Sunday, July 16, 2006

UN Delegation Support Lebanese Government

Veejay Nambia, one of the UN delegation representatives, standing alongside UN Middle East mediator, addressed the Lebanese people by saying that the UN calls for three things:
  1. The end to killings of innocent civilians and destruction of infrastructure, on both sides.
  2. The full support of the Lebanese government and the Prime Minister Seniora for his call to an immediate ceasefire.
  3. The return of the captive Israeli soldiers as a solution towards ending this conflict.
Sounds reasonable. Looking forward for these ideas to be translated on the ground.

Update: AlJazeera is claiming that the rockets which hit Haifa today were Syrian-made rockets. Why is Lebanon being punished?

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."

50 comments:

francois said...

support lebanon
vote on this link

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/07/13/mideast/index.html

John said...

I truly hope the delegation is successful. Yet what I didn't hear in this was the disarming of Hezbollah as called for by UNSC 1559. I cannot see Israel budging until that part is agreed to. Seems to be in the best interest of both Lebanon and Israel if Hezbollah is disarmed. I hope this is all over soon because the innocents on both sides do not deserve this.

Jad J said...

lets hope the captured soldiers did not cross the borders towards syria :(

RAA said...

Doha,
Thank you for opening up the comments on the blog. One of the basic fundamentals of free speech is the ability to tolerate unpopular and even provocative speech. I much rather exchange ideas than missiles. Even at this dire hour we must continue to uphold our principles

nuggs said...

This is interesting.

Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Manar television said All Hizballah’s systems are operated by Lebanese, the sons of Lebanese.

crosspatch said...

But it appears that Iran is the one really in charge:


Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised Hezbollah Sunday and said it would not give up its weapons.

peace_head said...

Crossing the fingers for the delegation, but i'm totally pessimistic:

1. Hezbollah will not release the soliders out of its own good will.

2. Israel will not budge unless the soliders will be freed.

So who will free them?

The lebanese army, at the risk of another civil war? doubtfully.

Syria? they stand everything to gain from the strengthening of Hezbollah.

If only king hussein was here to fix the situation, like he did in the 1970's... watch the israeli-jordanian border. nothing. nada. peace and quiet.

box said...

it angers me to hear people who support the "story" without any basis - such as:

"i hope they didn't take the soldiers into syria." gee - next stop iran - and gee - then, US war with iran! if only US/israeli psyops had better writers. no adequate "casus belli."

i don't find the lebanese defenders of lebanon's southern border to be terrorists. i'm sorry. i don't see it. and if they're backed in order to do so, i still don't see the problem in that. does israel expect lebanon to not protect its border? outrageous demands like "move to the nitali river," which, of course, is far inland of the border, suggest that israel resents any OTHER country to protect itself from israel. (please spare me the "explanations" as to why this is a just demand - that's a preemptive "shhhhh.")

bottom line: the israeli agenda is unclear and suspect. i pray the UN does not allow this aggression to be legitimized in any possible way.

1earth said...

"Update: AlJazeera is claiming that the rockets which hit Haifa today were Syrian rockets. Why is Lebanon being punished?"

Lebanon isn't being punished. It's facing a counter-attack. Lebanon declared war on Israel when those rockets were fired by those "sons of Lebanon" from Lebanon, with that aggression against Israel given tacit permission from the democratically elected Lebanese government.

yaman said...

By "Syrian rockets" do you mean they were fired by Syria, or made by Syria and fired by Hizballah?

John said...

Israel has no problem with the Lebanese Army on the border, yet it does object to Hezbollah for obvious reasons. Who elected Nasrallah to run Lebanon? Is Lebanon a democratic country or not? If it is than the government must control the borders and not a private militia. This would be like having Ireland's borders with Northern Ireland patrolled by the IRA.

sp said...

There's no problem having lebanese defenders on Israel's border. There's a problem having lebanese "defenders" that don't answer to the Lebanese government. Israel just wants Hezbollah pushed back and the lebanese army to take their place and ensure that they don't renter that area as a military force.

Aisah_6 said...

