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Muslim Killer(43 posts)

Muslim KillerDougSloan
Feb 17, 2003 7:42 AM
I heard in the context of the impending war that Saddam has caused the killing of more Muslims than anyone else in history. Anyone confirm or comment on that?

If true, who is truly the threat to the Muslim world, Saddam or the U.S. (with allies)?

Secondarily, why aren't all the people who are protesting against war also protesting against Saddam? Hasn't he already murdered far more people than the U.S. might in a war?

Doug
Propaganda and hyperboleColnagoFE
Feb 17, 2003 9:13 AM
So the US is going to punish him for past crimes now? That justifies a full-scale war? Where were they when he was actually gassing the Kurds? And don't think SH won't resort to killing off more people and ruining more natural resources to spite the US in the event of a war. Truly a no-win situation for the Iraqi people. I don't think that people protesting the war think Saddam is any kid of a saint...just that his CURRENT actions don't justify a full-scale war.
We are the only reason he doesn't gas moreCaptain Morgan
Feb 17, 2003 9:38 AM
I might remind you that the U.S. and Britain are enforcing a no-fly zone in order to protect Saddam's people from him. If you are anti-war, perhaps you would recommend that we get rid of the zones (heck, the U.N. says they are illegitimate) and let Saddam attack his people again.

If you keep lethal weapons away from a murderer, should you praise him because he does not kill anyone?
More compellingly...sn69
Feb 17, 2003 11:00 AM
In FULLY DECLASSIFIED documents (an important point), SH used bio/chem weapons against the Marsh Arabs of the Tigres/Euphrates delta as recently as '98, dropping the cannisters from Mi-8 helicopters. Helos, incidentally, are perfectly legal within the northern and southern no-fly zones.

He's not using them at present because all of this resources in the nuke/bio/chem arena are being used to keep the things undiscovered. But not by the UN--he's well passed that issue with the propaganda war favoring him (our own fault). Rather, his big concern now is keeping them away from the teams of "special folks" who are in the desert hunting them....

Break break. Who has killed the most in recent history? I've venture to guess by pure direct action that he has, including his own people, the Kurds, the Iranians killed during that war, and the Kuwaitis that his troops slaughtered by the thousands during GW1. The Syrians have also killed a lot, as have the Iranians, the Moroccans, and the various civil wars in Indonesian and Sub-Saharan Africa. And the Nazis killed a lot too.

Still, FE has a good point in that past action cannot necessarily define current reprisal. If that was true, then the remaining Stalinists would have to be brought to trial for the 20 million Kulaks that Jo-Jo killed, the entirety of the Khmer Rouge would have to be hunted down and put on trial, and those Maoists still alive would have to be sumarily executed for the 100 million estimated deaths attributed to Mao. Yikes...the nubers are staggering.

In stead, the focus should be on what SH is currently doing within the context of his continuous breeches of UN resolutions since the end of GW1 and based on his links to global terrorism. I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but WHY haven't we waged a better informational campaign? The hard, substantiated, quantified evidence is there.

Scott
More compellingly...Skip
Feb 17, 2003 12:50 PM
We have elite trained people, with skills and hardware, far superior to the SEALS, Rangers, Delta Force, etc.; so why don't we just go in, and take out SH? He could be assassinated, drop dead of a heart attack, or, name your poison (pun intended).
Which SH?!sn69
Feb 17, 2003 2:33 PM
There are six, you know...at least six that we openly know of. There are pretty big issues with assasinating heads of state. From the standpoints of timing, logistics, coordination, survival of the assasin (yes, that would matter to us) and the physical act itself, such operations do not lend themselves to high probabilities of success. Add in other variables like dopplegangers, vast racial/cultural differences, language barriers, paranoia (of the intended target), etc, and the odds get even lower.

To bungle such an attempt would be to delegitimize any substantial effort under-way diplomatically. Oof...that would be BAD.

In reality, any given nation's best hope to "assasinate" another head of state is to foster rebellion within the target country in the hopes that the next regime will do the dirty work. Beyond that, there's always the possibility for capture and imprisonment, such as Milosevich.

...And that doesn't even begin to approach the subject of ethics and international law....

Regarding our forces, don't believe all of the Hollywood crap. The truth is that our special operators don't get much better than SEALs, Delta, or CIA's SOG units (or SAS, Mossad, etc). The latter are mostly made up of the former two. Sure, there are some other smaller units, but the realm of espionage is far less "James Bond-esque" and far more like Aldrich Ames/John Walker (paid jackasses who betray their country to provide intel).

Now, that said, I have a hunch that if we/the UN/NATO/the Arab League manage to get SH out of power peacefully through a brokered abdication/exile, he will probably die of a heart attack or the like shortly thereafter. The issue is getting him out of his fortress.
Which SH?!Skip
Feb 17, 2003 2:53 PM
To ask the same question of your last paragraph, how do we know that we have the real SH? I believe that we possess the technology to assertain this antemortem, and from a distance - so that he can be ID'ed & tracked.

It doesn't have to look like a classical assassination, ie bullet, bomb, etc.; he just mysteriously dies. But to prevent one of the look-a-likes from stepping forward, they too may need to disappear.

