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The fate of hostages

With the deaths of over 50 Lebanese being attributed to an Israeli air strike, the whole issue of hostages and the lives of the innocent in times of war has come to the forefront. I'm not going to go into the particulars of that incident, as they are still emerging, but it is a good opportunity to discuss the ethics of such situations.

The concept of a hostage is an ancient one, and as most time-tested traditions, is a simple one: do what I demand or I will hurt this third party. In olden days, it was considered necessary that the hostage be someone with a connection to the party of whom the hostage-taker was making demands; we have "evolved" to the point where the hostage merely has to be an innocent third party. (Or, at least, plausibly innocent; false or willing hostages are new variations on the theme.)

Hezbollah has taken this ancient, simple philosophy and made it into an art form. They kidnapped over 30 Americans in Lebanon between 1982 and 1992, several of whom they tortured to death. In fact, they were the main players in the Beirut hostage-taking frenzy of that era, grabbing anyone they thought they could use as a bargaining chip. They hijacked at least one airliner, murdering an American Navy sailor who just happened to be on board. They have repeatedly invaded Israel and kidnapped Israelis to barter for captured prisoners -- occasionally brutally killing them first. They set up permanent stations near, around, and even within the posts of the UN peacekeepers.

Hezbollah, though, has in the last few years achieved the unimaginable: they have taken a large portion of a sovereign nation hostage. Southern Lebanon is pretty much their country, and the legitimate Lebanese government is powerless, impotent, and irrelevant where Hezbollah holds sway.

In their recent fighting with Israel, they have put that potential to good use. They use homes and mosques (and, I suspect, schools and hospitals) as weapons depots. They launch their attacks from residential neighborhoods, sidling up next to homes and apartment buildings before firing their rockets and missiles.

This puts Israel in a bind. Under the strict interpretation of the laws of war (itself very nearly an oxymoronic phrase), it is the obligation of combatants to maintain their distance from innocents, those who might be harmed due to their proximity to legitimate targets. In fact, the blame for such casualties is clearly (and rightly) placed on Hezbollah in this case, and Israel is fully within their rights to attack and destroy any place that Hezbollah is using for offensive purposes.

So the legality of Israel's actions -- if they can prove that Hezbollah had been using such positions, and I believe they can -- is beyond debate. The question then is whether or not they should.

The belief that seems to be at the core of Israel's decisions is this: one does not make concessions to hostage-takers. The principles that law enforcement apply do not hold when expanded beyond an individual or small group; when the hostage-takers are part of a very large organization numbering possibly in the tens of thousands, with several other groups in ideological agreement, concessions become precedents.

Every time Hezbollah threatens innocents (either actively, with rocket and missile bombardments, for example; or passively, through human shields), Israel is placed with a harsh choice. Do they spare the innocent and give in to the demands? In the short term, it's easy; in the long term, though, it endangers far more people. Once you've established the currency in which you are willing to pay, you can rest assured of a long line of people willing to sell you more.

It's a basic principle of economics: you get more of whatever you subsidize. If you start "paying" for the lives of innocents, you'll get offered more and more opportunities to buy their safety.

Once you pay the Dane-Geld, you never get rid of the Dane.

The way Israel seems to see it is that if they demonstrate that they will not be deterred by Hezbollah hiding behind the innocent, and in fact it is a losing tactic (it ties Hezbollah to a fixed position, and limits their ability to hide or flee), they will stop doing it. In the long run, they think, it will save more lives than it will cost. It's an arguable position.

The choice between right and wrong is sometimes easy. But far too many times the choice is between two bad choices, and we have to decide which will not lead to the most good, but cause the least long-term harm.

I think Israel has made the right choice this time. I feel tremendous sympathy for those whose lives Hezbollah has placed at risk. I feel sympathy for those Israelis who will have to carry out the attacks against Hezbollah, regardless of the consequences for those innocents.

And I am filled with rage and contempt for those members of Hezbollah who have put their own survival and their own political ends above any and all sense of compassion, responsibility, or integrity.


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Comments (60)

There are pictures all over... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

There are pictures all over the media of children killed during Isralei bobings.

Has Hezbollah caused no casualties in their attacks? Either they are lousy shots or someone is only presenting one side of the story.

I'm hesitent to call all th... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I'm hesitent to call all those civilians innocent. I would guess some are. But ultimately if the Lebanese people wanted Hezbullah truely gone they wouldn't have the presence they do now. I'm not buying that all the people of Lebanon are hostages to Hezbullah.

But I guess in that crowd there are still some innocents and the discussion is still valid. It does change the numbers and the argument of disproportionate response though (if there is such a thing).

The critics of Israel’s “di... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The critics of Israel’s “disproportionate response” apparently believe that a “proportionate response” would bring peace. Apparently these critics feel that the way to peace is that whenever Hezbollah fires rockets into Israeli cities and towns, then Israel should fire the same number of similar rockets back into Lebanese cities and towns. That when Hamas explodes a bomb in a crowed Israeli market, that Israel should explode a similar bomb in a crowed Palestinian market.

