Open War, Open Thread

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So.

World War IV or just another pointless Middle East dust-up between Israel and her neighbors? Or something in between—a Falklands or even an Indian subcontinent-sized tussle?

The drone/missile attack on the Israeli ship is a surprising development. But it still seems the key tripwire remains direct Syrian involvement in a fight with Israel.

Should that happen, I'm not real certain where the next stopping point comes. Ideas?

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  1. Should that happen, I’m not real certain where the next stopping point comes. Ideas?

    It probably depends on how far Israel wants to take an offensive into Syria. How long could it sustain an offensive into that country? Could the Israelis overextend themselves and find themselves in a bad spot as the Greeks did after they penetrated too far into Anatolia?

  2. The forces that have escalated the constant tension and violence into a more tense, violent situation are not capable of bringing about peace. As disgusting as the prospect is, a full open war may be the only solution. Aint that what Osama’s workin for?

  3. Can we put the Romans in charge of that region again? Granted, they didn’t do much for the region, aside from roads, aqueducts, keeping the peace, and sanitation, but at least they united the factions against their common enemy: The Judean People’s Front.

  4. I wonder if we’re going to be dragged into this, and if so, then how far?

  5. “Should that happen, I’m not real certain where the next stopping point comes. Ideas?”

    The main thing I can see if there’s a large scale Israeli ground assault on Syria is that it will pretty much end the possibility of a major US military strike on Iran since the highly probable ensuing collapse of Assad’s government would likely lead the US to move forces into Syria to try to stablize the country.

  6. but at least they united the factions against their common enemy: The Judean People’s Front.

    Yeah, the only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People’s Front

  7. Iran and Syria could be trying to destabilize the government of Lebanon by getting Israel do their bidding. It would eliminate a key U.S. example of democracy and distract global attention away from Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

    I do wonder if Iran isn’t setting Syria up as a sacrificial lamb and if Syria is dumb enough to fall for it. Then again, anything is possible in the name of [insert appropriate god, prophet or profit here].

  8. There will be a heavy sustained dust storm for a few days, then there will be a break due to atmospheric pressure. This front will blow over by the end of next week.

  9. Iran gets involved, we get dragged in. (Not necessarily unwillingly on the part of the administration). We do airstrikes. Iran sinks a couple oil tankers in the gulf. Oil goes to $150. China announces that it will no longer be lending us money. The Dow sinks 5000 points before they close the NYSE. Bush asks for temporary emergency wartime powers etc.

  10. There will be a heavy sustained dust storm for a few days, then there will be a break due to atmospheric pressure

    Blffft! We don’t need you to know which way the wind blows. And we ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more, neither.

  11. Reg: All right… all right… but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order… what have the Romans done for us?

    Xerxes: Brought peace!

    Reg: What!? Oh… Peace, yes…. Shut up!

    One more reason the U.S. is not the new Rome.

  12. Aren’t we the Popular Front?

    Maybe we should get together with Turkey, the E.U., Russia, Israel, the Kurds, and India, and split up the crazier parts of the Middle East. The heck with all of this pussyfooting.

    Or not. I’m not sure what the smart answer is. Maybe stop worrying about it? It might be easier just to make nice with the oil producing countries outside of the Middle East and stop caring so much. For the people who have religious issues with the region, I just learned that Jesus was born in Birmingham, not Bethlehem. So we can start looking for his tomb and the True Cross in England.

  13. When does the fighting near Megido start?

  14. Violence erupts in the Mid East. People set on killing each other.

    In other news… Sun disappears beyond Western horizon, reappears next day in East.

  15. Where’s Tim? My butt is still safe.

  16. I don’t think the U.S. shouldn’t get involved because it isn’t our fight… but if I was Isreali I would be all for attacking Syria, Lebenon, or even Iran. The only reason the Jews in Israel haven’t been exterminated is because they can pretty much kick the ass of any of their neighbors.

    When your neighbors are pretty much 100% dedicated to the extermination of your people, and when the rest of the world is already aligned against you because it resonates with popular anti-semitism (or are we supposed to belive that Russia or France are upset with Israel because of human rights? Yeah, give me a break!), well there is absolutly nothing whatsoever to lose from playing hardball.

  17. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>I don’t think the U.S. shouldn’t get involved because it isn’t our fight… but if I was Isreali I would be all for attacking Syria, Lebenon, or even Iran. The only reason the Jews in Israel haven’t been exterminated is because they can pretty much kick the ass of any of their neighbors.

    Well stated!

  18. Anybody know how well current events fit with the End Times prophecies? I gotta know if it’s time to start draining the wine cellar.

  19. We should wash our hands of the Israeli military aggression and cut off our tax dollars to them. Bush is obedient dog of the Israeli government so he won’t, but he should, call for a cease-fire, especially since this war is being prosecuted with our money. Also, if we make it clear that the introduction of US troops into this mess is unacceptable to us, perhaps we can forestall yet more needless US deaths in service to the Israeli government.

    We should contact congress:

    http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

  20. I don’t think the U.S. shouldn’t get involved because it isn’t our fight…

    This is a typo. I meant to say: I don’t thing the U.S. should get involved.

  21. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>We should wash our hands of the Israeli military aggression and cut off our tax dollars to them. Bush is obedient dog of the Israeli government….

    Judenhass types so hate it when Jews fight back!

  22. “The dog is vicious; when attacked, he defends himself.”

    Seriously whatever your views about this, anyone who picks a bar fight with Mike Tyson should not wonder why he got the snot beaten out of him. Nice to know that Rick is to the right of the Saudis on this one.

  23. Brian’s scenario seems plausible.

  24. Anybody know how well current events fit with the End Times prophecies?

    I was thinking about this and wondering if I should call my mother (AKA Church Lady) and ask her what should thought. Then I realized that even if she said “Yes, the world will be ending exactly seven months, seven days and seven hours from right now” the next thing she would tell me is that the smoking, drinking and drugs are going to kill me and I need to think of my kids. This would be said with no clue of the irony involved.

  25. Amazing. Again, another Justin Raimondo Mideast prediction comes to fruition! Writing over at antiwar.com, both the most frequented libertarian site and anti-war site extant, Justin Raimondo envisioned this Israeli escalation scenario two months ago. Check out his current column:

    Israel Crosses the Line
    And you read it here first

    http://antiwar.com/justin/

  26. I don’t think the U.S. shouldn’t get involved because it isn’t our fight…

    “This is a typo. I meant to say: I don’t thing the U.S. should get involved.” (Emphasis added)

    You’re 0 for 2, Rex.

  27. To continue Brian’s theme….executing a hoax to garner sympathy from the Galactic Senate, Chancellor Palpatine coordinates his own kidnapping. Unaware of the hoax, two brave Jedi knights, determined to rescue the Senator from the evil General Grevious……………

  28. Judenhass types so hate it when Jews fight back!

    No. It’s a case of; libertarian types hate it when governments make war with our money. The Israeli government is easily the worst offender by this count.

  29. Rex. I’m a publisher. I need good proof readers. I could use a guy with you scills.

  30. Hey Rex,

    Don’t feel bad. I get into cluster typos myself sometimes. Your point is good anyway.

  31. or are we supposed to belive that Russia or France are upset with Israel because of human rights? Yeah, give me a break!

    So quick question for Rex. When France sided with Israel vs. Egypt in ’56 what was the reasoning behind that? They’re willing to overlook their anti-Semitism to take the Suez? Or there’s a 50 year delay in anti-Semitism?

  32. This is perfect. Isreal can openly destroy Iran’s nucluer capabilities without us having to lift a finger. Makes me think we kidnapped the two soldiers.

  33. Rick Barton,

    Exactly who is making war on whom?

    It seems to me that Hizbelloh made war on Israel by abducting Israeli soldiers (who were stationed in Israel) without provocation. In a small country with compulsory military service, this is a much bigger deal than it would be elsewhere.

    I know you recall that Israel unilaterally withdrew from Southern Lebanon six years ago. The actions of Hizbollah are a clear case of unprovoked aggression.

    Will you condemn Hizbollah? Or is all your contempt reservered for Israel?

  34. can we just turn the whole fucking mess into glass or give israel berlin?

  35. We should wash our hands of the Israeli military aggression and cut off our tax dollars to them.

    It is the fear of making Americans upset losing those American tax dollars that has kept Israel so calm for so long. American tax dollars are the last thing keeping Israel from doing some serious damange.

    Now, as a libertarian, I agree with you about cutting our tax money off from Israel or any other country… but the only sensible thing for Israel to do if we cut off our tax dollars to Israel is to launch a devistating attack against its neighbors while it still has the advantage.

  36. My only prediction is that we’ll soon learn from Thomas Friedman that next six months will be the really crucial ones in the Middle-East. 🙂

  37. Don’t listen to ricky retardo…he’s a hoser.

  38. So quick question for Rex. When France sided with Israel vs. Egypt in ’56 what was the reasoning behind that? They’re willing to overlook their anti-Semitism to take the Suez? Or there’s a 50 year delay in anti-Semitism?

    The French are not ideologically anti-jewish. They where not going to lose control of the Suez because of some petty bigotry. Like most countries, their leaders are amoral and self-interested, and don’t hate Jews any more than they hate anyone else.

    But if you are talking about scoring a few cheap points with the electorate, dissing Israel is a good bet in Europe. It is kind of like Republicans proposing an anti-gay-marrage amendment that they know has no chance in hell to pass… it is a token act that will score a lot of points with the anti-gay crowd.

    Likewise, the French people aren’t going to make any sacrifices or any great effort to harm Israel or Jews – but a token statement condeming Israel plays well with a lot of French people (and Europeans in general). Condeming Israel (for any reason) just “feels right” to many Europeans.

  39. When France sided with Israel vs. Egypt in ’56 what was the reasoning behind that?

    The same reasoning behind their current postions: money. In ’56, France was the chief supplier of arms to Israel. These days, they aren’t and their economic interests are on the other side.

  40. Any what who…if my stupid neighbors start slinging rockets at my house me and the wife are going of there and fudge them up real good. Get the picture… no damn diplomacy untill they are laying out on the ground.

  41. >>>>>>>>>>>>No. It’s a case of; libertarian types hate it when governments make war with our money. The Israeli government is easily the worst offender by this count.

    Which is why you claimed the Jewish state was the aggressor because of their response to a vicious and aggressive provocation, done by a terrorist group which murdered 242 of our Marines in Beruit back in 1982, eh?

    It’s only because Israel takes some of our paper. That’s why you’re so angry. Yeah…right.

  42. I don’t think the Saudi’s are very comfortable with Iran’s aggression. Oil prices get too high we find other sources of energy.