As to the logistics, I believe we have people that good.
So how do you know he would do that?ColnagoFE
Feb 17, 2003 11:28 AM
Or are you just going by what Bush and Co. tell you? That's like the movie the Minority Report...going in and bombing the hell out of SH in order to prevent future crimes. Makes no sense.
M.O.Captain Morgan
Feb 17, 2003 2:13 PM
How can you be serious? First, he has USED WMD - and recently (1998). Secondly, he continues to DEVELOP WMD. For what? Its a lot different than Minority Report. Its more like letting Charles Manson out of jail now because he hasn't killed anyone lately, although Charles certainly has more credibility than Saddam.
that'sMJ
Feb 17, 2003 9:18 AM
the view held by the majority of Iraqi exiles along with this:

http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,896611,00.html

there was a large peace march here (between 1m-2m) in London on Saturday - I saw an interviw where the press had leaders of the peace marchers (namely Tony Benn - who gets dragged out for such occasions) confronted by Iraqi exiles making similar points to yours - it left the peace marchers speechless...
Ok - so is THAT the reason we're going to war?PdxMark
Feb 17, 2003 10:33 AM
Let's just try to settle on a reason that will last more than a week.

Saddam is clearly a horrendously evil guy. Chemical weapons attacks on civilians is as criminal an act as can be committed. Attacking Kuwait was criminal, but we already fought that war.

GWB says the reason for GW2 is that Iraq has WMD and might give them to terrorists. There is no evidence that Iraq has ever given, or planned to give, any WMD to any other state or organization, terrorist or not. Even so, we are going to launch a preemptive war to rid Iraq of Saddam (oh ya, and maybe even the WMD) without Iraq having made any direct threat against the US. It will be an unprovoked, preemptive war.

Iraq is in material breach of a UN resolution we got passed a year ago. We pressed for that resolution to have a legal justification for a war we intended to launch. Our war will now have a thin veneer of legality without having the moral justification of any act, or threat of aggression by Iraq.
Evidence of giving WMDCaptain Morgan
Feb 17, 2003 11:50 AM
You don't know if there is evidence or not. Maybe not public evidence. What about Atta's meeting with Czech with Iraqi intelligence agents? What about Iraq's harbouring of terrorists (which IS public info.).

Unfortunately, the giving WMD to terrorists would be difficult to detect. One vile of the right stuff can wipe out thousands of people. One softball size could wipe out a city. How could the CIA keep up with every vile and every canister in the world? Answer: We need to limit the number of regimes which manufacture the stuff in the first place (beginning with those who are already under U.N. sactions NOT to manufacture it).
I think the cat is already out of the bagColnagoFE
Feb 17, 2003 1:07 PM
Can the US really hope to head off all terrorist attacks? I'm doubting it...they can't even find Bin Laden in one country...what makes you think they can find a small vial of poison? Is there evidence that Iraq's as a country harbored terrorists or just that there are terrorists in Iraq and some people support them? If the latter then the US is guilty of the same thing. There were active terrorists living here that some sympathizers aided though not via the US government.
I agree. And we can't go running around acting out our paranoiaKristin
Feb 17, 2003 1:29 PM
There could be a villian hiding out in the condo across the hall. And that other neighbor could be a terrorist. He only speaks arabic, he's mean to all the American's in the building, he is on the list for supporting terrorists, and well...he just looks like a terrorist. Should we wipe him out? Yeah. Lets do it. (Tongue firmly planted in cheek.)

If the current administration is merely acting on suspicions, then God forbid that we be allowed to strike Iraq. That is exactly the purpose for all the checks and balances in our government. So that no one can run off half-cocked and start wars or kill people without a very substantiated reason. Suspicion doesn't cut it. It is quite probably--but not absolute--that Suddam will do more bad stuff. But that is Suddam's responsiblity. We can't attack him just because he might do something. If he does something bad again--God forbid--then it is our responsiblity to act responsibly at that time--not sooner.

Quite honestly, it sounds like we have had a bunch of very subtantiated reasons to attack him, but we apparantly dropped the ball. If we attack now for the wrong reasons, then we loose everything that makes us special. Everything that sets us appart. If that happens, something rare and tremendously sad will occur. We will have earned the distain of our neighbors.
Thank you Kristin...PdxMark
Feb 17, 2003 2:50 PM
I've been trying to say the same thing. I've also been asking folks to point out what Saddam has done now to justify this war, so that I can try to understand the rationale for this war. Scott sn69 points out that Saddam has again (1998?) used chemical weapons on Iraqi civilians. Saddam is evil, and if the purpose of this war was to save Iraqi minorities or neighbors from Saddam, then we could discuss it on those terms.

But the war is billed as being necessary to protect the US, not Iraqi minorities or neighbors. Saddam's past crimes against his people and neighbors are cited as examples of what he could do to us, but that's as far as the specific threat against us goes. He's had WMD for 15+ years, and there's no sign of his threatening us with them. What now makes the threat different from everyday for the past 15 years.

