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19.4.14 1944
The W - Current Events & Politics - The Whole Freaking Middle East is Ready to Blow!
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spf
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Since: 2.1.02
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
So Hezbollah has captured Israeli soldiers, rockets are flying from the Gaza Strip, and now Israel claims to hit hundreds of targets in Lebanon (news.yahoo.com), including military bases which could bring the Lebanese military into the conflict. And oh yeah, they've blockaded Syria, and are looking into rumors that the soliders are possibly going to be smuggled into Iran. If Israel hits Iran, I'm heading off for the mountains with some canned goods and shotgun shells.



Now I'll never be able to lead SPF's spfers! (The W)
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AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.58
It's been ready to blow for awhile. The UN cracks on Israel, they ignore them, and everyone says everyone is justified when they hit Israel. The last few years, Isarel backed off the Golan Heights, backed off in the Becca valley, pulled out of Gaza and they still got hit. They actually followed a UN resolution. So they decided enough was enough.

The Israelies, for all their faults, know how to react when enough is enough, at least. Hezbollah is more of less part of Lebanon - there are many members in their legislature, at least one in the Cabinet and they control a fair area of south Lebanon. They decided to act.

Overstepped? Some, maybe even many would say so. But they're small - they gotta be strong to stay safe. Like the little guy who gets sent to penitentiary - he puts on a big show of toughness to keep the guys who want him to drop a bar of soap away.

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=World_News&month=July2006&file=World_News2006071344930.xml

says
    Originally posted by a Qatar newspaper online

    Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the soldiers had been seized to force Israel to release prisoners. “What we did today ... is the only feasible path to free detainees from Israeli jails,” he told a news conference in Beirut, proposing indirect negotiations, not confrontation.

    He said the operation had been in the works for five months. Hezbollah has made two previous failed attempts to catch Israeli soldiers for a prisoner swap in less than a year.




There's the start of THIS one. Not the start. Not the end. The middle of an ages old war.



We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.44
    Originally posted by spf
    If Israel hits Iran, I'm heading off for the mountains with some canned goods and shotgun shells.







Time to start a hoarding before WW3 commences. Allows me to beat the hurricane season rush. Thank God for the Wonder Thrift Store and it's cheaper than Walmart Hostess prices.
If Israel and Iran start firing missiles at each other with the U.S. right in the middle, all bets are off. And oil will have 3 figures in front of the decimal point. That'll kick off a nice little worldwide depression. Better now than a few years ago when I was in debt at least.

(edited by redsoxnation on 13.7.06 1550)
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
      Originally posted by spf
      If Israel hits Iran, I'm heading off for the mountains with some canned goods and shotgun shells.







    Time to start a hoarding before WW3 commences. Allows me to beat the hurricane season rush. Thank God for the Wonder Thrift Store and it's cheaper than Walmart Hostess prices.
    If Israel and Iran start firing missiles at each other with the U.S. right in the middle, all bets are off. And oil will have 3 figures in front of the decimal point. That'll kick off a nice little worldwide depression. Better now than a few years ago when I was in debt at least.

    (edited by redsoxnation on 13.7.06 1550)

And oh yeah, India and Pakistan are now at odds due to the Mumbai train bombings. And N. Korea is testing long range missles.

Look, I don't mean to bring up old issues or start a fight, but really, looking at this world right now, can anyone really say Iraq was the place to, in the poker parlance, go all-in at? I have to think some of this is caused by the fact everyone knows we're pretty much screwed and unable to react to any of this with more than bluster and threats of sanctions and UN admonitions.



Now I'll never be able to lead SPF's spfers! (The W)
AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.58
    Originally posted by spf
    can anyone really say Iraq was the place to, in the poker parlance, go all-in at? I have to think some of this is caused by the fact everyone knows we're pretty much screwed and unable to react to any of this with more than bluster and threats of sanctions and UN admonitions.


ah, I dunno about that. We have a lot more military reserves right now than we had at the start of WW2. Yes, we're sort of stuck there. But we already have many thousand of ground troops in south Korea, we have a huyge navy already in the neighborhood, for the most part not part of the Iraq thing. And, other than the Chinese, we haven't let anyone get out of hand - now, they decided to go crazy, we'd be in trouble.

