Friday, 21 July 2006

What would you do?

Here's a question for you. Imagine you are your country's Prime Minister:

A gang of thugs committed to wiping your country off the map fires thousands of smuggled missiles (below) at your northern cities from mobile rocket launchers (left) often based in heavily populated civilian areas. The Government of that country does nothing to stop this, and in fact includes some of the thugs in that very Government. The Governments of neighbouring countries supply the missiles, and help to train the thugs.

Do you:
a) Throw up your hands, say, "Oh well, that's life in the Middle East," and endure the rocket attacks.
b) Throw up your hands and agree to the thugs' demands for your country to be wiped off the map.
c) Call Condoleezza Rice and say, "Help!"
d) Call the UN -- those heroes of Somalia, Bosnia and Rwanda -- and say, "Help!"
e) Describe the thugs as "a cancer" on Lebanon and Israel that needs to be excised, send a one-week warning to civilians in the vicinity, and bomb the hell out of the missile-launchers and those who operate them, even at the risk of significant civilian casualties.
What's your call?

UPDATE: Perhaps I should add another possible answer: f) Evade the question.

TAGS: War, Politics-World


  1. PC, I'm assuming that you cosider option E the obvious choice.

    This is the easy choice - it doesn't require thought, only a sense of self righteousness and the determination to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

    But as I have said in other forums, you cannot weigh the misery inflicted by each side to determine the moral high-ground - the very exercise perverts the result. To try to claim the moral ground, you first have to dig a very big hole.

    I'm not a peace-nik - a country has a responsibility to defend itself, but I am a rationalist first. Overwhelming military responses have mitigated, but not solved the problem in the past.

  2. E. No question. And I speak as someone who once lived in Israel - unlike so many of its vociferous opponents.

    Ah, by the way, PC .. Condoleezza has two zeds .. couldn't let it go a second time! :)

  3. 'Not a peacenik, Polemic?' Could have fooled me!

    Yes, it's so easy to rationalise with the sort of individual who thinks it's legitimate, not to mention moral, to blow up a busload of workers and schoolkids, isn't it?

    A sense of self-righteousness? How about a sense of national survival.

    It's easy to pontificate .. and I admit to defining 'insanity' as repetition of behaviour, which begs the question:

    What would *you* suggest Israel does?

  4. P.C.,

    Well obviously, C & D of course - so as to establish a veneer of 'legitimacy' amongst the peaceniks who conside such things important.

    Then, ASAP, E - to actually deal with the problem.

  5. To clarify - it is perfectly legitimate for Israel to do what they're doing now without the need for steps C & D.

    I was intending to poke fun at the peaceniks, not imply that Israel is acting illegitimately ... I think I'll go & drink some more cola ...

  6. ah, the considerate proportionate response. Polemic, I don't think I would like to play Risk with you. I'm afraid you would start whining that you don't get to kill as many of my soliders as I kill of yours.

    Or fill in civilians, infrastructure, whatever.

  7. (g) Bomb Lebanon, crush the thugs and then bank left and bomb Syria & Iran to crush their masters.

  8. Option E, but send in more ground forces to completely destroy the cancer through excessively violent raids and cutting off of all support to the cancer. Tell the cancers helpers to back off and stop supporting them or we'll start destroying your infrastructure.

  9. This sort of bloodthirsy warmonering is central to the neocon mindset. Of course PC would consider E the obvious choice.

    After all these are meager intellectually deficient Muslims, somewhere between savages and monkeys, and he is one of the direct descendents of Aristotle. They are mindless fatwa-spewing automatons linked with the Borg collective.

    This sort of eliminationist rhetoric is beyond disgusting, but not surprising. Libertarians have found their true fellow travellers at last.

    At the end of the day - Palestinians or Israelis - all are people.

  10. I guess that's another 'f.' Unless by "bloodthirsty warmongering" you're talking about the actions of Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran?

    For those considering an 'f' response, let's just see what you need to evade: You have to pretend those missile launchers don't exist, they aren't embedded in Lebanese civilian populations, who didn't receive one week's notice of Israel's intentions. YOu'd have to evade that Hezbollah's Katyusha launchers haven't been firing thousands of missiles at Israel's northern cities, those missiles haven't been supplied by Syria and Iran, and they've never said they would like to destroy Israel and drive its population into the sea...

    You'd have to evade all that and then call everyone who supports self-defence for Israel a "warmonger."

    If self-defence is warmongering, what then do you call the actions of Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Governments of Syria and Iran?

