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And just what do you think Israel will have to talk about with Hezbollah, which says it will hunt down and destroy Jews wherever it finds them on Earth, and Iran, which says there was no Holocaust, and swears it will wipe Israel off the map?

Plenty. Let's start with: "Hey, you guys remember we have nuclear weapons and you don't, right? Let's talk!" The point of diplomacy isn't to reach agreements or get everyone together to sing Kumbaya. It's to get positions and messages across that just don't sound quite the same when it takes the form of a 1,000 pound bomb detonating (those kinds of messages tend to be misinterpreted). Right now, no one's talking. How's that worked out?

You're talking about people who think the greatest thing in the world is to die for Allah.

How can death become joyous? How can death become happiness? When Al-Hussein asked his nephew Al-Qassem, when he had not yet reached puberty: "How do you like the taste of death, son?" He answered that it was sweeter than honey. How can the foul taste of death become sweeter than honey? Only through conviction, ideology, and faith, through belief, and devotion.

We do not want to...leave our homeland to Israel... Therefore, we are not interested in our own personal security. On the contrary, each of us lives his days and nights hoping more than anything to be killed for the sake of Allah. (MEMRI: Al-Manar TV , Feb. 18-19, 2005)

I know, I know, your secular western cynicism says they can't possibly really believe this - that they're just posing. But.. .WHAT - IF - THEY - DO?

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Except #1: Israel is not destroying Hizbullah. So not only are they not accomplishing their military objectives, they are alienating a potentially sympathetic population. In other words, they are losing this fight, which make sthe punishment of the Lebanese peoplel all the more pointless (I'm still curious about what exactly the average Lebanese citizen is suppossed to do about Hizbullah in the first place...)

They are though. Not at the rate we would all wish but they do take out rocket sites and devices along with occupying and denying Hezbollah area to operate in. I don't really think Israel gives a hoot about public opinon as they isolated in a sea of hatred anyhow so public opinion of the Lebanese is moot. What the average Lebanese is supposed to do? Make dam sure Hezbollah doesn't try to set up in your neighborhood as you can be sure an Israeli bomb will be falling shortly.

You seem eager to see more Israelis dead. Why?

Nope. I believe this a better course than watching your people get picked off pell mell over years rather than confronting the enemy. I ask you the same question. We all know Hezbollah desires to kill the Jews of Israel and will over time effect what they can if not taken care of now so what has changed in their doctrine to make you feel they wish peace at all costs?

Well, yes it is, but that's beside the point. the Sinai withdrawl was part of a negotiated agrement, not a unilateral pull out. I don't have a problem with self-government, but there's a difference between self-government and a basic power vacumn in an area like Gaza. Those types of vacums tend to be filled by people with guns. And surprise! That's exactly what happened.

OK, then you are pissed that Israel is not running Palestinian affairs. Strange as you were pissed that they were occupying Arab land and now are pissed at Israel rather than Palestinians for not having the ability to run themselves. So in your opinion, Arabs are incapable of governing?

And if not possible?

You do what you can or you don't.

Given that the U.S. and Israel consider Hizbullah a terrorist organization and won't deal with them, how do you know Hizbullah wouldn't negotiate?

Joking right? One of their prime directives is to destroy Israel, not seek co-existance. There is only one compromise for Hezbollah, destruction of Israel, one point that I doubt Israel could be expected to compromise on. On the other hand, Israel seeks the disarming of Hezbollah, one point that we are sure they would not agree to without the destruction of either Israel or themselves.

Hizbullah is a political entity reliant on popular support. That makes it vunlerable to political pressure. By working with state actors like Lebanon and Hizbullah's sponsors in Syria to resolve issues like Sheeba Farms dispute . Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan (Sunni-led nations that want stability in the region), can also be enlisted (via their mutual sponsor the U.S.) to take steps to stop the rise of Hezbollah.

Yes. Good ol' boys building schools and hospitals like the US in Iraq. Try to take their guns or pull away and you'll find they are reliant on public support like the Nazi party. As for talking to their sponsors, I'm sure the Israelis ambassadors in Damascus and Ridyah have that agenda at the top of thier list as do their Arab counterparts in Jerusalem.

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Resolution Accepted by Israel/Lebanon.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14258758/

Yes they have, BUT the military wing of Hezbollah wants to remain in the southern part of Lebanon, and they refuse to be disarmed. In other words they are foolish enough to think that Israel will stop their retaliation while Hezbollah remains armed and firing rockets at civilian targets inside Israel. This shows just where Hezbollah stands on the issue of peace, they simply don't want it. Their goal remains the same as that of Hamas, Iran and Syria, the total inialation of the Statre of Israel. Israel cannot afford to let down their guard for one second, because these groups of nutcases are just waiting for some sign of weakness to exploit the situation. God Bless Israel, they deserve our support much more than does any country or group of terrorists who's sole mission in life is to destroy a whole race of people. Hitler tried it and failed, now we have a bunch of radical Islamics trying to accomplish the same thing. The real problem is that these radicals see anyone who does now bow down to Mohammad as an infidel and should be destroyed. Right now Israel is fighting the fight we may all have to fight at some point in the future.

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They are though. Not at the rate we would all wish but they do take out rocket sites and devices along with occupying and denying Hezbollah area to operate in.

No, they aren't. I don't think anyone believes that Hizbullah's capabilities were diminished one iota.

I don't really think Israel gives a hoot about public opinon as they isolated in a sea of hatred anyhow so public opinion of the Lebanese is moot. What the average Lebanese is supposed to do? Make dam sure Hezbollah doesn't try to set up in your neighborhood as you can be sure an Israeli bomb will be falling shortly.

