While it would be a just cause I don't think it could ever happen. Look how long it took for Congress to recognize slavery and made the appology in a late night session. This country never has or will admit when it is wrong and I will tell you why. This capitalist society is money driven and materialism is the goal. No, not everyone is to blame as some people will flame me for saying that but as a whole we are viewed outside this country as narcissists with little regard for the welfare of others.
So if we had to give up any money that would be more than we could take therefore we cannot accept the blame for something such as this.
First off one of the two countries was harboring a terrorist remember.We asked for him to be turned over to us so we could deal with him and they refused. We warned them before we went in. I think that war was justified. We tried to do it with as little force as necessary and under estimated our enemy. We should have went in with overwhelming force like the first gulf war. I do not see where we should say oh sorry and pay then leave. Who is going to pay for the loss of life in this country from the 9 11?
Somehow you have grouped the two wars together as though they were based on the same ideology. The invasion of Afganistan was to find and bring to justice Osama Bin Laden. I totally agreed with that war because you cannot allow someone to attack a sovereign country with out a declaration of war. You are only correct in stating that we had to invade that country because they would not hand him over. They were incapable of handing him over so we went in to get him.
Bush trumped up the second invasion with the WMD slant so he could justify the action. He totally ignored the advice of his advisers and went against all intelligence that they were there. We did not do this for the Iraqi people but for our own self interests. If you read reports of the take over of Bahgdad the first area that the troops were ordered to secure after the airport was the Ministry of Oil. What does that say about our interests.
It would be irresponsible for the US to just pull out and pay reparations. Terrorist groups would start taking over nations--as they so long hoped. The middle east is a pretty hot spot about territory and political/religious agendas.
We may not have gone in with the right information, or with the best motives. It's pretty obvious we didn't. But since we're there, the price to pay is to follow it through and try to stablize regions before letting them collapse entirely.
I disagree wholeheartedly with the way things were handled, the motives used, in going to war. I think it's all wrong as well. But just because you're tired of the fight doesn't mean you can pull away without even more severe consequences.
Unfortunately, I think it's an obvious lesson that leaders of nations are extremely slow to understand. Going to war is a huge ego trip. Paying the price is horrific, ongoing, and unfair to everyone it effects, but irresponsibly pulling out suddenly could be even worse. It has be to dealt with steadily.
The message is clearly, don't say and do stupid things to get yourself in a war to begin with. The price is too high.
I really do agree with what you are saying and wholescale abandonment of the region is neither an option politically or practically but having said that what other avenues can be explored in line with a unilateral agreement? Our current tact in Iraq and Afganistan has not played out the way we had hoped.
We are headed towards a direction of perpetual occupation much like Korea, Germany and Japan. Our politicians will not accept anything short of "Victory" whatever that is and we never seem to extricate ourselves from the regions we invade whether for reasons good or bad.
Our policy of non negotiative preconditions sets us up everytime and cements in the eyes of the world an "Ugly American" image of ignorance and aggression. What important part can we play in opening the dialog and quit the accusatorial policy our country takes with seeming impunity?
Excellent points. Without belaboring, I really do think we need world leaders who have many fewer points to prove, and far more points in providing service to their nation.
Thank you Daniel, I agree wholeheartedly but how is this to take place. When confronted with dire circumstances and the penchant for leaders to forward their particular agendas how can we discern the difference?
The WMD's in Iraqi that were trumped up for our (The American peoples') war cry and subsequent invasion. But now it has been turned around to the Iraqui people owing us a debt of gratitude and thusly exonerating us from our wrong. How screwed up is that?
I hate war. I went through big one. But we were cheering when Americans came to free us from Germans. You do not understand what oppressive Nazi's or communist's regime is. I do not like brainwashing socialistic liberal's approach. An Atheists and communists killed more people than anyone else.
The liberals are either misinformed or uniformed or else.
Now I think president should take all soldiers out, and we see what happen. We do not have any capitalistic regime here any more, just socialistic capitalism
One day I know you will pray to Allah if you want or not.
Well one of the biggest liberal presidents chomped at the bit to come help you!
FDR Chomped at the bit? You gotta be kidding me, dragged into it kicking and screaming!
Go back and read your history again. The lend lease program with Great Britain was the beginning of our foray into the conflict with our pilots with the blessing of our government going over to man planes for the Brits. Our expansion policy into the Dutch East Indies for the oil was our control over Japan and we squeezed them until the attack on Pearl Harbor. What about that don't you understand.
rhamson are you naturally this ignorant or do thoughts just flash before your eyes. All you've had to say is a load of crap. Shouldn't you be in Pittsburgh?
I am sorry to have not responded to you sooner because I had to be somewhere when I had to leave the blog.
Wow I really wonder how slinging insults like you have is pertinent to the discussion. If you have a dispute with the facts of a discussion could you please direct your energy towards that. If I wanted to start insulting people for their ideas and thoughts these discussions would come to a complete name calling contest. I merely cite facts of history and observations that I feel are germain to the discussion. If you have something to add to the discussion please do but if you want to call me ignorant or my thoughts short sighted I would appreciate your silence.
Fact: Israelites have occupied the region known as palestine, to you, since about 2500BC. No palastinian noth'in existed then, in fact, the area wasn't even called palastine it was called the land of Canaan.
Fact: "The period of the Judges" around 1100BC the tribes of Israel controlled the whole region. And still no mohamed.
These supercede anything you've offered so you don't even have history on your side. If you think or are trying to convince someone there are rational leaders in the surrounding countries well you're one of two things unlearned or you're full of bull. You pick and then be silent.
Fact: The 1947 partition was formed by the UN to establish a homeland for the REFUGEES from europe that were displaced by the Holocaust. If the accord was established to give the land to the refugees, who were in possesion of the land that was given away. Did the Israelies recieve their own land back?
Fact; The 1967 war resulted in the take over of land gained through the victory over the Palestinians with the help of other arab armies. Since the truce that was established the Israelies have not given back the land and have stretched their occupation farther into land that is not theirs gained in the war of 1967.
Fact; Your imformation is not correct and if you would read back in this blog you would be arguing points more directed at the real facts instead of what you deduce from not understanding the argument.
Fact your confrontational manner through the language you use is both offensive and unconstructive and embellishes the emotional responses of someone who is not open to an adult exchange of ideas. You are not a part of the solution but a misguided part of the problem.
The question is do I care? No, get over WW2 I know I have.
That must have been quite a moving sight. The Liberals don't care about anyone else's freedom, as long as theirs is protected.
War reparations are about providing money for infrastructure destroyed during war. Given that all the nations in Afghanistan (which I assume ur talking about seeing as the withdrawal from Iraq is already well under way) are spending large amounts of money on aid for infrastructure, and are building more than they destroy, saying that war reparations should be paid makes no sense. Compensation to individuals affected is something different, and already happens.
Reparation for the lost of Iraqis life and property destroyed during the war. Previous administration that had a hand in WMD lie should be held accountable for all the costs associated with a trump-up war and settle all the bills shouldered by American taxpayers immediately.
I'll get right on that just as soon as every Muslim in the world pays reparations to every person killed or maimed by a terrorist act.
I have a question for you Texan who started the middle east conflict with the US?
In other words why let the facts get in the way of a good war?
The mother in me is tempted to say, "I don't care who started it! I'm stopping it!"
"Stop the world and let me off" does not get the job done. To change where we are headed we must first understand from where we came.
You need to shut the hell up! This is exactly why mecca and medina and all the rest of islamic world must go. It's totally infected with stupidity! There will never be an end to this crap look at how long Israel has been in this mess! They don't have an ounce of reason in their bodies they're useless!
Obviously you're not a mom who's had to referee a fight between siblings.
The point is it doesn't matter who started what. All this whining about who started is is rubbish, it's immature, and it serves only to as a lame attempt to justify the violence being done. The only way to stop it is to take decisive action.
"Blah blah blah... well you guys started it," is just a lame excuse for an unprovoked attack on 3,000 civilians who'd never done anything to Bin Laden.
I have three boys and am constantly in between the fighting fractions. Unfortunately they sometimes have a good reason for what they were fighting about or "who started it" as you say. Who started this goes a long way toward who is going to finish this.
So the old saying" Yea though I way through the valley of death I will fear no evil, Because I am the baddest ********* in the valley".
A bully attitude is not far from past US policy and continues to fuel many disputes around the world.
I raised three sons and believe me there were fights. But I always talked to both sides of the fight and made the other first offender appologize and find resolution.
Your statement of unprovoked shows that you really don't understand the reasons and just want revenge. If I told you why it happened you would sit here all day and dispute the facts with me but if you find out on your own you will have a more informed discussuion. Start from the beginning and start after World War II.
