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July 19, 2006

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If this incident is accurate, there is also a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why Chomsky should have been put before a firing squad and shot (and add Jane Fonda to make it a two-fer).

...

I'm sorry, did I mistakenly click on LGF?
Tell me again why Charles is given a forum here?

There is also a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why Hezbollah should be destroyed. If this incident is accurate, there is also a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why Chomsky should have been put before a firing squad and shot (and add Jane Fonda to make it a two-fer).

I think we need an HOCB thread badly.

Oh Christ.

Can Hilzoy and Katherine just get their own blog? That way I can read Andrew at his and avoid this drivel.

The Bizarro World* version for your reading pleasure (or not).

*I use Bizarro World in the most wholesome and cuddly sense, of course.

Ah yes.

Krauthammer, Trevino, and ObWi's own loser-defeatist.

Three people who have been wrong on foreign policy every time they have opened their mouths.

Three people who told us that invading Iraq would solve all the problems, that trusting Bush would solve all the problems, that throwing away the Geneva Convention would solve all the problems.

So by now, they've accumulated quite a lot of credibility on foreign affairs, wouldn't you say?

What a joke.

This began as a good post. I was reading with interest, noting offhand to myself that the addition of Andrew is a good influence on everyone, but it looks like Charles has been the most influenced --- in a good way.

Then I got to the Chomsky-Fonda firing squad line of unfinished business from the Vietnam War and I've decided ... yes, I've decided, I say, that .... I agree ... let's do it!

Let's get this ball rolling, please. I'm sick of empty talk. In fact, since we live in a free country, we could privatize this effort, and bypass the cumbersome machinery of government.

May I make the bumper stickers? Tony Snow's comment the other day regarding stem cells that Bush does not believe in "murder" and "taking live things and making them dead" (I think that was the quote) can be phrased in such a way to justify what needs to be done with blastocysts Jane and Noam.

I want Bill Keller shot through the heart, too, and the New York Times shuttered by government agents.

This will be precedent.

The next Democratic President will then have the moral high ground when he orders, under his newly found powers, the trials for treason and the deaths by firing squad of the many thousands of Republican neocon filth, in the government, in the media, and in the blogosphere who have brought Iraq to its current state, with worse to come, if thirdgorchbro is right in his comment in the previous thread.

If this is supposed to help the Lebanese army defeat Hezbollah, why the hell is Israel attacking Lebanese army bases?

small point here, really nothing in the grand world-historical sweep of this post, but:

"I pegged the Iran-to-Hezbollah subsidy at $100 million per year. Apparently, it's orders of magnitude more:
[snip]
That makes it $240 to $480 million per year."

You know, words actually do mean something, even if you are a Republican. And the words "orders of magnitude" mean "powers of ten" or "factors of ten."

So, for something to be "orders of magnitude" more than 100 million, it has to be in the billions. Your higher estimates, whatever they are based on, are exactly *not* orders of magnitude more than $100 million. It's not just a synonym for "gosh, more, I mean, more than I can count!"

But given the rest of the nonsense in this post, why do I bother?

Charles: "If this incident is accurate, there is also a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why Chomsky should have been put before a firing squad and shot (and add Jane Fonda to make it a two-fer)."

I think that calling for people to be killed, absent trial and conviction of a capital crime, is repellent, and we need to have a discussion of whether it belongs on this blog. Personally, I hate the idea of setting up limits on what people can write, but that's partly because I had this odd idea that people might choose their words responsibly.

ah--apparently you have been just skipping over his posts for the last few years without reading them?

In a futile effort to prevent this thread from becoming all about CB's Chomsky/Jane Fonda aside, I'll reiterate what I said on an earlier thread.

If Israel confines itself in the next few weeks to making war on Hezbollah, and if it coordinates its eventual pullout with the Lebanese Army, and if the US and EU can provide cash infusions to help the Lebanese rebuild (and to counteract Iran's monetary aid to Hezbollah), then maybe this can all work out.

Otherwise, we're looking at Lebanese Civil War 2.

rats, i didn't even make it to the "shoot Chomsky" bit. i saw links to Krauthammer, Trevino, Whitman and the rest of the clowns who've been consitently wrong about everything and decided i'd just skip to the comments to see what kind of abuse BD was going to get today. my loss, i guess.

Wow, you'v got Thullen weighing in and 3GB acting as fireman, all within 11 comments.

For the 12th, your HoCB thread

If this incident is accurate, there is also a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why Chomsky should have been put before a firing squad and shot (and add Jane Fonda to make it a two-fer).

There is also a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why many members of the current administration should have been put before a firing squad and shot (note to the SS/NSA, argument used for rhetorical purposes only).

Ahh, cleek slips in, making my comment a lie.

Otherwise, we're looking at Lebanese Civil War 2.

I know it gets heated here 3GB, but that's a bit of an overstatement.

(btw, 3GB, if you'd like a slot over at HoCB, I'll have my people talk to your people)

"[I] saw links to Krauthammer, Trevino, Whitman and the rest of the clowns who've been consitently wrong about everything"

I'm trying to identify, to really place, the gassy, queasy, sick-to-my-stomach irritation I feel whenever I see those names, along with CB's; and I think I've finally placed it.

High school. Good-friend-turned-Jesus-Freak. It wasn't just that she kept telling the rest of us we were going to Hell, and that we could tell she got a really big kick out the idea. It was how everything that happened at school - everything, to everyone; even people who didn't even know her - she could twist around as proof that God looked out for her, and listened to her, and answered her prayers. It made you wonder what kind of prayers she had, that she would wish such things on people.

It got so even those of us who'd really liked her would avoid having anything to do with her. She was nuts. Mean and nuts. Not a trace left of the person we used to know and like.

And that's who CB, Trevino, et al. remind me of.

Well, what the heck. If a professor who's never had elective power can be shot for his policy advocacy, does that work for bloggers who keep endorsing an administration enthusiastically committed to war crimes, too?

*sigh*

I know it gets heated here 3GB, but that's a bit of an overstatement.

Well, most sequels are less exciting than the original.

Thanks for the HoCB thread. Make use of it, people!

Is it just me, or is it quite telling that (as of now) the only comment at the bizzaro world version of Charles' post is from a fellow editor and reads:

Great work, Charles

Hezbollah in Lebanon must be destroyed. There's still time to deal with the Iranians, but the time to isolate and destroy their influence west of Iraq is now.

Wasn't the Kobar Towers bombing attributed to both Al qaeda and Saddam Hussein as the political winds dictated?

What this is really all about is
(1) A war on Islam to satisfy the Rapture Right,
(2) A grand restructuring of the Middle East to secure Oil
(3) Securing Israel,
(4) Reelecting Republicans,
(5) Preventing future acts of terrorism
in roughly that order. As usual, facts are being fixed around the policy.

The very real problems of the ME are not part of the agenda. It would be nice to work to undo some of the idiocy of Sykes/Picot, which would go a long way towards creating the necessary environment for the people actually living there to create peace (hint: it's not going to come from the barrel of a US gun).

