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Author Topic: Hurricane Katrina, Hezbollah, and why the American Governent sucks
Lyrhawn
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Seems like an odd link doesn't it? Hurricane Katrina and Hezollah. But there is a very real link between them.

The American government sent $236 million to Lebanon. Of that, it's estimated that 10%-15% of that is lost to corruption in the Lebanese government. Hezbollah on the other hand is cruising along with Lebanon's reconstruction. Using mostly Iranian oil money, people are signing up for repair money, and Hezbollah is sending out inspectors within a week to check on their homes, and then on the spot, distribute as much as $12,000 in American money. Cash. People are already rebuilding over there, due to a total lack of red tape and a committed government, or government like entity that feels a duty to help quickly and efficiently, without a laborious process (to say nothing of corruption, which I don't have proof one way or the other of in the case of Hezbollah).

Take it back to Katrina, how long has it been, a year? And still much of the Ninth Ward is a wasteland of flooded out cars and ruined homes. The government approproated BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars to the rebuilding effort, but nothing is happening. But wait, maybe something IS happening. Faith based groups from across the country are, and have been, flocking to NOLA in droves to help rebuild the city, for free. Volunteers are working for free, giving up vacations, sick time, and in some cases putting their lives on hold altogether to help those less fortunate, and with amazing efficiency.

What is wrong with our government?

(have to go now, more later)

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SoaPiNuReYe
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Don't you know the rule?

For every billion dollars the gov't spends on Katrina, only about 50,000 actually goes to where it was supposed to go...

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The Pixiest
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If you think the government sucks so much, why do you want to make it bigger?
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rivka
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It is also interesting (and disturbing) to note that while lots of money is going to Hezbollah (!), AFAIK none is going to Israel -- and northern Israel had at least as much damage as southern Lebanon. Many people with no homes left there too.
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Lyrhawn
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Almost all of the money going into Lebanon is coming from Iran. Israel already gets billions from the US every year. That might sound a bit callous, but Lebanon has no money to speak of, Israel has a thriving economy and great infrastructure comparatively. I think Lebanon SHOULD get more, but not ALL of the help.

Quite frankly I haven't seen much news on the damage to Northern Israel. I have a hard time believing however that it could be WORSE than southern Lebanon, though I'd love to read any news article or link you might have to detail the damage to Northern Israel. I can't imagine, given the thousands of rockets that fell there, that it's a pretty sight.

Pix -

Who said I wanted to make government bigger than it is? I'd like to go back to how small it was when Democrats were in charge. I want to make government more EFFICIENT. There's no reason why government can't do what it does more efficiently. It's ridiculous as is. It's ridiculous that friggin Hezbollah can get more done in less time than we can. It's ridiculous that small volunteer groups can gather resources from donations and get people together to get more done, faster, than the government that even appropriated billions.

Where's the government that won World War Two? Where's the government that got the Manhattan Project going? What happened to dedicated people who care making all the decisions?

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Stan the man
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Lyr, you're just not going to get that anymore. Not these days. Even the Democrats being in charge won't slim down the Government. We will still have all the same problems. Why? That's because (this should answer the people who care question) NO ONE in the government is willing to accept responsibility anymore (sounds a lot like my ex too). They will always find and utilize a scapegoat of some kind. They didn't get all the way up there by being honest, not anymore. However, it's still the best dang government in the world.
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Lyrhawn
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I know the Democrats won't be much, if any better when it comes to THIS issue. But I remain convinced that it is still POSSIBLE. If I didn't have faith that America contained the capacity to become fed up enough with the inaction of our leadears to replace them with worthwhile people, I'd despair for the future of the nation.

I have to imagine a change is coming. I refuse to be Generation Apathy. I refuse to believe that I have to settle for the status quo. I refuse to believe that America doesn't care, and has forgotten itself so entirely that it'll do nothing to reclaim what it has lost.

When will one of those stupid selfish bastards realize that the minute one of them actually stands up and creates an efficient well run government, he'll be the most popular president of the century?

