Israel

Reporting and Proportionality in Gaza

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As the biggest news story of the week rolls on in bombs and blood, Israel maintains its ban on foreign journalists entering the Gaza Strip.

As outsider reporting on what's going on is barred, there are plenty of ways to work around conventional professional journalists these days, and the Israeli Defense Forces are using such modern-age conveniences as Twitter and YouTube to make sure its own version of events is getting out, even as they try to ensure no one else's is.

As I knew it would be, this piece I wrote back in July 2006 on Israel's then-current bombing in Lebanon and the discussions about blame and proportionality it generated is still relevant, and will probably continue to be for a sadly long time to come. For the most part, while reading that 2006 piece substitute "Gaza Strip" for "Lebanon" and "Hamas" for "Hezbollah."

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  1. There is an important difference between the Lebanon situation and the current one…Hezbollah was not the elected party governing Lebanon, while, Hamas is, technically, the elected party governing the Gaza Strip.

    Now the complications that go along…including how complicit the elected officials were in the rocket attacks…make things far from clear cut, but there is a clear difference between attacking as a result of actions of the nominal government versus attacking due to the actions of an extra-governmental force.

  2. Of course, the IDF must be held responsible for their siege of Gaza, which was clearly unjustified and has exacerbated the tension…again.

    Israel has been trying the same strategy for 50 years with no positive results…you’d think they would try something different.

  3. What was it Mercutio said? Anyway, maybe we could help the situation by stopping foreign aid to all entities involved. If they want to kill, let them pay for it themselves.

  4. “Israel has been trying the same strategy for 50 years with no positive results…you’d think they would try something different.”

    Because talking things out with Hamas was going SO well. How many rockets should a reasonable country expect to endure before it’s justified in striking back?

  5. Israel has been trying the same strategy for 50 years with no positive results…you’d think they would try something different.

    Or it could just be that “politics” stops them before they fully carry it out.

    Personally, I find it suspicious that this starts immediately after the History Channel airs a documentary on how Joshua basically engaging in the wholesale slaughter of the Canaanites, and how he’d kill everything that breathes after laying siege to a town.

    Joking aside, like it or not that approach did actually work at that time. I don’t say it’s morally justifiable, but it did work.

    Now, the strategy of reigning bombs down on people’s head then stopping while they still either live or continue to profess to want to resist (depending on your military goal), that seems rather pointless to me. If you’re going to go, go, don’t stop halfway. If you’re not going to go, then you’re wasting time and resources, and you’re stupid.

  6. BakedPenguin,

    I believe the conflict has primarily been drawn out by the military/economic imbalance between the two sides. Maybe stop economically supporting Israel, who have a modern army and a strong economy, and work to improve the situation for the Palestinians.

  7. Silentz,

    Because talking things out with Hamas was going SO well. How many rockets should a reasonable country expect to endure before it’s justified in striking back?

    Hard to say.

    How long should people put up with a military blockade stopping food and water and other necessities before they strike at those who have put the blockade in place?

    Both side have a lot of blood on their hands. Hamas ain’t the good guys, but Israel has grown comfortable with handing out collective punishment.

  8. Because talking things out with Hamas was going SO well.

    In fact, the rocket attacks increased tenfold after the cease fire was allowed to lapse.

    Just like the suicide bombings inside Israel stopped during the period of peace negotiations during the 1990s and into 2000, only to commence again when they were cut off.

    If carrying out military offenses and ending negotiations had ever actually increased Israel’s security, it would be a lot easier to respect an argument that Israel is just doing what it needs to do to keep itself safe.

    How many rockets should a reasonable country expect to endure before it’s justified in striking back? There was never a point – not even while it was talking with the PLO or Hamas – when Israel stopped itself from “striking back” against attacks from Palestinian territory. Nor should there have been.

    Reading the comments of the Likudniks, you’d think that Israel has been pursuing a Ghandiite policy towards Palestinian terror until last week.

  9. This conflict is the stupidest fucking conflict on the planet. I swear that both sides want it to continue indefinitely. They’re like bratty children getting attention by fighting all the time.

  10. Israel has been trying the same strategy for 50 years with no positive results.

    Well, unless you count the continued existence of Israel, of course.

    I believe the conflict has primarily been drawn out by the military/economic imbalance between the two sides.

    I think I disagree. Impoverishing the Israelis/enriching the Palestinians will most likely serve to make it more of an even fight, and thus more of a bitter and unlimited fight.

    The Israelis can afford to make very limited retaliation strikes (relative to their capabilities, anyway) precisely because Hamas has such limited military capabilities.

    The billions of aid that have been poured into Gaza so far have served only to make the Arafats very wealthy, and to buy stuff to kill Jews with. Not sure why more aid would lead to a different result.

    If you’re going to go, go, don’t stop halfway. If you’re not going to go, then you’re wasting time and resources, and you’re stupid.

    I think history bears this out. The solution to aggression is to inflict catastrophic, decisive defeat. Exhibit A: Germany after WWI v. Germany after WWII.

    Sadly, all the yammering about proportionality only serves to lengthen and entrench conflict.

  11. Wait a minute joe, are you (again) blaming only one side for the ceasefire lapsing? Both sides have to agree to renew, and from what I hear Hamas wanted to hold out for better terms.

  12. How long should people put up with a military blockade stopping food and water and other necessities before they strike at those who have put the blockade in place?

    I dunno. Get back to me when the Palestinians start shooting up the Egyptians who are blockading their other border.

  13. The solution to aggression is to inflict catastrophic, decisive defeat. Exhibit A: Germany after WWI v. Germany after WWII.

    You’re kidding right? Or do you seriously think the big mistake of the Treaty of Versailles was that it didn’t hump Germany hard enough?

  14. The billions of aid that have been poured into Gaza so far have served only to make the Arafats very wealthy, and to buy stuff to kill Jews with. Not sure why more aid would lead to a different result.

    I think this is a key. Iran is supplying the Palestinians with rockets, but not with food/medicine. The rest of the region does not care whether Palestinians get their own country, but whether Israel goes away.

  15. In fact, the rocket attacks increased tenfold after the cease fire was allowed to lapse.

    joe, isn’t that like saying a guy had ten times as much sex after he lost his virginity? If your partner in the ceasefire is firing any rockets at all in your direction, that ceasefire isn’t really a ceasefire.

  16. R C Dean,

    I think I disagree. Impoverishing the Israelis/enriching the Palestinians will most likely serve to make it more of an even fight, and thus more of a bitter and unlimited fight.

    Who said anything about impoverishing the Israelis?

    Economic and military parity would raise the cost of conflict, making peace more likely.

    Re: positive results, you said…

    Well, unless you count the continued existence of Israel, of course.

    Fallacy. There are many possible paths to continued existence of Israel, assuming that the course taken was the only possible course is, well, just silly.

    The billions of aid that have been poured into Gaza so far have served only to make the Arafats very wealthy, and to buy stuff to kill Jews with. Not sure why more aid would lead to a different result.

    All aid is not equal. Infrastructure and economic development is much different than handing a check to Fatah or Hamas.

  17. Well, unless you count the continued existence of Israel, of course.

    Unlike the militaries of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan during the ’48, ’67, and ’73 wars, the Palestinians aren’t a threat to the existence of Israel. Is Israel going to cease to exist because of the Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight rocketry of Hamas and Hezbollah?

    Exhibit A: Germany after WWI v. Germany after WWII. Israel had reduced the Gaza Strip to a circumstance comparable to Germany after World War Two before this latest action even began. They couldn’t even keep the lights on in their hospital. Have the Palestinian military ambitions been smashed any less thoroughly than those of Germany?

    Keeping Germany in such a state after World War Two was called the “Morganthau Plan,” except Germany would have still been allowed to have a state (or several). We didn’t follow that plan, so I don’t think the comparison is apt.

  18. Get back to me when the Palestinians start shooting up the Egyptians who are blockading their other border.

    Oh come on.
    Really?

    Are you equating the Egyptian policy with Israel’s?
    Really?

  19. cunnivore,

    Wait a minute joe, are you (again) blaming only one side for the ceasefire lapsing?

    No, I am not, nor have I ever.

    In fact, I will pay you $1000 for every example you can find of me blaming one side for the cease fire lapsing.

    There’s the archive search feature, right up at the top right at the page. Have at it.

    What’s that? You completely made that up? That’s ok – I think we already knew that.

    joe, isn’t that like saying a guy had ten times as much sex after he lost his virginity? If your partner in the ceasefire is firing any rockets at all in your direction, that ceasefire isn’t really a ceasefire. Well you see, cunnivore, unlike yourself, I actually care about the well being of people living in Israel. I would prefer to see fewer of them killed, rather than more, even at the cost of having less war porn to enjoy.

    Hence, the disconnect. I consider ten times as many rockets being launched to be a bad thing, because I consider the threat of rockets killing Israelis to be a bad thing, which should be minimized.

    Whereas getting your war on is all that you car about, so one rocket is the same as ten.

    It’s just a difference in perspective.

  20. My itunes just starting playing “Music from the Intifada.”

    Odd.

  21. A bunch of doughy armchair generals arguing about it on the Internet will solve their problems, that\’s for sure. What\’s 2000 years of two-way ethnic hatred in the face of a blog post?

  22. In fact, I will pay you $1000 for every example you can find of me blaming one side for the cease fire lapsing.

    Keep your money. But while you didn’t explicitly blame Israel, you did so implicitly when you responded to a comment about Israel’s strategy for ending the conflict by mentioning that allowing the ceasefire to lapse did not work, and that cutting off negotiations in the past did not work, and concluding that “military strikes and ending negotiations” in general had not worked. You’re implying that allowing the ceasefire to lapse is an element of Israeli strategy that had not worked, just like all the others.

    As for the other part of your post, I wonder if you would be so sanguine about ceasefire violations if, say, Canada were firing a relatively small number of rockets randomly across our northern border. Would you think the US should still pretend that our non-agression treaty was still in effect anyway, just to avoid having the rocket attacks increase?

  23. Then stop attributing positions to me I’ve never argued.

    Failing to cheerlead for the team you’ve adopted doesn’t make me a cheerleader for their opponents, no matter how strongly you want to believe that it does.

  24. Hence, the disconnect. I consider ten times as many rockets being launched to be a bad thing, because I consider the threat of rockets killing Israelis to be a bad thing, which should be minimized.

    Self-righteous much? If al-Qaeda were demanding concessions from us and threatening terrible retribution if we didn’t give them everything they want, would you submit to their demands just to avoid potential loss of life? I sure as hell wouldn’t. And if my own life and the lives of those near to me were among those lost because we didn’t give in, so be it. I damn sure value human life, but not so much that I’d give in to a bully.

  25. You did take that position, joe. Just implicitly. And no, I’m not going to give a random guy with a grudge against me my home address so he can mail me a check, so let’s not pretend that bets made in the comment section of a blog carry any weight at all.

  26. Surprise, surprise, the partisans take their sides. JOOS = bad.

  27. The cease fire was scheduled to lapse, as per the agreement between Hamas and Israel that created it, and it lapsed right on schedule, so clearly, the cease fire ending was the “fault” of both sides; they both agreed to the terms about when it would end.

    But it was Israel who decided to pursue a military strategy instead of negotiating for its extension. This was a conscious choice by Israel, because they thought it would be better for them.

    I think they’re wrong. I think it would have been in their interest to pursue the talks. I think the “tit for tat” strikes and counter-strikes that is always being denounced – Israel responding to Hamas rockets by shooting at the rocketeers – would have been a less-bad option than recreating the Hezbollah War of 2006 (which, just to refresh everybody’s memory, turned out to be exactly as painful and counterproductive as some of us predicted).

    As for the other part of your post, I wonder if you would be so sanguine about ceasefire violations if, say, Canada were firing a relatively small number of rockets randomly across our northern border.

    Why, clearly, I’d support dropping 2000 pound bombs with 400 meter shrapnel radii in the heart of Canada’s densest urban areas. After all, those are the only options.

    Would you think the US should still pretend that our non-agression treaty was still in effect anyway, just to avoid having the rocket attacks increase?

    Who said anything about pretending? I don’t think Israel should have pretended it was still in effect – they should have taken steps to keep it in effect, even if it wasn’t eliminating the threat entirely.

    Not as a favor to Hamas, and not even just because of concern for the well-being of Palestinian civilians, but because we all saw this movie before, 2 years ago, and nobody who’s concerned about Israel’s well-being likes how it ends.

  28. joe, by your own admission Hamas was firing rockets during the ceasefire. Your point that rocket attacks increased tenfold after the end of the ceasefire wouldn’t make much sense if there had been no rocket attacks during the ceasefire.

    Thus, during the ceasefire, Hamas was not ceasing fire, so to speak. Now why wouldn’t Israel want to re-up on a one-sided ceasefire?

  29. If al-Qaeda were demanding concessions from us and threatening terrible retribution if we didn’t give them everything they want, would you submit to their demands just to avoid potential loss of life?

    This is what makes the situation so frustrating – the “demands” Hamas wanted were things like ending a military blockade of food, water, power, and goods necessary to have a functional economy. On the one hand, you don’t want to give in to threats; on the other, those are eminently reasonable points, and it’s ultimately in Israel’s best interest for Gazans to have a functional economy. Open-air prisons not being terribly conducive to fostering reasonable, humane behavior.

    Ultimately, isn’t every cease-fire, armistice, and peace treaty negotiated under the implicit threat that the other side will shoot at you if a deal isn’t made? Hamas would have been similarly giving into “…or we’ll bomb you” threats. That’s what a cease fire agreement is.

  30. Self-righteous much?

    joe? Never! Perish the thought in a fit of Hamas launched missles!

    but not so much that I’d give in to a bully.

    Therein lies the rub. Who is the bully, Hamas or Israel?

    All a bully understands is getting their ass kicked. When they can hide behind the teacher (international intervention), there is no danger. Sure, Hamas will loose a couple, they’ve already done so, but their desire for propping up their internal power will be filled for the moment.

    Take away the teacher, then suddenly the bully realizes there is nothing to save them. There was no teacher for Germany at the end of WW2, emotionally they were in a whole different place than Hamas is now, and a large part of the world was coming to soundly kick their asses then kill them.

    That’s where Israel needs to put Hamas, and Hezbollah for that matter, if they want the force approach to work. If they’re not willing to do what it takes to do that, then they’re being stupid. I don’t think they can today, and remain viable, as they’re too dependent upon outside aid. Therefore, targeted assassination remains a much better approach if they want to kill people, and save the military strikes such as this for wiping out supply lines and “military” targets.

  31. But it was Israel who decided to pursue a military strategy instead of negotiating for its extension.

    There you go again. Hamas also pursued a military strategy instead of negotiating an extention, yet you blame only Israel for this. Or is firing rockets into Israeli territory somehow not a military act?

  32. I think history bears this out. The solution to aggression is to inflict catastrophic, decisive defeat. Exhibit A: Germany after WWI v. Germany after WWII.

    You can’t really compare Germany, what it was, what it did, and what it was capable of doing, to Palestine, what it is, what it’s done, and what it’s capable of doing. I mean, you could compare them, but then it becomes clear what a poor example Germany is.

    Sadly, all the yammering about proportionality only serves to lengthen and entrench conflict.

    I honestly believe this is the same mentality (“yammering about proportionality”) that cops use to justify tasing old women and beating up protesters.

  33. Thus, during the ceasefire, Hamas was not ceasing fire, so to speak. Now why wouldn’t Israel want to re-up on a one-sided ceasefire?

    The point about Israelis getting killed continues to elude you, doesn’t?

    That MORE Israelis are dying is of such little concern to you (certainly, of such little concern compared to the ability to provide a legal justification for getting your war on) that it doesn’t even enter into your thinking.

    If a “cease fire” agreement means the ongoing tit-for tat instead of the all-out carnage we’re seeing now, then it is a great deal better for Israel to have a “cease fire” agreement, even if it serves only to restrain, rather than end, Hamas’ attacks.

    Now, if there was any reason to believe that putting up with 10 times as many attacks and causualties would lead to a final defeat for Hamas and the complete end of their attacks on Israel, then ramping up the number of Israelis who get killed for a short time may well be a smart strategic move – but you’d have to be an idiot to think that that is going to happen.

    When this episode leads to Hamas taking over the West Bank, and Israel suffers even more deadly attacks, will that get you to acknowledge that this was a strategic blunder?

    I don’t think it will, because I don’t think you care about Israelis nearly as much as you hate Palestinians.

  34. If the UN & EU would stop sending aid that only help the Palestinians to procreate like rabbits, there might actually be some solution to this conflict. Now they’re just breeding cannon fodder.

  35. cunnivore,

    Hamas also pursued a military strategy instead of negotiating an extention No, they didn’t. You are factually incorrect on this. Hamas wanted to keep talks going. They wanted to negotiate an extension to the “cease fire,” in exchange for loosening the blockade.

    Get your facts right.

  36. But Israel needs to defeat Palestine so they can build a new Temple and then Jesus can come back!

  37. Now why wouldn’t Israel want to re-up on a one-sided ceasefire?

    You’re factually wrong about this, too. It was not a one-sided cease fire. Israel never stopped its targetted strikes on Palestinians, either.

    The cease fire was leaky on both sides, but it did serve to restrain both sides’ actions and keep the body count down.

    That last bit is supposed to enter into your thinking, and it just never seems to. Why don’t you care about more Israelis being killed?

  38. I see this all the time in these debates: the allegedly pro-Israel people don’t care about Israel’s well-being, nearly as much as they care about proving that Israel IS SO the Good Guyz.

    “So what if X, Y, and Z will get more Israelis killed? It’s LEGAL. They were PROVOKED. The Palestinians are WORSE!”

    Thrillsville. Carve that on the tombs of all the Israelis who get killed during this offensive, who would have gone on living if their government had chosen not to take the hostilities to a higher level.

  39. joe,

    No, they didn’t. You are factually incorrect on this.

    The cease fire was leaky on both sides

    You dont get both of these.

    One or the other is wrong. I leaky cease fire means Hamas was pursuing a military strategy, even if restrained.

  40. I dunno. Get back to me when the Palestinians start shooting up the Egyptians who are blockading their other border.

    This is an absolutely asinine statement.

    The fact that Israel keeps its land border with Gaza closed is not a blockade. It’s called “having a border”.

    It’s the fact that Israel BLOCKS THE SEA APPROACHES TO GAZA AND CONTROLS ITS AIRSPACE that makes it a blockade.

    So get back to me when Egypt rams ships approaching the coastline of Gaza and patrols its airspace with military craft.

    Frankly, Israel’s Gaza policy is in fact new, so they are trying something different from what they have tried since they seized Gaza and the West Bank. Back when Israel directly occupied Gaza and the West Bank, they were actually more limited in the atrocities they could inflict on the Palestinians than they are now. If Israel had randomly bombed Gaza for days and weeks at a time back when they were occupying it, even Likudnik apologist for genocide like some of the posters here would have been embarrassed to defend their action. By going through the motions of giving Gaza “self rule”, while maintaining an air and sea blockade, they have transformed Gaza into a large open air prison, which is still effectively under their political control but is now “separate” enough from Israel proper that they can bomb it the way you might bomb an enemy state.

    It’s as if white southerners during the Civil Rights struggle had declared that black neighborhoods had “self rule”, but then surrounded them with barbed wire fences and bombed them from the air.

    A very neat trick. Those fuckers. I really wish I could drag half the Israeli political class to the Hague, and line em up right behind the Bush administration figures who should be there too.

  41. There was no teacher for Germany at the end of WW2, emotionally they were in a whole different place than Hamas is now, and a large part of the world was coming to soundly kick their asses then kill them. Who ever intervened to stop a single Israeli tank from going wherever the hell they wanted in Palestine? The Palestinians got their defeat – in ’48, and in ’67, and in ’73. Certainly, Germany was never defeated as thoroughly as the Palestinians.

  42. It’s as if white southerners during the Civil Rights struggle had declared that black neighborhoods had “self rule”, but then surrounded them with barbed wire fences and bombed them from the air.

    The white South Africans did this in the later stages of apartheid, having “homelands” for blacks that they claimed were “independent” and had “self-rule” even though they controlled them as much as Israel controls Gaza right now. It’s similar.

  43. robc,

    “No, they didn’t” refers to the “instead of negotiating.” Hamas didn’t pursue a military strategy instead of negotiating; they wanted to keep the talks going.

