Democrats & Liberals Archives

Taking Zealots At Their Word

Surprised by the new “democracy in the Middle East”, some in the punditocracy are in full court hand wring mode over Hamas. Witness Richard Cohen of the Washington Post:

While it is probably true, as everyone says, that Hamas won the recent Palestinian elections not because it promised to wipe out Israel but because it promised to pick up the garbage in Gaza City (all politics is local, etc.), it is also true that the prospect of increased violence did not deter the average Palestinian from voting for Hamas. We have seen this sort of thing before, and it is not very comforting. The rule -- the only rule -- is to take zealots at their word.

It seems reasonable to do that, in many cases. Cohen quotes the Palestinian charter:

In due course we will be told that what Hamas has been insisting on for years -- the utter destruction of Israel -- is not really a serious goal. Hamas should not be taken literally, and anyway it will be forced to moderate both its platform and its policies by the reality of governing. When, for instance, it repeats the words of its charter -- "The solution of the problem [Israel] will only take place by holy war" -- we will be assured that it is just throwing red meat to what in America is called "the base." As for its truculent anti-Semitism -- not to be confused in this case with anti-Zionism -- it, too, will be dismissed as without consequence. Hamas will have to deal with reality -- and Israel, in the region, is the mightiest reality of them all. Yasser Arafat came to understand that.

Pretty ominous stuff.

But if we were to take every organization's founding charter at its word..the US would be looking down the crap end of some messed up priorities: women couldn't vote, blacks were 3/5ths of a person, civil rights for nonwhite nonmales were essentially nonexistent. Not exactly our finest parts of the Constitution.

But through the years as this nation grew and matured, we cleaned up the heinous parts of the Constitution. In some cases it took almost 200 years to fix some of the basic civil rights issues.

We should be looking not at our founding charter, but the actions we took to mend the Constitution to put citizens on an equal footing with one another (And we still have a ways to go..no equal rights amendment for women..no equal rights for gays/lesbians, for example). Its not our founding charter that makes us what we are. Its how we conduct ourselves and what we actually do that matters.

There's plenty of good reason not to trust Hamas. They've a recent history of violent actions. But this election is a watershed moment for them. This is the first time they're going to have to make government work. Hamas has in fact dropped its call for the end of Israel, at least prior to the election.

So if we're to take them at their word..just as we take the US Constitution as its word...shouldn't we be taking them at the one they said two weeks ago? Instead of the word from two decades ago?

More importantly, we should be watching their actions. If they take an aggressive stance in the region, then its time to crack down on them. If Hamas does what it was elected to do, create an effective government that does right by the Palestinian people, we should be supporting them in that effort.

This heated rhetorical diarrhea from the panic stricken needs to stop. Let's see what Hamas does with the new found responsibility.


Posted by Carla Ryan at February 2, 2006 11:30 AM
Comments
Comment #119611

Carla:

Sometimes its better to wait for the actions to happen rather than take someone at their word. If someone lies to me 5 times in a row, I’m going to wait for their actions before believing them again. I won’t necessarily condemn them forever, but I’ll want action over rhetoric.

If Hamas is serious about changing their tune, lets allow them the leeway to do so by their actions. Mere words are too easily changed.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 2, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #119615

Carla

Ever hear of a guy named Chamberlain?

He came back to England with a piece of paper elated that Hitler has agreed tp peace.

Right.

How about Stalin and the non-agression pacy he signed with Hitler?

20 million dead Russians.

Hamas is a snake.

If they want peace..they must drop two demands:First,the crap about destroying Isreal.
Second,they must disarm the militant arm.

No ifs,and or buts.

Bush needs to continue to play hardball,but this time others will end up doing the fighting for him.

Isreal has that “nation” targeted as we speak.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 2, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #119640

I appreciate all the concern and effort over the Middle East, and it’s obviously important… but I just can’t see peace happening there. Too many Continents, Religions, Countries and money in one tiny place.

Posted by: tony at February 2, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #119667

tony,

The only solution to the middle east: alternative fuels!
Either that or one religion for all and a (damn, I foget what the right wingers say.. “New World Order”? “One World Gov’t”???)

Posted by: Dave at February 2, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #119671

Part of the problem is we’re wearing blinders. We’re trained to assume democracy is always, automatically a good thing; but that assumption pictures democracy as a ‘liberal democracy.’ We ignore the possibility that a democracy which does not respect the rights of the minority can become a savage, intolerant ‘tyranny of the majority.’

In addition, successful democracies generally arise out of evolving circumstances. Successful democratic countries have boundaries reflecting their culture and ethnicity.

