Saturday, July 29, 2006

Don't Mess With Israel

"The left is testing its strength on Israel, but its ultimate target is the United States." ~ David Horowitz

I haven't been able to follow current events as closely as I want or need to lately, due to the fact that I've been very busy with my new job and a new relationship. For that, I apologize.

This latest conflict in the Mid-east has me more than a little concerned, not so much for the instability of the middle east, so much as for what it means for the future of America.

Unless I'm wrong, Israel didn't start this fight, and yet, I keep hearing about the hundreds of casualties being inflicted upon the Lebanese and the Hezbolla terrorists, but I have heard very little about the casualties inflicted upon the Israelis themselves. Not that nothing has been reported regarding Israeli lives lost. But it seems to me there is a lot more concern in the majority of the media for the loss of lives of Israel's enemies, than that of Israel's people.

They simply did what America should have done when terrorists first struck us. They retaliated swiftly and with as much force as they deem necessary.

I am concerned that the American media is backing the wrong horse in this fight.

This is my take:

Israel is the land God gave to the Jews. They are His chosen people. No one, not Palestine, not Hezbollah, not Lebanon, has any right to that land. It is Israel's. It has always been the Jewish people's land. God gave it to the Jews, and that is a fact. Wishing that the Jews lose, as the American media seems to want, doesn't change the fact.

This war will not go well for the enemy of God's chosen people. And it will not go well for any country or any countries media that supports the enemy of Israel.

Anyone that is against God's people is against God.

Any country that turns against God and His people is destined for destruction.

America has long been an ally of Israel and that is how it should be. As my regular readers know, I support America very strongly, but if we ever turn our backs on Israel I will be the first to speak out against America's policies.

It is the height of arrogance to suppose we know better than God.

These media people who seem to be in support of Israel's enemies are courting America's destruction. We need to support Israel in this conflict. The future of America depends on the future of Israel.

In the end, Israel and Israelis' people will win. God will assure that. If America ends up supporting Israel's enemies, America will be no more. The American media would do well to read the Bible and see what eventually happens to Israelis enemies.

Here is what I have to say to America, and to the American media:

If you want America to continue to be the greatest country on Earth, don't mess with Israel!

57 comments:

Lone Ranger said...

Ah, therein lies the rub. The left DOESN'T WANT the United States to be the greatest country on earth.

Erudite Redneck said...

Screw the Left. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party needs lefties -- just like the Republican Party needs the Lone Ranger and most of the other extremist righties around here, includin the host. (I figure y'all will be complimented by the adjective.)

For an alternatibe view on " 'Authentically Liberal' warrior," from Foreign Affairs, go to:

http://eruditeredneck.blogspot.com/2006/07/authentically-liberal-warriors.html

jgf said...

Well said.

Dan Trabue said...

"Wishing that the Jews lose, as the American media seems to want, doesn't change the fact."

The media nor anyone else are wanting Israel to "lose," they want Israel not to commit war crimes, not to kill hundreds of innocent civilians. Why? Because it is against Israel's own best interests to do so - not to mention the best interests of the region and the world.

If someone were to attack here, killing innocents in the process, are we likely to increase or decrease the violence? Aren't we likely to try to find someone to invade, to "make them pay"?

Most of the world supports Israel's right to self-defense. We reject the notion that it is self-defense to kill innocent bystanders. THAT is what we're objecting to.

And, as a reminder, God's people are the people that are following God. The Bible is abundantly clear that when Israel was off seeking her own will, she was no nation of God. God does not blindly back Israel and to suggest such is to make God into a puppet.

God is not a tame God.

Liam said...

“I’ll see your Jihad and raise you a Crusade!”

… because religious wars are such a great way to settle differences; each side is certain of its own righteousness, death holds no fear because they are on an express ticket to heaven, the opposition doesn’t deserve consideration so they can be slaughtered wholesale: “Kill them all; God will know his own!”

I gather the UN is reporting at least 600 Lebanese have been killed so far, mostly civilians and about 200 of which were children. How can you, who are elsewhere a vocal proponent of the right to life, not condemn this as outrageous? Has God suspended some of the Ten Commandments while we weren’t looking?

“There is something fundamentally wrong with the war, where there are more dead children than armed men.”

Jim said...

Why can't the United States be the greatest country on earth and be liked and respected the world over as a broker of peace, a destroyer of poverty and disease, a sharer of the earth's resources, and a protector of the earth's future?

Francis Lynn said...

It is ludicrous & outrageous to say that the IDF committed war crimes. If anyone committed war crimes it is the Hezbollah terrorists who use women, children & old folks as shields, who place their rockets & other weapons in Mosques & private homes.

These Islam-scums know that Israel will take a hit from the press & in world opinion for hitting innocents along with the terrorists. Hezbollah can be thanked for innocent deaths - don't put it on Israel's head. btw, I didn't see any comments about the war crimes committed by Hezbollah for the indiscriminate killing of Israeli civilians thanks to their rockets.