Look on the bright side, ugh, at least they didn't have "Chomsky" in place of "Hezbollah in lebanon"

If Israel confines itself in the next few weeks to making war on Hezbollah

But that's not what they're doing. They're killing a dozen civilians to maybe-or-not kill a couple of enemies.

The use of airstrikes that Israel *knows* will kill civilians is wrong, wrong, wrong. If Israel wants to eradicate Hezbollah, then they have to do it with ground troops, and they have to accept their losses.

As it is, Israel clearly regards Lebanese civilians as vermin.

--And the U.S. response is "kill more civilians for another week, then we'll talk."

"hezbollah" = Party of God

(POG, you might say).

It's a mantle lots of folks would like to claim (see Coulter, Ponnuru, etc.)

Is there any reason to think that the "Saudi Party of God", which is doubtless Sunni, has anything to do with the "Party of God" operating in Lebanon, whose links are mostly Shiite?

I mean, other than the fact that both groups are despicable murderers. But, like, are they operationally connected? Or is it just a name?

High school. Good-friend-turned-Jesus-Freak.

That's funny, because the people they remind me of (college acquaintances) were self-righteously mean when I first knew them, and only got self-righteously meaner.

Although I think what's truly funny -- only because I can't find it in me to be truly sad about this any more -- is that doubtless Charles et al. will regard our outrage at his calls for murder as merely a justification of the correctness of his views. Which, now that I think about it, reminds me exactly of those folks I knew in college.

I don't know if Charles made it clear, but a result of resolution 1559, UN peacekeeping forces have been in Lebanon for years now.

By its resolution 1655 of 31 January 2006, the Security Council extended the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 July 2006 and called again on the Government of Lebanon to fully extend and exercise its sole and effective authority throughout the south. By that resolution, the Council condemned all acts of violence, including the serious incidents across the Blue Line initiated from the Lebanese side that had resulted in deaths and injuries on both sides.

Link

I'd suggest we let the newbie handle this one. Andrew, knock yourself out!

One hopes that the similarity between the recent increases in calls from the American Right for firing squads and the unrestrained use of firing squads during the very last days of the Nazi regime in Berlin is not just a coincidence but a case of history repeating itself -- the last, angry throes of a collapsing Fascist order.

(And honestly, Jane Fonda? Note to frothing wingnuts: it's the twenty-first century now.)

Thanks, lj. Unfortunately, I don't think they make a fire extinguisher that works via the internet.

Quoted from RedState: "Hezbollah in Lebanon must be destroyed. There's still time to deal with the Iranians, but the time to isolate and destroy their influence west of Iraq is now."

Wow, that's just idiotic. Defeating Hezbollah will "isolate and destroy" Iran's influence west of Iraq? As if Iran won't bother recruiting new guerillas from the ranks of now-really-pissed-off people in Lebanon and elsewhere?

Really, I wish these people would go back to their basements and get their jollies playing wargames.

Charles, I think you opened up your otherwise excellent post to tangential criticism by throwing in an unneccesary attack at the end. That is too bad because now we won't be able to talk about the rest of it.

"That is too bad because now we won't be able to talk about the rest of it."

Yes, we should be talking about Charles' Coalition Of The Wrong and why we should listen to anything they say, ever, about anything.

I'd think they should just take their winnings (the civil war in chaotic theocratic Iraq) and be happy, having gotten everything they wanted.

Alas this is the problem with our news media. Editorialists seem to be picked based on readership and market demand, which bear no relationship to their prognosticative capabilities. You should check out an archive of Krauthammer's old articles: it reads like some kind of fantasy alternative history of the last five years. It just drives me crazy that these people have so much influence. And am I just biased or is there something about his presentation that sounds like propaganda? The way he frames the situation: "Hence the golden, unprecedented opportunity. Hezbollah makes a fatal mistake." I'm focused on 'fatal'. It seems presumptuous and question begging to me. I am suspicious of its placement as an attribute rather than a predicate. And there is another characteristic of this: so much talk about what needs to be done, what problems there are, and so little talk about whether the proposed solution is feasible. I wish there was some way of keeping these editorialists accountable to their former predictions and policy advice. But I can't think of anything.

Not one of your best posts, Charles: if you really want to make a point about a "way out" of the "Hezbollah Quandary": just a few suggestions:
First: find a set of bloglinks a little more, umm, -representative- of outstanding opinion: citing obsessive warfloggers like Charles Krauthammer or Josh Trevino about "what to do" (or "what Israel should do") in Lebanon scuppers your arguments from the get-go. At least I read the links - too many readers, as it seems from the comments, will turn off right at this point. Characters like Tacitus or Marshall Wittman have tended, for years now, to specialized in boosting tough-talking, hoo-ah, bomb-their-asses policies as panaceas for every "problem" in the Middle East: I think by this point in time, the shortcomings of that approach should be obvious - at to anyone who actually thinks about the issues. Which, I would imagine, encompasses a large proportion of the ObWi readership.
Secondly: PLEASE try to avoid the reflex to disfigure your commentary with nonsensical right-wing boilerplate BirdDog-isms like your Chomsky/Fonda aside: A clue, BD: the war in Vietnam is over: it's history, just like old Noam himself: garbage like your "firing squad" aside is only going to turn off another large percentage of readers: and does nothing to advance your point.
And finally: you might want to delve a little more deeply into analyses of recent Lebanese history: yes, the persistence of Hezbollah as a quasi-independent entity in Southern Lebanon IS one of the (IMO, the main) pieces of unfinished business of the "Cedar Revolution" - but it is a problem that was most definitely the Lebanese peoples' and governments' own to have to solve. However much however large a segment of Lebanon's public might dislike/distrust Hezbollah - it is a safe bet that they dislike/distrust Israel even more: and the notion that "... Israel ...doing the work that the Lebanese army should be doing but cannot." will do anything other than spark anger, resentment and hatred in the public mind is, imho, foolish wishful-thinking: all too typical, to me, of the clueless warblogger spouting Good-vs-Evil cliches over a situation in which they really don't fit.

"garbage like your "firing squad" aside is only going to turn off another large percentage of readers"

Not likely. Those who would be turned off by such a comment have long since been turned off by the myriad of other such unnecessary inflammatory comments in Charles's writings.

For some people on the right politics is an extension of ego. They can't think clearly because they are too emotionally involved in protecting their own pride. They have to feel like winners so they won't feel like losers. There is no objectivity, only a complete commitment to making sure they can feel strong and powerful and victorious. They can rationalize but they can't think.
I am surprised that Charles would show such overt comtempt for the rule of law. One of my objections to the fantasy that we are "planting a democracy in the Middle East" is that those words so often come out of the mouths of people who have no respect for the principles underlying democracy here.

"I wrote in an earlier comment thread that Israel is doing the work that the Lebanese army should be doing but cannot"

As opposed to the work the US military should be doing in Iraq but cannot.

Why should the Israeli army, let alone the Lebanese army be capable of doing something we have failed so miserably at, over three years, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars.

