Let Us Hope….

Lebanon Map.jpg

I hope, but am not terribly hopeful, that the newly brokered truce in Lebanon will be implemented and will hold. Witnessing from afar the loss of innocent lives — Israeli and Lebanese — has been horrifying.

I hope that a lasting peace for both Lebanon and Israel may come out of this, but again, I am not very hopeful.

If the restrictions on travel in and out of the country are lifted, I hope to get to Beirut soon to do business with publishers in the Lebanese capital.

I’m off soon to the region for a conference on individual liberty, toleration, the rule of law, and the market economy.

24 Responses to “Let Us Hope….”

  1. Hezbollah does not fight for Lebanon. It never did. They used Lebanon as a mean to an end. And that end is their fight for Islam, for the great Caliphate, etc. It is equally true that by doing so they serve the immediate interests of the Iranian Ayatollah Khamenei, and that of President Bashar Assad.

    Israel weakened Hezbollah, but it is far from destrying it. That, and the Lebanese government policy of looking the other way, leads me to think that this war is from from being over.

    We have now a cease fire, or a hudna, meaning that it is a bit of respiro time Israel has till Hezbollah, Hamas et. comp will have enough weapons to attack. Israel is fighting for its surviving in the region, while the Muslims fight for the supremacy there, and soon world wide. We are living some very tense times, Dr. Palmer.

  2. Alan Gura

    Since Hezbollah is refusing to disarm south of the Litani as required, the Lebanese government is already backing away from its troop commitment.

    There is also the matter of the two kidnapped soldiers, whose release must be “unconditional.”

    Israel won’t leave until it is replaced by the Lebanese/UN force, whose arrival is iffy (see above). Israel is also refusing to lift the embargo/blockade until measures are in place to prevent Hezbollah’s rearmament. And Hezbollah may continue fighting so long as Israel remains in Lebanon, meaning the truce probably covers, effectively, only rockets and strategic air strikes. For now.

    And even if Israel leaves, Hezbollah is not interested in disarming, which means this is all going to keep going on, or resume in the very near future.

    The weak link in this arrangement is the Lebanese government’s innability or unwillingess to stand up to Hezbollah. It may be a part of the government but it is not a majority. Yet Hezbollah is dictating terms to the Lebanese government.

  3. I am not convinced that a truce is a hopeful sign. Doesn’t it simply postpone the inevitable battle to the death that Israel will have with those who are dedicated to obliterating the Jews from the Middle East? And doesn’t it simply give Hezbollah time to become stronger?

    I don’t think that Israel’s long run prospects look very good. And the prospect for nuclear war increases if this thing isn’t settled by conventional means soon (if that’s even possible).

  4. The UN forces will actually protect Hezbollah, as the UNIFIL did.

    I have been in the South, last year and seen myself the flags of Hezbollah right next to UNIFIL flags. The “resistance” is stronger than anyone can imagine in Lebanon and it has ties with all Arab and Muslim countries, and not only. If one needed to go to the South, you had to be under “resistance” protection or under Amal’s protection (I’ve chosen Amal).

    The UN forces would have been helpful to Israel, if they were under the chapter 7, not 6.

    This multinational force will leave Lebanon, as they did in the past, when Hezbollah will start blowing their barracks. Which will happen sooner rather than later.

    The Lebanese gov is deeply divisioned and they owe allegiance to anyone, except the Lebanese people. It is odd, but that is the truth.

  5. Anonymous

    Corrupt Arab and Persian governments need this conflict. Lebanese/Israeli contention takes the focus off the social, economical, and political shenanigans exercised, regularly, by the dictatorial, monarchical, and theocratic Muslim regimes, along with Russia’s and China’s supplying of weapons and technology.

    Peace is not an option that, in my opinion, the ruling Muslim class want. Observantly, conflict with non-Muslims has a way of uniting the Muslim world. While attention and violence are called on a infidel enemy, the Muslim on Muslim violence, human rights violations, and domestic discontent plays second fiddle or no fiddle.

    The Muslim world do not want peace with Israel, nor India I might add. It is imperative to the corrupt Muslim world rulers to make Israel their bogeyman. If not, all eyes, anger, and dissent will be on them.

  6. Appeasement is the worst possible outcome for Israel. Hezbollah’s credibility as a fighting force has been dramatically enhanced and their ranks will now increase. Already Hezbollah is pointing out that if Israel can not defeat their rag tag group, a group of determined Islamic nations should be able to finally fulfill Hitler’s dream.

    We just took a big step towards the Samson option. The butcher’s bill will be orders of magnitude larger than the cost of crushing Hezbollah today.

  7. This is not peace in our time; it’s not even cease fire in our time. It’s what it has always been – a time to rearm and reload.

    Now that Israel knows the capabilities of Hizb’allah, they have an opportunity to adjust the fight in Israels favor. For Hizb’allahs part, they will rearm with the same weapons and tactics that won the day today with the expectation of more of the same result tomorrow. Next time the bad guys own’t be so lucky.

