The 2006 Arab-Israeli War

So, the latest Arab-Israeli War has begun. Israel is under attack on two fronts and Israel is responding with artillery fire and air raids, many of the air raids though are killing civilians. The world is asking itself, what can it do to end this crisis? Before we can decide on a solution, we need to analyze the situation. Furthermore, as classical liberals, we need to look at this through classical liberal principles as well. First, let’s break this down.

Hamas and Hezbollah intiated combat against Israel by abducting Israeli soldiers. The Israelis have every right to respond to these provocations against Hamas and Hizbullah and the governments that harbor and support and encourage them including the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. Israel and the Arabs have an obligation to minimize civilian casualties and refrain from directly targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure. Obviously, neither side is living up to that obligation. So the question is where to go from here?

Israel needs to, instead of turning possible Lebanese allies into enemies by bombing Lebanese civilian infrastructure and start actually conducting a war against Hezbollah and its state sponsors such as Syria and Iran. The Israelis need better intelligence against Hezbollah and start launching strikes against selected Hezbollah targets. The Lebanese government needs to be emboldened to move against Hezbollah, bombing them won’t help the situation. Finally, Israel needs to take the war to Syria and Iran. Syrian policy on Israel is to fight Israel to the last Palestinian and Lebanese and Iranian policy is to fight Israel to the last Palestinian, Lebanese, and Syrian. Maybe if Iranians and Syrians, especially those connected to the leadership, began dying they would rethink their proxy war against Israel.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.
  • Kevin

    I can’t believe they post this garbage on the front page of google news.

  • Zlaya

    You are full of shit. This war, that you are so vulgarly promoting involves state of the art weapons versus slingshots. You are murdering these people, and you know this in your heart. God might forgive you if you help spread peace. Stop causing World War III

  • Zlaya

    Off course they post this shit on Google News. Our media here, even the internet kind, is almost 100 pro Israel. What the hell is going on here? Why this Israel bias? This is not real Israel, and here is the proof.

    Children murderers

  • junior

    who wrote this article, paul wolfowitz or dick cheney?

  • Corona Rivera

    We cannot call ourselves “civilized” or “adult” until we stop trying to justify war. – There is NO good reson to kill each other. – We try to teach our children not to battle over differences; we need to grow up!

  • death

    Israel Israel a cursed nation

    god will not help them again

    burnt to ash in the coming armageddon

  • an Israeli

    On Dec.1, 2001, our youngest son barely escaped the terrorist attack that took the lives of his two best friends by double suicide bombers on Ben Yehuda street in West Jerusalem. He usually is the last to leave a party, but this day, moments before the attack, for reasons he himself does not know, he left the birthday party at the open air ice cream parlor, being offered a ride home by someone he barely knew. Besides the two teenagers who died in the attack, ten of his other friends were wounded spending months in the hospital, one with 6 bolts in his brain (Horrendously, these charges are usually packed by the terrorist with bolts or nails for maximum damage). But behind the scenes is this – about the time of the attack, with no warning of it coming, my wife entered our son’s bedroom and knelt down and prayed, “God, protect my son tonight.” He did, our forever thanks to Him!

    Then there is our street in Jerusalem’s northern neighborhood- atypical but it happened, and so I relate it- Two houses down from us, a 19 year old, another Danny, was killed in a terrorist bombing at a kiosk in Nahariya on the Mediterranean coast. The next house to him is Mordekhai’s, paralyzed with a bullet in his spine from a shooter in a car passing by in the Territories. And across from Mordekhai, another young man, also shot in the back while in his car, thank God, is almost fully recovered. I recount all this, that you may know that civilians on the Israeli side are now fed up determined that the Hamas and the Hizboulla be broken of their terrorism.

  • Raven

    You can only see your wounds? What about now, what your army doing now? killing innocent people and damaging buildingd? what is the Difference b/w Israel and Hammas and Hizbullah? If these are terrorist Organisations then Israel is also one of them. By the way they captured the two soldiers because they have crossed the borders of Lebonan. So, don;t you think that is a bit illegal?

  • Boddhisatva

    Such delusion and obfuscation of the truth prevails everywhere. A right wing website masked as “liberal.” There is no way killing can ever be justified, and it always will create more pain and suffering and hatred in its path. War has never and will not in our time solve our human problems.

