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Celebrate Diversity with Hezbollah:

Denver blogger Joshua Sharf (View from a Heights) notes a Denver Post report of an anti-Israel rally in Denver last Saturday: "Mixed messages ranging from steadfast nonviolence to support for Hezbollah 'show the diversity' of a new organization called the Front Range Coalition for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, said Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni, a leader of interfaith efforts at St. John's Cathedral."

Sharf writes:

I hadn't realized that tolerance for, indeed applause for, Ahmedinejad's willing executioners was included in the definition of "interfaith efforts."

...A well-organized rally would have had marshals controlling the message a little bit. The quote to the paper would have been about how his "movement" had no place for the sort of hatred that Nasrallah represents, blah blah blah. But Kazerooni couldn't even bring himself to say that.

Kazerooni knows what Hezbollah and Nasrallah are. He knows perfectly well that Nasrallh, too, has said he's looking forward to the ingathering of the Jewish exiles, all the easier to kill them. He's also a professional at PR, so he knows how to stay on message when he wants to. And in this case, the message was, "we'll take all comers, even if they're experimenting with Zyklon B in their back yards."

He's not anti-war, he's just on the other side.

Kazerooni came to Colorado after fleeing persecution under Saddam Hussein, but it hard so respect his current tolerance a group that would impose its own tyranny on Lebanon.

Bottomfish (mail):
The above is indeed amazing, but does not seem to me any more amazing than the following, recently printed in the NY Times, by Professor Robert Pape of the Univ of Chicago:

In terms of structure and hierarchy, [Hezbollah] is less comparable to, say, a religious cult like the Taliban than to the multidimensional American civil-rights movement of the 1960's. What made its rise so rapid, and will make it impossible to defeat militarily, was not its international support but the fact that it evolved from a reorientation of pre-existing Lebanese social groups.

Of course Israel has plenty of missiles of its own although she did not choose to deploy them.
8.15.2006 6:57am
RainerK:
Yep, not surprising. Would dismissing people like that as merely a handful of misguided folks be a mistake? They get a lot of publicity. Just how widespread are these sentiments really?
The German news magazine Spiegel leads online with a story that Israel's bombing war was "Bush's Blueprint for Attack on Iran" and that the US and Israel had planned it for a long time. It cites Seymour Hersh and his numoerous anonymous sources as proof.
Here we go again.
Story in German
8.15.2006 9:17am
Mr. T.:
I'd like to see what these people actually said. All this article says is that there was "support for Hezbollah", which is a pretty vague statement. All the inflammatory language here comes from the blogger. There's no reporting on what took place at the rally.
8.15.2006 10:21am
goesh (mail):
- of course the likes of hizbullah can't be defeated militarily when the death of their civilian supporters brings nothing but hand wringing , soul searching and the rending of cloth on our part, while totally ignoring the fact that our civilians are regarded as the basis of the problem and deemed enemies to be killed. Of course the 3,000 killed on 9/11 were supporters of the American cause, why else were they killed? It is sort of like having a war and not realizing the enemy wants you dead. I am beginning to believe the Bush derangement syndrome. The man puts pressure on Israel to stop its assault, then gets on TV and tells the world there is a war on terrorism and hizbullah is a terrorist organization. Is there any wonder they are winning?
8.15.2006 10:22am
Joshua Sharf (mail) (www):
Mr T:

According to the Post, there were, in addition to the traditional lefty peace crowd, some people carrying Hezbollah &Hamas flags, and others handing out pictures of Nasrallah.
8.15.2006 10:58am
Joshua Sharf (mail) (www):
Also, I do distinguish between the two groups - 1) traditional lefty peaceniks, and 2) people carrying Hezbollah and Hamas flags.
8.15.2006 10:59am
Enoch:
Joshua, what's the difference between the two, and why is it important? They are one and the same as far as I can tell. Good pics of the San Francisco rally here.
8.15.2006 11:10am
Observer:
Joshua:

What exactly is the difference between Hezbolla and the Left? They are identical in their goals (destruction of Judeo-Christian morality and imposition of Scientific Socialism/Sharia); their methods (the genocide of Hezbolla is cheered on by the left because the American Left would be just as genocidal if they could get away with it); and their supporters (dumb and lazy poor people, and the rich liberal elite who think that Scientific Socialism/Sharia will give them control of the masses).

Tell me one detail in which Hezbolla and the American left disagree. (and don't give that tired old saw about how the left is somehow "secular" and hezbolla "religious". We all know that the American left's opposition to religion extends only so far as religion enables the imposition of Judeo-Christian morality on society. Religion (such as the barbaric teachings of Islam, or anti-Christian teachings of Hinduism) are perfectly in synch with the left.
8.15.2006 11:16am
Observer:
Joshua:

What exactly is the difference between Hezbolla and the Left? They are identical in their goals (destruction of Judeo-Christian morality and imposition of Scientific Socialism/Sharia); their methods (the genocide of Hezbolla is cheered on by the left because the American Left would be just as genocidal if they could get away with it); and their supporters (dumb and lazy poor people, and the rich liberal elite who think that Scientific Socialism/Sharia will give them control of the masses).

