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What the--?


[Iraqi PM] Al-Maliki's visit [to the US], meanwhile, prompted a sharply worded letter from leading Senate Democrats saying it is essential that the Iraqi leader clarify, before his Wednesday address to Congress, whether he supports or denounces Hezbollah's attacks against Israel.

"Your failure to condemn Hezbollah's aggression and recognize Israel's right to defend itself raises serious questions about whether Iraq under your leadership can play a constructive role in resolving the current crisis and bringing stability to the Middle East," said the letter obtained by The Associated Press. It was signed by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Sens. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Charles Schumer of New York.

OK. I'm happy to condemn Hezollah (although remember they thought they were just starting up another routine round of prisoner swapping by kidnapping those soldiers), but i don't recognize any country's right to defend itself by bombing civilian targets in other countries, so i guess i'm not qualified to run Iraq. And where do we get off telling the PMs of other (supposedly) independent countries what they should or shouldn't say or do?

By fnord12 | July 26, 2006, 12:11 PM | Liberal Outrage


Not that I'm all that supportive of Israel's reaction, but "(although remember they thought they were just starting up another routine round of prisoner swapping by kidnapping those soldiers)" is a really lame rationalization of the situation. To use a trite, hastily invented metaphor, Hezbollah opened up a can of worms, and now they're surprised that it was a can of whoopass instead.

When Israel feels threatened they react with disproportionate force as a deterrent to future attacks. Hezbollah was well aware of this, you can't trivialize their actions (especially in the context of everything that was going on in Gaza at the time of their kidnapping (oh and let's not forget they didn't just kidnap two Israeli soldiers, they also killed eight)) and place the blame entirely on Israel for their heavy handed response.

They're bombing civilians. It's not whoopass, it's mass murder.

No one's trying to rationalize the situation. My aside referring to the fact that there has been cyclical "they started it!" "no they started it!" crap going on in that region for decades. Israel had several thousand people in prisons from the Golan Heights area, rounded up as suspected terrorists. In the past, Hezbollah has kidnapped Israeli soldiers and used them to negotiate the release of prisoners. This time, Israel went apeshit.

P.S. I shouldn't have to say this, but i do condemn Hezbollah. They are terrorists and they also kill civilians and they should be hunted down and eliminated. (In addition to correcting the imbalances that would attract people to join such organizations, if possible).

But i expect more from democratic states than i do from terrorist organizations. And it depressed me that states that get military support from my country can behave so unethically, regardless of how they are provoked. There is no excuse for what Israel is doing.

What I'm saying is of course they went apeshit. Anyone could've predicted, given the current instability in Gaza, that any hostile move from Hezbollah would cause Israel to freak out. Israel overreacts as a matter of foreign policy. Hezbollah knows this. That doesn't mean Israel's foreign policy is legitimate, and it certainly doesn't justify Israel overreacting and killing 10 Lebanese civilians for every 1 Israeli, but trying to downplay Hezbollah's role in bringing on the shitstorm by saying they were "just" trying to affect an everyday troop swap isn't right.

Oh, how I can't wait for the rapture!

Israel and its neighbors have for a long time traded bomb attacks and prisoners in a pattern largely ignored by most of the world. They all play the game often without any real gains made. So, the real question is, in my opinion, what about this incident sparked the over-reaction on Israel's part? If this is something that happens fairly regularly (and not that that is a good thing), but why now? Are there other parties involved encouraging this behavior? While I've studied Israeli politics and history, I'm honestly not up on the nuances going on today, but I imagine there are some internal factors as well. But shouldn't these be the things looked at (I know, stop the violence first)? Hasn't the whole modern history of peace in the region always come about by talking (mediated by the US) rather than wave upon wave of violence? Who really benefits by these actions? Certainly not Israel or Lebanon.