What 3GB said. (I see that not reading past "Another Charles" was not a mistake, though in fairness it appears that there were some sort of reasonable points made about Israel's new strategy.) I'm very relieved that Israel has explicitly switched to a new storyline ("softening" Hizbollah's military capability rather than either destroying them or retrieving the hostages) and that they are now dishing out random numbers a la Vietnam body counts. (via sandmonkey, JPost "has learned" that 40-50% of Hizbollah's military capacity has been destroyed. Yeah right. Let's all pretend guerillas operate just like regular armies and everything will be peachy.)

Pounding Lebanon for another week but not escalating any further means a lot more innocent dead people and a loss of credibility for Israel, which is quite probably a bad thing for everybody in the long run, but it's still better than world war n+1.

I'll be damned if I can figure out what Israel's long term plan is though. Sooner or later, one way or another, the ghettos and the econowar and the apartheid are going to end. It's very strange that even Olmert seems less concerned with salvaging a Jew-friendly state out of that process than with keeping up appearances. Very strange indeed.

It starts by preparing the ground with air power

Life during wartime can be very educational. Every day I learn a new clean, clinical way to say "blow stuff up and kill innocent people."

I've enjoyed reading and occasionally commenting on ObWi for a couple of years now, but I think it's time to bid everybody here a fond farewell. If/when I learn that the site's much-vaunted "posting rules" include a prohibition against incitement to murder, I'll be back. Or when hilzoy & Katherine get their own blog, as Christmas says. Whichever comes first.

Bill O'Reilly stated that Iran has huge reserves of oil but scant refining capacity.

Then it must be true.

Later, folks.

What is it with the (increasing?) number of people on the right of the political spectrum in the US who so casually call for the murder of people who's opinions differ from theirs?

I'm sure (at least I hope) that Charles Bird and others believe (or claim to believe) fervently in the rather crucial concept of a rule of law. And yet there is this casual "aside" calling for a couple of people Charles Bird disagrees with to be shot.

Maybe it has always been this way. Has it?

I was looking for Charles to get torn up in the comments, and I'd missed what he'd said about Chomsky. By that point, I was just skimming to see if there was any sign that CB had read Hilzoy's post on Hezbollah, so the previous sentence was much more revealing to me: "There is also a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why Hezbollah should be destroyed." Yes, getting rid of Hezbollah, why hasn't anyone ever thought of that before? As soon as I saw the word "Chomsky" in the next sentence I figured that there was nothing relevant there and jumped on to the next paragraph.

I was befuddled ever since the non sequitor in CB's second paragraph. Israel should degrade Hezbollah to the point where Lebanon can finish the job, and doing so would actually help Lebanon comply with a UN resolution, therefore(???) the "international community" should refrain from speaking about what Israel should do. Not only is Charles showing no concern whatsoever about "collateral damage" from Israel's actions (you know, dead people, destroyed homes and businesses, etc., etc.), but there is not even any sign of concern for whether Israel is actually accomplishing what he thinks they should be doing. Are they actually weakening Hezbollah very much? Are they also weakening the Lebanese government, society, and economy in ways that would make it harder to crack down on Hezbollah? Is Israel at risk of needlessly antagonizing people who could be on their side against Hezbollah? Is Israel even trying to do what Charles says they should be doing? And if they are, does it look like it's going to work? I'd like to see arguments over these questions, but instead I didn't even see any awareness of their existence or relevance, which is what prompted me to start scanning for any sign that Charles had read Hilzoy's post.

Since you seem to agree with this part of Charles's post, Sebastian, do you want to give it a try? I'd recommend another post, rather than trying to break through in these comments.

To clarify:

".... if ThirdGorchBro is right in his comment in the previous thread."

should have read ..

"if ThirdGorchBro is right in his July 19, 10:34 am comment regarding Iraq in Hilzoy's post entitled "There Are No Words".

See, once you get the firing squads cranked up, everything goes into the crapper.

Carry on.

I agree with the 3GB comment in the other thread, with one modification: I think the UN should send a force in to disarm Hezbollah to try to minimize the chance for sectarian fighting/civil war that would likely happen if the Lebanese government tried to disarm them on their own. Not the best scenario either, but better than anything I've heard from anyone else.

To get gasoline, Iran must export the oil and import the refined product. Assuming this is accurate, and assuming most of the oil and gasoline are shipped, a naval blockade would shut down their economy rather quickly. Food for thought.

not much food, however.

are the people advocating military action against Iran and Syria out of their minds, or just crazy ? we're already in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we can't even keep those places under control. what in the world makes anyone think we have the ability to control Iran and Syria as well ?

my the FSM save us from ourselves.

"what in the world makes anyone think we have the ability to control Iran and Syria as well ?"

They just think Bush will use his Green Lantern Power Ring and his force of will and make it work.

Hmmm. How did the Irish and the British go about disarming the popularly legitimate guerilla group(s) in their midst? Can't recall the details.

However they did it, I think I remember that airstrikes weren't part of the program.

What Blar said all around. I started skimming when I realized I was getting a lot of propoganda without much in the way of "will this actually work and how?" I was really hoping Andrew would offer a comment one way or the other on that topic as he seems to have a firm grasp of what military force is and isn't capable of accomplishing. However, if either he or Sebastian actually wanted to tackle this issue (or maybe draw out what Charles said with wording that doesn't provide a gross violation of posting rules or misuse phrases like "order of magnitude" to provide hyperbolic strangth), it would please me greatly.

Apparently, Hezbollah has a lot of Christian and American members.

Israeli airstrikes hit targets in Beirut's main Christian enclave on Wednesday, a short distance from where hundreds of U.S. citizens were boarding a cruise ship chartered to evacuate them to the nearby island of Cyprus.

Who knew? (cue Gary to stop by and note that there are many Christian and American members of Hezbollah).

Also taking care of Hezbollah's most dangerous weapon:

In Beirut, an Israeli missile attack on two well-digging trucks in the Ashrafiyeh enclave Wednesday morning caused no injuries and did little damage, but rattled windows and nerves in a normally quiet Maronite Christian neighborhood that was a stronghold for Israel's allies during its 1982 invasion against Palestinian guerrillas.

I think the UN should send a force in to disarm Hezbollah to try to minimize the chance for sectarian fighting/civil war that would likely happen if the Lebanese government tried to disarm them on their own.

Would this UN force have the authority to engage Hezbollah in combat operations? And if so, what nations would be providing the troops? My recollection is that UN peacekeepers tend to work best in situations where the prior belligerents are ready for peace (e.g. Sinai, Cyprus). In places where they still want to slaughter each other, like Rwanda or Bosnia, UN peacekeeping missions tend to utter failure. I honestly don't believe that a UN force without American support would be capable of forcibly disarming Hezbollah. And I don't think it would be in the USA's interests to get involved in a military campaign in Lebanon at this point. On the other hand, I would definitely support US military assistance (money, arms, equipment, even a few SF trainers) to the Lebanese Army, if that army was engaging Hezbollah.

Cleek, it's neither insanity nor stupidity; it's folly, as admirably chronicled by Barbara Tuchman. The March of Folly should be required reading for voters this season. Very smart people can be foolish, as can otherwise sane people. And all the elements of Tuchman's definition apply - policy contrary to self-interest pursued in the face of warnings and accessible alternatives through multiple administrations - when we remember how many of these folks were Nixon people. They've had chances to learn and change, they're just not interested in doing so.

