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651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hezbollah torpedoes Lebanese gov't meeting on disarmament on: August 13, 2006, 05:28:00 PM
Hezbollah torpedoes Lebanese gov't meeting on disarmament

By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent

A meeting of the Lebanese government on the disarming of Hezbollah south of the Litani River was canceled on Sunday following an announcement by the Shi'ite organization that it was not willing to discuss the subject. Hezbollah informed the government of its stance through the speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Beri, who serves as a conduit to the organization.

Beri informed Prime Minister Fuad Siniora of Hezbollah's decision, and Siniora decided to cancel the meeting.

This is the first time in weeks that a rift emerged in the official Lebanese stance. Officially, the government of Lebanon denied reports that any dispute has emerged.

But in an interview to Al Jazeera yesterday, Joe Sarkiss, Lebanon's minister of tourism, said that "the army will not deploy in the south unless there are no arms in the south except those of a legitimate military force and UNIFIL."

A Lebanese government source wrote on the Arab internet site Ilaf that "when it comes to crunch time, Hezbollah is refusing to give up its arms."

The same source said that the Lebanese government had opted to cancel the meeting so that the disputes will not cause a rift between the Shi'ite ministers and the rest.

Last week, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah announced that the organization had reservations regarding the UN resolution, suggesting that the group would find it difficult to meet the cease-fire decision.

On Sunday, Minister Marwan Hamada, one of the bitter opponents of Hezbollah, told the Voice of Lebanon radio station that if Lebanon is interested in liberating southern Lebanon, it would have to be the sole player in the area that is armed.

Meanwhile, analysts in Lebanon believe that the rocket attacks against the Galilee will cease today, as the cease-fire agreement goes into effect.
652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Lebanon on: August 12, 2006, 12:48:06 PM
Why not reject the resolution for any and all of the variety of good reasons for doing so and simply allow the IDF to apply its plan?

The Churchill quote is dead on.

Because it is not necessary to reject it. As long as Hezbollah continues for fire missiles, the IDF can continue to wage war -- something we agree on as the right thing to do -- while all the time claiming the high ground by accepting the UN resolution. I had to chuckle when Kofi Annan had no choice but to say that Hezbollah was the aggressor, that Israel had the right to defend herself and that Israel was in compliance with the UN resolutions. For Kofi that must have been like taking bitter medicine.?

Crafty, I can see you are a fighter, not a diplomat, that you don't have what in Spanish we call "mano izquierda."

For quite some time now I've had the feeling that Olmert and Rice have put on a fantastic show, they have been a fantastic dancing couple. Rice has been firm in her defense of Israel. Rice has been flexible in her dealings with France and Lebanon. Rice has been polite to the UN. Yet, I have a feeling that Rice told Olmert when to launch the latest attack before the UN acted on the latest resolution. The timing was just too perfect.

  • The Israeli government finally wakes up and realizes the need for a real offensive
  • The UN announces a second version of the US-French draft
  • Israel officially puts the offensive on hold for 48 hours while deploying troops on the ground
  • Olmert stops Livini from going to the UN
  • The UN starts deliberating on the draft
  • Olmert launches the offensive before the draft is voted on

Now Israel has the best of both worlds, a meat grinder eating up Hezbollah while accepting the UN resolution because Israel is a peace loving country. I find it brilliant!

653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Lebanon on: August 12, 2006, 12:02:09 PM
1)? I don't see why its "too late".

Because the window of opportunity that the Sunnis gave Israel is gone. Israel squandered it it. if Hezbollah stops the rocket attacks, Israel can go back on the offensive only as the aggressor, not as the defender. If Iran does not allow Hezbollah to cease and desist, then Israel is free to continue military action under the current resolution.

2)? If Nasrallah becomes PM, then under this resolution doesn't Lebanon have the right to import arms, etc from Syria and Iran and have the protection of 15,000 UN troops to complicate Israel's life?

Yes. Now you are stating why the prosecution of this war was such a big goof on Israel's part. I don't want to sound bloodthirsty? but only around 1,000 people have died in 30 days of fighting and the world is calling it a massacre. In Tokyo 100,000 people died in one air raid in less than 24 hours. The Tokyo fire-bombing was two or three orders of magnitude greater butchery than the present war.? Why did Israel start the war with such restraint? To protect its soldiers. Big mistake. The purpose of war is to win, to make the other side pay a price it is not willing and able to pay. If your side is not willing to pay the price for extracting victory then you might as well not go to war at all.

The message has to be, "Don't mess with me. If you do, you'll be sorry. If you don't, we can get along" Hezbollah's perception was that Israel valued life too much to take on Hezbollah and, at the start of the war, they were almost right, Israel did take them on but timorously. It was only after three weeks of floundering that Israel saw the light but by then the window of opportunity was fast closing.

I'm going to quote Churchill again, he seems to be one of the few who gets it right.

"Owing to the neglect of our defences and the mishandling of the German problem in the last five years, we seem to be very near the bleak choice between War and Shame. My feeling is that we shall choose Shame, and then have War thrown in a little later, on even more adverse terms than at present."
Winston Churchill in a letter to Lord Moyne, 1938

Tell me how 2006 Israel is different from 1938 Britain in this respect?

654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Lebanon on: August 12, 2006, 10:32:31 AM

Never before in its history has Israel been given such wide latitude to destroy a terrorist enemy organization. Israel flubbed the opportunity by not acting decisively from the start. Now its too late, now Israel has to accept the deal cooked up in the UN. I think Rice has done a great job. I hate to think want the deal might have been with Colin Powell still in place.

Pakistan and Iran are American worries, not something Israel can do anything about directly. As for Hasrallah becoming PM, that would not be unusual, the winners of political infighting rise to the top and Hasrallah is the de facto Shia chief in Lebanon. The Shia have been out-breeding, out-fighting, out-terrorizing and out-maneuvering the other ethnic and religious groups in Lebanon. That is a reality on the ground and it has to be accepted and dealt with. Again, if you want to play the blame game, blame Israel for letting it happen but the reality is that back then Israel was either unable or unwilling to do it so now it's the new reality you need to deal with.

I'm an optimist. With luck, Hebollah can remain a minority partner in the Lebanese government but can be disarmed or at least removed from Israel's border. How effective will the French be at this task? Hard to say. Like most colonial powers, they have won some and lost some. The French have a lot of pressure back home to favor Arabs over Israelis so I don't really trust them. In a way this would be a repeat? of the Brits favoring the Arabs over the Jews at the time of the partition of Palestine. But the 800 pound gorilla is on Israel's side so I would not worry about it too much.

The main issue, not just for the Middle East but for the whole world is how you handle the clock. Some people want to turn the clock back: return Israel to the 1948 lines, return Islam to the glory of Muhammad and Saladin. I'm against this kind of thinking because it is entirely futile. We need to keep moving forward, not backward. How about returning Manhattan to the Dutch. Or returning Haiti to the Tainos. Or returning Peru to the Quechuas? Or returning Palestine to the Ottomans, to the Phoenicians or maybe to the Romans or to the Hittites. The only objective reality is the present and we need to move forward from the present. There is no turning back the clock. Turning back the clock implies ethnic cleansing.

Instead of worrying about the current Middle East settlement, you need to worry about Islam out-breeding you in the USA. After they out-breed you they will out-legislate you. You ready for Sharia law yet? Just as Islam requires adherence to their laws, America must require all nationals and resident aliens to adhere to American law, specifically to the Constitution. If they don't, they need to be dealt with swiftly.
655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Text of U.N. Draft Resolution on: August 11, 2006, 11:20:10 PM
Text of U.N. Draft Resolution
Friday, August 11, 2006

UNITED NATIONS???The Security Council,

PP1. Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 520 (1982), 1559 (2004), 1655 (2006) 1680 (2006) and 1697 (2006), as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statements of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21), of 19 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/36), of 4 May 2005 (S/PRST/2005/17) of 23 January 2006 (S/PRST/2006/3) and of 30 July 2006 (S/PRST/2006/35),

PP2. Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hezbollah's attack on Israel on 12 July 2006, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons,

PP3. Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers,

PP4: Mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners and encouraging the efforts aimed at urgently settling the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel,

PP5. Welcoming the efforts of the Lebanese Prime Minister and the commitment of the government of Lebanon, in its seven-point plan, to extend its authority over its territory, through its own legitimate armed forces, such that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon, welcoming also its commitment to a UN force that is supplemented and enhanced in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operation, and bearing in mind its request in this plan for an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Southern Lebanon,

PP6. Determined to act for this withdrawal to happen at the earliest,

PP7. Taking due note of the proposals made in the seven-point plan regarding the Shebaa farms area,

PP8. Welcoming the unanimous decision by the government of Lebanon on 7 August 2006 to deploy a Lebanese armed force of 15,000 troops in South Lebanon as the Israeli army withdraws behind the Blue Line and to request the assistance of additional forces from UNIFIL as needed, to facilitate the entry of the Lebanese armed forces into the region and to restate its intention to strengthen the Lebanese armed forces with material as needed to enable it to perform its duties,

PP9. Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution to the conflict,

PP10. Determining that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

OP1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;

OP2. Upon full cessation of hostilities, calls upon the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL as authorized by paragraph 11 to deploy their forces together throughout the South and calls upon the government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from Southern Lebanon in parallel;

OP3. Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon;

OP4. Reiterates its strong support for full respect for the Blue Line;

OP5. Also reiterates its strong support, as recalled in all its previous relevant resolutions, for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders, as contemplated by the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement of 23 March 1949;

OP6. Calls on the international community to take immediate steps to extend its financial and humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people, including through facilitating the safe return of displaced persons and, under the authority of the Government of Lebanon, reopening airports and harbours, consistent with paragraphs 14 and 15, and calls on it also to consider further assistance in the future to contribute to the reconstruction and development of Lebanon;

OP7. Affirms that all parties are responsible for ensuring that no action is taken contrary to paragraph 1 that might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations, including safe passage for humanitarian convoys, or the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons, and calls on all parties to comply with this responsibility and to cooperate with the Security Council;

OP8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements:
? full respect for the Blue Line by both parties,
? security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area,
? full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state,
? no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government,
? no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its government,
? provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of land mines in Lebanon in Israel's possession;

OP9. Invites the Secretary General to support efforts to secure as soon as possible agreements in principle from the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel to the principles and elements for a long-term solution as set forth in paragraph 8, and expresses its intention to be actively involved;

OP10. Requests the Secretary General to develop, in liaison with relevant international actors and the concerned parties, proposals to implement the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), including disarmament, and for delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including by dealing with the Shebaa farms area, and to present to the Security Council those proposals within thirty days;

OP11. Decides, in order to supplement and enhance the force in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operations, to authorize an increase in the force strength of UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops, and that the force shall, in addition to carrying out its mandate under resolutions 425 and 426 (1978):
a. Monitor the cessation of hostilities;
b. Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the South, including along the Blue Line, as Israel withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon as provided in paragraph 2;
c. Coordinate its activities related to paragraph 11 (b) with the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel;
d. Extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons;
e. Assist the Lebanese armed forces in taking steps towards the establishment of the area as referred to in paragraph 8;
f. Assist the government of Lebanon, at its request, to implement paragraph 14;

OP12. Acting in support of a request from the government of Lebanon to deploy an international force to assist it to exercise its authority throughout the territory, authorizes UNIFIL to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind, to resist attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council, and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence;

OP13. Requests the Secretary General urgently to put in place measures to ensure UNIFIL is able to carry out the functions envisaged in this resolution, urges Member States to consider making appropriate contributions to UNIFIL and to respond positively to requests for assistance from the Force, and expresses its strong appreciation to those who have contributed to UNIFIL in the past;

OP14. Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel and requests UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11 to assist the Government of Lebanon at its request;

OP15. Decides further that all states shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft,
(a) the sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories, and
(b) the provision to any entity or individual in Lebanon of any technical training or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items listed in subparagraph (a) above,
except that these prohibitions shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorized by the Government of Lebanon or by UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11;

OP16. Decides to extend the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2007, and expresses its intention to consider in a later resolution further enhancements to the mandate and other steps to contribute to the implementation of a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution;

OP17. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council within one week on the implementation of this resolution and subsequently on a regular basis;

OP18. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;

OP19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Lebanon on: August 11, 2006, 10:31:03 PM
I have just listened to Condi Rice and Kofi Annan at the UN and I would not call Olmert's acceptance of the cease-fire "a caving in." Politics is the art of the possible and I think Olmert has been a very fast learner. Just hours before the cease-fire vote, he authorized the IDF to roll into Lebanon at full speed. Lebanon will discuss the cease-fire on Saturday and Israel will do the same on Sunday giving the IDF at last? 48 hours to continue sweeping up Hezbollah.

I think the cease-fire makes sense, at least on paper. Israel can only hope to make a peace treaty with Lebanon if Hezbollah is disarmed and the Lebanese government takes control of their whole country. Clearly the Lebanese army, by itself, cannot do it. This was the proposal that Hezbollah accepted and Israel and the US rejected out of hand. The new agreement calls for a reinforced UN peace keeping force of 15,000 men to back up the 15,000 Lebanese soldiers to be posted to the south of Lebanon.

What needs to be watched is the ability of this combined force to disarm Hezbollah and the commitment of Lebanon's government to disarm Hezbollah and take control of their country.

I wonder how Iran and Syria will react.

The idea that the IDF can easily take on Iran is a stretch. Iran is a long ways off and has no common borders with Israel. Israel could take on Syria if the US took on Iran but the US is already committed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Unless the Europeans wake up to the tragedy that is on their door step, Iran will have a few more months before it faces an attack.

657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bleeding-heart ignoramuses on: August 11, 2006, 10:36:27 AM
"We have met the enemy... and he is us" Pogo

Bleeding-heart ignoramuses

By Julie Burchill

Personally, I'd far prefer the Jews to be angry, aggressive and alive than meek, mild and dead

A few weeks back it was my birthday, and my equally non-Jewish journalist friend Chas Newkey-Burden took his life in his hands and presented me with a cuddly toy. Now, normally I feel that people who bother with cuddly toys over the age of eight are either mad and/or prostitutes, but this little sweetie stole my heart. A honey-brown camel with a heart-melting smile and a jaunty cap, he proudly wore an Israeli Army uniform with a fetching hole cut out for his hump. "I've named him Bibi," Chas told me, obviously in honor of our mutual crush.

Later that night Chas and I were watching a TV news report of the beginnings of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. To say we were amazed when a news presenter solemnly intoned that there had been "two militants wounded" with all the grieving gravitas of Richard Dimbleby reporting on the state funeral of the late Winston Churchill is to employ English understatement to an almost surreal degree. But it's been that way ever since - and more than one night has seen me screaming at the TV/my husband "You don't understand! None of you English bastards understands!" before running into the bedroom, slamming the door and collapsing in a tearful heap with only Bibi to comfort me.

One of the most grotesque examples of the almost brainwashed level of bias can be seen on the official BBC Religions Web site, where that "peace be upon him" eyewash is going on like crazy, while other religions are coolly commented on in a strictly "objective" way.

The conflict has sent this tendency into overdrive, with not just the usual Masochist Hacks For Mohammed such as Robert Fisk (beaten up by Islamists, says they were right to do it) and Yvonne Ridley (kidnapped by Islamists, then became one) getting their chadors in a twist about big swarthy men with tea-towels on their heads treating the West mean and keeping it - in their case at least - keen.

Even the women's magazines have gotten in on the act, with lots of first-person eye-witness accounts of British citizens fleeing the Jewish jackboot. Then turn the page and you'll often find a shocked article about honor-killing or forced marriage, Muslim-style. That Israel is fighting the frontline war, on behalf of the freedom and civilization of all of us, against the very real evils of shari'a law never seems to occur to these bleeding-heart ignoramuses.