  43. This had me laffin so hard I spilled my drink…….

    It seems to me that Hizbelloh made war on Israel by abducting Israeli soldiers (who were stationed in Israel) without provocation. …. ”

    seems to me, Israel, like the US, is very poorly “led”.
    “Leaders” there , like here, are rather murderous crackpots.
    Im thinkin these Muslims dont view political boundaries as definitive, rather they see cultural boundaries.
    Too friggin often, we become what we fight against. Israel came to being as a bullet backed option to a murderous strain of bigotry. The farther elements of Zionist thought see a ….id say “race based”, but most all parties are Semitic, arent they?_ “Greater Isreal”. a militarized State based on religeon. Dont believe in the same cloud dwelling nasty thug, well, out of here, mate.
    As long as Ive been watching this, 30 odd years, every move by Israel has been to offer Palestinians (i know, i know, they dont exist…..but there they are anyway) one option: leave.
    Post Nixon, theyve been able to back thier offer up with unlimited US arms & $.
    I think theyve shot & bought themselves into a very deep hole.
    And I think thier crackpot “friends” in the US are extremely grateful, as it pushes forward thier nitwit “crapture” (Ive been doing some study. It seems, that, like the umpty virgins you are supposed to get if you die as a martyr- theres a school of thought its not “virgins” but white raisins-a mistranslation. rather than ascend into Heaven in a “rapture”, True Christians actually turn into feces.) (They dont believe that gibberish for any kind of profit, do they?) Leaving US- meaning you
    & me- to clean up thier mess. Again.

  44. There’s a part of me that desires for all out war. I mean let’s pick sides and throw down. World War IV. I mean can we take another gizillion years of “instability”? Let’s shed some blood secularists vs. religious nut bags (or holy war who cares?). Were already unpopular with the rest of the world. Let’s give those U.N. folks something real to cry about.

  45. Ideas?
    Um…how about more insensitive political/religious satire?
    Islam has a sense of humor. Doesn’t it?

  46. US wants Israeli war with Syria because of the WMDs supposedly shipped from Iraq to Syria right before the US invasion in 03. If that tranfers was true, perhaps they will be used against the Israelis, thereby justifying Bush and getting Israeli public opinion fully behind the war. If the WMDs were used agaist US troops public opinion in the US would force the troops home.

    Iran wants this war because they figure the US will eventually leave the region and they will expand into both Iraq and Syria.

    Russia wants this war because it makes their oil more valuable, and their islamic nuts are heading south to fight the jews and the US.

    Most of Europe wants this war because they are annoyed with Israel, the US, and muslims in general.

    Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the little gulf states do not want this war. Lebanon does not want this war. I don’t think China wants this war.

  47. “done by a terrorist group which murdered 242 of our Marines in Beruit back in 1982, eh?”

    Why does anyone think this counts for anything anymore? We have full diplomatic relations with the Communist Vietnamese who I seem to recall killing approximately 57,000 Americans up through 1975. Does the statute of limitations on stupidity not run out until after 30 years?

  48. Personally, I’ve always been two minds of the subject of the Middle East:

    On one hand, I largely agree that the Palestinians have been getting the shit end of the stick since the West let the Israelis march in and proclaim that Palestine as “theirs.” Furthermore, a large portion of our own terrorism trouble has to with the fact we’ve been giving arms and money to the the Israelis so they can keep their precious… ahem… “homeland.”

    As much as I can appreciate the historical plight of the Jewish people, they lost that land 2000 years ago when they were tossed out by the Romans. Sorry, finders keepers. Undeservedly being Western civilization’s scapegoat didn’t give them the right to take what doesn’t belong to them, I don’t care if Israel is the “only democracy in the region.” And spare me the “promised land” bullshit. As an atheist, Torah bedtime stories starring Abraham and Moses mean jack shit to me. You’re going to come up with better reasons for grinding Palestinian civilians under the treads of Merkeva tanks.

    (Also, to all those Christian Zionists out there in the Left Behind crowd who think we need continue this bloody nonsense to bring the Rapture about, fuck off you backwoods retards. Even if JEEZ-us was coming back–that’s assuming he ever existed in the first place–he isn’t worth a gorram war.)

    On the other hand, Palestinian suicide bombings and targeting civilians crosses the line. I admit that Hezbollah are a bunch of slime balls and that the late Yasser Arafat was about as deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize as Stalin. It’s one thing to fight a government and its army for your freedom. It’s quite another to drag innocents into the fight.

    There are no easy answers for this crap. That’s why I don’t back either horse in this race.

  49. Will you condemn Hizbollah? Or is all your contempt reservered for Israel?

    I also condemn any initiation of force by Hizbollah, but they don’t get billons of our tax dollars as the Israeli government does.

  50. Our enemies are emboldened through our inability to subdue them. They are like rust, wearing us out. Clerics and warlords shepparding nescient sheep toward the eternal goal of destroying and removing Israel from their holy soil. They have withstood our onslaught, set the world political stage, acquired great wealth and warring material, determined the time is right and embarked on this objective. They need only to withstand Israel?s harshest response then what is left for them to fear?

  51. For a nice view from Beirut on this issue, go to

    http://3quarksdaily.blogs.com/3quarksdaily/

    No good guys in this fight. Israel is a predictible chump that does exactly the wrong thing when provoked. Every time.

  52. Which is why you claimed the Jewish state was the aggressor because of their response to a vicious and aggressive provocation…

    The Israeli government has used this as a pretext to launch an invasion and start a war, with Iran and Syria as the real targets. There is strong evidence that this was in the planning for a long tome. (See: http://antiwar.com/justin/ link from up thread comment)

    …done by a terrorist group…

    Terrorism is the victimization of innocent civilians via violence. The Israeli government is one of the worst terrorist groups in the region. The Palestinians continue to be their chief victims. The Israeli government also victimizes the Palestinians with persecution that may not be ascribed with the T lable, but is persecution none the less. Many of the thug Arab regimes in the region also have much blood of innocents on there hands. The Authoritarian Egyptian and Jordanian regimes also shamefully receive or tax money. This is a bribe to paid to these torturing thugs on behalf of the Israeli government for making peace.

    …which murdered 242 of our Marines in Beruit back in 1982,

    It was disrespectful of our government, and tragic, to put those Marines in harms way when it wasn’t at all necessary for our national security-rather like the Iraq war, whose chief motivators had the interest of the Israeli state in mind.

  53. Why do all those American tax dollars go to Israel? Hey, maybe it’s because a vast majority of Americans support Israel, and their representatives are doing what us constituents want. Or maybe, just maybe, those clever Jews have somehow tricked us into giving them money. I’ll bet I know where Rick Barton comes down on this. It’s Protocols time!

  54. Let’s demand that our tax money and our military leave the region. What more evidence must we see to heed the wise counsel of the founders of our republic, and avoid these entangling alliances?

  55. Bob,

    Sure, when you don’t have any real arguments, just insinuate racism. But I don’t think that that tactic is gonna get much traction around here.

    Also, of course political majorities don’t necessarily validate government policy and action.

  56. Son of PL:

    Megiddo – Mount Megiddo (Har-megiddo in Hebrew) – Armageddon.

    And no, I didn’t know that before this thread. The Internet is my friend.

  57. Rick Barton

    Who would bother using arguments against an obvious anti-Semite who spouts slogans and propaganda? Give me some analysis, and I’ll give you an argument.

  58. Frankly, the whole lot of them suck: the Romans, the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea.

  59. Bob,

    That kinda cop-out doesn’t cut it. It’s my conjecture that you aren’t dealing with the issues cuz you can’t.

  60. Frankly, the whole lot of them suck: the Romans, the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea.

    Nice!

  61. Here are some positive steps:

    1) No more $ for the Israeli government.

    2) No more $ for kleptocrats in the Palestinian Authority.

    3) Since a lot of innocent people are caught in a violent mess that our government helped create, any Israeli, Palestinian, or Lebanese who wants to get the hell out gets a guaranteed green card after passing a background check. Historically, immigrants from all of the ethnic groups involved have (for the most part) done fairly well in this country. Add in the fact that immigrants are disproportionately likely to start their own businesses (and hence create jobs), and this could be a great thing for the US.

    It won’t fix everything, but it will help.

  62. Anybody else feel like we’re being led around by our collective noses?

  63. BRIAN:
    Popcorn, Red Hots, Cheeseburgers!
    REG:
    Got any nuts?
    BRIAN:
    I haven’t got any nuts. Sorry. I’ve got nachos, chocolate bars
    REG:
    No, no, no.
    BRIAN:
    Red Hots?
    REG:
    I don’t want any of that Yankee rubbish.
    JUDITH:
    Why don’t you sell proper food?
    BRIAN:
    Proper food?
    REG:
    Yeah, not those rich imperialist tit-bits.
    BRIAN:
    Well, don’t blame me. I didn’t ask to sell this stuff.
    REG:
    All right. Bag of popcorn, then.
    FRANCIS:
    Make it two.
    REG:
    Two.
    FRANCIS:
    Thanks, Reg.
    BRIAN:
    Are you the Judean People’s Front?
    REG:
    Fuck off!

  64. thoreau PhD,

    Excellent! thoreau for President! Lets put a libertarian physicist in the White House!

  65. Shem:

    Anybody else feel like we’re being led around by our collective noses?

    Yep.

  66. What have the Americans ever done for us?

  67. As a Jew, I have no idea what’s going on and I propose that we wait this out until Israel wins the war. I don’t know how big this is going to be, but Israel will most likely win.

  68. I also condemn any initiation of force by Hizbollah, but they don’t get billons of our tax dollars as the Israeli government does.

    Boy, speaking of copouts.

    No, Palestine does not get any money from us. But they get money from everyone else – especially the UN. What does the fact that one side gets money from us, have ANYTHING to do with choosing a side?

    If we withdrew every dollar, the rest of the middle eastern nations would take over Israel, and slaughter millions of Jews. Anyone who doesn’t see that is sticking his head in the sand.

    TV (Harry)

  69. I demand that we immediately deploy Michael Bay and a battalion of his best second-unit directors.

    ‘cuz this is gonna get blowed up real good.

  70. When I hear a lot of people talk about what we should do in regards to Iran, sometimes I wonder if they’re not putting the cart before the horse.

    Would Iran flaunt its nuclear program so if we weren’t in Iraq? …I imagine the United States involved in a no win situation like the Lebanon/Israel conflict–how the hell would we exit something like that? Could Iran do something to Iraq like Hezbollah is doing to Lebanon? If so, then who’s the tail and who’s the dog? It seems to me that Iran has a sword dangling over our heads. …and we have threats and fist shaking.

    One of the few things the UN is good for is as an exit strategy. I’m not keen on any war unless it’s in self-defense, but going into an elective war without an exit strategy is just plain stupid. …and no, I don’t think waiting for democracy to miraculously spring forth full bodied from the ground constitutes an exit strategy.

    Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, anyone who thinks we should do something about Hezbollah needs to account for what that’ll do to our chances of getting out of Iraq. …and how we’re gonna get out of wherever going after Hezbollah takes us. …either that or show that going after Hezbollah would be a war of self-defense.