Tell me one detail in which Hezbolla and the American left disagree. (and don't give that tired old saw about how the left is somehow "secular" and hezbolla "religious". We all know that the American left's opposition to religion extends only so far as religion enables the imposition of Judeo-Christian morality on society. Religion (such as the barbaric teachings of Islam, or anti-Christian teachings of Hinduism) are perfectly in synch with the left.
8.15.2006 11:16am
Third Party Beneficiary (mail):
"I am beginning to believe the Bush derangement syndrome. The man puts pressure on Israel to stop its assault, then gets on TV and tells the world there is a war on terrorism and hizbullah is a terrorist organization. Is there any wonder they are winning?"

I thought "Bush Derangement Syndrome" referred to people who were deranged at Bush, not that Bush is deranged.
8.15.2006 11:50am
Joshua Sharf (mail) (www):
I'm not defending the peacenik left. I'm distinguishing them from the Hezbollites.

I'm defining the peacenik left as so morally blinkered that it can't tell the difference between Israel and Hezbollah. They're the people who show up for pretty much anything that's called "anti-war," and my mental image of them is 60s love beads, tie-die, and long grey hair tied back into ponytails. They're not harmless, but they'll sign onto anything anti-West, and you probably won't catch them telling their kids that their ideal career path involves a close, personal relationship with semtex.

The Hezbollites and Hamasians, on the other hand, know exactly what the difference is between Israel and Islamism, and have chosen Islamism as a positive ideal.

The relationship between the two is roughly the same as between the Communists and the useful idiots. Same idiots, different use.
8.15.2006 12:03pm
Mr. T.:
Josh -

Thanks for responding. I agree with the point you're making - that traditional peace activists need to draw a sharper distinction between themselves and those who are anti-Israel or pro-Hezbollah. Some of the later commenters are way out of line, though. Most of the sincere antiwar people I know are "religious left" types - which I think demonstrates the futility of generalizing about "the right" or "the left".
8.15.2006 12:10pm
Mr. T.:
Joshua -

Didn't mean to be overly familiar by calling you "Josh" - just tripped an automatic shortcut in my brain.
8.15.2006 12:11pm
Hoosier:
May I point out that St. John's is the *Episcopalian* Cathedral, *not* the RC Cathedral, in Denver.

This is not the sort of shindig that the RC Church condones; I take heat for it as an academic, but sometimes it's nice to belong to a religion that doesn't think 'diversity' of opinion is always a good thing.

"Veritatis Splendor" and all that . . .
8.15.2006 1:16pm
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
Here we go again:
The Bush administration and an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Congress have gone on record defending Israel's assault on Lebanon's civilian infrastructure as a means of attacking Hezbollah "terrorists." However, unlike the major Palestinian Islamist groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah forces haven't killed any Israeli civilians for more than a decade. Indeed, a 2002 Congressional Research Service report noted, in its analysis of Hezbollah, that "no major terrorist attacks have been attributed to it since 1994." The most recent State Department report on international terrorism also fails to note any acts of terrorism by Hezbollah since that time except for unsubstantiated claims that a Hezbollah member was a participant in a June 1996 attack on the U.S. Air Force dormitory at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

While Hezbollah's ongoing rocket attacks on civilian targets in Israel are indeed illegitimate and can certainly be considered acts of terrorism, it is important to note that such attacks were launched only after the U.S.-backed Israeli assault on civilian targets in Israel began July 12. Similarly, Hezbollah has pledged to cease such attacks once Israel stops its attacks against Lebanon and withdraws its troops from Lebanese territory occupied since the onset of the latest round of hostilities. (The Hezbollah attack on the Israeli border post that prompted the Israeli assaults, while clearly illegitimate and provocative, can not legally be considered a terrorist attack since the targets were military rather than civilian.)

Indeed, the evolution of this Lebanese Shiite movement from a terrorist group to a legal political party had been one of the more interesting and hopeful developments in the Middle East in recent years. Like many radical Islamist parties elsewhere, Hezbollah (meaning "Party of God") combines populist rhetoric, important social service networks for the needy, and a decidedly reactionary and chauvinistic interpretation of Islam in its approach to contemporary social and political issues. In Lebanese parliamentary elections earlier last year, Hezbollah ended up with fourteen seats outright in the 128-member national assembly, and a slate shared with the more moderate Shiite party Amal gained an additional twenty-three seats. Hezbollah controls one ministry in the 24-member cabinet. While failing to disarm as required under UN Security Council resolution 1559, Hezbollah was negotiating with the Lebanese government and other interested Lebanese parties, leading to hopes that the party's military wing would be disbanded within a few months. Prior to calling up reserves following the Israeli assault, Hezbollah could probably count on no more than a thousand active-duty militiamen.

