May 29, 2007

Remember the conventional wisdom?

By Noah Pollak

I’ve had little time to post over the past week, as we’re in full production mode at the journal I work for and my days have been busy. But I wanted to make a brief observation about the situation today in Gaza, as by my lights there are three fundamentally important premises of recent Middle East diplomacy that the lawlessness there has overturned -- and quite violently, at that.

The first is the notion that power would moderate Hamas. After the terrorist group was elected in January 2006, western interpreters of “the conflict” dreamily predicted that its stridency and absolutism would attenuate; with its constituency being the entire Palestinian population, this thinking went, Hamas’ war against Israel would be necessarily curtailed by the mundane requirements of governance and incumbency. At the time, President Bush said, “I think people who generally run for office say, vote for me, I’m looking forward to fixing your potholes, or making sure you got bread on the table.” The AP’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief wrote, “if the elections pull the Islamic militants off the streets and into the corridors of power -- shifting their focus from terror to governance -- prospects for peace could be improved.” Not only has Hamas not moderated, it has actually become even more self-confident. Islamists, like most people, aren’t “moderated” by winning political power; they only compromise when a more powerful force, or necessity, compels them to.

The second is an idea that dates back at least to the start of Olso in the early 1990’s. It is the belief that Israel must make concessions in order to validate and strengthen the Palestinian moderates and marginalize the radicals. Another piece of conventional wisdom holds that Hamas won the 2006 election primarily due to a widespread feeling of disgust among Palestinians with Fatah’s corruption and fecklessness. Yet Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza happened just four months before the election, and the commotion surrounding that event distracted many people from taking note of what the withdrawal meant for the Palestinians themselves.

And what it meant for the Palestinians, especially the residents of Gaza, was that Hamas’ fierce resistance over the decades had finally forced an Israeli retreat. It was the Shia reaction to the 2000 Lebanon pullout all over again, with Hamas playing Hezbollah. Hamas was able to campaign proudly on this victory, which was viewed as additional evidence of Hamas’ strength and competence. And so it seems clear that a massive Israeli concession -- its departure from Gaza -- did not strengthen the Palestinian moderates at all, but in fact did the opposite: it vindicated the extremists, who unlike the moderates could declare a great victory and bask in the ensuing public admiration -- and collect a lot more votes when election day arrived.

And finally, there is the matter of foreign aid and its relationship to democracy-promotion. The Arab states and Iran have always spoken with great high-mindedness about the plight of their brothers in Palestine, but these regimes in practice have always lustily enjoyed seeing their brothers become permanent wards of UNRWA, settle into never-ending refugee status, and stagnate in extremism and violence. Since Hamas came to power, as David Frum helpfully notes, the gushers of largess that flow into the Palestinian territories have actually increased.

It is a little-known fact that international aid to the Palestinian territories has actually risen since Palestinians elected a Hamas government in January, 2006. According to International Monetary Fund and UN figures, the Palestinian areas received a total of $1.2 billion in official aid in 2006, up from $1 billion in 2005.
America's contribution rose from $400 million in 2005 to $468 million in 2006. Aid from the European Union and other international organizations also increased handsomely, and the UN has called for still greater increases in aid in 2007.
Look at the incentives that have been created for the Palestinians: vote for terrorism, get an increase in your foreign aid. The Palestinian areas now receive more than $300 per person, per year, making them the most aid-dependent population on Earth. (The people of sub-Saharan Africa receive only $44 per person per year.)

Meanwhile Hamas’ supposed pariah status has allowed it to strike a deal with a generous fellow-pariah, Iran, which since the election has spent well over $100 million directly on the terrorist group. Iran, whose economy is rapidly falling apart, is not providing this money out of altruistic solidarity, or even as cheap symbolism, as Saddam Hussein used to do with his payments to the families of suicide bombers. Iran is purchasing terrorism against Israel and improving its already substantial ability to foment crises in the region, which is one of mullahs' greatest deterrent capabilities.

Add all of this money up, and one confronts the reality that Hamas and the PA today are awash in unprecedented sums of money, absolving both Hamas and Fatah of the need to fulfill the most basic requirements of governance. This largess has so taken the pressure off Hamas that it is free to indulge almost exclusively in its greatest interest, and a major interest of its new patron, Iran -- waging jihad against Israel.

The primary givers to the Palestinians -- America and the EU -- have for years insisted on democracy without demanding accountability, or even a modicum of initiative and self-sufficiency. This is not aid; it is welfare. If there should ever be a moment when the institutions that are charged with improving the plight of the Palestinians take stock of what their benevolence has wrought, that moment it now, amidst Hamas' acts of war against Israel, its entente with Iran, and its civil war with Fatah. Have all of these billions been helping the Palestinians, or hurting them?

Many observers of Hamas’ rise to power have noted that the U.S. wishes for the Hamas government to collapse under the weight of its own narcissistic radicalism and unrestrained ambition. But the U.S., UN, and EU are pumping so much money into the Palestinian territories that they’re preventing that collapse, and the ensuing recognition among Palestinians that their votes were perhaps cast unwisely. With its prolific foreign aid, the West is not just infantilizing the Palestinian people and continuing to thwart any possibility, however implausible, of a Palestinian state. It is now underwriting the emerging Palestinian-Iranian alliance.

Posted by Noah Pollak at May 29, 2007 04:32 AM
Comments

I can understand the Europeans, given their history, wagging a proxy war against Israel, but why the Americans? Have the Saudis been squeezing them that hard?

Posted by: redaktor at May 29, 2007 06:35 AM

Finally, Noah Pollak writes something worth reading.

Good article Noah. Your three points are excellent, and manifest the fallacy of the arguments that recently dominated discourse about Palestinian politics.

Write more like these, not like the ridiculously pathetic and whiny piece you wrote about UNIFIL, or the other generic summations you offer.

I am taking in mind that Totten is not the best example for you to follow. Miguel is spending his town outsourcing his blog to you, Tony Badran (Mike, I sure hope you're giving him some of the cash you earn since you cite him daily instead of writing for yourself), and Lebanese bloggers.

Good article, Noah. Seriously. I'm being a punk because this blog has deteriorated, and I've paid too much to watch it fall apart now.

Noah, it's warm and sunny enough now in Israel for you to put those sunglasses you are always pictured in to good use.

Posted by: Longtime Totten Reader at May 29, 2007 06:37 AM

With its prolific foreign aid, the West is not just infantilizing the Palestinian people

Does all the blame belong to the Western donors? Doesn't the average Joe (or Mohammad) over there deserve any blame for sympathizing with these groups and contributing to the malaise?

Most of the blame belongs to the Palestininan culture in general.

Posted by: Xylo at May 29, 2007 06:40 AM

There are a number of reasons why Hamas has gained such confidence and legitimacy.

1. During the 2000-2005 infitada (or however you spell it), Ariel Sharon kept hitting Fatah positions after every suicide bombing. Say someone struck in Haifa, Sharon would retaliate by destroying a Fatah police station. Now, why on earth would he do that? It wasn't Fatah that launched the suicide attack, but Hamas, or Islamic Jihad. Why punish Fatah? After all Fatah was in charge of the government and running the police stations. Why undermine their strength and their domain, and most importantly, their monopoly on violence in the Palestinian territories?

Was anyone else befuddled about this? Does any American have a long enough attention span to even remember this?

2. Every single time Israel retaliated with a missile that destroyed a home with civilians in it only further strengthened Hamas' position. Every single time a Palestinian civilian was killed, a Palestinian boy or girl under the age of 12 shot down by Israelis only strengthened Hamas' position. Every single time. Did Israel not realize this? Apparently not, because now they've got a confident and ruling Hamas over Palestine, and they can't do a single thing about it.

3. Hamas runs the social programs and hospitals in the Gaza Strip (and I think some in the West Bank too, though I am not sure). That scores lots of points with the natives. What has Israel done for the locals?

4. The Checkpoints. Let's talk about those checkpoints. I don't know about you, but I personally would be seething through each and every checkpoint, if I had to go through them. My anger would come to a serious boiling point and I would feel quite justified in my mind at killing all those soldiers at those checkpoints if I had to go through them every single day. Has anyone considered the negative effects of those checkpoints, because let me tell you, I think they've done far more damage than they were supposed to have prevented.

5. The continual undermining of Fatah, as corrupt as it was, had a detrimental effect upon moderates in Palestine. Say what you will about Fatah, but it was no Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Why undermine them? Does anyone honestly think that continual undermining of moderates somehow will bring the people to your side?

6. The lowering of education standards in Palestine so that what was preached was the glory of Hamas. This is where Hamas excelled at getting the people behind them.

7. Hamas pulled off smart moves within Palestine to undermine Palestinian informants who, according to Hamas, betrayed Palestine to the Jews. Hamas found ways to curb informants and get Palestinians to submit to their way.

All these (and probably many more) gave power and legitimacy to Hamas. Some of the problems could have been averted by the United States reeling Israel in, getting them to step back from some of the more detrimental policies Israel implemented. Some, Israel and the West could not do anything about.

America and the West wanted elections in Palestine. Did they know that that risked Hamas winning? When a people are in such circumstances, they tend to want the most extreme leaders, the ones who fight back. The ones who say, "Enough of the oppression!" Hamas gave them that script, those leaders. What did Fatah promise that Fatah could deliver? Normalized relations with Israel? Just what did that mean? More living in subjugation to Israel? More checkpoints? Can anyone see that for Palestinians, sticking with Fatah meant more of the same? Why would anyone want that?

Posted by: Dan at May 29, 2007 07:03 AM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 05/29/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Posted by: David M at May 29, 2007 07:54 AM

'What has Israel done for the locals?' Israel has kept Gaza supplied with electricity, water, and continues to provide pediatric hospital care. What, one has to ask, has the PLO or Hamas done for the locals with the billions of aid dollars in the past 10-20 years? Not a fucking thing. If Arafat had put his 'personal' 2 Billion share into edication and clinics, Hamas would not have had such fertile ground.

Your view makes any Israeli response to violent attack impossible -- can't hit non-civilian targets because it might be Fatah (as if Arafat wasn't directing the intifada!), can't hit anyplace there might be a civilian, like the in-home bomb factories of Hamas.

Your failure to even consider the other side, Dan, paints you as a Palestinian apologist (and a jackass) -- every time an Israeli civilian, women and children, were killed, it played right into the hard-liners' hands. Israel didn't deliberately target schoolbuses -- the Pals did. It raised the same level of rage and pain in Israelis as civilian deaths do in Palestine -- perhaps more, because there's none of this 'martyr' crap. (And you don't see Israelis dancing in the streets handing out candy when they hit a home with civilians in it.)

The dead Israelis were not in the kitchen fixing Mahmoud the bomber's breakfast while he refined a trigger device in the living room, or hugging their son the suicide bomber as he started out the door. If as Arabs say, there is no Israeli civilian, I think the reverse is even more true -- at this point, there are no innocent Palestinians.

Noah -- so all this money is not getting to the people, obviously -- or is it? Are the reported trash-filled streets, etc. all calculated for effect? It wouldn't surprise me, just curious.

Posted by: Pam at May 29, 2007 08:16 AM

Thank you, Pam.

Dan checkpoints, you are seething so much (I do not like it either), are the effect and not the cause.

Posted by: leo at May 29, 2007 08:28 AM

Is "Don" that "Dan Williams" (from the 22 May Yglesias thread) back again? The similarities in style and content are striking.

So Don, is there a security guard where you work?
Are you "seething" every time you swipe your badge? Are you justified in your mind at killing that security guard?

Posted by: Mastodon at May 29, 2007 08:37 AM

the points pollack makes are all no-brainers and nothing new. for anybody moderately familiar with the arab culture/religion and the conflict and a minimal brain it should have been obvious.

that the us and eu are willfully ignorant about it and delude themselves to bribe sworn, ruthless enemies, and for which israel has become an inconvenience given their natural tendency to appease, and dumped billions into a bottomless barrel does not surprise me at all.

what worries me is that israel has bought into the nonsense and wishes the reality away.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 09:18 AM

i think it was mjt who mentioned paul berman. so here's an email that i just got.

if anybody has access to tnr and can make it available, pls do.

Dear Reader,

Can you keep a secret? OK, there are no secrets on the Internet. But I am excited to divulge to you the first word of an intellectual explosion that The New Republic cases in our June 4 issue. Paul Berman has written a 28,000 word essay--an incendiary pamphlet, really--about the extraordinary though exemplary case of the Islamicist thinker Tariq Ramadan, who has become the darling of liberal commentators in Europe and increasingly also in the United States. Berman's essay is a detailed examination of not only of Ramadan's thought, but more generally of Islamicist thought since the 1920s--and more, of the bizarrely cordial reception that certain strands of Islamicist thought have recently found in the West. Berman's essay is erudite and vivid, a model of the history of contemporary ideas. And a model also of the battle of ideas: Berman has written a stirring defense of the liberal ideal a gainst its enemies (and e! ven against some of its friends)--an unforgettable call to intellectual responsibility. People will be arguing about it for a very long time. Subscribe today for only $9.97 to read this first-rate essay and the rest of our June 4 issue.

You may recall Berman's 2004 book, Terror and Liberalism, which was on the serious best-seller lists for months and months, and began the intellectual debate in which we are all, willy-nilly, now unavoidably ensnared. Reading his essay will be both a responsibility and an opportunity.

Best,
Martin Peretz
Editor-In-Chief
The New Republic

PS: In his research for this essay, Berman unearthed a fascinating exchange on the stoning of women in Islam between Ramadan and Nicolas Sarkozy. You will certainly want to read this.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 09:21 AM

Hamas runs the social programs and hospitals in the Gaza Strip (and I think some in the West Bank too, though I am not sure). That scores lots of points with the natives. What has Israel done for the locals?

Dan - The Palestinians and their state sponsors are at war with Israel. When at war, you fight back or you lose. The history of the Middle East is proof of that. The idea that Israel or anyone else could win a war through 'hearts and minds' efforts has been proven wrong so many times, it's hardly worth arguing.

I don't know about you, but I personally would be seething through each and every checkpoint, if I had to go through them. My anger would come to a serious boiling point and I would feel quite justified in my mind at killing all those soldiers at those checkpoints if I had to go through them every single day.

Soldiers and security guards are trained and paid to keep the general public safe from the dangerous and the lunatic. If someone with your attitude did come to a 'boiling point', I trust that they would respond efficiently and effectively, with little harm to themselves. Their salaries are money well spent.

Posted by: mary at May 29, 2007 09:32 AM

It's quite obvious there would be no need for security checkpoints were it not for the Palestinian desire to harm Israelis. Ditto with the security fense. Don has action and reaction all backwards.

Posted by: Zak at May 29, 2007 09:43 AM

Since what we read is not what is being implemented in the run the papers-diplomatic world I thought the following.: When Sharon was doing the Sharon thing I thought that the end result was going to be that Gaza (because of its lawlessness, chaos, etc.) would revert to Egypt (I understand that Gaza was forced on Begin by Sadat). Gaza was always dominated by the M.Brotherhood-Hamas, etc. and the Egyptians do not like the MB. The West Bank was going to be given back to Jordan. King Abdullah was married to Queen Rania, a Palestinian, and the marriage was not an accident.
Has the paradigm changed or not?
As I have written before Hamas, Hezbollah, M.Brotherhood, etc are all into theo-raketeering. Baby Assad has to be taught a lesson if he wants to join the real world of a better economy and wealth distribution. We have to dismantle the refugee camps. The Palestinian people have paid a very heavy price; they have been punished and continue to being punished by their egomaniacal-thugs-leaders. All of them, the Hanyies, as well as the Dahlan and the Abbas, have to be replaced by people who are invested personally into making their world a better one.
And finally isn’t it peculiar that a lot of money is being invested in global small conflicts that destroy lives in a most stupid way. And I am talking about more than Iran, Syria…………………My challenge consists of quoting a famous phrase: ………follow the trail of the money…………

Posted by: diana at May 29, 2007 09:47 AM

Longtime Totten Reader: I'm being a punk because this blog has deteriorated

Yes, you are being a punk.

I'm working on some long non-blog writing projects right now, and I can only write so much in one day. So the blog suffers temporarily. Sorry. I have to make a living. My mortgage doesn't pay itself. Don't take it out on Noah. He's helping, and he's good.

My passport is at the Iraqi Embassy in Washington now awaiting a visa. (This is a brand-new requirement.) I'll be in Baghdad and Anbar Province as soon as I can get there.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 10:18 AM

mjt,

i have no idea why you have to explain/justify yourself just because a reader complains. if he does not like it, he does not have to visit.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 10:29 AM

at best of times the funds dumped on the palestinians were to pay "security forces" and corruption. the latter was explicitly admitted by the palestinians more than once, but has not deterred the funders one bit, just the opposite.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/05/17/do1705.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/05/17/ixnews.html

the funders really just want to assuage their "guilt" and pay jizya, they care little about the use to which the funds are being put, as long as it's "resistance" against the joos.

if they had any brains and cared about the palestinians they would at the very least condition the funds on stopping violence and economic development. but it is unconditional welfare which rather pumps the conflict rather than stop it. and the palestinians feel entitled to it, for when it's reduced they seethe and threaten and denounce the "boycott".

why should hamas stop when somebody else funds their terror by the billions? have the funders ever asked themselves why the palestinians seem to be eternally on the edge of disaster, yet the arms and armies are always plentiful?

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 10:44 AM

Israel has kept Gaza supplied with electricity, water, and continues to provide pediatric hospital care.

Which makes Israelis idiots and suckers. Or do they like having rockets fired at them?

Why is it that Israelis never have the balls to make ultimatums?

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 11:13 AM

Isn't it strange and complexing how it seems that the 'radicals' and 'terrorists' of the Arab world keep getting elected, while the so-called 'moderates' (who are the real radicals and terrorists) are hated amongst the arab people and are considered to be non-patriotic as well as agents of foreign lands?

