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Q: Lebanon ( No Answer,   26 Comments )
Subject: Lebanon
Category: Relationships and Society > Politics
Asked by: samdaman-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 14 Jul 2006 09:27 PDT
Expires: 13 Aug 2006 09:27 PDT
Question ID: 746316
Hello, my parents are from Lebanon and I was born in Canada. They are
actually vacationing there this summer. I was very shocked to hear
that Israel invaded Lebanon, especially since the Lebanese Revolution
of 2005, which gave us final soverignty. Please explain to me the
history between Lebanon and Israel. I would like to know how serious
this is or could become. Also, how will my parents leave? I can't get
through on the phone lines, most likely due to the high volume of
international calls going into Lebanon. Luckily, tHey are in the
North, but the international airport was destroyed and so were the
roads going into Syria. I'm thinking they may be able to leave through
Cyprus, by boat such as many Lebanese did through the 70s and 80s.

Request for Question Clarification by rainbow-ga on 19 Jul 2006 22:21 PDT
Hi samdaman,

I live in Lebanon and clearly understand what you are going through.

I have received permission from Google Answers editors regarding the following:

If you have not yet heard from your parents and would like to provide
me with their phone number, I can call them, let them know your
concerns and find out their plans.

Note that the phone number will be publicly viewed until I inform the
editors I have received it and they will then remove it from here.

Please let me know if you would like me to contact them.

Best regards,

Clarification of Question by samdaman-ga on 20 Jul 2006 09:18 PDT
I have spoken to my parents recently via phone and internet. They are
fine and waiting to be called for the boat, but it will take too long
he says cause it is very disorganized. Thousands of people show up
everyday athough they were not called. 500 have been saved already out
of possible 45000. The Canadian government is basically on par with
the US and many other nations, but still my Dad has decided to go to
Syria and take a plane out of there. I tried to change the date of
their return tickets but can't until Aug. 12 for my dad and Sept. 2
for my mom, 2 sisters and 1 brother. Can you book them something from
Demascus earlier and all together?

Request for Question Clarification by rainbow-ga on 20 Jul 2006 09:45 PDT
I'm glad you were able to speak to your parents. I am sorry to hear
about them not able to leave with the Canadians. I wish I was able to
help with their bookings from Damascus. However, being where I am, I
am unable to assist you regarding this matter.

All the best,
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: answerfinder-ga on 14 Jul 2006 09:31 PDT
One of our researchers, rainbow-ga, lives in Lebanon. If you're lucky
she may pick this question up.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: markvmd-ga on 14 Jul 2006 12:04 PDT
I find it stunning that you are surprised "Israel invaded Lebanon"
when it was Lebanese Hezbollah soldiers-- who are allowed to operate
with the blessing of the Lebanese central government; after all, has
that government moved to disarm them, incarcerate them, stop them in
any way?-- that crossed another country's border to wage war and take
prisoners. Fuad Saniora pays lip sevice to disarming Hezbollah but,
typically, lacks the nuggets to do anything about it.

Hezbollah's Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said (from an audiotape broadcast
on Al-Manar television, a Hezbollah-run media outlet), "You wanted an
open war and we are ready for an open war." He is who should be
brought to justice and made to explain the actions of those he

If Mexico sent armed bands into the US, we would... well, look what we
did when they did that! If Saniora cannot clean out the Bekaa, the
Israelis can!
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: myoarin-ga on 14 Jul 2006 15:01 PDT
Mark, that is beside the point.

Three hours ago, I saw on the news that Lebanon was flying its planes
to Jordan with a background shot of a commercial jet.  I know, the
road to Jordan has also been bombed, same news report, but  -
unfortunately -  the country has a lot of experience dealing with
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: boquinha-ga on 14 Jul 2006 15:18 PDT

I think a little kindness wouldn't hurt. Put your politics aside for 2
seconds. The customer is concerned about his or her parents. And
whatever the issue, Israel DID invade Lebanon. Please give the
customer a break. Geesh.

Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: samdaman-ga on 17 Jul 2006 17:00 PDT
Lebanon has a very fragile democracy and our army is not strong enough
against Hezbollah. Lebanon does not need help, there have been
constant fued and hostage taking on both ends. When a war breaks out
and someone helps Lebanon they end up occupying us because they
believe we need their protection and call it an act of good will.
Our country will need so much rebuilding of this war and I just saw 7
Canadians killed on the news and Harper still takes long to help my
family out. I just hope they will return safely along with every other
Canadian there. As for the people in Lebanon and Israel, may God watch
over them all. Its sad when innocent people get caught between  cruel
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: easterangel-ga on 17 Jul 2006 17:27 PDT
This comment will not talk about about the whys and hows of this
conflict since the safety of your family is more important at this
point. Please read the following news references.

"The Canadian government has leased six commercial ships to be used to
carry as many as 4,500 Canadians a day from the war-torn country. As
many as 50,000 Canadians may be in Lebanon. Of those about 5,000 are
thought to be visitors or tourists."

