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Sunday, July 16, 2006

A difficult lesson

When I was in the Navy, I once witnessed a bar fight in downtown Olongapo (Philippines) that still haunts my dreams.  The fight was between a big oafish Marine and a rather soft-spoken, medium sized Latino sailor from my ship. 

All evening the Marine had been trying to pick a fight with one of us and had finally set his sights on this diminutive shipmate of mine... figuring him for a safe target.  When my friend refused to be goaded into a fight the Marine sucker punched him from behind on the side of the head so hard that blood instantly started to pour from this poor man's mutilated ear.

Everyone present was horrified and was prepared to absolutely murder this Marine, but my shipmate quickly turned on him and began to single-handedly back him towards a corner with a series of stinging jabs and upper cuts that gave more than a hint to a youth spent boxing in a small gym in the Bronx.

Each punch opened a cut on the Marine's startled face and by the time he had been backed completely into the corner he was blubbering for someone to stop the fight.  He invoked his split lips and chipped teeth as reasons to stop the fight.  He begged us to stop the fight because he could barely see through the river of blood that was pouring out of his split and swollen brows.

Nobody moved.  Not one person.

The only sound in the bar was the sickening staccato sound of this sailor's lightning fast fists making contact with new areas of the Marine's head.  The only sound I have heard since that was remotely similar was from the first Rocky film when Sylvester Stallone was punching sides of beef in the meat locker.

Finally the Marine's pleading turned to screams.... a high, almost womanly shriek.   And still the punches continued relentlessly. 

Several people in the bar took a few tentative steps as though they wanted to try to break it up at that point, but hands reached out from the crowd and held them tight.  I'm not ashamed to say that mine were two of the hands that held someone back.

You see, in between each blow the sailor had begun chanting a soft cadence: "Say [punch] you [punch] give [punch] up [punch]... say [punch] you [punch]were [punch] wrong [punch]". 

He had been repeating it to the Marine almost from the start but we only became aware of it when the typical barroom cheers had died down and we began to be sickened by the sight and sound of the carnage.

This Marine stood there shrieking in the corner of the bar trying futilely to block the carefully timed punches that were cutting his head to tatters... right down to the skull in places. But he refused to say that he gave up... or that he was wrong. 

Even in the delirium of his beating he believed in his heart that someone would stop the fight before he had to admit defeat.  I'm sure this strategy had served him well in the past and had allowed him to continue on his career as a barroom bully.

Finally, in a wail of agony the Marine shrieked  "I give up", and we gently backed the sailor away from him.

I'm sure you can guess why I have shared this story today. 

I'm not particularly proud to have been witness to such a bloody spectacle, and the sound of that Marine's woman-like shrieks will haunt me to my grave.  But I learned something that evening that Israel had better learn for itself if it is to finally be rid of at least one of its tormentors:

This is one time an Arab aggressor must be allowed to be beaten so badly that every civilized nation will stand in horror, wanting desperately to step in and stop the carnage... but knowing that the fight will only truly be over when one side gives up and finally admits defeat.

Just as every person who had ever rescued that bully from admitting defeat helped create the cowardly brute I saw that evening in the bar, every well-intentioned power that has ever stepped in and negotiated a ceasefire for an Arab aggressor has helped create the monsters we see around us today.

President Lahoud of Lebanon, a big Hezbollah supporter and a close ally of Syria, has been shrieking non-stop to the UN Security Council for the past two days to get them to force Israel into a cease fire.

Clearly he has been reading his autographed copy of 'Military Success for Dummies Arab Despots' by the late Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt.  Ever since Nasser accidentally discovered the trick in '56, every subsequent Arab leader has stuck to his tried and true formula for military success:

  1. Instigate a war. 
  2. Once the war is well underway and you are in the process of having your ass handed to you... get a few world powers to force your western opponent into a cease fire. 
  3. Whatever you do, don't surrender or submit to any terms dictated by your enemy.  That would ruin everything!  All you have to do is wait it out and eventually the world will become sickened at what is being done to your soldiers and civilian population... and will force a truce.
  4. Once a truce has been called you can resume your intransigence (which probably caused the conflict in the first place), and even declare victory as your opponent leaves the field of battle.

This tactic has never failed.  Not once. 

In fact it worked so will for the Egyptians in 1973, that to this day they celebrate the Yom Kippur War - a crushing defeat at the hands of Israel -  as a military victory!  No kidding... it's a national holiday over there!

President Lahoud has already begun to shriek like a school girl to the UN Security Council to "Stop the violence and arrange a cease-fire, and then after that we'll be ready to discuss all matters."   

Uh huh.  Forgive me if I find that a tad hard to swallow.  He allowed Hezbollah to take over his country.  He allowed the regular Lebanese army to provide radar targeting data for the Hezbollah missile that struck the Israeli destroyer.  He has turned a blind eye while Iranian and Syrian weapons, advisers and money have poured into his country. 