    It’s my understading that elements of what became Hezbollah murdered 241 Americans in 1983. Since then, has Hezbollah targeted the United States or American citizens directly? …Does anyone know?

  71. We should wash our hands of the Israeli military aggression and cut off our tax dollars to them.

    I usually don’t say much about Israel, but basically, my opinion is that I support the state of Israel to whatever extent it’s in the best interest of the United States to do so. …I feel the same way about Peru, Denmark, South Korea and Swaziland too.

    I think it’s time somebody made it really clear again–why supporting the state of Israel is in the best interest of the United States. …because if it isn’t in the best interest of the United States to support Peru or Denmark or South Korea or Swaziland or Israel, then we shouldn’t do it anymore.

    Some of you know that I don’t think much of anyone who uses military force to specifically target civilians, but I can see how it might be in our best interest to support somebody who’s willing to go after terrorist organizations that might be tough or complicated or costly for us to reach otherwise.

  72. Akira MacKenzie wrote: “As much as I can appreciate the historical plight of the Jewish people, they lost that land 2,000 years ago when they were tossed out by the Romans. Sorry, finders keepers.”

    As much as I can appreciate the historical plight of the Palestinian people, they lost that land 58 years ago when they were tossed out by the Jews. Sorry, finders keepers.

  73. Inspector Callahan,

    First off. Palestine and Hizbollah are separate entities. BYW, Hizbollah is not at all popular in Palestine. It doesn’t amount to much but the Palestinian Authority does get our tax dollars.

    What does the fact that one side gets money from us, have ANYTHING to do with choosing a side?

    We are, of course, being forced to support which side gets our tax money. This is unfair.

    If we withdrew every dollar, the rest of the middle eastern nations would take over Israel, and slaughter millions of Jews.

    There is just no evidence for that. Israel is an affluent, industrialized nation that can take care of itself. The money our government gives the Israeli government just makes it politically easier in Israel to maintain a savage occupation of Palestine. One of the upshots of the occupation is that it endangers the Israeli people.

  74. Would Iran flaunt its nuclear program so if we weren’t in Iraq?

    Of course they would.

  75. Should that happen, I’m not real certain where the next stopping point comes. Ideas?

    an american flag flying over Mecca. Of course one could say that it was inevitable anyways…

  76. You want open thread?!?!? We will go to open thread!!!

  77. Rick Barton:

    Is the following a fair summary of your position?

    The Palestinians bear no resposibility for their own plight; they are entirely the victims of vicious Israeli aggression. Palestinian suffering has no equal anywhere in the world. Israel is the most brutal occupier in the world today. Repressive Arab regimes are propped up by the Israel-controlled U.S.government only in return for making peace with Israel. Nothing really, really bad ever happens in the world that Mossad isn’t behind. If it weren’t for Israel, 9/11 would never have happened, and we wouldn’t be in Iraq. Radical Islamists hate us only because of our support for Israel. So much of our tax money goes to Israel because Israel has a disproportionate influence on the American government. If Israel ceased to exist as a Jewish state, Jews currently living there could live in peace and security with an Arab majority.
    As long as you always say Israel and never use the term “Jewish” when describing the extraordinary evil that Israel represents in the world, none of these views can be construed as anti-Semitic. In any case Israel is the most raicst country on earth. Have I got the line down, Rick?

  78. -I repeat myself-

    I may be suffering from compassion fatigue. I am beginning to think this situation is what the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive self interest is all about [if it’s about anything, it should be about stuff like this]. We should go down to the armament basement, dust off the neutron bombs, load them into B-2s, and drop them on Israel and the surrounding territories. We’ll say, for starters, a thirty mile radius of Jerusalem. Repeat as necessary.

    I shall now don my tin chapeau and await the Godwin Ordnance and other varieties of abuse.

    ——–

    If Jews in Bolivia, or Iceland, or Ulan Bator were treated the way Palestinian Israeli citizens are treated in Israel, we would be hearing cries for military intervention from all corners of the globe. Anybody who says that this “kidnap” raid came, unprovoked, out of the clear blue sky needs to spend a little more time keeping up with the news of the world.

    I have no strong feelings either way about the continued existence of Israel, at this point. It might be a lot cheaper and easier for us if Israel ceased to exist. Same for “Palestine.”

  79. Akira said:
    “On one hand, I largely agree that the Palestinians have been getting the shit end of the stick since the West let the Israelis march in and proclaim that Palestine as “theirs.” ”

    There are some very interesting details about how the Israelis purchased their land in Palestine at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Arabs_in_Palestine.html

    Here’s an example:

    The Jews were paying exorbitant prices to wealthy landowners for small tracts of arid land. “In 1944, Jews paid between $1,000 and $1,100 per acre in Palestine, mostly for arid or semiarid land; in the same year, rich black soil in Iowa was selling for about $110 per acre.”

    Note the year.

  80. P Brooks-

    Do you always exaggerate on just on this topic? Israeli Palestinian citizens are certainly subject to discrimination, but they attend universities and elect members to the Israeli parliament. They’re hardly receiving the sort of treatment that would call for military intervention. Maybe you’re confusing them with Palestinians in the occupied territories.

  81. Exaggerate? Me?

  82. Seems to me this is just what the Bush Administration ordered. Their M.E. doctrine is failing. Polling numbers are abysmal. What to do? What to do?

    Hey! If we get our buddies in Israel to provoke a major war in the region we can jump in and finish the job. Take over Iran. Take over Syria. Button up the whole region.

    We control the oil. Israel controls the region. Win/win.

  83. The same reasoning behind their current postions: money. In ’56, France was the chief supplier of arms to Israel. These days, they aren’t and their economic interests are on the other side.

    That was precisely my point. Economic self-interest rather than racist nose-thumbing is the reason behind their position.

    In fact, I don’t think it’s in American interests for a war between Syria, Iran and Israel to break out. A global depression from a huge jump in oil prices will cause signficant damage and further reduce stability. I know realism is often scorned, but many times it’s the best of many bad choices.

  84. “Terrorism is the victimization of innocent civilians via violence.”

    While certainly deplorable behavior, this is no definition of terrorism I’ve ever heard. Terrorism is the victimization of civilians in order to cause widespread terror among them, hence the name. Israel is not a terrorist state because its violence is aimed (however haphazardly) at targets of military or strategic importance, rather than weddings and random buses. Much as I deplore some Israeli policies, it is clear Israel does not remotely deserve the label of terrorism.

  85. >>>>>>>>>>>>Who would bother using arguments against an obvious anti-Semite who spouts slogans and propaganda? Give me some analysis, and I’ll give you an argument. <<br />
    I sympathize with your sentiments. I did feel I had to say something. I have my own ideas on why so many Libertarians loathe the Jewish state. I said them earlier and I got quite a response.

  86. Rex Rhino,

    If you were indeed correct then Le Pen should have won the 2002 French Presidential election. If you actually paid attention to French politics you’d realize that the anti-semites in France lose the elections there. *groan*

    Mo,

    Irrational France bashing is a hobby for some people.

  87. I found a song which should be dedicated to Rick Barton. The hilariously funny ‘People’s Cube’ dedicated it to that evil Kos writer who speaks for many Libertarians.

    Imagine there’s no Israel

    Imagine there’s no Israel (inspired by the Progressive Daily Koz)

    by John Lennon and Laika the space dog

    Imagine there’s no Israel

    It’s easy if you try
    No Jews around us
    Why can’t they all just die
    Imagine all the Hebrews
    Pushed into the sea…

    Imagine there’s no America

    It isn’t hard to do
    No right-wing freedoms
    And no Bushies too
    Imagine all the hippies
    Living life in dhimmi…

    CHORUS:

    You may say I’m a schemer
    But I’m for progress of mankind
    Life could be so much simpler
    If some people would just die

    Imagine no possesions

    Communism can….
    Nobody has to be workin’
    In a big collective of man
    We’ll satisfy our needs
    By stealing all the wealth…

    CHORUS:

    You may say I’m a schemer
    But I’m for progress of mankind
    Life could be so much simpler
    If some people would just die

  88. If Jews in Bolivia, or Iceland, or Ulan Bator were treated the way Palestinian Israeli citizens are treated in Israel, we would be hearing cries for military intervention from all corners of the globe.

    Since Palestinians are not Israeli citizens, I suppose you really mean “Israeli Arabs.” You know, the ones who have full civil rights, exemption from military service, and serve in the Knesset.

  89. Phil Lip,

    You know, I think you’re right. After all, didn’t that Jean Bart fellow have a Jewish wife? 😉

  90. Wait, so how did this war start? Was it a few soldiers being kidnapped in a period of a few weeks? Were the rocket attacks before or after the invasion and bombing?

  91. Since Palestinians are not Israeli citizens, I suppose you really mean “Israeli Arabs.” You know, the ones who have full civil rights, exemption from military service, and serve in the Knesset.

    This whole arab palestinian thing is a fraud. It’s an advertising device cooked up to smear the Jews as aggressors

    In light of this, the egyptian born pederast, Yasser Arafat, is a perfect symbol of the arab Palestinians: phony, perverted and absolutely evil.

  92. If Jews in Bolivia, or Iceland, or Ulan Bator were treated the way Palestinian Israeli citizens are treated in Israel, we would be hearing cries for military intervention from all corners of the globe. Anybody who says that this “kidnap” raid came, unprovoked, out of the clear blue sky needs to spend a little more time keeping up with the news of the world.

    The Israelis of Arab origin, constituting 10% of the population, are treated no worse than, say, North Africans in France. Probably better, because, since their labor is needed so much, there is less discrimination.

  93. Akira MacKenzie wrote: “As much as I can appreciate the historical plight of the Jewish people, they lost that land 2,000 years ago when they were tossed out by the Romans. Sorry, finders keepers.”

    As much as I can appreciate the historical plight of the Palestinian people, they lost that land 58 years ago when they were tossed out by the Jews. Sorry, finders keepers.

    Comment by: D.E. Cloutier at July 15, 2006 11:58 PM

    That is a fair point, Mr. Cloutier. I guess I would say that a property deed from 58 years ago might carry at least a little more weight than a property deed from 2000+ years ago.

    More importantly, finders should be responsible for doing their own keeping. There’s no reason why we should be paying for some other keeper to defend what they found. Israel is, at this point, a developed country with an advanced military. They should be responsible for their own defense. If their economy isn’t quite up to the task of maintaining their defense, then they should implement more market-based reforms so that they can reap the benefits of greater prosperity. They shouldn’t ask us to pick up the slack created by their economic policies.

    We, in turn, should do them the favor of not sending another cent to the kleptocrats in the Palestinian Authority.