The mother in me does say that, but the mother in me is also aware that it was under the previous administration that 911 took place, but also that another such incident did not. The American in me thinks, "Let's just put a giant wall up around the U.S. and let the rest of the world deal with whatever mess, dictators, drug crops, and whatever else on its own - and then the U.S. won't risk looking like 'the bad guy' (even if people are being run through meat grinders of whatever else was going on in Iraq)." Then again, the mother in me wonders why on
Earth the U.S. is sending other mothers' sons and daughters into hell holes like Iraq and Afghanistan, causing them to be killed or maimed. I mean, if some countries can't get a grip on their own dictators and/or terrorists, might not they owe the U.S. and its allies a few reparations for stepping up and dealing with their problems?
What's going on today is a very, very, different (and far more complex) thing than what went on with slavery.
Rhamson, some real History if you care to read it!
The Start of the seconf phase of the Middle East War dates back to the Belfore Agreement at the UN, England, France Germany and Russia and the United States all togeather deciding to divy up the land.
The actualy start of it is discussed below;
Prelude to the war
This article is part of the series on:
History of Lebanon
Ancient history of Lebanon
1958 Lebanon crisis
Lebanese Civil War
1982 Lebanon War
Syrian occupation of Lebanon
2005 Lebanon bombings
2006 Lebanon War
2006-8 political protests
2007 North Lebanon conflict
2008 conflict in Lebanon
Timeline of Lebanese history
This box: view • talk • edit
 Historical Context
Christian refugees during the 1860 strife between Druze and Maronites in Lebanon.In 1860 foreign interests transformed sociopolitical struggles into bitter religious conflicts. A civil war between Druze and Christians erupted in Lebanon and resulted in the death of about 10,000 people. The commission members agreed that the partition of Mount Lebanon in 1842 between the Druze and the Christians had been responsible for the massacre.
In 1918 the Ottoman rule in Lebanon and Syria ended. These were hard times for the Lebanese; while the rest of the world was occupied with the World War, the people in Lebanon were suffering from a famine that would last nearly 4 years. The outbreak of World War I in August 1914 brought Lebanon further problems, as Turkey allied itself with Germany and Austria Hungary . The Turkish government abolished Lebanon's semi autonomous status and appointed Djemal Pasha, then minister of the navy, as the commander in chief of the Turkish forces in Syria, with discretionary powers. Known for his harshness, he militarily occupied Lebanon and replaced the Armenian mutasarrif, Ohannes Pasha, with a Turk, Munif Pasha.
In February 1915, frustrated by his unsuccessful attack on the British forces protecting the Suez Canal, Jamal Pasha initiated a blockade of the entire eastern Mediterranean coast to prevent supplies from reaching his enemies and indirectly caused thousands of deaths from widespread famine and plagues. Lebanon suffered as much as, or more than, any other Ottoman province. The blockade deprived the country of its tourists and summer visitors, and remittances from relatives and friends were lost or delayed for months. The Turkish Army cut down trees for wood to fuel trains or for military purposes. In 1916 Turkish authorities publicly executed twenty-one Syrians and Lebanese in Damascus and Beirut, respectively, for alleged anti-Turkish activities (see: Arab Revolt). The date, May 6, is commemorated annually in both countries as Martyrs' Day, and the site in Beirut has come to be known as Martyrs' Square. 
1926 Lebanon was declared a republic, and a constitution was adopted. However in 1932 the constitution was suspended due to upheaval, as some factions demanded unity with Syria, whilst a larger number demanded independence from the French. In 1934, the country's first and, to date, last census was conducted.
In 1936 the Christian Phalange party was founded by Pierre Gemayel.
Lebanon was promised independence and on November 22, 1943 it was achieved. French troops, who had invaded Lebanon in 1941 to rid Beirut of the Vichy forces, left the country in 1946. The Christians assumed power over the country and economy. A confessional parliament was created, where Muslims and Christians were given quotas of seats in parliament. As well, the President was to be a Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim and the Speaker of Parliament a Shia Muslim.
 Series of events
In 1948 an influx of Palestinian refugees arrived in Lebanon during the Palestinian Exodus. Palestinians came to play an important role in future Lebanese civil conflicts, whilst the establishment of Israel radically changed the local environment in which Lebanon found itself.
US Marines on patrol in Beirut, during the 1958 Lebanon conflictIn July 1958, Lebanon was threatened by a civil war between Maronite Christians and Muslims. Tensions with Egypt had escalated earlier in 1956 when the pro-western President, Camille Chamoun, did not break off diplomatic relations with the Western powers that attacked Egypt during the Suez Crisis, angering Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. These tensions were further increased when Camille Chamoun showed closeness to the Baghdad Pact. Nasser felt that the pro-western Baghdad Pact posed a threat to Arab Nationalism. As a response, Egypt and Syria united into the United Arab Republic. Lebanese Sunni Muslim Prime Minister Rashid Karami supported Nasser in 1956 and 1958. Lebanese Muslims pushed the government to join the newly created United Arab Republic, while the Christians wanted to keep Lebanon aligned with Western Powers. President Camille feared the toppling of his government and asked for U.S intervention. At the time the U.S was committed to fighting the war against "communism". Chamoun asked for assistance proclaiming that communism was going to overthrow his government. During this time the Phalange Party was able to further its growing power by means of its militia. In that year, when President Chamoun was unable to convince the army commander, Fouad Shihab, to use the armed forces against Muslim demonstrators, the Phalange militia came to his aid. Encouraged by its efforts during this conflict, later that year, principally through violence and the success of general strikes in Beirut, the Phalange achieved what journalists dubbed the "counterrevolution." By their actions the Phalangists brought down the government of Prime Minister Karami and secured for their leader, Jumayyil, a position in the four-man cabinet that was subsequently formed.
By this year the Phalange's membership had grown to almost 40,000 men, its rival the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), had a membership of only 25,000. From 1959 through 1968 the Phalange placed 61 percent of its candidates in office. Moreover, by the start of the disturbances in 1975, the party's rolls may have included as many as 65,000 members, including a militia approaching 10,000 men. 
During the 1960s Lebanon was relatively calm, but this would soon change. Fatah and other Palestinian Liberation Organization factions had long been active among the 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanese camps. Through the 1960s the center for armed Palestinian activities had been in Jordan, after being evicted from Jordan by the King, they came to Lebanon. When they arrived they created a "a State within the State." This action wasn't welcomed by the Lebanese government nor the majority of the Lebanese people. Nonetheless this shook Lebanon's fragile sectarian climate. Solidarity to the Palestinians was expressed through the Lebanese Sunni Muslims but with the aim to change the system in a limited manner while the left-wing Lebanese National Movement aimed to demolish the sect-based system. The PLO eventually transformed the Western Part of Beirut into its stronghold.
January 1, 1965 - Fatah, using the name al-‘Asifa (The Storm) to avoid punitive measures from Arab States, attempted to launch first guerrilla operations against an Israeli pumping station from Lebanese border (31Dec64) and water canal (S of Lake Tiberias, 1Jan)- both unsuccessful, but highly publicized by both Fatah and Israel; subsequent attacks from Syria, Jordan and Lebanon border area by the Palestinian guerrillas, as well as Gaza Strip.
There was an economic dispute between Muslims and Christians in Sidon, involving Muslim fishermen who feared that new fishing consortium run by Chamoun and other Maronites would destroy their livelihood. Maarouf Saad the mayor of Sidon, was fatally wounded in a fishermen's demonstration and in further fighting the Lebanese National Army, largely commanded by the Christians came into conflict with the Muslims and more of the radical PLO guerrilla groups.
 Formation of militias
The influx of Palestinian refugees between 1948 and 1970, the 1950s and 1960s reassertion of pan-Arab nationalism as espoused by Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, the founding of the PLO in 1965, the eviction or squashing of all armed Palestinian resistance movements in Syria, Jordan and Egypt, and the escalating assertion of Palestinian nationalism through armed struggle, unsettled the delicate political and demographic balance of the Lebanese communities. After its bloody eviction from Jordan by King Hussein during "Black September" in 1970, the PLO and all its affiliate movements settled in Beirut and the Lebanese north from which they vowed to continue liberating Palestine, in violation of every agreement made with the Lebanese authorities to regulate the activities of the Palestinian organizations. The Muslim community in Lebanon saw Monastir Palestinian movements (Sunni in their vast majority) as an opportunity to renege on the 1943 National Pact by using the Palestinian weapons to pressure their fellow Christian Lebanese into abrogating the National Pact. The latter is an extra-constitutional unwritten agreement that guarantees the division of power among the three largest communities: The Presidency to the Maronites, the position of Speaker of Parliament to the Shiites, and the Prime Minister to the Sunnis. These and other constitutionally guaranteed distributions of government posts had come under increasing pressure from Muslims, now emboldened by a resurgent pan-Arab nationalism and secular left wing groups acting at the behest of the Soviet-Communist Bloc in the 1960s, leading them to join forces as the Front for Progressive Parties and National Forces in 1969. The Muslim-leftist opposition coalition (later evolved into the Lebanese National Movement) called for the taking of a new census (the last one had been conducted in 1932) and the subsequent drafting of a new governmental structure that would reflect the shifts in the actual population balance. The Christian (especially Maronite) community saw this as an attack on the foundations of the State of Lebanon and a reneging on the National Pact. Furthermore, the Christians did not want to renegotiate the Pact or other rearrangements since they wanted to keep their domination on the Lebanese society.
