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August 19, 2004 8:10 PM   Subscribe

Was Iraq always about Iran? Iran turns toward the United States, again.
posted by four panels (69 comments total)

 
If it was about Iran all the time, then that's just more evidence of the depravity of the powers that be. I think i can safely say there's no appetite among voters (except in DC) for another war, or another front in our "glorious war on terror." I've been hearing Iran come up more and more by administration spokespeople (Condi especially), and it's sickening. Most people now say Iraq was a mistake, and there's not a salesman good enough on Earth to make us swallow more lies to start another war. anyway, Bush only attacks countries without nukes or strong armies.
posted by amberglow at 8:35 PM on August 19, 2004


What a great strategy for GW, just keep pushing Iran until they make the first move and then he can invade with little or no political fall out at home. We have all of our troops right there in the neighborhood. I wonder what his strategy is for attacking Korea?
posted by caddis at 8:37 PM on August 19, 2004


I heard that Saddam hid his WMDs in Iran.

Maybe we oughta go check.
posted by RavinDave at 8:39 PM on August 19, 2004


Bush made the new rules, Iran's just playing by them.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:50 PM on August 19, 2004


This is probably just bluster from Iran, but it does point to something much scarier.

If the war in Iraq is enlarged by whatever chain of events to include the predominantly Shi'a non-Arab Muslims of Iran, then the perception that the US is at war with Islam very much solidifies in the mideast and elsewhere. Pulling the worlds 1.5 billion Muslims, even if it's a war of ideology rather than ICBMs, in direct conflict with the US is certainly not winnable, if Iraq ever was.
posted by psmealey at 9:24 PM on August 19, 2004


Surely there are oppressed athletes in Iran who yearn for freedom!
posted by Kwantsar at 10:10 PM on August 19, 2004


I thought Syria was next. What - is Iran trying to cut in line?
Keep it civil guys, there's enough depleted uranium for everyone.
posted by bashos_frog at 11:00 PM on August 19, 2004


"alleged nuclear arsenal," Alleged? Israel has nukes and everyone knows it. What a joke the AFP journalists are.


Iran has airpower/airstrike capabilities and can stop oil shipments in the gulf. All the while busy playing with fission. And GWB takes the US into Iraq.
posted by skallas at 11:09 PM on August 19, 2004


Where Israel is concerned, we have no doubt that it is an evil entity

As nutty as this sounds, it's not that far off from all the "evildoer" crap we Americans have to listen to at home. It's pretty sad when an American president begins to resemble an Iranian commenting about Israel.

I sincerely hope the US never even considers launching missles at a nuclear facility of any kind. What kind of heinous environmental disaster would that be?
posted by scarabic at 11:39 PM on August 19, 2004


What Amberglow said. The Bush clique desperately want to get reelected, and even they know that they wouldn't stand a chance in November if they started trying to hard sell a new war right now.

Iran has been having internal debates within its government for several years between hard-line and moderate mullahs over the value of isolationism. Syria wouldn't really be a target - they have no oil and have much better relations with Europe. Of course they would talk about nukes that may or may not exist - if you had BushCo invading your oil rich neighbor you would bluster too. A careful reading of Iran's history since the 1970s shows that whatever you can say about them, they are not stupid.
posted by zaelic at 12:16 AM on August 20, 2004


Ah, but the Bush clique is not to be confused with GWB himself. If by some catastrophe he is re-elected, I'm sure the forces that move him will enjoy another 4 years of pursuing their economic agenda with impunity (perhaps even more impunity, with re-election off the table). The world may be safe until November, but after that, all bets are off, and if Bush does enjoy another 4 years, I'm sure they'll have another puppet waiting in the wings to take over.

If GWB has proved anything, it's that the executive branch is the easiest to corrupt.
posted by scarabic at 1:07 AM on August 20, 2004


it was about Iran all the time, then that's just more evidence of the depravity of the powers that be. I think i can safely say there's no appetite among voters (except in DC) for another war, or another front in our "glorious war on terror.
Come to Northern Wisconsin then amberglow. The place I work at is probably 98% hardcore bible thumpin', homophobic, arab-hating Republicans. They are raring to send off somebody elses kids to fight another war against the adjective du jour^H^H^H^H^H^H^H (oops, of the day, now pass me some American Fries)
posted by substrate at 5:47 AM on August 20, 2004


I'm glad then, substrate, that Northern Wisconsin is not representative of the majority of voters. (Nor of college students, who would certainly be called up if we opened another front in Iran while fighting "terror" -- without finishing the job in Afghanistan, and still stuck and failing in Iraq.)
posted by amberglow at 5:54 AM on August 20, 2004


Come and get it while it's fresh.. I just can't understand why any country would want to rattle its sabers at us at this time in our history, where we hardly need an excuse to go after a country like Iran.

