Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The Blogosphere and the Hizbullah-Israeli War
Then I read the article yesterday by George Monbiot who made claims similar to those made in the blogosphere that the technical 'aggressor' was as likely to be Israel as Hizbullah and that, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle that 'more than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving Powerpoint presentations, on an off the record basis' setting out the plan for a three week attack on the Lebanon based outfit beginning with bombing and ending in a ground invasion. Gerald Steinberg, Professor of Politics at Bar-Ilan University, was quoted as saying this planned three week war was the one-of all the wars since 1948- for which it was best prepared. In other words, Israel had planned the war and was just looking for a pretext.
Does this prove my friend was wrong and that the blogospere was able to provide information denied the mainstream media? Not really as: it was a US newspaper from which the claims were cited; and additional verification is needed for the alleged Israeli officer's presentations. The blogospere is still on the periphery of the mainstream but it is getting closer to the heart of it. Sending tips to Guido is one thing, but it is when he starts receiving leaked government documents or when blogs have the resources to sponsor or particpate in investigative reporting that bloggers will have truly arrived.
It's not available everywhere, so go to the site and see if you can find something. I found something and make
and extra $900 a month!
Yes and the Guardian can always be relied upon to report the facts about the Middle East(!). Does that count the bodies dumped at explosion sites by mask wearing Hezbollah gunmen after the event? Israel is indeed far more effective at killing its enemies, but I have seen no evidence to suggest they are targetting civilians. Have you got any evidence?(no). And I doubt civilians are being affected as much as people think. The technology being used is very accurate(we should know, us and the Americans gave it to them!), and the people responsible for reporting the numbers have all got reason to lie(ie the anti-Israel press, the Lebanese Govt and the Hezbollah murderers).
As for the final point - well you might have noticed that Israel is a liberal democracy and Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation. Thus Israel has the right and more importantly the ability to tackle the murder gangs. Good luck to them.
Analogies are always dubious in this context, but the same "logic" could be applied to the American war of independence: Britain was (possibly) the most "democratic" of countries in the world at that point, and probably saw the American "freedom fighters" in the lexicon of "terrorism" in the same way that Israel sees Hezbollah.
I am not looking at Hezbollah through rose-tinted spectacles - I realise that this organisation has and is firing rockets into Israeli towns indiscriminantly - I'm simply arguing against the notion that, since Israel is a sovereign state which generally conforms to the western model, it is somehow justified in operating on a higher moral plane.
Nice to see you back. I agree with your point that democratic or indeed any other legitimacy of a country's political system, does not automatically legitimise its actions. In this conflict Israel has clearly wielded a stick which is disproportionately big, reflected clearly in the respective death and casualty figures for the protagonists.
Who says Israel is a liberal democracy? I do. Israel is a liberal democracy for the following reasons. The people get to elect their leaders freely. If only the people of Iran and Syria had such a right(please don't message back saying that have elections, they are a charade and most Governments know it). Their citizens are free to choose their religion. Freedom House classifies the country as "free" and gives it a rating of 1 for political rights and 2 for civil liberties(1 being the most free, 7 being the most tyrannical). Compare to: Iran(6 for both), Egypt(6 and 5), Lebanon(5 and 4), Libya(7 for both), Saudi Arabia(7 and 6), Syria(7 for both). None of these states were considered "free". A cynic might say that Muslim states don't seem to be able to grasp this democracy thing. So yes I do consider Israel free, and I support them absolutely. Israel is better and I rejoiced in their destruction of the murderers.
Links to this post: