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George Galloway on Sky News
August 8, 2006 11:50 AM   Subscribe

George Galloway is interviewed on Sky News about Lebanon.
posted by bobbyelliott (80 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously in this thread but with a youtube link.
posted by karmaville at 12:06 PM on August 8, 2006


One extreme vs another.

Neither are right.
posted by Po0py at 12:12 PM on August 8, 2006


Weird that they would book him for Sky News - what did they think he'd say?
posted by jack_mo at 12:15 PM on August 8, 2006


Oh hell yea. Thank god for George. Screw "tough, but respectful, question."
posted by d723 at 12:18 PM on August 8, 2006


George Galloway also stars in several other videos at YouTube.
posted by crysflame at 12:19 PM on August 8, 2006


He's one-sided because the war is one-sided. Bottle rockets against fighter jets. Give Hizbollah some fighter jets.
posted by d723 at 12:20 PM on August 8, 2006


Enjoyable with Radiohead's National Anthem playing in the background.
posted by shoepal at 12:23 PM on August 8, 2006


Bernard Lewis Revisited
WSJ: Scholar Warns Iran's Ahmadinejad May Have 'Cataclysmic Events' In Mind For August 22 Tue Aug 08 2006 10:22:35 ET

In a WALL STREET JOURNAL op-ed Tuesday, Princeton's Bernard Lewis writes: "There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons. This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran's present rulers."

"In Islam as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time -- Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined."

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the US about nuclear development by Aug. 22," which this year corresponds "to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to 'the farthest mosque,' usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1).

"This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind."

Developing...
Ramping Drudging up the fear factor...
posted by Unregistered User at 12:23 PM on August 8, 2006


One extreme vs another

His style may be somewhat eccentric, but I didn't hear anything untrue or exaggerated in his message. Quite refreshing, I might add.
posted by beno at 12:24 PM on August 8, 2006


Addendun:

I am also reminded of the B. Lewis quote from Spring 2003:

"I have no doubt that September 11 was the opening salvo of the final battle."

Bernard Lewis is a notorious raving rightwing ideologue and originator of the phrase "clash of civilizations" (which Samuel Huntingdon admits he borrowed from him.)
posted by Unregistered User at 12:26 PM on August 8, 2006


Unregistered User writes "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 'and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced."

So do President George W. Bush and his followers, don't they?
posted by clevershark at 12:28 PM on August 8, 2006


The last three posts about Israel and Lebanon on MeFi (since matthowie put up the rotating siren thing):

*George Galloway
*A visting professor from Damascus explaining why Israeli airspace violations justified rocket attacks against civilian populations.
*Newsclips from a site blaming the "Israeli War Party" that censors US media.

Wonderful diversity of views. I mean, we don't need to include Dershowitz essays or rantings from Arutz Sheva, but something a little more balanced, even a link to someone like Human Rights Watch, which has not only condemned Israeli attacks on civilians, but has explained how every Hezbullah rocket attack is a war crime, would be a nice change of pace.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:38 PM on August 8, 2006


Uh, I didn't write that clevershark... that was paid think tanker B. Lewis or some wanker at drudge.

However, one would have to be pretty inept to not see how all these proxy wars have a thread run through them like a tapestry. The Zbig neocon chess board and all that. It's your move China.
posted by Unregistered User at 12:40 PM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


George Galloway's Wikipedia entry is about the same length as Jesus Christ's. He must be up all night every night embellishing it.
posted by fire&wings at 12:43 PM on August 8, 2006


Who, George or Jesus?
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:46 PM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


something a little more balanced, even a link to someone like Human Rights Watch, which has not only condemned Israeli attacks on civilians, but has explained how every Hezbullah rocket attack is a war crime, would be a nice change of pace.
posted by blahblahblah at 3:38 PM EST on August 8 [+] [!]


Try this.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:59 PM on August 8, 2006


Jesus you fool. He can do anything.
posted by j-urb at 12:59 PM on August 8, 2006


Hah, I was impressed with how well that reporter girl kept her composure through most of the interview. She did push back a little bit though.

It reminds me of the "Jane you ignorant slut" thing from SNL, which I've never seen but have heard people reference.
posted by delmoi at 1:01 PM on August 8, 2006


Wow, Galloway's final statement certanly was something.
posted by delmoi at 1:07 PM on August 8, 2006


Pastabagel - I heed the little rotating light of doom, which suggests that there may be enough posts on this topic already. Besides, I prefer to spend my posts on nuclear hand grenades, graphic designers, and confidence games!

