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Israel Expands Offensive Against Hezbollah

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 10:03 pm - August 9, 2006.
Filed under: War On Terror

Not as knowledgeable on matters military as other bloggers, I have been hesitant to criticize Israel’s strategy against Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. But, for the past two weeks, I felt that, if anything, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were not being aggressive enough. They had only deployed 10,000 troops to occupy only a portion of southern Lebanon and had not committed to help the United Nations (UN) fulfill the mandate of its own Resolution 1559 by “disbanding and disarmament” of Hezbollah, a militia operating illegally in Lebanon.

There can be no peace as long as an armed organization committed to the destruction of Israel occupies land on its northern border in violation of international law.

While I am saddened by the continued loss of life, including 15 Israeli soldiers today, I am relieved that Israel’s Security Cabinet voted to expand its offensive with the goal of reaching the Litani River. I believe the president is wrong to oppose esclation of the war, as Israel has not yet succeeded in clearing southern Lebanon of Hezbollah, an outcome which would not only strengthen the American hand in the UN Security Council, but would also further the War on Terror by defeating one of the most aggressive terrorist organizations.

And since Hezbollah basically does the bidding of Iran, it would be a major defeat for that state sponsor of terror.

Until recently, I didn’t think Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert has been as decisive in prosecuting this war as should be the leader of the nation whose existence hangs in the balance. He has not acted as aggressively as would my man Bibi (former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu). That said, not being a military man — and not aware of the inner workings of his Ohlmert’s cabinet, I fear I may judging too harshly a man leading a nation in difficult times. (Some bloggers with more military experience have been more critical of Ohlmert.)

This morning on Fox News, Netanyahu said that the expanded offensive was “late, but not too late.” I agree. And there may even be an advantage to this delay. Israel now knows something it did not know when it launched its initial offensive. It has learned that Hezbollah is better trained than it had previously assumed. It is becoming increasingly familiar with its tactics. With this knowledge, the IDF can better map out its strategy for victory.

While I wish the world could deal with Hezbollah diplomatically, that doesn’t seem possible. The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1559 two-and-one-half years ago and has done nothing to enforce it. In that same time period, Iran and Syria have repeatedly violated international law by arming Hezbollah. Sometimes, unfortunately, war is necessary.

I wish Israel every success in its latest campaign and hope for a speedy victory which will not only guarantee the security of the Jewish State, but would also help the Lebanese people complete the process they began last year and establish a democracy in that long-troubled land.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

UPDATE: Israeli Prime Minister Olmert has decided to put the offensive on hold. In the words of Cabinet minister Raif Eitan:

There are diplomatic considerations. There is still a chance that an international force will arrive in the area. We have no interest in being in south Lebanon. We have an interest in peace on our borders.

While I doubt diplomacy will lead Hezbollah to disarm as required the Security Council Resolution 1559, we can still hope.

UP-UPDATE: Martin Sherman offers a harsh assessment of Ohlmert and his intellectual allies.

UP-UP-UPDATE: This article confirms one of my hypotheses about one advantage to a delay expanding the offensive. A senior IDF officer “stressed troops drew numerous lessons during the first month of fighting and will be able to apply them in any future operation.” And in this piece, Netanyahu expands on the points he made yesterday on Fox News, “The government’s decision comes late, very late, but not too late..” Read the whole thing!

UP-UP-UP-UPDATE: Paul at Powerline echoes my thoughts, writing:

I am generally not a fan of the second-guessing of military strategy by journalists, former military types, professors, etc. It’s not just that hindsight is 20-20; it’s also that the second-guessers almost never consider the reasons why the decisionmakers acted as they did and what the consequences of acting differently might have been. Most of them, in short, are largely oblivious to the uncertainties of war and to the concept of trade-offs.

He links this piece by Michael Wdilanski who is quite critical of Olmert.

