The Shotgun Blog
Friday, July 21, 2006
What cost, citizenship?
In the course of the evacuation of Canadian citizens from Lebanon, a raging debate has started over how much consideration is owed to dual citizenship holders who are permanent residents of Lebanon. Wherein one side insists that Canadian citizenship entitles the holder to the universal rights and privileges held therein, the other side insists that a person who holds dual citizenship, but does not make Canada their home, should take second priority to Canadian residents.
The one point missing from this argument is that of responsibility. Not the responsibility of the government to service the citizen, but the responsibility of the citizen to the institution of Canada. Citizenship is not just a right it is a responsibility - one that comes with inherent expectations. For example, all citizens are expected to follow the rule of law and make a productive contribution to society. These expectations apply to both those who were born here as well as those who have adopted Canada as their home.
Why should a dual citizenship holder, who does not live here, makes no contribution to the economic and societal structures of this country, and who takes little or no active participation in their citizenship, get the same consideration and privileges as one who does?
Not only are the tax dollars of Canadian residents being used to rescue these Canadians-in-name-only, but there is also a reasonable expectation that when these non-residents arrive in Canada, they will have to rely considerably on our extensive social safety net in order to house and feed their families, and that is an expense which can drag on for years.
Lastly, once the conflict in the Middle East abates, will these same Lebanese-Canadians politely thank (or not) us for our overwhelming hospitality and depart back to their nationality of choice, never to be a valuable contribution to the society they are so keen to take advantage of?
I have never been an advocate of dual citizenship, and this is a prime example of the reason why. An immigrant who chooses to make Canada their home should be expected to renounce their previous citizenship as a measure of allegiance to their new home and any Canadians who choose to make their permanent residence elsewhere should be expected to do the same. If we ever want Canadian citizenship to be anything more than ink on the pages of a passport, we should expect no less. Privileges are a reward for sacrifices. Or at least, they used to be.
I am certainly sympathetic to all the families, of any nationality, caught in the midst of this sudden, brutal conflict…but hard-working, tax-paying, productive Canadian citizens with family and a home here would understandably resent giving up their space in the evacuation to someone who has never made a meaningful sacrifice to earn their citizenship and made no measurable contribution to the furtherance of the society to which they suddenly make such extensive demands.
Ask not, what your country can do for you...cheesy but apt.
Posted by Wonder Woman on July 21, 2006 | Permalink
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I agree.dual citicens are dubious citicens.
Posted by: tom | 2006-07-21 8:15:53 AM
At the very least, only Canadian RESIDENTS should have their evacuation paid for. Non-residents (whether they are single or dual citizens) should be billed for the trip. Residents pay taxes to Canada, non-residents do not. Non-residents should not be given a free ride at the expense of the rest of us. Tax money belongs to the payers of taxes. Freeloaders be damned.
Posted by: Warwick | 2006-07-21 8:20:55 AM
Spot on, Warwick.
Lebanese creeps and bums should stay where they are. The only legitimate evacuees are Canadians in Lebanon on temporary business or tourist visits.
Posted by: Speller | 2006-07-21 8:36:18 AM
the total lack of ANY gratitude from these evacuees is appalling.
IT IS A RESCUE NOT A CRUISE.
If Lebanon is so great, STAY THERE.
You ARE NOT CANADIAN in any stretch of the imagination.
You chose to leave here and go back to your country, let YOUR country save you.
Posted by: Passport | 2006-07-21 8:36:32 AM
This whole episode is a telling metaphor for what it means to be Canadian for far too many: make a choice, suffer the consequences, then expect someone else to bail you out and blame them if their help is not up to your standards. A sense of entitlement run amok.
What a country! What a joke.
Posted by: Jim Hutchinson | 2006-07-21 8:55:20 AM
Canada, the rube nation explained.
Posted by: Duke | 2006-07-21 9:08:51 AM
People are not bothered by the idea of someone going to make a bundle of dollars, in another country, and returning a few years later.
