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Hermit
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The evil that men do
« on: 2006-04-20 09:30:10 »
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The huge significance of the following piece is not so much what is said, although it is extremely significant, but who is saying it. Ambassador Edward Peck is an Advisory Board Member for the Center on Peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute, was Deputy Director of the Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism in the Reagan White House and former Chief of Mission in Iraq, and was in Jerusalem and the West Bank as an international observer of the presidential elections in 2005, and in Gaza for the Legislative Council elections in 2006.

Mccarthyism Redux: Avoid The Substance; Attack The Messenger

Source: The Independent Institute
Authors: Edward Peck
Dated: 2006-04-17

In “Of Course There Is an Israel Lobby”, an attempt to inject an element of rationality into a highly emotional subject, I said that merely mentioning the topic guarantees three immediate reactions: denunciation of the document; vilification of the author with ad hominem attacks; shrill denial that a lobby exists.  I am grateful to David Bernstein and James Taranto for their contributions to demonstrating the validity of that prediction. Thanks, guys.

It is easy to understand why an open discussion of the U.S. government’s massive support for Israel, and its manifold heavy costs, stirs emotions.  It should nonetheless be a matter of concern that educated, otherwise intelligent people will instantly resort to invective, slander, insult and distortion to silence anyone raising the subject.

In democracies, the majority does not always rule. Groups of like-minded citizens (lobbies) can dominate an issue if they are motivated and active and the majority isn't—or has real difficulty in disseminating its views. This might explain, as examples, no relations with Cuba and negotiations with the IRA. Some lobbies are small, others are multifaceted, well-financed and highly effective. They work to advance their interests, and whether the effect on the greater good is beneficial or detrimental is entirely subjective.

No one can object to the unquestioned right of the Israel lobby, individuals and organizations, to promote close relations with Israel.  Denying that it exists, however, and is both extremely active and highly successful, is simply idiotic.

There is an unacceptable, dangerous, and entirely undemocratic aspect of its activities, however, the massive, unrelenting pressure which seeks to deny the same rights to others.  Those with differing views encounter highly restricted opportunities to express them in the media, and are subject to vitriolic personal attacks if they actually succeed in doing so. (Right, gentlemen?)

There are logical, legitimate reasons for concerns that many of Israel's actions are not at all in America's best interests—nor in Israel's.  An open public discussion of the pros and cons of funding, arming and supporting the occupation of Palestine, and the brutal, oppressive nature of that occupation, might reveal that current policies actually do represent the desire of the majority of the American people.

The lobby, however, will do everything it can to insure that we never have a chance to find out.  This may in part be due to a well-founded fear of the reaction if the general public ever becomes aware of the actual and future political, economic and human costs, as well as the loss of moral standing, of supporting policies and practices which we vociferously, ceaselessly, and rightfully condemn everywhere else.
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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #1 on: 2006-04-20 18:48:08 »
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Quote from: Hermit on 2006-04-20 09:30:10   

There are logical, legitimate reasons for concerns that many of Israel's actions are not at all in America's best interests—nor in Israel's.  An open public discussion of the pros and cons of funding, arming and supporting the occupation of Palestine, and the brutal, oppressive nature of that occupation, might reveal that current policies actually do represent the desire of the majority of the American people.

The lobby, however, will do everything it can to insure that we never have a chance to find out.  This may in part be due to a well-founded fear of the reaction if the general public ever becomes aware of the actual and future political, economic and human costs, as well as the loss of moral standing, of supporting policies and practices which we vociferously, ceaselessly, and rightfully condemn everywhere else.


They understand that they are funding the protection of 6 million Jews from certain genocide at the hands of 100  million arabs (attempted several times, promised frequently).

I suspect the majority of Americans would have my reaction if they knew the full truth:

Israel is no angel but it is an order of magnitude better than its foes.

It is possible to condemn Israel's wrongdoings and still wholeheartedly support it in its fight for survival and security. It does not require doublethink as is not an either/or situation.

Kind regards

Jonathan
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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #2 on: 2006-04-20 21:43:14 »
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[Jonathan Davis 2] They understand that they are funding the protection of 6 million Jews from certain genocide at the hands of 100  million arabs (attempted several times, promised frequently).

[Hermit 3] How do you figure this? If Israel has maintained its materiel production levels since the 1980s (and I have no reason to imagine not), then even taking replenishment into account, I weyken that Israel is currently holding at least 250 highly adjustable (in terms of yield) devices or the equivalent in components, and undoubtedly has the ability to deploy them almost anywhere she chooses via a number of delivery platforms including ballistic and cruise missles. In addition, Israel almost certainly has retained chemical and bio-warfare stocks at levels previously second only to the USSR and now second only to the USA, and again has a wide range of choices in well tested delivery systems. In the target rich environment you describe, I'm not sure how "certain genocide" against "6 million Jews" is possible - particularly when the entire population of Israel/Palestine is only  6,352,117 and around 20% of those are Palestinian. Can you explain?

[Hermit 3] As I read the reports, the Israeli government has continuously threatened her neighbors, and given the vast disparity in equipment, projective capacity and PoK between Israel and her neighbors, to very greatly intimidating effect. Her neighbors are completely incapable of responding, never mind instigating such actions, and so, no matter how aggressively you perceive the brandishment of words by neighboring tribal leaders to be, they are utterly impotent to convert such words into action.

[Hermit 3] Meanwhile, a "certain genocide" that hasn't happened cannot, in my opinion, excuse the very real historic and continuing "anti-Palestinian" actions including "ethnic (and religious) cleansing" and genocide along with blatant breaches of International law and war crimes on a massive scale, engaged in by Israel, particularly since 1967. These genocidal activities have not increased the ability of Israel to defend itself in any way, rather the reverse; and would not have been possible had Israel not been sponsored, supplied and supported by the USA. So the argument is that our support of Israel has allowed Israel to massively prejudice the Palestinians, creating vast numbers of people who regard her and us as their enemies and who place no value on their own lives, never mind Israeli and American lives, not only to Israel's great detriment but to ours at well. Which cannot be in our interest.

[Jonathan Davis 2] I suspect the majority of Americans would have my reaction if they knew the full truth: Israel is no angel but it is an order of magnitude better than its foes.

[Hermit 3] As I see it, you are contrasting the impossible scenario of the massively dominant, heavily armed, technologically advanced Israel being threatened by her completely impotent and largely incompetent (to say nothing of incoherent) neighbors, where we know that Israel is occupying the territories of and engaged in genocide against a particular racial/religious/political group and then claiming that her admittedly generally rather nasty tribal neighbors are worse than her, without so far as I can see, supporting your assertions in any way whatsoever. Would you like to try again?

[Jonathan Davis 2] It is possible to condemn Israel's wrongdoings and still wholeheartedly support it in its fight for survival and security. It does not require doublethink as is not an either/or situation.

[Hermit 3] It is quite possible to envisage dis-enabling Israel's genocide, insisting on an immediate cessation of hostilities and settlement based on the 1967 borders without threatening Israel's survival or security in any way (beyond the self inflicted water situation, now shared by the Palestinians and caused solely by Israel's profligate wastage, cupidity and stupidity).

