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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > Rules of War
Rules of War  [message #32379] Tue, 30 May 2006 12:34 Go to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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In another thread David wrote:

I would remind you that this is hardly an ordinary war -- terrorists spring from the ranks of peaceful civilians, then vanish again... Quite frankly, I don't think there's any way you can eliminate terrorism altogether, so a "war against terrorism" is hopeless from the outset. (That does not mean we should not be fighting it.) Look at the IRA.

David, I must have misunderstood you because I find in your words what appear to be mutually contradictory thoughts. On the one hand you say that a war against terrorism (as in the Middle Eastern conflicts) is hopeless from the outset and yet you complement that with the thought that we should nevertheless be fighting that war.

If a war is hopeless should we just sit back and let terror destroy our way of life? And if we choose to fight a war - terrible as that certainly is - should we not believe and hope in the possibility of victory?

I think that your reference to the IRA is gratuitous. The IRA had (has?) a purely political motive for its actions: the unification of Ireland (against the wishes of the majority of the citizens of the province of Ulster). Moslem terror is not politically motivated: it is religiously and racially motivated. For them, Western society is the society of the infidels and Moslem terrorists are Saracens reborn.

Clarifications, please - in your usual crystal clear prose Smile.



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Re: Rules of War  [message #32382 is a reply to message #32379] Tue, 30 May 2006 13:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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The IRA has had very little to do with politics for some decades now. It is more about which organised crime mob controls which areas of which towns. Doubtless it once had what it perceived to be worthy objectives.

The only way of conquering terrorism is good, old fashioned policework. The challenge is that a new head grows where each head is lopped off.

Islam and Terrorism are meant to be mutually eclusive, but so is Christianity and Terrorism. I have no knowledge of Judaism, but imagine it is also mutually exclusive with terrorism.

That has not prevented any faction of any faith from choosing to esp[ouse violence if it wishes. The IRA was one of the more "civilised" in that it gave warnings before bombings and seemed to be mor einterested in disruption than in death.

A long preamble, then, to suggesting that invading nations of Islamic persuasion is as sensible as invading the Whitechapel Road around the Mosque there (near where I had an ecellent, albeit rushed meal a few weeks ago). Or "not sensible at all".



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Rules of War  [message #32384 is a reply to message #32382] Tue, 30 May 2006 13:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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timmy wrote:

That has not prevented any faction of any faith from choosing to espouse violence if it wishes.

Timmy, 'violence' and 'terrorism' are not synonyms. Sometimes one has to resort to violence in order to combat terrorism.

I agree that police work is the answer - even though it cannot ensure 100% prevention. But police work only prevents acts of terrorism; it does not uproot the terror or the desire to terrorize.



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Re: Rules of War  [message #32385 is a reply to message #32384] Tue, 30 May 2006 13:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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I chose my words poorly. But one party's resorting to violence" is its "enemy's" act of terrorism, sometimes.

Preventing terrorism is impossible. Seeking to remove the feelings of either superiority or inferiority that give rise to terrorism can lessen the incidence.

But that does not prevent some imbecile from starting a "just cause" and espousing "legitimate violence" in furtherence of "lawful aims".



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Rules of War  [message #32386 is a reply to message #32379] Tue, 30 May 2006 13:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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Well, you tell me -- can you envision a situation whereby there are no people who are prepared to commit terrorist acts? That would be the only way to win the "war against terrorism". There has always been terrorism, there always will be.

Yes, the paragraph you quoted was unclear -- what I meant was that winning a war against terrorism was hopeless from the outset. Just like winning a war on petty theft is impossible -- there will always be people who steal, and even if you could lock up everyone who had ever stolen anything, there would always be more people driven to it by circumstance. That is not to say that we should not try to prevent it as best we can. If we took the attitude, "we can never win a war on terror, hence we should not even fight it", it would be like, "we might as well close down the police force because it cannot prevent all crimes,".

