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What's Hebrew for "mess with the bull, you'll get the horns?"

Envy is a curious thing. Some people simply can't stand to see others get attention, even horribly fatal attention, while they are being snubbed.

That is the only possible explanation I can conceive for Hezbollah's deciding to emulate Hamas recently. Hamas invaded Israel, killed several soldiers, and kidnapped one. In response, Israel is incrementally destroying every shred of Hamas, ignoring offers of trading that single Israeli soldier for a thousand or so Palestinian prisoners (indicating that Hamas agrees with me -- one Israeli is worth about a thousand Palestinians) and instead hitting them harder and harder -- blowing up buildings, capturing or killing leaders, and in general raining chaos on the region that has inflicted so much carnage and death on Israel over the years.

Quite frankly, I don't see just what Hamas is gaining out of this, but somehow Hezbollah must see some sort of upside, because now they've emulated Hamas. They have done their own invasion of Israel and in a "anything dumb you can do, I can do dumber" move, have kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. And, predictably, Israel's is much the same -- no negotiations, just more and more military action.

So now Hezbollah has brought down the wrath of the Israeli military on southern Lebanon. And the possibility of any of those prisoners being released -- already nonexistent -- is, somehow, even lesser now.

I see two possible explanations for this. One, as above, is that once again we are seeing affirmation of the old observation that "the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity," and are once again demonstrating to look at all the possible courses of actions and find the single dumbest, least productive, most self-defeating option -- and leap on it with both feet.

The other possibility is that there is a plan behind this, a puppet master pulling the strings and engineering events for their own purposes.

Hmm... Israel's military might is being focused on the north and the southwest. All their attention is on Gaza and Lebanon. In fact, much of the world's attention is on Israel and those two regions. As the conspiracy theorists like to say, cui bono? Who benefits?

Well, I note a decided decline in coverage of Iran and its nuclear ambitions and bellicose threats. And Syria, having come under Israel's glare over the Gaza kidnapping (even to the point of buzzing Dorktator Bashar Assad's summer home), has rather extensive ties with Hezbollah (to put it mildly), certainly would be interested in having Israel bogged down in Gaza and southern Lebanon.

Let us also not forget that Iran and Syria have a defense pact.

Could this all be a part of an Iranian/Syrian plot against Israel? Get them bogged down in Gaza and Lebanon, leaving them vulnerable to a direct strike?

I think not. It's too Machiavellian, too Karl Rovian, for these people to conceive of and arrange. But I certainly think that there is an element of opportunism here.

I honestly don't believe that the initial kidnapping of Gilad Shalit was part of some grand conspiracy. I suspect a group of Hamas terrorists came up with that plan on their own, got some support without going into particulars, and then pulled it off. After the fact, the leadership of Hamas was faced with a dilemma: renounce the actions as rogue elements, or embrace them. They chose a middle course, doing both (hey, does anyone know where John Kerry is?), because to do the smart and right thing (give Shalit back, and THEN push for concessions from Israel after this "gesture of good faith"), they got wrapped up in their pride and arrogance.

After that, it became simple political opportunism. Israel engaging Hamas serves many people's political interests. The Arab world gets fresh video of "Zionist oppression" and "atrocities." The Palestinians get fresh excuses to claim eternal victimhood. Iran gets out from under the world's microscope. Syria gets a good look at the state of the art in Isareli weapons and tactics. And so on. And so on.

Where will all this lead? I don't know. I don't think Israel has the means and will to sustain the low-to-moderate fighting going on in Lebanon and Gaza. I suspect they will look for a way to end it, and end it quickly -- quite possibly through escalating matters until they reach a breaking point. Hamas and Hezbollah can't withstand the level of assault they are facing now, and certainly will have to crumble if pushed even harder.

I've often thought that the rounds and rounds of futile "peace talks" were just postponing the inevitable, an all-out war between Israel and the terrorists and nations that seek their destruction. That delaying this decisive defeat of the anti-Israeli forces would settle the question of Israel's existence would only make it bloodier, more expensive. This could be the beginning of that final conflict.