[Hermit 3] I don't entirely agree that you are correct that this is not an either/or situation. Either both sides will sit down and sort out a solution to the territorial and water issues, or both will find life untenable - and the genocide/ethnic cleansing will almost certainly accelerate to the inevitable further detriment of the Palestinians. So I weyken that your scenario does not compute. To imagine a real threat to Israel's survival and security outside of the self inflicted (water) requires not just doublethink but doublespeak as well. Something that Israeli politicians and their lobbies appear to have mastered - to the detriment of the Palestinians, the Israelis, the Americans, and to clear thought everywhere.

Kind Regards (usually)

Hermit
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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #3 on: 2006-05-08 08:01:49 »
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[Jonathan Davis] Israel is no angel but it is an order of magnitude better than its foes.

[Hermit] It seems Israel is not an order of magnitude better than her supporters. While Bush continues to make unnecessary statements of support for Israel, "America's commitment to Israel's security is strong, enduring and unshakable" - and once again proves completely delusional by asserting that his thoughts and prayers were with Ariel Sharon, whom he called "a man of courage, and a man of peace" despite the Israeli Supreme Court having found Sharon bore personal responsibility for the genocidal Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon, the current tragedy caused by the illegal (but who cares, the genocide involves "only" Palestinians, right?) American anti-democratic campaign against the Palestine apparently continues apace. To the apparently approving nods of at least some Americans.

[Hermit] While the following story is not much reported in the US press, it made headlines in Israel earlier this morning. For example, the extreme right wing Jerusalem Post carried this AP report.

World Bank: PA economic crisis worse than projected

Source: The Jerusalem Post
Authors: Not Credited, Associated Press
Dated: 2006-05-08

The Palestinian economic crisis is shaping up to be more alarming than projected, and is liable to provoke a humanitarian crisis, increased violence and the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, the World Bank said in a report The Associated Press obtained Monday.

Western powers and Israel have cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and transfer payments to the Palestinian government to pressure the Islamic Hamas group, which rose to power in January parliamentary elections, to renounce violence and recognize Israel.

Additionally, banks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, afraid of running afoul of US anti-terror laws, have stopped dealing with the Palestinian government, hindering its ability to receive money from Arab states.

In March, the World Bank had predicted that by the end of 2006, average personal income would sink by 30 percent, unemployment would jump from a pre-election level of 23 percent to about 40 percent, and the proportion of people living in poverty would climb from 44 percent in 2005 to 67 percent.

In a report released ahead of a meeting of Mideast negotiators and major donors on Wednesday, the bank concluded that "these projections now appear too rosy."
Revised projections will be issued next month, it said.

Donor assistance has dropped more sharply than anticipated, and Israeli restrictions on the movement of Palestinian people and goods have been tightened, the World Bank said. Further pressure has come from banks that have withheld services to the Palestinian government, including The Arab Bank, which has informed the Palestinian Authority that it will no longer host its Central Treasury Account, the report said.

In light of evolving developments, 2006 is shaping up to be "the worst year in the West Bank and Gaza's dismal recent economic history," it added.

The interrupted cash flows have implications for the economy, security and governance, the World Bank said.

The Palestinian Authority has been unable for the past two months to pay government employees who provide for nearly one-third of the Palestinian population. Should this situation persist, a humanitarian crisis is liable to erupt, violence is liable to grow as discipline among unpaid security personnel breaks down, and the government could cease to function, the World Bank cautioned.

European donors have been exploring payment mechanisms that would bypass the Hamas-led government, and sustain people's incomes and basic public services.

The World Bank argued against setting up a new mechanism to handle salary payments, saying that could take too much time, and proposed operating through its existing emergency program.


[Hermit] At this hour (0600 Monday), Google News reflects that the only US mainstream paper carrying this story is the Washington Post - whose report showed that the Jerusalem Post is still up to its usual behavior of editing in a dreadfully slanted manner. The omission of "The ensuing institutional damage may be irreversible and could lead to a situation in which West Bank and Gaza in effect becomes ungovernable" by the JP rather blunts the point of the release; as, in my opinion, this is the most significant aspect of the story.

[Hermit] To its credit, the International Herald Tribune carried a report from the Carter Center which has quite rightly condemned the situation in no uncertain terms in an article well worth reading.

Jimmy Carter: Punishing the innocent is a crime

Source: International Herald Tribune
Authors:Jimmy Carter
Dated: 2006-05-07

Hamas and the Palestinians

Innocent Palestinian people are being treated like animals, with the presumption that they are guilty of some crime. Because they voted for candidates who are members of Hamas, the United States government has become the driving force behind an apparently effective scheme of depriving the general public of income, access to the outside world and the necessities of life.

Overwhelmingly, these are school teachers, nurses, social workers, police officers, farm families, shopkeepers, and their employees and families who are just hoping for a better life. Public opinion polls conducted after the January parliamentary election show that 80 percent of Palestinians still want a peace agreement with Israel based on the international road map premises. Although Fatah party members refused to join Hamas in a coalition government, nearly 70 percent of Palestinians continue to support Fatah's leader, Mahmoud Abbas, as their president.

It is almost a miracle that the Palestinians have been able to orchestrate three elections during the past 10 years, all of which have been honest, fair, strongly contested, without violence and with the results accepted by winners and losers. Among the 62 elections that have been monitored by us at the Carter Center, these are among the best in portraying the will of the people.

One clear reason for the surprising Hamas victory for legislative seats was that the voters were in despair about prospects for peace. With American acquiescence, the Israelis had avoided any substantive peace talks for more than five years, regardless of who had been chosen to represent the Palestinian side as interlocutor.

The day after his party lost the election, Abbas told me that his own struggling government could not sustain itself financially with their daily lives and economy so severely disrupted, and access from Palestine to Israel and the outside world almost totally restricted. They were already $900 million in debt and had no way to meet the payroll for the following month. The additional restraints imposed on the new government are a planned and deliberate catastrophe for the citizens of the occupied territories, in hopes that Hamas will yield to the economic pressure.

With all their faults, Hamas leaders have continued to honor a temporary cease-fire, or hudna, during the past 18 months, and their spokesman told me that this "can be extended for two, 10 or even 50 years if the Israelis will reciprocate." Although Hamas leaders have refused to recognize the state of Israel while their territory is being occupied, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has expressed approval for peace talks between Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel. He added that if these negotiations result in an agreement that can be accepted by Palestinians, then the Hamas position regarding Israel would be changed.

Regardless of these intricate and long-term political interrelationships, it is unconscionable for Israel, the United States and others under their influence to continue punishing the innocent and already persecuted people of Palestine. The Israelis are withholding approximately $55 million a month in taxes and customs duties that, without dispute, belong to the Palestinians. Although some Arab nations have allocated funds for humanitarian purposes to alleviate human suffering, the U.S. government is threatening the financial existence of any Jordanian or other bank that dares to transfer this assistance into Palestine.

There is no way to predict what will happen in Palestine, but it would be a tragedy for the international community to abandon the hope that a peaceful coexistence of two states in the Holy Land is possible. Like Egypt and all other Arab nations before the Camp David Accords of 1978, and the Palestine Liberation Organization before the Oslo peace agreement of 1993, Hamas has so far refused to recognize the sovereign state of Israel as legitimate, with a right to live in peace. This is a matter of great concern to all of us, and the international community needs to probe for an acceptable way out of this quagmire. There is no doubt that Israelis and Palestinians both want a durable two-state solution, but depriving the people of Palestine of their basic human rights just to punish their elected leaders is not a path to peace.