Here's a more interesting question: So The Israelies take Lebanon up to the Golan Heights and the Becca valley again and control the south by air and maybe by troops - so do the bad guys in Iraq now go over there? I mean, THEY have some limited resources too.




We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.02
I guess someone needs to sound naive. Since 1948, that Middle East has been a violent tinderbox that just seems to keep getting hotter, with some exceptions. What neither side seems to realize is that their tactics don't solve anything over the long-term. We have middle-aged people on both sides that have essentially known nothing but violence for all their lives. We all need to find a way to break this cycle but I sure don't know how.

I understand what Israel is doing but will it really solve anything.



Perception is reality
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
    Originally posted by AWArulz
      Originally posted by spf
      can anyone really say Iraq was the place to, in the poker parlance, go all-in at? I have to think some of this is caused by the fact everyone knows we're pretty much screwed and unable to react to any of this with more than bluster and threats of sanctions and UN admonitions.


    ah, I dunno about that. We have a lot more military reserves right now than we had at the start of WW2. Yes, we're sort of stuck there. But we already have many thousand of ground troops in south Korea, we have a huyge navy already in the neighborhood, for the most part not part of the Iraq thing. And, other than the Chinese, we haven't let anyone get out of hand - now, they decided to go crazy, we'd be in trouble.

    Here's a more interesting question: So The Israelies take Lebanon up to the Golan Heights and the Becca valley again and control the south by air and maybe by troops - so do the bad guys in Iraq now go over there? I mean, THEY have some limited resources too.


I know we have manpower to do it, but it seems highly unlikely that we have eaither the resources or, more importantly, the practical ability and will to do anything. It doesn't take Miss Cleo to read the tea leaves that say "The U.S. is not going anywhere else unless you drop a nuclear bomb on Manhattan." I do agree about China though. That's why I'm glad we have kind of brought them into the financial mainstream, so there's now some important people in that country who don't want any sort of war getting in the way of making cash money. That's why N. Korea is scary right now, their leader is insane and the people are already eating each other, so its not like we can threaten them with making things worse.

I think in regards to the second question that you would see plenty of bad guys finding their way there from around the Middle East. Yes what we did stirred up some emotion, but really could there be a better recruiting drive for terrorists than watching Israel retaking chunks of the Middle East? Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt and Hezbollah in Syria and various branches of Al-Qaeda affiliated groups best start getting people to man the phones because this is their equivalent of pledge drive season on PBS.



Now I'll never be able to lead SPF's spfers! (The W)
dMp
Banger








Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.07
    Originally posted by AWArulz
      Originally posted by spf
      can anyone really say Iraq was the place to, in the poker parlance, go all-in at? I have to think some of this is caused by the fact everyone knows we're pretty much screwed and unable to react to any of this with more than bluster and threats of sanctions and UN admonitions.


    ah, I dunno about that. We have a lot more military reserves right now than we had at the start of WW2. Yes, we're sort of stuck there. But we already have many thousand of ground troops in south Korea, we have a huyge navy already in the neighborhood, for the most part not part of the Iraq thing.


I assume what spf was trying to say "it has been shown now that even the USA cannot just march into a country, restore order and be done with it."
The US might have the military force to attack half the world but they cannot win it all (without turning the globe into one big mushroom cloud)
Even more important IMO than actually going and winning a war is not wanting to go to war, and I sure hope those aren't the plans...



*sigh* Why bother?
redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.40
Let me preface this by saying I really hope I am proved wrong on this.
The cruise ships being used to transport Americans out of Lebanon to Cyprus just scream out 'Sitting Duck' to me. Hezbollah has already demonstrated that their missiles can hit shipping, so a large unarmed ship full of the 'American Infidels' would appear to be an inviting target. And, to provide grist to the conspiracy mill, an unarmed ship full of Americans would provide an inviting target should Israel decide to pull a 'False Flag' operation (see U.S.S. Liberty in the 60's) in order to get the U.S. to plunge completely into the conflict.
If ever I'm wrong, hopefully it is now.
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Let me preface this by saying I really hope I am proved wrong on this.
    The cruise ships being used to transport Americans out of Lebanon to Cyprus just scream out 'Sitting Duck' to me. Hezbollah has already demonstrated that their missiles can hit shipping, so a large unarmed ship full of the 'American Infidels' would appear to be an inviting target. And, to provide grist to the conspiracy mill, an unarmed ship full of Americans would provide an inviting target should Israel decide to pull a 'False Flag' operation (see U.S.S. Liberty in the 60's) in order to get the U.S. to plunge completely into the conflict.
    If ever I'm wrong, hopefully it is now.