So, basically the average Lebanese's choice is to confront the heavily armed guerilla group (with what, I'm not sure), or diue at Israel's hands. Rock, meet hard place.

Nope. I believe this a better course than watching your people get picked off pell mell over years rather than confronting the enemy. I ask you the same question. We all know Hezbollah desires to kill the Jews of Israel and will over time effect what they can if not taken care of now so what has changed in their doctrine to make you feel they wish peace at all costs?

Because Israel doesn't seem able to "take care" of Hizbullah. As I said, the best way to disarm or weaken Hizbullah would be to get Syria to close its borders.

OK, then you are pissed that Israel is not running Palestinian affairs. Strange as you were pissed that they were occupying Arab land and now are pissed at Israel rather than Palestinians for not having the ability to run themselves. So in your opinion, Arabs are incapable of governing?

No, I am saying Israel didn't help set up any authority. They went out of their way to weaken the only force they could have turned to to exert any kind of hold over Gaza (the P.A). It has nothing to do with some inherent inability to self govern. But Israel spent years battering the PA into impotence, then handed them Gaza and sai: "Here you go, it's all yours!"

Joking right? One of their prime directives is to destroy Israel, not seek co-existance. There is only one compromise for Hezbollah, destruction of Israel, one point that I doubt Israel could be expected to compromise on. On the other hand, Israel seeks the disarming of Hezbollah, one point that we are sure they would not agree to without the destruction of either Israel or themselves.

*shrugs* Well, at this point, there's absolutely nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

Yes. Good ol' boys building schools and hospitals like the US in Iraq. Try to take their guns or pull away and you'll find they are reliant on public support like the Nazi party. As for talking to their sponsors, I'm sure the Israelis ambassadors in Damascus and Ridyah have that agenda at the top of thier list as do their Arab counterparts in Jerusalem.

*shrugs* Well, at this point, there's absolutely nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

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So, basically the average Lebanese's choice is to confront the heavily armed guerilla group (with what, I'm not sure), or diue at Israel's hands. Rock, meet hard place.

Hezbollah - 5,000 men

Lebanese Army - 75,000 men.

Problem is, most of the people of Lebanon SUPPORT Hezbollah. Certainly the Shiites do. Certainly, the Shiites in the Lebanese Army do. It's not like Hezbollah is holding an unwilling public at gunpoint. The public supports everything they do, and cheered on their attack against Israel.

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No, they aren't. I don't think anyone believes that Hizbullah's capabilities were diminished one iota.

Hizbullah's launch capability seriously curtailed

The IDF assessed on Monday that Hizbullah's rocket launching capability was significantly compromised by the fighting that took place in the past three weeks.

It was estimated that, while the organization still has hundreds of rockets with a sufficient range to reach Afula and Haifa, there were only a number of launchers remaining with launching capability.

The Hizbullah still had several Zilzal rockets left that could reach central Israel, Army Radio reported.

In the course of the fighting, the IDF asserted that it had killed some 200 Hizbullah operatives.

So, basically the average Lebanese's choice is to confront the heavily armed guerilla group (with what, I'm not sure), or diue at Israel's hands. Rock, meet hard place.

Or, as you have said over and over aginan as they have support there, not provide that support.

Because Israel doesn't seem able to "take care" of Hizbullah. As I said, the best way to disarm or weaken Hizbullah would be to get Syria to close its borders.

Yes. From what I understand, Assad and Olmert talk all the time. They would be sure to comply in order to keep relations as friendly as they have been over the years.

No, I am saying Israel didn't help set up any authority.

Gee, now they are going to set up something in Lebannon and this also makes you angry. Dammed if they do........

Well, at this point, there's absolutely nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

Momentum and destruction of Hezbollahs rockets.

Well, at this point, there's absolutely nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

See above.

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There is no diplomacy for Israel and Hezbollah. Hezbollah (and other groups) simply want Israel destroyed. Israel just wants to be left alone. How do you negotiate that with people that won't even listen to anything you say because you're nothing to them? They don't even recognize Israel....how the heck are they supposed to be diplomatic with Hezbollah?

Israel doesn't recognize Hizbullah either. But israel doesn't necessarily have to talk to Hizbullah, they can go straight to the nations that pull its strings. At some point, these parties are going to have to sit down and jaw. The alternative is worse.

I think both of you and I and everyone else would agree it is highly unlikely Hezbollah will ever enagge in peaceful or diplomatic talks with Israel for the simplel reason they are not and do not claim to be seeking peace. They are at religious war with Israel and all Jews.

The practical reality is they need to be permanently and physically seperated from Israel and not be placed in the physical position of being able to attack Israel or Jews world-wide. How you achieve that I do not know. Logic says you must disarm them but the reality is Hezbollah are heroes to the vast majority of Muslims in their world where anti-semitism and the destruction of Israel are wide spread popular doctrine.

I am not sure how you go about getting enlightened moderate and modern Muslims to come to the forefront and transcend the fundamentalist muck and forge an economic alliance with moderate Israelis given this rampant anti-semetism and hatred for Israel.

Unlike the PLO in the 60's and 70's that did have factions that were moderate and regularily communicated with the Israeli Defence Force and politicians, today's militants in Hamas and Hezbollah are not interested in dialogue.

Even if you try prop up a guy like Abbas for the PLO he has no support from Hamas or Hezbollah.

One thing should be made clear. Syria is completely and absolutely anti-Israel in every sense of the word. When it tries to pose as a broker or middle man between Hezbollah and the West that is a pure crock of sh..t. Its similiar to a tactic one sees when one travels to open bazarres in the Middle East. One person will own most of the stalls and hire vendors per each stall. When tourists come a young man will approach the tourists and say to the tourist if the tourist pays him, he will negotiate for him with all the stall keepers because he is friends with them all and can get them a good deal. Of course that young man owns every stall and hires all the vendors! It's an ancient tactic and anyone who understands the Middle East and its political shennanigans and plots doesn't take it too seriously. Syria posing as an honest broker trying to help achieve peace is like the Klu Klux Klan offering to help poor black people learn to read.

