Mon, 31 Jul 2006

Qana, Lebanon

I've been watching the Lebanese bloodshed since it started. It really makes me sick.

I have discussed this with many friends. There was little discussion though: we all thought this is a plain war against civilian targets. I tried discussing with people who could maybe be more supportive of the Israeli points of view. I tried talking to some of my right-winger relatives... and I haven't been able to find anyone that can say a word of support of what Israel is doing in Lebanon.

In three weeks, I have seen how Hizbullah killed some Israeli soldiers in some area around the border between Lebanon and Israel. As far as my (as an international online paper reader) judgement can tell, the location where this happened is disputed. Some say it was inside Lebanese territory, the others say it was an Hizbullah incursion into Israeli soldiers. I really don't care.

The immediate result of this action was a campaign of air strikes against Beirut and other Lebanese cities aiming to give a measured response (cache, and beware this is explicit) to Hizbulla's aggression. This, apparently, included destroying any vital infrastructure in heavily populated areas of Beirut, including bridges, power plants, hospitals and apparently random buildings.

While the Israeli army said the military operations were aimed to get rid of the Hizbullah camps and infrastructures around the border where they fire their rockets against Haifa and other Israeli cities, and their headquarters in Beirut and other southern cities, what the world espectated during the first three or four days of air strikes was pure horror. Hizbullah-controlled areas were like ghost quarters, so any bombing of those were very unlikely to take any Hizbullah victims. On the other hand, the rising number of civilian victims was the first bits of news that I could hear in my radio as I woke up every morning.

All of this, with a great amount of cinism and unlimitted cruelty. The Israeli army declared that the civilian population in the South should be leaving their homes (measured response), while they knew they were doing exactly what was needed to prevent this, by locking them up around destroyed bridges, harbours, airport and roads. The first columns of the lucky refugees who could afford fleeing to the North were greeted by Israeli bombs, leaving a good number of scattered bodies.

In Spain, the news shocked the public opinion and Zapatero, along with Chirac (IIRC), declared those actions were untolerable and unproportionate, and should be stopped immediately. This brought some local politics fun, when on one side the Israel ambassador in Spain accussed Zapatero of being antisemitic, and the right-wing leader Rajoy called the thousands of people who spontaneously demonstrated against the war in a few cities "clowns" and "ignorant".

Watching what the UN has done to stop these warcrimes, I really think it's a great moment to shut down that useless organisation and let some big corporation buy their nice building in New York City to build their offices in it. Once again, when some countries tried to come up with some resolution that forced Israel to stop, the United States waived their vetto flag. Once again, the Security Council has done nothing to put an end to another chapter of violence in the Middle East. The vettoing powers of some of the members is so ridiculous that it makes it totally inoperative. So, as the UK and US governments were not going to do anything to stop the air strikes, Israel had carte blanche to do whatever they wanted for a week.

And then, Israel's measured response destroyed one of the UN's buildings in Lebanon, killing four annoying observers, despite their calls warning that the bombs were falling too near their location. Only then, the United States decided to send Condie to have a look around the area, surprise visit to Beirut included.

I wonder, what phone number must the innocent women and children who cannot escape their cities and towns dial in order to warn the Israeli army about the proximity of their bombed targets?

After two visits of Condie to the region, nothing has changed, as the fourth week of operations starts. This is getting on my nerves. I don't, and won't, justify any of the Hizbullah attacks on civilian targets using Katyushas, or the kidnapping of soldiers, or whatever. What I see is that unless Israel takes a radically different approach to their problem, nothing will change either. Violence isn't at least. Apparently, their military operation isn't going well at all, and is not damaging much of Hizbullah's military capacity. What are they going to do? Will they occupy southern Lebanon for 20 more years?

The social movements this kind of actions are generating is also very, very worrying. On one hand, I read that around 85% of the Israeli population approve this war and think this is what their government needs to do to make them safe. This is pretty shocking. On the other hand, everyone still in Lebanon, even the Christian community, are united against the attack, helping each other in their survival quest, while the popular support to Hizbullah is rising, with big concentrations of people cheering them in the streets. This is just two years after similar demonstrations in Beirut forced the Syrian military out of the country.

While the Israeli war against Lebanon (I won't buy the "It's against Hizbullah" bullshit), sadly all the media, cameras and journalists have given their back on Gaza, which is under similar, but probably more brutal and savage military operations by Israel, as another soldier was kidnapped just one week before all of the Lebanon stuff started. The press doesn't have any news of how things are going in Gaza. The last thing I remember is that the UN was warning about the threat of a humanitarian disaster due to the lack of any kind of supplies in Palestine. If Palestinian kids are starving, the media are not letting us know.