We are concerned that world pressure will cause Israel to cease its sterilization of the Hezbollah infection before it is completed. The scourge needs to be eradicated.

Liam said...

For fairness, I should also have pointed out that as well as the 600 (now certainly more) Lebanese (mostly civilians) killed by Israel, the UN reports there have been 51 Israelis (including 18 civilians) killed by Hezbollah rockets.

It is that disparity in combatant vs. non-combatant deaths that is causing the reaction against Israel I think Mark, rather than any particular prejudice in favour of Hezbollah. If Israel were clearly only targeting terrorists and using its (considerable!) military technology for precise surgical strikes against them I don’t think most people would have a problem. However, indiscriminate shelling of the population is certainly going to fuel the vicious circle of violence and possibly ignite a more widespread war over the region.

Dan Trabue said...

Francis Lynn said:
"It is ludicrous & outrageous to say that the IDF committed war crimes."

I don't know Israeli law, but US and international law say it is against the law to bomb civilians (I suspect this is the rule of the land in Israel, too).

Just for one example of our laws and international laws, I give you the following from the Hague Convention of 1907 (which we've made the law in the US):

"The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited."

We want Israel to not bomb or attack civilians. This is what they're currently doing.

Is that so radical to ask them to obey the law?

Mark said...

I think it's kind of hard to determine exactly who is a civilian in Lebanon and who is a terrorist since they don't wear uniforms. Unless the act of wearing a uniform automatically makes them a civilian.

How about this? Since the Hezbollah apparently doesn't care if their innocent women and children are killed, (after all, they use them as shields don't they?) maybe the Israelis just consider ALL of them enemies, therefore there ARE no innocents.

Mark said...

"The media nor anyone else are wanting Israel to "lose,"

No, Dan, they want Israel to lose. Don't be so naive...watch CNN and MSNBC sometime without the rose colored glasses and see for yourself.

Francis Lynn said...

Dan left out part of the Hague Convention that he quoted. Here it is in full: "The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited. However, it is okay for combatants to use civilians as shields & to force them to remain in combat areas. It is further okay to fire weapons from civlian homes & places of worship, thus frustrating the enemies' prosecution of the war."

I don't know why Dan thinks these villages & dwellings are undefended.

Scenario:

IDF General: Major, things are slow today, so let's bomb the hell out of 100 civilians who are reported huddled in a home. I know we'll catch hell from world opinion & it's one of the stupidest things we can do, but gee, ain't it grand watching 40 children dissolve into molecules.

No Dan, the IDF does not intentionally bomb civilians. Dunno where your thinking is. They dropped leaflets & warned all civilians to leave combat areas. If a rocket launcher is next to a house, or RPG's are coming from the house, the IDF does not know if there are any civilians next to it.

This is war Dan. Effluvia happens.

Do you think, Dan, that Hezbollah gives a damn about international law? Do you think it too radical to ask them to obey the law?

Why you can't understand this whole concept of Hezbollah using civilians as shields & why you think Israel indiscriminately blows up civilians is beyond me.

But maybe you hit on something. In the future, all armies in conflict will position themselves around civilians. Since no one can bomb civilians, there is no combat, no war. I see a Noble Peace Prize in your future, Dan.

Dan Trabue said...

"No, Dan, they want Israel to lose."

Well unfortunately Mark, I don't have the psychic powers that you apparently possess to see in to the very soul's of humans and know there deepest desires. But if you could teach me sometime...

Mark also said:
"Since the Hezbollah apparently doesn't care if their innocent women and children are killed, (after all, they use them as shields don't they?) maybe the Israelis just consider ALL of them enemies, therefore there ARE no innocents."

Right. I'll tell that to the dozens of children that were killed last night when Israel "attacked and bombarded, by whatever means, the towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which were undefended."

But apparently, in your view, those dwellingers WERE manned with the mother and children terrorists, and probably a few baby terrorists. And I guess since little Al Scooter, age 10, was there and a Lebanese, he must surely have been defending that building.

Mark. Please. Will you defend war crimes and the breaking of Israel's own laws? In order to kill children?

Have you no soul?

I'll say it again, this is not to say that I nor the media nor anyone else is saying Israel can't defend herself. It is to say that Israel can't commit war crimes in order to defend herself, because it won't work. It will only serve to make Israel less secure, not more.

Dan Trabue said...

FL asked:
"Do you think, Dan, that Hezbollah gives a damn about international law?"

I don't give a damn whether or not Hezbollah gives a damn about international law. I will not support anyone - the US, Israel, Lebanon, ANYONE committing war crimes.

You're defending war crimes! War crimes that are resulting in children being killed. The laws don't say that it is prohibited to bomb civilians UNLESS the other side isn't behaving well. It is THE LAW and whether or not you support it, I suspect the majority of the world WILL support it and call for war crimes to be prosecuted no matter who commits them.