But I doubt it. That'd be too tidy.


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Comments (64)

I'll let you know when a ne... (Below threshold)

I'll let you know when a new flag flies over the Dome Of The Rock... right before it's dismantled permanently.

Where will all this lead... (Below threshold)
Chris Gill:

Where will all this lead? I don't know. I don't think Israel has the means and will to sustain the low-to-moderate fighting going on in Lebanon and Gaza. I suspect they will look for a way to end it, and end it quickly -- quite possibly through escalating matters until they reach a breaking point. Hamas and Hezbollah can't withstand the level of assault they are facing now, and certainly will have to crumble if pushed even harder.

Hmm. I have always seen Israel's miltary efforts as ranging from "Intense and Swift"' to "Strategic and efficient". Is is it true they have the best military in the world "Pound for pound"?

Is this effort by Israel really an effort to tell the other countries in the Middle East to put up or shut up?

...because to do t... (Below threshold)
kyer:
...because to do the smart and right thing (give Shalit back, and THEN push for concessions from Israel after this "gesture of good faith"), they got wrapped up in their pride and arrogance.
Good point.

The Boston Globe had an interesting editorial today, "Iran's trap for Israel". A snippet:

The timing of the Hezbollah action could not be more revealing. Hezbollah commandos crossed into Israel on the same day that Iran was supposed to give its answer to the package of incentives that the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany offered to Iran if it will suspend uranium enrichment and enter negotiations to bring it into compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The other possibility is... (Below threshold)

The other possibility is that there is a plan behind this, a puppet master pulling the strings and engineering events for their own purposes.

Syria and Iran, supporting two opposing sides in the growing Iraqi civil war, have a mutual defense pact. They get their proxies to attack Israel, Israel tolerates it for as long as it can until it decides to go after the source -- Syria and/or Iran -- at which point they both pool resources and hit Israel.

If the US were not a divisive nation at this point, not to mention actively involved in a few places, we'd likely join in, but they're counting on division in the ranks. EU is just about guaranteed to issue stern warnings to Israel to play nicely with the local bullies. Everyone stays out and Israel gets driven into the sea.

Iran has a great deal of co... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Iran has a great deal of control over the funding of both Hezbollah and Hamas...And thugs almost ALWAYS listen to their moneyman.

I would imagine that IDF co... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

I would imagine that IDF commanders have long lists of "ripe" targets in Lebanon and, uh, beyond. If it's not "weapons free" time yet...it soon will be.

and about damn time too

rwilymz...except the U.S. m... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

rwilymz...except the U.S. military is BETWEEN Iran and Syria right now. Those two moronic nations have to be VERY careful not to give us an inkling of an excuse to get involved.

I think either or both is just stoooopid enough to go ahead and give us that excuse.

The problem with delaying t... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

The problem with delaying the inevitable, is that the longer the conflagration is put off the more horrific the weapons availabel become.

It may very well be time to destroy Hamas, utterly, and neutralize the Syrians in preparation for the coming confrontation with Iran.

except the U.S. military... (Below threshold)

except the U.S. military is BETWEEN Iran and Syria right now

That's very true.

But Cindy Sheehan and John Murtha are between the US sitting out and the US getting involved.

I really think they believe we're too divided to do anything. I think they're counting on that.

Plus, Iran is probably a little desperate on its nuke thing. The entire world is breathing down their necks, not just the "Usual Suspects".

rwilymz: "But Cindy Shee... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

rwilymz: "But Cindy Sheehan and John Murtha are between the US sitting out and the US getting involved."

actually Cindy Sheehan and John Murtha are sitting between irrelevance and obscurity :)

It seems to me that Iran wa... (Below threshold)
Deagle:

It seems to me that Iran was the principle actor from the start...

"What's Hebrew for "mess... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"What's Hebrew for "mess with the bull, you'll get the horns?"

What are you going to do Jay, throw your duck at them?

