Democrats & Liberals Archives

Knowledge is Best Defense against Terrorism

In the days and weeks following 9/11, what always struck me as missing in the response was a clear message to the terrorists that they had used up that method of operation. Not because of new security measures at airports, but because the method was now common knowledge. What happened on the fourth flight was proof, that given knowledge our citizens can be relied upon to react as necessary.

Terrorists depend on secrecy in their planning. If one week before 9/11 the plans for hijacking planes with box cutters & running them into buildings had been announced, and such warnings given regularly at all airports, then I dare say 1) the terrorists wouldn't have even tried it & 2) if they had other passengers would have fought them before they were ever able to get to the cockpit. Not that there might not have been lives lost, but the plot would have been foiled.

Just how surreptitiously could a person or persons carry out this new threat of mixing ingredients on planes.

Chertoff said the terrorists planned to bring various bomb components in a benign state aboard the planes and combine them once the planes were aloft to create and detonate explosive devices. Sources tell CBS News correspondent Jim Stewart that these chemical bombs would have been set with timers to go off simultaneously.
Must the government step in to protect us from ourselves and prohibit everyone and their grandma from taking shampoo in their carry-ons? Ironically these restrictions probably won't last - but they may go on long enough to create terrible inconvenience for millions of passengers at the very time when they are probably least necessary: right after everyone knows of the plan and terrorists would be least likely to follow through with it.

It seems now is a good time to remind ourselves of JFK's "Ask not" quote.

Posted by Walker Willingham at August 10, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #174482

When you’ve watched this video, then talk about who is the real terrorist.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 10, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #174485
If one week before 9/11 the plans for hijacking planes with box cutters & running them into buildings had been announced, and such warnings given regularly at all airports, then I dare say 1) the terrorists wouldn’t have even tried it & 2) if they had other passengers would have fought them before they were ever able to get to the cockpit. Not that there might not have been lives lost, but the plot would have been foiled.

Yes! As verified by flight 93. I wonder that this isn’t more widely understood. I flew (home from a conference in New Orleans) on 9/14, fully confident that lightly-armed terrorists could not take over a plane - unless nobody was expecting it. That particular attack is indeed “used up” - and now, I suspect, this one is also. There can’t be that many chemicals that you can mix on-board to make an explosive, and they can’t be that hard to detect.

Posted by: William Cohen at August 10, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #174511

Paul in Euroland-
Careful. I think the problem is, once you’re attacked, that question is answered, and you will react in defense. Then the other side decides to take vengeance on you. If we rationalize their response as justified, we ignore the fundamental problem, and the reason that Israel can’t be the only party involved. Again and again, Arab Nations attacked Israel, and refused to take in the Palestinian Refugees. Hardliners among the Israelis have initiated and subsequently escalated violence with this threat as justification. Put people in this pressure cooker for long enough, and it will twist and turn people on both sides to darker acts. That’s why exterior help is need for this. people on both sides need to lower their weapons, ease off of their hatreds and grudges.

Idealistic blame or lionization of one side or another will do little good. We have to ease off the stereotypes.

William Cohen-
I’m afraid this attack isn’t used up. Recall the Bojinka plot. They only have to catch us off guard.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #174520

I think you are right, this is “used up”. And I do not think the government needs to protect us from everything, that is impossible anyway. I personally have pledged to my friends and family that if in the position of those on United flight 93, I would volunteer to lead the charge knowing that I would probably be the first to fall , as long as my fellow pasengers are right behind me to help subdue our attackers. However, a bomb on board could remain undetected until it was too late.
I also agree we have all forgotten the JFK quote “Ask not”. Too many liberals (and big government conservatives) have too much of an entitlement mentality. They use government programs to buy votes by providing things that the government has no business being involved in. They constantly shout, “look what I am going to do for you now”. We should all be repeating, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Save your anti-semitism for your fellow euro-appeasers. The so-called occupied territory that Isreal holds was originally occupied by Syria, Egypt and Jordan when they seized control of it around 1949 and killed or made refugees out of tens of thousands of Palestinians. But you only fault Isreal for taking this land in a war which they did not start. You also fail to mention or perhaps not even know that there is only one place in the middle east where arabs enjoy far beyond just basic human rights to include holding office and voting under a democratic framework with the rule of law applied to all. That place is Isreal, but that would hardly advance your pro terrorist agenda, now would it?

Posted by: Beirut Vet at August 10, 2006 11:44 AM
Comment #174529

“Again and again, Arab Nations attacked Israel, and refused to take in the Palestinian Refugees.”

Not very brotherly of them…tut, tut. The fact is that the Palestinians should not be refugees. Why aren’t they allowed by Israel to live in peace on their own land. Israel has been occupying Palestian land illegally for almost 40years, and instead of behaving as an occupying power should they have built illegal settlements in an attempt to annex Palestinan land.

It’s is wrong to believe that Israel can do no right but it is just as myopic to believe that they can do no wrong.

Quit calling everyone capable of rational debate a Nazi. You are deliberately chilling speech. There are plenty of Jewish people and organisations who agree with the view that the Palestinians should be allowed to have their own state on their own land and to live in peace. The fact that you do not disagree does not make them “self-hating”.

Posted by: abhcoide at August 10, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #174530


There are always two sides to the story. I found it interesting that the speakers on the film who were complaining about the use of Public Relations by the Israelis were using Public Relations to do so.

If I hit you in the mouth, and you hit me back, and I go running to the police claiming to have been assaulted, I’ve told the truth, but not the whole truth. PR is not necessarily a bad thing if it involves the truth.

The Palestineans, Hezbollah, Al Queda, Zarqawi, Israel, United States, Saddam Hussein,……. all use PR. Sometimes its an honest attempt to get a message out, while other times its a more cynical attempt to get their own particular version of the facts out.

The video that you linked showed only one side of the truth. That makes it PR, not a documentary, and as such it is flawed.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at August 10, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #174535

I just bring this up for discussion… it was someone else’s post on another blog…

“that these sorts of threats were not made public UNLESS there was something that the public could do to stop a plot. If there was nothing that an average citizen could do to change the outcome, they managed the situation and quietly made it go away. You know why they did that? Because the primary goal of terrorism is to spread fear and terror - not so much to kill everyone.

Now we have a policy where this government holds major press conferences and discuss scary terrorists ad naseaum. I beleive terrorists exist. I was evacuated constantly from my DC office building after the Africa bombings, but Clinton and Janet Reno didn’t hold a press conference every time we were evacuated. The bomb threats didn’t even make the local news. We were not conditioned to panic and live in fear by previous administrations. That is my beef today and every day that BushCo reveals another scary terrorist plan.

If I can’t do anything about it, then why make me feel more powerless and scared by making statements like “terrorist plot of epic proportions”? Why? If you really don’t want terrorists to disrupt peoples’ lives, you don’t give them power - you AVOID making them out to be the boogey monster - you remain cool and calm and deal with the situation.

BushCo either likes the fear that their press conferences spread or they are so stupid that they don’t understand why every administration prior to them chose not to make any more of these situations than they absolutely had to in public.”

Posted by: tony at August 10, 2006 12:24 PM
Comment #174539

Right now, I see all this as a double-edged sword. I think that the more people understand, the better we are at facing terrorism. Yet, I also think that we are broadcasting the terrorist’s fears much father and faster than they would ever have the ability to.

