Always in Our Minds....

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What Do You Think?

I've been having a debate with Solomon2, about my article titled "Logical Thinking" for the last couple of days. I want to share this debate with all of you, and please feel free to comment and share your own point of view.


Solomon2 said...
But Israel, with its "stupid inexperienced" leadership, has cost us a huge boost we gained after years of struggling Nasrallah was just dithering. He knew all along that he retained the power of initiative, that he could initiate an armed conflict with Israel and arrive at the current result. It is only a defeat for Lebanese democracy if you accept it as such. Let me give you a parallel example. Over three centuries ago, England faced a similar problem: its new monarch, James II, having previously proved himself in battle on the world's oceans, now wanted to convert England back to Roman Catholicism. In its "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 the English exiled their lawful monarch and installed a Dutchman to take his place. In short, the English risked their lives by choosing to maintain their values over blind patriotic loyalty to a crown they felt would betray their souls. As I recall, this Revolution was entirely bloodless.


FaiLaSooF said...
Dear Solomon2,It is clear that you don't know how things are in Lebanon. You can't compare England in 17th century to Lebanon now. We are fighting for our country, we got rid of Israeli occupation once, then we got rid of the Syrian troops, and we will always work on getting rid of everyone who want to dominate us. But solomon2, you can't NOT to agree that Israel last invasion only made things worse. If they were smart enough, they wouldn't have done such a thing, or at least, continue what they are doing till they can achieve something. Instead, they only killed civilians, and then realized they got stuck once again in "Lebanese mud" and hurried for UN to reach a ceasefire....


Solomon2 said...
Are you sure that it isn't because you aren't familiar with 17th century England that you can't see the parallel?You didn't "get rid of Israeli occupation once", not through armed confrontation, anyway. Israeli public opinion was such that, after the PLO artillery threat had been removed, people wondered more and more why troops had to stay. The PLO wasn't coming back. Occupation seemed like a dirty business. It was better for Israeli souls to depart and let the Lebanese be. If that meant not challenging the fiction that the Lebanese kicked out the Israelis, that was fine as long as there was peace. The dozen or so soldiers the Lebanese resistance killed every year were an additional grief for the Israelis, not the primary cause for their departure.Along with most of the Western world, I applauded - just look at my blog! - at how the Lebanese wielded "people power" following the assassination of King Hariri (let us be frank, he was your king; he even meets the historical definition of a king) to kick out the Syrians. However, as soon as politics went back behind closed doors matters started to fall apart, didn't they? All sorts of compromises, and then that self-serving clown Aoun, who as "General" had vowed to kick the Syrians out himself just before escaping to Paris, returned and cut his own deal with Nasrallah, gravely weakening the March 14th movement. The bitter truth is that time and time again Lebanese have been divided along sectarian lines and this results in a gravely weakened state. Anyone with enough money and muscle - the French, the Palestinians, the Israelis, the Syrians, the Iranians - can come along and dominate any central government fairly easily. Lebanese vote sectarian and are assumed to be loyal to whoever pays the bills - you heard Nasrallah's promises - and dividing the country by paying off one or more sects never seems to fail, they can dominate for a long time without Lebanese lifting a finger.As a medical student, you must have looked on the bombardment many times thinking, "Wow, a few feet away and many more people could have been hurt. It happens often enough, we're lucky it doesn't happen more often." It wasn't luck. Lebanon survived the Israeli onslaught not because its people are tough but because Israel did its very best to minimize civilian casualties while attacking a Hezbollah that crouched behind and hid within the civilian population. Given the tonnage of bombs available to the Israelis, a raid that was truly aimed at the defenseless Lebanese population would have killed tens of thousands.The truly pernicious thing about false propaganda is that even though you know it's false, you start to believe it bit by bit, unless you're very careful. It's a myth that "Israelis only killed civilians." Despite the limited civilian casualties, Israel did achieve something, as far as Israel is concerned: a substantial weakening of Hezbollah's military capability, and the demonstration that Hezbollah's "deterrent" was meaningless: Israel can conquer Lebanon anytime it wants to. But why bother if they don't have to? If the Lebanese gov't offered some encouragement and cooperation, the Israelis might have decided to stay and help uproot Hezbollah. But given the Lebanese attitude, why should Israel do all the dirty work alone? It would be difficult to do without Lebanese cooperation.However, it looks like that opportunity is over now. The true choice, like that of 1688, is whether the Lebanese value "patriotism" over their democratic values. For sixty years Arab despots have used Israel to stir the cauldron of hatred that blinds and binds their subject populations. Nasrallah - who started this war, no matter what some people claim - is counting on the formula working yet again. How will you choose?


