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Posted by on Jul 20, 2006 in At TMV | 26 comments

Israeli Military Ops in Lebanon : Two Versions


Here are two views on the Israeli military action at Lebanon. The first appeared in a leading newspaper of India, The Hindustan Times, and the other in the Beirut-based newspaper, The Daily Star.

David Danieli, the author of the article in the Hindustan Times, is Ambassador of Israel to India. This is what he wrote: “Since Wednesday, July 12, 2006, 1,500 rockets have landed in Israel across its entire northern sector, killing and wounding many civilians in towns and villages, including the port city of Haifa.

“The Hamas and Hezbollah terror organisations have repeatedly challenged the sovereignty of the State of Israel and the safety of its residents — first in the southern sector of Israel, then on the northern border with Lebanon and deeper into Israeli townships and villages. These attacks are carried out across the internationally recognised border of the State of Israel.

“These U.N. resolutions provided the Lebanese government with a perfect chance to assert its authority in southern Lebanon and along the border with Israel and turn it to a peaceful border between the two States. By doing so, the Lebanese government would’ve been acting in the best interest of the people of Lebanon. Unfortunately, the Lebanese government failed to carry out its obligations.

“Hezbollah’s weapons cache is estimated at about 10,000 rockets, supplied by Iran via Syria and directed at Israel’s heartland. In the face of this immediate threat, Israel has reacted within its right, and obligation, to defend its territory and citizens.

“Although military operations by Israel are now necessary to defend its citizens by neutralising the threat posed by the Hezbollah, the eventual solution is indeed diplomatic. Israel expects the family of nations to enforce the international consensus already accepted by the UNSC resolutions concerning the disarming of the Hezbollah and the Lebanese government’s assertion of national sovereignty along its border with Israel.

“There is no substantive difference between the Israeli position and that of the international community as expressed, for instance, in the statement issued by the G-8 leaders in Moscow on July 16.”

Now the other side of this sad story. In a lengthy and detailed article, Marc J. Sirois, managing editor of the Beirut-based newspaper, The Daily Star, today delivered a full-frontal assault on the western media for its supposed failings in covering the current conflict, says a columnist in The Guardian.

“Hizbullah’s decision to snatch two Israeli soldiers evinced poor judgment and even worse timing, but the Israeli response has been out of all proportion to the original incident. The numbers speak for themselves. As of Wednesday evening, Israeli attacks had killed at least 292 civilians in Lebanon, while Hizbullah rockets had killed 13 noncombatants in the Jewish state.

“Lebanon has approximately 3.5m people. On a per-capita basis, that means that as of Wednesday, the rough equivalent of 9/11 has happened every day here for eight days.

“The vast majority of western media reports do not accurately portray the fact that the vast majority of the dead are civilians, most of them women and children. A Reuters dispatch this week described Israel’s choice of targets as ‘puzzling,’ but for the most part western TV viewers, newspaper readers and web surfers are reading highly sanitised versions of the news, spun in such a way as to dilute the brutality of the Israeli onslaught and especially to ensure that blame is placed squarely on Lebanon in general and Hizbullah in particular.

“Of course there are brave and honourable western journalists working here, and many of them are determined to tell the truth about what is happening. One has to assume, therefore, that what the decent ones report is being heavily edited somewhere along the line before it gets to the consumer.

“This is presumably intended as a prophylactic against the inevitable charges of ‘anti-Semitism’ and resultant drops in advertising revenues that will follow unvarnished coverage of Israeli brutality. The product of this regime of fear has been a generation of biased reporting that portrays the Jewish state as weak when it is very strong, moderate when it is frequently extremist, democratic when it is often theocratic, liberal when it is commonly draconian – in short, ‘western’ when it is anything but.”

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  • SnarkyShark

    This is presumably intended as a prophylactic against the inevitable charges of ‘anti-Semitism’ and resultant drops in advertising revenues that will follow unvarnished coverage of Israeli brutality. The product of this regime of fear has been a generation of biased reporting that portrays the Jewish state as weak when it is very strong, moderate when it is frequently extremist, democratic when it is often theocratic, liberal when it is commonly draconian – in short, ‘western’ when it is anything but

    Gosh, the very scenario I was wipped with a wet noodle for by a certian troll-like creature.

    Unfortunately, the Lebanese government failed to carry out its obligations.

    Unfortunatly, the Lebanese goverment couldn’t carry out it’s obligation. And this smarmy prick knows it.

