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Saddam stokes war with suicide bomber cash.
March 25, 2002 6:51 PM   Subscribe

Saddam stokes war with suicide bomber cash. "The hall was packed and the intake of breath was audible as a special announcement was made to the war widows of the West Bank - Saddam Hussein would pay $US25,000 ($47,000) to the family of each suicide bomber as an enticement for others to volunteer for martyrdom in the name of the Palestinian people."
posted by Zool (68 comments total)

 
"The $US500,000 doled out in this impoverished community yesterday means that the besieged Iraqi leader now has contributed more than $US10 million to grieving Palestinian families since the new intifada began 18 months ago."

I'd call that supporting terrorism.
posted by Zool at 7:13 PM on March 25, 2002


wow, Saddam Hussein is such a troll.
posted by panopticon at 7:20 PM on March 25, 2002


There must be some kind of psychology here at work that is too foreign for me to grapple with. This might even irk Chomsky. Does he want to get his ass kicked again? Is there some kind of vested interest in getting himself fragged just to make us look like the big, dumb, flatfooted mick cop of the world?1

The alternative is to consider he is pursuing the Italian option as delineated in Catch-22, whereby you creatively lose wars in order to further your national agenda. But we're talking his own personal head on a pike here, so i can't believe that's it.

1Stolen from PJ, for those gearing their PC machines up. And I'm Irish, anyway...
posted by umberto at 7:36 PM on March 25, 2002


Look at it this way. Bush has gone on the war path, being clear that Hussein (note: not Iraq) is next. Hussein knows he'll be bombed into oblivion. He's convinced the U.S. will attack no matter what he does now because the U.S. has named him the target. We have backed him against a wall and given him no way out. So the only thing he can do is seek sympathy from other Middle East countries so that they hate us even more than they do now. Well, we can hope that's all he does. You never want to corner a wild animal.
posted by fleener at 7:56 PM on March 25, 2002


Who are these cretins that buy his oil that keeps him rich and in power?!?!
For the first nine months of 1999, Iraq averaged crude oil production of around 2.65 MMBD, and net oil exports of around 2.1 MMBD. Besides the 70,000-90,000 bbl/d of this going to Jordan and the 450,000-500,000 bbl/d or so consumed domestically, the rest was exported either through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline or the Persian Gulf port of Mina al-Bakr. Although U.N. Resolution 986 mandates that at least half of the "oil-for-food" exports must transit through Turkey, it appears that in recent months more Iraqi oil has been exported via Mina al-Bakr. The volume of Iraqi oil exports has increased in 1999, with exports in October 1999 running close to 2.4 MMBD. Around 40% of Iraqi oil in during the six-month phase of the U.N. oil-for-food deal which ended on November 24 was sold initially to Russian firms. Other large purchasers included French and Chinese companies. Oil was then resold to a variety of oil companies, including U.S.-based.
[link]

Take that DEA superbowl ad!
posted by skallas at 8:02 PM on March 25, 2002


i thought that was called the 'g.i. bill'.

zing
posted by jcterminal at 8:07 PM on March 25, 2002


Hello Mr. Pinochet can I get you a coffee or will that be all tonight? Just the bill? Certainly sir.
posted by Settle at 9:05 PM on March 25, 2002


Who are these cretins that buy his oil that keeps him rich and in power?!?!

That would be Joe Six-Pack tooling around in his V-10 Durango. Oh, and you too.
posted by shagoth at 9:25 PM on March 25, 2002


Of course its me, its you, its everyone. My criticism isn't against SUV owners its that western nations including the US have no problem buying his oil while criticizing everything he does. I don't have a world-wide solution to all our problems and energy needs, but I think its fairly obvious that congress and corporate interests are not planning on getting off the oil teat anytime soon. The post was more a silly retort to the superbowl ads, but it does have a point.
posted by skallas at 9:33 PM on March 25, 2002


They might not use suicide bombers if they were allowed weapons. What tactic would you recommend they use against Israeli occupation? They've tried stones, and all that happens is their children get shot by Israeli soliders.

Israel compensates the families of soliders that die killing Palestinian civilians. Why shouldn't Saddam do the same.

Israel's regard for human life is appalling. You can't call yourself a civilised nation, and at the same time kill civilians on a daily basis. If I was a palestnian and Israeli military had killed my sister I'd fucking retaliate. Why shouldn't I. Israel doesn't abide my the law, why should anyone else?

