Israel-Hezbollah: A War of Self-Defence

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-07-18 04:11

As Benjamin Netanyahu said this morning, if anywhere else had been attacked, if Chicago, Moscow, London, Paris or Berkelely, California had been attacked for example, then no-one would deny the right of the countries in which those cities reside to defend themselves. So why do citizens of those cities deny the right of Israel to defend its own citizens? Once again a Cox and Forkum cartoon (right) makes the point: the defence is being carried out against an undeclared proxy war controlled in Tehran and Damascus.

And once again, those defending themselves from violence are themselves criticised for doing what's necessary to end the ongoing violence of murder by mullah, and of war by proxy. As the ARI's Yaron Brook says,

The worldwide condemnation of Israel's retaliation against Lebanon is morally obscene. The calls effectively demand that the innocent victim be sacrificed to the aggressor.

Ayn Rand pointed out some years ago that the cure for the many problems of the Middle East is to put an end to tribalism. Perhaps the beginning of a cure to the endemic tribalism is to realise that not all Lebanese are indentical -- Lebanese people are individuals like all other human beings, and not all are as happy with being oppressed by those whom the Israelis are attacking as Robert Fisk might have you believe.

It might be thought for example that many Lebanese would be critical of the actions of the Israeli military. Not all. The Lebanese Foundation for Peace -- about whom I know nothing other than this excellent statement -- point out that Hezbollah have been a curse on Lebanon, and "for the millions of Christian Lebanese, driven out of our homeland, 'Thank you Israel,' is the sentiment echoing from around the world."

The Lebanese Foundation for Peace, an international group of Lebanese Christians, made the following statement in a press release to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert concerning the latest Israeli attacks against Hezbollah: "We urge you to hit them hard and destroy their terror infrastructure. It is not [only] Israel who is fed up with this situation, but the majority of the silent Lebanese in Lebanon who are fed up with Hezbollah and are powerless to do anything out of fear of terror retaliation." Their statement continues, "On behalf of thousands of Lebanese, we ask you to open the doors of Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport to thousands of volunteers in the Diaspora willing to bear arms and liberate their homeland from [Islamic] fundamentalism.

UPDATE: Tim Blair has spotted some good sense from Hillary Clinton (yes, that Hillary Clinton):

New York Senator Hillary Clinton says Israel’s incursion into Lebanon is an exercise of the right that every sovereign nation has to defend itself against attacks.

Clinton was at Fayetteville this afternoon on a rare visit to her former Arkansas stomping grounds. She said Israel had the right to take stern and strong action against Hezbollah attacks originating in Lebanon. Asked if her support extended to Israel’s bombing of the Beiruit international airport, she said, quote, “I fully support Israel’s right to defend itself,” unquote.

LINKS: Proxy war - Cox and Forkum
World leaders encourage Hezbollah and Hamas - Yaron Brook, Ayn Rand Institute
Thank you Israel - Brigitte Gabriel, The Lebanese Foundation for Peace [Hat tip Leighton Smith, Newstalk ZB]
Cue Card Libertarianism: War - Not PC
Hillary Clinton says Israel has right to defend itself - WREG News, Memphis

TAGS: Politics-World, War, Cartoons


( categories: )

Over there

eg's picture

I'm afraid what is happening in the Middle East is analogous to a bull (Israel) charging the red cape wielded by Hezbollah.

--Brant

Fred

LWHALL's picture

It has never been my argument that Israel(or any other country) should not defend itself, and strike back. All along my position has been the use of as much restraint as possible in order to spare those who are not responsible for the actions of the aggressors. Among these are children who have no ides what ideology or politics even mean.

Had I wanted to single out anyone in particular with my "others" comment I would have, but that was not my main intention of presenting Prof Dershowitz's commentary on the situation as one which parallelled my own stance which stands opposed to unchecked warfare.

I also read the one which Richard posted and found it well laid out and absent of a lot of rhetoric.

L W

That is Ok, in parts. This is far, far better.

Richard Wiig's picture

LW

Fred Weiss's picture

LW, I'm pleased but rather surprised that you recommend this article. It seems to stand opposed to positions you have recently taken here, especially in regard to civilian casualities.