I get the feeling, however, that if Israel adopted such tactics, the current crop of critics would be among the first to castigate Israel for using such tactics. What amazes me are the number of liberals who have taken the side of the aggressors. You know, the ones who have openly stated their propose is the destruction of Israel.

I've never understood this ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I've never understood this "proportionate response" crap.

Should it go by numbers or percentages?

There's only a few million Israelis but hundreds of millions of Syrians, Saudis, Iranians, etc...who are calling for and aiding the destruction of Israel.

If a muslim extremist attack on Israel kills 10 people or .0001% of the population, should the Israelis kill ten muslim extremists (numbers) or 1000 muslim extremists (.0001%)?

Naturally, the anti-Western forces of the world are calling for a one-to-one response; since Israel is 100 times smaller than her enemies, she can literally be wiped out and the Islamists would barely feel a dent in their population.

As far as I'm concerned, Israel hasn't killed enough militant Islamists yet.

They take out one of yours, you take out 100 of theirs. That would be 'proportionate' in this particular fight.


Hmmmm.Frankly if t... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

Frankly if the liberals of the world don't wake the hell up and soon the "modern" concept of war will evolve into a form unrecognizable and absolutely dangerous for all peoples.

IMHO is a clear and absolutely proven point that the best way to fight a terrorist group is with another terrorist group.

What this means is a return to proxy wars where terrorist groups are used to fight battles and wars without the limitations imposed on nation-states that would otherwise employ disciplined and legally constrained armies.

By employing tame terrorist groups it would be possible for either Israel or America to conduct murderous attacks, torture prisoners and kidnap opposing clerics, businessmen & politicians without limit. The most valuable weapon in a terrorist insurgent group's arsenal, the willing accomplice that is the media, would be spiked almost completely. While the denouncing of a responsible nation-state has some value to terrorist groups, the media denouncing the actions of another terrorist group has little value.

Case in point is/was the shadow war between Fatah and Hamas. Both employ gunmen, kidnapping, extortion and murder in their attempts to gain the upper hand in Gaza, yet the media has been almost entirely neutralized there.

Another case in point was the effectiveness of the former USSR during the Cold War and it's employment of domestic European and international terror groups to instill social disorder and to target specific individuals. All without any significant downsides during that period.

Frankly I think any significant national power that does NOT have well trained and equipped set of regional and/or international terrorist groups is politically and militarily crippled.

Another case in point:

It is politically impossible for America to assassinate Al-Sadr in Iraq.

It is politically neutral for America to benefit from an "unknown terrorist group" to kidnap and murder Al-Sadr in Iraq.

The downside of all this is that murder will become commonplace and these proxy wars will last for decades because these terrorist groups will be unable to inflict knockout damage in any significant capacity.

Another downside is that you don't have to be a nation-state to sponsor these new-age terror groups. Wealthy individuals and corporations could do so as well. And reap the benefits of having such gunmen available along with the requisite plausible deniability that goes along with them.

Murder. The sport of the 21st century. **If** the ridiculous shackles currently forced onto the militaries of the West aren't quickly removed.

Hmmm.Is there any ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Is there any question that Israel would not be getting the flak that it is now recieving *and* would benefit heavily if other "unknown" terrorist groups started operating openly in southern Lebanon and began targeting Hezbollah assets, supporters and financiers?

Is there any question that "unknown" terrorist groups operating in Saudi Arabia that targeted wealthy Saudis secretly financing AQ for kidnap, interrogation and death would heavily benefit America? And all without any onus on America whatsoever?

We're at the beginning of a very dangerous path. One where all of the limitations imposed on structured armies are making them more and more ineffective compared to the absolute freedom of action allowed to terrorist groups.

Either the moral equivalency given to terrorist groups must be removed and they treated as they should be, subject to summary execution, and/or the limitations imposed on national armies removed, or we'll start seeing new terrorist groups crop up that will be employed to accomplish specific objectives.

Way too many people on this... (Below threshold)
SDN:

Way too many people on this thread are making the assumption that we could maintain this program for 10 minutes without our fifth column publishing it in the NYT.

Ed..We've already tried thi... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Ed..We've already tried this approach, funding fanatical militants like this one and we've seen the unintended consequences. Death squads have been just as counter productive...

If the story that the colla... (Below threshold)

If the story that the collapsed house collapsed 8 hours after the missile attack is true, perhaps we could get some of the 9/11 conspiracy folks to construct the scenario of the controlled demolition of that house WITH LIVE CIVILIANS IN IT by HB.

Ed..We've aready tried this... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Ed..We've aready tried this approach, funding fanatical militants like this one and we've seen the unintended consequences. I hope you are not advocating a return to openly permitting death squads which can be just as counter productive and also target moderates.

