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Terror Profiles Don't Work

I think this is the first official (semi-)political bit I've seen on JoS. It looks like Joel has changed the rules on what is on topic :)

Is the idea that the US military should be considered potential terrorists really so far fetched? They certainly are in some foreign countries. 'One man's freedom figter is another's terrorist', and all that.


Wednesday, October 22, 2003

>'One man's freedom figter is another's terrorist'<

Bullsh*t. If you target civilians, you're not a freedom fighter, you're a terrorist. Somehow I just can't picture George Washington and Thomas Jefferson blowing up a pizza restaurant if they were in the present, fighting for American independence.

Common Sense
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

So, was America a terrorist nation during World War II?
Was America a terrorist nation during the Vietnam War?
Was America a terrorist nation as it bombed the shit out of North Korea?

Mr Jack
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

No.

If you think it was, you prove it. I'm tired of dealing with people whose definition of "equavalence" is so messed up.

anon
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

'No', huh, anon. I guess targetting civilians doesn't making you a terrorist then.

Mr Jack
Wednesday, October 22, 2003


I'm surprised you haven't brought up Chile yet.

The most recent of the wars you brought up, Vietnam, ended almost 30 years ago. It virtually destroyed the U.S. military. Veterans were spit upon, attacked, and generally reviled by society at the time. If you want to go and track down some of these veterans and try to charge them with war crimes, be my guest but I doubt you can do anything more to them than has already been done.

You cannot judge the actions of a previous generation based on your own frame of reference. Try calling a red army veteran of WW2 a terrorist. He'd laugh in your face, if he didn't punch you first. Twenty million deaths makes your little ploy pathetic.

Why don't you try staying in the here and now?

anon
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

so Anon if you're Palestinian (for example) what will you do to fight the Israelis?

sonny
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

So let's bring up Chile. 

Which is it anon?  Either "All's fair in love & war" or "One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist".

You can't pick one standard for your country then expect the rest of the world not to hold you to the same standard.

Despite what your president thinks.


Wednesday, October 22, 2003


I'd hope that, if I were a Palestinian, I'd have enough sense to weigh the correlation of forces, the likelyhood of inflicting real harm, and the near certainty of death. I'd hope I would weigh all that, plus the fact that, while my arab brethren talk a good fight, they don't actually do anything useful like accept refugees. I'd also consider the impact of Saudi backed madrasas and their suicidal birth products and come to the conclusion that these people are not likely to let a little thing like peace stop them and that any country won by their tactics would truly be a shitty place to live.

I'd think I'd tend to look at all that and put some pressure on my so-called leader to accept the Israelis good faith offer made prior to the current intifada. And then have him explain why he didn't accept the plan in the first place.

How's that?

anon
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

In other word you will have to accept that your land is being occupied and then let the occupier decide which should be good for you?

sonny
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

[So let's bring up Chile. 

Which is it anon?  Either "All's fair in love & war" or "One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist".

You can't pick one standard for your country then expect the rest of the world not to hold you to the same standard.

Despite what your president thinks. ]

Bzzt! Wrong answer. I'm not american. But thanks for entering the debate without any preconcieved notions of your own.

I can pick one standard and then expect the world not to make stupid comparisons based on events two generations and EIGHT U.S. presidents old. I'd prefer to talk about now, thanks.

anon
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

[In other word you will have to accept that your land is being occupied and then let the occupier decide which should be good for you?]

Hey, that's a nice conclusion you jumped to. We could do that.

Or maybe we could take a page from the Irish and try a negotiated settlement? Wouldn't that be radical.

Btw, I especially love the use of the word "occupied". Has a nice, emotional impact. But I wonder on what grounds you use it? Who was there first? I expect you might get an argument from some jews (not to mention a goodly number of other ethnic groups) on that one.