    And since we bear at least some measure of responsibility for the mess in Israel, the Palestinian areas, and Lebanon, we should offer green cards to anybody from those areas who passes a background check. Given that immigrants from all of the relevant groups have (for the most part) done pretty well for themselves in the US, I figure that this would be a net boon to us. Immigrants, especially immigrants from the more successful groups, are disproportionately likely to start their own businesses, creating jobs and prosperity.

    Really, what’s not to love in my proposal?

  94. About Rick Barton and anti-semitism:

    I freely grant that the policies of the Israeli government, and our government’s support of those policies, is one of Rick Barton’s pet political issues. I freely admit that Rick Barton is an extremely harsh critic of the Israeli government, and the way that the Israeli government treats Palestinians.

    I freely admit that Rick Barton is an extremely harsh critic of political organizations that lobby the US government on behalf of the Israeli government. (Note that some of those organizations receive considerable support from evangelical Christians, people who could never, ever, ever be mistaken for Jews.)

    However, Rick Barton has always restricted his criticisms to certain governments, their policies, and organized lobbying groups. He has never engaged in any guilt by association. He has always drawn a distinction between Jews in general and the specific people who actively and voluntarily support certain policies and join certain lobbying groups.

    What if, for the sake of argument, I were to criticize our government’s relationship with the House of Saud? What if I were to suggest that the House of Saud enjoys undue influence in Washington, and engages in unsavory practices? Would anybody think that I simply hate Arabs and Muslims? Or would people recognize that I am criticizing a government, the policies of that government, and the organizations that lobby the US government on behalf of that foreign government?

  95. Rick Barton has also been critical of US aid to the Palestinian Authority and the governments of Egypt and Jordan. And I assume that Rick Barton is also critical of the House of Saud and our government’s cozy relationship with them.

    Conclusion: Rick Barton is not a bigot. He may have a much harsher opinion of certain governments than other people on this forum might have, but he is not a bigot.

  96. If we can put aside our hatreds of this and that group, nation etc we might see what has been apparent to some political observers, most recently
    Gary Hart: our invasion of Iraq was ill advised and it gave Iran the position of top dog. Previously, with that fascist evil Saddam in charge of Iraq, there had been a countervailing force in the region. There no lon ger is one. Syria is a minor player alongside Iran, and not by chance Iran president noted that an attack on Syria would beget war from all the Muslim nations. Well, not exactly so.
    There is Egypt and Jordan as moderates, and Syria seems most reluctant to be drawn in. It is IRAN that is trying to control the fertile crescent and impost Islamic law and rule. We can cut all aid to Israel, or help them, but in either case, we have to deal with a growing force in the region: Iran. We helped them gain this status and stature, and now we must in some way change this situation and of course without going to war, if possible. Why? Ask the next time you fill your gas tank.

  97. Rather than import the Israelians, Palestinites and Lebanonians, we should arrange for them all to go to Mexico. We get tons of Mexican immigrants. They can take these. Put them on the Baja Peninsula until it fills up. Lots of unocupied land there.

  98. Thoreau – “What if I were to suggest that the House of Saud enjoys undue influence in Washington, and engages in unsavory practices? Would anybody think that I simply hate Arabs and Muslims?”

    Actually, yes. Not myself, but there are those that would believe your position stemmed from Arabaphobia.

  99. Thoreau:

    Rick Barton believes Israel masterminded 9/11 and that Bin Laden is an American asset. That goes beyond harsh criticism into the area of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Ever heard of ZOG? I’ll bet Rick Barton has. If he isn’t a bigot,he does a very good imitation of one.

  100. Regarding the notion that Israel should be left to defend herself absent US aid of any sort, I submit that we haven’t seen an Israel that truly feared for its own existence in a long time. With Iran and Syria supplying the extremist elements, a completely isolated Israel would quite understandably take the gloves off. Payments to Israel have historically been to keep them out of a mode of thinking that they are truly at risk of losing it all because we don’t really want them to fight as hard as they can.

    I’m all for the idea of each state defending itself, but you really have to wonder what that would look like.

  101. “The past week’s events in the Middle East have a disturbing feel of July 1914 about them.” – Spengler

  102. Jason-

    That’s a fair point. Several years ago I told a friend of mine that we should withdraw aid to Israel. I was prepared for him to say that it would be awful for Israel. He surprised me by saying that it would just make our image problem even worse, because Israel would take the gloves off and we would be blamed for not holding them back.

    I still lean strongly toward the course of action that I proposed, but I admit that I’m not 100% on it.

  103. Another question:

    Suppose I said that, while I’m all in favor of the Kurds doing whatever they want, if they want a fully independent state (which would be more likely to incite a regional war than the quasi-independent region they govern) then they should take full responsibility for their own security?

    Would anybody accuse me of harboring ethnic prejudice against Kurds?

  104. “Rick Barton believes Israel masterminded 9/11 and that Bin Laden is an American asset. That goes beyond harsh criticism into the area of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Ever heard of ZOG? I’ll bet Rick Barton has. If he isn’t a bigot,he does a very good imitation of one.

    Comment by: Joe at July 16, 2006 10:38 AM”

    Fakt?

    Hey Joe – whyn’t yooo and Steven go screw the same onion.

    You’re just like those pc types back in college who threw out “racist” whenever they couldn’t deal.

    Here are some steps for you
    1) actually read what Rick says
    2) actually understand the issues and not just be a keyboard tough guy
    3) make a call to the aforementioned onion.

    Rick criticizes the israeli governemnt. He is not speaking about Judaism at all. He’s talking about a political entity, not a cultural or religious one.

    Being against the political actions of a government is not being against the culture. Or do you actually hate america when you criticize GW Bush?

    Being pro Labour and its work until the mid 90s under Y. Rabin (RIP – a great man who will be missed) and being totally against his successor Ben Netanyahu, a Likud hardliner, is an example of this, no? But in your color-by-numbers world, you have to blindly be in favor of both, right? That is fucking stoopid.

    But then again, Joe (if that is indeed your real name), since you’re obviously reading his mind, I guess you knew that.

    Remember – first deal with your own prejudicisms. Then reread what Rick has written. Then you can feel free to apologize… Or aren’t you quite tough enough for that?

  105. In regards to Mr. Barton, if I understand his position correctly, he seems concerned that we launched the Iraq War in pursuit of Israeli interests and counter to the interests of the United States. …given what little good the Iraq War seems to have done the United States, particularly in regards to the War on Terror, I think there’s a legitimate argument to be made for that. Now that isn’t my argument, but I don’t see anything inherently anti-Semitic about the argument itself. The war wasn’t in out best interest–acknowledge that and it’s only natural to speculate about why we went then.

    But the Iraq War was one thing; Israel doing its level best to decimate Hezbollah and Hamas is another thing entirely. …and along the lines of my comment on July 15 at 11:35 PM, I’d be interested in whether Mr. Barton recognizes that. …that although the interests of the US and Israel may not have coincided in the Iraq War, they may coincide exactly in these cases.

    Indeed, if the War on Terror means that Hamas and Hezbollah have to go, might it not be better for the United States if Israel did all the heavy lifting? Might it not be better if this means the United States doesn’t get involved directly in yet another nasty elective war?

  106. Thoreau:

    If you claimed that Kurds (through their state, of course) were involved in various farfetched conspiracies to advance their evil aims in the world, A Kurd migh be forgiven for regarding you as an anti-Kurdish racist. Why is it always the Jews who play the leading role in such racist fantasies?

  107. Our defense budget is approximately $440b. The $10b we give to Israel (much of it returned buying our stuff) buys us a footprint in the region and a formidable military/intelligence gathering force with like objectives. We defend ourselves outside our borders so we can lesson the consequences to our citizens unlike Haifa.

    It allows the freedom to pontificate and jabber here and in coffee shops while the few, the proud, do the tough work.

    This ain’t your grandma’s earth. And NO, “we can’t just get along”

  108. That’s the problem with summertime, nothing but reruns.

  109. Dr T,
    I’m on board with your plan.

  110. Interesting piece by Fisk. The MidEast has been his beat for 30 years. His reporting causes mass hysteria among the crackpot right & the Crapture nitwits.
    Ive been readin his stuff- ten years, anyway. Rarely is he off the mark, I would recommend you look him up, read his past work & see who is more accurate: the US MSM & nutbars, or Robert….
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14006.htm

  111. I think I am more optimistic about Dr T’s plan that he is.

    Side benefit: Lots of hot new Arab and Jewish chicks on the market.

  112. crimethink,

    You know, maybe a guy named Jean Bart still does.

  113. I think alot of these problems in the middle east would be solved if everyone over there had air conditioning (average high in Baghdad from beginning of May to end of October=102 ).

    I’d go apeshit too if I lived there.

  114. By “there” I mean the entire fucking middle east.

  115. The weather in Jordan isn’t bad. It is like Spain, or CA

  116. The weather in LA’s been hot as hell lately–and I’m by the beach. So are you in Jordan now kwais? …If I can ask.

  117. Bob:

    Rick Barton:

    Is the following a fair summary of your position?

    The Palestinians bear no resposibility for their own plight; they are entirely the victims of vicious Israeli aggression.

    Entirely?? The Palestinian people’s current plight is mostly due to the Israeli government’s brutal occupation of their land. It started with a particularly murderous ethnic cleansing of 750,000 of them upon the founding of the Israeli state.

    The leaders of the Palestinian people who have been in power have often been ineffectual or corrupt or in cahoots with the Israeli government or all three. (see: How Israel Lost: The Four Questions by Richard Ben Cramer)
    How much of the plight of the victims of the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe do you think that the Eastern Europeans themselves were responsible for?

    Palestinian suffering has no equal anywhere in the world.

    That’s ridiculous.

    Israel is the most brutal occupier in the world today.

    It’s a shamefully brutal occupation that we should not be paying for. But the worst in the world? What about the Occupation of Tibet?

    Repressive Arab regimes are propped up by the Israel-controlled U.S. government only in return for making peace with Israel.

    As I said, this is true only of Egypt and Jordan. However, our government does foolishly and unethically prop up other repressive regimes with our money.

    Nothing really, really bad ever happens in the world that Mossad isn’t behind.

    You just wish I believed that crap.

    If it weren’t for Israel, 9/11 would never have happened and we wouldn’t be in Iraq.

    There is heavy evidence that the Israeli government had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, but not that they had any role in the planning or facilitation of them:

    http://www.antiwar.com/israeli-files.php

    However, in view of the evidence that they possessed fore-knowledge of the attacks, any role of the Israeli government in their facilitation should not be outside the purview of enquiry.

    I think that it’s for sure that if it wassn’t for Israel, we wouldn’t be in Iraq.

    Radical Islamists hate us only because of our support for Israel.

    The evidence is that radical Islamists are motivated to attack us cuz of our government’s hyper-interventionist foreign policy in the mideast, of which our support of the Israeli government’s occupation is a key and likely most important factor.

