Israel’s Forgotten Record in Lebanon, 1982+ posted a piece of mine today on the latest round of Mideast killings.  Most of the piece is extracted from my 2003 book, Terrorism & Tyranny: Trampling Justice, Peace, and Freedom to Rid the World of Evil (Palgrave).

Here’s the lead of today’s piece:

As the Israeli government continues bombing throughout Lebanon in response to Hezbollah’s seizure of two Israeli soldiers and rocket attacks upon Israeli cities, it may be helpful to recall prior Israeli invasions and attacks on Lebanon. The Rules of Engagement that Israel appears to be using now look similar to the rules adapted for the 1982 invasion and subsequent occupation of Lebanon. The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that Israeli missiles “struck predominantly Christian neighborhoods.” Lebanese Christians are, for the most part, avowed opponents of Hezbollah, a Muslim religious party. But Israel acts as if all Lebanese are guilty and thus worthy of bombing. (Likewise, Hezbollah appears to consider any Israeli worth killing.)

Few people recognize that the Israeli invasion of Lebanon was one of the biggest failures in the history of antiterrorism. There is no reason to expect the current round of attacks and counterattacks to beget an era of peace and good feeling along the Israeli-Lebanon border.

Neither Hezbollah nor the Israeli Defense Force has any right to murder innocent people. But, as in earlier times, there is a danger that U.S. military forces will be sent to Lebanon to try to assuage the chaos. ….


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6 Responses to Israel’s Forgotten Record in Lebanon, 1982+

  1. W Baker July 18, 2006 at 9:34 am #


    Why should our first, and now only sovereign State (Israel) behave any differently than we have in Iraq. (A quick aside: I used to think that Israel was our 51st State, but I’m now more inclined to number it one – even before any of the thirteen original States – such is the pathetic devotion we give this socialist little postage stamp….)

    I know the argument is that Israel by means of her neocrazies in Washington encouraged our Simeon-in-Chief and President Cheney to invade Iraq, but two wrongs certainly don’t make a right. The Arab and other Middle Eastern ethnicities’ memories are long: they think in terms of centuries. The quicker we can get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and untether our little parasite (Israel – and Egypt, I might add), the better chances my children and future grandchildren have to live quiet, civilised lives free from wanton killing and, perhaps, equally as precious, free from Murdoch-style fear and hyperbole. To say nothing, of course, of the thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese children who would probably fare much better.

  2. Jim July 18, 2006 at 9:49 am #

    Wes – the Israeli rules of engagement do appear to be akin to the rules the US uses in Iraq.

    I find it fascinating how most of the American media appears to believe that state-approved killings are inherently legitimate, regardless of the government (unless of course it is part of an Axis of Evil, or has some other moral disability).

    On the historical memories – I am continually surprised at how few people recall earlier abuses by the U.S. government and other governments.   The government gets to start from scratch end time it begins killing anew.

  3. W Baker July 18, 2006 at 10:59 am #


    You’re right. Pardon my stream-of-consciousness earlier post. Your well-written piece certainly points out the futility of the Israeli and US invasion of Lebanon.

    At least the Israelis, rightly or wrongly, can point to some concrete entity (Hezbollah or more tenuously, Hamas) as argument for the their invasion of another country. We, on the other hand, are asked to believe that a tin-pot dictator, half-way around the world, threatened our very existence, or we are baited with some platitudes of democratic nirvana…

    Although I’ve never played the futures market, if I had a few bucks, I might bet on >$100 per barrel of that black liquid gold!!

  4. Jim July 18, 2006 at 12:58 pm #

    If memory serves, I wrote in Terrorism & Tyranny in 2003 that the US invasion of Iraq would create more terrorists than it vanquished.

    I think the history of Israeli antiterrorism efforts is similar. The Israeli government actually had a role in setting up Hamas as a counterweight to the PLO.

  5. Jess November 15, 2006 at 7:18 am #

    Keep up!

  6. Jess November 15, 2006 at 11:13 am #