.

    Which is why nothing was going to be done about anti-Israeli terrorism, by the Lebanese, within the next generation or so. Israel has lost nothing by attacking. Either the passive Lebanese will do nothing (i.e., what they HAVE been doing), or they will be motivated to act against Hezbollah in order to spare themselves further Israeli reprisals (in which case Israel wins), or they will come to officially support Hezbollah (in which case Israel finally has a legitimate state target to hit, rather than terrorists who hide among civilians).

  37. “Either the passive Lebanese will do nothing (i.e., what they HAVE been doing), or they will be motivated to act against Hezbollah in order to spare themselves further Israeli reprisals….”

    Or perhaps they will invite the Syrians back; perhaps even the Iranians.

    Now that their infrastructure has been destroyed, whom will they turn to for help? America? The EU?

  38. Or perhaps they will invite the Syrians back; perhaps even the Iranians.

    Sure, maybe, but how will that be worse for Israel? Lebannon was less of a problem for the Israelis when it was under Syria’s thumb. Syria, after all, can be negotiated with; Hezbollah cannot.

    Now that their infrastructure has been destroyed, whom will they turn to for help?

    If Lebannon’s infrastructure has been so completely destroyed that it must rely on outsiders for aid — and I’ve seen no evidence of this, although you’re welcome to provide some — then it would be even more to Israel’s advantage for one of its enemy states to get tied down rebuilding it. Syria and Iran aren’t exactly rolling in money, after all.

  39. Maybe I just imagined this, but haven’t the Israelis been bombing “strategic” infrastructure targets all over Lebanon for a few days, now? I guess I just forgot how wealthy Lebanon is, what with their thriving, stable economy and all.

  40. I swear many people talk about military conflict as if they were political campaigns.

    Well, actually….

  41. Maurkov,

    Blame the neighbor. Shoot the dog. (Don’t shoot the neighbor.)

    If the neighbor keeps buying another pit bull every time you shoot the old one, there comes a day when you need to shoot the dog and the neighbor.

  42. Israel’s position in Lebanon is not comparable, they really should have been able to a better job isolating hizbullah without trashing all of Lebanon.

    And what part of Lebanese infrastructure do you suppose Hiz doesn’t control?

    Do you, really, have any practical idea of how to carry out your nice little “should”?

  43. I hope Nick tore the conservatives a new one last night, because if there wasn’t ample evidence libertarians and modern conservatives had nothing in common before, their performance on that blog provided all the evidence anybody should ever need.

  44. I swear many people talk about military conflict as if they were political campaigns.

    Well said, even if some people tried really hard not to understand the point.

    The West will probably never understand the fact that nothing in the ME is ever going to get resolved until after there’s been one long, hellacious, bloody war, with lots of “innocent casualties” (whatever that means when you’re talking about war).

    The ME will never be resolved with diplomacy and talk. It will be resolved when somebody has enough guns on their side to finally force all the brats out on the playground to behave. The brats aren’t behaving because nobody has ever made them.

    The West, however (US included) seems dedicated to keeping the trickle of bloodshed going indefinitely.

  45. btw, it’s a long way from being clear to me that Isreal is screwing up here. It’s inconvenient for Lebanon to be sure, but Isreal would probably be better off with Syria taking over again.

    All faults aside, on net balance Isreal is the closest thing to a stable, rational actor on the ME stage. I think the ME would be better off in the long run if the West let Isreal run the game their own way. But Western stupidities (I mean sensibilities) will never let that happen.

    Sure it would look like there were injustices in the things Isreal did. But face it, the ME will never be stablized without somebody doing somebody else some dirt along the way.

  46. Shannon Love,

    What evidence of any kind makes you think that the Israeli are bombing anything with the intent of punishing the people of Lebanon.

    Statements by the Israeli military. Or are you ignoring the “Nothing is safe” language of Brig. Gen. Halutz? Did you even know about it?

    Israeli tactics have a very specific military goal i.e. paralyzing Hezballah’s mobility, logistics and communications. That is why they blew up transportation, communication and command nodes. Do you have any evidence whatsoever that Israel has struck a target that doesn’t fall in those categories.

    The army barracks (of the Lebanese army) they blew up today doesn’t fall into either of those categories.

  47. Shannon Love,

    There isn’t any evidence they have even gone after Hez weapons or troops in any serious way, yet.