"rwilymz...except the U.S. ... (Below threshold)
yo:

"rwilymz...except the U.S. military is BETWEEN Iran and Syria right now."

The problem I see with US forces being inbetween those two is that our geo-positioning also puts us right smack dab in the middle. If Syria/Iran get involved and can paint this as a call for jihad, to protect islam or whatever such bullshit mulsims put up, we could see some really nasty shiite going down, with our guys caught outnumbered and between iraq and a hard place.

(sorry for the bad puns ... I've been up all night working)

Jay Tea, is probably very ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay Tea, is probably very close to the truth in his surprisingly balanced analysis that the Middle East simmering problems have come to a boil, suits alot of the players' intersts..Then there is the Bush analysis at his press conference today "We were headed toward the road map,things looked positive, and terrorists stepped up and kidnaped a soldier, fired rockets into Israel.".. For the president it doesn't get any more complicated than that .

yo - they aren't a match fo... (Below threshold)

yo - they aren't a match for the U.S. military. Our boys and girls have been using kid gloves. If Syria and Iran get in this in a serious way, the kid gloves come off--like they partially were in the initial invasion.

Cindy Sheehan and John M... (Below threshold)

Cindy Sheehan and John Murtha are sitting between irrelevance and obscurity

Closer to irrelevance in my book. But there's a who-o-ole passel of Americans marching in support. ... which is the problem. And that many voters, even if irrelevant, carry weight.

If Syria and Iran get i... (Below threshold)

If Syria and Iran get in this in a serious way, the kid gloves come off

We outflank Iran anyhow; we're in A'stan. But Mo's right. We outgun them and out-tactic them by orders of magnitude. Middle Eastern nations have the habit of blustering like the playground bully, and then running when they get a bloody nose.

They've been more willing to ambush and remote-control a war than actually fight a real one.

...but if Iraq ingited into a full-fledged civil war, I think we should leave them to it. There's nothing better for two groups who both hate you to get into a war themselves.

Two words: Air. Supremacy.<... (Below threshold)
tarheelcon:

Two words: Air. Supremacy.

It is hard to fight when your stuck in a bomb shelter all day.

Of course if we move the troops to Okinawa it might make things more difficult. ;)

I hear ya as far as the US ... (Below threshold)
yo:

I hear ya as far as the US holding back - but, I'm concerned about the civilian casualities. If we take the kid gloves off (whcih I'd actually be partial to, to an extent), we increase collateral damage. Doing that could do what it always does and strengthen jihadi recruitment and the like.

Just thinking out loud now.

rmilymz is right in his estimation that arab fighters are the biggest pussies in military history. So maybe instead of sending in conventional forces, we enhance the CNN presence.

Yo -Maybe - and th... (Below threshold)

Yo -

Maybe - and then again it might make potential Jihadists go "Um, you know - you keep telling us Allah's on our side and all, but I'm looking at the score here and Allah just ain't doing his job. They're kicking our butts from here to Ramadan, and I don't see any upside in that for Allah. Maybe he ain't on our side, but on theirs, and if that's it I'd be pretty damn stupid to go out there and get scragged by Allah. 'Cause I KNOW if I'm fighting against Allah I'm not gonna get no 72 raisins or virgins or sheep or whatever - I'm just gonna get dead and go to hell."

J.

I'm concerned about the ... (Below threshold)

I'm concerned about the civilian casualities.

There are civilians there? The 10 year-olds who run C4 from house to house aren't "civilians"; the pregnant women who load it into bomb vests aren't "civilians"; the teenagers who blow themselves into bits in the Tel Aviv bar mitzvahs aren't "civilians".

Steve Crickmore: Belittlin... (Below threshold)

Steve Crickmore: Belittling the President's public statement ignores the context and is disingenuous. whether you agree with his foreign policy or not, a statement like that now is intended to avoid upping the ante, forcing us to attack Iran or Syria along with Israel.

Geez, get real.

