Jerusalem

27 January 2009

Recently I was invited to the Lithuanian Embassy in Washington D.C. to receive an award for journalism in Afghanistan.  I was incredibly happy to receive this journalism award from the Lithuanian people, and the Lithuanian government, and would like to thank the Lithuanians for standing their ground in Afghanistan and other troubled places.  Lithuanians stood up against the Soviets, so it's doubtful that they fear al Qaeda or the Taliban.  The Lithuanians are concerned, however, that America will turn its back on Lithuania. We must assure Lithuania that we will stand with them.

I was also invited to a reception at the residence of the Israeli Ambassador to the United States.  I wanted to tell the Ambassador that I hope the Israeli Defence Forces ripped Hamas out by the roots.  Apparently they did not, but the thousands of rocket strikes against Israel warranted a serious response.  Some people say that the Israeli response was disproportionate.  I agree.  A more proportionate response would have seen Israel launching thousands of rockets into Gaza.  I read one report that the peak times for Hamas to launch on Israel is when the kids are going to school, or coming home from school.  Yet while many international players reflexively point their fingers at Jews and Israelis, clearly the Israelis want peace.  The Jews would rather be in school than in a tank.
 
I am at the Jerusalem Conference in Jerusalem.  Important Israelis are speaking here and one of the key topics is Iran.  If Iranian leadership gets its wishes, Israel will cease to exist.  The United States should under no circumstances allow Iran to attain nuclear status.  A nuclear armed Iran is a recipe for genocide.  We've got to stand up to Iran.  If we do not, millions of people might die.


Comments   

# magnolia 2009-01-27 18:51
I bet the Gazans would have loved for the Israelis to have responded by firing thousands of grads and katyushas into Gaza!

The Israelis would have likely killed about the same number of Gazans as the number of Israelis that have been killed by these rockets, about a dozen.

Saving the lives of hundreds of Gazan civilians would have been welcome for sure. Did you happen to suggest this to the Ambassador?
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# Fester Withermore 2009-01-27 19:40
Magnolia, you are an asshat. That is the dumbest thing I have seen anywhere today!!
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# independant thinking 2009-01-27 19:44
If Isreal acted half as barbaris as Hamas has they would be dragged over coals in the media and on the world stage. Hamas is a terrorist entity and nothing more they do not fight as an army against army. They use civilians as shields, they fire on civillians primarily, they kidnap people, and carry on with all of this without as much as a slap on the wrist. Isreal if it were to fire missiles on Gaza they would at least hit their targets (Hamas) not civillians and children walking to school. Isreal has too much integrity to indiscriminatel y attack civillians.
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# independent thinking 2009-01-27 19:46
If you could please thank the Isreali Ambasador from and independent thinking American.
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# Timbo 2009-01-27 19:47
Tit for tat. For every inaccurate missile launched into Israel, launch a similar rocket/missile into gaza. The Israeli's will be able to claim to the international community we're doing to them what they do to us and the Palestinians will live in fear and terror. That's what carpet bombing does it invokes fear and terror whereas with surgical strikes one only has to stay away from targets.
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# Bryan W. Carpenter 2009-01-27 20:00
Isn't an APPROPRIATE response desired rather than a proportionate response. An APPROPRIATE response would be to strike hard enough to make the enemy want peace. Peck for peck can go on for an annoyingly long time. BAM for peck will make the pecker quit pecking.
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# FilthyBrit 2009-01-27 20:27
Good point, Bryan, but I think the idea of proportionate response is generally misunderstood. A proportionate response is one that is proportionate to its legitimate ends, which in the case would be stopping Hamas from firing rockets into Israel. Looked at this way, the Israeli response may, in fact, be proportionate, even if it vastly more destructive than the Hamas rocket attacks themselves. (The same could be said for the U.S. response to 9/11.) Same result as your "appropriate response" approach, but without requiring a change to terminology or doctrine.

People that think the doctrine of proportionate response calls for "an eye for an eye" misunderstand the concept, and in fact may be advocating something that, in the long run, is much more destructive. Israel could fire rockets into Gaza indiscriminatel y all day long, but this wouldn't end the carnage, whereas crushing Hamas once and for all might.
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# Dr. Kenneth Noisewater 2009-01-27 20:35
Gaza "civilians" voted Hamas in, they deserve what they get, as the Germans and Japanese did in WWII. If terrorists are hiding in your child's school, keep them home and/or kill the terrorists before the Israelis do. Where is the anti-Hamas uprising, ala the Iraqi Sunni awakening?