[email protected] Steve Cric... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

@ Steve Crickmore

Ed..We've already tried this approach, funding fanatical militants like this one and we've seen the unintended consequences. Death squads have been just as counter productive...

1. Oh for Christ's sake.

The CIA didn't create OBL, AQ or the Taliban, the Pakistani ISI, amongst others, did. Not the US.

Frankly I'm not going to waste my time explaining this crap for the ten thousandth time. Search the archives for the relevant text.

2. My point is that death squads are never desirable, which is why liberals have to stop pretending that war is somehow subject to civil law.

On the tv news yesterday I watched, absolutely shocked, that a CNN reporter was actually talking about **evidence** in the qana bombing.

Liberals have applied the civil court system to every single aspect of GWOT to the ridiculous point where military operations are now becoming subject to civilian legal restrictions.

The logical response to this idiotic crap is to form death squads, which are not subject to oversight, in order to regain effectiveness.

...those members of Hezb... (Below threshold)
bnorm:

...those members of Hezbollah who have put their own survival and their own political ends above any and all sense of compassion, responsibility, or integrity.
That description sounds remarkably similar to the Democrat party.

"The choice between right a... (Below threshold)

"The choice between right and wrong is sometimes easy. But far too many times the choice is between two bad choices, and we have to decide which will not lead to the most good, but cause the least long-term harm."

Well said. It seems to me that both Israel facing Hezbollah and the US facing Iraq are in situations where there is no such thing as a good choice. Damned if you do, damned if you don't - not just in public opinion, but in cold, hard reality.

On the tv news yesterday... (Below threshold)
mantis:

On the tv news yesterday I watched, absolutely shocked, that a CNN reporter was actually talking about **evidence** in the qana bombing.

Liberals have applied the civil court system to every single aspect of GWOT to the ridiculous point where military operations are now becoming subject to civilian legal restrictions.

So evidence is only relevant to civil lawsuits? Not criminal lawsuits, or scientific hypotheses, or forensic analysis, or plain old observation of phenomena? Nope, if you mention evidence you are only talking about suing someone for money, right ed?

And who, exactly, is suing whom based on this evidence you heard the CNN reporter talking about? How are "liberals" turning war into a civil lawsuit? What about the rockets Hezbollah has fired into Israel? If the Israelis have evidence that those rockets came from Iran, does that mean they're going to sue them? Or does it just mean that evidence is how you figure out what the fuck is going on?

Since our armed forces (and Israel's) have a code of military justice, and are not subject to prosecution in any other forum (excluding appeal), one wonders what justification you could possibly give to forming lawless "death squads". Since you seem to be justifying it entirely on what you imagine the viewpoint of "liberals" to be, I think the evidence shows that you're an idiot. I think I'll sue.

This is Jenin redux ... (Below threshold)
Adjoran:

This is Jenin redux - a manufactured "atrocity." Civilians in Kana were warned to leave. More than 24 hours later, after more rockets were launched from the village, the IAF attacked at 1 a.m. The building collapsed at 8 a.m.

Prepare to hear a lot of baloney like "the civilians couldn't get out." If they couldn't, it was because Hizbollah prevented them from leaving. Certainly the international media had no problem getting there quickly once notified of an "Israeli atrocity."

While elected Democrats are holding fast in support of Israel, the same is not true of their moonbat base. Read this: Kos, Hezbollah, and Israel.

the IAF attacked at 1 a.... (Below threshold)
Lee:

the IAF attacked at 1 a.m. The building collapsed at 8 a.m.

The deaths occured at 1am. What time the remaining rubble shifted and fell is irrelevant.

Don't drink the Fox News kool-aid... it's there for entertainment value only. Fox News is not "news" - it's propoganda.

Little argument with your e... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Little argument with your essay, Jay, except this part:

The way Israel seems to see it is that if they demonstrate that they will not be deterred by Hezbollah hiding behind the innocent, and in fact it is a losing tactic (it ties Hezbollah to a fixed position, and limits their ability to hide or flee), they will stop doing it. In the long run, they think, it will save more lives than it will cost. It's an arguable position.

If I understand you correctly, you're saying that while the tactic of hiding behind civilians works in Hezbollah's favor (ok, you didn't say that, but it does), if Israel keeps taking the bait enough times Hezbollah will stop using the tactic? What possible reason could these terrorists have for abandoning the tactic which a) makes their enemies hesitant to attack, and b) when they do attack, draws sympathy for the suffering civilians and criticism and ire for Israel. Is your hypothesis that the civilians will get so sick of getting blown up that they will turn on Hezbollah? Don't you think it more likely they will blame the people doing the bombing, who they hate to begin with?

