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March 19, 2010

Comments

von,

"The only person who thinks that Abe Foxman knows more about Patreaus' command than Gen. Patreaus is .... Abe Foxman."

Sorry, but that's simply not true. There are plenty of people who don't think Petraeus knows what he's talking about. I read the local Jewish weekly yesterday, and all of the articles and op-eds on this topic agreed that Israel truly embarrassed its best friend in the Administration (Biden), that Biden had every right to be mad, but then totally rejected the idea that Israel should be pressured to doing anything beyond the grudging apology on the timing of announcing the additional houses in East Jerusalem that Bibi has already made. The idea that Israel has to make any concessions at any time now or in the future is simply foreign to them.

Petraeus, not Patreaus.

"It's not just a perception that we favor Israel over the Palestinians (or, at least, Palestinian extremists): Of course we favor Israel over Hamas and their allies."

Your premise is that if only the Palestinians were like that nice Israel, they'd be treated equally. This has never been the case.

Dear Israel,

Exactly what do we get out of this strange relationship we have with you?

Sincerely,

The United States of America

"Your premise is that if only the Palestinians were like that nice Israel, they'd be treated equally. This has never been the case."

Indeed, it's never been the case that the Palestinians behaved nice, so the truth of the argument that they'd be treated equally if they WERE nice has never been tested. It remains a conjecture.

What's pretty clear is that there isn't much motive for Israel to sacrifice anything for a peace agreement, so long as everyone knows that a peace agreement with the Palestinians doesn't produce actual peace.

Yeah, those nasty Palestinians had the nerve to actually fight back when Zionists in the late 1940s and afterwards forced them off their land!! How dare they?!

PS: If you say "sunk costs" I'm going to punch you.

Sunk costs, sunk costs, sunk costs.

Hm, my chin feels ok, must be the miracle of the internet: You can't win arguments by beating on people.

Hm, my chin feels ok, must be the miracle of the internet

Yeah, it is amazing, since you lead with it all the time...

Everyone is already aware, Brett, that you believe that Palestinians -- in contrast to good, white Americans -- have no right to take up arms and defend themselves. I see no reason for you to belabor the rest of us with it every time the topic comes up.

What's pretty clear is that there isn't much motive for Israel to sacrifice anything for a peace agreement, so long as everyone knows that a peace agreement with the Palestinians doesn't produce actual peace.

Yup, jest like there's no making peace with the Egyptians, and only the Worst President Ever would think otherwise.

There's a pretty big difference between the Palestinians and the Egyptians: The later have demonstrated that they're actually capable of delivering peace, if they sign a peace treaty. It really doesn't matter whether somebody who really wants peace happens to get control of what passes for a government among the Palestinians, we know the attacks will continue.

Phil, the Palestinians have devoted several generations to following the precepts of Hitler's pal, the Grand Mufti. It's worked out really well, hasn't it? Even if I were of a mind to describe strapping a radio controlled bomb to a Downs patient, and sending him in to blow up a daycare center, "defense", I might suggest to somebody who's utterly outmatched on the level of physical force that Gandhi might be a better source of strategy.

There's a pretty big difference between the Palestinians and the Egyptians: The later have demonstrated that they're actually capable of delivering peace, if they sign a peace treaty.

So there's no point in making a treaty with the Palestinians until they've lived up to the treaty that you refuse to make with them?

Those of you trying to reason with Brett are wasting your time. He hates Palestinians, who are apparently the only people in the that part of the world who have ever committed atrocities. You might as well have an earnest conversation about civil rights with a member of the KKK who keeps close tabs on the number of violent crimes committed by black people.

"So there's no point in making a treaty with the Palestinians until they've lived up to the treaty that you refuse to make with them?"

They could try living up to a cease fire, for starters.

Donald, I'm surprised; I don't recall the civil rights marchers using suicide bombers to take out daycare centers. Was MLK aware of this?

I might suggest to somebody who's utterly outmatched on the level of physical force that Gandhi might be a better source of strategy.

And that's why you tell all your militia pals that stockpiling guns and other weapons against the likes of the US military is pointless and stupid.

Right?

I mean, that is what you tell them, isn't it?

I'm not really in a mood for a long winded exposition on the mechanics of armed uprising, but I will note that any government has to be a lot more concerned about one taking place on it's own territory, than it does about one in a neighboring country. For instance, Palestinians rioting in the Gaza strip doesn't effect the Israeli government's revenue stream. It actually weakens the Palestinians relative to the Israelis.

