Israel

Lebanon 2: This Time It's Southwards

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Marc Lynch on the regional reaction to Israel's Gaza strikes:

Almost every Arab media outlet, even those bitterly hostile to Hamas, is running bloody images from Gaza. But as with the 2006 Hezbollah war, Arab responses are enmeshed within deeply entrenched inter-Arab conflicts, dividing sharply between pro-U.S. regimes and the vast majority of expressed public opinion. One key divide revolves around the portrayal of the Arab regimes, with one side blasting Arab governments for what they are calling complicity with the Israeli attack and the other trying to create the impression that Arab leaders are working to formulate a collective response. As protests escalate, this dividing line will likely intensify….

However this round of violence ends—and it's hard to see any scenario in which it produces remotely positive results for anyone involved—the outcome at the regional level will likely be to further exacerbate these conflicts and to undermine the chances for the incoming Obama administration to make early progress. While Arab regimes will almost certainly survive the latest round of popular outrage, the regional atmosphere may prove less resilient. Syria has reportedly broken off its indirect peace talks with Israel, for instance. A bloody Hamas retaliation against Israelis seems highly likely, and if Abbas is seen as supporting the Israeli offensive against his political rivals then Hamas may well emerge from this even stronger within Palestinian politics. The offensive is highly unlikely to get rid of Hamas, but it will likely leave an even more poisoned, polarized and toxic regional environment for a new President who had pledged to re-engage with the peace process.

For an intelligent discussion of the background to the bombardment, see Daniel Levy's take, which lists some of the ways "America is involved, up to its eyeballs actually" with the conflict. Note: I don't share Levy's view that the U.S. should try to "set its own terms" for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian mess. I don't think Washington is capable of fixing it, or even at this point of doing much to improve it incrementally. Aside, that is, from refusing to subsidize the belligerants.

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  1. meh.

    Is all the outrage I can muster.

  2. Gee, can’t the market work this out somehow?

  3. Fuck!

    The commie troll never sleeps!

    And the only two assholes saying anything aren’t saying anything… This thread is going to suck.

  4. Hizbullah stoped shelling after the Lebanon war. They may have declared divine victory but they don’t act like it tactically.

    The same will probably happen in Gaza. Israel will roll in and kill a bunch of people, Hamas will declare victory when they withdraw, and stop firing rockets.

  5. Lefiti,

    I have somethin’ to add. Here’s my plan: Let the children of
    Muhammand and the the chosen of Yahweh kill each other. When the slaughter reaches such proportions that both sides seek a negotiated peace that will be the equilibrium point for peace. The trouble right now seems to be that both sides are seeking victory. Fucker.

  6. it will likely leave an even more poisoned, polarized and toxic regional environment for a new President who had pledged to re-engage with the peace process.

    I wonder if Obama actually thinks he can bring peace to the Israeli and Palestinian area? Because it’s been tried over and over.

    Best to just stay well clear of them and resign yourself to watching them kill each other.

  7. i quite admired the belligerent and defiant comments from the hamas leaders speaking from the safety (relative) of beirut.

  8. Palestine (TM) and Israel suffer from the same problem that two feuding women suffer from. Their way of handling the problem is to remain enemies forever, with no expectation that either will proceed to the extent of actually throwing a deciding blow.

    Catty words will be exchanged, and the hate will seethe until both are dead because no standard was ever set as to who the winner is, or could be.

    Sadly, the only thing that is going to solve this conflict is an all out war, since, regardless of the success of any initial peace agreement, the region does not want Israel in the region at all. It’s not ever going to changes.

    Personally, it’s shocking to me that so many supposedly educated people can’t admit, or understand this very crucial point.

    So, it’s understandable that most people who are not emotionally invested in the situation are sick of hearing about it, and see it as something that can never be solved by “talks” alone. I think that has become fairly obvious.

    In fact, if history has proven anything, it’s that repeating the word “peace” over and over again is a fairly ineffective way to solve most conflicts.

    People change their priorities when they face serious consequences, such as being wiped out en masse.

