« A long-overdue follow-up | Main | Rewards are collective... so why not punishments? »

Monday, June 18, 2007

Why do they think this would comfort me?

Yesterday afternoon a barrage of four ketyusha rockets was fired from Lebanon towards Israel.  Depending on the news service to which you subscribe, anywhere between two and four rockets actually reached Israel, with at least two landing inside the Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona.

As the news reports started to relate the facts of the attack, two things became immediately evident:  First and foremost was the palpable relief that no casualties (other than someone's car) had resulted.  However, our leaders and the media seemed to go well beyond legitimate relief, and in fact seemed to be rushing to explain why this attack was 'no big deal' since it was not Hezbollah doing the shooting. 

Excuse me if I take little comfort from this irrelevant fact.  You see, rockets packed with high explosive and ball bearings falling on our cities are a cause for alarm.  Full Stop.

It doesn't matter that it was 'just' a militant Palestinian group rather than Hezbollah that fired the rockets. 

For one thing, I don't care how you slice and dice these scumbags (including down to the DNA level), they are all part of the same set of terrorists despite the fact that their agendas don't always perfectly align.

For another thing, if you or someone you love is killed by one of these rockets, does it really matter who fired it... or why?  So long as the intent was belligerent and the result deadly, it was an attack! 

And lastly, when did Israel become this egg-suck dog* that rolls over and shows its belly at the first sign of a threat???  Can anyone name a civilized country in the world that wouldn't be convening the UN Security Council  right now if rockets had been deliberately fired over their border yesterday?

I honestly don't know why Israel is still abiding by the shameful UN resolution that ended last summer's war.  Seriously, we seem to be the only party being held to the terms of the cease fire anyway, so what's the point? 

Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, here are the main terms of UN Resolution # 1701:

  • Israel to withdraw all of its forces from Lebanon in parallel with Lebanese and UNIFIL soldiers deploying throughout the South - OK, we did our bit.
  • The need to address urgently the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers - Let's see now... nope, nothing done on this front.
  • Full cessation of hostilities -  Hmmm, last time I checked placing bombs over the border and firing rockets are both considered hostile acts.
  • Hezbollah to be disarmed - Ouch, now that's embarrassing.  Someone forgot to disarm Hezbollah! 
  • Full control of Lebanon by the government of Lebanon - Pshyeah, what government?!  This was Israel's real undoing since it was no secret last year that Lebanon was essentially a big ship with neither a captain nor a rudder.
  • No paramilitary forces, including (and implying) Hezbollah, will be south of the Litani River - Tsk, tsk, the UN can't even pretend that the resolution was only talking about Hezbollah this time.  There should have been no non-governmental armed groups in southern Lebanon, including the "Palestinian" group that fired these latest rockets.   

So remind me again why we haven't given the 'Peace Keeping' forces 72 hours to evacuate all civilians from south of the Litani and then started dropping Fuel-Air Explosives to create a scorched earth buffer zone between our civilian population and a clear and present (not to mention growing) threat?

I mean seriously... based on Israel's open acquiescence to these ongoing attacks, can anyone really blame our enemies for pressing their advantage?

* While I can't find a source, my understanding of the descriptive phrase 'egg-suck dog' has been as follows:  A dog on a farm that steals eggs from the hen house and sucks out the insides: a) is assumed to be bad; and b) acts guilty when confronted.  Both of these descriptions of our current leadership are, IMHO, apt.


Posted by David Bogner on June 18, 2007 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why do they think this would comfort me?:

» Why Do They Think This Would Be Of Comfort? from Pajamas Media
As the news started to report the katyusha attacks on northern Israel, "two things became immediately evident: First and foremost was the palpable relief that no casualties (other than someone's car) had resulted. However, our leaders and the media see... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 18, 2007 9:45:12 PM


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


Your conclusions sound amazingly like those of Dr. Aumann (opinions which only, you know, won a Nobel Prize). Except that our gov't won't listen to him because he "likes settlers".

Posted by: dfb1968 | Jun 18, 2007 1:52:32 PM

Looks like UN resolutions just don't carry much weight; if they aren't going to do anything to enforce them, then what incentive does one have to comply with it? I'm not a big fan of the UN...

By the way, I grew up on a farm and can say that once a dog starts stealing eggs, or the chickens or whatever, you really just have to get a new dog. What good is a dog you can't trust?

Posted by: Steve Bogner | Jun 18, 2007 2:12:08 PM

Trep likes settlers too, that's probably why the government won't listen to him either.

Posted by: Ed | Jun 18, 2007 2:52:04 PM

2 items:
1. Not to be pedantic, but "agenda" is already plural; "agendas" is incorrect. The singular is "agendum".

Well, I guess I was pedantic after all, huh?

2. Like Steve Bogner, I grew up on a ranch. An egg-sucking dog cannot be reformed.

So what do you do with an egg-sucking dog? You shoot it.

Posted by: antares | Jun 18, 2007 4:29:01 PM

Nations do not survive by setting examples for others.
Nations survive by making examples of others.

- Stuart Slade

Posted by: K Newman | Jun 18, 2007 4:39:13 PM

Newman is right.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 18, 2007 5:16:39 PM

I gave my kids a little lesson the other day. I roughly measured out how far a settlement is from a Palestinian village and how far a ketusha would have to travel to hit a settlement. My kids were shocked that if we were on a settlement that the ketushas would barely have to travel to reach us. We live in a cul-de-sac not far from a small trailer park and I told them, "Imagine if rockets were landing on our house from the trailer park and our government just let it happen and did nothing." They just looked at me in surprise. If kids get it...

Posted by: Maya | Jun 18, 2007 6:11:10 PM

Same old same old. The world loves us more when we're innocent victims who don't fight back. I just wish Israel's leadership wasn't quite so suicidally fascinated by the world's love - which, by the way, it will never have anyway.