(Though I have considered a post on just war theory and the laws of war, since people seem to be confused as to what proportionality, illegality and war crimes actually are from a jus in bellum and a jus ad bellum perspective. For example, proportionality refers to the proportionality of expected ends to the damage that will be caused by a war, not proportionality of methods used in fighting.)
posted by blahblahblah at 1:08 PM on August 8, 2006


Well, this about sums up what peacekeepers will be dealing with doesn't it... In fact it sums up the whole matter.

IDF warns UN troops will be attacked if they repair bridges

article
posted by Unregistered User at 1:08 PM on August 8, 2006


George Galloway's Wikipedia entry is about the same length as Jesus Christ's. He must be up all night every night embellishing it.

Wikipedia has a maximum length 'ideal' to which articles should be kept, with longer articles being broken up and mentioned. I'm sure there are more articles relating to Christianity then things that relate to George Galloway.
posted by delmoi at 1:09 PM on August 8, 2006


Besides, I prefer to spend my posts on nuclear hand grenades, graphic designers, and confidence games!

All of which were awesome posts, by the way.

Perhaps this is the greatest con game of all...

cue spooky noir music....
posted by Pastabagel at 1:11 PM on August 8, 2006


I like it when British people say "preposterous." That is all.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 1:25 PM on August 8, 2006




You did see that on the posting page, right?
posted by caddis at 1:45 PM on August 8, 2006


But Caddis, this is really important. People need to be enlightened. The poster has bravely broken with the Zionist media conspiracy! What are rules compared to THE TRUTH!
posted by LarryC at 2:10 PM on August 8, 2006


Seriously, if you want to condemn Israel it might be a good idea not to have corrupt, shady bastards like Galloway as your spokesman.
posted by Heminator at 2:21 PM on August 8, 2006


I can't even look at George Galloway again after what I saw on Big Brother...

Fuckin' a, the man's an ass.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:23 PM on August 8, 2006


Is he a more or less likeable shady bastard than George Bush and his band of fuckwads?
posted by dopamine at 2:35 PM on August 8, 2006


^ er, "more of or less of a..."
posted by dopamine at 2:36 PM on August 8, 2006


A tag named George!
posted by mischief at 2:37 PM on August 8, 2006


He's a politician, dopamine, they're all shady bastards.
posted by mischief at 2:38 PM on August 8, 2006


“IDF warns UN troops will be attacked if they repair bridges”

I gotta say, I admire the hell out of these people:
Although we had not received any security guarantees, the decision was taken to go ahead because the convoy contained medical and surgical supplies very urgently needed, especially if fighting near Sour keeps increasing.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:47 PM on August 8, 2006


At least Sky actually booked him and gave him a considerable amount of air time.

You would NEVER see someone with opinions like that on any U.S. news channel.

Sky, BBC and Reuters are downright balanced compared to what we have to put up with in the states.
posted by wfc123 at 2:52 PM on August 8, 2006


He's a politician, dopamine, they're all shady bastards.

I was aware of that as a stereotype, I didn't realize that being a politician automatically defaults one to being a shady bastard. I read his Wikipedia entry, though, and certainly see where his shady background comes from.

But from a lot of what I see just here on MeFi over time, he seems to voice snippets of things we all wish someone would shout back down the throats of the whole Fox News contingent.

Fine, so it would be better if it weren't this fellow saying it, but then... who? From who does it become the type of commentary that we can all get behind, instead of snarking and discrediting in just a lighter manner than we do the shady bastards of the right?
posted by dopamine at 2:57 PM on August 8, 2006


Smedly: there is an errant space in your link. It should be this.
posted by delmoi at 3:00 PM on August 8, 2006


.

Oh my.
posted by delmoi at 3:02 PM on August 8, 2006


I didn't realize that being a politician automatically defaults one to being a shady bastard.

Now you know.
posted by mischief at 3:03 PM on August 8, 2006


Good god, Pete Burns really let himself go.
posted by boo_radley at 3:07 PM on August 8, 2006


Sky, BBC and Reuters are downright balanced compared to what we have to put up with in the states.
posted by wfc123 at 2:52 PM PST on August 8 [+] [!]

And regardless of Galloway's past, he voices opinions that I think are very much at the forefront of the world's these days, he just says them in the common language of the street: Just the facts ma'am, no b.s. no sugercoating it.

Good for him.