But in many countries of the world, boundaries have been imposed through colonialism. Cultures and ethnic groups with histories of conflict have been intentionally thrown together, sometimes to make it easier for the imperial power to control the conflicting groups & their natural resources. Iraq is an excellent example of this situation.

Palestine is an artificial Bantustan with no resources and unnatural borders. (One border on the West Bank is literally a wall). As a result, it has almost no chance of becoming a viable nation. In addition, perceived injustices from the past almost guarantee violence. The form of Palestinian government becomes irrelevant considering the larger issues looming for the Palestinian people.

Posted by: phx8 at February 2, 2006 2:20 PM
Comment #119675

I don’t see any difference between Hamas and the PLO under Arafat. The call for holy war against Israel is a tactic to get foreign money to support them from other parts of the world.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 2, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #119680

Carla:

Maybe your right. We should just wait. Who knows? People don’t always mean what they say, just look at Pres. Bush. He says that “WE”.. are dependant on Oil ( while all the while he’s holding the needle — like dependance on oil is a “BAD thing” as far as HE is concerned ! )

I mean, really…YOU could be right. Leaders very rarely LIE to US. Like our elected Dem’s voting “No” on the Alito confirmation while all the time blocking a filabuster that vertually insures his confirmation.

Perhaps, if we wait another 3,350 years or so, GOD will give Isreal BACK to the Jews, … again. (Or, did that happen in 1949? No, that was England, right?) And, since none of us Dem’s are religious or “Christian” — we most certainly will not get the connection to that (figure in time) and the possiable relationship to Christ’s life. (HE, was cut off in his 33 and a 1/2 year).

But, then…what would us heathens know about Biblical Prophacy anyway. After all, we are just stupid unwashed masses that have no faith or morals.

I believe that Bush always tells the truth; I believe that we still have a viable democracy and a 2 party system that works FOR US, and meets OUR needs; and, I believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny too!

GO BACK TO SLEEP AMERICA…. !
We will tell you when we get there; and, you can stow your lap trays, and return your seats back, to their origional, up-right position.

Posted by: PlayNice at February 2, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #119685


Yahoo Comics

Posted by: SirisC at February 2, 2006 2:40 PM
Comment #119690

dave -

alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels! alternative fuels!

Yes - I agree.

Posted by: tony at February 2, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #119697

Maybe your right. We should just wait. Who knows? People don’t always mean what they say, just look at Pres. Bush. He says that “WE”.. are dependant on Oil ( while all the while he’s holding the needle — like dependance on oil is a “BAD thing” as far as HE is concerned ! )

I mean, really…YOU could be right. Leaders very rarely LIE to US. Like our elected Dem’s voting “No” on the Alito confirmation while all the time blocking a filabuster that vertually insures his confirmation.

I realize this is meant sarcastically…but it proves my point….

We need to watch the ACTIONS of Hamas. That’s how we should gauge who they are.

Posted by: carla at February 2, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #119699

>>Part of the problem is we’re wearing blinders. We’re trained to assume democracy is always, automatically a good thing; but that assumption pictures democracy as a ‘liberal democracy.’ We ignore the possibility that a democracy which does not respect the rights of the minority can become a savage, intolerant ‘tyranny of the majority.’

phx8,

Are we discussing the Middle East or the United States?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 2, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #119703

I am most certianly mistaken, because geography is my worse subject, but wasn’t Isreal a created country, in that the land it is now located on was parts or belonged mainly to of other countries? (Great Britain?)

Are not the Palestinians on land that still belongs to other nations? (or possibly some of their own?

Seems to me that Isreal and Palistine might have something in common. They are both strugling with their governaments. In fact one might almost wonder whether Isreal might actually understand some of what the Palestines are going though.

I can only assume that both countries want the same thing - a safe place to call home.
Although it does appear that Palestine wants Isreal too.

This is an area I really know nothing about. Forgive my igorance.

I can’t help but wonder…

Posted by: Linda H. at February 2, 2006 3:11 PM
Comment #119708

Why would we (US) do anything as foolish as try diplomcy or aid. Remember “uncle Ho” asked the US for aid before he turned to China, and that worked out so well for us.

Posted by: Michael at February 2, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #119709

Everyone has always know where Israel is. Jews weren’t always allowed to live there, and after WW2 palestine was partitioned into 2 countries, Israel, and Trans-jordanian Palestine, which is now called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 2, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #119711

>>I can only assume that both countries want the same thing - a safe place to call home.
Although it does appear that Palestine wants Isreal too.

