Home | Notes
Archives | Search
Links | About
The America Show
Jesus and Mordy
Watch Video Now
Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco
by Burt Prelutsky
by Mark Steyn
the Blame in Lebanon
by J. F. Kelly, Jr. [writer]
On a vacation
cruise of the northern European capitols in July, it was brought
home to me again how often it is that Europeans and Americans
view world events through different lenses. While on the ship,
our news sources were limited to CNN and an abbreviated European
version of The New York Times. Coverage of the Israeli-Hezbollah
war seemed entirely focused on damage in southern Lebanon and
Lebanese civilian casualties with only cursory coverage of
the indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli cities that largely
precipitated it. The English language European newspapers we
read ashore featured countless demands for a ceasefire and
immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops along with vivid pictures
of the suffering in Lebanon.
J.F. Kelly, Jr.
Kelly, Jr. is a retired Navy Captain and bank executive
who writes on current events and military subjects.
He is a resident of Coronado, California. [go to Kelly index]
Public sentiment seemed to place the greater blame on Israel
for overreacting. Somehow, in the news treatment, Hezbollah,
a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel,
seemed to be elevated to some level of statehood with some European
nations urging direct negotiations with it, stating that they
would not contribute soldiers to a UN peacekeeping force without
the agreement of both sides.
Europeans seem far
more willing to negotiate with terrorists than are Americans.
But as U.S. ambassador to the UN, John Bolton
asked, “How to you negotiate with a terrorist group?” Negotiation
involves give and take. A group that prefers martyrdom to capitulation
will never concede an advantage to the enemy. Israel and America
are their sworn enemies and that, to them, is simply not negotiable.
Death would be preferable to living at peace with people they
describe as pigs and monkeys.
The liberal New York
Times carried two withering commentaries by columnist Maureen
Dowd essentially blaming this latest Mid
East crisis on George W. Bush. Here we go again. Don’t,
whatever you do, blame the perpetrators. Blame ourselves. We
are an easy and accessible scapegoat and most of the opposition
party will agree purely on political grounds.
But who is really to blame for this latest violence which unfortunately
has taken a fearsome toll on Lebanese civilians and infrastructure?
It was Hezbollah, after all, that provoked the conflict by violating
an international border to kill and kidnap Israeli soldiers and
to fire hundreds of rockets at Israeli towns. These rockets were
not aimed at military targets. They were loaded with ball bearings
and shrapnel material for one purpose and one purpose only: to
kill as many people as possible.
Any responsible sovereign
nation faced with this provocation would, if it had the capacity,
take at least the steps that Israel
has in attempting to protect its citizens from these attacks.
Why, then, the criticism of Israel and of the United States and
Britain for “siding” with Israel? It is truly tragic
that innocent Lebanese are victims of this war but are the lives
of Israeli victims of the rocket attacks any less valuable? Eventually,
a nation must pay a price for allowing terrorist groups who advocate
violence and hatred to operate with impunity within their borders
and, indeed, even participate in government. Lebanon is now paying
But the blame goes
deeper still. There is a long history of UN “peacekeeping” activity in southern Lebanon. In
the six years since Israel withdrew its troops from the area,
UN observers have stood silently by as Iran and Syria rearmed
Hezbollah which is consequently proving to be a far tougher opponent
than expected, resulting in more casualties and damage. While
the UN and the participants dither over the terms of a cease
fire agreement, Israel has no choice but to continue the fight
in an attempt to make northern Israel safer from rocket attacks.
Why aren’t Europe and the rest of the world, and our own
liberal press, blaming Iran and Syria? Because they are busy
arguing that Israel’s military action and any support of
it by America and the west will only harden Muslim and Arab hatred
of the west. I have news for them. Muslim and Arab hatred is
has already hardened. Meanwhile, France’s foreign minister
recently described Iran as a stabilizing force in the area.
It is naïve to believe that a UN peacekeeping force inserted
into southern Lebanon will be any more effective than past UN
forces have been. Most UN member states are reluctant participants
in this kind of heavy lifting. They are happy to wear those spiffy
blue helmets and “observe” but going into harm’s
way is quite another matter. Combat is not in their job description.
They lack the training, experience and command and control resources
to operate effectively together in a combat environment as we
have seen repeatedly in the past. A NATO force under U.S. or
British command would have a chance but a UN force will be ineffective
at preventing further fighting or a resumption of fighting unless
Hezbollah disarms voluntarily. Fat chance of that.
Whether it is ready yet to admit it or not, the western world
is the target of a jihad by Islamic extremists. Many Europeans
and liberals in the United States are still in a state of denial.
There are and will be multiple fronts and battles in this war.
Israeli is not only engaged in one of these battles, it is literally
fighting for survival. The United States and Britain are right
to support Israel in this vital struggle. Hezbollah and its patrons,
Iran and Syria, must not be perceived as winning this battle.
The rest of Europe and our own liberal left should take a break
from Bush bashing and wake up to reality. CRO
2006 J. F. Kelly, Jr.