Did Israel or Hezbollah win the war in Lebanon?

August 17th, 2006 § 0

There’s been a lot of argument about whether Israel or Hezbollah won the war in Lebanon.

Here is a comment from Haaretz which pretty much sums up recent events in the Lebanon war. The comment matches Israel’s stated goals against the actual outcome. It looks like a draw, at a very high cost to both sides.

Israeli Goals

  1. Get release of IDF soldiers without a prisioner exchange. Failure
  2. Disarm Hezbollah. Failure
  3. Avoid civilian casualties. Almost 1,000 women and children dead. Failure
  4. Destroy rockets. 250 landed yesterday alone. Failure
  5. Win international support. Outside the USA Israel is hated more than ever before. Failure
  6. Moderate Arab behavior. More arabs hate israel more than ever now including moderate states like egypt, jordan, and saudi arabia. Failure

Outcome

  1. Hezzbolah is more popular than ever
  2. The war cost Israel hundreds of millions of dollars.
  3. The pro USA, anti Syrian/anti Hezzbolah PM is weakened.
  4. Hatred for israel is at an all time high even among suni and christians in Lebanon
  5. Many Israeli towns damaged badly
  6. 150 Israelis dead. Hundred injured.

Conclusion

Hezbolah did not win the war but Israel definitely didn`t either. There should have been a prisioner swap from the beginning.

Sore Losers

August 16th, 2006 § 0

At this point (I don’t write this war off yet), the Israelis are big losers in Lebanon.

Hezbollah is still armed, the Israelis are on their way out of Lebanon and the entire IDF and political leadership of Israel comes off as bullies, murderers and war criminals.

The words above are harsh, but nothing compared to the rage of the belligerents’ own supporters, who would also like to try the Israeli government as criminals – for their failure to spill enough blood!

Here are some of the comments from just one story:

6. The West DOES see
mike – USA
08/15/2006 22:45

The West, like the rest of the goy world, wants to destroy Israel and exterminate the Jewish people. Unfortunately, so does Israel’s current government. I can understand the motivations of the West — the goyim have always been out to exterminate us and always will be. However, the motivations of the Olmert government are less obvious. Perhaps the Olmerites’ goal is to steal lots of money from the public treasury and run under the cover of Israel’s chaotic destruction. Perhaps the Olmerites are being paid and/or blackmailed by some foreign intelligence service. Either way, Israel is lead today by a treasonous government.

3. A war Israel should and could have won
Kenneth S. Besig – Israel
08/15/2006 21:43

The war just ended in Lebanon with a Hizbulla victory should never have turned out that way. Israel had the means, the will, and the force to win, but because of our inexperienced and fearful political and military leaders, that is Olmert, Peretz, Livni, and Halultz, we not only gave Hizbulla a victory over us, we gave them a victory over Lebanon. I once thought that an Israeli government inquiry into the political and military misconduct of the war would be enough. Now I am inclined to think that a criminal trial of our leadership might be in order.

With supporters like that, the Israeli Prime Minister would do better to clean house at home, than waging war abroad.

Olim
Olmert and the Olim

Instead Prime Minister Olmert was celebrating a Volksdeutsche moment at the airport, welcoming those olim who chose to immigrate from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. during his recent quest for Lebensraum, a.k.a. the 2006 Lebanon campaign.

Goebbels file: Anglos voice Israel’s case to foreign media

August 16th, 2006 § 0

For a profound look at Israeli cynicism regarding war and human loss from the inside, I cannot recommend enough a good read of one of the latest articles in the Jerusalem Post: Anglos voice Israel’s case to foreign media. Here are just a few teaser quotes.

Anglo-Israelis know how to better shape a message because they know how its received, Spigelman argued. “We can understand how things sound to an international audience because we were once part of the international audience.”

That knowledge is what leads the IDF Spokesman’s Office to release different tapes of army operations to local and foreign journalists. The former might receive a heave dose of the air force destroying bridges to reinforce success. But to internationals, Spigelman said, “It looks like we’re destroying roads people take to get to work.”

