finish the job

israel’s former PM makes the case against a cease-fire.

The objective of the military campaign currently being waged on Israel’s northern border, as well as any diplomatic effort to bring that campaign to an end, must therefore be to disarm Hezbollah, first and foremost from its missile arsenal. A failure to do so would be a great victory for that terror organization and for its sponsors in Tehran and facilitators in Damascus. It would enable Hezbollah to rebuild its lethal capacity for waging war, continue to threaten the people of Israel and hold hostage the people of Lebanon, and sow the seeds for an even greater conflict in the future. In contrast, disarming Hezbollah would help restore Israel’s deterrence and security, give hope to a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future for Lebanon, and deal a heavy blow to the forces of international terrorism.

the times online has this to say about the israeli / hezbollah throwdown:

The pincer war launched by Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel is also related to domestic politics. In the occupied territories, Hamas needs to marginalise Mahmoud Abbas’s PLO and establish itself as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. In Lebanon, Hezbollah wants to prevent the consolidation of power in the hands of a new pro-American coalition government led by Fouad Siniora, the prime minister, and Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader….

The strategy is high risk. If the Israelis manage to crush Hamas and destroy Hezbollah’s military machine, Iran’s influence will diminish massively. Defeat could revive an internal Hezbollah debate between those who continue to support a total and exclusive alliance with Iran until the infidel, led by America, is driven out of the Middle East and those who want Hezbollah to distance itself from Tehran and emphasise its Lebanese identity. One reason why Hezbollah has found such little support among Arabs in Egypt and Saudi Arabia this time is the perception that it is fighting Israel on behalf of Iran, a Persian Shi’ite power that has been regarded by the majority of Arab Sunnis as an ancestral enemy.

that’s why we must allow israel to do what it is doing, because it’s about more than some petty regional dispute. you can hate israel all you want to, but there’s a more critical matter to be addressed in this case. wouldn’t you rather have israel exist in its current state than live in a region controlled by unapologetic terrorist thugs? it’s clear that in some parts of the middle east, hatred for israel runs deep. does it run deep enough to surrender control of everything to iran and syria, or their terrorist representatives? i hope not.

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28 thoughts on “finish the job

  1. The best case against a cease fire is this: Cease fires never work. We’ve seen this time and time again in Israel.

    The definition of insanity of doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

    That’s why the Bush Doctrine is so brilliant.

  2. Israel should know this better than any other country. Like you said, they have been dealing with terrorism for a long time, and it’s impossible to negotiate with people who want to wipe your country off of the map.

    I think Bush’s strategy in this case is exactly right, but I’m not ready to sign off on everything he’s done so far with foreign policy. We still have to finish up Iraq first (which we will).

  3. Who writes this emotive claptrap? Do these people think that a biased rant will earn them any respect, much less convince anyone of their opinion. Those who would be convinced are not worth it anyway, those who can think are unlikely to be swayed by such rubbish!

  4. Ceasefire’s do work. Look at Korea. It would have worked in Vietnam had we left it alone. The first gulf war ended in a ceasefire also. The reason for invasion in 2003 was that Saddam violated the 1991 ceasefire by not disarming.

    In the case of the current conflict in the Mideast, a ceasefire will not work as long as Hezbollah is allowed to exist.

    I don’t think Bush’s strategy has been exactly right, or his doctrine of preemptive invasion as being anything close to brilliant. If we were to apply the Bush doctrine to Hezbollah, we would have attacked Lebanon five years ago. But Bush is not consistent or steadfast in the war on terrorism. What’s happening right now in the mideast is the result of the lack of any policy by the United States.

    But I will agree with both and state that Israel has every right to disarm and disband Hezbollah. Israel is proxy fighting our war.

  5. Maybe ceasefires do work in some cases. This is not one of those cases, as you said. I think Bush has done the right thing in letting Israel deal with Hezbollah. What could Bush do differently here? The Middle East has always been chaotic, even before Bush came into the picture. I’m not sure what he could do to resolve the current conflict.

    I’m also not convinced that the Middle East would be in better hands with Howard Dean and the Democrats.

  6. There are many things Bush could do differently. He has to be the most hands off president since Hoover. Letting Israel proxy fight a war will/could have long term negative effects. And being bogged down in Iraq helps us none. Bush needs to understand that Lebanon has very little control, probably none actually, over Hezbollah.