His description of Christopher Hitchens is classic

"You’re a drink sodden former-Trotskyist popinjay," Mr Galloway informed him. "Your hands are shaking. You badly need another drink."
posted by mk1gti at 3:09 PM on August 8, 2006


Galloway, for those that don't know the details over the pond and elsewhere, started a party called Respect, and won a seat in the last UK election (sure, almost everyone knows the background). This party often has positions that many on the left agree with, but is crippled by its three main ingredients: Galloway's gargantuan ego, the presence of the anti-democratic SWP, and the pretty reactionary Muslim Association of Britain. My personal view: he's a very helpful idiot for those pursuing wars abroad, and a cancer on British left politics. Oh, and a good speaker: even I loved him sticking it to Senator Norman Whatsisname.
posted by imperium at 3:24 PM on August 8, 2006


everybody loved him for that, come on. it wasn't even political, it was the triumph of literacy over Homo Neanderthalensis
posted by matteo at 3:46 PM on August 8, 2006


I'm sure a double posted video clip from a celebrity-hungry egomaniac politician will sort out the mess in the middle east post-haste.



Fight this Zionist media!
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 3:53 PM on August 8, 2006


Thanks delmoi
posted by Smedleyman at 4:00 PM on August 8, 2006


And coming soon, an in-depth interview with Mel Gibson about his plans to make a new film of Fiddler on A Roof.
posted by Postroad at 4:06 PM on August 8, 2006


Good god, Pete Burns really let himself go.

Take that back! He has ascended to a hitherto unimagined physico-spiritual plane of post-human, ultramasculine intergender hyperbeauty. Full disclosure: I have a picture of Pete Burns as the wallpaper on my telephone.

My personal view: he's a very helpful idiot for those pursuing wars abroad, and a cancer on British left politics. Oh, and a good speaker...

Can't disagree with that. And, since Galloway was my MP for a good while, until he was expelled form the Party (and the Glasgow Kelvin constituency was split) I'd add that he's a sodding useless at his job. Never responded to emails or faxes, was hardly ever in his constituency (unless there was an anti-war protest on), barely spoke a word in Parliament on constituency matters.

And it looks like he's equally rubbish at representing Bethnal Green & Bow: Stats from the excellent TheyWorkForYou.com page on Galloway.
posted by jack_mo at 4:09 PM on August 8, 2006


Wow, Galloway's final statement certanly was something.

Yeah, it's actually worth watching for that. Galloway has done more to destroy left-wing credibility in the UK than anyone in recent years, but he's so 100% spot-on about this one thing: Israeli blood is treated as more valuable than Lebanese blood in all the news coverage I've seen. How much of that is because Israel has modern communications which manage to get the names of the dead to us? Are there any functional Lebanese institutions which would be able to do that for the dead Lebs?
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 4:23 PM on August 8, 2006


I do not care at all about what happens in the arab-israeli conflict. They have been killing each other for thousands of years and they are going to keep on killing each other for thousands of years and nothing that I say or do will have any effect on the situation and I am tired of habing to burden an opinion about mindless on-going slaughter.

I'm really sorry that that they've embraced a culure of eternal war... and that they stage events and strap bombs to people, but this has gone on far longer than the possibliity of negotiation and reason can resolve. The best thing the entire world can do to turn away.

I used to be pro-Israel, but by now it's obvious to me that the Hebrew state thrives on fighting and has no desire to contain and develeop the land they have... and the Arabs have over 20 nation-states and they cannot even live side-by-side peacefully and will not accept refugees from this conflict.

These people do not deserve our support and this should not be news.

That said, I'll bet Pete Burns give the most amazing blowjobs in the world.
posted by squidfartz at 4:28 PM on August 8, 2006


...and I almost forgot- the main reason I no longer care is because I have known both Jews and Arabs and they DO NOT CARE what you think about the conflict unless they AGREE with you.
posted by squidfartz at 4:30 PM on August 8, 2006


...and I almost forgot- the main reason I no longer care is because I have known both Jews and Arabs and they DO NOT CARE what you think about the conflict unless they AGREE with you.

Plus, they're responsible for all the wars in the world.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 4:34 PM on August 8, 2006


like Human Rights Watch, which has not only condemned Israeli attacks on civilians, but has explained how every Hezbullah rocket attack is a war crime, would be a nice change of pace.

I look forward to the day that Hezbullah are dragged before an international war crimes tribunal for those rocket attacks. I look forward just as much to Israel being in the same dock as them, as I'm minded of the saying 'two wrongs don't make a right'.

