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U.S. cardinal describes 'lesson in frustration' in Lebanon visit
Catholic News Service ^ | August 10, 2006 | Cindy Wooden

Posted on 08/15/2006 12:03:13 PM PDT by NYer

ROME (CNS) -- Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, arrived in Lebanon in early August, visiting Catholic aid projects, church and government leaders and getting what he described as "a lesson in frustration."

His Aug. 10 meeting with two Muslim leaders in Beirut was canceled after Israeli planes dropped leaflets on the city warning of new bombardments.

"It scares the heck out of people," he said of the leaflet drops. "And if they don't leave, they can be killed. But it's awful; they get word to leave their homes because they are going to bomb in the next hours."

In an Aug. 10 telephone interview from Beirut, the cardinal said his visit was meant to be a sign of solidarity with the suffering people of Lebanon, the same kind of visit he has made in the past to Israel in the wake of terrorist attacks.

"I have concerns for the poor people of Lebanon. I'm not making any judgments on what political things are happening, but I know that even now there are people in some villages that are totally blocked off by the war and they have no bread, they have no water and they have no medicine. And that has been going on for almost two weeks," the cardinal told Catholic News Service.

"If that continues, it will be a disaster. We will be starving people," he said.

"I am not a politician, not a statesman and not a general. I can't blame anybody, but I want to say, 'Here is what I find,' and the world must do something," he said.

Cardinal McCarrick arrived in Beirut from Amman, Jordan, Aug. 9 aboard a Jordanian transport plane carrying humanitarian aid. He expected to leave Lebanon the same way Aug. 13.

The cardinal met Aug. 10 with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and other government officials. He said they were courteous, explained the situation in the country and expressed their hopes for a cease-fire.

"They feel they have done what everybody has asked them to do. They are willing to send 15,000 Lebanese soldiers" into southern Lebanon, where the Hezbollah militia are deployed, firing rockets and mortars into Israel.

"But apparently, that is not enough," he said.

A U.N. resolution on an immediate cease-fire faced delays as Security Council members disagreed over when Israeli troops should be asked to withdraw from southern Lebanon and when an international peacekeeping force should be deployed.

"You come here and get a lesson in frustration," the cardinal said.

Cardinal McCarrick visited several schools Aug. 9, meeting with the displaced people being sheltered in them and with the staff and volunteers of Caritas Lebanon, which is running the shelters and providing food, clothing, blankets and medical assistance.

The Salma Sayyegh public school, which he visited, has been turned into a shelter for 360 Muslims -- mostly women and children -- who have fled the fighting and bombardment of their homes in southern Lebanon.

Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops' international relief and development agency, is supporting the work of Caritas Lebanon at Salma Sayyegh and throughout the country.

In addition to financial support, CRS has sent staff members experienced in the logistical side of emergency relief to assist with security, warehousing, medical care and media relations, among other things.

"Everything is difficult to get here because the bridges have been knocked down and many of the roads have been bombed so trucks can't travel, so the whole food distribution system is in peril," Cardinal McCarrick said.

Most people in Lebanon, he said, "are becoming more and more anti-Israeli," including the Christians, who also have been forced to flee. "It's a very desperate situation."

"Lebanon has the largest Christian population in the Middle East and we're losing that," he said. "The people are going to leave because they cannot work. There is no gas for the cars; there isn't food to eat. We don't know how they are going to open the schools.

"It's frustration that one feels here. They say to me, 'Thank you for coming,' but my visit is not much more than saying, 'We love you and we are praying for you and we understand your suffering,'" the cardinal said.

Cardinal McCarrick said he also wanted to let the Lebanese people know "that together with the Holy Father, we Catholics in the United States are calling for an immediate cease-fire and for corridors of safety so humanitarian goods like food and water can be delivered."


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KEYWORDS: 2006israelwar; cardinal; catholic; lebanon; mccarrick; vatican
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ENVOY OF SOLIDARITY
Cardinal Roger Etchegaray blesses a girl during Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa Aug. 15. Pope Benedict XVI sent the French cardinal to Lebanon to express his solidarity with those suffering because of war. (CNS/Norbert Schiller)
1 posted on 08/15/2006 12:03:16 PM PDT by NYer
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To: sandyeggo; Pyro7480; Cronos; Maeve; Siobhan; Father; tlRCta; Convert from ECUSA; visualops; ...
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Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


2 posted on 08/15/2006 12:05:55 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
I wonder if the fact that Hezbollah does NOT drop leaflets before they bomb Israeli towns disturbs the Cardinal?

Apparently the Catholic church thinks much more of the inherent civility of Israeli's than it does of Arabs. It cetainly expects more of Israeli's than their enemies.

3 posted on 08/15/2006 12:07:47 PM PDT by keithtoo (Israeli defense strategy "Cogito Ergo Boom!")
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To: NYer
His Aug. 10 meeting with two Muslim leaders in Beirut was canceled after Israeli planes dropped leaflets on the city warning of new bombardments.

"It scares the heck out of people," he said of the leaflet drops. "And if they don't leave, they can be killed. But it's awful; they get word to leave their homes because they are going to bomb in the next hours.

"As horrible as this is, the people in Israel were not afforded even the letters of warning before missiles fell on them.

I will continue to pray for all innocents.

4 posted on 08/15/2006 12:08:07 PM PDT by mware (Americans in armchairs doing the job of the media.)
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To: keithtoo
Apparently the Catholic church thinks much more of the inherent civility of Israeli's than it does of Arabs.

How did you arrive at this assumption???

5 posted on 08/15/2006 12:12:20 PM PDT by NYer
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To: mware

The absence of consideration for the suffering of Israel by the Cardinal is discussed extensively in an earlier thread:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1681265/posts


6 posted on 08/15/2006 12:15:05 PM PDT by MainFrame65
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To: NYer

The Israeli's are held to civilized standards that Hezbollah and Hamas are not. This inherently means that Hezbollah and Hamas are not expected to be able to behave to the high level expected of Israeli's. The implications are that they are a lesser level of human.


7 posted on 08/15/2006 12:20:34 PM PDT by keithtoo (Israeli defense strategy "Cogito Ergo Boom!")
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To: keithtoo
This inherently means that Hezbollah and Hamas are not expected to be able to behave to the high level expected of Israeli's.

Here are the statistics. This 33 days of war left 1140 dead (427 are under 18), 3630 wounded, 973,000 refugees, 11 billion dollars of damage, 30 vital constructions destroyed (airports, sea ports, power stations, ...), 33 gas stations destroyed, 630 Km of roads damaged, 145 bridges smashed to the ground, 7000 apartments gone, 9000 institutions (factories, shopping malls, shops, farms, etc...) burned down.

You consider this to be the actions of a civilized people?

8 posted on 08/15/2006 12:34:39 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
Yes, I do. The Israeli's do not ever seek civilian casualties, but when Hezbollah purposely hides rocket launchers in civilian areas and places civilians in harms way then the blood is on their hands.

As for the infrastructure damage, of course the Israeli's are going to try to destroy the supply lines for the delivery of more arms to their enemies. If the people of Lebanon want peace, they can expel Hezbollah and then they will have peace. If Hezbollah remains, Lebanon will never be at peace.

9 posted on 08/15/2006 12:39:16 PM PDT by keithtoo (Israeli defense strategy "Cogito Ergo Boom!")
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To: NYer
Apparently the Catholic church thinks much more of the inherent civility of Israeli's than it does of Arabs.

How did you arrive at this assumption???

Not the original poster here but the op has a point -- mention of Israeli casualties are hard to find in the report, and the report's last paragraph merely parrots Hezbollah's military advantageous "immediate ceasefire" demand. Problem is, today, after a so called cease fire is being formalized, more Hezbo rockets were fired toward Israel. The cardinal can speak for the Church (as he does in his comments quoted in the last paragraph -- but leave "U.S. Catholics" like me out of his claim. We will be back in months but "The Party of God" will be firing longer range missiles into Israel. Hopefully the Church will be more even handed in its assessment and response to casualities, north or south of the border.