The commenters here seem n... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The commenters here seem now very sober about the prospects for a widening regional conflict.. Seems to me we were promised the very opposite with the removal of Saddam. "The end of Saddam's regime will also remove a source of violence and instability in the Middle East. Prime Minister Blair and I are determined to move towards our vision of broader peace in that region. We are committed to implementing the road map towards peace, to bring closer the day when two states - Israel and Palestine - live side by side in peace and stability. Peace in the Middle East will require overcoming deep divisions of history and religion, yet we know this is possible.". Fine words but little resemblence to the realities on the ground, since that statement was given by Bush standing with Blair in April, 2003 in Northern Ireland.

Steve - Oh, knock it off an... (Below threshold)

Steve - Oh, knock it off and grow up. Bush has since admitted that he underestimated what happened post-Saddam.

And besides, what the hell is wrong with being optimistic and encouraging peace?

If this heats up and begins... (Below threshold)
Scott in CA:

If this heats up and begins to involve our forces in the region, Bush may have to call up every reservist we have. There are still a LOT here that are available. The Lefties will go nuts, but really, who cares? I believe that if the American people see Israel in danger and our people in the crossfire, they will support whatever it takes to win. We'd probably even have many thousands of civilian volunteers helping out on the home front if necessary.

This escalation could very easily become a very large regional conflict. The Israelis no longer care what the UN or the EU think about this matter. I just hope they finish it once and for all.

I am also in favor of sending the Palis across the river to the Palestinian state of Jordan.

There will be no civil war ... (Below threshold)
serfer62:

There will be no civil war in Iraq because stabilty has reached such a point that the Sunnis are no persueing Sunni death squads seeking retribution against Saddom supporters.

Also take alook at the Arabs in Iraqi's army. They are very good and if Iran get froggy it will probably be the first time in history that Persia gets whipped by them.

Steve what the President did in Iraq is make a new country and installed democracy in the ME. He also said the job will loast longer then his presidency.

Perhaps themuch needed catylst is coming soon...

Dear Jay,There can... (Below threshold)

Dear Jay,

There can be a solution. If Israel tells that it will stop the attacks and call Hamas and Hezbollah to the table. Sit across and discuss matters.
If no agreement is there try to settle it with more discussions. This is the way ahead for things.
And please stop suspecting Iran and Syria as these are warm and friendly people and countries. I am sure deep down most people from the Isreal region are also warm and want to be friends with us and learn about our culture and join us and we will join them

I think this may be a good ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I think this may be a good thing. We need to deal with Iran eventually one way or another. If they want to start w ar with Is now, it is a good time to deal with them. If they don't, the Is has a chance to clean up the Hamas/Hezbollah terrorists.

Muslim Unity, The q... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Muslim Unity,
The quickest way to end this conflict is for Hams and Hezbollah to unconditionally release the kidnapped soldiers.
I bet the Iranian people are nice. I had some Iranian friends myself. I also bet that most of the Iranian people want to get rid of their mad mullahs . Are you on the side of the Iranian people or the mad mullahs?

I am now convinced that Mus... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

I am now convinced that Muslim Unity is higher than a kite on something.

I agree that this is probab... (Below threshold)
Socratease:

I agree that this is probably not all a big plot. (Or, if it is, it's a poorly thought out one.) Bush is in the White House, Iran doesn't have it's nukes and delivery systems on-line yet, US aircraft carriers are off their coast and US troops are right next door -- it's about the worst possible time to start a war to wipe out Israel. Likely there are some in Terhan who are trying to take advantage of the situation, but it's a dangerous game that could literally blow up in their faces.

Dear LoveAmerica Immigrant,... (Below threshold)

Dear LoveAmerica Immigrant,

We have made a start, that you accept that Iranians are great and friendly people. You are also a good human being for saying such words. I am also sure that many other people like to be friends like this.
See some Iroonis like the mullahs some don't, but even the ones who don't do not want America to attack or behave in the way it is behaving now.
You know like some will listen to music from your side, but they will not like your side caputring our land. But Iranian people are great and are not happy with oil money going into the pockets of some mullahs.
See they will not leave anybody like this, we neeed to talk and solve. As you know Isrealis are not the saints either in this situation.
See the man way to solve it is not to expect too much. Be conservative go in the room, talk it out and solve it.