Mark said...

Dan, I'll tell you what. When you start admitting that abortion is nmurdering innocent babies, then you can moralize about killing Israels enemies. And don't start with that lie about not believing in it but supporting a woman's right to kill her baby. Either you think abortion is right or you don't. You can't be against it but for it at the same time. That is a disengenous argument and it doesn't have any credibility with genuine Christians.

And I will say again: Any one and any country that turns their backs on Israel is destined for destruction.

You want to denounce Israel for causing some collateral damage to women and children during a war, but you seem to have no problem with Hezbollah deliberately killing them. Why don't you admit that you hate Israel and America?

You are living in a fantasy world if you truly believe that wars can be fought with no blood and gore.

Dan Trabue said...

Mark said:

"Why don't you admit that you hate Israel and America?"

Why don't you? You're the one advocating war crimes and actions that will destroy the US and Israel. You must really hate us and be a traitor, to boot.

Goofy statements are easy to make, Mark.

For what it's worth, Hezbollah is committing war crimes, too - at least as I understand it. Using civilians as shields is against the law, as is the targetting of Israeli civilians. Or, at least Hezbollah would be committing war crimes if they were a nation. Instead, they are acting as individuals, so they're just criminals for doing so.

I thought that would go without saying (that they were breaking laws and ought to be held accountable), but I reckon I better point it out.

I'm against us, them, Israeli or anyone committing war crimes, against anyone targeting or using civilians and I will work to see that anyone who does so is prosecuted for their actions.

Why? Because I love my nation and her ideals. Because I love Israelis, Lebanese, Iraqis and even those, like you, who seem to think it is okay to sometimes commit war crimes.

Or will you join me in renouncing war crimes whether they're committed by the Lebanese, Israel or the US? I'd really think that we could at least come together enough to all stand against war crimes.

Mark said...

Accidental collateral damage is NOT a war crime. Deliberately targeting innocent civilians such as what Hezbollah does is.

By the way Dan, Have you ever read the books of the Bible that tell the story of the beginnings of Israel? God not only allowed the killing of ALL the enemies of Israel (including women and children), he flat out COMMANDED it.

Do you consider yourself more morally righteous than God?

Francis Lynn said...

Let's see if I understand Dan correctly. It is a war crime for Israel to blow up a building where rockets were being launched in an attempt to kill Israeli citizens. Even though Israel did not know civilians were in the building, they did know that rockets were being fired. So because civilians died, although the IDF did not know they were there, it is still a war crime.

Hmm. Then any inadvertent civilian deaths by any party in any conflict is a war crime, by Dan's way of logic.

I find it telling that you don't give a damn about whether Hezbollah follows international law, but you give enough damn about Israel following it.

The Left loves to throw out buzz words like "war crimes". They have no clue what the legal definition entails, but that doesn't stop them from using it. As long as it sounds sooo good to use, who cares whether it is accurate or not.

Dan Trabue said...

Mark said:

"Accidental collateral damage is NOT a war crime."

Do you think that when Israel was bombing bridges with people running across them, bombing homes in residential neighborhoods, bombing any non-military targets, do you honestly think that Israel thought there would be no civilians there?

Put it another way: Remember that abortion clinic bomber named Rudolf who went into hiding in Appalachia somewhere? The police had a hard time finding him, partially because some people in the area were tacitly supportive of him and wouldn't turn him in.

Suppose the police knew the general area where Rudolf was hiding. Would it have been acceptable to start bombing the neighborhood where they suspected he was? What if they had dropped fliers warning people to evacuate first, then would it have been okay.

Please, God, tell me that your answer is No, it would not have been okay.

I'll gladly admit that I'm no lawyer. I'm just reading the laws as they're written and telling you what looks like broken laws to me. I hear you saying that at least you don't support Israel in committing war crimes, right? We're just disagreeing what is and isn't a criminal act?

At least that's a starting place. (I've seen some people on the Right acknowledging that these acts are violations of the laws I've cited but they don't care. That's scary.)

So, the question is, is what they're doing violation of their laws? Do you know the answer to that? I'd say, based upon what I've seen and the fairly unambiguous language of at least the one law cited, that there is reasonable question about the legality of Israel's actions (as there are about some of ours in Iraq).

With at least 37 children killed today, I'd suggest that it is time to slow things down and make sure war crimes are not being committed.

Lone Ranger said...

OK, here's my plan. Let's get some guys in striped shirts to keep score and referee. Then, when the Israelis kill more people targeting tactical locations than Hezbollah does targeting civilians, a referee could blow a whistle and the terrorists would be allowed to attack a kindergarten. Everybody would be happy because war would become "fair." Oh, and give Hezbollah more accurate missiles.

As for being called an "extremist," I prefer "radical." You know -- like the "radical Republicans" who ended slavery? I don't use "extremist" when I'm talking about liberals, since there is nothing they would see as being extreme. I mean, once you start sucking the brains out of babies minutes before they are born and defending people who want to destroy us all, I think you've pretty much shown that there is no extreme to which you will not go.

