What do you think?

Rarely am I lacking a rant. But since this shit with Hizbollah & Israel started it's been difficult. Israel as a secular, pluralist democracy has the incontrovertible right to respond to attacks on it's soil with overwhelming military force.

Do you think Britain would piss about if the IRA had fired 3,000 rockets in the British mainland in the past few months?

It's unfortunate, nay a tragedy for each innocent life lost, on either side. Now, to the question of causualties on both sides. It has been pointed out that around 370 Lebanese have been killed, and around 40 Israelis. This diagram may go some way to explaining the difference

Of course you can replace the Palestinian soldier with Hizbullah (or any terrorist militia actually)

I've been searching the net for hours for a good comment piece that reflects my feelings (I am woefully inarticulate and lack a public school education!). Nought on the "MSM", nothing of note from The Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian, any of the British papers. I've been searching the blogs in vain, until I came across this rather good little piece enitled Taking Sides is Not an Option by Perry De Havilland, which I reproduce below for your edification

At the start of the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, although not unsympathetic to Israel's security needs, I was very concerned that this conflict not escalate into something which was a war between Israel and Lebanon per se. My view was that as the factions that opposed Hezbollah had been trying to undermine that organisation by getting Syrian forces out, it would be a tragedy if Israel's military action undermined the pro-modernist forces within Lebanon.

And yet after reading and listening to the remarks of commentator after commentator speaking for various Lebanese factions, I now seriously question if there was ever a realistic chance of these people achieving a disarmed Hezbollah within Lebanon. It appears that views like those of Ahmed Al-Jarallah do not have much currency in Lebanon (and I urge the commentariat to link to Lebanese sources which suggest otherwise), which means if Israel was just going to wait for political development across the border to eventually neutralise the clear and present threat of Hezbollah, they would have had a very long wait indeed.

In short, I find myself inescapably drawn to the notion that not only is the Israeli action warranted, I now think there is no good reason the IDF should avoid attacking targets of strategic value to Hezbollah which are located in non-Hezbollah areas. Moreover, I would urge them to follow the logic of that position and start striking targets in Syria and (above all) in Iran in order to impose a cost on those governments for their actions in enabling Hezbollah.

Much as I support the idea of a modernist secular Lebanon, perhaps that is simply not within the power of non-Islamists in Lebanon to deliver until military realities have altered the political realities. In short, if the other factions within Lebanon do not want Israel to completely demolish the national infrastructure that Hezbollah also uses, they need to realise that they, as well as Israel, need to declare war on Hezbollah. As long as ports, roads and airfields in Lebanon can be used by Hezbollah, neutrality is simply not an option for anyone.

The delicate balance of power within the Cedar nation became untenable the moment Hezbollah in effect declared war in Israel on behalf of all of Lebanon and as a result, either Hezbollah is expelled from the government, declared a criminal organisation and confronted militarily by Lebanon's army... or Lebanon (and not just Hezbollah) is indeed at war with Israel and must accept the consequences. There are no other realistic alternatives.

35 Responses to “What do you think?”

  1. # Anonymous Umbongo


    Surprisingly you could have referenced this article http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-2281508,00.html in the Sunday Times by Michael Portillo. He hit the nail on the head: Israel is fighting our battle.  

  2. # Blogger jonz

    Ah shit. How did I miss that? Damn.  

  3. # Anonymous leanne

    Its always Israels fault...


  4. # Blogger Wolfie

    You can wax lyrical all you like but this is going to play-out like the first 40 minutes of "Aliens". Those wet IDF boys don't stand a chance against those tough hombres on the ground. Eventually they'll call in a UN force, which thanks to Iraq and Afghanistan will mostly comprise of .... the Italians (prey the Russians join in shall we?).

    Then what do you think will happen next?  

  5. # Anonymous alison

    Im honestly not sure if you are joking or not Wolfie. Surely 'wet' is staking it out behind civilians? Even that dumbarsed UN guy said that Hizbollah are 'proud' that they have mostly 'sustained mostly civilian casualties' - admitting as much. Which they likely as havent. Whats 'tough' about that?!  

  6. # Blogger Wolfie

    I'm talking about military effectiveness in the field (read comments).

    And you're not really going to tell me that the Israelis have the moral high-ground after that bombing campaign? Not averse to using the odd civilian themselves either.

    Its going to be a dirty war for both sides.  

  7. # Anonymous Tim Baste

    Two things, Jonz.

