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Israel/Lebanon Conflict (Split from 'Cyprus, Refugees...'

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  • It's always surprised me that American politicians and commentators, strategists and so on, don't look back to make enough comparisons with the Revolutionary War. If England had negotiated better and respected the Americans better, the US would still all be Canadian, as it were. The anger and determination of the founding fathers actually increased with the failure of the British Tories to respect their cause and negotiate. Equally, Americans were chiefly successful through engaging in guerilla warfare against the super-power of the day (which had just defeated France and was at that point the unchallenged Big Noise in the world).
    And on another note, here's what William Faulkner wrote in Harper's in 1955 on The American Dream: What Happened To It ?

    THIS WAS the American Dream: a sanctuary on the earth for individual man: a condition in which he could be free not only of the old established closed-corporation heirarchies of arbitrary power which had oppressed him as a mass, but free of that mass into which the heirarchies of church and state had compressed and held him individually thralled and individually impotent.

    The whole essay is worth reading and can be found in The Modern Library edition of Faulkner's Essays, Speeches and Public Letters. He's writing in the context of McCarthyism and so on, of course, but it's even more relevant today, in my view.

    Another factor we have to consider is the ill-founded triumphalism of American over the collapse of communism, which failed largely because of internal problems and the fact that the majority lost faith in it. 'Winning' over communism is not the same thing as 'winning' over a large and often profoundly held religious belief system. Weapons won't do it. Diplomacy might allow us to agree to differ. Certainly there's every evidence that diplomacy can achieve more in the Middle East than escalating firepower. Much as I sympathise with Israel's current situation, I'm very disturbed by their response to what was clearly intended as a diversion to make them begin shelling Lebanon. In my view they've ridden into a trap as arrogantly as Custer rode to the Little Bighorn.
    Last edited by Michael Moorcock; 07-29-2006, 05:14 AM.

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    • That is interesting. Diplomacy does seem to be the answer. They should have made more attempts to work things out in between all the conflicts.

      Do you think Israel will lose?

      Did they bite off more than they can chew?


      I guess actions like that always make things worse for everyone.

      "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
      - Michael Moorcock

      Comment


      • I suspect Israel will only 'lose' when the oil runs out or when we're no longer dependant on oil in the US/Europe and at that point we'll begin cutting funds and arms supplies to Israel. There will be a movement to stop 'shoring up' Israel and that voice will almost certainly grow louder and more powerful. It's in Israel's interest to return to its old skills of armed diplomacy about now I'd say. Especially since America's farming states are likely to start getting richer and more powerful as we employ increasing amounts of corn-based fuel. Those states have never been exactly philosemitic.

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        Comment


        • Originally posted by lemec
          That is interesting. Diplomacy does seem to be the answer. They should have made more attempts to work things out in between all the conflicts.
          Which is precisely how the present conflict in Northern Ireland has been resolved (for the time being), through both sides being willing to engage in 'jaw-jaw rather than war-war'.

          The British Army for all its resources couldn't 'defeat' the IRA through strength of arms, and the IRA also ended up feeling that they couldn't win either. The struggle would just drag on and on for many more years, with further lives being lost on either side. It was only when the IRA decided to negotiate a 'peace' with the British Govt that any sort of 'normality' could return to Ulster (although what still passes for 'normality' in Ulster would nonetheless look out of place in mainland UK).

          Of course, the DUP and Sinn Fein at still at loggerheads with each other politically (and until Ian Paisley goes I don't see the intransigence on the DUP's part changing - although the IRA's 'punishment beatings' and other lawless activities don't help matters any) but at least the bombings and other terrorist actions have stopped, and the ordinary people of Ulster can have, as I say, some semblence of normality.
          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

          Comment


          • Originally posted by David Mosley
            Which is precisely how the present conflict in Northern Ireland has been resolved (for the time being), through both sides being willing to engage in 'jaw-jaw rather than war-war'.

            The British Army for all its resources couldn't 'defeat' the IRA through strength of arms, and the IRA also ended up feeling that they couldn't win either. The struggle would just drag on and on for many more years, with further lives being lost on either side. It was only when the IRA decided to negotiate a 'peace' with the British Govt that any sort of 'normality' could return to Ulster (although what still passes for 'normality' in Ulster would nonetheless look out of place in mainland UK).