    At the end of this, when Isreal with it superior military force and unrestrained US greenlighted full court press fails to eradicate Hezzbollah, I wonder if this ass will concede that Lebanon had no hope of doing it? Maybe if Isreal had worked with Lebenon intead of blowing it to hell?

    Nope, being a Neo-con enabeler means never apologizing for anything-ever.

  • Snarkyshark2

    Why is that the bloggers like Snarky can not ever write plainly and clearly? And why post when you name is not there! Hmmm!

    Israel is the media darling! Why?

  • SnarkyShark

    Dear Dipstick-

    Its not my fault you can’t speak or understand english

    PS…what in the hell are you talking about? Could you possibly be more incoherent? Are you sniffing glue?

    Plus, Im not a blogger, I’m just part of the Rabble.

  • i dont care about the whole thing i just want israel to cop it hard up the rear

  • Rudi

    Read the link to the shortened version and I agree 100%. MJ Totten,not a Hezballoh sympathizer, blogging/reporting from the ME is also critical of the Israelis response. Simon Peres was on Hardball on Tuesday and said Israel would not go into Lebanon with troops. This lie lasted all of one day, Peres was on yesterday and Tweetie asked him a softball question and troops in Lebanon. A biased Arab blogger had pictures fron the van or bus that Israel bombed last Saturday.

    “Dear friends and colleagues ,
    You will all have to excuse me for sending this. It’s pictures of the bodies of babies killed by the israelis in South lebanon. They are all burnt. I need your help. I am almost certain these pictures won’t be published in the West, although they are associated press pictures. I need your help exposing them if you can. The problem is these are people who were asked to leave
    their village , Ter Hafra , this morning , within two hours , or else. … So those who were able to flee went to the closer UN base where they were asked to leave. I think that after the Qana massacres in 1996 when civilians were bombed after they took chelter in UN headquarters , the UN does not want to be responssible for the lives of civilians.A FEW MINUTES AGO , the
    Israeli asked the people of Al Bustan village in the south to evacuate their homes. I am afraid massacares will keep happening as long as Israeli actions are uncheked. Please help us if you can
    Hanady Salman”

    I have yet to see these photos in the US press, but we heard endless reports about a “grandmother and her grandson” killed in Israel last Saturday. There are now familes in Canada asking why the Western press is also biased.

    Snark – Them trolls are out in force. Kind of like when a troll created a blog to confuse people going to Riverbend in Iraq. The wingnuts have a peedigree to live up to – Lee Atwater, Karl Rove and the Nixon Plumbers.

  • BrianOfAtlanta

    I realize that Lebanon is stuck between a rock and a hard place. They don’t have the power to control Hizballah, yet Hizballah is part of the government and at the same time regularly committing acts of war against a neighbor who has a much more capable military than Lebanon does. At some point, that neighbor was bound to become pissed enough to respond, and given the disproportionate militaries, that response was likely to be disproportionate. The rest of Lebanon may have had no choice but to let Hizballah brew them this cup of tea, but brew it they did.

  • SnarkyShark

    At some point, that neighbor was bound to become pissed enough to respond, and given the disproportionate militaries, that response was likely to be disproportionate.

    Really? I will let Pat Buchanan make my rebuttal.

    “When al-Qaeda captured two U.S. soldiers and barbarically butchered them, the U.S. Army did not smash power plants across the Sunni Triangle. Why then is Bush not only silent but openly supportive when Israelis do this?

    Now old Pat has had some problems with Isreal, but I dont think that discounts the truth of this.

    Once again, Isreal had the right to retailate. They did not have the right to destroy their long suffering neighbor, and they are losing the moral high ground.

    Doing something just to do something sounds pretty stupid to me.

  • Chippedchips

    The differing views in the article, and differing views in the replies here, proves that there are as many views and opinions as there are rectal sphincters in the world.

    With that in mind here’s my “poot” on it…I don’t know who really started it, I don’t know which country is at fault, I doubt that all the facts will ever be known about it, and I don’t really care about it.

    All I really know from the vicarious position here in Texas where I sit currently, just like everyone else replying on the issue, is what is reported second handedly in print and televised so I WILL NOT add further ridiculous uninformed speculation into it.

    Good self advice eh?

  • SnarkyShark

    Good self advice eh?

    For you. I myself tend to try to influence the CW as much as I can so I can at least try to head off Billy Crystols lusted after WWW3.

    And there are some good first hand accounts that have bearing, they just aren’t on any of the heavily censored and slanted western media.