But maybe you're ignoring the reaction of anyone but Hezbollah to this strategy. They will, after being attacked in a static position enough times, adopt a new tactic and what, wander out in the open far from civilians? Find another static position not near civilians? Both of these options seem inferior, strategically and long-term, to the current one. Blending among civilians is the best bet for fighters who are severely outgunned; it is the tactic used by all terrorists and guerrilla forces from Algeria to Vietnam to Iraq. They will not stop doing it, and Israel will lose their nerve long before Hezbollah is wiped out.

It's a sad truth and I wish there were a way to destroy Hezbollah with military force, and even if there is, another group will simply sprout up in its place, with neighbor states happily funding it as well.

reposting a comment I made ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

reposting a comment I made on an older post...

"Lee,"

"Glad to see that you understand that TV propaganda and public opinion are being exploited by Hezbollah. We agree."

They are indeed being exploited, and the US and Israel are doing the same thing as well. It's SOP. The US propoganda machine that feeds Fox News is an example of this system honed to a fine art. At this point Hezzbollah appears to be winning on this front Internationally.

The Republicans in Washington have run our international politcal "sway" into the ground with their "who gives a f*ck what other nations and the UN says" attitude. Yes, Hezzbollah is kicking the US and Israel's asses in the "International Public Opinion" battle -- they are exploiting our weakness in that area.

Rice being sent home with her tail between her legs is another example.

"Would this include, in your opinion, shooting rockets from near a building where there are lots of women and children, knowing that Israel will figure the origin point and bomb? Would not this play right into the above strategy if they were, in fact, bombed? This would indeed be a win for Hezbollah, true?"

Yes, the Hezzbollah appear to me to be trying to draw Israel into a ground war, but making the air attack by Israeli expensive in a "public relations" sense. That's my guess.

"And if true, is it not also true that all who follow along this Hezbollah line are being played as chumps?"

I dont think of anyone as chumps. Everyone pretty much follows very predictable patterns in these kinds of situations -- the UN, Lebananon, the MSM. Propoganda machines like Fox will spin the news in support of the US, but other MSM will report the facts in an unbiased manner - and the inbiased facts (children dying) support Hezbollah.

I was serious when I said above that Asymmetrical Warfare is hell - it really is. The winner has to be smarter than their opponent, not just more powerful, better equipped, have a better air force, etc.

In the past the fact that the United States is involved and standing on Israel's side would have spoken volumes towards the legitimatacy of Israel's effort. The Republican administration has pissed that intertnational political goodwill into the ground. We and Israel are paying the price for that now.

Mantis,What possible... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mantis,
What possible reason could these terrorists have for abandoning the tactic which a) makes their enemies hesitant to attack, and b) when they do attack, draws sympathy for the suffering civilians and criticism and ire for Israel. Is your hypothesis that the civilians will get so sick of getting blown up that they will turn on Hezbollah? Don't you think it more likely they will blame the people doing the bombing, who they hate to begin with?
---------------------------------------------------
So it is the more despicable for people like Anan, the UN, and the anti-Israel crowd in the west to provide more incentives for the Hezbollah to use this tactic. Instead of condemnation in the strongest terms, these despicable people use moral equivalency with passing mention of Hez using civilians for human shields and focusing their condemnation on Israel.

If the terrorists are hiding behind their women/children (who hates you and your women/children to begin with), to blow up your women and children, what would you do? You need to kill them first before they blow up your women/children. That 's what the military solution is for. YOu know better than that.

I dont think of anyone as c... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I dont think of anyone as chumps. Everyone pretty much follows very predictable patterns in these kinds of situations -- the UN, Lebananon, the MSM. Propoganda machines like Fox will spin the news in support of the US, but other MSM will report the facts in an unbiased manner - and the inbiased facts (children dying) support Hezbollah.
---------------------------------------------------
Good point on the UN and MSM: showing their usual despicable behavior of legitimizing the imhumane terrorists.

The unbiased fact is that the Hez terrorists deliberately putting their women/children in danger for propaganda purpose. Without reporting clearly and loudly on this point is biased in the very least.

QUESTION - If a me... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

QUESTION -

If a member/s of a terrorist group commits an act of murder, is the entire group guilty, or just the ones who do the killing?

mantisSince you seem... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

mantis
Since you seem to be justifying it entirely on what you imagine the viewpoint of "liberals" to be, I think the evidence shows that you're an idiot.
---------------------------------------------------
Again using personal insults to score cheap point again. We don't need to imagine what the viewpoint of "liberals" to be, their actions show who they are already. THe NYT, CNN are showing their liberal viewpoints clearly for all to see.

The logic of moral equivalency conveniently justifying the terrorists 's tactics while demanding perfection from the Is/US will lead to the covert use of terrorist tactics with plausible deniability.

Lee says "I was serious whe... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

Lee says "I was serious when I said above that Asymmetrical Warfare is hell - it really is."

Lee, that the most honest thing you've ever said about your schizophrenia, ever. Good for you. Keep on those meds.