Linda H,

Some Palestinians want certain portions of Israel back. Israel kept some buffer ground as a precaution after the 67 war with their Arab neighbors. Prior to that the Israelis and the Palestinians fared pretty well together.

There was no Israel prior to ‘48, when world leaders including Brittain and the United States allowed for the creation of the State of Israel in what was then a Brittish Protectorate. From that time until the ‘67 war, they lived in a strained peace, because of questions about Jerusalem mostly.

Hamas may stir the pot a little too much, we’ll have to wait at least a little while to find out, but I am not hopeful, as Hamas has shown it is more than willing to subscribe to bombings in order to prove their pointless point, which is the elimination of Israel.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 2, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #119714

The Hamas win, although surprising, is still good news. As the ruling party they can’t have their subversive alternative views and then pretend they don’t exist. That’s the beauty of democracy, it makes the true desires of a “nation” irreparably transparent. No longer can they hide under their scarves … once they decide their course they have to do a Popeye … “I yam what I yam!”

Diplomatic decisions at that point will be easy.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 2, 2006 3:32 PM
Comment #119713

wait. I thought free and democratic elections in the middle east would stop terrorism. The president said that just days ago.

Posted by: chantico at February 2, 2006 3:32 PM
Comment #119718

>>No longer can they hide under their scarves … once they decide their course they have to do a Popeye … “I yam what I yam!”

Diplomatic decisions at that point will be easy.

Ken,

Unless, of course they receive backing from Iran, North Korea and Venezuela…now, there’s some diplomacy for you.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 2, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #119741

What really can we do? We should honor our commitment to protect Israel. Beyond that, though, we got to show that we’re willing to let Democracy work even when its unfavorable to us. The anti-terrorist policies make sense, so if they want our help, let them renounce terrorism. The real deal here is that we have to be prepared for people exercising their freedoms to go against our wishes. If we don’t like that, then we can start being friendlier and more down to earth with the rest of the world.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #119746

The real deal here is that we have to be prepared for people exercising their freedoms to go against our wishes. If we don’t like that, then we can start being friendlier and more down to earth with the rest of the world.

That really is the bottom line.

But unfortunately, the current Administration is unwilling to do that. The locksteppers in Freeperland and the rightwing punditry are fueling the support for Bush’s less-than-honest foreign policy.

They want it both ways. The rest of the world sees this quite plainly. Its one of the main whips that’s being used to bring this nation down in the eyes of other countries.


Posted by: carla at February 2, 2006 4:35 PM
Comment #119752

Is the Hamas problem really an opportunity?

The whole Hamas “problem” may, in fact, not be a problem at all. It may very well be a golden opportunity for the entire Middle East. Who else would be better positioned to recognize Israel and push forward the peace process other than the most anti-Israeli organization out there?

Once the zealots deem the situation is negotiable, doesn’t everyone less zealous tend to agree?

This is akin to Nixon, the communist hating politician who took part in the McCarthy witch hunt, opening the doors to the Soviet Union and The People’s Republic of China.

Posted by: Peter Moran at February 2, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #119770

Carla,

I understood what Stephen was saying, but I’m not sure what you mean. Stephen’s sentence before you quoted him makes a lot of sense and it’s what the US is doing.

The anti-terrorist policies make sense, so if they want our help, let them renounce terrorism.

Posted by: Cliff at February 2, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #119792

The Israeli Settlements have increased 300% since the Oslo Accord. All land with water or farmland and all the high ground is under Settlement Construction or Israeli Control. Gaza, if you don’t know, is a desert with no water, no arable land, no strategic value and no natural resources populated by refugees.

I am sure the Settlements have nothing to do in provoking Palestinians.

Posted by: Aldous at February 2, 2006 7:19 PM
Comment #119807

I think the US should go to the table with 2 envelops full of money ($15 billion each?) And, if both sides can keep the peace, everybody takes home the cash. If the peace is broken, for whatever reason, no one gets a dime. You want the money - act like you deserve it.

Posted by: tony at February 2, 2006 8:33 PM
Comment #119809

The only positive to come out of the election of Hamas is that an openly terrorist organization has replaced a disguised terrorist organization.

In some ways, Hamas is actually LESS insidious because they’re not fooling anybody about their true intentions, not even the very easily fooled Europeans.

Having things out in the open is a healthy development (to the extent that any of this can be called healthy) because the Palestinians’ enablers in the international community can’t just continue to believe those calling for peace in English while inciting their population to violence in their own language.