People are also not bothered by the idea of someone, or their family, going to another country, and living off their welfare system.
People are not bothered by the fact that people have dual citizenship, when looking at the issue, isolated from everything else.
People are bothered by the idea that the people who hold the dual citizenship, are using Canadian goodness of heart, without perhaps any loyalty to Canada. Those who are loyal, come back, and fit right in, and pay taxes just like everyone else. They come back, and spend their own money, instead of sucking up more tax dollars.
Those who are not loyal, stand out in the crowd, COMPlAINING ABOUT HOW LONG IT HAS TAKEN CANADA TO SAVE THEIR SORRY BUTTS!
Those who are not loyal to Canada, come here, take whatever they can, and undermine the stability of our country, by bringing their message of hatred of the infidels and apostates.
I have no issue with people holding dual citizenship, and living somewhere else.
I do have great issue with any kind of Canadian, whether here or otherwise, who has sympathies for the terrorists!
Canada has gone to great lengths, and is making history with the greatest rescue operation EVER! What a stark difference to the Liberal government during WWII, who turned away tens of thousands of Jews, most of whom ended up being killed in the Holocaust.
There is no doubt in my mind, that the Liberals would have done NOTHING to help the Lebanese get out of the way of the battle between Israel and the terrorists.
And from what I have heard of the NDP, I also, do NOT doubt, that they would have failed in any endeavour, claiming all that is required, is to sit a legitimate state down, to discuss matters, with a terrorist organization. What a lark!
Posted by: Lady | 2006-07-21 9:10:59 AM
right on Jim, its this whole Liberal Idea of entitlement. Canada is a buffet table, dress as if you were in your own country, speak your own language, conduct yourself as if you were over there, then, when convenient , you are Candadian.
ITS CALLLED OFFICIAL MULTICULTURALISM
They dont know the meaning of the word.
I know the difference between me and them.
So does everyone.
Posted by: Passport | 2006-07-21 9:11:46 AM
It should be easy to determine which Canadians are there for tourism or business. Lebanon requires a visa to enter, which can be acquired at the airport. Those who have visas are legitimate. A dual citizen would just show their Lebanese passport to enter. Ergo, no visa stamp in the Canadian passport.
How about this: tourists and businesspeople get first priority for retrieval. Everyone else comes later. While this may seem unfair, well TS! It's not like they voted for Harper in the first place.
Posted by: Scott | 2006-07-21 9:14:35 AM
A partial solution to this problem would be to outlaw dual citizenship and establish residency requirements for all immigrants.
What this situation in Lebanon highlights is the need for dramatic immigration and citizenship reform in this country. Lebanon is not the only example, there are supposedly 200,000 "Canadians" in Hong Kong and 25,000 in Taiwan. I would hazard a guess that most of them fit the Lebanese model as Canadians of convience.
Posted by: No Spin Zone | 2006-07-21 9:21:18 AM
Journalist Peter Worthington in the Toronto Sun today says it all. But the aspect of security must be examined by Canadian Agencies like CSIS.
I have felt for decades that so called Lebanese Canadians have been funding Hezbollah for many years. All the Hezbollah terrorists in South Lebanon and the Bekka Valley are Lebanese. Canada must ensure that the "evacuation" does not include gunmen from Hezbollah and Palestine.
I have been opposed to dual nationality multi culturalism since my days in GTA, where it was created by the Federal Liberal Party, which I saw first hand. The current mess is Volpe's legacy to the Liberal Party, and today, Minister Smitherman of the McGuinty Crowd is providing special compensation for these Lebanese Canadians, but is unable to come up with a method
to stop wanton murder on the steets of Ontario.
Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-07-21 9:28:14 AM
we have one liberal batch gone in ottawa and one to go in ontario.
the word canadian is becoming a meaningless convenience to all these FAKE CANADIANS.
I know the difference between me and them.
They have no clue what it is to be Canadian.
HOW DO WE KEEP THE LIBERALS OUT OF OTTAWA should be everyones goal.