Yesterday, 54 civilians were killed in an improvised underground bomb shelter in Qana, most of them being children. The Lebanese civilian death toll must be well over 500 as of this writing, with a ratio of at least 1:10 compared to Israeli military victims. When will Olmert have enough? The only way I see this will end up for good is when the Israeli public realises being at war in three fronts is quite expensive and damages their home economies. Maybe, at that point, people start hearing what the Meretz party minority in the country have been saying for years.

Israel has the right to defend itself. This is the official motto of Israeli and American leaders. When this right is extended and abused to the point the main targets and victims are civilians, Israel walks quickly away from a perdurable solution. Today, hostility against the state of Israel is even greater than last month. Hizbullah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, will probably be the winners of the conflict when the bombings end. Not the best recipe for a peaceful future.


It's easy to accuse and to bash... It's easy to only view death tolls and disgusting images...

But I ask you this - what would you suggest that Israel do? Not what should it have done, what do you suggest that it do with the current situation?
How would you as a leader of a country respond on a military attack on your soil by a terrorist organization? Would you not do everything in your powers to eradicate it off the face of the earth?
An organization that has sworn to destroy your country and everyone in it...

That's right... It's not an easy choice that is being made...

Then there's the next choice: how do you handle the fact that said organization hides behind civilians? That it fires missiles from highly populated areas? Would you then say - well, they hide behind civillians, we'll let it pass...

Just curious... Cause it's easy to always bash and accuse... But there rarely is a better suggestion coming...

Posted by S at Mon Jul 31 18:10:20 2006

I would try to use my influence, or better, the influence of my very powerful allies, to promote the social changes in Lebanon which fight Hizbullah and the syrian powers in the Lebanese governmnent and army.

I would try to promote real democracies in the area surrounding my country.

I would try to help the people in these areas so they can escape poverty, study, and avoid fundamentalism, yihads, etc.

I would avoid having children being raised in refugee camps, where they see how tanks pull down their houses. I would try to avoid these kids get used to bombs, guns, war. I would try to avoid them becoming the next bomb man.

I know this is war, and war is not fun at all. I just don't see Israel benefitting at all from all of this.

Posted by Jordi at Mon Jul 31 18:26:10 2006

Here is a suggestion for what Israel could do.

1) Release the thousands of prisoners who are being held without trial.

2) Withdraw from all occupied territories.

Hezbollah is not Hamas. Hezbollah was created to fight the Isreali occupation of southern lebanon (1982+). Hezbollahs stated goals are:

1) Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon and the Western Bqa’ Valley, and a withdrawal from the Golan (occupied territories).

2) Return of the Palestinian refugees (Right for Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel).

Just complying to nr 1 (which happens to coincide with a lot of UN decisions as well) would be a good start.

Just to qoute you : "How would you as a leader of a country respond on a military attack on your soil by a terrorist organization."

That is a rather strange statement. First off, only 3 countries in the world claim Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization (USA, Isral and Canada ), and it is quite appartent why at least 2 of those claim Hezbollah to be terrorists. Second, the current crisis escalated from the attacks and kidnapping of Israeli troops (at least that is what Isreal claims). However, AFAIK this attack took place on a contested area of land, not on Israeli territory. Further on, the attack and kidnapping of Israeli troops could be viewed as response to the hundreds of Lebanese who are imprisoned by the state of Israel without cause or trial.

Posted by A at Mon Jul 31 18:31:50 2006


I came across this via Planet Ubuntu and while I disagree with a lot of what you posted here, the biggest part that I agree with is your thoughts in dismanteling the U.N.  They have become ineffective and it is not just the "US waving thier veto flag."  Long before this current situation the UN stopped being useful.  Remember the Oil for food program that was such a debacle?  How about Resolution 1441 that called for Iraq to disarm and remove thier weapons of mass destruction that we are now finding (,2933,200499,00.html and also try a google search if you don't like fox news (  And we can't forget the anti-sematic comments the head of the UN recently made (A google search for that:

As to the Hizbollah, they are hiding behind the UN (, also do a google search along with the fact they are dressed as civillians (,,19955774-5007220,00.html).

So how would you deal with it?  I don't think you answer the question possed by the first commentor very well.

