Member Rara Avis
I think you're making two rather big, erroneous assumptions, Reb ...
Not really. It just breaks up and scatters -- and that big hammer just kills roughly 900 innocent civilians who were put up as bait anyway -- compared to the roughly 60 Hizbullah militants who were permanently downgraded......
If someone shoots at you from a crowd -- and you can't identify the culprit -- it makes little sense to start firing into the crowd and mowing down innocent bystanders the culprit doesn't care about anyway.
These two comments typify what I think is Big Mistake #1. If someone shoots at you from within a crowd, and you know the shooter was hired by the very people in that crowd, there are no innocent civilians.
Innocent Civilian is a Western distinction, and even we only recognize the distinction when it can be used to enflame our sense of outrage. Yes, there are innocents in war, but they are far more rare than we usually pretend. Any American, for example, that pays taxes, that are then used to buy guns and missiles, is no more innocent than the soldier who later uses the guns and missiles. When you support war, even tacitly, you don't get to yell foul when you become a victim of war.
I really don't know the extent of the truth, but clearly Israel and many others believe that Hezbollah could not exist in its current form without the support of the Lebanese people. When you let a viper live under your house, you assume responsibility for what the viper does to your neighbor. Either you help your neighbor root out the deadly viper, or you accept what is likely going to happen to your home.
Personally, I don't think anyone should ever have to die in war. However, the distinction between soldier and civilian is a tenuous one, at best, and the search for an innocent civilian is no less difficult than a search for an innocent soldier. War pretty much sucks for everyone. I certainly agree the innocent should be protected. I'm just not sure we'll ever get everyone to agree on who the innocent are.
Results don't bear out that scenario Ron. Hizbullah maintained its' ability to launch Katushkas ... up until the bitter end.
Yea, but your results are premature, Reb. Hezbollah's abilities to respond certainly weren't diminished the first day of fighting, either, but one day was too soon to reach any conclusions. It's still too soon.
The kidnappings were a job for Mossad to handle discretely and definitively. Blowing things up is equally as likely to get a hostage's head removed as anything.
Actually, I agree, Reb, with the reminder that 'discretely' and 'definitively' don't sit on the same teeter-totter all that well. But I also recognize it wasn't my call. Maybe it's been handled discretely any number of times in the past, with too little effect, and the decision was made to try a more definitive and less discrete tact? I don't know (and assuming discrete was indeed discrete, I probably can't know).
As for the safely of the hostages, I think it's a mistake to assume the Israel goal was anything so direct and obvious. When a mountain lion kills a calf, you don't put on your hunting jacket in hopes of getting the calf back again. And you sure don't do it in hopes the lion will sue for a quick cease-fire.
They could have more effectively responded to the shellings by a border rush -- and holding -- until Hizbullah either did something really stupid -- or the international community could bring pressure on the Lebanese government to put down its' mad dog.
Big Mistake #2. I think, Reb, you're placing far too much importance on international opinion, indeed, to the point where you've suggested in previous posts that it should be artificially manipulated. It's nice when your peers agree with what you're doing, but I think it's far more important to do what you believe is right.
Non-military sanctions are historically something of a joke. I can't think of any instance in the past fifty years where they've worked? And, clearly, an international military response is just a matter of using someone else's hammer. That makes sense if you're Kuwait, but perhaps not if you're Israel.
I think international opinion is an important barometer. When everyone is convinced you're wrong, it's usually a good time to reevaluate. But when push comes to shove, you have to do what you believe is right. And at no time should you needlessly rely on international opinion for your continued survival.
If there's no hope then why are we waiting? We have the biggest hammer around. So does Israel. But, my fuel pump died on my truck the other day when I was out about 250 miles -- without fuel -- fires go out. Even with fuel -- they go out if you can't get the fuel to the fire.
We're waiting, I think, because some hammers are too big to use safely, especially on projects right outside your own door. Should that door be in serious jeopardy, however, and the smaller hammers incapable of protecting it, I suspect it would be foolish to assume the big hammers won't ever be used.
Your truck may have died, Reb, but the sun kept right on shining, its fires self-sustaining and in need of nothing it doesn't already have. It's not eternal, but ten million years certainly feels that way to me. Rather than wait for it to extinguish, I think I'll continue to use sun block.
Analogies aside, I think it should be clear to everyone that ignoring terrorism isn't a suitable answer to terrorism. It's not going to just go away if we play nice.
That would make sense if the terrorists weren't suicidal in their attacks -- if they actually cared about surviving. But we know this isn't true. A martyr is a martyr is a martyr.
Don't believe everything your enemy tells you, Reb.
The thing about a suicidal attack is that it will never be repeated by the same person. And you don't really know what the next person will do until they do it. Ironically, if you're going to run and hide because that next person might be as suicidal as the last person, they don't have to actually be suicidal to win. They just have to convince you they are.
I believe there are people on both sides of the fence who are willing to die. I think there are very few who are eager to die, especially to no avail. They want to convince us they don't care about their own survival? Fine. That's only going to end when we convince them we don't care either.
Oh, and for the record, Hezbollah hasn't used suicide as a weapon since 1999, Reb.