  44. Who thinks immediate free elections in the Arab world are still a good idea when people like Hamas get elected?

  45. Imagine if you had a next door neighbor here in Los Angeles who was a bonafide terrorist. The SWAT Team came in, but decided to just bomb the house instead of rushing it. In doing, so they kill your wife your three children, in addition to the terrorists next door.

    In the U.S. we really do believe that all men are created equal, so such behavior would not be considered justifiable. (Unless they were ready to set off a nuclear bomb; Hamas recent rocket attacks have been largely ineffectual)

    The trouble with having a Muslim Country or a Jewish Country per se, is that if you are not a Muslim or a Jew, you are definitely not treated as one who has an equal right to life.

    In British Newspapers, they have lots of stories about dead children in Gaza, it is mostly not covered here by the pro-Israeli press.

  46. RC Dean is a tool.

    His next argument will be: “you people just want the Jews to march quietly into the sea!”

    Because that’s of course what anyone critical of the Israeli actions here must hold.

  47. The white South Africans did this in the later stages of apartheid, having “homelands” for blacks that they claimed were “independent” and had “self-rule” even though they controlled them as much as Israel controls Gaza right now. It’s similar.

    It’s a testament to the political acumen of the Israelis that they managed to impose a homelands policy on the occupied territories, but managed to get the world to ask for that policy. They were lauded for what the Afrikaaners were damned for.

    And the Afrikaaners never bombed the homelands they created, as far as I know. And they never tried to restrict the movement of homeland political figures to the limited number of states that actually recognized the homelands as independent. So the South African policy was actually less abusive than the Israeli policy.

  48. Certainly, robc, the fact that the cease fire was “leaky” – that Hamas merely kept a lid on the rockets, instead of stopping them outright – supports a legal argument that the cease-fire was broken, and Israel was therefore legally within its rights to shoot attack them.

    I’m not arguing that Israel broke a cease fire that Hamas was observing. I’m not maknig a legal argument at all, just a practical one – Israel was the party that chose to ramp up the war, instead of keeping the (admittedly leaky) cease-fire in place

    My point has never been that there is no justification for Israel to attack Hamas, just that the actions they are taking are counterproductive to Israel’s own security, even if their attacks are legal.

  49. Neither are a part of the US, they can do whatever they want to each other for all I care. Those crying about proportionality are retarded, eliminate your enemy or don’t do it at all.

    Personally I wouldn’t immigrate to a country where all my neighbors want to kill me, but hey different strokes for different folks I guess.

  50. Now fluffy, that kind of talk will get Alan Dershowitz to write book after book denouncing you.

  51. The bottom line to this conflict is that there are only four possible outcomes:

    1) Continuing a weird, ad-hoc system of part apartheid, part occupation, part garrison state.

    2) Letting all the Palestinians back into Israel, which would mean the end of an Israeli state and Zionism on one hand, or the Palestinians packing up and leaving voluntarily on the other meaning the end of Palestine.

    3) A genocidal war of extermination in which one side or the other is totally eliminated.

    4) A partition, two state solution in which there is an independent Palestine consisting of the whole West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.

    The fourth option is by FAR the best even though it has drawbacks, too.

  52. joe,

    To me, a leaky cease fire is a sign that you have no interest in negotiating. Consideirng to pursue the tit-for-tat strategy, EVEN when the other side is doing it, shows a lack of interest in negotiation.

    To end tit-for-tat, one side or the other has to not retaliate to a tat.

  53. Hamas, of course, favors the third option. The Likudniks are divided between the first and third.

  54. s/considering/continueing/

    My brain and hands are not working well together today. Im blaiming NYE drinking but I know that is a lie.

  55. “Those crying about proportionality are retarded, eliminate your enemy or don’t do it at all.”

    OK, so I’m tired of seeing this stupid ass argument.

    If Hamas fired one missile which landed on an Israeli street hitting no one, would Israel then be morally justified to drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza killing everybody?

    I mean, that would “eliminate your enemy,” “stop the aggression” etc.

    But who in the f*ck wants to argue that’s not hideously immoral?

    So there is in fact some limit on what you can do in response to an attack and still be within the realms of moral activity.

  56. BDB,

    Really, #4? I think #2 is preferable.

  57. Who thinks immediate free elections in the Arab world are still a good idea when people like Hamas get elected?

    Free elections are still a good idea here, even though Bush got elected.

    “Yikes, people with a grievance elected militant figures who promise confrontation over that grievance! I guess these people just weren’t ready for democracy.”

    If Americans experienced 1/10th of what the Palestinians have, we would elect politicians who would make Stalin look like Mr. Rogers.

  58. You’re kidding right? Or do you seriously think the big mistake of the Treaty of Versailles was that it didn’t hump Germany hard enough?

    No, I think the Treaty of Versailles was too hard on the Germans, especially in light of the fact that the Germans had not been decisively defeated in the field. A decisive military defeat would have put an end to the “stab in the back” mythology that fueled the new militarism that led to WWII.

    Are you equating the Egyptian policy with Israel’s?

    If you’re talking about open/closed borders, yeah. The Egyptians also have a fortified border with Gaza that is subject to closure, and I believe is closed right now.

    It’s the fact that Israel BLOCKS THE SEA APPROACHES TO GAZA AND CONTROLS ITS AIRSPACE that makes it a blockade.

    I’ll give you that, but I suspect it has more to do with the Palestinian attacks on Israel, but not on Egypt, than it does anything else. So we get back to the “who started it” and “what should the Israelis do while they are being attacked” argument. Seriously, the Israelis are supposed to leave supply lines open to people who are bombarding Israel?

    joe otherwise seems oblivious to the notion that, if Gaza exercised its right to self-rule responsibly and refrained from attacking Israel, then Israel wouldn’t blockade it and bomb it and otherwise treat it like the open-air asylum that it apparently is.

    And, of course, his response will be that if Israel didn’t blockade it, etc., Gaza wouldn’t bombard Israel.

    really wish I could drag half the Israeli political class to the Hague, and line em up right behind the Bush administration figures who should be there too.

    How revealing, that joe views the Israelis as war criminals, but not Hamas.

  59. I should also say that some of the Likudniks favor a kind of version of the “Israeli victory” part of the second option, where they make life such a hell for people in Gaza and the West Bank that the Palestinians leave for other Arab states.

  60. FREE College Educations @ internetsurfshack.com

  61. MNG,

    I agree that argument has its limits, but proportionality isnt the answer. If you attack me with a knife, even if you have no intent to kill me, I have no problem shooting you in the head. It isnt proportional, but it solves the problem. If you punch me in the arm, though, me shooting you back seems wrong.

    Im not sure how to define the answer, but the point is, past a certain point, total war is the answer.

  62. The white South Africans did this in the later stages of apartheid, having “homelands” for blacks that they claimed were “independent” and had “self-rule” even though they controlled them as much as Israel controls Gaza right now. It’s similar.

    It’s almost the exact same thing.

    And finding that repugnant doesn’t mean I endorse necklacing.

  63. robc,

    First, countries continue military operations even in the midst of peace talks all the time. Our troops continued to fight in Vietnam and Korea while peace talks went on.

    Second, while it’s clear that Hamas has never had any intention of entering into Final Status peace talks – talks intended to end with a solution that includes an Israel – they most certainly were in favor of accomplishing a deal that would have limited the violence.

    You are right, they wanted tit-for-tat to keep going. Unless you think this operation is going to end up better than 2006, tit-for-tat is looking a lot better than what’s going on now.

  64. Sadly I don’t think the fourth option is at all workable as long as Likud controls Israel (as they will after the next election) and Hamas controls half of Palestine. They’re the worst elements of both sides.

  65. “Those crying about proportionality are retarded, eliminate your enemy or don’t do it at all.”

    Fortunately, the Iraelis themselves (unlike their statesite cheerleaders) are opposed to genocide. Whatever else the shortcomings of the Israeli political elite, they are never going to approve a Final Solution to the Palestinian Problem.

    So let’s put the “al-Auschwitz” solution aside. It’s not going to happen.

  66. “Fortunately, the Iraelis themselves (unlike their statesite cheerleaders) are opposed to genocide. Whatever else the shortcomings of the Israeli political elite, they are never going to approve a Final Solution to the Palestinian Problem.”

    Some of the extremist ones probably wish they could secretly.

    Hamas of course openly proclaims they’d like a “solution to the Jewish problem”.

  67. The “stateside cheerleaders” of Israel are advocating genocide?

  68. You know what gets me? RC Dean is banking a lot on something he actually admits he’s not sure of. That’s how eager he is to defend the tribe he likes here.

    “The Egyptians also have a fortified border with Gaza that is subject to closure, and I believe is closed right now.”

    I’ll admit to not knowing everything about the Egypt/Gaza border, but I do know this, that when it was breached at the Rafah Crossing Israel threw a major tantrum at Egypt for allowing humanitarian crossings. I suspect Egypt’s border policy is part of an agreement WITH Israel and so can hardly be used to absolve Israel’s embargo policy…

  69. Pro L, you’ve never read the right wing War Blogs? Read some of the commentators especially.

  70. How revealing, that joe views the Israelis as war criminals, but not Hamas.

    1. I didn’t write that.

    2. Hamas terrorists are subject to arrest and prosecution for their acts RIGHT NOW. Hell, anyone who provides material assistance to Hamas is subject to arrest and prosecution in this country. They’re listed as a terrorist group by the State Department, and Hamas members would be arrested immediately, if not killed.

    So, in other words, the only one taking a double standard towards the killers here is you, RC. You are arguing in favor of one set of killers, while the allegedly pro-Hamas side is arguing for killers to be treated the same, regarless of which side they’re on.

  71. “You are arguing in favor of one set of killers, while the allegedly pro-Hamas side is arguing for killers to be treated the same, regarless of which side they’re on.”

    But RC’s killers are the good guys, duh. If the good guys do something it is therefore good.

  72. “So there is in fact some limit on what you can do in response to an attack and still be within the realms of moral activity.”

    Morality in war? Frankly that is an illusion. Your fantasyland example does not illustrate the need for morality in war, because I think it has more to do with ROI. Dropping a nuke on Gaza would be bad for two reasons, fallout and backlash from the international community. For anyone to use a nuke when the other side hasn’t could be considered disproportionate thus “immoral”. Then why are nukes even tolerated? Tactical reasons, morality doesn’t enter into the equation.

    Was US actions inside and around Vietnam disproportionate? What repercussions did they face? None. Are we the new Hitler?

    “Morality” in war is just a rhetorical tool.

  73. joe otherwise seems oblivious to the notion that, if Gaza exercised its right to self-rule responsibly and refrained from attacking Israel, then Israel wouldn’t blockade it and bomb it and otherwise treat it like the open-air asylum that it apparently is.

    You’re responding to my post not joe’s.

    The bottom line is that the Palestinians of the occupied territories were, prior to “self rule”, being held in a state where they were denied basic political, civil and economic rights that were enjoyed by the Israeli settler class and by residents of the original territory of Israel. Anyone held in such a condition by a state has the moral right to engage in political violence, as far as I am concerned. Period. [If the residents of Guam rise up against their American overlords, I am also on their side.] That situation has been worsened by the charade of self-rule and not improved by it.

    So that means that Israel and her apologists don’t get to demand reasonable conduct from anyone until they cease and desist from the original act that put them in the wrong morally vis-a-vis their oppressed population.

    I honestly don’t care what Israel’s security problems are. I am happy to admit that. I will start caring about Israel’s security problems on the day after they end their political control of territories outside their borders [or, alternatively, offer full citizenship rights to the population of those territories].

    BTW, it is not insane to want to kill those who hold you in bondage. If Americans lived in conditions similar to those in the Gaza strip, gigantic majorities of our population would favor war against whoever was holding us in such a state. And we wouldn’t care what their security problems were, and we wouldn’t listen if they said, “Hey, if you guys would just stop shooting at us we’d be much more reasonable and we’d let everyone go.” Yeah, right.

  74. Pro Libertate,

    The “stateside cheerleaders” of Israel are advocating genocide?

    Many of them.

    How many different commenters just on this one thread have stated that they think Israel should “elimiate its enemy,” proclaimed that the Israelis are going too easy on the Palestinians, and talking up the “Joshua” solution?

  75. robc

    I see your point about absolute proportionality, but I see you see mine that there is some sense of proportionality to conflicts.

    And here we have a case where one side has taken actions that killed, what 19 people in the last year or two and the other just killed about 400 (and killed hundreds little bit at a time before that).

    And to me that crosses the line, no matter how reprehinsible Hamas is (and they surely are imo).

  76. robc,

    If Israel responded to a Hamas rocket that killed on Israeli by bombing a Hamas military formation and killing 500 Hamas soldiers, you wouldn’t hear a peep from me.

    But in this case, the disproportionate response takes out its excess damage on, for example, the four wives and nine children of the Hamas leader they were aiming for.

    They dropped a 2000 pound HE bomg, on a house in the most densely populated urban area in the world.

  77. Well, that’s crazy talk.

  78. PC
    Are you arguing with a straight face that anything that occurs in war is morally OK?
    You can’t bring yourself to say that dropping a nuke on Gaza would be wrong apart from the practical problems it would create?

  79. “But in this case, the disproportionate response takes out its excess damage on, for example, the four wives and nine children of the Hamas leader they were aiming for.”

    This was a guy that was training his kids to be suicide bombers (one already was a “successful” one) so you could argue that it is not excess damage.

  80. I mean, their father was training to have them killed anyway.

  81. MNG | January 2, 2009, 3:24pm | #

    Isn’t the goal to kill as many of them while sustaining the least amount of casualties possible.

    Regardless of how you felt about Afghanistan or Iraq, I was about 50-50 myself, once they go in there, should they not exploit their advantages, in our case air supremcy, at the expense of their own soldiers’ lives?

  82. You know, Mac, Dennis, and Charlie had to deal with this in the episode “The Gang Goes Jihad”.

    Dennis: This Jew’s in for a ton of work.

    Mac and Charlie: Oh!

    Dennis: Whoa, what?

    Mac: Come on, man. You can’t say things like that.

    Dennis: I don’t know what I said. What’d I say?

    Charlie: You dropped a hard “J” on us.

  83. BDB-

    Sounds like that father needs to be taken care of and his wife and remaining kids given some sort of asylum after living with that fanatic.

  84. fluffy’s comments hit the nail on the head. The denial of the Occupied Territories population of the most basic political and human rights is going to be a mighty hard thing for Likudian apologists to argue against.

    Not that they won’t try. It’s always interesting if nothing else.

    A lot of these apologists love to make tough comments about the right to resist our government if it tries to register handguns or what not, but when it comes to those Arabs, things are suddenly different…

  85. PC
    You’re not answering the questions I posed at 3:30.

    Try again.

  86. Except his wives and kids have been thoroughly brainwashed and would probably try to kill whoever attempted to take them into custody.

  87. Regardless of how you felt about Afghanistan or Iraq, I was about 50-50 myself, once they go in there, should they not exploit their advantages, in our case air supremcy, at the expense of their own soldiers’ lives?

    This presumes that the life of a soldier, who volunteers to fight and possibly die, is inherently more valuable than the life of the children who were unlucky enough to be born in a war zone.

  88. But as to your specific question, if exploiting our advantages means engaging in actions which will leave a great deal of innocent civilians dead then I would say, yes we should not exploit that in that way. In fact, that’s how we’ve been trying to behave in those two places. We do that for practical AND moral reasons I should think.

  89. MNG | January 2, 2009, 3:30pm | #

    I’m merely saying there is no morality in war, not what I might think moral or not and to conduct war plans based on morality is kind of stupid, based on history and trends.

    During the Revolutionary War it was considered immoral to pick off officers, how’d that work out for the british?

    Is the other side, in this case Hamas worried about civilian losses when they shoot their rockets? If Hamas had military superiority to Israel what do you think they would do? Those who cry about morality and disproportionality are usually fighting with obsolete equipment, their only strength is a plea to “morality”.

    And if civilian casualties are what determines “morality” then war is becoming more and more “immoral” as time goes on regardless of the actors, soldier to civilian casualty ratios point to such.

  90. You are right, they wanted tit-for-tat to keep going. Unless you think this operation is going to end up better than 2006, tit-for-tat is looking a lot better than what’s going on now.

    Joe, I’m interested in why you think this is true from Israel’s perspective. Exactly what is Hamas going to do that it already isn’t doing? Fire more shitty rockets and suicide bombers into Israel right? Add to this a possibility of a ground war and Israel is going to have losses in the mid four figures maybe. The Gazans could be wiped from the face of the earth if Israel wants to. According to the last article I read the losses stand at 420 to 4. From a cold, calculated, cost-benefit scenario Israel gains more by escalating the conflict as long as Iran or Syria does not get involved.

    Trust me, I don’t mean to be glib about the loss of human life but I don’t see what the Israelis are losing here. Their people overwhelmingly support escalation. They have the means to do it. Loss of international support? Those who hate Israel are going to go from hate to really hate. Those that support Israel are going to go from support to support with reservations. Israel has thought this through.

  91. This presumes that the life of a soldier, who volunteers to fight and possibly die, is inherently more valuable than the life of the children who were unlucky enough to be born in a war zone.

    If we could get everyone to agree to form squares and march to Belgium, that might be preferable (except to Belgium). But wars arent fought that way anymore. Guernica is the norm now. To me, that means you dont fight wars unless its absolutely necessary, but when you do, dont worry about it (you know, while trying to minimize innocent loss).

  92. See, PC, for all that tough talk no one really believes ANYTHING is ok in war. There is some point at which actions engaged in during warfare can become immoral.

    Now we are talking about whether this has occurred here. But let’s have none of that nonsense you’re spouting because it makes you think of yourself as one of the few unstarry-eyed realists in the world…

  93. MNG | January 2, 2009, 3:30pm | #

    Also if the Nazis would have won WWII, we would have been most likely tried for war crimes. The mantle of “morality” seems to be one of the spoils of war as well.

  94. PC is right about that, re: war crimes. And certainly, if the Nazis had done to London what we did to Dresden, we would have tried them for it. To say nothing of what we would have done if Los Angeles and Seattle got nuked by the Japanese!

  95. Jesus you are really far gone.

    Do you think there is such a thing as morality or not? I’m betting you do (like when you hear about child molesting do you just shrug with indifference?, well, there’s no morality so what’s the big deal).

    OK, if there is such a thing about morality, do you think it does not apply to acts of war?

    Why in the world would that be? Explain.

    You’re confusing two things
    1. That in war many sides don’t seem guided by any sense of morality
    2. That acts of war cannot ever be immoral.

    The first is an empirical statement about the world that is certainly true enough. But it doesn’t give you the second, which is a moral statement and so embarrisingly untrue that you yourself cannot just come out and answer the hypos I pose above (if number 2 is true then the answers should be easy)

  96. PC

    Does the fact that some people think 2+2=5 make it so? Or does it in some way undermine the fact that 2+2 ACTUALLY equals 4?

    Likewise the fact that many people have and do still ignore the immorality of their sides war actions in no way means that those actions were or were not immoral.

  97. MNG, if the Japanese nuked LA in 1945, then we won the war, don’t you think we would have tried them for the war crime of using nuclear weapons?

  98. Of course we would have. But what does this tell us about whether the nuking was immoral or not?

  99. Do you think nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki was immoral, MNG?

    What about carpet bombing Tokyo? Were those war crimes?

  100. To me, that means you dont fight wars unless its absolutely necessary, but when you do, dont worry about it (you know, while trying to minimize innocent loss).

    See, but I think “trying to minimize innocent loss” means you have to “worry about it.”

  101. Lincoln,

    If Israel is motivated by the well-being of its citizenry, then ratios don’t matter.

    If their actions get an additional 10 of the citiizens killed, in return for a thousand Palestinians dead, that is 10 excess Israelis dead.

    The number of Palestinians who die too only counts as a bonus if your goal isn’t to secure the well-being of Israelis, but to maximize the harm to Palestinians.

  102. But what does this tell us about whether the nuking was immoral or not?

    One of two things:

    1. Nothing

    2. That nuking and losing is immoral (nuking and winning is clearly moral). I think this leads to:

    2b. Losing a war is immoral.

  103. Those who cry about morality and disproportionality are usually fighting with obsolete equipment, their only strength is a plea to “morality”.

    This is what cops who are fighting a “war” on drugs or a “war” on crime say when justifying unnecessary brutality. We would never tolerate putting U.S. civilians in the danger we tolerate for foreign civilians.

  104. Is stealing immoral?

    What if I steal a gun from an insane person?

    ROI, not morality.

