Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Hezbollah's submission remains elusive goal
So here we are: Two Wednesday's ago Israel started trying to bomb Hezbollah into submission. Of course, they don't say that's what they are doing, but words like weaken, degrade, disarm, disrupt, dismantle, take out the leaders, are all synonyms.

In two weeks, civilians on both sides have paid the price. Lebanese Internal Security Forces said 398 have been killed in Lebanon, including Hezbollah fighters; 50 people have been killed in Israel, including 19 civilians, according to the Israeli military. Today alone, Hezbollah fired 151 rockets at Israel, the highest number since this all began, and nine soldiers were killed battle, the highest number so far.

At first, Israeli leaders told us the battle was going well, that they would need a few days to finish the task. We are still told it it's going well, only now they say they'll need a few weeks.

Meantime, Israeli soldiers and officers have started dying in combat, fierce hand-to-hand combat in little villages like Maroun Al-Ras and Bint Jbeil. In an interview with an Arab newspaper, Hezbollah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah popped-up to mock Israel, saying Israel celebrates the capture of tiny Maroon Al-Ras as if it were the fall of Stalingrad.

Standing on the Israeli side of the border, staring at Maroon Al-Ras, Brigadier General Alon Friedman tells me he respects his enemy.

"Definitely," he says. "Hezbollah give us a good military challenge, as an army, as the enemy. They have a program, they have a concept which they are carrying out. But as I said earlier, our army has good means. We have studied this organization for a long time. We know where we are going and therefore we have the program which is succeeding."

But now into the third week of war, the Katyusha rockets keep coming, even though Brigadier General Friedman told me Hezbollah is being pushed back: "We are taking them out of their positions and this causes the fire to be less focused, less accurate. He has to move north and fires less deep into Israel, and slowly we are moving them to where we want them."

Too slowly for some here. Already, the armchair generals are questioning the wisdom of Israel's military tactics: Should there have been more air power? A wider bombing campaign? Should the ground forces have gone in sooner? Should they seize, hold, even occupy land?

Hard to tell. The only thing we do know is that when the world's top diplomats gathered in Rome today, where all eyes were on the possibility of a ceasefire, Israel was given more time to bomb Hezbollah ... into submission?
Posted By Christiane Amanpour, CNN Senior Correspondent: 6:11 PM ET
If Israel is forced to lay down their arms in a cease-fire, Hezbollah will only re-group, grow stronger and strike again because their mission remains the same.

But if Hezbollah lays down their arms, there could finally be some semblance of peace.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 6:36 PM ET
Everyone needs to quit whining about the amount of time this is taking. In 2003, three weeks was "too long" for the U.S. to take Baghdad, and now two weeks is "too long" for Israel to dismantle Hezbollah. I think too many people are addicted to instant gratification. Get over it! These things take time... sometimes longer than your attention span.
Posted By Anonymous Jonathan, Albuquerque, NM : 6:39 PM ET
Hezbollah is not only a military organization, but a religious one too. And as such they are on a religious mission to destroy Israel, be it now or a hundred years from now
Posted By Anonymous Michael Stanton CA : 6:54 PM ET
Here's the deal. Hezbollah has one thought in mind: "We hate ISrael". Yes, it sucks that people are dying. But they provoked it first. Israel has every right to do what they are doing, Lebanese proved that they can't be trusted. Just like Palestinians proved they couldn't be trusted when they voted in Hamas.

I love how the fighters from Iran are calling this a 'holy war'. This is not a 'holy war' this a political war. To stop terrorism. If they are fighting for Hezbollah, they are fighting for Terrorism. Which means, Allah supports Terrorists.

This is not peaceful. Lets get the facts straight. Israel is not responsible for the World's problems like Arab children are taught in the classroom.

