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Are you surprised the Iraqi people want us out now?(86 posts)

Are you surprised the Iraqi people want us out now?ColnagoFE
Apr 18, 2003 12:05 PM
Not that they had any love for the US before, but now that we removed Big Bad Saddam from power they wnt us the hell out of their country. Big surprise. Did we expect them to be grateful or something?
What is your source for that statement?Live Steam
Apr 18, 2003 12:13 PM
From what I have read and seen reported, they are meeting on a regular basis with military leaders to get the infrastructure back up and running. They have also requested that we police the streets while they get a new government in order. They do not want ex-Saddam police to return to their posts for fear they will continue with reprisals against the general population. Please site your source for this allegation :O)
CNNColnagoFE
Apr 18, 2003 1:16 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/04/18/sprj.irq.war.main/index.html

a ways down on the page they say:

..."Meanwhile, in the Iraqi capital, thousands of Iraqis rallied near the center of Baghdad following Friday prayers, demanding an end to what they called a coalition "occupation" of their country.

The demonstrations centered around the Abu Hanifa Mosque, as Sunni and Shiite Muslims were holding a unity rally.

Banners carried by the surging crowd said "Iraq ruled by Iraqis," "No occupation" and "Unity." Demonstrators chanted anti-American slogans.

The minority Sunni Muslims make up about a third of Iraq's population, but have held political power for decades by repression of the Shiite majority, which comprises up to two-thirds of the population.

Iman Ahmed Qubeisi, a prominent Shiite cleric, told the crowd that there is no difference between the Muslim sects. Religious differences have split the groups for 13 centuries."
How soon they forget. nmpurplepaul
Apr 18, 2003 1:28 PM
Indeed. Pick up a History book sometime. . .czardonic
Apr 18, 2003 1:38 PM
. . .you'll be shocked at the ingratitude that occupied people's are capable of.
Yeah, those Germans and Japanese really suffered. nmpurplepaul
Apr 18, 2003 1:54 PM
So did the Vietnamese.czardonic
Apr 18, 2003 2:04 PM
Honestly, are you actually so naive as to sincerely believe that Iraqi resistance to American occupation is some kind of abheration?
Plonk... nm.purplepaul
Apr 18, 2003 2:09 PM
CNN? And we're supposed to take this seriously?Live Steam
Apr 18, 2003 2:21 PM
First the source has proven to be suspect considering the recent revelations by the CNN hierarchy. Second look at who is protesting. The ruling party that wreaked havoc over the other Muslim sects in the country. My question was actually rhetorical as I figured this might be your source. Nice try though :O)
Here is a "fair and balanced" source.czardonic
Apr 18, 2003 3:50 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,84484,00.html

I guess they let some AP propaganda slip through the cracks.
And we're supposed to take you seriously?PdxMark
Apr 18, 2003 4:28 PM
Sheesh. There's not a topic on here to which you don't respond with some generic, vanilla dismissal of the source rather than attempt to discuss the facts, issues or topic at hand. "There you go again," while snappy in a geriatric sense 24 years ago, was not an intelligent retort then and is even less of one now.

So, now that the Fox Reactionary news service has confirmed the information that is the basis of this thread, do you have an opinion to express, or will it be simply another rant about Liberals, Democrats, "panty wastes," Clinton, the French, or some other generic, vanilla right-wing pointless sneer about a group you hate as much as Saddam Hussein?

Let's see if you can discuss the topic without mentioning Liberals, Democrats, etc. Or not.
ROFL O:) That was truly funny! That being said .... :O)Live Steam
Apr 18, 2003 6:34 PM
Oh I believe the entire report and I think we should ask the World to forgive us. We should then buy everyone in Iraq an ice cream cone and leave the country immediately. The US government should provide restitution to each and every Iraqi citizen, let's say somewhere around $10,000 for starters and then maybe $5000 per year afterward, but not before we beg the French to lets us back in their good graces. After that we can call Putin and tell him that the US was wrong and there are no WMD. There never was. It was all a cruel hoax perpetrated by rouge CIA operatives. The propaganda spread by the US and the Fox News Network is reprehensible. I say we overthrow the government and force Fox News to only report on DNC sponsored rallies from now on, and like it. They will be forced to have Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Tom Daschle as "Special Guests" every night. For me, I should be forced to watch Bull Durham over and over again.

