Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lebanon as a test run for Iran

This reprinted from an intelligent, well written blog I discovered called the human province.


Sy Hersh has a new piece on Lebanon in The New Yorker. He says that this conflict had been planned by Israel and approved by the US for several months. The idea was that Israel's attacks on Hizbollah and Lebanon's infrastructure would serve as a trial run for a future American attack on Iran.


The Bush Administration, however, was closely involved in the planning of Israel's retaliatory attacks. President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah's heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel?s security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preëmptive attack to destroy Iran's nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground. ...

According to a Middle East expert with knowledge of the current thinking of both the Israeli and the U.S. governments, Israel had devised a plan for attacking Hezbollah -- and shared it with Bush Administration officials -- well before the July 12th kidnappings. "It's not that the Israelis had a trap that Hezbollah walked into," he said, "but there was a strong feeling in the White House that sooner or later the Israelis were going to do it."

The Middle East expert said that the Administration had several reasons for supporting the Israeli bombing campaign. Within the State Department, it was seen as a way to strengthen the Lebanese government so that it could assert its authority over the south of the country, much of which is controlled by Hezbollah. He went on, "The White House was more focussed on stripping Hezbollah of its missiles, because, if there was to be a military option against Iran's nuclear facilities, it had to get rid of the weapons that Hezbollah could use in a potential retaliation at Israel. Bush wanted both. Bush was going after Iran, as part of the Axis of Evil, and its nuclear sites, and he was interested in going after Hezbollah as part of his interest in democratization, with Lebanon as one of the crown jewels of Middle East democracy."


Of course this attack has not gone as smoothly as the Israelis would have liked it to. The results have so far been unclear, with both sides claiming victory. This war seems to have been sold to the US by Israel, but so far, notes Richard Armitage it has been less than convincing and should serve as a warning against attacking Iran:


"The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits," a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said. "Why oppose it? We'll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels, and bunkers from the air. It would be a demo for Iran."

A Pentagon consultant said that the Bush White House "has been agitating for some time to find a reason for a preëmptive blow against Hezbollah." He added, "It was our intent to have Hezbollah diminished, and now we have someone else doing it." (As this article went to press, the United Nations Security Council passed a ceasefire resolution, although it was unclear if it would change the situation on the ground).

According to Richard Armitage, who served as Deputy Secretary of State in Bush's first term -- and who, in 2002, said that Hezbollah "may be the A team of terrorists" -- Israel's campaign in Lebanon, which has faced unexpected difficulties and widespread criticism, may, in the end, serve as a warning to the White House about Iran. "If the most dominant military force in the region -- the Israel Defense Forces -- can't pacify a country like Lebanon, with a population of four million, you should think carefully about taking that template to Iran, with strategic depth and a population of seventy million," Armitage said. "The only thing that the bombing has achieved so far is to unite the population against the Israelis."

90 comments:

GraemeAnfinson said...

Armitage is making some sense towards the end of that piece. The neo-con philosophy has been proven a false ideology, I wonder how they could get the military to go along with another war.

Also, I wonder if Hezbollah's "stand" against the Israelis with stop resistance forces from using suicide bombs as a weapon. guerrilla fighting has worked much better.

GraemeAnfinson said...

will stop, not with stop I mean

beatroot said...

The idea that Israel has been planning this attack was in all the papers in the UK last week, so hardly an exclusive. We also know, however, that Hezbollah has been trying to provoke Israel into doing it for some time.

If this was the idea in the Whitehouse then it is clearly another stupid one. The last four weeks have blown out some of Hezbollah’s ammunitions but have strengthened them politically in the region, hugely. It has also further weakened the Lebanese government.

The fact is – both Israeli and Lebanese sovereignty are the losers in all this. Both governments, plus the Left and Right in the west have been calling for yet another foreign occupation in the region – this time with ex-colonials France in the driving seat.

The winners are the ‘international community’ and their ‘humanitarian interventionists’ and the loser is the concept of sovereignty and self-determination – something the Left is as responsible for as anyone else.

sean said...

thanks for the link...

John Brown said...

Thanks for posting this important piece, Renegade.

I've been writing about the machinations of Uncle Sam in Lebanon for a while now. Both Ambassador, Jeffrey Feltman and his Middle East Envoy, David Welch, have been deeply embroiled in this attack from the start.

Apartheid Israel's press has been talking about Syria non-stop, and I wouldn't be surprised if they serve as the Zionist's link in the chain that compels Uncle Sam to attack Iran.

I can't see Uncle Sam emerging victorious when it's all said and done, but we have all learned by now how bad Uncle Sam has anticipated consequences under Sambo Rice, 5 Deferment Cheney and MafiaDon (except when it comes to beating Democrats as though they were the Washington Generals).

They really believe things would go swimmingly!

John Brown said...

Beatroot,

Aparthied Israel occupies stolen Lebanese land. The provocation, like the aggression, rests firmly in the hands of the Zionists.

You're desire to equate Apartheid Israel's ethnic cleansing with the Resistance of the Lebanese people exposes quite clearly where you stand.

That being said, I'm not too thrilled by the idea of 15,000 foreign occupiers in Lebanon acting as proxies for Apartheid Israel, either.

This 'cease-fire' (though you can't really call it that with Land-Grabbers gunning down 5 people a day and bombing Southern Lebanon) represents a great victory for Lebanon, true enough.

But now Lebanon has other problems with which it must contend.

We'll see if that force materializes at all. France is saying it will take a year, and Uncle Sam ain't having none of that.

The Pagan Temple said...