Posted by: psachya | Jun 18, 2007 7:50:40 PM

I've always felt that it would be logical to have a nomansland as broad as rocket distance between Israel and the other side.

Posted by: Back of the Hill | Jun 19, 2007 12:25:01 AM

Agreed wholeheartedly... with one minor proviso.

I'm sure you know it just as I do, but Israeli overflights of Lebanese territory are violations of UNSCR 1701. So Israel isn't completely compliant with the resolution.

Of course, I will be the first to acknowledge that this is a ridiculous double standard - the world pretty much ignores blatant rearmament of Hezbollah (not to mention the glaring lack of disarmament), the completely lack of movement on returning Goldwasser and Regev, etc. Israel certainly isn't the worst violator of the resolution - by far - but they aren't perfectly compliant, either. (Yes, understandably so... and I'm not saying they should stop overflights, just arguing we need to be precise in our argumentation.)

Two other brief comments: First, Israel did send a demand to the UNSC, which released a statement in the last few hours condemning the attack. They can't really do much more without radically changing the mandate of UNIFIL II, which isn't likely to happen.

Second, despite the utter failure of 1701 to deliver the goods, there have been a number of articles over the last few months indicating that Northern Command has been cautiously pleased with the work of UNIFIL II. It's not perfect, but they seem to think it's a step in the right direction... especially since leadership of the force changed a while back. So yes, 1701 needs to be fulfilled in full, but at least things are better than they were between 2000 and 2006.

Posted by: matlabfreak | Jun 19, 2007 5:52:27 AM

dfb1968... And he's religious. The double whammy when it comes to credibility here. :-)

Steve Bogner... Another folksy saying: "A man who will steal an egg will steal a chicken." :-)

Ed... Trep IS a settler. :-)

antares... Thank you. I honestly don't mind that sort of correction. Most people send me their corrections privately (ahem), but it's good to know when I err.

K Newman... Nice quote. thanks.

Jack... In the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld: "Newman!

Maya... An even more simple lesson is periodically reviewing the fallacy inherent in a policy of always 'turning the other cheek'. (apologies to my Christian readers).

psachya... IMHO, one of the real dangers with our current leadership is that they self-identify more closely with the European left than with the Jewish right. As a result they are always baffled that the Europeans view them as dirty Jews.

Back of the Hill... Unfortunately the growing range of our enemy's current rockets makes that solution impractical.

matlabfreak... Overflights are not an act of aggression by themselves unless one has something to hide. Given the history of non-compliance on the part of various groups in Lebanon, one can't quibble about a little detail like violating Lebanon's airspace to make sure that the terms of the cease fire are being upheld. Let's be honest with ourselves. Lebanon has enforced its sovereignty about as diligently as a hooker has enforced her modesty. As for things being better than the period between 200 - 2006... I think one has to look at the results to make a judgement. Hezbollah took 6 years to reach the strength they had prior to attacking Israel last summer. Since then it has taken less than a year to reach (and by some estimates exceed) that level of readiness (i.e. missile stocks, weapon quality, troop strength, etc.). How does that sound better to you?

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 19, 2007 3:05:08 PM

'Turning the other cheek' applies to one individual being willing to suffer abuse from another as a witness to their faith. It does not apply to nations nor does apply to those who have a duty to defend others.

Jack... In the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld: "Newman!

Keep it up, wiseguy.



Posted by: K Newman | Jun 19, 2007 3:36:51 PM

David -

Appreciate the comments. I wouldn't characterize overflights as 'aggression', but they certainly are violations of Lebanese sovereignty and indicate that Israel violates the 'withdrawal' section of 1701, at least on a minor scale. I firmly agree that the overflights are necessary given the circumstances... I just want us to be clear to everyone that we acknowledge that Israel's full compliance with 1701 is determined in part by the extent of Lebanese/Hezbollah compliance.

As to your last point, that is largely speculation. I've seen reports ranging from 'Hezbollah is much stronger than before' to ones suggesting that this is propaganda. Hezbollah is the main source for much of this information (the rest is obtained, with quite a bit of guesswork, from Aman and the like), and they could easily be lying their socks off. Similarly, Israel has an incentive to portray the worst case scenario in order to ensure international concern over the issue and justify continued IDF focus on the issue. Even the political opposition in Israel has an incentive to make things look worse than they seem, to exaggerate the already-impressive failures of the current administration.

I have no doubt that Hezbollah is rapidly rearming itself and replacing fighters. Yet I am skeptical that they have the same entrenchment in southern Lebanon as before the war. A notable difference reported has been that while Hezbollah is certainly still in evidence south of the Litani, frequent UNIFIL II patrols mean that they do not openly display weapons, and have to smuggle/rebuild on the down-low. I find it doubtful that this relative lack of freedom would allow them to rebuild their abilities so quickly. More important, their lower profile itself is a distinct advantage over before the war, as it at least gives villagers in the south the semblance of a choice in rejecting Hezbollah's requests/demands/threats. It's certainly not some sea change on the northern front, but it is better.

I will be the first to argue that Israel lost a lot in the last war: strategic deterrence, lives, money, confidence, etc. Nevertheless, 1701's current implementation - horribly flawed as it is - does appear to be a step in the right direction. Northern Command has said as much.

I wouldn't say the war was worth such a paltry difference in situations, but that doesn't mean we should entirely disparage it. Yes, Katyushas being shot at Israel is unacceptable no matter the circumstances. But Hezbollah is far better trained and equipped than other groups operating in southern Lebanon, and if they see it in their interests to keep the truce right now, that is comforting.

Posted by: matlabfreak | Jun 19, 2007 4:34:31 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.