Muslim Unity, I've seen you... (Below threshold)
yo:

Muslim Unity, I've seen your site, man ... and you're pulling the same crap as every other apologist - put the honus on Israel when historical fact shows that Hamas is out of line and is dead set AGAINST peace, as is Hezbollah.

Wheras I'm sure those Iranians and Syrians who haven't gotten suckered into the violent aspects of the qu'ran and/or the imperialistic aspect of islam (at all costs, I might add) are well and good. But, the same criticism I hear about the US holds true in converse:

The people are ok, its the gov't that sucks.

Defending the Iranian and Syrian gov'ts is to prove oneself as either ignorant of fact, or an enemy of freedom.

Pretty simple.

Which side are you on?

Muslim Unity - hate to brea... (Below threshold)

Muslim Unity - hate to break it to ya, pal, but Israel's been trying to make peace with those creeps for decades but all they get in return is a bloody knife in the gut.

Hamas and Hezbollah want nothing less than the anihilation of every single Israeli.

The Iranian people are just fine. It's the mad mullahs and that Hitler-wannabe leading the country that I don't trust any further than I could drop-kick them.

Muslim Unity, Why d... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Muslim Unity,
Why don't you tell Hamas and Hezbollah not to blow up IS women/children first? Also tell the mad mullahs not to threaten to wipe out Is. I want to see some concrete actions to show their good will first before I believe them. This is simply common sense.
How do you know most of the Iranian people do not want America to "behave the way it is behaving right now"? Are you sure most of them not wishing that the AMericans would help rid them of the mad mullahs? The Iraqui people seem to like the way the AMerican is behaving so far. Only the bad guys like foreign terrorists and former Baathists would not like it because they want to subjugate the Iraqui people under their evil rule again.
BTW what is this hedging about some like the mullahs. Obviously the ruling class in Iran would like the mullahs. I bet you the majority of the IRanian people don't like to mullahs.

I am still not clear what side you are on: the IRanian people or the mad mullahs?

BTW, Israel is not perfect ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

BTW, Israel is not perfect for sure. Yet I see Arab citizens of Is enjoy all the benefits (if not more aka affirmative action) of Is citizenship. Can the Jews live safely anywhere in the ME outside of Is now? I cannot even be sure of Europe. IT is a real shame.

See brothers and sisters,</... (Below threshold)

See brothers and sisters,

Nothing is black and white in this world. I can reply in the same way giving the other point of view that Israel should stop stealing land and killing innocent children and people. But that has all been said. Again I can say that in Iraq they hated Saddam but they are neiher happy now with the civil war. But that has been said before.
In Iran we as people do not not like America to take us over because we are independent people with our own brains. We want our rights.
But I will not say all those things, as I want sollutions.
Let us accept that both sides are at fault. If we accept that then we can solve the problem.
I accept that we might have to change a few things, but will you'll accept the other side? Because if you'll don't then the problem will never solve.

And do not insult the great... (Below threshold)

And do not insult the great Ahamadinejad- the lover of peace, culture and science.

No, it's pretty much the Mu... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

No, it's pretty much the Muslims that are at fault. No reason for the Israelis to take responsibility when they aren't the bad actors in this.

Dean Wormer? He's a dead ma... (Below threshold)
Robb H:

Dean Wormer? He's a dead man! Hezbollah? Dead! Hamas? Dead! Neidermeier? Dead!

The issue I have with the I... (Below threshold)
yo:

The issue I have with the Iranian people, and for the most part, the peoples of the middle east, is that if they don't like their repressive governments (as I deem ANY gov't wrapping itself in the flag of shari'a as repressive - prove me wrong) ..., why don't they revolt? Or even, strive for change?