>I think that your reference to the IRA is gratuitous. The IRA had (has?) a purely political motive for its actions: the unification of Ireland (against the wishes of the majority of the citizens of the province of Ulster). Moslem terror is not politically motivated: it is religiously and racially motivated. For them, Western society is the society of the infidels and Moslem terrorists are Saracens reborn.

I don't see the difference. Political or religious, the acts are (or have been) the same. The way we respond to them ought to be the same.

David
Re: Rules of War  [message #32393 is a reply to message #32386] Tue, 30 May 2006 17:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

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As David says, as War on Terror cannot be won, just like the War against Communism has not been won. Communism still exists in the world, it is still an ideology, it is weaker than it once was, but it still exists. Communism itself never surrendered nor compromised it terms. Communism is as it always was and similar Terrorism and Terrorist ideologies exist much as they always did.

Western Nations did fight a "war" against Communist states, however and it is as a result that the majority of the Communist states in Eastern Europe were dismantled. It is a pity that we are fighting the War on Terror in the old fashioned sense of bombs and guns rather than as a Cold War against Terror, using political and democratic means.

Fighting against Terrorist groups has some merit, but Terrorist acts against Terrorists does not. Fighting an ideological war against imaginary foes at home and abroad unites nation-states in the worst possible way, through fear.

I've recently been watching Commander in Chief and while nothing but trashy "Hollywood TV" I really think that it is quite an accute critique of how poorly democracy is doing in the modern world. Faction and party-based politics spoils democracy. Party loyalty over-rides personal and ethical loyalty. Ideology rules. The only way to conquer ideology is through education and one of the best ways to educate is by example. If terrorist groups saw the Western World as fair and just would they still attack? I, personally, doubt it. While the USA and western nations continue to push a policy of "nuclear weapons should not be allowed (unless your GDP is above average and your citizens white Christians)" its hypocrisy is evident.

I used to be an outspoken critic of America, but I'm not really anymore. I'm now more of an outspoken critic of whiteness, not necessarily just as skin colour, but as the priveledge embodied by the typical middle class Christian Anglo-Saxon family. Australia is just as bad, even though slightly more socialist than America. It's only once we truly appreciate what we have and why that we can start to act in a non-hypocritical manner. World-Socialism isn't the answer as the activists at Uni claim, but education is, fearlessness is, we need to reclaim democracy, reclaim our own thoughts.

We think it is tragic when 2 Tasmanian miners are trapped in a collapsed mine shaft for a week. We think is is heroic when they are rescued and alive after so long. We think it is fair that they are selling their stories for millions and sueing the mine company for as much. We think all this because it's on the news and we're told to think it.

If it were 200 black South African Miners in Zimbawee that died with their families receiving no compensation, it'd be a statistic. They weren't white, they were from the Third World. Their lives matter less.

I'm a hypocrit, too. By typing this and doing nothing about it I am exposing my own hypocrisy. But the first step is recognition.

This is an off-topic ramble. My sporadic posts usually are. I seldom visit this place unless it's 3am and I'm having trouble sleeping. To try and drift back on topic, though. A war against ideology cannot logically be won, but we must continue to try and stop the source of the ideology. The best way to stop it, isn't by force, but by example, by admission of fault, by compromise, by sensible fairness.



Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time [...] No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Master Oogway
What is the 'proper' response?  [message #32398 is a reply to message #32379] Tue, 30 May 2006 22:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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Greetings-

When you notice that 25% of the world's population is consuming 80% of the world's resources, and you are not part of the 25%, and it isn't likely that you, or your children, or their children will be? And the aid that the 25% use to donate to the to the 80% to assuage their guilt no longer exists because that would lead to too great a tax liability for the wealthy of the world.

What is the 'proper' response when your house gets bulldozed because of the actions of your father's brother's son, and you have no legal redress?

What is the 'proper' reaction when the government that you have legally elected is declared a arm of terrorism, and the funds necessary to provide basic services to the population that elected it are prevented (again by that 25%) from flowing through their legal channels to their legal end?