Which "root cause" was responsible for this attack?
Lets be politically incorrect and admit the truth. The terrorists are the biggest problem in Lebanon as in rest of the world.
Until Lebanese speak up and act to rid themselves of the radical, hate-spewing zealots among their ranks they risk all Lebanese being 'painted with the same brush'.
As always, it is the extreme fringe minority that will be involved. What about the silent majority of who are moderates?
This would be a good time for them to come out in big numbers to proclaim their opposition to such acts. And also to actively involve themselves at various levels of their community to rid themselves of this scrouge before it destroys them all.

nuggs said...

box said the israeli agenda is unclear and suspect

Maybe it is unclear because you believe everything that comes out of an Israeli's mouth is "psyops and propaganda"
Hard to understand what the other side wants when every viewpoint is a lie or misinformation.

box said i don't find the lebanese defenders of lebanon's southern border to be terrorists. i'm sorry. i don't see it. and if they're backed in order to do so, i still don't see the problem in that.

doha said lJazeera is claiming that the rockets which hit Haifa today were Syrian rockets. Why is Lebanon being punished?

doha, I would argue alot of the reason you are paying for it is because many Lebanonese agree with box and they have allowed Hezbollah free reign in your country. The same way Israelis are paying for their support of their government.

1earth said...

Nobody would give a second thought to Lebanon having it's "defenders of Lebanon" right on the border if those "sons of Lebanon" stuck to defending Lebanon and not raiding Israel!

benj said...

same way Israelis are paying for their support of their government.

In fact the Isrealy also divided on the issue. In the sence we are not much different then Lebanese. Fringe radicals just want to punish all Arabs in blind anger. Extreme left hope that complete pacifism and abolishment of use of force would bring peace. And quite many people feel that the real enemy is Syria, but governmnet too weak to deal with it. The Sharon loss did a huge blow for Israel. While not very smart and not brilliant strategist Sharon had spine and political intuition. He could resolve this situation faster and with less pain for everyone.

nuggs said...

Doha,

Could you clarify that statement:
...the rockets which hit Haifa today were Syrian rockets

I too am wondering if you ment Syrian made or launched from Syria, it could mean an expansion of this war.

John said...

I believe he meant Syrian-made, not fired from Syria. At least that's what The Jerusalem Post is reporting.

Lazarus said...

nuggs says - Hard to understand what the other side wants when every viewpoint is a lie or misinformation.
Sadly this is true in more places that Lebanon and Israel. My prayer is that these two countries can defeat that disease and maybe teach the world the cure.
We're still here Doha & Raja. Thinking of you and hoping (praying) all this ends soon.

I don't have any where else to ask this and I hate to bring it up here. But:
What is the chance the two Israeli soldiers have been killed? And if so, will the Israelis accept the bodies and honour the cease fire?

Sagi (Israel) said...

This is my first posting here, so greetings all. I'd like to share my ideas about the politics underlaying the situation.

So, why are we having this war, or rather - why NOW? While the kidnapping of two Isrealy soldiers by Hizbullah was a MAJOR provocation, and one that nobody expected Israel to ignore - it was hardly the first time since the IDF's withdrawal fron southern Lebanon that Nasrallah's acts provided Israel with a casus belli.

So again, why now? I believe there are two major reasons:

1) The Syrian withdrawal: As long as Syrian troops were stationed in Lebanon, there would've been little hope of its goverment attempting to disarm Hizbullah and taking responsibility for the Southern border. Further - as long as the Syrian occupied Lebanon, it was implicitly understood that they would be held reponsible for any war-like acts coming from there.