Of course, those are rhetorical questions to a certain extent.

Not that America is or even should be the role model for the world, but one of our guys had it perfectly correct:

Give me liberty, or give me death.

And forgive me, Mulsim Unity, but I have read some of your writings and I don't agree with many of them - and I've seen throughout history the tactic of muslims hiding their lust for power/domination behind a smile and a handshake. Your approach into this forum as a moderate muslim has the tinge of a cheashire smile. I woudln't be a bit surprised if you followed the edict of the qu'ran and starting recommending that all of us embrace islam.

30 years of being in the radical islamic cross-hairs, and a good reading of islam's violently imperialistic history has a tendency to make one a shade apprehensive towards the religion of peace, and its followers.

Muslim Unity, Whose... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Muslim Unity,
Whose fault it is in the IRaqui civil war? No, it is not the AMerican. The Iraqui people are happy to have the American around to protect them from the terrorists and the former Baathists who have no respect for the lives of Iraqui women and children.

Are you saying that the Iranian people want to live under the mullahs? Just like the subjugated people of Eastern Europe wanted to live under the evil communist rule? I just want to make sure that you are not advertently using the same propaganda the communists have been using?

Again, do all you can to stop the blowing up of Is women and children first. I am confident that when that is done, Is will be happy to sit at a negotiation table.

Still please give me an answer: are you on the side of the Iranian people or the mullahs? I don't know why are trying he avoid answering this question.

And do not insult the great... (Below threshold)
yo:

And do not insult the great Ahamadinejad- the lover of peace, culture and science.

Posted by: Muslim Unity

AND .. you've gone ahead and verified my concerns about you and your goals.

Threatening to wipe a certain group of people of the face of the earth demonstrates neither of love for peace or culture. And we all know what sorts of science that crazy lil' bastard is into.

Face it man, you're backing a baby Hitler. To do so publically condemns you as an enemy of those things you praise your nazi wind-up doll of loving.

Muslim UnityAnd do n... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Muslim Unity
And do not insult the great Ahamadinejad- the lover of peace, culture and science.
--------------------------------------------------
This is a joke, right? This reminds of Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, the other lovers of peace, culture, and science.

Big Mo..Bush would probably... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Big Mo..Bush would probably say "misunderestimated" ..opps he did..Of course I agree there there is probably not much Bush can do but 'call for restraint' and 'urge peace' and tilt a little less obviously for Israel (not bloodly likely) The real vilian in the piece is Arafat in 2000, (when peace was very close) when an effort by President Bill Clinton to revive the Middle East peace process ended in failure when Arafat walked away from a deal with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Soon afterward, a second Palestinian intifada began....and now we must negotiate with Hamas who won the election when a conciliatory and remarkably upbeat Bush said They want honest government. They want services I recall Jay Tea predicting exactly what would happen then..war and it is starting to pan out.

The problem is that the mde... (Below threshold)

The problem is that the mdeia makes things looks different and bad. I am not supporting anybody, just saying that the media can make look things the way they aren't meant to look.
All these issues raised will be discussed by me soon. However I am happpy that we are getting ahead with normal discussions without screaming moonbat and words such as terrorist. To solve our problems this is the first step. Slowly I will explain my side and then we willl understand each other.
No don't worry I do not want to force you to join Islam but everybody is always wellcome. And I love Jesus as he was a great prophet also.
All the issues will be discussed in detail step by step soon by me. Till then take care and let us stop the hate.

Steve, You want hon... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Steve,
You want honesty, right? So this is good. It allows the liberal Europeans to be honest with themselves about the illusion of Oslo. These peace talks were simply a farce and a cover up for the terrorists to advance their agenda of wiping off Israel. The Europeans have been shamefully participating in this scheme for whatever reasons. My guess is that the European leftists, who had the power of the press and even the gov in Europe, are simply anti-American. As a result, they are also anti-Israel. They may simply try to sell out Is for their own security (a price for the terrorists not to attack them) and for oil.