(Former President Jimmy Carter is founder of the Carter Center, a nonprofit organization working for peace and health worldwide. )

[Hermit] So, my statement from the seventies about sanctions, is once again underlined in all its tragic stupidity, "No matter how lofty the ideals behind them, sanctions inevitably amount to starving the poor and weak in the hope that this will cause the rich and powerful to surrender."
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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #4 on: 2006-05-09 07:43:19 »
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I am appalled and saddened by the current punishment meted out to Palestine. democracy..shemocracy. its all relative, eh?

twenty years or so from now, when people ask (as many have pondered here time and again. and again) what motivates suicide bombers, we can explain why. unfortunately, there will be a reason.
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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #5 on: 2006-05-09 10:57:27 »
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Yesterday Peres told the world and Iran that "Teheran can be eliminated and not an eye for an eye." The clear difference is that nobody is going to call for sanctions against Israel - or threaten to nuke Jerusalem because of this. The unconditional support of the USA probably doesn't hurt. Maybe just  because Peres has the nukes to do it. Which must be a very powerful incentive for Iran to overcome the squeamishness of the Mullahs (who have repeatedly declared nuclear weapons an anathema) and get developing.

In a not unrelated issue, gold is now just $7 of $700/ounce. George Bush has been good for at least one sector of the economy. Did anyone here take my advice when it was below $500 in December to buy?

Finally, I'm not posting it here, as it is lengthy, but the article
Quote from: Hermit on 2006-05-09 10:49:26   

Catastrophic Victory and the Development of Loathing
deals at some length with the changing perception of Israel.

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« Reply #6 on: 2006-05-21 00:16:59 »
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Israel should face sanctions

The Palestine crisis is now more dramatic even than apartheid, but it is the victims who are punished

Source: The Guardian
Authors: Ronnie Kasrils, Victoria Brittain
Dated: 2006-05-19

Ronnie Kasrils was head of intelligence in the African National Congress's armed wing and is now South Africa's intelligence minister; he is writing in a personal capacity.
Victoria Brittain is co-author with Moazzam Begg of Enemy Combatant

[Hermit: Despite the fact that it was not very long ago that Ronnie Kasrils was an "ANC terrorist" engaged in "fighting apartheid" and I was on the opposite side trying to "maintain stability" and "prevent acts of terrorism" - while engaged in some major intergovernmental projects with Israel, Ronnie and I agree on much more than we disagree about. The suffering in the Palestine is a major area of "heated agreement" between us. Both of us consider that what is happening in the Palestine/Israel today is far, far worse than anything that was ever experienced by blacks under apartheid. When we say far, far worse, think hundreds, perhaps even thousands of times worse. And in the Palestine, it is the people being ground underfoot who are condemned and sanctioned by the world.

I'm not using color highlighting below (although the highlighting is mine) as the article is short enough and significant enough for it to be sensible to read the whole thing. Please do.]



Western leaders are frustrating democratic elections in Palestine by withholding aid, and using collective punishment, an economic siege and starvation as political weapons in their efforts to get the Hamas government to accept their terms of business with Israel.

Never in the long struggle for freedom in apartheid South Africa was there a situation as dramatic as in Palestine today: even though children were killed for resisting a second-class education; the liberation movement's leaders were locked up for decades on Robben Island; new leaders were assassinated; church leaders were poisoned; house demolitions and forced removals were frequent; and western governments told South Africans who their leaders should be, and what their policies should be.


The African National Congress confronted the military, economic and social power of white rule with a small guerrilla army, the mass support of the people and a moral authority that won it a following among millions around the world. Many now forget that the abhorrent apartheid system was treated as normal in the powerhouses of the world: entrenched interests meant the western media produced a sanitised version of its suffering and injustice.

Today western moral authority in the Middle East is gone, as much because of years of double standards in Palestine as because of the current disastrous war on Iraq. There is no excuse for not knowing the truth about what is now happening to the Palestinians. And the most recent diplomatic moves by the Quartet - the US, the EU, the UN and Russia - to alleviate suffering, while keeping up the ban on dealing with the Palestinians' elected leaders, are totally inadequate.

Some plain speaking on the current crisis, and on what will happen without serious political intervention, shows why. The root problem is the intensifying Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Despite the international court of justice ruling it illegal, Israel's 390-mile wall snakes on through the West Bank, taking another 10% of the land and providing for the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements. Nearly 50,000 Palestinians are to be left in limbo on the Israeli side of the wall; 65,000 will face a daily commute through 11 transit points. Towns such as Qalqilya and Jayyous, formerly prosperous, with fertile hinterlands and good water supplies, are virtually encircled, with their farms and greenhouses on the Israeli side.

Meanwhile, Israel is withholding $50m a month in customs duties and tax owed to the Palestinians, and energy supplies have been cut off. Palestinian civil servants, teachers, doctors and security forces have not been paid for over two months. The potential for civil war between factions of armed, increasingly desperate men is so obvious that Palestinians are not alone in thinking that the US actually wants such self-destruction.

The Palestinians are having sanctions imposed on them for their political choice. But it is Israel, creating new facts on the ground to prevent the emergence of a viable Palestinian state, that should be facing UN sanctions. The UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, should use his last months in office to call for sanctions to bring about the implementation of the ICJ ruling on the Israeli wall, the closure of West Bank settlements and the release of Palestinian political prisoners. And those who care for freedom, peace and justice must build a global Palestine solidarity movement to match the anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s.
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« Reply #7 on: 2006-05-23 21:51:41 »
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Grief over innocent victims of Israeli missile

[Hermit: To endeavor to comprehend the mindset of our beloved genocidal "allies," the Israelis, try to visualise your family in this car (or some people you like if you can't stand your family). Perhaps now would be a good time to place a leakproof container on your lap in case of accidents. Now attempt to imagine the perverted mindset which can issue an order to release ordnance on a street crowded with civilians including your carload. Don't forget, you and people you care for are about to be killed or maimed.

How does it feel? Now, perhaps, you are approaching the right mood to read this.]



The wreckage of the car carrying Mohammad Dahdouh, targeted by an Israeli missile attack

Source: The Telegraph
Authors: Tim Butcher (Jerusalem)
Dated: 2006-05-23

What started as an outing for Nahed Mahani and his relatives to celebrate the purchase of his new car ended in carnage when the vehicle was hit by shrapnel from an Israeli missile, wiping out three generations of one family.

While civilians are routinely killed on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there was something shocking about the loss of grandmother, mother and son from the same family.

A three-year-old girl was also paralysed in the blast. "I have lost the greatest things I had," Hamdi Amen said between outbursts of grief as his family members were buried yesterday.

"These were children and they had not yet known the happiness of life. And my mother - can anyone bear losing their mother?"


Mr Mahani had been full of pride when he got back to the family home in Gaza City on Saturday morning with his new, white four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi.

He suggested an impromptu outing and his relatives eagerly agreed, scooping up children and jumping aboard with Mr Mahani at the wheel.