Posted by: sanger at February 2, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #119820

“If someone lies to me 5 times in a row, I’m going to wait for their actions before believing them again”.

Why would you apply this seemingly logical approach to Hamas but not Bush?

Posted by: expatUSA_Indonesia at February 2, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #119828

It’s pretty hilarious how liberals (some of them, anyway) suggest that we should judge Hamas, an avowed terrorist organization, by their actions instead of their rhetoric while also attacking the legitimacy and composition of the infant Iraq government and never once giving them the benefit of the doubt or an optimistic read.

I couldn’t count the number of times liberal posters here have said that the Iraq government is unworkable and fraudulent because of the involvement of Chalabi, a secular Arab whose record has been stained primarily by accusations made by authoritarian non-democratic Arab regimes and by a belief in an Iraq WMD program which was once shared by John Kerry and Hillary/Bill Clinton.

Posted by: sanger at February 2, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #119838

Hey Tony,

You expecting us Republicans to front that 30 billion dollars you plan to waste in sandland? Another tax and spend dem!

Posted by: William at February 2, 2006 10:17 PM
Comment #119849

Marysdude,
Thank you for the information. I greatly appericate it.

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how one looks at it, in 1967, I was trying to convince my parents that I really needed to stay home from the Girl Scout dance class and watch the stuff on TV. Needless to add, I fell asleep from boredom. I was 12 at the time. I don’t remember. Who actually started the ‘67 war.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 2, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #119852

Sanger-
Chalabi sold us out to the Iranians, and had his people feed us crap to get us into this war.

As for the WMDs? There’s a difference between telling people that you suspect they might have weapon, and saying you do know what they have, and where it is. There’s also a different in what those two positions justify. One justifies further investigation, the other justifies immediate action of one kind or another.

I think the Iraqi government can work, but it’s not going to work that well if Iraq continues to be so lacking in security. There’s no running the trains on schedule if the tracks keep blowing up.

HAMAS deserves its bad reputation in the west. That said, they are the Democratically elected government for the Palestinians. We have to respect the institutions and hold the HAMAS leaders up to the high standards we maintain for any government.

Let’s interfere only as much as we have to. Don’t worry. That little “Destroy Israel” thing kind of bugs me, too. I don’t mind us leaving off recognition and all the other goodies until they start shaping up.

You mind occasionally asking us what we think before telling us what we think? You might even find we agree on things on occasion.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #119860

Stephen, then here at least, I’m glad we agree.

But the accusations from Chalabi’s political enemies about his involvement with the Iranians are just that—accusations. In a region of the world where it’s common knowledge that Jews, “the descendents of pigs and monkeys,” drink the blood of the children of their enemies, I’m disinclined to take every accusation against an ally of the United States at face value.

In any case, the belief in Saddam’s WMD’s predated Chalabi by many years, and multiple fact-finding commissions have already said that Chalabi’s repetition of what all the intelligence agencies of the world were already saying about Iraq’s weapons was NOT a major factor in our decision to go to war.

I don’t endorse or condemn Chalabi, but I don’t buy what his detractors say about him and at the very least, as a secular Arab with strong ties to the West, he’s a lot better—and a whole lot less compromised—than the unelected mullahs, kings and princes that dominate the rest of that region.

Posted by: sanger at February 2, 2006 11:23 PM
Comment #119862

sanger:

You do realize the US is propping up almost all of those “unelected mullahs, kings and princes that dominate the rest of that region”.

Posted by: Aldous at February 2, 2006 11:30 PM
Comment #119878

Sanger-
I have a belief in God, but no proof. If asked, I would have to be honest and make that distinction. The Bush administration, knowing all the qualifications deliberately concealed them from most Americans. We know this because the Declassified NIE that accompanied the vote to give Bush the Authorization lacked the qualifying language of its classified counterpart.

Chalabi, even if his evidence wasn’t the major portion of what got set up, was apparently the primary choice for who would lead Iraq after the invasion. Nobody consulted the Iraqis on this, of course.

This guy compromised codes to the Iranians. Keep that in mind. His agents told us things about the nature of Iraq’s government that weren’t true. He deserves mor than just skepticism.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #119885

Marysdude,

I’m sure Hamas will not only initiate support but continue to be supported by nefarious nations around the globe.

All I am saying is a nation declaring one of their major goals as Isreal’s annhilation makes for a vastly united front here in the US. No more 50% for, 50% against. And when the US is united, we’re unstoppable (despite the occasional Sheehan and Belafonte visit to Hugo Chavez). Look how easy Ab+13, the Pres. of Iran, is uniting the country. Only idiots side with someone who discounts the holocaust and wants to push Israel into the sea. Only idiots believe he wants nuclear power just for peaceful means. When an organization takes the lead, they have to own up to words and actions … and it just takes all of the guesswork out of decisions.