Sadly, however, I doubt either of those two things I'd like to see will come true. Firstly, because Hezbullah aren't state actors and acts of terrorism are crimes rather than war crimes, and secondly because Israel will just hide behind America, point at them, and cry 'Well, if it's good enough for them why can't we do it?'
posted by kaemaril at 4:39 PM on August 8, 2006


George Galloway is a very, very good speaker. And, much as he can be an extremist and associate with some dodgy people, he's right more often that he is wrong, in my view. But then I'm a dirty commie.
posted by reklaw at 4:53 PM on August 8, 2006


I gotta say, I admire the hell out of these people:
posted by Smedleyman at 2:47 PM PST


Some people try to do right in the middle of alot of wrong.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:54 PM on August 8, 2006


They have been killing each other for thousands of years and they are going to keep on killing each other for thousands of years

Those people who aren't us have been fighting for no reason at all since the dawn of time. Nothing has happened in the last century or decade that has had any impact at all on their eternal, distant battles, because they are fighty, fighty people who just can't stop fighting. Now, who wants ice cream?
posted by maryh at 5:14 PM on August 8, 2006


"Have a slightly longer memory than four weeks"

Worth it just for that.

Yeah rough ashlar, I think that's the thing. Lotsa talk. Lotsa investment in various positions and actions to whatever ends. Some people save lives. Period. I wish like hell I was one of them (although we can all help).
posted by Smedleyman at 5:20 PM on August 8, 2006


I do not care at all about what happens in the arab-israeli conflict. They have been killing each other for thousands of years and they are going to keep on killing each other for thousands of years and nothing that I say or do will have any effect on the situation and I am tired of habing to burden an opinion about mindless on-going slaughter.

How many jews were killed in the middle east from 1860 to 1930? How Arabs did jews kill in that time? The "Killing eachother for thousands of years" thing is just an excuse to ignore the violence of the last 50 years or so.
posted by delmoi at 5:40 PM on August 8, 2006


Even a stopped clock is right twice a day...
posted by Artw at 5:57 PM on August 8, 2006


(of course as soon as people start respecting him again he'll say something really stupid and we'll be back to square one)
posted by Artw at 5:58 PM on August 8, 2006


And by the way, it would have been easy to come up with arguments against him (such as "is it really OK to use violence in an attempt to get prisoners returned?") but the newsbot just wasn't smart enough to come up with them.
posted by delmoi at 6:42 PM on August 8, 2006


delmoi, why don't you do us a favor and enlighten us? Let's hear those arguments. I thought the anchor tried all the typical pre-fabricated arguments that are bandied about as gospel in the US media. Galloway just got the better of her, because he is right on. I'd like to see any US news anchor worth their salt take him on on those very issues, and I'm not talking about the bigoted, ignorant trash that Fox gives airtime to. I love how people cannot debate the message, so they start attacking the messenger. How about attempting to rebut what he said? Anyone? Where are all the great defenders of Israel? And anyone who quotes Bernard Lewis' drivel from the WSJ as a rebuttal ought to revisit elementary school for starters. It is the Christian fanatics and fundamentalists in the US that believe in Armageddon and how the Jews need to be in control of the Holy Land before it happens ... SO that they are then given the choice of converting to Christianity (accepting Jesus as their savior) or being smote. It is comically tragic that Zionists now perversely claim them as Israel's greatest allies.
posted by Azaadistani at 7:30 PM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


"I love how people cannot debate the message, so they start attacking the messenger. "

Do you think because I might not argue with the pyscho talking about CIA implants that he is correct? The history of this man affects my degree of interest in spending my time in refuting his statements. Nevertheless...

well, he said the US gave Isreal "hundreds of nuclear missles". That's completely false. I'd love to see facts otherwise.

he said even after Isreal left Lebanon, they kept thousands of Lebanese prisoners and this is part of the reason for Hezbollah's continuing agression. Umm, wha? Even Nasrallah only wants 3 prisoners. The 1,000 prisoners that has been thrown around was a demand for Palestinian prisoners that Hamas made for the return of the 1 Isreali recently grabbed. Not Lebanon, Hamas. Not related to Lebanese war by either part, except by this freak. Guardian article

and the whole Sheeba Farms thing? Come on- everyone, including the UN and Syria says Sheeba Farms is part of Syria, not Lebanon. This is a justifcation for Hezbollah continuing to keep weapons, no more.

he also completely obfusicated the IRA/Sien Fien issue. IRA joined politics and Sien Fien gave up their weapons. 1) Hezbollah is a unified organization (Nasrallah doesn't control the military?) and 2) Hezbollah went into politics, but have not given up there weapons. That is the point, he pushed it aside because it wasn't good for him.