Over at Channel 4, Jon Snow interviewed an Israeli diplomat with all the finesse and objectivity of a neo-Nazi spraying a six-foot swastika on a wall. Of the rockets which murdered Israeli civilians in the town of Sderot, he said "Rockets, pretty pathetic things - nobody gets injured." This was gleefully picked up and proclaimed by The Guardian, the newspaper I left some years ago in protest at what I saw as its vile anti-Semitism.

All across the board, Lebanese civilians are referred to as "civilians" where Israeli civilians are referred to as "Israelis" - an eerie and sinister difference pointed out by the non-Jewish stand-up comic genius Natalie Haynes, and one which very few people appear to have noticed - even me, until then.

In fact the tone in papers as diverse as the "liberal" Guardian to the right-wing Daily Mail has been repulsively similar; look, look, the Israelis are as bad as the terrorists! Worse, in fact, because they've got America behind them! Even the normally sensible Matthew Parris in the normally sensible Times wrote: "The past 40 years have been a catastrophe, gradual and incremental, for world Jewry. Seldom in history have the name and reputation of a human grouping lost so vast a store of support and sympathy so fast."

The catastrophe he refers to is the State of Israel itself; you'd really think, reading this, that the years leading up to the creation of the Jewish state were, in fact, a right royal romp in the park. Instead of the Holocaust.

A surprising number of British people - especially the super-creepy British Jews who recently signed a treacherous letter to the press distancing themselves from Israel's actions - seem to think Israel should exist not as a real, imperfect country full of real, imperfect people led by real, imperfect leaders, but as some sort of collective kosher Mater Dolorosa, there to provide a selfless, suffering example to the rest of us.

Fight back, and the outside world reacts with the revulsion of a man seeing his sainted grandmother drunk and offering sailors outside. Even (especially?) anti-Semites and enemies of Israel are shameless in recycling the legends of "brave little Israel" - I'm thinking of David and Goliath here - and basically believe that each IDF member should go into battle against the assembled hordes of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah armed with nothing but a slingshot apiece. Failing that, this tiny country must embark on a suicidal act of self-sacrifice in the face of murderous, genocidal hatred, as Matthew Parris astoundingly suggests:

"The settlement has to be a return to its pre-1967 boundaries. Precisely because Israel is by no means forced to make so generous a move, the international support (even love) this would generate would secure its future permanently. It would bring it back within the pale."

Personally, I'd far prefer the Jews to be angry, aggressive and alive than meek, mild and dead - and that's what makes me and a minority like me feel so much like strangers in our own country, now more than ever. I've always loved being a hack, but now even that feels weird, as though I'm living among a bunch of snatched-body zombies who look like journalists but believe and say the most inhuman, evil things.

When Mel Gibson was picked up for drunk-driving recently, he was reported to have screamed at the police officer, whom he believed to be Jewish, "Fucking Jews! The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." His subsequent excuse was that he has "battled the disease of alcoholism for all my adult life." The British media are notorious for our love of the hard stuff; is that going to be our excuse too, I wonder, when large numbers of us are finally bang to rights for peddling the same loathsome lie?
658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Double Standard on: August 11, 2006, 08:48:56 AM
Asymmetrical warfare or double standard?

Siniora cries during a press conference while denouncing the death of 40 "innocent" Lebanese yet a short time later he recants admitting there were two people killed in the action. But the press has already told the world about this new Jewish atrocity.

Lebanese sources stage the death of children at Qana denouncing the death of 56 "innocent" Lebanese yet the Red Cross only finds 28 bodies in the action. The Lebanese have scored another public relations triumph over the Jewish state based on bald faced lies.

The terrorists have plenty of friends in the western press who, like Ruters, are quite happy to publish doctored images and staged casualties.

But there is no need to go that far afield to find cases of double standard in this struggle. We have a case right here in this thread.

rogt started a discussion with the post:

to which I replied with an article from the Associated Press:

rogt suggested:
Quote from: rogt
A discussion of people's views on this would be more interesting than a bunch of articles.

Fair enough, this was my reply:
Quote from: captainccs
Quote from: rogt
OK, "elimination of the Zionist regime" can mean a lot of things.  What I want to know is whether these Muslim leaders really mean "exterminate Jews" instead of just replacement of the current Israeli government.
Well, sum it up:

Suicide bombings
Rocket attacks
Calls for boycotting Israel
Flying into the Twin Towers
The London bombing
The Madrid bombing
The Beirut US Embassy bombing
The Bali bombing
The USS Cole bombing
The Buenos Aires bombing

Does this sound like a love fest of some sort?

Some people just don't want to see reality. What proof do you want? The extermination of Israel?

I got no sensible reply to this exposition but a short while later rogt writes:
Quote from: rogt
Posted by a friend of mine to another mailing list.  I think he puts it a lot better than I did.

So, what will it be, a bunch of articles by other people when it suits rogt's convenience to cover his admitted lack of debating skills but no such props for people taking a contrary view?

This is a very minor example of the double standard applied to this struggle to the point of being insignificant but it does reveal at close quarters the double standard imposed on Israel and the Jews by her enemies and by her enemies' groupies.

In any case, the post linked by rogt compares apples to elephants. While the purpose of radical Isalm's Jihad is to convert the whole world to Islam and force Sharia law on all, the abortion fighters just want to stop one particular act that they oppose. Agreed, both do it by illegal violence but the goals are so disparate that there is no way to compare the two as rogt's friends suggests. The abortion fighters do not want to replace the American Constitution with Sharia law, they do not want to destroy a whole country and all its citizens which is the stated objective of Islamo Fascist Radical Islam.

Composed by Denny Schlesinger, not by some friend or ghost writer.
659  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / The End of Ch?vez on: August 08, 2006, 12:11:46 AM
The End of Ch?vez
History's Against Him

By Francis Fukuyama
Sunday, August 6, 2006; Page B01

CARACAS, Venezuela

Early on in Hugo Ch?vez's political career, the Venezuelan president attacked my notion that liberal democracy together with a market economy represents the ultimate evolutionary direction for modern societies -- the "end of history." When asked what lay beyond the end of history, he offered a one-word reply: "Chavismo."

The idea that contemporary Venezuela represents a social model superior to liberal democracy is absurd. In his eight years as president, Ch?vez has capitalized on his country's oil wealth to take control of congress, the courts, trade unions, electoral commissions and the state oil company. Proposed legislation that would limit foreign funding could soon constrain nongovernmental organizations as well. And people who signed a recall petition against Ch?vez in the run-up to a 2004 referendum on his rule later found their names posted on the Web site of a pro-Ch?vez legislator; if they worked for the government or wanted to do business with it, they were out of a job and out of luck.

Ch?vez's success in attracting attention -- cozying up to Fidel Castro's Cuba, signing an arms deal with Russia, visiting Iran and incessantly criticizing the United States -- has popularized the notion that Chavismo embodies a new future for Latin America. By preserving some freedoms, including a relatively free press and pseudo-democratic elections, Ch?vez has developed what some observers call a postmodern dictatorship, neither fully democratic nor fully totalitarian, a left-wing hybrid that enjoys a legitimacy never reached in Castro's Cuba or in the Soviet Union.

Latin America has indeed witnessed a turn to this postmodern left in some countries, including in Bolivia, where Evo Morales, Ch?vez's kindred spirit, won the presidency last year. Nonetheless, the dominant trends in the hemisphere are largely positive: Democracy is strengthening and the political and economic reforms now being undertaken augur well for the future. Venezuela is not a model for the region; rather, its path is unique, the product of a natural resource curse that makes it more comparable to Iran or Russia than any of its Latin American neighbors. Chavismo is not Latin America's future -- if anything, it is its past.

How did Venezuela end up at such a pass? The answer is oil, oil, oil.

The country's modern political order was negotiated in a Miami hotel room in 1958 by leaders of its two traditional political parties; the resulting pact created a viable democracy that provided stability for four decades. But stable politics did not make for sound economics. With the growth of oil revenue through the 1970s, Venezuela was relieved of the need to create a modern non-oil economy. Commodities that the country once exported -- such as coffee and sugar -- soon withered. And rather than foster social mobility or strong public institutions, the two political parties bought social peace by distributing oil rents through subsidies, government jobs and patronage.

Venezuela did not suffer the Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s, a trauma that in many ways inoculated countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Peru from relapsing into the worst forms of economic populism. Instead, Venezuela experienced a disastrous decline in living standards as oil prices fell during the 1980s. The country had never been part of the global economy -- aside from the energy sector -- and had no competitive industries to fall back on. Ch?vez and others on the left blame Venezuela's problems on globalization and "neoliberal" economic policies, but with the brief exception of the opening attempted by President Carlos Andr?s P?rez in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the country never truly sought to globalize its economy.

There is more continuity between the pre-Ch?vez and Ch?vez eras than proponents of either would like to admit. The recent rise in oil prices has again exempted Venezuela from the laws of economics. The Ch?vez government has imposed a blizzard of regulations controlling the exchange of currency, setting prices, limiting the ability of employers to hire and fire, and mandating trade and investment deals based on political considerations -- all of which further undermine Venezuela's weak private sector. Yet, because of its hefty oil revenue, Venezuela's economy has grown sharply over the past two years. The irrationality of Chavistanomics will not be felt until oil prices fall.

Venezuela's peculiar history shows why Ch?vez does not represent the region's future. Countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Peru, lacking Venezuela's oil resources, know that they cannot get away with such dysfunctional policies; they experimented with them and were burned. It is no accident that postmodern authoritarianism is most successful in oil-rich countries such as Iran, Russia and Venezuela. While Bolivia's Morales aspires to be another Ch?vez, it will soon dawn on him that his country's natural gas is not a fungible commodity like Venezuelan crude oil. Morales's only real customer is Brazil, which he has already alienated through his nationalization of the heavily Brazilian foreign energy investments.

The dominant political forces in Latin America, while bringing to power a new generation of politicians on the left, run counter to those in Venezuela. Central banks and finance ministries throughout the region are much more capable than in the past of maintaining sound monetary and fiscal policies, and even left-leaning presidents such as Brazil's Luiz In?cio Lula da Silva and Argentina's N?stor Kirchner are not inclined to stray far from economic orthodoxy.

In contrast to Ch?vez's politicization of Venezuela's institutions, Mexico has made its Supreme Court and Federal Electoral Institute politically independent. Brazil and Colombia have increased the autonomy of local governments, permitting experiments in budgeting and education; and Brazil and Mexico have undertaken programs to increase the incomes of the poor while giving them incentives to keep children in school.

There are already signs of an anti-Ch?vez backlash. While the Venezuelan president rails at U.S. interference in Latin politics, he has tried to promote populist allies such as Ollanta Humala of Peru and Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador of Mexico. Venezuela's neighbors resent this, and have punished the Chavista candidates at the polls. Indeed, Ch?vez may well have cost L?pez Obrador the Mexican presidency, since the number of votes the latter lost because of dislike of Venezuelan interference probably exceeded the small margin by which he lost the election.

Ch?vez's popularity among Venezuela's poor is based on his social policies. He has begun innovative initiatives, such as a network of health clinics in low-income neighborhoods, where Cuban doctors treat the poor. He has created subsidized food outlets that equalize the prices paid by rich and poor. And he has attempted to distribute land to peasants. Some of these policies, such as the clinics, meet pressing social needs and should have been undertaken long ago; others, such as the food subsidies, will be hard to sustain absent high oil prices.

A response to Chavismo must recognize that populism is driven by real social inequalities. Proponents of economic and political liberty in Latin America are often suspicious of grand social-policy experiments, perceiving them as a road to bloated welfare states and economic inefficiency. But free trade alone is unlikely to satisfy the demands of the poor, and democratic politicians must offer realistic social policies to compete.

Social policy is, unfortunately, difficult to get right: Unless it creates incentives for the poor to help themselves, it can become an entitlement that breeds dependence and out-of-control fiscal deficits. In Brazil, Lula's government took over a program of income transfers to the poor but in the process weakened enforcement procedures obliging parents to keep their children in school. And market policies are no panacea: Even Chile, which has extensive high-quality private education, saw huge student protests this spring because of the low quality of its publicly funded schools.

Democratic governments in Latin America must also work patiently at enhancing the quality of their public institutions -- improving simple things such as issuing business licenses, enforcing property claims and controlling crime. There is no cookie-cutter solution; it often requires local-level experiments, such as the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre's "participatory budgeting" initiative from the early 1990s, which opened the budget process to civil-society groups and forced politicians to show where the money was going. Bad public administration saps economic growth and delegitimizes democratic institutions, paving the way for violent swings and backlash.

Last December, a bridge on the road connecting the Venezuelan capital to its international airport collapsed, diverting traffic into the mountains and stretching a 45-minute journey into one lasting several hours. A two-lane emergency highway now bears this traffic; renovation of the bridge is still months away. The bridge epitomizes what is happening to Venezuela today: As Ch?vez jets to Minsk, Moscow and Tehran in search of influence and prestige, the country's infrastructure is collapsing.

The postmodern authoritarianism of Ch?vez's Venezuela is durable only while oil prices remain high. Yet it presents a distinct challenge from that of totalitarianism because it allows for democratic choice and caters to real social needs. At a recent conference of business leaders here, I witnessed many speakers openly criticize Ch?vez; their remarks were cited in the mainstream media. There is no police state in Venezuela -- at least not yet.

Chavismo remains a threat. But it need not embody Latin America's future, not if the region's democrats can reduce economic inequities through innovative social policy and nimble public institutions. Of course, such developments would not mark the end of history. Just the end of Chavismo.

Francis Fukuyama is professor of international political economy at the School of Advanced International Studies

at Johns Hopkins University.
660  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / La verdadera cara de Hugo Ch?vez on: August 07, 2006, 06:26:04 PM

La verdadera cara de Hugo Ch?vez
Jueves 3 de agosto de 2006
La prolongada gira mundial del presidente de Venezuela, Hugo Ch?vez, que incluy? Belar?s, Rusia, Ir?n, Vietnam y Mal?, est? dejando en claro cu?les son sus verdaderos prop?sitos en materia de pol?tica exterior, los cuales deber?an preocupar sobremanera a sus socios del Mercosur. Venezuela es desde fines de julio miembro pleno del bloque regional, por lo cual sus posiciones extremas involucran de alg?n modo al conjunto de las naciones que lo integran.

No se puede aceptar que el l?der venezolano haya elegido sellar una alianza estrat?gica con Belar?s, cuyo presidente, Alexander Lukashenko -el ?nico dictador estalinista de Europa-, es objeto de sanciones internacionales por sus constantes y graves violaciones de los derechos humanos de su pueblo. Curiosamente, horas antes de la visita de Ch?vez, Lukashenko hab?a encarcelado a Aleksandr Milinkevich, el l?der de la oposici?n, quien, al igual que el otro jefe opositor, Aleksandr Kasulin, hab?a sido acusado de disentir con el r?gimen. Cabe recordar que la administraci?n de N?stor Kirchner, hace ya meses, se neg? a condenar las violaciones de derechos humanos de Lukashenko en la fenecida Comisi?n de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas, sin dar explicaci?n alguna por su llamativa decisi?n de abstenerse.

En Rusia, Ch?vez suscribi? contratos por la compra de armamento por m?s de mil millones de d?lares, que incluyeron modernos cazas Sukoi (SU-30MK), helic?pteros de combate, 100.000 ametralladoras Kalashnikov AK 103, y la licencia para fabricarlas en territorio venezolano. No es desacertado suponer que muchas de ellas puedan terminar en poder de algunos de los 16.000 guerrilleros de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), por lo que estas compras constituyen una amenaza para la paz y seguridad regionales.