    Note that Scandinavian is the chief exporter of pornography into the Arab world. The Mullahs complain bitterly, but of course there are no terror attacks on Stockholm or Copenhagen. It’s our government’s interventionist ways that are the problem for us.

    So much of our tax money goes to Israel because Israel has a disproportionate influence on the American government

    Vis a Vis our government’s foreign policy, that is certainly true.

    If Israel ceased to exist as a Jewish state, Jews currently living there could live in peace and security with an Arab majority.

    I don’t feel like exploring all of the dynamics, but arguments of peace and security are part of the case for of a one-state solution.

    As long as you always say Israel and never use the term “Jewish” when describing the extraordinary evil that Israel represents in the world, none of these views can be construed as anti-Semitic.

    To blame Jews in general for the actions of the Israeli government and its supporters is ridiculous, unfair, and racist. Governments all over the world do hideous things with regularity.

    In any case Israel is the most raicst country on earth.

    There are policies of the Israeli government that are certainly racist. The Jewish fundamentalist religious nut-balls, who currently influence Israeli polity in a toxic way, push things in a racist direction. However, to say that Israel is the most racist country on earth is silly and without foundation.

    BTW, the new Iraqi government has adapted racist, anti-Jewish provisions in its laws- Our tax dollars at work…

  118. In any case Israel is the most raicst country on earth.

    Res ipsa loquiter.

  119. Shoulda been:

    Bob:

    In any case Israel is the most raicst country on earth.

    There are policies of the Israeli government that are certainly racist. The Jewish fundamentalist religious nut-balls, who currently influence Israeli polity in a toxic way, push things in a racist direction. However, to say that Israel is the most racist country on earth is silly and without foundation.

    BTW, the new Iraqi government has adapted racist, anti-Jewish provisions in its laws- Our tax dollars at work…

  120. THE BARTON SONG
    (sung to the tune of “The Dreidel Song”)

    We are the Jewish people
    who post on Hit and Run
    but damn that old Rick Barton
    he spoils all our fun.

    Oh Barton, Barton, Barton,
    Why do you hate us so?
    Barton, Barton, Barton,
    to hell we hope you go.

    (Just kidding, Rick! If I really thought you were anti-Semitic I wouldn’t be cute about it.)

    By the way, you can dislike Israel without being anti-Jewish, just like you can be dislike Italy without being anti-Catholic.

  121. Ken,
    I am near Tikrit. But I have been in Jordan from Baghdad a few times. The weather has always been awesome.

  122. I’m still not sure what to think about this war, but I just saw a picture on CNN showing some Lebanese men helping a girl who was injured by the latest Israeli missiles. I was surprised to see that she was dressed just like a Western woman–snug-fitting jeans, short-sleeved scooped-neck top, and uncovered hair. Between our invasion of Iraq and Israel’s of Lebanon, I can’t help but wonder: why the hell are we and our allies fighting fundamentalist Islam by bombing the shit out of secular Islamists?

  123. thoreau, VM, Ken Schultz, Jennifer,

    Thank you guys for coming to my defense with your arguments of logic and reasoning. It means so much to me. I’m really touched.

    Jennifer, Ah yes, you reprised your Barton/Dreidel Song! It’s adorable. I love it!

  124. I can only answer Jennifer by thinking that: Israel actually believes in its (highly immoral) idea that by bombing the secular Lebanese they will induce them to take care of the fundie nutjobs in the area OR that Israel would love to see the secularists in Lebanon go under (that way their enemies will look worse to the world and the US). Secularists, Christians, and just generally innocent folks are being murdered in Lebanon now by a fanatically militaristic government all the while being supported by ignorant rapture believing Bible thumpers who think Israel is the chosen people and therefore must have our support no matter how inhumane they act. It’s heartbreaking.

  125. Couldn’t they just settle this the way civilized nations do… with penalty kicks?

  126. Ken… or perhaps they’re trying to cut off Hezbollah’s supply, mobility, and communications (Tim, please note, my butt is still tattoo-free). This has not exactly been an all-out assault on Lebanese, especially not the secular Lebanese; more people died in one second in India (or Spain) at the hands of Hezbollah’s brethren than have died in 5 days of this “racist” campaign.

  127. Between our invasion of Iraq and Israel’s of Lebanon, I can’t help but wonder: why the hell are we and our allies fighting fundamentalist Islam by bombing the shit out of secular Islamists?

    One of my criticisms of the democracy as the ultimate solution to the problems of the Middle East thing has to do with what proponents of the theory would have us do when the locals legitimately vote in terrorist organizations. Innocents get caught in the middle of every war, and that’s a tragedy. …and I don’t mean to diminish that tragedy, but if we really do need to go after these terrorist organizations, especially when they’re in countries where terrorists have been legitimized with elections, then innocents will get caught in the middle.

    …but I don’t understand why you seem to differentiate between Islamist and secular innocents. I don’t care if every nation in the Middle East is run by Islamists–so long as they don’t engage in terrorism.

    Are we fighting fundamentalist Islam? Terrorism is not fundamental to Islam. Fundamentalist Islam isn’t the problem–terrorism is the problem. People in the Middle East should feel free to practice fundamentalist Islam as they see fit.

    …People in the United States should be free to practice fundamentalist Islam as they see fit.

  128. My family still asks about you, kwais. We’re all still praying for your safety.

  129. People in the Middle East should feel free to practice fundamentalist Islam as they see fit.

    Do you see a problem with that? “As they see fit” means that they want to destroy the freedom of others to do as they see fit? 25 people were murdered today in Iraq because they had a different view of a 1500 year old historical event- or worse, just happened to be in an area where people had that different view of history.

  130. Do you see a problem with that?

    I thought I qualified that by writing that terrorism isn’t fundmantal to Islam, but, on further refection, I suppose I should have written, “People should be free to practice fundamentalist Islam–they just shouldn’t be free to practice terrorism.”

    Terrorism isn’t fundamental to Christianity either. …and Christians should also feel free to practice fundmental Christianity as they see fit–but they shouldn’t be free to set off bombs.

  131. …and I still don’t think we should qualify victims as innocent or not based on whether they’re wearing a burka. …or whether they’re fundamentalists.

  132. You got half my point. The other half is “they should be free to practice fundamentalist xxx as long as fundamentalist xxx practice does not include insistance on the dominance of fundamentalist xxx over everyone else.”

  133. I’m afraid I still don’t get the other half of your point.

    People shouldn’t be free to target civilians specifically and murder them in the pursuit of some political goal. …whether they’re fundamentalist Christians of Muslims or something else.

    They shouldn’t be allowed to molest children or steal money from people or unilaterally void contracts or anything else smacking of coercion. Still, people should be able to practice their religion as they see fit. …fundamentalists too.

    I don’t care if the Middle East is chock full of fundamentalists, but I care very much if its full of terrorist threats to the American people. …and fundamentalists and terrorists are not the same thing. What am I missing here?

  134. Rick,

    Why is our monetary support of Israel special? The US directly or indirectly supports most of the world with our tax dollars–think oil distribution and our protection of “trade routes”. Would you support bringing our troops home from every nation in which they are stationed? Would you support the use of our military might only to ensure that our vital trade routes are protected?

    Personally, I support Israel; I do so openly with bias–I am biased toward Jews. Although I am not a Jew, I think that Jews, on average, are superior to most if not all other ethnicities; thus, I value their existence more than most if not all other ethnicities. (I guess I’m an odd goy with a minor Jew fetish?)

  135. “What am I missing here?”

    The concept that one should not be able to use the force of arms (whether terrorist or state) to compel others to follow your form of fundamentalism. Unfortunately, the modern concept of fundamentalist Islam does require such a thing, and that’s the basis of the violence in Sudan, India, Kashmir, Pakistan, Thailand, Philippines, Iraq, Lebanon…

  136. Criticism of Israel is legitimate, and lots of Jews as well as non-Jews indulge in it for legitimate reasons of conviction. One can criticize Israel even out of a love of Israel. Some unscrupulous defenders of Israel try to portray any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic, which is nonsense.
    But some anti-Semites do embrace anti-Zionism as a vehicle for pushing conspiracy theories that demonize Israel as a way of demonizing Jews, while indignantly denying any racist intent. It’s a rare anti-Semite these days who claims that all Jews are responsible for the evil that the Jewish cabal does. It’s always just the Jewish zionists(or capitalists, or communists) who are the conspirators, but the conspiracy ends up casting a shadow of doubt on all Jews. One has to examine the “theories” and look at the “evidence” that is put forward before throwing around accusations of anti-Semitism. Most legitimate criticism has some balance. If all the “evidence” confirms the conspiracy, it’s a tell-tale sign that something other than honest criticism is at work.

  137. BTW Rick,

    I accused you of antisemitism in the past (quite harshly, I’m ashamed to admit). I no longer believe you to be antisemitic (and so, I apologize), but I do think that some of your “allies”, such as Raimondo, are antisemites (which is the nicest word I’d use to describe him).

  138. “There is heavy evidence that the Israeli government had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, but not that they had any role in the planning or facilitation of them:”

    Heavy would be an overstatement.
    “Some suggestion that…” would cover it more accurately.

  139. I’d bet that the “heavy evidence” claim was influenced by that prick Raimondo.

  140. Here’s a typical example of a known anti-Semite’s take on Israel’s alleged involvement in 9/11. No mention at all of “all Jews.”

    Ariel Sharon: The terrorist behind the 9-11 Attack!
    By David Duke

    http://www.davidduke.com/?p=114

  141. I’m having a hell of a time concentrating on work since my boss has the TV on a news channel showing nothing but scenes from Lebanon. I just saw what looked like a street of residential apartments; the buildings are still standing but sustained enough damage to be now unlivable. Concerning their now-homeless former residents, I wonder how many were anti-Israel sympathizers before, versus how many are now?

  142. The concept that one should not be able to use the force of arms (whether terrorist or state) to compel others to follow your form of fundamentalism.

    I didn’t think I needed to define so many terms, but when I talked about fundamentalism, and that people should feel free to be fundamentalists, I was referring to belief in the authenticity and truth of whatever religious text, for instance, rather than any particular political current within Islam.

    I know some Christian fundamentalists. They believe that the Bible tells them how they should live their lives and that someday Jesus is going to return in a cloud of glory… They’re almost as sure of that as you are that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning. …and they should be free to believe that, and they should be free to live their lives in accordance with the way they read the Bible. When I say that and call them fundamentalists, I don’t mean that they want to bomb abortion clinics and should be free to do so.

    Another distinction I could have and maybe should have made is that I’ve been talking primarily about military policy. Do I care if the Middle East goes completely fundamentalist? …I’d rather it didn’t actually, but in terms of military policy, I won’t support a war to rid the Middle East of fundamentalist Islam. I might support a war to rid the Middle East of terrorist threats to the United States–if that’s really achievable and the cost/benefit analysis works. …with the loss of both American and civilian life given a heavy weight on the cost side of that analysis.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cost/benefit analysis that worked for me unless the war was in self-defense. The life on the cost side is always too high. …and yeah, I count fundamentalist lives as a cost too.