    Israelis, Americans, and Britons – stop blaming Hamas and Hizbullah, Iran, Syria, anyone who does not share like strategic goals. Everyone else, stop blaming Israel and America.

    Your own governments are the perpetrators of this violence, not the people of other countries. Change the centers of power and realize that the power is within yourselves, and see your brother across that border and realize that he and you alike both bleed red.

  • Boddhisatva

    Woops, I realized this is an American libertarian site, of course it is right wing tomfoolery!

    Well, no more google news aggregator for me, back to listening to the wind like old times…

  • Aman

    Israel has no respect for any citizens and of any country. Even they don’t respect the UN. Now they have bombed apartment blocks in Tyre where United Nations International staff were living. These UN staff are now missing presumed dead.

    Who should answer for these deaths? The World leaders of today are a sorry lot.

    Aman, India

  • KipEsquire

    You write as if “Hizbollah” and “Hamas” were discrete, well-defined zones within Lebanon comparable to Little Italy or the Castro. They are not.

    There is no easy way for Israel to “limit itself” to fighting only the terrorists — who have completed infested both Lebanon and the Palestine Territory.

    It would be like trying to destroy only the white squares on a chess board.

  • Millar

    “It would be like trying to destroy only the white squares on a chess board.”

    … without being able to see the colors.

  • Dan

    The truth is the middle east thing is more complex than whether this site is liberal or not. As a member of the generation that will form the next group of world leaders, I need solutions that will work.
    We need to outlaw terrorism in all its forms and also states that aid terrorists or are terrorists themselves. We need answers that work…not jargon like “axis of terror” “child murderers” etc etc…
    The middle east is one place where its hard to define terrorist.

  • Michael Devereaux

    You have GOTTA love this. Scroll back up and read the first few responses to this article:

    1. “I can’t believe they post this garbage”… an ad hominem attack, of no worth at all.
    2.”You are full of shit.” Now, now, little child! You will one day become an adult. “State of the art vs slingshots”. Hmm, perhaps those using slingshots should, um, STOP attacking, admit Israel’s right to exist historically, and let both sides live in peace?
    3. “Of course they post this shit”…. “Child murderers.”
    Remember when Iraqis fired on US Troops from within a mosque? And we fired back? And were condemned for an abomination against a religious site? More recently Iraqi troops fire into mosques and nary a whisper of protest is heard. The double standard remains alive and well: Israel, when attacking, accidentally causing innocent deaths, and they are child murderers. Muslim fanatics, when they attack, deliberately causing innocent deaths, are not child murderers. This is a joyful world.
    4. “Who wrote this article, wolfowitz or cheney?” Wow, when did Rumsfeld get off the boogeyman list? And yes, there are only two people who believe Israel has the right to self-defense, and they’re up all day and night pretending to be 120 million other people.
    5. “… until we stop trying to justify war”. “we need to grow up.”
    Noble sentiments, ma’am. And I will never put a gun in your hands and force you to fight – if you do believe these words you are a genuine pacifist. But I was one of the people who cheered in ‘Witness’ when John Book took on the hooligans – when the peaceful fought back. Remember the ice cream scene? I believe in the necessity and SANCTITY of self-defense, whereas you do not.
    6. “Israel, Israel, a cursed nation… burned to a crisp…”
    Now, now, my son! Achmanijihad doesn’t have nuclear weapons in Tehran yet! Let’s not get too far ahead of yourself!

  • Indian

    do you think if Israel stop military action then Hamas and Hizbollah won’t kill Israelis ?
    What is the end goal of these terrorist organisation to destroy entire Israel and to live on that land ?

    True Indian

  • Black Angel

    Well, Well. Looks like the Pro-Israeli Armageddonist are getting front row seat with Google.

  • NF

    The ignorant just don’t get it. Isreal is a speck of dust in the vast Arab territories, yet some Arab countries, or groups want a piece of it. Look at a map of territories and explain why the Palestinians need Isreali land. Isreal is surrounded by enemies on all sides and lives to protect itself from uncivilized, angry neighbors. The only God will continue to protect His chosen people whether individuals or nations like it or not.

  • Philip

    Why is it that Syria and Iran are firing guns using Lebanese shoulders?Am sure this is not acceptable in any version of Islam?I think the war will go on as long as despots like Ahmedinejad and Assad are on their thrones.Who is put through hardship – it is the Lebanese and the Israelis, not the Iranians or the Syrians.I think these governments need to be taken down asap,else we will see hateful rhetoric turn in to a full scale war in the Gulf.