It is the second of those scenarios that I am more worried about. It would not surprise me in the slightest to see Israel do something like that in the hopes of at the very least getting free rein to attack all of Lebanon and possibly Syria, and at best draw actual U.S. involvement into the fight on their side.

The first one I would not expect. Hezbollah are radicals, but I don't think they are divorced enough from reality to want to directly attack U.S. citizens by the boatload for fear exactly what I said above will happen. For all their tough talk this is not a fight they really want to be having right now. I suspect they underestimated Israeli resolve to dig in and fight and are now trying to get out of the corner they painted themselves into. Notice it is them, not Israel, pushing hard for a ceasefire.



Now I'll never be able to lead SPF's spfers! (The W)
Von Maestro
Boudin rouge








Since: 6.1.04
From: New York

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.59
    Originally posted by spf
    It is the second of those scenarios that I am more worried about. It would not surprise me in the slightest to see Israel do something like that...

    The first one I would not expect. Hezbollah are radicals, but I don't think they are divorced enough from reality...


I'm really trying hard to understand this & not come across as trolling here, but please explain to me how you have more faith in a terrorist organization to not do something barbaric, as opposed to the only country with a freely elected government in the Middle East & the US's strongest ally in the region?

Your post (& redsoxnation's for even suggesting that scenario in the first place) just left me with my jaw dropped in disbelief. It's an exchange I would expect to see on a Yahoo News Message Board, but not here...
spf
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Since: 2.1.02
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
    Originally posted by Von Maestro
      Originally posted by spf
      It is the second of those scenarios that I am more worried about. It would not surprise me in the slightest to see Israel do something like that...

      The first one I would not expect. Hezbollah are radicals, but I don't think they are divorced enough from reality...


    I'm really trying hard to understand this & not come across as trolling here, but please explain to me how you have more faith in a terrorist organization to not do something barbaric, as opposed to the only country with a freely elected government in the Middle East & the US's strongest ally in the region?

    Your post (& redsoxnation's for even suggesting that scenario in the first place) just left me with my jaw dropped in disbelief. It's an exchange I would expect to see on a Yahoo News Message Board, but not here...

Don't mistake it, it has nothing to do with pinning any sort of sense of morality on Hezbollah. If they thought they could do it and get away with it I have no doubt they would be loading up one of those drone ships as we speak. I would be surprised however since thus far it seems like they are trying through appeals to the international community to get out of this fight already, the last thing they would want to do is to actually give an even stronger nation than Israel reason to want to enter the fray.

As for Israel, they know that there are limits to what they can realistically do to attack the Hezbollah infrastructure without bringing the full weight of the international community upon them. However, if something like what was described were to happen and be pinned on Hezbollah, the amount of leeway they would have would suddenly be enhanced. The U.S. would be far more actively involved in the conflict and would almost certainly act to stop any actions against Israel's incursion into Lebanon. Something like this would pretty much give Israel free rein to go to the Syrian border in their operations against Hezbollah.

In the past Israel has shown a willingness to work against the U.S. when it suits them. See the Johnathan Pollard case, or the fact that Israel is China's second largest arms supplier. The fact that they are a democracy means very little, especially in a nation where the populace feels as beseiged as the Israeli people. If it came out that something like this was in fact done in order to help protect the Israeli people do you believe it would be seen negatively by much of the population. The Israel-U.S. ties have always been stronger on our side as we A) need them so we have someone in the region with us, B) due to the large Evangelical lobby in the US there is a political base that feels a spiritual connection with them and works on their behalf and C)because the neo-cons have targeted the Middle East as the place for America to push its influence hardest and we need a stable base to work from. It's no surprise that the AIPAC situation includes mostly the neo-cons who have come up with most of the Bush Admin. policy (Wolfowitz, Feith, etc.) Israel's concern is the health and survival of Israel. If they can help themselves they will do so. I don't believe they will do so for fear that if it did get out it would sway U.S. opinion against them too strongly for even Bush to ignore. But I don't believe they wouldn't do it simply because it would "be the wrong thing to do." I don't believe that sort of consideration enters into any government's mindset (or terror group's mindset) these days. Nothing anyone does surprises me, because I don't believe there are any limits anymore based on morality (not that there ever really have been). It's nothing personal against the Israelis, just I think they would have more to gain from such a scenario than Hezbollah.



