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02/19/2007 09:55:55 AM · #1
Okay - this is potentially an explosive topic.

However, the recent rhetoric from the US, posited as paving the way for a US attack on Iran, scares me. The cost to humanity would be huge (and, on current form, it would be a war that the US would be hard pressed to win in any meaningful sense).

A link has been made between Iranian armaments and Iraqi insurgents. It is suggested that senior Iranian government is supporting the Iraqi insurgency.

This link appears untenable - an Iranian, Shi-ite government supporting the Sunni insurgents in Iraq overthrow the neighbouring Iraqi, Shi-ite government. It just does not add up.

It is very hard to trust the US executive, when so much of the "evidence" justifying the war in Iraq was wrong, misleading and/or deceitful. Perhaps the loss of its reputation for truthfulness, and its reputation for warmongering in wanton disregard of international law, are some of the bigger casualties of the Iraq invasion.

For those who are unfamiliar with the rich tapestry of Iranian life, perhaps those who regard all Iranians as terrorists, this is an excellent and watchable documentary. Sure, not an untroubled country, but replace the headscarves with crosses on chains, and the mosques with churches, and you'll see a country that is not dissimilar to parts of, say, the US.
02/19/2007 10:01:44 AM · #2
Originally posted by Matthew:


This link appears untenable - an Iranian, Shi-ite government supporting the Sunni insurgents in Iraq overthrow the neighbouring Iraqi, Shi-ite government. It just does not add up.


No one is claiming they are arming Sunni's. The claim is that they are arming Shiite militias such as Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. I know accuracy won't change your opinion, but there it is.
02/19/2007 10:11:24 AM · #3
Originally posted by Matthew:

A link has been made between Iranian armaments and Iraqi insurgents. It is suggested that senior Iranian government is supporting the Iraqi insurgency.


I feel I've heard all this before somewhere?
02/19/2007 10:41:39 AM · #4
Any country that would elect the whackaloon they have for president now is scary enough without nuclear weapons. Not to mention the religious whackjobs in charge since the country went berserk and decided that taking hostages was a good thing.

Based on the Iranian rhetoric, I expect Iran to nuke Israel about 10 seconds after getting their warheads ready.

The people of Iran are one thing, the government is another thing completely. I don't doubt that the Iranian government is actively, through covert military action, stirring up trouble in Iraq. What have they got to lose?
02/19/2007 10:45:03 AM · #5
Originally posted by Matthew:

It is very hard to trust the US executive, when so much of the "evidence" justifying the war in Iraq was wrong, misleading and/or deceitful. Perhaps the loss of its reputation for truthfulness, and its reputation for warmongering in wanton disregard of international law, are some of the bigger casualties of the Iraq invasion.

Sorry to be the one who must constantly raise the issue of evidence for charges, but since you made the charge, I feel compelled to ask for some evidence showing a) what "international law" was disregarded, and b) what body determined that the US disregarded it ( if, in fact, there is an international law that was disregarded ).

Message edited by author 2007-02-19 10:45:50.
02/19/2007 11:52:27 AM · #6
Originally posted by Matthew:

However, the recent rhetoric from the US, posited as paving the way for a US attack on Iran, scares me.


If so, then please do all you can to illicit Iran to come clean on their Nuclear ambitions. Also, please post how concerned you are for the tact that the Iranian Government has taken, which appears aimed at inciting a confrontation. Likewise, please illustrate your concern for the Israeli people and the afront to their liberty/safety an "armed" Iran would pose. This would demonstrate to me that your "problem" with rhetoric is actually a problem with rhetoric and not another jab at the American Administration.
02/19/2007 01:27:38 PM · #7

"This link appears untenable - an Iranian, Shi-ite government supporting the Sunni insurgents in Iraq overthrow the neighbouring Iraqi, Shi-ite government. It just does not add up."

As I understand it. The Iranians are NOT supporting the Sunni but their fellow Shi'ites. Which is a very logical position for Iran.

That said, as I understand it, there is conclusive proof that Iranians have been involved. There is not conclusive proof that they have been involved at the mandate of their government.

That said, Iran has stated the intention to development and even more importantly, USE a nuclear weapon.