I hope this issue settles down. I pray not many people die. I hope that Islam will realize that all there 'Islam' really is, is political Shunanigans.
Posted By Anonymous Brett, Bronx, NY : 6:55 PM ET
Christiane, Bombing Hezbollah into submission is not going to happen and the diplomats from the US and Israel know that so, to me, it seems immoral to continue the killing of innocent people. George Bush's so called religious values, especially that commandment, "Thou shalt not kill", has no meaning as we can see in Iraq and now with his support of Israel and their killing of innocent people. There are always two sides to the story, but a cease fire must be the beginning of the rest of the story.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn Michigan : 7:00 PM ET
Iran is watching. not only Israel's response, but the whole Western world's attitude. If Israel loses it's resolve so quickly, or is demoralized by relatively minor military casualties; or if the Europeans try and "force submission" on Israel instead of on Hezbollah, Iran will get the message. And the whole free world will pay the price. Not just Israel.
Posted By Anonymous Eli, Jerusalem, Israel : 7:00 PM ET
It's very telling that the European and Arab Leaders assembled today in Rome, were unwilling to support a durable cease-fire that would neutralize Hezbollah, an organization which is unequivocally dedicated to Israel's destruction ! I take that to mean they really don't care what happens to Israel. It's sad that 60 years after the end of the Holocaust, the Europeans' attitude hasn't changed at all. The Europeans and Arabs haven't even tried to "appear" even-handed. In the meantime, Darfur suffers, and, these concerned countries say nothing.
Posted By Anonymous Arthur, Demarest, NJ : 7:04 PM ET
And in the meantime innocent people are killed. It seems that neither side considers those civilians dying to be anything but statistics. And they think saying "I'm Sorry" after killing UN observers will make things right, but sorry that just doesn't cut it in this day and age. Doesn't human life mean anything anymore.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia Warren, MI : 7:08 PM ET

Always love your insightful, crisp reporting.

What was the mission of the UN posts in Southern lebanon? If they were supposed to keep Hezbollah from aquiring waepons they failed miserably.

It seems to me that Israel has to do what no one else is willing or able to do. They HAVE to disarm Hezbollah. Their life depends on it. H's mission is to destroy Israel NOT fight for Palestinians.

Why doesn't anyone state the obvious?

Gillian Edmonton, Canada
Posted By Anonymous gillian wood, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada : 7:09 PM ET
Israelis are mistaken if they think that bombs can destroy Hezbollah. Anti-Israeli sentiment is the driving force behind Hezbollah and by bombing an arab country they are just making things worse. In a battle with enemies who do not fear death your only choice is to eradicate ALL of them (e.g. nuke the entire arab world) or try diplomacy. I happen to prefer the diplomatic solution but Israel will only win if it takes one of those options.
Posted By Anonymous Michael, Lowell, MA : 7:28 PM ET
Israel is very clueless about what its doing. While vast majority of killings are innocent civilians, they call this a success? Whatever Israel is trying to accomplish, it's not going to work. As long as Israel keeps brutalizing Lebanon, hundreds, even thousands more will join what Hezbullah has started. In the end, you don't kill terrorism with terrorism.
Posted By Anonymous Ted Thompson, Los Angeles, CA : 7:38 PM ET
Civilian deaths are hard for any of us to accept. And we should mourn every one of them. But - we also need to ask some serious questions about to whom those deaths should be charged. There has been alot of discussion about "proportionality" of the Israeli response, but little discussion about the morality of Hezbollah hiding behind a civilian population. Israeli troops are trying to engage Hezbollah on the ground - and its soldiers are taking the casualties. Hezbollah is deliberately targeting one civilian population while shielding themselves behind another - and civilians are doing the dying. This is evil taken to a new level and it needs to be resisted.
If there were to be a cease-fire, only Israel would be held accountable as it is a soveriegn state and other sovereign states have mechanisms with which to punish it for violating a cease-fire. Who will punish Hezbollah for doing the same? Certainly not the government of Lebanon, nor the Syrians and Iranians. As horrible as this armed conflict is, what other choice is there?
Posted By Anonymous Kate, Medfield, Masschusetts : 7:39 PM ET
Hi Christiane,
Can anyone really be beaten into submission? Maybe in the short term it can be done and a cease fire will take hold. But then what? Hate, Anger, bitterness..They all will still be there..Maybe what we need is a miracle of a "light bulb moment"...When it will finally dawn on them that living side by side is only possible when hatred is kicked to the curb..Once and for all..Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 7:40 PM ET
Christiane- I believe that war is a crime, not a solution. As Ben Franklin once said, "Never has there been a good war or a bad peace." Although it would take a major miracle, I hope and pray that the end of all wars is nearer than expected.
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann Taylor Nacogdoches, Tx : 7:41 PM ET
I truly understand and believe that Israel had and has a right to defend itself against Hezbollah. There is no doubt that Hezbollah started this war.

