Saturday, November 11, 2006

Michael J. Totten -- A war of Words

Ever the proponent of argument over arms, I have to point to this lengthy exchange between
Totten and a Hezbollah supporter who got into one of his comment threads.

Normally I don't let somebody show up and do that, but it's not every day that a group of Americans gets to argue with someone like him.

I've argued with several members and supporters of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and my personal experience with them runs the gamut. Many are perfectly friendly and pleasant. Some of the higher-ranking party officials are unbelievably vicious and nasty. (If you want to read the uncut version of my experience with nasty Hizbullahi, you can read an account in the pamphlet Adam Bellow and I published last month.)

Al Ghaliboon is somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. As I figured out that he is interested in talking rather than in fighting or screaming, I toned down the temperature of my own responses. Here is my dialogue with him as it originally appeared in real time.

It's long and tedious and I haven't bothered to read it all. But I was caught by this later ("final") post on the matter which concludes with a very long and powerful rebuttal from another source.
You, sir, are a weakling and a coward, and as such we will never support you. You prove yourself a weakling by announcing your intention to kill, thereby establishing that you are too weak to forgive. You confirm that by never producing anything of your own, only demanding that others provide your support. You have no strength, no power. You are not a slave, and we have no desire to have you as a slave -- a slave must at least be able to hew wood and carry water, and you have established that you have not the strength for that even on your own behalf, by demanding that others do it for you while you arm yourself to kill.

Makes you wanna stand up and clap. Just the right note following this recent blood-letting of an election.

In the end, conflict in the Middle East or anywhere must be resolved by the parties themselves. No amount of external force, short of total annihilation of one of the parties, will bring about reconciliation. Not peace, understand, but reconciliation. There is a difference. Peace is the result of overall agreement. Reconciliation the result of an agreement to disagree without violence. Leila Abu-Saba addressed this difference in a post Thursday. She's referring to Gaza, not Lebanon, but the principles are the same in both cases.
America is paralyzed and will not step in. Brothers and sisters in the Semitic world, if you really want peace, you will have to make it for yourselves. Peace is possible but only through a just solution for the Palestinians (that includes security assurances - realistic ones - for the Israelis).

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