In other words, whatever one might think of Hezbollah's reactionary ideology and its sordid history, the group did not constitute such a serious threat to Israel's security as to legitimate a pre-emptive war.

Having ousted Syrian forces from Lebanon in an impressive nonviolent uprising last year, the Lebanese had re-established what may perhaps be the most democratic state in the Arab world. Because they allowed the anti-Israel and anti-American Hezbollah to participate in the elections, however, the Israeli government and the Bush administration—with strong bipartisan support on Capitol Hill—apparently decided that Lebanon as a whole must be punished in the name of "the war on terror."
Foreign Policy in Focus Again, as last time, I'll note that accordning to other sources the number of israeli civilians killed by hezbollah from 2000 until just before the current crisis was not "0" but "6"
8.15.2006 2:03pm
Gordo:
The logical disconnect that leftist supporters must tolerate to support misogynistic homophobic nihilistic fundamentalist Islamists like Hizbullah yawns wider every year.
8.15.2006 2:10pm
Fub:
Joshua Sharf wrote:
I'm not defending the peacenik left. I'm distinguishing them from the Hezbollites.

I'm defining the peacenik left as so morally blinkered that it can't tell the difference between Israel and Hezbollah.
I thought your original point made perfect sense without further explanation, though several commenters above apparently didn't understand it.

I would add that the "peacenik left", or whatever appellation one uses to describe the apparently anti-war but pro-Hezbollah faction in the USA, also suffers another perceptual lakuna. They don't realize, or don't want to acknowledge, that Hezbollah ultimately wants them just as dead as Hezbollah wants Isrealis.
8.15.2006 2:14pm
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):

"The logical disconnect that leftist supporters must tolerate to support misogynistic homophobic nihilistic fundamentalist Islamists like Hizbullah yawns wider every year."

Wrong again
8.15.2006 2:15pm
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
8.15.2006 2:21pm
Bleepless (mail):
So that dirtbag imam got here because he was likely to be persecuted by Saddam Hussein. For US law, that is the end of analysis. In he comes. It should, instead, be the beginning of analysis, with such people being admitted for advocating a civilized opinion, not just any opinion. This would automatically eliminate, inter alia, all Islamists.
8.15.2006 2:36pm
therut:
Why does anyone believe anything Sey Hersh writes. He was on Hardball yesterday and Chrissy seemed to think he was all knowing and believed every word he said. Whatever ever happpened to the left nut of the day Scott Ritter did he not go around saying the Bush Regime was gong to invade Iran in June of 04. Where is that saint of the Left now. And No there is not any difference between the Left and our enemies. An No the so called religious peace-niks are just as dishonest and dangerous. Remember the High ups in the PCUSA meeting with the Hezzbots just a few years ago. They are lefties that hide behind their very thin veneer of religion.
8.15.2006 4:10pm
Justin Levine:
Geroge Orwell on Pacificists:

Pacifism. Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me'. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. Mr Savage remarks that 'according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be "objectively pro-British".' But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious 'freedom' station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U. They would stimulate pacifism in Russia as well if they could, but in that case they have tougher babies to deal with. In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.

I am not interested in pacifism as a 'moral phenomenon'. If Mr Savage and others imagine that one can somehow 'overcome' the German army by lying on one's back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance of the way in which things actually happen. As an ex-Indian civil servant, it always makes me shout with laughter to hear, for instance, Gandhi named as an example of the success of non-violence. As long as twenty years ago it was cynically admitted in Anglo-Indian circles that Gandhi was very useful to the British government. So he will be to the Japanese if they get there. Despotic governments can stand 'moral force' till the cows come home; what they fear is physical force. But though not much interested in the 'theory' of pacifism, I am interested in the psychological processes by which pacifists who have started out with an alleged horror of violence end up with a marked tendency to be fascinated by the success and power of Nazism.

Nothing has cahnged.

(Jim Lindgren's post on Volokh.com concerning the Itallian law student "peace actvist" shows that even Volokh contributors themselves can get caught up in the moral confusion.)

Lindgren's post here
8.15.2006 5:34pm
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
You respond to those you think are pacifist. You have no idea if they are or not.
I'm not a pacifist, but then I am also not at war with Hezbollah.
It always amuses me when the children of Jabotinsky accuse others of being fascist.
8.15.2006 6:16pm
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
"Why does anyone believe anything Sey Hersh writes."
Tell us why we shouldn't. Make an argument. back it up with evidence, etc. etc.

