« Radio Free Bozeman | Main | FEAR MY WORDS! »

July 14, 2006

Comments

The Blue Barn

Bush wants this to escalate and blame Iran, so Israel will bomb them and get rid of their Nuclear programs.

There is no evidence that Iran has anything to do with this.

This is Israels fault. Their continued occupation of Arab territories.

Essentially Iran has won, we have taken out the only enemies of Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq. Now Iran has the Shites in Iraq. Iran has won. This might create a terroist highway from Iran to Lebbanon. Right through Iraq. And hey why not take a couple of Americans on the way. George knows nothing about foreign policy, Clinton would be in there trying to mediate.

I'm gonna have to stop in Portland and get a job to pay for gas on the way home.

This whole thing scares the crap out of me. "I told you so" never ends up feeling as satisfying as you thought it would when an entire mid-east quagmire, and $5 gallons of gas are involved does it? It certainly doesn't for me anyways.
I don't really understand your definition of the term "no-lose" in this post, but maybe I'm just reading it wrong. I would think "no-win", especially when one takes the longview, is more appropriate.
And Bluebarn, without starting one of these unsightly blog-fights, and despite my loathe for Bush's foreign policy makers, I think your simplifying a situation that is more complex than 20 history textbooks could break down.

Mike

Not factoring in the sophomoric analysis from "Blue Barn," which in true allegiance to the socialist-wing of the Democratic Party which blames Israel for all the ills in the region, I might point out that there is actually evidence that Iran is supplying materiel to Hezbollah, which I doubt I need to remind you is a Syrian based internationaly recognized terrorist organization.

Iran supplied Hezbollah with solid-fuel, Zelzal-2 missiles with a 200-km range, but these are not very accurate, since they do not have a self-guidance system.

The Zelzal-2 missiles, intended to strike broad targets such as communities and cities, are equipped with explosive warheads weighing up to 600 kilograms. The missiles are a later version of the Zelzal-1 missiles, which Iran first displayed in September 2005 at a military parade in Tehran, together with six Shihab-3 missiles.

One of these Iranian missiles landed near Haifa today and killed a grandmother and her grandchild.

You say that, " Evidence is being offered that Hizbollah aggression hides Iran's weapons of terror; and by evidence I mean the same sort as was offered to prove the WMDs that Saddam so obviously had. The American right is already pushing the Iranian connection, full force."

Is there not clear and overwhelming EVIDENCE that Iranian missiles are being used by Syrian controlled Hezbollah to attack Israel. Is there not clear and overwhelming EVIDENCE that Hezbollah uses Syria as its protectorate?

I have no problem agreeing that the war in Iraq was manufactured over the supposed existence of WMD's but I'm afraid that if you and others can't see that the current Hezbollah/Syrian/Iranian operation in southern Lebanon (in which, I might add, a majority of Lebanese public opinion is in favor of Israel's actions) has nothing to do with the greater issue of the "palestinian" people but rather has everything to do with Iran's ambitions in the region.

I guess one's perspective would change if they had to spend the night, or part of the day, in a bomb shelter.

Wulfgar

Mike, I was refering far more to perception then I was to facts as they lay. Of course Iran will support Hamas and Hizbollah (Hezbollah? sp.) The claims are that Iran has orchestrated this war. The question at hand is what does America do, knowing that it's troops are already over taxed and in the line of fire; should this war escalate?

Coffee John

We blow them all to pieces. No problem. Two aircraft carriers could do it. And we have a lot more assets than that in the area. Stick to what you know--Bozeman pinhead politics.

Mike

I'm not sure what America can do. We've burned most of our bridges with other nations in the region r/t our fiasco in Iraq, and unless Israel is directly threatened with invasion, which it's neighbors simply aren't capable of, or some kind of tactical nuclear weapon, which one or more countried in the region may possess, I think the general policy of the U.S., at least at this point is to stay the hell out of the way.

Unless there is a profound escalation by Hezbollah I think Israel will be able to handle the situation despite the outpouring of world sympathy towards the "poor Arab souls."

Now, having said that I believe that Israel needs to finish the job she started. Damascus CAN and MUST be a target if Israeli intentions of crushing Hezbollah are to be believed. Frankly I believe Bu$h would rather have Israel do the dirty work in Syria, and if Iran wanted to get directly involved I'm sure the U.S. would watch Israel's back. Assad needs to know that continuing to support and provide safe haven for Hezbollah means he can never go out in public or leave his ever again. As for the Hezbollah cleric, stick a fork in him, he's done. Mossad might have to take out a bunch of civilians to get him but the job will be done.

Submarine based cruise missiles targeted at Tehran and Damascus with a diplomatic back-channel, probably the Saudi's, to let them know the US will use them if they attack Israel. Now, I havent't been to either Damascus or Tehran in a long time but from what I remember it wouldn't take that much American firepower to reduce at least Damascus to rubble. Tehran might be a different story but don't doubt for a minute that if Iran wants to ratchet this up a notch or two that plans aren't already in place to deal with it.

Remember, Iraq is a disaster because we're attempting nation building but we're fairly competent with carpet bombing and tactical weapons to destroy any chance at retaliation, which would be our raison d' etre for getting involved in the first place.

Mark

Mike - I heard a rumor that the US is supplying arms to Israel at the clip of $6 billion per year. When you've come up with an analysis of why it is OK for one outside party to arm its ally to the teeth, but wrong for anyone to give the Palestinians a dime, postal me please. I'm all ears - I'm waiting for the sophomore to strike.

Gee Guy

I will ignore the Barn's comments because they are beyond naive. (We're going to 'mediate' again?)

Wulfgar, I heard a very interesting and informed discussion today about the "over-taxed" argument. This fellow (a former general and current intelligence analyst) says we might be a little light on "boots on the ground," but that our Navy and Air Force are ready, willing and very able.

That being said, I think for now we have Israel's back. We watch. If they need our help, they get it. And they should, but won't, get it in absolutely overwhelming force. They'll get mamby-pampy political war, whether from Bush or his successor.

Gee Guy

Mark-here's a hint. Israel handed over Gaza in an attempt at good faith. They got rockets in return.

Not everything is relative.

The Blue Barn

Wrong. Gee Guy. Israel is directly responsible for the escalation of this thing. Israel wants to destroy the Palstinians. What no one is reporting is that this thing was started by Israel KIDNAPPING CIVILIAN PALSTINIANS, which is a war crime by thew way! And the continued bombing of Gaza. I suggest JuanCole.com for you Gee Guy.

There is no doubt Iran and Syria support Hezbollah, but there is no direct evidence that Iran or Syria have anything to do with THIS incident.

Bush wants the world to think that Iran and Syria is behind this.

But what is behind this is Israels continued occupation of Arab territories.

Let me remind you that Lebbanon has no control over Hezbollah. So, why would Israel blow up Lebbanon infrastructure and kill innocent people!!??

