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An average American that has some thoughts on politics, culture, and society with a conservative and Catholic twist.

Location: Louisiana, United States
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Enough of This Nonsense On Israel

“We must always think about things, and we must think about things as they are, not as they are said to be.”
George Bernard Shaw

“Public opinion, though often formed upon a wrong basis, yet generally has a strong underlying sense of justice"
Abraham Lincoln

When I observe the past few days discussion on Israel and what it should have done in Lebanon, these two quotes are apt and both are true. I was a supporter of what Israel was doing. However at the same time, I did not hesitate to voice concerns over certain targets, strategy, or the end game of all this. There is a vein of thought that is rampant that Israel lost this conflict and totally screwed up. I have to say I am at a loss to see why this is so.

If you have that view please take the time to read the following. Michael Medved has an excellent piece up entitled Who Won the Lebanon War?. I think its excellent. The answer is Hezzbullah.
He says in part
" Meanwhile, Israel's war aims remained distinctly more modest than Hezbollah's, and the ceasefire resolution actually brought the nation closer to their achievement. Yes, the Jewish state wanted to disarm if not destroy Hezbollah, and to free its two kidnapped soldiers, and the Army (because of poor strategic decisions from the Cabinet, particularly at the beginning of the war) achieved neither of these goals. But the broader purpose of the conflict was to create greater security for Northern Israel and to make it more difficult, if not impossible, for Hezbollah to launch random attacks, without consequences, whenever they chose to do so. The UN force headed for Southern Lebanon can't prevent those attacks with absolute assurance (after all, the international army will be led by the French) but the presence of blue helmets will insure that future Hezbollah strikes bring international consequences. The cease-fire specifically reserves for Israel the right to defend herself -- ruling out only "offensive military action." Moreover, the presence of 15,000 UN troops to stiffen an additional 15,000 Lebanese troops will make it all but unthinkable for Hezbollah's co-sponsor, Syria, to reoccupy their neighboring nation"

Its a great and simple read. Also a blogger that is on my Blogroll had this to say:Hezbollah lost position and operational tempo. They lost their dug-in, heavily tunnelled base in southern Lebanon, and they lost a lot of top leaders to capture and killing. And regardless of how they spin the fight, their Shiite supporters in Lebanon must notice that Israel is still present in south Lebanon, but Hezbollah isn't -- at least in nowhere near the numbers they had. Big Lizards had much more to say and I think he hits it right on.

First off let me repeat"“We must always think about things, and we must think about things as they are, not as they are said to be.”

I am not sure what people wanted or expected here. I have seen during this conflict a huge amount of armchair quarterbacking from people and now Monday morning quarterbacking. Well we bloggers do that a good bit of that .That is why we blog. But some of this is just unreasonable and not fact based. I have seen people that have not posted on Lebanon in almost a year become experts on the whole political, religious, social environment of that country. Also, I have seen people ignore certain truths. To basically just pretend that these facts do not exist. They were in effect seeing the World as they want to see it not how it is.

(1) Fact one- Israel wanted that Government standing in Lebanon at the end of the day
If the current Government had fallen in Lebanon that would have been a defeat for Israel. It is true there are elements of Hezbullah in that Government but they are the minority in it. If the Government had fallen what would have replaced it? Well the answer is Hezbullah and other Syrain and Iranian Cronies. There was only so much that Government could take. People go well--- Lebanon should have joined the fight against Hezbullah. Well the fact is that I doubt at this time and place Israel would have wanted that to happen. Why? Because the tiny weak Lebanon army would have got their ass kicked to be blunt. Thus allowing Hezbullah to take effective control of the Country. Also it must be pointed out many of the people that supported the Government and are against Hezbullah had to flee the country. The longer that conflict continued the greater number of people that yearn for sane government might just throw up their hands and say the hell with it. I am not going back. Israel did not want that either.

Israel met enough of its objectives to win the day. Israel wants Lebanese troops on that border. At least now there is a chance that might happen

2)Syria is the big Elephant in the room. There was much talk about Syria. I have even heard talk about how Israel should have bombed Syria and got Assad out of there. First this ignores another reality. What would replace ASSAD. Syria is a enemy but Israel knows there are far worst things than him that can be ruling there. In order for this plan to be successful then Israel would have had not only to occupy Israel but Syria too. Ok time for reality. That wasn't going to happen and thank God it didn't. People fail to notice but we have 130,000 thousand troops in Iraq trying to bring rational Government there. This was not a good time for World War III. I suspect the Pentagon agrees.

