Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Postby Moderator » Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:42 pm

FrankChurch wrote:If Israel has the right of self defense then Hamas does also. Right Steve, RIGHT STEVE!!



Actually, no, unless Hamas is acting as the government of the Gaza strip and is then reacting to an initial attack from Israel (which has happened in the past, but is inapplicable in the current situation). Nations with internationally recognized borders have that right, not organizations that amount to "insurgencies".

On the other hand, if you are suggesting that Hamas' current violation of the cease fire are formal actions of the Gazan government -- which Hamas also is -- that changes the situation significantly. In this scenario, Hamas, as a government body, violated a negotiated cease fire inviting retaliation. Launching what amounts to a cross-border attack makes Hamas every bit as aggressive a nation-state as Israel.

Therefore, as a nation Israel maintains the right of self defense. If they had struck Hamas/Gaza first, then the scenario would be reveresed with Hamas/Gaza as the legitimate responder.

(And don't argue that this has happened before, it's an inapplicable argument to the current situation. "Bobby hit me yesterday, so I had to hit him today.")

Claiming self defense when you began the hostilities is absurd. The claim of pre-emptive self defense is one I have condemned Bush for making in attacking Iraq, and is ridiculous on the face of it whether it's Hamas, Israel, the US, or the People's Republic of the Congo.

(And if you're truly supporting that sort of doctrine, Frank, you need to re-examine many of the positions you've taken on this board.)

To borrow from Adam-Troy's fable, you can't kick the bully in the shins then scream self-defense when he blackens your eye and you hit him with a chair.

What you're saying, Frank, is that it's okay for Hamas to unilaterally initiate an attack on Israel, kill civilians in the process, but that Israel has to suck it up and take it because they "deserve it".

And that logic -- if one could call it that -- is "bass-ackwards", as they say. If a cease fire was in place, the first to declare an end to it and attack the other is in the wrong.
Last edited by Moderator on Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:50 pm

No, they don't retaliate at all, but try to negotiate another cease fire. The cease fire is with Hamas, not the entire Palestinian people. They are targeting innocent Palestinians, not linked to Hamas. Electronic Intifada has done good reporting on this.

The international peace movement should create a boycott and divestment from Israel. Non-violent struggle is what is needed.

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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:51 pm

The occupation is illegal, so that is in itself aggression. The cease fire is meaningless.

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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:52 pm


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Postby Moderator » Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:57 pm

FrankChurch wrote:No, they don't retaliate at all, but try to negotiate another cease fire. The cease fire is with Hamas, not the entire Palestinian people. They are targeting innocent Palestinians, not linked to Hamas. Electronic Intifada has done good reporting on this.


So, you're suggesting that Hamas isn't targeting civilians?

FrankChurch wrote: The international peace movement should create a boycott and divestment from Israel. Non-violent struggle is what is needed.


Agreed, but the divestment should apply to Israel in response to what has happened to the Gazan/WB economy. In this case, however, to be fair a similar boycott/divestment should be applied to Hamas for their violent attacks.

Therein lies the rub. The majority of Palestinian people are suffering as a direct result of their militant minority. If Hamas had maintained the cease fore the argument for an Israeli boycott would have a lot more traction.

To play the innocent victim, you ought to be an innocent victim. As long as Hamas maintains a militant arm, the realities will veto the possibilities. (This was the discovery made by Yasser Arafat that eventually, albeit painfully, led to semi-autonomy for the Gaza and WB.)
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:27 pm

Kassam rockets don't actually have accurate guiding, but Israel does. The radical/progressive consensus tends to be on my side. Nancy Pelosi is a pathetic stooge of Aipac and anti-arab racism. Hopefully Obama will get some better advisors, or some stones.

Israel targeted populated neighborhoods, knowing full well that school kids were walking home. Once again, if this happened in the US we would want to nuke the other party.

If you want to target Hamas, send international police and pressure to arrest them. Don't bomb civilians, helping the cause of terror. If you want to help Israel, they need to find a peaceful solution.

America is a very propaganda laden country on this issue. We are over the top on the scale of our hatred for arab people. Hugo Chavez is looking mighty good right now.

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Postby Moderator » Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:29 pm

FrankChurch wrote:The occupation is illegal, so that is in itself aggression. The cease fire is meaningless.


If the cease fire is meaningless, Israel has the right to obliterate Hamas completely.

And, if we wish to go far enough back, the Israelis were first attacked in 1947 by Arabian guerillas/terrorists. Then, when Israel declared independence in 1948, within a few days they were attacked by Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

If you examine the history of the various and sundry wars that were declared against Israel over the years, each and every "occupation" has been as a result of an attack from that body losing the territory. (Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, PLO, etc.) What you're suggesting is that the nations/groups attacking Israel -- repeatedly -- ought to keep their territory even though they started the conflict.

If you examine the record, you'll see ample evidence that as monstrous as Israel's actions have been, they usually are in response to something an unyieldingly hostile Arab world thrust upon them. Peace came only when Syria, Egypt, Jordan, etc. becaome convinced that war was too costly and therefore not an option.