On a related note that we went about only showing Isreal images-- Why do US/European broadcast mostly show pictures of Isreal? A question that came up in my mind as a good question, too. I recently saw a CNN reporter asked this question and his reponse was that Hezbollah did not allow him (or presumably other western reporters) into those areas to report. He said they can report from Amal areas + Christian areas of Lebanon, but not Hezoballah controlled areas. That is why there is less coverage from those areas.

Oh, yeah...and if Isreal is cool with 67 borders and a Arab capitol in Jerusalem then Hezbollah, Iran, etc will be cool with that. Yeah. Sure. Just ignore everything those folks have ever said. Wasn't there a near civil war in Palestine about a referendum wether or not this was a acceptable And they're a hell of a lot more controlled in there statements than Iran + Hezbollah.

Is that enough attacking of the arguement?

There's massovely complexe and serious issues here killing people daily. This a hugely painful area with each side good and bad. Getting out of this situation and peace in the Middle East is one of the great problems of our times. This freak is doing absolutely no help whatsover, except to himself. Fuck Galloway. Don't fuck the people there. They deseve a hell of a lot better than this tanned fuck.
posted by superchris at 8:04 PM on August 8, 2006


How many jews were killed in the middle east from 1860 to 1930? How Arabs did jews kill in that time? The "Killing eachother for thousands of years" thing is just an excuse to ignore the violence of the last 50 years or so.
Good point, Delmoi. Beyond the 1860-1930 time frame, the fact is that for most of the last thousand years, Jews and Muslims were not in fact killing each other in the Holy Land. Under most of the Islamic empires Jews and Christians were actually treated far better and enjoyed more rights than Jews of Muslims did in Christian lands.

The 'unending' violence between the peoples of the Middle East that the uneducated always talk about is almost solely a phenomenon of the 20th Century. The second half, to be specific.
posted by the_savage_mind at 9:02 PM on August 8, 2006


I would like to say that I am not a troll and I really do respect how other people feel about this issue... but in the short time that I've been on earth (since 1965) I have never known any sort of 'peace in the mid-east' at all... you can mock what I say or throw up some dates but the truth is that this is a very, very, sick situation that cannot be resolved from the outside.

I would love to see the ENTIRE WORLD stop using this as an excuse to polarize different groups or pour aid, arms or authourity into a bottomless well that is being dug deeper every day.

I refuse to believe Arabs are barbarians. I refuse to believe that Jews are humanitarian martyrs. I refuse to treat this like a political vanity project with the deluded hopes of resolution.
posted by squidfartz at 9:05 PM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm not calling you a troll, squid. I'm also not mocking you. I'm just trying to point out that the unending violence meme is really quite recent.

There could be a solution. The reason that it seems hopeless isn't because 'both sides are beasts just like all humans' but because the power structure that set up the modern political boundaries in the region and keeps it going likes it that way. If the US stopped supporting the Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti monarchies as well as the Egyptian dictatorship... if the US really worked to make those countries take care of their populations... you'd have so many less poor, uneducated, angry men who get funneled right into madrasas and inculcated with hatred for all things non-jihadi. It might take a while, but love for the US could be built again. Instead, the policies of the US and its military base Israel are specifically designed to keep things at a hot boil, ensuring a never ending supply of The Enemy as well as making sure that oil profits never actually go towards feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the nation that hosts the deposits. Instead, it goes into the pockets of a handful of men, where it apparently belongs.
posted by the_savage_mind at 9:18 PM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


That's one of the more intelligent suggestions I have ever read.
I really appreciate that.
posted by squidfartz at 9:44 PM on August 8, 2006


"If the US stopped supporting the Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti monarchies as well as the Egyptian dictatorship... if the US really worked to make those countries take care of their populations..."

So the US stops supporting the rulers
and at the same time
has some control upon the countries?

How does that happen at the same time? Isn't any relation to the US a deadly taint to any of these anti-goverment forces?

Kinda snarky, sure, but i do think you are along the right path, except for the "oil barons rule the world want the world in conflict" conspiracy theory thing. You really think that the Isreali policies are "specifically designed to keep things at a hot boil, ensuring a never ending supply of The Enemy". Why in the world would they want that? The US, ehh, ok, I might go along with that. But it seems to be in Israeli interests to have stable, democratic, peaceful partners. Sure, lots of their loonies want a Greater Isreal, but leaving Lebanon (2000) and Gaza recently seems to deny them having much control. We find that anti-religion pill and we're all good.