By the way, I agree with everyone who says they'd like some actually informed commentary on how a competent military campaign aimed at disarming a powerful independent force would go. I don't know much about such things and am quite willing to learn.

Bruce B: ditto.

Is the IDF capable of destroying Hezbollah? Short answer, no with an unless, long answer yes, but.

Assuming Hezbollah's leadership and a majority of its combat power is all located in southern Lebanon (something that, even if it was true when this began, is unlikely to have remained so), the IDF could have executed a cordon and search mission in southern Lebanon to hunt down and kill or capture the lion's share of Hezbollah. An attempt to do so, however, would have run into several problems.

As I understand it, in order for Israel to employ the full force of the IDF, they need to call up their reserves, which takes time and damages their economy. That would have given Hezbollah at least some warning that a strike was coming, and would have meant a very high economic cost to Israel.

The human toll on Israel would be even worse. Southern Lebanon is heavily mined and Hezbollah knows the ground very well. A major Israeli incursion into southern Lebanon would suffer significant casualties as soon as they crossed the border. That problem would only get worse as they moved into the towns of southern Lebanon to clear them of Hezbollah forces. Imagine several Fallujas going on at the same time, over a period of several weeks. And while they were doing this, the IDF would have to maintain a hard cordon around southern Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah from evacuating the area. And who knows what other surprises Hezbollah might have if the IDF were to try and root them out? I'd guess they would exact a terrible toll on the IDF. The IDF might be able to absorb the casualties as a military force, but I'm not sure if Israel could sustain such losses as a country.

The human toll on the civilian population of southern Lebanon would be far worse. Even assuming Israel took every precaution to safeguard civilian lives, street fighting is absolutely devastating to the civilian population. Add in the airstrikes on both the cities and convoys attempting to escape the fighting and we could easily see 100 times the deaths the past week's fighting have demonstrated.

So is Charles' proposal possible? Yes, in the sense that it could theoretically be accomplished (although, as I noted, I think it might be too late now). But from a more realistic calculus, such a maneuver would leave Israel vulnerable to attack from other directions and would enact a financial and human toll that I don't believe Israel could sustain, and I don't even want to think about the humanitarian disaster it would create. (I realize the current situation is bad, but the hypothetical 'wipe out Hezbollah' scenario would dwarf what we're currently seeing.)

Kevin Drum has a great quote on his site right now, which i will share:

    It’s not that we Israelis long for war or death or grief, but we do long for those “old days” the taxi driver talked about. We long for a real war to take the place of all those exhausting years of intifada when there was no black or white, only gray....

    Suddenly, the first salvo of missiles returned us to that familiar feeling of a war fought against a ruthless enemy who attacks our borders, a truly vicious enemy, not one fighting for its freedom and self-determination, not the kind that makes us stammer and throws us into confusion. Once again we’re confident about the rightness of our cause and we return with lightning speed to the bosom of the patriotism we had almost abandoned. Once again, we’re a small country surrounded by enemies, fighting for our lives, not a strong, occupying country forced to fight daily against a civilian population.

between the urge to define this as "WW n+1" (thanks radish) so as to put it on the same level of moral clarity as previous WWs, the flag-waving and the garishly distended patriotism, the "faster, please" urge to get their war on, etc., this pretty much sums-up the hawkish right.

My personal boggle is the part of the plan where we cut off our noses to spite our face.

"Assuming this is accurate, and assuming most of the oil and gasoline are shipped, a naval blockade would shut down their economy rather quickly."

Iran produces some 4 million barrels per day (4m bbl/d) of petroleum. The International Energy estimates the total margin between present demand and current maximum production for the world at 2m bbl/d. Thus a shortfall of 2m bbl/d is created just from the Iranian blockade. Add to this the price changes due to insurance - that is, all ships passing through what would be a warzone would suffer an increase in insurance of between 5 and 50 times current rates (depending on carrier and other criteria) for the periods of transit. Some carriers would decline to carry mideast oil, while others would pass the costs along to the customers.

Therefore the first order of pain is that global oil prices spike - and I honestly can't estimate how high they'd go.

The second order of pain is best presented as an analogy. How would the US react if someone else blockaded Kuwait? I expect that we'd mobilize to break the blockade - and do everything we could to get the world to help - just as we dealt with Iraq in the 1990s. Why, exactly, would we expect everyone else to remain hands-off if we shut down Iran?

The most frequent argument I hear is that "we're the key to their economy - we're their customers, and they can't afford to stop us." Hello - reread item one. If we blockade Iran and so created a global oil shortage we have already fractured their economy. Once you've cut down the trees, you can't expect them to shield you anymore.

Yet I consistently see "blockade Iran" suggested. I happen to dislike pyrrhic victories, thank you very much. Find another plan.

Um, eek:

Turkish officials signaled Tuesday they are prepared to send the army into northern Iraq if U.S. and Iraqi forces do not take steps to combat Turkish Kurdish guerrillas there

Andrew's analysis sounds very plausible. I would hope that Israel can still weaken Hezbollah enough to enable the Lebanese government to bring them to heel. If it really wants to do so.

BTW, I agree with Bruce Baugh as well. Everybody should read The March of Folly.

let's see if I can plow new ground:

the missiles that Iran has delivered to Hezbollah ... imperils the lives of two million Israelis.

now that's an abuse of the English language. 2 million israelis may be within range of the missiles, but it is most certainly not the case that the lives of ALL of them are imperilled.

naval blockade

first, that's an act of war. second, i guess that the grand test between the builders of anti-ship missiles and the builders of the ship missile defense systems would finally come about. third, our naval forces would have to get really good at defeating small boat suicide attacks. fourth, which society is better placed to endure suffering: Iran or the US, because oil prices are going to soar?

Hmm. Firing squads for Jane Fonda. Darn those angry liberal blogofascists and their primary campaigns!

Jeez.

One assumes that any Israeli incursion into Lebanon would be carried out with the same care and humanity that left hundreds of Palestinians facedown with holes in their heads in 1982.

Charles Krauthammer has written this column many times before, about various Arab untermenschen. Judged as an american journalist, Charles Krauthammer has every quality of a dog, except loyalty.

Here's Iranian oil production:

Oil

That's about 2.5 mbpd exports gone instantly. I suspect it would come out of the US' 11 mbpd imports.

They do import some gasoline, but probably not enough that their economy couldn't survive without it:

Gas">http://www.petrolworld.com/news/africaandmiddleeast/?guid=3f1bbc0b-ee3f-4f66-896d-d092f2ce0e8f">Gas


A comment on Andrew's analysis. Hezbollah could do real damage to israel by targeting industrial stuff in range, like chemical plants. They indicated that they knew this over the weekend. This might put a crimp in any all-out assault.

Entirely off-topic (please excuse; humble apologies; will be short), but in case anyone is interested, I'm not being evicted (for now). Situation still very insecure-making; see post for details.

And now back to the Charles-bashing. (Citing Bill O'Reilly without checking? Sheesh.)

For light relief: if you like your humor black and strong.

That's about 2.5 mbpd exports gone instantly. I suspect it would come out of the US' 11 mbpd imports.

