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Why Does Israel Have to "Harass" Old Women at Checkpoints?:

Oh, that's why.

UPDATE: Commenters, as usual, have gotten bogged down in a general Israelis versus Palestinians debate. What I meant to point out is that the terrorist groups try to exploit any vulnerability on the Israeli side, regardless of what that means for the quality of life of the Palestinians they claim to represent. The elderly, children, and women, used to get more or less a free pass at Israeli checkpoints, because the terrorists used only young men. But once the terrorists figured out that young men would be checked thoroughly, they started using children, women, and now even elderly women. Which means that Israel will have no choice, security-wise, but to now check these groups thoroughly, too, making their lives more unpleasant (and opening them up to the abuse that unfortunately occurs whenever you give 19 year olds with guns discretionary authority). Similarly, whenever Israel tries to open up the Gaza border crossing, and he Erez industrial zone that used to provide thousands of jobs for Palestinians, the terrorists attack there almost immediately. The saddest thing is that "the terrorists" are not some fringe group, but the Palestinian government, as well as the opposition factions. And of course, they then turn this, actions they intentionally provoked, into a propaganda victory: "look at Israel 'harass' old women at checkpoints! look at Israel refusing employment to Palestinians!"

Grover Gardner (mail):
So the next time you see a bunch of old women praying in the airport, call security and and have them thrown off your flight, lickety split!
11.24.2006 2:51pm
Helen (mail):
Is 57 now considered "old?"
11.24.2006 5:58pm
Strom Thurmond (mail):
So does she get 72 virgin boys??
11.24.2006 6:04pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
I linked to a different report stating the she's 68.
11.24.2006 6:30pm
jojo (mail):
Why do old women harass Israel?
11.24.2006 7:43pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:

Why does Israel have to build on land that does not belong to them?
11.24.2006 8:13pm
Zed (mail) (www):
Why do they harass Israel?

"They [Israelis] destroyed her house, they killed her grandson - my son. Another grandson is in a wheelchair with an amputated leg."
11.24.2006 8:13pm
PoohPoohBear:
"Why do they harass Israel?

"They [Israelis] destroyed her house, they killed her grandson - my son. Another grandson is in a wheelchair with an amputated leg."

And grandma's suicide proves what? That she's as stupid and hell bent as her grandkids? The Palestinians are too far gone for rational thinking.
11.24.2006 8:30pm
SP:
Gosh, do you think that grandson was maybe trying to exterminate the Jews? That might make the Israelis prickly.
11.24.2006 8:32pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
57 or 68, she still looked 109. And yeah, the woman had 40-something grandkids. I'm not shocked that some of them turned out to be Hamas-niks, and that some of those ended up in varying stages of martyrdom. Serves them right.
11.24.2006 8:52pm
wb (mail):
ah yes the israelofascists always have an excuse about their fight with islamofascists
11.24.2006 9:53pm
SP:
Could you explain why the Israelis ar fascists? I was under the impression that the Israelis made an extremely generous offer at Taba. I was also under the impression that, if you are an Arab, you can still vote and serve in government in Israel. My impression is that if you are Jewish and are in an Arab country, you are shot.
11.24.2006 9:57pm
Vovan:
There are a lot of pissed off grandmas in Gaza and West Bank, if I was Israel, I'd be worried
11.24.2006 10:29pm
jvarisco (www):
"I was under the impression that the Israelis made an extremely generous offer at Taba."

How about I come to your country, kick you out, make you live in a refugee camp for forty years, and then offer to give you back a a bit less than half. Still sound generous?

Some commentators here seem to think that the only workable solution is to kill all the evil, irrational Palestinians. There's only a couple million, after all. How many of you support divestment from Darfur?
11.24.2006 10:40pm
hashofet:
If the situation were reversed, and Jews had been living in refugee camps next door to an Arab country, would there be Jewish suicide bombers targeting Arab civilians?
11.24.2006 11:03pm
33yearprof (mail):
[quote]So the next time you see a bunch of old women praying in the airport, call security and and have them thrown off your flight, lickety split![/quote]

If they are Muslims, absolutely!

[quote]How about I come to your country, kick you out, make you live in a refugee camp for forty years, and then offer to give you back a a bit less than half. Still sound generous?[/quote]

Bad knowledge of history. The ARAB governments told the palistinians to get out of the way of their "victorious" armys and promised they could take back all the land when the Jews were dead. Not suprisingly, Arab military prowess proved as false as the readiness reports of their officers. Truth is in very short supply in the Arab world.
11.24.2006 11:17pm
Speaking the Obvious:
33y/oprof: " The ARAB governments told the palistinians to get out of the way of their "victorious" armys and promised they could take back all the land when the Jews were dead. Not suprisingly, Arab military prowess proved as false as the readiness reports of their officers. Truth is in very short supply in the Arab world."

