Tuesday, August 1, 2006

The Other Side

On the Archersnook (DLSU) Yahoo Group yesterday, I offered to publish any statement about the ongoing war in Lebanon here at Philippine Commentary from Lebanese Consul General in Manila Joseph F. Assad, an old batchmate at La Salle Green Hills and a Lebanese Christian whose own daughter was among the first to be evacuated from Lebanon last week. He posted this article, with the message "Blog this!" -- It is reproduced here in full (with only extraneous whitespace removed) in the interest of presenting the other side after I wrote I am with Israel last week:
The Human Shield Lie Exposed

On the heels of Israel's horrendous massacre of more than 60 civilians in Qana, among them OVER 40 CHILDREN, I will lay to rest once and for all, the colossal lie presented in unison by these mass murderers and their accomplices, in defense of the indefensible - the position that Hizbullah uses civilians as "human shields" against overwhelming Israeli aggression.

Nothing could be more illogical or absurd. Let's examine it carefully.

When someone uses another human being as a "shield," under the plain meaning of the word, it is understood to be a method to deter aggression by adversaries. In order for that objective to be achieved, crucial premises must first exist.

The party who employs the human shield MUST assume that their adversary will hesitate to fire against those shields for fear of harming them.

But in order for that to happen, the adversary must first CARE about the welfare of the so-called "human shields."

If the opposing party DOES NOT CARE about their welfare, then the alleged objective of deterring aggression falls apart.

For example, in the United States, a bank robber might take a hostage to deter the use of overwhelming force by police. In every case, the police DO NOT fire for fear that they might jeopardize the life of the hostage.

Indeed, Israelis frequently take civilians hostage to use as human shields because Hamas fighters are reluctuant to fire on them.

In contrast, Israel has proved time and again, beyond ANY reasonable doubt, that they ARE NOT deterred in any manner whatsoever from employing overwhelming force against whatever target they see fit, regardless of whether civilians are in the area.

Israel's routine AFTER-THE-FACT attempts to characterize civilian victims of their ruthless aggression as Hizbullah's "human shields" is nothing less than a diabolical effort to twist the meaning of the phrase beyond all recognition.

Once the bogus "shield" or deterrence theory is rejected, the only alternative Israel presents in its favor is the outrageous suggestion that Hizbullah fired from near civilian areas for the purpose of proving that Israel DOES NOT CARE about massive civilian deaths. In other words, not as a method to deter aggression but as a method to win the PR war against Israel. If believed, then indeed Hizbullah succeeded in proving that Israel DOES NOT CARE ONE IOATA about the lives of innocent Arab civilians.

Under such an outrageous theory, civilians cannot be characterized as "human shields," but instead must be called "human sacrifices" for the purpose of exposing Israeli savagery.

If accepted, this theory cannot prove that Hizbullah is cynically using innocent civilians without FIRST establishing that Israelis are savage barbarians.

Hizbullah can only prove about Israel that which is already TRUE.

In such a scenario, Hizbullah's alleged cynicism cannot be a cause in fact of civilian deaths without an intervening and proximate cause - the depraved indifference by Israelis to massive loss of innocent civilian lives.

Make no mistake, Israelis are not only remorseless mass murderers, they are unrepentant liars - the most evil combination known to man.


For clarification, I categorically reject the ridiculous assertion that Hizbullah uses their families' lives as pawns in a PR game to prove a point that is already CRYSTAL CLEAR from how Israel conducts itself in Palestine.

The TRUTH is that Hizbullah fights from their neighborhoods. They have no other option. After all it is their country and they are defending it.

ISRAEL could invade the border with ground forces and attempt to attack Hizbullah selectively with very little Lebanese civilian casualties. But, that course of action results in high Israeli military casualties, which Israel is not willing to suffer.

Instead, they engage in a twisted racist and depraved cost/benefit analysis wherein they choose to KILL HUNDREDS of innocent Arab civilians by using overwhelming arial force rather than risk dozens of Israeli military lives.

One can only conclude that Israelis are craven and depraved cowards, who consider the lives of their military men more precious than the lives of innocent Arab civilians.