Erudite Redneck said...

Dan abortion is the "nuclear option" for these guys. They think they can utter the word and all oppents are defeated. Well, no. But they think so.

Radical Republicans didn't end slavery, LR. The Union Army ended it, about a generation, or two, before it would have ended of its own volition.

Radical Republicans directed the occupation of conquered U.S. states, the freshly defended Constitution be damned, and set up puppet governments to impose their will. You need to 1., read some more history, and 2., get a new act.

On the other hand, considering your disdain for the law, well, if the radical shoe fits -- admit that nothing shy of military rule in this country would make you happy.

Liam said...

The essential point that several of you are missing is that Hezbollah and Israel are not just a couple of teams on a sports field; they play by different rules from each other. Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation which believes its political agenda is more important than human lives and Israel is a nation state governed by laws and treaties, where human rights are protected and civilisation fostered. If you are suggesting that both Israel and Hezbollah should be allowed to do the same things, then to my mind that is saying that Israel has become a terrorist organisation too. You are descending to the lowest common denominator.

Israel is rapidly vacating the moral high ground and, as it does so, I’m afraid it’s losing my support too. The violence now taking place isn’t making the Lebanese turn against Hezbollah; quite the reverse. Violence begets violence.

Lone Ranger said...

Turning it personal again. Why is it when I try to debate with liberals, the discussion always becomes about me?

Dan Trabue said...

"Have you ever read the books of the Bible that tell the story of the beginnings of Israel? God not only allowed the killing of ALL the enemies of Israel (including women and children), he flat out COMMANDED it."

Yes, I've read how God repeatedly condemned Israel for depending upon a huge military. God told Israel over and over to rely upon God, not a military. So don't go advocating OT solutions unless you're really willing to accept them.

The other thing is, Mark, as SOON as God tells us to go and wipe out a town - every last man, woman and child - then maybe we should ("maybe" - assuming that we're not hearing voices other than God's).

But God has not told us to do so, has God?

In fact, the LAST word we had from God on this matter was a clear cut command: Love your enemies. Overcome evil with good.

Will you accept these commands or blow them off and expose your hypocrisy for what it is?

You also stated a few times this fallacy:
"Any one and any country that turns their backs on Israel is destined for destruction."

You DO recall Jesus' words to the Jews on this matter, don't you?

[Jesus:] "I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you."

They answered and said to him, "Our father is Abraham."

Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works of Abraham..."

(So) they said to him, "We are not illegitimate. We have one Father, God."

Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.

Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you cannot bear to hear my word.

You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me...

Whoever belongs to God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not listen, because you do not belong to God."


Yowch! Strong words, those.

Or you might recall John the Baptist's statement to the pharisees and "religious":

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham as our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

In short, the Bible teaches that "God's people" are those that follow God's teachings. It is not a particular family or tribe of people that are blessed, but the tribe that follows God's teachings. Whether they be Jewish, Muslim or Christian.

Don't try to reduce God down to a caged magician, there to bless only one certain nation (or two) upon demand and who "must" act in a certain way.

Erudite Redneck said...

LR, I'd say it's because once you introduce the idea of "suckihg brains out of babies" into a converation about somethin else entirely, you're asking for it.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Radical Republicans didn't end slavery, LR.

But it was the Republican Party that was the anti-slavery party, ER.

As you offer LR to "go read some history", I recommend to you "Unfounded Loyalty".

Liam,

You always have an interesting perspective, but

Israel is rapidly vacating the moral high ground and, as it does so, I’m afraid it’s losing my support too. The violence now taking place isn’t making the Lebanese turn against Hezbollah; quite the reverse. Violence begets violence.


So what would the "right" measured response have been? Weakness also begets violence. What would a cease-fire accomplish, other than to bring back the status quo, and give Hezbollah time to regroup and time to build itself up again?

dreadnought said...

I think your post is highly amusing. Israel is not the land of God or whatever you claim it is; no more than the Arabian peninsular is, as claimed by the Muslims. The writings in the bible or the Koran or any other religious book are about as relevant as Marvel comics.

The reality is this: Israel has an absolute right to exist and was attacked by an Islamic terrorist organisation funded and armed by an Islamic fundamentalist regime, both of whom desire Israel’s destruction. In this instance Israel has to defend itself although it has certainly over reacted by attacking the civilians and infrastructure of a weak nation who have no control over the terrorists in its midst. However, Israel cannot afford to show weakness to Hezbollah and Iran as their combined threats will increase.

Conversely, Israel must cease in its annexation of the West Bank and fully withdraw to its pre 1967 borders. Plainly, the Palestinian people also have a right to their homeland. The Israeli settlement policy and occupation has no future other than more provocation and unrest in the Arab street and, due to its continued and unconditional support, result in greater Arab animosity towards America.