    I do disagree that the Dems couldn’t do better. The Clinton administration had many successes in the region. Certainly Reagan’s Republican cut and run from Lebanon in ’82 has strong ties as to why Hezbollah is formidable today.

  7. Bush can’t win. Either he gets involved, and is accused of screwing everything up, or he doesn’t get involved and “he needs to be more hands-on”. Pick one. I think Bush understands that Lebanon has no control over Hezbollah.

    I’m saying that this group of Democrats doesn’t seem to have any diplomats in their leadership. Isn’t that what you need to get all this international cooperation that Kerry keeps talking about? We need to work with other nations, and that includes Iraq. One way for that not to work would be when Howard Dean accused Maliki of being an anti-Semite. That’s diplomacy for ya. I hope that what he meant was that he would have liked Maliki to support Israel, but I’m done trying to interpret what Dean says. I’m not saying all Democrats think like their chairman. I hope not anyway. But it’s not really the best example to set if you want to demonstrate how much better they could handle Iraq than what Bush is doing.

    (ok…now I’ve got that rant out of my system…)

    With all the successes you claim for Clinton in the Middle East, surely you can’t be referring to his attempt to bring Israel and the Palestinians together by pandering to Arafat. If what he was trying to achieve was lasting peace between the sides, it obviously failed. To be fair, no President has really accomplished very much in dealing with this problem.

    I’ve got another excellent book recommendation for ya. It’s called The Secret History of the Iraq War. It’s quite detailed about every little connection Saddam had with terrorists, and the word “WMD” pops up quite a few times. (For the record, the implication is that they are in Syria.)

    It’s worth considering the role of all the different countries involved, and I think this book does a great job (at least in the part I’ve read so far) of tying all those loose ends together.

  8. Very well said. And very nice reply.

    I can only add:

    Bush is the leader of the most powerful nation in human history. He should be involved in what is the most serious threat to world peace in a generation.

    The root cause of militant Islam is Israel/Palestine. Even though Hezbollah, al Qaeda, Hamas, etc., have different leadership and different objectives, the one uniting factor for these terrorist organizations is Israel and her supporters. For Bush, this all should tie into the global war on terrorism. For some reason it doesn’t. Maybe it’s the disaster of Iraq?

    If Bush led competent government then his involvement in the process of Mideast diplomacy would not screw things up. Bush has at least three times in the last two weeks referred to Syria/Lebanon as being able to stop Hezbollah. Even the sound bite where Bush cusses at Blair he states that Syria “should get Hezbollah to stop this sh**.”

    Such statements only show me that Bush does indeed think that Syria has some influence over Hezbollah. It doesn’t. After five years in office he should know that by now.

    Very well said about Dean and the Dems.

    But if Clinton pandered to Arafat then why didn’t Arafat sign on? And if Clinton’s diplomacy was pandering then what in the world is Reagan’s retreat?

    I will try to download a book review of The Secret Iraq War this afternoon. There is no doubt that Saddam was a terrorist. He absolutely was. Just not the one responsible for the attacks of 9/11. I think you already know my theory on the premise that the WMD escaped to Syria.

    Have a good weekend!

  9. What you say makes sense, except that no President has been able to bring any permanent resolution to this conflict. So why do you expect Bush to have this ability?

    The book I mentioned gets into this subject. I previously posted on the connections between Saddam and the PLO, so that had to be part of the terrorist equation when invading Iraq. I don’t know whether Bush grasps the role of Israel in the motivations of the Islamic militants. Even if he completely understood that, I really don’t know what he could do to change the situation. The situation in Iraq does complicate matters quite a bit.

    You’re the foreign policy expert here, so you have the advantage in this discussion. I never said that Lebanon could control Hezbollah. To suggest that Syria and/or Iran might have some influence with Hezbollah doesn’t sound all that crazy to me.

    What happened with Reagan? I’m not familiar with that. Arafat was a terrorist and he associated with other terrorist scum. Why give him legitimacy by allowing him into the negotiations?

    Definitely check out the book. There’s so much good information in there.

  10. I don’t expect Bush to bring a permanent end to the conflict. I do expect him to wage a viable war on terrorism that includes disarming Hezbollah. Even with that said, I believe, that any conclusion to the disarming of Hezbollah must also include the formation of a Palestinian state. Now what sort of Palestinian state at the moment is up for grabs. But I do know that any Palestinian state that includes any militant terrorist organization that also provides social services to the Palestinian people cannot be allowed. Such a case would only be a band-aid.

