Thursday, July 27, 2006

Rome fiddles while Lebanon burns

It is impossible to be unmoved or unconcerned at the appalling suffering and loss of life in southern Lebanon and northern Israel (the latter rarely features in the media). However, the charade of diplomatic efforts witnessed yesterday in Rome, chaired by the ever-charismatic and politically-dynamic Romano Prodi, focused on whether the word ‘immediate’ should be attached to its call for a ceasefire. In the end, there was no such demand, simply a call for an ‘urgent’ ceasefire, which Israel has interpreted as tacit support for a continuing offensive: ‘We received yesterday at the Rome conference permission from the world... to continue the operation,’ Justice Minister Haim Ramon said.

European leaders could hardly assert anything further. EU leaders have become so accustomed to declaring obfuscational, soporific waffle, that the crisis caused by the need for a statement on a war (for that is what it is, despite the BBC’s avoidance of the term) embodies everything that the EU is not equipped to deal with. There is no unified foreign policy, and despite the trumped-up aspirations of Javier Solana, no EU foreign minister. The strategic and security interests of EU members are too diverse and disparate to ever be considered an area of ‘harmonised’ EU competence, and situations like the present are proof of the impossibility of genuine ‘ever closer union’ in this area.

All war is a tragedy of human failing, and the result of innate sin. However, demands for the present conflict to be terminated immediately, as demanded by the Pope, display an ignorance of history, an avoidance of the realities of terrorism, and a failure to comprehend human nature. Israel has long tolerated the bombardment of its northern territories by Hezbullah (‘Party of God’) kaytusha rockets. There seem to be about 12000 of these in southern Lebanon, courtesy of Syria and Iran. The usual procedure has been that Israel responds with a token retaliation, which, because Hezbullah locates its bomb-making facilities in populated areas, results in civilian deaths. The BBC then broadcasts this ‘slaughter’ to the world, the terrorists are portrayed as the underdogs, and Israel is condemned. America then tells Israel to cease, and the terrorists live to fight another day – usually the very next one.

This cannot and should not continue. This time, there must be a long-term solution rather than a short-term fix. Too many have died for this tragedy to simply revert to the status quo of the previous impasse. The timing of Hezbullah’s recent action is noteworthy, coming hard upon Iran’s demand for Israel to be ‘wiped off the map’, just as pressure was mounting for Iran to suspend its nuclear programme. Al-Qaida today warned they would not stand idly by while Israeli shells ‘burn our brothers’ in Lebanon and Gaza; for them, ‘all the world is a battlefield’. Israel’s enemies are therefore Europe’s enemies; they are jihadists in the mould of those who bombed New York, Madrid and London. They are possessed of a warped Islamofascist extremism, intoxicated at the thought of 72 virgins, and with whom there is no reasoning. Any truce would be temporary, since for Shi’ite Muslims the battle is theological, ushering in their own Armageddon and the coming of the twelfth Imam, Mahdi. Israel must therefore continue until the terrorists are eliminated. In an imperfect world of conflict and tension, this war has to be the lesser evil.

51 Comments:

Blogger Thomas Fuller said...

Well said. The BBC in particular should hang its head in shame.

Do we know where the Syrians and Iranians get hold of these rockets? Do they make them themselves to pass on to their chums? Or do they come from further afield?

27 July 2006 at 16:39  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

This pope has anti aircraft gun experience maybe he could offer some practical advice?

27 July 2006 at 18:10  
Blogger Croydonian said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

27 July 2006 at 19:09  
Blogger Croydonian said...

TF - They look to have been built in Iran itself

Meanwhile, His Grace's analysis is, of course, spot on.

27 July 2006 at 19:11  
Blogger Thomas Fuller said...

Croydonian -- thanks for the link. I suspect Chinese involvement.

Depressing to read that YouGov poll in today's Telegraph. Pity that most people in Britain still believe the BBC to be a source of impartial news.

27 July 2006 at 19:44  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Cranmer, I've been looking forward to your comments on this. I don't know much about Islamic theology, but you make it sound as though Shias believe in an apocalyptic scenario followed by the coming of a sort of messiah (..sounds familiar..), an Imam (who he?).

On another point, just seen on the news an 'EU delegation' in Israel demanding an 'immediate ceasefire'? On whose behalf are they speaking? Blair isn't calling for one!! Schizophrenia or what!!

27 July 2006 at 19:53  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

Good luck to the brave men of Hezboallah I say, they are standing up to 21st century technology with 1940's weaponry and doing a fine job.