  • Withheld

    These comments all amount to nothing more than political masturbation. All of them, Pro-Israel or Anti-Israel represent the thoughts of uninformed people who pontificate on a world that they have never experienced but think they know something about it because their source of information is deemed ‘reliable’ from their point of view. I am glad you all feel better once you have ejaculated.

  • robin

    so let me get this straight. hizbollah and hamas kill dozens of israeli civilians in suicide bombings over the last few year and the israeli government does little or nothing (compared to the current “war.” then, hizbollah and hamas kidnap a couple of uniformed soldiers and that is an act of terrorism worthy of a large scale attack.

    where is the outrage from the US government? uh…no where. we do this shit all the time now.

  • GWsucks

    I hope they ALL blow themselves into nothing. Screw the Isrealies, screw Hamas, screw Hizbullah, and Screw GW.

  • Steven

    I have to agree with
    document.write(“Kevin here.”) While I consider this journalism, I’m baffled by its high ranking on Google news.

  • Ibrahim

    The UN is dead. It’s stated purpose is to provide security and to prevent wars.

    The United States has turned this on its head and uses the UN to start wars.

    All Muslim nations should withdraw from the UN. Pakistan should proliferate nuclear weapons. Then all muslims nations should wipe Yisrael off the face of the earth. If the Jews want to live in Palestine they can do so as subjects of a united Muslim empire.

    That’s my dream anyway.

  • Mountain Man

    The article missing so many factual items as to not be worth responding to at all.

    Try going and looking into the history of this conflict (since 1948), the number and types of UN resolutions all sides have ignored (including Israel) and even the evolution of the current hostilities.

    If the article writer does that, he’ll be forced to make massive corrections, or he will if he is interested in the truth being told.

    There are no innocents in the “leadership” on either side of this conflict, and the whiney “he hit me first” spewing from both sides is disgusting.

  • Hei Long

    This is war is causing people to see the true side of Israel and what they stand for. The truth of the matter is that I care for all mankind and hope we can all live in peace but the way Israel is handling the situation in the middle east makes you wonder if they already forgot about the halocast. The palestians are treated no different from the concentration camps that were in Germany. Their lives are no different from concentration camps in Germany. The way how these people are treated is the number one cause of terrorism around the world.

    The world would like to see the best for Israel but until they start having sympathy for the Palestinians who got displaced and then bounded to refugee camps there will never be peace in Israel. Israel tracked down almost all the world war II war criminals just to get justice. I wonder sometime if they think they will be hunted. Even Sharon has a war criminal case against him after he leave office but he is in a coma. Innocent people Palestinian civilians die at the rule of these generals.

    Also now the world world is seeing and is against what Israel is doing, even the US but we cannot say it out right or else it will compromise too much for Israel. This is not good for Israel or USA. How long will it take for the world to realize that we need to stand up and stop this middle east war. The world is a different place now because of this. Every year we lose our more and more rights and they can do that because they claim they are protecting us. But they are not addressing the issue: Israel and the middle east.

    Also alot of people think that this does not affect them but it does in so many ways. This problem in the middle east caused 911 and more terrorists organization formation than ever before. Our lives are treaten and now one has the guts to stand up and address the real issue: Isreal. How many more people will have to die for us to realise that this is the source of the problem for the terrorism? Even the terrorists say this.

    The world leaders are simple minded and are scared to even discuss the real problem. This problem in the middle east is causing people to die right around the world:usa, england, spain, india, pakistan, africa etc. The first thing to solve any problem is to find the source. We all know the source:israel. Israel should exist but until there has to be mediator. This is problem is no longer an Israeli and Palestinian issue. It is a world problem and when there are world problem the world government has to step up and address it. In every country they have a court and when they rule on an issue it is binding. Since this is a world issue issue what the world rule should be binding. Can any world leader step up to this task??? None I bet. The problem begins in Israel. That is where we have to start. We need international soldiers there and in West Bank and Gaza. Infact we have to have international soldiers on the border of all Israel. Palestine will reopen and start doing business and humanitarian aid comes in to help with schools and allow people to start living earning the basic necessity for living. Also guarantee their safety from Israel. Also guarantee the safety of the israeli people.