The reason there is none is because Gaza residents still think they can win, and until Israel crushes that hope as the Allies finally crushed the Axis' hope for survival, they won't quit.

Frankly, I hope Israel pushes all of Gaza into the sea or into Egyptian minefields, then seals the border behind them. Shoulda done it in '67..
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# jono39 2009-01-27 20:47
Happy to hear that your Snafu with the Lithuanians has been put to rest. Do not feel that people should be punished for the crimes of their fathers, but I have literally hundreds of murdered ancestors in Lithuania, killed under German supervision by Lithuanians. I will not go on about it. Now Iran reprsents a threat to Israel for sure, but it also is a threat to itself and every other country from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean. If Iran goes nuclear, there will be 3 nuclear powers in warring states divided by ancient religious hate. It does not take much insight to gather where this is heading.
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# Paul S. 2009-01-27 21:31
I think killing 1,300 Gazans for 3 Israeli deaths is not by any means proportionate.
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# ET USN 2009-01-27 21:55
"Proportionate response" must be a term coined by liberals. It has no place in warfare or responding to deadly assaults. I can't imagine anyone but a fool electing to use "proportionate response" against an enemy bent on killing him.
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# Pat Riot 2009-01-27 21:57
Huh? I thought that if you are going to fight some one, the idea is to win.
If its war then people will die. Gazanƒ??s donƒ??t want war? Simple, donƒ??t attack.
Gazanƒ??s wannaƒ?? get their azzes kicked? Attack Israel.
To hell with appropriate/pro portionate ƒ?? lay hellfire down on them.
I guarantee that when thereƒ??s no more hamas then the rocket attacks will be significantly reduced.
I only ask, why did Israel stop?
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# mrkenneth 2009-01-27 21:58
Yet another case where the feckless United Nations is failing to do anything constructive.
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# rfb 2009-01-27 22:15
What's with the proportionate response crap? If someone shoots one bullet at you, are you only going to fire one back or empty the dang gun. I prefer the latter so he doesn't get the second shot.

The Israelis have turned their cheek long enough, it's time they wake up to reality and destroy Gaza, Hamas, and all their supporters. The rockets will not stop till then.

What would Gen George Patton have replied about proportionate response? BS pure and simple. Kill them all before they kill you.

Paul, take off your rose colored glasses, this is reality.
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# whitzoo 2009-01-27 22:40
Maybe if the settlers stopped stealing the Palestinian lands in the west bank, the rockets would stop and the two states could peacefully coexist.
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# Matthew M 2009-01-27 23:12
Whitzoo...it's more than that and you know it.
Hmmmm... which of the two sides has made something of the land they live on? Israel is a thriving place which allows Arabs to live among them...maybe to their detriment. The Palestinians only want trouble. If they can't have Israel, no one can. They live for destruction they are nothing with out it.
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# Ponytail 2009-01-27 23:18
Loved Pat Riot and RFB's response and agree wholeheartedly. As for Whitzoo.... review your history. It isn't the palestinians land - it belongs to Israel and there will always be strife and war in this area of the world and when there isn't.... then that is when it will all get worse. If Gaza doesn't want war, then don't attack!
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# rfb 2009-01-27 23:49
GAZA, not west bank. Rockets are from GAZA. You might want to ask why after 40 years there are still refuge camps in GAZA. If they'd spend their war material $'s on housing, there would be no war OR refuge camps. Palestinians and Israelis would/could be happy and productive. It's easier to fight a proxy war than work to better their lives. Thanks to Iran.
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# Flubber 2009-01-28 00:17
"I think killing 1,300 Gazans for 3 Israeli deaths is not by any means proportionate."

