Tuesday, July 18, 2006

How Hezbollah Is Proving My Point About President Bush

If I were living in one house in a neighborhood and someone started lobbing rocks at me, I would have to deal with it. I would want to deal with it. That's self-defense and I completely get it. I understand Israel's position on this - it's how I would react and how I did react one time when a neighbor's kid started lobbing rocks hitting my next door neighbor's truck and nearly hitting me. Now I didn't go completely crazy and destroy the whole neighborhood in response, killing innocents for blocks. No, I chased the kid down right to his own house and had a talk with his parents. This is an analogy, but it also happened in real life. That's what made it so interesting to hear President Bush just now condemning Hezbollah. What about the famous Bush Doctrine also known as the Law of the Jungle? If Hezbollah felt Israel was thinking about attacking them at some point in the future, with weapons that may or may not be built yet, under the Bush Doctrine of Preemptive Strike they are right to attack. If the kid in my neighborhood claimed he felt threatened by what my neighbor or I might do someday, according to President Bush, the kid would be justified and right to throw rocks at me - unless Bush believes America gets to do whatever it wants but everyone else has to follow the rules. He doesn't think that, does he? It was interesting hearing President Bush talk about the concept of reacting in self defense - how much he believes in the principle of it. If he only could have followed it himself, we wouldn't be in Iraq right now. Hezbollah is all the proof we need that the Bush Doctrine of unprovoked preemptive strikes is madness. Hezbollah and President Bush are both wrong to act that way, as was the kid in my neighborhood. As dangerous as it is, it's still safer to live in a world where you wait till you're attacked before you attack someone else. It's called deterrence. Both Hezbollah and President Bush should pay for violating that law.


At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your attempt at an analogy here make zero sense....nada. Hezbollah didn't attack Israel 'preemptively' - they did not fear a future attack from Israel. One of your favorite euphemisms (if that is the correct word) is to portray conservatives as 'puppets on strings'. Well, perhaps you should consider for a moment who might be the Hezbollah's puppeteer. And then consider the timing of their instigating attack and why it may have been ordered. There is alot more going on here than Hezbollah's attempt to force a prisoner exchange.

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's go back through history and try to see how the Bush Doctrine might have been applied in, say, 1957 -- when the Soviets launched the Sputnik orbiting satellite.

Or, what about 1960? By then, we knew the Soviets had weapons of mass destruction AND they had just shot down one of our pilots, Francis Gary Powers, who was flying an unarmed plane over Soviet airspace.

History shows that the tense, difficult course we navigated back then was correct.

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The converse of that would be to look at how history may have been different had we pre-emptively moved against Nazi Germany. We attempted "the tense, difficult course we navigated back then" on Iraq for twelve years. And what we know now about the 'Oil for Food' scandal is proof it would have never worked.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

To the first comment: That's why I wrote IF Hezbollah....This was a conditional thing, just as I wrote IF the kid had felt something....You're arguing against something I didn't say. It's like me saying you were wrong when you claimed the sky was orange. It made zero sense...nada, because the sky is blue.

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A wrong analogy to back up a wrong analogy. Its not at all like arguing that "the sky is orange". Its more along the lines of using the word "if" as in, "If Clinton thought he could get away with murdering Vince Foster, well I guess he was right." Now, I didn't just say Clinton murdered VF, but my original premise leads the reader to believe that is what I think. So, sorry if I mistook your hypothetical.

That being said, if it was merely a hypothetical non-sequitor, then it seems a rather petty attempt to trash Bush by asserting moral equivalence between his administration and Hezbollah. Pretty cheap jab, isn't it?

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Let me rephrase this without any analogies: The Bush Doctrine of Preemptive Strikes is morally wrong and bad policy. The only time it's been used so far, all the reasons turned out to be fake. Letting people with agendas simply say they believe a threat is coming in the future, as a justification for an attack, is madness. It would be one thing if only we could do it, but others will follow. Would it be okay with you if other countries were allowed to do the same?
This isn't a cheap jab. It's classic hearing President Bush go on about self defense when we all know Iraq was not about self defense. We were the agressors and in that sense a comparison to Hezbollah's rocket attacks has merit. We fired rockets on Iraq, didn't we? Iraq hadn't attacked us, had they? Is that so different?