            Of course, the DUP and Sinn Fein at still at loggerheads with each other politically (and until Ian Paisley goes I don't see the intransigence on the DUP's part changing - although the IRA's 'punishment beatings' and other lawless activities don't help matters any) but at least the bombings and other terrorist actions have stopped, and the ordinary people of Ulster can have, as I say, some semblence of normality.
            David,


            That does sound like a good start, at least.

            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
            - Michael Moorcock

            Comment


            • Its hard to decipher what percentage of these apalling details is merely hyped up propaganda. I've a sad feeling that this excerpt has a hopeless ring of truth to it. Im not too sure that Condoleeza Rice is going to accomplish a ceasefire as planned.
              "There is no need for a 72-hour temporary cease-fire because Israel has opened a humanitarian corridor to-and-from Lebanon," Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner said.
              "The problem is completely different. It is the Hezbollah who is deliberately preventing the transfer of medical aid and of food to the population of southern Lebanon in order to create a humanitarian crisis which they want to blame Israel for."
              http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html

              Comment


              • Breaking news:

                Lebanese population is currently attacking a UN building in Beruit following deaths of at least 40 people including many children in night-time rocket attack by Israel.

                More than 40 people, including many children, have been killed in an Israeli air strike on the southern Lebanese town of Qana.

                Initial reports say families had been sheltering in the basement of a site which was crushed after a direct hit.

                Israel said Hezbollah was responsible for using the town to launch rockets.

                The US secretary of state has cancelled a visit to Beirut as the Lebanese prime minister says he will only discuss a full and immediate ceasefire.

                Fouad Siniora said there was "no room on this sad morning" for talks until Israel had halted its attacks.

                Angry protesters are attacking a UN building in a violent demonstration on the streets of Beirut.

                Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said earlier that Israel was not in a hurry to agree to a ceasefire until it achieved its goals in the area.

                ...

                Witnesses said the early-morning strike flattened several sites on top of sleeping residents.

                One survivor said the "bombing was so intense that no-one could move".

                Reliable casualty figures are not yet clear, but reports said more than 40 had been killed, while sources in the Lebanese Red Cross said as many as 50 or 60 had lost their lives.


                Elderly, women and children were among those killed in the raid, which wrought destruction over a wide area.

                The BBC's Fergal Keane at the scene saw two small boys pulled from the rubble.

                The number of wounded appears small, he says - which indicates very few survived.

                Reporters spoke of survivors screaming in grief and anger, as some scrabbled through the debris with bare hands.

                "We want this to stop," a villager shouted.

                "May God have mercy on the children. They came here to escape the fighting."

                Israel's military said it had warned residents of Qana to leave and Hezbollah bore responsibility for using it to fire rockets at the Jewish state.

                The BBC's Jim Muir in Qana says many did not have the means - or were too frightened - to flee.

                Qana was the site of an Israeli bombing of a UN base on April 1996 that killed more than 100 people sheltering there during Israel's "Grapes of Wrath" offensive, which was also aimed at destroying Hezbollah.

                http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5228224.stm
                Last edited by David Mosley; 07-30-2006, 01:23 AM.
                _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                Comment


                • Any of the rockets that are being continuously fired at Israel could cause, of course, a similar devastation.

                  The hostilities should stop on both sides, with a solution that will promise peace at the Lebanese-Israeli border for years to come.

                  Comment


                  • "Peace will never be achieved until somebody decides not to throw the second stone." (-Danish foreign minister Per Stig Mّller on the Israeli/Palestinian problem, sometime last year I think)

                    While the stones being thrown right now are neither no. 2 or 3 but more like no. 63,658,294, Mّllers point holds up none the less.

                    There are obviously vested interests and very deep and understandable resent on both sides. Sadly, that means that the more both sides feel wronged and bitter, the harder it'll be to pull out.

                    I'm sure that Israel feels, not without some justification, that it's a small state fighting for survival in surroundings where many neighbours would like to see it wiped off the map. They're the victims and the underdog.