It's hard for me to believe they could be idiotic to start anther war, with Iran, another Muslim nation especially. After all, the one we're in now isn't exactly really popular, is it?

troutsky said...

beatroot frames his comment as though sovereignty and self determination were dialectically opposed to international community and humanitarian intervention. I don't believe we need to create a dualism there,I believe there are good arguments which show they are in fact mutually conducive to one another.As a more practical matter, I fail to see where "the concept of self determination and sovereignty" was compromised at all in this conflict and cease fire,the international force will be operating under a peace keeping mandate, much different than occupation.While I would like to say it is a victory for "internationalism",the obvious US domination of the security council prevents that.It is far better than the illegal"coalition of the willing" the US put together after its invasion of Iraq.

Israels mistake was thinking the capture of two soldiers was a viable pretext for their bombing campaign. Poor judgement in retaliating proportionally.

jams o donnell said...

Interesting article Ren, thanks for posting it. To be honest if (and I am sceptical on this view) Lebanon was intended to be a test run for Iran, perhaps the only good thing to come out of that awful conflict is a dose of stark reality. But the US has had several years to learn this lessonin Iraq. It did not need recent events to show what attacking Iran might be like.

An american attack on Iran would be idtiotic, an invasion would be suicidal.

fola said...

I don't buy the idea of Lebanon as a test run for Iran.

thepoetryman said...

The second they (US) sent them bombs and etc I new the purpose... March right over Syria and attempt to crush Iran which if the idiots had any foresight would turn into a bloodbath for all the troops within Iraq and near Iran and a bloodbath for many innocent civilians... What a shame if the chips fall where predicted.

BZ said...

I don’t think this was a strategic military test run, but a political one. The White House wanted to see the global reaction to an attack on Lebanon. I think it was testing the populations of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the other US puppet regimes in the region. While they are US “allies” any exaggerated attack could cause massive destabilization in all those countries. But unfortunately the US got what it wanted: all those people stayed silent.

I think this “little” war has embolden both the US and Israel to take further action. I can’t see a full-blown invasion, but I expect “precision” bombing of “ nuclear” sites in Iran before the November elections. These bastards are going for broke. And the world will sit by quietly while they do so, just as they let Israel murder 1000 innocent people with US weapons.

beakerkin said...

Renegade

Remind your dog Brown to stay off my blog. I will not go into rant mode. However, Brown has been repeatedly warned of the consequences but seems not to care about disturbances here.

Keep your comwad here and away from my friends. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Thank you and have a pleasant evening.

DesertPeace said...

Brilliant post Renegade... and excellent comments as well.

jams o donnell said...

Beakerkin what is the logic of that post? I gather that there is bad blood between yourself and John Brown but surely that is that not for yourself and John Brown to address?

Agree with Ren's outlook or not (the expression comwad seems to indicate that you may not!) I seriously doubt that Ren has the influence you may think he has. This blog can be very interesting and very thought provoking and there are some extremely intelligent rightist participants (thinks Sonia-Belle as a prime example)Whatever differences there are between yourself and John Brown, I hope you are able to settle them.

I hope we are not going to see a "Blog War" here. I used to participate in a leftist chatroom on Yahoo that became the centre of a "chat war". it achieved absolutely nothing in the end.

Apologies to everyone, including yourself Beakerkin, if I am raking over old coals here. I have found the Blogosphere to be a far more thoughtful and polite environment than chat rooms. I hope that part of the blogosphere I visit and like stays that way.

Renegade Eye said...

Jams, Redwine, Troutsky, myself and others, all made the same points, trying to reason with them.

I have nothing to do with what is between JB and Beek. Usually when JB posts on my blog, it is passionate disagreement with me.

If I were JB, I would delete hostile links. It only potentially increases their traffic. I have more links that I don't agree with, than most blogs, but not hostile links. Hostile bloggers should be ignored.

JB: An anology you will understand is that you don't sell your socialist newspaper, or speak, to a cop. You deal with who you have a chance or desire, to convince.

Everything has been said.

beatroot said...

John Brown said: You're desire to equate Apartheid Israel's ethnic cleansing with the Resistance of the Lebanese people exposes quite clearly where you stand.

John, I think it’s time to stop taking the hallucinogenics. Where in what I said in my comment ‘equates Apartheid Israel with blah blah blah’?

My point was about occupation by UN etc with the support of much of the Left. Something I note that none of the commentators here can get their heads around.

Try reading things before commenting on them, John.

Fola I don't buy the idea of Lebanon as a test run for Iran.

Neither do I – it’s just paranoid lefty conspiracy think.

beatroot said...

Actually forgive me…our freshwater revolutionary, Troutsky has dealt with it.

I fail to see where "the concept of self determination and sovereignty" was compromised at all in this conflict and cease fire,the international force will be operating under a peace keeping mandate, much different than occupation.

Yep, the left is into imperialism, as I thought. The international forces ‘peacekeeping mandate’? Is that the same one as they have in Iraq, Bosnia, Afghanistan….?

And you think that is peacekeeping? It’s not, it’s just patronizing.

What effectivly this says is that the people of the middle east can not be trusted to sort out their own conflicts without the good old West (i.e. ex-colonials plus the US) flying in to save the poor hapless peoples.

When governments give up their sovereignty and give it to UN etc they further weaken their own states (not a good idea in Lebanon at the moment).

International bodies such as the UN are not accountable to the people of the region and so have less incentive to bring about permanent and lasting change.

The people of the region are not being seen as the solution to their own conflicts but as helpless vicitms, not active subjects.

And a genuine would be aghast at that.

Left, right? What is the difference now? Imperialists unite - all you have to lose is your politics!
Not anymore it seems.

Western Politics R.I.P.

Redwine said...

Please, please: Lebanon is a weak and tiny state, with a state within the state (Hezbollah). How could Lebanon be any "test\" for a fearful and very strong opponent like Iran (backed by Iraq and other states this time) Israel (and the US) did not need to invade in order to guess what the reaction of the "international community" would be...

