If ever I had any doubts about Israel's actions in Southern Lebanon, they've well and truly been extinguished by George Galloway. This is what he told the anti Israel rally in London yesterday...
"I am here to glorify the Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah. I am here to glorify the leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah."
And if you think I am making this up, click HERE for proof. Harry's Place sums it all up rather well. He says, "this wasn't an antiwar rally; it was a pro-fascist rally."
Meanwhile, Stephen Pollard rightly attacks the BBC for this morning's Sunday AM programme for its appalling anti-Israel bias HERE. He might also have attacked Andrew Marr for a truly terribe interview with John Prescott. I like Andrew Marr, but he didn't land a glove on Prescott.
You sad fool! Have you ever been to Lebanon? Do you know who Hizbullah actually are (not the media and state dept spounted rubbish)? Do you know of their operations in the last 6 years all against military occupation targets and none against civilians?
Have some self-respect and find the fact before you open your mouth or start typing!
James, yes I have been to Lebanon. And you're an apologist for terrorism. Do me a favour and don't visit this blog again if that's the sort of crap you're going to write.
yes galloway is a horrible man for
some reason i always imagine owning
a giant catapult whenever i see him.
"an apologist for terrorism" - change the record you right-wing bore!
MC, What else would you call it then? Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation. End of story. I suppsioe you think Al Qaeda is a peacelving organisation full of peaceful feelings towards humanity., People like you make me sick.
Interesting, the Islamofascists and their allies seem to monitor this site as closely as the stooges of New Labour. I'd prepare for an onslaught of dross and sub-literate hate-mongering, Iain. Good luck.
Iain, I am disappointed that you have taken this attitude to James (poster of first comment). I saw a feature on Hizbullah on CNN this morning which I found very informative, as I knew nothing about them previously, and I was very impressed by what they do for the Lebanese people.
You invite comments but surely not only from people who agree with your views. I would never have expected that of you.
I'm a big fan of your blog, but I think you go to far on this issue. Galloway's a tosser, and should be ignored. His opinions shouldn't sway anyone in either direction. What Israel is doing in South Lebanon appears to be a generalised attack on the populous. It's foolhardy to think that a "War on Terror" can be prosecuted with a scorched earth policy. I don't think that Hizbullah are right, but I don't think that what Israel is doing now is right either. Greater diplomatic pressure is needed to resolve this, and the current attitude of the US and the PM (effectively giving Israel a free reign to do what they want without even the slightest pressure to be proportionate) cannot lead to a peaceful resolution of this situation.
I think Andrew Marr was mentally on holiday when he interviewed Prescott today. Didn't seem interested in challenging the bullshit he was coming out with.
"Have you ever been to Lebanon?"
Yes. What the hell difference does that make? Well done on going to Lebanon. Congratulations to us both. I'd be fascinated to hear all about what "occupation" this so-called resistance is resisting at the moment. Because it's not the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, is it?
I watched Sunday AM this morning with a growing sense of outrage and bewilderment at the blatant bias. Certain correspondents on BBC News 24 have also today been reverting to type as cheerleaders for fascism. Jim Muir, in Tyre, said that Israel now regards the town as a free-fire zone, a claim which is completely absurd. Another aspect of the collaboration between the BBC and Hezbollah are the guided-tours of Lebanon, conducted with Hezbollah "permission" and minders. Hard to imagine such pieces conducted in WW2...BBC correspondents flying with the Luftwaffe, and doing human interest stories with wives of German pilots shot down by the RAF.
It's come to a sorry pass when the BBC is more favourably disposed to Hezbollah than are the Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, and many Lebanese.
We are going to have to collectively wake up to what is going on there eventually, and when we do we're going to see Iran as the totalitarian imperialist power in that region in much the same way as we've seen totalitarian imperialists in our region the past.
So let me get this right, terrorism is defending your country, while self-defence allows you co flatten entire disctricts of a city?
The fact is that occupation will bring resistance and it's legal under laws that even the UK and US signed up to.
So I guess you would not mind if I kill all your family and then just say, well I thought you were a threat...
Yes Hezbollah are terrorists and Galloway is an objectionable person but that does not mean that all criticism of Israel is not correct . Their actions often are little more than state terrorism against the innocent women and children of the Lebanon and elsewhere . It is good to see that not all people in the Conservative give Israel unconditional support however bad their actions
Galloway is an idiot.
More frightening is Prescott. After this morning's display are we seriously leaving the country under his control during TB's summer hols? Prescott is a bully, he's rude, he's vicious, and he's everything you wouldn't like in a man who was laying down the law in your local pub. The fact that he's DPM says so much about the state of our country.
Perhaps worst of all is the fact that I actually think he thinks he's in the right. The ability to self edit and self judge is fundemental - he has no ability on either count.
I don't approve of Hezbollah's actions, and they are indeed clearly terrorists - what I can't see is a difference between them and the Israeli government - both target civilians in an attempt to change policy in their target countries, both attack democratic sovereign states, both claim victimhood. Both also have significant democratic support in their respective base countries.
Finally a question - if someone (say France) did to southern England what Israel has done to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon, would you want the English to stand idly by (displaced to the north) or fight back with whatever we could muster?
You like Andrew Marr? He is just another biased labour luvvie and always gives lbour a soft ride.Fullt paid up member og the Blair Broadcasting Corporation. Send it into the commercial world and get rid of T.V licences,a regresive tax>
I thought the Respect party was a joke. BUT they have some very intelligent and articulate people involved within it.