Britain has struggled over the years, trying to decide how best to deal with the IRA (incidently US citizens - many from NYC - compensated the families of imprisoned or killed IRA terrorists), and in the end decided that whatever the cost to us, we should remain civilised. Along the way there were incidences where we fucked up, but they were isolated and did not stem from direct government orders or policy. Israel breaks more basic civilised codes of conduct in a week that we did in 25 years.

I'm betting that Saddam will still be in power in 5 years, that is unless he dies of natural causes first.
posted by RobertLoch at 9:34 PM on March 25, 2002


"Bush" has not "gone on the war path." What a sophomoric statement, suggesting that the US President has some arbitrary and capricious lust to go to war with Iraq.

Iraq, or at least its government has what's coming to it--hopefully soon.

Saddam is depraved; at least a large minority, and possibly a majority of Palestinians in the territories are depraved. And Iran also funds Palestinian depravity. OK?
posted by ParisParamus at 9:46 PM on March 25, 2002


...at least a large minority, and possibly a majority of Palestinians in the territories are depraved. And Iran also funds Palestinian depravity. OK?

No, not okay. Ignorant and racist? Sure. But definitely not okay.
posted by Optamystic at 10:49 PM on March 25, 2002


All that's needed now is for a report about North Korea kicking down some dough and the unholy trinity would be reached.
posted by chaz at 10:50 PM on March 25, 2002


Sadaam reminds me of a blind dog in a butcher shop...
posted by Mack Twain at 10:58 PM on March 25, 2002


fleener - that's a good theory except for the fact that Saddam's been doing this kind of stuff long before Dubya even thought about running for President, much less declared the existence of an axis of evil.

There are some men you just can't reach.
posted by jaek at 11:23 PM on March 25, 2002


Is this story true?
How do we know?
Does anyone have empirical evidence that the allegations in this article are true and accurate?
posted by yertledaturtle at 11:44 PM on March 25, 2002


They keep talking about money in US figures - "$US500,000". Is this just a universal standard equivalent so we can all understand the amounts... or is Saddam actually paying out in US currency and not Iraqi Dinars? If so, that must sting to pay the martyrs of your cause with money backed by and valued by your mortal enemies.
posted by kokogiak at 11:58 PM on March 25, 2002


ParisParamus: "at least a large minority, and possibly a majority of Palestinians in the territories are depraved."

That sort of talk on both sides is why the war will never end. You and similar people (you are like the Arabs who think Jews drink blood) keep the war going with nutcase declarations and beliefs. It is as likely that most Israelis are "depraved" (corrupt, wicked, or perverted), but you could never see that.

[Or did you just misspell deprived?]
posted by pracowity at 12:05 AM on March 26, 2002


I do not believe that a person who sets out with the purpose of becoming a martyr can actually become one. True martyrs become so in spite of their efforts (i.e. to do good works, to educate, etc.), not because of them (i.e. to kill other people, to kill oneself in public, etc.). To sacrifice your life for a cause is dedication; to give your life to a cause and have it taken from you is martyrdom.

RobertLoch made a good point, Yertledaturtle asked a good question, and PP wrote a thrilling little troll.
posted by Bixby23 at 3:18 AM on March 26, 2002


Sizable minority of Palestinians: depraved; sizable majority: deprived.

Is this any worse than calling a sizable minority--or more--of American southerners depraved for their racist views prior to ~1965?
posted by ParisParamus at 4:11 AM on March 26, 2002


It's so, SO! witty and clever to call any view you disagree with which isn't politically correct, a troll. How lame of you.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:13 AM on March 26, 2002


you are like the Arabs who think Jews drink blood

Are you suggesting that what was posted did not happen? or that last week's New Yorker Article did not concluded that Saddam is out to destroy Israel? Or that Palestinians are not told by Yasser Arafat that it is noble to be a suicide bomber? Or that Iran did not ship many tons of military arms to the PA? Support your clever retort.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:17 AM on March 26, 2002


Paris, you are the one who announced that "at least a large minority, and possibly a majority of Palestinians in the territories are depraved."

This is not an annointed fact, which Pracowity crisply pointed out. It is up to you to support your statement. Prove to all of us that "possibly a majority" of Palestinians are depraved. It's quite possible that you can succeed - so, to make the exercise meaningful, please be specific concerning the ways in which they are more depraved than the rest of us.
posted by Opus Dark at 5:25 AM on March 26, 2002


*confused* Opus, thought he just did.