Sounds very strange to me.
posted by eas98 at 6:19 AM on August 20, 2004


Jesus, this is almost my worst nightmare, 'cos I think it was always about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Bushies are terrified about losing the Wahhabi'ist regime there, and thats's more likely than a go at Iraq.

"alleged nuclear arsenal," Alleged? Israel has nukes and everyone knows it. What a joke the AFP journalists are. - skallas.
Well, if the country doesn't admit it openly, what other words would you like an objective journalist to use? Yes, we do all know that they have nukes: you know what? If it ensures the survival of Israel, great. Why does anyone want the Israelis to tell their mortal enemies what weapons are in their possession: I don't want my country to give an inventory to it's enemies. None of whom are working for it's annihilation.

BTW- Iranian threats against Israel: how does GWB cop the blame for them?

How many of the muslim states in the region avowedly, joyously, rabidly plan for the elimination of Israel?

I know how I would feel if they got their way. Except, this time, I couldn't say that I didn't know, or I couldn't do anything about it. The Israelis need their nukes more than the UK needs it's nukes. It should keep them, until they are no longer under threat of another genocide.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:29 AM on August 20, 2004


Why does anyone want the Israelis to tell their mortal enemies what weapons are in their possession

Because a lack of assessment on nuclear stockpiles is one of the easiest ways for loose fissile material to get in the hands of terrorists. They allow no inspectors, they are beholded to no regulations or restrictions, yet as Israel has proven in the past, it retains a self-given right to prevent any other nation in their range from having nuclear power.

Israel deliberately disavows its nukes to prevent being part of several nuclear weapons treaties- treaties that in some cases we are accusing Iran of violating. Israel has the right to defend itself, but its "open secret" policy makes its hypocritical, tyrannical, and a potential danger should its government ever undergo destabilization.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:46 AM on August 20, 2004


XQUZYPHYR: Because a lack of assessment on nuclear stockpiles is one of the easiest ways for loose fissile material to get in the hands of terrorists.
Uh, would that be the well known jewish terrorists that commit atrocities all over the world, killing men, women & children without compunction? Or some other terrorists - like, how would muslim terrorists get hold of Israeli nuclear material?

We do know that Pakistan trades nuclear secrets and technology on the black market, with the tacit approval of it's government. We know that Iran has aspirations to join the club. Syria, if it could afford it, too.

How can the IAEA prevent these states eliminating Israel? They can't. In the end, only Israel and it's allies can.


And that's only if they believe it's necessary for Israel to survive. I sometimes doubt that the UK is committed to Israel's survival, which it would feel awfully bad about... when it's too late. And we're probably more amenable than most European nations to their plight.

Israel has a right to take it's own survival seriously: that means arming to make the balance more equal, and ensuring that the nations who have said they want to destroy Israel, no matter if they are destroyed themselves do not get the means to carry out their threat.

Israel is a special case. We miss that at our peril, and Israel's.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:44 AM on August 20, 2004


I'm glad then, substrate, that Northern Wisconsin is not representative of the majority of voters.
Amberglow, it's not that simple though. I'm against the Iraq war and think that Bush is the worst thing that's happened in a long time so I don't agree with any of the people I work with. However Bush is counting on Northern Wisconsin to win him the state. That's why earlier this week Air Force One was visible outside my office window. The NRA is also busy working on people through local gun clu[bs and such. The local republicans are amazing at getting people organized. They take advantage of the fact (and I can't belittle them for that at all, I just don't know another way of putting it other than "take advantage of") that the majority of people don't vote. By lining up their supporters and making sure they have good turnout, even if the issues that are driving the turnout aren't issues that the majority agree with, they can swing the results for the state.

Think of it in terms of math. 60% of the people think that Iraq was a mistake (though that isn't really what your link said). That means that 40% of the people don't believe it was a mistake. If 50% of the anti-war and 50% of the pro-war people show up at the polls then the anti-war crowd will win. If the pro-war crowd can get 61% of their side to show up they win the state even if they weren't the actual majority.

Pro and anti-war also isn't the only issue. There's also gay marriage and gay rights. I don't know what the breakdown is in this state but it's against it. From what I can see that alone is enough to make some people vote for a candidate even if they don't support their stance on other important issues such as war. Kerry isn't even pro gay marriage as far as I know but he's been painted that way by the local republican party.

Remember it's the electoral college system, not a simple majority that wins the presidency.
posted by substrate at 8:16 AM on August 20, 2004


I know substrate, but things are not going Bush's way. We're actually more energized than the Repubs at this point (which bodes well for turnout), evidenced by Bush's repeated visits to his base of support, and statements calculated to appeal to his base, who should really be ignored by now.

