Thursday, August 03, 2006

Where's the outcry against Hezbollah?

Can you tell if this is a Lebanese or an Israeli baby?

A lot of anxious and angry screeds -- some in comments at this blog -- have been launched against the Israeli attacks on civilian centers in Lebanon. They've been called "barbaric," "murderous," "savage" and -- when the speaker is being kind -- "disproportionate." These screamers cut no quarter to Israel in their remarks. I have heard no thoughtful pundit, blogger, commentator or columnist be sanguine or celebratory about the loss of civilian lives in Lebanon, although many acknowledge they are unfortunately in the line of fire because Hezbollah has hidden among them. In short, nobody is celebrating innocent civilians' deaths in Lebanon, and most would prefer it stopped completely.

On Wednesday, Hezbollah launched a record 230 rockets into Israel, most without any guidance. The intent is to terrorize and kill anyone -- including civilians -- who might be within a shrapnel's throw of wherever it lands. And today, more than 200 Hezbollah rockets have killed eight Israeli civilians. But where are those highly exercised folks who declare Israel "barbaric" or "murderous" for killing innocents in Lebanon? Why aren't they being equally vicious in decrying Hezbollah's deadly and purposeful attacks on Israel's civilians?

If you literally scream bloody murder about the death of Lebanese civilians in this war, you must also scream bloody murder about the death of Israeli civilians. While the death toll in Lebanon is now higher than in Israel, I refuse to believe the life (and death) of one Israeli is somehow less important than the life (and death) of one Lebanese, and it would take a truly withered partisan heart to even suggest it.

15 comments:

Jill said...

No life in more important than another. I do resent the fact that some "warriors" use women and children as shields and then complain to the media. Then again, as in Viet Nam some of those women and children are killers, too.

How does this grab you. We support Isreal, we are also, supposedly, planning to send some of our Military "Experts" to Lebanon to train and provide some equipment to their army, after the cease fire. So, who will we support then?

jason said...

Excellent post!!I also wonder where are the liberal bozos whose hearts bleed for terrorists and who make a BIG ASS SHOW out of their sensitivity for America's enemies but they are noplace to be seen when America's friends are suffering from the same shit. Hezbollah is spraying Israel with 200 rockets a day and killing innocent civilians but the Bleeding Hearts don't seem to notice. I am like you that I wish this war could be soldier to soldier but the terrorists purposely put civilians between them and Israelis. The sooner we wipe those cowardly assholes off the map, the better for everybody.

R. B. Scott said...

As is often the case your observations don't fit the facts: Hezbollah, with its unguided rockets, has killed more Israeli soldiers than civilians, while Israel, with it U.S.-supplied precision-guided munitions, has killed far more Lebanese civilians than Hezbollah resistance fighters!

As for the business about Hezbollah hiding among civilians, well, Israel has built military bases in northern Israel close by Arab towns and villages, which, unlike Israeli towns, have no bomb shelters for civilians. That is why many of the Israeli civilian casualties are, in fact, Palestinian Arabs.

As the facts related above are not hard to find, I have to assume that you and other Israel-firsters are simply not interested in inconvenient truths.

That Cleaning Lady said...

I'm screaming...have been since this "war on terror" started on 9/11/2001. No life (or death) should be celebrated or belittled based on nationality. We are all GOD's children, and deserve the same rights to life, liberty, and freedom from guided (or unguided) missiles. God help us all.

Ron Franscell said...

R.B., if we're down to splitting hairs on the actual ethnicity of innocent civilian casualties, we've become fat armchair pundits, rattling our data for "convenient truths" and extolling our personal beliefs above any compassion ... all from the safety of American borders.

Here are the facts: Too many innocent Lebanese have died. Too many innocent Israelis have died. And only Americans would turn this into a partisan political argument.

Too many people only see one side of the equation, and they are blinded by their contempt for the other.

jason said...

rb scott, so your saying that it'd be OK if more Jewish-Israeli civilians died? That'd be right and fair? I don't buy your lefty BS anyway, but the fact that you'd imply that not enough Israeli Jews have died to make it fair is disgusting!! Hezbollah doesn't know where its rockets are going and it doesn't care. The fuckers don't care if they kill Jews, Arabs, Muslims, UN observers, Lebanese,journalists or tourists. At least Israel has apologized for killing innocents but Hezbollah hasn't said anything about killing Israeli kids. The point is terrorizing and doing anything they can to eliminate the legal state of Israel. In my world, that's akin to being a serial killer, but in your world that's noble and heroic. Go figure.