"The unbiased fact is th... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"The unbiased fact is that the Hez terrorists deliberately putting their women/children in danger for propaganda purpose"

So is that really a fact? Has it been proven? Is there evidence or proof - or just a lot of rightwing bloggers saying it is so....

By the way, Lee, does that ... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

By the way, Lee, does that mean symetrical war is bliss?

Lee"The unbiased fac... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Lee
"The unbiased fact is that the Hez terrorists deliberately putting their women/children in danger for propaganda purpose"

So is that really a fact? Has it been proven? Is there evidence or proof - or just a lot of rightwing bloggers saying it is so....
----------------------------------------------------
THis is from a left or right wing Lebanese blog?
http://www.ouwet.com/n10452/editorials/free-ain-ebel-from-hezbollah-invasion/

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,19955774-5007220,00.html
Photos that damn Hezbollah

So what are you saying? Hezbollah didn't use civilians as human shields?

BTW, you don't count the NYT and CNN as reliable sources, do you? What are your reliable sources besides these lying propaganda organs?

"So what are you saying?... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"So what are you saying? Hezbollah didn't use civilians as human shields?"

No, but i am saying you haven't presented credible, source-verifiable proof that they are. A blog post and an unsourced photo doesn't prove anything.

Lee says "i am saying you h... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

Lee says "i am saying you haven't presented credible, source-verifiable proof that they are. A blog post and an unsourced photo doesn't prove anything."

Lee, if you've been sodomized once, are you always gay or do you need more verification?

So what are you saying? Hez... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

So what are you saying? Hezbollah didn't use civilians as human shields?"

No, but i am saying you haven't presented credible, source-verifiable proof that they are. A blog post and an unsourced photo doesn't prove anything.
--------------------------------------------------
The link for the photo and the story is from one major daily newspaper in Australia and you still don't want to believe it. Given that major leftist sources like BBC, NYT ... can lie to you, this fact jives with your common sense if you still have any.

[email protected] Lee<b... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

@ Lee

No, but i am saying you haven't presented credible, source-verifiable proof that they are. A blog post and an unsourced photo doesn't prove anything.

How about an IDF video showing a Hezbollah truck trundling up to the same residential building that collapsed in Qana, launching several rockets and then driving away?

Or are you unwilling to accept IDF video? And if not video from them, then who?

Some work FOR the terrorist... (Below threshold)
Adjoran:

Some work FOR the terrorists, so their JOB is to defend them unto death. May that point come soon for them all.

Here's a good sequence from EU Referendum.

[email protected] mantis... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

@ mantis

Since our armed forces (and Israel's) have a code of military justice, and are not subject to prosecution in any other forum (excluding appeal), one wonders what justification you could possibly give to forming lawless "death squads". Since you seem to be justifying it entirely on what you imagine the viewpoint of "liberals" to be, I think the evidence shows that you're an idiot. I think I'll sue.

You should try and stop using strawman arguments sometime. Read what I wrote, not what you'd like to think I wrote.

LoveAmerica: "The link f... (Below threshold)
Lee:

LoveAmerica: "The link for the photo and the story is from one major daily newspaper in Australia and you still don't want to believe it."

Newspapers? we all know they are crooked, right? MSM are all just biased liars - that's what most conservatives around here say anyway about newspapers -- and yet when it's convenient you guys link to newspapers as "proof" to support you're beliefs? Hypocritical laziness - that's what that is.

Regardless of the newspaper which published the photos, the photos were taken by an "anonymous" source. The photos could be 5 years old for all we know.

"How about an IDF video showing a Hezbollah truck trundling up to the same residential building that collapsed in Qana, launching several rockets and then driving away?"

That would be rather damning - if the video showed the Hezbollah truck driving away and then Israel bombed the building anyway - knowing the truck was gone...

That's a big problem I have with this whole scenario -- Israel knows that this is a hit and run tactic -- that Hezbollah will move in, fire, then leave -- and therefore Israel knows that bombing that target building may result in civilian deaths while in all likelihood the Hezbollah's artillery has been moved elsewhere.

Rather supports the argument that Israel is targeting and punishing civilians as a means to leverage pressure against Hezbollah - and if that's the case and that really is a "strategy", it's backfiring.

Newspapers? we all know the... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Newspapers? we all know they are crooked, right? MSM are all just biased liars - that's what most conservatives around here say anyway about newspapers -- and yet when it's convenient you guys link to newspapers as "proof" to support you're beliefs? Hypocritical laziness - that's what that is.

Regardless of the newspaper which published the photos, the photos were taken by an "anonymous" source. The photos could be 5 years old for all we know.
-------------------------------------------------
Thanks again for admitting the typical hypocrisy of the left. Again, why do you believe the pictures of the children killed? THey may be 5 years old pictures for all we know. THey may have been killed by Hezbollahs themselves for propaganda purpose. Why should we believe those pictures?


