TCS Daily

The Era of Hostage States

By Arnold Kling - July 20, 2006 12:00 AM

"The [Israeli Military] has found that Hizbullah is preventing civilians from leaving villages in southern Lebanon. Roadblocks have been set up outside some of the villages to prevent residents from leaving, while in other villages Hizbullah is preventing UN representatives from entering, who are trying to help residents leave. In two villages, exchanges of fire between residents and Hizbullah have broken out."
-- YNET news, July 2006

In 21st-century warfare, civilians often are used as human shields. If Hezbollah were to follow the Geneva Convention, and differentiate its military operators from civilians, their fighters would be slaughtered. So they do not follow the Geneva Convention. What rules should Israel and other countries apply?

It is safe to assume that most Lebanese do not like what is happening to their country now. But up until recently, the Lebanese government seemed to have no objection to Hezbollah's weapons arsenal and control over territory. Based on the actions of their elected government, one might infer that the Lebanese people were quite willing to tolerate a heavily armed, radical independent militia in their country. Perhaps the Lebanese would say that they only did so out of fear. To the extent that is the case, then perhaps the Lebanese have been hostages of Hezbollah for a long time.

How much sympathy ought to be shown to the Palestinian people? In principle, they could have demanded a government that clamps down on militias that attack Israel, but they did the opposite. Is Hamas now holding the Palestinian people hostage? Or is it a linguistic fallacy to call a democratically-elected government "hostage takers?"

Should the civilian population in Iran be regarded as hostages of the radical mullahs? If so, what implications does this have for how the United States or other countries ought to deal with Iran's nuclear threat?

The Obligation to Resist

The first rule that I propose for the era of hostage-taking is the obligation to resist. Anyone who lives under the control of hostage-takers has an obligation to attempt to escape or to resist.

Ultimately, if almost everyone resists being held hostage, then hostage-taking will fail. If hardly anyone resists being held hostage, then hostage-taking will be a way of life.

Under this doctrine, Palestinian civilians living in Gaza could declare a village a "militant-free zone." If terrorists try to violate that zone, the civilians could either try to protect themselves or ask for outside protection. Similarly, people living in Lebanon could declare certain areas to be terrorist-free zones.

I do not expect the idea of civilians declaring areas "militant-free zones" to take off any time soon. However, I do believe that civilians in contemporary hostage situations need to be more pro-active. Passive acceptance of hostage status is not the same as innocence. It is closer to being an accessory.

Separating Hostage-Takers from Weapons

Those of us who do not wish to become hostages might wish to advocate for a policy of separating hostage-takers from weapons. If any organization or government shows an inclination to engage in hostage-taking, hostage-resisting armed forces are justified in taking action against that organization or government.

For example, North Korea clearly has a government that is holding its own people hostage. Many North Koreans would escape if they were given a chance to do so. If the North Korean government were content to hold its own people hostage and not threaten anyone else, then perhaps it would be in our interest just to let them get away with it. However, the North Koreans seem eager to threaten others. Moreover, they probably would be willing to sell weapons to people who threaten others. There appears to be a strong case for applying the Bush doctrine of pre-emption to North Korea.

The other "axis of evil" member, the government of Iran, also is a strong candidate for pre-emption. If they want to install a theocracy and advocate for the destruction of other countries, that is fine. If they want nuclear weapons, that is fine. But they cannot do both. They have to choose: either have a nuclear program, or conduct yourself in a non-threatening way.

If I lived in Israel, I do not think I would want to allow any Palestinians to have weapons. Ordinarily, I do not like to see people disarmed, because when you are disarmed you can be robbed or killed without being able to fight back. But the situation in Gaza and the West Bank appears to be so bad that the Palestinians might have a better chance at independence and autonomy if somehow all weapons could be taken out of their territories. Then a completely independent, outside police force might be used to keep order.

Who Is the Policeman?

Who will act as the world's policeman, undertaking the effort to separate weapons from hostage-takers? Not the "international community." There is no such thing. There are only various individuals, organizations, and governments. The "international community" is a linguistic device contrived to enable people to avoid accountability. Rather than have an individual government leader step up and take responsibility for a problem, everyone can hide behind the fiction of the "international community."