"Those wishing to leave will be taken by water from Beirut to Cyprus
and then flown home from there. A statement posted Monday afternoon on
the Web site for Canada's embassy in Beirut said departure details
would be available within 24 hours."

Here is the website of the Canadian Embassy in Beirut. Please read
their advisories so as to be guided on what to do next.

Canadian Embassy in Beirut

I pray that your parents will be ok.

God Bless.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: samdaman-ga on 18 Jul 2006 07:11 PDT
Thank You!
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: tutuzdad-ga on 18 Jul 2006 11:04 PDT
FOX News is saying the Greek ship 'Orient Queen' is to be evacuating
some citizens from Lebanon to Cypress. Don't know how many just yet.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: answerfinder-ga on 20 Jul 2006 01:18 PDT
I am so sorry to see what is happening in Lebanon. I have been
thinking of you and am pleased to see you here. I'm sure everyone
connected with GA send a wish that you stay safe and that this madness
ends soon.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: myoarin-ga on 20 Jul 2006 01:50 PDT
I too am very happy to hear that Rainbow is well.

It would seem that G-A could have suggested that Samdaman email the
editors (contact below) and agreed to relay the phone number to
Rainbow via her email address.

Since G-A has agreed to what Rainbow has suggested, if you shy from
posting your parents' phone number here, I suggest that you try the

I certainly hope that you have heard from them already, however, and
that they are well.

Regards, Myoarin
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: yonr-ga on 25 Jul 2006 12:19 PDT
The history of the Israeli Lebanese conflict... hmm... "The story of
the injustice is long, long are the turning, devious tales; but I
shall follow the highest of the points of things."

Israel was founded in 1948 when it got its independence from the British Empire.

Lebanon declared independence from France in 1941, but wasn't
internationally recognized as independent until 1943. French troops
did not withdraw until three years later.

When Israel got its independence in 1948, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and
Egypt (with some assistance from Iraq) invaded Israel. They lost, and
Israel gained substantial portions of land (not from Lebanon).

Israel also fought two other notable wars with Arab nations--the Six
Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Lebanon was directly
involved in neither, but Syria was involved in both.

In 1976, Syrian forces entered Lebanon to help Maronite (Christian)
militias resist the influence of the Palestinian Liberation
Organization, which came with an influx of Palestinian refugees into

But the tides of politics changed, and Syria ended up aligning itself
with the PLO (primarily on the belief that the enemy of my
enemy--Israel--is my friend).

Israel assisted the Maronites in resisting Syrian and Palestinian
control. But Syrian forces remained in Lebanon until last year, pretty
much controlling the Lebanon as a puppet.

Palestinian forces remained strong in the South (which has typically
been the uncontrolled Wild West of Lebanon). They continued to attack
Israel until on March 14, 1978, it invaded Southern Lebanon.

The UN condmened the Israeli invasion, and passed resolutions 425 and
426 calling for withdrawal of Palestinian influence and Israeli
presence in Southern Lebanon, and the establishment of the United
Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

Twenty two years later, Israel withdrew from Lebanon, and UNIFIL
proved impotent (and not very interim-like). Palestinian terroists
were flushed out of Southern Lebanon (by the Israelis), but they were
replaced by Shiite terrorists. The kidnapping of the two Israeli
soldiers two weeks ago was only the straw that broke the camel's back,
since Hezbolla has been firing missiles and killing Israeli citizens
for years.

Whether or not one believes Israel was justified in invading Lebanon,
it certainly wasn't unexpected.

UNIFIL is still in Southern Lebanon, powerless to do anything.