I am very glad to find out about the plot, rather than dissecting the wreckage to determine what happened… yet I also want to minimize their fear factor that gains them so much value in their actions - and garners them support at home.

One thing I know: they are not attacking us over there so as to not attack us on our soil… if they ever were divided like that. The real world is now that they have us mired down in the Middle East, and more than enough to keep our troops busy over there, and they can also make attempts at us here at home.

As you might tell, I’m extremely ambivalent about all this… no idea what to think yet, but it’s extremely perplexing. Al Queda is real and still very much able to attempt more attacks. Can we prevent them all? 5 years, and so much is still the same, simple concepts by ruthless people. I just feel we have been going about this fight all wrong.

Posted by: tony at August 10, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #174541

This “war” against ” terrorism” is actually a war by Evangelical Fundamentalist Christians who are phobic and hateful of Arabs and Muslims and whose “apocalyptic, messianic, militarism is actually the real terrorism which is in part creating cultural revolts by Muslims worldwide. These so-called Christians are bigots and racists whose main objective is to build the third Jerusalem over the dead and dying remains of most Middle Easterners so that their missionary and corporate Christian evangelicals can bring about the Parousia by their own sheer will and power without God’s true intervention but through their life denying and hypocritical use of Jesus as their new global army. Jesus needs to get his whip out and go through this American Church and hidden Evangelical intent before more die and the world is consumed in flames.

Posted by: DTL at August 10, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #174553

Save your anti-semitism for your fellow euro-appeasers. The so-called occupied territory that Isreal holds was originally occupied by Syria, Egypt and Jordan when they seized control of it around 1949 and killed or made refugees out of tens of thousands of Palestinians. But you only fault Isreal for taking this land in a war which they did not start. You also fail to mention or perhaps not even know that there is only one place in the middle east where arabs enjoy far beyond just basic human rights to include holding office and voting under a democratic framework with the rule of law applied to all. That place is Isreal, but that would hardly advance your pro terrorist agenda, now would it?
Posted by: Beirut Vet at August 10, 2006 11:44 AM

Thanks Beirut vet for the compliment. The charge of anti semite has, through overuse, come to be associated with people who seek justice for the oppressed. I guess you it was just too much trouble for you to hear what evidence this documentary has to offer. Much much easier to shout vacuous slogans and insults. As to you comments regarding Arab residents of Israel and their rights - I never mentioned Arab Israelis. I spoke only of those whose land has been occupied and illegally settled and their freedom and human rights taken away. Tell you what, how would you feel if you were a Palestinian living in the OCCUPIED TERRITORIES and suffering as they do from Israeli oppression? Do you even know how they suffer and their oppression? DO YOU?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 10, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #174556


I won’t claim to imagine what led you to write such a post. I’m an evangelical fundamental Christian, but I would challenge you to read any of my posts in the various threads that would indicate that I am anything like what you described.

I don’t know that many Muslims, but the ones I have known I’ve considered friends. I was invited to a Muslim wedding at one point, which was a bit of an honor. I would not have been invited were I what you described.

I believe my idea of God, Jesus, Heaven etc is teh correct viewpoint. That’s kind of an obvious statement, because if I thought it were incorrect, then I wouldn’t believe it. But I’m tolerant of other people who have different ideas. They believe in their ideas possibly as fervently as I believe in mine. Fervency of belief doesn’t make one less or more correct, simply more fervent.

From what I see, radical Islam is a restrictive religion. There are myriad stories of Muslims who have been killed for renouncing the Muslim faith. This rarely if ever happens in Christianity.

What you define as terrorism is simply jargon, with no backing to it. Its true that there are people of faith who do bad things. Jesse Jackson is a man of faith, who failed his own beliefs by fathering a child in an affair. Bill Clinton is a self professed man of faith who had oral sex outside of his marriage, thereby breaking his faith. I’ve done many things that are contrary to my beliefs. Yet the bad things are not the central part of the faith; rather, they are due to our weaknesses and faults.

But to characterize the Christian faith as being terroristic in nature is simply ignorance of the Christian faith.

And now…..back to the thread:


Knowledge will help defeat terrorism. But it won’t be 100%. When someone is intent on finding the cracks in a system, and they don’t care about a getaway plan, they are incredibly hard to stop. You might stop the first one or the first 100, but you will never achieve perfection, unless you lose the freedoms that are central to our country.

But perfection is worth trying for, even if its impossible to achieve.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at August 10, 2006 2:15 PM
Comment #174559


I want to thank you for the link. I think the point of the documentary is it is amazing how our media is only telling one side of the story. I did not understand what why the Palestineans were resisting, I and other US citizens had been under the opinion that they just hated Israel. I have lost respect for the U.S. media and unfortunately one has to go to alternatives in a so-called democracy.

Posted by: Lee at August 10, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #174574

Good point JBOD. The most effective protection against terrorists is to obliterate the part of the world they come from, or lock oneself away behind a concrete reinforced military defended underground complex like Ft. Knox. But, where’s the liberty or dignity in either of those options.

Walker is right, knowledge and vigilance and a huge counter propaganda campaign designed to undermine the terrorists public support. It ain’t fool proof, but, it has legs and manages to maximize liberty and security, security and superior moral high ground which preserves dignity.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 10, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #174575


Thanks as ever for being a voice of reason from generally right of center. Surely you must blanch quite often at the vitriol or simple-headedness that seems to dominate much of the right these days, as I do often from the more strident, shrill, or canned voices on the left.

There is a mistaken notion out there that shrillness, stridency, fervency or whatever one chooses to call it is associated with extremism or radicalness. Actually the civil exchange of ideas, including radical ideas, is part of what democracy should be about. You and I would probably test pretty far apart in tests which measure ideological stances, and yet we both have some common sense and can find plenty of common ground in spite of it. Meanwhile liberals to my right and conservatives to your left can be found shouting at each other in the most uncivil tones as if they are separated by some unbridgable gulf. It’s just silly. I agree with you that DTL’s characterization was unfair, even though I’m deeply opposed to most of the leadership of the religious right in this country.

I also agree with you that we shouldn’t rely exclusively on knowledge in our efforts against terrorism. Reasonable restrictions are appropriate. But over-reactive attempts to address the latest threat with a new general prohibition only serve to help the terrorists take away our freedoms. A liberal poster over at DailyKos pointed out that the chemical mixing could be done in an airplane lavatory. This is a reasonable concern, but we just can’t protect against every possibility with rules. At some point we have to prove our mettle by moving on with life in spite of the risks.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at August 10, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #174578

Airline security has always been a complete joke in this country. El Al type security should have been in use here decades ago, but nobody wanted the consumers to have to pay for it, and we all thought we were oceans away from the kind of thing that occurred on 9/11/2001.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 10, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #174581
Meanwhile liberals to my right and conservatives to your left

I hope people parse this correctly - my choice of directions was quite intentional.

In the Senate most would characterize Feingold as left of Schumer, and yet is there any doubt that Schumer is more shrill. I’m a great admirer of Russ Feingold, but have never much cared for Schumer. I respect but disagree with conservatives such as Jack Kemp (or from history Barry Goldwater), but Frist who is arguably more moderate turns me off.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at August 10, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #174584

Just read an article in the NYT - “Plot Echoes One Planned by 9/11 Mastermind in ‘94”

… but people seem to be surprised at the new type of attack.

Posted by: tony at August 10, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #174610

Good article and important topic
And good posts tony, and David Remer.