                    On the other hand, Palestinians feel, not without some justification, that their land was taken from them half a century ago, and that their enemies are have the support of the world's only current super-power (at least as long as that super-power has oil interests in the area). So, they're the victims and the underdog.

                    Lebanon has for a long while seemed to me to me one of the saner states in the area, so it's a sad thing that Israel couldn't reach an agreement with Lebanon about solving the problem about the Hizbollah attack before policing their territory on their own.

                    But, as David Mosley's post (#144) shows, neither Israel nor Hizbollah seems ready yet to miss an opportunity to throw any stone. And they've both said they won't stop until they've reached their goal. I wonder what number of killed innocents that goal is.
                    "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Jagged
                      Lebanon has for a long while seemed to me to me one of the saner states in the area, so it's a sad thing that Israel couldn't reach an agreement with Lebanon about solving the problem about the Hizbollah attack before policing their territory on their own.
                      That's probably because of the lessons of the past. UN resolution 1559, that calls for the disarming of Hezbollah and for the deployment of the Lebanese army in the south of Lebanon, has never been complied by Lebanon.

                      By the way, I suspect there have been negotations going on between Israel and Lebanon. They are just not made public for obvious reasons.
                      Last edited by Oren; 07-30-2006, 08:46 AM.

                      Comment


                      • It seems that Hezbollah is hoping that global opinion will sway Israel into ceasing their barrage on Southern Lebanon due to the escalation in civillian casualties.
                        On the other hand I think that Israel is hoping that the distress of the Lebanese public will turn their anger towards Hezbollah.Hopefully there will be enough of them left for this strategy to have any bearing on the outcome.
                        I just saw the current affairs in front of the UN building in Beirut on CNN. There was an angry mob smashing windows out of vehicles trying to vacate the premises. The public there are understandably very distraught.

                        Lebanese PM rejects talks with Rice
                        No cease-fire, no talks
                        BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said all talks on a resolution to the Mideast crisis are on hold because of the Israeli airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in the southern Lebanese town of Qana early Sunday.
                        http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/...ice/index.html
                        Last edited by voilodian ghagnasdiak; 07-30-2006, 08:02 AM.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Oren Douek
                          That's probably because of the lessons of the past. UN resolution 1559, that calls for the disarming of Hezbollah and for the deployment of the Lebanese army in the south of Lebanon, has never been compiled by Lebanon.

                          By the way, I suspect there have been negotations going on between Israel and Lebanon. They are just not made public for obvious reasons.
                          UN Resolutions, is it?

                          Now what are they good for? Only to be enforced when they go against the opposing side, apparently:

                          http://www.action-for-un-renewal.org...esolutions.htm

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Pietro_Mercurios
                            UN Resolutions, is it?

                            Now what are they good for? Only to be enforced when they go against the opposing side, apparently:

                            http://www.action-for-un-renewal.org...esolutions.htm
                            Resolution 487: " . . . 'strongly condemns' Israel for its attack on Iraq's nuclear facility".
                            Ironic, isn't it?

                            Consequently, most of these reolutions are condemnations which are easily passed against Israel in the UN due to the power of the Arab/Muslim block, while others have already been complied with (like the withdrawal from Lebanon).
                            Last edited by Oren; 07-30-2006, 08:46 AM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Oren Douek
                              Ironic, isn't it?

                              Consequently, most of these reolutions are condemnations which are easily passed against Israel in the UN due to the power of the Arab/Muslim block, while others have already been complied with (like the withdrawal from Lebanon).
                              Of course, since these resolutions were only passed due to "the power of the Arab/Muslim block" (strange that only America so consistently vetoed later proposed resolutions, however), they obviously don't count and were therefore mostly ignored.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Pietro_Mercurios
                                Of course, since these resolutions were only passed due to "the power of the Arab/Muslim block" (strange that only America so consistently vetoed later proposed resolutions, however), they obviously don't count and were therefore mostly ignored.
                                I haven't seen the Arab and Muslim countries so enthusiastic, for example, to support a resolution against the genocide in Darfur (300,000 or more deaths according to some reports), which was committed by the Arab Janjaweed militias. But a resolution against a trifle like a parade in Jerusalem? Of course, unanimous support! What hypocrisy!
                                Last edited by Oren; 07-30-2006, 02:14 PM.

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