I would get a little huffy too if I was just called a troll, ignorant, and a racist, after simply expressing a viewpoint.
posted by SpecialK at 6:47 AM on March 26, 2002


I would get a little huffy too if I was just called a troll, ignorant, and a racist, after simply expressing a viewpoint.

The problem is that PP expressed an ignorant and racist viewpoint, and he got called on it.
posted by thewittyname at 6:55 AM on March 26, 2002


Am I the only person who thinks that the Palestinians have gone about this all wrong? None of the current Palestinian politicians (nor their various allies) have a political agenda beyond merely blowing up random shoppers out of spite.

If they actually wanted their lands back, they'd have gone about this in a much more effective way -- nonviolent protest. By blowing up teenagers in coffeeshops, the Palestinians essentially begged the world to see them as homicidal nutcases, rather than downtrodden innocents.

Gandhi "defeated" one of the largest, most violent, empires in history. All Arafat has managed to do is kill a whole bunch of innocent people on both sides of the conflict. If the Palestinians had taken the high road at the start, this would probably all have been over by now. Not even Sharon, evil man that he is, could have outlasted a sustained nonviolent protest movement. Suicide bombers, on the other hand, are something he can shoot at.
posted by aramaic at 7:47 AM on March 26, 2002


Paris why don't you turn your attention to the behaviour of Israel. That would be more interesting.

You appear to be surprised by Palestinian actions. This is not the first time in history that occupying forces have met with resistance. What is your problem with that? It is also not the first time that weaker forces have adopted terrorist tactics.

'July 22 1945

Ninety people killed and forty five wounded after Jewish terrorists blow up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Palestine, which was home to British government and military offices. The terrorists held workers at pistol point while they planted the explosives in the basement of the hotel.'

Perhaps this is the example that they are following? It worked after all.

'Or that Iran did not ship many tons of military arms to the PA?'

The US have distinguished record of similar action. The British have also supplied weapons to resistence forces.

Paris, come on, I dare you - judge Israels actions. Forget the Palestinians for a second, and simply judge the behaviour of Israel - a state that claims to be civilised. Alternatively why not try to put forward an honest, balanced appraisal. I for one would be more likely to listen to you if I felt you were prepared to express more that one sided propaganda.

(For the record I agree that Saddam wants to destroy Israel, and that Arafat to a certain degree encourages suicide bombers)
posted by RobertLoch at 8:22 AM on March 26, 2002


As much as it surprises me, I'm with RobertLoch:

"One of the saddest consequences of Israel's colonialism has been the moral coarsening of elements of the Jewish-American community. I grew up admiring Jewish civil rights activists for their sometimes heroic role in the fight to dismantle segregation in the US. But today I frequently hear Jewish acquaintances discuss Arabs in general, and Palestinians in particular, in terms as racist as those once used by southerners in public when discussing blacks. . . Since 1967, the need to justify the rule of Israel over a conquered helot population has produced a similar shift from humane idealism to unapologetic tribalism in parts of the diaspora, as well as in Israel. It is perhaps no coincidence that the most important non-Jewish supporters of Israel in the US today are found in the deep south among descendants of the segregationist Dixiecrats."
posted by riviera at 9:04 AM on March 26, 2002


Paris, come on, I dare you - judge Israels actions. Forget the Palestinians for a second, and simply judge the behaviour of Israel - a state that claims to be civilised.

RobertLoch, it is a common ethical mistake to think that actions can be judged ignoring the context in which they occur. For example, if I shot somebody, would you consider me an evil person? Maybe. But maybe it was self-defense, or maybe he was holding my family hostage. Similarly, if you ignore the Palestinians' actions, you can quite safely assume that Israel is not a 'civilized' country. But that makes it painfully obvious you have no actual interest in crafting an 'honest, balanced appraisal' of the situation.
posted by boaz at 9:26 AM on March 26, 2002


'it is a common ethical mistake to think that actions can be judged ignoring the context in which they occur.'

I did not say forget the context, although I do see how that comment could have been misinterpreted. What I was asking him to do was simply discuss Israel behaviour, rather than focusing exclusively on Palestinian behaviour. Or if he wasn't capable of that, to instead try to present a balanced take on the situation.