The Syrian leadership stands to gain practically nothing from a war with Israel while standing to lose quite a lot, and that's why Israel - while not exactly happy to have Syrian troops stationed in Lebanon - prefered this state to the current one: While Syria controlled Lebanon, it was held accountable for it: Anything major coming out of Lebanon towards Israel would've entailed an Israely attack on Damascus, which they could ill afford. The accountibility of centeralized regimes to any war-acts coming from their terriotory is key to stopping and avoiding wars: A country surrenders and stops fighting when its army cannot protect it any more. A militant group like Hizbullah, that's probably more strongly allied with Iran that its native Lebanon, can keep fighting with little regard to the country crumbling around it. A no-man's-land situation like the one currently existing in Lebanon is simply an unacceptable risk to Israel, especailly now, which brings me to reason 2 for the war:

2) The approaching Iran-US war: Perhaps I'm overly pessimistic, but I believe all signs point to this war happening within a couple of years at most: I'd be happy to share my reasoning, if anyone wishes to hear it, but it's immaterial to my point; When this war happens, it's almost sure to involve Israel: The only realistic way for distant Iran to engage Israel is with rockets and missiles. Ballistic missiles can be shot down - at least with some degree of success - and the difficulty and expense of manufacturing them limits their usage. Short and medium range rockets - like the ones being fired by Hizbullah right now - cannot be shot down and can be produced and fired in huge numbers. Simply put, Israel cannot afford a neighbouring country being used as a missile launching platform in the coming war - especially one that cannot be made to stop these launches by a standard military action (see above). Considering the possibillity of Iranian non-conventional warheads being provided to Hizbullah - the magnitude of the risk becomes one that no country will ever accept and will go to any lengths to neutralise.

For everyone's sake, I hope Lebanon's goverment will be able to survive and take full control of the country, and that the Israely goverment do its best to assist it after the shooting stops.

Wow. That came out much longer than I planned...

Laurence said...

"Why is Lebanon being punished?"

Because they're being fired from Lebanese territory by Lebanese.

tickler said...

I expect Israel would accept the bodies of their soldiers, if they are dead. Israelis mostly are realists. I don't imagine they expect to get all 3 alive, though they would be unhappy, as would anybody. They have accepted bodies before.

This is all a tragedy, what seems most tragic to me is the betrayal of Lebanon by Hezbollah. They have made it obvious how little they care about anyone else's point of view.

Jad J said...

very well put Sagi... thats the best analysis comment i read so far!
and lets hope that our government can sign peace coz as someone just told me (quoting): "It's mind boggling that we have really good relations with Egypt and not with Lebanon"

Sagi (Israel) said...

Here's hoping, Jadj... :)

Omer (israeli) said...

Hey everyone,
News from Israel:
This evening 1000 left-winged activist's protested in tel-aviv calling to stop the war. They said they protest to stop the war and to make clear that the war is not a consensus like Olmet claims.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3276906,00.html

Stay safe.

Jad J said...

thats a start...
can those 1000 start some sort of petition to allow Lebanese and israeli youth be allowed to meet... or do we still have to avoid each other in international airports so that our governments dont treat us like traitors!!!

Omer (israeli) said...

I met a Lebanese in Italy many years ago. Very cool guy, he studied computer science in Rome. But i dont think will be seeing organized groups anytime soon.

Suha said...

Everyone: here is an interesting bit from Washington Post. So, as Sagi so sagely said, the kidnapping of the soldier is not the real reason behind this (I do not agree with the rest of his analysis). This has been in the making for some time now, with US blessings. In fact, if the sources are to be trusted, this is a proxy war on both sides. Funny that semites on both sides end up paying the price.

Omer, thanks for the news.

Josiah said...

box

//i don't find the lebanese defenders of lebanon's southern border to be terrorists. i'm sorry. i don't see it. and if they're backed in order to do so, i still don't see the problem in that. does israel expect lebanon to not protect its border? outrageous demands like "move to the nitali river," which, of course, is far inland of the border, suggest that israel resents any OTHER country to protect itself from israel. (please spare me the "explanations" as to why this is a just demand - that's a preemptive "shhhhh.")//

The issue is not that they defended the border, but that they ATTACKED the defenders of ISRAEL's border. Also, the group is (supposedly) not sponsored or led by the Lebanese government, but by one non-elected madman named Nasrallah. Lebanon's inability to control its own border and its self-appointed border guards is the big problem here.

Michael said...

Is the bombing in Beirut still happening, or does it appear to have slowed down some?

Josiah said...

and doha, thanks again for the updates and thanks for banning anonymous comments. I'm sick of people from Western Europe lecturing us about a situation about which they know very little.

Sagi (Israel) said...