    When influential people are saying Isreal’s fight is our fight, and I disagree strongly, then I feel the need to do other than sit back and watch it all go down around me.

    My opinion might be full-o-crap, but I strongly feel it is less full-o-crap than the leering Leprechaun of death. Problem is, he is on TV and I am not. So i will try to counter his crazy insane ass the best way I can. That means right here, right now, doing what I am doing.

    I am not critisizing your choice in this, but it aint me. And I got to be me, its the best that I can do.

  • Rudi

    Snark,
    Both Kristols are comedians, one knows he’s a comedian and the of writes for the Weekly Standard, but won’t admit to being absurd.

  • SnarkyShark

    Right, my bad. Hard to tell em apart anymore.

  • Adam Haaretz

    RE: Israeli “disproportionate response”:

    Gee, when al-Quida hijacked commercial airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center, we should have only killed the exact number of al-Quida terrorists in Afghanistan, and then left the country. Surely, they would’t ever attack us again

    You can be “disproportionate” and effective, or “balanced”, and wait for it to happen again.

    This current war was ignited when Hizbullah took hostage two Israeli soldiers, but the genesis of the problem is that Hizbullah is holding the entire southern part of Lebanon hostage. They fire their rockets in the midst of civilian population centers, hiding behind the skirts of innocent women and children.

    When Israel attacks the rockets, they unfortunately kill civilians, but they are not aiming for them. Hizbullah, on the other hand, like al-Quida and Hamas, aims specifically for the innocent civilian.

  • liberalhawk

    “When al-Qaeda captured two U.S. soldiers and barbarically butchered them, the U.S. Army did not smash power plants across the Sunni Triangle. Why then is Bush not only silent but openly supportive when Israelis do this? ”

    Israel is not occupying Lebanon. Does Pat Buchanon think Israel should?

    The soldiers were IN ISRAEL when they were taken. Hezb crossed a recognized international border to do so.

    At a time when some say Israel would be protected from terrorism if only she withdrew from the West Bank, and had a recognized international boundary with Palestine, this undermines all support for peace and negotiations.

    Israel withdrew from Lebanon six years ago. Yet Hezbollah has built an aresenal of thousands of missiles, and has attacked across the border.

    This was the straw that broke the camels back.

    Israel will not tolerate the presence on its border of a heavily armed force dedicated to its destruction.

    The international community, including Lebanon, must come up with a way to assure that outcome.

    Until they do, Israel will take the necessary steps to destroy Hezbollah.

    Its unfortunate that Hezb hides missiles in homes and factories. Its unfortunate that Hezb uses Lebanons roads and bridges to transport the missiles that have caused one quarter of Israels population to take shelter in underground bunkers, and which killed two muslim arabs in Nazareth yesterday. But the fact that they do so does not require Israel to not target Hezbollah forces where it finds them.

  • Salmenio

    Very good Swaraaj….

    So which is more right? I guess we will have to read a history book one day to find out. I’m sure it will all be sanitized with the proper perspective by then. Maybe by one of those Jewish publishing companies in New York.

  • MichaelF

    (link)SnarkyShark (mail):
    This is presumably intended as a prophylactic against the inevitable charges of ‘anti-Semitism’ and resultant drops in advertising revenues that will follow unvarnished coverage of Israeli brutality. The product of this regime of fear has been a generation of biased reporting that portrays the Jewish state as weak when it is very strong, moderate when it is frequently extremist, democratic when it is often theocratic, liberal when it is commonly draconian – in short, ‘western’ when it is anything but

    Gosh, the very scenario I was wipped with a wet noodle for by a certian troll-like creature.

    No, it isn’t. It is completely different. The writer is saying that the press is not showing the full extent of Israel’s actions for fear of being called anti-Semitic. You were criticizing Israel freely while complaining that anyone who does so is labeled anti-Semitic. At the same time you w were guilty of labeling others as neocons, rushbos etc. In other words you were exposed for being a hypocrite.

  • MichaelF

    (link)Snarkyshark2:
    Why is that the bloggers like Snarky can not ever write plainly and clearly? And why post when you name is not there! Hmmm!

    Israel is the media darling! Why?
    7.20.2006 8:02am
    (link)SnarkyShark (mail):
    Dear Dipstick-

    Its not my fault you can’t speak or understand english

    PS…what in the hell are you talking about? Could you possibly be more incoherent? Are you sniffing glue?

    Plus, Im not a blogger, I’m just part of the Rabble.