As a war to protect the US, my opinion is that we must have an imminent threat, or even an actual attack, to morally justify our war. I've been invited to move to Iraq for expressing that opinion. Don't get in the way of a freight train headed to war.
Its a tough jobCaptain Morgan
Feb 17, 2003 2:19 PM
I agree that it would be impossible for the U.S. to head off all terrorist attacks. Sad, but true. Your comment that they couldn't find one vial of poison is the exact reason the inspections process is a mockery.

Yes, Iraq harbored terrorists. In particular, an infamous Palestinian bomber was given safe haven in Iraq, all the while with Iraq denying he was there. He died this year (or late last year), and Iraq finally admitted it.
But someones gotta do it...hycobob
Feb 17, 2003 3:12 PM
Can people really believe that just because SH says he'll do something, he'll di it? If this were true we wouldn't be here. The fools who parrot Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn should try rationalizing their remarks. When they can give an informed intelligent arguement I'll listen...
I think we're mostly seeing the standard anti-war peaceniks...js5280
Feb 17, 2003 11:51 AM
From the media coverage, most of the signs they carry look like the work of standard anti-war peaceniks. Many of them still would protest even if attacked directly. That's not to say all the protestors are this way, but they provide a critcal mass for the protests. Still the numbers don't lie, I think there is significant sway-able supporters that were out there as well. I think the failure has been in selling the initiative, and also part knee-jerk reaction to a conservative President, and the perception of being a cowboy. The best indication is the lack of protest of Clinton's military inventions. Also, I think it could an economy thing, countries don't want to pony up because the Western world has been hit pretty hard. In addition, I see this as some part reaction in the internation realm to Bush ducking the Kyoto agreement. There's a LOT of politics being played here.

I don't quite understand it. I feel okay supporting military intervention this time around, I didn't feel quite that way for GW1, I sat on the fence that time. There seems to be clear evidence that Saddam regime poses a direct threat to U.S. security and an indirect threat as wealthy haven for anti-US interests. There's a threat to our allies as well, but not as much as the U.S. faces. If this is self-interest for the allies, that will come back to haunt them. Guess what might happen next time they have a more immediate threat in their neighborhood? A U.S. that politely ducks out. . .

I'm hoping that some undeniable evidence comes out, hopefully before commiting troops, that gets at least NATO and/or UN on board. I believe its out there, but we can't talk about it yet. SN69 alludes heavily to this. Right now, I think we're seeing a lot of political maneuvering going on on the anti-war side instead of issue that really is at hand. It needs to be overcome, and quickly.
what if NATO never gets on board?ColnagoFE
Feb 17, 2003 1:10 PM
I think that is a bad situation all around. Right now we are the good guys. If we attack then we risk reprisals from countries that are on the fence with us now. I think the whole pro/anti war thing hinges on whether you believe SH to be a legitamate threat or that the government is not telling us the entire truth.
I wonder why the definition of threat has changed so dramaticallyjs5280
Feb 17, 2003 1:52 PM
We've been involved in MUCH smaller skirmishes with FAR less significance to U.S. national security with little protest and widespread support. Why the change? What was the major U.S. interest in Somalia or Kosovo? I disagreed with those actions back then, I'm by no means a hawk, I'm tend to be an isolationist but realize the need to intervene occasionally when national security (in a strict sense) is at stake. I do also believe our past meddling has promoted the situation were in. What scares me is Iraq receives so much credibility and the U.S. so little nowdays. I see this breaking down on liberal vs. conservative lines more and more. Liberals want to believe that all people want to be good, war is always bad, and somehow convinced themselves the trinkets Saddam throws out as evidence of good faith are signs of him reforming. Yeah right, he's a lamb. We need to starting rolling footage of his atrocities every night on the news, that tends to convince liberals because they feel bad when they see dead innocent people, it seemed to work in Somalia or Kosovo at least. Frame this as a Human Rights issue (like Somalia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan) and I bet opposition dwindles quickly.

I have little doubt that Iraq is trying to delay till summer time because that would make military action much more difficult and most likely postpone action till fall. More time for Saddam to build his army, weapons programs, exploit anti-war sentiments, and build a larger anti-US contingent in the Moslem world, and worse yet in Iraq making a regime change that much more differcult. Saddam is no idiot, long standing tyrants never are because they'd be overthrown quickly. I would like to see both UN and NATO on board, my guess if one hops on, we'll go, and the remaining organization will follow suit when light of Saddam's true actions and intentions are exposed.
Somalia and Kosovo were humanitarian missions...PdxMark
Feb 17, 2003 2:33 PM
Neither was a case of a country, or part of one, threatening the US an an ally. The goal was to defend people where they lived. The threat was not to the US, or any US ally. The threat in Somalia was from warlords and chaos. In Kosovo, Yugoslav troops and Yugoslav-supported militias were imposing, or mobilizing to impose, the ethnic cleansing that had previously occurred in Bosnia.

The difference between these and Iraq is that our government is justifying initiation of a war because of a perceived threat against the US. That threat is that the WMDs that Iraq probably has COULD be used against the US. My view of the Administration's problem is that there is no evidence of any act by Iraq that its WMD are going to be used on the US.