    I expect all of that from any president that we would have at the moment. Right now, unfortunately, it just so happens to be Bush. You’re right, Kerry probably wouldn’t do any better. But not so unlike you, I’ll trust a Democratic president to provide such over a Republican one any day 🙂

    Sometimes I think people take my anti-Bush stance to be this tree hugging, peace sign waving, wacko, green party stance. I’m far from that. After 9/11 I expected much more of a direct confrontation with those responsible for the attack than what we’ve done so far. And now, five years later, I think it might be too late to effectively deal with the terrorism that delivered 3,000 dead civilians on our shores. We should have hit Hezbollah then and not now. And certainly long before Iraq.

    Yes, Iraq funded the PLO. No doubts about that. So did Saudi Arabia and many other states. And much more so than Saddam. I’m no foreign policy expert, however. Far from it. But I have been around enough to know a few key points. That’s why I’m so amazed when Bush spouts off stuff like how Syria should control Hezbollah and that our Mideast policy is one of engaging “root causes,” when he clearly isn’t doing such. It’s a sad day when someone like me can out talk our president.

    Reagan 1982– Beirut barracks bombing. Over 200 dead American soldiers, Reagan cuts and runs instead of attacking Hezbollah. If that’s not pandering nothing is.

    Well, I’m off to sulk in my Cardinals losing again to the sCrubs.

  11. So let me see if I understand your position here. You would be in favor of taking military action – of sending US troops – into places like Syria, Lebanon, etc. to deal with Hezbollah? I don’t have any problem with a Palestinian state necessarily. I’m just not sure how much benefit Israel has ever gotten out of all these concessions it makes to the Palestinians. If the discussions are between the new PLO and Israel, they might have a chance to succeed. I can’t say the same for any negotiation between Hezbollah and Israel, seeing as their stated goal is to wipe Israel off of the map.

    I think that any future President needs to have a better grasp of foreign policy than Bush does, or be able to hire people who can fill that void in their resume. I don’t see any potential candidates who have impressed me with their views on what’s going on internationally.

    The election of Hamas is unfortunate, but I’m not sure how much we can do about that, if everything. I do agree that the goal should not be to install any kind of leadership that is involved with terrorism.

    I can’t recall ever accusing you of being the kind of guy you mention. That sounds more like some friend of ours who shall remain nameless. Then again, I don’t really know you that well. What exactly do you want Bush to do? We do need to hit the terrorists harder than we have been doing, but short of military action, I’m not sure what else we can do.

    I was pointing out the Saddam / PLO connection to suggest that Bush might have taken that into consideration as well as his connection with Al-Qaeda when making the decision to invade Iraq. You bring up Saudi Arabia. Here’s my theory about Saudi Arabia. There’s a power struggle going on between those who are pro-American and those who are not. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys when those bad guys aren’t directly blowing people up. That said, I share your skepticism about their intentions.

    I’m not one of those people who think Reagan could do no wrong. After all, he was partly responsible for that travesty of an illegal immigration bill. He wasn’t perfect. But he did have a few significant highlights in his presidency that he rightly gets credit for.

    Re: the Cards – what IS up with them?  Of course, they have lost to the Cubs a lot this year.  If only the Cubs could play the Cards almost every game…they would win the division. 😛 Ok, maybe not.  Don’t worry about the Cards. They will turn it around.

  12. I think the best answer to your first question is, yes I WOULD have been in favor of that. With the current situation, I no longer think American military action inside Lebanon, Syria or really any where is logical or attainable anymore. I think we should have dealt with Hezbollah and Hamas along with totally crushing al Qaeda about ten minutes after the first plane hit the tower. In fact, the very first proposal presented to Bush on Sept. 12, 2001, called for a broad range of attacks (military, espionage, special forces invasions, etc.) in some 10 different countries. Bush rejected it and decided to do a limited campaign into Afghanistan with a full-fledged invasion of Iraq. I think his decision was a mistake.

    But I try not to do a coulda, woulda, shoulda thing. Sometimes it’s hard. To me, the reality is that now we are at a point to where we have to let Israel disarm and disband Hezbollah and hope for the best outcome possible. I have strong doubts about that as well.

