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Emmet 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 11:27 AM
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I do not think there is a distinction between different forms of terrorism. People often want to argue about Israel stealing the land they occupy as a provocation for the violence perpetrated against them. The vast majority of this violence has been in the form of terrorism. I assume we do not need a dictionary for this word? Knowing a little about the historical conquering of lands, I can understand attempts to reacquire this land. Any attempts, however, should come in the form of military attacks on key government positions in an effort to overthrow them, not in the isolated killings of civilians with low-grade weaponry.


So, any country (or dispossessed refugees) that are too impoverished to mount a traditional military challenge to the 5th most powerful military in the world (backed up by the US) is simply shite out of luck?

What about capturing soldiers, instead of civilians, to use as bargaining chips to win the release of POW's?

What's the ethical distinction between dropping a 1 ton bomb on an occupied apartment complex from an F-16 at 2:00 AM, and detonating a car bomb or explosive belt at a café or market?


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Raven 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 11:32 AM
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Emmett you make me laugh with your selective reading biggrin.gif and additive coments and deliberate misunderstandings of my posts tongue.gif

I have not mentioned worthy, more worthy, etc in any of my posts.

As far as conventions rules for engagement etc... there is no point mentioning that again as you seem to have not concept of the difference between a war targeting military targets that see's collateral damage, versus a campaign of terror/fear/intimidation with the obvious intentional targeting of cilivilians to the exclusion of actual military targets.

You also seem to have no clear desire to understand a war where the combatents are not clearly identified or anything else that I write for that matter.

It seems your mind is made up and don't confuse you with the facts because you will simply edit them to your liking. I'm sorry you feel the need to not be logical and attribute meaning to my statements that is not there. It makes any evidence you post suspect in my view. You may have some valid arguements somewhere, but it is impossible to see them, because in your need to be right at all costs, you twist my statements to something that was not implied in my posts.

You should learn to read entire articles, posts, etc instead of editing them to your own personal world view. You may find yourself someday in a position that will forever change this position that you are so entrenched in although, I would not wish that on anyone.

All the best to your endeavor to be right!

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SCShamrock 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 12:20 PM
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QUOTE (Emmet)
So, any country (or dispossessed refugees) that are too impoverished to mount a traditional military challenge to the 5th most powerful military in the world (backed up by the US) is simply shite out of luck?


Pretty much, unless someone or something formidable enough to take them on joins in. Surely this point is not lost on you. And from the wording here, I am inferring that you approve of the efforts of Hezbollah, Hamas, and all other Muslim factions acts of terrorism. Do you agree with the punishment of Israel? Do you agree with the death of innocent Israelis? Is that true?

QUOTE (Emmet)
What about capturing soldiers, instead of civilians, to use as bargaining chips to win the release of POW's?


I see nothing wrong with it.

QUOTE (Emmet)
What's the ethical distinction between dropping a 1 ton bomb on an occupied apartment complex from an F-16 at 2:00 AM, and detonating a car bomb or explosive belt at a café or market?


I have already answered this.


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 12:27 PM
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QUOTE (Emmet @ 01-Aug-2006, 11:15 AM)

So, if you fight "to win at all costs" (assuming the majority of those "costs" are not borne by you, but by noncombatant civilians, as you're clearly advocating), recognizing no rules to constrain your behavior (Hague Conventions, Nuremberg Charter, UN Charter, Geneva Conventions) precisely what makes you any better or more worthy of victory (or survival) than your admittedly equally barbaric opponent? If you're going to be that beastly, why wouldn't the world be a better place if you both simply annihilated each other?

I don't think "winning at all costs" only means "cost to the other guy," and it doesn't seem to me that's what Raven is advocating. The IDF has a history of ruthlessness, and as I keep saying it is chilling what it does to them and apparently makes them capable of -- but they have paid plenty of lives.

I'm interested in something SCShamrock is saying here. I made the point once before that the perception among many Israelis of the relationship between biblical prophecy and the present state of affairs is often quite cynical. This is something I've talked to a number of Israelis about (students, and a few very close personal friends). It is a burden to them that many biblically oriented people in the US have expectations of Israelis that they themselves don't subscribe to, and are either ready to forgive the "chosen people" anything, or conversely ready to hold them up to unreasonably high ethical standards and criticize them heavily, on biblical criteria, when they can't or don't choose to meet them.