Now I'll never be able to lead SPF's spfers! (The W)
Corajudo
Frankfurter








Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.83
Your post (& redsoxnation's for even suggesting that scenario in the first place) just left me with my jaw dropped in disbelief. It's an exchange I would expect to see on a Yahoo News Message Board, but not here...

I agree with Von Maestro wholeheartedly.

As for spf's attempted explanation, in Israel's history, what would cause any rational person to ever think they would sink a ship with 1,000 civilians on board, American or not? You can talk about the USS Liberty (which is a nice conspiracy theory, BTW) and Jonathon Pollard, but sinking a cruise ship filled with Americans fleeing a war zone is different by an order of magnitude. I mean, in their attempts to disarm Hezbollah and Hamas, they still make an effort to avoid civilian casualties, as much as possible.

As far as spf's reasons, B and C are very recent and do nothing to explain almost 50 years of friendship between the two countries. Maybe I'm naive, but I think it is, and always has been, the democracy and stability thing. For crying out loud, Israel's Supreme Court ruled for the security wall to be moved in order to protect the rights of the Palestinians working in Israel. That's hardly a nihilistic, Machiavellian political system.



"Teach children that they have great potential because they are human." -Warrior
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
    Originally posted by Corajudo
    Your post (& redsoxnation's for even suggesting that scenario in the first place) just left me with my jaw dropped in disbelief. It's an exchange I would expect to see on a Yahoo News Message Board, but not here...

    I agree with Von Maestro wholeheartedly.

    As for spf's attempted explanation, in Israel's history, what would cause any rational person to ever think they would sink a ship with 1,000 civilians on board, American or not? You can talk about the USS Liberty (which is a nice conspiracy theory, BTW) and Jonathon Pollard, but sinking a cruise ship filled with Americans fleeing a war zone is different by an order of magnitude. I mean, in their attempts to disarm Hezbollah and Hamas, they still make an effort to avoid civilian casualties, as much as possible.

    As far as spf's reasons, B and C are very recent and do nothing to explain almost 50 years of friendship between the two countries. Maybe I'm naive, but I think it is, and always has been, the democracy and stability thing. For crying out loud, Israel's Supreme Court ruled for the security wall to be moved in order to protect the rights of the Palestinians working in Israel. That's hardly a nihilistic, Machiavellian political system.

I see no reason to believe that having a democracy precludes a nation from shady military operations. It can possibly enhance the chances of such operations coming to light after the fact, but there is no reason to believe simply having a democratic state will enhance morality at all levels up to and including the classified operations of a nation's armed forces.

As for what in Israel's history? They, as any nation involved in modern warfare, recognizes that civilians will die in necessary military manuvers. How many hundreds of Lebanese are dead already as a result of this recent action?

People are reading this as somehow specific to Israel. It's not. Substitute any government in the world and I would not be surprised on moral grounds by any action they take. I guess the fundamental difference in our outlook is you have faith in governments to have moral boundaries. I don't. I doubt anything either of says will change the other's mind, and thankfully it looks to be all theoretical as so far none of our people have been blown up by either side, which I think we both agree is a good thing.



Now I'll never be able to lead SPF's spfers! (The W)
EddieBurkett
Boudin blanc








Since: 3.1.02
From: GA in person, NJ in heart

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.05
I'm hoping this doesn't come across as a troll, since I can't vouch for the source at all. (The blog this is from certainly looks it has its own agendas, but who doesn't?) I just found this story interesting in light of earlier discussion in the thread. Allegedly, Israel attacked and sank a US ship back in 1967 (lewrockwell.com).