    If you like, set the standards for war, provide a safe haven for those who would like to leave the region before the shit hits the fan, and resolve this situation once and for all.

    It’s not even tragic anymore. It’s a stale joke that has been repeated over, and over again.

  9. Gee, can’t the market work this out somehow?

    Funny you should ask. As it happens, what ended the fighting in northern ireland was economic development that gave people something better to do than try to blow each other up.

    Hamas’ best recruitment tool is the economic deprivation they inflict on the people of Gaza. As long as they keep firing missiles at Israel, the border will remain closed, their economy will remain in the crapper, and Hamas will remain in power.

    The best move for Israel in this situation would probably be to support a Fatah takeover of Gaza, and follow that very quickly by removing all trade restrictions with Gaza and the west bank.

    -jcr

  10. no expectation that either will proceed to the extent of actually throwing a deciding blow.

    The sad thing is, that Israel has been entirely capable of delivering a decisive defeat to Hamas all along, but they keep pulling their punches due to pressure from the USA and Europe. I’m astounded that they put up with the missile attacks for this long, and they haven’t re-occupied Gaza yet.

    -jcr

  11. Methinks authoritarian capitalist colonialism with Israel as the regional overlord would solve a lot of these conflicts. Any state that didn’t want to become part of the United Israeli Territories could stop attacking it.

  12. glass, all glass

  13. The fact that Hamas still exists tells me that they must serve some purpose for Israel. Whether to keep the Palistinians in factions, or as a tool to get more aid from us suckers.

  14. I’m not going to lose any more monocles to expressions of shock. Frankly, I just hope the US can stop this bullshit of “support israel, they’re our only friends, must support da jewwwwwwwwws” and just let what will happen, happen. Israel can take care of itself and as long as it holds the reigns of power in the middle east, it dosen’t matter what cajoling a US president does for peace, they’ll simply ignore it just as the arabs do.

  15. Israel and Palestine: the idiotic conflict that just keeps grinding on. What fun! Screw them; I’m sick of the bullshit and much of the world’s sick fetish over it.

    “A Taste of Armageddon”, anyone?

  16. One would think Mossad has assets available to take out specific Hamas leadership who are responsble for the rocket attacks without indiscriminate retaliation bombings that lead to civilian deaths and sympathy for the enemies of Israel.

  17. Wow dude that is like just totally cool!

    Jess
    http://www.privacy-center.ru.tc

  18. I think Lefiti‘s comment here was pre-empted by the last line of Mr. Walker’s post (incidentally, the only line of the entry that was really needed).

  19. i quite admired the belligerent and defiant comments from the hamas leaders speaking from the safety (relative) of beirut.

    Yeah, such a contrast with the Israeli (and American) leaders who issue their pronouncements from the front lines, smoking rifles in hand.

    Jesus. (whoops – sorry. Wrong deity.) Would it be possible to just build a big f-ing wall around the whole thing and come back a century later to see how it turned out?

  20. This is a mess and at the same time we have two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan staring each other down. If the Palestinian-Israeli thing goes regional this could turn into a much bigger mess than many are currently anticipating.

  21. joel, if i’m not mistaken, the israeli leaders are actually *in* the country that’s being bombarded by their enemies.

  22. “Let the children of
    Muhammand and the the chosen of Yahweh kill each other.”

    “Best to just stay well clear of them and resign yourself to watching them kill each other.”

    That’s funny, I thought libertarians were against people using force to kill one another. I guess that only applies to people in your neighborhood…

    “The sad thing is, that Israel has been entirely capable of delivering a decisive defeat to Hamas all along, but they keep pulling their punches due to pressure from the USA and Europe.”

    Yeah, those crazy US/Europe guys, being against a mass slaughter, which, given that Israel is part of the West, would be quite like supporting the late S. African government in a move (that they surely had the tactical ability to take part in) in just slaughtering those pesky Africans whom they occupied.

    “the israeli leaders are actually *in* the country that’s being bombarded by their enemies.”

    They sure are, protected by a first class military and air force (with a lot of help from us) but as you say braving the rocks hurled by teen-agers and crude mortar shells. I imagine the German commanders standing outside of the Warsaw Ghetto during the uprising showed a similar bravery.

