Friday, July 14, 2006

World Leaders Disapprove Of Israeli Response

From the AFP comes this article.

Surprise, surprise. Israel defends itself and it gets castigated. This comes as no real surprise here.


French President Jacques Chirac questioned whether Israel was seeking Lebanon's destruction.

"One may well ask if there isn't today a kind of wish to destroy Lebanon -- its infrastructure, its roads, its communications, its energy, its airport. And for what?


For what?

Hezbollah and Hamas attack Israel, kidnap soldiers, and we have to ask ourselves, for what? Let's ask ourselves something. How about this. Did Israel kidnap any of Hamas' or Hezbollah's men, before they were attacked?


"I find honestly -- as all Europeans do -- that the current reactions are totally disproportionate," he said in a live television interview on France's national Bastille Day.

Of course, they are disproportionate. That is the only thing this element understands. Not only that, the Israelis know that when you go to war, you go to win. If diplomacy was ever going to work, it would have worked by now. The time for talk is over. The Israelis have made their decision to up the ante. Talking only plays into the hands of those that seek to intimidate and manipulate.

Do you really want peace in the Middle East? Tell Hamas and Hezbollah to give back the soldiers and sit down and talk. Tell them to do it and do it now. Tell them to stop launching rocket and suicide bombing attacks. Tell them give up their criminal ways and be diplomats and statesmen.

If they do that, then all (and I say ALL) of the pressure goes back to Israel. And if after that they do not stop, then you can condemn them. Then, you can call for strongly worded statements, resolutions, and even sanctions. But until you get the terrorists to stop, you will not be able to convince the Israelis to stop this military campaign, and quite frankly, I wouldn't ask them to.

UPDATE: Check out this article by Krauthammer, it tells of some stark realities and explains further what I am trying to say.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Read this.



14 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Of course, "the international community" disapproves. That same community would stand aside and let Israel be annihilated, yet they seem most concerned about "Palestinians."

Look. Israel has always taken care of kidnapping and hostage-holding situations. Remember Entebbe? The recent kidnappings were a I-dare-you challenge. Israel's recent concessions to the "Palestinians" might have given Hezbollah and Hamas the idea that they can sally forth with impunity. Wrong!

Now I'm hearing on the news that Iranian troops may well be directly involved in Lebanon. One of the weapons fired on Israel (on that ship which was previously reported as having bit struck by a drone) was a Chinese silkworm which Iran is supposed to have obtained.

World war, anyone?

LASunsett said...

AOW,

Now I'm hearing on the news that Iranian troops may well be directly involved in Lebanon. One of the weapons fired on Israel (on that ship which was previously reported as having bit struck by a drone) was a Chinese silkworm which Iran is supposed to have obtained.

I just heard this myself. If this is the case, Iran is severely miscalculating. If the world community wants to take a stand that can be respected, they need to come out of the stratosphere and tell Iran (and the agents of terror they support) that they must do their part to see that this doesn't escalate.

But I am skeptical, mainly because the world we are speaking of needs oil and they are afraid to make Iran mad enough to cut off their trade of it. But you know something? Israel isn't getting any of Iran's oil, so it will be no big loss for them, either way.

All_I_Can_Stands said...

The rest of the world wonders why the US takes a pass on worrying about the opinions of the rest of the world. This reaction sums up why their opinions are not worth worrying about.

superfrenchie said...

aics: //The rest of the world wonders why the US takes a pass on worrying about the opinions of the rest of the world. This reaction sums up why their opinions are not worth worrying about.//

And sometimes the rest of the world wonders why the US has such a short memory, and so little sense of geopolitics.

What was it, just a bit over a year ago that the US was lauding what it called the “Cedar Revolution” (a US State Department-coined word), getting behind the 1.5 million people that went into the street after the assassination of Harriri, and through joint pressure of France and the US, obtained the withdrawal of Syrian soldiers from Lebanon, which led to free elections and a new government dominated by an anti-Syrian coalition?

So now Israel responds to a weakened Hezbollah provocation by destroying the civil infrastructure of the one country in the region that is most friendly to it, and you find it strange that most countries find it disproportionate?

Let’s see: so far about 100 Lebanese have been killed. They are almost all civilians, including about 15 children. Not a single Hezbollah leader has been killed or captured. Iran, who by all accounts is behind all this, is getting exactly what it wants in weakening the pro-western Lebanese government.

Frankly, the word “disproportionate” is not the word I would have used. “Stupid” is more like it!

3 more, quick remarks:

- “Proportionality” is not just a nice word. It’s also the law of “just war,” and what is required by the Geneva Conventions, to which Israel is a signatory.

