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Durandal7
Jan 30, 2003, 08:11 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2711645.stm

British officials have presented evidence which they claim shows that al-Qaeda has been trying to assemble radioactive material to build a so-called dirty bomb.

They have shown the BBC previously undisclosed material backing up their claim.

It includes secret intelligence from agents sent into al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan by Britain.

Posing as recruits, they blended in and reported back.

SAS officer inspects a deserted Afghan camp

They revealed that Osama Bin Laden's weapons programme was further on than anyone thought.

British officials said on Thursday Bin Laden now has the expertise and possibly the materials to build a crude radioactive bomb.

The government says evidence suggests that by 1999, Bin Laden's priority was to develop a weapon of mass destruction.

He had acquired radioactive isotopes from the Taleban to do this, officials said, adding that development work on the "dirty bomb" had been going on in a nuclear laboratory in the Afghan city of Herat.

Evidence 'credible'

The government even has al-Qaeda training manuals which detail how to use a dirty bomb to maximum effect.

For a second opinion, the BBC showed some of the material to an expert on al-Qaeda.

"I think this is genuine," said Dr Mustafa Alani, of the Royal United Service Institute.

From nuclear weapons the threat is very, very slim

Gary Samore

"It is credible. This is proof that al-Qaeda put a lot of effort into collecting information and educating other members of the organisation.

"It is possible to produce this sort of weapon."

British military personnel worked with intelligence officers to gather material which was taken to Porton Down defence research centre in Wiltshire.

Their conclusion was that al-Qaeda had a small dirty bomb but probably not a full blown nuclear device.

diorio
Jan 30, 2003, 09:02 PM
Damn, we didn't blow all of their asses apart, and somehow they have materials for a dirty bomb, ****.

etoiles
Jan 30, 2003, 11:23 PM
http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0709-07.htm

Between 300 and 800 tons of DU munitions were blasted into Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait by U.S. forces in 1991.(3) The Pentagon says the U.S. fired about 10,800 DU rounds -- close to three tons -- into Bosnia in 1994 and 1995. More than 31,000 rounds, about 10 tons, were shot into Kosovo in 1999 according to NATO.(4)

I guess the 'evildoers' can just repackage all those nice depleted uranium rounds we dropped ...as they say: recycle.

alex_ant
Jan 30, 2003, 11:56 PM
Solution: Stop al-Qaida!!

How? By bombing the **** out of Iraq, of course!

MrMacMan
Jan 31, 2003, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by alex_ant
Solution: Stop al-Qaida!!

How? By bombing the **** out of Iraq, of course!

you have come face to face with bush logic, congrads.

WinterMute
Jan 31, 2003, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by Durandal7
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2711645.stm

The government says evidence suggests that by 1999, Bin Laden's priority was to develop a weapon of mass destruction.

He had acquired radioactive isotopes from the Taleban to do this, officials said, adding that development work on the "dirty bomb" had been going on in a nuclear laboratory in the Afghan city of Herat.

The dirty bomb isn't a weapon of mass destruction, you'll kill more people with the initial blast than with the dispersed radiation, DU is simply the wrong stuff, too heavy, it won't carry on the wind, it's designed to go through tank armour...

You need a powder or aerosol agent, which isn't too difficult, look at that incident in Brazil a while back, but even then the dirty bomb isn't a terror weapon, it's a Weapon of Mass Inconvenience at best, the amount of radiation dispersed is only twice backgound at 5 km from blast.

All this info came from the BBC's Horizon Programme last night. There's more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2003/dirtybomb.shtml. Go look.

Backtothemac
Jan 31, 2003, 09:07 AM
etoiles http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0709-07.htm

Between 300 and 800 tons of DU munitions were blasted into Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait by U.S. forces in 1991.(3) The Pentagon says the U.S. fired about 10,800 DU rounds -- close to three tons -- into Bosnia in 1994 and 1995. More than 31,000 rounds, about 10 tons, were shot into Kosovo in 1999 according to NATO.(4)

I guess the 'evildoers' can just repackage all those nice depleted uranium rounds we dropped ...as they say: recycle.

Um, no. It doesn't work like that. The DU rounds allow the weapon to penitrate the hull, it is not a large enough abount of Uranium to build a weapon like that.

Originally posted by alex_ant
Solution: Stop al-Qaida!!

How? By bombing the **** out of Iraq, of course!

Yep, especially next week when we are given evidence that Saddam has helped fund these activities. That he has assisted the Taliban, and Al Quaeda. Would that make you feel different. Knowing that he is a vital part of the terror network. See going after Iraq doesn't distract from the war on terror, it is vital to its success.

etoiles
Jan 31, 2003, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac


Um, no. It doesn't work like that. The DU rounds allow the weapon to penitrate the hull, it is not a large enough abount of Uranium to build a weapon like that.


I was being sarcastic...on one hand we denounce dirty bombs (hey, I do to), but on the other hand our military uses weapons that have similar long term effects.


Yep, especially next week when we are given evidence that Saddam has helped fund these activities. That he has assisted the Taliban, and Al Quaeda. Would that make you feel different. Knowing that he is a vital part of the terror network. See going after Iraq doesn't distract from the war on terror, it is vital to its success.

The US assisted both the Taliban and Iraq in the past, so following your logic, putting some 'pressure' on the US government does not distract from the war on terror, it is vital to its success. I agree !;)

Backtothemac
Jan 31, 2003, 09:43 AM
Man, you are getting carried away. There is no comparison between DU rounds and a dirty bomb. NO comparison.

Secondly, we never aided the Taliban. We did not even recognize it as a legitimate government.

alex_ant
Jan 31, 2003, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Yep, especially next week when we are given evidence that Saddam has helped fund these activities. That he has assisted the Taliban, and Al Quaeda. Would that make you feel different. Knowing that he is a vital part of the terror network. See going after Iraq doesn't distract from the war on terror, it is vital to its success.
Going after Iraq to stop al-Qaida would be like popping a zit to stop acne. Even if Iraq gave much more help to al-Qaida than it did, al-Qaida could still exist on its own and would almost certainly be just as powerful (since Iraq is unarguably not a key player in that particular terrorist organization).
Secondly, we never aided the Taliban. We did not even recognize it as a legitimate government.
http://www.mediamonitors.net/mosaddeq2.html#6

macfan
Jan 31, 2003, 06:45 PM
Solution: Stop al-Qaida!!

How? By bombing the **** out of Iraq, of course!


What is so difficult about understanding that someone can have more than one enemy at a time? Saddam needs to be dealt with independent of Al Qeada, and Al Qeada needs to be dealt with independent of Saddam.

From the president of the United States:

This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance.

And so we had to act and act now.

Let me explain why.

First, without a strong inspection system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years.

Second, if Saddam can crippled the weapons inspection system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community -- led by the United States -- has simply lost its will. He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction, and someday -- make no mistake -- he will use it again as he has in the past.

It is good that we have had leadership that has recognized and continues to recognize the threat that Saddam represents.

Dont Hurt Me
Jan 31, 2003, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by etoiles
http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0709-07.htm

Between 300 and 800 tons of DU munitions were blasted into Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait by U.S. forces in 1991.(3) The Pentagon says the U.S. fired about 10,800 DU rounds -- close to three tons -- into Bosnia in 1994 and 1995. More than 31,000 rounds, about 10 tons, were shot into Kosovo in 1999 according to NATO.(4)

I guess the 'evildoers' can just repackage all those nice depleted uranium rounds we dropped ...as they say: recycle. Those rounds are useless you cant make a dirty bomb nor can you make a nuclear one so please know what you are talking about before such make believe! Think of them as lead! If they have material for a dirty bomb then they got it from saddam/N korea or pakistan.

alex_ant
Jan 31, 2003, 07:22 PM
Originally posted by macfan
What is so difficult about understanding that someone can have more than one enemy at a time? Saddam needs to be dealt with independent of Al Qeada, and Al Qeada needs to be dealt with independent of Saddam.
Yes, we can have more than one enemy at a time, but Iraq is going to be attacked (as I understand it) in the name of the war on terrorism. What effect will attacking Iraq have in accomplishing this goal? None! It will hurt it more than it will help it! If bioweapons are as easy to make as everyone says, then regime change in Iraq will do nothing to solve this problem. Iraq's nonexistence would be a minor inconvenience at worst to any terrorist organization that wished to attack us with WMD - if Iraq wasn't friendly to them, they'd either get the stuff elsewhere, or make it themselves.

All the pro-war people seem to have this strange idea that if we bomb Iraq, that's it, terrorism will be over and all the Iraqis will be dancing in the streets wrapped in the US flag. If we need an example of what will likely happen after an invasion, all we have to do is look to Afghanistan, that miracle of freedom we destroyed and then essentially abandoned which is on the road to looking exactly the same in 2010 as it did in 2000. Nobody has any idea what to do in Iraq after the bombs stop falling. Although I do sleep comfortably at night knowing that if the war escalates, and Iraq unleashes its WMD on us, most of the Persian Gulf region will end up a radioactive inferno thanks to Bush's promise to retaliate against such an attack with nuclear weapons, and all those evil guys with towels on their heads will be dead and won't be able to bother me anymore.

macfan
Jan 31, 2003, 07:46 PM
Yes, we can have more than one enemy at a time, but Iraq is going to be attacked (as I understand it) in the name of the war on terrorism. What effect will attacking Iraq have in accomplishing this goal? None! It will hurt it more than it will help it!

You are incorrect on several counts. First, Iraq is going be attacked because Saddam has refused to abide by the terms of the ceasefire that suspended the Gulf War in 1991. He is not disarming as he agreed to do, and he will be made to disarm one way or another. This is not a change in US policy and predates the "war on terrorism." Second, Iraq is supporting terrorists today. Removing that source of support will be a fringe benefit to removing Saddam. Third, you don't know that removing Saddam will hurt more than it helps, you are just speculating. Indeed, the opposite argument holds just as much face validity as yours.

All the pro-war people seem to have this strange idea that if we bomb Iraq, that's it, terrorism will be over and all the Iraqis will be dancing in the streets wrapped in the US flag.