A cambio, el mandatario de Venezuela obtuvo el apoyo de Rusia para la candidatura de su pa?s al Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas, organismo encargado de preservar la paz y la seguridad mundiales, que se suma al otorgado por nuestro pa?s y el Mercosur.

Lo m?s objetable de la gira de Ch?vez sucedi?, sin embargo, en Ir?n, pa?s con el cual Venezuela parece haber desarrollado una creciente y sospechosa intimidad operativa. Esta relaci?n debe despertar temor dada la vinculaci?n que el grupo terrorista Hezbollah mantiene con el r?gimen iran?. El solo recordar lo que significa esa organizaci?n terrorista para la Argentina, dada su presunta vinculaci?n con los infames atentados terroristas contra la embajada de Israel, de 1992, y la sede de la AMIA, de 1994, ser?a suficiente para alejarnos lo m?s posible de las alianzas estrat?gicas dise?adas por Ch?vez.

El presidente venezolano, para cuya euforia no parece haber l?mites, se anim? a comparar a Israel con Hitler, lo cual no s?lo es un horrible desatino, sino tambi?n un agravio inaceptable, respecto del cual los pa?ses que son sus socios en el Mercosur no pueden mantener un silencio c?mplice. En contraprestaci?n, el presidente iran?, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, le concedi? la m?xima condecoraci?n de su pa?s, diciendo: "Este se?or es mi hermano y ojal? sea mi compa?ero de lucha".

La gira de Ch?vez ha confirmado su arrogante egolatr?a; sus riesgosas posiciones en materia de pol?tica exterior; su creciente peligrosidad para la paz y seguridad del mundo y de la regi?n, y su total falta de comprensi?n sobre d?nde est? el bien y d?nde el mal.

Esta conducta del presidente venezolano deber?a llamar inmediatamente la atenci?n de los pa?ses miembros del Mercosur, porque sus posiciones extremas pueden comprometer el papel del bloque regional en su relaci?n con el mundo.

La Argentina, que siempre ha elegido el camino de la paz en situaciones de conflicto, no puede apoyar a figuras y pol?ticas que entran en contradicci?n con sus propias posiciones sobre la seguridad y el equilibrio internacionales.
661  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Aspiraciones Nucleares de Ch?vez on: August 07, 2006, 06:05:21 PM
Las aspiraciones de Venezuela a convertirse en potencia nuclear: en la rep?blica bolivariana hay cada vez m?s t?cnicos nucleares iran?es

Lunes, 07 de Agosto de 2006

Las relaciones entre los dos principales enemigos de Estados Unidos pasan por su mejor momento y as? qued? evidente durante la reciente visita de Hugo Chaves a Teher?n. Venezuela tiene aspiraciones de convertirse en potencia nuclear y en la rep?blica bolivariana se incrementa la presencia de t?cnicos iran?es.

Seg?n ha podido saber El Confidencial Digital por fuentes implicadas en la pol?tica exterior espa?ola, en Venezuela hay cada vez una mayor presencia de t?cnicos nucleares iran?es. A pesar de que as? lo aseguran pol?ticos espa?oles conocedores de este hecho, un portavoz de la embajada iran? en nuestro pa?s ha negado a ECD que expertos nucleares del estado persa est?n trabajando en el pa?s caribe?o.
El pasado 28 de junio la Agencia Bolivariana de Noticia anunciaba que los presidentes de la Rep?blica Isl?mica de Ir?n, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad y la Rep?blica de Venezuela, Hugo Ch?vez Fr?as, se reunir?an en Teher?n a finales de julio.
En el contexto del anuncio de la visita de Ch?vez a la rep?blica chi?, el embajador de Ir?n en Venezuela, Ahmad Sobhani, a la salida de una conferencia sobre el programa de tecnolog?a pac?fica nuclear de Ir?n realizaba las siguientes declaraciones: ?no est? previsto dentro de la agenda de trabajo de ambas naciones que se aborde el tema de una supuesta colaboraci?n nuclear de Venezuela a Ir?n?. Acto seguido precis?: ?seguramente el tema de defensa de Ir?n de facilitar energ?a pac?fica nuclear a todos los pa?ses amigos s? est? planteado?.
662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 07, 2006, 05:38:31 PM
Not to join in the mud slinging but how is "Islamo-Fascist" any more hate speech that calling people sons of pigs and monkeys and calling nations "The Great Satan?"

But what really interests me is why using the term "Islamo-Faschist" is denounced by people who seem to ignore the hate speech coming from the Islamo-Fascists.

Talking about hate speech, here is an interesting take on it:

When anti-Semitism is a big story ? and when it isn't

By Jeff Jacoby | Two anti-Semitic incidents occurred on July 28. Both took place on the West Coast; both involved an American venting his hostility to Jews. But only one of them became in the days that followed a big national story about anti-Semitism. The other was treated as a serious but local matter, and drew only modest coverage around the country.

Incident A involved nothing more dangerous than a guy spewing crude anti-Semitic slurs when he was arrested for drunk driving; once sober, he publicly and profusely apologized. Incident B involved a Muslim gunman's premeditated assault on a prominent Jewish institution; his attack left one woman dead and sent five to the hospital, three of them in critical condition.

Which would you say was the bigger story?

Unless you've spent the past week submersed in the Mariana Trench, you know that the intoxicated driver in Incident A was Hollywood's Mel Gibson, who railed at the Los Angeles County police officer who pulled him over about the "(bleeping) Jews" and how "the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Details of Gibson's tirade leaked quickly and the story was soon everywhere. In the first six days after his arrest, the media database Nexis logged 888 stories mentioning "Mel Gibson" and "Jews." And that didn't include the countless websites, talk shows, and smaller publications where the story also played.

By any rational calculus, Incident B was far more significant.

According to police and eyewitness reports, the killer, a 30-year-old named Naveed Haq, forced his way into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle by holding a gun to the head of a 13-year-old girl. Once inside, Haq announced, "I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel," and opened fire with two semi-automatic pistols. Pam Waechter, 58, died on the spot. Five other women, one of them 20 weeks pregnant, were shot in the abdomen, knee, or arm. When one of the wounded women managed to call 911, Haq took the phone and told the dispatcher: "These are Jews and I'm tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East."

This was no spur-of-the-moment meltdown. The police say Haq, who holds an engineering degree from Washington State University, had purchased the two guns and waited 10 days before picking them up on July 27. He selected his target by searching online for Jewish sites. And as his declarations make clear, he was impelled to kill by his antipathy toward Jews and his convictions as a Muslim.

At a time when jihadist murder is a global threat, and when some of the most malevolent figures in the Islamic world ? Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah, to name just two ? openly incite violence against Americans and Jews, the attack in Seattle should have been a huge story everywhere. Yet after six days, a Nexis search turned up only 236 stories mentioning Haq ? about one-fourth the number devoted to Gibson's drunken outburst. Why the disparity?

No doubt part of the answer is that Gibson is a celebrity, and that "The Passion," his 2004 movie about the crucifixion of Jesus, was criticized by many as a revival of the infamous anti-Semitic motif of Jews and Christ-killers. Gibson, who belongs to a sternly traditionalist Catholic sect, was already suspected of harboring ill will toward Jews. His crude remarks on July 28 confirmed it, and pushed the subject back into the spotlight.

Fair enough. But if previous behavior and religious beliefs explain the burst of interest in the Gibson story, they only deepen the question of why the Seattle bloodshed was played down. After all, Naveed Haq is not the first example of what Daniel Pipes has dubbed "Sudden Jihad Syndrome," in which a seemingly non-violent Muslim erupts in a murderous rampage.

Just this year, for example, Mohammed Taheri-azar, a philosophy and psychology major at the University of North Carolina, deliberately rammed a car into a crowd of students, saying he wanted to "avenge the death of Muslims around the world." Michael Julius Ford opened fire in a Denver warehouse, killing one person and injuring five. "I don't know what happened to him yesterday," his sister Khali told the Denver Post. "He told me that Allah was going to make a choice and it was going to be good and told me people at his job was making fun of his religion."

Other cases in recent years include Hasan Akbar, a sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division, who attacked his fellow soldiers at an American command center in Kuwait with grenades and rifle fire, killing one and wounding 15; Hesham Ali Hadayet, who killed two people when he shot up the El Al ticket counter at the Los Angeles airport in 2002; and Ali Hasan Abu Kamal, who was carrying a note denouncing "Zionists" and others who "must be annihilated & exterminated" when he opened fire on the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

If the Catholic Mel Gibson's nonviolent bigotry is a legitimate subject of media scrutiny, all the more so is the animus that has spurred Muslims like Naveed Haq to jihadist murder. And yet that is a line of inquiry that few seem willing to pursue. "No one wants to propagate bias or jump to conclusions," the New York Sun noted the other day. But how many more Haqs must erupt in a homicidal rage, it asked, before we stop assuming that these are merely random incidents and open our eyes "to the possibility that they are part of a war in which understanding the enemy is a prerequisite for victory?"
663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Olmert chides European leaders for slamming Israel's offensi on: August 07, 2006, 01:08:51 AM
This is what Olmert told them:

Olmert chides European leaders for slamming Israel's offensive

By Reuters

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told European leaders to stop preaching to him about civilian war casualties in an interview published on Sunday in the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

Olmert also said it would not be possible to completely destroy Hezbollah and insisted he did not underestimate them.

"Where do they get the right to preach to Israel?" Olmert said when asked about criticism from European capitals of Israeli military operations that have led to a heavy civilian toll.

"European countries attacked Kosovo and killed ten thousand civilians. Ten thousand! And none of these countries had to suffer before that from a single rocket.

Some 10,000 Albanians died in Serbia's 1998-99 counter-insurgency war and there were allegations of random brutality by both sides.

"I'm not saying it was wrong to intervene in Kosovo. But please: Don't preach to us about the treatment of civilians."

Kosovo became a U.N. protectorate in June 1999 after a 78-day NATO bombing campaign forced out Serb security forces accused of atrocities against Albanian civilians during a rebel insurgency by separatist Albanian guerrillas.

In the Welt am Sonntag interview, Olmert was asked if he had underestimated Hezbollah.

"No, we know that they have only fired 3,000 rockets so far and that they have 15,000," he said. "The question is more: If Hezbollah knew what the consequences of their attack would be, would they nevertheless have done it? I don't think so."

Olmert said Hezbollah was being defeated but it was not possible to eradicate a grass-roots guerrilla movement.

"They are beaten but it is not possible to completely destroy them. Israel has nevertheless been more successful than any other country in the battle against a guerrilla organization."
664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Reuters admits image of Beirut after IAF strike was doctored on: August 06, 2006, 04:07:19 PM
Reuters admits image of Beirut after IAF strike was doctored

By Assaf Uni, Haaretz Correspondent

The Reuters news agency admitted Sunday that it had published a doctored photograph of Beirut after an Israel Air Force strike on Saturday morning.

In the original image, thin smoke can be seen rising over the Lebanese capital, but in the second photograph, thick, black smoke can be seen billowing over the buildings.

Reuters said that it has fired Adnan Hajj, the Lebanese photographer who submitted the image. The organization also said that it is investigating the incident.

"The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under," said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters.

"This represents a serious breach of Reuters' standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him," Whittle said in a statement issued in London.

Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff freelance, or contributing photographer, from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005.

He was among several photographers from the main international news agencies whose images of a dead child being held up by a rescuer in the village of Qana, south Lebanon, after an Israeli air strike on July 30 have been challenged by blogs critical of the mainstream media's coverage of the Middle East conflict.

Claims that the photograph had been doctored were published on a number of blogs, which rushed to prove that the image had been retouched in using the PhotoShop program.

All photographs taken for Reuters around the world are sent to Singapore, where they undergo certain editorial processes before being distributed to the agency's many clients. On Sunday, Reuters removed the retouched picture from its catalogue and replaced it with the original.

Little Green Football explains the fraud
665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 05, 2006, 01:14:52 AM
Quote from: Crafty_Dog
A week ago, Israeli foot patrols in Lebanon were spotted using llamas, an especially quiet beast of burden that can go several days without eating while carrying about as much weight as one Israeli soldier can carry.

Llamas on patrol
666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 04, 2006, 09:39:46 PM
Quote from: ppulatie
Since 1948, every action that Israel has taken has been in self defense. They have been in a perpetual war since inception, with the arab world desiring their destruction.

From your comments, I surmise that you believe that Israel has taken actions not in its own self defense. Can you please name some such actions? I will be more than happy to refute them.

The Anglo-French-Isaeli attack on Suez:

Anthony Eden, the British prime minister, feared that Nasser intended to form an Arab Alliance that would cut off oil supplies to Europe. On 21st October Guy Mollet, Anthony Eden and David Ben-Gurion met in secret to discuss the problem. During these talks it was agreed to make a joint attack on Egypt.

On 29th October 1956, the Israeli Army, led by General Moshe Dayan, invaded Egypt. Two days later British and French bombed Egyptian airfields. British and French troops landed at Port Said at the northern end of the Suez Canal on 5th November. By this time the Israelis had captured the Sinai peninsula.

President Dwight Eisenhower grew increasingly concerned about these developments. On 30th October he decided to take action and announced he was going to suspend aid to Israel in protest against its invasion of Egypt. The following day Eisenhower's secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, criticised Britain and France for trying to take the Suez Canal by force.
667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iranian official admits Tehran supplied missiles to Hezbolla on: August 04, 2006, 02:36:59 PM
Iranian official admits Tehran supplied missiles to Hezbollah

By Amos Harel and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents

A senior Iranian official admitted for the first time Friday that Tehran did indeed supply long-range Zelzal-2 missiles to Hezbollah.

Mohtashami Pur, a one-time ambassador to Lebanon who currently holds the title of secretary-general of the "Intifada conference," told an Iranian newspaper that Iran transferred the missiles to the Shi'ite militia, adding that the organization has his country's blessing to use the weapons in defense of Lebanon.

Pur's statements are thought to be unusual given that Tehran has thus far been reluctant to comment on the extent of its aid which it has extended to Hezbollah.

Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah warned Thursday night in a televised broadcast that his organization would target Tel Aviv if Beirut was attacked by Israel.

"If our capital, Beirut, is attacked, we will attack your capital, Tel Aviv," Nasrallah threatened.

The Hezbollah leader issued his warning after Israel Air Force aircraft dropped leaflets over the Lebanese capital, calling on residents of three Shi'ite neighborhoods in southern Beirut to evacuate their homes.

Israeli security sources assessed that Nasrallah's threats are serious.

On Wednesday evening, the IAF attacked Beirut for the first time after a hiatus of nearly five days. The dropping of the leaflets yesterday is considered to be a precursor to new air strikes on the city.

Military Intelligence estimates that Nasrallah would like to end the war with a dramatic move, such as the firing of missiles against Tel Aviv.

The range of the Iranian-made Zelzal missiles is estimated to be 210 kilometers, enabling Hezbollah to target the northern suburbs of Tel Aviv and its environs. Last week, the IAF deployed Patriot anti-aircraft missiles near Netanya as part of the overall effort to foil a possible Zelzal attack.
668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chavez breaks up with Israel on: August 04, 2006, 02:04:32 PM
Chavez breaks up with Israel

Dear Israeli friend who might happen to read this blog

The title of this post means exactly what it means: it is Chavez that is breaking up with Israel, not Venezuela. The people of Venezuela are much smarter than that. Or ignorant as the case might be. But Venezuelans of good faith, of good name, of good will, do not break relations either with Israel, or Lebanon, or Iran, or Palestine, or Egypt.

See, Venezuelan people of good will know that the Middle East is a very complicated situation, and we know that we have no business involving ourselves in there, except for trying to help in any way we can, without taking sides, in reaching peace one way or the other. Just as Israel has no business meddling in border problems between Venezuela and Colombia over FARC crossing over as they please.