-------------------------
Lee
"How about an IDF video showing a Hezbollah truck trundling up to the same residential building that collapsed in Qana, launching several rockets and then driving away?"

That would be rather damning - if the video showed the Hezbollah truck driving away and then Israel bombed the building anyway - knowing the truck was gone...

That's a big problem I have with this whole scenario -- Israel knows that this is a hit and run tactic -- that Hezbollah will move in, fire, then leave -- and therefore Israel knows that bombing that target building may result in civilian deaths while in all likelihood the Hezbollah's artillery has been moved elsewhere.

Rather supports the argument that Israel is targeting and punishing civilians as a means to leverage pressure against Hezbollah - and if that's the case and that really is a "strategy", it's backfiring.
-------------------------------------------
Using your own standard, the IDF had the pictures of Hez routinely used these hit-and-run practices. So they drop the leaflets to communicate to these civilians. HOw do you know that the IDF didn't try to bomb until Hez fire again from the same area?

The question is why Anan and the liberals in the west are so eager to provide the Hez terrorists with the propaganda they desired?

The same question here. Is ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

The same question here. Is this a staged event by Hezbollah?

http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2006/08/wondering-more-about-qana-and-30-foot.html

Wondering more about Qana and 30-foot banners

This morning, I posted some speculation that the 30-foot banner of Secretary of State Rice that miraculously showed up in Qana yesterday was probably prepared in advance, leading to questions whether the entire event was staged. Tonight, reader Postermaker made the following comments about that blog post:

The same question here. Is ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

The same question here. Is this a staged event by Hezbollah?

http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2006/08/wondering-more-about-qana-and-30-foot.html

Wondering more about Qana and 30-foot banners

This morning, I posted some speculation that the 30-foot banner of Secretary of State Rice that miraculously showed up in Qana yesterday was probably prepared in advance, leading to questions whether the entire event was staged. Tonight, reader Postermaker made the following comments about that blog post:

The Dems are scary in their... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

The Dems are scary in their view. Here is a major Dem politician, not some nutcase extremist in some fantasy land
http://powerlineblog.com/archives/014851.php

Yesterday, Representative John Dingell of Michigan appeared on a Detroit television program along with Republican Candice Miller. They discussed the crisis in Lebanon; Dingell proclaimed himself neutral. "I don't take sides for or against Hezbollah; I don't take sides for or against Israel." Asked, "You're not against Hezbollah?" Dingell answers, "No..."

Jay consistently reminds... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay consistently reminds us "They (The Hezbollah) have repeatedly invaded Israel and kidnapped Israelis to barter for captured prisoners -- occasionally brutally killing them first what he calls `Danegeld` or what George W. Bush calls the root cause of the current conflict, but it turns out that since 2000, the year the Israelis withdrew from Lebanon, only 6 Israeli civilians have died, from the hands of the Lebanese Hezbollah, in this 6 year period (up until the present hostilities), with about the same number of Israeli soldiers dying in Hezbollah border attacks: that`s about one soldier and one civilian a year..Sure it is lamentable, regrettable and unecessary, but compared to other troublespots like the Gaza strip or what happened in Israel during the `Intifadas`, or what is happening now, and quite possibly, will happen in the future, it seems like a period of peace, that in hindsight, may already be envied.

LoveAmerica Immigrant says ... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

LoveAmerica Immigrant says "The question is why Anan and the liberals in the west are so eager to provide the Hez terrorists with the propaganda they desired?"

The U.S. is a staunch ally to Israel since its creation in 1948 under a U.N. recommendation and the U.S. has subsequently armed Israel so that they can sustain a seven-year war without support. You could even start a conspiracy theory that the U.S. supported England in WWII and won in order to create Israel as a result of Jewish political clout. Anan, U.N. and the libs hate the U.S. and want to support Hez and give it life to further their opposition to U.S. and Israel for no known reason other than their love for corruption and hypocracy as a way of life.

"Again, why do you belie... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Again, why do you believe the pictures of the children killed? "

Multiple credible, verifiable, credited sources.

Multiple credible, verifiab... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Multiple credible, verifiable, credited sources.
-------------------------------------------------'
What sources?

"Yesterday, Representati... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Yesterday, Representative John Dingell of Michigan appeared on a Detroit television program along with Republican Candice Miller. They discussed the crisis in Lebanon; Dingell proclaimed himself neutral. "I don't take sides for or against Hezbollah; I don't take sides for or against Israel." Asked, "You're not against Hezbollah?" Dingell answers, "No...""

The reporter forgot to ask if he still beats his wife.

Yesterday, Representative J... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Yesterday, Representative John Dingell of Michigan appeared on a Detroit television program along with Republican Candice Miller. They discussed the crisis in Lebanon; Dingell proclaimed himself neutral. "I don't take sides for or against Hezbollah; I don't take sides for or against Israel." Asked, "You're not against Hezbollah?" Dingell answers, "No...""