    1. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed reckons you'll get your wish: In the last few days, I learned from a credible and informed source that a former senior Labour government Minister, who continues to be well-connected to British military and security officials, confirms that Britain and the United States "will go to war with Iran before the end of the year."

    2. The big kids are laughing at you again.  

  8. # Blogger jonz

    1. Some good news at last! I'll buy a bottle of bubbly in anticipation!

    2. Tim you really must find something better to do with your time! I am flattered nonetheless.  

  9. # Anonymous Tim Baste

    "Some good news at last!"

    Well, yeah okay, sure. I guess it's good news if you get all wet thinking about hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians being brutally killed, but I can't imagine why anybody would want to see that hap-... oh wait, sorry. I guess I mean "hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslim civilians".

    Now I understand why you're so delighted.  

  10. # Blogger jonz

    No Tim

    It's just that I don't support the brutal mullahs and their disgusting biblical punishments, their oppression of women, children and the execution of mentally disabled children. Unlike some.

    Peace & torture over freedom & striving any day of the week, eh Tim?!  

  11. # Anonymous tim baste

    Well, I don't support that either, jonz, but uh, "freedom & striving"?

    Excuse me?

    Some freedom.  

  12. # Blogger jonz

    I'm sorry what does that have to do with you defending brutal, cruel and murderous regimes?

    Don't rock the boat? Huh?  

  13. # Anonymous tim baste

    Where have I defended such regimes, jonz? Seriously. Quote me.

    My concern is for the innocent civilians of the Middle East. Many are living under repressive regimes, and that will change if their countries are allowed to grow and prosper and a viable middle class emerges. But at least they are living, jonz. The girl in that picture is very very dead.

    Such scenes, in their hundreds of thousands, are the inevitable and overwhelming consequence of the action that you would crack open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate.

    In summary, you distort my position beyond recognition, while feigning concern for the "freedom" of the inhabitants of those countries who, if you and your ilk have their way, will end up much like the charred and destroyed corpse in the picture above.

    How about that picture? Care to comment, jonz? How do you think she is enjoying her freedom? And her family - if they are alive - do they feel free now, do you think?

    You can't separate the significance of that picture from the course of action that you recommend, no matter how much you try. It is exactly what you are currently cheerleading. Do not insult me by pretending to care about that girl and her "freedom".  

  14. # Anonymous alison

    Care to address your questions to Hizballah? They started the war, they kidnapped the soldiers, they admit to using human shields, underestimating the response. They broke international law by building a base within civilian areas. And they have enjoyed much civilian support in Lebanon.

    The Israelis drop leaflets warning of attacks. Do you think Hizballah do the same when they launched thousands of rocket attacks into civilian areas in Israel? If Israel were attacking civilians only, as Hizbollah are, with Israels arsenal wouldnt thousands be dead already?

    And how about that hanging victim in Iran Jonz mentions? One of many who receive little or no media attention. 16 years old and murdered by a regime that fully supports Hizbollah and the destruction of Israel.

    What a load of sanctimonius shit Tim. Jonz picks a side after the war has started and also opposes a brutal Iranian regime. Its not Jonz that needs a moral compass  

  15. # Anonymous tim baste

    "Care to address your questions to Hizballah?"

    Ah now, don't be silly. I'm asking jonz because he apparently sees no connection between the dropping of bombs on urban centres and the deaths of civilians.

    "And [Hizbollah] have enjoyed much civilian support in Lebanon"

    Interesting. Against my better judgment, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you aren't bringing this up in order to excuse civilian deaths ("well, they supported Hizbollah, they are hardly innocent" etc.), but let me ask you this: why do you think that Hizbollah enjoy such support in Lebanon?

    [Also, genuinely curious: do you have a source for that line about Hezbollah admitting to using human shields?]  

  16. # Blogger Malcolm

    What is wrong with Israel ? Thay must know they can't defeat Hizb Allah by dropping bombs on the areas they operate in, they knew that after 1982, so why are they adopting this lame strategy ? Are they worried about losses to thier own troops if they go in ? Well, that will be nothing compared to the losses they will sustain if they fail to grasp the nettle and defeat Hizb Allah, on the ground.  