This applies to terrorist Hamas, Hezbollah, Amal, even Fatah who used to be called terrorist, but is now ofcourse mainstream, secular and moderate since Mahmood Abbas set out to kill his own people. As soon as Fatah becomes 'moderate', they're voted out.

Take some time and think about it, maybe you will realise that for once, the majority of the Arab people are making the right choices and its the West who isn't, instead of the other way round.

The same groups who are supposedly using there people as human shields and terrorising them, are electing these same 'terrorist/radical' groups into government and Parliament freely.

mind bogling

Posted by: YO YO at May 29, 2007 11:44 AM

fp: i have no idea why you have to explain/justify yourself just because a reader complains.

I don't have to explain myself, but I felt like it. So I did.

I am aware the blog isn't top-notch lately because I have to earn money by also writing for publications other than this one.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 11:48 AM

And the non-blog publishing industry, newspapers aside, is glacially slow.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 11:49 AM
It wasn't Fatah that launched the suicide attack, but Hamas, or Islamic Jihad.

Fatah did launch suicide attacks, through the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades and the Tanzim. Members of Fatah 'police' forces aided in or carried out numerous attacks on Israelis. Not to mention that Fatah-PLO was the government, and thus responsible for acts of war carried out from its territory. Fatah earned every bomb.

Every single time Israel retaliated with a missile that destroyed a home with civilians in it only further strengthened Hamas' position. Every single time a Palestinian civilian was killed, a Palestinian boy or girl under the age of 12 shot down by Israelis only strengthened Hamas' position. Every single time. Did Israel not realize this?

Israel understands that. It is in a Catch 22 situation. They kill enough Arab civilians to cause anger, but not enough to cause fear. The other choice - not shooting at anybody - is not viable.

What has Israel done for the locals?

Why would Israel try to win the hearts and minds of culturally different, politically radical, religiously intolerant hostile civilians? It is a waste of time. Israel has inexplicably provided medical services, electricity, water and other aid to them.

Has anyone considered the negative effects of those checkpoints, because let me tell you, I think they've done far more damage than they were supposed to have prevented.

Before the PLO was invited to the territories, there were virtually no checkpoints or soldiers. Since then, terrorism has increased. Therefore, so have checkpoints and soldiers. When there is quiet, there are fewer checkpoints and soldiers.

Israel caught 46 suicide bombers last year, thanks to checkpoints and soldiers in the territories. They would have killed over 500 Israelis. 500 civilians a year, at what cost to Israel? A handful of soldiers killed.

The continual undermining of Fatah, as corrupt as it was, had a detrimental effect upon moderates in Palestine.

Fatah is not moderate. It promotes the same martyrdom, suicide terrorism, anti-West, anti-Israel dogma through its media. It openly co-operates with Hamas and PIJ. They should be destroyed alongside Hamas and PIJ.

America and the West wanted elections in Palestine. Did they know that that risked Hamas winning?

Apparently not. The people running things make their stupidity clearer every day.

Posted by: MattW at May 29, 2007 12:02 PM

"It was the Shia reaction to the 2000 Lebanon pullout all over again, with Hamas playing Hezbollah." Noah

There are no Shia in Gaza, or Palistine. There are more Shia (Lebanese) in Israel than there are in Palistine. Also, Hamas isn't Shia.

BUT, If you're trying to implicate through that sentence that it was only the Shia of Lebanon who celebrated the end of occupation, then you're wrong. 25 May was made a national holiday...UNTIL, Harriri came and claimed there are too many holidays in the Lebanese Calendar. Hmmmm, I wonder why he chose THIS certain day...

Ye as I was saying, many people, other than the Shia, celebrate the freedom and resistance day every year, so you know. Either way you're wrong.

OOORRR, maybe you're trying to suggest that the Shia felt invinsible after they got rid of the occupation. I think Lebanon as a whole was made stronger after they got rid of the wicked and evil occupation if you ask me, I was there and i lived it.

Posted by: yoyo at May 29, 2007 12:19 PM

yoyo,
First of all, don't worry -- I am, alas, aware that Hamas is not a Shia organization. I am also aware of sound and light, but that's not important right now.

Anyway, moving right along. You missed my analogy entirely: I was making the point that Hamas was rewarded with political support in Gaza after the Israeli withdrawal in the same way that Hezbollah was rewarded with political support in southern Lebanon after the Israeli withdrawal in 2000.

Posted by: Noah Pollak at May 29, 2007 12:29 PM

Yo yo: "Isn't it strange and complexing how it seems that the 'radicals' and 'terrorists' of the Arab world keep getting elected, while the so-called 'moderates' (who are the real radicals and terrorists) are hated amongst the arab people and are considered to be non-patriotic as well as agents of foreign lands?"

Funny, I actually agree with you, Yo-Yo, that the moderates, at least among the Palestinians, radicals and terrorists, too!

Yo-Yo: "This applies to terrorist Hamas, Hezbollah, Amal, even Fatah who used to be called terrorist, but is now ofcourse mainstream, secular and moderate since Mahmood Abbas set out to kill his own people. As soon as Fatah becomes 'moderate', they're voted out."

It seems to me that both Fatah and Hamas are involved in killing their own people. And if Hezbollah is "secular" according to you, what does a religious Shiite terrorist group look like?

Yo-Yo: "Take some time and think about it, maybe you will realise that for once, the majority of the Arab people are making the right choices and its the West who isn't, instead of the other way round."

Well, if the Arabs want to choose leaders who support the destruction of Israel, maybe they shouldn't complain when Israel resists their genocidal efforts? You expect the Jews to make it easy for you? Ditto America and the West. If you guys want to elect people who are intent on being our enemies, don't complain when we act like your enemies, or at least cut off the funding.

Yo-Yo: "The same groups who are supposedly using there people as human shields and terrorising them, are electing these same 'terrorist/radical' groups into government and Parliament freely.

mind bogling"

I agree. They should elect people who will create for them a brighter future. But in any event, their mask has come off. What is mind boggling to me is that Israelis respect Arab life more than Arabs do. Proof: Kassams from Gaza would stop tomorrow if Israel really let loose. But Israel doesn't, because innocent human life is precious, and children in Gaza don't control who their parents vote for.

Posted by: Zak at May 29, 2007 12:47 PM
Proof: Kassams from Gaza would stop tomorrow if Israel really let loose. But Israel doesn't, because innocent human life is precious, and children in Gaza don't control who their parents vote for.

Neither German nor Japanese children voted, either. But we dropped bombs, incendiaries and nuclear weapons on them all the same. In the previous war, we did our damndest to starve Germany and allies in to submission.

Civilians are not 'off limits' and never have been. No polity has the right to expect better of their enemy than they do of themselves.

Posted by: MattW at May 29, 2007 01:43 PM

How long did it take power to moderate Likud? How long did it take them to begin to note the attractiveness of the two state solution? Like 20 years, and even then not really.

Well, they're Arabs.

Posted by: Disk on Key at May 29, 2007 01:52 PM

The Likud-Hamas analogy is rather lazy. 'Extremists on both sides'? Mmm-hmm.

Posted by: MattW at May 29, 2007 02:00 PM

The Palestinian areas now receive more than $300 per person, per year, making them the most aid-dependent population on Earth.

America is spending over $4000 per person, per year, in Iraq.

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 02:05 PM

josh,

a lot of israelis have the bolls, but just like all over in the west they have ignorant and stupid elites who just don't get it.

israel in undergoing an elite failure right now. and the political system is broken in the sense that it cannot be made to respond to it.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 02:15 PM

noah,

don't feed the trolls.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 02:18 PM

zak, don't feed the trolls

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 02:19 PM

i've been looking for this piece on pals aid and i finally found it:

The Palestinians' Real Problem is Aid
http://weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/048vjpow.asp

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 02:29 PM

I used to like coming to this blog to seek out different opinions to my own on matters Middle Eastern.

But I have to say that it has become a bit of a tree-house for some pretty violent/aggresively narrow minded thinking...

It seems one can write an invocation for mass murder here and be congratulated, as long as you at some point denounce Assad's regime.

These posters seem to talk about not much else than casually bombing this country or that country, and if it deosn't work, wiping so-and-so off the map, then killing this person or that person or the other person, "War 101," "...no such thing as an innocent Palestinian" and on and on.... kill, kill, kill.... bomb, bomb, bomb....

Look at the language you people are using here (on this blog in general)... educated, reasonable and no doubt law abiding decent folk.... I've heard this sort of thing before you know...

...some of it reminds me of an Ahmed Nejad speech.

Shame.

Posted by: Microraptor at May 29, 2007 02:34 PM

I used to like coming to this blog to seek out different opinions to my own on matters Middle Eastern.

But I have to say that it has become a bit of a tree-house for some pretty violent/aggresively narrow minded thinking...

It seems one can write an invocation for mass murder here and be congratulated, as long as you at some point denounce Assad's regime.

These posters seem to talk about not much else than casually bombing this country or that country, and if it deosn't work, wiping so-and-so off the map, then killing this person or that person or the other person, "War 101," "...no such thing as an innocent Palestinian" and on and on.... kill, kill, kill.... bomb, bomb, bomb....

Look at the language you people are using here (on this blog in general)... educated, reasonable and no doubt law abiding decent folk.... I've heard this sort of thing before you know...

...some of it reminds me of an Ahmed Nejad speech.

Shame.

Posted by: Microraptor at May 29, 2007 02:34 PM

microraptor,

you're wrong.

what's being said is that you cannot have one side ruthless and the other side political correct.

you don't seem to be as much bothered by those who actually BOMB, but you are bothered by those who only SAY that the response should be in kind.

shame.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 02:43 PM
These posters seem to talk about not much else than casually bombing this country or that country, and if it deosn't work, wiping so-and-so off the map, then killing this person or that person or the other person, "War 101," "...no such thing as an innocent Palestinian" and on and on.... kill, kill, kill.... bomb, bomb, bomb....

Do you really think that sort of talk is inappropriate in a time of war?

It wouldn't surprise me if you do. By minimising the suffering of the enemy when they attack you, you make aggression a more attractive option. Were you to respond to aggression with brief, overwhelming brutal force - once, maybe twice - most potential opposition would back down.

It would save the lives of your citizens (and theirs) in the long run.

Is that approach immoral? Yes, probably. But the point is to win the war, not a competition of morality.

Posted by: MattW at May 29, 2007 02:54 PM

what's being said is that you cannot have one side ruthless and the other side political correct.

If that's the case, there is little to differentiate the two sides. Liberal democracies, by nature, have higher regard for what you've mislabeled "political correctness" and that, presumably, is what some of the discord is about. And while it's true that a humane fighting force has to struggle with one arm voluntarily tied behind their backs, I'd hope that it's strong enough to persevere nonetheless.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 29, 2007 03:46 PM

One doesn't fight to prove one's abstract goodness, one fights to restore security.

Logically, in any sort of fight (this applies to street fights as well as wars), the way to maximize the probability that you won't be hurt, maimed or killed is to incapacitate your enemy as quickly as possible, or failing that, to hurt him badly enough that he's afraid to continue.

Logic dictates, not self righteous religious or other equally immature fantasy gobbledygook.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 03:51 PM

ungood,

nonsense. they are different except for the morally blind.

1. they are not initiating violence.

2. they do not indoctrinate children with the hatred and the cult of death.

3. they are doing their best to restrain themselves.

but 1 and 2 defeat 1. and in that case, one can be moral and dead or subjugated, or survive free, which is highly moral in my book.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 04:10 PM

3. they are doing their best to restrain themselves.

That was my point, I believe.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 29, 2007 04:12 PM

i meant 1 and 2 defeat 3, of course.

btw, ungood, i bet you're far from the conflict.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 04:13 PM

yes, but only insofar as it's effective. if it's not what do you propose?

the fact of the matter is that israel could finish hamas very quickly if they were not different than hamas. but they are and they are paying a price. too high a price in my book.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 04:15 PM

Microraptor: some of it reminds me of an Ahmed Nejad speech.

(Sigh.)

I don't want to bomb anybody. I don't want Israel to bomb anybody. But if I were to make the choice: Lebanon or Syria gets bombed next time Israel is attacked by Hezbollah...I am going to pick Syria.

I also said I preferred Israel publicly say it will hold Syria accountable for the behavior of its proxies in the hopes that no one gets bombed on any side.

If that reminds you of the theocratic nutjob in Iran, you need to take a fresh look at Achmadinejad and what he believes. Or, perhaps, you need to pay closer attention to what I say and get over your phobia of the word "bomb" in the context of war.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 04:17 PM

microraptor: I used to like coming to this blog to seek out different opinions to my own on matters Middle Eastern.

Do you feel that way when you interview Hezbollah members? I'm not trying to be snarky here. I don't know what you actually think of them. You get defensive on their behalf sometimes, but I realize that doesn't mean you actually support what they do.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 04:20 PM

maybe microraptor and ungood should consider this and see if they stand by their comments. to be honest, i wouldn't be surprised if they do one bit. there are always rationalizations.

http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=28469

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 04:24 PM
Liberal democracies, by nature, have higher regard for what you've mislabeled "political correctness" and that, presumably, is what some of the discord is about.

It is, and that is an internal Western problem. We ignore - or conflate - the distasteful ideas and (to us) detrimental aims) with the most visible method used to achieve it: terrorism.

Liberal democracies have engaged in very, very ugly tactics and strategies against civilians to win wars. That doesn't make them any less liberal or democratic. It ties in with the next point you made:

And while it's true that a humane fighting force has to struggle with one arm voluntarily tied behind their backs, I'd hope that it's strong enough to persevere nonetheless.

You'd hope, eh? Unfortunately, we need to do more than 'hope' - we need to 'win'. That means we may have to untie that second hand.

Posted by: MattW at May 29, 2007 04:25 PM

Microraptor is dead on - for an even-handed perspective on the Arab/Israeli conflict refer to the current issue of the Economist. Oh, I forgot, the Arabs are evil, Israel is good and the MSM sucks...

Posted by: novakant at May 29, 2007 04:31 PM

also interesting in the context:

http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/?p=1532

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 04:31 PM

That means we may have to untie that second hand.

As the last half century has show, liberal democracies cannot untie that hand. When there is an attempt to do so, internal conflict within the democracies cause the conflict to collapse. See Vietnam, and probably Iraq in the near future.

The only solution is to stop being a liberal democracy, and that isn't a particularly desirable option in my books.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 29, 2007 04:32 PM

novakant,

you're rather vacant.

right, the economist as a source on the conflict.

you also stood in line several time.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 04:33 PM

novakant: the Arabs are evil, Israel is good and the MSM sucks

Do you have anything intelligent to say, or are you just going to post reactionary bullshit in here?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 04:34 PM

2. they do not indoctrinate children with the hatred and the cult of death.

fp,

Are you suggesting that Israeli school children receive an unbiased education about their Palestinian neighbors?

Could you link to a study that concludes that, please?

All the studies I have seen suggest that Israeli kids receive an extremely negative message about Palestinians.

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 04:40 PM

ungood,

that does not say we're wrong, it only validates our position that if they choose to commit suicide, they will be accomodated.

looks like you don't have any problem with barbarians striving to exterminate liberal societies, all you care about is for those societies not to defend themselves. good liberal societies are dead liberal societies.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 04:41 PM

If that's the case, there is little to differentiate the two sides.

If that's the case, then vote with your feet. Get the hell out of here. Go knock your head to the floor of some madrassa five times a day, until some sense is knocked into you.

Posted by: redaktor at May 29, 2007 04:43 PM

that does not say we're wrong, it only validates our position that if they choose to commit suicide, they will be accomodated.

I've heard similar opinions justifying atrocities and genocide as simple survival tactics, fp.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 29, 2007 04:44 PM

If that's the case, then vote with your feet. Get the hell out of here. Go knock your head to the floor of some madrassa five times a day, until some sense is knocked into you.

Stellar logic. You must have dazzled them at the debating club.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 29, 2007 04:47 PM

and you don't have a brain to distinguish crap from reason?

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 04:48 PM

with the kind of position you take, there is no logic. coz you don't get it.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 04:49 PM

A lot of insulting and hissing goes on around here these days.

Are you simply unable to discuss positions that you disagree with without throwing a hissyfit and name-calling?

Well, easily dealt with.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 29, 2007 04:52 PM

I'm serious. If you can't tell the difference, and it's obvious that you can't, then go join the other team. I'd be glad to slit your Jihadi throat, and we'd be on equal moral ground.

Posted by: redaktor at May 29, 2007 04:54 PM

yours is not a "position". yours is nonsense.

so we're not insulting you, we're calling a spade a spade. it's the reality that insults you, we're just exposing it.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 04:55 PM

Don't make me pull over this car.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 04:56 PM

"Israel has inexplicably provided medical services, electricity, water and other aid to them." MattW

You mean they kill them, then try to look good by trying to provide medical help. They bomb their electricity plants, then they provide them electricity they can't afford, and the other aid is probebly the rain of bullets and bombs to kill them and rid this people of its suffering?

How very nice of the Israelis :D I never quite saw it this way.

Posted by: YO YO at May 29, 2007 05:05 PM

Yo yo you neglect to mention that it's the Palestinians who keep the war going.

They could end their war at any time and then they would never have a single problem with Israel ever again.

This is a war of choice for the Palestinians. And if they were capable of maturity, they would take responsibility for all of the suffering that choice causes on both sides.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 05:17 PM

josh,

don't feed the trolls.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 05:24 PM

In any case, Yo yo, the question wasn't whether it was "nice" of the Israelis to supply water, electricity and medical supplies to a nation that is at war with Israel.

The question was whether it is idiotic of Israel to help the Arabs bomb Israel by supplying electricity, water and medical help to a country which is at war with Israel.

And of course the answer is that, yes, it is idiotic of Israel. The Israelis should always refuse to help or cooperate with any enemies who are killing Israeli citizens.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 05:27 PM

Iraq was a war of choice, too, Josh.