The reporter forgot to ask if he still beats his wife.
--------------------------------------------------
Sounds like you are off medication again or you are trying to spin.

LoveAmerica,Lee go... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

LoveAmerica,

Lee got on the 'short bus' home.

Stevewhat he calls `... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Steve
what he calls `Danegeld` or what George W. Bush calls the root cause of the current conflict, but it turns out that since 2000, the year the Israelis withdrew from Lebanon, only 6 Israeli civilians have died, from the hands of the Lebanese Hezbollah, in this 6 year period (up until the present hostilities), with about the same number of Israeli soldiers dying in Hezbollah border attacks: that`s about one soldier and one civilian a year..Sure it is lamentable, regrettable and unecessary, but compared to other troublespots like the Gaza strip or what happened in Israel during the `Intifadas`, or what is happening now, and quite possibly, will happen in the future, it seems like a period of peace, that in hindsight, may already be envied.
-------------------------------------------------
Thanks for proving Ed 's point about the liberal logic again! Using your same arg, how many Jews were killed before Hitler started WW2 in 1939? Oops, so appeasement of Hitler was sth we should envy?

Steve, BTW, to make... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Steve,
BTW, to make Lee happy you should stop using these unsourced left-wing blogs.

Multiple credible, verif... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Multiple credible, verifiable, credited sources.
-------------------------------------------------'
What sources?

Associated Press and Reuters among others.

The photos, taken by The Associated Press, Reuters, and others, showed bodies in the rubble, or being taken away; survivors digging or wailing…

Lee, AP and Reuters... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Lee,
AP and Reuters are known left wing news source which have been caught red-handed lying before just like the NYT or CNN. They were willing to simply show unsourced pictures provided by the Baathist insurgents before.
These pictures could have been staged by Hez and AP/Reuters acting as a propaganda news service for them. Please provide unbiased sources.

I suspected that trying to ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I suspected that trying to have a rational discussion with you was pointless. You've proven that correct.

I'll put you back on ignore now LoveAmerica - have a nice evening.

I suspected that trying to ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I suspected that trying to have a rational discussion with you was pointless. You've proven that correct.

I'll put you back on ignore now LoveAmerica - have a nice evening.
---------------------------------------------------
Are you projecting your own irrationality on me now? Why are you so upset when I used your own standard? Is this the typical and hypocritical liberal double standard? Thanks for proving my point again about the liberal logic.

LoveAmerica Immigrant..I wi... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

LoveAmerica Immigrant..I wish you were right and the attack was staged or false. The whole world has been watching especially the USA and Israel. Their PM has apologised. Is this all to real incident the turning point in the war?..I hope the source (this time) is credible for you? No one is wondering whether it happened? Just why? and what will happen next?

Steve, Look at the ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Steve,
Look at the pictures themselves. THey show their children as trophies in their propaganda war. These terrorists are even willing to strap explosives on their teenagers to blow up the Is women and children. Even your own source acknowledge that it is Hez 's strategy to place their troops and weapons among the civilians. So thanks for confirming that Hez are placing their women/children in harm 's way on purpose for propaganda. The question is why the UN and the liberals in the west are so willing to provide the propaganda service for these terrorists?

Your logic and action will encourage the terrorists to use women/children as propaganda and shield to blow up more Is women and children. You should strongly condemn these terrorists instead of falling into their propaganda trap.

Steve, BTW, Is is s... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Steve,
BTW, Is is showing itself a more decent country/society and their PM apologized for civilians death even though these civilians are purposely put in such a position by the terrorists. The Hez took pride in murdering Is women/children.
You know the Hez 's strategy. Why don't you condemn them for such inhumane action?

You've got to wonder, LoveA... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

You've got to wonder, LoveAmerica, how the Lebanese people allowed Hez to do this to them. It's what would happen to us if we allow the libs to have there way with this great country of ours. Denial, corruption, hypocracy, and, as Lee so persuasively shows us, arrogance are the bedrock of their morality. So much for open mindedness, now Israel must fight for its freedom yet another day.

Red Fog, AS pointed... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Red Fog,
AS pointed out by the Lebanese blog, the Lebanese people are simply afraid of Hez because they know that these terrorists do not care about their lives and willing to blow them up any time. These are thugs. The world, according to the liberals' viewpoint, are those who hate Is to begin with in any case. The "world" is willing to have the Jewish state to be destroyed by these terrorists and their Iranian masters, who are modern incarnation of Hitler. They turned a blind eyes towards these women/children who are being blown up or used as human shields for propaganda purposes.

BTW, this is another source... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

BTW, this is another source for the record
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/744426.html

IDF says it may not be responsible for Qana deaths

Lee,That'... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Lee,

That's a big problem I have with this whole scenario -- Israel knows that this is a hit and run tactic -- that Hezbollah will move in, fire, then leave -- and therefore Israel knows that bombing that target building may result in civilian deaths while in all likelihood the Hezbollah's artillery has been moved elsewhere.