I just posted this in Stephen’s thread below, but it belongs here too, so I’m going to repost it:

Have you heard the latest news? It seems that the Bush-created agency CIFA (Counterintelligence Field Activity) which was originally set up to coordinate policy and oversee the counterintelligence activities for the Pentagon is about to lose it’s mastermind and director David Burtt (who was also deputy assistant secretary of defense for counterintelligence at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks), and Burtt’s deputy director Joseph Hefferon?
Yes, these two have just announced their “retirement” at the end of the month after spending a billion of our taxpayer dollars during the past four years — most of it going to outsourced contractors. A Pentagon spokesman just came out and told us that this is “a personal decision that they both made together.” Isn’t that sweet?

That’s because Burtt and Hefferon and that jailbird Duke Cunningham were using this counterintelligence agency so they could secure contracts for companies like Mitchell Wade’s (you know, the guy who bribed Cunningham) MZM Inc.

Oh, aren’t we all so glad the way Bush administration has spent our money so wisely and carefully, in order to keep us all extra safe from terrorism? And aren’t we all so happy that we’re fighting them over there, so we that we don’t have to worry over here?
Personally, I’m so glad it makes me want to puke. Daily.

PS. to Walker, sorry if this sounds too shrill or sarcastic, but I can’t help it — reading this kind of thing in the news just makes me see red.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 10, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #174611
I have lost respect for the U.S. media and unfortunately one has to go to alternatives in a so-called democracy.

The problem is that those ‘alternatives’ may not be a interested in telling an unbiased report as some other sources. In fact, this documentary itself (I’ve seen it and others like it before) has a lot of good information and some bad information and a LOT of ‘opinion’ that should be vetted and understood as such before accepting it ‘en masse’ as the truth.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 10, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #174618

“Personally, I’m so glad it makes me want to puke. Daily.”

Bush, the new and improved bulimia!

Posted by: tony at August 10, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #174622


There’s no need to apologize for speaking the truth as you see it, and calling attention to the criminals in our government - I’m happy to do it myself. There’s nothing like a little sarcasm or a satiric message to get one’s point across once in a while.

What I’m cautious about is labeling entire groups of people as contemptible. I’ve been fooled by unscrupulous demagogues before - it didn’t mean I was stupid or culpable for their deception, and neither is every Bush supporter (or even every member of his staff) culpable for his administration’s outrages, though I sure as heck wish they would wake up to what you and I see as blazingly obvious.

As I’ve said over and over here, it’s not how far right they are; it’s how far wrong they are.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at August 10, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #174648

“I sure as heck wish they would wake up to what you and I see as blazingly obvious.”

But then that might force them to consider that they’ve been wrong. And if they’ve been wrong on one issue, that might mean they’ve been wrong on many others. So, it’s probably just easier to act like anyone who opposes their views is talking nonsense.
Or, if one wants to make like Karl Rove, one can always label other people with ones own weaknesses, and/or accuse them of doing what they themselves are doing.
Just one example: Support the illegal provisions in the Patriot Act, even though they are in complete violation of the Constitution, then accuse those who are against it of being anti-American traitors.

“As I’ve said over and over here, it’s not how far right they are; it’s how far wrong they are.”

I love that. It’s good enough to be a campaign slogan. In fact, you might e-mail it over to Ned Lamont’s campaign — because it fits Lieberman perfectly! :^)

Posted by: Adrienne at August 10, 2006 5:52 PM
Comment #174650

The problem is that those ‘alternatives’ may not be a interested in telling an unbiased report as some other sources. In fact, this documentary itself (I’ve seen it and others like it before) has a lot of good information and some bad information and a LOT of ‘opinion’ that should be vetted and understood as such before accepting it ‘en masse’ as the truth.
Posted by: Rhinehold at August 10, 2006 04:19 PM

Your critique is interesting Rhinehold. It would be even more interesting if you were to flesh out your criticisms with specific rebuttals of claims made in that video. Bear in mind, that many, if not most of those interviewed in the video were Israeli and Jewish. Hell, they live there. Maybe they’re just those self hating Jews we hear so much about from the uncritical zionists. You speak of there being a lot of OPINION, as if that is probably dubious. Despite the fact that the donors of those opinions have first hand knowledge up close to what they are offering their opinions on. Did you listen to the IDF Army reserve major, who has come to his countrys defence over 28 years? Perhaps he too is a self hating Jew traitor. You see, if we attach outselves too closely to our opinions or beliefs, then no evidence will move us to a different understanding of the world. It took a lot to persuade the powers of the day, that the world was not flat, and now it would be ridiculous for anyone to suggest otherwise.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 10, 2006 5:53 PM
Comment #174677

Paul in euroland,

Your own point is making ours. The fact that a movie like this was made and that a lot of the people interviewed are Jewish and Israeli. These people feel safe and secure in the knowledge that they can talk against their government and not fear retribution or worse. Whereas one of the reasons given why moderates in the Arab countries are afraid to speak out against their governments or the terrorists if fear. Israel is a democracy where people enjoy the freedom of speech. The same can not be said of the Muslim countries and especially the “Palestinian” territories.

Posted by: Keith at August 10, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #174679

“The same can not be said of the Muslim countries and especially the “Palestinian” territories.”

Yes, Keith…and your point is?

Yes, many people in the middle east are unfortunate enough not to have political freedom. This does mean that you are entitled to bomb them indiscriminately or that the Palestinians somehow deserve to be occupied. Actually Palestinians do live in an attempt at democracy (hard to achieve much under brutal occupation) they voted for Hamas. You and I might not have voted for Hamas, but then in a democracy the people are allowed to vote for whoever they want, regardless of what the regional powers think about it.

Therefore with-holding millions in taxes and customs (by Israel) due to the elected representative of the Palestinians - having the effect of crushing their health care and starving their teachers etc. was both counterproductive (meant more support for Hamas not less) and morally wrong. You do not undermine democratically elected governments for the mere reason (i.e. not because of anything done yet, hardly in power 1min when that action was taken) that you wouldn’t have voted for them.

On that logic the entire world needs to boycott the US in both of the last two elections the majority of world would have voted for the other guy…i.e. Gore, or later Kerry, look at the stats of global opinion.

Would this have been fair…or would the world have been attempting to undermine the democratic freedom of all Americans (to vote the wrong guy in;-)

Posted by: abhcoide at August 10, 2006 7:05 PM
Comment #174681


While a reasonable person who planned to mix chemicals on an airplane would be very silly to continue his plan after the arrests and ensuing media coverage, three things come to mind:

(1) Anyone in on this terrorist plot probably isn’t reasonable. They were probably borne out of a Saudi Madras somewhere and allowed to read the Koran and only the Koran. I would not invoke the idea of reason and logic onto this kind of person.

(2) The 3 minutes to transfer shampoo and toothpaste from the carry-on to the checked luggage is hardly a reason for a civil rights alert. The TSA delays are painful, but it’ll still be magnitudes faster than driving across the country.

(3) America would be the morons of the Millenium to know full well of this threat and then wholeheartedly disregard it on the hope that other terrorist plotters made the logical decision to sit it out for awhile. That’s a classic example of “Plan for the Best, Deal with the Worst.” I for one much prefer “Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best.”

Posted by: Ken Strong at August 10, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #174683


You are absolutely right, people in a democracy hacve the right to elect any government they want. By the same token, they also have to accept the consequences of electing a goverment that is run by a known terrorist organization.