I supported the overthrowing of Saddam. (I have a hard time calling it the Iraq War when most of our efforts are trying to stand them up on their own feet.) The intel on WMD was guesswork, but it had to be. Both republicans and dems crushed our human intel capabilities in the ‘70’s. Saddam didn’t help by ignoring multiple resolutions and requiring telegraphed and limited inspections. But I also believe in the rebuilding of Iraq since it was obviously not a transparent democracy. Saddam was not the will of the people.

Before 9-11 I admittedly thought it almost cute when a leader said “Death to America”. Now, when a national leader says it, I believe in an aggressive diplomatic response and then a military response as required. If Hamas says “Death to America”, “Death to Israel” they should get the same. But I will not support the rebuilding of Palestine since it was a transparent democracy … a will of the people saying “Death to America”. My simple response is “You first.” It’s a sad but inescapable result of 9-11.

I will not die waiting for them to gain some reason and read more than the Koran.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 3, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #119892

Sanger, as much as I hate to, I must agree with you when it comes to Hamas.

There can be no diplomacy as long as one faction insists on the total anihilation of the other. As long as such a threat persists both factions must be vigilant. (And both Isreal & Hamas will be)

So, we have a more hostile Palestine and a vastly more hostile Iran than 3 years ago. (Need I mention North Korea?)Sadly we have the absolute best of our military going into their 3rd and 4th hitch in Iraq.

Do you think we can train troops in 12 weeks like we did for WWII? Did we fall short on resources to handle Katrina here at home? Do you really trust GW’s thumb being on that “button” that can end life on this planet as we’ve known it?

Geez Loueez, have you paid any attention to Putin lately? Please remind me just where we’ve improved foreign relations.How many reports do we need that our military is stretched too thin?

Which “second language” will Bush add to his “No Child Left Behind” act? Maybe we should start a “pool”. I’ll take ten points om anything but “Bush-speak”.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 3, 2006 1:15 AM
Comment #119893

Hamas are terrorists. It’s that simple. Doesn’t matter if its a democracry. Hitler was elected democratically. If they “voted” for this leadership then they must accept the consequences.

Posted by: Max at February 3, 2006 1:18 AM
Comment #119897

30 billion is nothing to you conservatives! Bushy wants another 100+ billion for Iraq and just 18 billion for Katrina.Hamas is doing something that some of you conservatives cant comprehend that is taking care of your people’s basic needs had we done that in Iraq things might
be different.Once we failed at KATRINA we showed
the WORLD that we didn’t take care of our own people.
Children and Elderly dying in the streets of the
USA…IRAQ and the ARABS of the World saw that on TV you can bet on that.WE failed to get basic
human needs to the people (Bushy) blew it.AS far as Hamas,Bush wanted free election we got it.Careful what you wish for you might not like it.Hamas is now the gov. and if they bomb ISRAEL.
ISRAEL now has gov.of Hamas to target.EYE FOR AN EYE,Hamas knows this about Israel and it’s ways. They might think twice about bombing now it’s a bigger price to pay, then maybe not and all hell brakes loose.Let,s stick are nose in some more crap.

Posted by: js at February 3, 2006 1:42 AM
Comment #119902

FYI… Ariel Sharon would be a Terrorist too if he wasn’t working for a Goverment when he blew up that building full of women and children. As it was, he got called a War Criminal.

Posted by: Aldous at February 3, 2006 1:46 AM
Comment #119914

Aldous,
“FYI… Ariel Sharon would be a Terrorist too if he wasn’t working for a Goverment when he blew up that building full of women and children. As it was, he got called a War Criminal.”

Does “pre-emptive” war ring any bells? What if the pre-emptive measures reveal no neccessity for the pre-emption? Could any American be called a war criminal? If so would it be the Government or the person?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 3, 2006 2:35 AM
Comment #120005
The Israeli Settlements have increased 300% since the Oslo Accord. All land with water or farmland and all the high ground is under Settlement Construction or Israeli Control. Gaza, if you don’t know, is a desert with no water, no arable land, no strategic value and no natural resources populated by refugees.

I am sure the Settlements have nothing to do in provoking Palestinians.

