10 August, 2006

Proper Reaction?

Over the last month I have seen a lot of criticism of Israel's attack on Lebanon as an "overreaction" or "disproportionate". But I haven't seen anyone except Emirati blog about what a proper response to the kidnapping of their soldiers would have been. I was wondering if anyone else here had offered such an opinion and I missed it.

Please note that I am not criticizing by asking this. Everyone certainly has the right to blog about whatever they want.

25 comments:

clive thomas said...

and etisalat ha sthe right to block it ,i guess!

Hesham said...

First off..It was not kidnapping...Hizbollah CAPTURED the two SOLDIERS...why? Because solders either get killed, wounded and captured..thats why there are the Geneva Convention...or are you claiming that these israel is above these laws..just like it is above so many UN mandates that it has ignored.

ahmed said...

There were parts of Lebanon that were under Israeli occupation when the soldiers were captured. So technically Israel was at war when its soldiers got captured. And keep in mind that they were soldiers who got captured, not civilians.

Brn said...

clive,

My point about people being allowed to blog about what they want is more along these lines:

I hate it when people on one side of an issue demand that people on the other blog about something, usually because they want it to be condemned. So I wanted to be clear (and clearly failed) to say that I wasn't doing that.

Brn said...

hesham and ahmed,

I wasn't so much wanting to debate the war itself as to hear opinions as to what the reaction of Israel should have been. However, to address your points in order:

I agree, during a war, a foreign government "captures" soldiers. However, since

a) Israel and Lebanon were not at war (at least not a declared war)
b) Hezbollah, not the Lebonese army took the soldiers. Hezbollah is not a government army but a private militia and therefore not covered by the Geneva Conventions any more than any private group is (not to mention that Hezbollah is violating the Geneva conventions by using civilain areas to attack from), and

c) most people believe that the soldiers were taken (to use as neutral a word as I can) as bargining chips to get Israel to release people that they were holding (see for example this post on this very blog), then kidnapping seems the most appropriate word.

As to Israeli occupation of Lebanon, I assume you mean the the Sheba Farms area. I understand that Hezbollah says that the Israeli presence here justifies their actions. Since this is a disputed area, Israel took it from Syria in the 1967 war, and the UN in 2000 recognized that Israel had completely withdrawn from Lebanon, I believe that you oversimplifying things to state as if it is a bald fact that Israel was occupying Lebanese territory.

Second, if Israel and Lebanon were at war, then it seems that you cannot condemn Israeli's bombing campaign as an overreaction or disproportionate.

Tim Newman said...

Emirati's post is without doubt the most sensible thing I have read on this topic to date. Well done!

BD said...

In reference to Brn's question, which was quite clear and a fair question, my response:

First of all, I won't even try to respond in the specifics that Emirati does in the post you (Brn) reference in your original post.

My position is that a measured response would have not involved bombing basic infrastructure, as also happened in Gaza.

1) A measured response would have been to beef up security arrangements at the Israeli camp that allowed the soldiers to be abducted in the first place.

2) If it were not known where the captured soldiers were being held and there was no way to retrieve them without incurring numerous military casualties on one's own side or civilian casualties on either side, then some form of non-military pressure should have been explored, short of negotiating with the abductors.

Simple enough, right? Talk to the UN, talk to the US, talk to the government of Lebanon, talk to the government of Saudi Arabia, etc. Israel could have sought out ways to pressure Hizbollah into releasing its soldiers.

None of this happened. Day 1, soldiers abducted, day 2, entirety of Lebanon bombed. Clearly, there was another agenda here.

Hesham said...

BRN" Hezbollah is violating the Geneva conventions by using civilain areas to attack from"

If i never hear that logic again it wouldnt be soon enough.

Where would suggest hizbollah to attack from? A destroyer? AN aircraft carrier? A drone plane? A sattilite guided missile?

Let me clarify. By International law, if there is occupation then resistance is a legitimate action regardless of any treaties made (think of France occupied germany).

It would be easy to envision that if someone is occupying your land then by default a state of war exists since ooccupation is aggression.

It is so sad to see eduacted people making ignorant remarks.

Brn said...

hesham,

I'm a little confused as to you calling me ignorant. You seem to be admitting that they are using civilian areas to attack from. So are you asserting that there is no where else to attack from? There is no place in Southern Lebanon except the middle of residential neighborhoods to launch missles from? I will admit, I have never been there, but that does seem a little difficult to believe. If all of Southern Lebanon is one big residential neighborhood, the it seems amazing that with all the shooting and bombing that more people haven't been killed.

And again, you are just asserting that Israel is occupying their land. You may be right, but I think that the situation is more complicated than you are claiming.

But even if true, you are using this statement to assert that a state of war exists. If so then you have to admit that the bombing of the infrastructure targets (power plants, airport, bridges, etc) is no longer objectionable, as it is allowable during war.

Balushi said...