At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The only time it's been used so far, all the reasons turned out to be fake."

Here, you are simply showing your ignorance of history. Israel has used the preemptive strike doctrine twice to great success - first in 1967 against Egypt that preserved itself, and again in 1981 against Iraq's nuclear facilities that may have save then entire region from Saddam's domination.

The doctrine, or practice of "preemptive strike" was not a concoction of Bush's - it dates back through modern (and probably ancient) history. Take Cromwell's pre-emptive strike against Scotland undertaken in 1650.

Heck, even Japan's strike on Pearl Harbor was supposedly in response to our plan to preemptively strike them in coordination with the Chinese first. July 23, 1941, President Roosevelt endorsed the plan to bomb Japan.

This notion that Bush somehow 'invented' the preemptive strike doctrine is simply wrong. And it is not "immoral" if it is in your Nation's best interests and you have the moral highground over the Nation you are attacking. It has averted many moral tragedies in the past and may have in the present. The fact is, you - or I for that matter - have no clue as to how much havok Saddam would have unleashed on the region, the United States, or the World had he been left to his own means. Iran and North Korea are similar situations. I would fully support a preemptive strike by anyone to take out their nuclear capabilities. Iran hasn't directly attacked us....yet. So by your logic, they are not a threat and do not warrant any military intervention by the United States? Is that your position?

At 8:24 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

By Anonymous' logic, Saddam should have attacked the U.S., since we were going to attack him. The concept of starting a war with someone because you THINK they might attack you could lead to a very chilling circle of events.

At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is for Anonymous,
It is great that you continue to provide your opposing view on this liberal/lefty/progressive blog. I assume you would not be offended being labeled as a conservative/libertarian. I also assume you are one person and not some PR firm hired by the Elephants or the Pentagon. So here is a human nature question for you. What did you think about the movie "Good Night, and Good Luck"?
It seems from a lot of your comments that a key ingrediant in your relationship with our current adminsitration is trust. You trust Bush to make the right decision about when to make a preemptive attack. You trust Bush that by not reining in Israel's military operations against Lebanon that that is benefitial to America. You trust Bush when he spends more money than is coming in. So what do you think about the times in our American history when a leader (such as Senator McCarthy) goes too far and loses the trust of his supporters. When do you know that you have reached that point... the point that you can no longer trust your leader? It has happened in the past. It is not inconceivable that it could happen again. How do you recommend that we should handle that situation?

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Israel didn't use the Bush Doctrine in 1967, since Bush was safely on a barstool back then.
As far as preemptive strikes, that tactic wasn't Bush's invention or Israel's. It's been used in the jungle since the first hyena pack stalked a wounded lion. Fortunately mankind was bright enough to follow a code of laws, one of which ironically enough, was Thou Shalt Not Kill.

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Daoud: I haven't watched "Good Night and Good Luck" simply because I've been too busy - and my free 'movie watching' time has been taken up by watching the "Firefly" series on DVD (its incredible-give it a shot).

I don't "trust" the Bush administration on alot of issues. I disagree with them on gay marriage, spending (earmarks), entitlements, stem cell research...the list goes on. I do agree with them on the issues that matter most to me at this time: Protecting my wife and children form Islamofascists that want to murder them because they are infidels. Well, and maybe the tax cuts. But primarily that 'people that want to murder us' part.

At 11:34 PM, Blogger Idler said...

To comment on LaurelhurstDad's comment:

It would have been great for Saddam if he could have successfully attacked the U.S. first and defeated them. Your example actually supports the logical and purely tactical aspect of preemption. However, it fails to address the ethical element that Anonymous introduced (re the "moral high ground").