And average Americans have had as much luck stopping it as average Palestinians are stopping their war makers.

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 05:34 PM

You're assuming that Palestinians want to stop the war on Israel.

Actually it's the one thing Arabs are almost unanimous on, especially Palestinians.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 05:38 PM

"It seems to me that both Fatah and Hamas are involved in killing their own people."

You missed it. I said as soon as they start. Hezbollah used to kill the South Lebanon Army, the Israeli proxy (the same one to have never been condemned byt he west or any human rights groups for its merciless terrorism against their own people), but when Hezbollah and SLA used to clash, it wasn't called a civil war. You want to guess why?

As for Fatah, they have become SLA number 2. They take arms and finance from the west and Israel, the same country who occupies their land, destroys there homes, kills their children and burns their crops.

"And if Hezbollah is "secular" according to you, what does a religious Shiite terrorist group look like?"

The one which acts and behaves like the SLA, Al-Qaeda, Fatah-Al-Islam. I mean you don't need me to explain it. You talk so much about Hezbollah wanting to destroy Israel, but your arrogance has led you to ignore everything rational that is being said by Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah. He is telling the world that if Israel leaves Lebanon and its citizens alone, then he will leave Israel alone. When asked numerous times what happens if Israel return Shebaa farms and Kfar Shouba, i.e. what would be his reaction towards the Israelis.

He said simply and clearly that Israel then doesn't become an Arab problem, but a Palistinian one. He said if the mass population of Palestine chose to make peace, his group will support and back the decision. I f the mass chose resistance, he will also back and support them. In other words, what the poeple want should be backed.

So, I don't see Hezbollah working with the enemy against its own country, I dont see them killing there own people (Israeli bullets and rockets killed 1200 lebanese civilian, not Hezbollahs - simple) etc etc etc.

"If you guys want to elect people who are intent on being our enemies, don't complain when we act like your enemies, or at least cut off the funding."

I don't see anyone complaining. Hezbollah are your enemies, aren't scared to be your enemies and are probably proud to be your enemies. Same applies to everyone supporting these groups. We only seen to moan because most of the time Israel attacks the people who have nothing to do with these groups (like the attacks on christian and sunni towns and cities, in the mountains and the North which has 0 hezbollah infrastructure or influence/popularity), some may seem to moan only to show the world that the terrorist doesn't act nowhere near as horrific as the wrongly seen victim.

"I agree. They should elect people who will create for them a brighter future."

Go to south Lebanon and ask if Hezbollah as an entity since creation till now has caused more grief or relief to its citizens with its charitable works, job vacancies, the economy which no-one bothered to look at, the aid no-one bothered to proide etc.

Then ask them another question. Ask them whether their standards of life both financially and socially were better off under Israels illegal and terrorist occupation, or under Hezbollahs freedom. Then come back to me and talk about electing for standards of life.

Its good we have elections, in Palestine they were punished for the results and in the rest of the Arab world there are no elections, and yet America + West supports every single one of those Arab states.

"What is mind boggling to me is that Israelis respect Arab life more than Arabs do. Proof: Kassams from Gaza would stop tomorrow if Israel really let loose. But Israel doesn't, because innocent human life is precious, and children in Gaza don't control who their parents vote for.

There has been nothing except war, death and destruction in the middle east since Israels creation. Don't tell me im anti-semitic because im an Arab and im a semite, also i'm not saying the Jews, i'm saying Israel - full of Muslims, Christians, Jews and Druze - I am simply talking from a factual and statistical point of view, nothing more nothing less.

If the Zionists had any consideration for Human Life and suffering, they would know better than go into a land that is not theirs to selfishly create their own country only to replace and forbid others from their own rightful country or land.

Israel has known nothing but war. They started a war in 1982 against Lebanon using a pretext totally unconnected - a 'Palistinian' supposedly tried to assasinate the Israeli ambassador to the UK. Something happening hundreds of miles away, created a war in the Middle East. Later on it was revealed that it was the Mossad that tried to kill him - and i challenge anyone here to bring me the name of who tried to kill the ambassador - because if they know and so sure he's a Palistinian, they must know his name.

Israel is held accountable for so many acts of terrorism and crimes it is unbelievable. Even human rights watch said 97% of all war crimes and crimes against humanity in the world was committed by the Israeli state.

The fact is that there was no Hezbollah before Israel. No Hamas before Israel. No Fatah before Israel and so on. I'll go further. There was no Fatah, Hamas or Hezbollah or PLO or w.e. it is even during Israel. Then Israel pushed it by there racist pre-emptive wars, massacres and provocotations. Everyone has a breaking point, and i'm not talking about the fit you get when your stuck on a check point, I'm talking families slaughtered for being who they are.

No-one get me wrong. I am against all racism, wars and death and destruction caused by conflict. I respect all human life, all religions, all races, all ethnicity and backgrounds or sex.

The Bible only taught humanity how to live peacefully and to love neighbours more than yourself as well as to love an enemy and give him a rose when they slap you. The Quran then taught us that tribes and nations were made for them to meet each other, educate each other and further co-existance, and the Torah taught us that the key to life is obedience, patience and hope. All religions are beautiful etc My moral is im against all war, against hypocracy, against racism, against bigotry and for coexistance and construction.

Posted by: YO YO at May 29, 2007 05:41 PM

And the Palestinians did vote for this very popular war.

That's the gold standard measure for responsibility.

Consider some more evidence. Even Fatah, which tries to look moderate to the world feels that it has to fire it's own color branded rockets at Israel without pause as do all of the other Palestinian political parties.

So popular is the war, that no party dares be seen not attempting to kill Jews for even a moment.

And I think there was a very tiny party (of a couple people?) that called for the end to the intifada. We heard of one statement, then nothing. I don't think they got any votes, or perhaps they didn't get enough support to even hold a meeting let alone run a candidate.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 05:43 PM

Josh,

This poll says 55% of Palestinians support peace:

http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=2384&l=1

Same percentage as Israelis, btw.

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 05:44 PM

Even human rights watch said 97% of all war crimes and crimes against humanity in the world was committed by the Israeli state.

I know, I know -- Darfur, Sudan, Chechnya, Cambodia, Algeria, Tienanmin Square, Rwanda, Serbia, Bosnia... most people never knew that Idi Amin and Pol Pot were Israeli, I bet.

MJT, this one needs to begone.

Posted by: Pam at May 29, 2007 05:49 PM

Yo yo, Hamas can't possibly bring the Palestinians a brighter future - they can only bring war, poverty and eventual catastrophic slaughter. So your analogy with Hezbollah is nonsense. Hezbollah isn't fighting a hot war, but Hamas is addicted to killing. They will never stop killing, and so the Palestinians will never stop being punished for that war.

And may I also add that you're a very poor liar with those bullshit last paragraphs. It's clear you are for unending war, or you would repudiate the Palestinian parties for keeping the war going and you would stop blaming Israel for refusing to be destroyed.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 05:52 PM

Alphie, other polls have given support for the war at 65%.

Personally I think that the Palestinians are so deeply invested in killing that complaining is the closest they can ever come to ending the war.

When they have to vote, they will always vote for death. All of the political parties in Palestine know that, and pander to that fact.

Not until there is a deep change in the culture can the war end. And that change is nowhere on the horizon. They will not do this for themselves.

And there is a very good reason they won't. It may seem invisible to us, because our own beliefs are so different.

But the Palestinians truly believe that God sends killers directly to heaven. They truly believe that every bomb that kills Jews is holy. It is the light of God's grace. And it bestows God's blessing - entrance into the heavens, not only for the killer, but also for his friends and family.

To end the killing would be to cut themselves off from God. They can not do that.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 06:01 PM

And by the way Pam it is madness like that I mentioned above that explains Yo yo's break from reality.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 06:05 PM

Ok, Josh makes a nice point about who is starting the war and whos carrying it on etc.

Hamas made a truce that it abided to for a year. Why did Israel still beseige them, then target/kill/assassinate/imprison their members? Aren't those all acts of war? Go check when the first time Hamas started firing after the cease-fire, then check when the last time Israels bombs and bullets stopped - since creation.

Heres Fatah, whose members are being trained, financed and armed by Israel and America. Yet nearly every day i hear of Fatah gunmen being killed. Isn't Fatah the one who's looking for peace with Israel and hasn't carried out a single attack for god known how long?

Go check the so called Camp David "agreement". Please someone, anyone, go check the preconditions set by the Israelis on the Palistinians for them to have their own state.

I'll name a couple. Israel is to be in constant control of the Air, Sea and border of the Palestinian state (no sovereignty). Tarrif money goes through Israel (economic dependency). Gas, oil and electricity only through Israel (economic dependency). Israel has the right to go into the official Palistinian state to seek terrorists if attacked (no sovereignty or respect of security apparatus). They must sign a peace treaty calling all actions made by Israel since creation, as well as the creation itself, was 'right' (destroying dignity). The remainder of already established Israeli settlements, allowed to bear arms and independent of the Palestinian state or laws (undermining sovereignty). To expand some settlements as far as to split the Palistinian state into five terrirtories (no clear state or boundries or borders). All people going in and out of the Palistinian territories, even from one territory to another, must have an Israeli permit. Some areas which have both Jews and Palistinians, must be a free zone, or no mans land, where Israelis and Palis are allowed in and out without visas or permits, though this only applies to cities in Palistinian lands. The army must not exeed a certain number of personnel, tanks, aircraft etc. Palistinian secrets must be shared with Israel but not vice versa, only in 'excusable' conditions.

Does anyone call this a state, or a future mockery? Does anyone here solemnly agree to live in such a state where sovereignty doesn't exist, democracy is limited, the economy is handled and managed and relies on another state, dignity is being cricified and so on. The Camp David was a mockery and a spint in the face to the Palestinians.

It was mythified as being the greatest adn richest chance to make peace and a future state for the Pali's, and when it was rejected it acted as the best PR for anyone to use against the Palestinians. Please go check the pre-conditions and come back and tell me im wrong, because maybe I am.

Posted by: yo yo at May 29, 2007 06:05 PM

josh,

don't feed the trolls.

Nice. I've been commenting here for years, and while I've had my disagreements, I do believe that you're the first newcomer to call me a troll.

The quality of commenters here has been going downhill. Oh for the good old days.

By the way, there is no need to fear that Josh Scholar will "feed" me. Thanks to a GreaseMonkey script and his absolute lack of anything intelligent to say, the last few comments I've seen from him have been pie-related. To whit:

JS: That's great. Anyone have any pie?

and JS: I'd just like to say that I agree with all the positive comments made about pie. It's a pleasure being around commenters who have their heads on straight and really know what pie is all about.

Now, as you and redaktor seem to contribute nothing here that I'd be interested in reading, I'm happy to say that henceforth you two shall also be praising pie.

This place is so much more agreeable that way.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 29, 2007 06:06 PM

last time i looked the definition of a troll does not have anything to do with the length of participation. quite the opposite: if a troll is fed, it will go on and on and on.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 06:10 PM

Yo Yo: Even human rights watch said 97% of all war crimes and crimes against humanity in the world was committed by the Israeli state.

That is the most outrageously false and libelous thing (against both Human Rights Watch and Israel) that you have written here, and that's saying a lot.

You are one very small step from being banned. Dial it back or go somewhere else. This is the only warning you get.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 06:11 PM

Double-plus-Ungood is not a troll.

Be nice to him.

I have better things to do than babysit comments.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 06:13 PM

josh,

you're wrong. hamas brings them paradise and virgins.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 06:13 PM

Years ago I read the head of the Psychiatric association in Egypt wrote an article praising suicide bombing that said basically what I just did.

He talked about how suicide bombers feel, not pain or fear, but the ecstasy of being closer to God than anyone else etc. etc.

Obviously the Egyptian regime found his article embarrassing, so he was forced to write another article saying the opposite, that everyone deplores suicide and terror.

By the way I find DPU's attitude unbearable rude. I recommend that we don't read his posts anymore than he reads his. Make this fair ban his ass

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 06:15 PM

Nice. I've been commenting here for years, and while I've had my disagreements, I do believe that you're the first newcomer to call me a troll.

If DPU had read the comments he would know that I was talking to Yo yo, not him.

But he's too immature to avoid being paranoid about comments he can't read. He just ASSUMED that we were talking about him. And he's too immature to avoid gloating at people who he's blocked.

This crap is so damn rude. Just ban him.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 06:20 PM

double-plus-ungood,

Now, how can you say I've contributed nothing when I personally offered to slit the throat of any Jihadi participating in these here forum? What have you contributed that would even come close to that?

Posted by: redaktor at May 29, 2007 06:20 PM

Double-plus-Ungood is not a troll.

Thanks Michael, but no need. Look:

fp: I just ate some pie, and darned if I don't want some more already.

JS: Pie. Pie. Pie. Pie.

Ever notice how totally great that word sounds?

Who can argue with that? I love these guys.

Now, back to the topic at hand...

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 29, 2007 06:20 PM

Oops, forgot redaktor: Churchill liked pie, you know. And not that Ward guy. The other one, the British guy, he liked pies.

Awesome.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 29, 2007 06:21 PM

unbearable rude. again

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 06:23 PM

Josh,

I'm not banning DPU no matter what you say. You guys both need to be nice or ignore each other.

Redaktor,

Knock it off with the throat-slitting!

Do I need to close comments on this thread? I'm trying to write a magazine article so I can pay my mortgage. Let me work in peace.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 06:24 PM

double-plus-ungood,

I again appeal to your moral clarity. What have you contributed that could match my generous offer?

Posted by: redaktor at May 29, 2007 06:25 PM

Michael,

Was typing while you posted. But still, I'd like to know where double-plus-ungood stands on this issue.

Posted by: redaktor at May 29, 2007 06:27 PM

josh,

let me repeat something that does not seem to get through to the ignorant west: several generations of palestinians are indoctrinated since kindergarten with hatred and death. even if this were stopped tomorrow, it would take at least 2-3 generations for the culture to change. since it does not stop, culture won't change.

therefore, even if hamas wanted tomorrow to moderate (as the west deludes itself), it could not because at least some of the indoctrinated won't let it. the palestinians are prisoners of the culture instilled in them. which is precisely what the intention was.

for all those who bring up the so-called truce (which was never respected by non-hamas groups who got the weapons from hamas), even if there were an agreement tomorrow to stop terror, israel should condition any dialogue only if the indoctrination stopped and 2-3 generations benefitted from the change.

anything else is just attrition and slow jihad.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 06:28 PM

"You guys both need to be nice or ignore each other."

Now you'll set him off again. Jesus!

I DO ignore him that's the point.

But he doesn't have the courtesy to avoid making assumptions about the posts he's not reading and he gloats at every single person he's not reading, over and over.

This is unbearably immature. It's rude to everyone.

I have nothing against people using greasemonkey to trim their reading. But gloating at people who can't respond is entirely unacceptably childish and rude.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 06:30 PM

Do I need to close comments on this thread? I'm trying to write a magazine article so I can pay my mortgage. Let me work in peace.

Sorry Michael. Carry on, I'll bow out of the thread. It's not really needed as I truly cannot see their posts anymore, but from the sounds of it, commentary is degrading because I'm taunting. Apologies.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 29, 2007 06:30 PM

And now we know the answer, Michael.

Posted by: redaktor at May 29, 2007 06:32 PM

mjt,

if DUP is not a troll he has much more serious problems than i thought.

practically every sentence in his long diatribe is false and reveals utter ignorance and gullibility. what an idiot.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 06:34 PM

Harry's place did an interesting thing about GreaseMonkey.

They banned the word "Monkey" in the comments. No comment that has that word anywhere in it can be posted.

They can't stop people from using greasemonkey, but they can discourage people from being rude enough to talk about it.

They claim, by the way, that this was because of troll called "monkeyboy" who you may remember.

But they banned the word the same day I first posted a greasemonkey script. Very diplomatic.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 06:39 PM

BTW, Alphie, Israeli kids are not inculcated with racist hatred towards Arabs or with crazy ideas about Islam. Sorry, I don't have the charts to prove it to you any more than I have the same proof to show that the average American or British kid isn't fed the same garbage. I just know, based off of what I instinctively know about Israeli society and Israelis.

I do know that I have many Israeli friends, and none of them ever told me about any cartoon characters that they grew up with that preached death to Arabs. I do know that I studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and that my course on Islam was nothing but dispassionate, except for the last day of class when our professor, Yohanan Friedman, became teary-eyed as he told us not to judge Islam and Muslims by the Hamas suicide bombers that were detonating off and on during my year abroad.

Alphie, you don't have to give us proof about everything you write, but at least write about what you know. You don't know shit about Israelis or their society or their educational system. You don't know what you're talking about. Not at all.

Zak

Posted by: Zak at May 29, 2007 06:40 PM

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-6604775898578139565&q=israel+palestine+war+propaganda+media

Watch, very worth it.

Also, type in google search 'amnesty internation on israel', and watch the claims of 'biased' by amnesty international against Israel on every single link. The only other people to claim thi bias were the taliban (hmm), America (wtf were they thinking), Russia (in chechnya) and Congo (dont need to talk).

Therefore they're all on the same level.

Posted by: yoyo at May 29, 2007 06:41 PM

oops, my apologies to DUP.

the idiot i was referring to yoyo.

DUP is still just a troll.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 06:46 PM

Yo-Yo,

You should thank Allah that Israel is not on the same level as Russia in Chechnya, or the civil war in the Congo, or the behvaior of the Taliban, despite what AI says.

Posted by: Zak at May 29, 2007 06:46 PM

zak,

anybody who quotes amnesty international, the economist, or anything UN or EU on the conflict is a waste of time responding to. they're gonners.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 06:50 PM

Zak,

Here is an interesting article that appeared in Haaretz about what Israeli and Palestinian school children are being taught about each other (.pdf):

http://nswas.org/media/textbooks.pdf

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 06:58 PM

oops, my apologies to DUP.

the idiot i was referring to yoyo.