Thoughts on the Connecticut Democratic Primary

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:51 pm - August 9, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Liberals,National Politics

One of the hazards of waiting to let my thoughts settle on a topic before writing one of my traditional essayistic posts is that by the time I get around to blogging, most of what I already have to say (on that topic) has already been said. This is particularly true about the results in yesterday’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary in the Nutmeg State.

Noting that the “race finished much closer than anyone expected,” Captain Ed called Ned Lamont’s victory yesterday a “nightmare scenario” for the Democrats. At RealClearPolitics, John McIntyre called Democrats’ rejection of their 2000 Vice-Presidential nominee “a bad harbinger for future Democratic Party prospects nationally in 2008 and beyond.

McIntyre elaborated:

Nationally, the images from last nightmare a disaster for the Democratic Party. Perched behind Lamont during his victory speech were the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, grinning ear to ear, serenaded by the chant of “Bring Them Home, Bring Them Home.” For a party that has a profound public relations and substantive problem on national security, these are not exactly the images you want broadcast to the nation.

Over at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds has lots of stuff and notes that a number of Democrats are unhappy with the loss of this center-left Democrat respected on both sides of the political aisle.

Time’s Mike Allen puts forward a theory I advanced nearly two months ago:

At a time when Republicans should be back on their heels because of chaos abroad and President Bush’s unpopularity, the Democrats’ rejection of a sensible, moralistic centrist has handed the GOP a weapon that could have vast ramifications for both the midterm elections of ’06 and the big dance of ’08.

(H/t: RealClearPolitics which has a great roundup of commentary on the Senate race.)

After reading much about the race, the thing that struck me the most was how well Lieberman did. And it wasn’t just the late polls which showed Lamont with a substantial (but diminishing) lead over the three-term incumbent. It was the evidence of the incompetence of Lieberman’s campaign.

(more…)

Former Clintonite Shocked by Liberal McCarthyism

Hey Lanny…. try telling one of your self-proclaimed “tolerant” liberal friends that you are a gay Republican that loves this country and see how nasty and hateful they become.

Liberal McCarthyism – Lanny Davis, Wall Street Journal Online

My brief and unhappy experience with the hate and vitriol of bloggers on the liberal side of the aisle comes from the last several months I spent campaigning for a longtime friend, Joe Lieberman.

This kind of scary hatred, my dad used to tell me, comes only from the right wing–in his day from people such as the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, with his tirades against “communists and their fellow travelers.” The word “McCarthyism” became a red flag for liberals, signifying the far right’s fascistic tactics of labeling anyone a “communist” or “socialist” who favored an active federal government to help the middle class and the poor, and to level the playing field.

I came to believe that we liberals couldn’t possibly be so intolerant and hateful, because our ideology was famous for ACLU-type commitments to free speech, dissent and, especially, tolerance for those who differed with us. And in recent years–with the deadly combination of sanctimony and vitriol displayed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Michael Savage–I held on to the view that the left was inherently more tolerant and less hateful than the right. 

That’s because you haven’t been paying attention, Lanny…. 

Mr. Lamont and all other liberal Democrats should remember the McCarthy era and not fall into the trap of the hypocrisy of the double standard–that it’s not OK when Ann Coulter dispenses her venomous hatred, but it is OK when our side’s versions of Ann Coulter do.

Sorry Lanny, it is too late.  Liberalism is the new McCarthyism.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

More Good News from WWIII, Iraqi Theatre

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 8:48 am - August 9, 2006.
Filed under: War On Terror,World War III

This is from a joint statement released yesterday by US Ambassador to Iraq Khalilzad and General Casey:

Today, in another sign of progress toward a stable and secure Iraq, the Fourth Iraqi Army Division Headquarters officially assumed the lead in its area of responsibility from the 101st Airborne Division. 

This achievement represents the Division halfway mark of our joint goal of putting all Iraqi Security Forces in the lead in coordinating, planning and conducting security operations in Iraq.  We congratulate the Iraqi people and the Government on Iraq on this important milestone.