10 posted on 08/15/2006 12:48:48 PM PDT by Draco
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To: NYer

bookmark


11 posted on 08/15/2006 12:52:49 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: NYer
"I have concerns for the poor people of Lebanon.

*Cardinal WHERE were you during the last six years when Iranian-Funded terrorists were digging-in and preparing for this most recent round of terrorism?

Oh yeah, that's right. You were decieving your Brother Bishops about Cardinal Ratzinger's instructions about "Catholic" Pols who vote pro-abort.

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN THE LAST TWENTY YEARS WHILE ALL OVER THE WORLD INNOCENT CHRISTIANS HAVE BEEN RAPED, TORTURED, AND MURDERED BY MUSLIM JIHADISTS? THAT'S RIGHT. YOU WERE HOB-NOBBING WITH PRO-ABORTION POLITICIANS.

OK, I gotta get down to the Antarctic and take a swim. My blood is boiling

12 posted on 08/15/2006 1:32:17 PM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: keithtoo; MainFrame65; Draco
As for the infrastructure damage, of course the Israeli's are going to try to destroy the supply lines for the delivery of more arms to their enemies. If the people of Lebanon want peace, they can expel Hezbollah and then they will have peace. If Hezbollah remains, Lebanon will never be at peace.

How arrogant! The following was written by a Jew, living in Tel Aviv. He has a clear understanding of the damage assessment.


You are terrorists, we are virtuous

This article has just appeared in the London Review of Books. ISraelis should read it well. The rest of us are well aware of Israel's 'national psychosis... deriving from the over-identification with Israeli military thinking.'

So far ceasefire is holding.

You are terrorists, we are virtuous

Yitzhak Laor on the IDF

As soon as the facts of the Bint Jbeil ambush, which ended with relatively high Israeli casualties (eight soldiers died there), became public, the press and television in Israel began marginalising any opinion that was critical of the war. The media also fell back on the kitsch to which Israelis grow accustomed from childhood: the most menacing army in the region is described here as if it is David against an Arab Goliath. Yet the Jewish Goliath has sent Lebanon back 20 years, and Israelis themselves even further: we now appear to be a lynch-mob culture, glued to our televisions, incited by a premier whose ‘leadership’ is being launched and legitimised with rivers of fire and destruction on both sides of the border. Mass psychology works best when you can pinpoint an institution or a phenomenon with which large numbers of people identify. Israelis identify with the IDF, and even after the deaths of many Lebanese children in Qana, they think that stopping the war without scoring a definitive victory would amount to defeat. This logic reveals our national psychosis, and it derives from our over-identification with Israeli military thinking.

In the melodramatic barrage fired off by the press, the army is assigned the dual role of hero and victim. And the enemy? In Hebrew broadcasts the formulations are always the same: on the one hand ‘we’, ‘ours’, ‘us’; on the other, Nasrallah and Hizbullah. There aren’t, it seems, any Lebanese in this war. So who is dying under Israeli fire? Hizbullah. And if we ask about the Lebanese? The answer is always that Israel has no quarrel with Lebanon. It’s yet another illustration of our unilateralism, the thundering Israeli battle-cry for years: no matter what happens around us, we have the power and therefore we can enforce the logic. If only Israelis could see the damage that’s been done by all these years of unilateral thinking. But we cannot, because the army – which has always been the core of the state – determines the shape of our lives and the nature of our memories, and wars like this one erase everything we thought we knew, creating a new version of history with which we can only concur. If the army wins, its success becomes part of ‘our heritage’. Israelis have assimilated the logic and the language of the IDF – and in the process, they have lost their memories. Is there a better way to understand why we have never learned from history? We have never been a match for the army, whose memory – the official Israeli memory – is hammered into place at the centre of our culture by an intelligentsia in the service of the IDF and the state.

The IDF is the most powerful institution in Israeli society, and one which we are discouraged from criticising. Few have studied the dominant role it plays in the Israeli economy. Even while they are still serving, our generals become friendly with the US companies that sell arms to Israel; they then retire, loaded with money, and become corporate executives. The IDF is the biggest customer for everything and anything in Israel. In addition, our high-tech industries are staffed by a mixture of military and ex-military who work closely with the Western military complex. The current war is the first to become a branding opportunity for one of our largest mobile phone companies, which is using it to run a huge promotional campaign. Israel’s second biggest bank, Bank Leumi, used inserts in the three largest newspapers to distribute bumper stickers saying: ‘Israel is powerful.’ The military and the universities are intimately linked too, with joint research projects and an array of army scholarships.

There is no institution in Israel that can approach the army’s ability to disseminate images and news or to shape a national political class and an academic elite or to produce memory, history, value, wealth, desire. This is the way identification becomes entrenched: not through dictatorship or draconian legislation, but by virtue of the fact that the country’s most powerful institution gets its hands on every citizen at the age of 18. The majority of Israelis identify with the army and the army reciprocates by consolidating our identity, especially when it is – or we are – waging war.

The IDF didn’t play any role in either of the Gulf wars and may not play a part in Bush’s pending war in Iran, but it is on permanent alert for the real war that is always just round the corner. Meanwhile, it harasses Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, to very destructive effect. (In July it killed 176 Palestinians, most of them from the same area in Gaza, in a ‘policing’ operation that included the destruction of houses and infrastructure.) They shoot. They abduct. They use F-16s against refugee camps, tanks against shacks and huts. For years they have operated in this way against gangs and groups of armed youths and children, and they call it a war, a ‘just war’, vital for our existence. The power of the army to produce meanings, values, desire is perfectly illustrated by its handling of the Palestinians, but it would not be possible without the support of the left in Israel.

The mainstream left has never seriously tried to oppose the military. The notion that we had no alternative but to attack Lebanon and that we cannot stop until we have finished the job: these are army-sponsored truths, decided by the military and articulated by state intellectuals and commentators. So are most other descriptions of the war, such as the Tel Aviv academic Yossef Gorni’s statement in Haaretz, that ‘this is our second war of independence.’ The same sort of nonsense was written by the same kind of people when the 2000 intifada began. That was also a war about our right to exist, our ‘second 1948’. These descriptions would not have stood a chance if Zionist left intellectuals – solemn purveyors of the ‘morality of war’ – hadn’t endorsed them.

Military thinking has become our only thinking. The wish for superiority has become the need to have the upper hand in every aspect of relations with our neighbours. The Arabs must be crippled, socially and economically, and smashed militarily, and of course they must then appear to us in the degraded state to which we’ve reduced them. Our usual way of looking at them is borrowed from our intelligence corps, who ‘translate’ them and interpret them, but cannot recognise them as human beings. Israelis long ago ceased to be distressed by images of sobbing women in white scarves, searching for the remains of their homes in the rubble left by our soldiers. We think of them much as we think of chickens or cats. We turn away without much trouble and consider the real issue: the enemy. The Katyusha missiles that have been hitting the north of the country are launched without ‘discrimination’, and in this sense Hizbullah is guilty of a war crime, but the recent volleys of Katyushas were a response to the frenzied assault on Lebanon. To the large majority of Israelis, however, all the Katyushas prove is what a good and necessary thing we have done by destroying our neighbours again: the enemy is indeed dangerous, it’s just as well we went to war. The thinking becomes circular and the prophecies self-fulfilling. Israelis are fond of saying: ‘The Middle East is a jungle, where only might speaks.’ See Qana, and Gaza, or Beirut.

Defenders of Israel and its leaders can always argue that the US and Britain behave similarly in Iraq. (It is true that Olmert and his colleagues would not have acted so shamelessly if the US had not been behind them. Had Bush told them to hold their fire, they wouldn’t have dared to move a single tank.) But there is a major difference. The US and Britain went to war in Iraq without public opinion behind them. Israel went to war in Lebanon, after a border incident which it exploited in order to destroy a country, with the overwhelming support of Israelis, including the members of what the European press calls the ‘peace camp’.