See, Venezuela is a gorgeous mosaic of people. We have plenty immigrants form diverse areas of the Middle East. But we also gave refuge to many Jews fleeing the horrors of Nazism, or the horrors of Europe diverse forms of intolerance. We know that we all get along, blacks and whites, natives and mestizos, Jews and Muslims, Catholics and Evangelical, commies and democrats. That is, until Chavez was elected president in 1998 and started forcing upon us divisions that were alien to our gentle tropical culture.

Since his election race has become an issue. Useless social warfare has become an issue. Civil rights have become an issue. And none for the good. Now anti semitism is becoming an issue. This blog has reported whenever it could about the creeping anti semitism in Venezuela these days. But do not take only my word: read yesterday's column from Milagros Socorro in El Nacional where she picks up the same disgusting add that appeared in El Nacional last week. Her words on how our beautiful country is torn apart by the vices of a few are only too eloquent.

Now Chavez in his megalomania has turned his gaze to the Middle East where he wants to become a player. I can assure you, dear Israeli leader, or even dear any Middle East reader, that it is a decision of Chavez alone with his camarilla. We, as a people, have never been consulted on what should be Venezuela's policy in the Middle East. And I can assure you that we will never be consulted on that topic by Chavez. In fact, he has long stopped consulting with anyone on anything except perhaps the soon to be corpse of Castro.

I can also assure you one thing: Chavez does not know much about the Middle East and its very complicated history. Nor does he care much about you. See, the only thing he wants is to screw the US in any which way he can, even if it means a close association with the Iran regime of fanatic and intolerant Ayatollahs who have no problem in subjecting women to all sorts of second class citizenship, hanging gay teenagers, persecuting Baahist faith, financing any pro Shia terrorist organization and what ever else uncivilized that one can come up with. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a country as opposed to Venezuelan values of freedom and carefree lifestyle as Iran is. That is why it is so objectionable of Chavez not to even notice that the only thing that Ahmedinejad has not yet said is "a good Jew is a dead Jew". Never in our history we have had a president that openly supported a country whose aim is the elimination of another country.

If you can read Spanish I will recommend an article on how the news was reported in Venezuela. First, he used the commemoration of some local independence event of 1806 to announce the withdrawal of our ambassador to Israel. Funny, because already Venezuela had only a "chag? d'affaires". But Chavez always needs to be bombastic and the charg? became ambassador for a few seconds before he was removed anyway. Then on the same protocol act he decided to change one of our national holydays by moving it from March 12 to August 3. Just like that, because he has decided to rewrite Venezuelan history in a way that satisfies him better, regardless of what really happened in a given date. See, he is like that, changing names, dates, places, at will, like any fascist of commie dictator. All of course duly surrounded by many generals in full drag.

It is important for you to understand that Chavez has long stopped being considered as someone sane. Nobody so obsessed about his glory, his safety, nobody so blindeded by his US hatred can long remain sane. Venezuela is now a military controled regime with someone cetifiable at the helm. You of all people know about these type of guys. So please, do not harbor ill will against the Venezuelan people, keep in mind that any ill advised move of Venezuela in the Middle East comes from Chavez feverish brain alone. We are trying our best to control him but he has too much money and too many amoral cowards getting rich around him, at home as well as abroad. But this shall pass and we will become friends again as we have been friends with all countries in the world. That is what we really are, a friendly people, not the hateful crowd that Chavez would like you to beleive he represents.

--- --- --- --- --- ---
The news is spreading fast. Fausta has a complete summary of Chavez recent eccentricities, break up included. Plus a great photo montage of Chavez and any dictator around, courtesy of Miguel.
669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 04, 2006, 12:41:54 PM
Quote from: rogt
I've mentioned the Iranian Jews twice now and you've had no response.  How do you explain 25,000 Jews choosing to live in a country you claim wants their extermination?

I think it's irrelevant to the issue, and I doubt very much that, given a choice, today they would choose to live in Iran. My family chose to live in Venezuela and for many years it was a good choice until the advent of Hugo Chavez. Today, given the choice, I would not pick Venezuela. Things change. At one time Jews were captives in Persia. Later they were an important part of Persian society. Same in Germany. My father was a German soldier under Bismarck. But under Adolph Hitler he was considered a non-human. Things go around in circles. When we left Germany in 1939 we lost our German citizenship based on a NAZI law that stripped German Jews living outside Germany of their birthright German citizenship. For years this made no difference to me because we were more than welcome in Venezuela. Then with Chavez things changed. He preaches class warfare, not just against Jews but against America, against landholders, against the rich, against anyone or anything that he perceives as an opportunity to vent his venom. As a consequence, I have reacquired my German citizenship. I now have dual citizenship. Germans went from the most advanced and most civilized people on earth who gave us Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, to the scum of the earth under Hitler. Now they have made a comeback into the fold of civilized nations.

The 25,000 Jews is Iran is what is left over from a much larger Jewish community. They have to conform to Sharia law in public. They have one member of parliament who must have a picture of a Mullah in his office. They are not treated as people, they are pets in a zoo for exhibition purposes, for the world to see how civilized the zoo keepers are. Humans are funny that way: we love elephants so we put them in a cage. We love birds so we put them in a cage. We love flowers so we cut them to put in a vase. We love to exhibit Jews so we put them in a virtual cage. Jews wanted out of the Soviet Union, they were not allowed to leave. How is Iran different?
670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 04, 2006, 11:10:43 AM
Hamas, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, radical Islam, it's all the same for me. They all have the same purpose vis a vis Israel so I need make no distinction among them. They attack, we strike back and, on occasion, we strike preemptively when the danger seems extraordinary.

There is nothing wrong with preemptively strikes. It's much the same as vaccinating babies so they don't get sick later. Radical Islam is a virus that needs to be combatted at every level before they can cause the mayhem they set out to cause.

What does that have to do with the exact meaning of "Exterminating Israel?" I don't worry about it. You do, so you explain it. Getting bogged down in hair splitting while people are dying is an absurdity. Stop the war and then we can split hairs.

Sorry, no apologies coming from me on this issue.
671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iran's Strategy Is Crudely Obvious--Why Can't We Fight It? on: August 04, 2006, 12:34:46 AM
August 01, 2006

Iran's Strategy Is Crudely Obvious--So Why Can't We Fight It?

By Robert Tracinski

The new Lebanon War, like much of the War on Terrorism, has a strange character. It is a war in which everyone knows the enemy's strategy, in which it is child's play to see through all of his ruses and propaganda tricks--and yet our leaders, rather than devising their own counter-strategy, fall for every ruse and play along with the enemy's game.

You hear a lot of talk these days about the "clever" Iranians and what good "chess players" they are in the contest of international diplomacy. But the Iranian strategy is, in fact, crudely transparent and obviously morally bankrupt. Everyone can grasp this--yet our leaders keep falling into the Iranian traps.

Everyone knows that Iran is using Hezbollah's war in Lebanon to distract attention from its nuclear weapons program. The Iranians were given a July 5 deadline to suspend uranium enrichment or face "serious consequences." The contemptuous Iranians declared that they wouldn't reply for another six weeks, on August 22. Then Hezbollah--a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iran's Revolutionary Guards--initiated their war in Lebanon, and no one has paid attention to the Iranian nuclear program for the past three weeks. Now, finally, we are sending a new resolution to the UN Security Council--giving Iran until August 31 to agree to talks or face another months-long debate about whether we will impose sanctions against them.

The Iranian strategy to buy time is utterly transparent and not especially clever. It is simple to defeat: declare that Hezbollah's aggression against Israel is proof of Iran's evil intentions and that we don't require any further diplomatic justification to bomb Iran's nuclear sites and bring down its regime.

Instead, Western leaders fell for the Iranian strategy, and the Iranians have pretty much gotten what they wanted.

Everyone knows that Syria is using Hezbollah's war as a way of propping up its security and influence after it was forced to retreat from Lebanon in disgrace last year. By initiating a new war against Israel, the Syrians hope to appeal to the venomous hatred of Israel on the "Arab street," regaining Arab support Syria had lost by assassinating pro-independence leaders in Lebanon. By initiating the war on Lebanese soil, Syria hoped to justify its former military presence there, "proving" that the Syrian withdrawal led only to anarchy and bloodshed--proving it, that is, by causing the bloodshed. Finally, Syria's Baathist regime is using its alliance with the Islamist fanatics of Hezbollah to replace its fading secular ideology with a new, religious foundation.

Again, this is all obvious, and the answer is obvious. By bringing the war home to its Syrian sponsor, we could make it clear that initiating this war will topple the Syrian regime, rather than propping it up.

Instead, American commentators and diplomats have fallen for the Syrian strategy, declaring that this conflict makes it necessary to re-establish negotiations with Syria, offer Syria territorial concessions, and even to compete with Iran for Syria's affections.

Everyone knows that Hezbollah initiated a war with Israel in order to justify its status as a military "state within a state," billing itself as a defender of Lebanon against Israel--even while, far from defending Lebanon, Hezbollah is causing Lebanon to be torn apart. And everyone knows that Hezbollah deliberately operates among Lebanon's civilian population, cynically exploiting the resulting civilian casualties as propaganda.

This has already been ruthlessly dissected by many American and Israeli commentators. See, for example, an excellent editorial in Monday's Washington Times on Hezbollah's use of "human shields," which includes a link to photos of Hezbollah guns and missile launchers positioned in residential apartment blocks. Even better, a hard-hitting column in an Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, quotes an Israeli paratrooper who sums up Hezbollah's tactics: "They are a lousy army. They only win when they hide behind baby carriages."

Both of these articles identify the proper response: point out that Hezbollah is responsible for all civilian casualties in this war, and refuse to allow those casualties to hobble the war effort. Stop rewarding Hezbollah for using civilians as human shields.

Instead, faced with a gory new story about civilian casualties, our own Secretary of State panicked and pressured Israel to agree to a mini-cease-fire, suspending its air war for 48 hours (which Israel, thankfully, did not fully do). According to the New York Times when Condoleezza Rice heard about a new group of Lebanese civilians killed in an Israeli airstrike--with images of the corpses splashed across TV screens in Lebanon and across the Arab world--she "appeared shaken." She then immediately pushed for the Israeli cessation, while "American officials scrambled to try to counter the wrenching TV scenes of the devastation at Qana."

Secretary Rice has a reputation as an intelligent, hard-charging woman who doesn't scare easily. Over the past few months, she has blown that reputation, caving in to Iran and its European sympathizers--and now allowing herself to be panicked into appeasement by predictable images of Lebanese civilian casualties. The Iranians have not been playing a sophisticated diplomatic game--yet they have consistently outplayed Secretary Rice.

Just as obvious as the strategy of the Iranian Axis are the destructive consequences of America's diplomatic retreat in the face of Hezbollah's war.

The French government has taken advantage of Rice's abdication and stepped in to assert a leading role in the crisis--as a defender of Iran. The French foreign minister, speaking today in Beirut, hailed Iran as the potential savior of Lebanon, describing Iran as "a great civilization which is respected and which plays a stabilizing role in the region." If the French are to be part of a "multinational force" in Southern Lebanon, will they be there to disarm Hezbollah--or to protect it?

The joke going around all the blogs recently is that it's not a World War until France surrenders. But it's not really a World War until the French become collaborators.

Similarly, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who sat on the fence for the first few weeks of the war, complaining about Israel but also calling for Hezbollah to be disarmed, sensed the shift in the political winds and threw in with Hezbollah, thanking terrorist leader Hassan Nasrallah for "all those who sacrifice their lives for the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon.''

And remember that every charge made against the Israelis in Lebanon can be applied equally to the Americans in Iraq--which means that Secretary Rice has just given a green light for Iranian-backed firebrand Muqtada al-Sadr to emulate Hezbollah and orchestrate another uprising against the US in Iraq.

The tirades of the Angry Left to the contrary, our leaders are not stupid or incompetent. If the rest of us can figure out the Iranian strategy and see through Iran's tricks, so can they. But something is neutralizing their knowledge. Something is preventing them from turning that knowledge into corresponding action.

Part of what is crippling Western leaders is the sacrifice-worship of the altruist morality, which programs them, in response to human suffering, to suspend thinking and react emotionally. Natan Sharansky recounts a discussion he had with former president Jimmy Carter about why the Palestinian-Israeli "peace process" kept failing. Carter responded, "You know, you are right, but don't try to be too rational about these things. The moment you see people suffering, you should feel solidarity with them and try to help them without thinking too much about the reasons."

But even more insidious is a kind of cognitive altruism that tells men to sacrifice, not just their interests, but their judgment, subordinating their knowledge to the opinions and prejudices of others. That is what seems to be operating here. Whatever Secretary Rice knows about the Iranians' strategy is discarded the moment lurid images of civilian casualties are splashed across the front pages of European newspapers and the broadcasts of Arab television stations. Just as, in this self-abnegating morality, you have to consider the interests of everyone except yourself--so, in this morality of cognitive self-abnegation, you have to consider everyone's opinion except your own. Thus, faced with the united force of "world opinion," the formerly "tough-minded" Secretary of State was flustered into an ignominious surrender of American interests.

This is a strange kind of war, in which we have more than enough military capability to crush the enemy's "lousy army." Nor do we lack the intellectual power to understand and counteract the enemy's strategy. But we lack the moral confidence to use both our power and our knowledge.

But in the life-and-death struggle with totalitarian Islam, there is no room for Western self-abnegation. On the contrary, what we need is a proud, righteous self-assertion, the unapologetic pursuit of America's and Israel's vital interests, unbowed by appeals to pity or to "world opinion."

In recent months, there has been a rebellion brewing on the right in protest against the Bush administration's appeasement of Iran. Secretary Rice's recent capitulation, if it goes uncorrected, ought to be the event that brings that rebellion to the boiling point, threatening President Bush with the defection of his remaining political "base." It will be a bruising political rebellion, and it should probably require the firing of Condoleezza Rice--a crushing concession for George Bush to make--to satisfy a justified fury against the administration's recent policies.

But if our leaders won't provide an assertive American national defense on their own power, we will have to demand it of them. If they won't lead the way against our enemies, we will have to lead and force them to follow.

Robert Tracinski writes daily commentary at He is the editor of The Intellectual Activist and
672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chavez withdraws Venezuelan envoy citing Israeli 'genocide on: August 03, 2006, 07:58:35 PM
Chavez withdraws Venezuelan envoy citing Israeli 'genocide'

By The Associated Press

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday he has recalled his country's ambassador to Israel to show his "indignation" over the military offensive in Lebanon.

"We have ordered the withdrawal of our ambassador in Israel," Chavez said in a televised speech, calling Israeli attacks in Lebanon "genocide."

"It really causes indignation to see how the state of Israel continues bombing, killing ... with all of the power they have, with the support of the United States," Chavez said after a military parade in the northwestern state of Falcon.

The leftist Venezuelan leader has repeatedly criticized Israel's offensive aimed at Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, noting mounting civilian deaths and saying the United Nations should act to halt the violence.

"It's hard explain to oneself how nobody does anything to stop this horror," said Chavez, whose government has until recently said it had good relations with Israel.

Chavez, an outspoken critic of Washington, also criticized what he called a relentless "campaign" by the U.S. government to keep Venezuela from obtaining a seat on the UN Security Council. U.S. officials have backed Guatemala for the seat, saying Venezuela would be a disruptive influence on the council.

The Venezuelan leader, a close ally and protege of Cuban President Fidel Castro, spoke after returning from an international tour that took him to Argentina, Belarus, Russia, Qatar, Iran, Vietnam, Mali and Benin. While in Iran, Chavez called the Israeli offensive in Lebanon a "fascist outrage."