A real national government, or perhaps a small coalition of governments, can undertake a police action. Any such government or coalition is potentially dangerous. The world's policeman could become the world's tyrant.

The United States government should not act as policeman unless its interests are clearly involved. Our interests are not sufficiently affected by the situation in Gaza or in Lebanon.

What about the idea of the U.S. government acting as a policeman in dealing with dangerous rogue regimes, such as North Korea or Iran? That is a troubling prospect -- until one considers the alternatives. Waiting until the government of North Korea or Iran engages in hostage-taking that more directly threatens the United States is one of the less-attractive options.

The author is a TCS Daily Contributing Editor.



A campaign of terror
Leading off with a bang, Arnold quotes some news report from Israel stating that Hezbollah has put up roadblocks in order to stop refugees on foot from leaving their villages. Would not a more logical explanation be that they wanted to deter the tanks Israel is sending out across the countryside? This is typical of the pap being fed uncritical audiences predisposed to cheer for Israel.

Analysts (such as retired Col. Richard A. Norton) estimate the "hard core fighting cadre" of Hezbollah to amount to 800 to 1,000 men. The convenient pretext is that these men have fanned out and are hiding in every apartment building in Tyre and Beirut. Thus, according to the story, the IDF can not be faulted for flattening them all in turn to shake the vermin out. Therefore the resulting mountains of rubble are all the doing of these evil men.

The reality is a bit different. Hezbollah is in essence the government of the Shiite south, and so naturally has offices in the middle of town, not out in the middle of nowhere. To conflate this obvious fact with the idea that terrorists are hiding behind civilians is to perpetuate a contemptible fiction. It's like saying the government of the District of Columbia intentionally situates its offices in the middle of a populated area. Duh!

And to justify the bombing once again of refugee camps, such as the one yesterday at Ain al-Hilwa, by saying the IDF feels certain important criminals are residing there, is to indulge in sowing unsubstantiated propaganda in the service of inflicting terror on a captive population. The object would appear to have been the bombing of a camp full of cowering refugees, as that is what actually took place.

This is a campaign against a general population, pure and simple. And the object is to force them to turn against Hezbollah. We'll see how well that works, or whether this fractious, war-weary country unites against Israel.

No Roy
they are indeed using the local population as human shields. It's a tried and true guerrilla tactic used for centuries. It was a feature of the Malaya insurrection and of the Cypriot insurrection in the 1950s.

roy will believe anything, as long as it proves the US and Isreal is evil
What tanks roy? Besides, the road blocks in question wouldn't slow down a tank, much less stop it.

Friendly border patrol attacked by Israel!
One must remember that only Roy can site (well, most of the time) news sources. Everything else is "pap".

>"The reality is a bit different."

Of course it is! You say so.

>"Hezbollah is in essence the government of the Shiite south, and so naturally has offices in the middle of town, not out in the middle of nowhere. To conflate this obvious fact with the idea that terrorists are hiding behind civilians is to perpetuate a contemptible fiction."

Naturally they have offices in town. Is it also natural to stockpile missiles in those offices? You would label the well-documented use of human shields by terrorist organizations as "fiction" to cover your misunderstanding of the whole situation in the first place.

To you, Israel is the enemy and terrorist and you will twist the facts to suit that illusion.

>"It's like saying the government of the District of Columbia intentionally situates its offices in the middle of a populated area. Duh!"

How stupid can you get Roy? Does the government of DC intentionally stockpile missiles in DC? No. Those are held at military bases away from civilians. You can always count on a dose of relativism from Roy. This particular attempt was quite infantile and desperate.

Your conspiracy theory is quite compelling and utterly without footing in reality. It wasn't the constant missile attacks on the Israeli population nor the raids over the border that Hamas and Hezbollah initiated. Nope. It is Israel's attempt to destroy Hezbollah by killing as many civilians as possible. Considering the number of bombs dropped and missiles launched by Israel it would seem that the Israelis are not very accurate.

Great conspiracy theory. Go sell it to Chomsky if you didn't lift it off of him first.