My first post was just thoughts I wasn't analyzing the situation.

The only thing I stand by though, is Iran has won.

Shane M

Blue Barn,

You know, I like you because you have passion. But, IF you are going to make statements as bold as

this thing was started by Israel KIDNAPPING CIVILIAN PALSTINIANS

then you need to provide a source. We can not refute or confirm a claim if we dont know where it comes from.

On this issue, I also agree that Isreal has a right to defend itself. It is a fact that the current administration has not put the effort into this process that was needed, and it is also true that 'see I told you so' doesn't feel so good right now.

What is really naive is to consider that this is an issue that starts and finishes with the Palestinians or even with the current state of Isreal. This is a struggle between Arabs and Jews that has a history much older than our young country. To really understand how deep this goes would take a lot more space than we have here.

If we ignore how deep it really goes we will be slitting our own throat. Look at what one mans simplistic view of culture has done. Bush thought that the Iraqi's would welcome us as liberators and the boys would be home in a matter of months. He even said later that no one could have forsaw the sunni-shiite conflicts. I predicted them because of the fact that my wife has a background in Arabic history. She said it from the start. Any first year student in the subject could have told him about it. It is not new, it is old.

The Blue Barn

Few readers will be aware that on June 24, the day before the "kidnapping", Israeli commandos had entered the Gaza Strip and captured two Palestinians claimed by Israel to be members of Hamas. (See our Guest Media Alert by Jonathan Cook, 'Kidnapped by Israel'; http://www.medialens.org/alerts/06/060630_kidnapped_by_israel.php).

That was found here, http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=10549 .

The Blue Barn

Few readers will be aware that on June 24, the day before the "kidnapping", Israeli commandos had entered the Gaza Strip and captured two Palestinians claimed by Israel to be members of Hamas. (See our Guest Media Alert by Jonathan Cook, 'Kidnapped by Israel'; http://www.medialens.org/alerts/06/060630_kidnapped_by_israel.php ).

That was found here, http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfmItemID=10549 .

Mark

Gee Guy - someone pinch me - I thought I just heard the dumbest-ass answer I had ever heard in a debate about the Israeli(US)/Palestinian conflict, then along comes you. You going for the record, numnuts?

Gee Guy

Ouch. It's hard to recover from the famous "you're stupid" argument.

Mike

Blue Barn. You're asked for proof and respond with an article highlighting the arrest of members of a internationally recognized terrorist organization, Hamas, who were/are certainly not civilians in the conventional sense? Do you even know the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah?

How exactly do you continue to blame Israel for "escalating his thing" when the issue over the Palestinians and Hezbollah are two entirely different subjects. The Pali's are NOT shiite Muslims, Hezbollah (Syria and Iran) are. What is so difficult to understand. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization working as proxy for the Iranians and Syrians. If they didn't have the approval, as well as the arms supplie from Iran what do you think they would be capable of? Honestly, I could at least respect the passion of your opinion if you presented an argument based on some kind of background knowledge rather than talking points from somewhere else. It's fairly fucking obvious you know NOTHING about the POV you're attempting to defend...and that's pathetic on more levels than you can possibly imagine.

The Blue Barn

No, the Israelies THOUGHT they were Hamas. They were not they were civilians. Israel has continued its attacks against the Gaza and been basically slowly murdering them. Hezbollah got sick and tired of this after Israel bombed an power plant in Gaza. These groups are different, but both hate Israel.

Israel has been looking for any excuse to bomb people since Janurary when Hamas got elected to send a message to other Arab countries.

Mike why do you support Israel so much?

Wulfgar

Blue Barn, Mike has consistently posted a number of fact-filled articles concerning his support for Israel. Follow the link on his comments. You would do well to read them.

Mark

Just one little statistic to put things in perspective: In 1982, when the Israelis invaded and bombed Lebanon, they killed more civilians than Palestinians have killed Israelis in all the years since 1948. It helps to know who is doing the killing, who is the terrorist organization, who is stealing land, who is building walls in other peoples' territory, who refuses to negotiate, who flies F16's and bulldozes houses and fruit groves with American-built Caterpillar tractors, who shoots innocent youth for throwing rocks, sometimes even for sport, who bulldozed and killed an American observer, who is bent on territorial expansion and will not stop until all of its opponents are walled in little compounds and forced to live a meager existence while Israelis, who could not survive without American arms, live a luxurious lives in control of all the best land and most of the water.

It helps to know these things, but Americans, living in a bubble, don’t know these things. People who try to point out these things are instantly vilified by AIPAC – Dershowitz comes a-callin’. Merely pointing out these things makes one a Holocaust Denier.

Wulfgar

Mark, that puts things in A perspective, and yet your intent seems to be that it puts things in THE perspective. I'm sure you see the difference.

The fact remains that a broadening conflict, regardless of history, puts America into a position of forced agressive policy against the enemies of Israel. You may find that unfair. I, for one, don't much care. What I do care about is extracating our soldiers and military from a fight that we didn't choose. Acknowledging Israel's "crimes" doesn't do a damned thing to lend a helpful perspective for getting us out of a widening mess.

Mike

Blue Barn. Final lesson, O.K.? Palestinians, Gaza, power plant,Hamas versus Hezbollah. Two seperate and unrelated issues that you are either not intelligent enough to differentiate or don't care to. Either way, it's your load. And BTW, you wanted more evidence that Iran and Syria were involved in the Hezbollah conflict? How about the FACT that it was an Iranian laser guided land to sea missile that was fired against an Israeli warship off the coast of Beirut AND members of the Revolutionary Guard (of Iran) that did the firing.

Mark provides no perspective whatsoever.I will not provide a response to Bozeman CPA Mark Tokarski who is simply your garden variety anti-Semite/Jew-hater.

Steve T.

Anyone who question's Israel's policies is an anti-semite.

Sounds like a logical, nuanced, well thought out position to me.

Mike

No Steve, anyone who holds Israel to a different standard than they hold any other nation on earth to is an anti-Semite. Anyone who claims Israeli soldiers kill Pali's "for sport"and that Israeli's live "luxurious lives" while the poor Pali's have their homes and "fruit groves" bulldozed by the Joooz is an anti-Semite. There is a continuum in the debate from simple ignorance (Blue Barn, et al) to outright anti-Semitism.

Steve T.

I do believe the military policies of a nation are being questioned, not the worth of an entire race of people.

It's just an easy cop-out for you to claim racism to everyone who disagrees with your favorite country's actions.

That's simply ridiculous.

Steve T.

"anyone who holds Israel to a different standard than they hold any other nation on earth to is an anti-Semite."

Then I guess most people in this country are guilty of anti-Semitism. Remember, Israelis who kill Palestinian civilians are not terrorists. Ever.