    Israel and Hammas cannot be at peace without international support where the international councel can make the decisions(similar to when you put your case in front of a judge. The judge ruling should be upheld). They have been trying to do this for years but world leaders and UN dont have the guts to demand accountability and to determine what works. If they can’t get it right between themselves the world will have to do it. They all have their chances and now their problem is affecting me in my country-USA. World leader refuse to even look at the problem because they are scared.

    In conclusion, International forces are needed in Israel, Gaza, West Bank, Border of Lebanon and Syria. This will guarantee everyone safety. Gaza and West Bank should be allowed to develop and without any objections from Israel. This will take years but no one is willing to spend this kind of money. So the world will continue to feel the effect in higher gas price, more terrorism and increase deaths of civilians around the world. Also you will lose your rights by the time you figure out that this was needed to be done.

    Who will standup for this????? I thoughts so, no one have the guts to do it….People now a days are cowards and scared to even discuss the problem that is affecting their lives. When did you become like this? I bet you even scared to voice your true opinion on the situation. Yes i thought so…you are scared to even protect your children. Time to wake up my friends.

    Demand what is best to save your country. We all love our country. This middle east problem affects you whether you like it or not. Dont be a coward to protect the safety of your family. Start with the problem: Israel and the middle east. If you were selected as part of jury and you are link in the case in anyway you are disqualified so Hamas and Israel have to have international mediators to solve this problem. They have proven time and time they cant do it by themselves. We can make the difference. Start to day to do something.

    This issue is causing us all something, yet we ignored it. Even you who think you are not affected. You pay higher prices. You are less safe. Terrorist are even strifing for nuclear bombs. We need to stop and think that this problem is preventing world peace. Wake up people. Wake up. Open your eyes. This is affecting you. Dont be stupid and think that this is not your fight. It affects you and your children to come.

  • Chris Perver

    The Bible predicted this war would happen, and it will continue to intensify. Olmert said yesterday that Israel does not want this war, but is seeking a “covenant of peace” with its neighbours, in direct fulfilment once again of Daniel’s prophecy concerning the peace agreement that will commence the tribulation period (Dan 9:27).

    Read about it here…

  • sdasdasd


    I say nuke those filthy sandniggers

  • Joseph

    Is Israel enjoying itself? You have to reckon they are intelligent enough to realise their actions will not bring peace to the region. Its no good trying to dress their actions up as a rational measured response, this is an emotional lashing-out by Israel.

    If a Mexican terrorist group kidnapped some National Guard soldiers would you bomb Mexico City? Would that be considered acceptable? Why is it that when something like this happens, the only recourse Israel has available is to reach for the gun? They blame the Lebanese for not reigning in Hezbolla but what have they done to help that fragile democracy or any other in the region?

    Israel is addicted to retribution.

    The only relationship Israel is interested in having with its neighbours is one of building walls, turning its back and then lashing out when things inevitably spiral out of control. Having to deal with the arabs on an equal level would be considered a humiliation in Israel, which is determined to believe itself (racially) superior. If the endless circle of violence is the price to be paid for maintaining that sense of racial superiority as far as Israel is concerned that is a price worth paying.


    WHATTT!!!???? How can you COMPARE this to the Holocaust?!!! Do you understand that SIX MILLION Jews were killed by the nazis unprovoked, and solely because of anti-semitism in Europe????? And do you understand that the conflict in the Middle East involves aggression from BOTH sides and half a century of unresolved, while Holocaust was caused purely by the hatred of Hitler?!!? YOU FCUKING BSATARD HOW CAN YOU ACCUSE ISRAEL OF FORGETTING THE HOLOCAUST!!!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS GOING ON IN GERMANY???? concentration camps… can the thought even come to your MIND that the Lebanese are living that way…in camps, starving and dying in their shit, waiting to be gased? FUCK YOU, learn some history!

  • Dal

    WW III between Muslims and Western countries are here and have been prophesied in great details.

    Please visit

    Time is running out.


  • Hmm

    Does anyone think that Iran wouldn’t want to nuke because it contains so many holy sites that are important to Islam? Sure, they send weapons to Haifa and other cities, but when they have a nuclear weapon and they ask themselves, WWMD, they might not strap that nuke onto a missile and obliterate their Holy Land.

  • Ibrahim

    Nuclear weapons are to deter, not to use. Only the US thought otherwise.

    Yisrael would be very tempted to use theirs should they ever be overrun.