- Only one western leader went to Harriri’s funeral: that was Chirac. Bush also showed support, but wouldn’t go as far as going to his funeral.

- When Chirac advocated regime change in Syria last year, to eliminate the Hezbollah’s support there, it’s the US that wouldn't do it.

superfrenchie said...

One more little thing, outlining the absurdity of the US position*:

A lot of the Lebanese infrastructure that is now being destroyed by Israel, for example the power plants, was being paid for by... the US!

* That position is actually not very clear, as Rice has called for restraint. What's the difference between calling for restraint and calling the current response disproportionate, I'd like somebody to explain!

LASunsett said...

SF,

//you find it strange that most countries find it disproportionate?//

I don't find it a bit strange. In fact, I find it quite predictable.


//A lot of the Lebanese infrastructure that is now being destroyed by Israel, for example the power plants, was being paid for by... the US!//

We sold scrap iron to Japan before they gave it all back in the form of bombs. That didn't stop us from going to war. Situations change and to say that former relationships and business dealings should prevent us or anyone else from taking military action when their interests or security is at stake, does not figure into the equation. Nor, should it. (I bet France wouldn't take too kindly, to Spain or Belgium lobbing rockets into France, unprovoked, would they?)


//What's the difference between calling for restraint and calling the current response disproportionate, I'd like somebody to explain!//

You'll have to ask Condi that. But I will ask you this, when Israel pulled out of Gaza was Hamas's response disproportionate? Imean let's look at this a minute, they pulled out and Hamas kept lobbing missiles into Israeli territory, UNPROVOKED.

The bottom line here is this: When you make the decision to go to war, you go to win, or you do not go at all. I do not buy into the notion that wars are fair. They aren't. They are wars. People die.

I wish that there were no need for them. But until those that start them stop, there will be responses and many times they will be painful and disproportionate, especially if that's all the war starters can comprehend.

If you tease and/or provoke a dog long enough, you will make him mean.

superfrenchie said...

LA: //The bottom line here is this: When you make the decision to go to war, you go to win, or you do not go at all. I do not buy into the notion that wars are fair. They aren't. They are wars. People die.//

Yes, but civilians are not supposed to be targeted. That's international law, whatever people think of it, you cannot ask others to respect international law if you don't respect it yourself.

But regardless, Israel will be winning if its security is enhanced. Nobody knows what the future holds for the Middle East, but if I were to bet on a winner, I would bet on Iran, who after getting the free gift of a new ally in Iraq instead of a buffer to its ambitions when Saddam was in power, now may find itself more influential than ever in Lebanon, while the US might find itself completely unable to keep its new Lebanese ally from crumbling.

Hopefully, that won't happen. But Israel's response is not helping.

My gut is that the reason for the over reaction is due to the fact that the civilians are now in charge in Israel, and that they want to prove themselves. Frankly, I don't think Sharon would have made that mistake.

//I bet France wouldn't take too kindly, to Spain or Belgium lobbing rockets into France, unprovoked, would they?//

This is not a good analogy. Hezbollah, which is financed by Iran, is lobbing Iranian-made rockets at Israel. Not the Lebanese government. Not the Lebanese civilians.

It would be more like Spain-based ETA terrorists targeting the French police in the Basque country. That has actually happened quite often, and the government of France has not responded by bombing Madrid.

Disclaimer: my wife works for the French International School in Washington. Most Lebanese speak French, and the ones who live abroad (that's many, since the civil war) typically send their kids to the French School. Consequently, we have many Lebanese friends, some of them, including my dear friend Roula, also a teacher at the school (the one in the middle here and her husband on the right) went back home for the summer vcation and now find themselves in the middle of that stupid war. We are without news from them, and we just hope that she'll be able to leave in one of the evacuation operations currently being organized by the West, be it the US or France.

All_I_Can_Stands said...

This is not a good analogy. Hezbollah, which is financed by Iran, is lobbing Iranian-made rockets at Israel. Not the Lebanese government. Not the Lebanese civilians.

If Lebanon has been doing all it can to get Hezbollah out of their country, you may have part of a point here. I don't know if they have tried at all or if so, to what extent. If not, then Lebanon would bear some of the responsibility of the actions of Hezbollah.

LASunsett said...

SF,

//Yes, but civilians are not supposed to be targeted.//

And civilians aren't supposed to be used as human shields either. That is a tactic used by this element, for propaganda purposes, so they can get sympathy, create an outrage that produces an emotional appeal, limiting their enemy's responses.

