November 22, 2009

Terrorism’s Mask of Sanity

The following article appears in the print version of the Autumn issue of Azure.

As of this writing, a war of words is heating up between Israel and Hezbollah that may lead to yet another round of armed conflict between the two. Hezbollah recently threatened to carry out overseas operations against Israeli interests in order to avenge the assassination of its military commander, Imad Mugniyeh, last year in Damascus; the Israeli government, for its part, warned Hezbollah that a steep price will be paid if it dares to proceed. Will Hezbollah make good on its claims, and risk bringing the wrath of the IDF down on Lebanon

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 22, 2009 11:01 PM
Comments
Thanks for this article, Michael. The usual crowd will probably be coming around with their apologia for Hezbollah; some people just won't let the facts get in the way of a good story.
Two things: The allusion to a Hezbollah attack in South America is undoubtedly a reference to their attack on the Jewish community center in Argentina in the 1990s. There cannot be the slightest doubt they would be more than happy to undertake such an action again if they thought it would serve their purposes. And you forgot to mention Nasrallah's public gloating about having the body parts of Israeli soldiers. I would not even call him an animal, that is way too kind and moreover is an insult to animals.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 22, 2009 11:40 pm
Thanks, Michael Totten for this....as usual.
With me of course, you're preaching to the chorus. Let's hope that we in this American chorus don't become a Greek one, and tragic. If I'd received a 'phone call with a voice saying something like....." we know who you are and where you live...." I'd've called someone in law enforcement to trace that call, so that in turn I could say something similar. I don't know if that's actually possible, and whether I'd actually summon the cojones necessary, is something else again. But this stuff has to be thought about.
But I don't think the present Congress and current Admin. will ever accept that they're not being sensible, and that they're targets of those out to kill them... that their idealism is found wanting.
They just don't get it.
Posted by: Morningside at November 23, 2009 3:03 pm
....were you living in Beirut or here at home when you received that phone call?...if living in Beirut, then disregard my comment...I misread.
Posted by: Morningside at November 23, 2009 3:11 pm
Morningside,
There was no need for me to have that call traced. I know exactly who it was -- Hussein Naboulsi from Hezbollah's Media Relations office.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 23, 2009 3:12 pm
I was living in Beirut at the time.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 23, 2009 3:12 pm
Morningside: I'd've called someone in law enforcement to trace that call, so that in turn I could say something similar.
Well, MJT often does neglect to tell people of the blood-curdling counter-threat he issued in that exchange.
Posted by: Edgar at November 23, 2009 10:11 pm
Hey, Edgar...
...."Well, MJT often does neglect to tell people of the blood-curdling counter-threat he issued in that exchange."
...that piece of bait has a delicious scent, but the last time I bit on something I got so tangled up in the line that I looked like Gulliver. My personal feeling (and I haven't been in Beirut since about 1964, which of course was a different world ago..) is that Lebanon and its factions are too complex for me, so whatever our host says here will be accepted.
I once made the too-glib remark elsewhere in a completely different context that I'd like to slowly break someone's left kneecap. Well, it wasn't long before someone responded that he knew of a large guy to ask but that he was awfully expensive.
With that, the subject was dropped.
Posted by: Morningside at November 24, 2009 7:15 am
Another book review for the truly diligent:
....."Books:
Lost In Translation
The two minds of Bernard Lewis.
by Ian Buruma June 14, 2004
Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/06/14/040614crbo_books?printable=true#ixzz0XoeqtBuO....."
(This above is pasted here in good faith.)
Bernard Lewis and Edward Said in a civil conversation moderated by Michael Totten here would be a real gem, but I believe Edward Said is no longer with us. Said was controversial, maybe more political. Lewis apparently the more scholarly of the two opposites.
It isn't just Lebanon that's complicated, read also Bernard Lewis' "What Went Wrong", which is a discussion of the decline of Islam's influence. The more that's read, the more complex this whole problem of Central, South, and West Asia appears.
That's why I'd like to see our massive forces out of there, with sharp decisive applications effected from offshore.
Leave the social services work to the indigenous, they know best.
Posted by: Morningside at November 24, 2009 2:15 pm
"After Israel evacuated southern Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah started one skirmish after another along the border fence. The IDF, over time, grew weary of these low-level attacks, and prepared for a stronger response if they continued. ... As far as Israelis were concerned, they no longer had a reason to fight with Hezbollah about anything. They were flat-out sick of combat in Lebanon, in no way eager for more."
There is a great deal of documentation regarding the events at the border. Can you point to the relevant reports of UNIFIL that support these statements?
http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/unifil/unifilDrp.htm
When I look at them, they're full of statements such as "Israeli air incursions into Lebanon increased overall during the reporting period, though the numbers have decreased since early July. UNIFIL recorded almost daily violations across the Blue Line in some weeks. As in the past, many Israeli overflights penetrated deep into Lebanon, often generating sonic booms over populated areas...."
That's from the report of 1/15/03-7/23/03, which I picked at random. There are criticisms of Hizbollah as well, but your comments seem wildly at odds with the documentary record regarding Israeli actions.
As another example, again at random, but choosing an earlier report, 1/23-7/20/01:
"As reported in April, Israeli aircraft violated the line on an almost daily basis, penetrating deep into Lebanese airspace. These incursions, particularly those at low level breaking the sound barrier over populated areas, were especially provocative and caused great anxiety to the civilian populations..."
Posted by: Seth at November 24, 2009 6:34 pm
> If you squint hard enough at Hezbollah, it
> can sometimes look like a somewhat cruder
> version of Turkey
Posted by: Vilmos at November 24, 2009 8:38 pm
Vilmos, I think highly of the AKP and Erdogan. Among other things they are contributing significantly to the training and advising of the ANSF in Afghanistan. Erdogan might be Turkey's most free market pro business leader ever.
Where is your AKP animosity coming from? Is your source the Eastern Orthodox Greeks, the Armenians, or the Kurds?
Some Hezbollah groupies can be strange ones. They support Nasrallah's long time friend PM Maliki and the Iraqi Army; they oppose the Takfiris, Baathists and Sunni Arab militias; but support the resistance against the occupation. Hezbollah loves their good friend President Karzai too.
One Hezbollah groupie told me that the attack in Argentina wasn't by Hezbollah. Implying that it might have been conducted by Takfiris (who Hezbollah hates) or local neo nazis.
Hezbollah groupies also believe very negative things about Israelis. For example they respect the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe's work titled "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine." Hezbollah believes that Israel purposely ethnically cleansed the Palestinians from their homes by bullet point in 1948 and stole their property.
Ilan's research implies that the problem wasn't internally displaced people in 1948 who fled the fighting and were later not allowed by Israel to return to their homes after the end of the war. Rather Ilan's research implies that Israel purposely and at bullet point evicted Palestinians from their home with the intention of never allowing them to return and with the intention of stealing their property.
Are there any perspectives here on Ilan's research?
If Hezbollah's followers believe that Ilan's researched account is accurate, might this explain Hezbollah's animosity towards Israel?
Hezbollah has one saving grace. Osama Bin Laden, Zawahiri, the Taliban, and AQ linked networks hate Nasrallah. As a result we Americans should still try to achieve a strategic partnership with Iran; and after that a similar partnership with Hezbollah.
"it really is more disciplined and restrained than Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, and other militant Islamic groups in the Middle East. It really does compete in elections and join in parliamentary coalitions. And while it sometimes uses force to get its way, at other times it protests non-violently
Posted by: anand at November 25, 2009 8:55 am
Anand wrote: "If Hezbollah's followers believe that Ilan's researched account is accurate, might this explain Hezbollah's animosity towards Israel?" No, it would not explain it, Anand. Hezbollah hates Israel to begin with, and they cherry-pick Ilan Pappe's work because it conforms nicely with their agenda.
Posted by: Harold at November 25, 2009 12:55 pm
Vilmos, I think highly of the AKP and Erdogan.

Even as Erdogan seeks out Ahmadinejad - that Holocaust denier and proud sponsor of Hamas and Hezbollah baby-killers? Even as Erdogan makes a point of denying Israel's supreme right of self-defense in response to 12,000 Hamas missiles? Even as Erdogan humiliated himself by denying there is any genocide in Darfur because Muslims aren't capable of perpetrating such horrors? I am not surprised you think so highly of him - you are both plainly enamored of evil.
====================================
One Hezbollah groupie told me that the attack in Argentina wasn't by Hezbollah. Implying that it might have been conducted by Takfiris (who Hezbollah hates) or local neo nazis.

Well aren't you plugged in and special. Hezbollah's and Iran's fingerprints are all over the Buenos Aires massacre and you know it. Even the Argentine government, no special friend of Israel these days, knows better. Your Hezbollah soft-pedal is pretty lame.
==============================
Hezbollah has one saving grace. Osama Bin Laden, Zawahiri, the Taliban, and AQ linked networks hate Nasrallah. As a result we Americans should still try to achieve a strategic partnership with Iran; and after that a similar partnership with Hezbollah....This makes Hezbollah all the more valuable as a potential future ally.

LOL
I suggest you go to Beirut tomorrow and offer your services as a go-between.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at November 25, 2009 2:11 pm
....chosen here from 'anand':
"... Hezbollah has one saving grace. Osama Bin Laden, Zawahiri, the Taliban, and AQ linked networks hate Nasrallah. As a result we Americans should still try to achieve a strategic partnership with Iran; and after that a similar partnership with Hezbollah...."
This American couldn't disagree more with any strategic, or even fleeting tactical "partnerships" with Iran and those other entities until after a regime change has been effected and is securely in place in Iran. We should be ever mindful of that dictum ..."the enemy of my enemy is my friend". This has endless mutations, and those'll be shifting so subtly and swiftly that our western trained minds won't keep up. We're much too direct in all of our approaches. We simply are wired differently.
Which I why I keep coming back to the idea of containment and precision strikes from off shore directed where possible by small elite forces "on the ground" in the appropriate specific areas, or even from here in America....the technology is apparently rather polished right now. Similarly, negotiations with the likes of these deadly guerilla groups only serves to offer them gratis leverage in their trading a point for yet further demands.
We must break this cycle decisively.
Posted by: Morningside at November 25, 2009 4:06 pm
....and, add to this mix that currently nasty phrase "political correctness" and we end up with a Hadron-esque maelstrom.
Posted by: Morningside at November 25, 2009 4:37 pm
'anand' wrote:
"... Hezbollah has one saving grace. Osama Bin Laden, Zawahiri, the Taliban, and AQ linked networks hate Nasrallah. As a result we Americans should still try to achieve a strategic partnership with Iran; and after that a similar partnership with Hezbollah...."

Isn't anyone else curious to know what kind of reasoning and thought process would come up with a statement like that?
'anand' should flesh out his terror-fetish fantasy and clue us in on what, beyond having Bin Laden as an enemy (but for crucially different reasons) the US and Hezbollah have in common with which to forge this "strategic partnership".
I'll suggest that 'anand' would like to see US foreign policy swing a full 180 degrees and embrace the same rabid Jew-hating genocidal perspective of Hezbollah and similar terror gangs. Gary Rosen has said it before, and he's on point - the eely and oily innuendo of most of anand's posts is that of delegitimizing the Zionist dream and reality. In this thread we see another plug for revisionist history (Pappe) wherein the Jews are the aggressive occupiers and oppressors and the Arabs are the perpetual and innocent victims.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at November 25, 2009 4:50 pm
Li'l Mamzer....
I'd say it's because the statement is hard to read, and is a non sequitur.
Posted by: Morningside at November 25, 2009 6:22 pm
My friend David Meir-Levi has debated frequently about Israel/Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He was once in a radio debate with Ilan Pappe at which time Mr. Pappe said: "I do not care for veracity. I have an agenda to advance." Mr. Pappe has said that in public on at least one other occasion as well. So much for Ilan Pappe's "researched" accounts of Israeli history.
Posted by: Harold at November 26, 2009 10:03 am
morningside wrote:
"Li'l Mamzer....
I'd say it's because the statement is hard to read, and is a non sequitur."