    It’s been written above, “the Muslim world does not want peace.” Not until it is Pax Islam, or Islam is wiped away. This battle is not over.

  8. Tom G. Palmer

    Some interesting comments above, but I have to say that Indigo Red’s perspective seems so far off the mark as to be incredible. How does he or she know what “the Muslim world” wants, any more than what “the Christian world” wants? Does “the Christian world” include extremist anti-Muslim nationalists in the Balkans, who have tried to wipe out the Muslim population of the Balkans? If so, does that mean that “the Christian world does not want peace”?

  9. “Hezbollah does not fight for Lebanon. It never did. They used Lebanon as a mean to an end. And that end is their fight for Islam, for the great Caliphate, etc…the Muslims fight for the supremacy there, and soon world wide.” Maha at August 13, 2006 07:39 AM

    “The Muslim world do not want peace with Israel, nor India I might add. It is imperative to the corrupt Muslim world rulers to make Israel their bogeyman.” Posted by: at August 14, 2006 02:06 PM

    Thanks for singling me out, Doc. But if you read the comments more closely you’ll find I was neither the first nor only commenter with similar views.

    As to knowing what the Muslim world wants, Doctor Palmer, just listen to what is coming out of the Muslim world, read what is coming out of the Muslim world. It’s not all that cryptic – DEATH TO AMERICA seems plain enough to me, kill the infidel wherever you find them is very understandable.

    Perhaps the Muslim world is just using hyperbole, but the last time a lunatic regime said they were going to wipe out an entire group of people, the world paid no heed. Too bad, because thst lunatic regime went on to kill 5 million Jews, and one million others in extermination camps just like they said they would.

    There is no comparable philosphy within the Christian Bible to the “death to the other” verses of the Koran or examples in the Hadiths. Nowhere will you find Jesus saying it’s okay to kill people whether or not they agree with Christians. That Christians have killed is not the debate, simply whether that killing was/is condoned by the words of the New Testament teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. Clearly the killings are not condoned, whereas, Mohammad full supported killing and let some 21 battles personnaly.

  10. Adam Allouba

    Indigo Red: the words of some Muslims do not constitute “what the Muslim world wants,” any more than the words of Pat Robertson reflect “what the Christian world wants,” or than what NAMBLA puts out reflects “the gay agenda.” Each person and organization speaks for itself, no one else.

    Incidentally, I’d like to declare a global moratorium on comparisons between the Bible, the Quran, and all other books that the speaker has not read him/herself in the original language. Comparisons based on second-hand accounts and translations are not very insightful.

  11. Adam – A laudible request, but for that to occur a working knowledge of every language ever written and spoken would be required for anyone to read from far off times, lands, and civilzations. And that is simply ridiculous.

  12. While there is no homogenous “Muslim World View”, there are tens to hundreds of millions of Muslims who wish to use violence to propagate Islam. Large and more importantly targetable portions of the remaining Muslim community are willing to either actively aid and host terrorists or are incapable or unwilling to isolate and expell terrorists.

    The real tragedies will not result from “radical” Islam they will result when the West is radicalized and Damascus and Tehran come to be spoken with the same muted tones as Dresden and Hiroshima.

  13. Incidentally, I’d like to declare a global moratorium on comparisons between the Bible, the Quran, and all other books that the speaker has not read him/herself in the original language. Comparisons based on second-hand accounts and translations are not very insightful.

  14. Adam Allouba

    “Then I must learn Russian simply to read “War and Peace?” That’s ridiculous.”

    No, I wouldn’t go nearly that far. But you would have to learn Russian to enter into a deep, textual analysis of the work. And it’s the same for the Bible and the Quran – reading an English translation of them both does not provide a reasonable basis for comparison.

    The Quran is tricky because Muslims believe the miracle of Islam is the language used therein. The proof of the Quran’s divine nature is said to be the perfection and beauty of the language. It contains a verse that challenges a doubting reader to produce even a single passage of a similar quality. Even native Arabic speakers face enormous challenges in reading it.

    I wouldn’t offer an opinion in this vein on the Bible because I just don’t know enough to say.

    Pete T: 3 translations of the Quran isn’t close enough. It’s still not the book itself you’re reading, it’s someone’s take on it.

    I’m not saying it’s not valid or meaningless, far from it. I’m just saying it’s wrong to think that one has read a book and knows exactly what it says when it wasn’t read in the original language.

  15. Spending decades mastering obscure languages to read a text regarding Imaginary Friends is a monumental waste of time.

    I don’t need to make such a ridiculous misallocation of time and resources to undertand the modern jihadi anymore than my forefathers needed to spend decades studying Shinto in order to counter Shinto fanatics.

    Jihadis despise me and my family more than they love life. The only question at this point is does the Muslim community which hosts Jihad value my murder over their own survival?

  16. The point is not whether Jihadists are true Moslems or are misinterpreting their text. That’s a theological debate for Moslems to conduct amongst themselves.

    The point is:
    These fanatical people exist. They welcome death if it means killing lots of us. We cannot negotiate because we have nothing to offer them that they want. They want us all to be Moslem like them, or dead.