And now that his country is in ruins he wants to call it a draw.

As much as it may sicken the world to stand by and watch it happen, strong hands need to hold back the weak-hearted and let the fight continue until one side finally admits unambiguous defeat.

220_66

Posted by David Bogner on July 16, 2006 | Permalink

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Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Violence begets violence. The sooner the people realize this the better.

Meekly submitting to violence begets more violence. And enabling violence by helping the instigators escape the consequences of their actions begets more still. The sooner people realize this the better.

Posted by: Achillea | Jul 18, 2006 6:36:32 AM

B"H
I fear that Israeli officials may not be taking your advice. An article from today's LA Times online says Israel has dropped a demand that Hezbollah be dismantled and/or disarmed, asking only that it move back and release the two soldiers.

"Israel's apparent softening of its stance on truce terms, which included quietly dropping a demand that Hezbollah be disarmed and dismantled, was conveyed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to his Italian counterpart, Romano Prodi, senior aides to Olmert said. But Israel is insisting that the guerrillas pull back about 20 miles from the frontier."

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-diplomacy18jul18,0,1033978.story?coll=la-home-headlines for more info.

Perhaps it's time to call the Israeli Prime Minister to protest this feeble proposal that would give the Arab terrorists more time to regroup and attack us again?


Prime Minister Olmert's number is Israel is 03-6109898.

Wishing a speedy redemption for all Israel now!

Yosef Dahne
Brooklyn

Posted by: Yosef Dahne | Jul 18, 2006 6:55:04 AM

Jason, why do you question his account of the scene in Olangapo when he was in the Navy? Almost every sailor who has done a WestPac or I.O. tour has been to Olangapo, many, many times (as well as Hawaii) and sees at least a fight a night, if he goes out for a beer or two. If stories from my friends who have been to that particular place are true (when there was still a base there), he must have had at least 100 good stories to choose from, in that town alone, much less all the other ports one goes to in the Pacific. This kind of thing is common, not something from the movies or made up. In fact his account was tame, compared to some of the stuff that happens. I'm not saying this kind of thing is great, it just happens. Or perhaps now'days people just play Nintendo all day in their apartments, who knows, it is probably healthier.

Posted by: Seattle | Jul 18, 2006 8:02:30 AM

Michael Brenner... the problem with your position is that it ignores the fact that the Government of Lebanon has actively supported Hezbollah (and in fact is partly comprised of Hezbollah members). Also missing from your overly simplistic POV is the fact that the Lebanese public voted for the present government and has never spoken out against the secondary army (Hezbollah) in its midst... not to mention that army's goals.

Jennifer... If Hezbollah doesn't give up then they must be punished so severely that they will wish they had given up. A cease fire any time soon would save them from either fate.

Jordan... He may realize it now... but that didn't stop him from actively aiding Hezbollah over the past few years.

Ed of LGF)... Make no mistake, if ANYONE dusts off the non-conventional weapons threat they will have to ponder a non-conventional preemptive Israeli first strike. In a country the size of Delaware there is no room or option of a retaliatory strike.

American8... Thanks and welcome. The LGF-alanche that rolled in last night has pretty much trashed my bandwidth allowance for the next few months, but I'm not complaining. I hope you'll stop by again.

Gail... Thank you. I feel like a fish out of water writing so much about politics lately. I think I'll have to leave that to more qualified writers... like yourself.

Udge... Thank you. Any friend of Lioness is a friend of mine.

Lioness... Thank you for the link. But more importantly thank you for the depth of your emotional support. Please encourage your Porty-friends to support Israel with their knowledge, energy and checkbooks.

Bob... I tend to judge what is going on in the US by what I see in the NYTimes. Perhaps I need to rethink that approach.

Settembrini... I don't recall the exact breakdown of the crowd, and nobody was in uniform. But there were certainly quite a few crew-cuts (meaning Marines) in the bar that night who didn't raise a finger to help their friend.

Sooke... Thank you for your polite acknowledgment. As to the story... any analogy is going to be overly simplistic. My goal was simply to make people stop and think about the wisdom of a premature cease fire.

F.M. ... We have to deal with the war we have in front of us. As to wars that may or may not happen months or even years down the road, I fear the aftermath of inaction much more than action.

Ed (LGF)... Uh, lets not invoke 'Godwin's Law' so early in a thread, OK? :-)

Andy McCarthy... I have nothing against Marines. I'll admit I'm a bit uncomfortable with the way they tend to hold hands in public, but overall they tend to be the salt of the earth! :-)

Maksim-Smelchak... Thanks for the compliment and the link. Much appreciated.

Elisson... I do feel like I'm preaching to the choir here. :-)

Terry Crane... Thank you.