The credibility gap you refer to is the crux of the matter. Folks who are pro-GW2 feel that Iraq's mere possession of WMD, in defiance of UN resolutions, justifies a war to sweep Iraq clean. I don't know about others who oppose the war, but my opinion is that preemptive war can be justified on only very narrow grounds of a clear and imminent threat of attack. Pro-war folks say the threat is Iraq's possession of WMD. I think they might not think imminenece matters much.

My opinion is that Iraq has had them for 15+ years and there's no evidence that Iraq has allowed them to be threatened against the US. The "imminent" threat has been in place for 15+ years, or the 10+ years since GW1, or the 4+ years since inspections stopped. In any case, these things have been around years, I just don't see the imminence of a threat.

As for the approaching summer, GWB has boxed himself into a corner. He mobilized for war assuming the justification would fall into place. The "justification" to date is "likely possession." He now has to follow-through with war or look like a weak incompetent by withdrawing our troops or leaving them to languish for months in the sunmmer. His choice is clear.
So does that make Saddam a humanitarian?js5280
Feb 17, 2003 8:12 PM
I mean if it's justifable for the U.S. to intervene where leaders/warlords violate basic human rights doesn't that imply that Saddam isn't commiting gross human right abuses? This is the duplicity I don't understand from the anti-war opposition. Not only has Saddam perpetuated human rights abuses; including murder (even upon his own in-laws), ethic cleasing (Kurds), launching SCUDs against Isreal, and two imperialistic attempts (Kuwait, Iran). How does his actions fail to meet the requirement that justifed action in Somalia and Kosovo? WMDs should be the icing on the cake that something needs to be done sooner rather than later if using precedence. I do belive portraying Saddam as a routine violator of human rights is the route GWB needs to take to get countries on board. That's what the political left (liberal,socialist, etc.) respond too and they seem to be the opposition here.

Why people don't percieve an imminent threat as more dangerous or the two, I don't understand. Finally, if you applied the logic to gun control, isn't this like letting a violent criminal legally possess a weapon? There may be no immediate indication they might use it, so do we just let it slide?

I guess we could sit out Saddam reign, much like we do with Castro. However I see Saddam as being a much bigger threat and a history of projecting power beyond the Iraqi borders unlike Castro. If the U.S. minded it's own business, then maybe Iraq isn't such a threat, but that's not the case now. I do agree though that we should be out so much meddling in other countries affairs though. That's what makes us a target. Maybe this the first sign that the world doesn't want a global policeman? Somehow though I think this is just politics.
GW2 is not about Saddam's human rights abuses...PdxMark
Feb 17, 2003 9:14 PM
it could be, but it's not, according to GWB, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, the UN Security Council (up through resolution 1441), etc. GW2 is about Iraq possessing WMD. GWB said so in his State of the Union Address.

The "duplicity" you see is not from the anti-war opposition, its coming from the Bush Administration. A war against Iraq for Saddam's human rights violations might be wholely justified, but that's not the war that GWB is planning to have fought and that's not the basis of UN Resolution 1441. What I don't get about pro-war cheerleaders is that they can't even keep straight what this war is supposedly about.

As for Iraq projecting power beyond its borders, another possible reasonable justification is protection of Iraq's immediate neighbors. But they aren't asking for this war, so the US can hardly rely on that rationale.

No. This war is about Iraq having WMD that might/could be used against the US. There is no public evidence that Iraq has done anything, not a single step, toward making such an attack. If there were such evicence, such as passing WMD to terrorists, then maybe this war would be justified. But every time the Administration tries to link Al Qaeda to Iraq it has to backtrack for lack of evidence.

We are about to launch a preemptive war to prevent a possible attack of which there is no public evidence. Think back through history to what other countries launched preemptive wars with similar justifications. Germany and Japan during WW2 come to mind. Does anyone recall a "just" preemptive self-defense war in which no there was no clear threat of imminent attack? I'd love to hear about it, because I can't come up with one.

My personal opinion is that that GWB's fear/concern about another 9/11 has us willing to hunt down every bogeyman we can find, regardless of whether they have directly threatened us or not. We are on a Crusade to rid the world of Evil (meaning conceivable threats to America). The problem the rest of the world sees is that this subjective view of "Threat to America" really has no limits.
Agreed. . .js5280
Feb 17, 2003 10:49 PM
It hasn't been sold that way, but it probably should be in addition to the WMD issue. Not that it would suddenly change world opinion though. You make some good points above although comparing this Japan's sneak attack on the U.S. might be a little much, but point taken. It was a delibrate attack to weaken a known, but not formally announced enemy. Not great diplomacy on part of the Japanesse but it was a somewhat effective military tactic. I doubt that the U.S. will attack till something authorizing it is on the UN books. That is my preference as well. Also we can't simply afford to do the whole operation ourselves. Still I don't see Iraq showing much progress in disarming so I think it will come down to military intervention eventually.

Found this link on Iraq's history to comply with Arms Control treaties. I thought it was particularly good; current, factual, objective, and comprehensive. Looks like they update it fairly often.
http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2002_10/iraqspecialoct02.asp
wasn't my pointDougSloan
Feb 18, 2003 7:58 AM
My point in posting was not to justify a war based upon Saddam having killed Muslims, although it is fuel for the fire (no pun intended).