Hi Suha, would you elaborate some on what's wrong with my analysis? One of the reasons I posted it here is so I could get some feedback coming from people with a different point of view...

Jad J said...

mark my words Sagi, although what u say is theoretically very true, but Iran will not be attacked. Not out of fear, but many other stuff that i would refrain from saying because it is one of those "conspiracy theory" that i've been researching for a long time (4 years).

Omer (israeli) said...

Gives us the Theory, Jad j

Jad J said...

nah... its still too early for that.. lets just focus on whats at hand then we'll discuss what information i have gathered together!

anyway, its about time i go to sleep, its been a long and stressful day, hope to see u all tomorrow on this blog, its really nice how it all ended up in here: too many points of views, but all reasonable and willing to listen to each other with less sarcasm and more constructive comments, i feel quite comfortable discussing issues with all of you in here To name a few Suha, Doha, Josiah, Omer, Sagi, Joe!
Be safe (what a pathetic wishful thing "Be Safe"... but thats the situation)

Sagi (Israel) said...

4 years! Well, I admit my theory is based on more like 4 DAYS of research. :) But frankly, as long as Israel perceives a US-Iran war as a likely possibility, the results (Israel-Lebanonwise) will be the same...

Sagi (Israel) said...

Be safe too, Jad. Night.

Jad J said...

Oh... and Shmulik too !! Goodnight to you all !

Suha said...

Sagi,

I agree with no.1 of your analysis.
As for no.2, I think the war between Iran and Israel/US is taking place right now. Or at least, the parties waging the war hope to settle their scores on Lebanese territory.

Iran promised to give its answer on the nuclear issue mid-August (strange coincidence?). The war on Lebanon will largely influence the outcome of negotiations with Iran which, to the consternation of Arab rulers, aspires to be the major regional player. I do not think the Iranians are crazy. I think it (and lapdog Syria) only want recognition at the end of the day. The war on Lebanon might very well be its baptism by fire. Or it could be a wild card lost.

That's what I think. What do you think?

box said...

"Lebanon's inability to control its own border and its self-appointed border guards is the big problem here."

kind of like america's minutemen on the US/mexican border of late.

box said...

hezbollah abducted 2 soldiers (why are some saying 3?) to exchange for 3 lebanese citizens being illegally held (along with scores of palestinians) in israeli prisons. correct?

i don't think any entity legitimizes the manner in which hezbollah tried to broker the release of these prisoners... but be assured plenty of entities and individuals aren't really adverse to it. after all - it's not israel's right to do so, and has been a long-term point of contention in the area of human rights if nothing else - and with it shows israel's disrespect for other nations' sovereignty.

the only threat to mideast peace and diplomatic solutions right now lies in israeli hands - but israel refuses to take responsibility for its irresponsible behavior. it should have no say whatsoever about whether or not hezbollah exists. i don't see what's wrong with hezbollah, actually. israelis whine - "they don't think we should exist" - but their actions aren't congruous with that, and so, irrelevant. you can't kill people for their thoughts.

the US has spent a great deal of media energy, money and time with the mantra - "the world's greatest threat is terrorism." well - someone should define terrorism. from where i sit - if you use US-made artillery, you're not a terrorist - everyone else better watch it.

Polimom said...

Commenting for the first time here, from the US, so please forgive if this is intrusive. Those in Lebanon and Israel commenting here are, obviously, affected in an immediate, personal way by current events, but the situation there has the potential to affect us all in a profound way; I hope my input is not regarded as out of line or offensive.

I, too, thought Sagi's analysis was excellent, and somewhat unique, particularly regarding no. 2 and an Israeli goal of a buffer zone to the north for a coming US-Iran war.

also (unrelated to Sagi's commentary) -- box said, "kind of like america's minutemen on the US/mexican border of late."

There is absolutely no comparison. If the minutemen were firing rockets into Mexico, the US government would land on them instantly; they'd never be permitted to dictate America's fate. Likewise, if Mexico were shelling across the border, the minutemen would not be any part of the American defense strategy. To compare the minutemen to Hezbollah is laughable.

box also said, "[Israel] should have no say whatsoever about whether or not hezbollah exists. i don't see what's wrong with hezbollah, actually. israelis whine - "they don't think we should exist" - but their actions aren't congruous with that, and so, irrelevant. you can't kill people for their thoughts.