When there is no hope, and not even hope of hope; then it becomes thinkable to do the unthinkable. "I may not be able to effect change, but I have made the ultimate statement as my response!"

Praise whichever god you choose that none of us have ever been there.

Regards
Simon



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
Re: What is the 'proper' response?  [message #32408 is a reply to message #32398] Wed, 31 May 2006 03:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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Simon Rutlust wrote:

When you notice that 25% of the world's population is consuming 80% of the world's resources, and you are not part of the 25% ... When there is no hope, and not even hope of hope; then it becomes thinkable to do the unthinkable.

Please explain how your explanation relates to the terror tactics of the IRA, the Islamic Jihad, the Tamil Tigers, Al Qaida etc etc etc.



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Re: What is the 'proper' response?  [message #32410 is a reply to message #32408] Wed, 31 May 2006 03:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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Greetings

With exception of the IRA, who may well be part of the 25%, which part needs illumination?

Regards
Simon



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
Facts of life.  [message #32411 is a reply to message #32379] Wed, 31 May 2006 04:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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I'm old enough (just!) to remember Ireland before the outbreak of 'the troubles'. I have always been interested in folk music, and - through that interest - in Irish history. I am Scottish, as by ancestry are most Protestant Ulstermen, and I am not and have never been a Roman Catholic. Nevertheless, though I was entirely opposed to IRA terrorism, I was always sympathetic to the Catholic community. The British have nothing of which to be proud in their relationship with the Irish. I'm not delving too deeply into that issue, but when the Irish Free State was created and the boundary of Northern Ireland was defined, it was very clearly manipulated to keep civil parishes (the smallest unit of local government) within the United Kingdom if they had 'significant' protestant populations - and 'significant' was a proporttion well below 50%. In the following 50 years, the Unionist majority grossly misused their power. Electoral divisions were manipulated so that Catholics were gathered together within bizarre boundaries which ensured that protestants would retain political control. Major employers like the Belfast shipyards were protestant controlled and Catholics were denied employment. Overall, in a very real sense, members of the Catholic community were treated as second-class citizens. The civil rights marches of the early 1970s were absolutely justified, and when their message was ignored it is hardly surprising that the IRA had a fertile gathering ground.

So, I fear, it is in the Middle East. I have no real quarrel with the state of Israel - except insofar as I question the validity of the sentiment that 'God gave this land to me' as a statement in perpetuity. But after the horrors of the holocaust, the creation of an Isreali state was not merely possible but was perhaps inevitable. The problem is that US money poured into Israel. If proportionately eqivalent sums had been poured into the West Bank before the 1967 war, that war might not have happened. But we cannot cry over spilt milk. The fact is that we have an Arab community which perceives itself, rightly or wrongly, to be an underclass. And, like the IRA in Northern Ireland, that is a situation which breeds violence.

I don't know any more than the next man about the origins of Western involvement in Iraq. Maybe our leaders were given false intelligence, maybe they were not. But the hard fact we must face is that the 'insurgency' in Iraq has little to do with the native Iraqis. It is fed by religious fundamentalism, which in turn is fed by a minority with a zeal for power. I wish that we had not invade Iraq, but having done so I cannot see how we can extricate ourselves in the near future without leaving anarchy in our wake.



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
Re: What is the 'proper' response?  [message #32413 is a reply to message #32410] Wed, 31 May 2006 04:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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You implied that terrorism was born in want and bred on despair. Yet in all the cases I cited - and there are probably many more - there is, for the terrorists, every reason to hope and none to despair.

The solution to their problem lies in accepting that you can't have everything you desire, but through negotiations you can get quite a large chunk of what you desire. And that applies to both sides to the negotiations.

Terrorism, in my view, is born of a simple strategic policy: "I want it all and I want it now and if I don't get it you're dead, man!".