Not at all. While there will probably be dancing in the streets at Saddam's fall (remember he's had to beat back uprisings in both the north and south of Iraq, I've heard no one say that this will "end terrorism."

alex_ant
Jan 31, 2003, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by macfan
You are incorrect on several counts. First, Iraq is going be attacked because Saddam has refused to abide by the terms of the ceasefire that suspended the Gulf War in 1991. He is not disarming as he agreed to do, and he will be made to disarm one way or another. This is not a change in US policy and predates the "war on terrorism."
This war is very definitely part of the "war on terrorism" and resulting from 9/11. If this were not so, Bush would not be going to such great pains to explain the "links" between Iraq and terrorists. If not for 9/11, we could not bring ourselves to be bothered with Iraq. Iraq would be a nonissue. It's only because of 9/11 that we're so concerned about Iraq now, nevermind the fact that none of the terrorists aboard the jetliners that day were Iraqi, nevermind that any link proposed between Iraq and al Qaida so far has been laughable at best and that the big proof that Bush is promising to divulge next week sounds suspiciously like one of those iWalk rumors that never seems to pan out. "It's coming soon, Jobs told me so himself! I swear, it's coming soon, if you don't believe me, just wait and see!"
Second, Iraq is supporting terrorists today. Removing that source of support will be a fringe benefit to removing Saddam. Third, you don't know that removing Saddam will hurt more than it helps, you are just speculating. Indeed, the opposite argument holds just as much face validity as yours.
I don't know if you're referring to Iraq's support of Palestinian terrorists? If so then I assure you that any terrorism on the Palestinians has more than been reciprocated by the Israelis. It's a real mess, with both sides doing truly horrible things to each other. Neither side is doing the right thing, but to say Hussein is "supporting terrorists" referring to this would be hugely biased. And of course I'm speculating. I can't see how this war is going to make terrorists all of a sudden love us. I can't see any other outcome other than their being further "annoyed" at us and their numbers multiplying. Every time I've seen this point being brought up, it gets ignored.
Not at all. While there will probably be dancing in the streets at Saddam's fall (remember he's had to beat back uprisings in both the north and south of Iraq, I've heard no one say that this will "end terrorism."
Nobody says it, but I can't help but wonder if there's any other motivation for those who support this war other than their deep-down belief of it. Yeah, there's all the bureaucratic la-la that says we're committed to invading if Iraq doesn't so and so, but is that why we're going to war? I don't think it is. I think that's our superficial excuse. I think our real motivation is rooted deeper than that. Because we certainly didn't give a damn about Iraq's failure to disarm before 9/11, or if we did, we (the non-ultra-hawks) didn't think about seriously acting on it. This war is not about enforcing the will of the UN - it's personal.

macfan
Feb 1, 2003, 03:05 AM
If not for 9/11, we could not bring ourselves to be bothered with Iraq. Iraq would be a nonissue.

Not so. Iraq was far from a non issue before 9/11. We have been fighting a low grade war there for more than a decade. We have been very bothered with Iraq since 1990. Rhetorically, 9/11 provides a backdrop for action against Iraq, but it is not the sole justification for such action.

So far as the Israeli/Palestinians go, the important distinction is difference this: if the Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be no more violence. If the Israeli's lay down there weapons, there will be no more Israel. The Palestinian terrorists are not the only terrorists that Saddam is supporting, but they are a significant problem. The continued encouragement from Iraq and other Arab countries for suicide bombers makes a negotiated settlement in the area a virtual impossibility. It seems that brutal dictators like Saddam will always have their apologists. It seems you are proud to count yourself among them.

chrisfx811
Feb 1, 2003, 09:22 AM
alex_ant: I don't know if you're referring to Iraq's support of Palestinian terrorists? If so then I assure you that any terrorism on the Palestinians has more than been reciprocated by the Israelis. It's a real mess, with both sides doing truly horrible things to each other. Neither side is doing the right thing, but to say Hussein is "supporting terrorists" referring to this would be hugely biased. And of course I'm speculating.
yes israel does retaliate to terrorist actions, they are not the french! would it be ok if they laid down and let the palestinians continue to decimate their society? you would be all for that i am assuming, since you continue to defend the position of non-action against terrorists and the regimes that support them. why is it that governments who act against these people are seen to be at fault? by much of the pacifist logic in this forum, the only solution would be for the jews to move out of the holy land and give it to allah's people. it is a damn holy war to these people. if we or anyone else concedes to these acts of terror, the only message it sends is that terrorism works. i will not live in a society that governs that way.

alex_ant
Feb 1, 2003, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Not so. Iraq was far from a non issue before 9/11. We have been fighting a low grade war there for more than a decade. We have been very bothered with Iraq since 1990. Rhetorically, 9/11 provides a backdrop for action against Iraq, but it is not the sole justification for such action.
Yes, I know we've been involved there. But would we be considering an invasion if 9/11 had not happened? Like I said, maybe the ultra-hawks would - but most people wouldn't. And, before 9/11, they weren't. 9/11 is not the sole justification, but without it, this war would not be happening. Its happening was critical to the war that's about to happen.
So far as the Israeli/Palestinians go, the important distinction is difference this: if the Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be no more violence. If the Israeli's lay down there weapons, there will be no more Israel.
Makes me wonder about how just Israel is as a state. If one of the countryless ethnic minority groups in Iraq did the same thing, we'd call them heroes, even though if they laid down their weapons there would be no more violence, and if the Iraqi government laid down its weapons then there would be no more Iraq.
The Palestinian terrorists are not the only terrorists that Saddam is supporting, but they are a significant problem. The continued encouragement from Iraq and other Arab countries for suicide bombers makes a negotiated settlement in the area a virtual impossibility. It seems that brutal dictators like Saddam will always have their apologists. It seems you are proud to count yourself among them.
For like the 2358902735098235th time, pointing out the actual complexity of a situation != being an apologist for either side. You call Palestinian terrorists terrorists because you're not one of them. If you were Palestinian, you would call the Israelis the terrorists. That's not to say you're wrong or right. It's to say that it's human nature to call wherever one happens to be standing the high ground, but sometimes the situation is more complex than terrorist vs. nation-state.

alex_ant
Feb 1, 2003, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by chrisfx811
yes israel does retaliate to terrorist actions, they are not the french! 1) would it be ok if they laid down and let the palestinians continue to decimate their society? you would be all for that i am assuming, since you continue to defend the position of non-action against terrorists and the regimes that support them. 2) why is it that governments who act against these people are seen to be at fault? 3) by much of the pacifist logic in this forum, the only solution would be for the jews to move out of the holy land and give it to allah's people. it is a damn holy war to these people. 4) if we or anyone else concedes to these acts of terror, the only message it sends is that terrorism works. i will not live in a society that governs that way.
1) If the Palestinians hadn't been given the shaft by those who drew Israel's boundaries, there would be no Palestinian violence.
2) I see both sides at fault - it is both of their problems that they are unable to work out a peaceful solution, and if it seems that I only see those who act against terrorists to be at fault, it's because I'm arguing against the position that it's only terrorists who happen to be at fault and that any retaliation against them, however bloody and unrestrained, is warranted.
3) I'm not pacifist, I do believe in war where it's justified. I believe it's possible for the Jews and the Palestinians to compromise. It's naturally unpalatable for those who have the upper hand (the Jews) to do this, but I believe it's possible.
4) Terrorism does work. That's blindingly obvious. Look what 9/11 did to us. We're a completely different country now. 9/11 was successful beyond bin Laden's wildest dreams. If we say, "Hey, look - terrorism doesn't work!" we're not fooling anybody, not least any potential terrorists. It's not about conceding to terror, its eliminating terror's causes so that it ceases altogether.

Phil Of Mac
Feb 1, 2003, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by alex_ant

1) If the Palestinians hadn't been given the shaft by those who drew Israel's boundaries, there would be no Palestinian violence.
2) I see both sides at fault - it is both of their problems that they are unable to work out a peaceful solution, and if it seems that I only see those who act against terrorists to be at fault, it's because I'm arguing against the position that it's only terrorists who happen to be at fault and that any retaliation against them, however bloody and unrestrained, is warranted.
3) I'm not pacifist, I do believe in war where it's justified. I believe it's possible for the Jews and the Palestinians to compromise. It's naturally unpalatable for those who have the upper hand (the Jews) to do this, but I believe it's possible.
4) Terrorism does work. That's blindingly obvious. Look what 9/11 did to us. We're a completely different country now. 9/11 was successful beyond bin Laden's wildest dreams. If we say, "Hey, look - terrorism doesn't work!" we're not fooling anybody, not least any potential terrorists. It's not about conceding to terror, its eliminating terror's causes so that it ceases altogether.

The Arabs living within the British mandatory region of Palestine were hardly given the shaft. The British decided to give the part of Palestine east of the Jordan River to the Arabs for the Hashemites to govern in return for the Hashemites' help in World War II. This part is now the nation of Jordan. After that, the remaining section was divided between Arabs and Jews, the Arabs recieving Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") and the area immediately surrounding the city of Gaza. The Arabs immediately decided (influenced by no small part by their prior alliance with Hitler) to invade Israel and take *all* of Palestine, and to drive the Jews into the sea. As a result of this war, Israel survived, Jordan got the West Bank, and Egypt got the Gaza Strip.

Fast-forward to 1963. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia declare war on Israel and try to destroy it. At the end of the Six Day War, Israel has gained the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as a buffer to protect them from attack by the Arabs. They also grabbed the Golan Heights. It is at this point, in 1963, that Yasser Arafat (an Egyptian!) was chosen by the Arab League to lead the PLO. His mission: to destroy Israel from within.

There was great reluctance to refer to the Arabs as "Palestinians", because up until the Israeli declaration of independence, it was the Jews who were known as Palestinians. Also, most of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza were Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, etc. who either had secondary residences there or had other reasons for residing in Palestine. There was no Arab Palestinian national identity until it was invented in 1963 as a tactic to destroy Israel.

Many Palestinians now want peace. Many of them, however, instead choose to make themselves human bombs. Whether evil or misguided, they intend to kill Jews for the mere cause of killing Jews. It is these people who, if given statehood, would simply be given shelter and better opportunity to carry out their mission.

So what should be done? The plan I support would go something like this:

1. Turn the West Bank over to Jordan to administrate over in the same way Israel is administrating over it now.
2. Create a strong border.
3. Israel and Jordan cooperate to kill the wacko terrorist types.
4. Over time, let Palestinian society get on its feet.
5. Referendum in the West Bank over whether they want to join Jordan or be an independent country.

alex_ant
Feb 1, 2003, 07:09 PM
Kind of selective in your presentation of historical facts, aren't you? All the web pages I've been able to find tell a very different story. 1 (http://www.mideastweb.org/timeline.htm), 2 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,720353,00.html), 3 (http://www.npr.org/news/specials/mideast/history/), 4 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/world/2001/israel_and_palestinians/timeline/), 5 (http://www.rdsadvantage.com/Documents/Israel-Palestine.pdf). The bottom line is that this situation is much murkier than aggressor vs. victim. Both sides fight terror with more terror. Back to my point, it's one-sided at best and disingenous at worst to say "Iraq supports terrorists" referring to the Palestinians.

Phil Of Mac
Feb 1, 2003, 09:46 PM
Originally posted by alex_ant
Kind of selective in your presentation of historical facts, aren't you? All the web pages I've been able to find tell a very different story. 1 (http://www.mideastweb.org/timeline.htm), 2 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,720353,00.html), 3 (http://www.npr.org/news/specials/mideast/history/), 4 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/world/2001/israel_and_palestinians/timeline/), 5 (http://www.rdsadvantage.com/Documents/Israel-Palestine.pdf). The bottom line is that this situation is much murkier than aggressor vs. victim. Both sides fight terror with more terror. Back to my point, it's one-sided at best and disingenous at worst to say "Iraq supports terrorists" referring to the Palestinians.

Actually, none of them contradicts what I said, except for a couple points such as the exact year of the Six Day War.

Here's another source for you:
http://www.factsandlogic.org/ While they are by admission biased, they at least have authority over mainstream sources, which are biased but don't admit it.

A couple other points: Everyone acts as if "Jewish settlements" in the disputed territories are a huge atrocity. They don't realize how racist they are being. There are several Arab towns in Israel proper, and no one disputes their right to be there. And rightly so. There should be nothing stopping Arabs from living in Israel, nor Jews from living in Judea and Samaria, nor Irishmen living in Uganda if they so wish.

Palestinians frequently target pizzarias, busses, bar mitzvahs, and shops. The Israelis, for the most part, target terrorists and paramilitary groups. While the Israelis do accidentally kill innocents, and while Palestinians do at times engage Israeli military instead of civilians, that is the exception rather than the rule.