Uncle! I give up. It is really me. I have put the twist on reality and the events that have transpired these past 60 days or so. I have been so shamefully blinded by my patriotism. How could I not be enlightened by the sagacious wisdom of czardonic and company. Please accept me into the fold or I will forever hold my head in shame that I supported my government, my flag and my country! I am not worthy of an opinion. I am a conservative! Everyone knows that conservatives lie, cheat and steal from women and children. Heck I even sawed the old man's cane in half and kicked his dog.
You owe me 25 cents.purplepaul
Apr 18, 2003 7:18 PM
Because I patented the combination of sawing the old man's cane and kicking his dog, the one for lying, cheating and stealing from women and children having already been granted to Jesse Jackson.

I knew that patent would pay off sometime. Could I interest you in taking out a bulk license?

But don't give up. As we all know, when you give up, the terrorists win.
'Steam...come on, feeling a little down?cycleaddict
Apr 18, 2003 7:19 PM
Did you get your ego slapped and slighted a little? How does it feel to have to swallow some of the crap you pass around?
PLEASE take my advice and go ride your bike--reflect on your need to belittle and name-call. You write very well,but don't seem to have matured in other areas. Make it a point to say something genuinely nice about us common folks sometimes.
Remember, do unto others.....
Peace.
'Steam...come on, feeling a little down?Live Steam
Apr 19, 2003 3:37 AM
You know Addict I don't know where you get the "name calling" part from. If calling you a Liberal or Leftist offends you in some way, I am sorry. I didn't think they were derogatory terms to someone who leans that way. Now if you called me one of those, that would be downright nasty :O)

Thanks for endorsing my writing skills, but if by maturing you mean that I should endorse lying murderers such as Ted Kennedy, extortionists like Jesse Jackson or treasonous opportunists such as Bill Clinton, then I'd prefer to remain puerile.

And, just to prove I am not such a bad guy and can say something nice about you "common folk", I appreciate your spirit and allegiance to a cause even if it is the wrong cause :O) Now it's almost 7:30am EST and I must get rolling. We're doing a 70 miler out of Cheesequake Park, NJ. Have a great day everyone!
Hey I forgot to add one more .....Live Steam
Apr 21, 2003 6:41 AM
character flaw - philandering - this one is interchangeable with your favorite liberal mentioned above :O)
representative sample?DougSloan
Apr 18, 2003 7:39 PM
What do a couple thousand anything not randomnly chosen out of 20 million or so tell you? Absolutely nothing.

Doug
representative sample?Jon Billheimer
Apr 18, 2003 7:46 PM
Good point, Doug. However, it is simply fatuous to believe that the people of any nation, Iraq or otherwise, are going to love invaders however well intentioned. Much less any Arab nation when it comes to the U.S. There was even substantial anti-American opinion on the street in Kuwait after GW1. Furthermore, human emotions and public opinion are fickle. Probably some people love the Americans one day and hate them the next. Can you say "ambivalent"?
does that go for american polling as well? (nm)rufus
Apr 19, 2003 7:48 AM
I did mention "non-random" (nm)DougSloan
Apr 19, 2003 3:33 PM
There are many agendas in Iraq but few are goodContinental
Apr 19, 2003 7:47 AM
I'm sure that the Shiite fundementalist want us out of the country so that they can establish a religious state. I'm sure that the Bathe party loyalists want us out of the country so that they can reclaim power. I'm sure that the Kurd separatists want us out of the country so that they can form Kurdistan and extract some revenge. And I'm sure that there's no shortage of tribal leaders yearning for power who want us out of the country. But I'm certain that most Iraqis want us to provide an environment where they can establish order, just rule of law, liberty, and finally democracy both now and for future generations .
There are many agendas in Iraq but few are goodJon Billheimer
Apr 19, 2003 1:44 PM
I'm betting that most Iraqis want a stable environment but probably have mixed- to negative feelings about the Americans providing it. I'm also betting that most Iraqis are glad to be rid of Saddam's brutal dictatorship.

Beyond that, from what I read from various media sources, everything falls apart fast. The Shiite population itself is split into numerous factions. The mullahs have contradictory agendas and their own local power bases. Both Syria and Iran have their proxies in the country. Then the Bush administration is parachuting its expatriate representatives in. All in all it gets pretty confusing and chaotic. Whatever...don't expect unvarnished Iraqi gratitude to the U.S. One day you'll hear positive comments. The next negative. Get used to it.
No surprise here.Sintesi
Apr 19, 2003 2:58 PM
These people have been told that the US is evil, Bush is evil, etc., etc., for the last decade basically. The backwards religious leaders they have think western ideas are evil and ruinous and have been saying so mantra-like since forever. This is all tied to our support of Israel and our disastrous relationship with the former Shah of Iran. Anything pro-Israeli is basically hated in the Arab street. Once again: Why do they hate us? They hate Jews in the MidE. and anyone who helps them.

