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More Mideast Warfare… July 13, 2006

Posted by j-dub in National, Politics.

Israel is currently launching military attacks in the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon. This is a problem.

Why is this happening? Well, obviously the Holy Land has been a war ravaged area since the Crusades of medieval times. However, this particular spat is Israel retaliating about the following:

“Israel’s target was Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed militant Shiite faction which has a free hand in southern Lebanon and also holds seats in parliament. Hezbollah sparked the current conflict Wednesday with a cross-border raid that captured two of Israel’s soldiers. Two Israeli civilians and eight Israeli soldiers have also been killed, the military’s highest death toll in four years.”

(source: click here)

Of course, we the United States are defending Israel and their actions. The U.S. has vetoed a UN resolution that would have demanded Israel halt their military actions in the region. Basically, it sounds as if we vetoed because the resolution wasn’t fair to Israel.

“The draft, sponsored by Qatar, accused Israel of a “disproportionate use of force” that endangered Palestinian civilians, and demanded Israel withdraw its troops from Gaza.

The United States was alone in voting against the resolution. Ten of the 15 Security Council nations voted in favor, and four abstained.”

(source: click here)


President Bush even made the following statement in support of the Israelis:

“Israel has a right to defend herself,” Bush said at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Every nation must defend herself against terrorist attacks and the killing of innocent life.”

(source: click here)

As you would expect, crude oil is up over $76/barrell, and the stock market is diving hard (167 point drop). (source: click here)

I’m really getting tired of the U.S. always going to bat for Israel. I know there is a lot of history to look at, but c’mon this is getting tiring.

Personally, this latest bit is enough to scare me. The Israelis are threatening all sorts of people (most notably the Syrians and Iranians) if they interfere. As volatile as the mideast is already, this is the last thing anyone needs.

How do you feel about this? How does it affect us locally? Or do you think this is another run of the mill mideast episode to not worry about? What are your thoughts?



1. Anonymous - July 14, 2006

Hamas and Hezbollah have tried something different. While Israel was dealing with Hamas on other issues Hamas was digging a tunnel in order to capture Israeli soldiers and use them as bargaining chips. Hezbollah the same. The issue with Hamas is simply more of the same, but this showed that terrorists will attempt to use novel ideas to accomplish something. Hezbollah in the early ’80s used glider suicide attackers on Israeli border posts to great effect to accomplish a larger goal.

While the situation with Hamas is more of the same it is different with Hezbollah. Hezbollah has two clients – Syria and Iran. They have both used Hezbollah for different purposes over the decades. The issue now is what will Israel do with regard to Hezbollah and in a peripheral sense to Syria and maybe Iran.

Israel left Lebanon almost 20 years ago and assigned security concerns in the south to essentially a Lebanese militia. Since Lebanon is trying to assert itself the security situation is far from complete and Syria still holds power over terrorist groups in Lebanon mainly the Bekaa valley. The question now is will Israel, in order to protect its borders, invade Lebanon to push Hezbollah back and reestablish the old security zone. And in doing so will they make any moves against Syria. The next 48-72 will tell us whether they will or not. My money is that they will if Hezbollah doesn’t stop using the rockets Iran sold them, and airstrikes can’t get them all.

What does this mean to us? Higher oil prices based on increased tensions.

2. j-dub - July 14, 2006

Nice post, very informative.

I too believe they will advance into Lebanon.

Would you categorize this as “disproportinate use of force” as the UN security council did?

Do you agree with the US defending Israel on this issue?

I’m also surprised gas hasn’t surged 30 cents or so today.

3. Anonymous - July 14, 2006

What the IDF did in Gaza was a matter of morale and culture. You can’t have your troops getting captured and then not do anything about it and the public wouldn’t stand for it. With Hezbollah lauching unguided rockets at population centers for the sole purpose of hitting civilians there has to be a response to that. If you couple that with the suicide attacks and low level skirmishing that occurs regularly this should not be the surprise that some make it out to be, and I don’t think it is disproportionate in that sense.

The IDF response, and by extension the government, sends two signs to Hamas and Hezbollah, and subtly to Iran and Syria, that they need to control themselves. Israel understands that some terrorism will happen from time to time and while they denounce it they accept it as part and parcel of their existence. What they will not tolerate is the unprovoked attacks and planned ‘kidnapping’ of its personnel.

The UN resolutions are routine and essentially meaningless unless they are also willing to routinely condemn Iran and Syria for supplying the weapons, training, and finances for these organizations that do nothing to advance peace in the region. The resolutins, and the UN itself, would carry more weight if that were the case. I think the US, and some others, see this for what it is. An extortion attempt and an exercise in flexing muscle.

Don’t worry about the gas going up it will. I can see it jumping up another 20 cents by the middle of next week if things don’t cool down.

4. j-dub - July 14, 2006

Yes, it appears as if the hamas and hezbollah are the pawns in this game. Iran and Syria the chessmasters.

I just read an article or two (I’ll see if I can find them and link) about the recent developments, and they all seemed to reiterate the same thing.

They quote experts on the middle east as saying iran and syria and just acquiring more leverage for themselves in the area with this whole skirmish. Hezbollah and Hamas doing the dirty work for them. The Saudis and other countries agreeing, but not saying anything directly to avoid conflict at this point.

I feel the Israeli response is slighty over the top, but then again, that’s always been their style. I just wish the US would make a “safer” play in these scenarios. Condi made what I would call “safer” remarks than Bush did and I prefered her view better than Bush’s (again, I’ll try and find the article)

I think we come across as Israeli-lovers all the time no matter what they seem to do. I guess I’m just afraid Israel is going to overreact one of these times and we’ll be the monkey in the middle.

5. j-dub - July 17, 2006
6. j-dub - July 17, 2006

Listen to our President drop the S-bomb and reveal his candid remarks about the current Mideast crisis with Tony Blair. They were speaking next to a mic that was on and didn’t know it.


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