Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm With Israel

NEUTRALITY may be advisable when we know little about a particular conflict. But it does not apply in this case because we know a lot about Israel, Lebanon and the terrorist organization called Hezbollah, which is really Iran's proxy in Lebanon.

Joe Assad, Consul General of Lebanon in Manila, was my high school classmate at La Salle Green Hills. He is a Lebanese Christian whose family has roots in Beirut. I sympathize with him over the grave humanitarian situation that has arisen in his country because WAR has not been averted. And War IS hell. But I could not disagree with him more on his two main points on Strictly Politics with Pia Hontiveros just now that:

1) Lebanon is a "victim" in the fight between Israel and Hezbollah; and
2) that Hezbollah is just a bunch of "farmers" and "shepherds" who are fighting for their freedom against the Zionist aggressors. (Nice try Joe, but here, pull my leg some more ole buddy!)

Here are some of the accomplishments of those "farmers" and shepherds":
* a series of kidnappings of Westerners in Lebanon, including several Americans, in the 1980s;
* the suicide truck bombings that killed more than 200 U.S. Marines at their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983;
* the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847, which featured the famous footage of the plane’s pilot leaning out of the cockpit with a gun to his head;
* two major 1990s attacks on Jewish targets in Argentina—the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy (killing twenty-nine) and the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center (killing ninety-five).
* a July 2006 raid on a border post in northern Israel in which two Israeli soldiers were taken captive. The abductions sparked an Israeli military campaign against Lebanon to which Hezbollah responded by firing rockets across the Lebanese border into Israel.
Ambassador Oscar Valenzuela of the Dept of Foreign Affairs Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, really does a great disservice to the Philippine audience by claiming that Hezbollah is not considered a terrorist organization by the United States or the European Union.

Israeli Ambassador Yehoshua Sagi contested this point with him, pointing out correctly that Hezbollah is on the US foreign terrorist organization list (along with the CPP-NPA). Italy, the Netherlands and Poland have branded Hezbollah a terrorist organization, and only Hezbollah's presence within the Lebanese parliament has apparently constrained the EU itself from branding the organization as terrorist, and instead only names its leaders as such.

Former Senator Leticia Shahani makes the key point here that the Lebanese government itself has been unable to implement the United Nation's resolution for Hezbollah to be disarmed and have the legitimate government of Lebanon be the only armed military power within its own borders.

It would be as if Indonesia was basically overrun by Jemaah Islamiyah and they started firing missiles into Zamboanga and Cotabato. If the Indonesian government did nothing but call them freedom fighters, and we had Israel's strength and will for national survival, would it not be self-defense for us to stop them?

Peace will come to Lebanon some day. But in that future, I cannot see a thing like Hezbollah existing side by side with a thing like Israel. Forced to choose between the two, because it IS a war, I'm with Israel.

The best analysis of this is ongoing at the Belmont Club, by another old friend of Joe Assad.

UPDATE: Our Own HezbollahThe New People's Army is in the news:

NPA Landmine Injures 15 Civilians:
TANDAG, Surigao del Sur -- (2ND UPDATE) At least 15 people were wounded, five of them seriously, when their minibus hit two landmines planted by communist rebels along a highway in the southern province of Surigao del Sur, Monday morning.
That's funny, the CPP NPA claims it only uses "remote controlled landmines" after the international community has loudly condemned the use of land mines worldwide because of precisely this sort of thing. This only proves that we have our own Hezbollah in the NPA, as another item even has the communist terror group offering to pay for the hospitalization of the victims. What? Using money extorted from locals and national businesses shown in another news item:

Reds torch 10th Globe TowerSeems like they never hit Smart/PLDT cell sites. Wonder why? Maybe, rival telco Smart/PLDT is probably paying "revolutionary taxes" -- which is really what keeps the communist insurgency alive. Shame on you Manny Pangilinan!


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manuelbuencamino said...

Collective punishment can never be justified.

Gen. Jake Smith did it in Samar.
SS-Obergruppenfuhrer von dem Bach did it in Poland.
Gen. Curtis Le May did it in Japan and again in Vietnam. He's the guy who firebombed Japanese cities and said, at the end of the war, he was lucky the US won otherwise he would have been hanged as a war criminal. He knew then, as Raul Gonzalez knows now, that certain criminal acts become legitimized by victory.

Those who engage in collective punishment may avoid justice but we and they know that they committed a crime.

manuelbuencamino said...

This is an article from the Times of London.

British anger at terror celebration
By Ned Parker and Stephen Farrell
The commemoration of Israeli bombings that killing 92 people has caused offence

AS ISRAEL wages war against Hezbollah “terrorists” in Lebanon, Britain has protested about the celebration by right-wing Israelis of a Jewish “act of terrorism” against British rule 60 years ago this week.

The rightwingers, including Binyamin Netanyahu, the former Prime Minister, are commemorating the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, the headquarters of British rule, that killed 92 people and helped to drive the British from Palestine.

They have erected a plaque outside the restored building, and are holding a two-day seminar with speeches and a tour of the hotel by one of the Jewish resistance fighters involved in the attack.

Simon McDonald, the British Ambassador in Tel Aviv, and John Jenkins, the Consul-General in Jerusalem, have written to the municipality, stating: “We do not think that it is right for an act of terrorism, which led to the loss of many lives, to be commemorated.”

In particular they demanded the removal of the plaque that pays tribute to the Irgun, the Jewish resistance branch headed by Menachem Begin, the future Prime Minister, which carried out the attack on July 22, 1946.

The plaque presents as fact the Irgun’s claim that people died because the British ignored warning calls. “For reasons known only to the British, the hotel was not evacuated,” it states.

Mr McDonald and Dr Jenkins denied that the British had been warned, adding that even if they had “this does not absolve those who planted the bomb from responsibility for the deaths”. On Monday city officials agreed to remove the language deemed offensive from the blue sign hanging on the hotel’s gates, though that had not been done shortly before it was unveiled last night.

The controversy over the plaque and the two-day celebration of the bombing, sponsored by Irgun veterans and the right-wing Menachem Begin Heritage Centre, goes to the heart of the debate over the use of political violence in the Middle East. Yesterday Mr Netanyahu argued in a speech celebrating the attack that the Irgun were governed by morals, unlike fighters from groups such as Hamas.

“It’s very important to make the distinction between terror groups and freedom fighters, and between terror action and legitimate military action,” he said. “Imagine that Hamas or Hezbollah would call the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and say, ‘We have placed a bomb and we are asking you to evacuate the area’.”

But the view of the attack was very different in 1946 when The Times branded the Irgun “terrorists in disguise”. Decades later, Irgun veterans are unrepentant. Sarah Agassi, 80, remembers spying in the King David Hotel.

She and a fellow agent posed as a couple. They danced tangos and waltzes, sipped whisky and wine while they cased out the hotel.

On the day her brother and his fellow fighters posed as Arabs delivering milk and brought seven milk churns, each containing 50kg of explosives, into the building. Ms Agassi waited across the street until her brother rushed out. She said that she then made the warning call to the British command in the hotel.

Sitting in the luxurious hotel lobby, she expressed no regret. “We fought for our independence. We thought it was the right way . . . If I had to fight for Israel, I swear even now I would do anything.”


The original wording:

The Hotel housed the Mandate Secretariat as well as the Army Headquarters. On July 1946 (sic) Irgun fighters at the order of the Hebrew Resistance Movement planted explosives in the basement. Warning phone calls had been made urging the hotel’s occupants to leave immediately. For reasons known only to the British the hotel was not evacuated and after 25 minutes the bombs exploded, and to the Irgun’s regret and dismay 91 persons were killed.

The amended version

. . .Warning phone calls had been made to the hotel, the Palestine Post and the French Consulate, urging the hotel’s occupants to leave immediately.

The hotel was not evacuated, and after 25 minutes the bombs exploded. The entire western wing was destroyed, and to the Irgun’s regret 92 persons were killed.

Rizalist said...

Your points are well taken. And I would never join in such a rightwing celebration. I condemn all acts of terrorism, even by Israel when and where they have occured. No one is innocent in that sad region.

But the last time we had a world war, 60 million people perished. Some say that number would've been half if America had joined the fray earlier.

So many what if's...but all sides have the right to a legitimate self-defense, Israelis, Lebanese, Iranians.

Let us just pray that the world itself will not become so split over this issue that a world war does ensue.

Anonymous said...

First,Pareho pala tayo na sa La Salle Green Hills nag High School!

I decide to be neutral, because I would not want this war to escalate into a regional war.

I agree,
Israel has a right to defend themselves,but I also agree that what they are doing is overkill.

hezbollah,will never surrender. Talking to Syria and Iran would be useless,notwithstanding their influence over Hezbollah.

Rizalist said...

Joe Assad and I were Class '70. You?

Anonymous said...

Batch 88, DJB.



Glo Arroyo’s SONA last July 24 was merely a speech of lies. The Filipino people are tired of listening to lies from a president who still is hiding from her political immunity from suits regarding the huge accusations that she cheated the year 2004 presidential election. Even if I will do it alone in the streets, I would still peacefully and legally ask Glo Arroyo to resign from the presidency. Her presidency is nothing but a manipulation of the democratic institutions in the Philippines. I would rather act in a righteous way, that is peacefully and legally asking Mrs. Arroyo to resign from her illegal presidency, than let despostism reign with ease in my country without doing something about such tyranny. I would peacefully and lawfully struggle for real and moral democracy in the Philippines, so that future generations in the Philippines would have a truly stable and working democracy.


The problem that sparks Middle East conflicts is not Zionism. The problem is the despotic social system that dominates almost all of the Muslim countries in the Middle East region. Zionism is merely an expression of the Biblical, empirical and rational truth that Israel belongs to the descendants of the ancient Hebrews. The ancient Hebrews’ homeland was Israel. The ancient Hebrews contributed to the general global civilization that modern humanity have today. The descendants of the ancient Hebrews have a legitimate and valid claim to return to their ancestral homeland. Archaelogical evidences can prove that Israel was the original homeland of the ancient Hebrews before they migrated to Egypt. Israel was the Promised Land for the ancient Hebrews and their descendants. Israel’s right to exist as a nation is a valid one. The Middle East region needs peaceful and lawful democratization process. Israel, the U.S.A. and UK must support the peaceful and lawful democratization of the Middle East region. The Israeli nation should not be threatened by any form of aggression from despotic states in the Middle East region. The terrorist groups, which are manipulated and controlled by despotic regimes in the Middle East region, that are threatening to destroy Israel’s right to exist as a nation should all be arrested and disarmed by the United Nations’ Organization. Israel has the right to exist as a nation in this world. The U.N. Organization, the U.S.A. and the UK should uphold the right of Israel to exist as a nation.

Peacefully and legally campaign for real, global and moral democracy! Support political abrogationism now!

Dominique said...

Hi, Dean: has the Hezbollah overrun Lebanon? Some Lebanese may morally support Hezbollah, but in my view, it cannot justify Israeli incursion. Israel has always tended to respond with overwhelming force, their version of Calibrated Preemptive Response.

manuelbuencamino said...


"Let us just pray that the world itself will not become so split over this issue that a world war does ensue."

I join your prayer wholeheartedly.

manuelbuencamino said...

Mr Pinera,

Your argument on Israel is a valid one. From the Zionist point of view. That is the core of their argument.

However, the Palestinians disagree. Like you they say, the ancient Hebrews migrated to Egypt. A thousand years later, a group of European Jews decided they wanted to go back to the Promised Land and so they returned and threw out everyone who had been living and tilling the abandoned land for over a thousand years. The Palestinians also said - why the need for a Jewish state among us who have lived peacefully side by side until European Jews carved out their territory?

Both sides have a claim. The Zionists have a Torrens title from their God. The Palestinians have a claim by right of occupancy.

What we see here is a difference in historical narratives. A conflict between different frames of reference, if you will.

How can you decide who has a more legitimate claim?
The affected parties themselves can't agree.

To me the best solution is a compromise. Two states. Not one state and a bantustan. And not one state and another state under perpetual threat from her neighbors.

I think a good starting point is for the Israelis to compensate all those who were driven out of Israel because of the recreation of their Promised Land. Call it relocation compensation if you will.

In the end, both nations should agree to co-exist peacefully. It's better for them and for all of us.

Rizalist said...


When my good friend Joe Assad was asked by Pia Hontiveros what he thought would have been a "proportional" response to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, he said they should have captured 22 Hezbollah soldiers. Perhaps that is what they set out to do immediately after the incident, but before they could really get even that done, fusillades of Iranian supplied missiles started to rain down on Northern Israel. These attacks were completely unprovoked and are part of Hezbollah's stated objective to obliterate the Jewish State.

Is there no case at all for self-defense anymore.

Now regarding "proportionality", much is being made of 400 Lebanese dead half of them children) compared to 40 Israeli dead (half of them children too.) But one is too many isnt it? So proportionality has nothing to do with the causes of the conflict or its resolution. As Amb. Sagi pointed out, the reason for the lower Israeli casualties is not due to the lack of ferociousness in the attempts of Hezbollah to kill more, it's due to the Israeli building code, which requires bomb shelters in every new home! But 2 million Israelis huddle in fear as much as the Lebanese, who are however disadvantaged by the fact that Hezbollah does not build bombshelters for civilians -- Hezbollah installs missile batteries and launchers INSIDE civilian areas, using the civilian population as human shields.

To its credit, the IDF dropped millions of leaflets on areas to be targetted warning all "civilians" to get out before the missile batteries were to be bombed. No such thing is done by Hezbollah.

I think that if Israel were really aggressive and did not want peace, they could easily wipe out most of their enemies. They have not and instead they build defensive structures like bomb shelters and have withdrawn from the Arab lands (Gaza, the Golan Heights,) to no avail. Why? because the Arabs want them dead and pushed to the sea.

It's their fight for national survival.

Someday I believe peace will come to the Middle East. But in that bright future, I do not see a thing like Hezbollah existing side by side with a thing like Israel. We can't be neutral because it is an illusion to think that is possible.

Hezbollah has no more legitimacy to throw missiles at Haifa than the CPP NPA blowing up civilians in Sorsogon with land mines (just yesterday).

We should support Israel because a small war now can prevent a much larger war that would reach all the way to Dumaguete. Because if Hezbollah destroys Israel, what's to prevent it from coming after the Christians that stand by them?

If Israel and her allies thought like Hezbollah, there'd be an awful lot more than 400 Lebanese dead.

I grant you it's humanitarian disaster, but it's really the Lebanese govt's fault for being unable to rein in Hezbollah's army. Like I said, it's as if Indonesia were allowing Jemaah Islamiyah to lob rockets and BAlibomb Zamboanga and Cotabato.

I'm with Israel and principles of self-defense and national survival.

They are not "punishing" anybody or being aggressors. It's just that even one life is precious to them. But they know that it's millions at stake.

Hezbollah is Iran's proxy in Lebanon. Once Ahmadinejad gets the Bomb and gives it Hezbollah, we may all learn the true meaning of "disproportional response" because they won't hesitate to use it immediately.



I was once a very staunch supporter of Israel for some of the reasons you gave.

My support today is for Lebanon and the Lebanese people. They do not deserve to be pummelled in the manner Israeli forces are doing today.

Hezbollah, to me is a group of fanatics and fanaticism does not solve conflicts, it merely sows more conflicts.

Israeli incursion into a sovereign Lebanon "to protect" their homeland smacks of a deliberate flaunting of UN ideals and human rights.

I cannot side of Israel today on the excuse that 2 Israeli soldiers were captured. These so-called chosen people have thousands of Arabs and Palestinians in Israeli captivity as well. That Israel chose to punish the Lebanese civilians for the crime of a few in Lebanon is UNACCEPTABLE.

The West, the world, the international community must call for a cease fire and allow for a credible peacekeeping force to stop the killings of innocent civilians in Lebanon.


How would you feel Dean if 2 US soldiers were captured by the NPAs in Bulacan and the response of the US navy is to pummel the whole of the region including Manila with horrible collateral damage?


Allow me to correct my question:

How will you feel Dean, if 2 US soldiers are captured by the NPAs in Bulacan and the response of the US navy is to pummel the whole of the region including Manila resulting in horrendous collateral damage?

Rizalist said...

I also support the Lebanese people on this and mourn the loss of life on both sides. But I blame the Lebanese government for not implementing UN Resolution 1559, which called for the disarmament of Hezbollah and the establishment of a truly sovereign Lebanon. But Israel also ignores UN resolutions, so I wouldn't want to get into THAT debate.

So let me instead address your analogy directly. As you have stated it, I would be outraged and condemn such a situation as you describe, but that analogy does not adequately capture the situation in Lebanon. Even Joe Assad claimed that Lebanon is a mere victim of the war between Hezbollah and Israel. What he really means is that the Lebanese government is truly helpless to stop Hezbollah from attacking Israel and working for its destruction. Unlike Lebanon, there is no such collaboration or helplessness relative to the NPA, and as far as I know the CPPNPA does not question the right of America to exist, nor is it firing missiles at San Francisco and New York.

Perhaps a better analogy is the one I cited. If Jemaah Islamiyah had the Indonesian govt on the ropes and fired missiles at majority Christian communities like Davao or Zamboanga, don't we have a right to defend ourselves by destroying their ability to do so? And if they put their missile batteries and ammo dumps in the middle of Indonesian cities, what do you suggest we do, if we had Israel's military prowess and power? Call for a ceasefire? Diplomacy?

How many Filipinos (or Israelis) must die before a violent response is legitimate?

Whether we think their response is proportional or not, do we at least accept that the Israelis are acting out of self defense against completely unprovoked attacks?

Or do we think they are just being Zionist aggressors?

I'd really like to know everybody's opionion on the last two questions.

BTW, I am prepared to reconsider my own position about "proportionality" and what it consists of. The images of the dead and dying cannot but touch any human being. At the same time, there are a lot more that could die and the wrong politics could only lead to more deaths on both sides unless the true villain is identified and neutralized.


But Dean, the analogy remains credible: US considers NPAs terrorists; US uses the same language to describe Hezbollahs so I believe the analogy is quite appropriate.

On your question no. 1: It is not complete. You did not include the scenario which a violent Israel response/s entails - the RANDOM killings and the massacre of innocent, hapless, Lebanese civilians. Moreover, there are other elements, factors, in this war that you did not include.

Why don't we ask this question instead: HOW MANY LEBANESE CIVILIANS and innocent children MUST DIE BEFORE ISRAEL IS SATISFIED?

2. I believe that in the scheme of things today, Dean, they have become Zionist aggressors. My two brothers in law who are Jewish will not agree but I maintain that belief! (One of my sisters used to live in Tel Aviv till they moved to NY.)

taga ilog said...

Me too, during my High School days(80's) I was brainwashed by jewish controlled media that anything againts the state of israel is anti-zionist. Everything is one sided.

There must a reason why they are(the militants and the palestinians) againts Israel.

And it is the same with the European Youths(German/French/Flemish) who adhere to the Anti-Zionist principles.

For me intifada is an inspiration.

ManuelBuencamino is right on "good starting point" and that is the SYKES-PICOT AGREEMENT.


Rizalist said...


I support a two-state solution to the Palestinian issue, just as Israel does. But it is only Israel whose extermination is the declared objective of other groups, parties and nations. And aside from Iraq, she is the only democracy of any real viability in that region. Everything else is either a monarchy, a dictatorship, a theocracy or some medieval combination of all three.

So I ask you: do you believe Israel has a right to exist within her own secure borders, or is the Final Solution to exterminate the vermin Zionists with an Iranian atom bomb?

Dominique said...

Dean: it's not so much an issue of proportionality as it is the response itself.

In answer to your first question, it is not self-defense; it is an act of aggression with a punitive intent against a whole population. It's not even the Law of Talion anymore, it's the Chicago Way (see "The Untouchables.") Given the capabilities of the Israeli army and Israeli intelligence, don't you think they have a whole range of other options?

I find the whole episode of the leaflets sadly laughable. What's the point? Are they assuming the Hezbollah cannot read? Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, not a standing army. Unfortunately, the days where war had some semblance of honor are long gone.

Rather than analogize using the CPP-NPA in Bulacan or Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia, why not use a more recent and actual example: the Bali bombings from two years ago. As I recall, Australia was mulling sending crack troops to neutralize JI in various countries in Southeast Asia. Fortunately, nothing came of it because of the hue and cry across the region. As another example, the Abu Sayyaff kidnappings around the same time frame.