They have no electric power, water is limited, medicine is limited, food as well, many of their buildings and roads are destroyed, looting is rampant and everything else you can imagine going on in the sections of Iraq where there is now no law whatsoever. They have no news media to speak of, as a result rumors and lies have filled the vacuum. Where once there was at least order there is utter chaos.

This will take time, a decade or so most likely. After such time, provided they get real results and enjoy the first real free democracy in Arab history, they may well thank us. Right now people are hurting and hungry and that makes them irritable and cranky. This would happen anywhere under the same circumstances and anyone who expects otherwise is fooling themselves.
They hate Jews in the MidEpurplepaul
Apr 19, 2003 4:51 PM
I find it amazing, absolutely amazing, that liberals become apoplectic if you SAY anything critical of blacks, hispanics, Arabs, Muslims and any non-Western culture but have no problem, actually expressing solidarity, with those who carry out acts the stated aim of which is the elimination of Jews and their state, Americans and America.

If I were to say, "I hate Arabs and want to kill them," I'd be put in a pillory. I wonder why it doesn't go both ways.
They hate Jews in the Mideast.Sintesi
Apr 19, 2003 6:50 PM
Self loathing. They're ashamed of our past (talking white people history mind you), plus white liberals classically have a paternal regard towards those "of color" and seek to protect them from other white folk. Essentially they see the racist Arabs as misguided children. (talk about misguided)

But you are correct, they (Arabs) are openly anti-semitic and they are rarely called on it internationally. It's abominable that this is accepted and this anti-semitism is as virulently projected as anywhere in Europe during the early 1900's. They hide this bald hatred of the Israelis behind a superior, righteous indignation which they claim because or Israel's sins against the Palestinians yet, hypocritically, justify the Palestinian atrocities as acts of understandable desperation --as if they should be allowed to kill Israelis with impunity! Let's not forget the Arab states have been humiliated repeatedly by Israel in numerous conflicts. I'm sure they're jealous of the Jewish work ethic which gives Israel pretty much a western standard of living. Oh wait democracy, they're jealous of that too. : ) The great Arab cultures don't seem to be trusted to govern themselves by their own leaders. Every Arab leader is a dictator of one sort or another except in Turkey. Now that would rankle anyone.
It's not that simpleTJeanloz
Apr 21, 2003 8:10 AM
It's interesting that most people believe Arabs to be anti-semitic, which I'm not sure is the case. Most Arabs I've seen, particularly those in high places, carefully draw a distinction between Jews and Zionists. In the United States, we are led to believe that "Zionist" is an Arab fancy word for "Jew"- but that is not the case, there is a difference. Israel is truely a boarderline democracy -- and I really don't think most Arabs are jealous of the Israelis. At the core, I don't believe that Arabs dislike Jews per se; they dislike Israelis, and they have a pretty good reason to. But in the U.S., we are led to believe that all Arabs hate all Jews, so that must be the case...
But part of being a bigot is simplifying things.czardonic
Apr 21, 2003 10:10 AM
Arabs are a Semitic people. Wait, is that why they are referred to as "self-loathing" for being anti-Israel?
Don't call me a bigot. Fair warning.Sintesi
Apr 21, 2003 1:24 PM
Am I going to have get after you again? You know I can really spread the love. I'll crawl right up there like last time I swear. SO DON'T ASK FOR IT!
I already did. And as for "last time". . .czardonic
Apr 21, 2003 1:50 PM
. . .I'm still here, aren't I?

So go crawl up yourself and take your ignorant, reductionist rants with you.
I already did. And as for "last time". . .Sintesi
Apr 21, 2003 2:20 PM
Yeah and you turned into a sissy lap dog who started to make nice to everybody because they were almost all jumping on your case. You TOTALLY changed.

I am not ignorant. You simply have not heard me out and, as always, branded me. Talk about reductionism. Anyone who says something to upset you is labelled a "bigot" and dismissed. You do it ALL (!) the time. Nice.

For the record I've had several Muslim friends. One Afghani and two Iranians. My sister almost married and Iranian for chrissake. I believe in a Palestinian state, full retraction of Israeli populations in the occupied territories. But to say the popular Arab media is not Anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic is absolute twaddle. That's forgiving evil.

(piss off with your silly distinctions. I Mean anti-Semite as it is used in this country. The popular definition. Okay? Clear enough? as a matter of fact here is a definition:

an·ti-Sem·ite (an´te-sem?it´, an´ti-) noun
One who discriminates against or who is hostile toward or prejudiced against Jews.
— an´ti-Se·mit?ic (-s?-mit?ik) adjective

Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

all clear now honey?)
<i>Now</i> who's trying to make nice?czardonic
Apr 21, 2003 2:43 PM
Okay, based on your further qualifications I concede that you are not the bigot that your earlier gross generalizations implied.