That said, I think that you are wrong. Certain actions, such as genocide, soldiers raping women, state execution without trial, etc. can be judged without giving them a context.

riviera, thanks for that link - you are in danger of educating us ;-) That article was about the most indepth thing that I'v ever read. I'm going to have to read it at least 3 times, before I get close to grasping it.
posted by RobertLoch at 10:18 AM on March 26, 2002


riviera, I consider it an oddly meaningless slur to refer to as 'unapologetic tribalism' the attitude that the people who desire and work toward a state's destruction should be required to stop that before or as part of being granted a state of their own. Heck, even that famous UN Resolution, number 242, acknowledged that, as a base requirement, there needed to be a:
Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;
I think the Englishmen here would do well to remember the example of Neville Chamberlain in considering whether unilateral appeasement of an enemy's grievances is a path to peace.
posted by boaz at 10:35 AM on March 26, 2002


If they actually wanted their lands back...

Whose lands? The occupied territories are not "Palestinian" lands. They were parts of Jordan and Syria.

posted by gnz2001 at 10:37 AM on March 26, 2002


I believe the majority on both sides want peace, but they are held captive by a minority on both sides that are so strident they are beyond negotiating. The hard line Israelies will not give the hard line Palestinians what they demand, and the ordinary people on both sides are caught in the middle and have little if any say as events unfold. This calls for a political, negotiated settlement and partition of the two sides. Israel must give up the settlements and stop the group punishment. The PA needs to realize they can attain their goals one step at a time. I feel for the majority of souls on both sides who have absolutly no control over what happens in their world.
posted by Mack Twain at 10:37 AM on March 26, 2002


oops. failed to close that italics following the "lands back..."
posted by gnz2001 at 10:41 AM on March 26, 2002


gnz, actually the lands belonged to Jordan and Egypt, with borders drawn by England. The people living on those lands were/are Palestinians. Jordan and Egypt have since relinquished their claims to the property, and the UN and most world governments have called for a Palestinian state to be created there.
posted by cell divide at 10:44 AM on March 26, 2002


I stand corrected.
posted by gnz2001 at 11:06 AM on March 26, 2002


But, cell divide, what does it mean to say that the people living in those lands are "Palestinians"? That's like saying that people living in California are Californians.
posted by gnz2001 at 11:17 AM on March 26, 2002


'whether unilateral appeasement of an enemy's grievances is a path to peace.'

I'm commenting on Israeli actions. Don't try to change the subject. This is not about appeasement, although even if it was the 2 situations are not at all comparable.

I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me why Israel's behaviour is accepted as 'civilised.' I'm presuming that it is otherwise the US would not still be funding them, would they? Are those of us that question Israeli actions really so wrong to do so?
posted by RobertLoch at 12:15 PM on March 26, 2002


actually the lands belonged to Jordan and Egypt, with borders drawn by England. The people living on those lands were/are Palestinians. Jordan and Egypt have since relinquished their claims to the property, and the UN and most world governments have called for a Palestinian state to be created there.

So, do you suppose if Israel had never happened, Jordan and Egypt would now be supporting the carving up of their territory to create a Palestinian state? Like Turkey and Iraq are supporting a Kurdish state?
posted by beagle at 12:52 PM on March 26, 2002


boaz: the use of quotation marks is to direct your attention to the comments of another. Calling it a 'meaningless slur' involves a creative misreading: it's vindicated by comments that 'at least a large minority, and possibly a majority of Palestinians in the territories are depraved'. Described like that, it establishes opposition to Palestinians in terms of who they are, rather than what they do. That's what's meant by 'moral coarsening'.

In any case, I suggest that you read the linked article. It's no Robert Fisk apologia.

And the Chamberlain comment is no more than a meaningless slur itself: Chamberlain ultimately honoured Britain's treaty obligations to Poland in 1939 without a thought of prevarication, at a point where the 'pragmatic' option was open. Unilateral appeasement? Hardly: and your attempt at condescension is stunningly unimpressive.
posted by riviera at 1:10 PM on March 26, 2002


Robertloch - I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me why Israel's behaviour is accepted as 'civilised.'

The presence of Israeli troops in an Israeli state, protecting Israeli citizens (Jewish, Atheist, Christian or Arab [let alone the countless other creeds]) from terrorist violence is not uncivilized. Excessive use of force is. You won't find many here who agree with some of the bloodthirsty actions of the IDF in the last thirty years. I'm also personally opposed to the new Jewish settlements Ariel "fuckhead" Sharon has been pushing through, renewing the cycle of violence.

But, what your frankly asinine argument is ignoring is that the terrorist actions of the Palestinian minority is in every way just as "uncivilized". In fact, it's worse - because while the Israeli army is generally attempting to target those who are committing (or planning) acts of violence, Hamas et al are deliberately targeting those who are not involved in the conflict.

