Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Israeli Withdrawal From Lebanon

Colmar of Colmar 3000 is an interesting fellow. He's bright, articulate, informed, and his posts are always thought-provoking. He seems to pass himself off as someone who's intersted in an even-handed consideration of truth. Yet, his politics strike me as almost contemptuously dismissive of anyone who doesn't agree with the likes of George Bush.

Colmar is very unhappy with Israel's agreement to withdraw from Lebanon. He believes that Israel should have continued bombing and fighting at least until the abducted Israeli soldiers were returned, Hezbollah was completely destroyed or disarmed, or all of Lebanon lie in ruins, whichever came first. As it is, he believes that Israel has suffered a humiliating defeat that weakens it terribly while strengthening Hezbollah and the evil forces of Islamist terrorism throughout the region.

These are my preliminary thoughts on the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon that I left as a counterpoint comment on Colmar's blog:

It sounds to me like you wanted Israel to fight until it destroyed virtually all of Lebanon while Hezbollah rockets destroyed more of Israel, killed many more of the Lebanese people while many more Israeli civilians and soldiers died, and had even more of the world hating it more venemously than ever, while, in the end, its missing soldiers would still be missing, its economy would be in greater distress, and its position would be just as precarious if not more so than it is now.

You may think old style massive military action will ultimately prevail in these "asymmetrical" wars against terrorist organizations, even those as well-trained, well-supplied, and adaptable as Hezbollah, but I'm inclined to agree with C.J. that Israel and the U.S. need to find another way that emphasizes large scale attacks with bombs and bullets less than it does other measures.

Times are changing. The world is changing. War is changing. We must change with them.

On the other hand, if Israel will not adapt, it can do as I suggested previously and warn Hezbollah, Lebanon, and the United Nations that it is prepared to take devastating military action if it incurs further attacks from Hezbollah. This would put Lebanon and the rest of the world on notice that they need to work together to make sure that Hezbollah behaves itself so that this does not happen.



8 comments:

Colmar said...

Is this one of those group blogs, where various authors post under one name? Because it seems that whoever wrote the first few sentences {“bright, articulate, informed, and his posts are always thought-provoking”} can’t possibly be the one who wrote the latter part {“continued bombing and fighting at least until the abducted Israeli soldiers were returned, Hezbollah was completely destroyed or disarmed, or all of Lebanon lie in ruins, whichever came first?}.

Not to mention: “contemptuously dismissive of anyone who doesn't agree with the likes of George Bush”.

Just for starters, I have never voted for a Republican in my life. That may change in the fall, but it’s true so far. I was dismayed in 2000 when what I thought of as the “Clinton Centrist Gore” was beaten by what I thought of as the “Blue meme Bush”. And yes, after exhaustive investigation of all the questions, I am now convinced, although I wasn’t then, that Bush did barely beat Gore. But that’s water under the bridge now.

Today I DO support the Bush Doctrine of spreading democracy, and freeing the unwilling victims of dictatorship, by force when necessary. And my respect for Al Gore left the day he adopted the Moveon crowd as his new base.

However, I oppose Bush on the Gay Marriage amendment, which is a moot point since everyone, including Bush himself, knows there aren’t the votes to pass it.

I think the Bush supported Medicare Drug program is a farce. I think Bush’s failure to use the veto to stop outrageous pork barrel spending is a betrayal of his conservative base.

I think the Bush failure to protect the Southern Border against illegal entry by violent criminals, drug gangs, human smugglers, and Islamo-fascists using Mexico as a back door entry, borders on the criminal.

I do believe Bush was right on Iraq, and certainly on Afghanistan. I think there is no question that the tax cuts not only got the post 9-11 economy going again, but that they generated so much additional revenue so that they not only “paid for themselves”, but actually brought in more taxes than would have been collected without them.

So as the music video said, “Bush was right, and Cindy Sheehan and Jacques Chirac wrong“, on these particular issues. And yet I quite disagree with Bush on many other issues.

“ {Colmar} believes that Israel should have continued bombing and fighting at least until the abducted Israeli soldiers were returned”… What I actually said was that, with the Israeli forces massed on the Israeli side of the Lebanon border, and massive World Pressure for “peace”, they should have made their return non-negotiable. And made the UN crowd pressure Hiz on this point in order to get an agreement.