The point is to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the protesters. They protest a war, partly on the basis that Iraqi citizens will be killed, but apparently ignoring the fact that Saddam has already killed and will continue to kill far more than we ever would in a full scale war. What this really shows is that the protests are in reality either anti-Bush (they still can't handle the fact that he was elected), or anti-America (mostly the foreign protests). If this weren't true, they'd be demanding we take out Saddam, the murderous tyrant that he is.

Doug
I don't understand most protesters either...PdxMark
Feb 18, 2003 8:50 AM
For the most part, I don't think there's actually a unified position.

From many of the folks I've talked to, ok, my friends, I think they are mainly anti-war under almost any circumstances, so far as GW2 goes. Many opposed the war in Afgahnistan - despite it being in response to a direct attack. I don't agree with that position, but I really think it goes to convictions that are much deeper than just anti-GWB.
I supposeDougSloan
Feb 18, 2003 9:06 AM
But being blanket "anti-war" means that you'll consistently oppose war, even if greater wrongs are being done or will be done without war. Sure, people opposed our involvment in WWII, if you can believe that. Being totally anti-war must involve a great deal of naivety and ignorance; what if we'd stopped Germany 5 years sooner? Millions of Jews and others would not have suffered horrible deaths.

I don't recall hearing about any protesters, though, when Clinton was bombing various countries during his 8 years. I don't recall people protesting Saddam invading Kuwait (clearly an act of unjustified war). That's what makes me think it's hypocritical and largely politically motivated.

Doug
Should we take out every murderous tyrant?Steve98501
Feb 19, 2003 5:24 PM
Oops, what about the murderous tyrants we install and support? Consistency is such a problem.
The delayryder1
Feb 18, 2003 4:40 AM
There is no doubt SH is playing the same old delay game. The scary part is, I do believe GWB has his own time table and will not let this thing play out past March. In their own words, it is "a matter of weeks". This means if they don't do some serious convincing soon or don't find any smoking gun soon, it will be us and Great Britain on our own. This has a serious "colonial" ring to it and will open the door for a widening conflict.
re: Not as many as Sharon...jrm
Feb 17, 2003 3:37 PM
He is the reason in part why the middle eastern region is so unstable. Talk about a larger threat to a region and or nation. And the US continues to pump billions in to a country that isnt part of NATO but has nukes, chem and bio weapons.
More anti-semitisimAlpedhuez55
Feb 17, 2003 4:34 PM
Gee JRM, More anti-semitism from you. What a suprise. Just blame the Jews for everything!!! Last week it was the Jewish Media now it is Israel defending their own territory being a larger threat to us then Sadam. What will it be next week? Sure there is room for a lot of arguments, but not hate speach.

Well, first off, if Israel did not have nukes, do you think it would still exist? Also I have never heard of Israel making a threat against the US. Hamas is threatening to bring Suicide bombers to the US and encouraging Iraq to do the same. And by the way, though we we did not feel that way at the time, we owe a debt to Israel for blowing up that nuclear reactor France sold Iraq in 1981 or we Sadam would have nukes now!!!

Israel is far from a peaceful society. I do not agree with some of their tactics that are injuring innocent Palestinians, but if I were put in their situation, I do not know if I would do the same. When there was presure from the US to find a peaceful solution Hamas responded by stepping up Suicide bombings to kill the peace talks. Otherwise, there may be more stability in the region. Blaming instability in the region on Israel is wrong. It is groups like Hamas that are preventing peace.

You are trying to bring hate to the debate with your recent comments JRM. That is very wrong. There are room for a lot of arguments in this debate, but your antisemitic posts are offensive.

Mike Y.
Tomorrow you wake up as a PalistinianSteve98501
Feb 19, 2003 5:40 PM
Now, what would you do? You are not a citizen. Your travel in your own homeland is restricted by Israel. Your ability to have and hold a job is restricted by the Israeli government. You live in a desert, and water is allocated such that Palistinians get 10% per capita what Israeli citizens get. What infrastructure exists is systematically blown to bits by Iraeli military/U.S. funded weapons. How will you get ahead economically, socially, culturally? How is your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness coming along? Come on, buck up, be a good little towel-head (being facetious here) and accept what little your Jewish lords allow you in your own homeland. I cannot understand why so many don't see the connection that U.S.' unwavering support of Israel as it severely subjugates Palistinians undermines our credibility throughout much of the world. Not to mention that we have far more Arab enemies than might otherwise be the case.

I don't know about jrm's motives, but criticizing Israeli actions is hardly anti-Jewish; it can be very much pro-humanitarian, pro-human rights for Palistinians.
You're right...kindasn69
Feb 19, 2003 7:26 PM
I thoroughly agree with your points about Israel's subjugation of the Palestinians. I also agree that to criticize Israel isn't anti-Semetic. However--and perhaps it was only a poor choice of words or a misconstrued context--you're statement about "Jewish lords" is problematic at best. How about some other variations of easily combined and (unfortunately) oft hear epithets like "duplicitous Orientals," "terrorists Muslims," "hate-mongering Christians," "lazy Mexicans," and so on and so forth.

