Wednesday, October 04, 2006

U.N.: Israel Should Face War Crimes Probe Over Lebanon

Israel should be held to account for possible war crimes during its offensive in Lebanon, the United Nations' food rights expert said in a report obtained on Tuesday. Jean Ziegler, who reports to the U.N. Human Rights Council, called for an international probe to determine whether Israel was responsible for "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions and "possibly, war crimes" under the rules of the International Criminal Court. The controversial Swiss sociologist, who has regularly crossed swords with Israel in the past, visited Lebanon from September 11-16. He is due on Wednesday to present his findings to the 47-nation Council, which is currently in session. In his report, which was obtained by AFP, Ziegler said that during its July 12 to August 14 offensive Israel appeared to have forgotten that the Geneva Conventions which govern conflicts bar warring parties from attacking food and water supplies. "According to international jurisprudence, the government of Israel should be held responsible under international law for any violation of the right to food of the Lebanese civilian population," he said. He said that victims of such breaches should receive compensation for the losses suffered during the conflict as well as the post-war impact of the disruption of livelihoods. During its campaign to dislodge and destroy Hizbullah, the Israeli military destroyed roads and barred aid convoys, hampering efforts to supply the population of southern Lebanon, which bore the brunt of the offensive, Ziegler said. The immediate destruction of the war is set to have a longer-term effect because of the unexploded cluster bombs that litter farmland, he said. In addition, the Lebanese fishing industry has been hit by an oil spill sparked by Israel's bombardment of fuel depots. Israel should pay the Lebanese government for the clean up and compensate fishermen for their economic losses, said Ziegler. He also called on the Lebanese government and aid organizations to ensure that the post-war effort to rebuild the country includes programs to help farmers, agricultural laborers and fishermen. "The right to food and water must be a central part of the reconstruction effort," he said. He said that the Lebanese authorities should institute a moratorium on debt for small-scale farmers to reverse the cycle of poverty that is set to be caused by the loss of this year's harvest. The Lebanese government, with support from donors, should also accelerate efforts to clear cluster bombs from farmland, and Israel should provide full details of where it used such munitions, Ziegler said.(AFP)

70 Comments:

Blogger Bryansaid said...

Everybody needs to stop playing the blame game about who broke what Geneva Conventions law and work to build a lasting peace!Remember the war was started because a non-uniformed army from lebanon attacked an Israel military patrol that was in full uniform as required by the Geneva Conventions? Do we want to hold accoutable the goverment of Lebanon for allowing a non uniformed army to operate freely and atttack Israel? Lebanon has a 30,000 member strong army and under Geneva Conventions is obligated to control its own borders! My point is there is enough fingers to point and blame. STOP IT, DAMN IT, lets work on peace and not blame!!!

4:24 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Good idea Bryan. And it was a good one in July and last year and five years before that.
"Do we want to hold accountable the government of Lebanon ...?" Israel already did - didn't it? It destroyed infrastructure, businesses and homes. It operated on its defense minister's promise to "turn the clock back twenty years."

My point is that Israel should step up to the plate with more than BS. They've destroyed an awful lot, they've committed atrocious breaches of human decency if not the Geneva Conventions it and the US interprets for convenience.

But - how do you propose we "work on peace and not blame?" What is it that Israel is willing to do in that regard? Anything other than make more demands on what Lebanon and every other country in the area must do to avoid being bombed? How about, say, building an apartment building? Or a hospital? Or sending some people in to clean up the oil on the beaches?

4:32 PM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

hcb, the cycle of blame has to stop somewhere or we might as well choose sides and fight it out. Irael P.M. it was recenty reported meet all-be-it in secert with the King of Saudi Arabia to discuss a possible peace, that a start. I am just tired of one side allways saying how bad the other is and I know you realize that in this world it is easy to bash Israel, and yes Irael went overboard in its responce though what does the world want to do besides blame blame blame? Right after the war was over the P.M. of Israel offered to meet with the Pres. of Lebanon to try to turn this war into a reason to make peace and the Pres. of Lebanon told him to screw off. All I know is that if i don't let my 7 and 9 year old say he did it, no he did it first, yeah but you did this, yeah but only because you did this, ect. That is what this sounds like.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

Bryansaid--its not blame that we are talking about, or the UN is talking about..it is holding them accountable for their actions. These are two different stories.

Actions have consequences, whether justified or not. HZ kidnapped 2 Israeli soldiers and there were consequences. Israel attacked Lebanon as a state (including people, infrastructure, economy, agriculture--a freakin milk factory) and there should be consequences. Blame followed by no action is useless. Mr. Ziegler is talking about action and reparation.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

To bad the consequences from this war is not peace just blame, blame, blame. Now that everybody has decided that peace is out and to punish Israel I for one will not support that in any-way. Everybody needs to decide if you want peace or not because if I am forced to choose side I will side with Israel!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

hmmm, you should get up to speed with our previous postings from way back when. who said you have to side with anyone?

in fact, if you side with israel, then you would support their efforts in making reparations to lebanon...because believe me, peace will not come until there is effort being seen on both sides. again, the war did not start with the kidnapping of the two IDF soldiers... this war started in 1946. its too complicated to get into, but i will say if Israel wanted peace--truely--then it would not have attacked lebanon in the way that it did. simple.

7:36 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

It's not a matter of "blame", Bryan. It's a matter of right. Imagine I come to your house, I get drunk and I break a full place setting of your expensive china. Do I say, "sorry but accidents happen" YOU might say, "don't worry" but it's appropriate for me to try to make amends. Otherwise, you and your wife are always going to have a bad feeling about me - no matter how friendly we might be.

To simply talk about the "blame game" and "work for peace" is meaningless - and I don't mean that disrespectfully. The United States ALWAYS does that - look at the Bush regime with "there's time later to lay blame, let's worry about right now" and "there's plenty of blame to go around at all levels." If there is going to be peace, then ISRAEL - not HZ - has to make the first move. Why? Because Israel is the one with all the power and is the one who did all the damage. Certainly HZ is to blame for some of it. But, using your children again, suppose one of them throws something at the other and the other gets so upset he or she sets fire to the house. Do you simply say, "don't bicker, children?"