Posted by: Aldous at February 2, 2006 07:19 PM

That’s bullsh!t. In 1948 both sides got wasteland. The Israelis turned theirs into a democracy with farmland. The Arabs turned theirs into a personality cult with terrorist training camps. The Arabs started the wars and lost, too freakin’ bad for them. Maybe their kids can have a chance, but with Hamas in charge my magic 8 ball says “Doesn’t look good”.
Hey Tony,

You expecting us Republicans to front that 30 billion dollars you plan to waste in sandland? Another tax and spend dem!

Posted by: William at February 2, 2006 10:17 PM


Hey William,
$15B is only 4 months of so of your Repug Bu$hCo war in Iraq! (Another tax and screw wingnut?) Posted by: Dave at February 3, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #120050

Actually, in 1948 the UN Partition Plan, a two state solution, was accepted by the Jews and REJECTED by the Palestinian Arabs and other Arab state, who then attacked Israel(Arab-Israeli War of 1948). The planned Palestinian territories were divided in the 1949 Armistice between Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Israel.

So let’s be clear it was the Arab world that began this whole mess. As for Israel, they have no illusions about the people they are dealing with. Don’t expect the Israeli government to suddenly develop warm feelings for the people who have warred with them since the inception of their modern state. And certainly do not expect them to finance their enemies. We shouldn’t either.

Maybe Israel should have let Egypt and Jordan keep the West Bank and let the Palestinians fight them for it.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 3, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #120051

Actually, in 1948 the UN Partition Plan, a two state solution, was accepted by the Jews and REJECTED by the Palestinian Arabs and other Arab states, who then attacked Israel(Arab-Israeli War of 1948). The planned Palestinian territories were divided in the 1949 Armistice between Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Israel.

So let’s be clear it was the Arab world that began this whole mess. As for Israel, they have no illusions about the people they are dealing with. Don’t expect the Israeli government to suddenly develop warm feelings for the people who have warred with them since the inception of their modern state. And certainly do not expect them to finance their enemies. We shouldn’t either.

Maybe Israel should have let Egypt and Jordan keep the West Bank and let the Palestinians fight them for it.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 3, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #120061

“Unless, of course they receive backing from Iran, North Korea and Venezuela…now, there’s some diplomacy for you.”

So now Venezuela is in the “axis of Evil”? You forgot Cuba and a few other socialist countries. There are two sides to the Palestinian/Israeli story and we in the US seem to get a one sided view quite often because Israel is our allie left over from the cold war. It is time to change US strategy in the mid east because it is not working.

Posted by: Scotty at February 3, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #120062

The two state solution was arrived at chiefly because after WWII the axis powers did not want to deal with the large influx of displaced jews, so they appropriated the Palestinian territories to create Israel. The history about how Britain lied to the Arabs about how the two state solution was going to be implemented also led to the frustration that created the current crisis in the area

Posted by: Scotty at February 3, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #120067
The history about how Britain lied to the Arabs about how the two state solution was going to be implemented also led to the frustration that created the current crisis in the area
Why do terror appologists always seem to think that the “poor little arabs” were “fooled” by the Brits? These guys thought they knew a good thing when they saw it. Get rid of the Brits, then kill the Jews once the Europeans were gone. Didn’t work out exactly as they planned but they’ve had 50+ years of despotic rule over their own serfs, a nice and tidy external enemy to deflect discontent, and some refugees to hold up as pawns, sorry I mean “poor little DP’s”. Why do you think they never integrated the Pals into their own societies and were left by their own “brothers” to languish in camps? Geesh! . Posted by: Dave at February 3, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #120124

Scotty,

The two state solution was arrived at chiefly because after WWII the axis powers did not want to deal with the large influx of displaced jews, so they appropriated the Palestinian territories to create Israel.

The AXIS powers? You are scary, Scotty.

Palestinian territories? Which ones? The British controlled ones or the Ottoman ones, before the British;

or the Crusader controlled territories, before the Ottomans;

or the Arab controlled before that;

or the Roman controlled before that;

or the Kingdom of Judea, whose name was changed by the Romans to Syria Palaestina as part of the retribution for the Jewish revolt against the Romans? Oh, burning Jerusalem to the ground and expelling the Jews from their homeland was the rest of Rome’s wrath.

This goes back to David and the most well known Phillistine/Palestinian of all - Goliath.

You can’t point to the claims of one people without the claims of the other.

But, as seems to be representative of many claims from the Arab world and their apologists, only theirs demands and injuries are valid.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 3, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #120138

Israel is pursuing its own solution to the Palestinian problem, which is to build a wall separating their territories. Unfortunately, the Palestinians will now be using rockets to attack, see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4678258.stm

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 3, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #120156

Per PHX8, “Part of the problem is we’re wearing blinders. We’re trained to assume democracy is always, automatically a good thing…”

Anyone else aware that the Catholic Church was still condemning democracy into the mid-1800s??? It was listed in the Syllabus of Errors!!