  23. “www.privacy-center.ru.tc”

    Who the fuck are these guys? I see their posts all the time, and they seem computer generated. I’ve seen them support and condemn Bush and Obama and then leave these non-sequiter gems.

  24. The offensive is highly unlikely to get rid of Hamas, but it will likely leave an even more poisoned, polarized and toxic regional environment for a new President who had pledged to re-engage with the peace process.

    I like the way its the Israeli response to rocket attacks that poisons and polarizes the region, not the rocket attacks themselves.

  25. It’s bad news when you’re using a fake .ru address to gain credibility.

  26. Israel pulled out of Gaza completely in August 2005. Since then, Gazans have fired about 6,300 rockets into Israel. Israel showed much restraint by waiting this long to respond. Israel is also taking care to target Hamas, and avoid harming the population at large.

  27. “Israel pulled out of Gaza completely in August 2005.”

    They still militarily surround the area controlling the flow of people and goods and energy into it. They also have made regular incursions (“arresting” folks) and air strike/missle attacks into the area since then.

    “Since then, Gazans have fired about 6,300 rockets into Israel. Israel showed much restraint by waiting this long to respond.”

    Yes the rocket attacks are deplorable (they are indiscriminate weapon which cannot be said to target military targets). But of course Israel has responded many times since then with missle strikes and such. They have not fired 6,300 things into Gaza but they have killed many more people than the 6,300 rockets have even before this current slaughter.

    “Israel is also taking care to target Hamas, and avoid harming the population at large.”

    Yeah, the seven dead kids I just read about agree with you.

    Are you that stupid or are do you think your readers are (an apologist for the IDF)? I mean anyone who has paid even a cursory attention to the news since the 2005 withdrawal knows that Israel has responded to the rocket attacks militarily before this.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2008-01/13/content_6390293.htm

  28. MNG, libertarians don’t support violence against others as a political philosophy. We also, however, don’t support policing the world and telling all the other countries how to run themselves. It is somewhat like the drug war. We will never ever be able to stop these people from trying to kill each other, so we might as well stop wasting monetary and political resources trying to.

    To be honest, I don’t even really understand the whole thing. I know Israel was basically carved out of the area and given away, and that (I think?) is the major point of contention. I just don’t understand what the gigantic problem is *now* where they cant possibly, ever work things out. Religion muddies things up so fucking much that I’m not sure our world can handle its idiocy much longer.

  29. I’m really sick of this conflict. I wish we could hand Hamas and Israel 100 nukes each and tell them to work it out that way since they’re incapable of peace.

  30. For fucks sake, it’s not like Palestine and Israel were the only post-WWII partition/refugee problem. But it’s the only one which STILL hasn’t been fucking solved!

  31. I think we (and the rest of the world) tend to help fan the flames by our continued involvement and meddling ways. Why are we involved? The U.S., at least, gets most of its oil from places outside the region. While supporting Israel makes some sense for us, given Israel’s liberal and (usually) pro-U.S. government, I think they can manage on their own.

    Unfortunately, all signs point to Obama trying to “solve the problem”. Egad, will we never learn?

  32. “Why are we involved? ”

    Because people have a weird fetish for that pathetic little strip of land. Ditto for the Arab world.

  33. Could Israel survive without outside (mostly US) economic aid?

  34. “wayne | December 29, 2008, 10:53am | #
    Could Israel survive without outside (mostly US) economic aid?”

    Yes. But shhh! Don’t tell the Arab governments! We’re a convenient strawman for their own incompetence.

  35. BDB
    I don’t want that because I value the people of Israel and Palestine. They have given and still can give so much to give to the world. I bet many of them would like to trade with each other, marry each other, go to the same rocking disco like in Don’t Mess With the Zohan with each other, but their governments are fucked up, and the West was complicit in setting up a powderkeg in an area with its own strong tendencies toward making sparks.