Galloway is an idiot? Keep thinking that. Remember that people said (and still do) about Ken Livingstone when he suggested talking to the IRA and invited them to London....Livingstone was proved right because, and it happens wherever the British have fought terrorism,we end up talking to them and giving them, almost everything.
Galloway says a lot of things I find repulsive. YET he certainly hits the button on many occasion. Listen to him on TalkSport radio this evening (I think) see what you make of him. Do not make the mistake of dismissing him. That is foolish.
Understand your enemies never underestimate them.
Why are people criticising Israel?
Do you think Israeli soldiers love to put their lives on the line and engage Hezbollah terrorists in street battles? What makes you think that they wouldn’t like to sit at home in front of the computer as well?
Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and allowed the country to prosper.
The real issue is that Lebanon has failed to acknowledge the responsibilities that come with sovereignty. You can not have an armed militia in effective control of one of your international borders, firing rockets into a neighbouring state and killing and abducting the soldiers of a neighbouring state.
Israel has every right to defend herself. For Israelites to live in peace, Hezbollah has to be disarmed. As the Lebanese can not do it, Israel has to do it herself.
I salute the British Prime Minister for his stance.
If France harboured a terrorist organisation that lobbed between 50 and 150 rockets a day on to London, supported, funded, and supplied by, say, Italy and Germany, I expect you would see a response that would completely destroy that country, as a means of dealing with the problem and as a warning to the others.
According to the Sunday Times Hizbullah effectively owns and controls Southern Lebanon.
As Israel has given up occupied land these Syrian and Iranian sponsored terrorists have seen it as weakness. Israel must strike back and strike hard to maintain it's existence as a democratic state.
StrapWorld wrote "wherever the British have fought terrorism,we end up talking to them and giving them, almost everything."
Not in Malaya but that was before we became ashamed of winning.
Iain, I propose that the reason the BBC hasn't given equal billing and equivalence to the pro-Israeli view in this matter is for pretty much the same reason the BBC wouldn't give a Creationist any genuine intellectual respect in a piece on evolution.
Sometimes, points of view are just empirically wrong.
A Regular reader of your blog
Apparently he saw a feature on CNN and was very impressed with what Hizb Allah are doing for the country of Lebanon. Whatever their alleged good works were previously, their policy, has led to Hell on earth being visited on many innocent people in Lebanon and Israel. Whatevers the rights or wrongs in these matters I suspect that many in these so called armies of God are going to be very disappointed, when they stand face to face with their God and answer to him for their deeds.
Julius Caesar once said "in this world we only have the Law, Justice is to be had in the next"
Before I am accused of sitting at home watching all this, I have travelled extensively in the Middle East, and have spent a good portion of the last thirty years helping to clean up these endless futile wars. My heart goes out to the millions of good, ordinary, often unrecorded peoples of whatever religion, who are just trying to get on with their lives and raise their families in the middle of all this devastation.
I appologise to you Iain, for being so serious on this one I prefer to be a bit more cynical and light hearted. But some of your bloggers' attitudes have wound me up.
There is less to Andrew Marr than meets the eye and his inept handling of Prescott this morning illustated this as he allowed Prezza to talk him into the ground.
Marr's heart wasn't in the task, his journalistic approach is dilettante and focused only on orchestrating his post-menopausal fan base through his Daily Telegraph articles: little else matters to him or Mr Snuffles.
I am a supporter of Israeli and believe that a western country in the middle east is a good thing.
Although it is sad news that innocent people are being killed in Lebanon, it was Hizbullah that started the trouble by raiding northern Israeli and attacking and killing innocent people with rockets.
Israeli is surrounded by hostile countries, apart from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and as I have heard before 'Israeli is fighting for its very existance as a country'.
Hizbullah are hiding their weapons alongside civilians, which they are using to attack Israeli. What else can Israeli do to remove this threat?
Let's just hope that the trouble can be sorted out quickly and that we no longer have a MP that supports a terrorist group.
I think you'll find the reason Andy Marr didn't land a glove on John Prescott is that Prescott was in the right.
Perhaps you should complain to the BBC about your perceived bias against Israel?
So many centre-right people complain that the BBC is biased against them. How come I can't see it? Perhaps I should visit Specsavers.
A realist said: " .... has led to Hell on earth being visited on many innocent people ... "
Some people would say that it is Israel that has led to hell on earth, etc. that is debatable. You have your views, others have theirs and it seems that on this particular issue, the majority opinion is that Israel is at fault. (I am a "she" by the way)
are you sure about that.have a look
at bbc's most recommended on have your say impact of middle east violence.
Did you here what was sung on the march, 'We are Hezbollah, we are hezbollah'.
Says it all really.
Two facts worth noting:
1 - Israel and Lebanon have never signed a peace treaty. Lebanon declared war on Israel in 1947.
2 - Hizbollah only escaped being on an EU wide list of terrorist organizations because the French (fancy that...) blocked it.
Ian, your own moral position on terrorism is inconsistent. Would you be as happy to link to a man impersonating bin Laden (even if he were dead) as you are to one impersonating Guy Fawkes? (no need to object on the grounds of numbers here: it is the intent that matters in the moral sphere). If terrorism is a moral crime, so is asymmetric warfare. Best leave morality out of it.
The major objection to Israel's actions is that they are counterproductive. For every terrorist an Israeli strike kills another ten are recruited by the political shrapnel. Of course they should do what they can to wipe out Hezbollah, but they need to keep it a little more discreet.
