Monday, July 31, 2006

Islamo-Fascism

The terms “Islamo-Fascism” and “Islamo-Fascist States” are cropping up in the conservative press, and media outlets like Fox News. The term “Fascism” is clearly being used as a derogatory epithet intended to marshal all our negative emotional energy in the war on terror, or whatever it is exactly that we are making war on.

As a rhetorical device I suppose we have to take it for exactly what it is, an essentially meaningless expression of disapproval, something like a good juicy curse, and move on.

But if we take the term “Islamo-Fascism” as somehow descriptive, rather than merely expressive, we may make the mistake of thinking we know something when in fact we don’t. We may think we know something about the government or social structure we are facing.

Theoretical fascism was a system of government in which individual representation was replaced by representation of corporate bodies within society. (These were not corporations in the business sense, but rather something more like feudal guilds, or interest groups within society. The clearest statement of this might be in the writing of the English fascist Sir Oswald Mosely.

The Wikipedia entry under Fascism is extensive and the variety of definitions so great that the free floating use of the term to refer to a social or governmental form in the absence of detailed analysis is meaningless.

For your amusement I offer you this, followed by this.

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Or, if you're tired of politics, try the latest entry at DataPort Motorcycles.

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29 comments:

x4mr said...

Jesus, Art. Yea, those links were most amusing.

Quoting Mosely:

it is rapidly becoming clear that if mankind's moral nature and spiritual stature cannot increase more commensurately with his material achievements, we risk the death of the world. . . .

We must learn to live, as well as to do. We must restore harmony with life, and recognize the purpose in life. Man has released the forces of nature just as he has become separated from nature; this is a mortal danger, and is reflected in the neurosis of the age. We cannot stay just where we are; it is an uneasy, perilous and impossible situation. Man must either reach beyond his present self, or fail; and if he fails this time, the failure is final.


At your Therapeutic Rant I commented about the need to evolve towards a new way of organizing ourselves. This new way would have to address core concerns like sustainability, equity, and development. Sustainability requires us to manage global warming, population growth, and the environment. Equity requires systems that promote rights and fairness. War and oppression simply have no place if this is handled. Development (and I mean human development, i.e. education, science, etc.) keeps sharpening our ability to handle increasingly difficult challenges.

Sustainability, Equity, and Development are the least of the concerns of our current administration, and sometimes I wonder if they are as insane as James Watt of the Reagan days, who said there was no need to preserve the environment because Christ was coming soon. I remember laughing.

Really not laughing anymore. This isn’t funny, and if they have figured out a way to rig the elections, we’re toast.

Armageddon was on CNN today, and they were quoting people discussing "End of Days" in a context as if it were actually plausible, a legitimate theory, something worthy of consideration. If religious fanatics truly have the influence they might.....

Someone can do better than me about Churchill’s quotes in the 30’s (have read it in several places, and was this in the Gore movie?) saying "I know it’s crazy and hard to believe guys, but this is new, and we are in deep shit!"

I’m afraid we are. But before I fly off the handle and put a pistol in my mouth, I’ll note that in the past somehow we found a way. The editing if not falsification of scientific reports did make it to 60 Minutes on Sunday. Anyone that thinks they know how the internet is going to change things is kidding themselves.

Maybe the silver lining in this horrible cloud is that it will wake up a critical mass of people with access to information as never before to find a voice as never before that figures out a way to say, "Enough! Things are now going to be different."

Dave Atlas said...

I read your links and was unaware that what I already knew intuitively was so thoroughly published and examined elsewhere. Thinking and/or educated folks know where we are heading as a people, a country and as a world, yet there seems no force capable of reversing this cleary foreseen destiny.

History has had many dark periods followed by enlightened ones. I see the present direction as most dipressing, but not the end of everything, just part of the natural course of events. I hope technology and good people rise up to meet the challenges that are here now and coming in the next few years. I hope they find something left of the world to save. We sure are doing our best to ruin it today.

Liza said...

Art,
Excellent post. Thanks for the link to the Project for the Old American Century. That is one I haven’t found yet.

Dave,
Your comments take me to exactly what I wanted to say. Throughout these terrible times, there has been no shortage of investigative journalists, academics, intellectuals, whistle blowers, and others who are dedicating their lives to digging for the truth and making it available to the general population. I’m thinking of people such as Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill, Robert Fisk, William Rivers Pitt, Seymour Hersh, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Dahr Jamail, Naomi Klein, and many, many others. These people have very limited access to the mainstream media with the possible exception of those with established reputations who are able to publish books. However, these people are out there and, in some cases, are risking their lives so that the truth will not be buried by the propaganda that is delivered every day and every hour by the corporate media.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t watch Fox News and I can’t even watch CNN which is supposedly not as bad as Fox. My blood pressure is up 10 points since Israel started bombing Lebanon. At this point, I’m getting all the news from web based sources.

I will just say this. We can’t control the fact that we are being propagandized by the corporate media. That is an integral part of the movement toward plutocracy because it is necessary to keep the population distracted and/or agreeable for plutocracy to replace democracy. Otherwise, there will be dissent and that can lead to populist movements among the governed. So, we are never going to be able to stop the ruling elite and their corporate supporters from propagandizing. However, we can control what we are willing to listen to and what we are willing to believe. Right now we still have access to the truth and we need to find and support those who are out there working us.

x4mr,
I’m not very hopeful right now. I think there’s a bad moon rising, to paraphrase John Fogerty.

Framer said...

Of all of the problematic issues in the Middle East, Hezbollah vs. Israel is an easy call to make.

This war has already been fought, and Israel occupied the portions of Lebanon where these rocket attacks are coming from. The occupied not to terrorize or gain land, but to guarantee their safety from these Iranian backed terrorists. In 2000 (I believe) they relinquished control at the behest of the United Nations. In return, the UN promised Israel that they would keep these types of attacks from happening. The UN has abandoned its pledge and is now actively trying to undermine Israel's chance to defend itself. There is no moral equivalance. If you took away Hezbollah's and their allies weapons thare would be peace. If you took away Israel's weapons, they would be destroyed.

Look, the whole point of terrorism is to kill innocent people, either by out-right murder or using them as shields. If we do not have the fortitude to stomach even minimal civilian casulities, then we cannot fight terrorism. Not now, not ever. We can either choose to ignore it or submit to their demands. Both have been tried in the past and civilization was the worse for it.

It is terrible, but that is the only choice available to us, and damn them to Hell for putting us here. Could we have had a victory over Germany without firebombing Dresden? Could we have defeated Japan without Hiroshima? What would have been the consequences had either not been defeated?

Pretty much everybody in the United States and Israel for that matter would prefer not to fight in a war. The problem is that sometimes, the choice is made by the other side.

I realize that this is not going to change a single mind on this blog. But the truth is Egypt and Jordan recognize this as well. Where was the condemnation from these two countries when the hostillities began? There was none. They would like to see Hezbollah destroyed as much as Israel does.

What needs to happen is the Lebanese people and Army needs to control Lebanon. There is no other solution. If the Isreali army cannot extract Hezbollah, what other method is there?

I'm certainly open to suggestions.

x4mr said...

Liza—could not agree more about the bad moon rising and am resigned that the unfolding scenario is going to get worse before better for reasons coming up.

Framer—of course I don’t have a solution to the middle-east. The roots of this go back to the dawn of Christianity when a certain set of folks chose not to go along with the new game. Oversimplified of course, but keeping the old around gives the new a certain validity complex and infuriated its proponents.