    We could do an enormous amount to make a peace. We give so much aid to Israel, economically and diplomatically, that just putting actual (with teeth) conditions on it would make them act better. The Palestinians, being the ones screwed out of their land and seeing the West muscle up their opponent for so long now will be harder to handle since such a desperate people have turned often to a bunch of insane thugs, but they can certainly be dealt with as well (they are on the dole to the West for quite a bit too).

    As of right now though we are facilitating the problem, and that sucks.

  36. MNG, there are far nastier conflicts in the world. There are other occupations, other wars, other violent ethnic conflicts. How often do you hear about the violence in Congo? Almost never. But when three Israelis or 100 Palestinians die, OH NOES! APOCALYPSE!

  37. All we would need to do is contact Israel and tell them that all weapons sales are off and all aid will be withheld for six months for every day they continue this bombing and kids would stop dying tomorrow.

    And we are’nt doing it. And the world is watching and knows this.

  38. “MNG | December 29, 2008, 10:58am | #
    All we would need to do is contact Israel and tell them that all weapons sales are off ”

    After which, they would buy weapon from China. Jesus, MNG, do you think we’re the only arms dealer in the world?

  39. The Congo is a real tragedy, I hear about it quite a bit actually. On NPR the other day the mentioned that the civil war there has killed more people than in Darfur.

    And you are claiming that we don’t hear about, say, the murder in Darfur? The occupation of Tibet?

    This “Israel is being singled out” stuff is twiddle-twaddle. They get called when they do bad like most nations.

  40. “And you are claiming that we don’t hear about, say, the murder in Darfur? The occupation of Tibet?”

    Not like we hear about the morons in the “holy land”. Not nearly as much. Where are the protests in the Arab world over the Congo? Or the constant coverage of everything China does in Tibet in the western world?

  41. Israel has industry and a competent military. We could continue to quietly sell them weapons, but I think our direct diplomatic involvement and our financial aid are no longer necessary. Let alone our military support.

    Exit, stage left.

  42. Our weapons are better and more sought, but check out the second part of that sentence: the 3 billion dollars in aid we chuck to them.

    We could also threaten to cut off remittances and travel (we do that with Palestinian groups now) and boy that would end the shelling.

  43. You gotta love how every time this happens Israel tells the Palestinians, “You can have peace as long as you surrender first!” and then the Palestinians tell Israel, “no you can have peace if YOU surrender first!”

  44. Could Israel survive without outside (mostly US) economic aid?

    Yes, easily. The US aid to Israel is mostly a US corporate welfare scheme, actually. The Israelis pretty much have to spend it on US weapons.

    As Ron Paul pointed out during the campaign, if we stopped all foreign aid to the region, the Arabs would lose about three times as much US tax money as the Israelis. Stopping the gravy train would mean that the Arabs would have to reconsider their trade embargo of the richest economy in their neighborhood.

    -jcr

  45. BDB
    I don’t know what you are talking about. I hear about the Tibetian Occupation all the time. My parents have a Virginia lisence plate supporting the Tibetan people. Bradd Pitt and Richard Gere stare in movies celebrating their cause. The recent uprising from monks that was put down before the Olympics got significant play here.

    I will say this, I don’t remember either side killing 300 people in a 36 hour period in that conflagaration lately though…

  46. BDB,

    Your description is a bit off. The Israeli position is: ” you can have peace if you quit trying to kill us”, and the Arab position is: “we won’t stop until you’re all dead.”

    -jcr

  47. And are you going to seriously argue that we don’t hear about Sudan’s abuses in Darfur?

    Seriously?

    So the whole “Israel being singled out” seems kind of hollow now, huh?

  48. Why can’t they do this?

    Israel gets everything in its 1948-1967 borders + West Jerusalem.

    The Palestinians get Gaza and the West Bank + East Jerusalem.

    Why is that so hard for them to agree to?

  49. jcr
    Judging from their actions the Israeli position is a little more like: “you can have peace once we have the pick of the land we want and you guys stop trying to kill us over it”

    That first part is kinda important.

  50. MNG those conflicts don’t get even half the coverage the “holy land” gets, and you know why. It’s because all three monotheistic religions have a fetish for Jerusalem.