FaiLaSooF said...
Solomon2,When you wanna approach such a sensitive topic, you need to be unbiased. Not only were you biased, but you don't even want to consider the Lebanese points of view.The good thing about free media is that you can hear what's going on on the other side of the borders. Israel was "forced" to get out of Lebanon; because compared to Golan heights, Israelis were suffering too many casualties. Not a day passes that you don't see engagement between Israelis troops and Lebanese (not only HA at that time, many different parties). Israeli puplic opinion, the high cost of such meaningless occupation and let's fact it, the pressure from the international community (who wanted nothing but to put Syria and HA in the corner) lead Israel to withdraw from Lebanon. If it wasn't for our resistance, Israel would have still been occupying southern Lebanon, exactly like the case of Golan heights. Please save me the crap about "Israel not targeting civilians". Israel tried its best to devide the Lebanese community, by targeting one side without the other. That was the strategy during the first days of war. But all other Lebanese parties showed solidarity though they said after war, we have some serious things to discuss. More than 1000 casualties, mostly children, and you tell me "despite limited number of casualties"??!! What is a huge number in your thinking? 10000 and more??!! Have you no shame?!!! About what happened last year. You need to undertsand that in Lebanon, majority can't rule alone, you always have to consider the minority, and make sure that no one religious sector is left behind. March 14th lacked the Shiites, and that was a huge problem; yes we were the majority, but we lacked the biggest one sector community! Then came the clown Aoun, and being an ex-general, he can't work unless he's in the top of the pyramid, something that the rest of March 14th weren't accepting, so he turned into HA, who saw in Aoun a perfect CHRISTIAN ally. You really think that a government lacking Shiites and Aoun's overwhelming Christian support (at the time) could have survived? Compromises were a "MUST", I didn't agree on it then, but no other solution was in hand. And no, not any one can come here and dominate the central government easily, and Israel is an excellent example to that. Five wars Israel had against Lebanon, and in all these wars, Israel was never succeeded in that. And if you are going to refer to 1982, then I want you to recall how May 17th agreement (though it was a good one for Lebanon) was refused and cancelled. Solomon2, it is easy to be away and talk about "measured responses" and "the right of self-defense". But when you want to come and talk politics, you don't have the right to be biased, specially when you are NOT a part of the conflict. That is USA biggest mistake, and it seems it is yours as well.

2 comments:

LebExile said...

Failasoof:

Where exactly was the consensus in starting this war. You go on about how Lebanon is a consensual democracy, but there never is any consensus where Hezbollah is concerned. All the other sects (other than the Shiites) wanted Hezbollah disarmed - this at the round table discussions. There was some discussions on this, and talk of a national defense stratagy..

However, whenever there is an issue regarding the Shiites or Hezbollah, they complain that everyone is against them, and they need their weapons to protect themselves -ooops I mean to protect Lebanon.

I have said this a hundred times, If they were so concerned about Lebanon, and the weakness of the Lebanese army, then, why not join the army. Since Iran is so generous in supplying rockets, why dont they supply these rockets to the Lebanese army and help strengthen the national army.

I am sorry, Consensual democracy does not work, and will never work. There has to be a majority who works for the good of the nation as a whole, and there must also be a minority - who must work to gain support and one day become a majority and take power.

How can a consensual democracy possibly work when every small fringe group effectively has a veto on any major decision. This will mean the total collapse of the government - where no decisions of any substance will ever be reached.

FaiLaSooF said...

I never said I agreed on consensual democracy, and I was for establishing a government from the majority, without HA or Aoun. But you have to understand that this country, being made of many sects, without any one of them to claim majority, makes it extremely difficult to follow the majority, without the minority feeling highly threatened.

OUR biggest problem is that we don't have a strong army, an army on which everybody can feel safe. Minister of defense Mr. Elias Murr mentioned a very IMPORTANT issue. "We need to make the southerners believe in that the army can defend them, we need to gain their trust" I think this is extremely important. The reason why southerners fully fully support HA, is that for the last 20 yrs, theynever saw any help or support coming from the government. As far as they know, HA is their country and government. This must be changed, and deploying the army there is a first step. If the army is successful in maintaining peace there, in helping them and in gaining their trust, then there's a good chance that things are going to change, and that we will have some shiites supports eventually.