I'm interested to hear your solution. Kill all the Israelis and turn the land over to the Palestinians? Problem solved?

anon
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Well if you're Palestinian you would feel that way won't you ? (of course if you're Israeli you most probably will have opposite view on that).
On top of that you have the most advanced military power to fight against you, backed by the most powerful nation in the world?
Some Palestinian will have patience and coolness to think like you do, but for many..they don't. I wish they don't attack the Israelian civilians, as like you I believe that it will be counter-productive. Still I wish the western world not think black and white and lumped each terrorist activities to be the same. I can understand terrorism for Palestinian freedom, it is different to other terrorists who bombs Bali for example. 

sonny
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I don't have solution, but any solution proposed by anyone should take into consideration the feeling of the Palestinian pride as a nation. Otherwise it will be like corporate takeover for example:

You are smaller but richer. You feel that the company that you want to takeover (current disputed land) should belongs to you. Therefore you gather all your economic & political might from your supporter (european nation & USA) to support your takeover. So you grab the companyand then let the previous owner to the sideline. And then you offer them your concession. And they fight you back like hell, because they have you (from historical perspective) and also because of your takeover action. and the story continues. And you hit them back by importing more shareowner to make the other parties even more sidelined.

If above is corporate takeover saga maybe it can be solved with ligitation, concession, etc. But we're talking about countries, national, and religion here.

sonny
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I agree with Sonny that when a weaker country is occupied by a stronger country, their only hope for a military victory lies in what we refer to as terrorism.  It is very easy for the stronger country to act according to the rules of war, it assures them a victory.

But what people need to know is that the issue of the occupation is emphasized to gain sympathy for the cause.  The "Palestinians" consider all of what is now called Israel, to be part of occupied Palestine and they have been struggling to liberate it from those pesky Jews since 1948.  Personally I find the Israelis a bit nutty in their restraint.  The U.S. wouldn't put up with this crap. 

If the enemies of Israel would agree to stop attacking, they would have peace very quickly.  The Palestinians would have a state.  That is not what they want though.

What we have here is a simple case of two groups of people fighting over the same piece of land.  It's happened throughout history.  And usually it only ends after a severe ass-whuppin' has been adminstrered.  Very sad but very true.

Name withheld out of cowardice
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Sonny -

I think the I think the corporate takeover metaphor understates the resentment of both sides.

How about this one:

The police (Britain backed by the U.N.) evict you (Palestinians) from your house (future Israel) so someone more deserving (Israelis) can live there. You are told to move in with your neighbors (West Bank, Gaza). Any attempts to reclaim your house or possessions will be met with force.

I think many people in this situation would fight to get their house back.

The other twist is that the house is the ancestral home of the new occupants, and the police do not believe that you acquired this house legitimately (c.f. Crusades). The new occupants don't want to get evicted again, and the police will support them.

I think many people in this situation would fight to keep their house.

Thus we have one piece of land and two reasonably legitimate claims to it. I'm guessing that this falls under the category of 'Irreconcilable Differences'

Devil's Advocate
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

anon,

What you are arguing, whether you realize it or not, is a weak form of relativism.  Since you seem absolute in your convictions, I somehow don't think that that is what you intended.

logic nazi
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

"You are told to move in with your neighbors (West Bank, Gaza)."

That's not my understanding of what happened, but I am willing to be enlightened. My understanding was that Palestinians were allowed to stay in Israel (many work there even now) and become Israeli citizens. Many were later expelled during various wars, or left of their own accord.


Wednesday, October 22, 2003

<i>Bullsh*t. If you target civilians, you're not a freedom fighter, you're a terrorist. Somehow I just can't picture George Washington and Thomas Jefferson blowing up a pizza restaurant if they were in the present, fighting for American independence.
</i>

There were numerous incidents of violence against civilians by both American and British forces during the revolution.

If there were pizza restaurants frequented by Torries I'm sure they would have been hit.

freedom fighter == terrorist
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Is there any actual evidence that Osama was aiming to cause terror?

Would a more logical interpretation be that he was striking at an important economic targets for the purpose of damaging the American economy? And an important military target (the Pentagon) for the purpose of damaging the American military?

Does labelling him a terrorist actually help anything?

Mr Jack
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Did anybody notice that, awkwardly, the more Palestinians fight the more land they lose?