Five of the Iraqi Army’s ten division headquarters, 25 brigade headquarters, and 85 battalions in the Iraqi Army now have the lead for security responsibilities in their areas.  Additionally, to date 48 of 110 Coalition Forward Operating Bases have been transferred to Iraqi control.  These turnovers from Coalition forces to Iraqi security forces reflect the increased operational capacity of the Iraqi security forces. 

Although these forces are increasingly capable of planning and conducting security operations independent of the Multinational Forces, we pledge our continued support to them and the Iraqi Government as they seek to provide peace and prosperity for all of Iraq’s peoples.

May God bless the people of Iraq.

And may God bless our American heroes putting their lives on the line to defeat Islamic fascism at the front lines of World War III.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Malcontent Blasts UN Gay Rights Report

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 8:31 am - August 9, 2006.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics,Gays in Other Lands

Another outstanding example of the incredible hypocrisy of the Useless United Nations.  Bravo, Mal!

While Geneva Fiddles, Homos Burn – The Malcontent

America is still the global community’s favorite whipping boy for virtually every perceived world problem.  Clearly, the United States is not perfect, but quite often the imperfections that are noted are wildly inflated, completely lacking in context or wholly invented.

For instance, if you had read the New York Blade today, you would have thought that the United States was the world’s worst abuser of gay rights, at least according to the UN’s Human Rights Committee.

Of course the New York Blade probably believes that the USA is the world’s worst abuser of gay rights.  But I digress….

More importantly, maybe I’ll be more apt to listen to what the committee has to say about human rights in general and gay rights in particular when they get a freaking sense of proportion.

The committee’s report on the United States runs 12 pages and chronicles a litany of “concerns.”

The Committee notes with concern allegations of widespread incidence of violent crime perpetrated against persons of minority sexual orientation, including by law enforcement officials. It notes with concern the failure to address such crime in legislation on hate crime at the federal level and in many states. It notes with concern the failure to outlaw employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in many states. (articles 2 and 26)

I wasn’t able to find similar reports about countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran, although the State Department noted that the committee’s report on the despotic regime in North Korea was only half the length of the report on the United States.

And people wonder why the United States hasn’t been more enthusiastic about welcoming gay-rights groups with “observer status” into the UN.  Given recent history, it would probably just give the international community more ammunition to unload on their armies of strawmen.

And let me add one additional thought about this idiotic and unbalanced UN report.  The items that the United States is criticized about are not examples of government-sponsored policies of proactive gay discrimination and oppression.  Rather we are talking about crimes committed by individuals living in the United States, most of which are eventually prosecuted for their crimes. 

Absence of hate-crime legislation is not the moral equivalent of government-sponsored and enforced gay oppression and murder.  Absence of marriage “rights” is not the same as hunting down and hanging gays with the full force of the government.  

The UN report fails to acknowledge that — unlike the United States where there may be individual crimes related to gay bigotry — there are many, many nations around the world, especially Islamic countries, where being gay is a state-enforced crime worthy of hanging.

But really, what do you expect from the international body that names Iran as the head of their Human Rights group anyway? 

Speaking of which, why does my tax money go to this absolutely useless and anti-American organization?  Let Angelina Jolie give her hard-earned money to the United Nations if she wants to.  Ughhhhh!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Eye on Gay Hollywood

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:24 am - August 9, 2006.
Filed under: Blogging,Movies/Film & TV

GayPatriot uber blog-ally Bridget (aka – GOPVixen) tells us of a new blog focusing on gays in Hollywood.

My good friend Greg Hernandez — entertainment biz reporter and Advocate contributor — has a new blog solely focusing on gay Hollywood; hoping you’ll find it link/blogroll worthy!

Anything for you, Vixen!!!

So check out Out In Hollywood and add it to your blog reading.  This posting on the “Very Gay Weekend” at the US box office is a great place to start!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)