  143. Jennifer,

    Maybe a few more? I have the feeling (no proof of course) that the majority of the world’s Muslims are anti-Israel. (Not all Lebanese are Muslim, but I doubt that most of the non-Muslim Lebanese have any great love for Israel or Jews in general).

  144. “perhaps they’re trying to cut off Hezbollah’s supply, mobility, and communications ”

    But are they doing that? Israel actually stated that part of their motivation is to make life miserable for the mostly secular, Westernized government whom they “hold responsible” for the actions of Hizbollah. To trade off on people’s lives like this (killing X to make Y and Z do something about bad guy A) is immoral.

    “Why is our monetary support of Israel special?”

    Because said support is largely unqualified and Israel tops the list of per capita support by quite a lot. They get this support despite the fact that our allegiance with them (which on some level I support, but in a qualified way) is not in our best national interest (unlike other recipients, like Turkey, which we gain by supporting).

  145. There is another side to the Big Brother metaphor besides snooping. It is that He can fulfill your desire for war.
    Recall, I’m an anarchist.
    I want to have Big Brother removed as an option for all the Little Brothers out there in the world.
    BTW, by genetics, I’m a fighting Irishman, but, over time, I have morphed into a peace-maker who loves everybody.

  146. As much as I can appreciate the historical plight of the Palestinian people, they lost that land 58 years ago when they were tossed out by the Jews. Sorry, finders keepers.

    Comment by: D.E. Cloutier at July 15, 2006 11:58 PM

    So by that rational, we ought to give the Dakota’s back to the Sioux, the North East to the Iroquois Confederation, and Spain back to the Basque. What makes the Jew’s claim (who hadn’t control the region in over 2000 years prior to the establishment of Israel) to the land more valid than the Palestinians?

    At the very least tell why us the US has to paint a huge target on it’s back for every Islamic terror group just because we want one particular religious group to control Palestine?

  147. THE BARTON SONG

    (sung to the tune of “The Dreidel Song”)

    We are the Jewish people

    who post on Hit and Run
    but damn that old Rick Barton
    he spoils all our fun.

    Isn’t that sweet.

    The person named Jennifer (anti-Semite? self hater?) prints a song ridiculing the Jews and the religion of Judaism in response to me copying a song that ridicules Rick Barton’s secular religion of anti-Semitism.

    HEY! MORAL EQUIVALENCE!

  148. I wrote:

    “Terrorism is the victimization of innocent civilians via violence.”

    Nathan responded:

    …Terrorism is the victimization of civilians in order to cause widespread terror among them, hence the name. Israel is not a terrorist state because its violence is aimed (however haphazardly) at targets of military or strategic importance, rather than weddings and random buses. Much as I deplore some Israeli policies, it is clear Israel does not remotely deserve the label of terrorism.

    You’re defining terrorism, using as a criteria the intent of the aggressors. I don’t think that that criteria makes any sense. If innocent civilians have been the targets, then terrorism has been committed. Also, the Israeli government has targeted innocent civilian with violence plenty of times the occupied Palestine-Both as an incentive for action or inaction (which is consistent with tor criteria) as well as collective punishment. I believe that since the start of the last Intafada, there have been more Palestinian children killed than total Israelis killed. I can’t think of any reason why the Israeli government should not be classed as a terrorist state.

  149. Mybe these would qualify for a background check and a greencard? Example

  150. Oooops, Example

    “Maybe” that will work?

  151. hoo boy-

    The fact that Barton repeated the incredibly stupid claim that Israel, one of our strongest allies, deliberately failed to inform of us 9/11 means that I can stop listening to him.

    The only good Raimondo supporter is a…

  152. On Israeli government racism:

    The Sharon government actually supported racist “Jews Only” housing laws on government land in Israel in open discrimination against the country’s 10-20% Arab population

    http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/article.php?sid=1779

    To understand the background of the racist, fundamentalist Jewish religious extremism that Israeli polity is currently gripped by, see the fascinating: “Jewish History, Jewish Religion” by Israel Shahak and also Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel by Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky. Shahak was a non-leftist human rights activist and a a Nazi concentration camp survivor.

    http://tinyurl.com/ao495

  153. Because said support is largely unqualified and Israel tops the list of per capita support by quite a lot.

    This is official, direct support, which doesn’t in any way address the issue of indirect support or other military support. For example, we have thousands of troops in South Korea. How much does that cost us per Korean?

    They get this support despite the fact that our allegiance with them (which on some level I support, but in a qualified way) is not in our best national interest (unlike other recipients, like Turkey, which we gain by supporting).

    Well, this is your opinion and, of course, you are entitled to it. IMO, I think supporting Israel is in my interest (as an American) and supporting Turkey is not. (I prefer the Kurds.)

  154. Well, Rick, IMO Israeli government racism against Arabs is a natural result of centuries of Arab and Muslim racism against Jews.

    I don’t think either group’s racism is “right,” but I do think that Israelis are not totally irrational for distrusting Arabs and Muslims in general. Put it this way: Who’s been oppressing who for the longest?

    Jews oppressing Muslim Arabs: ~58 years

    Muslim Arabs oppressing Jews: >1000 years

  155. Steven:

    I have my own ideas on why so many Libertarians loathe the Jewish state.

    That’s just it. It’s only the Israeli state that’s the problem. I think that there’s lots to like about Israeli society. The Jewish fundamentalists would be but an annoyance if they didn’t influence the Israeli government to the ex5ent that they do.

  156. Anti-Genitle fundamentalism is unquestionably a feature of a small group of ultra-Orthodox Jews. The vast majority of religious Jews do not subscribe to this fundamentalism. Anti-Arab policies in Israel have much more to do with secular nationalism and the Arab-Israeli conflict than with fundamentalist Judaism. Anti-Arab sentiment among Israelis is hardly stronger than anti-Jewish sentiment among Arabs. Egypt and other Arab countries regularly broadcast and publish the most primitive anti-Semitic propaganda, mostly from western source. Hamas quotes from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in its charter. Any balanced account of the role of racism in the Arab-Israel conflict has to take Arab racism as well as israeli racism into account.

  157. In the introduction to their book on Jewish fundamentalism, Shahak and Mezvinsky wrote:

    “We realize that by criticizing Jewish fundamentalism we are criticizing a part of the past that we love. We wish that members of every human grouping would criticize their own past, even before criticizing others.”

    They probably realized the purposes to which their honest book could be put.

  158. “This is official, direct support, which doesn’t in any way address the issue of indirect support or other military support.”

    You’re right Bill, this doesn’t even begin to take into account the money sent to Israel by American private supporters as well as indirect support like the insane record of UN Security Council vetos the U.S. uses, often by itself in opposition to the rest of the world, in order to keep Israel from becoming a repeat International felon.
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/usvetoes.html

    “Well, this is your opinion and, of course, you are entitled to it. IMO, I think supporting Israel is in my interest (as an American) and supporting Turkey is not. ”

    Well, I was using interest in the sense that Washington did, that is to contrast it from idealistic reasons (in other words does it leave us better off in ‘real’ terms, economically, security wise, miltarily, etc.). I’m not implying that we should always support nations on interest alone, or that ideals should not trump interest. I agree with you, I support the Kurds, and Tawian as well for that matter, for idealistic reasons. But notice our support for those two worthy causes is actually very much curtailed by realistic concerns (as it should be in some sense). Not so in the case of Israel. This is why our support is “special.”

    Since I see the usual and tired charge of anti-semitism for anyone opposing Israel’s policies has already found its way to the thread let me offer the following boring, trite disclaimer (sad in these pc days one must prove one is NOT an anti-semite, racist, etc.,): the Jews are easily one of the most accomplished, ethically conscious ethnic groups in history, and Israel is a much more democratic and free place than any other I can think of in that area. It’s just that Israel are in the wrong today.

  159. Sorry to post back to back, but is anyone concerned for Reason contributor Michael Young who lives in Beirut? He and his family could be one of those killed by IDF in order to “teach Hizbollah a lesson.” There are lots of Americans, Europeans, etc., in Beirut who are at risk to Israel’s immoral attacks.

  160. “I wonder how many were anti-Israel sympathizers before, versus how many are now?”

    About 100% versus 100%.

    “But are they doing that? Israel actually stated that part of their motivation is to make life miserable for the mostly secular, Westernized government whom they “hold responsible” for the actions of Hizbollah.”

    Suppose the Democrat Party set up some mortars and started shelling Mexican towns. Mexico wants to know what’s up. Washington says, well, we’re Republicans, they’re a minority party in government, it’s not our worry, it’s your problem. I suspect some shells would start landing on American towns until Washington did something about the Democrats.

    If one is to believe the news, it would seem that Israel’s response has been quite tightly targeted. This is not to say at all that the loss of civilian life is good and proper, it’s just that the blame is on Hezbollah. I’m reminded a bit of Thomas Sowell’s “Knowledge and Decisions,” where he discussed at length the concept of people making decisions where they benefit but don’t suffer the consequences of bad decision-making. Hezbollah may well have reasoned that they’re not the ones who will have the problem, it will be the poor schmucks in Beirut.

    “I was referring to belief in the authenticity and truth of whatever religious text, for instance, rather than any particular political current within Islam.”

    So am I. If one believes in the autheticity and absolute truth of this text, one believes that Islam and Sharia must dominate everyone else’s life.

  161. Ken,

    I’m not sure if we’re talking about the same thing exactly, but you make some good points. One final objection: I do not think that Israel’s current attacks on Lebanon are necessarily immoral. If Lebanon is a sovereign state, it is responsible for the actions of Hezbollah to some extent.

  162. What if we annex Israel and make it the fifty- first State? Then, any aggression against Israel would be by definition an attack on and declaration of war against the United States of America. The citizens of Israel would send protection money (taxes) to Washington, just like the rest of us. They could disband their military, and turn their nuclear weapons over to the DoD.

    Federal funds disbursed to Israel would be part of the domestic budget, and on the books. The Senators from Israel would, of course, have to get down there in the trough and wrestle Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd for appropriations and earmarks. Maybe they could earmark funds for a bridge.

    Tariffs and subsidies would magically disappear; there would be totally free and open trade. Israeli firms would have unfettered access to our capital and equity markets.

    And- the best part- those newly minted citizens would receive, along with that beautiful American passport, all the benefits and protections of the Constitution of the United States of America. There might be a somewhat nettlesome period of adjustment, as they adapt their legal system to Amendments like the First, Fifth and Fourteenth but, hey, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

  163. Egad. The worst job on the planet, probably even worse than that recycling plant
    I worked at for one day, is the elected official of Lebanon. It is one thing to
    have an impotence problem. It is something else altogether to have it advertised
    to the world.