Sissy lap dog? I think that is a bit much. I will concede that between dealing with you and Doug, I have toned my posts down a fair amount.
<i>Now</i> who's trying to make nice?Sintesi
Apr 21, 2003 3:15 PM
What about your anti-semite point professor?
What about it?czardonic
Apr 21, 2003 3:51 PM
It says something that the very definition of the term reflects such confusion (or perhaps ambivalence) about the complex culture of the Middle East.

As others have alluded to, "Zionism", Israel -- and Judaism, for that matter -- are distinct. When they are lumped together, it usually in a disingenuous attempt to use one to either praise or damn the others. This tactic is used by (some of) Israel's defenders and detractors alike to sidetrack any honest discussion into a mud-slinging match.
I want to lick you.Sintesi
Apr 21, 2003 4:58 PM
You are just so sugar sweet!

Just can't admit when you're wrong can you? You're wrong and your point was merely an attempt to irritate and act superior. Don't give me any of your crap about obfuscation of "honest discussion." You have no intention of trying to keep an issue from being "sidetracked." You're are SO full of it. Sophist. Do you write this blah blah blah to impress who? Yourself. : )

Nicompoopish. In the manner of a nincompoop.
It's <i>you</i> who was wrong and you admitted as much.czardonic
Apr 21, 2003 5:28 PM
Albeit, you didn't have the class to admit it to me.

    "Granted granted granted. I assumed this would be tacitly understood. I never meant for my post to be an all inclusive blanket description of Arabs and all view contained therein. Of course you are right and I apologize to all injured parties. But please the disctinctions you are making is a bit of missing the forest through the trees. I'll also grant your Zionist distinction. So they hate the Jews in Israel. Fine. That's much better." (Sintesi 4/21/03 3:05pm)
    You better apologize for calling me a bigot.Sintesi
    Apr 21, 2003 5:48 PM
    You had no point other than I was a bigot.

    My response was to tjeanloz.

    Quit dodging dingdong.

    Apologize.
    Is <i>this</i> the last straw?czardonic
    Apr 21, 2003 6:05 PM
    My point was obvious to anyone reading the thread, as is the fact that you ultimately saw fit to qualify the statements in question. Whether or not that had anything to do with my post is of no consequence.
    We're not talking about that. We're talking about youSintesi
    Apr 21, 2003 6:18 PM
    calling me a bigot. You attack and dismiss with mischaracterization. I have been here awhile. I deserve better respect. Give and you will get in kind. Apologize.
    I stand by my statement.czardonic
    Apr 22, 2003 10:14 AM
    Your comments, absent the subsequent qualifications, were bigotted.
    Suffer!Sintesi
    Apr 22, 2003 1:22 PM
    I stand by my statement.Sintesi
    Apr 22, 2003 3:01 PM
    It wasn't my statements (it was a misunderstanding) either, it was me (personally) you called a bigot. And you know better. I am not putting up with you. Apologize.

    I am on the case.
    It's not my fault that you expressed yourself poorly.czardonic
    Apr 22, 2003 3:18 PM
    My response was perfectly valid, and your retraction of the sentiments in question was well advised.
    Whatever.Sintesi
    Apr 22, 2003 4:10 PM
    I think you jumped the gun and you should apologize.
    I'd still prefer not. (nm)czardonic
    Apr 22, 2003 4:39 PM
    Don't care what you "prefer."Sintesi
    Apr 22, 2003 7:40 PM
    I'm back on the job my slice of yellow cake with chocolate frosting.
    What you "care" about is irrelevant. (nm)czardonic
    Apr 23, 2003 10:57 AM
    We'll see what you think is irrelevant. APOLOGIZE!! (nm)Sintesi
    Apr 23, 2003 1:25 PM
    When will we see? The anticipation is. . .czardonic
    Apr 23, 2003 9:40 PM
    . . .boring me.
    So bored you respond to every fricken post.Sintesi
    Apr 24, 2003 3:06 PM
    Your words v. your actions.