More to the point, Syria has no control over Hezbollah. It has zero influence. It is in alliance with Hezbollah simply because they share the same enemy. Likewise the Sunnis and Druze and Christian Lebanese who now are angry at Israel for destroying their country and so side with Hezbollah, are simply allies at this point because of their common anger or hatred for Israel not because they are a true alliance.

In the Middle East there are thousands of coalitions between enemies who become allies temporarily when it comes to dealing with Israel.

Syria can barely prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from taking over its own country. The tiny tribe of Syrians now in control of the country are from a minority Muslim sect and its only a matter of time until Sunnis in Syria engage in open war with Shiites in that country and Assad's power clique and kill him. Syria is not and has never been the real power in the Middle East. It has always been Egypt and Iran. Egypt because of their population and shipping lanes, Iran because of their oil and strategic geographic position with China, Russia, Turkey, etc.

Iran right now has no interest in peace with Israel and so its proxy army the Hezbollah will not go away. Iran is set on having Shiite Islam rule the Middle East and the Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates although they would never admit it need Israel to exist to counter Iran's power.

There is a tendency to think Israel is a proxy for the US and used to destabilize the Middle East for the US so the US can sell weapons for oil. That is a bit simplistic and there is some truth to it, but the fact is Israel serves not just as an ally for US interests, but for Turkish, Russian, Egyptian, Saudi Arabian and UAE interests. It is the only counter-balancing act to Iran these days.

Egypt is on the brink of becoming an extremist fundamentalist Sunni Muslim regime if the Muslim Brotherhood succeeds in killing Mubarak. Its highly doubtful a large, populous poor country like Egypt which is principally Sunni could ever co-exist with Iran and that is precisely why Egypt has stayed out of a war with Israel. It needs Israel to keep Iran in check.

Even countries like France, China and Russia who sell Iran weapons to get favour, secretly need Israel to be strong.

So what does this all mean? To get Hezbollah to back off, countries like China, Iran and France, its three biggest military and financial supporters need to stop pretending to be neutral in this matter and get off their two-faced butts and put pressure on Iran to cool it. If Iran cools it, Hezbollah is controlled. It is that simple and yet that tricky. Iran right now is an out of control wild card with a lunatic leader and a lunatic fringe in control of a large nation that is economically bankrupt and has some very educated, pro-Western citizens who feel powerless to stop the fundamentalism in their midst.

I still feel economic trade is the best way to defeat a country not weapons and the US should concentrate on rebuilding Lebanon and using MacDonalds and Coke not weapons to gain influence. You want to conquer your enemy? Flood them with MacDonalds, coke, Nike, etc.

It worked in East Europe. It seems to have done something in South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. I am not saying their quality of life is better but I am saying these three countries do not engage in wars with the US at the moment.

One has to wonder, if Americans, Russians, French, Chinese were not so friggin short-sighted, they would do more then simply prop up corupted oil regime Sheiks, they would try flood these oil rich Middle East countries with materialism to get the average Arab hooked on useless materialistic garbage and control their spiritualism with cynical good old fashioned coke and burgers, etc.

All that aside, if this proposed UNIFIL force unlike the old one has a military mandate and if in fact the UN actually does prevent weapons from getting into Lebanon, peace could be possible. The reality is however, as long as Hezbollah remains armed and propped by Iran and to a lesser extent Syria, nothing will change.

The key to peace in the Middle East is preventing weapons from getting into the hands of terrorists and at this point I personally feel there are just too many corupt sob's who make money getting weapons to the terrorists to ever stop that from happening.

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Problem is, most of the people of Lebanon SUPPORT Hezbollah. Certainly the Shiites do. Certainly, the Shiites in the Lebanese Army do. It's not like Hezbollah is holding an unwilling public at gunpoint. The public supports everything they do, and cheered on their attack against Israel.

You seem to have a real problem with cause and effect. Hizbullahwas only popular with teh Shiite community until Israel escalated the conflict and brought the fight to the whole country at which point Lebanese people naturally began supporting the Lebanese option in the conflict.

KK:

The IDF assessed on Monday that Hizbullah's rocket launching capability was significantly compromised by the fighting that took place in the past three weeks.

Well the IDF would say as much.

Or, as you have said over and over aginan as they have support there, not provide that support.

What do you mean by "support"? There's a difference between saying "I support Hizbullah" and actually working with them.

Gee, now they are going to set up something in Lebannon and this also makes you angry. Dammed if they do........

Uh no. What I take issue with (I'm not angry) is Israel's heavy-handedness and pursuit of a strategy that is ultimately counterproductive towards advancing the cause of peace.

Momentum and destruction of Hezbollahs rockets.

Further casualties, a potential military quagmire, stregthening of support for Hizbullah, regional instability.

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Problem is, most of the people of Lebanon SUPPORT Hezbollah. Certainly the Shiites do. Certainly, the Shiites in the Lebanese Army do. It's not like Hezbollah is holding an unwilling public at gunpoint. The public supports everything they do, and cheered on their attack against Israel.

You seem to have a real problem with cause and effect. Hizbullahwas only popular with teh Shiite community until Israel escalated the conflict and brought the fight to the whole country at which point Lebanese people naturally began supporting the Lebanese option in the conflict.