Even so, the militia movement was always a lot more effective as a political force, than it was going to be as a military force. The militia movement actually formed in response to the harebrained theory among gun controllers that only militia members had any constitutional right to own guns. "Fine, then we'll form militias!"

Oh, no, please enlighten us with a longwinded exposition based on your extensive military and strategic experience. I, for one, am just dying to hear it.

The lack of such experience is among the reasons I'm not in a mood for expounding on the subject. ;)

You don't, however, have to be a tactical genius to understand that an insurgency on your own territory is a considerably different beast than an insurgency on the other side of your border.

The US military is, clearly, capable of decisively defeating any force the militia movement could have brought to bear, even at it's high point. Rifles are no match for saturation bombing. Doing so without destroying the very economy which the US military is financed by? Rather more doubtful. Israel, on the other hand, doesn't need the Gaza strip to have a vibrant economy, in order to keep their military running.

The two situations are not remotely analogous.

You don't, however, have to be a tactical genius to understand that an insurgency on your own territory is a considerably different beast than an insurgency on the other side of your border.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | March 21, 2010 at 10:54 AM
............................................

So the fork on the table is different to the fork on the counter? How blessed we are to hear these dazzling insights!
.
As for Israel - just what would the US lose if Israel ceased to exist? Strategically, we lose nothing, diplomatically, we lose an embarrassment that has harmed our international reputation and our relations with the Islamic world.

"So the fork on the table is different to the fork on the counter? How blessed we are to hear these dazzling insights!"

I'd say, however deficient my grasp of military tactics in the context of insurgencies is, I am clearly a fount of dazzling insights compared to anybody who thinks standard anti-insurgency tactics used in foreign wars are useful against an insurgency at home. The RAF get much use out of it's bombers during the long fight with the IRA?

"They could try living up to a cease fire, for starters."

Israelis don't live up to a ceasefire with Palestinians. It's a myth that Palestinians initiate violence and Israelis respond. It can happen that way and it also happens the other way--frequently, in fact. And anyway, the ongoing occupation is a form of violence that is the constant backdrop, not to mention the blockade on Gaza. (And yes, Gaza is occupied if Israel and Egypt control who goes in and out).

"Donald, I'm surprised; I don't recall the civil rights marchers using suicide bombers to take out daycare centers. Was MLK aware of this?"

I was speaking of violent crime, which is what racists commonly cite in the US as justification for their own bigotry, but as far as what one might call political violence is concerned, for the analogy you're going for we could talk about Nat Turner's revolt--without looking it up, I'm sure there were 19th century Bretts who used the atrocities committed by Turner and his followers as reasons why blacks had to be kept enslaved. The extreme brutality of the Haitian slave revolt would be another talking point for the pro-slavery forces. Of course the extreme brutality was practiced on all sides in that one, but then, moral consistency isn't really the point when one is making excuses for oppression. There's really not much new in your line, Brett.

Anyway, I'm wasting more time with a hatemonger. I could understand why either a Palestinian or an Israeli who had suffered a personal loss could become a fanatic who obsesses over the atrocities of the other side, but it's always strange when an outsider does this--it suggests some motive other than a decent one is at work.

You have to scroll down a bit, but Jerome Slater deals with Israeli ceasefire violations in this post--

link

That's not for Brett's benefit, but for anyone else who wants to read it.

I think many Christian Palestinians and Muslim Palestinians see Israel as an occupation force for European Jews and European Christians, within Palestine.

Gaza is not "outside of Israel" but Israel is inside of Palestine.

I suspect most Arabs (and most of the world) agree with this sentiment.

And according to most early European Zionists, this would be true.

Or maybe, according to here, Petraeus didn't say it at all:

"As for the accuracy of the statements attributed to Petraeus or the alleged CENTCOM briefing? They’re “flat wrong,” Petraeus says"

and

"Petraeus further stated that he never asked for the West Bank and Gaza Strip to be transferred from EUCOM to CENTCOM—and he certainly didn’t make any direct request of the White House. “I don’t send things to the White House,” he said, except only very rarely when directly requested by the President.
So how did Petraeus’ fairly rudimentary statements get so distorted? He thinks that “people inferred” things that weren’t there, and “bloggers picked it up and spun it.” And he called this “unhelpful, frankly.”

I think all of you sententious hypocrites immediately cease your occupation of indigeous lands (include reparations, please) in your own country of origin (u.s., perhaps?) before you bloviate about others' crimes and misdemeanors.

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