The irony of the situation is that Israel and Lebanon are the only two
countries in the Middle East which don't have any recoverable oil. Yet
both were the most developed countries in the region until Syria,
Hezbolla, Iran, Israel and a civil war destroyed Lebanon.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: samdaman-ga on 03 Aug 2006 10:57 PDT
You clearly undestand your history in that region, thanks for your
little unconfirmed history lesson. Israel is just a big bully to
Lebanon, you need to research on all the Lebanese prisoners being
detained by Israel. Negotiations to exchange prisoners would have lead
to a much easier resolution and less casualties. Israel of all people
should be against war and  instead they have become terrorists
themselves "killing anyone who comes in the way of their targets or
'cause'". Just with your little timeline there, you can see Lebanon is
just a country always being bullied and brought through dirt. The rest
of the middle east is just jealous from us, cause we are the best
looking, the most democratic and our country is full of natural
beauty, unlike the artificial creations you'll find in many other Arab
nations, such as the city of Dubai. Now we are left to
rebuild...again...and again. We will do what we do best and that is
rebuild and we will once again be the Paris of the Middle East. And
just to let you know, where my parents are from, the North. THere is
NO WAR and it is still as beautiful as ever "knock on wood". War is
not the answer and Israel is choosing it rather than diplomacy and
civilized negotiations. Also, when Israel gained control of Israel in
1948 no one considered the Palestinians currently occuping the land
for the last 2000 years. The psychological and sociolgical problems
surrounding that are HUGE, and will not just fade away. Israel should
have been given land in North America where there is mroe diversity,
or in Europe, seeing as how they were the ones who caused the
Holocaust. We can not use thousand year old text to justify taking and
giving land. Any individual who owns something and suddenly gets it
taken away will feel frustration and a need to get it back. That
explains all the causes of the attacks on Israel. Furthermore, was
Palestine only given the land temporarily?
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: romeohifi-ga on 17 Aug 2006 22:58 PDT
Lebanese Revolution of 2005? Don't you get it. It was a setup to get
ride of the Syrians from Lebanon and for Israel to go in. Of course a
big mistake for Israel to go in and even bigger problem to continue it
for that long. And why is it the Jewish guys always bring in Mexico
invading US as example which is a bad example because Israel is always
in other Arab countries like Gaza and West Bank. If I were an Israeli
I wouldn't bring that example again because that is exactly what
Israel is doing and getting away with it. Keep in mind we Israel goes
into Lebanon and take Lebanese too. Israel should have used the treath
to isolate the Hezbollah. Another mistake was we US should have step
in after a few days and not when the going got taugh for Israel. Now
it looks like Israel lost and Hezbollah won. Bad move.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: markvmd-ga on 18 Aug 2006 04:35 PDT
Romeohifi attempts to rehash old Arab lies, as usual, rather than
admit the truth. This is typical.

The so-called Gaza strip and the West Bank are acreage fairly won by a
nation in battle. A common attitude of leaders in this region is they
cry and pule when they suffer a bloody nose and then want "mommy", the
UN (which they ignore when it comes to rights), to give them back what
they didn't have the nuggets to hang onto themselves.

The US didn't step into this latest dustup for a number of excellent
reasons, primary of which is that Israel was invaded and can handle
itself very nicely when it comes to slapping some sense into fools who
do such a boneheaded thing. Other reasons include a desire to see
US-supplied weaponry tested and to see if Israel would have any better
success dealing with a guerrilla force than the US has been having in
Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am sorry you take umbrage at the Mexico comparison. I provided it as
a reference frame comfortable to my presumed audience. To make it more
understandable to your kind I would have gladly substituted a
kindergartner coming into your third-grade remedial reading class and
taking your green crayon. I leave it to you to suggest a similar
incursion. Fire up that search engine, unless you received a psssing
social studies education!

While it is difficult to say who "won" or "lost", I would have to say
that lessons have been learned on both sides. Israel will sensibly
adjust its battle strategy to correct their heavy reliance on tank
battalions-- a mistake they have been making since their overwhelming
success in the Six Day War-- and go back to a more sensible mix of
tactics. That's for the military scholars to debate, however.

It is nice that Hizbollah will spend Iran's money on buildings and
furniture rather than weapons. Maybe they will soon be an NPR sponsor
like the WT Grant or Wallace Foundations. They should come out with a
line of plush toys (Hizbollah Floppers) and sweets (Hizbollah Melts)
as well.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: orion17-ga on 19 Aug 2006 03:02 PDT
Dear oh dear markvmd-ga... Aren't we the bitter ones!
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: markvmd-ga on 19 Aug 2006 07:44 PDT
Wow, Orion, that's really pithy. You've obviously studied all of
Churchill's speeches

I grow weary of listening to misinformed folks with half-baked
impressions mouthing off about a topic they have very little
familiarity with. Part of what I do every day is educate people out of
their misconceptions (however noble-minded they are) about their care
of a living creature. Sometimes you gotta smack 'em on the nose to get
their attention-- the people, not the pets-- and this is no different.

If you travel around the middle east-- and I expect there are so many
fewer travelers than there are yappers-- one striking thing you notice
is the almost hysterical level of anti-Israeli and anti-American
propaganda there is... until you cross into Israel. Then, gone are the
poster decrying the existence of other countries, gone are the
fanatical scribblings, gone are the posters deifying every crackpot
with a podium. Instead you get "buy my wares" and "no parking" (the
latter which everyone ignores). In other words, normality.


Israel is a democratic country in a sea of backwards oppresionism. It
has a marvelous education system for all of its citizens and a quality
of life that is remarkably high. Its military is highly impressive
(knowing that you are fighting for your existence will do that). The
Arabs who didn't cut and run 60 years ago enjoy this freedom and
lifestyle as well with the added benefit of not having to serve in the
military... 'cuz we all know how "good" the Arab militia are.

Okay, that was pissy.

Educate and inform yourself on the complete history of the area and
you'll see that the propaganda you've heard is exactly that-- lies
from the Arab spin doctors.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: orion17-ga on 19 Aug 2006 09:57 PDT
Well Professor markvmd let me inform you a bit of myself. I?m not one
of those rednecks you come across in your everyday life. But unlike
you I won?t blow my own trumpet.