Amos Oz, on 20 July, when the destruction of Lebanon was already well underway, wrote in the Evening Standard: ‘This time, Israel is not invading Lebanon. It is defending itself from a daily harassment and bombardment of dozens of our towns and villages by attempting to smash Hizbullah wherever it lurks.’ Nothing here is distinguishable from Israeli state pronouncements. David Grossman wrote in the Guardian, again on 20 July, as if he were unaware of any bombardment in Lebanon: ‘There is no justification for the large-scale violence that Hizbullah unleashed this week, from Lebanese territory, on dozens of peaceful Israeli villages, towns and cities. No country in the world could remain silent and abandon its citizens when its neighbour strikes without any provocation.’ We can bomb, but if they respond they are responsible for both their suffering and ours. And it’s important to remember that ‘our suffering’ is that of poor people in the north who cannot leave their homes easily or quickly. ‘Our suffering’ is not that of the decision-makers or their friends in the media. Oz also wrote that ‘there can be no moral equation between Hizbullah and Israel. Hizbullah is targeting Israeli civilians wherever they are, while Israel is targeting mostly Hizbullah.’ At that time more than 300 Lebanese had been killed and 600 had been injured. Oz went on: ‘The Israeli peace movement should support Israel’s attempt at self-defence, pure and simple, as long as this operation targets mostly Hizbullah and spares, as much as possible, the lives of Lebanese civilians (this is not always an easy task, as Hizbullah missile-launchers often use Lebanese civilians as human sandbags).’

The truth behind this is that Israel must always be allowed to do as it likes even if this involves scorching its supremacy into Arab bodies. This supremacy is beyond discussion and it is simple to the point of madness. We have the right to abduct. You don’t. We have the right to arrest. You don’t. You are terrorists. We are virtuous. We have sovereignty. You don’t. We can ruin you. You cannot ruin us, even when you retaliate, because we are tied to the most powerful nation on earth. We are angels of death.

The Lebanese will not remember everything about this war. How many atrocities can a person keep in mind, how much helplessness can he or she admit, how many massacres can people tell their children about, how many terrorised escapes from burning houses, without becoming a slave to memory? Should a child keep a leaflet written by the IDF in Arabic, in which he is told to leave his home before it’s bombed? I cannot urge my Lebanese friends to remember the crimes my state and its army have committed in Lebanon.

Israelis, however, have no right to forget. Too many people here supported the war. It wasn’t just the nationalist religious settlers. It’s always easy to blame the usual suspects for our misdemeanours: the scapegoating of religious fanatics has allowed us to ignore the role of the army and its advocates within the Zionist left. This time we have seen just how strongly the ‘moderates’ are wedded to immoderation, even though they knew, before it even started, that this would be a war against suburbs and crowded areas of cities, small towns and defenceless villages. The model was our army’s recent actions in Gaza: Israeli moderates found these perfectly acceptable.

It was a mistake for those of us who are unhappy with our country’s policies to breathe a sigh of relief after the army withdrew from Lebanon in 2000. We thought that the names of Sabra and Shatila would do all the memorial work that needed to be done and that they would stand, metonymically, for the crimes committed in Lebanon by Israel. But, with the withdrawal from Gaza, many Israelis who should be opposing this war started to think of Ariel Sharon, the genius of Sabra and Shatila, as a champion of peace. The logic of unilateralism – of which Sharon was the embodiment – had at last prevailed: Israelis are the only people who count in the Middle East; we are the only ones who deserve to live here.

This time we must try harder to remember. We must remember the crimes of Olmert, and of our minister of justice, Haim Ramon, who championed the destruction of Lebanese villages after the ambush at Bint Jbeil, and of the army chief of staff, Dan Halutz. Their names should be submitted to The Hague so they can be held accountable.

Elections are a wholly inadequate form of accountability in Israel: the people we kill and maim and ruin cannot vote here. If we let our memories slacken now, the machine-memory will reassert control and write history for us. It will glide into the vacuum created by our negligence, with the civilised voice of Amos Oz easing its path, and insert its own version. And suddenly we will not be able to explain what we know, even to our own children.

In Israel there is still no proper history of our acts in Lebanon. Israelis in the peace camp used to carry posters with the figure ‘680’ on them – the number of Israelis who died during the 1982 invasion. Six hundred and eighty Israeli soldiers. How many members of that once sizeable peace camp protested about the tens of thousands of Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian casualties? Isn’t the failure of the peace camp a result of its inability to speak about the cheapness of Arab blood? General Udi Adam, one of the architects of the current war, has told Israelis that we shouldn’t count the dead. He meant this very seriously and Israelis should take him seriously. We should make it our business to count the dead in Lebanon and in Israel and, to the best of our abilities, to find out their names, all of them.

3 August

Yitzhak Laor lives in Tel Aviv.

13 posted on 08/15/2006 1:57:13 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer

The writer of this piece is delusional.


14 posted on 08/15/2006 2:01:51 PM PDT by keithtoo (Israeli defense strategy "Cogito Ergo Boom!")
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To: NYer

" == The following was written by a Jew, living in Tel Aviv. He has a clear understanding of the damage assessment. == "

The first sentence is evidently supposed to establish a credential for the half-blind evaluation and accompanying tirade; the second is simply a flawed value judgement.

Israel is duty bound to protect its citizens, and to do that it MUST respond forcefully to aggression against it.

Yitzhak Laor is a man with a defective conscience, who knows of the peril and suffering in his homeland but refuses to acknowledge it in a meaningful way, by defending it. He also knows of the Hezbollah tactics, that constitute blatant WAR CRIMES that have invited and encouraged the Israeli response, but he adheres to the enemies of his country - a country that gives him the right to protest in this fashion. His statements, made where he made them, are absent courage, truth, and common sense.


15 posted on 08/15/2006 2:22:57 PM PDT by MainFrame65
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To: NYer
"Lebanon has the largest Christian population in the Middle East and we're losing that,"

Syria has more Christians than Lebanon.

16 posted on 08/15/2006 3:41:08 PM PDT by LordBridey
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To: NYer
You consider this to be the actions of a civilized people?

Most Americans believe that state terrorism is perfectly acceptable, such is their fidelity to Holy Mother State.

17 posted on 08/15/2006 3:44:57 PM PDT by LordBridey
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To: NYer
Military thinking has become our only thinking.

I think it is a good article and many of its points are applicable to our own country.

18 posted on 08/15/2006 3:48:35 PM PDT by LordBridey
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To: bornacatholic
OK, I gotta get down to the Antarctic and take a swim.

The Antarctic is an appropriate place for you. A land of nothing to accomodate your burgeoning nihilism. We want Catholicguy back.

19 posted on 08/15/2006 3:50:55 PM PDT by LordBridey
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To: NYer
Here are the statistics. This 33 days of war left 1140 dead (427 are under 18), 3630 wounded, 973,000 refugees, 11 billion dollars of damage, 30 vital constructions destroyed (airports, sea ports, power stations, ...), 33 gas stations destroyed, 630 Km of roads damaged, 145 bridges smashed to the ground, 7000 apartments gone, 9000 institutions (factories, shopping malls, shops, farms, etc...) burned down.

You consider this to be the actions of a civilized people?

No reasonable person considers Hizbollah to be civilized, nor should we consider apologists for Hizbollah to be civilized. They sow death and oppression wherever they go. By using the weak to shield themselves from justice, Hezbollah has made it impossible to distinguish the evil from the innocent. Hezbollah has chosen to start the war, Hezbollah has chosen to maximize the casualties, Hezbollah has chosen the field of battle, and Hezbollah has chosen to endanger the innocent. Remove Hezbollah and there would be no war, no casualties, no devestated battlefeilds, and no violent deaths.