DUP is still just a troll.

anybody who quotes amnesty international, the economist, or anything UN or EU on the conflict is a waste of time responding to. they're gonners.
fp

Some people somewhat amuse me with their high levels of intellect, really. Reading you blab like an immature child is a waste of time babe.

Posted by: yoyo at May 29, 2007 07:07 PM

Recently, a video was posted to Youtube of a Palestinian childrens' play. The kids in the middle, all prepubescent boys and girls, were holding cute little toy guns or outfitted with darling little suicide belts. One had her hands painted with chic fake blood. The audience of adults cheered and clapped their approval.

I remember hearing the enchanting hatred spouted by the Mickey Rat clone Farfur as I watched him prance and sashay around the childrens' television program set, and how he and a lovely little Palestinian girl traded Jew-despising barbs of utter hatred, and promises that Israel would be destroyed, and all territory from the Jordan river to the sea would be Palestinian.

I recall the interview a 3 year old Palestinian girl gave to an approving Palestinian woman, who coaxed her with leading questions. However, the little girl knew just what to say: that Jews were pigs and monkeys, because Allah told her so in the Qu'ran.

Please show me where this sort of thing goes on in Israel.

Posted by: Salamantis at May 29, 2007 07:09 PM

One had her hands painted with chic fake blood.

Actually the red hands they painted on the kindergartener was meant to celebrate this lynching of two Israelis by a Palestinian mob.

Apparently two Israelis got lost and wondered into Ramalah. A mob ripped them to pieces with their bare hands and used one of the men's cell phone to taunt his wife, "We have just killed your man"

She the man at the center left proudly displaying his bloody hands out the window? That's the image they're invoking.

I saw an Arab woman at a "peace" rally in the US with her hands painted red. She just wanted to display her hatred for Israelis in public.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 07:21 PM

josh,

correct.

but, you know, it's the nazi occupation and the massacres, like jenin. they can't help themselves.

it's realities like this that make the yoyos and alphies of the world the idiots they are.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 07:26 PM

yoyo,

you would not know a mature comment if it bit your ass (with which you seem to think).

I am just lowering my comments to a level you can understand.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 07:30 PM

Please show me where this sort of thing goes on in Israel.

Well, there's this:
If the Palestinians can find room for improvement, so can the Israelis. In “The Arab Image in Hebrew School Textbooks,” an article drawing from his study of 124 textbooks, Professor Dan Bar-Tal of Tel Aviv University reports that “over the years, generations of Israeli Jews were taught a negative and often delegitimizing view of Arabs.”

Bar-Tal found some positive Arab images. But he reports two major themes of Arab characteristics. One taught “primitiveness, inferiority in comparison to Jews.” The other related to “their violence, to characteristics like brutality, untrustworthiness, cruelty, fanaticism, treacherousness and aggressiveness.”

Referring to Israeli texts of the ’80s and ’90s, Bar-Tal reports: “Geography books for the elementary and junior high schools stereotype Arabs negatively, as primitive, dirty, agitated, aggressive, and hostile to Jews … history books in the elementary schools hardly mention Arabs … history textbooks of the high schools, the majority of which cover the Arab-Jewish conflict, stereotype the Arabs negatively. Arabs are presented as intransigent and uncompromising.”

“The parents and the grandparents of the present generation,” says Bar-Tal, “were provided with the same negative image of the Arabs in their school textbooks as we see today, within the context of the prolonged Jewish-Arab conflict. One might add that it takes many years to rewrite school textbooks and a few generations to change the societal beliefs about the stereotyping and delegitimization of the Arabs.”

Let me stress that I don't think this is at the same level as Mickey Rat and blood dramas, but there is a certain amount of indoctrination going on on both sides.

Some of the remarks here might be illustrative.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 29, 2007 07:32 PM

One reason, besides suicide-vest-wearing jihadis blowing themselves up in busses and malls and coffee shops and unguided missiles raining down upon towns full of families, and the way that they tend to shoot each other when there are no Jews handy, that Israelis might come to have a somewhat disparaging view of Palestinian 'culture' and 'society', might be that they see these same sick, twisted and demented child-indoctrinating propaganda pieces that we in the US see via the Internet, but much more frequently, and with official approval, on Palestinian television, for instance. It would have to cause them to lose some modicum of respect for the Palestinians as a people to see them constantly and institutionally brainwash their childrn into hatred and violence this way.

Posted by: Salamantis at May 29, 2007 07:43 PM

God bless the internet

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 08:04 PM

“primitiveness, inferiority in comparison to Jews.” ... “violence, to characteristics like brutality, untrustworthiness, cruelty, fanaticism, treacherousness and aggressiveness.”

these are accurate images. it's the reality that's negative. those who speak here are in no position to assess these claims because they are totally ignorant of the arab and jewish cultures and religions. (this does not mean that there are no exceptions, but that is precisely what they are. they do not invalidate the rule.)

and to preempt any predictable accusations of racism, we're talking about CULTURE here, not race. on the other hand the arab/muslim side is explicitly and openly racist all the way down to the quran's pigs and monkeys. treacherousness towards the infidels --taqiyya -- is an integral part of islam and has been applied successfully to the ignorant gullibles like those here.

robert spencer will be lecturing regularly on the islamic roots of arab culture at hot air (here's the first http://hotair.com/archives/2007/05/27/blogging-the-quran/).
i suggest all those promoting cultural equivalence here go educate themselves before they opine on subjects they know nothing about.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 08:06 PM

Whoever posted that insanely long off-topic spam message is banned.

I am tired of babysitting, people.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 08:13 PM

We'll be good :.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 08:16 PM

Referring to Israeli texts of the ’80s and ’90s

Israel rewrote its textbooks after the Oslo Accords to fix the problems DPU mentioned above.

I don't know how thoroughly they rewrote the books, but the Palestinians didn't reciprocate.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 08:18 PM

fp: those who speak here are in no position to assess these claims because they are totally ignorant of the arab and jewish cultures and religions

It must be nice to know so much more than everyone else.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 08:19 PM

mjt,

i would suspect that no participant here posted that crap. or at least i hope so.

indeed, it is nice to know what you're talking about. it makes all the difference in the world.
there are a LOT of things I dk, but you won't ever hear me talk pontificate on them.

the problem is somewhat deeper and it's becoming inherent in western culture. it's not just a matter of ignorance and inability to reason, but the lack of even awareness that those two are required when talking about any subject. there is no longer an appreciation of their importance.

everything is a matter of opinion, there is no difference between opinions and facts, doublespeak (truth is lies, lies are truth), and so on.

that's one regressive reason why the west is losing to barbarians.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 08:37 PM

Vive la difference:

http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=96c43ca9-ec26-470a-adda-93476ff79799

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 08:39 PM

fp,

If you followed the link I provided, you'd see the claims of anti-Palestinian bias in Israeli textbooks were made by Israeli academics.

Their research even had footnotes, which, I believe, you claimed were the hallmark of "real" research just yesterday in another thread.

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 08:51 PM

mjt,

but i think i opened myself to your remark by misexpressiong myself: i did not mean to refer to ALL in this thread, but only to those who have been proven to be ignorant and stupid. and i think it's quite clear who they are.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 08:53 PM

Alphie,

Do Israeli textbooks contain bloodthirsty calls for genocide against Arabs? How about references to Arabs as non-humans? Apes and pigs for instance.

If not, why do you suppose that might me?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 29, 2007 08:55 PM

Micheal,

Could you link to an official Palestinian curriculum that makes those claims?

If it's just anectodatal, I imagine I could find some rather interesting coursework from places like Henron to match it.

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 09:06 PM

The little girl (maybe 5 years old) in dancing with her entire class with her hands painted red to symbolize lynching Israeli civilians - along with a little girl dressed as a suicide bomber is an example of extreme hatred being taught in schools.

Some years ago there were reports of a textbook that has been used for years to teach mathematics to kindergarteners in Lebanon, Palestine and probably the whole area. It taught subtraction with such word problems as "I have five Jews to kill, I kill three Jews. How many Jews are there left to kill."

Both of my examples are a sight more extreme than unflattering characterization.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 09:10 PM

By the way, that video isn't old. It's brand new.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 09:13 PM

I heard about that text book some years ago by someone who wrote that he'd been very frightened by it because he was Jewish, living in Lebanon and had gone to a class where they used that book.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 09:20 PM

I think that according to various reports the Palestinians have improved their books somewhat, probably in order to remove any possibility of loss of funding from squeamish European countries or the US.

It's irrelevant because at the same time these changes were claimed (under Arafat), PA controlled radio and TV were playing propaganda encouraging mere children "drop their toys and pick up rocks" to fight the Israelis. They were playing propaganda telling children how to write suicide notes. And of course extreme hatred was being taught in schools whether reflected by new textbooks or no.

In such an atmosphere, I expect that any new textbooks exist only to show "investigators" and probably aren't being used much.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 09:26 PM

Fuck you, Alphie, you moron. Every thread you make a half dozen moral equivalency claims (false, of course)and then bark like a trained seal for your goodie. Everybody's seen your geopolitical acumen. Why don't you get out of here? Your comments are an insult to the innocent Israeli and Palestinian victims of this conflict.

Posted by: MarkC at May 29, 2007 09:27 PM

josh,

as you probably know, two of the best sources to see arabs and iranians at their best in their own words are:

http://www.memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S6#
http://www.pmw.org.il/

i stress "in their own words" to preempt any dismissal as "israeli sources". they just tape the arab and iranian media as is and translate to english.

anybody who goes through even 1/10 of the items there and still has the nerve to focus on israeli bias and the israeli perceptions of the arabs should have his head examined.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 09:33 PM

Interesting piece on empathy:

http://www.reason.com/blog/show/120422.html#comments

"Adam Smith begins his The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) by observing:

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion which we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner. That we often derive sorrow from the sorrow of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous and humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it.

As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation."

snip

Apparently science confirms that we are innately gifted with the ability to put ourselves in the other's shoes - which explains why people will sacrifice to help others (even when it might not make "sense" to do so - we do it because it satisfies our souls.)

The problem with incitement, I think, is that by dehumanizing the other it deprives us of this ability to make moral choices, because obviously we can't empathize with the demonic, the hideously distorted enemy.

Don't we have to deal with this root cause of conflict in the Middle East before we can end the Arab/Israeli conflict (and probably, other forms of sectarian violence)?

Note: this goes beyond simple bigotry or contempt for people who are different, or even who've made you miserable. Obviously that's a problem too, but it's exponentially less harmful and much more easily cured.

Demonization is a calculated and conscious program to turn the other into something evil so you will not only not care for it, you will try to kill it. Jews in particular have suffered from this kind of programming, for all too many centuries now, and European antisemitism, such as "The Protocols" and Nazi mythology, have had a dire impact on the Middle East since the 1920's. Sharansky wrote to Bush only a few years ago, that Palestinian children had schoolbooks that actually quoted the "Protocols" as actual history; Nasrallah certainly has, Egyptian TV had a series "Horseman Without a Horse,"; Syrian and Jordanian antisemitism is rife. There are cartoons in the ME (and also the British press alas) which would do der Sturmer proud.

Now Ahmadijenad has joined the party.

This is one area where the UN could take a leadership position but they themselves often seem worse than useless. Their Human Rights body has an appalling record with respect to Israel, condemning it more harshly than states where active genocides are ongoing, or where endemic human rights violations are a daily occurence.

Amnesty International actually comes out and states it has a double standard for "democracies," meaning Israel: that is blatantly racist in a number of different ways.

So it's difficult to see how this problem can be corrected, but unless and until it is I don't see how we can stop the violence and create the peaceful solutions we all desire so much.

Posted by: Sophia at May 29, 2007 09:34 PM

mark,

heh, heh, he got to you. you shouldn't let it.

i know it's exasperating to see such level of ignorance and stupidity, but it's the nature of the internet beast. in the real world they would not be allowed to clutter a discussion for long.

the best way to handle it is to ignore these idiots. otherwise, instead of having a discussion we'll be constantly correcting his crap.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 09:38 PM

Nice, Mark.

What's funny is, I support Israel and its right to defend itself.

That doesn't mean I accept any accusation against the Palestinians at face value, though.

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 09:42 PM

It's time for targeted assassinations of Hamas. I don't give a CRAP if the paleos elected them. Now is the time. What are the Israelis waiting for? Oh, that's right. They're giving peace a chance. LOL. Proving to the world how "good" they are. Like the world gives a crap if Israel lives or dies.

Posted by: Carlos at May 29, 2007 09:44 PM

sophia,

ahmedinajad should take his place in a long line of murderous antisemites. and he won't be the last.

having lived as a jew in a communist eastern european country and then in israel, i can tell you that we are jaded about the constant of antisemitism.

all that stuff about "never again" after the holocaust, we knew it's nonsense. antisemitism long preceded the ME conflict, which is just another pretext to blame the joos for all the problems in the world in order to distract from their own abysmal criminal, negligent and murderous history.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 09:48 PM

Well, al phie, you may not accept ANY accusation against the Palestinians at face value (although you seem to be far from that sceptical concerning accusations against Israelis), but it's kinda hard to deny videos of bloodthirsty 'plays', manipulative leading-question 'interviews', and brainwashing TV shows, isn't it?

Posted by: Salamantis at May 29, 2007 09:51 PM

sal,

it's not hard at all. you either don't watch it, or you dismiss it as israeli propaganda, or you quote some anti-israeli sources.

just watch.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 09:54 PM

oh, i forgot one: it's the occupation and oppression who makes them so. they're desperate.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 09:55 PM

What's funny is, I support Israel and its right to defend itself.

You're right, Alphie. That is really funny.

Here's a link concerning Palestinian incitement, not that it should be necessary for anyone who reads a newspaper or watches the news:
http://www.pmw.org.il/KAJ_eng.htm

Posted by: MarkC at May 29, 2007 09:55 PM

Mark,

Have you had a chance to read the inscription on Baruch Goldstein's tombstone?

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 09:59 PM

http://www.teachkidspeace.com/pa/surveys/CMIPreply.pdf

http://www.nad-plo.org/pdf/txtbookana.pdf

So the Israeli texts are pluralistic, socially liberal, promote peace, and have mixed portrayals of Arabs and Palestinians as tradition-focused and not interested in scientific or technological advances,but do mention Palestinian professionals and shows them in both modern and traditional attire. Books discuss some positive relationships past and present between Jews and Arabs and acknowledges the legitimate Arab historical and current presence in the region. It shortchanges Christian Arabs mildly. In general, it seems 'if you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all.'

The Palestinian textbooks as of 2003 have removed almost all open and blatant insults and incitements to violence against Jews, except where they can quote the Quran. They quote none of the positive Quranic statements about Jews. They do not discuss any historical presence of Judaism or Jews in the region. They discuss People of the Book only in terms of Christians. They do not show the present-day existence of Israel in history or geography books, often describing Israeli cities as Palestinian, and discuss the founding of Israel as a cataclysmic disaster to the devout Muslim, also saying that the Muslim must fight to prevent even a millimeter of Islamic land from being taken by others.

The reference books recommended to upper-level Palestinian students are, however, still openly hateful.

Posted by: Pam at May 29, 2007 10:02 PM

MarkC, the depressing thing is that just looking at the top of the page, two of those "kill all of the Jews" quotes on that page are direct quotes of a couple Hadiths (and yes the Hadiths themselves repetitive).

How can there ever be peace when Mohammad himself said that killing all of the Jews is duty that he has forseen that Muslims will commit?

The Muslims will never stop killing Jews. This war will end in a new holocaust or not at all.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 10:04 PM

josh,

it's not muhammad, it's allah!!! the former was only the vessel into which the latter poured.

so it's worse than you make it. if it were just muhammad it would be one thing, but it's god's word.

as islamists always say: we're just doing god's wish.

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 10:35 PM

hamas ideology:

http://www.pmw.org.il/Bulletins_may2007.htm#b240507

i dare anybody to find any israeli or jewish equivalent

Posted by: fp at May 29, 2007 10:39 PM

The Hadiths were not given the same weight as the Quran through all of Islam's history -- some Islamic scholars -- old really renowned ones -- consider only about 100 Hadiths legitimate statements of the Prophet, and the rest were commentaries and politically-motivated additions. That's one reason sound academic historical study of Islam could potentially be helpful in moderating it, if it weren't currently regarded as heretical.

Of course the Wahhabi branch gives the Hadith as much weight as the Quran, which some of the most ultra-ultra-orthodox Muslims consider blasphemous, as they do worshipping Mecca. The Quran is God's own words, and anything else is irrelevant -- even Mohammed said this; he also said he should not be an object of worship.

The Hadiths are where much of Sharia comes from, and where much of the most virulent racism and sexism lie -- but there's enough anti-Jewish and anti-woman stuff in the Quran proper to be a problem. In the Bible, the Jews will gather and convert or be destroyed at the Second Coming, in the Quran I believe Muslims must slaughter them to bring the End of Times.

Posted by: Pam at May 29, 2007 10:44 PM

How about Psalms 58, fp?

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 11:11 PM

I wish Alphie were competent at argument. I keep feeling that my intelligence has been insulted.

My favorite:

All things dull and ug-ly,
All creatures, short and squat,
All things rude and na-sty,
The Lord God made the lot.

Each little snake that poisons,
Each little wasp that stings,
He made their [brutish] venom,
He made their horrid wings.

All things sick and cancerous,
All evil great and small,
All things foul and dangerous,
The Lord God made them all.

Each nasty little hornet,
Each beastly little squid,
Who made the spiky urchin?
Who made the sharks? He did!

All things [scabbed] and ulcerous,
All pox both great and small,
Putrid, foul and gangrenous,
The Lord God made them all.

A--men.

Monty Python "Contractual Obligation Album"

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 11:25 PM

Unless I'm mistaken, Psalm 58 discusses G*d's punishment of the wicked and reward for the righteous.

It doesn't say a word about Palestinians as far as I can tell.