The Middle East is a long and tangled web with no simple solutions, certainly not for us out here with only snatches of information and limited perception. Since it's too long to post here, I've reproduced a section from a book I'm reading over at my blog. (Dean, if you haven't read it yet, I'll be happy to give it to you after I'm done with it.)

manuelbuencamino said...


Your question is the difference of narratives. The correct question is - whose version of the narrative do you believe, Israel's or the Hizhollah's ? Lebanon or Israel ?

Completely unprovoked attacks? C'mon, Dean. You know very well that every UN resolution ignored by Israel, and there are scores of them, was a provocation. Why not go to UN242 and 338 for starters?

Even Israelis want to exterminate those vermin Zionists. Moderates on both sides of the wall recognize that the vermins are the extermists in their midst. It's the Zionists and the Hizbollahs.

Let's take the side of sanity. Let's not choose between two fanatics. There was real hope for peace during the Camp David peace talks in Carter's time. The moderates from both sides had joined hands and they were being listened to. Unfortunately, the process was hijacked by extremists from both sides.

Dean, let's take the side of insanity. Let's stop arguing over who is less insane - Hizbollah or Zionists.

manuelbuencamino said...


I meant sanity not insanity. sorry for the typo

Rizalist said...

I'll be happy to read the book and I do understand where lots of people are coming from: they hate seeing the slaughter of innocents in a war. I do too. But I think this is a dangerous if noble emotion because it can cloud our judgment about what is right in the here and now and good for everyone in the long run, including Lebanon. To say that there is no argument from self-defense on the Israeli side seems to me an argument that there is no offensive provocation from the Hezbollah side that requires an act of self defense. Surely you do not believe that because you already characterize the Israeli action as a "response". A response to what? Why would the Israeli "intent" be to "punish" a whole population. If that was their intent, surely they could've managed to "punish" a heck of a lot more Lebanese than 400 dead.

How can we deny that since the 40,000 missiles of Hezbollah are all in Lebanon (and hundreds if not thousands have been fired indiscriminately into civilian areas) that there has to be a legitimate form of self defense. What would you say that form should take, if it is to be effective at achieving what has to be the real intent: which is to secure their towns and populations.

If you deny that it is self-defense, then Israel is acting out of pure evil. That's hardly a reasonable conclusion, in my opinion. Given their military might, it's just not plausible. They could've wiped out Lebanon, Syria and Iran by now. Do you think THAT is their long term goal?

It would be mind boggling if out of the blue and completely unprovoked the Israelis decided to start World War 3.

C'mon Dom think of it. If JI attacked Dumaguete with hundreds of missiles because they claimed it's ancient Muslim land, wouldn't that be a provocation to self-defense of some kind.

The Bali analogy and Australia threats to do something about it herself is not good in this case because unlike the Lebanese govt the Indonesians found, arrested, charged, convicted and soon will execute some of the Bali Bombers, though their leader Bashir got off easy.

Lebanon's sovereignty is not in danger from Israel, but from Hezbollah. If Lebanon allows Hezbollah to try and destroy Israel, what choice does Israel have but to defend herself with all necessary force.

The missiles are just the start. If Hezbollah's capabilities increase to the point where it gets anywhere near threatening Israel's very existence, which is their declared intention along with Hamas states like Iran and Syria, (say with a lil enriched uranium waste from Iran to make dirty bombs) there's no telling what the Israelis might do to defend themselves.

That is the frightening scenario that people seem to ignore. Hezbollah WANTS Armageddon, or don't care if it happens.

Rizalist said...

Just a side note Balangiga (Samar) was the greatest victory of the Katipunan against the invading US Expeditionary Forces. I am disgusted that that victory is diminished by our love of reveling in defeat and victimhood over what happened after that. Please never call it a Massacre (that was America mewling like an old woman victim!) There was a war, a real war between the US and the First Republic. We lost. But so what? We fought our bravest and most brilliant battles in Samar, long after Aguinaldo had "surrendered" to a life of ease as a puppet and a landlord. Please don't insult our heroes by gloating over the cruelty of their conquerors. We beat them at Balangiga with brains and braun, and even if we lost more lives than they did (300 to 72) Balangiga was a great victory. The thousands they killed later all over Samar is not something they can possibly be proud of now.

manuelbuencamino said...


I was not insulting our heroes. Don't twist my words.

I was comparing the collective punishment Israel is inflicting on innocent Lebanese to the actions of Jake Smith, the SS guy and Curtis Le May.

And you know there is a basis for comparison.

manuelbuencamino said...

And you know the reasons that all those three butchers gave are the same as the reason Israel is using now - self defense.


A bit of technical correction Dean.

The military firepower of the Hezbollahs today is estimated to be in the region of 50 medium range missiles (125 to 250 km range) while their very short range missiles (VSHORADS) which we may liken to ordinary rockets are 12,000. They have lots of short range missiles (SHORADS) but we don't know how many. Depending on the ability of Iran to deliver more rockets to the Hezbollahs in Lebanon via Syria, I doubt the Hezbollahs will have more firepower than they have in their arsenals in Southern Lebanon today.

The Hezbollahs do not have F16s; they do not have a naval firepower nor a land army. They do not have radars nor sophisticated fire control systems that the Tsahals have. They do not have the ultra-sophisticated night vision goggles that the Israel armies do nor the sattelite communication system capability to listen and to watch their Israeli opponents.

I do accept that the Hezbollahs have frightening weapons that could hit Tel Aviv in no time at all.

Having said that, tt isn't quite true that Israel has the military power with which, as you say, "to wipe out Syria, Iran and Lebanone" singlehandely. To do that they will need America's help and help under Bush will come in a blink.

But if Israel continues to expand and encroach into the Middle East after pulverizing Lebanon, which it hopes to achieve in the soonest possible time, ARMAGEDON is a possibility.

In such a scenario, a clinical view would be that it wouldn't be the Hezbollahs, who, by the way, admitted that they didn't quite expect Israeli response to their capturing of the 2 Israeli soldiers, would cause Armagedon to happen but it would be the Israelis.

Technically, Israel and Iran are almost at par when it comes to military fire power. Moreover, Iran has an equivalent fanatical opinion that if it came to a military confrontation, the Iranians will not back out.

This is one reason why Israel's pounding of Lebanon is quite stupid in the extreme. Militarily, the Israelis are courting a war on all fronts: they are practically asking Syria to come back to Lebanon. Why is that so? If Syria believes that Lebanon is about to be ethnically divided or that the Hezbollahs would be driven from Lebanon, Syria might opt to go back and capture Lebanon. Obviously, this will not please the Israelis who would just be too happy to engage the Syrians. Unfortunately, a potential military engagement between the Syrians, their Hezbollah fanatics on one side and the Israeli fanatics (YES, FANATICS) on the other side in Lebanon could very well draw Iran and the rest of the Arab nations to another holocaust. Oh, but don't you worry, it's not gonna be Jewish holocaust - IT WILL BE HOLOCAUST ON THE LEBANESE. The end result will be that the Lebanese will cease to exist.

I do not doubt for a moment Israel's capacity to engage in a protracted war but this is not the question, Dean. The question is Israeli violent response to the abduction of their soldiers is not only overkill, it is also a potential military blunder that will create a holocaust in Lebanon.

The Israelis DO NOT hold the high moral ground in this soldier capture game. We must not forget that the Israelis hold in captivity, thousands of Arabs and Palestinians.

I believe that in order to avoid an ARMAGEDDON or a LEBANESE HOLOCAUST, Israel must accept a cease fire and that America must lead the way. In so doing, Israel will have international opinion on their side and pave the way for the weakening of extremist Hezbollahs.

There is no win - win situation in the Middle East as things stand today. There's only collateral damage on practically all of Lebanon's fronts.

War on Lebanon (and I say ON Lebanon) is not the answer to the survival of Israel.

Lest you forget Dean, just like the Islamists, there are Jewish fnatics in Israel who will never rest till the Palestinians are driven into the Red Sea. Lest you forget again, Jewish fanatics are all over the world as well - it is they who make it difficult for those in America and Europe to map out a cease fire.

What they are doing today smacks of outright terrorism - doing terrorist acts on a sovereign nation and punishing civilians. This ain't right Dean. Two wrong don't make a right.

My question remains: How many civilian lives, innocent children MUST DIE and families separated in Lebanon for the Israelis to feel satisfied that they have finally avenged the capture of their 3 soldiers?

I am almost certain that the Israeli answser would be FOR AS MANY AS IT TAKES... In this case, how will the Israelis be any different from those that they brand terrorists?

There cannot be just one side in this war.

Amadeo said...

"The Middle East is a long and tangled web with no simple solutions, certainly not for us out here with only snatches of information and limited perception." (From Dominique)

If all of us, more or less, agree on the above premise, then would it not appear rather ill-informed or simplistic to be too quick with one-sided condemnations, or to be too easy with concise suggested recommendations/solutions on such a complex and contentious issue?

And the likelihood is that the above premise is tenable. After all, all the affected parties, the protagonists, in that region, including the big guns of Europe and America, have been at it for the last 60 years or so, either in violent confrontation or across negotiating tables. Are they all missing something, other than the accepted notion that this whole situation does not lend itself to simple and easy solutions? And a little illustration, the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon (2000 strong) has been there since 1978. It is still there amidst all the crossfire.

And in my belief, any analogy of the present situation with either actual or hypothetical situations has to factor in the element of self-preservation or survival, which is how the more than 80% of the people of Israel who favor the current government action essentially view it. If not, then such analogy cannot stand the test of similarity

And on the issue of Lebanon and Hezbollah, our common perception is that the two are separate and distinct, like two distinct entities living in one place. This may be true to some extent. But consider the following, some sources say that Hezbollah, mainly Shi'a Arabs, comprises as high as 40% of Lebanon which has a population of fewer than 4 million. As such, Hezbollah is as much an integral part of Lebanon as any other, having been to some extent legitimized by having ample representation in the duly-constituted Lebanese government and even counting among its own two cabinet members in the present administration.

On the other hand, Israel with a current population estimated at 7 million is no ethnic monolith either, all thinking and acting in cadence. About 20% are Arabs, and of the rest only 32% are either European- or American-born with an almost equal percentage being Asian- or African-born.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information Amadeoand the rest of you guys.

Hezbollah is supposed to be a political party, a political group.
Having more than 1.5 million as its members in race and in sympathy makes me wonder that how can Isarael pounding southern and middle Lebanon call it a calculated attack,and will end in just two weeks.

First,if they say that hitting a target in the bull's eye is a calculated attack,in thaat premise they are already wrong.Nothwithstanding their sophistcated intelligence,and pin point accuracy, they are firing loose cannons.

And the two weeks claim is definitely a blunder.

Maybe,they are really trying to provoke Syria and Iran.

Iran can not move,as flexible and Agile as everyone might think.
In the north,there is a road block,in the west is another roadblock,overstaying in Iraq.

Now I see why the U.S. won't dare leave Iraq,and have significant forces in Uzbekistan

I maybe watching too many E-Ring reruns.

Rizalist said...

Amadeo is right that there are no simple solutions in such a tangled web as the Middle East. And Manuel Buencamino too that often a person's position depends on the narrative about events that he believes. (Btw, everyone presents their points with eloquence, am proud to have all you folks commentary here).

But apart from the requisite humanitarianism which we must always practice in considering such events, there are other equally eternal principles involved, which we must uphold for all parties and which can be continuously applied as the crisis evolves and grows. I think that the right of nations and peoples to be secure within their own borders and the principle of national self-defense must be applied to all.

Because until the people of the Middle East itself come to believe these principles, there will never be peace there. Pure humanitarianism is NECESSARY for that peace, but it is not SUFFICIENT.

Anonymous said...

That 40 % Hezbollah,presence in Lebanon made me think of that NPA kidnapping of US soldiers scenario.

Here we only have at least for the moment, a puny presense in the congress by the progresives unlike in Lebanon they control a significant number in the Lebanese parliament,the US believes that that the NPA presence here is insignificant.that is why I would not think that analogy can be used.

Hezbolla is much to powerful and sort of untouchable in Lebanon and as a reminder,Lebanon has just barely recovered from a civil war and in less than a year ago they had just a successful people power change in government.

The point above,makes the Lebanese government powerless to force Hezblollah to lay down there arms,not just a failure to implement a UN resolution.

Anonymous said...

I have read a comment made by MB,in reponse to my question.

A part of it says that Israel,might want to extend uo to Tigris andd Euphrates or something like that.

I know it was said in jest,But if so, that would mean Israel would extend as far as Iraq because that is as far as the Tigris and Euphrates extend.
Now, that is landgrabbing!

seriously now.
For GWB to tell syria,to use its influence on Hezbollah.How sure is he,that Syria is not already exerting its influence.

and as for Israel being as par as Iran in military strength.

I know Anna,that you are an authority in military issues,but methinks that would only be true, if Iran has publicly admitted that they too have the nukes.

Oh no!

It is the Sum of All Fears!

Rizalist said...

On this aspect of the problem, I think the principle involved is still one of self-defense. Suppose that Hezbollah does take over all of Lebanon, politically and militarily, say by winning democratic elections as the Cedar Revolution which put the present government in charge.

Does that give them the right to fire missiles into Haifa? And does that remove the right of Israel to try and destroy their ability to do so?

At the moment Hezbollah would be like the MILF if it controlled Mindanao and Manila simply gives up trying to control them by saying they are actually freedom fighters with 40% of the population under them. If they bombed Kuala Lumpur, I would gladly ask Malaysia to stop them for us if we could not.

Anonymous said...

Good thing you've mentioned Mindanao because to me that is a more clearer analogy than any comparsion of the communist infuence in the RP visavis Hezbollah/Lebanon.

If that would be the case since Malaysia was bombed we would not need to ask malaysia again for the very reason of self defense,it would be automatic.

Unfortunately you made it clear that RP can not defend itself against itself(MILF).The sameway Lebanon can not defend itself against itself(Hezbollah).

I am not saying that Lebanon should be thankful,that Isarael is hitting Hezbollah,but that is how I read your point that Lebanon should be thankful to Israel,like the same way that we should be thankful to Malaysia in that hypothetical scenario.

I am not putting words in your mouth,but I think that is what you meant.

Anonymous said...

That's it DJB,

You made the case closer to my heart.If that would be the case and Malaysia would annihilate Mindanao,If I am the leader of the nation I would still condemn Malyasian invasion of Mindanao and still claim it an isolated incident,because MILF does not represent the philippines.

But of course MILF is courting the OIC and that Malaysian bombing is far from reality.

Buti na lang!

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

The Palestinian question is indeed a very difficult one. We had a Palestinian participant in a conference I attended in the UK early this month, and he himself said they do not how to solve the problem. At the time, the Israelis have only began to enter Palestinian territory and the situation was not as bad as it is now.

Which leads me to think: Can it be possible to buy time by working out a ceasefire based on status quo before the abduction of two Israeli soldiers that ignited all of these? And then move on from there?

Dominique said...

Dean: I stand corrected on my Bali-Australia analogy. I agree. It's not the same thing, the reason primarily being they're not on the same border. Additional research on the timeline (Hezbollah provocation, capabilities, aim) has also done much to change my mind about the analogy.

All the same, the other analogies being presented still don't give full justice to the complexity of the situation. This is a conflict that's been going on since its major turning point in 1948.

On the question of self-defense, I go by the general principle offered by St. Thomas:

"If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repel force with moderation, his defense will be lawful."


RE Willy's question: "Can it be possible to buy time by working out a ceasefire based on status quo before the abduction of two Israeli soldiers that ignited all of these? And then move on from there?"

My comment: To me any political resolves and solutions are possible under the sun. After all political negotiations are done between people. If people make conditions impossible, then nothing can be achieved. But with the best will in the world, even the most difficult things can be achieved.

One of the political negotiation pointers in this current Lebanon saga stemmed from the time when Hamas won in a democratic elections required no less than by powers in the West and by the UN. Observers from the West in that Palestinian elections were unanimous - elections were held freely and democratically. Yet we in the West turned our backs on them and made it so difficult for the Palestinians, including Hamas to actually try to exist.

I reckoned then that HAMAS who had won the elections were prepared to forego their policy of destroying Israel had the US and Israel not made one sided demands. What happened? Subsidies for the continuing existence of the Palestinian people were withdrawn. What do we want those people to do? Why were the Western powers, led by the US so inflexible?

Yet we speak of democracy? What democracy? The power of might democracy? My democracy is not your democracy thinggy?

It's true that there's not one solution to the problem in the Middle East. But like the conquest of the moon, Western powers and Israel must begin with a step because each step for peace is like a giant leap towards progress for the Middle East and its people.

Carter and Clinton made great leaps to achieve some peace over there that. Even Nixon went out of his way to court two of his despised enemies: Mao and China. Why can't Bush and Ohlmert do the same today?

Rizalist said...

I do not absolve Israel of all guilt in this long and bitter conflict, nor the West which was indeed responsible for her creation. Someone has already said, why didn't the West create a Jewish homeland in Germany?! Or America, for that matter.

I agree with MB's attitude that we should not be captives to "particular narratives" -- which necessarily begin somewhere, most likely in the very recent past, and then apportion blame as the case may be.

Both sides have been at war for so long, that above approach is certainly futile, a polemical tit-for-tat which always ends in a stalemate, which a chess player like you appreciates as proving nothing.

But I am interested in what we shall all say and think as this terrible thing unfolds, grows and perhaps engulfs us all. We must take a position that is MORALLY CONSISTENT no matter what the situation and who is to blame in it.

Thus, on the principle of national self-defense and St. Thomas definition of it from Dominique, we should be able to pick apart any narrative, and measure all parties against the PRINCIPLE not only the narrative or its horrible and unbearably painful details.

I take no pleasure in the images being beamed around the world with the unblinking eye of television. But we should not let horror blind us to even greater horrors that wait in the future.

Regarding the principle of democracy: I have to stand firm on the hope that the MIddle East will become democratic because we know it is the only social system that has ever kept the peace between religions and ethnicities.



You are a born diplomat like your Dad.

I am impressed by your ability to tackle the most delicate issues in lots of blogs, express your ideas right on target and do it with great tack.

You should harness that talent.

We need people like you.

Remember there are peace talks process (although stalled) between RP and the MILF & the NDFP.

manuelbuencamino said...


"Thus on the principle of national self-defense..etc"

Palestinians will ask -

"But why use that as a starting principle ? Why not start with land grabbing before anything else?"

"How does the principle of national self defense hold when the nation claiming self defense is guilty of landgrabbing? "

So we're right back to which narrative you choose to believe. Because your very premise indicates your preference for a particular narrative.

manuelbuencamino said...


"Thus on the principle of national self-defense..etc"

Palestinians will ask -

"But why use that as a starting principle ? Why not start with land grabbing before anything else?"

"How does the principle of national self defense hold when the nation claiming self defense is guilty of landgrabbing? "

So we're right back to which narrative you choose to believe. Because your very premise indicates your preference for a particular narrative.

Rizalist said...

Ah, you misunderstand, I think. I am inviting everyone to apply the principle of national self-defense to all parties and judge their narratives against it. As I have said, we must be morally consistent. Thus as the situation evolves, or even as it stands now, the principle applies to all sides. For example, can Hezbollah's actions be justified by the principle of national self-defense? Make the case for it and convince those who disagree.

I agreed with you that we must not be slaves to particular narratives. Why do you seem to insist that we SHOULD stick to particular narratives instead of applying the principles that, I repeat apply to all, or none at all?

It may seem to you merely self serving or convenient for my position to bring up "self-defense" in this particular conflict in Lebanon, which is why you wish to talk about stuff further in the past. But that suggests you think I am right that the Israelis are practicing self-defense since you have not contravened that basic proposition.

We cannot of course escape "narratives"--but to me the way out of the "selectivity of narrative trap" is to test our narratives against the principles.

In some other situation, Israel's enemies may have the benefit of the self-defense principle. In those situations I will write something like...

"I am with Lebanon"

whenever and wherever that is justified by the narratives.

I am only agreeing with you that narrative selectivity is merely polemical, not a principled discussion.

manuelbuencamino said...

Let me see if I can follow Israel's narrative -

Israel was minding its own business. From out of nowhere and for no reason at all, Hizbollahs attacked an Israeli outpost and captured two soldiers who were just minding their own business. .Then, and still unprovoked, Hizbollahs decided to rain rockets on Israel. So Israel had no choice but to defend itself and bomb Beirut back to the stone age.