“Public opinion, though often formed upon a wrong basis, yet generally has a strong underlying sense of justice"

One reason why people have these views is because of the above quote by Lincoln. Hezbullah is evil and unjust. The Syrian Government and Leaders in Iran are leaders and unjust. To put it plainly these terrorist and their tactics and aims are unjust. As a people with a sense of Justice we feel that. However, Public Opinion as to specific actions cannot be overly colored by that emotion. We must be patient. Again we must live in the World as it is. There will be no magic battle or military victory that causes all this to go away at the snap of a finger. This is long term. There will be ups and downs but victory shall be achieved because of decades of work. Not weeks. Perhaps we need to go back into now into what seems like ancient history and think of our 50 year conflict with the Soviet Union. I suppose we could have declared War when the Soviets invaded Hungry. Perhaps we could have duked it out in the 60's over Cuba and settled it once and for all. Well I am glad we didn't. We very well might not had been here. The cold war was a long term struggle. This conflict with Radical Islamic will be the same. Israel in the end achieved important goals and results. We should celebrate that. We also should not forget that Government in Lebanon and the people that are now returning to pick up the pieces. Our hope much like Israel's hope lies in them. Of course we might all be jumping the gun here. The last time I turned on my TV, it seemed Hezbullah was trying to start some stuff up again. Why would they do that? Because they know they are weakened politically. Terrorist thrive in death and chaos not light and life. Lets just try to create a situation where the Soverign State of Lebanon can get troops on that border.If that happens this death and destruction might have been worth it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what you called your "sense of justice" is but an illusion.You (I mean the US) could have done a lot to prevent the conflict between Hezbullah and Israel as a country that pretends to preach democracy , peace and social justice all over the world.Don't you know that the conflict was planned by the US long ago? and don't you know that the US support to Israel against the Arabs is unconditionned?

5:55 PM  
Blogger Pondering American said...

To Anony
Welcome. First I really don't see how this conflict was planned long ago. Especially since this was such a young Govt in Israel.

I would like some ideas of how we could have prevented this conflict. I suppose back in 83 when the leaders of Hizbullah killed all out Marines instead of running we could have attacked en mass and destroyed them. Bu that is ancient history.

I have spoken up for Lebanon here and so have many Americans. However, Hezbullah is part of the problem. There is no interest in Lebanon becoming greater Israel by anyone. Especially the Israelis. If hezbullah wasnt to on that border none of this would have happned. Israel would not invade Lebanon and Lebanon wouldnt invade ISrael. Heck who knows maybe there could even be a peace treaty signed with real diplomatic relations. That would be nice. Israel is not trying to destroy the Arab World and neither are we.

Israel just wants to be left alone in the end. It is no danger to the Arab World.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Thank you for replying).
The news of the attack of Lebanon having been planned long ago appeared in US newspapers as far as I know. And that was mutually planned by Israel and the US for the purpose of putting an end to Hezbollah as a “terrorist” movement. why is the US supposed to defend Israel and ignore its criminal acts against the Palestinians? I think since September 11 Bush’s administration has been working hard providing more favourable conditions for more extremism not only in the region , but all over the Arab world and among Moslems around the world.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Pondering American said...

OK first.

I dont see how Bush is supporting extremism. In fact American lives and much money is being spent in Iraq to fight extremist elements. For what purpose? So that instead of killing each other over political differences people will debate and work out thier differences in Parliment. I know guys over there that are traing Iraqis to do that. THere is no plot there.
We have no interest in that region being unstable. Why would we. Why would want to champion extremism? It goes against our interest. If every Country was like the UAE we would be in paradise over here. Trust me we have out plate plenty full. THe Middle East is one problem we could do without.

Further, I saw no Newspaper reports here talking about how we were working with the Israelis. Yeah we have a mutual enemy in Hezbullah. I think any rational person would think of them as the enemy. Ask yourself this. Why did they rain rockets down on Israel? Really why? I tell you why that Government in Lebanon was still working. Lebanon was starting to come back. They wanted this discord.

Now as to the Palestians. To be honest I feel for the Palenstains. But to be honest my patience is wearing out. First I can't quite understand how Israel is blame for all this. Other Arab Countire treat Palenstains like dirt. But it is always ISrael that is held to such a hight standard.
You know let me give the Palaestians a clue. DO you know how they could win and get alot. Stop being violent. Really. QUit bombing cafes and quit bombing Israelis. It is that simple. IF Palestine would truly become non violent you would win. Peaceful marching singing peaceful songs. Instead of shooting the people that they disagree with they would do sitins. THey should look to to Martin Luther KIng. Martin Luther KIng brought down a system of injustice that was here for centuries. He did it by non-violence. BUt for that to happen Palestine has to get rid of the terrorist. Till then nothing will happen. Also what exactly do the Palestians want that wasnt offered at OSLO. I would like to know that. What is it that they demand.
I am getting to the point that I think the whole Palestian nation is dyfunctional. That hating Israel is such a part of it existance that it can't live without it. It cant comprehend it in fact.
It is just people repeating the mistakes that other groups have done for centuries. We have learned. Hopefully it will not take another years to repeatr the mistakes our ancestors have done

By the way where are you from

11:34 PM  

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