20 posted on 08/15/2006 4:18:56 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: keithtoo; NYer
The Israeli's do not ever seek civilian casualties

Oh really? Hmm. Apparently you never heard of an event that took place on April 18, 1996 at Qana, also know as Cana (as in the "Wedding Feast of Cana" -- the site of Jesus' first miracle). That was during "Operation Grapes of Wrath." Remember that one? It was a 16 day Israeli military blitz in Lebanon whose objective was to subdue Hezbollah. It ended just like the one in 1993 and the one in 2000 and the one that is hopefully just now concluding: i.e. with 118 Lebanese civilians killed, 350 wounded, hundreds of thousands forced to flee their homes, the Lebanese infrastructure destroyed yet again, and Hezbollah still intact and and newly re-energized with a fresh crop of people who have learned to hate Israel after experiencing Israeli aggression. The incident at Qana took on April 18, 1996, when at least seventeen Israeli high explosive artillery shells hit a UNIFIL compound where over 800 Lebanese civilians had taken shelter. Some 102 civilians were killed. A U.N. inquiry found that it was "unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of gross technical and/or procedural errors," strongly suggesting that the base had been deliberately targeted.

"Amnesty International conducted an on-site investigation of the incident in collaboration with military experts, using interviews with UNIFIL staff and civilians in the compound, and posing questions to the IDF, who did not reply. Amnesty concluded, "the IDF intentionally attacked the UN compound, although the motives for doing so remain unclear. The IDF have failed to substantiate their claim that the attack was a mistake. Even if they were to do so they would still bear responsibility for killing so many civilians by taking the risk to launch an attack so close to the UN compound."[full report]

Human Rights Watch concurred, "The decision of those who planned the attack to choose a mix of high-explosive artillery shells that included deadly anti-personnel shells designed to maximize injuries on the ground — and the sustained firing of such shells, without warning, in close proximity to a large concentration of civilians — violated a key principle of international humanitarian law."[full report]

In light of the above, you'll forgive me if I don't share your certainty about Israelis not seeking to harm civilian casualties. But if that's not enough, then why not take them at their own words:

"Everyone in southern Lebanon is a terrorist and is connected to Hezbollah," roared Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon on July 27.

"Every village from which a Katyusha is fired must be destroyed," bellowed an Israeli general in a quote bannered by the nation's largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth.

The Israeli paper then summarized what the justice minister and general were saying: "In other words, a village from which rockets are fired at Israel will simply be destroyed by fire." That was Thursday (7/27/06).

Sunday (7/30/06), in Qana, 57 of Haim Ramon's "terrorists," 37 of them children, were massacred with precision-guided bombs. Apparently, Katyushas had been fired from Qana, near the destroyed building.

"One who goes to sleep with rockets shouldn't be surprised if he doesn't wake up in the morning," said Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman.

Today, we hear unctuous statements about how Israel takes pains to avoid civilian casualties, drops leaflets to warn civilians to flee target areas and conforms to all the rules of civilized warfare.

But Israel's words and deeds contradict her propaganda. As the war began, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accused Lebanon, which had condemned Hezbollah for the killing and capture of the Israeli soldiers, of an "act of war." Army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz publicly threatened "to turn back the clock in Lebanon by 20 years."

Gillerman, at a pro-Israel rally in New York, thundered, "[T]o those countries who claim that we are using disproportionate force, I have only this to say: You're damn right we are."

"His comments drew wild applause," said the Jerusalem Post.

Though Israel is dissembling now, Gillerman spoke the truth then. No sooner had Hezbollah taken the two Israeli soldiers hostage than Israel unleashed an air war – on Lebanon. The Beirut airport was bombed, its fuel storage tanks set ablaze. The coast was blockaded. Power plants, gas stations, lighthouses, bridges, roads, trucks and buses were all hit with air strikes.

Within 48 hours, it was apparent Israel was exploiting Hezbollah's attack to execute a preconceived military plan to destroy Lebanon – i.e, the collective punishment of a people and nation for the crimes of a renegade militia they could not control. It was the moral equivalent of a municipal police going berserk, shooting, killing and ravaging an African-American community because Black Panthers had ambushed and killed cops.

If Israel is not in violation of the principle of proportionality, by which Christians are to judge the conduct of a just war, what can that term mean? [go here to read the complete article, by Pat Buchanan]

now Israel has declared a cease fire. So, what did their detestation of Lebanon reap? Hezbollah is not only still intact, it's been legitimized by being invited to the negotiating table! Yes, the Israelis are now discussing a prisoner swap with Hezbollah. Can you say "Yassir Arafat all over again"? Will they ever learn? Will our government ever learn?

How many more 9/11s do we have to have before we figure out that "they" hate us for a reason, and it's not because they don't have MTV, Starbucks, Hugh Hefner, abortion on demand and all the other "joys" of our democracy. The rest of the world sees what we do and recognizes our hypocrisy. If any other nation behaved the way Israel did (i.e. exacting collective punishment on innocent people for the actions of a rogue entity that the whole world knew that they could not control and for which they asked for help), we would rightly call them terrorists. But Israel does it, and we fed-ex them more bombs! And we dismiss their hatred by labeling all of them "Islamo-fascists". Here's a Newsflash, folks: the Maronite Catholics, the Greek Catholics, the Eastern & Syrian Orthodox Christians, and the Armenian Christians of Lebanon are not Islamo-fascists. And yet I have no doubt that they loath, and even hate, our country now. And they have a good reason to.

Do you want to know what they see? Do you even care? Do you even consider them human beings anymore? I'm using the term "they" and "them", but "they" are really me. I am a Lebanese Maronite. And there but for the grace of God, I could have been lying under the rubble -- just as the family of my Christian Lebanese friend was. We are not Islamic extremists. They are human beings who want to live in peace. They don't have the means to "remove" Hezbollah.

A lot of Freepers seem to make the assumption that the Lebanese deserved the ruin that rained down on them because they "harbored" Hezbollah. That's like accusing a sea captain of "harboring" rats aboard his ship. Hezbollah came without being invited and have proven very difficult to remove!

And while people are quick to point out Lebanon's mistakes, they're awfully silent when it comes to acknowledging Israel's own failures and shortsightedness. This whole situation might have been different if the Israelis had listened to SLA members like Etienne Saqr (surely the Cassandra of Lebanese politics!) when they asked Israel to aid them the same way that Syria and Iran are aiding Hezbollah and thereby empower the Lebanese to remove Hezbollah themselves. Instead, Israel abandoned its Lebanese allies when they pulled out in 2000. They left them to face a fate of either forced exile or imprisonment by the Syrian puppet government on charges of "collaborating with the Zionist enemy". Thousands of them were sent to Syria and remain "lost" in Syrian prisons. Saqr himself rebuked Israel's leaders before their Knesset for making "heroes out of Hezbollah."

But they are not the only ones who failed by lack of foresight. The United States also betrayed the democracy-loving and peace-aspiring Lebanese. In 1990 during the build-up to the first Gulf War, George Herbert Walker Bush lobbied Syria to join his UN-backed coalition. Syria agreed, but had one small request. Bush 41 had to promise not to meddle in Syria's handling of Lebanon. So, in exchange for Syria's help (such as it was) in the first Gulf War, Bush sold Lebanon to Syria. The puppet government was put in place. The various militias disarmed with the understanding that everyone was going to disarm. And everyone did... everyone but Hezbollah that is. The puppet government let them keep their weapons. Now, fast forward to 2006 where historically illiterate posters make snide comments about how the Lebanese should have taken care of this problem themselves.

How?! How exactly were they supposed to do this with a Syrian controlled government in place that was systematically raping and pillaging their country? How were they supposed to do this with no weapons and no militias? How were they supposed to do this when all of their militia leaders and soldiers either disappeared in Syrian prisons or were forced into exile?

And even if Lebanon had a well-armed and operational army, it still would be very difficult to get Hezbollah out. Israel has been trying to do that for the last 18 years! And lest we all forget, this isn't the first bombing offensive Israel has launched to get rid of Hezbollah. Remember 1996 and “Operation Grapes of Wrath”? And don’t forget about “Operation Accountability” in 1993. That one was a seven day strike to remove Hezbollah. Needless to say, that one didn't work out either.