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Re: Facts of life.  [message #32414 is a reply to message #32411] Wed, 31 May 2006 05:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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cossie wrote a reasoned explanation of the etiology (Deeej read: aetiology) of the conflict in Northern Ireland. I accept what he writes. But I accept it sadly. Sadly, because British history is replete with cases of rather underhand manoeverings regarding other people's territories. Having said that, I still do not think that the political/social/religious situation in the Emerald Isle ever justified a resort to terrorism.

I have no real quarrel with the state of Israel - except insofar as I question the validity of the sentiment that 'God gave this land to me' as a statement in perpetuity.

What about the sentiment that 'the United Nations gave this land to me' by its partition decision of 1947? - which the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected.

If proportionately eqivalent sums had been poured into the West Bank before the 1967 war, that war might not have happened.

Before June 5th 1967 the West Bank was a part of the Kingdom of Jordan, which was supported handsomely - both financially and militarily - by the US, the UK and, to a lesser extent, France. Gaza was an integral part of Egypt which was then handsomely supported by the USSR.

The fact is that we have an Arab community which perceives itself, rightly or wrongly, to be an underclass.

The Six Day War broke out because Egypt tried to strangulate Israel economically by unilaterally closing the Tiran Straits. The Arabs lost the war. Since then, for nearly 40 years, they have refused to negotiate with the victors. The solution to the ME conflict lies in a readiness to forswear violence and to negotiate peaceful co-existence by mutual recognition.

I wish that we had not invaded Iraq, but having done so I cannot see how we can extricate ourselves in the near future without leaving anarchy in our wake.

Well, that has never deterred the British. Look at the utter mess they left in mandatory Palestine by their complete mismanagement of the Mandate and, when they saw what a huge mess they had created, solving the problem by packing up and leaving to "let them get on with it". Something rather similar happened in India, did it not? I suspect a replay is imminent in Iraq.



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Re: Facts of life.  [message #32416 is a reply to message #32414] Wed, 31 May 2006 06:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
electroken is currently offline  electroken

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Yeah, unfortuately you may be right about Irag if we remove our presence there too soon. No matter how we got ourselves into this, we are now obligated to stay the course until we can leave with some assurance the Iraqis can keep things in order to some extent.

I remember watching Lawrence of Arabia and seeing how the Arabs were being used by the Allies (British mainly) and were promised much and delivered little. The British stood by and watched the Arab attempt at democracy fail so they could retain their economic and military hold on the region.

Actually I think the most grevious thing the US did in relation to Iraq was to aid Sadam so he would be a foe to Iran and help the US win some sort of victory over those who took over from the Shaw of Iran. How utterly horrid that we would give money to Sadam when we knew very well how he treated his people. Maybe if all the nations of the world who had that kind of power for influencing other nations could have some kind of moral compass, we would not be having so many cases of genocide and evil around us.



Ken
Re: Facts of life.  [message #32418 is a reply to message #32414] Wed, 31 May 2006 06:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

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Having said that, I still do not think that the political/social/religious situation in the Emerald Isle ever justified a resort to terrorism.

No political, social or religious situation in any area is ample justification to resort to terrorism. No life trauma ever justifies murder. But it still happens. Circumstance can and is a valid defense to murder, yet terrorist acts aren't given any leeway, no apologies, explanations or aid are given. The terrorist leaders need to be stopped, but unless the West changes and gets it act together more terrorist leaders will continue to spring up from the general population. In particular, from what I have seen, the young unemployed male population. Give people a reason not to join terrorist cells and we are half way there. You can't invade a nation to remove terrorist leaders, make more of a mess than existed beforehand and then expect a warm reception. The West doesn't breed terrorism, but it does breed an atmosphere where terrorism seems justified.



Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time [...] No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Master Oogway
Re: Facts of life.  [message #32421 is a reply to message #32418] Wed, 31 May 2006 07:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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Saben wrote:

No political, social or religious situation in any area is ample justification to resort to terrorism. No life trauma ever justifies murder. But it still happens. Circumstance can and is a valid defense to murder, yet terrorist acts aren't given any leeway, no apologies, explanations or aid are given.