Just watching from the sidelines…

19th floor
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Ummm bin Laden's intent was to cause minor discomfort in the attack, a little economic indigestion?

I hardly think so. 

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Americans should ask themselves this question:

What should my government do if the Native Americans, upon being rejected to their "right of return" to previously owned land, start targetting civilans with the use of suicidal tactics like those employed by Muslim terrorists today?

A. They're freedom fighters, not terrorists. Give them back Manhattan island, since it's occupied land.

B. Negotiate a settlement where 95% of the midwest would go back to the Native Americans, as well as East Washington, D.C.  as their capital.

C. Label their actions terrorist and defend the borders.

Yoav
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Devil's Advocate:

The UN partitiond Palestine into two separate states. One for the Jews another for the Palestinians. The Jews accepted it, the Palestinians rejected it.

Today, they're trying to negotiate for less than they were give 50 years ago.

It all comes down to taking responsibility for one's actions.

Yoav
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

So Yoav,

What you're saying is that the UN decided the Palestinians should vacate their homes and let Jews move in? And for some reason the Palestinians weren't too keen on the idea?

freedom fighter == terrorist
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

[What you're saying is that the UN decided the Palestinians should vacate their homes and let Jews move in? And for some reason the Palestinians weren't too keen on the idea? ]

Sigh. Some knowledge of history should be required before geting involved in this topic. I mean, it was only 50 or so years ago.

At the time of partition, Palestine already had clusters of arabs and jews. The partition simply made it formal. In fact, the jews were getting the short end of the stick since most of the good, arable land went to the palestinians.

The jews accepted the partition. The arabs did not, initiated hostilities, and got their asses kicked. The rest is history (which you should try reading).

anon
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

If we want to talk about something practical.

The fence, in principle is a good idea; just make a border and enforce it, because any notion of a peace process in the forseeable future is fantasy.

BUT

Building a fence while trying to keep settlements on the other side of it is reprehensible and dumb.  Chopping up the other side's land into such uneven pieces that they can't go a half mile to work (or goof off, or visit family, or whatever they want to do) in less than several hours is just an elaborate prison system.

The settlements is the one really indefensible Israeli policy.  Just draw as fair a border as you can, defend it with a fence or whatever you have to do, but what's on the other side of that fence can't have restrictions on how people move around inside "their" space.

THEN you can resume talks on how the Israelis and Palestinians relate to each other as entities.

Another thing Tom Friedman has pointed out, soon Palestinians are going to outnumber Israelis in their combined lands.  At that point, if the Palestinians just say "screw it, we just want one shared, democratic state" where they are the majority, what does Israel do then?

Jim Rankin
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Bring back Saladin from dead to restore the peace and rule the disputed land in a noblest and humblest way possible.
Let him kick the butt of those pathetic middle-eastern rulers.

Salahuddin ArRaniri
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I'd like to point out that a certain man going by the name of Nelson Mandela spent a long time in jail for his associations with "terrorist" organisations. He then went on to become the president of his country, and win the Nobel peace prize.

"Terrorist" is most certainly a term that is used to mean whatever those in power at the time want it to.

Sum Dum Gai
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Thank you for the note on Nelson Mandela - that is what I was trying to say.

freedom fighter == terrorist
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

If Arafat were interested in peace, he would have negotiated in good faith in Oslo.  Its as simple as that.  Instead, he left and issued antifada (however you spell it).

nat ersoz
Thursday, October 23, 2003

Dear Nat,
              The Oslo agreements were signed in 1993, I think. The Palestinians appear to have stuck to their side of the bargain, recognizing Israel's right to exist.

              Presumably you are referring to Camp David in 1999. The idea that Arafat refused to negotiate in good faith, and started the intifada instead, has been pushed by the Israeli propaganda machine and its friends in the American media, but is palpably untrue. Arafat naively assumed that he was going to be offered a homogenous Palestinain territory in accordance with pre 1967 borders and the Oslo agreement and that the Camp David meeting was just about timing. Instead he was offered a series of Baluchistans criss-crossed by isralei military roads, and there was complete refusal to discuss the right of return, compensation in lieu of, or any timetable for its possible implementation.