Will jump to the holocaust, the counter swing producing the state of Israel, and now a bunch of people in the middle-east are really furious. As I said in the thread following the Rant post, Israel has lived with its back against a wall and a gun at its head since birth. They don’t have the luxury to even pretend to be politically correct, whatever that is in this context. Mess with Israel, and they will hit you. HARD.

In the fabulous movie The Fog of War McNamara talks about the cold war crisis where we came right to the brink of "Armageddon" (certainly at least a colossal loss of life). The news is bad, because I think this conflict (the whole thing, not just Lebanon) is escalating into something worse than the cold war, something with a deep religious and world view rift, and that the upcoming equivalent of the October 62 crisis is far more problematic, especially if we get there before 11/08.

Instead of JFK, we have GW Bush. Instead of Robert, we have Cheney. And Jesus, instead of McNamara, we have Rumsfeld. Perhaps the folks on the other side are wiser and more rational. Instead of Khrushchev, we have Mahmood Ahmadinezhad? Osama bin Ladin? Of course I am referring to the foe’s eventual possession of nuclear weapons with current events approximately as they are today.

Their religious fanatics howl about Jihad and dozens of virgins. Our religious fanatics howl about the "End of Days." 100 years ago a bunch of freaks wailing about the end of the world was good for a laugh.

Now we actually have the power to do it, and the terrible news is that the freaks are getting into positions of power, and I am not just talking about Iran. When that dreaded phone call arrives, "Do what we want or Tel Aviv (or New York) joins the space station.".......

I am furious, Framer, at the GOP for selling most if not all of its soul to religious fanatics over what is a comparatively small issue in the global context. How incredibly ironic it would be if a key spark in our demise is one of our two political parties exploiting (and then addicted to) a movement called "Right to Life."

Framer said...

x4mr,

It is refreshing to see that you have thought several years into the future on this. The thing is, this is not a "George Bush" issue. The towers would have been hit had Gore been elected, to not believe this is just asinine. Iran and Islamic terrorism do not really care about Republican or Democrat, they just want their "end of days."

the trick is that we do not have the means to deal with a nuclear Iran currently. They would hold us ransom because they are crazy enough to use nukes. In that way the Cuban Missle Crisis is a false analogy. These people want and need Armeggedon. Time and progress are not their ally.

To think that Christians in America want and are welcoming Armeggedon is incredibly misinformed, and is fantasy by those who refuse to acknowledge what is truly happening. Honestly, this is serious tinfoil hattery. These people may exist, but they do not control US policy at any level.

Our only choices are to allow Islamic Terrorists to gain nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, or to attempt to kick that ball far enough down the road so as to hope we can better deal with the consequences. That's it, two choices.

The second is not going to be achieved via the United Nations and diplomacy. It is going to be messy and ugly and take some degree of fortitude, circumspection and even guilt. Some may believe it is not worth it and take their chances with door number one. I do not agree with that view, but I can respect it. But, I simply cannot take seriously those who wish to deny that this choice needs to be made, and simply want to wish it away as a Christian myth.

The image driving most neocons is not the final battle, but the smiling idiot Nevile Chamberlain declaring "Peace in Our Time!"

Liza said...

Framer,
I will agree that the Israel vs. Lebanon is an easy call to make but I have called it exactly the opposite from you.

First, having a discussion here about whether Israel is right or wrong in how they go about insuring their “survival” would not be very productive. I have been reading about this for decades, and until recently, I was neither pro-Israel nor pro-Palestinian, Lebanon, Syria, etc… So, what changed? Well, soon after George W. Bush was given the Presidency back in 2000, I became aware of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Any citizen of the United States who is not familiar with the work of this right wing think tank should immediately stop what he/she is doing and begin the research. PNAC’s most important document is entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” which is the blueprint for the Bush Doctrine as well as US foreign policy as we know it today. Pay very close attention to who has been a PNAC member since it was founded in 1997. In a nutshell, there is no way to understand US foreign policy with respect to the Mideast without a comprehensive understanding of the work of PNAC. Interestingly enough, their work is readily available, it always has been, and most Americans have never heard of them. I guess that Fox News hasn’t been very diligent in educating their audience, the dumbed down electorate, about PNAC.

So, Framer, I have a different perspective than you do on the current Israel vs. Lebanon war because I believe that Israel’s recent actions have to be evaluated within the context of the original neo-conservative blueprint for American hegemony in the Mideast (as well as the rest of the world). So, let’s not go there because we are not likely to agree.

In the absence of all other discussion we can still address the massacre in Lebanon. I think that what we must acknowledge is that a line has been crossed. The Geneva Conventions that were adopted in 1949 to address attacks on civilians as well as facilities needed to sustain civilian populations have been violated. Here’s a quote from Article 48: “In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives." And here’s another from Article 51: "The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited."

The Israelis are laying waste to Lebanon. They have destroyed infrastructure that is essential to the survival of the civilian population. Over 800 civilians, mostly children, the elderly, and women are now dead and many more will die from the bombing as well as the usual diseases that are triggered by the living conditions of the refugees.

This is wrong. These are war crimes and these are crimes against humanity. The United States government has accepted and enthusiastically supported what Israel is doing to Lebanon as necessary to defend themselves. This is not self-defense. This is a superior military power (backed by the world's most formidable military power) bringing a much less powerful nation to its knees, condemning the citizens to death by bombs, death by disease, or a bare subsistence lifestyle as collective punishment for supporting Hezbollah. Lebanon was barely recovered from civil war with a weak government and an even weaker military. Hezbollah is the most disciplined guerilla army in the world. There is no way for the government to even try control Hezbollah without initiating another civil war.

I’ve seen a lot of film footage of tiny, rigid corpses being taken out of bombed buildings. These babies are not Hezbollah supporters. These babies had every right as human beings on this earth to live their lives as much as any Israeli child or American child or any other child. This is wrong, my friend. This is wrong by any rule of international law or by any moral standard that every decent human being should apply to all people who are born on this earth. This is about black and white and good and evil and make no mistake about it. I don’t give a damn about the real estate that God supposedly gave Israel. Violence begets violence and if this madness does not end I fear that we all might end up paying the devil for our stupid little opinions that we have used to justify the massacre of innocent people.

x4mr said...

Thanks for your remarks, Framer, and re-read my comment after reading yours, and apologies that this post is a little fragmented.

You make a huge leap to interpret my remarks as suggesting all Christians want to die in the apocalypse tomorrow. That is not what I said, and of course you are right that it’s nonsense.

Still, if we disaggregate this bunch there will be a segment consistent with what I am discussing. My comments are inside the context of Kingdom Coming and FascistWhiteHouse . Make no mistake, what I saw on CNN was chilling, and also make no mistake, there is a deeply disturbing effort to turn this country into some kind of "theocracy" based on "Christian values," and Bush’s faith based programs are funneling serious money in their direction.

I introduce the 1962 crisis at a high conceptual level, the point at which the two sides of a major bifurcation threatened each other’s existence. This was when the cold war got the closest. I am now speculating on when the current conflict will reach its "closest" and what that might look like. It will probably be when they get the bomb, and when they get it, I agree with you that they will use it, probably Israel. That is part one of the bad news. Part Two of the bad news is the characters we have in the White House. This is a recipe for major nastiness, and that is what I am trying to say.

