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Old 01-01-2009, 01:32 PM
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Seems like 2009 has already brought us some troubling geopolitical developments.

Israel looks poised for an "invasion" of the Gaza strip.

Russia has cut off its gas pipeline to the Ukraine.

In Iraq, the U.S. has apparently turned over control of the "Green Zone" to the Iraqis while in Afghanistan, the U.S. looks to be about to innitiate a large-scale offensive in the south.

Not to mention that the recent trouble in Nigeria and Zimbabwe as well as the ongoing conflicts in the Congo region and the Sudan/Darfur.

The Iranians are still working on their reactor and god knows what else. Israel has made no secret of its preparations to put an end to that.

So many threads (or fuses) which could lead to a not-so-ditant future armageddon.

Happy New Year!
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
Seems like 2009 has already brought us some troubling geopolitical developments.

Israel looks poised for an "invasion" of the Gaza strip.

Russia has cut off its gas pipeline to the Ukraine.

In Iraq, the U.S. has apparently turned over control of the "Green Zone" to the Iraqis while in Afghanistan, the U.S. looks to be about to innitiate a large-scale offensive in the south.

Not to mention that the recent trouble in Nigeria and Zimbabwe as well as the ongoing conflicts in the Congo region and the Sudan/Darfur.

The Iranians are still working on their reactor and god knows what else. Israel has made no secret of its preparations to put an end to that.

So many threads (or fuses) which could lead to a not-so-ditant future armageddon.

Happy New Year!
Reality is usually the most disturbing story.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:16 PM
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:49 AM
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You forgot about the slow military build up on the Indo-Pakistanese border right before christmas and the increasing threat on NATO supply road by Talibans. Our media are more interesting by the loss of soldiers but something like 230 trucks destroyed in early december might be more threatening. True, this is not strictly speaking 2009.

Last edited by Mohoender; 01-02-2009 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:18 PM
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In my view I dont see anything big here. We have won the war In Iraq and are about to leave. My unit might be one of the last ones there. Israel and the arabs will fight for another 1000 years just like they have the last 1000 years. Russia always blows it own horn but they dont have the ass too do much. It took all they had logisticly to take on Georgia for gods sake and they were using 50 year old gear with troops wearing western athletic shoes! Israel will hit Iran in all due time and they wont get it all,But they will set them back long enough to make them feel safe. Africa is always a shit storm and there is nothing we can do too fix it. I have handed out rice there and gave away aid and have also done combat action there. The place wont change until the kill themselfs off. Very sad have friends there and they try but as I was told by one"It like swimming in quick sand Law". On afghanistan well the spring will tell we are by offical news sending in 4 brigades of light and Medium Infantry (Army) about 5,000 to 7,000 each.Also one Marine Brigade about 12,000. so the surge there will swamp the south. I was there in 2001 and we clamped the place down with 600 infantry and some SF types. So I dont have much fear if you look to the past this year will be more of the same. Just pray for all the Afghanistan men that will die this spring and summer. Because Mother green and her killing machine are coming, and they are hungry!

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Old 01-02-2009, 02:45 PM
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Israel will in all likelihood not make a ground entrance into the Gaza, as they have Hamas nicely bottled up and can pound them there with minimal risk. Their absolute indifference to global opinion means they don't need a quick resolution, and they can continue to victimise the Palestinians until after the February election. Hamas can't get out, Egypt hates them just as much as they have strong ties to the Egyptian 'permanent opposition' (so much for Egyptian democracy) so they'll do whatever they can to fight back, which unfortunately translates to more crappy home made rockets blowing up farmland. Followed by IDF jets dropping 2000lb bombs.

Iraq may well turn into an utter shit hole when the last foreign forces pull out, but that was going to happen anyway. It remains to be seen if the parliamentary system will hold, because unlike many other Persian areas tribalism isn't as strong in Iraq and there are far less familial ties to tear the country apart. The lull you see now is the stockpiling of munitions and the gathering of strength for the big test when it's just Iraqis duking it out. Iran has a lot to fear, and may have to move troops up to the border when it all flies apart, which is bound to be misinterpreted in the west.

Russia and Ukraine are playing their old game. Ukraine wants a settled Afghanistan and points south so they can import their fuel, and Russia is getting in some kicks now while they can. Don't be quick to paint Ukraine as the underdog, they pull a lot of shitty stuff in Russia. For instance, most heroin in Russia comes through the Ukrainian organitskya, rumoured to have official help.