Posting this on my blog as well

Posted by Jonathan at Mon Jul 31 18:40:04 2006

As far as I understand the statements of Kofi Annan he merely claims that the bombing of a UN position, after said position had alerted the Israeli military several times that it was under attack, was deliberate. I do not know what you would call it if someone was shooting at you, and you phoned the agressor to inform him that he was in fact shooting at you, then the agressor continues shooting, just using heavier ordenance... I would call it deliberate, but perhaps I am anti-semetic as well?

And what is up with this anti-semetic labelling? As soon as someone voices a concern or critizies the state of Israel in any way, they are labeled anti-semetic. Please stop, it is stupid.

As for the alleged WMD's found in Iraq... Id rather wait untill someone discloses some real information. "Munitions" filled with "sarin and mustard gas", degraded as well. For all anyone knew that alleged "munitions" (what TYPE of munitions? petri dishes?) could have been buried in that desert for 50 years.

Posted by A at Mon Jul 31 18:54:33 2006

Jordi: all the things you mention are being done and have been done for a long time...
As to "avoid children being raised in refugee camps" what can Israel do about this? Build proper housing for them in Lebanon? Make sure there is stability in the country? It's not Israel's fault these people are still living in refugee camps... After 60 years, you might think they'd drop the refugee camp thing and settle down...
Remember, Israel isn't a very rich country in the first place... It has a lot of immigrants coming in that cost money, and of course a military force capable of holding back the arab world isn't cheap... So there isn't much there to help the lebanese infrastructure, and fight poverty... that's the responsibility of the entire world, including Spain, and this Zapatero guy that likes to throw around blame too...

1) Israel did. And this is the response they got.
2) Return of refugees is never going to happen because it is physically (and geometrically) impossible...

But you seem to forget the bits about hizbollah having a goal to eradicate all of Israel and the people there...

The attacks did NOT happen on disputed territory, according to normal 67 lines/whatever... However it IS disputed, as Hizbollah and Hamas want Israel gone from the face of the world...

Just ending occupation obviously didn't work either... Didn't work in south Lebanon, and recently it didn't work in Gaza - Hamas got elected government, the locations of the removed settlements are being used not for housing, but for launching missiles...

So yes, I will agree with Jordi that this probably isn't a very effective way to fight the problem... But I haven't seen any other suggestion...

Posted by S at Mon Jul 31 19:00:08 2006

I agree with dismantling the UN. I actually first sugggested the the arab states(or at least Lebanon) should withdraw from it.

If you want, i have some pictures of the massacre on my website.

Posted by Alaa at Mon Jul 31 19:42:08 2006

here's a copy from my reply to Zaheer (via planet.gnome)
if i'll allow myself to be crude, than by the international law, the amount of force than can be deployed by a country is according the the threat it's under, not by the number of casualties it got. since some country A got full half of its territory threatened and bombed on a daily basis, said country A may apply force in order to remove that threat. since said country A got limited supply of commandos, ground troups and special forces, it needs to remove threats as they come appearant. Guerriela organization B is using long range missiles, fired from between and from within civilian building, houses and UN posts. according to oragnization B, if A is detered from firing back in order not to harm said civilians and UN soldiers, than it wins, because it can keep said country A hostage; otherwise, if said country A does return fire, than country A is being reimpremented because it hit innocent civilians, and the whole world screams it's outcry. lets remind the readers of this theoretical abstract, that organization B represents only a fraction of the denizens of country C, it's physical base of operation, and acts as proxy for countries D and E, that are dictatorships, with some of the worst record on human rights in the last hundred years. what should country A do? wait and be bombed, or attack and be reimpremented?

and here's some links:

please note:
1. it's the fourth time the hizb'allah kidnaps civilian and soldiers. in the previous three incidents, their where given what they demand.
2. i'm an israeli (w00t) therefore i'm a little bit biased, say, to what i see as my country interests.

Posted by mangar at Mon Jul 31 19:43:25 2006

Jordi, your views and opinions on the war correspond almost completely to the majority of the people in the world.  Israel started bombing senselessly the infrastructure and civilians of a neighbouring country who unfortunately for them are too weak to respond.  Lebanon was a sitting duck for Israel.  However they have guerrilla fighters, the military wing of Hezbollah.  The capture of soldiers did take place on land that Israel claim belongs to Syria but lebanon and Syria claims belongs to Lebanon.  Therefore it was not an attack on Israel, it was an attack on illegal occupation of Israel.  Israel likes to occupy land that they do not own.  Look at the 20 odd years they occupied a lot of Lebanon.  It took the creation of a resistance movement to get Israel to retreat.  How many UN resolutions were ignored?