So the carnage started because some Hizbollah got up on the wrong side of bed one morning ?

Or could the narrative have started this way -

Israel’s Invasion Pretext Under Fire
As Lebanon continues to be pounded by Israeli bombs and munitions, the justification for Israel's invasion is treading on very thin ice. It has become general knowledge that it was Hezbollah guerillas that first kidnapped two IDF soldiers inside Israel on July 12, prompting an immediate and violent response from the Israeli government, which insists it is acting in the interest of national defense. Israeli forces have gone on to kill over 370 innocent Lebanese civilians (compared to 34 killed on Israel's side) while displacing hundreds of thousands more. But numerous reports from international and independent media, as well as the Associated Press, raise questions about Israel's official version of the events that sparked the conflict two weeks ago.

The original story, as most media tell it, goes something like this: Hezbollah attacked an Israeli border patrol station, killing six and taking two soldiers hostage. The incident happened on the Lebanese/Israel border in Israeli territory. The alternate version, as explained by several news outlets, tells a bit of a different tale: These sources contend that Israel sent a commando force into southern Lebanon and was subsequently attacked by Hezbollah near the village of Aitaa al-Chaab, well inside Lebanon's southern territory. It was at this point that an Israel tank was struck by Hezbollah fighters, which resulted in the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the death of six.

As the AFP reported, "According to the Lebanese police force, the two Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanese territory, in the area of Aitaa al-Chaab, near to the border with Israel, where an Israeli unit had penetrated in middle of morning." And the French news site www.VoltaireNet.org reiterated the same account on June 18, "In a deliberated way, [Israel] sent a commando in the Lebanese back-country to Aitaa al-Chaab. It was attacked by Hezbollah, taking two prisoners."
The Associated Press departed from the official version as well. "The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them," reported Joseph Panossian for AP on July 12. "The forces were trying to keep the soldiers' captors from moving them deeper into Lebanon, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity."

And the Hindustan Times on July 12 conveyed a similar account:
"The Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah movement announced on Wednesday that its guerrillas have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon. 'Implementing our promise to free Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, our strugglers have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon,' a statement by Hezbollah said. 'The two soldiers have already been moved to a safe place,' it added. The Lebanese police said that the two soldiers were captured as they 'infiltrated' into the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border."
Whether factual or not, these alternative accounts should at the very least raise serious questions as to Israel's motives and rationale for bombarding Lebanon.

MSNBC online first reported that Hezbollah had captured Israeli soldiers "inside" Lebanon, only to change their story hours later after the Israeli government gave an official statement to the contrary.

A report from The National Council of Arab Americans, based in Lebanon, also raised suspicion that Israel's official story did not hold water and noted that Israel had yet to recover the tank that was demolished during the initial attack in question.
"The Israelis so far have not been able to enter Aitaa al-Chaab to recover the tank that was exploded by Hezbollah and the bodies of the soldiers that were killed in the original operation (this is a main indication that the operation did take place on Lebanese soil, not that in my opinion it would ever be an illegitimate operation, but still the media has been saying that it was inside 'Israel' thus an aggression first started by Hezbollah)."

Before independent observers could organize an investigation of the incident, Israel had already mounted a grisly offensive against Lebanese infrastructure and civilians, bombing Beirut's international airport, along with numerous highways and communication portals. Israel didn't need the truth of the matter to play out before it invaded Lebanon. As with the United States' illegitimate invasion of Iraq, Israel just needed the proper media cover to wage a war with no genuine moral impetus.

And so what happens to national self-defense now?

manuelbuencamino said...

Let me see if I can follow Israel's narrative -

Israel was minding its own business. From out of nowhere and for no reason at all, Hizbollahs attacked an Israeli outpost and captured two soldiers who were just minding their own business. .Then, and still unprovoked, Hizbollahs decided to rain rockets on Israel. So Israel had no choice but to defend itself and bomb Beirut back to the stone age.

So the carnage started because some Hizbollah got up on the wrong side of bed one morning ?

Or could the narrative have started this way -

Israel’s Invasion Pretext Under Fire
As Lebanon continues to be pounded by Israeli bombs and munitions, the justification for Israel's invasion is treading on very thin ice. It has become general knowledge that it was Hezbollah guerillas that first kidnapped two IDF soldiers inside Israel on July 12, prompting an immediate and violent response from the Israeli government, which insists it is acting in the interest of national defense. Israeli forces have gone on to kill over 370 innocent Lebanese civilians (compared to 34 killed on Israel's side) while displacing hundreds of thousands more. But numerous reports from international and independent media, as well as the Associated Press, raise questions about Israel's official version of the events that sparked the conflict two weeks ago.

The original story, as most media tell it, goes something like this: Hezbollah attacked an Israeli border patrol station, killing six and taking two soldiers hostage. The incident happened on the Lebanese/Israel border in Israeli territory. The alternate version, as explained by several news outlets, tells a bit of a different tale: These sources contend that Israel sent a commando force into southern Lebanon and was subsequently attacked by Hezbollah near the village of Aitaa al-Chaab, well inside Lebanon's southern territory. It was at this point that an Israel tank was struck by Hezbollah fighters, which resulted in the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the death of six.

As the AFP reported, "According to the Lebanese police force, the two Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanese territory, in the area of Aitaa al-Chaab, near to the border with Israel, where an Israeli unit had penetrated in middle of morning." And the French news site www.VoltaireNet.org reiterated the same account on June 18, "In a deliberated way, [Israel] sent a commando in the Lebanese back-country to Aitaa al-Chaab. It was attacked by Hezbollah, taking two prisoners."
The Associated Press departed from the official version as well. "The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them," reported Joseph Panossian for AP on July 12. "The forces were trying to keep the soldiers' captors from moving them deeper into Lebanon, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity."

And the Hindustan Times on July 12 conveyed a similar account:
"The Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah movement announced on Wednesday that its guerrillas have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon. 'Implementing our promise to free Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, our strugglers have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon,' a statement by Hezbollah said. 'The two soldiers have already been moved to a safe place,' it added. The Lebanese police said that the two soldiers were captured as they 'infiltrated' into the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border."
Whether factual or not, these alternative accounts should at the very least raise serious questions as to Israel's motives and rationale for bombarding Lebanon.

MSNBC online first reported that Hezbollah had captured Israeli soldiers "inside" Lebanon, only to change their story hours later after the Israeli government gave an official statement to the contrary.

A report from The National Council of Arab Americans, based in Lebanon, also raised suspicion that Israel's official story did not hold water and noted that Israel had yet to recover the tank that was demolished during the initial attack in question.
"The Israelis so far have not been able to enter Aitaa al-Chaab to recover the tank that was exploded by Hezbollah and the bodies of the soldiers that were killed in the original operation (this is a main indication that the operation did take place on Lebanese soil, not that in my opinion it would ever be an illegitimate operation, but still the media has been saying that it was inside 'Israel' thus an aggression first started by Hezbollah)."

Before independent observers could organize an investigation of the incident, Israel had already mounted a grisly offensive against Lebanese infrastructure and civilians, bombing Beirut's international airport, along with numerous highways and communication portals. Israel didn't need the truth of the matter to play out before it invaded Lebanon. As with the United States' illegitimate invasion of Iraq, Israel just needed the proper media cover to wage a war with no genuine moral impetus.

And so what happens to national self-defense now?


Pretty soon, whose narrative is which will be unimportant.

LeFigaro.fr breaking news: "Des Iraniens en route pour rejoindre le Hezbollah au Liban "

(Iranians are on their way to join the Hezbollahs in Lebanon)

The report said that while the Iranian government has not given its approval, dozens and dozens of young teen-aged as well as older Iranian men, including a grandson of the Ayatollah Khomeini, have left Teheran for Lebanon and hope to reach the battle zones by today.

Komeil, 21 said "We cannot stay here and allow our brothers (Hezbollahs) fight alone." "It's our duty as muslims. If we die, we will enter paradise", added the young ex-member of the powerful Guardians of the Revolution.


My son will be joining one of Europe's national military colleges soon - his hope is to ARREST wars and not to make wars.


My daughter's ambition is to be a diplomat for the same purpose.

It is sad that a huge number of young people their age need to die to satisfy the egos of their elders.


LeMonde.fr: "Face à l'offensive israélienne contre le Liban et Gaza, Al-Qaida "ne restera pas les bras croisés"

Al-Qaida's number 2 man, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, promised that the terrorist organization will not remain idle in the face of Israeli military offensives in Lebanon and Gaza in a video broadcast by Al Jazira on Thursday 27 July.

I guess Israel will now achieve its ambition of a total war. America and Europe will have no choice but to support Israel. I guess, this is the Armaggedon in the offing that we all speak of.

Rizalist said...

I shall respect your choice of narratives and the statement you made (despite its sarcastic simplification of things in order to set up an easily demolished strawman):

MB: "Israel was minding its own business. From out of nowhere and for no reason at all, Hizbollahs attacked an Israeli outpost and captured two soldiers who were just minding their own business. .Then, and still unprovoked, Hizbollahs decided to rain rockets on Israel. So Israel had no choice but to defend itself and bomb Beirut back to the stone age."

From which I glean that your basic position is that it was Israel that intentionally started the fighting and that therefore it is Hezbollah that ought to get our support as upholding the principles of national self-defense.

But I shall not take the easy route of choosing my own narratives to contravene the narratives you have chosen.

Instead let us examine your basic position for consistency with facts and observations that I think we can both agree are true, as found in the following questions that I hope you will indulge me by answering or explaining.

(1) If it is Hezbollah upholding national self defense, why has the Lebanese government not thrown the Lebanese army in support of Hezbollah and their brave "defense" of Lebanon against the Zionist aggressors?

(2) Why has the rest of Lebanon that is not Hezbollah not joined arm in arm with their Hezbollah countrymen to defend their country against a foreign power, even as they condemn the Israeli "incursion."?

(3) Why does Joe Assad say that this fight is "between Hezbollah and Israel"
Does this not imply that the Lebanese govt which he represents disagrees with your assessment that what Hezbollah is doing is "national self-defense"?

(4) Even if Joe Assad supports Hezbollah's action, what principle would you say empowers and legitimizes Hezbollah to lob missiles indiscriminately into Israel and capture her soldiers? (If you want to say "national self-defense" you must first answer #3 and argue with Joe Assad about it.)

Btw, most of the narratives you chose actually employ a logical fallacy common with people who choose narratives to support their partisan choice: argumentum ad misercordiam in which terrible human suffering brought about by the actions of other human beings are touted as proof that such actions are evil or wrong.

Yet the victors of World War II inflicted much, much more suffering on civilians than we are seeing now. Shall we say it was wrong to fight fascism then? Or that attacking communism during the Cold War was just a Western conspiracy aginst Russia and China and just a made up label like "terrorism" is today"?


Time out Dean, MB:

Here's a salty piece of news that's the on-line news worldwide:

Clinton's new girl friend
How Bill's friendship with Canada's Belinda Stronach is making waves

Tom said...

Wow, so many astute political analysis! It's so refreshing to read intelligent and passionate discussion.

My own two cents worth: It's difficult for us who never experienced Masada or the Holocaust to understand how Israel feels. I certainly don't know all nor even 5% of what there is to know about the current topic. But based on all I do know, I'm with Israel.


Dean, MB,

In the comments pages of the Financial Times, William Wallace writes "Middle Eastern lessons for the Atlantic alliance".

Very interesting commentary by Lord Wallace of Saltaire, deputy leader of the Lberal Democrats in the British House of Lords and professor emeritus of international studies at the London School of Economics.

He writes that it is very likely that US attitudes are shaped by domestic policies and by unbalanced coverage of Middle East developments.

Lord Wallace writes, "A former British minister rrecently compared US support for Israel with British support for the Protestant ascendancy in Ireland: sustained over 300 years, against cycles of terror on both sides, before British state accepted a different approach was necessary."

He adds, French analysts are conscious of the century-long incorporation of Algeria into France, and of the terrorism and assymetric warfare that forced their withdrawal."

I agree with Wallace when he says that "Israel's long-term security, from these perspectives, can only be guaranteed by securing peace with its neighbours, with its neighbours, with a viable Palestinian state as a partner." ( http://www.ft.com/home/europe)

I do believe that one step towards peace in the region is by officially recognizing the Palestinians' right to have a state, a country of their own...

Abe N. Margallo said...

DJB: There was a war, a real war between the US and the First (Philippine) Republic. We lost. But so what?

MB: Right on, Dean. Gen. Jake Smith knew then, as Raul Gonzalez knows now, that certain criminal acts become legitimized by victory.

CONFUSED: Does that mean that the end, i.e., “to Christianize” the Filipinos (as if the Friars had not done enough) justifies the means (the democide by the Americans of 1/6 of the Philippine population at that time or about 600,000 Filipinos)? What kind of weapons of mass destruction the insurrectos were hiding then?

DJB: Don’t get me wrong buddy, this is something different . . . this is about the principle of self-defense.

MARCOS: It’s okay, DJB. After all, only fools do not change their mind.

ERAP (to Gen. Lim in Tanay): See, I told you. We lost. That’s why we are neighbors now. Btw, who are you rooting for, Hezbollah or Haganah?

GEN. LIM: S’ya nga. Nawalan yata ng gana yung iba.

OSAMA: Yes, General, those Shias are morons.

CONFUSED: I thought they were disgruntled marines . . .

manuelbuencamino said...

First of all, sorry for the double post I was having problems with your comment box and I don't know how it happened. I am still having problems and my new carefully thought out reponse just disappeared again.

Now let's just clarify some things. I started by telling you how I understood the Israeli story. They said the rocket attacks were unprovoked. They said their soldiers were kidnapped from Israeli territory. I then reprinted an article that questioned the Israeli story.

1) The question then is this - Did you believe the article I included? If you did, then Israel was the aggressor right? Still Hizbollah was not defending Lebanon. Hizbollah was defending Hizbollah from Israeli aggression. The straw man is misstating Hizbollah's action as national self defense of Lebanon. Did I ever say that Hizbollah was defending Lebanon? No.

Thus I have no argument with Assad. The fight is between Israel and Hizbollah, Lebanon was minding its own business. So Assad wanted to know - why were christian areas also bombed? why was the airport, media center, roads and bridges, power plants etc. also bombed?

2) If you didn't believe the article I included then Israel was indeed the victim of unprovoked attacks and it had a right to cry national self defense. But still the question remains. Why all of Lebanon when the attack came from Hizbollah? Why those infrastructures and christian areas?

3) as to the sarcasm - if the attacks were unprovoked then what could have prompted Hizbollah?

Aside from a bad hair day, one can probably say because Hizbollah is pure evil and that's what evil people do. But if we go down that road then what does that make of Lebanon's cedar revolution, their free elections and democracy that was welcomed by the whole world? Hizbollah was freely elected into Lebanon's government. So their voters were evil too?

So maybe we can point to Syria and Iran as the culprits? Hizbollah is their puppet? But then that would make a joke out of the Palestinian struggle wouldn't it? That would mean the Palestinians really have no real grievances and they were just acting out the fantasies or political/religious games of Syria and Iran. That would mean there is no issue of landgrabbing as far as Palestinians are concerned.

So a bad hair day, as funny as it sounds is the kindest conclusion one can reach if one were to follow the narrative that says people just launch rocket attacks and kidnap for no reason at all.

I hope I answered your four questions as directly as possible. Hizbollah was not defending Lebanon. They were defending Hizbollah.

I am not defending Hizbollah. I am condemning Israel's attack on Lebanon.

Rizalist said...

HB, Thanks for the "salty" piece -- we all need to LOL (laugh out loud) in the midst of this tragic turn of events. And I emphasise the word tragic as invoked by Whitehead, that tragedy is not sadness, but a recognition of the inexorable, unstoppable nature of certain events and processes. In this case, it is of course the ample arsenal of justifications and rationalizations, and yes narratives on all sides of a war. Leave it to Bill Clinton to maintain his own strange set of priorities...the unstoppable work of his endocrine system.

Rizalist said...

ABE:It's hard enough dealing with the narratives from the Middle East but perhaps another time would be good for me to question your statistics. That "600,000" dead figure that you cite is very familiar to me...It was established by a slow process of inflation by repetition from the Age of Constantino and before the research done by people like the Balangiga Study Group which disputes the number of dead as inflated by at least 500% and helped by widespread epidemics during that era which can hardly be blamed on the invaders. It was a thing that I reported in Ye Olde Philippine Commentary...gotta dig up the research.

Rizalist said...

The problem with the narratives based analysis is that it actually requires believing in one side's narrative as completely true and disbelieving the other side's narrative as completely false, the polemical goal being the rhetorical "condemnation" of the side we disbelieve. But I'm glad you adopted the approach of asking logical questions based on certain assumptions and seeing where they necessarily lead, to see if the conclusion begged is justified.

In doing so, we both come closer to identifying what we both believe: that nations and peoples have a right to self-defense.

But you have also put your finger on the problem I identified earlier: it is the Lebanese govt and its inability to establish the sovereignty of Lebanon over ALL of Lebanon. There should be no Hizbollah Lebanon nor Christian Lebaon, any more than there should be such an apartheid between Filipino Christians and Muslims. It has been that factor--the refusal or inability or reluctance of Lebanon itself to rein in Hizbollah, disband their large terrorist army (that is now growing based on the reports of Hillblogger), and PREVENT attacks on her neighbors.
That is why Karl liked the analogy with Malaysia, Philippines and the MILF.

It is a tragedy because I believe the weakness of Lebanon's fragile democracy born in the cedar revolution forced Israel's hand to come down hard on Lebanon. But I think Israel herself will strongly support what the coming int'l peacekeeping force will set out to do: which to strengthen the govt of Lebanon and her true sovereignty.

Why would they be against that when it would mean Lebanon will take care of Hizbollah instead of young Israeli soldiers dying. They are for that even now and have been since they left Lebanon.

Would you at least agree that a Lebanese govt, fully capable of dismantling PRIVATE armies no matter how large they are, and maintaining peace and order within its own borders, is the common goal all principled people's should seek to achieve, even as you condemn the Israeli attack as disproportionate?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing that out re:peacetalks,but I was trying to understand DJB's MILF,Malaysia scenario,of course for some it may not give justice to the mid east crisis but for me at least,it gave me another perspective.

In reality, I would not know what to do if and when that happens,allow Malaysia to bomb strategic targets,or ask help from big brother.

I agree in the long run,Democracy must prevail,but for the time being
Bush and Putin have their own versions of Democracy.
Putin even made a snide side comment during a press conference when asked what democracy does he prefer.He answered through interpretetr of course,that Definitely not Iraq's democracy.

See as I sais not only beauty is in the mercy of the eye of the beholder.

btw anna,Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typos...

What I was trying to say of course that not only beauty is at the mercy of the eye of the beholder.

Now,it could mean that it is a matter of perspectives where sides are beyond the number of any polygon or geometric figures,and views beyond any architectural perspective.

Even the definition of democracy,is a one upmanship between two super powers!

AmericanPainter said...

“Whether we think their response is proportional or not, do we at least accept that the Israelis are acting out of self defense against completely unprovoked attacks?

Or do we think they are just being Zionist aggressors?

I'd really like to know everybody's opinion on the last two questions.”

First off, I’m not Jewish nor do I know anyone personally that is. I’m just an old fashioned Texan who lives in the right of self-defense. If someone pulls a gun on me. I have the right to kill him first! In the instant case Hezbollah drew first and like cowards, set up their missal launchers in the middle of their own people in the expectation that Israel would be condemned for it’s attempts to stop them. Sadly, it’s a myopically shattered point of view that a number of people have bought into. For Israel it is a true catch 22.

Israel is defenders rather than aggressors! The fighting must go until Hezbollah, stops attacking Israel and acknowledges the right of Israel to exist and stops it’s unprovoked attacks.

Using manuelbuencamino’s logic, if he moves out of his house, I can move in, set up housekeeping, and have a claim of ownership due to occupancy. He’ll have to pay me to move out.


kulas said...

Israel should wipe out everyone in lebanon, hizbollah or not. If hizbollah moves to iran, syria, egypt, saudi arabia or any other arab nation, israel should wipe out everyone there too.

If hizbollah moves to the philippines, israel should wipe out everyone there too. That way, those who agree with what israel is doing to lebanon would know first hand the suffering of people in lebanon. DJB can then cry out to his hearts content: i'm not hizbollah. I'm with israel, and get bomb anyway.

Israel should defend its right to exist by all means. Never mind the rights of innocent people. right djb?