The problem is that I don’t think you understand that when the “Palestinians” use the word occupation they are talking about the entire state of Israel not the disputed territories.

Posted by: Keith at August 10, 2006 7:22 PM
Comment #174686


I’m not sure what your rant is about, my point was that without an editorial board of review documentaries are usually written as biased points of view. No where in the documentary you suggest we view is there an ‘alternate’ view or examination of the truth of the accusations.

As I said, there is a lot of good information in those videos. There is little you can do to hide things caught on tape (though they can be taken out of context) but stories and accusations that are not further backed with fact must be vetted by the viewer before being taken to heart as fact.

These videos are made to pull at heartstrings (something even mentioned IN this video) and designed to change the opinion of those watching it. However, before you let yourself be led by ANY documentary (Farenheit 9/11, An Inconvenient Truth, Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never heal) you should check out the facts and alternate views of the topics mentioned and decide FOR YOURSELF what to take from them.

Are you suggesting somehow that this should not be done in the blogosphere and admittedly biased documentary space? That we should accept as fact all that is mentioned in these videos? I would think that most rational people would agree that it is best to examine with a critical eye all media, even the majors, these days. It’s not hard to do, there are a lot of places now that we can reseaerch the facts of a subject and not just be led by the accusation and assertion.

As for the specifics of the video you linked to, I am not about to hijack this thread for the specific case of laying out what is or isn’t factual or not, I’ll let the viewer do it. If you decide to post an article about this video someday (or convince someone else to do so) then I would be glad to go back and go through it again and write down the specifics so that a debate could take place. But I am not really interested in watching it a third time really, I agree with parts of it and disagree with others and I doubt another viewing will change those opinions unless I am presented with alternate evidence.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 10, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #174692

You don’t want to believe that they, like the Israelis just want to live in peace. It is not ok to dehumanise people in this way the “the hate our freedoms” (referring to all muslims in the middle east) or they want to destroy Israel (referring to the Palestinians) is disingenuous and unfair (do you not want to destroy them -“the islamofascists”, and unfortuately vague term which is taken at it’s worst to refer indiscriminately to muslims - all dead Iraqis are “insurgents” just as all dead Vietnamese were “viet cong”, never civilians, never innocent, never deserving of protection. There are two sides to every conflict not one.

What has Israel done to the Lebanon, it’s people and infrastrure, looks like destruction to me. It should not be encouraged. Israeli fighter pilots are reported (UK Guardian) to deliberately miss their targets because of their concerns about civilian loss of life and they no longer have faith in the co-ordinates they are given.

What is happening to the Palestinians, slowly but surely the are being pushed out, made homeless en masse and treated abysmally (this should not be encouraged by any people with respect for human rights/dignity and/or international law).

What does a suicide bomber do? Destroy their life and the lives of others. Destruction is a feature of conflict. It is disgusting. How would chose to die in order to kill others. It is a deranged act, but like all terrorism (or ill-thought military adventure) borne often of desperate circumstances and/or perceived limited alternatives/a failure of imagination/tolerance.

When far right Israelis talk of Israel do they refer to the 1967 boundaries or a greater Israel encompassing the Golan Heights (Syria/Lebanon), Gaza & the west bank(Palestine) etc. Are they speaking about a multicultural tolerant and diverse state where all citzens are equal or do they wish to have a Jewish majority with preferential treatment for Jewish citizens (Arab-Israelis never can seem to get planning permission - google it.) If they speak of an Israel that encompasses the West Bank, Gaza and other occupied lands but still has a Jewish majority do they mean to get rid of as many of the Palestinians as possible?

Perhaps you need to see that the hardliners (nutters) on both sides have desires which necessarily involve the destruction or displacement of the “other side” be they Israeli or Palestinian. Such extremist sentiments are not the preserve of one side.

I would rather see moral support given to the Israeli peacemakers than war-makers, much in the same fashion that I would support Palestinian peacemakers rather than suicide bombers. I am not (unlike those on the right) going to frame the debate in terms of a people who understand nothing but violence (and are undeserving of protection) v. a people who are “our friends”. The US should be an honest broker as should the rest of the world, it is a conflict between Israel and Palestine, don’t take sides but try to encourage a peaceful solution.

Understand that both sides have real grievances and don’t caricature them - the Israelis are not bloodthirsty bullies, the Palestinians are not insane murders(jihadists? - if you want to conflate them with totally unrealated groups like Al Quada).

Both sides may countinuously be going about it the wrong way, but make no mistake the greatest source of tension and misery for Palestinians is the treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories. Go live in that prison as a third class nothing who can be shot at will and see how you feel. If some Palestinians have become radicalised it’s hardly surprising. Many Israelis recognise this fact, they refuse to serve beyond the 1967 borders and form peace & solidarity organisations.

The Israelis are afraid (justifiably so)of suicide bombers. They must however be encouraged to hold fast, keep cool heads and try to reach out to those who want to make peace. The hardliners cannot see/or refuse to see that it is the occupation and mistreatment of other people that is causing much of the misery - demolition of 2,000+ family homes on occupied land, contruction of illegal settlements 300,000 Israelis in the middle of over a million Palestinians, protected by the IDF, holding the best land, the water supplies - green grass fed by sprinkler systems while Palestinians go thirsty. Injustice should not be tolerated. “Security” is not an excuse for occupation. The occupation is creating more insecurity.

I would rather pledge my suport to Ta’ayush, Neve Shalom-Wahat al Salam, Brit Shalom/Tahalof Essalam and Brit Tzedek v’Shalom than the IDF.

Posted by: abhcoide at August 10, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #174694

Rhinehold, I linked this video on several posts on this blog. In at least two of those posts that I made, I specifically simply asked people to look at the video, and to examine it with their critical faculties. To ask themselves, could this be true? Could any of it be true? Could it be that the message they are getting from the mainstream media is in fact not the truth, but a distortion of the truth? You still say you disagree with parts of the documentary, yet you still avoid saying which parts, and why? I honestly find that puzzling.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 10, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #174703
Rhinehold, I linked this video on several posts on this blog

Yes, I noticed. That causes me to want to discuss the issue with you, it’s obvious you are LOOKING for that debate. Trolling, as it were.

Why you find my desire to not feed trolls and try to keep the topic on the subject the author intended puzzling is telling. I’m not interested in debating the video, it would be a long and expansive debate, not one I really want to hijack another article with, especially since I’ve stated twice now that the video had a lot of good information as well as bad.

My point is simply that it is up to the viewer of any of these ‘videos’ to make up their own minds, but they should not accept them as journalistic fact unless the statements made are vetted.

(btw, I’ve heard lots of assertions by former Iraqis telling us about lots of things about Iraq that we have found to be not true at a later date, just because someone ‘lives there’ doesn’t mean they are giving an accurate view, just THEIR view. The validity of that has to be vetted…)

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 10, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #174706

What have the “Palestinians” or their leaders done on the last 30 years to truly show that they want to only live in peace with it’s neighbor?

Every time Israel has offered “land for peace” such as Oslo or Camp David. The terrorist attacks are stepped up and the “Palestinians” find something to stop the process.