Suffice it to say that I am well travelled, including in the Middle
East. I know Lebanon very well. Lebanon had and still has the finest
schools in the Middle East, including Israel. Lebanon, despite what
the President of the USA says, is a democracy, and has been a
democracy for 5000 years, well before Israel existed.

You seem to be enamoured by Churchill. This is the person who told
Malcolm McDonald (look him up) that ?Arabs were savages and that they
ate nothing but camel dung?. If you want to be impartial please don?t
quote a pro Israeli!

You paint a very rosy picture of Israel. However I bet you don?t tell
your students that Israel treat their non-Jewish population as third
class citizens. Even Jewish Israelis who are non European are
discriminated against. Those who are non Americans are also
discriminated against. In the last of SIX Israeli aggressions against
Lebanon, it was well documented that in the cities of Haifa, Naharia,
Kiryat Shmona and all the other cities that were bombed by Hizballah,
the Israelis had provided bomb shelters for their Jewish population,
all of them, but not for their Arab population. Now that?s real
democracy, right?

The Arabs are not in a fight against the Jews. The Arabs and the Jews
are both Semitic people, (here?s one for those rednecks that you
teach). There has to be a firm distinction made between Jews and
Zionists. Israel carefully and jealously calls itself the Jewish
state, whereas it is actually a Zionist state. Many Jews don?t
identify with this ideology. (Einstein for example disapproved of

The Zionist ideology is a racist one. Israel has encouraged migration
of Jews from all Jewish communities from all over the world, from the
extreme right to the extreme left. But Israel has been most careful to
encourage migration from those who are mostly Zionists, whether they
belong to the right wing Likud or the left wing Labour parties, or
anywhere in between or on the fringes. They have been careful to
ensure that whatever government is elected it is ruled by Zionists.
Israeli democracy is littered with threats to Israeli politicians to
?tow the line or else? politics, enforced by American Jews sympathetic
to Zionism.

Zionism has a stated aim: to claim, by any means, military or
otherwise, land that will fit 20+ million Jewish immigrants from all
over the world, whether Zionists or otherwise. They realize that the
land that they occupy now is not big enough to fit all those people.
Their doctrine, leading to their ideal solution of solving the
problem, is to occupy the land between the Nile and the Euphrates.
Their flag is the symbol of that. (The blue lines above and below the
Star of David symbolize that.) Israel in the long term, in their war
against Lebanon, has a hidden agenda, to grab land and tap into
Lebanon?s water resources.

Now I?m quite happy to enter into a decent, intellectual, and
constructive debate with you, but don?t assume that you?re talking to
another of those ?misinformed folks with half-baked impressions
mouthing off about a topic they have very little familiarity with?.
And there?s no reason to be confrontational, you?ll find me to be
quite amiable, and well educated!
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: markvmd-ga on 19 Aug 2006 13:08 PDT
Your lies only act to advance my argument. There ARE bomb shelters in
Arab neighborhoods of Haifa that I KNOW exist. If we use a common
baseline established in US courts, the fact you lie in one part of
your of your statement throws all of it into suspicion.

You also parrot old lies about the Israeli ensign's blue stripes
representing a "Nile to Euphrates" land hunger. It is enlightening to
know you get your ideas from Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar, who
recently repeated this old wives tale (him being an old wife, I
expect). This is further evidence you are hardly impartial in your
take on things. I am sorry you can fall for such blatant propaganda;
are you also going to quote from "The Protocols of the Elders of
Zion"? Will you next trot out "The Matzah Of Zion," or the Saudi
newspaper article that recently said Jews use blood in cookies, or the
Iranian article that said Jewish doctors are stealing the organs of
Palestinian children?

If you were a resident of Israel, Arab or other, concerned about
saving your neck, wouldn't you build your own shelter rather than wait
for someone to get around to it for you? This points up another
fundamental difference in mentalities between Israelis and Arabs. You
want a bomb shelter, get off your a$$ and BUILD it because your
beloved Arab brethren will slaughter you by the dozen just to get one

Lebanon cares so much for its citizens that it has zero bomb shelters.
Thus it supports a military faction that lobs missiles into a
neighbor, inviting (begging for) retaliation, but it thinks so little
of caring for welfare of the people that it affords them not one
smidgen of protection.

But it does promise them a glorious afterlife as martyrs.

I loved the quote on CNN by an Arab Israeli: ?Nasrallah doesn?t care
about anyone. He just wants to kill all the Israelis. He doesn?t care
if they?re Jewish, Arabs or Russians,? Sami Basan, 30, said. ?I?m for
the Israeli army. They?re the ones who are fighting for us all, Jews
and Arabs alike, so that we don?t get killed by rockets.?

This is one clear thinker.