And please note: the punishment is G*d's, not man's.

That in itself is an important point.

Posted by: Sophia at May 29, 2007 11:26 PM

Oh and ignore the brackets (but not the words in them).

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 11:28 PM

the punishment is G*d's, not man's.

Yes that's the huge (HUUUUUGE) difference that aphie missed last time.

There's a big difference in dynamic between telling your children that in the end times God will kill the Jews and other unbelievers, and telling them God expects us to kill the Jews and unbelievers and it's everyone's duty to prepare to kill them as soon as possible. And Also everyone who dies killing Jews goes straight to heaven and gets to put in a good word for his family.

Only an idiot would fail to see the difference

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 11:33 PM

Or an atheist, Josh.

Your fine distinctions are lost on us, I guess.

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 11:38 PM

Ooh, look at what this implies.

Sunnis in Syria converting to Shiism. What's interesting - the first comment:

This just goes to show how religious identity in the Middle East is more based on culture and nationalism than any real understanding of the deen. Anyone who appears “strong” and says bad things about Jews can gain a following.

You can even get Muslims to change their religion if you can show your religion killing more Jews (this is about the example of Hezbollah).

No peace on the way, dears.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 11:39 PM

Try to read the words slowly alph, one by one so you don't miss any.

The difference is between actually training your children to be killers, here, in this world, and telling them that God will kill someone one day, but they don't have to do anything.

In the first case real people will go out and slaughter. In the second case people will sit on their butts and wait for God to do something someday (which will never come).

Real things happening in the real world vs. NOTHING happening in the real world.

I'm an agnostic too, Alph. I'm only looking at what actually happens. Bombs vs. no bombs.

Get it now? Even a little?

Jesus, how dense!

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 11:43 PM

This piece has a powerful conclusion:

http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/?p=1532

She speaks of the fears of another Holocaust in the weeks before the 1967 war (I remember that - I found my mother crying on the phone and when I asked her what was wrong she told me she was weeping for the Jewish people).

Then, came the stunning victory - and all of a sudden the old memes about Jewish power came rushing back. No longer were we victims, but conquerors of another people.

It's caused an internal split and worse, those fears, fears of another Holocaust, are upon us once again, as people above have stated, as Iran and Hamas and so many others keep promising.

I think also, when people look back at 1948 and the Nakba, and some journalists declare that ETHNIC CLEANSING TOOK PLACE, or recount the dread deeds of the Stern Gang and Irgun (I'm thinking especially of the British, who seem to feast on this stuff), it reflects a lack of ability to empathize with the tattered, desperate people of the Yishuv. During the war, refugee ships had been turned away within sight of Haifa harbor. After, Bevin set up a blockade and forced ships of survivors back to Europe. In Poland, Holocaust survivors were killed. Pogroms had broken out all across the Middle East as well.

Der Spiegel had an article this week about Rommel, recounting Hitler's plans to annihilate the Jews in the Mandate. Threats from Arab leaders were simply bloodcurdling.

There's a distressing amount of mockery out on the 'net these days, dismissing the seriousness of the present day threats and trying to pass them off as "bad translations" - or worse, accusing Jews of trying to start another war for their own benefit. That's truly disturbing - it has spilled over into the "peace" movement as well.

Posted by: Sophia at May 29, 2007 11:53 PM

The book of revelations doesn't say that Christians have to do the killing. It just says that in some mystical way, people will die, so Christians aren't preparing themselves to be killers.

They're not hardening themselves so that they can commit genocide without guilt, quite the opposite.

But Muslims believe that it's THEIR OWN duty to commit genocide for God, so they ARE trying to spread hatred and to dehumanize the Jews in order that Muslims will be ready to do God's will, as soon as possible.

Actually this fits into the fact that Mohammad also expected Islam to conquer the world, and humble and humiliate the remaining infidels who will be their serfs.

Hatred is considered a requirement for piety. While this is logical because conquest requires brutality, Islam goes further than that, and explicitly makes hatred a duty.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 29, 2007 11:55 PM

I may just be a heathen, Josh, but didn't that day already come?

While having your kids open the door once a year and shout:

"Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You, And upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name."

may seem like harmless fun, but do you see how some people might take it the wrong way?

Posted by: alphie at May 29, 2007 11:55 PM

I had to google those words to even know what they refer to, I've never heard them before

Psalm 79:6-7

If you're claiming that Jews shout it once a year, I'm surprised never having heard it before. And yes, everyone in my family is Jewish.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 12:02 AM

But you do only take pot shots, don't you. Usually poorly considered ones, but that's besides the point. You never consider the arguments arrayed before you, do you alphie?

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 12:03 AM

What can I say, Josh?

Maybe my neighbors used to do it wrong.

Or maybe all that kosher wine fogged my memory.

And I'm a big fan of Monty Python, but I'm not sure exactly what argument you were making with that quote, so I don't know how to respond to it.

Posted by: alphie at May 30, 2007 12:18 AM

Alphie's gone, having never made a coherent argument, and having never answered either to concede or to rebut a single answer to his scatter shots.

What's his game anyway?

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 12:19 AM

Alphie,

Before you quote another verse, out of context, and without comment, please do me a favor and read about the Noachaic Laws and understand that you do not have to be Jewish to be righteous.

You might also want to research how Jewish law prescribes that the righteous non-Jew in their midst be treated, then compare it to the Dhimmitude reserved for "People of the Book."

Lastly, do a little research on Baal worship and some of the other cults worshipped in the ancient world that the early Jews encountered to understand why they prayed for Hashem to destroy the "wicked" and "unrighteous." One hint, human sacrifice was the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by: IMFink'sPa at May 30, 2007 12:23 AM

Oh and it's back with a stupid taunt.

And I'm a big fan of Monty Python, but I'm not sure exactly what argument you were making with that quote, so I don't know how to respond to it.

I probably wasted an hour writing various posts and he pretends none of them are there.

The very definition of a troll. Just trying to provoke a reaction without bothering to read the thread at all, if he's even capable of understanding it.

I hope Michael takes the time to read this thread carefully enough to realize that you're deliberately wasting people's time and bans you for it.

Either have the courage to make a coherent argument or leave!

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 12:24 AM

Alphie hasn't committed any bannable offenses, so if you don't want him around stop feeding him.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 30, 2007 12:35 AM

I don't write enough or well enough to have readers.

But I've always thought that if I did, I wouldn't ban based on principle, I'd ban the way a gardener prunes bushes, for aesthetics.

Being boring, unpleasant or shallow would be bannable offenses.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 12:39 AM

"What's funny is, I support Israel and its right to defend itself."

Alphie's not anti-Zionist, just anti-semitic.

Posted by: Gary Rosen at May 30, 2007 12:40 AM

And Josh, whenever I read your sweeping generalizations about Muslims and Jews, I think of the Kurds in Northern Iraq who take the Israeli side in this conflict.

The Kurds insist this is an ethnic war between Jews and Arabs, not a religious war, and that they have no reason to hate or even dislike Jews. Meanwhile, they have no shortage of reasons to despise Arab Nationalists who, as you know, committed genocide against them.

They are Muslims, too, and rather conservative Muslims at that.

You are completely right about Palestinian indoctrination. But that's Palestine, that's the Arab world, that's the most radical place in the whole Arab world. The wider Islamic world is more varied.

The Kurds aren't the only Muslims who opt out of this bullshit, but they are the ones I know best. I have heard most Persians (not the Iranian government) feel the same way, but I can't verify that with experience.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 30, 2007 12:43 AM

I wouldn't ban based on principle, I'd ban the way a gardener prunes bushes, for aesthetics.

A fair point. I am thinking about it.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 30, 2007 12:44 AM

I don't want to be a jerk, though.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 30, 2007 12:45 AM

I think Alphie slipped up a bit and revealed more than he wanted in those last few posts. Up 'til now he's mostly maintained the facade as a naive lefty peacenik, "gee if only Israel were nicer to the Palestinians". But that stuff claiming to know Jewish rituals, having Jewish neighbors he drank "kosher wine" with, that's straight out of Stormfront/KKK/neo-Nazi tactics. We better look at him in a different light now.

Posted by: Gary Rosen at May 30, 2007 12:51 AM

You are completely right about Palestinian indoctrination. But that's Palestine, that's the Arab world, that's the most radical place in the whole Arab world. The wider Islamic world is more varied.

I realize that lists make for a clumsy sentence structure, but beyond the Arabs you have to include both the Persians and the Arabs in the Asia. The Indonesians also hate the Jews though they've probably never seen a Jew.

I remember one teacher talking about how his Muslim students in Singapore all believe that America is out to destroy them, so probably antisemitism goes along with the rest of the "Arab" paranoia.

The Kurds have to tell themselves that this isn't Islam, since, by definition it's sinful to oppose any part of Islam, but just because they're fooling themselves doesn't make them right.

Good for them, of course. But I'm not convinced.

Oh and thank you for taking me seriously. This stuff is considered beyond the pale. We're not ready to face the bad news yet. It's still "kill the messenger" time.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 12:52 AM

I have heard most Persians (not the Iranian government) feel the same way, but I can't verify that with experience.

This is anecdotal, but a while ago Shaul Mofaz, who speaks some Farsi, made a radio broadcast to Iran with the opportunity for listeners to call in with comments (using skype, I guess). The crowd was overwhelmingly sypmpathetic, and one caller asked when Israel was going to come and rescue the Iranians from the mullahs, like the Persians rescued the Jews from the Babylonians.

Posted by: MarkC at May 30, 2007 12:52 AM

Oops I had an editing error. oooh.

"Muslims in the Asia" not "Arabs in the Asia"

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 12:54 AM

Jeez, Gary,

Stormfront?

I may be the only lefty peacenik neo-nazi Republican in the country!

An army of one, indeed.

Posted by: alphie at May 30, 2007 12:56 AM

I got to this point of despair after a lot of reading and a fair bit of arguing with Muslims over the years. Arguing with the specific goal in mind of determining whether peace is possible.

But, really, it does take years of failed arguments before people give up hope. It's a good thing or we'd be much more prone to prejudice.

But it also means that society can't possibly face the whole truth without a few generations more experience.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 12:57 AM

Being considered a jerk by some people is pretty much unavoidable if aesthetics is the criteria. If that's a concern, I suggest banning the malicious and being tolerant of the merely ignorant- so long as it is not willful ignorance.

As always, your website, your bandwidth, your rules, anyone who disagrees can get their own blog...

Posted by: rosignol at May 30, 2007 01:01 AM

I may be the only lefty peacenik neo-nazi Republican in the country!

"You must not feel so all alone.
Everybody must get stoned!"

Actually I've argued with many lefish neo-nazi "peace-activist" types. The ends of the spectrum wrap, and antisemitism has been growing on the left, and paranoid antizionism is almost universal.

Yes, it's true that antisemites use similar arguments and the "kosher" references pretty often, and I considered whether alphie sounded antisemetic, but decided this could very easily be a coincidence.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 01:03 AM

Jeff Goldstein is the guy with the world's best comment section or at least he was back in the days when he was writing humor (and the cleverest humorist on the net).

I stopped reading him when got exclusively into media criticism. You'd have to drill a hole in my skull to let the boredom out after reading those long critiques.

In any case his intelligence and wit seemed to offend the stupid and keep them away from his blog, and he attracted the wittiest, brightest comment section in history.

Michael, you're an insightful writer, but Jeff could beat Mark Twain without breaking a sweat.

I'm so disappointed that he's wasting his time on politics, academics and seriously criticizing idiots. What a waste of talent!

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 01:11 AM

Have you had a chance to read the inscription on Baruch Goldstein's tombstone?

Another false moral equivalency. We are talking about incitement in mainstream Palestinian media and schools, and you bring up a crackpot extremist who represents a tiny fringe of Israeli society. To state the obvious.

This is why everybody is against you, Alphie. You are not interested in advancing the discussion, but only in spoiling it. It's a shame, because the site could use a good devil's advocate on a lot of these issues.

To all the Israelis on the thread, isn't it heartbreaking seeing the poor kids in Sderot trying to take their bagrut examinations with the qassams falling? The math test was interrupted by a qassem attack, and they actually made them go back in when it was over and finish the test. They showed some of the girls sobbing because the attack had scared them out of their wits, and they couldn't finish the test. For the life of me, I don't understand why they won't let the poor kids take the test outside of Sderot. Let that shithead Olmert open his office in Sderot, if they want to make an example.

Posted by: MarkC at May 30, 2007 01:32 AM

You know, I think I got in the habit of listing the horrors of Muslim hatred as a test when arguing with Muslims to see if they would contradict me or at least try to defend Islamic hatred.

None of them has ever done either.

In the far past, when I knew less I got some denials (and they turned out to be denials that I could easily rebut, now), but once I sounded like I knew what I was talking about, I stopped getting denials.

I'm afraid I have to take it as corroboration.

And the things ex-Muslims tell me about their mosque and maddrassa experiences are so extreme that they're hard to believe.

It reminds me of stories where people couldn't believe stories about the death camps at first. Beyond a certain point descriptions of extremism sound like lies.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 01:32 AM

Beyond a certain point descriptions of extremism sound like lies.

I know it. That's why you have to point to original source material. Quote the bastards in their own words. That's what finally convinced me about Hamas and Islamic Jihad. I didn't want to believe it, but there it is.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 30, 2007 01:40 AM

Actually, Mark, I was curious about what the inscription says, there seems to be some controversy.

And I believe last week I suggested moving the scientists who are working on Israel's laser defense project to Sderot until they get it working, and was called a few names for it ("disingenous and, frankly, despicable" IIRC).

I don't see how my suggestion is different than your about moving Olmert there, though.

Posted by: alphie at May 30, 2007 01:53 AM

are you just going to post reactionary bullshit in here

as sad as it is, my description of the prevailing attitude amongst commenters here was actually quite apt - it is simply impossible to have a sane discussion about the Arab/Israeli conflict here and people threatening to cut your throat or being quick to call you a member of the stormfront for holding a balanced view of the matter is indicative of this fact

Posted by: novakant at May 30, 2007 02:16 AM

It is kinda hard to retain a balanced view between a culture that trains up its children in Jew-hatred, jihad, suicide bombing, and murdering any Jew they can reach - man, woman or child, and one that specifically targets only those who are trying to kill them, their trainers, their outfitters, and their commanders.

It's kinda like when the news media covers Ahmedinejad's Holocaust-denier conference and casts about for 'both sides of the story.'

Posted by: Salamantis at May 30, 2007 02:40 AM

Somehow, the anti-Israeli (anti-semitic?) arguments are always the same, comprised of the same logical fallacies, and conducted in the same way.

Jews kill civilians and Arabs kill civilians; ergo, they are the same.

There are Jews who dislike Arabs and there are Arabs who dislike Jews; ergo, they are the same.

There are Jewish religious extremists and there are Arab religious extremist; ergo, they are the same.

But since the Jews are the Jews and are living in a liberal democracy, they need to live up to a higher moral standard. Since the above points prove that the Jews are just like their enemies, the Jews fail to uphold the higher moral standard;

Ergo, Israel is evil, must be destroyed and the Jews (who are also evil) annihilated.

Oh, and it is important to mention that you have some Jewish friends, have nothing against the Jews or Israel as such... but since you've just proved beyond any doubt that they are evil, there is, alas, no choice but to genocide them and destroy their state.

Posted by: The Raccoon at May 30, 2007 04:57 AM

Any time two substantial groups are in armed conflict, ugly things will happen on both sides.

The question really ought to be, which side, after the dust has settled, and the blood has dried, can build a university system that that will attract bright students specializing in legitimate subjects from all over the world?

Posted by: Snippet at May 30, 2007 05:21 AM

The question really ought to be, which side, after the dust has settled, and the blood has dried, can build a university system that that will attract bright students specializing in legitimate subjects from all over the world?

NA = "Does Not Apply"

Because in this case the dust will never settle and there will always be fresh blood.

The only question is, when is the REAL nakba (catastrophe) coming - the one that kills everyone or almost everyone for dozens or hundreds or thousands of miles.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 05:26 AM

Couldn't be more right about the need for balance....

http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/MideastDispatchExplanation.html

Posted by: Barry Meislin at May 30, 2007 05:33 AM

going over what has been said in my absence, 80%-90% was a dialogue with an idiot which, it is clear, is neither capable nor willing to pay attention to knowledge and reason. what a waste. so i repeat: ignore him and save yourselves the exasperation.

to the point by raccoon i would add that this is fed by cognitive egocentrism (as richard landes explains): they hold israel to a higher standard out of envy that while they fail some such, the israelis really don't. this explains the rabid hatred: they cannot stand that israel is actually more moral than they pretend to be.

the vakant brain is an excellent example of how ignorance and stupidity results in doublespeak: it is we who prevent a sane discussion, not he and the other idiots.

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 08:52 AM

vive la difference:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1180450951435&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

i guess this is what the joos makes them do. it's that damn occupation.

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 09:08 AM

a must read in the context of moral equivalence:

Moral Equivalence as Moral Inversion: A Mediation of the Yawning Chasm

http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2007/05/30/moral-equivalence-as-moral-inversion-a-mediation-of-the-yawning-chasm/#comments

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 09:14 AM

"Do Israeli textbooks contain bloodthirsty calls for genocide against Arabs? How about references to Arabs as non-humans? Apes and pigs for instance."

Well there is the Talmud which is written, and re-written by Jewsih Scholars. They call everyone but Jews lesser humans. Morally, Jews are allowed to kill, steal, trick, rape, beat and lie to other non-Jews - among many other outrageous claims - and this is supposed to be Judaisms holiest book, not a mere text book.

"Like the world gives a crap if Israel lives or dies." Carlos

Do you really, sanely and honestly believe something such as Hamas can destroy Israel? Please give us sane people a fucking break. Yes the whole world does give a shit about Israel, because it has always been politically, economically and militarily protected, supported and assisted.