Stephen Pollard claims the BBC are pro-Israeli. The MCB claim the BBC are anti-Israeli. Seems to me like the BBC's reporting succeeds in annoying those with an agenda on both sides.
BTW, Pollard ain't no impartial observer. He and the Beeb have history when it comes to Israel.
inostensive, your first para has to be one of the most stupid things anyone has ever posted on this blog. Your second para at least merits a debate all on its own. For all that I disagree with it, I recognise that it's a popint of view. Unfortunately it's a point of view which promotes appeasement - and we know from bitter experience where that gets us.
Hizbollah are acting as proxy for Iran. The capture by Hizbollah of two Israeli soldiers was authorised by them and was an act of war. This is a message to US amongst others. Hizbollah and Iran have as their dominant motive the elimination of the state of Israel. How should Israel respond. Within the context of their offensive against Hizbollah it is possible that Israel has not taken sufficient measures to minimse impact on civilians. In this they are no worse than cowardly Hizbollah hiding amidst their womenfolk and children. How do you deal with such a dastardly enemy?
Richard Cohen wrote an article in the Washington Post this week and a very interesting read it is to. His thesis is:
"The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself."
For all that I disagree with it, I recognise that [Israel being a little more discreet is] a point of view. Unfortunately it's a point of view which promotes appeasement - and we know from bitter experience where that gets us.
Relative peace in Ulster?
inostensive, your first para has to be one of the most stupid things anyone has ever posted on this blog.
Ian, you just need to think about it a bit harder than you are accustomed to. And perhaps read a little more widely than "Being Gazza". I am sure you are bright enough to get your head round it eventually.
Isn't it great how people have a big argument about whether Hezbollah are terrorists, and not once does anyone sight a definition of 'terrorism'.
Of course, the word doesn't really have a definition, so it's quite scary it's in such wide-spread usage. What is certainly true though, in the real world it is always used for terrorism by *them*. Terrorism by *us* of course doesn't count.
Hezbollah are *overwhelming* democratically elected in South Lebanon. The act that alledgedly *started* this incident (fantastically ignoring 100 years of stuff that went on beforehand) was against soldiers, not civilians.
As for the rocket attacks - which started *after* the Israeli bombing, btw - they are killing many civilians. The Israeli government are killing many more civilians (and don't try to claim they're only killing civilians 'by accident' - have you been watching the news at all?).
So I'm quite prepared to call Hezbollah terrorists - as long as everybody else agrees the Israeli government are far bigger terrorists than the entire Arab lot put together.
Yesterday marked the anniversary of a shameful murderous attack by middle east terrorists against the British government.
I wonder why the British government appeased these terrorists. As Iain says, we know from bitter experience where that gets us.
"I am here to glorify the Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah. I am here to glorify the leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah."
Glorifying Terrorism ? Poor George tries to be provocative but that clause was not passed............
as I knew nothing about them previously, and I was very impressed by what they do for the Lebanese people.
Yes with Iranian money.......then again Hitler did promote the Volkswagen..........and German soldiers' wives were the best provided for of any combattant........
To a regular reader of your blog 8;14PM
I would like to apologise for calling you a he, I wasn't intending to cause offence.
I accept your comments regarding fault in this matter and agree it is up for debate where fault lies. Trying to pin fault on anyone relating to Middle Eastern unrest is probably beyond any human mind this far down the road. All sides are very likely, equally at fault. I don't condone the response of either of the combatants, in this latest fighting.
The point I was trying to make, was that an awful lot of people are suffering in the middle of it all. Being a complete sceptic I also have a deep suspicion of any people and organisations who claim to be working in the name of God. I am not deeply religious but I do think that ultimately, God whoever or whatever he is, is big enough to do things in his own name. If people around the world wish to treat other people with total disrespect and carry on destroying for their own political ends, then they should at least have the courage to do it in their own name. I hold anyone, killing in the name God with deep suspicion.
I am not in any position to sit in judgement of either side in this or any conflict. All I am trying to do is to make sense of what is going on in my own way, and as you say we all have different views, and mine are no better or worse than the next persons. That doesn't stop me speaking out if I disagree though.
Galloway is providing some sort of (much-needed, in my view) counterbalance to our spineless Prime Minister.
Kim Howells has said what the Prime Minister should have said.
Adele, that chant echoes what was said after 9/11 and 7/7 by some newspapers: viz, We are all New Yorkers/Londoners now. "We are Hezbollah, we are hezbollah" - it is the same sentiment of solidarity, this time with the Lebanese people.
"So let me get this right, terrorism is defending your country, while self-defence allows you co flatten entire disctricts of a city?" - James
James, you are a complete moron. Hezbollah terrorists struck first - not the Israelis. Hezbollah were not defending their country, they were viciously attacking Israeli civilian targets. Get that first into your rather small and limited brain (if you can.)
Secondly, the Israelis have not flattened entire cities. Don't come out with such complete fucking crap.
If you terrorist Hezbollah friends want to hide behind their civilians, then they obviously care little for their human shields - if anything at all.
To other dimbies above - if you house were being rocketed by terrorists from across the border, what would you do? Sit back and let them kill you, because if your side did respond, you might annoy them even more? What tosh. That's a bit like saying don't lock up the criminals, because if you do, then when they come out, they'll just be even more annoyed than before.Oh no, wait, some of you cretins are already advocating that anyway.
Hezbollah are a terrorist organisation. They do not think and reason as we do. They are religious fanatics than cannot be reasoned with, and had Israel not responded, the rocket attacks would have continued. Clearly so many of you are too stupid not to see that obvious fact - or chose not to see it because you "love the Muslims and hate the Jews."