I have replied to this posst in my blog!


http://balushi402.blogspot.com/

Tim Newman said...

Let me clarify. By International law, if there is occupation then resistance is a legitimate action regardless of any treaties made (think of France occupied germany).

...
It would be easy to envision that if someone is occupying your land then by default a state of war exists since ooccupation is aggression.


By International Law, Israel is not occupying any Lebanese territory, having withdrawn its forces in 2000. Your argument is therefore fatally flawed.

Hesham said...

If part of the Israeli plan is to occupy towns/vilages then the defenders will defend these towns.

I guess with the current word outook of locking up people with out due process, the endorssment of torture rape, humiliation and absolute racism...then why not add bombing civilians and infrastructure....

Tim:

Re-check your faqs baby...

Tim Newman said...

Re-check your faqs baby...

Facts rechecked:

The Security Council welcomes with satisfaction the report of the Secretary-General of 16 June 2000 (S/2000/590) and endorses the work done by the United Nations as mandated by the Security Council, including the Secretary- General's conclusion that as of 16 June 2000 Israel has withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and met the requirements defined in the Secretary-General’s report of 22 May 2000 (S/2000/460).

Hesham, you're talking shite.

Hesham said...

Tim:

Check you faqs again... your obssesion with proving israel is justified killing our childen has blinded you to the facts that stare at you in the face...

Markus said...

Brn,

I think Hishams suggests ignorance on the issue from the simplistic arguments you are making. You are, probably inadvertedly acting as an apologist to the Israeli actions, namely the bombing of civilians and infrastructure. It is not acceptable. PERIOD. Especially when, as you say, Israel is an official government and Hizbolla is a private militia. This serves as an additional reason why ISrael has no excuse to bomb resedential areas no matter what their justification is. You are adamntly taking sides in this fight, and are not as neutral as you suggested initially. I have not defended or supported the actions of Hizbollah, in case you have not noticed, but for you to suggest that it is Hizbollhas fault that all these civilians have been massacered really does show ignorance of the nature of the state of Israel. In case you are not sure about how brutal and murderous and bloody the history of the zionist state is, just google "israeli massacres" and be your own judge, i wont point you to any particular websites.

Anonymous said...

...and markus, of course, is perfectly neutral...

(clarification: the other side of the question does not exist)

Brn said...

markus,

I do not believe that I ever stated that I did think that Israel was correct in attacking Lebanon in the first place. I haven't expressed an opinion one way or the other. I was asking only asking if anyone had ever expressed any other options that they could have taken.

However, it is not ignorant of me to state that Hezbollah is launching missile attacks from civilian residential areas. Even hesham admitted as much in his reply. I'm sorry if you feel that pointing out Hezbollah's violations of the rules of war makes me an apologist for Israel. I never said that Israel was in the right in this case.

Let me make an analogy:

Suppose that two men are having a shoot out. One is a policeman who is trying to apprehend a murder, one who really needs to be stopped because he is on a killing spree. The policeman deliberately runs into a crowded schoolyard, packed with kids and continues to shoot at the other guy, knowing that the other guy will continue to shoot at him. It is not excusing the killing for killing any children to point out the policeman is also to blame for deliberately endangering the kids. It doesn't make you an appologist for the murder to point that out.

Look, if you believe that Israel is completely in the wrong about everything, that they have brought every attack on themselves for their past and present actions, that their proper response to Hezbollah taking their soldiers and periodically lobing missles at Israeli civilians is that they should just take it and do nothing, fine, just say that. That would be a fair answer to my question. I wouldn't have complained about such a response. If you think that the option that they should unconditionally choose is to adopt the Arab peace plan of 2002, great, that is a fair response.

But with all due respect, don't throw a bunch of dirt in the air to confuse the issue and then call me names when I point out a fact that is unpleasant to your point of view.

Hesham said...

Its amazing that many among us have a memory span of no more than the length of time it takes to make a McChicken.

Israel Invaded, they have committed massacres in 1982 up and until 2000. They are doing it right now.

They have used cluster bomb. Napalm.


They have bombed civilian convoys that were fleeing southern lebanon, based on earlier threats from the IDF.

They have been slaughtering civilians in the occupied gaza strip and west bank. The longest illigal Occupation in modern times.

But what the hell. They have been just killing Arabs and Muslims.

If Arabs and Muslims choose to defend thier land, families and children then THEY deserve what ever comes. Burned families, maimed chidren and grieving mothers. For they, the Arabs are savages and do not care about thier families...they are just blood thirsty and violent and will sacrfice thier most precious of relatives for a good fight.


What utter pure ignorant no-sense.


If Hizbollah CAPTURE two soldiers that happen to stroll in within thier borders then good for them. If they feel that they have to support thier brethren in palastine then they have the right to do so. For californian will avenge the murder of those in florida as they have the right and OBLIGATION to do so, then by the same reasoning Hizbollah has the right to resist oppression and occupation.