            What is clear is that Arafat would have been overthrown by his own people if he had agreed to that scam. What is not that clear is whether the Israeli proposals were just a bargaining ploy to start negotiations, as Clinton's envoy at the time claimed, or deliberately aimed at ensuring the non-viablity of any negotiated peace.

            The second intifada started a year later. During that time Jewish extremists committed various atrociities, including the massacre by Goldstein of worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque, but the Palestinians maintained the truce.

              The cause of the second intifada was Sharon's visit to Temple Mount. This was the equivalent of the Head of the Nazi party going to hold a meeting at Auschwitz, and was deliberately caculated by the Right Wing of Likud as an attempt to ensure that there never would be a peace process, and thus Israel could continue unhindered with its expansion, annexation of territory, and expulsion and harrassment of non-Jews. Barak, who like Sharon, had no understanding and complete contempt for Arab culture, played straght into Sharon's hands by immediately launching a crackdown.

                The Israeli government has long attempted to undermine Afarat; whether this is simply a matter of sowing confusion, the result of ignorance, or a deliberate attempt to oust him from power so that Hamas (whom Israel supported against the PLO in the 1980's) can take over and thus make peace impossible, I don't know. Probably it is a confustion of all three, since Jewish Israel is far from being a homogenous society.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, October 23, 2003

freedom fighter == terrorist: Did you know that there are hundreds of thousands of Israeli Arabs living inside the Green Line? They have Israeli citizenship. In fact, they have their own political parties in the Knesset (parliament) too.  Of course this is possible because, like it or not, Israeli *is* a democracy. Wish I could say the same for Arab world.

Stephen Jones: So, Sharon has no right to visit sovereign Israeli territory (temple mount), which happens to be the holiest spot for Jews? Try stopping King Fahd of Saudi Arabia from visiting Mecca. :)

Yoav
Thursday, October 23, 2003

Palestine is a recongized state?  I didn't know that....

apw
Thursday, October 23, 2003

Temple Mount is not sovereign Israeli territory Yaow, even though you have militarily annexed it.

KIng Fahd is hardly a war criminal, unlike Sharon.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, October 23, 2003

[ The cause of the second intifada was Sharon's visit to Temple Mount.]

I read somewhere recently that Arafat had planned to initiate the second intifada long before Sharon's visit. Sharon merely provided a convenient spark.

Don't remember the article/book at the moment, so you can take that with a grain of salt. However, I do seem to recall the source seemed reliable.

anon
Thursday, October 23, 2003

[KIng Fahd is hardly a war criminal, unlike Sharon. ]

Well, I could probably make a good case that he actively supports massive human rights violations.

anon
Thursday, October 23, 2003

Also, according to Clinton's chief negotiator, the final deal offered Arafat was not disconnected cantons.  The problem he supposedly had with this was that it was not put in writing and they wanted a semi-commitment from him before putting it in wiriting.  Arafat refused despite the fact that a majority of his people wanted him to take it.

As for the "right of return", isn't it right of return to Israel that they want, not to a future Palestinian state?  Given that Israel is a democracy and right of return would make Palestinians a majority, and that Palestinians really hate Jews, I think itr is obvious that "right of return" for Palestinians would allow them to accomplish through democracy what they could not militarily- the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.

Name withheld out of cowardice
Thursday, October 23, 2003

The right of return that Palestinians want is the right of return to the houses and land they were forcibly expelled from in 1948 and 1967 (I have a colleague at work who was expelled from his house twice, frist in 1948, and then in 1967 from the one his family had moved to).

They are not claiming the right to return immediately but are asking for a timetable, and are quite prepared to consider financial compensation instead as many of those affected are now settled in the States or elsewhere.