Posted by: Keith at August 10, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #174711


You posts seems somewhat dismissive of Paul’s post. I don’t have a good connection ( I use a G3 connection which varies in speed ), and for technical problems, I did not entirely watch the video, but I know the story. I have discussed this at length with a few Palestinian friends. Many of them say the place is simply filled with crazies and getting worse.

Paul makes a point, questioning who is the terrorist. The history of Israel, which I’m sure you are aware of, is fraught with confusing issues, which do make it a chicken and egg story. I think Paul makes a valid point. Terrorism is the poor man’s weapon of last resort. Legalized occupation, conversion of property and citizenship are weapons of the “civilized”. The unquestioned virtue of Israel’s position is bit of a phoney stance. One issue that isn’t disputed is that Israel did not exist prior to 1948. It wasn’t vacant land they occupied. ( I’m assuming were not going to go into God’s plan and ancient civilizations.) The killing of the buffalo was funded by the US gov’t to kill off the plains Indians. Was this any less genocide?

Posted by: gergle at August 10, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #174713

What concerns the most about this incident is that one of the suspects was working for the airlines. He was actually arrested in his uniform. This is probably our biggest threat to airline safety. No matter how many times our bags are scanned, searched, sniffed, or whatever, how simple would it be for a worker to slip something into a planes cargo area to later be detonated by something as simple as a cell phone ?

Posted by: Gary at August 10, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #174719



I have not once said that I disagreed with the basic argument of the video. As I’ll say a 3rd time, there is a lot of good information in it.

But my point is, again, that it isn’t 100% factual and can’t be because it is driven by biases, not by objective journalism. To say that this should replace News Media completely is short sighted and I just want anyone who does see any documentary like this, and others I’ve listed, to make sure not to take the bait hook, line and sinker. Investigate it a bit first, make sure you are not being sold a bill of goods.

As for the rest of your comment, terrorism is not a weapon of ‘last resort’, it is a line that should never be crossed. Ever.

While the Israelis treat the arab people in Israel deplorably, as soon as the palestinians start targetting innocent Israelis instead of the machine and infrastructure of the leadership, targetting children in order to cause terror, they are crossing a line that take away from their plight.

As for pre-1948, don’t fall under the misconception that there were no jews in the land before 1948. I know a lot of people who believe that. In fact, the population was pretty close to 50% before the war of independance.

And also remember, the ‘palestine’ that was set up was never accepted by the Arab League at the time. Israel was content with accepting the accord but the Arab League dismissed it out of hand. Fighting started after this occured. The UN recognized Israel after the war was over, this war detailing the borders after that. ‘Palestine’ never existed because the palestinians wouldn’t accept it to exist if an Israel existed as well.

Don’t get me wrong, as I said before, I think that the Israelis are a bunch of thugs and despots keeping a 2nd class of citizens down by the heel of a boot. And if the Palestinians would stop using the deplorable method of terror, which I feel is never acceptable, it would be harder to sway opinion away from how they are being treated. But the fact that some people see Terrorism as a legitimate method of dissent saddens me very much.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 10, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #174721

Israel laid claim to their land many centuries before the European explorers forced their way into North America. If ANYONE has a right to their plot of land based on early settlement, it is Israel.

Revert back to a world map 4000 years ago and see which nations actually settled their land then and now. Should Egypt, Syria and others give up their land since they occupied it during “Biblical” times? In 1948 the Jews were only getting back what belonged to them in the first place.

Maybe Israel needs to follow our lead and force the Palestinians and the Muslims on to reservations and grant them the privilege of running casinos. Money tends to silence those who may complain. Better yet, maybe we should force the Jews on to reservations and allow them to run refineries?

The world should have a lot of remorse when we let a single people group come that close to extinction. It seems we heed more indignation over an endangered species than we do about Arab leaders calling for the annihilation of Jews. And you suppose homosexuals and blacks have faced an oppressed existence?

I think this is one case where what the young United States thinks really counts very little. This is an issue that pre-dates us by millenniums. When the US is ready to give her land back to the Native Americans, then perhaps we can pass sentence on the so called Zionist.

Last point, think of the good the Jews just accomplished. According to C McKinney’s dad, the Jews bought her a one way ticket out of Washington.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 10, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #174729

Many of the Zionists were socialists, intellectuals and radicals, actually. There were quite a number of Orthodox Jews at the time who believed it to be an illegitimate repudiation of the punishment God inflicted on the Israelites: the diaspora.

The mistake here is believe that man has any decent idea of the intentions of a God whose sophistication is so great as to create this world. God has deprived the ancestors of these people of their land before, and one could suppose that he might do it again. What God gives…

People are getting their eschatological wires crossed on this one, and with the terrible track record of apocalyptic movements in guessing our Lord and God’s next move on bringing about the Kingdom on Earth, I’d say caution would be well advised in these matters.

Too often, people act on behalf of God in ways that better suit the devil. They bring war when Christ called peacemakers the children of God. They justify slaughter where Christ justified the staying of hands. They pour hatred on vilification on their enemies, when Christ advised us to love and bless our enemies. If this is a test, then in my humble opinion, many people are failing.

Why do so many people curse the followers of God? It’s a false question. The easier question, and perhaps the more poignant, is why do people curse those who bring war and bloodshed?

As for the Indians and the Zionists? Well, I think you make the best argument for Americans facing up to the incredibly deadly collision of civilizations that marked the European takeover of the country. Unfortunately, you make it while rationalizing the Palestinian’s plight, and I don’t think you intended to present yourself so unsympathetically.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #174748

——Walker Willingham—- I enjoy your posts, because
you drive me crazy. You offer just, too many
options to chose from. I have a serious but not to
serious trick question for you. Can you make any
statements with out making the statement agreeable
for two or more opposing
views. I am a speed reader an have to come back three times in order to get your drift, Just thought
you would like a pun this time of morning. (‘.’)

Posted by: DAVID at August 11, 2006 2:57 AM
Comment #174749


I have to take issue on the part about the deplorable treatment of Arabs inside Israel. The Arab residents of Israel are treated much better and have more rights then Jews are treated in most of the Muslim world (those that haven’t been kicked)

Posted by: Keith at August 11, 2006 2:57 AM
Comment #174750


I would say you would have to back that statement up with some facts.

And, it doesn’t really matter if you are right, just because Jews in Muslim countries may be treated worse doesn’t make the treatment being passed out right in any way shape or form. Creating a 2nd class citizenry, preventing them from making a living, forcing over 70% unemployment, demolishing their homes, beating and torturing innocent civilians and blocking access to basic necessaties does not sound like proper treatment to me.

I supported overthrowing Saddam for his treatment of his citizens and they were better treated than the Israelis are treating the Palestinians, IMO.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2006 3:05 AM
Comment #174759


I have to take issue on the part about the deplorable treatment of Arabs inside Israel. The Arab residents of Israel are treated much better and have more rights then Jews are treated in most of the Muslim world (those that haven’t been kicked)

While Israelis often treat Muslims better than Muslims often treat Jews, Israelis often treat (or have treated) many Muslims *much worse* than nearly any Jew has been treated in Muslim lands. I believe Iraq, Iran, Egypt(?), Lebanon, Morocco, and other Muslim countries all had Jewish populations that were allowed to live relatively without much problem (at least, when there wasn’t an open war w/ Israel going on).

Beginning Year 1 in Israel, Israelis began killing 1000s or tens of 1000s of landowners, who refused to abandon their land which they/families had been on for many generations. I know some whose relatives were killed this way when they tried to stand their ground. Old men, shot in the face or the neck in front of their families, trying to protect the only thing their families had from being stolen.