27 July 2006 at 21:03  
Anonymous Hettie said...

that's only because the Israelies want to spare civilian lives.

27 July 2006 at 22:19  
Anonymous Rick said...

Do we know where the Syrians and Iranians get hold of these rockets?

They are North Korean derivatives with Pakistan and China assisting. The Fajir-5 is mounted on a Mercedes truck chassis made in China and then supplied by the Chinese State Arms Company Norinco.

When Iraq was invaded Allied troops claimed an advantage in night-fighting yet Israel has been fighting Hezbollah units equipped with night-vision gear - wonder if that is Russian or French ?

Ceasefires are very nice.......in September 1939 Mussolini proposed one after Hitler invaded Poland to delay Britain's declaration of war. In May 1940, R A B Butler at the Foreign Office was holding meetings with Dahlerus, Goering's go-between on a cease-fire with Germany once they had removed Winston Churchill from office

28 July 2006 at 07:18  
Anonymous Rick said...

http://www.missilethreat.com/missiles/zelzal-1-2-3_iran.html

28 July 2006 at 09:39  
Blogger Thomas Fuller said...

I wonder if these halfwits know they will be squashed underfoot when China has no more use for them. Much indeed as China is no doubt planning to squash us underfoot. The Chinese do not suffer from the paralytic squeamishness of the West; and of course there are lots and lots of them who are now learning, from TV, about the promised land of Dynasty and Falcon's Crest ...

28 July 2006 at 10:19  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Thomas, Thomas, don't confuse the issue! We can't target the Chinkies here as well, people will think we're paranoid and racist! Let's focus on Islamic imperialism and totalitarian religions. Ching-chong Chinaman can wait.

28 July 2006 at 10:32  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

thomas you make a god point re; china, they are manoeuvring to take control of the oil fields of the middle east, just as they are currently manoeuvring to seize the assets of Africa.
By supporting Israel we are helping them to achieve their goals.

28 July 2006 at 10:33  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Ulster Man,

It is Cranmer's prerogative to police this site. His Grace thinks your admonishment of Mr Thomas Fuller is a little presumptuous.

If there is a desire to discuss 'Ching-chong Chinaman' on this blog, then contributors have a perfect liberty to do so, provided, of course, as ever, that contributions are intelligent and erudite.

If you are bored and need to exercise a little authority, Cranmer suggests you obtain a pet.

28 July 2006 at 10:51  
Anonymous hovis said...

PCF,
Whilst China is to coin a rather old "street" phrase "havin' it large" in Africa - supplying support in Darfur, be great friends with Mugabe etc;
I see no evidence that supporting Israel aids the Chinese cause. You seems to views the world through a rather off colour prism.

All:
I'd echo an earlier comment about ceasefires in that they merely put off the bloodshed rather than stop it, the final cost being higher. Would there have been been any "November criminals" and subsequent events if the war hadnt stopped in 1918 ?

28 July 2006 at 10:54  
Blogger Croydonian said...

Hovis,

Hmm. I'm not sure I agree with your analysis of '14-18, as I consider that the Versailles Settlement was insuffiently mild to prevent revanchism, and insufficiently Carthaginian to break Germany.

28 July 2006 at 11:13  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Gentlemen, have we not strayed from a far more important topic (i.e., relevant to the associated story)?

Namely, the motives and behaviour of the BBC.

Is it right that British subjects should be forced, by law, to pay an annual fee so this monolith can indulge in -- what the Augean Stables blog has humourously called -- 'Palliwood.'

I thought the Palistinians already had an effective propaganda channel.

Furthermore, it is my understanding the seed staff of Al-Jazeera were all trained by the BBC.

Is it not time to take more robust action against this new Pravda? Perhaps a mass sacking of its Marxist trained correspondents and presenters might make them understand our disgust?

28 July 2006 at 11:45  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Your Grace, I offer my humble apologies to you and Mr Fuller. I forgot about total freedom of expression on your blog (as long as it's 'intelligent and erudite').

I shall get a goldfish.

Mission Impossible, I agree!! I know some have tried to get away with not paying their BBC propaganda fee out of protest, but I never hear what happens with them. I guess they pay up when prison looms!!

28 July 2006 at 11:48  
Blogger Thomas Fuller said...

MI & UM: check this out; esp. the forum. TV Licensing is falling to bits as we speak. The TV tax is voluntary. I don't have one of the wretched things, myself, but listen to Radio Four.