Saben, I agree with what you wrote; my purpose here is not to disagree, but to point out something that may cause loose thinking among others.

Murder and terrorism are not synonymous. Murder is the premeditated taking of another human life with malicious intent. Terrorism involves the taking of many innocent lives with political intent. Terrorist attacks are usually murderous; murderers, however, are rarely terrorists.



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Re: What is the 'proper' response?  [message #32471 is a reply to message #32413] Thu, 01 June 2006 00:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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JFR wrote:
> You implied that terrorism was born in want and bred on despair.

Lots of it is. Exactly like beauty - it exists in the eye of the beholder. You do not see a situation as hopeless, but someone else does.

> The solution to their problem lies in accepting that you can't have everything you desire, but through negotiations you can get quite a large chunk of what you desire.

You don't know my origins, I may well want Jerusalem - are they giving any of it away?

> Terrorism, in my view, is born of a simple strategic policy: "I want it all and I want it now and if I don't get it you're dead, man!".

Nice quote but simplistic, if it were accurate, why would I be willing to die too?

Keep dreaming

Regards
Simon



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
Facts of life - Reprise.  [message #32472 is a reply to message #32411] Thu, 01 June 2006 01:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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In response to JFR -

- "Cossie wrote a reasoned explanation of the etiology (Deeej read: aetiology) of the conflict in Northern Ireland. I accept what he writes. But I accept it sadly. Sadly, because British history is replete with cases of rather underhand manoeverings regarding other people's territories. Having said that, I still do not think that the political/social/religious situation in the Emerald Isle ever justified a resort to terrorism."

***
The history of all colonial powers throughout the ages is filled with underhand manoeuverings in relation to their controlled territories. Britain is probably the greatest offender, but only because its colonial territory was larger than that of any other power. I agree that the Irish situation did not justify the terrorist response insofar as terrorism is never a justifiable response, but the protestants controlled the provincial government, the local authorities, the major sources of employment and - worst of all - the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The Catholic community had all the hallmarks of an underclass but neither political appeals nor civil rights protests had led to any righting of wrongs. The inevitable result was frustration and despair. That provides fertile ground in which rebellion can breed, and for obvious logistic reasons, if there is a will to rebel the 'war' can only be prosecuted by adopting guerilla tactics. The distinction between guerilla warfare and terrorism is far from clear-cut.

- "[Cossie wrote] I have no real quarrel with the State of Israel - except insofar as I question the validity of the sentiment that 'God gave this land to me' as a statement in perpetuity.

What about the sentiment that 'the United Nations gave this land to me' by its partition decision of 1947? - which the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected."

***
I have no quarrel whatsoever with that. My reservation is wholly limited to the apparent incongruity of claiming a god-given right over those who believe in a different god - though as I've noted before, in truth the Judaeo-Christian god and the Islamic god share the same origin. The trouble is, the Islamic scriptures say nothing about the deal with the Jews!

- "[Cossie wrote] If proportionately eqivalent sums had been poured into the West Bank before the 1967 war, that war might not have happened.

Before June 5th 1967 the West Bank was a part of the Kingdom of Jordan, which was supported handsomely - both financially and militarily - by the US, the UK and, to a lesser extent, France. Gaza was an integral part of Egypt which was then handsomely supported by the USSR.

The fact is that we have an Arab community which perceives itself, rightly or wrongly, to be an underclass.

The Six Day War broke out because Egypt tried to strangulate Israel economically by unilaterally closing the Tiran Straits. The Arabs lost the war. Since then, for nearly 40 years, they have refused to negotiate with the victors. The solution to the ME conflict lies in a readiness to forswear violence and to negotiate peaceful co-existence by mutual recognition."