And the WORLD knows this as sure as they know that the sun rises from the east.

Israel, you cannot escape the TRUTH.

Abandon your insanity - YOU CANNOT WIN.



"Indeed, Israelis frequently take civilians hostage to use as human shields because Hamas fighters are reluctuant to fire on them."

That is an interesting thought.

AmericanPainter said...

I’m glad that you gave us a chance to hear the other side. It is always good to know where they are coming from. But I question his long diatribe on how the Hezbullah does not hide behind their own people when he then freely admits:

“The TRUTH is that Hizbullah fights from their neighborhoods. They have no other option. After all it is their country and they are defending it”

Come-on!!! He’s kidding right??? - their neighborhoods? No other choice? They have no country side to set up their mortars and missal launchers? Or is it that Israel would have a clearer shot at them without "human shields.???

Defending?? All they have to do to end it is stop firing their deadly missals and mortars.

Additionally the "human shields." have had ample warning by Israel to leave the area, do you suppose that Hezbullah wouldn’t allow them to leave?



Could you clarify with your batchmate if his post refers in any manner whatsoever to what the Israeli army or Maariv asserted as stated in the latest info from Le Figaro (considered major daily in France) or is it based on his own personal sentiment? Thanks.


Dernières informations
16:24 Israël nie demander l'évacuation de libanais
L'armée israélienne nie avoir demandé aux habitants du nord de la rivière Litani, au Liban, d'évacuer leurs maisons avant une opération au sol, comme l'affirme le site Internet du journal israélien Maariv. (Avec Reuters)

My translation of above:

Latest info: 16:24 (01 Aug) Israel denies asking Lebanese to evacuation

The Israeli army denies having asked inhabitants in the norh of the Litani river in Lebanon to evacuate their houses before one a land-based operation as asserted by the Internet site of Maariv, an Israeli newspaper.

Juan said...

the term 'collateral damage' is so evil that it must either be expunged from media usage and/or be regarded as a heinous war crime.

hey AP! Isn't that so Americanese huh? 'COLLATERAL DAMAGE'. Just saw in the news a man carrying a girl hit in Qana, explain to them 'Merican kids 'COLLATERAL DAMAGE' and show them those videos, huh?

I bet you can justify 'COLLATERAL DAMAGE' faster than you explain it to your kids, huh?

If you can get your kids to lay down on the streets be ready to be run over by your flashy cars until Israel-US ceasefire, then maybe you can still save THEIR future!



The news item below concerns the Foreign Military Funding/Financing that the US accords Israel.

According to The Times report "Israel receives $2.6 billion in foreign military financing from America every year. Three quarters of this aid has to be spent on products sold by US companies, but in reality nearly all of it goes back to American firms."

Right now, Israel is awaiting delivery of 102 F16s + 100 GBU28s (bunker busters).

I believe Egypt receives around 2.2 to 2.4 billion US dollars to help finance its military or a couple of hundred million dollars more or less than what Israel receives yearly.

(Shit! Shit! Shit! Dean, Can you imagine what RP could do with 10% of that FMF to Israel? The Philippines receives pittance, not even enough to buy band-aid for RP troops or to buy a couple of 4th hand F5s. US wouldn't even trust RP with a 10th hand Stinger that she had to beg France to give her a few Mistrals!And RP is SUPPOSED TO BE a major US non-NATO ally...What a laugh.)

Although US FMF acounts only for 20% of Israel's defence budget, it's hefty enough to use for acquisition of high-tech military hardware to keep Israel on the roll for war against the Hezbollahs ad vitam eternam.

To read more: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13129-2293610,00.html

The Times August 01, 2006

Israel awaits delivery of $4.2bn in weaponry from US defence firms
By David Robertson

ISRAEL has more than $4 billion (£2.1 billion) in outstanding credit and undelivered orders with American defence contractors.
Since 2001 the Israeli Armed Forces have been allocated $10.5 billion in military aid from the US Government, but they have received only $6.3 billion-worth of arms.