    The main thing I would like to see Bush do is be more engaged. He is a so-called war president. He should be consumed with fighting this war and fighting the causes of militant Islam. That means in some cases military action is required. In other cases, changes in American policy is required. I personally don’t feel that Bush is consumed with the war on terror. He’s become the most vacationing president in history, with the largest debt in history, with the largest pork barrell do-nothing Congress in history, with the first president to ever openly admit that he doesn’t have to abide by laws and get away with it in history…sorry it’s late and I think I’m on a soapbox…

    I agree, and I’m sure Bush did take Saddam’s PLO connection into consideration with the invasion of Iraq. I think the same logic could be applied to Iran also. We could go around all day about who to invade, when and why. But I do think it’s clear that the Bush administration was not prepared one bit for the fall of Saddam and the chaos that unfolded. Good intentions or not, Iraq is not what Bush promised.

    I totally agree with you about Reagan. I don’t think he’s evil at all. I do think we as a political discussion group forget that Reagan has a link to nearly everything taking place today. Conservatives normally guard his name with the rebuking equal to taking the Lord’s in vein. I’m not that crazy about him, however.

    With the Cards, I think I must accept the fact that the Cubs will own them this summer. But come October when the Cards are still playing none of us will be talking about the Cubs 🙂

    Sorry this is so long….eeeehhhh what a day

  13. You are a hawk, aren’t you? What are you still doing in the Democratic party??? LOL. I have to say that if that was the original strategy, I would have been on board with it. Selling it to the American people might have been tricky, though.

    I like your strategy…ever thought of switching sides? I think that horse is long past dead when discussing the spending (we agree)and Bush’s alleged abuse of power (we disagree). Go ahead and rant if it will make you feel better about everything. 🙂

    I don’t want to agree with you on post-war Iraq, but I’m leaning that way. I hope that we both end up being wrong, and that Iraq ends up being a stable country.

    Reagan was right about many things, but not everything. The things he was right about are the things that some conservatives conveniently forgot. I don’t adore Reagan, but I probably like him more than you do.

    Yes, the Cards will be owned by the Cubs this summer. Then they will be owned by the METS. 😛 (Hopefully that pitching will hold up for them…)

  14. I am a hawk, but not a monger. I think what stops my total skid into neoconservatism is the endless ability of Kristol and the likes to warmonger. It’s one thing to hear generals and military people to express the need for war and something totally different for rich spoiled white kids who have never served a day in uniform to monger invasion after invasion.

    Directly after 9/11, selling anything to the American people wouldn’t have been difficult at all. After all, Bush & Co. did sell an invasion into a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11.

    Iraq will end up being a stable country, I hope at least.

    Oh I’m sure you like Reagan way more than me. I think he was a pansy, but I don’t hate him. There are many things I agreed with him on. Trickle down theory not being one of them.

    My poor Cardinals. I’m ashamed. Just ashamed.

  15. I like that term “monger”. I think we have the most wonderful, awesome military men and women in the world today. We should absolutely consult with them before making plans to invade countries. I just don’t think that military experience alone automatically qualifies a person to advise on invasions. Some former military people aren’t great strategists. John Murtha for example. (I’m probably going to get in trouble with you for saying that.) I take it that you were never a spoiled rich kid yourself. 😛

    Maybe Saddam didn’t call up Bin Laden one day and say, “Hey, I’ve got a great idea. Why don’t we kill some Americans by crashing planes into buildings?” Maybe that discussion never took place. But it wouldn’t shock me to find out that Saddam knew all about what Bin Laden had in mind.

    That’s funny – you calling Reagan a pansy. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard THAT criticism before. Is it because of what you mentioned before?

    BTW, my intention was to criticize the Mets’ pitching, not the Cards’ pitching. I think both staffs need to improve going into the postseason. Possibly losing Sanchez for the season today certainly didn’t help my Mets. Roberto Hernandez scares me. 🙁

  16. I totally agree that we have the most awesome military in the world. That’s why I would take the word of Murtha, a decorated two-war veteran and retired colonel, over Kristol, someone who has never been out of his townhouse suite when the sun is shining.

    Nope, never been a spoiled rich kid. My dad’s a cop and my mom was a stay at home mom. The rest of my family are coal miners. So growing up it was either be a cop or a coal miner. I didn’t want to do either. So I went to college, and no Ivy Leauge either, you know SIU isn’t close to that 😉

    I would think after three years since the invasion of Iraq, surely one piece of evidence would have shown up demonstrating that Saddam had foreknowledge, or even any cooperation with bin Laden about 9/11. But wait, I thought we invaded cause of WMD?? Now I’m really confused.