The Arabs are not in a fight against the Jews? This will come as news
to Hamas, Hisbollah, Iran, Syria, much of Egypt, the House of Saud,
etc. I leave out Iraq only because they currently slake their blood
thirst with each other.

I know I cannot lift the blinders-- or is it a caul?-- from your eyes.
All I can do is point out that Israel is surrounded by countries that
swear they want the utter and complete destruction of the little
country and that Israel only wants to be left alone. When the bullied
fight back, they are not the problem... and the bullies get what they
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: markvmd-ga on 19 Aug 2006 13:13 PDT
Drat, I was so wound up being pompous and outraged I completely forgot...

Who cares what Churchill said to that silly actor from "A Clockwork
Orange", "Caligula" and "Star Trek 7"?

Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: orion17-ga on 19 Aug 2006 14:44 PDT
A tirade no less ? Well that?s to be expected. The fact is that Israel
is fighting a losing battle. It?s easy to stand behind AIPAC who
promote Zionist aims and spread Zionist propaganda to poor Americans
who don?t know any different.

Here?s something for you, and anyone else who wants to understand the
true doctrine of Zionism to read, from your own Avraham Stern.

In case you don?t, which I doubt, Avraham Stern crystallized the
ideology of Irgun Zeva'i Le'umi. I assume you?ve heard of the Irgun,
who used to murder British soldiers and hang them upside down on olive
trees in Palestine from 1942 to 1947. The terrorist group whose leader
was Menachim Begin who eventually became a Prime Minister of Israel.

This is what Avraham Stern called the "18 Principles of Rebirth":

1. THE NATION: The Jewish people is a covenanted people, the
originator of monotheism, formulator of the prophetic teachings,
standard bearer of human culture, guardian of glorious patrimony. The
Jewish people is schooled in self-sacrifice and suffering; its vision,
survivability and faith in redemption are indestructible.

2. THE HOMELAND: The homeland in the Land of Israel within the borders
delineated in the Bible ("To your descendants, I shall give this land,
from the River of Egypt to the great Euphrates River." Genesis 15:1
This is the land of the living, where the entire nation shall live in

3. THE NATION AND ITS LAND: Israel conquered the land with the sword.
There it became a great nation and only there it will be reborn. Hence
Israel alone has a right to that land. This is an absolute right. It
has never expired and never will.

4. THE GOALS: 1. Redemption of the land. 2. Establishment of
sovereignty. 3. Revival of the nation. There is no sovereignty without
the redemption of the land, and there is no national revival without

These are the goals of the organization during the period of war and conquest:

5. EDUCATION: Educate the nation to love freedom and zealously guard
Israel's eternal patrimony. Inculcate the idea that the nation is
master to its own fate. Revive the doctrine that "The sword and the
book came bound together from heaven" (Midrash Vayikra Rabba 35:

6. UNITY: The unification of the entire nation around the banner of
the Hebrew freedom movement. The use of the genius, status and
resources of individuals and the channeling of the energy, devotion
and revolutionary fervour of the masses for the war of liberation.

7. PACTS: Make pacts with all those who are willing to help the
struggle of the organization and provide direct support.

8. FORCE: Consolidate and increase the fighting force in the homeland
and in the Diaspora, in the underground and in the barracks, to become
the Hebrew army of liberation with its flag, arms, and commanders.

9. WAR: Constant war against those who stand in the way of fulfilling the goals.

10. CONQUEST: The conquest of the homeland from foreign rule and its
eternal possession.

These are the tasks of the movement during the period of sovereignty
and redemption:

11. SOVEREIGNTY: Renewal of Hebrew sovereignty over the redeemed land.

12. RULE OF JUSTICE: The establishment of a social order in the spirit
of Jewish morality and prophetic justice. Under such an order no one
will go hungry or unemployed. All will live in harmony, mutual respect
and friendship as an example to the world.

13. REVIVING THE WILDERNESS: Build the ruins and revive the wilderness
for mass immigration and population increase.

14. ALIENS: Solve the problem of alien population by exchange of population.

15. INGATHERING OF THE EXILES: Total in-gathering of the exiles to
their sovereign state.

16. POWER: The Hebrew nation shall become a first-rate military,
political, cultural and economical entity in the Middle East and
around the Mediterranean Sea.

17. REVIVAL: The revival of the Hebrew language as a spoken language
by the entire nation, the renewal of the historical and spiritual
might of Israel. The purification of the national character in the
fire of revival.

18. THE TEMPLE: The building of the Third Temple as a symbol of the
new era of total redemption.

The Zionists are blood thirsty warmongers that will not cease
attacking their neighbours until they achieve their aims.