I do not retract my anger at the GOP for allowing itself to be hijacked, and it was hijacked. I had friends in the GOP at the time, people loyal to the party for 10, 20, 30 years in the tradition of fiscal responsibility, pro-business, strong defense. Then these shit for brain anti-abortion zealots descended on the scene. I remember good, respectable GOP faithful sobbing and defecting. At high levels, the GOP decided these abortion freaks were just too useful as a voting block. You want to talk tin foil? Maybe it worked. You got 1994, and maybe by 2000 they figured out a way to rig major elections. These freaks aren’t just freaks about abortion, and maybe they have taken over. Hey, just tossing ideas.

Real conservatives, the ones with brains like William Buckley, are disgusted. I assert Karl Rove would have no place in a decent GOP.

My humble opinion is that the world’s forces operate very much like pendulums. Push something very far out of a certain “equilibrium” and guess what?

Hitler wanted to wipe the Jews off the planet and his efforts gave them their own country. He pushed a pendulum perhaps like none has ever been pushed (and this involves infinitely more than body count). Mahmood Ahmadinezhad is thinking what?

Framer said...

x4mr,

In reality, you and I are not very far off on the Iranian issue in that we recognize the inevitability of the thing. I apologize for insinuating that you believed all Christians to be kooks. I must have mnisread what you were trying to say. I have seen your other writing and should have known better than that.

The big question is, what to do about Iran and mideast terrorism? My personal belief is that a lot is riding on the Democracy and freedom experiment. Here is why.

1. We ignore the issue and run away. We tried this all the way from Carter's inaction during the Iranian hosatage crisis, to Reagan removing troops from Beruit, to Pappa Bush overlooking the growing power of Islamic radicals, to Mogadishu and the ignoring of the COle bombing. This has simply emboldened our enemies and has allowed the situation to get to where it is now.

2. Sanctions and Diplomacy. Truth is that the rest of the world is not serious enough about this to make it work. Nor will they ever be. Most other countries are willing to let terror go after Israel then the US before they start worring about it coming to their doors. The other issue is that the terrorists and their supporters will never view a treaty or negotiation in good faith. They never have in the past, and indeed this has been used as a weapon against those who do hold treaties in esteem.

3. We try to reform the governments that support terror, or at the least disarm them. This is the important part. We engage terrorism directly in the places where it exists hoping that there is enough anti-terror support in the populace to fight back when they have even or better odds. So far this experiment has been a mixed bag and as everyone has witnessed has been highly dissapointing. Many of us assumed that the supporters of terror were a miniscule fraction of the islamic world. What is going on shows this not to be the case. I still think, however, that this needs to be pursued over the previous options because we have been given ample evidence to see that they will not work and that it is far preferable to option 4.

4. Dresdin and Nagasaki. We stop differentiation between "good" and bad extremeists. The US has the power to obliterate all of Iran, North Korea, Syria, etc. It has come to this before and could come to it again should a nuclear weapon be used. I do not want to see this. I am willing to spend more time in area number three to prevent this. Make no mistake, should things continue as they are this will be the outcome. And this doesn't count all of the innocent American lives that would be lost for this to become necessary.

I almost understand all the time and effort spent on 1 and 2 and cannot guarantee that I would have done things different. But going back to these options is a mistake and demonstrably so. There are plenty of disagreements about the third option and how it was pursued. The challenge is if you have a disagreement is to fix it. Abandoning this option will lead us further down the road to #4, which again is a place where none of us want to be.

Liza said...

Framer,
After reading your comments on this thread, I have concluded that one of the following must be true:
1. You live in a cave and you can only access Fox News.
2. Your real name is Condileeza Rice.

Enough said and God help us.

Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
x4mr said...

OK, Liza, you know Framer is smarter than that.

I think this thread has become a Venn Diagram thread, with Framer, Liza, myself, and now Roger wrapped around the carnage taking place in Lebanon and citing additional material in our own circles that the others are not responding to. This applies to all of us and it isn’t anything wrong. I remain very interested in what folks have to say.

However, I assert that certain items raised outside "the intersections" have to be included. Liza, I completely appreciate your compassion for human life, and I understand your references to the Geneva convention and war crimes, but how do you apply the Geneva convention to an enemy that uses women and children as combatants and launches missiles from schools and hospitals? And Liza, you need to read the link below about women and children. Seriously, or you do not understand why Framer is saying some of what he is saying.

I will acknowledge that I know nothing about PNAC and Liza, instead of a research project please provide some links to get us started and explain what you think is happening. I promise to try to follow.

Framer, without addressing the religious forces involved with this I don’t know how we can grasp what is happening. What Art points to in the original post that started this thread is a rabbit hole of unknown depth. To effectively address the war on terror we have to address its roots and the forces that give it life, and this has to include religion and money. Also, the original post is more about our drift from democracy than the war on terror.

WTF do the terrorists want? Well, it’s a little dated, but I would speculate this remains pretty close the mark.

My thoughts at the 40,000 foot altitude because I lack the depth to dive far into details: 1) Breakthroughs in telecommunications and transportation are compressing us together and fueling a global "religious war" beyond what Buchanan spoke in 1992. 2) The religions involved must use nations as their instruments, and in some countries (Iran) religious fanaticism easily influences policy and action. In other countries (The United States) religious fanatics must use more sophisticated means to influence, and unfortunately the GOP has opened its door to these nuts. In either case, if evil prevails we end up with 3) nations willing to execute this religious war.

We could make a movie and call it, "The kooks take charge and kill everyone."

Unless GOP can get a Pat Robertson in charge, I don’t foresee an Armageddon for 90% of the human population, but 20% may be on the block, and it happens when terrorism goes nuclear.

When the full systemic reality comes to pass, what irony!

Hitler gives Jewish people their own country and Islamic fanatics exterminate Islam as we know it.

wearetribal said...

There is a lot of ground to cover here. First, going back a ways. Why exactly did the world agree to create Israel? Yeah, the Holocaust...standard answer. So all these countries, including the US, who had behaved with virulent anti-semitism through 1945, and after within their own borders, suddenly backed the Jews? Sure they did. Is that why, facing attack by seven Arab countries, Israel had to turn to the Czechs for weapons? I hate to burst everyone's bubbles here. But Israel was not created as a place to support Western interests in the region, or because of sympathy for the Jews. It was allowed to exist as a place for all those Jewish refugees to go and die, at someone else's hands. No one gave the Israelis a shot in hell of winning that first war.

It infuriates me that people like Liza, who otherwise are liberals here, align with the forces actively doing exactly what she attacks Israel for, killing civilians. As usual, as their objective, and the same as they have been doing since the 1880s. Hezbollah is simply yet another force motivated by hatred of Jews. "Liberals" who take their side better think again about their own political identities.

These same groups, going back, did take the side of Germany in WWII. These same groups read some of the same anti-semitic texts as the Nazis read, notably the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is a best seller in Egypt and elsewhere in the ME.

There is no moral equivalence between a group that shoots missiles filled with ball bearings, meant to kill civilians, and a country that does it's best to avoid killing civilians, as Israel does. There is no equivalence between a group that celebrates killing women and children and a country that apologizes and investigates what went wrong.

Anyone who talks about Israel violating international law in this situation is deeply confused, or motivated by their own hatred of Jews.

But it is beyond that, even. Hezbollah has openly stated it's goal is to kill all Jews in Israel. Iran, their sponsor, has said the same. Backing them is like someone talking about how the Jews had done this and that to deserve what the Germans were doing to them, and protesting that some Jews joined the resistance.

