Wednesday, August 02, 2006

But the people are no longer afraid

* fisk :
"But the key thing now is that Arabs are not afraid any more. Their leaders are afraid, the Mubaraks of this world, the president of Egypt, King Abdullah II of Jordan. They're afraid. They shake and tremble in their golden mosques, because they were supported by us. But the people are no longer afraid. Whether this is because they've grown tired of being afraid -- you know, they say once you lose your fear you cannot be re-injected with fear, you can't start being frightened again -- or whether it's because our Western forces are now at war with Islamists, not with nationalists, that, I’m not sure."

* juancole:
"An Israeli minister admitted that if the war stopped now, Hizbullah would have won it. After Israel completely destroyed Lebanon's capacity to function as a normal society, knocking out ports, airport, roads, bridges, telecom towers, etc., etc., and after intensive bombing of the south and an incursion into Bint Jbeil, after all this, Hizbullah has won as of Monday, from the Israeli point of view.

I guess an Israeli victory wouldn't leave much in the country standing, if that is what their defeat looks like."

* juancole:
"Western and Israeli pundits keep comparing Hizbullah to al-Qaeda. It is a huge conceptual error. There is a crucial difference between an international terrorist network like al-Qaeda, which can be disrupted by good old policing techniques (such as inserting an agent in the Western Union office in Karachi), and a sub-nationalist movement.

Al-Qaeda is some 5,000 multinational volunteers organized in tiny cells.

Hizbullah is a mass expression of subnationalism that has the loyalty of some 1.3 million highly connected and politically mobilized peasants and slum dwellers. Over a relatively compact area.
Hizbullah is not like al-Qaeda in any way, sociologically speaking, and making such an analogy is a sure way for a general or politician to trick himself into entering the fires of hell."
* juancole:
"That is why the massacre at Qana occurred. The Israelis had bombed Qana 80 times. They were destroying all of its buildings. Therefore, of course, they destroyed the building where dozens of children and families were hiding. This tactic is both collective punishment and ethnic cleansing all at once. It is not only a matter, as the Israelis claim, of hitting Hizbullah rocket launchers. They are destroying all of the buildings."

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