Israel has a perfect opportunity to show it is serious right now. It should be leading the effort to rebuild Lebanon and Palestine. That it does not proves conclusively that it does not want "peace" - it wants subjagation. Even the US tries to repair the damage it does during an invasion - look at Afghanistan and Iraq. I grant you the effort has been a fiasco. But the effort has been and continues to be made.

What does Israel propose beyond saying "stop the blame game" and "let's have peace." How will it do that? Just hope everyone stops hating everyone else and gets together for Octoberfest?

You make the point when you say that you'll line up with Israel unless people agree with Israel. That's the hardline that HZ and Hamas and Al Queda and the Taliban and Bush take - "you're against us if you aren't 100% for us." And that's what leads to war.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

here is the correct parable for the Middle east.

A group of kids go to a school(U.N.) There is a new big kid (Israel) that moved in and none of the smaller kids (Arabs) like him because his family moved into a house that was foreclosed on by the School(U.N.) and gave to the new kid due to past injustest that was done to this family while the school did nothing to stop it. Every now and then the smaller kids will get brave enough to start a fight with the big kid, then the big kid gets very mad because all he seems to be doing almost every day at recess is to watch his back so he proceeds to thump the smaller kids asses! Then the smaller kids run to the teachers(representing the school or U.N.) saying look how bad the bigger kid beat us up. So instead of the school teaching both kids what they did was wrong they only get on to the big kid who has never started a fight. Then when the little kids build up their courage again they start another fight because the school only tries to punish the big kid.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

Doc, I said if every makes me choose a side i will, not that I want to. Everybody in the region shares responsibility for the hate in the Middle East and if we want to only blame one side then the only thing left to do is support the side you think is right

12:08 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

Meant to say "everyone' sorry

12:09 AM  
Blogger dobegs said...

oh man! your blog really is so boooring now... you report nothing interesting and no real good discussion and input to read on here.

by the way mrtz, the UN said that BOTH Israel AND Hezbullah.... are to be blamed for war crimes not just Israel as you easily report on your precious blog.

bye

12:23 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

I do not have any trouble with someone looking into war crimes. What dose worry me is the who and what is defined as a war crime. The swiss tend to think war should be fought with rubber bands and ping pong balls. I guess never having to fight a war makes it hard to judge. As for cluster bombs the use of them is not a war crime. If there are a dozen enemy soldiers scattered around buildings you can ether use a cluster bomb to take them out or a 5,000lbs bomb. If there was clear violations of war crimes by some of the soldiers or commanders then the should be held accountable .

12:32 AM  
Blogger Doc said...

Kevin--the use of cluster bombs is a war crime where you have civilians, regardless of whether the enemy soldier is around the vicinity or not. Anyways, that is just one of many of war crimes committed.

Bryan--Your parable makes no sense because it is not accurate. At the end of the day, all of the school kids can go to their home, whether they fight on the playground or not. The Palestinians cannot. The big kid never started a fight???? What about the neigbhorhood bullies who protect the big kid to death and death of others (i.e. US)? So what if the school (i.e. UN) protects the little kids..who else will?

Israel is "right"? give me a break. (notice i didnt say HZ was right either because they are also not).

12:56 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

Doc it depends on the number of civilians verses the number of soldiers.
Check this out.
http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/93.htm

1:07 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

The Geneva Conventions are very subject to interpretation that is why bush asked congress to clarify some points. It says (b) An attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.
But how much of a military advantage is needed is not stated.

1:17 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

Doc I have to go for the night will be back tomorrow. I'm not trying to say Israel didn't use to much force. The point I'm trying to make is that the UN needs to first look at the Geneva Conventions and spell it out better. It is hard to see the line in the sand when it is so fuzzy

1:27 AM  
Blogger Doc said...

Kevin--no problem. I understand your point for clarity.

However, if you want to talk about the proportion of civilians to soldiers, this becomes a closed issue: Israel was in clear violation of the geneva convention. Alot of people also neglect the fact that the majority, if not all, of the cluster bombs were dropped when the UN cease-fire resolution was already solidified but awaiting Israel's (postponed) confirmation (i.e. last day of the conflict). In other words, there was no clear military advantage to releasing the cluster bombs...it would not sway the outcomes one way or another. So, there was no "targeting" of the enemy, as cluster bombs defy this logic. Now, who is being killed by these cluster bombs?---not HZ, but rather civilians.

Now, HZ also rained a crap load of missles on N. Israel on the last day too. True. But they did not rain down different or more destructive missles, just more of them. I am also not justifying HZ.

Now, this is just one sliver of the crimes committed, not to mention blockade of medicine, food bombing of unrelated infrastructure, etc by Israel.

I hope too HZ is convicted, but its harder to do so with a resistence group than with a state, i.e. Israel.

2:37 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

Who is keeping the Palestinians from going home, if your talking about giving them back Irael proper then there will never be piece. What war did Israel start? See how this is leading to a blame game? Is this going to go on forever or is everybody willing to live with Israel as a state? This is why most Moderate Americans like me get turned off to the arabs, You must be willing to forgive and move forward or there will be no peace! If the Palestinians would make peace with Israel like they should have done when Clinton had his summit then the amount of aide to them form the U.S. would probally go threw the roof.

6:03 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

Bryan, the "blame game," as you put it, will never end. But your choice of descriptors is as unfortunate as Bush's nonsense about Democrats being the party of "cut and run." Complaining about the "blame game" and why "most moderate Americans" are like you is chutzpah of the first order. And calling for "arabs" to "forgive and move forward" or suffer the everlasting damnation of the US and Israel is what makes most moderate Americans like me say we ought to carefully reevaluate our relations with Israel. That feeling is strengthened when you say "arabs" ought to forgive and forget so America - not Israel - will give them buckets of money.

Israel exists solely by reasons it forcibly removed people from their homes and has been protected by the US ever since. Israel didn't come into being cooperatively, by invitation or by virtue of any real "right." It killed and grabbed its way into existence. Now it decries the kind of violence against it that it used to take what it's got. Not only that, you say the "arabs" are involved in a "blame game." That heaps insult on the very real injury.