Chaps, it is only a matter of time before we are going to go to war against these people. Shai Islamism is spreading throughout the region. It is a political tactic that is for the moment proving effective, and it succeeds by characterising Arab nationalists as having "failed to stand up to Israel". Unfortunately for our foreign policy, its best example is Iraq.
Prediction: ten years from now you'll see Americans and Europeans fighting alongside Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, and the Emirates against Iran and its friends. This is not going to end with NATO in a Lebanese buffer zone. It's a generational conflict, driven by people who think Islamic fundamentalism is the pathway to success, and if it is ever to end it will have to end in much the same way as the war against the Japanese ended: with a response that unambiguously demonstrates to the enemy the suicidal folly of their whole way of looking at the rest of the world.
Some of you seem to have forgotten what proper war is like.
It's so much harder to argue a rational critique of Israeli military actions when crazies are willing to endorse the activities of Hizbullah.
As usual George is doing more harm than good for his cause.
"Ian, you just need to think about it a bit harder than you are accustomed to. And perhaps read a little more widely than "Being Gazza". I am sure you are bright enough to get your head round it eventually." - inostensive
This coming from someone who cannot spell Iain's name correctly is laughable.
"If terrorism is a moral crime so is asymetric war"
I agree with iain, this is one of the most stupid posts ever posted. The first part of the paragraph, I dont even understand.
However the above last sentence I would expect better from a 10 year old.
Two non-asymetric wars that come to mind would be WW1 and the Iran/Iraq war but there are hundreds of others. How are these examples more MORAL than any other types of wars?
Or is inostensive saying, wars that go on for many years kill millions and end up with no clear victor are some how morally preferable?
The truth is these self stiled keepers of public morality (socialists). Will not be happy until all the Jews of the world are gone. Because they think they will then be able to get on reading the Sundays and talking crap to each other in peace.
History tells us that the idear of throwing a hungry man-eating lion a chunk of somebody elses flesh,in the hope by the time it gets to you it may be satisfied, is not worth the silly bit of paper the idear was written on..
Anyone who thinks Hezbollah is not or never has been a terrorist group had better read the memoirs of those westerners who were held as hostages in Beirut.
I agree entirely with Francis Walsingham.
We will end up fighting these people to preserve our Western way of life.
I would recommend this thoughtful piece in the Daily Star (Beirut, not London....) on the implications for Lebanon were Hizbollah to 'win', particularly this:
"A Hizbullah victory, by showing that the party can stand up to Israel, and can do so because it mobilized its armed state within the state without consulting any of its Lebanese political partners, may crack the already frayed Lebanese consensus. When the diverse religious communities decide the problem is that one side has the weapons while the others have nothing but a choice to remain silent, Lebanon will break down, and it could do so violently".
It's curious: recent US bombing in support of a single operation in northern Helmand and its neighbouring regions have killed thousands of civilians, inc. at least 1500 women and children. Yet the BBC have neither given any airtime to these war crimes as UN Human Rights Commission would define them, nor the need to hold the political leaders of the forces involved responsible.
The Levant is in easy reach for the Beeb. Fergal Keane is already there. He never goes to Israel though. Or Afghanistan. Hence the Beeb's embedded preference for stereotypes on the cheap. However, unlike their peers on TF1, I haven't seen any footage of Katyushas being fired from the precincts of a school playground in southern Lebanon on the Beeb - yes, school was in session, no the schoolchildren weren't levelled by a bomb - maybe they were filling out their expense sheets or building a runway for the John Simpson jumbo to come lolling in to land.
Israel's hamfisted attempt at strategic coercion has played into its enemies' hands, but it remains to be seen if operational strategy in southern Lebanon will stop rocket strikes. Or if there is escalation from other states in response.
The whole situation has been caused by a lack of enforcement tools to guarantee the legally mandated disarmament of Hezbollah agreed by all parties in Lebanon as part of Hezbollah's incorporation into Lebanon's government. In law, Hezbollah should not have been capable of ambushing an Israeli patrol inside Israel and launching random rocket attacks within minutes on civilian and military targets. They are in breach of international peace accords. Like any terrorist organisation worth its socks - IRA, Hamas, ETA, the Beeston cell -Hezbollah has cultural facilities and economic assets. They are used as tools of control and revenue raising. The armed element was meant to be disposed of though.
So, it seems strings are being pulled by military elites region-wide. Around the Mediterranean there are a string of similar states whose figureheads are the puppets of the war machines within - often supported with materiel or soft power by certain Western European states. Such is the dialectic of post-modern democracy perhaps. It's an alternative mode of development, one the UK is - on the police-securocrat side - moving closer towards.
All this conflict does is, remotely, expose the faultlines and hypocrisy within our own society, whilst, locally, vested interests embed into entrenched positions.
The wider macro picture is that the multi-polar world emerges and its adherents are cognisant of that fact, whilst shrill anglo-saxons engage in verbiage for the purposes of 'discussion' but really to continue ignoring not only their own hypocrisy but their own slipping ideational-ethnic stratae.
Those local states in hoc neither to the Houston-Riyadh nor the Tehran-Paris-Berlin axes have kept their silence. Perhaps previous experiences have taught Cairo and Amman to do such as their ruthlessness towards other Arab and levantine (inc. esp. Palestinian) antagonists have been of a degree the Israelis have never reached. If Israel had ever instigated a genocidal policy in either the occupied territories or Lebanon we would not have any newsworthy items on the Beeb. There would be no one to report on. That's why, despite the evidence of various historical cycles, we don't hear about pogroms in Central and Eastern Europe anymore.