YOu are simply juvenile in your effort to blame Bush at any cost. What do you want? Saddam Hussein in power with his rape rooms and the full oil-for-food corruption? You want to continue the European shameful farce of Oslo?

Muslim UnityTill the... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Muslim Unity
Till then take care and let us stop the hate.
------------------------------------------------
Please tell that to the Iranian mullahs, the Hamas/Hezebollah and other stripes of terrorists. These people must hate so much that they are willing to blow up women/children.

And do not insult the gr... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

And do not insult the great Ahamadinejad- the lover of peace, culture and science.

The lover of goats, genocide and underage sex partners is closer to the truth.

Israel doesn't need to "fix... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Israel doesn't need to "fix" Iran or Syria. Just topple their mad regimes and buy more time!

Israel's hope since 1948 is that over time these morons will wake the F**K up and make peace. Jordan and Egypt finally did. Lebanon would if given a chance.

Hell, even Libya finally got out of the terrorism biz (though they haven't made nice with Israel).

Since 1948 the model has been clear: don't attack US, and we won't attack YOU. Of course, when you're neighbors goal in life is to destroy you it is tough to get them to adopt this model.

1948
1956
1967
1973

you'd think the neighbors would be slightly faster learners

Steve - "Of course I agree ... (Below threshold)

Steve - "Of course I agree there there is probably not much Bush can do but 'call for restraint' and 'urge peace' and tilt a little less obviously for Israel"

Uh - actually, I don't agree with that, and didn't even hint at anything like that.

appears to a report that Ir... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

appears to a report that Iranians Guards fired one of the missiles into Israel. While I don't think Israel NEEDS much more of an excuse to kick the crap out of Iran...

p.s. just went to LOTS of sites looking for updates...strangely there aren't many. I wonder if Israel bombed the airport in Beirut to keep the freaking REPORTERS out!!! Good for them.

In my humble opinion, I do ... (Below threshold)
Carl:

In my humble opinion, I do believe Israel has the ways and means to achieve a complete victory. now what form that victory will come in is the major unknown. Some have speculated the worst being use of nuclear strikes while others have speculated Israel taking out the governments of Iran and Syria. Whatever the end result, what is clear is that Israel has definitely had enough and they have abandoned diplomacy for aggression to ensure the future safety and well-being of their citizen. It seemed that they had been defensive for so long in regards to their Arab enemies that those very same enemies felt they could pretty much do whatever they wanted and the worst thing that would happen would be that Israel would bomb some small areas, destroy some homes and get back to normal. Well apparently they went beyond the breaking point and now Hamas, Hezbolah, Syria and Iran are literally and figuratively crapping in their pants. And they have absolutely NO idea of how to react. Frankly it might come down to complete surrender of Israel's enemies (in this case Hamas, Hezbolah, Iran and Syria) as the sole solution to bring peace back to that region.

Carl, the clamoring for big... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Carl, the clamoring for big bad Israel to cease and desist is going to get louder and louder over the next couple days. I just think all the explosions are going to make the Israelis a little hard of hearing!

I wonder what the driving time to Damascus IS??

Not long in an F-16.... (Below threshold)

Not long in an F-16.

Carl, I don't think Hezboll... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Carl, I don't think Hezbollah is crapping in their pants. It is in their strategic interest to maintain a state of war and escalate fighting.

If Israel wants to hurt Hezbollah, they would go after their financiers in Syria and Iran. Bombing airports and other infrastructure in Lebanon doesn't accomplish much in my estimation unless they are intentionally trying to taunt Syria and Iran into a war, which appears plausible to me. The only obvious thing it does strategically is harm the government of Lebanon, which happens to be an anti-Syrian government supported by the U.S. And on a humanitarian level, it harms the people of Lebanon who are half-Christian and generally well-educated moderates. Probably time for Kevin to put his Lebanese election hot-babe photo up again.

McCain...if Hezbollah is NO... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

McCain...if Hezbollah is NOT crapping in their pants, it is only because they are not bright enough to do so. Sad commentary.

