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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Let's not forget the TIMELINE here

There is heated debate about who did what when, let's just REMIND EVERYONE of the timeline iin this, and reflect on how justified the Israeli response was - what are the real agendas here, because the official line just doesn't wash anymore......

Early on July 12 Hezbollah launched a raid against an army border post, in what was in the best interpretation a foolhardy violation of Israeli sovereignty. In the fighting the Shiite militia killed three soldiers and captured two others, while Hezbollah fired a few mortars at border areas in what the Israeli army described at the time as “diversionary tactics." As a result of the shelling, five Israelis were “lightly injured," with most needing treatment for shock, according to Haaretz.

Israel’s immediate response was to send a tank into Lebanon in pursuit of the Hezbollah fighters (its own foolhardy violation of Lebanese sovereignty). The tank ran over a landmine, which exploded, killing four soldiers inside. Another soldier died in further clashes inside Lebanon as his unit tried to retrieve the bodies.

Rather than open diplomatic channels to calm the violence down and start the process of getting its soldiers back, Israel launched bombing raids deep into Lebanese territory the same day. Given Israel’s worldview that it alone has a right to project power and fear, that might have been expected.

But the next day Israel continued its rampage across the south and into Beirut, where the airport, roads, bridges, and power stations were pummelled. We now know from reports in the US media that the Israeli army had been planning such a strike against Lebanon for at least a year.

In contrast to the image of Hezbollah frothing at the mouth to destroy Israel, its leader Hassan Nasrallah held off from serious retaliation. For the first day and a half, he limited his strikes to the northern borders areas, which have faced Hezbollah attacks in the past and are well protected.

He waited till late on June 13 before turning his guns on Haifa, even though we now know he could have targeted Israel’s third largest city from the outset. A small volley of rockets directed at Haifa caused no injuries and looked more like a warning than an escalation.

It was another three days -- days of constant Israeli bombardment of Lebanon, destroying the country and injuring countless civilians -- before Nasrallah hit Haifa again, including a shell that killed eight workers in a railway depot.

No one should have been surprised. Nasrallah was doing exactly what he had threatened to do if Israel refused to negotiate and chose the path of war instead. Although the international media quoted his ominous televised message that “Haifa is just the beginning," Nasrallah in fact made his threat conditional on Israel’s continuing strikes against Lebanon. In the same speech he warned: “As long as the enemy pursues its aggression without limits and red lines, we will pursue the confrontation without limits and red lines.” Well, Israel did, and so now has Nasrallah.

21 Comments:

At 27/7/06 12:50 pm, Anonymous deano said...

You say 'No one should have been surprised. Nasrallah was doing exactly what he had threatened to do...'
Well, no-one should have been surprised by Israel's actions either, especially after their efforts to retrieve their captured soldier in Gaza. I believe Hezbollah knew what would happen.

What you call 'a foolhardy violation of Israeli sovereignty' was an aggressive act of war, basically.

 
At 27/7/06 1:20 pm, Blogger Neil Morrison said...

So Israel withdraws from Lebanon and Hezbollah renege on their part of the deal to disarm and uses Lebanaon as a base to attack Israel with the stated intention of destroying Israel.

So Israel withdraws from occupied Arab land and gets peace in return... Isn't that supposed to be the deal? I mean, isn't that what the critics of Israel are saying will happen? Well we have an object lesson. Withdrawl not followed by peace.

Might explain why 90% of the Israeli popultion including so many lefties and members of the peace movement are in favor of the current action.

Maybe the critics of Isral might want to put a bit of pressure on Hezbollah to honor their commitments and stop seeking to destroy Israel.

 
At 27/7/06 1:42 pm, Anonymous Hayley Budd said...

Hey Bomber
It's Hayley here, the girl that called you up a couple of weeks ago to interview you for my school newspaper article. I have been looking all over the net and all through the librarys rip it up magazines to try and find a decent photo of you but you don't seem to be anywhere!!! Do you have any photos you could send me so that a cartoonist could use it to create a cartoon of you to avoid copyright issues. If you have any photos or places i could look please please pretty please email at hailz_xox@hotmail.com

cheers :)

 
At 27/7/06 4:01 pm, Anonymous bomber said...

.....................................Hi Hayley - I've sent you an email on that, good luck with your article - now as for Neil and Deano - Deano, no one should be surprised that Nasrallah continued the attack after it became apparent Israel was not going to back off - to try and turn that statement around and say no one should be surprised Israel would do what it has done just isn't logical - I had no idea Israel would bomb ambulances, or UN posts or perhaps use chemical weapons! And Neil - I think it is simply too simplistic to accuse Hizbollah of reneging on a treaty by continuing attacks after 2000, the area they are still fighting over is the Shebaa farms which remain disputed land. Again that's not a justification for firing rockets at innocent people, but resisting occupation of disputed land is a reason that they would continue attacking. The issue comes back again and again to the fact that there is NO MILITARY SOLUTION TO THIS! The issue is thye same issue it has always been, Israel holding onto land thyat is not theirs, if that isn't solved - there can be no peace.