I know others who say their families fled without resistance when demanded by Israeli soldiers — similar to how Jews logically fled when threatened by Nazis — planning to return to their homes when this ‘Jewish Jihad’ ended and they could return to their lives / land.

Israelis also continue to take Muslim lands (away from individuals) — I am unaware of the converse happening in the Muslim world.

Muslims are certainly more guilty of some crimes than Israelis, but Israelis certainly seem far more guilty of other crimes.

Posted by: Brian at August 11, 2006 5:11 AM
Comment #174760

FYI, maybe balancing EuroPaul’s video of Jews who don’t love Israeli actions, here is a (short!) video of an articulate Arab sharply critical of Muslim actions and very pro-Jewish (on Al Jazeera).

Posted by: Brian at August 11, 2006 5:39 AM
Comment #174789

Well Brian I have watched your video (I hope you watched Paul’s). She doesn’t deal with Palestine specifically, she is advocating modernity - something not found in Saudi Arabia - a US ally -as with Iran many of the people want modernity (others have simple never had the opportunity to learn what modernity might be like) but many know from US TV and films which they watch in their thousands. They don’t “hate your freedoms” they cherish them, pray for them, hope for them.

I agree with almost everything she says. My message and that of Paul’s, like the woman on your video (as posted on this blog) is one of peace, tolerance and progress.

This is what she is advocating for the middle east. She points to the achievements of great Jewish scientists and thinkers - “the Jews made the world respect them.” What she is decrying is the stiffling of education and critical thinking in the Muslim world (middle east) by fundamentalist religious dicta which are unassailable as they are not the product of reason.

In Islam - itjithad - meaning “interpretation” is deemed by some extremists (Wahabbis in power in Saudi - an ally of the Bush administration) to be over. There can be no new interpretations of the religions post about the 12th century according to the Wahabbist doctrine (Saudi Arabia), Saudia Arabia spends money/inc. private Saudi money spreading this extremist doctrine.

Progressive muslims argue for critical, rational interpretation of the Qu’ran - interpretation of the Bible has changed over time (you’re not stoning adulterers or killing homosexuals?), they want interpretation of the Qu’ran to move with the times. Progressive muslim countries do not allow polygamy etc…unsuited to modern conditions allowed in Qu’ran only reluctantly and at that time (when it was written) then (in the past) women couldn’t work then (and support themselves) many men had died in battle (progressive interpretation)

I am an athiest.

Who are the people in the US who deny evolution?
They are religious.

Such nuttery stifles critical thought, crushes scientific advancement and empoverishes humanity.
We can be humanists and love one another without resorting to arguments based on whether your God or lack thereof is better than mine (or lack thereof). One can believe in a god and accept evolution and science. Perhaps that is how god made the world, forcing ones religious dogmas on others does not solve anything.

She doesn’t specifically deal with Palestine, I believe her comments are addressed mostly to the fundamentalist doctrine imposed in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan under the Taliban etc.

The Palestinians need to engage in peaceful resistance and dialogue with Israelis to improve their living conditions. Violence is not the answer. Similarly Israel must treat the Palestinians as human beings worthy of respect and protection. Killing 100+ Palestinians while the cameras are on Lebanon will not bring peace. It is merely barbarism.

Can you bomb a people into modernity?

That is what some on the right are trying to do.

Look at Afghanistan - it knew nothing but war for decades, children didn’t go to school (bombs falling), people were traumatised, brutalised, killed and maimed. Then after the defeat of the USSR and there was peace what happened?????

That’s right….the Taliban came to power.

In a country will few enough people with education, weary from war, they would support anyone who seemed uncorrupted (or disinclined to start a war) or simply could not longer stomach fighting and accepted the Taliban (Afghanistan was a backward country full of “traditional” beliefs anyway…that’s why post taliban (education has yet to have significant impact this will change over time) women are not treated much better than before etc.

If you want to win the “clash of civilisations” which as your video points out is really a “competition between civilisations” i.e. a war of ideas not bullets and bombs…build schools promoting values like tolerance, pacifism, respect for human rights, and love of learning/scientific progress.

It will be much more effective than bombs…which tend to be the opposite of modernity - i.e. barbaric slaughter, which should be a thing of the past.

Posted by: abhcoide at August 11, 2006 10:04 AM
Comment #174791

Do you believe it is only Islam that contains backward, barbaric pronouncements will belong in a different era?

You haven’t read the Bible. It is not interpreted in a fashion to emphasise the tolerant passages, but the others in which people are stoned to death for a variety of quite minor infractions etc. are still there. Still the word of god according to some, although modern christians generally ingore them.

There are those who are waiting for the rapture, and the death a destruction that will be visited on all who have not accepted the risen Christ.
Hell has somewhat fallen out of favour as a concept because for many people it does not accord with our concept of criminal punishment - imprisonment, not torture for all eternity is considered more humane.

In Ireland extreme Catholicism was practised as recently as the 50s (and early 60s) women and girls who had children outside marriage (sometimes as a result of rape or child abuse)were locked up in “Magdalen” Laundries to labour in silent penitence, their children were taken away from them. Some remained, unable to leave (effectively involuntarily detained and institutionalised) until as late as 1996 when the scandal broke.

Some had died (in unexplained circumstances) they were burried in unmarked mass graves.

Children incarcerated in “industrial schools” were beaten, starved and sexually abused. Some deaths were unexplained and the bodies burried in similarly unmarked graves. Their lives were ruined and all be cause it was assumed that it was safe to leave them in the care of “Christian” Brothers i.e. the clergy…men of the cloth who could do no wrong.

Modernity and religion tend not to go hand in hand…and great abuses can be concealed, ignored or justified by passages supposedly coming from a “god”, the worst in human nature finds it’s expression and religion or “belief” is proffered as the excuse.

Posted by: abhcoide at August 11, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #174793

“It is not interpreted”

type error - “it is now interpreted.” rather.

Posted by: abhcoide at August 11, 2006 10:16 AM
Comment #174830

The Bible has its harsh passages, but is reality not harsh, especially in ancient times? We pass judgment far too easily on societies that did not have the helpful traditions and sciences we did, that could not stand on the shoulders of the giants we have.

It is a misconception among many critics of Christianity that most of us are Fundamentalist, rapture-awaiting scientifically backwards individuals. Catholics are taught evolution is a fact, and that science is to be respected. Mainline evangelicals, like those at Baylor, the Baptist University I attended, are taught similarly. The interpretation promulgated by this rather conservative university are not literalist, but contextualist, teaching the bible in terms of what the scriptures and the events described meant to those who wrote it.

I think that’s fairly important. Some Fundamentalists are too quick to apply the biases of our time to their literal readings. Some more liberal folks are apt to do the same, interpreting the bible in a watered-down PC manner that eviscerates much of the dramatic conflict in the stories, and reduces the bible to a record of rationalized supernatural events. Both miss the point of what’s written: it’s not a precise, real documenation as some would claim (and which would be foreign to the times) nor is it the religious con game or backwards treatise that some on the left would claim.