Lastly, Iran has been on the table from the beginning. It was one of three nations mentioned in the "Axis of Evil". Iraq we are in process with, N. Korea we are endeavoring to utilize China's influence, and Iran. Iran we had hoped would fall to internal democratic revolution when Democracies in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq were established. However, struggles to accomplish those goals has resulted in little leverage to move Iran to Democracy from within.

- Saj
02/20/2007 05:08:34 AM · #8
I find it so amusing seeing the flipside of two opinions.. the names for the Iranian and American president are interchangble when both sides start describing the other's leader.. hell you never know who's talking about whom..
02/20/2007 07:08:02 AM · #9
CNN reports

Please note in this article that the US does not see the Iranian actions as "threatening" and the US will continue to assist mariners (including Iranians) in the Gulf. However, they will use prudence.

Does not sound like a planned military expansion to me.
02/20/2007 08:56:18 AM · #10
Originally posted by UrfaTheGreat:

I find it so amusing seeing the flipside of two opinions.. the names for the Iranian and American president are interchangble when both sides start describing the other's leader.. hell you never know who's talking about whom..


For all his verbal blunders, Bush has never suggested that the Holocaust didn't happen, nor has he indicated that an entire nation should be wiped from the map.
02/20/2007 09:00:56 AM · #11
The threat of Iran taking control of the Iraqi Shia-dominated government is the main reason the US can't withdraw from Iraq.

The US need a 'friendly' government running Iraq. If they withdraw while the country is this unstable then Iran will fill the void, and there's the additional risk of Saudi Arabia backing the Sunnis.
02/20/2007 09:35:29 AM · #12
I will address a couple of points - apologies if not all, and apologies if this is a little disjointed as a consequence.

RonB - the illegality of the war in Iraq is determined by reference to the UN Charter, to which the US is a signatory - the war met none of the prerequisites for lawful war. The contrary argument is that either, the US is above international law and is not bound by the UN charter, or that resolutions 1441, 687 and 678 permit the use of force regardless of the later refusal of the UN to sanction it. I do not find these arguments persuasive. The reasons given at the time (WMDs and pre-emptive strike) were of highly questionable legality and as it turns out false (and possibly falsified), and the justifications given subsequently (regime change) have no legal basis.

The illegality has not yet been successfully prosecuted - potentially relevant venues have generally ruled themselves as not having jurisdiction or the relevant mandate, or the illegality has been considered irrelevant on the facts of specific cases. This does not make the act lawful.

Iran's nuclear ambitions are problematic. International law prohibits them from developing nuclear weapons, but permits civilian use. I think that this represents a reasonable balance of interests. By far the best result would be for reintroduction of UN inspectors and the oversight of civilian development of nuclear technology in Iran. Diplomacy should be capable of achieving this - that is, if we engage in it. (In this context, casting other nations as "evil" is unhelpful).

The US is using increasingly hard language to describe its position on Iran. I note routerguy's comment on the Mehdi army - thanks (more here). I had misunderstood the nature of the claim.

The issue is more subtle than I had understood it: the apparent use of Iranian weapons by the Mehdi army is highlighted, possibly intended to mislead people into believing that Iranians are generally supporting the insurgency and violence, when in fact the Mehdi army is responsible for a tiny proportion of the violence. I appear to have fallen foul of the misleading nature of the reports myself.

In respect of the accusations that Ahmadinejad is a whacko dedicated to use nuclear force, as I understand it, Iran has not said it wants to wipe Israel out of the map of the world, but wants to eliminate Zionism. The threats appear to be broadly sensationalised and/or mistranslated (wiki).

I understand the concern of Israelis in respect of growing Iranian force, but the apparent threat has to be tempered with a degree of realism. Even if Iran did develop nuclear force, it would be suicidal for Iran to attack Israel using it. While Iran has a religious head of state (which is far from ideal), Ahmadinejad is not a religious leader (even if obviously influenced by religion) and is not utterly deranged. The threat is to the Israeli executive, not the people. The principle issue is Palestine and the ongoing opression of the Palestinians (in respect of which Iran supports a one state solution). I would also maintain (as do many others) that resolving the Palestinian crisis is the single most productive thing that could be done to improve world peace. Again, the US refusal to engage in diplomacy in the region makes this problematic.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has a deadline for Iran to stop work on nuclear enrichment and enter talks expiring tomorrow. I don't hold out much hope for compliance - the military threat is currently too vague to create immediate concern and the diplomatic solution is severely compromised by the US stance on communications with Iran. I anticipate that the dispute will rumble on for a while longer.