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Morbo
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I am relativly neutral in the Isreali-Lebanon war.
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
It is also interesting (and disturbing) to note that while lots of money is going to Hezbollah (!), AFAIK none is going to Israel -- and northern Israel had at least as much damage as southern Lebanon. Many people with no homes left there too.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Quite frankly I haven't seen much news on the damage to Northern Israel. I have a hard time believing however that it could be WORSE than southern Lebanon, though I'd love to read any news article or link you might have to detail the damage to Northern Israel. I can't imagine, given the thousands of rockets that fell there, that it's a pretty sight.

But like Lyrhawn I find Rivka's (a dear friend, despite my long lapse in emailing her) claim hard to believe: that Northern Israel suffered as much damage as southern Lebanon. I'm willing to be convinced. Israel surely suffered some damage from Hezbollah rocket attacks--but AFAIK nothing like the systematic destruction of bridges and infrastucture that the IDF inflicted on Lebanon. The cluster-bomb story is just beginning to break, and I bet it will continue.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
I'd like to go back to how small it was when Democrats were in charge.
Do you imagine that, in the wake of 9-11-01, the government would not have ballooned under a Democratic Administration and Congress?

If so...well, honestly, what exactly are you smoking?

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Do you imagine that, in the wake of 9-11-01, the government would not have ballooned under a Democratic Administration and Congress?

Maybe, maybe not. Another question you might ask is, given the available intelligence, would 9-11-01 have ocurred at all? This is a serious question.

Lyrhawn, you could come to Canada if you want. We're only slighly less inefficient, but that's something, at least.

It's a sad day when the American government can learn how to do good from Hesballah.

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ChevMalFet
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I wonder if we could make incompetence in the Legislature a criminal offense. I know I'd vote for it. That and a strict "one bill, one item" clause to prevent all this hideous "piggy-back" items that get through hidden in other bills.

One a slightly tangental note, for all the attention New Orleans gets, it's well worth noting that Southern Mississippi is much worse off, and further behind in the restructuring efforts. Note 100% sure why they get so little attention.

I'm also a bit confused why the State and Local government hasn't been handed more responsibility for the failure to act. They did, after all, fail to act.

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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by ChevMalFet:
One a slightly tangental note, for all the attention New Orleans gets, it's well worth noting that Southern Mississippi is much worse off, and further behind in the restructuring efforts. Note 100% sure why they get so little attention.

I'm also a bit confused why the State and Local government hasn't been handed more responsibility for the failure to act. They did, after all, fail to act.

Because New Orleans is evil, and God sent the hurricane to smite us for our sinful ways, as evidenced by the fact that the hurricane struck during Southern Decadence. Duh. Everyone in Mississippi is already a good, God-fearing Christian. They just didn't pray hard enough.

Of course, New Orleanians prayed, but they prayed Catholic prayers, which just made the Almighty angrier.

....and reading that, I have decided that orientation has fried my brain, and it is time for a nap.

-pH

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DarkKnight
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quote:
Maybe, maybe not. Another question you might ask is, given the available intelligence, would 9-11-01 have ocurred at all? This is a serious question
I might be misreading your post, but are you suggesting that if Democrats were in charge that 9/11 would not have happened?
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DarkKnight
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quote:
It's a sad day when the American government can learn how to do good from Hesballah.
You seriously think that Hezbollah is just nicely helping rebuild things out of the goodness of the hearts and are not using this 'rebuilding' to bring in more weapons, build bunkers, and setup new hidden bases in civilian neighborhoods?
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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quote:
Originally posted by DarkKnight:
quote:
Maybe, maybe not. Another question you might ask is, given the available intelligence, would 9-11-01 have ocurred at all? This is a serious question
I might be misreading your post, but are you suggesting that if Democrats were in charge that 9/11 would not have happened?
The intelligence was there. American intelligence groups have repeatedly denounced the White House and the Bush administration for failure yo properly use it. There is little use in going back and guessing what the Democrats would have done, but I believe they would have had a better chance of stopping it.
quote:
Originally posted by DarkKnight:
quote:
It's a sad day when the American government can learn how to do good from Hesballah.
You seriously think that Hezbollah is just nicely helping rebuild things out of the goodness of the hearts and are not using this 'rebuilding' to bring in more weapons, build bunkers, and setup new hidden bases in civilian neighborhoods?
When exactly did I say this? I was talking about the fact that Hesballah has put the U.S government to shame in their rebuilding of southern Lebanon. I never said or implied that all of Hesballah's actions are good. I don't know why you put quotation marks around the word 'rebuilding' either.
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Samprimary
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A good model for how the Katrina disaster should have been managed comes from our own government: It should have been handled by FEMA.