It's called "winning." When the US firebombed Kobe, they lost only a handful of soldiers and at least 50,000 Japanese were killed. War is not a game.
And another reason for the imbalance between deaths in Gaza and Israel is that the Israelis protect their citizens with shelters and such, while Hamas puts rocket launchers in civilian neighborhoods and digs tunnels to fill with arms instead of bomb shelters for the civilians.
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# Matthew W. L. 2009-01-28 00:18
First off, I support Israel, and believe they have to deal with Hamas. I have visited Israel, but did not go to the Gaza Strip. I did go into PA territory in the West Bank, however...namel y Bethlehem. Michael, you wrote in Moment of Truth that America won in Iraq because the population saw us fighting to take the moral high ground. In particular you cited the murdered little girl who's photograph was on the cover. You said that the Iraqi citizens saw Americans risking their lives to save Iraqi lives. You also wrote of Americans risking their lives to approach a van they had shot up to check for survivors rather than simply blowing it up to assure the elimination of the perceived threat. You wondered how you would write the story if they were killed approaching the van.
Israel seems to have taken the stance that it is better that civilians die lest one Israeli soldier be killed... Hence white phosphorous smoke screens, etc.. I don't know, because I'm not there, but it seems to me that while they are certainly restrained in their response, their primary goal is not to take the moral high ground, but eliminate the threat.
Just an observation
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# Flubber 2009-01-28 00:19
"I think killing 1,300 Gazans for 3 Israeli deaths is not by any means proportionate."

It's called "winning." When the US firebombed Kobe, they lost only a handful of soldiers and at least 50,000 Japanese were killed. War is not a game.
And another reason for the imbalance between deaths in Gaza and Israel is that the Israelis protect their citizens with shelters and such, while Hamas puts rocket launchers in civilian neighborhoods and digs tunnels to fill with arms instead of bomb shelters for the civilians.
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# Howarde12 2009-01-28 00:51
A few months ago, my friend, Jim, now 86, flew to Israel. He saw on TV about rockets hitting Israel. He took a cab from Tel Aviv to the border areas (an hour's ride) where Palestinian rockets were landing. He sent me photographs he took of the twisted burnt remains of those rockets, fired randomly into Israel over the past several years. Indiscriminate destruction, but if they had hit a school, the Palestinians would have had a national holiday, running down the streets of Gaza, cheering and shouting slogans.

Jim? He was in every theatre of war during WW II, from two days after Pearl Harbor and through the whole war.

Who's Jim? He was 18 when the Japs hit Pearl Harbor and tried to enlist the following day in the U.S. Navy, but failed the physical. On the 10th, he signed up for the Merchant Marine as an O.S. Five years later he was Captain James. S. Greenberg, the youngest skipper, at 23, in the Merchant Marine, and I sailed with him on that trip. He went on to Captain 16 ships. The first ship he sailed on durng the war had a fake gun aft, made from a telephone pole, and ran alone, with no escorts!

In Sdirot, Israel, he was shown the piles of rockets collected by the police. Only one officer spoke English, a woman. The day before one of the rockets had killed a woman 30 years of age. In the prior two years more than 3,000 rockets had been aimed towards this little western type village, but when the alarms go off some people continue shopping in the stores as if it is nothing.

His favorite hero today, Michael Yon. He does not have a computer, but I've sent him lots of Michael's material. Michael, Jim took all his photos during WWII with a $2.00 box camera, and you'd be amazed at his archives. He's as brave a man today as he was at 18.

He heard about the suit against Michael Moore on FOX, and says, "Nail him." Well, he said a bit more, but genteel in manner.
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# McHermann 2009-01-28 01:05
Many people are willing to go to war, but few are willing to do what it takes to WIN the war, which is precisely the point of war...or should be. Only one side can win. We WON against Germany in WWII. We WON against Japan. We did what it took to win.

In Germany, we overwhelmed their ability to defend against us, by using bombs and manpower. In Japan however, their people were prepared to fight to the death. The cost of lives would have been almost innumerable on both sides, especially compared to losses by bombings, fire OR atomic.

The aftermath of war, in both Germany and Japan, was horrendous, as it should be! It should be horrible to go to war. It should be humiliating to lose a war, no matter what side you are on. Humility is what keeps sane people from going to war.