Your reference to the King David Hotel is completely irrelevant. The Jews who killed a bunch of innocents were murderers, and no, they're not excused simply because they're Jewish, or because it "worked". Evil is evil. This isn't a matter of race - it's a matter of horrific actions.
posted by Marquis at 1:11 PM on March 26, 2002


Well, Yasser ain't going to that lovely conference. Good. Except it would have been substantially more compelling and entertaining for him to go, and then to be kept from coming back.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:24 PM on March 26, 2002


Bush is most certainly on a war path, trying to clear up his daddy's war leftovers. But, it doesn't help that Saddam is an idiot dingleberry raving to get his ass kicked - yet again (and hopefully permanently this time Georgie boy).

As far as Israel and Palestine? Both sides are kooks fighting over sand.
posted by owillis at 1:26 PM on March 26, 2002


So, do you suppose if Israel had never happened, Jordan and Egypt would now be supporting the carving up of their territory to create a Palestinian state?

The question iteself does not make sense in the theoretical framework we are discussing. The borders were not drawn by the Jordanians or Egyptians, and in fact the nation of Jordan itself was also created by the British. Had the British stuck to earlier agreements, a state called Palestine ruled by Palestinians (Jews, Christians, Muslims) would have been established on that land. It wasn't a matter of Jordan or Egypt allowing such a thing; nationhood in that part of the Middle East didn't come into play until the 20th Century.

what does it mean to say that the people living in those lands are "Palestinians"? That's like saying that people living in California are Californians.

If the United States were to dissolve its union, and 2,000 years later the people of California identify themselves as somewhat distinct from their neighbors, call themselves Californians, but are in fact ruled by various other empires, then I think it would be applicable. That's all Palestinian really means, the people who live in Palestine. Their national identity is more about location and land than about religion or race. It included the Jews of Palestine, who, incidentally, did not recognize the Zionists and actually stood with their Arab neighbors against the partition plan.
posted by cell divide at 1:53 PM on March 26, 2002


Just remember, boys and girls: Israel was being invaded and attacked before it had post-1967 borders. So if you're going to argue that all the Arabs want is to "reduce" Israel to it's 1967 size, you're full of [something other than truth]
posted by ParisParamus at 1:59 PM on March 26, 2002


'what your frankly asinine argument is ignoring is that the terrorist actions of the Palestinian minority is in every way just as "uncivilized". '

You clearly don't understand. I surrender.

Surprise, surprise. I see that Paris did not take up the challenge of evaluating Israeli actions.
posted by RobertLoch at 4:48 PM on March 26, 2002


Calling it a 'meaningless slur' involves a creative misreading: it's vindicated by comments that 'at least a large minority, and possibly a majority of Palestinians in the territories are depraved'. Described like that, it establishes opposition to Palestinians in terms of who they are, rather than what they do. That's what's meant by 'moral coarsening'.

So are those among us who oppose them for what they do dismissed now? Whew. I am glad for your clarification that it's the article's author and not you who would paint a whole group with such a broad brush.

In any case, I suggest that you read the linked article. It's no Robert Fisk apologia.

I had read the piece, a pretty straightforward indictment of the Israel lobby in the US, to the right of Fisk for sure, but still in the neighborhood of Hitchens, Britain's premier apologist. I, however, felt compelled to respond to the sections you quoted since out of context they had a different point than the entirety.

And the Chamberlain comment is no more than a meaningless slur itself: Chamberlain ultimately honoured Britain's treaty obligations to Poland in 1939 without a thought of prevarication, at a point where the 'pragmatic' option was open.

Really, riviera, you are surely aware that it was Chamberlain's policy of appeasement in the 2 years preceding the invasion of Poland that defanged the military restrictions and economic sanctions that would have prevented Poland's invasion in the first place. Perhaps I was wrong to call him an appeaser; perhaps he was merely short-sighted, dim and misguided, failing to see the damage he caused right up until the whole continent he inhabited was plunged into war. If that's the case, I wholeheartedly apologize for impugning him.
posted by boaz at 5:40 PM on March 26, 2002


Just remember, boys and girls: Israel was being invaded and attacked before it had post-1967 borders. So if you're going to argue that all the Arabs want is to "reduce" Israel to it's 1967 size, you're full of [something other than truth]

Canard. Once more, I quote:

' "In 1967 Israel's defence spending was less than half the combined defence expenditures of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Syria; today Israel's defence expenditure is 30 per cent larger than the combined defence spending of these four Arab states." Israel receives more of America's foreign aid budget than any other country-$3 billion a year, two thirds in military grants (total aid since 1979 is over $70 billion).'