  11. "This sort of eliminationist rhetoric is beyond disgusting,.."
    Ruth, I dislike ad-hominem attacks but you really, truly are a flaming idiot.
    What cave have you been hiding in for the past few years? You want "eliminationist rhetoric"? How about the promises to eliminate Israel, Jews in general, homosexuals, Westerners, Christians, writers, artists, film makers, poets and musicians?
    Your muslim friends have not only promised to eliminate all those groups--they've actually succeeded more times than I care to count.
    "At the nd of the day....all are people".
    Really? Then you have a very low standard indeed for inclusion in the human race. erhaps you should send a Hallmark card to the perpetrators of Beslan.
    You DO remember Beslan?

  12. E

    Blow the crap out of them, then run tanks over the peices!

  13. kg, just how on earth are they going to accomplish all that? Are you seriously suggesting that Islamists actually have the resources to kill every single Isralei, Westerner etc. in the world? It's a matter of power, not intentions. Stop overeactting.

    This applies especially to the Middle East. Hamas and Hezbollah can rant about destroying Israel all they want, but the notion that they are actually capable of doing it is so stupid it dosen't even deserve debate; the lopsided casualties of the current conflict (and all it's predecessors)show exactly how much of a chance they have.

    And it's always interesting how when it comes to Israel, PC (and the Libs. in general)convieniently forget their alleged opposition to "initiation of force" and "collectivism".

  14. "kg, just how on earth are they going to accomplish all that? Are you seriously suggesting that Islamists actually have the resources to kill every single Isralei, Westerner etc. in the world? It's a matter of power, not intentions. Stop overeactting."
    Power, not intentions, eh?
    How about their efforts to get hold of a nuclear weapon? Iran is well along that path, even if North Korea or a rogue Russian doesn't save them the trouble.
    That's in the purely physical sense.
    These animals are perfectly capable (with the assistance of idiotic fellow-travellers in the West)of destroying civilized societies. By their repeated, relentless assaults on free speech, by the murders of those who speak out against them, by thousands of individual acts of terror. (over 5,000 since 9/11 alone.)
    Anonymous, (how typical, that nick)you may choose to live in a fool's paradise and trip happily into dhimmitude, or to watch the death of the West by degrees, because you've never come face to face with true evil and therefore have no conception of it.
    But some of us have a clearer vision, a knowledge of history and the appalling savagery men are capable of.
    If you don't have the balls to confront evil then get out of the bloody way for Christ's sake while those who *have* get on with the job.

  15. "How about their efforts to get hold of a nuclear weapon? Iran is well along that path, even if North korea or a rogue Russia dosen't save them the trouble."

    Iran probably is well along that path, but so what? Think about it, how many nukes does Israel have? A couple of hundred? They could turn Iran into a wasteland tomorrow if they really wanted to, so I doubt if the prospect of Iran maybe having a bomb in 5 or 10 years is keping them awake at night. And frankly, a nuclear armed Iran would be the Middle East's problem, not ours.

    Then of course there's the thousands of nukes in the arsenals of Russia, the US, China, France, Britain, India, Pakistan. Do you honestly think that China, for example, can be trusted with nukes any more than Iran? And if it's a Muslim bomb your'e worried about specifically then why not focus on Pakistan which already has them?
    The "crisis" over Iran's nukes is pathetically fake and is clearly little more than a drawn-out pretext for yet another "liberation", cheered on by those who can't or won't face what a debacle Iraq has turned into.

    "But some of us have a clearer vision, a knowledge of history and the apalling savagery men are capable of."

    Actually I have an extensive knowledge of history, and the appalling savagery ALL men are capable of. That's men of every race, religion, political persuasion, you name it. No side in any conflict has a monopoly on savagery, and if you can't see that then you clearly don't understand history at all.

    And another thing, why do you just assume that simply because someone isn't a chest-beating neocon, they therefore don't care about Western civilization? People may criticise Israeli or American wars, it dosen't follow that they'll roll over for assaults on free speech, individual liberty etc. at home. The Libertarianz are NOT the only people who care about freedom in NZ or indeed anywhere in the West. And if Western civilization is anything, it's robust.

  16. Fuck israel
    Fuck Olmert
    Fuck Sharon
    Fuck Bush
    Fuck Tel Aviv
    Fuck Washington
    Fuck US Mainstream Media
    Fuck Mossad (planned, and carried out 9-11)
    Fuck Off out of Palestine you land thieving Jews
    Fuck PC
    Fuck you all (crazy right-wing Libs, I'm moving to Venezuala

  17. Anonymous said...

    [Fuck you all (crazy right-wing Libs) I'm moving to Venezuala ]

    I am sure Hugo Chavez (Venezualan President), will do you up the bottom as a form of wellcoming you to his country.

  18. "And frankly, a nuclear armed Iran would be the Middle East's problem, not ours."
    That comment alone is so profoundly, jaw-droppingly stupid...
    I can't be bothered arguing with mental midgets. Chopping wood is more rewarding.

  19. ..Oh, puh-leeze, like your opinions are anything other than garden-variety neocon hogwash.