    Reagan, total pansy. Cuts and runs in Beirut in ’82, which was the equivalent of Pearl Harbor. Instead Reagan retreats. Then he sells arms to Iran in exchange for hostages only again strengthening Hezbollah and militant Islam. Reagan was just another Republican made to look tough on every issue and never appear to wabble, when in reality all he could do was cut and run and negotiate with terrorists. Not to mention he created both bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. And also never in the military. The closest he came was a Hollywood studio portraying a serviceman.

    Oh, the Cards pitching is horrible right now. I’m ashamed. I think this is the first time I have been ashamed of them. Wait, no, in 1996 I was ashamed when they let the Braves come back and win four in a row in the NL. That was a rough Fall for me. But they just lost four in a row to the Cubs…I’m gonna cry now.

  17. You really hate Bill Kristol, don’t you? I’m not suggesting that Kristol has a better idea about what to do in Iraq than Murtha does. I am suggesting that Murtha might not be the best military person to ask for advice.

    I can understand not wanting to be a cop or a coal miner. Both are rather dangerous jobs. Speaking of coal miners, have you ever seen the movie “October Sky”?

    Your confusion is adorable, but we both agreed that the invasion of Iraq was the right thing to do. 😛

    Are there any Republicans you actually like? I agree that Reagan’s record on terrorism has some black marks on it, but at least he didn’t let the Communists win.

    You seem to think that military service should be some kind of requirement for a Republican president. Why shouldn’t Democrats be held to the same standard you have for Republicans?

    The Cards will be ok. Somehow they always make the playoffs. I can’t really explain why that happens.

  18. Wrong, wrong, wrong Chris.

    Cease fires in the Middle East don’t work. And every time an American President gets involved in the so-called ‘Peace Process’ Israel gets screwed.

    Bush has handled Israel the correct way since Day One. He’s left them alone to conduct their business. And he continues to handle Israel the right way: By leaving them alone.

    If Israel is left to deal with Hezbollah — and I’m talking no bullshit UN resolutions, no international pressure, no cease fires, no meddling from the United States, just completely left alone — the world and the entire Middle East will be better off as a result.

    Just wait, watch and see how right I am.

  19. I don’t hate Kristol. I just disagree with him on most issues, and the man never seems to leave my TV screen. FNC makes him appear as if he’s an expert in all fields, which he’s not. I would say that if Kristol had experienced any sort of hardship in his life he would have a very different outlook on the world. Just my opinion, though.

    I don’t think I have ever seen that movie. Is it a new one?

    I stay confused most of the time. But, yes, the invasion was right, just done wrong 🙂

    I like a lot of Republicans. John Shimkus is one. Tim Johnson is another. I liked Duke Cunningham. I think Trent Lott is great. For Reagan, I liked him as well. Oh, yeah, I forgot about Reagan’s single handed victory over the communists 🙂

    I apply my military service requirement to both parties, not just the Repubs. If you add it up, more Dems are prior military than Repubs.

    The Cards better make the playoffs. Or it will be the farthest skid in their history. I am getting in the mood for some college football, however.

  20. Kent, Israel has had a ceasefire with Egypt since 1973, and a peace treaty since 1978. Appears to be working to me.

    Both of those “treaties” were involved by American presidents.

    I don’t recall saying that Bush hasn’t handled the current situation wrong. I said that Bush shouldn’t have waited five years to let Israel fight this war.

    My exact words were: “In the case of the current conflict in the Mideast, a ceasefire will not work as long as Hezbollah is allowed to exist.”

    If I’m wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time. But I’m suspecting that I’m just as wrong as you are since we both are saying the same things.

  21. Fair enough on Kristol. He does seem to pop up everywhere. But if you really want to avoid him, don’t keep watching FNC. 😛

    October Sky is a few years old. It stars the pre-Brokeback Jake Gyllenhaal. Not a bad movie. I enjoyed it.

    You like Trent Lott and Duke Cunningham? Interesting. I’m guessing that it’s more on a personal than a professional level. I don’t seem to recall claiming that Reagan single-handedly defeated the Communists. You must have me confused with Hannity. 🙂

    I guess I should grudgingly acknowledge that college football season is close to beginning again. So…Go Buckeyes! 🙂

  22. Wow. Great discussion.

    Not surprisingly, I disagree with all of you to some degree or other.