Jason... I appreciate the complement and will provide the following in answer to your criticism: We all clean up our memories and put inconvenient or extraneous information in 'soft focus' so that our experiences are better able to help us with future decisions. You are correct in criticizing the overly heroic nature of my narrative. However the event did happen pretty much as I described it. Omitted were the following inconvenient facts: a) pretty much all of us were so drunk that a fight seemed like fun entertainment at the start; b) most of us were hauled away by the Shore Patrol minutes after the fight ended; c) the sailor lost partial hearing in one ear and at least one stripe... maybe two, I don't recall... in Captains Mast (A non-judicial disciplinary forum) for his part in the fight and for punching one of the shore patrol who took him into custody; d) many of the senior Petty Officers present (including myself) were denied liberty in the next two ports of call and were forced to do Shore Patrol duty (basically breaking up fights and having drunks vomit on our shoes) in the next several liberty ports; e) I have no idea if the Marine's future behavior was, in fact, changed for the better as a result of his beating. So yes, I am guilty of gilding the lily a bit and omitting inconvenient facts that might have made the story less instructive. Sue me.

R123... One has to qualify that question. Are you talking about individual Arabs or Arab society/culture. I am horrified by the stories of individual loss of life I see coming out of Lebanon. But I would not be at all sad to see many of the tragic flaws present in Arab society die an untimely death. We need to come to terms with the fact that not all culture clashes between tribal and modern cultures need end with sparing the tribal culture. The modern world would not tolerate cannibalism so the tribes in Africa, New Guinea and South America that practiced it were stripped of this offending cultural touchstone. Arab culture must be stripped of equally intolerable behavior.

Harrison... Thank you for your wishes. Israel is already strong. I hope that your prayer for decisiveness is answered.

Yocheved... Thank you.

Achillea... Thank you for responding to that one. You said it better (and more politely) than I would/could have.

Yosef Dahne... Your first mistake was reading the LA Times. They are one step away from Tokyo Rose status in my book. Even when they are quoting factual accounts they are almost always doing so to undermine the Israeli position. Context is everything.

Seattle... You are correct that bar fights are a common occurrence in places where military personnel gather to blow off steam. I actually almost used an anecdote from a bar-fight I witnessed in Guam that ended with me learning how to stitch up a head laceration (the hospital corpsman had just come back from liberty drunk and didn't trust himself to do it so he taught me how), but it lacked the essential element of the bully giving up. In the Guam fight the bully was knocked out cold with a pool cue before he could weigh the option of surrender. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 18, 2006 9:16:12 AM

"This is one time an Arab aggressor must be allowed to be beaten so badly that every civilized nation will stand in horror"

Well 200 killed and only 4 of them are 'aggressors'. Think Israel might be stuffing that message up a little?

Try this little story instead:

Bully sits in the middle of the sandpit. Has all the toys. Bastard is frankly just as bad as Bully but not as strong, so Bastard relies on fast attacks when least expected and pelts Bully with mud and crap.

Bully can't get to Bastard, who keeps dodging around some smaller kids who are at the edge of the sandpit, so eventually in frustration and because they are Bastard's distant cousins Bully starts pounding their little heads in.

The whole class is watching, however, and Bully will never live this down.

I respect what you are saying with this story. There may have been reactions that fitted well, but Israel's current approach does not. In my respectful opinion.

Posted by: Armaniac | Jul 18, 2006 11:12:49 AM

Armaniac:

Why do the other kids tolerate Bastard? Why do they let him hide in their midst? Why did they encourage his activities for so long? Feeding him.
Egging him on. Staging distractions to give him a better shot...

Do we even know which kid is "the" bastard? He looks like all the other kids. He doesn't wear the Official Bastard Uniform™. Maybe there is more than one.

In any event there is no way to know for sure because he sometimes lies about his Bastard status.


Lebanese civilian casualties are unfortunate. There is no debating that. They are also unintentional. They're just the natural consequences of the deliberate placement of military targets in the heart of civilian populations.

Contrast this with the rockets hitting Israel... How many has it been? Where have they been landing?

Why?????

Posted by: wogo | Jul 18, 2006 12:05:44 PM

THAT, David, might just be asking too much. I send them here but... Well.

Posted by: Lioness | Jul 18, 2006 2:23:43 PM

David,

Congrats on the well-written and much-linked post.

But one thing about it really bothers me. The sex (ism) thing. Why is every snivelly or cowardly response feminized? "woman-like shrieks?"

"shriek like a schoolgirl."

I'm surprised to see from someone whom I know respects women, especially his wife and daughter.

I hope in the future you can find an alternative that is just as good to describe whining and shrieking...

Posted by: Allison | Jul 18, 2006 3:36:38 PM

While your post is strongly written and certainly somewhat analagous to the situation, I think you are talking about checkers in a chess game.

You are clearly a well informed and insightful person, but take a gander at the whole board.

Isn't it convenient this whole thing started relative moments before the G8 summit? I think it is.