Thoughts are not the problem here, and that comment demonstrates some astounding naivete. box does, however, hit on what I see as the ultimate question that will eventually have to be answered by Israel's regional neighbors (and perhaps the world): Does Israel have the right to exist, or does it not?

My own opinion on the question is as neutral as I can find it in my heart to be. I deplore the loss of life and increasing stability in the world, as we continue to dodge what I see as an unavoidable confrontation over that question. Like Sagi, I'm pretty pessimistic.

Polimom said...

ummm... that should read, increasing instability in the world (or decreasing stability, take your pick...)

sigh...

Sagi (Israel) said...

Suha,

I more or less agree with you completely: The timing of the soldiers' kidnapping seems all too convenient for it NOT to be ordered by Iran, and frankly - they're the only ones standing to gain anything from this fight. I also agree with you about Iran's aspirations, the fear it causes in many Arab rulers, and I'm willing to accede that Ahmadinejad is probably not insane (though you'd have a hard time believing that after hearing him ranting about Israel on TV).

It's funny (though not really "ha-ha" funny) you've used the wild card metaphor. When I talked with my friends earlier today, I've likened Iran's pushing Lebanon into a conflict with Israel to a card player willing to lose a valuable card for some other gain. Sigh... "I'll see your Lebanon and raise you a regional war". Perhaps a chess sacrifice methapor is more fitting... :(

The saddest thing is, Israel was more or less sure to react the way it did: A chance to finally rid ourselves of a hostile Iranian militia on our Northern border is percieved as simply too good an opportunity to miss... So now there's war... With Syria probably praying it won't be dragged into it and Teheran's cackling.

The one thing I don't agree with you on is about how the war with Iran will be fought... Certainly, the Israel-Lebanon conflict is the beginning, but I don't believe it will end there:

Wars are fought when both sides believe they have something to gain, or when both can't back down. See the current conflict: Israel wishes to neutralize a serious risk and gain a peaceful Northern border, Iran wishing to buy more time or just sow discord (hard for the US to gain Arab support for the war against Iran when hated Israel is busy fighting one of them) - and there you have it. War, with your poor country taking the brunt of it.

With the US and Iran, I fear there's a similiar no-escape situation: The US is VERY unlikely to accept a nuclear Iran, certainly with their current "war on terrorism" agenda. There are other reasons - certainly they believe Iran's bid for power needs to be checked - but I think the nuclear thingy will be the deciding factor. Iran, on the other hand, or at the very least - Ahmadinejad - seems unable to back down on the bomb issue. I think the regime there is not as stable as it presents itself: There's a growing layer of intelligentsia that's chafing under the theocracy they're living in, and it seems to me Ahmadinejad put too much of his personal prestige on the "Iran deserves nuclear power" thingy for him to back down and survive politically... So we've got two players that won't - probably CAN'T - back down, and the clock starts ticking...

Omer (israeli) said...

Box,
So you say the Pl's have a right to resist. What does that have to do with Lebanon? Why can't Lebanon dictate its own decisions ?

As for the resistance itself. Even thou i favor a with-draw from west-bank. I don't like being bomb on buses. You might say it serves me right. But thats exactly the thing that keeps the violance alive. When Isrealis ignored the Pl's plee we got violnace. And what the Pl' got back was violnce too. And thats been going on for years. But since the pull out of Gaza (and Hamas goverment) they put way too much pressure. Its having the oppsite effect now on isreal. people are getting more right-winged. And boy, if you dont think the IDF use silk gloves now, wait till u see these guys. But eventually there will be no other way but talk. you see Hamas can bomb israel with jidhdist, but they cab't elimnate israel. Eventually they'll get their land according to 1967 borders. But now they are way overdoing the "Resistance". Espically as Olmert promised withdrawl form the west-bank, and the recent withdrawl from Gaza in witch we drawl again.
And if their be no talk, then fine. I dont think every arab needs to "like" me. I'm hoping some will, thou.
I can assure you that Israelis in general are quite practical, thou me might have done stupid stuff (and no i dont mean the forming of israel in 48, even thou i guess we disagree on that one)

Shmulik said...