So instead, he explained, they got footage of rocket launchers being used in Kafr Kana. “They needed more convincing that Kafr Kana was a hotbed of terror, whereas in Israel, they know that. They’ve been receiving the Katyushas up north.”

“For an American, you might want to be more aggressive, more vocal, more victorious in tone,” Ovits said. “For a European, you might want to emphasize humanitarian [aspects], because pictures of tanks… bring up very negative emotions.”

If the right accent helps, the wrong accent can be a “turn-off,” according to Spigelman. He said a “slick” American wouldn’t seem authentic to Europeans the way an officer with a slight Israeli accent would, making the latter a better choice.

It looks like the Israelis read Goebbels private diaries carefully.

We certainly wouldn’t want people abroad to see the bridges pointlessly blown up, preventing people from going to work or doing their shopping.

Fortunately (unlike in Iraq where the policy of screening embedded journalists and indiscriminately shooting independent journalists succeeded in limiting information), we have other sources for our footage and our news than the IDF.

Why Israel stopped the war

August 16th, 2006 § 1

In theory the war in Lebanon is over. But it isn’t really. The Israelis had to stop do to international pressure. Perhaps the greatest pressure was that the assault on Lebanon was virtually indistinguishable from Germany’s attacks on its neighbours before World War II:

A jingoistic regional power using trumped up border incidents as an excuse to annihilate and annex territory.

The comparison between the Nazi regimes early World War II accomplishments and the civilian terror that Israel was raining down upon Lebanon ever day was so stark and obvious, that Israel was about to lose forever its trump card – victimhood.

Editorials in many papers were denouncing the resurgence of anti-semitism all over the world. Anti-semitism hardly seems to be the right word to describe the hypocrisy of the Israeli leadership in claiming to be victims (two soldiers kidnapped on the border) while razing whole city blocks. Letters to the editor were filled with outrage and disgust at Israeli actions, many signed “A former supporter of Israel”.

As outrage spread in the press everywhere except the US, I imagine there were a few tough phone calls from Holland, France and the UK from powerful and wealthy supporters of the Jewish state asking Prime Minister Olmert if his singular intention was to put them at risk of expropriation, exile and pogroms.

The ongoing attention to Israeli war activities also had the effect of bringing the ongoing plight of the Palestinians to the forefront of world attention (what was happening to the Lebanese has been going on for ten years and more in the Occupied Territories). The recent Lebanon war has led to significant talk of putting pressure on Israel to move back to the 1967 borders and settle the Palestinian question conclusively with a dual state solution. Such attention to what Israel preferred remained internal issues is deeply unwelcome.

Now that the Israelis have the propaganda credit for having accepted the ceasefire (although why it was necessary to carry on hostilities over the weekend in an enormous land grab is something of an open question as it appears that the Israelis are indeed retreating from that land expediently), they are looking for any excuse to reignite the conflagration.

  • The IAF have threatened to continue to bomb any transport from Syria which they consider might be carrying arms.
  • The IAF have threatened to forcibly disarm Hezbollah if they don’t feel the Lebanese government has done so in the way the IDF wants.

Either of these events would probably draw Hezbollah into reprisal and reignite hostilities.

In the rematch, Israel is hoping to have its propaganda pieces better lined up. Not only must Israel categorically win the conflict, they must be the victims as well. A rematch might allow them to attempt to reclaim victim status. Moreover, properly handled in the news, a second Lebanese war in such a short period would be old news. Much of the infrastructure to support international journalists and even communication with the outside world has been destroyed in Lebanon.

It’s a pity that there are no winners in war.

I don’t think the world will forget so quickly the destruction wrought throughout Lebanon by the Israelis nor the civilian victims of their terror strikes from the air. The world’s memory and threat of worldwide reprisal is what keeps Israel in check right now.

We will not forget.

No matter how many trumped up talking heads argue about smoke clouds over Beirut being darkened in Photoshop.