Posted by: Passport | 2006-07-21 9:44:29 AM
I do understand Canada's efforts to recue its citizens, even its dual ones. After all, aren't we the same bunch who are crying out for justice for Zhara Kazemi, who held dual Canadian/Iranian citizenship? But I can't abide by the lack of gratitude or even relief from those being plucked out of this mess. Complaining that th ships are crowded and uncomfortable? How many of us (myself included) have an ancestor who came over here in a stinking rat infested ship to make a better life? I am a product of the potato famine of Ireland, and I doubt very much that my great great grandfather bitched when he hit Canadian shores. These people should be very ashamed of themselves, as should the media for giving them voice.
Posted by: RightGirl | 2006-07-21 9:55:36 AM
Banning dual citizenship may be difficult because many Canadians hold dual citizenship with the US, Britain or other very important - and safe! - countries. Ending it would force people to choose which country gets their talents and economic performance - and in most cases Canada would lose.
Perhaps restricting it to a few countries would be better than ending it outright, like India does.
At the very, very least, make an agreement with the US to allow single Canadian citizenship holders to live and work in the US freely (like how the EU countries or how Australia and New Zealand allow it). That way the essential economic links with the US are retained.
Posted by: Scott | 2006-07-21 9:57:16 AM
The LebCans, coming from an Arab 'honor' society, have neither a concept of shame nor honor which translates into our cultural understanding.
Posted by: Speller | 2006-07-21 10:00:52 AM
Right Girl, want to get married ? I agree with you 100 % these evacuees should be ashamed of themselves.
ITS NOT A CRUISE< ITS A RESCUE
Posted by: Passport | 2006-07-21 10:01:36 AM
If these "proud Canadians" wanted to be rescued faster, then they shouldn't have voted Liebral in the 90s. It was the Liebrals under Chretien/Martin who neglected the military and its vital air and sea transport capabilities. A more responsible - read: conservative - government would not have neglected them as much.
Funny how life bites you in the a** sometimes!
Posted by: Scott | 2006-07-21 10:05:00 AM
Yet, it is thanks to the media that we can read about and see the whining and bleating.
If the cruise ships aren't good enough for these spoiled brats, maybe leaving the rest of them on shore to fend for themselves may be a future option.
I can almost sense a Big Brother type of attitude toward government ie Big Brother should be able to take care of us.
What's sadly lacking is what many Canadian residents define as pioneering spirit.
Ckome to think of it, even the people of Iraq whine and bleat that the US cannot provide security for them.
Is it just me or is there a pattern?
Open for debate: people from the Middle Eastern countries tend to give up their independence to a Big Brother or a strongman type ... and feeling ‘secure' is the ultimate freedom. Yet, since security from all bogeymen is impossible, they live a self-defined life of insecurity, paid for at the cost of their own creativity.
Posted by: Set you free | 2006-07-21 10:05:09 AM
Passport, while I appreciate your proposal, I am currently married to a Scottish immigrant. We debated staying over there and having me become a British citizen, but decided our chances were better over here. We've been here two years now. In another year, he can apply for his Canadian citizenship, which he looks forward to. He loves his home, but knows that Canada can do so much more for him. Wanna come to the citizenship celebrations?
Posted by: RightGirl | 2006-07-21 10:23:30 AM
I already have marriage proposal into Right Girl.
Take your place in the line.
Posted by: Duke | 2006-07-21 10:26:27 AM
It's nice to visit this site once in a while although I see that many of the previous regular contributors have disappeared.
I appreciate the concern over dual citizenship and I share it. Changing the rules around dual citizenship is a good idea.
Having said that, at this time citizenship is what it is. We should not treat non-resident citizens differently from resident citizens in a time of crisis. This would defeat the whole purpose of citizenship. It would also be impractical. What criteria would you use? What if someone has lived here for twenty years and moved to Lebanon two years ago? What should the cut-off be? With time being of the essence, is it advisable to have a team of bureaucrats determine this before boarding?