Mike

Actually Steve the United States is my favorite country, the usual claim of dual-loyalty notwithstanding.

Don't for a damn minute talk to me about the military policies of Israel as separate from the remainder of the equation. You can't on one hand say that Israeli soldiers kill Pali's "for sport" and on the other hand claim Israeli's live "luxurious lives" when compared with the supposed squalid living conditon of the Pali's when you then, as an apologist for Mark Tokarski's anti-Semitism, fail to even level part of the blame at the hands profound corruption of the Palestinian Authority. The Pali's are to blame for nothing, the Israeli's for everything in your worldview.

"Then I guess most people in this country are guilty of anti-Semitism." How so Steve? Virtually every public opinion poll in this country shows overwhelming support for Israel.

Gee Guy

I'm a dumb American. I know very little about this conflict, an admission that makes me the same as, but more honest than, most Americans that comment on the issue.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

A war has broken out. On one side, Israel. On the other, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, and other radical Islamic groups. Right, wrong, or whatever. I'm a dumb American. I'll go with the side that hasn't attacked us.

I mean, really. This is not a Palestinian issue right now. Why are you guys so quick to align yourselves with Iran, Syria, and the rest of the radical Islamists. Are they the good guys?

Help me out, Mark. Don't tell me I'm stupid. Tell me why I should not naturally favor the country who does not wish me and my family to die.

Mike

You bring up a decent point Gee Guy. People seem to forget that the Pali's were handing out candy and celebrating in the street with fireworks following the 9/11 attacks. These are the people the Tokarski's of the world seek to align themseves with.

As it relates to a popular claim coming from folks like Tokarski and his apologist it is no accident that Palestinian militants and other Islamic holy warriors hide behind women and children. They count on the high value placed on human life by the Judeo-Christian tradition to weigh heavily on Israeli retaliatory decisions. They exploit this fact and scream ‘war crime’ and ‘atrocity’ to the western media when, despite the multiple precautionary layers, our need to strike at those who have attacked us result in less-than-desirable results. And sadly enough, they are no longer simply hiding behind their women and children.

Israeli security prisons are bursting with young men, women and even teenagers because they are actively recruited as instruments of terror.

The issue of militants taking refuge in centers of civilian populations is an enormous problem that is completely ignored in the international discussion of the local conflict.

First and foremost, the Israeli military has a responsibility to Israeli civilian populations to do everything in its’ power to keep them safe. It is unreasonable to suggest that a pursuit of a known terrorist be aborted simply because he/she has taken refuge in a place were civilian lives are jeopardized. As long as the terrorist remains free to operate, lives of all citizens – Arabs and Jews – are endangered. Terrorism isn’t selective. By definition it is deliberately random with the primary goal being the loss of civilian life. Bombed busses aren’t able to eject their Arab riders and detonate only the Jewish ones! The pursuit of terrorists into civilian populations isn’t designed to heighten the risk to Arab populations, but rather to lessen the risk to all populations.

Another issue often swept under the proverbial rug is the fact that these civilian populations have not made any noticeable attempt to force the terrorists to stop using them as human shields! This is not to suggest that they want to be shields. But, to date, these folks have not done much to “take back their neighborhoods.” And while one can argue that is a difficult and dangerous task to oppose armed militants in ones midst… so is being a human shield!

Despite claims to the contrary Gazans have not been displaced by “Israeli occupiers,” – their “displacement” is due to Hamas’ refusal to cease missile attacks from Palestinian territory into Israeli areas of civilian populations, and renounce terrorism.

Once again, Tokarski and his apologists are all too eager to cast Israel as the “occupier.” Shameful is the fact that the Palestinian women and youths in Israeli jails have been caught trying to take innocent Israeli lives.

Shameful is the idea that these prisoners’ rights are more valuable than the lives they attempted to take or jeopardize.

Shameful is the fact that militant Palestinian factions use densely populated civilian areas as refuges.

Shameful is the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians elected a government that both endorses, and actively supports, terrorist activities.

Israeli civilians face daily threats from rocket attacks, suicide bombers, snipers, and roadside bombs. These threats have only escalated since the completion of Israel’s withdrawal from south Lebanon and ‘disengagement’ from Gaza. Good intelligence rather than a decline in terror attempts have been responsible for the perception of calm that existed prior to Israel’s recent retaliatory activity.

The myth of a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza is just that – a myth. Border crossings have been opened on an ongoing basis to allow humanitarian supplies (food, medicine, etc.) to reach the civilian Gazan population. IN many cases Hamas has thwarted these attempts to aid their own people.

Israel is not responsible for the Palestinians living in Palestinian controlled areas. The Palestinian Authority is. At present, but by my estimataion not for much longer, the Palestinian Authority is run by Hamas.Rather than creating municipal infrastructure, legislation, or the development of economic recovery plans, Hamas has placed its’ priority on recruiting the weakest, poorest, and least educated members of their society into its’ military wing to perpetuate the untenable state of “low-intensity warfare” against its’ neighbor Israel.

Fortunately for Israel, the majority of these recruits fail at their missions, hence their confinement in Israeli prisons. But the fact Hamas recruits these young men, women and even children, trains them, and finances their missions without a word from Tokarski & company. Now that is “shameful.”

My apologies to Rob for taking up so much space in his comment section but I don't believe it is ever acceptable to let an anti-Israeli attack go unanswered lest it be accepted as truth by someone who doesn't know any better.

Wulfgar

GeeGuy, now you're scaring me. Because we find ourselves in the same boat, yet again.

I don't appreciate some of what Israel has done in it's struggles, but I don't find myself (as an American) responsable for it, either. The question at hand isn't who we want to support, however. I think that has been answered. And I don't for a second believe that Mark or Steve or even Blue Barn are aligning themselves with radical Islam. They want restraint on the part of Israel. I would like to see the same, just as I would like to see restraint on the part of Hamas and Hezbollah.

The question at hand is who are we going to allow to force our hand, and manipulate our national will? No one? Israel? The radical muslims? I think we should naturally favor Israel, but we shouldn't give them carte blanche access over our will to act. Unfortunately, because of the invasion of Iraq, I believe that President Bush has done that very thing.

Wulfgar

Mike, don't sweat it. I appreciate your views and freely admit my (almost willful) ignorance. Learning is a good thing.

As a side note, we had more calls in the first two hours of the radio show today than we have in the entirety of most of the shows I've done. The topic was this very one right here.

Steve T.

Thank you, Wulfgar. You bring reason to this argument. How quickly I am pushed even further left than I reside. But they sure as hell kicked that straw man's ass.

Mike-

"Don't for a damn minute talk to me about the military policies of Israel as separate from the remainder of the equation."

Why not? That's just plain thoughtlessness. I am completely against our war in Iraq, and certain other aspects of our military policy. Does this mean that I hate Americans? That I hate myself? Your argument makes no sense. It is much easier for you to attack my position if you make it up entirely, isn't it?