"The Israeli elite repeatedly criticize Hitler's actions against the Jews, and indeed Hitler's actions must be criticized, not just against the Jews but against the world," Chavez said during his visit to Iran, adding: "It's also fascism what Israel is doing to the Palestinian people ... terrorism and fascism."

Venezuela has both Arab immigrant and Jewish communities, and officials have insisted the government will continue to fully respect the Jewish community despite its strong opposition to Israel's war in Lebanon.

Some in Venezuela have protested against the fighting in Lebanon, including one group that burned an Israeli flag outside the Israeli embassy last month.

But we also support coexistence:
673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 03, 2006, 03:54:46 PM
Quote from: rogt
OK, "elimination of the Zionist regime" can mean a lot of things.  What I want to know is whether these Muslim leaders really mean "exterminate Jews" instead of just replacement of the current Israeli government.
Well, sum it up:

Suicide bombings
Rocket attacks
Calls for boycotting Israel
Flying into the Twin Towers
The London bombing
The Madrid bombing
The Beirut US Embassy bombing
The Bali bombing
The USS Cole bombing
The Buenos Aires bombing

Does this sound like a love fest of some sort?

Some people just don't want to see reality. What proof do you want? The extermination of Israel?
674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: August 03, 2006, 03:36:55 PM
Quote from: rogt
We constantly hear about how Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. deny "Israel's right to exist", that they want to "destroy Israel", or "exterminate all Jews". The source is a statement (in Arabic or Farsi) supposedly from the Hamas charter. It would be interesting to see a US news agency interview an actual Hamas leader, tell him how this statement is being interpreted in the US, and ask him directly if this is what they really mean.


Ahmadinejad's call to destroy Israel draws French condemnation

By The Associated Press

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the solution to the Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel, Iranian state media reported.

In a speech during an emergency meeting of Muslim leaders in Malaysia, Ahmadinejad also called for an immediate cease-fire to end the fighting between Israel and the Iranian-back group Hezbollah.

"Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented," Ahmadinejad said, according to state-run television in a report posted on its Web site.

675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How to poison children's minds on: July 31, 2006, 08:31:57 PM
Does this remind you of Hitler youth?

Beirut march marks Qana bombing

Thursday 27 April 2006, 21:33 Makka Time, 18:33 GMT  

About 2,000 children have marched through the streets of Beirut armed with fake rockets in a rally organised by Hezbollah to mark the anniversary of a deadly Israeli bombardment 10 years ago.
676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: July 31, 2006, 08:24:13 PM
I posted the link at a blog I frequent and someone posted two related links:

Note: If you are squeamish, don't go there, lots of dead bodies:

Who is this man?

If he had been a genuine rescue worker, he would deserve a medal. Mr "Green Helmet" is everywhere at Qana, rushing around pulling children out of the rubble, carting them to ambulances and even, on the front page of the Guardian, escorting "White Tee-shirt", who also performs his own cameo role, carting round the body of another unfortunate girl, emoting freely while he does so.

Milking it?

Certainly, the photographs are distressing, and indeed they are meant to be. As this piece tells us:
677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Message from Brigitte Gabriel on: July 30, 2006, 01:29:15 AM
Message from the President and Founder
Brigitte Gabriel

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to visit our website, American Congress for Truth. Evil prevails when good people do nothing. With the spread of radical Islamic fundamentalism throughout the world, it is important for the people of the western world to know and understand what to expect and what to do about it.

We are faced with a war that has been declared on Christians and Jews in America and the world. Citizens of the most powerful country on earth watched in horror on 9/11, 2001 as a handful of men brought the United States of America to its knees. Wall Street froze, the stock market tumbled, and national air traffic ground to a halt. The West faces a threat more menacing today than the past goals of communist world domination.

We are facing an enemy that uses children as human bombs, mothers as suicide bombers, and men driven by the glory of death and the promise of eternal sexual bliss in heaven. We are fighting an enemy that loves death more than we love life. I am a victim of the Lebanese civil war, which was the first front in the worldwide Jihad of militant Islam against the only Christian country in the Middle East. My family?s home was shelled and destroyed leaving me wounded. I lived underground in a bomb shelter from age 10 to 17 without electricity and very little food. I had to crawl under sniper bullets to a spring to fetch water for my elderly parents. I was betrayed by my country, rescued by my enemy Israel, the Jewish State that is under attack for its existence today.

911 changed most American lives forever, but it struck an especially sensitive chord with me. It reminded me that the entire world is threatened by the same radical Islamic theology that succeeded in annihilating the ?infidels? in Lebanon. That?s why I created American Congress for Truth. ACT was formed in June 2002 to inform, inspire and motivate Jews and Christians throughout society in ways to act and fight for our western ways of life and the values we cherish. Our members include Jews, Arabs and Christians from all background both secular and religious, liberals and conservatives. People who have put their differences aside to combat both anti American and anti Israel propaganda masquerading as anti Imperialism and anti Zionism wherever it exists; in the western media, among the intellectual elite, and on American college Campuses.

So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. I urge you to become an ACT activist and join a growing network of Americans concerned about securing their nation from acts of terrorism. Through American Congress for Truth you can be a voice effecting the future of your community and your nation.

Thank you for your support. You are the heroes who make all our work possible. And I especially thank you for helping me protect the country that has blessed me so much, America, the dream that became my address.

Brigitte Gabriel
678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thank You Israel on: July 30, 2006, 01:13:01 AM
Thank You Israel
By Brigitte Gabriel

For the millions of Christian Lebanese, driven out of our homeland, "Thank you Israel," is the sentiment echoing from around the world. The Lebanese Foundation for Peace, an international group of Lebanese Christians, made the following statement in a press release to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert concerning the latest Israeli attacks against Hezbollah:

"We urge you to hit them hard and destroy their terror infrastructure. It is not [only] Israel who is fed up with this situation, but the majority of the silent Lebanese in Lebanon who are fed up with Hezbollah and are powerless to do anything out of fear of terror retaliation."

Their statement continues, "On behalf of thousands of Lebanese, we ask you to open the doors of Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport to thousands of volunteers in the Diaspora willing to bear arms and liberate their homeland from [Islamic] fundamentalism.

We ask you for support, facilitation and logistics in order to win this struggle and achieve together the same objectives: Peace and Security for Lebanon and Israel and our future generations to come."

The once dominate Lebanese Christians responsible for giving the world "the Paris of the Middle East" as Lebanon used to be known, have been killed, massacred, driven out of their homes and scattered around the world as radical Islam declared its holy war in the 70s and took hold of the country.

They voice an opinion that they and Israel have learned from personal experience, which is now belatedly being discovered by the rest of the world.

While the world protected the PLO withdrawing from Lebanon in 1983 with Israel hot on their heals, another more volatile and religiously idealistic organization was being born: Hezbollah, "the Party of God," founded by Ayatollah Khomeini and financed by Iran. It was Hezbollah who blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in October,1983 killing 241 Americans and 67 French paratroopers that same day. President Reagan ordered U.S. Multilateral Force units to withdraw and closed the books on the marine massacre and US involvement in Lebanon February 1984.

The civilized world, which erroneously vilified the Christians and Israel back then and continues to vilify Israel now, was not paying attention. While America and the rest of the world were concerned about the Israeli / PLO problem, terrorist regimes in Syria and Iran fanned Islamic radicalism in Lebanon and around the world.

Hezbollah's Shiite extremists began multiplying like proverbial rabbits out-producing moderate Sunnis and Christians. Twenty-five years later they have produced enough people to vote themselves into 24 seats in the Lebanese parliament. Since the Israeli pull out in 2000, Lebanon has become a terrorist base completely run and controlled by Syria with its puppet Lebanese President Lahood and the Hezbollah "state within a state."

The Lebanese army has less than 10,000 military troops. Hezbollah has over 4,000 trained militia forces and there are approximately 700 Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. So why can't the army do the job? Because the majority of Lebanese Muslims making up the army will split and unite along religious lines with the Islamic forces just like what happened in 1976 at the start of the Lebanese civil war.

It all boils down to a war of Islamic Jihad ideology vs. Judeo Christian Westernism. Muslims who are now the majority of Lebanon's population, support Hezbollah because they are part of the Islamic Ummah-the nation. This is the taboo subject everyone is trying to avoid.

The latest attacks on Israel have been orchestrated by Iran and Syria driven by two different interests. Syria considers Lebanon a part of "greater" Syria. Young Syrian President Assad and his Ba'athist military intelligence henchmen in Damascus are using this latest eruption of violence to prove to the Lebanese that they need the Syrian presence to protect them from the Israeli aggression and to stabilize the country. Iran is conveniently using its Lebanese puppet army Hezbollah, to distract the attention of world leaders meeting at the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, from its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Apocalyptic Iranian President Ahmadinejad and the ruling Mullah clerics in Tehran want to assert hegemony in the Islamic world under the banner of Shia Mahdist madness. Ahmadinejad wants to seal his place as top Jihadist for Allah by make good his promise to "wipe Israel off  the map.

No matter how much the west avoids facing the reality of Islamic extremism of the Middle East, the west cannot hide from the fact that the same Hamas and Hezbollah that Israel is fighting over there, are of the same radical Islamic ideology that has fomented carnage and death through terrorism that America and the world are fighting. This is the same Hezbollah that Iran is threatening to unleash in America with suicide bomb attacks if America tries to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapon. They have cells in over 10 cities in the United States. Hamas, has the largest terrorist infrastructure on American soil. This is what happens when you turn a blind eye to evil for decades, hoping it will go away.

Sheik Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, is an Iranian agent. He is not a free actor in this play. He has been involved in terrorism for over 25 years. Iran with its Islamic vision for a Shia Middle East now has its agents, troops and money in Gaza in the Palestinian territories,Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Behind this is this vision that drives the Iranian President Ahmadinejad who believes he is Allah's "tool and facilitator" bringing the end of the world as we know it and the ushering in of the era of the Mahdi. He has a blind messianic belief in the Shiite tradition of the 12th or "hidden" Islamic savior who will emerge from a well in the holy city of Qum in Iran after global chaos, catastrophes and mass deaths and establish the era of Islamic Justice and everlasting peace.

President Ahmadinejad has refused so far to respond to proposals from the U.S., EU, Russia and China on the UN Security Council to cease Iran's relentless quest for nuclear enrichment and weapons development program until August 22nd. Why August 22nd? Because August 22nd, coincides with the Islamic date of Rajab 28, the day the great Salah El-Din conquered Jerusalem.

Ahmadinejad's extremists ideology in triggering Armageddon gives great concerns to the intelligence community.

At this point the civilized world must unite in fighting the same enemies plaguing Israel and the world with terrorism. We need to stop analyzing the enemies' differences as Sunni-Hamas or Shiite-Hezbollah, and start understanding that their common bond in their fight against us is radical Islam.
679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The roots of WWIII on: July 29, 2006, 01:34:55 PM
This video explains the roots of WWIII, it's a video that we all should watch. The film is supposed to be in theaters next month.
680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Australian values, Muslim clerics, anti-Americanism on: July 29, 2006, 10:29:36 AM
Interview with Tony Jones - Lateline
Tuesday, 23 August 2005 - 10.40 pm

SUBJECTS: Australian values, Muslim clerics, anti-Americanism, Telstra

Peter Costello thanks for joining us.

Good to be with you, Tony.

Now, over the past 24 hours you've been repeating the notion that migrants, evidently Islamic migrants, who don't like Australia, or Australian values, should think of packing up and moving to another country. Is that a fair assessment?

What I've said is that this is a country, which is founded on a democracy. According to our Constitution, we have a secular state. Our laws are made by the Australian Parliament. If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you. This is not the kind of country where you would feel comfortable if you were opposed to democracy, parliamentary law, independent courts and so I would say to people who don't feel comfortable with those values there might be other countries where they'd feel more comfortable with their own values or beliefs.

It sounds like you're inviting Muslims who don't want to integrate to go to another country. Is it as simple as that?

No. I'm saying if you are thinking of coming to Australia, you ought to know what Australian values are.

But what about if you're already here and you don't want to integrate?

Well, I'll come to that in a moment. But there are some clerics who have been quoted as saying they recognise two laws. They recognise Australian law and Sharia law. There's only one law in Australia, it's the Australian law. For those coming to Australia, I think we ought to be very clear about that. We expect them to recognise only one law and to observe it.

Now, for those who are born in Australia, I'd make the same point. This is a country which has a Constitution. Under its Constitution, the state is secular. Under its constitution, the law is made by the parliament. Under its Constitution, it's enforced by the judiciary. These are Australian values and they're not going to change and we would expect people, when they come to Australia or if they are born in Australia, to respect those values.

I take it that if you're a dual citizen and you have the opportunity to leave and you don't like Australian values, you're encouraging them to go away; is that right?

Well, if you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country which practises it, perhaps then that's a better option.

But isn't this the sort of thing you hear in pubs, the meaningless populism you hear on talkback radio? Essentially, the argument is if you don't like it here, you should go back home.

No. Essentially, the argument is Australia expects its citizens to abide by core beliefs - democracy, the rule of law, the independent judiciary, independent liberty. You see, Tony, when you come to Australia and you go to take out Australian citizenship you either swear on oath or make an affirmation that you respect Australia's democracy and its values. That's what we ask of people that come to Australia and if they don't, then it's very clear that this is not the country - if they can't live with them - whose values they can't share. Well, there might be another country where their values can be shared.

Who exactly are you aiming this at? Are you aiming it at young Muslims who don't want to integrate or are you aiming it at clerics like Sheikh Omran or Abu Bakr both from Melbourne?

I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia, one the Australian law and another the Islamic law, that that is false. It's not the situation in Australia. It's not the situation under our Constitution. There's only one law in Australia. It's the law that's made by the Parliament of Australia and enforced by our courts. There's no second law. There's only one law that applies in Australia and Australia expects its citizens to observe it.

But you're not moving to the next stage, as they have in Britain, of actively seeking out clerics who teach what they regard as dangerous philosophy to young Muslims and forcing them to leave the country?

The only thing I would say - and let me say it again - is we can't be ambivalent about this point. Australia has one law, Australia has a secular state and anybody who teaches to the contrary doesn't know Australia and anybody who can't accept that, can't accept something that is fundamental to the nature of our society.

All right. But the situation now, as far as you're concerned, if they are to leave, it should be completely voluntary.

Well, I'm just saying if they object to a secular state with parliamentary law, there might be other countries where the system of law is more acceptable to them.

Alright. Could that situation change? I mean, the voluntary nature of it at least, could you compel people to leave, including radical preachers, if there were a terrorist attack in Australia, as there was in London not so long ago?

Well, where a person has dual citizenship, Tony, it might be possible to ask them to exercise that other citizenship where they could just as easily exercise a citizenship of another country. That might be a live possibility.

You mean to force them to leave?

Well, you could ask them to exercise another citizenship.

But you would only do that if there were a terrorist attack in the aftermath of it. You wouldn't do it, for example, if there were a thwarted terrorist attack as ASIO has told us there has been in this country?

Well, I am not going into individual circumstances. I just make the point that where people have dual citizenship and they're not comfortable with the way Australia is structured, it may be possible to ask them to exercise their other citizenship.


Well, as I said, it may be possible to ask them to exercise their other citizenship.

Let's move on. You made a speech at the weekend in which you warned that Australia could be hurt by growing anti-Americanism or Australia's interests at least could be hurt by growing anti-Americanism in the world. How could that happen?

Well, I think there is a lot of anti-Americanism in Australia. It's not just in Australia. It there's anti-Americanism in Europe and other parts of the world and to some degree it may be less in Australia than in countries like France or in parts of the Arab world. But I don't believe we can be complacent about it. It is a real strand of public opinion and I think we ought to engage it and discuss it. The point I'm trying to make is we in Australia have no reason to be anti-American; that where American power has been exercised, such as in the World War II, it was exercised in the defence of Australia, not the attack of Australia. By and large, American power, which is exercised in defence of democracy and in individual liberty, is supportive of Australia in its interests and not a threat to it.