Is the Israeli government Jewish? You bet. Is it a Jewish state? Yup. Is Italy Catholic? Yes. Can we lay the blame for their internal and global blunders on Catholocism as a whole? No. How about Germany and the Scandinavian/Baltic nations...shall we blame Lutherines for their issues? Not hardly.

Steve, I'm Jewish. I'm American. I've got BIG PROBLEMS with Israel and I applaud their growing left wing movement that opposes the settlements and advocates full, equitable civil rights for the Palestinians. I'm not alone either.

The point is, being Jewish doesn't define one's nationality nor does it automatically define one's social awareness or appreciation of other cultures. For that matter, no religion necessarily does. So how about you don't automatically lump us in with the government of the nation of Israel which also happens to be mostly Jewish. Big deal.

As for my pal jrm, if you read through his/her past posts, you'll find blatantly anti-semetic comments about the "Jewish conspiracy" and other such crap. JRM is a typical school-yard bully who seeks to poke others in the eye to offset his/her own sense of self hatred and inadequacy. Those other repugnant terms are the sort of things his ilk fall back on to provide some meager measure of self-worth in an otherwise bleak reality of weakness and self-loathing.

Scott
Poor choicesSteve98501
Feb 20, 2003 11:40 AM
Scott,

I fell prey to one of the problems with written and cyber-space communications. I used the term "Jewish lords" in the same sense as the reference to Palistinian "towel heads." Neither is appropriate, and neither reflects my personal values or beliefs. That's a danger of using sarcasm in this context. Instead of "Jewish lords" I should have used something like "Israeli government overlords." I apologize for confusing the religion and ethnicity with the state of Israel. That was not intentional.

I know that not all Jewish people support the actions of the Israeli government. The middle east is not a part of the world I was ever much interested in, but for its newsworthyness - unrest and oil. What little I do know about Israel I get from a Jewish woman I've known about 10 years. She strongly opposes the behavior of the Jewish government. She and her husband travel to Israel and Gaza from time to time for humanitarian work - she in women's health and he trains therapists in treating torture survivors. Unfortunately, there is much work in both those fields in that part of the world.

As a result of my friends' work, I get incensed, perhaps too easily, at the criticism of Palistinians as terrorists, when the Israeli government, with full U.S. support, daily terrorizes a population of Arab Muslims as a way of life. And I believe we'll never get any closer to solving Arab-Muslim terrorist actions against the U.S. unless and until we begin to understand and address the root causes of the problem. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Palistinian mothers do not raise their sons to become suicide bombers. It's an action born of hopelessness that an organization such as Hamas can easily seize upon and use to facilitate their own agenda, which may well extend beyond Palistinian autonomy.

To the extent that we ignore the root cause of this Arab animosity toward the U.S., we do at our own peril. What are we to do after whacking Saddam? Install our own brutal, but U.S. friendly, despot, such as we did in the case of the Shah of Iran? Will we solve the mid-east and terrorism crisis by systematically causing "regime" changes wherever the U.S. administration believes it necessary to secure ourselves from terrorism? Except that the plan is fundamentally flawed and encourages, rather than discourages, terrorism against our country.

We peaceniks aren't necessarily anti-Bush (altho it's difficult not to be), definitely aren't anti-U.S. (this is my country!), and don't consider opposing war with Iraq as equivalent to caving in to Saddam or the European nations opposing our war intentions. I have a family, job, and hobbies to occupy my time and energy. But some of us like to think things through, trying to link our prospective actions with a desired future outcome, and finding a major disconnect.

This forum can foster thoughtful dialog, and I hope we're all better informed because of it. Successful democracy is contingent on an informed citizenry.

Steve
Tomorrow you wake up as a PalistinianAlpedhuez55
Feb 20, 2003 1:38 PM
First off, JRM has a history of making Anti-Semitic posts. THis last one included. You can have a debate without hate speech. His motives are clear whenever he makes his statements. Maybe you should examine some of the Jewish Conspiracy posts he has made. His posts have nothing to do with Human Rights. His remarks are hate filled.

If you offered me an all expenses paid trip to Israel I would say thanks but no thanks. If I were a Palestinian, I would save all my money and try to move to another country the first chance I got. There are minority groups on both sides that want all of the other out of that region.

I met a fine member of the Israeli Military one time in a bar a few years ago. He asked me if I had a scredriver. He was putting together a Switch Blade Knife (which is illegal to posses in Massachusetts) with a Dime because he could not wait to get home and use a screwdriver. He went into the Israeli Army after a stint in the US military because he said he "Wanted to see some action"!!! He also complained about Soldier of Fortune Magazine, which he was reasing, no longer taking mercenary for hire ads!!! I also know a Canadian who was a UN peacekeeper there for a while. He talked about Israeli civilians going into Palestine settlements in the middle of the night and firing guns into houses to wake and terrorize them.

Well, I guess the water rationing could be considered a form of sanctions. I do not agree with Israel on thinlgs like that. I think the are a small step above South Africa. But I think they are the lesser of many evil states in that middle east. That does not say a lot for that region.

THere have been attempts at peace in the last few years but Hamas will not let work. That is unfortunate. THat is one of the problems with Terrorism.