As for Arafat's "initiating" the second intifada, I think you can take your reliable information to be of the same standard as those that claimed the elders of Zion are planning to take over the world.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, October 23, 2003

[The right of return that Palestinians want is the right of return to the houses and land they were forcibly expelled from in 1948 and 1967 (I have a colleague at work who was expelled from his house twice, frist in 1948, and then in 1967 from the one his family had moved to).]

The question then becomes who exactly is elligible? A goodly number, perhaps even the majority of the refugees left on their own accord. Yes, there were instances where the Israelis drove Palestinians out of an area, but there were also instances where they actively tried to get them to stay as well.

[As for Arafat's "initiating" the second intifada, I think you can take your reliable information to be of the same standard as those that claimed the elders of Zion are planning to take over the world. ]

Uh huh. And you know this how?

I'm not saying that Arafat did initiate the second intifada, but it's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. If you have information proving that he did not, I'd like to read it. Otherwise, you're just avoiding unpleasant possibilities that don't jibe with your world view.

anon
Thursday, October 23, 2003

I don't need to provide evidence that Arafat didn't start the intifada. You need to provide evidence that he did.

One doesn't have to disprove unfounded allegations.

I know people who claim that Sharon was well aware of what was going to happen on September 11 2001 but did nothing about it. This is within the realm of possibility but I don't ask you or anybody else to disprove it - I ask the person who made the allegation to provide some evidence for it.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, October 23, 2003

[I don't need to provide evidence that Arafat didn't start the intifada. You need to provide evidence that he did.
One doesn't have to disprove unfounded allegations.]

I didn't ask for proof. I asked for a pointer to some reference.

I asked because you seemed so sure of yourself. You dismissed the possibility that Arafat initiated the second intifada so quickly that I assumed you must have seen or read something that was pretty compelling. Instead, I see you are operating on faith. Okay.

Look, Sharon is no saint, given. Going to the Temple Mount was a bonehead move. But I presume that muslims in general and Palestinians in particular are aware that the mount has special significance to Israelis as well. I mean, the mosque was built on top of the old temple on purpose, right? My point is that blaming an Israeli for triggering the intifada because they visited one of their holy sites is a little extreme.

anon
Thursday, October 23, 2003

Going to the Temple Mount wasn't a bonehead move; it was a calculated ploy, and worked exaclty as it should have done.

Sharon, and a sizeable minority of the Israeli electorate, is a firm believer in the Greater Israel, which for them provisionally includes the whole of the West Bank of the Jordan.

A viable peace settlement would mean the handing over of 22% of historic Palestine to the Palestinians, and the dismantement of the illegal Jewish settlements. The mqjority of Israelis would, and probably still will, accept that as a reasonable price to pay for peace, so unless the right wing could derail the peace process the vision of a Greater Israel would have remained just that, a vision.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, October 23, 2003

"I don't need to provide evidence that Arafat didn't start the intifada. You need to provide evidence that he did."

Well, this is certainly a productive discussion isn't it?

Jim Rankin
Thursday, October 23, 2003

"A viable peace settlement would mean the handing over of 22% of historic Palestine to the Palestinians, and the dismantement of the illegal Jewish settlements."

Sorry to disrupt your fantasy world, but:

"Fifty-nine percent of Palestinians believe that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad should continue their armed struggle against Israel even if Israel leaves all of the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, and a Palestinian state is created, a new survey shows."

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1066799672944

What's the point of a peace process with people explicitly stating they don't want peace?

Jim Rankin
Thursday, October 23, 2003

Considering that Israel has given nothing for the peace process, but continues builiding settlements, killing Palestinian men women and children, bulldozing houses and farms, and many other forms of opression what the hell do you expect them to think.

There were even less Britons prepared to make peace with Hiitler in the early 1940s. Does that make them warmongers?

Stephen Jones
Thursday, October 23, 2003

[Going to the Temple Mount wasn't a bonehead move; it was a calculated ploy, and worked exaclty as it should have done.]

Well, apparantly it was a ploy that Arafat himself was an accessory to, since the PA approved and helped plan the visit. Let me say that again: the Palestinian Authority was completely in the loop as far as that visit was concerned. Arafat's chief of security for the West Bank gave approval for the visit.