So here we have a variation on this theme, in SCShamrock's last post [edit -- it's a few posts back now]:
"That being said, if the nation of Israel (land, not people this time) is supposed to be so holy as to be ordained by God, then its occupants should then be representatives of that God, no? Israel (people, not land this time) do not have a track record of infallibility. Otherwise, why would Moses have led them through the wilderness for 40 years eating Manna? Hmmm. So to those who like to give Israel a free pass anytime they inflict pain on their neighbors, I say, read your bible again. The bible tells them "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." " Followed by a reminder that God punishes the Israelites when they don't behave well, and an invitation to read Psalm 80, which is a good idea and illustrates the issue very well:
http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/bible/psalms/psalm80.htm

The first footnote reads:
"[Psalm 80] A community lament in time of military defeat. Using the familiar image of Israel as a vineyard, the people complain that God has broken down the wall protecting the once splendid vine brought from Egypt (Psalm 80:9-14). They pray that God will again turn to them and use the Davidic king to lead them to victory (Psalm 80:15-19)."

There is no present Davidic king; David Ben Gurion remarked humorously that the new Israel couldn't be a revivification of the old upper and lower kingdoms because he couldn't stomach the idea of being King David II. But he carried the simultaneous titles of Prime Minister and Minister of Defense for years -- a practical necessity. It's a modern nation, a modern democracy, and the Israeli majority has no illusions at all about being "chosen" for anything privileged. This is not to say that they won't take advantage of the expectations of others, again a mite cynically, and re giving Israel a "pass" for doing things others are heavily sanctioned for, well, that's a very valid point and it should not be that way. But a lot of it comes from the persistant habit of biblicizing this modern militarized democracy.

Nor is the matter unclouded by the beliefs of a very loud minority of orthodox, lots of them coming from the United States and settling very defiantly in the disputed territories. They have a scary sense of biblical destiny, and they still have a swing vote in the Knesset, which is a right pain in the arse for most of the country's goals. And they are hostile toward arabs, and also conveniently (some think intentionally, out of some martyr impulse) placed to be the targets of border aggression. Baruch Goldstein, whom Emmet cites as being a terrorist (under a broad definition I suppose he was; but he was also certifiably nuts, and his action was not typical) is a good if extreme example.

And again, up to this day educated Israelis know their bibles way better than we ever will, and I might say in a much purer and more immediately grounded context that does not include the controversial NT readings of prophecy. One of the things I mean to ask my friend is why all the generations of the Israeli tank (one of the most terrifying juggernauts you will ever see) have been called "Merkavah". So what's that? It's the chariot in the vision of Ezekiel, and it has all kinds of mystical Kabbalistic implications as well as being directly symbolic of the land of Israel reviving itself from a valley of dry bones into a living entity. But the modern version of Merkavah has also blown gaping holes in thousands of other people's peace and prosperity. I don't know if it's pure irony to call it that, or a kind of in-joke that also incorporates the serious proprietary sense of the bible as a document that belongs to them in a unique way. Or just a symbolic way of recognizing that the only chariot that's going to make dem dry bones come back to life and stay that way is a damn heavy militancy that involves every single citizen from the age of 18 to 49.

I guess the point of all this is: either giving Israel an indulgent "pass" for any behaviour, or criticizing them harshly for not living up to biblical expectations and pointing to their troubles as God's punishment, are both complicating the issues in ways that have had and still have large practical ways of playing out in foreign policy, though that should be almost unbelievable in this day and age. I believe heartily that we could lose that component of the debate and see just a little more light falling on the real issues.
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Herrerano 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 01:42 PM
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Good points Stormeil.

Sometimes in the heat of an argument it is way too simple and easy to just pull out the old, "He's right because God said so" reasoning.

Not to take anything away from those who have a more religiously fundamental worldview (notice I did not say Christian here), but the basic tenants of an argument should hold up despite particular beliefs. (wow, trying to say this in a general way to make it clear that it concerns all belief systems is really really hard).