Seamus said...

I think it's debateable whether or not the Israel of today is still God's chosen land for the Jewish race of today; it seems rather clear to me that Jesus the Messiah changed the "people of God" from a physical nationality into a faith-connected Body of Christ. Along those same lines, depending on one's eschatology, the physical nation of Israel ranges from either completely significant to completey insignificant.

However, as to whether or not Israel is right in this war, I completely agree with you. Liberals have completely forgotten the ethics of "killing". I posted about this, myself. I'll say again what I said then:

...there exists a system of ethics that holds authority over all people with "right" and "wrong" being objective principles that must be upheld far above any one individual's desires or "rights". It's not that conservatives don't value life; quite the contrary in fact, just look at their stance on abortion. "Thou shalt not kill" is fundamental, but even a cursory read of one Old Testament narrative shows that killing is very "right" in certain circumstances: namely war and the death penalty.

Applying this to current events like the Isreali-Lebanon conflict, we find the same dichotomy. The right is generally supporting the war and the left is lamenting the loss of "innocent life". Why do conservatives support the war? I recently heard a great line in an old movie about WWII and the bombing of Hiroshima. A man told his wife that he felt horrible about killing but that it would be an even greater wrong to let the enemies get away with what they're doing. That's exactly it! No sane person, right or left, wants to kill for the sake of killing but there are circumstances when killing is the right thing to do. Is it bad that Lebanese civilians are being hurt and killed? Yes, but it would be worse to let Hezbollah get away with terrorism. Not because of logistics, or money, or national borders, but because it is right to stand up and fight against such an enemy and it is wrong to leave them alone.

This is about ethics. Was it right for America to join the fight against Hitler and his Nazi regime? Yes, it was. Was it right for America to bomb Japan? Yes, it was. Not because America simply had the power, but because the universal standard of right declared us just to destroy such evil in the world. The same applies to Iraq, Hezbollah, and any other evil regime.

The difference, then, between right and left is that the right is willing to stand up and fight for justice, counting the cost but obeying a higher call. The left is unwilling to stand up for justice because of the cost. It's like another line I heard in a movie: "nothing is worth your life". Maybe for a relativist that's true, but I'm proud to claim that there are many things worth "your life" and justice is certainly one of them.

Dan Trabue said...

"The left is unwilling to stand up for justice because of the cost."

Nice try but I don't buy it. The "left" is standing up for justice. Killing innocent people is not part of justice, it is an injustice to do so.

Don't believe it? Let me bomb your neighborhood and we'll see if you think it a just or unjust action.

And so, a majority of the people around the world who support Israel's right to self-defense will stand against Israel when she starts bombing civilians (even if the intent is to bomb the "bad guys") - just as we'll stand against Hezbollah for hiding behind civilians and for bombing civlians in Israel.

To condemn Israel's wrong actions is not the same as to support Hezbollah. In fact, it is the supportive thing to do FOR Israel, because Israel's actions (the bombing of civilians part of it) will come much closer to leading to her destruction than any Hezbollah strikes could ever hope.

That IS a stand for justice. It is a stand for the rule of law. It is a stand against evil and on behalf of the innocent.

Seamus said...

"Nice try but I don't buy it. The "left" is standing up for justice. Killing innocent people is not part of justice, it is an injustice to do so.

Don't believe it? Let me bomb your neighborhood and we'll see if you think it a just or unjust action."


Maybe you'd have a point if Israel was intentionally killing "innocent people" instead of Hezbollah. I don't buy that.

If Hezbollah was living in my neighborhood, I would expect them to bring trouble and I would do what I could to get them out myself. If my neighborhood was bombed, and I had been warned repeatedly, I would get out of there and give Hezbollah all the trouble I could on the way.

Why can't people recognize that they are responsible for things in a wholistic sense? If my family went out and robbed banks, I would be responsible for that in some way or another; I couldn't just say "that was them, leave me alone". Same thing for my neighborhood. If terrorists were cooking up mayhem next door it is MY responsibility to get them out. My method would probably have to involve police and authorities unless I want to go to jail, myself, but it is still true.

It is ridiculous and impractical to break everything down into individual categories. People exist in groups and with that comes group respnosibility.

I don't like civilians who have nothing to do with terrorism being hurt, I never said otherwise. But casualities of war are not war crimes, and I don't see anything wrong with Israel's actions.

It doesn't matter to me that this involves Israel, either. It could be any nation fighting another.

Dan Trabue said...

"Maybe you'd have a point if Israel was intentionally killing "innocent people" instead of Hezbollah."

When one drops bombs on a neighborhood to kill a few bad guys and one knows that there are civilians in the neighborhood too, that IS intentionally killing innocent people.

I fully understand and believe that Israel would rather not kill innocents, but they are taking actions that we all know ARE killing them.

In this ill-conceived action thus far, it would seem that they've killed hundreds of people, the majority of which are not Hezbollah and a goodly number of which are children.