This is a lesson that Hamas and Hisbollah have yet to learn because, as extranational entities, they have nothing to lose. It's only when an aggressor has a potential to lose ground do they become willing to negotiate. Therefore the only real deterrent is to convince them that the cost of attacking is outweighed by the force of the response.

But the military aggressor, in this case Hamas, is always in the wrong.

Unless, as I mention above, you're willing to accept pre-emption as a legitimate military tactic.

(POINT: Israel has used pre-emption many times, so they're hardly innocent. But waht applies to Israel as a military entity has to apply to Hamas as their opponent. You can't criticize one and coddle the other.)
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:46 pm

Ah, hah, just as I though, the Qassam rockets were not fired without first being egged on by Israeli aggression. Neve Gordon, a Jewish intellectual, at Ben-Gurian University, sets our lovely imperialists straight:

http://www.alternet.org/audits/115951/w ... 7_in_gaza/

She's a Jewish elite, expert in the region and should know her shit. Wish we had intellectuals like her.

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Postby Moderator » Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:09 pm

Okay. Follow me closely. I don't disagree with Mr. Gordon on much of what he writes.

Neve Gordon wrote:Indeed, there was relative quiet during the six-months truce with Hamas, a quiet that was broken most often as a reaction to Israeli violence: that is, following the extra-judicial execution of a militant or the imposition of a total blockade which prevented basic goods, like food stuff and medicine, from entering the Gaza Strip. Rather than continuing the truce, the Israeli government has once again chosen to adopt strategies of violence that are tragically akin to the one’s deployed by Hamas, only the Israeli ones are much more lethal.


Precisely what I stated above. Hamas, as the legal governing body of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, has legitimate grievances with Israel. There has been a period of relative quiet, but Mr Gordon's conclusion that "Israel had it coming" ignores the background in which those "extra-judicial executions occurred as well as the cause and effect of the blockades he criticizes.

But, as he notes (while incorrectly suggesting that Israel violated the cease fire), Israel has far greater firepower at its disposal. The four reasons he gives earlier in the article are right on target as potential causes for Israel's short fuse, but I will reiterate that Hamas declared the cease fire oveer and began the shooting match, thereby engaging in precisely the "taunting" practices he accuses Israel of pursuing.

Neve Gordon wrote:If the Israeli government really cared about its citizens and the country’s long term ability to sustain itself in the Middle East, it would abandon the use of violence and talk with its enemies.


Yeah. No duh.

Israel has talked to, and concluded peace with, Egypt and Jordan, and is in diplomatic exchanges with a number of other nations on its enemies list. The fact that they have not been attacked by a true governmental entity other than Hamas in a couple of decades must mean something -- and this is completely ignored by Gordon.

You're still trying to defend your basic tenet, which appears to be that Israel had it coming and that Hamas has done nothing to deserve the brutal response.

If Israel's motives were as transparent as Gordon suggests, why was Hamas dumb enough to fall for the ruse? To paraphrase his core point: "If the HAMAS government really cared about its citizens and the country’s long term ability to sustain itself in the Middle East, it would abandon the use of violence and talk with its enemies.


Yes?
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:24 pm

As I stated before, I don't care what Hamas does, only what my country does. Israel is our proxy, we tell them to chill, they chill, so does Hamas. If they do not then Israel can arrest them, not target civilians. I am a patriot and only care what America does.

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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:28 pm

It is weird to have Rob this quiet. Eerie.

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Postby Alan Coil » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:23 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Israel is our proxy, we tell them to chill, they chill,


So you're saying Bush told them to attack?

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Postby The Dreaded Slaymaker » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:46 pm

I'm sorry, Frank, but I have to weigh in on the other side on this one too. I think Adam-Troy's take on the situation is (you'll pardon the expression) right on. Hamas has made it quite clear that the only resolution, as far as they're concerned, is the total destruction of the state of Israel. They did break the cease-fire. Israel may be a big muscular bully, but this time, it was the fat kid who started it. And we may have Israel in our pocket, so to speak, but don't think for a second that they do everything we tell them to do or not to do. They will do what they think is necessary to protect themselves. There were rockets being fired at them. It's not like somebody passed on some sketchy info about possible WOMDs, or a possible maybe kinda sorta connection to a terrorist attack and they decided to invade.

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Postby cynic » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:42 am

what was it that teddy roosevelt said,"walk softly but carry a big fat kid"?

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Postby paul » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:49 am

Frank, not piling on, just a quick check.

FrankChurch wrote: There are always victims and victimizers. Israel is the former. Context is the key. There is no such thing as fairness when the main power is able to exercise any violence they like, while the rest of the world has to follow standards. Remember it when Russia attacked Georgia.


1) "Israel is the former."- so Israel is the victim? That isn't what you've been saying, and I think that's not what you meant, is it?

2) "Remember it when Russia attacked Georgia." Are you talking about Russia's retaliation to Georgia's first-strike?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 114401.ece

http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/35137

Just looking for clarification. Nothing else to see here.


And, apropos of nothing:

cynic wrote:you can't polish a turd.(no people aren't turds,we're just subject to the same natural laws as all life is)


I hate to be the one to tell you, but......
http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbus ... -turd.html
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