It would be churlish of me to belittle the Israelis by taunting them with their failure to get rid of these thugs just as it is churlish of them to taunt the Lebanese with this. The Lebanese army is only slightly larger than the Vatican's Swiss Guard and is trained to do about as much (i.e. guard monuments and try to look sexy in their uniforms). Israel has the fourth largest army in the world and 200 nuclear missiles in its arsenal! If they haven't been successful, how can they expect an abused unarmed civilian populace to be? The Lebanese had enough to worry about trying to get their war-torn country in order with little or no help from the rest of the world. And sure enough, every damn time the Lebanese rebuild their country, their neighbors (from all sides) march right in and transform it into Belgium circa 1915.

But, perhaps this whole argument depends on who we mean when we say the "Lebanese". By Lebanese, I'm referring to the people who are historically from Lebanon (of all sects & sub-sects of Christians, Druze, and Muslims), who own the land and have done so for centuries. They have learned the lessons of their civil war, and now want to build a secular Lebanon without sectarian set-asides and divisions.

As Pope John Paul II says, 'Lebanon is more than a country, it is a message of fraternity for the entire world.'

As the editor of America magazine put it in an editorial this month:

Christians, and Catholics in particular, have reason for acute concern, because Lebanon has been the last country in the Middle East where Christians play a significant role in society. The Lebanese experiment in multireligious co-existence, what the Lebanese call conviviality, a promising alternative to government by the mullahs, has been dealt a crippling blow. The weakening of Lebanon means fading possibilities not only for Middle Eastern Christianity but also for interreligious coexistence.

The other day, a Lebanese journalist pointed out on C-Span that the most popular leaders in Iran, Iraq (think of the Shiite al-Sistani), and now in Lebanon (Nasrallah) all wear turbins, not Western suits. I fail to see how allowing the destruction of the infrastructure and economy of westernized, multi-ethnic, multi-religious Lebanon serves the American interest.

21 posted on 08/15/2006 4:29:55 PM PDT by GipperGal
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To: NYer

Dear NYer,

"Here are the statistics. This 33 days of war left 1140 dead (427 are under 18), 3630 wounded, 973,000 refugees, 11 billion dollars of damage, 30 vital constructions destroyed (airports, sea ports, power stations, ...), 33 gas stations destroyed, 630 Km of roads damaged, 145 bridges smashed to the ground, 7000 apartments gone, 9000 institutions (factories, shopping malls, shops, farms, etc...) burned down.

"You consider this to be the actions of a civilized people?"

In that it is the Israelis who caused this destruction while fighting for their nation's existence against terrorists who randomly fire missiles in order to murder Jews, your question implies that perhaps you don't think the Israelis are civilized.

Is that true? Do you view the Israelis as not civilized?


sitetest


22 posted on 08/15/2006 4:38:16 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: NYer
The author is a blithering idiot.

As soon as the facts of the Bint Jbeil ambush, which ended with relatively high Israeli casualties (eight soldiers died there), became public, the press and television in Israel began marginalising any opinion that was critical of the war.

Marginalizing people who don't want to defend their own country is a perfectly normal survival instinct for a people who were just attacked.

The media also fell back on the kitsch to which Israelis grow accustomed from childhood: the most menacing army in the region is described here as if it is David against an Arab Goliath.

The fact is, David doesn't threaten anyone unless David is getting shelled. If Goliath doesn't make threats or kill Jews, Goliath gets to live in peace. It's a fact.

Yet the Jewish Goliath has sent Lebanon back 20 years

No, HEZBOLLAH has set Lebanon back. No country can call actions which put an organization like Hezbollah in office and to legitimize terrorism "progress."

, and Israelis themselves even further: we now appear to be a lynch-mob culture,

What hyperbole. I have yet to see a single lynching in this affair.

glued to our televisions, incited by a premier whose ‘leadership’ is being launched and legitimised with rivers of fire and destruction on both sides of the border.

Rivers of fire that are 100% Hezbollah sponsored on both sides of the border. For the terminally stupid : When Hezbollah launches rockets into Israel, Hezbollah chose to randomly murder whoever happens to be near the spot where they land. When Israel responds by targetting the spot where the rockets were launched, Hezbollah has chosen to sentence to death whoever happens to be in that spot. Hezbollah chose to initiate the war - or perhaps its masters in Teheran; all blood shed in it is on their hands.

Mass psychology works best when you can pinpoint an institution or a phenomenon with which large numbers of people identify. Israelis identify with the IDF, and even after the deaths of many Lebanese children in Qana, they think that stopping the war without scoring a definitive victory would amount to defeat.

The children in Qana died because Hezbollah started a war.

Quit putting the cart before the horse.

Not scoring a definitive victory is a huge mistake that will cost more blood later as the mass psychology thing takes hold on Hezbollah, who will assume that because they lived through the Israeli response they "won." That belief will cause Hezbollah and its allies to try to murder even more people next time the start a fight.

This logic reveals our national psychosis, and it derives from our over-identification with Israeli military thinking.

What BS. Israelis most likely identify with the IDF because it is Israeli. Same reason we Americans identify with our armed forces- they aren't our enemy, they are our protectors and family and friends. Get it? Do you seriously expect Israelis to identify more with the people who are trying to kill them or get them killed? The IDF are their family and friends who are also Israel's means of defense. They don't become strangers or enemies just because they put on a uniform.

23 posted on 08/15/2006 5:10:10 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: piasa

Excellent post. Thank you.


24 posted on 08/15/2006 5:16:19 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: MainFrame65; NYer; C2ShiningC
Israel is duty bound to protect its citizens, and to do that it MUST respond forcefully to aggression against it.

Hmm. Interesting statement. Have you ever read anything at all about the 1967 War? Lebanon didn't participate in that war, by the way, but the Lebanese suffered for it, primarily because they had a couple hundred thousand Palestinian "guests" deposited on their border by Israel. The presence of these Palestinian guerrilla groups, who used and continue to use Lebanon as their playgroup to make war on Israel, led directly to the destabilization of Lebanon and the subsequent civil war.

The first attack that Israel made against Lebanon was, I believe (I could be mistaken, who can keep count) on December 28, 1968. As you may recall, Israeli commandos attacked Beirut International Airport and destroyed 13 brand new MEA (Middle Eastern Airlines) civilian jet airplanes that were just sitting idle at the gates of Beirut International.

Brand new, ready to shuttle tourists and businessmen to and from the jewel of the Levant -- "the Paris of the Middle East".

"Why?" you ask. It was in retaliation for a Palestinian attack on an Israeli civilian airplane at the airport in Athens, Greece. Two Palestinians (you remember them, they're the "guests" that Israel escorted to Lebanon and dumped in refugee camps for the Lebanese take care of them) were charged in the Athens attack that left one Israeli passenger dead.

So... seeing as how Israel attacked Lebanon for something the Lebanese weren't even responsible for, do you feel that Lebanon was "duty bound to protect its citizens, and to do that it MUST respond forcefully to aggression against it"?

Just curious. I can't wait to read your apologia for Israel. It ought to be a hoot. Actually, I predict that I will be either: a) lynched by the FR "Israel Uber Alles Amen Corner" crowd, b) be branded anti-Semitic (ironic considering that I am semitic!), c) be banned from FR for life, or d) all of the above with worse punishment to follow. Such is the state of debate in our free Republic.

25 posted on 08/15/2006 5:18:39 PM PDT by GipperGal
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To: bornacatholic

Excellent posting. I feel the same way with some of the Orthodox "prelates"---they hide behind their cassocks. But they neglect the truth!


26 posted on 08/15/2006 5:20:20 PM PDT by eleni121 (General Draza Mihailovich: We will never forget you - the hero of World War Two)
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To: sitetest; NYer
In that it is the Israelis who caused this destruction while fighting for their nation's existence against terrorists who randomly fire missiles in order to murder Jews, your question implies that perhaps you don't think the Israelis are civilized.