It also glosses over Anonymous' historical examples. With regard to the "very chilling circle of events" comment, preemption could just as easily cut off such a circle. The example of Nazi Germany is a good one in relations to any discussion about Iraq because, number one, it shows how events panned out in the event of appeasement and, number two, it ultimately wasn't preemption in any strict sense.

Both Hitler and Saddam violated the terms of peace that they had signed onto and behaved in menacing ways. Saddam was a continuing problem and developing, but he had provided a legitimate casus belli to address that problem by being in violation of peace terms. The strategic situation gave a reason to act with the chosen timing, but the justification already existed.

At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not familiar with "Firefly" and will seek it out. Tying in your desire to protect your wife and kids (BTW, I am glad you are not the voice of whoever is on duty at a PR firm paid to stir things up on non-Bush-supporting blogs), have you seen "Three Kings" which coincidentally also has George Clooney in it. There is a visually very vivid scene that relates to the concept of how would you feel if a rocket landed in your home. An American soldier is taken prisoner by the Iraqis and the "Islamofacist" Iraqi describes what happened to his family while the visuals show it happening to the American soldier's family.
Although I understand how a term like "Islamofacism" can come into vogue, it can be very tricky in the heat of a debate to remember to keep adding the "facism" part. You slipped up a few entries back and left out that rather important qualifier which really makes the term dangerous. Bill McD takes issue with all religions. If you feel that certain religions are wrong while others are right, then that changes the playing field for this discussion. What is the Jewish or Christian equivalent? Was Menchem Begin a Judofacist since he was such a successful terrorsit? Nelson Mandela I suppose would be a Commiefacist. Who would be a good example of a Christianfacist?
I have wondered, Idler, if I had been alive in the late 1930s if I would have been one of the duped who would have celebrated when I saw the photo of Chamberlain holding up the Peace In Our Time "agreement" before WWII. It is the kind of news you want to hear, but perhaps my gut would have told me it was a pipe dream. I don't know. I have been duped before.
I can tell you that physically, mentally, and spiritually, I knew that attacking Iraq was wrong. Saddam is/was a thug, but he was no Hitler... the comparison does not hold water in justifying preemptive attacks.
Attacking Afghanistan, no problem. In fact, I wished we had thrown a few more billions of dollars and thousands of troops to really sort out that situation. Imagine what effect that would have on the region (all those funky "stan" countries) if they saw how things could improve under American influence (I am referring to the American version that included rule of law, transparent governance, separate branches to check and balance... the old fashion version). What did I hear on the news the other day? The bimbo blond anchor saying that our general had declared that we would definitively and completely and totally and righteously defeat the Taliban... again.
So when it comes to trusting this administration to take the right course of action in order to protect my wife and kids from terrorism, well, I am afraid that after six years in office, after five years of the War on Terror or the Long War or WW3 or whatever the latest spin is, it is no longer a question of trusting Bush less, it is how to do my patriotic duty of expressing my mistrust.
So that is why I was asking Anonymous when might you hypothetically consider it time to shift from supporting Bush to opposing Bush in his War on Terror. Forget about whether this is WWII or Vietnam. Where are we at now and where are we going with Bush? What event or series of events would it take for you to lose trust in the President?
If you think it is worthwhile to try try to understand what motivates people that want to do you harm, that scene from "Three Kings" I was referring to could help in your thought process.
PS I hope you and your family are both safe and not living in fear.

At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved "Three Kings". Excellent film. "Firefly" is a 14 episode box set DVD of a series that ran on either Fox for the WB. The recent movie "Serenity" (also excellent) was based on it. It is a great body of work - mix between western and sci-fi. If either of those genres is to your liking, you'd love the series and the movie. It has gained quite a cult following. Check it out on Amazon.com. Something like 2500 reviews, average rating 9 out of 10 stars.

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At 1:37 PM, Blogger Idler said...

I can tell you that physically, mentally, and spiritually, I knew that attacking Iraq was wrong. Saddam is/was a thug, but he was no Hitler... the comparison does not hold water in justifying preemptive attacks.

How about you explain why the comparison doesn't work, based on the criteria I cited?

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