"...you then ... fail to even level part of the blame at the hands profound corruption of the Palestinian Authority. The Pali's are to blame for nothing, the Israeli's for everything in your worldview."

Again, you are creating my positions for me. I said no such thing. Acts of terrorism are deplorable when committed by both sides. Attacks on civilians are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. No exceptions. Does that quantify my position enough for you? Or are you going to create it again for me?

" 'Then I guess most people in this country are guilty of anti-Semitism.' How so Steve? Virtually every public opinion poll in this country shows overwhelming support for Israel."

See, you've taken to creating my positions for me so well that you don't even bother reading my post. Shall I walk you through it? You said that anyone who holds Israel to a different standard than other countries is an anti-semite. My response: Most people in this country hold Israel to a different standard than other countries. Why? Because Israelis who kill civilians are not considered terrorists, where as Arabs who kill civilians are considered terrorists. That, by your definition makes them anti-semitic. The basic point was that your definition of anti-semitism is flawed to the point of lunacy.

OK, you're at the bottom of the post now. Do me a favor. Go through and read it again. Try responding to what I actually say instead of making my positions up for me and misreading my post entirely. K?

Yeesh.

Jeff

"Why? Because Israelis who kill civilians are not considered terrorists, where as Arabs who kill civilians are considered terrorists. That, by your definition makes them anti-semitic. The basic point was that your definition of anti-semitism is flawed to the point of lunacy."

I'm sure Mike can point this out, but I have nothing better to do.

The definition of terrorism is not "killing civilians." It's killing them intentionally to create fear in the hope of it leading to a certain political goal. Hamas suicide bombers fit that definition, Israeli strikes do not. This is blindingly obvious to most people.

Steve T.

So, Jeff.... question here: Israel is occupying territories whose residents are mostly unfriendly, and not very respectful of Israeli authority. Don't you think that keeping them scared is a practical part of being an occupying force in such a situation?

And they don't have any political goals? Give me a break.

Mike

Ya beat me to it Jeff. Yasher Koach!

I would be interested in a follow-up post, or e-mail, on how the part of your radio show concerning the conflict in the Middle East was perceived Rob.

I appreciate you running interference for your bro Steve but you can save the condescending attitude. Not ONCE, ever, have either you or your brother in arms attempted to define the debate from any position other than that of being anti-Israel. I'm afraid your silence on the issue makes your position louder than any words I could ever put in your mouth.

"Attacks on civilians are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. No exceptions."

So when Hamas or Hezbollah purposely locate their base of operations in civilian areas, as a way of gaining worldwide sympathy when they are attacked, they should always be "off limits" to action to any military action?

Perhaps you or Mark would be willing to visit "Palestine" to become useful idiot martyrs to your cause? Recently, the Director of the International Solidarity Movement, George Rishmawi, explained to the San Francisco Chronicle that the recruitment of American volunteers is useful to the Palestinian Movement because “if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.”"

Joseph Smith, who was present when activist Rachel Corrie died and whose highest priority was apparently to take pictures, said, “”The spirit that she died for is worth a life. This idea of resistance, this spirit of resisting this brutal occupying force, is worth anything. And many, many, many Palestinians give their lives for it all the time. So the life of one international, I feel, is more than worth the spirit of resisting oppression.”

A Hamas terrorist said openly that Rachel was worth more dead than alive. “‘Her death serves me more than it served her,’ said one activist. ‘…Her death will bring more attention than the other 2,000 martyrs."

Perhaps the Tokarki brothers should realize that when you are more useful to your friends dead than you are alive, it is time to find new friends.

Steve T.

Mike -

First, I don't think Mark's brother Steve would appreciate you referring to me as his brother.

"Not ONCE, ever, have either you or your brother in arms attempted to define the debate from any position other than that of being anti-Israel."

Well Mike, I suppose I haven't staked out my positions point by point on a host of issues in this ONE THREAD.... so you can go ahead and make up my positions for all of those things as well. And remember, you did not tell me that I was anti-Israel, you told me I was anti-SEMITIC. My "silence" doesn't justify that kind of statement. Period.


The Blue Barn

Alls Israel has to do is withdrawl from Arab terriotories. That is the root of the conflict.

Second, I'm not even going to bother.

Jeff

"So, Jeff.... question here: Israel is occupying territories whose residents are mostly unfriendly, and not very respectful of Israeli authority. Don't you think that keeping them scared is a practical part of being an occupying force in such a situation?"

Why should I? Israel's actions are completely explainable as direct attempts to combat anti-Israel terrorism. If you have some evidence indicating they're taking such actions primarily to scare Palestinians into submission you're welcome to share it.

"And they don't have any political goals? Give me a break."

Let's see...nope, didn't say that.

Gee Guy

"Alls Israel has to do is withdrawl from Arab terriotories. That is the root of the conflict."

And, my friend, where do they go? Glendive?

Steve T.

Jeff -

First of all, I apologize for not being particularly clear here. I had sort of lost the original topic of this thread and I even managed to lose my original point. While I do not believe Israel's current actions are justified, I would not necessarily call them acts of terrorism either. More specifically, my point was that Israeli troops can commit acts of Terrorism and not be called Terrorists.

http://compuserb.com/israel/

Clearly, emotional arguments designed to disgust you into agreeing with them. I'm not saying I agree with this website or its use of information. It's the same kind of emotional crap that Mike can probably direct you to to get you to agree with his side of the issue.

It's clear that I lean more towards the Palestinian cause in this matter. My main argument, however, is that atrocities are committed on both sides, but that this is somehow lost on people who have been so polarized that they cannot see any evil committed by the people they support.

You and I don't disagree with each other as much as Mike and I do, and I find it much easier to agree to disagree with you than I would with Mike. I'm sure you would not go so far as to call me anti-semitic for my stance.

And Blue Barn - My God, that's BRILLIANT!! Why didn't anyone else think of that? It's so.... simple! It's not like this is a complicated issue or anything. Any solution can easily be compacted into one sentence. Yeesh.

The Blue Barn

I have a habit of not being clear. But be that as it may, what I did mean, is, that's a start. Israel won't even go for a two state solution for God's sake. Well, since I'm an atheist, I should say: "For YOUR God's sake".

Mike

Actually Steve I called your brother in arms, Mark an anti-Semite, and I stand by that statement. If you could ever like to talk about your individual positions on Israel/Palestine I would welcome the discource, but I don't believe Rb's blog is the appropriate place. I have made me e-mail address available so you're welcome to drop me a line at any time. Be prepared, however, to offer specific examples and not simply talking points.