The UN is compartmentalising Congo and Sudan, and have managed to actually try one of the Sudanese alleged war criminals (yay UN!). Unfortunately, the Congo is going to be an utter hell hole for another century at least because the warring tribes are all proxy funded by international mining companies (a' la 'Dogs of War'). There is no political or military solution there, but the fighting is usually limited to the capital and the resource areas. Yes, another ugly year for the Congolese on top of the last three hundred.

Iran's not in a good place. Israel is having an election soon and often gets very feisty militarily around then - it's been noted that nearly every recent conflict the IDF has had has been around an election. Iran is going to be out of oil within fifty years and needs a new power infrastructure before then, and would like nuclear parity with the IDF if possible (but then, so does everyone in the Middle East). Iran is having Kurd troubles again and is making quiet talks with Turkey, which is having the usual problems of theocracy/democracy hurdles. Iran's moderate faction really wants stable borders, but with Afghanistan, Iraq and de facto Kurdistan all hopping its playing right into the extremist's hands.

Mexico isn't having much fun, thier economy's tanking bad as more developed economies are venting pressure into it and unemployment is going up again. The border provinces are experiencing severe law and order breakdown, and the recent anti-Mexican rhetoric used to their north has made them unlikely to help out with the drug smuggling problems except where it suits themselves. The president has moved troops into the northern provinces to wrest control back and an insurgency is starting up via the drug barons. Looks nasty.

Asia's looking rather stable as the big powers have found other things to dick with, leaving the pace primarily to Chinese investors. Thailand's a bit unstable, but that's just the usual domestic stuff and not military. Jihadism seems to be down at the moment with the new US president having Indonesian history, which really is appreciated there.

South America is fairly quiet, and even that painful wound in the Caribbean - Haiti - seems to be keeping the lid on. From what I hear though it's only held together by the troops there.

Zimbabwe is a nightmare, and Bob's certifiably bug-fuck insane. However, the ZANU-PD machine is almost entirely military now and is not letting go. South Africa isn't about to set a match to that, but there's rising demands that 'something be done' (usually the precursor to something disastrous) from everyone. The Zimbabwe soldiers are the sole beneficiaries of any money in Zimbabwe, and their kit and skills aren't bad on sub-Saharan scale. The Zimbabwian people know better to try an insurgency, it'd make the Rwandan massacres look tame - but something has to give.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAW0306
Israel and the arabs will fight for another 1000 years just like they have the last 1000 years.
Umm, with respect, that isn't the case. Before the state of Israel was carved out there just wasn't that level of wholesale violence in that area between Muslims and non Muslims, not since the time of the crusades. At the risk of upsetting my Jewish friends, the nation of Israel has brought the violence there upon themselves. I'm not about to justify the shocking things the Palestinians and jihadist Arab groups have done (I don't think anyone can except maybe Palestinians and jihadist Arab groups) but they are terrorists and that is what terrorists do. Israel is a sovereign nation and should know better. Time and time again the Israeli military engages in wholly disproportionate levels of slaughter and seem quite happy to butcher 20 women and children to kill one terrorist. The Israeli government makes placating noises to the rest of the world with statements like "Of course we regret the deaths of civilians but we reserve the right to defend our citizens" but it sounds pretty hollow to me. And it is all for what? Because God supposedly told the Jewish people millennia ago that the Holy Land was theirs and theirs alone? Yeah, right.

Everything Chalkline said in his last post is (as always) absolutely correct.

In my personal opinion Robert Mugabe should be tried in the Hague and failing that one bullet would solve Zimbabwe's biggest problem.

I wish Australia had a military ten times its current size. The Australian Army has been doing good work in Afghanistan and if there were more Aussies there we would be able to kick the shit out of the Taliban right alongside out American, UK, Canadian and other NATO friends.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:12 PM
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Don't forget Somalia in the s**thole department -- that place is a country only in name. I have a friend who was with 10th Mountain during our ill-fated intervention that has loads of horror stories about that place -- I'm glad I didn't have to go there.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
You forgot about the slow military build up on the Indo-Pakistanese border right before christmas and the increasing threat on NATO supply road by Talibans. Our media are more interesting by the loss of soldiers but something like 230 trucks destroyed in early december might be more threatening. True, this is not strictly speaking 2009.
Northern Pakistan is so out of control from the Pakistani government that it's like it's not actually a part of Pakistan. It's largely lawless, mountainous, full of poor rural folk and a few fatcats that basically decide whether the ordinary folk live or die -- and the resurgent Taliban and Al Qaida. The Pakistani government doesn't control Northern Pakistan, and the Pakistani Army would prefer not to set foot up there -- and when they do, they are more likely to make a deal with the warlords, Taliban, and Al Qaida to leave each other alone.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:41 PM
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I guess we just see history a different way Targen (read the Bible; Jews and arabs fighting.the crusades,Ottaman empire and the time of terror 1920-and 30's in Israel) . Lets just leave it at that.

