Off Topic Messages

The situation in the middle-east

Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:58 am

Things are escalating rapidly. CNN just reported that Hezbollah fired a rocket on a ship of civilians in the Mediterranean.

Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:17 pm

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Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:14 pm

There was a time when the Palestinians had some sympathy from me -- before they were, for all intents and purposes, fully radicalized.

I believe we can look back and see that Israel shares some blame for radicalizing some people, but Israel is hemmed in on two sides by terrorist organizations pledged to destroy it.

I hope there's nothing left but a grease spot in the Hezbollah and Hammas strongholds after Israel finishes.

My great fear now? That Israel will stop before the work is finished.

Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:31 pm

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Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:27 am

Those statistics don't mean much to me.

The number of Taliban/Al-Qaeda dead, I'm sure, outnumber the victims in the World Trade Center disaster by now.

But if you think I'm going to feel sorry about that, you're quite wrong.

When the Palestinians were throwing rocks at tanks, I was with them.

When they started blowing up buses, they lost me -- and most of the rest of Western world.

As far as the "Apartheid" slap, I'd hate to see what happens to the Israeli family that settles in Gaza ... so that argument cuts both ways.

If I may quote Bob Dylan at length:
Well, the neighborhood bully, he's just one man,
His enemies say he's on their land.
They got him outnumbered about a million to one,
He got no place to escape to, no place to run.
He's the neighborhood bully.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers?
Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill,
Running out the clock, time standing still,
Neighborhood bully.
Last edited by elvissessions on Sun Jul 16, 2006 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:31 am

You're an island of common sense in a raging sea (the Irish Sea specifically) of obtuseness ES.

Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:14 am

"Common sense," in the Middle East?

If only it was so clear cut, Scatter. It's all very complicated although I agree that the Palestinians threw their lot in with the wrong crowd, namely Hamas and allies like the Hezbollah in Lebanon.

As one wag once said, if the Palestinians had long ago had pulled a Mandella/ Martin Luther King/ Ganhdi act instead of blowing up themselves and their kids and other innocents, they'd have their state already. That's the role of warped Islam for you...

The founding of the state was problemactic to begin with and we've been dealing with that ever since.

But I do separate this conflict from the greater fight against radical Islamic terrorism, although there are links, naturally. The Al Queda crew (and the like) use our very clear and substantial support for Israel against us. Why did we ever become so wed to one state and end result?



And as a bit of an isolationist (outside of oil interests and vague talk about being the "only democracy" in the Middle East) I don't know why the USA(especially under President Bush) we have to so unilaterally support Israel (to the tune of $3 Billioin a year, supposedly).

The cover of this week's Washington Post Magazine is actually about the role of the pro-Israel lobby in the US and how you can't talk about it without the "anti-semite" card being lobbed at you.

It seems Europe is more even-handed in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And we don't need Israel kicking of a huge war there, which may happen.
Their response (in some ways admirable) also seems a bit out of proportion and reckless.

I just don't know.

Feel free to convince me. :lol:

Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:26 am

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Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:56 am

If you want to line up with Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran -- and all the rest of the terrorist forces sworn to deny and destroy Israel, then folks will just have to weigh that as they choose.

But the end result of this war will be much like the Six-Day War, in which Egypt blockaded Israel and, in return, Israel knocked the wind out of Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq without even breaking a sweat.

If the Arabs hadn't fuc-ed it up then, they wouldn't be in the mess they're in now.
Last edited by elvissessions on Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:19 am

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Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:40 pm

elvissessions.com wrote:But the end result of this war will be much like the Six-Day War, in which Egypt blockaded Israel and, in return, Israel knocked the wind out of Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq without even breaking a sweat.


Yes, Israel punches over its weight.

With the massive US support it gets, it's no wonder.

Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:56 pm

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Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:50 pm

Maurice wrote:
Just a while ago I read in an American magazine ("TIME", I think) The real agenda is to destroy Islam..Iraq, Iran Syria etc.........All for Oil and American security. We all know what happened to the Romans when they took on ALL the so-called "Barbarians".


I thought we all knew that, Maurice, but I'm afraid much of that history is not taught these days. (Time was, folks read the Bible, Shakespeare, and Edward Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.") The US couldn't be more spread thin (with wars around the world and more on the verge) and is rotting from within, if it's not addressed soon.

****************************************

I found that cover article from this week's Washington Post Magazine:

A Beautiful Friendship?
In search of the truth about the Israel lobby's influence on Washington


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01627.html

Thanks to the work of the lobby and its allies, Israel gets more direct foreign aid -- about $3 billion a year -- than any other nation. There's a file cabinet somewhere in the State Department full of memoranda of understanding on military, diplomatic and economic affairs. Israel gets treated like a NATO member when it comes to military matters and like Canada or Mexico when it comes to free trade. There's an annual calendar full of meetings of joint strategic task forces and other collaborative sessions. And there's a presidential pledge, re-avowed by Bush in the East Room, that the United States will come to Israel's aid in the event of attack.