Freedom is not free. And there are many who want to take it from us. We HAVE to be continually prepared to defend our rights to freedom. And our rights to freedom, guarantees the rights of freedom to all.
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# Paul S. 2009-01-28 02:37
This Paul S. concurs with ET USN's assessment of the ludicrous notion of proportionality in warfare waged for survival; as if it were some sort of gentleman's game. The Left nevers gets it, never will. NEVER debate with belief....
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# Fairweather Johnson 2009-01-28 03:35
Hey Michael, when is the award ceremony? I live in DC and would like to watch it.
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# gunner 2009-01-28 06:04
i'm a simple sort of fellow, but if you come at me with a knife my "proportionate response" will be a riot gun. hamas has been annoying israel with cuts for too long and getting away with it, time to lock and load with 00 buck.
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# Gismo Fly 2009-01-28 12:17
Dear Mike,

Good luck with your conference. My only comment would be the reticence of the Israeli's to put forward their point of view to the rest of the world and allowing the international media to put their own spin on everything they say or release. The Israeli's need a TV channel in english broadcasting by satelite to compete with Al Jazeera and Press TV (Iran). We all know HAMAS can spin the media even when they launch rockets from a UN school. You get everyone's attention if you are an ambulance chaser and Israeli's enemies have honed this down to a fine art.

Regards,
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# aptdoc 2009-01-28 13:01
Michael,
so glad you are in Jerusalem. It is the final battle ground for peoples who want to be free. The seeds of Al Queda were born in the Holy Land. It is unfortunate that we have to fight to preserve our way of life, but that is how it is. Peace will never happen in the world as long as there are those who want to destroy another people. I feel for the Palistiniians, but there are over a Billion Muslims, and only a few million Jews. They have to have a right to exist and live in peace and to defend themselves against aggression. I live in Minneapolis. If you say this is Jerusalem, then Gaza City is a mere 40 miles away, less than an hours drive. It would be like having Cuba 40 miles from Miami and loaded with armed missiles. Bless you for your work, Michael, and telling the story that few in the mainstream media want to tell.
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# Sara Johnson 2009-01-28 14:36
Where have I been? New to Yon's website and dispatches. Found via FoxNews commentary on lawsuit with Moore regards to profound photo of soldier and child. Israelies have shown inordinate restraint while allowing diplomacy and world opinion to mold Hamas behavior. Will Hamas ever change? I doubt it. Why do we talk with those who lie, intentionally generate carnage in civilian populations, starve their own people and hide amoungst women and children? Survival from an enemy who states its ultimate purpose as your destruction is war. Where on earth are the other true photo journalists? Yon's work is leagues above others, he shows both sides and writes about it, too. My God, how refreshing.
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# FilthyBrit 2009-01-28 17:51
I hate to repeat myself, but those dismissing out of hand the idea of proportionate response still don't seem to understand what it means. Hiroshima was, in my view, a proportionate response, not because the Japanese killed as many American civilians as our nukes killed Japanese civilians (in fact, as far as I'm aware, the Japanese did not kill ANY American civilians), but because it was a response proportionate to our legitimate end, which was ending a war of aggression, started by a cowardly and unprovoked Japanese attack, that had already cost countless American lives and which showed no signs of ending any time soon. The doctrine of proportionate response is important, is ingrained in international law as reflected in treaties to which the U.S. and Israel are parties, and is, in fact, part of our military doctrine, and we're better off for it. But the doctrine is NOT as drastic a limitation on our ability to wage war as some of you make it out to be: it just means that a military response has to, in some way, be tailored to its objectives, and that those objectives need to be legitimate. We should make an effort to argue that what we're doing in, say, Afghanistan or Iraq, or what Israel is doing in Gaza, is, in fact, proportionate. This is an argument we can win, without having to invent whole new doctrines. By doing so, we can beat the U.N.-types at their own game.
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# kenny komodo 2009-01-28 19:34
Somehow or other many people in the world seem to think that the Palestinian firing of rockets, missiles and mortars into Israel over the past years has been some sort of video game where the "good" Palestinians shoot at the "evil" Jews and watch them scurry around trying to avoid being killed and when they do get a hit they get points and cheer. Well it's not a game and the Palestinians were forced to learn a hard and painful lesson. Tweak the tigers tail long enough and often enough and the tiger is going to maul you. Unfortunately the lesson seems to be already lost on the Palestinians who are so invested in the destruction of Israel and the death of the Jews they fail to see that in doing so they are setting themselves up for death and destruction. It's time for Israel to eliminate these vermin once and for all and if Iran wants to get in and play eliminate them as well.
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# Russell Elford 2009-01-28 21:15
Independant thinking said "[Hamas] use civilians as shields, they fire on civillians primarily, they kidnap people, and carry on with all of this without as much as a slap on the wrist".