Posted by: Michael Dabioch | 2006-07-21 10:35:53 AM
The evacuation has driven another wedge between different groups in Canada.
It's a sure thing that any crisis will bring the out the best and worst in people. Why should this situation be any different?
I believe the majority of evacuees will be extremely grateful once this is over. Their behaviour at the marshalling area can be understood considering the conditions.
However, there is no magic litmus test to fairly determine who gets to go or has to stay behind in the mess. The staff at the Canadian Embassy in Lebanon are absolutely swamped with requests.
The issue of dual citizenship is a moot point right now. The government has a moral and legal obligation for the safety of these people.
Unfortunate vacationers, businesspeople, citizens of convenience or whomever - accept them all to be sure nobody gets left behind.
Once the logistical challenges are over, only then should the issue of dual citizenship be examined.
Posted by: govard | 2006-07-21 11:04:23 AM
Michael Dabioch wrote: What if someone has lived here for twenty years and moved to Lebanon two years ago?
If they are a dual national and have left Canada permanently then I don't see what responsibility we have to them. And what about Canadian residents who are not citizens, some of whom have lived here for 10 or 20 years, are we responsible for them as well?
Posted by: No Spin Zone | 2006-07-21 11:08:00 AM
The issue of dual citizenship is a moot point right now. The government has a moral and legal obligation for the safety of these people.
What legal obligation does the government have?
Posted by: No Spin Zone | 2006-07-21 11:14:07 AM
Think we're all being played by the MSM. Criteria for a successful evac from a war zone is coming out alive. I think most people know this. One can always find dissatisfaction in any large group of people. That's what the MSM is doing. I'm sure most of the evacs are grateful. The MSM deserves our ridicule and skepticism. Certainly, they're all pissed because they had to get off Harper's plane. BTW, I'm an American married to a Canadian and my sons have dual citizenship and are extremely productive in both countries. Just saying...
Posted by: Rodger Beals | 2006-07-21 11:14:12 AM
Many of the Staff of the Canadian Embassy in Lebanon are in fact Lebanese Citizens, but some must have dual citizenship. Canada staff from the local population in cities like London UK. Big mistake. Ironically there were more young Canadians from all over Canada working at the GlassBlowers Pub, Carnaby Street, around the corner from Canada House then employed by the Government of Canada in London, a situation which we have resented for years. What we are talking about however is loyality and committment
my family came from Ulster and Ireland to the British Colony of Nova Scotia in 1819. They made a committment to Canada in 1867, and we are still here, and still loyal only to Canada. MacLeod
Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-07-21 11:17:51 AM
ok RIGHT GIRL, welcome to Canada.
I have no problems with people moving here as long as they are the right kind of people.
The Liberals created a free for all mentality.
An atmosphere of take take take. these recent third world immmigrants think this country is THEIRS for the taking. It was all created for their use.
If one decides to become a citizen of a foreign country , our responsibility ends right there.
Posted by: Passport | 2006-07-21 11:20:13 AM
Under current laws, one does not need to decide to become a citizen of a foreign country. One simply retains such citizenship while acquiring a Canadian citizenship. Does this change your point Passport?
Posted by: Michael Dabioch | 2006-07-21 11:23:27 AM
I knew coming here I would find others utterly flabbergasted at the display by Canadians in Beirut and Cyprus.
There was one young mother, though, who stood out. She was happy to be in Cyprus and said that her kids slept on the floor last night - and they all pretended they were camping. I almost cheered at her spirit because in contrast many of the others looked like ingrates.
I can't say how I would act in similar circumstances, but last I checked there isn't a contract that we HAVE to rescue our citizens. We do it because it is the right thing to do.
Gratitude - clearly a lost concept.
Posted by: ErinAirton | 2006-07-21 11:37:17 AM
No Spin Zone,
I am not an immigration lawyer. However, I did work at a Canadian Embassy in Europe for three years. There are published standards for consular assistance at our embassies.
Pick apart what exactly are the legal ogligations of the service standard. However when the Prime Minister issues a directive, it is followed.
