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Friday, July 14, 2006

They're Shoving It...

... right up Hezbollah's ass. A hearty HOO-AH to the IDF.


Gromit said...

This whole business is killing many innocent people on both sides. Israelis and Palestinians who want to live ordinary peaceful lives, but who have to deal with maniacs lobbing rockets into residential areas, not caring what happens to the people who live there.

And you sit in comfort thousands of miles away, making a cheap joke about one side shoving it up the other's ass? What a shallow person you must be.

Think about what's happening. It's ghastly. Grow up a bit, and pull your silly head in.

sh said...

Golly gee, Mother Superior gromit.
I suppose your admiration for Hamas and Hizb'allah just can't stomach the profound amount of respect due to the Israel Defense Forces in the restraint they've shown. Lebanon has allowed a political climate of Jew hatred to flourish which led up to this event in the first place.
Peace where there is no peace.

Comfort? Where's your ass?

Gromit said...


I have no admiration for Hamas or Hizb'allah. They are some of the maniacs I was referring to.

My point is that what is happening in that part of the world is awful.

It's awful for the parents and friends of the Israeli soldiers who've been kidnapped or killed. It's awful for the parents of the Lebanese children who were incinerated in the bus the other day. It's awful for the people in both countries who have no control over what's going on, but who are targets nonetheless.

In that context, "shoving it up your ass" triumphalism is simply crass. You think what's going on is some sort of football game? At the very least, show some respect for the people who've died on both sides, and those who're suffering their loss.

The Auto Prophet said...

The IDf does not "lob rockets into residential areas" unless someone like Hamas, or Hezbolla, or Al Aksa Brigades is using civilian as human shields, which they often do.

I can not think of a more humane military, outside of our own, than the IDF. They go through extraordinary lengths to protect innocent life.

Meanwhile, the terrorists strap bombs to teenagers to try to kill as many Jews as possible.

There is no moral equivalence here. None.

Fuck Hamas, fuck Hezbollah, and God speed to the IDf.

Gromit said...

I'm not asserting moral equivalence. What I'm saying is that cheering from the sidelines as the Middle East goes up in flames is remarkably offensive.

I don't give a rat's fundamental whether you're an Arab cheering as a rocket lands in Haifa, or a Jew cheering as Lebanon's infrastructure gets dismantled. Either way, it's puerile tribalism at its worst.

What we can see on the news isn't the solution, it's the problem. You aren't helping.

sh said...

"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Sometimes, someone has to fight.
There is no respect in pacificity.

gromit said...

Rough men have been fighting in that part of the world for a very long time. I guess it's all going according to plan, then?

Despite their best efforts, I don't think good people in various parts of Israel or Lebanon are getting much sleep at all right now.

What's really sad is that the violence - whatever its stated justification - simply sows the seeds for future conflict.

If your brother gets blown to bits because a suicide bomber got on his bus one day, if your kids are collateral damage because a missile should have hit an apartment block one street over, then it doesn't matter how fair, neutral or rational you've been before then. You'll seek justice. Or revenge. Whatever. You won't be too interested in who started the argument way back when, or the politics of the situation.

You'll do whatever you feel it takes to redress matters. So round it all goes again.

We don't seem to learn much as a species, do we?

If we want the world to be different, then we must do things differently. If we keep doing the same wrong things, we're destined for disaster.

sh said...

If your brother gets blown to bits because a suicide bomber got on his bus one day...
seek justice - "rightness"

if your kids are collateral damage because a missile should have hit an apartment block one street over, then it doesn't matter how fair, neutral or rational you've been before then.
seek revenge - "wrongness"

That doesn't denegrate the "species" as you put it. It's a matter of establishing continued law and order for the good people.

I guess it's all going according to plan, then?

Yup, that's the plan from the good people and their mandate to the rough - maintain the rule of law.

Anonymous said...

Simply put, the Israelis are in the right. It is regrettable that they've had to do this, but Hmas and Hizbollah left no options.

Israel withdrew from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip as the Int'l ciommunity demanded. In return, they were supposed to have peace. Instead, the Islamists have simply used this to move their rockets closer to Israel, the better to slaughter the Evil Jooos.

If Brownsville was being shelled aned rocketed daily from across the border in Mexico, would we stand by and be "understanding" that the area was, at one time, maybe part of Mexico, or at least spanish-speaking? No. We'd demand, rightly, that our government do what is necessary to root out the terrorists and protect its citizens.

gromit said...

I stand by my original comment, which was that the whole damn sad business is appalling, and that yelling "yay team" from the sidelines is crass and offensive.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that. Enjoy the game.


sh said...

