Print Story Terrist or Freedom Fighter?
Politics
By Idempotent (Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 02:24:29 AM EST) (all tags)
I'm guessing that the first thing you must do when you become a politician is to suspend your ability to think rationally.


Let's say, for example, that the nation state next door invades your country. They generally make your life unpleasant, by stopping you getting to work, bulldozing your houses, and killing loads of people.

Obviously, you would not be terribly happy with the inconvenience of a massively increased chance of meeting an unhappy end, so naturally you form a resistance movement. This does attract many undesirables, who take great pleasure in killing the occupying forces in nasty ways. However, since you're not allowed to have an army, the traditional home of such types, what else can you do with these people? And you may consider the complete destruction of the occupying nation a fairly valid aim of your resistance movement.

This movement gets popular amongst the general populace, and evolves into the welfare state. So here you have an organisation which opposes the people who make your life a misery in a very public and dramatic way, and also does practical things to make your life a little better.

Why is anyone surprised that eventually they win an election? (And conversely, why is noone surprised this didn't come sooner?)


So anyway, what's the fuss about Hamas?

Yeah, their values are a bit backward, their tactics nasty, and they do have this little thing against the people oppressing them. But nothing which isn't a response to their country being invaded, and fairly representative of the predominant culture of the region.

And isn't the point of FreeDemocracy(tm) to give the people the chance to get leaders who represent their point of view into power? And once they're there, should other countries immediately demand they change the policies which got them elected?

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Terrist or Freedom Fighter? | 52 comments (52 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
-1, too insipid. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 02:54:11 AM EST
Couldn't you actually post something that would encourage debate on the issue?

Seems to have done the trick. by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:31:28 AM EST
My point is not so much the rights and the wrongs of the issue, just there's a refusal to actually look at things from the point of view of the other side.

However, Jenny Tonge will tell you that attempting to do this will get you sacked, so maybe it's understandable.

[ Parent ]
Or at least something amusing in a by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #36 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:17:53 AM EST
Swiftian sort, instead of the usual softheaded "Why can't they all get along" dribble.

There's a reason I avoid lgf and dkos, I know where they are, I just prefer not to go there.


[ Parent ]
Yeah by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #49 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:13:32 AM EST
Or made a LEGO model of the Israeli wall, or brewed an Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade honey stout, or posted about falling in love with a Palestinian girl in an unrequited relationship or something.

[ Parent ]
Oh FFS by motty (3.00 / 3) #2 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 02:56:38 AM EST
"Let's suppose the nation state next door invades your country."

Let's suppose you are a member of a people in a country where there are in fact two peoples.

Let's suppose that your people has been waging a war of destruction against the other people for the last seventy years. Let's suppose that the people among the other people who suggested a bi-national state and peaceful co-existence were made to look extremely foolish by the constant violence against them perpetrated by your people.

Let's suppose that the UN got involved and suggested a partition plan, dividing the country into two states, one for each people. Let's suppose the other people accepted this but your people rejected it, as your people were unable to accept anything less than the total destruction of the other people.

Let's suppose the partition went ahead anyway, and the immediate response of your people was to invade the other people in order to destroy them.

Let's suppose you lost that war.

Let's suppose you tried to invade them again, twice, in order to destroy them again. And lost both times. Badly.

Let's suppose that by the end of your third attempt to destroy them utterly, the other people ended up controlling all of your territory, for reasons which make sense militarily if not politically.

Let's suppose that it still took you a further fifteen years for any of your political leaders to realise that peaceful co-existence was the only way forward for both people. Let's further suppose that at the same time, your people continued a constant campaign of terrorist attacks against the first people. Let's suppose that over time the first people's response to those attacks grows harsher and harsher, creating a vicious circle of violence and misery on both sides.

Let's suppose that eventually, the leaders of the first people, even the more pessimistic and right-wing ones, realise that the circle can only be broken by negotiations towards a peace settlement with the more sane elements of your political leadership. These negotiations are slow and painful, but they eventually get started, and several significant steps towards a peaceful two-state solution do get made.

Now let's suppose that in democratic elections, your people elect a group that still refuses to recognise the right to exist of the first people and refuses to renounce violence.