    What does it say about you?
    I wouldn't say "every". But some of the boring ones for sure.czardonic
    Apr 24, 2003 3:22 PM
    What does it say about me?
    You compulsively have to have the last word.Sintesi
    Apr 24, 2003 4:18 PM
    Don't like it when you're wrong. Can't stand someone getting the upper hand.
    That is pretty friken obvious. Question: . . .czardonic
    Apr 24, 2003 4:39 PM
    Do you think that this grand prosecution of my style and wit (or lack thereof) is bringing to light something that isn't already apparent to anyone on this board who cares about such things?
    This is what should seemingly be so obvious.Sintesi
    Apr 25, 2003 2:27 PM
    "I'm sorry Sintesi, I took issue with your comments I should have given you the benefit of the doubt."
    I don't see why.czardonic
    Apr 25, 2003 3:40 PM
    Apologies are over-rated as it is and meaningless under duress (or the presumption thereof). Plus, you've insisted that my comments are of negligible substance. Under those circumstances, what point would there be?

    Your generalizations were unfair. You were not entitled to the benefit of the doubt to begin with, and are even less so since you have stood by your comments.
    I guess you insist that I am a bigot. That is a personal swipe.Sintesi
    Apr 25, 2003 6:53 PM
    I take exception and it remains that I am no bigot. You make no sense. The original generalization in question "They hate Jews in the midE" was referring to Israel (obviously) although I do believe it often goes beyond that in many instances. "They" referring to the brainwashed, under-informed Arab street, i.e. common wisdom that is readily apparent. This does not at any instance imply that I do not harbor a sympathetic Arab view point as well. Well maybe in your seemingly prejudicial mind.... General terms are commonly used in almost every discussion about world events and it is ludicrous to call anyone on such well worn coin unless there is serious justification. If one were to use a term such as the "racist south" or "communist Russia" one wonders if you would administer your niggardly interpretation as consistently. Especially after repeated clarification. I can only bang my head against a brick wall for so long. Therefore: You will continue to feel my pain.
    But part of being a bigot is simplifying things.Sintesi
    Apr 21, 2003 4:48 PM
    I decided I want an apology. And don't be a smartass either. I'll give you an hour or it's on.

    Okay sugar?
    The stage is yours.czardonic
    Apr 21, 2003 5:24 PM
    I'm sure what ever "it" is that is going to be "on" will be grand diversion for all to behold.

    First "honey", then "sugar". Do I detect a "sweets" theme? Or have I interupted more extensive salvo of sarcastically framed terms of endearment? I can't figure out which I'd prefer. The former seems limited, but it would be quite impressive to see you sustain it without devolving into predictable redundancies ("sugar pie", "honey cake", etc.). You avoid this requirement with the latter, but do you not also avoid the potential for novelty? I suppose that for the time being both deliver in the field of anticipation!

    So?
    Alright.Sintesi
    Apr 21, 2003 5:50 PM
    you asked for it cupcake.
    Sintesi, just ignore him/her. It takes a little whilepurplepaul
    Apr 21, 2003 5:32 PM
    to realize who does/does not have anything of value to say.

    I don't know what czar said that pissed you off since I no longer bother to read his/her posts. But you might be a little happier if you give his/her posts the lack of attention they deserve.
    Trust me. He doesn't need your help. (nm)czardonic
    Apr 21, 2003 5:55 PM
    Sintesi, just ignore him/her. It takes a little whileSintesi
    Apr 21, 2003 5:56 PM
    Don't worry about me, Buddy. I'm not as pissed as you may think. Czardonic is always disingenuous. He effects this "personae" and he's a troll. Once upon a time he had 5 or 6 different people just hating his guts. It got so bad he had a sudden personality change and started being considerate and genial. He'll do it again. Trust me. ;)

    I got all day for this stuff. Feel free to ignore us.
    Gasp! Did you tip your hand?czardonic
    Apr 21, 2003 6:13 PM
    Could it be that you are simply setting me up so that the second I post something that does not inspire hatred of my guts you can trumpet your prediction of my impending polar switch to mild-mannered geniality?
    Gasp! Did you tip your hand?Sintesi
    Apr 21, 2003 6:31 PM
    How long have you spent analyzing my posts so far? You really got the gears in spin. I LIKE THE WAY YOU MOVE. Hey why don't you dig up some of moneyman's moldy old posts while you're at it. C'mon for old time's sake. How about Doug? What do you do? Keep notebook for that stuff?

    Could it be you wanted to deflate the painful "gotcha" by being the first to state it, thus robbing it of its sarcastic, chiding powers? Maybe I should hop on that friendly encyclopedic HTML thing you got going on upstairs and you can repost your stunning fore thought.

    The second you post something that "inspires hatred."

    One wonders how many people "hate your guts" this time around. You got a new fan club? Same old Czardonical, man you were doing so well too.
    As long as it's good clean fun...purplepaul
    Apr 21, 2003 6:33 PM
    Now I imagine him/her as just a bored housefrau in a muumuu.
    Don't know about the housefrau part. : ) nmSintesi
    Apr 21, 2003 6:36 PM
    And Europeans weren't all anti-semites in the 19th Century.Sintesi
    Apr 21, 2003 2:05 PM
    But Europe was anti-Semitic and in many ways remains so.

