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Old 03-06-2008, 03:16 AM
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Default Hamas' uncritical friends

Hamas' uncritical friends

While Islamist militants are increasingly criticised in the Middle East, it seems they can count on a hard core of western admirers who blindly applaud them

Petra Marquardt-Bigman


In the war of words that often passes for political debate, the label "neocon" is cherished by many as a formidable weapon to discredit a political opponent. But is was hardly meant as a cheap shot when the columnist Hussein Shobokshi recently argued that the "persistence in justifying the cost of innocent lives as a result of the actions of the 'jihadist' or 'hero' as permissible and inoffensive as long as the ultimate purpose is 'noble, honest and blessed' is no different to the military options put forward by the neoconservatives of the American administration since it views the killing of the innocent women, children and elderly as a result of air raids or military operations in general as collateral damage."

Shobokshi's comparison of the glorification of reckless military adventures by jihadists with "the neoconservatives of the American administration" reflects the serious concerns expressed by several Arab commentators in reaction to the blood-curdling threats of Hizbullah representatives and Iranian officials who vowed to retaliate against Israel for the assassination of Hizbullah's terror mastermind Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus on February 12. Unsurprisingly, none of those who indulged in belligerent rhetoric against Israel seemed bothered by the fact that it is by no means clear who was behind the assassination.

But that was exactly what bothered many who listened to Hassan Nasrallah's threats that "the blood of martyr Imad Moghnieh will drive them [the Israelis] out of existence God willing". In a scathing commentary in Asharq Al-Awsat, the paper's editor-in-chief Tariq Alhomayed argued that the funeral speech by Hizbullah's leader "revealed that Lebanon of Nasrallah is not diverse and is not governed by democratic concepts but is rather a combat zone and a house of obedience where Sayyid's [Nasrallah's] orders are to be followed and those who fail to comply will be deemed traitors and collaborators." As Alhomayed concluded, for Nasrallah, "Lebanon's collapse is incidental, as long as [it] serves the agenda of Tehran, Damascus and Hizbullah."

Anybody who is tempted to dismiss this criticism of Islamist militancy as coming from just a few isolated voices overlooks indications that the appeal of jihadism is fading and that there is even good reason to believe that in the Middle East of "the early 21st century, a budding culture of change is creatively challenging the status quo - and the extremists". And it is not just Hizbullah that finds itself sharply criticised: "Hamas must stand down" was the title of a recent article in the Saudi English-language daily Arab News, where Osama al-Sharif argued: "Hamas must decide if it is acting as a government for all Palestinians or at least the Gazans, as some of its leaders have claimed, or as a militant group dedicated to fighting Israel. If it is the first choice, then it must show that it is concerned with the fate of its citizens who are enduring a huge humanitarian ordeal. If they choose the latter, then they must part ways with political grandstanding and accept to hand over responsibility for the welfare of Gaza to the PNA."

It seems that Hamas has made this decision by starting to fire Iranian-made Grad missiles at Ashkelon, an Israeli city of some 120,000 people who live some 10 miles up the coast from the Gaza border.

But while Islamist militants are increasingly criticised in the Middle East, it seems that in the west they can count on a hard core of admirers who blindly applaud the "resistance" and refuse to acknowledge the problems caused by groups like Hamas and Hizbullah, which on the one hand claim a role as a political party with a supposedly legitimate stake in a democratically elected government, and on the other hand insist on keeping heavily armed militias that claim the right to commit acts of war on their own. As Michael Young has recently argued, some western supporters of Hizbullah, like Norman Finkelstein, see "in resistance a quasi-religious act that brooks no challenge, even from its likely victims". If Young is right - and I think he is - one would have to conclude that it is not only the "neocons" who don't care about "collateral damage".
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:05 PM
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I've noticed too that everytime Israel gets rocketed they're always criticized for over - reacting most often from western countries.

I personally don't find anything wrong with reacting to any attack by a ratio of 100:1. Equal force against equal force doesn't get the message across.
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:24 AM
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I've noticed too that everytime Israel gets rocketed they're always criticized for over - reacting most often from western countries.

I personally don't find anything wrong with reacting to any attack by a ratio of 100:1. Equal force against equal force doesn't get the message across.

Neither does unequal force as the IDF have proved time and time again.... thing is, that when other Nations get involved through UNIFIL in Lebannon for example the locals see an "option" to "Hezbollah Defence" of Lebannon, and the Iranian Militia's power base is suddenly become eroded despite the mistakes made by IDF which entrenched Hezbollahs position in Lebannon. They are not well liked now for sure, and operate using even more terrorist like means... ie... support us or keep your mouth shut... The point of the article was showing that whilst the likes of Hezbollah are loosing popularity amoungst the peoples in the middle east, the arm chair warriors in the west who support fundamentalist Islam are still cheering them like they are Robin Hoods.... when in fact they are butchering terrorists who have only their own interests at heart as they plunder and terrorise the territorries they occupy...
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:59 AM
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Its a cycle of violence with no end it would seem
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:34 AM
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Its a cycle of violence with no end it would seem
UNIFIL has broken it a few times, but treating the symtom, rather then the cause... When peace breaks out, the likes of Hez and that dickhead Nazireeh.... or what ever his name is become desperate and plot with their Iranian masters to stur it up... The more we succeeed the more desperate and cunning they become, we need to outsmart aswell as out work them... that means ending the "conventional" thinking on the subject, which is 2 dimensional and dogmatic... and working to achieve peace means work at home and overseas bound by an overall strategy, which is stress tested to ensure it actually works....
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:52 AM
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I thought Hamas were the good guys They're freedom fighters arn't they? Fighting the Israeli oppressors Just like Kosovo really eh? They'll be declared an independent state soon, just you watch America always gets it right, even if they have to do something illegal like invade Like Iraq or recognise Kosovo etc

I'm getting the hang of this double standards things. I'm becoming a true hypocrit American style.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:56 AM
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I'm getting the hang of this double standards things. I'm becoming a true hypocrit American style.
You're becoming a real troll... JS Mac style
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:06 AM
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You're becoming a real troll... JS Mac style
Not a troll "Mr Naked Black man" .....A devils advocate! Or maybe I'm just sick of listening to BULL**** double standards
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:10 AM
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You're becoming a real troll... JS Mac style
At least I don't have a Multiple personality disorder, unlike you of course!
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Exo1 View Post
UNIFIL has broken it a few times, but treating the symtom, rather then the cause... When peace breaks out, the likes of Hez and that dickhead Nazireeh.... or what ever his name is become desperate and plot with their Iranian masters to stur it up... The more we succeeed the more desperate and cunning they become, we need to outsmart aswell as out work them... that means ending the "conventional" thinking on the subject, which is 2 dimensional and dogmatic... and working to achieve peace means work at home and overseas bound by an overall strategy, which is stress tested to ensure it actually works....
Ex Man,
UNIFIL didn't exactly break the cycle of violence. Parties involved basically figured that the best way for them to get what they wanted from the UN was to create the illusion of relative peace and progress. There's your cycle. Cause a stir and get bennies in the end.
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