That's how it's done kids.
8.15.2006 6:18pm
Bottomfish (mail):
Seth Edenbaum,

That long passage from Foreign Policy in Focus was interesting, especially the following:

While Hezbollah's ongoing rocket attacks on civilian targets in Israel are indeed illegitimate and can certainly be considered acts of terrorism, it is important to note that such attacks were launched only after the U.S.-backed Israeli assault on civilian targets in Israel began July 12.

Can you tell me more about "the U.S-backed Israeli assault on civilian targets in Israel?"
8.15.2006 9:36pm
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
must be referring to self-hating jews.
8.15.2006 10:18pm
Average Joe (mail):
I have been busy working today, so I am late to commenting on this post. None the less, I must note that above 8.15.2006 11:03am Joshua Sharf commented:

The relationship between the two [Hezbollah and the peaceniks] is roughly the same as between the Communists and the useful idiots. Same idiots, different use.
which is an absolutely wonderful summation, both pithy and accurate. I felt the need to reiterate Joshua Sharf's statement and to register my envy.
8.15.2006 11:58pm
Bottomfish (mail):
No, that was not a reference to self-hatred. That was a bungled reference to Israeli rocket attacks in Gaza, which in turn resulted from Qassam rockets fired from Gaza. Why did Hez find it necessary to grab the Israeli soldiers in response to something going on between between Israel and Gaza? If Hez is really a Lebanese civil rights group, as the Professor Robert Pape would have us believe, why does it get involved in Gaza? Why is it necessary for the Gazans to fire rockets anyway?

I would also point out that the statements about Hez in the piece you quoted are not supported by everyone. In an article in the Washington Post of 7/14/2006 p. A21, Michael Oren says:

Since the pullout of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Hezbollah terrorists have periodically fired rockets at civilian targets in Israel and ambushed soldiers across the U.N.-recognized border.
8.16.2006 6:48am
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
"Why did Hez find it necessary to grab the Israeli soldiers in response to something going on between between Israel and Gaza? If Hez is really a Lebanese civil rights group, as the Professor Robert Pape would have us believe, why does it get involved in Gaza? Why is it necessary for the Gazans to fire rockets anyway?"

The refugees. The common enemy. The "facts on the ground." War.

And the report refers to attacks on civilians not military targets; and as I mentioned other reports say 6 civilians killed since 2000.

I'm waiting for an argument. What I get are rants and quibbles.
8.16.2006 9:13am
Hoosier:
Seth--

I'll asume that really do want argument.

Hersh's latest piece does not follow the rules of reporting that I would expect from and undergraduate. Please look at his sourcing. Without the sources who wish to remain anonymous, there is no story. Yet he makes clear that his sources are not governmental sources trying to protect their jobs. They are "experts."

Reporters rely on "experts" whose credentials can be verified. If they won't allow this, you don't "report" them.

To use a phrase of your own devising, "That's how it's done kids."

Can you refure this assessment?
8.16.2006 11:44am
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
Still more quibbles.
What's Hersh's record? What's his batting average: during this ridiculous war and over the course of his career?
You're yelling at someone you don't like, not making an argument.

Argue policy. Give me facts... numbers... history...
8.16.2006 1:22pm
Bottomfish (mail):
Edenbaum:

"The refugees. The common enemy. The facts on the ground. War."

So there was a war on! Was that the same war as the one that just ended with UN Res 1701? Plainly not, because it was the background to that war; it was the status ex quo ante which to you justified grabbing the Israeli soldiers. It's easy to see what's going on here. You draw a baseline according to which continuing violence against Israel is normal because it is "the common enemy." So really there is a continuing war of Israel vs Lebanon/Syria/West bank/Gaza. If so, Israel may as well go all the way. Wait! We're supposed to care about human lives. Time to change the baseline.
8.16.2006 9:59pm
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
I'm with Juan Cole: Hezbollah's actions were stupid. But then so was the Israeli kidnapping of 2 civilians in gaza the day before.
And yes, I care abut human lives. But how many Palestinians and Lebanese have been killed. And how many israelis? No, jackass the Israeli's have been the aggressors for years, and when they're feeling generous they offer the Palestinians Bantustans and the honor of being policed by a state with the foreign policy of the Monroe Doctrine of crank!
But then this discussion will end when you ask me why I should care because after all as a Jew I have the "Right of Return" to a place I've never been; and to expropriated land. I've heard that offer too many times.
You want logic? I'll give you logic. But don't come to me with the memories of a five-year-old and the needs of a wounded adolescent and try to argue with me. There are some links above read them all the way through.

I am not at war with iran or Hezbollah. I don't like Hezbollah but I respect them as a political force. I have no respect for Al Qaeda but then they're a different thing entirely. To you they're all bugaboos, To you I'm a bugaboo. After all, I've got family or social connections to every democratic administration since Johnson and I've actually met communists! I've even slept with a few! (all male of course).
---

That was fun. I let off steam when I'm drunk
8.16.2006 11:44pm