Do you not see any basis at all for the very real anger resulting from being dispossessed of home? Tell me how an Israeli would react if, suddenly, the US changed its mind and said get out of your homes - we want the Palestinian "right of return" honored? And when the Israeli said, "but where shall we go?" the answer was - "dunno - just go."

You MUST start from that point if you are serious about "peace." There must be some REAL gesture by Israel to do something good. To demean the very real anger as a "blame game" while talking about forgiveness is not simply insulting, it is naieve to such a degree as to be hopeless.

Israel has no apparent aversion to using cluster bombs indiscrimantely to achieve its vengeful ends. Israel constantly talks about all the problems being caused by others. The United States is in the mess it's in around the world because of its unflinching support of Israel - even when the entire world holds its nose and condemns the brutal invasion of Lebanon. That's not going to last forever. More and more moderate Jews are saying, "enough."

Just like the American Indian wars would not be permitted today, Israel's aggression is short lived. It had better recognize that fact and start figuring out how to handle problems without bombs and missiles and tanks. And without playing the "blame game" to justify its actions and then accusing others of holding up "peace" by blaming Israel for committing war crimes.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

Israel is a state right now, it will always be supported by the U.S. That will never change or should it. Its a Democracy where even the arabs get to vote. They have never invaded another country without be attacked first. If the Palestinians would make peace with Israel then I would support a massive aid package. There are extremly rich arab countries that could afford to build the Palestinians whatever they needed in the West Bank or Gaza. The history of the human race is full of true grievances of one group towards another. By the logic expressed her that before their can be peace the grievance must be addressed, no conflict would ever be solved. The one thing I have learned from this posting is how the Israel Gov. must feel. The Palestinians could have a GREAT future living in peace with Israel and getting a Lot of money from Europe, U.S., rich gulf states, tourists, ect. all you need to do is let the past go and make peace. If not for you then for your children, because remember after one generation all of this hate could be forgotten, look at the U.S. with Germany and Japan. They are both rich now and there is no hate between our people, just friendship. I wish the Palestinians only the best.

4:49 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

HCB is my understanding of history wrong. Was not Israel the home of the Israelites dating back to before Christ or even the Egyptians.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Guys trying to reson with Stains is just wrong. He is the King of Idiots and cowards. He only looks at his views as being right and everyone else is a fart in the wind as he puts it.

Stains is a coward and a liar.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Hey Stains how's your wallet these days? I know you're hurting which is great plus with as many long winded posts you're not very busy. Is your entire family wearing 2nd's or hand me downs?

To bad you're such a poor family provider and lazy but it fits you.

Joke:

What is the difference between a large pizza and Hcb?

The large pizza can feed a family of 4!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

Kevin, "Israelites" does not necessarily mean Jewish---many lived on that land who were called Israelites. Phonecians, who are modern day Lebanese, and predated the Israelites, lived in that region for thousands of years---the palestinians and Canaanites have also been in that region for centuries, also predating Christ. Anyways, there was no such thing as Israel way back when--Israel is a forced and created state---it was all of the Levant and Philistine that housed people of many many religious beliefs--some even idol worshipers.

I am not a history prof, but you may want to talk to one.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

"The Palestinians could have a GREAT future living in peace with Israel and getting a Lot of money from Europe, U.S., rich gulf states, tourists, ect. all you need to do is let the past go and make peace."

Let the past go? That's easy for someone to say if you have not had connection to the land and its history. These people were brought up to grow from the soil and are rooted in their identity.

It is not about money from the US or Israel...land, their historical ties to it, and national identity mean more than you guys will ever know.

6:55 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Doc's point is well taken, Kevin. I think the American Indian "reservations" are directly analagous. The Indian was here long before any european and the europeans took the land by force. First, starve them, then massacre and then lie. We continue to keep them down with a failed welfare system and making the reservations "federal" territory. But we took everything we have by force, killing and chicanery. Sitting Bull made the point: "tell me one treaty the indians have broken and tell me one treaty the white man has kept."

That's the problem with Palestine - of course it's history but the difference now is that the Palestinians are not simply rolling over. It's painful and it's wrong in anyone's eyes - but it's the fact. Israel is there and Israel always will be there - so long as the US supports her. But Israel should not be so cavalier about the whole thing. Look at the history beginning with Menachem Begin in the mid to late '40's. Israel is no different than a "wild west" fort in the late 19th century fighting off the Indians and going out to search for indians and to destroy them where they were found. The Indians were always - until very recently - portrayed as brutal, terrorizing "savages" who didn't deserve to live.

Dealing with the matter on nothing more than the practical facts is a slap in the face. Why should the Palestinians want peace with Israel? Their homes have been destroyed, they have no economy, a fence has been built through the middles of their residential areas, they cannot cross borders even to go to work and they are subject to being arrested and jailed on the whim of an Israeli soldier. Even the token members of parliament aren't safe.

So long as Israel does nothing except talk about it - especially when the idea is "just do as we say and you'll get rich" - nothing will happen. Believe it or not, some things like pride and humanity are more important to some people than big houses, swimming pools and cash in the bank. I have not yet heard any Palestinian say that's what is wanted. It obviously was Arafat's purpose - but he had a very greedy, non-palestinian wife to support in a style she lusted for.

Israel has got to DO something - not just talk about how right it is and how wrong everyone else is and how all could be well if everyone simply agreed Israel is right.

7:34 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Doc's point is well taken, Kevin. I think the American Indian "reservations" are directly analagous. The Indian was here long before any european and the europeans took the land by force. First, starve them, then massacre and then lie. We continue to keep them down with a failed welfare system and making the reservations "federal" territory. But we took everything we have by force, killing and chicanery. Sitting Bull made the point: "tell me one treaty the indians have broken and tell me one treaty the white man has kept."

