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The Forum > Article Comments > Lebanon role compromised > Comments

Lebanon role compromised : Comments

By Don Rothwell, published 11/8/2006

Do Lebanon's failings justify the scale and intensity of the Israeli assault?

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The question of self defence may serve as excuse but its use conceals much, making the blame game so much simpler.
The pin prick are the rockets of July12 Killing Israel says not so say observers. The rocket were a diversion to kidnapping Israeli, a response to Israel refusal for completion of prisoner exchange. The retaliation was according to George Monobiot writing in the UK Guardian& August 06 long planned and such plans were known to the Americans.
Rockets and incursions have been common UN observers noting infringement of the Blue line more often by Israel than Hizballah and Stephen R Shalom Aug & Znet lists those fired and resulting damage and deaths (deaths None).
Also noted is the unresolved dispute over the Sheba Farms still occupied by Israel but declared to belong to Syria by the UN, part of the Golan heights.
So I think whilst international law may well say Israel has the right of self defence though exceeding any measure of reasonableness,justified by the rockets and kidnapping of July 12 morality, which has no place in foreign affairs, though used to keep the electorate onside, would point to Israel as responsible. Morality has place in human relations.
In fact I would argue that foreign ministers and those associated behave in ways which might be to National benefit but were the actions taken in civil society existing law would incarcerate them for ever as it would the media were untruths culpable.
The culpability of the football style followers screaming at the sidelines or commonly from more protected areas reamin a question for lawyers.
Posted by untutored mind, Friday, 11 August 2006 10:36:37 AM
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The idea that the ‘right of self defence is not unlimited’ as laid down by some remote organization such as the United Nations typifies the naïve blather of academics and others untouched by the realities of war. When a country or individual has to resort to self-defence, the rules go out the door. It is complete nonsense to suggest that polite behaviour accompanies war.

A country that suffers a ‘pinprick of an attack’ can, in fact, react in anyway it wishes or thinks appropriate at the time. It might very well be an overreaction, but who is there to stop it.

There are international laws of war which can be exerted after the event, but let’s not forget that only the losers in a conflict are brought to book and treated as ‘war criminals’. The criminals in this case are Islamic terrorists and, by default, the Lebanese government and people.

The author’s snide remark about the Australian government’s thankfulness that Israel is doing a job against terrorists, which could prevent it from having to do the same thing in our own region, is pathetic. Of course any sensible government would prefer this.

The author’s concern for civilian ‘targets’ would be better addressed to the Hezbollah terrorists and their protectors, the Lebanese government and, according to a recent poll, 80% of the population. The terrorists are the ones putting the civilians at risk, and if the poll is correct, most of the Lebanese people side with the terrorists.

The author asks us: ‘However, do Lebanon’s failings (grudgingly acknowledged by him) justify the scale and intensity of the Israeli assault?’

The answer from anyone interested in putting down Islamic fanatics and protecting the free world should be a resounding yes
Posted by Leigh, Friday, 11 August 2006 11:24:54 AM
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Mr Rothwell, at the present time the UN is ttrying desperately to save the remnants of Hizbollah, with the agreement of the weak, spineless Olmert & Peretz. However, what you and others do not seem to have noticed is the precedent this provides in the region.

According to this precedent, if the Israeli fundamentalist settlers, gain access to advanced arms, tanks, artillery and even a portion of the airforce, they will be in a similar position to that of Hizbollah now, especially given that Likud, the party that represents their interests, is represented in the Knesset.

So if the settlers are armed, the State of Israel has no responsibility for their actions, let us be clear about this, NO RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL. This is good, Hizbollah may win this round thanks to the conditions leading to this precedent, but the value of this precedent in finally providing a complete and final end to the Palestinian problem, amongst others, cannot be overstated. Perhaps we will see the Likud branch out, and reform its terrorist arm, Irgun, actually I see no perhaps about it.

Of course they could hardly be evicted from their settlements, as required by the UN, as that would precipitate a civil war, nor could they be disarmed by the Israeli government for the same reason.

That is the good thing about law, precedents cut both ways my friend.


Posted by 2bob, Friday, 11 August 2006 11:35:57 AM
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I have problems with these analyses when they seem to avoid discussing certain realities:
* Lebanon knew Hezbollah were operating against Israel and has consistently refused to do anything about them - de facto, regarding them as part of the Lebanese state. If Hezbollah are operating with the "blessing" or tolerance of the Lebanese State, then the Lebanese State as a whole has condoned acts of warfare against Israel.
* Nobody has yet suggested that the Lebanese government has ever made any even token attempt to disarm this militia or to explicitly condemn and repudiate their actions.
* Lebanon and all Arabic countries continues to feed their population with a media diet of constant anti-Semitic (or should I say anti-Jewish) propaganda including dramatised versions of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, showing the Jews as the cause of all the problems of the world. Certainly, no Arab country ever blames itself for its people's ignorance, starvation or poverty - it's all the fault of Israel and the US.
* Lebanon and all Arabic countries continues to feed their Islamic population with a religious diet blaming Jews and Israel as the source of all evil in the world and invoking violent destruction of Jewish civilians as religiously-blessed action.
* Lebanon and all Arabic countries make no pretence about their political and religious intention to totally destroy Israel and kill or completely subjegate its population, something they have been trying to do in a structured way since 1946.

It's really very difficult to feel or act proportionate when you know that you face multi-millions of religious zealots who hate you and want to kill you just because you happen to be a Jew.
Posted by Kevin, Friday, 11 August 2006 11:47:56 AM
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Maybe Israel should adopt the Hezbollah tactic which the world finds more palatable. Israel should assemble a cache of rockets on its northern border and fire off about 3 - 5 each week into southern Lebanon giving not one whit as to where they land or what they destroy, be that life or property. Then we could all adopt the attitude which has prevailed for the last few years and that attitude is one of supine slumber.
Posted by Sage, Friday, 11 August 2006 12:32:17 PM
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It's the same old lunacy from Leigh and Sage who are determined always to believe the worst of anyone who is not like us.

Rothwell is pretty wrong about a few things here though.

1. In the investigations of over 150 bombings of civilians by amnesty, HRW and the UN not one of them has been found to have weapons anywhere near them.
2. Hezbollah is not all of Lebanon - they have 3,000 fighters compared to Israel with 650,000 - get a grip on reality folks.
3. Why are Israel declaring all the children, babies and everyone else are terr'ists and just bombing them to bits?
4. Why let nearly 100 soldiers get killed to rescue 2? That is nuts, just exchange prisoners.
5. As noted before the Israeli's have been intruding into Lebanon every day from 2000-2003, kidnapping people and then flying over with sonic booms.

Tell me all the armchair warriors who think that murdering Lebanese children is acceptable how can you explain that 1009 Lebanese civilians are dead and 33 Israeli's.

Israel is not under attack from a few piddling little rockets, 1 million people are not fleeing for their lives and are not being bombarded in their homes from 35,000 feet every day of the week in a war planned last year by the Israeli's without even a hint of provocation.

The government of Lebanon is mainly Sunni and Christian for pete's sake.

Wander off and read some reality occassionally.
Posted by Marilyn Shepherd, Friday, 11 August 2006 1:50:15 PM
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