I agree with you, the UN have no influence anywhere.  The US veto anything condemning Israel.

Posted by Zaheer Abbas Merali at Mon Jul 31 19:48:13 2006

This all makes me equally sick. But wihtout discussing the larger picture, I do have to point out that Qana was used to fire rockets into Israel - there are videos of this.

Posted by Alexander Kirillov at Mon Jul 31 19:48:42 2006

So you are just another guy who sees stuff from the Lebanese point of view.

The problem merely is this. Israel have nothing against Lebanon. Lebanon have nothing against Israel. However, Lebanon have nothing against harbouring people amidst their cities who have something against Israel. And that's wrong.

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, US launched a slow and steady campaign that eventually ended up obliterating Japan to such an extent that Japan will never dare again to show its ugly head to the US.

The Hezbollah similarly fire constantly at Israel, and Israel have to do something about it. The Lebanese people are just in the way. If Hezbollah had a country to themselves, that would have been attacked. No, they place their rocket launchers in lebanese houses. The Lebanese people didn't care and now you side them?

If the Lebanese people had kept the Hezbollah away from their country, they would have not suffered Israel's wrath. They deserve it now, since they support the Hezbollah.

You say Israel mindlessly targets civilians. You know what? Israel's entire military is amassed along Lebanese borders. Ask you Hezbollah to fire at the military that is present there, instead of targeting Haifa and other cities. And you have the audacity to say Israel is attacking civilians?

Posted by Hari Sundararajan at Mon Jul 31 20:52:36 2006

To the commenter that asked "What should Israel do?"

Well, it should do what every other civilized government would do.  It would try to minimize human damage, and try to find the best possible outcome.

You negotiate the release of the prisoners (if that was the real reason, which at this point, is now up in the air), and you demand that the guilty parties be judged in a criminal court, thats what the international crime court is for.

I reproduce a couple of old posts of mine on the subject from Alaa's blog:

There are so many ways the situation could have been handled better; It could have been escalated to the UN; They could have president Bush ask for their release; They could have negotiated a prisoner exchange; They could have asked (gasp) help from Syria. They could have asked the UN to staff up UNIFIL instead of working against the UN and boycotting UNIFIL.

Anyways, if I can come up with a handful of this, am sure career politicians can come up with a few hundred other options short of bombing the shit out of the population. It either lacks imagination or shows that there is no interest in peace, but only violence. Evidence of the past 20 years sides with the later.

So the recent events can be traced back to the kidnapping of the soldiers. Yes, it was wrong. Is the escalation proportionate? I do not think so, neither does this article:

Like the saying so, arguing with an idiot just turns you into an idiot. I think the same applies here: Fighting like Hezbollah, killing like Hezbollah, behaving like Hezbollah, and using excuses like Hezbollah does not make you better than Hezbollah. It just makes you a better equipped Hezbollah.

As for Israel being the victim, and following all the rules, first google match for Ā“unifil backgroundĀ” shows the sad reality. Both sides are guilty, but again its like watching a discussion between two idiots. They both look like idiots, one of them just happens to have planes, planes that routinely (it seems to be a theme in the Unifil report) violate the Lebanese airspace (Ā”serious breachesĀ” is the expression used in the document).

This is what I said, comparing how Spain reacts to terrorist ETA attacks, the response is not to bomb Biarritz in France, or southern France because ETA has bases and support there.  The answer is to work with the french police, this is the original post:

See, when ETA launched terror attacks in Spain, they usually plan it from the safety of France (French Basque side and Aquitaine). The reaction from Spain has not been to bomb France, or to bomb the Basque cities of Bilbao and Irun. A police investigation is launched, diplomacy is used to bring the guilty ones to justice and a host of other methods are employed to serve justice (punish the responsible ones, not anyone else).

Ironically, the last time a bombing campaign happened against the Basques in Spain it was inmortalized in the Ā“GuernicaĀ” painting by Picasso. The 1937 bombing was lead by the Nazi and Facist military that were assisting General Franco conquer the country, you can find more about it on the Wikipedia page:

When the Mafia strikes against the police, you do not send a F16 to drop bombs all over the neighborhood. There are other options, an eye for an eye just leaves the whole world blind.

Although in the middle east case, it seems to be a matter of Ā“an eye for an eye, a leg, two lungs, the stomach and two legsĀ”. Its the kind of luxury that the powerful can afford, but do not expect public opinion to be with you.