This may be the worst yet
Shame on you roy!! This is the most blantant anti-Iraeli post I've seen from you on this. All total fiction and you damn well know it!!!

Wipe the spittle off your face and get with reality roy, this really is beneath you.

The Era of Hostage States
While I agree with most of what you have to say, there are several points I strongly disagree with, namely: "The US Gov. should not act as policeman unless its interests are clearly involved. Our interests are not sufficiently affected by the situation in Gaza or in Lebanan".

NO?? This exact same group has killed and is currently killing our soldiers in Iraq. Not sufficiently involved? - hey, they want to destroy the U.S. and kill us alls! THERE's no "self interest" there? Come on!! See the big picture.

You say the Lebanese gov. is fearful of Hez? Did they ever ask for outside help to destroy this group. No! Therefore by ignoring what they're doing, they are OKing it.

As hard as it may sound, once the murderers know hiding behind civilians will no longer protect themselves, then they'll stop that tactic. It is unfortunate many civilians will have to die but most of them will actually be supporters of Hez. which doesn't make them so innocent, does it. Ever see their rallies and parades. Just where do these people chanting death to Israel and the U.S.people come from?

On Using Human Shields and Dealing with Rogue States
But didn’t the U.S. use similar tactics by supporting thugs like Saddam, Marcos, Salvadoran death squads, and others, throughout much of the Cold War? The U.S. government documents its own activities, as seen through

There's no 'unfortunate' about it!
'It is unfortunate many civilians will have to die but most of them will actually be supporters of Hezbollah. which doesn't make them so innocent, does it.'

Can we now assume that voting for a political party is now the same as pulling the trigger?
I've seen some disgraceful comments on these pages in recent days to justify the killing of civilians e.g. everyone from civilians in the south, becaue they vote for Hezbollah, to tourists on beaches on the coast are somehow a legitimate target. The latter on the basis of 'what are they doing in the country anyway?' Unsurprisingly, this didn't prompt an outporing of revulsion from people who quite rightly deplore the killing of civilians in Israel.
Why don't people come clean and say that all civilians in all cases are legitimate targets? Then we can get on with business.
That wouldn't do though would it because that would legitimise the killing of Israeli and U.S. voters - guilty because they put their 'X' by President A or Prime Minister B.

Oh and Christians in a wealthy neighborhood of Beirut have now been targetted, along with residents of northern Lebanon (not usually a Hez stronghold). Presumably because they haven't travelled south and pysically taken weapons out of the hands of Hezbollah.

Dred Scott
One effect of the Dred Scott decision was preventing a safe haven for escaped slaves in free states.

If hostage populations are going to resist their captors then they need some assurance that they will supported if they can get across the border.

For Cubans we have a dry land policy. If a Cuban can escape into international waters, they should have assurance that they will find a safe haven.
Same with North Koreans. If they are able to escape into China, they are returned and their entire families are killed, or worse.

After Iraq I, the US did not support internal uprisings and what are we doing to support the hostages in Iran?

It is all well and good to demand the hostages resist, but they need to have some assurance that resistance is not futile.

Cold War
And the President has stated in many speaches that a policy of supporting dictators to maintain status quo was a mistake.

So, we attack dictators and his opponents demand status quo.

so, it is all about civilians killed??!!
The Civilians in Israel killed by the terrorist time and time again should get what response from Israel??

Appearantly the Israelis are suppose to somehow seperate the attackers from the civilians from the terrorists and just attack the terrorists. Fair enough, make the terrorists live in seperate encampments away from civilians. If you can't do that you have to accept some collateral damage to the civilian population.

No, civilians should not be legitimate targets, not ever. But they are acceptable collateral damage if the target is amongst them.

This whole post is disgusting and intellectually dishonest. Why was that beach attacked? It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that rockets had been launched from that area? No, of course not, it was just Israel targeting an innocent family for target practice. And the Lebanese civilians are the target, not the Hezbollah members and weapons Intel says are there.

Tell me, why then did Israel expend 46,000 pounds of munitions on a single site? Since you say they aen't really going after Hezbollah, it can't be because they had information that there was bunker there housing Hezbollah leaders. I guess you think it is because they really wanted to destroy that innocent mosque before it could be completed. Boy, those Israeli's must really hate mosques.