You imagine that any peace deal would entail Israell reducing its current military budget, which out-spends all of its neighbours put together? It's not on the table, and I doubt even the most brazen anti-Israeli factions would propose it. In fact, the continued subsidy of the Israeli defence budget by the US would be a vital part of enforcing any peace deal; increased grants were, after all, a part of the Oslo plan.

boaz: your ability to parody critical reading knows no bounds. The context of my quotation within the piece is to the transformation of the rhetoric of the Israeli lobby in the US; my use of it was in response to an example of just that rhetoric; your response demonstrates its further validity. I bow to your mastery of the rhetoric of the absurd.
posted by riviera at 5:55 PM on March 26, 2002


Evaluating Israeli actions? The premise of your "request" is moronic, because it assumes I have never previously done so. Self-defense, however imperfect, is not belligerence. And it's not terrorism.

Somehow I assume you were one of those people, in actuality or spirit, who claimed the Soviet Union and the United States were moral equivalents.

Assuming you view the creation of Israel in 1948 as legitimate (if you don't, end of discussion: no meeting of the minds is possible) Israel's actions have been purely defensive, if somewhat shamefully timid. By now, Israel should have fully reoccupied the territories. I suspect this will happen sometime in the next 12 months. Basically, a police action is needed to undo a decade's worth of naïveté vis à vis the Palestinian Authority and Arafat.

Good Passover, everyone!
posted by ParisParamus at 6:14 PM on March 26, 2002


How does the size of Israel's defense budget impact upon its morality? Should the police make sure their budget is not greater than that of the mafia, or the set of all criminals? Also, sorry if most of Israels' neighbors' GDP is a fraction of its own. Guess what: you can be smart, and educated, an civilized and moral at the same time!
posted by ParisParamus at 6:18 PM on March 26, 2002


You imagine that any peace deal would entail Israell reducing its current military budget, which out-spends all of its neighbours put together?

That's cause there's no peace being offered to Israel in any of these peace plans; it's truly amazing how so many otherwise intelligent people seem utterly incapable of grasping this concept. If any of the Arab countries, or a workable alliance thereof, were truly capable of defeating Israel, then we'd be discussing Palestine not Israel right now. You can impugn that observation as tribalism, uncivilized, etc., but at the end of the day, it's still fact.

Your continued insistence on Israeli appeasement (which is what a peace plan is when it doesn't include peace, despite some protestations otherwise) as an answer is now equivalently absurd to if Chamberlain had still been there insisting on it when the Germans were bombing London. I'm gaining new respect for Chamberlain; he was obviously an unnaturally quick study among the English.

boaz: your ability to parody critical reading knows no bounds. The context of my quotation within the piece is to the transformation of the rhetoric of the Israeli lobby in the US; my use of it was in response to an example of just that rhetoric; your response demonstrates its further validity. I bow to your mastery of the rhetoric of the absurd.

Physician, heal thyself. You're ability to simultaneously engage in stereotyping and decry your stereotype of me is beautifully circular reasoning. Maybe if you actually were willing or able to address my points, we could move this conversation forward instead of round and round.
posted by boaz at 6:46 PM on March 26, 2002


I would like to hear from the Israeli side what will bring peace. I think it is pretty clear that the pro-Palestinian position is to withdraw from the territories and divide Jerusalem.

So what will bring peace from the pro-Israel perspective? What are measures that would not be 'appeasement' but would ensure safety and human rights for both sides?
posted by chaz at 10:17 PM on March 26, 2002


'Somehow I assume you were one of those people, in actuality or spirit, who claimed the Soviet Union and the United States were moral equivalents.'

Where I put Palestine on a moral scale is irrelevant to the point that I'm making. Israel wants to be part of the developed world, but behaves more a kin to a fascist regime.

Britain could have claimed self defense when it was being bombed by the IRA, and simply gone into Belfast and blown up a few Catholics. Oddly we felt that attempting to bring the actual perpetrators to justice was better than killing 100's of random people on the off chance that they were involved. What is it you don't understand? Every other part of the civilised world recognises that a government using excess force in an indiscimanted manner is not self defense, but is instead State murder.
posted by RobertLoch at 10:31 PM on March 26, 2002


Israel wants to be part of the developed world, but behaves more a kin to a fascist regime.