The caveat is that we're talking about FEMA before its absorption into the bureaucratic cacophony of Homeland Security; during its time with a degree of autonomy when it operated as a cabinet-level position.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Maybe, maybe not. Another question you might ask is, given the available intelligence, would 9-11-01 have ocurred at all? This is a serious question.
Is it a serious question? It seems like a wildly unknowable hypothetical question, to me.

For all that it controls territory, Hezbollah is not really a government. It is generally ruled by a very small number of people, governed by expediency and strategic/political goals and not by laws and oversight and voting.

There is no government on Earth which could operate as quickly as Hezbollah does that isn't an autocracy. Getting the trains to run on time is one of the benefits of such governments, but mysteriously I don't hear people complaining that Italy or France or Australia should be more like them. Just the United States.

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airmanfour
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quote:
Originally posted by Flaming Toad on a Stick:
The intelligence was there. American intelligence groups have repeatedly denounced the White House and the Bush administration for failure yo properly use it.

Ummmm, no "intelligence group" would ever formally come out against the White House because.....they can't. Maybe a former intelligence official with an axe to grind and a book to write, but no "intelligence group".

It really is interesting to see the world from inside the tinted window as the public has their faces pressed against the glass. Three years and two weeks before I join you!

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Rakeesh
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quote:
The intelligence was there. American intelligence groups have repeatedly denounced the White House and the Bush administration for failure yo properly use it. There is little use in going back and guessing what the Democrats would have done, but I believe they would have had a better chance of stopping it.
The intelligence is almost always there, in hindsight. Very rarely does something happen on American soil about which it turns out US intelligence services knew nothing. I'd be delighted to hear exactly which US intelligence 'groups' have denounced the White House. Whether or not they do privately is essentially a matter of speculation (personally I believe it's happening), but that you suggest entire organizations do so is a demonstration of your own ignorance.

That means I'm disinclined to put much stock at all in your guessing which, you say, isn't of much use...but you're the one who started doing it here. Maybe it's just not of much use when people start calling you on it?

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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To Rakeesh and airmanfour.
This link provides information referring to the intelligence that was available pre-9-11. http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/911.html
Rak, you were the one who started with the speculations, iirc.

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akhockey
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I think the government SHOULD do more though, as far as NOLA is concerned. We should just move in and spend billions to rebuild it, and at the same time we can install some weapons. Just a few, not much. We'll use them to fight God. Then, when another hurricane knocks out a sub-sea-level city in a hurricane alley, we can use it as an excuse to fire back and at the same time win the PR battle against Him. It's a win-win-win situation.
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airmanfour
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Flaming Toad - The report identifies issues within the Intelligence Community, laterally. I can't see how you (or as far as I can see, the report) find the Bush Administration specifically at fault.
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Rakeesh
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Flaming Toad,

I made a speculation about whether or not the government would have grown under a Democratic Congress and Administration post 9-11-01, not whether 9-11-01 would have happened at all.

I believe the difference between the two speculations is pretty clear. In fact, I'd put mine on the level of a certainty, as certain as such things could be. Yours is shrouded in ignorance, as revealed by your claims about 'intelligence groups', and total guesswork when you speculate that 9-11-01 would have had a worse chance of happening under a Democratic Congress and Administration.

Seriously, you've made that speculation. Do you have even a single reason why it would've been less likely?

Incidentally, you would appear-by the link you've given, anyway-to have changed arguments. No one has ever said here anyway that there wasn't a lot of intelligence information avaiable pointing to a 9-11-01 style threat. You have made a very specific claim, and have failed to provide any support for it whatsoever.

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airmanfour
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Looks like Flaming Toad on a Stick is tonight's special.
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Lyrhawn
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There's a high liklihood that the government would have grown under Democrats. I don't believe I said it wouldn't, my comment to Pix was merely a snarky retort to what I viewed as a naively stereotypical attack on liberals, assuming all they want is big government, which is hideously ironic considering the biggest growth in the government since FDR came at the hands of a hardcore Conservative.