As for the UN ...why does one need troops for stamps...as apparently the only thing the UN has been good for a time was that, stamps, cultural events...never being there where necessary.

"The people of the region are not being seen as the solution to their own conflicts but as helpless vicitms, not active subjects" - I think Saddam's people and the Afghans were exactly that, helpless victims, and it takes more and mostly time for them to be able to become active participants. As an Afghan girl said : Guarantee our freedom and safety ,and we'll throw the veil - but not before.

the flying monkeys said...

Very interesting and intelligent discussion proceeding here. This is excellent Ren.

troutsky said...

Valid points ,beatroot, shadowing an important discussion going on within the Left (Arrighi,Zizek, Negri etc)on the legitimacy of intervention.It is not black and white. What if the Peacekeeping Force includes Muslims, Arabs,Persians, Indonesians? What if there were an effective,well funded international force with its own soldiers from all over the world?(as the UN has always pleaded for) Iraq, Afgahnistan, Bosnia were not at all "peacekeeping" forces, they were occupiers with sympathies toward one side and therein lies the difference. Do you think countries such as Rwanda or Sudan are in a position to have only regional actors help them with their problems?

As for the "practice run" theory, I think bz has a good take on it.The US and its client states are very good at creating "weak states" that are in a good position to then exploit. They love chaos though they pretend to want order.

CB said...

Ah, Sy Hersch and a conspiracy theory, imagine that!

Let's see, the US invites Hezbollah into southern Lebanon, south of the Latani River, where the IDF left 6 years ago (Hezbollah's raison d'etre). Israel then encourages Nasrallah to cross into Israel, kill two of its soldiers and capture 2 others...yep sounds like a plan, LOL.

Renegade Eye said...

Hersh's paranoia includes exposing the My Lai massacre, the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal, and Israel's nuclear arsenal, and Clinton's bombing of a Sudan pharmaceutical plant. He won the Pulitzer Prize for international journalism.

Test run means bombing the missiles, tunnels and bunkers, from the air, similar to bombing the weaponry of Iran.

Beetroot is talking about the same left, that called for more troops in Iraq and a bigger coalition. It is people, "who don't like labels".

If Israel took two Hezbollah members, they'd be arrested not kidnapped. Bomb Lebanon to the stone age, for two soldiers arrested?

beatroot said...

Beetroot is talking about the same left, that called for more troops in Iraq and a bigger coalition. It is people, "who don't like labels".

Sounds like the Democrats!

Usually these days it is anyone who thinks that the people of the middle east cannot be trsted to change their own societies. But the history of the middle east in the last 100 years is outsiders coming in to ‘sort it out’ and being forced to leave after they made things worse.

It’s Groundhog Day in Lebanon, folks!

beatroot said...

Sorry for second go but Troutsky is right about the debate on the left about this. Though it has become a specialist debate. It’s not very common to hear liberals, ‘progressives’ being anti-Interventionist anymore. The mainstream is either interventionist, or Stop War pro-Islamist. You can oppose the war on terror in general from a genuine third way.

I was always anti-Imperialist left. I’m not left anymore but I am still anti-Imperialist. That means being anti-interventionist and for self-determination. It goes back to that pamphlet by Lenin. Can’t remember which one, anymore.

Ex-marxist libertarian looses memory, shock!

Renegade Eye said...

Beetroot: I was too indirect.

This blog is not a liberal Democratic Party organ. I rarely even mention Bush by name, because I'm not campaigning for Hillary. It also is anti-Islamist, and includes as a team member the outspoken anti-Islamist Maryam Namazie.

Troutsky is talking about international intervention, describing a force that doesn't exist. He was talking about something different than Beetroot described.

The third camp perspective on the left, wasn't mentioned as the left.

Left/Right exists, or we wouldn't be talking about it. This discussion is evidence in itself.

Revolutionary Blogger said...

From an interview with a turkish journalist post-ceasefire

What is the current state of your relations with the Socialist movement?

Hasan Nasrallah: The socialist movement, which has been away from international struggle, now for a considerable time, at last began to become a moral support for us once again. The most concrete example of this has been Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela. What most of the Muslim states could not do has been done by Chavez by the withdrawal of their ambassador to Israel. He furthermore communicated to us his support for our resistance. This has been an immense source of moral for us. We can observe a similar reaction within the Turkish Revolutionary Movement.

It is possible to see the posters of Che, Chavez, Ahmedinecad ve Hezbollah side by side in the streets of Beirut. Are these the signs of a new polarisation?

Hasan Nasrallah: We salute the leaders and the peoples of Latin America. They have resisted heroically against the American bandits and have been a source of moral for us. They are guiding the way for the oppressed peoples. Go and wonder around our streets..! You will witness how our people have embraced Chavez and Ernesto Che Guevara. Nearly in every house, you will come across posters of Che or Chavez. What we are saying to our socialist friends who want fight together with us for fraternity and freedom, do not come at all if you are going to say "Religion is an opiate". We do not agree with this analysis. Here is the biggest proof of this in our streets with the pictures of Chavez, Che, Sadr and Hamaney waving along together. These leaders are saluting our people in unison. So long as we respect your beliefs, and you respect ours, there is no imperialist power we cannot defeat!

CB said...

Leftists love a utopian vision that doesn't exist. They can't support the versions that have existed, lest they countenance the clear failings and atrocities its implementation foments. Loyalty to the state requires the abbrogation of freedoms the state can't tolerate. Discontent is met with brutality.

Western leftist in particular, respond to this challenge by suggesting that it is merely poor implementation, as if proper implementation were possible. All of this verbal support, however, is done from the comfort of democracies.