The ignorance reflected in these words is astonishing. Israel has a free press, free elections, an advanced education and healthcare system; it is surrounded by countries whose political systems are almost exclusively, dictatorial and/or despotic and/or lunatic regimes. While Israel exists to be a Jewish state, Christians and Muslims constitute sizable minorities. Muslims in Israel enjoy a quality of life several quantums better than anywere else in the Mideast. Israel was founded by international vote in the UN, but has been constantly attacked, both pre-1967, and post-1967, when it was forced to take over land to assure its existence. And a UN (the UN is a sham, but anyway...) Resolution or two recognizes that Israel is entitled to keep some of the land to was forced to take over to have secure borders.

Indiscriminate murder? SWAT team-like assasination of deraged murders. You are a fool.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:24 AM on March 27, 2002


You, sir, are a fool. You make hair-splitting distinctions to justify Israeli lies and murders. Israeli leaders should be held to the same standards as leaders of every other nation. They should be required to weild their power responsibly. Since they have no real power of their own, they should at least have the grace and g_ddamn common sense to use the Blackhawk helicopters that we buy them in a restrained manner. Judging by the news that I've seen lately, we'll have no such luck, apparently. It would seem that "God's chosen government" need not concern themselves with distinctions between "military action" and "terrorism". The oh-so-trustworthy U.S. Congress has decreed that Israel is in the right in this latest bout of stupididty, so I guess it's obvious that they must be right. After all, it's only terrorism when it's not (directly) funded by the U.S.
posted by Optamystic at 5:24 AM on March 27, 2002


Bush has gone on the war path, being clear that Hussein (note: not Iraq) is next.

yeah, i was just thinking that the US wouldn't attack iraq/hussein unless (ironically) there's (some semblance of) peace between palestine and israel. like cheney was having a hard time drumming up support in the middle east to take action, so it looks like it's off the table until things calm down, which could be awhile. so like hussein knows this and is therefore supportive of continued violence in the occupied territories.
posted by kliuless at 6:03 AM on March 27, 2002


'You are a fool.'

You just can't answer the point can you? Israel behaves in a manner that is not consistent with its desired status as a developed nation. Civilised nations attempt to bring people to justice, they do not use excess force, and do not treate civilian life with total contempt.

As you well know, my reference to facism was in respect to the actions of your armed forces. Mussolini followed a kill now, ask/answer questions later strategy when dealing with the Mafia. Ring any bell?
posted by RobertLoch at 8:28 AM on March 27, 2002


People who pose imminent threats to others are not thrown in a courtroom. They are assasinated on the spot my a marksman, or, if necessary, less precision munitions by an army. There is no evidence whatsoever that Israel has used excessive force in defending itself. There is, however, a great deal of evidence Israel has used inadequate force. I don't know what your agenda is, but it isn't being objective, or seeking out truth.

I cordially invite you to be blown up in with a slice of pizza in your hand--then, perhaps, Allah will explain to you how deluded you are.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:50 AM on March 27, 2002


18:47 idf arrests palestinian ambulance driver transporting explosives

Oh, those Israelis are so inhumane!
posted by ParisParamus at 9:22 AM on March 27, 2002


'I cordially invite you to be blown up in with a slice of pizza in your hand--then, perhaps, Allah will explain to you how deluded you are.'

And what is the difference between that and being blown up by a Israeli missile. I'm obviously completely misinformed. So what you are saying is that only terrorist have been killed by Israel over the last 18 months?

Britain knew for years who ran the IRA and who were its top members. The problem was that we did not have enough evidence to charge them. We could have fired missiles at them, killing a few civilians along the way, but we decided that was not an appropriate way to act.

You ask about my agenda. My father was blown up by a terrorist organisation (he survived). He never advocated state murder as a solution. I don't consider state murder acceptable either. There is something very important about adhering to basic principles of justice. Israel appears to have long forgotten what that is. You don't even appear to be close to understanding that there may even be a need for civilised justice.
posted by RobertLoch at 9:25 AM on March 27, 2002


And what is the difference between that and being blown up by a Israeli missile.

That fundamental difference is intent. Israel is trying to control wacko dellusional people with a minimum of collateral damage. The suicide bombers, as well as Yasser, are trying to inflict as much terror and harm as possible.