Posted by Miguel de Icaza at Mon Jul 31 20:57:03 2006

Israel has nothing against Lebanon? Then Lebanon was occupied by Israel for 20+ years just because its so remarkably nice and sunny there?

The Hezbollah can be viewed as the primary reason that the Israeli occupation of Lebanon "ended", so I would guess that the people of Lebanon were quite grateful to the people who drove the invaders out, and then to top it of, have far reaching welfare programs.

The Hezbollah does not similarly fire constantly at Israel, the recent missile launches started after Israel started bombing Lebanon (as a reaction to the attack and kidnapping of soldiers).

Umm, the fact that Hezbollah has killed a LOT LESS civilians than Isreal, who claim to target the military, shows me that yes, Israel is attacking civilians.

The Israeli army could EASILY have invaded Lebanon and purged the Hezbollah from the southern part of Lebanon. Instead they choose to make "precision strikes" that seem hopelessly imprecise. Any modern army in the world can land its strikes to within a 5m radius of the target, if GPS guided, the strikes deviates with less than 1m (propably less). I seriously doubt that Hezbollah was standing outside the UN positions making idle banter with the UN soldiers while launching rockets against Israel, so lets not even pretend that was the reason the UN positions are bombed. The Israeli have also bombed all (most) roads in southern Lebanon (yes, it makes it so much harder for the Hezbollah to "escape", not), the international airport (yes, everyone knows Hezbollah usually goes to the Canary Islands on holidays), hospitals (I guess the Hezbollah gets sick too) and so on and so on.

Posted by A at Mon Jul 31 21:26:35 2006

Miguel, how many time you appease an aggressor before you should stop and fight back?

Hezbollah has been fighting a great propaganda war with the Lebanese and Israeli civilians. It's a terrible thing to play so carelessly with human life.

Posted by John at Mon Jul 31 21:36:27 2006

Many intelligent comments have been made, and of course some polemic ones. I'd just like to contribute two details:

I think Israel's society hasn't really realized that military forces try to rectify themselves by leading wars. Of course, Israel has a very positive image about its forces since they saved the civil society's asses more than once (maybe part of this is a myth that is used for "fundraising", i.e. claiming some budget). Nevertheless, you shouldn't trust too much in their truthfulness. Military all around the world have proven that they form some "state in state" and try to make their own laws.

Consequently, the Israeli government is trying to rectify the attacks where many, many civilians are killed by claiming that "terrorists are hiding behind civilians", and it's someone else's fault that bombs HAD to by dropped or something. Isn't that a vain argument, because it can be used to rectify anything. I just don't understand why Olmert didn't regret the death of some innocent. Maybe it's part of some strategy to claim that all victims are not innocent since they are part of the society that has born Hizbollah.

I just don't understand who will be helped by this war, apart from some weapon dealers and some military structures that wanted and got more money.

PS: I'm very disappointed by Olmert :(. I always thought he'd be moderate and the Jewish local paper I'm reading unfortunately seems to support the war, prolly just because of feeling linked to Israel :(.

Posted by someone at Mon Jul 31 21:38:58 2006

re: Olmert, the "war hero" Israeli PMs are much more likely to avoid escalating conflicts for two reasons: 1) they have already proven their strength of patriotism in the past and 2) they have been closer to the results of war than the more civilian PMs. Omert's got to prove he's not weak.

You can see same this trend among policitians in many countries.

Posted by John at Mon Jul 31 22:32:21 2006

As an Israeli living in Europe I think I have a bit of different perspective on this issue. From the moment I started reading this post I was sure that it was written by a European, just from the type of arguments being made. I think that you are all under estimating the influence of the media on your opinions. In the last few years I've discussed politics with dozens of Europeans, and it always strikes me how different people pose the exact same arguments.

People claim that they are reading news from many international sources, that they are reading history books (and some had surprising amount of knowledge) and have various other sources. Yet, their basic arguments are very shallow. I guess that people build up their minds during the years and then everything they read is filtered through these views.

Still I was surprised by the amount of wrong information in this discussion. I will give just one quote from one of the answers:

"The capture of soldiers did take place on land that Israel claim belongs to Syria but lebanon and Syria claims belongs to Lebanon."

The writer is confusing this kidnapping with the kidnapping 6 years ago in the Shebaa Farms. Also, read to see that things are not as simple as "...lebanon and Syria claims belongs to Lebanon."

