August 18, 2006, - 5:16 pm

Weekend Read: Relative of Navy Diver Robert Stethem Speaks Out on Hezbo “Ceasefire”

My friend, Katherine Curtis Stethem–sister-in-law of (who was tortured to death by Hezbollah)–has a great piece in the New York Sun.
She notes that even if the phony “ceasefire”–which Hezbollah has already violated–is successful (and it won’t be), Hezbollah is already entrenched. And the strange silence of “ceasefires” gets the necessary fight for America out of sight, out of mind. Her brother-in-law’s murder by Hezbollah is evidence that fighting Hezbollah is America’s fight, not just Israel’s.
Here is an excerpt:

For many, Hezbollah has only recently emerged as a topic of discussion at the water cooler. Hezbollah, however, has been destroying lives and crushing spirits for decades. The torture and ultimate death of Navy Diver Robert Dean Stethem during the 1985 Trans World Airlines hijacking by Hezbollah terrorists is recognized as one of the most brutal slayings of our time. America and our allies have yet to implement cohesive measures to bring Rob’s murderers to justice. Robert Stethem and his family deserve better.

Where will it end? Not with this ceasefire, no matter how expedient the agreement may be nor what solution to the Hezbollah problem Israeli and American leaders ultimately fashion. What hope do we have when the leaders of nations and world organizations allow evil to grow and interweave into the fabric of mainstream cultures? Do we expect to defeat militant extremism by playing to the middle ground? The eyes of the world are casting about for the kind of leadership that can bring about a lasting peace. Hezbollah has been America’s problem at least since the 1980s. Ceasefire or not, now is certainly not the time for Americans to lose focus.

Read the whole thing.

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8 Responses

I do NOT like murderers. I HATE them and wish they were DEAD and I HATE evil people and wish to see them punished too. There’s a difference between right and wrong. What does that mean? We’re commanded to HATE EVIL and LOVE GOOD.

NormanF on August 18, 2006 at 7:55 pm

The US Army didn’t require, issue, or fund passports for our troops overseas during my service. Unfortunately servicemen used their military IDs when traveling along with orders or a signed list of countries the CO included in a DOD form (dumb).
After Robert Stethem’s death I went to the US Consulate and obtained a passport, it was stamped with “Foreign Service” to denote it was issued overseas (dumb). The passport was stolen, I went to the US Embassy in the country it was stolen and no one cared to take the report (really dumb).
When it comes to protecting yourself, you are on your own, no one give a rat’s -ss about what makes sense. Navy SEALS, Green Berets, Sayaret, French Foreign Legion, seems everyone is running around like commandos with special gear and considerations while the world has forgotten that it is the basic leg infantryman who wins wars, the rest is just window dressing.
The new Lebanese soldiers pictured in the LA Times don’t even have magazines in their M-16s, the Isrealis pictured in the NY Times marching into Lebannon have all of their officers bunched together with the antennas from their commo, who themselves are all bunched together. They are lucky Hezbollah can’t fire motars, at least not with any acurracy. No commo, no artillery or close air support. If the infantry were running the show, no one would be allowed out after dark, everyone not in uniform carrying a weapon is vaporized, no cars in the urban centers, and absolutely no f–king cell phones no matter which stupid company is trying to sell them. You secure the areas you can first, forget Turkey, time for an independent Kurdish state, we are still friends with Britian after Ireland got its independence, besides we need a jumping off point for finally settling the score with Iran while they still screwing camels.
The American soldier is still the meanest fighting and killing machine in the world, despite the Beltway obstructionists who do everything they can to line their pockets and undermine our troops. All of the middleeast chest puffing is laughable. The GI still has to carry the ball, hill to hill, house to house.

code7 on August 18, 2006 at 11:25 pm

I popped for Sunday Edition of the NY Times today, $5.00- ouch!
Interesting recap of an Israeli daily Haaretz article by a Likud member of Parliament, Yuval Steinitz who argued tha the IDF have neglected development of the infantry, artillery, and tanks in favor of more “specialized” concepts of warfare.
You have to admire a smaller, intelligent military that can recognize problems and make adjustments much quicker that we can.
Infantry manuevers are like dancing, when done professionally they look easy and effortless. But, most people who have tried know that it takes endless lessons, practice and hard work to achieve excellence.
Infantry doesn’t get the money, or attention, or thanks. When you perform well- it is expected and doesn’t really show, like the first Gulf War. Everyone assumed that Air Power was the only factor in a quick defeat. Actually, Mechanized Infantry and Armour played a big part.
That is why Schwarzkopf, who had an armour-middleeast background was a good choice for the field commander’s position. Likewise, Gen. Tommy Franks, who was my two-star at 1st A.D., was the shot caller in the second go round. However, this time the enemy had “seen the bride naked” and Rummy put a lot of emphasis on “toys” for the bedroom.
Bottom line: An army still needs the most skilled infantry possible, it’s an ugly job, very little glamour or appreciation.
Bush could snatch victory from the jaws of quagmire in Iraq by beefing-up Infantry and deploying them in Northern Iraq like we did on the Eastern Front of Germany during the cold war. The only reason Germany didn’t blow-up the world a third time, is because we had a million American soldiers there after the war, tapering off to 450K by the seventies and then 300k by the eighties down to who knows what now. Wild Bill Clinton missed the opportunity to move the force into the Balkans early on and thus encouraged that bloodbath by leaving the problem to the Frogs and Krauts who did nothing.
So that’s it, we become the French in Indochina (think small specialized units like the French Foreign Legion), or go it alone with the British and Kurds in the North. Take your winnings or crap out.

code7 on August 20, 2006 at 2:19 pm

KATHERINE CURTIS STETHEM: Do we expect to defeat militant extremism by playing to the middle ground?
If we were a truly Moral people, we would destroy any terrorists threatening or acting against us rather than allowing this insane half-measure policy we are now utilizing to continue. Joe 6-pack America knows it’s an insane policy
Joe 6-pack America does not lack the will to destroy terrorists around the world, the political decision makers lack the will to live with the sanctioning of it.

P. Aaron on August 20, 2006 at 11:17 pm

“So that’s it, we become the French in Indochina (think small specialized units like the French Foreign Legion), or go it alone with the British and Kurds in the North”
Um…did someone forget to tell you that the French LOST in Indochina? Little thing called Dien Bien Phu.

gregdn on August 21, 2006 at 9:40 am

Um…actually the French did not loose in Indochina, they quit. And, the US did not loose in Indochina, they quit too. If you don’t understand the difference, ask the former citizens of The Republic of South Vietnam-they lost. Dien Bien Phu was a battle not a war. I used to occasionally throw back beers in Germany with a Legionaire who was evacuated after being bayoneted in the stomach there. Funny, he never mentioned that they LOST in Indochina. Of course, the former Wermacht Alpine soldiers drinking there didn’t say anything about losing either, but that’s another issue.
And, by the way, the French did not loose in Algeria either, they were sold out at home.

code7 on August 21, 2006 at 9:41 pm

Despite the obvious conclusion that withdrawing soldiers will not achieve victory, Congress is suggesting just that. Instead, the US could in effect increase the number of soldiers by decreasing the area of operation like we did in Korea. That was my point, essentially.

code7 on August 23, 2006 at 12:02 am

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