Comments here about Nagasaki and so on are along the right lines. In fact, Israel has these problems because it has exercised greater restraint than any other country ever has. If they had pursued a policy of massacres, like the US did with the Native Americans, and like they are constantly accused of, they would not have this ongoing problem.

Eventually Israel will come to the conclusion that they have to believe the Palestinians and Hezbollah; they will only have peace when all of the Palestinians are dead. When that day comes, they will behave like they have been accused of for so many decades. This is where the current conflict leads. When Israeli restraint ends, it will not be a good day for their enemies.

Sadly their enemies have believed a lot of wrong ideas. That Israel is a "colonial" occupation, a poison from their Western leftist friends, is one of the worst. This leads them to follow policies that work when a true colonial situation exists, when the enemy is foreign and can leave. But Israel is not an outpost of another country, and the people there have no other country to go to. Nor do they consider themselves to be in a foreign land. No matter how many terrorists attack them, they will stay.

I read a paper about conflict between males of a certain species of fish recently. If one believes it is not in it's own territory, it is very likely to retreat when attacked. But if both believe they are defending their own territory then they fight to the death. The conflict here is not much more complicted, in some ways. Both believe that they are defending their own territory. If Israel comes to this conclusion as well...not good for their enemies. If the choice is between wiping out their enemies or waiting for the inevitable - their enemies finding a way to wipe out Israel - I think that is not much of a choice.

Put simply, the terrorists have been demanding that Israel pursue a policy of ethnic cleansing against them. So far, Israel has refused. But that cannot last forever.

Let me also point out what no one is mentioning, and should be, that Hezbollah is far stronger because of the invasion of Iraq. We removed all the potential threats to Iran save for Israel. Iraq's army is gone. The Taliban are gone. Our forces are tied down. We gave Iran a free hand and they are using it to try to wipe Israel off the map.

I also should mention that there have been many articles showing Bush's ties to a messianic Christian ideology.

The Palestinians of Hamas and Hezbollah need to understand that their actions only lead to their own doom, not to the goal of wiping Israel off the map. That is the only way that peace is possible without some huge massacre. The "support" that they get around the world and from the Left only can lead to more innocent and not so innocent dead.

Framer said...

I have wanted to respond to Lisa, but I didn't want to do it immediately as it was better to wait a bit in order to allow her to clarify her possibly emotional response.

I taught at a kindergarten in Russia apout 9 years ago time. While I was there Chechen "rebels" bombed a bus I rode everyday. Fortunately, the bomb wasn't as effective as it should have been, so the loss of life was not extreme, but it did wake me up a bit.

You see, all I had ever heard from our media is how oppressed the Chechen people were and how they were waging a valiant crusade against their Russian oppressors. I had bought it. Now these bastards had bombed a bus that I and the people I lived, worked, and made friends with used every day in our non-Chechen opressing lives. Keep in mind that this incident was never reported in the US. I guess it wasn't newsworthy enough.

Fast forward a few years later when a larger contingent of these same extremeists raided a kindergarten and killed 344 civilians including 186 children. Thanks to cookie cutter Soviet archetecture, this school didn't look too disimilar to the one I taught at and the images effected me in a way that you can't hyperbole.

There is no difference between these murderers and Hezbollah (or Hamas for that matter). They do not want some elusive equality, they want dead Jews, Russians, and Americans or anyone else that does not believe as they do or they cannot subjucate.

Liza, thy would slice your throat if they found it even moderately useful to their cause. What's worse is that they would butcher your children as well.

However, the thing that is worst of all, that puts them beyond the rubicon and makes them dangerous beyond even Naziism and other threats that we have faced is that they would so the same to their neighbors, their friends, their families and thier own children. You cannot negotiate with that type of fanaticism. That is why moral equivalancy does not work. They cheer for our innocent dying and their innocent dying, it is the same to them. This is where all "Christianist" accusations and moralizing end. Even the most wacked-out Christian or Jewish cult seeking Armegeddon would have drawn a line far before this point. And those people do not represent a minute faction in our government or country.

Now ask yourself if you want these types of people to have nuclear weapons? If not what are you prepared to do about it?

That is why people making this about George Bush sickens me. George Bush had nothing to do with Beslan, with the Suicide bombings in Israel (except for that he helped depose Saddam, a major source of funding for Hamas), nothing to do with the Cole, with the Khobar towers, and beleve it or not with 9/11. Those strikes were coming if Gore had been elected as well. And no, they really weren't about Clinton either.

They declared war long before George Bush. He was merely the first to seriously recognize that this was indeed a war. Now many out there may not agree that he has done a good job of fighting the war, but it is a war. The failure to recognize this is simply madness.

And my question to Democrats is, what are you and your party willing to do about it? What are you willing to do when Iran gets nuclear weapons? What are you willing to do when Iran uses nuclear weapons?

The only Democrat I have seen that I am comfortable has thought this all the way through and would speak truthfully about it, is now in the process of being run from the party. Please help me believe that the reality of your party on this issue is different from what I have been seeing. Is there a Democratic plan for prosecuting the war on terror, or are you all convinced that it is smoke and mirrors? What exactly would it take to make you feel otherwise, or could it be done?

Liza said...

x4mr,
If Al Gore were President, The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) would be an obscure right wing think tank. However, when George Bush was given the presidency in 2000, PNAC members became the most powerful leaders in the Bush Administration. You’ll recognize these names: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, “Scooter” Libby, Eliot Abrams, Richard Perle, and a few others. The Bush Administration’s foreign policy and more specifically, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, can only be understood within the context of Rebuilding America’s Defenses, PNAC’s 90 page blueprint for American global hegemony in the 21st century.

Much has been written about PNAC, as you might imagine, so there are better places to start than the 90 page RAD publication. William Rivers Pitt wrote these two editorials in February, 2003, for Truthout.org: Of Gods and Mortals and Empire and Blood Money. These editorials provide a good overview of PNAC.

It is interesting that RAD was published in 2000, but does not address Osama bin Laden style terrorism. It is as though these guys just didn’t get it. It might explain why the Bush Administration rigidly adheres to the idea that the “War on Terrorism” is a war against nations. Nonetheless, 9-11 was their much longed for “catalyzing event” that launched the first war on their agenda, regime change in Iraq.

RAD is long and boring, but it provides some incredible insight into the foreign policy objectives of the Bush Administration. Interestingly enough, political analysts were writing about the demise of the neo-conservatives as recently as a couple of months ago mainly because of how badly things have gone in Iraq. Well, that has changed with Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. The neo-conservatives have been reborn.

wearetribal and framer,
I'll respond soon.

x4mr said...

I think everyone here, Framer, gets that 911 was coming no matter who USA elected in 2000. This is supported by the 93 WTC bombing, the USS Cole, and OBL’s words directed at the Clinton administration in the 1998 interview I linked last comment, just to scratch the surface.

Parts of this storm have been brewing for years, other parts decades and centuries, and some go back two millennia.

Consider it important to recognize this thread started about fascism, talk of fascistic forces amongst our foes, and concerns about fascistic forces in our own government veering us from democracy into oligarchy (we are already there) towards theocracy. Not complaining about this thread’s drift towards war on terror, but folks should note where certain statements come from. On this thread I’ve criticized the GOP and Bush Administration regarding the theocracy question, not the war on terror.

As I continue to think about this, it just keeps getting worse, and I now disagree with some of my earlier remarks, beginning to believe role of money, and it is SERIOUS money, is as large if not a larger force than religion. Make no mistake, though, IT IS BOTH. As I dove deeper, I struck OIL. What a mess.