Every time you see on the news an incident where Palestinians were throwing rocks and the Israelis fired back with live rounds, what the news isn't reporting is just as important as what they are reporting. What they don't tell you is that the Palestinians use slings to throw the rocks. And even in modern times, a sling is a lethal weapon.

Regardless of that, I believe my plan would work in the Middle East. I also believe that nothing the Israeli military ever could do justifies murdering children at a bar mitzvah--which is exactly the kind of activity that Saddam Hussein is sponsoring.

alex_ant
Feb 2, 2003, 12:22 AM
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
Actually, none of them contradicts what I said, except for a couple points such as the exact year of the Six Day War.
What they do is fill in the very imporant points you didn't mention. A glance at the first couple dozen points on that first link (if they're all accurate) makes it very clear that there is more than one side to this story.
A couple other points: Everyone acts as if "Jewish settlements" in the disputed territories are a huge atrocity. They don't realize how racist they are being. There are several Arab towns in Israel proper, and no one disputes their right to be there. And rightly so. There should be nothing stopping Arabs from living in Israel, nor Jews from living in Judea and Samaria, nor Irishmen living in Uganda if they so wish.
Agreed, anyone should be able to live anywhere.
Palestinians frequently target pizzarias, busses, bar mitzvahs, and shops. The Israelis, for the most part, target terrorists and paramilitary groups. While the Israelis do accidentally kill innocents, and while Palestinians do at times engage Israeli military instead of civilians, that is the exception rather than the rule.
I think that is very much incorrect. The Palestinian suicide bombings are what grab the big headlines, but they only account for a relatively small fraction of all the conflict-related death that's going on in the region. You never hear about the Israeli atrocities because news sources don't want to open themselves up to criticism that they're in bed with the Left even more than they already are. Human Rights Watch (http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/israel/) documents scores of instances of what might be called terrorism. A glance down the list shows that both sides are very guilty of atrocities, and the worst reports of both sides are very brutal:
(New York, July 23, 2002) Today's Israel Defense Forces air strike on a crowded Gaza apartment building demonstrated a clear failure to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch condemned the attack as a violation of international humanitarian law.

Thirteen civilians were reported killed and some 140 injured in the attack. At least eight of the civilians killed were children. The intended target, Hamas military leader Salah al-Shahada, was also killed, as another Hamas member reportedly was.

"An attack that killed thirteen civilians and injured scores was clearly not carried out in a manner that minimized casualties. It should never have gone ahead," said Joe Stork, Washington director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch. "In such a crowded civilian area, these deaths and injuries were absolutely foreseeable."

According to Israeli media reports, both Defense Minister Benyamin Ben-Eliezer and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon approved the operation, in which a United States-supplied F-16 aircraft fired a missile into a residential apartment building in the al-Daraj area of Gaza City. Gaza is one of the world's most densely populated areas.

The operation was part of the Israeli government's policy of assassinating individuals it considers responsible for attacks against Israeli civilians and military targets. Human Rights Watch has criticized Israel's "liquidation" policy as a form of killing in circumstances when the suspect could have been arrested. Human Rights Watch has on numerous occasions condemned Palestinian attacks targeting civilians as violations of international law.
After reading something like that, I don't understand how one could consider Yasser Arafat or a Hamas leader a terrorist and not Ariel Sharon as well - a terrorist whose country is receiving $2.23 billion(?)/year from the US in aid. I actually don't think the term "terrorism" is very useful in describing a situation like this. Both sides are at fault. Pointing fingers will do no good. So to get back to the point, saying "Saddam supports terrorists" referring to the Palestinians is disingenuous. We need credible and meaningful evidence that supports the accusations of Iraq's ties to terrorism, and until it comes (I don't see it coming anytime soon), fighting Iraq as part of the war on terrorism would be like fighting grasshoppers in a war on heart disease.

macfan
Feb 2, 2003, 12:59 AM
In a war, people die. Guilty people and innocent people. Terrorists and children alike. Israel is in a state of war. To say that they should make an effort to avoid civilian deaths is true, but civilian deaths are inevitable. Just because civilians die doesn't make them terrorists. If they decided to kill civilians as a means of making political statements, that might be different. The Romans used to do that, and it was effective. It's where we get the word decimate. They would go into a troublesome town, line up all the men and kill every tenth man at random.

It remains true that if the Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be no more violence, but if Israel lays down its weapons, there will be no more Israel. That is a qualitative difference between the two sides.

alex_ant
Feb 2, 2003, 01:44 AM
Originally posted by macfan
In a war, people die. Guilty people and innocent people. Terrorists and children alike. Israel is in a state of war. To say that they should make an effort to avoid civilian deaths is true, but civilian deaths are inevitable.
"In a war, people die." That makes everything alright then, doesn't it? Israel is at war. People are dying. Guilty people and innocent people. Terrorists and children alike. Nothing wrong there. They should be avoiding civilian deaths of course, but, oh well, we'll give them points for effort, even though they're not really trying very hard.
"An attack that killed thirteen civilians and injured scores was clearly not carried out in a manner that minimized casualties. It should never have gone ahead," said Joe Stork, Washington director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch. "In such a crowded civilian area, these deaths and injuries were absolutely foreseeable."
Are thousands of calculated civilian deaths over an extended period of time inevitable? Because this is just the tip of the iceberg - it's not even one of the worst examples. I'm sorry, but being in a state of war does not make atrocities like this OK. If you were a Palestinian, you would be ****ting yourself with anger. You cannot hold one side to the standard that says "you can kill whomever you like, although it would be nice if you would try to maybe steer your grenades away from the elementary schools, perhaps" and another side to the standard that says "any murder of civilians clearly and unquestionably makes you a terrorist."

To sum up: We're giving $2.2 billion per year in aid to a country that HRW considers one of the 20 worst human rights violators in the world.
Just because civilians die doesn't make them terrorists. If they decided to kill civilians as a means of making political statements, that might be different.
ter·ror·ism Audio pronunciation of terrorism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (tr-rzm)
n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

1) The airstrike was unlawful. 2) It was intended to send a very strong message. 3) The whole nature of the conflict is political.

"Terrorist" is not a word you can apply selectively to your enemies in order to legitimize your friends. Like I said, I think it's not the right word to be used in this situation, but if you're absolutely insistent upon using it, there is NO WAY you can call Palestinians terrorists without calling Israel terrorist.
It remains true that if the Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be no more violence, but if Israel lays down its weapons, there will be no more Israel. That is a qualitative difference between the two sides.
Yes, and it doesn't mean much, as I responded above, but you're only reiterating the same thing.

Phil Of Mac
Feb 2, 2003, 02:08 AM
The Israelis do use excessive force at times, but I doubt the ability of groups like Human Rights Watch to truly judge how difficult it is and how much effort is expended to avoid killing civilians. Almost as much as that, I doubt their objectivity.

I'm sure that poor judgment and hatred often influence Israeli military and political officials. Obviously this is a bad thing.

However, even in the attack you mentioned, the target was a legitimate target. If you can come up with one incident where there was no legitimate target and the Israelis attacked under direct orders from the chain of command (not individual soldiers going berserk or panicking), I may consider your claim.

Benjamin Netanyahu said in his address to Congress after September 11:


Terrorism is defined not by the identity of its perpetrators nor by the cause they espouse. Rather, it is defined by the nature of the act.

Terrorism is the deliberate attack on innocent civilians. In this it must be distinguished from legitimate acts of war that target combatants and may unintentionally harm civilians.

When the British bombed a Gestapo headquarters in 1944, and one of their bombs unintentionally struck a children's hospital that was a tragedy, but it was not terrorism.

When Israel fired a missile that killed two Hamas arch-terrorists, and two Palestinians children who were playing nearby were tragically struck down, that is not terrorism.

But terrorists do not unintentionally harm civilians. They deliberately murder, maim, and menace civilians - as many as possible.

No cause, no grievance, no apology can ever justify terrorism. Terrorism against Americans, Israelis, Spaniards, Britons, Russians, or anyone else, is all part of the same evil and must be treated as such.

alex_ant
Feb 2, 2003, 12:40 PM
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
The Israelis do use excessive force at times, but I doubt the ability of groups like Human Rights Watch to truly judge how difficult it is and how much effort is expended to avoid killing civilians. Almost as much as that, I doubt their objectivity.
I don't know how much effort is expended to avoid killing civilians. But I know it's probably not as much as there should be. HRW is biased - biased against human rights violations. They're not a leftist organization - they're just as vocal about Cuba, China, and North Korea as they are about Israel (and they've got their separate Israel/Palestinian complaints right there on the same page).
I'm sure that poor judgment and hatred often influence Israeli military and political officials. Obviously this is a bad thing.

However, even in the attack you mentioned, the target was a legitimate target. If you can come up with one incident where there was no legitimate target and the Israelis attacked under direct orders from the chain of command (not individual soldiers going berserk or panicking), I may consider your claim.

Benjamin Netanyahu said in his address to Congress after September 11:
If we use Benji's definition of terrorism, then no, I can't cite any instances of Israeli terrorism against Palestinians. Partly because I'm not a well-seasoned expert, and partly because media coverage of what's happening is either nonexistant or incredibly biased. That said - whether or not this is "terrorism" is a technicality. This particular instance was just as awful. You can't pick a "legitimate target" and then say "whoops, that was a bad thing, sorry" and be off the hook after you go and blow up everything within a 100-foot radius of that target with a fighter jet. If "terrorist" isn't the right term to use for Ariel Sharon, how about "war criminal?"

Phil Of Mac
Feb 2, 2003, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by alex_ant

I don't know how much effort is expended to avoid killing civilians. But I know it's probably not as much as there should be. HRW is biased - biased against human rights violations. They're not a leftist organization - they're just as vocal about Cuba, China, and North Korea as they are about Israel (and they've got their separate Israel/Palestinian complaints right there on the same page).

If we use Benji's definition of terrorism, then no, I can't cite any instances of Israeli terrorism against Palestinians. Partly because I'm not a well-seasoned expert, and partly because media coverage of what's happening is either nonexistant or incredibly biased. That said - whether or not this is "terrorism" is a technicality. This particular instance was just as awful. You can't pick a "legitimate target" and then say "whoops, that was a bad thing, sorry" and be off the hook after you go and blow up everything within a 100-foot radius of that target with a fighter jet. If "terrorist" isn't the right term to use for Ariel Sharon, how about "war criminal?"

Again, neither of us have any expertise about the military aspects of this. Perhaps in the incident you posted they had incorrect intelligence suggesting that the apartment, other than the target, was deserted at the time. The simple fact is, HRW is not an expert on war or military affairs.

There's no proof that Ariel Sharon is either a terrorist or a war criminal. It's advisable not to pass judgment when we don't have enough knowledge or expertise, and I think that's the case here.

abdul
Feb 2, 2003, 05:41 PM
well if our governments stop trying to cause wars with countries that sometime in the future help terrorists (remember there is connection between Iraq and al-qaeda as of yet proven) and try and stop the people who are really threatening our lives may be we would get somewhere in securing our countries!!

abdul
Feb 2, 2003, 05:46 PM
Ariel Sharon is not a terrorist but was charged for crimes against the arabs while he was a general in the army, which made him lose his title and leave the army. If u think tthe things that is happening in Israel is justified, i think this sick and twisted world should think the gasing of the rebellion in Iraq should be justified therefore Sadam is a good guy (i dont!!!)

macfan
Feb 2, 2003, 07:01 PM
alex,
I don't know how much effort is expended to avoid killing civilians. But I know it's probably not as much as there should be.