    Nuclear wepons capable of hitting those who aided Yisrael in aquiring them would help to deter their use.

  • VRB

    “The Israelis need better intelligence against Hezbollah and start launching strikes against selected Hezbollah targets.”

    I thought Hezbollah targets were civilian.

  • george9911

    The Arabs and Persians want Israel destroyed.
    Israel objects to this policy.
    War is the only course that will solve this issue.
    Israel will win or die.
    Arabs and Persians will win or lose.
    Bet on Israel to win because they have no choice.

  • sapster

    biggest murderers and terrorist are the americans and jews, go back to the history 1948,jews are all illegal living in PALESTINE.
    kidnapped 2 soldiers so they had the right to kill so many civilians!! what about the kids jews shoot between the head or the doctors they kill so they cant treat the patients. its good that they get the backing of some1, israel for america, palestine for lebenon!!!!

    zionist pigs,rapist,child killers,il giv u somthing your clever in your ways

  • sapster

    but what you gona say to the lord..hey!!
    you only gona live..what.. 65..70!!

    jews belive in judgement right??

  • Mike

    …I’m completely speechless. I know us libertarians are supposed to try and reach out to the rest of the world to spread our ideas, but if this is the rest of the world, I don’t think it’s really worth the effort.

    Haha, and of course, “Woops, I realized this is an American libertarian site, of course it is right wing tomfoolery!”

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  • Ken

    First off,the media is not to be trusted.Second, America should mind their own business.What goes on in the middle east is not our business.I am born and raised American and I only see more death and violence in the future for us as long as we interfere with these peoples world.

  • Eric

    Simply amazing, the hatred and racism displayed by most of the anti-Israeli commenters.

    P.S. I’m the founder of this site. The site has no control over how Google News chooses to rank our articles. If folks don’t like how Google does business, talk to them. Also, this is not a “libertarian site”. The “heirs of Patrick Henry” would not describe a group of libertarians, per se. A further also, if you don’t understand what the original meaning of the word “liberal” is, don’t presume to understand what a classic liberal would believe in.

  • Joshua

    There is a strong reaction against the actions of Israel because those actions have directly led to the deaths of more than 300 civilians. And alarmingly for just about everyone, it seems as though Israel can do this with impunity. This justifies the strength of feeling against Israel on this thread.

    The facile tactic of putting labels on people who disagree with your view, has worked up till now to deflect critisism from Israel. But Israel by its recent actions has forfeited its self-assumed automatic right to the moral high ground, and we can now start to see them in a new light. Why shouldnt we critise them? Failure to effectively critisise their military actions in the past has led to the situation we are in now. Israel has been able to fall back on its “Defence Force” to temporarily “solve” its problems rather than develop a longer term strategy for peace by better means.

  • Kevin


    There is a strong reaction against the actions of Israel because those actions have directly led to the deaths of more than 300 civilians. And alarmingly for just about everyone, it seems as though Israel can do this with impunity. This justifies the strength of feeling against Israel on this thread.

    A few errors in that paragraph. First of all, you need to point out the fact that Hezbollah has been engaged in using civilians has human shields and hiding their rocket launchers in civilian homes and civilian buildings before you accuse Israel of indiscriminately murdering civilians. That puts the 300+ dead more in context. Also, depending on who is keeping track, the Hezbollah fighters can technically be considered civilians because they are not part of an official state military. Finally, how does the actions in Lebanon justify the anti-semitic comments, including the call for the nuclear destruction of Israel, that have been on this thread.

    But Israel by its recent actions has forfeited its self-assumed automatic right to the moral high ground, and we can now start to see them in a new light.

    By responding to the unprovoked abduction of two of its servicemen and waging war against the abductors, who have responded by deliberately attacking Israeli civilians. Where’s is your condemnation of Hezbollah by these standards?

    Failure to effectively critisise their military actions in the past has led to the situation we are in now. Israel has been able to fall back on its “Defence Force” to temporarily “solve” its problems rather than develop a longer term strategy for peace by better means.

    Your options are kinda limited when you have neighbors who want to drive your country into the sea and exterminate our people and feel they have a religious duty to do so.

  • robin

    funny, kevin, but our own american brand of fundamentalist christians would have our government, in the name of jesus, exterminate our enemies with the same religious duty as hezbollah.

    the irony, of course, is that jesus actually advocated loving your enemy. and loving others as if they were like you.

    seems everyone has some kind of religious investment in this situation…and not much of it is good.