Also- the top two leaders of Al Queda were a doctor and a multimillionaire. Saudi Arabia had many of the 911 highjackers. So, poverty and lack of education is not the sole root cause. I don't think you were really saying that, but it poverty as a root cause often seems to be an arguement that I don't think passes a fact check. Some sort of freedom and control of their lives, yes. Poverty, not so much.

But, I need to sleep and I think we probably are on the same wavelength in general. Galloway just brings the bile out in me..and your name is savage, so I thought you could take it... good night and hopefully everyone can sleep at night at home and safe sometime
posted by superchris at 10:04 PM on August 8, 2006


Still, intelligent suggestions and it's nice to hear the voice of reason.
posted by squidfartz at 10:11 PM on August 8, 2006


delmoi, why don't you do us a favor and enlighten us? Let's hear those arguments. I thought the anchor tried all the typical pre-fabricated arguments that are bandied about as gospel in the US media.

Well, as you can see I included one example in that comment. Galloway's main problem, from my perspective, was that it ignored Hizbollah's initial provocation, the attack that resulted in the initial kidnapping. Galloway praises Hizbollah without ever defending that (other then to say it was a reaction to Israel's holding of political prisoners.) I don't think that justifies Israel's response, however.
posted by delmoi at 11:12 PM on August 8, 2006


If the US stopped supporting the Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti monarchies as well as the Egyptian dictatorship... if the US really worked to make those countries take care of their populations... you'd have so many less poor, uneducated, angry men who get funneled right into madrasas and inculcated with hatred for all things non-jihadi.

Do you really think there are poor people in Saudi or Kuwait? The Saudis have to import poor people from the Philippines and other countries just to do their manual labor. It's actually a pretty big problem for their economy. In Kuwait education -- through collage is free, as is health care. You really have no idea what you're talking about. Bleh. The 9/11 hijackers were all wealthy or middle class. by the way, Mohammed Atta was educated in Germany, a civil engineer.
posted by delmoi at 11:17 PM on August 8, 2006


Responding to Superchris:

1. When Galloway spoke of hundreds of missiles sent to Israel, he was referring to the latest shipment of precision missiles sent by the US to Israel, in response to the nitwit anchor stating that Iran was arming Hezbollah. His response stands regardless of whether the missiles are nuke-tipped or enabled or not (something that is not going to be publicized), particularly given that if Iran is arming Hezbollah, they are not giving it nukes either, because they don't have any of their own.

2. Whether Israel has three or more Lebanese prisoners (it has many more who are Lebanese citizens but 'Palestinian') is plenty justification for Hezbollah to have captured two Israeli soldiers. Remember, these were not random civilians but soldiers. The whole notion of a terrorist entity is that they target civilians. Hezbollah only started firing its rockets in this instance in response to the Israeli onslaught.

3. Hezbollah has taken 'western' anchors in, but they typically have to then vouch for their security, which they cannot do, because Israel bombs indiscriminately making little distinction between civilian and non-civilian. So, if such reporters are seeking Hezbollah's protection, that is difficult. But since plenty of anchors from the non-'western' media make it into that area, so can the 'western' ones. And if they feel too conspicuous because of their different skin color, there are plenty of Arab-Americans who could be hired by any of the above mentioned by the TV station.

4. Even if Shebaa farms is solely claimed by Damascus (which it is not), isn't Syria accused of supporting Hezbollah, anyway?? You cannot have your cake and it it too. Either Hezbollah is a proxy for Syria, or it is not.

5. The IRA/Sinn Fein situation is a whole different kettle of fish and hardly comparable. Despite all actions by the IRA, did British jets ever carry out a bombing campaign in the Republic of Ireland? This is a very distince region and conflict, not least because it involves different religions, and not just two sects, as was the case with the freedom struggle by Sinn Fein.
posted by Azaadistani at 11:18 PM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


Death, double standards and the battle for the moral high ground
The war in Lebanon is being fought not just on the ground but in the media. Both sides complain passionately that they are the victim of double standards. Oddly enough, both sides are right.

The Arabs are right when they complain that Israeli deaths seem to count more to the western media than the deaths of Arabs. The Israelis are right when they complain that the world focuses relentlessly on casualties caused by Israeli military action, while virtually ignoring much bloodier conflicts elsewhere...

Partisans on both sides have their theories. The Arab lobby complains that the American media is controlled by Zionists; pro-Israelis sometimes retort that the European media is anti-Semitic. But the American and European coverage of the Middle East conflict - while different in tone - shares the same basic news values. Israeli suffering first; suffering caused by the Israelis second; suffering in obscure bits of the world such as Congo or Kurdistan almost nowhere.