  105. See, but I think “trying to minimize innocent loss” means you have to “worry about it.”

    Nah, I think it just means you center the target on the military targets. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were legit military targets, we werent aiming at the regular folk, they just got in the way. I dont think the guys in the Enola Gay worried about it at all. And shouldnt have.

  106. None of us here will have much effect on whether any Israelis or Hamas members will have their actions legally condemned as immoral.

    But that in no way prevents us from discussing whether those actions are actually moral or not.

    It’s also not the same thing as saying that the moral/immoral distinction does not apply to acts of war, or whether anything done during war is moral. That’s a seperate claim not supported by any of the above, and it’s also a claim that I think no one here REALLY believes, hence PC’s inability to say “nuking a nation which has fired one rocket at another nation is morally ok.” He can’t say it because he doesn’t believe such utter nonsense.

    What PC seems to be clumsily getting at is that winning the war justifies otherwise immoral acts (that the end justifies the means). If that’s what he means, and he clearly has not been able to specify that as of yet, then at least we have something that I think actual human beings might believe at some level.

  107. Oh and because I think nuking Japan was okay doesnt mean I think it is okay for Israel can nuke Gaza.

  108. What was the final effect, in terms of Israel’s security and foreign policy goals, of their disproportionate response to Hezbollah’s provocations two years ago?

    Do you why terrorists try to goad their enemies into over-reacting?

    Because it helps them.

  109. Really robc?

    You think that losing a war is immoral?

    You really think that what makes an action wrong or right is whether that action was carried out by someone on the ultimately prevailing side?

    I don’t think you think that at all.

  110. BDB
    I agree with most of the military brass at the time that both of those nukings were immoral.

  111. Do you think nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki was immoral, MNG?

    Eisenhower thought so. So did lots of other generals and military strategists.

    http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm

  112. But the firebombing wasn’t, MNG? So it would have been OK if we firebombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima, but not nuked them?

  113. So if, during war, I initiate a policy of raping the children of the enemy regularly, and my side wins, then those rapes were not immoral?

    Because my side won?

    See what I’m getting at, noone here really believes such nonsense.

  114. It’s not like we weren’t destroying whole cities before we had nukes!

  115. BDB | January 2, 2009, 2:59pm | #

    Who thinks immediate free elections in the Arab world are still a good idea when people like Hamas get elected?

    I DO

  116. What PC seems to be clumsily getting at is that winning the war justifies otherwise immoral acts (that the end justifies the means). If that’s what he means, and he clearly has not been able to specify that as of yet, then at least we have something that I think actual human beings might believe at some level.

    I, as has come up many times, disagree with this. However I do think that what are legit means in war is so large as to make the process of deciding to go to war a very tough one.

    Germany*, Italy**, Japan and Afghanistan have stepped over that line this century, IMO.

    *just once
    **by association

  117. BDB
    I think many of the firebombings were immoral, yes.

    I’m not sure what you are getting at though.

    If you’re point is that some war actions are morally justified by the ends they produce, then I think you should know that is different than what I am arguing against, that is that acts committed during war are never immoral (or that if my side wins they are not).

    If what PC and all these folks mean is the former, then we’re having a different discussion. But that’s not what’s been said.

  118. Really robc?

    You think that losing a war is immoral?

    No, I said that is the conclusion that could be drawn from war criminal trials. I didnt mean that I agreed with it. I was pointing out the absurdity of basing morality on who happens to get tried.

  119. MNG,

    You need to work on your sarcasm detection.

  120. I mean, really, let’s settle this quickly.

    Does anyone here think that if I were a Major and instructed my troops to mass rape little children that this was
    1. not wrong because done during war or
    2. not wrong because ultimately my side won?

    I didn’t think so. Hence it’s possible for actions taken during war to be immoral, not matter who wins.

    Jesus Christ, what was hard about that?

    Now we can discuss whether the IDF is acting immorally here, but let’s have none of this “well it can’t be immoral because its during a war” nonsense*, OK?

    *Or its equally stupid variant: that the immorality of war actions cannot be ascertained with a standard of proportionality (see mu nuke hypo above)

  121. Okay, MNG, I decided I needed to explain this in detail. See, my answer #1 gives my real answer – what a war crime trial tells us about morality – Nothing. #2 is the act of applying logic to the war crime trial, since we know only the losers get tried, then clearly 2b logically follows. See, easy to understand sarcasm.

  122. not wrong because ultimately my side won?

    Are you still arguing with a sarcastic point that agreed with you?

  123. robc
    My apologies, but as you can read upthread there are people here seriously arguing that war actions cannot be immoral or disproportionate (which is just another way of saying immoral). And they are’nt being sarcastic.

    It’s an amazingly common view actually given how stupid it is.

  124. Israel has always pursued a policy of disproportionate response – looking at the current situation in Gaza, it’s a reasonable argument to say that Israel’s response is disproportionate (dropping a one-ton bomb to kill one man). However, that’s always how Israel operated – they’ve historically been surrounded by hostile forces, and that’s perhaps how they perceive they’ve survived (it’s like a small gangster who’s exceptionally brutal just to show he can’t be messed with).

  125. MNG,

    that the immorality of war actions cannot be ascertained with a standard of proportionality

    I already defeated your proportionality argument. While there is a limit, that limit is **NOT** based on proportionality.

  126. “I’m merely saying there is no morality in war”

    PC at 3:40

  127. MNG,

    It might be a proportional to the square standard. ๐Ÿ™‚

  128. Argh, no robc, you admited my correctness. As you said, dropping a nuke on a nation that fired one rocket at another would be immoral.

    Because it’s a disproportionate response. Then you went on to say that you don’t beleive in exact proportionality to measure the morality of war acts, to which I said, well of course. But there is some standard of propotionatality you believe in, otherwise why wouldn’t it be OK for me to nuke that nation that fired the rocket?

  129. MNG,

    Im using proportional in a mathematical sense here, like is used in some laws in some locations for self defense. That is what Im saying you have wrong. If you arent using it in that sense, then nevermind.

  130. “How long should people put up with a military blockade stopping food and water and other necessities before they strike at those who have put the blockade in place?”

    You conveniently overlook the tunnels to Egypt.

  131. MNG,

    OT, but last week or so you misattributed the “justice though the heavens fall” quote. You left the thread before I could point it out. I figure it applies here too.

  132. The number of Palestinians who die too only counts as a bonus if your goal isn’t to secure the well-being of Israelis, but to maximize the harm to Palestinians.

    Right Joe, I agree, but isn’t Israel trying to maximize harm to the Hamas leadership – not the rest of the Palestinians? I think Israel believes the loss in innocent life on both sides is worth it to remove Hamas from Gaza. I think Israel believes more life is lost by Hamas staying in power than by this war. In fact, the same estimates I’m reading online are saying out of those 420 Palestinians who have died 300 – 350 of those are Hamas. So by escalating the situation Israel can remove Hamas but Hamas cannot do even a remotely similar thing by escalating things on their end. Now this may be short sighted thinking on the Israelis part – I’m sure someone will step in to fill the Hamas void – but Israel clearly has something to gain by escalation. Israel believes it worth the cost to go through with it. Are they underestimating the cost?

  133. MNG,

    Argh, no robc, you admited my correctness. As you said, dropping a nuke on a nation that fired one rocket at another would be immoral.

    I admitted that it isnt unlimited, not that it is proportional.

  134. We would never tolerate putting U.S. civilians in the danger we tolerate for foreign civilians.

    Who is included in your editorial “we”? Americans in general? The readers of this blog? Because Americans seem way too okay with cops putting actual human lives in great danger, so long as they can justify it with the idea that those humans were potentially taking an unauthorized substance.

  135. BakedPenguin,

    People dont even have a problem with putting human lives in great danger because they share a similar address to people taking an unauthorized substance.

  136. According to the Egyptian Ambassador to the USA, in a conversation on the PBS’ NewsHour a couple of days ago, Egypt has closed its border with Gaza to refugees because it feels that there would be no refugees if Hamas hadn’t irritated Israel into attacking and if Israel hadn’t attacked. The Egyptian-Gazan border is still open to humanitarian and emergency medical needs, but they are not interested in helping either Hamas or Israel in this issue.

    BDB … chill out, dude. You’re fast approaching trolldom. Try not to hold others responsible for statements made by others over 60 years ago.

  137. Lincoln,

    Ah, I see. Yes, plainly, the Israelis think that this will go very differently from 2006, and that Hamas will be “regime changed.”

    I remain skeptical. I think it’s more likely that Hamas will come out of this stronger, just as Hezbollah did, and may end up in control of the West Bank as well.

    We’ll see.

  138. I think the concept of proportionality is a questionable one and it’s part of the reason there’s confusion here.

    If two military forces are battling, and because one military force is qualitatively superior it only suffers 10 casualties in a battle where the losing side suffers 50,000, the fact that the losses aren’t proportional isn’t really that relevant.

    I have two main problems with the Israeli response here:

    1. It’s collective. The Israelis don’t like the actions of Hamas rocketeers, so they have decided to bomb and to starve and to imprison all the residents of the Gaza strip.

    2. The Israelis are in the wrong in the dispute as a whole. If two parties to a conflict are launching attacks using area weapons, but group A is the conqueror and occupier, and group B is not, I consider group A more wrong than group B. If group A comes to me and tries to defend their use of 2000 lb bombs by saying that group B is shooting bottle rockets at them, they will not get a sympathetic hearing from me.

    So proportionality doesn’t really come into it. Actually, I think the proportionality argument is itself immoral, since those making it are by implication saying that there’s some amount of civilian butchery and collective punishment that would be appropriate, but Israel’s just gone a little too far. And I don’t accept that at all.

  139. Kilgore,

    I agree that powerline is huge problem.

  140. Powerline is so right. Dressing children up as warriors is proof that your culture is evil and needs to be destroyed.

    http://www.costumesupercenter.com/csc/prod/120104/i/1/product.web

    http://www.costumesupercenter.com/csc/prod/114014/i/1/product.web

  141. “BDB … chill out, dude. You’re fast approaching trolldom. Try not to hold others responsible for statements made by others over 60 years ago.”

    What in the world was that in response to, exactly?

  142. “What PC seems to be clumsily getting at is that winning the war justifies otherwise immoral acts (that the end justifies the means). If that’s what he means, and he clearly has not been able to specify that as of yet, then at least we have something that I think actual human beings might believe at some level.”

    Maybe we have different definitions of morality and I agree I have been making my arguments rather clumsily, I was distracted by other things, but now you have my attention so maybe you or someone else can help me along.

    What is your definition of morality? I’d like to know this in order to understand from your point of view how one can fight a war morally. You mentioned raping, but the original discussion was proportionality somehow being linked to morality. So once we agree on what morality is, maybe we can agree on the moral number of bombs, or the moral number people to kill in response to another action.

  143. I love how the Israeli’s pounded the Lebanese to hard they stopped firing rockets and people like you still say Israel lost.

    War works, it really does. After Israel has killed a few thousand Palistineans they’ll stop rockets, yet clowns like you will still say it was all in vain.

  144. “It’s not like we weren’t destroying whole cities before we had nukes!”

    Nukes, the new N-word.

  145. “Does anyone here think that if I were a Major and instructed my troops to mass rape little children that this was
    1. not wrong because done during war or
    2. not wrong because ultimately my side won?”

    The UN says it’s okay in Darfur.

  146. I love how the Israeli’s pounded the Lebanese to hard they stopped firing rockets and people like you still say Israel lost.

    Israel attacked southern Lebanon to try to retrieve Israeli soldiers who had been captured by Hezbollah. Hezbollah wasn’t launching rocket attacks on Israeli civilian areas until after the invasion started. They stopped firing rockets when the invasion ended. Not only do WE say that Israel’s invasion of southern Lebanon was a debacle, that’s what the ISRAELIS say about it.

  147. “1. It’s collective. The Israelis don’t like the actions of Hamas rocketeers, so they have decided to bomb and to starve and to imprison all the residents of the Gaza strip.”

    What are the Israelis supposed to do if Hamas does not seperate itself from the rest of the population? Wait until they do?

    “2. The Israelis are in the wrong in the dispute as a whole. If two parties to a conflict are launching attacks using area weapons, but group A is the conqueror and occupier, and group B is not, I consider group A more wrong than group B. If group A comes to me and tries to defend their use of 2000 lb bombs by saying that group B is shooting bottle rockets at them, they will not get a sympathetic hearing from me.”

    Occupier and Conquerer? What if the occupied force says that your borders should not exist, and fires rockets at you? Are they not in the process of attempting to conquer and occupy you? Is one side in the wrong only when they successfully conquer and occupy you? One must remain a martyr until that happens?

  148. BDB – gawd. dont you know? you’re spewing out little EDWEIRDO nuggets through your keyboard.

    sheesh.

    *gives highnumber a look*

    [ducks]

  149. The conqueror argument has an innate time period flaw in it. What is our time length? If we even set it at something reasonable like 99 years, does that mean Israel just has to hold out another 30 or so years and then they become the right side?

  150. robc | January 2, 2009, 5:01pm | #

    Yes time is definitely a tricky thing. Would Mexico’s lobbing of bombs into Texas be acceptable? What about those Indians, would they be in the right to scalp me? Yes we could discuss if it is OK for Israel to exist at all since it is only sixty years old but I don’t hear anyone making that argument on this thread, at least explicitly.

  151. If by proportionality you mean military losses for military losses then to some extent I agree with fluffy. Two sides fight on the battle field and one inflicts massive damages on the other while the other barely nicks the former (like Agincourt). That’s not what I’m talking about, so maybe I was being clumsy there.

    What I mean is that if nation x fires a rocket at nation y attempting to, at best case, kill a handful of people, then if nation y chooses as a response something that will kill hundreds of people, or if it picks something that has a very high likelihood of killing civilians, then it’s wrong.

    I agree with fluffy that the major sources of wrongness as a whole from the IDF (and to Hamas, certainly in their goals) imo are the collectiveness of many of their punishments and the high number of civilian deaths.

    But I do think proprtionatality matters. And this is why I was not bitching when, in response to past rocketings, Israel launched more controlled attacks which were intended to kill a handful of the enemy even though these attacks might have involved some civilian casualties (I think this because certainly Israel can morally do something about the attacks, and given the nature of the conflict there are really not many options that will not kill ANY civilians EVER).

    I just don’t think, to take an example, a massive invasion that will result in the deaths of thousands is warranted by a border raid that at “best” would have killed single digits of people is a moral thing to do. And that has something to do with proportionality I think.

  152. The conqueror argument has an innate time period flaw in it. What is our time length? If we even set it at something reasonable like 99 years, does that mean Israel just has to hold out another 30 or so years and then they become the right side?

    There’s no time limit, actually.

    If Israel declared the West Bank and Gaza to be conquered and absorbed, and to be new and permanent parts of Israel – but made the inhabitants of those territories citizens – I would say they conquered that land fair and square and it was theirs now. No passage of time required.

    But because Israel has chosen to seize these territories but not to actually absorb them, the clock gets reset every morning at dawn and it will never run out.

  153. MNG | January 2, 2009, 5:15pm | #

    But once again Hamas chooses to mingle with the population and it would seem that the population has no problem hiding them. They did vote in Hamas who doesn’t believe Israel should even exist. Those “civilians” agree that you shouldn’t exist and have no qualms hiding those that repeatedly fire rockets at you. They also have friends with more advanced technology. Are they supposed to do little attacks here and there, and once Hamas gains access to better weapons, only then can you take more decisive measures?

  154. What are the Israelis supposed to do if Hamas does not seperate itself from the rest of the population? Wait until they do?

    I find that in general it’s usually the case that if you can’t accomplish a given end without using immoral means, there is something wrong with your end.

    [For example, consider our domestic drug policy. The fact that our contraband laws are very difficult to enforce without abridging our civil liberties should serve as a strong indicator that there’s something wrong with our contraband laws.]

    In the case of Israel and Gaza, Israel is “forced” to resort to starving the citizens of Gaza because they can’t think of any other way to reduce the population of the territory into submission. But to me that’s a sign that they might want to consider that their occupation may be in the wrong. If you have to starve the population to accomplish your goals, it’s time to get new goals.

  155. if those jews would just go back where they came from there would be no more war.

  156. Fluffy | January 2, 2009, 5:31pm | #

    So war is never the answer? Or is war a moral means? So Israel is just supposed to let rockets rain down and shrug their shoulders?

  157. FOOLS! THE CORRECT ANSWER IS THAT THE ISRAELIS SHOULD HAVE SET THEIR PHASERS ON STUN, NOT KILL.

  158. “But once again Hamas chooses to mingle with the population and it would seem that the population has no problem hiding them.”

    The first fact does not mean open season on the population of course, and the second statement strikes me as very dubious. An actual majority of Gazans did not vote for Hamas candidates in 2006. Many Gazans died in gunfights WITH Hamas members. Very likely they often have little choice in “hiding” Hamas fighters, and also understandable is that they root for Hamas over the IDF which kills so many of them, starves them, blocks their economic activity, etc.

    “They did vote in Hamas who doesn’t believe Israel should even exist.”

    Again, many did not. Also, even though Americans have voted in governments which provide a level of support for Israel bordering on lunacy and in the eyes of most Arabs directly results in their oppression an Arab who thinks that means they can attack any and all Americans willy nilly is moralluy wrong.

    “Those “civilians” agree that you shouldn’t exist and have no qualms hiding those that repeatedly fire rockets at you.”

    See other answers

  159. PC
    From reading fluffy’s prior posts I assume he would say that Israel should respond to the agitation many Palestinians exhibit from being occupied by either granting political rights to the Palestinians as Israeli citizens or allowing them to form their own autonomous state in which they have such rights.

  160. A THOUSAND TAINTS BECKON MY MAGIC TONGUE.

  161. “Very likely they often have little choice in “hiding” Hamas fighters”

    Nothing wrong with that…

    Amendment III:

    No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

  162. “MNG | January 2, 2009, 5:48pm | #
    “But once again Hamas chooses to mingle with the population and it would seem that the population has no problem hiding them.”

    The first fact does not mean open season on the population of course, and the second statement strikes me as very dubious.”

    OK lets forget the second statement and concentrate on the first since we agree. Should they not retaliate at those who fire rockets at them?

  163. Look PC, first I have to say I agree with fluffy on the ultimate issue: Israel is in the wrong to the extent that they do not grant the residents of the Occupied Territories political rights in some fashion. Until they do resistance is justified (I don’t think this justifies anything done under said resistance btw) and the killing of resisters is to a large extent never going to be justified (since their resistance is just in the first place).

    Having said that, yes they can retaliate against those who fire rockets against them, but they must take into account such moral principles as proportionatility and civilian harm discussed above. When their attacks fail those principles, as I think they do here, I condemn. When they seem to pass them, as they have in countless strikes that occurred this year, the year, before, etc., by the IDF then I do not condemn them.

  164. I find that in general it’s usually the case that if you can’t accomplish a given end without using immoral means, there is something wrong with your end.

    Or, what you consider immoral really isn’t immoral.

    For instance, I think all of us would agree that in general killing someone is immoral. But there are particular cases where achieving the end of preserving our own lives we must kill, so we carve out an exception in our morality.

  165. If Israel declared the West Bank and Gaza to be conquered and absorbed, and to be new and permanent parts of Israel – but made the inhabitants of those territories citizens – I would say they conquered that land fair and square and it was theirs now. No passage of time required.

    But because Israel has chosen to seize these territories but not to actually absorb them, the clock gets reset every morning at dawn and it will never run out.

    As the US never made Iraqis US Citizens, this implies you supported Muqtada al-Sadr and his martyrs’ brigade, correct?

  166. cunny
    The US did make Iraqis Iraqi citizens. In fact they insisted on it.

    In fact, the US has worked its ass off to help create a state of Iraq in which Iraqis vote for their leaders and such. So that’s a big difference between it and Israel and Palestine.

  167. I don’t know about the Israelis, but my phaser is set permanently on thrill!

  168. “Having said that, yes they can retaliate against those who fire rockets against them, but they must take into account such moral principles as proportionality and civilian harm discussed above. When their attacks fail those principles, as I think they do here, I condemn. When they seem to pass them, as they have in countless strikes that occurred this year, the year, before, etc., by the IDF then I do not condemn them.”

    So previous attacks that failed to stop rocket attacks are the only correct ones. The other side that is indifferent to attacking civilians and denies Israel’s right to exist needs to be granted political rights.

    That’s the problem I still don’t understand personally how many bombs are moral and how many civilians are acceptable, nor has anyone informed me of such.