Let's note that 'refuses to renounce violence' is pretty close to 'intends to continue violence'.

There are only two parties in Israel / Palestine, the party of war and the party of peace. These parties extend across both sides. While even long-time party of war leaders like Sharon and Arafat eventually realised that the party of peace is the only game in town, and basically changed parties, the Palestinians have just elected the party of war.

And it's a fucking tragedy. Particularly for them.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

This party of peace by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:00:18 AM EST
Why does it shoot children in the head? You're being very partisan here, there are serious faults on both sides.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Because... by motty (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:16:43 AM EST
They send their children out to attack soldiers precisely because it makes the Israelis look really bad when those children then die.

Yeah.

They do that.

How would you defend against such an attack?

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
Suicide bomber vs gigantic concrete wall by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:18:19 AM EST
Sorry, I don't buy it.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
What's not to buy? by motty (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:28:16 AM EST
I'm with Amos Oz on this.

The security wall is a sad but necessary thing - it should have been build along the 1967 borders, and it is a tragedy and a disaster that it was not.

Meanwhile, when you've got a constant stream of suicide bombers coming at you and you are unable to stop them except by walling them off, you wall them off. The wall comes down when they finally decide they want peace not war and stop the attacks.

It's easy to suggest to another people that they should simply continue to get blown up, but harder to suggest to your own.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
Duh by bob6 (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:20:17 AM EST
Except that walls don't work because there must be a t least a door. That's elementary commonsense and I still don't understand how come people still fall for this kind of demagogy.

Btw, I agree the conjunction of the Hamas election and the death of Sharon will accelerate peace process.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
But the wall /is/ working by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #20 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:43:28 AM EST
Suicide bombings in areas protected by the fence are down substantially.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
In that case by bob6 (2.00 / 0) #29 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 05:38:06 AM EST
Let's put a wall everywhere. What a great idea, why hasn't anyone thought of that before?

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
How about the trains? by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #39 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:38:14 AM EST
Are they running on time?

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Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
[ Parent ]
I don't see what that has to do with anything. by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #43 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:55:52 AM EST
Do delayed trains kill people in Italy?

--
Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
Apparently by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #47 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:03:18 AM EST
Mussolini didn't actually make the trains run on time.

[ Parent ]
Yes I am being partisan by motty (4.00 / 2) #11 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:18:05 AM EST
This isn't an academic exercise for me. This is my friends and family. I am involved. I can't choose whether or not to be interested in this subject. I have to be.

Believe me, I wish it were otherwise.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
then throw away the rationalizations by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #51 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:18:17 AM EST
it's not about logic, it's about protecting people you care about, consequences be damned.

Noam Chomsky: Well, forget about the hippies and so on and so forth.

[ Parent ]
Unless by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:07:59 AM EST
The reason that Hamas won the election has a lot to do with dislike of Fatah and a hope that Hamas can only be better at sharing and creating wealth than Fatah. Also, it could be that Hamas will have control over the militias and much better ability to deliver on promises made during negotiations. And it is a more credible negotiator if it actually speaks for the terrorists. So it could help out.

[ Parent ]
The situation is insane by motty (4.00 / 2) #13 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:19:29 AM EST
Quite.

If even a dangerous lunatic like Sharon could realise the necessity for withdrawal from Gaza, maybe the dangerous lunatics running Hamas will realise the necessity for peace rather than war.

Anything is possible.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
I am incredulous that Rice was surprised by cam (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:26:31 AM EST
Hamas won. If she listened to NPR she would have been prepared for it. The people they interviewed in Palestine were almost uniform in their agreement that Fatah was corrupt, had done nothing, had been given more chances than they deserve, and it was time for some other party to come in and implement new policies to get Palestine's economy working.

Secretary of State? I wouldnt employ her for Secretary of the Motor Pool. As for her employer and faux-husband, I would go to the expense of hiring Donald Trump for one day so he can ritually humiliate him with; You're Fired!