I think however, we'd have spent a half trillion dollars less on the military if the Democrats had been in power. I'm still out to lunch on how I feel about that.

quote:
You seriously think that Hezbollah is just nicely helping rebuild things out of the goodness of the hearts and are not using this 'rebuilding' to bring in more weapons, build bunkers, and setup new hidden bases in civilian neighborhoods?
Speculation. Not unwarranted speculation, but still speculation. The borders are closed off, and the civilians are the ones doing the construction themselves with cash given to them by Hezbollah, free and clear. I don't think there's enough information other than suppositions and inferences to assume that Hezbollah is using the rebuilding of civilian structures to put their own stuff in place. They are under the eyes of Israeli troops, and UN in some places. Israeli planes and what not are overhead at all times watching them. I doubt they'd get weapons through without bombs falling, at least not that easily.

Also, I don't think they are doing it out of the kindness of their own hearts. This is a MAJOR PR coup for them, and a major loss for Israel, and ironically the United States (regardless of the money we went to help). This is the message the Lebanese people get: "Israel is the enemy, they knock down your homes and they call US the enemy, but who is rebuilding them?" And in short order I might add. Hezbollah comes out on top.

quote:
There is no government on Earth which could operate as quickly as Hezbollah does that isn't an autocracy. Getting the trains to run on time is one of the benefits of such governments, but mysteriously I don't hear people complaining that Italy or France or Australia should be more like them. Just the United States.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that we be more like HEZBOLLAH. I'm saying we've done better in the past, and it's embaressing to be shown up by volunteer groups and terrorists. We CAN do better, any excuse is a cop out.

So far as the other nations go, I don't really care about France, Italy, etc. Do you meant you haven't heard anyone in France saying their government should change? Or no one in America? Somehow I doubt you really peruse the French websites, and otherwise, why the hell would anyone in America be more concerned with French governmental reformation than their OWN government. Of course you're only going to see people in America talking about American government changing.

I don't think we need to be more like Hezbollah per se, we need to be more like US, more like we used to be.

So far as 9/11, I don't think Democrats necessarily would have had a better chance than Republicans. I think though, that anyone else might have had a better chance than Bush.

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rivka
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Since when was it the US government that got the Manhattan project going? Don't get me wrong, the majority of the money and other resources came from the government. But the recruitment was almost entirely networking among private individuals (like Seaborg, who recruited my grandfather, among dozens of others), as was much of the push to get the project started. The government mostly contributed red tape. [Wink]

I stand by my assertion that more damage (in $ terms, at the very least) was done in northern Israel. Where, I would remind you, rockets were landing for weeks before Israel crossed the border into Lebanon. And the fact that little has been on the news says more about the bias of the major news outlets than anything else.

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DarkKnight
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quote:
The intelligence was there. American intelligence groups have repeatedly denounced the White House and the Bush administration for failure yo properly use it. There is little use in going back and guessing what the Democrats would have done, but I believe they would have had a better chance of stopping it.
Right, because the Democrats have stopped terrorists in the past? I don't think Democrats would have done anything at all to prevent these attacks. They didn't stop the first WTC bombing, or any of the other attacks. Clinton could have stopped OBL but he chose not to. Which American intelligence groups have made the claim that the White House and the Bush Administration could have prevented the 9/11 attacks?
I put quotes around rebuilding because Hezbollah is not rebuilding things for the civilians in Lebanon, they are rebuilding and rearming their hideouts. So only technically are they rebuilding Lebanon. They do not have humanitarium reasons in mind. They do know how it will play in the press though

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fugu13
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DK: Hezbollah most definitely is paying for civilians in the area to rebuild normal houses, whatever their motive. Denying facts won't get you far.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Since when was it the US government that got the Manhattan project going? Don't get me wrong, the majority of the money and other resources came from the government. But the recruitment was almost entirely networking among private individuals (like Seaborg, who recruited my grandfather, among dozens of others), as was much of the push to get the project started. The government mostly contributed red tape. [Wink]

I stand by my assertion that more damage (in $ terms, at the very least) was done in northern Israel. Where, I would remind you, rockets were landing for weeks before Israel crossed the border into Lebanon. And the fact that little has been on the news says more about the bias of the major news outlets than anything else.