So, everyone needs to step back and hope that a group of states decisively intervenes with a diplomatic solution. With teeth. Unlikely however, too many Western European interests benefiting from the drama and the self-righteous profiles in public and profiteering in private.
But the drama is perhaps too convenient. It detracts from the hypocrisy of the Houston-Riyadh axis meaning that Pakistan is the source of retrained Talibs in Afghanistan, as well as Pakistan being the hub of the trade from which certain states have derived a happy notoriety and source of expertise.
Moreover, Tehran benefited from the removal of Saddam against Riyadh's wishes. We see a logical conclusion of the Revolutionary Guards' subsequently extended reach. At the global level they detract from their own nuclear enterprises whilst they dizzy domestic opinion with foreign adventures (at least that's the way they see it as the the majority of the ethnic groups in Iran are inherently reformist, ditto some of the national institutions against whom the Revolutionary Guard define themselves and their budget.)
So, the weakness of the West detected, regional powers play their games. After all, who cares about Israel in Europe?
Meantime, it will be interesting to see who supports Ethiopia if the Arab League carries out it's threat of yesterday - perhaps the Arabs can score some points against the Shias more diverse ethnic base. Also if someone will recognise the de facto independent state of Somaliland as a first step to sorting out the Horn's problems.
The fundamental case of why so much of the British media is so intrinsically and reflexively anti-semitic is ultimately a different question. Maybe the Beeb can ask Jews in Iran for their view on the issue.
Calm down, guys. If you actually read what I said you will see that I am not being pro-Arab here. The point is about the moral status of terrorism. If a group has no other means of defending its interests but terrorism then its choice is not moral or immoral: it has no choice. The only alternative is to acquiesce to the demands of the more powerful enemy - regardless of whether the enemy is right or wrong. No one can seriously argue that this outcome is always morally right.
Iain - along with many others - assumes all terrorists are like the Russian nihilists so beautifully described by Conrad. These people are different. They have a fairly clear idea of what they want to achieve and have chosen the most effective means at their disposal. They hate us not because they are jealous of our freedom but because they believe - sincerely - that the kind of freedom we have is fundamentally corrosive and will eventually destroy their way of life.
That does not make them morally inferior but it does make them our enemy. It is right that we should fight them - if I were an Israeli I would be first on the front line. But let us not be so childishly simplistic in our moral rationalization of it.
Well exactly Croydonian...Lebanon is looking like a failed state, which is a disaster. Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon are all failures for the same reason: Shia Islamic fanaticism supported by other powers in the region. The next question is whether you want their chief sponsor, Iran, to have nuclear weapons. There is an alarmingly large number of Guardianistas who don't seem to be remotely troubled by that prospect.
I say again to you james, we are going to have to confront this fascism seriously, sooner or later. If Iran develops nuclear weapons and long-range missiles we will be looking at a really dire situation which could result in the deaths of millions of people. If Israel is hit with a nuclear bomb, the Americans will destroy the entire Arabian peninsula. Having behaved stupidly in the face of fascism in the 1930s, one would hope that we had learned our lesson. However PC you want to be, the fact that a lot of these guys are brown and religious doesn't mean that they're not Nazis. They surely are.
Interesting report from John Simpson in Afghanistan the other day. He talked about how one of his Afghan friends was increasingly angry at the sight of women talking to other women in the street, laughing, driving cars, and wearing nail varnish. That attitude borders on insanity. They belong in a mental hospital. Anyone properly on the left of politics and interested in human rights ought to utterly condemn these attitudes and this sort of behaviour. Instead, the left lines up behind fascists, religious lunatics, and thug states, and cloaks them with the respectability of the victim. But then the left did the same with Stalin's Russia didn't it? Plus ca change.
Shame, shame on you.
It is somewhat reassuring from the comments above that what ever Iain thinks or for that matter you, me and especially Mr Galloway, Israel will do exactly what it needs to do.
Those that oppose Israel will feel vindicated; those that support a Middle Eastern Democratic Sovereign state will see it survive. I think it’s time for a group hug don’t you?
I'm getting mighty pissed off with all the religious clap-trap that is being espoused on all sides these days. Whose God can be the most restrictive? Whose God can justify killing the most in His name? Can control the most land, subjugate the most people by Jihad or Crusade - or by stealth? Can prevent me from flying to Majorca or driving an Audi? Can restrict how I can use, abuse or clothe my body? Can get me to hate my neighbour?
Religion is being used by its various proponents in a way that allows others to compete for the greatest reductions in civil liberties in its name. Religion is stopping me leading a quiet life, a decent and respectful you-leave-me alone-and-I'll-leave-you-alone-and-we'll-all-get-along-quite-happily life. And I'm pissed off by that. So a plague on all your religious houses.
What I propose is that there is a fuck-off massive, state of the art, technologically advanced army of millions of Atheists that can take on all comers. Christians? Muslims? Jews? Orthodox? Hindu? Quakers?? Take the lot of you. No problem.
And if God dosen't materialise to come and protect His chosen lot - well, I think we can take that as evidence that he either doesn't exist - or doesn't care as much as the zealots who use His name.
Fanciful you may think...until you -
scroll forward fifty years -
and then look at the Chinese Army, a technically awesome, numerically superior army of an Atheist superstate. Today the Falang Gong, tomorrow - the end of all troublesome religions.
What blessed relief....
