Condi Rice, a moment of your time, please?

Look you smug, toadying wretched excuse for a human being, I get that you’ve never had an original thought in your life and your so-called diplomatic overtures are spoon fed directly into your underutilized cerebellum. And I get that really, one more idiotic assertion on your behalf shouldn’t even register on my radar anymore, because after all, it’s only you and you don’t even have a valid opinion on how the situation should be handled, much less free will with which to express it. I even get that the best I can do is read your jaw droppingly undiplomatic stupid assed excuse for a game plan and shudder and look at the calendar again and hope you don’t fuck things up any worse than you already have in the depressingly huge amount of time you have left. And yet…and yet…I read quotes like this:

and have to fight down the urge to throw my computer monitor through the window and scream and scream and scream.
YOU NUMB CUNT! ANY cessation of violence is forward progress! Not (and this is how I’m reading this here, please correct me if I’m wrong) “we aren’t going to stop this just because the rest of the whiny world insists; Israel needs to get its licks in to show them hiz-bo-lah a lesson, damn however many innocent people die in the process.”
At this moment, I sincerely hope there is an afterlife, and that yours is filled with all the pain you’ve ever inflicted, ad infinitum.

I dunno. I can envision several scenarios where a “cessation of violence” would be neutral, at best. Hezbollah is a massively destabilizing force in the region. Permitting them to continue to stockpile vast caches of arms ain’t good for anybody.

Ya gotta remember the hoped-for outcome of “this process,” is a stable and prosperous region; it’s the grand picture. It’s certainly a hell of a lot more than the active fracas between Israel and Hezbollah, which seems to be the limits of your current thinking.

Don’t you think that maybe, just maybe “forward” means “in the direction of lasting peace” and not just “in any random direction”? A ceasation of violence that lets Hizbolla re-arm just sets the process right back to where it was for the cycle to start all over again. Israel is fighting for its very life here, and it’s simply not the case that stopping the violence by any means whatsover is a good thing (for them).

I’m sure you know that Hizbolla is armed from Iran, via Syria. Israel right now is trying to disarm Hisbollah in Lebanon, while simultaneously telling Sryia (and maybe Iran) that they will eliminate the armament supply route in their neck of the woods next if they have to.

John, I think that Hizbollah should absolutely be disarmed. But I don’t think giving the green light to Israel’s wholesale destruction of the entire area is the way to do it. And that’s basically what Rice’s (Bush’s) strategy amounts to. Give them a week to kill everyone and everything in sight, then we’ll ask them to ratchet it back and find another way to do it. This is precisely the random direction you say she’s advocating against. It isn’t a “surigcal strike” or anything remotely resembling a reasoned attack. It’s retribution, plain and simple.

I think you’re wrong about that. Israel is trying to destroy the rockets that Hizbolla has, and the infrastructure inside Lebanon that would allow them to re-arm. Now, I’m not a big fan of Israel. Frankly, I think it wa a mistake for the UN to create that country in the first place. But it’s there and it isn’t going away. I think you underestimate the threat that is posed to its very existence by the proxy war being fought against it by Iran. Israel has learned the hard way that the only way they can survive is to strike back quickly and decisively. If they just wanted revenge, this would be a **lot **worse. Iran has been ratching up the rhetoric lately and trying to squeeze Israel on two fronts.

Why would it be good for Israel to just stop and let Hizbolla re-arm all over again?

Further… how is anyone going to assure that Hizbolla will stop fighting? They have something like 13,000 rockets in Lebanon (or they had that many before this fighting started) and unless Israel takes them out (the rockets), there is no reason to think that they won’t just keep firing them randomly at Tel Aviv and Haifa (which is what they’ve been doing). The Lebanese gov’t can’t control Hizbolla, so I just don’t see that there is any way to enact a short-term cease fire. Israel has offered terms for a cease fire which are actually pretty reasonable. Hizbolla has offered nothing but more rockets.

Here’s my defense of her. You see, this administration has the attention span of a slow two-year old. If no one is being killed right at the moment, they’ll get distracted, and not make any diplomatic progress. (Like they didn’t for the last year or two.) So the shooting is the only thing keeping her boss focused - and not even that seems to be doing the trick, given the large amount of leadership he’s displaying. (Ironic smilie here.)