As for Israel, it's not that they're terrorists but the worry is that the Palestinians may someday get their hands on Israel's nukes or related stuff. It's not a farfetched possibility.
posted by amberglow at 8:31 AM on August 20, 2004


dash_slot, you'll notice that I specifically mentioned a "destabilized government." Also keep in mind that most of the revelations about Israel's nuclear activities- including incidents in which the threat of delivering nuclear information to Arab nations- has been done by Israelis themselves.

And claiming that there are not groups within Israel equally committed to the belief in destruction of certain regions ("there's no such thing as Palestine," anyone?) just because, thankfully, they haven't blown up busses yet, is disingenuous.

Again, I fully support defending Israel. But the irony of some people saying that Israel has the right to do anything it wants without question because other nations hate Israel without suggesting that maybe they hate Israel because it, y'know, does anything it wants is astounding.

There is, by sheer merit of time and population growth, going to be a time in which other Arab states have nuclear power, including in the form of weaponry. Trying to prevent these nations from wanting to use them is a far more plausible option than a perpetual state of trying to prevent them from acquiring them. If Israel's sole nuclear policy is going to be clapping its hands and believing that Iran will never have nuclear weapons, then it's going to be in a world of trouble when Iran finally does.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:54 AM on August 20, 2004


the irony of some people saying that Israel has the right to do anything it wants without question because other nations hate Israel without suggesting that maybe they hate Israel because it, y'know, does anything it wants is astounding.
Are you assuming that I think Israel can do anything it wants to do without question? If you don't mean to say that I think that, why bring it up here?

How many Presidents and PM's in the Israeli gov't say "there's no such thing as Palestine, and we will never rest until all it's occupants are dead. "? I would genuinely like to see just one instance of such a quote. Whereas we hear chants of 'Death to Israel' from Muslim heads of state frequently Ali Khatamei of Iran being a case in point. I would not like to see these guys with nukes: I think that Pakistan with nukes is bad enough.

When it comes to relations with Israel, Iran cannot even bear to take part in sports bouts with Israel. They end up tying themselves in knots, along the way becoming liars, bigots and hypocrites.

Ugly truths. But truths, none the less.
posted by dash_slot- at 9:58 AM on August 20, 2004


Israel is not a special case. There are people all over the world who promote ignorance and fear by suggesting that such and such a place or race is worthy of extinction.

There is no excuse for Israel having an illegal cache of nuclear weapons. That makes them a rogue state, and as such they should be under embargo.

Does anyone believe that any Arab state would use a nuclear bomb in their backyard? Israel needs to start trying to get along with it's neighbours, if that is possible whilst Washington wants to continue the conflict.
posted by asok at 10:43 AM on August 20, 2004


Israel is a special case: it's citizens, and their forebears, have in living memory been close to extinction by state sanctioned murder. We now have a number of countries whose politicians are popular partly because they want to finish the job.

I haven't mentioned Arab states: I'm taking exception to Muslim theocratic states, and others, which want the Atom bomb and also want to exterminate all jews. My gripe is against a murderous ideology, not against an ethnic group.

In the circumstances, if I were, say, lil ole Holland, and the Germans, Danes, French, British and Swedes all wanted to kill every Nederlander, I would unquestionably want to have an ace in the hole, such as the nuclear bomb. I would also hope that I got wind of their plans early on - so I could take action quickly and severely.

Does anyone believe that any Arab state would use a nuclear bomb in their backyard?
Does anyone believe that any muslimwould use a bomb on themselves? Yes. Yes, I can imagine.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:02 AM on August 20, 2004


Israel is a special case: it's citizens, and their forebears, have in living memory been close to extinction by state sanctioned murder. We now have a number of countries whose politicians are popular partly because they want to finish the job.

I'm sorry, what? Millions of Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, so therefore it's perfectly fair that Israel have unregulated, unchecked access to nuclear weapons? Can you repeat the part where that makes any goddamn sense whatsoever?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:50 AM on August 20, 2004


All the pieces are there, XQUZYPHYR , you can put them together.

Millions of Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, so therefore it's perfectly fair that Israel have unregulated, unchecked access to nuclear weapons?

Yes. It may be the only thing that saves a massive miscalculation on the part of some mullah or dictator in instigating wholesale slaughter. If we won't go into a formal defence pact with Israel, then they need to have confidence that they can survive the next, inevitable attack.

