Media decoded

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 01:03 pm

Some useful definitions from Victor Davis Hanson:

“Civilians” in Lebanon have munitions in their basements and deliberately wish to draw fire; in Israel they are in bunkers to avoid it. Israel uses precision weapons to avoid hitting them; Hezbollah sends random missiles into Israel to ensure they are struck.

“Cycle of Violence” is used to denigrate those who are attacked, but are not supposed to win.

“Disproportionate” means that the Hezbollah aggressors whose primitive rockets can’t kill very many Israeli civilians are losing, while the Israelis’ sophisticated response is deadly against the combatants themselves. See “excessive.”

Anytime you hear the adjective “excessive,” Hezbollah is losing. Anytime you don’t, it isn’t.

It’s been a fun week for definitions; here’s another batch.

Posted by Tim B. on 07/29/2006 at 02:18 AM
    1. Or peace protesters protesting violently!see here

      Posted by WeekByWeek on 2006 07 29 at 02:44 AM • permalink


    1. OT Antony Loewenstein will be a guest at the Melbourne Writers Festival (August25-September 3)- go along & politely debunk him.  Debagging him would be more appropriate, but unfortunately we’d be charged with assault.

      Posted by KK on 2006 07 29 at 03:30 AM • permalink


    1. Hezbollah wants Israel to stop the attacks so it can rearm and continue, perhaps with even more devastating weapons. It serves its cause very well for civilians (aka supporters) to get killed when Israel retaliates. The Israelis have not played fair with their disproportionate and excessive response. And America is even more naughty because it is supplying bombs that will be even more accurate and penetrate even deeper to destroy bunkers and weapons dumps.Changing the rules of the game is just not on.You are supposed to listen to the referees (UN and MSM)and do what they want. This is really not on. How does one conduct terror if the victim does not cooperate and decides enough is enough?

      Posted by Hoges on 2006 07 29 at 04:03 AM • permalink


    1. It would be proportionate if the Israeli’s made their own shitty WW2 russain design arty rockets (katushya’s), and fired them back in EXACTLY the same numbers.

      Coz even if they did stop using GBU’s and just fired shitloads of ‘dumb’ rockets, we know that Israel has far greater manufacturing capability and could rain rockets into Lebanon pretty much non-stop if they so chose.  Which of course would be disproportionate…

      Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2006 07 29 at 04:36 AM • permalink


    1. “Civilians” in Lebanon have munitions in their basements and deliberately wish to draw fire…

      Nice one. I am sure that the hundreds of dead Lebanese civilians died because they wished to. Makes perfect sense.

      There are hundreds of thousands of internally displaced civilians in Lebanon. Did they all have “munitions in their basements”? Heck, did they even have basements? If so, that’s a shitload of munitions. And even if Hanson’s generalisations are somehow correct, does that legitimise the use of cluster weapons against civilian targets?

      Also, does Hanson’s statement apply to the 40% of the population who are Christian? What are they harbouring “munitions” for?

      I think Hanson’s article would have been strengthened by supporting evidence. I am guessing it is thin of the ground.

      For an alternative definition of disproportionate, I’d suggest “see collective punishment”.

      Posted by gson on 2006 07 29 at 07:17 AM • permalink


    1. Wow, that was the most impatient article Hanson has written on the war.  I think he must be getting tired of trying to teach us the military and cultural history of these people so that we may understand what is going on.  He has been very good, but after watching him field questions on C-Span one Sunday afternoon, I understand his frustration.  He got several heckling diatribes from people posing as legitimate questioners.  He said flat out that he had given up trying to form a rational answer to such diatribes, nor would he address questions based on lies, assertions, and other kinds of propaganda.

      I was so glad to hear someone say that.  And he did it very elegantly, like the gentleman he is.

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 07 29 at 07:22 AM • permalink


    1. gson, go teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 07 29 at 07:25 AM • permalink


    1. Saltydog, there are five questions in my comment above. Can you answer any of them?

      (PS Suck eggs? I haven’t heard that since year four. Excellent work.)

      Posted by gson on 2006 07 29 at 07:29 AM • permalink


    1. For an alternative definition of disproportionate, I’d suggest “see collective punishment”.

      Maybe if the Lebanese hadn’t spent the last few years not being all that bothered by the Hezbollah members in their midst, they wouldn’t be making a collective target right now. Dogs, fleas, and all that.

      Posted by PW on 2006 07 29 at 07:41 AM • permalink


    1. I should say, the Lebanese Muslims. I feel sorry for the Lebanese Christians caught in the crossfire, but then again from what I’ve read they’re largely in favour of the Israeli campaign despite the danger to themselves, because they want to get rid of Hezbollah as well.

      Posted by PW on 2006 07 29 at 07:43 AM • permalink


    1. PW, what exactly would you have Lebanese civilians do about Hezbollah’s armed wing? Hezbollah only earned 20-25% of the vote, mostly on account of its non-military activities, and it is doubtful that any of the country’s Christian population support them.

      Blame the victim and all that.