Mike Y.
Tomorrow you wake up as a PalistinianSteve98501
Feb 20, 2003 5:27 PM
Mike,

True, I don't know jrm or his politics.

As you can see, I'm a bit sensitive about unqualified U.S. support of Israel and these terrorism-quashing arguments that ignore the inevitable connection between the U.S.-Israel relationship and Arab-Muslim animosity toward the U.S.

I think terrorism can occur in forms other than bombs and suicide bombers. Economic terrorism through some channels, IMF comes to mind, is an action that directly harms non-combatants, degrading if not destroying economic, social, and cultural institutions and attributes of some developing countries. And then we have the nerve to say we're doing it for their own good. Or in this case, we provide economic and military aid to Israel in such immense quantity I'm told that the standard of living in Israel for Israelis is higher than that of the U.S., though I have no documentation of that. Providing that weaponry to Israel does not make the U.S. directly responsible for Israeli subjugation of Palistinians, but I can see how an Arab person might logically link the U.S. to those actions with all that "made in the USA" equipment and munitions. So you also see that connection?

Now, if you were a Palistinian and you saved all your money, you might find that a lot of places would not be too happy to receive you. So to keep this playing field fairly real, you're still stuck in Israel, haven't been able to work steadily in over a year, so you have been depleting what savings you had. What are you going to do?

Water allocation isn't so much a sanction as discrimination, or perhaps a form of socio-economic terrorism. It directly harms non-combatant Palistinians by inhibiting their ability to develop economically, socially, culturally. You might say it prevents living a "normal" life. Perhaps it is a less noticable form of terrorism.

Is it only Hamas that will not let peace work? I feel that Israel prevents peace from having any chance of success by stifling any chance of Palistinians having a reasonable life and livlihood in their own homeland. That's what most of them want. Even if they don't much care for the Israelis, most just want to be able to live their own lives, peacably, work, play, educate their young, live and travel freely, etc. Like most of us. But they cannot. What would you do?

The Palistinian reaction seems pretty human. They're telling their oppressor to watch their backs, 24/7. That the oppressors will never know peace and safety while the oppressed live in hopelessness. In that situation, I might do the same.

I hope you enjoy this discourse as much as I do. There is much to learn.

Steve
There was a terrific Frontline aboutsn69
Feb 20, 2003 6:59 PM
the peace process, particularly about the deal that Barak and Erekat brokered that fell apart due to two reasons. One was internal and one was externally cultural.

The truth is that most Israelis that I've ever spoken to want peace, as do most Palestinians. Like you so correctly observed, no mother raises her child to be a terrorist. ...Well, most don't at least.

The internal issue was (is) Sharon. This guy is a hard-line right wing extremist who was even considered dangerous by people like Dian, Rabin and Meyer. He slaughtered innocents in the Bekkah valley in a fashion similar to Custer and the Cheyenne. One doesn't need to be a goose stepping white supremicist (or jrm) to be a fascist/Nazi. Sharon is also a typical power hungry political animal. He knew that a trip to Temple Mount on the eve of the peace deal would fuel the rage of the Palestinians in Jerusalem and thus re-spark the Intifada that Erekat had finally silenced. Sharon wanted to amp-up the pressure on Barak as a means to gain power.

...But that was only half of it. As the Israeli's worked the peace deal and withdrew from the Bekkah under US pressure, Hamas and Hezbollah saw it as a strategic military victory. They, in turn, added to the carnage of the Intifada and began a series of suicide bombings and raids on various settlements. That is the cultural issue. Whereas the Palestinian, American and Israeli governments saw the withdrawl as part of the peace deal, the terror groups saw it as a justification for their actions. The viscious cycle grew even more violent and Barak's government collapsed. ...And so did the peace deal.

That said, I don't think that the average Israeli or Palestinian wants this to continue. The extremists, however, justify their actions based on prejudices, hatred and the inablity to forgive. Hamas, Hezbollah, the Lubovitch settlers...it doesn't matter. Extremist groups on both sides hate with such passion and fury that they progressively lose the ability to see reality, namely that this is destroying the region and their own people.

As for what is "human" and what is not, I'll say as a professional military officer that the wholesale assault on Jenin was not warranted and was clumsy at best and murderously negligent at worst. However, the constant suicide bombings on civilian targets within Israel are equally appaling. It's got to end. No one side can claim these activities are justified. Wrong is wrong.

If you look back through some of my other posts, Steve, you'll also note my opinions and theories about how the rest of the Middle Eastern governments regard Israel. It's an odd, duplicitous relationship that offers great catharsis and scape-goatism for the various dictatorships (many of which we shamelessly belly-up to...but that's a disgusted rant for a different day/time).

The puppeteers behind the various terrorist groups are taking advantage of much the same opportunities in terms of swaying recruits from the impoverished masses of Chechens, Arabs, Persians, Palestinians, Egyptians, Indonesians, etc. They prey on the angry young masses the same way that cults do, and I doubt that Osama Bin Idiot, Abu Sayaf, Hamas or whomever would exhibit a changed outlook on the west if Israel were to be destroyed. These people--the leadership of these groups--exhibit a sort of sociopathic pathology that transcends political or philosophical ideals. They are murders, both of the innocents they kill and of the people they sway into their warped worlds.