That's the problem with Palestine - of course it's history but the difference now is that the Palestinians are not simply rolling over. It's painful and it's wrong in anyone's eyes - but it's the fact. Israel is there and Israel always will be there - so long as the US supports her. But Israel should not be so cavalier about the whole thing. Look at the history beginning with Menachem Begin in the mid to late '40's. Israel is no different than a "wild west" fort in the late 19th century fighting off the Indians and going out to search for indians and to destroy them where they were found. The Indians were always - until very recently - portrayed as brutal, terrorizing "savages" who didn't deserve to live.

Dealing with the matter on nothing more than the practical facts is a slap in the face. Why should the Palestinians want peace with Israel? Their homes have been destroyed, they have no economy, a fence has been built through the middles of their residential areas, they cannot cross borders even to go to work and they are subject to being arrested and jailed on the whim of an Israeli soldier. Even the token members of parliament aren't safe.

So long as Israel does nothing except talk about it - especially when the idea is "just do as we say and you'll get rich" - nothing will happen. Believe it or not, some things like pride and humanity are more important to some people than big houses, swimming pools and cash in the bank. I have not yet heard any Palestinian say that's what is wanted. It obviously was Arafat's purpose - but he had a very greedy, non-palestinian wife to support in a style she lusted for.

Israel has got to DO something - not just talk about how right it is and how wrong everyone else is and how all could be well if everyone simply agreed Israel is right.

7:35 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

Problem I don't under stand throwing away my future for historical ties. As an American my history only goes back 3 or 4 generations in this country. My “historical ties” are from Germany but I don't Identify with Germany. You can't say the jew have no historical ties it is the place of the Temple mound and the land of king David. In fact we all have ties to the land the. To me it is the land were Christ we born and put to death. It is the birth place of most all religions.

I have to agree with the treatment of the Indians. Having grown up ½ mile from the Tuscarora reservation and going to school all my life with them. I want to point out that the ones that forgave us for the past and moved on with there lives are now the ones that own the tobacco stores and casinos. 3 of them that I went to school with are now worth over a 1,000,000 each.

7:53 PM  
Blogger duckforcover said...

Even though they weren't called "israelites", the peoples were still there. And even Arafat once said that "Jordan is the true Palestine". The problem with both sides in this issue is people dont even have the sense to educate themselves about the fight they're in. They just assume their side is right and thats that. Its common knowledge to some that they were here first, and the others feel the same. The real point is that the people that inhabit Israel are entitled to the land. Arab, Jewish, Christian, Black, White, Brown, or reptilian. I can type out a books worth of proof if you'd like.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

hbc said---------

"Why should the Palestinians want peace with Israel? Their homes have been destroyed, they have no economy, a fence has been built through the middles of their residential areas, they cannot cross borders even to go to work and they are subject to being arrested and jailed on the whim of an Israeli soldier. Even the token members of parliament aren't safe."

I think you just answered your own question, I don't know how the rest of the world works but right here in Middle America when two people or groups are fighting and they both claim to want peace, usually the strongest one gets the best deal.

DOC Said---------------
It is not about money from the US or Israel...land, their historical ties to it, and national identity mean more than you guys will ever know.

DOC, during the summit that Clinton had with airafake and the Isreal P.M. "I forget which one but its not important" Israel was willing to give the
Palestinians everything they wanted, part control over east Jerusalem, all of the land in the west bank and gaza, everything execpt the right for the Palestinians and their offspring that was displace almost 60 years ago to return to Israel. If they allowed that many to return then Israel would no longer be and I think that is the whole problem here, Israel wants to live in peace while the arabs want it destroyed!

8:54 PM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

Sorry hcb for mispelling your signin name, I was always better at math than spelling.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

hcb said----------

"Look at the history beginning with Menachem Begin in the mid to late '40's. Israel is no different than a "wild west" fort in the late 19th century fighting off the Indians and going out to search for indians and to destroy them where they were found. The Indians were always - until very recently - portrayed as brutal, terrorizing "savages" who didn't deserve to live."

Give me one example where Israel attacked another country without being attacked first? Until everybody can see past this Israel and the U.S. are monsters then nothing will be acomplished, boths sides are wrong on some things and right on the other. Let them put away the things they cannot agee on and make peace, then start building some trust and the other issues that seem so unsolveable right now will slowly melt into something easy to deal with after there is peace in the region which will slowly lead to more trusting!

9:08 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Lebanon comes to mind as a country Israel attacked without being attacked first. And, have you looked at Begin's history of terror? Bombed Brits and Arabs.

The fundamental question remains - HOW do you start "building some trust?" What exactly is it that Israel is willing to do? Without saying "but" or "they should ..." or "first ..." Exactly what is it Israel has done toward "building some trust" and making peace? Exactly what is it Israel is willing to do? And - no - I will NOT assume it's a two way street. It hasn't worked that way yet. So somebody has to start.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

Guys it has been a very interesting debate, I have enjoyed it very much, will check back later

9:18 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

I honestly do not think Israel wants true peace. As HCB said, Israel attacked Lebanon with no provocation this time around.(FYI HZ DOES NOT represent lebanon.)
It occupied Lebanon for 17 years before that, during which HZ was formed as a resistence movement. Do they really want peace? There's the answer to your question.

Palestinians also want to live in peace, but not at the sake of their history and dignity. Similar to the Native American experience. Europeans just had more guns and that was that.

There is nothing we can do to understand the plight of the Palestinian.

http://brasscheck.com/videos/middleeast/me5.html

9:26 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

HZB dose not represent Lebanon but if a group of Texans created the own military and th US did nothing about it. Then that group went into Mexico and kidnapped some Mexican soldiers and the US still did nothing about it wouldn't the Mexican government have a right to go after them to protect there people.

10:14 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Do you mean like bomb Washington, D.C.? Or Dallas?

10:46 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

Mexican govt would have no right to bomb either washington or dallas for the sake of some kidnapped soldiers. Rather, it has a duty to work with Washington to get back the soldiers through negotiation.

Now, Leb govt did not support the kidnapping of the soldiers, nor did they know about it. ANd Israel made no effort to go to the Leb govt and negotiate or work with them for their release. They just straight up started bombing the country and "setting it back 20 yrs" as the Israeli defense minister put it so nicely.