To your credit, at least you didn't question the moral aspect of the government's decision.
Posted by: govard | 2006-07-21 11:53:56 AM
I totally agree. I wish to add that most of these people are not Lebanese Canadians. They are Palestinian Canadians. Lebanon would not grant them citizenship and they aquired Canadian citizenship as refugees.
Life is difficult for those without a country. You are not free to travel to anywhere (even the middle-east) without a passport.
How genuine is their refugee claims is evident in how quick they are to move back after they received citizenship.
I have personally met Palestinians here in Canada who do not hide their hatred for this place. They told me they like to set up businesses (bottle-depots are popular) and leave some of the family here to run them while most of the profits get sent back to Lebanon where the rest of the family lives in posh villas.
Now these people are getting the Canadian government to hire ships to transport them out and then fly them back to Canada. All at the taxpayers expense?
Only in Canada.
Posted by: Loren Z | 2006-07-21 11:59:14 AM
One situation which deserves comment is the hatchet job the Globe and Mail and CTV are undertaking to undermine PM Harper and his Government. Jeez I just happended to notice that CTV has Dan Matheson in Lebanon. Matheson was a hair brained "weatherboy" on CTV some years ago, and now has matured into a hair brained middle aged clone. Comments are also coming from Oliver,
Taber and Duffy, who should be registered as Liberal Party Lobbyists. But most of the letters to the Globe support Israel and express outrage at the ripoff of Canada by "Lebanese Canadians, plus support for Harper's humanitarian decision, actually a smart move; Harper is in fact a smart guy.
Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-07-21 12:18:11 PM
Michael Dabioch wrote: Under current laws, one does not need to decide to become a citizen of a foreign country.
Doesn't need to decide? What law is that?
Posted by: No Spin Zone | 2006-07-21 12:24:36 PM
to Jack, I agree with you. harper is very smart.
How many "refugees" come here remains to be seen.
We need them here like we need a hole in the head.
do you think Harpers popularity will go up with Liberals.
I doubt it
Posted by: Passport | 2006-07-21 12:35:20 PM
Ignorant. Selfish. Sick.
Just a few words that begin to describe the disturbing posts found on this forum.
"If one decides to become a citizen of a foreign country , our responsibility ends right there."
"Tax money belongs to the payers of taxes. Freeloaders be damned."
"Lebanese creeps and bums should stay where they are."
"If Lebanon is so great, STAY THERE."
Innocent people are dying by the hundreds, and you dare whine about your taxes?
Others are desperately seeking a way out of a war zone, and you dare question their citizenship?
Do any of you know or care that the Lebanese government represents a very fragile democracy, having just gained its independance, and obvioulsy does not have the means to rescue their own innocents?
Do any of you know or care that as a member of the U.N., one who happens to have a history of helping resolve such conflicts, Canada does have a responsibility, both moral and legal, to help in any way we can?
Do any of you know or care that many of our citizens having returned to Lebanon (to live or visit) were there because it was a country moving slowly but steadily towards peace and independence, and that that dream has now been crushed?
Do any of you know or care that the evacuees would probably prefer to find their own way out, EXCEPT THAT THE AIRPORT AND THE BRIDGES OUT ARE ON FIRE?
We're getting those people out because we are Canada, and that's the type of thing we do. Get used to it, and for god's sake, grow a conscience.
Posted by: zamprelli | 2006-07-21 12:38:11 PM
hey zamp. go away. Its people like you who have allowed Canada, a great nation to be swamped by every third world loser on the planet.
Go to Toronto, its like being in a different country
Posted by: Passport | 2006-07-21 12:44:20 PM
No Spin Zone (Bill O'Reilly fan, I presume) - you have taken my quote out of context.
Posted by: Michael Dabioch | 2006-07-21 12:46:24 PM
Jack Macleod: One situation which deserves comment is the hatchet job the Globe and Mail and CTV are undertaking to undermine PM Harper and his Government.