His sister, Naimeh Amen, sat in the back with her three-year-old daughter Mariyah on her lap, next to her husband, Hamdi, with their son, Mumen, four, on his knee, and his mother, Hannan Amen, holding another son, Muhanad, five.

The driver would have been able to see a swanky silver four-wheel drive vehicle prepare to overtake as they travelled down Tel al Hawa street in Gaza City.

What he would not have been able to see was the Israeli aircraft, believed to be an unmanned drone, that was taking aim from high in the clear, blue sky at the silver car, with an air-to-ground missile.
   
Inside the car was Mohammad Dahdouh, an Islamic Jihad bomb-maker. Israel had wanted him eliminated for years and the order was to fire even though the car was on a street crowded with civilians.

The missile destroyed Dahdouh's car, killing him instantly, but shrapnel cut through the back seat of Nahed's car, killing Hannan, Naimeh and Muhanad and severing Mariyah's spinal cord.

Imad, another relative in the car, said: "Everybody was swimming in their blood. I tried to take the bodies out of the car. It is beyond imagination."


After burying his mother, wife and son, Hamdi spent yesterday at Shifa hospital in Gaza City as medical experts discussed how to treat Mariyah. It is likely she will be moved to Israel.

"What will the Israeli defence minister do if he loses his mother, his wife and his boy?" Hamdi pleaded. "Where is the conscience of the Israeli defence minister?"

Israel announced it would hold an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the missile attack.

[Hermit: Sick enough already?]
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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #8 on: 2006-06-19 18:23:10 »
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Quote from: Jonathan Davis on 2006-04-20 18:48:08   
I suspect the majority of Americans would have my reaction if they knew the full truth:
Israel is no angel but it is an order of magnitude better than its foes.


I held off posting something about this story, the beach saga, or the multiple subsequent rocket attacks in the hope that one of the pro-Zionist scriveners might post something about this. After all, these stories surely are at least a part of the "full truth"? Perhaps I am misjudging the situation and they are simply so embarrassed that they have decided not to write on this topic again (or in the future lest they be accused of hypocrisy) and are keeping silent now in the hope that the sorry saga will simply go away. I think not, but in any case, draw your own conclusions about dogs that don't bark.

The most obnoxious “barking cause” might be the information that the explosive and explosion rocked Lebanon has uncovered a clandestine Israeli sponsored terror group, engaged in detonating car bombs and performing assassinations on her soil ought not to come as too much of a shock to anyone bar those that imagined that "Israel is ... an order of magnitude better than its foes". Judge those who have objected to "Arab sponsored terror" and attempted to argue that Israel is somehow less worse because it kills almost 10 Palestinians (and injures hundreds more) for every Israeli casualty not by "suicide bombings" but with modern high PoK armaments.  We can now judge the validity of their previous claims to impartiality - and any future pro-Israeli utterings, by the degree of coverage - and condemnation - these parties and others offer to this disclosure of Israel terrorism - as well, possibly, as their corrections, however delicate, of the blatantly inequitable approach taken by the West in this sorry saga (but I don't suggest you hold your breath. So far the silence has been overwhelming).

Israel has a long and bloody history of involvement in the Levant – both open and clandestine. Largely unreported until now. Arguably because so many of the witnesses to Israeli atrocities have simply disappeared or been murdered, depriving the world of suitable confirmation and perhaps because Israel is extremely competent at self-servingly investigating and clearing itself and blaming the victims for horrible actions taken by Israel. The media and other pro-Zionist organizations, like George W Bush's USA (not to mention others here) now having indisputable proof of Israel's activities - including equipment, communication, operatives and confessions, so if they are not hypocrites, we ought to see them place Israel in the same invidious pit as they have previously deemed appropriate for Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran and other Islamic groups in public and on this forum. We shall see what action, if any, is taken against Israel, now a clearly proven state sponsor of terrorism, and, as previously noted, still in violation of numerous UN rulings.

As alluded to below, perhaps the "great mystery" about the killer of Rafik Harriri, previously attributed by the UN to Syria based on hearsay of hearsay, subsequently denied by the person allegedly quoted and apparently in the complete absence of evidence, but to the clear advantage of Israel, resulting as it (and the consequent furor) did, in the departure by Syria from the Lebanon, will be reevaluated.  I'm guessing that this isn't going to happen either. I wonder why not.  Don't you?

Hermit

Lebanon exposes deadly Israeli spy ring

Source: The Times
Authors: Nicholas Blanford (The Times in Beirut)
Dated: 2006-06-15

Lebanese authorities have broken up an apparent Israeli spy ring whose members have claimed responsibility for a string of killings of leading Hezbollah and Palestinian militants since 1999.

The spies’ confessions, reported extensively in the Lebanese media, provide a rare glimpse into the clandestine battle between the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency and the Hezbollah organisation and its militant Palestinian allies.

In a bizarre twist, Hussein Khattab, a Palestinian member of the spy ring, who is still at large, is the brother of Sheikh Jamal Khattab, an Islamic cleric who has allegedly recruited Arab fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The Israeli network was discovered after the killing last month of two Islamic Jihad officials, the brothers Nidal and Mahmoud Majzoub, in a car bomb blast in Sidon, Lebanon. Lebanese intelligence officers last week arrested Mahmoud Rafeh, 59, a retired policeman from the Lebanese town of Hasbaya, his wife and two children, and discovered bomb-making materials, code machines and other espionage equipment in his home.

Mr Rafeh confessed to the killings of the Majzoubs and to working for Mossad since 1994. He also confessed that his cell was responsible for killing three leading Hezbollah commanders since 1999, as well as Jihad Jibril, the son of Ahmad Jibril, the head of the Damascus-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, who died in a car bomb blast in 2002.


The discovery of the ring is being hailed as Lebanon’s most successful counter-espionage operation in years. It is also opportune for Hezbollah, which says that its military wing must keep its weapons to counter the threat of Israeli aggression.

Some of the group’s Lebanese opponents suspect that the discovery of the Israeli network is a Hezbollah fabrication.

Referring to the murder last year of the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Walid Jumblatt, leader of Lebanon’s Druze and an outspoken critic of Hezbollah, told The Times: "We are expected to believe that this big spy ring was uncovered two weeks after the killing of the Majzoub brothers, yet Rafik Hariri died in February 2005 and we still don’t know who killed him."

The United Nations Security Council is poised to grant a year-long extension to a UN commission investigating Mr Hariri’s murder, and to expand its inquiry into 14 other recent killings and bombings, which many Lebanese blame on neighbouring Syria.
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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #9 on: 2006-06-19 22:03:02 »
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The mechanics of evil

The bombs that terrorists use are among the most evil weapons invented within todays world. The explosives are bad enough, but palestinians have chosen to add metal pieces to the bombs to increase their deadliness, and to deliberately wound as many Israelis as possible. These extras are manufactured in “metal shops” throughout Gaza and the West Bank, which is why you hear about the IDF firing missiles into “metal shops,” and see the owners bemoaning the loss of their factories and insisting they were not involved in the manufacture of bombs.



A child with explosive belt and grenade.


