Carol Platt Liebau: A "Negative" Tone

Monday, July 24, 2006

A "Negative" Tone

That's how the tone of Condoleezza Rice's meetingin Lebanon was described.

And why shouldn't there be a negative tone? As Secretary Rice pointed out, until the Israeli soldiers are returned and Hezbollah lays down its arms, there's really nothing to talk about. And even then, there's always the concern that Hezbollah's retreat is nothing but a strategy to buy more time.


Blogger HouseOfSin said...

What we need is a binary tone:

The Israeli soldiers: Will they be returned or not? (Bonus: Are they alive or not?)

Hezbollah: Will it lay down arms or not?

Lebanon as a whole: In cooperation with Hezbollah or not?

Syria: Encouraging Hezbollah to stop or not?

These are the only questions that would impress me on any listening tour.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

But how can you be assured the answers are sincere? Until action is taken by these people, words are only words. That is the point.

2:46 PM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

That's true, but at least we'd have answers of record. And if we had the words violated, we'd have clear exposure to who violated them and why.

A formality, perhaps. Mere words, perhaps. But I'd still want to hear them.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

But why aren't you satisfied with words already spoken? All of these groups, Hezbollah, Hamas, et al, as well as certain leaders such as Ahmadinijad, are on record as having expressed a desire to wipe out Israel. Or am I missing your point?

5:55 PM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

Partly, but I take your point. Consider my first question:

Will they be returned (in whatever state they are in) or not?

I consider no discussion of any cease-fire merited unless that question is answered by someone.

I have now read numerous news articles (I'm sure you all have too) where "the Israel/Hezbollah" conflict is described in detail, but without any reference to the soldiers.

Take today, right now. has an article which goes on for hundreds of words but makes no mention of these original soldiers.

Yes, I know Hezbollah wants them gone. Yes, I know Syria's role. I realize the basic dynamics thru words already spoken.

But when whole articles are now written of the conflict with no mention of the soldiers whose attack and abduction started it all, it smacks of some kind of equivalence -- "Oh, Israel and Hezbollah are just fighting because, well, that's the metaphysical reality of what they do." No, no, no. What started it was the abducted and attacked soldiers. Where are they? And will they be returned?

To me, no mention of any cease-fire is warranted until I hear an answer.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

I don't think that question is as relevant as you do. I agree getting the soldiers back is a worthy goal. I see their abduction, however, and I believe this has more to do with the launch of this offensive, as the straw that broke the camel's back. It's not the first breech of the border since the Israelis pulled out of Lebanon. Hezbollah has been a pain the whole time. Now, they are intent on wiping out as much of them as they can, and I believe that attitude is entirely justified. In other words, as there's no talkin' to 'em, Israel wants to neuter 'em once and for all. We should let them. They have a far better notion of what's required than anyone as far as I can see.

11:03 PM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

A fair criticism - however,

We would have been justified in busting up the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2000. But the outcry would have been huge. Obviously the attacks on us changed that, but I read numerous reports about our involvement in the Mideast with no reference to the initial attacks. For those with a short memory (who appear to be a majority), we are in the Mideast for perverted jollies.

I kind of see these soldiers as that: The reason for the actions, providing a context. Make no mention of the context, and who's to say what actions are and aren't worthy?

Just today in the washpost, Eugene Robinson argues that Israel's response is disproportionate -- but nowhere in his article does the word "soldier" appear. I'm supposed to take this writer seriously?

It's possible that his spell-checker was busted. Should he be reading this blog:

10:35 AM  

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