It is not acceptable and it is a stupid way for Israel to try to secure herself because it is going to lead to a LESS secure nation, not more.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Dan,

I'm curious to know if there is ever a circumstance when collateral damage is acceptable to you. When the means ever does justify the ends.

Liam said...

Hello Wordsmith. What would I consider the ‘right’ response from Israel? A considerably higher degree of accuracy is the answer. Israel is the regional superpower, both in terms of military capability and intelligence gathering. Mossad has had years to build up files on Hezbollah, so I would expect them to know details of the significant people and places involved in the organisation and to be able to track them as they move. The Prestwick flights showed us that the US is keeping Israel well supplied with advanced precision weaponry. Yet still the Israeli army seems to kill fifty civilians for every terrorist they hit. I simply don’t believe that Israel is so inept at prosecuting a targeted offensive.

Also, effectively carpet-bombing a region is not a sensible course of action to deal with a terrorist threat. You may indeed get some of the guys who actually fire the rockets but a terrorist organisation is a nimble thing, so you’re unlikely to get all of them and you almost certainly won’t destroy the organisation behind the guys on the ground, nor the ideology which will recruit more of them. Instead you’ll destroy peoples’ homes and livelihoods, kill lots of civilians and build up a huge fund of hatred which will come back to haunt it in years to come. What does Israel hope to achieve by this?

Seamus, I think your reasoning is somewhat disingenuous about civilian casualties. How do you know when your neighbour is a terrorist? Terrorism is a covert activity where you only reveal yourself at the last possible moment? And if you think about it, if you had the urge to launch missiles against the neighbouring country, would you really go and live in the place you were going to fire them from? That doesn’t sound like a very bright move to me! As for the civilians not having all packed up and gone, surely Hurricane Katrina showed you that just because there is a good reason to evacuate an area, doesn’t mean everyone is able or willing to do so.

Oh, and Dreadnought, I’m confused how you can dismiss God as fiction but then state that Israel has an absolute right to exist. No nation has an absolute right to exist. Just look back through history to see how many nations have come and gone and count how many of those around now were around a thousand years ago.

Dan Trabue said...

"I'm curious to know if there is ever a circumstance when collateral damage is acceptable to you."

Thanks for asking WS. My answer would be that if we know there are civilians in the way, that we ought not bomb. This seems to me (and I'm not a lawyer) to be a violation of our law and of Just War Theory.

I'm sure you could arrange an outlandish what-if that I might agree with (What if a bomber had a nuke ready to blow up a city and said that he was going to blow it up unless you shot little Bobby...), but generally, no. I'd say it would be counter productive to security, peace, the law and our ethics.

But in general, I think Liam gave a very good answer. Currently, Israel seems to be killing many more civilians than "terrorists" and that is just a poor idea. IF you're going to wage a defensive war, do so intelligently. Killing civilians is not only immoral, but also unwise.

As to your question about "When the means ever does justify the ends."

Assuming you mean the "when the ends justify the means...", I could think of more in this case. If by lying, for instance, I could save a life, I'd lie.

But I wouldn't take an innocent life to save an innocent life and even the notion of taking an innocent life to save 10 innocent lives is questionable.

The problem is that we don't know what outcomes may result from our action. If we could know 100% for sure that by killing little Bobby, we could save an elementary school, then a case might be made, but we just don't know.

That's why the conservative/prudent person is extremely reluctant to go to war and certainly not unless faced with actual threats (ie, an invasion).

Savik said...

Since when is the Bible history? Where is your proof? If you believe in the Bible then why are preaching hate, violence, and killing? Quite frankly it is a shame that anyone is being killed on either side.

Savik said...

I thought you believed in the Bible? Killing is wrong. It's a shame that anyone has to die on either side.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Liam,

From what I've been able to ascertain on intelligence, traditionally, we've often underestimated the strengths of our enemies; intelligence is not as precise as we sometimes are led to believe, or are wont to romanticize about. We can certainly see our own intelligence failures, pre-9/11.

I do not deny that there are innocent casualties; but let's not forget that these people are experts in running the propaganda war. This includes staging casualties. An interesting book I still have not gotten through, is Stephanie Gutmann's "The Other War".

Although it's a bit too conspiratorial for me, Pallywood, which is making its rounds in the conservative blogosphere, does have some parts to it that I think can be substantiated.

dreadnought said...

Liam, I am not really interested which countries may have existed a thousand years ago. Israel has a right to exist because it is a member of the UN and is populated by a majority who desire its existence.
When you say no nation has a right to exist, do you include the US in this? I am pretty certain a large number of muslims would like to see its eradication.

Liam said...

Fair comment, Wordsmith; I don’t think the general public ever really knows how good or bad intelligence gathering is. However I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to compare pre-9/11 USA with Israel. The USA was complacent, having never really been attacked on its home soil, and their intelligence services weren’t co-operating particularly well. Israel has had a very different history in the last few decades, so I would imagine their security services are a better-oiled machine.