    Personally if they were lobbing rockets at me and saying at the same time I shouldn’t exist, then forget just airstrikes, it would require complete invasion and total defeat, because that is the only way to stop it. It seems every time a ceasefire is enacted they just want to keep lobbing rockets, and the international community seems to care more about granting political rights to factions that don’t think I should exist and are aligned with factions that have attempted to invade me in the past. It’s almost as if those invading factions and Hamas think that if they continue to provoke me and cry foul they can get their way just because they don’t have advanced enough weapons to kill me yet. And since everyone else cries when I respond and only seems to condemn me, then they really aren’t looking out for my best interests. I’d bet they really don’t want me to exist either, since their version of self defense is a hell of a lot different than what they considered it when they fought against belligerents.

    That is why I said in the beginning:

    “Personally I wouldn’t immigrate to a country where all my neighbors want to kill me, but hey different strokes for different folks I guess.”

  169. MNG, Palestinians are Palestinian citizens and they vote for their government. Fluffy was saying that unless you make all people in the occupied territory citizens of your own nation, you are considered Occupier and Conqueror, and thus fair game for attacks.

  170. MNG

    A lot of these apologists love to make tough comments about the right to resist our government if it tries to register handguns or what not

    Do you disagree with that right to resist? On what basis?

  171. “The other side that is indifferent to attacking civilians and denies Israel’s right to exist needs to be granted political rights.”

    You’re making the same mistake over and over, I’m inclined to think you’re doing it on purpose. The “other side” you are talking about includes children, women, old men, pacifists, people who have bullet holes in them from fighting Hamas. You cannot justify denying all of these people their political rights because some of them are members of Hamas.

    Of course they’ve been denied these rights since before Hamas even existed.

    And yes, of course they should be granted political rights regardless of how they feel about Israel’s existence. Do you think human and political rights only apply to people who think Israel was a good idea and should exist? That’s a strange philosophy I should say.

    “don’t think I should exist”

    What is this? Are you the living embodiment of the state of Israel?

    You do know that saying that the state of Israel should not exist does not necessarily mean you think the population of Israel should be killed or something.

    “I’d bet they really don’t want me to exist either, since their version of self defense is a hell of a lot different than what they considered it when they fought against belligerents.”

    Who in the world are you talking about? Am I now the living embodiment of the US? I think you’ll find that I apply the same standards to my nations military actions, in fact to all nations. It’s the pro-Israeli side that wants their nation to get some special attention (because, you know, the Holocaust or something).

    “MNG, Palestinians are Palestinian citizens and they vote for their government.”

    cunny-As fluffy has eloquently argued above Israel has most certainly not given the “nation” that Palestianins are “citizens” of even the most basic autonomy. Hence their position as illgetimate occupiers.

  172. kwais
    I agree that Americans, Palestinians,or anyone has the right to resist forces that would deny them fundamental political and human rights.

    My point was that many US Israeli apologists, when discussing domestic matters, are quick to suggest armed resistance to domestic forces that they see as denying them fundamental rights, but dismiss the Palestinian resistance to a nation which denies them basic rights at gunpoint.

    Palestinian citizens, whether Hamas members of not, are denied the right to export their goods, to work for willing employers in Israel, subject to arrest, search, seizure and even death from a government in which they have absolutely no voice in.

  173. “The “other side” you are talking about includes children, women, old men, pacifists, people who have bullet holes in them from fighting Hamas. You cannot justify denying all of these people their political rights because some of them are members of Hamas.”

    This is a crucial, crucial point. These are the people I’m trying to protect. I don’t give a hang for Hamas, which I’ve said over and over again that I see as a bunch of immoral thugs.

    This is the problem I see so much from Israeli apologists, they seem to equate giving a hang about the women, children, old people, and anti-Hamas people living in Gaza and the other OPT as being “pro-Hamas” or even more sadly as “anti-Israeli” or worse “anti-Semitic.”

    When I think about what is right in the ME I don’t just ask what would be good for Israel (or rather its current government to be more specific) but also have to factor in these people’s rights and welfare.

  174. Let me lastly address this meme that Hamas and the like are sitting around constantly trying to kill Israelis while Israelis have, up until last week, just meekly sat around and “took it.”

    Actually, last year alone the IDF killed 245 Palestinians in numerous strikes and incursions. They’ve instituted an embargo via force that has contributed to the result of 87% of Palestinians living below the poverty line and 75% of their factories being shut down. The IDF has, at gunpoint, prevented Palestinains from traveling into Israel and other adjoining nations, including barring Palestinain spouses of Israeli citizens from residing with their spouses in Israel. They’ve also continued to either allow, encourage or actually support the continuted appropriation of Palestinian citizens’ land through continued settlements and the building of the anti-terrorism wall.

    http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/category,COI,HRW,ANNUALREPORT,ISR,47a87c07c,0.html

    Now look, all of this is very complicated, I’m not trying to paint the IDF or Israel as some kind of Nazis. We can talk about the complex situation that Israel finds itself in and you’ll find me to be probably suprisingly sympathetic. But we’ve got to get this meme of the ever violent Palestinians constantly trying to make war on a pacifistic Israel that is just trying its hardest to do right by the Palestinians. Come on.

  175. MNG, my original question was, would not Fluffy’s statements require him to side with al-Sadr and the like in the Iraqi insurrection. Are you claiming that Iraq, circa 2005, was autonomous with respect to the US?

  176. Why is proportionality important?

    Was the American response to the attack on Pearl Harbor proportional?

  177. Videos of various civilian Palestinian reactions to 9/11.

    Of course, the spokeswoman at the time said these were not representative of the Palestinians, that ‘real’ Palestinians “from the depths of our own sorrow and victimization, we reach out and feel your pain and feel your sorrow, and will do everything possible in order to combat such an evil. “

    Which is of course why a month before they took every step they could to stop people from blowing up a pizza parlor. Because they are key allies on fighting such evil in the world. And don’t celebrate it at all. Hamas, especially, the most popular political party among the Palestinians, has been especially invaluable in fighting such evil.

  178. HOM – sickening, sad, and totally irrelevant.

    Cue the violins.

  179. cunnivore | January 2, 2009, 8:26pm | #

    MNG, my original question was, would not Fluffy’s statements require him to side with al-Sadr and the like in the Iraqi insurrection. Are you claiming that Iraq, circa 2005, was autonomous with respect to the US?

    NO,

    In Iraq we don’t blow up buildings in Iraq with civilians to punish other Iraqis for the fact that Al Sadr was Iraqi.

    In fact we din’t even go after Sadr, we only went after the people that were doing violence on his behalf.

    So NO, Fluffy’s point does not make him a Sadr supporter. Sadr’s philosofy would be closer to yours Cunnivore. That of judging a people by their religion or ethnicity.

  180. HOM,

    Anecdotally I have come across many Palestinians, in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, and one that we captured in Iraq.

    The ones that I have met were surprisingly non Anti American. Given that we Americans created Israel on top of their homes, and we fund the continued violence against them, and scare other Arab nations away from intervening in what they consider to be a genocide.

    So there is my Anecdotal evidence against yours.

  181. Actually now that I think about it. I met a whole bunch of Palestinians in Iraq. I was buying illegal liquor at a Palestinian refugee camp in Iraq, on the Syrian border.

    Imagine that, people refugeeing themselves over to Iraq of all places. How bad did it have to suck in where they were to flee to Iraq?

  182. There should be some kind of Godwin’s law for 9/11 on Middle East threads.

  183. Please, somebody, make it stop–wish the Israelis and the Palestinians into the corn field.

  184. Seems to me it’s not Israel’s version of events but the Arabs’ that gets the most play in the international media (the U.S. is an exception to this to some extent).

  185. MNG, my original question was, would not Fluffy’s statements require him to side with al-Sadr and the like in the Iraqi insurrection. Are you claiming that Iraq, circa 2005, was autonomous with respect to the US?

    While I don’t want to try to single out any Iraqi political faction, I will say that there were certainly Iraqis who had the moral right to employ violence against representatives of the United States.

    It’s not that hard to understand, really. If you kicked down my door, “looking for arms”, and then dragged me away to Abu Ghraib where Lynndie England played reindeer games with me for a few weeks, and then when you let me out [not because I was granted any due process or anything, but because you needed my cell to fuck with someone else] I got home and found that you had knocked down my house to build a security wall, and that my son had been shot because he was standing somewhere close by when an IED went off, guess what – I have the moral right to try to kill you until you go away.

    You have to leave aside geopolitical issues for a moment, and the question of what nation and political leader did what when, and realize one simple fact – that when states act in certain ways towards populations subject to their rule, the members of those populations are morally entitled to resist using violence. I possess certain basic rights, and if a state violates those rights I get to kill representatives of the state to make them stop. And I don’t care what problems the state has, or what series of historical events makes them think they have an excuse to violate my rights.

    So if you’re the Israelis and your army has seized control of the place where I live, and you try to rule me while I have no right to vote, to travel, to import or export goods, to own arms or other categories of property, to be secure in my ownership of my current property, I get to use violence to make you go away, and if you say to me, “Buh-buh-but the Holocaust, but-but-but the PLO, but-but-but suicide bombings, but-but-but the Arab states attacked us in 1948!” I don’t have to give a shit about any of that. I am a human being, and you are the state that has asserted the right to control [directly or indirectly] the area where I am, and my right to resist injustice supercedes your state’s circumstances and concerns.

    And that also means that if I’m in Iraq, instead, and you say, “Well, we had to topple Saddam Hussein,” that’s great, but having toppled Saddam Hussein and made yourself the occupying power you’ve placed yourself in the position of the state, and I get to judge your conduct by the same standard I would use to judge any other state. And if you act in a way that violates my rights, I get to treat you as a state that is violating my rights. “But-but-but we had to topple Saddam Hussein and now there’s an insurgency and there might be a civil war if we leave and we have to act this way!” Hey, talk to the hand.

  186. cunny
    I can’t speak for fluffy, but the heart of what he’s getting at is that the Palestinians are denied the fundamental rights of actual self government. That could be solved by granting them full political rights under the State of Israel or by giving them their own nation (many Likudians sort of acknowledge this when they used to say, and still now and then you’ll find one of them saying, that they should just be declared Jordanian citizens and have done with it).

    I actually think if the Palestinians don’t want to be Israeli citizens then the proper route is for them to be given their own nation with citizenship. But I see fluffys overall point: just holding these people in a territory you occupy is immoral.

  187. Several people on this post refer to Gaza as an ” open-air asylum” and comment on the lack of control over its own residents.

    One fact that is kind of relevant to saying that any government in Gaza has to “control” their own people is this: 44% of Gaza’s population is 14 years old or younger. That’s comparable to 28% for Israel or 20% for the U.S. The population for Gaza is largely a bunch of young unemployed poor kids. And with a very “semi” autonomous and underfunded government, it’s going to be very hard to get total control over that.

  188. Israel is not a legitimate government. It possesses no legitimacy; not only is it’s history void of legitimacy, it’s current actions, targeting civilians and denying them basic human rights, is reminiscent of the worst tyrannies.

    If Hamas launched a million rockets into Israel every day, they would be justified in doing so.

    Until the menace of Israel ceases to exist, there will be no justice. Israel cannot exist as a state without actively promoting genocide of the Palestinian people; it simply exists outside of the nature of Israelis.

    How long should a reasonable state “suffer” shoot and scoot rockets, you can ask, but this is the wrong question. How long should a man allow his family to go hungry because a bully seeks only to forbid his family the bread they need to live?

    Not for a second.

  189. my view is = fuck em all. They are all a gang of shits who reap what they sow. And cheerleaders or partisans from either side all have to engage in self delusions and omissions to make their story sound more sympathetic and legitimate than the opposition (see above). The israeli / palestinian conflict has no good guys. Playing “whos more oppressed?!” is fucking lame. They are like a shitty family that never stops fighting and basically ruin each others lives to no purpose. T

  190. My opposition to Iranian nukes is lessening every day. Jerusalam, Wall Street, the Capitol, the call centers of Mumbai, maybe even Bagdhad. Of course I’d want them to place a warning call first.

  191. FWIW, jackass “niccolo” above…

    quote from his website =

    “…. the bravery and honor that Somali Islamists fought with further proves why I am so admiring of their culture.

    lol

    oh, mercy. Somalia. 2008 winner, Worst Place on Earth Award.

    Somali ‘culture’ in action =

    “In Kismayu, a port city, 13-year-old Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow set off to visit her grandmother when three thugs pulled her off the street and raped her.

    Her family tried to report the rape to the al-Shebab militia that controls Kismayu. But after hearing the story, the militiamen charged Aisha with adultery and, on the spot, sentenced her to death.

    Two days later, militiamen hauled her to a city stadium, where a deep hole had been dug. The 13-year-old was buried up to her neck. About 50 men stoned Aisha to death as 1,000 spectators in the stands looked on. Asked about this later, the killers explained that they had thought she was older.”

    http://www.hiiraan.com/news2_rss/2009/Jan/somalia_the_worst_of_the_worst.aspx

    By any measure, one would probably be compelled to argue that Somali ‘culture’, whatever one means by it, is the single shittiest example of culture the world has ever seen. They were probably better off a few thousand years ago, and have been backsliding since.

  192. So previous attacks that failed to stop rocket attacks are the only correct ones.

    These attacks have not only failed to stop the rocket attacks, but the number of such attacks have increased tenfold since the air strikes began.

    Just as, as Fluffy pointed out above, the strikes in Lebanon and incursion of 2006 resulted in a vast increase in Hezbollah rockets.

    It’s difficult to take seriously the protestation of allegedly pro-Israel people who refuse to take this into account – the oh-so-righteous, nobody-can-criticize-them-without-being-anti-Semitic operations Israel keeps launching make things worse for the people living in Israel.

  193. the oh-so-righteous, nobody-can-criticize-them-without-being-anti-Semitic operations Israel keeps launching make things worse for the people living in Israel.

    … Compared to the oh-so-righteous, nobody-can-criticize-them-without-being-a-Zionist-apologist ‘resistance’ activities of Hamas, Al Aqsa brigades, Hezbollah, etc., which have done *oh so much* for the betterment of the living standards of the citizens of… uh…

    I mean, come the fuck on. No matter how you slice it, they’re all equally to blame for themselves.

  194. The difference, GILMORE, is that maybe one out of a hundred critics of Israel’s actions actually defend Hamas’ rocket attacks, while about 99 out of 100 supporters of Israel’s actions defend the killing of civilians.

    Look back at the thread, man. I count a total of one Israel critic who claimed it was acceptable for Hamas to shoot off these rockets.

    There is no equivalence here.

  195. US FP past few years. Cp:
    “operations Israel keeps launching make things worse for the people living in Israel.”
    and:
    Operations the US keeps launching makes things worse…

    being quick to grab the knife seems to have this effect.

    whoever said above that neither side seems to want this shooting to end has a point. It’s disgusting targeting civilians. It’s disgusting shooting rockets. Killing like that is bad and wrong.

    In fact, we need the Chosen One to come up with a word that is stronger. badong. It’s badong.

    Get those assholes to a table where they can talk face to face. Or don’t they have the balls?

  196. Sadr’s philosofy would be closer to yours Cunnivore. That of judging a people by their religion or ethnicity.

    joe owes me $1000, so he’ll give you $1000 if you can find evidence of me actually writing something like that.

    One moment you’re discussing general military tactics, the next moment you’re a despicable racist. Go figure.

  197. while about 99 out of 100 supporters of Israel’s actions defend the killing of civilians.

    As much as I hate going around in circles with you, I remind you that if you supported the invasion of Afghanistan you necessarily supported killing civilians — when such is the unavoidable result of action against the enemy.

  198. 1. The hell I do.

    2. Hiding behind the impossibility of absolutes doesn’t negate the moral principle. I oppose the bombing of houses full of civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Gaza.

  199. You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, eh, cunnivore?

    Such a skeptic of government!

  200. 2. Hiding behind the impossibility of absolutes doesn’t negate the moral principle. I oppose the bombing of houses full of civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Gaza.

    Absolutely. I too believe that killing civilians should be avoided if at all possible, and should never be done for its own sake.

    But you seriously would oppose bombing a house that contained an al-Qaeda/Taliban operations center with high-ranking commanders in it, if there were civilians in it also?

  201. Such a skeptic of government!

    Libertarianism ends at the water’s edge.

  202. Fluffy @8:51-
    Going ‘short’ against the state may be morally justified but
    1) You will generally fail; the exceptions are what makes history
    2) You shoot Americans, you’re not going be very popular in America, and people are automatically think you are wrong (in the short to medium term)

    cunni @12:52-
    don’t forget your Clauswitz. If you take out an asshole, people may (but may not) like you. But if you take out a family that everyone likes at the same time, people are going to forget you took out an asshole. Maybe the tradeoff is justified and it will work out overall; and maybe not. That’s why I nominally agree with whomever said above about ‘morality’ in war – that there’s very little of it. There is mostly ORM and ROI but only the traces morality. (Not to say there aren’t rules – but those rules have been developed over the centuries mostly to improve ORM and ROI while paying lip service to morality)

  203. Kolohe, you make good points. But the tenor of joe’s and others’ remarks above, and the accusations of me being a racist who jerks off to video of Palestinian civilian deaths, for disagreeing with them, makes me think their position is not based on a simple cost-benefit analysis.

  204. cunny
    Just as I hope you don’t think that opponents of recent Israeli actions are therefore anti-Semites or unconcerned with Israeli deaths I don’t think that everyone who supports Israels actions “jerks off to video of Palestinian deaths.”

    However, you have to admit that there were some posters upthread who seemed to take the position that since a Palestinian faction was “at fault” for the current hostilities then “the Palestinians” get what they get (because “they” voted in Hamas, “they” hide Hamas, etc).

    I agree (and did above) that actions which may result in some civilian deaths (albeit with very strong steps taken to limit them as much as possible) can be morally justified. That’s why my current condemnation of Israel’s large scale bombing involves the idea of proportionatility.

  205. But you seriously would oppose bombing a house that contained an al-Qaeda/Taliban operations center with high-ranking commanders in it, if there were civilians in it also?

    Absent an imminent threat, yes. Particularly if there are far more civilians than combatants, and those civilians were women and children.

    The most recent “Hamas commander” they killed? One dead Hamas combatant. Four dead women. NINE dead children.

    Unacceptable to anyone with a conscience.

  206. “But you seriously would oppose bombing a house that contained an al-Qaeda/Taliban operations center with high-ranking commanders in it, if there were civilians in it also?”

    I think I would have to ask about whether such an attack would result in less overall deaths down the road (killing ten civilians and five murderers now with every reason to believe that those five murderers would kill more than 10 people if they were not stopped) and then I think it’s still very questionable because I’d hate to be the one who has to trade off people’s lives like that. Utilitarian thinking clashes with ideas of individual rights. It’s a toughie.

  207. joe, just an aside, you consider civilian men’s lives to be worth less than civilian women’s?

  208. Oh come on cunny, where did he say that?

  209. joe-10:31am

    Last paragraph-that’s my position.

  210. The comments of the usual anti-Semitic readers aside (these Libertarians are like the Ernst Rhoem Nazis), the author of the piece deserves comdemnation as well for failing to mention Youtube’s efforts to keep the Israeli side off of youtube (it was reported by many other bloggers so so-called Reason Magazine cannot be ignorant of it.

    Brian Doherty’s refusal to mention youtube’s efforts to keep Israel’s side off youtube while granting free reign to the Muslim jihadists is what is known as halftruth reportng. A half truth is no truth and should be condemned — especally with a publication that is so spectacularly misnamed.

  211. I used to support the legalization of drugs, but listening to the anti-Semitic and irrational comments of many of the Libertarians on this falsely named Reason site has made me change my mind. The anti-Semitic comments of many here. Is this what steady use of drugs does to the mind?

    Scary!

  212. as usual, joe is right. israel should have ignored the rockets just like we should have ignored 9/11, then more people would be alive.

    if bill clinton were running israel no israelis would die in the invasion that is happening now, like when we were in bosnia.

  213. There are some good comments amongst the Hit & Run readers.

    Of course, the anti-Semites on this board don’t mention how the Hamas is talking about killing Jews everywhere (Israelis selling hair products were shot up in a Denmark mall).

    Since silence implies consent, maybe the anti-Semites on this board approve of Hamas killing Jews everywhere. And why not? They already approve of the killing of Jews in Israel even after they (foolishly) withdrew from Gaza.