I don't know who inspects the UKs atomic weapons, but it could be that -- like the USA -- no-one does.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:19 PM on August 20, 2004


XQ, dash_slot argues more than just the Holocaust as justification for Israel's nukes. The main justification is that they are surrounded by hostile states, some of which explicitly seek their elimination as a state. They are a small country of about 6 million people. The United States has not said, if you attack Israel you may consider yourself to have attacked the US. This leaves Israel on its own. Sure, the US supplies weapons and other assistance, but that is probably not enough given their situation. It is highly unlikely that Israel will use its nukes for anything other than self defense and even then only as a last resort. I think Iran is much less likely to attack given that they could pretty much kiss Tehran good-bye with such a move. Saddam would have loved to attack Israel just to raise his street cred in the Muslim world.
posted by caddis at 2:24 PM on August 20, 2004


The problem is that using their nukes might eliminate Israel along with their neighboring enemies. They know they can't use them on states next door. It's not like there are thousands of miles between them.
posted by amberglow at 2:35 PM on August 20, 2004


The only states with even the slightest potential to cause Israel any damage were Iraq and Iran. Iraq is now gone. However it was/is not in either country's strategic interest to attack Israel directly anyway, except under extreme circumstances such as a region-wide war (or, as we saw in the first Gulf War, an assurance that Israel would not use its nukes during the American operation).

The nuclear weapons do have a major advantage for Israel never having to negotiate with the surrounding countries regarding the Palestinian issue, which is the one issue which units the Arab and Muslim world and was the cause of all the previous wars. With nukes, Israel can pursue its own policies with regard to the West Bank and Gaza without having to calculate a serious response from its neighbors. If Iran (or Iraq before the war) were to attain the nuclear balance, Israel would be forced to come to the bargaining table because their strategic alliance would be more dependent on conventional weapons and therefor not as ironclad.

Of course, if the leaders of the other countries in the Middle East wanted a longer-lasting and over time more serious advantage over Israel, they would work on political and economic modernization and a move towards democratic and free institutions. This is more powerful then any weapon. Israel's consistent and unrelenting drive to destroy the Palestinian people is only barely tolerated by the world elites because Israel can always point to its neighbors as examples of something just as bad, or worse. This is why the emergence of a free and democratic Iraq would be a major setback for Israeli hardliners-- ironically, just as it would be to Iranian hardliners. Don't feel yourself into thinking that both groups are operating in Iraq right now, as chaos works to both their advantages.
posted by cell divide at 2:54 PM on August 20, 2004


What say it's not at all about oil, Iran, Wah-habists, or anything of that ilk, and is instead all about bringing about armageddon so that the righteous can be saved?

That is a scary thought.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:24 PM on August 20, 2004


The only states with even the slightest potential to cause Israel any damage were Iraq and Iran.

Except for Syria and Syria-controlled Lebanon, which has been launching rockets over the border for years, used to fly MiG's over the border, and to some degree controls the water supply. And except for Egypt which invaded (or tried to) twice, and has cut off the country's shipping on at least two occasions in the past. Oh, and then there's Jordan, which also used launch rockets at 'em, and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, both of which sent troops and military support to the other countries during past wars to help crush the country and, as the very popular phrase goes, drive its people into the sea.

To be fair, Iraq was and Iran is a somewhat larger threat at the present time. But twenty years ago? Twenty years in the future? Who can say?

the Palestinian issue, which is the one issue which units the Arab and Muslim world and was the cause of all the previous wars

[mind boggles] All the previous wars? celldivide, you know better than that.

Israel's consistent and unrelenting drive to destroy the Palestinian people

Hello, the current disengagement policy? Camp David? Oslo? The original partitioning agreement? Any of this intruding upon that perpetual victimhood narrative?

This is why the emergence of a free and democratic Iraq would be a major setback for Israeli hardliners

Yeah, I'm sure that's why Israel has been training the US military in anti-terrorist tactics and combat for several years now--and which the US in turn uses to train the new Iraq military and police in--because they secretly want the Coalition to fail in Iraq and want an unstable country in the region, rather than a healthy partner to trade with and to help spread democracy.

amberglow- "The problem is that using their nukes might eliminate Israel along with their neighboring enemies."

Yes, the so-called "Samson option", named after the Bible story. The Israelis are quite serious about this: if a biological, chemical, or nuclear weapon is used against their people, they would be extremely harsh and not very discriminatory in their retaliation. If they go down, they're taking the region with them.
posted by Asparagirl at 3:29 PM on August 20, 2004


What say it's not at all about oil, Iran, Wah-habists, or anything of that ilk, and is instead all about bringing about armageddon so that the righteous can be saved?

Oh, or what if "it's" about tens of thousands of people murdered by Islamic fundamentalists, people who will never get to post their inane conspiracy theories to Metafilter because they've been killed by a worldwide theocratic political movement, one that openly admits that their motivation is the destruction of the secular, liberal, tolerant, multi-cultural West?