Uh huh. And the fact all the south Lebanon seats in parliament went to Hezbolah doesn't show any degree of support for this Nazi-like party from the Lebanese Shiites, huh?

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Uh huh. And the fact all the south Lebanon seats in parliament went to Hezbolah doesn't show any degree of support for this Nazi-like party from the Lebanese Shiites, huh?

I never said Hizbullah didn't have support among the Shiites. I said they only had support among the Shiites before Israel's campaign. I guess I should have written "Hizbullahwas popular with the Shiite community only..."

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Well the IDF would say as much.

Really? Then why not do what Hezbollah does and claim complete victory? I take it that you have more reliable sources on the ground so let's have it.

What do you mean by "support"? There's a difference between saying "I support Hizbullah" and actually working with them.

Then what the hell was all the crap you were going on about how the sky is falling now that Israel is driving Lebanese to support Hezbollah when now you mean that it actually means squat?

Uh no. What I take issue with (I'm not angry) is Israel's heavy-handedness and pursuit of a strategy that is ultimately counterproductive towards advancing the cause of peace.

No offence Black Dog but obviously this is a left wing view of reality. Not only is Israel supposed to stop people from killing them but also, fix all their problems and set up a gopverrnment for them. Much like the US is doing in Iraq. I think you are probably against such actions and would instantly call them imperialist and such. To be realistic about it, if the Israelis were to pull out in stages and setting up interim governments, they would be blamed for stalling, undermining PA authority and interfering in Palestinian affairs. And, taking terrorist hits for this as well. So, just leaving is the best strategy for them, and, the safest.

"Momentum and destruction of Hezbollahs rockets."

Further casualties, a potential military quagmire, stregthening of support for Hizbullah, regional instability.

OOOOO the horid support for Hezbollah which you say means nothing. Regional instability in a region that has for over fifty years been unstable and intent on killing Israelis. What clap trap.

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Really? Then why not do what Hezbollah does and claim complete victory? I take it that you have more reliable sources on the ground so let's have it.

The IDF has routinely overstated its accomplishments in this campaign. Do I have a source? No, for the siomple reason that it's impossible to get an accurate picture, but I would excpect if the IDF's claims were true, then you would have seen that decline reflecte din Hizbullah's activities. The sheer number of rockets Hizbullah was able to put down (200 or so on the last day of festivities) says they've retained a good portion of their capability. I don't anyone knows hw many fighters or rockets Hizbullah actually has, let alone how many they lost. The red light in the IDF statement is this:

It was estimated that, while the organization still has hundreds of rockets with a sufficient range to reach Afula and Haifa, there were only a number of launchers remaining with launching capability.

You can launch a katyusha with a tube and a car battery.

Then what the hell was all the crap you were going on about how the sky is falling now that Israel is driving Lebanese to support Hezbollah when now you mean that it actually means squat?

I didn't say it means squat. However, you would have us believe that political support makes someone as legitimate a target as material support. That's not the case.

No offence Black Dog but obviously this is a left wing view of reality. Not only is Israel supposed to stop people from killing them but also, fix all their problems and set up a gopverrnment for them. Much like the US is doing in Iraq. I think you are probably against such actions and would instantly call them imperialist and such. To be realistic about it, if the Israelis were to pull out in stages and setting up interim governments, they would be blamed for stalling, undermining PA authority and interfering in Palestinian affairs. And, taking terrorist hits for this as well. So, just leaving is the best strategy for them, and, the safest.

I'm not talking about setting up a puppet authority (though, from Israel's standpoint, surely that would be preferable to a elected Hamas and an emboldened Hizbullah). But they should work with those factions who want government that works. There's no parrallels with Iraq.

As for unilateral disengagement being the best strategy, I think events have shown otherwise.

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IDF Chief of Staff may be forced to resign

over insider trading, of all things.

Senior sources in the Israel Defense Forces General Staff and field officers who took part in the war in Lebanon said on Tuesday that Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, who went to his bank branch and sold an NIS 120,000 investment portfolio only three hours after two soldiers were abducted by Hezbollah on the northern border, cannot escape resignation.
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IDF Chief of Staff may be forced to resign

over insider trading, of all things.

Senior sources in the Israel Defense Forces General Staff and field officers who took part in the war in Lebanon said on Tuesday that Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, who went to his bank branch and sold an NIS 120,000 investment portfolio only three hours after two soldiers were abducted by Hezbollah on the northern border, cannot escape resignation.

Yikes. not good.

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IDF Chief of Staff may be forced to resign

over insider trading, of all things.

However, that in itself does not end the affair. If it turns out that Halutz sold shares in marketing companies or banks, assuming they would be facing hard times during the war, then his actions may be subject to investigation.

If of course. Just him or the entire Knesset who make the decisions?

The IDF has routinely overstated its accomplishments in this campaign. Do I have a source? No, for the siomple reason that it's impossible to get an accurate picture, but I would excpect if the IDF's claims were true, then you would have seen that decline reflecte din Hizbullah's activities. The sheer number of rockets Hizbullah was able to put down (200 or so on the last day of festivities) says they've retained a good portion of their capability.

Wrong. They have one way to fight and this is it. They either give up, fade into irrelevency or give it all they got.

You can launch a katyusha with a tube and a car battery.

Ya right. It's a multiple rocket launcher, not a pipe and a battery with no targeting ability. Doesn't like like a piece of PVC pipe and an eveready to me.

I didn't say it means squat. However, you would have us believe that political support makes someone as legitimate a target as material support. That's not the case.