  214. and the Israeli Defense Forces are using such modern-age conveniences as Twitter and YouTube to make sure its own version of events is getting out, even as they try to ensure no one else’s is.

    Modern age conveniences which out of reach for the rest of the Arab world? Color me confrused.

  215. and the Israeli Defense Forces are using such modern-age conveniences as Twitter and YouTube to make sure its own version of events is getting out, even as they try to ensure no one else’s is.

    Modern age conveniences which are out of reach for the rest of the Arab world? Color me confrused.

    Come on, Brian, isn’t that the whole point of YouTube and Twitter? They give ‘access’ to everyone making a more democratic flow if information? Or is it that Youtube and Twitter only help the Israelis, while the Palestinians can only benefit from the New York Times?

  216. paul, your hate of brown people through your total ignorance of their lives, is showing.

  217. Never fear, Underzog is here!

    I remember him, our anti-anti-Zionist Crusader has returned!

    Fed with bullshit Likudian propaganda Underzog has the power to not see facts which threaten his rigid world views (they are fashioned from titanium) and to make massive leaps to from faulty premises to unsupported conclusions, all in the service of his life long mission to see the Palestinians neck under an IDF heel and accompanied by his trusty companion, Commentary Magazine!

  218. right on mng. these totally unprovoked attacks by israel are probably more of the bush/cheney middleast crusade. i predict the israeli elections will be won by the ultra right.

  219. Maybe Karl Rove is behind the Israeli response in Gaza, nobody u no but a fan of Joe.

  220. underzog, are you trying to out yourself even further?

    nobody u no but a fan of Joe ha, joez law rulez, SPANK

  221. don’t bring up spanking or MNG might talk in graphic detail what he wants to do to me (again), and I just ate.

  222. Oh TAO, I don’t know how long you’ve been posting around here but that Underzog makes you seem like an open minded sentimentalist with an IQ of around 300.

    And this nobody u no guy’s attempts to be funny makes one long for the wit and erudition of SIV…

  223. And TAO, it was a metaphor for beating your ass intellectually, so you can keep your lunch!

    I have heard that US blacks and Palestinians are willing to convert to Judaism so they can fit into the glaringly large exceptions you have in your “collective punishment/individual justice” “ideas.”

    You’ve been so quiet lately. It really was a bad term at law school, wasn’t it? Don’t take it too hard. You can re-take classes you failed (I’m guessing Contracts and Philosophy of Law) and improve your GPA you know?

  224. As there are many anti-Semites in the Libertarian party, I see no reason to really engate in debate with people who think I don’t even have the right to board a bus on one stop and come out alive at the other. I don’t think me or my family in Israel should be killed because the Arab/Muslims are mad that the alleged lesser of those two religions (Christianity and Judaism) has a sliver of land where G-d gave the Jews a quit claim deed, to.

    However, if any do want to learn something about the phony Palestinian cause or anything else in that area, I offer this link: History and Geography in the Middle East.

    Maybe after a year something will sink in other than

  225. mng, you of all people should know that i am not joking. i am with you and joe in wishing the jews would just go back where they came from. everything would be better then, right?

  226. The solution is for one or more of the surrounding Arab countries to carve out part of their land to move those people to and get them away from the Isreali border.

    The fact is that there never was a histirically distinct “Palestinian people” or “Palestinian homeland”. They are just Arabs like all the rest of them.

  227. historically distinct I meant to say

  228. Underzog, you’re a joke.
    1. I’m not a libertarian. Neither is joe for example.
    2. That said, any consistent libertarian (TAO excluded for example) is going to have trouble with the acts of Israel which negatively effect people who have no demonstrated tie to groups which have done anything wrong in Israel’s (or anyone’s) eyes. “Collective punishment” actions are kind of hard for a true libertarian to swallow.
    3. The fact that you think “God gave some group” anything is conclusive is hilarious. You know the Arabs think “God gave them that land” too, right?
    4. The Christians in the area are no big fans of Israel. This gets obscured quite a bit by our media.

    nobody u no
    You’re silly, but in point of fact if a bunch of European Jews had not plopped down in the middle of land their ancestors had not lived in for twenty centuries and proclaimed a state there, things would indeed be better for a lot of people (the European Jews and the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians). It strikes me though that the Jews in the area who immigrated to Israel post 1948 are probably way better off imo. But that’s a level of nuance you are not capable of I imagine, so don’t worry too much about getting it.

  229. Gilbert, that’s horseshit. There may not have been in 1948, but there is such a thing as a Palestinian now. Partly created by Israel, I might add.

  230. Gilbert
    You are a stupid fool.

    Even the hard core Israeli Likudians have dropped this silly propaganda idea, maybe you missed the memo. And two reasons simply pop up right away:

    1. You can call them whatever (Palestinians, Arabs, whatever) but there were these people living in the lands that Israel declared as a state in 1948 and later occupied via war in 1967, people whose ancestors had lived there for centuries (something that could not be said about the majority of Israeli citizens 1948). These people can be declared part of Israel (but mind you not citizens!) because, why?
    2. You claim there were no Palestinian people or Palestinian homeland, but prior to the creation of Israel the area was called the Palestinian Mandate for some nutty reason, huh? Jesus, you don’t need to know much history to know how silly this view is.

    You should really ask yourself: how is that I, a grown supposedly rational adult, can believe something so easily refuted? Some introspection would follow in most folks…

  231. One thing there CERTAINLY is not is a “historically distinct” Ashkenazi Israeli! That’s whats funny!

    Baked-here you see something. Even the U.S. is calling for a cease-fire, not an invasion. Israel not only ignores the standards of the civilized world, it gives that world the middle finger.

    And then it wants to be free from consequences and criticism!

    We should cut our anomalous economic and diplomatic aid for six months for every day Israel does not agree to a cease fire. All of us who are not doing what we can to turn our government around are indirectly responsible for the slaughter that has and will occur.

  232. mng, what is your problem? everybody else is picking on you, not me.

    i agree, the jews should just go away and stop attacking the peaceful people who live around them. it is the only way for progressivism to spread to their tolerant neighbors.

  233. Funny in 1922 Britian and the world thought to call the area “the Palestinian Mandate” but not the “Israeli Mandate” even though there were no historically distinct area known as Palestine nor historically distinct people known as Palestinians and in spite of the fact that there was this well recognized area called Israel and well recognized people known as Israelites.

    Gilbert, you are walking joke for saying something so very, very stupid. I hope you look up whatever stupid sources gave you that dumb idea, burn them, and wear sackclothe for three days in order to be somewhat less of a total idiot.

  234. Nobody

    Really, there are very, very few people on this site who are as dumb as you and would therefore think you are cute.

  235. Try LGF, you’ll be seen as witty with that act.

  236. Speaking about proportionality

    Hamas 75% civilian casualties
    Israel 15% civilian casualties

    So far according to UN stats

  237. That said, any consistent libertarian (TAO excluded for example) is going to have trouble with the acts of Israel

    Oh dear. You’ll note that I’ve generally been critical of Israel’s actions, in that they’ll likely be ineffective. Although I am glad that you went with the “No True Libertarian” fallacy of argumentation.

  238. The IDF must finish all its objectives by Jan. 20th. The IslamoNazis will love Obama it will be like Dhimmi Carter’s time in office!

  239. aww, mng, you really have problems connecting with others no matter if they agree with you or want a nice discussion. i added you to my tribute name. perhaps you will stop pushing away those who can not wait for your next artful post.

  240. Nice attempt to troll me with the law school stuff, MNG. Wasn’t it you not too long ago who theorized I hadn’t even been to college?

    It’s good to know that someone’s obsessed with me, though.

  241. tao, i too thought this was a libertarian website at first, then i started reading the boards and saw that it is truly progressive.

    i am working on my progressive path. i need to start calling people stupid much more for great progress.

  242. MNG – I’d have to agree with GILMORE upthread – I’m sick of both sides, and have trouble really seeing either one as being “right”. I agree with cutting off aid to Israel, but I see no reason to give it to Palestinians, either.

    That’s actually one more reason why most of us vote libertarian – no “entangling” alliances…

  243. what baked said. (and it’s kinda hard to get others to listen to you when you’ve flaunted the same conventions for the past however many years!)

    A_R – I confess. I’ve been giving MNG the films I’ve taken of you through your window. So any inaccuracies are my fault…

    *hangs head in shame*

  244. i need to start calling people stupid much more for great progress.

    Indeed you do. MNG fantasizes that he lords his “superior” intellect over me and it hurts me OHSOMUCH that we’re not friends. *sniff*.

  245. vm, you must be stupid for not agreeing with mng.

    progressive progress

  246. I agree with URKOBOLD.

  247. upthread i noticed that someone else noticed the palestinians do not have a good infrastructure.

    if they had better public transportation they would be much better off. their lack of unions must also be hindering their progress.

  248. FOOLISH, BDB. SUCKING UP TO THE URKOBOLD WILL NOT CHANGE YOUR FATE. HOWEVER, YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO SERVICE THE WEIBSKOBOLD WHEN THE URKOBOLD IS ON VACATION.

    NOW GO DEVELOP THE EXTRA FILM WE HAVE ON RANDIAN. WE’RE SURE MNG WILL WANT TO KNOW HOW HE WAS INTERACTING WITH THE NOAM CHOMSKY BLOW UP DOLL.

  249. I regularly interact with the leather-bound edition of Heather Has Two Mommies…I wonder if that is on the film.

  250. >>>>>>>>>>>tao, i too thought this was a libertarian website at first, then i started reading the boards and saw that it is truly progressive.

  251. ONLY THE REENACTMENT OF THE SWEATY PILLOW FIGHT SCENE ON PAGE 69.

    NEXT TIME WE’RE GOING TO HAVE SCARLET JOHANSSON AND SALMA HAYEK DEMONSTRATE.

    EXCUSE ME. I’LL BE IN STEVO’S BUNK

  252. Something is keeping me from posting my messages on this board.

    Okay. I don’t care about this board that much.

  253. tao, you are disrespectful of women, like the israelis. if you respected women like the palestinians do then mng might like you better.

  254. EXCUSE ME. I’LL BE IN STEVO’S BUNK

    There’s no room in here, hoss! Oh, well, what the hell, I am sure we can think of something

  255. underzog, it is your lack of a free mind and missing union card. it works better with either/both.

  256. “You’ll note that I’ve generally been critical of Israel’s actions, in that they’ll likely be ineffective.”

    Since the only thing you can find wrong with the actions is that they are “not effective” my assessment is shown all the more to be correct.

    TAO @ 7:59-That wasn’t me. “Replying” to me as if it was is actually kind of stupid though…

  257. Surely nobody is SIV, just like Francisco Torres was TAO (wearing his “I know a little about economics but not a whole lot” rather than his “I know a little about philosophy but not a whole lot” hat).

    They both are unable to construct “arguments” more than two sentences.

  258. Soon TAO is going to answer how it is legitimate for Israel to limit a Palestinian’s, about whom there is no proof at all that they have ever struck at Israel, right to trade, travel, associate, be free from search , seizure, and attack, and denied a voice in government.

    And soon he will give us that quality which makes a necessary thing good.

    Oh so soon.


  259. TAO @ 7:59-That wasn’t me.

    I’m aware. I was making fun of you. But, boy, nice zinger anyway.

    Since the only thing you can find wrong with the actions is that they are “not effective” my assessment is shown all the more to be correct.

    That depends. Is this a war or is it not a war?

  260. I see you’re trolling again, MNG. Peace.

  261. Because TAO will be moved to many lengthy and passionate posts about the utter injustice of limiting a white person’s right to associate in order to help out the descendants of black slaves and sharecroppers because the limitations may fall on a white person who had no connection to such wrong doing.

    But is strangely silent on much more onerous restrictions on Palestinians on any more rights when there is no proof that Palestinian is a threat or harm.

    Of course he assures us if he saw any real discrimination he would be first on the front lines protesting it in proper libertarian fashion.

    Right.

  262. Surely nobody is SIV, just like Francisco Torres was TAO (wearing his “I know a little about economics but not a whole lot” rather than his “I know a little about philosophy but not a whole lot” hat).

    That doesn’t even make sense!

    Now tell me more about this “Love Panther”

  263. tao, it is only a war in the sense of how ghandi defeated the british in india or that guy with shopping bags in front of the tank in china.

  264. For TAO
    Trolling=not agreeing with me or my daddy’s ideas that are so ingrained in me!

    I’ve given you opportunity after opportunity to answer my questions and explain your really goofy ideas. You don’t.

    Doesn’t that make you the troll?

  265. Strange. I didn’t know that I had to be as passionate about issues overseas as I did about the ones at home. I am sure that you are selling all of your unnecessary shit (like refrigerators, televisions, cars, clothes…) and giving it to say, the Rwandans, right, MNG?

    Am I to assume that on every issue where you remain relatively silent that you must be supporting one side or the other? That’s a neat-o trick. They must have taught that in the oh-so-intellectual field of political “science”.

  266. Lord knows I don’t want to be your friend.

    I’m your teacher. You need it.

  267. tao, i am still supporting the people of kampuchia by buying record albums. i feed africans the same way. think globally and act locally.

  268. Well, TAO, you can answer now.

    You are here.

    Go ahead.

    Demonstrate your principles. Apply them.

  269. “3. The fact that you think “God gave some group” anything is conclusive is hilarious. You know the Arabs think “God gave them that land” too, right?

    Jerusalem is mentioned many many times in the Tannakh. It is not mentiond once in the Koran.

    You’re ignorance of the history their is most glaring. I gave you a hyperlink for which you, Joe; etc., can start your education.

    Or maybe you don’t care for any accurate knowledge. Maybe you agree with the sentiments expressed in the URL Hugo showed where a protesting Islamic woman says, “Jews go back to the ovens. You need a big oven.”

    I wouldn’t be suprised.

  270. Trolling=not agreeing with me or my daddy’s ideas that are so ingrained in me!

    No.

    Trolling = repeated name-calling and an excessive fantasy that I give a shit about you.

    I have a link for you:

    Here. I am sure you can contribute over there.


    I’m your teacher. You need it.

    Bye, dude. Get your rocks off “educating” someone else.

  271. Whoops: Here.

  272. underzog, if you want to believe those propogandists go right ahead. everybody knows the only thing stormfront was right about is this issue. being wrong on everything else is no reason to discount them on this.

  273. HaHaHa, TAO runs again. On both questions he has no answer, and so he scurries! Run, run Forrest! Disappear for another couple of days and return, slinking and full of self-doubt!

    You say you are not? Well then the questions were plainly posed, answer them.

    If you can.

  274. Nobody u no….

    You mean a broken clock is right twice in a day?

  275. tao and mng, perhaps you both should join me for a decaf soy latte in a non-starbucks establishment and we can all come to an agreement accented by niceness and caring?

  276. you have yet to ask a single question, tiny stuff.

  277. actually, you know what? Never mind. I’m not interested in entertaining you. Sometimes you just have to walk away from psychic vampires.

  278. Oh my God, underzog, I never knew that the Jewish’s people’s Holy Book mentioned a claim to Jerusalem.

    Why that settles it, doesn’t it~

    HaHaHa!

  279. underzog, are you trying to trick me? please, i am still progressing in the progressive path. i will wait for joe and mng to tell me what to think before i answer.

  280. “Soon TAO is going to answer how it is legitimate for Israel to limit a Palestinian’s, about whom there is no proof at all that they have ever struck at Israel, right to trade, travel, associate, be free from search , seizure, and attack, and denied a voice in government.

    And soon he will give us that quality which makes a necessary thing good.”

    You really are not a good reader, eh TAO?

    C’mon, SURELY you have answers ๐Ÿ˜‰

  281. god, would someone please pay attention to me? please please please?

  282. lol, mng called tao shirley

  283. I mean, you’re not just running because you have no satisfactory answers? Your cruel beliefs about the poor and black would have something to say about a man who runs and does not answer questions plainly put to him, wouldn’t it?

    Jeez, this is fun.

    Your daddy did not have all the answers TAO, nor did his tribe.

  284. Hey, SIV/nobody, LGF is a 24 hour site.

    They think Georgia is not a 18th century state over there. Check it out.

  285. mng, are you sure tao hates black people? he probably wants them to have as much welfare as me you and joe do. i want them to be in unions too, but i guess you do also.

  286. mng, you lash out at your fans so much. are you a hollywood star in real life?

  287. “That MNG, he just doesn’t see what my daddy plainly explained to me. About how those blacks don’t know what they are talking about, and how they always want our stuff. They don’t know about individual justice and collective punishment. He also told me about Israel, how those brown people keep wanting those Special People to give them the Moon and keep bitching when they don’t. Those people don’t deserve individual justice, and National Review tells me I’m right…”

  288. SIV
    How’s your backwards state doing? Hurtling into the 1900’s?

  289. TAO

    There are two questions.

    Plainly posed.

    I cannot help if you are too much of a coward or idiot to answer them.

    I would like to hope your inability to do so would bring introspection and change. In fact, I’m sure that’s why you have been so absent from the discussions as of late (no answer). You’ve struggled through the Cato and Von Mises Institute archives for answers, yet found them not.

    I feel for you.

    I can help you.

    Like your daddy could or would not.

    Come, TAO, let us start your education.
    I have to go, but you can either supply some answers and stop running (weeks now it is) or let me know you need my help. I’m a Christian and would help you.

  290. i don’t know if i want to have latte with mng until he starts acting like a big boy.

  291. MNG,

    You are off the rails on this one.

    Did you consider, perhaps, that your agenda is not the same as the others you are attempting to engage?

    Is is possible that there is a better way to get someone involved in a dialogue than attempting to cyber-brow beat them?

    If you can’t get along with TAO, what chance does Middle East Peace have?

  292. Don’t worry, Neu. I have seen this before: MNG is probably drinking and posting again, and when he posts he gets really, really mean.

    I mean, truly nasty.

  293. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/04/sri-lanka-war-tamil-tigers

    The Sri-Lankans are bombing the crap out of there own country

    Not one protest

    odd that

  294. MNG is probably drinking and posting again, and when he posts he gets really, really mean.

    That must be why he switched from Mr. Nice Guy to the initials. Sort of like when Kentucky Fried Chicken got caught using Species 47F2 instead of chicken.

  295. cunnivore – XD

    “Did you know like, KFC MNG totally had to change its name because it was like, not really chicken nice?”

  296. The Real Source of KFC chicken.

  297. lol awww, please be nice to mng, he is just misunderstood. much like the lesbian poets i have had in my livingroom since around 9 pm.

    thank goodness they went home too.

  298. and they were angry poets they were

  299. Lesbian poets? I’ll be in my bunk.

    Sleeping.

  300. cunni, stevo is done with you?

  301. The Sri-Lankans are bombing the crap out of there own country

    I bet joe & MNG support the Tamil Ligers in that conflict too.

  302. Beware of the Tamil Ligers. Not only are they ruthless they are bred for their skills in magic.

  303. teh tamils r LTTE yo.

  304. i had to watch a show about the flying tigers after the womyn left. i think it is still on, but now i am waiting for pizza.

  305. BakedPenguin | January 3, 2009, 7:55pm | #

    MNG – I’d have to agree with GILMORE upthread – I’m sick of both sides, and have trouble really seeing either one as being “right”. I agree with cutting off aid to Israel, but I see no reason to give it to Palestinians, either.

    That’s actually one more reason why most of us vote libertarian – no “entangling” alliances…

    Amen

  306. kwais, but think of the downtrodden victims.

  307. nm, i am new here. mng is not always this way is he? i mean, like i am totally agreeing with him and he like called me initials i never heard before and told me to go someplace with other initials and it did not sound good. i did not even get to remind him how elegant and green the palestinians are being with their hand crafted, low carbon footprint, rockets that don’t hurt anybody vs. that big icky polluting israeli military that is like destroying the whole planet.

    he is being so totally like a progressive bill o’reilley played by john lithgow on snl or something.

  308. The Libertarians as exemplified by most of the comments here are eliminationist, anti-Semitic sickies.

    No wonder you guys have to take so many drugs. Murdering Jews because of Koranic dogma, a sense of inferiority, and just, plain bloodlust is wrong. I think many Libertarians know this, so like the late serial killer Jeffrey Dhamer with his alcohol binges, have to use drugs to stamp out their consciences as regards the Libertarians’ own evil on the issue of the existence of the Jewish State.

    Again, I say those drugs should not be legalized. We don’t want more supporters or perpatrators of Nazi genocide against the Jews wandering around. Look at the way so many Libertarians act?