It is, in short, a work about the human condition, about our fallibility, and about the obligation to the greater order in the world. That is why I, as an educated, liberal Democrat, can also claim to be a confirmed, faithful Catholic. The big challenge in reading the bible is reading between the lines without writing to much of your own prejudices in there.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #174836

Though it is somewhat publicly apparent that our Bush Administrations’ Islamaphobic campaign ( eminating and in unison with the British) and their misguided “Proto Evangelical Fascist Crusade” that we have assisted in making more ” terrorists” out of the threatened Muslim people worldwide ( who don’t like our waste, greed, folly, thievery of culture and natural resources taken for over- indulged and desacrilized and false securalist American self consumption to perpetuate a false capitalism which betrays America, the Gospels, and the Beatitudes. Besides having sociopathic problems themselves - the Muslim world ( which is everywhere) are fighting back and now lining up in droves as wannabe terrorists with toothpaste tubes and flashcamera’s to rid themselves of this “evil Christian nation” who remains silent ( like the Warsaw ghetto’s in Poland of 37-38) and confused in the face of atrocities nearly everywhere sits silently by while Isreal, Iraq, and Lebanon kill their women and children as we flushed the people down a Katrina toilet - its apparent to me that the dignity of human beings is at an all time low.

It is certain, in my view, that the entire mental, emotional, and psychic state of affairs in this world between humans and their ideologies is now a spreading madness like a great virus of the human spirit which is hungers for unity but avoids discussion, and whose reality principle has been distorted nearly beyond repair.

Therefore, this recent bomb threat on the US from liquids inserted in suitcases probably is true - but Wait a Minute-

If I look back to the polls, to major moments in our so called WAR ON TERRORISM it seems consistent that each time Bush and his Gang loose control of their agenda - that we get red, yellow lights flashing in our face and HOMELAND SECURITY telling us that they are in control and have rescued us once again from the “evil empire ” of which there is no definable map.

How am I to trust Homeland Security when they are now accused of stealing many more billions of dollars in their so called security ( no funding for terrorist attacks from the Feds in most states) and the Katrina fraud and mismanagement efforts ( no bid contracts again ) and that we in Kansas find that our one hundred foot ball of string which is a tourist attraction here is on the list with other similar irrelevent Homeland desigated sites for possible new terrorists efforts. StarBucks has issued coffee ( and we are paying for this) to all Homeland Security members to keep them high on their own self delusions and mismanagement of this nation while they, this horrible mismanagement of our government hoodwinks us again with more lies, more misuse of information, media, more scandals, more overt misuse of taxpayer money, all to feed their pitiful neo-conservative agenda whose pro-life stand is a sham -when “they?” allow you or your neighbor’s kid to die in the dirt in Kuwait or Iraq, Afganistan - who knows where the Emperor and his villan cronies wish to invade next on false pretenses. Who knows the truth? I certainly don’t but I am seeking it.

I do now call our brand of collective action in the world: “disaster capitalism” as a kind of new “missionary” zeal ( like vultures hovering over dead meat) effort in the world to keep us living high off the hog, ( preserving our way of life according to the Book of Cheney) looking like hogs in our feeding troughs here at home, while the rest of the world suffers from starvation of most basic material goods, like water, food, and other - we allow these crooks, downright liars to terrify us into their vision so that they can continue to provide jobs for their cronies here and everywhere while our own job market is in peril.

Bush did another mis-speak yesterday when he called the “enemy” - ” Fascist Fundamentalists” - if Bush were an intelligent man ( which he is not) he would know that only states can organize fascism - and where is this state of Islam Mr. Bush? Is that what you and your Fundamentalist Fascist Friends
( the FFF) are really afraid of - Caliph - occuring would sure screw up your fundamental notions of exporting democracy.

I am sorry to have written this but my “empathy shield” is worn and torn and I am just a Mother looking for answers to a world which seems to be on the brink of mass extinction. While all the jargon, politics, wars, bombs continue to drop - Mother Earth is dying and we, her supreme creation, act like sociopathic morons. What is the point of knowledge if everyone so betrays the truth?

Ordinary middle class citizens and Congress better wake up and smell the coffee and as for Peace - well, it is not too late for dialogue, for ammends, for the best minds and resources in this nation to overcome this clear case of misguided delusional and hyperpolic dysfunction of being under the thumb of our own ” fascist Christian Right” leaders. Real Christians should rise up and become knowledgeable - the sense of awakening from this bad dream and rescuing the world from this absurd moment in human history is still possible but we must not allow this total distortion of reality to continue. We must use reason, each of us now that the three spiritual sisters of western culture have created in unison their vision of a self hating, self annihilating holocaust and have chosen a culture of death over the culture of life which we should all be fighting for in his moment of evolutionary consciousness for global peace and justice. Let us pray that each of us awakens, as have I, to a higher goal of humaniziing the world by first taking responsibility for our own human response to life and the world and to not be blinded by the drone of conflicting reality which makes us all scared and all weak in the face of a higher calling to make peace, not war.

Dr. Compassion from the Red State of Ozland

Posted by: Dr. Compassion at August 11, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #174841

I too watched Paul’s video, or most of it anyway — some computer issues. Those who make the point that it represents a certain point of view are of course correct, but considering that all media comes from a point of view, the obvious corollary is that we should seek out as many sources as possible. I believe Paul is correct in saying that in general we get a one-sided view in the United States, at least from our major media.

The efficacy of the role of the United States as being a broker of peace between the Palestinians and Israel is dependent upon the perception that we are not biased. That means, in practice, that we must be supportive of genuine complaints from either side, and must be critical of abuses by both sides. I personally believe that in some instances, the Palestinians were their own worse enemies — just one example, Arafat had the chance under Clinton for an equitable peace, but he failed. Likewise, Israel is often exceedinly harsh in its responses to provocation. I do not feel that sympathizing with the plight of the Palestianians under a harsh occupation is misquided.

What is so sad about the situation is that everyone knows in general the solution; I have no doubt that there will eventually be a Palestinian state, and that its borders will be those already outlined, in general anyway. There is much blame on both sides.

Posted by: Trent at August 11, 2006 1:05 PM
Comment #174852

Good article in ‘New Middle East’ Out Of Control
The article relates how a growing number of foreign policy veterans fear that the U.S., under the control the insane Neocon chickenhawks of the Bush administration, is courting disaster.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 11, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #174860

It’s hard for me to resist, sometimes, to stay out of debates about the Bible. A weakness of mine, I guess. What I most regret about the chief sacred texts in the West is that one is often forced into allegorical or metaphorical readings in order to find a god worthy of worship. One the literal level, it is often very harsh and parochial — I trust I don’t need to cite anything to make this point.

I come from the point of view that these texts were written by men and are reflective of the cultural, ideological, and political concerns of the time. As a whole, the Bible is recursive, constantly rewriting itself. Deuteronomy, for example, is a fairly radical adjustment of Leviticus for a new time, and was produced during the time of King Josiah to justify the religious reforms (that is, the centralization of sacrifice in Jerusalem and thus a consolidation of power — all in the context of the struggle between the Northern and Soutnern Kingdoms).

The most insightful way I’ve yet found to approach the OT texts is by following the arguments contained in the Documentary Hypothesis. It helps explain many inconsistencies, including the two versions of creation with their different ordering of things created that we see in the first pages of Genesis. (One strand of Jewish tradition, of course, explains part of this inconsistency by positing a man and woman created before Adam and Eve.)

Much of the Bible consists of passages of sublime power, such as the incredibly condensed and artfully written story of the Tower of Babel. In translation we lose so much, but Bloom’s “The Book of J” attempts to capture some of the literary punning and artistry of the J writer, who must stand as one of the literary giants of history.