    Granted granted granted. I assumed this would be tacitly understood. I never meant for my post to be an all inclusive blanket description of Arabs and all view contained therein. Of course you are right and I apologize to all injured parties. But please the disctinctions you are making is a bit of missing the forest through the trees. I'll also grant your Zionist distinction. So they hate the Jews in Israel. Fine. That's much better.

    BTW, I've read Arab media in translation and plenty of it (not all, okay?) absolutely seethes. Popular media. It's open and accepted. If it wasn't why doesn't it stop? Because it is accepted. Any other free country this crap would be roundly shouted down. The general population would be ashamed. But that ain't the case.

    I don't understand "borderline democracy" Every citizen over the age 18 can vote. And why wouldn't the Arabs under opressive regimes not be jealous of having rights of man, right to vote, Freddom of expresion, assembly, etc... You don't think the Arabs aren't desirous of a higher standard of living?
    "Boarderline democracy"TJeanloz
    Apr 21, 2003 2:55 PM
    Voting is only good if candidates are allowed. Israel's Central Elections Commission has done an excellent job of disqualifying candidates based on statements that they MIGHT have made about Israels right to exist as a Jewish state (not as a state, as a Jewish state). It's a classic case of "you can vote for whomever you want, as long as the establishment is O.K. with him (or her)." Some democracy.
    "Boarderline democracy"purplepaul
    Apr 21, 2003 3:34 PM
    So, then, I assume you are against France's Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy when he stated: "Islamic law will not apply anywhere," he said, "because it is not the law of the French republic."

    This in response to a call by a significant portion of France's population for sharia in that country.

    Do you really find it so amazing that a Jewish state would want leaders who do not favor its dismantling? Or do you favor an Islamist France?
    "Boarderline democracy"Sintesi
    Apr 21, 2003 3:37 PM
    But there are Arab/Muslim parties, Green parties, Parties that are for a Pro-Palestinian statehood, land for peace et. al.. What about Shimon Peres or Yhitzak Rabin ("the martyr for peace") He was the PM of the fricken govt. It wasn't always Sharon and Netanyahu. I do think a myraid of ideas are well represented in the Israeli Govt. You certainly can say what you want in Israeli media, protest Israeli incursions into Jeruselem, the Hebron, etc.... A very healthy voicing of irreverent opinion.

    If it isn't a democracy I don't know what is. Perhaps there would be greater (i.e. acceptable to you) enfranchisement if they weren't in a constant state of war. I think you should give them a break. The place is absolutely admirable considering the circumstances of its birth and survival over the last 50 years. These people respect human rights (yes, you need not point out the Israeli atrocities and suppressions to me. That is also present.), they are democratic.
    "Boarderline democracy"TJeanloz
    Apr 22, 2003 9:06 AM
    I frankly don't see how throwing out a democratically elected member of the Knesset, because the party in power doesn't like his politics, is democratic.

    As to the issue of France (mentioned above somewhere), if there were sufficient support to make a change to the French Constitution to make Islam the official religion, then I don't see why not. If you could convince enough people to make the 28th Amendment to the Constitution a repeal of the 1st Amendment, it might not be great -- but that's democracy.

    The idea that Israelis respect human rights is almost laughable, considering that their Prime Minister was culpable in at least three incidents of "crimes against humanity". And they have a long-standing racist immigration policy.

    The idea that there is anything admirable about Israel is completely lost on me.
    Let's take everything you said about Israel as true.purplepaul
    Apr 22, 2003 9:29 AM
    Is that not a perfect description of the Palestinians and every Arab country in existence, except to an even greater degree?

    Why no criticism of Arab racists?
    Absolutely,TJeanloz
    Apr 22, 2003 9:41 AM
    I'm not saying that there's a democratic utopia in the Middle East. I'm just saying that Israel isn't exactly a model world citizen. I'm also not convinced that Arabs are "racist" -- I would more grant you that they are religious bigots, rather than racist per se. And I don't view Arab opposition to Israel as a racist policy, but a political one.
    "Borderline democracy"Sintesi
    Apr 22, 2003 8:03 PM
    Who got tossed from the knesset and why?

    You still don't acknowledge the larger points I made regarding free expression, right to vote, peaceful exchange of power. As I said it wasn't always Sharon. How did he come to power? Coup? Election!