Good night JAD J and be safe. I hope to talk to you tomarrow.
Suha
I am very sorry if my post will upset you but I think you should see the situation from our eyes and perhaps understand.
-I don't know if you agree to Sagis analysis (intresting at least) but I want to stress the Israeli attack is logical and has multipile reasons. Indeed the release of the soldiers is not the only reason for this attack. Let me give you some of them:
1) The soldiers
2) Hammering Hizballah enough so the Lebanese army can deal with them.
3) Forcing the Lebanese goverment to enforce its sovereignty in the south (and it appparently works with Seniora's call to deploy the army
3B) I don't know if you are aware of this but for the last 6 years Hizballah has attacked Israeli soldiers and civilians inside the Israeli borders, This is a clear casus belli and since there is no syrian occupation your goverment is to blame (as we have warned before).
there are other reasons which we don't like to admit and it's not official but here is my take:
4)Israel has pulled out of Lebanon and gaza without an agreement and is attempting to do the same in Judea and Samaria. Our goverment must proove to our public and especially to the arab world that once Israel pulls out behind a recognized international border, than any, even the smallest attack shall be answered with lethal force.
4b)We must prove to ourselves and our enemies that Nasarallah's "spider web" theory is wrong, that Isarel can't be pressured by attacks on our civilians.
4c) We must make sure our enemies understand that hiding behind human shields is not a viable tactic anymore (if we have to choose between our civilians and the human-shields it is tragic, but you know what we will choose).
At this point you can concentrate on your own pain, say the hell with them all and give-up. If you want to save Lebanon you don't have this luxury. You should think about what you can do. Seinora's appeal is onded a step in the right direction.
I might add that Lebanon is a victim but not a blameless one.you can't have a little Iran in your country without it affecting you. Do you really believe you could disarm the Hezbollah with words?? Tell me I am wrong but didn't your goverment think that you can talk with the Hizbollah forever as long as only Israeli died??

John said...

kind of like america's minutemen on the US/mexican border of late.

Bad comparison. The Minutemen are not firing rockets or anything else into Mexico, they are not arresting illegal immigrants (they lack the power to do so and know it) nor are they making any incursions into our southern neighbor. Hezbollah is doing all this (only kidnapping people from across the border instead of just arresting intruders). The Minutemen are acting as private citizens and informing the US Border Patrol of the whereabouts of illegals while drawing attention to the nation of the how pourous our borders really are (amazing we haven't been attacked again in 5 years). If Hezbollah were only doing what the Minutemen do there wouldn't be a problem, but they go far beyond that.

John said...

hezbollah abducted 2 soldiers (why are some saying 3?) to exchange for 3 lebanese citizens being illegally held (along with scores of palestinians) in israeli prisons. correct?

Not exactly. Besides the fact that what Hezbollah did is usually considered to be an act of war, you have your facts mixed up. First of all, some are probably saying 3 soldiers because they are mistakenly including Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas not Hezbollah. Of course the latter did say it kidnapped 2 more soldiers because of solidarity with the former. Second, who says the 3 Lebanese prisoners are being held illegally? One of them is Samir Kuntar, a convicted terrorist and murderer who butchered an Israeli family and a policeman in 1979. He was captured on Israeli soil after infiltrating from Lebanon. Third, regarding Palestinian prisoners, is Hezbollah setting Lebanese policy or not? If you are going to attach the two issues then be prepared to face the consequences.

Eran Kampf said...

Why is Lebanon being punished?

Because they let Syrian ammo past their border into HA hands.
Because they let HA do as he pleases at south Lebanon.
Because they let HA attach Israel from Lebanon territory.

But mainly due to the fact that you let everyone use you for their cause. If you don't find it necessary to punish Syria for using you, should Israel do it for you?

MOiS BENARROCH said...

Believe me, if the two soldiers are returned to the Un and then to Israel, safe, everything will stop in 2 minutes.