The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years.
These nations have progressed through this sequence:

from bondage to spiritual faith
from spiritual faith to great courage
from courage to liberty
from liberty to abundance
from abundance to selfishness
from selfishness to complacency
from complacency to apathy
from apathy to dependency
from dependency back to bondage."

- Alexander Fraser Tytler

Where are you, gromit?

Gromit said...

That's an interesting quotation.

Where am I? A long way from the Middle East, in the southern hemisphere. Why do you ask?

Anonymous said...

I support Israel on this. They are simply deffending themselves. Did the world forget that the terorists captured two Israel soldiers and have been taunting Israel for decades?

If Mexico had a rebel army that operated under the watchful eye of the "official" governement and that rebel (read terorist)army captured two US soldiers what would our response be? If the official government of Mexico refused to do anything about the terorist group - then Texas would demand that the Federal Government go in and rescue those guys and use lethal force if necessary. We would be viewed as weak if we sat by and did nothing. Israel knows that if they don't stand their ground on this - that they will suffer more in the future.

The US has a moral obligation to support Israel - as we have for many years. In the Bible it says that those who curse Israel will be cursed and those that Bless Israel will be Blessed. I firmly believe that Gog has blessed the US because of our strong support of Israel - His chosen people.

Think of the current situation - just imagine if the nation state of Israel demanded the land that was promised them? From the Nile to the Euphrates - now that would piss those arabs off. At the very least - they should be able to keep and defend the small strip of land they occupy now.

I pray that the terrorist will turn over those soldiers soon - so that Israel can stop their offensive. It is about time that the Lebanese government step in and demand the terrorist withdraw.

sh said...

Why do you ask?

I'm not asking where you are geographically, I'm asking where you are in accordance with Tytler's chart. (no need to answer, just think about it.)
Where's your head? You claim that AP is shallow, what about yourself?
Is the culture you idealize capable of sustaining repeated attacks against its core, year after year, from outside forces while you maintain life's normal challenges?

Do they need a cheerleader?

From an Israeli pilot:
The siren blows. We run to the planes, start the engines, power up the systems. Ground crew running around the plane, the tower gives us permission to take off. We are told to head north, to Lebanon. “Get ready to receive targets,” announces the flight controller as we approach. Major E and I read back the information, verifying with the flight controller that we have no mistakes. We head to the coast of Lebanon. It looks so small from above - Israel on the south, Syria in the east. I shake myself - no time to enjoy the view... hurry through the switches, procedures, arm the bombs, check the systems, head to the target, follow the range 10-9-8 Pickle! The plane violently rocks from side to side as two bombs fall off each wing, few seconds apart. I look down at the ground - we are flying so high, it’s hard to judge where my bombs are going to hit, but the explosions catch my eye.

We head back - “mission complete. 4 direct hits,” reports Major E to the controller. The rush and adrenalin gone, thoughts enter my head. I sure wish I hit the “bad guys” and that there were no civilians hanging around the place. Hizballah cynically often uses civilians as a shelter from Israel’s bombings.

We land in the base, and are relieved to learn that we went for a Hizbullah post. Probably unmanned. It’s strange how the focus in these missions is not to succeed, hit the target precisely, but rather - not to make any mistakes. The message is clear all the way from the Squadron commander to the last pilot. One mistake can jeopardize the whole war, like in Kfar-Kana, in one of the last operations in Lebanon, where artillery bombarded a refugee camp, killing over 100 people, which resulted in international pressure that halted the operation. Hitting the target is expected, no misses are acceptable. There aren’t any congratulations for a well-performed mission. Only a hammer on the head if something goes wrong. Personally, I think it’s a healthy attitude; it causes the whole system to be less rash and hot on the trigger.

Nope, but it's nice to know that they're there.

Gromit said...

Thanks for clarifying your question, sh.

I think the society in which I live sits somewhere between selfishness and complacency. Yours?

I understand that there are times when there are no options left but to fight. A classic example being WW2. To have sat on one's hands while the Nazis rolled through Europe would have been morally wrong, and polite diplomacy would have achieved absolutely nothing.

But if one is in that situation, the accompanying emotion is surely profound regret and sorrow? Why? Because you have been reluctantly forced to do something that no civilised person should willingly do. There's a reason why war memorials are sombre places, after all.

Crowing "up your ass, Hezbollah", knowing that (as well as the bad guys) your actions are killing innocent civilians is exactly equivalent to someone cheering when an IDF tank is blown up.

Note - I have not said that the actions of Hezbollah and the actions of the IDF are in any way equivalent. Nor have I said anything about the relative morality of those organisations or their actions.

I'm merely pointing out that cheering from the sidelines is truly offensive. And that if you're inured to that, perhaps some quiet reflection would be in order.