What has overtaken the entire G8 agenda? Israel-Hizbollah

What has been pushed to the backburner for the G8? Iran's impending nuclear capability and proliferation in the region.

What happens if Iran reaches nuclear capability? Gd only knows, but you are 100% correct that if unconventional weapons are employed, Israel will have no choice but to respond with retaliatory strikes. Damascus and Tehran will in all likelihood be scorched with nuclear fire.

The Hizbollah are nothing but pawns of an Iranian insanity that could kill millions.

If that maniac gains the capability, I believe he will launch. Right now, he is just sacrificing pawns to Israel to but himself enough time to make a run at check mate.

Maybe I am wrong, but the whole world seems to be falling for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's gambit of "hey look over there."


Posted by: No1ofConsequence | Jul 18, 2006 3:48:51 PM

Armaniac... Maybe I need another cup of coffee, but I had trouble following your analogy. In any event, you are certainly entitled to your opinion... but without a dog in this fight, it is only an opinion. One of many.

Wogo... Don't cloud the issue with facts. If someone is looking to create equivalency, you're not going to sway them with logic.

Lioness... a boy can dream, can't he? :-)

Allison... Thank you for the compliment, but let me set your mind at ease about something. This Marine did not scream like a man. He did not scream like any animal I have ever heard. His shriek was like something from one of those movies where a killer stalks coeds in a sorority house and surprises them in the shower with a butcher knife. Part of what was so shocking to me was how odd this feminine scream sounded coming from this big marine. In order to illustrate how Lebanon's president's pleas are even more at odds with typical Arab bravado, I used a school girl instead of a woman to describe the pitch of his screams. You obviously took my descriptions as a disparagement... as though I had said 'he threw like a girl', or 'he parked like a woman'. No, I was being quite accurate with my description.

No1ofconsequence... You may be right. What the heck, you are probably right. But that doesn't negate the fact that Israel has to respond to the source of the attacks. If We were to attack Syria or Iran right now and ignore Hezbollah, the world would (justifiably) condemn us for an unprovoked attack. Yes, this is likely a proxy war... but just because the G8 are preoccupied don't think for a minute that Israel has taken its eye of Syria or Iran.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 18, 2006 4:07:13 PM

Bullies and thugs are eternal optimists. Thump one, and another will eventually step up to the line for his beating too.
I have never advocated violence as the first option, but sometimes you have to fight, maybe even get an ass whipping of your own. To a bully, or a thug, seeing someone else's blood is high entertainment, especially if they do not bleed themselves. In my mind, and in my experience, when no other option is available, fight like hell and don't stop until you are out or the other guy says "uncle" or "No mas" or "Nicht shiessen, kamerade". You can only deal with one bully at a time and there are no guarantees that his buddies will get the message the first time.
I guess this reply reinforces the concept that freedom is not free; sometimes the price is blood, some of it your own.

Posted by: B Dubya | Jul 18, 2006 4:27:39 PM

Godwin's Law is comparing someone to the Nazis. Pointing out that the 'Bob Strategy' of appeasement, was tried with Hitler and failed is not comparing anyone to Hitler.

Posted by: Ed Mahmoud from LGF | Jul 18, 2006 4:55:22 PM

Even though I am a pacifist and I find this whole conflict depressing, I admit this is a very accurate apraisal of the way Isreal sees the situation, and there is a lot of truth in it.

Another Blogger Q said "You can't establish a lasting peace with someone who doesn't want peace."

There are a few articles posted on "The Art of the Rant," which I know you will disagree with, but you may find interesting.

http://billarends.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Bill | Jul 18, 2006 5:02:35 PM

Settembrini:

"Your analogy ignores the fact that this Marine's friends are watching him get his face bloodied, and deep hatred is festering within them. Sooner or later his friends will seek revenge."

A guy like that doesn't have friends.

More seriously, if he has friends and they're reasonable people, they'll be glad he was taught a lesson he badly needed.

On the other hand, if he has friends and they're bullies like them, they need to be taken down too.

Appeasement begets further violence. The sooner people learn that, the better.

Posted by: Bostonian | Jul 18, 2006 5:21:32 PM

Bostonian,

In this case, the Marine (aka "terrorists, specifically Hezbollah") does have friends. And they are not reasonable. And there are also his acquaintances, who were not his friends before but now have pity for him and anger toward the sailor.
Moreover, the analogy glosses over civilian casualties, because in real life, the sailor's blows aren't just hitting the Marine, they're hitting innocent bystanders (and some complicit bystanders). All of these people involved become angry. More violence will ensue.

Ed Mahmoud:
I never suggested leaving the bully alone. There are other options. How about arresting him with special forces.
Or is the quasi-targeted violence really just a subconcious desire for the sailor to show off his might? Because it certainly doesn't consider the longview.

Posted by: Settembrini | Jul 18, 2006 6:11:45 PM

When were you in Ologopo?