So substitute Nazis for Hezbollah.
What kind of mind thinks a strategic partnership with Nazis is a good idea?
The same kind that thinks Hezbollah would make a suitable partner.
There's your glimpse into the mind of anand. Not very pleasant, is it. Were the Nazis concerned with truth? Is Hezbollah concerned with truth?
Ilan Pappe is not concerned with truth, and anand likes him. What does that tell you?
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at November 26, 2009 12:13 pm
Li'L Mamzer noted...
...."...So substitute Nazis for Hezbollah.
What kind of mind thinks a strategic partnership with Nazis is a good idea? "....
Most certainly not a conventionally balanced mind.
I was taking that statement..
"... As a result we Americans should still try to achieve a strategic partnership with Iran; and after that a similar partnership with Hezbollah....",
--- literally, not thinking to look for substituted ideologies to emphasize that statement's idiocy.
Posted by: Morningside at November 26, 2009 1:08 pm
"it really is more disciplined and restrained than Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, and other militant Islamic groups in the Middle East."
Yes, Hezbollah is so disciplined and restrained that they brag about having Israeli body parts. You are insane, anand.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 26, 2009 1:15 pm
"Should the United States or Israel, or both, attack Iran
Posted by: crosspatch at November 27, 2009 1:03 am
For the record, I just found out about the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe's work titled "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" from the good folks here:
http://an
gryarabscommentsection.blogspot.com/2009/11/plan-dalet-for-ethnic-cleansing-of.html
I still need to research Pappe's work. I would be interested in some scholarly analysis of his research.
Harold, some claim that Hezbollah dislikes Israel because of 1982 and cross border skirmishes and air strikes over the last three decades. Plus there is the fact that Khamenei pays the bills; and trains and equips Hezbollah's army. Nasrallah isn't a completely autonomous actor.
Li'l Mamzer, the Turks rock!!! I am stunned by the anti Turkish vitriol. I mean the Greek, Armenian, Serbian, Eastern Orthodox and Kurdish anti Turk propagandists must be having a field day.
I would like some evidence about Erdogan and Darfur.
Turkey is Israel's third closest, most important and reliable ally in the world after the US and India. Russia would be fourth, which is why Netanyahu has made so many secret trips there this year. Secret trips that worked in view of Russia's pressure on Iran.
Turkey has a de facto military alliance with Israel, with close collaboration on all sorts of different defense R&D, weapons development, and large scale joint military exercises. The US refuses to do as much with Israel, in part because of Israel exporting US military technology to US enemies.
Erdogan cares for Israel. As a genuine friend of Israel; he believes that Israel cannot succeed unless it does right by the Palestinians. I say, may God bless Erdogan for caring about both Israelis and Palestinians.
I think Hezbollah probably did the Buenos Aires massacres; but Hezbollah followers strongly disagree. Could it have been a Salafi Takfiri extremist attack that framed Hezbollah? Kill two birds with one stone . . . kill a lot of Jews . . . and kill Hezbollah in international public opinion.
Li'l Mamzer, I don't know what you mean by zionism. I don't mind you bashing me, but please lay off the Turks. I don't say this because the Turks have the most awesome chow you can imagine, or an amazing culture that greatly impacts and enriches the former Soviet Republics, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Albania, and Bangladesh. I don't say this because of the Turkish warrior culture and confident attitude. I say this because of what the Turks have done.
The Turks had special forces advising the Northern Alliance even before 9/11, talk about foresight. The Turks helped defeat the Taliban, train the ANSF, advise the ANSF, and have kept troops in Afghanistan since 2001. Turkey is a moderating positive influence on Pakistan, Russia and Iran. Turkey's trade and investment benefits Iraq. Turkey helped liberate the Bosnian and Albanian Muslims from Serbian oppression. Turkey has for the most part not invaded Iraq since 2003, even though most Turks wanted to. Turkey's economy has been one of the world's great success stories during this decade. Turkey has helped America and the world in so many other ways.
To be blunt about it, what has Israel done for America and the world compared to the Turks? If we American have to choose, I say we choose the Turks. Turks rule!
Moving on, I don't support immediate negotiations between the US and Hezbollah. Obama is right to focus on Iran first. I am hopeful he might succeed in forming a strategic partnership with Iran. PM Singh (India like Turkey is a close friend of Iran) mentioned that the Iranian foreign minister spoke to him a few days ago. PM Singh asked about Iran's nuclear program. (India like Turkey opposes Iran developing nuclear weapons. India has twice voted against Iran in the IAEA on the nuclear issue and has helped Israel bring Russia on board.) Iran's foreign minister said that he was getting positive signals from Obama and was confident that a nuclear deal would be reached soon.
I believe a grand bargain is possible. Let us not forget that the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Jundullah/Sipah e Sahaba/Lashkar e Jhanvi pose an existential threat to Iran, especially if they ever get Pakistani WMD. It isn't for no reason that Iran offered to train 20,000 ANSF under US command (Bush/Cheney refused their offer.) A grand bargain with Iran might lead to Iran contributing to CSTC-A/NTM-A to train, equip, fund and possibly even advise the ANSF.
Several of America's closest, most reliable and most important allies are friends with Iran, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, India, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, China and Indonesia. These countries serve as a bridge and can bring considerable pressure to bear on Iran.
After a strategic partnership with Iran is reached, Nasrallah will have to sing a different tune. He can't offend the goose that lays the golden eggs [translation: pays the bills and trains/equips his army.]
I am assuming that some of the commentators here are Israeli rather than America. If so, I salute your patriotism and dedication to Israel. If you truly love Israel you should lobby Israelis and inform them that the Palestinians are not their enemies. The Palestinians know they cannot succeed without a vibrant and successful Israel. The converse is also true. No country is more harmed by Israeli mistreatment (on a large scale) of Palestinians than Israel. Open your heart to the Palestinians if you love Israel.
It isn't just Israeli interests that are served by treating the Palestinians fairly; so is the character of Israel. Confiscating large amounts of Palestinian private property without paying market prices for them is wrong and inconsistent with Jewish values and culture. So is impeding efforts to form quality Palestinians security forces (which then provides Israel an excuse to keep their troops in the occupied territories indefinitely.) So is discrimination against Palestinians Israeli citizens.
Another reason to do right by the Palestinians is as a courtesy to your American friends. President Obama drew a line in the sand on settlements. Israel embarrassed America, insulted America, by forcing our President to cross out his line in the sand. Israel made us look ridiculous. Watch the body language of Senator Mitchel and see America's reaction to Israel. Well, dear Israeli friends . . . we love you and all . . . but we can't let you keep us hostage. We have other friends in this world that we value, other interests and other options. We actually deserve the right to be friends with both you and the Palestinians. Do you really want to keep messing with us? Will you choose the ridiculous and not very courteous "settlers" over us?
Another point; Israel isn't synonymous with Jews. There are more American Jews than Israeli citizens. Offering constructive feedback to Israel isn't anti Jewish bigotry.
On an unrelated matter, I am looking for information about anti Jewish bigotry in Spain and other parts of Europe. I would appreciate any data and links you could provide.
Posted by: anand at November 27, 2009 1:18 am
Sometimes one comes across opinions that are expressed in such contorted and convoluted ways that it's necessary to put on rubber gloves and re-arrange everything in proper order before burial. In the case of Anand's post above, I'll only comment on one sentence. Anand writes: "The Turks helped defeat the Taliban." Anand, would you please offer evidence that the Taliban have been defeated?
Posted by: Harold at November 27, 2009 7:52 am
Harold good catch. The Turks helped drive the Taliban to Pakistan in 2001. The Taliban have ruled large chunks of Pakistan since 1994. From their sanctuaries in Pakistan they are again attacking Afghanistan. The Turks are helping the Afghans and the Afghan people's beloved ANSF resist the Taliban.
As one American, I don't appreciate the Turkish bashing.
Posted by: anand at November 27, 2009 7:58 am
....'anand' notes nearby:
..."..Several of America's closest, most reliable and most important allies are friends with Iran, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, India, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, China and Indonesia. These countries serve as a bridge and can bring considerable pressure to bear on Iran.".
This is a wonderfully kaleidoscopic sentence. This surely is a further convoluted example of the oft-quoted Oriental (used here in the literal sense) dictum ..."..the enemy of my enemy is my friend".
Additionally, just to emphasize our (America's) current hideously octopus-like entanglement, I draw this interesting blog's attention to a pertinent headline on page 1 of today's WSJ.
"Soviet's Afghan Ordeal Vexed Gates On Troop-Surge Plan". This can be read right now on the WSJ's web site by clicking on the "Today's Paper" link at the top of its page; read it carefully, ...don't skim it, with the implications presented to us right this hour. The convenient highlighted link itself I've omitted here because such links can be a doorway for other unwanted intruders.
One glaring statement within the chart provided therein tells us that of the "Coalition" of 42 (forty-two) countries operating under a U.N. Mandate, including some former Soviet republics, there are 928 American dead along with 235 Britons. No other countries are menioned. This poster has a major, major problem with those two numbers.
So, let's say that there are in fact a few obscure, separated, buried nuggets in 'anand's' post, ....
....man, oh, man, are we in one heckova fix in Asia just now.
Finally, as a sort of Executive Summary:... we simply don't belong as a massively fielded presence in an Asian land war. There are too many potential "frontlines".....which shift from week to week, compounded by an amorphous, barbarous trans-national group of shifting enemies.
Lebanon and it's overlapping complexities revealed here by Michael Totten are a microcosm.
Let's bring our troops home.
Posted by: Morningside at November 27, 2009 9:10 am
Anand,
I have a further question for you. What do you have against Armenians and Kurds? Why are you so understanding when it comes to Palestinian anger against Israel, but you have no patience for Armenian anger against Turkey. After all, Turkey perpetrated the first holocaust of the 20th century against the Armenians (and Assyrians too, by the way), and the Turks have not owned up to that, even once, in the past 100 years. Further, with regard to the Kurdish people, they long for their own independent homeland. Why are their national aspirations not as valid as those of the Palestinians? A Kurdish national homeland is opposed by the Turks, the Arabs, and the Iranians. Yet certainly, the Kurdish people have the same right of self-determination as Israeli Jews, Palestinians, or anyone else. Wouldn't you agree?
Harold
Posted by: Harold at November 27, 2009 9:21 am
While the Turks have made serious mistakes, and are often too proud to admit their mistakes. But they still rock. :-)
Armenians are lovely people, and the Turks seriously messed with them before WWI. The Turks should apologize for the Armenian genocide. {How many Assyrians were killed?}
The Kurds have been massively abused by the Syrians and Saddam. I have a lot of empathy for them. However, every people are not automatically entitled to a homeland, not even the Palestinians (a one state solution with Israel; or a one state solution with Egypt, Jordan and/or Syria are also possible outcomes . . . except that none of the Arab countries want Palestine or Palestinians.)
The Iraqi Kurds are Iraqis. They deserve equal rights, security and respect from fellow Iraqis, and autonomy; but not independence.
Turkey has improved how they treat Kurdish Turks (or Mountain Turks as they were once called.) Kurds are increasingly integrated economically and politically into Turkish life. By contrast the PKK and their terrorism against the Turks were despicable. The world (including the KRG and Iraq) should help the Turks dismantle them.
Posted by: anand at November 27, 2009 9:43 am
Anand,
You write that the Kurds deserve autonomy but not independence. This statement raises the question: who (or what?) decides this? Why should some peoples have the right to independence while others have to make do with autonomy? What are the criteria, and how can they be applied in a fair & uniform way?
Harold
Posted by: Harold at November 27, 2009 9:59 am
"Offering constructive feedback to Israel" for anand = persistently advocating for those who openly strive for the annihilation of Jews and Israel.
By the way, anand, here's more evidence of what a great bunch of guys your beloved Iranian mullahs are:
http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20091126/Shirin.Ebadi.Nobel.Seized/
Is there a single post where anand *hasn't* enthusiastically endorsed brutal antisemitic thugs?
Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 27, 2009 11:24 am
A quite fascinating discussion, and Im with Anand on this one. If we lift our heads and look a few years intoi the future, it is obvious that the US dont have the will or the capacity for fullout COIN in Af/Pak. It seems equally obvious that Iraq will become a liminal zone, where Irans influence in the shia south will be matched up against US influence in the Kurdic north, with the sunnis squeezed in between. In both these places, *where the US has invested 8 years of effort*, Iran will be the deciding factor.
SO, the strategic question for the US to ponder is: Is Israel worth bleeding to death for? If Israel continues to regard the current US administration as the enemy, if it continues to align itself with the republican party as part of the opposition to the US administration, what should the US do? I think the road goes through Turkey and the building of a Turkey-Syria-Iran axis. It would give NATO a indirect way of influence and it would quite possibly finally scare the Israelis to give concessions in all honesty. Unfortunately, this may lead to the disruption of the Israeli state as the fanatical religious folks will fight for Judea and Sammaria, following the voice of God in their heads. You only need to read the comments in Jerusalem Post to see how far down the road to open racism and bigotry the Israeli right has wandered.
Posted by: fnord at November 28, 2009 3:11 am
Hello, 'fnord'....
"... I think the road goes through Turkey and the building of a Turkey-Syria-Iran axis. It would give NATO a ....."
This brief paste from your post above is a real puzzler in that its strange simplicity defies any reading of the recent history of the machinations of any of the three of them, much less the sum of them, whether acting in concert or not. To suppose any "entente cordiale", [couldn't resist that one],between them is to fall from a cliff. How to imagine the likes of Syria and Iran being a viable part of NATO? ....maybe as infiltrators? They certainly qualify surfacing in that capacity. They'd eagerly campaign for admittance on that score,if they had the chutzpah.
As far as the comments of the 'righters' in the Jerusalem Post, my fairly regular reading of them evidences no more or less stridency than those found in the Washington Post,..I won't read the NYT.
Remember...even that wonderful phrase, "Trust but verify" has sensible limitations.
Posted by: Morningside at November 28, 2009 7:20 am
P.S.
...I left out that aspect of the United States not having the will or the capacity (as "fnord' had it) for a full-out COIN in that area....
A careful look at the eight years' effort we've expended there has some distinct parallels with the Soviets' similar but earlier period of involvement and inevitable withdrawal. Hence I don't think that a lack of U.S. "will" or "capacity" is indicated; we can surely summon both if required.
The trend I see emerging among those with the horrific responsibility of committing American lives to Asia within Asia, even in the defense of America, is that we aren't assured of the viability of that most alien concept of "Democracy" in that barbaric tribal part of the world. America in our current role of arbitrators and separators of murderous factions must end, the sooner the better.
Need it even be mentioned that our eight years' effort added to the Soviets' similarly long combative period should lead us to conclude that enough is enough? Even if our aims there were diametrically opposed?