I do not believe Israel is going to stop this time. And if they head for Damascus then Assad will certainly crap in HIS pants!!

The rubicon has indeed been crossed.

I don't think Is will go in... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I don't think Is will go into Syria unless they have direct provocation or involment of Syria in this war. I think this time they will take the opportunity to break Hamas and Hezbollah to such an extent that it will take a long time for them to recover (a favor to the Lebanon gov). Also they need to bomb the airports, the roads, and the bridges to prevent the top Hezbollah guys to escape and for weapons to come in. If Syria and Iran stand by while their proxy Hezbollah gets pummeled by Israel, then it doesn't look good for them. If they want to join war, this is the time to deal with them both. Either way, this may be a good thing.

Hey guys, they are trying t... (Below threshold)
epador:

Hey guys, they are trying to prevent the hostages from being airlifted, that's why they hit the airport. Syria and Iran will ultimately be found with smoking guns in their closet, and that is when the real fun begins.

Oh c'mon now, let's be seri... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Oh c'mon now, let's be serious. The speculation that maybe, perhaps, kinda sorta but who knows, someone wants to take hostages to Iran is a throw away line meant to justify the act of bombing civilian infrastructure as they ratchet up the pressure on our friendly government in Lebanon. Hezbollah isn't going to be putting hostrages on an airplane. The chances of that anti-Syrian government now falling are too high for comfort in my estimation.

Personally, I hope Israel i... (Below threshold)

Personally, I hope Israel ignores what the UN and EU think and go all out. It's time to stop this nonsense and wipe out these terrorists and corrupt terrorist-funding governments. Alas, I don't think that will happen, more's the pity.

Iran is definitely in on this little party, and probably Syria, too. However, I'd keep my eyes on Russia and China and watch what they do. Russia is backing Iran in its own semi-quiet way. If China is smart it will sit back and see who comes out on top and work on its economy in the meantime.

Steve quibbles:Se... (Below threshold)

Steve quibbles:
Seems to me we were promised the very opposite with the removal of Saddam. "The end of Saddam's regime will also remove a source of violence and instability in the Middle East. ...

And? Is this not true? Did the source of terror-financing that came from Saddam Hussein not end?

The financing hole was back-filled. It was unrealistic to expect it wouldn't be. So you take out the next financier. And that hole will be back-filled. Repeat operation. Until you have the paramilitary operations being financed by fewer and fewer sources, and those sources either go broke or give up.

Paramilitancy without financing is just a whole bunch of pissed off peasants with pointy sticks. At which point they either have to get a job or starve to death.


Fine words but little resemblence to the realities on the ground

On the contrary, it matches reality quite well. When you're ill and the doctor gives you a prescription for, say, an antibiotic, do you immediately recover? No, you do not. In fact, it's very likely you get worse for a while.

"Oh, hey, that doc's a quack. He gave me these pills, said I'd get better, now I'm worse, so I won't take the pills anymore!!"

I'll send your widow a nice condolence card, Steve.

Juan Cole's latest entry "... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Juan Cole's latest entry "Both Sunni and Shiite clerics and politicians condemned the Israeli attack on Lebanon on Friday. The Friday sermons were thunderous. Money and resources will likely flow to Hizbullah and the Palestinians. More later".....
the law of unattended consequences. I have said before that the one thing everyone can agree on was the insurance policy coverage Saddam was given to Palestian terrorist suicide bombers was full stop disgraceful. Bush should have made more of this charge than he did. in the runup to the Iraqi war. However it seems that now that the powder keg in the mid East has exploded Israel in its heavy bombing of Lebanon including many residential areas and the Beirut airport is instilling terror in the civilan population of a pro-western very fragile democracy which Bush has made much effort to stabilise..

correction.. Its the 'law ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

correction.. Its the 'law of unintended consequences'. This it certainly is, if this happens as a result of 'Israeli reprisals for terrorist attacks'.




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