It?s a pity that you won?t debate with me in a peaceful, friendly, and
logical manner. But as long as you?re being aggressive I?ll match you
one for one. Being that you are so educated you should know that it is
a recognised fact that no one can come and occupy someone else?s land
by force, and claim it as their own, and expect the civilized world to
stand by idly, unless the civilized world doesn?t know the truth
(hence AIPAC). But, unfortunately for you, the world is slowly
beginning to discover the truth.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: orion17-ga on 19 Aug 2006 15:06 PDT
Oh, and here's something from your own Newspapers:

From Mania to Depression 

By Uri Avnery

August 17, 2006

Thirty three days of war. The longest of our wars since 1949.

On the Israeli side: 154 dead--117 of them soldiers. 3970 rockets
launched against us, 37 civilians dead, more than 422 civilians

On the Lebanese side: about a thousand dead civilians, thousands
wounded. An unknown number of Hizbullah fighters dead and wounded.

More than a million refugees on both sides.

So what has been achieved for this terrible price?

"GLOOMY, HUMBLE, despondent," was how the journalist Yossef Werter
described Ehud Olmert, a few hours after the cease-fire had come into

Olmert? Humble? Is this the same Olmert we know? The same Olmert who
thumped the table and shouted: "No more!" Who said: "After the war,
the situation will be completely different than before!" Who promised
a "New Middle East" as a result of the war?

THE RESULTS of the war are obvious:

* The prisoners, who served as casus belli (or pretext) for the war,
have not been released. They will come back only as a result of an
exchange of prisoners, exactly as Hassan Nasrallah proposed before the

* Hizbullah has remained as it was. It has not been destroyed, nor
disarmed, nor even removed from where it was. Its fighters have proved
themselves in battle and have even garnered compliments from Israeli
soldiers. Its command and communication stucture has continued to
function to the end. Its TV station is still broadcasting.

* Hassan Nasrallah is alive and kicking. Persistent attempts to kill
him failed. His prestige is sky-high. Everywhere in the Arab world,
from Morocco to Iraq, songs are being composed in his honor and his
picture adorns the walls.

* The Lebanese army will be deployed along the border, side by side
with a large international force. That is the only material change
that has been achieved.

This will not replace Hizbullah. Hizbullah will remain in the area, in
every village and town. The Israeli army has not succeeded in removing
it from one single village. That was simply impossible without
permanently removing the population to which it belongs.

The Lebanese army and the international force cannot and will not
confront Hizbullah. Their very presence there depends on Hizbullah's
consent. In practice, a kind of co-existence of the three forces will
come into being, each one knowing that it has to come to terms with
the other two.

Perhaps the international force will be able to prevent incursions by
Hizbullah, such as the one that preceded this war. But it will also
have to prevent Israeli actions, such as the reconnaissance flights of
our Air Force over Lebanon. That's why the Israeli army objected, at
the beginning, so strenuously to the introduction of this force.

IN ISRAEL, there is now a general atmosphere of disappointment and
despondency. From mania to depression. It's not only that the
politicians and the generals are firing accusations at each other, as
we foresaw, but the general public is also voicing criticism from
every possible angle. The soldiers criticize the conduct of the war,
the reserve soldiers gripe about the chaos and the failure of

In all parties, there are new opposition groupings and threats of
splits. In Kadima. In Labor. It seems that in Meretz, too, there is a
lot of ferment, because most of its leaders supported the war dragon
almost until the last moment, when they caught its tail and pierced it
with their little lance.

At the head of the critics are marching--surprise, surprise--the
media. The entire horde of interviewers and commentators,
correspondents and presstitutes, who (with very few exceptions)
enthused about the war, who deceived, misled, falsified, ignored,
duped and lied for the fatherland, who stifled all criticism and
branded as traitors all who opposed the war--they are now running
ahead of the lynch mob. How predictable, how ugly. Suddenly they
remember what we have been saying right from the beginning of the war.

This phase is symbolized by Dan Halutz, the Chief-of-Staff. Only
yesterday he was the hero of the masses, it was forbidden to utter a
word against him. Now he is being described as a war profiteer. A
moment before sending his soldiers into battle, he found the time to
sell his shares, in expectation of a decline of the stock market. (Let
us hope that a moment before the end he found the time to buy them
back again.)

Victory, as is well known, has many fathers, and failure in war is an orphan.

FROM THE deluge of accusations and gripes, one slogan stands out , a
slogan that must send a cold shiver down the spine of anyone with a
good memory: "the politicians did not let the army win."

Exactly as I wrote two weeks ago, we see before our very eyes the
resurrection of the old cry "they stabbed the army in the back!"

This is how it goes: At long last, two days before the end, the land
offensive started to roll. Thanks to our heroic soldiers, the men of
the reserves, it was a dazzling success. And then, when we were on the
verge of a great victory, the cease-fire came into effect.

There is not a single word of truth in this. This operation, which was
planned and which the army spent years training for, was not carried
out earlier, because it was clear that it would not bring any
meaningful gains but would be costly in lives. The army would, indeed,
have occupied wide areas, but without being able to dislodge the
Hizbullah fighters from them.

