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  #201  
Old 06-11-2010, 11:07 AM
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I think you are underestimating the religious fanaticism of the Palestinians Ivhon. I think when confronted with the prospect of an End Game result, their response will be something akin to "paradise here I come." And I think anyone who disagrees with this assessment needs to seriously think about the psychology behind the very idea of suicide bombings and human shields before they offhandedly dismiss my characterization of the Palestinians. When a culture deals out death to both its enemies and itself in such a flippant and senseless manner, it can hardly be described as a rational actor. And the effectiveness of MAD is entirely dependent upon rational actors who value their own lives above killing their enemies.

As for the U.N., the main thrust of my argument that it is irrelevant is its lack of enforcement of things such as the Genocide Convention. Its not that I don't think we have no obligation to enforce it. I would very much like it if we would. It just stands out as the clearest example of the impotence and therefore irrelevance of the U.N. Its people with your political leanings who like to pretend it is otherwise and therefore, in making my argument, I was adopting your view point in assuming the U.N. is relevant.

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And on the other hand, I suspect that the Palestinians legitimately feel that they are fighting for their survival too. Whether or not you or I see it that way. So what they do is ok, too, right?
Once again, Camp David proves this false. They may think that way, in some twisted, distorted bizarro logic, but that is not the truth of the matter. Israel has an objective claim to having its survival threatened. Its written in stone in the Hamas charter and plastered all over the Arab media.
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  #202  
Old 06-11-2010, 12:15 PM
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Davian93 Davian93 is offline
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And without our help, I doubt it would survive that. And neither would the Arabs, when you take into account Israel's nuclear arsenal.
Exactly. Lets consider what nearly happened the last time that Israel felt isolated with their backs to the wall. It was Yom Kippur, 1973. In the first 12 hrs, Syrian tanks had overrun Israeli positions in the Golan, Egyptian tanks had crossed the Suez and were rapidly advancing through the Sinai. Israeli high command ordered air strikes to slow the advance and their first waves of attack fighters were shot out of the sky by a blanket of Soviet air defense missiles given to Syria and Egypt. Israel had put all their eggs into their Air Force over heavy artillery. Both countries invading (the United Arab Republic actually) far outgunned them when it came to artillery. Israel figured then (and now) that it was smarter to put its money in a jet that could strike Damascus and Cairo in the same day instead of a howitzer with limited tactical use. Israel was basically getting its ass handed to it as a result of this situation. Their main weapon in the air force was ineffective, their front lines overrun and some estimates had Syrian tanks outside Tel Aviv within 24-48 hrs. At this point, Israel sent out an alert to arm its A-4s with tactical nukes to stop the invasion. They had no other choice as Nixon/Kissenger wasn't supporting them, they were being overrun with in a country of no strategic depth, were suffering huge casualties (casualties so high that the exact numbers weren't released for several months after the war ended to keep morale high) and it looked like their country would be destroyed. Only the bravery of their reserve units and a fierce countertattack that succeeded prevented them from nuking both Syria and Egypt. It was only after Nixon/Kissenger were told that Israel was about to nuke those two countries that American aid was airlifted into Israel and they were able to continue their counter attack to take by the Golan and Sinai. Had we sat back and done nothing, Israel would have wiped two countries off the earth to save themselves because Never Again.

Israel remembers 1973 very clearly. They came very close to losing...far closer than most realize. They won't allow it to happen again. That was only against 2 Arab countries...what happens if we isolate them again and let all of them attack?
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  #203  
Old 06-11-2010, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Sinistrum View Post
I think you are underestimating the religious fanaticism of the Palestinians Ivhon. I think when confronted with the prospect of an End Game result, their response will be something akin to "paradise here I come." And I think anyone who disagrees with this assessment needs to seriously think about the psychology behind the very idea of suicide bombings and human shields before they offhandedly dismiss my characterization of the Palestinians. When a culture deals out death to both its enemies and itself in such a flippant and senseless manner, it can hardly be described as a rational actor. And the effectiveness of MAD is entirely dependent upon rational actors who value their own lives above killing their enemies.

Im not going to offhandedly dismiss your characterization. I would counter that it is one thing for destitute, jobless, misinformed and manipulated young men with nothing to lose to throw their lives away. The mullahs that control them are not quite so cavalier, I have noticed. I don't recall any reports of clerics carrying out suicide bombings. Bin Laden takes quite a bit of care to make sure he stays alive, etc. When the powers-that-be actually face the real possibility of their own annhihilation and loss of that power, I think they would play a different tune

As for the U.N., the main thrust of my argument that it is irrelevant is its lack of enforcement of things such as the Genocide Convention. Its not that I don't think we have no obligation to enforce it. I would very much like it if we would. It just stands out as the clearest example of the impotence and therefore irrelevance of the U.N. Its people with your political leanings who like to pretend it is otherwise and therefore, in making my argument, I was adopting your view point in assuming the U.N. is relevant.

Well, I happen to agree with you that the UN is impotent and largely irrelevant. Not to hijack too much - you believe we should be involved in Dharfour and other areas of the world like that? I don't recall having heard you say that before - but I may simply have disregarded it or forgotten it.