Your Grace & Assorted Gents: I think China can no longer be left out of any discussion of world politics. They are not to be overestimated (in the way that we overestimated the Soviet threat 1950-90), but neither are they to be ignored. If they're diddling with the Middle East, there's got to be a reason.

28 July 2006 at 11:56  
Anonymous Rick said...

as I consider that the Versailles Settlement was insuffiently mild to prevent revanchism

Actually Germany began military cooperation with Russia from 1919 until 1933 when Hitler ended it. They thus circumvented the Allied Control Commission inspections.

In 1935 Ramsay MacDonald breached the Versailles Treaty with the Anglo-German Naval Treaty. In 1935 the Bismarck was laid down, in 1936 the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin (just discovered in The Baltic); and in 1936 the Rhineland was re-occupied.

Versailles was never enforced and after 1923 Britain was more sympathetic to Germany than to France

28 July 2006 at 12:44  
Anonymous Rick said...

http://tinyurl.com/j49dx

28 July 2006 at 13:02  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

thomas fuller ... re. expansion of Chinese interests overseas.

With respect to Oil & Gas exploration and development, Chinese companies are already very active in Africa. I have seen them with my own eyes deep inside Libya (2005) - which is a traditionally British & European balliwick (due to the long term absence of American oil Co's). They have a significant energy presence in Sudan already. Recently, it was reported they outbid an Indian oil company for a new field in Angola.

A strategic re-alignment of economic and political power is underway.

28 July 2006 at 13:46  
Blogger Croydonian said...

Rick - I was thinking more specifically of the reparations demanded of Germany and the violations of nationality principles vis a vis the blocking of any German / Austrian union, and the doling out of sundry bits of Germany to other countries, without first holding plebiscites to establish the position on the ground.

28 July 2006 at 14:06  
Anonymous Rick said...

Yes but Germany never paid the reparations - the Dawes Plan saw to that - it is why France and Belgium occupied The Ruhr in 1923............which is incidentally the real reason for the Weimar Inflation

28 July 2006 at 15:25  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Isn't it strange...

Cranmer has received many emails requesting his thoughts on the Israel/Lebanon 'crisis' (ie war), to give opportunity for intelligent and erudite people to air their thoughts... only for this thread to become a postmortem on World War I.

Could we return to World War IV, please?

28 July 2006 at 15:41  
Blogger Croydonian said...

Rick - indeed they did not, but a subsidiary aim was to cripple the German economy.

As a meander to a meander, the military historian John Keegan once commented that he thought we would live in a better world today if the Germans had won WW1.

28 July 2006 at 15:42  
Blogger Croydonian said...

(Duly admonished, Croydonian goes to the back of the class and stands in a corner)

So, a quote from Ahmadinejad: ""Those who say that we provide military support for Hizbullah are lying. That is the way for America to cover up its failures," he said through an interpreter".

28 July 2006 at 15:59  
Anonymous Rick said...

John Keegan once commented that he thought we would live in a better world today if the Germans had won WW1.

Poor man......he obviously did not understand the consequences of Erich Ludendorff sending Lenin in the sealed train to The Finland Station..........that is what prepared the way for World War Two.............

28 July 2006 at 16:03  
Blogger W.E. repeater said...

Cranmer
All I can say is "Balfour 1917",
Well I could say more, but then my Judophobic teeth would show.
P.S
Are you aware of the works of Mr George Micheal?

28 July 2006 at 16:53  
Anonymous Rick said...

http://tinyurl.com/m5dlg

Dell makes real hot laptops !!

28 July 2006 at 17:57  
Anonymous Amo said...

I am uneasy with this. Cranmer, you sound like a Zionist, and that is a cancer that must be eradicated from the planet for the security of humnanity. There will be no peace in the region until Israel ceases its territorial claim on areas it occupies illegally.

28 July 2006 at 22:23  
Anonymous Rick said...

There will be no peace in the region until Israel ceases its territorial claim on areas it occupies illegally.

which areas are those exactly and specifically ?

29 July 2006 at 06:22  
Blogger Professor D.C. Warmington said...

O dear, O dear! Here it comes!

Gentlemen, please remember the injunctions of His Grace concerning courtesy! (Intelligence and erudition being desiderata also.)