Instead they allowed Hiz to set the terms of the accord. They didn’t even have to continue fighting, just stay massed on the border until Hiz blinked. Instead, Israel blinked, and the accord was written almost exclusively on Hiz terms.

How in the world did my statement, “And poor Lebanon will take decades to recover from the devastation that Hiz provoked".…, written in both bold and Italics, get turned into “or all of Lebanon lie in ruins”?

I do NOT think “that Israel has suffered a humiliating defeat that weakens it terribly”. Rather I think that Iran achieved another victory, paid for with the lives of innocent victims who had no voice in the matter, that does indeed “strengthen Hezbollah and the evil forces of Islamist terrorism throughout the region”. Don’t you?

While I can’t argue with the intent of “Israel and the U.S. need to find another way that emphasizes large scale attacks with bombs and bullets less than it does other measures”, to me this is like telling a cancer patient with malignant melanoma that “chemotherapy and radiation are too hard on the body, we need to find another way”. To which the obvious response would be “any idea if that other way can be found while I’m still alive”?

In fact, any clue AT ALL what that other way might be? Because Iranian President “Ahmadinejad” is hell-bent, literally, on bringing on the “Return of the 12th Imam”, the Islamic version of the Second Coming. And he figures that will require the total destruction of the State of Israel to bring about. Six months ago he set a timetable of 2 years, which leaves us 18 months now….

It is certainly within the realm of possibility that Iran will have its crude but utterly destructive Nuclear device in 18 months. So if there is to be a “third way” we best be getting going with it NOW.

“Times are changing. The world is changing. War is changing. We must change with them.” OK, how exactly?

As for this “{Israel} can warn Hezbollah, Lebanon, and the United Nations that it is prepared to take devastating military action if it incurs further attacks from Hezbollah. This would put Lebanon and the rest of the world on notice that they need to work together to make sure that Hezbollah behaves itself so that this does not happen.”

Just what "devastating military action" are you suggesting if Hiz attacks again? Nuke Beruit? Carpet bomb from the Israeli border to the Litani River, leaving only scortched earth? Make angry speeches at the UN?

Ahmadinejad led the Hostage taking of the US Embassy decades ago. Since then, the motto of Iran has been "the US can do NOTHING", and you seem to be saying that in the face of "asymmetrical" attacks, Israel truly can do nothing.

By essentially doing nothing to seriously damage Hiz this time, that belief that "they can do nothing" has only been reinforced.

In which case, we merely sit and wait for Iran to build it's bomb, or buy one from N Korea. Whether that is 6 months or 6 years away, there is no way to say for sure.

Nevertheless, once Tel Aviv is a big hole in the ground, and perhaps NYC and LA also, the only option left will be total nuclear war against all Islamic nations.

Which in fact is what bin Laden and Iran are trying to bring about. As Ahmadinejad recently said, "if we destroy Israel, and Israel destroys Iran, we will have won, because the Jews will be gone, and many Islamic nations will remain".

They will call that "victory", just as Hiz calls the devastation of Lebanon "victory". Besides which, since we have "done nothing" to Iran during three decades of terrorism, they truly believe we will never really do anything of substance, no matter how much they provoke us....

The lesson of WW2 is, stop the dictators early, and X number of people die. Stop them late, and 1000 times X die. Just because it is a hard choice doesn't mean it's not true.....

So my actual solution to the Hiz problem is disarm Hiz when they bombed the US Marine barracks in the 70's. Because we didn't do that then, we got three decades of terrorism. Because we didn't do that then, bin Landen and Ahmadinejad have concluded "the US can do nothing"....

The only solution for NOW would be for the Free World to unite to bring down both the Mullahs and Hiz, as was done in Gulf War part one, which forced Saddam to retreat from Kuwait.

That could be done with limited loss of life if we all united on it, but can’t be done at all without international cooperation. Which is obviously not going to occur. Just within the US, we can’t even agree if terrorists should have their phone calls tapped. There is no way China is going to give up its Iranian oil for six months, or that the EU is going to cooperate with a American Republican President, or that the UN is going to do anything that brings security to Israel, or………..