Posted by: Trent at August 11, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #174958

Not that this has anything to do with the topic at hand, but Deuteronomy was written at the same time and by the same authors as Jeremiah, levitical priests from Shiloh.

and unposted form yesterday;
Save your anti-semitism for your fellow euro-appeasers, Posted by: Beirut Vet at August 10, 2006 11:44 AM
Well said, and thanks for the truth. The anti-Israel propagandists are annoying and jump on anything to go back to their same basic pointless crap. Even Rhinehold is complaining about feeding trolls!

W W s basic argument eludes me, worring about inconveniencing airline passengers is a root cause of 9/11. Air marshalls on all flights are one solution.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 11, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #174968

Dr. Compassion from the Red State of Ozland
Posted by: Dr. Compassion at August 11, 2006 12:49 PM

Wow! Is there a more impressive sight than the outrage of a woman’s righteous indignation? Or her ability to see thro’ the crap of obsfucation, lies and self delusion? Way to go, sister.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 11, 2006 8:19 PM
Comment #174969

By the way, where is the red state of Ozland? Do you mean Oz, shiela? ;-) No offence intended!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 11, 2006 8:21 PM
Comment #175055

Well said Dr. Compassion & Trent.

Posted by: abhcoide at August 12, 2006 7:51 AM
Comment #175295

Dear Trent Paul Euroland and Abhcoide:

Thanks for your kind words.
Dr. Compassion is not a Liberal or a Democrat just an “person” but finds this
web site a safe place from the whirlwind and a means of exploring a subject presented here which is the basis of my own dissertation in human suffering and the holocausts, past, present and future - and attempting to find ways to lessen it.

Here is a ” dangerous story ” of mine and others and something to ponder.

Oz is a red state and a place of strange, perhaps neurotic politics and is the key to understanding our so called ” cultural war ” and ” terrorist war(s)” in this post-modern era which are ultimately about whether we choose to live and embrace life or succumb to death like the actual fossils which are still here reminding us of our ignorance and wrong mindedness in all directions.

Oz is like the rest of the nation which is essentially unknowledgeable about most things, including evolution and intelligent design, the origins and meaning of totalitarianism, fascism, or terrorism -and because the threat to education is very real here - costing too much for taxpayers who basically dismiss schools and universities which have historically always burdened true fascists who suppliment real education with myths and fairy tales and for a buck - and who secretly despise knowledge and humanities educaiton but love to use its sciences in their war against all. Education and the social well being of Ozlanders is dismissed amidst the constant need for new highways - we here in Oz Land continue to limit knowledge though the schools, media, pulpits or other social arenas and choose speed over self reflection of which there is no time for. Basically we are de-spiritualized humanoids who have spoiled their biospheres and whose noosphere is a muddle of conflicting ideologies, slogans and wrong models and false ideas. With no desire left to survive our own hubris we chose ignorance and comfort over knowledge and awakening.

Oz is clinically bi-polar. Oz land is home of the Republicans but now has a female Democrat for a Governor. We are the birthplace of John Brown , Roe versus Wade, both anti-slavery movements. Oz is also the home of Fred Phelps who wants to keep all gays as slaves or worse yet, shoved into an oven. Oz land has Brownback, Roberts, Dole and others to its credit or lack thereof - but we also had Eisenhower who warned us of the military industrial complex and Truman who knew where and how terrorism arises in the unknowable horror of Nagasaki and which is the culmination of any terrorist invasion of other lands and peoples during war. Oz is the gateway to understanding terrorism for the some of the worst examples occurred here just a hundred or so years ago.

I have a poster in front of my computer. It’s been here since 911 to remind me of the meaning of fascism, terrorism, oppression and the real meaning of
freedom, liberty, justice etc. In large letters we see HOMELAND SECURITY with the image of four Indians holding muskets prepared to fight and die for their native land, and below this image the words ” fighting” Terrorism Since 1492.”

People in Ozland, because of budget cuts to social programs and education ( due to the increasing state budget crunches ) are basically ignorant of this past terrorist atrocity. Therefore they have never really understood that the “west was won by being murderers”. Ozlanders are afflicted from a genetic disease of not being able to remember anything past one minute ago. They have no amnamnestic solidarity and forget how easy it is to loose freedom and liberty. The loss of the family farm and the stewards of the earth here in Ozland have now been wiped out by other terrorists in the guise of large corporations who drain our rivers to produce toxins and cocacola by overgrowing corn at the expense of the entire water system in the west. This is due in part to a long enculturation process of believing in a false progress state - of mind -
that is the significance of living in Ozland.

The Great Plains offers us a possible meaning of terrorism but we see only ghosts of the past justifying our present way of life with cut up ravaged and raped squared miles of prairie, a fenced and rebuilt landscape shaped from invader utopian ideals from not long ago. These invaders have ever since -been engaged in this terrorist act of creating endless wastes of water, land and other so that a few may profit from this exploitation of
all and everything. They aren’t much better than Halliburton and may even be of the same ilk.

Not far from here is a walled red canyon with “twin towers” made of natural stone which the Indians call ” Spider Rock” - it too was a central part of the great terrorist attack on Navajo where Custer threw diseased blankets to the poor and homeless, to the “sand heathens” and where in one day, he and his army murdered three thousand “natives”. Spider Woman lives in Spider Rock “Twin Towers” - for nearly all native americans, Spider Woman is the great Mother God who gave her people language and the art of making weavings into blankets.
The parody here is that this sacred spot, like so many here in OZ land - which is the Ogallalah commons, were similarly annhilated within the course of a few decades, millions of bison, tall prairie grass, thousands of villages and communities of Indians were massacred by the christian invaders who wanted their land, resources, oil, cattle, corn, etc. and whose native religious convictions were alien and abhorent to the white terrorists from the east - who then romanticized the ” taming of the west” making the war against the infidels, the great plains “sand niggers” and heathens justifiable. So much for history and short memory.

Ozlanders are a people of great spirituality.
Their spirituality however has been thwarted and has mostly been reduced by fundamentalism and others which holds to any ridgid interpretation of truth and a particular framework of reality which is blind - because knowledge has been so dehumanized, de- aestheticized, dis-eased we now have a false spirituality here in Ozland which carries more atrocities forward in the name of a loving God by continuing to believe
that this God is “on our side”.

Totalitarianism is another word for Terrorism
and Terrorism is another word for brain death
and the creation of more sociopathic children who have lost all hopein the present or future and who do not know that they live in OZland.
I am not an apologist theologically or otherwise for the actions of “terrorists” but sometimes one understands that real spiritual resistance starts with “totalism” which means that there a few here in Ozland, like myself, who are contibuting hopefully to a “News-Sphere” in which the best and most earnest minds in this nation begin a clarion call for knowledge regarding who the real terrorists are - it must happen within each of us as it has happened within me. Knowledge of the past, present and future is best summed up in the words of St.Augustine:

“We live in the presence of time past:
the presence of time future. The presence
of time past is memory.
The presence of time present is direct human experience. The presence of time future is hope and love. “

Thank you for allowing me this rather strange rant - but you get the drift - I am certain. Blessings and in hope of more monads interacting for peace and justice - I remain

Dr. Compassion
Ozlander USA

Posted by: dr. compassion at August 13, 2006 12:38 PM
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