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Posted: 6/26/2002 5:53:28 PM EDT
Bush, Arafat and Sami Al'Arain (who works right down the street from me) have been in the news and in my thoughts today. I listened with interest to Bush's new policy statement on the West Bank, and I like it. What I like about Bush's recent policy statement is that it holds the so-called Palestinians accountable. Americans like to say that they have nothing against "the people," it's the leaders we are after. True enough if you count oppressed people, like those who live under communism. But ask yourself this: 1. How much traction would the Nazi's have gained in the 30's if the bulk of popular opinion held that they were a bunch of lunatics? 2. How much traction would slavery have made in the antebellum South if almost everybody (or even a simple majority) thought it was lunacy to go to an auction to buy a human being? 3. And how much traction would the terrorists have in "Palestine" if the people realized the lunacy of sending their children to blow up other children? My impression overall is that our response to the Jewish holocaust-- of which the terrorist war is, in part, an extension -- is the defining test of our time: the test that will define the limits of what it means to be human. The Jewish Holocaust diminished us all. Likewise, the African Holocaust diminished us all. Both showed us that being a human was less excellent than we would like to think. The Jews have been persecuted for centuries: by the Egyptians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Turks, and the Germans. Twice they narrowly escaped genocide. Yet the Jews threaten no one, except with their ideas, a partial list of which follows: 1. Respect for God. 2. Rule of law. 3. Private property. 4. Truthfulness. The Arabs, in contrast, were a conquering army. Arab armies controlled most of the known world at the end of the first millenium, an empire stretching from modern day Iran to the Balkans to Spain. The Arabs' main problem is that they lost their last wars of aggression (in 1948 and 1967). As the National Review pointed out, history is not kind to armies (people!) who pick a fight, then lose. Nevertheless, the "Palestinian" Arabs have the opportunity to have peace. The choice is, and always has been, theirs. Meanwhile, we have a choice to make also. The words President Bush uttered will ring through history, whether we heed them or not: "You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists." How we heed those words, and what we do about it, will be the defining moment of our civilization.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 6:56:37 PM EDT
I think it would be fair to sum it up like this. The adminstration has pretty much hung Arafat out to dry. He is not going to be acknowledged or dealt with, period! The sudden and dramatic shift comes from a snippet of intelligence regarding the suicide attacks last week. I think the Israeli's produce some more evidence that implicated Arafat even as he was publicly condeming the attacks. Remember Arafat is a terrorist himself. We rewarded him for his actions along with the rest of the world by recognizing him as a statesman. I think the administration is hoping his own people off him. If not then I would wager he gets killed by the IDF. This policy is two fold. We are supporting a future Palistinian state but at the same time sticking to our guns over terrorism and by the side of our ally Israel.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 7:35:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 6:39:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/27/2002 6:40:56 AM EDT by Jarhead_22]
Originally Posted By DK-Prof: The Palestinian cause is a just one - but their methods are reprehensible. We should be able to sympathise with their goals while despising their methods.
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You don't think that the fact that the "Palestinians" could have stayed in Israel in 1948 with one man-one vote, but instead [b]chose[/b] to leave and conduct a terror campaign detracts from the legitimacy of their cause?
If George Washington were alive today, I have no doubt he would side with the Palestinians, but he would tell them to only hit military targets.
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And the fact that they almost never attack mililtary targets would lead George Washington to do what? Repudiate them entirely.
Targeting innocents is vile, but blowing yourself up in battle to kill enemy soldiers COULD be noble, I guess.
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Funny, I don't recall any mention of suicide bombers in any history I've ever read of the American Revolution.
I thought Bush's speech was pathetic - so at least I wasn't disappointed. Nothing new, rehashing the same old tired logic that cannot result in any real progress. And the ultimate irony - telling a people that their elected leader is "not good enough". Yeah - finally an Arab nation/group tries out democracy, and we tell them it doesn't work? WTF?
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You call the Palestinian Authority a democracy? How many candidates were there on the slate to choose from when Arafat was elected?