Yeah, you're right. How dare NYer call Israel "uncivilized" for destroying a country in retaliation for the kidnapping of two soldiers. Shame on her. She doesn't know that if Israel (with its 200 nuclear missiles and the fourth largest army in the world) is fighting for its very existence against those vicious Gucci bag-toting, Prada clad, Mercedes driving, Paris educated Lebanese living in Beirut. Yeah, I can just picture Selma Hayek donning a bandolier and fighting side by side with those Syrian/Iranian paid fruitloops in Hezbollah.

I can not believe how much cool-aid seemingly intelligent people drink when it comes to the actions of the State of Israel.

27 posted on 08/15/2006 5:32:11 PM PDT by GipperGal
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To: keithtoo

BTTT for you!


28 posted on 08/15/2006 5:36:24 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Alouette

Ping!


29 posted on 08/15/2006 5:37:49 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: sitetest; GipperGal; bornacatholic; LordBridey; piasa; Patrick_k; maronite
In that it is the Israelis who caused this destruction while fighting for their nation's existence against terrorists who randomly fire missiles in order to murder Jews, your question implies that perhaps you don't think the Israelis are civilized.

I refer you to GipperGal's post below.

"Have you ever read anything at all about the 1967 War? Lebanon didn't participate in that war, by the way, but the Lebanese suffered for it, primarily because they had a couple hundred thousand Palestinian "guests" deposited on their border by Israel. The presence of these Palestinian guerrilla groups, who used and continue to use Lebanon as their playgroup to make war on Israel, led directly to the destabilization of Lebanon and the subsequent civil war."

It bears repeating!

30 posted on 08/15/2006 5:51:46 PM PDT by NYer
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To: keithtoo; NYer
The writer of this piece is delusional.

Oh. Thanks for clearing that up.

And who says we don't have vigorous debate on foreign policy here in America?

31 posted on 08/15/2006 5:52:15 PM PDT by GipperGal
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To: GipperGal; MainFrame65; LordBridey; piasa; sitetest; Patrick_k; maronite; Convert from ECUSA; ...
In 1990 during the build-up to the first Gulf War, George Herbert Walker Bush lobbied Syria to join his UN-backed coalition. Syria agreed, but had one small request. Bush 41 had to promise not to meddle in Syria's handling of Lebanon. So, in exchange for Syria's help (such as it was) in the first Gulf War, Bush sold Lebanon to Syria. The puppet government was put in place. The various militias disarmed with the understanding that everyone was going to disarm. And everyone did... everyone but Hezbollah that is. The puppet government let them keep their weapons. Now, fast forward to 2006 where historically illiterate posters make snide comments about how the Lebanese should have taken care of this problem themselves.

How?! How exactly were they supposed to do this with a Syrian controlled government in place that was systematically raping and pillaging their country? How were they supposed to do this with no weapons and no militias? How were they supposed to do this when all of their militia leaders and soldiers either disappeared in Syrian prisons or were forced into exile?

And even if Lebanon had a well-armed and operational army, it still would be very difficult to get Hezbollah out. Israel has been trying to do that for the last 18 years! And lest we all forget, this isn't the first bombing offensive Israel has launched to get rid of Hezbollah. Remember 1996 and “Operation Grapes of Wrath”? And don’t forget about “Operation Accountability” in 1993. That one was a seven day strike to remove Hezbollah. Needless to say, that one didn't work out either.

Thank you!, GipperGal, for the history lesson!

32 posted on 08/15/2006 6:03:33 PM PDT by NYer
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To: GipperGal

Dear GipperGal,

Although it started with the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, the current conflict escalated.

While the Israelis fought with restraint, the real barbarians, the Muslims who wish to murder all Jews, rained down thousands of bombs on Israeli territory, murdering Jews indiscriminately. Not for any military purpose. Not to try to win any battle.

Just to murder Jews.

This from a group of barbarians who were SUPPOSED to be disarmed some years back, by the UN, of all people.

Instead of being disarmed barbarians, they were well-armed barbarians, with over 15,000 rockets. They would have fired them all at Israel if Israel hadn't fought back.

But I guess it's okay to indiscriminately murder Jews, but it's immoral for Jews to fight back.

Gotcha.

I cannot believe how anti-semitic are some of Israel's critics.


sitetest


33 posted on 08/15/2006 6:04:24 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: NYer; GipperGal

Dear NYer,

Actually, the PLO wound up in Lebanon after the JORDANIANS murdered thousands of them in Black September. After being chased out of Jordan by the murderous and great humanitarian, King Hussein, they took up residence in Lebanon.

Not that I blame King Hussein much. He murdered them after they tried to murder him.

Thus, it is not ISRAEL that deposited these barbarians in Lebanon, but Jordan.

I guess this falls under:

If It's Israel's Fault, Then It's Israel's Fault.
If It's Someone Else's Fault, It's Still Israel's Fault.


sitetest


34 posted on 08/15/2006 6:12:03 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: NYer; GipperGal

So, then in answer to my question, do you think the Israelis are uncivilized, I take it that the answer from you two ladies is, "yes"?


35 posted on 08/15/2006 6:14:28 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Salvation; keithtoo; GipperGal; sitetest
BTTT for you! (As for the infrastructure damage, of course the Israeli's are going to try to destroy the supply lines for the delivery of more arms to their enemies. If the people of Lebanon want peace, they can expel Hezbollah and then they will have peace. If Hezbollah remains, Lebanon will never be at peace.)

So you disagree with Pope John Paul II? I would refer you to Gipper Gal's post #21.

36 posted on 08/15/2006 6:24:55 PM PDT by NYer
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To: LordBridey; sitetest; BlackElk
So, you actually think post #12 had to do with nihilism?

That makes as much sense as to suggest post #12 had to do with F-Troop's "Medicine Man", "Roaring Chicken's," intellectual syncopation with Jonas Salk

37 posted on 08/15/2006 7:01:36 PM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: eleni121

Thanks, Sister. Our hearts vibrate together in the music of reality.


38 posted on 08/15/2006 7:07:54 PM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: GipperGal

You're not allowed to question Israel here. Ever. Or neo-conservative objectives in general. That's just how this site works.


39 posted on 08/15/2006 7:11:04 PM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: GipperGal; NYer

It just wasn't kidnapping. It was missles being shot into Israel. An outpost was attacked and hostages were taken.


40 posted on 08/15/2006 7:14:24 PM PDT by sabe@q.com (Yes, I'm a SW freak!)
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To: GipperGal
westernized, multi-ethnic, multi-religious Lebanon



Have you ever spoken to a Christian Lebanese person? Apparently not. Otherwise you would not be making comments like the above. There are pockets of westernization in Lebanon but THEY ARE NOT IN SHIITE CONTROLLED HEZBOLLAH AREAS! Lebanon is not a functional multi ethnic state. It is a state which was controlled for years by Syria and is still in a state of fear with the Hezzies all over the place.

Using AI and HRW reports to justify anti Israeli hate takes the cake though. For these orgs anti Israeli sentiment is justified and attacks on Christians never happen!
41 posted on 08/15/2006 7:25:31 PM PDT by eleni121 (General Draza Mihailovich: We will never forget you - the hero of World War Two)
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To: GipperGal
Take a look at a map, sister. Do God's chosen people have a right to exist in Israel? I mean, take a look at a damn map. The mortal enemies of God's chosen people occupy ninety seven damn percent of the land mass in the Middle East. Do you think God's chosen people are too greedy desiring THREE PERCENT of land in the Middle east?

BTW, sister, don't kid yourself. Pat Buchanan and Joe Sobran have been drinking swamp water fom old Chuck Taylor sneakers. Our common mortal enemy has been around since the Seventh century. Their Doctrine is Christians and Jews are Kaffirs, infidels. They will kill you whether you support Israel or not and they were killlin me and thee more than TWELVE CENTURIES BEFORE ISRAEL WAS A STATE

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

42 posted on 08/15/2006 7:27:57 PM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: eleni121; Patrick_k; NYer
No, I know absolutely nothing about Christian Lebanese. I've never in my life met a Christian Lebanese person. Neither has Patrick_K.