Lebanese Army personnel, Beirut, Lebanon 1982Both sides were unable to reconcile their conflicts of interest and began forming militias for self-protection. As the situation escalated these militias grew stronger and soon surpassed the regular army. This rapidly undermined the authority of the central government. The government's ability to maintain order was also handicapped by the nature of the Lebanese Army. One of the smallest in the Middle East, it was composed based on a fixed ratio of religions. As members defected to sectarian militias, the army would eventually prove unable to contain the militant groups, rein in the PLO or monitor foreign infiltration. Since the government was Christian-dominated, especially the officers' ranks, trust among Muslims for central institutions, including the army, was low. The disintegration of the Lebanese Army was eventually initiated by Muslim deserters declaring that they would no longer take orders from the Maronite generals.
Throughout the war most or all militias operated with little regard for human rights, and the sectarian character of some battles, made non-combatant civilians a frequent target. As the war dragged on, the militias deteriorated ever further into mafia-style organizations with many commanders turning to crime as their main occupation rather than fighting. Finances for the war effort were obtained in one or all of three ways:
Outside support, generally from one of the rival Arab governments, Iran or Israel, or a superpower like US, often with strings attached. Alliances would shift frequently.
Preying on the population. Extortion, theft, bank robberies and random checkpoints at which "customs" would be collected, were commonplace on all sides. During cease-fires, most militias operated in their home areas as virtual mafia organizations.
Smuggling. During the civil war, Lebanon turned into one of the world's largest narcotics producers, with much of the hashish production centered in the Bekaa valley. But much else was also smuggled, such as guns and supplies, all kinds of stolen goods, and regular trade - war or no war, Lebanon would not give up its role as the middleman in European-Arab business. Many battles were fought over Lebanon's ports, to gain smugglers access to the sea routes.
 The major militias
See also: Lebanese Front and Lebanese National Movement
Most militias claimed that they were non-sectarian forces, but in fact they recruited mainly from the community or region of their chiefs.
 Christian militias
Logo of KataebChristian militias acquired arms from Romania and Bulgaria as well as from West Germany, Belgium and Israel, and drew supporters from the larger Christian population in the north of the country. They were generally right-wing in their political outlook, and all the major Christian militias were Maronite-dominated, and other Christian sects played a secondary role.
The most powerful of the Christian militias was the Kataeb, or Phalanges, under the leadership of Bachir Gemayel. This Militia eventually became a strong ally of Israel due to the civil war. Initially many Muslims welcomed Israel to rid Lebanon of the PLO. The Phalange went on to help found the Lebanese Forces in 1977 which came under the leadership of Samir Geagea in 1986. A smaller faction was the nationalist non-sectarian Guardians of the Cedars. These militias quickly established strongholds in Christian-dominated East Beirut, also the site of many government buildings. In the north, the Marada Brigades served as the private militia of the Franjieh family and Zgharta.
Another mainly Christian Militia was the South Lebanon Army which was controlled by Saad Haddad. This militia was installed in South Lebanon by the Israelis. Their goal was to minimize the U.N peace keeping movement and to attack the PLO.
 Shi'a militias
The Shi'a militias were slow to form and join in the fighting. Initially, many Shi'a had sympathy for the Palestinians and a few had been drawn to the Lebanese Communist Party, but after 1970's Black September, there was a sudden influx of armed Palestinians to the Shi'a areas. South Lebanon's population is mainly Shi'a and the Palestinians soon set up base there for their attacks against the Israelis. The Palestinian movement quickly squandered its influence with the Shi'ite, as radical factions ruled by the gun in much of Shi'ite-inhabited southern Lebanon, where the refugee camps happened to be concentrated, and the mainstream PLO proved either unwilling or unable to rein them in.
Flag of HezbollahThe Palestinian radicals' secularism and behaviour had alienated the traditionalist Shi'ite community, the Shi'a didn't want to pay the price for the PLO's rocket attacks from Southern Lebanon. The PLO created a State within a State in South Lebanon and this instigated a fury among Lebanon's Shi'a who feared a retaliation from the Israelis to their native land in the South. Initially the Shi'a had been sympathetic towards the Palestinians, but when the PLO created chaos in South Lebanon these feelings were reversed. The Shiʿa predominated in the area of southern Lebanon that in the 1960s became an arena for Israel-Palestinian conflict. The state of Lebanon, which always avoided provoking Israel, simply abandoned southern Lebanon. Many of the people there migrated to the suburbs of Beirut which are known as "poverty belts." The young Shi'a migrants, who had not participated in the prosperity of prewar Beirut, joined many Lebanese and some Palestinian organizations. After many years without their own independent political organizations, there suddenly arose Musa Sadr's Amal Movement in 1974-75. The Amal movement was created to expel foreign forces from Lebanese land, solely the PLO at the time. Its moderate Islamist ideology immediately attracted the unrepresented people, and Amal's armed ranks grew rapidly. Amal fought against the PLO in the early days. Later, in the early 1980s, Amal proved to be a strong militia in the face of the Israelis. Amal fighters had delivered the first attack against their Israeli occupiers and succeeded. The Lebanese Shi'a soon proved that the Israelis were not as invincible as everyone thought. Later a hard line faction would break away to join with Shi'a groups fighting Israel to form the organization Hezbollah also known as the National Resistance, who to this day remain the most powerful militia of Lebanon. Hezbollah was created to fight against Israel. There was a time in the war when the South was occupied by Israel, if anyone wanted to pass out of South Lebanon they had to have their passports stamped by the Israelis with an Israeli stamp. After a 20 year occupation the Lebanese resistance had succeeded in liberating South Lebanon from the Israelis.
The Lebanese Alawites, followers of a sect of Shia Islam, were represented by the Red Knights Militia of the Arab Democratic Party, which was pro-Syrian due to the Alawites being dominant in Syria, and mainly acted in Northern Lebanon around Tripoli.
 Sunni militias
Some Sunni factions received support from Libya and Iraq, and a number of minor militias existed, the more prominent with Nasserist or otherwise pan-Arab and Arab nationalist leanings, but also a few Islamist ones, such as the Tawhid Movement. The main Sunni-led organization was the al-Murabitun. To compensate for weakness on the battlefield, the Sunni leadership turned early in the war to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was dominated by Palestinian Sunnis, although it also had a Christian (mainly Greek Orthodox) minority.
 The Druze
The small Druze sect, strategically and dangerously seated on the Chouf in central Lebanon, had no natural allies, and so were compelled to put much effort into building alliances. Under the leadership of the Jumblatt family, first Kamal Jumblatt (the LNM leader) and then his son Walid , the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) served as an effective Druze militia, building excellent ties to the Soviet Union mainly, with Israel upon its invasion to Lebanon and with Syria upon the withdrawal of Israel to the south of the country. However, many Druze in Lebanon at the time were members of the non-religious party, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.
 Non-religious groups
Flag of the Syrian Social Nationalist PartyAlthough several Lebanese militias claimed to be secular, most were little more than vehicles for sectarian interests. Still, there existed a number of non-religious groups, primarily but not exclusively of the left and/or Pan-Arab right.
Examples of this was the Lebanese Communist Party (LCP) and the more radical and independent Communist Action Organization (COA). Another notable example was the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), which promoted the concept of Greater Syria, in contrast to Pan-Arab or Lebanese nationalism. The SSNP was generally aligned with the Syrian government [?], although it did not ideologically approve of Hafez al-Assad's Ba'thist regime, and up to this day, it still opposes the Syrian Government's regime. [?]
Two competing Baath party factions were also involved in the early stages of the war: a nationalist one known as "pro-Iraqi" headed by Abdul-Majeed Al-Rafei (Sunni) and Nicola Y. Firzli (Greek Orthodox Christian), and a Marxist one known as "pro-Syrian" headed by Assem Qanso (Shiite).
 The Palestinians
PLO logoThe Palestinian movement relocated most of its fighting strength to Lebanon at the end of 1970 after being expelled from Jordan in the events known as Black September. The umbrella organization, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—by itself undoubtedly Lebanon's most potent fighting force at the time—was little more than a loose confederation, and its leader, Yassir Arafat, proved unable to control rival factions. This undermined both the PLO's operative strength and the sympathy of the Lebanese for the PLO, as the organization's image in Lebanon was increasingly marred by radical factions whose "Communist revolutionary order" rarely turned out to be anything other than protection rackets. In the end, the PLO was held together more by shared interests and Arafat's continual attempts at intra-organizational mediation, than by any coherent organizational structure.
