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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:11 AM
Original message
John Kerry: Crisis diplomacy insufficient in Middle East
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 12:11 AM by ProSense

Crisis diplomacy insufficient in Middle East

By John Kerry
Thursday, August 10, 2006

Watching the news from the Middle East these days is an exercise in heartbreak. As Israel continues its military operations in Lebanon against Hezbollah and missiles rain on northern Israel, our hearts go out to people suffering all across the region.

The death of every child - Lebanese in Qana or Israeli in Haifa - is tragic. A just and lasting peace can only be achieved by addressing the underlying problems.

Israel has every right to defend itself against terrorism, and the Israelis can count on the United States. We must put Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria on notice that wiping Israel off the map and killing civilians are not the legitimate ends and means of foreign policy.

At the same time, the Lebanese must know that Americans also care about protecting civilians and preserving their fragile democracy. We must make clear that we remain committed to creating the base for lasting peace.


Snip...

I once visited an Israeli town near the Lebanese border, Kiryat Shemona and went into shelters where terrified Israeli kids go when the rockets start falling. Now that Israel has withdrawn to an internationally-recognized border with Lebanon, why is Hezbollah still firing rockets?

Snip...

We cant rely only on crisis diplomacy. Theres no better way to ensure another crisis another day. We need sustained, preventative diplomacy to address underlying problems before they explode.

more...

http://news.bostonherald.com/editorial/view.bg?articlei...


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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. All the requirments here are for everyone else except Israel. Not
even a hint that it might be wrong for Israel to bomb everyone in Southern Lebanon.
POS
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
2. As much as I like Kerry, I cant agree with such a one sided editorial.
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 07:23 AM by Mass
We care about Lebanese people, but not enough to ask the Israeli government to stop destroying their country? What the heck is that.

Which is infuriating is that one more sentence would have changed totally the editorial.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. He could also say he cares about the Lebanese people and
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 07:33 AM by ProSense
ask Hezbollah to cease fire! I think that's the point of the editorial.

I'm glad he mentioned the tragic consequences of the violence! Still, I think people forget that Hezbollah isn't fighting because of Israel's response. They are fighting because they attacked and Israel responded. Hezbollah's intentions are clear.

Senator Kerry's words speak to lessen civilian casualties. An Israeli cease fire is part of the negotiation process.

It's good that he is reiterating his position on this situation. The administration's foreign policy failed to address diplomacy in the region and Bush's approach continues to hamper the negotiation process.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Actually, it speaks to the actual war on terrorism
and the fact that the US is not doing anything at all about actual terrorist groups. The entire rationale for the IRaq War and for the intervention and occupation in the Middle East rests on the idea tht 'we' hae to confront and defeat the terrorists 'over there' so that we don't have to fight the terrorists 'over here.'

Senator Kerry is correctly pointing out that the actual terrorists groups are gaining in power and influence in that region. The central tenet for our continued occupation of Iraq, that we must confront and defuse the terrorists movements is a fraud, we can't prevent Hamas from gaining power in Palestine and we can't prevent the rise of a very powerful Hizbolluh movement in, among many places, Lebanon.

What then are we doing in the Middle East? Iraq is in civil war. The Iranian influece, through Hizbollah and other groups, is steadily increasing. The US is ineffectual, at best and, at worst, actually enabling terrorist organizations in their hunt for power in the Middle East. This is what we went to war for? This is what has cost nearly 2600 American lives, uncounted thousands of IRaqi lives and all that suffering?

America has to use diplomacy and we need more effective people in there than the current team. I agree wholeheartedly with Kerry on this.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I do not disagree with a lot here, but I still disagree.
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 07:51 AM by Mass
He should be asking the two parties to ceasefire.
Certainly Hezbollah started the operations, but Israel's answer is destroying Lebanon.

The resentment created in Lebanon is creating more terrorists, not less and is a dangerous policy for Israel itself.

As I said, there is little I disagree with in this editorial. It is what is missing that bothers me. You cannot start an honest dialog if you absolve one party of any responsibility.

As many people have said here and elsewhere: it is because I support Israel that I reserve the right to criticize it. Too bad that this editorial does not even start to address this issue.

For a great speech on the same subject, read Pat Leahy's floor speech. It is not that different from what Kerry says here, but it has the missing part.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Mass, do you have a link to Leahy's speech?
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Here
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Thanks. Have quoted two salient paragraphs from his speech below.
But for Israels sake, for ours and especially especially -- for the sake of innocent lives on both sides of these battle lines, it is vitally important to ask whether destroying Lebanon not Hezbollah, but destroying Lebanon -- will make Israel more secure or instead rally Muslims behind Hezbollah and give rise to further hatred and insecurity. I believe that continued bombing of civilian areas in Lebanon will not destroy Hezbollah, but in a perverse way, it may strengthen it.

The fact that these attacks are being carried out with such intensity and are yielding so much death and destruction, with weapons supplied by the United States, and at a time when we are trying to repair our already frayed relations with Muslims around the world, is all the more reason for the United States and the people of Israel to consider and answer this question frankly and honestly. I am concerned, as others have also warned, that a short-term tactical victory even if possible could prove to be a hollow victory at great human cost.

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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. now that's an enlightened view!
this is not about Israel's right to defend itself ... Leahy's words reflect a clear understanding that current Israeli actions, and current US actions, will produce more risk to Israel, not less ...

bombing the crap out of Lebanon and waging war all over the ME, as the US is doing, are making the situation worse ...
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Absolutely, this is why I liked this speech so much. It clearly states
the disconnect between the stated goals and the results that we can expect, both in Iraq and in the ME.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. That was really excellent!
This is the key to the entire statement:

The unprovoked, indiscriminate and utterly inexcusable kidnapping of Israeli soldiers and rocket attacks by Hezbollah should be universally condemned. Those who ordered it should be brought to justice. It has ignited a conflict that Hezbollah cannot win, but which could engulf the region if a way is not found to stop the spiral of violence from widening.