However, I maintain that it is alarming that there appears to be groundwork being laid for popularising a war on Iran at this stage. A hyper-aggressive, undiplomatic foreign policy offers only a high risk, massively expensive, humanitarianally repugnant, and short termist "solution" to the problem.

Message edited by author 2007-02-20 09:40:16.
02/20/2007 09:51:27 AM · #13
Originally posted by Matthew:



In respect of the accusations that Ahmadinejad is a whacko dedicated to use nuclear force, as I understand it, Iran has not said it wants to wipe Israel out of the map of the world, but wants to eliminate Zionism. The threats appear to be broadly sensationalised and/or mistranslated (wiki).

I understand the concern of Israelis in respect of growing Iranian force, but the apparent threat has to be tempered with a degree of realism. Even if Iran did develop nuclear force, it would be suicidal for Iran to attack Israel using it. While Iran has a religious head of state (which is far from ideal), Ahmadinejad is not a religious leader (even if obviously influenced by religion) and is not utterly deranged. The threat is to the Israeli executive, not the people. The principle issue is Palestine and the ongoing opression of the Palestinians (in respect of which Iran supports a one state solution). I would also maintain (as do many others) that resolving the Palestinian crisis is the single most productive thing that could be done to improve world peace. Again, the US refusal to engage in diplomacy in the region makes this problematic.



I can see the subtle differences between the Iranian President saying he wants to "wipe Israel off the map" and calling for elimination of Zionism. Yet, I fail to see how the latter can be proposed without, by necessity, implying the latter.

Iran has already demonstrated its willingness to use suicidal means in pursuit of its objectives. After all, it was Iran who used "human wave" attacks against the Iraqi Army in the Iran-Iraq War where wave after wave of unarmed conscripts, many of them young teenagers, were sent in droves to their bloody deaths in minefields or in front of machine guns.

Nuking Israel would just be taking that concept to the next level. Neither one is the product of rational thought.

Message edited by author 2007-02-20 09:57:46.
02/20/2007 10:01:23 AM · #14
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Nuking Israel would just be taking that concept to the next level. Neither one is the product of rational thought.

Does dropping bunker busters on the nuclear facility at Natanz sound rational?
02/20/2007 10:22:10 AM · #15
No but would make a sweet photo.

Originally posted by jhonan:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Nuking Israel would just be taking that concept to the next level. Neither one is the product of rational thought.

Does dropping bunker busters on the nuclear facility at Natanz sound rational?

02/20/2007 11:06:10 AM · #16
Originally posted by jhonan:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Nuking Israel would just be taking that concept to the next level. Neither one is the product of rational thought.

Does dropping bunker busters on the nuclear facility at Natanz sound rational?


More rational than sending thousands and thousands of unarmed children into fierce combat.


02/20/2007 11:50:01 AM · #17
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

I fail to see how the latter can be proposed without, by necessity, implying the latter.


I agree that the language is threatening, and it is unhelpful that Ahmadinejad has refused to clarify the meaning of his words.

The issue of anti-zionism was (IMO) written about in lucid and level headed prose in 1947 by King Abdullah (I also note the irony in the call for the US to stop financing the Jewish terrorists fighting the English!).

Originally posted by Spazmo:

Iran has already demonstrated its willingness to use suicidal means in pursuit of its objectives.


It is possible to quote examples of history to support almost any stance. I don't think that suicidal attacks of 30 years ago are very relevant in the current climate - certainly no more than, say, the US selling chemical weapons to the Iraqis in the same conflict.

In support of my original point, the BBC has just published another article considering the US position and highlighting the timescales for approaching war due to the nuclear risk (4-6 years, plenty of time for diplomacy) and the timescale if it can establish a popular/tenable link between Iran, the insurgency, and coalition deaths (weeks or months, no time for diplomacy).

I also note that Tehran has rejected early the demands of the IAEA.
02/20/2007 12:16:36 PM · #18
Originally posted by "Matthew":

RonB - the illegality of the war in Iraq is determined by reference to the UN Charter, to which the US is a signatory - the war met none of the prerequisites for lawful war. The contrary argument is that either, the US is above international law and is not bound by the UN charter, or that resolutions 1441, 687 and 678 permit the use of force regardless of the later refusal of the UN to sanction it.