  51. BDB
    That is what current UN resolutions call for. Israel has denied that umpteenth times. You know that, right?

  52. How often do you hear about the violence in Congo? Almost never.

    I’ll take that as a cue to mention the reports of LRA massacres over the past few days in DR Congo (near the borders with Sudan and CAR).

  53. Hamas won’t agree to that, either. They want it all. Israel wants it all. They have to share, or it’s going to end in a big mushroom cloud probably within my lifetime, and then nobody will have it because it will be irradiated.

  54. And after the nuke goes off, whoever is left will scream that THE JEWS DID IT! no THE ARABS DID IT!

  55. BDB
    Of course there is a cultural reason for our interest in the ME, but like I said I bet Darfur and Tibet get as much coverage as Gaza.

    You live in VA. Do you have a “Support Gaza” lisence plate available? You do have a “Friends of Tibet” one.

    http://shop3.mailordercentral.com/tibetmerchandise/prodinfo.asp?number=FOTPLATE

  56. No we don’t have that because Israel is an ally. And we don’t have a “Free Saudi Arabia” lisence plate, either, for the same reason.

  57. Yes, well, but let’s not say that occupation doesn’t get any attention OK?

  58. MNG,

    I don’t think there’s any place in the world that gets anywhere near the attention that the Middle East does. And media focus aside, the bigger problem is the obsession the U.S. government always seems to have about the region.

    Just say no!

  59. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Peace_Initiative#Reactions

    Israel has been pretty lukewarm on it BDB.

    Hamas has endorsed the 1967 borders, but in a cutesy way imo.

    http://www.arabnews.com/?y=2008&page=4&article=108523&d=3&section=0

  60. Pro
    What can one say, our Gods and our oil come from that region.

    Sigh.

  61. And both have left the region. Time to move on, folks, nothing to see here.

  62. Pro L, we don’t get oil from there but our allies do. And oil is a world market, if it becomes difficult to get oil from the Middle East the price will be driven up for us too.

  63. I have to go, but it’s simple: if our government conditioned the economic and diplomatic aid we give Israel at ridiculous current levels on them stopping this then kids would stop dying today.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/12/28/gaza.israel.strikes/index.html#cnnSTCPhoto

    Check out photo 15. Yeah, let ’em just kill each other, huh? And that kid while we are at it.

    We could stop it right now. To the extent that we are not doing that it’s a horrible, horrible thing.

  64. Oh, for the record BDB, when MFN status was used as a stick to try to make China behave I supported it. Wrote my congressperson three time a year during those years when the vote was close.

    I also support actions taken to end the shit in Darfur (note this doesn’t mean I support some kind of stupid military intervention that would get us caught up in a worse mess for everyone [look how that “helped” the people in Iraq]).

    But I’m not singling out Israel for anything. But I’m not going to give them special statuses when it comes to slaughter and human rights just because of their (admittedly and correctly imo) very sympathy inducing culture and history.

  65. BDB,

    Indeed. And if we stop fooling around there, the EU will move in to fill the “gap”. Fine. At least it won’t be us wasting our time and resources and, incidentally, needlessly placing a bullseye on Uncle Sam’s forehead.

  66. Pro L, that will probably happen with in this century, and the US will go back to being mostly interested in this hemisphere and maybe western Europe. That’s what happens in a multi-polar world.

  67. MNG-

    Israel should be singled out by americans because we have subsidized their military industrial complex for decades. We have financed the wars of aggression, we have sanctioned the genocides and the totalitarian state of affairs imposed by the Zionists.

    Support of Israel’s subsidies is support of murderous socialistic parasitism.

  68. I know Israel was basically carved out of the area and given away, and that (I think?) is the major point of contention.

    Err, not really. All the countries in the area were basically artificial creations of distant empires.

    The major point of contention is the intractable Jewishness of the Jews in Israel.

  69. R C Dean-

    The major point of contention for libertarians should be that property is forcibly confiscated from american taxpayers, at the behest of AIPAC and the state of Israel itself, in order to give it to the Zionists.

  70. @ RC Dean,

    Yeah the problem in that region as the problem with India and Pakistan, and the problem with Iraq, is all originally a problem created by England.