Why look for secret codes on the back of cereal boxes when you can listen to nearly any Saudi imam's Friday sermon?
posted by Asparagirl at 3:38 PM on August 20, 2004


>would that be the well known jewish terrorists that commit atrocities all over the world, killing men, women & children without compunction

They go by the name Mossad. They did an excellent job with nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. Funny, how if there was an Iranian Vanunu I doubt any western paper would write "alleged" before mentioning the nuclear program.

Funny how when pushed, all the Israel apologists can say is "holocaust" as if that gives the Nation State of Israel some magical right to do as it pleases.

How many Lebanese women and children were killed in 1982? Makes the Islamic Jihad look like a kids playing cowboys and indians.
posted by skallas at 3:44 PM on August 20, 2004


all the Israel apologists can say is "holocaust" as if that gives the Nation State of Israel some magical right to do as it pleases.

And some of don't and haven't mentioned that explanation at all--the post-1945 history of the region/country speaks for itself. The country is surrounded by people who hate its guts and want its people dead. Not the fig leaf of "we just hate Sharon and his policies", because the level of violence started waaaaay before that. Not the easy "we just hate them because of the Palestinian situation" because it invariably ignores good-faith attempts to reach settlements with them, and in any case ignores the long long history of violence, hateful rhetoric, and predation that predates 1967 quite a bit.

It's not a secret that its neighbors want Israel and its inhabitants dead, gone, erased, un-created, destroyed. You can tell this because, well, that's exactly what they say all the frickin' time. And that's also exactly what their actions towards the country, whether as members of ideologies or countries or armies or some intersection thereof, have been for the past 50+ years. If this, logically, leads to Israel wanting to protect itself, including with the threats of nukes, well that's hardly surprising either.
posted by Asparagirl at 4:04 PM on August 20, 2004


Yes, the so-called "Samson option", named after the Bible story. The Israelis are quite serious about this: if a biological, chemical, or nuclear weapon is used against their people, they would be extremely harsh and not very discriminatory in their retaliation. If they go down, they're taking the region with them.

That's just wrong, for so many reasons. There aren't enough of us Jews in the world to purposely have or consider a strategy like that. It goes against the very founding principles and reasons for existence of Israel, no? Since when are we a death cult, like some other religions? It's abhorrent. Israel shouldn't act like it's one big Masada. Saying, "You want us all dead? Well, we'll give you what you want" is ridiculous, and stops any meaningful positive change from even happening.
posted by amberglow at 4:28 PM on August 20, 2004


What would it accomplish? (i'm shivering from that, aspara-seriously) Since when is revenge against enemies worth more than life itself? It's twisted.
posted by amberglow at 4:33 PM on August 20, 2004


It is twisted: but I don't think that it's what the Israeli's are hoping for. They have worked long & hard for a peaceful existence. They still wish to return territory conquered in a defensive war - but which they cannot find anyone with good enough faith to take.

If you [plural] don't take the Islamists at their word, more fool you. We, western democrats, are their target; the jews are their target; gays & women are their target.

We don't need a Minister of Propaganda. The murderers are telling us what they will do in advance.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:51 PM on August 20, 2004


You can take them at their word without becoming a suicide bomber yourself.
posted by amberglow at 4:54 PM on August 20, 2004


Well for that matter, asparagirl, what if it's "about" the millions of muslims that have been killed by the unilateral decisions and actions of the west?
posted by five fresh fish at 4:56 PM on August 20, 2004


They have worked long & hard for a peaceful existence.

Let's be perfectly fair here: Israel is a modern creation, its creation has displaced a lot of people, and its expansion has been carefully designed so as to eliminate re-settlement by those displaced people.

Israel has worked long and hard to maximize its claim of all viable agricultural land, to render impassable traditional lines of travel, and to displace all non-Jewish occupants.

Both sides are complete fuck-ups through-and-through. Let's not polish the Israeli turd as if it were the finest gold.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:02 PM on August 20, 2004


amberglow- No, I'm with you--it's a creepy and sad tactic and I totally sympathize with your comments. But it's just that--a tactic, very very similar to the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction, which was used between the US and the Soviets. And despite its Dr. Strangelove implications, MAD actually worked--no one wanted to be the one to push The Button, because they just knew the other side would push the button too, right away. There's no way to win at Global Thermonuclear War; the only way to win is not to play, and therefore no one (thank God!) did. (How about a nice game of Chess?)

We, western democrats, are their target; the jews are their target; gays & women are their target.

I'm 4 for 4 on that list. :-(
posted by Asparagirl at 5:12 PM on August 20, 2004


But you can't use MAD without the Mutual part, and that's the problem. It's the imbalance that makes it much more dangerous for all sides. (and i'm 3 for 4, aspara)
posted by amberglow at 5:15 PM on August 20, 2004


2 out of 4 meself. Does not feel good, 'cos our own al-Muhajuroun would drop a wall on me soon as look at me..