Has there been any diplomatic triumph in the past six years?

Has there been one since the end of WWII?

I absolutely recognize the threat to Israel from just about every direction you can look. And the problem existed long before the UN acknowledged Israel as a nation and will continue existing til one faction or another eventually succeeds in turning the area into a glass parking lot. In attempting to find a long term solution, the UN instead gave the rest of the ME a big target and then washed its hands of the problem. But that’s not the point.
The point is, our policy of not even trying to look like we’re attempting to minimize the violence is disgusting. We are instead advocating a week of escalated attacks that are killing thousands of civilians. What intelligence do we have other than the Israelis’ word that they’re only attacking Hisbollah strongholds?

When did everybody start spelling Hezbollah with an i? I didn’t get the memo.

I agree with the OP, opf course, any cessation of violence is progress. Any continuance of violence is regression. That shouldn’t be hard to grasp.

My fault, I can’t even spell “civillians” correctly. Jetlag, sorry.

well, there are plenty of news reporters in Lebanaon from BBC , CNN, etc who are not exactly known for pro-Israeli sympathies.
They have been reporting on the human cost of the bombings on the Lebanese , just as their partners have been reporting on the human cost of the terrorist rocket attacks on the Israeli side of the border. And you know what? They have mostly been reporting on the bombings of specific buildings on specific streets in specific neighborhoods of southern Beirut, where they tell us Hizbollah maintained its offices.

Today, a bomb fell on a Christian neighborhood, and they told us that these civilians we see on our TV screens are not Hizbollah supporters–but there was a suspicious truck with a rocket launcher that was the main target of the bombs. (it turns out that the truck was a construction crane, not a rocket launcher–and the reporters told us that fact, too. )

you may find it “disgusting” that civilians are being killed. So do I–except that the civilians being killed by the Israeli air force are not being targetted on purpose. The civilians being killed by terrorist rockets in Israel are the ONLY targets.

But I doubt if you can see the difference.

You mean, you doubt I can see the difference between Israelis killing civilians by accident and Hezbollah terrorists killing civilians on purpose? Correct. To me, both are deplorable wastes of life. Killing civilians by accident for a “noble cause” doesn’t make it any more acceptable. It’s exactly the kind of bullshit that’s kept this stupid, senseless feud alive for centuries.

The dissolution of the USSR? The fall of the Berlin Wall? The end of Apartheid? The release of Nelson Mandela?

My apologies. I thought since we were discussing U.S. diplomacy, that was implied in my question. Were any of the ones you listed accomplished thru a mainly U.S. initiative?

The USSR kinda disolved of it’s own weight - unless you want to credit that blather about Reagan spending 'em to death. The Berlin wall coming down seemed to take the U.S. (and a good number of western European countries) by surprise, didn’t it? Apartheid was denounced pretty roundly by nearly everybody - it can hardly be a U.S. triumph. And Mandela’s release was a natural outcome of ending Apartheid.

That’s the way Reuters spells it.

Progress towards what-- the elimination of Israel? I suppose there are some camps that consider that “progress”. I don’t, as I don’t think that movement = progress. You can’t define progress without stating what the goal is. “The ceasation of violence” is not, in and of itself a goal. Violence is a means, not a goal.

I don’t know about that - I seem to remember a certain former President for whom it didn’t seem much of a surprise. This was in 1987

Regards,
Shodan

How about Libya agreeing to divest itself of WMD?

Regards,
Shodan

Yeah, maybe so. But it ain’t terribly germane to this thread anyway. My remark questioning U.S. diplomatic successes wasn’t really meant to initiate an in depth discussion. More a casual throw-away comment directed at someone who’s memory appeared to be a little short.

I’m not disputing it, I’m just behind the times, I guess.

Progress away from violence. Non-violence is a goal in itself. Plus I don’t believe Israel’s existence not be threatened if it stops hypocritically murdering civilians. I think that’s a load of crap.

I don’t believe Israel’s existence WILL be threatened…