Lastly, as I have repeated before, Leb just recently ousted Syria and its miliary from Leb territory. The Leb govt has not had time to form, strengthen and enforce it sovereighnty over the entire region. Everyone is looking at the problem out of this context, which is wrong.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

Mexican govt would have no right to bomb either washington or dallas for the sake of some kidnapped soldiers. Rather, it has a duty to work with Washington to get back the soldiers through negotiation.

Now, Leb govt did not support the kidnapping of the soldiers, nor did they know about it. ANd Israel made no effort to go to the Leb govt and negotiate or work with them for their release. They just straight up started bombing the country and "setting it back 20 yrs" as the Israeli defense minister put it so nicely.

Lastly, as I have repeated before, Leb just recently ousted Syria and its miliary from Leb territory. The Leb govt has not had time to form, strengthen and enforce it sovereighnty over the entire region. Everyone is looking at the problem out of this context, which is wrong.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Just a quick tangent,

I have started a new collaborative blog project (Julie from here is involved) which will discuss the crimes committed by the current United States government against both the people of the US and against other nations. The blog, though currently live, will not begin publishing until 11/5. If you are someone interested in serving as a contributor, please e-mail me directly at olshak.rick@gmail.com

Thanks!

Rick

11:08 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

In fact, Kevin, your idea is being tested - sort of - right now. Germany is the latest country (Italy was first, Switzerland is coming)to indict American CIA officers for kidnapping people on their territory (Italy) and using their airports as waypoints for "renditions" of "detainees." A Canadian citizen was grabbed by the FBI in New York, flown to Syria, tortured and returned without excuse or apology. CIA officers who have been indicted by Italy, for example, can travel no where in the world - they will be arrested by Interpol if they go outside the US. Now - does Canada have the right to bomb the White House because its citizen was kidnapped? How about Italy? Or Germany?

And - those kidnappings by Hezbollah were not the reason Israel spent so many hundreds of millions of dollars in their campaign to destroy. They were the immediate excuse. If that's not so, why did Israel finally call it off without getting the kidnapped soldiers back. And, since it was a "war" and everyone is talking about the "Geneva Conventions", what has Israel done about getting those people back through the conventions or through the UN? The problem is that HZ is not a signatory to the Geneva conventions. Geneva conventions have nothing to do with them. But - Israel should have gone to the UN - same as the US finally did before Iraq - and say we want permission to blow up Lebanon. Israel did no such thing. It took the "might makes right" approach. It prevailed. Why does it now think the world should like it?

Israel's only real concern is keeping the US in tow. It doesn't care a bit about what anyone else or any other country thinks other than to the extent it may affect the flow of cash and materiel from the US. If Israel had any bona fide concern about "peace" it would not have done and still be doing any of what it does. Look, for example, how it continues to punish the Palestinians. Look how studiously it ignores Lebanon now that it has destroyed it.

It is chutzpah of the highest order to say "peace" in those circumstances. What Israel really means is "toe the line and we won't bomb you." The reason is simple - Israel needs nothing from anyone else so long as it has the US. Take that away and there will be some fast scrambling to find some way else - before running out of bombs.

11:17 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

HCB it was Canada that informed the FBI of his suspected ties to terrorist and authorized the US to take him into custody . Other wise they would have had a right to demand him back. But he was also on US soil when he was taken into custody. Germany Italy and Switzerland have no jurisdiction in the case except for unauthorized use of there air ports. In witch case they can refuse to let our air planes land there anymore.

11:36 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

A little more background, Kevin - here's the beginning of the article in der Spiegel - you can also read about it at the ACLU site. The Spiegel cite is at the end of the extract below.

It's a lot more than simply the unauthorized use of airports, though:

"The case of Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent who was allegedly kidnapped and tortured in secret CIA prisons, continues to unfold. According to a report in the German press on Thursday, the US intelligence agents who wrongly abducted al-Masri might be confronted with warrants for their arrest, as details of their identities become known to German prosecutors.

"Munich's Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that prosecutors had received a list of names of suspected US kidnappers from Spanish officials. "We now have very specific questions for the Spanish authorities," state prosecutor August Stern told the paper.

"Al-Masri says he was wrongly abducted on New Year's Eve 2003 in Macedonia and detained in various secret overseas prisons often referred to as "black sites." His five month ordeal finally ended when he was dumped on an abandoned road in Albania."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,438371,00.html

12:01 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

hcb said--------------
The fundamental question remains - HOW do you start "building some trust?" What exactly is it that Israel is willing to do? Without saying "but" or "they should ..." or "first ..." Exactly what is it Israel has done toward "building some trust" and making peace? Exactly what is it Israel is willing to do? And - no - I will NOT assume it's a two way street. It hasn't worked that way yet. So somebody has to start. "

As i stated before when Clinton was Pres. the offered the Palestinians everything they wanted in neg. other than the right of millions of Palestinians and their offspring to return which we both know would mean the end of israel, the real question is do the Palestinians want peace with Israel or its destruction?

"

12:12 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

I can answer my last question for everybody, half of the current Palestinian gov. wants a real peace with Israel (Pres. Abbas and his fatah party), the other half (Hamas) will not even recognize Israels right to exist. Right now I actually think Abbas is winning that struggle but we will see?

12:20 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

HCB point in the story is

A German parliamentary committee on Thursday continued its investigation into the al-Masri case. The inquiry is meant to uncover to what extent German intelligence officials knew about the abduction and whether the government at the time was complicit in the kidnapping. Berlin denies keeping quiet about the case.

if the goverment was complicit it was not in any way an act of war. Wrong yes and they do have a right to prosecute.

12:23 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

Bryan I hope your right it would be nice to see

12:26 AM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

Kevin,rick,hcb,sam,doc, and everybodyelse I have enjoyed today, hope to hear from everbody tomorrw

12:30 AM  
Blogger Doc said...

Byran--"they offered the Palestinians everything they wanted in neg. other than the right of millions of Palestinians and their offspring to return which we both know would mean the end of israel..."