  309. no way i’m gonna cruise through 300+ posts of the usual quality of these arguments, but this semantic twister really got me laughing:

    You claim there were no Palestinian people or Palestinian homeland, but prior to the creation of Israel the area was called the Palestinian Mandate for some nutty reason, huh?

    it’s always fun to use modern definitions in an anachronistic way. jews who lived there prior to mng’s oft-stated “magic date at which all international boundaries and migrations should be fixed” were called… palestinians.

    certainly that term means something else now, since the “modern” palestinians (i.e., arabs born in or descended from people living in the jordanian and egyptian territories captured in the 1967 war and subsequently renounced by jordan and egypt) have repeatedly declared their desire for an apartheid state, judenrein. jews living in the british palestine mandate (and before that, the turkish syrian territory) were not called “israelis” because there was no “israel.” so although it is accurate to use the term in its modern definition to refer to modern people, it is ahistorical and dishonest to try to use the modern definition in an anachronistic context.

  310. Oh please NM, TAO is all too ready to relentlessly brow beat anyone, he’s just whooped here and is playing all nice nice. His righteous certainty is part of his bad reasoning (he has trouble understanding opposing views because of it) and I’m doing him a favor by not letting him squirm out of it. He can’t answer the questions posed in any way that can’t be humiliatingly dissected in a minute or so, so now he plays nice nice. Look him up in the archives, he alternatively plays the heavy, then dissappears for a while (I speculate detox), then comes back with the nice nice and eventually back to the heavy.

    edna
    While I’d love to hear your usually funny arguments as to why hundreds of thousands of people (many of whom cannot ever be demonstrated to have supported violence aimed at Israel) being ruled at gunpoint by an occuying goverment in which they are denied the most basic political (voting), social (freedom of movement) and economic (embargo) rights is OK (or “libertarian!), I have a family trip today and will just address your goofy reading of the narrow quote of mine you select. I was responding to a post that said “there was no Palestinian homeland before 1948 so there is no real Palestinian nation to speak of” by pointing out that even a cursory look at history should inform one that more people had an idea of that area as “Palestine” than they did “Israel!”

    I wonder if you’d care to try to refute that the majority of Israelis were Ashkenazis when Israel was declared a state again? I’d guess you’d like people to forget that since you get this incredible situation of a bunch of Europeans plopping down in the middle of populated land which they and their ancestors had not lived in for 20 centuries and declaring a “state!” Kind of embarrasing for your tribe, that.

    cunny-cute on the Tamil Tigers, but it strikes me you dropped out of this conversation when I was being perfectly nice to you at 2:14 and you went off the rails with your 2:40 post about joe and I called you on it.

  311. I’ve used a couple of sources to have to swat edna’s usual move of denying the demographic claim above though the last couple of times he didn’t even bother to try it, but in case he goes there again here’s a new quick and fun way: go here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_Mandate#Immigration

    where you find this:

    “According to official records, 367,845 Jews and 33,304 non-Jews immigrated legally between 1920 and 1945.”

    “However, as anti-Semitism grew in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jewish immigration (mostly from Europe) to Palestine began to increase markedly, creating much Arab resentment.”

    And then scroll down:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_Mandate#Demographics.2C_1920

    And see the numbers. The Jewish population in the mandate, at 83,000 in 1922, was 550,000 by 1945. Even if every one of the 83,000 in 1922 were local Jews this shows pretty clearly that the majority were wacky European Jews who had not been connected to the area (other than in stories) for 20 centuries and who just plopped won and said “State of Israel!”

    Incredible!

  312. given that the arab population in (whatever year you decide is the magic one) was not autochthonous, i don’t understand your line of argument beyond, “i am personally offended by jews living there.”

    immigrated legally

    boom!

  313. Wikipedia is a poor source.

    Camera letter about Wikipedia

    (excerpts from the link)

    “Robert McHenry, a former editor in chief of Encyclopedia Britannica, went even farther, saying in “The Truth About Wikipedia,” a documentary that ran on Dutch public television, that “I couldn’t see how [Wikipedia] could be represented as an encyclopedia …. It’s like nothing so much as a great game. It’s the encyclopedia game, played online.” It is the source of “some very, very bad stuff,” he added.

    Much of that “bad stuff” is on articles about the Middle East conflict, which are often skewed by dogmatic anti-Israel editors who have found an easy and extremely influential venue to bash the Jewish state.

    Tellingly, those who volunteered to improve Wikipedia’s often-unreliable articles on the Middle East were themselves targeted for criticism by partisans who seem to prefer the Wikipedian status quo, including the pro-Palestinian Electronic Intifada and the bigoted David Duke….” (end of excerpts)

    Everyone knows that wikipedia is extremely unreliable. MNG tipped his hand and should stop lecturing TAO about facts since he doesn’t state them.

  314. hay MNG – you’re a bit creepy with your Obi Wan lingo there. Really – put down the Dave W blow up doll and sit the next few plays out

  315. edna

    Cute, but you know the argument I’m making(which is why in the past you used to insist that Ashkenazi Jews did make up the majority at the declaration).

    One people: living on land for centuries.
    Other people: No connection to the land for 20 centuries.

    ednas of the world are in a pickle to give a coherent justification for the legitimacy of the State of Israel. They could just say force, but then they’d have to OK every taking of possession by force (they kind of do this, edna used to quickly go to the “shall we give back North Carolina to the Cherokee or Northern Ireland to the Irish” line), but that seems obviously wrong.

    Or they could say the UN fair and square gave them the land. But if the UN grants legitimacy

    Second people plop down and declare state, tell first people to beat it to refugee camps.

    edna’s perrenial argument on this is: no people are autochthonous, therefore if Israel moved into an area and took over it’s OK. So somehow no people actually own anything, even if they live there for centuries and the other people have not for centuries. It’s laughable. Much more honest is that 1. he’s Jewish and 2. understandably roots for the well being of his people and 3. is looking as hard as he can as a justification for the actions of his tribe.

    But why any third party would buy that is beyond me.

  316. Should have previewed the last one.

    About the UN, if you use the British-to UN-UN-Israel chain for legitimacy then what do you do with the UN plainly stating that all of the post-1967 land is illegally occupied?

    underzog is too easy.
    1. Wikipedia is actually more accurate than you might think:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,178805,00.html
    2. The wiki site I linked gave the sources (they were footnoted).

    VM
    Just having fun, though advice from the Urkobold is always worth pondering. Long live Urkobold, though he be Legion let his Influence never Wane!

  317. oh, i get it, real progressives want everybody to stay where they were born. they also want everything to stay the same as it was. this is . . . progress . . .

    thanks mng

  318. good. gooooooooooood.

    cuz the intertubez is fur teh funni!

    that’s known as Crane’s Law (the shit’s gotta be funny) of the internets.

    Named for our very own Mr. Steven Crane

  319. You’re too easy, MNG.

    You talked about the holocaust survivors as whacky European Jews.

    I recognize the phraseology. That is the way Arabs speak about the Jewish inhabitents of Israel in Amann, Jordan.

    A friend of mine snuck into Amman from the tourist city of Petra and asked a Jordanian woman about the Jewish inhabitents of Israel (my friend cleverly said he was from Canada — not America). The Jordanian woman replied that the clever and ruthless Jews were killed off in the holocaust and all that survived were the mental degenerates amongst the Jews.

    Also, your claims of superiority against TAO; etc., are typical of Muslim arrogance.

    The Reason editors are very ignorant about the Middle East so they would not pick up on this, but I did.

    Part of the Arab/Muslim habit of lying (taqqiyah) is demonstrated in your Mr. Nice Guy logo.

    You’re certainly not a nice guy.

    Shul

  320. Yeah nobody, progressives are against people taking over other people, even though that is a form of change. We’re kind of nutty like that.

    VM
    I went to the Urkobold Holy Site recently and they had all of these blurbs from Edward but none from LoneWhacko. You guys really need some of his cease and desist orders to go up.

  321. this thread is a serious web 2.0 victory moment or something.

  322. mng, so our vision of a progressive utopia in san francisco is wrong headed?

  323. underzog
    The Zionist movement (both literally and figuratively) pre-dates the holocaust, you know that, right?

    And yes, for European holocaust survivors to move halfway around the world to a place they had not known for 20 centuries, in which the predominant languages which they did not speak nor the culture did they know, was wacky.

    I mean the Slavic survivors didn’t move to Belize and declare a nation.

    And the fact that you know a guy who knows a bigoted Arab is pretty worthless, unless you want people to conclude from the fact that you are an anti-Arab bigot (I remember your postings in the past, always undersigned with “never fear, underzog is here” in which you commonly spoke of Arabs in the most racist terms imaginable) that all Jews are.

    Which is nutty. In fact many of the most eloquent and passionate voices for the rights of the Palestinians and for peace between them and Israelis are, well Jewish (kind of hurts the “anti-Semite” card from being played against anyone who takes similar positions).

  324. mng, didn’t israel leave gaza over a year ago? you must be confusing gaza with another place. no wonder your comments seem so out of place.

  325. I will say the debate with fluffy, robc, BDB and a few others has really got me thinking about the question that kind of headed this thread off: what can make certain actions undertaken during war morally wrong? Interestingly there seem to be a couple of factors which seem to have right-a-way appeal, but interestingly they do not necessarily seem to go under a common philosophical base.

    1. Proportionality. While no one seems to think my military causing more casualties to your military on the battlefield is wrong, no one seemed to want to say that nuking thousands of soldiers in response to, say, a single rocket attack or border raid can be right. And there’s a lot of space in between there for debate.
    2. Civilian deaths. Most people agree that you have to give special attention to not causing them when you undertae war actions, but few people seemed to think they are always and everywhere wrong. Again, it’s a lot of room between those poles.
    3. Necessity. Some dubious actions may be justified if they end the war quicker or in the “right” way (the morally justified side wins). But certainly not everything can be justified by this, and again a lot of room there.
    4. Who is ultimately in the right. As fluffy says, this seems to factor in when judging military actions, but I also think it certainly cannot justify everything.

    So I can say I’ve learned something from this debate and some hard thinking has been provoked in my case…

  326. Yeah nobody, they “left” Gaza. They “left” it so well that they killed 245 people that live there prior to the current slaughter. The “left” there so well that they embargoed the nation. They “left” it so well that they regularly use its airspace. They “left” it so well that collect all taxes and duties at the borders “for” the Gazans.

    So like fluffy said above it’s as if the whites during the civil rights era walled up black neighborhoods, bombed them regularly, controlled all movement of goods and persons in and out and declared the areas “autonomous.”

  327. mng, true, we progressives must be passificists unless we are talking about israel.

  328. or like the slaughter of the peaceful, innocent MOVE people in philly just for trying to be good neighbors and being a little different too?

  329. Edna and MNG have taken the debate in an irrelevant direction. The ethnic background of the inhabitants of the territory in question doesn’t matter. Their immigration dates don’t matter. Their “national” distinctiveness from inhabitants of other locations doesn’t matter. Their religion doesn’t matter. All of that has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    The issue at hand is that Israel, the state, established its rule, for many decades, over a particular geographical area, and kept the inhabitants of that area in a rightless condition. It wouldn’t matter if the inhabitants of the occupied territories were Chinese or Nigerians or Martians. Beyond that, Israel moved settlers into some areas, and those settlers had full citizenship rights while their neighbors did not. Such a situation is intolerable and those subjected to it have the right to rebel.

    If the United States seized the northern tier of Mexican states, sent settlers in, and granted the settlers full citizenship rights while telling the original inhabitants of those states that they were shit out of luck, weren’t citizens, had no basic rights of any kind, could basically be shot at will if they were standing in the street at the wrong time, and told them that the best thing they could do was leave and go live in rump-Mexico, the United States would be in the wrong and ethnicity, religion, what have you would have nothing to do with it.

  330. “we progressives must be passificists unless we are talking about israel.”

    Or in regards to your mom nobody, though there she actually consents to take it rough, so I guess that’s not so relevant…

    But if we were being serious I’d note that if joe and I are the only progressives here then neither of us has advocated any military force be applied against Israel so you’re kind of talking nonsense. In fact, we’ve both condenmened Hamas’ thuggish tactics.

  331. I see your point fluffy, but if the US were to go into Northern Mexico and declare it part of the US while granting the residents full US citizens when the Mexicans living there were against being ruled by the US then I think you have a problem too.

    And if the people that did that came from, say, Germany I think it would be even worse.

    “or like the slaughter of the peaceful, innocent MOVE people in philly just for trying to be good neighbors and being a little different too?”

    I’m really so happy you brought this up because I think this is a good example of what started the thread, the propotionality debate. Let’s say the Philly police had the right to “move” on MOVE, I should think their firebombing the whole neighborhood was wrong. Why? Because it was out of proportion, because it put non-MOVE innocents in harms way. And this is the problem we have with the current Israeli actions (remember, me and joe are on the record as saying the more limited strikes that have occurred in the OPT can be more justified).

  332. mng, what is your fascination with the parents of people you never meet. is it a feature of every set of comments you make in a thread? you are a strange bird.

    you condemned hamas and wrote about it for days and days, pages and pages, like you did about israel? i missed it, where is it? was it proportional?

  333. mng, they firebombed a whole neighborhood? i red of it different, but you seem to know everything about this stuff.

  334. Remember the only thing I advocate “doing to” Israel is to
    1. cut off its aid
    2. stop supporting it diplomatically (those UN vetos that border on lunacy for example)

    Well, gotta travel now. TAO can slink back into the fray, it’s safe, I’ll be gone all day ๐Ÿ˜‰

  335. “On May 13, 1985, the Philadelphia Police Department attempted to clear a building in which the MOVE members lived. The police tried to remove two wood-and-steel rooftop bunkers by dropping a four-pound bomb made of C-4 plastic explosive and Tovex, a dynamite substitute, onto the roof.[6] The resulting explosion caused the house to catch fire, igniting a massive blaze which eventually consumed almost an entire city block. Eleven people, including John Africa, six other adults and four children, died in the resulting fire.[7]

    Mayor Wilson Goode soon appointed an investigative commission, the PSIC or MOVE commission, which issued its report on March 6, 1986. The report denounced the actions of the city government, stating that “Dropping a bomb on an occupied row house was unconscionable.”[8]

    In a 1996 civil suit in U.S. federal court, a jury ordered the City of Philadelphia and two former city officials to pay $1.5 million to a survivor and relatives of two people killed in the incident. The jury found that the city used excessive force and violated the members’ constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure.[9]”

  336. wikiman, that is similar to what i remember. how does an explosion causing an accidental fire become a firebombing? i need to learn some progressive wording too.

  337. mng, what is your fascination with the parents of people you never meet.

    Wait until there is an immigration debate…

  338. Fluffy is far out!

    Israel withdraws from Gaza (and gets missiles in return for such) and she still complains about Israeli occupation and the Gaza based justification for destroying Israel.

    Other than Jews dying nothing will satisfy these people.

    The person with the logo fluffy is also misnamed like MNG (Mr. Nice Guy).

  339. It’s weird how people who will defend the right of anyone to immigrate to the West will suddenly become all blood-and-soil on the subject of Israel and ‘Arab land’.

  340. I guess mng would be happier if those “wacky Jews” who left for Palestine pre-WWII had stayed in Europe to be slaughtered. (What was their wacky reason for wanting to leave Europe anyway?)

  341. oh yea, i forgot about the open borders stuff. this progressivism is getting complicated.

  342. @MNG

    “One people: living on land for centuries.
    Other people: No connection to the land for 20 centuries”

    True true, but these where different times eh?

    When the state of Israel was formed roughly 150,000 Muslims and Christians moved into the region designated Palestine.

    When the state of Bangladesh was formed
    approximately 20-30 million Hindus, Sihks, Buddists and Christians where forced to leave the land under threat of violence.
    There was no historical link between Muslims and the land, other than a slighty higher demographic that other parts of the Indian Subcontinent.

    I never hear anyone debate the legality of the creation of Bangladesh but obiviously the creation of Israel was an “injustice”.

    I consider myself a classical liberal but I would assume no libertarian, could support the sea and air blockade of Gaza.

    However the issue here is Hamas really. They may of won an election but they soon after executed their oposition (Fatah) so their democratic credentials arn’t to strong.

    Hamas are a very very very right wing party who’s manifesto would be illegal in the EU due to its contradiction of the european human rights act. Hamas and Hezzbollah make extremely odd bedfellows for the socialist left in the EU or what you Americans refer to liberals. But the streets of every captital in the EU are full of “we are all Hezbollah now” posters and placards.

    There’s are no protests about the Sri Lankan governements decleared intention to “wipe out” the Tamil Tigers. This is exactly what Isreal intend to do to Hamas but our friends of the left don’t seem to care.

    Maybee thats because “the left” really care about what happenes to Muslims but don’t care about Hindus.

    Maybe its another reason but I can’t think what that could be.

  343. 2nd pic from the top

    Look like ‘brown people’ to me.

    Ditto this guy
    As well as this one.

    Where da white boys at?

    Or was Lysenko right? Did they all become brown by growing up in a sunny clime?

  344. Jews and Arabs look very similar, especially Sephardic Jews.

    If you took a typical Israel, put him int he sun for four weeks, and let him grow a beard, a lot of people would look at him here and think “Arab”.

    That’s why it’s not about skin color, at all.

  345. KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka (AP) – Battle tanks rumbled north, attack helicopters flew overheard and artillery fire roared through the jungles as Sri Lankan forces pushed ahead Sunday with an offensive aimed at capturing the Tamil Tigers’ last strongholds and crushing the rebel group.

    Can you even find a statistic for the number of Sri Lankans killed?
    No aid, no UN statistics, no internation demands for a ceasefire, not a mention on the news shown here in the EU (BBC, Fox, SKY, Euro News, Al jazeera, CNN)

  346. That is because 1)we don’t have six million Sri Lankans living in the United States and 2)our Gods don’t come from Sri Lanka.

  347. BDB, you advance that there are legitimate reasons why Americans are much more interested in Israel than in Sri Lanka. Granted, but the post was not America-centric, and America’s interest in Israel doesn’t explain the actions of the U.N., the anti-war demonstrations in cities worldwide, the disproportionate attention paid to Israel by “human rights” groups and “international law” advocates, and the lack of same regarding Sri Lanka and the Tamils.

  348. in fact, the rocket attacks increased tenfold after the cease fire was allowed to lapse.

    haha. Now that is funny. Good one joe.

  349. ah, yes fluffy, keeping tax monies from the palestanians in gaza just because hamas threatens israels destruction is a blatant violation of gazan free speech rights. that is no good reason to stop the flow of government.

    maybe under obama the israeli embargo on city planners will be lifted so that their towns will not look so dingy. public transportation will help too, well planned of course.

  350. Not so much “funny” as “accurate” and “easily verified.”

    BTW, awesome seeing my troll defend the MOVE firebombing on the same thread where she defends the Israeli assault on Gaza. Really helps to put things in perspective.

  351. That is because 1)we don’t have six million Sri Lankans living in the United States and 2)our Gods don’t come from Sri Lanka.

    also, 3) did you notice the phrase “moving through the jungle” in that news report?

    Not a lot of targets in remote jungle areas, far from dense urban areas, in the Gaza strip.

  352. joe, i did not know you were a military expert on top of economics. you are so awsome.

  353. ?it’s always fun to use modern definitions in an anachronistic way…the “modern” palestinians (i.e., arabs born in or descended from people living in the jordanian and egyptian territories captured in the 1967 war and subsequently renounced by jordan and egypt) have repeatedly declared their desire for an apartheid state, judenrein.

    Way to stand up against those misleading anachronisms, edna!

  354. israel broke the cease fire? joe, i would not know anything if it were not for you.

  355. joe, i did not know you were a military expert on top of economics. you are so awsome.

    Um, yeah, figuring out that the Sri Lankan military campaign is being carried out in a jungle area doesn’t actually require a master’s degree from the Army War College. You could, for example, read the news reports. Or, the clip from a news report posted on this thread.

    Or, in general, make the slightest effort to be aware of commonly-understood and easily checked facts.

    Or, you can just keep checking your unerring gut.

  356. wow and you spanked everybody but me without even quoting yourself

  357. Mister Nice Guy,

    I am not really sure what the thing you have with TAO is. As I understand your question, it is:

    If Blacks and other races deserve to be judged individually, and not as a race (as in Afirmative action, or segregation laws), then how come Palestinians don’t?

    Is that about the question?

    I haven’t seen any rhetoric by TAO to suggest that he doesn’t believe in human rights for all. I mean, I am not going to re-read 400 or so comments.

