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Israel/Lebanon: United Kingdom/Ireland

OK, let's put the Israel/Lebanon situation in a different context. One closer to home.

The IRA kidnap two British soldiers in Northern Ireland. They also bomb/assassinate some Protestant areas.

The UK responds by bombing Dublin Airport and then launching a ground assault, naval and air blockade and continued shelling on both Dublin and a number of other cities within the the Republic of Ireland that are believed to have IRA sympathies or groups.

The IRA repsonds by repeated shelling of both military and Protestant areas in Northern Ireland.

The Irish President calls on the British to stop bombing his/her county and killing civilians. The UK says it's fighting terrorism and the Irish Government should do more to disarm/wipe out the IRA.

Now tell me that Israel's response is justified.

(OK, the above is over simplified but the basics remain the same)

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
djonma
Jul. 21st, 2006 01:37 pm (UTC)
This is what Rob and I were talking about at lunch whilst looking at your post.

We are one of only 2 western countries with experience of an ongoing terrorist campaign.
Did we bomb Northern Ireland?
No.
Did Spain bomb parts of the Basque region?
No.

I don't agree with what's going on in Lebanon. Israel is punishing an entire country for the actions of a few people.

Oh wait.
Why did we invade Iraq again?

The problem is that certain groups in that area hate each other with a completely blind hate.
A hate that will not go away, no matter what happens.
And so they will continue to kill each other and drag their countries, their neighbouring countries, the whole world into the disaster because of their hate.

And how to resolve it?

I really don't know.

I don't know if there is a way at all.
silver_blue
Jul. 21st, 2006 02:03 pm (UTC)
You have to add in the Irish government in the above situation being more than happy to host terrorists, with 14 members of the terrorist group elected to parliament, including one in the Irish cabinet. It would the IRA being powerful enough that they outmatch the Irish army, it would involve them allying themselves with at least two major regional powers who, like them, believed that the United Kingdom had no right to exist as a state. It also involves the media and the press focusing only on the UK response and not the initial terrorist activity.

I believe that Israel's reaction has been over-zealous, disproportionate and ill-advised, but they are not the only players in this particular instance and the way the public profile of the incident is being portrayed you'd think Hizbollah just deserve a slap on the wrists.
heliograph
Jul. 21st, 2006 02:47 pm (UTC)
Don't forget that major IRA support comes from a foreign nation, the United States. The UK should threaten to bomb them, too.

Try this analogy: once Isreal invades Lebanon (again), how is this different than Iraq's invasion of Kuwait?

I saw a really good article (probably from someone's blog link) that discussed how all sides were weak, which was why they were all acting so desperately.

In the good old days (ie the 19th century), blockading someone's ports or blowing up their infrastructure was an act of war, plain and simple. Why it isn't seen that way now is beyond me.
silver_blue
Jul. 21st, 2006 04:14 pm (UTC)
Don't forget that major IRA support comes from a foreign nation, the United States. The UK should threaten to bomb them, too.

The problem with that argument is that IRA support came from private citizens in the US, whereas in Lebanon the government, for various reasons, both includes a member of the terrorist group which attacked Israel, and provides at the very least tacit support for Hizbollah (though admittedly that is as much because they are hamstrung in their ability to deal with Hizbollah).

Try this analogy: once Isreal invades Lebanon (again), how is this different than Iraq's invasion of Kuwait?

Kuwait was not harbouring anti-Iraqi terrorists nor was Iraq being attacked from Kuwaiti soil by either government or non-governmental forces.

While Israeli action has been unreasonable, it's also unreasonably to expect a unilateral ceasefire from them without conditions on Hizbollah stopping its own attacks and releasing the captured Israeli soldiers. Given that the proposals have made no such call, it's understandable why Israel doesn't feel any particular desire to agree to terms which essentially reward Hizbollah and deny Israel the opportunity to take action.
angusabranson
Jul. 21st, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
Are you sure you're not getting Hizbollah (Lebanon) mixed up with Hamas (Gaza/Palestine).

Hamas (which are viewed as a terrorist organisation) were elected to power in Gaza.

In the Lebanese elections last year the government was elected and given the support of the US, etc, so I don't believe they had any 'terrorist' organisations comprising the make-up.
silver_blue
Jul. 21st, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
Hizbollah has 14 elected representatives in the Lebanese parliament, including one active cabinet member (with another strongly linked to them, so reports sometimes say two cabinet members). The US said they would deal with the government but not with the Hezbollah minister.