My point on the issue (which is for sure also biased) is that every Lebanese civilian that dies is a tragedy and a failure of the Israeli army. Still, I think that before the UN makes a resolution to condemn Israel it should condemn the Hizbullah. The Hizbullah is an independent armed force within the state of Lebanon that does not answer to the Lebanese government. It uses civilian as human shields and is actually proud that the number of civilian casualties among Lebanese(!) is larger than the number of casualties among its own militants.

Posted by Udi at Mon Jul 31 22:54:28 2006

[quote]The Israeli have also bombed all (most) roads in southern Lebanon (yes, it makes it so much harder for the Hezbollah to "escape", not),[/quote]

What on earth makes you think the Hezbollah want to "escape" ?? Those roads were disabled to stop supplies coming in to Hezbollah from other countries (whom of course you have conveniently turned a blind eye towards.)

[quote]Umm, the fact that Hezbollah has killed a LOT LESS civilians than Isreal, who claim to target the military, shows me that yes, Israel is attacking civilians.[/quote]
Hezbollah's killing is deliberate. They aim for the civilians. In the case of the Israeli fire, the Lebanese 'civilians' just get in the way.

The lebanese 'civilians' have 2 options. Get out, and let Israel clean Lebanon of the Hezbollah.
Or, help Israel root out of the Hezbollah.

Now obviously, Lebanon doesn't want to even look towards option 2. And since they don't want option 1, they deserve to die anyway.

[quote]so I would guess that the people of Lebanon were quite grateful to the people who drove the invaders out[/quote]
And now, they are very grateful to the 'people' who are bringing the 'invaders' back in. Simple.

[quote]Then Lebanon was occupied by Israel for 20+ years just because its so remarkably nice and
sunny there?[/quote]
First, go a little more back in history to find the reason why Lebanon was occupied. They were a constant annoyance to Israel. Israel had to defend itself.

But Israel did leave, right? Why? Because it more 'remarkably nice and sunny' in Israel than Lebanon perhaps?

If the Hezbollah's only want is to free Lebanon's occupation, it has already achieved its goal. IDF stopped occupying Lebanon long back. The Hezbollah should have been dismantled.

Posted by someone at Mon Jul 31 23:02:36 2006

All this accusing Israel of harming civilians is a consequence of the morality that allows evil to do its thing, because no better is expected of it, while the good is always expected to sacrifice more from himself for the benefit of his nemesis. To put it in simple words, Hizballa is the aggressor that started this, it targets only civilian targets with its rockets (which he stores in prayer houses, how convenient) and uses civilians as human shields - and for all this Israel takes the blame.

As for moral responsibility, of course Ayn Rand has put it best, in a scene from Atlas Shrugged, in which John Galt is held by the government and told to act for it, or else "... in view of the desparate shortage of food ... every third child under the age of 10 and all adults over 60 be put to death ...". For this Galt replied this very memorable piece of wisdom: "Tell the bastard to look at me, then look at a mirror, then ask himself whether I would ever think that my moral stature is at the mercy of his actions".

If you can't see it yet, Hizballa is playing the US government in Atlas Shrugged, by trying to make Israelis feel guilty for citizens that Hizballa put at risk and that did nothing to remove that risk.

Posted by Yosef at Tue Aug 1 00:35:55 2006

In all of this I see a GLARING ommission:

What about Syria....and behind them, what about IRAN? -they after all, are supporting, supplying and okaying all of this.

The 'horror' you spout in the blog is one sided and without looking at the bigger picture.

The bigger picture is without those two countries pulling the strings in the background NONE OF THIS would be happening.

Don't swallow the media line makes you look silly, or trying to push an agenda.

War is horrible.  Survival sometimes demands it.

Posted by casey at Tue Aug 1 00:52:52 2006

I think all sides are to blame here. Both Israel, Hizbollah and the Lebanese government. They've all brought this upon themselves, and I'm not inclined to show support to any of these parties.

However, what Israel is doing in Lebanon is outright  terrorism. They say they're out to get Hizbollah, but the fact is they call up civilians, tell them their house is about to get blown to pieces, give them some time to run away, then blow up the house.

This obviously means they're only out to damage civilian infrastructure, which unless I'm mistaken is a grave breach of the GC.

Now, the israeli hawks would have you believe the crimes perpetrated against them somehow justify Israels current actions. They all sound like spoilt kids; "WHAT ABOUT THIS?! WHAT ABOUT THAT!?". Irrelevant. There is no excuse, plain and simple.