You ignorance doesn't stop you from having an opinioin. How nice.

abdul,
Ariel Sharon is not a terrorist but was charged for crimes against the arabs while he was a general in the army, which made him lose his title and leave the army.

As I remember, he was indirectly involved in a nubmer of deaths in that he failed to adequately protect a refugee camp from one of the many Lebanese militias in the 1980s. Might you remind me who it was who carried out the inquiry? You are right that he is not a terrorist. Terrorists do not face inquiries into events like that.

Also, try to remember that Iraq is not being confronted simply because of alleged support for Al Qeada. More centrally, Saddam is being dealt with because of his failure to abide by the Gulf War ceasefire agreement.

Phil Of Mac
Feb 2, 2003, 09:40 PM
Another thing that occurred to me is that Ariel Sharon cannot direct every single attack. There are times where Israeli military make bad judgements, but that is not directly Sharon's fault.

Let me put it this way. It's World War II, and Heinrich Hess and Dr. Mengele are staying in a hotel owned and operated by the Nazi party. Only Nazi officials are allowed to stay there. Next door is a tenement. Allied bombers bomb and destroy the hotel, but one or two bombs mistakenly hits the tenement and kills a few dozen civilians. Is that a war crime? What's the greater evil, the accidental deaths of civilians, or leaving Nazi murderers alive to kill even more people? Israel has a choice to make--either kill the terrorists and accidentally kill some innocent Palestinians, or suffer a second Holocaust. Peace is impossible as long as thugs like Yasser Arafat are the political leaders of the Palestinians. If the terrorists are removed from the situation, Israel can deal with the Palestinians. If the terrorists remain, Israel's survival is impossible.

alex_ant
Feb 2, 2003, 10:51 PM
Originally posted by macfan
alex,

You ignorance doesn't stop you from having an opinioin. How nice.
It's IMPOSSIBLE to find unbiased reporting on this stuff. At least you don't see me linking to Indymedia.

Phil Of Mac
Feb 2, 2003, 10:58 PM
Originally posted by alex_ant

It's IMPOSSIBLE to find unbiased reporting on this stuff. At least you don't see me linking to Indymedia.

Then I guess it's impossible to hold an opinion, no?

alex_ant
Feb 2, 2003, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
Again, neither of us have any expertise about the military aspects of this. Perhaps in the incident you posted they had incorrect intelligence suggesting that the apartment, other than the target, was deserted at the time. The simple fact is, HRW is not an expert on war or military affairs.
HRW is an expert on human rights affairs, and according to them, Israel has illegally violated human rights repeatedly war or no.
Another thing that occurred to me is that Ariel Sharon cannot direct every single attack. There are times where Israeli military make bad judgements, but that is not directly Sharon's fault.
If Sharon directed just one (and he has), that's enough.
Let me put it this way. It's World War II, and Heinrich Hess and Dr. Mengele are staying in a hotel owned and operated by the Nazi party. Only Nazi officials are allowed to stay there. Next door is a tenement. Allied bombers bomb and destroy the hotel, but one or two bombs mistakenly hits the tenement and kills a few dozen civilians. Is that a war crime? What's the greater evil, the accidental deaths of civilians, or leaving Nazi murderers alive to kill even more people?
This is an improper analogy. 1) This attack was deliberate, and the target was a civilian residential apartment complex. It was not a members-only Bad Guys building. It was not a mistake that civilians were killed. When are apartments ever deserted? It wasn't one or two stray bombs that accidentally went off target. You don't send an F16 in to assasinate a single person in an apartment complex in "one of the world's most densely populated cities." There is absolutely no way Israel could not have expected civilian casulaties. The question is not "What's the greater evil," yadda yadda, the question is "Why didn't Israel just raid the building and arrest or even shoot him? Police can distinguish between innocents and the enemy - missiles can't.

Why don't all countries just send in warplanes to blow up murderers' apartment buildings? I don't know - probably because it's a very sick thing to do. If sending an F16 off with the sole directive to turn an entire civilian apartment building to rubble isn't a war crime, then either we've distorted the true meaning of "war crime" so much to our advantage that it means nothing anymore, or we don't know what a war crime is. We would never do that to our murderers, because we're more civilized than that. But we defend Israel when they do it. Why is that? I'm not saying all Palestinians are poor and unloved and oppressed with great big puppy dog eyes, or that I'm "favoring" one side over the other - I'm just saying that the picture you paint of Jews = honorable Allies, Palestinians = vile Nazis is a little bit off, to say the least.
Peace is impossible as long as thugs like Yasser Arafat are the political leaders of the Palestinians. If the terrorists are removed from the situation, Israel can deal with the Palestinians. If the terrorists remain, Israel's survival is impossible.
I agree with this. The terrorists on both sides must stop.
Then I guess it's impossible to hold an opinion, no?
I said it was impossible to find unbiased reporting. That doesn't stop me from extrapolating from the information that does exist (as everyone here does whether they'll admit it or not). Reading Amnesty International literature is enough to tell me that something is very wrong here.

Phil Of Mac
Feb 2, 2003, 11:55 PM
Originally posted by alex_ant

This is an improper analogy. 1) This attack was deliberate, and the target was a civilian residential apartment complex. It was not a members-only Bad Guys building. It was not a mistake that civilians were killed. When are apartments ever deserted? It wasn't one or two stray bombs that accidentally went off target. You don't send an F16 in to assasinate a single person in an apartment complex in "one of the world's most densely populated cities." There is absolutely no way Israel could not have expected civilian casulaties. The question is not "What's the greater evil," yadda yadda, the question is "Why didn't Israel just raid the building and arrest or even shoot him? Police can distinguish between innocents and the enemy - missiles can't.

Why don't all countries just send in warplanes to blow up murderers' apartment buildings? I don't know - probably because it's a very sick thing to do. If sending an F16 off with the sole directive to turn an entire civilian apartment building to rubble isn't a war crime, then either we've distorted the true meaning of "war crime" so much to our advantage that it means nothing anymore, or we don't know what a war crime is. We would never do that to our murderers, because we're more civilized than that. But we defend Israel when they do it. Why is that? I'm not saying all Palestinians are poor and unloved and oppressed with great big puppy dog eyes, or that I'm "favoring" one side over the other - I'm just saying that the picture you paint of Jews = honorable Allies, Palestinians = vile Nazis is a little bit off, to say the least.

I agree with this. The terrorists on both sides must stop.

I said it was impossible to find unbiased reporting. That doesn't stop me from extrapolating from the information that does exist (as everyone here does whether they'll admit it or not). Reading Amnesty International literature is enough to tell me that something is very wrong here.

Raiding a building in one of the world's most densely populated cities is just plain stupid when there are people in that building who are armed. There's a reason why terrorist leaders have platoons of bodyguards and hide indoors. If you have a terrorist kingpin in a high-rise ordering attacks by HAM radio, who never leaves his apartment, and there is no other way to kill him, and if destroying that apartment building would save dozens, maybe hundreds of Israeli lives, then Israel made the right decision.

Questionable judgment in attacking a legitimate target is not a war crime. Confining attacks to illegitimate targets exclusively is terrorism.

alex_ant
Feb 3, 2003, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
Raiding a building in one of the world's most densely populated cities is just plain stupid when there are people in that building who are armed. There's a reason why terrorist leaders have platoons of bodyguards and hide indoors. If you have a terrorist kingpin in a high-rise ordering attacks by HAM radio, who never leaves his apartment, and there is no other way to kill him, and if destroying that apartment building would save dozens, maybe hundreds of Israeli lives, then Israel made the right decision.
They couldn't have jammed his hypothetical HAM radio, or severed the building's telephone lines, or had his cell phone deactivated, or hit the building with an EMP shock to destroy his electronics, or at least had the apartment evacuated before the attack? Considering that Israel has one of the best-trained militaries in the world, and that 140 civilians were injured in this attack who could have been killed, I find it seriously hard to believe that Israel underwent preparatory damage calculations that looked like anything but "we need to find a way to get rid of this guy losing as few of our soldiers as possible with absolutely no concern for how many innocent people we kill in doing so."
Questionable judgment in attacking a legitimate target is not a war crime.
Not taking all possible precautions to limit the number of civilians killed in any attack is a war crime. Anyway, that's not my point. My point is that, call it whatever you like, a "war crime" or a "peaceful gesture" - it's wrong.

Phil Of Mac
Feb 3, 2003, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by alex_ant

They couldn't have jammed his hypothetical HAM radio, or severed the building's telephone lines, or had his cell phone deactivated, or hit the building with an EMP shock to destroy his electronics, or at least had the apartment evacuated before the attack? Considering that Israel has one of the best-trained militaries in the world, and that 140 civilians were injured in this attack who could have been killed, I find it seriously hard to believe that Israel underwent preparatory damage calculations that looked like anything but "we need to find a way to get rid of this guy losing as few of our soldiers as possible with absolutely no concern for how many innocent people we kill in doing so."

Not taking all possible precautions to limit the number of civilians killed in any attack is a war crime. Anyway, that's not my point. My point is that, call it whatever you like, a "war crime" or a "peaceful gesture" - it's wrong.

Cutting off his ability to communicate is a temporary solution. Evacuating the building would destroy the opportunity of surprise and give the terrorists an opportunity to escape. We aren't experts on tactics here, and we have no clue what happened in the planning sessions.

Just look at the results. Terrorist kingpin is dead, 12 dead civilians, 140 injured. To me, that seems like a remarkably low amount of collateral damage. That's not "bombing the whole building to rubble", because they undoubtedly used very light weaponry, aimed at this guy's window, judging from the results.

Thanatoast
Feb 3, 2003, 01:04 AM
what if instead of an apartment building it was a hotel? one that you were staying in? and you were one of those injured? and your [family member] was killed? but they got the kingpin. still acceptable losses? after all, you were an innocent bystander, just like those people who lived in the apartments.

Phil Of Mac
Feb 3, 2003, 01:11 AM
And what if the Israelis left him alone and this kingpin ordered an attack that killed your entire family? The Israelis probably saved more innocent lives than they took in this instance.

Thanatoast
Feb 3, 2003, 01:37 AM
but the issue wasn't leaving him alone, it was whether to use a missle (indiscriminate), or something like a strike team (discriminate). would you have rather they used the missle instead of the stike team if it was you in there?

alex_ant
Feb 3, 2003, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
Cutting off his ability to communicate is a temporary solution. Evacuating the building would destroy the opportunity of surprise and give the terrorists an opportunity to escape. We aren't experts on tactics here, and we have no clue what happened in the planning sessions.

Just look at the results. Terrorist kingpin is dead, 12 dead civilians, 140 injured. To me, that seems like a remarkably low amount of collateral damage.
12 civilians killed and 140 injured sounds like a remarkably low amount of collateral damage? Remarkably low for what? A nuclear war? A mass firebombing? There is a reason these kind of tactics aren't practiced anywhere else: They're illegal and murderously wrong. The terrorists don't have an opportunity to escape if the building is surrounded. They have to come out eventually if you cut off their power and utilities. OR, there is the alternative of not hitting the terrorist while he's in the building at all, not letting on that you're on to him, and nabbing him as he leaves.
That's not "bombing the whole building to rubble", because they undoubtedly used very light weaponry, aimed at this guy's window, judging from the results.
Have you ever heard of snipers? Come on, Phil. I cannot believe you're condoning this.