Palestinians who were evicted from their land and living as refugees also have a right to return. And the other nations that harbor these refugees, e.g. Leb, syria, jordan, egypt, also have a right to insist on this. It is not just a Palestinian problem, it is the entire region's problem, as it affects everyone, every nation. I dont know the specifics of that negotiation, but i am sure Palestine was not the only one with a say in the negotiations.

It is not a question of peace or destruction, but rather right and wrong.

1:01 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

The Onandag nation has a complaint similar to the Palestinians:

http://www.onondaganation.org/news.hugeclaim.html

The Onondaga Nation has submitted a land claim in the Greater Central New York area which includes most of the city of Syracuse, New York. Below is the rationale for the claim being submitted to the courts.

1:30 AM  
Blogger duckforcover said...

I'm kind of late in the discussion, but work has been through the roof. Sorry.

It was mentioned here about how Lebanon is still, in a sense recovering from the Syrian occupation, and this is a contributing cause to it's lack of action towards Hezbollah. I just want to say that this is a side to the story that I haven't seen or thought about yet.

I'm assuming this means (and correct me if I'm wrong) the government is young, fresh, and hasn't had the time to lay down the law of the country? I only ask because up until I read this, I've always wondered why Lebanon didn't do something about hezbollah. Even while reading this very thread I was thinking that. Sure, Israel did target lebanon, but it was because Hezbollah has been allowed to thrive in the country. This stance, while i still believe it holds some truth, seems to lack what it used to for me.

So somebody explain what Lebanon is doing to rid itself of this soar. (And yes, that's what it is. I support the group for what it was founded for because it's a fudamental human instinct to fight occupation, but what's it there for now?) And leave Israel out of it for the moment. What is Hezbollah fighting for now? What's on their "agenda" so to speak?

I'm not trying to provoke anything, it's actually more for personal education and understanding.

7:46 AM  
Blogger HCB said...

I think, Duck, Hezbollah sees itself as a real defense force. They were born of resistance but they have become much more. Thus, I think their vision is that Israel may attack again. The leaders of Hezbollah likely would ask the same question about the Israeli IDF - now that the "war" is over, what's IDF's agenda?

As to Lebanon's previous ability to oust Hezbollah, I'm glad you're wondering. Most Americans don't read enough or try to learn enough to appreciate anything important outside their immediate reach. The proof - to me - that Lebanon could do nothing effetive about Hezbollah came after the "war." Israel dropped a lot of bombs on what it said were Hezbollah targets. Then it sent 30,000 troops in with tanks and modern artillery. When it was all done, Israel said it had NOT done away with Hezbollah and that an International armed force of at least 15,000 troops was needed to police the area. Israel and the US made it completely clear that they did not think Lebanon could even police the area much less get rid of Hezbollah.

Remember also, there are a lot of people in southern Lebanon who are not fighting members of Hezbollah - they are farmers and "regular" people who look to Hezbollah as protectors. As we're discovering in Iraq, those people are not going to identify the fighters. It's not unlikely that, to eliminate Hezbollah, the entire area would have to be emptied - including all the "civilians."

4:57 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

HCB the Onondaga Nation history is far worse then the Palestinians. They were not only removed from there land that they still identify with but were hunted and killed at rates higher than the Jews in ww2. I think your right when we all should take a lesson from the American Indians. No other group of people have suffered as much as them and lost as much. But they have learned to live today and not in the past. They still know and live the heritage and beliefs but don't live in hated for all of us that did them so wrong. If all the people in the world could learn and do as they do then peace could break out. Here is a small quote to show my point but please read the hole article.
"We aren't saying we're coming after Syracuse because it's ours. What are we going to do with Syracuse?" Chief Jake Edwards said. "We want to be at the table and help the people in Syracuse make it a healthier place to live."
http://www.onondaganation.org/news.hugeclaim.html

6:49 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

Duck and HCB,

I agree with you both and I want to add that Hezbollah also serves as a social institution for civilians--they are an effective social machine that provides aid, medical care, education to all residents in the south (i.e. Shia) in addition to protection from Israel. They have done what the Leb govt has not been able to do, however, this becomes the chicken or the egg probelm---will HZ allow the govt to step in an "protect" the southern citizens? It is quite clear, that up until the Syrian withdrawal, the army did NOT have the capacity to event venture to the south and control the area.

So, I am very happy to hear, DUCK, that you are asking these important questions. Most do not understand the context under which the Leb govt has operated within the past 20 years--and this was all the more insult because Israel should have known this, however, they proceeded to react to the country as a whole without acknowledging these factors--Israel, in essence created a worse situation for the Leb govt because of HZ "victory" and gaining popularity.

7:19 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Exactly right. But - the nation also recognizes they never will get Syracuse as a practical matter. They DO have a nice settlement with NY or he Fed paying each member of the tribe annually. The nation has moved forward but not until well after its active subjugation had ended. The difference is that Palestine is divided physically by the fence and checkpoints and no-crossing points. The hovels have been bulldozed. The economy is non-existent. The country is entirely dependent on aid from outside that is subject to being cut off at any time - as is currently the case. Forgiveness is not the answer - it may be good emotionally and morally but it will not bring food or water or housing or stability.

However, if you want to see what forgiveness REALLY is, though, take a look at the Amish families who just went through one of the worst tragedies I can imagine. I do not believe I could be so forgiving were it my daughter who had been killed. But I also recognize it is a failing on my part. In my practice, I tell clients constantly that they need to stop their anger - not necessarily forgive but at least get beyond the anger. That anger means the other person is controlling him or her mentally. The anger is debilitating and can do absolutely no good. Of course, when that is applied to Palestine, the answer by Israel is "good." But nothing else. So, Palestine would say, "I don't hate you anymore and I think Israel is a wonderful place." Now what?

How many people could actually be as truly forgiving as the Amish? How many could be so Christ like? In fact, how many people even think it's appropriate to be that forgiving? Here's a copy of a brief article that was on MSNBC:

Today, with tears in his eyes, a minister described to me seeing an Amish mother embalming her 13-year-old daughter Marian, who was shot in the forehead at the school.