***
I accept that you will obviously know more about the historical background than I do, but it is certainly the perception in Britain that inward investment in Israel since 1947 far outweighs inward investment in the surrounding economies. As in Northern Ireland, if a group perceives itself to be an underclass and considers that it lacks the political power to change its situation, there is fertile ground for rebellion - it's the perception, not the reality, which sows the seeds.

In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Protestants and their British supporters were regarded as invaders; Ireland was portrayed as 'The Land the Saxon Stole'. In fact 'The Saxon', in one guise or another, had been in control for several centuries, and the protestant Ulstermen - encouraged to settle and improve agricultural production by the UK government - had in most cases been there for several generations. Inevitably, the much more recent Israeli occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights will be an even greater source of resentment. It must, I think, be accepted that Israel cannot return the Golan Heights without seriously compromising its security. There has been movement in Gaza. Nevertheless, the continued occupation of the West Bank, and the proposed retention of a considerable area of Israeli settlements in the event of a withdrawal will inevitably be seen as an insurmountable obstacle by the Palestinians. To them, it is difficult to see how the West can condemn (albit pretty ineffectually) the Chinese occupation of Tibet but can condone the retention of former Jordanian territory by Israel.

That said, I agree wholeheartedly with your conclusion that peace in the Middle East will ultimately be possible only with the forswearing of violence and with mutual recognition. I also believe that the majority of Israelis wish for peace, and that Israel has been an example to the world in terms of liberal domestic government. I just can't see peace happening any time soon, because from the Palestinian standpoint the incentives are insufficient - and Palestinian propaganda will ensure that this continues to be received wisdom in their communities.

- "[Cossie wrote] I wish that we had not invaded Iraq, but having done so I cannot see how we can extricate ourselves in the near future without leaving anarchy in our wake.

Well, that has never deterred the British. Look at the utter mess they left in mandatory Palestine by their complete mismanagement of the Mandate and, when they saw what a huge mess they had created, solving the problem by packing up and leaving to "let them get on with it". Something rather similar happened in India, did it not? I suspect a replay is imminent in Iraq."

***
I'd like to cling to the hope that we may have learned from past mistakes!

Ken wrote -

"I remember watching Lawrence of Arabia and seeing how the Arabs were being used by the Allies (British mainly) and were promised much and delivered little. The British stood by and watched the Arab attempt at democracy fail so they could retain their economic and military hold on the region.

Actually I think the most grevious thing the US did in relation to Iraq was to aid Sadam so he would be a foe to Iran and help the US win some sort of victory over those who took over from the Shaw of Iran. How utterly horrid that we would give money to Sadam when we knew very well how he treated his people. Maybe if all the nations of the world who had that kind of power for influencing other nations could have some kind of moral compass, we would not be having so many cases of genocide and evil around us."

***
As I've aleady admitted, there is much in British history of which we ought to be ashamed, and our actions in the Middle East were permeated by self-interest and complacency. Again, my hope is that we have learned something from our mistakes.

As regards US support for Saddam Hussein, this - alas! - is all too typical of the foreign policy of the Western World. All that matters is the benefit to US, US, US! - and that's the first person plural pronoun, not the United States! Nevertheless, the one-time US support of Saddam was particularly cynical, since America was well aware of his track record. All they cared about was to secure a position of influence (and a vast reservoir of oil!) on the borders of Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran.

Saben said -

Well, you can look at his post! I agree with all of it.

In reply to Saben, JFR said -

- "Murder and terrorism are not synonymous. Murder is the premeditated taking of another human life with malicious intent. Terrorism involves the taking of many innocent lives with political intent. Terrorist attacks are usually murderous; murderers, however, are rarely terrorists."

***
I accept the distinction, but I took Saben's observation as a being simply a criticism of the common stance of condemning terrorism / (guerilla warfare?) without attempting to understand the underlying communal frustration from which it arises.

If you've read this far, you certainly deserve a {{{{{{{hug}}}}}}}!



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
Re: What is the 'proper' response?  [message #32480 is a reply to message #32471] Thu, 01 June 2006 05:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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Simon Rutlust wrote:

You don't know my origins, I may well want Jerusalem - are they giving any of it away?