    It is as if they drew borders to purposely fuck with people.

    But with Isreal, part of the problem has also to do with giveing European Jews other peoples land because of guilt over the hollocaust, and because God says that is the way it is supposed to be.
    (I think Yahweh, Allah, and Jesus say so, one would think that would be a strong reason for the Palestinians to go secular).

    Yeah, and what libertymike said also.

  71. @JCR,

    Well, it is not just stop killing jews and all will be cool. I mean that is their side of the argument.

    But it seems to be; ‘stop resisting us taking your land, and all will be cool’.

    I heard somewhere that original zionism was supposed to be a strictly capitalist venture. They were supposed to just by back the holy land for jews. Parcel by parcel, making offers that the Palestinian land owners could individually not resist.

    If they had gone that route and Arab natinalists had resisted with force, there would be no argument from me that the Arabs were in the wrong.

    But they didn’t. They used a US Taxpayer paid for military, and took the land by force.

    Still there are two wrongs to the conflict, I think the US should just get out. If they want to replace US with Europe, if they want to buy guns from China instead of US.
    So be it.

  72. Hizbullah stoped shelling after the Lebanon war. They may have declared divine victory but they don’t act like it tactically.

    Hizbullah didn’t shell until Israel bombarded Lebanon. Israel bombed Lebanon to try to force Hizbullah to release the two soldiers that they kidnapped. Hizbullah only released them after Israel agreed to a prisoner swap.

  73. Dear anon,

    “Hizbullah only released them ….”

    Minor nit to pick – the soldiers that were released were already dead.

  74. Your description is a bit off. The Israeli position is: ” you can have peace if you quit trying to kill us”, and the Arab position is: “we won’t stop until you’re all dead.”

    Where did you get the this from? The IDF PR machine? The Israeli position is that you can have peace as long as you move from here and promise to never come back and promise to move again if we feel like stealing your new house.

  75. Different kind of release I suppose.

    ‘released the cadaver to the family members’
    vs
    ‘released him and allowed him to go free’

  76. And the Israelis problem with the Palestinians is their intractable Arab-ness, otherwise they’d just let them move back to where they were in 1948.

    It’s old world blood-and-soil nationalism at its worst on both sides, compounded by religious fanaticism.

  77. And whats more, we’re about to get a situation where the worst elements on both sides are in power (Hamas and Likud). It will only get worse.

  78. Reminds me of LOTR – Return of the King:

    Gothmog: Fear. The city is rank with it. Let us ease their suffering. Release the prisoners!

    [the catapults fling dozens of severed heads into the city]

  79. BDB,

    There are over a million Arabs living in Israel with full citizenship. They are descendants of Arabs who recongized Israel in 1948.

  80. Jtuf–

    Yes, but they’d never let Arabs be a majority in Israel proper. Because, you know, then it wouldn’t be a Jewish state. At least not if they desired to keep it a democracy.

  81. Egad. See what I mean? The region makes even libertarians crazy. Yes, yes, there is wrong a’plenty to be cast at the feet of both sides–as is often the case. Let them sort it out. As much as people want to blame the crazy Israelis and the crazy Palestinians and Arabs for the mess over there, how much has British, American, Russian, you name it meddling helped to prolong the problem? I bet they’d figure something out other than continuous warfare if the rest of the world stopped trying to play both sides to the middle.

  82. We learn nothing and forget nothing.

  83. “The major point of contention is the intractable Jewishness of the Jews in Israel.”

    That’s incredibly stupid and baiting. You don’t think that a big difference is that the other nations were carved out of populations that were living there for centuries but Israel was carved out of a population of which a majority were Europeans who had not had ancestors in the area for 20 centuries? Unless you are some convinced apoplogist for Israel the creation of Israel is an incredible (in the old sense of the word, hard to beleive it actually happened) event.

  84. Pro
    You miss one point: you differentiate between the meddling of Western nations and “the Israelis.” The state of Israel is a result of meddling by Westerners. The Zionist movement was a Western movement.

    So yes Western meddling is a big cause of all this, meddling like the creation of a Western state in the middle of the M.E.