Again with Occam’s Razor, starting to think that at the end of the day, this boils down to a fairly small, global set of incredibly wealthy people exploiting an addiction for their own benefit. What applies is a monopoly theory generalized from a business seeking to maximize profit (Economics 101) to a "Political Economic Empire" that combines selected folks from nations, corporations, and world organizations to keep oil and dollars flowing.

Maybe OBL and his followers are filled less with religious fanaticism and more with resentment over the US and Petroleum Industry’s corrupting oil rich regimes which then 1) cater to oil companies, 2) serve themselves and 3) leave their own populations in squalor.

Syriana poses interesting questions.

Details get complicated, but I think oil is USA’s Heroin. It doesn’t have to be, but the Pushers, The Empire, is making too much money to allow an alternative.

With entire populations languishing while their governments give the store away, one could understand forces leading to terrorism. What else can those populations do? One can also understand why a regime sitting on tons of oil that doesn’t do what it’s told after receiving so much support (Saddam) would really irritate the Empire. Worse, if such a regime invades a behaving regime (Kuwait), the Empire would be REALLY furious.

It gets worse. The oppressive regimes are, well, oppressing. They are sitting on top of factions and hostilities dating back forever, and balances must be maintained. Weaken or topple what is holding everything together, and you rip open a hornet’s nest. It gets worse. We have these terrorists and resistance groups itching for the opportunity to exact revenge for the years of perceived injustice that made them terrorists in the first place.

It gets worse. Seemingly stable nations like Egypt and Saudi Arabia are not exactly immune. As a result of recent carnage, forces within Egypt have now joined Al Qaeda. From this perspective the US invasion of Iraq and Israel’s invasion of Lebanon could not be better news for the terrorists, who want chaos, destabilization, and anarchy. No regime is better than one that sleeps with the Empire.

By squeezing tighter, The Empire’s control of its cash cow is slipping, exactly what OBL wants to see. Iran is salivating.

Have more and never even got to religion, Israel, etc., but this is already too long, will stop for now.

Thanks so much for the links, Liza, and will digest and get back to you.

To close, will just return to my remarks about sustainability, equity, and development.

On the sustainability front, global warming threatens us all without discrimination.

On the equity front, this drift towards fewer and fewer owning more and more is a collision course with unprecedented disaster.

I don’t see a way out without developing beyond the current MO.

wearetribal said...

Framer, you ask for a Democratic plan for dealing with terrorism. Big question.

First, let me say that what follows is what I think it should be, and what the Democrats have by accident sort of, not what it is.

We are forced to begin with the question of what the nature of the enemy is. It is politically incorreect but also factual to observe that Islam is a religion of war and conquest. Has been from the very start. Moslems have made war and are making war basically everywhere they have lived. While American Moslems have not yet attacked us, native Canadian Moslems were recently thwarted from a planned terrorist attack. But on a global level, from Indonesia to India to Russia Moslem minorities are making war. While the Crusades are often mentioned, much less is made of the thousand years of Islamic conquest in Europe. They conquered Spain, invaded France, conquered the Balkans, besieged Vienna several times, tried to besiege Venice...the Crusades were just a short lived and feeble attempt to respond to Islamic aggression.

In Israel their history of attacks on Jewish civilians is over 120 years old. It is clearly not dependant on any action or policy of the Israelis. It has been consistent and persistent over six generations.

And where have they made a stable lasting peace? Still fighting in the Balkans just a few years back. Basra has revolted from Sunni control dozens of times, from 650 AD to 1992....

So there is not going to be a policy that makes the Islamic world happy and calm and peaceful, short of all of us converting and instituting Sharia law.

And we cannot kill them all.

Therefore the only way forward is complete isolation. They do not want to live in peace with us, then let them be cut off from the rest of the world.

Ending our need for oil is the biggest part of this. Without the money it brings, they rapidly go back to impotent and irrelevant.

This is a part of why I only bicycle. My oil dollars could find themselves converted into missiles or suicide bombs that might easily kill my relatives in Israel. Is driving really that important? I have survived fine without it so far, and I am 39.

But it all connects, see? The lack of a real energy plan, beyond happily consuming away, from the Republicans inflicts a huge cost for our security interests. The Democrat plans for raising fuel economy standards, cutting the billions in gifts we give to the oil companies, and funding renewable alternative energy research wind up being the only viable plan to fight the war on terror, long term.

Cars are a big part of the problem here. And they are optional for most of us. And they average about 6mph real speed for most of us when we add time worked to pay for them - slower than an average cyclist. Regular cycling is good for your health and waistline. Cars are a significant part of Global Warming. Cars kill tens of thousands a year in the US alone. And they pour money into the hands of people dedicated to killing us all.

To me it seems like a no-brainer to not have a car. The costs are very high all around, and the benefits are dubious.

But beyond all of the above, it still would not hurt to try real diplomacy. Instead of the Republican "diplomacy" of demands and insults and provocations, we might try treating them with respect, listening to their side, talking about how we understand them and about various things we share and admire about them. Even if that is a lie. Negotiate in good faith instead of while we are violating some of the biggest treaties we have with them. I mean, we openly messed about in the last Iranian election, despite a treaty promising we never would. Then we want to get all upset about them breaking the Nuclear Non-Proloiferation treaty? The same treaty we also are blatantly violating? (We promised to reduce our nuclear weapons to zero as soon as possible in that treaty, over fourty years ago.) As long as our word is worth nada our chances of negotiating anything of value is also nada.

The Republicans actually should find lots of common ground with these scum. Their enemies kill gays, married people who cheat (talk about defense of marraige!), drug users (now that is tough on crime!), and often religion is not only in the school, it is the only topic. Abortion is illegal. Porn is illegal. Voting is a formality. People are free to say exactly what the government says, and nothing else. It sounds like a Republican utopia, really.

Ok, so, it may seem I am rambling. But to summarize; stop driving cars, invest in renewable energy, engage in real diplomacy, stop violating treaties we signed - all of that comes under the heading of solutions to the terrorism problem. A good first step then is to vote Democrat.

Liza said...

wearetribal,

It’s interesting that you are not able to see that it is possible for someone to be opposed to Israel’s recent invasion and destruction of Lebanon without being a Hezbollah supporter. This is in keeping, of course, with similar statements made by George Bush in 2003 along the lines of, “you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists.” Quite frankly, I consider that type of accusation to be a real obstacle toward any kind of meaningful discussion, and to be sure, the rest of your comments prove that I’m right about that.

You also say that “anyone who talks about Israel violating international law in this situation is deeply confused, or motivated by their own hatred of Jews.” This is a combination of a meaningless statement and an attack. It is apparently impossible to oppose any action taken by Israel without being labeled anti-Semitic.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you have called me a deeply confused, anti-Semitic, Hezbollah supporter? There really is no way to respond to mindless, indiscriminate name calling, so I won’t.