Once again, Camp David proves this false. They may think that way, in some twisted, distorted bizarro logic, but that is not the truth of the matter. Israel has an objective claim to having its survival threatened. Its written in stone in the Hamas charter and plastered all over the Arab media.
Not sure it matters that much. Certainly there is a sizeable element in Israel and particularly in the US (The Pro-Israel lobby here is more hawkish than in Israel itself...they have that luxury since none of their children are going to get killed...kinda like the mullahs, above) that believes that Arabs should be wiped off the earth. Now, it isn't put down on paper like Hamas does. But Im not sure I place that much importance on a piece of paper. For example, it becomes much more difficult to play the "OMG we are targets of genocide again hepl hepl" strategy when you officially are calling for genocide.
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  #204  
Old 06-13-2010, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Sinistrum View Post
Answer me this nameless. Why is it necessary that Israel blinks first? Why are they the ones having to make sacrifices (and make no mistake about it when you say sacrifices, part of that is people's lives)? Why can't the Palestinians do what you are describing?
Because it has been proven that it does not work if the Palestinians do it. They actually tried it a few times, while Ariel Sharon was prime minister. They announced a cease fire* and kept to it. Israel then kept killing Palestinians until the latter decided to abandon the peaceful approach as useless.
As far as I know, Israel has never tried a cease fire where they said that they would not attack, but would only defend against ongoing attacks.

So I will give a counter-question: what reason could there be for the Palestinians to believe that Israel will react with anything other than violence if the Palestinians blink?

* Temporary, admittedly. But it was an opening, and it might have gone further.
  #205  
Old 06-13-2010, 10:48 PM
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I would counter that it is one thing for destitute, jobless, misinformed and manipulated young men with nothing to lose to throw their lives away. The mullahs that control them are not quite so cavalier, I have noticed.
While I would agree that the people doing the sending are only willing to martyr other people for their cause, not so much themselves (and I was particularly charmed by the ones who, a few years ago, sent a ten-year-old with a delivery that they didn't tell him was intended to explode; thankfully that incident was stopped without loss of life), I disagree with your characterization of the ones who do the going as "destitute, jobless, misinformed and manipulated". These are the Palestinians' best and brightest, more often college-educated than not, throwing their lives away in the hope of taking Jews with them. Of all the Palestinians, suicide bombers are often exactly those with the most to lose.

P.S. I know you don't mean it this way, Ivhon (and if I thought you did mean it this way I wouldn't bother saying it), but saying things like "we will end up supporting whatever they do because the pro-Israel lobby is too strong" sounds to me uncomfortably like "the Jews control the government." The pro-Israel lobby is a lobby like any number of others, no more and no less powerful that any other lobby of comparable size, funding and efficiency. If it is slightly more efficient than most lobbies of comparable size, which I will not concede solely on the basis of anecdata, that is because most of its members are on it in support of the same cause -- support for what they at least perceive to be the most just position for this country's Middle East policy -- rather than the more usual case of everybody on a lobby supporting the coordinated but never quite identical causes of their own personal enrichment. Talking about that as something to be curbed does not sit well with me.
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  #206  
Old 06-13-2010, 11:49 PM
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While I would agree that the people doing the sending are only willing to martyr other people for their cause, not so much themselves (and I was particularly charmed by the ones who, a few years ago, sent a ten-year-old with a delivery that they didn't tell him was intended to explode; thankfully that incident was stopped without loss of life), I disagree with your characterization of the ones who do the going as "destitute, jobless, misinformed and manipulated". These are the Palestinians' best and brightest, more often college-educated than not, throwing their lives away in the hope of taking Jews with them. Of all the Palestinians, suicide bombers are often exactly those with the most to lose.

P.S. I know you don't mean it this way, Ivhon (and if I thought you did mean it this way I wouldn't bother saying it), but saying things like "we will end up supporting whatever they do because the pro-Israel lobby is too strong" sounds to me uncomfortably like "the Jews control the government." The pro-Israel lobby is a lobby like any number of others, no more and no less powerful that any other lobby of comparable size, funding and efficiency. If it is slightly more efficient than most lobbies of comparable size, which I will not concede solely on the basis of anecdata, that is because most of its members are on it in support of the same cause -- support for what they at least perceive to be the most just position for this country's Middle East policy -- rather than the more usual case of everybody on a lobby supporting the coordinated but never quite identical causes of their own personal enrichment. Talking about that as something to be curbed does not sit well with me.
Points taken on the nature of the lobby vs those that are for personal enrichment. Don't mean to insinuate that the pro-Israel lobby is controlling government. It does control policy so far as the middle east is concerned...and IMO that is not always in the best interest of the US.

However, the same can be said of the influence of any number of lobbies over policy in their particular milieu's. Need I point fingers at the energy lobby whoring up the minerals branch of the EPA, the banking lobby, the insurance lobby, the oil lobby, sugar lobby, pick a union (to be fair to those on the other side of the aisle) and on and on.

Specifically to the pro-Israel lobby, I do find them to be extremely hawkish - which I take dimly since they are risking the lives of Israeli soldiers and citizens in Israel - not their own or their childrens. Very easy to scream "no compromise, no quarter" when you arent the one getting shot.

All in all, it is a tricky and delicate issue to even talk about - much less solve - considering how emotional it is for so many people. Yet another reason why Im glad Im not President (on that note, Obama is following the trend of so many Presidents before him by going gray RAPIDLY)
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