More likely it would go to the highest bidder. I'd hate to think where that would send oil and gas prices.

Hezbollah could do real damage to israel by targeting industrial stuff in range, like chemical plants.

An excellent point. I didn't consider the damage Israel would sustain at home in addition to that it would suffer in the fighting in southern Lebanon.

About the chemical plants: the analysis I've seen (can't recall where) suggests that Hezbollah's rockets (esp. the Katyushas) are too imprecise to target the chemical plants, or anything else specific (as opposed to something big like 'Haifa'.)

There are words strong enough to express my revulsion at one more blinkered Charles Bird post, and they'd violate this site's guidelines.

But when I read, once more, that somebody a rightwing blowhard dislikes should be 'lined up and shot,' I have to respond. I've simply had it with radical rightwing blowhards calling for extrajudicial murder.

Let me make this very clear, to people like Charles Bird, and Josh Trevino, and the rest of the Dolchstoß crowd. The Second Amendment applies to all Americans, not just rightwing blowhards. There are many people in this country who might be tempted to meet rightwing violence with ... violence.

You issue calls for murder at your own peril, people. Our civil society is much more fragile than you apparently think, and this misbegotten disaster in Iraq is fraying it a little bit more every day.

So the next time you flippantly call for somebody to be lynched, or shot, or clapped in a camp somewhere, just remember that every day a few more people on the other side of the political divide are taking you seriously. And are arming themselves.

Kirk Spencer, I think your description is actually over-optimistic. It'd be more like cutting off an arm or a leg. In addition to the 2M or so that leaves the market instantly, and the suddenly higher cost of transporting anything through the gulf, there is a non-trivial possibility that the straits would be effectively closed for unknown periods of time. That's up to 18M bbl/day for however long it takes.

Bandar Abbas is the port that would have to be blockaded, and, well... just look at it on a map. The Iranians are well aware of the strategic importance of that little stretch of coastline, and have (presumably) thought long and hard about how to use it most effectively.

I don't doubt that sneaky Americans in wet desert cammo have been surveilling that whole area in person for months now, but the Iranians will always have the upper hand there. And bottom line, trying to blockade Iran will force both China's and Europe's hand. I don't know about the Euros but the Chinese are not stupid enough to choose short term economic interests over long term strategic ones.

Having defended Charles in the past, sometimes for the sheer aesthetic bliss thereof, I have to say:

Get his crap to LGF or Tacitus where it belongs. If I want to read about lining up Americans and shooting them, I'm sure that Storm Front and other sites can gratify my needs in that regard.

And, without any sense of irony, Bizarro World now has a post up entitled "Planned Parenthood's Ridiculous Rhetoric" on the same page where Charles calls for the execution of Chomsky and Fonda.


My understanding is that a lot of Iran's oil goes to Japan.

Three people who told us that invading Iraq would solve all the problems, that trusting Bush would solve all the problems, that throwing away the Geneva Convention would solve all the problems.

Except that I never told you of such a thing, not.

On the Chomsky line, I was just playing his own rhetoric back, trying to point out the easy moral equivalence (and depravity) he was engaging in. It truly baffles me that he has so many staunch defenders. What Chomsky did during the Vietnam War was on par with what Fonda did, again assuming that what he said and where he said it was accurate. Whether those are grounds for treason or not, I haven't investigated. See my update.

...Charles et al. will regard our outrage at his calls for murder...

Where exactly did I call for murder, Anarch?

And the words "orders of magnitude" mean "powers of ten" or "factors of ten."

My mistake, ord. Fixed.

yeah, anarch, that was really unfair of you.

He called for people to be put before a firing squad and shot because of their political views.

And since even in Wing-nut America there is no way to get a court to sentence someone to death for their political views, he was obviously calling for a non-judicial execution "absent trial and conviction of a capital crime", as hilzoy pointed out.

So he was calling for the non-judicial killing of people for their political views, but is that any reason to say he called for murder?

you take that back right now, Anarch!

Exactly, Anarch. That's not murder, that's merely fascism.

Charles: "On the Chomsky line, I was just playing his own rhetoric back, trying to point out the easy moral equivalence (and depravity) he was engaging in."

Wrong. You said that there was a "a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why Chomsky should have been put before a firing squad and shot (and add Jane Fonda to make it a two-fer)." This is not just "playing his own rhetoric back"; it's adding in a recommendation that he be shot. Nor does this in any way "point out the easy moral equivalence he was engaging in". At any rate, I don't see how it does: it says nothing about easy moral equivalence or anything of the kind, and it does say something about his being shot. Not that he committed treason, or that he should be tried, but that he should be shot.

There's a difference.

"It truly baffles me that he has so many staunch defenders." -- Oddly, Charles, I don't see a single person here defending Chomsky, or Jane Fonda for that matter. I do see a lot of people objecting to your saying that people should be shot. For the record, I don't think you should be shot, and if you think this counts as "defending" you, you should think again, since I also think that what you wrote is indefensible.

Y'know, I disagree with Charles frequently, and in this post I have various points of disagreement, but starting to read the comments, it seems to me that quite a few are way out of line. They're nothing but ad hominem: personal attacks.

Those violate the posting rules, in my view. Disagree with Charles all you like, but serious versions of "Charles sucks and is ruining the site" aren't discussions of substance or issues, but are literal ad hominems. People engaging in them should, in my view, get a warning that another iteration will result in banning.

Those who don't like this stie for what it is, I'd think, don't lack a shortage of other sites with views less offensive to their delicate sensibilities.

Naturally, my view on this is just that of another commenter; but there it is.

Wow -- who needs the "I hate Charles" blog when a post like this creates such an easy target.

Like so much of Charles writing, it is largely fact-free and incorporates clearly wrong assumptions.

A targeted strategy by Israel of attacking Hezbollah military targets would make some sense, but it is a fantasy to describe the current events in that manner. Israel has chosen to respond to a small attack by Hezbollah on a military target with a massive attack against Lebanon itself -- there is very little effort to counter-attack only Hezbollah.

The simple answer to ending the current violence between Israel and Hezbollah is to degrade Hezbollah to the point where Israel can hand the keys to the Lebanese army, giving the government full sovereignty over its country.

Excuse me, but the Israelis are attacking both the Lebanese country and the Lebanese army at the moment, and uniting the Lebanese with Hezbollah rather than isolating it from the remainder of Lebanon. Funny how you managed to skip over that part in writing this drivel.

And "degrade" Hezbollah by aerial bombing? That is a joke -- care to be more specific as to how that will happen? Why, we could use the same tactic in Iraq -- "degrade" the insurgency by aerial bombing -- how did we manage to overlook this wonderful tactic? Do you think when you write this stuff?

The attack on Lebanon is akin to the earlier attack on Gaza -- a response to a guerilla attack on a military target with a generalized attack on the civilian infrastructure of the neighboring territory. What is going on here is collective punishment to terrorize Arabs in the neighboring countries to turn against Hamas or Hezbollah, or else face Israeli terror.

If wars of the type advocated by Charles worked, then the problems in the Middle East would have been solved decades ago. It no wonder that conservatives like Charles are no longer able to get anything right about wars, (i.e., when and how to fight them).