I was in somalia in 93 Oct with Charlie 1/8. We got there right after Blackhawk down. Clinton was too pussy to let us do our job thats why we fight now. we had Two MEU's about 5,000 marines a small brigade of tenth mountian and a bunch of SF. We could have cleaned that place up in a Quarter. But we leave and another 100,000 die.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:36 PM
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I'll have to go with Law on this one. The Middle East, and in particular the "Holy Land," is perhaps the bloodiest region on the planet -- as one of our "Cradles of Civilization," they've been slugging it out over there thousands of years before there were any Muslims and Jews. Neither the Arabic peoples or the Jews can say they were there first -- because neither one of them were. All the people in that area most likely came to settle there from somewhere else -- and they've been slugging it out ever since.

But I only partially agree with Law. Once the oil runs out (or hopefully, we have enough alternate energy sources to make oil superfluous), nobody's going to give a rat's ass about the Middle East anymore. Even Israel is going to become irrelevant to most of the world; it's primarily value to the Western world is as our one strong ally in the Middle East (Turkey's becoming less and less reliable by the day). The OPEC countries don't have any more foresight than the fossil fuel industry -- they'd be smart to invest in alternate energy and become energy companies and not just oil companies.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:46 PM
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Shoot I didn't want to go into that one.

Sorry, the middle east has not been subjected to war over the past thousand years, except of course for the one brought upon them by Europeans, and now Americans.

In fact, it has been among the most stable area of the world until the 19th century when the Otoman Empire started to really lose control. However, it had always been a pain for the western world and that was always for economical reasons. They put taxes on our imports from Asia, control the spice trade until the 15th century, backed the pirates (in fact, privateers) that were operating off Al Djazair.

While we were killing people all over Europe for so called religious reasons (that's why US exist today), they were tolerant toward all sister religions (Christians and Jews).

They were not all saints, of course, and brought quite some war against us as well: ask the Spanish and the people in the Balkans, they know.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:04 PM
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Paul lets hope the oil runs out then my girls wont have to fly F-35's over the area some day.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by LAW0306
Paul lets hope the oil runs out then my girls wont have to fly F-35's over the area some day.
I hope for them too. However, they might fly them over some other areas for any other reasons (or even that one). I might be idiealistic and constantly hope for the better, but the pragmatic side of me mutters me that it still looks like a never ending story.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:09 AM
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In all honesty, I think this is just a big ploy(Israel situation) to test the waters as far as America's new president. Now that the game spitting, and mud raking is over, and he is inaugurated in a few weeks, there is no reason why he can't speak his mind 100% I think Israel is just stirring up the pot to see what ol Prez will say, and what stand he will take as far as the sectarian violence over there.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAW0306
We could have cleaned that place up in a Quarter. But we leave and another 100,000 die.
I'd say it's not just Clinton, or the US for that matter, but politicians the world over. If the various militaries were given the resources necessary and the handcuffs removed, then a hell of a lot of the problems of today wouldn't exist.
However, we may run the risk of loosing freedoms and so on (as if the people who are dying now give a rats about that!), so....

Generalising somewhat, I'd have to say that pretty much the entire middle east and Africa, as well as parts of Asia and South and Central America, will always have troubles in one form or another. Sure other countries can send in the troops for a while and quieten things down, but once they pull out, chances are it'll all start up again. Might take a month, a year or more, but unless the underlying causes, which are often centries or millenia old are dealt with, no amount of troops is going to permanently solve things.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:22 AM
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Targan,
With due respect: (disclaimer: All opinions are my own. In the interests of full disclosure, I have in-laws in Israel).

1) That area of the world has had trouble since the Sumerians and Babylonians threw down over god knows what excuse lost to the passage of time. In some ways, I doubt anyone in the Mid East is ever going to know complete peace...just lulls to reload.