Part of the explanation has to do with the openness of Israeli and Lebanese society. Ask reporters who were stationed in Turkey at the time of the Kurdish insurgency why the conflict did not receive more coverage and they will tell you that the Turkish authorities made it virtually impossible to report from Kurdistan.

Partly, it is to do with a European and American fear that they will suffer from the blowback of war in the Middle East. The Congolese and their neighbours can kill each other for years without anyone in London or New York feeling threatened.

Perhaps there is a final reason - what might be called "white man syndrome". Israel is an advanced, western society. The deaths of people there are likely to feel more immediate and more shocking to the citizens of similar societies. "Someone like me dies" is big news. But "someone like me kills" is also pretty big news. The Israelis are sometimes told that they are being "paid a compliment" because they are being held to the same standards as every other western democracy.
posted by kliuless at 4:00 AM on August 9, 2006


Do you really think there are poor people in Saudi or Kuwait? The Saudis have to import poor people from the Philippines and other countries just to do their manual labor. It's actually a pretty big problem for their economy.

Sorry delmoi, but with all due respect, that argument is bollocks.

Do you really think there are poor people in Saudi or Kuwait America? The Saudis Americans have to import poor people from the Philippines Mexico and other countries just to do their manual labor. It's actually a pretty big problem for their economy.

See? it's a non-sequitur.

And the fact that Atta was a Saudi civil engineer with a degree from a German University in no way disproves the existence of millions of poor Muslims from a mixed bag of Middle Eastern countries who are educated into hating the Great Satan in madrassas built, funded and run by jihadist groups. Go read Jon Lee Anderson's The Lion's Grave or, even better, Jason Burke's excellent (and eye-opening) Al-Qaeda, both of which contain good run-downs of how jihadist groups attract so much support among both the urban and rural populations of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and a clutch of other countries. People support them not, initially, out of some frenzied lust to see Israel and/or America wiped off the face of the planet, but because they're the only groups building schools and organising local infrastructures. They go along with it, they demonstrate in public and the jihadists have a fresh supply of ready and willing cannon fodder.
posted by Len at 7:08 AM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


The whole notion of a terrorist entity is that they target civilians. Hezbollah only started firing its rockets in this instance in response to the Israeli onslaught.

Oh please. Those missiles could have been used against the Israeli military at anytime, but Hezbollah's goal is to destroy Israel and kill Israelis. Why do you think they built up such a cache on the border? It wasnt to attack military installations but civillian targets. At the end of the day it was Israeli cities being hit, not Israeli forces. That speaks tonnes about what Hezbollah is about.
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 7:20 AM on August 9, 2006


How does that happen at the same time?

Well, Superchris, it happens because currently we prop up those governments and pay them huge sums of either money or give them defense. Instead, we flip that equation on its head and use it to our benefit by threatening to withdraw our support.

Here's what we do:

Egypt: our second largest receiver of funds. Cut them off unless they play ball. They WILL play ball rather than lose those billions. We can squeeze them to actually begin instituting real democratic reform. We hold the power in that money and diplomatically.

Saudi Arabia: This is a lot harder, because we've (by which I mean a core group of American government officials and industrialists over the decades) have sold too much of the US to the Saud family. But the bottom line is we defend them and allow them to ship off their jihadi malcontents to other nations. Including the US on 9/11. So in the name of national security we completely default on their investments here. We stop supporting them militarily and get off their soil completely. We make it clear that they actually have to become a democracy for us to deal with them (While making it clear we won't do anything to attack them militarily, which would stir up nationalism). We show the people of Saudi Arabia we are with them, not their monarchy.

Israel: The largest recipient of our largess. We make them change their treatment of Palestinians both in and to the side of their country. Or no more money. Nice and easy. At the same time, it shows the Islamic world at large that our actions are in sync with our grand words on equality and human rights.

That's how you drop support for current regimes but still force them to behave. It doesn't take military action.

Do you really think there are poor people in Saudi or Kuwait?

How much do you actually know about SA, delmoi? Saudi Arabia has a lot of poor and uneducated. Those are the ones the mullahs pull into their schools. Those are the ones who become the foot soldiers in islamic extremism. They have nothing to lose. Give them something to lose. Give them an alternate option to 'USA The Target'. The monarchy is just that. It can decide life or death and how laws are interpreted. It frequently does so for its own benefit. They even have a secret police force. We support that, and so we are seen as supporters of all that behavior though we talk 'Democracy' at the same time. They don't hate us for our freedom, they hate us because they can clearly see us as liars, hypocrites and, by proxy, murderers.