Earlier, I'd used the "sponge" analogy with that vast overpopulated area. Asia has been absorbing enemies since those 'greats' Khan and Alexander. Are we so different in our contemporary chronology?
"Will" and "capacity" for COIN are both readily available where required. But in my modest view those accounts are best drawn upon in the defense of America from within America's borders.
Posted by: Morningside at November 28, 2009 8:40 am
"Mr. Pappe said: "I do not care for veracity. I have an agenda to advance." Mr. Pappe has said that in public on at least one other occasion as well. So much for Ilan Pappe's "researched" accounts of Israeli history." Citation please? I am still researching Ilan's claims. Here is a good blog:
http:/
/www.ifamericansknew.org/history/origin.html
http://w
ww.cactus48.com/truth.html
The person who introduced me to this was a pro American Iraqi.
Palestinians believe many horrific things about Israelis (or at least extremist Israeli settlers), including that some extremist Israelis poisoned the water supply into Acre with typhoid.
Some other historical research is Michael Palumbo's "The Palestinian Catastrophe" a review of which is:
http:/
/www99.epinions.com/content_5000110212
Some of his sources imply that over 800,000 Palestinians in 350 or more villages were either coerced or forced out of their homes and they fled in terror. Thousands might have been killed to cause panic or in unbalanced retaliation, even more died as they took to the road with no food or water or any of their belongings. Very soon Jewish immigrants moved into their homes if they were suitable or they were blown up or burned down.
To be sure, there are many Palestinians conspiracy theories. I don't doubt that most of the Palestinians who fled their homes in 1948 were displaced refugees who fled their homes because of the violence, intending to return as soon as the violence stopped. Many Jewish refugees fled the violence for the same reason. Unfortunately, Israel illegally didn't allow these Palestinians to return to their homes after the war ended. However, I am struck by all the sources suggesting that there were many cases of extremist Israelis (not saying all Israelis) forcibly deported Palestinians from their homes in 1948, in part because they wanted to steal Palestinians property.
I know that neither Israelis nor Palestinians should focus excessively on the past. However, I think the Israelis have to:
1) revert to 1967 borders
2) compensate Palestinians for confiscated Palestinian private property
3) treat Israel's own Palestinian Israeli citizens more respectfully.
Israel doing so, would help improve US relations with Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Iran.
fnord, I am more optimistic than you on Afghanistan. I think the ANSF can win with $120 billion in international funding over 20 years, international training, and international advisers. It will take them, many years to do so; however.
Posted by: anand at November 28, 2009 10:04 am
"Palestinians believe many horrific things about Israelis (or at least extremist Israeli settlers), including that some extremist Israelis poisoned the water supply into Acre with typhoid."
The fact that anand puts this out with no contradiction shows that he is eager to spread blood libels about Jews. This is completely consistent with his unmistakable agenda of demonizing Jews and Israel.
"I think the Israelis have to:
1) revert to 1967 borders
2) compensate Palestinians for confiscated Palestinian private property
3) treat Israel's own Palestinian Israeli citizens more respectfully."
1) Once again, 1967 borders were *not* legal, they were supposed to be negotiated, and they invited the annihilationist aggression against Israel in 1967 ("we will finish what Hitler started" - a direct quote).
2) Does anand call for Arab Jews ejected from their homelands (the majority of Israel now) to be similarly compensated?
3) Your description of Arab Israelis as "Palestinians" proves that anand does not accept the existence of Israel and is bent on its destruction. As if you couldn't tell this anyway from his unbroken support for those who openly vow to eliminate Israel.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 28, 2009 11:55 am
Anand,
In your latest post, you deplore the dispossession of Palestinians from their home in 1948 and claim that Israel should compensate the Palestinians for this. I recall, however, some time back you claimed that the Jews who were dispossessed from Arab lands "should forgive and forget." I am literally quoting you word for word. You did indeed say that they "should forgive and forget." So now I am asking: why do you have this double standard, and don't you realize that if you insist on Israeli reparations and at the same time brush away and ignore any responsibility on the part of the Arabs, don't you see how you lose credibility? If Palestinian refugees deserve compensation, then why don't Jews from Arab countries? Can you please answer that question? Also, please don't forget that more than half of today's Jews living in Israel are either refugees from Arab lands or are descended from them. So if I were an Israeli Jew and my parents or grandparents were kicked out of Yemen or Iraq or Egypt, and I saw Israel giving away reparation money to the Palestinians while my own family got nothing in return, that would create a great deal of justified resentment and anger on the part of most Israeli Jews. Can you understand that?
Harold
Posted by: Harold at November 28, 2009 12:32 pm
"why do you have this double standard"
Isn't it obvious?
"Can you understand that?"
Of course he understands that. And he doesn't care.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 28, 2009 1:23 pm
Hezbollah has one saving grace. Osama Bin Laden, Zawahiri, the Taliban, and AQ linked networks hate Nasrallah.
That doesn't qualify as a "saving grace", Anand :p
As a result we Americans should still try to achieve a strategic partnership with Iran; and after that a similar partnership with Hezbollah.
Don't be absurd. Are you aware that Hezbollah has assassinated many Iranian dissidents in Europe? Is that how we'll support the Iranian opposition? To form a partnership with a terrorist group that murders them when they are in exile in the west?
And lets not get into all the many crimes HA has committed against Westerners. If the US formed a "strategic partnership" with Hezbollah, that would be grounds to impeach Obama. Look at how much trouble the Reagan Administration got into for messing around with Iran and Lebanese HA? You think Obama would fare better? Why? Is he special? He's not as special as Reagan was, and I'll be the first in line agitating to bring his administration down if he attempts any such thing. The very idea of it is repugnant.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at November 28, 2009 2:59 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shapour_Bakhtiar
You going to blame that on "Takfiri" too, anand?
Posted by: programmmer_craig at November 28, 2009 3:01 pm
Forget it, Anand. Aligning ourselves with Hezbollah and the Khomeinists is impossible. The United States is the "Great Satan" in their demonology. Absolutely nothing we can possibly do can change that, and there's no point even trying.
Hezbollah even snubbed Jimmy Carter when he visited Lebanon not long ago for being too strident a "Zionist."
And Craig is quite right about the Iranian opposition. If we were somehow able to form an alliance with the Khomeinist regime, we would become the enemy of the Iranian people all over again just like we were in the 1970s when we supported the Shah.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 28, 2009 3:30 pm
fnord,
...what should the US do? I think the road goes through Turkey and the building of a Turkey-Syria-Iran axis.
Lol. You're on an entirely different plane of reality. Do you realize that? On what planet do we build alliances with our enemies, against our friends? That's not even "realpolitik". It's simple insanity. You really think the US can be compelled by fear to collaborate with much weaker terrorist states? That isn't how the world works, Fnord. I suppose it may be difficult for Europeans to understand how the wheels of power turn, seeing as how you've been standing in the shadow of the US of several generations, but we only cut deals with disreputable folks that on our side. And the IRI, Syria, and Hezbollah clearly aren't. They would literally have to hold a gun to our heads to force us to comply with their wishes and sorry... the future of Iraq and/or Afghanistan is not a big enough gun. We Americans don't care more about the future of Iraq and Afghanistan (or Lebanon either!) than we do about the future of the US. That cabal doesn't have the necessary leverage. Even western Europe couldn't extort those kinds of concessions out of America.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at November 28, 2009 3:31 pm
....for 'anand'...
...Your posts here lead me to wonder about your background. I know it's a blogging convention to use pen names; I hide behind "Morningside", but I'll show part of mine if you'll show part of yours.....
Posted by: Morningside at November 28, 2009 4:50 pm
I see we have a Jerusalem Post hasbara crew-member going strong here. "Blood libel" for Anand, for suggesting that jewish extremists can be just as extreme as any other extremists. I guess you have him pegged as a anti-semite too, Gary? Sigh.
As for a attempt at building a relationship with Iran through the mediator Turkey, I dont recall sugesting that Iran should become a full NATO partner. I dont think that is going to happen. What is likely to happen is that the conflict between Iran and the west will be cooled down, and that agreements to get along will be facilitated through Turkey, wich *is* after all a full NATO member and already heavily involved in Afghanistan. Turkey obviously has more related interests with Syria/Iran than most of the other NATO countries, and it seems an imperative to me to cool the situation down. Now that Nethanyahu has spit in the face of Obama, Im hoping for a gradual reorientation away from the politics of ideology and back to pragmatism.
"On what planet do we build alliances with our enemies, against our friends? That's not even "realpolitik". It's simple insanity."
First, you assume that Israel is currently a friend of the US. Last time I checked Jerusalem Post, Obama was being branded as a anti-semite by Caroline Glick, ministers in the government were calling the administration hostile and "horrible". Bibi has aligned himself with the Sarah Palin wing of the republican party, and thats a political reality. Second, you assume that a agreement to cooperation will mean an alliance. In the real world, its called rwaching agreement on discreet protocols of cooperation, so that the politicans can continue to play their game while the folks on the ground cooperate. Given the next few years with increasing zionist extremism, and with the residue of Cast Lead still reverbating, I think at some point the US will have to reconsider its position vs. Israel. Its currently a liability, not an asset. If we agree that the GWOT is against AQ and the salafists, then the Iran Syria axis has lots of assets to bring to the table.
Again, I dont see this happening in a direct fashion, with obama hugging Nasrallah. I see it happening on a discreet level, with several degrees of deniability in between. But its going to happen. Just watch the next two years, as Afghanistan deteriorates, the western banks go to hell and China becomes the defacto financial leading superpower.
Posted by: fnord at November 28, 2009 4:51 pm
"Last time I checked Jerusalem Post, Obama was being branded as a anti-semite by Caroline Glick, ministers in the government were calling the administration hostile and "horrible". Bibi has aligned himself with the Sarah Palin wing of the republican party, and thats a political reality."
Come on, fnord, mere newspaper columnists and the passing parade of elected representatives with votes paramount whenever they rise to speak are only a marginally respected force. Recall that since 1948, Israeli-American relations have survived all manner of frictions, not least Israeli aircraft attacking a United States Naval vessel with fatalities.
Posted by: Morningside at November 28, 2009 5:41 pm
Fnord,
As for a attempt at building a relationship with Iran through the mediator Turkey, I dont recall sugesting that Iran should become a full NATO partner.
I wasn't aware you were advocating for what NATO should do. It seemed like you were making suggestions about what the US should do. I was just pointing out, you aren't on the same page that Americans are. At all.
What is likely to happen is that the conflict between Iran and the west will be cooled down...
What is this "the west" thing? Iran is in conflict with the US and Israel. If you want to get "the west" into it, maybe you should consult with the US and Israel on the matter? Because from where I'm sitting, it seems like some countries in Western Europe - including yours, fnord - are not currently in conflict with Iran, and never have been. Therefore, your suggestions about what the US should do are.... unhelpful. You are from Sweden, yes? Did Swedes have some wonderful advice for how Britain should deal with Nazi Germany too?
...and that agreements to get along will be facilitated through Turkey, wich is after all a full NATO member and already heavily involved in Afghanistan.
Who says we want to get along with IRI, fnord? Have you taken a poll? Amongst Americans, I mean?
Turkey obviously has more related interests with Syria/Iran than most of the other NATO countries...
Good for Turkey. What's it got to do with America?
...and it seems an imperative to me to cool the situation down.
Why does that seem like an imperative, to you as a Swede? And how do you intend to sell Americans on that?
Now that Nethanyahu has spit in the face of Obama, Im hoping for a gradual reorientation away from the politics of ideology and back to pragmatism.
Pragmatism? Or appeasement? The US has no practical reason to try to get along with the Islamic Republic. The US is in the process of withdrawing from Iraq and Iran cannot help in Afghanistan. That problem has to be addressed via Pakistan. And even if Iran could help in Afghanistan, what makes you think the US could or would trust Iran to ever do anything that helped the US? You would have us sell ourselves to a country that is many orders of magnitude weaker than we are, for a benefit that is dubious at best and would greatly benefit our worst enemy. And on top of all that any agreement the US entered into with the IRI wouldn't be worth the paper it is written on. That's "pragmatic" in fnord's world?
First, you assume that Israel is currently a friend of the US.
Well, it's a good thing we Americans have you Europeans to tell us who our friends are and who are enemies aren't, isn't it? lol
Its currently a liability, not an asset.
I suppose a lot of people would have said the same thing about the UK in 1940 too...
If we agree that the GWOT is against AQ and the salafists, then the Iran Syria axis has lots of assets to bring to the table.
Say what? I'm pretty sure that just going by the number of attacks, the Iran/Syria/Lebanon axis has committed more terror acts on Americans and American interests than AQ has. Yes, AQ has a higher body count but not by much and body count isn't everything anyway. The hostage taking starting with the Tehran embassy and continuing in Lebanon throughout the 1980s caused a LOT of bad blood, fnord.
I see it happening on a discreet level...
I don't see it happening, at all. Ever.
But its going to happen.
Speak for your own country, fnord. You couldn't be any more out of touch with American public opinion. I'd be embarrassed for you, if I thought you cared about your own credibility.
Just watch the next two years, as Afghanistan deteriorates...
What on earth does that have to do with Iran and Syria? And what on earth makes you think the US would try to turn catastrophe into success by making a deal with our worst enemy, instead of just pulling out? Do you think we are stupid or something? I guess you do, at that.
...the western banks go to hell and China becomes the defacto financial leading superpower.
Again, I ask: What does this have to do with Iran and Syria?
So anyway, fnord... if you want to play kissy-face with unrepentant terrorists, do it on your own dime. Just don't come running to us if things don't work out well for you. We still trying to clean up the mess from the last time we made that mistake.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at November 28, 2009 7:09 pm
"I guess you have him pegged as a anti-semite too, Gary? Sigh."
How about for consistently, 100%, without exception, enthusiastically advocating for groups with antisemitic annhihilationist agendas like Hezbollah, Hamas and the Iranian mullahs? If you don't like it, tough. By the way who appointed you the judge of what is antisemitic and what is not? Oh, I know, "It's so unfair to call someone antisemitic just because they oppose Israel" like if you oppose Israel you can't possibly be antisemitic. The blunt fact of the matter is that there is considerable overlap. If people like anand didn't go out of their way to make excuses for rabid antisemites like the above groups I might be more inclined to believe that they aren't as well.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 28, 2009 10:25 pm
Come on Gary, be reasonable.
Just because some people defend the Iranian regime and their like-minded allies (such as Hizbullah and Hamas)---all three of which have unabashedly stated on numerous occasions that their aim is the destruction of Israel, and have amassed and are amassing weaponry, and are developing weaponry to achieve that aim---doesn't necessarily mean such people are anti-Semitic.