The problem with illegal is that it's not always immoral. For example, the U.S. declaring war on Germany could have been considered considered illegal. Germany did not actually attack the U.S., Japan did. Sure they were allied.

So was it illegal in the eyes of the U.N., perhaps. Was it immoral. Not quite sure. But in my book, the U.N. sitting on it's but doing nothing for years was immoral.

U.N. repeatedly standing by watching small holocausts in Rwanda and elsewhere is to me immoral. Now, it may not be illegal by the U.N.'s rulebook...but it should be.

Originally posted by "Matthew":

The reasons given at the time (WMDs and pre-emptive strike) were of highly questionable legality and as it turns out false (and possibly falsified), and the justifications given subsequently (regime change) have no legal basis.


Legal justification...

Saddam had repeatedly stated the offer of awards of money to the families of suicide bombers who attacked the enemies of Islam.

9-11 was not the first bombing of the WTC. It had happened in 1993. And although there was not a clear connection many links seemed to implicate Iraq as an accomplice in that first bombing plot.

So essentially, 9-11 occurs. We have a regime who already openly supports and funds terrorism and islamic extremists. Possible aided in the first WTC. Nothing links 9-11 to the Iraqi government. But we have a leader who is not only sympathetic to such actions but has put his $$$ behind such actions.

So yes, with such past experiences and statements, the effects of 9-11 changed the ballgame.

Originally posted by "matthew":

Iran's nuclear ambitions are problematic. International law prohibits them from developing nuclear weapons, but permits civilian use. I think that this represents a reasonable balance of interests. By far the best result would be for reintroduction of UN inspectors and the oversight of civilian development of nuclear technology in Iran.


Hmm... U.N. weapons inspectors are about as useful as playing tennis with a whiffle ball bat.

(ie: N. Korea)

That said, let's consider things for a moment. Iran is an oil rich nation. It's actually cheaper for them to derive energy from oil than a nuclear powerplant.

Second, Iran has made threatening statements and expressed an intention to build a nuclear bomb not simply a nuclear powerplant. So when they express such intentions I do not believe civilian use is a credible excuse.

Originally posted by "matthew":

Diplomacy should be capable of achieving this - that is, if we engage in it. (In this context, casting other nations as "evil" is unhelpful).


Diplomacy only works if both parties actually want peace. (ie: Diplomacy royally screwed over Europe in the late 1930's. In fact even though Europe was so diplomatic as to allow Germany to claim Austria and Poland. Such diplomacy still resulted in failure.) Diplomacy is for when two parties do not want actual war. Hence it worked during the cold war with the Soviet Union. If either or both parties are intent on conflict than diplomacy will do nothing but be taken as weakness and be used as a tool against the peaceful seeking nation(s).

Originally posted by "matthew":

In respect of the accusations that Ahmadinejad is a whacko dedicated to use nuclear force, as I understand it, Iran has not said it wants to wipe Israel out of the map of the world, but wants to eliminate Zionism. The threats appear to be broadly sensationalised and/or mistranslated


What do you think Zionism is? Do you think Zionism can be wiped out and Israel can remain?

Originally posted by "matthew":

I understand the concern of Israelis in respect of growing Iranian force, but the apparent threat has to be tempered with a degree of realism. Even if Iran did develop nuclear force, it would be suicidal for Iran to attack Israel using it.


Well, it'd also be suicide to fly airplanes into buildings to cause harm and kill people considered the enemy.

In fact, anyone should be able to realise that "suicide" does not impede islamic fascists.

It would be suicide to strap a bomb on and go onto a bus with children and blow yourself up.

And why is nuking Tel-Aviv or Jaffa suicide? Heck, placed properly a few nukes could essentially cripple Israel's defenses completely.

Originally posted by "matthew":

he threat is to the Israeli executive, not the people. The principle issue is Palestine and the ongoing opression of the Palestinians (in respect of which Iran supports a one state solution)....resolving the Palestinian crisis is the single most productive thing that could be done to improve world peace. Again, the US refusal to engage in diplomacy in the region makes this problematic.


I will repeat, that in order to resolve both parties must be willing to resolve. Controlling elements of the Palestinians do not want resolution. They only accept removal and eradication.