Nope. I said that if they allow Hezbollah to set up in their nieghborhood then they can be sure that there will be bombs falling on them shortly afterwards. You said that one of the biggest problems was that Israel was making Hezbollah very popular with Lebanese. Then I said something like 'so what?' Israel has been at war with the middle east for so long that they really don't give a shit who feels what and so on and forth and that if they support Hezbollah by allowing them to set up then no great loss anyhow from an Israeli perspective. Then you said that the support is nothing meaningful anyhow which made me wonder why you overstated it in the first place.

I'm not talking about setting up a puppet authority (though, from Israel's standpoint, surely that would be preferable to a elected Hamas and an emboldened Hizbullah). But they should work with those factions who want government that works. There's no parrallels with Iraq.

Well the Palestinians loved it. But they are but children to you, unable to do anything for themselves and in need of a leftist government to rule them I suppose.

On August 15, 2005, scenes of delight took place across the Arab world, following the long-ingrained suspicion that the disengagement would not take place
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Wrong. They have one way to fight and this is it. They either give up, fade into irrelevency or give it all they got.

Meaning what, exactly?

Ya right. It's a multiple rocket launcher, not a pipe and a battery with no targeting ability. Doesn't like like a piece of PVC pipe and an eveready to me.

Not all rockets fired are Katyushas and not all katyushas are fired from a truck platform.

Nope. I said that if they allow Hezbollah to set up in their nieghborhood then they can be sure that there will be bombs falling on them shortly afterwards. You said that one of the biggest problems was that Israel was making Hezbollah very popular with Lebanese. Then I said something like 'so what?' Israel has been at war with the middle east for so long that they really don't give a shit who feels what and so on and forth and that if they support Hezbollah by allowing them to set up then no great loss anyhow from an Israeli perspective. Then you said that the support is nothing meaningful anyhow which made me wonder why you overstated it in the first place.

I was talking about political support, which has FA to do with "allowing Hizbullah to set up in their neighbourhoods" (the answer to of what, exactly, they are suppossed to do to stop Hizbullah, Lebanon's 800 lb gorilla, remains unclear.)

Well the Palestinians loved it. But they are but children to you, unable to do anything for themselves and in need of a leftist government to rule them I suppose.

Imagine that: people getting excited about getting their land back. And your snide remarks betrays your lack of comprehension. Allow me to explain in small words. There were two main forces in Palestinain society at the time of the pull out (well, actulaly far more, but for the sake of this we need only talk about Hamas and the Palestinian Authority). The PA was, for all intents and purposes, the legitimate governing body of the Palestinians. It was also, due to a number of factors, the weaker of the two. If Israel wanted the PA to be the main authority in Gaza, they should have worked to strengthen its hand. Instead, they basically conceded control to the stronger party.

All of this is something the Israelis are just starting to clue into.

The realignment committee set up to evaluate the idea of a unilateral withdrawal from most of the West Bank presented senior political officials with its report in which they raised legal, security and economic difficulties that are likely to inhibit the plan's implementation.

A source with access to the report said its main conclusion is that Israel has no security solution to the threat of rockets launched from the West Bank against population centers. The report's authors assume that following a unilateral Israeli pullout from the West Bank, Hamas will takeover and deploy rockets. Currently, the only solution to the missile threat that the Israel Defense Forces has to offer is its actual presence in the territories and control of the high ground.

...

The committee showed that Israel's two main interests are contradictory: on the one hand, Israel wishes to relinquish responsibility over the Palestinians as an occupying force; on the other, it would like to ensure that the territory it pulls out from is demilitarized. Controlling an "external envelope" of the West Bank borders will make it easier for Israel to prevent the transfer of weapons into the area, but will increase the level of responsibility vis-a-vis the Palestinians.

A compromise solution examined by the committee is for the Allenby crossing on the Jordanian border to be opened to Palestinian traffic, under international supervision, similar to that which exists at the Rafah crossing on the border of Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Another possibility is for the Palestinian Authority to establish a state on territory evacuated by Israel, and Israel would reach an agreement with it on demilitarization.

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Black Dog just loves to state his personal unsubstantiated opinions as if they are gospel truth. Anyone who knows anything about how the IDF operates and has read anything it has actually said, in regards to the latest conflict will not find any of its statements stupid enough to under-estimate Hezbollah. The IDF is well aware anything it says could be used to hype Hezbollah so please give them some credit.

No what we in fact see happen is people in the Western press who want Israel to screw up, build up its in one paragraph only to tear it down in the next. A classic example is to call the IDF invincible and then go on to state how Hezbollah was able to beat it.

The IDF is a conventional army. And so it has the same weaknesses any conventional army does when fighting guerillas and terrorists.

When it achieves success against guerillas and terrorists it is because it uses commando strike units that are highly mobile and quick striking using the element of surprise.

You can say this about the British, US, Chinese, Russians or any other conventional army as well. Its not rocket science. Conventional armies are too large and dependent on supply lines to be able to be sufficiently mobile to track down and hunt and kill terrorists.

What Israel did in this latest conflict was to resist bringing in troops on the ground and rely heavily on air bombardment similiar to what NATO did in Yugoslavia. It didn't work well for the simple reason Hezbollah modified its ground movement similiar to what the Viet Cong did when the US Air Force tried to blow Vietnam to smithereens.

The bottom line is this conflict is suspended. Eventually the IDF will have to send in elite teams to take out strategic terrorist cell leaders. That will not change as long as Hezbollah plans to exterminate Israel and uses the lull simply to re-arm.

What the Western Press is oblivious to through-out all this was that Iran was testing Israel's new PM and used Hezbollah as its proxy army. Iran may or may not be interested in a war with Israel. Its hard to know.

a lot of what it is doing is posturing like North Korea. Like North Korea it is economically in trouble and so trying to focus attention away from its collapsed economy. Whether it actually has a nuclear weapon and intends to use it is anyone's guess. What is clear is that as much as Hezbollah will say it gained a victory Iran was given a message that Israel doesn't give a hoot what the world thinks and will do what is necessary to defend itself. Olmert will not last another 6 months in office. Already Likud is manouvering to replace him with a right wing back-lash to Hezbollah.