  • Eric

    Robin, I guaruntee that none of the people who write on this site, which would include Kevin, have any religious investment in this situation, except, of course, to oppose religious bigotry and hatred.

    There’s a fundamental (if I can use that word without someone assuming I’m a religious whacko) difference between Hezbollah, using rifles, artillery, bombs, rockets, etc. to destroy their religious enemies and the fundamentalist christians you speak of who are using political means to achieve their ends. I would argue that if you consider them morally equivalent you have lost touch with reality and are living in a fantasy world. More to the point, you clearly wish to paint people who try to use political means as equivalent to people who try to use violence to achieve their ends, because they both have strong beliefs that you disagree with. You are doing so with the obvious objective of discrediting the group of people who have not used violence and, perhaps, with justifying the actions of a brutal, violent, bloodthirsty gang that uses religion as an excuse to kill people that they hate.

  • robin

    really. so you’re saying that those who have used political means to their ends are innocent of the killing that results? hardly.

    you forget that the military is an arm of the political system. our president is commander and chief of the armed forces. bottom line: he is the “decider.”

    those who would use politics to achieve their nefarious ends end up using the military to implement them in the end. hezbollah merely skips the “political” step.

  • Eric

    Not worth my time, if you can’t understand the importance of the military being under the control of civilian government. And why that is dramatically different from something like Hezbollah.

  • robin

    i’m not surprised that you have no time for this…you’re too busy splitting hairs. really fine ones.

    i’m not saying that hezbollah is not savage. i’m just saying that those 23+ children killed in the israeli bombing yesterday would testify to the savagery of bombs no matter how they are sent: a civilian government or a “terrorist” group.

    we make those bombs. we sell them to israel. they use them to blow up houses. admittedly, hezbollah is using civilians as cover…but perhaps rather than the wholesale murder of innocents (which, after 9/11 we know fairly well and are a little sensitive too), israel should try a different approach…a less “savage” approach.

  • Doug Mataconis


    Why is an obviously mistaken bombing run, which is no question a tragedy, an example of “savagery”, while the fact that Hezbollah has been operating from within civilian neighborhoods and thus endangering civilian populatiosn is denounced by nobody ?

    Yes, people die in wars. And its a tragedy when innocent civilians die. But the villans here are the terrorists of Hezbollah (who, I will remind you are also responsible for the death of hundreds of Americans and countless thousands of Lebanese), not the State of Israel.

  • Doug Mataconis


    Any one other question — why should Israel restrain itself when its enemies show no inclination to do so ?

  • robin

    i think my point is that both the hezbollah-ists and the israelis are culpable here.

    equally so.

    was ghandi a coward? or did he (and mlk, jr) show supreme courage in taking a non-violent approach? neither shied away from confrontation, but both understood that violence begets violence.

    maybe we are asking israel to show the same courage it did in 1991 when it refrained from retaliating against iraq as hussein lobbed scud after scud into israel.

    we know they are capable of it…why won’t they do it?

  • Doug Mataconis


    With all due respect, I think you are being incredibly naive here.

    Nonviolence will not work when you’re facing an enemy made up of people willing to strap bombs to their chests, walk into a crowded pizza parlor, and blow themselves up. It won’t work with a so-called army that aims most of its missiles at civilian rather than military target. And it won’t work with people willing to fly airplanes into skyscrapers.

    I don’t like the world we’re living in much either, but I’m not going to sit back and advocate a nonviolent approach to a situation that can only be solved by destroying the enemy.

  • robin

    you mistake non-violence with doing nothing.

    if you think “destroying the enemy” is the answer, then don’t be surprised if the “enemy’s” goal is to destroy you.

    i just returned from a trip that included a tour of the westward expansion museum in st. louis. there is this quote on the wall:

    “If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science
    of human relationships–the ability of all people of all kinds,
    to live together and work together in the same world, at peace.”

    it is a quote from someone who knew all about war and retaliation…i suppose he, too, was naive to think that we could live and work together in peace.

    it is a quote from a speech that was to be given april 13th, 1945. the day after he was found dead.

    we, here in the US, are cocooned from the violence in lebanon, iraq, india, pakistan, the sudan, afghanistan, chechnya, etc. it is easy, from the comfort of our EZ-chairs in the interior of our country to spout platitudes and ideologies.

    but my original point (to eric) was that so long as we americans initiate and thereby perpetuate the violence, no matter how “civil” we are in preparing for war, we are no less barbaric than those who choose terrorism as their technology of choice in war.

    someone has to step out of the cycle or we’ll all die.