Perhaps you could consider the photos on this page:

They're of people on both sides of this conflict. (Forgive me, but from this distance I can't tell the good civilians from the bad civilians, and they haven't been captioned.)

There's another photo I've seen online. It shows young Israeli girls writing messages on shells that are about to be fired into Lebanon. I'm not naive enough to imagine that a few hundred kilometres away, there aren't young Arab children being encouraged doing the same thing on shells that will be sent in the opposite direction.

This conflict will never ever stop, because both sides are teaching their children to hate.

And that's nothing to cheer about, either.

Gromit said...

By the way, sh - I meant to say that the pilot you quote sounds like a moderately thoughtful and reasonable person.

Although personally I couldn't bomb a residential area without thinking about it more deeply than "I sure wish I hit the “bad guys” and that there were no civilians hanging around the place".

Nor (if I didn't know whether or not civilians were in the area at the time) could I order someone else to do it without taking on a huge burden of guilt.

It's a bit like firing a rifle down a crowded street. You'd expect a sane person to do more than think "gee, I hope I don't hit anyone". No matter how good a reason they may have for firing the shot.

But maybe we don't bother thinking about this stuff any more. Let's keep things black and white - it's easier to get the job done that way.

By the way - what do you make of the events reported here:,,1821706,00.html

"According to witnesses and photographs from the scene of the worst incident, an Israeli missile incinerated a car and a small truck full of families leaving their Lebanese border village of Marwaheen near Tyre after the Israeli army used loudhailers to tell residents they had just hours to go. Pictures showed charred bodies of children strewn across the road.

UN peacekeepers recovered the bodies. Half the passengers were children or teenagers, according to medical sources."

Other reports (from suggest the missile was fired from a helicopter gunship. Also:

"The Israeli military expressed regret over the civilian casualties but said it targeted an area used as a missile launch ground by Hezbollah who must take responsibility for "endangering the civilian population.""

Warning residents to evacuate an area that's about to be attacked is humane, reasonable, and more than Hezbollah has ever done.

But opening fire on the residents when they follow your advice and try to get out of the area is a prima facie war crime, surely? Has any more information surfaced about this event since it was first reported on the weekend?

Something surely went very wrong here. And if your pilot is correct, whoever's responsible can look forward to "a hammer in the head".

If you want to kindle white-hot hatred in a person (any person), kill or injure their children. The so-called "collateral damage" from the current conflict will come back to haunt both sides in future years. It has in the past, and I guess that's what we're seeing now.

Cheer on.

sh said...

To have sat on one's hands while the Nazis rolled through Europe would have been morally wrong, and polite diplomacy would have achieved absolutely nothing.

To sit on your hands while Hizb'allah is destroying both Lebanon and Israel is just as bad.

If you want to kindle white-hot hatred in a person (any person), kill or injure their children.

Kidnapping Israelis

Provided it's channeled in the right direction at the right people.

sh said...

From your guardian article:

Around 100 residents sought shelter at a nearby UN base, but left after officials were unable to confirm the warning by Israel, a UN spokesman said.
Other residents had tried later to leave and were killed in the missile strike, the spokesman said, adding that the Lebanese authorities had asked the UN to help evacuate about 160 people remaining in Marwaheen. They would be relocated in the morning. Relatives blamed the UN for the deaths, pelting peacekeepers with stones when they arrived with the bodies after the strike.
"If they had taken people in to begin with then they would never have died," said Mohammed Oqla, who was at the hospital.

Ya know what? Pilots can't see into vehicles through the roof.

From <"Human Rights Watch">

At 9 a.m. on Saturday, approximately 100 residents from the village sought refuge and humanitarian assistance at a U.N. peacekeepers position situated 1.5 kilometers from the village. The residents informed the U.N. peacekeepers that the IDF had ordered them to leave the village and that they had no means to escape besides fleeing on foot. According to a UNIFIL spokesperson, peacekeeping officers contacted their liaison officers at the IDF and the Lebanese army and did not receive confirmation of the evacuation order. Accordingly, the peacekeepers told the villagers to return to their village with the belief that this might be safer for them.
At 11 a.m., a group from the village of Marwahin left the town in the convoy that was subsequently hit. UNIFIL told Human Rights Watch that the individuals in the convoy were not part of the group of 100 villagers who had sought refuge at UNIFIL’s post because that group did not have vehicles to leave the village.
“The U.N. peacekeepers should not turn back a vulnerable group of people seeking shelter from imminent attack,” Whitson added. “The United Nations needs to make an official review of the decisions that led to this event. This is critical to prevent a repeat of such an incident.”

sh said...