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
Fatah was a party of peace? by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #52 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 10:06:50 AM EST
I don't get it - Arafat was as much of a thug as anyone in the middle east. I guess with Arafat now dead, Israel needed a new lightning rod to zap whenever something bad happens, and Hamas delivered. Israel and the US moved quickly to keep them in the terrorist category - a move toward political legitimacy for Hamas wouldn't be good for the intentions of the US or Israeli governments. R mutt's linked article is correct, though, which is good from Israel's point of view.

If you're poor and have little future, who are you going to vote for as a Palestinian, a group that gives you a bit of food and a shred of hope, or the party that keeps international aid money for itself? When I saw Arafat's wife on TV relaxing in her Paris apartment shortly after his death basically begging for her large stipend to not be cut off, I wanted to slap that bitch. They Palestinians voted for their own interests to the degree that they could.

Noam Chomsky: Well, forget about the hippies and so on and so forth.

[ Parent ]
In general terms, I agree by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 02:57:31 AM EST
Couple of points though - Palestine wasn't invaded, it didn't really become a country to be fought for until after the creation of Israel. Before that it was a region divided between a number of other states. I think.

This brings up the age old question of who started it. We'll never get anywhere going down that road, but that's how it stands.

Like I say though, broadly I agree.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

The West Bank was part of Jordan by wiredog (4.00 / 2) #5 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:05:57 AM EST
Jordan lost it after (IIRC) the 67 war.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
And Jordan stil houses refugees does it not? by lm (4.00 / 3) #7 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:10:45 AM EST
I think that the most astounding debacle in this whole SNAFU is the failure of Arab countries to take care of their own. They've all been willing to spend through millions in various military attacks against Israel to show pan-Arabic solidarity, but none (to my knowledge) are willing to permanently accept Palestinian refugees. Refugees in Jordan, for example, are still living in tent cities.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
They're political footballs. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #45 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:58:50 AM EST
I guess giving refuge would reduce the desire of the Palestinians to overthrow the state of Israel.

[ Parent ]
Ta by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:14:09 AM EST
Wasn't sure of the details

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Pre-1947 Palestine by motty (4.00 / 2) #9 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:15:34 AM EST
Was a British Mandate territory, consisting of what is now Israel, what is now Gaza and the West Bank, and what is now Jordan.

That is to say that over two thirds of British Mandate Palestine is ruled by a state that is a fully fledged member of the Arab world.

Don't tell anyone though, it's a secret.

After the partition of 1947, which the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected, the Arabs invaded Israel with the intent to destroy it. They lost.

They did have the West Bank (controlled by Jordan) and Gaza (controlled by Egypt) though. They lost these areas after the second failed attempt to destroy Israel in 1967.

The question of who started it is actually pretty simple to answer, depending on your point of view. Either the Jews started it, by existing and by choosing en masse to return to their Middle Eastern homeland after centuries of exile, or the Palestinians started it, by continually waging a war of destruction against them.

Meanwhile, since 1967, Israel has been faced with the problem of what the hell do you do when you end up controlling territories populated by people who refuse to accept that you exist and wish to destroy you.

To say the least, it hasn't been handled very well.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if the Palestinians actually tried peace for a change instead of war. So far all Palestinian peace initiatives have... been met with a positive response on the Israeli side, and it is clear that the party of peace on both sides a) exists, and b) is desperate to stop the cycle of mutual violence.

So if the Palestinians ever actually chose peace, they might find they actually get it. In the meantime, as long as they seek war, that's what they get too.

Forgive me if I'm not entirely rational here, since it's me, my friends and my family that these cunts want to actually blow up personally. And do. And have done. And have just elected a party that intends to continue so to do.

I'll say it again. When the Palestinians vote for peace, they will get it. When they vote for war, the'll get that too.

I wish they'd hurry up and vote for peace for a change.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
Voting for war by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #18 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:34:49 AM EST
I wonder if Hamas realizes that actons which were, last week, criminal acts on the parts of individuals are, now, acts of war?

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
uh, how so? by tps12 (4.00 / 1) #40 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:53:49 AM EST
Electing a Hamas government doesn't make every member of Hamas part of the Palestinian army, does it? Admittedly, I don't know how the Palestinian system works, but it can't be that crazy...

[ Parent ]
I understand your viewpoint. by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #19 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:38:46 AM EST
Nothing is black or white, and nothing is as simple as it looks.