    How do we deal with that?

    The West lacks the stomache and moral inclination to simply kill lots of them. Not within our character. At some level force has to be used, to repel attacks or prevent them in some cases, but we cannot “kill them all.”

    Economic isolation?
    We’re totally dependent on their oil.

    Political reform? Democracy in these places isn’t obviously improving the situation (witness the Hamas election!)

    There aren’t any easy answers here. We have to just defend ourselves to the best of our ability and hope they soon change their mind about jihadism.

  17. edith crowther

    On 7th October 1763, a Royal Proclamation from Britain to America said “The several Nations or Tribes of Indians … who live under our Protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the Possession of … Territories … reserved to them … as their Hunting Grounds” (love the quaint capital letters). In the same way the Balfour Declaration promised European Jews a homeland in Palestine PROVIDED THAT “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities” (Palestine was 90 per cent Arab in 1917). Both of these high-minded and well-intentioned promises – and many other similar treaties with native peoples – went for a Burton in the ensuing scramble for enrichment. This sad fact of life may be why Abraham Lincoln, with typically American dry humour, remarked that “The Wolf and the Sheep are not agreed, upon a definition of the word ‘Liberty'”. It is also probably why contracts and treaties between parties of unequal power are to interpreted contra proferentem – against the offeror, or the powerful party – in contract law and international treaty law. Liberty is useless without law, and also deadly. But as the Irish once wrote on the walls of Derry, “When the lawbreakers are the lawmakers, there is no law”. That is how Muslims see the western world – lawbreakers making the law to suit themselves. Who can blame them? We certainly don’t even obey our own 10 Commandments, still less our New Testament. Too much freedom – economic and cultural – and too little shepherding. Too little care for promises made, and for the earth and the poor labourers who create our wealth. Good Christians and good Muslims agree totally on this. The conflict is between the devout and the non-devout in both religions.

  18. Anonymous

    The conflict is more political, than Divine. Who holds a patent on what the Divine thinks. All anyone know is historical evidence of Divine attributes and virtues. And most of the time individuals put their own spin on what these attributes and virtues are and what they suggests.

    The purpose of any law, Supernatural or man-made, is to make humans aware of transgressions and the punishment for transgressions. Over the centuries these laws has been skewed with, corruption, special-interests, quest for power, and money.

    I personally believe that the turbulence we have between the religious faiths, no matter what faith, has more to do with misguided human ambition, done in the name of the Divine, than Divine sanction.

  19. I’m with Tom, being hopeful but skeptical about the respite from large-scale violence in Lebenon.

    Whoever represents whomever, there’s clearly a serious social problem in the Islamic world, and it poses a great danger to everyone.

    As I see it, it’s a race to see if the fanatics can be suppressed long enough for cultural changes to take hold that might prevent more and larger tragedies.

    In this regard, I think Tom is doing more than anyone I know of to help foster the growth of a liberal (in the good sense) culture within the Islamic world. I hope that effort succeeds before it’s too late to avoid disaster.

    I was, and am still somewhat, hopeful that Iraq might server as a helpful model. I had no way of knowing how to estimate the influences of each side, but I remain optimistic that there are enough good people in any group who will, when exposed to good ideas, be able to overcome those who refuse to favor life over death.

  20. Alan Gura

    Edith Crowley:

    Surely you do not suggest that:

    1. Jews in the time of the British Mandate were militarily superior to and/or oppressing the Arabs, that’s just absurdly ahistorical, violence was mutual but there is no question as to the balance of power and which were the aggressors,

    2. Your 90% figure of Arab population in British Mandate, if true (though I’ve never seen it and have strong doubts), is referring to the British Mandate following creation of the Kingdom of Trans-Jordan,

    3. That Arabs in Israel today do not enjoy full civil rights and autonomy over their religious practice and holy sites, certainly far more human rights than Arabs enjoy in… well, just about any Arab country! (Freedom of speech, the franchise, the right to make and enforce contracts and hold property, the right to protest the government, equal protection of the laws, due process, etc.),

    4. That Muslims are blowing up train stations and crashing airplanes into buildings BECAUSE CHRISTIANS ARE INSUFFICIENTLY DEVOUT (though I like how you refer to “both” religions and exclude Jews, Hindus, Bahais, anamists, and various other targets of radical muslims, presumably these people can never be sufficiently devout in their faiths to satisfy the jihadists).


    I, too, applaud Tom for going to some of these places and trying to spread about some enlightened thinking. I don’t pretend it is an easy task and I have no particular hope that the jihadists will put down their Khomeini and pick up their Jefferson, but it is a noble effort and one well worth trying. The slightest bit of good accomplished in these efforts is significant and validates the project.

    Meanwhile, here is a useful question Tom should ask his audiences in these Arab countries:

    “Suppose I had an Israeli entry stamp in my passport. Should I be allowed to address you today or should I have been barred entry to your nation? And how is that compatible with liberty?”

    That is, if the question doesn’t get him kicked out of the country.