Ignoring your rather glib charge that some supposed "others" here on SOLO have advocated "let's kill 'em all" do you really agree with this comment by Dershowitz:

"Israel must be allowed to finish the fight that Hamas and Hezbollah started, even if that means civilian casualties in Gaza and Lebanon. A democracy is entitled to prefer the lives of its own innocents over the lives of the civilians of an aggressor, especially if the latter group contains many who are complicit in terrorism."

http://www.law.harvard.edu/new...

For some reason I was unable to even copy/paste your link, but fortunately I was able to Google it up.

Thank you though for posting it. I think Dershowitz makes a number of important points.

I find this

LWHALL's picture

article by Professor Alan Dershowitz to be well written and compelling in it's delivery. It also does not leave me with the sense of a "let's kill em all" attitude which others have projected.

It makes you pause and wonder if Israel is not doing the Lebanese government a favor by breaking the stranglehold Hamas and Hezbollah have in Lebanon.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2006/07/21_dershowitz.php

Aaron

Richard Wiig's picture

I am talking in general abstract terms. Dictators in Iraq, in Syria, in Iran, it doesn't matter where. Nothing can be done, because of the harm that might come to civilians. It is, in fact, not to care for those civilians at all, while all the while dressing it up as caring for the civilians. The charlatans here are Kenny and his ilk.

No, Kenny

Richard Wiig's picture

there is no "straw man".

"You introduce a straw man in Hamas and dictators. I oppose both."

You oppose both, but if it comes down to war with them, you can only attack them in such a way that no civilians are killed, which is an impossible standard. I see that as heinously acting in their defence.

"you made groundless accusations. You are a dishonest charlatan."

If they are groundless, then does that mean you've changed your mind and it's now okay to attack at the expense of civilian deaths?

"I am defending the rights and property of innocent civilians who are not connected to Hizbollah, Hamas or any other terrorist organisation."

Poppycock!!! You are maintaining the status quo, and ensuring that, in the long run, it's going to be harder and harder and harder to secure an environment where rights can be lived by. You give power to the enemies of liberty, and it is despicable.

Kenny

eg's picture

When you get annoyed you become disingenuous. Who would I have "do the slaughtering"? Sheesh.

Real Progress?

Fred Weiss's picture

Real progress in what? Entrenching Hezbollah and Hamas so that they can launch rockets into Israel? Or setting up terrorist training camps? What do you think Israeli is bombing?

With Hezbollah and Hamas hopefully crushed and many of their supporters slaughtered by this effort (hopefully in the 1,000's, if not 10's of thousands), maybe *then* Lebanon can start making real progress. Unfortunately, if the same thing happens now as has happened in the past, just at the point when Israel could eradicate the problem, the US will twist its arm to withdraw so as not to piss off the Arabs too much and to pander to "world opinion".

And thus the problem never ends.

Well said Aaron

Kenny's picture

Lebanon was making real progress until the Israeli bombardment.

Brant

Kenny's picture

I disagree but at least you are honest.

Who would you have do the slaughtering?

Genocidal

eg's picture

I do NOT view genocidal slaughter as a moral option; that would be horrible. I'm afraid the situation in the Middle East might be reduced to such choices.

--Brant

Richard-

Aaron's picture

Richard-
"those citizens left alone under brutal enslavement, with virtually zero security, but are all up in arms when a random bomb, from those trying to defend themselves from the very brutality the citizens are enslaved under"

Are you referring to Lebanon? Or somewhere else? Lebanon circa June 2006 I'm sure isn't high on any of our favorite-places-to-live lists. However, after the end of their civil war, withdrawal of Israeli troops, withdrawal of Syrian troops, starting to have real elections, and resuscitation of much of their infrastructure and economy, Lebanon had probably reached its best and freest point in 30 years. Claims of 'brutal enslavement' and 'virtually zero security' would need some support if you're applying them to Lebanon.

War

Kenny's picture

Isarel is at war with Hizbollah and Hamas, not innocent Lebanese people. The television footage and reports in the UK indicate that Israel has been mounting indiscriminate attacks.

You appear to view genocidal slaughter as an option. That, ironically, is resorting to the tactics of the Nazis. The lives of innocent Moslems should not be sacrificed any more than innocent Israelis.