But when you have governments on the outside fueling the conflict by refusing to take an impartial position, peace is unlikely.

Given that both side are essential bent on destroying each other (for whatever justified or unjustified reason), does the outside world saying to Israel "have a large quantity of money, feel free to spend it on arms" and to Palestine "have some money, but don't spend it on anything miltary" actually help?

Wouldn't equal treatment be in order here? Tell both sides that they're not getting any money, any arms, and we're not trading with you until you stop killing each other?

Yes, that's a simplistic suggestion. But it's just as simplistic as everyone else's approach.

[ Parent ]
Actually by bob6 (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:48:47 AM EST
But when you have governments on the outside fueling the conflict by refusing to take an impartial position, peace is unlikely.
I think most governments (except Israeli and AP) have interests in fueling the conflict.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
And that's an excuse how? by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #22 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:50:23 AM EST
Please explain why other people dying is an acceptable policy.

[ Parent ]
I don't think it is... by bob6 (2.00 / 0) #30 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 05:43:27 AM EST
I didn't mean to tell it was an excuse but to point out that the conflict serves someone's interests. And obviously not Israeli's or Palestinian's: they'd better off working and trading together than killing each other.

For instance, what have other Islamic and/or Arab countries actually done in favour of a Palestinian state?

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
I See the Problem by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #23 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:53:30 AM EST
We can't very well just combine the names and call them "Terrist Fighters," 'cause then people will think they fight terrist.

What about "terrists for freedom?"

As for them not being "terribly happy with the inconvenience of a massively increased chance of meeting an unhappy end;" they sure seem to blow themselves up a lot. By your formulation, they should really hate a habit that gives them a 100% chance of meeting an unhappy end. And yet they can't seem to manufacture C4 casual wear fast enough.

Are we talking about the same folks? Hamas, right? We're are talking about Hamas?

Despair and a feeling of hopelessness drives... by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #25 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:59:12 AM EST
... people to extremes. Always has, always will.

My question is not "why are Hamas considered evil", but "why aren't people looking at this rationally and impartially"?

However, I think I know the reason, and it depresses me.

[ Parent ]
If Hamas's Killings Are No Big Deal by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #26 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 05:09:04 AM EST
Why are Israel's killings a big deal?

If you really wanted an end to the killing, why not support Israel as the stronger of the two and demand they just get it all over with by eliminating all Palestinians.

Indeed, one wonders why they haven't already done this?

You think Israel would be smart enough to declare that Palestine has no right to exist.

The Palestinians were smart enough to declare a genocidal war of annihilation.

I wonder what keeps Israel from doing that? Weird. 'Cause, you know, they're so evil that you'd think they have that base covered by now.

What kind of sick morality holds as a truth the right to exist of people that have declared you the target of a genocidal war? Israel should lose just to teach them that such convoluted moral thinking is unacceptable in the civilized modern world.

[ Parent ]
Please point out the bit where I said... by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #27 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 05:14:05 AM EST
... that Hamas' killings are no big deal.

The point I was trying to make is that this dispute is allowed to continue, and helped to continue, by outside vested interests, and I was expressing disappointment that no-one was trying to see the point of view of the other side.

Just like everything else it's a very complex situation, but it's made worse by politicians inside and out.

[ Parent ]
I Hope I Can Be Forgiven by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 2) #28 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 05:24:23 AM EST
For thinking this constituted a dismissal of the murderous nature of Hamas's long-term terrorist campaign:

"So anyway, what's the fuss about Hamas?

Yeah, their values are a bit backward, their tactics nasty, and they do have this little thing against the people oppressing them. But nothing which isn't a response to their country being invaded, and fairly representative of the predominant culture of the region."

On re-reading it seems perfectly clear to me that these word contain a lava-hot undercurrent of outrage and disgust over the slaughter of civilian life that has so marked Hamas's pre-governmental existence. Your subtle use of irony completely lost me.

[ Parent ]
Maybe I Was Too Subtle. by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #31 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 05:48:42 AM EST
But the whole point is that, in the big scheme of things, what they're up to is far less than, say, the US in Iraq.