2) As for the current Israel-Pali trouble. Well, my opinion is complicated. The cycle seems to be that the Palestinians and Israelis make a deal. The Palestinians then provoke a response, then Israel reciprocates. No, it's not good, and yeah, innocents on both sides die. But here comes the question, at the end of the day, who do you want as neighbors? I could argue the fact that the Israelis aren't the only folks in the region to have problems with the Palestinians. I could argue that were Israel to cease to exist, that you'd just be adding to the stateless persons issue, not to mention the old "Jews need a state because of historical abuse when they live anywhere else". As for disproportionate...well, I dunno. Who defines that? You, me? the UN? The politicians? Sure it stinks when we see a six year old kid on the news screaming in pain. But does anyone ask, WTH was she doing anywhere near where the Israelis were bombing when they're using GPS guided munitions and calling folks on cellphones in Arabic to get the hell out before the strikes go in? Me thinks Hamas might not be letting them leave because they are using that poor kid for their own ends. You might not like it, but as was said in Merc 2000 Gazetteer "Both sides have a point". (See, brought it back to Twilight 2000) When you have an entire population that's being at the very least made indifferent to their children being radicalized and martyrdom being made a status symbol, then it's hard not to see that Israel's in a nasty situation. Yes, she had something to do with that. But the fact remains, hindsight is 20/20, and when Hamas talks about "driving the Israelis into the sea", then the Israelis had better believe it. I think the Arabs are getting nervous as well. They helped create this mess as well, and now, they're beginning to recognize just how much work they are going to have to clean it up. Will they? I don't know.

3) Fall back on what I do regarding things Mideastern. It's all the fault of the Brits and French: Balfour Declaration and the Sykes-Picot Agreement. If they had just kept their damn secret treaties straight.....
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:29 AM
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We all know what is happening in Gaza. I think it is unreasonable. Others think it is reasonable. Nothing I say will change the way others feel about it. If you think killing women and children in the dozens if not hundreds is fine then so be it.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
We all know what is happening in Gaza. I think it is unreasonable. Others think it is reasonable. Nothing I say will change the way others feel about it. If you think killing women and children in the dozens if not hundreds is fine then so be it.
I agree with that but the worse on that matter is probably the fact that both Hamas and Israel agree on the fact that it is fine.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
We all know what is happening in Gaza. I think it is unreasonable. Others think it is reasonable. Nothing I say will change the way others feel about it. If you think killing women and children in the dozens if not hundreds is fine then so be it.
Not going to rise to the bait Targan.. I didn't say that..and all I will say is you cannot argue that I was condoning such behavior.
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
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We all know what is happening in Gaza. I think it is unreasonable. Others think it is reasonable. Nothing I say will change the way others feel about it. If you think killing women and children in the dozens if not hundreds is fine then so be it.
The Israelis sent in ground forces today.

I've been doing a fair amount of reading on the Middle East lately (just finished Michael B. Oren's Six Days of War and am currently working on Abraham Rabinovich's The Yom Kippur War) and it is quite clear that both sides, Arabs and Israelis, can share the blame for what is going on in Gaza right now.

However, the fact of the matter is that the Arab regimes in the region (save Egypt and Jordan, a dictatorship and a non-constitutional monarchy, respectively) and factions within the Palestinian communities in Israel and abroad, refuse to even acknowledge the existence of Israel. In the not-so-distant past- and to this very day- Arab nations and Palestinian "freedom fighters" have made no secret of their desire to wipe the state of Israel off the map. And, only a fool would argue that such a feat would not result in a second Holocaust. That is the always in the back of every Israeli's mind and must therefore also be at the forefront of every Israeli general and policy maker's mind. I can't remember who said it (Moshe Dayan, Ben Gurion?) but the Arab states can afford to lose a war or two but Israel, if it should lose but one, will cease to exist.

I agree 100% that Israeli's current response seems disproportionate to the provocation. 400 Palestinians dead (at least a quarter of them civilians) for 3 dead Israeli civilians tells the story here. I will agree that, in many ways, Israeli control of the occupied territories resembles Apartheid. I am not pleased with how Israel comports itself with regards to a majority of Palestinians but I do believe that, as a sovereign state, Israel has a right (if not a responsibility) to defend itself against attack.

So, to the Palestinian apologists out there, how exactly do you think Israel should react to indescriminate rocket attacks on its civilian population centers?

To be fair, at least the Israelis make some efforts to avoid civilian casualties. Hamas et al make NO efforts to do the same. In fact, they seem hell bent on doing just the opposite. And, they don't seem to opposed to hiding behind their own civilian supporters when push comes to shove. Every dead Palestinian child is a political and propaganda victory for them and they seem to go out of their way to make sure that such tragedies occur.

How would you deal with an enemy like that? You seem to advocate that the Israeli's should sit on their hands while continuing to eat some more Iranian-made rockets and/or reward such behavior with political concessions. Seriously?