But jeez, I can't stop wondering if Israel isn't going a little mental?
Posted By Anonymous Trudi, Roseville, MN : 7:44 PM ET
When Israel finally gets to the southern edge of the Litani River, the Hezbollah wannabees will be out of range of Northern Israel. Unable to fire anything except looong range rockets. Israel will accept a ceasefire on their terms, then.
Posted By Anonymous Daniel, Philadelphia, PA : 7:50 PM ET
To Brett, Bronx, NY:

What an insight! "Thank you"!
Now, if you have time go do some research on the history of the Israeli/Arab conflict. Maybe you're learn one thing or two about what caused this "unprovoked act of terrorism"; look for UN resolutions: 252, 262, 267, 271, 298, 446, 452, 465, 471, 484, 487 ... 1405, 1435. Oh, and try to be a little more open for other insights!
Posted By Anonymous Mike Dale, WA : 7:55 PM ET
Boy how short our memory is. Hezbollah was formed after Israel made its 7day war for land in the 60's. Hamas is in power with Palestinians because Israel did not allow all the people to vote. Perhaps if they were allowed, Hamas would not have been elected. Remember Israel, you reap what you sow. What you do to others is going to come back to you.Don't you remember how you felt during the Nazi regime? Supress a people long enough and they will fight back.
Posted By Anonymous Dotty Belec Forked River, N.J. : 7:59 PM ET
well as a lebanese non supporter to Hezbollah neither to the barbaric reaction of Isreal on my country , i'm afraid if Israel fails to submit Hezbollah and broke them as they promessed , this will be a big catastrophe on the Lebanon ,especially that hezbollah is really a terrorist organization representing Iran and Syria trying to make Lebanon by force their area
Posted By Anonymous Carmen. Rio,Brazil : 8:02 PM ET
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." -Bertrand Russell

"Wars have never hurt anybody except the people who die." -Salvador Dali

"Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being." -Kahlil Gibran, "The Voice of the Poet"

"The military don't start wars. Politicians start wars."
-William Westmoreland

"War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off;
next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off;
then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off;
and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off." -Karl Kraus
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 8:03 PM ET
A few hundred dead and 750,000 refugees (so far) just to beat inot submission a militia of 4,000! For shame. Set aside the bravado and allow people to live. For that matter, release the prisoners, hundreds of whom are children.
Posted By Anonymous AM, Vienna, VA : 8:12 PM ET
If Hizbollah is considered a legal and representing party within the Lebanese goverment, then we should consider that the sovereign country on Lebanon committed an act of war when it attacked Israel by Kidnapping and killing it's soldiers. If you want to consider Hizbollah as a rogue terrorist entity within Lebabnon then the whole world should participate in it's removeal, dismantling and if you prefer it's "submission". How is it possible that a terrorist group can obtain any international protection is beyond me. It is this protection that Hizbollah has enjoyed through the years that has made this battle so difficult. If the world was truely intersted in peace and not meaningless cease fires that allow the enemies of the free world to regroup and stregthen themselves, this battle would not only have ended quickly but may not have started in the first place.
Posted By Anonymous Michael, Brooklyn New York : 8:15 PM ET
Before commenting some of you should research what you are saying. Hezbollahs aim is to hurt the Isreali economy to force them into stopping their aggression. That is the aim of the rockets. You can't hurt Hezbollah by bombing civilian targets.
Posted By Anonymous Rom, Cleveland, Ohio : 8:37 PM ET
We seem to have a problem with underestimating the enemy or over estimating our own ability and infallibility. Problem solving without listening with respect to others, correctly identifying the problem, and a real assessment of resources is not possible.

When do we wake up and realize that we can not force feed the Middle East ham?

Let's see, who split the atom with the first use being bombs (WMD) before finding productive uses for the knowledge?