It's also worth noting that Hizbollah is also the only quasi-political organisation in Lebanon which refused to disband its militia in agreement with UN resolution 1559 before the Lebanese elections were held.
natural20
Jul. 21st, 2006 04:45 pm (UTC)
Nope, pretty sure there are Hizbollah members in the parliament with, as silver_blue says, with one in the cabinet. It's a wacky world in which we live.

Then again, there are six members of Sinn Fein in the Dail and one Shinner MEP, but that was only after the peace process.

There are parallels, yes, but one incident is unthinkable, the other is clearly happening.
winterbadger
Jul. 21st, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
I agree that it's a very mixed and difficult situation. Clearly the Lebanese government is *unable* to control Hezbollah, whether it wishes to or not (and given that, as you say, a significant portion of the the government *are* Hezbollah...) So it isn't reasonable to think that Israel would just sit by and do nothing themselves, because they know that Lebanon are not goign to do anything.

And if all Israel had done was attack Hezbollah military facilities, that would be one thing. But it's very hard to define what and where those facilities are. Depots full of missiles are one thing--those can be hit with airpower. Bunkers also can be bombed or shelled. But a lot of Hezbollah's assets are mobile: trucks, soldiers, etc. Israel doesn't want to go after them the only way they can be effectively hit--with tanks, helicopters, and regular old boots on the ground. Because that way Israeli soldiers will be much more vulnerable.

Like the US, Israel tries to use technology instead of manpower, because (like the US), they have a cult of avoiding as much danger to their soldiers as possible. Understandable; if I were, or had a loved one who was, a soldier in the US or Israeli army, I'd want every step taken to minimise the danger to him or her. But there's a calculus involved int hat which, in this case, means that to increase the safety of IDF personnel one has to accept more danger to Lebanese civilians. It's my impression that a lot of US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have had significant "collateral damage" (i.e., dead civilians) because we are making the same calculations.

The thing is, civilians are supposed to be protected in war. Armies are supposed to be willing to take losses to *protect* civilians. Instead, Israel (and the US to the east) is saying, effectively "Your civilians are worth less than our soldiers." Israelis (and Americans) may understand and accept that; Lebanese (and Iraqis and Afghans) are less likely to, as are those simply watching from the sideleines.
littlestkobold
Jul. 21st, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
Weirdly (or maybe not) I've been using the exact same analogy to argue my point about the conflict to friends.

I'm ashamed of my government that nobody has the balls to stand up and say "this is wrong, you should stop now." Even worse, if Blair has given the nod for Israel to carry on bombing for another week then he should get out. Now.
civi
Jul. 22nd, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)
Well, I don't nomrally get drawn into these kinds of debates, as they can get messy, but I see this rather bluntly. And want to make a passing opinionated comment.

Israel has gone off the deep end, I'm guessing because they aren't allowed to gun down Palestinian children any more, they have to take it out on the next slob in the line.

Over what is a terrorist action taken by radicals not affiliated with the government, Israel has started a war machine to crush these people out of existance. Not very fair or even handed.
They are actually trying to bomb them into the stone-age it seems, I wouldn't be surprized if their border zones expand at the end and they demand that they be allowed to occupy certain areas to help "police" them against "terrorism".

And will this become the opening chapter of the attack on Iran we have been waiting for these past years? Will they then try to steamroll over these "enemies of the people" and "allies of terrorism" and "cliched targets of propaganda of the day"?
Maybe they will. And maybe Iran will realize that every state surrounding them is mad and being puppeted by crazy superpowers left unchecked. And maybe they'll have the balls to stand up fomr themselves against the tyranny of law and order and peace that is sweeping over the middle east like napalm.
Or maybe they'll bend over and die like every other state that has aggravated the developed world.

What we have is a repugnant government thinking it's a mini-USA. That it can take any excuse to run roughshod over innocent peoples in the name of its own power and reputation. That it can overlook intenrational laws and create havoc as a lesson to those who don't like it.

And as long as most of the powers that be still feel sorry for WW2 and countries like the US fund Israel's military through the back door, shit like this will go on unchecked.
We will frown and cause a fuss and give them ultimatums, but they will not comply, and we will shrug and frown some more. Israel needs the fucking snot kicked out of it politicaly as a lesson to war mongering countries who try to pull this shit.