Abe N. Margallo said...


My figure is based on a textbook (The American Pageant by Thomas A. Bailey and David M. Kennedy, Tenth Edition) prescribed in a reputable high school in NJ. It is found on p. 664 of the book. The pertinent quote, which is also a caption of a picture showing captured Filipino insurrectionists, reads: “For three years after its annexation of the Philippine Islands in 1898, the United States fought a savage war to suppress a Filipino rebellion against the American rule. Some 600,000 Filipinos perished. There was a bitter irony in this clash, as the American had claimed “liberating” the Filipinos from their oppressive Spanish masters; now the Yankee liberators appeared to be no less oppressive than the Spaniards they had ousted.

Howard Zinn on page 316 of The Empire and the People wrote this: “In the province of Batangas, the secretary of the province estimated that of the population of 300,000, one-third had been killed by combat, famine, or disease.

I sure that Stanley Karnow in In our Image (I just can’t locate the book right now) stated that the population of carabao in the Philippines was decimated by 90 percent during the war.

The estimate of R.J. Rommel here runs like this: “Based on several works on the war and taking account of General Bell's claim that on Luzon alone one-sixth of the population was killed, or about 600,000 Filipinos, I assume that 10 to 50 percent of Filipino deaths were due to American democide, with 25 percent as the most prudent guess. Calculating these percentages . . ., I get a democide range of 25,000 to 487,000 (showing the huge uncertainty involved), with a central estimate of 128,000 murdered.” [i.e., war crime]

Please check The other holocaust and also Torn to shreds for just another narrative (of mine) of the long running feud between the Israelis and the Palestinian highlighting those “that we don’t often read or hear about anymore.”

Dean, if you think the Philippines is the first Iraq, I’m not sure if you could possibly de-link the Philippine-America War, the Iraq War and the Middle East crisis. In Torn to shreds I’ve made allusion to Israel’s claim to exlcusivism and America’s to exceptionalism (Manifest Destiny) . . . to civilize, to Christianize or to export democracy. In The other Holocaust, the reference is to colonization, settlement and conquest. It just looks to me to be just one and the same narrative. What we should try to decipher perhaps is which of the chosen ones lives under whose shadow today.

Abe N. Margallo said...

...I mean, A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. "The Empire and the People" is the chapter.

Rizalist said...

Five hundred dead is hardly wiping out everyone in Lebanon, though it is 500 too many and fifty too many on the Israeli side. I've taken the position that Israel has a right to exist and a right to defend itself. I uphold the same principle for its enemies. But I see where you are going with your reasoning. I could use it also as follows:

Israel should ceasefire and withdraw to within its borders. Then if Hizbollah keeps firing missiles into Haifa, Israel should abandon that city and yield it to your friends in Hizbollah and Al Qaeda. That way no more innocents will die. Then if they start bombing and rocketing on next town, they should all move to Tel Aviv where evil America can protect them, the evil bastards! But if the Palestinians want Jerusalem too, we should support Israel to move to the Philippines, where our boohooing will console the Zionist aggressors. And if MILF/JI/AQ want to get them here in Manila, we too should move out ... maybe to the New Lebanon, convert to Islam and forget all about our own brutal and lethal civilization.
Allahu al akbar, right Kulas?

Your argument has a name:DHIMMITUDE!

Paeng said...

kawawa naman yung taga-UN. nagradyo na nga na wag tirahin yung outpost, tinira pa rin. may mga civilians na tumatakas papuntang Syria, tinira rin. pati red cross, tinira.

self defense.

Rizalist said...

talagang malagim ang isang guerra, at masaklap ang mga pangyayari. Madaling lumikas sa argumento ad miserecordiam. Bakit, hindi rin ba kawawa ang mga Hudyong namatay sa Katusha ng mga Hizbollah. O talagang kakampi mo lang ang mga iyon sapagkat galit ka sa Israel at sa America?

Ano po ang inyong tingin kung bakit nagkaroon ng guerra ngayon? Talaga bang masasamang tao lamang ang mga Hudyo porket pinako nila si Hesu Kristo sa cruz?

Ikaw ba naniniwalang may karapatang mabuhay na nananahimik ang LAHAT ng tao sa rehiyong iyon, or mga Muslim lang sapagkat sila ang nakararami?

Ano ang prinsipyong kinakatigan mo? O puro liberal na paghahagulgol lang ang ating kayang ituon sa suliraning iyon. Kung wala silang ginawa, tumigil na kaya ang Hizbollah? Kung ang statistico ay masmaraming Hudyo ang namatay, masisiyahan ka ba?

Ano sa tingin mo ang mga kondisyong nagbibigay ng dahilang gumamit ng dahas ang isang bansa?

Sa tingin ko ang pananagutang supilin ang Hizbollah ay dapat nasa sa pamahalaang Lebanon. Ngunit nag Pontio Pilato sila at sinasabi nga ni Consul General Joe Assad na laban ito sa pagitan ng Israel at Hizbollah.

Siguro narinig sila sa Herusalem at heto na nga tayo.

kulas said...


You know it. You use “my type” of reasoning better than I do. Just as well as Israel uses the right to defend itself to destroy Lebanon. Just because I disagree with Israel’s use of brute force does not make Hizbollah and Al Qaeda my friends. But that is alright, you can accuse me of anything, if it makes you happy. The fact remains that hundreds are dying in Lebanon, many of them helpless women and children. I suppose it would serve your cause if Israel wipes out Lebanon. …”though it is 500 too many” is double talk. Is 400 okay with you? How about 200?

Israel should stop the bombings! They should sit at the negotiation table. If they really want peace, they should return the land that does not belong to them.

You can brand my argument anyway you like. The reality is that if Israel and the US continue to ignore the plight of the Palestinians, jihad will get stronger. There, you can now accuse me to be a believer of Jihad.

Bombing Lebanon in retaliation for the capture of two Israeli soldiers is not self-defense and you know it!

Anonymous said...

Nagmeeting kahapon ang mga kinauukulan sa Roma,
halos lahat naghahanap ng ceasefire
pero aang Amerika ay nagsabi na teka muna,kailangan may mga kondisyon muna na dapat na maharap.

Well, iba iba ang interpretation ng meeting na ito,
para sa Isael go signal ito ng international community.

Maari na hindi panghugas kamay ang ginagawa ng lebanon,wala lang sila talagang magawa dahil hindi nila kaya ang hezbollah.

Hindi ito basta basta na dapat ipasatupad ang isang UN resolution or International agreement na mag
baab ng armas ang Hezbollah,
kung ganun lang di isang problema ang nawala na sana at di natin ito pinaguusapan.

Akala ng International community,na humina na ang pwesa ng hezbollah sa buong mundo kaya inakala nila na pwede na sila sumailalaim sa control ng Lebanese government.

Dahil mula eighties hanggang 90s nagpasabog ng lagim ang Hezbollah sa Latin Amerika maging sa South East Asia.Unti unti nabawasn ang pwersa nila.Yan ang akala ng karamihan,pero alam na natin ngayon na hindi ganito ang nagyari.

Nung 2004,ito ang sinasabi kong international agreement na nagsasaad na umalis na ang Syria sa Lebanon.

Alam din natin na hindi ganito ang nangyari,maaring umalis na ang Syria ngunit hindi ang Hezbollah,hanggang lumagaanap ang impluwensa ng hezbollah,maging sa gobyerno ng Lebanon.

Di ito maaring ikumpara sa sitwasyon ng MILF sa Pilipinas dahil wala naman silang pwersa sa ating Congresso o sa gobyerno.

Ang Hezbollah,merong mga nakapwesto.

kaya matatawag ba nating panghuhugas kamay ang ginawa ng Lebanon sa di pag disiplina sa Hezbollah.Di na nating kailangang banggitin ang civil war mula 76-90
at ang 82 Israel invasion of Lebanon.

Pero respetado ko ang posisyon mo na pumanig sa Israel pero ako,wala akong pinapanigan.

Rizalist said...

Nothing personal. I respect your opinion. And yeah ONE is too many, on either side. War is hell and there are no simple solutions to this problem. You know that. For us who might get involved with it later, we need to concentrate on what will result in the greatest good for the greatest number. We cannot do that if we do not clearly see the eternal principles that are involved. I can understand why people get emotional -- because I do too. In World War 2 60 million people perished, almost all of them innocent in its origins and causes.

We better get it right this time too, or far many more than 60 million could perish this time. Ranting and raving because we sympathize with the dead and dying -- or even more with the living -- won't help us see what we should do, or what policies we should support.

Most people have not been paying attention to what has happened in that sad region of the world. Then they wake up one week, indulge their addiction to CNN, get enraged and start calling for actions that have no bearing on what is right. We just don't want to see how terrible man can be to man on television.

Peace will only come to Lebanon and the Middle East when the threats of genocide are averted and forever laid to rest. I support Israel because despite her power to do so, she has not and has been largely concerned with her own survival. If we do not uphold her right to exist and to defend herself, how can we do it for others, or for ourselves?

AmericanPainter said...


“Israel should stop the bombings! They should sit at the negotiation table. If they really want peace, they should return the land that does not belong to them.”

I don’t see anyone wanting to sit anywhere and negotiate with Israel - do you? And how does Israel negotiate with someone who denies her right to even exist?

As far as the disputed land goes. If the four Arab countries had not attacked and tried to destroy Israel in 1967, she wouldn’t have kicked their collective ass and be holding the land that she won by right of war brought against her.

Methinks you’re a bit one-sided and unfair.

manuelbuencamino said...


"the refusal or inability or reluctance of Lebanon itself..."

There is a world of difference between refusal and inability. And reluctance can either be a euphism for refusal or could be brought about by a recognition of inability.

The failure to differentiate between those words or the intentional blurring of their differences "has been the factor:" that served to rationalize and justify the senseless reprisals against the entire Lebanese people.

Who do you believe, in this case, is not polemical. There are two contradictory sets of facts so only one of them must be true. Either Israel crossed into Lebanon first or Hizbollah crossed into Israel first.

Your whole argument of self-defense rests on your appreciation of Israel's version of the facts. And you're with Israel because of the principle of self defense.

I'm against Israel because I am against the practice of collective punishment.

manuelbuencamino said...

american painter,

If you must put words in my mouth please make sure that nothing dalls off the spoon. You left out a clause or two in your summation of my logic.

This is the way it should read

If the owner moves out of his house, and someone moves into the empty house a couple of centuries after the owner moved out and the new occupant sets up housekeeping and lives continuously in the house for a thousand years then he has a claim of ownership due to a thousand year occupancy.

Paeng said...

nyek, bakit naman ganun yung reply sa akin? sinong nagsabi na kakampi ko ang Hezbollah? or galit ako sa mga HUdyo, sa Israel at sa America? I condemn Hezbollah for terroristic actions, but the Israel government does not have the right to effect what MB calls collective punishment on the Lebanese people.

sa tingin ko lang, sobrang disproportionate yung show of force ng Israel. at ang ginawa nila ay nagpapalakas lamang lalo sa radical Islams dahil pati yugn mga taong di naman kasali sa gulo, nadadamay, namamatay at nagtatanim na ng sama ng loob.

we only have to look at Mindanao para makita na ang "all out war" ay hindi effective. it only produces more rebels, or, in the case of Lebanon, more radical militants that hate the Jews to death.

Rizalist said...

Fair enough, MB. I am also against the practice of collective punishment and I think you are also for the principle of national self-defense. Our positions differ because where I see self-defense you happen to see collective punishment. We can certainly debate now which of these things the actions of Israel AND Hizbollah truly are, based on the facts as we know them. Here are the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention:

No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be inflicted upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they cannot be regarded as jointly and severally responsible.

Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907, Article 50

No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.

Pillage is prohibited.

Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.

Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Part III : Status and treatment of protected persons, Section I : Provisions common to the territories of the parties to the conflict and to occupied territories, Article 33

Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.

Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Part III : Status and treatment of protected persons, Section III: Occupied Territories, Article 53.


I thought I'd share with you the latest entry in a blog in Le Monde (one of the more important broadsheets in France. Le Monde has always been branded left-wing (in opposition to a succession of ultra-right wing presidents starting from Gen Charles de Gaulle) but over the last 10 years, It's turned from left-wing to center. Their writers are some of the most respected intellectuals in France.

Here's a comment by Zanipolo, one of the frequent bloggers in the site : ""Si la communauté internationale ne vient pas au secours des faibles, comment exiger de l'Iran et d'autres qu'ils fassent preuve de restreinte dans leurs ambitions nucléaires et militaires? La force sans le droit, c'est l'arbitraire; le droit sans la force, ce n'est rien. Notre génération devra répondre devant l'histoire de l'injustice faite aux libanais et, plus encore, aux palestiniens."

"If the international community does not come to the aid of the weak, how can we demand of Iran and others restraint in their nuclear and military ambitions? Might without right is arbitrary; right without might is nothing. Our generation will have to answer to history, the injustice on the Lebanese, and also on the Palestinians."

Rizalist said...

I invite you to make your case based on the Geneva Convention principles above on "collective punishment." And try to apply them to BOTH sides. I shall too.

kulas said...


The right to exist. Israel has the right to exist. In fact, we must uphold everyone’s right to exist, including the Palestinians, the Lebanese, even Gloria and her gang, if you like.

Unfortunately for the dead they don’t exist anymore.

Nothing personal and no patronizing, thank you.


I agree with Paeng.

By defending the Lebanese from Israeli atrocities doesn't mean that one supports the Hezbollahs.

I believe that for every bomb that's dropped on Lebanon, a new Hezbollah is born and for every Lebanese death, it isn't far-fetched to think that 10 Hezbollahs are born.

Pulverizing Lebanon, killing innocent Lebanese civilians and their children, the random massacre of Palestinians will not guarantee the survival of Israel.

However, it is safe to assume that a Palestinian state, recognized by all the powers in the world may not guarantee peace 100%, but it can guarantee the survival of Israel.


For more than 60 years, the world felt collective guilt for what happened to the Jewish people during WWII.

Until today, the Germanic nations and some of their WWII allies are still paying for German atrocities committed on the Jewish - on the emotions front.

Our parents felt the huge injustice on the Jewish, and because they did, we did too. Our children (my children's generation) are also being made to feel a pang of remorse, and yes, guilt, over their elders' "abandon" of more than 6 million Jewish lives to the gaz chambers of Hitler.

But I say, enough of the guilt complex. I don't want my children, their European cousins and their friends (of their generation) to feel constantly guilty of something that their forefathers had done or had not done for the Jewish.

Tens of years of constant lecturing of the horrors of the Jewish holocaust in the classrooms, at home, by media and everywhere else in Europe, are making them aware that a grave injustice of unspeakable proportions was committed against the Jews.

Thankfully, most children today realize that injustice - whether on the Jewish or on other races - is injustice.

What we, their parents, should do is to ensure that today's yong generation of people must bear that in mind so that a holocaust may NEVER happen again.

The Lebanese are facing a danger of a holocaust or genocide akin to what happened to the Armenians. We must prevent another holocaust in the Middle East.

manuelbuencamino said...


Okay, tell me what provision the Lebanese government violated.

Like I told you so many times, I am not lawyering for the Hizbollah. I am lawyering for Lebanon.

BTW, that news article I attached was not to lawyer for Hizbollah. It was only there to prove my point that there is more than one version to the story and, as such, the correct version has to be determined before an argument like self defense can be believed.

AmericanPainter said...

“The Lebanese are facing a danger of a holocaust or genocide akin to what happened to the Armenians. We must prevent another holocaust in the Middle East.”

How about if not only Hezbollah but ALL Arab States acknowledge Israel’s right to exist and just leave them alone? Does anyone think that MIGHT be a reasonable solution to the crisis.

Rizalist said...

I have not accused the Lebanese govt of engaging in "collective punishment". If anything, it is guilty of "collective reward" on behalf of Hizbollah by not shutting down a large private religous army, which I think ought to be the duty of any government, because it is a universal principle, imo, that all military forces should be under civilian authority. So my answer is this: the Lebanese govt is not guilty of "collective punishment". It is guilty of dereliction of duty, of failure to prevent a large international terrorist organization (from MLQ3) from firing missiles into Israel and prosecuting a declared war of genocide against her. This has provoked an attack on Lebanese territory containing Hezbollah leaders, fighters and ordnance in order to protect innocent Israeli civilians, soldiers and cities. These military operations are absolutely necessary since there is no countervailing force against the attacking Hezbollah within Lebanon, certainly not from the Lebanese govt.

But the Lebanese govt is not guilty of "collective punishment" as such.

How would you suggest Israel deal with such a massive attack on her citizens, occuring on a daily and continuous basis? How does an immediate ceasefire for example accomplish that when even at the present level of violent interdiction they are still able to launch hundreds of rockets a day and the prospect of Al Qaeda joining the fight looming?


"How about if not only Hezbollah but ALL Arab States acknowledge Israel’s right to exist and just leave them alone? Does anyone think that MIGHT be a reasonable solution to the crisis."

Absolutely! Lebanon started the process in 1949 in a treaty with Israel sponsored by the UN. Egypt too recognizes the State of Israel if you remember. So does Jordan. And if I'm not mistaken, Saudi Arabia officiously recognizes the state of Israel via their links even with the most ultra-right wing/neo-cons in the US.

Now, with all those countries recognizing the State of Israel and its right to exist, I reckon, Israel and America could contribute hugely to peace in the region if they recognize that the Palestinians have a right to exist in a country of their own as well.


Israel Irked by Norway Cartoon Showing PM Olmert As Nazi Concentration Camp Commander...



"Israel's response so far to attacks and kidnappings of its soldiers by Hezbollah and Hamas has been tactical, not strategic. The government of Ehud Olmert (right) has given the outside world few clues about its long-term goal. The only certainty is that Israel's aim of establishing law in a lawless region has contributed to further instability.

"If Israel wants to destroy Hezbollah, it will mean destroying states that host and back the organisation. Indeed, the logic of Israeli action so far is that the war against Hezbollah must be taken to Syria and Iran.

"Flattening Lebanon, just as it is getting to its feet after a 20-year civil war, offers Israel meagre short-run gains in security, and risks a very heavy long-term loss. Henry Kissinger, for one, has argued that Israel needs strong neighbours, including a strong Palestinian state, for its best security. This is why Ariel Sharon proposed leaving Gaza and much of the West Bank."


Anonymous said...

Another chicken and the egg situation.

Israel,occupying Lebanon since 1982-2000.........

(in between that civil war 75-90)(and in between that Hezbollah,made its presence felt worldwise by attacking Israel embassies around thew world especially in Latin Amarica and South East Asia)


Lebanon at first does not want Hezbollah to disarm because they are scared that Israel might occupy them again,many things happened Hezbollah increased its members from single to double digits in Parliament.

Let's just zoom in to the fact that hezbollah is Lebanon's last line of defense for the Israelis,forget the civiian supremacy principle,that too is debatable even in RP setting.

Now,then which came first Israeli attack on Lebanon,or defense of Israel?

No way to simplify things,no matter what analogy we use.

But we all hope for the genocides to end.


Israel’s bombing leaves it exposed http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=1&subID=623

The Jewish state has failed to think through its war on Hezbollah, says robert fox

Hezbollah’s perceived persecution will boost the calls to jihad from the mosques across the world

(Robert Fox is a writer on western defence issues and Italian current affairs. He has worked for the Corriera della Sera in Milan, covered the Falklands invasion for BBC Radio, and worked as Defence Correspondent for The Daily Telegraph. His books include The Inner Sea: the Mediterranean and its People, published by Alfred A. Knopf.)

AmericanPainter said...

Well I suppose one might think the Arabs weren’t very serious in 1949 inasmuch as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Syria got together in June 1967 and made a full attack on little Israel. Of course history tells us that Israel kick their collective ass. At the war's end, Israel had gained control of the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights.

Perhaps the Arabs could make a good faith effort to recognize Israel’s right to exist?



I hope you don't mind my posting the above comments and links.

US' "inaction" and Israel's violent actions today on Lebanon are providing Iran with a "rightful" discourse that they are the protectors of the weak in the Middle East against Zionist Israel and America, a discourse which is, of course, filled with a load of crap.

I am not for appeasement for appeasement sake. I'm too much of a "militarist" and so is my entire family in Europe to believe in such hollow policy. Should it come to full scale blows, I know that Europe and Nato will be involved in such a wide-scale conflict and will invevitably support Israel (and I will too).