Do you remember the name of the bar?

I was there in '66.

Gone are the days. So is my ship. The Bainbridge. DLGN-25.

BTW great story.

And yes. It looks like the beatings will continue. Most of the complaints from major powers seem pro-forma.

And the Arab league is on board!

Posted by: M. Simon | Jul 18, 2006 7:01:13 PM

"Michael Brenner... the problem with your position is that it ignores the fact that the Government of Lebanon has actively supported Hezbollah (and in fact is partly comprised of Hezbollah members). Also missing from your overly simplistic POV is the fact that the Lebanese public voted for the present government and has never spoken out against the secondary army (Hezbollah) in its midst... not to mention that army's goals."

I have two problems with this argument. The first is that while it is true that Hezbollah sits in government, Hezbollah's party has 14 seats out of 128. The Resistance and Development Coalition, which includes the Amalists and the Syrian Nationalists, has 35 seats. So you're talking about 35 out of 128 seats, and nearly all of their support is from the South. So it is really fair to say that the Lebanese people endorse them?

In fact, I think it would be fair to say that the opposite is true. The plurality party came about after the Hariri assassination; they hold 36 seats, and their coalition, the Rafik Hariri Martyrs List, holds 72 seats. The Aoun Alliance, basically the Christians, holds 21 seats.

Israel has the same issue with coalition politics; the realities of the Israeli political system forces moderate governments to include extreme parties. I don't think, however, it is fair, when others say that the inclusion of those parties in coalition governments is an endorsement of their platforms.

Now, it is true, one could say that including the RDP in the government is unnecessary because the RHML has enough seats to govern without them, though I think Israel would do the same thing were a civil war in Israel a real possibility. Perhaps that the Lebanese government can be held accountable for, thought not the Lebanese people. But it's hardly an endorsement, and I think we risk tipping the balance of the Lebanese government so that RDP inclusion will become necessary, rather than optional, for the governing coalition. As I said before, it is not a state we can put in submission, nor is submission what we want. We want a cessation of rocket attacks on the border, and I don't see how a prolonged bombing campaign which will radicalize lots of Lebanese will accomplish this aim.

We need to get idea of what the endgame is going to be here, because it's clear that destroying missile capability is at best a temporary solution and not clear that prolonged bombing of infrastructure is going to get us what we want.

Posted by: Michael Brenner | Jul 18, 2006 7:17:54 PM

Michael Brenner,
That is my concern. Didn't Lebanon FINALLY achieve a full withdrawl of Syrian forces just recently. Didn't the Syrian forces present themselves as being necessary for Lebanese "protection" ? Won't this potentially galvanize the Lebanese people to support Syrian presence in their country? Thank you anyone , for a reply.

Posted by: jess1dering | Jul 18, 2006 7:58:19 PM

There will be civilian deaths only because Hizzbulla will hide amoung the kid and girls !!!!
So be it, tragic but alas.

Posted by: Jacko | Jul 18, 2006 9:48:46 PM

Yaacov Menken in his post above ignores one very important fact that Sadat was not an Islamist/extremist whatever, such as the types involved in Hezbollah and Hamas.
They are not going to put their Koranic "obligations" aside for honour.
Unfortunately too many people are still unaware of what's at stake today.
There is no negotiating with them except to provide them with the death they so desperately crave and which they misname martyrdom.

Posted by: Cynic | Jul 18, 2006 11:52:52 PM

jess1dering,
The way I read it Syria left Hezbollah as its proxy and the Christian community realizes that.

Posted by: Cynic | Jul 18, 2006 11:57:46 PM

A few points.
Allison, David respects women. He loves his daughter. He fears his wife. :)
David, i don't care what Siniora did before. If the bombing is getting him to wake up to the reality, then israel has achieved one of it's goals.
I agree that the collateral damage of the bombing will radicalize some Lebanese who were previously anti-Hezbollah. It is unrealistic to think othrwise. But after six years of Israel staying on it's side of the border, and UN resolution 1559 going unfulfilled, it is also unrealistic to expect anyone other than israel taking the issue of Hezbollah in hand, and doing it with extreme prejudice. The collateral damage is only one factor in the geopolitical discussion. In an ideal world, where Hezbollah did not cross the border to wreak havoc in israel, it would be the correct move to let Lebanon grow into it's responsibility for it's internal affairs, including the disarmament of Hezbollah. Unfortunately, Hezbollah had other plans.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Jul 19, 2006 1:06:29 AM

RE: "Your analogy ignores the fact that this Marine's friends are watching him get his face bloodied, and deep hatred is festering within them. Sooner or later his friends will seek revenge"

Spoken by someone who does not understand either bullies or their "toadies". Bullies don't have friends, only synchophants who feel stronger in the presence of the bully. When the bully is defeated, they slink away too. They don't come back for "revenge" on the bully's opponents because they don't really care about the bully -- just about themselves.