You said to Laurie Oakes on Sunday that anti-Americanism can easily morph into anti-Westernism and effectively that could threaten our interests. How could that happen?

Well, we've seen with some terrorist attacks already that Western places are targets. Not necessarily because there are Australians present, but because in the terrorist mind there are Westerners present, whether they be Americans or Britons or Australians.

This is to do with anti-Americanism?

Well, as I said, anti-Westernism, and terrorists don't particularly distinguish when they're setting off bombs, can hit Australians as much as it can hit Americans or it can hit Britons.

But this is anti-Americanism morphing into a broader anti-Western feeling which could affect Australian interests. Is that what you are saying?

Well, there have been occasions when Australians have been hit by terrorist incidents where people haven't distinguished between whether it's Americans or Britons or Australians. There is a strand of terrorist thinking that says that anybody who is a Westerner is a legitimate target.

But the core of it is anti-American from what you are saying? The logic of what you are saying is pretty clear.

In some terrorist minds, if you're hitting a Westerner, you're hitting a legitimate target. The point I want to make is that because we're Westerners, in the minds of some terrorists we can be targets. So it's in our interests to defend the values of the West and it's in our interests to explain our policy. It's in America's interests to defend its own image and I would urge it to do so and I would also say to Australia's security -

You seem to be suggesting that anti-Americanism is in fact a dangerous thing for Australians.

Well, it is in a security sense because the US is Australia's principal defence partner. When I say there is a danger of anti-Americanism in Australia amongst Australians, what I'm saying is, particularly amongst younger Australians, if they don't understand the events of 1942 when the US was the principal ally defending Australia and without which we wouldn't have been able to defend the islands to our near north, if they don't understand that, they may not understand what the importance of the American alliance is to the defence of Australia and our strategic interests.

I don't want to keep coming back to this necessarily, but you've made the point quite clearly that anti-Americanism can morph into anti-Westernism and that threatens our interests. It threatens our interest, does it, because we could, like Americans, as a result of anti-Americanism become terrorist targets?

We have become terrorist targets because we are perceived to be Western. We've become terrorist targets because we are perceived to stand for a whole lot of values, which in the terrorist mind they oppose. Australians became terrorists in Bali not because of anything Australia did, but because in Bali they were perceived to be Westerners and in a sick terrorist mind that makes you a target.

Right. Given that the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq is probably the leading cause of anti-Americanism in the Arab world, does that make us, as an ally of the Americans, a greater target for terrorists?

I don't think it's the principle cause at all. I think if you want to look for perceived areas of anti-Americanism in the Arab world, it was around a lot before Iraq. It's been around for a very long time, Tony, and most of it, I believe -

I'm talking about what's happening right now. We're seeing it even in the lead-up to the Islamic summit we've been having in Canberra. What we are hearing is young Australian Muslims are particularly angry with the American-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

No, I couldn't disagree with you more profoundly. There was substantial hostility to the US in the Arab world long before Iraq. Whether it's over perceived injustices to Islam, whether it's over the Palestinian issue, whether it's over support for Israel. Most of these things, and I don't believe justify hostility at all, but it's been there long before Iraq. Let me tell you this, Tony - you are profoundly wrong if you thought hostility to the United States started in 2003. It was around a long before that.

I don't believe I said or even suggested that, but let's move on if we can.

No, no, no. You said the primary cause...

At the present moment.

..of anti-Americanism...

At the present moment.

TREASURER: the Arab world was the war in Iraq...

At the present moment.

..and I explained to you, long before the war in Iraq, the attack on the US on the World Trade Centre showed there were great causes of disaffection to America long before Iraq, Tony.

That's completely understood, but I did say "at the present moment". Can we move on from foreign affairs and onto your own portfolio. How much revenue did the Government get from its dividends on the Telstra shares last year?

[snip]They talk about Telstra[/snip]

Peter Costello, we'll have to leave it there. We thank you very much once again for taking the time to come and talk to us tonight.

Thanks, Tony.
681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / An 'e-mail from Nasrallah' on: July 28, 2006, 06:02:39 PM
An 'e-mail from Nasrallah'

By Tom Segev

A man named Nasrallah whom I don't know sent me an e-mail this week. I thought that he was from Beirut. So I asked, naturally, and with no little hope, if there were a connection. As often happens in dialogues with our neighbors - this was the wrong question to ask. He has no connection to that Nasrallah, he replied, probably in a slightly reproachful tone.

The man in question is Yousry Nasrallah, the Egyptian film director. Recently he had directed the film "Bab al-Shams" ("The Gate of the Sun"), based on the book by Elias Khoury. Nasrallah forwarded to me a public appeal from Beirut, composed by Lebanese theater director Roger Assaf. He's one of the best there is in that country, Nasrallah wrote.

Along with the pope, the French president, the German chancellor and, of course, Israel, Assaf denounced the alliance between Syria and Iran, which has nothing at all to do with the true interest of Lebanon and has brought disaster upon it. His language is poetic. He writes about his dreams of a better world - one in which the children of Israel won't grow up amid the spirit of hatred and nationalist-militarist hysteria, one in which Palestinian and Lebanese children won't grow up amid the spirit of vengeance. He and his friends live in the spirit of Plato and Gandhi and Albert Camus and other humanist philosophers and intellectuals, he said.

Yousry Nasrallah sent me a second e-mail in which he explained the background to Assaf"s letter: "In July 2006, there are people (maybe I should use the past tense) who are neither with Iran, nor with Syria, nor with Hezbollah, nor with Israel. People who do not want to be used by either of these powers as human shields or targets. People who have tried these past few years to build a new Lebanon that is free from all this."

He sounds like a few people I know in Haifa.

The news of the deterioration this week in Ariel Sharon's condition caught many Israelis by surprise: Oh, yeah, Ariel Sharon. His illness spared him what would have been a terribly embarrassing confrontation with his failures: the growing power of Hezbollah in Lebanon, right under his nose; and the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections and the firing of Qassams at the south. The man who in his last days earned the admiration of the entire world, as if he were a great statesman and architect of peace, now appears to have been one of the worst prime ministers Israel ever had, maybe even worse than Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak.

If it weren't for the current war in Lebanon, this week everyone would almost certainly have been talking about the withdrawal from Gaza, on its first anniversary, and the summary isn't very positive: Instead of the areas of the settlements evacuated by Israel being put to use for the welfare of the Palestinians, they were taken over by the Qassam gangs. The Israel Defense Forces intensified the means of oppression and Gaza is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster. A further withdrawal in the West Bank, in an effort to make good on the promises made by Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz, doesn't appear possible right now.

Did all this have to happen? Maybe not. In this sense, the withdrawal from Gaza is similar to the Oslo Accords: a missed opportunity. Had the withdrawal been carried out in the context of an agreement with the Palestinians, rather than as a unilateral "disengagement," or had free passage been allowed meanwhile between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank - perhaps everything would have been different. In any event, the Gush Katif settlements were a reckless adventure and their dismantling has not caused a national trauma. But after almost a year of Qassam fire, a giant "We told you so" is hanging over the public discourse.

The forced evacuation of thousands of Israelis, which was executed without too much difficulty, threatens to lay the groundwork for an eventual expulsion of masses of Palestinians, too. The bombardment of Beirut and the instigation of mass flight by inhabitants of south Lebanon are turning the harming of civilians into a matter of routine. This is the legacy of Ariel Sharon: The fate of human beings always interested him less than military considerations.

If he could still speak today, one wonders whether Sharon would admit that he erred. Maybe not. So few politicians are capable of that. I would like to show Sharon Errol Morris' film, "The Fog of War" (2003), about Robert S. McNamara and tape his reaction. It's a movie that is well worth watching again, especially this week.

One night, during World War II, the Americans bombarded Tokyo, causing about 100,000 residents to be burned alive in their homes. Countless civilians were killed in other Japanese cities, all before the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No, this wasn't proportional to the war objectives of the United States, says McNamara, the former U.S. secretary of defense.

A graduate of Harvard, McNamara was the president of the Ford Motor Company where, among other things, he introduced seatbelts in cars. He joined the Kennedy administration as secretary of defense and stayed on in the Johnson administration. Toward the end of 1967, McNamara realized that the war in Vietnam was lost and he proposed to Johnson that the United States stop its bombardments of cities in North Vietnam. Johnson reacted angrily and McNamara ended up leaving to take charge of the World Bank. Four years and about 60,000 dead later, he gazes into Errol Morris' camera and, with the wisdom of hindsight, says simply: We made a mistake. He bears part of the blame for this terrible failure and is doing his best to impart to the world the lessons that he learned. He came up with 11 lessons in all, including the importance of intelligence, before and during the course of the war, and the need to get into the mind of the enemy and to understand him.

McNamara says the United States didn't understand the motivations of North Vietnam and that the latter did not understand those of the United States: North Vietnam was not a pawn in the hands of the Communist Bloc, as the Americans believed - and America did not aspire to rule Vietnam as a colonial power, as the Vietnamese believed. McNamara warns of the tendency to assume that rational thinking will halt acts of madness: The three protagonists in the Cuban missile crisis - Nikita Krushchev, Fidel Castro and John F. Kennedy - were all rational people. A review of the historic documentation shows that all three were prepared to go all the way - to nuclear war, that is.

The seventh lesson that McNamara offers to history is the most important of all: Very often, heads of states and armies do not really see what they think they see. They see what they expect to see, what they want to see, what's convenient for them to see. McNamara suggests that leaders take a second look at their assumptions at the moment of reckoning: Not only can intelligence be faulty, the basic conceptions guiding them may also be flawed. The communist threat that stood at the center of the Western world's thinking turned out years later to be an optical illusion. Today the Western world believes in the Islamic threat. The rhetoric accompanying the war in Lebanon sounds in part like it was borrowed from the Vietnam War.

What will happen to small nations if we abandon Vietnam to communism? - that was the question frequently posed by President Johnson. And McNamara spoke of the "domino effect": If South Vietnam falls to the communists, all of East Asia will follow suit. He wasn't lying. He sincerely believed that. Looking back, he offers his own definition of the phrase "the fog of war": an unclear vision of reality.

Politicians like to pat themselves on the back for the inner conviction that guides them, and for their determination to do what they deem to be right. McNamara advocates a more important quality: skepticism. The skepticism that eventually saved America from itself was born in the media there.

The film "The Fog of War," which earned an Oscar for its creator, is available for rental at local video libraries.

A diplomatic dispute erupted a little while ago between the State of Israel and the kingdom of Great Britain, and this week it was resolved before the IDF would have, very regretfully, been compelled to bombard London. Interior Minister Roni Bar-On told the tale in the Knesset.

Her Majesty's ambassador had protested a sign put up by the Jerusalem Municipality marking the 60th anniversary of the bombing of the King David Hotel. The British wanted the sign removed. Negotiations began. The sign that veterans of the Irgun underground had wanted to erect said that the British were warned ahead of time but, "despite this, for reasons known only to them, the British did not evacuate the hotel." In other words - the British are to blame. The original sign listed the identity of the 92 victims, who included Jews and Arabs and others. The new sign that was put up this week says only: "The hotel was not evacuated." According to the sign, the losses caused were "very regrettable," i.e., the intention was to carry out an attack without casualties.

In the English version that was on the original sign, the stronger term "dismay" was added. Dismay that the British didn't evacuate the hotel. On the new sign - that additional word is gone.

There are other differences. Here is a good topic for a study of Israelis' attitudes to terror attacks. A bit of this came up in the Knesset discussion, too.

Reuven Rivlin (Likud) complained that Israel had given into the Brits' demands: "In wake of this letter, will they be able to come with other letters? For example, that the daughter of one of the Irgun leaders can't serve as foreign minister? Or will the appointment or election of Menachem Begin as prime minister of Israel for two terms in a row be retroactively nullified? Will (Israel) Eldad's son be unable to serve as a Knesset member? These are questions that just need to be asked. After all, we're talking about the blowing up of the command center that was the symbol of the British Mandate in Palestine that prevented the immigration of the uprooted from the fields of the burning of our people in Europe."

Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism), on the other hand, protested the whole idea of honoring the attack on the hotel: "I really don't understand what this celebration is all about ... We're acting like the goyim [gentiles]. Blood was spilled. Dozens of people were killed. What's to celebrate?"

The interior minister brought the discussion to a close with these timely words from the Passover Haggadah: "In every generation there are those who rise up against us and seek to destroy us. But the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hands."
682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Canadian soldier's report from South Lebanon on: July 28, 2006, 02:58:36 AM

I found a Canadian site with the full text of the email:

What I can tell you is this: we have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both artillery and aerial bombing. The closest artillery has landed within 2 meters of our position and the closest 1000 lb aerial bomb has landed 100 meters from our patrol base. This has not been deliberate targeting, but has rather been due to tactical necessity.

A Canadian soldier's report from South Lebanon
Updated Wed. Jul. 26 2006 5:19 PM ET

After the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah, and the subsequent bombing campaign began against Lebanon, received an email from Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener, a Canadian Forces soldier serving with the UN in South Lebanon.

"If you are interested in a Canadian perspective on the events of yesterday and what is happening here in the area I am serving in, I can provide some concise info for you about the current situation," he wrote.

Major Hess-von Kruedener in South Lebanon in March, meeting with one of the Mouktars of a Druze village called Bourhoz.
With the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Major Hess-von Kruedener was the only Canadian serving as a United Nations Military Observer in Lebanon.  He was stationed at the UN base about 10 kilometres from where the Syrian, Lebanese and Israeli borders meet. The UN's mission there is to report ceasefire violations.
On July 25, that base came under fire from Israeli artillery and was struck by a precision-guided aerial bomb. Four UN observers died. On July 26, the federal government said Hess-von Kruedener was missing and presumed dead.

Here is his full email, written July 18, with background on the mission and the current situation:

We have had a brief "tactical pause" in the action here, so I am taking this opportunity to provide you some information on the situation here in south Lebanon. At the outset, I will provide you with a brief background on who I am, What the Org and Mission is here and then answer some of the bank of questions you provided.


My name is Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener, and I am an Infantry Officer with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, of the Canadian Forces. I was sent to this Mission (United Nations Truce and Supervision Organization -UNTSO) last October 05, and am currently serving as an unarmed Military Observer. I have now been stationed here in south Lebanon for Approximately nine months.

I am currently writing to you from the UN Patrol Base Khiam, which is situated approximately 10 km from the nexus of the Israeli, Lebanese and Syrian Borders. I am serving with Observer Group Lebanon, or OGL, and I am on Team Sierra. The Patrol Base is named after the village it is situated in, El Khiam, which sits on one of four ridges which dominates both the Hasbani River valley, which then changes to the Houla Valley when it crosses the Lebanon-Israel border 10 km to our south.

A Canadian soldier mans a guard tower at Camp Ziouani, Golan Heights, in 2002. Thousands of Canadians have served in this border region since 1958. (Photo: MCpl Frank Hudec, Canadian Forces Combat Camera
The patrol base was initially an observation post and was built in 1972, but was later destroyed in 1976 during the fighting between the PLO and the South Lebanese Army (SLA). In 1978 it was rebuilt again and manned by elements of the Norwegian Battalion serving with UNIFIL. In 1980, Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) assumed responsibility for it. Historically, the area of the El Khiam and Hasbani valleys to the north and the Houla valley to the south have been the main axis for invasion in to Lebanon and Palestinian Territories.


The mission of Team Sierra and OGL within the greater context of UNTSO is to maintain the integrity of theWithdrawal Line (Blue Line), and report on any and all violations or activities that threaten the cease-fire and international peace and security here along the Lebanese/Israeli border, and Israeli Occupied Lebanon, and to support the UNSC resolution 1559, within our mission mandate.