    This whole mess seems to be a showing of the cards held by all parties. The
    ambiguous relationship between these groups and the elected governments in
    Lebanon and the Palestinian territories are now not so ambigouous. Yes there are
    elements that want to normalize their populations, but the extremists are
    simultaneously too militarily powerful and too popular among sects to get rid of
    them.

    Israel’s only option is to approach the situation geographically. They can’t
    destroy Hezbollah, but they can move them out of range by controlling real
    estate. That is a fight they can win – again. Hezbollah made a big mistake. A
    good portion of their shield was that ambiguity, and you lose that immediately
    upon your use of artillery.

  164. Blah, sorry about the formatting there, I sent that as an email too and the editor made it goofy upon copy.

  165. Jason Ligon,
    Is there a parallel between Dubya bringing democracy to Iraq and Olmert assuming the government of Lebanon can actually do anything?
    I’ve long associated Lebanon with Iceland during its anarchic period. Or Somalia with a better geographical location: Location, location, location.
    If the “government” of Lebanon had simply declared anarchy, this violence wouldn’t be happening.

  166. “Is there a parallel between Dubya bringing democracy to Iraq and Olmert assuming the government of Lebanon can actually do anything?”

    See, here’s the thing. The entirety of UN centric international relations relies on everyone assuming that governments can actually do something about what goes on within their borders – except when it is inconvenient to so assume.

    Every jackass with enough AK 47s behind him is granted sovereignity in the eyes of the UN for the sake of stability. Then, we have this grand show in which these guys issue proclamations to everyone, preferably in such a fashion as to have a security council member back your claim. Fine, you are a country. One day, mysterious happenings occur within the borders of our young despotism – troop movements, support of terrorists, etc. Immediate plausible deniability is assumed. Yes you are the government, but no you aren’t accountable for anything that happens within your borders. How grand for you!

    The governing feature of the UN is that first, it shall be impotent in every case that requires the application of force. We have now moved to the completely laughable state where a condemnation against the launching of ballistic missiles can’t even be agreed upon.

    The generally accepted rule of the land is that power projection is not needed by anyone except the US. This way, no one else has to pay for it, and you can even type up a bunch of speeches about American aggression to bolster your popularity. The complete absence of any alternative to the deployment of the US military seems to elude people.

  167. from Haaretz.com:
    Here
    “The fatalities in the attack have been identified as Rafi Hazan, 30, of Haifa; Shlomi Mansura, 35, of Nahariya; Nissim Elharar, 47, of Kiryat Ata; David Feldman, 28, of Kiryat Yam; Shmuel Ben Shimon, 41; Dennis Lapidos, 24, of Kiryat Yam; Rafael Damati, 39, of Kiryat Yam; and Reuven Levi, 46, of Kiryat Ata.”

    Comfort and condolences to their families, friends, and loved ones. The same to the Lebanese civilians – even though I’ve not been able to find their names as of yet, their loss is meaningful and profound. Comfort and condolonces to their families, friends, and loved ones.

    I have some good acquaintences in Haifa. I can only hope they’re okay. And we have some good family friends just outside of Beruit. I hope they are okay.

    DAMMIT. TOO MUCH VIOLENCE.

    And for once and all:

    Rick’s points about political decisions made by a political (“Rechtsstaat” (what is the proper word?)) State say nothing about the culture, religion, etc. of the peoples. Nor could you glean his opinions of them. You are projecting your own feelings.

    (We make fun of people being critical of the US current policies with the “why do you hate America?” – I guess for you, that’s actually true. It must really suck being so narrow minded. Or is that also true for you? Is being critical of the President’s policies akin to racism?)

    It is disgusting to see “AntiSemitism” being thrown around so lightly. It is so awful and hurtful and upsetting to see in real life (real anti Semitism in action), your minimizations of Anti Semitism and the pain of such wrong beliefs is disgusting.

    Go to the Grosse Schiffegasse in Vienna. You’ll see (right off of Untere Donaustr.) a phone booth. It’s not a phone booth, tho. It is a guard post for an apartment building. Built in that crappy 50s central european style. For years before that, it was ruins.

    Before that it was a beautiful old Synagogue. It was destroyed in the Pogrom against the Viennese Jews 9.11.38.

    The guard is there, as the threat of violence or vandalism still exists.

    Check that out. Read Karl Kraus’s “The Final Days of Humanity” (Die lezten Tage der Menschheit). See the fear in the lines. Understand what that means.

    Go to Copenhagen. Check out the book, “That’s how we fooled the Gestapo”. Go across Gamle Kongevej, right across from the planetarium and the lake. You’ll find an alley that ends in a right angle turn to the right. There’s a small window with iron bars across it. And some dried flowers. Look up who was murdered there. And why. He gave his life fighting one of the most evil forces we’ve endured human history. Get someone to explain the song (below) to you.
    Kaemp for alt hvad du har kaert
    doe om saa det gaelder,
    da er Livet ej saa svaert,
    Doeden ikke heller.

    It was the last verse that prisoners sang in denmark before they were executed by Gestapo pigs.

    “fight for all you hold dear
    die for which is worth it
    since life isn’t so hard
    neither is death”
    (‘cept it rhymes and brings tears to the eyes of anybody who can read those words and knows where they’re from)

    And don’t ever minimize the blackest spot on modern human history ever again.

    ever.

    Being against political decisions made by a political state says nothing about liking/disliking the culture or religion. You are a disgusting human being (you: “Joe” and “Steven”) for that black/white view of the world. I respected and liked Rabin. I didn’t like Netanyahu’s policies. If you can’t see a difference in being critical of their policies and the evil that you so lightly banter about, I put it to you that you are the evil one.

    Comfort and condolences to the civilians’ families, friends, and loved ones. You all are in our thoughts.

  168. VM: Or the 24-hour-a-day armed soldiers guarding Judenstrasse (behind Fleischmarkt) because of attacks on the Jewish Cultural Center. I got stopped and held there once because I was carrying a bag (on my way to the Merkur). The soldiers were apologetic, but they pointed out that to the Israel haters, a Jew is a Jew is a Jew.

  169. And don’t ever minimize the blackest spot on modern human history ever again.

    ever.

    You mean the African Slave Trade, right?

  170. …is anyone concerned for Reason contributor Michael Young who lives in Beirut?

    Yes–even without munitions dropping about!

    Every time I read something he writes criticizing some pretty unscrupulous and unaccountable characters, I think about how easy it is for me to lob criticism across the Atlantic safe from harm.

    If I was there, day in day out, and what I wrote appeared in print, I’d like to think I’d have the balls to do that but I don’t know for sure.

  171. Louis Walcott wrote: “You mean the African Slave Trade, right?”

    Well, he did qualify the statement by saying *modern* human history. Depending on how one defines “modern” that could exclude the slave trade.

  172. Modern’s CE 1500 in my book.

  173. The Real Bill:

    Why is our monetary support of Israel special?… Would you support bringing our troops home from every nation in which they are stationed? Would you support the use of our military might only to ensure that our vital trade routes are protected?

    By far and away, the Israeli government gets the biggest share of our foreign aid budget. The fact that they use part of it to maintain their thieving occupation was one of the main motivating factors of the 9/11 attacks.

    I would use our military might only to protect American’s liberty and property, as the founders of our republic envisioned. So I support bringing most of our troops home.

  174. The Real Bill:

    I accused you of antisemitism in the past (quite harshly, I’m ashamed to admit). I no longer believe you to be antisemitic (and so, I apologize)

    Thank you, The Real Bill. I appreciate your honorable behavior. When some call me an anti-Semite, in response to my criticisms of the Israeli government and its supporters, it does bother me since I am so opposed to all racism, as all most all libertarians are. As Ayn Rand observed: “Racism is the most primitive form of collectivism.”

    but I do think that some of your “allies”, such as Raimondo, are antisemites (which is the nicest word I’d use to describe him).

    Justin Raimondo is not an anti-Semite. He seems to have folks who are Jews among those who are his friends, associates and fellow libertarians. But he is a fine scholar and an activist.

  175. Ayn_Randian:

    The fact that Barton repeated the incredibly stupid claim that Israel, one of our strongest allies, deliberately failed to inform of us 9/11…

    The evidence is overwhelming:

    http://antiwar.com/israeli-files.php

    Read Raimondo’s book on the matter:

    Terror Enigma: 9/11 And the Israeli Connection

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0595296823/reasonmagazinea-20/

  176. Steven:

    The person named Jennifer (anti-Semite? self hater?) prints a song ridiculing the Jews and the religion of Judaism in response to me copying a song that ridicules Rick Barton’s secular religion of anti-Semitism.

    That’s gota be one of the most inane comments in the history of H&R. You said three incorrect things in just one sentence!

  177. Modern’s CE 1500 in my book.

    In that case, I’d nominate the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. There was no other 30 year period where so many were killed and enslaved. The African/Caribbean slave trade (still on the Top 10 with a bullet, mind you) took much longer, didn’t enslave as many, and killed fewer.

    Mao could be a dark horse candidate- it’s still not clear how many he killed.

  178. According to a CNN/Time article, Here, the situation is a dramatic and radical change from past conflicts. Olmert wants to “set the price for aggression against Israel so high that its enemies would be deterred from acting up in the future.”

    A future flaw of this strategy would be an already realized (silkworm against ship) increase in the use of modern weapons available to Israel’s foe’s. A future conflict/exchange of more accurate and destructive weapons has an endpoint. A bigger hammer on either side is not the answer to that quagmire.

  179. Don,

    I’m not so sure. Israel is doing a couple of things differently here. They are treating Hezbollah as an independent state geographically located in south Lebanon. They are strategically bombing to cut off supply lines into that area, and they are going to make that area suffer badly. Hezbollah is not armed enough to win or significantly arrest Israel’s movements, but they are armed enough to be a very obvious security threat to Israeli civilians. The cover against Israel for a group like Hezbollah isn’t their military might. They are strong compared to the Lebanese government, but what saves them from Israel is political cover and blurred distinctions. Are they part of the Lebanese government? Are they a charitable organization that builds schools? How popular are they? And so forth. Problem is, once you start using artillery, none of that matters anymore. They lost their shield.

    If I were Israel and I wanted to stop the threat, I think I would escalate too. Hezbollah may have some surprises, but in an escalation Israel can put their strengths into play.

  180. Jason Ligon,

    I don’t believe that Israel can afford over the long run to fight an asymmetrical war in southern Lebanon. Israel’s enemies have a lot of advantages that aren’t technological in nature in other words.

  181. PL:

    I agree they shouldn’t stick around, but I think they have the luxury in this case of doing a sweep and leaving – or maintaining bombardment. Hezbollah is currently engaging them as a military and they are in that configuration susceptible to military counter attack.

    If I were Hezbollah, I would abandon equipment right now and dissolve back into the population. Bring out a bunch of dead babies, and your shield is back in place. If they choose to continue to escalate this, they are stuck fighting a battle they can’t win.