Last years war with Hezbollah revealed how much the world actually cares only about Israel and no-one else. Furtermore, whenever Israel has any UN resolution passed to it, Israel never abides by it. UN convention states that a resolution from Chapet 7 must be introduced if any country fails to meet UN obligations or resolutions. This has never happened. Whereas in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia etc it has (such as the NATO force sent in '83 and the international tribunal on Rafiq Harriri).

Please cut the crap Carlos.

"but it's kinda hard to deny videos of bloodthirsty 'plays', manipulative leading-question 'interviews', and brainwashing TV shows, isn't it?" Salamantis

I'll give you just one small example. Aladin. We all know the story. An arab myth first introduced in the book Arabian Nights. The Hollywood version goes like this: Aladin and Jasmin are good looking, good people (goodies) and have an American Accent as well as feel love and have passions/desire and so on.

The other 'baddies' have crooked noses, have pure arabic names (Jaafar), wear very traditional arab/mideastern clothing, are wicked and evil, speak broken english (almost like an Arab?) etc. Just focusing on the accent will tell a young child which people are good and which are bad - the american people are very good whereas the Arab refugees are evil and wicked???

"in the Quran I believe Muslims must slaughter them to bring the End of Times." Pam

You're so good at bullshiting, but not very good at providing evidence. Show me where in the quran it says this...

"Ooh, look at what this implies." Josh

Your link is trying to tell us that Muslim Brotherhood are mainstream sunnis. How credible is THAT, hah!

"But that's Palestine, that's the Arab world, that's the most radical place in the whole Arab world. The wider Islamic world is more varied." MJT

Radical for trying desperately take the crumbles of land left for them? You call them radicals when they are the worst suffering people in this world. You seem very sympethetic with the 'conservative muslim' Kurds who want there own state, but because they aren't against Israel, you don't oppose them. Whereas the Palistinians are trying to do the same, but they are terrorists and radicals. The only difference is that Kurds are not occupied and never in history have they had a country or nation to call theirs. Whereas the Palistinians are. Funny thing, pre-1948 the kurds and Jews were the same. Look what creating a state for Israel has caused, but you still insist on creating another state for the Kurds which will create more blooshed no matter whose fault it is.

PS If people like Josh Scholar carry on waving the word Anti-Semiticism around like its an ordinary word, it won't only become normal to be an Anti-Semite, but rather respectful. Thats when the really nasty people come to there own.

Posted by: yo yo at May 30, 2007 09:15 AM

and another must read:

Tripoli 2007 vs. Jenin 2002: Even-handed Media’s Double Standards

http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2007/05/30/tripoli-2007-vs-jenin-2002-even-handed-medias-double-standards/#comments

those who still feed the trolls ought to read the last two links and shove them down the trolls' throats if they really want to bother and waste time.

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 09:18 AM

as sad as it is, my description of the prevailing attitude amongst commenters here was actually quite apt - it is simply impossible to have a sane discussion about the Arab/Israeli conflict here and people threatening to cut your throat or being quick to call you a member of the stormfront for holding a balanced view of the matter is indicative of this fact

As I said, the quality of the commenters here has degenerated quite a bit over the last few years. There's this pack here now who are so insecure about their own political position that anything contrary is immediately set upon with insults and name-calling. That simply drives people away.

I barely come by here anymore, and there are a lot of decent commenters of both the left and right who have moved on to more thoughtful comment sections. The pity is that this then turns into an annex of LGF.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at May 30, 2007 09:41 AM

I'm surprised that no one has written about the military buildup along the Kurdistan border by the Turkish military. It would be nice to get an insiders view of the situation, especially since the news from the MSM has such a lack of detailed information. Does this really presage an invasion by the Turks? Is this just political blustering? Does the Kurdish government actually attempt to reign in the PKK, ir do they actually encourage attacks inside of Turkey?

The MSM doesn't even attempt to answer the tough questions, and it would be great if Michael could attempt to cover some of these issues.

My personal (and admittedly overly simplistic) view of the situations is that both sides need to cut out this kind of crap, and begin to realize that the are natural allies in the region. Besides Israel, they are the only two pro-west democracies in the region (Lebanon doesn't count, quite frankly it's almost a failed state). If Turkey and Kurdistan can work out there differences, that would be a strong statement for the more secularizing forces in the region that democracy and civil discourse is the best way to solve crisis'.

Peace,
Cosmo

Posted by: Cosmo at May 30, 2007 09:42 AM

the problem with the doublespeak idiots who clutter this thread -- if the pack is so insane and insecure, why the hell do they stay? -- is the following:

Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own
Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments

http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf

they are actually right about the deterioration: when those knowledgeable and able to reason spend so much time countering nonsense by those unable to get it, quality goes down the drain. lowering oneself to deal with them on their own terms is what they want, because they then win.

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 10:09 AM

Radical for trying desperately take the crumbles of land left for them?

No, they're radical because they teach genocide, hatred, poisonous resentment and truimphalism to each generation, insuring unending violince as if that were morally acceptable rather than monsterious.

Radical because they have made hatred the basis of their society. Radical because they are stuck in a mass delusion. Radical because they are incapable of taking responsibility for anything - there is always a scapegoat.

You call them radicals when they are the worst suffering people in this world.

And there it is, your delusion, hatred and blindness.

Worst suffering in the world. Never, not by a long shot.

The Palestinians are faced by an enemy that actually wants peace. If they were a sane society, they could have used Israeli democracy to create any sort of sharing deal at all.

But they are addicted to violence so they are doomed to fail. And they are the authors of their own failure.

You seem very sympethetic with the 'conservative muslim' Kurds who want there own state, but because they aren't against Israel, you don't oppose them. Whereas the Palistinians are trying to do the same, but they are terrorists and radicals. The only difference is that Kurds are not occupied and never in history have they had a country or nation to call theirs. Whereas the Palistinians are. Funny thing, pre-1948 the kurds and Jews were the same. Look what creating a state for Israel has caused, but you still insist on creating another state for the Kurds which will create more blooshed no matter whose fault it is.

No the difference between the Kurds and the Arabs couldn't be obvious - but you blind yourself to it.

The difference is moral. And the difference is complete.

The Kurds take responsibility for themselves, they do not demonize, they do not scapegoat, they do not make war or hate unncessarily.

They fight for sane political purposes rather than to go to heaven.

And they don't make their own failure while using that to generate delusional, pious hatred to ruin generations to come with stupid wars or genocides.

Re read the thread and see if you can see the moral failings I've aluded to over and over. I worry for your sanity that you can not see it.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 10:34 AM

Yo Yo

YOYO: There has been nothing except war, death and destruction in the middle east since Israels creation

Obviously life was a peaceful utopia under the Ottomans. And the Algerian Civil War, the Lebanese Civil War, the Iran-Iraq War, the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians in Hama, the invasion of Kuwait, and the genocide in Darfur were all caused by Israel’s creation.

Posted by: Toady at May 30, 2007 10:37 AM

double-plus-ungood,

I'm a little dismayed. You are more than willing to defend the Jihadi throat cutters, so why not me?

Posted by: redaktor at May 30, 2007 10:38 AM

}}"Ooh, look at what this implies." Josh

}Your link is trying to tell us that Muslim Brotherhood are mainstream sunnis. How credible is THAT, hah!

What are you talking about? That has nothing to do with what I wrote. I was describing the fact that Muslims are so invested in slaughtering the Jews that Sunnis are converting to Shiism just because Hezbollah lobbed a few missiles at Israel.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 10:41 AM

josh,

you continue to feed the trolls and get exasperated by it. WHY?

the insane (a) dk that they are so (b) think the sane are. there is no way you can get anything out of these exchanges, and if you continue it you are risking being worse than they are. they know what they are doing. do you?

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 10:44 AM

You're so good at bullshiting, but not very good at providing evidence. Show me where in the quran it says this...

That's repeated in Hadiths from three or four sources. Pam may be wrong about it being in the Koran, though.

I wish that distinction mattered but it doesn't in this case.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 10:46 AM

You call them radicals when they are the worst suffering people in this world.

Not at all.

Tibet is also being illegitimately occupied by China and the Chinese are a lot nastier than the Israelis. The Chinese are also bringing in settlers.

http://www.savanna.demon.co.uk/Tibet/Tibet.html
Quote: “Summary of Chinese atrocities in Tibet”

http://www.friendsoftibet.org/main/concerns.html
Quote: “More than a million Tibetans have died as a direct result of the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet. Today, it is hard to come across a Tibetan family that has not had at least one member imprisoned or killed by the Chinese regime.”

You might wonder why there is more international sympathy for the Tibetans than the Palestinians. Maybe it is because they don't strap bombs to their young and send them to blow up pizza parlors.

Posted by: Toady at May 30, 2007 10:46 AM

the arabs at their best:

http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level_English.php?cat=Politics&loid=8.0.419838411&par=0

and for this americans gave blood and zillions.

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 10:47 AM

... Actually it's repeated in a large portion of the Hadiths, if you count the meaning rather than the specific phrasing.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 10:49 AM

come to think of it: to be able to get out of their blunder the us has been pushing them to do just that.

so us foreign policy is more imbecilic than one could envision: first they screw up by disbanding the whole army, and then they push the govt to deal with its worst leaders.

now, that's what i would call smart. any wonder the west is doomed?

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 10:50 AM

Fp, my favorite commenters on this site are the Muslim supporters of Hezbollah or Hamas.

They're tiresome, and Micheal gets rid of them so that conversation is possible. But each one has a hate fueled insanity that is always a teachable moment (for us not for them).

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 10:53 AM

Josh: They're tiresome, and Micheal gets rid of them so that conversation is possible

Yes, that's why I do it. Yo Yo is just about finished here.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 30, 2007 11:12 AM

Ahh, that means I don't get to complete my experiments.

Still, I never expect success. And I'm not entirely sure WHAT Yo Yo is.

It's hard to tell whether he's actually as ignorant as he claims or whether he's pretending ignorance as a rhetorical ploy.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 11:32 AM

josh,

i dk how old you are, but i know enough about their ilk to learn anything.

apropos hezbollah, heh heh. Typical arab position: no end to grievances all the way to the real one" israel's existence.

Hizbullah Deputy Sec-Gen: Hizbullah Won't Disarm Even If Israel Withdraws From Sheb'a Farms

Hizbullah Deputy Secretary-General Na'im Qasim has said that Hizbullah would not disarm even if Israel withdrew from the Sheb'a Farms.

He said that this was because there would still be a need to liberate the prisoners being held in Israel, and to confront the danger that presents to Lebanon.

Source: Etemad-e Meli, Iran, May 21, 2007

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 11:35 AM

my guess is they're tiresome because they're infantile. and if so that's because they're very young. which is why they would not survive in a real, rather than internet exchange, which obscures that.

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 11:37 AM
As the last half century has show, liberal democracies cannot untie that hand. When there is an attempt to do so, internal conflict within the democracies cause the conflict to collapse... The only solution is to stop being a liberal democracy, and that isn't a particularly desirable option in my books.

Nor mine.

You mean they kill them, then try to look good by trying to provide medical help. They bomb their electricity plants, then they provide them electricity they can't afford, and the other aid is probebly the rain of bullets and bombs to kill them and rid this people of its suffering?

Since it is very clear that Israel gets no credit whatsoever for providing their enemy with power, medical aid and other favours, why do you think Israel does it?

That's rhetorical, I'm not especially interested in your response.

So, I don't see Hezbollah working with the enemy against its own country, I dont see them killing there own people (Israeli bullets and rockets killed 1200 lebanese civilian, not Hezbollahs - simple) etc etc etc.

About half were Hezbollah combatants, more were Hezbollah members. And many of the rest died because Hezbollah placed their infrastructure next to civilians.

There has been nothing except war, death and destruction in the middle east since Israels creation.

Yes, that is entirely true. Arabs have built nothing, invented nothing, developed nothing. More books are translated in to Danish than Arabic. Even the technology used against Israel is imported. And even outnumbering Israelis by hundreds to one, you cannot destroy it. There has been nothing but war and destruction in the Middle East because that is all the Arabs have put their minds to doing, and they can't even do that properly.

Even human rights watch said 97% of all war crimes and crimes against humanity in the world was committed by the Israeli state.

ROFL!

Posted by: MattW at May 30, 2007 12:26 PM

matt,

you're not interested in his answers and you rofl when he exposes his idiocy, so why do you insist in elevating him to the level of a discussant? don't you understand that is not rational? and if it's not, aren't you lowering yourself to his level?

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 12:31 PM

I think it's foolish to assume that extremists, dangerous and influential as they may be, represent the only voices in Middle East.

Here's a piece about Sari Nusseibeh, which was linked to Martin Kramer's site, called "A Reason Not To Despair":

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2007/0706.hammer.html

Yesterday there was a piece in the Daily Star by Fouad Abu Hamed, who runs health centers for Israeli Arabs in East Jerusalem:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=82539

He expresses both his hopes and his frustrations.

One of the problems, I think, is that Palestinians feel utterly humiliated and incapable of negotiating as equals. If there is a way to empower voices like his politically, rather than trying to deal with armed and extreme militias, surely real peace, a warm peace, is attainable. I'm not sure how this can be accomplished but I think it's a worthy goal.

There is another piece in the Daily Star, about the enterprise zones between Lebanon and Jordan, which reveals a hidden problem:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=82594

These enterprise zones are a logical attempt to address some of the economic problems of the area by creating cooperation between Jordanians and Israelis. Unfortunately, though, Palestinians don't seem to have been represented although I believe there are other cases where they are.

But here's a strange thing: the article states that the Jordanians don't hire their own labor but import it from the Far East!

Now - this is why I brought up the question of the Syrian economy in an earlier thread about Lebanon.

Regardless of ideological factors driving extremism, I believe that poverty and a high unemployment rate are primary culprits. Look at the situation in cities throughout the Middle East. And look at the high unemployment rates even in wealthy states and then - regard the fact that much of the labor is imported from Asia and/or the West.

That makes no sense to me and it also provides an excellent matrix for violence.

Could it be that the solutions to our problems are not as insurmountable as they seem at the moment? Personally I believe that's the case.

And, I think we need to have some hope. Despair is truly an enemy right now. It can lead in and of itself to disaster. We should fight it.

Posted by: Sophia at May 30, 2007 02:09 PM

sophia,

i did not say anything of the kind. pls read more carefully, for i am being very explicit.

as to nusseibe, i suggest you read karsh who has first hand knowledge of him and takes to tasks all those gullible in the west who reviewed him without a very detailed knowledge of the man.

the economic problems of the pals are of their own making, propped up by the unconditional welfare that the west pumped into them, which infantilizes them and makes them dependent. i ask again: how come that afte zillions the population is always on the verge of famine (per the media), yet there is no paucity of arms? and no, it's not the occupation because between the 6 day war and the insertion of the PLO into the territories the socioeconomic conditions of the pals improved several folds.

finally, westerners should stop deluding themselves that islamism and the conflict are mainly about economics. that is patently false.

Posted by: fp at May 30, 2007 02:28 PM
aren't you lowering yourself to his level?

Yes, probably. I saw an easy target and went for it.

Posted by: MattW at May 30, 2007 02:37 PM

Oh yes... I forgot one important rule in the "how to make another Jewish Holocaust more palatable to the would-be-Liberalist":

When all the fallacious logic fails, just lie. Lies go down really well, especially the bigger ones. So lie big.

Why, oh why, can't the enemies of hunamity be more creative?

Posted by: The Raccoon at May 30, 2007 02:38 PM
I don't see how my suggestion is different than your about moving Olmert there [Sderot], though.</blockquote

Did you hear the one about swapping Shalit for Olmert?

Posted by: MattW at May 30, 2007 02:44 PM

Sophia, I don't have time right now. But I think you're reading nonsense and you have the stick the wrong way around. Terrorists are usually NOT the poorest people, and in territories, if not the Lebanese camps, extremism is the whole cause of poverty not the other way around.

Before the first intifada, Palestinians (at least those in the territories) had the second highest median income in the middle east (Israelis having the highest). That's because they were participating in the only non-broken economy in the middle east, the Israeli economy.

Westerners who push bromides that poverty is the cause are usually well meaning but ignorant. Middle easterners who say the same thing are lying, usually because they have some sucker to milk.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 30, 2007 02:47 PM

matt,

why would the pals want olmert? he serves their purposes quite well where he is. and they wouldn't get any terrorists back for him.

Posted by: fp/http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ at May 30, 2007 03:48 PM
why would the pals want olmert?

Hmm. Yes, best to give them Peretz and Livni, too. Their collective incompetence might serve terrorists' interests, but Hamas could hardly turn down the three most senior Israeli politicians.

Posted by: MattW at May 30, 2007 03:59 PM

"Obviously life was a peaceful utopia under the Ottomans." Toady

No, because the Arabs participated in the second world war only to help the Allied forces. What do they get in return? A big fat smack in one its most holy and precious lands. The Arabs played a big part in supplying the Allied forced with what they needed to destroy the monster in Berlin. My great grandfather even fought against Hitlers army , he as well as millions of Arabs participated and helped the Jews who were suffering a great deal. I like to think of it like this. The Allied forces would have been nothing but a big fat modern fierce and powerful gun, but with no bullets without Arabs allowing resupplyment, recruitment, building bases and barracks in their lands.

"And the Algerian Civil War, the Lebanese Civil War, the Iran-Iraq War, the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians in Hama, the invasion of Kuwait, and the genocide in Darfur were all caused by Israel’s creation." Toady

Well none of these conflicts happened before Israels creation, or was it a coincidence? Israel was created, America ofcourse had to intervene in the area. I personnaly see Israel as one big American military base. I don't genuinely believe that all of a sudden America spends all this money, support and backing of such 'unpopular' people because they had this sudden urge of love and romance with them. America is known to use then abuse peoples and nations for its own interests. They did it to the Kurds, now to the Iraqis, before to the Koreans and Vientnamese and so on. If the Jews really believe they are an exeption because they are the chosen people of g-d almighty, they must start thinking again before reality bumps them in the head so hard, they'll never recover from it again.