That isn't exactly true. The international response to Hamas actions is to dump millions of dollars in aid on the poor souls. "No more cash for rockets!!" should be the mantra. "Death to Hamas!" should be the chants in Pali streets. I'll keep dreaming.
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# J. C. Gorman 2009-01-28 22:15
If someone attempts to murder you in hour home but screws it up and only stabs you in the leg should you stab him in the leg and call it even? Next time you may not be so lucky. Iran with atomic bombs gives two to Hamas in a truck. Israel may not be able to respond. The world will shake their collective heads and sigh. After a while Israel will be just a page in the history books that illustrates the failure or passive reaction to threats. Iran and Hamas REALLY mean what they say why don't the eggheads "get it?" Is it possible that peace is not the answer when dealing with these governments?
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# Victoria Allen 2009-01-29 01:52
For individuals like magnolia, whizoo, and the Paul S. who wrote comment #10, I suggest that you read up on the history, yes. But also, take a look at what does NOT show up in the apologist/revis ionist history our kids are being fed in school these days. First, I strongly suggest the Hamas Covenant, which can be found here: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

The following is excerpted from a threat assessment which I researched and produced. I'll be happy to provide a list of my resources (all of which are open source) if requested.

On 14 December 1987, Hamas was formed by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. He named the organisation Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya or "Islamic Resistance Movement.ƒ? The common-usage name Hamas is an acronym from the Arabic name, while the Arabic word hamas means ƒ??zeal.ƒ? Hamas was established as the armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, a group with which Yassin had a long association. As with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas is a Sunni Islamist organisation.

From its inception, Hamas actively encouraged the Intifada, engaging in violent action against Israeli citizens, military, government, and infrastructure. It is dedicated to achieving its Islamist goals by violent means. The Covenant guides the movement with this statement: ƒ??There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.ƒ?

Furthermore, the Covenant outlines Hamasƒ??s absolute, uncompromising opposition to the recognition of the Israeli state. While Palestinian Nationalism is a significant factor in the Hamas ideology, and power the ultimate goal, the reasoning that most strongly shapes it is based in the Hadith, the handed-down accounts of anecdotal events in the life of the Prophet Mohammed.

Article Eleven of the Covenant declares: ƒ??The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organisation nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day. [...] This Waqf remains as long as earth and heaven remain. Any procedure in contradiction to Islamic Sharia, where Palestine is concerned, is null and void.ƒ?

The finality of this last statement clearly communicates the political stance of the organisation.

The goals of the Islamic Resistance Movement are simple. First is the destruction and elimination of the state of Israel, and the concomitant expulsion of all Jews from Palestine. Next is the establishment of a Palestinian state, though not of a secular nature and not merely the territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. As a Sunni Islamist organisation with a strong nationalist streak, Hamas seeks the formal creation of Palestine ƒ??from the river to the sea,ƒ? under Sharia law.

In pursuance of these goals, Hamas has utilized pitched gun battles, bombings, and rocket attacks against either its rival Fatah or Israeli interests, in order to derail any talks or forthcoming compromises that have a possibility of coming to fruition. Compromise with or acknowledgment of Israel is not in the Hamas lexicon, and will not ever happen.

Respectfully...
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# Steamboat Jack 2009-01-29 02:32
It isn't supposed to be fair: that's why they call it WAR. Itƒ??s about you winning and the other guy loosing.

Besides, there are 10 Arabs for every Israeli. Hamas would be happy to trade one involuntary martyr for one Israeli. A fair and proportionate response is ten Hamas terrorists for each Israeli.

Read the first paragraph again: It isnƒ??t about fair. Itƒ??s about winning.
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-5 # Bill Smith 2009-01-29 04:36
A wise tactician once said something like this: If ever you find yourself in a fair fight, you failed to plan it properly.
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-22 # Singadick 2009-01-29 09:40
With all the retoric about "any means justifies the end", it is worth considering that:
1) Gaza and Hamas are not synonomous - the governing body Hamas took, and keeps, control by force. Equating the citizenry with the government is like saying all Americans should suffer for any misdeeds of our President. Or that thousands of Iraquis should suffer because we didn't like Saddam Hussein.

2) Israel has seeming been very indiscriminate about who is attacked, and how. There are credible accounts of people, including women and children, who are indisputably non-combatants, being wilfully killed. Israel has shelled UN compounds where civilians took shelter. They seem to have used white phosphorus as a weapon, not for illumination - against Protocol III of the Geneva convention. And on and on.