They may be anti-Iranian; they may be anti-Lebanese (or anti-Shiite, at least); they may be anti-Palestinian.
But calling them anti-Semitic is a bit of a stretch. In fact, I'm sure that many of think that they're really Israel's best friends....
Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 29, 2009 2:35 am
Interesting responses.
First, Morningside, thanks for polite response. I dont see in any way a US abandoning of Israel, unless Israel goes all out and nukes someone. Ill admit to taking a somewhat onesided pov in this argument, because y`all are so obviously on the other side. There is the "historical friendship" issue, plus the fact that no US government with plans for getting any sort of policy throuigh Congress can in any effective way without a yes from the AIPACs. However, I think it will undergo a gradual development, away from unconditional support for agression and more into a form of friendly conflict, at least for the next few years. Having said that, I think you underestimate the effect of the far-right hatecampaign against Obama and the current administration. Jerusalem Post is Israels leading paper, and they link directly to Pajamas Media, for crying out loud. Nethanyahu went far in branding Obama as a hostile force, and Lieberman doesnt even pretend. Im sure there would be some comments raised if NYT had opeds and readercomments branding Israel "fascistic", and allowed real anti-semite comments in their moderated forums. Do not underestimate how fearmongering affects a already war-traumatized society, neither in Israel nor in Gaza.
As for Programmer Craig, you seem to see policy as a black and white game, what we call a dualistic perspective up here in Norway. Its a perspective you share with FM Lieberman, who just branded my country as "anti-semitic" on television. But your quote "The US has no practical reason to try to get along with the Islamic Republic. " is fairly ridicolous. Iran shares borders with both Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as having major intelligence assets through their shia diaspora. Finding a practical modus of cooperation with one of the leading regional powers in the Near East doesnt seem to me like selling out. It seems like a practical necessity in order to get your foot out of the beartraps of Afghanistan and Iraq. Again, such cooperation will occur on a sub-political level. Very few observers think the theocracy will last another generation, its just to look at the age-demographics of Iran and the recent protests to see that their time is running out.
The fact is that Hezbollah is currently part of Lebanese government, and that Iran is the player wich so far has benefited most from the US invasion of Iraq. The fact is that the US is already suffering from imperial over-reach. The fact is that you currently have great problems rustling up 30000 new troops in Afghanistan. The US simply doesnt have the capacity to follow through on the Rumsfeld crusade-idea. At some point, the US must face political reality and faceup to its former holistic ("If you build it, they will come") approach to foreign policy. I dont think Iran and the US will ever be "friends". However, I have great hopes for a Turkish back-channel bringing down the level of conflict to the glory days of 1999...
Oh, and a small note on hasbara: It would be funny if it wasnt so tragic that so many defenders of Israel seem unable to discuss without falling into cliches. "Blood libel", "anti-semite", "appeasers", references to what countries did during WW2. Its like talking to an autist sometimes. Personally, I currently see Israel as a rogue state, defying international agreements, refusing to cooperate with the IAEA, refusing non-proliferation treaties, refusing nuclear inspections, refusing to even consider UN reports, refusing to follow UN resolutions. Israel seems addicted to its "Us vs. the World" approach, and the US is what we call an enabler. But I respect that some see it differently. I just wish they werent so fanatic about it. Calling names just isnt working anymore.
Posted by: fnord at November 29, 2009 4:23 am
I think the key question, as the oh-so-reasonable-(albeit-shameless)-Norwegian intimates is how can one best ensure that the rogue Zionist entity "rogue state" disappear without causing too much collateral damage.
This, he might be encouraged to learn, is the concern of most of the states of the region (yes, even Turkey!!), and he may be further encouraged to find out that the Obama regime (AIPAC notwithstanding) is working together with like-minded, concerned governments (under the aegis of the UN) to decide how to effect this very issue.
The government of Israel might even agree to collude with the august convocation, were it not for the strident call, on the part of some of the convocation's leading members, for Israel's destruction.
And in spite of some impressive hallucinations, as for seeing or not seeing "in any way" the US abandoning Israel, it should be noted that the US, at the moment, is far too busy trying to pursue how best to abandon itself for it to spend too much time on how best to abandon Israel.
Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 29, 2009 4:59 am
"I think the key question, as the oh-so-reasonable-(albeit-shameless)-Norwegian intimates is how can one best ensure that the rogue Zionist entity "rogue state" disappear without causing too much collateral damage."
Sigh. Yes of course, any attempt to calm the tensions in the region and get multiple levels of diplomacy and cooperation is in *reality* an attempt by the Secret Elders of Quom and their sockpuppet Hussein Obama to destroy the jewish land that was promised them by G-d. Hohum. And of course, anyone arguing against the current Israeli policies in secret wants to eliminate it. Yes indeed, them muslims are crafty. Agents everywhere. And they control the finace industry in secret.
Why argue when you can just paint those who disagree with you as sneaky individuals with hidden genocidal motives? Its comic how much the pro-Israel folks are starting to mirror the anti-semites in their approach to reality.
Posted by: fnord at November 29, 2009 5:38 am
I should have added "amusing," as well, even if the shtick isn't terribly original.
Still, your concern for the State of Israel is most touching.
Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 29, 2009 5:49 am
Yes indeed, them muslims are crafty. Agents everywhere. And they control the finace industry in secret.
Are you trying to imply that there's anything 'secret' about muslim control of the finance industry, especially after the reaction to the Dubai meltdown?
As the Dubai princes used to say, the sun never set on Dubai world. It's no secret that the Brits, the Europeans, the Americans feel the need to balance their respect for human rights with their lust for easy Arab money. For decades the Europeans have been asking themselves - should we stand up for Israel's right to exist or should we make billions selling junk to the Arabs? Should we pay attention to basic human rights or should we kiss up to the Arabs by supporting the Palestinians..?
Britain has basically sold themselves out to the highest bidders, the Gulf princes and the Russians. If Dubai goes under, Britain will go down with them - and other European nations will probably be dragged down too. Looks like you all made some bad decisions.
Posted by: maryatexitzero at November 29, 2009 6:30 am
"Are you trying to imply that there's anything 'secret' about muslim control of the finance industry, especially after the reaction to the Dubai meltdown?"
Umm, isnt part of the problems with the financial markets that nobody controls them? See, here is another part of the way you fanatics all think, that the world is made up of conspiracies. The Euro cabaal over here, The Arab conspiracy over there, the brave defenders of Zion desperately figfhting of the evil anti-semites here. Its not like that. Goldman Sachs isnt part of a great conspiracy. Dubai isnt part of a grand conspiracy. The markets are not ruled by great conspiracies. They are ruled by dumb greed and hundreds of hundreds of *small* conspiracies, most of them only motivated by self-interest, some for more political motives.
"For decades the Europeans have been asking themselves - should we stand up for Israel's right to exist or should we make billions selling junk to the Arabs?"
Thats a stupid and self-gloryfying dualism, and fits neatly into the black-hat/white-hat scenario all you hasbara folks try to paint. But to answer you: No, for decades we have been wondering what we were thinking in the first place back in 1948, and why we didnt establish the state of Israel under more control, at a slower pace, with more money for sorting out conflicts. Its the same wonder we feel when we look back at Rumsfelds "light footprint" idea for the occupation of Afghanistan and the conjecting lack of humanitarian aid. It was a decent idea, but got totally screwed up by greed, stupidity, lack of planning and human nature. Now its going oh so slowly to hell because of a natural increase in weapon-parity, where the offensive capacities of the western forces are being caught up with by irregular forces.
Posted by: fnord at November 29, 2009 7:55 am
They are ruled by dumb greed and hundreds of hundreds of small conspiracies, most of them only motivated by self-interest, some for more political motives.
Of course, that's what I was saying. Right now, the Arabs are a powerful political bloc because most politicians are sociopaths and whores. Europe in particular has a terrible history of selling various authoritarians the rope from which they all later hang. What can you expect from the continent that gave us communism and fascism?
Why would you think that I was implying that there's some sort of conspiracy involved? Apparently you think that anyone who supports Israel is a fanatic and/or conspiracy theorist and/or right winger? That's not really the case.
Now its going oh so slowly to hell because of a natural increase in weapon-parity, where the offensive capacities of the western forces are being caught up with by irregular forces.
In a fair fight the irregular forces never win because they're poorly trained, poorly equipped, undisciplined and drug-addled. However, there are no fair fights anymore, because Western forces are so terrified of our own world-destroying power.
The irregular forces are able to extort some concessions from genuinely powerful nations because these countries are not-so-secretly working with them and supporting them to fight proxy wars. Again, this is no conspiracy, it's just the way we fight wars now.
Most of the irregular forces are connected to Arab Gulf states and Iran. Israel has the bad fortune to be in the world's worst neighborhood. So is Lebanon, so is Yemen. So is the Sudan.
If the Israelis did not have the ability to defend themselves, they would be in the same situation as the Yemenis or the Sudanese.
Dubai's financial problems are interesting because Dubai is the Gulf's canary in the coal mine. The entire area has been hit by the economic fallout, and Dubai is the first to fall. I wonder how Europe and America will treat the Gulf princes when we no longer see them as ATMs in keffiyeh.
Posted by: maryatexitzero at November 29, 2009 8:28 am
MAryat: ""They are ruled by dumb greed and hundreds of hundreds of small conspiracies, most of them only motivated by self-interest, some for more political motives."
Of course, that's what I was saying.""
No, you said that "Arabs control the financial industry". Wich is like saying the Jews control the financial industry in that it generalizes a whole group of nations and people, and that it implies a absolute control. Glad to see you didnt mean it.
Oh, and to call Hezbollah, or even parts of Taleban "poorly trained, poorly equipped, undisciplined and drug-addled" seems to me a serious, serious underestimation. From what I have read, Hezbollah conducted a beautiful military campaign in 2006, from a purely professional pov. Its the same tendency that fails to separate between rational (Hezbollah, partly Hamas) and irrational (AQ, takfiris) actors in the socalled enemy camp. Generalization kills precision. Lack of precision kills.
Posted by: fnord at November 29, 2009 10:04 am
...maryatexitzero notes that...
"I wonder how Europe and America will treat the Gulf princes when we no longer see them as ATMs in keffiyeh."
.. Morningside here wonders how many, if any, will see some shrieking (or, omit the "r") irony in American guys (European guys don't use as much gasoline as we do, anyway..) looking at those Gulf guys as ATM's while driving away from their local BP (British Petroleum) or Shell (Royal Dutch Shell) in their SUV's and Humvee's. Those spinning dials on the pumps are ATM's in reverse, aren't they?
Shouldn't these Gulf Sheiks be constantly reminded that their temporary affluence is based upon a diminishing boon from an accident of geology?
Frankly, they (every last one of 'em) aren't that far removed from reverting to herding camels. Surely they know this; so our tactic should be to withdraw our involvement from that area.
It's the Chinese who're getting antsy over their vast accumulation of depreciating dollars, they combined with OPEC don't like weak dollars.
So, the final circular irony here is that we're going to be paying off our debts in depreciating dollars, with rising taxes on those depreciating dollars for generations.
Sort of puts Asian Islamic terrorism in a different perspective....right?
Posted by: Morningside at November 29, 2009 10:38 am
"Frankly, they (every last one of 'em) aren't that far removed from reverting to herding camels. "
Yeah, them sandniggers are just one step from devolution, every last one of them. I have to remember to tell my arab contacts this, they seem to be too busy tweeting and fiddling with their I-phones. I dont think they know that.
I must say you have a delicious commentariat going here, Totten, every rightwing stereotype in sight.
Posted by: fnord at November 29, 2009 11:20 am
...."...every rightwing stereotype in sight."
YaaaAAY!!
..That bolted oaken door is creaking open, I'm coming out of the closet now! Where does the line form? ....have pen and ink, will sign!
Writers! Righters! Unite!
Posted by: Morningside at November 29, 2009 11:51 am
" I currently see Israel as a rogue state"
And then,
"Calling names just isnt working anymore."
So how come you are so eager to call Israel names while passing on its neighbors who are nearly all bloody human-rights hellholes?
Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 29, 2009 12:49 pm
"Rogue state" is a term, not a "name". Grow up.
Xcept for that: Its not a matter of who has the best human rights, its a matter of political tackling of the problems at hand wich is the rising takfiri islamic storm, the problem of erhabis if you like, and the correspondent rise of judaic and christian extremism on the other side... The ship is on fire. I see no need to feed the flames, but would rather try to put it out using all available options. I dont freaking like the Iranian theocracy, if I lived there I would have been shot a long time ago, but its a reality of geopolitical fact that it exists.
Posted by: fnord at November 29, 2009 1:09 pm
As for Programmer Craig, you seem to see policy as a black and white game, what we call a dualistic perspective up here in Norway.
Now you are trying to claim that Norway has such a thing as "foreign policy"? lol.
Not only do you want to play with the big dogs, you want to explain to them how the game is played!
And sorry, fnord but at this point I'm going to have to agree with others who implied you might be an anti-semite. These claims about how nothing can get done in the US without AIPAC approval for instance... who says that but anti-semites? The only people in the US who talk that way are KKK and other white-supremacist groups. I can somewhat understand when Arab Muslims speak that way, because they've got a war on, but for a European? Dude...
Posted by: programmmer_craig at November 29, 2009 1:35 pm
Britain has basically sold themselves out to the highest bidders, the Gulf princes and the Russians.
Don't forget the Libyans, Mary! They even sacrificed their "special" relationship with the US in their rush to improve "relations" with Colonel Q.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at November 29, 2009 1:41 pm
PS fnord,
Its the same tendency that fails to separate between rational (Hezbollah, partly Hamas) and irrational (AQ, takfiris) actors in the socalled enemy camp.
The issue isn't "rational" and "irrational". We're talking about classic evil here. And rational evil is much more dangerous than irrational evil. Hitler is a prime example of that.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at November 29, 2009 1:49 pm
fnord: I dont freaking like the Iranian theocracy, if I lived there I would have been shot a long time ago, but its a reality of geopolitical fact that it exists.
Israel's existence is also a geopolitical fact, and you wouldn't be shot if you lived there.
It's also a geopolitical fact that the Iranian theocracy, at least in its current form, will one day cease to exist. That's not true of the democratic nation of Israel.
I suggest thinking about these two points for a while and see where it leads you.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 29, 2009 2:15 pm
Totten: I hardly think anyone is overlooking the fact that Israel exists. They make too much noise for that, as the only country that uses its ambassadors as active participants in other countries, protesting against expressions they find insulting. ANyways, nobody has argued for the destruction of Israel, though I admit to often wishing they had gotten Utah post WW2 instead. Would have been so much easier.