Information Requested

(1) Currently, there are several nationalities that are here on the patrol base with me. I am serving with an Australian, Chinese, Finnish, Austrian, and Irish Officers. They come from various different backgrounds, levels of experience and services (Army, Navy and Air Force) from within their militaries.

(2) I have been here for nine months of a one-year tour of duty. Since I have arrived here in Lebanon, this current incident is the fourth I have seen and by far the most spectacular and intensive.
  • The first was 21 Nov 05, when the Hezbollah tried to capture IDF soldiers from an IDF observation position overlooking the Wazzani river near the town of Ghajjar on the Blue Line. This action was unsuccessful and resulted in the deaths of the Hezbollah raiding force.
  • On 01 Feb 06, a young shepherd boy was Killed by an IDF patrol near an abandon goat farm called Bastarra. Hassan Nasrallah (note: Hezbollah's leader) vowed that there would be consequences to this action. Team Sierra was tasked on 2 Feb 06, to assist in the investigation of the incident, and we sent one team to do so while the other team conducted its normal mobile patrolling activities.
  • On 03 Feb 06, a limited engagement took place initiated by the Hezbollah on several of the IDF defensive positions located in occupied Lebanon.
  • Then on 28 May, the Islamic Jihad (PLO) fired rockets from South Lebanon, into Israel, which elicited an immediate aerial bombardment of positions near our patrol base and in the Bekka valley.[/list:u]
    (3) Our Team's normal operational activities are to plan, and execute daily vehicle and foot patrols of the Blue Line area within our area of responsibility. Unfortunately, with the current artillery and aerial bombing campaign being carried out by the IDF/IAF, it is not safe or prudent for us to conduct normal patrol activities. Currently, we are observing and reporting on all activities in our area of responsibility, with specific attention to activities along the Blue Line, which is clearly visible from our hilltop position.

    (4) Team Sierra is currently observing both IDF/IAF and Hezbollah military clashes from our vantage point which has a commanding view of the IDF positions on the Golan mountains to our east and the IDF positions along the Blue Line to our south, as well as, most of the Hezbollah static positions in and around our patrol Base. It appears that the lion's share of fighting between the IDF and Hezbollah has taken place in our area. On the night of 16 July, at 2125 hrs, a large firefight broke out between the Hezbollah and the IDF near a village called Majidyye and lasted for one hour and 40 minutes.

    (5) Based on the intensity and volatility of this current situation and the unpredictability of both sides (Hezbollah and Israel), and given the operational tempo of the Hezbollah and the IDF, we are not safe to venture out to conduct our normal patrol activities. We have now switched to Observation Post Duties and are observing any and all violations as they occur.

    This is all the information of a non-tactical nature that I can provide you. I cannot give you any info on Hezbollah position, proximity or the amount of or types of sorties the IAF is currently flying. Suffice to say that the activity levels and operational tempo of both parties is currently very high and continuous, with short breaks or pauses. Please understand the nature of my job here is to be impartial and to report violations from both sides without bias. As an Unarmed Military Observer, this is my raison d'etre.

    What I can tell you is this: we have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both artillery and aerial bombing. The closest artillery has landed within 2 meters of our position and the closest 1000 lb aerial bomb has landed 100 meters from our patrol base. This has not been deliberate targeting, but has rather been due to tactical necessity.

    I thank you for the opportunity to provide you with some information from the front lines here in south Lebanon.

    Maj Hess-von Kruedener
683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / E-Mail Casts Doubt on Claims of Israel Targeting U.N. Peacek on: July 27, 2006, 11:21:42 PM
E-Mail Casts Doubt on Claims of Israel Targeting U.N. Peacekeepers
Thursday, July 27, 2006

UNITED NATIONS ? An e-mail sent by a Canadian U.N. observer and obtained by FOX News casts doubt on claims by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that the Israeli attack on a U.N. peacekeeper observation post along the Lebanese border was intentional.

The email from Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener warned that the post had come under "unintentional" artillery fire and aerial bombing several times in the previous weeks, and that several Hezbollah positions were in the area of the patrol base.

"It is not safe or prudent for us to conduct normal patrol activities," wrote Kruedener in the July 18th e-mail. "(The artillery and aerial bombing) has not been deliberate targeting, but has rather been due to tactical necessity."

Kruedener was one of four unarmed U.N. military observers killed in Tuesday's bombing.

"I think that e-mail is very important, because unfortunately these are practically the last words of somebody who eventually paid with his life,? said Israel's U.N. ambassador Daniel Gillerman. ?He's telling his commander that Israel was not targeting them and that there is Hezbollah activity around there."

This comes as the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a statement on Thursday expressing shock and distress at Israel's bombing of the U.N. post, but fell short of condemnation.

After a day and night of wrangling over a response to Tuesday's attack, all 15 council members agreed on the watered-down statement, which was the first by the Security Council since fighting between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas began on July 12.

In the only reference to the wider conflict, the council expressed its "deep concern for Lebanese and Israeli civilian casualties and sufferings, the destruction of civil infrastructures and the rising number of internally displaced people."

The statement was read at a formal meeting by the current council president, France's U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere. Unlike press statements, presidential statements become part of the council's official record.

The United States, Israel's closest ally, insisted on dropping any condemnation or allusion to the possibility that Israel deliberately targeted the post in the town of Khiam near the eastern end of the border with Israel.

The initial draft proposed by China would have had the council express shock and distress at Israel's "apparently deliberate targeting" of the U.N. base and condemn "this coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long-established and clearly marked U.N. post."

In that draft, China was following Secretary-General Kofi Annan's statement late Tuesday that Israel appeared to have struck the site deliberately ? an accusation Israel vehemently denies.

Gillerman called the statement "very fair and balanced" and said it was right for the council to adopt it in memory of the four peacekeepers. He expressed "deep regret for the tragic accident," repeated Israel's dismay at Annan's statement, and stressed that "Israel would never, ever target U.N. personnel."

In a Security Council briefing on Wednesday, Assistant Secretary-General Jane Lute said the base came under close Israeli fire 21 times, including 12 hits within 100 meters (109 yards) and four direct hits. U.N. officials in New York and Lebanon repeatedly protested to Israel in the hours before a bomb leveled the building and killed the four observers, she said.

A revised draft dropped the reference to the "apparently deliberate targeting" but kept in the condemnation. It said "the Security Council condemns any deliberate attack against U.N. personnel and emphasizes that any such attacks are unacceptable."

That was still unacceptable to the Americans ? as was a call for a joint Israeli-U.N. investigation into the incident, which Annan called for.

The final text said "the Security Council is deeply shocked and distressed by the firing by the Israeli Defense Forces on a United Nations Observer post in southern Lebanon..."

The condemnation of Israel was eliminated, as was the call for a joint investigation.

In the final statement, the council called on Israel "to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into this incident, taking into account any relevant material from U.N. authorities, and to make the results public as soon as possible."

The council expressed deep concern about the safety and security of U.N. personnel and stressed that Israel and all concerned parties must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law which include protecting U.N. personnel. It underlined "the importance of ensuring that U.N. personnel are not the object of attack."

The Security Council also extended condolences to the families of the victims and the governments of Austria, Canada, China and Finland whose peacekeepers were killed in the attack.

The widow of Maj. Kruedner, whose body has still not been recovered from the rubble, demanded an explanation from Israel. Cynthia Hess-von Kruedener, told reporters in Kingston, Ontario, that she believes the attack, which involved precision guided missiles, was intentional. She said her husband told her the base had been fired on for weeks, despite its clear U.N. markings.

Earlier Thursday, when it was unclear whether the council would agree on any statement, China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya warned that the council's failure to act could have an impact on other issues, including its current efforts to agree on a resolution that would make mandatory Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment.

"If we got stuck on this particular issue for political considerations, definitely I think that people will feel frustrated, and definitely I think it will affect smooth cooperation on other important issues, because I think this organization cannot discuss issues on a selective basis," he said.

"We feel that if the Security Council cannot send a strong political message supporting our guys on the ground, it will be very difficult for people to understand," Wang said. "If we do not do anything, I think that the message will be interpreted very negatively."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.,2933,205978,00.html
684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lebanon on: July 27, 2006, 04:55:24 PM
Quote from: Winston Churchill
In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.
685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cowardly Blending on: July 27, 2006, 12:02:03 AM
Cowardly Blending

Cox & Forkum editorial cartoons
686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hezbollah: Party Of Cowards on: July 26, 2006, 11:56:24 PM
Hezbollah: Party Of Cowards
Posted 7/25/2006

Global War On Terror: After the standard condemnation of Israel for defending itself, the U.N. humanitarian chief rightly attacked Hezbollah for its "cowardly blending" among civilians. Where have we seen this before?
Speaking to reporters at Cyprus' Larnaca Airport on Monday after a visit to Lebanon to coordinate international relief efforts, Jan Egeland issued the standard denunciation of Israel for using "disproportionate" force and for violating "international humanitarian law."

But he said something else, something that indicates that even the East River elites are beginning to recognize the calling card of terrorists ? the use of civilians and even entire nations as human shields.

"Consistently, from the Hezbollah heartland, my message was that Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending . . . among women and children," he said. "I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians who bore the brunt of this. I don't think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men."

Members of Hezbollah, like the terrorist groups in Iraq, do not follow the rules of war. They do not wear uniforms to distinguish themselves from the civilian population. They routinely store their weapons in civilian homes and fire them from civilian neighborhoods. Then they scurry back to their hiding places.

Like the Nazi V-1 and V-2 rockets of World War II, Hezbollah's rockets and missiles are not aimed at military targets, but at the heart of cities and towns. They and their warheads are designed to indiscriminately kill and maim civilians.

As Middle East expert Kenneth Timmerman notes on, the Katyusha rockets Hezbollah is raining down on northern Israeli towns, including the port city of Haifa, are different from the ones that the Soviets fired during World War II. Those carried standard explosive warheads.

Hezbollah's Syrian-made 220 mm version is stuffed with 40,000 ball bearings packed into a warhead containing 88 pounds of explosives. A longer-range version, the Chinese-made Raed, has also been supplied to Hezbollah by Iran.

The bearings are expelled at lethal velocity when the missile hits its target. Anyone within a 50-yard radius will be seriously wounded or maimed.

"This kind of rocket gives no one a chance," said Haifa's police chief, Nir Meriash. "I found a woman lying in the street with one of her legs beside her, detached from her body."

At least a half-dozen of the larger Iranian-made Fajr-3 rockets have hit the Haifa area, including the deadly July 16 strike that killed eight railway workers in a train maintenance depot. These carry a 100-pound warhead and, according to Meriash, "are meant to kill civilians."

Hezbollah is no different from the car bombers in Iraq, those who blew themselves up at weddings in Jordan, who bombed Bombay, Madrid and London, or who attacked us on 9-11. They just wreak their carnage at longer range.

Then again, they may be worse, for in addition to targeting civilians indiscriminately, they also use civilians, their homes and their neighborhoods to hide behind.

Civilians are casualties in every war, but arguably the Israelis are at least trying to hit military targets or the infrastructure that supports Hezbollah.
The problem is that Hezbollah has woven itself into the very fabric of Lebanon, masquerading as a political party much as the Nazis did in Germany. The terrorists have in fact converted an entire nation into a human shield.
687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hezbollah: We Didn't Expect Such Strong Reaction From Israel on: July 25, 2006, 09:37:38 PM
This admission by Hezbollah proves that the only language they understand is force, disproportionate force, overwhelming force. If that is the only language they understand then Israel should use that language. Clear communications are very important. Over the last few years, including the Camp David talks and the Oslo accords as well as the evacuation from Southern Lebanon and Gaza, have been interpreted by Hezbollah as weakness and lack of resolve, things they scorn.

There are valid arguments supporting the evacuation from Southern Lebanon and Gaza: defensible borders and fewer enemies within. But somehow these evacuations were not explained properly to Hezbollah who took them as visible signs of weakness. Unfortunately, it is always civilians who pay the price in blood and suffering for the militarist adventures.

Hezbollah: We Didn't Expect Such Strong Reaction From Israel
Tuesday, July 25, 2006

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrillas did not expect Israel to react so strongly to its capture of two Israeli soldiers.

Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of the Hezbollah's political arm, also told The Associated Press that his group will not lay down arms.

His comments were the first time that a leader from the Shiite militant group has publicly suggested it miscalculated the consequences of the July 12 cross-border raid in which two Israeli soldiers were captured and three were killed.

"The truth is -- let me say this clearly -- we didn't even expect (this) response ... that (Israel) would exploit this operation for this big war against us," said Komati.

He said Hezbollah had expected "the usual, limited response" from Israel.

In the past, he said, Israeli responses to Hezbollah actions included sending commandos into Lebanon, seizing Hezbollah officials and briefly targeting specific Hezbollah strongholds in southern Lebanon.

Komati said his group had anticipated negotiations to swap the Israeli soldiers for three Lebanese held in Israeli jails, with Germany acting as a mediator as it has in past prisoner exchanges.

He said Hezbollah captured the Israeli soldiers from a military area, but charged that Israelis had taken Hezbollah leaders from their homes at night.

"The response is unjustified," Komati said. He added that the Israeli offensive was planned in advance, and Israel was only "waiting for the right time" to carry it out.

Asked about reports that Hezbollah has been firing Iranian-made missiles on Israel, Komati said: "We don't deny nor confirm. We believe where the weapons come from is irrelevant."

Hezbollah leaders previously have denied that Iran was supplying them with weapons.

Komati said Hezbollah has weapons made in various countries, including the United States, France, China and Russia.

"Some of our fighters carry M16s. So you think we buy them from America?" he asked.

Komati said Hezbollah demanded an immediate end to Israeli attacks before agreeing to negotiate and rejected a plan proposed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit to Beirut.

The plan calls for the deployment of international and Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah attacks on Israel before a cease-fire.

"No one can talk about politics while the fire rages, and killings occur," Komati said.

He said he didn't want to talk about the issues to be negotiated ahead of a cease-fire, including the deployment of an international force.

But he was adamant about Hezbollah's refusal to disarm because of what he said was Israeli occupation of Lebanese land, the "threat of Israeli aggression" and the Lebanese held in Israeli jails.

688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Only in America! on: July 24, 2006, 06:05:53 PM
Why don't they sue Hezbollah in Lebanon?  cheesy

Arab-American Group Sues U.S. For Slow Lebanon Evacuation rolleyes
Monday, July 24, 2006

WASHINGTON  ? A leading Arab-American advocacy group has sued the U.S. government, claiming that it failed to protect American citizens from the fighting in Lebanon.

The lawsuit, filed Monday on behalf of about 30 American citizens by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, alleges that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld did not take all possible steps to secure the safety and well being of U.S. citizens when fighting erupted between Israel and Hezbollah guerillas.

The committee is asking the U.S. District Court in Detroit to order the U.S. government to request a cease fire and to stop shipments of weapons or any other military support to Israel during the evacuation of U.S. citizens from Lebanon.

"We just feel the U.S. government has put its citizens at risk by supplying missiles when many U.S. citizens are still there," said Nabih Ayad, lead lawyer for the committee and the citizens who were all in Lebanon. Ayad said a few included in the lawsuit are still trying to leave the country.

"We're not trying to interfere with the war, we just want to protect our U.S. citizens and try to bring them back," Ayad said.

U.S. Consul William Gill said most Americans who wanted to leave Lebanon had done so by Sunday and U.S. evacuation efforts were nearly complete. He also urged anyone considering leaving to make up their minds quickly as fighting between Israel and Lebanon-based Hezbollah guerrillas showed no sign of waning.