I can laugh at this benign tilting at windmills, but it is disturbing that so many western leftists, convinced of the evils of capitalism and democracy, that the enemy of their enemy becomes their friend. To wit, leftist support of a terrorist organization without purpose, since 2000, that attacks a sovereign nation and subjects the citizens of its host country to attack, while hiding behind the skirts of women and the cover of children.

It is disappointing that bitterness over the debunking of the Leninist mythology has produced such irrational and disturbing responses.

Tina said...

Of course Lebanon was a test run.
And one has to wonder what the hell will BushCo do about Turkey and Iran bombing Kurdistan in recent weeks. BushCo has PKK on their terrorist organization lists... guess they couldn't very rightly keep saying that Syria and Iran are wrong for supplying/ supporting Hezbollah when PKK is operating right under Bush's occupying nose, now could they?

John Brown said...

Oh, CB: Are you trying to make yourself look more foolish than my buddy MULLAH BEAK?

When you write that "it is disturbing that so many western leftists, convinced of the evils of capitalism... that the enemy of their enemy becomes their friend. To wit, leftist support of a terrorist organization without purpose, since 2000, that attacks a sovereign nation and subjects the citizens of its host country to attack, while hiding behind the skirts of women and the cover of children.

Apartheid Israel, a racist state owing its existence to Uncle Sam and the benovelence of the UN, is hardly a sovereign state. Not only do they rely on welfare checks to enforce their Apartheid policies on the Palestinian people and intimidate the Arab world, but Uncle Sam even has to bribe the regions "moderate" dictatorships - Egypt, Jordan, etc. - so that it has some friends.

Why do you support Uncle Sam and that paragon of democracy, Apartheid Israel, cuddling up to the most repressive dictatorships in the world while simultaneously castigating and attacking - with ignorant Islamophobic-speak - a legitimate Resistance movement born of a desire to force Apartheid Israel out of Lebanon?

That you're unaware of Apartheid Israel's occupation of the Lebanese Shebaa Farms only amplifies the ignorance of your hypocritical rant.

Your effort to whitewash Apartheid Israel's intentionally targetting of civilians and infrastructure by spitting the same lying Zionist propaganda the little Land-Grabbers bloviated for the duration of their little blitzkrieg is as foolish and racist as it is disingenuous.

Mike B) said...

I don't think anybody planned the Lebanese debacle, but the people who have power, especially military power, sure as hell were preparing for it to happen.

On the other hand, I think that the whole militarist mess could be toned down to an occasional criminal act, if "some" version of a viable Palestine would be allowed to exist and thrive.

The Israeli ruling apparatus (not to say, it is monolithic) has to get it out of its head that it will find "security" by bombing, straffing AND kidnapping citizens of other States. There is no military solution to the Israeli dilemmna. Their ruling class, although militarily powerful, will have to bite the bullet of an inter-State/ruling class, consensual, political solution.

troutsky said...

CB, you share with John Brown a dualistic,"Leninist", them or us mentality that does not provide the depth necessary for helpful analysis. To you the Left is forever stuck in and determined by Stalinism but is this fair? To John Brown all means justify the ends, all tactical errors (rocketing civilians)are overlooked for the Cause.It is dialectical thinking that presents a third way (and someday a fourth and fifth) because history does not stop.

Nasrallah, on the otherhand, fails to understand that Marx was not condemning the masses for needing the opiate of religion, he was sympathetic of their need for pain relief.Chavez and Socialism for the 21st Century realize the necessity for flexible, pragmatic theory that incorporates modern social conditions, not some return to CBs Bolshevikism.

CB ,don't you think current events show that the Right too has it's utopian vision? A vision which blinds it to failed strategies and policies?

Redwine said...

"theory that incorporates modern social conditions, not some return to CBs Bolshevikism." - there is the rub(partly) - that they lust exactly for that, good old fashioned Bolshevikism.

Ren, too much is known about these missiles, and they are not stupid: this was not a lab.

beatroot said...

Mike B The Israeli ruling apparatus (not to say, it is monolithic) has to get it out of its head that it will find "security" by bombing…

I do very much agree with the last point about bombing, but Israel’s ‘monolithic’ apparatus is actually the most democratic (and fractured) in the region. It’s also the a very fractured society, something that does not get reported or understood very often.

If you went there you would feel at home. There are all the problems that you would understand.

It has ‘western values’. Women are not locked up, people are meritocratic, they have a free press, they are a bunch of different ethnic groups who actually believe in the country they live in.

In fact it is very much like America…a country created a fresh.

And with the same diminished sense of self worth.

There is a lot of conflict there – even class conflict.…just like the US (used to be). There is resentment about economic inequalities (those who could not get out of the way of the Hezbollah ‘fire and hope’ artillery’ were given no government assistance to help them leave.

Sounds like the US again! Sounds like New Orleans.

All that is true, except for the Palestinians. The Palestinians are your blacks in the 1950s and 60s….fighting for their rights.

It’s a situation you all should be able to understand very well.

beakerkin said...

Have a talk with your dog? He seems to forget how to honor agreements.

No said...

Man, this blog is very scary..almost getting to the truth of the matter...

Do you get into any trouble for all of the truth that you write on this blog?

Frederick said...

Hello my brother, I like what I see already...think I'll add you to my blog browser.

troutsky said...

Beakerkin, we are doing what is within our limited power. Do you remember the womans reply to Inspector Clousea after the little dog tore into him and he said "I thought you said your dog doesnt bite!" THATS NOT MY DOG

Again, the Left can ally with nationalist, even religious movements without compromising itself just as socialists can work for the democrat party because it advances organizing and agitation.

beatroot said...

