Thursday, July 13, 2006

Direct this towards London, ON

I'm curious as to everyones take on this whole episode.(Patrick in particular since I recall in that in the haze of a drunken hour Israel came up for discussion.

I cant help but think Israel is unbelieveably over reacting to the point that its detrimental to the supposed cause of getting their detained soldiers back.

Im also trying to figure out how taking out Beirut's infrastructure really serves as a strike against Hezbollah, when your most moderate politcal element Lebanon lives in Beirut.


At 5:57 AM, Blogger Mitch said...


While I agree that Lebanon is not the biggest perpetrator in this issue, I would have to wait and see what the result is. I don't think harming a fledgling democracy is a good idea. However, that government does have Hezbollah as a member and must take some responsibility for this decision.

Ultimately, I think Isreal should declare war on Syria, as Syria has essentially waged war by proxy on Israel the past few via Hammas and Hezbollah.

If Syria was soundly defeated with regime change being the ultimate goal, and Hammas and Hezbollah destroyed - then I believe that there could be a viable two state solution.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Taxbeaner said...

Whatever would lead you to believe that Hammas and Hezbollah could be destroyed by military action. You've been sipping some of George's kool-aid again, haven't you Mitch? Just as we are engaged in a multi-generational war (Tom Ridge finally admitted it), Israel would find itself in one with Syria and Lebanon as well as the continuing war with Palestine.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Mitch said...


I agree that in the largest sense, they cannot be "destroyed" per se. However, much like other fanatical, and suicidal organizations - much like the Imperial Japanese Military - they can be dealt such staggaring losses that the futility of violence as a means to their goals can be shown.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger The Salmon of Knowledge said...


Hezbollah's presence in the Lebanese government is a by product of democracy (gee, remember when Neo-Cons were running around talking about the domino effect in the Middle East and citing the protests in Beirut that followed the Hariri assassination as proof of how well things were going).

I thought this at the time... the Neo-Cons arent interested in Democracy, theyre interested in gaining favourable(to them) results. HEzbollah is now a legitimate political entity in the Lebanese government, the US has no right to complain about that.

Not sure I agree with your contention that Israel should declare war on Syria. What would capturing Damascus and installing and pro Isaeli government really produce? More groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, and ultimately another "democracy" that votes in parties diametrically opposed to Westernization. Its much like the reason Iraq is/has always been doomed to fail. No amount of US taxpayer $$ or military might can take place of a geniune home made revolution. and an Israeli apprved government in Damascus would be a proverbial turd in a punch bowl.

Im not sure either that the comparison with Imperial Japan is an apt comparison either. Imperial Japan was a physical entity with physical assets, nexus and all the trappings of a nation state. It can be physically destroyed. Hezbollah, Hamas, etc are stateless entities, they can not be destroyed becuase they exist in the abstract, and their power isnt derived from economic or terroritoral wealth.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Taxbeaner said...

The major problem is that Hezbollah is not a governmental unit like the Japanese military. War against a nation is easy. War against civilian organisations is much more complex because if you fight militarily, you must approach genocide in order to claim victory. Taking out the current leaders means nothing. In one form or another the Phoenix will fly again. The reason that conventional military responses don't work is that there is no battlefield on which the combatants engage. This means that you take out five or ten non-combatants of all ages for every "soldier" you kill. This tends to piss people off and recruitment of new troops skyrockets. My real take on Israel is that at some point the Arab world will march on them like so many army ants and wipe Israel out. Israel may kill a couple million of them but they'll just keep coming. This is one way that a militarily inferior but numerically superior force can win (see Grant, Ulysses S).

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Mitch said...

Points well taken...

But with Hezbollah - they have the military infrastructure that most nation states do not have. They have the ability to wage war as they see fit. They have all the vesitages of a state without borders. They have been in a state of war with the West for a while now.

The most effective way to diminishing their ability to cause trouble is to punish the patron states that give it the ability to do so.

Now, Nate, you cue - I'm waiting about the essay on the futility of "wars on" and how it applies here.


At 1:23 PM, Blogger Mitch said...


In some ways, Hezbollah is more of a state than lebanon right now. They kind of have a territory, and they have the ability to enforce their will inside that territory and defend that territory.

Lebanon, has a clearly defined territory, but does not have the means nor (to a musch lesser extent)the will to assert its sovereignty within that territory.

Thus, the arugment for saying that Hezbollah in southern Lebanon is more of a state in some respects than Lebanon proper.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Taxbeaner said...

One major advantage that a virtual state, Hezbollah, has over a real state is that they may choose to defend real estate. . . or not. They have the advantage of having nothing to lose.


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