    WHat is it that SS2 said which you do not understand ? I found him clear and easy to understand

  • MichaelFlatley

    LiberalHawk is spot on

  • Salmenio

    liberalhawk

    How can the “International Community” come up with anything while the UN is being subjugated by the U.S. into doing it’s will? The U.S. is Israel’s ally!

    The UN is the “International Community”!

    The UN has ALREADY come up with a solution half a century ago, but the Arabs rejected it. So the Israelis took ALL the land instead of what was divided up. Now they don’t even have that.

    Israel is slowing and painfully losing this conflict. So the international community might just as well stay out of it. Anything else would just be protecting Isarel and prolonging the torture.

  • SnarkyShark

    Theres that smell again. What is that?

    This current war was ignited when Hizbullah took hostage two Israeli soldiers

    Actually, this war was started when a family got blown up on a beach, but do go on.

    Gee, when al-Quida hijacked commercial airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center, we should have only killed the exact number of al-Quida terrorists in Afghanistan, and then left the country. Surely, they would’t ever attack us again…

    And you call ending their campaign against AQ pre-maturely to tear down Saddam statues in Bagdad what exactly?

    Strawman argument, and false dichtonomy. Next?

    Israel will not tolerate the presence on its border of a heavily armed force dedicated to its destruction.

    Yes they will. Beleivers of unlimted Israel and US power might as well believe in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth fairy. Probably a lot of the same people who like to kill people over the whole “my invisible cloud being is superior to your invisible cloud being” thing.

    From Billmon

    Talk of a deadline, of course, tends to devalue any fight-to-the-finish rhetoric eminating from Jerusalem — which already has been depreciating rapidly over the past few days. We’ve gone from Hezbollah delenda est, to Hezbollah must be disarmed, to Hezbollah’s capabiltites need to be degraded to: “Gee, wouldn’t it be great if somebody could get Hezbollah to stop shooting rockets at us.”

    The Israelis are even making positive noises about the idea of sending international peacekeepers to create a buffer zone along the border — that is, as long as it’s a peacekeeping force with “real teeth” (which is like asking for a team of commando beanie babies.) It appears Condi isn’t the only one looking for an exit strategy.

    Granted, some of the neocons are still holding out for a final solution to the Hezbollah/Hamas problem, but all in all the bomb line appears to have been walked back quite a ways from the edge of the next World War. It may be about time for Kofi to make that phone call to Damascus.

    more

    All this raises the question of what, exactly, the Jewish state hoped to achieve by escalating a minor, if embarrassing, border clash into an international crisis. Even the New York Times seems a little puzzled:

    But recent combat history provides a chastening lesson that air power, regardless of its accuracy and punch, cannot defeat even a conventional adversary unless it is backed by ground forces. Thus, American military analysts monitoring the conflict caution that Israel may be unable to reach its goal of disarming a shadowy guerrilla army by missiles, bombs and long-range artillery alone.
    Nor does the IDF appear inclined to make more than a token effort to do the job on the ground:

    Israel is wary of replicating its demoralizing, 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon, and there are no plans for “clear and hold� missions, these officials said. Instead, once their tactical objectives are reached in missions aimed at clearing the rocky, cavernous, bunker-laden terrain of militants and their arsenals, Israeli forces would return home.
    And yes, I’m sure those Vietnam-style search-and-destroy missions will work every bit as well for the IDF as they have for the U.S. Army in Anbar province. And, given that Hezbollah — by one estimate — started the war with roughly 13,000 rockets dispersed across southern Lebanon, and has fired only about 10% of them, a week should give the IDF plenty of time to complete the mission. Definitely.

    Confronted with the obvious absurdity of their military strategy, the Israelis are already falling back on alternative arguments — much like the Cheney administration putting forward its ever-changing reasons for why turning Iraq into a cauldron of anarchy was a good thing. Now we’re being told the real logic behind bombing the crap out of Lebanon’s infrastructure is that it will induce a political solution. The pain of seeing their recently rebuilt country turned back into rubble will force Lebanon’s gang of feuding feudal politicians to rise up and confront Hezbollah — the best-organized and most well-armed militia movement on the planet — after which the peacekeepers can move in and gently herd all those meek, pacified Shi’a fighters back from the border. Or as one retired Israeli general put it in an interview with the Jewish Week:

    “It’s not whether you can disarm them militarily,� he [Brig. General Michael Herzog] said, “but what you can achieve by political pressure. I think there is a lot of resentment in the Arab world that Hezbollah is using these capabilities in ways that undermine Lebanese interests.�
    He said he hopes to see “enough political pressure so that the issue of disarmament will be high on the agenda.�

    So hundreds of Lebanese and Israeli civilians have been killed or wounded, houses and apartment buildings have been flattened, roads and bridges and airport runways destroyed, so the “issue” of disarmament can be moved a couple of notches higher on the “agenda.” Whose agenda? Shrub’s? Kofi Annan’s? Syria’s?