Fine, then they didn't "get it going" but they certainly were half the necessary requirements. One was the knowledge, that came from the scientists, the other was the resources, that came from the government. Look at our society now. There were reports for many years that the levies needed to be improved, I know at least the Army Corps of Engineers said so. But the government would not provide the resources to do it. The only thing the government shells out massive quantities of money for these days is DARPA and other like projects. If it doesn't go BOOM, or relate to something that does, it doesn't get a whole lot of green. But the price of freedome is how we justify spending a billion dollars on an F-22 Raptor, and less than that on fusion energy research.

There is know how, and there are people out there wanting to create and do great things for this government, but there is little willingness to put forth any resources beyond a token gesture for the sake of political credit. If this government wanted, they could have solved our energy problems inside a decade by putting forth the necessary resources, by declaring it a necessity and demanding results. How long would it have taken private companies to come up with nuclear energy?

Other than dollar terms rivka, what other ways could northern Israel have possibly lost more? I highly doubt you'd try to argue there was a higher loss of life, and if more was lost monetarily, which again, I find hard to believe, it's only because there was more to be lost to begin with. No excuse really, but I still find it hard to believe that with all the power stations destroyed, all the bridges destroyed, and roads destroyed, to say nothing of buildings themselves, that more was lost in Israel than Lebanon. Keeping in mind that every Israeli bomb that fell did a lot of damage to something important, whereas Hezbollah rockets don't have a guidance system, and not every one of them fell on something necessarily important. I'm still very willing to see numbers or something to prove otherwise.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Keeping in mind that every Israeli bomb that fell did a lot of damage to something important

This is patently false. Certainly having guidance systems helped, but plenty landed (accidentally) in completely non-strategic locations. And since Hezbollah targeted population centers (which Israel rather carefully did not do, aiming at strategic locations rather than at PEOPLE), they certainly did a lot of damage -- albeit not as much at locations of military significance. Would have been much more, but the Israelis in effected areas evacuated.

Many of them still have no home to go to, and no jobs left (because the businesses are gone). So don't claim that Lebanon needs the aid more -- they just have better PR.

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crescentsss
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Keeping in mind that every Israeli bomb that fell did a lot of damage to something important

This is patently false. Certainly having guidance systems helped, but plenty landed (accidentally) in completely non-strategic locations. And since Hezbollah targeted population centers (which Israel rather carefully did not do, aiming at strategic locations rather than at PEOPLE), they certainly did a lot of damage -- albeit not as much at locations of military significance. Would have been much more, but the Israelis in effected areas evacuated.

Many of them still have no home to go to, and no jobs left (because the businesses are gone). So don't claim that Lebanon needs the aid more -- they just have better PR.

my aunt, uncle, and two cousins are working again in Haifa. people who were sitting in miklatim (sorry - the word in english escapes me for the moment. shelters you go to when being bombed... air-raid shelters?)had air conditioning supplied by various charities, which is more than you can say for people in lebanon who had no electricity at all.
this is not to say that there is no damage in israel, or that lebanon doesn't have better PR. but many more katyushot fell in open areas than did israeli bombs.

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rivka
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A miklat is a bomb shelter. (And sounds (and when written in Hebrew, looks) entirely too much like makolet for a confused 12-year-old. [Wink] )

The situation you report in part of Haifa was not mirrored throughout the city and environs. And even if it were, just because private charities stepped in to fill a need, should we be apologetic? Maybe Israelis didn't suffer enough?

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Rakeesh
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And, again, the Hezbollah/Lebanese rockets which did hit Israeli targets were fired into population centers at random. Israeli munitions were generally targeted, and in the 21st century that does mean quite a bit.
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Rakeesh
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The one aspect of this entire situation which continually amazes me is how much of a double-standard there is in so many people and how blind they are to it. Any other nation on Earth, practically, that had a hostile neighbor firing rockets into its civilian population centers over a period of time...well, there wouldn't be nearly as much of this horses@(# about 'disproportionate responses'.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:

I stand by my assertion that more damage (in $ terms, at the very least) was done in northern Israel. Where, I would remind you, rockets were landing for weeks before Israel crossed the border into Lebanon. And the fact that little has been on the news says more about the bias of the major news outlets than anything else.