Whilst all the apologists for Israel state terrorism on here keep repeating their mantra that it is Hezbollah that is the threat to peace in the Middle East , Israel are bombing and flattening large areas of Lebanese cities and in an attempted act of genocide killing hundreds of Lebanese men women and children . This act will turn tens of thousands of Lebanese people into supporters of Hezbollah .
1.Just because Galloway opens his mouth does not shange anything for any one with a brain.
2. The Malaisian campaign was won by two methods. Hitting the bad guys, and avoiding hitting the civilian population, and secondly dealing with the discontent of the majority of the civilian population. In other words completely the reverse of Israeli policy.
3. Croydonian, The Lebanon did not go to war wityh Israel in 1947 as Israel did not declare independence as a state intil may 15th 1948. The Lenaonease army only advanced as far as the UN line for what was intended to be Palestinian territory, then withdrew. This was after May 15th 1948. Furthermore it signed an Armistice agreement in 1949, though someone assassinated the UN mediator, Count Folke Bernadot. At the time the Lebanon had a democraticaly elected government of the same form as it has now.
4. There is a differnece between appeasment and talking. Winston Churchil always said that jaw jaw is better than war war.
5. On Shia Islam being the enemy. Currently it is Sunni's that are the major problem in Iraq, not the Shia. That said Iran is obviously trying to change that for one very obvious reason we seem to have overlooked when we blundered into Iraq without a clue of what was going to happen next. Iraq is the center of Shia Islam, and its leader is the Ayatollah Sheihk Ali Al Sistani. He is Iranian. He also seems to be both popular and moderate. How do we think the Iranian loony faction feel about loosing control of Shia Islam? Perhaps we should have factored that in by having sufficient combat troops to control the border with Iran or indeed Syria.
Re the daily star article, the problem is that Israel is now accepting (See Haaretz) that it wont defeat Hezboulah and that in effect there will need to be a political resolution. That was the Lebonease governments position on this before. It has been made all the more difficult by the depth of the shit strom that has followed that has on effect handed Hezboulah a moral victory to show to its supporters. It can probably get the funds to rebuild its own voters parts of the country. meanwhile what the Lebonease government was trying to do will be made more difficult.
Out of interest Iain, as I understand it you visitied the lebanon. I lived their.
Since Hizbollah specifically intend to kill and maim civilians, I cannot see how a reasonable person could criticise Israel for going after the perpetrators.
Hundreds of missiles every day, and incursion/kidnap operations.
I've listened to the footage time and time again and I do not hear Mr Galloway say he supports terrorists, as you claim.
I do not hear him say Hezbollah, as you claim.
Are you going to apologise to Mr Galloway?
As for supporting "resistance" against an act of agression that has killed 150 children plus, I wholeheatedly agree with him.
When are you Mr Dale going to criticise thouse that kill children?
Oh, as another comment, as I understand it people say that Israel witdrew voluntarily with the understanding that....
That is not my understanding. Israel did not discuss anything with the Lebonease government, it just buggered off because it did not feel it was worthwhile hanging around in all the circumstances. Or in the mindset on the Lebonease side of the border, because they were beaten.
Israel needs to be very careful. Firstly just smashing the furniture in your neighbours house is not going to make friends, secondly it needs to negotiate with all of the Arab states taht do not have a peace treaty, to get one. Localy that is Syria and the Lebanon, but also other countries in the region.
The Iraqi government has also critisised Isael's response as being disporportionate and called for a cease fire. Damn those pesky democracies.
The whole area is full of terrorist movements and governments with the exception of the Lebanese government (and that's because it's weak!). It's a pointless debate to try to grade them - like trying to sort a list of violent offenders.
WE don't seem to have seen a SINGLE CONVICTION for the Jihadists who paraded in London to incite Murder over the Danish cartons, do we? It will be dropped.
That is not my understanding. Israel did not discuss anything with the Lebonease government, it just buggered off because it did not feel it was worthwhile hanging around in all the circumstances
UNIFIL was created in 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore the international peace and security, and help the Lebanese Government restore its effective authority in the area.
Andrew Marr danced round John Prescott like a boy with a sharp stick facing a rhinoceros; he obviously had pre-interview permission to hint at certain delicate matters, giving Prescott a chance to do his mea culpa bit. Mind you, it would take braver man than me to goad the bugger!
Hizbollah kidnapped 2 soldiers and Israel sees that as justification for mass murder and destruction of Lebanese infrastructure. What response would you deem appropriate for Hizbollah to adopt as justification for the kidnap and torture of 10,000 Palestinians and Lebanese?
Heh... For the record, 'James' with a 'J' isn't the same as James with a 'j'!
I should really think about getting a more unique moniker.
Anyway, onwards and upwards...
Ms Reynolds wrote: "Did you here what was sung on the march, 'We are Hezbollah, we are hezbollah'."
You mean a stray Israeli missile didn't manage to find its way to London? Shame.
Don't want to stick up for any of them in the Middle East- all are thugs (Israel definitely included) are happy to kill thousands of civilians.
Yes Galloway is an objectionable t***er but you really shouldn't let him influence youe approach to the current situation.
"If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."
Reminds me of the leader of an obscure extremist group who published a political manifesto long in advance of his gaining power. The bien pensants of the day didn't take him seriously, or said what he wrote shouldn't be taken literally. Now, what was his name? Oh, yes, Adolf Hitler.
How would you have Israel defend herself, when she is surrounded by groups bent on the complete annihilation of her population?