The rest of your comments are based on what you apparently believe to be true about Israel’s conflicts in the Mideast. You say that Israel is a “country that does it’s best to avoid killing civilians.” Well, a lot has been documented to contradict that statement. Here is a recent example from Human Rights Watch, a group that has reporters on the ground in Lebanon. And, of course, there’s the 1996 massacre at Qana “when they (Israel) killed 106 refugees who were sheltering in the then-UN base that was there -- it doesn't exist anymore, but it did then -- more than half of them children, again. They said that missiles had been fired from within the UN base. It turns out that they were fired from half a mile away. They then said that they didn't have a live time pilot-less aircraft over the UN base at the time. And, in fact, on the Independent, I found a UN soldier who did have a videotape, showing clearly at the time of the bombardment -- this is in 1996 -- a live time photo reconnaissance unmanned aircraft over the base. The Israelis were later forced to admit that they had not told the truth: indeed there was a machine over the base at the time.” The above quote is from a recent interview with Robert Fisk on “Democracy Now.” You are probably not aware that Robert Fisk’s reporting of this event led to worldwide condemnation of Israel’s actions.

We could go on and on, but we won’t. Suffice it to say that there is an immense amount documentation from credible sources that disputes your simplistic, one-sided view of Israel.

If you know anything at all that is historically accurate about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict of the last five decades, it is absolutely not apparent. You seem to have satisfied yourself that all Palestinians are terrorists. You say, “Eventually Israel will come to the conclusion that they have to believe the Palestinians and Hezbollah; they will only have peace when all of the Palestinians are dead.” You go on to say that “the terrorists have been demanding that Israel pursue a policy of ethnic cleansing against them.” I wouldn’t even know where to start a discussion about Israel and Palestine with someone who believes as you do. What is astonishing, however, is your total dismissal of the entire Palestinian population as terrorists who may end up being “cleansed” by Israel because they are just begging for it.

x4mr said...

Only VERY rarely do I break out the Larressingle, but did so today with the express purpose of pondering this thread. Very small sips very slowly (20 min/oz), just allowing the thoughts to bounce around, waiting for the one that’s new.

During the third ounce started thinking about a movie (shocker, there) seen a few years ago,The Perfect Storm.

The film is based on a true story. Its taglines: In the Fall of 1991, the "Andrea Gale" left Gloucester, Mass. and headed for the fishing grounds of the North Atlantic. Two weeks later, an event took place that had never occurred in recorded history. Feel its Fury. The storm is coming. No one was prepared for this storm. There’s only love Christina, only love.

Framer said...

Wearetribal,

Achieving true energy independence will take more than bicycles, as much as I am envious of your ability to use them as your primary transport. I also had huge public transportation envy of the system that they had set up in Russia, but that is a different matter entirely.

True energy independence will take nuclear, wind, hydro, and geothermal power to manufacture hydrogen fuel. Coal and natural gas coupled with domestic oil and oil shale reserve development would also patch the gap while the new technology standards are invented, introduced, developed and standardized. To my knowledge, Democratic legislation and stands have been hostile to just about all of those points. But that again, is another topic.

I agree that oil and oil wealth has contributed to the problem, however that genie is already out of the bottle. Even if cold fusion were invented and America was able to cease using Middle Eastern oil by December, little would change in the geopolitical situation now. First, there will always be buyers for the oil, even if we remove ourselves from the equation. In a few years China and India would more than replace what needs we no longer had. The oil would be much cheaper and be ideal for their growing industrial base. They are far less likely to have eco-friendly legislation and concerns, so you will get a double whammy there as well.

The key is that certain countries and groups will still have enough money and political pull to be a problem regardless of US oil consumption The islamofacists aren't angry about Exxon, they hate all of Western culture and wish to bring everyone under their rule. Oil money is just a means to the end, not the cause and certainly not where they are going. Somalia and Darfur certainly aren't about oil.

The other complicating issue is that islamicists have a very strong presence throughout Europe. The British bombers were home grown. Remember the street riots in Paris, and the murder of Dutch filmaker Theo Van Gogh. If extracting Hezbollah from Lebanon is difficult, imagine what it will take to remove the extremists from Europe.

Things do look grim. However, if we do nothing now by stalling and/or ignoring the problem, things become much more grimmer in 10 or 20 years. We need real plans and real determination to face the issue now, and stop playing polital games. You can disagree with neocons and George Bush, but stop the demonizing and Christian bashing (not you in particular, Wearetribal) and realize that this is everyone's problem. Iran using nuclear weapons is a threat that will kill people a lot sooner and in greater numbers than global warming, and for that matter will be a greater ecological disaster. Yet an entire party is just about silent on the issue. Again, help me understand the superior plan for dealing with this threat.

wearetribal said...

So wanted to avoid openly stating that you are a bigoted racist, but you give me no choice Liza.

In a conflict where Hezbollah, their masters Iran, and Hamas all have openly declasred their goal to wipe Israel off the map by force, one civilain at a time, you point at Israel as they apologize for the civilains killed despite their best efforts. In a conflict where the majority, and yes, this is from a poll, of Palestinians support suicide bombers to "end the occupation" and also where over half see ALL of Israel as an occupation...you want to point the finger at Israel for violating these International Law on attacking civilians?

And this blatant grotesque bias is not because you hate Jews and want us all dead? Then where is it from? You want to play that disgusting card that "It is apparently impossible to oppose any action taken by Israel without being labeled anti-Semitic." Yeah, it is impossible when you openly take the side of people who openly state their goal is to massacre five million Jews. Because, gee, it is so not a stretch.

We know that Hezbollah uses hospitals as arms depots, they have found the weapons caches. They are violating the laws even against their own civilians.

And you want to say I know nothing? You make a huge deal about an Israeli shell missing by six blocks back in 1996! You have no clue that six blocks is a pretty accurate strike for an artillery shell. Even twenty percent of guided missiles miss. What a surprise too that your source seems to be noted for it's anti-semitism..."Human Rights Watch has been criticized by various human rights activists, non-governmental organizations, politicians, and media as having an anti-Semitic or anti-Israel bias. This includes the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, the Anti-Defamation League, Honest Reporting, NGO Monitor, the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), Abraham Cooper, Anne Bayefsky, Gerald Steinberg, Isi Leibler, Shimon Peres[citation needed], and Ana Palacio." For more on that see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Rights_Watch

In fact, the UN noted that Hezbollah was using civilians as human shields in this incident...violating guess which laws.

And yes, Israel is blowing up lots of things in Lebanon that civilians also need. Just like happened in...every single other war ever fought after gun powder existed. The US blew up lots of things in Germany during WWII, even whole cities. The US blew up lots of things in Iraq. War is horrible for civilians. They have Hezbollah to thank.

And I hate to note it, but the Palestinians did elect Hamas, the group sworn to wipe out Israel. In fact, Hamas got 20% more of the vote than Hitler did. And Hitler was not explicit about his plans when he was elected, like Hamas is. Sure, some Palestinians do not want to see all of the Jews killed. Some Germans also saved Jews when they had the chance. But in a war it is impossible to tell your shells to hit only those who hate you. It would be lovely, but it is not going to happen.

Israel has the right to defend itself. It's enemies are open about their desire to kill every Israeli Jew. The civilians killed on both sides, their blood is on the hands of Hezbollah and Hamas, and on the hands of supporters like yourself.

Blah blah, you cannot believe that anyone would accuse you..yada yada. Well, the side that has violated the laws you note since they existed, as a central component of their strategy, you do not mention their violations. The side that endangers it's own men's lives to avoid killing civilians, that apologizes publicly and expresses their regrets, that investigates what went wrong, that is the side you accuse. The side that is quite plainly the aggressor, who openly talk about their plans to kill millions of civilians, you do not see any grounds for criticizing.

And here is the worst about it. You arrive at your position due to racism against the other side too. You think that non-European or "non-white" minorities are always the poor oppressed victims. It never enters your head that these are people from the greatest imperialist empire the world has ever seen. And they are trying to recapture their past glory.