With a very high density of civilians throughout Gaza, great care must be taken when targeting military objectives. That care seems lacking - indeed, often not considered at all. And it is never excusible for soldiers on the ground to target non-combatants willingly.

As someone else pointed out, and Michael Yon has repeated, we didn't start winning in Iraq until we supported those wanting peace, at the same time as attacking those who would destroy it. That balance is completely lacking in Gaza, and Israel is creating thousands of "terrorists" who will say "never again". Israel needs a Gen. Petraeus.
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-3 # Bob McCarton 2009-01-29 15:58
I hope that Liberals will someday wake up and [truly] understand that the Geneva Convention was written for countries, it does not cover terrorist states or groups. Liberals also need to get the first hand reports from those on the ground about the way terrorists ALWAYS use civilians as shields. They always fail to do this and write their disdains based on emotions and no truth.
Israel is in violation of NOTHING! Living next to them is a gang of murders, thieves and thugs. COCKROACHES. The name is Humas.
Israel needs to take off the gloves and really terminate the COCKROACHES.
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-2 # Patriot 2009-01-29 16:00
If the Mexicans started launching rockets into Texas I can assure you there would be an immediate and wholly disproportionat e response. The Israelis have been more than patient with Hamas, the PLO, Hizbollah, Islamic Jihad and the rest of the lunatic proxies over there that have been unleashed on them for decades...not counting being surrounded by hostile neighbors (at one time or another) and fighting several wars for their very survival.

When will the rest of the world understand that the Israelis are completely justified, in my oh so humble opinion, to use their nuclear arsenal against Iran, who backs pretty much every Sunni group there ironically enough, and Damascus then unleash their full military response against regions that have harbored these terrorist groups. But guess what? They prefer to solve this as peacefully as possible, they actually need the Palestinians for a variety of reasons, economic and otherwise, many are quite friendly with each other....but when a populace agrees by vote or lack of dissent to be led by radical lunatics hell bent on bringing death and destruction on their own people to further their own goals this is what happens.

If the Palestinians want peace then they will rise up against Hamas and choose a peaceful government that will assuredly gain much more ground with the Israelis than lobbing rocket or blowing up buses every will.

Like my dear departed Grandmother used to say "you keep doing what you keep doing and you will keep getting what you keep getting".
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-2 # AA2 2009-01-29 16:56
Like all terrorists, Hamas, is using the civilian population to fight it's battle. It was most poignent to see a Gazan women (pictured but not named) vehemently deny she would take part in any Hamas battles. Many Gazan's would rather see Hamas out but would never say it for fear of death.

As you have so often written Mike, it is this very thing that turned the tide in Iraq. The civilians were not willing to be the pawns anymore. The terrorists were forced to move out.

If only all civilians had the proper backing to make it happen. Terrorism would be history then. A bad memory.
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-2 # OldSoldier54 2009-01-29 20:11
First, congrats to you, Mike. You've earned every accolade I can think of.

As far as Hamas, Hezb'Allah, Al Qaeda and all the rest of those murdering animals; they are Illegal Combatants and as such should be dealt with like Pershing did in the Philippines. Interrogated and then summarily executed. Illegal Combatant=zero legal rights.

Netanyahu is right, Iran makes the global financial meltdown appear as the fleeting troubles of school children. POTUS better ruck up real soon now and deal with Ahmanutjob and the Mullahs. I would just as soon no harm come the general population of the Iranian people, but if it comes down to the nitty gritty, IMO it is better for there to be a few hundred thousand collateral damage casualties in Iran from a massive first strike, than for the millions and millions who would be incinerated in a full nuclear exchange between Iran and Eretz Yisrael, or worse.

As the Lord is my witness, I hope we have SpecOps folks in there working with the Iranian Resistance, to help them help themselves so we can avoid the Armageddon scenario.

And screw the "Oil Crisis" excuse to do nothing. The Oil Corps have been screwing us blind for a while now and are continuing to do so by cutting back on production so they can keep profits up - as if the obscene profits of the last six quarters, or so, aren't enough. So what do we have to loose? And I could care less for the rest of the world's opinion.
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-2 # Jamie G 2009-01-29 21:38
Michael please keep up the good work, I appreciate what you do and stand for even though sometimes I want you to lean a little bit more to the right :-).