You know, when this Beak person said ‘have a talk to your dog’ I thought he was talking to me!! I thought he was talking about my pet dog, Chagall (he is a Russian-French Jewish collie who thinks he is a painter). I thought it was a bloody cheek dragging my dog into all this so I went to his blog and told him if he doesn’t like what my dog gets up to then he should write to Kofi Anan and get a UN Security council resolution about it.

It turns out he was talking about this John Brown character.

I think both of them have psychological issues.

And my dog is not pleased about this.

sonia said...

troutsky,

the Left can ally with nationalist, even religious movements without compromising itself

I don't think you even realize how surrealistic is that statement! It's like saying 'John can steal without becoming a thief'. Forming an alliance with a enemy movement is the very definition of 'compromising'. There is no other 'compromising'! If you steal, you're a thief. If you form an alliance with your ideological enemy, you're compromising.

And the Left was 'compromising' itself since the very begining of the Soviet State. They were compromising so much, all those Nazis they invited to join eventually took over completely (that was Stalinism in a nutshell). The same thing is happening to the leftists today. By allying themselves with the worst reactionaries, they BECOME reactionaries themselves.

And that's why I hate them so much!

Redwine said...

"the Left can ally with nationalist, even religious movements without compromising itself"m - it rings a bell: should it be internationalist and secular? Or does anything justify its nationalism (carried to the extremes) lately? And anti-Semitism in disguise?

beakerkin said...

Beatroot

I am fairly familiar with Chagal as well as the other impressionists. What you choose to name your dog is your own concern.

You have visited my site and it has boards that are fairly lively.
If you don't agree well that is okay too. We object to spam and vulgarity and epithets. By all means visit you are always welcome.
However do not call people Sambos ect.

John Brown has been spamming my site and serveral others in the community for six months. Did you see any links on my site to his blog? All we want is to be left alone and never hear from Brown again. When I speak in plural I am speaking for my blog community.

beatroot said...

Beakerkin says to the beatroot: However do not call people Sambos ect.

You know, I have not seen or heard that expression ‘Sambos’ since I was about 10 years old at school in south London. In London it was used by racist scum meaning ‘black people’. I would never, ever use that expression. Never have.

Where on earth have you dug that word up from? I am sincerely worrying about your sanity….

Troutsky: the Left can ally with nationalist, even religious movements without compromising itself

That reminds me of the SWP back at home in the UK. That is the George Galloway line, who I am sure you must have heard of.

And the western left making allies with nationalist movements in the third word used to make sense….in the days when there was nationalist movements trying to free themselves from colonialism.

But what your type of left doesn’t seem to understand is that the world has changed.

This is not 1966, it’s 2006, post 1989.

And the secular left making allies with deeply conservative religious movements (as they do in my own country) just shows what a bunch of dinosaurs the left has become.

Renegade Eye said...

If the question is poised as; can one work politically with people or parties, you disagree with? the discussion changes.

I believe one can work with people you disagree with, in single issue coalitions.

1) The single issue must be based on principled demand.
2) The coalition should never endorse electoral candidates, although they may speak at events.
3) Several coalitions equal a political base.

That way you can propagandize to the rank and file of a group you disagree with, while maintaining independence.

I hope my rightist friend don't say that is a communist front. That is so 1950s.

That is different than becoming Hamas or Ted Kennedy.

Redwine said...

"But what your type of left doesn’t seem to understand is that the world has changed." - well roared, beatroot. That's my point.

beakerkin said...

Beatroot

Brown calls my friend Warren who is a Native American " Warren the Sambo Indian Killer". Your objection to the use of racial slurs is noted but I am somewhat surprised that one made it across the pond.

We do not use racial slurs on my blog.

sonia said...

beakerkin

Chagall as well as the other impressionists

Chagall was called a surrealist, and sometimes a cubist, but never an impressionist...

Ren,

I believe one can work with people you disagree with, in single issue coalitions

But why with Hezbollah and Hamas ? What can they possibly offer ? If you want a single-issue coalition, anti-totalitarian leftists can work with libertarian rightists against things like the Patriot Act.

The only thing Hezbollah and the Western Left have in common is their hatred of Israel (and American policies designed to protect Israel). Nothing else. So any such coalition can only serve to exterminate the Jewish people.

the flying monkeys said...

morph the cat

Renegade Eye said...

Considering all the threats by Islamists, against Maryam, on the Islamist forums, there is no way to work with them.

In general the way to work with who you disagree, is on single issue coalitions, that don't endorse electoral candidates.

Troutsky implied Marxists can endorse campaigns of progressive Democrats. It's ok for them to support single issue coalitions. The Democratic Party eats from the same trough, as Republicans.

beatroot said...

anti-totalitarian leftists can work with libertarian rightists against things like the Patriot Act.

That is exactly the right attitude and the right kind of issue.

But I note that kind of issue of just is not on the agenda here at this blog. Internal US issues seem to not excite the imaginations of the lefty anymore. Which is an admision of their failure.

There are lots of issues that the left can coperate with libertarians….on scientific research (stem cell/GM crops) on free speech issues in general, on changing feminist and race issues back to equality and away from victim feminism etc…the notion of social progress generally (something the liberal left has rejected) on non intevention in foreign policy and for the right of self determination for nations and individuals ….the list is endless.

the flying monkeys said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
the flying monkeys said...

Very true Ren, this is controversial. But it in no way represents the views of some. Some see it as part of an overall global anti Islamist war plan. Judging by the outcome, I hope there will be a workable solution anytime soon.

the flying monkeys said...

btw: you are aknowledged here, all credits to you my great blogger friend.

John Brown said...

Renegade Eye's United Front formulation is a good one in principle for coalition building. Based on it, I have listed the set of demands around which the coalition I'm currently working in has unified:

1. End US Aid to Israel
2. Right of Return to all displaced Palestinians and Lebanese.
3. Free all Palestinian and Arab Political Prisoners
4. Support the right of Occupied People to resist their Occupation.