Posted by: CBDenver | Jul 19, 2006 4:07:46 AM

Great stuff. I couldn't help but agree, in spite of some of my more idealistic (naive?) leanings. That's usually how I know someone's really nailed a point on the head.

I linked to this post on my blog (http://friaryid.blogspot.com/2006/07/great-post.html), but couldn't figure out how to make a trackback link. Any suggestions?

Posted by: Friar Yid | Jul 19, 2006 8:04:13 AM

David, congratulations on an inciteful post. After analysing your writing I hereby nominate the term "Nasser's Protocol" for the common practice of your "neighbors" to bite off more mischief than they can chew, and then plead with others to help them out.

Cheers and prayers

Posted by: 49erDweet | Jul 19, 2006 9:32:42 AM

I read your blog with great interest over here in Australia. There are many Lebanese immigrants in this country with dual citenzenship. They are making a big fuss about getting their holidaying relatives out of there. I think Australians are rather confused, but for my part I agree with you that Israelis have little choice but to pursue Hezbollah into oblivion where they belong. I am on the side of the Israeli people in their struggle against extremist Arab and Iranian hate. I hope one day to see the forces of moderation prevail so that the Middle East can become the thriving region that it could be.

But before that happens, the current struggle must be won. All courage to your tiny nation with a great heart!

Posted by: elfram | Jul 19, 2006 1:57:31 PM

Excellent post. And as Machiavelli famously said, "It is better to be feared than loved." Since nobody is ever going to love Israel (or the U.S., for that matter), then it's best to put fear into her enemies. The lesson Israel should be teaching the rest of the Muslim world is "Don't mess with us, or we will put you in the Hurt Locker." Hezbollah should pay a heavy price for their folly, and after that object lesson is taught a time or two (The Arabs, alas, tend to be slow learners), maybe Israel will finally be allowed to live in peace.

Posted by: Clyde | Jul 19, 2006 4:07:39 PM

B Dubya... Well said.

Ed of LGF... You are correct, of course. But for many, the mere mention of Hitler or Nazis in a political discussion is a game ender.

Bill... I can't argue with a word you've said. You really can't make peace with someone who doesn't want it.

M. Simon... I was there a few dozen times between 79 - 83.

Michael Brenner... You are sincerely wearing me out. You can sit there and discuss coalition politics when the elected government willfully ignored a UN resolution requiring it to dismantle all militias. The entire country turned a blind eye to the importation of over 13,000 rockets! Do you have any idea how much willful blindness or active cooperation that takes? Did they think those rockets were going to be used for lawn ornaments??? Please count to ten before posting again.

Jess1dering... I'm not really concerned at this point about what the future consequences will be for the Lebanese. They may have sent the Syrians packing but they only lived up to less than half of their obligations under the UN resolution.

Jacko... Indeed.

Cynic... Right on both counts.

Jordan... See, I knew you'd come around you war monger you. :-)

CBDenver... I hadn't thought of that but it makes perfect sense.

Friar Yid... I don't think blogger supports trackbacks but thanks for the link... and the thought.

49erDweet... 'Nassar's Protocols' I like it. A lot.

Elfram... Thank you very much. That means a lot.

Clyde... On the contrary, the Arabs are exceptionally quick studies. Unfortunately the world has been teaching them the wrong lesson all this time.


Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 19, 2006 10:09:47 PM

Thanks.

Posted by: M. Simon | Jul 20, 2006 8:08:21 AM

WOGO:
"Why do the other kids tolerate Bastard? Why do they let him hide in their midst?"

Do they willingly? Don't Hizbollah have minority support in Lebanon, and significant enemies currently copping Israel's firepower? So the bastard hides among the other kids and the bully just pummels all of them.

TREPPENWITZ:
"Don't cloud the issue with facts. If someone is looking to create equivalency, you're not going to sway them with logic."

Lack of equivalency is I believe my point, and in relation to 'the facts', well the bodycount brings to mind the maxim Res Ipsa Loquiter. But I appreciate your respectful response, it isn't easy to maintain civil discussion on such a heated topic.

CBDenver:
"Bullies don't have friends, only synchophants who feel stronger in the presence of the bully. When the bully is defeated, they slink away too."

Your assumption as to who might be lacking in friends, due to such perceptions, does not fit overwhelming world opinion. For an analysis that comes from a pro Israeli perspective, check out 'propaganda war' post at Harry's Place.

BOSTONIAN:
"Appeasement begets further violence. The sooner people learn that, the better."

If learning is empirical then with respect the unheeded lesson is that violence and revenge will beget further violence.

With respect.

Posted by: Armaniac | Jul 20, 2006 9:36:33 AM

"If learning is empirical then with respect the unheeded lesson is that violence and revenge will beget further violence."