Furthermore, every time major moves towards peace have been made by Israel the result has been more bloodshed and killing of Israelis. And the media just fuels it. Have the things we see showing the Palestinian crisis on TV are studio films with no basis of reality.

Originally posted by "matthew":


However, I maintain that it is alarming that there appears to be groundwork being laid for popularising a war on Iran at this stage. A hyper-aggressive, undiplomatic foreign policy offers only a high risk, massively expensive, humanitarianally repugnant, and short termist "solution" to the problem.


You keep mentioning diplomacy. The need for diplomacy. But let's take away the coverings. Diplomacy is a terms that covers a variety of actions.

What actions do you prescribe for remedying this problem. In other words, what diplomatic acts to resolve the problem.

You have preposed one that I have seen. The resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. (Although I think such a resolution would be wonderful, I do not believe it would in fact make much difference. The Palestinian plight is merely the Lusitania. They point to it as the issue but were it gone little would change. In fact, I don't think they want peace with Israel because if such were accomplished they'd have no excuse for their actions. It's "an convenient untruth"...

All of Israel's good will gestures toward peace have been returned with a slap in the face.

Originally posted by "jhonan":

Does dropping bunker busters on the nuclear facility at Natanz sound rational?


Absolutely....

Had Japan stated that they were going to bomb Pearl Harbor, HI. Would it have been rational to mobilize our forces and strike them first. Yes...it would have.

Frankly, if you tell someone "I'm going to come over your house and beat the living daylights out of you." And then you visit their house and they beat the daylights out of you with a baseball bat. Was it rational? Quite so...even logical. You had stated your objectives and seemingly were in the process of acting on them.

Now, put yourself in the place of the Israelis. Where else can they go? Europe...1/2 of you turned your back on them while the other half tried to exterminate them to the last man. 1 in 3 Jews are dead. And that doesn't even address the polgroms, Spanish inquisition, etc. Meanwhile, America did little better turning away most of the Jewish refugees. Many went home to what was for the most part a barren waste of a land. Even then, many were turned away.

When the British pulled out of the region they raised a flag and called themselves a nation. They are accused of displacing the Palestinians. The vast majority of which are actually formerly of Syria, Egypt, etc and came into the region for the work the British Commonwealth provided. The vast majority of the land that was originally in question was taken by an Arab prince and became the nation of Jordan. It's very arguable that the Arabs actually stole more land from the Palestinians than the Jews are criticized for doing. Also, unlike the Jews, who's gaining of the land followed being attacked by said Arabs. Those Arabs nations took not in defense...but rather those who they claim they were aiding. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were also forced out of the neighboring Arabs states. Some members of these Jewish communities had resided in these regions for thousands of years.

As for the nature and character of the situation. It is quite evident and clear. Where as Israel has control of the region. Every Jew is forbidden access to their own Temple Mount. Muslims restrict any access to the Jews' holiest of sites. The muslims desecrate the archeology and artifacts and often engaged in destructive construction on and around the Temple Mount. The Israelis are criticized if they just scan the mount or try to repair crumbling walls. When they should have the right to access the Temple Mount as well.

In truth, one of two things she be done.
a) no one be allowed access
b) all be allowed access

But the muslims in that region have a knack for double-standards. There is no option to negotiate with them. The muslims refuse to ever grant the Jews access to the Temple Mount. Israel has, in the name of peace, excluded it's own people from accessing the TM because of the violence muslims threaten if they do.

What shows more clearly the nature of the two parties. One, unwilling to negotiate or share in any way. (I'll say it, a bunch of spoiled little playground brats those muslims are.) The other, has given up what was actually theirs in hopes of peace in the playground. And they don't get it. The muslims in that area still attack. Still bully. No inclination to share. But if hit back they will deride the situation as unfair.

Yes it is...it is unfair that Muslims choose to refuse to allow Jews to visit their holiest of sites. Were Jews to do the same to the Muslims I am sure the world would harshly condemn them. And I am sure dozens of resolutions would be passed by the U.N. (I'm not sure, but is there even a single U.N. resolution condemning the refusal of Muslims to allow access to the Temple Mount for the Jews?)

02/20/2007 12:25:10 PM · #19
Originally posted by theSaj:

So was it illegal in the eyes of the U.N., perhaps.