 
At 27/7/06 4:46 pm, Blogger Neil Morrison said...

The Shebaa farms were captured from Syria, not Lebanon, in 1967.

The UN does not recognise the Shebaa frams as bein parts of Lebanon occupied by Israel, it does recognise the Israeli withdrawl as complete.

So there is no cause for Hezbollah to attack Israel. But its stated motivation is to destroy Israel. They are not fighting over disputed land. The Palestinians are.

Hezbollah agreed to disarm and has not done so.

So the pattern is, Israel withdraws in exchange for peace and doesn't get peace.

Israel has only resorted to a millitary solution becasue Hezbollah refuses to live in peace.

 
At 27/7/06 5:25 pm, Anonymous bomber said...

......................................Grin - how come everyone is keen to point out the connections between Hizbollah and Syria but not include them when in connection with the Shebaa Farms?

 
At 27/7/06 9:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bomber,

I suggest you delete Hayley's message, to prevent her inbox receiving more spam. I have heard that spammers use programs to scour the net for email addresses. The other method they use are email address generators that read a text based dictionary and join words together.

 
At 27/7/06 10:54 pm, Blogger sagenz said...

bomber - you forgot to mention that iran shipped 12000 Katyusha missiles to Hezbollah in March of this year. Oh yes of course Israel has over reacted to the kidnapping of 3 soldiers.

Poor Iran simply wanted to store those missiles there. Those well trained Hezbollah soldiers giving Israel lots of casualties are simply innocent civilians bravely defending their homeland.

 
At 27/7/06 11:14 pm, Blogger karlos said...

Neil Morrison... the Shebaa Farm ARE Lebanese. Just ask any Lebanese person in the country. The remember when the farms were Lebanese. I have been there and done just that. Do you forget that Syria had a strong military presence in Lebanon?? Just because Israel captured the land from Syrians does not the land Syrian.
The Syrians have even stated to the UN that the Shebaa Farms are Lebanese.

Hezbollah agreed to disarm when ALL of Lebanon was free from Israel. The Israelis held onto them Shebaa farms to give them a reason to stay armed, which gives them a reason to decimate the country once again.

Sagenz ... Hezbollahs desire to destroy Israel is NOT honourable. However the genocide Israel inflicts on the Palestinians is far less honourable. If Iran ships rockets to assist them in struggle for liberation, perhaps Israel should take it head out of the blood bath and try to resolve the Palestinian issue (and I don't mean exterminate them!).

 
At 28/7/06 10:16 am, Blogger bomber said...

……………………………..Sagenz let’s look at Hezbollah’s stockpile of 12,000 rockets -- the Israeli army’s estimate – and the threat it poses to Israel.

If Hezbollah’s intention was to destroy Israel in amassing these weapons, it has a very deluded view of what is required to wipe Israel off the map. More likely, it collected the armory in the hope that it might prove a deterrence -- even if a very inadequate one, as Lebanon is now discovering -- against a repeat of Israel’s invasions of 1978 and 1982, and the occupation that lasted nearly two decades afterwards.

In fact, according to other figures supplied by the Israeli army, at least 2,000 Hezbollah rockets have already been fired into Israel while the army’s bombardments have so far destroyed a further 2,000 rockets. In other words, northern Israel has already received a fifth of Hezbollah’s arsenal. I don’t see ANY of the damage to Israel I’m seeing in Lebanon, and that’s after being hit with a fifth of their arsenal. ‘Iran shipped 12 000 Katyusha missiles to Hezbollah’ sounds frightening – but the reality of it still in no way justifies what Israel is doing. Oh and thank you Karlos for pointing that little fact about the Shebaa Farm that Neil seems to have overlooked.

 
At 28/7/06 12:17 pm, Blogger Neil Morrison said...

bomber, I'm just going on what the UN's position is, which that Israel withdraw from all Lebanese territory. You and Hezbollah obviously disagree with the UN position.

Maybe you should let Anan know he's wrong on this one.

 
At 28/7/06 7:59 pm, Blogger bomber said...

....................................neil, could you please re-read the point Karlos made...

......the Shebaa Farm ARE Lebanese. Just ask any Lebanese person in the country. They remember when the farms were Lebanese. I have been there and done just that. Do you forget that Syria had a strong military presence in Lebanon?? Just because Israel captured the land from Syrians does not the land Syrian make. The Syrians have even stated to the UN that the Shebaa Farms are Lebanese.....

now please explain to me what I'm missing here? Help me out here Karlos, but as I understand it - The UN made a call on land (the Shebaa Farm) that wasn't for Syria to loose - the Syrians were on Lebanese land when the Israelis took it. The clause 'Israel withdraw from all Lebanese territory' can't be used to say Hezbollah have no excuse to be resisiting what they see as occupation by stealth. Israel doesn't define the Shebaa Farms as Lebanese land, they regard it as Syrian land, thus they can claim that they aren't occupying any Lebanese land. How is that defendable? It's a loophole the Israelis are using in the resolution they agreed to pass, it wasn't the intent or spirit of the UN for what that clause has been used to defend.