    You really don't have a clue what it's like to be at war, basically attacked for 50 years. (Not that I do but I do try to imagine) I don't think you use a fair measuring stick when judging Israel. I readily acknowledge the atrocities the Israelis have committed. But this has happened to them as well, no? No excuse but then again I imagine people go a little nuts after awhile. This fact of Israeli brutality does not erase the fact that an Israeli citizen has guaranteed rights, due process, etc....

    How about us? Are we a democracy? Do we respect human rights. I mean quite a few people believe Henry Kissinger is a war criminal. Ask czardonic. How about Mai Lai? We really respected human rights then. WHAT A JOKE! What about our behavior in El Salvador, Guatemala, why not the Philippines for the heck of it. Kent State? How about our justice system and all those black guys on death row. Fair? I guess we don't respect human rights either. Do you remember the US immigration policy restrictions in the 1900's pretty much restricted to northern Europeans. That changed over time.

    I'll turn off the sarcasm but I think you're missing a bigger picture.
    Democracy at work:TJeanloz
    Apr 23, 2003 6:55 AM
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2616307.stm

    Note that there is no statement that this guy actually made in support of terror -- he was tossed effectively for acknowledging that Arabs have a right to exist.

    Many people believe that Henry Kissinger is a war criminal. Enough so that Henry Kissinger probably could not win the Presidential election. There's a difference between having a war criminal in the on mothballs in Kent, CT. and having one be your PRIME MINISTER. The fact that Sharon was elected should be an embarrassment for all Israelis (as I know it is for many).

    You're right, I have no idea what it's like to be at war for 50 years. I have no idea what it's like to antagonize my neighbors, to take their houses, to continue to build on land that belonged to them.

    Is the United States perfect? Of course not, but we're working on it. Is Israel perfect? Are they even trying?
    Democracy at work:Sintesi
    Apr 23, 2003 2:16 PM
    Well I don't know what to say Ted. While this is troubling it is not really a systemic pattern. What you got there is one-in-a-row. The man was praising violent attacks on Israelis. His own countrymen? I noticed the banning of this individual was decided by a vote and was procedurally followed by virtue of an established law which I presume was passed by their democratically elected representatives. You did notice he wasn't banned for being an Arab or for being pro- Palestinian statehood. IF he knew the law why would he say what he did? (Would you say were going to kill the president in a public speech? Even if you felt he deserved to die?)Was it to get arrested? To publicise his cause? Perhaps he's being shrewed.

    I agree with you in principal, in an ideal world this sort of action wouldn't be acceptable (but in an ideal world the guy's political views probably wouldn't exist) but this is Israel in 2003. Similar things have happened here in the US.

    Again there are far greater examples showing Israel's commitment to a free democracy. There are parties that want to establish a Palestinian state and give back land for peace. I believe the second largest party, Labor, supports a similar platform. That's a little more significant than a remote radical getting voted out. See it how you want but I think you're perception has to be biased somehow.

    Frankly pigs like Sharon are direct result of pigs like Arafat. There is a certain inevitable logic to Israeli militancy. Let's face it, the Palestinians got screwed in the leadership department. No question another leader could have achieved a Palestinian state already had he decided to lead peacefully. At least the Israelis have a variety of leaders to choose from.

    I can't believe you say the Israelis aren't trying. I just don't get it.
    It's not that simple - True enoughpurplepaul
    Apr 21, 2003 3:53 PM
    If Arabs weren't jealous of the Israelis, they wouldn't want Israel so badly. After all, Israel is a piece of barren desert that the Israelis, with solid US backing, built into a thriving (relative to the area) country with a well-educated and prosperous population that is governed by a democratically elected government. That's more than any Arab country has.

    But let's set that aside. Before Israel was Israel, nobody wanted it and few lived there. There were not million upon millions of Palestinians, as they are so recently called, living there. It was only after a hated and slaughtered people, the Jews, were given this piece of sh!t land by the dominant powers of the world that Arabs had a conniption. Not because "Palestinians" were displaced, but because those hated Jews were given something. Arabs met with Hitler to discuss the slaughter of the Jews, and this, of course, was before Israel even existed. So you are mistaken to suggest that Arabs hate Israelis but not Jews.