Uh, the UN didn't exist until after the end of WW II.

Message edited by author 2007-02-20 12:25:34.
02/20/2007 12:37:14 PM · #20
Originally posted by theSaj:

Originally posted by "jhonan":

Does dropping bunker busters on the nuclear facility at Natanz sound rational?


Absolutely....

Had Japan stated that they were going to bomb Pearl Harbor, HI. Would it have been rational to mobilize our forces and strike them first. Yes...it would have.

Which would constitute a pre-emptive attack. I was a bit unclear on one thing though, who do you think should be attacking Iran - Israel or the US?

Originally posted by theSaj:

Frankly, if you tell someone "I'm going to come over your house and beat the living daylights out of you." And then you visit their house and they beat the daylights out of you with a baseball bat. Was it rational? Quite so...even logical. You had stated your objectives and seemingly were in the process of acting on them.

Iran has not stated that they intend to invade Israel, or that they intend to attack the US. Obviously any sovereign country has the right to defend itself if it is attacked.

Just as Iran would have the right to defend itself if it is attacked pre-emptively by either the US or Israel.
02/20/2007 12:41:01 PM · #21
Originally posted by "matthew":

It is possible to quote examples of history to support almost any stance. I don't think that suicidal attacks of 30 years ago are very relevant in the current climate - certainly no more than, say, the US selling chemical weapons to the Iraqis in the same conflict.


I believe when something has not ceased, that is it clearly relevant. Therefore, the continual actions of suicidal nature not 30 yrs ago, but rather, throughout the past 30 years. Makes it absolutely relevant.

"Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?"

Perhaps this would be better addressed to Native Americans rather than U.S. Americans. As the vast majority of the U.S. population was indeed immigrants.

"Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut and other Arab centres have always contained large and prosperous Jewish colonies."

Anyone wonder where these large properous Jewish colonies are today? Gone...most of them. Most were shoved into Israel.

"It is significant that the Philistines—not the Jews—gave their name to the country: "Palestine" is merely the Greek form of "Philistia.""

More correctly, it was the Romans who gave it such name as a slight against the Jews. Prior it was often referred to as Judea. The actual area that was historically called Philistine by the actual Philistines was rather small. More akin to what we'd define as a city state.

"In any event, the great Moslem expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely."

It's kind of ironic, because one of the arguments that Muslims use against Israel to their people is that anything that was once muslim must be re-claimed. Hence, the movement to reclaim southern Spain as well.

Go figure...this is politics. They will say to you what you want to hear because they understand diplomacy. But they will act according to their belief which is that they must reclaim such lands and that such lands are forever muslim.

"The Jewish "religious claim" to Palestine is as absurd as the "historic claim." The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics."

Strange, no group of people confuses these two more than muslims. Religion and politics is so intertwined that it makes the extreme christian right look like a seperation of church and state.

The fact that muslim leaders will not allow the Jewish people any access to the Temple Mount, the pillar of their faith without perpetrating violence and discord is the purest example of this.

"And yet this same America—the richest, greatest, most powerful nation the world has ever known—refuses to accept more than a token handful of these same Jews herself!"

This King Abdullah you are 100% right was a shame. Perhaps it is why in part we now act as we do. We realized our shame. Perhaps it would be good for the Arabs to do the same.

"The astounding truth is that nobody on earth really knows where these unfortunate Jews really want to go!"

Foolishness, they do. Most wanted out of Europe. Many to America. And many to return to their ancestral homeland.

"The 65,000 Jews in Palestine in 1918 have jumped to 600,000 today."
How many Arabs were there in 1918? even more so...how many Arabs were there in 1850?

"The sorry story of the so-called "Balfour Declaration," which started Zionist immigration into Palestine, is too complicated to repeat here in detail. It is grounded in broken promises to the Arabs—promises made in cold print which admit no denying.

We utterly deny its validity. We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a "national home" for an entirely foreign people."

Ah the crux of the matter...none of the land was actually Arab was it? No, it had been under Turkish control and then under British after defeating Turkey.

So in truth, what went on in the early 1900's was a land grab by many peoples to re-gain territory and in part resurrect long gone kingdoms.

"This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows. The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it."