She was carefully and lovingly dressing her girl in white, even putting the cotton in her nose.

All around the family watched, crying softly, even the little children, who listened as their grandfather told them not to hate the gunman who did this.

"Forgive," he was instructing them... "forgive, as God forgives us..."

Reverend Rob Schenck, called it the most powerful moment in all his 25 years as a minister.

This forgiveness seems especially incredible, coming on the same day the coroner is being reported to have counted almost 20 bullet wounds in the body of a 7-year-old girl.

An Amish woman told me perhaps the good that might come of this tragedy is, "We can tell people about Christ and actually show you in our walk that we forgive, not just say it, but in our walk of life. You know you have to live it, you can't just say it. "

I realize I did not know what forgiveness was until now.

Ann Curry on MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15134112/

7:20 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Exactly right. But - the nation also recognizes they never will get Syracuse as a practical matter. They DO have a nice settlement with NY or he Fed paying each member of the tribe annually. The nation has moved forward but not until well after its active subjugation had ended. The difference is that Palestine is divided physically by the fence and checkpoints and no-crossing points. The hovels have been bulldozed. The economy is non-existent. The country is entirely dependent on aid from outside that is subject to being cut off at any time - as is currently the case. Forgiveness is not the answer - it may be good emotionally and morally but it will not bring food or water or housing or stability.

However, if you want to see what forgiveness REALLY is, though, take a look at the Amish families who just went through one of the worst tragedies I can imagine. I do not believe I could be so forgiving were it my daughter who had been killed. But I also recognize it is a failing on my part. In my practice, I tell clients constantly that they need to stop their anger - not necessarily forgive but at least get beyond the anger. That anger means the other person is controlling him or her mentally. The anger is debilitating and can do absolutely no good. Of course, when that is applied to Palestine, the answer by Israel is "good." But nothing else. So, Palestine would say, "I don't hate you anymore and I think Israel is a wonderful place." Now what?

How many people could actually be as truly forgiving as the Amish? How many could be so Christ like? In fact, how many people even think it's appropriate to be that forgiving? Here's a copy of a brief article that was on MSNBC:

Today, with tears in his eyes, a minister described to me seeing an Amish mother embalming her 13-year-old daughter Marian, who was shot in the forehead at the school.

She was carefully and lovingly dressing her girl in white, even putting the cotton in her nose.

All around the family watched, crying softly, even the little children, who listened as their grandfather told them not to hate the gunman who did this.

"Forgive," he was instructing them... "forgive, as God forgives us..."

Reverend Rob Schenck, called it the most powerful moment in all his 25 years as a minister.

This forgiveness seems especially incredible, coming on the same day the coroner is being reported to have counted almost 20 bullet wounds in the body of a 7-year-old girl.

An Amish woman told me perhaps the good that might come of this tragedy is, "We can tell people about Christ and actually show you in our walk that we forgive, not just say it, but in our walk of life. You know you have to live it, you can't just say it. "

I realize I did not know what forgiveness was until now.

Ann Curry on MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15134112/

7:20 PM  
Blogger duckforcover said...

Doc,

Thanks for the input. There's a book that was recommended to me that might help shed some light, so I'll have to give that a read. I can see that this can get tough because a group like Hezbollah has turned itself into an ideology. Once that happened, the war was no longer against people, but views rather.

Anyways, some people say that if the IDF really wanted Hezbollah gone, it would be. Some think that Israel was just stretching it's legs for a bit and purposely left Hezbollah in tact so it has a reason for future engagements. Personally, either way you look it, all of this still comes at the expense of the Lebonese people so it's irrelevant what the IDF's reasoning was behind the war and it's outcome.

8:35 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

Hcb There is less difference than you think the Seneca Nation Of Indians was divided up into 3 Reservations. They were not allowed to travel from one tribe to the next or even send messages in fear that they would unite. They lived by trading and no longer could so the government sent them meat and food to survive on. But they were sent food and meat that was spoiled and rotten because it was cheaper.
http://www.sni.org/res.html

What I'm trying to point out is that Palestine and Lebanon need to recognize Israel is there and is not going away. They need to stop the radicals for sending in bombers and learn to live with them as a neighbor. Not because Israel is right or they are wrong but it is the only way to move on. Israel needs to recognize the injustices to Palestine and Lebanon and there people not because they were right or Israel was wrong but that it did happen. Then the fences will go down and the economy will grow.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

Kevin,

I could not have said it better myself

8:52 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Kevin, you and I can agree Israel is not going away and so can every other country in the world. But that matters not to the people who right now - this very minute - are in such despair. And that is my point - it is not simply academic that Israel is there to stay - that's the emotional focus of the helpless and hopeless who hate Israel so much. For everyone else in the world to agree Israel will always be there is NOT the only way to move on. Nor will saying "stop the radicals and the bombers" ever have any meaning until a reason to stop them is apparent.

I simply cannot put it in the right words - saying, "Israel is always going to be there, live with it" is the heart of the problem. What Israel should be doing is finding a way to have Palestinians say "we're glad you are always going to be here." Your alternative - without intending disrespect to you - is to jam it down their throats as a fait accompli which must be accepted on pain of death. My suggestion is that the same desired end can be pursued with kindness and a demonstration of goodness. Rather than build a fence and bulldoze houses, build apartments and water works. Protect the effort as necessary at the beginning. But go into it with the idea of being kind rather than in charge.

I quoted the Ann Curry artile about the Amish for a reason - I think most people in the world would call the Amish foolish for forgiving. Because most people in the world learn hate rather than love. Most people in the world like to think they are "good" but they really are selfish. The Palestinians and the people in southern Lebanon have nothing to be selfish about. All they have left is pride in what they think they should be and their religious beliefs. We used two atomic bombs against Japan because their belief in their emperor was so strong nothing else would convince them to stop than for the emperor to say "stop." That's what it will take to stop the "radicals" and "extremists" and "terrorists" to stop - to have their leadership say so. And their leadership is not going to agree to a thing simply because Israel says "it's the only way." Israel MUST provide a tangible reason that can be counted on. Otherwise, people will continue to believe they are better off in the next life and will gladly commit suicide to take some Israeli's to hell while they go to heaven. And that will be so no matter how little sense it makes to anyone else in the world.