Posted by: yo yo at May 30, 2007 05:30 PM

Josh, if you are trying to imply that I support Hezbollah or Hamas or any other party or direction, you re wrong. Your belief in that is as insane as believing that Haaretz is pro-Hezbollah, and so is South Africa for not voting for the resolution today.

as for "Yes, that's why I do it. Yo Yo is just about finished here." if you are thinking of banning me, then you go ahead, it is your blog and your choice. Though, i must raise a couple of aspects and outcomes of such actions. Would this not put the credibility of your blog under question by banning the 'opposite' opinion? Aren't you a pro-democratic Liberal who is scathingly trying to being about change to the middle east, trying so very hard by exhausting your time and money on the very idea of giving the people of the world the right to freedom, choice and speech? Yet, I find it hard that you try to block and demolish another persons opinion and side instead of learning from it and teaching through it? How would such censorship look like to others?

Yea i know blocking me isn't gonna destroy the oppressed worlds desire for democracy, ofcourse not. But remember, everything starts with a small step, a small insult, a small quarrel and escalates etc. You only have to look at Fox News to predict whta censorship will cause lol. Anyways up-to you. But seriously, I miss your old buddy HL (Hezbollah Lover), if you remember him.

PS: Try finding a few pro-Hezbollah blogs or visit the BBC have your say page and just have a look at what i write in there, just in case you still think im pro this or pro that. Everyone who bears arms will face criticism by me - the brother and the foe.

Posted by: Yo Yo - maybe the last spin? at May 30, 2007 05:43 PM

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Yassar Arafat's uncle, actually formed a Palestinian Waffen SS Brigade to assist Adolph Hitler's Third Reich. The Baathist Party was created using the Fascist model, and Saddam Hussein, who had blood taken from himself so it could be used to calligraph a Qu'ran, had portraits of Hitler and Stalin hanging in his presidential office. The Muslim Brotherhood itself is a crypto-fascist organization. You obviously not only do not know whereof you speak, but do not care to learn - or else you purposefully and maliciously lie.

And Iseael cannot be blamed for surrounding Arab and Muslim nations deciding to make offensive war upon it a half dozen times in its relatively brief history. They obviously consider Israel's very existence to be a causus belli. That being the case, it is no wonder that Israel has armed itself well; for them, it's a matter of existential survival in a genocidal neighborhood.

Posted by: Salamantis at May 30, 2007 05:44 PM

"About half were Hezbollah combatants, more were Hezbollah members. And many of the rest died because Hezbollah placed their infrastructure next to civilians." MattW

Every Human Rights organisation, including the red cross, has estimated that a third of all the civilians killed in Lebanon were children aged 15 and under, never mind the above 15's. Nearly half were Women over 18 (Hezbollah has no women militants). How can Israels propaganda crap really get you to believe it?

Rmemeber when they said they killed 800 terrorists? Then it miraculasly went down to 600. Then down again to 'roughly 300'. Hezbollah has said this clearly and precisely - roughly 250 of its members, militants etc overall were killed in the war. Lebanon is a small country. When Hezbollah tells you there were exactly 93 militants killed and makes a memorial in a major city - of you happen to go and not see your brothers name, would you or would you not be pissed off and expose this to the media? No such case has happened. When i say members, i mean unarmed epope working in Hospitals, nurseries, charities and schools run by Hezbollah. Under UN convention, anyone not bearing arms, is not a militant. of the 1200, only 93 constituted militants because they were the only ones bearing arms.

Posted by: Yo Yo - going for another spin at May 30, 2007 05:55 PM

salamamaklalamamalatis please visit a history book one day before you chat shit out your mouth - a conversation is always productive when you are educated hunny. Some peoples problem is that they dismiss everything as a lie, as long as its there version of events, then its the truth. Now tell me America has never sold The Islamic republic of Iran weapons in the past...it's all interests my friend, there is no such thing as twi countries falling in love.

Posted by: yo yo at May 30, 2007 06:02 PM

Just as I suspected would happen; a refusal to even acknowledge, must less counter, my factual points, coupled with gratuitous ad hominems and a desperate attempt at diversion.

You are indeed a troll. And not a very smart or good one.

Posted by: Salamantis at May 30, 2007 06:08 PM

Hezbollah propagandists dearly love their civilian casualties, which is why they hide behind civilian populations while shooting at israeli soldiers who do not bring human shields with them, and seal missile launchers into cemented-shut rooms of private homes - rooms which the homes' residents are not permitted to access. They love Israeli civilian casualties, too - but just because they're dead Jews - which is why they launched barrage after barrage of missiles into Israeli villages.

It was all planned to happen, from the moment they started trying to kidnap Israeli soldiers in cross-border raids. When they finally succeeded, however, they got more than they bargained for - and will get even more of the same, should they dare to do so again.

Posted by: Salamantis at May 30, 2007 06:16 PM

Ok, YO YO, you're finished here. No more comments.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at May 30, 2007 08:02 PM

good, if obvious analysis of the situation in gaza. it's the west that induces war:

http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.26206/pub_detail.asp

Posted by: fp/http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ at May 30, 2007 08:39 PM

I was starting to enjoy it too. I just like to expose myself a little. I'm Hezbollah Lover, i'm Shameless, and shamlessnesnesnesnes and hehe and haha and yoyo and yo no and, and, and, and...

But what you won't expose, is i'm one of the people also acting somewhat ultra conservative, and you all love me. Michael, check your records and see when i started participating in your blog. Then check for another user who started using your blog at roughly the same time - then you will know who I am.

It's just so much fun people calling me a troll, a kid an idiot etc because I say stuff they don't like hearing. At the same time, when I repeat the carrot murdoch is chucking at the conservatives, you all seem to love me!

What stupid guennie pigs in a test they never saw coming - especially you Josh, what a retard.

Posted by: yo yo - the last spin at May 30, 2007 10:54 PM

People tend not to feel sheaves of tender fondness for people who interminably spam malevolent and easily refutable lies, and thus disrupt the search for the esch (German - pure actuality) of the matter with the need to continuously refute them, less silence in their face be taken by visitors as assent. It's a human thing. You wouldn't understand.

Analyzing this complex systemic situation, and figuring out ways that it might be resolved in the best minimax fashion (the best utilitarian sum of most good and least evil), is serious business to us, and the last thing we or anyone involved in a serious cooperative endeavor needs is a mentally and factually challenged, logically deficient and emotionally unstable court-hijacking jester with a forensically committable Loki complex psychopathically strutting, cavorting, farting, sneering and giggling around the communitarian workspace.

Posted by: Salamantis at May 30, 2007 11:44 PM

Salamantis, as long as we're over analyzing or rather over-meta-analyzing, let me say that it's obvious that public processes will have to contend with people trying to thwart them. When we're searching for the truth, we will always encounter liars.

People like Yo yo shouldn't really be a problem, rather they help us calibrate, help us be prepared for more intelligent, saner and more subtle liars.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 31, 2007 12:05 AM

How much genuine debate on Noah Pollak's three points occured here?

Very little.

Here's what happened instead:

1. A few contrarians attempted to make initial contrary arguments. Some of them may have been incorrect, some were probably factually accurate, yet others may feel they were not of ultimate signifigance, etc etc.

2. The Patriotic Majority, tm, responded with insults and a long campaign to have Mike ban people who disagreed - YoYo, DPU, Alphie... did anyone take any kind of contrary view to Noah's article and not face someone clamoring for his ban?

3. Mike, of course, trying to be reasonable, ended up banning someone who made some inaccurate statements and had an aggressive tone, and didn't in fact ban everyone. But by then, the propellant of the thread was exhausted. Not much genuine debate ever occured.

Mike, I have a suggestion for you: stop taking suggestions on who to ban, and force people to, if they want someone banned, email you. You can use your own judgement and your own voice to argue with, caution, and - hopefully after warnings, whoever they are and whatever they're arguing - perhaps ban people. I still think you shouldn't ban anyone, because if this comment thread does anything useful at all, the only possible thing it does is bring people of differing viewpoints, even angry and inaccurate ones, to consider each other's arguments.

But if you're going to ban, don't allow this situation you have now, where clamoring for banning has become a substitute for discussion.

Posted by: glasnost at May 31, 2007 08:06 AM

For what it's worth, I don't think that Noah Pollak's points present a complete picture of the conflict dynamic in Gaza. I completely disagree with #1 and I think his dismissal of #2 is only circumstantially accurate. (#3 may touch on a more historically replicable truth).

But I'm not going to bother developing my argument further. There's no one I can see here who appears interested in making an evidentiary argument about it. Certainly, if they're there, they're not prominent.

I'm also too late, but since I'm too late anyway, might as well make a point.

Posted by: glasnost at May 31, 2007 08:09 AM

Glasnost -

I would appreciate seeing your arguments. I agree that it is a bit of an echo chamber around here, but that's because there haven't been any decent contrarians. Two of the ones you mentioned are just too much in their own weird orbit to contribute anything useful. A good counter argument sharpens the debate.

Posted by: MarkC at May 31, 2007 08:31 AM

glasnost,

i have never asked or suggested that anybody be banned here, and i never do, so i am taking the liberty to respond to you.

i have a great deal of experience with internet polemics and one very quickly learns that anywhere you go there are always people who are desperate for attention and who try to achieve it by being "contrarian" on purpose. they have very superficial knowledge of the subject based on public media or propaganda sources, are incapable of and uninterested in dialogue, and unable to reason. they continuously dump nonsense which requires tons of countering which is always ignored. i wrote often about this technique, her's a short blurb on it:

http://www.dbdebunk.com/page/page/2341216.htm

my response to this is to ignore those employing the technique, but apparently that is hard for some and they insist on responding, only to be faced with more dumping on nonsense, and so on. this diverts the thread to catering to nonsense and is a problem.

it seems to me that you are blaming the victims.
there is a lot of disagreement here and it does not result in banning. nobody requires you to agree with anybody, only to demonstrate good grounding, rely on serious sources, address criticism etc. and so on. iow, demonstrate some intellect and seriousness.

but in the last instance this is mjt's forum and he has the right to exclude anybody -- it is not a right.

i'm with mark on this one.

Posted by: fp/http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ at May 31, 2007 08:46 AM

Can I just say that none, I say this again actually, none of you gave feedback nor answered teh serious questions I set to you, but rather tried to justify it by replying with another, totally unrelated story that some arab ot there did. Or what some hadeeth says or what blablabla as if I'm from that religion. The sub-consious racism is so extreme in some of you, I was set back dramatically in the way I thought was right to approach such potentially dangerous people who could do more damage to this world than anything constructive.

I'm a self-proclaimed athiest. I live by scientific beliefs. At the same time I respect all religions as if they were mine because you have something to learn from every single one. In fact, I have Arab and European roots, as well as Jewish, Muslim and Christian parents/grandparents. Most of my cuzins and uncles are athiests anyway, so however much you want to mock other religions, I don't really care - none apply to me.

The racism I was talking about earlier came from two things. One was that I was believed to be a Muslim just because I held the views I 'believed' in. Does that mean that all Jews hold your view Josh? Well I know for a fact my grandma doesn't.
The second aspect of the racism has to be when any of you talk about military confrontation or the terrorist this, or terrorist that - you take absolutely no consideration for the human lives of the other side, but rather all that worries you is if any of the Jews, Israelis or Westerners die. You are even careful not to kill as many soldiers as civilians. You talk about Arabs teaching that Jews are half-humans, which is totaly bullshit, but at the same time you should ask yourself with the theories you are applying, what are you teaching? To me, it seems pretty the same thing.

As for Josh's theory that Arabs rally behind the same people who shed Jewish blood and hate Jews and so on. Why does Hassan Nasrallah not say on TV, I hate the Jews, I want to kill the Jews andI don't respect any of there views or their religion - but rather he has morals in which he even respects his enemies for there decisions and confessions (his recent comments on Olmert, remember). He openly says he respects the Jews and believes in co-existance and always refers to Israel as - Israel, not Jew land etc...wouldn't he gain more support under your theory? Also, can you explain why in 2004 and 2005 Hezbollah blocked attempts by Al-Qaeda and Palistinians to launch rockets on Israel? As well as why Hezbollah did not launch a single rocket on civilian areas in the 2000 capturing, the 2005 capturing attempt and also in the 2006 capturing? In 2006 they started targetting villages and towns in the north only after 2 days and after Israel had even started targetting Beirut.

Anyways, some of you just need to revise where you stand and what your positions tell others.

Posted by: yo yo at May 31, 2007 10:07 AM

When yo-yo insists upon lying about such simple things as whether Jews, who are referred to as pigs and monkeys by Muslims (hardly human, that) are Qu'ranically enjoined to be killed, as a race, by devout Muslims (the famous verse where the tree calls out that there is a Jew hiding behind it, and the faithful Muslim called to should come and kill him) and the fact that, on multiple occasions, Nasrallah's Hezbollah attempted to kidnap Israeli soldiers, killing several in the process before they succeeded, and that this was the provocation that resulted in Israel's response against Hezbollah in Lebanon, I find it surpassingly difficult to accept the veracity of his proferred personal position and familial history. Also, the people here very well know that yo-yo-s ridiculous claims were repeatedly refuted, but he systematically failed to address the counter-points directed to him; thus, his claim that "none of you gave feedback nor answered teh serious questions I set to you, but rather tried to justify it by replying with another, totally unrelated story that some arab ot there did. Or what some hadeeth says or what blablabla as if I'm from that religion" is pure psychological projection. Remember, for instance, him bringing up Iran earlier in an exchange with me, apropos of nothing?

But, of course, his true feelings about israelis are clearly evidenced by such egregious and execrable contentions as "You are even careful not to kill as many soldiers as civilians." This about a people that were embroiled in a conflict with cowards who hid behind civilians whom they would not permit to flee, who hid missile launchers in and fired them from private residences, schools, mosques and hospitals, and who rained thousands of unguided missiles upon civilian communities.

It's interesting how a Hezbollah soldier becomes an innocent civilian as soon as a surviving comrade removes his weapon from his corpse, and how Hezbollah-symps malignantly lie through their teeth at every opportunity, correctly assuming that in an area dominated by Jew-hatred and conspiracy theories, that even the most ridiculous and absurd assertions will be received as gospel by willfully credulous and gullible minds.

Well, the people here are neither gullible nor are they credulous, and this fact is exceedingly unfortunate for those like yo-yo, because only with malleable minds possessing only superficial knowledge could his bizarre and nonsensical canards gain any traction whatsoever.

BTW: isn't he supposed to be gone already? Or is he just slipping past the guards and cirvumventing a well and richly deserved ban in order to regurgitate his foul vomitous stench here yet again?

Posted by: Salamantis at May 31, 2007 11:06 AM

yo yo,

i will violate only once my rule not to feed the likes of u, because you went personal.

nobody cares about your personals and they are irrelevant to these exchanges. it seems to me your want attention. there are various ways to get it. in exchanges such as this knowledge, intellect and debating skills will usually do it.
despite your opinion about yourself, you don't have those. that's why you don't get the attention you desire, and not because of your positions and content of arguments. you're just not worth to bother with and those who made efforts found that out. just being contrary is not enough to get attention.

and because you don't get attention, you rationalize that you're so right that we cannot counter you. i know why it's easier to believe that, and you're entitled to such belief, but what you cannot do is force us to give you attention, no matter how much you complain and ridicule us. and the fact that you do demonstrates my point extremely well.

Posted by: fp/http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ at May 31, 2007 11:23 AM

Fp, Yo yo admitted to being a kid Michael banned before. He's a Lebanese teenager whose parents sent him to Britain because they could tell that he's nuts and enamored with Hezbollah. Hopefully in Britain he won't join Hez or blow up any buses.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 31, 2007 11:53 AM

well, it's not that difficult to figure out when you're dealing with kids, and i actually said earlier that i did. and kids want attention.
and what i just told him needed to be said in order to shock him into realization that he cannot expect to go into a mature environement and be accepted as mature.

Posted by: fp/http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ at May 31, 2007 12:16 PM

Well we had a real member of Hez here once and he wasn't much different. Hate-filled and insane.

Really, how can there be a difference between a "mature" hated filled thug, and an immature one? Isn't immaturity exactly what makes one fit into a fascist hate-based organization?

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 31, 2007 12:42 PM

Of course Yo yo has an advantage over the real thug. He can still grow up.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 31, 2007 12:43 PM

i see you answered yourself. a child cannot be held responsible as an adult.

but there is something to what you asked in the following sense: when you put kids in an environment which indoctrinates without any countering influences, chances are you'll have them for life, unless an intensive and skillful effort is invested in reversing the indoctrination. most hezbollah thugs have really not grown up, they're infantilized.

the real question is whether britain will have such effect on yoyo. given where britain is today, my guess is probably not. and by separating him from hezbollah, his parents may have actually enhanced the attraction.

Posted by: fp/http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ at May 31, 2007 01:13 PM

To rephrase my suggestion to Mike for clarity: my bottom line suggestion is that Mike should adopt and enforce a policy as follow: no requesting of banning in the comment threads. If you want it bad enough, email Mike separately, but avoid refocusing the internal discussion here on arguing whether or not someone should be kicked.

Fp, I'm not blaming the victim as I see it. I don't think what I see here falls into the behavior pattern as you describe it, and I don't support banning, in general, in any case, unless the material is completely off topic, or unless the dumping of material is so continuous as to constitute deliberate disruption of someone else's ability to comment - a very high bar. I don't support banning because someone refuses to counter your argument. Let the readers judge that for themselves.

Mark, briefly, I think there's plenty of evidence that Hamas is moderating. Whether or not Hamas' moderation as of yet equals an acceptable security environment to Israel is another story, and what to do about it yet another, but Hamas of 2006 is not identical to Hamas of 1996 for a variety of reasons.