Please do tell. I will offer my own solution as well.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:39 PM
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Yep, I got that wrong.

I can't understand why they'd do this. True, it's not like Hezbollah with strong supply lines and a reinforced position, but it's bloody risky. If Hamas chooses to fight it out amongst the rubble there could be some serious reverses for the IDF.

That said, this would make a good live-fire training for Lebanon: The Return.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:00 PM
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I have several Palestinian and Lebanese friends. There is a large refugee presence in Australia, as there's been 1.4 million displaced Palestinians pushed out alone.

First off, it's a basic error to refer to these people as 'The Palestinians'. They were a thriving region of multiple ethnicities and religions.

Second off, the concept of 'wipe Israel off the map' is a nuanced statement. What it means in English is essentially that they deny the original UN mandate recognising the de facto conquering their land of Palestine (then southern Syria) and handing it to a largely foreign people for things they had no part in. They claim, and I think with a good reason, that it was the last and worst action of colonialism.
They say that the foreigners inflicted well armed, foreign and alien people on them who, when they fought back, pushed them off the map and into camps - and then never let them out again.
This is all strictly true.
The deny the concept of 'Israel' as 'our land promised by foreigners in their religion which they keep us in servitude, slavery and misery'. This is what 'wipe Israel off the map' means, and it similar to wanting 'Rhodesia' gone meant - the natives want their own region back. Yes, Zimbabwe sucks, but it's a lesson for what we have to deal with if an occupier brutalises the indigenous population living there.

As you guys probably know, since I stopped surveying I've been studying to become a historian. In Israel something is happening that is shocking historians; they are rewriting the local history to edit out the Palestinians. Villages that were extant when Australian troops rode through in World War One are now claimed to never have existed. This is something that must not be permitted to happen, if you rewrite history you are engaging in George Orwell's 1984 tactics. Alan Dershowitz has successfully stopped a historian getting tenure at his university due to 'anti-Semitism', which is odd because the guy was Jewish. All he was doing was documenting Palestinian village history. This is not normal Israeli behaviour, it is the behaviour of a conquering elite and a chilling insight into what may come.

I'm fairly pragmatic, I think Israel is there now but I still know that Palestine is there as well. If Israel wants to continue its Spartan/Helot relationship with the Palestinians it should encounter the same attitude that the Spartans got in the ancient world; resistance from democracies.

As for Hamas, Fatah and the PLO.
Well, when the PLO came back and Rabin was murdered, everything fell to pieces. The West Bank and Gaza are captive communities (and some of the densest population areas on earth, which means bombing should never be allowed). the PLO was called 'The Libyans' by the Palestinians because there weren't considered to have Palestine interests at heart, and Fatah is just as corrupted by the Israeli commercial interests they are the conduit for.
That leaves Hamas, which is by any definition extremist. But, they are also the Gaza infrastructure. The men of Hamas are not 'fighters', they are also police officers, firemen, ambulance drivers, postmen and so on. When these men are targeted they are gutting Gaza of its infrastructure. When 'Hamas targets' are struck they are hitting police stations and disaster relief.
This not war. This is not insurgency. You know what it is.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:15 PM
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My only opinion:


Ultimately, if you can't argue both sides and make a good case for both sides .... you're close minded.
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  #25  
Old 01-03-2009, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine
First off, it's a basic error to refer to these people as 'The Palestinians'. They were a thriving region of multiple ethnicities and religions.
Yes, but for the sake of brevity, I chose the umbrella term Palestinians (the majority being Muslim Arabs). Informed people, I am sure, know what we are talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine
Second off, the concept of 'wipe Israel off the map' is a nuanced statement.
Only if it is spun. If you look at quotes from Arab leaders like Nasser, young Arafat, Assad, the Hamas and Hezbollah leadership, Ahmadinejad, etc. you will see that ethnic cleansing and genocide was/is their ultimate aim. They used this rhetoric publicly in order to generate support on the Arab "street" where these ideas are rather popular, to this day. Not to mention the undercurrent of Arab/Islamic radicalism that exists throughout the Middle East, even in "friendly" Arab states (see Sadat's assassination for pursuing peace with Israeli). I'm not sure how a people as persecuted as the Jews have been are supposed to take this sort of talk. As I said before, it is naive at best to assume that an Israeli military defeat would result in anything less than a second Holocaust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine
As you guys probably know, since I stopped surveying I've been studying to become a historian. In Israel something is happening that is shocking historians; they are rewriting the local history to edit out the Palestinians. Villages that were extant when Australian troops rode through in World War One are now claimed to never have existed. This is something that must not be permitted to happen, if you rewrite history you are engaging in George Orwell's 1984 tactics. Alan Dershowitz has successfully stopped a historian getting tenure at his university due to 'anti-Semitism', which is odd because the guy was Jewish. All he was doing was documenting Palestinian village history. This is not normal Israeli behaviour, it is the behaviour of a conquering elite and a chilling insight into what may come.
I am a university trained historian as well. There is another trend among Israeli historians which you seem to be glossing over here. Israeli Revisionists seek to pin the blame for all of the regions ills on Zionism and the Jewish state. Their work is widely available in Israel, as well as abroad. There is no government censorship of such work. You make it sound as though all Israeli's are on the same page when it comes to culpability and that the government actively squashes any kind of dissent. This is quite simply not the case at all. Israel is a democracy and popular dissent is accepted if not encouraged.