You believe me, don't you?
Please believe what I just said...
CHAPLOW
Morcilla








Since: 14.5.04
From: right behind you

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.79
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Let me preface this by saying I really hope I am proved wrong on this.
    The cruise ships being used to transport Americans out of Lebanon to Cyprus just scream out 'Sitting Duck' to me.


yeah... everytime I read about these cruise ships or I hear them mentioned in the news I think "Lusitania" if anyone gets the historical reference.



"...He eats what he wants, and if he wants to eat Rey Mysterio- he will!" -JBL on Mark Henry
AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.66
Let me suggest, as you read the various conspiracy theory sites about this tragic event, that you also read this one.
http://www.adl.org/Israel/uss.asp

Just for balance




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OndaGrande
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Since: 1.5.03
From: California, Home of THE LAKERS!

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.02

    Originally posted by DrDirt
    I guess someone needs to sound naive. Since 1948, that Middle East has been a violent tinderbox that just seems to keep getting hotter, with some exceptions. What neither side seems to realize is that their tactics don't solve anything over the long-term. We have middle-aged people on both sides that have essentially known nothing but violence for all their lives. We all need to find a way to break this cycle but I sure don't know how.

    I understand what Israel is doing but will it really solve anything.


This war has been going on since Abraham moved his people from the city of Ur to escape the Babylonians. In 1100 BC the Hebrews defeated the Cannanites in the battle of the Jezreel valley (the territory west of the Sea of Gallilee.)
This won't end until everybody over there decides to give each other some space, deal with it and be courteous co-workers.



LEARN IT, KNOW IT, LIVE IT!
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
Report: U.N. observers' calls unheeded (news.yahoo.com)


    KIRYAT SHEMONA, Israel - U.N. observers in southern Lebanon called the Israeli military 10 times during a six-hour period to ask it to halt an airstrike before their observation post was hit, according to details of a preliminary U.N. report on the incident. Four U.N. observers were killed in the bombing Tuesday...

    Lt. Col. John Molloy, the senior Irish officer in the U.N. observer force in south Lebanon, reported making six telephone calls to his Israeli counterparts in the hours before the deadly strike on the border outpost, said Suzanne Coogan, spokeswoman for Irish Defense Minister Willie O'Dea. She said all six calls specifically identified the U.N. post that was ultimately destroyed.

    "He warned the Israelis that they were shelling in very close proximity to the post, and his warnings were very specific, explicit, detailed and stark. Obviously those warnings went unheeded," Coogan said...

    During an Israeli offensive against Lebanon in 1996, artillery blasted a U.N. base at Qana in southern Lebanon, killing more than 100 civilians taking refuge with the peacekeepers.


The thing that seems most important out of this piece in terms of this thread is that repeatedly the UN was assured that the bombing would cease, and that Olmert had promised Annan that the UN positions would not be targeted. I bring this up simply to point out the idea that the civilian arm and the military arms of a country are not always working in concert. This was not a one-off moment where someone fired incorrectly. This was a calculated decision to fire for 6 hours right in the vicinity of this position which the civilian leadership had pledged not to jeopardize.



Now I'll never be able to lead SPF's spfers! (The W)
Corajudo
Frankfurter








Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.73
Here's an interesting link to the press release from UNIFIL (the UN force in Lebanon referenced in the article): http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr010.pdf

In that press release, you can see that Hezbollah is using UNIFIL's positions as cover to fire missiles at Israel. If you want to blame anyone, I'd argue Hezbollah is more culpable than Israel. You know, the terrorist group that targets civilian areas in Israel and also maintains and conducts their military manuevers from within civilian areas in Lebanon, essentially using civilians and UN personnel as human shields for the missiles they lob into Israel. Moreover, Israel apologized to the UN and has promised a full investigation to prevent a similar tragedy in the future.

And, btw, UNIFIL is also the UN organization that is supposed to be maintaining peace and security in southern Lebanon. In fact, that's been part of their mandate since Israel's withdrawal in 2000. So, my question is why they have been giving Hezbollah a free pass and not doing their job.

(edited by CRZ on 26.7.06 1741)

"Teach children that they have great potential because they are human." -Warrior
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