The remaining $4.2 billion of weaponry will be purchased or delivered over the next few years, although with Israel engaged in attacks on southern Lebanon a number of these orders are being expedited.


Can tell you and even guarantee you that the people who are hoping this war won't end so soon are military hardware making companies, specifically the ones in the US and some in Britain.


Oh yeah, almost forgot - many guys from Carlyle Group should be ecstatic! They see their shares hitting the roof... I can hear Daddy Bush (who's on the board of the Carlyle Group) saying... Yeeehawwww!

Anonymous said...

On the question of AP why not setup mortars and missile launchers in the country side,so no civilians will be hit.

There are now mobile missile launchers,unlike before that they are heavy and immobile.

Well,that does not answer your question,maybe this will.
They did not go in the open because that would be like lying there waiting for the bombers just to drop at their awaiting carcass.

What about the immobile launchers ,surely not all the rocket launchers were portable launchers,how many have been hit?
Zero ,right?

The aerial attacks are as loose canon as loose canons can be, and they claim that Hizbollah are the loose canons for killing not only Israeli Jews,but Israeli Arabs as well.

For the Isaraeli Arabs whose families have been hit,they say that it is a sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing,the international community wants Lebanon to stand on its own,and sort of disciplining Hizbollah..

GWB made a speech,saying the same.

What is that?Tough love.

Now as to letting Israel be.

Who occupied Lebanon,while they are at the middle of a civil war/
After the civil war has stopped,who decided that they should stay for another ten years?

Who decided to still have an occupied teritory,after their so called pullout?

Now, they are asking for Lebanon to stand on their own,and it is about time to discipline Hizbollah.

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

I was actually trying hard not to comment on this subject but the post of Assad that "Israel, you cannot win" got to me.

First, DJB, I am for Israel too but perhaps for another reason. But I want to answer Assad: "ISRAEL CANNOT LOSE." What for me is a greater crime is for Hezbollah to operate within the confines of civilians and expects to be attacked in order to prove a PR point. If they are really that brave they should operate in an area where they are isolated from civilians and the Israelis military should also do that and then they can engage each other in a total war. DJB, the Israelis will still win.

The Israelis gives no quarters when they fight and they ask for none. They are surrounded by their enemies and yet since 1948, against all odds, they have not been defeated. They will win and they believe they will. You cannot kill that spirit.

Rizalist said...


"Israel you cannot win."

I found this particular statement CHILLING to say the least. Because it sounds an awful lot like, "Israel you may as well surrender now and just die."

At first I thought it's just the emotion of the situation. But it's more than that. It's perhaps more of a revealing admission about the true goal of organizations like Hezbollah.

kulas said...

What does winning mean to Israel? Is it wiping out Hizbollah? How about wiping out Hamas? Al Qaeda, perhaps? If it is, then I don’t think Israel can win just much as Hizbollah cannot win

Let us say that an international force is placed in south Lebanon. How long will they stay there, forever? And will Hizbollah and the other terrorists organization really stop? Will Israel be really secure? Will we be secure?

Israel must settle the Palestinian issue. That way, we all win.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to make of the Arab Israeli victims'point of view.They say that it is a sacrifice being hit in the crossfire and that they were hit by"friendly" fire.

There are no winners here.Both sies fire rockets both sides hit and miss.Everybody can be a target.

Before Al qaida and JI in the 21st century, Hizbolla did the same thing during the 90s,they hit latin america and South East Asia.

I wonder how the foreign and local policy makers make their policies
based on a catch 22,Sophie's choice and other catch phrases that says nobody wins.

Amadeo said...


The entire quote is a blog entry coming from this site:


and is authored by somebody with the ID of qrswave, one of several contributors to the site. Thus your Christian Lebanese schoolmate had no part in it.

Two statements in the quote were interesting to me:

1. "Indeed, Israelis frequently take civilians hostage to use as human shields because Hamas fighters are reluctant to fire on them."

If one reads the comments on the above-cited blog, one asked for proof of this allegation. But I did not read through the last comment to know if there was any positive reply. Except that if one googles, IDF human shields, there is a case of recent vintage involving Israelis
in Lebanon that is being investigated by Israel.