About 12,000 Americans have been evacuated from Lebanon, officials said. Some 25,000 U.S. citizens were believed to be in Lebanon at the start of hostilities.,2933,205348,00.html
689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hezbollah: 'Cowardly Blending' Among Refugees on: July 24, 2006, 05:54:20 PM
This is certainly refreshing to hear. That the UN recognizes that the Hezbollah is acting improperly by putting civilians in danger is a great step forward in the war against terrorism.

U.N. Chief Accuses Hezbollah of 'Cowardly Blending' Among Refugees
Monday, July 24, 2006

LARNACA, Cyprus ? The U.N. humanitarian chief accused Hezbollah on Monday of "cowardly blending" among Lebanese civilians and causing the deaths of hundreds during two weeks of cross-border violence with Israel.

The U.N. humanitarian chief accused Hezbollah on Monday of "cowardly blending" among Lebanese civilians and causing the deaths of hundreds during two weeks of cross-border violence with Israel.

The militant group has built bunkers and tunnels near the Israeli border to shelter weapons and fighters, and its members easily blend in among civilians.

Jan Egeland spoke with reporters at the Larnaca airport in Cyprus late Monday after a visit to Lebanon on his mission to coordinate an international aid effort. On Sunday he had toured the rubble of Beirut's southern suburbs, a once-teeming Shiite district where Hezbollah had its headquarters.

During that visit he condemned the killing and wounding of civilians by both sides, and called Israel's offensive "disproportionate" and "a violation of international humanitarian law."

On Monday he had strong words for Hezbollah, which crossed into Israel and captured two Israeli soldiers on July 12, triggering fierce fighting from both sides.

"Consistently, from the Hezbollah heartland, my message was that Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending ... among women and children," he said. "I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don't think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men."

"We need a cessation of hostilities because this is a war where civilians are paying the price," said Egeland, who was heading to Israel.

Hezbollah guerrillas crossed into Israel and captured two Israeli soldiers on July 12, triggering fierce fighting from both sides.

At least 384 people have been killed in Lebanon, including 20 soldiers and 11 Hezbollah fighters, according to security officials. At least 600,000 Lebanese have fled their homes, according to the World Health Organization. One estimate by Lebanon's finance minister putting the number at 750,000, nearly 20 percent of the population.

Israel's death toll stands at 36, with 17 people killed by Hezbollah rockets and 19 soldiers killed in the fighting.

During his visit to Lebanon, Egeland issued an urgent call for US$150 million (euro118.74 million) to help Lebanon through the next three months.

He said the first large U.N. convoy of humanitarian aid is expected to depart Beirut on Wednesday for the southern city of Tyre. Similar convoys will be scheduled every second day after that.,2933,205352,00.html
690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: July 23, 2006, 10:40:38 PM
Quote from: Bowser
Of course Israelis have the right to self defence, but not sure if Israel has the right to take war outside its territory

By this reasoning, the Allies should not have bombed and invaded Japan or Germany in WWII, they should have just stayed in their own territory until Japan and Germany got tired of invading. Does not sound practical to me. Sad

Quote from: Bowser
No fear makes terrorism impossible by definition !  

If I'm fearless, then no Katyusha rocket can fall on my house? Defies logic. huh
691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: July 23, 2006, 10:01:34 PM
Quote from: xtremekali
But when you bring up the treatment of how the Anglos treated the native tribes.  Then I will speak up.  When you talk about genocide and the stealing of land then the Anglos are experts.

Take it from Shis Inde.

Myke (Pastme-oma)

Yes, I see that you do speak up and you have every right to do so. What I don't understand is what it has to do with anything I said. I said that Cohen is mistaken about history and I used America an example. I could have used any other piece of land conquered by invaders. England, for example, invaded by just about everybody from Romans to Danes. I could have used Spain invaded by Moors, I could have used Mesopotamia invaded by Turks, I could have used Hungary invaded by Huns, I could have used Russia invaded by Vikings. But it just so happens that Mr. Cohen works in Washington for the Washington Post so it made sense to stick to close quarters.

From the piece I deduce that Mr. Cohen is attacking Israel based on a flawed view of history or possibly by a willful misrepresentation of history and making that statement was my only objective.  Although, as I said earlier, you have very right to bash Anglos if that is your preference, I fail to see what it has to do with my post.

What is "Shis Inde?"

What is "Pastme-oma?"
692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: July 23, 2006, 07:29:42 PM
Quote from: xtremekali

I hope you are not suggesting that the Israeli's use genicide as a tactic against their Arab neighbors.  Like the Anglo's used against the native tribes of the America's.


I don't think the colonials "used genocide against the native tribes of the Americas" but I don't care to argue the point at this time. I just wanted to show that Cohen misunderstands or misrepresents history as a way to attack Israel. Israel is not a mistake.
693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: July 23, 2006, 07:07:57 PM
Quote from: ppulatie
I think that Captainccs was just trying to show the faulty thinking of Cohen.

Thank you for clearing that up for Myke "xtremekali."
694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: July 23, 2006, 03:36:15 PM
Quote from: Richard Cohen
[Israel] is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.

By Cohen's measure, America was also a mistake, the native Americans took quite a toll on the colonials. The Washington Post would not exist if the American Founding Fathers had taken Cohen's advice and gone back where they came from. Where does that leave Cohen's view of history?
695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: July 23, 2006, 02:57:46 PM
Quote from: Bowser
Regarding the war on terror, I believe that the best way to fight it is quite simply by fearing nothing.

Been there, done that, didn't work.

Quote from: George Santayana
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

For almost 2000 years starting with the destruction of the temple Jews feared nothing. They took what the world had to dish out believing that god would protect and provide. But in the 1900s they got tired of this attitude because it was not producing visible beneficial results. The young rebelled against their elders in the Warsaw ghetto.  Against overwhelming odds they took on the NAZI army of extermination. That worked better, they now have a state to call their own and they are not going to roll over and die for some mythical appeasing "higher consciousness" that seems to exist only in the minds of their adversaries.

Quote from: George Santayana
There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.

Katyusha rockets raining down from the heavens is not enjoyable therefore we have to stop it from happening.
696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: July 22, 2006, 05:52:40 PM
What is a "mass market global military war" anyway?  smiley

Do you consider Israel's current defensive action a "mass market global military war?"

I don't think so, it is a legitimate self defense action.

For the record, I'm not a practitioner of martial arts.
697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / U.S. rushes precision-guided bombs to Israel on: July 22, 2006, 03:38:07 PM
Report: U.S. rushes precision-guided bombs to Israel

By Reuters

The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

Citing U.S. officials who spoke on Friday on condition of anonymity, the Times said the decision to ship the weapons quickly came after relatively little debate within the administration, and noted in its report that its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others who could perceive Washington as aiding Israel in the manner that Iran has armed Hezbollah.

The munitions are actually part of a multimillion-dollar arms-sale package approved last year which Israel is able to tap when it needs to, the officials told the Times. But some military officers said the request for expedited delivery was unusual and indicated that Israel has many targets it plans to hit in Lebanon.

The arms shipment has not been announced publicly. The officials who described the administration's decision to rush the munitions included employees of two government agencies, one of whom described the shipment as just one example of a broad array of armaments that the United States has long provided Israel, the Times said.

Pentagon and military officials declined to describe in detail the size and contents of the shipment to Israel, the newspaper said, and they would not say whether the munitions were being shipped by cargo aircraft or some other means. But one U.S. official said the shipment should not be compared to the kind of an "emergency resupply" of dwindling Israeli stockpiles that was provided during the Yom Kippur War, according to the Times report.

A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington told the Times: "We have been using precision-guided munitions in order to neutralize the military capabilities of Hezbollah and to minimize harm to civilians. As a rule, however, we do not comment on Israel's defense acquisitions."
698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: July 21, 2006, 12:39:43 PM
Quote from: Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (said)
"Arab and Islamic countries... do not even bother to condemn the fact that Muslims are being butchered by non-believers. This is a historic catastrophe," he fumed.

Right, only believers are allowed to butcher Muslims as is patently evident in what is happening now and in the past in Iraq and many other Muslin nations. And, of course, Muslims are allowed to butcher non-Muslims anywhere in the world as was evident in 9/11, USS Cole, Argentina, the US Embassy in Beirut, India, Indonesia, Russia, London, Madrid, and very specially in Israel.

The Sunni rejection of Hezbollah clearly shows how dangerous they think the Iranian backed militia is for them, not just for infidels. As often happens in politics, we are seeing strange bedfellows, Sunnis backing Israel against the Shia Heizbollah.
699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Editorial: Self-defence is a universal right on: July 19, 2006, 02:21:06 PM
Editorial: Self-defence is a universal right
The Australian
July 20, 2006

Israel's critics are too often guilty of selective outrage

THE tyranny of distance still afflicts Australia, or at least certain segments of the Australian commentariat. For from a distance of nearly 15,000km, many local media outlets look at the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and see a decidedly one-sided affair. Last week, The Sydney Morning Herald headlined a front-page story declaring Lebanon "UNDER SIEGE" by what its correspondent called "Israeli attacks causing soaring civilian death tolls in Gaza and Lebanon", setting the tone for the paper's coverage of the conflict. Meanwhile, at the ABC on Tuesday night, Tony Jones badgered former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak over Israel's refusal to call a ceasefire, while the UK Independent's Robert Fisk regularly rants against Israel on the nation's broadcaster. Yet the closer one gets to the front lines, the less Israel cops the blame. In the Middle East, the normally anti-Israeli Saudi Arabian Government has said Hezbollah bears "full responsibility for . . . ending the crisis". In Lebanon, there is even more support for Israel's actions. On Tuesday night's 7:30 Report, of all places, several Lebanese officials placed blame for the current conflict on Hezbollah ? not Israel. The question that comes to mind, then, is whether those who effectively suggest Israel should meekly accept its neighbours' attacks actually support the Jewish state's right to exist?

It's a legitimate question. Certainly Israel should not be immune to criticism. But if Israel's right to exist is accepted, then the exercise of its corresponding right to protect itself should not be treated with such outrage. Since Israel pulled out of Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah has become more powerful in southern Lebanon, thanks to its friends in Iran and Syria. During this time it has also subjected Israel to regular harassment ? even as Israel has, until the kidnapping of two of its soldiers last week, been restrained in retaliation. One wonders how those who criticise Israel's response to Hezbollah would urge the Howard Government to respond were a foreign enemy seizing cops and dropping artillery shells into Balmain in Sydney or Fitzroy in Melbourne. Those who condemn images of Israeli girls writing messages on artillery shells are rarely if ever heard denouncing the relentless propaganda that brainwashes Palestinian children to hate their Jewish neighbours and celebrate the deeds of suicide bombers. Meanwhile, the ancient idea of proportionate response has lately become a rhetorical cudgel for those who would hobble Israel. Yet in taking the possibility of overwhelming retaliation off the table, the doctrine encourages bad behaviour on the part of Israel's enemies who know they would never be called to account.

In retaliating against Lebanon and evicting that country's Shia interlopers, Israel is simply behaving as a rational actor. And in doing so it strikes a blow for the principle that all states should be treated similarly. This is the only way forward for Israel in dealing with the Palestinians: if Hamas wants to be recognised as the legitimate government of the Palestinian people, then the world should go along with this and no longer accept "rogue state" claims that Qassam rockets and suicide terrorist missions launched from its territory are not its responsibility. Violent internal politics or historic grievances about dispossession and occupation do not excuse bad behaviour. The situation is still fluid in the Middle East. And any attack on Tel Aviv by Hezbollah would radically change the equation. But the quick defeat of Hezbollah ? and by extension its mad backers in Tehran ? would not just be a win for Israel but for Lebanon and the region as well.,20867,19847517-601,00.html
700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Editorial: Israel's response is self-defence on: July 19, 2006, 01:14:25 PM
Editorial: Israel's response is self-defence
The Australian
July 17, 2006

Lebanon should help disarm Hezbollah guerillas

IF there was ever any doubt that Israel's response to Hezbollah's hail of rockets was proportionate to the threat they pose to Israeli security, it has been dispelled by attacks launched from southern Lebanon deep into Israel. With Hezbollah guerillas apparently well-armed thanks to money and material from Iran and Syria, Israel has been obliged to strike back in self-defence and to protect its civilian population in the north, including Haifa and Tiberias, a city hitherto thought to have been beyond the range of Hezbollah's rockets. Reports that Hezbollah has an armoury of thousands of rockets capable of reaching Israel's heartlands - and conceivably its capital, Tel Aviv - leave it no option because, it's worth repeating, Israel is facing an implacable enemy that denies its right to exist and wants to wipe it from the map.

Hezbollah appears to have little sympathy for its host country, Lebanon. By attacking Israel - no doubt taking the opportunity to strike by snatching two Israeli troopers while Israel was preoccupied with its mission to free a kidnapped soldier in Gaza to the south - Hezbollah has invited a red-blooded reaction. No nation can sit back watching missiles rain down on its territory. Retaliation with a purpose has been Israel's modus operandi. It has hit key highways and Beirut airport to make it difficult for Syria to resupply or reinforce Hezbollah, while also attacking the source of the rockets and those who are launching them. If that includes the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah - reported yesterday to have been wounded in an Israeli air raid, reports denied by Hezbollah - then that's the brutal reality of what Israel must do to survive.

Moreover, Israel is doing Lebanon a favour by containing Hezbollah, a parasitic organisation that has outstayed its welcome in the new but fragile democracy that is Lebanon. Better late than never, Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora says there can be no sovereign Lebanese state without disarming Hezbollah. Sadly, the Lebanese Government has been unwilling to take the hard steps necessary to achieve this end. Lebanon's army of about 70,000 soldiers is far superior to Hezbollah's guerilla force, estimated at about 6000, but does not appear to have the will to tackle the task of ridding Lebanon of its unwelcome guests. And given that the Lebanese army could spilt along sectarian lines if ordered to disarm Hezbollah, Mr Siniora should thank Israel further: he gets to keep a relatively unified army intact, while also watching Hezbollah arms and missile sites being destroyed, and its influence on Lebanese politics collaterally reduced.

Of course, disarming Hezbollah from within would be no easy task. With 12 MPs and two cabinet ministers, Hezbollah is a strong political entity. Nevertheless, if Lebanon is going to make progress and be embraced by the international community as a responsible and independent nation, it must face up to the malign influence of Hezbollah and take away the group's weapons - or at least help Israel to do so. Otherwise Lebanon will remain a hostage to the guerillas and their principal backers, Iran and Syria.

Israel's defensible military response coincides with yesterday's meeting of world leaders in St Petersburg for the annual G8 summit. As might be expected, US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have called for restraint, and the other six leaders will probably fall into line. Coupled with the European Union's routine condemnation of Israel's response to aggression from its enemies, the opinion of the G8 should not deflect Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Israeli Government, which has resolved to make it clear to Hamas, Hezbollah and other militant groups that there is a heavy price to pay for cross-border raids, rocket attacks and the taking of hostages.

Mr Bush's call for restraint - while making it clear Israel has the right to defend itself - is partly prompted by a desire to see Lebanon remain a friend of the West and his hopes the country can strengthen its democracy. But what Mr Bush and his G8 colleagues should be doing is calling for Lebanon to abide by UN Resolution 1559 to disarm Hezbollah. The G8 leaders could also reflect on comments from the most powerful Arab country, Saudi Arabia, which last week accused Hezbollah of "uncalculated adventures" that could bring destruction to Arab nations. Hezbollah elements should "shoulder the full responsibility for this irresponsible behaviour and that the burden of ending the crisis falls on them alone". Stern words, indeed, and a guide for the rest of the world's nations - especially those that jump at the opportunity to attack Israel's right to self-defence.,20867,19809776-7583,00.html
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