Posted by Øivind at Tue Aug 1 01:42:45 2006

Jordi Mallach?

Sounds like a Jewish name.

You're one of those self haters, huh?

This post has no place on Planet Ubuntu.

You think you got the stones to talk politics go here:

Posted by Alkmyst at Tue Aug 1 02:21:03 2006

Where is the outrage at the inocent civilians in Israel that are dying?  If Hizbollah continues to launch rockets into Israel, Israel will continue to respond as they see fit. 
If the Lebanese people hate this war, then why did they not stop Hizbollah on their own?  All deaths in Lebanon are the direct fault of Hizbollah, not Israel.  If you defend yourself from attacks, you have done nothing wrong.
I feel bad for the U.N "peace keepers" who were used as a human shield by Hizbollah.  I am sure the children were also used as a shield, and that is unfair that they must die for these terrorists. 
If your mission is to wipe a country/people off the face of the earth, you are a terrorist/genocidal maniac.  While the loss of innocent life is inevitable, I hope it's numbers remain low.  As for the terrorists, they get the deaths they wanted and possibly deserved.

Posted by Ian at Tue Aug 1 04:12:19 2006

I agree with Ian. Well said

Posted by somebody at Tue Aug 1 06:38:08 2006

"Where is the outrage at the inocent civilians in Israel that are dying?"

Are hundreds (gaining on thousands) of Israeli citizens dying? Has the infrastructure of Israel been completely destroyed? Has the world's only superpower (USA) condoned the massacre of innocent Israelis in the name of the "War on Terrorism" while the rest of the world reacts with horror and protest?

We are talking about a helpless country being torn to shreds by Israel. How many Lebanese would have to die for YOU to care?

Posted by robson at Tue Aug 1 07:51:38 2006

jordi, i totally agree with you. what i really find astonishing in comments i see to war-related posts in blogs, is to find people that think it's right to order someone to leave his own home and goods otherwise he'll get bombed, then, when he doesn't leave due to destruction of roads, bridges and any other infrastructure, bombing of refugees' convoys and so on, saying it was his own choice to get bombed. Let me put one thing clear: hitting civilian targets is A WAR CRIME according to international laws. But during last 50 years it has been made clear enough that laws are not the same for everyone. I find just surprising that there are so many people still supporting such an idiot claim, i can understand the hypocrisy of governements, i can't forgive stupidity of people.

Posted by francesco at Tue Aug 1 10:11:12 2006

I think I made it clear: I am by no means trying to defend Hizbullah's position here, nor Syria's, or Iran's. Those countries may be ruled by extremists who are in power thanks to unfair elections, a military coup or because they are sent by their gods to save their people.

Israel, on the other hand, is presented as the "only democratic country in the area". I think they could do better at reflecting such an image to the outside world, though. I don't have figures, but I'd guess more than half of the European citizens would answer “yes” if they are asked if they can relate “Israel” with “state terrorism”.

Hizbullah can be as assholes as they can get, but they are known for that. The Israeli army is making a great job at placing themselves at Hizbullah's level of intolerance, hatred, violence and cruelty. The sad point is that the Israeli army is represented a so called “democratic” and “western” country.

It's quite frightening to read things like what people have written here. Israel has no right to attack civilians or civilian infrastructures. THIS IS A WAR CRIME. There are other ways. Miguel explained very well: the Spanish state didn't bomb Bilbao or Biarritz during the darkest years of ETA terrorism in the Basque Country, and the only state terrorism initiative some government members took didn't work well at all. Israel could learn a lesson here.

Thanks miguel, robson, francesco and others. I couldn't agree more.

Posted by jordi at Tue Aug 1 11:18:28 2006

Israel should stop now and pay a huge fine to Lebanon. Period.

Am I crazy ? yes, probably as crazy as stupid guys who didn't have any solution to any problem in the world, like: Mohandas Gandhi.

If you don't know what I am talking about, you can always go and read about him, he was a great mean, I'd like to have hundreds like him walking on the earth.

Posted by Pupeno at Tue Aug 1 12:06:25 2006

This is war.  And a larger war than you can imagine.  You are part of the war, also.  From what you wrote, it really shows on whose side you are on.  Your solution to the Israeli Lebanon conflict was pretty pathetic.....a fantasy.  You should just become a Hizbullough spokesman.  I am saddened to see how Spain has fallen to be such a cowardly country.....and afraid to stand up to the evils in the world.