It is indeed. Especially when both entities are owned by Bell Globemedia which also just happened to purchase CHUM last week. Control of media outlets, disguised as "convergence" and the influence that they have on the CRTC to limit others from entering the market is a very troubling state of affairs.
Posted by: No Spin Zone | 2006-07-21 12:47:43 PM
why dont these so called innocents in lebanon do something as a group to out the terrorists ?
their silence gives a stamp of appoval to the whole thing as does their government.
Israel has had enough pussyfooting around.
They will stop it and most of the world knows it.
How long do they have to put up with suicide bombers and attacks ?
Posted by: Passport | 2006-07-21 12:48:48 PM
Michael Dabioch wrote: No Spin Zone (Bill O'Reilly fan, I presume) - you have taken my quote out of context.
I quoted exactly what you wrote.
And I am an O'reilly viewer. I have DirectTV in Canada so I, not the CRTC decides what I can watch.
Posted by: No Spin Zone | 2006-07-21 12:58:10 PM
Any innocent who dies in Lebanon dies because of Hizb'allah.
They die because of Islam and Mohammed.
They die because they have allowed Iran and Syria to use their country to host terrorists who want to kill ever single Jew.
They die because Muslims hate the Jews more than they love their own children.
I am for Israel. The have a right to defend themselves. Israel has done everything possible to live in peace except to lay down and die like the Mohammedans want them to.
The Lebanese Army is largely composed of Shiite Hizb'allah supporters because they drove most of the Christian Phalange out of Lebanon in the 1980's with the help of Syria.
That Israeli warship was hit by a missile because the Lebanese military painted it with their radar.
They made a pact with the Devil, now it's time to pay the butcher's bill.
Posted by: Speller | 2006-07-21 1:01:56 PM
I'm not about to leave and, I presume, neither are you. The best we can hope for is contructive debate.
You're absolutely right that Israel cannot be blamed for running out of patience. However, I don't think there is much that innocent Lebanese civilians or their government could have done. The Lebanese government, following a recent end to that country's civil war and the even more recent (last year) withdrawal of Syrian troops, has the potential to become an example in the region, but at the moment is as fragile as a house of cards. Its silence does not show approval of armed militia, but rather is a sign of its inability to assert authority over its own territory. It desperately needs the help of the international community, as a civil, democratic, secular Lenbanese gov't is in all our best interests.
The blame lies with Hezbollah, who have created a state within a state in southern Lebanon, and have attacked/provoked Israel, to the dismay of most Lebanese, who again were just beginning to taste freedom.
At its root, blame rests with the U.N., more specifically the Security Council, who had no plan to disarm Hezbollah, despite a clear resolution (1559) calling for this disarmement. This resoution was adopted in 2004, but nothing was done. This whole thing could have been avoided.
But since it wasn't, we have a responsibility to help those innocents who's lives have been destroyed. Even the "third world losers".
Posted by: zamprelli | 2006-07-21 1:21:00 PM
You know what? You guys are all right.
Who ever said all these "ethnies" are welcome in Canada? I mean, if you're an American who has a job and an education, by all means... But if you're from Lebanon or any other rinky-dink "muslim" country, then just stay out.
We have way too many people not like us in this country.
Plus, I'm ok with our tax money going by the billions to our army and navy, but I'm completely against spending more money to actually do something with it. Better leave it in our wharfs and bases, I say. Such shiny, shiny armour, let's not get it dirty.
Dual citizens...pfff. They're not citizens if they don't accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour if you ask me... I mean, what kind of people don't believe in Jesus? They can't be saved.
I say we make a Christianity test to any person wanting to set foot in this country. That way, we're sure never to get involved in countries like Lebanon.
That, and a "do-you-have-any-hope-of-ever-having-a-job-here" test. Why would I pay with my taxes for the "security net" of some random African who comes straight from a war zone? I mean, sympathy for the entire world's suffering and yatti yatti yatta aside, what good is that alien ever going to bring to my country, my children and, especially, my taxes?