The one thing I do have a problem with is the numbers. I too think that Israel's policy of killing ten Lebanse for every Israeli is counterproductive. Israel is losing the propaganda war hands down because of this.
They don't seem to be doing so well on the militrary front, either. From what I read, the Israeli Air Force is learning hard way. Having dismissed the need for bunker-busting bombs, the Israeli Air Force is now astonished at how well protected the Hizbollah underground bunkers are (built, or at least designed, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards?). Thus a ground offensive seems inevitable.
The Guardian fron page story is of the Israelis telling Lebanese families to leave their homes and then bombing them as they drive along a road . These are not the actions of a civilised government but those of a terrorist organisation .
Yes James and that goes for the whole country.
The last thing we want in this blog is open, honest, and resposible opinion.
tory claptrap excluded.
Oh dearie me! The bedwetters, limpdicks and terror luvvies seem to be a trifle miffed. Keep it up Iain!!
How odd... James with a 'J' has turned into James with a 'j' (the same as mine) on another computer I'm browsing from... Is something weird going on, Iain?
I'll be creating a permanent Blogspot account as of today, I reckon.
One of the worlds' most fearsome armies, the IDF has been flying missions non-stop for the past 10 days, and less than 400 people, terrorists included, have died.
=> If you go to war with someone, do it with Israel, your chances of survival are amazing.
So, please, stfu about 'wimmin and chiiiildren'. (also, men and old people also like to live)
On the contrary the daily cull in Iraq, by the 'freedomfighters' has been at about 50 per day(not counting those crippled), and I have not yet observed enraged demonstrations demanding that the fighting arabs there stop to kill each other.
BTW, Hezbollah are NOT the fluffy Marlboro ersatz ride-into-the-sunset jihadis some of you guys think they are. They are a mafia that makes its money with weapons, drugs and human trafficking. As such, the idea that they can be part of a democratically elected government
"an attempted act of genocide killing hundreds of Lebanese men women and children "
What an absurd lie, if Israel was trying to kill Lebanese civilians there would be tens of thousands dead by now.
Another argument people have made is that terrorism is the only tactic the weaker side has, but until Hezbollah's unprovoked massacre and kidnap of Israeli soldiers there was no war.
And lastly the people George Galloway praises are quite clearly aintent on killing jews in general not just Israel, it was the 12th anniversary of their attack on a jewish centre in Argentina a few days ago, and Nasrallah's comments about
"If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."
What nice people the likes of James support.
It's called.,'difference of opinion', Iain.
So be a good subject and observe and enjoy.
The destruction of Lebanon is music to my ears. What joy and comfort this brings to sections of society that I circle.Thatcher would be proud.
Far from a ceasefire George Bush should show give as much full support for Israel in disarming Hezbollah as he does for the rest of the world in disarming Al Qaeda.
Not sure why anti-Israeli types are condemning their actions in Lebanon. It seems to me they've been given enough diplomatic rope to hang themselves. They've vowed to destroy Hizbollah but as they obviously cannot do that from the air then they will have to invade south Lebanon which then plays right into Hizbollah's hands - Nasrallah is desperate to say 'look we kicked the Israelis out again'. They'll probably put up a little resistence here and there before pulling back - in order to sucker the IDF (but surely they won't fall for it). I don't see a way out for Israel unless they back away from the destruction-of-Hizbollah rhetoric. I don't see how they can come out of this looking like the winners.
On the moral side - I saw an interview with an Israeli general who basically said 'We warned everyone to leave before we bombed - did the US/UK do that in Iraq? No they did not' - a very good point although this argument would have carried a lot more weight if the fleeing civilians hadn't subsequently been bombed. In that respect they haven't done themselves any favours on the PR front. Also the targeting of Maronite Christians (hostile to Hizbollah) and the Lebanese army (whom Israel expect to patrol the southern border) doesn't exactly make political sense.
As for the whole 'Hizbollah are terrorists' arguments well as usual it depends on who you ask. They are very well respected amongst the general Lebanese Shia population because they provide better welfare services than the government. The Saudi and Jordanian rulers disapprove because the are scared of increasing Iranian influence (thanks in part to the removal of Iran's implacable enemies: Saddam and the Taliban), however their primarily Sunni populations have a favourable view of Shia Hizbollah, which must be a worry.
If Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation then so is the entire Israeli government, the entire British government and the entire US government. So yeah, Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation.
Anyway, what evidence do you have that Iran and Syria are behind the Hezbollah attacks? This sounds to me like justification for the aggressive wars that Bush and Blair have been vocally planning for some time.
Also, I think the word Fascist is far more applicable to our own countries - we have merged state and corporate power, we are expansionist and believe in the absolute superiority of our society. Whose actions - those of Iran or Syria, or those of Britain and the US - are most reminiscent of Germany and Italy in the 30s?
Rick, just what has a UN resolution of 1978, (ignored by all sides at the time and sine, when the writ of the Lebonease government did run any where near the border) got to do with a unilateral withdrawal in 2000?
Has anyone noticed yet that the Israeli 'defence(sik) Force and Saddam's old terrorist mates in Sadr City, Baghdad, are both sending themselves wild with glee massacring Shias with lots of women and children thrown in. Are we now getting ready to link arms with the slimline post-hunger-strike Saddam and the ex-soviet murderous muslim mafia of Tadzhikstan etc to take on a hundred years war against the 'mad mahdis and mullahs'?