Posted by: Lynne at February 3, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #120163

Actually, in 1948 the UN Partition Plan, a two state solution, was accepted by the Jews and REJECTED by the Palestinian Arabs and other Arab states, who then attacked Israel(Arab-Israeli War of 1948). The planned Palestinian territories were divided in the 1949 Armistice between Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Israel.

It was rejected by the Palestinians because that land had already been promised them by the British. By starting at 1948…the history of this conflict is shortchanged and taken completely out of context.

See here to get the pre 1948 information.

Posted by: carla at February 3, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #120271

“Why do terror apologists always seem to think that the “poor little arabs” were “fooled” by the Brits”

Why do so many lump terrorists and Arabs in the same group? Surely you don’t that all Arabs are terrorists or only Arabs are terrorists? As far as the fooling goes, you might want to study some history. Before 1948 - the area now known as Israel and Palestine was 90% Palestinian. In 1948, the land was basically divided up in half and each group got half. Not a real good bargain if you’re Palestinian. Of course, after the 7 day war, the land division was much closer to 90/10.

No one is apologizing for terrorists - and it’s a pretty insane assumption anyone would. The key to solving many of the terrorist’s leverages in gaining new recruits is understanding the history behind it. 1948 establishment of the Israeli territory has a major role.

Posted by: tony at February 3, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #120284

Hey, maybe we should go back to the Western Indian beliefs about land. They felt they were only care takers of the land. The land itself could not be owned. It belonged to the spirits.

Don’t you all think just how happy you’d be if someone built an appartment on what you beleived was yourland? Especially if the previous owners gave their premission?

You’d be mad as hell. So it works everywhere.

The question then becomes would you:

A. take your neighbor to court and wait years to be heard, mean while he uses your property as his,rents it out to nosiy teenagers or gangs, and makes a fortune,

B. Build someting at least equally as big, or bigger,on his, and use it for a manure silo and lower his property values

C. shoot your neighbor and occupy the apartment yourself. Then have a shoot-out with the cops when they try to arrest you.

I’m new at this Middle East stuff but that’s how it looks to me. How off am I?

Posted by: Linda H. at February 3, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #120308

>>I’m new at this Middle East stuff but that’s how it looks to me. How off am I?

Posted by: Linda H. at February 3, 2006 09:29 PM

Pretty far…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 3, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #120365

“FYI… Ariel Sharon would be a Terrorist too if he wasn’t working for a Goverment when he blew up that building full of women and children. As it was, he got called a War Criminal.”

Posted by: Aldous at February 3, 2006 01:46 AM

Aldous:

That building was an operational site for terrorist factions that were making bombs for suicide bombers. The civilian population that also lived in that building was aware of who their neighbors were, just as residents in Italian neighborhoods in New York knew that the Mafia shared their housing and blacks in New Orleans know that a crack dealer is operating out of their complex. The innocent civilians choose to live in a building they knew could be a target. They didn’t move or turn in the criminals that were making their neighborhood a target.

Terrorists always use civilians as a shield. That is characteristic of their operations. They count on their oppositions reluctance to have collatoral damage (ie civilian deaths). Past a certain point the victums of terrorist attacks have to act to stop the attacks. The bombing of the building occurred after some particularly horrendous terrorist attacks targeted entirely at innocent civilians.

If you allow yourself and your children to be used as a shield by terrorists, you put yourself and your children in harm’s way.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 4, 2006 1:02 AM
Comment #120370

Linda H.

Non-ownership of land only works for hunter/gatherers or nomads. Agrarian cultures (farmers) and industrial cultures (factorys) require permanent ownership of land.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 4, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #120610

>>Linda H.

Non-ownership of land only works for hunter/gatherers or nomads. Agrarian cultures (farmers) and industrial cultures (factorys) require permanent ownership of land.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 4, 2006 01:06 AM

gkn,

Linda may have a point though. The first tarceable famine occurred about ten thousand years ago…after the agrarian age began.

Cleansings like that don’t keep up with our ability to breed, but in evolution, nature wins every battle.

Our next step will be…back to the nomadic life. That is, if any of us survive.