Now, we have such things as 'surgical bombs', long range missles, and video gaming. To what end, but distancing the decision makers from the reality of the devastation.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista, ar : 8:48 PM ET
It is very unrealistic to think that Hezbollah will every "submit", anyone who thinks that has no idea what Hezbollah is. And quite realisitically, Israel just created a new generation of Hezbollah, and its quite its understandable. South Lebanon has constantly been under Israeli violence or occupation. No one is "brainwashing" the children of Lebanon and Palestine, but Israel. THey massacre and occupy as if they have the right to do so, and finally its kinda blowing in their face.

And the fact that Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah mocked Israel, saying "Israel celebrates the capture of tiny Maroon Al-Ras as if it were the fall of Stalingrad. "- in all honesty, he has a right to mock it..ive been to Maroon Al- Ras...its a very small town with almost a very small really is very indicitive of strong this resistence is..and how a country with far more superior weapons and airplanes are having so much trouble....i dont think submission is an option here...

Israel wants to create a buffer zone with an international force? I think it's a fine idea, but I also think they should create that buffer zone in their own country.
Posted By Anonymous Lina, Queens, New York : 8:48 PM ET
Great Insight Christiane- I enjoy listening you report on AC360 when I watch every night.

What Isreal said about fighting the Hezbollah- sounds simular to what Pres. Bush said about the Iraq war. We were going in for a few months to a couple years to restore order- It is now over 3 YEARS- 3,000 soldiers dead and it is WORSE over there. More suicide bombings more death and destruction. It is almost like Iraq is not wanting to be upstaged my the Middle East conflict and wants equal air time. It is sickening.

I just pray for your safety and that of all innocents over there-
I greatly admire you, Christiane, for standing shoulder to shoulder with the guys and doing a stellar job each and every night. Say HI to Anderson and tell him to relax a little,
Posted By Anonymous Barb North, Winona MN : 8:51 PM ET
Hezbollah and Hamas Jihad against Israel.They have to be toughed for long duel now and ever.
Posted By Anonymous Baiz,Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia : 9:22 PM ET
Christiane Amanpour, I love your work - keep it up. And keep your head low.
Posted By Anonymous Uncle Remus - Stillwater, OK : 9:26 PM ET
Nasrallah kills Israeli Arabs and he apologizes; kills Israeli Jews and he rejoices.

I think what is missed in the analysis of all this insanity is that the war Hezbollah is fighting is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the Jews.
Posted By Anonymous Robert; St Paul, MN : 9:32 PM ET
Christiane I love your fact based reporting and how balanced you are in your reports... we've counted on you for years, be it Bosnia or Iraq and so on... I wish all journalist were like you..I hope this War ends soon, and the suffering on both sides stops... Please stay safe..
Posted By Anonymous Mona, Los Angeles CA : 1:06 AM ET
By pushing them north, during its occupation of the Lbanon, Israel has helped create as from 1982 the core of Hezbollah that is now boomeranging.
Another fact has to be taken into consideration: have you noticed that everytime that there is a prospect of or progress towards peace an event is suddenly happening either immediately before, during or immediately after this prospect. This event is always leading to the fiasco of any peace process or any cease fire. Last prospect was the Rome summit intending to broker a ceasefire and a UN peace-keeping force: Israeli strategists have estimated that it is still too early for peace/cease fire as Hezbollah is not yet destroyed so the best action to prepare to Rome summit to fail was to deliberately bomb the UN in the southern Lebanon, few hours before the meeting, showing to all that any UN mission there is equal to suicide. Whilst Hezbollah are criminal any way on one hand (all actual Lebanese disasters are due to their action) Israel is taking the whole world for a ride.
Posted By Anonymous CM, Nicosia-Cyprus : 2:54 AM ET
How arrogant and misled is this Brigadier general Alon Friedman when he states, "...our army has good means. We have studied this organization for a long time. We know where we are going and therefore we have the program which is succeeding."