    But, let's say that Arabs don't hate Jews but do hate Israelis. How is that more acceptable? I thought the only people who were allowed to be hated were Americans, the most accepting and diverse people on earth. Liberals insist that the cultures and people of every country must be respected except America and Israel. And I want to know why hatred and slaughtering of only those two countries is acceptable.
    Um, that's ridiculous...TJeanloz
    Apr 22, 2003 9:37 AM
    It's a common Zionist contention that Israel was empty when they got there in 1947, and Arabs only got mad after they arrived. Right. Jeruselem didn't exist. It was just a desert, waiting to be inhabited. The original slogan of the Zionists was, in fact: "A land without people for a people without land". The UN estimates that there were more than 500,000 Arabs living in the Palestine Mandate in 1900. At the time of the mandate, the Arab contingent pushed for a democratic government that would protect freedom of religion -- but that was rejected by the Zionists, who had more power on the world stage. Note also that the original groups of Jews who went to Israel did so under the guise of the "Jewish Colonisation Association" - they were planning a COLONY; and had racist policies from the start; only Jewish labor was allowed to work on any building in the colony.

    There were major Arab riots in 1921 and 1929, so apparently there were some Arabs there (this is pre-Hitler, for the conspiricy theorists keeping track). A British fact-finding team, after the 1929 riots, wrote: "The Arab people of Palestine are today united in their demand for representative government". But those Arabs didn't exist either? In 1933, the population was estimated at 1,000,000 Arabs, and 400,000 Jews. Arabs maintain, fairly, in my opinion, that Britain gave away something that did not belong to them.

    UN Resolution 181 mandated a divided Palestine, with a state for Arabs and a state for Jews. In 1948, Israel declared its independence, and took 77% of Palestine (the UN had mandated that they have half), expelling 500,000 Palestinians. After the 1967 war, they expelled another 500,000 Palestinians.

    You question how it is acceptable to hate Israelis; I question how it would be possible for Arab Palastinians to not hate Israelis. I have no respect for any country that has a strong mandate for what "their" culture is. I think the French are ridiculous for making up words to combat English words; I think Americans who believe English is our official language are misguided. In short, I'm not a big fan of intolerance anywhere, and Israel is about the least tolerant place this side of Tehran.
    Not so ridiculous after allpurplepaul
    Apr 22, 2003 10:04 AM
    I didn't state that the land was free of people, though it practically was as your statistics show.

    I agree that the British gave what wasn't theirs, but most countries begin by taking what others have. Israel is not in any way unique with regards to that. I don't think anyone is suggesting that Native Americans would be justified in attacking people in their homes even though it may be understandable that they might want to. I can see the unfairness Israel inflicts on the Palestinians. Why can't you see the crimes of the Palestinians against Israelis?
    With respect to Native AmericansTJeanloz
    Apr 22, 2003 10:13 AM
    Fully expecting that response. But there is a major distinction: Native Americans have their own lands, where they are free to govern themselves, and build casinos. Where the Native Americans are now is what the Palestinians have hoped for since 1900. A state of their own. I'm not denying that some Palestinian attacks cross a line into being downright criminal acts, but I also recognize their right to fight a war against a group of colonists that continously oppresses them, until such time that a legal solution (i.e. they are granted their own state) happens. The MOMENT that a Palestinian state exists, all Palestinian violent acts against any Israeli (and vice-versa) would be a serious crime. But for now, it's a guerilla war for liberation.
    That's a very charitable position...purplepaul
    Apr 22, 2003 10:17 AM
    calling attacks on civilians a guerilla war for liberation. But, okay, I see your point. I don't agree with it, but it's certainly of a principle.
    There are shades of grey...TJeanloz
    Apr 22, 2003 10:25 AM
    The question is not an easy one, but the distinction that I draw is that if an attack takes place within the 1947 proposed boarders, it is a reprehensible terrorist act, which should be punishable by death, except that it's usually too late for that punishment. Acts committed inside the "occupied territories" or targeted against settlers (whom I have the utmost contempt for), are acts of a war for liberation. If only it were really so black and white.
    A very politically advanced position, TJeanOldEdScott
    Apr 22, 2003 10:32 AM
    You'll not find much support for it, but you're undeniably correct.
    That's O.K.; I don't need support...TJeanloz
    Apr 22, 2003 10:36 AM
    I have no plans to ever run for office, and if I ever do, I'm sure my campaign would be sunk by unpopular opinions I've had. But you know you're doing something right when the liberals call you too conservative and the conservatives call you too liberal.
    Yes, undeniably correct positions rarely get much support. nmpurplepaul
    Apr 22, 2003 10:38 AM
    Hey! I'm a liberal! I'm used to that irony! nmOldEdScott
    Apr 22, 2003 10:51 AM
    You summed it up better than I could.Jon Billheimer
    Apr 19, 2003 7:55 PM
    My family doctor is an Arab, originally from Egypt. His opinion is that the conflict, balkanization, and anti-Israeli/American foment will be going on long after we're both dead. Although he personally believes Saddam needed to be ousted, he also believes that middleastern conflict is probably an insoluble problem well into the future with or without American intervention. FWIW.