Rather supports the argument that Israel is targeting and punishing civilians as a means to leverage pressure against Hezbollah - and if that's the case and that really is a "strategy", it's backfiring.

If Hezbollah moves in, fires and leaves before Israel can bomb them, then why does Hezbollah fire near civilian housing? Think about that, Hezbollah can fire from an empty road and then move before being bombed by Israel, so there’s no need to use civilians as shields. The only purpose Hezbollah has for firing near civilian housing is to entice Israel to bomb a building. The Israelis have no means of knowing if any or how many civilians are in a building, but Hezbollah does.

That supports the argument that Hezbollah is manufacturing these tragedies in the hopes of gaining sympathy from liberals all around the world, and it’s working, and because it’s working, guess what strategy Hezbollah will continue to use. That’s right, they will continue manufacturing these tragedies, all because liberals are so easily fooled. Guess that makes you and your liberal ilk responsible for these tragedies. Keep it up, Hezbollah desperately needs your continued support.

Take your head out of your ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Take your head out of your *ss, MacLorry:

"That supports the argument that Hezbollah is manufacturing these tragedies in the hopes of gaining sympathy from liberals all around the world, and it’s working, and because it’s working, guess what strategy Hezbollah will continue to use. That’s right, they will continue manufacturing these tragedies, all because liberals are so easily fooled. Guess that makes you and your liberal ilk responsible for these tragedies. Keep it up, Hezbollah desperately needs your continued support."

No, they've got Bush's support now. He's cutting and running - the chicksh*t *sshole. Rice was slapped around by the Lebanese, and she came back to King George a failure -- and now Bush is folding under pressure.

Hezbollah defeated Bush, and naturally the boot-licking Republican apologists are blaming the liberals - since when has Bush listened to liberal sentiment and used that to drive his policies you *sshat????

Never.

Get your head out of your *ss, dummy. King George failed again!

If Lee is not hypocritical,... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

If Lee is not hypocritical, he would conclude that the liberal left and the Dem party is in the trash can wrt the ME, and especially Is-Hezbollah. It is good that Lee is trying to get to the right of Bush simply to have a chance to indulge in his infantile anti-Bush rant.


I think Lee has a good point. One major problem with Bush is that he has treated the liberals and Dems as serious politicians who care about securing the country (Education bill with Kennedy, gesture towards Clinton etc...). Instead he should realize that the liberals and the Dems are intellectually and morally bankrupt. All they care is to regain power and their chief passion is to hate Bush.

http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/g/36ff802a-1990-42fc-ac28-557d1d0ddeb3

The National Security Collapse of the Democratic Party
Posted by Hugh Hewitt | 12:49 PM

I have already posted on Democratic Congressman John Dingell's extraordinary equivocation about the nature of Hezbollah: "I don't take sides for or against Hezbollah; I don't take sides for or against Israel."

Both Dean Barnett and I have posted on the decision of Demcoratic leadership in both House and Senate to make the November campaign a referendum on cutting-and-running from Iraq.

The New York Times on Sunday endorsed Joe Lieberman's challenger and Kossputin's creation Ned Lamont because of the senator's support for the war.

Now RawStory reports on Congresswoman Lynne Woolsey's "The Iraq War Powers Repeal Act of 2006," which has, incredibly, garnered 22 co-sponsors.

Incredibly, the Democratic Party's commitment to national security has collapsed. It is absurd to even argue the case. If Democrats regain power in either House, they will oblige the country to retreat across a broad front in the war with Islamic jihadism, weakening Israel in the process, emboldening Iran even beyond that country's already extraordinary fanaticism, and committing the country to --at best-- a fortress America approach. When, as would inevitably happen, a jihadist government obtained WMD, the country would not be able to return to the battlefield, and those WMD would inevitably find a use somewhere in the world.

The country is confronted with the Iran/Syria/Hezbollah threat, and with a new threat in Somalia, and the Democrats want to retreat and hope for the best.

Lee,No, t... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Lee,

No, they've got Bush's support now. He's cutting and running - the chicksh*t *sshole. Rice was slapped around by the Lebanese, and she came back to King George a failure -- and now Bush is folding under pressure.

Hezbollah defeated Bush, and naturally the boot-licking Republican apologists are blaming the liberals - since when has Bush listened to liberal sentiment and used that to drive his policies you *sshat????

You're losing your grip on reality, probably because your brain is starved of oxygen with your head up your ass for so long. Israel is now on a roll crushing your Hezbollah buddies into the ground. Rice came back because the Lebanese wouldn’t talk unless there was an immediate cease fire. Well they didn’t get their immediate cease fire. Pull out all the stops Lee, Hezbollah needs your continued support, while there’s still hope.




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