Yeah right! And the US winning the war in Iraq. All Israel will succeed in is merciless slaughter of innocent civilians and the destruction of their means to survive. Look at the numbers: Out of the 50 people killed in Israel, only 38% have been civilians. Over 400 people in Lebanon have been killed, most likely most of them civilians including four United Nations peace keepers. But Israel can do no wrong and Bush is right there with them. I don't condone killing on either side but the Israelis are the savage animals in this conflict. Misled and arrogant as well. Just like Friedman.
Posted By Anonymous Cenzo Nico, Sherman Oaks California : 2:56 AM ET
Hezbollahs surrender will never happen. Israel has finally met its comeuppance, and the Us its Waterloo
Posted By Anonymous Joe, Karachi, Pakistan : 3:09 AM ET
Bomb them into submission??? Is this a joke?? How many times do we human beings have to learn this lesson that bombing and wars would never solve anything. Ok so you bomb them now, then what? 20 30 40 50 years later, trust me another hizbollah is going to be back.. the solution does not lie in the bombing, it lies somewhere else and we all know what that is..
Posted By Anonymous Ghazan Khan, Madison, WI : 3:32 AM ET
Even though Israel is by now notorious for its bad aim, I'm sure if they went in there without any regard for civilian casualties, the job would be done. This is just more proof that traditional military doesn't work against terrorists who hide behind civilians. The U.S. has proved it and now so has Israel.
Posted By Anonymous Gypsy, an American in Mexico : 4:16 AM ET
I am reading all the stories, watching videos, reading the paper, etc. It's disgusting! The entire thing. I am ashamed to be an American. It's so clear to me that our government is helping out and there's clear evidence as well. Ms. Rice is stalling for Israel to get more arms ready to destroy lebanon. It's insane to me that we are not only doing nothing but trying to convince the rest of the world that they are stupid. Human life means nothing to these politicians, of course since it's amazing that Israel's "Plan" wasn't very well thought out, well not really. And to place the cherry on the cake, Ms.Rice and co. verbally assaulting us with endless lies and insults to what is their true intention. I am really quite overwhelmed by this all and makes me quite sick. The media needs to attack the government, speak to why it's so easy for Israel to have OUR weapons. And to show us picture after picture of dead children, mothers, etc. so that the American public will see what is truly going on. I am sorry but Washington had a plan all along and they just are getting someone else to do the "dirty work" as our leader put so wonderfully. Change your ideas, thoughts, feelings towards others and really feel empathy for this situtation. Oh yeah, by the way, change your passport since it won't be good after this little war.
Posted By Anonymous Ed, San Francisco, CA : 4:23 AM ET
Yes, into submission!
Posted By Anonymous JKBradley, Cleveland, OH : 5:24 AM ET
Israel is fighting a losing battle. The more Lebanese people you kill the more hatred you cause for your people in the Arab world. The use of power should be used wisely. Israel better finish off Hizbollah if not it will be a huge disgrace. And I don't believe it will be possible to finish off the heart of a people.
Posted By Anonymous Idowu Akinlade, Lagos Nigeria : 7:16 AM ET
Dear Christiane,
I admire your professionalism and courage in reporting events from this outrageous war. I admire all the soldiers of the world. Hezbollah commandoes are fighting for their rights and freedom. But most of all they are devout Moslems and will be awarded the paradise. Israeli soldiers are fighting for their leaders. They are not in a hurry to go to heaven. They just want to execute orders. The Massadah siege is being repeated after two thousand years. Guess who won?
Posted By Anonymous Rocky Termanini, Stamford, Conn : 8:53 AM ET
I guess the world expects a war involving a technologicaly superior military to be over in a matter of days thanks to the US invasion of Iraq. Hezbollah has been preparing for this confrontation for 6 years, they are dug in and still getting their butts kicked. I hope Israel refuses to succumb to international pressure and keeps after Hezbollah until they have defeated them. The fewer religious fanatics in the world the better. Maybe next they can go after the Baptists.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Highland Village, TX : 9:22 AM ET
The destruction of Lebanon by Israel is the second time in recent history and this will breed more anger from the fundamentalists.
Has anyone stopped to think of the consequences for other non involved countries- like India who have to pay the price later on ?
Posted By Anonymous Nagin, London UK : 9:27 AM ET
Not only more time for Israel but for the United States for we are inextricably tied to Israel's actions by our own inaction. I watch the news in disbelief and wonder how we can continue to justify the destruction of Lebanon and let us not forget Iraq. I have a knot in my stomach knowing that my country and many of its citizens, most who have never suffered through a war, continue to support this administrations policy of arrogance and ignorance. God help us.
Posted By Anonymous SBertulli, Orlando, FL : 10:00 AM ET
Young man:
I am old enough to remember $2 a barrel of oil. Jews and arabs lived in harmony before Truman, another cowboy failed to realize the disaster in approving the State of Israel. The world will never be the same. There is now so much hate that one day an atom bomb will fall on these lands and nobody will have it. They will have the bomb or way or another because time in on their side. Bush is a naive child who was given a toy, the American power and prestige that he is sure to destroy. A chance to get a cease fire and he kicks it away with Blair his puppy on one side and the neonatzis we elected here in Canada.
Give them back the land taken after 1948. Pay them reparation, buy the land taken away prior to 1948 in the same way America paid for Louisiana and Alaska. Do you see the French or the Russians fighting US for the repatriation of these lands?
Posted By Anonymous Rudy, Toronto, Canada : 10:10 AM ET
How do we categorise the civilians killed on both sides, collateral damage, accidental fire,dont bother or has mr. Olmert invented a new term.
Posted By Anonymous Rafi. Kashmir : 10:36 AM ET
They could be beaten into submission if Israel would remove the satin gloves and flatten that village where the fighting is hand to hand. Don't need that buill, just flatten the darn place.