29 July 2006 at 08:50  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Mr. amo ... perhaps ... as you are (rightly) concerned for the security of humanity ... you might like to read, and understand the speech given by Pope Urban II, at the Council of Clermont, which was the prelude to the First Crusade:

"Oh, race of Franks, race from across the mountians, race chosen and beloved by God . . . We wish you to know what a grievous cause has led us to your country, what peril threatening you and all the faithful has brought us here."

"From the confines of Jerusalem and the city of Constantinople a horrible tale has gone forth and very frequently has been brought to us. A race from the kingdom of the Persians, an accursed race, a race utterly alienated from God . . . has invaded the lands of those Christians and has depopulated them by the sword, pillage, and fire. They have captured the inhabitants and taken them away. They have destroyed them by cruel tortures. . . . They destroy altars, after having defiled them with their uncleanness. They circumcise Christians, and the blood of the circumcision they either spread upon the altars or pour into the vases of the baptismal font."

"When they wish to torture people by a base death, they perforate their navels, and taking out their intestines, they tie them to a stake. Then they flog the victims and make them walk around the stake until their guts spill on the ground and they collapse. Others they tie to a post and shoot arrows into them. Others they cut off their heads with a single blow. What shall I say of the rape of women? To speak of it is worse than to be silent."

---------------

If you are western, then my friendly advice to you is, direct your concerns in the proper direction.

If indeed you are Muslim, then I say to you, loudly and clearly, your 'faith' is not a religion, but a Cult, led by a vile human being; a personality Cult conceived in order to expropriate the wealth of others in a continuous cycle of thievery and self-enrichment. You may think you have many in our culture fooled by your piety and tiresome, Qu'ranic lecturing, but clearly not all ... and the big worry for you is, the ones who have not been fooled are growing in number ... and very rapidly.

Now, have a nice day.

29 July 2006 at 09:21  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Amo, how are you defining Zioinism? The right of Israel to exist as an independent sovereign state? Unlike some Muslims who occasionally visit, you sound like a reasonable chap from your entries on other threads, but tell me, what exactly is wrong with Israel's right to exist (if that's how you define it)? How many years back are you going if land is 'illegally occupied'? How did the Muslims come to occupy it? Why isn't their territorial claim also a 'cancer that must be eradicated from the planet'?

29 July 2006 at 09:59  
Anonymous Amo said...

It is possible to be BOTH western and Muslim, Mission Impossible, and I really don't need lecturing. Your tone is arrogant, and quite unneccessary. Quoting medieval popes is not really constructive, since their perspective is drenched in their own narrow dogma, or 'cult', and clearly not historically impartial.

The lands of Golan, West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, are all occupied lands. Even those previously returned have some Israeli military oversight and conditions of usage.

Zionism is the claim that Palestine is the biblical territory of the Jews. If God gae it to them, then there can be no compromise. There must be a two-state solution, and therefore political processes must eliminate the obsessions of Zionism.

29 July 2006 at 12:09  
Blogger Croydonian said...

The Camp David proposals on an Arab state in Gaza and Judea-Samaria were the best deal that the Arabs could realistically hope for, and Israel was prepared to concede all of Gaza and 90% of Judea-Samaria. Arafat's holding out for more was instrumental in the prospective deal failing. In particular the Arab claim to sovereignty over the Western Wall was never going to be acceptable to the Israelis.

As to the Golan, why on earth should Israel be expected to evacuate land seized in a war started by a country, Syria, which refuses to sign a peace deal with it?

29 July 2006 at 12:28  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

amo, it amuses me immensely to be described as arrogant by a Muslim. I have been fortunate to meet many different races (and cultures) on this earth, and by far the most arrogant (although I realize Islam is not a race) have been Arab Muslims.

Your whole cult is arrogance writ large. Arrogance seeths from both Qu'ranic text and the Hadith. Imperiousness and dogma are truly an unhealthy mix.

All of the Middle East, including the Arabian Peninsula (and indeed what you now call "Mecca") was once occupied by Christians and Jews living in harmony.

Then along came your madman, the illiterate Mohammed, who disappeared into his cave every few months to listen to the Angel Gabriel, as an intermediary from God. Allegedly. And the rest is history.

Islam was spread by murder, rape, and pillage. For that reason alone, it CANNOT be a religion. It is a personality cult my friend. I know you will never accept this, as you fear ghosts, so you will thus have to face the consequences of your allegiance to the world's most evil cult.

Send this message to your friends at the Mosque: You people have preached war and Jihad for the very last time. You have awoken a depth of anger in western people that looks increasingly likely to release in an almighty fury soon.