You tell me. Or rather, you let them tell me. But, see, they don't know what the Internet is, or what language we speak in Canada. So there.
Posted by: I'm a right, right-wing man who's right | 2006-07-21 1:35:41 PM
Zamprelli, we'll do without the self-righteous spewing, thank you. Historically, loudly and obnoxiously defending your rights hasn't been a very effective way of winning sympathy for one's cause. And without sympathy, just how far do you think this evacuation would have gotten?
If someone born in another country moves to Canada and then moves back to that other country, how are we responsible for them? If someone makes no contribution to the group, what right has he to claim the benefits of being in that group? And how, exactly, is asking people to answer for the consequences of their actions, or lack thereof in this case, "sick?" Do you have any proof whatever of the truth of your assertions, other than that you make them?
Yes, innocent people are dying. Even as they have been dying from Hamas rockets and Islamist nut bags blowing themselves up at Jewish weddings and Israeli pizza parlours. Did you speak up against that? Certainly your precious U.N. didn't, out of their pathological need to side with the underdog, even if the underdog is the problem. And contrary to what you state, Canada has no obligation, legal or moral, to help virtual strangers out of a 3,000-year-old mess simply by virtue of the fact that they draw breath.
Your incessant whining about "caring" is disingenuous, cynical, and self-serving. You care only about that caring that may benefit those you side with, and sneer with unreserved disdain at the idea that they should be called upon to return the favour someday. You ignore survival instinct and basic common sense, and then have the unmitigated gall--the sheer audacity--to complain that the lifeboats aren't seated according to class. You speak up for a race that has never known financial success or stability and puke virulently on those who have built a peaceable, democratic nation.
In short, the ignorant, selfish, and sick one is you. Now get over yourself.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2006-07-21 1:44:31 PM
Way to go, Shane!
Me and you know you went to school!
Posted by: I'm a right, right-wing man who's right | 2006-07-21 1:50:02 PM
"I'm not about to leave and, I presume, neither are you. The best we can hope for is contructive debate."
Which is not likely to happen given your hand-wringing, finger-wagging, eye-spitting, foot-stomping harangues. Constructive debate focuses on facts, not feelings.
"You're absolutely right that Israel cannot be blamed for running out of patience. However, I don't think there is much that innocent Lebanese civilians or their government could have done. "
No, of course not. There is absolutely nothing millions can do against thousands. They are helpless pawns, chaff in a whirlwind, utterly unable to kick out their oppressors and form a better government on their own. Fortunately for the world, Americans in 1775 were made of sterner stuff.
"The Lebanese government, following a recent end to that country's civil war and the even more recent (last year) withdrawal of Syrian troops, has the potential to become an example in the region, but at the moment is as fragile as a house of cards. Its silence does not show approval of armed militia, but rather is a sign of its inability to assert authority over its own territory. It desperately needs the help of the international community, as a civil, democratic, secular Lenbanese gov't is in all our best interests."
As a rule, the international community does nothing at all until Israel makes a move, and then it craps all over Israel. But in this we can agree--in all instances they do, with notable exceptions from America, absolutely nothing.
"The blame lies with Hezbollah, who have created a state within a state in southern Lebanon, and have attacked/provoked Israel, to the dismay of most Lebanese, who again were just beginning to taste freedom."
Then they'll have to kick out Hezbollah, won't they? He who awaits someone else to liberate him had best get comfortable, for the wait will be long. And when the liberator does arrive, he will do it in the pursuit of his own interests, not those of the liberated.
"At its root, blame rests with the U.N., more specifically the Security Council, who had no plan to disarm Hezbollah, despite a clear resolution (1559) calling for this disarmement. This resoution was adopted in 2004, but nothing was done. This whole thing could have been avoided."
The U.N. since the 1960s has been a toothless white elephant that provides a convenient refuge for old hippies and former Peace Corps activists. They have long since handed the mantle of world policeman to the U.S.
"But since it wasn't, we have a responsibility to help those innocents who's lives have been destroyed. Even the "third world losers"."