The mechanics of a terrorist bomb

The explosive belt usually consists of several cylinders filled with explosive (de facto pipe bombs), or in more sophisticated versions with plates of explosive. The explosive is surrounded by a fragmentation jacket that produces the shrapnel responsible for most of the bomb’s lethality, effectively making the jacket a crude body-worn claymore mine. Once the vest is detonated, the explosion resembles an omnidirectional shotgun blast. The most dangerous and the most widely used shrapnel are steel ball bearings 3-7 mm in diameter. Other shrapnel material can be anything of suitable size and hardness, most often nails, screws, nuts, and thick wire. Shrapnel is responsible for about 80 or 90% of all casualties caused by this kind of device.

The metal shards do the most damage



X-ray picture of a 17-old girl, who was killed by a suicide-bomb's nail penetrating her skull.


The main killing power of any bomb is not the explosion itself (the shock wave is rather small because of small quantity of explosives used) but the fragments of its jacket, which are launched in all directions by the explosion. In air force bombs and in many types of artillery shells the pieces are formed out of the steel casing, which is split into small pieces in an explosion.

In anti-personnel tank shells and in some kinds of artillery shells part of the internal payload is dedicated to shrapnel- such a shell is filled with several thousand of needles (”flechettes”). Sometimes these flechettes are made of plastic, which do not show up on x-rays. Palestinian terrorists realized this principle long ago and use it widely. It is most likely that between 80 and 90% of the victims injured are hit by the bomb shrapnel.

The most widely used and the most dangerous shrapnel consists of ball bearings 3-7 millimeters in diameter. In the most severe terrorist acts - in the Delfinarium, Sbarro, in the banquet hall in Netania - the bombs of the suicide-bombers were filled with steel balls.
In an explosion, the balls are launched with such speed, that their power is close to a bullet’s. You could say that in an explosion the suicide-bomber shoots several hundred bullets in a single moment.
Aside from steel balls, nails, screws and so on, nuts and washers are also used. Nuts are easily glued together to form tiny plates that can be pressed in, or even tied by a tape to the plates of the explosive to hide it better. Likewise, nuts are also stringed on a thread or on a piece of wire.



Hamas' "suicide bombers" during a demonstration in Gaza


(as far as I can weyken) Primary blast injury is caused by the rapid outward spread of the shock wave. Injury to gas-containing organs, such as perforation of the middle ear and blast lung injury (BLI) are most common (22.1% and 18.2% of victims, respectively). Of all patients with BLI, 82% of victims aboard buses and in semiconfined spaces will suffer from moderate and severe forms of BLI compared with 33% of victims in open spaces. S econdary blast injury is caused by penetrating missiles that are propelled by the blast wave. More than 85% of victims of suicide bombing attacks (SBA) suffer from penetrating shrapnel and debris, most commonly to the head. Tertiary blast injury results from a patient’s body being displaced by expanding gases. Burns are termed quaternary blast injury and are also notably more common after explosions inside confined spaces compared with open spaces (33.9% versus 5% of victims, respectively). The hallmark of injuries after an SBA is the combination of blunt injury, multiple penetrating injuries with extensive soft tissue damage, and burns. Half of all patients hospitalized will be seen in a trauma unit setting and the same proportion will be admitted to an intensive care unit. Victims of SBAs are more severely injured compared with other trauma victims. Typical injuries include penetrating injury to the head (55%), extremities (49%), and torso (40%), burns (27%), open fractures (22%), and BLI (18%).


Here is an article which contains X-Rays of the victims of palestinian terrorist bombs.

source http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27778
Author: Mandi Steele
Date: Posted: May 30, 2002


Front view of a pelvis imbedded with nails and metal fragments



Front view of an abdomen imbedded with nails and metal fragments



Side view of lower back and abdomen. Note orientation of whole nails that entered head first



CT scan of head. Metal, bone, blood and air are within normal brain tissue

- The most profoundly wrenching illustration is the now normal … statements of young Jewish children like, 'Soon I may be killed by a sniper,' 'Mommy, isn't that an Arab next to us, I am afraid,' 'Mommy, please don't go shopping – I love you and I don't want to be an orphan,'" he said. "Little children have been brutally robbed of their childhood and filled with blood-curdling, heart-rending terror." -


Shrapnel is what killed parents, who stayed alive long enough to realize their children had survived, and to hug them tightly before they died (not to mention the children that have also died).

But even this is not enough for the terrorists. They also soak the shrapnel in rat poison, because it causes hemorrhaging  - victims may bleed to death before they can get to the hospital.

Not to minimize the horror these 'men' (if you can really call them that) inflict but, if it helps, (as far as I am aware) putting rat poison on the shrapnel is a largely useless tactic. The anticoagulant, warfarin or brodifacoum, cannot cause hemorrhaging on the way to a hospital. It can only cause hemorrhaging over the course of a few days when the patient is already in the hospital and can be treated. Warfarin and related compounds act by slowing or halting the production of vitamin-K-dependent coagulation enzymes.

Remember all of this, when you hear the world tell Israel to “use restraint” in responding to this attack. Remember all of this, when you read about the innocent metal shop owners who insist their shops were only making nails and screws for construction purposes.

Remember all of this, when Israel is the nation that is demonized by the blind, hateful people who wear checked kaffiyehs at anti-war protests, and call Israel an “apartheid state” for building a separation barrier — to keep out the monsters who would use bombs like I have just described.

Remember this, when you look at the pictures of the results of the bombing, and the carnage inflicted.

These are the people with whom 'some' others sympathize: Those who create and set off the bombs. Not the victims. The bombers.

This isnt just ethically irrational, it's sick...


Regards,

Fox
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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #10 on: 2006-06-20 04:40:52 »
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Oh dear, where to begin.

Fox, let us consider the total package delivered by a, shall we be very specific, Palestinian suicide bomber. He or she represents primarily himself - and usually a small "support group" of people, definitely not Palestinians as a whole, taking direct action against at most a few dozen Israelis with a weapon to which the appelation "most evil" most certainly does not apply. I say a few dozen at most because the blast and shrapnel from a "suicide belt" (usually more like a waistcoat) doesn't tend to spread very far. The first layers of people absorb the shrapnel and the blast dissipates upwards. An air burst detonation would be much more effective, but fortunately the bombers don't seem to know about this, or if they do, they don't seem to know how to achieve it. Also fortunately, the bomb then removes that suicide bomber from the equation, along with whatever wisdom he or she managed to acquire about the process, meaning that current bombers are not noticeably more effective than the first suicide bombers were, although the bombs themselves have become more sophisticated - and no matter how futile the life, no matter how desperate the motivation, no matter how intense the anger, no matter how abysmal the future prospects, a suicide bomber is highly unlikely to kill anyone else after killing the first few victims. As no country is involved in this process (at least as presently practiced), suicide bombing should be viewed as a nasty but simple act of criminal homicide and more tragic than most homicides mainly because more people tend to die. Often a perpetrator and his or her victims together. Slightly less tragically and much more frequently than most people seem to imagine, the perpetrator dies alone of incompetence, stupidity or plain "bad" luck. You might raise an eyebrow at the last statement. I make it because the bombers are, more often than not, the more empathetic, intelligent and visionary kids (these attributes usually occur in combination), suckered into a lose-lose deal by a toxic combination of nobility, shitty circumstances, idealism, youth and inexperience. A combination which usually spells trouble, but even more so when it includes HE. These are exactly the kind of people that both peoples need if they hope to someday resolve their stupid MAD activities and in consequence, can least afford to lose.