As to your point that there is no doubt that the current form of Israel as we know it will exist forever, I guess you dont really care about the discussions between a one and two state solution then? A jewish state or a democratic state, according to demography? Do you mean to say that the current political and religious model, with the settlements, the haredim and all that jazz seems sustainable in the long run, based on a war economy?
Posted by: fnord at November 29, 2009 3:50 pm
"We're talking about classic evil here"
Ah, the Lord of the Rings approach to modern politics. Do you find Saudi Arabia evil as well?
Good luck storming the black gates programmer Craig.
Posted by: fnord at November 29, 2009 3:53 pm
fnord, you don't believe evil exists? lol. Well, that pretty much explains everything doesn't it? You have no problem making deals with people no matter how despicable they are, because you refuse to see that there's anything wrong with their behavior. Nothing more to say, really. It's not really possible to expect somebody who has no sense of morality to behave in a moral manner.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at November 29, 2009 4:06 pm
They make too much noise for that, as the only country that uses its ambassadors as active participants in other countries, protesting against expressions they find insulting.
Still whining about that, eh? :P
It seems the feelings of Norwegians are easily hurt, which is surprising for people who are so quick to give offense. I suppose you think it's OK to accuse the Israelis of kidnapping Palestinians to harvest their organs, with no evidence at all? Guess it's all good when you're a hedonist, right fnord? Except the part where other people get upset by your egregious misbehavior... and then you just bitch and moan and act like you didn't do anything wrong. I sooooo love hedonists....
Posted by: programmmer_craig at November 29, 2009 4:10 pm
fnord: I guess you dont really care about the discussions between a one and two state solution then?
No. The only people interested in a one-state solution are imperialists of one kind or another. It's bullshit. No sale.
Do you mean to say that the current political and religious model, with the settlements, the haredim and all that jazz seems sustainable in the long run, based on a war economy?
Is that a serious question?
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 29, 2009 4:20 pm
For the record, fnord has been at Abu Muqawama and probably LWJ from the early days. He is one of my favorite commentators; and understands the importance of defeating the bad guys in the war on terror.
Craig, he is a cool cat ;-)
fnord, us yanks are grateful for you Norwegians (and Danes, Swedes, Finns) fighting the good fight in NC North and elswhere (the Danes in dangerous parts of RC South.)
We are in a war with Takfiri extremists Al Qaeda linked networks and their allies (which include most factions of the Taliban), a foe that really intends to forcibly convert us to righteousness or die trying. We really need to prioritize our challenges. Extremist Shiites aren't nearly as threatening although I wish Nasrallah would quit that ridiculous over the top rhetoric against Jews and zionists.
If India, Turkey, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kirghistan, Kazakhstan and other anti AQ countries are working with Iran to resist the greater threat of Takfiri extremists, we should consider the same.
Israel has no better friends in this world than India, Turkey and Russia; except for the US. Israel's closest allies are working with Iran against the Taliban. This should tell us something.
Craig, I know you disagree with Hezbollah and I respect that. Iran is different from Hezbollah. Khamenei may no longer be calling all the shots in Iran. If Iran really is becoming more of a military dictatorship with multiple factions vying for power, shouldn't we consider a Kissinger goes to China moment? Remember in 1971 there were 130,000 Chinese troops in North Vietnam and several hundred thousand US troops in South Vietnam. We were de facto at war with each other; and fought hard against each other in 1950-1953.
An understanding with Khamenei may not be possible, but if he really is being sidelined; shouldn't we explore what is possible? Even if it merely a detente with Iran (where we continue to talk about civil rights the way we do with China, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia) and not one a detente with Hezbollah.
Oh, and Saudi Arabis isn't America's friend, period. They are less of a friend than Khamenei. At least Khamenei doesn't pretend with fake smiles.
Craig, I think you got fnord wrong. Give him a chance ;-P
TJT, a slight majority (certainly a plurality) of Palestinians now favor a one state solution in the most recent public poll I saw. This makes it a serious idea that can't be discounted.
Posted by: anand at November 29, 2009 7:20 pm
anand, I remember fnord from AM's blog... one of the reasons why I have a preexisting bad attitude about him :p
Iran is different from Hezbollah. Khamenei may no longer be calling all the shots in Iran.
I think he is. In fact, I think he's soliciting even less advice from others than he was before the elections/protests. But even if he isn't, what difference does it make? I'm not one of those people who considers some IRI insiders to be better than others. Or more trustworthy, for that matter. And it's the un-trustworthiness of that regime that is the major stumbling block in any potential negotiations, in my opinion. Even if we could negotiate the best possible deal with the IRI, it would be a hollow achievement because the IRI would just do what it wants to do regardless. And they'd probably taunt us for being stupid enough to believe them, too. It really sucks that they've been doing the same stuff for 30 years and there are still people in the world who think IRI can be dealt with.
If Iran really is becoming more of a military dictatorship with multiple factions vying for power, shouldn't we consider a Kissinger goes to China moment?
Why? US/China relations were actually pretty good in the early 1970s. They opposed us in Korea and Vietnam, but they did so honorably and openly at least. China certainly was never responsible for the kinds of global attacks on innocent Americans and American interests that Iran has been responsible for. Also, the Chinese didn't seize our embassy in Beijing and hold our diplomatic staff hostage for a year and a half. And plus, China is a much bigger player on the world stage than Iran is.
An understanding with Khamenei may not be possible, but if he really is being sidelined; shouldn't we explore what is possible? Even if it merely a detente with Iran (where we continue to talk about civil rights the way we do with China, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia) and not one a detente with Hezbollah.
Maybe after they send the hostage takers to the US to stand trial and issue a formal apology. Let me know when that happens. As long as that incident is a point of pride and national holiday, then no. Not in my opinion. There is no valid reason for the US to scale back the level of hostility between IRI and US. It exists for good reason.
Oh, and Saudi Arabis isn't America's friend, period. They are less of a friend than Khamenei. At least Khamenei doesn't pretend with fake smiles.
Friend or not, KSA at least can be trusted in that they've made good on agreements with the US before. Also, we have common interests with KSA which makes agreements with them more reliable.
Craig, I think you got fnord wrong. Give him a chance ;-P
I don't know fnord. All I have to go by is what I've seen him saying on blogs. I take what he says at face value. That's all I can do :)
Posted by: programmmer_craig at November 29, 2009 7:53 pm
"he is a cool cat"
Of course you think he is a "cool cat". He has blistering contempt for Israel while giving the neighboring thugs a pass. I think he's a pompous, arrogant hypocrite. That's not "name-calling", it's just a description like "rogue state".
Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 30, 2009 1:29 am
Programmer Craig: Ah, pure Evil. I love the moral relativism: When the US or Israel kills civilians in air-strikes, its unfortunate accidents, or necessary violence (as in Falujah and Gaza and Quana). But when them muslims do it... Oh, and you should really brush up on geography. The Bostrom case was a swedish journalist raising a sloppy question with regards to a story he had reported on earlier. He did not so much accuse as raise a question, however stupoid the article was. I was referring to, amongst other instances, Israels protest at us celebrating the author Knut Hamsuns jubilee, the Norwegian crown princess attending a debate where a rather extreme muslim participated and several other instances. The point of the matter is that Israeli official communication has aligned with the Jerusalem Post stance of screeching anti-semitism as a mantra against different opinion.
Totten: Yes, it was a serious question. With the recent spat of order-refusal in the IDF, with the Haredim demonstrating violently every shabat, with the problems of the class society, both within Jewry and between palestinians, jews and druzes, the whole construction does not seem viable to me. Good to see we agree on the two-state solution. Do you think that is viable with all the settlements and the dual roadsystem still in place?
As to making deals with the devil, Im old enough to remember the US supporting that Pol Pot retain Cambodias UN seat long after he was driven out by the vietnamese. Compared to that, Iran is small fry evil. Anyways, Anand states that point better than me.
Anand: Thanks for the backup.
Posted by: fnord at November 30, 2009 1:31 am
PS: AQ is the closest I get to pure Evil, in that they target civilians who are not even part of the fight, as seen in Iraq. They are willing to blow up their own children, and that borders close on pathological evil. Or insanity, your pick.
Posted by: fnord at November 30, 2009 1:33 am
"the correspondent rise of judaic and christian extremism on the other side"
Let me know when the "judaic and christian extremists" start flying airplanes into buildings. Really.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 30, 2009 1:35 am
fnord: When the US or Israel kills civilians in air-strikes, its unfortunate accidents, or necessary violence (as in Falujah and Gaza and Quana). But when them muslims do it...
If I were your teacher, your next homework assignment would be to research, compare, and contrast the rules of engagement of the United States and Hamas. You are free to ask Andrew Exum for help.
Good to see we agree on the two-state solution.
Of course we agree on the two state solution! Who the hell do you think I am, anyway?
Do you think that is viable with all the settlements and the dual roadsystem still in place?
I do not believe it is viable at this time, and not because of the roads and the settlements which will disappear one way or another regardless.
Im old enough to remember the US supporting that Pol Pot retain Cambodias UN seat long after he was driven out by the vietnamese.
Ah yes, "realist" foreign policy. There were good reasons so many liberals and (neo)conservatives rejected that school of thought. I'm looking forward to the day when more people remember what those reasons were.
Compared to that, Iran is small fry evil.
Um, no. Compared to Pol Pot, not the US, the Iranian government is small fry evil. (Let's try to get out of the habit of dismissing entire countries as evil, whether we're talking about Israel, Iran, the US, or whatever.) I mean, seriously. How many Americans other than Noam Chomsky actually supported Pol Pot?
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 30, 2009 1:48 am
As for the country who so generously donated the term "quisling" to the lexicon a little background might be in order.
(File under: "To understand is to forgive"?....)
Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 30, 2009 2:50 am
More on "Norway's mask of sanity."
To be fair to Norway---and all those Norwegians who consider themselves progressive, fair-minded, tolerant sorts---anti-Semitism these days is a feature and not a bug.
(In fact, anti-Semitism these days isn't even anti-Semitism.)
To be doubly fair to Norway, it is not the only place where such progressivism is pervasive (or rampant?).
Ah,how one longs for the 30s (when one could be proud to call oneself anti-Semitic). But that's progress for you....
Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 30, 2009 4:01 am
Totten: Sigh. You know that I know that the US armed forces have ROE that holds a whole different standard than irregular forces. Thats one of the main differences between regular and irregular forces. My point is that when you are in the fireline, those distinctions become purely academic. From a recievers pov, there is little difference between getting splattered by a Hellfire or a IED. Glenn Greenwald puts it best at http://salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/11/29/friedman/index.html
Good to see that we agree on the two-state solution, and that the settlements must go. I really dont see the Israelis agreeing with you, see todays Jpost par example, wich lays out in plain text why the settlement-freeze is just a scam:
"The settlers knew what was coming and prepared accordingly. According to Defense Ministry data, around 2,500 housing units are presently underconstruction and so will not be affected by the freeze, which only refers to new building starts. On top of this, Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently approved theconstruction of another 490 units, which will also escape the freeze. The security cabinet's decision also permits the building of public facilities such as schools and synagogues, as opposed to private housing, and almost immediately after the security cabinet vote, Barak authorized theconstruction of 28 new public facilities in the settlements. "
That, to me, seems like a continued drive to colonize parts of Judea and Samaria, and not like a dawning realization of a oncoming viable two-state solution. Since I havent read your whole site, feel free to point me to your analysis of the settlement issue and its interaction with the current government?
With regards to Pol Pot, what we were talking about was striking necessary deals with "evil" partners (and agreed that the whole label of "evil" has very little to do in politics). Do you agree that the first priority of the US is to A) Combat the takfiri networks and B) extract itself from Iraq and Afghanistan in a orderly fashion?
Posted by: fnord at November 30, 2009 4:19 am
fnord: AQ is the closest I get to pure Evil, in that they target civilians who are not even part of the fight, as seen in Iraq.
So I take it you missed the part where Hezbollah was doing the same thing in the 1980s and HAMAS was doing the same thing in the 1990s? Or are we (now) in agreement that those two terror groups are evil? Or in your world of moral relativity do HAMAS and HA get a pass because you support their goals, and AQ doesn't get a pass because... well, because you don't feel like issuing them a pass... or something... ?
As old as it sounds like you are, fnord, I'm surprised you've been able to get by without evolving a more rational world view.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at November 30, 2009 6:11 am
Friend or not, KSA at least can be trusted in that they've made good on agreements with the US before. Also, we have common interests with KSA which makes agreements with them more reliable.
I guess I have to post my handy list of facts that prove that Saudi Arabia is our enemy:
The Saudi rulers consider the members of their al Qaeda militia to be their
Posted by: maryatexitzero at November 30, 2009 7:06 am
Anand,
You stated earlier that Israel has no better friends than India, Turkey, and the US. However, Turkey is no friend of Israel these days. Please refer to the recent article in The Philadelphia Bulletin, dated November 28 2009, by David Bedein entitled "Turkish Jews live under threat of extremism." Below I have copied and pasted the last paragraph, a quote from a former Turkish Jew.
Posted by: Harold at November 30, 2009 8:59 am
fnord: My point is that when you are in the fireline, those distinctions become purely academic.
Not if you're a civilian!
For someone who spends as much time as you do on this stuff, you can be remarkably dense. Maybe you need to get out of Norway and into a war zone. Then you might get it.
In the meantime, let me quote from the US Army's manual on counterinsurgency. Compare and contrast this with the fuckers who plant car bombs in markets:
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 30, 2009 10:37 am
fnord: That, to me, seems like a continued drive to colonize parts of Judea and Samaria, and not like a dawning realization of a oncoming viable two-state solution.
That you were able to type that sentence goes to show that you and I have a completely different grasp of Israeli Politics 101.
You are obviously unaware that only 10 percent of Israelis actually support settlements -- and I mean real settlements, not neighborhoods in the capital. Even Ariel Sharon, of all people, was willing to uproot settlements if it meant a deal from the Palestinian side.
And you are also apparently unaware that Israelis have signed up for a two state solution back in the 90s and that the recent "dawning realization" is that the Palestinians will not go along.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 30, 2009 10:48 am
Michael J. Totten November 30, 2009 10:48 AM