Having said that, if we are to be true to our MORAL aspirations and sense of justice, I believe that if Israel has a right to exist and it does, the Palestinians too have a right to exist in a country of their own.

This whole debacle in Lebanon and the brewing pan-Middle East armed crisis stems from the tragedy of homeless Palestinians.

Rizalist said...

don't mind at all, in fact i was just going to say how much I appreciate the extra perspective. am still working through all the links you've given us. keep'em coming since they enrich the discussion immensely. thanks!

Our other motto here is: we learn the most from those who disagree!

Rizalist said...

And to everyone I should say that if you can take me dishing it out, I should also accept anything I get back in return!


For all the butcheries that Ariel Sharon committed when he was a general and during his tenure as president, I believe, he the fightingest general of the Israeli Army knew military strategy best.

His leaving Gaza and most of the West Bank was the ultimate in sound military strategy.

I really feel that had he been at the helm of the government, he wouldn't be doing what clueless Olmert is doing today.

Actually, Sharon may be hated by millions but I admire him for his sagacity towards the end. In the end, it's always those who have experiences combat in the fields of war who recognize the futility of wars.

AmericanPainter said...

Isn’t it peculiar that when the U.S. Gets involved in mid-east affairs we’re accused by some of meddling- then when we don’t, we’re accused by some of inaction - can’t win!

Rizalist said...

AP--I guess it comes with the turf. But if you think about, such criticisms of both meddling and inaction are actually indirect "compliments" to America in the sense that most people in the world reveal by such criticisms that they actually expect "better" of America--an expectation even her bitterest critics do NOT accord to other countries. It is perhaps an unintended token of secret admiration, because they know that the American people and American society have the capacity and the will to do right by the rest of this unfortunate planet.


American Painter,

You are trying to cloud the issues here. Israeli military lifeline is linked almost en totto to the US, which, if you want to look at it from a technical/military point of view, has given the US makes a de facto control of Isralel's military military logistics. By virtue of that "control", US should wield great influence on Israel.

The military link, on top of Jewish political and economic kingpins in America, make American involvement in the current Middle East crisis therefore real and inalienable.

Do you honestly believe that if Israel didn't have the backing of the US, they wouldn't sue for peace?

However, if America really wishes or decides not to involve itself in this debacle, they must refrain from supplying Israel with bombs and other military hardware. But I guess, America wouldn't like that now, would it? In effect whether you like it or not, we have to deal with Americans because American involvement is a given. And I dare you to say that it isn't.

So, to me, your comment smacks of bad faith.



I'm afraid that what you say about a "secret admiration" for America is true for a lot of people. If you'd qualified that and said "secret admiration" for Bush, my categorical answer is NO!

I hold dual if not triple nationalities; I hold a US passport as well as a European passport and have lived in both continents so I believe, I am old and experienced enough to know crap from either side when it's presented by any of them.



Here's another link which is supposed to be an independent link and should provide a respite for both those espousing anti-invasion of Lebanon and for those espousing the pulverization of Lebanon by Israel to kill the Hezbollahs.


Ooops, here it is:


AmericanPainter said...

Sure America supplies arms to Israel, but not a fighting Army or Air Force. America does not dictate policy to Israel any more than it does to the Philippines to whom we also supply arms.

Could we influence Israel? Not much doubt that we could. But you’re suggesting that the U.S. ask Israel to appease terrorist and that’s just not what WE do!

I see no bad faith in my remarks just because I fail to agree with your fantasy world.


Fantasy world? How odd that you should say that amidst the killings and the pulverization of Lebanon.

Who's asking the US to appease terrorists? Are you implying that Lebanese civilians and dead children are terrorists? If you don't know, many of those killed were Christians.

Certainly the UN fellows who were killed despite the repeated pleas by people from the Irish post in Lebanon for Israel to halt their bombing in that sector of Lebanon were not terrorists.

If you haven't quite grasped the the various messages here by various people who are not pro-Hezbollahs, YOU American painter are the one living in a Fantasy World!

You reckon that you are right? Well, why can't you accept that other Americans, i.e., yours truly, and other people may be right too? That ain't gonna be fantasizing, that is being pragmatic.



I am prepared to go tit for tat with a lot of odd balls (not that I'm saying American Painter is), but I despise it when people start on a name calling spree because much as I hate to admit it, I end up stooping to their level.

To avoid that, and because I believe that we are discussing genuine issues here, I prefer to say END OF STORY to your friend.

Let's express our opinion with as much vigour and energy if we must but let's try to say things that are relevant in order not to deviate from the issues at hand.


Dean, by the way, here's one "crap" recognized as such by many in Europe: BLAIR.

"Mr Blair goes to Washington
Tony Blair flies to Washington today to get his orders from George Bush on how they should continue to stand back and implicitly condone Israeli air attacks on civilians in Lebanon. I would really like to know how many British voters – or come to that how many Labour voters - our great humane leader represents in his support for Bush and his rather strange ideas on how to win "the Long War" on terror.

"Blair loses no opportunity to flaunt his humanity when there are rock stars like Bono and Bob Geldof around but suddenly faced with large numbers of innocent Lebanese dying, his humanity seems to have deserted him.

"So in the spirit of all those wonderful internet adverts that ask you to email Tony and tell him how wonderful you think he is for supporting the war on terror, what do you the TimesOnline readers really think about our great humane leader?"

by Mick Smith: Blair goes to get orders http://www.timesonline.co.uk/uk/

baycas said...

ramman kounen said that war is not a word but an acronym for Wasting Another's Resources.

i say amen to that (especially the unnecessary wastage of human resources) and in addition...this war could mean Worrisome Accumulation of Refugees, including our OFWs returning home jobless and probably penniless.


harinawa'y magwakas na ito sa isang iglap...kung puede lang sana...

Rizalist said...

I will join you in your prayer Baycas, that this conflict will end...for good. War IS Hell! Condemning one side or the other as pure evil really does not help, even if I have taken sides on this one.

Rizalist said...

HB--Interesting comments you've made about Ariel Sharon vs. Ehud Olmert both militarily and politically. I may be wrong, but I tend to think of them as respectively "Republican" and "Democrat" in US politics. When we look back on the 20th century wars conducted by America, seems to me lots more people die when the Democrats are conducting the war. I share your sense that the particular military strategy adopted by Olmert in this conflict would not have been preferred by someone like Sharon, though I'm really quite ignorant of both men's actual talents and capabilities.

With your military background, if you were the Israeli leader, what would you have done after receiving the first reports of kidnapped soldiers and dozens of missiles falling on your cities?



The theory that the hezbollahs sent missiles across the border is still very polemical. So it's difficult to answer the question on that premise. It was also reported that the first 12 or so rockets lobbed at Israel were in retaliation for Israel's incursion.

(However, the capture of the soldier by the Hamas through underground passes was confirmed by various intel reports.)

If my genuine concern was to save those captured soldiers and I were a top Israeli military officer (I was an ex US Marines junior officer only) I wouldn't attack Lebanon blindly to avoid making further or to limit further losses among my troops.

And you're not quite right Dean. Under Nixon, we suffered as many as if not greater losses in Vietnam under Johnson.

What is true is that Pres George Bush the father, who had an excellent military record knew how to map out military strategies that's why we were successful during the Gulf War . His son, who was a gungho militarist at best, didn't have half the acuity of his Dad in aspects that touched on wars.



Under Nixon, we suffered as many as if not greater losses in Vietnam PROPORTIONALLY THAN under Johnson.


Should read: The theory that the hezbollahs sent missiles across the border FIRST on or about the 20th of June is still very polemical.

Rizalist said...

It does not seem reasonable to regard the stockpile and deployment configuration of the reported 40,000 Hezbollah missiles as being defensive in nature. First their targeting is random, a kind of enforced Russian Roulette on Israel, and they are certainly useless against IDF's main offensive weapons which are airborne. And I think even the EU nations most supportive of Lebanon generally criticize the disproportionateness of Israel's "response" to the kidnapping by Hamas and Hezbollah of IDF soldiers. I have not seen any accusations that it was an unprovoked attack however.

By the way, interesting article by Victor Davis Hanson on the The Victory of Untruth. Some excerpts:

A “ceasefire” would occur should Hezbollah give back kidnapped Israelis and stop launching missiles; it would never follow a unilateral cessation of Israeli bombing. In fact, we will hear international calls for one only when Hezbollah’s rockets are about exhausted.

“Civilians” in Lebanon have munitions in their basements and deliberately wish to draw fire; in Israel they are in bunkers to avoid it. Israel uses precision weapons to avoid hitting them; Hezbollah sends random missiles into Israel to ensure they are struck.

“Collateral damage” refers mostly to casualties among Hezbollah’s human shields; it can never be used to describe civilian deaths inside Israel, because everything there is by intent a target.

“Cycle of Violence” is used to denigrate those who are attacked, but are not supposed to win.

“Deliberate” reflects the accuracy of Israeli bombs hitting their targets; it never refers to Hezbollah rockets that are meant to destroy anything they can.

“Deplore” is usually evoked against Israel by those who themselves have slaughtered noncombatants or allowed them to perish — such as the Russians in Grozny, the Syrians in Hama, or the U.N. in Rwanda and Dafur.

“Disproportionate” means that the Hezbollah aggressors whose primitive rockets can’t kill very many Israeli civilians are losing, while the Israelis’ sophisticated response is deadly against the combatants themselves. See “excessive.”

Anytime you hear the adjective “excessive,” Hezbollah is losing. Anytime you don’t, it isn’t.

“Eyewitnesses” usually aren’t, and their testimony is cited only against Israel.

“Grave concern” is used by Europeans and Arabs who privately concede there is no future for Lebanon unless Hezbollah is destroyed — and it should preferably be done by the “Zionists” who can then be easily blamed for doing it.

“Innocent” often refers to Lebanese who aid the stockpiling of rockets or live next to those who do. It rarely refers to Israelis under attack.

The “militants” of Hezbollah don’t wear uniforms, and their prime targets are not those Israelis who do.

“Multinational,” as in “multinational force,” usually means “third-world mercenaries who sympathize with Hezbollah.” See “peacekeepers.”

“Peacekeepers” keep no peace, but always side with the less Western of the belligerents.

“Quarter-ton” is used to describe what in other, non-Israeli militaries are known as “500-pound” bombs.

“Shocked” is used, first, by diplomats who really are not; and, second, only evoked against the response of Israel, never the attack of Hezbollah.

“United Nations Action” refers to an action that Russia or China would not veto. The organization’s operatives usually watch terrorists arm before their eyes. They are almost always guilty of what they accuse others of.



Well, that's one way of looking or reading through these things.

Even democracy seems to have several meanings today depending on who says it.

Ask any high school kid for his definitions of the same words, he's likely to give you a high-school version.

This is why it's important to succeed in the Middle East to be able to go back to the civilized meaning of democracy: sovereign will resides in the people - if western powers recognize that, we will have less problems negotiating for peace (at least where Palestinians are concerned).


"A “ceasefire” would occur should Hezbollah give back kidnapped Israelis and stop launching missiles; "

I don't know if a ceasefire would occur even if Lebanon's Hezbollahs do these things. Have you forgotten that there are as many fanatics in Israel as well? That one of these fanatics killed Rabin?

AmericanPainter said...


You are quite correct, more Democrats have been in the Presidency at the beginning of American wars during the 20th century.

1) WW1 - Woodrow Wilson - Democrat
2) WWII - Franklin Roosevelt - Democrat
3) Korea (my personal hell) Harry Truman - Democrat
4) Vietnam - John F Kennedy - Democrat
5) Gulf War- George Bush - Republican

Fact not fantasy.



Your friend, the painter, seems to insist on painting my comment in a bad light.

I said, that there were as many losses during the time of Nixon if not greater than during the time of Johnson. If you want in the proportion of years Nixon was in power duirng the Vietnam war.

I you re-read my comment, I did not dispute the number of Democrats who were presidents during the several world wars but went direct by "refuting" the numbers or losses under 2 specific presidents knowing that they were the only ones that were relevant comparatively speaking since the other wars happened under Democrat presidents.

Fact not fantasy.

I don't know what his point is but I am sure of one thing, he's living in fantasy land with his warped slants - not because he is a painter - or worse, if he meant that the US acted wrongly by engaging the Germans in those wars, then he clearly smacks of bad faith. (By the way, if your friend served in Korea, my father and his brother did too and anyway, if he thinks that it was wrong of Truman not to have allowed MacArthur to thump China when he could, then why didn't he do something about it?)

As to Patton's proposed invasion of Russia after defeating the Germans, I needn' remind you that it might have been done had Eisenhower, who was still in command prevailed upon Washington that is if he had wanted to or had thought that it was the wisest thing to do? But I guess, Eisenhower's being a true nature - that of being a Republican - got him cold feet and didn't want to fight it out with the powers that be in Washington at the time!

Don't get me wrong, I am a great admirer and fan of General Dwight Eisenhower!

Oh yeah, Dean, re your friend, if Im' not reading him wrongly, seemeed to have experienced the horrors of war, so he could perhaps say what he would do if he were an Israeli based an this polemic: after receiving the first reports of kidnapped soldiers and dozens of missiles falling on your cities?

Let's hear his rhetorics (I ain't saying they're gonna be fanciful)...

AmericanPainter said...

DJB - is your blogger friend always this sensitive? I’ve always thought reasonable minds could disagree. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asserting that he is reasonable.

AmericanPainter said...

HB - Yes I have experienced the horrors of war. In fact I left an important part of my anatomy lying in the dirt in Korea (HaHa - no it wasn’t my brain!) but it failed to make me the military genius that you have become. Congratulations!



Your painter friend has managed to slant not only my comment but also that of MB's as well.

This habit of slanting has nothing to do with a naturally slanted brain I hope...


I think Dean you ought to re-calibrate your painter's notion that I am a he. Goes to show that he ain't interested in all the comments but focuses on those that clearly refuse his slanted beliefs.


"In fact I left an important part of my anatomy lying in the dirt in Korea (HaHa - no it wasn’t my brain!) but it failed to make me the military genius that you have become."

Ain't my fault if he left his crotch in Korea!


I think Dean you ought to re-calibrate your painter's notion that I am a he. Goes to show that he ain't interested in all the comments but focuses on those that clearly refuse his slanted beliefs. Otherwise, he would've noticed that I ain't a he...

Guess that's what happens when people left parts of their anatomy in Korea.

Abe N. Margallo said...

Americanpainter said: “I see no bad faith in my remarks just because I fail to agree with your fantasy world.”

“To kill the Jews, the Nazis were willing to weaken their capacity to fight the war. The U.S. and its allies, however, were willing to attempt almost nothing to save them.” - - by David Wyman, award-winning historian and “the definitive authority on America’s action—and inaction—during the Holocaust.”

“To kill the (Lebanese Hezbollah), (the Israelis) are willing to weaken their capacity to fight the war. The U.S. and its allies, however, are willing to attempt almost nothing to save them.” - - by Bye Stander, a worldy fantasizer



Earlier on, I made a comment related to questions by Willy Priles in which I said essentially that with best will in the world, the most difficult things can be achieved (after all negotiations are done by people not).

And it seems we are about to achieve the most difficult.

LeMonde.fr announced that following Blair's meeting with Bush today, a concensus has been reached: The project will be in two phases 1) on the condition that Israel and Lebanon accept a cease-fire 2) a multinational force of 10 to 20 thousand men will be deployed in Lebanon to enforce UN Resolution 1559.

Anonymous said...

Vietnam war was during Ike Eisenhower's time.Vietnam war started way back in 1957.

and add that to the Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Belay that,move it back a little further..it was 1954 when the French were attacked.



On May 4 1954 you mean when the French forces finally crumbled under General Giap?

Yep, goes to show that it's difficult to vanquish an enemy whose power of resistance is intact (mental resistance as in ideology). Carl von Klauswitz said that.

Same applies to any group or race of people who believe that they have the right to fight for their existence - Jewish and Palestinians alike.


I think this is best illustrated by the UN Force chief in Lebanon who said that the Hezbollahs cannot be defeated MILITARILY and that only a political solution could defeat them.

Anonymous said...

Granting that there will indeed be a ceasefire,that the multinational forces would step in by next week.

What if there would not be any cessation,would the international forces still push through?

Let's wait and see.

Good day to the American Painter and the Hill Blogger,what was that all about?

Its good that it stopped, and I hope my vietnam details won't add fuel to the resting engines.

Anonymous said...

OOps, nandyan ka na pala Anna,
Good day to you.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the military solution is not the solution here.

Ceasefire's are temporary.
In the pinas they say in between ceasefires,the rebels consolidate their forces.

I know my hypothesis that Lebanese would not want Hezbollah,to disarm is that Hezbollah is sort of their defense against Israel.By doing that Hezbollah,consolidated its forces and grew stronger.That may be right or wrong again depending on the judge.

We all want War to stop.

Another UN resolution is in the works.
Resolution to what,the UN 1559 resolution?
It's becoming like a new year's resolution.


You still up at this time or are you just waking up?

Am going to bed, it's past 23h00 here.

Good night Karl! Won't be blogging this weekend will be whacking tiny white balls on the green tomorrow and doing a bit of sailing with the kiddies on Sunday.


Abe N. Margallo said...

The Yankees killed the Filipinos to sell their goods to China.

The Nazis killed the Jews for the sake of killing the Jews.

The Palestinians kill and “terrorize” the Jews to recover their homeland.

The Zionists overkill the Palestinians and those who take up their cause for “self-defense.”

Which team do you root for?

Rizalist said...

I think you can do better than this. Politics is not a spectator sport with "teams" that we "root for". I am with Israel on this because of the principles of self-defense and a national right to exist, both of which, others have in the past and still in the present, wish to deprive them of. If we do not uphold such principles for one people, we cannot consistently uphold it for all. Much tragedy has befallen the world because of a lack of such adherence to moral principles. If we turn a blind eye to these things because we cannot bear the horror we see on television, greater horrors and even more tragic events will surely ensue.

AmericanPainter said...

“Ain't my fault if he left his crotch in Korea!”

That’s funny!! Who said it was my crotch and why would you assume that?

“I think Dean you ought to re-calibrate your painter's notion that I am a he”

Ah, that explains it!

Rizalist said...

From my impressions of you both in the past, I think you would actually like each other if you met under other circumstances. I would not want to be the cause of acrimony between people I am sure WOULD be friends otherwise. The best part of your anatomies are your hearts and minds, which I know are both good, humane and intelligent. I am guilty of taking things personally too from time to time. It never convinces anyone though, so I hope people will also flag me when I get too personal.

Anonymous said...


Says, Hezbollah politicians back peace package.

I hope this would mean cease fire.

That would be good news,albeit temporary.

AmericanPainter said...

Sorry Dean, but I have little respect for any alleged ex U.S Marine who bad mouths his/her country. Additionally, no true Marine would ever belittle the sacrifice of another Marine. Doesn’t sound like any U.S. Marine I ever knew. Once a Marine, ALWAYS a Marine! Gives me cause to suspect that her claim of being an ex U.S. Marine Officer……… Semper Fi -

AmericanPainter said...


A quick check of Wikipedia reveals American involvement in Vietnam as far back as 1945. The first American to die in Vietnam was OSS officer Lt. Col. A. Peter Dewey on September 26, 1945. He was shot and killed by the Viet Minh, becoming the first American casualty in Vietnam. So being that Harry Truman was President, the Vietnam war goes back under the Democrat column. Sorry.

Here is the link:

manuelbuencamino said...


So who was in whose territory when the kidnapping/capture of Israeli soldeiers occured?

The question must be answered before anuone can claim self defense.

kulas said...

Washington week on the Israel/Hizbollah issue

Anonymous said...

Thanks, American Painter!
I stand corrected and I don't want any acrimony.

I just had the feeling that it was way before JFK.

Who can argue with someone who's been there,at that time.

Should have checked wiki before drawing my guns.

Anonymous said...

In adition,point well taken!..and I was not disputing the fact that may lives were lost during wars during the incumbency of Democratic Party Presidents or any U.S. president for that matter.

Looking forward to different circumstances and better discussions with you AP.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong.
This is to an attempt to answer MBs question,which I know he already knows the anaswer to.

The July 13 incident happened in an Israeli occupied territory in Lebanon.

I don't know if occupying a certain portion of a nation is even comparable to having a military base in that nation where they can shoot any trespassers.

To me if it is an occupation it is not welcome .That is why it is indeed POLEMIC.

Hezbollah may claim that they are the ones trespassing their sovereign nation.