  85. MNG,

    Same poison. Frankly, I think we should give the whole shebang back to the Ottoman Empire.

  86. People here act like Jews living in the land of Israel (of which there were thousands) suddenly asked for an autonomous nation. Actually Western Jews started a movement which we can locate historically and geographically, in Europe among Jews who had not lived in the area in centuries, to found a state halfway around the world from where they lived.

    It’s that incredible. I think this is why Israeli apologists feel so zealous, that they must contest every claim as loud as they can, because they know that the founding of Israel when looked at objectively is such a far out idea…

  87. I don’t think it’s anymore far out than what the English did to North America. But yeah, neither of them are getting their land back.

  88. I’m no fan of the Ottomans, which weren’t exactly freedom loving democrats.

    I think we should do what we can (without making things worse, which I will say is very tricky and would lead to us not doing to much frankly) to help these places become peaceful, autonomous and free places because I care about all the human life in the region. I really do. Like I said, I want to see Arabs and Jews and Kurds and Turkes doing business with each other, marrying each other and styling one another’s hair…

    And immediately of course we should tell Israel: keep up this level of bombing and we cut off the dollars and support.

  89. I’m certainly not going to argue which side has the greatest net grievance. The Palestinians were surely screwed, but there have been many screwings in the region over the decades and centuries. Continuing to fight or to enable the fighting is silly. Israel exists and isn’t going anywhere. All those Palestinians exist and aren’t going anywhere. They need to find a solution that accommodates reality, and we need to stay the hell out of it.

  90. BDB
    One difference is that N. America did what they did in 1600 and Israel did it about 60 years ago.

    Really, that is a difference. Everybody knew better in 1948.

  91. This was a time when everyone was (slowly in places) realizing how crappy it was for the West to just take and colonize dark skinned people’s land.

  92. What Pro L said@2:33. They can either bitch and play the grievance game, or deal with reality. Middle Easterners of all stripes love to do the former with senseless violence thrown in.

  93. “Continuing to fight or to enable the fighting is silly. Israel exists and isn’t going anywhere.”

    I wholeheartedly agree actually. I think the state of Israel is a bizarre anomaly and mistake, but it’s there now and we have people in their 3rd generation there now.

    The borders should be rolled back to the 1967 or 1948 ones (because those are the only ones with even a pretence of legitimacy), a Palestinian state should be created and told that we will give it some support until it gets on its feet, (we owe this to them as much as we have supported the other side the past few decades) support which would be cut off when it misbehaves and the same deal extended for Israel.

    But of course immediately we should threaten to cut off all help unless a cease fire is reached.

  94. The other option is for the U.S. to go imperial and take over the region in the name of humanity, using its wealth to straighten out the natives and to build a huge space elevator.

    Maybe we should suggest that we’ll do exactly that if they don’t figure out something in the next couple of weeks.

  95. “The other option is for the U.S. to go imperial and take over the region in the name of humanity, using its wealth to straighten out the natives and to build a huge space elevator.”

    That’s the worst thing we could do. We don’t run nations other than own very well (and we really are’nt doing that well with our own…)

  96. For once, I think that’s not true. The region is so poorly run (with some exceptions), that maybe imperial rule would be an improvement. And America could dodge another economic bullet by sucking up their excess wealth. We could use some of that money to finance oil alternatives, too. Everyone wins!

    Of course, what I’m suggesting is morally wrong, but so is most of what we’ve done in the Middle East.

  97. Minor nit to pick – the soldiers that were released were already dead.

    True, the point I’m making is contrary to what was JCR claimed namely that Israel bombed Hizbullah into submission. Hizbullah seems to have achieved what they wanted when they kidnapped the soldiers (i.e., to exchange them or their bodies with Lebanese prisoners).

  98. “This was a time when everyone was (slowly in places) realizing how crappy it was for the West to just take and colonize dark skinned people’s land.”

    Why don’t you ask the people in Zimbabwe if they prefer their old British rulers to Mugabe?

    Palestine also would be much better run under Israel. The political pride of Arab leaders is making their people suffer.

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