Sunday, July 30, 2006

Offence dressed as defense

The idea that the Israeli soldiers were captured by Hezbollah in Lebanon is starting to make people very nervous.  After all, the whole military history of Israel – a history we’re not supposed to know about – is based on various tricks to make Israeli offensive land-grabbing acts look like defensive acts.  If this ‘defensive’ act with its appalling consequences is shown to be a trick, Israel will have trouble pulling these tricks in the future.   Even a ‘Zionist lite’ like Ran HaCohen now feels the need to ‘refute’ the idea that the attack on Lebanon is based on another such trick.  Of course, critics of Israel don’t need to take a position on where the soldiers were captured in order to maintain that it is not acceptable to destroy a whole country in retaliation for the capture of two soldiers.  Nevertheless, you can see where the Zionist rhetoricians are going with this: 

  • critics of Israel rely on where the capture was made as being important
  • capture is ‘proved’ as being in Israel
  • therefore, what Israel is doing is justified.

This is an old debating trick, and the fact that it does not follow doesn’t mean they won’t try to use it.

If you read HaCohen’s arguments, you will see that he in no way disproves the common assertion that the capture was made in Lebanon.  He has a quibble for each separate source, but no more than a quibble, and the fact that all the sources consistently and independently point to a capture on Lebanese territory seems to conclude the issue. 

Representative Press (found via Cannonfire) argues that one of the sources for the idea that the capture was in Lebanon, AP, is based on a faulty translation of a Hezbollah statement.  Even if that is so – and the fact that the theory is given support from closet Zionist Noam makes me suspicious of it  – it only leaves us with the ambiguous statement that the capture occurred near the border (I note that Hezbollah has an interest in being vague, as a cross-border attack makes it look more heroic), and doesn’t do anything to deal with the other independent sources which all claim the capture was in Lebanon.  What Representative Press does show us is a textbook example of the original pre-spin reporting being gradually modified to fit the official, pro-Israeli, story.

Noam has apparently come out against the attack on Lebanon, which is humorous when you consider that his rejection of the Israel Lobby thesis provided cover which helped the neocons plot the attack with the Israeli generals as recently as June.  Noam can now give a completely useless condemnation of the attack, an attack which his protection for the Lobby helped bring about.  Here’s Wayne Masden on July 28:

“Countering the spin. Hezbollah sources have an entirely different story about the incident that triggered the Israeli attack on Lebanon. The counter-story lends credence to the pre-meditated nature of a plan that was hatched in a three-way meeting between Dick Cheney, Binyamin Netanyahu, and Natan Sharansky at an American Enterprise Institute conference in Colorado last month.

Hezbollah reports that on July 12, two Israeli Defense Force (IDF) troops were captured by Hezbollah after they entered Lebanese territory. Hezbollah put out feelers that they would entertain a prisoner swap, something that had occurred many times in the past. However, already looking for an incident on the Israeli-Lebanese border, the Israeli government dispatched a Merkava-2 tank into Lebanon to retrieve its two captured troops. The tank hit a land mine, killing four Israeli soldiers. Haaretz confirmed that the tank was destroyed by a mine and not in a Hezbollah attack.

The neo-con spin machine, including George W. Bush, claims that Hezbollah entered Israel in an unprovoked attack and kidnapped the two Israelis.”

I return to my original argument.  If Israel had been planning the attack for months, had been plotting it with the neocons as recently as June, and had given its Lebanese spotters a warning to be ready for an attack within four days, how could it possibly have predicted, within a very short time span, a cross-border successful Hezbollah capture of Israeli soldiers?  The only way the Israeli generals could know this was going to happen, and serve as the excuse for the Israeli attack on Lebanon, was to make it happen by sending Israelis into Lebanon on a suicide mission.