It depends on the judge and jury!

taga ilog said...

on American Painter July 28,2006 - 1720H

"MIGHT be a reasonable solution to the crisis"

Your formula is incomplete.


Or sounds better if condee rice is bargaining for the recognition of state of israel in exchange for the US troop pull-out in Iraq?

I guess your comprehension of "madeline albright's thinking of EXIT STRATEGY" is enough to set your sight in the 'CASPIAN OIL PIPE LINE' as U.S. new strategic interest in the region.

As I have said in my previous post, sykes-picot agreement is a good starting point, and the "1920 sanremo conference" as well.

American painter, do i need to say... long live kurdistan!

Rizalist said...

Taga-ilog, MB,

China has credible and legible evidence (in the form of 12th century maps) which show that the Philippines, from Luzon to Mindanao was paying tribute to the Chinese emperor. It seems however that some Muslims decided enough was enough and seized the land that then belonged to the Chinese emperor and claimed it for Allah. Much later the Spaniards arrived and seized the territory for King Felipe. And of course the Americans invaded too and turned us into a colony. Then the christianized filipinos moved back into mindanao when Magsaysay transplanted Bahuba surrenderees to that island.

Based on your postings I suppose you would be for returning it all to the Chinese?

MB, you asked a me a question earlier about Lebanon and "collective punishment" but you never answered my question to you about self defense.

Is Hezbollah defending a national territory they basically hold hostage to the same kind of ancient proprietorship. Does a private religious army like them have the right to national self-defense when they are neither the majority nor the duly constituted armed power to do so?

Are they not guilty of "collective punishment" of innocent Israeli's randomly targeted by their missiles under the Geneva convention's express prohibition on terrorism?

It's your turn to answer a question of principle and not narrative, not mine.

AmericanPainter said...

Karl, Thank you for toning things down a bit. We need not be at each others throats though I do disagree and get a little tired of those who wish to blame all of the worlds problems on my country. The venom frequently expressed is uncalled for.

It appears that you are correct in that Hezbollah did invade Israel territory to capture her soldiers according to this report:

“The Israeli offensive began after Hezbollah guerrillas killed three soldiers and captured two others in a cross-border raid into Israel. The war with Hezbollah opened a second front for Israel, which was already battling Palestinians in Gaza after Hamas militants seized a soldier in a cross-border raid June 25.”


AmericanPainter said...

Taga Ilog - I’ll say long live Kurdistan right along with you!

As far as the American pull-out that you suggest - it’s a bit more complicated, a whole different thing and not the subject of discussion here.

While America is concerned along with the rest of the world, we’re not a direct part of the Hezbollah - Israel conflict. Of course that could change if they were somehow able to send their rockets to OUR cities.

I’ve seen no reports that linked Condelezza Rice to bargaining for the State of Israel. Is that your assumption? In fact no one has been able so far to even have a conversation with Hezbollah.

manuelbuencamino said...


1.) The jury is out on who was in whose territory as the articles I include point out. I said we have to determine that before we even talk about self defense.

Be that as it may, since you refuse to even acknowledge the possibility that those news reports may have been correct, I will answer your newly phrased questions. Although I thought I answered your questions, as you originally phrased and enumerated them.

Anyway, here's my answer to your rephrased question.

Hizbollah claims they captured Israelis who had crossed into Lebanon. Was Hizbollah defending Lebanon? Like I said before, No. Hizbollah was defending Hizbollah. Did Israel cross Hizbollah borders? No. Hizbollah is not even on the map.

Hizbollah is not a state. A non-state organization with a powerful army within a weak state is a new phenomenon and I really don't know how we can fit a question like self-defense within the parameters defined by state to state relationships. The actors are state and non-state so there is no clear answer to that. We are all still trying to figure out how to deal with this new phenomenon.

I can answer your question directly if you had asked about Lebanon and Israel. In this case, I will Israel is clearly the aggressor since the government of Lebanon did not attack, provoke, or threaten Israel.

You can argue that it's Lebanon's duty to keep Hizbollah in check. Theoretically, you are correct. But, in reality, and as you said "refusal, inability or reluctance" prevents them from exercising full sovereignty over their land. Now I insist that it is inability rather than refusal on the part of the Lebanese government. And as I said earlier, reluctance is the consequence of inability. Does Israel have a right to punish a weak state?

Can we draw a parallel between Lebanon/Hizbollah and Taliban Afghanistan/ Al Qaeda? No. Unlike the Taliban, the Lebanese government is not in cahoots with Hizbollah. So the US may have been justified in overthrowing the Taliban for coddling Al Qaeda but the same cannot be said about Lebanon/Hizbollah and for Israel's behavior towards Lebanon.

And as to collective punishment, I told you I am not lawyering for Hizbollah.

The random Hizbollah attacks against Israel are as despicable as the attacks of Israel on Lebanon.

To repeat - I am against Israel's actions against Lebanon. I am not lawyering for Hizbollah.

2) As to your comment about the chinese. That is the argument of the zionists. Zionists say they have a right to reclaimi land they left a thousand years ago,

The right of a people to form a nation and to create a state is unquestionable. However, the choice of location is another matter. The root cause of the Israel Palestine conflict is about dislocating people in order to locate a state.

The jews chose to relocate to what is now Israel based on their biblical claims. To me, this sounds like your chinese analogy.

Palestinians, on the other hand, are complaining about land that was taken away from them 60 years ago when Israel was founded and, even more recenty, land taken away because of the 1967 war.

Unless you believe in the right of conquest through war, the Israelis should, at the very minimum, return all the lands it conquered as a result of the 1967 war.

Pre-1967 borders is something that Palestinians are amenable to.

They are still waiting for Israel's compliance with UN 242 and 338. Now, Israel is insisting, along with the US and Britain, that UN 1559 should come first. Where is the justice in that?

AmericanPainter said...

“They are still waiting for Israel's compliance with UN 242 and 338. Now, Israel is insisting, along with the US and Britain, that UN 1559 should come first. Where is the justice in that?”

UN 1559 calls on all Lebanese militias to disband. If that had already occurred, the present conflict would have never began.

To claim that returning lands occupied since the 1967 “six days war” would insure peace, ignores the fact that none of these lands were occupied by Israel when they were viciously attacked by four Arab States in 1967. What is it that would have insured peace then, and why would it insure peace now? The base problem is the Arabs denial that Israel has a right to exist.

That hasn’t changed and the return of those lands will not change it either.

Rizalist said...

I thought at the very beginning that you were against a reliance on "what narrative we want to believe." But it seems you are insisting on the narrative you do believe. Realize please that even if I believe your narrative my principles won't change--only who benefits from the dubious advantage of my far-away and feeble support. But you premise your arguments on a belief in a particular narrative and so it is impossible to argue with your subsequent logic.

But I do vehemently disagree with one of your statements that "A non-state organization with a powerful army within a weak state is a new phenomenon "

That is the situation with the CPP NPA, is it not? With JI in Indonesia, and with every nonstate terrorist organization in every country that cannot suppress them?

The principle here is that nonstate actors should not have military power capable of going toe to toe with a superb military like the IDF, because precisely they are not governed nor do they recognize the normal rules of war and peace. That is why we call them "terrorists" because they do not recognize the normal conventions and principles even of something as barbarous as war.

So perhaps I should ask you this question, if the CPPNPA or the MILF, both nonstate actors motivated by the same sorts of things as Hizbolla and became as powerful as Hizbollah, would you also support their right to send missiles into say Malaysia, or to attack our allies like the US?

Also, if the Lebanese govt agreed with you that this was not a case of acting in self-defense (with a possibility of disproportionality that some may be willing to grant) and felt rightly that it was Lebanon that is really being attacked and not Hizbollah, then why have they not sent their army to help Hizbollah?

It is the Lebanese consul general in Manila that proclaimed this fact (not me) that the fight is between Israel and Hezbollah. Even the Israelis agree with that. So do I. You are the only one who claims that it is Lebanon that is Israel's real target.

That's like saying when we try to cut out a cancerous tumor it is the patient we are trying kill because some of the healthy cells also die.

Lebanon and her millions of unfortunate citizens can only be saved if the nonstate cancer that feeds on her body and soul is excised.

Since the Lebanese govt can't do it, I think they are secretly glad to have the IDF do it, because at least the Christians there know they are next if Hezbollah and Iran succeed in laying waste to Zion.

Juan said...

Ultimately, the question is:

What meaning is left of living when one's living is the cause of another's dying?

Juan said...


war is death - killing and dying,
blood is shed for right or for wrong.
friend, foe, good and bad ...
blood flows on the battle ground.
people die
orphans, widows are weeping.
babies in cribs, children at play...
blood splatter in shattered homes.
people die
what’s left for the living?

war is death, a violent dying,
what meaning is left of living,
when one’s living
is the cause of another’s dying?

Amadeo said...

This is what I can add to this smoldering conflict – of both bullets and words – which in keeping with its six decade history I ruefully project will continue to fester and escalate.

In my opinion, these are the only two simple equations I can unravel and understand in this turbulent sea of irony and subterfuge.

1. Compromise = peace and harmony

Many in the West, and those outside the region, believe that all parties must compromise to bring peace and harmony into the beleaguered region. Taking and shunting aside all past and current pressure points. Who started what? Who owns this or that? Etc.

It sounds easy and simple.

However, we know that two contending non-state parties, Hamas and Hezbollah, are resolute and will not have any notion that Israel can remain as a state. This is not disputed. And we can even expand this belief to the entire Arab world, particularly Iran and Syria. Or some countries in the West may not even be averse to the idea of pushing Israel to the sea – this time without the assistance of Moses.

So which parties can compromise?

We know actions speak louder than words. Israel has unilaterally given up the Gaza Trip and agrees to relinquish 90% of the West Bank. What about the other negotiating parties? What are they willing to compromise?

2. Diplomacy = Peace

Not the crude rockets or long range artillery, but diplomacy as the “silver bullet” that should put a lasting end to all these.
If Number 1 is feasible, then diplomacy could possibly work.

But the past is littered with agreements, peace plans, roadmaps, ceasefires, which have all gone the way of utter failure.
Because good faith is a basic, integral, and crucial element of diplomacy – for it to work and prosper. As the cliché goes, agreement of the minds has to come first before the next step can be tried.

So what will be different to resolve the present flashpoint?

manuelbuencamino said...


There you go again twisting my words and putting words in my mouth. What do you mean would I also support... Why insert the word "also" ? Did I say I suppoted Hizbollah's rocket attacks on Israel or did I condemn it? I condemned it. Read my earlier comments.

I also told you we don't know who was in whose territory when the incident occured. That's why I included the article. We don't know the facts for sure. That's what I said. Depending on the facts, it can be kidnapping or it can be capture. This is all I have said about the Hizbollah-Israel conflict. We do not know who is lying. Period.

Every other point I have made has to do with Israel and Lebanon. And Lebanon and Hizbollah. But I have not taken sides on this current Israel-Hizbollah war. And that's because I don't know who started it.

A non-state phenomenon like NPA/CPP, the vietcong etc, is not the same. Those are guerilla groups fighting to overthrow the state they live in. MILF, ETA, IRA are different from NPA etc. because they are fighting for secession or liberation. They are not out to take-over the entire country. They only want what they believe is theirs. Hizbollah lives/co-exists in an uneasy truce with the Lebanese government. Remember the civil war? . Al Qaeda co-existed if not aided the Taliban.

You see how different they are and why it is ridiculous to lump them all in one bag? So the phenomenon I speak of is new. Even the bobsey twins bush and blair think so.

Anyway, I've said everything I have to say. You can twist or put words in my mouth but what I've written stands and it is consistent. Collective punishment can never be justified. The war is between Hizbollah and Israel not between Israel and Lebanon, I condemn the rocket attacks and the bombings. I don't know who started the fight so I won't take sides. etc,etc,etc. It's all there.

I've answered all your fair questions directly and I've pointed out your unfair questions and your weird analogies like the chinese thing and now the CPP thing.

We have exhausted this topic because you have twisted and ascribed words to me that I never said. So I am exhausted by trying to straughten things out instead of exchanging views with you.

Like one commenter said. Let one Filipino or Abu Sayaf explode a bomb in Israel and then we'll all stand beside you while you cheer Israel's right to retaliate against the entire Philippines.

AmericanPainter said...

DJB - I agree with you that a non-state organization with a powerful army within a weak state is not a new phenomenon .

It is exactly the same situation with the CPP NPA. With JI in Indonesia, and with every non-state terrorist organization in every country that cannot suppress them!

That is the exact reason why UN Resolution 1559 must be implemented. Without it, there can be no end in sight.

Abe N. Margallo said...

AP & DJB - I agree with you that a non-state organization with a powerful army within a weak state is not a new phenomenon.

It is exactly the same situation with Haganah during the early days of political Zionism. Haganah was a non-state terrorist organization during the British Mandate of Palestine and the British, too weak after WWII, could not suppress the Zionist terrorist militia. Haganah is now the IDF (The Israel Defense Forces).

Iloilo City Boy said...

I think it should be official Philippine foreign policy not to take sides: remember there are 30,000 Filipinos in Lebanon.There are Filipinos in almost every country in the world and we needlessly endanger their lives if our government takes a particular side. Remember Angelo dela Cruz?

Rizalist said...

thank you for your comment, iloilo city boy. I take it you support neutrality in the conflict.

The situation is getting uglier and uglier now in Lebanon, especially after a 4 story building in the village of Qana was levelled with a large number of civilians inside it, many of them women and children.

It is getting more and more likely that an international peacekeeping force will have to step in once the situation is stable enough and a ceasefire can be agreed upon -- by both Israel and the Hizbollah. Remember that both sides have to agree to stop.

But if you will indulge me, does your concept of neutrality mean we cannot also send humanitarian forces in, such as doctors and nurses, along with such an international peacekeeping force?

I do remember Angelo de la Cruz, and if I recall correctly, it was precisely such a humanitarian force that we had there that was withdrawn under blackmailed threat to behead him.

The Bystander said...

Just two questions DJB. First, since you support Israel in this conflict, are you now saying that the "end" (which is to erase Hezbollah) justifies the "means" (the invasion of a sovereign territory in the guise of self-defense)? Second, where does your search for the so-called eternal moral principles now lie? Or are you saying that such principles only apply to Philippine military coup d etats?

Rizalist said...

Hezbollah is a problem like the CPP/NPA. These are both organizations ideologically wedded to the validity of violence as a means to all sorts of political and ideological objectives. As such the governments of Lebanon and the Philippines have the obligation to suppress and eliminate them as dangers to their own peoples and to others. "I am with Israel" is not a declaration of perpetual allegiance to Zion, but the result of a personal assessment of the overall situation in that part of the world and the particular circumstances that pit Israel against a large cast of enemies that are commited to her destruction. What we cannot and must not give into are the emotions stirred in us by powerful images without trying to understand what the ultimate causes of these conflicts and sufferings truly are. More than anything else I try to be morally consistent across all possible scenarios and narratives so that when it is warranted by the facts as I can know them, I still have the freedom to say "I am with Lebanon" or even that "I am with Hezbollah". I do not see any of these entities as pure good or pure evil.

I can hardly bear the painful images, but like it or not, things could be worse, far far worse than even what we see now. Before she joined the fight against Nazism for example, America was trying to stay neutral, horrified by the memories of the First World War and what seemed like horrible catastrophes in Poland and Europe. But who is to say that horrors, great horrors like Auschwitz or Treblinka might not have been averted by an early American arrival in the fight against Hitler?

Sixty million died in that war. Mostly innocents. Don't think that's possible again? Just imagine Ahmadinejad giving Hezbollah the Bomb. How long after receipt do you think before they use it? And how long after that before Israel has too as well?

The world better nip this thing in the bud before you and I won't have the strength to even debate it!

One innocent life lost is too many. But let me tell you 10, 100, 1000, or 60 million would be far, far worse.

If we get too lost in narratives, words and images of the present and lose sight of the eternal principles, that's how World War 3 will surely happen.

I don't like what's happening there any more than you do, the world has fallen into the fallacy of argumentum ad misercordiam too often and only fallen into far, far greater miseries as a result.


Howdy Dean, Had a good weekend? I did, thank you. Am back on my comp coz it's raining cats and dogs outside.

Dean, what have I just read? Same slanted, insulting, skewered reasonings from your American painter friend who throws Semper Fi around coz he can't stomach someone else saying the things the way they ought to be said.

I'm sorry Dean, but gotta be blunt - ain't my style to accept crap from nobody, American painter, carpenter, plumber or what have you... K?

What should bother all of us is (not only me), that not content with having attacked me earlier on, this American painter has gone into an insulting spree again but boy, so slanted, he can't even be brave about it (hold on, can't go up and down trying to retrieve his crap comment but it had something to do with "That must be why" or some crap like that.)

Funny style your painter friend's got there: if you go back through his slanted arguments, you'll notice he's never put forward any answer to any of the questions I'd advanced here - he's been simply hell bent on making random comments and pushing his American weight around but notice too, that he feels pretty happy when no one disagrees with him or no one puts forward an idea different from his.

Funny, this American painter fella never said anything as to being a Marine before I admitted that I was once upon a time a junior officer of the Corps? I don't think he even pointedly said that he was one saved for some slanted comment in my direction while he was throwing his goddamn, stinking breeches around. Did I read him right when he said that he had little respect for someone who "alleges" to be a US Marine?

(One day, Dean, and because I consider you a friend even if we don't always agree on a lot of things, I might tell you or might expound on the reasons why I joined and left the Corps but this ain't the place nor the forum.)

Dean, I also told you earlier on that am old and experienced enough to recognize crap whoever or wherever from it may be coming so it's quite difficult to be friends with someone like your creep friend. Let's put it this way, I have NO respect at all for someone like your friend the American painter WHO is a first class BULLSHITTER. He's someone who has a skewered mind and who skews his arguments in such a way as to make people believe that he is not skewed.

If you re-read his comments, there's this one friggin slant about "bad mouthing" America. Look, sorry to be ever so blunt but Dean, but if criticizing Bush is "bad mouthing America", boy, your American painter friend has a loose screw in his goddamn balls and brain alright, Korea or no Korea. (Hell, soldier or no soldier, we all criticize our leaders, Filipinos, Americans, Europeans! Btw, did you read all those US generals criticizing Bush ill-prepared invasion of Iraq and what's his name... yeah, Rumsfeld!) so, what kind of sick statement was this American painter spewing around then that criticizing Bush is bad mouthing America?

Notice how he works ups his arguments against someone? He selects a couple of lines from a post, mixes them, lumps them up in one bad yarn to tell you you're wrong but ever so slantly and if you counter that they ain't that wrong and dare him to say more, he just hisses and throws a lot blarney yarn to try to sow a bit of confusion..... da da da da....then, lo and behold, he asserts he's shitting right! He turns around and give people who agree with him a nice, soft pat on the head. (Friggin' 'ell, believe me, Dean, that's being one hell of a skewed ball alright!)

Mille regrets Dean but your American painter friend is not only a BULLSHITTER but he is ALSO a goddamn, stinking LIAR.

Abe N. Margallo said...

The Israeli U.N. ambassador today said at the emergency session of the U.N. Security council that the civilian deaths at Qana “were caused by Israeli fire but they were the victims of Hezbollah.”

That sounds familiar doesn’t it, like “That’s her voice but she’s not the one talking”?

Rizalist said...

OBSERVATION: Philippine Commentary has become a nearly perfect microcosm of the world in conflict. Each of us reflects the various players and narratives. For example by proclaiming "I am with Israel" I feel more than ever the gravity of her actions, as in Qana! I feel GUILTY and UNEASY for the deaths and destruction, even as I see the rationale, which are two different things. All of us have expressed our perspectives with both reason and emotion and have sided with the various players to varying degrees: Lebanon, Europe, America, the West, the East, the Philippines.

We have become the war itself!

SUGGESTION: Let us pretend that we ARE those nations and forces. Let us treat each of our further comments as if we WERE those forces. I shall pretend that I AM Israel. MB you may wish to represent Lebanon, HB you may wish to be Europe, AP can be America. Others may wish to take roles as they see fit. But let us pretend this, and imagine what would happen.

Perhaps Philippine Commentary can lead the way to a principled, and therefore lasting, peace.

If WE cannot do that in this weblog, how can we expect the real world to?

Let us pretend we are the Security Council meeting in emergency session.

What say you all?

Abe N. Margallo said...