Gee, that old canard...even the Israeli historians don't say that any more. Bet you watch Fox News, too...
11.24.2006 11:36pm
Jason Fliegel (mail):
jvarisco --

The Israelis did not "come" to the Palestinians' country. Nor did they "kick [them] out" of anywhere. Nor did the Israelis make the Palestinians live in refugee camps for any length of time, let alone forty years.

Let's be clear about our history:

1) Begining in the late 19th century, Jews began moving to that portion of the Ottoman Empire that would become Israel. They came as lawful immigrants, buying land in lawful transactions. At this time, there was no such country as Palestine. The land the proto-Israelis moved to was part of the vilayet (province) of Damascus-Syria.

2) After World War I, the Ottoman Empire was divided by the victorious parties. What would one day be Israel became part of the Mandate of Palestine, administered by Great Britain. This mandate included modern-day Israel and modern-day Jordan. It's worth noting that the most Jordanians are ethnically the same as Palestinians. Not long after, the British gave semi-autonomous control of the eastern half of the mandate -- that portion east of the River Jordan -- to the Hashemite family. This was known at the time as Transjordan and is the modern country of Jordan. It's worth noting that the Hashemites are not ethnically identical to the Palestinians -- the Hashemites were rivals to the House of Saud, and when the House of Saud wound up controlling Saudi Arabia, the British set the Hashemites up in Iraq and Jordan.

In any event, the area east of the River Jordan remained a British Mandate.

3) In 1948, the United Nations partitioned the eastern part of the mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The surrounding Arab nations promptly declared war, urging all Palestinians within the territory to leave lest they be swept upin the violence. The Arab states promised the Palestinians a swift victory, at which point the Palestinians would return to a newly-created Palestinian state comprising both halves of the U.N. partition. Arabs who chose to stay in Israel were offered full citizenship, which they (and their decendants) have to this day.

4) The Israelis were victorious in fighting off the Arabs, and signed a peace treaty with their foes. This treaty established the borders of Israel that existed until the Six-Day War in 1967 -- the "Green Line." Jordan took the West Bank for itself during thee peace talks; Egypt took the Gaza Strip. Palestinians living in the West Bank were given Jordanian citizenship, but many chose to live in refugee camps in the expectation that Israel would soon be conquered and they would return home. Palestinians living in Gaza weren't even given the choice; Egypt ket them in refugee camps.

5) There were several more wars in which the Arab states attacked Israel, culminating in the Six-Day War. Following that war, Israel annexed the West Bank and Gaza.

Have the Palestinians been given a raw deal over the years? Yes. Do they have legitimate greivances against the Israelis? Yes. But they also have legitimate greivances -- some would say more so -- against the Jordanians and the Egyptians, to say nothing of the British.

The bottom line is this -- the people who would become Israelis moved to what would become Israel under legitimat circumstances. As tim passed, the land became filled with Arabs and Jews, each of whom wanted their own autonomous state. So the U.N. partitioned the land as best it could (just as it partitioned the Indian sub-continent among Hindus and Moslems). It was an imperfect solution, but the best available under the circumstances. Since that time, the Israelis have, for the most part, tried to live in peace with their Arab neighbors. Have they always taken the high road? No. But the larger sweep of the last 60 years of history shows Jews trying to get along with Palestinians and other Arabs.
11.24.2006 11:45pm
whimsy:
Jason Fliegel didn't mention that at least as many Jews from Arab countries moved to Israel, usually after being "encouraged" by their neighbors or the government. Will jvarisco and Speaking the Obvious explain how this situation is fundamentally different from Pakistan and India which swapped populations? What about the forced removal of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia and East Prussia? The Crimean Tatars in the former Soviet Union? Somehow every other case of displaced populations whether or not there was an exchange of groups was settled although in the case of India and Pakistan far more people were involved than in the Israel-Arab conflict.
11.25.2006 12:00am
Ahmed (mail):
If native americans stormed Fort Benning and bombed the place, I think it'd be pretty irrelevant that they thoguht they were defending land stoeln from Indians by the United States.