Outlook: murky.

FFF: look at what can be done with warring parties in Europe, when investment, trust-building and mutual interests [like peace, development and stability] become more important than national ID, religion and pride. Genuine partners recognise each other; at the moment, an ex-general heads one side and a terrorist murderer the other.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:22 PM on August 20, 2004


It took a long, long time for Europe to quit its pissy little wars, and even then they got hauled into a major world war twice over.

It'll be a real bugger if the mid-East leaders pull the same shit. Where Germany had tanks, they've got nukes. Big owie.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:41 PM on August 20, 2004


Genuine partners recognise each other; at the moment, an ex-general heads one side and a terrorist murderer the other.

That ex-general is also a war criminal.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:18 AM on August 21, 2004


Personally, I wouldn't elect Sharon; but then neither would I be content with a leader who, even this year, is sending teenagers to explode themselves in cafes and malls. Even less happy would I be to have him revered as father of the nation, lauded by world leaders and personally responsible for the dispersion of a billion dollars in aid [where's it all gone, Yasir?]
posted by dash_slot- at 6:40 AM on August 21, 2004


Personally, I wouldn't elect Sharon; but then neither would I be content with a leader who, even this year, is sending teenagers to explode themselves in cafes and malls.

As opposed to the Israeli government, which practically bribes fervently religious settlers to move to the disputed terretories to deliberately and blatantly defy Sharon's own Road Map and provoke Palestinian extremists. I remain amazed at how Israel is the only nation in the annals of civilized humanity that believes increasing the number of civilians in the middle of a war zone is tactical, let alone humane.

I don't offer support for either the Palestinian Authority or Sharon's government, as both seem adamant on a principal strategy of manipulating the most extreme followers of their respective religions, and then sending them off to die.

Reading Asparagirl's joining in with dash_slot, I've been seeing much more scary logic that I thought was actually the mainstream. Almost every comment reflects on Israel's "commitment to peace" through its ability to inflict epic levels of death. Not a single suggestion has been offered as to how peaceful relations can be established, only the constant gloating that if anyone fucks with Israel, they'll take them all down in a pillar of flame.

No wonder Israel is terrified of a nuclear Iran; to visualize another nation exploiting nuclear authority is to look in the mirror and question how the recieving end of such psychotic rhetoric must feel.

I am very, very terrified if this is actually the mentality of the current Israeli government, which until now I at least gave the benefit of respecting life to a degree much higher than that of Arafat. Until reading this thread, I had absolutely no idea the hard-liners of Israel had as much an obsession with martyrdom as Hamas.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:19 AM on August 21, 2004


I had absolutely no idea the hard-liners of Israel had as much an obsession with martyrdom as Hamas.
I must have missed that post: how long has Sharon had a login?

I have a choice:
throw my weight behind the party/ group/ nation which has democratic elections, an independent judiciary, a serious desire to share territory & have a peace agreement, or a 'state' headed by a terrorist who has this year ordered the deaths of his etnic & religious enemies.

Not much of a choice.

Stop blowing up your own citizens, as well as your enemies citizens, Yasir. The Intifada is over: go talk with the jews, again. They're here to stay.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:43 PM on August 21, 2004


throw my weight behind the party/ group/ nation which has democratic elections, an independent judiciary, a serious desire to share territory & have a peace agreement, or a 'state' headed by a terrorist who has this year ordered the deaths of his etnic & religious enemies.

"Democracy" of course, meaning rights for only a portion of the population, and "ordering the deaths of ethnic and religious enemies" clearly not pertaining to firing missiles into apartment buildings.

And kudos, by the way, for the demand that Israel be recognized by a nationality you refer to in quotes. How about acknowledging a few rights to exist yourself, there.

The Intifada is over: go talk with the jews, again. They're here to stay.

Gosh, you certainly showed them.

I'm sure you'll respond with yet another veiled declaration of your right by might, and frankly, since it's clear you didn't even bother reading my last post in its entirety, you're more than welcome to continue pretending this crisis will never, ever escalate because you're simply a better person.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:12 PM on August 21, 2004


Frankly, I think Israel should be given back to the Palestinians, and Quebec given to the Jews, and Florida given to the Quebecois.

That'd solve everyone's problems all at once.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:06 PM on August 21, 2004


Watch Woolsey
posted by troutfishing at 2:09 AM on August 22, 2004


"Democracy" of course, meaning rights for only a portion of the population, and "ordering the deaths of ethnic and religious enemies" clearly not pertaining to firing missiles into apartment buildings.