The Palestinian suicide bomber is doing this in a country once held on his or her  behalf as a "sacred trust" by the United Kingdom. I'm not going to write a history, there are many good ones on the Internet (try, e.g. http://www.afsc.org/israel-palestine/learn/timeline.htm), but where in 1948 Jews owned 7% of the Palestine and were allocated 77 to 78% of the total area by the UN to hold as a State, today Palestinians own a mere 4% of what is left of the historic Palestine (in and out of Israel). The saga of how this was achieved is readily available to anyone with an interest in looking (e.g. http://www.pij.org/details.php?id=471). Palestinians living within Israel use much less water, live much shorter lives, with much poorer medical and educational access, and own and earn far, far less than the poorest Jewish Israelis, while Palestinians living in what was the West Bank and Gaza are in a situation where animal cruelty activists would protest if any non-human animal were treated similarly.

Even though I disapprove (strongly) against all violence offered to civilians - and advocate any necessary measures to prevent it including (when absolutely unavoidable), killing those attempting it, I still don't use the word terrorist simply because it is loaded, prejudicial and dangerous. We tend to call people armed with improvised weapons "terrorists" when they are against us and our friends, "guerrillas" when they are on our or our friend's sides. People resisting occupation are "the underground" and "freedom fighters" when they are for us, "terrorists" and "insurgents" when they are not. Unfortunately, not all people offering violence to civilians fit into these neat categories. Some of them are armed with conventional weapons, up to and including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Some of them are in armed forces which have abandoned the Geneva Conventions, either in some conflicts (e.g. CIS vs Chechnya) or in all (Israel and the US come to mind). Just because a civilian is killed efficiently by an air burst of an artillery shell (evil), or an A2G missile possibly launched from a US supplied Apache or F16 (fairly evil), sliced up by fire from a Hercules AC-130U Spooky (1800 rpm/25mm, 120 rpm/40mm, 10rpm/105mm) (very evil), painted with white phosphorus (extremely evil), blown up by 500lb and larger bombs (brutally evil) or even simply crushed by D9 bulldozers, by people in uniform who go home and drink beer after each mission; rather than being spread around in little bits, does not mean that the civilians (in the Palestine and Israel, or in Afghanistan and in Iraq) watching the devastating effect of modern weapon systems are not (very sensibly) terrified. And what about Israel and America's clients who instill terror in the Lebanon, Sudan and South America? Are they terrorists and evil? Or merely "aggressive defenders of democracy" equipped with car bombs and AK47s?

Which brings us neatly if only momentarily to the other side of the fence. The Israelis. Who claim to have a representational democratic government (actually "representational" only because of the ethnic cleansing and massive immigration performed in the last 57+ years). Nonetheless, they have the power to change their government (possibly more power to do so than the citizens of the USA). Which means that all Israelis bear collective responsibility in equity and law (as do Americans for the actions of their troops) for the actions of their military, inactions of their courts, and blatant disregard for either International law or the welfare of civilians living under occupation by their governments. The Israeli actions are largely focused on the Palestinians. Nobody focuses on the Israelis (as is well documented in the recent "Israeli Lobby" paper, it tends to draw virulent animosity ill afforded by those in the public eye).

Even so, as reported (and sourced) earlier in this thread, nearly 9 Palestinians die for each Israeli killed by Palestinians. What is worse is the largely unreported Palestinian injury rates at Jewish hands - which has exceeded 20,000 per year since 2000. Israel's scarce border crossing points and ubiquitious internal movement choke points (in Palestinian areas) are frequently closed or subjected to "go slow" policies. This has lead to unemployment rates (before the latest sanctions) approaching 48%. At the last available survey date, in early 2001, more than 70% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza were already living below the poverty line earning less than $2/day. This in a country which, assisted by American contributions of between 4 and 7 billion per year, Jews earn an average of only slightly under the UK average and ahead of a number of European countries.

The people who live there call Gaza a prison camp. The UN says it is the most crowded place on earth, and rapidly becoming one of the poorest. Deliberate Israeli action has resulted in children in the occupied territories being anemic, malnourished, traumatized and uneducated (Refer e.g. http://www.amin.org/eng/uncat/2006/jan/jan24-0.html). What exactly do people living under such conditions look forward to? Less water for one thing. Israel has effectively destroyed the aquifers under Palestinian lands and upon which all the residents of the Palestine and Israel are dependent, through overpumping. Complete lack of dignity for another. But I meant what good things?

I haven't even mentioned the 4 million Palestinians spread out across the Middle East, whose "Right of Return" was granted them at American instance in the early 1950s, and which today means only that they and their children do not have even the slender protections and assistance offered other refugees through the UNHCR. I should mention them only their situation is even less appealing as rather than an uncertain future, current American and Israeli assertions suggest that they should merely be disregarded. Experience suggests that this is a somewhat less than sensible approach. Such a huge number of unemployed enemies is an invitation to unpleasant sequels.

Meanwhile, White Fox talks about the "evil" of "terrorists" and their weapons. Speaking as empathetically as I can, I suggest that White Fox try to visualize living under Palestinian conditions (no, I don't advocate trying to live under such conditions, even those suffering from acute empathy challenges don't deserve that) before disseminating "shock" propaganda. Bombs kill. It is their purpose. "Good bombs" kill more effectively (have a higher PoK). Palestinians don't have "good" bombs. Palestinians don't have helicopters. Palestinians don't have F16s. Palestinians don't have artillery. Palestinians don't have missiles. Palestinians don't have effective health systems. Palestinians don't have food. Palestinians don't have money. Palestinians don't have American support. Palestinians don't even have modern hand guns and rifles. Palestinians don't have a lot of things. These days, Palestinians don't even have many craftsmen who dare to work with tools indoors (they have been taught that Palestinians who do this will probably be shelled or bombed on the grounds that they might use the tools to make bombs). But for some reason, a few Palestinians still have hope. I wonder how soon America and Israel can drive it out of them? Fairly rapidly according to most current reports.

And we succeed, then things are likely to get really ugly. Silly of us, really. Had America not blindly supported Israel of late (i.e. post 1980s), I think that Israel and the Palestinians would have come to an agreement around the 1967 borders already. While it is very late, it may still be possible. I have liked most of the Palestinians - and Jewish Israelis - I have met. Neither group seems to me to be made up of individually intrinsically "bad people." Although perhaps it will be harder for the Jewish Israelis. Simply because the Palestinians are not engaged in ethnic cleansing and genocide, yet are abused and their plight ignored by most everyone. While Jewish Israelis are so used to uncritical support no matter what excesses their leaders engage in that they must find it very difficult to accept that they might be doing anything wrong. Even now that some people (not everyone, or at least not everyone yet) are starting to query them I mean. The ability to identify and discount propaganda requires effort. Effort some people still are unused to. Despite all the practice they should have received watching Faux TV. Hopefully it will become more obvious as time passes and neocon desperation soars, especially if some idiot detonates a nuke or three and potentially kills millions of people, directly or indirectly. Now that would be what I would call an "evil" weapon. Wouldn't you?