On the other hand, some school textbooks in countries such as Egypt and Syria deny that a Holocaust took place and present all of the Middle East's current troubles to be caused by the "evil, imperialistic, Zionist, Jews". This is what Arab school children are being taught from a very young age. That can't be very helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine
I'm fairly pragmatic, I think Israel is there now but I still know that Palestine is there as well. If Israel wants to continue its Spartan/Helot relationship with the Palestinians it should encounter the same attitude that the Spartans got in the ancient world; resistance from democracies.
I totally agree with you, here. I think that armed opposition is a given considering Israel's afore-mentioned, apartheid like rule over the occupied territories. I firmly believe that Israel must stop and remove settlements on the West Bank and in the Gaza strip and that they must create an independent Palestinian state in order to ever come close to achieving a lasting piece. However, they will never do this under the threat of violence. Hamas, therefore, is its own worst enemy. Haven't any of those people ever heard of Gandhi?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine
As for Hamas, Fatah and the PLO.
Well, when the PLO came back and Rabin was murdered, everything fell to pieces. The West Bank and Gaza are captive communities (and some of the densest population areas on earth, which means bombing should never be allowed). the PLO was called 'The Libyans' by the Palestinians because there weren't considered to have Palestine interests at heart, and Fatah is just as corrupted by the Israeli commercial interests they are the conduit for.
That leaves Hamas, which is by any definition extremist. But, they are also the Gaza infrastructure. The men of Hamas are not 'fighters', they are also police officers, firemen, ambulance drivers, postmen and so on. When these men are targeted they are gutting Gaza of its infrastructure. When 'Hamas targets' are struck they are hitting police stations and disaster relief.
This not war. This is not insurgency. You know what it is.
I'm not sure that I do. I have already stated that I think the current campaign is disproportionate to the provocation- overkill, if you will. Are you implying that something more sinister is going on here?

Once again though, what would you expect the Israelis to do when rockets are being fired into their towns and cities? Hamas is not targetting anything but innocent civilians. Yet, they seem to get a pass for this deliberately murderous behavior from many in the "global community". I don't understand this. If they were only targetting Israeli military checkpoints, installations, patrols, convoys, etc.- much like Hezbollah did in southern Lebanon, forcing an Israeli withdrawal- then I think the Israelis would have far less of my sympathy right now. I'd probably come out and unilaterally condemn the current Israeli "aggression" in Gaza. However, the truth is, Hamas is a classic terrorist organization. Israel will not- cannot- negotiate with terrorists. To do so would only encourage radicals and extremists to strike at Israel. What would you want your government to do if you had to hide in the basement bunker every few hours? This is an easy question for people who've never needed a basement bunker to ignore.