The PLO mainstream was represented by Arafat's powerful Fatah, which waged guerrilla warfare and had a socialist doctrine. Among the most important Palestinian combatants were the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and its splinter, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). Lesser roles were played by the fractious Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF) and another split-off from the PFLP, the Syrian-aligned Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC). To complicate things, the Ba'thist systems of Syria and Iraq both set up Palestinian puppet organizations within the PLO. The as-Sa'iqa was a Syrian-controlled militia, paralleled by the Arab Liberation Front (ALF) under Iraqi command. The Syrian government could also count on the Syrian brigades of the Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA), formally but not functionally the PLO's regular army. Some PLA units sent by Egypt were under PLO (Arafatist) control, but never played the same dominant role as the heavily armed Syrian-backed factions.
In 1974, a stone was added to Arafat's burden with the near-formal breakup of the PLO. A controversial proposal (the Ten Point Program) that aimed to make way for a two-state solution had been advanced by Arafat and Fatah in the Palestinian National Council (PNC). Under furious accusations of treason, many of the PLO's hard line anti-Israel factions simply walked out of the organization. With Iraqi, and later Syrian and Libyan, backing, they formed the Rejectionist Front, espousing a no-compromise line towards Israel. The defectors included the PFLP, the PFLP-GC, the PLF, as-Sa'iqa, ALF and several others, and discontent mounted also within Fatah. Arafat would eventually manage to patch up the differences, but this would come back to haunt him throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, and the split effectively prevented organizational unity in crucial stages of PLO's involvement in the Lebanese civil war.
 The PLO and regional conflict
Arafat in Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Lebanon in 1978Due to major Arab political pressure, the Cairo Agreement brokered by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1969, the Lebanese were forced to allow a foreign force (the PLO) to conduct military operations against Israel from inside their own territory. Although initially very reluctant to sign, the Lebanese government saw this accord as its last hope of regaining control of the country whereby it was agreed that attacks would be carried out in co-ordination with the Lebanese army. The PLO were granted full control over the refugee camps, but soon much of southern Lebanon fell under their effective rule and rarely was the accord abided by. As fighters poured in from Jordan after the Black September destruction of the PLO's apparatus there, the PLO's presence became overbearing to many of inhabitants of these areas. The radical factions operated as a law unto themselves, and quickly alienated conservative Shi'a villagers. Much the same way that the PLO had lost its welcome in Jordan, Muslim support for the Palestinians began to erode in Lebanon.
A significant left-wing opposition also started to evolve within Fatah, as radical veteran fighters from Jordan began pouring into its ranks, to the worry of Arafat himself. Still, Arafat set about building a "state-within-the-state" in southern Lebanon, to create a secure base area for the PLO, headquartered in the Bekaa Valley and West Beirut. Gradually the Lebanese authorities were being pushed into irrelevancy. Harsh Israeli retribution after Palestinian raids from what was now termed "Fatahland" did nothing to endear the civilian Shi'a and Christian population to the Palestinian guerrillas.
The PLO was welcomed, however, by the Sunnis - who thought of them as a natural ally in sectarian terms - and by the Druze. A personal friendship developed between Arafat and the charismatic Druze leader Kamal Jumblatt, who not only headed the PSP, but who had also set up a Lebanese National Movement (LNM). Many of the Rejectionist Front organizations joined the leftist LNM straightway, and indeed portions of the Fatah left followed. But Arafat was unwilling to commit the Palestinians to what he regarded as an intra-Lebanese conflict, fearing it would bog the movement down in Lebanon and unnecessarily alienate potential supporters among the Christians and their foreign allies.
 First phase of the war, 1975-77
 Sectarian violence and civilian massacres
Between 1968 and 1975, there was a gradual buildup in the assertion by Yasser Arafat's PLO of its right to fight Israel from the Lebanese south, in spite of Lebanese sovereignty. A sample of the incidents includes: Palestinian roadblocks in the city of Beirut killing innocent Lebanese civilians; kidnapping by PLO militants of Lebanese gendarmes; kidnapping of Christians and the dumping of the mutilated bodies on roadsides; Syria's backing of the PLO included punishing Lebanon by closing the borders between the two countries, which choked the Lebanese economy; incursions by Palestinian contingents of the Syrian Army such as the Palestine Liberation Army, the Al-Saiqa commandos, the Yarmouk Brigades, etc. into Lebanese territory and carrying out massacres against Christian villages in the north and the east; ineffective attacks by PLO militants against the Israeli north were often met with massive and deadly reprisals by Israel against the civilian population; the assassination of the Israeli ambassador in London led to Israel bombing Beirut Airport and destroying the entire fleet of the Lebanese national air carrier - MEA, Lebanese army air force bombing the Palestinian camps, etc. After these incidents, several accords were signed between the Lebanese State and the PLO (examples: The Cairo Accord of 1969 and the Melkart Accord of 1972), only to be violated by the PLO, then backed by Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt.
In the spring of 1975, this build-up erupted in an all-out conflict, with the PLO pitted against the Christian Phalange, and the ever-weaker national government wavering between the need to maintain order and catering to its constituency. In March 1975, a demonstration by Lebanese fishermen against a planned fishing company was subverted by the PLO and its Sunni Muslim backers in the city of Sidon. The Lebanese army tried to maintain order, and a clash ensued in which a leading Sunni Muslim politician, Maaruf Saad, was killed. On the morning of Sunday April 13, 1975, unidentified gunmen in a speeding car fired on a church that was being inaugurated in the Christian East Beirut suburb of Ain El Rummaneh with the Phalange leader Pierre Gemayel attending. The shooting killed 4 people including Gemayel's two body guards. Hours later, a defiant PLO bus carrying PLO fighters brandishing their weapons drove by the same spot of the shooting earlier in the day. The mobilized and tense Phalangists led by Gemayels ambushed the bus and killed 27 Palestinians. The route taken by the bus was unusual, since PLO militants typically took the peripheral boulevards around Ain El Rummaneh as they commuted between the Palestinian camps in Muslim West Beirut (Sabra-Shatila) and the Palestinian camps in Christian East Beirut (Tal Zaatar, Jisr al-Basha, and Dbayyeh). Their foray into Ain El- Rummaneh on that day after the attempted assassination on the life of Pierre Gemayel was widely seen as a deliberate provocation. By the evening of April 13, 1975, citywide clashes had erupted in what became known as "round 1", to be followed by several rounds interspersed with ceasefires and mediation attempts.
On December 6, 1975, a day later known as Black Saturday, the killings of four Christian civilians on a mountain road led the Phalanges to quickly and temporarily set up roadblocks throughout Beirut at which identification cards were inspected for religious affiliation. Many Palestinians or Muslims passing through the roadblocks were killed immediately. Additionally, Phalange members took hostages and attacked Muslims in East Beirut. Pro-Muslim and Palestinian militias retaliated with force, increasing the total death count to between 200 and 600 civilians and militiamen. After this point, all-out fighting began between the militias.
Christian East Beirut was ringed by heavily fortified Palestinian camps from which kidnappings and sniping against Lebanese civilians became a daily routine. Christian East Beirut became besieged by the PLO camps, with severe shortages of food and fuel. This unbearable situation was remedied by the Phalanges and their allied Christian militias as they besieged the Palestinian camps embedded in Christian East Beirut one at a time and brought them down. The first was on January 18, 1976 when the heavily fortified Karantina camp, located near the strategic Beirut Harbor, was sacked: About 1,000 PLO fighters and civilians were killed. The Palestinian PLO and al-Saika forces retaliated by attacking the isolated defenseless Christian town of Damour about 20 miles south of Beirut on the coast, in which 1,000 Christian civilians were butchered and 5,000 were sent fleeing north by boat, since all roads were blocked off. These two massacres prompted a mass exodus of Muslims and Christians, as people fearing retribution fled to areas under the control of their own sect. The ethnic and religious layout of the residential areas of the capital encouraged this process, and East and West Beirut were increasingly transformed into an effective Christian and Muslim Beirut. Also, the number of Christian leftists who had allied with the LNM, and Muslim conservatives with the government, dropped sharply, as the war gradually changed from an essentially Palestinian-Syrian versus Lebanese confrontation into a more sectarian conflict.
 Syrian intervention
Map showing power balance in Lebanon, 1976: Dark green - controlled by Syria, purple - controlled by Christian militias, light green - controlled by Palestinian militiasIn June, 1976, with fighting throughout the country and the Maronites on the verge of defeat, President Suleiman Frangieh called for Syria intervention in Lebanon, on the grounds that the port of Beirut would be closed and that is how Syria received a large portion of their goods. Christian fears had been greatly exacerbated by the Damour massacre, and both sides felt the stakes had been raised above mere political power. Syria responded by ending its prior affiliation with the Palestinian Rejectionist Front and began supporting the Maronite-dominated government. This technically put Syria on the same side as Israel, as Israel had already begun to supply Maronite forces with arms, tanks, and military advisers in May 1976. Syria had its own political and territorial interests in Lebanon, which harbored cells of the Islamists and anti-Ba'thist Muslim Brotherhood, and was also a possible route of attack for Israel.