Phil Of Mac
Feb 3, 2003, 09:10 PM
Originally posted by alex_ant

12 civilians killed and 140 injured sounds like a remarkably low amount of collateral damage? Remarkably low for what? A nuclear war? A mass firebombing? There is a reason these kind of tactics aren't practiced anywhere else: They're illegal and murderously wrong. The terrorists don't have an opportunity to escape if the building is surrounded. They have to come out eventually if you cut off their power and utilities. OR, there is the alternative of not hitting the terrorist while he's in the building at all, not letting on that you're on to him, and nabbing him as he leaves.

Have you ever heard of snipers? Come on, Phil. I cannot believe you're condoning this. [/B]

12 dead and 140 injured for bombing an apartment building is very low. The normal ratio of dead to injured in combat is around 1:3. In this case, it's 1:11.7. If the apartment building's population was 200, only 6% were killed. By contrast, the destruction of the WTC claimed 30% of the building's population. And a bombing attack against a military installation would probably have even greater lethality.

The reason these tactics aren't carried out anyplace else is because of the nature of the threat to Israel. The only other nation who faces a guerrilla threat in urban combat (Russia, in the Chechnya situation) uses the tactic of indiscriminate levelling of cities.

The simple fact here is that you do not know what that situation was, and without that knowledge, you can't make a judgment about it. Perhaps the terrorists in the building had a rather sophisticated command post which needed to be destroyed as well. And perhaps this terrorist was just smart enough not to stand in a window because he knew of a sniper threat. And a seige of the apartment building would open up the situation for all sorts of dangers. The terrorists could take the civilians in the building hostage or fire upon Israeli troops from inside the building. Finally, a seige or a stakeout would take a number of personnel, and its highly likely that Israel has a shortage of personnel.

alex_ant
Feb 3, 2003, 09:32 PM
Are you actually paying attention to the pure irrational cold blood you're spewing, or are you just arguing for the sake of argument? I'll shut up as soon as you can answer an honest "yes" to Thanatoast's question.

Phil Of Mac
Feb 3, 2003, 09:50 PM
I'm not being anything near irrational here. In fact, while I'm trying to rationally discuss this, all you seem to be able to do is argue from ignorance, screaming "war crime" without devoting any further thought to it because of your irrational, obessive desire to believe that there is a moral equivalency between terrorism and legitimate warfare.

Face it, if the Israelis are war criminals for this incident, than every nation that has ever gone to war has committed war crimes on a much greater scale.

As for Thanatoast's question, while I prefer at times not to dignify his existence with a response, in this case I will say that if I were in the apartment building, I would not be impartial to the situation and my opinions in that case could not be trusted as objective. I only hope that I could be rational enough in such a situation to understand that I shouldn't expect Israeli troops to die merely to protect me, and that the terrorist in my apartment building is the one who is truly responsible.

alex_ant
Feb 3, 2003, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
I'm not being anything near irrational here. In fact, while I'm trying to rationally discuss this, all you seem to be able to do is argue from ignorance, screaming "war crime" without devoting any further thought to it because of your irrational, obessive desire to believe that there is a moral equivalency between terrorism and legitimate warfare.
My intention all along has been to point out that whether falling under our definition of terrorism or not, whether falling under our definition of war crime or not, this was wrong, and the fact that it is not out of the ordinary makes the situation even more appalling. Using "well, it's a war after all" as an excuse for these kinds of travesties gives Israel free reign to do whatever it wants to whomever it wants without having to fear the consequences. Israel could napalm an entire random city block full of Palestinians tomorrow, using only "we thought a bad guy lived there" as an excuse, and all you would have to say would be along the lines of "Well, that's war," or "Well, it's a shame that they had bad intel, but oh well."
Face it, if the Israelis are war criminals for this incident, than every nation that has ever gone to war has committed war crimes on a much greater scale.
Are you sure that every nation that has ever gone to war has intentionally attacked large numbers of civilians when there were better options? Yes, it happens. That doesn't mean it's not wrong. Usually when it does happen, we accuse those who do it of war crimes. Unless we or one of our allies (*cough*Israel) does it, in which case we sweep it under the rug. Just to further drive this home, excerpts from a pro-Israel, pro-US news site (http://www.efreedomnews.com/News%20Archive/Israel%20Palestine/F16KillsHamas1.htm) (my emphases added):

Shehadeh, known by the nom de guerre Abu Mustapha, counted on safely hiding from Israel among the people of Gaza. He counted wrong this time.

Shehadeh moved locations every 2 or 3 days. He was at an apartment in the Gaza Strip, perhaps feeling safe behind walls housing families and children. An Israeli F16 struck shortly after midnight, leaving the apartment building a pile of rubble. Israeli news reports said the jet dropped a single, guided 2000 lb. bomb.

This is an extremely accurate weapon with a relatively limited blast effect.

Shehadeh, his wife, daughter and aide were all in one building. Other, collateral casualties occurred in neighboring buildings.

Besides Shehadeh, the air strike also killed 14 others, including Shehadeh's wife, his daughter and his lieutenant Zahar Salah Abuhsein. Nine children were killed in all. Over 100 Palestinians were injured.

Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said "the information which we had was that there were no civilians near him."

This is hard to believe. I would liked to have seen a "cleaner" Israeli operation, and if any army in the world could have pulled it off, it is Israel's. Perhaps using less powerful munitions could have resulted in less collateral damage while still completing the mission. Perhaps not.

Israel was poised to enter Gaza in early May, but held off. Many military experts felt that due to the extreme population density of the Gaza Strip, risk of high "civilian" casualties could be unacceptable. Here we see the fruition of that fear.

President Bush called the Israeli missile strike "heavy-handed," joining other world leaders in criticism of the attack.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, "this heavy-handed action does not contribute to peace." The United States, rejected Israeli claims that it did not know there were civilians in the apartment building, "This is an instance in which the United States and Israel do not agree," said Fleischer.

The European Union's foreign policy representative, Javier Solana, said there was understanding for Israel's right "to ensure security and to stop acts of terrorism against its citizens, but this kind of operation is not conducive toward peace and reconciliation."

(The "everybody always criticizes Israel but nobody criticizes the Palestinians" stuff follows.)

Come on now, Phil. You have to come around sooner or later, because I'm not going to give this up. The Israeli forces could have got him as he left the building the next day. A sniper could have shot him in the head from 300 meters away. He would never have known what was coming. Instead Israel had to fly in with a 2000-lb bomb and level a building full of people. Was it to show the terrorists what huge balls they had, or to show them by force that they weren't gonna take it anymore? I don't know. But I do know that it was wrong.
As for Thanatoast's question, while I prefer at times not to dignify his existence with a response, in this case I will say that if I were in the apartment building, I would not be impartial to the situation and my opinions in that case could not be trusted as objective. I only hope that I could be rational enough in such a situation to understand that I shouldn't expect Israeli troops to die merely to protect me, and that the terrorist in my apartment building is the one who is truly responsible.
I admire your objectivity, as does the Israeli military I'm sure.

macfan
Feb 3, 2003, 11:51 PM
The Israeli forces could have got him as he left the building the next day.

And he might not have left the building. Maybe, like Arafat escaping from the King of Jordan, he would have dressed up like a woman and slipped away. Hindsight is 20/20. Leave him alone and he goes on to kill hundreds, and the calculus changes. Anytime people are killed in war, it is tragic. We are not supposed to go about killing each other. Sadly, not everyone agrees on that point, and as long as there are terrorists and despots about, it's not likely to stop.

alex_ant
Feb 4, 2003, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by macfan
And he might not have left the building. Maybe, like Arafat escaping from the King of Jordan, he would have dressed up like a woman and slipped away.
Alright, let's say he dresses up as a woman. They could have surveilled each woman who left for a limited duration, and watched for suspicious activity. They wouldn't need hundreds of men to do this, because people usually emerge from buildings only one or a few at a time. Anyone who rushed straight to a car would be followed. Anyone surrounded by men would be watched. Etc. Surely Israel has the necessary personnel to do something like this, considering their target is #1 man in Hamas and therefore pretty important.

If he were not to leave the building, then Israel could have waited a few days and in the meantime ordered everyone who left the building not to re-enter it, so the building would be much less populated by the time any attack took place.

Anyway, did you see his photo? Nobody is going to mistake that man for a woman.
Leave him alone and he goes on to kill hundreds, and the calculus changes.
Not leave him alone - wait 1-3 days and get him en route to his next place of hiding.
Anytime people are killed in war, it is tragic. We are not supposed to go about killing each other. Sadly, not everyone agrees on that point, and as long as there are terrorists and despots about, it's not likely to stop.
This is the problem. It's not going to stop, especially when over-the-top tactics like this are used. Fighting terrorism by being even more brutal is going to have the exact opposite intended effect. I'm not accusing Israel of being the sole instigator of this mess. I'm only trying to establish the fact that it is hardly an innocent victim.

macfan
Feb 4, 2003, 12:30 AM
Anyway, did you see his photo? Nobody is going to mistake that man for a woman.

:)

You wouldn't think anyone would mistake Arafat for a woman either!

Not leave him alone - wait 1-3 days and get him en route to his next place of hiding.

And he directs the killing of hundreds after two days. Oops!

"We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children...." - Golda Meir

alex_ant
Feb 4, 2003, 01:24 AM
Originally posted by macfan
You wouldn't think anyone would mistake Arafat for a woman either!
I don't know, he's kinda cute, don't ya think? :)
And he directs the killing of hundreds after two days. Oops!
Only if his communications are left unmonitored. Since Israel knows where he is, they can easily tap his phone. Even if he only sends messages via an encrypted transmission, they wouldn't have to decrypt it - they'd only have to find the recipient. (In the case of e-mail, the To: header, and in the case of a secure IP connection, a simple traceroute would do.)

Any form of communication he uses that connects to a single point will be great for Mossad. If this Hamas guy were really smart, though, he'd be using shortwave radio to transmit messages decodable only with one-time pads. This would complicate things, but there would still be a couple workable options:

- Jam the shortwave band. If his communications were 1-way, he would have no way of knowing this were going on. If his radio communications were 2-way, I would have a local radio station, air traffic controller, police force, etc. start broadcasting all over it and call it a technical glitch.
- Hit his region of the building with a light EMP shock. His electronics would stop working, with no signs of what happened.

His rationality is to smuggle himself out if he starts getting spooked, not to hold up in the building to die. Most likely his own fear will propel him right into the trap that lies outside the apartment's doors.

Thanatoast
Feb 4, 2003, 03:02 AM
"As for Thanatoast's question, while I prefer at times not to dignify his existence with a response,"

this really surprised me, i had no idea that i had pushed so many of your buttons. so i went back and read some posts. i figure it must've been around when i quoted osama in the gulf war 2 thread. i was just trying to get you to see the situation from the other guy's point of view. you know, foster communication and understanding, like i'm always preaching. apparently i haven't been doing so much of that myself with others. i tend to get heated when i debate/argue.

i honestly apologize if i've driven you to the brink of hatred. maybe i've been a little too contentious in my posts. then again, maybe i struck a hidden chord. my opinions are strong, and it's frustrating when i see i'm making good sense and others can't (i'm sure you're thinking the same thing right now).

as for your answer to my question above, i would point out that while ireali soldiers are paid to enter dangerous combat situations (like taking out terrorist leaders) the civilians in that building were just living their lives. if dubya threw a missile at a american apartment building that a terrorist was staying in, there would be a HUGE response against such heavy handed tactics.

macfan
Feb 4, 2003, 12:26 PM
if dubya threw a missile at a american apartment building that a terrorist was staying in, there would be a HUGE response against such heavy handed tactics.