2. "The TRUTH is that Hizbullah fights from their neighborhoods. They have no other option. After all it is their country and they are defending it."

Is this an admission that indeed Hizbullah is part of Lebanon and its government?

And re: Carlyle Group, which is a private equity investment firm and is usually mentioned when big oil and Saudi Arabia issues flare up, here's a wiki site for some useful info:


And here is what would be pertinent to the current administration:

"The connection to the Bush family, however, is somewhat tenuous. Former President George H.W. Bush retired from Carlyle in October 2003. He never invested in any defense deals or any companies that do business with the government and his only role as a Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Asia Advisory Board was to give speeches at Carlyle events. Meanwhile, while it is true that President George W. Bush served on the Board of Directors of early Carlyle acquisition CaterAir, he was asked to leave two years later by one of the founders and has had no personal dealings with Carlyle ever since."

And for our compatriots here's a little juicy bit, under Politicians affiliated with it:

Fidel Ramos, former president of the Philippines, Carlyle Asia Advisor Board Member until the board was disbanded in 2004.

Maybe he can fill in some of the details about this group.

Jon Mariano said...

If we go back in time just before the start of this current crisis, I would personally think that it was Hezbollah (What's the right spelling, Hizbullah?) who really started it. It was confirmed by one official who said that they underestimated Israel's response.

Israel on the other hand is guilty of over-reaction, inappropriate for the situation.

Both sides of the fence are fiercely dogmatic. Hezbollah says Israel must be wiped out, and Israel says there can be no peace while Hezbollah exists so they too must be purged. Not surprisingly, majority of each contry's population support their government's stand. Thus ambassador Assad's emotions is just a reflection of Lebanon's majority.

To me, both sides are wrong and must be disciplined by the international community! The hell on the ground is just a by-product of the bigger tactical error on both sides. They are the latest who forgot that in war, there are no winners.



This war is fought by both Israel and the Hezbollahs on an ideology. In an assymetric type of warfare, I don't think there's gonna be an easy win for either side.

On the face of it, the Hezbollahs can't match the military capability (and resolve) of the Israelis to wage a protracted war.

At the end of the day, the continuity of this assymetrical warfare will boil down to funds.

America's part financing of Israel's war through FMF is an enormous boost for Israel's resolve. We know that Israel has billions of dollars worth of outstanding orders for US-made war equipment and more to come (from FY2006 onward). Moreover, Israel has its own defence manufacturing companies like IAI to rely on too.

(US defence items manufacturers as well as Israeli companies are making a killing - no pun intended - and should be patting each other on the back while saying "Jolly good!".)

If Iran can produce weapons as fast as the Hezbollahs need them, and this despite their being not as sophisticated as those produced by the US for Israel, this conflict ain't gonna be over soon (at least not in 2 weeks or so as Olmert's defence minister reckoned).

One solution to end this Hezbollah-Israel conflict is for Israel TO FLATTEN ALL OF LEBANON, I mean pulverize all of the southern part at least and of course, while they are at it, bomb Beirut to kingdom come.


Obviously, the world must be prepared for reprisals. I mean not just against Israel but also against the nations that are overtly supporting Israel.

You can imagine that the US and other nations are not gonna stand idly watch that happen.

Such scenario will surely force Iran out of the "doldrums' and bingo...


I believe the largest concentration of Muslims are not in the Middle East but in the Asia region, i.e., Indonesia, Pakistan and 55% of Malaysia...


Dean, perhaps I am completely wrong and maybe you got a different take on how to end the conflict between the Hezbollahs and Israel?


On human shields:

"The Jewish bandits are despicable cowards who hide behind women and children." - SS-Gruppenführer Jürgen Stroop on the resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto, 1943.



Dernières informations http://www.lefigaro.fr/

10:25 Le Hezbollah 'entièrement détruit' (Olmert)

L'infrastructure du mouvement chiite libanais est "entièrement detruite", selon le premier ministre isralélien.