    But you are right about one thing, arguing with mental midgets is tiresome so I'll quit while I'm ahead.

    One more thing, if you want to hear the same sort of thing from people a lot smarter than me, head to You might learn something.

  20. michael fasher22 Jul 2006, 22:37:00

    e of course ,i mean there are 4000 of the motherfuckers in lebanon with 700 iranian revolutionary gaurds. thats a whole fucking brigade of terrorists with 12000 rockets!!
    The Lebonese need to get what side their bread is buttered and actualy do something about the terrorists

  21. michael fasher said:

    [e of course ,i mean there are 4000 of the motherfuckers in lebanon with 700 iranian revolutionary gaurds]

    My man Michael Fasher, are you still alive? I thought that you're already dead or perhaps have gone overseas to a recrusive place such as North Korea where there is no communication to the outside world. Good to hear from you man.

  22. Well done PC you've now attracted the "Jews are responsible for 9/11" retard.

    Beyond that statement like "The "crisis" over Iran's nukes is pathetically fake and is clearly little more than a drawn-out pretext for yet another "liberation"" are just naive. I don't think the IAEA is fake in its concern, and that Iran cutting IAEA seals on its equipment
    is fake either. Israel doesn't want to wipe Iran (or any state) from the map. However, I think it will take a nuke on Tel Aviv before some of the "antiwar" movement start questioning their own blatantly anti-western bias.

    The so-called peace movement has no interest in peace within countries - it happily was silent when Syria occupied Lebanon, when Iran arms and funds terrorists, when totalitarian governments like Syria, Iran, North Korea kill, imprison and torture their citizens.

    As is always, the peace movement rallies against western countries military spending and acting in retaliation/defence for attacks - but when the freedom hating countries spend money on arms, they say it's ok and even lobby for debt to be wiped from their books. At best they are like naive teenagers who think they can reason with people who believe sacrificing human life for a cause is heroic.

  23. Libertyscott, perhaps I should clarify what I meant about Iran's nukes.

    In the first place, I said "Iran probably is well along that path", so I don't deny that the IAEA is right to be suspiscious.

    But, it still dosen't change the fact that Israel possesses a far larger nuclear arsenal and therefore a formidable deterrent to any Iranian threat. Deterrence worked during the Cold War, why do you automatically assume it won't work here?

    And I don't agree that my comment about this being a pretext was naive. The same neocon crowd that pushed for the Iraq war have consistently advocated pushing on to Tehran, and they appear to be using the same tactics (remember "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud"?).The Iranians can hardly have failed to notice that while Iraq was invaded, North Korea was left alone because it probably has a nuclear capability

    Considering how badly the Iraq war has gone, I think now might be a good time for the West to rethink it's approach before things really get out of hand (Iran is much bigger than Iraq, and the US military is overstretched as it is).

    I don't deny the Iranian president's repulsive comments about Israel, but simply because he said it dosen't mean he actually has the capability to do it. Talk is cheap, and we don't know how much support he really has within Iran or the Middle East in general. Historically, Iran and the Arab states have been deeply suspicious of each other.

    Furthermore, the Arab states themselves clearly have no stomach for a war with Israel. They didn't lift a finger during the Intifada and have been equally impotent during the current crisis. There hasn't been an outright conventional war between Israel and it's neighbours since 1973, and yet every time there's trouble in the Middle East the pro-war crowd scream as though the entire Muslim world is massing on Israels borders. A little perspective might be in order.

    As to the peace movement having no interest in peace within countries, PJ O'Rourke puts it nicely: "it's one thing to burn down the shit house and another thing entirely to install plumbling."

    Getting rid of Saddam was fairly easy, building a functioning democracy in Iraq has been a near-total failure. Afghanistan is also showing worrying signs of slipping back into chaos. It's not that we are blind to the nature of many of these governments, but attempts to impose a "Western" style government by force just don't appear to be working! People don't react well to being invaded, overthrowing governments inevitably creates a power vaccum that warring factions will rush to fill, and wars suck up military and financial resources of the occupying power (the US, for arguments sake) and therefore limit it's ability to effectively defend itself.

    We can't just let the dogs of war loose and expect them to come obediently back when we whistle, it dosen't work that way.

  24. The Iran threat is real because Iran does have capability to attack Israel - it is called Hamas and Hizbullah. Iran simply needs to use its proxies. It would take 3 weapons to wipe out and render uninhabitable a good portion of Israel.

    As for willingness? Iran is not an Arab state and has not been at war with Israel ever. It would deny involvement in giving Hamas nuclear capability and if Israel nuked Iran it would be fuel for the fire of the Islamist nutters that Israel comprises Nazis who eat children (hardly a hyperbole when you see the cartoons and propaganda that the lovely tolerant Arab media pumps out to describe Israel). Secular Arab states are rational, Islamic Iran and more importantly Islamist activists are prepared to die to destroy Israel - that is different from Nasser, Asad and the two Husseins.