And if he had a hijacked airliner shot out of the sky killing many innocent people, as we were minutes away from seeing, he would have been praised for making the best of a bad situation (particularly by Congress, where the plane might have been headed).

alex,
He wouldn't need to use any form of electronic communication. He could have children carry papers with instructions. It's easy to criticize and say why didn't they do this or that, but it isn't easy to actually carry out the kinds of plans you have described. An functional, effective and safe EMP weapon may still be in the realm of Star Trek for the Israelis, and even this wouldn't stop more low tech means of communication. Yes, it was a terrible tragedy, but war is a terrible business.

Here's a couple of quotes from Confederate General Robert E. Lee that show these issues are not at all new.

"It is well that war is so terrible -- we should grow too fond of it."
--Robert E. Lee

"[W]e made a great mistake in the beginning of our struggle, and I fear, in spite of all we can do, it will prove to be a fatal mistake. We appointed all our worst generals to command our armies, and all our best generals to edit the newspapers."
--Robert E. Lee

Phil Of Mac
Feb 4, 2003, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by Thanatoast
"As for Thanatoast's question, while I prefer at times not to dignify his existence with a response,"

this really surprised me, i had no idea that i had pushed so many of your buttons. so i went back and read some posts. i figure it must've been around when i quoted osama in the gulf war 2 thread. i was just trying to get you to see the situation from the other guy's point of view. you know, foster communication and understanding, like i'm always preaching. apparently i haven't been doing so much of that myself with others. i tend to get heated when i debate/argue.

i honestly apologize if i've driven you to the brink of hatred. maybe i've been a little too contentious in my posts. then again, maybe i struck a hidden chord. my opinions are strong, and it's frustrating when i see i'm making good sense and others can't (i'm sure you're thinking the same thing right now).

as for your answer to my question above, i would point out that while ireali soldiers are paid to enter dangerous combat situations (like taking out terrorist leaders) the civilians in that building were just living their lives. if dubya threw a missile at a american apartment building that a terrorist was staying in, there would be a HUGE response against such heavy handed tactics.

A great deal of my frustration with you, Thanatoast, is that I haven't been able to make my points to you. My overall point: while understanding and communication, I agree, are good, some people will resort only to force, and we have to use force to deal with them. It's nice to believe that people like Osama bin Laden can be communicated with and understood, but someone willing to do what Osama bin Laden did simply cannot be understood. Depravity is the hardest thing to understand. I may be able to understand that in China, dogs are food, while in India, cattle are sacred. What I can't understand is how mass murder is acceptable. And as far as I do understand bin Laden, I understand how dangerous he is and how obsessed he is with destroying us. And I understand how 5,000 dead al-Qaeda are far better than 5,000,000 dead Americans, especially when the Americans were merely living their lives as al-Qaeda is willing to devote and give their lives for the cause of murder.

My first posts were about how the US foreign policy may have been a cause. I believe it was. However, this does not constitute justification.

Onto the apartment bombing. No matter what, this seems to have been an exceptional incident. Israel claims intelligence failure. The Israelis were not in Gaza, and if they decided to enter, there would have been several Israeli and civilian casualties. This rules out the seige option. The option of using lighter air weapons still existed, however. Because of that, and because there is now more information, I will grant that Israel is morally responsible for their poor judgment in this case and that they should have used a lighter weapon that would have caused less collateral damage (at the very least).

As for whether or not every nation that has gone to war has accidentally killed more civilians than they could have:
1. In the US bombing of Yugoslavia, US aircraft killed lots of civilians. This was due to White House imposed regulations on the minimum altitude of aircraft on missions.
2. In Vietnam, carpet bombings indiscriminately destroyed territory, which probably needlessly killed several civilians. The VC committed war crimes on a great scale, torturing POW's and killing civilians.
3. In Korea, Chinese troops deliberately fired upon ambulances. During the many times Seoul was captured and recaptured, much of the city was destroyed in the fighting.
4. In WWII, the Allies rather arbitrarily fire-bombed Dresden. The Allies and the Germans both engaged in rather indiscriminate bombing campaigns over enemy cities, designed to destroy factories and such, but killing lots of civilians anyway. Tokyo was fire-bombed as well, while the Japanese carried out some of the worst war crimes in history during the rape of Nanking and the invasion of China, waging biological warfare against Chinese civilians. I won't mention the atomic bomb, because the alternatives were either to blockade Japan, killing even more civilians with mass starvation, or to invade, again killing more civilians as well as US troops. I don't want to get into a discussion over the morality of using the bomb, however.
5. In the Civil War, Sherman burned Atlanta and ravaged most of Georgia.

And so on. Generally, the worst war crimes have been committed by our enemies and not ourselves, with a few notable exceptions. War is very much a bad thing.

What Golda Meir said is right. It's tragic that for a country to defend itself, it must kill innocent people, because the alternative is even worse. Only the most desensitized combat veterans would disagree.

Al-Qaeda is certainly a case where the alternative to war is even worse. As a civilization, we may be fighting for our survival. Al-Qaeda will not rest until the United States is destroyed. There is only one way to counter that: never to rest until al-Qaeda is destroyed. Only without these thugs making us fear them, dictating terms to us that we have no choice but to accept, even if it means poverty and tyranny for us--only then can there be true peace.

Osama bin Laden, in his letter, showed us his true plan for America: a wasteland of Islamic fundamentalism where women are kept at home and abused, while the Koran determines the law and the only "right thought" is that which agrees with Islam. Osama bin Laden's vision for the world has been tried before. It was called the Dark Ages. You know why bin Laden hates us? It's because of what we're doing right here and now. Without the freedom to disagree with each other and the government, we wouldn't be discussing this. Without the freedom of thought we have, we wouldn't have the computers to post and to discuss--no one would dare to make them. I'm sorry, but that is slavery, and that is enough to go to war to prevent.

alex_ant
Feb 4, 2003, 11:06 PM
Originally posted by Phil of Mac
Onto the apartment bombing. No matter what, this seems to have been an exceptional incident. Israel claims intelligence failure. The Israelis were not in Gaza, and if they decided to enter, there would have been several Israeli and civilian casualties. This rules out the seige option. The option of using lighter air weapons still existed, however. Because of that, and because there is now more information, I will grant that Israel is morally responsible for their poor judgment in this case and that they should have used a lighter weapon that would have caused less collateral damage (at the very least).
What does "Israel is morally responsible" mean - that they're not responsible in any other way? Whoever was in charge of this attack deserves justice. If they say they didn't know the building was occupied, then they should be allowed to defend themselves in court - although based upon what I've read, good luck using that as a defense. Just as Palestinians blowing themselves up in crowded public places is wrong, Palestinians slinging rocks is wrong, Israel is wrong for over-retaliating and killing people who didn't have to die, and law breakers on both sides should be brought to justice. Israel right now is essentially above the law.
Osama bin Laden, in his letter, showed us his true plan for America: a wasteland of Islamic fundamentalism where women are kept at home and abused, while the Koran determines the law and the only "right thought" is that which agrees with Islam. Osama bin Laden's vision for the world has been tried before. It was called the Dark Ages. You know why bin Laden hates us? It's because of what we're doing right here and now. Without the freedom to disagree with each other and the government, we wouldn't be discussing this. Without the freedom of thought we have, we wouldn't have the computers to post and to discuss--no one would dare to make them. I'm sorry, but that is slavery, and that is enough to go to war to prevent.
Osama bin Laden is not some weathered theologian who spends long nights in his cave philophosizing about the evil of the uncovered female ankle. He hates us due to the particular series of events and interactions which have played themselves out in the Middle East and in the world in the past decades. Although never our biggest fan, it wasn't until Saudi Arabia lent us their military bases for the Gulf War that his hatred boiled over. This alone is proof that his hatred is not based in religion; he uses religion only as a prop to legitimize his ideals. (Like all religious nuts.) In earlier years, the KKK had their own flavor of racism-fueled religion; since the civil rights movement, they have been in steady decline. The reason is that they are no longer relevant. Their concerns no longer resonate. They're obsolete. If we were to change our foreign policy, even a little - if we would be less militarily and strategically intrusive and more focused on humanitarian concerns - al-Qaida would find the life drained right out of it and would disintegrate with a quickness. Its anti-western religion would be intact, but the fuel for that religion would be gone. It would become obsolete and impotent, like the KKK.
Originally posted by macfan
He wouldn't need to use any form of electronic communication. He could have children carry papers with instructions. It's easy to criticize and say why didn't they do this or that, but it isn't easy to actually carry out the kinds of plans you have described. An functional, effective and safe EMP weapon may still be in the realm of Star Trek for the Israelis, and even this wouldn't stop more low tech means of communication. Yes, it was a terrible tragedy, but war is a terrible business.
EMP is a proven technology that does exist. But it's not critical to the alternative. If kids were used to carry messages, then simply trail the kids. Heck, if the guy decides to use carrier pigeons, shoot the pigeons. PETA would complain, but oh well. It would be possible and quite simplistic to trail every single person to emerge from the building in a given day. Yes it would require more personnel than an F16 strike, but I'm sure the other residents of the building would have been grateful. Sometimes the most expedient solution is not the best.

What I wonder is, why didn't Israel just hit the entire block that the apartment was on? The larger the target, the easier it is to hit, and the lower the chances of them missing their man. They could have gotten the Hamas guy and maybe some other terrorists as well, or at least a few people sympathetic to the terrorists. The civilian toll would have been tragic, but war is war.

macfan
Feb 4, 2003, 11:29 PM
What I wonder is, why didn't Israel just hit the entire block that the apartment was on?

Probably because, unlike terrorists, it was not their purpose to kill a bunch of civilians. If this was in an Israeli held area, then the argument against an airstrike would be significantly stronger. However, sending a large contingent of people into Gaza to follow people around was probably not really a practical solution.

The central fact reamains that if the Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be not more violence and if the Israelis lay down their weapons there will be no more Israel. The solution is for the Palestinians to renounce violence, accept Israel as a state and accept their own independent state as well.

alex_ant
Feb 4, 2003, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Probably because, unlike terrorists, it was not their purpose to kill a bunch of civilians.
It wasn't? Then why did they fly in with an F16 and hit the building with a 2000-lb bomb?
If this was in an Israeli held area, then the argument against an airstrike would be significantly stronger. However, sending a large contingent of people into Gaza to follow people around was probably not really a practical solution.
Why not?
The central fact reamains that if the Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be not more violence and if the Israelis lay down their weapons there will be no more Israel.
Again, this makes me wonder about the feasibility of Israel in its current form.
The solution is for the Palestinians to renounce violence, accept Israel as a state and accept their own independent state as well.
As I understand it, most Palestinians have and do renounce violence. What you propose involves no compromise. Even though compromise has proven extremely difficult so far, it's the only solution to a resolution to this conflict, unless millions of people on either side are to die.

Thanatoast
Feb 5, 2003, 12:36 AM
i suggest a compromise.:eek:

we obliterate al qaeda, remove saddam as carefully (i thought about using "discreetly", but a quarter million troops really isn't "discreet") as possible and then radically alter our foriegn policy towards something far less antagonistic and jingoistic.