Hermit

PS According to the ICRC and many other sources (including Jewish sources), Ben Gurion, the Israeli hero, first introduced biological warfare to the Palestine when members of his terrorist organization introduced typhoid and dysentery into the water supplies of Acre and Gaza and cholera into Egyptian and Syrian water sources. The Egyptian case resulted in over 10,000 deaths in the late 1940s. Should we call this something other than terrorism? After all, Israel wasn't even a state then. And if it was "terrorism", was it perhaps a smidgeon evil? Perhaps even, "reasonably evil" or even, "Unreasonably evil"? It certainly appears to have been more effective (in quantity I mean) than a suicide bombers messy end. In quality, a disease which infects large numbers of people and results in their slow, painful and inexorable death must be a much "sweeter evil" than a moderate bang followed by nothing at all, not even an, "Oops, I'm not here anymore."
« Last Edit: 2006-06-20 07:06:42 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #11 on: 2006-06-20 06:22:24 »
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Quote from: White Fox on 2006-06-19 22:03:02   

The mechanics of evil

The bombs that terrorists use are among the most evil weapons invented within todays world. The explosives are bad enough, but palestinians have chosen to add metal pieces to the bombs to increase their deadliness, and to deliberately wound as many Israelis as possible.

[Blunderov]  The weapons of the other side are always "evil". The weapons of OUR side are, on the other hand, always "blessed".

"Among the most evil..." seems highly debatable. Consider phosphorous grenades, depleted uranium munitions, napalm, agent orange, sarin gas, smallpox blankets and plague infested corpses stuffed into wells. For instance.

The Western psyche (and I'm no different here) cannot cope with the idea of suicide attacks. Be they kamikaze or human bombs, the horrible truth revealed with every such attack is that the enemy is quite prepared to die for his cause BUT WE ARE NOT.* This movie warps our fragile little minds; Must be Pure evil, no doubt about that.

In its revealed heart of Mammon, Christianity clearly does not really believe in an "afterlife". Otherwise, why would it be so very afraid of an enemy who does? The absence of suicide bombers from the ranks of Jesus smacks more of cowardice than it does of superior moral conviction. And the suicide bomber lays the lie bare. For the rest, the Enlightenment tradition weykens very well that there is no afterlife at all.

It is to be expected that an attacker will select weapons unpleasant to his foe. The circumlocution of the problem with terms like "evil" is to incur a double jeopardy; the weapon remains effective and the weakness behind it continues unrecognized.

More thought is required as to what it is that confronts us, and just what contribution we are making to the problem ourselves, if we are to find a way out. Sadly though, I think I must agree with Stephen Hawking; we need to find somewhere else to live. In this universe I mean - I make no claims on any others.

My little bulletin from the belljar. FWIW.

*“Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death” (Miyamoto Musashi).
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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #12 on: 2006-06-20 15:14:38 »
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Ok, I think I've learnt something here.

Thanx for the constructive criticism from both Hermit and Blunderov; I was hoping that someone would elucidate with respect to what I wrote, because I am not an expert in this field and needed to further my understanding abit. Your time is appreciated.

Of course (as was correctly observed), I have no expierence in the lest of life under Palestinian conditions, but I can sympathise with empathy for the many innocent Palestinian's who suffer in their day to day lives. The 7th of july 2005 London Bombings was no joy-ride for either myself or anyother caught in its devastation; 56 people, including the 4 bombers, were killed and about 700 people were injured.

Apropos, I didnt (and did not mean to if it sounded as such) reffer to all Palestinian's in any way or sence as a whole.

Quote from: Hermit on 2006-06-20 04:40:52   
  In quality, a disease which infects large numbers of people and results in their slow, painful and inexorable death must be a much "sweeter evil" than a moderate bang followed by nothing at all

This makes a good point.


[Blunderov] The weapons of the other side are always "evil". The weapons of OUR side are, on the other hand, always "blessed".

Quite on the contrary I personally would consider no weapon truely "belssed" if its intention and purpose is one of harm or destruction, especially by malicious means.

Perhaps evil is the wrong word here, or maybe at lest in a majority of cases which it is used. I think 'ethically irrational' might be better used and more accurate than the last in describing these events. I was torn between these two descriptions during my last post.                 


Quote from: Blunderov on 2006-06-20 06:22:24   
"Among the most evil..." seems highly debatable. Consider phosphorous grenades, depleted uranium munitions, napalm, agent orange, sarin gas, smallpox blankets and plague infested corpses stuffed into wells. For instance.


A well made point. Perhaps then we could apply "amongst the most evil" to intent driven by malicious desire, rather then Man made weapons of destruction...


Quote from: Blunderov on 2006-06-20 06:22:24   
Sadly though, I think I must agree with Stephen Hawking; we need to find somewhere else to live. In this universe I mean - I make no claims on any others.

Cool idea, though I expect that there are some who would exploit this concept with the intent of ethnic cleansing so would everyone be invited?

*“Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death” (Miyamoto Musashi).

I would agree with this, but personally would also implicate honor as an important aspect to any warrior. (unless they have joined the darkside of course;).

Fox
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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #13 on: 2006-06-21 04:37:52 »
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Quote from: White Fox on 2006-06-20 15:14:38   


<snip>
[Blunderov] The weapons of the other side are always "evil". The weapons of OUR side are, on the other hand, always "blessed".

Quite on the contrary I personally would consider no weapon truely "belssed" if its intention and purpose is one of harm or destruction, especially by malicious means.

Perhaps evil is the wrong word here, or maybe at lest in a majority of cases which it is used. I think 'ethically irrational' might be better used and more accurate than the last in describing these events. I was torn between these two descriptions during my last post.           



Quote from: Blunderov on 2006-06-20 06:22:24   
"Among the most evil..." seems highly debatable. Consider phosphorous grenades, depleted uranium munitions, napalm, agent orange, sarin gas, smallpox blankets and plague infested corpses stuffed into wells. For instance.

A well made point. Perhaps then we could apply "amongst the most evil" to intent driven by malicious desire, rather then Man made weapons of destruction...



Quote from: Blunderov on 2006-06-20 06:22:24   
Sadly though, I think I must agree with Stephen Hawking; we need to find somewhere else to live. In this universe I mean - I make no claims on any others.
Cool idea, though I expect that there are some who would exploit this concept with the intent of ethnic cleansing so would everyone be invited?

*“Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death” (Miyamoto Musashi).

I would agree with this, but personally would also implicate honor as an important aspect to any warrior. (unless they have joined the darkside of course;).

Fox

[Blunderov] I agree with you that intention is crucial in assessing these matters. But we're not really out of the woods here yet.

A general who orders a bomb attack on an urban area in order to destroy production capacity knows that civilians will die. He is not held morally culpable for these deaths because they were not his direct intention. A lot depends on the cultural apparatus one has at one's disposal with which to determine what is necessary and what is not. Just to be clear, I'm not going all POMO here; I speak only of how things are usually considered to be morally justified or not.

Gavin Wood, before he became famous for "Tsotsi" made another rather excellent movie; "A reasonable man".
In this movie, a completely unWesternised herdsman killed what he took to be a malicious imp, a tikolosh. Sadly it turned out to be a real human being instead. The court  acquitted, finding that his absolute conviction of the existence of tikoloshes was crucial to his intention and therefore to his moral culpability for the results of his actions. The crucial point was that he had no way of knowing that tikoloshes did not in fact exist.