And as for #2, I don't agree that Hamas' popularity is a result of Israeli concessions. That argument ignores how popular Hamas was between 2000 and 2006, at a time when Israel wasn't making much in the way of concessions. It also ignores how popular the PA was in the 90's when it was arguably perceived by the Palestinians as the party of negotiated agreement. It is certainly possible, in general, that credit for concessions can be taken by radicals.

Secondly, even if the Gaza withdrawal added to Hamas' popularity, it doesn't matter if the radicals are popular as long as they're not bombing you. And even if they are, then you can bomb them right back, in a new perspectual universe that could not have occurred if Israel was still occupying Gaza.

To put it another way, even if the Gaza pullout did make Hamas popular - something I don't agree with, but for the sake of the logic I'm supposing - it also created an environment of Hamas accountability, where it for the first time becomes possible for Hamas to be unpopular. Hamas could never become unpopular while Israel was occupying Gaza.

Posted by: glasnost at May 31, 2007 02:08 PM

With respect to all: I wasn't suggesting that anybody particular on this thread (fp for example) was claiming that extremists are a majority in the ME or elsewhere. I was making a general point, because right now things look very gloomy and it's important not to sink into despondency - and thus help create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Josh Scholar, I read Karsh and think he's a great historian. In fact I think his work should be required reading for anybody who seeks to comment on Israel.

However, I also read Palestinian and other Arab sources. So? They don't have a voice? I don't have to agree with them 100% or even 10% to take into consideration their point of view and often there IS common ground. I think that's hopeful.

Finally, whereas many terrorists, especially terrorist/extremist leadership, are wealthy, the majority of their cannon fodder are NOT. Look at the way the poverty stricken camps in Lebanon became host for radical militias back in the early '60's (if not sooner). Poor regions in North Africa, in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the P.A., all are contributing to these militias - and look at France!

How can this be ignored? The situation might be somewhat different in Saudi Arabia, where unemployed young men might not be poor but lack purpose and therefore might seek that purpose by becoming mujeheddin - like Bin Ladin. I've read theories that KSA might be quietly exporting its unemployed, restless young men to Iraq and elsewhere because they just don't know what to do with them, thus compounding the problems in the region. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a similar scenario in Iran: this is a very young population, what's the economic outlook for them? The last Iran/Iraq war took - what - 1,000,000 lives? The Palestinian population doubles every 15 years, Egypt's every 17. In fact every advance made in Egypt - the Aswan High Dam, for example, seems to be met by a whole new set of problems.

So, I think there is a dual problem: ideology and poverty. The latter we can do something about and it might remove the element of critical mass that makes a difference between having a few extremists and having armies of extremists.

So, I don't think it's a coincidence that Hezbollah flourished among the poorest sector of Lebanese society.

Hitler flourished at a time when Germany was in a desperate condition and the same is true of the Bolshevik Revolution and the same is true of the Maoist Revolution in China.

I actually find that somewhat hopeful - why? Because whereas it's extremely difficult to affect deeply held cultural and religious belief systems it is very possible to help people find productive work. Creative societies - or social programs - and alternatives to narrow, oppressive cultures can work wonders on individual psyches and also, they short-circuit the mechanisms by which hordes of poor, unemployed people seek meaning in life by creating aggressive militias.

Now - what does this have to do with Pollack's article? A great deal actually, because here we see an attempt to just give money without accountability, without requesting some commitment on the part of the recipients to use the money creatively or to deal realistically with internal social issues. Similarly, the idea that denying money can cause a radical ideology to collapse is clearly not working because such ideologies flourish when people have no economic or creative horizons.

Finally, it's hard to see how such creativity, accountability, etc, are supposed to arise among people who haven't any experience at all in self-government, who live in a war zone (be it of their own making or not) and as Pollack points out, are being preyed upon by outside agitators, much as impoverished Palestinians in Lebanese camps were influenced by the radical Left in earlier generations.

This problem has taken 60 years to create and it might well take decades to fix but on-the-ground economic initiatives might help, even if it requires UN/NATO guns to protect them. WPA type projects could help. Enterprise zones could help. Hiring local labor would definitely help, instead of importing it from Asia.

As it stands now in Gaza, it seems every attempt to grow something or trade something or sell something is sabotaged by people who do not want such peaceful means to succeed, or simply by a lack of knowledge as to how to make things work: two distinct sets of problems. With one, we can help - and that in turn might help fix the other.

Posted by: Sophia at May 31, 2007 02:09 PM

glasnost,

some time i have to close my eyes and pinch myself if i am not dreaming when i encounter arguments such as yours. are you sure you live on this planet?

i really wanted to engage, but it would be too tedious, because there's too much wrong with it and you declare things without any evidence. sorry, life is too short.

i'm sure others, more patient than i will point out the flaws.

as to banning, i was never for it, even when abuses are blatant and crippling. but there must be a minimum of practicality. it has now become clear that, as I guessed from his first comments, yoyo is a kid who fell prey to some nasty ideology. he was shown a lot of patience by all, and it became clear that it was useless. allowing him to clutter a discussion of world politics is inane. even though i did not asked for banning, i am glad he's out, and it's for his benefit too.

or is he?

Posted by: fp/http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ at May 31, 2007 04:10 PM

unconditional welfare for the pals is probably the most important factor in their failure aa society. i posted several links to articles who argue this very persuasively.

Posted by: fp/http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ at May 31, 2007 04:14 PM

"It's interesting how a Hezbollah soldier becomes an innocent civilian as soon as a surviving comrade removes his weapon from his corpse, and how Hezbollah-symps malignantly lie through their teeth at every opportunity, correctly assuming that in an area dominated by Jew-hatred and conspiracy theories, that even the most ridiculous and absurd assertions will be received as gospel by willfully credulous and gullible minds."

Thats exactly what Israel has said in the past. The human shield myth. Never proven, never had evidence suggesting it, never...etc you get the point. Whereas in Nahr El Bared, people are reporting they were fired at and told "go back to your homes and die there, thats what Islam wants you to do" and when NBN news crew went into the camp, hardly anyone talked fearing reprisals.

Why doesn't that happen in the south? Why didn't the Hezbollah arch enemies, who are just waiting for a single mistake by Hezbollah, report it on Future TV, or LBC or Al Arabiyya. Simple, it didn't happen. Not a single rocket projectile or other rocket/militant evidence was present in any hospital or school that was destroyed by Hezbollah. Not even a Hezbollah corpse.

When we get to the IDF, we have numerous resolutions condemning Israel's use of Palestinian children as human shields, as well as numerous Human rights organisations saying the same stuff. Go visit Human Rights watch, Amnesty International and all UN reports of condemnation about Hezbollah, you will not see a single one where they are criticised for allegidly using "human shields" in any of their operations. There is enough evidence to suggest the IDF used Palistinians as human shields, but nothing so far on Hezbollah.

As for the Hezbollah owned buildings with offices etc. Those are normal offices trying to make all their charities, reconstruction firms, hospitals and schools work. If those are terrorist and leggit target, then Israeli owned public spaces are legit targets because Hezbollah deems the Israeli state a terrorist and enemy one. Therefore the Israeli government has infrastructure in civilian spaces therefore they are using civilians as human shields. Thats absurd and I admit it, but thats how anyones arguement against Hezbollah's offices in the Dahyeh sounds to anyone who has been there and seen the offices. They are too far to launch rockets from anyway.

PS Josh Scholar. How do you suggest I grow up? Is becoming an Ultra-conservative the way forward? I can tell you many people have had there lives set back 100 years because of there policies. As for your claims that I hate, even a deaf and blind person would laugh at that when they get to your comments about Islam.

Posted by: ??? at May 31, 2007 06:57 PM

Well, yo-yo the question mark, I guess you don't get around much, and don't read much, either, nor can you use Google:

http://fairuse.100webcustomers.com/sf/nyt12_5_6_1.htm

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2006/Operation+Change+of+Direction+Video+Clips.htm

http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110009371

http://israelvoices.com/comingsoon.htm

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3276105,00.html

The shots fired at the Palestinian civilians attempting to flee Nahr el Bared were coming from the terrorists inside the camps, not from the Lebanese Army. And who would those trapped inside the camps by terrorists with guns fear reprisals from? Obviously, the terrorists with guns who were trapping them there. Anyone trying to leave the camps was first checked out, to make sure they were not a member of Fatah Islam; once it was ascertained that they were not, they were helped to other camps, or to Tripoli; thousands have been able to do so, in spite of the terrorist gunfire.

Hezbollah may have cleaned areas of evidence before they allowed anyone to view hospital and school sites, but videos of missiles being fired from these sites don't lie, and you can find such videos at some of the above links.

It is true that some UN agencies UN and some other organizations tend to criticize Israel much more than they do their attackers, but this has to do with the bias of the criticizers rather than with Israeli transgressions; most of the organizations which do so are packed with Islamists or representatives of Muslim nations.

The links above proffer what you do not want to see; cold, hard, irrefutable facts which brand your contentions as the scurrilous lies that they are; but then again, being you, a terrorist-organization-becharmed kid, you're all about proliferating Hezbollah-supporting propaganda, and not about seeking or acknowledging the facts and truths of these matters.

Posted by: Salamantis at May 31, 2007 08:12 PM

PS Josh Scholar. How do you suggest I grow up? Is becoming an Ultra-conservative the way forward? I can tell you many people have had there lives set back 100 years because of there policies.

I wouldn't know, not being a conservative.

Perhaps I'm an old-time liberal, from the left that cared about labor, but before the hippies fooled themselves into thinking that pacifism works under all circumstances. It doesn't. When you're faced with an implacable enemy, the only way to restore the safety that humanity deserves is to defeat that enemy.

Libertarian left. I used to vote Green, but I have no stomach for the idiot pacifism, the antiamericanism or the blind paranoia of conservatives. I don't agree with conservatives on most issues, but I know that they're not America's enemies.hreats is by defeating enemies.

As for your claims that I hate, even a deaf and blind person would laugh at that when they get to your comments about Islam.

No point answering such an "argument" because it's dishonest. If I wasted my time answering dishonest arguments then they never end. It's a waste of time because a new lie can instantly be invented as a counter argument.

If you want an answer then address my points honestly.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at May 31, 2007 09:04 PM

salamatist your just fucking dumb i swear. Thats what I fucking said. I said it's the terrorists shooting at the Palis. And Pali civilians inside the camp were scared to talk (or from the camp) but you're so fucking thick you don't get it do you?

Now it's like 10 of my comments you replied to but only to repeat what I said or talk about some next bullshit that I didn't say.

Learn how to read you idiot

Josh: I respect you as a Jew, as a free thinker and written, as a democratic person and never call your opinions lies. There is no such thing as a 'lie' opinion. An opinion is an opinion. Since I've been banned, I just though I'd get that across, at least you speak whats truely at mind or heart. Unlike alot of other people who just chat shit without readin what I write. Although I do disagree with you on alot of things, I agree on alot of other things you say. I like to also think of myself as a young adult trying to learn not by agreeing, because then that becomes a game of group rhetoric, but by disagreeing and taking into consideration what you reply, and I have had alot of feedback which changed my mind from you, just to let you know. You can't blame me as a young adult for seeking knowledge. I just happen to try and seek it through the 'opposite direction' - rather controversial? yes. Effective? definately.

I put my real email address in this comment just if you want to discuss further, or maybe something else - pies? ahahaha byeee

Posted by: yo yo at May 31, 2007 10:05 PM

[Adjusting my pince-nez, and peering with mild disdain at the insiginificant and inconsequential insect impotently fluttering before me]

No, yo-yo, it is you who are so thoroughly brainwashed by a terrorist cabal that you will obscenely reject truth even when it is placed before your forcibly held open eyes, like in the Ludovici Technique one finds in A Clockwork Orange.

I sincerely doubt if a terror-and-hate-entranced pimple-faced virgin teenager has any standing whatsoever from which to pronounce me, who is more than thrice your age and has advanced waay beyond your educational, informational and experiential level, idiotic, moronic, imbecilic, or otherwise ignorant, dense or obtuse. In fact, I strongly suspect that this is merely another projection emanating from your obvious cognitive and data inadequacies, as any objective judge can readily divine by merely comparing our posts here.

You have been pinned to the cardboard, and now have been correctly labeled as merely an inferior specimen of your twisted type.

BTW: I gather that you did not like my links, but cannot refute them (besides hurling gratuitous and flaccid ad hominems at me); is that why you do not mention them, but once again futilely attempt yet another hopelessly doomed distraction?

I thought so.

Posted by: Salamantis at May 31, 2007 10:35 PM

"I gather that you did not like my links bla bla bla"

I didn't even bother looking at them

"pimple-faced virgin teenager"

Im actually a nice guy, and quiet nice looking too:

http://slickleb.hi5.com

Posted by: yo yo at May 31, 2007 11:05 PM

Well, quiet you most definitely not; you are about as quiet as you are well-informed. (I know you meant 'quite'; I just couldn't resist segueing from your dyslexic error into a valid observation).

And I didn't really expect you to submit your fanatical brain to the cognitively dissonant distress of counterfactual evidence. Why, given my experience, would I expect that much curiosity and integrity from you?

But you are most definitely a kid.

And I also seem to detect a flat-eyed fervor in your pic gaze - but then perhaps that is just an artifact of your posts.

Posted by: Salamantis at May 31, 2007 11:23 PM

I'm fairly uncomfortable being complemented by Yo yo considering some of the things he's written on other threads (look for posts by "Hezbollah Lover ").

It makes me wonder if he's just a future propagandist using us to test which lies will fly in liberal-hawk company.

As far as I know, he's never taken back any of those things he said, either. He just slides easily from one lie to the next, learning to use slightly less florid lies and slightly less obvious hatred each time.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at June 1, 2007 01:35 AM

It's not that I want enemies. I'm not a Jihadi. I just doubt his honest and intentions. And enemy who pretends to like you is creepy.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at June 1, 2007 01:38 AM

Sigh, now I'm typing as badly as he used to.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at June 1, 2007 01:38 AM

And to make it clear, in that thread Yo yo/ Hezbollah lover made himself the enemy of every moderate and every peace lover on the planet. The only thing he could say about Ali El Husseini, was "beg[ing] for the greencard" - an insult because the man wants peace. Considers him a traitor to Islam I guess.

That's Yo yo's black heart.

The stupid bits where he made up lies about every religion wouldn't bother me in the slightest, if I didn't know that his reason for that is the Islamist intent to spread hatred in order to enable conquest without guilt.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at June 1, 2007 02:21 AM

Oh gimme a break. Check my Hi5 (slickleb.hi5.com) pictures, then look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that this same person (me :D) is trying to conquer the world by giving a lecture or two on www.michaeltotten.com without laughing!

You seen my pics and you heard what I have to say. I revealed three people that I used, but thats only 3 people Iplayed as against you - the 'moderates' lol. You have to admit, there is a big difference between Hezbollah Lover and Yo Yo, and ofcourse Shameless.

You will all be so very surprised when you find out which alias I use on this blog to argue right-wing. Until then, you can keep guessing.

Regardless of that, I just enjoy debating politics (also check my description section of my Hi5 page) and like to debate stuff controversially. I always like having a counter-arguement against anything anyone says. In government and politics classes, we are made into groups of government allied and opposition forces and made to argue. Let's say Im on side A, and side B finished there arguements, Im known to move sides then argue back, even if it was my arguement.

I look at how the Arabs (not muslims) have always been backwards, and not totally because of there dictatorships, but because of there culture and personalities too - and to a certain extent, over protectiveness. If I don't excell in my education, how do you expect me to jump out of that loophole. Genuinely though - if you want my true opinion I believe Hezbollah are good people. They aren't anarchists - very desciplined, down-to-earth, educated, clever and respectfull people - most of them smiling at the friend and stranger alike. Although people in the West just seem to get confused with the overwhelming media attacks against them without assesing their primary cause and function. Some of you still talk about Hezbollah's 1985 manifesto - even Labours manifesto changed since then! hence New Labour.

Just from the links Salamantis gave me - Israels defense ministry, Yedioth Ahronot, Israel Voices - I can kind of understand this retardation of opinion. Visit Haaretz, BBC, Reuters, Democracy Now, the Economist etc once in a while, just give hearing the other side for once.

Posted by: Yo Yo, HL, Shamless at June 1, 2007 05:08 AM

The first two,links I offered to yo-yo were from the zNew York Times, hardly an Israel-supporting neocon publication, and the Wall Street Journal - hardly the Jewish mouthpieces or tools that he seems to think or wish that they are.

Plus, facts does not have sides; stories do. He cannot rationally deny the irrefutable veracity of the videos themselves (as if any self-respecting rationality would allow itself to be found in the same room with him), so he attacks the messenger, vainly hoping that in the midst of his detestable ad hominem fallacies the apodictically self-evident and conclusive nature of the evidence will be overlooked.

Posted by: Salamantis at June 1, 2007 09:09 AM

Oh gimme a break. Check my Hi5 (slickleb.hi5.com) pictures, then look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that this same person (me :D) is trying to conquer the world by giving a lecture or two on www.michaeltotten.com without laughing!

Don't be dense.

I didn't say that YOU invented those attitudes in order to make conquest and brutality easier, I mean that your society indoctrinates with those attitudes in order to make conquest and brutality easy.

For example
yhey brainwash a child, and send him to die. And he is never even adult enough to understand the hatred he was taught.

Hezbollah teaches hate for the same reason - that's their interpretation of Mohammad. And you are like those children.

However, unlike FP, I do hold people your age responsible for evil. The only difference between you and someone older is that you're more likely to see the error than an older person would be.

But you are capable of being responsible at your age, if you're not the blame falls on you.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at June 1, 2007 02:23 PM

i cannot believe it.

it is infantilism to insist in engaging a misguided teenager on world politics.

incomprehensible.

mjt, didn't you ban him?

Posted by: fp\http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ at June 2, 2007 12:15 PM

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