Israelis feel Hezbollah has only been temporarily suspended and have no confidence in the UN. Would Iran use a nuclear weapon? On the one hand one says they would not because this would kill as many Arabs and Palestinians as it would Israeli Jews and then of course the retaliatory strikes would be devastating. On the other hand Iran's ruling clerics are divided int0 3 camps and two of those camps have no problem engaging in a lethal war. Its the third conservative clerical faction which does not want to kill Muslims that is holding back the current leader who for all intensive purposes is a loose canon who likes to posture but has no intention of engaging in a ground war as his tropps have no logistic supply line to enage in a conventional war not to mention Israel would never be stupid enough to try engage in a ground war in Iran. Its far too large and far too removed from Israel. Would Israel do a lightening strike. Maybe. The problem with lightening strikes is they are not accurate contrary to what people believe and are high risk and in this case would require Israeli jets flying over Jordan and Iraq meaning Russians or Chinese satellites could pick them up and advise Iran. Right now China, North Korea and Russia are heavily involved in providing satellite intelligence to the Iranians- so it is certainly a deterrent.

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Black Dog just loves to state his personal unsubstantiated opinions as if they are gospel truth. Anyone who knows anything about how the IDF operates and has read anything it has actually said, in regards to the latest conflict will not find any of its statements stupid enough to under-estimate Hezbollah. The IDF is well aware anything it says could be used to hype Hezbollah so please give them some credit.

No what we in fact see happen is people in the Western press who want Israel to screw up, build up its in one paragraph only to tear it down in the next. A classic example is to call the IDF invincible and then go on to state how Hezbollah was able to beat it.

The IDF is a conventional army. And so it has the same weaknesses any conventional army does when fighting guerillas and terrorists.

So your saying Israel's armed forces had no reputation for invincibility before this? You've said that israeli people didn't belive that, and perhaps they did not. Perhaps it was an inventonof the western press, or perhaps it was a byproduct of Israel's historical battlefield successes. Either way, the perception existed, even among Israel's foes.

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Meaning what, exactly?

Meaning that if they do not give everything they have, they will lose the propaganda victory which is the entire point of their show of force. For as you know, they do not pose a threat to the existance of Israel so, they are firing off the rockets simply to maintain relevence in their world. The other options are to surrender or to allow Israel to root them out. In order to pretend they are in power they have to use up everything they have to prove any claims of them losing resources wrong. Do you reazlly think they can lose rocket launchers and fire two hundred a day for a year?

Not all rockets fired are Katyushas and not all katyushas are fired from a truck platform.

Whatever. You have focused on the Katyusha and said the multiple rockets could be fired with a simple pipe and a car battery. I assume you meant that the multiple rockets using simple pipes would have targeting capability and a safety factor that provided it didn't kill more Arabs than Jews (providing it even got to Israel) There are two hundred fired a day and not all from different sites so, we are talking multiple rocket launchers. If not, then what are they? Now, not all rockets are Katyushas but you focused exclusively on them scince this thread began so it is strange that suddenly you are switching weaponry at this point when your points are being thrashed.

Black Dog

Um...when I'm talking about cross-border attacks (again, we're talking about 20 attacks with varying degrees of success since 2000) being less significant than a daily barrage of katyusha rockets on a major city,
and ....
You can launch a katyusha with a tube and a car battery.
I was talking about political support, which has FA to do with "allowing Hizbullah to set up in their neighbourhoods" (the answer to of what, exactly, they are suppossed to do to stop Hizbullah, Lebanon's 800 lb gorilla, remains unclear.)

Whatever. Support in the form of passiveness is no problem but, you have assigned it more import.

Black Dog

You seem to have a real problem with cause and effect. Hizbullahwas only popular with teh Shiite community until Israel escalated the conflict and brought the fight to the whole country at which point Lebanese people naturally began supporting the Lebanese option in the conflict.

Clarify this support please. Is it meaningful in that they are aiding Hezbollah or just quiet prayers and such? If the former then they are enemies of Israel as well, if the latter then it's of no consequence to Israel so, who cares?

. Allow me to explain in small words. (In reference to the Gaza Pullout)

Allow me to explain you were wrong about

Israel has never "returned" land.
as I pointed out the Sinai and now, you are trying to waffle by saying that the Gaza was not returned as the Israelis did not actually give the land formally to an authority rather gave it up to the Palestinians to do whatever they wished with it. Who is living there now? Maybe the next time you can make yourself a middle eastern consultant to make sure world peace is done your way and save yourself the smug small words when you lose an argument.
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Meaning that if they do not give everything they have, they will lose the propaganda victory which is the entire point of their show of force. For as you know, they do not pose a threat to the existance of Israel so, they are firing off the rockets simply to maintain relevence in their world. The other options are to surrender or to allow Israel to root them out. In order to pretend they are in power they have to use up everything they have to prove any claims of them losing resources wrong. Do you reazlly think they can lose rocket launchers and fire two hundred a day for a year?

Actually, I think Hizbullah is more comfortable fighting a guerilla war on their own turf. The rockets were never of much strategic value.

Whatever. You have focused on the Katyusha and said the multiple rockets could be fired with a simple pipe and a car battery.

No I didn't. I said a rocket could be fired with a tube and car battery.