The town of Bint Jbeil, for example, right next to the border, was
taken by the army three times, and the Hizbullah fighters remained
there to the end. If we had occupied 20 towns and villages like this
one, the soldiers and the tanks would have been exposed in twenty
places to the mortal attacks of the guerillas with their highly
effective anti-tank weapons.

If so, why was it decided, at the last moment, to carry out this
operation after all--well after the UN had already called for an end
to hostilities? The horrific answer: it was a cynical--not to say
vile--exercise of the failed trio. Olmert, Peretz and Halutz wanted to
create "a picture of victory", as was openly stated in the media. On
this altar the lives of 33 soldiers (including a young woman) were

The aim was to photograph the victorious soldiers on the bank of the
Litani. The operation could only last 48 hours, when the cease-fire
would come into force. In spite of the fact that the army used
helicopters to land the troops, the aim was not attained. At no point
did the army reach the Litani.

For comparison: in the first Lebanon war, that of Sharon in 1982, the
army crossed the Litani in the first few hours. (The Litani, by the
way, is not a real river anymore, but just a shallow creek. Most of
its waters are drawn off far from there, in the north. Its last
stretch is about 25 km distant from the border, near Metulla the
distance is only 4 km.)

This time, when the cease-fire took effect, all the units taking part
had reached villages on the way to the river. There they became
sitting ducks, surrounded by Hizbullah fighters, without secure supply
lines. From that moment on, the army had only one aim: to get them out
of there as quickly as possible, regardless of who might take their

If a commission of inquiry is set up--as it must be--and investigates
all the moves of this war, starting from the way the decision to start
it was made, it will also have to investigate the decision to start
this last operation. The death of 33 soldiers (including the son of
the writer David Grossman, who had supported the war) and the pain
this caused their families demand that!

BUT THESE facts are not yet clear to the general public. The
brain-washing by the military commentators and the ex-generals, who
dominated the media at the time, has turned the foolish--I would
almost say "criminal"--operation into a rousing victory parade. The
decision of the political leadership to stop it is now being seen by
many as an act of defeatist, spineless, corrupt and even treasonous

And that is exactly the new slogan of the fascist Right that is now
raising its ugly head.

After World War I, in similar circumstances, the legend of the "knife
in the back of the victorious army" grew up. Adolf Hitler used it to
carry him to power--and on to World War II.

Now, even before the last fallen soldier has been buried, the
incompetent generals are starting to talk shamelessly about "another
round", the next war that will surely come "in a month or in a year",
God willing. After all, we cannot end the matter like this, in
failure. Where is our pride?

THE ISRAELI public is now in a state of shock and disorientation.
Accusations--justified and unjustified--are flung around in all
directions, and it cannot be foreseen how things will develop.

Perhaps, in the end, it is logic that will win. Logic says: what has
thoroughly been demonstrated is that there is no military solution.
That is true in the North. That is also true in the South, where we
are confronting a whole people that has nothing to lose anymore. The
success of the Lebanese guerilla will encourage the Palestinian

For logic to win, we must be honest with ourselves: pinpoint the
failures, investigate their deeper causes, draw the proper

Some people want to prevent that at any price. President Bush declares
vociferously that we have won the war. A glorious victory over the
Evil Ones. Like his own victory in Iraq.

When a football team is able to choose the referee, it is no surprise
if it is declared the winner.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: markvmd-ga on 19 Aug 2006 17:43 PDT
Since each side is declaring victory (including that grand idiot,
Bush; Who invited him to weigh in on this thing called victory? I
suppose he needs to declare it for somewhere!), it is hardly difficult
to find propaganda of such on one side or another.

As I have written in warfare analysis elsewhere, a fight against a
guerrilla force is essentially unwinnable. If the guerrilla force
overthrows the established authority, the guerrillas win. If the
authority fails to root out every last guerrilla, the guerrillas win.
Fighting against a force where combatants get up in the morning, go
out to their back yard in their bathrobe and fire a missile, then
clean up and go into work... how the heck d'you use a 10 million
dollar fighter jet on that? This is one reason the American colonies
were successful in their fight against the Crown. But without the
missiles. Or the bathrobes. You get the idea.

Quoting a Zionist who predates the establishment of Israel (and who
are, in reality, hardly more than another intellectual expounding an
idea) is disingenuous. I can dig up arguments against the
establishment of the US from the late 18th century, and probably
arguments against the Crown from the 10th century. It's a lot of hot
air. Sheesh, we've got Pat Buchanan, a guy who sounds like he's stuck
in the '50s-- the 1850s-- in some ways, and he's on our side! By the
way, I do not understand the "your own" Avraham Stern remark, nor the
"your own" newspapers. Do not jump to conclusions based on my taking a
side of an argument. To do so lessens you.