Since Israel seems to feel it has constraints to do this, or they have some kind of moral issue, then they can't totally wipe out Hizbolla. At best, they can weaken them so that then the Leb. ARMY can take over.

To me, this is a pipe dream.

Only if they get really brutal will they have a chance.

Most of the Lebanese and Arabs hate Israel anyway so what diff would it make?

At least Israel would have self respect and quiet.
Posted By Anonymous AMS, Newark, NJ : 11:00 AM ET

I am still surprised by the fact that Israel and the US thought and still think that defeating Hezbollah in southern Lebanon will erradicate this organization and put an end to all Israel problems. Even an inexpert in terrorism and Middle East like myself can see that this war only helps Hezbollah recruiting efforts in Lebanon and other coutries, and give fanatic Muslims the perfect excuse to fight against Israel... I think we'll see in the next few days that Israel strategy will just backfire, and we America are caught in the middle...

Keep your excellent work, and be safe.
Posted By Anonymous Fernando, Atlanta, GA : 11:07 AM ET
It sounds petty, written in your tone Ms. Amanpour however we need to keep in mind that while the world "watches"...Israel is the only force actually "doing" something to end that the entire world in the future can sleep in peace.
Posted By Anonymous Rebecca, Panama City, Panama : 11:16 AM ET
It is incredibly sad to have so many deaths in Lebanon, however, please realize that if Israel does not defend itself against Hezbollah, then we can expect the deaths of every Jew in Israel. That is the well known goal of Hezbollah; to eliminate all of Israel. We cannot allow another Holocaust to happen.
Posted By Anonymous Jeanne, Green Bay, WI : 11:57 AM ET
I do not even believe it is possible to bomb anyone into submission, not even a tiny country like lebanon. People are people no matter where they live or what language they speak or what their religon is, and we all have pride, and we all do not want someone coming into our country to control us. if this happened in the united states, and some country came here with planes to bomb us into submission, i really do not think that we would just bow down and say ok. yes we have a military, but if that ever happened here in our country it would be our military and all americans fighting to protect our earth, our homes our families,OUR PEOPLE!!! we would fight until the other country left or until they demolished the entire american population. it is so easy for us to call hezbollah terrorists, but if we were in the same position as the lebonese people are, except here on our land in our country we would be called proud americans, not terrorists. israel can not bomb hezbollah into submission because they are people protecting their country and fighting for the release of the many prisoners israel has held hostage in their prisons for years. I think it is a beautiful thing for such a small country, with all of its hardships and poverty, to have such an enormous amount of pride and respect for themselves to fight for what little they have. I only hope and pray that our next president will finally get israel off of americas titty and make them to stand alone in their battles over " holy land" who knows maybe one day israel will want a piece of america and we will have no one to blame but ourselves for making israel the big headed terrorists they are turning out to be.
Posted By Anonymous Hope Dallas Texas : 12:03 PM ET
There are no good guys or bad guys in this situation. Americans need to get that idea out of their heads. It's a lot more complicated than that. Israel isn't this innocent victim who sits by minding its own business, doing good works and singing songs about rainbows. Hezbollah isn't the incarnation of pure evil. There's a long, complicated history that almost no one could accurately explain. Unfortunately, our government -- who should know better -- functions as though the Middle East WAS a black and white, good guys and bad guys-type of situation. Doesn't the Bush Administration have people who explain Middle Eastern affairs?
Posted By Anonymous Kerri, Chattanooga, Tennessee : 10:38 AM ET
Unless one writes a treatise, we all are oversimplifying. My simplification follows.
Peace comes when:
1) the Arabs (the people, not just the States) sincerely accept the State of Israel's right to exist
2) the Arabs remove threats from the borders of Israel (troops, terrorists, rockets, tanks, etc.) so Israel can relax.