 
At 29/7/06 11:03 am, Anonymous neil morrison said...

Well that's the position of UN, that's the agreement that was made. One side sticks to it the other doesn't.

But if we accept for arguments sake that this still amounts to "occupation of Lebanese land" you still have to show that this justifies Hezbollah's actions.

If, for the sake of argument, we agree that Israel withdrew from only 99.99% of the occupied territory then that is still complying with 99.99% of the agreement. Hezbollah on the other hand have complied with 0% and have infact continued to arm themselves and attack Isreal - a clear a total breach of the agreement.

Aslo you keeping ignoring the very basic fact about Hezbollah's agenda - they seek to destroy Israel. The Sheeba farms is a pretext. If the farms went back into Lebabese control that would not be enough for Hezbollah.

And it is not the right of an illegal millitia to be caring out the foreign policy of the Lebanese government. Whatever dispute there is is between the governments of Israel and Lebanon to be resolved thru negotiation.

 
At 30/7/06 12:45 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bomber, nice blog.
Has anyone considered the bigger picture here? Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc may be foolhardy but not stupid. They know in their own minds that they cannot wipe Israel off the map through their own efforts. The only way they are ever going to come close to that goal is to have a united front of most, if not all of the Islamic countries of the middle-east. They already have Iran, Syria & the Palestinians behind them, and are putting pressure on Jordan, Egypt & the Saudis, by putting out this Islam verses the Judaeo/Christian/West scenario. They also strive to gain world sympathy for their cause and to isolate Israel & the US from world opinion. Hezbollah knew very well what the Israeli reaction was going to be when they kidnapped those two soldiers...make no mistake about that. It was a calculated move. Peace.

Thomas.

 
At 30/7/06 3:20 pm, Blogger bomber said...

..........................................Hey Thomas, isn't the problem that Israel and America continue the conditions that create extreme responses from the civilian population they are occupying? Criticising groups for harnessing justifiable resentment is short sighted isn't it? What about changing the conditions by ending the occupation?

 
At 30/7/06 3:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Occupation? Israel pulled out its settlers and left Gaza. What happened? Rockets still rained on them from Gaza. Militants kidnapped a soldier, knowing that Israel would come looking for him...if that is not a direct invitation for Israel to return, I dont what is...dont close your eyes to the fact that Hamas has no interest in peace and only seeks the destruction of Israel. There is NO hope for peace with such a goal. Under a UN deal, supposedly agreed to by ALL parties, Israel left Lebanon 6 years ago..what happens? Hezbollah keeps on firing rockets to Israel, and sparked off the latest war by attacking and kidnapping Israeli soldiers...again, what did they really expect Israel to do? C'mon, they KNOW and EXPECT the reaction from Israel...and there is a method to the madness. Peace.

Thomas.

 
At 30/7/06 7:30 pm, Blogger Brewerstroupe said...

I find it intriguing that the most folk in the West do not understand the Israeli/US end game. I suggest that anyone who cannot understand what motivates people to join anti-western terrorist groups read Bidstrup’s cogent background to this conflict (bidstrup.com/zionism.html), then go to btselem.org which is written by Israeli dissident intellectuals and study the map of the West Bank “settlements”. Their purpose is clear. If it was the Balkans it would be given it’s correct name – ethnic cleansing. Lebanon is just a part of this process. Keep your eye on Gaza and the West Bank. There will be much naughtiness there on the part of the Israelis while the world’s eyes are watching Lebanon burn.

 
At 30/7/06 7:30 pm, Anonymous SDM said...

Bomber, tell me, what is it you want?

You see, the only thing that has kept Israel viable has been its ability to make surrounding countries think that if they were to engage Israel militarily, they would lose. This is a significant moment - Hezbollah are the first Arab "organisation" not to crack under Israeli air assualt.

Consider the ramifications is a ceasefire were to occur now. Hezbollah is still intact. It still maintains its operational ability to strike. Israel would have failed in its ability to deal to an Arab army.

In 56 Israel defeated the Egyptian army, and again it won in 67. Thus the geopolitical calculations in the region has been that the Israeli defence forces were the most powerful. Yes there has been low intensity conflict - terrorism etc, but the assumption was that the Israelis had a conventional advantage.

I believe that this is the reason Israel will, and must, engage Hezbollah - and we will probably see a ground offensive. A ceasefire now would mean a political victory for Hezbollah - and a fundamental shift in the politics of the middle east.

Interested in your thoughts....

SDM.

 
At 1/8/06 12:46 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you feel more comfortable if the thousands of rockets being rained down on Israel by Hezbollah were killing more Jews? Would it seem more "equitable" to you then? Does it matter that the Israelis are more efficient at protecting their own? Does that make them villains?

 
At 1/8/06 5:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q. How many Jews do you have to kill before they and others can fight back according to the left?
A. six million.

 
At 2/8/06 9:45 am, Anonymous bomber said...

................................
Q: How many Palestinians need to suffer from Western guilt caused by the Holocaust?
A: Until there aren't any left

 

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