By this argument...every Arab in America who has provided money for the Palestinian cause, Hamas, and their front groups should answer for it as well.

Funding of Jewish terrorism was wrong. Funding of building and development was not. IMHO
02/20/2007 12:48:00 PM · #22
Originally posted by theSaj:

The problem with illegal is that it's not always immoral.

The problem with morality is that it is subjective: that is why principled rules are established. From one point of view, spreading the word of liberation, from another POV, killing hundreds of thousands of people in order to establish cheaper oil imports. The morality is not clear cut. The rules are far more so.

Originally posted by "theSaj":

So essentially, 9-11 occurs. We have a regime who already openly supports and funds terrorism and islamic extremists. Possible aided in the first WTC. Nothing links 9-11 to the Iraqi government. But we have a leader who is not only sympathetic to such actions but has put his $$$ behind such actions.


I am glad that you raise this issue - plenty of others keep on trying to tell me that Americans understand and always understood that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism (after all, the argument is now widely discredited). The links are and were incredibly weak.

Originally posted by theSaj:

Hmm... U.N. weapons inspectors are about as useful as playing tennis with a whiffle ball bat.


So what alternative do you suggest? Globalthermonuclear war?

Originally posted by theSaj:

Diplomacy only works if both parties actually want peace.


And your alternative? Again - hyperagression? Let's not bother talking to them, just bomb them.

Is there anything more likely to stimulate an arms race than refusing to negotiate with anyone? If the only language you talk is strength of arms, then expect other nations to tool up. It will only work for so long, after all (can the US get bogged down in a further front? where will the money come from - you already have the next decade mortgaged to pay for the current wars?).

Your perspective is all wrong - there are many hundreds of wars that have been averted by effective diplomacy. The problem from my perspective is that they are a little less memorable than the wars (they are all only just "what could have beens").

Originally posted by theSaj:

What do you think Zionism is? Do you think Zionism can be wiped out and Israel can remain?


I am not promoting anti-zionism. I am trying to help people understand what it is.

Please read the King Abdullah article - it explains the problem well. If you understand the mentality, you might see that it is not entirely unreasonable or fanatical (it will require the use of *empathy* to understand).

If you understand the mentality, then you might be able to see that there are compromise positions - though these do require significant compromises by the current Israeli state (not down to the religion of its population, but as a consequence of the consequences of its actions in recent history and the festering sore that is modern Palestine).

I have to dash now.
02/20/2007 01:08:19 PM · #23
Originally posted by "jhonan":

"Which would constitute a pre-emptive attack. I was a bit unclear on one thing though, who do you think should be attacking Iran - Israel or the US?"


More so for Israel in the case of Iran. However, if Iran is sending units into Iraq and trying to de-stabilize Iraq. Then I do believe we can act by enforcing the border and engaging with hostility the border.

Originally posted by "jhonan":

Iran has not stated that they intend to invade Israel, or that they intend to attack the US. Obviously any sovereign country has the right to defend itself if it is attacked.


True, they've listed the eradication of Zionism. And I think I recall the obliteration of their enemies.

Originally posted by "jhonan":

Just as Iran would have the right to defend itself if it is attacked pre-emptively by either the US or Israel.


Of course pre-emptive becomes questionable if said nation is arming, training and providing intelligence and even actively involved in combat. (ie: Iran's roles with Syria and Hamas last year, Iranian soldiers in Iraq, etc)

Such can be interpreted as undeclared acts of war.
02/20/2007 01:56:34 PM · #24
Originally posted by "Matthew":

The problem with morality is that it is subjective: that is why principled rules are established. From one point of view, spreading the word of liberation, from another POV, killing hundreds of thousands of people in order to establish cheaper oil imports. The morality is not clear cut. The rules are far more so.


Problem with legality, is it's also subjective based on morals; with the added aspect that it's often influenced by $$$.

Originally posted by "matthew":

So what alternative do you suggest? Globalthermonuclear war?


No..., in fact, I really am not so keen on an invasion of Iran either. If it were me. I'd like to see a lot more solidarity from the international community against Iran. Which we're not seeing and not likely to see.

I think if I were to take action it would be to create a dead zone along the border. That meaning that nothing passes. Except thru a few certain locales. If passed. The results are likely unpleasant. Excuses for why passing not excepted. Be it a funeral crossing...sorry, as much as I am sad for your loss. It's an automated targeting system that destroys anything in crossing.