R. B. Scott said...

Lebanon is, or was, arguably the most democratic state in the Arab world, and Hezbollah had a well documented history of moving away from the use of force and toward political solutions following the withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from Lebanon in 2000. So, why is the Bush administration now so keen on encouraging the Israeli military to destroy Lebanon and kill hundreds and perhaps thousands of Lebanese civilians? Whatever the reasons, Israeli and U.S. wars in and occupations of Arab lands are proving to be catastrophic failures as a Middle East foreign policy.

Among both Democrats and Republicans, even those who once supported the invasion of Iraq are recognizing the occupation of Iraq for what it is--an unmitigated disaster. Iraq and Iran were once bitter enemies, but Bush's war, unsurprisingly, has united the two countries under the banner of Shia militancy. Similarly, Israel's war against Lebanon is uniting all Lebanese, Christian and Muslim alike, under the banner of Hezbollah, because Hezbollah is defending Lebanon against an invading foreign military force that wantonly slaughters Lebanese civilians, men, women, and children.

The only legitimate use of force is in self-defense. Iraq did not invade the U.S.; the U.S. invaded, and then occupied, Iraq. Similarly, Lebanon did not invade Israel; Israel invaded Lebanon, as it had done before.

Ron asks: ". . . where are those highly exercised folks who declare Israel 'barbaric' or 'murderous' for killing innocents in Lebanon? Why aren't they being equally vicious in decrying Hezbollah's deadly and purposeful attacks on Israel's civilians?"

The answer to that question is obvious: They understand that, when attacked, people have the right to defend themselves, and they aren't fooled by Israeli and U.S. propaganda. It's quite clear to most people who the aggressor is when the world's only superpower--the richest and most powerful country on earth--or its Israeli surrogate attack poor and relatively weak countries and slaughter innocent civilians. Duh. No one loves a bully. They may fear the bully, but they will never love him. The bully may oppress and even enslave them for a time, but when the opportunity arises, they will strike the bully the name and in the hope of freedom. It has ever been so.

Your question suggests maybe you are blinded by contempt for the rule of law, Ron, and ignorance of history, if not cultural prejudice.

If the Bush administration's goal is to unite the peoples of the Arab and Muslim worlds as they have never before been united, in hatred of Americans and Israelis, illegitimate invasions and bloody occupations of Arab lands seem to be moving us steadily toward that goal.

Ron Franscell said...

Someone who sees logic and nobility in terrorism accuses somebody else of being blind about the "rule of law"? "Ignorance of history" when that region has NEVER known the meaning of peaceful coexistence?

You said: "The answer to that question is obvious: They understand that, when attacked, people have the right to defend themselves, and they aren't fooled by Israeli and U.S. propaganda." Isn't that EXACTLY the U.S. and Israeli position: When attacked one has the right to defend oneself?

I am overjoyed to learn that Hezbollah was demilitarizing at the exact moment it crossed into Israel to kill and capture Israeli soldiers, and as it was amassing 13,000 missiles. Just think what they might have done if they were belligerent!

You're clearly passionate about the Lebanese civilian deaths, as all sentient humans should be. The difference between us is that I am also troubled by the deaths of Israeli civilians -- Arabs and Jews alike. You, on the other hand, simply see political convenience in mourning some of them.

Maybe I'm a so-called Israel-Firster. I'd say I'm an America-Firster, but you clearly aren't putting Israel OR America first. Who would you put first? Hezbollah? Iran? Any Team that opposes the USA? I just have a hard time feeling sorry for people who want to kill me and my friends.

America didn't create Shi'a militancy or Shi'a antipathy against Sunnis. What do you think was at the heart of the Iran-Iraq war? I think there's a lot of history I am truly ignorant about, but I'm not so dumb that I don't recognize your conveniently revised history.

We are now on the other side of the looking-glass, friends. What's up is down, what's left is right ... and what's right is wrong. No matter what you believe, it's wrong, ignorant, evil, illegal, immoral or racist if it runs counter to the anti-Bush, pro-terror rhetoric. Trust me, they'll find lots of "evidence" to prove their moral and intellectual superiority, so I advise you to do what they won't: Listen, winnow facts from pseudo-facts, think it over, and if necessary, change your mind ... or not.

R.B., when you get back from Neverland, bring me a T-shirt.

R.B. Scott said...

In your mind's eye conjure up a picture of one of your primitive ancestors of cave-dwelling times -- a short, misshapen, filthy, snarling hulk of a man standing, legs spread, club upraised, breathing hate and animosity as he looks fiercely just ahead. Such a picture hardly depicts the divine dignity of man. But allow us to enlarge the picture. In front of this animated human crouches a saber-toothed tiger. Behind him, a woman and two children. Immediately you recognize that such a picture stands for the beginnings of much that is fine and noble in the human race, but the man is the same in both pictures. Only in the second sketch you are favored with a widened horizon. You therein discern the motivation of this evolving mortal. His attitude becomes praiseworthy because you understand him. If you could only fathom the motives of your associates, how much better you would understand them. If you could only know your fellows, you would eventually fall in love with them.