I'm interested to know who here would endorse such a set of demands.

Redwine and Sonia may call any criticism of Apartheid Israel's occupation anti-Semitic, and Troutsky may wish to play the parlor game of sitting out the struggle, sniping away from the sidelines, because it's not ideologically pure enough.

But the bottom line is that this issue forces people to take a side. Whether he admits it or not, Troutsky, by advising the left to do nothing, tacitly consents to the occupation fo Palestine and Lebanon.

He asserts that my position offers unqualified support to Hizbullah. This is based on either a misreading or an ignorance of Marxist dialectics.

I have a great amount of respect for Nasrallah and do approve of much of Hizbullah's work. All that said, I still don't have to endorse Hizbullah ideologically to endorse their anti-imperialist struggle. Neither does Hugo Chavez. I support their right to resist because they are occupied. Yes, Hizbullah killed 40 civilians in retaliation for Apartheid Israel destroying bridges, schools, hospitals - virtually all of Lebanon's infrastructure - killing nearly 1,000, and internally displaced many thousands more.

To Troutsky's formulation, I simply ask: What sort of warped moral calculus enables you to equate the two?

But I already know: to him, none of these pesky facts matter because only people he approves of have the right to resist occupation.

Still, considering the boot of imperialism currently rests firmly on the throat of the mostly Muslim Arab world, white leftists had better start trying to understand Islam in all its social and cultral complexities.

Whether Hizbullah is given the ok from the same latte leftists on Uncle Sam's plantation who vote Democrat hardly matters.

They are currently engaged in a fierce military struggle against the forces of occupation and imperialism headquartered right here.

And no amount of rhetoric can change the reality confronting everyone living on Sam's Plantation: you either fight against imperialism, or you're supporting it.

troutsky said...

The issue confronting us JohnBrown ,and the others for whom my comment was a catalyst, is not whether we support imperialism but whether we can support any and all tactics in the fight against it.Can you support suicide bombings of civilians to achieve your goals? Indiscriminate rocket launching?Is this included in the term resistance? I see no contradiction, Sonia, in helping Hizbollah with aid and reconstruction while at the same time criticizing their tactics.Because they require headscarves does not mean I cannot help them re-build a hospital.We have many differences but more in common than rejection of Zionist expansion. We both care about the working class and it's struggle for a better life. Perhaps my error is in using the word ally because of all the meaning it contains but this gets a bit esoteric.

I think we are in the realm of Lenins "infantile disorder" of no compromise or participation in parlamentary struggle.Far from "sitting on the sidelines" ,it is accepting the fact there will be gray areas and moving targets (dialectics).I totally agree with beatroot that the Left can work with (ally?)libertarians on issues ,and in my opinion renegade, even candidates.And of course the world has changed beatroot, but do you deny there can be legitimate nationalist struggle against modern empire building? Struggle for self-determination against the neo-liberal agenda? Not as much has changed as you would like to think. Finally , thanks for your criticism, it is forcing me to think!

sonia said...

John Brown,

Sonia may call any criticism of Apartheid Israel's occupation anti-Semitic

I don't condemn anybody for criticizing Israel. I simply believe that Israel is a better and more progressive state than its enemies. Israel is democratic. Israel's enemies are totalitarian. They kill, exterminate and oppress THEIR OWN PEOPLE. Saddam Hussein, a great enemy of Israel, killed millions of fellow Muslims.

If Israel's enemies want my support (or at least my neutrality), they should first clean up their own countries, allow completely free elections (no half-free elections like in Iran), give equal rights to women and gay people (there are Gay Pride marches in Tel Aviv, there are gay hangings in Tehran), etc. etc.

Until they do, in my book they are evil - thoroughly and completely. And they don't deserve any support. It's their enemies who deserve support (be it Israel or Bush's America, as imperfect as they are themselves...)

Renegade Eye said...

JB: Often when the left has an event, it is dismissed, because the message is diluted by too many other causes in the picture. I would focus on only one part of the program. The focus would be narrow, and clear as a guided missile.

Beetroot: When I blog I look for three elements.
1) What is important in the world?
2) Would it lead to a sharp dialog?
3) Miscellaneous-Usually gets less
comments.

the flying monkeys said...

more to the point, I have no doubt in the truth of this post. In my opinion, from the perspective of the US it may be better to witness the efects prior to sacrificing its own troops in further conflict...

the flying monkeys said...

*effects

troutsky said...

Upon further consideration, perhaps Sonia is correct that i should condition any support of Hizbollah (or any other group, state or non-state) on their adapting legal norms for warfare.Indiscriminate bombing makes them just as bad as Israel.

I disagree with Sonia that "clean" elections and gay rights parades make Israels position somehow more supportable.They must end their own terrorism and come to a just settlement with the Palestinians just for starters.

sonia said...

perhaps Sonia is correct that i should condition any support of Hizbollah (or any other group, state or non-state) on their adapting legal norms for warfare

I don't recall ever saying that. I don't care about legal norms for warfare. I care about democracy, freedom and human rights. If Hezbollah stood for that, I would support them, even if they were sending rockets against Israeli towns... But they don't. They stand for oppression and dictatorship.

beatroot said...

Renegade:

Well, exactly. The fact that you get more comments on this ‘left wing’ blog on anything but domestic matters proves that the left is a bust flush. If the only way to get more comments is to make posts about anything but the US proves what an irrelevance the American left (and right) is.

Woo woo
, I have no doubt in the truth of this post. In my opinion, from the perspective of the US it may be better to witness the effects prior to sacrificing its own troops in further conflict...

