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Let's Give 'Em Something To Talk About

Well, in Lebanon it looks like the terrorist Hezbollah is about to either overthrow the Lebanese government, or make them utterly impotent in challenging Hezbollah's plans to attack and, eventually, destroy Israel and institute an Islamist state in its place. In other words, they want to become either a terrorist state or a terrorist state-within-a-state, depending on whether they choose to emulate Hamas in the Gaza Strip or Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

This, most reasonable people agree, would be A Bad Thing.

So, what are those who are most often turned to in such times doing?

Well, the United Nations already has a resolution on the books -- Security Council Resolution 1701, passed unanimously on August 11, 2006. Among the key points of the Resolution:

  • Israel to withdraw all of its forces from Lebanon in parallel with Lebanese and UNIFIL soldiers deploying throughout the South
  • Hezbollah to be disarmed
  • Full control of Lebanon by the government of Lebanon
  • No paramilitary forces, including (and implying) Hezbollah, will be south of the Litani River

Well, Israel withdrew, but as far as the rest goes, mainly the ones concerning Hezbollah, have been utterly and completely flouted. As a consequence of this, absolutely nothing has been done. Indeed, Hezbollah is now more powerful than ever, more heavily armed, and more assertive as it openly wages war against the Lebanese government. And since they enjoy the support of Syria and Iran, they seem to be winning.

So, what's the opinion of the left, as represented by the Boston Globe? Reward Hezbollah with a power-sharing agreement.

This is reminiscent of Barack Obama's proposed foreign policy, where he's willing to talk to anyone without any preconditions, indicating that he's open to compromise on pretty much any matter and "all carrot, no stick." This flies in the face of American history, especially those of the two presidents he cited as "willing to talk to our enemies," Roosevelt and Truman. Those two presidents didn't negotiate with our enemies in World War II, they demanded unconditional surrender -- and got it.

I have my own idea on how to speak with terrorists:

"Great Leader, the American emissary is here to see you."

"Show him in."

(American emissary enters.) "Greetings, Mr. Nasrallah. My name is Joseph Tormolen, and I am here to represent the American government. First of all, we would like to extend our condolences on the unfortunate passing of your colleagues Abdul, Hajji, and Amar."

"I don't understand. Abdul and Hajji were killed a few days ago, but I just spoke to Amar a few minutes ago."

(Checks his watch) "My apologies. I lost track of time." (waits a few seconds, the ground trembles from a nearby explosion, then another.) "As I said a moment ago, we offer our condolences on the unfortunate passing of your colleagues Abdul, Hajji, Amar, and Adnan. Now, we would like to discuss your organization's disarmament and ceding of control of the portions of Lebanon you currently hold to the lawful government of that nation."

THAT is how you negotiate with terrorists. You don't attempt to raise them up to our level of civil discourse. You don't appeal to their higher natures. You don't offer them compromises based on granting some of what they demand, and granting them absolution for what gains they have made by violence and terror. You answer their violence with violence.

But you don't go for a simple tit-for-tat. Nation states and professional militaries have far more options than terrorists do. We can do far more effective and selective targeting than they can, and can sustain our efforts far longer than they can. We only have two limitations: our own moral standards and our sense of resolve.

Our moral limitations mean that we will have to act as best we can to protect the innocents from suffering from our attacks. But that does not mean that all civilian deaths are to be avoided; that would simply guarantee that they would be used as hostages, and would guarantee our defeat. What we need to do is exactly what Israel does: develop weapons that minimize their area of effect, to minimize the collateral damage, but at the same time pronounce that any terrorists who use civilians as human shields (willing or not) will be held liable for any and all harm that befalls them. The Geneva Convention is quite clear on this principle: all combatants have a moral and legal responsibility to separate themselves from civilians, and should any civilians come to harm in their presence, they -- not their attackers -- are to be held responsible.

The other element that we need to take into account is our resolve. Right now, that is very much a questionable resource. We need to declare -- and back up -- our intent of destroying terrorist groups, and then follow through with it.

Or, if you prefer, you can take the Boston Globe's preferred approach. You can pretend that the UN never passed Resolution 1701 (or you can do like I do, and simply stop pretending that the UN serves any useful purpose in this world and does far, far more harm than good -- but that requires too much honesty) and encourage the Lebanese government to come to terms with Hezbollah, grant the terrorists an even greater portion of power and legitimacy, and let the destruction of Lebanon continue and the creation of yet another Afghanistan proceed.

After all, letting the Islamist terrorists have their own nation didn't cause too many problems for the rest of the world, did it?


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Comments (16)

JT:Unfortuanately, t... (Below threshold)
GarandFan Author Profile Page:

Unfortuanately, the appeasers have the floor at the moment. Your ideas will only work after the appeasers get their collective throats cut.

Another reason in a long li... (Below threshold)
stan25 Author Profile Page:

Another reason in a long list of reasons to get the United States out of the Unholy Nations and the Unholy Nations out of the United States. We should have stopped supporting the Anti-American palace on the East River a long time ago. Let China or Russia have the thing for awhile and make them pay for the upkeep and bribes that are rampant there.