Everything you say flys into the face of reality. If they are just out to target and kill civilians, why not just carpet bomb and massively shell the area?

I don't suppose you saw the gun-camera footage of a rocket being launched in a housing area and then the area the rocket came from being destroyed? But, I guess, it was just some innocent civilian lighting his bar-be-que or an Israeli lie.

The mask is now fully off.

This may be the worst yet
No, Pauled, you should know by now that NOTHING is beneath Roy when it comes to Israel!!

It has been for a while
But he at least tried to sound reasonable in the past. This man clearly hates Israel and, I think, all Jews who don't agree with his notion of the evil Jewish Israel. That has to be about 99.9% of all Jews in my experience.

But he is usually more reasonable and civil. This post, in my opinion, openly shows the depth of his hatred of Israel and, in my opinion, all Jewish people.

Thank you
Is someone accusing Hezbollah of blocking escape of noncombatants? I have two problems with this. First, the source is an Israeli propaganda outlet. Second, what Israeli bombing of the road to Damascus and distruction of the Beirut airport? Hezbollah "started it" by attacking Israeli soldiers. Recall that Hezbollas formally is at war with Israel. Then Israel responded by killing 300 Lebonese, mostly having nothing to do with Hezbollah. While there are weights in both scale pans, the scale of badness seems tilted in "favor" of Israel.

You're welcome
An informal survey of responses to my post (above) would indicate that you and I are in the minority of opinion.

It was rash and probably unwarranted that Hezbollah should escalate what was a low intensity conflict at their border by attacking that Iraeli patrol, inflicting eight military deaths and capturing two POW's. Shame on them.

However we are being led to believe that a response that reopens the wounds of war across that part of Lebanon that exercises no control over Hezbollah, resulting in triple digit fatalities and massive wreckage of civilian infrastructure, is somehow a connsurate response.

Maybe we should get with the program. Ordinary folk killed in massive urban bombing raids by the Defense Forces are just inadvertent victims of their own leaders. While that handful of Israelis killed in missile attacks on Haifa are also victims of those same leaders. In other words, it's All Their Fault.

Yes, the evil Jews are at it again
Prove that all 300 aren't Hezbollah members. You can't do it any more than Israel can prove they are. If you think this is "all about" the attack on Israeli soldiers you are absolutely and completely insane. That was just the final straw in a long list of greviences. If Hezbollah is located in Lebanon and is "formally at war" with Israel, Lebanon is formally at war with Israel. It is up to Lebanon to stop Hezbollah or suffer the consequences; especially when Hezbollah leaders are a part of the formal government.

Yes, Israel has taken out several areas of the infrastructure in Lebanon; these are legit military targets. Roads, bridges, the airport, oil facilities, power plants, etc. Each helps degrade Hezbollahs ability to fight and/or receive armaments and supplies.

HELLO!!! It is called warfare, read about it.

You might change the channel
"Everything you say flys into the face of reality. If they are just out to target and kill civilians, why not just carpet bomb and massively shell the area?"

Maybe you should watch the evening news on another channel one night. This is exactly what the footage from Tyre and Beirut shows: blocks of nothing but rubble. It is in fact a carpet bombing campaign. Words can't erase the camera's view.

On the other side of the scale, there are those 29 Israeli citizens who were killed by Hezbollah missiles.

Nice to see you are finally understanding the situation
When you indiscrimantly rocket civilian areas the deaths that ensue are your fault. You are responsible.

When you take actions that finally entice the government of the population you continually attack into action, the resultant casualties inflicted by the defending nation are, indeed, also your fault.

"Maybe we should get with the program. Ordinary folk killed in massive urban bombing raids by the Defense Forces are just inadvertent victims of their own leaders. While that handful of Israelis killed in missile attacks on Haifa are also victims of those same leaders. In other words, it's All Their Fault."

You are right, it is all Hezbollah's fault. All they had to do was patrol the border (as you claim they were doing to blunt israeli aggression; a laughable concept in and of itself) and not engage anyone who isn't trying to cross that border. If they do not fire across the border or raid across the border, there will be no retalitory response.