Not sure I even like that...but hopefully cutting off the influence a bit would help prevent Iran from stirring up the waters in Iraq. Though in truth, I don't think such would prevent it completely. But it might force Iran to either back-off a bit or play their cards more openly.

Originally posted by "matthew":

Is there anything more likely to stimulate an arms race than refusing to negotiate with anyone? I


Is there anything more likely to get you shot in the back then continuing negotiating when the other party has no desire too?

It's not like we haven't been at the negotiating table before. Sometimes you have to walk away. Such negotiations are quite common in any market bazarre in the middle-east.

Originally posted by "matthew":

Your perspective is all wrong - there are many hundreds of wars that have been averted by effective diplomacy.


And even more that have not. When diplomacy reaches a point where it is ineffective and one or more parties have no desire to negotiate than is ceases being useful...at least for the time being.

Often the best means of avoiding all out war is effective diplomacy combined with a clear show of force.

Originally posted by "matthew":

I am not promoting anti-zionism. I am trying to help people understand what it is.


One biased political speech designed to present one's side in the hopes of gaining sympathy for one's cause is only partial in it's ability to allow people to understand.

Originally posted by "matthew":

Please read the King Abdullah article - it explains the problem well. If you understand the mentality, you might see that it is not entirely unreasonable or fanatical (it will require the use of *empathy* to understand).


I read the article, it's a well present political speech. But I also pointed out a number of dualities inherent in it. I also questioned the use of certain one sided statistics. 65,000 jumpbed to 600,000 in a couple of decades. So were there always 1.5 millions arabs in Palestine? How many Arabs were in Palestine in 1918? How many in 1850?

Likewise, the Arabs are stating the past is no excuse. The fact that the Jews were there before means does not mean they are eligible to be there again.

When a displaced people who have no place go need a place to go. The likelihood, and not all that irrational choice, is to the place where they originally came from.

The fact that the Arabs refused to share even half of a New Jersey sized piece of land that wasn't very populated to begin with. While numerous other Arab states have taken over much larger tracts of Palestinian land. Leaves one question why one is acceptable and the other is not.

02/20/2007 02:03:20 PM · #25
Originally posted by Matthew:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

I fail to see how the latter can be proposed without, by necessity, implying the latter.


I agree that the language is threatening, and it is unhelpful that Ahmadinejad has refused to clarify the meaning of his words.

The issue of anti-zionism was (IMO) written about in lucid and level headed prose in 1947 by King Abdullah (I also note the irony in the call for the US to stop financing the Jewish terrorists fighting the English!).

Originally posted by Spazmo:

Iran has already demonstrated its willingness to use suicidal means in pursuit of its objectives.


It is possible to quote examples of history to support almost any stance. I don't think that suicidal attacks of 30 years ago are very relevant in the current climate - certainly no more than, say, the US selling chemical weapons to the Iraqis in the same conflict.

In support of my original point, the BBC has just published another article considering the US position and highlighting the timescales for approaching war due to the nuclear risk (4-6 years, plenty of time for diplomacy) and the timescale if it can establish a popular/tenable link between Iran, the insurgency, and coalition deaths (weeks or months, no time for diplomacy).

I also note that Tehran has rejected early the demands of the IAEA.


King Abdullah has been dead for 56 years. I doubt his interpretation of what anti-zionism is, written 60 years ago, can be considered relevant today. Certainly not any more relevant than the actions of a state only 20 years ago. (The war started in 1980 and ended in 1988, with the human wave attacks starting in 1983, not 30 years ago, which would place the events prior to the 1979 Iranian Revolution.) A state that has remained firmly in the grasp of the same religious zealots.

This would not be Iran's first time encouraging the Shia in other countries to rise up. Khomeni encouraged the Shia in Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia to rise up and overthrow the governments in those countries as had been done in Iran.

It's also interesting to note that in 1982, 2 years after the war began, Saddam (of all people) offered a truce to end hostilities with Iran. Rather than accept, the Iranians pressed ahead, soon thereafter implementing their human wave attacks. When Saddam offered "peace", the fighting was no longer on Iranian soil, it was in Iraq, so the Iranians can hardly be pictured as defending their territory and using the human wave assaults as a last resort.
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