Yeah, well you advised goin... (Below threshold)

Yeah, well you advised going into Iraq and stated that the insurgents couldn't possibly keep up the fight. That was 5 years ago now?

I think I'll get my foreign policy advice from someone who is righter.

And just what is YOUR idea,... (Below threshold)

And just what is YOUR idea, jp2?

Oh, yeah, you don't have ideas. You just mock those who do have them.

The name "scavenger" comes to mind...


Oddly enough, Jay, that nam... (Below threshold)

Oddly enough, Jay, that name did not come to my mind.

"The name "scavenger" c... (Below threshold)

"The name "scavenger" comes to mind..."

Lets be more specific, jp2 is a buzzard who picks over the entrails of lefty talking points found at common dreams, morOn.org and the like to be dropped as little turds of wisdom where he has zero interest in debate but an over-riding compulsion to make it appear so.

In short, all flash and no dance.

"Oh, yeah, you don't have i... (Below threshold)

"Oh, yeah, you don't have ideas. You just mock those who do have them."

Umm...What are you smoking? You don't remember giving me an entire column on your own site where I expressed my ideas for what we needed to do in Iraq? I laid out a few points on what I thought was necessary.

You, not surprisingly, criticized every point and dismissed them. And needless to say, you are still dead wrong about Iraq, as you have been all along. "They can't keep up the fighting" eh?

A rather silly point from a rather silly person.

Your points were vapid, jp2... (Below threshold)

Your points were vapid, jp2, and depended upon fantasy thinking and armwaving. Now your points are merely vapid.

jp2, one thing I did not ta... (Below threshold)

jp2, one thing I did not take into account was the overwhelming support the insurgents would get from Iran, and that Iran's support would go unchallenged. Silly me, I saw that as an act of war and foolishly thought others would, too, and react accordingly.

In one way, it's a bit like Viet Nam -- the other side is being used as a proxy against us by an enemy we do not have the resolve to confront directly. Iran keeps feeding the insurgents because they don't have to pay a price for doing so.

That is a mistake, and one that is costing us dearly.


Indeed, Jay Tea, but its a ... (Below threshold)

Indeed, Jay Tea, but its a mistake that could be corrected if the Democrats had not undermined political support for the operation for selfish partisan reasons. jp2 remains nothing but a feces flinging primate.

The post reminds me of the ... (Below threshold)

The post reminds me of the story how the USSR handled a kidnapping of a diplomat in the middleeast (don't know if it is entirely true). They found the kidnappers brother and set him outside the family house with his package in his mouth, diplomat was freed and no more USSR hostages were taken by said middleeast factions. Same for Iran, start sending heads home in boxes filled with pork fat so the good allah fearing iranians can see what their efforts will get them. mpw

Jay Tea, Roosevelt sent at ... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea, Roosevelt sent at least 2 letters to Hitler between the Anschluss and the Nazi transmutation of Czechoslovakia into Czecho-Slovakia. (Post-Kristallnacht, of course) Very very solicitous they were, too.

Here's the second letter from April 1939.


(True, they predate any declaration of war, but there is no declared war now either. And Iran has offered to talk and they ain't no Third Reich.)

I include a short clip from Hitler's famous personal REPLY before the Reichstag as convened in the Kroll Opera House, Berlin.


Of course, you will say "and look where it got Rosie", to which I say your point was Rosie's supposed determination not to "jaw jaw" with tyrants.

True, the differences are somewhat semantic and situational. I just wanted to post that video, actually! Too bad the whole thing isn't posted anymore. It showed the gallery briefly and I always wondered if I saw Shirer taking notes.

This ia a beautifully writt... (Below threshold)

This ia a beautifully written post, chocked full of keen wisdom.

Jay; AGAIN..The village idi... (Below threshold)

Jay; AGAIN..The village idiot speaks.. and you listen.. for shame!

Typical. The Americaan left... (Below threshold)

Typical. The Americaan left doesn't have the stomach for any response sterner than a harshly worded letter.

Roosevelt sent at... (Below threshold)
stan25 Author Profile Page:
Roosevelt sent at least 2 letters to Hitler between the Anschluss and the Nazi transmutation of Czechoslovakia into Czecho-Slovakia. (Post-Kristallnacht, of course) Very very solicitous they were, too.

The United States was under the gun of the appeasers back in 1938. Most of them as now, were factions that are on the far left. They are the ones that forced the Roosevelt Administration to write those letters to Hitler. Yes, these factions supported Hitler in the beginning, up until Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 Then they were the ones that were clambering the loudest to declare war on Germany. Pearl Harbor solved that problem for awhile.

Iran is a reincarnation of Germany in the 1930s. Yes, this is true, because a lot of the top officials were allied with Germany; while Germany was winning and when Germany started to lose, these same officials switched sides. What brought back the bellicosity of the Iranians is the weakness of the Carter Administration. The bug out of Beruit did not help either after the terrorists bombed the Marine Barracks






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