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 7:47:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/27/2002 7:47:48 AM EDT by DK-Prof]
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 7:56:34 AM EDT
The Palestinian cause is a just one - but their methods are reprehensible. We should be able to sympathise with their goals while despising their methods.
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Under the original British mandate, the "palestinians" have a country called Jordan. The West Bank land lost from the 1967 war was Jordan s, who was an attacking army. There is no just "palestinian" cause, and a easy solution is to rename Jordan to Palestine.
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 9:52:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DK-Prof: I'm just saying that we should be careful about demonizing the Palestinians in general, and we should still be skeptical of the Israelis even though we are on their side.
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Agreed. I am skeptical of the Israelis. As much as some want warm, everlasting group hugs with them, they are a separate nation, and act always in what they perceive is their own best interest. Regardless of popular opinion, this doesn’t always run parallel to the best interests of the US.
We should not allow the fact that the Palestinian tactics are despicable distract us from the fact that their cause may well be just.
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Again, if the "Palestinians" wanted a country, they should have gone back to or stayed in Jordan as Chaingun mentioned above, or stayed when Israel was formed and exercised their votes.
My point is that any American who lived under the conditions the the average Palestinian lives under would want to fight the Israelis and push them out too. I'd like to think that Americans (or other civilized people) would only hit military targets.
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"Other civilized people?" Where does that leave the "Palestinians," who obviously don't feel that way? Who send their sons and daughters wrapped in Semtex to kill women and children --soft, decidedly non-military targets? Who celebrate when others carry out those despicable acts?
Suicide bombing against military targets is not neccessarily evil - it might be a legitimate last-ditch deperate act. In the movie theatre I was in, everyone thought the dude who flew his plane into the Alien ship was a hero, not a criminal (Independence Day) - so in time of war and desperation, and if targeted agains belligerent enemy units, suicide attacks do appear to have some legitimacy. But ONLY under those conditions.
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In the movie you used as an example, the aliens were bent on the outright extinction of the human race. Is that the Israeli intent? Or is the Israeli intent something more along the lines of, "You and your ancestors left when we invited you to stay, and now you are killing our mothers and children. Everytime you [b]attack us[/b], some of you will die in return?" (continued)
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 9:53:51 AM EDT
I'm also not saying that the Palestinian authority IS a democracy - but just that it is nice to see that they are at least trying out the whole voting thing.
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That's not the indication you gave in your previous post: "finally an Arab nation/group tries out democracy, and we tell them it doesn't work? WTF?" They're not trying out democracy, and having the option to vote in an election where there is one candidate on the ballot is a sick joke, like something under the Soviet system.
Polls seem to show that Arafat is extremely popular, and would easily win an open and fair election. I'm just pointing out the irony that even if he was fairly elected, Bush as the world's champion of freedom and democracy, still woudl not accept him as a leader.
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If Al Capone could have gotten enough votes to be mayor of Chicago in the 1920s, does that mean he should have been allowed to take office and keep it? If he ran for office, do you think that he would have allowed an “open and fair election?” Yassir Arafat gave the order to murder US Ambassador to the Sudan Cleo A. Noel, Jr. and his deputy, George Curtis Moore in 1973. He belongs in prison or dead, not in office.
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 10:27:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/27/2002 10:27:37 AM EDT by Cincinnatus]
Originally Posted By DK-Prof: If George Washington were alive today, I have no doubt he would side with the Palestinians, but he would tell them to only hit military targets
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No. If GW were alive today, he would recognize that the palestinians aren't fighting for freedom and democracy. They're just trying to kill people whom they dislike. The only obstacle to the palestinian's freedom is the palestinians. They aren't fighting for freedom. Arafat's a tyrant, who distracts his people from their lack of freedom, by focussing their anger on an external enemy. The other arab states are doing the same thing, too. Not exactly a new idea. Tyrants have always distracted their people this way. There's only one country in the Middle East, where arabs, and arab women have the right to vote.
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