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Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AI thinks that there are war criminals on both sides. Presumably some Israeli leaders or military commanders should be brought to trial as well. But we should be cautious about such things, I don't think that because some Israelis have committed war crimes means that we should stop Canadians from helping the non-militant wing of the Israeli project.
Stephen





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald Hughes wrote:
AI thinks that there are war criminals on both sides. Presumably some Israeli leaders or military commanders should be brought to trial as well. But we should be cautious about such things, I don't think that because some Israelis have committed war crimes means that we should stop Canadians from helping the non-militant wing of the Israeli project.


That sort of moral equivalence is unsettling. For you and any other to equate both players to the same diminished status...

We are talking about a "war" between a state and a terrorist group.
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I understand that Israel is unequally powerful and claims adherence to liberal-democratic values generally not claimed by their opponents, so you may want to hold them to an even higher standard than a largely non-state militant group, but war crimes deal more with specific actions.
biggie





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Specific actions like intentionally targetting civilians...

So far the only people being directly accused of this is hezbollah, despite your greatest wishes ;)
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, AI and HRW both believe that Israel deliberately targetted civilians and have published reports towards this end.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
No, AI and HRW both believe that Israel deliberately targetted civilians...

And this is what causes credibility issues for them. Its possible that there were isolated incidents at the individual or squad level where known civilians were fired upon. To suggest that Israel, strategically or tactically, at a command level, purposely targeted civilians, is so unlikely as to be absurd.
biggie





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald Hughes wrote:
No, AI and HRW both believe that Israel deliberately targetted civilians and have published reports towards this end.


actually, if you read those reports, they call on israel being war criminals for firing on hezbollah positions that happened to be in civilian areas. You can't have your cake and eat it too - either hezbollah did wrong by hiding there, or israel did wrong by returning fire on their positions there - not both. Those same reports include humanitarian suffering because of "fear for safety/forcible displacement".

As stated earlier - AI is a bunch of wackos. They take positions on the stupidest, most ridiculous aspects of the war.

Quote:
Since the beginning of the hostilities, Israel has ordered around half a
million residents of Lebanon to leave their towns and villages. Israel's
Justice Minister Haim Ramon has claimed: "All those now in south Lebanon are
terrorists who are related in some way to Hizbullah."


Now let me ask you this - How can Israel be responsible for civilian deaths in these areas when since day one they told civilians to get out... If they wanted to live, they'de have left..
If hezbollah wouldn't allow them to, it highlights the brutal force that is hezbollah - and the need for it to be destroyed. It also means that they committed the attrocity and are responsible for every single death caused by such actions.
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both of you are on the wrong path. Both reports criticized Israel for deliberately targetting civilian infrastructure and for not seriously considering the effects of attacks in populated areas. They went further than this, though, and showed that many of the instances in which Israel claimed Hizbullah fighters were in the area was completely false. That is, even if you accept the idea that it is fair to bomb civilian areas because criminals in the area, it seems dangerous to allow this in such a way that easily affords backend justification. Israel also claimed a free-fire zone basically anywhere south of the Litani, which in itself is not really acceptable and can be considered a war crime. The argument "if they wanted to live they would leave" is not acceptable under any type of international law.

In any case, whatever the legality or morality of the specific policies of the Israeli state, the effect it seems to have had is amazingly short-sighted if regional peace is the goal. You don't win peace by inflicting many billions of dollars of damage on your poorer neighbours and displacing hundreds of thousands of them. The Palestinian territories are a good example of that strategy failing. But I don't think that Israeli state planners are stupid or anything, they are less interested in some sort of regional integration and peace as they are the fragmentation of their perceived enemies in a way that preserves their state in its current form. As any peace process would require the end to the cantonalization and fragmentation of the West Bank, and could lead to radical demographic changes inside Israel proper, these may not be desirable for many in Israel.
biggie





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You also don't win peace by letting someone walk all over you constantly...

We saw that with Iraq...

When will enough be enough for you lefties? Do they have to come into your home and murder your family before you're willing to act?

If some militants come to canada and kidnap our soldiers, I would hope that Canada would go save them...

[/b]
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You also don't win peace by letting someone walk all over you constantly...

We saw that with Iraq...
I'm surprised you'd support the insurgency in Iraq. It would seem that non-violent resistance to the occupation there would be the best route, especially considering the reactionary and religious character of much of the militants.
biggie





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't support the insurgency... I think you misunderstood - I meant the world's attempts to swoon iraq into cooperation failed miserably..

although I wish the insurgency would end, and i disagree with the tactics(blowing up civilians) - I don't disagree with them fighting against an occupier. I think they misunderstand the intent of the occupying forces - and with years of propoganda, it makes even more sense..
biggie





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the intent of the insurgency is not to win peace ;)
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't disagree with them fighting against an occupier.
Why? What conditions make resistance against occupation legitimate? Do these conditions apply within the Palestinian territories or Lebanon?
Quote:
the intent of the insurgency is not to win peace
What is the intent of the insurgency?
biggie





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What is the intent of the insurgency?


freedom from america - many of them are jihadists who have no stake in iraq whatsoever, and their purpose is to disrupt the american's goals there.

Quote:
Why? What conditions make resistance against occupation legitimate? Do these conditions apply within the Palestinian territories or Lebanon?


I look at it in terms of what I would do if someone invaded my country - I would hit them as often as possible, try to inflict maximum casualties/damage. Now, given that I live in a free and democratic society, I don't feel it is in their best interests to take those actions - but I can't say I blame them for taking them..

don't get me wrong - I wish it would end as much as anyone... but im not about to blindly disagree with the insurgency just because I agree with the motives of the occupiers (in both iraq and Palestine/lebanon)
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Both reports criticized Israel for deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure...


This is true. Israel did attack 'civilian' infrastructure like bridges, roads, airports, powerplants ... etc. Whether you agree ethically or not, a legal argument can be made that the fact that much of this infrastructure was financed by Hizbullah, and that is was being used in support of their military, makes it valid for targeting.

Quote:
...and for not seriously considering the effects of attacks in populated areas...

This is a matter of opinion on their {AI/HRW} part, more than anything else. I have no doubt that Israeli commanders carefully considered the impact of their tactics and strategy before implementing them. That they did so knowing that some civilian deaths would likely arise is not de facto a war crime.

Quote:
They went further than this, though, and showed that many of the instances in which Israel claimed Hizbullah fighters were in the area was completely false.


I am not aware of specific cases of this, though it is possible. At any rate, if the Israelis legitimately believed they were firing on Hezbullah positions, and were in fact not, it is an unfortunate, grave error (to say the least) - but not a war crime.

Quote:
Israel also claimed a free-fire zone basically anywhere south of the Litani, which in itself is not really acceptable and can be considered a war crime. The argument "if they wanted to live they would leave" is not acceptable under any type of international law...


The way phrase things, you'd be right. But you're engaging in hyperbole and dismissing the extensive efforts Israeli forces made to minimize civilian casualties. The mass air-mailing and use of precision-weaponry alone clearly demonstrate Israeli intent to minimize collateral damage.
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Hezbollah and the Pyrrhic victory

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