    Chris. Engaging groups like Hazzbollah only strengthens them. They WANTED Israel to over-react, and they got their wish. Israel will eventually leave Southern Lebanon and Hazzbollah will be stronger for the border raid. Israel’s withdrawal will be called surrender, no matter how long it lasts, and resentment of the Israelis will lead to increased funding and recruiting. Lebanon was in real ‘danger’ of becoming a stable democracy. It could have been that thing that Bush claims he wants in the region… an anchor for freedom. But alas… now the future holds a stronger Hazzbullah and no stable government.

    Oh, and BTW– I’m a Pirates fan. Don’t be crying about the Cards.

    Name a concession Israel has ever made to the Arab world! Can’t think of one? Neither can I. Giving back land acquired in a war, regardless of who stupidly started the war, is not a concession. It’s an offer. Concession would be admitting that the Pals have a basic right-to return. Then the Pal. concession would be accepting cash settlements in return for giving up that right. Israel could then negotiate over the correct way to dispense such a settlement so as best to not have it (quite literally) blow up in their face. With basic agreements on economic development in Gaza, especially, the money could fuel a real finiancial boom for the region… and THAT… is how you end terrorism!

    We had no business in Iraq. The greatest day in Al Qeada’s world was when we decided to disengage in Afghanistan and take on Iraq. In Afghanistan, AQ wasn’t a terrorist organization, it was part of the government. They weren’t vigilantes, fighting a foreign occupier, they were the people who couldn’t get the roads paved, who couldn’t bring the warlords to justice. They weren’t martyrs, they were incompetent dictators. Crushing AQ with the help of the Northern Alliance did nothing to garner them fame.

    In Iraq however, Al Qaeda had nothing to do with the people before the US occupation, so they have been able to cut deals with the insurgents. “Your enemy’s enemy is your friend” kind of thing. The more chaos they create there, the more it reflects on the US, not them because WE are now the people who can’t pave the roads (or keep the coffee shops from blowing up). This kind of fighting against terrorist organizations has never and will never work. As long as there are people who resent the authority, there is a never-ending number of potential terrorists. Evnetually, US troops will see Iraqis, not as innocent people, but potential terrorists. When this happens we will have lost.

    Iraq claims they can control all provinces within a year. Very well, it’s time to let them do it. The time for withdrawal has come.

  23. Christopher,

    Good point. But Israel has had a cease fire with Egypt because Hosni Mubarak isn’t a radical Muslim. Neither was Anwar Sedat.

  24. Kent, Sadat wasn’t radical?? In 1973 Sadat invaded Israel. Pretty radical move, I think. Lebanon’s Hariri isn’t a radical Muslim, at least much less so than Sadat. According to you, does that mean a ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel would work?

  25. Lisa, yep Duke and I were buds. He was one of my favorite people. Too bad he’s a crook.

    For college football, I’m a ‘bama fan.

  26. Jonathon, I’m not sure I agree with your comment referenced to me. But I’m also not sure I disagree wiht it either. On a larger scale, I understand what you mean by Hezbollah merely provoking Israel. That’s why I think something should have been done with Hezbollah five years ago. But after five years of Bush’s laissez faire foreign policy, and his insistence that an invasion of Iraq would cure all of the Mideast ills, the world is left with not very many good choices to make. That’s why I state that Israel should be allowed to completely disarm and disband Hezbollah. For a post 9/11 world will not tolerate Israel surrounded by terrorists organizations. Nor will a Palestinian state exist in with such due course.

    I do feel your pain with the Pirates. My Cards are shamefully getting worse.

  27. Chris,

    You’re a couple of steps ahead of me, as usual.

    Sadat wasn’t a fundamentalist, radical, freak Muslim in the mold of bin Laden or Zarqawi. That’s what I meant.

    As for Hariri, it doesn’t matter. Syria’s Assad whacked him.

    Back on point with Israel. Peace will come only with the complete destruction of the terror groups and the reclaiming of Gaza and the West Bank by the Jews.

    Of course, none of this will happen due to the pro-Arab/anti-Israel position of the international community.

    I was buds with Duke, too. Very sad.

  28. Kent, I’m never ahead of ya. But we might not always be on the same page 🙂

    Sadat might not have been a fundamentalist, but he was rather extreme. It’s probably safe to say that he wasn’t very pro-Jewish.

    Yep, Old man Hariri is gone, but his son is probably the most legitimate politician in the country. He’ll probably be prime minister soon.

    I do disagree with your peace in Israel theory. My theory is that peace will come when there is an independent, un-armed Palestinian state. Israel really has no claim to the west bank or Gaza.

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