See how you like it?

Like maybe one day they'll piss off the Arabian Royal Family, then we'll see how much public opinion they can raise and how much people like them.
Even baby Jesus wouldn't get a second look from the West if oil prices were involved.

Like every bullied kid wants to see one child stand up to the bully and knock him on his ass and teach hima hard lesson, I want a regime to stand against these people and call them unjust and not just get bombed to dust. Maybe it'll be Iran, maybe it'll be North Korea.

The way these global powers play their hypocritical politics, I feel sorry for Iran, North Korea and Iraq. Sadam was an utter bastard, but I feel we had no right to ever act as we did and do what we did. We set a poor example for the world and now others follow that example.

You know what I want to see? I want to see these loose cannons and war mongers put in their damn place so that innocent civilians do not have to worry about rockets and bombs and armed insurgents.
I want these bastard governments taught some humility so that they don't rub their cocks in weaker countries faces.

But I guess what we'll get is a repeat of the last 4 years of crap, followed by a giant fuck off apocalyptic battle when someone finaly does something.

This world sucks, did you keep the reciept?

Hmmm...seems somewhere this turned into a rant sponsored by Michael Moore. Well, I feel better, but doubt most of my arguments will hold water.

/rant ;-)
imagnocean
Jul. 23rd, 2006 11:37 am (UTC)
<lj user=bridiep> sent me!
Your explanation is much better than mine for it. i guess I'm still too angry to put forward a hugely intelligable argument.

I wish I'd known about the marches :(
angusabranson
Jul. 23rd, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)
Re: <lj user=bridiep> sent me!
I wish I'd found out about them a bit earlier too. Unfortunately I was alraedy booked on saturday so couldn't make them.

The one problem I do have with the marches though is that they are organised by 'Stop The War Coalition' and their friends whom have politicised the whole issue for their own agenda.

The original Stop The War march which took place before the invasion/liberation of Iraq a few years ago was something that attracted people from every age group, subculture, religion and race. I saw kids, OAPs, Jews, Muslims, Amnericans, Europeans, Asians, Conservatives, Liberals, Socialists, everyone on the march showing solidarity against the planned military action in Iraq.

These days the Stop the War Coalition and allies have over-run the agenda so much that they have alienated many people who would otherwise be out there marching.

It's a shame and I'd dearly love to see a more moderate, less reactionary or self-agenda driven, organisation come about that would represent the millions of people in the UK who disagree with our own governments actions and reactions in places like Iraq and Lebanon/Gaza.
angusabranson
Jul. 23rd, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
Re: <lj user=bridiep> sent me!
My explanation was also rewritten a few times as I'd deleted a number of the posts I'd been writing because I was getting *way* too ranty and off-topic to get my point across.
imagnocean
Jul. 23rd, 2006 01:16 pm (UTC)
Re: <lj user=bridiep> sent me!
welcome to my world! lol
angusabranson
Jul. 23rd, 2006 01:23 pm (UTC)
Re: <lj user=bridiep> sent me!
:p

where's the bar?
imagnocean
Jul. 23rd, 2006 01:24 pm (UTC)
Re: <lj user=bridiep> sent me!
We don't have a bar here - we have table service. ;)
angusabranson
Jul. 23rd, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
Re: <lj user=bridiep> sent me!
Even better.

To continue this weekends theme I'll have anotehr Magners please. And don't go shy on the ice!

Can I get you one whilst I'm at it?

:)
imagnocean
Jul. 23rd, 2006 01:30 pm (UTC)
I'm fine with my fruity rum cocktails... but thanks! :D

*clicks fingers*

"GARCON!"

;)
angusabranson
Jul. 23rd, 2006 01:37 pm (UTC)
(A young girl walks up to the table and scowls slightly...)

"Garcon means boy"

(Sorry couldn't resist that :p)
imagnocean
Jul. 23rd, 2006 01:38 pm (UTC)
"Yes? And? May I remind you this is MY world? Now smile and serve the nice man."

You just can't get the staff these days.
angusabranson
Jul. 23rd, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you and may I say that you have some very cute waitresses in your world.

I think your bellydancing past-times have definitely rubbed off here...

:)
goldmoonrj
Jul. 24th, 2006 11:59 am (UTC)
In Portuguese, "garçom" means waiter. So your friend wasn't completely mistaken. ;)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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