  • robin

    oops…forgot to mention…franklin roosevelt was going to utter those words on 13.april 1945. sorry…

  • Mike

    The only reason Ghandi was successful was that he was opposing the British Empire, which, for all its faults, was rather benevolent (at that point in history at least) when compared with, say, someone who killed 7 million Jews, or people who cut the heads off of civilians on a pretty regular basis.

    Same goes for MLK Jr. He was fighting against a system that while evil and wrong, generally used water hoses and attack dogs, unlike the rockets and rat-poison laced ball-bearing bombs that Hezbollah uses.

    In any case, I’m wasting my time here because you fail to understand the difference between the U.S. and Hezbollah. One side fights for “good” and one side fights for “bad.” Fortunately for this country, most people here are not like you. If we were, the U.S. and its dreams and ideals would have been consigned to the dustbin of history a long time ago.

  • Mike

    Oh, and as for Israeli’s “restraint” when Saddam was lobbing SCUDs into Tel Aviv, that restraint was bought by the U.S. at the price of a squadron of F-16s sold to Israel for bargain prices (might have been free, my memory is hazy) and the diversion of several U.S. strike fighters to search continuously for Saddam’s SCUDs.

    Don’t try and rewrite history to imply that Israel restrained itself out of altruism. They didn’t attack because they were bought off with the fighters and the threat of much cooler relations with the U.S. if they joined the war.

  • robin

    some day i am going to write a book on internet cliches used to dismiss arguments. “you’re wasting my time” will be toward the top of the list. it’s a convenient way to end a debate/discussion without ever having to prove your point. i’m just grateful you didn’t use the word “laughable” as well.

    so, i guess that means i get the last word.

    i would just recommend both of you to re-read you last couple of posts. i don’t see how, using your logic, you can possibly argue that what hezbollah or al qaeda are doing is wrong. afterall, they are trying to destroy those enemies that are trying to destroy them.

    the only way to win this thing is to be the last man standing. who’s right and who’s wrong doesn’t matter in the end. to us, we’re right. to them, they’re right. and the rightness and wrongness will only be decided by who gives up or gets completely annhilated first.

    that has worked in the past with conventional warfare…but this isn’t conventional. you can tell because we aren’t fighting sovereign nations any more, and two, we invade sovereign nations at our own pleasure. neither is conventional.

    so, given your “destroy them” mentality, i can see why living on this earth is such a dubious endeavor. and it will only get worse.

    if you fail to understand that your idea of destruction itself has failed to this point, then i too am wasting my time. ;)

  • Eric

    Robin: some day i am going to write a book on internet cliches used to dismiss arguments. “you’re wasting my time” will be toward the top of the list.

    Don’t use the same tired arguments over and over again, maybe you’ll get a different response.

  • Eric

    But, let’s try once more, just for the sake of saying that we tried.

    Robin said: i don’t see how, using your logic, you can possibly argue that what hezbollah or al qaeda are doing is wrong.

    So, Robin, you feel that targeting civilians without restraint is morally equivalent to targeting armed enemies with as much restraint to try and avoid civilians as possible? Because that is what you are arguing.

    I have no particular moral issue with fighting for “your side”, per se. I have serious moral issues with those who deliberately target civilian non-combatants. I also have serious moral issues with those whose stated goal is genocide.

    You, apparently, do not.

  • Mike

    “if you fail to understand that your idea of destruction itself has failed to this point”

    Carthage. Waterloo. Hitler. Communism.

    Oh, and someday I’m going to write a book about people on the internet with no reading comprehension skills. I guess I’ll spell it out for you a little clearer. Ghandi and MLK Jr. got to use nonviolent means because they were “fighting” against people who largely restrained themselves. Nonviolent principles do not work when applied to those who have no regard to human life. Just ask the Jews…they tried nonviolence with Hitler. Just go along, don’t fight, it’ll all be okay in the end, etc. And 7 million ended up dead.