And you are also apparently unaware that Israelis have signed up for a two state solution back in the 90s and that the recent "dawning realization" is that the Palestinians will not go along.

I don't mean to be nitpicky, but this is important to remember: the Jews signed up for a two-state solution by accepting United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 which was approved by a vote of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions on November 29, 1947 by the UN General Assembly. And the Arabs of Palestine....well, it's been 62 years and one day since that vote and I can't see they have changed. They are still waging their war against the Jews.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at November 30, 2009 2:26 pm
Li'l Mamzer, if you want to base Israel's claim on GA Resolution 181, then do you support the UN 1948 Partition plan with territory swaps of equal quality?
A Palestinian state based on GA Resolution 181 would be a lot larger than th 1967 borders + territory swaps of equal quality 1993 peace process road-map.
Posted by: fnord Author Profile Page at November 30, 2009 4:19 AM
In November, 2009, Iraq only had 90 civilian violent deaths. By comparison, South Africa had 3000 violent deaths a month in 2005. Iraq had 3,500 violent deaths a month in 2006. All internal security responsibility inside Iraq has been assumed by the ISF. Iraq is many things, but Iraq is not at war.
If Iran and/or Saudi Arabia/Jordan/Syria/Egypt tried to restart the Iraq war; the Iraqi Security Forces would teach them "a lesson" they will not soon forget, to use a phrase from Deng Xiaoping.
The Iraqi economy is also growing rapidly.
"Do you agree that the first priority of the US is to A) Combat the takfiri networks and B) extract itself from Iraq and Afghanistan in a orderly fashion?"
For part {B} the odds of another conflagration in Iraq are dim. On Afghanistan, I would state that the international goal (for ISAF and UNAMA) is to increase Afghan capacity (ANSF capacity, civilian institution capacity, education system capacity, human capital, private sector business development, civil society.) It isn't "extraction" or anything else. Increased Afghan capacity will take care of everything else.
If I could rephrase your objective statement, it would be: "A) Combat the takfiri networks and B) increase Pakistani/Afghan capacity"
To the friends of Israel, you need to come up with a strategy to help us (America and the international community) manage the global extremists Salafi Takfiri threat, and a plan to help increase Pakistani/Afghan capacity.
Your friends in Turkey, Russia and India think that the way to do this is to work with Iran. Some of your American friends inside the current administration also think so. If you have an alternative strategy, please present it.
Also please try to increase your international popularity and popularity in the muslim world so that you could actually participate in multinational global security operations. Maybe treating your Palestinians brothers and sisters more respectfully might help.
Remember that the Palestinians are your people. You were one people for 1300 years. You lived side by side in mutual respect and mutual cooperation; the children of Abraham by Isaac and Ishmael. Many of today's Palestinians are probably Jews who converted to Islam (one of your fellow Abrahamic religions.)
Your recent problems began in 1948. You are big enough to put them behind you. Imagine how much Palestinians can contribute to your civil society, universities, academic research, start up world, technological innovation, and arts if you give them a shot.
Why not try some innovative ideas, such as reserving 40% of all Israeli university admissions for Palestinians (Israeli citizen, from the occupied territories, or those with a direct ancestor who lived in Israel in 1948.) Why not give these educated high achieving Palestinian family members of yours Israeli citizenship and let them contribute to your own shared nation?
Someone said that the Arabs should return confiscated property to Arab Jews. All the Sunni Arab dictatorships are the enemies of both Palestinians and Israelis. They won't return crap to either of you. So please forgive and forget.
BTW, this is what Indians did regarding their property in Pakistan and Bangladesh in 1948, and in Uganda in 1972; and what those who lost property to Mugabe more recently did. If you would tell Indians to ask for their property back, the vast majority would laugh at you and tell you they have moved on.
So should Arab Jews, unfair though that may seem. Unfortunately, Europeans, and non Palestinian Sunni Arab dictatorships don't like you. In fact, your natural allies against all of them are the Palestinians who are similarly treated like crap by Sunni Arabs dictatorships and Europeans. You both are in the same boat. So why not reach out to the Palestinians? And don't reach out to them as undesirables you have to live alongside; but reach out to them as strategic partners' allies that you respect and admire.
Posted by: anand at November 30, 2009 8:33 pm
"Also please try to increase your international popularity and popularity in the muslim world so that you could actually participate in multinational global security operations. Maybe treating your Palestinians brothers and sisters more respectfully might help."
Not likely, when the Palestinians' own Arab "brothers" treat them like garbage. Anyway, L'il Mamzer had exactly the right point - Israel accepted the 1948 partition while the Arabs rejected it to start an annihilationist war against the Jews. So the lack of a Palestinian state is 100% the fault of Arabs, zero percent the fault of Jews. Oops, doesn't fit the anand/fnord/glasnost/microraptor ad nauseam "blame it all on da Jooos" meme.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at December 1, 2009 12:09 am
No, sorry, can't agree with you on that.
Israel bears a huge part of the responsibility for the problems in the Middle East, maybe not 100% but pretty close to it.
This because the crux of the problem is that since Israel absolutely and without justification, refuses to be destroyed (at least, so far), its partners in peace (and their supporters) have no alternative but to try to destroy it.
And so Israel---no matter how much it might try, no matter how much it might want to foist this on others---cannot escape from this responsibility: if Israel only agreed to be destroyed, or at least agreed to be emasculated sufficiently, then a lot of this mess could be avoided. (Of course, then you'd see a lot of dead Jews, but so what?---since Jews are today's Nazis---and you'd also see Arabs massacring Arabs big time, but the world ha proven that it can live with that very easily.)
Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 1, 2009 12:59 am
Here's a treat for all you Hezbullah fans out there!!
(Yeah, yeah, we know. For public consumption only; has to consolidate the base; Nasrallah's the consummate politician; doesn't really mean it; Hezbullah's primarily a committed social organization concerned about promoting the health and well-being of its people.....etc....)
Actually, those who claim the last just might be right!!
Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 1, 2009 1:14 am
anand: Your friends in Turkey, Russia and India think that the way to do this is to work with Iran. Some of your American friends inside the current administration also think so.
For Iran to be invited into Afghanistan while US/NATO forces are there is an impossibility in my opinion, but lets set that aside for now. I'm seriously at a loss about how you think Iran can help in Afghanistan.
a) Do you expect Iran to provide humanitarian assistance? Considering the plight of a lot or Iranians that seems a bit far-fetched, even if the IRI could be considered to have humanitarian inclinations which I've never seen any evidence of.
b) Do you expect Iran to help with reconstruction?
c) Do you expect Iran to bolster political stability inside Afghanistan? What's the percentage of Afghans that are Shiites, anand? And what do you figure the Taliban would make of that? Not to mention... last time IRI bolstered "political stability" in another country it was Lebanon and look WTF happened there?
d) Do you expect them to contribute troops? Such as? Revolutionary Guards? The guys who create and train terrorist militias? Just what Afghanistan needs, right?
And lastly: Is it really wise to send an engraved invitation to a regime that is founded upon a doctrine which calls for an export of Khomeini's revolution worldwide to interfere in another countries affairs?
anand: Someone said that the Arabs should return confiscated property to Arab Jews. All the Sunni Arab dictatorships are the enemies of both Palestinians and Israelis. They won't return crap to either of you. So please forgive and forget.
Well, anand, obviously the Arabs will not return stolen land to Jews, and even if they did Jews would not be insane enough to try to take up residence in Arab countries again. In my opinion.
But how about this: They can give land (and property) that was taken from Jews to Palestinian families that were forced off their land in Israel. And along with the land they can give them a passport and citizenship. Of course, I don't think any Arab countries will jump at the chance to do that either, but what's stopping them? I certainly think it should be considered when and if the final status of borders is ever negotiated.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at December 1, 2009 1:30 am
Anand,
You still are subscribing to a double standard when you say that Jewish refugees discarded by the Arabs should "forgive and forget" while Palestinian refugees need to be compensated. That's not peace. That's not justice. That's giving special rights to one refugee group while air-brushing the other refugees' narrative out of history. That's an injustice and will not result in peace.
Posted by: Harold at December 1, 2009 7:48 am
Barry Meislin: You really need to get out of the habit of demonizing anyone who disagrees with you. Noone is claiming that Israel are the new nazis. What we are pointing out is that Israel is more and more loosing touch with the rest of the world, and seems to be rapidly falling into a national paranoia as a result.
Programmer Craig: Hate to break it to you, but Iran is already in Afghanistan. They have been active, in alliance with India constructing roads in Western Afghanistan. Herat is for all purposes inside the Iranian influence sphere. Iran has also been very active in figghting the poppy-trade on the border.
Harold: I think the difference is that the Arabic jews are not living in refugeecamps and squalor..
Posted by: fnord at December 1, 2009 9:20 am
More amusement. Ah, those wacky Norwegians.....
Since when is pointing out how absurd some points of view are "demonization"?
Still, if you think you are being demonized, perhaps it's a sign that you are feeling just a little bit guilty, in which case there may be some hope.
Perhaps not.
On the other hand, if you believe that the Iranians, Hezbullah, Hamas and the Palestinians are all tremendous liars (and have, in spite of their rhetoric, their demands, and their military preparations, every intention of living side by side with the Zionist Entity), you may agree that it's a position that not everyone, or every country, can afford to take.
Or once again, perhaps not.
Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 1, 2009 9:38 am
"Arabic Jews," (or rather Jews indigenous to Arab-majority lands) are not living in squalor because Israel took in most of them, and now they are, for the most part, integrated into mainstream Israeli society, with a high intermarriage rate between Ashkenazi and Sephardi/Mizrachi Jews. Arab countries, on the other hand, have done diddly squat for the Palestinian refugees and have used them like pawns to further their war against Israel.
Posted by: Harold at December 1, 2009 9:48 am
Lay off the Norwegians. Look at what they are contributing. Norway Major Gen. Bernt Iver Ferdinand Brovold just visited Afghanistan to review what Norway is doing as the lead nation in Meymana province. They have a Meymana PRT and Meymana OMLT to train the ANSF.
What is Israel doing? Yeah that's right, Israel isn't contributing to Afghanistan.
http:/
/www.isaf.nato.int/en/troop-contributing-nations/norway/index.php
Craig, the Sunni Arab dictatorship hate Israelis and Palestinians (and Iraqis for that matter.) They won't do jack for either of them (or for the Iraqis.) No point complaining about it.
Iran offered to train 20,000 ANA under US command as part of the international mission in Afghanistan. It is President Bush who didn't accept their offer.
The Taliban and AQ present an existential threat to Iran; more of a threat to Iran than to Europe or America. Iran has in public offered to help with ANSF training, but then mentions that NATO doesn't let Afghanistan accept Iranian help; because NATO doesn't really want to help the Afghans defeat the Taliban. Iranian propaganda is one reason for the belief of many Afghans that America secretly backs the Taliban.
Why not offer Iran a role under NTM-A command and control. Let the Iranians either step up or prove to the Afghans that Iranian offers of help were not genuine. Let the Iranians contribute PRTs under ISAF command. Let the Iranians contribute to the ISAF PRTs in Wardek (under Turkish command) and Kabul (not Turkish, but Kabul as a whole is under Turkish command.)
If Iran contributes through the international institutions such as NTM-A,UNAMA, and ISAF; it will be more difficult for Iran to misbehave.
Posted by: anand at December 1, 2009 10:01 am