To kills arabs and muslims and hint that WE do not care about our families and children is just disgusting no matter what logic is used to support it.

It is anti-arab racism. It is islamphobia. It is Anti-Semitic...Yes Arab are a semtic tribe as wel.

Stop this filth and utter rudeness.

Markus said...

Anon,

I would like to be clear, I am absolutly not neutral on this subject, as a matter of fact I HATE Israel for what it has done, so this should make you feel better I guess....feed the fire if you will...

Markus said...

Brn,
Calling you an apologist is not calling you names, in my view it’s calling a spade a spade, and sorry it’s not to YOUR liking.

My only problem with people here is that they only bring up the issue of Hezbollah shooting from residential areas, fine, this is an issue and it’s a legitimate topic to discuss, Im just not seeing the other side of the story, except for a few people like Hesham. What happened to discussing the illegal weapons, the occupation the racism, for gods sake what other country in the world is exclusively for one group of people? That is the most disgusting concept ever, yet they have the whole western world to defend them, of course money talks, and the guilt complex that the euros have from their complacence during the holocaust doesn’t help either, I’d say its the euros who are throwing their dirt around, and now its coming back to bite..

Hesham,

Israel didn’t start its massacres in 82, Israel basically is a massacre in by itself, Israel is based on a massacre since it was artificially created in 48. It became a massacre of land, people, culture, tradition and life.
(I hope you dont think im taking sides here, im still neutral as hell...literally...LOL)

Until the wrongs are undone, there will always be death in the Middle East. Time is better spent on discussing the end of the occupation, a solution for the refugees, and then these damn evil boogie men in black will have nothing to fight for maybe? a nobel concept, its easier than banging our heads against a wall discussing who shot what first from where.......

al buxman said...

I have not come across anyone in UAE blogs (generally speaking) condoning the killing of civilians, the targetting of civilian areas or infrastructure, the killing of children, or even in any way supporting the scale of the Israeli military onslaught.

Questioning Hezbollah's and Nasrallah's motives and actions does not amount to supporting Israel (which by the way people are free to do if they want to--as far as I understand--unless the blocking of Emarati's blog is some kind of a message or a warning). But many seem to think so, and apparently feel that no one has a right to question Nasrallah's motives or the wisdom of Hezbollah (in terms of Lebanon's interests) in abducting/snatching/picking up/kidnapping/grabbing/rescuing/taking into protective custody those 2 Israeli soldiers.

Multiple-choice:

1) Who should decide how and why Lebanon should fight Israel?

a) Siniora
b) Nasrallah


2) Who should execute Lebanese defensive/offensive Military decisions?

a) The Lebanese Military establishment
b) The Hezbollah

3) Who got Lebanon into a pickle right now?

a) Siniora
b) Nasrallah

Brn said...

hesham,

First, let me apologize for offending you.

Despite the fact that during this conversation I have been called ignorant and a racist, clearly I am the one being insulting and rude.

I obviously made a mistake by beginning this conversation asking for others to share their opinions; I was wrong and I apologize.

Even though you and I apparently agree that Hezbollah is using civilian residential neighborhoods to launch attacks, I now understand that pointing this out is racist. I am deeply sorry.

I used an analogy that compared Israel is a murderer on a killing rampage and compared Hezbollah to a policeman trying to stop that rampage. I should have known that I was thus being insulting and implying that all Arabs do not care about the deaths of Arab children. I do not know how I could have been so insensitive. Again, I'm sorry.

Since you have asked that this stop, this will be my last post on this subject. I'm sure that have ignorantly made some ignorant, racist, and offensive comment in this response too (and I'm sure that you will graciously tell me what it is), so let me now apologize that that as well.

bandicoot said...

A quiclk recheck of the facts show that Israel’s long history of violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity didn’t end with its withdrawal from South Lebanon in May 2000. Here is
one example; and another; and another; and
a bunch of other ones; and another one; and there is a lot more if people are not convinced yet!

Hesham said...

Bandicoot:

Thanks for the links.

For ANYONE to accuse us Arabs and Muslims of using our woman and children as shields is truly ignorant of the way we live.

We care, probably more so than others about our woman and children.

We are not animal, barbarian, or savages...until these people stop making these blatantly racist accusations, they will be caled racist - as they deserve - or even worse.

bandicoot said...

Speaking of massacres, Israeli atrocities in Lebanon go back to 1948, when unarmed civilians in the village of Hula were killed in cold blood. A brief description of what happened is here.

For a perspective on a massacre that is officially denied by Israel and on the difficulty of challenging the official propaganda line, read this article by Ilan Pappe
on the Tantura massacre.

Also check this one out for
a sampling of Israeli massacres in Palestine.

This source has a
more extensive list with descriptions and sources.

Finally, perhaps the worst of all was the eradication of 418 Palestinian villages; in other words,
.

Happy reading….

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