  182. Jason,

    I would agree that, this time or temporarily, Israel has the might to push Hezbollah out of range to protect it’s northern borders/civilians. I would do the same.

    I think Iran/Syria/other will closely watch this event and evolve their efforts for the next go round.

  183. The person named Jennifer (anti-Semite? self hater?) prints a song ridiculing the Jews and the religion of Judaism in response to me copying a song that ridicules Rick Barton’s secular religion of anti-Semitism.

    If it makes you feel better, Steven, I’d skipped over most of this thread and wasn’t even aware of your existence, let alone your song, until I saw Rick’s post quoting you castigating me.

    P.S. Just because I personally control the world financial industry doesn’t mean there’s any truth to those crazy old stories. And I apologize for the dot-com crash and the upcoming housing bubble poppage; I have discovered through bitter experience that when you secretly manipulate the world banking infrastructure, it’s best to be not-stoned while you do it.

  184. Jason Ligon,

    Sans sending in troops all Israel can do is bomb targets. I don’t know if that is an effective strategy for breaking the will of Hezbollah.

    And as I understand it, Israel is reluctant to send in troops in part because of all the land mines.

  185. See, Jennifer, you understand that the idea of the scheming Jews controlling the world is a common anti-semitic trope. So why can’t you see that when Rick Barton says the Israelis had prior knowledge of 9/11, he’s repeating the same type of disgusting crap?

    There are three options for someone who believes Israel knew about 9/11:
    1. anti-semite
    2. crazy
    3. naive

    I’ll give Rick Barton the benefit of the doubt and say he probably falls under #3. But it seems like willful naivete (sp?).

  186. Steve,

    Rick Barton thinks Jason Raimondo is a “fine scholar.” That puts him in category #3. Maybe we need a fourth category–semi-literate bozo.

  187. Steve-

    Why are the categories mutually exclusive? Could Barton fall into all three?

  188. “Modern’s CE 1500 in my book.

    In that case, I’d nominate the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. There was no other 30 year period where so many were killed and enslaved. The African/Caribbean slave trade (still on the Top 10 with a bullet, mind you) took much longer, didn’t enslave as many, and killed fewer.

    Mao could be a dark horse candidate- it’s still not clear how many he killed.”

    I’d give my vote to the Cultural Revolution … but only if we move “modern” a little closer than 1500, say 1900.

    From Wikipedia
    R.J. Rummel has estimated that under the Communist Party of China’s rule, between the founding of the PRC and the current day, there were 77 million democide deaths[means killed by the government], though the figure is disputed. However it is recognised that, whatever the correct figure, millions of deaths occurred during the Cultural Revolution.

  189. Not to minimize Rwanda, East Timor, the Holocaust, South Africa, World War I or II, the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Khmer Rouge, the Nazi, American lynchings, The recent war in the Congo, the current N Korean government, and our friends in the various South American dictatorships…

    There is more than enough grief in history.
    The current actions of Hezbollah, Hamas, Israel are just adding to their small contributions to the list.

    VM, a great post, by the way. This is about humans on both sides.

  190. Steve, Bob, Joe,

    Judging by what you’ve written, I’m gratified that you three have taken umbrage at my comments.

    So why can’t you see that when Rick Barton says the Israelis had prior knowledge of 9/11, he’s repeating the same type of disgusting crap?

    Steve just committed a logical fallacy.

  191. If I were Hezbollah, I would abandon equipment right now and dissolve back into the population. Bring out a bunch of dead babies, and your shield is back in place. If they choose to continue to escalate this, they are stuck fighting a battle they can’t win.

    How’s Hezbollah doin’ with the status quo?

    Israel in Lebanon brought Hezbollah into existence–Israel’s actions in Lebanon probably won’t sap Hezbollah’s support now. …and I’m not sure Hezbollah sees a regional conflict as a negative thing.

    Don’t get me wrong. As I wrote above, I think it might be in the best interest of the United States if Israel wiped Hezbollah off the face the earth. …but I’m not sure Hezbollah’s too worried about that.

  192. See this wikipedia entry regarding “Hezbollah’s activities following the Cedar Revolution”.

    It looks like they’ve been tryin’ to provoke a regional conflict by way abducting Israeli troops for some time. They seem to want this.

  193. MainStreamMan,

    That’s because there were fewer to kill. I think a per capita kill rate might be a more useful metric in comparing the Atlantic, internal African and middle eastern trade in Africans with Stalin’s efforts at mass slaughter.

  194. I have to ask, why does everyone always forget that the internal African slave trade as well as that to the middle east was just as terrible as that in the Atlantic?

  195. PL
    “Sans sending in troops all Israel can do is bomb targets. I don’t know if that is an effective strategy for breaking the will of Hezbollah.

    And as I understand it, Israel is reluctant to send in troops in part because of all the land mines.”

    I think they will send in troops for a sweep. I was only suggesting that they shouldn’t occupy for any great period of time. If they can bomb to cut off supply and they have air dominance, they may be able to use airborne forces to cut off avenues of physical retreat and scour a 20 mile deep strip from the border.

    If Hezbollah is mining their own territory, they have declared it a formal battlefield. Traditional thinking is that you don’t mine places where your own civilians are operating. If they have mines in place, they are announcing that only Hezbollah is operating in those areas. Mines can be cleared with heavy armor and the right gear. It is again something Israel can do but Hezbollah can’t.

    I wonder what would happen if Israel decided to just mine the crap out of an area wide enough to prevent border encroachment …

  196. “How’s Hezbollah doin’ with the status quo?”

    I don’t know. They controlled south Lebanon, enjoyed popular support, and had seats in the Lebanese government. To me, it is hard to see recent actions as anything other than sticking a finger in the eye of Lebanon as a whole. They now have the Lebanese government asking for UN forces to help purge them from the south. It looks like an overplayed hand.

  197. “As Ayn Rand observed: Racism is the most primitive form of collectivism.'” —Rick Barton

    Ayn Rand – Ford Hall, 1972

    “Whatever rights the Palestinians may have had — I don’t know the history of the Middle East well enough to know what started the trouble — they have lost all rights to anything: not only to land, but to human intercourse. If they lost land, and in response resorted to terrorism — to the slaughter of innocent citizens — they deserve whatever any commandos anywhere can do to them, and I hope the commandos succeed.”

  198. wow. he applies something he learned today.

    very good. *pat pat*

  199. Well, I did apply something I learned today. I had no idea Rand had such retrograde views.

  200. Bob,

    If Ayn had known the history of the Middle East better, she would have known that among the Palestinians, from 1948 on, there have been hundreds of thousands innocent civilians who have been victimized. (750,000 upon the founding of the Israeli state alone) This victimization has included murder.

    I do however agree with her sentiment against the slaughter of innocents.

    Also I’m surprised and troubled by her collectivist way of looking at the tragedy. I mean, do all the Palestinians lose their land rights cuz some have resorted to terrorism? Doesn’t sound like Ayn Rand thinking to me.

  201. Rick Barton

    Apparently Ayn wasn’t so sqeemish about slaughtering innocents either:

    Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A.

    A. Ayn Rand says: hell yes, kill the innocent
    If we go to war with Russia, I hope the ‘innocent’ are destroyed with the guilty. … Nobody has to put up with aggression, and surrender his right of self-defense, for fear of hurting somebody else, guilty or innocent. When someone comes at you with a gun, if you have an ounce of self-esteem, you answer with force, never mind who he is or who’s standing behind him. (p. 95)

  202. Rick Barton

    Germans slaughtered millions of Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and countless others. American killed thousands of Indians. Hindus slaughter Muslims; Muslims slaughter Hindus. Hutus slaughtered Tutsis; Sunnis slaughter Shi’ites. Cathloics have slaughtered Protestants, and Protestatnts have slaughtered Catholics. And, yes, Israel has victimized hundreds of thousand of Palestnians. So what’s your point? That the Jews are human after all? Maybe the Palestinians just can’t get over losing. Other groups who have been victimized–notably the Jews–have gotten on with life. Why can’t the Palestinians?

  203. It doesn’t matter about the tone of the conversation. He is an anti-Semite (you know who I mean)! Anyone who says that Jews are comitting aggression because for acting in retalliation to terrorists kidnapping and killing their soldiers, so hates the Jewish state that the individual cannot even think straight. His friend Thoreau says that he made the Jewish State his pet project. This is natural that he do so. Anti-Semites are always obsessed with the Jews — how bad they are and that they should be punished because of the gut hatred the anti-Semite has for them.

    Rabbi Kahane, Zt”l gave advice on how to deal with anti-Semites.

  204. In addition to the earlier song, here’s another song that he can listen too,
    http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/bully.html
    Neighborhood Bully
    Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man,
    His enemies say he’s on their land.
    They got him outnumbered about a million to one,
    He got no place to escape to, no place to run.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    The neighborhood bully just lives to survive,
    He’s criticized and condemned for being alive.
    He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin,
    He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land,
    He’s wandered the earth an exiled man.
    Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn,
    He’s always on trial for just being born.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized,
    Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
    Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad.
    The bombs were meant for him.
    He was supposed to feel bad.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
    That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him,
    ‘Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
    And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    He got no allies to really speak of.
    What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love.
    He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied
    But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace,
    They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease.
    Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly.
    To hurt one they would weep.
    They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone,
    Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon.
    He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand,
    In bed with nobody, under no one’s command.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    Now his holiest books have been trampled upon,
    No contract he signed was worth what it was written on.
    He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth,
    Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    What’s anybody indebted to him for?
    Nothin’, they say.
    He just likes to cause war.
    Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed,
    They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    What has he done to wear so many scars?
    Does he change the course of rivers?
    Does he pollute the moon and stars?
    Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill,
    Running out the clock, time standing still,
    Neighborhood bully.

    Copyright ? 1983 Special Rider Music

  205. Steven,

    You just don’t know what you’re talking about. I despise anti-Semitism and all racism. You must be an idiot!

  206. Rick Barton promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and focuses exclusively and obssessively on Israel’s faults. I think it’s safe to say he’s an anti-Semite no matter how much he claims to despise anti-Semitism and racism. He doesn’t fool me.

  207. Uri,

    What about when I bash thug Arab governments? That’s not focusing exclusively on Israel’s faults. What about when I praise Israeli civil (non-governmental) society (with the exception of the religious nut-balls)? That’s not focusing obsessively on Israel’s faults. But what’s really critical is that I attack the Israeli government and its supporters, not Jews in general. If I was Jewish, I imagine that you?d be far more tolerant of what I write about Israel. If you really think that I’m an anti-Jewish bigot, you are being quite foolish.

  208. wait..

    we have not been through a WW3 yet…
    no one has ever declared WW3…
    no one has ever publicly called the “war on terror” or “the war in Iraq” WW3..
    there has never really been a WW3, yet.

    how did we eagerly jump to WW4?

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