At the President's request, Syrian troops entered Lebanon, occupying Tripoli and the Bekaa Valley, easily brushing aside the LNM and Palestinian defenses. A cease-fire was imposed, but it ultimately failed to stop the conflict, so Syria added to the pressure. With Damascus supplying arms, Christian forces managed to break through the defenses of the Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp in East Beirut, which had long been under siege. A massacre of about 2,000 Palestinians followed, which unleashed heavy criticism against Syria from the Arab world.
On October 19, 1976, the Battle of Aishiya took place, when a combined force of PLO and a Communist militia attacked Aishiya, an isolated Christian village in a mostly Muslim area. The Artillery Corps of the Israel Defence Forces fired 24 shells (66 kilograms of TNT each) from US-made 175-millimeter field artillery units at the attackers, repelling their first attempt. However, the PLO and Communists returned at night, when low visibility made Israeli artillery far less effective. The Christian population of the village fled. They returned in 1982.
In October 1976, Syria accepted the proposal of the Arab League summit in Riyadh. This gave Syria a mandate to keep 40,000 troops in Lebanon as the bulk of an Arab Deterrent Force charged with disentangling the combatants and restoring calm. Other Arab nations were also part of the ADF, but they lost interest relatively soon, and Syria was again left in sole control, now with the ADF as a diplomatic shield against international criticism. The Civil War was officially ended at this point, and an uneasy quiet settled over Beirut and most of the rest of Lebanon. In the south, however, the climate began to deteriorate as a consequence of the gradual return of PLO combatants, who had been required to vacate central Lebanon under the terms of the Riyadh Accords.
 An uneasy quiet
Green Line, Beirut 1982The nation was now effectively divided, with southern Lebanon and the western half of Beirut becoming bases for the PLO and Muslim-based militias, and the Christians in control of East Beirut and the Christian section of Mount Lebanon. The main confrontation line in divided Beirut was known as the Green Line.
In East Beirut, in 1977, Christian leaders of the National Liberal Party (NLP), the Kataeb Party and the Lebanese Renewal Party joined in the Lebanese Front, a political counterpart to the LNM. Their militias - the Tigers, Phalange and Guardians of the Cedars - entered a loose coalition known as the Lebanese Forces, to form a military wing for the Lebanese Front. From the very beginning, the Kataeb and Phalange, under the leadership of Bashir Gemayel, dominated the LF. Through absorbing or destroying smaller militias, he both consolidated control and strengthened the LF into the dominant Christian force.
In March the same year, Lebanese National Movement leader Kamal Jumblatt was assassinated. The murder was widely blamed on the Syrian government. While Jumblatt's role as leader of the Druze Progressive Socialist Party was filled surprisingly smoothly by his son, Walid Jumblatt, the LNM disintegrated after his death. Although the anti-government pact of leftists, Shi'a, Sunni, Palestinians and Druze would stick together for some time more, their wildly divergent interests tore at opposition unity. Sensing the opportunity, Hafez al-Assad immediately began splitting up both the Christian and Muslim coalitions in a game of divide and conquer.
Dutchman I am very happy to accept your very in depth recount of the history surrounding the continuing conflict in the Middle East. It really is very exact and to the point.
My argument against the US injection into the political and geological presense is when we became an active partner with Israel during the 1947 partition was made by the UN of which we were an integral and very fervent partner That is not to say that we did not play a significant role prior to that event.
Where we take a serious turn is when we committed and continue to commit what is an estimated six billion dollars a year at its' highest to what is about three billion dollars presently in aid to the Israeli government. This in effect puts us as a partner with the Israelies and there in lies the animosity I allude to so often in these posts. I respond very quickly and accuratley to others who continue to claim the the attacks were unprovoked by us. It is convenient and expeditious to discount this fact but the Palestinians and the Arab conflageration over there does not.
All I am saying is until we look at our actions, not saying we are without merit in our efforts, we will never quell this and make it go away. Besides if you really want to be more exact and to the point Osama Bin Laden is more upset about the US relationship with Saudi Arabia than he has a problem with the US Israeli relationship. He is very committed to the overthow of the Saudi Kingdom and the Royal family. He kind of piggy backs the Palestinian issue with the Saudi Arabian one to get "legs" for his cause.
Whens your next mental health appointment?
I'd say sarin gas and mustard gas are pretty effective WMDs. Hussein demonstrated his willingness to use them on his own people and his neighbors.
Find an unbiased source if you want credibility.
Fox is unbiased, it has all the credibility it needs!
lampar I'm with you. I think the first thing we have to do is get an indictment against the past administration. I think we ought throw Cheney and Rumsfeld in there too. Let's not forget our boy Rove.
Set it up in the Hague like the Nazis were prosecuted after World War II.
Silly me I thought I was in a country that espoused justice like we do to the Iraquis and the Afganies.
I think justice department need to take a look at the event leading to Iraq war and see whether there is any foul play or mislead of congress took place, if law was broken; then decide what course of action to take, have a trial or congressional hearing or whatever necessary, and see how thing go as it proceed, it is up to the court to decide what he/ she want to do with the guilty party after that. Pay the reparation, or jail time or both!! All sound good to me.
I agree with Texan. Why should we pay reparations when it is the Muslim extemists that keep bombing places and going on with terrorist activities. I agree as well that we shouldn't be there, but now that we are pulling out is going to be a much harder thing to do. I, personally, believe that Special Forces should be sent in and ferret out BinLaden and his gang and rid the world of them once and for all. That was the original reason for the US going into those areas and we should finish him, but at what cost to the US?
I agree but Bin Laden should be our main goal. He's the bastard that killed so many here.
As far as I'm concerned call it a gun fight at OK Corral or whatever else you want to call it, just bring back the body when it's over.
I still want to know who you guy's think started this whole thing in the first place. Too chicken to answer the question. Remember that history didn't start now.
It started for me on 10/23/83 It has been personal ever since, if you think I care how it started you would be sadly mistaken. I am not interested in the History I am interested in results by violence! I have done my part to help many get to their god, and I sleep very well at night.
So your answer is a date I am supposed to know? Is it your birthday or when you served in the military?
Your answers are very cryptic. I can only assume that either you are unable to answer the question or that you have a stance that you cannot sufficiently support.
Let me help. The day this all began for the US is when we forced a vote in the UN to partition land for the aquisition of land in Palestine. The year was 1947.
You can read can't you? I said I am not interested in the History of the conflict.
Then I must reiterate a famous saying "Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it" Alexander the great could not conquer the Afganies and he had a world domination campaign that was by far much more successful than ours. I feel sorry that you cannot look beyond your own fear and better understand the conflict and not draw any other conclusions than to dominate the situation.
Its not fear its hatred! Hatred for Muslims, Islam, and the Arabs everywhere! Trying to change my mind or my biases is a futile effort!
Hatred is a very strong emotion and one that leads to destruction. Are you not concerned that following this hatred you could lead yourself into a bad situation?
The terrorists started this whole thing with 9/11. We are just in a bad war because Bush chose his targets unwisely.
The date really doesn't make a lot of sense though.
Mr.Bush chose targets very much wisely. Think of what would have happened if he chose Afganistan only. Will Saddam Hussain keep quiet? He would have engaged himself against America and the war would have been the same... with more damages to America.
If anyone should pay reparations to the Muslim world, it should be mercenary co.'s like Blackwater and such. They are the ones who make it close to impossible for the actual armed forces enlistees to do their jobs peoperly. All these companies do is use the fereral govt as a cash cow to pay their employees five times what an Army enlistee earns. And all too often it is our enlistees who are the targets of insurgents who are usually retaliating against the irresponsible actions of unaccountable mercenaries. If the govt should pay reparations to anybody, it should be the armed servicemen who have come home with limbs or fingers missing after serving in a war that was started under questionable pretenses.
Rather than taking the step to repay for the loss suffered by the Afganistan and Iragi people could we agree to an impass. Is anybody talking to the other side? I don,t mean Miliki or Karzai but the people we are actually fighting against? Until we lose this US policy of not talking to the opposition we will be left with constant war as an answer.
Why carry a hatred for an entire group of people. They are not all bad people. Granted there is a higher majority of them as terrorists than any other group in the world, but as a whole they are not all bad people.
What do you think the Iraquis felt when we invaded their country. I have talked with several and they were greatly offended. Our leaders trumped up a reason to invade them and followed through with it. Do this sound familiar? Could we be viewed as terrorists and hated just as Texan hates them? There are a lot more of us then them and if we were viewed as terrorists wouldn't we hold a greater percentage then them. Besides from what I understand Iraq had more insurgients fighting in their country than actual Iraqis.