  25. Berend, thank you for your woeful oversimplification as usual. Good to know you put human life on the level with, say, plastic figurines.

    Sus, Duncan, PC etc - the point is that option E doesn't work. We can (and, I suppose, will) argue about morality until the cows come home, but in 40 years of history overwhelming force has not eliminated the terrorists.

    Sus, you ask what I would suggest Israel does instead. I don't have a quick answer, but enlisting the support of the Christian part of Lebannon in a wider bid to bring stability to that country would be a good start. But I ask you, what do you think Israel is actually doing by this display of force in Lebannon? Do you think it will end the attacks? Will it eventually bring peace to the region? Or will it, once more, prolong the conflict.

    You all seem to think I'm 'pro Hizbollah' or 'pro Iran' - I think every party is guilty. But if this is ever going to be resolved then someone is going to have to rise above it all.

    Put aside the emotive bullshit for a minute and analyse it. Does a macho display of strength bring utility to the people of Israel, or is it time to try something else?

  26. Polemic, you still haven't answered the question, aside from suggesting that Israel enlists the support of the Christian Lebanese.

    I believe they have that, but given that the CL are routinely subjugated by anti-Christian Moslem louts, which the Lebanese govt ignores along with the presence of Hezbollah, any support is academic rather than physical. In other words, a good idea, but realistically of not much use.

    You're right: 40 years of force has not stopped the terrorists. The bastards keep coming. Funny, that.

    But what you, and the other apologists either forget or are just determined to ignore, is that the 'terror' is one-way. The terrorists attack (from residential areas) and Israel defends; in the only way it can, via force.

    Can't remember the last time a suicide bus/restaurant-bomber gave the Israelis 24 hours notice, can you?

    *It's time to try something else.*

    I repeat. What? 'Come on over for afternoon tea, boys. Let's have a cuppa while you tell us exactly what you want!'

    What is it with western do-gooders? I draw a parallel with southern Africa. 30 years ago every WDG outside of Africa knew what was best for Rhodesia and SA, (despite most never having visited, let alone lived there) .. and yet you never hear from the bastards today in light of what's happened to those two countries. You know. The Mintos, the Newnhams, the Lockes, the Clarks ...

    Gutless and clueless.

  27. Polemic, emotive bullshit is about all this lot have in their arsenal, you'll get nowhere debating actual facts with them. Good on you for trying, but your'e wasting time and energy that could be used putting your intelligent and humane perspective to people who are actually receptive to it.

    At the end of the day, this blog is strictly "bomb the ragheads" territory when it comes to the Middle East.

  28. Thanks anon, you are right that this is pointless - Sus has pointed out the fact that few are willing to actual think about the issues, rather than react to them.

    Sus, you say:

    You're right: 40 years of force has not stopped the terrorists. The bastards keep coming. Funny, that.

    But then you go on to say:

    *It's time to try something else.*

    I repeat. What? 'Come on over for afternoon tea, boys. Let's have a cuppa while you tell us exactly what you want!'

    You admit that what has been done before doesn't work, but you scoff at the idea of changing tack.

    You call me clueless when your own argument is self defeating.

    You call me gutless when at least I am willing to admit that I don't know the answers.

    You resort again to emotive argument and reject reason (even your own!).
    You call me an apologist: I have never apologised for anyone - as far as I'm concerned all parties are murderers.

    You try to claim the moral highground in a situation where the moral highground is somewhat below sea level.

    Feel free to have the last word Sus, there is little point me saying more.

  29. Thanks, Polemic. I will have the last word. :)

    Anon: Put your name to your argument & someone might listen to you. Typically gutless lefty.

    I thought I'd made the point clearly, but obviously not. So let me simply say this.

    Israeli force in the past, has (generally) been in *response* to terrorist attack. Tit for tat, if you like. And it hasn't worked. Neither has diplomacy. Terror and diplomacy seldom combine.

    Every country has the right to defend itself, which is precisely what Israel is doing - only this time in a bigger capacity, and all power to them. Perhaps you'd prefer them to cower and take the bombing, like the UN would have them do?

    The civilian casualties and misery in Lebanon could have been prevented if the Lebanese govt had acted against Hezbollah in the first place.

    Ever lived over there? I have. (Not Jewish, either). But what I vividly remember is that not one Israeli ever badmouthed the Arabs collectively or individually. They would try to discuss the situation rationally.

    But every Arab I ever encountered denounced Israel and the Israelis as vermin.

    There's your emotive bullshit.

  30. Sus - I have lived among Arabs too. And I, too, have noticed distinct differences (at the risk of being labeled a racist bastard).


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