    But the only thing I remember him really disagreeing with you in this thread were facts or interpretations of the situation.

    I don’t remember him ever arguing that the people in Gaza didn’t rate human rights (as expressed in our constitution, or as libertarians profess to believe in).

  358. israel broke the cease fire? Israel and Hamas both violated the cease fire. Israel decided to cut off talks aimed at strengthening it, and chose instead to rachet up the tit for tat violence that was killing less than one person a day to a level killing dozens. Once again, easily verified facts. Not found in your gut.

    joe, i would not know anything if it were not for you. No kidding. You didn’t even know that Keynesians support paying down public debt during economic booms.

    The amount you wouldn’t know unless I told you could fill two floors of a library.

    wow and you spanked everybody but me and now I’ve spanked you too

    without even quoting yourself Yeah, I didn’t get to show that you had completely misrepresented something I wrote this time. Don’t worry, you always fall into the same holes, so I’m sure I’ll get to do it again.

  359. You didn’t even know that Keynesians support paying down public debt during economic booms.

    yes i did know that.

    spank

  360. Yeah, I didn’t get to show that you had completely misrepresented something I wrote this time. when did i ever do that to my hero?

  361. I am thinking that MNG and the New Mexican like to oftentimes come in on Joe’s side of the argument.

    And Joe believes (if I remember correctly) that Affirmative action is a good thing, even though it is infact racism, because it redresses past abuse.

    I am guessing that TAO opposes affirmative action, because it is at one time collective punishment of whites (I for example am whitish, and did not ever segregate, have a slave, nor oppress anyone), and also probably that affirmative action gives the power to government to devide people in groups, instead of individually.

    I am guessing that you and joe support affirmative action, because you judge the harm to be small, and the good that it does overrides the small imorality of it.

    I oppose affirmative action because I believe that government shouldn’t decide how you are treated based on race. I also oppose it because I believe that it is ultimately counter productive.

    I follow that line of logic with the Palestinian, Israeli conflict also. I think that Isreal while in charge of the land and its inhabitants should treat all equally whether Jewish, Moslem, Israeli, or Palestinian. And that what a religious book says, or where you ancestors come from is irrelevant.

    I think that puts me in the same area as Fluffy, even though he thinks I am a bigot.

  362. kwais – MNG’s crush on me has spanned multiple threads. He seems to think that somehow, somewhere, I have defended the blockade of Gaza and the current Israeli actions, neither of which is true.

    I wish he would find someone else to constantly talk about; his man-crush is getting creepy and annoying.

  363. The amount you wouldn’t know unless I told you could fill two floors of a library.

    Wait, does this mean that the amount of knowlege you have and can share is equivalent of that which could fill two floors of a library?

    Isn’t that presumptuos?

    How big is this library?

  364. yes i did know that (Keynesians support paying down public debt during booms) Then why did you write exactly the opposite?

    when did i ever do that to my hero? Just about every time you post.

  365. How come no one gets a man-crush on me? I can be very Polemic.

    You got one, Joe got one, Dr T got one.

  366. I’m talking one of those small-town libraries that Carnegie used to build. Or maybe something you’d see at the head of a Common in a New England town.

    Before microfiche. Or the ‘net.

    OK, how about: the amount my troll wouldn’t know unless I told him needs it’s own drawer in the Dewey Decimal catalogue.

  367. i am for affermative action because affirmative is such a powerfully positive word.

  368. Just about every time you post

    like when? can my hero only quote himself?

  369. How come no one gets a man-crush on me?

    I dunno, man…maybe one day men will sit around bars and say “you know, I don’t swing that way, but if I did, that kwais…”

    Israel and Hamas both violated the cease fire. Israel decided to cut off talks aimed at strengthening it, and chose instead to rachet up the tit for tat violence that was killing less than one person a day to a level killing dozens.

    joe, I am curious: do you believe that the current Israeli response amounts to a grievous breach of ethics and decency, or do you believe that the current Israeli response is a strategic error?

  370. Israel and Hamas both violated the cease fire. Israel decided to cut off talks aimed at strengthening it, and chose instead to rachet up the tit for tat violence that was killing less than one person a day to a level killing dozens. Once again, easily verified facts. Not found in your gut.

    it also shows that the green, low carbon footprint, hand crafrted rockets of the palestinians are much more human friendly than the carbon excessive planet killing arms of israel.

  371. @Joe

    I’ve read estimate of 70,000 Sri Lankans have been killed since 1980

    I don’t think you can really dismiss the legitimacy of military action based on it’s in the “jungle”

    by that logic when you lot were bombing the crap out of Vietnam there were no civilian casualties

    What I was saying is that right now as we speak two governments are trying to eliminate militant groups. The world is going crazy mad about the legitimacy of one and doesn’t give a shit about the other

  372. mm, the problem there is that nixon was killing progressives in the jungle. see?

  373. Kilinochchi

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilinochchi

    seems to be a city

  374. Didn’t say it wasn’t “accurate” or “easily verified”. Just funny. Keep ’em coming.

  375. TAO,

    A bit of both, but more towards the latter.

    MaterialMonkee,

    What I was saying is that right now as we speak two governments are trying to eliminate militant groups. The world is going crazy mad about the legitimacy of one and doesn’t give a shit about the other

    And what I’m saying is, there’s a difference between the killing the civilians and the killing of members of “militant groups” or armies.

    Not to mention, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East all have connections with Israel and Palestine, so we pay more attention to what goes on there.

  376. MM,

    Colombo Sri Lanka’s military says it is closing in on the last hideouts used by the Tamil Tigers – but the country is braced for suicide attacks in retribution. Police set up checkpoints across the capital, Colombo, while tanks and helicopters were said to be poised for a final push into the jungle stronghold of Mullaitivu, where the rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is believed to be. However, analysts say that the 25-year civil war is far from over.

    Hideouts. Jungle strongholds.

    Not the densest urban area on the planet.

  377. Kilinochchi is where the story was filed from.

  378. I still say it is mostly “Gods and Oil”.

  379. It’s because of free market fundamentalism, dipnuts!

  380. “And what I’m saying is, there’s a difference between the killing the civilians and the killing of members of “militant groups” or armies”

    according to the UN the majority of the people being killed are Hamas militants (75 %)

    (Hamas says more Israeli says less)

    If the Israeli’s could magically only kill Hamas would that be OK?

    Bearing in mind that Israelis are being killed

  381. Kilinochchi is where the story was filed from

    In fairness, it is also the city that the Sri Lankan army captured on either the 31st or the 1st.

    A bit of both, but more towards the latter.

    Total agreement, although I am starting to wonder why Israel is persisting in doing what it is doing…

  382. If the Israeli’s could magically only kill Hamas would that be OK?

    Uh, yes. For what it’s worth, I am not totally outraged like most individuals are at the Israeli response. I understand it, but I think that it is a total mistake.

    Again, the United States learned that “shock and awe” does not work in conflicts like this. You would think the Israelis would know it by now.

  383. I pretty much agree with TAO. It’s a horrible strategic error and it will bite them in the ass while emboldening Iran, while at the same time undermining the Egyptian and Jordanian govts.

  384. MM,

    So, that leaves 25% civilian deaths. We’re well into the three figures now. Women, children, old men.

    If the Israeli’s could magically only kill Hamas would that be OK? Fine with me. Have I ever said otherwise? Did you ever see me complain about Israel’s assassinations of Hamas and Hezbollah leaders?

    Bearing in mind that Israelis are being killed There were less than 10 Israelis killed by these rockets in the past year. Certainly, this is a justification for Israel to take action, as they were during the cat and mouse “cease fire.”

    Bear something else in mind: a great deal MORE Israelis, including a great deal MORE Israeli civilians, have been killed since Israel launched this military assault – just as, two years ago, the military assault they launched on Hezbollah greatly increased the number of Israelis killed.

    It’s frustrating to see this same mistake made over and over – the conflation of “doing something” with protecting the well-being of Israeli civilians. It’s frustrating watching people who don’t ask “Is bombing and invading Gaza to get Hamas a good idea?” because they think that military action is, by definition, always a good idea. It was frustrating watching my own country blunder along that path in 2003, it was frustrating watching Israel blunder along it in Lebanon in 2006, and now it’s happening again.

    Sometimes, the Dow Jones goes down. Sometimes, housing values decline. Sometimes, military adventures go badly, and fail, and make things worse. It’s not just a question of “Do you want to do awesome, or do nothing?”

  385. TAO,

    In fairness, it is also the city that the Sri Lankan army captured on either the 31st or the 1st.

    Right, but it is not the rebel stronghold being hammered by planes, artillery, and helicopters.

    Total agreement, although I am starting to wonder why Israel is persisting in doing what it is doing…

    I’m starting to think that this is an effort to get more concessions from Hamas at the bargaining table.

  386. I’m starting to think that this is an effort to get more concessions from Hamas at the bargaining table.

    Come on now joe, don’t harsh my wargasm!

  387. So shortsighted. The long-term health of the state of Israel is going to depend on peaceful neighbors. This will not succeed in yielding peaceful neighbors.

  388. TAO, I’d like to know what you and joe think of the Arab Peace Initiative, a.k.a. the Saudi Peace Plan.

    It seems reasonable to me, and would succeed in getting peaceful neighbors and a fair price.

  389. BDB,

    I think it’s a reasonable stab.

    I question whether resettling Palestinians in other Arab countries is workable.

    I think it leaves out the necessary transfer of additional Israeli land to Palestine in order to 1) compensate for those settlements that aren’t going anywhere and 2) achieving territorial contiguousness between the West Bank and Gaza.

    But ultimately, I don’t think the problem so far is the impossibility of solving the cartographic issues, or even the “right of return.” I think there are still too many people on both sides who don’t want a peace deal. I think there are too many Palestinians who would use terror attacks to scuttle it, and too many Israelis who would accommodate them by making the cessation of terror attacks by groups opposed to the deal-making Palestinian government a pre-condition for talks. They basically give the most radical, violent Palestinian factions veto power over any peace deal, because they don’t want one.

  390. Joe–

    I think the re-settlement of Palestinians in

    Gulf Arab countries is entirely workable!

    Do you know how many Hindu Indians Saudi Arabia imports to be workers?

    They’d much rather have Arab Muslims from Palestine.

    The free-marketer in me says this is part of why they proposed it.

  391. “It was frustrating watching my own country blunder along that path in 2003, it was frustrating watching Israel blunder along it in Lebanon in 2006, and now it’s happening again”

    I don’t think you can compare it to Iraq

    Saddam = secular socialist
    Bin Laden = trying to overthrow current Arab governments

    If Bin Laden had WMD he’d be using it against Saddam.
    There was no link between the two. That was a random attack on a random country.

    The 2006 war was considered a blunder but the UN peace keeping force installed as a ceasefire term seems to be doing the job now. If the UN move into Gaza its probably the best step towards achieving a two state solution as then the rocket attacks will stop which is the big stumbling block.

    I should imagine trying to get a UN peace keeping force involved is the Israeli motivation.

  392. The air and sea blockade needs to go
    so hopefully Fatah can convince the Israelis to do that as a ceasefire term

  393. BDB,

    If the Palestinians themselves are up for it, that would be awesome. I suspect there might be some suspicion, though: “It’s just another way to get rid of us and take our land.”

    MaterialMonkee,

    I didn’t intend to compare the legitimacy of the cases for war – obviously, the Israelis have a much more legitimate cause vs. Hamas in Gaza than we had against Saddam in 2003. My point was that in both cases, the hawkish politicians and their cheerleaders strutted around talking about how awesome it was going to be – Arab Spring! Suck. On. This. We’ll show the h8terz who’s boss! – and when faced with arguments about why things probably weren’t going to work out the way they hoped, the response isn’t to consider the situation strategically, but a lot of personal attacks on critics, wishful thinking, willful obtuseness, and blather about anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, manliness, pacifism, and moral clarity. None of which made the blunders any less tragic.

    I think you might be right about the UN peacekeepers, though. Wouldn’t that be a corker, the Israelis of all people calling for the UN to put troops on their territory?

  394. so hopefully Fatah can convince the Israelis to do that as a ceasefire term

    Heh, good cop Fatah.

    Hey, look, I’m with you, but that guy’s CRAZY!

  395. Wow, if there is one thing that speaks to the magic of my posts here it’s seeing TAO play all nice nice with joe! “See, I’m not so bad” Hilarious…

    Kwais
    It may suprise you to know that I oppose affirmative action. I’ve done so on H&R quite a bit, disagreeing with joe quite a bit as he could probably testify.

    My beef with TAO is this: a while back he was able to work himself into a lather about anti-discrimination laws because, while they help a group of people who are punished by current phenomena fostered by evil government policy of the past, they restrict the associational freedoms of all whites, whether their ancestors supported the evil government policies or not.

    But I have yet to hear him say that Israel’s blockade, it’s theft of Palestinian property through the construction of the security wall, or its current strikes are morally wrong. I’ve seen him say they are ineffective, but I find it amazing how someone can get in a lather about anti-discrimination laws but not about the deprivation of associational freedoms, freedom of trade, contract, movement etc that goes on daily in the OPT.

    I think it probably has something to do with what he said on another thread, that he just doesn’t care about black or poor kids because he didn’t put them in their situation.

  396. The Tamil Tiger stuff is fun though. Because of course we give 3 billion dollars a year and fairly unconditional support to Sri Lanka.

    The Israel thing always bothers me more because our nation can effect their actions without risking one of our soldiers lives or shooting a bullet, or spending one dollar (in fact we could influence them by not spending).

  397. Wow, if there is one thing that speaks to the magic of my posts here it’s seeing TAO play all nice nice with joe!

    Keep giving yourself congratulatory handjobs, ol’ sport. Someone has to. joe and I have had the same position on this since the thing started.

    My beef with TAO is this

    Shorter MNG “The Angry Optimist does not get mad about the things I get mad about…so neener neener that proves he’s inconsistent.”

    Ho-kay, champ. Please stop talking about me now.

  398. I think it was one of the Soderbergh/Che threads a few weeks ago everyone should check out to see a quite different tone and attitude from TAO concerning joe. Good stuff!

    “Please stop talking about me now.”

    This is funny since you popped up on this thread talking about me when I had not mentioned you about 100 posts in…

    “”The Angry Optimist does not get mad about the things I get mad about…so neener neener that proves he’s inconsistent.””

    No, I just think that someone who gets worked into an angry lather over anti-discrimination laws, on ostenibly libertarian principles, but is not much moved by the restriction of hundreds of thousands of people of pretty much every fundamental right a libertarian could hold dear probably has a shady reason for hating anti-discrimination laws so much.

    Hmmm, you iirc you like to defend the South on those threads too…

  399. In my experience I’ve found nothing funnier than when a bully gets bullied.

    They get SO mad!

    But hey TAO, if you want, then truce (or in the spirit of the thread, cease-fire). I’ll let you have the last word, and I vow not to mention or address you for the next month if you think you can do the same.

    It’ll mean less education for you, but I guess I can give up on ya ๐Ÿ˜‰

  400. Shorter MNG: I’m going to imply The Angry Optimist is a racist without saying.

    And you wonder why I am not interested in engaging in conversation with you.

  401. the discussions about blame and proportionality it generated is still relevant, and will probably continue to be for a sadly long time to come

    I haven’t read through all the comments because I just couldn’t take it. All this apparent fog about who’s to blame for what, and who is or isn’t justified in doing what, really isn’t hard to see through.

    Warning: some of the metaphysical wimps here are going to have a nervous breakdown when they hear the answers.

    The world was not made for the comfort and well being of humans, plain and simple. The “fog” surrounding this whole issue — if in fact there is any — comes from the minds of the many who have, since the beginning of time, wished that the world isn’t the way it really is.

    Take a look at how monkeys treat each other in the wild. They beat each other, they’ll take each other’s food, they’re rude to each other. They may not often kill each other, but that’s in large part because it’s not as easy for monkeys to do.

    Look now at what goes on in the Middle East. It’s the same thing. Turf wars between gangs and mobs, everybody fighting everybody to see who gets to walk around with their tail raised up behind them. If you raise your tail, you’re inviting anyone and everyone to come beat on your ass.

    This is Nature. It is what Man is given in life, it’s all that he has to start out with. Read history and you’ll find that most of the globe, throughout most of time, has not been much different from what you see going on in the Middle East today.

    If we want to do any assigning, we have no choice but to lay The Ultimate Blame on God (if you believe in one) who made the world what it is. Men can believe whatever they like, come up with the grandest philosophies, learn the greatest of truths. But changing the way the world is, is entirely beyond Man’s capacities.

    Ultimately no one but God is to blame in the Middle East. Once the wheels start turning people simply do what they do because, they are what they are.

    The End of the question of blame. It’s simple metaphysics. Life is what it is, no more and no less.

    In Nature, the whole concept of Good and Evil exists only in the most rudimentary of forms. It amounts to little more than what keeps you alive, and what doesn’t. It is true that these conditions are far from ideal for human beings, yet this is all that Nature gives us to start with.

    But Man has the capacity to build things that are not given by Nature. He can build an environment where the rules are different. Call it a House, A Tiny Bubble, A Nation-State, whatever. Within the Bubble we can set up our own rules, and this is the realm that our philosophies and our ethical theories live within.

    Once a Bubble has been created, we can justifiably argue about the quality of what’s inside. But what we must never forget is that it is a Bubble, and the fact that we’ve built it has not changed Nature as it exists outside.

    Nothing outside has changed. Our Bubbles do no revamp metaphysics, and they never will.

    The fact that nothing outside has changed, is the first thing that people born inside Bubbles tend to forget. Or more likely, they never learn it. Hence the apparent “fog”.

    Whether anyone likes it or not, there are boundaries to our philosophical and especially our moral theories and standards. Those boundaries are the Bubbles that we build ourselves to live in. And when two Bubbles collide, as they so often do, the laws of Nature are once again predominant.

    Wars are going to happen. Deal with it.

    The Geneva Convention may be an orgasm for pacifists and others who wish the world wasn’t so. And if two colliding Bubbles contain similar enough moral rules, then they may be able to fight wars according to something like the Geneva Convention. But if a nation outside Western Europe and the US gets involved, you can bet the Geneva Convention is more or less going by the way side. We’ve already discussed the reason why.

    Still, if I was an Alexander I myself, I would endeavor to more or less follow the Geneva Convention to the extent I could. Simply out of preference for a civilized order, over and above what Nature gives us. Yet if effectiveness in war demanded, I would violate it in a heart beat. Especially if I thought doing so would save lives and/or reduce destruction in the long run. Again, out of a preference for man-made law and order over Nature.

    Nothing in the Middle East is going to settle down until somebody pulls an Alexander the Great stunt. Alexander was a big strong monkey who looked around at all the fighting and said, “Hey, this is stupid. I’m going to fight everybody, and win.” And he did.

    Then Alexander set up his own Bubble. But only after he knocked everybody’s heads together and subdued the masses.

    What actions are or are not justified, in the process of doing what must be done to build a Bubble? I’d argue, most anything that’s effective is justified. Because in most cases throughout history, even Bubbles with bad contents are better than what we get from Nature.

    Law, order, and justice are not given to us by Nature. They are imposed over top of Nature, by Man. But no ruler can impose beyond the boundaries of the realm he effectively rules over.

    Of course if an Alexander the Great rose up and attempted to conquer the Middle East, the UN would probably stop him (if it could). There was a budding Alexander in Egypt, somewhere back around 1850 (sorry, I forget his name by now). He was on the road to building an effective state in the Middle East, and was knocking the crap out of the decaying Ottomans. But France, England, and I forget who else stepped in and cut him down to size.

    Cutting him down was, I contend, not a good thing. The Middle East today might well be far better for it if he had succeeded. Every nation in history, every successful Bubble that was built, was built atop bloodshed and what we Westerners today would consider atrocities.

    Now you know why I’m no fan of the UN. Or any other European philosophy in the realm of international relations.

    Given all of this, we may still have preferences for one side or another in the current Middle East situation. Contrary to the persistent beat of the MSM, I have to side with the Israelis.

    You could argue that Israel should not exist, because the Arabs were there first. I understand well the case to be made here, but by now it’s a moot point. The existence of Israel is a fiat accompli, and arguing that it should not now exist is tantamount to arguing that no nation in all of history had the right to exist. For surely, none of them was given to us by Nature.

    In Nature the rules are simple: what is, is, and what is not, isn’t.