This disagrees with you.
quote:
LEBANON-Overall damage: At least $3.5 billion to infrastructure; $9.4 billion overall, including clean-up of a major oil spill from an Israeli strike on a storage facility at a Beirut power plant.

quote:
ISRAEL-Overall damage: Media reports say about $3 billion in damages and lost revenue, but do not give a source.


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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
The one aspect of this entire situation which continually amazes me is how much of a double-standard there is in so many people and how blind they are to it. Any other nation on Earth, practically, that had a hostile neighbor firing rockets into its civilian population centers over a period of time...well, there wouldn't be nearly as much of this horses@(# about 'disproportionate responses'.

You're saying there isn't enough complaining about the damage to Israel? Or that there is too much complaining about Israel's reaction?

Asking an honest question.

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Magson
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Pictures and "on the ground" reporting from N Israel a day or 2 after the cease-fire. Interesting stuff.
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Rakeesh
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I'm saying neither, if you read carefully. I'm saying that if the nation wasn't Israel, a lot of people woldn't be so quick to toss around words like 'disproportionate' describing its response.

In other words, Israel gets slapped with a nice double standard most of the rest of the First World wouldn't tolerate for a second.

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Lyrhawn
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So you ARE in effect saying that there is too much complaining about their reaction? Sorry but your clarification still sounds like that.

It sounds like your saying that if the nation wasn't Israel, but did exactly what Israel did, then we wouldn't be hearing so many people casually saying that their response was disproportionate.

Let's say Rhode Island was another country, and someone there lobbed some missiles into Connecticut causing some damage, a great deal of fear and disruption of their lives, but relatively few casualties, and America responded by bombing the hell out of it, destroying roads, bridges, arresting members of their government, taking out their power supplies, water supplies, blockaing their ports, and made Providence look like the Berlin at the end of WWII. You don't think the rest of the world would call that disproportionate? I think if Syria had mobilized armor and had gone after Israel with all guns blazing, and Israel responsed by decimating them, then invading Damascus in return, it'd be more equal. But until then, the kind of widespread destruction inflicted on Lebanon still looks disproportionate to me, especially since the majority, the grand majority, of those missiles only fell AFTER Israel started their attacks.

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Rakeesh
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I'll repeat myself again: I am saying that if the nation were not Israel, people would not be complaining so often and loudly about a 'disproportionate' response.

quote:
Let's say Rhode Island was another country, and someone there lobbed some missiles into Connecticut causing some damage, a great deal of fear and disruption of their lives, but relatively few casualties, and America responded by bombing the hell out of it, destroying roads, bridges, arresting members of their government, taking out their power supplies, water supplies, blockaing their ports, and made Providence look like the Berlin at the end of WWII. You don't think the rest of the world would call that disproportionate?
You're betraying your ignorance of the situation when you state it like this, Lyrhawn. Or perhaps you're just forgetting...

This is not just a matter of some missiles being fired into Israeli population centers, killing 'relatively few' civilians within them. This is also a matter of the infantry of a foreign, hostile nation entering their territory and seizing some of their own soldiers. That's one little tidbit you omit.

This is also from a hostile foreign power that didn't just wake up on the wrong side of the bed that morning and decided to launch some rockets, but has been enacting a campaign targeting Connecticut's civilians for murder for years, and has as one of its primary objectives the destruction of Connecticut.

----------

Given that set of circumstances, and not the artificial, tailored-against-Israel set of circumstances...and I'm sounding pretty hostile here, but I just can't think of another way to put your comparison...no, I do not think we'd be hearing as many loud complaints about disproportionate retaliation.

You used an argument in another thread recently about the Iraqi people, apparently, being either unwilling or unable to fight for their own freedom, so why should we? Why does this kind of argument not apply to the Israeli-Lebanese situation? If the Lebanese government is either unwilling or unable to restrain Hezbollah-and undeniably, it isn't-then it falls to Israel to secure its own safety by force. Israel's primary concern is the safety of its own civilians, not in engaging in some kind of ridiculous 'tit-for-tat' warfare.