  17. # Blogger Malcolm

    On the subject of comments, I bought a guaranteed chronograph form a street person in Piraeus, Greece last year for 5 Euros. In 6 months the stopwatch facility failed, then the sweep second hand fell off.
    Not daunted, today in La Almunia da Dona Gardena, Aragorn, Spain I bought a chronograph off a chap selling quality timepieces to unwary passers-by. And there are very few passers-by in this God-awful neck of the woods ! So I was his first sale this week. I am impressed with all the dials and what-not as they all work ! I have finally purchaed a quality timepiece for 15 Euros. I look forward to many years of accurate timekeeping.  

  18. # Blogger jonz

    Thanks for your enlightening comments Malcolm.  

  19. # Blogger jonz

    Well Malcolm, the problem with a ground force is getting drawn into guerilla street to street fighting, which the Hizbollah forces will have a distinct advantage in that they know the lay of the land....  

  20. # Anonymous Tim Baste

    Haaretz, on moral compasses.  

  21. # Blogger jonz

    Haaretz also with, shock, another view point!

    Something the Israelis are used, and that is people openly disagreeing (without the killings or executions that would entail a Hizbollah "victory" )  

  22. # Anonymous alison

    J0nz was not celebrating innocents dying. That’s projection.

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt you ‘afforded’ me and assume you mean silly as in ‘irrelevant’ to this commentary?

    Is Hizballahs strategy irrelevant? In highlighting the image you did you blame whom? Before we come to your questions answer mine.

    Do you think that Hizballahs actions in starting and declaring this war are in any way responsible for the death of that little girl in the picture?

    They launch rockets with impunity at Israel from built-up civilian areas where little girls like that one live - in the certain knowledge that their actions will bring down radar-directed counter missiles onto these areas in response. They are breaking international law.

    Looking more broadly talk of a regional "Axis of Power" including Hizballah, Hamas, Syria and Iran should not be underestimated. Are you underestimating it? And my educated guess is that Jonz is prepared to crack open the bubbly with their demise rather than seeing history doomed to repeat itself ad nauseum for a loose grip on what you term ‘living’. Is that what that strung up mentally ill girl and others like her are enjoying? Does your human concern extend to her? And the brutality displayed by the Iranian regime that supports Hizbollah? This regime is funding Hizballah (and providing men). It adheres to a nazi like mentality even down to the salute. Its leader has said 'if they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide' . And you are suggesting these regimes should 'grow and prosper' and that J0nz would be wrong to cheer their demise?

    And how about the Hizballah leader also saying ‘oops sorry’ but...’they’re martyrs' when they accidentally killed Arab Israeli children in a missile attack into Israel the other day. Flippant?

    So yeah - when they’re wiped out, save me a glass J0nz.  

  23. # Anonymous tim baste

    “J0nz was not celebrating innocents dying”

    The inevitable and overwhelming result of any war in Iran and Syria will be hundreds of thousands of civilians killed, hundreds of thousands of families ruined, lives destroyed. People will lose their limbs and loved ones and livelihoods in volumes that you cannot even conceive of. These are the people for whom jonz feigns concern. He cares about their “freedom & striving”, he says. He is all bust up inside that they are living under oppressive regimes. He apparently doesn’t care if they are blown to pieces in their multitudes by helicopter gunships, cluster bombs, depleted uranium munitions and bunker busters. Please, will someone tell me how on earth you can reconcile support for a campaign which is guaranteed to produce such an outcome, with statements full of boo-hoos about “freedom & striving”. Striving to stay alive under a hail of US-supplied bombs, I can see that part. But freedom? No way. The only conclusion I can logically draw from jonz’ popping the cork over a potential strike on Iran and Syria, is that he simply wants these people to die. Because for anybody who actually, sincerely cares about their fellow human beings in the Middle East, this can only be a bad thing.

    Look. Here’s your moral calculus: every single day, the US/UK and its proxies are murdering innocent civilians in numbers that vastly outweigh the victims of absolutely everybody else put together. By a factor of thousands. This is the reality you have yet to face, but this is what the ordinary people on the ground see, every day of their lives. To them the US does not mean episodes of Friends and cheeseburgers. It means death from the skies. And you wonder why militia groups like Hizbollah, formed of a mixed bag of ordinary folk fighting to repel a brutal 18 year invasion, get their support?