    I side with the Israelis because they are the only ones in the Middle East who’ve managed to build an actual, civilized nation. As opposed to a third world hell hole ruled by tyrants and/or terrorists. This is what’s going on, and the failure of the Arab states is most certainly not the Israelis’ fault.

    It is not the Israelis who station their soldiers amongst civilians. It’s not the Israelis who are using women, children, and the elderly as human shields for their military forces. And it’s not the Israelis who are carrying out suicide bombings of innocent civilians. The Israelis hit civilians only because their opponents give them no other options when fighting back.

    What I see inside the Israeli Bubble is far superior to anything I see going inside any of their neighbor’s Bubbles. And this fact is really not Israel’s fault.

    is still relevant, and will probably continue to be for a sadly long time to come.

    It will continue to be relevant for a long time to come, because our intelligentsia here in the West are a bunch of idiots and to prove it they’ve created the UN. The UN will stomp out any Alexander who attempts to rise up and put an end to the Middle East mess.

    The Middle East will not change until, first, the West has finally grown so weak that it can no longer interfere in the natural course of events in the Middle East, and second, a new Alexander has risen and conquers the playground.

    Note that Alexanders are not always much better to start with than Saddam Hussein. But the empires they create may grow into better creatures as they age. In fact, this has been the real story of all real nations in history. Few to none of them were born with great moral stature right out of the gate.

  402. “The Tamil Tiger stuff is fun though”

    your humanitarian credentials really are impeccable!
    dead people in the middle east bad!
    dead people in south asia FUN!!!

  403. In my experience I’ve found nothing funnier than when a bully gets bullied.

    I’m a bully? Who is it who routinely implies that the people with whom he is arguing failed school or are unacademic? Who is it who routinely calls people “fags” or talks about obscene sexual acts with their mothers?

    Hint: it’s not me.

  404. One has only to look at TAO’s history of posting to see the asshole bully that he is.

    Like a lot of bullies when he knows he’s met more than his match he plays nice nice.

    Sometimes. But his nature gets the best of him too sometimes.

    And oh, I’ll just say you’re most probably a racist, you can keep implying it without saying it.

    MatericalMonkee
    I meant the bringing up of the Tamil Tigers as if joe and I or anyone who is concerned with Israel’s military actions must support the actions in Sri Lanka. That kind of arguing is fun, because its so stupid.

  405. I am called the asshole and the racist…and I am the bully.

    Amazing.

  406. Ahh, here it is:
    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/130506.html

    His exchanges with joe and lamar, good fun (he even brings up Lamar’s mom). Notice his gentlemanly comportment!

    It’s also the debut of his now famous nonsensical wonder “necessary acts are good acts.”

  407. so hopefully Fatah can convince the Israelis to do that as a ceasefire term

    Heh, good cop Fatah.

    Hey, look, I’m with you, but that guy’s CRAZY!

    Triangulating between Fatah and Hamas has been an explicit part of Israeli strategy for some time, I thought. At the very least, the elections and the ensuing mini civil war won by Hamas was the explicit reason for the ante (current) bellum Israeli sanctions on the Gaza Strip.

  408. I’m really bored with the TAO vs. MNG flamewar.

    Why, it’s almost becoming like Israel vs. Palestine!

  409. *sigh* MNG, it is obvious that you are so desperate for my attention that you’ll just do anything to get it.

    Go do something with your family. Or watch a movie. Something else other than trying to smear me constantly, please.

  410. Hmm, calling someone Queen Attention Whore, Douche Champion, fucking prick, Old Man Suspenderson… And has the balls to lecture others on gentlemanly behavior. Ah, the self righteous myopic nature of youth.

    You should’ve taken the cease fire young man. You’re Gaza and I’m the IDF here.

    I’m going to watch the final episode of Rome now and let the Good Honorable Sir from Buckeye land do his dance solo for a while.

  411. Hey BDB, I offered @8:25. No bite.

    He loves it what can I say.

    Masochism is more common than we might guess.

  412. Come on guys, can’t we have an agreement of comments-for-peace?

  413. MNG, congrats. You “win” on a message board. Yippee for you.

  414. On why we care about Israel more than about the Tamil Tigers;

    1) Our God
    2) We created Israel
    3) The other people who care about Israel have oil
    4) The Israeli lobby in our congress is WAY more talented and conniving than the Tamil tiger lobby if there is one.
    5) We wrongly give Israel and Egypt 3 Billion a year each.

    Incidentally, i have served with Sri Lankan soldiers, so I think I have a little anecdotal perspective on that conflict. I guess Tamil Tiger terrorists are worse, have inflicted more casualties than all of the different Arab terrotists combined.

    And our government, though no one reads about it has put the reigns on the Sri Lankan government a few times. Sri Lankans soldiers say the conflict would have been over a while ago if our government hadn’t intervened.

    I don’t have links or anything to any of this. It is just skuttlebut.

  415. Speaking of flame wars, what happened to the libertyMike vs Underzog flame war?

    How come that didn’t go down?

    I was mildly interested in that happening.

    Maybe it is the same person?

  416. MNG,

    You don’t think that a reasonable non-racist person can oppose anti-discrimination laws as a violation of freedom of association?

    I don’t really oppose anti-discrimination laws, but I think that not opposing them is the one that is logically the non libertarian position.

  417. Unrest in the middle east. Film at eleven.

  418. Shorter MNG: I’m going to imply The Angry Optimist is a racist without saying.

    And you wonder why I am not interested in engaging in conversation with you.

    Well, if the answer isn’t that you’re racist – and I am assuming that’s not the answer – maybe you could clear the matter up by giving us your actual response.

    For several posts now MNG has asked you to explain why the Palestinians don’t count when it comes to the basic political and economic liberties libertarians are supposed to support, and you won’t answer. You continually produce non-answer answers like “So now you’re saying I’m a racist” or “Why are you obsessed with me” or whatever. I’m starting to suspect that you don’t have an answer, so you will write anything but an answer.

    BTW, with regard to the Tamil Tiger situation, I don’t talk about it because I frankly don’t know that much about it. I also don’t know a lot about East Timor.

  419. For several posts now MNG has asked you to explain why the Palestinians don’t count when it comes to the basic political and economic liberties libertarians are supposed to support

    I will say this one. last. time. I never said that Palestinians “don’t count” Fluffy. I even said it upthread. Did you read my comments?:

    For your edification.

    I sure hope we’re all done here. Fuck me.

  420. mng has the most vivid imagination of all of my heros.

  421. The misnamed Fluffy doesn’t have the decency to understand that shelling Jews with rockets after they left a supposed occupied area and blowing up pregnant Jewish women in buses is not an economic and political right — but any decent person would understand that murder and attempted murder via terrorism is evil.

    Incidentally, the misnamed MNG (Mr. Nice Guy) and Fluffy are reminiscent of the names the Nazis took on in Germany when the Weimer Republic banned them for a short time. The Nazi party called themselves “The Quiet Lake, The Gentle Stream”; etc.

    MNG outed himself as an Arab/Muslim with his “whacky holocuast survivors” belief. Fluffy, I haven’t read as much and really don’t want to.

  422. underzog, fluffy and mng need to defend themselves from these baseless zionist attacks. everybody knows that islam is the religon of peace, oprah said so.

    when obama takes over the world you will see. we will have a glorious dialogue.

  423. I am humbled and chastend, nobody u no….

    I think 20 out of 23 conflicts in the third world involve Islam. Islam fighting other Islam sects or fighting someone else, but as Ekaterina Jung points out, none of this is the fault of Islam but, instead, the Islamophobes.

    I hope someday that the Marxists of so-called Political Correctness and the Muslims with their rock god Jallah can find it in their heart to forgive me.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

  424. underzog, see how simple it is?

    once the world gets over its islamophobia we can progress to proper progressive sharing and goodness.

    when the world adopts keynes-boyle boyle-keynes economics nobody will be wanting and we will have a wonderfull dialog.

  425. Fluffy
    There’s a reason why TAO doesn’t just come out and say “I’ve always said Israel is committing horribly immoral acts in regards to the occupation of Palestine” in response to your question, and one as to why he doesn’t just quote himself directly from upthread. Instead he links, hoping noone will take the time to click. But it only takes a second or two to look over every one of his posts on this thread. So what does the tape speak of when we run it?

    1/3 7:47 he says “You’ll note that I’ve generally been critical of Israel’s actions, in that they’ll likely be ineffective.”

    So he can’t say it’s wrong because the Palestinians rights are violated, but he can say it’s not very effective from Israel’s point of view. I point that out to him btw at 8:15 (I’m always trying to help the guy) but he cannot or will not answer even with help.

    @8:21 After I helped him as mentioned supra we get this exchange (first part my help, then his response):
    “Since the only thing you can find wrong with the actions is that they are “not effective” my assessment is shown all the more to be correct.

    That depends. Is this a war or is it not a war?”

    You see fluffy, he unequivocally answered whether Israeli Occupation policies or the current actions are morally wrong. He says “it depends!”

    Later the next day @6:55 he says “For what it’s worth, I am not totally outraged like most individuals are at the Israeli response. I understand it, but I think that it is a total mistake.”

    Glad he cleared his opposition to Israeli practices up there, eh?

    So fluffy it’s understandable how you or anyone else can think TAO cannot condemn certain Israeli actions as morally (as apart from practically) wrong. All he had or has to do is just say it: Israel’s embargo is morally wrong, it’s occupation of the Palestinians as a whole people denying them the right to vote, run for office (he actually thought they could do that until I showed him otherwise the other day, but then when would the right wing rags he reads ever tell him otherwise) is morally wrong.

    In saying it he would show some libertarian principles. But he cannot and will not. Why not become the natural question for anyone. And him convincing himself that my asking it is due to an obsession with him I guess protects him from seeing how glaring that ommission is to ANYONE.

    In fairness, I think it’s actually tough for him. We’re talking about a man who confesses his admiration for Rush Limbaugh, who consistently links to right wing think tanks when searching for empirical facts. And those kind of sources will never foster a principled ideology. He’s young, and as he’s humiliated in relying on such nonsense he will eventually branch out beyond such sources and as he’s quite bright we’ll hopefully see a bright young man with more defensible principles.

    But Rush Limbaugh will sadly become less impressive to him when that happens. It’s a fair trade I think.

  426. Kwais
    Yes, a person can be opposed to anti-discrimination laws and not be a racist, by all means. But I argue that a person who gets furious at anti-discrimination laws because they restrict the associational freedoms of some but cannot condemn the restrictions on political, associational, economic, movement, and other freedoms incurred by the residents of the Occupied Territories has some serious explaining to do…

  427. MNG

    Affirmative action is complete and utter racist bollocks.

    If your trying to derive a formula to describe a physical phenomenon you have use an extreme situation to test if it stands up. The same goes for social policy.

    Affirmative action basically means its possible for a poor Asian kid who is very intelligent to loose a university place to a rich African kid of mediocre intelligence just because he’s the wrong race.

    Therefore its morally wrong.

    I can say quite assuredly say that if you have a working class kid and an upper class kid with exactly the same exam results. The working class kid is probably a hell of a lot more intelligent.

    Positive discrimination based on parents’ salaries probably is very sensible because rich people tend to pay more for private tuition and education (private stuff is better as the libertarians say) and rich kids typically don’t have to work part time which can be a drain on time spend for studying..

    When applying for a job an IQ test will suffice. I work in engineering had to take an IQ test. Half my department are black or asian so there seems to be no problems there.

  428. “it’s occupation of the Palestinians as a whole people denying them the right to vote, run for office”

    er forgive me for correcting you here

    but Palestinians had exactly those rights.
    Fatah and Hamas
    ran for office,

    The Palestinians voted for both parties but unfortunately Hamas won.

    These right got taken away when Hamas executed all the opposition parties

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/hamas-seizes-fatah-base-as-bloody-battles-push-gaza-towards-civil-war-452897.html

    If George Bush started executing democrats I presume you’d think that was bad

    When Hamas does that suddenly it becomes Israels fault

  429. The reason why people have difficulty with the situation in the Middle east is the history of it

    Clearly the embargo is wrong and the Israelis act like cunts, but they’ve been pushed into by history.

    I’ve got loads of Hindu mates who’s grandparents were ejected from what became pakistan and bangladesh in 1947 but they’ve made new lives and are sad but not bitter.

    In 1947 the Palestinians were given a sizeable chunk of land and had more freedom and opportunity than most African Americans during the same period.
    They chose violence at every opportunity
    1948, 1967, 1973 and now they are in a dire situation

    In the same time using non-violent protest African Americans have gone from a situation of not being able to vote or marry who they chose to having someone as president.

  430. Material-I agree that affirmative action is wrong. That’s what I said above. Ending race based affirmative action is probably the single issue I’ve devoted the most of my time and money to in my life. I’m not sure where you got otherwise. I’m for anti-discrimination laws, but very much against affirmative action.

    Palestinians can vote for and run for offices for the Palestinian Government which is of course nothing like a real government as Israel still controls the air space, the borders, customs and duties collections and retains the right to enter the area at will. How many times can this be brought up to you before you get that? Even the Israeli’s refer to this as “limited autonomy.” So no, they don’t get to make meaningful decisions about their lives like people with full political rights do.

    I think forcing those folks to move to create Bangladesh, if that’s what happened, was wrong.

    I would also like to see Palestinians get their rights without recourse to violence. I don’t want a single Israeli harmed.

    Did I ever say otherwise?

  431. You see fluffy, he unequivocally answered whether Israeli Occupation policies or the current actions are morally wrong.

    Aww…it’s called an “academic question” in an attempt to foster discussion. I am not surprised you did not recognize it as such.

    when would the right wing rags he reads ever tell him otherwise

    I don’t read “right wing rags”. Casting aspersions again, eh?

    who consistently links to right wing think tanks

    Now you’re just a liar.

    He’s young, and as he’s humiliated…

    And this continued obsession with talking about me like I am some kind of weird scientific case study and/or a man-crush on your part is creepy.

  432. “in fact, the rocket attacks increased tenfold after the cease fire was allowed to lapse.”

    Unless these rockets attacks increased tenfold from zero, there was never really any ceasefire to begin with, now was there?

  433. @joe

    “Wouldn’t that be a corker, the Israelis of all people calling for the UN to put troops on their territory?”

    seems to be happening from what I’m reading

    “the potential deployment of a “robust” international force along Gaza borders was emerging as a key component of talks between Israel and the international community.

    Some European countries – notably Britain – argue that international efforts should be mounted to reinforce Egyptian security at the southern Gaza border to halt smuggling of weapons by Hamas if the fighting ceases.

    Such a plan envisages that the international force would effectively be a quid pro quo for opening crossings – including for commercial goods – as a means of reviving Gaza’s economy since Israel imposed its embargo after Hamas’s enforced takeover last June”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/hamas-takes-fight-to-the-streets-of-gaza-1228134.html

  434. Wow, TAO, wow.

    Look, as fluffy said, you’re just using this “you’re obsessed with me” stuff to continue to not answer the question and face the situation you’ve got caught in.

    In several instances you’ve loudly and proudly denounced what could be seen as collective punishment of a group effecting a fairly limited area of freedom (anti-discrimination laws in the U.S. restricting associational freedom). But in a situation where there is a collective punishment of a group on a fairly wide set of freedoms (the occupation and embargo of the OPT restricting freedom of movement, contract, and association) you are not only silent, but when explicitly called upon, not just by me whom you can pout and stamp your feet over as just ‘messing with you’, but others like fluffy who certainly have no beef with you, you cannot muster up a moral (as opposed to practical) objection to the latter.

    Now fluffy might want to give you the benefit of the doubt and just conclude that you simply don’t have an answer, a reading which I guess could be true considering you didn’t know something as basic to this debate as that the residents in the Occupied Territories cannot vote or run for office in the Knesset (and so perhaps this is why you’ve never denounced it and you’re embarrassed, a common enough trait in the young, but surely you knew what an embargo is and that one is in effect in the OPT).

    But I’ve seen and marked your persistent nastiness, you’re admiration of cowardly thugs like Limbaugh, your cavalier disregard for human life, your bullying of honest guys like Lamar, etc. I think you have an answer, one that does make your seemingly highly anomalous views consistent, and it’s this:

    Collective punishment is wrong. When it effects my tribe (white people).

    This could explain the (certainly you can see) somewhat strikingly strange of a libertarian crying foul, foul, loudly foul about a relatively minor and limited collective punishment that fell on his tribe, but not being able to bring himself, even when called upon, to condemn collective punishment that falls on some darker skinned tribe across the world.

  435. Its gotta be said I don’t know much about US anti-discrimination laws so I can’t say much about that.

    Back in the 50’s in the UK you used to get hotels etc that had pubs saying “no blacks no dogs no Irish” and so a law was passed banning that kind of behaviour. I can see no problem with that kind of law and can’t see the link with freedom of association.

    On the palestine issue I can see why people are cynical

    my view follows the line of the libertarian-marxist journal from the UK spiked

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/6078/

    As Israel’s assault on Gaza enters its twelfth day, with 560 Palestinians reported dead, many people – including we at spiked – are keen to offer solidarity to the Palestinians under attack. But it’s important to make a distinction between the anger felt by individuals over Israel’s actions and the rise and rise over the past five to 10 years of an increasingly influential, almost semi-official anti-Israel lobby.

    “This lobby, a peculiar alliance of European officials, well-to-do journalists, sections of the old left, anti-globalists, Islamic fundamentalists and neo-Nazis, is drawn to the issue of the Middle East, not because it is committed to meaningful self-determination for Palestinians, but because Israel has become a convenient symbol of many of the things it instinctively hates: national sovereignty; unilateral action; forcefully defending one’s interests; refusing to bow to ‘international morality’; even a sense of commitment to modernity itself. Some very dubious arguments, emanating from a motley crew of organisations, are being promoted under the guise of solidarity with Palestinians”

  436. In liberal circles, Israel is ultimately seen as a symbol of America, a smaller, more compact, more robust expression of what the anti-Israel lobby sees as the sins of contemporary capitalism and progress. If America is viewed by many anti-globalists and Islamic fundamentalists as the main rotten representative of destructive modernity (in Osama bin Laden’s environmentalist words, America is putting ‘all of mankind in danger because of the global warming resulting from the factories of its major corporations’), then Israel is seen as an even cruder, more unapologetic, militarised expression of destructive modernity (2). In contemporary debate, ‘America’ has become a codeword for greedy, obese, polluting progress – now ‘Israel’ is increasingly a codeword for progress at its most obscene, for the backward idea that, as one critic of Israel put it, the ‘genocide’ in Gaza represents ‘the cr?me-de-la-cr?me of Judaeo-Christian civilisation’ (3).

  437. The new-left anti-globalists simply projected on to Israel-Palestine the simplistic politics of anti-progress that they had developed in the mid- to late 1990s. This was not about getting to grips with the complexities of an historic conflict; rather, in one author’s words, it was about ‘young Westerners disillusioned with their pampered modern lives’ letting out a scream of angst in a part of the world where the clash between the forces of militarised modernity and ordinary people seemed most explicit: the Palestinian territories

  438. Likewise, radical Islamist groups like al-Qaeda have only recently embraced the ‘Palestinian cause’. If you read Osama bin Laden’s statements of the past 15 years, you will notice that he says little about Palestine in the 1990s; his main concern is with the blasphemy of the Saudi rulers or with the failure of the West (ironically) to assist Bosnian Muslims. It is only at the turn of the millennium, in 2002 and 2003, that bin Laden suddenly realises that his raison d’?tre is standing up to ‘the destruction and murder of our people’ in Palestine (9). He, too, is subconsciously responding to the official and academic demonisation of Israel that followed 9/11 in particular, and adopting a cause readily recognisable in the West – Israel: bad, Palestine: good – in order to renew and re-justify his archaic, anti-modernity politics and violence.

  439. Amongst young radical Islamists in Britain – some of whom explicitly model themselves on al-Qaeda and praise bin Laden – the adoption of a quite sudden and furious stance on Israel (‘the great evil’) and Palestine (‘our people’) is bound up with their sense of distance from, and disgust with, contemporary Western values. Effectively, they express their alienation from Western society by taking a noisy, spectacular, fancy-dress stand, usually in front of TV cameras, against that crudest flag-waver for the values of ‘Western society’: Israel. The banner carried by a group of shouting Islamists at a demo in the UK last week – ‘ISRAEL IS THE CANCER, JIHAD IS THE ANSWER’ – summed up both today’s childish attitude to a complex conflict and the contemporary view of Israel as a kind of disease poisoning the globe, as the ‘top threat to world peace’

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