From the perspective of a poor slob bystander whose life is erased, is there a difference? No. Except that the cycle of violence starts with the Palestinians, to which the Israelis respond--and not the other way around. And unless you get that, the cycle will not end.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:12 AM on March 27, 2002


The Israelis don't advocate "state murder." It's Israel which has been invaded, pre- and post 1967; and few, if any, Israelis are taking "revenge" on Palestinians. Israelis are also at this decided advantage: they don't think that blowing one's self up in the name of God is moral; most Jews don't even think much about an afterlife (it's ill-defined, and how you "get there," or don't "get there" is even less established). An no Israeli leader is lauding suicide bombers.

Very small consolation, but that joke of a conference up in Lebanon wouldn't even show Arafat on a tv screen. Why?
posted by ParisParamus at 10:18 AM on March 27, 2002


There is something very important about adhering to basic principles of justice. Israel appears to have long forgotten what that is.

Like, there's any modicum of justice in the territories, or in the vast majority of Muslim nations? Have you studied the places involved in this discussion? Justice? Israeli society is 100x more equitable and free than any of the other nations at issue herein. Even if you happen to be a Christian or Muslim.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:23 AM on March 27, 2002


'Like, there's any modicum of justice in the territories, or in the vast majority of Muslim nations?'

I agree, but that does not detract from the fact that Israel wants to be considered civilised but then behaves in a manner that is inconsistent with that desire. Don't misunderstand me. I have the highest contempt for a large portion of the Arab world, and have little doubt that on a spectrum Israel is probably the most just nation in the region. However, that does not mean that I consider Israels behaviour anywhere close to acceptable.

'Have you studied the places involved in this discussion?'

More than most Europeans. I've at least lived in the region, which gives me some perspective. Israel want to be part of the modern world. The Palestinians are prepared to continue as the are for the next 200 years. For that reason alone, I would suggest that Israel find a solution.
posted by RobertLoch at 10:59 AM on March 27, 2002


Britain knew for years who ran the IRA and who were its top members. The problem was that we did not have enough evidence to charge them. We could have fired missiles at them, killing a few civilians along the way, but we decided that was not an appropriate way to act.

I understand your point, but I think that the situation with the IRA is not wholly comparable to the situation with the Palestinian Authority for a couple of reasons. First, the IRA demands were limited to independence for Northern Ireland, and they ended up accepting a portion of the government of N.I. By contrast, the PA/PLO wants all of Israel. Second, members of the IRA were ostensibly British citizens. They could be arrested on British territory (Northern Ireland), tried in a British court, and put in a British Prison. By contrast, the Palestinian Authority is a (theoretically) soverign government. The Israeli police and courts have no jurisdiction in the West Bank and Gaza. They can (and have) demanded that the PA arrest and prosecute Palestinian terrorists, but with little success. Third, the IRA didn't have nearly the overseas support that the PA/PLO have. While American support for the IRA (NORAID, etc) was certainly a shameful episode in our history, it was not a policy of our government in the way that Iran, Iraq, and most of the rest of the Arab League are opposed to Israel.

Do I think Israel is handling this situation properly? Not really, but A) I'll be damned if I can come up with a better idea, B) I'm not the one liable to be blown up while drinking coffee, and C) from a purely selfish standpoint I prefer Israel to be the target of misdirected Arab hatred instead of the United States, which is the likely candidate were Israel to disappear tomorrow.
posted by jaek at 11:04 AM on March 27, 2002


Jaek: thanks.

I think that, at the very least, it's a question of degree: the active IRA never constituted a large part of the population; there weren't Irish suicide bombers, and so on.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:13 AM on March 27, 2002


There is no evidence whatsoever that Israel has used excessive force in defending itself.

You mean, of course, no evidence besides the United States State Department report which says explicitly that?

Or perhaps you mean besides the many United Nations reports (apparently the UN is legitimate enough to found Israel, but nothing beyond that).

Or maybe you mean besides the Israeli Human Rights Groups' reports.

Or maybe you mean besides the Israeli supreme court decision authorizing payouts to those injured or killed in the last intifada for acts of belligerance.

Or maybe you mean besides the reams and reams of documents by NGOs from around the world, including American, Israeli, Palestinian, British, and International groups.


Or maybe... you're just in deep denial.
posted by cell divide at 11:20 AM on March 27, 2002


Or maybe the United States, particularly under Bill Clinton was in denial.

Next step: Israel reoccupies all other the territories and cleans the arms out.

Happy Passover.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:57 AM on March 28, 2002


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