  • SnarkyShark

    This

    But recent combat history provides a chastening lesson that air power, regardless of its accuracy and punch, cannot defeat even a conventional adversary unless it is backed by ground forces. Thus, American military analysts monitoring the conflict caution that Israel may be unable to reach its goal of disarming a shadowy guerrilla army by missiles, bombs and long-range artillery alone.
    Nor does the IDF appear inclined to make more than a token effort to do the job on the ground:

    Is from the NYTs

  • Pyst

    Because the boogeyman in Southern Lebanon is licking his chops, and waiting for them to come on in Snarky. That’s what Hezbollah has been waiting for this whole time, for the IDF to peek under the bed, because Hezbollah has something for them this time I believe.

    I smell a set up regarding Rice now too. The status quo in DC wants another pasty president so they might have her run off to the ME and miraciously cause a cease fire. This would allow them to create a Kissenger effect to create a cult of “legened” for Rice, making her what Kissinger wasn’t….a US citizen, and electable.

    Very scary scenario since Rice for all her education has no real world sense, just like Bush.

  • Pyst

    US born citizen rather….preview nextime doofus, preview.

  • SnarkyShark

    This would allow them to create a Kissenger effect to create a cult of “legened” for Rice, making her what Kissinger wasn’t….a US citizen, and electable.

    Possible, but improbable. I know my kracker-fied brethern oh too well. No matter how much they may want to vote Republican, they will not be able to overcome their inate fears of ‘darkies’ and ‘uppity wimmin’ in order to vote for her. Dems run a white guy, and Bill E Bob will decide socialism aint so bad.

    Then throw in the fact that she is as old a she is and not married, and the thumpers will be wispering the L word, and will stay home.

    The Rs made a deal with the Devil, and now they got to dance to the fiddle.

    Ye-haw I say!

  • Rudi

    My guess is that Hezbelloh is ready to fight the Israelis. They used a surface missile to almost sink an Israeli ship. The Iranians may have supplied them with anti-tank missiles and other nasty toys. Hezbelloh seems to want a fight. If Israel crosses the border and doesn’t cleanup the Hezbelloh, the Hezbos will claim a tactical and strategic victory. Israel spent over 15 years fighting the PLO in Lebanon only to create the Hezbelloh movement. A Lebanese offical said that the Lebanese army may side with Hezbelloh if there is a full scale invasion. Looks like the Kristol/Gagney vision of the ME is just as bankrupt as there vision of Iraq. Who in the US is going to fight WWIII for Nuwt Gingrich and Billy “Crazy” Kristol?

  • SnarkyShark

    Rudi, yep, and I am pretty sure that the IDF fears this mightely.Lets review-

    The IDF takes off into Lebenon in hot persuit, and gets a tank blown up with the loss of all hands.

    Nasty Suprise number one.

    Then the start launching airstrikes assuming they just get to blow shit up as usual with no imeadite repercusions, only to see an unexpected missle barrage reign down on their cities

    Nasty Suprise number two.

    Then one of their blockade ships gets hit and nearly sunk by something(no one still really knows)

    Nasty Suprise number three.

    Now if the IDF is really going to do something about Hezbollah, They have to roll into Lebanon. The idea that the Lebanese army was going to self police Hezzbollah is a joke, and serious people damn well know that.

    So if your the IDF, you have to ask yourself, what is behind door number four. And I think they really really dont want to find out.

    So there is some real strategy behind all this. The neo-con’s hubris has been used against them to box n Isreal, and tangently, the US. Wonder how much the Isrealis will love us when Goergie goes “whoa dudes, yer harshin my buzz. Later days and peace out yo!”

  • michaelF

    Snarky Shrk said :

    And you call ending their campaign against AQ pre-maturely to tear down Saddam statues in Bagdad what exactly?

    Strawman argument, and false dichtonomy. Next?

    Snarky .That is neither a strawman nor is it an example of the fallacy of false dichotomy .Try to use terms you actually understand . Please ?

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