It truly baffles me that he has so many staunch defenders.

On my reading the comments were not defences of Chomsky, but attacks on a decidedly thuggish suggestion of Charles Bird's. It really isn't the same thing.

I wrote in an earlier comment thread that Israel is doing the work that the Lebanese army should be doing but cannot. The simple answer to ending the current violence between Israel and Hezbollah is to degrade Hezbollah to the point where Israel can hand the keys to the Lebanese army, giving the government full sovereignty over its country.

I find this frustrating, because it's very easy to understand that Israel is not, or not merely, degrading Hezbollah, but also degrading the Lebanese government, military, economy, and civilian infrastructure, by, for instance, attacking major cities that provide no support for Hezbollah and have held a predominantly anti-Hezbollah sentiment (such as Beirut). That's not a polemic or a condemnation, it's just what's happening.

It's frustrating because that's not the sort of information you'll only find from partisan or agenda-driven sources, and therefore not necessarily trust or hear; it's widely reported enough that just glancing at the headlines everyday should give at least some sense of it.

I'm not closed to the possibility that these factors are directly related to the degradation of Hezbollah. I want to hear thoughts about it. Yet this post just seems to presume from the start that something straightforward is happening in Lebanon; it forgoes any actual analysis of, or even reference to, the facts of the matter here.

Gary, you're a beautiful dude.

It truly baffles me why Charles has such staunch defenders. But in your case, Gary, I figure it's like the ACLU going to bat in the Skokie case. And that's a beautiful thing in its own way.

Still, I wish you'd give up that "Those who don't like this site for what it is" stuff, which has a lot too much of the ring of your "it is what it is" refrains.

Yeah, I like this site "for what it is". That's perfectly consistent with liking some parts more than others, and with wanting "what it is" in the future to be different from "what it is" today.

"What it is" is not some sort of eternal, unchangeable essence. The site can change, and will change, for better or for worse. I'm advocating that it change in one direction, i.e. by dropping Charles Bird from the list of posters.

After that change, "what it is" will be different, and I'll like it for "what it is". Even more.

Or does liking something "for what it is" force you to defend a changeless status quo for ever?

"I find this frustrating, because it's very easy to understand that Israel is not, or not merely, degrading Hezbollah, but also degrading the Lebanese government, military, economy, and civilian infrastructure, by, for instance, attacking major cities that provide no support for Hezbollah and have held a predominantly anti-Hezbollah sentiment (such as Beirut)."

The problem is that Hezbollah is not strictly distinguishable from Lebanon. Hezbollah is in Lebanon, it acts from Lebanon, it is supplied through Lebanese trade channels and is otherwise intimately connected to Lebanon. That is why ideally Lebanon would go through the trouble to remove Hezbollah from its borders.

I'm afraid it's too much of a job for me to run through this thread, commenting on the stuff that I think is variously correct, incorrect, or in between; there's too much.

An almost random point or two, while leaving many important points unrebutted:

radish: "Let's all pretend guerillas operate just like regular armies and everything will be peachy."

Hezbollah aren't "guerillas"; I have no idea where you got that notion, but it's entirely wrong. They're a key part of the government, and they are a professional militia, as well as a police force, with formidable regular military capabilities that stand up well against the Israeli Defense Forces, one on one. They bear no relationship whatever to a guerilla force, nor have they ever operated as one. They do, indeed, operate as a regular army, and always have, which is why they did so well during the civil war.

Switching topics, speaking again only as a commenter, I also have no problem with posters being banned from calling for the deaths of people not convicted of a crime and sentenced to the death penalty in a court of law.

Andrew: "Assuming Hezbollah's leadership and a majority of its combat power is all located in southern Lebanon (something that, even if it was true when this began, is unlikely to have remained so)...."

It absolutely was not previously true. Hezbollah has been shagging assets away all over, including Beirut, for many years; this is a key part of the problem.

The problems of dealing with Hezbollah today, whether by Israel, UN forces of some sort, including the U.S., or whomever, are epitomized by what happened the last time the U.S. went into Lebanon to guarantee stability and order; we became sucked into the civil war, suffered massive losses in terrorist attacks from Hezbollah (yeah, the guys in Lebanon, not from Saudi Arabia), and Reagan immediately cut-and-ran.

The problems of subduing/eliminating Hezbollah are similar to those of dealing with the Shi'ite militias in Iraq.

No, I don't know what the "solution" is, either.

"Southern Lebanon is heavily mined and Hezbollah knows the ground very well. A major Israeli incursion into southern Lebanon would suffer significant casualties as soon as they crossed the border."

Absolutely right. And instead, for now, they're trying to use air power, and thus the inevitable problems of "collateral damage" in killing civilians, and despite best and strenuous efforts, inevitably making mistakes, as well.

(They also otherwise appear to be engaging in an effort to "persuade" the Lebanese government by "punishing" them by hitting Lebanese military, and perhaps commercial, targets, though the latter remains unclear just now; regardless, this strikes me as entirely cock-eyed and wrongheaded and entirely stupid and tragic; if there's a good argument for this strategy working, I've not yet run into it.)

Francis:

the missiles that Iran has delivered to Hezbollah ... imperils the lives of two million Israelis.

now that's an abuse of the English language. 2 million israelis may be within range of the missiles, but it is most certainly not the case that the lives of ALL of them are imperilled.

This is a pointless semantic argument, but "imperiled" is perfectly correct usage here. If I wave a gun at a crowd of people they're all, individually, imperiled, even though I only have six bullets. That I can't slaughter all of them doesn't mean that each one isn't "imperiled," or threatened, or in danger. Sheesh.

Similarly, Israel is imperiling most everyone in Lebanon at the moment.

Hilzoy: "About the chemical plants: the analysis I've seen (can't recall where) suggests that Hezbollah's rockets (esp. the Katyushas) are too imprecise to target the chemical plants, or anything else specific"

They'd have to get lucky, but they have more than enough rockets to blanket the area and likely score hits if they try; it's a grave danger.

Charles: "Whether those are grounds for treason or not, I haven't investigated."

Charles, what can I say about calling for someone to be shot, first, and then saying you've not "investigated" the actual grounds? Boggle.

A ""a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why Chomsky should have been put before a firing squad and shot," but you "haven't investigated" "whether those are grounds for treason or not."

This is utterly irresponsible, and while I think attacks on your person should, like attacks on any commenter/person here, remain out of bounds, I certainly can't argue with anyone who is appalled by your irresponsible and pointless rhetoric.

"a pursuasive argument as to why Chomsky should have put before a firing squad and shot (and add Jane Fonda for a 2-fer)"

"....whether those are grounds for treason or not I haven't investigated."

This is a heck of a time to START the investigation. After me and the boys already broke open the jail and hauled Chomsky and Fonda out to the edge of town and gave them what-fer. Plus we burned their barns down and slaughtered the livestock.

I think I've seen this movie: "The Ox-Bow Incident". Oddly, Henry FONDA was one of the recipients of conservative mob action in that one. Seems to me Anthony Quinn got strung up, too, but I think that killing had a bit of Mexican illegal status to it.