- Firstly, which Assembly allows minority representation? Do you imagine that jewish voters in Palestinian areas will have the same rights as they would in Tel Aviv, for example? In fact, do Palestinians in PA areas today have the same civil rights [appeal to a court against gov't abuses, for example] as Israeli Arabs have in Israel?
- Secondly, were those apartment buildings randomly targetted, like the mass-murdering, self-exploding human bombs convinced by an insane ideology that they were on their way to Paradise & 72 virgins raisins?

I'm sure you'll respond with yet another veiled declaration of your right by might, and frankly, since it's clear you didn't even bother reading my last post in its entirety, you're more than welcome to continue pretending this crisis will never, ever escalate because you're simply a better person.
I don't know why you use that form of words, what are your assumptions here? Something about my nationality or religious or ethnic heritage? If I'm wrong, could you please explain?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:36 AM on August 22, 2004


I think the people in the region should solve this on their own and leave the rest of us the hell out of it. Maybe we can get a UN resolution to just ignore all parties involved until they get themselves straigtened out.
posted by moonbiter at 7:03 AM on August 22, 2004


Say, moonbiter: what do you think would have happened to the state of Israel by now, had it not been militarily assisted by the USA?
posted by dash_slot- at 10:12 AM on August 22, 2004


More interesting, dash, is the question: what would have happened to the United States had it not been militarily assisting Israel.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:36 AM on August 22, 2004


OK: so what's your answer, FFF?
posted by dash_slot- at 12:15 PM on August 22, 2004


fff, you think 9/11 wouldn't have happened? or the attack in 93?
posted by amberglow at 1:02 PM on August 22, 2004


And what's your answer, ds?

Mine: I think that if the USA had taken a more hands-off approach to Israel and the mid-East, it would never have gotten itself so deeply embroiled in the mid-East's problems and avoided being painted as the great Satan.

Naturally a number of people will make the simple-minded claim that the US is hated for its "freedom" and "wealth." That is utter bullshit, of course, but it is a comfortable delusion that avoids looking for real issues.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:42 PM on August 22, 2004


Don't you think oil would have made us embroiled whether Israel ever exited or not? or the whole propping up dictators thing? or the whole "fighting communism" thing during the cold war? I think there's more than one reason we're not beloved in the region.
posted by amberglow at 1:45 PM on August 22, 2004


Or the actual causus belli of 9/11 cited by Osama himself in his post-9/11 manifestos: American soldiers stationed on holy ground (i.e. the whole country) in Saudi Arabia. Nevermind that we were there at the Saudi gov't's request, as leftovers from the Gulf War, guarding the country so Saddam couldn't invade it too, along with Kuwait. But hey, maybe we shouldn't have gotten involved with that country either, so as not to stir up any trouble in the region.
posted by Asparagirl at 2:54 PM on August 22, 2004


The US is branded by Osama Bin Laden for the support it has given to both his mortal enemies - Israel - and the troops stationed for protective purposes in his homeland - Saudi Arabia. There are probably a myriad other reasons.

Now - to answer my question: what do you think would have happened to the state of Israel by now, had it not been militarily assisted by the USA?

FFF?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:06 PM on August 22, 2004


To be perfectly blunt, who the hell cares what would have happened to the state of Israel?

The establishment of Israel is the result of the cooperative work of anti-semites and the Zionist political movement -- a movement which is distinctly not representative of Jewish teachings or faith.

In short, it was a bloody stupid idea conceived by the British as a means to give the boot to a whole lot of displaced Jews they didn't want in their country, supported by other nations who likewise didn't want any Jews coming into their country.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:54 PM on August 22, 2004


I think that if the USA had taken a more hands-off approach to Israel and the mid-East, it would never have gotten itself so deeply embroiled in the mid-East's problems and avoided being painted as the great Satan.
The US is hated in the region - not by all, I suspect - because it has repeatedly assisted the jewish state when it was at risk of extinction. Not because the M.E. is in the grip of insane religious and pan-Arab dictatorships, dynastic forms of government, who promote blood libel printing media, are in hock to al-Qaida mentality and are at a loss as to what to do with millions of disaffected youth?

Thanks for that. So: fivefreshfingers redux - it's the jew's fault.

To be perfectly blunt, who the hell cares what would have happened to the state of Israel?

Well, I'm not surprised that you evaded the question when it was first posed, now that you have answered. Whatever the modern day refoundation of the state of Israel, indifference to it's continuation clearly amounts to indifference to the survival of it's millions of jewish inhabitants.

Why are you using arguments about the validity - or not - in the jewish faith of the modern state of Israel, when you couldn't care less about the fate of millions of it's adherents?

I don't see any reason to pursue this conversation. I'm glad to know where you stand tho, fff. Surprised, but glad.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:34 PM on August 22, 2004


Pshaw.

The millions of Jewish inhabitants of Israel can survive just as well elsewhere as there. Indeed, they'd likely survive better outside Israel.