Isn't it amazing how you get all these wild-eyed apopleptic Israeli apologists on here who were basically very happy to have seen the backs of the European Jewish thousands who invaded Palestine post '45 and who wouldn't personally intervene in a pub fight in whoch a little bloke was being battered by thugs, but are perfectly happy to see the US-sponsored bully of the middle east killing and maiming willy-nilly?
Anon at 5.50 - precious few British Jews have made aliyah, and it is our good fortune that we have sizeable Jewish communities in this country.
The positive contributions of British Jewry to the arts, science, commerce and politics is enormous - and wholly out of proportion to overall numbers.
I see Israel as the little guy and Syria and Iran as the bullies.
As for thugs beating little guys in pubs I would suggest that you are describing your own cowardly reactions, and we aren't all like you. Thank God.
Billy, you little kid, I presume that you have never had to despatch a genuine terrorist with you bare hands, have you? Or probably even dealt with a flea on a Dachsund's back?
I am so pleased that I have found someone here who would side with the burglar rather than Tony Martin. So when someone breaks into your brother's home, rapes your sister-in-law kills a few policemen along the way and then your nephews come after him, using catapults against the man with the Uzzi, I can see you sitting bravely at a very safe distance indeed taking the side of the burglar who has told eveyone that he and his offspring (and offspring's offspring) will be staying around there forever.
Personally, I tend to find the BBC's reporting appallingly pro Israel (where, for instance, is the challenge to the inanity of Israel calling on Lebanon to obey UN resolutions?), but I can accept Patrick H's implied point that if they are annoying both sides, then they must be balanced somewhere in the middle.
Galloways speech, glorifying a genocidal anti semite will serve his purpose.
Any comeback from previous perjury and cash demeanours( remember his wifes account started to fill with Oil for Food money two months before betrothal) can be portrayed as a zionist conspiracy
George Galloway: Hizbollah is right to fight Zionist terror
by George Galloway, Respect MP
There was a deep historical significance to taking to the streets in solidarity with the people of Lebanon and Palestine last Saturday, 22 July.
For that day was the 60th anniversary of the bombing of the King David Hotel by the Irgun Zionist gang in Palestine as part of their campaign to create the state of Israel.
The attack killed 92 people, most of them civilians, some 17 of whom were Jewish. It was organised by Irgun leader Menachem Begin who went on to be twice prime minister of Israel.
His second period of office saw Israel’s “limited” 1982 invasion of southern Lebanon. It quickly became an assault on the whole country and claimed many thousands of lives.
So when you hear commentators say the roots of the current conflict go back to the seizure of two Israeli soldiers a few weeks ago, the roots go back a lot further - they go back over decades.
They go back before the invasion of 1982, which Hizbollah was formed to resist, and even before 1948 when Israel was founded and 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes.
The aggression did not begin in 2006. It began in 1917 when an anti-Semitic British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, gave in the name of one people, to the Zionist leaders who claimed to represent a second people, the land belonging to a third people - the land of Palestine.
There was a commemoration of the King David Hotel bombing last week. Those lionised at it were not the victims, but the perpetrators.
Alongside surviving members of the Irgun, Binyamin Netanyahu, former Israeli prime minister and darling of CNN and the BBC, attended the event.
He told journalists, “It’s very important to make the distinction between terror groups and freedom fighters, and between terror action and legitimate military action.”
He’s exactly right. That’s why I have no hesitation in saying that Hizbollah is not and has never been a terrorist organisation. It is the legitimate national resistance movement of Lebanon.
What the US cannot forgive is the fact that Hizbollah succeeded in driving Israel out of Lebanon in 2000 after an 18 year occupation, liberating all but the Shebaa Farms area.
This gave it a prestige across the confessional and sectarian divides in Lebanon and across the Middle East. Central to the strategy of Israel, the US and Britain is an attempt to recreate and explode those sectarian divisions as part of this latest phase of the “war on terror”.
It seems like only yesterday we were being told that the US and Britain had liberated the long-suffering Shia Muslims of Iraq from Sunni domination. Opposition to the occupation was supposedly just the work of Sunni die-hards and “rejectionists”.
The occupiers have fomented sectarian division in an effort to stave off a national resistance front. Now, the same imperial powers and their local puppets are fostering a reverse sectarianism across the Middle East as they try to leave Lebanon and Hizbollah isolated in the face of Israel’s onslaught.
We are told that yesterday’s suffering Shia of southern Iraq are now part of a sinister crescent of would-be Shia ascendancy stretching from Iran through Iraq and Syria into Lebanon.
The puppet presidents and corrupt kings who rule the Middle East from one end to the other almost without exception are spinning the same yarn. It is all they have to say as the standing of Hizbollah among the mass of Arabs - Shia or Sunni, Muslim or Christian - soars.
Just as all George Bush and Tony Blair have to say over the slaughter of Lebanese children is that Israel has a right to defend itself and all’s fair in the war against terrorists.
That makes it doubly important that the anti-war movement raises its voice clearly. To be for peace means to be for the justice without which there can be no peace. To be for justice means to take sides against injustice. The invasion of Lebanon by Israel, for that’s what it is, is a monstrous injustice.
I side with the resistance to that injustice. Hizbollah is leading that resistance. I do not hesitate to say, and Blair and his law officers may take note, that I glorify that resistance.
I glorify the Hizbollah national resistance movement, and I glorify the leader of Hizbollah, Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
I just thought being a reasonable chap you would rather discuss what he actually meant by his comments.
If Israel uses the most advanced war technology to avoid harming civilians, then why have civilians mostly died in leabanon??
If Israel is indeed very "moral" then why does its army continue to repeat the same "unintended mistakes" over and over again?
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