I hate it when mobs walk away and head home for dinner after finding out the guys they just strung up hadn't even been investigated yet. Makes me feel kind of sheepish. Can I get my rope back?

Boo Radley for President. Now there was a guy!

Ya know, my grandfather (whom I loved like a grandfather) used to say that Martin Luther King should be shot.

And then he was. Shows you the power of positive thinking.

Sebastian: That is why ideally Lebanon would go through the trouble to remove Hezbollah from its borders.

And that is surely why (as was discussed on a better thread than this) ideally Israel would not be acting - as they are - to weaken the Lebanese government and strengthen Hezbollah. War on Lebanon can only make Hezbollah politically stronger and the Lebanese government politically weaker. Yet that's what Israel's doing.

That is why ideally Lebanon would go through the trouble to remove Hezbollah from its borders.

well, now Lebanon will be lucky if it can provide electricity and water to its people.

I think we are alll agreed here ( Mr. Holdsclaw apart) that targeting Lebanon's government and commercial assets for whatever reason is stupid & shortsighted, even taking into account what marginal military benefit might accrue from this policy.
Olmert needs to ren in his Air Force. But does he have the cojones to do it?

What Chomsky did during the Vietnam War was on par with what Fonda did, again assuming that what he said and where he said it was accurate. Whether those are grounds for treason or not, I haven't investigated.

You haven't investigated. And yet not having investigated the incident in question--by your own admission--you nevertheless feel comfortable saying that if it's true, "there is also a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why Chomsky should have been put before a firing squad and shot". Did you actually /think/ about this and whether it helped advance any productive discussion on the new ME crisis, or did you just throw it in to satisfy the lunacy quota you thought necessary to get it front-paged on Redstate?

But never mind--you're just "playing his own rhetoric back". That makes it all in good fun.

A plea to the collective: I have no problem whatsoever with there being principled conservative voices on this blog. Charles is not one, and you are not obligated to give him a platform for regurgitating this crap when he crossposts all of it to Redstate anyway. Let it go up there where it belongs.

First: find a set of bloglinks a little more, umm, -representative- of outstanding opinion: citing obsessive warfloggers like Charles Krauthammer or Josh Trevino about "what to do" (or "what Israel should do") in Lebanon scuppers your arguments from the get-go.

Whose "outstanding opinion", Jay? At least in name only, this blog is supposed to represent a spectrum of opinion, not just those you agree with. I do read a range of opinions, but whom I select for a post is my business.

However much however large a segment of Lebanon's public might dislike/distrust Hezbollah - it is a safe bet that they dislike/distrust Israel even more: and the notion that "... Israel ...doing the work that the Lebanese army should be doing but cannot." will do anything other than spark anger, resentment and hatred in the public mind is, imho, foolish wishful-thinking...

So, if I understand your logic, because Israel is doing the dirty work of degrading Hezbollah, therefore the Lebanese must be really, really angry about getting their country back? The fact is that they are too weak to do it themselves. The Lebanese ambassador to the UN was on Chris Matthews yesterday and admitted that very thing. Another sovereign nation, Iran, is meddling in Lebanese affairs by financially propping up this Islamist militia to the tune of $240 to $480 million per year. I suggest that if anger is the emotion the Lebanese are feeling, then it is misplaced if directed at Israel. It should be directed at the Iranian mullahs who have (at least) tacitly approved the attacks.

I am surprised that Charles would show such overt comtempt for the rule of law.

Where did I show any such thing, lily? Please point to where I've advocated going against the rule of law.

One other general comment. I don't think Israel's objective should be to "destroy" Hezbollah. Because a reasoned and persuasive argument can be made, doesn't mean that I'm making it, just to be extra clear. The word I used was "degrade", which is probably the best that Israel can do.

Not only is Charles showing no concern whatsoever about "collateral damage" from Israel's actions (you know, dead people, destroyed homes and businesses, etc., etc.), but there is not even any sign of concern for whether Israel is actually accomplishing what he thinks they should be doing.

Israel has been attacked and they are within international protocols to defend themselves, Blar. They are also bound by the Geneva Conventions to minimize civilian casualties as much as practicable. I hope they are doing that very thing. Hezbollah is doing the equivalent of using civilians as human shields when they fire rockets from apartment buildings and otherwise launch attacks from civilian centers. They are even more responsible for the deaths of civilians because they are the ones doing the real endangering. The fault also lies with the Lebanese government because it is a failed state that is unable to enforce the sovereignty of its borders.

Is there any reason to think that the "Saudi Party of God", which is doubtless Sunni, has anything to do with the "Party of God" operating in Lebanon, whose links are mostly Shiite?

There are no Shiites in Saudi Arabia, paging? Why are the prime suspects of Khobar Towers residing in Iran?

Andrew,
Trevino also made similar comments to the effect that Israel would have to isolate south Lebanon, blocking avenues of escape, in order to succeed. Roggio mentioned that there have been some reserve call-ups, but not in large numbers. If the Israelis made a more serious ground incursion, yes, they would be need more personnel and, yes, would be exposed. But if they don't, they're exposed anyway, perhaps more so if Hezbollah is perceived to have prevailed. As I wrote, this is a high-stakes deal and it looks like both sides are staying on their respective tracks.

Hil,
I didn't read your "Little List" post until after I hit the "post" button. There aren't a lot of good options. I suggest that, without the Syrian influence there was in the past, the "permissive environment" will be tougher to achieve if the Israelis can prepare that environment for the Lebanese army. I agree with this statement made by 3GB: "On the other hand, I would definitely support US military assistance (money, arms, equipment, even a few SF trainers) to the Lebanese Army, if that army was engaging Hezbollah." But I don't think this could happen until Hezbollah is sufficiently degraded. According to the CIA Factbook, Lebanese military expenditures were $540.6 million in 2004 which, at worst, is only 2¼ higher than what Hezbollah gets from Iran.

So, if I understand your logic, because Israel is doing the dirty work of degrading Hezbollah, therefore the Lebanese must be really, really angry about getting their country back?
No doubt they're busy as we speak preparing the candy and flowers to welcome their Israeli liberators.

Catsy: Charles is not one, and you are not obligated to give him a platform for regurgitating this crap when he crossposts all of it to Redstate anyway.

The only reason for keeping Charles Bird was Edward_'s assertion that if Charles left Edward would go.

Edward_ has gone, it seems - and I miss him - so is there any good reason to retain Charles?

Andrew, Von, and Sebastian are all principled conservative voices, well worth having as regular posters, regardless of whether I agree with them or not. Charles... isn't.

I miss Edward_, too.

(But that's an ad hominem remark).

Hezbollah aren't "guerillas"; I have no idea where you got that notion, but it's entirely wrong.

No it's not. It's not even half wrong -- maybe 17% at most (oh and pedantry isn't always constructive).

If you feel that Hizbollah can't be considered guerillas (in addition to being a political party, police force, smugglers' guild, military intelligence agency, fraternity or any of various other things) then presumably you have a twenty-words-or-fewer definition of "guerilla" which clearly excludes Hizbollah but clearly includes, say the PLA Chinese Red Army circa late 30s.