Kuwait doesn't have many poor. I didn't say they did. I just said stop supporting unethical monarchies in the Middle East and used Kuwait as an example. Or at least that's what I meant if I wasn't clear enough. They do in fact spread the wealth around a lot more than Saudi Arabia to keep their people relatively happy. But they can afford to with a much smaller population.

As for al Quaeda leadership, those are the guys we picked as allies back in the Soviet-Afghani war days. All of their soldiers, however, the ones actually willing to carry out ground ops, come from non-wealthy stock. On their own, they can't actually accomplish anything.

The only way to actually 'solve' the terrorism problem (which is not and should not be cast as a War of Cultures... that only makes things worse) is to work towards long-term solutions. The short-term 'War on XXX' tactics are enflaming the problem, and we keeps seeing the god-damn evidence of that and continuing with it anyway. Just like the god-damn War on Drugs. How many times do we have to go through the same cycle before we say fucking enough?
posted by the_savage_mind at 8:03 AM on August 9, 2006


Funny. Take away the particulars, the details in many arguments and the ‘blame’ and the solutions seem somewhat similar.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:19 AM on August 9, 2006


What a chump.

I bet he's convinced himself that Hezbollah won't come after him once they've achieved their stated goal of eliminating all the Jews.
posted by ph00dz at 1:21 PM on August 9, 2006


Why would they?
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:23 PM on August 9, 2006


Oh please. Those missiles could have been used against the Israeli military at anytime, but Hezbollah's goal is to destroy Israel and kill Israelis. Why do you think they built up such a cache on the border? It wasnt to attack military installations but civillian targets. At the end of the day it was Israeli cities being hit, not Israeli forces. That speaks tonnes about what Hezbollah is about.

They've killed a lot more Israeli military then they have Israeli civilians. They've also killed far less Israelis in general then the IDF has killed Lebanese civilians.
posted by delmoi at 3:07 PM on August 9, 2006


Do you really think there are poor people in Saudi or Kuwait America? The Saudis Americans have to import poor people from the Philippines Mexico and other countries just to do their manual labor. It's actually a pretty big problem for their economy.

Huh? If I say there are very few Mexicans in Japan, pointing out that there are Mexicans in the US does not disprove the point. If I say there are very few multimillionaires in Sera Leone, saying that there are lots of millionaires in The US does not disprove the point.

The Saudi and Kuwaiti government distribute oil wealth to their citizens very well, there's more then enough money to go around, and thus there are no poor Saudis or Kuwaitis. There are poor people in those countries, but they are temporary guest workers, many of whom are not even Muslim, much less going to madrassas.
posted by delmoi at 3:14 PM on August 9, 2006


Oh, come on, delmoi, you're surely not that stupid. My point was this: just because a country, whether it's America, Saudi Arabia or anywhere else, relies on cheap immigrant labour does not mean that there are no poor people in said country. That's a fallacious argument. I stay in the UK and there is plenty of cheap immigrant labour here, but the idea that their presence in this country indicates that there are no poor UK citizens is nonsense. I suppose all those people stuck in New Orleans last September were guarding their jewellery collections, rather than being too poor to get out of the path of Katrina?

And, more pertinent to this discussion, your assertion that the Saudi government "distribute[s] oil wealth to their citizens very well" is equally false. See here (scroll down to "Human Poverty In Saudi Arabia") for some statistics – Saudi ranks only 32nd among developing world countries in the Human Poverty Index, which hardly testifies to how great the nation with a full 25% of the world's proven oil reserves is at redistributing its oil wealth. And see this story from the LA Times:
Chronic joblessness, diminished incomes and difficulty in collecting enough money to marry and start families are all issues that can evoke anger — whether directed at the Saudi royal family, seen by many in the kingdom as spendthrift and corrupt, or at the millions of foreigners who hold high-paying jobs not available to young Saudi men.

"The problem in Saudi Arabia is that the middle class is shrinking," said Turki Hamad, a Saudi political scientist. "And the more poverty you have, the more fundamentalism you have."

...

"Actual poverty has been endemic in Saudi Arabia now for the last six or seven years. I think I would not be exaggerating if I said people under the line of poverty would be 20% or 30%," said Saad Fagih, head of the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, a London-based group critical of the Saudi government.

"If you go to the south or the very eastern part of Riyadh, or to at least seven or eight [districts] in Jidda, you would imagine yourself in the middle of the Congo," Fagih said. "Extremely poor, and people are living with crime, living with drugs, living with all types of social disintegration."
posted by Len at 4:27 PM on August 9, 2006


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