How would Israel bombing a rag bag ‘hit and hope’ army like Hezbollah give the US any clue at all of what a war with Iran would be like? In one day Hezbollah sent over 200 rockets and killed one person!

Have you not seen the recent military exercises going on in Iran this week? This is a proper army, air force. This is the largest, most advanced military force in the region, apart from Israel.

The post is ridiculous.

John Brown said...

Beatroot wrote:

Well, exactly. The fact that you get more comments on this ‘left wing’ blog on anything but domestic matters proves that the left is a bust flush. If the only way to get more comments is to make posts about anything but the US proves what an irrelevance the American left (and right) is.

Well, Beat... what do you want to discuss: the debt, the petrodollar, hedge funds, corporate theft, the New Orleans genocide, the War on Drugs, the War on Women, the War on Immigrants, the war on Crime, the war on alCIAda Terror...

Pick your poison. As a lackey, dupe, and mouthpiece of MafiaDon Rumsfeld or Sambo Rice, you're racist, ignorant, and wrong no matter what we discuss.

Uncle Sam stands for racism, exploitation and empire at home and abroad. The fact that you draw arbitrary borders - disconnecting Palestine from the war on Immigrants - only proves your own inability to see connections.

It's essential to make those connections. The same impulse that says that a Zionist Land-Grabber's life is 30x more valuable than a Lebanese child also turns a blind eye to the genocide that followed Hurricane Katrina.

It's all connected. That's socialism.

The inability of the soft-Zionist 'left' to unify behind Lebanon's right to defend itself from occupation, conversely, is a paralyzing weakness.

But its not a weakness that will last. Because the issue of Palestine draws the line.

Just as Serbia did in 1914.

People can try to create a Third Camp that isn't there. That's just a rhetorical game - an excuse, under an Islamophobic pretext - to sit the struggle out.

You can't sit out the struggle for Palestine, though.

Do you support the 4 demands, Renegade? If not, to which of them do you object.

How about you, Troutsky? Would you sign on?

John Brown said...

Troutsky:

In more than 30 days of attacks Hizbullah's laser-guided rockets killed about 40 civilians. A little more than 1 per day. During that time, Hizbullha killed more than 100 Zionist Land-Grabbers.

During that same time, Apartheid Israel killed about 150 Hizbullah. Meanwhile, the Zionist's savage blitzkrieg killed more than 500 civilians, including hundreds of children and UN officials. It destroyed every key bridge, every key airway, every key road. It obliterated milk factories and attacked hospitals. It shelled the country with hundreds and hundreds of rockets and mortars every night.

How do you (and your ally Sonia) justify equating the two?

Renegade Eye said...

Beetroot: The map in the lower right corner, shows people from all over the world, come to this blog. I surfed sites from several countries, to get international traffic. I met you on my Poland day blog search. Internationalism effects all aspects of my life, from the Vietnamese restaraunt where I eat, to the Univision TV shows I watch. I'm sure in 2008, with elections for the presidency, I'll be dissing Hillary, John Edwards, Russ Feingold and John McCain.

JB: Four demands equals four coalitions. Point #1, is atleast a demand you can make on the US government.

troutsky said...

I would support those positions JB on the condition that resistance(#4)does not include killing innocent civilians. Moral equivalancy has little to do with numbers, IMO, if you use the disgusting tactics of your enemy you are no better than them.

Why is beatroot so hung up on discussing domestic issues? Thats some kind of litmus test for legitimacy? Sonia, before we can expect freedom, democracy and human rights a foundation of justice must first be laid.And don't expect every cultures definition of these Jeffersonian ideals to be exactly the same. No country has yet achieved these idealistic (and admirable) goals, not even Jeffersons.

beatroot said...

John Brown said (vomited) :
Pick your poison. As a lackey, dupe, and mouthpiece of MafiaDon Rumsfeld or Sambo Rice, you're racist, ignorant, and wrong no matter what we discuss.

Where did this sambo nonsense come from? And who are you calling a racist? If it’s me then I would like you to back that up please. And after you cannot back it up I want an apology.

Good discussion, Renegade but I think you have a couple of psychos in here.

Redwine said...

"How do you (and your ally Sonia)" - only the personal attacks were missing. Especially that Sonia mostly disagrees with beatroot and vice versa.

Using ethnic slurs (sambo)in a public place - and a blog is a public place - is racist. If there is a problem with Condi, that is definitely not what JB suggests..

"you either fight against imperialism, or you're supporting it" - that tells a lot about all the Chechens and Afghans who were victims of the USSR invasion (unable to fight it), an imperialism some don't mind at all. This Stalinist "whoisnotwithusisagainstus" gives me the creeps.

Renegade Eye said...

Redwine is correct about the Sambo remark. I should have called JB on it earlier.

There are better ways to attack Condi, than using a racist term. she was even a failure as a Sovietologist.

the flying monkeys said...

beatroot said: How would Israel bombing a rag bag ‘hit and hope’ army like Hezbollah give the US any clue at all of what a war with Iran would be like? In one day Hezbollah sent over 200 rockets and killed one person!

Have you not seen the recent military exercises going on in Iran this week? This is a proper army, air force. This is the largest, most advanced military force in the region, apart from Israel.

The post is ridiculous.


Nevertheless this as I have previously stated is mere opinion and is a comment regarding the subjective thoughts of the us government. I fully appreciate what you have to say and am well aware of its contents. My comment relates to what the us may be "thinking" not who has the biggest or most sophisticated army. Obviously the us has a vested interest in its potential allies.

The fundamental feature of this blog is the ability to express your opinion and it is in that very spirit that I fully acknowledge and appreciate yours.

beatroot said...

ycAnd I fully appreciate your right to tell me when I am talking bullshit. And I hope you do to in reverse. It’s called ‘debating’. Fact is, in my humble opinion, the Israel-Hezbollah thing was not a rehearsal for a US strike on Iran. The two are not comparable. And the US and Israel have only learnt one thing from it…ragbag armies like Hezbollah’s are very hard to defeat militarily.

sonia said...