(Latest info:10:25 Hezbollah 'completely destroyed' (Olmert)

The infrastructrure of the Lebanese-Shiite movemnet is "completely destroyed", according to the Israeli prime minister.)

Rizalist said...


"...maybe you got a different take on how to end the conflict between the Hezbollahs and Israel...?

In the short run there is no question that an international peacekeeping force will have to come in to uhmm keep the peace. But what are the necessary steps while there is such a peace being kept by the international community.

I think that the disarming of Hezbollah is the only principled means by which Hezbollah even remotely stands a chance of being considered legitimate, unless we want to legitimize private armies.

I am not convinced that the nonstate actors that have states and governments like Lebanon by the throat would do the same, even if Israel herself never stepped foot outside her borders.

But I am convinced that if all attacks on her were denounced instead of funded by the Arab states and her right to exist accepted, she would NOT be attacking Lebanon or any other Arab country.

Under what conditions would YOU have the same confidence in Hezbollah.
What do you say Israel or the world must do for all of us to have that confidence in Hezbollah, Hamas, AQ, Iran, or Syria?

Tom said...

"They are the latest who forgot that in war, there are no winners." Hogwash! Tell that to the North Vietnamese who ate the South Vietnames and the USA forces, and before that the French, for lunch. Everybody just had to accept that the winners took the spoils. Is anybody advocating now for the South Vietnamese to have their own separate nation again? There's no doubt part of Vietnam is their native soil.

Why can't peoples and nations accept that Israel now possesses, and by force of possession, owns the land they inhabit?

If the Arabs and their cousins would leave Israel alone, I believe Israel would be happy as a clam. Of late they are even amenable to the idea of a Palestinian state.

Israel does not send suicide bombers to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria or any of its neighbors to blow up busloads of innocent civilians. But the other side routinely does. Israel is literally a David facing a collection of Goliaths. And these Goliaths won't even go face to face with him, unlike the original.

In another thread I proposed that the Arabs donate land, say in Saudi Arabia, for all these enemies of Israel who want land of their own. With all their petrodollars, they can easily create booming economies for Hezbollah, Hamas, etc. I know this is simplistic, but just like anything posited here, it's just an idea.

baycas said...

collateral damage they are not
they are martyrs...numerous at that!

in this war...certainly reducible
but nonetheless inevitable


though i'm really for Israel in this fight (self-defense premise) the end is not in the near future with these requisites from olmert:

when the threat over their heads is removed,
when the kidnapped israelis return home, and
when the israelis can live in security.

...an insurmountable goal as long as both H's exist!

i can just pray for a ceasefire...if only the UN security council can come up with a resolution not as inutile as the previous ones.

Anonymous said...

""They are the latest who forgot that in war, there are no winners." Hogwash! Tell that to the North Vietnamese who ate the South Vietnames and the USA forces, and before that the French, for lunch."

Did the north Vietnamese really win?

Sure they drove away two colonial powers,but

Again,this is just an idea too.

War is not just military wars,as long as there is something to fight about like war on poverty(familiar to us Filipinos?)war on ignorance,etc.etc.

The war goes on.
So is there really a victor who claims the spoils?.

War is the ultimate vicious cycle,it goes round and round
so who can claim victor,when it never ends.

Rizalist said...

Paradoxical term is "collateral damage". When used by official military spokesman from Israel or the US or other strong military power, it is derided as callousness at the loss of innocent human lives. And perhaps we do not mourn or protest or condemn enough such loss. But I wish there were a greater sense of irony when the media or bloggers use it. For look--it is never applied to the effects of Hezbollah rocket attacks or other terrorist depredations.


Because innocent civilians ARE the intended targets of those attacks, which they are never sorry or remorseful for.

There should be no rejoicing over the death of innocents on either side. But there should be perspective...and irony!

Words and shibboleths can kill just like bombs and missiles because they are what cause us to do things...or not do things.

baycas said...

yes, paradoxical term it is. i don't want to read of it (esp. in non-military sources) as justification for the accidental hits/carnages. it just speaks of military doublespeak.

collateral damage (CD) when you hit a target unintended.
likewise, it is CD when intentional target is hit...to escape responsibility from what happened!

Tom said...

The North Vietnamese must have lost then, according to somebody's reckoning. Hitler and Mussolini won. Ali lost to Frazier in the Thrilla in Manila.

Tom said...

I share your observation, Dean, and ask: Where is the outrage from some of these people when Hezbollah and their cousins intentionally blow up busloads of Israeli civilians?

Rizalist said...

Filipinos share so closely the idealism of America that even our "anti-Americanism" is so...American! Such arguments as we find here, on both sides of the divide, are also to be found in the American discourse. We cannot "escape" America because she is so "large" and "inclusive". Heck, the most cogent anti-American rhetoric comes from Americans. Luckily, so does the opposite. The strength of America lies in the fact that despite such plural, antagonistic discourse, what has emerged frequently enough has been the right thing for humanity. I think we must never lose sight of our fallibity in that respect so that we may never lose faith in our values and in ourselves!

Tom said...

Thanks Dean. Fortunately, in the world of ideas and ideals, as in physics, there is (almost) always an equal and opposite reaction to every action. Personally, I find it good to read and argue with opposing views (although I only have time to make occasional sniper shots instead of shotgun blasts), if only to exercise my own mental faculties.I enjoy your analysis of the intentional and unintentional logical falacies proferred here. Thanks for all your effort and time in stimulating intelligent and passionate interchange of views here. Sometimes I feel like we're just all about words, but then am reminded that words are the stuff which make up sentences and ideas which in turn give expression to ideals which drive people into action. The intellectual has a place together with the farmer, the soldier, and the activist.

baycas said...

Israel attacked.

taga ilog said...

Israel 'should face war crimes tribunal'

From correspondents in Ankara
August 04, 2006 04:50am

ISRAEL should appear before an international war crimes tribunal for its deadly offensive against Lebanon, the head of the Turkish parliament's human rights committee said today.

"War crimes tribunals should act to punish Israel's state terror and crimes against humanity," Mehmet Elkatmis told reporters here.

"Otherwise, it does not look like Israel will stop.

"It accepts no international agreement, nor human values - it is crazedly pursuing its attacks," he said ahead before an emergency meeting of his committee to discuss the situation in Lebanon.

Describing the Israeli offensive as "brutality", Mr Elkatmis said: "It seems to me that Israel is making innocent people pay for Hitler's genocide".

He accused world powers, the United Nations and the European Union of failing to act to stop the hostilities.

"If Israel is to blame for the violence, those who keep silent and provide indirect support (to Israel) are also to blame," Mr Elkatmis said.

Turkey, a secular, non-Arab, Muslim-majority country has been Israel's main regional ally since the two countries signed a military deal in 1996.

But ties have cooled with the Islamist-rooted Turkish government criticising the Jewish nation's policies and actions in the region.

Israeli military operations in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon have also ired Turkish MPs.

About 70 of them have resigned in protest since June from a parliamentary friendship group with their Israeli colleagues, according to parliamentary sources.


boinky said...

Guess those Filipina maids who died because their employers imprisoned them so they couldn't leave are also "collateral damage"...

Rizalist said...


Welcome to Philippine Commentary.

Regarding "collateral damage". Notice that this term is never applied to the deaths of innocent civilians that are caused by terrorist attacks, like 911 or Bali or the Hezbollah's random rocket attacks on Northern Israel. Do you know why? It is because in those cases all civilians ARE the intended targets of those attacks.

Now I shall grant you that when the horrific accidents of war as conducted by powerful militaries like Israel and the US are visited on such civilians, the term "collateral damage" as used by those militaries can easily be portrayed by us with a certain sarcasm, meant indeed to portray ourselves as somehow caring more about those civilian casualties than the militaries that inflicted them. But I would suggest it is chic kind of hypocrisy. In the case of those two maids, you possibly care more about them dead than if they actually worked for you as DHs. But only because you can use "collateral damage" as if you really understood what a tragic sense always accompanies "collateral damage" when real soldiers and their armies are forced to endure our sarcasm and chic.