fnord, yesterday the IRI kidnapped 5 British civilians on the high seas, who it seems were guilty of trying to make to to a yacht race. Do you really think a government that has a 30 year history of taking westerners hostage should be invited into a country where westerners are engaged in a nation building project? Isn't that like letting the fox guard the henhouse? And then you say IRI is already there... well, great! So what do they need an agreement with the US?
anand,
Lay off the Norwegians. Look at what they are contributing.
Don't be absurd. It doesn't matter what fnord's country does or doesn't contribute. He doesn't get a free pass to say stupid stuff and not be confronted about it.
Iran offered to train 20,000 ANA under US command as part of the international mission in Afghanistan. It is President Bush who didn't accept their offer.
And rightly so! Who would Iran send to do such training? These guys:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quds_Force
The Quds Force (Persian: نیروی قدس, translit. Niru-ye Qods), (or Qods Force) is a special unit of Iran's Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution. The Federation of American Scientists, in a document from 1998, says the primary mission of the Quds Force is to organize, train, equip, and finance foreign Islamic revolutionary movements. It further states that the Quds Force maintains and builds contacts with underground Islamic militant organizations throughout the Islamic world.
And while I have no doubt you think an Afghan Hezbollah (which is what they would call it, anand, that's what they always call their proxy militias) would be a good balance to the Taliban, it can in no way be considered in US interests to allow a new Iranian sponsored terrorist group to be created in Afghanistan. Nor could it be considered in Afghanistan's interests. Unless you think Afghans actually WANT a civil war?
The Taliban and AQ present an existential threat to Iran;
I disagree. I haven't seen any evidence that Taliban and AQ pose any threat at all to the IRI.
...more of a threat to Iran than to Europe or America.
That seems like a pretty far-fetched claim, anand :p
Iran has in public offered to help with ANSF training, but then mentions that NATO doesn't let Afghanistan accept Iranian help;
Can you blame anyone for not wanting Iranian help? Look how much they helped with "training" in Lebanon in the early 1980s? They created a monster that is still haunting the whole world today.
...because NATO doesn't really want to help the Afghans defeat the Taliban.
Not from Iran, no! We already know that have ill intent, and we already know their track record.
Iranian propaganda is one reason for the belief of many Afghans that America secretly backs the Taliban.
...?
Why not offer Iran a role under NTM-A command and control.
Anand, seriously... which part of "the Islamic Republic is an enemy of the Western World" are you not understanding? Don't take my word for it though! Ask them why don't you!?
So, anyway, I take it that you really do think the way Iran can help in Afghanistan is with military forces? Well, anand, since in my opinion it would be insanity for US/NATO to accept such assistance even if it was offered then what is there for the US/NATO to talk about? You want them to do a deal that they wouldn't even accept anyway? That's what the IRI does, but I have higher standards about negotiating in good faith for the west.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at December 1, 2009 1:18 pm
Posting again without the link!
fnord, yesterday the IRI kidnapped 5 British civilians on the high seas, who it seems were guilty of trying to make to to a yacht race. Do you really think a government that has a 30 year history of taking westerners hostage should be invited into a country where westerners are engaged in a nation building project? Isn't that like letting the fox guard the henhouse? And then you say IRI is already there... well, great! So what do they need an agreement with the US?
anand,
Lay off the Norwegians. Look at what they are contributing.
Don't be absurd. It doesn't matter what fnord's country does or doesn't contribute. He doesn't get a free pass to say stupid stuff and not be confronted about it.
Iran offered to train 20,000 ANA under US command as part of the international mission in Afghanistan. It is President Bush who didn't accept their offer.
And rightly so! Who would Iran send to do such training? These guys:
From wiki:
The Quds Force (Persian: نیروی قدس, translit. Niru-ye Qods), (or Qods Force) is a special unit of Iran's Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution. The Federation of American Scientists, in a document from 1998, says the primary mission of the Quds Force is to organize, train, equip, and finance foreign Islamic revolutionary movements. It further states that the Quds Force maintains and builds contacts with underground Islamic militant organizations throughout the Islamic world.
And while I have no doubt you think an Afghan Hezbollah (which is what they would call it, anand, that's what they always call their proxy militias) would be a good balance to the Taliban, it can in no way be considered in US interests to allow a new Iranian sponsored terrorist group to be created in Afghanistan. Nor could it be considered in Afghanistan's interests. Unless you think Afghans actually WANT a civil war?
The Taliban and AQ present an existential threat to Iran;
I disagree. I haven't seen any evidence that Taliban and AQ pose any threat at all to the IRI.
...more of a threat to Iran than to Europe or America.
That seems like a pretty far-fetched claim, anand :p
Iran has in public offered to help with ANSF training, but then mentions that NATO doesn't let Afghanistan accept Iranian help;
Can you blame anyone for not wanting Iranian help? Look how much they helped with "training" in Lebanon in the early 1980s? They created a monster that is still haunting the whole world today.
...because NATO doesn't really want to help the Afghans defeat the Taliban.
Not from Iran, no! We already know that have ill intent, and we already know their track record.
Iranian propaganda is one reason for the belief of many Afghans that America secretly backs the Taliban.
...?
Why not offer Iran a role under NTM-A command and control.
Anand, seriously... which part of "the Islamic Republic is an enemy of the Western World" are you not understanding? Don't take my word for it though! Ask them why don't you!?
So, anyway, I take it that you really do think the way Iran can help in Afghanistan is with military forces? Well, anand, since in my opinion it would be insanity for US/NATO to accept such assistance even if it was offered then what is there for the US/NATO to talk about? You want them to do a deal that they wouldn't even accept anyway? That's what the IRI does, but I have higher standards about negotiating in good faith for the west.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at December 1, 2009 1:19 pm
Oh and another thing, in regards to inviting Pasdaran into Afghanistan while westerners are there! Does anyone besides me remember all the hostages that Hezbollah Lebanon took during the 1980s? And how many of them were tortured to death?
Do you hate western journalists and NGO workers so much, anand?
Posted by: programmmer_craig at December 1, 2009 1:22 pm
"Kidnapped"? As far as I know, they were brought in by the navy. Since Israel doesnt permit Gaza to fish, you really ought to shut up about maritime law.
As far as "stupid" goes, right back at ya. The arrogance of the pro-Israel crowd is going to cost you dearly. Tell me to shut up or be anti-semite, will ya? Its a problem oriented instead of solution orientedapproach to a fckin big problem. You folks try to maximalise the conflict.
Posted by: fnord at December 1, 2009 5:43 pm
Anand,
Did you know that before 1967, there were no universities in the West Bank. There are no at least 5 put there with the help of the Israelis in the mistaken belief that higher education would lead to prosperity. Instead they became centres for Jihadist recruitment.
And please stop with all the sophistry. Your ignorance of the works of Ilan Pappe does little to aid your credibility. Who are you going to quote next, Norman Finklestein?
As for the adolescent "he's cool, the Turks rock" etc. you can put down your hashpipe and come back to earth.
Every time the Israelis extended a hand of help it was rejected or withdrawn just before it was cut off. So please desist with all the Kumbaya brothers and sisters crap. As with any sophistry you've just inverted the truth.
The only way, those that call themselves "Palestinians is to abjure their terrorist tendencies and start building some kind of civil society which is dedicated to providing some kind of livelihood and reasonably sane future and not the genocidal maximalist ideology that passes for reason. Some of that is happening already, but not enough and with people like you and your Martian friend fjord promoting an anti-Israeli agenda rather than some type of positive concrete help, the Palis will always be rejectionists. Just keep telling them that they own the heavens.
As for fjord, those long nights are something else, aren't they?
Nothing to do but troll the internet bring your own special form of intergalactic knowledge and logic.
And my, my, but you are testy for a Martian. And I thought after reading Ray Bradbury that Martians were intelligent. I'm glad you clarified that for me.
For anyone to deny that those Brits were kidnapped or those American hikers for that matter really is living in a parallel universe. I know, I know you and Anand feel that those Iranian mullahs and Rev Guards are just poor misunderstood chaps. Of course they are. and I've just had some green cheese from the moon.
Good luck!
Oh and BTW, to quote someone not too famous: "Grow up!"
Posted by: JB at December 1, 2009 6:29 pm
fnord,
"Kidnapped"? As far as I know, they were brought in by the navy.
What does that have to do with anything?
Since Israel doesnt permit Gaza to fish, you really ought to shut up about maritime law.
Why? I'm not Israeli, fnord.
So anyway, you support this act of piracy and hostage taking by the Islamic Republic? Maybe you really ought to shut up about how the United States should make deals with governments who engage in terrorism, hostage taking, piracy and other violations of international law. If Norway wants to get into bed with such governments, that's your business. Butt out of ours.
As far as "stupid" goes, right back at ya. The arrogance of the pro-Israel crowd is going to cost you dearly.
I'm not "pro-Israel", fnord. I'm pro-America. Which is more than you can say. Which makes me wonder why you think its up to you to advocate what the US should do? You don't have America's best interests at heart. Who do you think you are?
Its a problem oriented instead of solution orientedapproach to a fckin big problem. You folks try to maximalise the conflict.
And you try to pretend there isn't a conflict...
Does your country even list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, fnord? If not - you got nothing to say. You aren't even fighting the GWOT. You're just engaging in some old school colonialism, while piggy-backing on the US.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at December 2, 2009 3:33 am
"Does your country even list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, fnord? If not - you got nothing to say. You aren't even fighting the GWOT. You're just engaging in some old school colonialism, while piggy-backing on the US."
Programmer C: We got one of the largest contigents per capita in Afghanistan. I think you will find that veterans of Afghanistan have quite a respect for our mountain hunters, did a lot of the triangulation in the first phase. FSK are equal to any US SF detail. You guys shoot the national shit too much, you forget how NATO has been built as a modular unit (wich has turned out to not function too well as a occupying force). We have stripped our national defence to provide support to the US political goals, something wich I have always strongly opposed. We agree that Europe and the US should split, however.
ANd as for Hezb on the terror list, no we dont. Thats because we have 20 years of UNIFIl in our residual memory as a military force.
Posted by: fnord at December 2, 2009 5:53 pm
PS: on "kidnapped", in the age of illegal renditions, should you pro-US really be talking to loud? I can imagine if a Iranian official yacht (this was the vessel of the prince of bahrain) was cruising outside, say, San Diego. Think it wouldnt get boarded`Lol.
Posted by: fnord at December 2, 2009 6:00 pm
(snipping your diversionary irrelevancies)
We have stripped our national defence to provide support to the US political goals, something wich I have always strongly opposed.
And yet, you use that support (which you opposed) for US actions to try to bolster your own personal credentials in this thread. As if the fact that your own countrymen did something that helped the US even though you didn't approve of it somehow makes your opinions more credible...
Mind boggling.
We agree that Europe and the US should split, however.
Good! Glad we agree on something, fnord! Perhaps it is possible to find some common ground :p
ANd as for Hezb on the terror list, no we dont.
Then how can you claim to be fighting the GWOT when you don't consider the second most infamous international terror group in the world to be bad guys?
And how much should the US care about your opinions about whether we should partner up with the IRI - Hezbollah's creator, sponsor and master?
Thats because we have 20 years of UNIFIl in our residual memory as a military force.
What's that got to do with the fact your country is playing kissy-face with one of the world's worst terror groups, while you - fnord - are on this website criticizing Americans for not doing the same thing? We're at war with international terror groups like Hezbollah, fnord. You aren't.