Let me start with this speech, which is a portion of author Arundhati Roy’s essay (The Loneliness of Noam Chomsky):

Mr. President:

I am a humble netcitizen, and today I rise to challenge America's docrine of Manifest Destiny.

Perhaps this belief in its own divinity also explains why the U.S. government has conferred upon itself the right and freedom to murder and exterminate people "for their own good".

When he announced the U.S. air strikes against Afghanistan, President Bush Jr. said, "We're a peaceful nation." He went on to say, "This is the calling of the United States of America, the most free nation in the world, a nation built on fundamental values, that rejects hate, rejects violence, rejects murderers, rejects evil. And we will not tire."

The U.S. empire rests on a grisly foundation: the massacre of millions of indigenous people, the stealing of their lands, and following this, the kidnapping and enslavement of millions of black people from Africa to work that land. Thousands died on the seas while they were being shipped like caged cattle between continents. "Stolen from Africa, brought to America" — Bob Marley's "Buffalo Soldier" contains a whole universe of unspeakable sadness. It tells of the loss of dignity, the loss of wilderness, the loss of freedom, the shattered pride of a people. Genocide and slavery provide the social and economic underpinning of the nation whose fundamental values reject hate, murderers, and evil.

Here is Chomsky, writing in the essay "The Manufacture of Consent," on the founding of the United States of America:

During the Thanksgiving holiday a few weeks ago, I took a walk with some friends and family in a national park. We came across a gravestone, which had on it the following inscription: "Here lies an Indian woman, a Wampanoag, whose family and tribe gave of themselves and their land that this great nation might be born and grow."
Of course, it is not quite accurate to say that the indigenous population gave of themselves and their land for that noble purpose. Rather, they were slaughtered, decimated, and dispersed in the course of one of the greatest exercises in genocide in human history... which we celebrate each October when we honour Columbus — a notable mass murderer himself — on Columbus Day.

Hundreds of American citizens, well-meaning and decent people, troop by that gravestone regularly and read it, apparently without reaction; except, perhaps, a feeling of satisfaction that at last we are giving some due recognition to the sacrifices of the native peoples.... They might react differently if they were to visit Auschwitz or Dachau and find a gravestone reading: "Here lies a woman, a Jew, whose family and people gave of themselves and their possessions that this great nation might grow and prosper."

How has the United States survived its terrible past and emerged smelling so sweet? Not by owning up to it, not by making reparations, not by apologising to black Americans or native Americans, and certainly not by changing its ways (it exports its cruelties now). Like most other countries, the United States has rewritten its history. But what sets the United States apart from other countries, and puts it way ahead in the race, is that it has enlisted the services of the most powerful, most successful publicity firm in the world: Hollywood.

In the best-selling version of popular myth as history, U.S. "goodness" peaked during World War II (aka America's War Against Fascism). Lost in the din of trumpet sound and angel song is the fact that when fascism was in full stride in Europe, the U.S. government actually looked away. When Hitler was carrying out his genocidal pogrom against Jews, U.S. officials refused entry to Jewish refugees fleeing Germany. The United States entered the war only after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour. Drowned out by the noisy hosannas is its most barbaric act, in fact the single most savage act the world has ever witnessed: the dropping of the atomic bomb on civilian populations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war was nearly over. The hundreds of thousands of Japanese people who were killed, the countless others who were crippled by cancers for generations to come, were not a threat to world peace. They were civilians. Just as the victims of the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings were civilians. Just as the hundreds of thousands of people who died in Iraq because of the U.S.-led sanctions were civilians. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a cold, calculated experiment carried out to demonstrate America's power. At the time, President Truman described it as "the greatest thing in history".

The Second World War, we're told, was a "war for peace". The atomic bomb was a "weapon of peace". We're invited to
believe that nuclear deterrence prevented World War III. (That was before President George Bush Jr. came up with the "pre-emptive strike doctrine". Was there an outbreak of peace after the Second World War? Certainly there was (relative) peace in Europe and America — but does that count as world peace? Not unless savage, proxy wars fought in lands where the coloured races live (chinks, niggers, dinks, wogs, gooks) don't count as wars at all.

Since the Second World War, the United States has been at war with or has attacked, among other countries, Korea, Guatemala, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Libya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan. This list should also include the U.S. government's covert operations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the coups it has engineered, and the dictators it has armed and supported. It should include Israel's U.S.-backed war on Lebanon, in which thousands were killed. It should include the key role America has played in the conflict in the Middle East, in which thousands have died fighting Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territory. It should include America's role in the civil war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, in which more than one million people were killed. It should include the embargos and sanctions that have led directly, and indirectly, to the death of hundreds of thousands of people, most visibly in Iraq.

Put it all together, and it sounds very much as though there has been a World War III, and that the U.S. government was (or is) one of its chief protagonists.

Is the United States really interested in "sustainable" and "lasting" peace?

Thank you Mr. President.

Rizalist said...

From the American Envoy to the UN

Mr President: I rise in response to statements of Mr. Arundhati Roy and Noam Chomsky. They have laid out a particular perspective on the history of my country, strewn with facts that I don't deny, but strung together in a logic that leads to an unfair appreciation of America and her role in the world not of the past, but of the present and the future.

Yes it is true that slavery and genocide were a large part of our history. But what nation now existing can claim an innocent past? What nation has not the blood of innocents on its hands? What nation can say, we have never stolen land, nor killed others for our own benefit. What nation did not raise up ideals which then in the practice of its citizens, armies, governments, were not mocked or destroyed?

And what nation, including America, has not also given shelter to refugees, succored others in her hospitality or given the world hope by her ideals.

In our estimation, the criterion we must apply in the present is the ability of a nation to see her past for what it is, and most importantly, what she can do for the future.

For me, personally, I judge nations according to their potential for doing good in the present and for their CORRIGIBILITY in the future.

America herself has progressed from slavery to genocide to imperialism to the present state of peace, progress and prosperity within her own borders, which I believe she honestly, earnestly, and generously seeks for the whole world. And she is in the greatest position to make it so, not by military force though she could certainly bring every one else to heel with it, but with the force of her ideals and goodness of her people. In that, democracy and freedom play the bigger role, for only in that has America succeeded in bringing to her shores the most active, the most productive, the most idealistic of peoples of all races. She is a model for an imperfect world, while herself remaining imperfect.

We reject nihilism borne of a hatred for the sins of our fathers, whom we revere for their attempts to do the good as they saw it in their best lights. If at times they were wrong, that is no reason for us to do other than to see things also in our best lights.

As much as others say she is the reason for the evils of the present, when humongous evils of both Nature and Man are visited on poor unfortunates and innocents, the world still looks to America to clean up the messes that others make.

No one can point to another country that the world regards in this way. If America has a Manifest Destiny at all, it is to bear the burden of the responsibility to help all those others who are far, far greater failures at the building of nations than her. It is a burden her people sometimes reluctantly, sometimes gladly bear when she could with legitimacy merely shut her doors and live in happy peace and prosperity and not care about bloody, nasty, ugly corners of the world.

I submit that a world without America now, as Mr. Chomsky who hates her so irrationally desires, would be a far, far worse place. Those who enjoy Liberty's glorious protection, blacks, whites, browns, reds, christians, muslims, europeans, africans, filipinos--would not now choose to return to any of those places, where their fates would surely be far, far worse. Those most angry at America with good will actually believe in her potential great goodness even more than those who take it all for granted. It is that which I perceive in Arundhati Roy, whose own country and region has evinced cruelty, brutality and barbarism for THOUSANDS of years, and have not yet matched the progress in even the most disdained of our Southern States.

I shall not bother to make a comparable enumeration of the sins and lethal record of such countries. There are encyclopaedias full of them!

But to return to the matter before us, what exactly does Mr. Roy and Mr. Chomsky propse we do about Israel, Hizbollah, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and this entire crisis without bringing up antediluvian transgressions from all around?

Amadeo said...

Wow, after reading that essay by A. Roy, one can't help but feel utter disdain for the US and what it stands for. Made me feel bad having lived here for over 26 years. And seeing my kids go to school here!

But who is this Chomsky admirer, A. Roy?

Wikipedia was helpful:


"Roy has been criticized as being Anti-American. Testimony before the House Subcommittee on Select Education investigating books on the reading list of Title VI funded programs stated:

The Columbia Journalism Review cited Arundhati Roy, for example, as a prime example of an "anti-American" writer. Liberal author Ian Buruma, writing in The New Republic, published a review of Roy's work entitled, "The Anti-American." (Roy's title-essay from the book reviewed by Buruma was assigned in the U. C. Santa Barbara course.) Even leftist author Tod Gitlin, in the left-leaning magazine, Mother Jones, called Arundhati Roy "anti-American."[1]: "

After reading the links, now I understand.

But would this be a good way to start a dialog?

Abe N. Margallo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Abe N. Margallo said...

This is a repost bec. of many typos in first post . . .

I hope the esteemed envoy from the great CORRIGIBLE one is not selling short his representation. But since his stance so far supports my brief, I will gladly acknowledge his admissions: which means that if all the representations here during any part of their history have once been plunderers, murderers, exterminators and terrorists, then I propose that all those labels we all deserve be dropped from our lexicon during the course of our bull session. (I vend banana chops on the side, so I may not alwyas be around).

I hope our Ignatian friend will agree to deal with the message and not shoot the messenger all the time. Jesuit boys are very good at observing this rule. =) For instance, A. Roy has been labeled anti-American but of course she is also a peace activist. Calling her something like an award-winning novelist, or a writer, might be a good start for a fruitful dialogue.

Or, let’s not follow CNN’s repeated de-legitimizing descriptions like, as we are all familiar with, “terrorists or terrprist organizations” since, admittedly, we all have carried those and similar baggage one time or another. So, while waiting for others to come (na traffic yata sa Fifth Avenue) do you have any suggestion as to what proposition/s to tackle?

I have one already which I am stating in the negative: “That the United States is not interested in a sustainable and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

Certain issues that I think should be considered are:

1) US is only interested in “region change” according to its hegemonic intentions.

2) US financial and military support to Israel is equivalent to Iran’s financial and military support to Hezbollah.

3) US and Israel are guilty of war crimes for such acts as the Qana air strikes.

4) Israel’s response to the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers is proportional according to International law.

5) As a step toward peace, disarmament should cover all parties concerned in the Middle East.

Hmmm . . . What are yours?

AmericanPainter said...

Dean, you’re a great peacemaker, but you’re unable to control the filthy mouth of your friend hill blogger, blabber, logger - digger or rigger. or whatever.

Did she really expect no response to her stupid remark? It only establishes her stupidity!

Whatever she claims to be is a God dam phony lie. She may have served in an Army supply room. No Marine would ever make her filthy remark about another Marine “leaving his crotch” in Korea. She is a fucking freak let loose on the world but certainly NEVER a Marine. I lost a leg in Korea, nearly died and was cited for bravery. I have a stump and medals to prove it! I did what I had to do, I don’t go around complaining about. I never mentioned it before because I don’t need to brag nor expect sympathy about it. But I don’t have to put up with her disparaging, mindless remarks either. She is filthy, worthless slut! It’s no wonder she was kicked out of the U.S.A! Good riddance of bad rubbish!

If it would accommodate her, I’ll be happy to kick her sick stinking ass with my prosthesis !


Howdy Dean, Abe, Bystander, folks... How are you all doing?

Hey Dean,

First of all, I think your suggestion is great but I don’t know if it would work with American loony, er panter here. Second, I was determined to ignore your American painter friends' fulminations and frothings at the mouth but he's gone overboard. If he believes he can dish it out and get no dishing back, boy, he's fucking mistaken. I may posses foreign passports but I'm of Filipino blood and come from the land of Gabriela Silang . American painter, drummer, bullshitter or whatever, should know that women from the land of Gabriela Silang take shit from no mother-fucking American panter, bullshitter or whatever...

If he believes that by whining, moaning and calling me names, he becomes less of a goddamn bullshitter and stinking liar, he’s mistaken. I really don't want to stoop to his level because I don't believe Philippine Commentary weblog deserves to be the arena that your friend, the American panter, likes to wage his bullshit fight from but Dean, I really ought to throw your friends’ shit back to his face, so with your permission, ...

Let me just calibrate one issue coz I think it’s important: I went back and re-read the posts and I was right, your fucked-up American panter friend, never said anything about having been a Marine not even until I said that I was once one and yet he accused me of belittling another Marine: which marine? HE MAY SAY WHAT HE WANTS till he’s violet, pink, white or orange in the face BUT HE WILL REMAIN A MOTHERFUCKING, STINKING BULLSHITTER and a GODDAMN FILTHY LIAR. He’s just a goddamn loser and doesn’t want to face it!

Sorry Dean, your peacemaking ain’t gonna work between your fucked-up American panter’s and me coz he’s threatening to throw his prothesis around but if he ain’t careful, he might get kicked not only in his sorry arse but in his already half-damaged groin so badly, he’ll need to hang it up in a cupboard permanently...

On second thought, I don’t think it’s his fault at all that he’s the way he is – this mother-fucker American panter friend of yours was born of the cunt of a whoring mother and a stinking slob of a shithead loser father so much so much so that he’s goddamn lucky I even pay him attention at all.

Well, tell you what, coz this hillblogger is a good “slut” (that’s what your Marine friend said about an ex-Marine), and might add, kind and generous to those who claim that they are senile and maimed, she withdraws all the non-gentle words she’s thrown at the direction of the American panter scum.

However, she suggests, in the spirit of peace and understanding in this great forum which is yours Dean, that your American painter friend go to one of those Texan psychiatric centers and have another hole punched in his fucked up brain of to make sure he ain't gonna be spewing garbage ever again.

And really, I will be very glad to perform that lobotomy sugery (just need a tough screw driver I reckon to punch the needed hole in his useless skull) on this fucked-up American friend of yours...

Rizalist said...

AP, HB--Ceasefire? (Even Israel's agreed to a 48 hour halt of their military operations!) Not being a control freak I'm perfectly willing to let you guys have at it. But really, you both have valuable points of view that the rest of the thread is missing out on. Please?

AmericanPainter said...

Dean, I’m willing to call a truce for your sake, regardless of whether that stupid, two bit whore does or not, no more from me on this.



I'm a civilized person unlike this a dime a dozen stinking American motherfucker of a loser and I promise to ignore his shits.

Rizalist said...

Thanks my friends! Now we can go back to worrying about Israel, the Hizbollah, Iran, Syria and the real war that's afoot! I really appreciate the truce after that last minute salvo from each of you. This war is taking its toll on all of us. Soon we shall be faced with whether the Philippines ought to send a humanitarian force of doctors and nurses into the combat zone if and when the badly needed international peacekeeping force is formed. And then there are the excellent points of discussion that Abe Margallo has most eloquently proposed and lain the predicate for. (See the comment above).

And perhaps just a moment of silence for the innocents at Qana and Haifa, and wherever war has not been averted.

AmericanPainter said...

Thank you hillburger, I do appreciate your kind comments.

AmericanPainter said...

Dean, Your comment:

"Soon we shall be faced with whether the Philippines ought to send a humanitarian force of doctors and nurses into the combat zone if and when the badly needed international peacekeeping force is formed"

Puhleeze.....not again!

Rizalist said...

To all the folks on the Philippine Commentary Comment Thread, I just got a phone call from Anna de Brux (the Hillblogger) all the way from Europe offering apologies to everyone on the thread for the recent unpleasantries. She mentions in particular that she would never knowingly insult a fellow Marine, but its my fault for not mentioning the common grounds and grand ideals for which she and AP have both stood and fought, a privilege I myself have not had in uniform. For everyone's information I hope American Painter won't mind my mentioning his own long association with the Philippines and Filipinos, as a husband, father, defender and ally of them. (I hope I got that right from previous conversations AP).

By the way, I've not always been filled with such equanimity about "flame wars" on blogs, being far more guilty than either of them of losing my cool in egroups and blogs. Everyone here has made blogging a personally enriching experience for me. Without others to agree or disagree with me, it would be just like writing for the main stream media again -- a generally sterile, one-way experience that does not test or sharpen our wits or morals as effectively as this highly interactive medium does.

Blogging is a whestone for our thoughts and feelings and I know it will continue to make us all better persons for the human community that is rushing headlong into a hive of connectedness that we cannot escape from. Therefore we should cherish it.

AP--Regarding Angelo de la Cruz incident, perhaps this will be a chance for the Philippines to redeem something that was lost then. But let us await the opinions of others.

The Bystander said...

Hezbollah vs. Israel -- an ugly war between two terrorists! I pity the innocent Lebanese and Jews who are caught in the crossfire..


Hello Dean, Abe, Bystander...

This is a re-post of comments I made in Abe's blog.

Abe posed a few questions which, to me, require straightforward answers because they could provide the genuine ground for potential negotiations.

Of particular note is, "So, is the claim by President Bush that the root cause of the problem is Hezbollah borne by historical facts?" Sadly, this question might be waylaid because I doubt very much that Pres Bush is willing to go back into history to try to settle disputes today. It seems Bush lives for today.

Abe's other questions, which also smack of good faith, require truthful answers. The answers will define the degree of seriousness (or lack thereof) with which people, powers, leaders regard the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict and resolving said conflict.

Fundamentally, and as Dean said, it all boils down to people's moral consistency. So, I suggest that Israel or the United States or both should really answer Abe's questions as straightforwardly and as truthfully as they can:

"Or isn’t the fundamental dilemma really about finding an honest answer to the following: Is Israel, as well as the United States and the whole world, willing to end the holocaust of the Palestinian people and recognize their right to self-determination and their dream of nationhood?"

AmericanPainter said...

Dean, thank you and Anna de Brux. I also apologize for my lost temper. One of my children once claimed to get their own temper from me but I said no, I still have mine.- LOL

Dean, I live in the Philippines by choice and not because of my wife. Actually my Filipino wife would prefer to return to the U.S., but I love the Philippines, it scenic country, it’s people and it’s culture. When I returned to the States after the Angelo de la Cruz incident I found myself in defense of the Philippines though I personally disagreed with the option taken. I understand the emotion of Filipino’s and I love them even if because of immaturity (IMHO) they fails to sometime see the long haul of things.

For me, the Philippines is the greatest place on earth to live and I will defend her against anyone.

I appreciate very much that you blog on matters of great importance. Though we don’t always agree, I never fail to learn.

As far as sending Doctors and Nurses to a war torn area, it is a noble cause but I feel the Philippines with it’s internal political and financial problems should keep it’s meager resources at home.

Additionally, Doctors and Nurses here are now in short supply to take care of it’s own due to immigration to other countries. Let the developed countries with greater resources take care of the problems of the Middle East, while we use the money that would have been expended on a mercy mission to work more diligently to safely return the strife torn OFW’s.

lebanesa said...

I'm interested in knowing where you get this odd info about Hezbollah and your ideas about Lebanon.
Do you have some connection to the situation that we should all know about?
How come someone so far from the area 'knows' so much more than those of us with friends and relations in the area who visit regularly and have daily contact?
What is your interest and why so heated pro-Israel and anti-Lebanon?



Here's a news headline from The Times of UK:

The Times July 31, 2006

France proposes UN peace plan as Lebanon issues call for help
From James Bone in New York

POTENTIAL contributors to a multinational force in Lebanon meet at UN headquarters in New York today with a French peace plan already on the table.
Up to thirty nations will attend today’s meeting of troop-contributors. They will include Britain and the United States, even though neither country plans to send ground forces to Lebanon.

France, considered a candidate to lead the planned force, circulated a draft UN resolution at the weekend calling for an immediate halt to the fighting and the creation of a militia-free buffer zone in south Lebanon.

France’s UN ambassador also urged Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, to start a round of shuttle diplomacy aimed at securing agreement to the deployment of a multinational force.

For more, see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2292912,00.html

Austria is thinking of sending a small contigent of some 10 to 15,000 troops with peacekeeping force.

I hope Israel and their military benefactors, the United States, will agree. Unfortunately, UK credibility is in tatters because Tony Blair is now considered, even by members of his own Labour Party, as a mere appendage of Bush's anatomy. He faces a looming battle with his own government for having once more kept the truth from the British, i.e., US bomb carrying flights to and from Scotland's airport.

The French proposed UN resolution, if it's not scuttled should pave the way for Lebanon and Israel to seek a way to stabilize their borders.

Rizalist said...


"So, is the claim by President Bush that the root cause of the problem is Hezbollah borne by historical facts?"