But what fun is that. Lobbing a few rockets into Israel is just boys having a bit of fun right? It isn't fair when Israel responds by sneaking into their homes at night and killing them and their families. It certainly isn't fair for Israel to use their military might to try and destroy their ability to attack and kill as many of them as possible. And it is a crime if some innocents happen to be killed in the process because they live and store munitions in common neighborhoods.

Go ahead roy, continue to tell yourself that Israel is evil and this is a horrible act of aggression on the part of the Jews.

Let's see, is that NBC, ABC, CBS, or Fox News?
Seen 'em all and CNN, so?? I have seen a lot of damage in certain areas, and a lot of undamaged areas around them. Gee, could it be that the news cameras all head towards the latest damaged area?

It is obvious you have never seen what a massed bombing strike can do. Does moonscape ring a bell? Done right, there isn't damage, there is nothing left but craters.

Leave it to you to use the difference in numbers as some rallying cry. Get real!! If the Israelis were actually indiscriminately targeting civilians (as Hezbollah is doing) there would be 10s of thousands of dead Lebanese, not 300 or so.

Nice to See You're Finally Understanding the Situation
If you want a REAL shocker, read the editorial in the Washington Post today (7/20), "Diplomatic Traps". EVEN the Washington Post is finally getting IT. Geeze, what's next? The New York Times finally getting it? Last and least will be Roy getting it but I do NOT hold out ANY hope. I don't think he even believes the nonsense he is writing - I think he just wants to create chaos with us and is enjoying himself.

Principle of Discrimination
In my book A FIGHTING CHANCE: THE MORAL USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS (Ignatius Press, 1983), I addressed the Just War principle of Discrimination. An attacker is required to discriminate between legitimate targets and "innocent" bystanders. In the present case the "innocents" would be the Lebanese who are "hostages" of Hamas. The attacker shows his adherence to this principle by taking additional risks to avoid damage to "innocents." How much additional risk must the attacker take? The "rule of thumb" that I offered was that the attacker was not obliged to take any more risks than the "innocents" were willing to take to aid the attacker. If the "innocents" evacuate target areas, aid downed airmen, provide target intelligence, etc., the attacker is obliged to reciprocate by taking additional risks to avoid damage to the "innocents." However, if the "innocents" take no risks, the attacker is likewise relieved of the obligation to take additional risks (over and above those associated with the attack itself) to avoid damage to the "innocents." I think the same reasoning would apply in the "hostage" situation in Lebanon. If the Lebanese are not willing to make it easier for the Israelis to discriminate between them and Hamas, then the Israelis are not obliged to take on additional risks to avoid damage to the "innocents."

Thousands of missiles - 29 deaths
Maybe "the gang that couldn't shoot straight" should have waited until they either had better weapons or knew how to use the weapons they had. The fact that they have lobbed these missiles into civilian areas is clear proof of intent. The fact that they have been ineffective doesn't entitle them to a pass. The Israelis seem to be able to make far more effective use of their ordinance. Israel didn't start this war; I hope, however, that they finish it. The only safe terrorist is a dead terrorist.

Nice touch
Couldn't agree more! I hope Israel doesn't stop this time until they have completely cleaned out the pig pen.

Israel can't end or win this war
it began in Iran.

I read this book!!
I believe it was when I was in the U.S. Navy in 1984 or 85. I agree completely with that line of reasoning. In this case, I find it hard to believe that a majority of the "innocent" can not distance them selves from the targets. The fact that they don't is a sign of their being a part of the problem and not a part of the solution.

And Syria; sadly I agree
But Israel can make life tough on the faction that is in Lebanon.

Interesting and about time
So you think it is all mental mastubation by roy?? It is possible and probably the only action he gets! ;)

A historical parallel
Not too many years ago the Kosovo Liberation Movement engaged in tactics similar to those used by Hizbola and the various Palestinian terrorist groups. The Serbian government responded heavy-handedly, similar to Israel now. Then, the reaction of the US government was the exact opposite of what it is now. Can anyone here explain?

Toilet Paper tube (pun intended)
Take an empty toilet paper tube and look through it. That is what a camera sees.