Instead we will wait until we HAVE to do what we really CAN do, and Millions will die in the West, followed by multi-Millions in the Islamic nations.

Sorry I can't be more upbeat, but that's the way if looks from my uniquely distorted perspective....

Nagarjuna said...

Colmar, this isn't a group blog. I wrote all of the post to which you've graciously responded. Thanks for clarifying where you agree and disagree with the Bush administration and what you think about Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon as well as the Middle Eastern situation in general.

Briefly, I think we need to be careful about trying to force democracy on nations and people who aren't ready for it. We should perhaps concentrate instead on fostering economic, social, and cultural conditions in those parts of the world in which democracy can eventually develop by itself.

I'm not sure how we could prevent people from coming into this country illegally from over our southern borders except by finding ways to stop illegals from being hired for virtually all jobs. I don't see how we can stop them with more fences, national guard troops, and immigration patrols. Illegals can climb over, dig under, or break down the fences, and there can never be enough personnel to thoroughly guard the borders from encroachment.

Why do you think the Bush Medicare drug program is a "farce"? What would you like to see instead? I'd like to see cradle-to-grave guaranteed healthcare for all.

What do you see as "outrageous pork barrel spending"? I believe that the Bush tax cuts are an obscenity not only because they overwhelmingly favor the richest people in America, but also because they're causing a staggering escalation in the national debt that can produce terrible longterm economic consequences that can be reduced only by draconian cuts to vital social and other federally funded programs to help people who need help, which is most of us at one time or other, and rebuild and revitalize our national infrastructure.

I believe, for reasons too numerous to list, that Bush was wrong to invade Iraq and that neither this country, the people of Iraq, nor the world at large are likely to end up better off as a result, while we've squandered hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars there, lost THOUSANDS of precious American lives, and physically and psychologically maimed and scarred thousands more Americans for life.

I'm inclined to agree with you that Israel could have remained "massed" on the border, but I have grave doubts that Hezbollah would have "blinked" or that any agreement could have been reached without a long continuation of the conflict, death, and destruction that ultimately would have done little or nothing to make Israel safer or the forces of terrorism in the region weaker.

Colmar, I share your pessimism. I don't see the world coming together to stop nuclear proliferation in "Islamofacist" nations or terrorism supported by these nations. Therefore, I believe that some extremely dangerous, difficult, and even catastrophic times lie ahead. However, I also believe that our best chances of preventing or at least minimizing this is to take what Ken Wilber would call an "integral" or AQAL approach to addressing these problems that does not place a disproportionate number of its eggs in the military basket. Exactly how this would be done, it'll take far brighter minds than mine to figure out. :-)

Thank you for your comments, Colmar.

Anonymous said...

I see you've found another intelligent man to glom on to and make a pest out of yourself.
Why can't you drop the pretense with the Nagajuna BS and call yourself something appropriate, like MORON.
You wouldn't rate a pimple on Nagajuna's ass.

Nagarjuna said...

Colmar IS an intelligent person. I assume that he's a man. I enjoy his posts and perspective.

I couldn't agree more that the real Nagarjuna towered above me intellectually, as he probably did most of us. But I still like the name and the ideal of someone who was apparently able to integrate extraordinary levels of intellect and intuition, knowledge and wisdom. Though I can never reasonably hope to come within light-years of equalling his success in this regard, I can strive to progress as far as my meager abilities will allow, adopting his name as my inspiration.

Thank you for reminding me of this.

Nathan said...

You'll need to drop the pretense and fantasy in order to grow spiritually, otherwise you'll remain confused and corraled by your own ego driven thoughts.

Nagarjuna said...

What "pretense and fantasy" do you think I need to drop, my friend?

anonymous keyboarder said...

anonymous 12:44 It seems you have some dislike of the owner of this blog. Why don't you come out from behind your anon name and show us how you could make it better. Or do you prefer to attack anonymously from the security of a keyboard? That seems to be the cowards way of saying anything does it not?

Nagarjuna said...

Perhaps anonymous 12:44 has a blog of his own. If he does, I'm sure it's far better than my humble effort. So, I hope he'll do us all a wonderful favor and tell us where it is so that we might experience the joy of reading it and reveling in its profound and glorious wisdom.

If not, he's welcome to continue sharing his uplifting wisdom with us here.