So, as a pragmatist, what would you do if you were the Israeli PM (or DM)?
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  #26  
Old 01-03-2009, 09:04 PM
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Chalkline and I are on the same page here.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:31 PM
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Shall we start a thread over at History/Current events? Kato prefers single threads. I think it's impossible myself, thread drift is thread drift after all
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  #28  
Old 01-04-2009, 12:55 AM
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I make that answer my own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
Yes, but for the sake of brevity, I chose the umbrella term Palestinians (the majority being Muslim Arabs). Informed people, I am sure, know what we are talking about.
On this matter, I think that both you and chalkline are right. They are Palestinians but they are also a multi-cultural society. Nevertheless, if you had to think in term of multi-culturalism, no country would survive on earth so I stand with Raellus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
Only if it is spun. If you look at quotes from Arab leaders like Nasser, young Arafat, Assad, the Hamas and Hezbollah leadership, Ahmadinejad, etc. you will see that ethnic cleansing and genocide was/is their ultimate aim. They used this rhetoric publicly in order to generate support on the Arab "street" where these ideas are rather popular, to this day. Not to mention the undercurrent of Arab/Islamic radicalism that exists throughout the Middle East, even in "friendly" Arab states (see Sadat's assassination for pursuing peace with Israeli). I'm not sure how a people as persecuted as the Jews have been are supposed to take this sort of talk. As I said before, it is naive at best to assume that an Israeli military defeat would result in anything less than a second Holocaust.
Ethnic cleansing and genocide in my opinion remain rhetoric and I doubt that they truly believe in it. No doubt that the Jews had been persecuted but a small portion of radical Jews are using it as a flag to justify the inacceptable (much like Hamas and a portion of the Palestinians by the way). Sadat's assassination is a good exemple but you overlook the fact that Rabin was assassinated for pursuing peace with the Palestinians (strange how it sounds alike). an Israeli military defeat is unlikely and the anti-israel movement is slowly going down among Muslim countries (Turkey is currently the most important ally of Israel).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
I am a university trained historian as well. There is another trend among Israeli historians which you seem to be glossing over here. Israeli Revisionists seek to pin the blame for all of the regions ills on Zionism and the Jewish state. Their work is widely available in Israel, as well as abroad. There is no government censorship of such work. You make it sound as though all Israeli's are on the same page when it comes to culpability and that the government actively squashes any kind of dissent. This is quite simply not the case at all. Israel is a democracy and popular dissent is accepted if not encouraged.
What you say is true and we often forgot that many Palestinians had been protected by Jews in 1948 and still are (that explains why you have several milllion Israeli's Arab). All sides are allowed to speak hopefully but saddly it hasn't change much, but again you are right. However, that country is not always that democratic and things are entirely different when it comes to divorcing women or to foreign Jews that are denied the right to leave the country because of the Rabinic court. These are a few among the abuses coming from the Rabinic courts (so much for democracy but i agree that our owns have their limits and might be increasingly fledgling).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
On the other hand, some school textbooks in countries such as Egypt and Syria deny that a Holocaust took place and present all of the Middle East's current troubles to be caused by the "evil, imperialistic, Zionist, Jews". This is what Arab school children are being taught from a very young age. That can't be very helpful.
I have never seen these book but I'm sure you are right on that one. However, we are often doing similar things and we make history fit our particular agenda. When I finished my history master (Sorbonne 1998), the French government issued an order that forced all teachers to deny the fact that USSR had ever been a dictatorship. If you are American think back to Mc Carthy... Take any country and you'll find hundreds of similar exemples some more outrageous than others. After all the writing of history is made to justify the goals of present-time governments and it often has little to do with what history really is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
I totally agree with you, here. I think that armed opposition is a given considering Israel's afore-mentioned, apartheid like rule over the occupied territories. I firmly believe that Israel must stop and remove settlements on the West Bank and in the Gaza strip and that they must create an independent Palestinian state in order to ever come close to achieving a lasting piece. However, they will never do this under the threat of violence. Hamas, therefore, is its own worst enemy. Haven't any of those people ever heard of Gandhi?
I'm sure that they heard about Gandhi, especially about the fact that he was assassinated. Like Jaures, M.L.King, Sadat, Rabin... Strange how these people dedicated to peace are all getting killed independently of where they live. However, Hamas is certainly not its worse ennemy and each time Israel attacks it with such brutality it gains more support among the population. If I was in Gaza and if my 6 years old daughter had been blown up by an Israeli bomber I could certainly give my vote to the Hamas (That is equally true for people living in southern Israel). The strangest thing is that so many people continue to deny them that vote (again this is true in Israel as well).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
I'm not sure that I do. I have already stated that I think the current campaign is disproportionate to the provocation- overkill, if you will. Are you implying that something more sinister is going on here?
Yes something more sinister is going on there. During the cease fire, it was not entirely respected by Hamas. However, Israel was supposed to level the blocus and that wasn't done either. None of the two sides comply to their obligations. It is doubtful that this will end by a military defeat for Israel and by a second hollocaust but a Genocide might become true for the Palestinian residing in Gaza (and I'm not saying living). I doubt that the attention given to this conflict will stop the bombing but it might avoid the Genocide. Else, it can end with a political defeat for the Israeli seeking victory in the coming election.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
However, the truth is, Hamas is a classic terrorist organization.
Yes Hamas is a terrorist organization but not a classic one. It fuels on the death of its own people and might even provoke it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
So, as a pragmatist, what would you do if you were the Israeli PM (or DM)?
I would not launch an all out attack. I would try to comply to the various UN resolution and I would not try to turn them to my own advantage. I would move against the illegal colonies everywhere and dismantle them (eventually facing arm insurgency from a minority among my own people). I would increase the level of negociation with Fatah and declare Cisjordania an independent Palestinian state. I would make Jerusalem an international holly city again (may be making it a common capital for both states). I would reinforce fatah's position (using economical and technical support), helping the new Palestinian state in order to undermine Hamas' position. I also would continue to respond to rocket strikes but to a proportional level. Eventually, I'll be assassinated for attempting all these things. One last thing, my assassination will certainly be carried out by Hamas and extremist Jews who would join forces. After all, the ennemy of my ennemy...