Couple thoughts:

I think it's easy for people outside Israel to pass judgement on Israel's response. If ANY nation were to continue to launch rockets across our borders what would our response be? Total decimation of the enemy. No second chance allowed. Until the majority of people writing or commenting about Israel live there and feel what it is like to be surroundeded by enemies, maybe we should let it alone.

We should be kicking the UN out of the US. Have them go to Brussels, they are useless to us and just as corrupt as any third world country. Nobody is scared of the UN.

My comment about appropriate or porportionate response is this. If my dog bites my wife or child, I don't wack her on the nose and tell her don't do that again. I put her down so I know she will never bite ANYONE again.

Hamas is weak, cowardly, and manipulative. We should stay out of Israel's business and let them put Hamas down. After how many years of this going on is the international community going to figure out "Maybe its not Israel"?
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-2 # Owllhoot 2009-01-30 15:01
I was in Israel in 1982 when war broke out in southern Lebanon. I was on the recieving end of PLO rockets and artillery, so I know how it feels to have an enemy lobbing weapons at you with no other motivation than to maim and kill as many innocent people as possible. Israel did the right thing when they invaded Lebanon and pushed out Yassir Arafat.

As much as I applaud them for how they handled that, I also learned a hard lesson. The war goes on. What they did in Lebanon was fight a battle. They have not defeated an enemy. The war continues because their enemy remains. Whether the PLO, Fatah, Hamas or other terror group, the fact remains that those groups are still out there, and will continue to be a threat until they have been utterly defeated. Israel can not have peace until they and others like them are crushed.

In this context, the recent Gaza operation was merely a battle in the larger war for survival against enemies who seek her annihilation. I side with Israel, and hope beyond hope that her enemies are indeed crushed never to rise again. They do not deserve to walk the earth among civilized nations, for the depths of misery they have caused their own people and others around them will remain as an indictment against them for all eternity.
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-4 # humanist 2009-01-30 17:11
For me the question is not if Israel's response was proportionate. The question is who provoked whom? It's not like the Israelis are totally innocent here and it's just those evil Palestinians who don't want peace. Israel has been blockading Gaza for months, well actually most everyone has been heaping collective punishment on the Gazans for electing Hamas ever since it happened. Honestly, I'm not a fan of either side in that conflict, and I don't see why we Americans have to get in the middle of every dispute and take sides. I think we are a little too easy to automatically take sides sometimes. Don't think for a second that the Israelis are not out to screw the Palestinians out of as much land as they can, just as much as the Palestinians would love to send the Jews packing to wherever they came from.
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-3 # Val Kerry 2009-02-02 00:55
Hello Michael, I have followed every step of your blogs and your valuable contribution to my awareness and education on many matters and I have even taken inspiration from your fantastic photographs which can be seen on my flickr site with credit and links to your website. However, I am wondering if you have also been to hear the Palestinian people talk. This latest report from you seems very one sided and I am a concerned that it is not balanced with the peaceful protesters who pray for peace between Palestinians and Israeli's. Through the Flickr website which as you know is a photo and information sharing website I have become aware of the fact that there are many Jewish people living in Israel who do not agree with some of the decisions and violent reaction which has been taking place in response to Hamas. My own MP here in England, UK Gerald Kaufman is Jewish and has spoken passionately about his belief of the injustices which continue to happen against Palestine and has been branded anti zionist for it. Please see this link: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2009-01-15a.396.0&s=speaker%3A10327#g407.2 where he talks about how his family was lost in the Holocaust and that he is not proud of what is happening to the Palestinians today. I really want to continue to support and believe in you and the valuable testimony you portray through your blog, website and photographs. Please also visit anomalousNYC on flickr who is an extremely well educated man living in New York with a huge knowledge and links to the suffering of the Palestinian people. I cannot end this comment without acknowledging that the actions of Hamas are indeed wrong but feel that it should be strongly pointed out that the history behind why they are now in power should be looked into adding also again that Palestinian people are not entirely in agreement with them. Mothers do not want to give their young sons over to the influence of the Hamas which is powerful of course. Hate and violence breeds only more hate and violence. You say that Israel want peace, of course they do but only on their terms where they can dominate with a back up of armour supplied to them by countries like ours, that is the UK and USA. Thankyou for your time in reading this comment.

Yours respectfully
Val Kerry
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