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    « Middle East mindstorms: 1 | Main | Do mention the war »



    Well, he was stupid to say that then. Now he's right. Israel's response is totally disproportionate. It is criminal to destroy Lebanon's infrastructure and blockade her ports. Those poor people are just getting back on their feet after the last time Israel worked them over. The Lebanese army is simply not strong enough to deal with Hizbollah. By all means, Israel should retaliate against Hizbollah, but it has no right to punish people who are just trying to get on with their lives.


    Fred. In the south of Lebanon, "those poor people" are eagerly hosting and hiding Hezbollah rocket-launchers and their crews. "Those poor people" voted for Hezbollah in sufficient numbers for the Lebanese government to include two Hezbollah ministers. The Lebanese delegate to the Arab League, presumably representing "those poor people", requested all Members of the League to declare support for Hezbollah.

    As it happens, I do not support the tactic of inflicting misery upon civilians hoping thereby to obtain pressure on a state to make a change. If that is indeed the Israeli government's idea, then it is a bad one.

    But let us also not pretend that Hezbollah is some kind of foreign and unwanted presence in Lebanon.

    As for criticism of Israel's response as being "disproportionate", I cannot put it better than Olmert -- read here:

    Judy, great post. I hadn't thought of that contrast. Well, it's certainly no surprise that France is particularly incensed when Israel hits its old protectorate Lebanon. I hope those miserable souls in the French establishment are now roasting with particular agony in their hell of impotent fury.


    The Lebanese army is simply not strong enough to deal with Hizbollah.

    Really? According to Avi Segal (via Norm):

    There is a Lebanese government, the Syrians are outside Lebanon, and so Israel can demand that the legitimate Lebanese government bring Hizbollah under control. The Lebanese have an army 70,000 to 80,000 strong, Hizbollah in the south has something like 3,000. So now security must begin in Beirut, they must control the south, because no sovereign country can continue to suffer this intolerable situation.

    As for taking out civilian infrastructure, why not? Israel's enemies seem incapable of operating at the usual diplomatic levels, so why not try a bit of behaviourism on them.


    Judy, let's hope you consider imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery:


    Re Paul's post, I would ask that Judy looks at my reply at Stephen Pollard's blog.


    Dr Charles Tannock, a Tory MEP, said on BBC World Service last Friday that Chirac had resisted for two years EU classing Hezbollah 'terrorists'. What horror the world would have been if France, not US, was a super-power!


    This is exactly what i expect from France, they are simply racist ppl. The would use Nuclear strikes on terrorist, but Israel can even fight back. The French are useless ppl, like they always say, i would rather have the German army in front of me rather than the French army behind me.


    Well, Frank, I don't think its helpful or fair to characterise an entire nation or people (or even a "ppl"), really. And over the centuries the French have contributed much positive to humanity (does this really need saying, I ask myself? In response to a comment like that, perhaps it does).

    But Jacques Chirac - a hypocrite devoid of principles. Well I never! At least he will almost certainly be out of office in a few months.


    Chirac must be reading Walt Whitman:

    "Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself,
    (I am large, I contain multitudes.)"


    section 51.)

    Of course, strictly speaking, there's not a contradiction, given that in Jan he was talking about France and this month he was talking about Israel. But I don't know any poetry about double standards; Whitman is the best I can do.


    Ah, the French, perpetual friends of the Lebanese, and arming Syria and Hezbollah at the same time!

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