Posted by raymond at Tue Aug 1 15:26:02 2006

Taking the risk that this has already been said, I still want to repeat in short wording:

A good start for Israelies would be to JUST-BE-NICE (TM) ... and I swear that no hate can survive forever. Engage in pure peace and you will always win.

Posted by asac at Tue Aug 1 15:38:53 2006

Peace is the only way to achive peace. Please listen to this interview with Yonatan Shapira for this perspective from an Israeli Airforce pilot. There are links for ogg, mp3, and realplayer formats. The interview starts approximately 31 minutes into the show for those who want to skip directly to it.

Posted by Jesse_ at Tue Aug 1 17:35:21 2006

It seems that everytime Lebanon starts to get on it's feet again, gets more sovereign, independant and strong, Israel has to fuck it up and take them back a few years.

Here is a conspiracy theory for you :

Lebanon is a democracy that has several religions (17 officially). This includes Muslims, Christians and Druze living side by side. Israel has around 17% Arabs (80% of them Muslims) See the problem is those Muslims in Israel have a higher birth rate than the Jewish Israelis (around 4 vs 2). So, in 2025, there will be 25% Muslims in Israel. This number will probably keep going up. This is obviously a danger for Israel as it is a "state of jews for jews". But how is that possible if there will be a Muslim majority in a few decades or couple of centuries? Some Israeli groups want to get rid of these Muslims (land swap, kicking them out, other crazy ideas) Their best argument is, Muslims cannot live in peace with anyone else than Muslims, specially not with Jews.

Maybe they want to make sure Lebanon does not disprove this argument by stirring up shit all the time in Lebanon...

Call me crazy but I can't seem to make any sense from this Israeli agression and destruction of Lebanon...

Posted by burger at Tue Aug 1 21:17:19 2006

look, if someone stands outside of my house and starts throwing stones and breaks my windows, i'm going to come flying out of my house on my way to beat his ass...and if my neighbors get in the way they are getting their asses beat too. it's the american way and it should be the israeli way too. does that put things in perspective?

if hezbollah wanted to pick a fight then they should have picked on someone their own size.

Posted by heathenx at Wed Aug 2 03:53:43 2006

The kidnappings supposedly started all this. How many kidnappings justify bombing and killing 500 people? If someone throws rocks at my house, and I run outside and I kill dozens of children who happen to be playing in the street, that makes me a murderer. Period.

I am normally slightly sympathetic to Israel. But my patience has run out.

Posted by is at Wed Aug 2 05:28:55 2006

Here is my take on this conflict and my reponce to several comments from the media.

1)For those who say that Israel is purposely targeting civilians. If Israel really wanted to kill Lebanese civilians, don't you think the deathtoll would be a lot higher.
2)The UN observers that were killed were unarmed observers. It begs the question, what were they doing there is the first place. They are there to observe that the border is respected. They should have left as soon as the first bomb started dropping. Also, Hezbollah has a nasty habit of hidding around UN bases.
3)The “disproportionate” responce. Lets look at history, like a poster above said, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, the US started a four year campain that killed millions of people and ended with Tokyo, Nagasaki and Hiroshima in cinders. No one claims that responce was “disproportionate” or illegal.  The same is true of the invasion of Europe.
4)Cluster bombs. Look at what is packed into the rockets, ball barrings, designed to kill or maim as many people as possible. Tell me that isn't a war crime.
5)Also, the Lebanese government has not even tried to disarm Hezbollah. It openly admits that can't. Then for all intents and purposes, Hezbollah is the government is Lebanon. In some cases it even provides medical assistance, schooling and food and water. Then the war in Lebanon is infact between to governments.

Posted by Rexbron! at Thu Aug 3 02:58:11 2006

stop! NO WAR!
USA and Israel are gangsters!
stop killing civillians!
From China

Posted by waly at Fri Aug 4 11:22:20 2006

I agree that the violence against civilians (and the UN seemingly) but I do share Israels stance on terrorists and extremists. I'm originally from Northern Ireland (although I now live in Spain) and so have seen terrorism first hand. I've witnessed terrorist attrocities in my country of birth and a number of family and friends murdered by Irish Republican terrorists (IRA, RIRA, CIRA, INLA to name a few). So for me personally, terrorism is something that needs stamped out in the most aggressive fashion. The civilian casualties are an unfortunate inevitability of war against terrorists.

Posted by Ian Leckey at Tue Aug 22 14:04:41 2006

Thank you!

Posted by Colton Weinberg at Thu Jul 26 01:56:17 2007