Blue Barn: The Israeli's have already withdrawn from Gaza and certain disputed territories. The fact remains that the government of the PA, whether if be Arafat, Abu-Mazen or Hamas cannot offer their people anything but continued conflict. If they could control their population there would be peace. Israel has a right to exist on the land they have, and historically speaking it's the Palestinians who were imported to the land following the Israeli/Jewish migration starting in the 1920's. There were no indigenous "Palestinian" people, in fact until the 1940's the Jews were referred to as "Palestinians." The Palestinian political construct was invented by the Arab regimes at the time who flooded the area with the riff-raff from Egpyt, Trans-Jordan, and other areas to act as political proxies for the greater Arab interests of blocking a Jewish State in the region. Why won't Jordan or Eqpyt take back the Pali's? Where's the Saudi's? As I believe I've mentioned before, Israel is roughly the size of Missoula County, durrounded by a greater Arab area the size of the remainder of the U.S. There must be room for them some where because they've obviously shown they can't handle the land they have been provided in Gaza and should be forcibly relocated toot sweet to avoid yet more bloodshed.

Israel's Kadima-led government has offered a two-state solution, even going as far as including parts of Jerusalem into the mix. The problem is that the Pali's aren't interested in a two state solution. Their solution is to drive every last Jew into the sea. Over my dead body.

Mike

"It's the same kind of emotional crap that Mike can probably direct you to to get you to agree with his side of the issue."

Now's who putting words in whose mouth? I assume Jeff is quite capable of not only thinking for himself but processing information received in an attempt to seek truth...or it could just be my magic Zionist pixie dust...available from AIPAC, 3 packages for a dollar.

Mark

When Mike enters the debate, it gets wordy. Bear with me.

First, to be perfectly clear, my brother Steve, a respected pastor in Billings, does not blog.

Secondly, I prefer to go by "Mark T" when I blog, for the simple reason that I don't wish to divulge my last name. But Mike took it upon himself to do some research, found out who I am, and takes great pains to publicize my last name whenever we meet. It's creepy - Zionists are great at the defamation game, and while publishing a last name is not quite the same, his attitude "I know who you are ..." is just creepy.

In Mike's polarized eyes, there are only two groups - Zionists and anti-Semites. If you cross a line, that is, to criticize Israel, you are automatically, in his eyes, anti-Semite. So too has he defamed me. I'm "anti-Semite." Next I'll be a holocaust denier, but for now, he is content with only one layer of slime. I’m an anti-Semite for now, but if I tell him that I’ve read Finkelstein and think Dershowitz is a fraud, I’ll cross the line. So I won’t tell him that.

The definition of terror is not the killing of civilians. If that were the case, then there would be one hands-down terrorist state around since the end of WWII - the USA. That’s what the numbers say, pure and simple. Americans don’t like to hear it – Americans think that the 3,000 people killed on 9/11 was a huge crime, but even only in Iraq alone, the US has far surpassed Osama’s crime. But we don’t count bodies when we do the killing. If it's simply a matter of killing civilians, then the terrorists are obviously the Israelis, as the number don't lie. Israelis have killed far more civilians than the Palestinians. But they do so in the American mode - high tech, from a distance, US jets and bombs - somehow, in peoples' minds, when the killing is high tech, the civilian count is forgiven.

But the definition of terrorism is a little more nuanced ... "Calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature." That's the definition used by the US Army. Note that this definition does not distinguish based on who is doing the killing, or the methods used - it is the objective of the killing. Terrorism is the use of violence to achieve goals that are political, religious, or ideological.

Terrorism is not self-defense. When you are invaded, your land stolen, your orchards leveled and houses crushed by tanks, and you fight back, it is not terrorism. Iraqi insurgents fighting an invading force are not terrorists. Palestinians who fight their Israeli occupiers are not by definition terrorists, though those who target civilians are.

Consider that extreme Zionists believe their bible gives them the right to all of the West Bank, Gaza, and parts of Lebanon and Syria. Against the wishes of the UN and all of the civilized world (except the US), Israel has gone beyond its 1948 borders, stolen land, displaced people and taken resources since 1948, the biggest grab happening in 1967. They do so with impunity and refuse to abide by international law.

Why do they do this? Because they can. Why can they? One reason only - because the US gives them the armaments to do so. The US is the major instigator behind this conflict, Wulfgar – you cannot NOT have the US involved. We are the prime source of the conflict. . Israelis do not make jet aircraft or tanks or bulldozers. The US supplies them - if the US wanted the conflict to end, it would end tomorrow - one word from Washington would do it. The people of the region would be forced to come to terms with one another - as it is, one side is enormously favored and armed, so no peace is possible until that side is able to get everything it wants.

Keep in mind that the US does not ‘care’ about Palestinians – that is, doesn’t hate them or wish them harm. The US arms Israel because Israel pays the US back in kind – it stands guard over the oil fields, operates as a nuclear threat to the region to keep Arab countries at bay. Once again, it’s all about oil. Israel is no more than an agent of US foreign policy.

The Palestinians are mostly unarmed, have no power save world opinion and thier ability to inflict minor suffering, and have engaged in terrorism. They fight back with suicide bombers, and have committed crimes. These are not to be forgiven, only put in perspective. The ONLY difference between a suicide bomber and an Israeli pilot is that one is far more likely to return home alive.

Whenever Mike gets into this debate, it gets very wordy, and accusations fly. Facts cease to matter. Only one side is seen, all who see more than one side are smeared. Mike can go back now and write pastoral prose from the Torah - he sees only shepherds and demons. He sees no humanity in Palestinians. He's wasted.


Jeff
More specifically, my point was that Israeli troops can commit acts of Terrorism and not be called Terrorists.

But again, you need to demonstrate that. The link you gave, even if I'm to believe everything on it, shows atrocities, but it doesn't demonstrate they were terrorist actions.

It's clear that I lean more towards the Palestinian cause in this matter. My main argument, however, is that atrocities are committed on both sides, but that this is somehow lost on people who have been so polarized that they cannot see any evil committed by the people they support.

I agree with you to a point. Both sides commit atrocities. Some partisans on both sides will downplay them. However, leaving it at that is misleading. When Israel kills civilians, it's typically accidental. When Palestinians kill civilians, it's typically intentional. It's very obvious to me which of those is morally defensible and which isn't. The civilian body counts that Mark likes to trumpet are not the only thing we should consider when comparing two sides.

You and I don't disagree with each other as much as Mike and I do, and I find it much easier to agree to disagree with you than I would with Mike. I'm sure you would not go so far as to call me anti-semitic for my stance.

That's a lot to gather from a couple of comments, but alright. I wouldn't call you an anti-semite and neither did Mike. I'm not going to disagree with Mike calling Mark one. I wouldn't make a habit of calling him one, though, as it seems to feed his martyr complex.

Mark

Opinions versus fact ... never seems to matter, Jeff. You can have your opinions and I'll take them as evidence that you've formed them without the benefit of study.

Steve T.