I did not see what you are taking about. Haven't been watching much TV since I know the reporting from Lebanon will be biased against Israel.

What I did see were 3 bomb strikes at the airport, dead center at the ends of the runway and in the middle to prevent its use, but rapid repair.

Also, prior to most Israeli attacks into areas where terrorists live among civilias, warnings are given for the civilians to clear out. They did this in Gaza as well.

And two, if you know how those buildings are made, one small bomb will turn them into a pile of rubble quite easily.

How many images of damage in Israel have you seen?

How many images of Israelis living in bomb shelters or with friends and strangers after evacuating homes in the north. One report there were over 200,000 Israelis evacuated. What have you heard of that?

No one can explain this to you.

You have no sense of morality or good and evil.

Therefore, you lack the framework to understand.

Oh boy, some misreading of the history here
First, the tactic of rape and genocide reportedly used by good ol' Slobadon M. were not similar to those being used by Israel.

Second, no one got on ol' Slobies case until months of fighting and many reports of said genocide were received. Even then, he was told to restore order and stop the killing. Finally the U.N. and N.A.T.O. stepped in and stopped it the only way openly available; crush Slobadon's military and divide the country. The time frame on this was measured in years not days.

Third (and least of all), different U.S. administration.

Except for the third bullet. No U.S. administration (all right, not Carter) would have taken any significantly different approach.

Cassius - There's no 'Unfortunate' about it
This is NOT about justifying the killing of civilians. It is about HAVING to kill civilians as collateral damage to win a war if necessary. HEZ is TRYING to kill Israeli citizens - is it only the "other" civilians deaths that bother you?? Israel is trying NOT to kill civilians. Open your eyes.

LG's opinions
It's funny, the claim that Hezbollah is blocking roads out of southern Lebanon is dismissed because it's an "Israeli propaganda outlet". (I wonder how LG determines who's propaganda, and who's a reliable source?"

However the claim that Isreal has killed 300 innocent civilians is repeated as gospel, even though the source for that fact was a Hezbollah spokesman.

I think the weight he gives to the differing news sources says all we need to know about where LG's loyalties lie.

Hezbollah has been attacking Israel for years, the invading Israel and killing the soldiers (not just attacking - love the way LG downplays Hezbollah's actions) was merely the latest episode.

I have no doubt that when Iran nukes Israel, LG will find some way to let everyone know that those pesky Jews were at fault.

LG will believe what he wants, regardless of any inconvenient facts
Like when he periodically pops in to tell us that Global Warming is going to be catastrophic and anyone who believes otherwise doesn't believe in science.

I like the way he
declares that facts that support the Israeli position are just propaganda. (No attempt to refute them, just declare them propaganda.)
While statements made by a Hezbollah spokesman are accepted as gospel.

Well, Mark . . . .
Surely you know the word of a terrorist is more reliable than the word of a Jew! Just ask this nut case.

Granted, and agreed
But Bush might have reacted sooner.

So I've noticed
Liberals ignore all inconvient truths.

News from Iraq
For years the "liberal" main stream media have been reporting failures in Iraq that somehow don't make it to Fox. Now, even Fox can't hide the fact that was obvious to real journalists early on: Iraq is falling apart. The relative accuracy in Lebanon probably is comparable: the MSM gives a reasonable accurate picture while Fox drives around to find uneffected neoghborhoods.

Whatever you say
The Iraq situation is little different than it was 8 months ago and, if I've noticed anything in the media coverage, it is that all the MSM outlets are giving it less time. That includes Fox.

If you think the some MSM group got anything in ahead of Fox, CNN or anyone else you are just fooling yourself. Amazing how you can twist everything.

governments that are hostage states
The government in a "hostage state" (if there is such a thing) is such that the state should not be recognized as a sovereign state. The state is illegitimate. It is not properly constituted, has no separation of powers, and does not operate under a rule of law.

This would then allow incursions into such a state or internal rebellion to remove the illegitimate government, if the situation warrants.

Thus, N. Korea, Iran, and Syria are not legitimate states. They should not be afforded the protections and privileges that a properly constituted state gets.