One opinion I read coming from an Iranian said that Israel hasn't done anything generally to pursue "real peace." What was the pulling out of Lebanon recently after so long an occupation?! What about pulling out of settlements?!
Posted By Anonymous Robert Jeffries, Denver, Colorado : 12:11 PM ET
Christiane, thanks for your insight into this incredibly complicated conflict. How sad that two weeks into this and we still have no hope of resolution. Condi has basically said that we are not going to intervene, and Bush has given Israel the green light to continue in this bombardment of innocent civilians, and destruction.

The life of two soldiers is not the equivalent of 300 or so civilians. Soldiers enlist in the army with the understanding that they are entering into a dangerous situation, it comes with the territory. Israel is completely unjustified in these actions. Bombing into submission will not achieve anything but more rage, and it makes you wonder what the true intentions of this course are. Will the money flowing from the US stop if there is peace in the region? Israel is reaping the consequences of what it has sown.
Posted By Anonymous Reena, Phoenix AZ : 12:41 PM ET
If the last 50 years of history show us anything its that the Arab world hates Israel. There can be no peace in the middle east so long as there are both Jewish and Muslims people in it. Groups such as Hezbollah, the Martyrs brigade, PLA, and a few other groups sole goal in life is to kill as many Israelies as they can before they die. Suicide bombing a bus filled with woman and children is there best tactic. I think that the US and Great Britian should just give Israel the go ahead. The UN has no real power without the support of the US and Great Britian, if both those countries allow Israel to finish this the right way for the first time we wont have to worry about middle eastern terrorism ever again.
Posted By Anonymous Tom Walker Estero Florida : 5:15 PM ET
During the five years I lived in the Middle East, I was always amazed at how deeply the hatred for Israel was engrained into the minds of all Muslim Arabs. Polite conversations with the women in the hareem (women's part of the house) could become tense if one brought up the topic of Israel.

People were critical that Iraq's Maliki did not condemn Hezbollah's actions. He cannot. An Arab Muslim cannot say anything bad about anyone who is anti-Israel. To do so is to put too much at risk.

It lies with the Arab leaders alone to work this out. Their oil wealth could have been used decades ago to help solve problems in Israel/Palestine. They do not use their resources because they do not want a resolution. They want to keep the Israel/Palestine conflict as an open wound for the world to see.
Posted By Anonymous Suzanne, Modesto, CA : 6:35 PM ET
Go Israel! Destroy them and give no quarter!
Posted By Anonymous Tim Carr, Cherry Hill, nj : 4:45 PM ET
Just as the King of Jordan said to you: "democracy will mean different things to different countries", an Israeli philosopher told a reporter that morality will mean different things to different rulers and according to him Hitler believed he was moral because he acted consistantly with "his" moral code. I think newscasts are mixing warfare, politics, morality, and democracy, which I am sorry to say is not to be interpreted in so many ways. What a mess.
Posted By Anonymous R. Cohen, Milano, Italy : 10:11 AM ET
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