BTW, I have an Christian Iranians as neighbours. They still have family in Tehrehan who have individual rights too.

Kenny II

eg's picture

If you want to defend the rights and property of innocent civilians okay, but don't ask Israel to do it, for it is hard enough to find its enemies--much harder to find the innocents being used as shields.
You are mixing up war with altruistic policies which means the sacrifice of innocent Israelis.

--Brant

Kenny

eg's picture

Who determines what is "reasonable and targeted force"? The UN? It does seem that the force that Israel is using is "targeted". That leaves us with "reasonable". Let me try: You determine who your enemy is and where he is and you let him have it! That's war. Israel is at war and in my opinion should do more, not less, but that's a tactical decision not mine to make nor do I have the information Israeli intelligence and general officers have. I don't have their responsibility. I don't have their expertise. Strategically, Israel has been manufacturing its enemies for decades with the help of Great Britain, the United States and the Zionist movement out of the fertile soil of Islamofascism and is being increasingly handicapped by demographics. The only way to prevail might be through the kind of genocidal slaughter depicted in the Old Testament. The paralyzing contradictions are obvious, but Iran getting nuclear weapons might negatively force the issue in ways I don't want to contemplate, as opposed to ongoing continual conflict over succeeding generations.

If Israel is destroyed, the United States will merely find out that Americans have become the Jews of the world and the next major target of envy and hate. The bad guys need to be separated from their oil monies and isolated. I also know of an economical approach that consists of holding that rock in Mecca hostage.

--Brant

Richard

Kenny's picture

You introduce a straw man in Hamas and dictators. I oppose both. You made groundless accusations. You are a dishonest charlatan.

I am defending the rights and property of innocent civilians who are not connected to Hizbollah, Hamas or any other terrorist organisation.

It's not crap

Richard Wiig's picture

that your casting of Israel as a villian is despicable. You want to hold Israel to an impossible standard, that is, to fight a war without any deaths to innocent civilians. That is simply impossible, and to adhere to that Israel must lay down its arms now. To demand that is indeed despicable, I even find it disgusting. You hold Hamas and dictators to no standard whatsoever, but you hold those of free countries to impossible ones. What is your motive? What is it that you are trying to defend?

That's crap Richard

Kenny's picture

I said that Israel is entitled to defend itself but with reasonable and targeted force. You want to give Israel carte blanche to do what it likes, even if that means destroying the property of innocent Lebanese.

LW

Fred Weiss's picture

Yes, LW, it flew over my head, splatted on the wall and fell to the floor in a messy heap. Where the cleaning staff later swept it up and deposited it with the rest of the refuse which emerges from these discussions.

However, don't be discouraged. If you keep throwing things against the wall something may eventually stick.

Richard

LWHALL's picture

I haven't accused Israel of anything, I guess you just like to make up stuff as you go along. If you will notice I took your reference to the surgeon and opened it up to a larger context. Of course it flew over Fred's head, but that's not surprising.

L W

Yes, Kenny

Richard Wiig's picture

your comments, your casting of Israel as the villian, is despicable. I didn't say that rights can be dished out like welfare; I said that you treat them as if they can be.

Despicable?

Kenny's picture

Richard called my comments despicable. Individual have rights as human beings, irrespective of whether or not they fight for them. Your welfare analogy is absurd. Individual rights are not a gift from the state. Those are the arguments of a neo-conservative rather than an Objectivist.

What I don't get,

Richard Wiig's picture

is that people, like LW, can accuse Israel of "randomly killing" as if they, LW and the like, actually care about the citizens of the country being attacked, when in actual fact they don't give a rats arse. They are happy to see those citizens left alone under brutal enslavement, with virtually zero security, but are all up in arms when a random bomb, from those trying to defend themselves from the very brutality the citizens are enslaved under, might happen to kill one of them.

So what is it that they actually care about here?

LW

Fred Weiss's picture

Was someone suggesting random killing?

It doesn't do your "case" much good if it consists of flailing at windmills.

Fred

LWHALL's picture

"What do the other organs or the people standing around have to do with the objective of the surgery"

Precisely Fred, thanks for making my case for me. They don't and henceforth should not be randomly killed.

L W

LW

Fred Weiss's picture

LW, that is almost classic "mis-analogizing". You should be able to see it yourself.

