August 01, 2006

Da heat

It is sucking my will to live out through my pores. Totally enervating.

So, in the meantime, I will post an email exchange I had with my cousin's idiot girlfriend in London. It might further raise the temperature. It started with someone sending around pictures of soldiers in mostly Iraq having kind of touching interactions with the local populace. The idiot girlfriend objected.

First, her email:

I think it more honest to show soldiers killing people. That is, after all, what they are trained to do irrespective of country, politics, race, creed or colour. (or predilection to kittens).

Second, my response:

While I have done my best to stay out of this one, the following from Opinion Journal bears quite a lot on your comment below:
A cartoon that has been making the rounds shows the difference between Israel and its enemies. It shows an Israeli soldier and an Arab terrorist pointing rifles at each other. There is a baby stroller behind the Israeli soldier and another in front of the Arab terrorist.

Here's an anecdote from an Associated Press report that illustrates a similar point:

Sgt. Ron Yehushua, 21, of Jerusalem, said there were moments of beauty in war, too.

Despite the brutal carnage he witnessed, he said the image etched most deeply in his mind was that of the Lebanese family he encountered in the midst of battle. He said he shared some of the little food he had with them and handed a young girl a piece of candy.

"That's the bravest thing I did," he said. "I was afraid that in war people lose their humanity, that they become bad. I will carry that memory with me because it reminded me that I am human, and that I am fighting for peace."

Then her reply:

Fighting for peace? people really still say things like that? Well in order to stop the I'm right your wrong thing - I believe it leads to people to kill each other in the end - Here's a thought from John Steinbeck which will I hope stimulate some more thought.

"Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live - for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died. And this you can know - fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe."

Comforting? Impossibly naïve? Think on.

Finally, my response to her reply:

Do people really say things like that? Yes. People who feel threatened, pushed to the wall, confronted by others who wish to push them into the sea. This isn't naïve at all. Instead, it shows, I think, a soldier trying to hang on to his own humanity while protecting those people who he is charged with protecting from showers of rockets. Rockets sent to kill civilians and only civilians. People who are fighting for their very survival do believe they are fighting for peace, fighting for the chance for their grandchildren to take buses free from fear, to play in schoolyards without looking for rockets or men with guns. If you fail to appreciate that, it means simply that you are very fortunate that you live in a place where such fear is not part of your daily existence. To call it naïve is wrong. In fact, I thought it showed a great deal of hope for the future.

Steinback has always been a bit of a hack, in my view.

Where, if anywhere, do you all come out on this?


Here's the cartoon:


Posted by Random Penseur at August 1, 2006 11:51 AM | TrackBack

I'm afraid that the country of Lebanon astounds me, the more I read the more confused I am. How can a country rely on a terrorist group to defend itself against a neighbour? And they are a political party?

Fears of civil war have left a society scared of pissing off the terrorists in the case of starting another war. Terrorists are civilians, some civilians are terrorists, and their friends the Hezbollah use them as meat shields when fighting Israel.

I don't really think I support either side, I hate terrorists and people who kill the innocent for a cause. I also don't like the approach Israel is going at this either, massive bombings of cities where civilians reside and then later dropping letter bombs warning them to leave.

Posted by: Oorgo at August 1, 2006 04:13 PM

In brief, I think the cartoon you post pretty well sums up the situation in the Mideast. Andrew Sullivan posts a letter from a Lebanese Shiite who describes what happened when Hezbollah moved into town:

Received as successful resistance fighters and armed to the teeth, they stored rockets in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers! A local sheikh explained to me laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rockets depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.

Indeed, photos have been published of Hezbollah militants in civilian clothes manning a rocket launcher in a residential neighborhood.

The state of affairs seems, at least to me, pretty plain. It would seem to me that it should be plain to anyone. So why is it not plain to so many people -- including some in my family, not to mention the media, the UN Diplomatic Corps, and other shapers of world opinion?

PJ O'Rourke was on the mark calling the Holy Land "God's Monkey House." But are the sides of Good and Evil really so difficult to discern here?

Maybe I'm blinded by my own prejudices and preconceptions. And certainly people of good will can and do disagree. But I would ask those who hold Israel culpable, who hold Israel to blame: Do you believe Israel has a right to defend itself? Do you believe Israel even has a right to exist?

Posted by: MCNS at August 1, 2006 05:34 PM

Please realize that Lebanese are not Arabs. They are in fact Phoenicians and were among the very first Christians. Due to the Palestinian refugees and the Syrian invasion, Lebanese are now a minority in our own country. In due time they will cease to exist in the Middle East, and eventually, everywhere. They are a people who have been effectively annihilated. Hezbollah are NOT Lebanese, regardless of where they live or what passports they carry.

Mind you, this is not Israel's fault and the current conflict will not make things better or worse for Lebanese. However, it does get tiresome when the press in the US does not make the distinction.

Posted by: Alice Maalouf at August 2, 2006 10:18 AM

You owe it to your cousin to prevent him and his idiot girlfriend from making babies. Furthermore, you owe it to your kin to have him understand that however good the sex and cooking and companionship are, they are not good enough to overcome the sort of dangerously foolish concepts as his idiot girlfriend has expressed.

If he continues along his pubic-blinded path toward destruction, you owe it to him to change his name and dis-own him. Do it now, before it's too late.

Dan Patterson
Arrogant Infidel

Posted by: Dan Patterson at August 4, 2006 03:52 PM

" you come out on this"

I think you know! I have idiot relatives as well!

Posted by: Mark at August 5, 2006 10:51 PM

I submitted an article on tis site entitled "LIVE from Beirut" to Mary Mitchell from the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
please let me know if it is on your data base for publication.


Gus Choueiri
5 Oct. 2006

Posted by: Gus Choueiri at October 4, 2006 11:06 PM

Sir, I deleted your comment entirely. You simply re-posted an entire copy-righted article. I do not permit such actions on my comment boards. My blog, my rules.

Posted by: rp at October 5, 2006 04:12 PM
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