Oops. Wait a minute. Oh that's right -- I AM A CHRISTIAN LEBANESE! Doh! Now I remember. Sorry.

Oh yeah, and patrick_k is in Lebanon right now -- in the South no less -- with his family. Hey, Patrick, did you realize that we have never met Christian Lebanese? I've got to remind myself to look in the mirror tomorrow morning -- just so I can discover what that strange rare creature known as a "Lebanese Christian" looks like.

But don't trouble yourself, eleni121, I'm sure it's much easier to stomach what Israel did to those little kids when you can label the entire country just a bunch of sub-human Islamic nutbars.

Funny that you think Lebanon is so "backwards". I didn't get that impression last April when all the conservative male bloggers were drooling over the so called "Cedar Babes" in Beirut. But that was then. They became non-persons once Israel went to war with Syria and Iran in Lebanon.

43 posted on 08/15/2006 7:40:53 PM PDT by GipperGal
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To: NYer

Like it or not, Israel is a democratic state. It is also a nation in arms, because it is surrounded by enemies who wish to destroy it. Would the author like to live in Syria or even in Egypt? Bishop Sheen noted more than 50 years ago that the Muslims were caught up in a rage, a rage that had little that time to do with Israel. It was a rage occasioned by a since of helplessness, or being inferior to the colonial powers, and it was a mood that would be traced back to the 18th Century when the Ottoman Empire began to fall apart, but which increased after the First World War as local nationalists everwhere perceived a weakness in the Colonial powers. Now they have projected their rage onto us, as the last great power, and of course, Israel which they perceive as our proxy in the region.


44 posted on 08/15/2006 7:43:04 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: bornacatholic; NYer; Patrick_k
Do God's chosen people have a right to exist in Israel?

I think we are all God's chosen people. From your name, I assume that you are a Catholic. Therefore, I would also assume that you believe the words of St. Paul when he wrote that we are "neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither man nor woman; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:27-28). And that holds true whether you believe in Jesus or not.

As for Pat Buchanan, guilt by association (with Joe Sobran or anyone else) is not an argument. And it is no way to refute an argument. Argue his points. And showing me a map means nothing. I could show you a map of north America and scream about how Canada and Greenland are going to wipe us off the map. But I won't because I'm a grown up.

Do you think God's chosen people are too greedy desiring THREE PERCENT of land in the Middle east?

I believe that Israel and Palestine should co-exist as two states side by side. I believe the Palestinians have just as much a right to live on the land that their ancestors have been living on since time immemorial. Do you believe that? If not, why not. Do you think all the Israelis really want to live in peace with the Palestinians?

Sometimes a particular action perfectly captures the underlying reality and becomes iconic. Do you remember a few summers ago when Sharon was rampaging through the West Bank to "root out the terrorists"? One incident was reported in the NYT that caught my eye: The soldiers were tearing up water pipes in the various cities they where rampaging through. How can water pipes pose a danger to Israel? Water pipes are pretty tame weapons! No, the Israelis wanted to make sure that it would be as difficult as possible for Palestinians to create a viable state: You cannot have viable state without such infra-structure as water pipes. Too bad none of this was discussed in the American media.

The Israeli press, on the other hand, is a lot more balanced than ours is! They have much more diversity of opinion over there. And I believe that the moderate Israelis, like the other moderates in the Middle East, are in a struggle over the future and identity of their country. I'm wondering how long it's going to take for Americans to wake up and actually listen to what is preached by the radical Orthodox rabbis in Israel. 'Cause it's as nutty and racist as the stuff being preached by the Imams. And they can use the bible to justify their indiscriminate behavior towards non-Jews in the region just like the Imams can use the koran to incite violence against Jews and Christians.

The following biblical passage is from the book of Joshua, Chapter 10:20-43:

Once Joshua and the Israelites had finally inflicted the last blows in this very great slaughter, and the survivors had escaped from them into the fortified cities, all the army returned safely to Joshua and the camp at Makkedah, no man uttering a sound against the Israelites.

Then Joshua said, "Open the mouth of the cave and bring out those five kings to me."

Obediently, they brought out to him from the cave the five kings, of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. When they had done so, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the commanders of the soldiers who had marched with him, "Come forward and put your feet on the necks of these kings." They came forward and put their feet upon their necks.

Then Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid or dismayed, be firm and steadfast. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies against whom you fight."

Thereupon Joshua struck and killed them, and hanged them on five trees, where they remained hanging until evening.

At sunset they were removed from the trees at the command of Joshua and cast into the cave where they had hidden; over the mouth of the cave large stones were placed, which remain until this very day.

Makkedah, too, Joshua captured and put to the sword at that time. He fulfilled the doom on the city, on its king, and on every person in it, leaving no survivors. Thus he did to the king of Makkedah what he had done to the king of Jericho.

Joshua then passed on with all Israel from Makkedah to Libnah, which he attacked.

Libnah also, with its king, the LORD delivered into the power of Israel. He put it to the sword with every person there, leaving no survivors. Thus he did to its king what he had done to the king of Jericho.

Joshua next passed on with all Israel from Libnah to Lachish, where they set up a camp during the attack. The LORD delivered Lachish into the power of Israel, so that on the second day Joshua captured it and put it to the sword with every person in it, just as he had done to Libnah.

At that time Horam, king of Gezer, came up to help Lachish, but Joshua defeated him and his people, leaving him no survivors.

From Lachish, Joshua passed on with all Israel to Eglon; encamping near it, they attacked it and captured it the same day, putting it to the sword. He fulfilled the doom that day on every person in it, just as he had done at Lachish.

From Eglon, Joshua went up with all Israel to Hebron, which they attacked and captured. They put it to the sword with its king, all its towns, and every person there, leaving no survivors, just as Joshua had done to Eglon. He fulfilled the doom on it and on every person there.

Then Joshua and all Israel turned back to Debir and attacked it, capturing it with its king and all its towns. They put them to the sword and fulfilled the doom on every person there, leaving no survivors. Thus was done to Debir and its king what had been done to Hebron, as well as to Libnah and its king.

Joshua conquered the entire country; the mountain regions, the Negeb, the foothills, and the mountain slopes, with all their kings. He left no survivors, but fulfilled the doom on all who lived there. (emphasis added).

Are you getting the picture yet?

Now I realize that all you see (i.e., all that your media has shown you) is that Israel is this peaceful democratic nation whose neighbors are all blood thirsty lunatics. You never see or read anything about the fact that Israel is actually a theocracy. If you happen to be non-Jewish in Israel, you don't have the same rights. You never read about Israel's invasion of its neighbors in 1956 or 1967 or the ambition among the radical ultra-right wing Orthodox Israeli rabbis to extend Israel's borders to its "biblical borders". Don't believe me? Go read the speech Ben-Gurion gave before the Knesset on the third day of the Suez War in 1956 when he pronounced that his real reasons for initiating that war was "the restoration of the kingdom of David and Solomon" to its biblical borders. Most of those radical rabbis believe that Southern Lebanon (aka "Galilee") is really part of "biblical" Israel. So, how safe would you feel living next door to someone who is proud of what their ancestors did under Joshua's leadership back in whoknowswhen BC and who also believe that your country was once "promised" to them?

As for the common mortal enemy stuff, I assume you are referring to militant Islam. As a Maronite, I think I know more about dealing with Islam than anyone currently posting here. Let me give you a quick history lesson:

The history of the Maronites has been a ceaseless struggle to preserve their Catholic faith and to maintain the greatest possible freedom within the political and religious circumstances of the times. The Maronite people have a strong emotional attachment to the mountainous regions of Lebanon. It was to these mountains that they fled in the seventh and eighth centuries to escape violent religious persecutions. It was in these mountains that they were able to remain virtually independent of the various powers that sought to control the region. The Maronite Patriarch was the only Christian religious leader who did not require a decree from the Sultan to validate his election as head of a Church within the Ottoman Empire.