    Has this Israeli onslaught been effective in “wiping out” Hizbollah? Think about it. What is the net result? Half a million people ordered to leave their homes within 24 hours by a foreign neighbouring country. How does that sit with the international law you pay lip-service to? Leave their homes and livelihoods, to go where? To live on what? Can you imagine that? Would you be thinking “gosh, how terribly thoughtful of the Israelis not to just blow the crap out of me as I sit in my home with my wife and kids?” In what kind of Orwellian moral wasteland are we living where we can applaud this as the height of manners? Half a million people. The “wiping out” of these regimes in Iran and Syria – how many innocent lives are worth that to you? A hundred thousand? More?

    Yes, of course I agree that the regimes in Iran and Syria (and Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan etc. etc.) are regressive, and of course I oppose them, and of course I would like to see the situation improve for the people there. But I am not so unbelievably idiotic as to think that that will be achieved by killing them, whether through the withdrawal of humanitarian aid in Palestine, the crippling, baby-killing sanctions in Iraq, or the carpet-bombing of Lebanon. Right now it is almost impossible to even think about how to confront oppressive regimes, because the vastly overwhelming issue regarding the lives and deaths of those in the middle east is the hail of bombs raining down upon them, destroying their lives and infrastructure, and turning back the clock on the great progress that Lebanon has made since 2000. This is a campaign that you openly support. Is this not patently true? Is this not absolutely undeniable? Is your Average Joe Middle East more likely to die at the hands of the US/UK and its allies than under one of these oppressive regimes you abhor (and this time I exclude Saudi Arabia et al, as you all usually do)? The simple answer is yes, and overwhelmingly so. It’s about time you faced up to the reality here. To the vast majority of the planet, we are the enemy, because we are killing the vast majority of those innocents who are dying. They don’t want your “concern” over their freedom, or their “striving”, if it means that they will die in their droves or fear for their lives.

    So if you care about the inhabitants of the middle east, then cease your support for those that would seek to harm them: all of them.  

  24. # Blogger jonz

    So if you care about the inhabitants of the middle east, then cease your support for those that would seek to harm them: all of them.

    74-76% of Iraqis think the decision to remove Saddam was correct. So if you "care" so much about the inhabitants, why did you not support the war in Iraq - when the Iraqis themselves overwhelmingly supported that very decision?

    You would have condemned them to years more of the brutal Baathist regime. Nice.  

  25. # Blogger jonz

    Look. Here’s your moral calculus: every single day, the US/UK and its proxies are murdering innocent civilians in numbers that vastly outweigh the victims of absolutely everybody else put together. By a factor of thousands

    Again, absolute bollocks. You'll find that Islamic terrorists murder far more innocent civilians (vast majority Muslim) than the liberating allied forces.

    Most of the civilian deaths in Iraq are caused by suicide bombers & brutal murders - by Islamic terrorists. Fact. Yeah...  

  26. # Anonymous alison

    So Tim, Hizballah/Hamas hold no responsibily for their actions for 'the hail of bombs raining down upon them, destroying their lives and infrastructure, and turning back the clock on the great progress that Lebanon has made since 2000'. Where have you been the last few years? We've had the aid, funding, withdrawals and concessions on the other side in the hope of leveraging some kind of peace framework - in spite of the blind eye turned to non fulfillment of resolutions all designed to assist in the process with the same aim in mind
    and the thousands of rockets chucked Israels way.

    There's your reality. Thats the campaign and preferred route of the likes of Hizbollah and Hamas.

    In that noble soliloquy of yours with its unending projection you have utterly failed to demonstrate any recognition of this whilst lecturing me on morality and feigning your own misdirected concern.  

  27. # Anonymous tim baste

    See, I think the basic difference between us is that I don't judge the moral rectitude or otherwise of the murders of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians based on whether or not the outcome jives with my own political preferences. So: even though a military strike against Iran and Syria might eventually, perhaps, successfully remove a regime that I find objectionable, I don't think that the deaths of vast swathes of the population are "worth it" (in the immortal words of Madeleine Albright). Apparently, you guys do.

    Ain't that it, in a nutshell? The political outcome is uncertain, while the death toll is guaranteed. It's a no-brainer.  

  28. # Anonymous alison

    "Ain't that it, in a nutshell? The political outcome is uncertain, while the death toll is guaranteed. It's a no-brainer"

    The death toll isnt guaranteed Tim. And your theory doesnt really take into account the right to self defence. In fact weve come full circle and you still havent answered J0nz' question.  

  29. # Anonymous tim baste

    "The death toll isnt guaranteed"

    Oh sweet, now we can fight wars against entire nations without killing any innocent civilians? That's great news.