So now, what about suicide bombers?  Clearly they act from moral conviction, however mistaken we consider them to be. Already, considered in this other light, solution seems more possible. Engaging Muslim scholasticism in such a way as to isolate the rather fringe interpretation of Islam that believes in "tikoloshes" for instance.

Sadly, it may be too late for this kind of approach. The culture of revenge is very strong in Islamic society and it is all to appallingly easy to visualise plenty of grist for THAT mill.

Interesting to consider the respective moral culpabilities of suicide bombers and POTUSES if one uses purity of intention as the criteria. A no contest it seems to me. The intentions of the administration stank to high heaven from the very beginning. And now that the stench has fully permeated the walls of New Versailles, everyone just wears more perfume. It really won't do.

Once again I recommend the movie Syriana to anyone who happens across it.

http://syrianamovie.warnerbros.com/

The movie conveys well what the Hermit eloquently wrote (in another context)

[Hermit]...the bombers are, more often than not, the more empathetic, intelligent and visionary kids (these attributes usually occur in combination), suckered into a lose-lose deal by a toxic combination of nobility, shitty circumstances, idealism, youth and inexperience. A combination which usually spells trouble, but even more so when it includes HE. These are exactly the kind of people that both peoples need if they hope to someday resolve their stupid MAD activities and in consequence, can least afford to lose...

Harrowingly, the movie also explores, from different perspectives, what it is like to lose a child - the ultimate horror for anyone I would imagine.

Best regards.
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Re:The evil that men do
« Reply #14 on: 2006-06-21 05:25:44 »
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More "Evil." Blame the Victims.

For a moment, let's pretend that it is the 1980s and that the headline below had read:
Aircraft from apartheid South Africa's defense force fired missiles into a crowd of black civilians gathered in a marketplace, killing three children and injuring a further 9. A spokesman for the South African government explained that they had thought that there were insurgents in the vicinity that had to be killed in order to prevent terrorism, and blamed Nelson Mandela's organization for forcing them to kill children.

Or how about 1937:
Aircraft of the National Socialist government of the Third Reich today fired missiles into a crowd of Jewish rabble gathered in the ghetto, killing three children and injuring a further 9. A spokesman for the Third Reich government explained that they thought that there were insurgents in the vicinity, and blamed illegal Zionist organizations for forcing them to kill children.

Could either of these two instances comprise acceptable behavior? Under any circumstances? Now what makes it acceptable when Israel uses this putative "justification" for callous brutality? Israel invaded the Palestine. Israel continues to occupy the Palestine in defiance of numerous UN resolutions, including Security Council resolutions. Israel is armed with WMDs. Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing. Israeli towns are suffering from "rocket attacks" - from rockets scarcely more powerful than firecrackers that have caused almost no damage. Yet Israel is firing barrages of artillery and has repeatedly killed civilians including large numbers of children in missile attacks (from US supplied airframes) in populated areas.

If the correct term for the activities of the Palestinian "terrorists" (why not "Freedom fighters" or "Guerrillas" or even "Resistance") is "doing evil", then what is an appropriate adjective for Israel's actions? Bear in mind as you try to figure this out that Israel overran and occupied the Palestine and has engaged in widespread destruction and alienation of Palestinian properties, not vice versa.

Now that you think that you have an appropriate term to describe Israel's actions, what do you think is an appropriate term for those supporting Israel? In an American context, why is it illegal for Americans to provide support to most Palestinian organizations even the most charitable (because e.g. they provide support to the widows and orphans left behind by suicide bombing husbands and fathers. Which is translated to mean that they "support terrorism"), when we provide between 4 and 7 billion dollars worth of aid to the Israeli government every year? Much of it in the form of military and paramilitary equipment and materiel used to supress the Palestinians in blatant violation of US laws. Consider that we have no choice in the latter case. The US government hands over funds which are made possible by the taxes we pay. Meaning that some of my taxes go to enabling genocide and ethnic cleansing. Is there anything wrong with this picture? If not, why not?

Hermit

Three children killed by Israel air strike on Gaza

Source: Reuters
Authors: Nidal al-Mughrabi
Dated: 2006-06-21

GAZA (Reuters) - Israel killed three Palestinian children, two of them siblings, in an air strike on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday after its defence minister pledged to step up military action against cross-border rocket salvoes.

Witnesses said aircraft fired at least one missile at a car carrying al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militants in Gaza City. The occupants managed to leap free but a 7-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother nearby were killed, as was a 16-year-old.

Nine bystanders, most of them minors, were wounded.


Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz, under pressure from residents of border towns that have been targeted by Gazan rocket crews, on Monday promised new military counter-measures "within a matter of dozens of hours" but did not elaborate.

Israel Radio, quoting witnesses, reported armoured units massing outside northern Gaza. There have been no major Israeli ground operations in Gaza since Israel quit the strip last year after 38 years of occupation in a bid to defuse conflict.

Tuesday's air strike came hours after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, trying to salvage peacemaking with Israel despite opposition from the new Islamic Hamas government with which he shares power, urged an end to the rocket fire.

"The president holds any faction that violates the calm fully responsible for any sabotage, destruction and victims that befall our people as a result of the imminent Israeli aggression," Abbas's office said in a statement.

An Israeli army spokesman said the air strike had targeted militants wanted for attacks on Israel. The spokesman expressed regret over any civilian casualties but said responsibility lay with the Palestinians for failing to stop the rocket salvoes.

WEST BANK STAKES

Some militants, including al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group in Abbas's Fatah faction, say they are fighting for Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank, captured like Gaza in the 1967 war and wanted by Palestinians as part of a future state.

Other groups are sworn to Israel's destruction, though the largest, Hamas, has largely abided by a 16-month-old truce.

Citing Hamas's hardline platform [Hermit: Note that Hamas has repeatedly offered to accept a Jewish State which accepts the 1967 borders and acknowledges that the Palestinians have a right to a state of their own. Israel considers this a "hardline platform". I suggest newspeak has taken over the world.] , Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been lobbying for foreign support for a plan to remove isolated Jewish settlements in the West Bank while annexing others in blocs behind a new, fortified border.

Abbas hopes to head off the unilateral "realignment plan" by winning Palestinian backing in a referendum for his vision of a two-state peace accord. Hamas has opposed this, but postponed on Tuesday a bid to have the plebiscite declared illegal.

Hamas crushed the more moderate Fatah in a January election, but since taking office has had its popularity sapped by a freeze in Western aid to the Palestinian Authority. [color=red][Hermit: Poor Palestinians voted for the "wrong" government.][/url] Street fights between Hamas and Fatah gunmen have raised fears of civil war.

Alarmed by the deepening economic crisis in the West Bank and Gaza, the Quartet of foreign mediators -- the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia -- approved setting up an alternative funding mechanism at the weekend.

Western diplomats said Israel wanted the new funding to be conditional on Palestinians signing a document renouncing terrorism, but a European Commission source said no decision had been taken on any system for vetting recipients.

Israel's tactics in Gaza have been under renewed foreign scrutiny since seven members of a Palestinian family died in a June 9 blast on a Gaza beach that the Hamas government blamed on Israeli artillery. Israel denied involvement.
« Last Edit: 2006-10-25 20:17:51 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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