What do you think Kuwait felt like when Iraq invaded their country...or was that America's fault too?
So let me get this straight when we invaded Iraq the second time to find WMD's we were doing it to free Kuwait again?
I'm curious as to who you think said there were WMD's in Iraq? I remember Bill Clinton Al Gore Harry Reid Nancy Pelosi Hillary Clinton all saying there were WMD's there!
Where were they and did you read the testimony of the CIA as to what they believed the probability that WMD's were there?
So...Let me get this straight...you think everything is just a play on words...because we are a "Bad" America? Did you not just start your sentence the very same way talking about how we invading Iraq? Who made you the survey analysis guru after talking to a few Iraqis...I have personally talked with Marines and Iraqis who said that they were glad that America took Saddam Hussien out of power!
Imagine that Happy Iraqis no longer under the dictator, whod a thunk it?
How magnanimous of you to be the conquerer and freer of the middle east. The only thing is you were not invited. And you base the happiness of the Iraquis on what?
lol. Invited by whom? Did you expect Hussein to invite us to invade.
Yep Texan...OOPs...(we're talking in the same forum post again) I know of an account where the Marines rolled in to one town at the first of the war...and all the folks there were trying to talk with them. After Translators and hand signals were all on the same page...they went down to the end of a street where children and teens up to age 15-16 were being held prisoner. They were from all over Iraq...and many were from households in that neighborhood. They were being held prisoner until they were old enough to join Saddam's Army at 16 (I believe) Please...Please...Sign (this older guy) me up for active duty...anytime it involves freeing innnocent children from prison before being forced into the Military!
The same forum how can we be at the same place at the same time? Weird!
I find it easy to confuse the discussion with irrelevent facts to help make my point, don't you. Two different topics guys. We invaded Iraq to find WMD's period. If it were a humanitarian effort it should have been a UN multi force strike. We went in on a different reason than what you have cited.
I don't think the Iraqi people care why they were freed just that they were!
So the ends justify the means? If that is true why don't we invade Saudi Arabia and free the locals from the tyranny of the king. After all they have disturbing human rights isuues we are constantly overlooking?
There you go again...with your play on words...if it was so simple and logical...How come we are still having the same ol' discussion over the same personal mixed-up conclusions...?
Really...Let me make this point so as not to confuse you since you like to play things like you got the smart card on top of the deck for any sentence that comes your way...I would go marching in to Iraq after the fact that I heard there was at least one kid being held prisoner against his will. I brought a fact into the discussion and you tried to throw out...because it confused you...like this was some point vs. counterpoint politicum media debate...and you were somehow an appointed referee of what will be said and won't be said. Does that elaborate a little bit more?
I am sorry to offend you with my style of writing but I assure you I meant no disrespect. I merely am trying to state my case through the conversation as succinctly and clearly as I can. If you feel I am twisting your statements around I appologize. Your imput is very important. I am only trying to remain on topic and to the point. Once again I appologize and hope you will forgive me for some over zealous behaviour.
No...Please forgive me as well...for my zealous behavior...when we rehash the Iraq War...I get very upset about all the debatables to it. I have my reasons and they are not too hard to figure out. Where were the debatables when the young ones that volunteered in our Military went in to Iraq...Where were the debatables when a dictator raped, tortured,and biologically cooked some of his own people. WMD's-WMD's...always with that. My own local "full of garbage" newspaper reported that evidence of Weapons of Mass destruction had been discovered in Mosul. Nothing ever became of that? We had court cases on the books for years over who sold Biological weapons to Saddam Hussien. During the Gulf War, we (U.S.of A.) encountered many biological threats and returning Vets have suffered strange ailments that no one can figure out...Are you going to tell me that no Bio-Weapons were used on them...sparodically...out there in the desert...and then none existed in 2003 in Iraq? Are you or anyone else going to sit there...and say because we didn't find any WMD's...the whole war was in vain. Personally...I don't think it is probable that all WMD's vanished from Iraq...unless someone snuck them out for a myriad of reasons. That to me is the most probable.
Quite honestly...we are for the most part...all wrong...War should never be the solution. Please forgive me if I sound like I am giving a "rebel yell" about this war...I most certainly am not! A Texan, can testify that bad and horrible things happen in War. I can testify as a "standing to close to the scene of a crime" witness that War is hell and unfortunate. Sometimes you got to break the glass in case of emergencies...and send the troops in. Sometimes it is to draw a line in the sand or to dispose of a dictator...maybe it's just because it is a hot bed of bad news...just like it demonstrated itself to be with all the insurgent resistance...Imagine that kind of insurgent resistance...being on the streets of Europe, America, or China...for example. People would not be debating the finer "irrelevant facts"...as you call it! They would just say...call in the "Gosh-Darn" Marines...and get this fire put out!
I'm always for the dang USA first...She's not perfect...and even us Americans question whether her heart is always in the right place...sometimes. But, I have looked into the eyes of young Marines going to Iraq and I can tell you for certain that their heart is in the right place...and they like the Iraqi's ...and the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Allied Members of the same conflict...have laid down precious blood in Iraq during this war. Give most of the debatables a rest...End of Story. No...we should not pay war reparations!
A Texan, let me thank you for your service to our country and your love for this country. I kind of got the idea that you were from at least one of the two wars and I hope I have not sounded that I was disrespecting your service.
I grew up around and almost went to the Viet Nam War and saw the body counts on television while I ate my dinner. I always thought that war would never catch up to me when I became of age. Mind you I would have gone had they called my number. Many of my friends did go and a few did not return. Some of them still live there in their minds.
I just think that the politicians who trump up these wars should have more of a bridle in their mouth before they commit heroic patriots to these wars and that they should be for specific results and not bravado. I know that you know we can be wrong from reading your very good blog.
Thanks again for your explanation of where you are coming from and the respect you have accorded me in the process.
Keep it coming and by all means as Obama says "Hold me accountable" as I will you.
It would be an interesting to know what would happen if things will be done differently. Not winning over Hitler would we be now speaking German?
What would happened if fall of Soviets would not happened?
What about other wars?
What if Marxist/communist will win in America?
I did not think you said anything out of line, the date I provided yesterday was the day the Marine Barracks were car-bombed in Beirut. I left about 3 weeks earlier for another "job" I lost some friends in that terrorist attack and have never forgiven nor will I ever. Its personal to me and I will always fight against terrorism in anyway I can!
I do not think I am the know all be all on the subject but am I to understand that you are? And the play on words you are referring to is not coming from me. We invaded Iraq based on lies and we should admit it and begin making up for it now.
No we shouldn't! We should put up a sign that reads Gas Station #1
Your gosh darn double tooting for sure knowing...I am pretty much a frickin' expert on it...because I know first hand what it cost us...Americans!
Should have seen what the Iraqis did to Kuwait City, it was not a pretty sight. On second thought the Kuwaitis were a very nice bunch of people and very glad to see us.
Really? Is there really a higher majority of them as terrorists? There are around 1.5bn of them in the world.
What about Catholics in the 1980s, did they have a high proportion of terrorists? I would say that they had a pretty high proportion.....
What about Christians as a whole? Most of Nazi Germany considered themselves to be Christian. You will now say that they were not Christian, because they did not comply with the book, but do everyday Muslims accept the 9/11 suicide bombers? please do not say no to that question.
How about Zimbabwe? and the atrocities there? They were all committed by groups that considered themselves to be primarily Christian.
There are 1.6m Muslims in my country, the UK, this is 2.7% of the population. Have I ever experienced racism from these muslims? No. Have I ever been attacked by these muslims? No. Have I ever seen one of these muslims commit a crime? No. There have been no more than 50 British citizens charged with terrorism related activities since 9/11.
There are as many muslims in the UK as there are people in the whole of Northern Ireland. The violence that has plagued Northern Ireland for decades is done in the name of god.
1.6m Muslims in the UK.
1.65m people in Northern Ireland (predominantly white Christian)
I will leave you to work out whether Islam really does have more extremists, or whether the white christian west are actually just the worlds biggest terrorists/racists. This is a populist war on culture, but a political war for wealth.
I must remind you that the war is being fought in their own lands. The Taliban are protecting their own beliefs, picking up guns, and fighting against the foreign occupants. Just like you would be if half a million armed muslims landed in your country in helicopters, in planes, and with navy fleets all around.
I dont share their beliefs, they have a lot of faults, but we are not having a war on Bhurkas here. This is about natural resources. If the French (just hypothetical) invaded the UK tomorrow, for our natural resouces, then I would be trying to blow them up with roadside bombs too.
I expect an onslaught. Please note that I am white, athiest, and open-minded to culture. I look forward to being told that I will "burn in hell", that I "should kill myself", and that "America will nuke everybody". These are the normal responses from threads featuring A Texan and his cronies, so I dont expect anything more logical, reasonable, or intelligient.
I was following along until you got to "open minded". Then you lost me.