In the seventh century, my ancestors fought the Muslims so fiercely that their caliphs were forced to pay us the jizya. They paid it in tribute in exchange for our good behavior. We left each other alone after that. Minding one's own business is an excellent way to live in peace. I'm hoping we Americans can re-learn to live that way soon. It's the essence behind George Washington and John Adams' warnings about staying out of "foreign wars".

I'll grant you that Israel has some seriously crazy enemies among Iran and Hezbollah. But I fail to see how pissing off the Lebanese helps the situation any. The moderate Israelis know this, God bless them. Maronites have traditionally been allies with Israel. I still am. But I will not turn a blind eye to radicalism and violence and racism whether it comes from the Sons of Allah or the Sons of Abraham. The way to peace is not behind a tank!

45 posted on 08/15/2006 9:08:53 PM PDT by GipperGal
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To: RobbyS
Like it or not, Israel is a democratic state.

Ah, no it's not. It's a theocracy. If you are non-Jewish, you do not have the same rights in Israel. It is also a nation in arms, because it is surrounded by enemies who wish to destroy it.

Yeah, any minute now it's going to be wiped into the sea. Nevermide the fact that Israel has kicked its neighbors' asses in EVERY fight it has EVER had with them. And I mean kicked them but good. In 1967, they destroyed the armies of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan IN SIX DAYS!!!!

They are not going to be driven into the sea by anyone. They are armed to the teeth with US missiles and tanks and F16s and Apache helicopters. They can go on being a bully to anyone in the region who pisses them off. And everyone in the region knows it and is afraid of them. Everyone except Syria and Iran because they know that Israel won't invade their countries because they're not bordering them. Why do you think the Jordanians and the Egyptians were willing to sign peace agreements with Israel? It wasn't because they suddenly fell in love with them. It was a matter of self preservation. If you are truly a friend to Israel, you would not be encourging their paranoia that everyone is going to drive them into the sea unless the Israelis kill them first. That's no way to live.

Would the author like to live in Syria or even in Egypt?

No, and I wouldn't want to live in Canada either. What the hell is your point.

46 posted on 08/15/2006 9:20:31 PM PDT by GipperGal
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To: GipperGal
I didn't get that impression last April when all the conservative male bloggers were drooling over the so called "Cedar Babes" in Beirut. But that was then. They became non-persons once Israel went to war with Syria and Iran in Lebanon.

Very good point!

47 posted on 08/15/2006 9:34:28 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("Love is the fusion of two souls in one in order to bring about mutual perfection." -S. Terese Andes)
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To: GipperGal
In the seventh century, my ancestors fought the Muslims so fiercely that their caliphs were forced to pay us the jizya. They paid it in tribute in exchange for our good behavior. We left each other alone after that. Minding one's own business is an excellent way to live in peace. I'm hoping we Americans can re-learn to live that way soon. It's the essence behind George Washington and John Adams' warnings about staying out of "foreign wars".

I'll grant you that Israel has some seriously crazy enemies among Iran and Hezbollah. But I fail to see how pissing off the Lebanese helps the situation any. The moderate Israelis know this, God bless them. Maronites have traditionally been allies with Israel. I still am. But I will not turn a blind eye to radicalism and violence and racism whether it comes from the Sons of Allah or the Sons of Abraham. The way to peace is not behind a tank!

God bless you! You are truly writing with the "warrior maiden" spirit of Eowyn! ;-)

48 posted on 08/15/2006 9:37:01 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("Love is the fusion of two souls in one in order to bring about mutual perfection." -S. Terese Andes)
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To: RobbyS
It was a rage occasioned by a since of helplessness, or being inferior to the colonial powers, and it was a mood that would be traced back to the 18th Century when the Ottoman Empire began to fall apart, but which increased after the First World War as local nationalists everwhere perceived a weakness in the Colonial powers.

Child, where did you read that? It might interest you to know that Lebanon was the model for the new nationalism of the post-World War I world. In fact, Lebanon was the first country in the region to create a national flag and anthem. We have never questioned our identity. Ever. That goes for Lebanese Muslims and Christians and Druze. One of the great patriotic figures in Lebanese history is Fakhr-al-din II. He was the emir of Lebanon in the days of the Ottoman Empire. He was a Druze, but after the death of his father at age twelve, his mother sent him to Kesrouan to be raised by a Maronite family, the Al-Kazins. When Fakhr was entrusted with a fief in the Shouf, he worked to realize his childhood dream, for fifty years 1585-1635 he fought for Lebanese independence and in so doing created Greater Lebanon.

On the domestic level Fakhr had three objectives: security, prosperity, and unity. His army consisted of 40,000 disciplined and well trained professional. New garrison stations were built and artillery imported from Europe. A Maronite Khazim commanded his army and another served as his chief counsellor. In 1611 he sent a Maronite bishop on a confidential mission to the Pope and the grand duke of Tuscany. A secret treaty was signed between Lebanon and Florence.

In 1613 the Porte moved against Fakhr with 50,000 troops and a sixty galley fleet. Prudence dictated flight on the part of Fakhr and so he escaped on a French vessel to find a warm welcome at the court of the Medicis. Cosmo II of Tuscany received his Lebanese ally in style. Fakhr wrote to his people:

Having set before our eyes a goal toward which shall unswervingly move - the goal being full independence of ouur country and its complete sovereignty - we are resolved that no promise of rewward or threat of punishment shall in the least dissuade us.'

In 1618 Fakhr returned to Lebanon to much rejoicing but found that in his absence his seat at Dier al Qamar had been assaulted by his rival Yusuf Sayfa.Fakhr swore vengeance and lost no time in implementing his oath. His men captured Crac des Chevaliers, demolished the Sayfa palaces in Akkar and Tripoli and removed their stones so as to rebuild Dier al Qamar. Next came the turn of the pasha of Damascus, in the battle of Anjar, 4000 Lebanese captured the pasha and cut down 12,000 of his men. Lebanon, Syria and Palestine was now under the rule Fakhr-al-din II. Nothing was left for Fakhr, in the words of a biographer of his time, but to declare himself sultan. Fakhr-al-din II preferred the title of 'Emir of Mount Lebanon, Sidon, and Galilee'.

As lord of Greater Lebanon he now felt free to proceed with his economic programme which was to bring great benefits to his people. His Christian leanings and European dealing again angered the Porte who in 1633 launched a land and sea offensive against Fakhr. 80,0000 troops from Syria and Egypt and a 22 galley fleet converged on Lebanon. Facing them was a force of 25,000 Maronite and Druze. After initial victories Fakhr-al-din II was captured and sent to Constantinople were on 13th April 1635 he along with three of his sons were executed.

His story was immortalized in an opera written by the famous Lebanese composers Mansour and Assy Rahbani (aka "the Rahbani Brothers" -- sort of the George and Ira Gershwin of Lebanon). The lead female role was played by the great Lebanese diva Fairuz in 1967 at the Baalbeck International Festival, which was the annual highlight of every Lebanese summer -- the oldest and most prestigious music festival in the middle east, held in the summertime in the ruins of the great Roman temple to Jupiter. It has been continued and each year since it started again has been better than the last. This year's festival was going to be the best they'd seen since before the war years. But unfortunately, it had to be canceled this year for obvious reasons.

I share all of this with you so that you might have a better understanding of the culture and the people of Lebanon. And also so that you might see that Lebanon really is a multi-ethnic and religious country regardless of what ignorant posters might say to help themselves sleep better at night.

49 posted on 08/15/2006 9:53:34 PM PDT by GipperGal
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To: GipperGal

Theocracy is not the right term, else Israel would be ruled by rabbis. It's a nation-state with a democratric form of government. They remind me of the ancient Athenians with every citizen a soldier/sailor.


50 posted on 08/15/2006 10:10:34 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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