You had better hope for the continuation of Marxist control of our media, because when the truth does get out, as it surely will, then it's all over.

If you were truly wise, you would reject Islam immediately, and take up Buddhism or Christianity, as many other brave ex-Muslim men and women have done. Thousands are rejecting the Cult of Islam every month and becoming Apostates.

29 July 2006 at 13:20  
Anonymous Rick said...

I don't know if Iran agrees with you Amo.........and it is the Iranians who now tell the Arabs how things proceed. Syria is subsidised by Iran and Hezbollah is the Iranian Foreign Legion.

I don't think the Palestinians are relevant nowadays. It is Iran that dictates what they will do, and whatever serves Iranian interests is the settlement they will live with.

29 July 2006 at 15:04  
Anonymous Rick said...

You had better hope for the continuation of Marxist control of our media,

It doesn't matter - the Mass Media is dead. It is surprising how many people watch neither TV news nor consume a newspaper..........

29 July 2006 at 15:06  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

'Our race is the Master Race. We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.'

- Former Israel Prime Minister and terrorist, Menachem Begin

29 July 2006 at 16:51  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Your point is well taken phone cam foolery. I (and others) would be grateful if you could indicate when and where Begin made his utterly arrogant comment.

All peoples are capable of thinking they are above everyone else. No doubt the Mongels thought they were the chosen ones in their day. Individuals too - we've all met at least one.

As far as Jewish terrorism is concerned, we can recall the atrocity at St. Davids Hotel, and the cold-blooded stringing up of British soldiers with wire.

Perhaps the larger problem (for us in the West) is a Semitic one? Both Arabs and Jews share the same tendency for tribalism and in-breeding. They both take advantage of the Gentiles preference for open-ness and affiliation based upon performance (not blood).

29 July 2006 at 17:12  
Anonymous Rick said...

Former Israel Prime Minister and terrorist, Menachem Begin

You haven't said what it is you admire about Begin ?

29 July 2006 at 18:15  
Blogger Croydonian said...

PCF - that quote appears on any number of internet sites, but none of them give a date for when it was said, or cite any publication it appeared in. I have read both his 'White Nights' and 'The Revolt', and it isn't in either of them.

29 July 2006 at 19:04  
Anonymous billy said...

Rick said
"I don't know if Iran agrees with you Amo.........and it is the Iranians who now tell the Arabs how things proceed. Syria is subsidised by Iran and Hezbollah is the Iranian Foreign Legion.

I don't think the Palestinians are relevant nowadays. It is Iran that dictates what they will do, and whatever serves Iranian interests is the settlement they will live with."

The Israeli's now have bunker piercing bombs. Isn't it about time that Iran was attacked? Strike the head of the mnster rather than the body.

29 July 2006 at 20:03  
Blogger Croydonian said...

I think it is fair to say that plans for Osiraq II will be far advanced already.

29 July 2006 at 21:32  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

Early in the morning of April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. The village lay outside of the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish State; it had a peaceful reputation. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and according to Plan Dalet, it was to be destroyed and the residents evacuated.

In all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. Fifty three orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City where they were found by Miss Hind Husseini and brought behind the American Colony Hotel to her home which was to become the Dar El-Tifl El-Arabi orphanage.

29 July 2006 at 22:58  
Anonymous billy said...

pcf said:
"Early in the morning of April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents.
......in all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. "

So, almost 650 people were not systematically murdered? No doubt most, if not all the dead, were innocent civilians.

Israel has fought off every Arab attack of the last 40 years always successfully and often brilliantly. Their soldiers fight for their very being and a homeland for their families. If they lose Israel they have nothing. They cause me no harm, unlike the arab's co religionists, and they are tolerant of my religious beliefs. If I am to choose a side to support, I have seen nothing as yet in Islam or Arab nations to encourage me choose them.

29 July 2006 at 23:22  
Blogger Croydonian said...

No-one is going to dispute that Deir Yassin saw a massacre, but IZL was not acting on the authority of what would be the Israeli government, and Begin always claimed that a warning was broadcast by loud hailer in advance.

Furthermore, even the most cursory googling will bring up instance after instance of pogroms by Arabs against Jews before and after 14/5/48.

30 July 2006 at 00:29  
Blogger Croydonian said...

And dealing with the Begin dimension - he wasn't there.

30 July 2006 at 01:27  
Anonymous Rick said...

Thanks Phonecamfoolery for telling me what it was you admired about Begin..........Deir Yassin.

30 July 2006 at 07:39  

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