Everywhere they are at war. Sudan. Nigeria. Indonesia. Sri Lanka. India. Russia.

These are not your poor oppressed minorities yearning to break their yokes. Neither are the Israelis your Western imperialists out to kill and plunder. They could have conquered their neighbors several times over had they wanted to. They could have wiped out the vast majority of the Palestinians had they wanted to. Historically, every other country has wiped out the enemies that they could wipe out. Especially given an enemy that talks of killing all Israelis, as they were doing even as early as 1947...and did again in 1967 and 1973 so on. Had it been the US...we would have fire-bombed or nuked Damascus, Tyre, Cairo, etc.

It is unfortunate, but the innocent Palestinians are likely to continue to pay the price of their violent racist brethrens actions. That is how it has always been in all times and places. And they will pay the price too because people like yourself continue to support violent racist murderers. Their only saving grace is that the enemy they face shows restraint unseen before in world history. For which you have condemned them. But, you have not a racist bone in your body, right?

wearetribal said...

Framer,

I did mention support for renewable energy above, but I agree that China and India may well pick up any slack in demand we create. Still, worth it even just so our own dollars do not wind up killing us or our friends.

You keep asking for a good solution to the whole shebang. From the Democrats or anyone it just is not going to happen. The problem has been made much worse by the current administration, but even just getting back to where we were in 2000 is not likely to happen for a while if at all.

But again, there are things that add up, cumulative little steps. If we understand the psychology of group violence (I have presented a paper on just that topic at the Symposium on the Psychology of War), we know that an oppositional exclusionary thinking is a critical component. They define us as outside of all of the groups they belong to, and our traits as the opposite of theirs. This includes dehumanzing us to remove us from the in-group of humans.

By taking this same view on our side, we feed the cycle, pour gas on the flames. If we were instead to consciously talk about belonging to their groups...emphasize common ground and we can disrupt the violent cycle. Hard to do though, I clearly am failing here.

Then it would help, as I noted above, to engage in real diplomacy. It would also help to be keeping the treaties already signed when we want to negotiate new ones.

I am not suggesting stalling or ignoring. But I have to point out that the current administrations actions have been, remarkably consistently, the very worst ones possible. So not doing what they have been doing would be a great first step. Unfortunately, the Iraqi military is gone and Iran is close to controlling Iraq. There just are no cards in our hand to play on the Iran/nuclear problem. Israel clearly is occupied. We are occupied. Iraq's forces are now controlled by parties until recently headquartered in Tehran. Even the Taliban are gone. Europe is unlikely to have the men or will to do anything. China wants the oil. Russia is not in a position to do much. And Iran has a decent size military and fairly well equipped. It would be much harder than Iraq has been to invade. They have an air force. Sure, our stealth aircraft could still bomb them. But by all accounts there is not the opportunity to just bomb one thing and be done with it as there was in Iraq in '83. And as in Iraq, our intelligence is highly dubious at best. We would not know what to blow up.

All of this is stuff that I talked about three years ago in telling people why we should not go into Iraq. Iran is and was the main threat, far more serious than Iraq. Since we are unlikely to accomplish anything by staying in Iraq longer, we should withdraw so that at least we have the flexibility to deploy men against Iran if we have to. Not that this would be a good idea in most cases.

I am actually more concerned with Pakistan in some ways...they have nukes already and were and are a main recruiting country for the Taliban and al-Qaeda. And the government is far less stable than Iran's. At least in Iran there are stable forces that might want to live more than they want to nuke others. But a complete nut could readily wind up in control in Pakistan.

I hate to be a pessimist. But both I and my mother, very long time peace activists both, think that it is fairly likely millions of people will die very quickly before this one is over. Really over. We hope that is not true. But really I think it is important to talk about this openly. The Palestinians and Hezbollah, and the people here who support them, need to understand that there are likely outcomes other than the Jews all leaving Israel or being killed. They seem not to get that. Israel has nukes, folks. They are not going to leave voluntarily. If you try to nuke them, the ME will glow.

The news tonight is that Israel says if a cease-fire is not reached soon "the kid gloves will come off." How many need to die before they give up their hatred? Is a Hiroshima the only way?

Sorry Framer, you want a good solution. There is not always one that you can wrap a bow around. In this case, the Republicans have built a house out of cardboard in a swamp and set it on fire, and now they demand the Democrats give them a good solution for saving it and turning it into a mansion. Just not going to happen. And no matter how many brave firefighters die trying to stop the fire and build some brick walls, the cardboard house in the swamp is not likely to be saved. Sometimes too many bad decisions have been made for any good ones to be available.

Liza said...

wearetribal,
I think its unfortunate that your name calling continues and you don't know when to quit. Really, you are what passes for a "peace activist" these days? So far, you have called me a deeply confused, anti-Semitic, bigoted, racist, Hezbollah supporter. You, who thinks that ethnic cleansing is a logical final solution to the Palestinian/Lebanon problem.

Make no mistake about it, you pompous, know-it-all, pseudo-liberal, full-of-crap, loudmouthed, twisted, racist moron, I can insult you too. Fact is, I'm done. Now leave me alone.

Liza said...

Everyone else,
Sorry for the above. I have unwittingly attracted the attention of a somewhat young, Jewish man who hates all Muslims and believes that everything that Israel does is moral and just. He has attacked me twice and I think it will just get worse if I keep writing on this thread. There were some things that I had wanted to say to x4mr and framer, but it's probably not a good idea for me to do it at this time.

Wearetribal, whoever he is, cannot tolerate anyone suggesting that Israel does not have the right to attack civilians with impunity. Too bad for him. There are a lot of historians, journalists, academics, and others with stellar credentials and a knowledge of history (that he does not possess) who see Israel's actions more objectively.

I'm sorry he resorted to name calling and I had to quit the thread. Interesting, that's the first time in my life I have been called anti-Semitic or racist. I realize its just a thread and he doesn't know me, but it still makes me really angry.

I would just say at this point that we should all try to avoid this name calling. It really doesn't contribute anything to any discussion.

Art Jacobson said...

Liza and all...

I agree that accusations of anti-semitism are uncalled for. As a rhetorical device they are counter productive,if nothing else. It may be that you all have run out of anything new to say, although you manage to find new ways of saying it.

(There's an old saying: He draws out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.)

I've certainly enjoyed reading what everyone has said here. I hope that you all continue to visit TDP and comment.

Best to all,

Art Jacobson

Liza said...

Art,
Not to put too fine a point on it, but I went back and read again what this guy wearetribal said in his 9:05 PM post directed at me. In between his very one-sided statements about the Israel/Palestine/Lebanon conflict, he accuses me of hating all Jews and wanting them all dead. He then accuses me of being a Hezbollah and Hamas supporter and later goes on to say that I support violent, racist murderers. He then ties the whole thing up by once again calling me a racist.

This kind of rage and this kind of hatred for someone who does not share your opinion, but has otherwise done you no harm, is really kind of scary. Its too bad that we can't just accept that each one of us has a unique life experience that determines our opinions, values, and beliefs. I'm willing to listen to what someone has to say, but not when they are calling me names and spewing hatred.

It seems to me that prior to wearetribal showing up we were more or less just having a discussion. What I find somewhat disconcerting is that if this guy can hate an anonymous blogger as much as he hates me, just think what he can do in real life.

I really hope that the First Amendment doesn't become something that we just remember from the "good old days."

See you on another thread.

x4mr said...