Anyway, there are a couple of things that this left me thinking as I lay my head on my pillow last night. First of all, to CC, and his remark about honor etc. It's that desire to hold ourselves and those we think of as 'honorable' to a higher standard that causes such deep disappointment when something like the incident at Qana happens. On the other hand, it is not that hard to see how those things could have happened either. Hizbollah hides like cowards amongst the civilian population and shields itself with innocents as it fires its missiles towards Israel. Israelies, now infected with the desire to win, but to win cheaply, without spending those groundpounding grunt lives tries to do what has always been impossible from the air and wage war without looking into the eyes and faces of the enemy. That is all it takes for a tragic incident like that to occur and instantly Israel has practically handed victory over to Hizbollah.

If you're interested in reading a bit more about this here are a couple of links.

THE ROAD TO QANA Cheap War Gets Expensive

Israel Is Losing This War

***

Oh yeah, remember, the IDF comprises the whole of the Israeli defense forces, most of them are just regular folks. Weren't you really referring to the 'spooks' among them when you made this comment?

stoirmeil Posted on 01-Aug-2006, 12:27 PM
QUOTE
The IDF has a history of ruthlessness, and as I keep saying it is chilling what it does to them and apparently makes them capable of -- but they have paid plenty of lives.


But then that would really be the subject of an entirely new thread, and could apply to sof people in any branch of service in any country.




Well, back to my midget racing and endless speculations about Cuba. biggrin.gif

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stoirmeil 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (Herrerano @ 01-Aug-2006, 01:42 PM)
Israelies, now infected with the desire to win, but to win cheaply, without spending those groundpounding grunt lives tries to do what has always been impossible from the air and wage war without looking into the eyes and faces of the enemy.

Indeed. That's a "shock and awe" strategy well learned, if just as badly conceived. Would we not have a hell of a nerve to condemn them for it?

By "spooks" I think you mean Mossad? I don't know what else you might be referring to. But no -- the IDF is run top down by its generals with a lot of discipline, and insubordination in the form of refusal to carry out orders is treated as harshly as it is in any other military, maybe much more so. I was referring to the army as run by its leaders. Of course, military people are ordinary people. But the aura of discipline in the IDF is very, very strong and determined, and the ruthlessness I mean is a function of the nature of the order given and the expectation that it be carried out with no less than maximum speed and efficiency, and no trace of wavering.
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Emmet 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 03:29 PM
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either giving Israel an indulgent "pass" for any behaviour, or criticizing them harshly for not living up to biblical expectations and pointing to their troubles as God's punishment, are both complicating the issues in ways that have had and still have large practical ways of playing out in foreign policy, though that should be almost unbelievable in this day and age. I believe heartily that we could lose that component of the debate and see just a little more light falling on the real issues.


Quite so. "Because the Bible tells be so" is not a defensible argument for mass murder. Neither are movies like "Exodus" a good grounding in Middle Eastern history.

As any numismaticist will tell you, you can't properly judge the value of a coin by only examining one side.

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QUOTE
Israelies, now infected with the desire to win, but to win cheaply, without spending those groundpounding grunt lives tries to do what has always been impossible from the air and wage war without looking into the eyes and faces of the enemy.



Indeed. That's a "shock and awe" strategy well learned, if just as badly conceived. Would we not have a hell of a nerve to condemn them for it?


As a country (that hasn't renounced it as awful, purposeless, and futile), absolutely. Individually, only if we had supported the same strategy in Iraq, and still, despite everything, continue to believe the State every time they tell us that everything's just coming up roses over there.

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The IDF has a history of ruthlessness, and as I keep saying it is chilling what it does to them and apparently makes them capable of --


Yeah; it's not just Shin Bet or Mossad; the history of the IDF in toto is a study in ruthlessness. Not necessarily a bad thing per se; war is nasty business, they live in a bad neighborhood, and soldiers aren't social workers. However, there must be universally agreed upon de jure parameters of civilized behavior beyond which nations and individuals should be proscribed from going (of course, considering our recent experience in places like Fallujah, the U.S. would have a hell of a nerve to condemn them for that, too).
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Emmet 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 04:01 PM
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I am inferring that you approve of the efforts of Hezbollah, Hamas, and all other Muslim factions acts of terrorism. Do you agree with the punishment of Israel? Do you agree with the death of innocent Israelis? Is that true? 