And to put the boot on the other foot, you apparently couldn't care less about the fate of millions of Palestinians, many of whom are living in poverty conditions in godawful refugee camps.

I'm no hater of Jews: I'm a hater of unnecessary and stupid conflict. When you arbitrarily partition a country of course you get conflict.

That the Zionists, British, and supporting nations didn't give a good goddamn that they were creating institutionalized warfare for decades hence is good evidence to me that the creation of Israel had nothing to do with what's good for the Jews, and everything to do with anti-semitism. It was a mighty fine excuse to boot a shitload of jews out of their countries, and nothing more.

Want to do right for the Jews? Bring 'em all back to the USA. The USA would benefit greatly. And as a bonus, the warring would stop.

And wouldn't that be a step in the right direction!
posted by five fresh fish at 5:28 PM on August 22, 2004


fff, if you take people out of their country and send them elsewhere, aren't you just as guilty as the brits and other people you've been speaking of?
posted by amberglow at 5:34 PM on August 22, 2004


BTW, what's with the "fivefreshfingers" gambit? Is that supposed to be insulting, witty, or just stupid?

And to truly answer your original question: "what do you think would have happened to the state of Israel by now, had it not been militarily assisted by the USA?"

The territory had under a million Jews inhabiting it prior to partition, and upwards of 1.3 million Muslims and Christians.

Despite their smaller numbers the Jews were terrifically good at war, and thoroughly trounced the Arab opposition during the first year of Israel's existence. It's worth noting that the Israelis were not militarily supported by Britain or the USA during this time.

The subsequent flood of immigrating Jews would have been impossible to support were it not for the financial support of the US and Europe. It was a cheap way to rid themselves of Jews. Israel used a good chunk of the money to build its military.

If the US and Europe had stopped sending money to Israel at that point I think Israel would have figured out how to survive on its own.

In all ways, I really think the Zionists would have maintained a hold on a good chunk of the disputed land with or without the assistance of others. It surely could never have expanded its territories into the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

In all likelihood, then, Israel would probably still exist, but as a much smaller country within the original boundaries devised by partition. There'd still be an uneasy relationship between them and the Arabs... but there wouldn't be this big hate-on against the US for supporting them.

So what would have happened to the state of Israel? It wouldn't have expanded. And that's about all. IMO, YMMV, etc.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:49 PM on August 22, 2004


The subsequent flood of immigrating Jews would have been impossible to support were it not for the financial support of the US and Europe. It was a cheap way to rid themselves of Jews.
My family and the 5 million other Jews in the US never got that memo, about the US wanting to rid themselves of us. I don't think the Brits did either. There's never ever been a flood of US Jews immigrating there, a trickle at most, and that's generous. (Immigration officials say the annual number averaged about 1,500 until Nefesh B'Nefesh was founded three years ago by two American Jews to promote aliyah. It jumped to 2,000 in 2002 and 2,500 the next year. Organizers hope to reach 3,000 this year.)
posted by amberglow at 6:55 PM on August 22, 2004


fivefreshfingers: that is a genuine cockup, dunno where that alzheimers hybrid came from. However, it was a senior moment and one should, in all politeness, scroll past and never refer to it again. Did your momma teach you nothing?
posted by dash_slot- at 7:18 PM on August 22, 2004


Of the millions of displaced Jews, amberglow, how many did the USA open its borders to? Britain?

I am under the distinct impression that one of the political challenges post-WWII was what to do with all the homeless Jews. Those that were sheltered during the war, and those looking to re-establish their lives after the war, were not, AFAIK, welcome to become citizens of Britain or America.

I could well be wrong. My views are informed by a limited reading of the history of WWII and post-WWII politicking.

What I do know is true is this: the only solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict will be the complete eradication of one side or the other. The warring is so pervasive and so damaging that there is no viable peaceful solution, IMO.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:20 AM on August 23, 2004


Just revisiting this thread.

Say, moonbiter: what do you think would have happened to the state of Israel by now, had it not been militarily assisted by the USA?

Frankly, I don't really know, nor does anyone else. Fantastic speculation about possible pasts will get us nowhere in this debate. Ignoring the possible undertones to the question (I may be reading too much into it, but it seems to me that it was slightly loaded) let's just say that if we get out of the region right now, I think Israel will do just fine. We've given them a hell of a head start. I think they are capable of taking on the responsibility of negotiating their own peace now. Or not. It's up to the people in who live there. They don't need us foreigners telling them what to do.

As far as oil is concerned (as was also brought up), I suspect we could still buy it from the folks in the region even if we weren't militarily involved there. Commerce is funny like that.
posted by moonbiter at 12:11 AM on August 30, 2004


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