Troutsky,

before we can expect freedom, democracy and human rights a foundation of justice must first be laid

Stalin, Pol Pot and that North Korean dude have said exactly the same thing! It took them forever to bring 'a foundation of justice'. What you're describing is the essence of the TOTALITARIAN LEFT's propaganda.

It's a lie.

THERE IS NO JUSTICE WITHOUT FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS.

the flying monkeys said...

Beatroot,
Many thanks for your reply and I fully appreciate your acknowledgement that personal opinion is necessary to conduct any form of debate. However, is it not true as you have so eloquently pointed out "ragbag armies like Hezbollah’s are very hard to defeat militarily" is consistent with my opinion that this attack provided valuable intelligence for any plans either the US or Israel have?

beatroot said...

How could an attack on Hezbollah provide ‘valuable intelligence’ anything other than that Hezbollah are a tough nut to crack?

the flying monkeys said...

Well, I beg to differ on that point because asides from establishing the fact that Hezbollah are a tough nut to crack obviously intelligence could relate to the extent of their armoury, military moves etc.. Surely there must be something of value to be gained from an analysis of such a situation by those qualified to do so, in my opinion.

Renegade Eye said...

Beetroot: You didn't read the article. Sy Hersh the foremost investigative journalist, this decade and for decades before, didn't say bombing guerillas in Lebanon is equal to fighting the Iranian army.

The similarity is that both countries, have underground weapon systems. That is all the similarity.

beatroot said...

The similarity is that both countries, have underground weapon systems.

By any stretch of the imagination Hezbollah and the Iranian defense force do not have similar underground weapon systems.

The only similarity is that they both have tunnels.

Hezbollah has weapons that they fire in the general direction of cities, like Tibirius. But where those weapons land they have not a clue. That is why they fire so many, in the hope they hit something. Nine times out of ten they don’t Which is why the chucked 200 at Isreal and only got lucky once.

Iran has a relatively sophisticated weapons system So making a comparison between the two ‘weapons systems’ is like comparing a 1960s transitor radio with an ipod.

I don’t care who Hersh is, it is a stupid claim to make.

The disproportionate Israel response was more to do with internal Israeli politics than it was anything else.

Renegade Eye said...

It wasn't Hersh's comparison, of underground weapon systems. It was Israel's, as part of winning US support. Hersh reported the fact that Israel used the underground system argument, he didn't create it.

troutsky said...

Sonia, not to put to fine a point on it, but who "bestows" those human rights on people , that freedom? Don't the rights and freedom have to be removed before they can be "given"? Justice means equal power so that equal rights, liberty and yes, democracy, are inherent. None of your oft quoted "totalitarian leftists" shared power and whatever lip service they paid to justice is irrelevent. POWER. Im not used to debating people with no clothes on.

the flying monkeys said...

"Im not used to debating people with no clothes on.

That reminds me of Oliver Stone (producer of the world trade centre). One minute he could be having the most enlightened conversation. The next minute his head is whipping around so he can comment on some woman's breasts.

Could this be because some have sexualized women's bodies? I think Sonia is very intelligent and has a right to enjoy her freedoms and I also think you (Trousky) are very excellent at debating.

sonia said...

Troutsky,

I m not used to debating people with no clothes on.

Well, get used to it.

Justice is a less important right than fundamental rights like freedom, democracy and human rights. It's because the fundamental rights are objective (you can actually prove if a country has real free election, free press, etc.). But you cannot actually prove if there 'justice' in a country. Innocent people can be sentenced to death by stupid juries even in countries where the justice system, on paper, is organized fairly. People can starve to death even in countries that devote 99% of their revenues to welfare. Justice (legal and social) is subjective. There are workers being treated unfairly, and innocent people being sentenced to jail, even in Switzerland or Sweden.

Worrying about 'justice' where there is no democracy, freedom or human rights, is like building a house starting with the roof...

Redwine said...

Troutsky,

"I m not used to debating people with no clothes on." - Hmm. Close your eyes.... Why are clothes (or should be) necessary for a good debate?

"Could this be because some have sexualized women's bodies? \" - Woo Woo ...only some? Too funny....

the flying monkeys said...

Redwine, lol

some could relatively be many or much

but unspecified in number

it could mean all

the english language is so ambiguous

Think I need to ask Trousky how many women he knows who think their bodies are just fine the way they are? Sonia is special

lmao

Redwine said...

Woo: either Troutsky won;t confess or the ladies. I am so glad I am perfect....

the flying monkeys said...

you are biased redwine, nevertheless i can speak for myself, the aroma must be very fine fruit and expressed with time. and it must be perfect to accompany fish and lighter dishes of vegetables. that's why i do prefer whitewine its so special...

the flying monkeys said...

Hang on, perhaps not...Fish fed resveratrol, a component of red wine is already known to prolong life. Redwine is certainly the most special.

troutsky said...

I was trying to be funny (No clothes comment) and as usual ended up being foolish.Sorry y'all.

Our rights and justice discussion may have gotten a bit abstract but I am thinking of the black experience here (US) where forty years after civil rights are "granted" blacks remain disenfranchised, oppressed, marginalized and POWER- less.How this relates to Lebanon is ,again, a bit abstract but these types of crises always go back to these same structural contradictions.

the flying monkeys said...

I found it amusing. Not at all foolish and I believe Redwine and Sonia found it just as amusing.

the flying monkeys said...

You may have a very valid point Trousky and I believe we can find just as many whites who are just as disenfranchised, oppressed, marginalized and POWER- less...

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