Again, I realize this opens a pandora's box relating to institutional terrorism, economic warfare and such. I'm not debating that at present. Rather, I'm pointing out that the depths of this tragic cycle go far deeper than the simplistic assertation that Israel as a nation/state is evil. Remember, before the original UN resolution, the Palestinian Jews and Muslims fought the Egyptians side-by-side from '45-'47. Furthermore, the Ko
part 2sn69
Feb 20, 2003 7:00 PM
Again, I realize this opens a pandora's box relating to institutional terrorism, economic warfare and such. I'm not debating that at present. Rather, I'm pointing out that the depths of this tragic cycle go far deeper than the simplistic assertation that Israel as a nation/state is evil. Remember, before the original UN resolution, the Palestinian Jews and Muslims fought the Egyptians side-by-side from '45-'47. Furthermore, the Koran cites Jews and Christians as "sons of Abraham," and worthy of respect. This is not a religious conflict.

Also, the standard of living in Israel for Israelis is no doubt better than the oppressed Palestinians. But whoever told you they live better than we Americans was smokin' dope Steve. Inflation is off the scale there and real earnings are very low. That's why so many Jewish extremists are so fervently lobbying Sharon for more settlement expansion. It has nothing to do with ancient terretorial lands. It's simply about affordable real estate, and most of the Lubovitch (and other) extremists can't afford to live in Haifa, Tel Aviv or the other cities.

I think the final note is the most tragic, specifically that the best hope for equitable peace in the area was killed by those who were technically his own, even though they showed that extremism of any sort is dangerous and without loyalty. His name was Yitzahk Rabin.

Regards,
Scott
ThanksSteve98501
Feb 21, 2003 12:37 PM
Scott,

I appreciate your knowledgable and thoughtful post. I wonder if the extreme leadership on both sides are sociopaths. The few Jewish and Arab people I've met are supportive of peace and equity among all the inhabitants. If the U.S. is going to continue to be involved in the middle east, and our interests necessitate that, then I want to see our behavior as less partisan. I believe we have the power, and should use it, to persuade Israel to behave even-handedly, else we'll buy an alliance other than Israel's.

Steve
Back at yasn69
Feb 21, 2003 7:17 PM
Open dialog and receptive listening, I think, are the keys to learning. That, in turn, is the key to growth and success.

Now...if this bleepety bleeping weather would break so we could all go out and ride....

Have a good weekend,
Scott
Tomorrow you wake up as a PalistinianAlpedhuez55
Feb 20, 2003 7:37 PM
I too enjoy the discourse. You make a great argument. Isreal is far from a benevolent Regime. Hopefully they will make some reforms from within. It just seems nomatter what is tried there, nothing seems to work.

I do not think the US support in unqualified. Both Clinton & Bush have been critical of Israel in the past. They are our closest friend in a very important region.

I do not agreee that any terrorist attack is a "Human Reaction" though, even in Palestine. Hamas is an evil organization and killed any chance of Peace in Israel in the last few years. There are better ways to bring about change than Violence. Violence should be a last resort. While Israel is somewhat oppressive, I think they are largely forced into being so.

Mike Y.
Mike,sn69
Feb 20, 2003 7:53 PM
You know, it might sound odd but having worked with so many other militaries over the years, I really believe that our two best friends are England and Australia. Granted, Israel is our one sure thing in that region, but I've always felt that their alliance was somewhat dubious. We provided for a large degree of their survival throughout the years, although their own tenacity and superior tactics did 90% of the job. (Yes, they are THAT good.) Still, they sank one of our Navy ships in '67 and strafed the survivors in the water. That still bugs me.

...That and port calls on the carrier in Perth and Sidney rock!

Now...back to important stuff, namely the new John Cobb/Bicyclesports catalog that arrived today. Can you say "drooool?!"

Scott
I don't know the answer, either.Steve98501
Feb 21, 2003 12:58 PM
Mike,

Our little corner of this thread has been informative, and I appreciate it. Wherever I can, I bring up the U.S./Israeli/Palistinian connection to our "war on terrorism" because it gets too little attention, and I don't think forcing a regime change in Iraq will do much to reduce terrorist actions against the U.S.

We can disagree about the nature of our support of Israel. To criticize Israel for the gov't's actions against Palistinian non-combatants is one thing. If I could, I'd give the Israeli gov't a more forceful response. I'd forge an alliance with the Palistinian authority, with an intent to defend them, measure for measure, every bit as much as we've defended Israel for over 50 years. Even that might be too little and too late, but it would get Israel's attention like nothing else could. Plus, I believe it would score major diplomatic points with the Arab governments that are actually worth our caring about.

Indications are that the Israelis are our allies mainly because we "buy" it from them in the form of immense foreign and military aid. Perhaps we could get as good an offer from another provider? Of course, I don't think we'd ever go that far because of the influencial Jewish-American population. But I'd like to see us push it. I just hate it when we (U.S.) criticize one human rights abuser while at the same time supporting or proping up another, elsewhere. It reflects poorly on my country, which in turn reflects poorly upon me.

Thanks for the discussion.

Steve