Cameras are in both Israel and Lebanon
As long as you don't turn on that television you are wrapped in your own cocoon of ignorance. The various networks are devoting approx. equal time to damage in northern Israel and across Lebanon. They are showing nothing from Gaza.

You do see lots of interviews with excited Israelis, shaking their fists at the Hez. They are obviously quite scared, and want the IDF to clean the place out. It's understandable. There are scenes of individual damaged buildings.

In Lebanon you see air strikes across all urban areas. in the backdrop to destroyed apartment buildings you see more destroyed apartment buildings. It's obvious the Israelis have far more massive firepower.

The death count mirrors that picture. Both sides are indulging in terror against civilian populations. One side is ten times more effective than the other.

You quibble as to how the buildings in Lebanon are made. They are multistory apartment blocks, and most look to have been originally five to ten stories. Bombs in these situations only have one purpose-- to achieve massive civilian casualties.

If you warn the entire population to leave the area, and then bomb the whole country, what is the purpose? Only to create terror, and to attempt to get the Lebanese to turn against Hezbollah. The motivation is very transparent.

Leave your television off. The scenes of reality being portrayed can be quite disturbing to your rigidly fixed opinions.

Kosova a Democrat venture
Serbs were an easy target, they're white and Christians with not many friends and an inconvenience at the time. The whole things was a democrat venture with the usual deceptions. Just recall the main players.

Here's an excerpt from a Media Monitor assessment:

"On Memorial Day, another former Democratic presidential candidate, retired General Wesley Clark, tried to rewrite the history of the war in Kosovo in order to make himself into a great military hero. "Last week," he said, "I returned to Kosovo for the first time since I retired from military service. For me, this trip was very personal. In 1999, I commanded the NATO forces that stopped the genocide against ethnic Albanians by Slobodan Milosevic and his Serbian forces."
That sounds pretty impressive-commanding the forces that stopped genocide. Too bad it's not true.
Genocide is defined as seeking to eliminate an entire group of people. But the number of dead found in Kosovo after the war was said to be only 2,108. That was the figure given by Carla del Ponte, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, at a December 1999 press conference. But it wasn't clear they were all Kosovo Albanians. Indeed, many may have been Serbs. That's a terrible loss of life, but it's no genocide.
That figure also didn't include the number of Serbs killed in Serbia by the NATO mission commanded by Clark and ordered by President Clinton. The mission was both illegal and unconstitutional, since Clinton never received the authorization of Congress to conduct the war."

There are many more resources pointing to the deceptions that were perpetrated but having been conducted by a Democrat administration with full backing of the media might explain the difference between Kosova and the Lebanon.

As mentioned many times, Israeli civilians are the targets of Iran.
Hezbollah are the targets of IDF.

And you are correct, Israel has significant, precise firepower, which civilians in the area should appreciate. A lot of money has been invested the USA and Israel to develop precision strike weapons to reduce the size of the explosives and reduce collateral damage.

Do you believe the IDF is deliberatly target civilians?

RE:A campaign of terror
You say taht
"The reality is a bit different. Hezbollah is in essence the government of the Shiite south," So if Hezbollah is the Gov't then the cross boarder incursion by the goverment of a region was an act of war by international standards, therefor a war like response should be anticipated and would also be justified by your own statement on the control of southern Leb.

Iraq is a big place. NOTHING good is happening?

My in-law asked me about the Big Dig tunnel in Boston that killed someone a few days ago. We live 40 miles from Boston. They were wondering if it affected us.

How many people are avoiding DC because of the increase in crime? How many people were NOT robbed or attacked in DC today?

The weather is pleasant
Let's say you live in a large state of 25 million people. And let's say that last month, people wearing the uniforms of Homeland Security, the National Guard and the local police dragged 3,000 people off the streets and out of their homes, bound them in wire, tortured and then murdered them, and left their bodies in little piles to be found around the state.

And let's say that it used to be only 1,000 each month, but that the practise is increasing. Finally, let's say all the victims belong to a certain faith. They're Catholics, or maybe they're Jews.

Would you dwell on the nice things that were happening? Or would you be concerned about the pogroms?

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