On Capitol Hill the Israel lobby commands large majorities in both the House and Senate. Polls show strong public support for Israel -- a connection that has grown even deeper after the September 11 attacks. The popular equation goes like this: Israelis equal good guys, Arabs equal terrorists. Working the Hill these days, says Josh Block, spokesman for the premier Israeli lobbying group known as AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, "is like pushing at an open door."

Not everyone believes this is a good thing. In March two distinguished political scientists -- Stephen Walt from Harvard and John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago -- published a 42-page, heavily footnoted essay arguing that the Bush administration's support for Israel and its related effort to spread democracy throughout the Middle East have "inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized U.S. security."

The professors claim that our intimate partnership with Israel is both dangerous and unprecedented. "Other special interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest," they argue. They go on to say that the war in Iraq "was due in large part to the Lobby's influence," and that the same combine is "using all of the strategies in its playbook" to pressure the administration into being aggressive and belligerent with Iran. The bottom line: "Israel's enemies get weakened or overthrown, Israel gets a free hand with the Palestinians, and the United States does most of the fighting, dying, rebuilding and paying."

A sweet deal for Israel, in other words, but a very bad one for America.

Some of the lobby's critics hailed the essay as a much-needed breath of fresh air and praised Walt and Mearsheimer for their courage and -- dare we say it -- chutzpah. Their paper, wrote antiwar activist and media critic Norman Solomon in the Baltimore Sun, "is prying the lid off a debate that has been bottled up for decades."

But the two professors knew they were treading on delicate ground. For generations, the idea of a cabal of powerful Jews hijacking the national interest for its own purposes has fueled anti-Semitism around the world. Supporters of Israel argued that the essay echoed those claims...



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01627.html

Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:58 pm

Thanks Maurice & Greg for the articles !

There's no denying that the pro-Israel lobby in the US is a mighty powerful one that has exacerbated the already delicate situation in the middle-east !

Trouble is, anyone challenging it gets the old 'anti-Semitic' charge thrown at them !

Sun Jul 16, 2006 5:27 pm

The situation isn't black & white, good guys versus bad guys. But remember, Israel gave the Palestinians what they supposedly wanted and withdrew from the settlements. Then what happened in the west bank? The Palestinian people elect Hamas to power. They kidnapped the Israeli soldiers. Hezbollah, who isn't the elected government in Lebanon, fired rockets into Israel. And let's remember that both these groups deliberately target civilians, and sometimes use children as suicide bombers! There is no moral equivalency here.

But if we (the west) want to stop this war we need to kill the head - the ass monkey in Iran! That's who is behind this. It's time for all of us in the west to set aside our political/idealogical differences, recognize the enemy, and come together to figure out the most efficient way of thinning this Islamic-fascist-jihadist herd!

Sun Jul 16, 2006 5:39 pm

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Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:04 pm

I don't get it at all.

So you wish Israel were weaker so Syria/Iran/Iraq/Jordan/Egypt/etc./etc. had taken it over before and driven out the Jewish people?

I'm being completely serious, is that what you're driving at?

Because without its strong defense Israel would not exist now. Whether it would have ended in 1967 or before or after, Israel without its strong defense would not exist today if it were not for its military.

Again, I'm not joking around now. I seriously want to know. Is that what you guys think should have happened?

The only alternative I can imagine is that you're naive enough to believe that it wouldn't have been destroyed by now, and surely you're not that naive.

Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:29 pm

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Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:42 pm

I see, so Israel should be destroyed. That makes your position pretty clear.

And I see that history starts for you in about 1948. There were never any Jews in that region before, of course, so there'd be no reason they'd think of it as their home.

And your solution for the 5,390,000 Jews who live there? Will Ireland take them on? Or do you have a different solution?

Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:59 pm

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Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:07 pm

You talk about all the books you read, and then you quote from the Web site of a crackpot like Jeff Rense.

Without getting into his penchant for including Holocaust deniers on his show and his steady stream of talk about the "Jewish Illuminati" and the Jew bankers -- all of which is more than a little creepy -- this guy is a Grade-A nutjob.

If you're taking your guidance on political texts from a guy who spends his life on UFO reports, the so-called paranormal and -- by his own admission -- conspiracy theories of every sort, then you'd better widen your reading list a little.

My favorite link on his homepage right now is to "Bil Gates: Satanist in Sheep's Clothing" -- and the title only hints at the full-on craziness of the writer.

Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:59 pm

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Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:05 pm

Sure you used a lot of sources, sure you did.

Then you thought real hard about it and decided to use the most suspect source possible to make your case.

Riiiiiiight.

Maurice, how in the world do people around here get the idea that you're nothing but a self-important bullshitter?

I just don't know how anyone could ever draw such a conclusion.

Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:13 pm

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Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:37 pm

MauriceinIreland wrote:The Israeli state imposed itself by force of arms. Do you not know the history? Weak poorly armed uneducated Palestinian peasants were no match for the thousands of sophisticated well educated European jews claiming the land that GOD promised them.


Give the revisionist history a break Maurice. It wasn't "weak poorly armed Palestinians," it was armies from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq whom attacked the newly-founded nation of Israel, and whom the Israeli army defeated before the cease fire.