However, with "would" one can do anything and so far those who have tried have been killed or are dead. Moreover, it's easy to say while typing behind a desk.

I agree with Moubarak, if the Israeli and the Palestinian ever get along, they will quickly control the entire Middle East.

Last edited by Mohoender; 01-04-2009 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:41 AM
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both sides are in the wrong here.there is no justification whatsoever on either side for the way things are being handled.There are children in the line of fire on both sides here,and I just cant understand that anyone who doesnt want both sides to stop immediately -regardless of percieved justification.

The holocaust,wiping Israel of the map,taking back land lost 60 years ago ,religion- none of it really is anything a reasonable person would get into with his counterpart if actually and genuinely trying to resolve a feud thats been going on .

The people who run things down there dont want an end to the war - the constant troubles are the reason that such "tie ins with the military" types can rule .(Look at the ranks of former Israeli leaders.and the path to leadership for the Arabs.Fighters most all of them .Dont think there ever was anyone as lowranked as Nethanyahu -a captain as far as I recall.)

As for the "threath to destroy Israel and the fear of a new holocaust " its all bogus in realpolitik.Israel has got enough nukes ,( Over 200 warheads as far as they know ),to burn the region to an ashpile and take out oilfields etc to make the world economy halt .It has also got an army that could take on any other in the middleeast and win .Save for the yanks possibly. The Arabs know it.However much you like to demonize the Iranians-they are not going to sacrifice all of Iran as nuke targets for Israeli bombs just to make a point against Israel if the Persians get nukes themselves. They only act up to gain support in the moslem world to strengthen their position , against the percieved threath from the west to their elite of theocrats and the hangers on .

So what you basically have here is a proxy war that the major powers that pull the strings could end effectively by pressuring their factions and moving forward with a plan for economic restructuring of the deprieved areas .

Someone here stated that Hamas is is "a classic terrorist organization" - well they were elected in a democratic election.They did provide the Gaza strip with a civil administration that wasnt rotten with corruption like the Fatah they replaced and they did present a full plan for administrating the Palistinians /civic society.They are an out in the open political party with members on all levels of the authorities.They also engage in terrorist attacks and guerilla warfare .

I read somewhere that since the 2001 agremeents ,Israel has been attacked 10300 times ,mainly missile strikes .In response the Israelis have attacked and the "score" is now 10-1 to Israel in terms of inflicting casualties.

A dirty war like so many others .It kind of angers me that its been allowed to go on for so long .


The world is what the world is .

I guess.

All in my humble opinion .
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headquarters
The people who run things down there dont want an end to the war - the constant troubles are the reason that such "tie ins with the military" types can rule .(Look at the ranks of former Israeli leaders.and the path to leadership for the Arabs.Fighters most all of them .Dont think there ever was anyone as lowranked as Nethanyahu -a captain as far as I recall.)
Ehud Olmert, first civilian to be elected since Golda Meir. More civilians have been president however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by headquarters
Someone here stated that Hamas is is "a classic terrorist organization" - well they were elected in a democratic election.They did provide the Gaza strip with a civil administration that wasnt rotten with corruption like the Fatah they replaced and they did present a full plan for administrating the Palistinians /civic society.They are an out in the open political party with members on all levels of the authorities.They also engage in terrorist attacks and guerilla warfare .
True and actually, they were denied that election by all the western world and israel despite the fact that it had been recognized as highly legitimate by all international observers. Moreover, the level of participation would put all of our democracies to shame but after all this is not Democracy. Democracy can only come from people highly civilized like we are. Isn't it possible then that Hamas was pushed back to terrorism? Actually, I might have to review my position on one thing, i may have to help Hamas instead of Fatah.

Last edited by Mohoender; 01-04-2009 at 02:43 AM.
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