An post-analysis of war action is always an excellent idea. Mistakes
get made and lessons are learned. Israel will need to stop relying so
heavily on their tank battalions and return tanks to their proper role
in battlefield tactics, and a similar change in air tactics will be
needed as well. But I digress (my military background wants an airing
on occasion).

As to why this action was initiated, have you forgotten that it was
Hizbollah soldiers, allowed to operate with the blessing of the
Lebanese central government, that crossed the border to wage war and
take prisoners! Had the Israelis not responded in this near-crazed
manner, one which the Arab mind understands all too well, what new
tactic do you suppose every bordering country would begin using?
Barbarism suits the Arabs very nicely, as news from Iraq shows (you
don't hear a lot about US kidnap victims having been castrated, do
you? Problem is, it's been happening) and can be employed to teach
them a lesson.

We have chewed up enough electronic space for the subject and much
better men and woman have labored far harder on the problem-- to equal
effect, sadly. To end the discussion I will decline to reply to your
rebuttal of this posting, should you wish to make one, and will also
thank you for a truly delightful exchange. While I use obnoxious
tactics during debates (sometimes I made up references during
debates-- let 'em prove me wrong!) I can assure you I respect your
opinion and you. I am always up for a contentious, even rancorous
argument and scrapping with a worthy oppo is a rare treat. While a few
of your facts were incorrect, you certainly give an intelligent fight.
For that, I am appreciative.

Finally, I hope for peace in the middle east. It would give me great
pleasure to visit a Beruit that was as vibrant as its former self, a
Baghdad that mirrored its former greatness, and a Tehran that was as
cosmopolitan as Paris. That these cities and countries have fallen so
far so fast is a disgrace.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: orion17-ga on 20 Aug 2006 00:20 PDT
We finally agree on quite a few things.

I agree with your opinion of Bush. It?s him and his gang of
warmongering neocons that are causing such chaos around the world in
the name of spreading democracy, while actually it?s all about self

I agree with you that you cannot beat a guerrilla force. In simple
terms this thing will not get solved until all parties sit around the
table and negotiate. Unfortunately we come back to that idiot Bush who
thinks that everything will be solved by the barrel of a gun.

I apologize for my assumptions and appreciate your own concessions of
your own shortcomings. My interjections were designed to show whoever
cared to view those postings that there are two sides to the story.
It?s wrong to blindly believe that ?I am right and everyone else is
wrong?. Again back to that idiot Bush, nothing can be viewed in purely
black and white, there are so many shades of grey that have to be
taken into account.

I disagree with you with regards to the disproportional use of force
by the Israelis as a response to a military operation carried out by
Hizballah. Israel continues to occupy land that does not belong to
them, and therefore by default, they are the aggressors. I don?t think
that this can be viewed any other way. The fact that Bush considers
Hizballah to be the ?root cause? of the problem shows how ignorant and
arrogant he and his administration are. The ?root cause? of the
problem is the Palestinian issue. Solve this problem and you pull the
rug from under almost all terrorism in the Middle East. But I suspect
that Bush knows this, and therefore one has to assume that he is happy
for terrorism to continue so that he can continue with his

Finally, I too wish for peace in the Middle East. The Middle East is a
cradle of religions and civilizations, and it?s sad to see it being
destroyed while new weapons are being tested and new politics are
being explored. I too respect your opinion, and you. Maybe one day we
will meet in a revitalized Beirut, or a rebuilt Baghdad, or a free
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: samdaman-ga on 24 Aug 2006 11:33 PDT
I just have one thing to say to markvmd comment on Israel being a
democratic state. In what democracies have you heard of where 1.3
million people are considered second class citizens. Also, in order to
attain Israeli citizenship you must be of Jewish faith, even an Arab
marrying a Jewish girl wouldn't get citizenship nor their children.
LOL its quiet hilarious when you call Israel a democratic state. LMAO
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: samdaman-ga on 24 Aug 2006 11:40 PDT
Israel is equivalent to Saddam Husseins regime in Iraq. Killing off
Kurds and Shittes. The only difference between Israel and Iraq
1980-1999 is that Israel instead of killing them chose to not let
anything but Jews in, and the "second class" citizens in Israel
already (due to greedy land snatching) get treated so bad they would
want to leave or be dead.

PS When looooooooooong ass comments are posted I and I assume many do
not read them, especially while using such anonymity. I don't trust
your or any unauthorized researchers facts as much as I don't trust
CNN. Basically what I'm trying to say : Don't write so much its a
waste your and my time, I just realized it before you.
Subject: Re: Lebanon
From: markvmd-ga on 24 Aug 2006 19:51 PDT
As I said to Orion, I would make my final comment and be done with it.
Samdaman's statements need addressing because they are so effing
incorrect as to be blinding in stupidity.

1) There are Arab-Israeli citizens. 

2) To compare Israel to Iraq is to lessen the horror that Saddam
perpetrated for the sake of a mediocre sound bite.

Stop spreading lies.

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