Absolutely not. However, I do believe that the issues involved are a bit more complicated than some people suspect, and some folks appear to me to have an entirely one sided (and rather simplistic) view of the conflict. I'm trying to suggest that there is more than one side (Israel's) to the story, and that there is a considerable (and growing) body of evidence to suggest that the Israelis aren't necessarily on the side of the angels. I am quite capable of recognizing the legitimate grievances of Palestinians and Lebanese without being a flag-waver for Hammas and Hezbollah.

Personally, I believe in the United Nations, support the Beirut Declaration of 2002, and wouldn't trust in the good offices of Condoleezza Rice as far as I could throw her.
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Dogshirt 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 06:01 PM
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We should all remember that the bible was written BY jews FOR jews. The fact that the bible as you know it was pieced together from a LOT of jewish texts by a Roman emporer and others to suit them selves should NOT be overlooked. ANYTHING that they didn't like simply wasn't included! The bible is NOT an anceint book, just a book pieced together by men to suit themselves. Do NOT expect to get any wisdom from a book WRITTEN by men, COMPILED by men, and EDITED by men. There is FAR too much man and not enough god in the bible to take seriously!


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Raven 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 08:05 PM
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QUOTE (Dogshirt @ 01-Aug-2006, 06:01 PM)
We should all remember that the bible was written BY jews FOR jews. The fact that the bible as you know it was pieced together from a LOT of jewish texts by a Roman emporer and others to suit them selves should NOT be overlooked. ANYTHING that they didn't like simply wasn't included! The bible is NOT an anceint book, just a book pieced together by men to suit themselves. Do NOT expect to get any wisdom from a book WRITTEN by men, COMPILED by men, and EDITED by men. There is FAR too much man and not enough god in the bible to take seriously!


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Dogshirt 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 08:19 PM
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Not when some are using afore mentioned text to excuse Isreal's homicidal spree!


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 08:22 PM
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QUOTE (Raven @ 01-Aug-2006, 08:05 PM)
QUOTE (Dogshirt @ 01-Aug-2006, 06:01 PM)
We should all remember that the bible was written BY jews FOR jews. The fact that the bible as you know it was pieced together from a LOT of jewish texts by a Roman emporer and others to suit them selves should NOT be overlooked. ANYTHING that they didn't like simply wasn't included! The bible is NOT an anceint book, just a book pieced together by men to suit themselves. Do NOT expect to get any wisdom from a book WRITTEN by men, COMPILED by men, and EDITED by men. There is FAR too much man and not enough god in the bible to take seriously!


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Ah, come on, Raven. dry.gif You know it's not irrelevant. I don't come down on this as hard as Dogshirt, but I do agree with him in so far as I feel strongly that it has no place in this level of life and death foreign policy.
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Nova Scotian 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 08:42 PM
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What do ya say we just TRY to keep the Bible out of it. I do believe it to be true but tried to seperate it the best I can. I'll say again, Israel is no angles in this, but neither is Hesbula who DID start this current conflict. I'd like to put all those who sympithize with these muslim extreamist in and Muslim country for about 10 years and see for themselves what kind of people Israel is dealing with. I'll say again for the 4th time look at how these "civilized folkes " acted when those cartoons of Mohamad were published. But those sympethitic to Hesbula don't want to aknowledge that.


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Emmet 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 08:46 PM
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QUOTE (Dogshirt @ 01-Aug-2006, 08:19 PM)
Not when some are using afore mentioned text to excuse Isreal's homicidal spree!


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Dogshirt 
Posted: 01-Aug-2006, 08:51 PM
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QUOTE
What do ya say we just TRY to keep the Bible out of it. I do believe it to be true but tried to seperate it the best I can. I'll say again, Israel is no angles in this, but neither is Hesbula who DID start this current conflict. I'd like to put all those who sympithize with these muslim extreamist in and Muslim country for about 10 years and see for themselves what kind of people Israel is dealing with. I'll say again for the 4th time look at how these "civilized folkes " acted when those cartoons of Mohamad were published. But those sympethitic to Hesbula don't want to aknowledge that.



I'm not the one who brought it in, just trying ro keep it in perspective.
And does Saudi Arabia count? Nice people, country is a little dry for my tastes, but it was okay!


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