Ron Franscell said...

So are you suggesting that the caveman should have invited the saber-toothed tiger for a nice meal, a little conversation and some quality time? Maybe a sleepover?

The fact remians that right now, only one county in all the world is making a visible effort to find a solution to the Israeli-Hezbollah crisis: The USA. Lots of countries are talking to each other, but nobody is openly seeking ideas from the Lebanese and the Israelis but the United States ... again.

The USA has erred in various and sundry ways over the past 100 years. So have the Arabs, Europeans, Israelis, Asians, Africans, South Americans ... aw hell, everybody. Nobody gets a free pass, including the "misunderstood" Arab/Muslim world, which has employed genocide, terror, holy wars, international chicanery and much, much more.

You might mistrust the efforts of Secretary Rice, but which nation is doing more (and more visibly) to solve this tragedy than the USA? Yes, we have supplied arms to our ally Israel (and the UK, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, and dozens of others who aren't threatening the world with annihilation.

Who is supplying Hezbollah? Iran, which is developing nuclear capabilities; Syria, which devastated beloved Lebanon until it was forced out; and, indirectly through Iran, North Korea, which has threatened to launch nuclear weapons and ignored international law. I'll take our friends over Hezbollah's friends any day.

Hezbollah started this war and seems greatly surprised by Israel's reaction. Some blood from every death since July 12 is on Hezbollah's hands. The problem is, they like bloody hands.

When the saber-toothed tiger has been defanged, when I know he won't eat my children and my wife, I'll invite him into the cave for a poker night. Until then, I will do whatever is necessary to protect my family.

R .B. Scott said...

You cannot protect your family or anyone else's by engaging in or supporting the wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians. Such barbarous tactics lead only to more death and destruction and increased risk to your family and the others you say you would protect, Ron.

Only the spiritually blind put their faith in brute force. "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." --M. Gandhi

Wise men seek to understand their enemies in order to inform their efforts to eliminate the causes of fratracidal conflict.

You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of the will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor's motives and sentiments. It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality. Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man.

Ray Mason said...

Isn't it funny how, when debating with the Far Left, it always boils down to "You're just not very smart"? Here's my advice: Never piss on a skunk, Ron. You just can't win. .... and are you going to ask out Daryn Kagan?

Ron Franscell said...

(Sorry, Ray, I can't resist...)

R.B., you chose the metaphor, not I. You used the caveman and saber-toothed tiger image. Now you say the saber-toothed tiger represents innocent Lebanese civilians? How is that a reasonable metaphor when Hezbollah, not innocents, are threatening Israel? When terrorists, not innocents, are threatening America?

I saw your caveman as Israel and/or America, and the tiger as terrorists. You imagined the caveman as Hezbollah/Arabs/Muslims and the tiger as Israel/America/West, but neglected to reverse the possibilities. It's a good way to test your biases, but either way, the tiger is not Lebanese civilians. Lebanon is actually doing nothing in its own defense, either against Israel or Hezbollah, and is a threat to nobody.

But to remake the original point, lost here in this day-long debate: "If you literally scream bloody murder about the death of Lebanese civilians in this war, you must also scream bloody murder about the death of Israeli civilians. ...Where are those highly exercised folks who declare Israel 'barbaric' or 'murderous' for killing innocents in Lebanon? Why aren't they being equally vicious in decrying Hezbollah's deadly and purposeful attacks on Israel's civilians?"

jason said...

"If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man...."

WTF?

R. B. Scott said...

When we talk about the writer's country we are liable to forget that no matter what particular country it is, it is inside as well as outside of him. Art requires a delicate adjustment of the outer as well as the inner worlds in such a way that, without changing their nature, they can be seen through each other. To know oneself is to know one's region. It is also to know the world, and it is also, paradoxically, a form of exile from that world. The writer's value is lost, both to himself and to his country, as soon as he ceases to see that country as a part of himself, and to know oneself is, above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against the Truth, and not the other way around. The first product of self-knowledge is humility, and this is not a virtue conspicuous in any national character.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, in instructing catechumens, wrote: "The dragon sits by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon." No matter what form the dragon may take, it is of this mysterious passage past him, or into his jaws, that stories of any depth will always be concerned to tell, and this being the case, it requires considerable courage at any time, in any country, not to turn away from the storyteller. --M.F. O'Connor

A cave man is a cave man. A saber-toothed tiger is a saber-toothed tiger. Those who engage in fratracide, except in self-defense, stand in grave danger of becoming dragon poop. Really, Ron. This is Ethics 101, not rocket science.