Monday, July 24, 2006

Another liberal with disproportionate response talking point.

Middle East: Anyone figure out yet what the hell "proportionate military action" would have been against a terrorist group? Eugene Robinson makes snark remarks and has no clue.

"Bush's endorsement of the violence that Israel is inflicting on Lebanon -- a sustained bombing campaign that has killed hundreds of civilians and can only be seen as collective punishment -- is truly astonishing. Of course Israel has the right to defend itself against Hezbollah's rocket attacks. But how can this utterly disproportionate, seemingly indiscriminate carnage be anything but counterproductive? Destroying the Beirut airport, blasting communications towers into oblivion and cleansing southern Lebanon of its civilian population are not measures the world will see as an attack on Hezbollah terrorists. The Israeli campaign is so intense and widespread that it is creating more terrorists than it kills. Proportionate military action might have enhanced Israel's security, but video footage of grandmothers weeping amid the rubble of their homes and bloodied children lying in hospital beds won't make Israel more secure. Hezbollah's stature in the Arab world is growing, and its patrons in Damascus and Tehran must be smugly satisfied."
Rendering the airport, roads leading to the south where Hezbollah reigns cuts off resupply routes, they blew up communication towers that housed their terrorist network cutting off a communication method. This "cleansing" of Southern Lebanon where Hezbollah has the power with support from the people around them is news to me. Syria can't be satisfied since this creates a bit of a refugee problem, pressure on them to curtail Hezbollah and could cause them further isolation from the world if they don't step up. Since Eugene is a big internationalist lets hear from a hero of his which is a UN official.
Jan Egeland spoke with reporters at the Larnaca airport in Cyprus late Monday after a visit to Lebanon on his mission to coordinate an international aid effort. On Sunday he had toured the rubble of Beirut's southern suburbs, a once-teeming Shiite district where Hezbollah had its headquarters. During that visit he condemned the killing and wounding of civilians by both sides, and called Israel's offensive "disproportionate" and "a violation of international humanitarian law." On Monday he had strong words for Hezbollah, which crossed into Israel and captured two Israeli soldiers on July 12, triggering fierce fighting from both sides. "Consistently, from the Hezbollah heartland, my message was that Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending ... among women and children," he said. "I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don't think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men." "We need a cessation of hostilities because this is a war where civilians are paying the price," said Egeland, who was heading to Israel.
More wisdom.
The role of any American president and secretary of state should have been to move quickly to bring hostilities to an end. Instead, Bush all but egged the Israelis on, and Condoleezza Rice went so far as to reject the idea of a cease-fire. Belatedly, she has flown to the region with no real credibility as an honest broker. Her words of concern about the "humanitarian crisis" in Lebanon ring hollow. But this administration doesn't want to be an honest broker in the Middle East. Bush and Rice have staked their Middle East policy on a single incontrovertible idea -- that terrorism is bad -- and it has led them to the mistaken notion that Israel can achieve long-term security by creating a kind of scorched-earth buffer zone in southern Lebanon.
How many ceasefires and truces have been put together only to fail? Again I ask how do you get a ceasefire with a terrorist group that controls half a country who is bent on the destruction of Israel. Eugene uses a lot of words and end up saying nothing with not even a hint of a realistic workable solution other than the cozy sound of "ceasefire." This is the third liberal columnist along with Herbert/Kristof of the NYTIMES who has done this so well.

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