      Posted by gson on 2006 07 29 at 07:45 AM • permalink


    1. Oh, and I have a feeling gson would find something to complain about in Israel’s usual “targetted assassination” approach to Hamas and Hezbollah, too. Not that I’m trying to imply anything about his motivations or anything.

      Posted by PW on 2006 07 29 at 07:45 AM • permalink


    1. I think he was just referring to the “civilians”, not civilians. There have been huge numbers of Darfurians killed by Sudanese Muslims(- probably all Israel’s fault too?) If you are going to complain about deaths, there are plenty around to complain about. Supporting evidence is also around for numerous PR frauds by those wanting to put Israel in the worst light. Collective punishment is putting up with mad muslims for a lot longer than the world really should.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 07 29 at 07:47 AM • permalink


    1. Blame the victim and all that.

      Since that’s exactly what you’re doing about Israel and their attempts at self-defense, but are obviously too clueless to even understand your own position, I think I’ll go read a different thread now. You do remain one of the poorest “contrarians” we’ve had here in a long, long while. Give me smug lefty trolls any day rather than pig-ignorant ones.

      Posted by PW on 2006 07 29 at 07:49 AM • permalink


    1. And even if Hanson’s generalisations are somehow correct, does that legitimise the use of cluster weapons against civilian targets?

      Setting aside the doubtful nature of the “cluster bomb” stories, Hezbollah stores ammunition among civilians. That’s a war crime. It also—unfortunately—changes those civilian locations from protected sites to legitimate military targets. Anytime a site is a legitimate military target, any weapon may be used against it.

      The people to blame are Hezbollah. They want civilians to die, either Israelis (their targets) or Lebanese (their shields and propaganda tools).

      Posted by Rob Crawford on 2006 07 29 at 10:38 AM • permalink


    1. gosn is not really pig-ignorant, he’s an apologist.  I wonder if it’s due to general anti-Semitism, anti-Westernism, stupid Lefty contrarianism, or he’s being paid?  Care to answer that one, gosn?

      As for his *questions*—Yes, there is a *shitload* of weapons held by Hizbollah in civilian areas, in direct opposition to UN 1559.  What do you say about that?  (And you can store weapons lots of places besides basements, you know. Are you trying to claim that all Arabs live in tents, you bigot?)

      And as for “cluster weapons” do you have any evidence for any such thing aside from “Researchers on the ground in Lebanon” who have never, ever lied in the past, have the shite-for-brains?

      Do you have any evidence on your Lebanese Christian assertion?  Thought not.

      Look, apologist-boy, your assertions hardly make your ‘questions’ worth answering.  Having sold your soul, from the evidenc, I hope you got the two cents or so it’s worth.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2006 07 29 at 10:40 AM • permalink


    1. the “international” community would urge “restraint” — and keep urging it until Israel disappeared altogether. And the day after its disappearance, the Europeans and Arabs would sigh relief, mumble a few pieties, and then smile, “Life goes on.”

      And for them, it would very well.

      (Emphasis added)

      And that, ladies and gentlemen, sums it up exactly.

      Posted by Barbara Skolaut on 2006 07 29 at 11:06 AM • permalink


    1. And for them, it would very well.

      Except that it wouldn’t, because the mad mullahs of Tehran are not going to stop with the Jews.  The Europeans are too damn dumb to get it, but I think the Arabs are starting to realize it.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 07 29 at 12:11 PM • permalink


    1. Well, I think we all know that the two sides DO engage in disproportionate attacks.

      All Hezbollah’s attacks in Israel have been directed indiscriminately against civilians.

      At least some of the Israeli attacks have been directed at military targets.

      Posted by Harry Eagar on 2006 07 29 at 01:27 PM • permalink


    1. I think you are right, RebeccaH, and the Arabs are finally seeing the danger to themselves.  The problem is much like that which Nassar found himself having to deal with.  Having once stirred up his population with his vile rhetoric against Israel, he could no long control them.  The consequence was war.  I think it is called overplaying one’s hand.  It seems to be a chronic condition.

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 07 29 at 03:45 PM • permalink


    1. gson, wow, collective punishment is OK when applied to a concept like “slavery reparations”, where all white people are collectively guilty and must write a check for the sins of, well I don’t know, apparently everyone associated with the 400 year slavery industry, African, Arab and European alike.  Thats OK, indeed a desirable outcome in left-world.  But when a criminal gang hides behind civilians and lobs the modern equivalent of V-2 rockets at other civilians, then the folks who try and prevent that murderous behaviour are said to be “collectively punishing” the literal human shields.  I’ll hand it to you, you guys have some nuance.

      Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2006 07 29 at 08:00 PM • permalink


    1. Barbara: that’s the chilling reality. Life would go on. Except for the Israelis.

      Some wise person said recently words to the effect: if they say they want to kill you all, you probably should believe them.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2006 07 30 at 04:19 AM • permalink


    1. #2 Shudder KK whatdyawannagoandsummonupanimagelikethat for? Debag Lowesteem ewww.

      Posted by crash on 2006 07 30 at 05:43 AM • permalink


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