I assume you meant that the multiple rockets using simple pipes would have targeting capability and a safety factor that provided it didn't kill more Arabs than Jews (providing it even got to Israel) There are two hundred fired a day and not all from different sites so, we are talking multiple rocket launchers. If not, then what are they? Now, not all rockets are Katyushas but you focused exclusively on them scince this thread began so it is strange that suddenly you are switching weaponry at this point when your points are being thrashed.

The 122mm Katyusha (range: 20-25 kilometers) is the mainstay of Hezbollah's rocket arsenal. "Katyusha" is somewhat of a generic term today, covering a wide variety of small, unguided, solid-fuel rockets produced by a number of countries, including Iran.[/b.

Hezbollah usually fires their version of the Katyusha one at a time from improvised launching facilities. Some Katyusha-type multiple-rocket launching systems were specifically designed to be dismantled into single units for guerrilla use. In 2001, the first truck-mounted launching systems were reported in Hezbollah's arsenal, making more effective volley-launches possible. There are some recent instances of volley-firing, such as the attacks on the Israeli town of Acre on August 3.

Experts and analysts generally put the Hezbollah rocket force somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 missiles.[3] The heart of this arsenal remains rooted in Hezbollah's massive stocks perhaps 7,000 to 8,000 of 107mm and 122mm Katyusha rockets, virtually all of which were supplied directly from existing Iranian army stocks.

In the past, these were used to attack Israeli border towns and settlements. Hezbollah wields two variations of the 107mm rocket, one man-held while the other is fired from the approximately 144 Haseb-type multi-barrel rocket launcher mobile systems provided to Hezbollah by Iran. The 107mm has a small payload and an effective range of just over 5 miles. Most of Hezbollah's more deadly 122mm rockets are man-portable, but the organization does field over 70 mobile Noor, Hadid, and Awash multi-barrel rocket launcher systems which fire heavier rounds with warheads weighing over 100 pounds capable of reaching targets up to 20 miles away
Whatever.

So clearly, despite your repeated insistence that Lebanese citizenry is culpable for Hizbullah's actions by allowing them to set up in civilian areas, you don't have any idea how they could prevent it.

Support in the form of passiveness is no problem but, you have assigned it more import.

I've made the clear diostinction between political and material support. If you think political support is irrelevant, fine. But you'd be wrong.

Clarify this support please. Is it meaningful in that they are aiding Hezbollah or just quiet prayers and such? If the former then they are enemies of Israel as well, if the latter then it's of no consequence to Israel so, who cares?

Again, if you think political support (which can translate into physical support ove rthe long term is through recruitment) is an irrelevant strategic consideration, you're mistaken. It seem slike you just want an excuse to bomb Lebanese people.

as I pointed out the Sinai and now, you are trying to waffle by saying that the Gaza was not returned as the Israelis did not actually give the land formally to an authority rather gave it up to the Palestinians to do whatever they wished with it. Who is living there now?

I stated my premises clearly from the get go:

"Returned" implies some kind of prearranged transition or handover.
I made that statement prior to your Sinai example, which was an example of the kind of arrangement I'm talking about, and I acknowledged overloooking that individual example.) So no waffles here.
Maybe the next time you can make yourself a middle eastern consultant to make sure world peace is done your way and save yourself the smug small words when you lose an argument.

Funny, in my experience, attempts to define the debate in terms of "winning and losing" is generally the first sign of a crumbling argument.

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So your saying Israel's armed forces had no reputation for invincibility before this? You've said that israeli people didn't belive that, and perhaps they did not. Perhaps it was an inventonof the western press, or perhaps it was a byproduct of Israel's historical battlefield successes. Either way, the perception existed, even among Israel's foes.

The Israelis know they aren't invincible. The Yom Kippur war was a pretty close run thing for a few days because the other guys got in the first shot. The Israelis don't have much territory to lose before they no longer have a country, so a preemptive war will always be their first choice.

Actually, I think Hizbullah is more comfortable fighting a guerilla war on their own turf. The rockets were never of much strategic value.

I doubt the people on the receiving end of those rockets care about their strategic value and care even less about what makes Hezbollah more comfortable.

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The rockets were never of much strategic value.

Exactly.

No I didn't. I said a rocket could be fired with a tube and car battery.

Yes, and, they could also be fired via catapult for a net range of fifty meters.

Hezbollah usually fires their version of the Katyusha one at a time from improvised launching facilities. Some Katyusha-type multiple-rocket launching systems were specifically designed to be dismantled into single units for guerrilla use. In 2001, the first truck-mounted launching systems were reported in Hezbollah's arsenal, making more effective volley-launches possible. There are some recent instances of volley-firing, such as the attacks on the Israeli town of Acre on August 3.

Yes, fired one at a time from the same site or, multiple. None are using improvised tubes although one could, with a severe degredation in accuracy and safety to the firer. The first truck mpounted make more effective vollies possible.

Experts and analysts generally put the Hezbollah rocket force somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 missiles.[3] The heart of this arsenal remains rooted in Hezbollah's massive stocks perhaps 7,000 to 8,000 of 107mm and 122mm Katyusha rockets, virtually all of which were supplied directly from existing Iranian army stocks.

And they have just as many launchers or do you have a number of some sort that makes destroying them irrelevent as they will simply use empty rolls of toilet paper duct taped together?

The 107mm has a small payload and an effective range of just over 5 miles. Most of Hezbollah's more deadly 122mm rockets are man-portable, but the organization does field over 70 mobile Noor, Hadid, and Awash multi-barrel rocket launcher systems which fire heavier rounds with warheads weighing over 100 pounds capable of reaching targets up to 20 miles away

And what is the response time for the Israelis?

KK

Whatever.
So clearly, despite your repeated insistence that Lebanese citizenry is culpable for Hizbullah's actions by allowing them to set up in civilian areas, you don't have any idea how they could prevent it.