What do the other organs or the people standing around have to do with the objective of the surgery? A more appropriate analogy might be that sometimes drastic surgery is required to save the patient, e.g. the removal of the leg to save the body. Or sometimes a non-specific, broad spectrum drug with many dangerous side-effects may have to be given to deal with a serious life-threatening illness, such as cancer.

Richard

LWHALL's picture

A person may not be justified in demanding attention to themselves if a surgeon is in the middle of a heart operation, but I do think most everyone would be concerned with whether he(the surgeon) was precise in the operation and went in to do only that which was necessary or took the other course of opening someone up and start indiscrimately slinging his scalpels around with no regards as to whether he was not only completing that which was his goal, but also killing anyone standing around close to the patient. Even those who might have been trying to assist.

L W

Lebanon

Fred Weiss's picture

I will say this about Lebanon. There are a lot of "good" people in Lebanon. By "good" here I mean people who are vehemently opposed to the Islamists - in fact many of these very people have been subjected to them also and want them dead and/or out of the country as much as Israel does.

Israel is of course aware of this. If nothing else they are probably relying on some of these people for intelligence. You can't have failed to notice that Israel always seems to know what precise buildings to blow up. Sometimes, amazingly, they can even get their leaders in their cars when they are driving to some meeting or other.

So, Israel will want to exercise some care in its attacks to that extent and I'm sure it is. When you hear about civilians being killed, you might want to ask *which civilians*? I doubt very many of the "good" ones are being killed.

Like demanding attention from a surgeon

Richard Wiig's picture

while he's in the middle of performing a heart bypass.

Kenny said:

"Their individual rights should be respected by Israel."

Those who want individual rights must fight for them and then defend them for the values that they are, something that those in Lebanon have not done. You want people to be given them on a plate, like dishing out social welfare. The things you have said are indeed despicable.

Don't worry

Kenny's picture

I don't advocate bombing - just pointing out the absurdity of the views expressed by ARI and some "Objectivists" on this site.

Kenny

eg's picture

Please bomb Washington D.C., only, and only if I'm not visiting. Thanks. Smiling

--Brant

Noraid

Kenny's picture

In that case Fred, you would have no problem in Britain obliterating the parts of American cities that funded the Noraid/IRA scum.

Israel

Fred Weiss's picture

Israel is *not* responsible for that destruction of property. Hezbollah is - and/or its various appeasers in Lebanon. Not to mince any words about it, this charge against Israel is despicable because Israel has always exercised great restraint and attempted great precision in its attacks. If it wanted to annihilate its enemies, it could have done so long ago. In my view, it is a mistake that it hasn't. If it had, it wouldn't have to continually fight them, year after year, decade after endless decade. It would have wiped them out long ago and been done with it.

James

Kenny's picture

I agree that Israel has the right to self-defence. It should fight Hezbollah with the necessary, but targeted, force.

The British government, however, has criticised Israel for indiscriminate attacks. A Foreign Minister said "these have not been surgical strikes. It's very, very difficult to understand the kind of military tactics that have been used."

Israel is responsible for the destruction of the property of thousands of Lebanese citizens who have no connection with Hezbollah. Their individual rights should be respected by Israel.

President Rice!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Can someone persuade Condoleeza Rice to run for President when W stands down? I just saw her, on the verge of leaving for the Middle East, saying she's not going to push for a ceasefire in the current face-off between Israel & the Islamo-fascist Hizbollah maggots. With Israel amassing troops on the Lebanese border (bravo!), that takes guts & unusual candour when mealy-mouthed "diplomacy" usually prevails.

Kenny

James S. Valliant's picture

You write: "This is Israel's war. It is not the US's or Britain's."

If that's true, then why do I keep hearing about the "disproportionate violence" of the Israelis... in English?

The Iraqi's have rights -- and even the membership of Hezbollah have rights. But anyone who lobs missiles from deep inside residential areas, using civilians and hospitals and mosques as "shields," anyone who uses suicide bombers to target civilians, and anyone who kidnaps soldiers, hides in a foreign country, and dares his victims to invade that country must expect the civilian deaths he has necessitated.

And the blame for those deaths rests squarely on him.

So do the Israelis have a right. It's called the "right of self-defense."