I'm not trying to do this whole moral relativism thing, defend them, or anything. Anyone who kills someone else, or is responsible for a killing, is a Bad Person, and should be condemned.

But why do we make so much fuss about Hamas compared to all the other murderous groups out there?

Besides, as others have pointed out, having them in power actually makes things easier.

[ Parent ]
The US in Iraq by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #32 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:01:54 AM EST

isn't persuading parents to persuade their kids to strap bombs to themselves and go get on buses to kill other kids and non-kid civvies, by offering them 30,000 USD as a suicide/genocidemartyr benefit. It's one thing to fire on people who fire on you; it is entirely another to get your neighbor's 10 year old son to go blow up a bus full of civilians. I think, generally, people have moral qualms with this sort of shenanigan, and, coupled with stated genocidal goals with regard to TEH JOOS, it's not terribly surprising why people are displeased with Hamas gaining political power.

Not to mention the fallacious claim that the Palestinians ever had a country which could have ever been invaded.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
End result is the same. by Idempotent (4.00 / 1) #34 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:09:57 AM EST
Dead people. I bet that Hamas wouldn't bother with the whole suicide bomber thing if they had the kind of firepower that the US has. You fight with what you got.

Not that I am defending them.

I am trying to understand them. It does no-one any good to say "they are evil", because that's not a good way to start a process of agreeing to be peaceful.

They believe they have a country which has been invaded. When attempting to understand why things are as they are, that's an important bit of their point of view to consider. Telling them that they're wrong is not going to encourage them to stop sending the C4 jackets your way.

Admittedly my original text was rather provocative, but my aim is to understand the situation. Indeed, the discussion has been most helpful, especially motty's comments.

[ Parent ]
As someone who doesn't believe in concepts like by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #42 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:20:23 AM EST

"evil" and "good", I don't find Hamas to be evil. I do find them to have tactical and strategic goals that I feel are incompatible with any given civilized society, namely, the elimination of Israel as a state, and religion-backed idea that they should kill the Jews wherever they are, whenever they encounter them;

"And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter." - Qur'an 2:191

Now, I can live with my neighbors, or houseguests for that matter, which seems a bit more apropos in the Israel/Palestine situation, who are underpowered and emasculated as a people having those goals, but as soon as they start acting on them, what choice do I have but to distribute the proverbial (or sura-rial?) smackdown once they start killing. This is not to teach them a lesson, which they apparently haven't managed to pick up in 700 some years; this is simply to reduce and/or eliminate their ability to kill indiscriminantly. The way they perceive things (eg: that they were invaded, despite the fact they never existed) is their responsibility, or, more importantly, it's their problem; it becomes mine when they attack my civilian populace, and at that point, I'm not interested in negotiating with them, as they do not hold much in the way of bargaining power. "Get out of this land now, or we will continue to strap C4 to ourselves until you change your mind" is roughly the equivalent of saying "If the JEWS DON'T MOVE OUT OF ISRAEL AND/OR CEASE TO EXIST, we will CONTINUE TO KILL OUR OWN CHILDREN in REPEATED FEEBLE ATTEMPTS TO KILL THE CHILDREN OF THE JEWS, BECAUSE WE LACK THE ABILITY TO KICK THEM OUT BY FORCE".

Sadly for the Palestinian people, Hamas doesn't seem to understand their lack of power, and their real position in the world, and now that Sharon is effectively not in power, I don't see another Israeli figurehead that's willing to take Israeli policy in the direction of the establishment of a legitimate Palestinian state. I could be wrong, but I'm betting Hamas acting hard core and killing more civilians is going to result in a lot more death, and the bulk of that death burden is not going to be carried by the IDF.

Also, just for the record, I don't think you're being overly contentious here, or in the diary to begin with, and hope that my comments aren't coming across as especially mean-spirited. Just chatting here.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
Hmmm, yeah. by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #46 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:01:52 AM EST
The Quran passage is taken out of context. It applies only to those who are in the process of invading your country and killing your people. Also, I'm sure the Bible has some juicy bits to justify invasions as well.

So anyway, bad strategy, yes, I agree.