You don't vote for them or give them support. You, contrary to your opinion that Hezbollah is so so so popular in Lebannon are saying that they are merely a gang that intimidates people into letting them set up shop wherever they please. Make up your mind, are the people for or against Hezbollah? If for, no loss, if against, then they have a strange way of showing it. In either case, if you were Lebanese and Hezbollah set up in your neighborhood, would you merely allow them without saying your protests? If so, then why are you blaming Israel? Myself, I'd either let them know I didn't want them there or I'd get out quick.

I've made the clear diostinction between political and material support. If you think political support is irrelevant, fine. But you'd be wrong.

Well, if most support them in any way, no loss for Israel. They are used to being hated and attacked so, more, or more frequent is inevitable. At least here, they are taking out launchers and, supporters. If they are making more supporters, wel, not much difference between being hated by two hundred million people as there is two hundred and three million.

Again, if you think political support (which can translate into physical support ove rthe long term is through recruitment) is an irrelevant strategic consideration, you're mistaken. It seem slike you just want an excuse to bomb Lebanese people.

Seems? Bombing people whom you say support an organization that wishes to kill Israelis purposefully then once again no loss. As for the long term, Israel could not do anything to remove the political anti Israel sentiment from the ME so recruit all they want. Once again, two hundred million and now ..... two hundred three or whatever.

I stated my premises clearly from the get go: "Returned" implies some kind of prearranged transition or handover. I made that statement prior to your Sinai example, which was an example of the kind of arrangement I'm talking about, and I acknowledged overloooking that individual example.) So no waffles here.

Good. So then, Israel does return land. And, returned the Gaza on shedule as per their agreement.

Black Dog

Funny, in my experience, attempts to define the debate in terms of "winning and losing" is generally the first sign of a crumbling argument.

Nope. From my experience with you, you always blame Israel, even when they are returning land. Here, you try to find a down side for them when in reality, they are hated by all Arab people of the ME and have nothing to lose politically or on the ground. Killing Hezbollah is good for them. Taking out launchers is also good. Providing a known reaction to an action is good as well, even if it gives Hezbollah political traction. Israel knows it will never make friends so, it may as well make their enemies shit scared of attacking them. If Lebanese people wish to be enemies then keep supporting Hezbollah, Israel can deal with it in any layer of military response necessary. As for world opinon, once again, they have friends and foes as they always have. If you are debating just to debate without a point worth defending or persecuting then please don't waste my time. If it is worth it then you will win, lose or find a compromise. My arguments don't crumble as I only pick the ones that I know I can defend and push a long way at the very least. A crumbling argument is one which you have put forth. Assigning blame to Israel on everything while letting all other sides go scott free is a patent history of yours going back years on this board and is a mind set rather than reality.

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You don't vote for them or give them support. You, contrary to your opinion that Hezbollah is so so so popular in Lebannon are saying that they are merely a gang that intimidates people into letting them set up shop wherever they please. Make up your mind, are the people for or against Hezbollah? If for, no loss, if against, then they have a strange way of showing it.

Basically you're saying the Lebanese people are guilty regardless of their actions. If they actively support Hizbullah they are guilty, if they don't support Hizbullah, but happen to be around Hizbullah, they are guilty. They can't win.

This isn't complicated. Most of the Lebanese population oppossed Hizbullah, which is why it stuck to the areas where it had the most support and where it could intimidate those who might oppose its operations. Then Israel started bombing empty Hizbullah offices in residential neighbourhoods and the Lebanese, angry at the destruction Israel was inflicting on the entire country through its attacks on infrastructure and at the images of their fellow Lebanese being chased from their homes or dragged from the wreckage, now support Hizbullah, at least politically (and possibly temporarily).

either case, if you were Lebanese and Hezbollah set up in your neighborhood, would you merely allow them without saying your protests? If so, then why are you blaming Israel? Myself, I'd either let them know I didn't want them there or I'd get out quick.

Here's the other thing: no one expected Israel to react the way they did. So, if the choice is oppossing Hizbullah (and probably winding up in the trunk of a car), moving (in case of an Israeli air attack that no one antyicipated), most people would probably choose the path of least resistance and keep their mouths shut. That does not, however, make them responsible for Hizbullahs actions.

Well, if most support them in any way, no loss for Israel. They are used to being hated and attacked so, more, or more frequent is inevitable. At least here, they are taking out launchers and, supporters. If they are making more supporters, wel, not much difference between being hated by two hundred million people as there is two hundred and three million.

Again with the "how much worse can it get"? Well, if Hizbullah is such a threat now, imagine Hizbullah with more support, more money, more recruits, more and better rockets...all in all, your strategy of petulance will increase the danger to Israel in the long run.

Good. So then, Israel does return land. And, returned the Gaza on shedule as per their agreement.

There was no agreement to return Gaza. What part of "unilateral withdrawl" are you struggling with?

From my experience with you, you always blame Israel, even when they are returning land. Here, you try to find a down side for them when in reality, they are hated by all Arab people of the ME and have nothing to lose politically or on the ground

Gee and here I thouht Israel was in perennial danger of being wiped off the map or pushed into the sea: seems, then, that they have a lot to lose.

Providing a known reaction to an action is good as well, even if it gives Hezbollah political traction. Israel knows it will never make friends so, it may as well make their enemies shit scared of attacking them.

Well, they failed there as well. They look weaker and more vulnerable than ever.

Assigning blame to Israel on everything while letting all other sides go scott free is a patent history of yours going back years on this board and is a mind set rather than reality

Ironic, given that I'm calling for policies that will make Israel safer and more secure in the long run, while yours will lead to more instability and more Israeli deaths. With friends like you...

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