I have to ask you, with respect, which action stopped Hitler's plan for taking over all of Europe and sweeping millions into gas chambers?

Appeasement or fighting back?

And how many lives would have been saved if Europe had destroyed Hitler in 1939?

Posted by: Bostonian | Jul 20, 2006 3:50:48 PM

Armaniac, as tragic as the civilian deaths in Lebanon are, and I am unwilling to concede that all dead civilians had no connection to Hezbollah at all, comparing bodycounts would not be an accurate measure of proportionality or fairness. Israel targets missile sites, hezbollah offices, missle caches, (sometimes in supposed civilian homes) military installations, and actual guerillas. Sometimes, they do damage to surrounding areas and people who had been forwarned but are still in the area suffer. It is tragic, but hard to avoid. Hezbollah targets Israeli military installations and civilian neighborhoods indiscriminately. The fact that israel is bombing the hell out of Lebanon and the death toll is in the low hundred is a fair indication of the efforts israel makes to minimize civilian casualties.
Imagine Russia, China, Pakistan, India, or dare I say, the U.S. engaging in a similar campaign.

Posted by: jordan Hirsch | Jul 20, 2006 5:21:47 PM

From reading all the above acounts, I now understand the mentality behind slavery and the genocide of the North American Indians. Forget about Christian morality. "Might is right", as the Romans would say; before the barbarians hordes crossed the Tiber, that is.

Tommy Aitkin

Posted by: Tommy Aitkin | Jul 21, 2006 6:04:29 AM

I heard Hugh Hewitt on the radio this afternoon reading your piece. I arrived home and made a dive for the computer to read it for myself. Never, I mean never, have I read, or heard, anyone so succintly illustrate the situation that Israel has been dealing with for decades. I do trust that this piece you have written will get wide distribution and reading. It is definitely worthy of such attention. I will look forward to future postings. Keep burning the torch of truth and may God bless your time and energy to do just that.
Respectfully,
GK Carroll

Posted by: Gregory K. Carroll | Jul 21, 2006 6:07:52 AM

Let Israel win!

Posted by: David | Jul 21, 2006 6:26:55 AM

Excellent post. I sometimes wonder how many people are really willing to stand up and fight back these days. We watch and cheer our heroes in the movies, but when we see real world people do the same, they are arrested, slandered, blocked, and reviled in the popular press and by many politicians.

We'll never be free of the Neville Chamberlains... and we have to find and support the Winston Churchill's of our day.

Posted by: Sam The Dog Trainer | Jul 21, 2006 8:03:15 AM

Been Po city, never seen anything like you describe go on that long without PC or MP step in. Or the buddies.
sounds like scuttlebutt to me.
yet israel needs to consider all options to destroy hizballah up to the Truman option.

Posted by: Barry | Jul 21, 2006 9:48:19 AM

Your analogy is wrong in one fundamental way. The boorish marine is Israel. The mild mannered guy is the 4 million Palestinian refugees. They accept their fate of 55 years. Being bombed when they complain or fight back. Would you have condemmed the French Resistance in World War 2 in their fight against the Nazi occupiers? I think so. And what side would you have been on in the American War of Independence. The ruling power or the valiant "terrorists" fighting for freedom from an iron fisted rule imposed from outside? The answer to that question is easy/ You would have been a toady, snivelling, pathetic apologist for imperial Britain. Wait until the Palestinians are as well armed as the Israelis and see if there is not a peace treaty in 5 minutes and a withdrawal to reasobnable borders.

Posted by: Horry | Jul 21, 2006 12:31:04 PM

The little marine is also beating innocent children to death too. About 100 hundred of them so far. Keep up the good work!!!! Kill the future terrorists now, whilst they are really small!!! Great plan. Really, genius. Behavior modification lessons in the form of baby killing. I am shocked and appalled by the level of violent thinking on this site. Jesus would be ashamed of you.

Posted by: Hamlet | Jul 21, 2006 3:07:07 PM

The thing is, Israel is hitting civilians, not just hezbollah. It'd be like the marine starting the fight, then the sailor hitting him, his kids and his wife. Now, I know it's hard to hit just hezbollah, but do have some sympathy for the innocents around. Not every person in Lebanon is a terrorist, but they all feel attacked now.

Posted by: Tryingtobeimpartial | Jul 21, 2006 5:54:08 PM

Found your blog through Cyberscribe. I'm afraid, I'm inclined to agree with you; and George Bush (his comments recently, and I rarely agree with GB)

What angers me right now is the utter cycnisism of Hizbollah in instigating this action. And they way they are using the people of the Lebanon as human shields.

Israel has every right to defend it's borders and the safety and security of it's people. Hizbollah are cynical terrorists with other hands at their backs, manipulating them. This is purely about power in the region and finding an excuse to fight.

Do they (hizbollah) really believe that some of us came down in the last shower and will accept their paltry excuses for instigating this violence?