I don't know who 'they' are, but at the negotiating table every party can raise any topic for negotiation.

Nice quote but simplistic, if it were accurate, why would I be willing to die too?

It is not a quote: I made it up. Why are Moslem terrorists willing to die? 1. Because they have been taught that their heavenly reward will be very great indeed; 2. because their families will receive great bounty from certain Arab states. 3. Because they have been educated to hate.

Keep dreaming

Well, we dreamed for almost 2000 years - and the dream finally materialized.



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Re: Facts of life - Reprise.  [message #32481 is a reply to message #32472] Thu, 01 June 2006 06:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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Location: Israel
Registered: October 2004
Messages: 1367



cossie wrote:

The trouble is, the Islamic scriptures say nothing about the deal with the Jews!

Actually, this is not quite accurate. The Moslem scriptures refer to the Jews as "the people of the book" and they are to be permitted to live peacefully among the Moslem faithful. Until modern times this Koranic injunction was carried out and the Jews were very well treated in many Moslem countries. The problem is political, not religious.

The fact is that we have an Arab community which perceives itself, rightly or wrongly, to be an underclass.

Yes, this is true. The question is who is responsible for their situation and how can it be righted. Western powers - Europe especially - poured enormous sums into Palestinian coffers during the 90's; almost all of it went into the private accounts of Yassir Arafat. So now the EU and USA are trying to find a way to get money to the people who need it rather than to their government: once bitten, twice shy.

In order to lighten their economic burden Israel permits 20,000 Palestinians to work in Israel. Despite enormous security precautions terrorists have used this arrangement to infiltrate and do their stuff.

Large numbers of refugees still live in refugee camps and the Palestinian government refuses to house them and integrate them and their offspring into society - even after nearly 60 years! An almost equal number of Jews were thrown out of Arab countries after 1948: Israel absorbed them all as brothers. It is the refugee camps that are the breeding grounds of despair. There is enough money in the Gulf States and other prosperous Moslem countries to obliterate those camps for ever.

it is certainly the perception in Britain that inward investment in Israel since 1947 far outweighs inward investment in the surrounding economies.

I am sure that this perception is accurate. Jews from propserous countries all over the world have poured (and still pour) money into the State of Israel in order to help absorb the refugees and build the State. If Moslems from prosperous Arab states were to do the same for their fellow co-religionists there would be no more despair. [See above.]

Inevitably, the much more recent Israeli occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights will be an even greater source of resentment.

As I said before, Israel only gained those territories as a result of the Six-Day War which was caused by Arab aggression. (On the first day of the war the Israeli government, via the USA, sent a message to King Hussein begging him to stay out of the war: he joined Nasser and lost half his kingdom.) Most Israelis think that the Jewish people have an historical right to the whole of mandatory Palestine and view the settlements there as just as legitimate as Tel-Aviv. However, because Israel agreed to the UN partition plan of 1947 the Israeli government wants to negotiate a peace agreement. As of this time of writing there is no partner willing to come forward.

I have joined in this discussion rather unwillingly, because I feel that it is far from what I perceive as the purpose of this message board - though I agree that almost anything that anybody wants to discuss here is fair game. Timmy knows of my reluctance to blow my country's trumpet here. But I feel obliged to try and explain how things are from Israel's point of view. I have done my best, but with respect I shall not pursue this discussion any further unless I see that it is of interest to the people who visit this board. Apologies for the length of this post.

Hugs for all.

(Oh, how I wish there were a gay Palestinian on this board that I could {{{{{{{{{{hug}}}}}}}}}}.)



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Re: Facts of life.  [message #32490 is a reply to message #32416] Fri, 02 June 2006 01:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Handyman is currently offline  Handyman

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yeah Ken

USA & allies were definitley trying to influence & control middle east then weren't they? (1st persian gulf conflict.. circa 1980ish)

Wonder why they couldn't have just helped the shah get back into power? guess it would be too much direct meddling..huh? or else the people preferred the present gvmt? doubt that!