Spend the money on good instead of cluster bombs - see if the good muslim people don't change their minds. It's not that difficult. And, if I'm wrong, Israel is no worse off and hasn't spent nearly the amount of money spent on invadng Lebanon.

8:57 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

HCB I think you way would work too. The question is how do you convince one side to be the bigger. Start the healing. But forcing Israel to pay compensation by finding them guilty of war crimes wont work ever.

9:08 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

should be "I think your way would work too"

9:09 PM  
Blogger Bryansaid said...

hcb, I agree, lets help by supporting Pres. Abbas and then when he has control of the gov. and offers Israel peace like I think he will it will then be time for the U.S. and the west to put up or shut up. A massive aid package to help rebuild and to help relocate those in refuge camp back to the new Palestinian state. If we as a nation can spend over 100 billion dollars to destroy a nation "Iraq" then surely we can afford 1/2 that for a permant peace in the miidle east!

9:16 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

HCB said: "What Israel should be doing is finding a way to have Palestinians say "we're glad you are always going to be here."

Yes, absolutely.

I also say that Israel should be telling the Palestinians that "we're glad you are always going to be here", NOT "shit, we have to deal with you now, because you are always going to be here".

I have yet to see this desire, but rather limited tolerance (if that).

9:36 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Except we have already spent FIVE hundred billion on Iraq and Afghanistan. I think you're right about "put up or shut up." I also agree Israel will not pay - both sides in this thing are bound by their "pride." And, I agree with supporting Abbas - even if we're all wrong about his motivation, we know Hamas will not work - no matter how good their intentions. At the same time, I think Olmert and Prevetz have to go. Somebody more moderate and who can control the ultra conservatives in the Knesset. Finally, the issue of settlements and Kibbutzes has to be finalized. Frankly, I think Israel is better off financially by eliminating all the little places it pays so much to keep up. But those issues have to be resolved finally.

One huge hurdle that is a real deal breaker, I think, is "holy places." Ignoring everything else, I think that issue is paramount. Wasn't that a big reason for the current intifada?

If Israel and whoever in Palestine and the other middle eastern countries can get some religious leaders to meet in good faith and resolve those difficulties while the politicians meet to resolve the rest, there really could be peace.

It may be as simple as providing schools for Jewish and Muslim children to attend together with classes in comparative religion. Some way to at least get people together to talk rather than blowing each other up.

I hope all have a nice weekend. It's so beautiful here in Florida right now I am going to pack my canoe and head for the river for the weekend.

9:50 PM  
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4:22 PM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

This seems to be a distraction. The truth of the matter is that Israeli war crimes are mentioned as a possibility, whereas those of Lebanon-Hizbollah aren't in doubt. A legal case against Israel will probably fall to nothing if people stick to international law and the true order of events. A legal case against Lebanon would probably succeed for the same reason.

The reason why a case against Lebanon probably won't be pursued is that Israel doesn't want to keep Lebanon as an enemy. The reason why any possible case against Israel will be pursued is because many others in the world want Israel to be perceived as such. If people suddenly stopped talking and acting against Israel they might have the time to think and realize that they, not Israel, are the ones in the wrong.

8:09 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

What war crimes were committed by Lebanon?

2:49 AM  
Blogger Doc said...

solomon2---huh??? Everyone else is wrong but Israel? LOL.

what planet do you live on?

6:22 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Greetings All,

My letter to Mr. Bush:


TO: Mr. George W. Bush, President, United States of America

10 October 2006

Dear Mr. Bush,

In the past six years our nation has changed dramatically. A budget surplus has been turned into a record deficit. Treaties that we have entered into in good faith have been unilaterally ignored by this nation if not outright dismissed, and fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of the United States of America have been comprimised in the name of "security." Additionally, your policy of refusing to engage in dialogue with nations that have opposing views has created foreign policy disasters in Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Lebanon and North Korea.

It is clear, Mr. Bush, that you have no tolerance for views other than your own. And your own views are suspect, if not downright criminal. To date, you have legalized torture in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions, you have granted yourself and your administration blanket immunity for war crimes that you are responsible for, you have provided false justification for the conduct of an illegal war in Iraq and you have altered the law such that American citizens can be arrested and detained merely for exercising their right to free speech and dissent.

Thus I call upon you, Mr. Bush, to immediately resign the office of the presidency. You have brought shame to this nation. You have brought disrespect to this nation. You have increased the polarization of our society and created both foreign and domestic crises that will require decades for this nation to pull out of. While I have no doubt that you love America, the America you love is one that looks, acts and thinks as you do.

Please look, Mr. Bush, at your near-term prospects. Because of your actions and the actions of many in Congress, the Republicans are going to lose control of both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Impeachment proceedings will almost surely follow, because citizen outrage over your policies and actions will demand it. And frankly, Mr. Bush, if it were up to me, it would not stop there. I am an advocate of having the next administration arrest you and turn you over to international authorities to be prosecuted for war crimes that you have committed in Iraq.

No doubt that you and your staff will consider me a radical crack-pot. I assure you that I am not. But I am an ordinary citizen who is fed up with a government that does not see itself as accountable to the people. The people should not fear the government; the government should fear its people. This nation has existed for 230 years because of the checks and balances inherent in our republic. Although you have attempted to dismantle these safeguards, they are still in place and your administration will be held accountable by the people.

I beseech you, Mr. Bush, to cease your failed war in Iraq, to avoid military action against Iran, and to immediately leave office. Please go no further along the path you are on. You and your administration threaten to bring this nation into the darkness of a dictatorship or, worse yet, a second civil war. I hope that if you truly love America, you will step aside and allow our government to begin fixing the mistakes of this administration before we lose all credibility in this world.

Yours truly, a deeply concerned citizen that loves this nation,

Richard T. (Rick) Olshak

1:25 AM  

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