I'm perfectly happy to admit when I'm mistaken and even happier when I can isolate points of disagreement with people whose opinions I respect, so I'm looking forward to finding out which it is this time.

"War on Lebanon can only make Hezbollah politically stronger and the Lebanese government politically weaker."

This is as simplistic and reductionist, and partially wrong, as would be writing "War on Lebanon can only make Hezbollah politically weaker and the Lebanese government politically stronger."

Back in reality, warring on Hezbollah, and also hitting other Lebanese targets, has both effects. Which will come out stronger remains to be seen. It's going to depend on specifics, trends, and the law of unknown consequences.

I realize that that's entirely vague, and not that useful. I could simply make up assertions about what I "know" the results are going to be, based on my prejudices and psychic abilities, but I figure those slots are more than filled.

Charles: "I suggest that if anger is the emotion the Lebanese are feeling, then it is misplaced if directed at Israel."

Regardless of what people "should" feel, people feel what they feel. Instructing them that their feelings, whatever they might be -- and we don't exactly have Lebanese opinion polling in hand as yet, and inevitably, results will, however accurate or inaccurate, obviously be mixed -- is pointless and unhelpful.

"Where did I show any such thing, lily? Please point to where I've advocated going against the rule of law."

I believe it's that whole advocating people be shot before investigating thing, Charles.

"Roggio mentioned that there have been some reserve call-ups, but not in large numbers."

That's correct; as of early this morning it was three brigades, but I've not had time to update yet this afternoon.

If possible, Israel wants to avoid even a quick ground thrust into Lebanon; the area is immensely heavily mined and well-prepared, and losses would inevitably be heavy. Which isn't to say that they might not do it, if they feel it's the least bad choice. I don't know what the odds are just now; probably at least 60-40 against, or more, but as I'm not privy to their thinking, I'm really not in a position to say.

"Hil,
I didn't read your 'Little List' post until after I hit the 'post' button."

That's a shame. Obviously you are under no obligation, but I'd suggest that it would be both useful to having productive discussion of your posts and comments and thoughts here, and respectful to the other bloggers, and to the commenters here (who seem to be generally far more invested in ObWi than you are), to make the effort to read the relevant prior posts on a topic, before composing your own, on many occasions.

Such a policy would be apt to lessen your being chewed up quite so much, and, again, demonstrating respect for what everyone else here has already said, would also, I think, be helpful. To earn respect, people have to, of course, give respect. If you don't care to even bother to read what other people have said, why should they in turn care what you have to say?

And, no, I'm not saying you have to study every comment before posting; I'm just saying that as a general rule, at least reading the other posts from your other posters, would be a good start.

On your last point, the Lebanese Army isn't well equipped. I saw an estimate of assets yesterday, and it was fairly pathetic. About 34 helicopters (some of which have now been destroyed), no fixed wing craft, 4 shoulder-fired AA missiles, and a few hundred obsolete APCs (according to one report, at least one of which was partially made of wood) and a smattering of tanks and some artillery).

JFTR, I took the Chomsky line in the sense CB I think describes it - if Chomsky's logic (Hizbullah is a good thing) makes sense, having the state shoot its enemies' supporters makes sense. If I thought for a second that CB would look with anything but horror on a report that Chomsky and Fonda had been rounded up by the govt and summarily executed, I would be appalled at his statement.

On the other hand, I think of plenty of what seem to me cogent colorful arguments which will in all likelihood lead to people taking offense and I repress them out of consideration for the conversation and my place in it - I can only suggest CB do the same.

Me and the boys down at the saloon vote to keep Charles on board.

Perhaps agreement could be reached that Andrew could get a cursory look at Charles' posts before they go out the door and he could red pencil the red meat Kim il Dong stuff and the let's-execute-the-Left comments.

Better idea. Charles could post first at HOCB and get the hate out of the way with suggestions as to the hateable bits and then take the show over here.

Otherwise, Charles isn't so bad. Tyson's not a bad boxer either, but the ear-biting seems a little gratuitous.

Of course, if Charles stops his stooping then I'll stop my sarcastic "stooping" and all we've have around here is a lot of sober talk about how we're not quite sure what the heck to do about the mess in the Middle East.

What fun would that be? I'd have to go over to Redstate to get my heart started and that would last approximately 14 words before Moe Lane banned me for inciting open debate.

"we'd have..."

I make mistakes. Which is self-inflicted ad hominum.

"...then presumably you have a twenty-words-or-fewer definition of 'guerilla' which clearly excludes Hizbollah but clearly includes, say the PLA Chinese Red Army circa late 30s."

If you'd argued that at one time, decades ago, Hezbollah had had aspects of a guerilla force, I wouldn't take issue.

Similarly, one could say that of the U.S. Army, when they were fighting against the Redcoats.

One could even claim that U.S. Special Forces, from the tradional Green Berets, to many forms of current Special Operations, take on aspects of being guerillas.

That doesn't mean that it's an accurate statement to contemporaneously say "the U.S. Army is a guerilla army."

Definitions? First stop at Google's answers.com link:

A member of an irregular, usually indigenous military or paramilitary unit operating in small bands in occupied territory to harass and undermine the enemy, as by surprise raids. Hezbollah hasn't operated in "occupied territory" since the end of the civil war and/or the Israeli withdrawal; even during the civil war, they overwhelmingly operated on the borders of their own territory, and during the Israeli occupation, on the borders of their territory against the SLA.

Which is exactly the point I was trying to make. Hezbollah does not operate as a force fighting occupiers, in the midst of the sea of people. They fight purely as a regular force in modern times.

Thus: not guerrilas in any meaningful or useful sense.

I'd have to go over to Redstate to get my heart started and that would last approximately 14 words before Moe Lane banned me for inciting open debate.

But they're not about open debate, they're about killin' islamofascists and hatin' democrats, getting the two mixed up from time to time.*

*I exaggerate, of course.

Crap; blockquotes begone.

John: "I make mistakes. Which is self-inflicted ad hominum."

So you didn't mean to write "sarcastic schtupping"?

gary: when iran develops (a) nukes and (b) rockets which can reliably reach israel and (c) the capacity to place the nuke in the rocket, THEN 2 million israelis will be imperilled by the rocket forces of an enemy, because all 2 million could be killed by a rocket attack. (see, eg, S.Holsclaw.)

to conflate the ability of an enemy to cause minor damage to a large group of people with the ability of an enemy to destroy a large group of people in a single strike is not helpful, especially given the attention in the last few years to the very definition of "WMD".

one last thing: getting chastized by you on the grounds that i'm making an overly semantic argument is a little rich. mote / beam and all that.

Charles, in seriousness, I'll stomach repeated links to Krauthammer, Tacitus and the Moose. I can take those with the appropriate dollop of salt. But ObWi is not RedState, and it angers the kitty when you call for firing squads whether it is a mere rhetorical flourish or not.

In a way, such verbiage only makes sense if you are actively trying to anger your readership. I want delve into psychoanalysis to ponder why this might be, but I think I'd join the calls to either have you cut it out or for you to be cut out of future 'contributions' to this blog.

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