As for people being experts in running a propaganda war, I have heard plenty of Israeli Ministers and Ambassadors being interviewed in recent weeks and they are at least as bad as anyone else at painting the picture they want you to see, regardless of the facts.

(By the way, am I just being especially dense today, or did you really mean to ask whether the ends ever justify the means rather than vice versa?)

Dreadnought, remember that those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it! :o) Actually I am really just arguing semantics: If there is no 'absolute authority' (God) then there can be no 'absolute right' for a country to exist. That’s not to say though that countries can’t exist without divine sanction! A nation is really just an idea in people’s heads; it exists as long as there is a common consensus that it exists. However if that consensus starts to weaken then that nation begins to dissolve, regardless of what may be written in someone’s holy book – or Constitution! (For the record, I am not suggesting that Israel is likely to dissolve any time soon. Most Israelis I’ve met have a very strong consensus on that topic!)

Liam said...

And while we're on the subject of nationhood, I found this article from BBC News interesting for what it says about the Lebanese consensus in that respect:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5245116.stm

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Liam,

Even though Israel has a strong reputation in military matters, including intelligence, due to constant threat of danger, I honestly think it's speculative to say how accurate any government's intelligence information ever really is.

As for the propoganda war, I realize my bias for Israel. Which means I might not see things with clear lenses. But I do think they are not as adept in the PR dept. Not just now, but for the past several decades, where the perception of Israel has become that they are the big mechanized Goliath, fighting "boys hurling stones". It is an image that the PA has worked hard to establish; and the AP reporters and photographers and CNN have been biased, coloring the rest of the world's biased perception to be against Israel.

Again, I encourage people to check out Stephanie Gutmann's "The Oher War". Just Google it.


(By the way, am I just being especially dense today, or did you really mean to ask whether the ends ever justify the means rather than vice versa?)

I really did mean it the way I wrote it. It's a bit specific to previous conversations that I have had with Dan.

I have a bit of fascination with moral paradox and moral dilemma problems, and have been meaning to make a post on this.

Jason H. Bowden said...

Dan, liam et al--

There is a reason it is called war and not happy playtime.

Civilians die in wars. During the battle of Okinawa, to take an example, 19,000 Americans died, 110,000 Japanese soldiers died, and 150,000 civilians died.

Just as Haifa is the third largest city in Israel, Chicago, where I reside, is the third largest city in the United States. If a country was firing rockets into MY city I'd want the government to turn the enemy's land into a parking lot, right or wrong, civilians or no civilians.

If the Party of God, the Hezb'Allah, valued the lives of the Lebs, they wouldn't have tunneled under Israel's border, killed eight Israelis, and kidnapped two. If the Lebs didn't want violence they would have put troops on their southern border. But the Lebanese government is afraid of the gangsters in the Party of God.

Lastly, the talk about negotiation with the Party of God is absolute crap. The Party of God, with the help of Iran, killed 241 American PEACEKEEPERS in 1983. The Party of God is composed of religious fanatics like Nasrallah, who like Islamic Jihad and Hamas, will not stop until every Jew living in Israel is DEAD.

Context matters, people.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Mark...what happened to my last comment? I left it last night.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Oh great...now I look like a fool and a tool.

Thanks for putting it up.

*sigh* comment moderation is the pits.

Mark said...

Sorry Wordsmith. I've been working really long hours and I have little time to spend online anymore. And sometimes when I am going through my e-mails, I am rather bleary eyed and don't know whether I click on publish or moderate.

Let me return this thread to the original premise. We need to support Israel. Nations who attack Israel have, through history, not only failed but have become non-existant. What happened to the Philistines? The Babylonians? Gone. Why? Because they messed with Israel.

It is true that Israel doesn't appear to be God's people anymore, but that is the people who have removed themselves from God. There is no evidence that God has removed Himself from His people.

The fact is: History shows that Israel has strayed from God time and time again, and everytime they suffer for it, and everytime, they repent and return to God, and everytime He forgives them and takes them back. One cannot say that about any other nation on Earth.

Those who study end times prophecy will also tell you that in the end, Israel will survive, and those who attack Israel and those who refuse to support Israels enemies will be destroyed.

They are still His people. America needs to support Israel in this endeavor regardless of whether they are fighting this war civilly.

Jason H. Bowden said...

mark--

It is naive to believe that good triumphs over evil in the last chapter. Humanity has been in dark ages before, and it is not impossible that Islam will rule the world in our future.

Being loved by God doesn't mean spit when fanatics who believe in mass martyrdom at the end-of-times like Ahmadinejad are detonating nukes within your borders.

As Winston Churchill put described Islam, "No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome."

Dan Trabue said...

Jason said:

"I'd want the government to turn the enemy's land into a parking lot, right or wrong, civilians or no civilians."