What a thread. Please don’t go anywhere, Liza, and I am very interested in what you have to say. By the way, Tribal is a 39 year old Jewish vegetarian female whose heart (while hard for you to believe, Liza) is probably in the right place, but she has boatloads of passion and a ferocious temper, and enigmatic intellectual construct (a paper on male conflict in fish?). When her juices get flowing she can cross the line, especially the late night posts. Don’t let her ruffle your feathers and stifle your self expression. Your comments are valuable here.

What follows was what I was about to post prior to the remarks this morning.

Would love to help you understand a superior plan for addressing this threat, Framer, if I had one. The depth and breadth of this mess is staggering, and I am not sure what is reasonable to expect at TDP in terms of soliciting solutions. While it is certainly preferable when criticizing to include a better alternative, it is not required. You seem to imply those opposing current action are in favor of no action. I don’t think that’s accurate, and I for one wholeheartedly supported overthrow of Taliban in Afghanistan and also wholeheartedly support what Frank Antoneri articulates quite well, which is having the battle occur over there instead of over here.

Iraq is a different conversation. While the invasion of Iraq may have taken the battle against terrorism “over there,” everything inside of me tells me that the untold resources we have poured into Iraq could have been better spent "over there" more in line with the reality that the war on terror involves more than a single nation.

I concur and believe most concur (save perhaps Liza and she can speak for herself) with what Tribal and yourself have noted about the nature of the "foe," fanatical religious extremists who truly want all of us to die. They concentrate their rhetoric on Israel, but I think if they pull that off, we’re next. They want everyone dead but themselves. Just as your dander rises on my darts to Christian kooks, it must be noted that these Islam kooks do not represent the entire populations of the nations they inhabit.

Tribal, there is no way this planet splits into isolated populations that hate each other. No one gets to leave the building and no one gets to stay in their room with the door locked.

I find myself going back and forth, one moment thinking it is religion and the next moment thinking it is money, and then I see it is both with plenty else thrown into the mix.

This is the perfect storm. Fanaticism, Greed, Corruption, Hatred, Arrogance, and Physics itself are coming together just right. Framer, what did you think of the links Liza posted about PNAC? Will confess I am still digesting. I find them disturbing to say the least.

If I read correctly, this thread has explored:

1)Governance: Democracy, Fascism, Oligarchy, Theocracy
2)PNAC and "The Empire" desire to rule the world
3)Israel’s invasion of Lebanon and specific war on terror matters
4)Generalized War on Terror, Religious War, and upcoming "Storm."
5)The "Oil Empire," Energy Independence and Global Warming
6)The fact that there are REALLY murderous Islamic monsters who truly do want all of us to die.

I welcome disagreement so long as folks help me see how I’m wrong.

If by bashing Christians Framer refers to my remarks about the Falwell, Robertson, Ralph Reed types, I stand by everything I said (and I was holding back!). We’ll have to disagree on how much these cockroaches influence GOP and Bush. Frankly, I don’t know. I hope he is right that they have no real influence.

Iran is going nuclear, and either before but certainly after, "Islamo-fascists" will detonate a warhead somewhere, probably choosing between US and Israel, or both if they can pull that off. We are cooking ourselves to extinction. Not there yet, but we are drifting towards the insanely gluttonous having everything, everything, and the rest living in poverty. USA’s education system, workforce development system, health care system, national debt, ludicrous war on drugs and resulting prison population, and the list goes on.

The ship has hit the iceberg, water is flooding compartment after compartment, and the GOP’s in a tizzy about same sex marriage, teaching evolution in schools, and the estate tax?

The doctoring and falsifying of scientific research is HUGE and those involved are demons. Count on me to demonize that evil with everything I have.

Framer said...

This really is a good discussion.

I still haven't all the way soured on Iraq, obviously, and I will do my best to try to clarify.

Importing Democracy does not mean that we should expect the Middle East to become Iowa in two years. On that portion it would be easy to fault those who have beat the "quagmire" drum since the marines had to stop for gas on their way to Bagdad. Especially the ones who voted for the war based on pure political opportunism.

The truth is that Democracy is a long, nasty, bloody process. It was for us, and it will be for any country moving that direction. The only way it works is to first break down a population into diverse factions (check) work on a system to counterbalance those factions (almost check) then allow those factions to put the rules and checks into practice (current issue). In its early stages, a democracy is always at the stages of a civil war (we certainly were) becuase the different factions need to be pronounced and fight for their identity.

I will tell you right now that Iraq will not fall into the clutches of an Iranian super state. Will the Kurds allow that to happen? Will the Sunnis allow this to happen? Also remember that there are several factions within the Shiite. It would be a huge mistake to assume (as many in the media have) that the Sistani factions and Al-Sadr factions are in lockstep. All of these factions have some amount of power and prying out of their hands will take quite a bit more than it would have two years ago, although I personally wouldn't mind Al-Sadr taken out of the conversation.

The other great thing about emerging factions is that it lets us sift OUR enemies out of the general population. Although obviously Hamas winning the Palestinian elections was a blow, it has helped clarify the overall situation. Now that the Palestinians are no longer receiving Western aid and cannot hide behind Fatah, it has allowed us and Israel to take a tougher line. All it did was clarify the truth of the situation, which is always good.

I dislike nation building, but it at least needed to be attempted (not in slip-shod cut and run way, but truly attempted) before we reverted to the "rubble doesn't make trouble" approach. Anyone who doesn't believe it will come to that if Iraq fails really isn't thinking things through very far.

Meanwhile, while we wait for Democracy to at least get a foothold, removing Hezbollah as a military presence in Lebanon is certainly a logical, attainable mini-goal in the ongoing struggle. I would hope not many people would disagree with that. If this can be done by negotiation, great, if not. . .

x4mr said...

Well, Framer, suspect we’re the last two in the room.

Will restrict my remarks to address what you’ve said and then some final thoughts. Yes, to understand Iraq or really any of this we have to disaggregate and recognize a lot of what the "hotly opinionated" conveniently choose to leave unexamined.

Disaggregating Iraq as you have of course shows the various factions and divisions and of course to completely address we also have to disaggregate Iran into its components, and it isn’t just Sunni / Shiite and so on. Your remarks about birth of democracy and the bloody steps involved probably apply here. How was Eastern Europe’s transition? Oh, yea, right. Shit.

I guess my one central remark for you at this point is my outrage over the "small" unilateral (for the most part) force sent into Iraq when the experts with experience testified and insisted on much larger numbers. Forget his name, but can still see him telling our elected officials that 400,000+ would be necessary and that keeping the peace would be by far the most difficult task. Rumsfeld, Cheney and gang beat up on this guy and cut the number practically in half.

Then, when we cut off the head, the ENTIRE BODY stopped functioning. I am a two bit nobody in Tucson, and I could have told you with conviction that the whole place was a "whatever Saddam says" state and once he stopped talking, not one aspect of governance would have a clue what to do.

Final thoughts return me to my first post, which stated that we must find a new way of organizing ourselves. Nations, Corporations, Religions, Banks.......

If we’re to make it, the future organizations will stop the excessive self-serving and make the hard choices necessary to sustain ourselves. The future organizations will have to insure a powerful few don’t take everything and leave everyone else in misery. There is something about this cosmos, call it what you will, that says if you don’t keep getting smarter and sharper, the outlook is bleak.

If you think the transition from prior systems to democracy is bloody, what does the transition from our current organizations to the future organizations look like?

My fear: THE PERFECT STORM.