Jeff, Mike -
I stand corrected. I was called "an apologist" for an anti-semite. Gosh, I guess that's a whole lot less ridiculous.

But you'll have to point out to me where Mark T. slandered the Jewish race, because I'm not seeing it. It is flat-out ridiculous to call someone an anti-semite for disagreeing with the policies of a country.

While the majority of Israelis certainly support their military efforts, there are many who would actually agree with most of what Mark has said:

http://peace.mennolink.org/articles/israelpeacegroups.html

But I suppose he hates them too... He's an anti-semite.... and I'm an apologist for it.

Do me a favor. Get a new angle.

Jeff

Steve -

The only explanation I can think of for comments like "The ONLY difference between a suicide bomber and an Israeli pilot is that one is far more likely to return home alive" and "[Israel] shoots innocent youth...sometimes even for sport" is not exactly charitable. He portrays Israel as the evil oppressor whose citizens live in splendor while the Palestians are just the poor innocent oppressed who happened to have committed a few crimes. Nevermind that suicide terrorism is the Palestian resistance strategy. The are resisting primarily through criminal acts.

Notice that nothing in there is me taking issue with a policy suggestion (or criticism) of Mark's. I'm saying that his comparison of the two sides is morally bankrupt. Anti-semitism is the best explanation I have for that.

Mark T

During the second intifada (beginning in September, 2000 through November 2003), 2236 Palestinians were killed by Israeli Security Forces in the Occupied Territories, including 428 minors. 32 Palestinians were killed by Israeli civilians, including three minors. 48 Palestinians were killed inside Israel, incllduing one minor. During this time, 196 Palestinains were killed by Palestinians, including 30 minors, 376 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinian residents, including 74 minors, and 77 members of the Israeli Security Forces were killed by Palestinians civilians. Total: 2316 Palestinians (432 minors), 827 Israelis (104 minors).

The overwhelming incidence of violent deaeth is of Palestinians killed by Israelis. Read on:
----------------------
Israel's Use of Lethal Force in the Occupied Territories:

"The organization found a pattern of repeated Israeli use of excessive lethal force during clashes between its security forces and Palestinian demonstrators in situations where demonstrators were unarmed and posed no threat of death or serious injury to the security forces or to others. In cases that Human Rights Watch investigated where gunfire by Palestinian security forces or armed protesters was a factor, use of lethal force by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was indiscriminate and not directed at the source of the threat, in violation of international law enforcement standards."

Human Rights Watch: Investigation into the unlawful use of force in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Northern Israel (New York, 2000)
---------------------
'The majority of people killed were taking part in demonstrations where stones were the only weapon used.' ...

"When the demonstrators, who frequently include a large proportion of children and youth (under 18 years of age) saw the Israeli security forces, normally present in large numbers in force, they normally threw stones and, on occasion, petrol bombs. The Israeli security services were almost invariably well-defended, located at a distance from demonstrators in good cover, in blockhouses, behind wire or well-protected by riot shields, and the stones had little effect. Certainly, stones - or even petrol bombs - cannot be said to have endangered the lives of Israeli security services in any of the instances examined by Amnesty International. Nevertheless though the security forces may have begun by throwing CS gas (teargas) a very rapid escalation took place and within minutes security forces were shooting lethal weaponry - rubber or plastic-coated metal bullets and live ammunition. Serious casualties are inevitable. As Dr Males commented: ''These are good tactics if one wants to wipe out an enemy, they are not policing''. ...

"A large proportion of those injured and killed included children usually present and often among those throwing stones during demonstrations. Bystanders, people within their homes and ambulance personnel were also killed. Many persons were apparently killed by poorly targeted lethal fire; others, as the case studies below indicate, appear, on many occasions, to have been deliberately targeted. In many of the locations where children were killed there was no imminent danger to life nor reasonable expectation of future danger."

Amnesty International, Excessive use of Lethal Force (London 2000)

-------------------------

"[Open-fire] regulations apparently enable firing in situations where there is no clear and present danger to life, or even in situations where there is no life-threatening danger at all ... the Military Police investigations unit has opened almost no investigations into cases where soldiers fired in violation of the Regulations ... During the first months of the al-Aqsa intifada, Palestinians held hundreds of demonstrations near IDF posts ... there was no shooting by Palestinian demonstrators in the vast majority of demonstrations. The soldiers’ response to these demonstrations is characterized by use of excessive and disproportional use of force, leading to the death and injury of many persons, including children."


B'Tselem (Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories), Trigger Happy: Unjustified Shooting and Violation of the Open-Fire Regulations during the al-Aqsa Intifada (Jerusalem, 2002)
----------------
Article: Killing children is no longer a big deal by Gideon Levy

More than 30 Palestinian children were killed in the first two weeks of Operation Days of Penitence in the Gaza Strip. It's no wonder that many people term such wholesale killing of children "terror." Whereas in the overall count of all the victims of the intifada the ratio is three Palestinians killed for every Israeli killed, when it comes to children the ratio is 5:1. According to B'Tselem, the human rights organization, even before the current operation in Gaza, 557 Palestinian minors (below the age of 18) were killed, compared to 110 Israeli minors.

Palestinian human rights groups speak of even higher numbers: 598 Palestinian children killed (up to age 17), according to the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, and 828 killed (up to age 18) according to the Red Crescent. Take note of the ages, too. According to B'Tselem, whose data are updated until about a month ago, 42 of the children who have been killed were 10; 20 were seven; and eight were two years old when they died. The youngest victims are 13 newborn infants who died at checkpoints during birth.

With horrific statistics like this, the question of who is a terrorist should have long since become very burdensome for every Israeli. Yet it is not on the public agenda. Child killers are always the Palestinians, the soldiers always only defend us and themselves, and the hell with the statistics.

The plain fact, which must be stated clearly, is that the blood of hundreds of Palestinian children is on our hands. No tortuous explanation by the IDF Spokesman's Office or by the military correspondents about the dangers posed to soldiers by the children, and no dubious excuse by the public relations people in the Foreign Ministry about how the Palestinians are making use of children will change that fact. An army that kills so many children is an army with no restraints, an army that has lost its moral code.

As MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash) said, in a particularly emotional speech in the Knesset, it is no longer possible to claim that all these children were killed by mistake. An army doesn't make more than 500 day-to-day mistakes of identity. No, this is not a mistake but the disastrous result of a policy driven mainly by an appallingly light trigger finger and by the dehumanization of the Palestinians. Shooting at everything that moves, including children, has become normative behavior. Even the momentary mini-furor that erupted over the "confirming of the killing" of a 13-year-old girl, Iman Alhamas, did not revolve around the true question. The scandal should have been generated by the very act of the killing itself, not only by what followed.