Well thank you for reading approximately 90% of my post then.
I can understand your point of view but after 9/11 I am disgusted with them. I know it's bad of me to not be more open minded but I know of Muslims that have burned thier wives right here in my own city just based on thier beliefs. I saw them laughing about the attacks on the World Trade Center. Thier beliefs are sick and twisted. Maybe if I had more of them around that weren't supporting the terrorist attacks I would be more open minded. As a whole if they are in support of terrorism I believe that they are wrong.
Ok, well I accept that your opinions have been influenced by things that you have witnessed. I am certainly not denying the existance of some seriously hateful and anti-west people who happen to consider themselves to be Muslim, and it is particularly important that these people are identified and deported back to their own countries. We do have extremism in the UK (well, we have evidence that it exists), and I would like to see anybody with this mindset to be put straight onto a boat back home. But that is still a huge minority. If anything, decent Muslims in the UK are guilty of fear..... and so are often not particularly productive in helping to identify these individuals.
But you have pretty much just labelled all Muslims as having sick and twisted beliefs? Are you saying that you are disgusted with Muslims because of 9/11? That is a strong statement. I am therefore disgusted with Christians because Hitler and his main men read the bible and attented church. Should I be disgusted with you? There are 1.5bn Muslims in the world, and if there were 1.5bn muslims who genuinely wanted Christianity erradicated and a completely Muslim world...... then we would all be worrying about something much larger than a few isolated terrorist attacks.
Would that be Honey Nut Cheerios? You don't have to go to hell, we have room for you at our church and we'll just love that liberal right out of you! You shouldn't expect anything more out of a conversation with us than we expect from your tobacco stained teeth and your bitter soaked brain. So see, we like you just the way you are! So, if you're happy and you know it clap your hands!
Common you open minded kid. About Christians? You think someone is "born" in church or baptized is a Christian. Is one cow born in the animal's house?
Wow. Where are the facts to back up this kind of accusation? Your rational is exactly what "they" think as well (I quote 'they' because you obviously want to distinguish yourself from such a hate filled population). I am sure that people with the rational that you have most clearly demonstrated can sleep very well at night knowing that 'they' are at fault. Open your eyes...the United States IS the enemy to the people we call terrorists. I love my nation and I would proudly die for it if there were a just cause for war but please for the sake of every peace loving person on this planet just see that we are all at fault in some manner.
I love how all the dialogue with our enemies is working, looks like Iran is really listening.
Well put. Iran will be the next ones we are fighting but then it will get really ugly with the nukes involved now.
Hussein needed to be removed from power. WMD or not he was a tyrant that killed for no apparent rhyme or reason. Of course someone like him wouldn't want us there. But then again look at how his life ended when he was taken to trial. His own people would've killed him given half a chance and a little backbone.
As far as reparations for invading them....BS.
Iran will never listen to reason. They are dictatorial the same as other Muslims countries. Dictators listen to no one.
Problem is when dictors get thier hands on nukes the chances of a nuke war go up by far. That's what needs to be stopped and I really don't care if it's Iran or North Korea. Them having nukes is a dangerous proposition. I understand it is thier culture, but the rest of the world doesn't need to live in fear of some jerk dictator firing up the nukes someday. Let's all just go back to the cold war and see how that goes. Last I remember that didn't turn out so well either.
But what you are preposing is action that could further exasperate the situation. What good has the cold war approach of not talking to Iran and economic sanctions done to bring this nuclear situation to a conclusion? Kind of sounds like the way we handeled the Iraq situation doesn't it? We have more intelligence than that and this time if we screw up there really may be WMD's in Iran.
But there may be and that is what fires the conversation. We admonish Iran because they will not give us the satisfaction of seeing what they are doing with regards to nuclear capablities. I agree that there is great reason to believe the worst in this situation but is our answer to go invading country after country on a witch hunt to prove our points.
Most of the west believes that the detente stand of having nuclear weapons assures a word in world acceptance. The Koreans have played it to the hilt with their missle launches and sabre rattling. This has made us very aware of them. They got the technology from us from Clinton with the understanding they would not head that direction. Look how that turned out.
The Iranians are a little more dangerous because of their theogratical government. Radical factions within it are hard to predict which makes it much more expedient for us to begin talking with them now rather than later.
Obama has a prickly path to navigate at best because if he begins talks he may be percieved as weak but if he doesn't he may be foolish.
He is weak! He called the war in Afghanistan a war of necessity, but stalls in giving commanders what they need. He is concerned with what the strategy is? last time I checked he was President and if he doesn't know the strategy is then who does?
But none of that works when one side holds grudges dating back all the freakin' way to the Crusades.
But was America around during the Crusades to have caused this rift between us and the middle East?
Al Qaeda's beef is not just with the US, but all western civilization. The US happens to only be the most powerful western nation at the moment, and therefore the biggest scapegoat. You know that Americans are referred to as modern Crusaders, and that people who go up against them are compared to Saladin?
And they use every grievance dating back to the Crusades as their excuse.
Let me pose to you a situation and see if you can swallow the answer.
What if you owned a house in the country and you had a bunch of land that you let grow wild. You lived there for many years and one day somebody from far away dropped some people from a different country and culture on it and said they were going to now own it and that you had to find somewhere else to live. That you had no person to pleed your oppostion to this situation and you now had a different legislative process you had to appeal to that you did not elect?
Would you just be upset or would you just accept it? Would you just be angry with the people who squatted on your land or would you be angry at both the thief who took the land and the squatter? What about if you went to defend yourself from the squatter the thief supplied the squatter with everything they needed to fend you off? You have absolutely no recourse and no one will help you. Would just forget about it and walk away? What would you do?
This happened in Hungary in 1956, and unfortunatly the US did not come to our aid.
When those 3 boys fought and you made the aggressor apologize was the aggressor always wrong? You approach this like we can sit down with the Taliban or Bin Laden and have discussion and resolve the conflict. Naive does not begin to describe you, given the opportunity to sit down with the leader of the Taliban or Bin Laden I would remove my 9mm and put two in the head and one in the heart! That is my diplomacy!
Usually but not always but we did get to the bottom of it without having to beat one or the other.
As to my naivete I will admit I do look for a way to have agreement with someone before I distrust them. That does not mean that I am anybodies patsy. My beliefs are not what we need to make this country find peace with this conflict but I do believe that if we cannot ask the questions neccessary to understand it better then no end is in site. Remember these people have been warring for hundreds of years.
My father told me a story about a question he was asked during the first Gulf War. Someone asked him if he had a problem with the US dropping bombs on Baghdad and killing innocent children? He replied that the only children he was concerned with were his two sons fighting in that war! I was an old Marine (comparatively) by that time and my Brother was an Officer in the Navy and relatively safe, we were both wounded in that war, mine occurred in battle in Kuwait City my brothers in a shower on the ship! My point, there are two sides to every situation and Officers are given Purple Hearts for the damnedest things!
Obviously no wants to bomb innocent civilians. As soon as we convince the Taliban and the Elite Republican Guard to abandon their hiding places in mosques, hospitals and schools, we'll be happy to aim our ordnance appropriately.
I guess the Liberals were pulling for the Elite Republican Guard.
"Elite Republican Guard" you should have seen those elite troops in action, a girl scout troop could have laid waste to em!
Hussein promised the world that his Elites would conquer our volunteer military. How'd that work out?
Compare it to the Dallas Cowboys playing a Pop Warner team, wasn't exactly the Mother of all battles!
I forgot about that catch-phrase.
Didn't the Elite Republican Guard eat the zoo animals in Kuwait City?
Are you surprised. War is our cash crop. We do it better than anybody else. Our economy depends on it. And we give it to Israel.
So, Rhamson, you're now blaming the Israelis, too?
I guess if we need to demand reparations from the people who really started it all, it would have to go all the way back to the ancient Babylonians. I mean, how would you like it if you were an innocent Jew minding your own business, tending your own land, and then some foreign occupiers swept in, destroyed your temple, took your land, and sent you and all your people into exile?
And it's entirely irrelevant regarding why the US is at war now. We went to war in Afghanistan because the Afghan government at the time supported an unprovoked, deliberate, and inexcusable attack on civilians. Who started it is irrelevant. Who were the people who flew those planes into the buildings, and who were their supporters? They are the ones who need to make reparations.
But as a US citizen, I would consider it sufficient if they simply manned up, stop using civilians as human shields, and took real responsibility for the consequences of their actions. They wanted a war with the US. They even declared war on the US, and they should not blame the US for giving them exactly what they asked for.
rhamson you could learn alot from this woman! So start here! A new day, a new understanding! Wage war on your ignorance we're here to help!
Very good point that I have not considered. Why do the libs insist the Iraq war is unjust because we weren't 'invited' but they never try that argument regarding Afghanistan? As far as I know the Taliban did not invite us to invade them.