You may well feel that way and I may even feel that way, but I would remain opposed to the US committing war crimes and targeting civilians, and even bombing blindly where you know civilians will be, is war crime material.

The question is not, Will we stand oppose to terrorism or will we be conquered? The question is, Will we stand oppose to oppression and war crimes and live up to those ideals or will we embrace that which we hate to overcome it? (As if that could be done...)

Erudite Redneck said...

Wow. Re:

"They are still His people. America needs to support Israel in this endeavor regardless of whether they are fighting this war civilly."

If what you mean is "Israel, right or wrong," then count me out. And if you mean "America, right or wrong," count me out!

Re:

"Those who study end times prophecy will also tell you that in the end, Israel will survive, and those who attack Israel and those who refuse to support Israels enemies will be destroyed."

Those who "study" end-times "prophecy" are going against the live-in-the-present-and-give-no-thought-for-the-morrow instructions and example of the Lord Jesus himself.

Whatever else they are, "Christian" is somewhere toward the bottom of the Top 5. Or below.

Jason H. Bowden said...

dan--

"Will we stand oppose to terrorism or will we be conquered?"

Uh, yes, that precisely is the question.

Today's generation would have lost world war two, since it would not have had the stomach to firebomb Dresden or nuke Nagasaki.

Dan Trabue said...

"it would not have had the stomach to firebomb Dresden or nuke Nagasaki."

Or, put another way, we wouldn't be wiling to commit war crimes? Yeah, that's right. I'd hope not.

The ends do not justify the means.

Jason H. Bowden said...

"The ends do not justify the means."

Then what does?

Dan Trabue said...

I'm not sure I follow your question.

Just, appropriate means are just and appropriate. Wrong means are wrong. Deadly violence that hits innocent people is wrong, no matter who's doing it. Stopping oppression is right, no matter who's doing it, UNLESS they use wrong means to stop the oppression.

Isn't this just basic ethics and morality? I know it's what my momma taught me. What my little old Sunday School teachers taught me. What nearly all the world's religions and great thinkers teach me.

Jason H. Bowden said...

dan--

Consequences matter. Your moral purity isn't worth jack when you're dead. You need to jettison the tunnel vision and see the big picture.

You asked if the question was ""Will we stand oppose to terrorism or will we be conquered?" That precisely is the question we face.

Think about the Cold War-- as a basic condition for a free world, we had to make sure Communism was defeated, even if in the short term that meant supporting dictators, assassinating leaders, and rigging elections in other countries.

You need to look at these things as an adult, and not like some child watching Disney. When faced with some pain now versus a LOT of pain later, isn't it best to take the first option? Be rational, please.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, we know Mark is around if for no other reason than our comments keep coming. Hope all is well.

"even if in the short term that meant supporting dictators, assassinating leaders, and rigging elections in other countries."

Phew! That does say a lot about the difference between us. Face things as an adult? I am. As a moral Christian adult.

I reject the juvenile claim that we "gotta be tougher, meaner, more cut-throat than them" as not only juvenile and immoral, but counter-productive to our own security.

You can place your trust in "win at all costs - terrorism and lawlessness is okay when WE do it," I'll place mine in law and order and basic morality.

Peace.

Dan Trabue said...

"even if in the short term that meant supporting dictators, assassinating leaders, and rigging elections in other countries."

Yeah, that supporting Saddam turned out real well...

There's a reason why it is a Conservative ideal (classically speaking) to NOT go around the world intervening in other nations - especially breaking and bending laws to do so. We just aren't genius enough to know when a dictator supported or overthrown is going to come back and bite us.

Jason H. Bowden said...

dan--

Supporting Saddam did do exactly what it was designed to do-- it prevented the Ayatollahs from exporting the Islamic Revolution throughout the Middle East.

Consequences matter. Jimmy Carter stabbed the Shah in the back and let the wackos takeover for his own personal morality. Today, thousands upon homosexuals have been executed in Iran, and adultery is punished by stoning.

How is that consonant with your so-called Christian morality?

Leftists don't care about consequences-- they only care about being liked, even by evil people.

Dan Trabue said...

"Supporting Saddam did do exactly what it was designed to do-- it prevented the Ayatollahs from exporting the Islamic Revolution throughout the Middle East."

And in the process, many Kurds were killed, war crimes were committed - crimes for which Saddam is being tried today. WHILE we supported him!

I truly don't understand some of y'all, purporting to be moral and/or Christian people but advocating the worse sort of immorality. The ends do NOT justify the means.

And you better damn well believe consequences matter. The consequences of us supporting Saddam was that people were killed - hundreds of thousands of people, for which you suddenly want to get all holy and condemn Saddam! Your reasoning escapes me.

The deaths in Iran DON'T jibe with my morality. I'm of the sort of morality that would oppose both Saddam AND Iran, but do so in an intelligent way, not illegally giving him weaponry that we later regret.