Iman was not the only one. Mohammed Aaraj was eating a sandwich in front of his house, the last house before the cemetery of the Balata refugee camp, in Nablus, when a soldier shot him to death at fairly close range. He was six at the time of his death. Kristen Saada was in her parents' car, on the way home from a family visit, when soldiers sprayed the car with bullets. She was 12 at the time of her death. The brothers Jamil and Ahmed Abu Aziz were riding their bicycles in full daylight, on their way to buy sweets, when they sustained a direct hit from a shell fired by an Israeli tank crew. Jamil was 13, Ahmed six, at the time of their deaths.

Muatez Amudi and Subah Subah were killed by a soldier who was standing in the village square in Burkin and fired every which way in the wake of stone-throwing. Radir Mohammed from Khan Yunis refugee camp was in a school classroom when soldiers shot her to death. She was 12 when she died. All of them were innocent of wrongdoing and were killed by soldiers acting in our name.

At least in some of these cases it was clear to the soldiers that they were shooting at children, but that didn't stop them. Palestinian children have no refuge: mortal danger lurks for them in their homes, in their schools and on their streets. Not one of the hundreds of children who have been killed deserved to die, and the responsibility for their killing cannot remain anonymous. Thus the message is conveyed to the soldiers: it's no tragedy to kill children and none of you is guilty.

Death is, of course, the most acute danger that confronts a Palestinian child, but it is not the only one. According to data of the Palestinian Ministry of Education, 3,409 schoolchildren have been wounded in the intifada, some of them crippled for life. The childhood of tens of thousands of Palestinian youngsters is being lived from one trauma to the next, from horror to horror. Their homes are demolished, their parents are humiliated in front of their eyes, soldiers storm into their homes brutally in the middle of the night, tanks open fire on their classrooms. And they don't have a psychological service. Have you ever heard of a Palestinian child who is a "victim of anxiety"?

The public indifference that accompanies this pageant of unrelieved suffering makes all Israelis accomplices to a crime. Even parents, who understand what anxiety for a child's fate means, turn away and don't want to hear about the anxiety harbored by the parent on the other side of the fence. Who would have believed that Israeli soldiers would kill hundreds of children and that the majority of Israelis would remain silent? Even the Palestinian children have become part of the dehumanization campaign: killing hundreds of them is no longer a big deal.
END of article

Finally, Jeff, I maintain that Israelis live in relative luxury compared to Palestinians, as they have captured most of the water and taken most of the good farmland, in violation of International law. I maintain that even a cursory review of factual material will convince you of this, and offer this: You are not a serious student of this subject, and have gathered random impressions from news, TV shows and possibly right wing talk radio to form your opinions.

In other words, I think your arguments quite lame.

Sincerely,
Mark Tokarski

Jeff

Mark -

You still seem to misunderstand my arguments. My arguments do not rely on the number killed by each side.

As I stated earlier, atrocities do happen. I don't deny that the Israeli policies in the occupied territories is harsh. I certainly don't agree with everything they've done. I don't deny that Israeli soldiers have killed innocents. I'm not going to deny that some may have done that intentionally at times. None of that affects my argument, however. I'll remind you of the two statements I highlighted:

The ONLY difference between a suicide bomber and an Israeli pilot is that one is far more likely to return home alive

You've completely failed to support this claim. You've shown that at times Israeli soldiers have killed innocents, even maybe intentionally. What you need to show is a policy on Israel's part of sending pilots out to intentionally kill civilians in order to scare the civilian populace into submission. That will make an Israeli pilot's actions morally equivalent to the actions of a suicide bomber.

[Israel] shoots innocent youth...sometimes even for sport

I think you've failed to justify this statement as well. You need more than a few children killed to justify this claim. As I'm sure you're aware, atrocities happen in all wars. You've not demonstrated anything beyond that. I take your statement as suggesting something more than there being a handful of atrocities involving innocent children. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me.

You are not a serious student of this subject, and have gathered random impressions from news, TV shows and possibly right wing talk radio to form your opinions.

I'm the first to admit I'm not an expert, but you've failed to understand my arguments, which do not rely on disputing most of the facts you've presented, so forgive me if I take your claims of study with a grain of salt. I am pretty familiar with the far left perspective on this issue, as I've read several of Chomsky's books and one of Finkelstein's.

Mark


The reference to killing for sport was documented in a Finkelstein book, I believe Beyond Chutzpah, but possibly Image and Reality. I've not been able to relocate it, but stay tuned. Such an incident did occur, and served only to highlight the dehumanization of Palestinians that has taken place in the eyes of Israel, its agents and followers. I’ll find it – stay tuned.

I note that you use the official American exemption from accusations of terrorism - that for an act to qualify as terrorist when we (or Israel) do it, we have to INTEND to do harm to civilians. For anyone else, it's simply a matter of counting corpses, which we do quite well when other people commit the crimes. It's nothing more than apologetics. Terrorism is the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature. The fact that Israel bombs neighborhoods where it knows civilians live in order to go after intended targets is terrorism, by definition. And they have to know that such bombing works to terrorize the population and help them keep the rabble in line. We've worked hard in this country to come up with a definition of terrorism that exempts our and their behavior - the arbitrary inclusion of the word "intentional" seems to work for you. It doesn't for me.

Therefore, when an Israeli pilot flying an American jet drops American bombs on Palestinian neighborhoods knowing that innocent civilians will likely die the process, there is only one difference between him and a suicide bomber - the fact that he will likely return alive. (In fact, Israeli jets are never shot down - Palestinians have no defense for such attacks, so that Israeli bombers can commit acts of terrorism with virtual impunity.)

You are an Israel apologist. You say you've read Chomsky - which works? FInkelstein? Which works? Do you own the books? Do you have them at hand? I'd like to quiz you. For an American to have been exposed to anything but a steady diet of Israeli propaganda would be very unusual.

Mark

PMWATCH -- Feb 14, 2002 -- In his breakthrough article, "A Gaza Diary", published in the October issue of Harper's Magazine, NYTimes journalist Chris Hedges describes in detail how, every afternoon around 4 o'clock, units of the IDF would come to the edge of the Khan Yunis refugee camp, mount loud speakers on armor vehicles and start hurtling ugly insults at young boys of 11 and 12. When the boys start throwing stones at the soldiers, the soldiers open fire, often killing one or two Palestinian children. And do this every day, day after day.

The accounts Chris Hedges gives in his article are no revelations to those on the ground: they have been saying for decades that the IDF has an active policy of provoking Palestinians. But the accounts so far have been dismissed as crass propaganda or wild exaggerations by people with an axe to grind. Now, a respected journalist -- no less than the ex-Mideast Bureau Chief of the NYTimes -- is reporting exactly that: that the IDF is provoling CHILDREN and then shooting them to kill!

And yet, so far, very few mention in the US media has been made about Mr. Hedges' socking revelations: no follow up stories to corroborate or refute him, and no outcries of indignation from the US media about this grotesque practice by the IDF. And this from the media of a country that provides billions of annual financial aid to Israel and its military!