This is a psychological war going on here. The more public opinion can be swayed in their favor, the more pressure that can be put on Israel, to NOT defend itself. But even at that, even if innocent civilians that are not in a human shield do get killed, I cannot and do not believe for one minute that they being targeted deliberately.

//This is not a good analogy. Hezbollah, which is financed by Iran, is lobbing Iranian-made rockets at Israel. Not the Lebanese government. Not the Lebanese civilians.

It would be more like Spain-based ETA terrorists targeting the French police in the Basque country. That has actually happened quite often, and the government of France has not responded by bombing Madrid.//


Lebanon lets them operate within their borders, knowing fully good and well that their mission, their goal, is to inflict pain on the stae of Israel and push it into the sea. They have said so publicly. I am sure if you read their charter, you'll find it there.

Anything that the enemy can gain advantage of, that can be used against Israel, is a valid target. Mistakes can and will happen. There is no perfect war. And war is hell.

I know a little about the ETA, they were quite active in the late 70s when I lived in Germany. I also can say with some confidence that the ETA has not attacked France nearly with the same viciousness or anywhere near the frequency that Israel has been attacked, over the years.. Did they send suicide bombers into school buses to kill innocent French kids?

Because I know one thing, if they had even thought about doing it Hamas or Hezbollah style, there would have been something done about it, real quick.

But the big difference is, Spain does not allow the ETA to operate freely. They arrest them when they can catch them. Lebanon incorporates Hezbollah into society, Spain does not do the same with the ETA.

//We are without news from them, and we just hope that she'll be able to leave in one of the evacuation operations currently being organized by the West, be it the US or France.//

I sincerely hope they are okay and will be returning back soon, safely. As you say, you "have a thought for them" and I will say a prayer for them. :(

LASunsett said...

SF,

Sorry. One other thing, if I may.

//My gut is that the reason for the over reaction is due to the fact that the civilians are now in charge in Israel, and that they want to prove themselves. Frankly, I don't think Sharon would have made that mistake.//

I am not of the opinion that it was a mistake. Israel does not have a history of miscalculation. I think you'd be very surprised at what Israel is capable of. If most people critical of Israel did know just what that was, they'd be amazed at how much restraint they have shown, over the many years.

superfrenchie said...

AICS: //If Lebanon has been doing all it can to get Hezbollah out of their country, you may have part of a point here. I don't know if they have tried at all or if so, to what extent. If not, then Lebanon would bear some of the responsibility of the actions of Hezbollah.//

Israel has been doing all it could to destroy Hezbollah for 25 years, and it has not succeeded. What makes you think that a small country like Lebanon, just coming out of a civil war, would be able to do it in a little more than a year? Especially now that Iran can back them up with impunity, thanks to that very smart Iraq war...

Regardless, they are not backed by a majority of the Lebanese people, who want them out. Yet the Lebanese people are the one being punished. Again, 100 victims, all civilians, not a single Hezbollah leader killed or captured. Mistakes? So far, it's 100 mistakes to 0 success. Will killing 15 kids really make Israel safer?

LA, you're not suggesting that Israel use nukes on Lebanon, are you? Of course, everybody knows they have them. But nuking a country for 10 people dead would be a bit unprecedented in the history of disproportionate retaliation...

About ETA: they are not operating freely in Spain, but right now, the government of Spain is negotiating with them.

LASunsett said...

SF,

//LA, you're not suggesting that Israel use nukes on Lebanon, are you? Of course, everybody knows they have them. But nuking a country for 10 people dead would be a bit unprecedented in the history of disproportionate retaliation...//

I am not suggesting anything of the sort. But if Iran attempts to use one or severely ups the ante another way, they will annhilate Iran. They have other weapons that are nuclear, that are much more sophisticated than Iran's.

//About ETA: they are not operating freely in Spain, but right now, the government of Spain is negotiating with them.//

Do they have 20 seats (or so) in parliament? When was the last attack by them?

All I am saying is, IF the ETA were lobbing rockets into Spain, France would not be happy about it and you might feel differently about it. And IF that were the case, I doubt Spain would be negotiating with them.

LASunsett said...

Correction. Statement should read:

They have other weapons that are NOT nuclear, that are much more sophisticated than Iran's.

Always On Watch said...

Super Frenchie,
they are not backed by a majority of the Lebanese people, who want them out.

In a way, that's true. But Hezbollah also does much philanthropic work there; at least, that's what my friend from Lebanon tells me every time I mention that Hezbollah needs to be rooted out.

I do hope that your friends are safe. It's mighty tough being in any war zone.