    That explains the statements out of the Israeli defense ministry trumpeting their numerous attacks on Hezbollah convoys bearing rockets, etc.

  48. Phileleutherus Lipsiensis,

    Or are you ignoring the “Nothing is safe” language of Brig. Gen. Halutz?

    I was aware of it but because I am not an anti-Israel I didn’t interpret it to mean that Israel was engaged in indiscriminate hate driven bombing. Gen. Halutz was clearly stating that the Hez could not use any place or anyone as a shield.

    The army barracks (of the Lebanese army) they blew up today doesn’t fall into either of those categories

    Really? How do you know? I am more than a bit in awe of your awareness of the function of a particular military barrack on the other side of the planet based on mere news report. Perhaps the Israeli know something you do not.

    What really amazes me about you bigots is that you presume that Israel will take irrational actions against their own self-interest. Israel has absolutely no motive whatsoever to kill civilian. Every civilian death hurts them politically and gains them nothing militarily. Their opponents do not care about civilian deaths and civilian deaths have never stopped any violent action because to many civilians were dying. Israel knows that killing civilians even out of carelessness hurts them far more than it helps.

    It is in Israel’s own enlightened self-interest to fight as humanely as possible and if you spent anytime at all educating yourself about the militaries of the region you would know that Israel has invested tremendous resources into creating high precision weapons expressly so they can hit combatants and not non-combatants.

    That explains the statements out of the Israeli defense ministry trumpeting their numerous attacks on Hezbollah convoys bearing rockets, etc.

    As you can plainly see, I have nothing up my sleeve…

    No matter what Israel says about military targets, the bombing of supposed civilian targets that everybody is screaming about is quite clearly an isolation and immobilization campaign. People who claim otherwise are either ignorant or dishonest.

  49. Genghis Kahn:

    And what part of Lebanese infrastructure do you suppose Hiz doesn’t control?

    The vast bulk of Lebanese infrastructure isn’t controlled by Hezbollah.

  50. More today…

    “The death of Andrei Zelinksy, 37, brings the total number of Israeli civilians killed by Katyusha rocket fire from Lebanon since the start of fighting is thus far at 13.

    Zelinsky, who had moved to Israel with his family from the Ukraine several years ago, was walking toward the bomb shelter in a public park 20 meters from his home when he was directly struck by the rocket.”
    From Haaretz.com

    The Lebanese civilian casualities may not be named, but they matter, too.

    Condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones, on all sides.

  51. I wonder, how does one respond to a poster who calls you a bigot? Do you ignore them? Do you ignore the insult and continue the conversation? Do you point out that there is no evidence for such a claim?

  52. PL the Younger:

    “Am not.”

  53. Pro Libertate,

    Heh. I guess there should be a Godwin-like law associated with such claims.

  54. Phileleutherus Lipsiensis,

    I wonder, how does one respond to a poster who calls you a bigot?

    I will apologize if you will just explain how you made the leap from Gen. Halutz’s statement to indiscriminate bombing. That is a question you should be asking yourself anyway.

    Let me be clear. I don’t think you are anti-semetic. Rather, you seem to be one of those who assumes that in any conflict involving a Western Liberal Democracy, the democracy must be primarily at fault. You most likely also assume that the poorer and weaker side of the conflict is automatically morally superior.

    Bigotry may not be the most nuanced word to describe you but you do give every appearance of profound prejudices.

  55. Do you have any evidence whatsoever that Israel has struck a target that doesn’t fall in those categories.

    The army barracks (of the Lebanese army) they blew up today doesn’t fall into either of those categories.

    Really? How do you know?

    Shannon Love, you seem to be confusing “any evidence whatsoever” with “proof beyond any possible doubt”.

  56. Shannon Love,

    I will apologize if you will just explain how you made the leap from Gen. Halutz’s statement to indiscriminate bombing.

    I didn’t. As you might recall, your original statement didn’t mention indiscriminate bombing. It did mention “punishing Lebanon” though. Quite frankly, if you look at what you are writing, you’ll notice that you are all over the map here.

    As to your assumptions I’m inclined to ignore them, but I’ll be considerate and civil and answer them anyway:

    Rather, you seem to be one of those who assumes that in any conflict involving a Western Liberal Democracy, the democracy must be primarily at fault.

    Wars start or are caused by particularized incidents, conflicts, etc., and fault finding should be based on such.

    You most likely also assume that the poorer and weaker side of the conflict is automatically morally superior.

    Nope.

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