I am certain that we can find many historical facts to support Pres. Bush's statement. I am equally certain that we can find many historical facts to contradict him, too. The problem of course is that "history" stretches all the way back, figuratively (or perhaps literally) speaking to Cain and Abel,(and the lesser known Seth) or perhaps even farther back to some undocumented quarrel between Adam and Eve and the serpent. Even if we don't go back that far, it would certainly seem that certain Italians are actually to blame for all this when they destroyed the Second Temple, created the Jewish Diaspora established the first homeland for the present day Palestinians at the expense of the ancient Israelites. Of course, if we start "history" at various other places along the way, say the Ottoman Empire's founding, or 1948, one gets totally different results about who or what is the "root cause."

President Bush was almost certainly not thinking in terms of such past "historical facts" which was Abe's framing of his statement. He was, imo, using "root cause" in the more immediate sense of "which factor in this complex situation is the key obstacle to peace and prosperity for everyone?" I think he is a practical kind of president that wants to solve present problems by "taking the bull by the horns" instead of just using the bullhorn of the Presidency to delay action and achieve little of lasting value. His decision to topple Saddam Hussein in Iraq for example, may be derided by many now because of what Al Qaeda has done to foment conflict between Sunni and Shia there. But if and when Iraq becomes a stable democracy, and I doubt that America can afford to not achieve that goal) it will be a lasting contribution to peace and stability in that region, just as the rehabilitation and forced democratizaton of a conquered Nazi Germany and Militarist Japan became the cornerstones of peace and prosperity in both Europe and Asia for the entire 20th century and beyond As I have said before, that victory was attained at the cost of over SIXTY MILLION dead, most of them "innocent civilians." Now THERE is an historical fact. Was it worth it? Did America have a right to invade Japan and drop the Bomb on her when all Emperor Tojo did initially was "kidnap" two of her "soldiers" (Pearl Harbor and Manila on Dec 7 & 8 1941?)

These are the logical dilemmas that arise when we use what MB famously called, "our choice of what narratives to believe" exclusively to decide what the correct moral position to take really is.

It is perhaps in that light that we ought to see the President's statement. I am sure he is aware of what those more remote "root causes" are. But I think he believes that the if you start "history" today, if you want to "make" history and not just survive it, you really do have to decide which factor is the most impt to deal with so that lasting progress can be made. He therefore probably believes that the dismantling of Hezbollah is far MORE LIKELY to lead to that hoped for peace than as opposed to the destruction of the state of Israel. I'm with GWB on that, because even if I accept the historical facts of Abe, indulging the logical conclusion he seems to invite--the destruction of both Israel and America as punishment for being the true historical root cause of the problem--would lead to a history far more as if Hitler and Tojo had won, or in this, Bashir, Ahmadinejad and Al Qaeda.

Rizalist said...

AP--You are gentleman and soldier.

The "Angelo de la Cruz Syndrome" will become an important topic of discussion very soon, I would think, but I shall have to sleep on your comments a bit before replying.

Rizalist said...

I have no special connections or special expertise on the matter. But I think the Philippines faces the same problems as Lebanon. And the whole world is such that we cannot run away from the problems in it without risking being overrun by them. Perhaps you can share what you know here with us that we cannot get from the usual sources online, tv, and newspapers. I am prepared to be convinced by reason and information and good will, which I hope you bring with your comment. Welcome to Philippine Commentary Lebanesa.



You might want to look at this blog:


It is an ordinary blog and I don't believe for a minute that it has a political base or that it's either for or anti-Israel. But one of the comments in that blog caught my eye, because I've read the same statement that the commenter left somewhere but can't remember where exactly. However, I remember the quote was attributed to a German during WWII.


Dean, your defence of Bush does you great credit. Perhaps, had Bush taken you on to work on his PR, he would have succeeded in putting him in a better light and I say this without a tinge of sarcasm. Unfortunately, the harm's been done. They say, time heals so, let the best test is when all of the Iraqi nation finally forgives Bush. I'm confident, we will see whether they have forgiven him or not through time.

Historians write accounts of various world events and the leaders that made those events happen as accurately as they can. While there's bound to be certain revisions of some episodes in world history willfully or not by historians, on the whole, genuine historians write these accounts accurately. So I believe that Bush and his legacy, contrary to what many people believe, is bound to suffer history's judgement of him and of his Iraq invasion. He will be remembered not for his good intention to "export democracy" (the road to hell is paved with good intentions) to Iraq but the lies, the ommissions and the half truths which he professed to the world to make his invasion a reality. I see it happening to Tony Blair now. Why should it be any different for Bush?

Anyway, I'd rather not delve in Bush, the president and the persona at this point on the invasion of Iraq for the simple reason that focusing on Bush, his competence or incompetence, his success or failing and other matters pertaining to his invasion of Iraq will do this Lebanon thread great disservice.

As to Abe's question, I don't quite see how his rationale is, as you put it, an invitation to "the destruction of both Israel and America as punishment for being the true historical root cause of the problem".

Abe N. Margallo said...

Here's one bit of relevant history that makes our dear friend DJB sound more Zionist than the Zion.

I've taken it from a Harvard Study in March 2006 titled “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by Harvard scholar Stephen M. Walt and University of Chicago Professor John J. Mearsheimer, which reads as follows:

The fact that the creation of Israel entailed a moral crime against the Palestinian people was well understood by Israel’s leaders. As Ben-Gurion [the first prime minister of Israel] told Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, “If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. . . . We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?” Since then, Israeli leaders have repeatedly sought to deny the Palestinians’ national ambitions. Prime Minister Golda Meir famously remarked that “there was no such thing as a Palestinian,” and even Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who signed the 1993 Oslo Accords, nonetheless opposed creating a full-fledged Palestinian state. Pressure from extremist violence and the growing Palestinian population has forced subsequent Israeli leaders to disengage from some of the occupied territories and to explore territorial compromise, but no Israeli government has been willing to offer the Palestinians a viable state of their own. Even Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s purportedly generous offer at Camp David in July 2000 would only have given the Palestinians a disarmed and dismembered set of “Bantustans” under de facto Israeli control.


Even The Daily Telegraph, the ultra right-wing, most conservative paper in the UK which has been known to be pro-Israel is starting to buckle under the weight of Israel's scorch earth policy.

For starters, it writes:

"Israelis make a bad position worse
(Filed: 31/07/2006)
"There is a terrible familiarity to the killing of more than 50 Lebanese civilians in an Israeli airstrike in Qana at the weekend. A decade ago, more than 100 Lebanese sheltering in a UN compound in the same village were killed by Israeli bombs.

"The international outcry that followed forced Israel to halt its last sustained onslaught against Hizbollah. Will the same thing happen now?

"The call by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for an "urgent end" to hostilities suggests the first crack is appearing in what has, until now, been Washington's rock-solid support for Israel's strategy.

To read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/07/31/dl3101.xml
(Filed: 31/07/2006)

Rizalist said...

I guess I could also Cut-N-Paste something from those who disagree with the "Harvard study" that you posted. But here I think you are appealing to the logical fallacy of "arguing from authority". At many email groups, what usually happens is that opposing views are fought by proxy, (just as Iran-Hezbollah and US-Israel at the moment), with the various sides quoting form newspapers, online websites, famous writers, etc that support their views. Nothing wrong with that per se, but I won't be drawn into that. You have to state, please, what exactly about the study YOU think is remarkable, logical or important. Otherwise, I have to argue with an endless array of folks that aren't really present. You must not "hide" behind those folks. You must present the argument yourself otherwise it is "argumentum autoritatem." (or something Latin like that).

The problem for all sides with "history" is revealed in the question now arising in America over Negro slavery?

Are the descendants of slave-owners culpable for their ancestors' practice of slavery. And should the descendants of slaves now "benefit" from a retroactive punishment of their ancestors owners?

If my grandfather murdered someone's grandfather, what is my culpability and responsibility today other than to admit it. What if I am the one that TODAY is under the threat of being murdered. Have I lost my right to self-defense because my grandfather was a murderer?

Who were we descended from, Cain or Abel?

AmericanPainter said...


Hezbollah tool advantage of the lull in Israeli bombing to lob mortars into Israel. An hour ago, Israel announced there will be no cease fire for now. An International peacekeeping force can hopefully stop the immediate bloodshed but what will insure a lasting peace?

It as been reiterated that Lebanon is the victim of Hezbollah.
Hezbollah is a cancer inside Lebanon, but the victim Lebanon must not be slaughtered to excise the cancer.

The question in the long haul of the issue, is will Israel abandon it’s lands in favor of Hezbollah or will Hezbollah be disbanded? There is no other way to achieve a lasting peace. What is just?

As you pointed out, one’s position depends upon where one chooses to begin it’s history. Some choose 1945 while others choose the 1st century when Israel was destroyed by Rome and Israel was essentially disbanded though no fault of it’s own.

MB points out that if you give up your land for 2,000 years then you have no right to reclaim it. I might agree, but only if Israel gave up it’s lands voluntarily. Such was not the case.

As far as a Palestinian State. I’m not opposed to it and many argue strongly in favor of it. But doesn’t it seem strange that though they occupied Israel’s lands for 2,000 years, the Palestinian’s never established a Palestinian State? Even now they are in a state of turmoil having elected a terrorist organization as their leader.

No one even cared about the Palestinian’s until Iran and Syria decided to use them to further their goal of destroying Israel. As I stated in previous post, the Arabs don’t want co-existence with Israel, they want her destruction but they have used the Palestinian’s to distract the world from their goal.

As far as Israel giving up her lands to appease the Arabs, it ain’t gonna happen.

So people need to get used to the idea and start looking for a way to achieve a lasting peace, if possible, in the Middle East.

Rizalist said...

ap--your bring up a good point about history. as awful as some episodes in history are, we in the present often tend to ignore how much more awful history MIGHT have been had those episodes not occurred. An example close to heart is the Philippine American War. Yes it was a colonial conquest and many injustices did occur. But what actually happened is never compared to a realistic assessment of what COULD have happened instead. The fact that Bonifacio was killed by Aguinaldo, for example, could easily have been the basis for civil war between Cavitenos and the Manilenos, and wars among the various tribes that make up the Philippines today are never thought possible BECAUSE we already are one country today and a war among Kapampangans and Tagalogs is never considered as a real possibility if America did not plant democracy here.

For all we know, we could have been the Lebanon of Asia with a large Muslim population in the south supported by Indonesia and Malaysia, and a large Christian majority up north.

In fact, we are probably more like Israel in the region in that respect, with only the fact of being an archipelago saving us from a more intense friction with our neighbors.

But I put it to the thread: what about Mindanao? Whose "homeland" is it now? Should the Philippines "return" Mindanao to the Bangsa Moro People who stole it from the Lumads who took it from the aborigines?

Anonymous said...

Blaming the sins of the ancestors...

In some decisions of cases I have heard or read about,the heirs of the guilty party compensates the heirs of the victim, that for me is baloney. But as they say duralex rolex pirex or what ever.

Blaming the ancestors..hate crimes hate groups like the skinheads,the neo nazis, the Klu Klux Klan....

Started from blaming the ancestors,but later turned into street thugs emulating cats and dogs.
Unfortunately most of these groups are now piled up in America.

But Even in the Pinas,The ubusan ng lahi family feuds,even if the root cause or the two patriarchs are long dead,the descendants will somehow continue the feud.

The common denominator between,the antiseminists,racists,family feuds

is not religion,not race but HATRED

hatred,with having the root cause of ignorance.

AmericanPainter said...


As to claims that Israel has over reacted I will agree that she has come out with a very strong offense and many innocents have been killed. But let’s keep in mind that she is under attack from those that choose to hide behind the shield of innocents which makes Hezbollah just as guilty as Israel, of killing the innocents.

Also keep in mind that Israel is in the unenviable position of having Five Arab States wanting her destroyed. She dare not show any weakness or hesitation to be willing to take the battle to them when attacked. The best defense in war is a strong offense.

Just as someone in a previous post claimed America had no right to kill 100,000 in Japan in 1945 with nuclear weapons. They argue that the war was almost over.

What they choose to ignore is that America would have had to invade fortress Japan to end the war, costing an estimated 100,000 + American soldiers lives. So in that case, which country should lose 100,000? Japan STARTED the WAR! America justifiably ended it. It is the way we do things, don’t like it - then they should have left us alone - we forever will hold to premise of the civil war flag that carried a picture of a rattlesnake with the words, “DON’T TREAD ON ME!”

Dean, if anyone flames me over the above remark (which I expect) I will retaliate in kind! There are many who resent a strong America!

Likewise Arabs started the war against Israel and it is more Arabs that are suffering. There are, however, innocents on both sides that are losing their lives. Israel is better prepared with bomb shelters while the Arabs are not causing world attention to the Arab suffering but that could have been avoided by the Arabs simply “leaving sleeping dogs lie.” Israel believes in the same “Don’t tread on me” thinking.

AmericanPainter said...


I’ve never really understood America’s motive for the Philippine war, not having been alive at that time and my history is a little muddled on it.

Was it for the sole purpose of establishing a democracy? Did she suddenly decide to establish a Colonial empire? What??

I’d like your opinion on this.

Anonymous said...

As far as what I know the spanish amercican war started in Havana Cuba and since The Philippines was a colony of Spain,the war moved here.

It sems that Cuba has a lot to do with America becoming a super power,from the spanish american war to the Cuban missile crisis.

Amadeo said...

I’d like to end my contribution to this discussion with this.

If Ms. A. Roy has earned the name of anti-American even from a couple of leftist sources, then I say she has to defend and acquit herself from this label. For as far as my puny intelligence can discern in the domestic context, this is what those sources are implying at worst:

“an irrational phenomenon that configures the United States and the American way of life as threatening at their core, or having sentiment hostile to United States that reflects a truly prejudiced belief system.” (Wikipedia – Anti-American sentiment)

But anyway, what is apropos under this current discussion is the issue of Lebanon, Hezbollah, Palestine, and Israel in light of the present conflicts. IMHO, I find no ancillary relevance for bringing in a harsh indictment of the US and what it stands for under that context.

Re the statements attributed to Messrs.Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer, even granting their complete veracity and credibility, they are still part of older history and leave out recent developments, which clearly are more relevant and constructive in the long journey toward the path of peace and co-existence.

BTW, I made the advertent qualification above because when this controversial study came out, it raised quite a stir here in the US and a little Googling will reveal the extent of concerns for its worrisome conclusions.

If an acceptable premise to a peaceful resolution is Israel's public pronouncement and acknowledgment of a separate and distinct Palestinian state, with the occupied or disputed lands in the Gaza Strip and The West Bank as the core Palestinian territory, then these are the clearly public developments:

Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

As late as January 2006, Israel had started to evacuate from the West Bank.

I am not sure how much of the West Bank Israel is willing part with, though I have read as much as 90%, where from a low of 1.2 to a high of 2.4 Palestinians live.

Granted that Israel has not formally announced its acceptance of a Palestinian state, but polls show that a majority of Israelis have come to accept the likelihood of a Palestinian state. BTW, the US current administration has publicly given its support for a separate Palestinian state.

And in 2003, as much as 73% of Israelis have favored a complete or partial withdrawal from the West Bank, in pursuit of that elusive peace.

To reiterate, that study detailing the Israel Lobby in the US appeared in the sights of many sources, both pro and con. Again, a little Googling will suffice. I confess many sources debunking some or many of the study's findings come from those on the right. But then ideology plays such a crucial and sticky role in the political life of any nation. In this fractious world we live in, it can be argued that people may find your patent ideology as inextricably beclouding your clear perception of certain issues.

So I have chosen to recommend a not so popular site, one may even say it is obscure and unscholarly, but anyway take a look and pick your sides. No ad hominem or personal skirmishes, just rebuttals on referenced statements.


Abe N. Margallo said...

Dean, you are probably referring to argumentum ad verecundiam (appeal to authority) which in remedial law could be the equivalent of expert testimony. You will note though that, even if I buy your argument that citing authority is a valid fallacy, the value of the citation is not so much the personalities of the authors who wrote it as the “historical facts” presented. Are you denying or do you have contrary authorities refuting those historical facts, as unearthed by the scholarship of the authors, or you are more comfortable appealing to biblical authorities? (btw, honestly, I’m not certain at all if the proclamation of the state of Israel in 1948 was based on the Bible. I’ll be glad to know if you have any authority to the contrary.)

I cited the Harvard study in support of my rhetorical question that HB has quoted above to the effect that the important and key parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (i.e., Israel as well as U.S. supposedly as a peace broker) may not really be sincere in recognizing the aspiration of the Palestinian people for nationhood and for a normally functioning state capable of invoking the right to self-defense just like the state of Israel.

Another example: America’s motive for colonizing the Philippines (which AP is asking about) was to make the Philippines a base for trade with China (although the talking points at that time was “to civilize and Chistianize the (Filipinos)” and to fulfill “the white man’s burden” (amadeo, this is the relevance of A. Roy’s essay in the light of Dubya’s PRESENT doctrine to spread and promote democracy and liberty in Iraq and the Middle East, and to “modernize” those countries supposedly still stuck with their ancient glories).

Dean, America’s imperialist motivation and the above quote from President McKinley and Rudyard Kipling are not disputed today. I’m not sure if reference to these historical facts if cited by any scholar or in Wikipedia will be considered as argumentum ad verecundiam.

Juan said...

"But I put it to the thread: what about Mindanao? Whose "homeland" is it now?"

The Bangsa Moro People, the Lumads, the aborigines and each and every Filipino home and abroad.

Rizalist said...

AP--Why did America come to the Philippines? A very excellent question over which I have pondered long and hard and about which it might be interesting to start a new thread soon. I will present a comprehensive theory about it, but for now it would seem that the establishment of democracy was certainly a big part of it, as evidenced by the quick establishment (right after the war) of what would seem to be a rather different kind of conquered colony than European nations established in other places: we had popular democratic elections as early as 1905 or 1906; universal public education was established throughout the pacified portions of the archipelago; remember that the Philippines is the first Democracy in Asia (June 12, 1898), and even after the First Republic lost its sovereignty during the Phiilippine American War, the conditions under colonial rule undoubtedly were better than had Aguinaldo come to power.

But the very interesting question still remains: why did they come and then establish a democracy?

I think it had something deeply emotional to do with what happened to the "redskins" -- the indios of America, and the manumission of the Negro race. Perhaps it was America EVOLVING, a process of corrigibility that was the result of McKinley reflecting upon the entire American experience up to his time, and the impending fin de seicle (end of the century). NO matter how some now deride the idea of "Benevolent Assimilation" it was a real and earnest idea in William Howard Taft, the first civilian governor general of the Philippines, later President of the United States and Supreme Court Chief Justice until 1928(?). It was an idea that he tried his best to fulfill as shown in everything done from when the war ended (1902) till the elections of 1912. After 1912, when Woodrow Wilson defeated Taft and Theodore Roosevelt in that pivotal elections, lots of things changed...

Let's put it to the thread...


Rizalist said...


I just heard Amalim Centi Tillah (chairman of the Bangsa Moro People's NATIONAL Congress) tell Tony Velasquez the other night something very different. He completely disagrees with you! Mindanao is the Bangsa Moro people's homeland, and they are about to strike a deal with GMA that large parts of Mindanao become their ancestral domain. That is why the Lumads oppose the coming arrangements. This could create a new Lebanon/Palestine/Israel problem down there. They claim, I think with historical correctness(!) that Mindanao was not sold to America by the Spaniards in the Treaty of Paris and the US just "gerrymandered" or annexed Mindanao as part of "the Philippines" in 1946!

According to Abe and MB's arguments we have to give it back to them to achieve peace. Do you agree with that?

Anonymous said...

Was it not that when the Americans defeated Spain,Puerto Rico,Guam and The Philippines was part of the package?

I know they have to pay for it in the treaty of Paris.

And whether on not this Willima Grayson fellow shot a Filipino soldier in its teritory in San Juam or Manila started the Filipino-American war,this begs me again to ask which trumps what,Teritory or sovereignty.

The trade with chinese may be a valid reason for others especially,navy ships have reacched as far as Hong Kong then.

I believe Filipnos have already been to the US.Rizalist,Has Rizal been to the US?
Of course We have been trading with Mexico and maybe California,for all we know The US might have gotten the idea of the land called the Philippines based from Filipino first hand information as a resuklt of the Manila Acapulco trades.

As to why they came,I don't know maybe they wanted more Manila hemp (abaca)which was a major export of the Philippines for more than half of a century.

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