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2006 July 25 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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CBS offers two opinions on the Israeli-Lebanese “problem”:

Why Won’t They Support Their Own? by David Gelernter of The Weekly Standard

Friends Don’t Let Friends Wage Wars by Matthew Yglesias of The American Prospect

July 25, 2006   Comments Off on Balance?

Reality Check

Not all Jews are Israelis, and not all Israelis are Jews.

The current government of Israel is not the selection of a majority of Israelis; it is a coalition. No one party commands the respect of a majority of voters.

The Kadima party, which formed the current government, has only 29 of 120 seats in the Knesset [Israeli parliament], so more than three out of four Israeli voters preferred someone else.

I want a supporter of Israel to explain why the objective, physical evidence shows that the two Israelis soldiers captured by Hezbollah were in Lebanon when taken.

I want a supporter of Israel to look at this photograph and explain why it doesn’t prove that the Israeli air force is targeting ambulances.

I want a supporter of Israel to explain why an Israeli bomb kills UN observers.

Hezbollah is not blameless. As Juan Cole has pointed out several times, firing Katyusha rockets is almost by definition a war crime. They are giant “bottle rockets” designed to break up massed formations of troops, and are not as accurate as most artillery. Firing them in the direction of an occupied area is almost a guarantee of civilian casualties. Just because the Israelis started the attacks on civilians doesn’t excuse Hezbollah.

July 25, 2006   6 Comments

Stereotypes Can Get You Killed

If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. – Sun Tzu

Karen at Peripetia has a post on the efforts of the military to figure out who they are fighting: It’s the Tribalism…Stupid! (Part 2). After more than three years into the second Gulf War they decide it might be a good idea to find out what motivates the enemy.

You have to wonder if Israel is aware of Hezbollah’s secret weapon, a very shallow overview of the group they are fighting in Lebanon.

Does anyone in charge of anything understand the difference between Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr on Islamic governments? Do they know who these men are as they blithely decide to alienate all of the Shi’ia? Do they know the significance of the color of the turban worn by Shi’ia clerics? Do they know the religious significance of the King of Jordan?

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July 25, 2006   2 Comments