(i think) this plan would have the benefit of removing the two allegedly greatest threats to us security, and then work to solve other problems through diplomacy before they get a chance to spiral out of control.

everyone wins! (remember, the defintition of compromise is the art of making no one happy:p).

all those in favor say "aye", those opposed "nay". (with supporting dialouge for chosen stance, of course.;))

(i was thinking to myself, as long as we're arguing over policies we have absolutely no control over, let's make up some of our own.:D after all, we're here to discuss/debate/disagree, right?)

more towards the current topic, i just finished reading newsweek (liberal? conservative? straightforward?) and they reported that israel is asking for 12 billion in us aid this year. this is more foriegn aid than we give to any other nation in the world. (and why do we subsidize them anyway, they've got enough power to take care of themselves, don't they?) it was also suggested that this aid might be withheld until peace talks are resumed, and also on the table was a pull out of israeli settlements and the creation of a palestinian state. things may get interesting (read: good?/bad?) over there.

p.s. thank you for your kindly response, phil.:)

macfan
Feb 5, 2003, 12:45 AM
What you propose involves no compromise.

Sure it does. The Palestinians accept Israel as a state, and Israel recognizes an independent Palestinian state. It is the classic "land for peace" deal. How is that not compromise?


It wasn't? Then why did they fly in with an F16 and hit the building with a 2000-lb bomb?

Why didn't they send a whole flight of F-16s with 20 2,000 pound bombs? Or, better yet, why didn't they just shell the place indiscriminately until they got the guy?

Why would it have been difficult to use your strategy? Infiltrating a large group into what is essentially enemy territory to track large numbers of people on short notice would be an operational nightmare and would subject your forces to extreme danger with very limited chances for success. You don't think it would be noticed when a bunch of Israeli operatives showed up at the front door?


Again, this makes me wonder about the feasibility of Israel in its current form.

Ah, yes. Wouldn't it be convenient if the Israelis would just walk into the sea and drown themselves?

alex_ant
Feb 5, 2003, 12:55 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Sure it does. The Palestinians accept Israel as a state, and Israel recognizes an independent Palestinian state. It is the classic "land for peace" deal. How is that not compromise?
Both sides have proposed their own versions of this but in each case it has been rejected due to lack of ability to agree on specifics, lack of willingness to talk, etc. And of course I'm not advocating that the Israelis drown themselves. I was only questioning the fairness of Israel as a state.
Why didn't they send a whole flight of F-16s with 20 2,000 pound bombs? Or, better yet, why didn't they just shell the place indiscriminately until they got the guy?
That's what I was wondering. There would have been nothing stopping them from doing something like that, save for a worldwide condemnation of what they did.
Why would it have been difficult to use your strategy? Infiltrating a large group into what is essentially enemy territory to track large numbers of people on short notice would be an operational nightmare and would subject your forces to extreme danger with very limited chances for success. You don't think it would be noticed when a bunch of Israeli operatives showed up at the front door?
If this is the case, then I propose that Israel should have simply taken the risk (knowing that the odds of a severe attack in that length of time were in the low single digits at most I'm sure, given that they're hardly happening every other day), waited 1-3 days and nabbed the guy in transit. *gasp*

alex_ant
Feb 5, 2003, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by Thanatoast
i suggest a compromise.:eek:

we obliterate al qaeda, remove saddam as carefully (i thought about using "discreetly", but a quarter million troops really isn't "discreet") as possible and then radically alter our foriegn policy towards something far less antagonistic and jingoistic.

(i think) this plan would have the benefit of removing the two allegedly greatest threats to us security, and then work to solve other problems through diplomacy before they get a chance to spiral out of control.

everyone wins! (remember, the defintition of compromise is the art of making no one happy:p).
In order for this to work, there would have to be a timetable on the hunt for al-Qaida, since they're proving so tough to find. Can't really enact part 2 (the foreign policy change) until part 1 (the attacks) is over. But I think compromise might be the only option for the Macrumors Armchair World Leaders...

macfan
Feb 5, 2003, 01:05 AM
Both sides have proposed their own versions of this but in each case it has been rejected due to lack of ability to agree on specifics, lack of willingness to talk, etc.

That is exactly why the proposition I mentioned requires compromise!


If this is the case, then I propose that Israel should have simply taken the risk (knowing that the odds of a severe attack in that length of time were in the low single digits at most I'm sure), waited 1-3 days and nabbed the guy in transit. *gasp*

The "nab him in transit" proposition has the same operational difficulties as the "wait outside the door until he comes out" proposition. It's just not that easy to carry off something like that.

alex_ant
Feb 5, 2003, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by macfan
That is exactly why the proposition I mentioned requires compromise!
You would say though that it's the Palestinians who are the ones who need to compromise, that they are the ones who aren't meeting Israel's perfectly reasonable conditions. In that way, it's not a true compromise.

The "nab him in transit" proposition has the same operational difficulties as the "wait outside the door until he comes out" proposition. It's just not that easy to carry off something like that.
I'm not saying it's easy. I'm saying it's doable, certainly by the Israeli military which (I've heard) is the best trained in the world. Indeed, the absolute easiest solution would have been the complete nuking of Gaza City, but that doesn't mean it's the solution I'd like to have seen happen.

Thanatoast
Feb 5, 2003, 01:32 AM
i believe we can act on part ii of the M.A.W.L. compromise by altering foreign policy as soon as the iraqi war is taken care of. we could make the hunt for al qaeda ongoing, as long as it fits with our proposed foreign policy (no threats or heavy munitions if at all avoidable).

if we could really build a thriving democracy in iraq (read: don't forget them after a few weeks, the american public by way of the media has such a short attention span--afghanistan (http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/central/09/08/afghan.gov.feat/) ), and not be pushy with everyone else, we could make large strides toward peace and establishing credibility.

macfan
Feb 5, 2003, 11:37 AM
You would say though that it's the Palestinians who are the ones who need to compromise, that they are the ones who aren't meeting Israel's perfectly reasonable conditions. In that way, it's not a true compromise.

Not at all. The Israelis would be in a position of giving up most if not all of the land they gained in battle from surrounding states. They would be in a position, in all likelihood, of giving up settlements in that land. It is the very definition of compromise.

From a practical standpoint, the Palestinians would get better results if they were not enganged in killing innocent civilians with human bombs. By ending the violence, they would undercut any argument in Israel against ending the conflict and recognizing a Palestinian state. As long as as Israelis are being blown to bits, a compelling case can be made in Israel that they should not trade away their security. Another crucial issue is the recognition of Israel by the other states in the region and a cessation of hostilities (as Egypt has done).

I'm not saying it's easy. I'm saying it's doable, certainly by the Israeli military which (I've heard) is the best trained in the world. Indeed, the absolute easiest solution would have been the complete nuking of Gaza City, but that doesn't mean it's the solution I'd like to have seen happen.

What you are describing is not even a military operation. It is more like a police operation. If you would like to see what happens when you put a force into that kind of environment, take a look at what happened to the US in Somalia when they tried to extract a couple of warlords. They took significant casualties, and they killed many, many civilians. That's what happens when you try to extract someone in an urban setting with significant hostile, armed resistance. It was unfortunate that these innocent civilians were killed in Gaza, but your other solutions do not seem to offer a practical alternative to getting the terrorist.

alex_ant
Feb 5, 2003, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Not at all. The Israelis would be in a position of giving up most if not all of the land they gained in battle from surrounding states. They would be in a position, in all likelihood, of giving up settlements in that land. It is the very definition of compromise.
The reason compromise hasn't yet been reached is because the Palestinians want more than the Israelis are willing to give. You would say that they want more than they have a right to have.
From a practical standpoint, the Palestinians would get better results if they were not enganged in killing innocent civilians with human bombs.
It could also be argued that the Israelis would get better results if they were not engaged in killing innocent civilians with laser-guided bombs, don't you agree? It goes both ways.
By ending the violence, they would undercut any argument in Israel against ending the conflict and recognizing a Palestinian state. As long as as Israelis are being blown to bits, a compelling case can be made in Israel that they should not trade away their security.
And as long as Palestinians are being blown to bits, a compelling case can be made for the Palestinians that Israel cannot be trusted. Again, the situation is multidimensional.
What you are describing is not even a military operation. It is more like a police operation. If you would like to see what happens when you put a force into that kind of environment, take a look at what happened to the US in Somalia when they tried to extract a couple of warlords. They took significant casualties, and they killed many, many civilians. That's what happens when you try to extract someone in an urban setting with significant hostile, armed resistance. It was unfortunate that these innocent civilians were killed in Gaza, but your other solutions do not seem to offer a practical alternative to getting the terrorist.
I agree that it's more like a police operation. That's for the better, I think. If what I described is not to your liking, there were still several alternatives. Like, using a weaker explosive. Or staying on his trail and waiting for a better opportunity to strike. Even Israel's #1 ally (Bush) condemned this.

I advocate a police-style solution instead of a military-style solution because there are big problems with treating this conflict as a war. If Israel can declare war, then so can their opponent(s), leaving terrorists free to bomb as many cafes as they want using only "we were aiming for Israel military officials and had bad intel - sorry" as a legitimate excuse. War by its essence is conflict with the absence of negotiation. It will have to continue until either side surrenders (and that makes it obvious that it's gonna go on for a long time).

alex_ant
Feb 5, 2003, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by Thanatoast
i believe we can act on part ii of the M.A.W.L. compromise by altering foreign policy as soon as the iraqi war is taken care of. we could make the hunt for al qaeda ongoing, as long as it fits with our proposed foreign policy (no threats or heavy munitions if at all avoidable).

if we could really build a thriving democracy in iraq (read: don't forget them after a few weeks, the american public by way of the media has such a short attention span--afghanistan (http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/central/09/08/afghan.gov.feat/) ), and not be pushy with everyone else, we could make large strides toward peace and establishing credibility.
It's a long shot if any of that would ever actually happen, but maybe something like it could happen in MAWL fantasy land. The general idea sounds okay to me.

macfan
Feb 5, 2003, 02:50 PM
The reason compromise hasn't yet been reached is because the Palestinians want more than the Israelis are willing to give. You would say that they want more than they have a right to have.

Yes. There are Palestinians who want the west bank from the river to the sea and the Israelis are unwilling to cease to exist as a nation. Thus, "compromise" hasn't been reached. I leave to other to decide whether the Israelis should "compromise" to the point of not having a country or if the Palestinians want more than they have a right to have. They had a good agreement on the table, and Arafat, nt Barak, rejected it.


It could also be argued that the Israelis would get better results if they were not engaged in killing innocent civilians with laser-guided bombs, don't you agree? It goes both ways.

I really doubt it. It is unlikely that the Israelis would get better results if they did not respond to terrorist attacks. However, if the Palestinians renounce violence and end their attacks on Israel, there will be no reason for Israel to retaliate. They would, again from a practical standpoint, have greater success with a policy of non violence. On the other hand, if the Israelis disard their weapons, they will be driven into the sea.

I advocate a police-style solution instead of a military-style solution because there are big problems with treating this conflict as a war.

It doesn't matter what we might advocate. I advocate a free iMac for everyone, but that's not the reality. The situation on the ground was a combat type situation, with armed, hostile combatants not a police type situation with a few criminals sitting around the television watching the World Cup. You also need to consider that the "conflict" is not only between Israel and the Palestinians, but between Israel and many of it's neighbors. The Palestinians are being used as proxies by many of the surrounding states in their struggle against Israel.

markomarko
Feb 5, 2003, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Man, you are getting carried away. There is no comparison between DU rounds and a dirty bomb. NO comparison.