[ Parent ]
The Bible.. by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #48 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:10:29 AM EST
Has some God character commanding his people to kill all the Babylonians and make their land (which as it happens is now Iraq) uninhabitable to the end of time around Jeremiah 50:35-39.

--
Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
Yes, but the fundamental difference by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #50 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:04:37 AM EST
is that no-one would possible twist the words of that God to justify various bloody conflicts through the ages, would they?

Whereas the Quran... now that's just begging for shifty characters to reinterpret to further their own ends.

(Gotta get the satire in before it's illegal. Thanks Tony!)

[ Parent ]
On the Level by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #33 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:06:57 AM EST
All smart ass comments aside, I don't have any problems with Hamas getting elected - and I have no problem with foreign countries demanding policies changes before they will give Hamas's Palestine any foreign aid.

The former is democracy is action; the latter is an example of standard diplomacy.

I hope that a taste of genuine authority and a say in the community of nations, no matter how relatively small in comparison to other nations, forces Hamas to begin behaving in a manner more consistent with a legally constituted national authority.

I do feel the need to point out that none of the nations currently making a fuss, as you call it, have threatened to do anything other than cut off foreign aid. Even Israel, long-time enemy of Hamas, currently takes the stance that Hamas does have the right, legally and fairly won, to govern Palestine.

At this point, the only player in the whole picture who has an "all-or-nothing" stance is Hamas with regards to Israel's right to exist.

It seems to me that everybody, even the "Evil US" (a registered trademark of Knee-jerk Left Inc.), is willing to give Hamas a chance and let it start entering into talks like a real ruling party.

That sounds reasonable to me.

[ Parent ]
We Shall See. by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #35 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:15:12 AM EST
Do bear in mind that Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation in the US and EU. Does giving them a chance include not arresting them when they visit?

Perhaps I'm interpreting the responses slightly differently to you. I've been picking up a slight "bad guys got elected" vibe.

[ Parent ]
criminals should be arrested, not coddled. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #37 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:29:29 AM EST
We didn't arrest arafat though.


[ Parent ]
Agreed. by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #38 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:35:40 AM EST
I just don't think it's that black and white, nor such an uncompromising attitude would be productive in moving towards a peaceful outcome.

I give your comment a '2', for lack of empathy and pragmatism.

[ Parent ]
You're Right on the Vibe by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #41 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:19:55 AM EST
People do think the bad guys have won and it makes everybody uneasy. If you aren't uneasy, I think you're underestimating the explosive potential of the situation. The reasonable response to this turn of events is concern.

That said, I think both the US and the EU will treat the leaders of a Hamas-lead Palestine the same as any other country, provided Hamas plays by the conditions the West has laid out. That's diplomacy.

Hamas doesn't have to comply. If Hamas doesn't like it, they can give up their foreign aid and go begging elsewhere. Though I'm not sure just how much scratch they'll get from their more militant neighbors. When it comes to training terrorists and selling folks weapons, the countries of the pro-Palestine Middle East are all on it. But when it comes to handing out petro-dollars for peaceful relief efforts, they've been somewhat more hesitant.

[ Parent ]
Uneasy. by Idempotent (2.00 / 0) #44 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:58:29 AM EST
That's the thing.

I'm not suggesting that we should just "learn to get on with each other" in a naive sort of way. Just that unease is countered by knowledge.

[ Parent ]
Didn't make my shortlist by R Mutt (4.00 / 4) #24 Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:54:33 AM EST
But there was an interesting article on my longlist on the subject of why the election result is a good thing.
Until Tuesday, the PA could hide behind the excuse that they were not directly responsible and they could not rein in the "militants." Now the "militants" are the militia of the ruling party. They are one and the same with the Palestinian Authority. If they bomb Israel from Gaza -- not under occupation anymore, and is therefore, technically, part of the Palestinian state the PLO proclaimed in Algiers in 1988, but never bothered to take responsibility for -- that is an act of war, which can be responded to in kind, under the full cover of the internationally recognized right of self-defense. No more excuses that the Palestinians live under occupation, that the PA is too weak to disarm Hamas, that violence is not the policy of the PA. Hamas and the PA will be the same: What Hamas does is what the PA will stand for.


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