PS: on "kidnapped", in the age of illegal renditions, should you pro-US really be talking to loud?
Yes. The US should be talking "so loud". And, so should you. Instead, you are playing the moral-equivalency game. Which is your standard operating procedure. *shrug*
Keep on doing that, fnord. And keep on wondering why everyone tunes you out.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at December 2, 2009 6:30 pm
By the way:
...this was the vessel of the prince of bahrain...
That's the only reason they aren't in Evin Prison, awaiting some kind of political concession on the part of the UK before being released.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at December 2, 2009 6:34 pm
A reality check, of sorts, anyway.
And if the author is correct, Hezbullah is in need of some assistance.
(So at the very least, keep that moral support coming?...)
Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 2, 2009 11:39 pm
"We're at war with international terror groups like Hezbollah, fnord."
No, you obviously are not. If the US had been at war with Hezbollah in the same way youre at war with Al Quaeda, you really think that Hezb wouyld be in government in the sovereign state of Lebanon? A state wich cooperates with the US on many levels? Get real.
As to using norwegian military action to bolster "my credentials", wtf? was simply poiniting out that your accusations of national freeloading were baseless. And I did not oppose the Afghan invasion, fyi, what I opposed was the whole NATO Out of Area concept for wich we were woefully unprepared.
As for moral equivalency, I guess in the Lord of the Rings version of the world you would be right. Them orcs deserve to die, and Im sure Aragorn would cheerfully do a rendition of Saruman. I love the stance: "When we do it, its justice. When they do it, its evil" . It just comes across so elegant. Ah, good ole exceptionalism, cant beat it for defending the undefendable. Its right up there with "G-d wants us to have this piece of land".
Posted by: fnord at December 3, 2009 2:30 am
No, you obviously are not. If the US had been at war with Hezbollah in the same way youre at war with Al Quaeda...
fnord, just because we aren't going kinetic against HA right now doesn't mean we won't in the future. HA has a lot of American blood on its hands, and has been on our "hit" list since 1983.
Either get with the program or put a sock in it, because you sound like an ADD kid when you talk as if the US is somehow reconciled to Hezbollah's existence. We are not.
...you really think that Hezb wouyld be in government in the sovereign state of Lebanon?
What's that supposed to mean? Since when did Lebanese give a damn about what US think of their terror groups? If the US told the Lebanese Government that we intended to send in a couple of divisions next month to clean up HA for them, what do you think would happen? They'd eject HA from the government and declare them persona non-grata? lol. If that were true then you can be sure the US would do that.
A state wich cooperates with the US on many levels? Get real.
Get real? You are the one implying that the US is OK with Hezbollah, fnord. And look at the evidence you bring? The fact that the US has not invaded Lebanon (yet) means HA has our blessing! It's obvious, isn't it!? Just like al Qaida had our blessing in Afghanistan prior to 9/11.
Get real. Indeed.
As for moral equivalency, I guess in the Lord of the Rings version of the world you would be right. Them orcs deserve to die, and Im sure Aragorn would cheerfully do a rendition of Saruman.
If those are Hezbollah orcs, then yes - they deserve to die. They are mass murdering terrorists.
I love the stance: "When we do it, its justice. When they do it, its evil" . It just comes across so elegant. Ah, good ole exceptionalism, cant beat it for defending the undefendable. Its right up there with "G-d wants us to have this piece of land".
As opposed to your stance, which is no matter how despicable somebody else's conduct is, it's no worse than what everyone else does. How convenient for you. You never have to make any of the tough choices, because everyone is all the same.
So anyway, fnord, do you guys up there in Norway at least have Iran listed as a state sponsor of international terrorism? I'm gonna go ahead and guess the answer to that question is "no". So, tell me again about your commitment to the GWOT? It seems pretty easy to fight the Global War on Terror when you haven't identified any terrorists. And not only easy, but painless too! That's taking the whole Sun Tzu art of fighting without fighting to a whole new level! You pretend to be fighting while all you are really doing is getting in everyone's way...
Posted by: programmmer_craig at December 3, 2009 3:27 am
"Either get with the program or put a sock in it, because you sound like an ADD kid when you talk as if the US is somehow reconciled to Hezbollah's existence. We are not."
Ah, I guess thats why the Lebanese president whop is in government with Hezbollah is visiting Washington next week with full honours. The same guy who just agreed with Hezb to legitimize their weapons. Fascinating. Programmer C: I think you mistake your personal feelings for US policy.
"It seems pretty easy to fight the Global War on Terror when you haven't identified any terrorists."
Well, first of all, the GWOT is officialy over. Second, as far as I remember that was and is a war against Al Quaeda and the takfiri networks, not a war on all "terror" (wich would include state-terror and leave Israel post Gaza in a bad place) or even a war on all insurgent groups in the world.
"As opposed to your stance, which is no matter how despicable somebody else's conduct is, it's no worse than what everyone else does."
You might want to read Walts text "Why they hate us (II): How many Muslims has the U.S. killed in the past 30 years?". Even given low numbers and not counting Israel as a embedded partner, its a 30:1 ration in our favour. Given those numbers, we are the bad guys...
Posted by: fnord at December 3, 2009 4:47 am
P.S.For the chinese view on Iran, please click link. Remember them chinese who are bankrolling the US, PC?
Posted by: fnord at December 3, 2009 6:01 am
fnord, the position of the US towards HA is well publicized, and well known. Except by you, it seems. Your comments are unworthy of further discussion, in my opinion. Educate yourself, or not. No skin off my nose either way.
Likewise, this:
Second, as far as I remember that was and is a war against Al Quaeda and the takfiri networks, not a war on all "terror"...
Is an obvious and seemingly deliberate mis-statement of fact. Even in Norway, I suspect you must know better than that. We even threw people in prison for being associated with HAMAS, fnord. Surely a pro-terror guy such as yourself picked up on that little "tell" about the nature of the GWOT. I see no reason to argue with somebody who is willfully being intellectually dishonest. Maybe that passes for entertainment up there in the land of endless twilight but I've got better things to do with my time.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at December 3, 2009 6:55 am
"Pro-terror guy?" AH yes, since I do not agree with you it means Im rootin for "the terrorists". All of them. Obviously. Wasnt more than a week ago that Cheney accused the president of aiding and abetting terrorists too. Real constructive approach. Hate to break it to ya again, but this is 2009. Bush isnt president anymore. Youre using the rhetoric of 2005, along with the rest of the tea-party people.
And on intelectual honesty: Let me see: You first accused my country of freeloading on the US. When I pointed out that this wasnt so, you said that I used my countrys military effort as a personal alibi. When I pointed out that this wasnt so, you fall back to "pro-terrorist". And you have the gall to use the term "intelectualy dishonest"? Damn, man, youre like a encyclopedia of right-wing dominance-tactics. You just cant get it around your head that not everybody sees Hezbollah as the archnemesis of the universe, but see it as a geographical limited local militia backed by Iran and Syria. And so, logicaly, anyone who doesnt agree with your categorization must therefore be a sympathiser of terror.
Posted by: fnord at December 3, 2009 7:41 am
lol.
Posted by: fnord at December 3, 2009 10:58 am
LOL, indeed!
Good Luck, Mr. Miliband! I see irony still exists.
Now bend over.
Posted by: JB at December 3, 2009 11:21 am
Damn, I must be channeling the EU.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1259243065979&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Posted by: fnord at December 3, 2009 12:00 pm
fnord, the GWOT is ongoing. For one thing the acronym is still used to share intelligence within NATO, and between NATO and the Pakistani Government and the GIRoA. There is still a real global war against the Takfiri extremists.
"You might want to read Walts text "Why they hate us (II): How many Muslims has the U.S. killed in the past 30 years?". Even given low numbers and not counting Israel as a embedded partner, its a 30:1 ration in our favour. Given those numbers, we are the bad guys..." Please elaborate? Which muslims has America killed? (I mean America rather than American allies.)
Craig has been a friend of mine. He is a brilliant programmer and a sharp thinker. Hezbollah killed some of his friends. One of his closest friend is an Iranian who was messed with by the Iranian revolutionary regime. As a result I think that you should give him a little leeway on Hezbollah.
Craig, any fool who conducted the terrorist attacks in 1992 and 1994 in Argentina is a bottomless bucket of bile. This includes the Hezbollah agents involved. {I mentioned that Hezbollah groupies strongly insist that either the Takfiris or local neo nazi skin heads did it.}
I don't think America should try to reach a deal with Sayyed Nasrallah right now. First America should try to reach some kind of arrangement with Iran. If the powers that be in Iran (some of the smartest people I know no longer believe that Khamenei calls all the shots like he did 6 months ago), don't reciprocate then heck with them. I still think we should try, and find out one way or the other. {I think large parts of the regime wants to deliver a free trade agreement with America to their supporters; since they are getting killed because of the poor Iranian economy;}
Craig, the International Islamic Front, Takfiris, Taliban and their allies do pose an existential threat to Iran. Maybe I should write a detailed post about this on our group.
Remember Osama Bin Laden's first large terrorist attack in 1988 in Gilgit, Kashmir? It killed hundreds of Shiites. Remember Zawahiri's only online interview. In this he was asked about Iran's nuclear program (which he opposes.) He stated that he wanted to destroy both Iran and the West. He hoped there was a war between Iran and the West. Zawahiri would then finish off the loser. Interestingly, Zawahiri was unable to articulate who he hated most between them.
Iran nearly invaded Afghanistan in 1997 and again in 1998 because of Taliban/OBL {OBL = Osama Bin Laden} massacres of Shiites and Iranians. Iran was unable to invade Afghanistan both times because:
1) Pakistan's nuclear umbrella over Al Qaeda and the Taliban
2) Very dumb people in the Clinton administration and Europe opposed an Iranian invasion. {Not Russia, Turkey and India though; they had brains, and understood that an Iranian invasion would serve the whole world by weakening the Takfiris.}
Remember the Jundullah terrorist attack against Iran recently that killed many top Iranian and IRGC Kuds leaders? Jundullah is an affiliate of Sipah e Sahaba and Lashkar e Jhanvi. The emir or supreme leader of both these groups is none other than our very own Osama Bin Laden.
The Shiite hating trio Jundullah/Sipah e Sahaba/Lashkar e Jhanvi also happen to be fighting against the ANSF/ISAF in Afghanistan, the Pakistani Army, Iran, India, Xinjiang province, and Russia. They are also at war with America by their own words.
Craig, remember Zarkawi from Iraq? Zarkawi fought alongside Sipah e Sahaba and Lashkar e Jhanvi in the 1980s.
Craig, even if the US is able to achieve a detente or partnership with Iran, it is unclear what can be achieved with Nasrallah. If Nasrallah still doesn't play ball, with the help of Iran, the Quom Marjeya, Najaf Marjeya, and Iraq we could sideline Nasrallah at the expense of Amal and more moderate Hezbollah elements.
I know you don't want us to try any accommodation with Nasrallah, and respect that. But let's be cool with our Norwegian friend ;-)
Fnord, in what way does American interests not allign with Norwegian interests? Why do you want Europe to part ways with the US? I think that NATO should focus on aligning ourselves with the great Asian powers. I think that Europe, the great Asian powers and North America share very closely aligned interests and values (at least values if you exclude freedom of speech in China and Russia.) I think that all of us need to work more closely together than ever before.
Posted by: anand at December 3, 2009 12:29 pm
It's worth remembering how this thread started, with Michael posting about the subhuman terrorists of Hezbollah, repellent thugs who publicly brag about having Israeli body parts in their possession. Then anand and fnord come in making excuses for and even fawning over these savage barbarians while demonizing Israel.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at December 4, 2009 12:58 am
Post a comment

Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Read my blog on Kindle









Sponsored Links

Buy a used boat

Shanghai Hotels

Yachts for sale


Recommended Reading