So, I agree that the visit worked exactly as planned. The only question remains is: for whom?

anon
Thursday, October 23, 2003

I'm presuming your information on this is correct.

The point is that Arafat represents the moderate wing of Palestinians. He bet everything in the early nineties on the peace progress yielding a viable Palestinian state, and if it doesn't then he will become irrelevant (unless of course the Israelis don't continue to feed his legitimacy as they do every time they besiege his compound or suggest exiling or murdeing him).

Now Arafat went reluctantly to the negotiations, and whether he would have done so if he hadn't completely fouled up in the first Gulf War by supporting Saddam Hussein and lsoing all his financial backers in the Gulf States at one fell swoop is another matter, but the fact is that whilst the Arabs were the ones blocking any peace process until the aftermath of the 1973 war (which was the only one they started and, possibly not coincidentally, the only one they held their own in), it has been the Israelis doing so since the asssasination of Rabin.

When the Arab states come out all in favour of the Saudi peace plan in 2002 all the Israeli government, together with their spokesmen in the US media, did was to mock the perfectly sincere and viable plan. Now the Crown Prince of Saudi is probably the only person in Saudi with the moral authority to carry the majority of Saudis with him, and well placed to take the role of leader of the whole Arab world regarding this, and as he is in his eighties the chance imay not come again, which cynics like me think is exactly what the present Israeli government wants.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, October 23, 2003

"Considering that Israel has given nothing for the peace process, but continues builiding settlements, killing Palestinian men women and children, bulldozing houses and farms, and many other forms of opression what the hell do you expect them to think."

While Hamas has been busy planting rose gardens and singing Kumbaya?

So, Israel should give the Palestinians everything they want, even while expecting them to continue killing as many Jews as they can get their hands on?

Must...resist...Godwin's...law...

Jim Rankin
Thursday, October 23, 2003

"The point is that Arafat represents the moderate wing of Palestinians."

I think that tells you everything you need to know about why any attempt at a peace process isn't going to work.

Jim Rankin
Thursday, October 23, 2003

I don't know Stephen. You live in the 2nd most repressive country in the world after North Korea, a place so backwards and repressive that they cut people's heads, hands, tongues and penis' off regularly.

You spend your days in internet chat rooms praising the virtues of this retarded and stupid mediveal regime that enslaves people, while lashing out at every modern decocracy with a respect for human rights.

Why should any one listen to someone as much of a butthead as you?

Dennis Atkins
Thursday, October 23, 2003

"The point is that Arafat represents the moderate wing of Palestinians."

Since he controlled the Palentinian Liberation Organization, one of the most bloodthirsty, corrupt, and thoroughly evil organized terrorist organizations the modern world has seen, I'd shudder to think what the radicals are like if he's a  moderate.

Suffice to say, you have made the point that the Palestitians do not have a credible representative, to their grave detriment.

Dennis Atkins
Thursday, October 23, 2003

Why should anybody listen to someone that calls someone else a butthead?

how 'bout that?
Thursday, October 23, 2003

Do you mean the folks that called Carl Sagan a butthead astronomer?

I just call the facts as they are. Smells like a butthead, walks like a butthead, always comparing the jews to Nazis -- must be a butthead then.

Or wait, do you think, maybe Mr. Jones is a dumbass instead? I hadn't considered that possibility. He seems well-educated so I doubt he's dumb. But does he have his head up his ass? Most certainly!

Dennis Atkins
Thursday, October 23, 2003

"Smells like a butthead, walks like a butthead, always comparing the jews to Nazis"

Does this count for Godwin's law?

Jim Rankin
Thursday, October 23, 2003

Godwin's law came into play during the logic nazi post, then got cemented with Sir Jones' brilliant use of the widespread and overused  'jews-as-nazis' ploy so popular nowadays. I merely nailed the coffin shut, killing the thread.

Dennis Atkins
Thursday, October 23, 2003

Thank you.

Jim Rankin
Friday, October 24, 2003

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