    "you still havent answered J0nz' question"

    Uh, what question? I thought I asked him some questions which he ignored, and then you suggested I go leave comments on Hizbollah's blog or some stupid thing.

    Was it this question? "Peace & torture over freedom & striving any day of the week, eh Tim?!"

    I really hope not. This one, maybe? "I'm sorry what does that have to do with you defending brutal, cruel and murderous regimes?"

    I've already responded to this, by asking him to quote where I've defended any such regimes. Apparently he can't.

    Maybe you mean this one, from way down in the bottom of the thread?

    "74-76% of Iraqis think the decision to remove Saddam was correct. So if you "care" so much about the inhabitants, why did you not support the war in Iraq - when the Iraqis themselves overwhelmingly supported that very decision?"

    Would've been nice if jonz had supplied a link so I could check the survey out myself, but this is basically a common or garden non-sequitur. Of course the removal of Saddam is going to be supporteed by the majority of Iraqis, that's no-brainer number 2. I agree, and I further think that he shouldn't have been armed and supported for decades by the US and the UK, and that his grip on the beleaguered Iraqi populace should not have been consolidated by the crippling sanctions and the crooked Oil For Food scheme.

    But "do you support the removal of Saddam?" is a completely different question to "do you support the invasion of Iraq?" - it says nothing of the method employed to remove him, with which I fundamentally disagree. (I'm also not going to agree that the planners of this war had such altruistic motives in mind, anyway.)

    What if you asked the following question: "Would you support a military invasion and occupation of your country that killed hundreds of thousands of your fellow citizens and ruined the lives of countless more; destroyed your infrastructure and your basic facilities (electricity, water, sanitation, education etc.); greatly increased the instances of disease and infant mortality; contaminated the earth with depleted uranium resulting in huge increases in cancer deaths and grotesque and mostly fatal birth defects; put the economic future of your country at the hands of the World Bank and a handful of foreign multinational corporations and sold off your huge natural resource wealth to the same people; if it had, as a corrolary effect, the removal of Saddam Hussein?"

    I would guess that the number of positive responses would be greatly reduced, myself. It's the above that I disagree with, not that Saddam ought to have been removed from power.  

  30. # Anonymous alison

    Calm down Tim. You dont like wars.

    We get it.

    How about self defence? Mind you the Israelis could send you out to the front line to bore them all to death...im sure you'd have worked a treat on Saddam too. You could have repeated that exact last paragraph to him regards his regime for starters.  

  31. # Anonymous Anonymous

    tim baste:

    Look. Here’s your moral calculus: every single day, the US/UK and its proxies are murdering innocent civilians in numbers that vastly outweigh the victims of absolutely everybody else put together. By a factor of thousands.

    how on earth do you expect anyone in the real world to believe that non sense,pure fantasy.

    me thinks you been reading too much socialist worker,galloway mega tripe and bbc web sites.

    this is the worst example of stupidity i have seen on the web.

    reality check needed.

    below is a site that lists islamic terrorist murders for the last five months at the bottom of the page,other years are also there.


    when you finish there you might like to look at the islamic sudanese government of sudan who have enslaved,raped,starved,murdered and terrorised MILLIONS (southern sudan,christians,animists and others included) of blacks
    in sudan.



    there are plenty of links around just search for them.

    please note i haven't used any "dead children" to make my point.

    i suggest anything said by this poster should be taken with a pinch of salt or double check it with a web search.

    there seems to be plenty of anti jooos,u.s,brit and west rubbish around at the moment.
    don't ignore/believe it,double check it.

    best wishes.


  32. # Anonymous Anonymous


    couldn't help myself.

    posted this not sure why???.


    watch panorama. sunday 10.15pm 30.07.06

    inter--- is a non-political, non-profit making British charity that focuses solely on the provision of relief and development aid to the poor and needy of Palestine the world over, primarily in Palestine and the refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon.

    yeah right!!.  

  33. # Anonymous Reverend Lovejoy

    What do I think?

    Since you ask, I think I'm an ugly buffoon who revels in the slaughter of innocents. I'm also a racist and almost certainly have a tiny dick.

    I am a stupid wanker.

    [Some slight editing to reflect facts - Ed]  

  34. # Blogger jonz

    Thankyou reverend lovejoy for your upfront honesty! If only more lefties were so honest!  

  35. # Anonymous Flashbuck

    Apart from Portillo's article in the Times there's another good piece by Peter Hitchens on the same theme: http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/  

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