Trouble with ectoize bookmarklet and Firefox?

August 11th, 2006 § 1

I had been using ecto and the ectoize bookmarklet for a long time to log useful info off the web.

What ectoize does is it copies any text you have selected on a webpage and copies it into a new entry along with the page title enclosed in an hyperlink to the original page. At that point, you can either just log the quotation or if you want to post about it, you can quickly write around the core of the entry. It automates creating a weblog entry and then handcopying the URL and the text and pasting them into the new entry.

One day I managed to disable ectoize in Firefox by pressing enter while the ‘Remember this choice for all future instances’ box was ticked.

I was unable to reenable the ectoize bookmarklet – once fully disabled, clicking on the bookmarklet does nothing. Nowhere in the Firefox preferences can you fix this. It’s not listed under Application Helpers.

I have it working again now, but the solution is very hard to find. It’s buried in a forum entry over in the Kula support forum which doesn’t appear to be indexed by Google. So here is the solution where everybody can find it.

Trouble with ectoize bookmarklet and Firefox? Continues »

Israel Supporters

August 10th, 2006 § 0

The Jerusalem Post is a paper of record in Israel. I believe it’s owned by that magnate of the new world order and proponent of 21st century colonialism Conrad Black.

Here are the kinds of things their readers write today:

123. Finish the Job
Major - USA
08/10/2006 05:13

I am glad you are ignoring the weak sisters of Europe and the UN….. Those EU governments have become so unbelievably corrupt, it makes me sick to my stomach… Unfortunately, you started out fighting this too methodically….all the key targets should have been massively destroyed the first week…all the key assassinations the first day….Nasrullah should have been taken out the first hour of the war… A lengthy war gives the terrorist appeasers time to martial their propaganda machine … You had Iran and Syria cowering the first week…but since you didnt apply overwhelming force, they have become emboldened… You still need to finish them off…or you will have wasted your war.

Israel Supporters Continues »

Goebbels Files

August 10th, 2006 § 0

Famous doctored photo of Beirut skyline before and after
famous doctored photo of Beirut skyline before and after

The American news media is so self-important and fatuous. The Boston Herald‘s Jules Crittenden is very concerned that a few retouched photos might destroy our belief that something bad is happening in Beirut and Lebanon.

And what is tragic about this is, as a Boston Herald photo editor noted, editors everywhere can no longer trust the pictures from Lebanon. The public cannot know what is staged and what is real. They cannot know the true scope of the devastation that Hezbollah’s aggression against Israel and its cynical tactics have brought on the Lebanese people. The con artists have shafted themselves and their own people with their cheap tricks.

Nobody is dying in Beirut, Jules. Buildings aren’t falling. Neighbourhoods are not being destroyed. The problem is with the photographers. If we could only get the photographers to behave, people in Lebanon would stop dying.

The cynic here is the American reporter who would write that a few retouched photos negate the destruction of whole city blocks.

Israeli paper Haaretz ran an article on the retouched photos as well.

Some of their readers point out the obvious. Response one:

There is no major difference..except the smoke looks somewhat darker in photo No. 2. Whatever, it still caused the same damage. It is ridiculous.

Response two:

There`s a bottom line. There is a ton of destruction being seen on both sides. A doctored photo doesn`t change that fact.

World’s Greatest Wikipedian – A Canadian

August 5th, 2006 § 0

Something to be proud of as a Canadian at last. The world’s greatest Wikipedian is a Canadian.

Among the Wikipedia community, who call themselves Wikipedians, Mr. Pulsifer is held up as the gold standard — the international benchmark against which they measure themselves, said Wayne Saewyc, spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation.

I particularly liked Simon Pulsifer’s vigorous defence of free knowledge:

I’m not paid for the work I do for Wikipedia. It doesn’t matter to me that I do it on a voluntary basis. I enjoy it. It’s important that people around the world have access to free, accurate and unbiased information. Wikipedia tries to do that, and it’s a very honourable and admirable goal.