I wonder if the bible will come out different the second time around…

Nukes in Pakistan/India/Israel/N Korea/Russia/ China/United States/France/Ukraine/Iran?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 4, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #120718

Why is it that Palistinians always have to disarm? Why doesn’t anybody call for Israel to disarm too? Most the casualties are Palistinian. It’s Palistine that has had 80 percent of it’s land systematically taken from them over the last 40 years. Yet Israel is made out to be some kind of victim in this? Open your eyes, sheeple!!!

If you want to talk about terrorist acts, Israel is no Mother Tearesa. Sure, Hamas is guilty of bombing cafes and checkpoints. Needless to say, that is deplorable. But Israel is JUST AS GUILTY of shooting blackhawk missiles into residential buildings. Is that somehow not terrorism??

Then some might say, ‘aaaaah well, that was a responce for what THEY did.’ That’s bullsh**. Everything is a responce. Ruthless killers can always use violence as a responce to something.

You can try to victimize the repressor all you want. I don’t buy it. Both sides are complicit in talking tough and acting with violence. Carla is right. We have to see what happens. We’ll see if EITHER GOVERNMENT extends the perverbial olive branch.

…and about all this disarm first talk… I don’t hear Israel vowing to disarm or acknowlege Palistine’s “right to exist”. Why should anybody expect that of Palistine? If that what has to happen before peace talks can begin, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Posted by: Matthew at February 4, 2006 8:18 PM
Comment #121116

>>Then some might say, ‘aaaaah well, that was a responce for what THEY did.’ That’s bullsh**. Everything is a responce. Ruthless killers can always use violence as a responce to something.

Matthew,

Does that mean our response to ObL and the Taliban was wrong? After all 9/11 was just a statement of ObL’s hate for what’s ours…kinda like Hamas’ hatered of anything Israeli. Those Hamas siucide bombers are just messengers of that hate.

Palistinians had no land prior to 1948, that area was under the protectorate of Britain. There were just about as many Jews as Arabs there at that time.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 5, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #121612

Marydude,

First off, suicide bombers ARE messenger of hate. you’ll get no arguement from me on that. But what’s the message of sending a missile into a residential building? Love, tolorance and compassion? Seems pretty hateful to me.

Your little querry is real cute but not very relevant. First of all, The relationship between Palestine/Hamas and Isreal is TOTALLY DIFFERENT than the US and the Taliban. Hamas grew from years of people’s resentment of the injustice that was being administered by Israel. That might pertain to Osama’s hatred towards America. But are you saying that the Taliban grew out of a hatred of the US? Not quite. It was Reagan’s boys that put them together, armed them and trained them to fight the Russians.

Second, you might remember that it was Osama’s group that attacked us not the Taliban. The taliban are just local zealot warlords. They kept Osama safe and Osama helped them with money. They are not the same group. The Taliban never decreed that they hated the US (even though they probably do—moreso now). And the last time I checked Osama is still alive and making more videos than Madonna. Bang up job Bush.

Getting rid of the taliban was also a bonus for Rumsfeld/Cheney. They wanted to clean up the mess they made during the Reagan era. Besides, invading Afghanistan and Iraq also allowed Bush to break one of many of his campaign promises. He said he would only use our military for defending the US, not nation-building.

Posted by: Matthew at February 6, 2006 8:01 PM
Comment #121904

>>First off, suicide bombers ARE messenger of hate. you’ll get no arguement from me on that. But what’s the message of sending a missile into a residential building? Love, tolorance and compassion? Seems pretty hateful to me.

Matthew,

We are probably saying the same thing in different ways…did Cheney/Bush not send a rocket into a residential area in Pakistan? Weren’t there more civilians killed than al Qaida operatives? In other words, Israel might over react sometimes, but they are sorely challenged to remain civilized. They took nothing from Arabs until they were attacked in’67, but they’ve reaped nothing but agravation since. From what they’ve been through, it makes ME want to shoot a missle into a residential Palistinian neighborhood.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 7, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #122385

I’m not sure what you are citing in ‘67 but I know that Israel was to busy with Egypt thru the 60’s to begin a 2 front assault. It’s interesting to note that it was only after the peace agreement with Egypt was finalized that they started taking land away from Palestine who had no real way to defend themselves. While Israel had full monetary backing from the US as well as free weapons systems.

Personally I just find it hard to sympathize with an oppressor, no matter which country it is. If China was to invade say one part of Guam and they were able to move civilians in, would you be on the side of China? Can you understand, NOT CONDONE, but understand a Guamanian suicide bomber? Could you understand that Guam might eventually form a militant group to ‘fight’ China? Making the oppressor into the victim just rings hollow for me. That’s all i’m sayin’.

Posted by: Matthew at February 8, 2006 3:22 PM
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