No, we don't. They have made their bed; let them lie in it.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2006-07-21 1:52:53 PM
What's the matter, "Right-wing Man"; is your welfare cheque late?
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2006-07-21 1:56:43 PM
'What's the matter, "Right-wing Man"; is your welfare cheque late?'
Hey, I'm not the one debating with myself...
Enjoy your afternoon of freeriding on whomever pays you to debate with yourself on blogs, that is if you do have a job...
If not, may I suggest "claims hallucinator"? I really like how you pulled all those claims out of Zamp's texts, you know, things like "You ignore survival instinct and basic common sense, and then have the unmitigated gall--the sheer audacity--to complain that the lifeboats aren't seated according to class."
Such accurate reporting.
Or this little piece of genius : "You speak up for a race that has never known financial success". That, my friend, is a rare occurence of total ignorance (ever heard of the Phoenicians?) and pure bigotry (no one uses the term "race" anymore, in case you never went to school and learned that there).
So I think you should apply for the position of "Middle East blogofreak". I'd hire you in a second.
That is, if I ever thought that position should exist of course.
Enjoy the freeriding, I gotta get back to work!
Posted by: I'm a right, right-wing man who's right | 2006-07-21 2:07:36 PM
"Hey, I'm not the one debating with myself..."
Actually, I'm debating with Zamprelli and you. Funny how much power Leftists feel they have over the Universe; maybe it stems from their moral superiority. They think it and presto, it's true!
"Enjoy your afternoon of freeriding on whomever pays you to debate with yourself on blogs, that is if you do have a job..."
"Or this little piece of genius : "You speak up for a race that has never known financial success". That, my friend, is a rare occurence of total ignorance (ever heard of the Phoenicians?) and pure bigotry (no one uses the term "race" anymore, in case you never went to school and learned that there)."
The current residents of Lebanon are no more the descendents of Phoenicians than the residents of Iraq are those of Babylon. And the Middle East as a whole has been declining for nearly a thousand years, to the point where they have translated fewer books in those thousand years than Spain does in one.
"So I think you should apply for the position of "Middle East blogofreak". I'd hire you in a second. That is, if I ever thought that position should exist of course."
What you think does not matter, especially given your ambivalence to debate the actual topic. Like most self-righteous Leftists, you happy-slap everyone you don't like and then flounce off to bang your bag, smoke a joint, touch up your protest sign...whatever. Yes, it's no surprise to me that the Left is losing ground around the world.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2006-07-21 2:21:47 PM
You sound like you might, might, have a head on your shoulders, so maybe we can proceed without the insults. Or does that make me a pussy?
The reason I think that Lebanese civilians couldn't get rid of Hezbollah, obviously, is because they are unarmed. As for the Lebanese government, they are a brand spanking new independent government that cannot simply proceed as it wishes without risking a coup, another all out civil war, a return of Syrian (or worse, Iranian) control.
Therefore, the reason the millions can't displace the thousands is because the "millions" have no arms or stable gov't, while the "thousands" are an armed militia supported by two, count'en two, states more rich and powerful than Lebanon, one of which was JUST KICKED OUT of Lebanon and isnt too pleased about it, the other of which is in fact run by an Islamic nutjob.
I fully agree that the UN has become a tothless white elephant. My point is that it shouldn't be.
International intervention (as opposed to intervention by another state acting alone) is both legitimate because it reflects global consensus, and it is effective because it is the only way the liberators won't act in their own best interests (which, as you imply, a liberating state would). By definition, international interveners would act in the best interests of the world.
In other words, it is advantageous to just about everyone (US, Canada, Israel, Lebanon, arabs, jews, christians, muslims, buddhists, rastafarians...) to have Hezbollah disarmed, and Syria and Iran weakened as a consequence.
We must admit that (i) this is in our interests, and that (ii) it is something the new Lebanese government could never possibly have hoped to achieve on its own.
Posted by: zamprelli | 2006-07-21 2:28:25 PM
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