Mr. Hedges repeated his revelation on October 30, 2001, in his interview at NPR. Here is a crucial excerpt:

And I walked out towards the dunes and they were--the--over the loudspeaker from an Israeli army Jeep on the other side of the electric fence they were taunting these kids. And these kids started to throw rocks. And most of these kids were 10, 11, 12 years old. And, first of all, the rocks were the size of a fist. They were being hurled towards a Jeep that was armor-plated. I doubt they could even hit the Jeep. And then I watched the soldiers open fire. And it was--I mean, I've seen kids shot in Sarajevo. I mean, snipers would shoot kids in Sarajevo. I've seen death squads kill families in Algeria or El Salvador. But I'd never seen soldiers bait or taunt kids like this and then shoot them for sport. It was--I just--even now, I find it almost inconceivable. And I went back every day, and every day it was the same.
[Full transcript: http://64.226.129.19/pmw/manager/features/display_message.asp?mid=487 ]

The media clearly has absolutely no acceptable excuse for their silence: no matter what security concerns Israel may have, no matter how much it feels it must protect itself, nothing --- NOTHING! -- justifies the deliberate, calculated, cold-blooded killing of children, and NOTHING can justify the media's immoral silence over this immoral practice.

Jeff
I note that you use the official American exemption from accusations of terrorism - that for an act to qualify as terrorist when we (or Israel) do it, we have to INTEND to do harm to civilians. For anyone else, it's simply a matter of counting corpses, which we do quite well when other people commit the crimes. It's nothing more than apologetics. Terrorism is the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature. The fact that Israel bombs neighborhoods where it knows civilians live in order to go after intended targets is terrorism, by definition. And they have to know that such bombing works to terrorize the population and help them keep the rabble in line. We've worked hard in this country to come up with a definition of terrorism that exempts our and their behavior - the arbitrary inclusion of the word "intentional" seems to work for you. It doesn't for me.

I'll give you that civilians isn't in the Army definition, however, in my last point I made a slightly different point. If you want to say it's terrorism whether it's civilians or not, fine, but one is still morally worse than the other. Especially when you consider that the definition of terrorism you're using is indistinguishable from war. Everyone in a war zone is terrorized during a war. So stating "And they have to know that such bombing works to terrorize the population and help them keep the rabble in line" is not good enough, you need to show intent. That's in both our definitions, mind you (calculated means essentially the same thing here).

Therefore, when an Israeli pilot flying an American jet drops American bombs on Palestinian neighborhoods knowing that

You are an Israel apologist. You say you've read Chomsky - which works? FInkelstein? Which works? Do you own the books? Do you have them at hand? I'd like to quiz you. For an American to have been exposed to anything but a steady diet of Israeli propaganda would be very unusual.

Chomsky - 9/11, Power and Terror, Manufacturing Consent, The Fateful Triangle, and Rogue States.

Finkelstein - Image and Reality...

As for the incident in the following comment, I'll have to look up more on it. It does seem completely unjustifiable.

Mark

Introducing intent into the equation removes the whole notion of war crimes - after all, the US never 'intends' to kill civilians, if you listen to the US. What if Iraqi insurgents, who usually target police and military personnel they regard as collaberators - what if they apologize and say gee - didn't mean to kill those civilians in the process. You wouldn't believe them. Right? In the same manner, I don't beleive the US and Israel when they tell me civilian deaths are an accident. I've seen too much of the US since WWII, seen too many civvies bite it, seen the ratchet taken up 'one more notch' in Vietnam - don't tell me about good intentions.

I witnessed a half a million kids dying in Iraq in the 1990's. It was done in the most banal of fashions - people in grey suits went to work each day and made decicions that cut off food and medicine that cost lives. They didn't intend to kill anyone, of course.

Give me a break. You're givin gthe US and Israel an exemption you grant no one else, and you do so because you buy in, believe in them. They've given me very little reason to believe. I remain skeptical in the extreme.

Mark

By the way, if I exercise careless disregard in aiming my weapons, does intent matter?

Jeff
Introducing intent into the equation removes the whole notion of war crimes - after all, the US never 'intends' to kill civilians, if you listen to the US.

You're changing the subject. Your definition of terrorism includes intent. If you think Israeli intentions (overall, not just a handful of people) are other than to attack military targets, provide some evidence. And then you can provide evidence that they're intentionally targeting civilians to be able to claim they're morally comparable. It's pretty simple.

What if Iraqi insurgents, who usually target police and military personnel they regard as collaberators - what if they apologize and say gee - didn't mean to kill those civilians in the process. You wouldn't believe them. Right? In the same manner, I don't beleive the US and Israel when they tell me civilian deaths are an accident.

I wouldn't believe them because their past statements and actions are very clear on the subject. In order for your analogy to be correct, you'll need to demonstrate a policy of intentionally targeting civilians to the extent that Iraqi insurgents have done with collaborators. You're welcome to do so.

By the way, if I exercise careless disregard in aiming my weapons, does intent matter?

According to the Geneva conventions, if you cause civilian deaths in access of the military advantage you anticipated would occur from the attack, you're guilty of a war crime. Intent doesn't matter there, no. Again, we were talking about comparing suicide bombers and Israeli pilots. If you want to document and Israeli policy of excessive force, go for it. After that, you can make an argument for that being morally comparable to the strategy of intentionally killing civilians in order to create fear.

Mark

Note the obvious - with the Iraqi insurgency it's enough to notice past actions. With the US, I've got to be inside their heads. You're a walking double standard.

I need only count dead civilians to prove my point anyway, by your standards. We've scorched tens of thousands more innocents. It only makes sense - we've got all the heavy toys. They come at us with pop guns.

Make me put up evidence. Pooleez!

Jeff
Note the obvious - with the Iraqi insurgency it's enough to notice past actions. With the US, I've got to be inside their heads. You're a walking double standard.

For fuck's sake. I'll spell it out for you. Insurgents have consistently executed attacks that have no other plausible reason than to kill collaborators and have made statements confirming that's what they're doing. I'm asking the same from you regarding Israel.

I need only count dead civilians to prove my point anyway, by your standards. We've scorched tens of thousands more innocents. It only makes sense - we've got all the heavy toys. They come at us with pop guns.

You know, I'm not exactly making confusing points here. You'd think you'd be able to understand them.

Make me put up evidence. Pooleez!

I know, I wonder what I was thinking when I actually believed you'd try to justify your statements to any kind of reasonable standard. No, you seem to be nothing more than a font of far-leftist rhetoric. Oh wait, you can quote human rights organization reports! I stand in awe of your studies! Apparently thinking through your position and justifying it logically wasn't part of such study.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Read This!

Friends like Family

Blog powered by Typepad