Snip...

We are committed to protecting Israels security and we support Israels right of self defense, including going after Hezbollah fighters who often launch their attacks from civilian areas.

But for Israels sake, for ours and especially especially -- for the sake of innocent lives on both sides of these battle lines, it is vitally important to ask whether destroying Lebanon not Hezbollah, but destroying Lebanon -- will make Israel more secure or instead rally Muslims behind Hezbollah and give rise to further hatred and insecurity. I believe that continued bombing of civilian areas in Lebanon will not destroy Hezbollah, but in a perverse way, it may strengthen it.


The acknowledgement that Hezbollah must be stopped from using terrorist tactics, that the solution cannot be military force and that such actions only fan hatred. Where have I heard that before?
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Now, that is cherry-picking, The statement is excellent because it has
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 02:13 PM by Mass
both what you quoted and what fpoljunkie posted.

This is what makes it balanced. And this was my problem with Kerry's statement, not what he said, but what he does not say.

As for the Herald editorial, I am surprised that Kerry used a part of the Senate speech he gave last week. While the complete speech was great and was clearly making the point about the failure of the Bush team to even try to use diplomacy and all the things that TayTay said in her post above, this version, stripped of the most important part and clearly not retooled to adapt to circumstances, misses totally the goal IMHO.

Yes, Kerry has said most of the things you said many times, but this is barely touched in the editorial.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Please do not accuse me of cherry-picking!
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 02:18 PM by ProSense
The snips are valid paragraphs and include a portion of his comments on Israels bombing of Lebanon. Article snips are offered here all the time, so do not accuse me of trying to distort Senator Leahy's statement.

That does not change Senator Leahy's characterization of the attacks and Hezbollah, which is what I was trying to point. The full text is there for all to read!
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Right, Leahy's speech is the characterization of balanced.
Nothing more to add.

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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
6. no call for an immediate ceasefire?
Kerry needs to call for an immediate ceasefire ... too bad he didn't ... his longer term objectives are badly needed but he shouldn't have omitted a call for an immediate ceasefire ...


At the same time, the Lebanese must know that Americans also care about protecting civilians and preserving their fragile democracy. We must make clear that we remain committed to creating the base for lasting peace.


lasting peace? if I were sitting in Beirut today, I would NOT find these words very comforting ... stop the bombing NOW; then we can talk about a "lasting" peace ...
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
7. Read this: Hizbullah's Attacks Stem from Israeli Incursions into Lebanon
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 07:54 AM by flpoljunkie
Hizbullah's attacks stem from Israeli incursions into Lebanon

In the Monitor
Thursday, 08/10/06

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0801/p09s02-coop.html

By Anders Strindberg

NEW YORK As pundits and policymakers scramble to explain events in Lebanon, their conclusions are virtually unanimous: Hizbullah created this crisis. Israel is defending itself. The underlying problem is Arab extremism. Sadly, this is pure analytical nonsense. Hizbullah's capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 was a direct result of Israel's silent but unrelenting aggression against Lebanon, which in turn is part of a six-decades long Arab-Israeli conflict.

Since its withdrawal of occupation forces from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Israel has violated the United Nations-monitored "blue line" on an almost daily basis, according to UN reports. Hizbullah's military doctrine, articulated in the early 1990s, states that it will fire Katyusha rockets into Israel only in response to Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians or Hizbullah's leadership; this indeed has been the pattern.

In the process of its violations, Israel has terrorized the general population, destroyed private property, and killed numerous civilians. This past February, for instance, 15-year-old shepherd Yusuf Rahil was killed by unprovoked Israeli cross-border fire as he tended his flock in southern Lebanon. Israel has assassinated its enemies in the streets of Lebanese cities and continues to occupy Lebanon's Shebaa Farms area, while refusing to hand over the maps of mine fields that continue to kill and cripple civilians in southern Lebanon more than six years after the war supposedly ended. What peace did Hizbullah shatter?

Hizbullah's capture of the soldiers took place in the context of this ongoing conflict, which in turn is fundamentally shaped by realities in the Palestinian territories. To the vexation of Israel and its allies, Hizbullah - easily the most popular political movement in the Middle East - unflinchingly stands with the Palestinians.

Since June 25, when Palestinian fighters captured one Israeli soldier and demanded a prisoner exchange, Israel has killed more than 140 Palestinians. Like the Lebanese situation, that flare-up was detached from its wider context and was said to be "manufactured" by the enemies of Israel; more nonsense proffered in order to distract from the apparently unthinkable reality that it is the manner in which Israel was created, and the ideological premises that have sustained it for almost 60 years, that are the core of the entire Arab-Israeli conflict.

<>These groups will continue to enjoy popular legitimacy because they fulfill the need for someone - anyone - to stand up for Arab rights. Israel cannot destroy this need by bombing power grids or rocket ramps. If Israel, like its former political ally South Africa, has the capacity to come to terms with principles of democracy and human rights and accept egalitarian multiracial coexistence within a single state for Jews and Arabs, then the foundation for resentment and resistance will have been removed. If Israel cannot bring itself to do so, then it will continue to be the vortex of regional violence.

more...

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0801/p09s02-coop.html

Anders Strindberg, formerly a visiting professor at Damascus University, Syria, is a consultant on Middle East politics working with European government and law-enforcement agencies. He has also covered Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories as a journalist since the late 1990s, primarily for European publications.


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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. Now, now. Don't you know history started on June 12th 2006?
There was no invasion, occupation and concentration camp slaughter. Israel did not crate Hezbollah, nor will they have created the next 'Hezbollah'.
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