Secondly, we never aided the Taliban. We did not even recognize it as a legitimate government.

Wrong. The US compensated the Taliban to offset the social effects of terminating the poppy crops. This was not small compensation. We're talking billions.

Secondly, a government doesn't have to be legitimate for the US to do business with it. Good Gravy.

Phil Of Mac
Feb 5, 2003, 09:32 PM
Originally posted by Thanatoast
i suggest a compromise.:eek:

we obliterate al qaeda, remove saddam as carefully (i thought about using "discreetly", but a quarter million troops really isn't "discreet") as possible and then radically alter our foriegn policy towards something far less antagonistic and jingoistic.

(i think) this plan would have the benefit of removing the two allegedly greatest threats to us security, and then work to solve other problems through diplomacy before they get a chance to spiral out of control.

everyone wins! (remember, the defintition of compromise is the art of making no one happy:p).

all those in favor say "aye", those opposed "nay". (with supporting dialouge for chosen stance, of course.;))

more towards the current topic, i just finished reading newsweek (liberal? conservative? straightforward?) and they reported that israel is asking for 12 billion in us aid this year. this is more foriegn aid than we give to any other nation in the world. (and why do we subsidize them anyway, they've got enough power to take care of themselves, don't they?) it was also suggested that this aid might be withheld until peace talks are resumed, and also on the table was a pull out of israeli settlements and the creation of a palestinian state. things may get interesting (read: good?/bad?) over there.

p.s. thank you for your kindly response, phil.:)

Thanatoast, thanks for endorsing as your compromise exactly the same thing I've been endorsing all along. Except I do think we should keep pressure against North Korea as well.

In terms of aid to Israel, Israel has a quasi-socialist economy, so it doesn't really work that well. They need the aid for their country to function. Without our aid, they would need to change their system a bit.

alex_ant
Feb 5, 2003, 09:57 PM
Originally posted by macfan
I really doubt it. It is unlikely that the Israelis would get better results if they did not respond to terrorist attacks. However, if the Palestinians renounce violence and end their attacks on Israel, there will be no reason for Israel to retaliate. They would, again from a practical standpoint, have greater success with a policy of non violence. On the other hand, if the Israelis disard their weapons, they will be driven into the sea.
The whole reason these "compromises" get rejected is that Palestinians view the very existence of Israel as unjust. What gives Israel (the "Jewish State" ) the right to the land it sits on? Imagine hundreds of thousands or millions of religious Europeans declaring South Carolina their Holy Land, and emigrating to it en masse. Then having SC be granted their own independent nation by the UN. Would we like that very much? Even if they were mostly peaceful and were willing to "compromise" with us by sharing some of their land? I think we'd want to drive the bastards into the sea as well. No, the specifics are not the same, and blah blah, but the feelings that would result would be similar. I'm not saying I personally see it this way, I'm only, again, trying to get you to see this from another perspective.
I really doubt it. It is unlikely that the Israelis would get better results if they did not respond to terrorist attacks.
Nobody is saying "not respond." I'm saying "respond with a little more subtlety and a little less indisciminatory killing."
It doesn't matter what we might advocate. I advocate a free iMac for everyone, but that's not the reality. The situation on the ground was a combat type situation, with armed, hostile combatants not a police type situation with a few criminals sitting around the television watching the World Cup. You also need to consider that the "conflict" is not only between Israel and the Palestinians, but between Israel and many of it's neighbors. The Palestinians are being used as proxies by many of the surrounding states in their struggle against Israel.
OK, I'll repeat then that if carrying out the strike with fewer civilian casualties were impossible, then Israel shouldn't have done it. They should have waited for a better opportunity. They've got one of the finest intelligence agencies in the world. Surely they can track some ugly-ass Arabic guy dressed as a woman as he emerges. Based on what I've read, the risk of him ordering another attack was not worth the certainty of the lives that were lost. That's just my opinion. I'm aware that you're prepared to give Israel full benefit of the doubt, since they can of course do no wrong, but I personally would have liked to see an excuse a bit more convincing than "we thought the building was empty." (By citing that as an excuse, even Israel itself implies that doing what it did was wrong and that they wouldn't have in fact done it had they "known" of its inhabitated state.)

macfan
Feb 6, 2003, 01:43 AM
The whole reason these "compromises" get rejected is that Palestinians view the very existence of Israel as unjust. What gives Israel (the "Jewish State" ) the right to the land it sits on?

Israel has as much as right to exist as any other country on earth. Indeed, humans have immigrated to and fro across the globe for thousands of years. Certainly as much right an independent Arab Palestine. Come to think of it, I'm not sure there has ever been an independent Arab Palestine. There have been Jewish Palestinians, on the other hand, for many, many years. Reports in the 1850s, in fact, had the population of Jerusalem about 2/3 Jewish. It's not like they only appeared on the scene in 1948 and declared a country. Given that, your South Carolina analogy is quite flawed. I understand that this is the mythology of the Palestinians, but do not see it as a legitimate excuse for terrorism.

Again, from a practical standpoint, the Palestinian Arabs would have a much better chance of getting an independent state if they would end violence and adopt non violence as a policy. So, because Arabs would like to see the Jews driven into the sea, we should accept that they can never compromise and accept the state of Israel? Egypt tried to drive Israel into the sea, and today they recognize Israel and have made peace. There is no reason that other Arab countries cannot do the same. Without the financial, military, and moral support of various Arab states, the Palestinians, who happen to be led by an Egyptian terrorist, would be much more likely to compromise.

OK, I'll repeat then that if carrying out the strike with fewer civilian casualties were impossible, then Israel shouldn't have done it.

How many civilian casualties were acceptable? Obviously, by saying "fewer" you indicate that a certain number would be acceptable. As I understand it, there were about 12 killed. What you are discussing here is a judgement call, not a war crime. Going in with ground forces was likely to lead to higher civilian casualties, and leaving the guy alone to continue directing his terrorist organization was apparently not an acceptable choice for the Israelis. The idea that you could easily track an individual in a highly urban setting with hostile forces around is simply unrealistic. You probably saw what happened to the Yemeni forces who tried to capture that terrorist fellow a while back. After getting a lot of men killed in a shootout, he was finally later taken out by a Predator hitting his car in the desert. While any civilian deaths are regretable, I can't say I blame Israel for taking out the terrorist leader.

alex_ant
Feb 7, 2003, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Israel has as much as right to exist as any other country on earth. Indeed, humans have immigrated to and fro across the globe for thousands of years. Certainly as much right an independent Arab Palestine. Come to think of it, I'm not sure there has ever been an independent Arab Palestine. There have been Jewish Palestinians, on the other hand, for many, many years. Reports in the 1850s, in fact, had the population of Jerusalem about 2/3 Jewish. It's not like they only appeared on the scene in 1948 and declared a country. Given that, your South Carolina analogy is quite flawed. I understand that this is the mythology of the Palestinians, but do not see it as a legitimate excuse for terrorism.
OK, several things:

1) No, it's not a legitimate excuse for terrorism. As I've been saying, this is something that can explain a good deal of anti-Israel terrorism, with the hope that being able to explain it is crucial to being able to stop it.
2) Yes the SC analogy is flawed and I knew that when I made it. As I said before, it works on an emotional level only.
3) Israel does have a "right" to exist. What I've been trying to convey all along in this thread is the idea that this situation can be seen from multiple, equally legitimate perspectives. The USA also has a right to exist, although some of what's left of our indigenous population might disagree, or might have disagreed in past times. Do you see what I mean? I'm merely offering another perspective. Imagine yourself as a Palestinian. Your bitter enemy is feeling especially generous, generous enough to offer you all the land it took from you! For free! You can live in peace and harmony alongside the fortified razor-wire border of your friendly much larger & more powerful neighbor, whose national flag is the Star of David and whose air force just leveled your relatives' apartment building, killing your uncle and one of your best friends for reasons that had nothing to do with them without so much as an apology. How would you feel? Would it be that unreasonable of you to be a little peeved at that?
Again, from a practical standpoint, the Palestinian Arabs would have a much better chance of getting an independent state if they would end violence and adopt non violence as a policy.
From a practical standpoint, yes, ditto. Unfortunately for Israel, a lot of Palestinian Arabs want more than that.
So, because Arabs would like to see the Jews driven into the sea, we should accept that they can never compromise and accept the state of Israel? Egypt tried to drive Israel into the sea, and today they recognize Israel and have made peace. There is no reason that other Arab countries cannot do the same. Without the financial, military, and moral support of various Arab states, the Palestinians, who happen to be led by an Egyptian terrorist, would be much more likely to compromise.
See below.
How many civilian casualties were acceptable? Obviously, by saying "fewer" you indicate that a certain number would be acceptable. As I understand it, there were about 12 killed. What you are discussing here is a judgement call, not a war crime. Going in with ground forces was likely to lead to higher civilian casualties, and leaving the guy alone to continue directing his terrorist organization was apparently not an acceptable choice for the Israelis.
12 killed, and don't forget the 100+ injured who could have been killed. In response to "how many civilian casulaties were acceptable," I answer "the fewer the better." If 6 had died and 50 were injured instead of 12 and 100, I would complain less, but still complain. If none had died and, say, 10 had been injured, I would have thought, "That was really stupid - it's a miracle they didn't kill anyone innocent." I could turn that question around as well. How many civilians would have had to die before you would have acknowledged that the attack was uncalled for? 15? 20? 30? 100? 200? How many Arabs is an Israeli worth? 2? 5? 10? The fact, and that's not a judgement call, is that the attack was plain stupid and unnecessary. Did Israel really think killing this guy would do anything but increase terrorism? Did they think no one would step up to take this guy's place? Do you know who the new leader of Hamas is? It's Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi. How many innocent Palestinians are going to have to die again when this guy is killed and another, more extreme version of him takes his place? 12 more? 20 more? 30 more? Peace requires great non-violent effort from both sides. Being on the receiving end of brutal attacks and then reciprocating those attacks even more brutally is a great way to win a war, but it's not a great way to achieve peace (except via war, which would in this case would involve exterminating a good deal of the opponent's population, which you might be all for but I hope you'd be in the minority in that opinion).

To connect this to (2) above, the current generation of Palestinians may never see the day when they view Israel as a nation that has the "right" to exist. But that doesn't mean they'll never see the day when they no longer have an unscratchable itch to blow up themselves and innocent Israelis - if this situation can be massaged rationally and calmly by both Israel and the rest of the world. Or unless Israel gets ambitious and kills all the pesky terrorist-sympathizing dirtbags once and for all.

Voltron
Jun 23, 2004, 06:20 PM
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OK, several things:

To connect this to (2) above, the current generation of Palestinians may never see the day when they view Israel as a nation that has the "right" to exist. But that doesn't mean they'll never see the day when they no longer have an unscratchable itch to blow up themselves and innocent Israelis - if this situation can be massaged rationally and calmly by both Israel and the rest of the world. Or unless Israel gets ambitious and kills all the pesky terrorist-sympathizing dirtbags once and for all.
Or they could just build a huge wall between the two countries with automated death machines patrolling between the walls and let time fix the problem. Or would the terrorist then move to some other border and attack Israel through that?