    And in case you didn’t get it, the U.S. and Israel are “good” because we are fighting for things like liberty, freedom, the rule of law, etc. Hezbollah and their ilk are “bad” because they are fighting to kill all the Jews and reestablish an Islamic caliphate under Sharia law, where women like yourself get to wear the veil and have no rights.

  • Mike

    And to pile on Eric’s serious moral issues statements, I have serious moral issues with those who aren’t man enough to do their own fighting, who choose to let women and children die instead of them. I have serious moral issues with those who strap a bomb to a teenager with Down’s syndrome and use him in a suicide attack.

  • robin

    Carthage. Waterloo. Hitler. Communism.

    iraq, afghanistan, sudan, northern ireland, chechnya. these are wars that cannot (could not) be won by capturing the flag.

    and i don’t buy carte blanche that the US and Israel are “good” and that they are solely fighting for liberty, freedom, and the rule of law. these conflicts that we are a part of right now reek of economic interest, personal grudges, ego, and fear under the guise of reform and altruism.

    and come now, you don’t really believe that we altruistically want iraq to be free? we just want them to look like us. they can have free elections so long as they elect the right people…i.e., OUR people. we really don’t want the world to be free to choose their own governments, we actually want them to buy our coca cola, computers, bombs, movies, etc. we want global expansion because it expands our markets. and, with global expansion (and the tenuous “peace” established by us), we can rape the world and use whatever resources we want.

    and really, israel is hardly “good,” or least any better than anyone else in that area. what they are doing in lebanon is totally within their foreign policy. while they say they “regret” the error, they don’t really. it is business as usual for them, it is policy to strike back this way. better the lebonese children than their own.

    ironically, i find it pathetic (laughable even) that you believe these conflicts can be won using our current models of war.

    and i also find it amusing that you crack on my reading of your comments, yet you seem to have the persistent monolithic belief that non-violence is doing nothing. even ghandi believed that violence was necessary once in a while. but violence should never be the first resort, and violence should never be used without continued conversation and negotiation.

    have we even attempted to find out, on an official level, why the muslim radicals want us all destroyed? i doubt W and his cronies have the first clue. all they know is that those fighters will fight to the death and won’t give up even in the face of supreme world dominating military might. they were neither shocked nor awed. yet something keeps them going and it isn’t just wanting us destroyed. it is deeper and if we are to have any success, we need to try, at the highest levels, to understand it and work toward peace.

    finally, for the record, calling someone “naïve” is another one of those internet clichés. you can’t possibly presume that everyone must arrive at your particular view point, can you? just because I don’t believe like you doesn’t mean that I have missed pertinent information or failed to achieve a higher level of sophistication of thought as you have. this is your website and so you have a reasonable right to expect conformity to a certain extent. just because we don’t agree doesn’t make one of us uniformly right and the other uniformly wrong…it is possible we are partly right, or even non-exclusively right. but to believe that I am “naïve” or flawed in my understanding of some absolute truth that somehow you have, is elitist and narcissistic. It is at the core of the problems around the world today.

  • Mike

    “we just want them to look like us. they can have free elections so long as they elect the right people…i.e., OUR people. ”

    If that’s the case, why do we let al-Sistani have major influence, even though he can be somewhat anti-American? Why do we continue to let al-Sadr run around even though he has fought both U.S. and Iraqi troops? Why did we allow the people to elect a PM who gives an anti-Israeli speech before Congress? The reason, of course, is that we DO want Iraq to be free to choose their own government because that’s the only long term way to solve the problems in the Middle East. Democratization combined with respect for the rule of law. France is anti-American, yet its government does not give tacit support to terrorists. Pakistan’s government is pro-American, yet terrorists come out of the country, many with the support of the government. Liberal republics are inherently stabilizing; dictatorships and other authoritarian governments are not.

    “ironically, i find it pathetic (laughable even) that you believe these conflicts can be won using our current models of war.”

    It can’t. Which is why we have troops and other government officials stationed all over the world in Muslim areas building wells, providing medical care, and otherwise showing that Americans aren’t evil. Which is why we’re having to learn how to fight a decentralized war. Which is why we’re having to play catch up and get into 4GW.

    “have we even attempted to find out, on an official level, why the muslim radicals want us all destroyed?”

    Read Osama’s fatwas against the West from the mid to late ’90s. They provide a laundry list. But the funny thing is that when one of his reasons is taken away (like when we withdrew all troops from Saudi Arabia) that doesn’t seem to pacify him any. I wonder why that is?