The reason is because you cannot stand to have people who commit criminal acts run across international borders and take up refuge. I see a lot of what the liberal agenda has to say and I don't agree with it but if you remember the vote to pursue Osama Bin Laden into Afganistan was almost a unanimous decision by Congress. I think there were a few Lliberals in there at the time.
Yes, there were a few liberals who voted for both wars. I don't see the difference between a tyrant who institutionalizes a murderous government in Iraq and a government who harbors Bin Laden. Anyway, we've done much more in Afghanistan than pursue Bin Laden.
Yeah but did the Mecedonians place the Babylonians there and support them in their occupation?
By saying who started it is irrelevent is in itself ignoring the cause. It would be nice if a flood came along and destroyed everything but then move back in the same spot saying that the reasons for moving back is irrelevent.
As long as you ignore the reasons you can never move on. Trust me they haven't. There have been generations of children raised in this atmosphere and they are really mad at us. Tell them that they are irrelevent and then shoot them is not the answer. We have reprooved this for over and over for sixty years. Just because you say something is irrelevent doesn't change a thing.
Rhamson, I believe you are ignoring the fact that there is no good reason at all to support the hijacking of 747's full of passengers and fly them into buildings full mostly of civilians, killing nearly 3,000 civilians.
I think you are confusing the facts. No I don't believe that it was a good thing and that they were justified in doing it but I do believe that the act has to be looked at from the results and not just one side.
I believe we were justified into entering Afganistan to get the people who were responsible for the attack on 911. We could not let an act of aggression such as that go unanswered. I do believe however that we should look at what role our international policies and actions could have created such a breakdown in diplomacy that 19 people would commit this act.
Blah, blah, blah just don't get it for me and I believe there is always common ground between people if they look for it. The attitude of I don't care what the reasons are will always come back and bite you. It already has.
I don't think those 19 people gave a rat's rear about diplomacy. Some people are just nuts, and others are evil enough to brainwash the nuts into doing their dirty work for them.
We tried playing nice during the freakin' Clinton administration after the 1st World Trace Center bombing killed hundreds! Look where that got us.
Do you only live in the here and now expect people to forget the wrongs you did to them. You act as if there is no repercussions for your actions. It's okay to take peoples land and subjugate their citizens and by the way stop your sniffling about poor you is your response.
Your short lived history is what sets you up to prevent the next series of events. Oh, and then YOU cry about what they did to us and how they should pay for it. The next time somebody takes something dear from you I want you to practice what you preach and just walk away and don't complain to anybody
Should she live in the future? The past? Where should we all live?
I am sorry but I have to go again but I would like to take this up again when I can get back. But I will leave you with this we should live in the get along together. My reference to knowing the past will greatly help you live in the here and the future.
Oh I am by no means saying all Muslims are horrible, just the ones I have had the misfortune of encountering. I would be happy to meet a Muslim person that was decent. I'm just utterly disgusted with the ones I know.
Ok cool, I just got the wrong impression, apologies. Can I just give you a small example of how it is dangerous to label Muslims as the enemy? (not saying that you are of course)
Osama Bin Laden considers Shia Muslims to be the enemy of Muslims. This makes no sense, but almost a third of muslims are actually enemies to Osama Bin Laden - just like he considers the US to be enemies. It is far too a complicated subject to consider the war to be against Islam. Much of Islam is at war with the same 'terrorists'.
Osama Bin Laden is actually against Communism, Socialism, Homosexuality, Intoxicants, Many forms of Fornication, Gambling, or any adoption of westernised culture into Muslim society.
His beliefs in that respect are very similar to whole large patches of America, just replace "westernised culture" with "islamic culture" and you effectively have somebody that believes in the same things as White Christian middle America.
The only thing that makes him a terrorist is the measures that he is prepared to take to achieve his ideals..... I could say something like this:-
"A Texan is actually against Communism, Socialism, Homosexuality, Intoxicants, Many forms of Fornication, Gambling, or any adoption of islamic culture into Western society."
I can see quite a few similarities
I'm against all that? I personally love intoxicants,Gambling, and many forms of fornication, especially two gals going at it! So I am obviously pro homosexual.
Of historical note, the fact that Hitler specifically targeted Catholics for persecution rather indicates he was not in any good standing with the Church.
On the same token, I don't judge Islam by how some nutcases and evil men fail to represent their religion.
Islam in and of itself is not my problem. It's the whack jobs that are Islamic that have moved here that are my problem. I have yet to see something good from any of them.
I agree, but I quess some think that beheadings, stonings, bombings and killings are just the everyday norm...why get upset about those pesky little things?
That's what I'm talking about. In our town of only 38,000 people we have had at least 5 wives burned, two stoned and at least another three killed by thier husbands. The only thing these have in common is that they were all Muslims. Granted other men beat thier wives, but those women feel they have the option to get out. Muslim women do not feel that way. They culturally are raised to believe their husbands have the right to treat them that way. As far as I'm concerned send them all back to thier own countries and leave us out of it all. Let them destroy eachother.
5 wives burned, three killed by their husbands, two stoned...it's some ghastly rendition of the partridge-in-a-pear-tree song.
I wish it was just a song. It would be a lot easier to take that way. I have been appalled at the way these women are treated in America. They live in America but try to follow Islamic laws. It's really quite a shock.
I am hoping that you will say that the suspects were caught and convicted?
In some cases yes and in others no. They actually claimed religion as thier reason for doing it. It was shocking that some of them got off scott free.
Hey...I just noticed that this Forum was started by philx...yet rhamson was the only man standing taking the heat head on...Where's philx stand on this topic...did he interject anything?
When the Celtic clans of Great Britain got scrapping the winner would pay reparation to the losing clan. And we call ourselves civilized now.
I'm not sure where the hell any of them were, but I know those women suffered horribly. One of the stoned women survived and refused to testify against her husband. I couldn't believe it...that was the main reason he walked away from it. The one woman was burnt so bad I didn't recognize her the next time I saw her. I'm surprised she survived that burning though. Her face and most of her head were all scarred.
Killing is of course unjustified in almost every circumstance besides the occasional 'it is you or me' situation. That being said, I do think that the war is one of the worst decisions that our government has made in the past decade. However, those who make the decisions have been chosen by the people, so we must stand behind the men and women that 'we' have put behind enemy lines. The only issue I have with this entire forum is that one very important aspect has apparently escaped everyone. Islam is not the enemy, Christianity is not the enemy...it is a 'god' of some kind, regardless of what label he/she has taken. Jihad, The Crusades, Waco, Jonestown etc. What is the one thing all of these events have in common? God is not at fault, the followers who believe that they are following the correct scripture of god are at fault, that includes billions upon billions of people, not just those whom reside in the Middle East.
I am sorry I posted the blog to A Texan manlypoetryman, but I sort of got confused where I was on the page until after I posted it. Thank You
Why are folks always getting us confused...It ain't that hard to believe that there could be two American loving, Marine supporting, Strongly upset about the Middle -East conflicts, Texans...who either love or hate OU! Dang...I'm beginning to feel like I am living in Bizarro world...everytime I read the answered posts in Forums. A Texan has his very good reasons...and I got mine! I...like rhamson...sat very close to the sidelines of Vietnam...but I was the kind of kid...who didn't like knowing that other kids...a little older...had to go...and I didn't. It has always stayed in the back of my mind. I understand what rhamson said about "going if he was called upon"...I would've. (period).
I won't go into anymore here...I sang for peace for a year...instead of joining the military. I regret never having joined...I don't regret too many things in life...but I regret that. Especially after my brave step-son volunteered so admirably and was proud to do his part as a Marine. He was killed in an ambush in Fallujah...well before it became a household name. He died returning evasive covering fire for his fellow Marines. He was less than two weeks in Iraq and only on his 1rst to 3rd patrol into the city. I say this...to not get sympathy...but out of respect for my step-son. If...I didn't say he was the reason behind my strong feelings...I make it all about me...and it is all about him! I thank him for what he did...and I know many are called to do similiar acts of selflessness in War...his selflessness makes it personal!
While I can relate to the loss of your step-son I can never know your loss. My wife has a nefew who is a captain in the Army. He did a tour of Iraq last year and is slated to go to Afganistan by the end of this year. We are always filled with anxiety when the phone rings hoping that there is no bad news.
So while I can never understand your loss I can totally understand the passion you bring to the conversation.
Once again please forgive me for getting your post mixed up with A Texan.
A Texan, Sorry to hear about the loss of your friends. I can now understand why you take this so personnally.
I think any victim or the survivors of terrorism will take these sort of things personal. I am worried that this clown in the Presidency doesn't quite understand the threat, why would he? He has lived a sheltered life in the halls of academia or in public office. Its a dangerous world and he doesn't get it!
I understand your plight. I never have believed that any president truly understood what it takes to be a serviceman or woman.
I will keep hoping that Obama can make this work. I know he isn't military qualified so I guess we'll have to wait and see.
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