Be safe.

Posted by: ainelivia | Jul 21, 2006 6:34:16 PM

Thanks for the great read. This is exactly the way my Daddy taught us to deal with ignorant lowlife. By the way, with Dubya in the the White House, the game has changed. It's not chess or checkers. Right now it's poker--and all the chips are in the pot. God bless all decent people, and I consider Israel qualified for that description.

Posted by: Texette | Jul 21, 2006 8:06:47 PM

Your analogy is right on. Never did like bullies. They never bothered me much. I was little but my Daddy had told me to wait until the bully turned around and then whop him with the closes 2 x 4. Only took once.

Posted by: Dawn Street | Jul 21, 2006 8:25:45 PM

Are you prepared to kill a child though?
Typical Ari expression

Yours is a good story but a poor argument. You are arguing by analogy, a basic error that will immediately prompt anyone skilled in analysis to examine the differences between the analogy and the reality.

A population is not an individual and the west does not abide by collective punishment as it is tantamount to terrorism. I'm sure that if your boxing friend had picked not only on the bully but also on his innocent daughter, people would not have hesitated to intervene, even if he was holding his daughter up as a shield.

In that situation he would have to show real skill and courage by first rescuing the daughter.

That's why after some thought I chose to give money to savethechildren.org.uk for this conflict. According to them 45% of those killed, maimed and affected are *children*. See http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/scuk/jsp/resources/details.jsp?id=4281&group=resources&section=news&subsection=details.

Posted by: Anthony Holland | Jul 21, 2006 9:44:56 PM

First time reader; first time responder: ya got my attention with the bar fight story.

I note you didn't describe any joy to the scene; just a sick feeling that this had to be done, and your mate chose to be the one to do it. I imagine there wasn't any joy afterward, even in "victory," either.

I am afraid America has turned a corner, and that we no longer understand that not everything that needs to be done is amusing, short-term, and/or painless. The Americans, like my father and mother, who understand the long slog of the right thing to do, are dying off, and they are not being replaced at the same rate as the newer, fashion-oriented Americans.

I have lately begun to fear for my country. I and mine will do what we can, but I no longer totally believe that that will necessarily be enough.

We might lose this one, and when we do, God help us all to live (or die) righteously under the Caliphate. Gag.

May God be with Israel and the IDF, and any others committed to exterminating Islamic empire-building.

Posted by: Poison P'il | Jul 22, 2006 12:26:21 AM

Listen, you biased people; get your act together and be what you say you are; holy. Holy is NOT supporting such aggression; holy is NOT getting a LARGE piece of someone's land which only 8% of Jews owned and turning around and showing your gratitude by wanting it ALL. That's called greed. And greed is what had you all with no 'home'; then someone gave you a home, unjustly to the peoples who lived there and you turn around and do the same that Hitler did to you all. I am not racist but you people ought to be thankful for what you have today because the British took 68% of someone else's land to give to you. Be thankful and not arrogant; no wonder that few would welcome you elsewhere. Think of GOD and be HUMAN/E and you will know that what is happening is unjust; unless of course, you yourselves think that you are all Gods.

I am neither Arab, nor Jew, nor Lebanese, nor any other type of Middle-Eastern person; nor am I British, nor Australian, nor American.

I come from a very different part of the world so in every way I can look at you all and recognize your biased attitudes.

David, you should be writing for an Israel propoganda paper.

Posted by: Someone | Jul 22, 2006 4:39:31 AM

Anthony, exterminating Islamic empire-building? Did I hear exterminate? Why, in God's name; do you want to exterminate other peoples and religions? Are you not practicing and saying in words what all just and good people hate? You have truly said in real words what just people know of you.

You are very right to begin fearing for your country; because there is no good that will come with such thinking; it may not come now but it comes; it happened to Hitler; it will happen to all who do the unjust to others and see and do only for themselves.

Posted by: Someone | Jul 22, 2006 4:45:56 AM

Ainelivia; ignorant lowlife? Don't forget that lowlife is where we all came from and where we will all go back to. If your father taught you to think so, change your thinking as it is the only thing that will save this world.

BTW, Dubya is far from decent; the blind will lead the blind.

Posted by: Someone | Jul 22, 2006 5:02:28 AM

Youre one sick fuck

Posted by: ozzy | Jul 22, 2006 1:08:55 PM

Still the ignorant children speak. Horry, Someone and the rest, have obviously never heard of Okinawa, Dresden or the battle we didn't fight in the Rhineland. You fight in the Rhineland so you don't have to firebomb Tokyo or Dresden ... or God forbid nuke Hiroshima or Nagaski. Please do us all a favor and try reading a little history. The Israeli response is thankfully not the weak one Chamberlain gave or for that matter Buchanan. Give them hell, Trep!

Posted by: dawnsblood | Jul 22, 2006 3:30:08 PM

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