Ignorant Teddy Cool



Life's a trip * Friends help you through * Adventure on life!
Re: Facts of life.  [message #32491 is a reply to message #32418] Fri, 02 June 2006 02:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Handyman is currently offline  Handyman

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Re terrorism & why they tend to it, train youth for it, & seem to relish it.? They Actually Do!

Talking to an Arab friend few days ago I was reminded they like to fight things out. If a member of one family hurts another it may begin a family feud that lasts for weeks or months! They use automatic weapons too he said! He smiled big as he told me about this. He said his village is about all one family. I think he said 600 or 800 family members identifiable by a part in one of their names. the men act tough & macho.. small wounds are scoffed at. quite violent.. and Islam points them toward it more..

That Ismael son of Abraham was a mean dude! (sorta joking..I know the lineage is mixed up) Fighting things out instead of talking & working them out.. not the western way for sure!

Teddy Cool



Life's a trip * Friends help you through * Adventure on life!
Epilogue.  [message #32493 is a reply to message #32481] Fri, 02 June 2006 02:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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Location: Exiled in North East Engl...
Registered: July 2003
Messages: 1699



JFR, I respect your feelings and I don't want to pursue this thread any further. I certainly did not intend to appear critical of the State of Israel, there is a gread deal in its short history which merits not merely approval but admiration. I am sorry that I allowed myself to stray into the political arena - my objective was simply to make a point. I sincerely believe that no conflict, be it political or religious, has been, or can ever be resolved by terrorism - BUT (and it's a very big but!), frustration, despair and a perception of inferiority create a climate in which those who seek power through violence find it easy to influence communities to believe that terrorism / (guerilla warfare?) is the only possible option available to them. If we are to exert any influence upon hearts and minds, the first step must be not merely to condemn out of hand but to attempt to understand what drives our opponents.

I'm indiscriminate - I'll {{{{{{{{hug}}}}}}}} either Palestinians or Jews, given half a chance!



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
Re: Epilogue.  [message #32504 is a reply to message #32493] Fri, 02 June 2006 06:04 Go to previous message
saben is currently offline  saben

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Registered: May 2003
Messages: 1537



I don't know enough about the situation to really rebut any of what either of the two of you have said, nor do I really want to. I think that, from what I have read and understand a lot of frustration that exists amongst Arab communities is the result of the leaderships of their own nations. Most Iraqis wanted Saddam out, they wanted the West to help them get him out, what they didn't want was a war, what they didn't want was the destruction of their homes, families and lives in order to get him out. As much as most Iraqis hated living under Saddam, they would have rathered that than what they have now.

Whether it is accurate or not, a lot of the frustration that exists in Arab communities is taken out on the West, even though the problems are created internally. That is my general feeling. Terrorists, reacting to problems in their own nation-states and region, feel the USA/ West have caused the problems. Sometimes they may have, sometimes they may not have, but this is the sentiment that exists, justified or not! As my councellor has said to me many times in the past "if you feel something, then it is valid", it doesn't matter whether or not a feeling is accurate or even logically justified, we need to work with what we feel and what we have.

I think, JFR, that you have presented a fair case that a lot of the feelings in Moslem communities and nation-states is unjustified, but to me, that doesn't matter. We should be seeking a peaceful resolution and even if that means bending over backwards a little further that, to me, is better than going to War. Acknowledging the problems that breed terrorism and trying to confront those problems through aid, politics and education is the ONLY solution.

I'm not sure how accurate it is, but http://www.costofwar.com states that the cost of the US led War in Iraq has to this day cost over $285,440,000,000. What if that money had been invested into Iraq in the forms of education, aid and peaceful solutions to the roots of terrorism rather than trying to fight an ideology? I just wonder how different the outcome would have been. Maybe it would have been worse, but personally I don't think so.



Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time [...] No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Master Oogway
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