You don't fight a war by examining last year's casualties and trying to inflict an equivalent number on your enemy. You fight a war by fighting to win a war.

To put it another way...

If my next door neighbor frequently fires a gun into my home, randomly wounding or even killing my friends and family...let's say it's only every few days, one shot at a time 'only'. After the first few shots and only one death, really, I'm going to be taking matters into my own hands in a freaking hurry if there isn't someone to protect me.

If the people shooting at my home are hiding in a group of people? Well, I'm sorry...I'm still going to try and sort things out. Violently. I'm not just going to let it keep happening, even if in the course of a year I only get a few woundings and a periodic death.

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Lyrhawn
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There's some holes in that though. The first of which being, I don't care what country it had been attacking Israel, with the amount of damage they did, the kind of damage they did, and the amount of innocents that died, there WOULD be cries of "overreaction" regardless of what country it was. It could be the US, it could be Australia, it could be an attack ordered out of the Hague itself, and people evaluating it at face value would still say the same thing.

As for your argument on whether or not the Israeli attack was justified or not, it most certainly was. They had every right to use force to subdue Hezbollah, as Lebanon was clearly unable to do so themselves. And whether or not they had the right to use as much force as they wanted or not is moot, they DID, and no one stopped them, which is all the right they need, physically. I've never said, in any thread on hatrack, that Israel didn't have the right to defend itself, and didn't have the right to attack Hezbollah for the sake of defending itself. I guess I see why you pulled my argument from the Iraq thread, but it's also a moot point, as I've never contended that Israel should have done nothing.

But the problem with that attack is that it did less than nothing, WORSE than nothing. Not only did they NOT disarm Hezbollah, they lost a huge PR war. Hezbollah is just as strong as before, only now they have a huge political victory on their hands. Boy bands in Palestine are singing songs about how great Nasrallah is, and they are as popular as the Backstreet Boys were years ago.

If you ask me, they lost way too much for nothing in the way of gains. Those soldiers are STILL being held captive. Hezbollah is STILL in power, and now a hell of a lot more popular in the Muslim world than they were before, and to make matters worse, instead of blaming Hezbollah, a great many of those pissed off Lebanese refugees are blaming Israel and at the same time accepting hand outs from Hezbollah.

My complaint is less that the response was disproportionate, and more than it was just plain stupid. It caused a great amount of death and destruction for no tangible gains, and no political ones either.

As a closing note, I don't know why you put ' ' around relatively few, above. More than thousand were killed in Lebanon, a thousand CIVILIANS, and all during that conflict less than a hundred Israeli civilians were killed. That's at best, at most, 10%, which I think most would agree is relatively few. And regardless, most of the missiles fired from Hezbollah were fired AFTER Lebanon was invaded, which drastically reduces the number even further.

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Libbie
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I have the solution to all our problems.

http://elksbugle.com/images/pwo8.jpg


(yes, I already showed it to Mr. Card. He liked it.)

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BlackBlade
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I'd put that sticker on my car [Wink]
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airmanfour
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Me too.
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Libbie
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So would I! ha!!
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Lyrhawn
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I'll put it in between by "Republicans Vote for Voldemort" sticker and my "Stewart/Colbert 08" sticker.

[Smile]

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Rakeesh
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I'm afraid I couldn't slap that bumper sticker on my rolling iron until I knew which Peter Wiggin it was I'd be supporting. So many to choose from, after all!
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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Hezbollah kind of reminds of me of the Black Panthers.
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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
A good model for how the Katrina disaster should have been managed comes from our own government: It should have been handled by FEMA.

The caveat is that we're talking about FEMA before its absorption into the bureaucratic cacophony of Homeland Security; during its time with a degree of autonomy when it operated as a cabinet-level position.

Yes. My great-uncle worked for FEMA for years (he was the top-level man for flood control from the Rockies on west.)

He was stunned at the inefficiency in FEMA both preceding and following Katrina. He knew exactly what it would lead to, and was crying before he even turned on the news reports.

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