That's a long thread

Kenny's picture

655 posts is a lot of reading JT! Give me some time to get through it and I will get back to you.

Kenny

jtgagnon's picture

There is another post, "Rand on Force and Foreign Policy," where the discussion thread has been tackling these issues.

Iraq

Kenny's picture

What about the tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq who have died as a result of American bombing etc? Are their lives worth less than those who died in the WTC? What about their individual rights?

On the contrary, Kenny.

Richard Wiig's picture

It is our war. The war against Israel is only the lesser Jihad, a part of the greater Jihad - which is the globe. 9/11 - the murdering of thousands of civilians in the WTC - and the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers are part and parcel of the same war.

Yes, Brant

Richard Wiig's picture

I can see the need for ground troops. I wasn't really suggesting no ground troops, just that hezbollah should be hammered.

I still don't know who you mean by "they". Perhaps you mean, they, the Saddamites. They don't seem to be responding, but I'm sure it's not because they don't exist. They're not quite as elusive as Leprechauns.

This is Israel's war

Kenny's picture

It is not the US's or Britain's.

Brant

Jon Coster's picture

Yeah I'd guess you are right and it would be better to do the fighting on their ground, which is another good strategy being employed by the US in Iraq.
Are/Were you a soldier Brant?

I agree with what you say regarding Tribalism Peter, just because an individual is born into such a background cannot mean they take on the "tribes" or "majority's" worldview by default. This applies to race also.

Excellent post & quotes thanks
Kick Ass Israel!

Civilians

eg's picture

Richard--

I know from war experience you have to occupy the ground to get what you want in these situations. A cease fire will only bring temporary relief to Israel and greater danger later.

If I say "Linz," look at the previous Linz post on the thread to see what I am talking about if the text seems confusing, incomplete or obscure.

If you have a war innocent civilians will be hit and hurt--killed. In the case of what is going on now civilians in southern Lebanon could have provided intelligence about Hezbollah enabling more precise and effective targeting information before the fireworks minimizing civilian casualties. In fact, this almost certainly happened.

--Brant

"I don't see how Israel is

Richard Wiig's picture

"I don't see how Israel is going to accomplish much if it doesn't invade and occupy southern Lebanon."

Teaching them that life will become a misery if they attack Israel is accomplishing something. Lets hope they don't stop this time, and wipe every last Hezbollah maggot, if not from the planet, at least from the immediate vicinity. And they should do it to Hamas too.

"Linz, who are they?"

I know I'm not, Linz, but, who are who? Do you mean, who are Hezbollah?

"Trying to understand right conduct of a free country in war--and it is legit to refer to Israel as one--is not the same as preferring the deaths of Israeli and US soldiers to the deaths of civilians in enemy territory."

Trying to understand, no, but the bullshit of "you can't do anything lest you hit innocent civilians" is.

WWIII

eg's picture

I don't see how Israel is going to accomplish much if it doesn't invade and occupy southern Lebanon.

Linz, who are they? Trying to understand right conduct of a free country in war--and it is legit to refer to Israel as one--is not the same as preferring the deaths of Israeli and US soldiers to the deaths of civilians in enemy territory.

--Brant

Based upon my own

Jason Quintana's picture

Based upon my own formulation of what constitutes just retaliatory action the Israelies are doing this exactly right. They were attacked by a specific entity and they are targeting that entity agressively wherever it happens to be. Because the targeting is specific, ie it is aimed, at what are believed to be enemy (Hezbollah) targets the response is perfectly justified and could probably be carried out in an even more agressive manner.  Any civilian casualties that take place are Hezbollah's fault.

Under the current context the Israelis do not have the right to nuke Beirut. There are circumstances that would justify this kind of response, but the justification does not exist in this case.   If it were known that Hezbollah had a weapon of mass destruction at an unspecified location in the city then the entire city would become a legitimate target.  The resulting deaths would again be Hezbollah's fault under that scenario.

- Jason

I'm wondering ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... if the anarcho-Saddamites here who prefer the deaths of U.S. & Israeli soldiers to the killing of civilians in enemy territory would care to step up to this thread and denounce Israel for attacking civilian areas in which Hezbollah maggots orchestrating attacks on Israeli citizens have embedded themselves?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.