And just one little bit more from HRW:

In addition, the warheads used suggest a desire to maximize harm to civilians. Some of the rockets launched against Haifa over the past two days contained hundreds of metal ball bearings that are of limited use against military targets but cause great harm to civilians and civilian property. The ball bearings lodge in the body and cause serious harm.

Hezbollah has reportedly fired more than 800 rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon over the past five days, killing 12 civilians and wounding many more. The vast majority of these rockets, as in past conflicts, have been Katyushas, which are small, have a range limited to the border area, and cannot be aimed with precision. Hezbollah has also fired some rockets in the current fighting that have landed up to 40 kilometers inside Israel.
“Attacking civilian areas indiscriminately is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and can constitute a war crime,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. “Hezbollah’s use of warheads that have limited military use and cause grievous suffering to the victims only makes the crime worse.”

gromit said...

As expected, there seems to be more than one version of what happened to the convoy of civilians. Here's another article:

Whatever the truth (were the villagers in the cars the same ones who appealed to the UN troops for help?), there are some quite worrying claims in the article about Israel's choices of target.

The largest milk factory in Lebanon? A cardboard box factory? A "clearly-marked" fleet of new ambulances, a gift to Lebanon from the United Arab Emirates?

I don't know if these assertions are true or false. But if they're true, it's most disturbing.

sh said...

"L.A. Times 'reporter' Saree Makdisi opinion piece"

...With its customary arrogance, it has issued peremptory warnings to entire communities to get out of its way or face the consequences: terrorism in the true sense of the word. It gave the residents of the town of Marwaheen in southern Lebanon, for example, a few hours to leave their homes. The terrified residents came under Israeli fire as they fled. More than 15 people, most of them children, were killed.

Israel later warned the entire population of southern Lebanon to leave. No Arab can forget that terrorizing an entire population from its homes is the tactic that was used to seize possession of Palestine in the spring and summer of 1948. Not everyone will leave. Many will reject Israel's imperious warnings — what right, they will ask, does Israel have to terrify us into flight from our homes? In any case, most of them have nowhere to flee to — and even if they did, Israel has destroyed the bridges and is bombing the roads out of the south.

In a week of vindictive bombardment, Israel has destroyed the infrastructure that Lebanon spent a decade building.

gromit, this journalist assumes as much as you and Fisk... hope you enjoy it. Jew bashing is in the air.

A few hours to realize that they have been surrounded by terrorists for a decade. My my, those Lebanese aren't very perceptive, are they?

Ambulances - no chance they were arriving from terrorist state Syria carrying anything but flowers and medicine. Always give terrorist states the benefit of the doubt. Those money-grubbing Jews, ya know, they'll do anything to get the upper hand.

The ol' "baby milk factory" trick again. Yep. Reel 'em in.

If indeed a decade building Hizb'allah infastructure gone. Good riddance.

I'm done, you're an idiot.

gromit said...

sh, you posted the LA Times article, it's got nothing to do with me. And I object strenuously to your implication that I would enjoy "Jew bashing". How dare you!

One of the tenets of a civilised discussion is that you "play the ball, not the man". In other words, direct your attention to the matters under discussion rather than attacking the person you're having the discussion with. The ad hominem thing, right?

If you'll follow that rule, I'm happy to converse with you. If not, I'll write you off as just another ignorant boor on the internet and won't make any further demands on your time. Your call.

sh said...

Now that's good: Play the ball & not the man.

And you sit in comfort thousands of miles away, making a cheap joke about one side shoving it up the other's ass? What a shallow person you must be.

Cheer on.

I don't know if these assertions are true or false. But if they're true, it's most disturbing.

(gee, I just can't make up my mind with which to take a stand, perhaps I shall play both sides to the middle. No, I shall quote opinion jounalists thousands of miles away instead. That's the ticket.)

I'm arguing with a cartoon dog, and now I'm accused of collaterally damaging it.

My mistake, I'm the idiot.

gromit said...

We agree on something, then.

For the record - I wasn't having a civilised discussion with Mr Prophet. I was objecting to something I found offensive, in terms that seemed apt. And I would have said the same thing if I'd come upon a blog post cheering Hezbollah for shelling Israel.

You had me fooled, though. For a while there I thought our conversation was interesting and civil. I don't believe I said anything that attacked you, although I did raise issues and make statements you seem to have found threatening. If so, that was not my intention.

But you certainly opened my eyes with "...hope you enjoy it. Jew bashing is in the air". Let me make this quite clear - NOT ROUND HERE IT ISN'T. Got that?

Anyway, I'm out of here. Enjoy the rest of your life. :)

sh said...

No, you figured that you'd have Fisk do it for you so as not to stain your impeccable reputation.
Typical leftist trick: play the grey area in the comments but link to Chompski.

Kelly said...

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