Virtually all nations out there won their land in a war. Israel was given land so their people could escape a world that wants jews persecuted. Yeah, bad location. But why are Israelis held to a different standard than, say, Egypt?
11.25.2006 12:02am
JB:
Would the Jews use suicide bombers? No. They'd fight as they fought in Palestine in the 1930s (Stern Gang), Warsaw in 1944, etc, and probably not lose in the first place. Traditional guerilla warfare is more effective than suicide bombing, if it can be sustained and you don't care how many buildings get wrecked.
11.25.2006 12:04am
Visitor Again:
Israel will be the death of all of us. It is a racist state. Movie it somewhere else or be gone with it. It doesn't have a prayer for continued existence anyway. Give them a section of Arizona or Colorao or Utah plus billions to rebuild. It'll be cheaper in the long run, in terms 9of lives--the most precious commodity, even more precious than religion--and money. So they lose their access to their religious shrines in Israel. Too bad.
11.25.2006 12:13am
A. Zarkov (mail):
There were several more wars in which the Arab states attacked Israel, culminating in the Six-Day War. Following that war, Israel annexed the West Bank and Gaza.

Actually Israel has only annexed East Jerusalem; the so-called West Bank Territories have never been annexed. They still have an indeterminate status.
11.25.2006 12:52am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Israel will be the death of all of us. It is a racist state.

What races are you talking about? Both Arabs and Jews are Caucasoid. Pretty much all Jewish men have the same set of variations on their Y chromosomes. These variations are common throughout the Middle East and include Jews, Arabs, Armenians, and Turks reflecting their common geographic origin. Now if you want a racist state I give you Saudi Arabia who had slavery until 1964. Compare and contrast how Christians and Jews living in Arab countries are treated versus how Arab Muslims living in Israel are treated.
11.25.2006 1:23am
amnyc (mail) (www):

Movie it somewhere else or be gone with it.


Yes, that's the solution- put Israel up on YouTube.
11.25.2006 1:52am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Visitor Again, it is not Israel that "will be the death of us all." You are quite naive in your assessment of the problems in the Middle East.

The bigger problem is the Bush Administration (primarily the President's) woefully inadequate estimation of what they set in motion by going into Iraq, trying to sell the story to the world that Sadaam was linked to al Qaeda, and and rekindling and unleashing conflict between the Shia and Sunnis that predated the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Did the President really think we could just go into Iraq and impose American Democracy there as easy as pie? Now we find ourselves in the throes of a leap in violence in Iraq, to the point that this Shia immolation of 6 Sunnis walking out of their Mosque will likely result in an escalation of Shias and Sunnis seeing how many each can set on fire of the other -- unthinkable barbarity that is brings a very genuine, real threat this conflict will spread throughout numerous countries in the Middle East.

Iran must have been rolling on the floor in laughter when the President fomented the war in Iraq and took out Sadaam, installing Maliki, a Shia government in Iraq to create Democracy. That virtually alligns the "Democratic" Shia government in Iraq with Iran -- and Hezbollah. This is probably the reason we had to remain silent while Isreal routed Hezbollah. How would the Shia Maliki government in Iraq have received our support for Isreal against the Shia Hezbollah, angering Maliki's Shia constituents?

Worse, the current escalating violence in Iraq can only align the Shia Iraqi government with Iran (Shia), for its survival. Isn't that great foreign policy to cause the Shia Iraqi government to wed itself to Iran? While they have two different languages, the Shia unity is strong enough to overcome the languag barriers (which are probably reduced somewhat by local dialects).

Now Saudi Arabia, primarily Sunni Wahabi, who view the Shia as heretical, are getting extremely nervous about the spreading Shia unity of Iran-Iraq-Hezbollah, and the violence of the Shia against the Sunnis, threatening to spill across borders of numerous Middle Eastern countries. (From their perspective, it wasn't too long in the past that they were nomadic travelers, and there were no real country-boundaries -- only one bog caliphate.

Then, we are trying to get OBL, who is Sunni, and makes a call to restore the caliphate. Sadaam, Sunni, too, is soon to be hanged, which will only increase the chaos.

Boy, has the President ever made a MESS out of the Middle East and the security of our oil supply by going into Iraw in th first place. We should have stuck with pursuing OBL in Afghanistan or routing him out of Pakistan.

Clearly, the Bush Administration is also woefully short on people to help out who know Arabic and have studied Middle Eastern religions (the conflicting sects of Islam). Further compunding the problem is the Bush Administration's penchant to screen people out with 1930s era standardized testing, a way to exclude the real critical thinkers, leaving employees who are simply taught Arabic and something about the history of the Middle East -- not enough to bring an understanding and solution to this pandora's box. This approach is more likely what caused the myopic thinking in the first place that got us into this mess.

When I was an undergrad, all of my International Business classes for 4 years were filled 90% with students from a variety of Arabic countries (and Iran, which is not Arabic but Persian). To understand the Arabic culture, I soon learned that one has to be immersed in it and the way Middle Eastern people think, not just learn Arabic from Americans or take American standardized tests on Middle Eastern history.

From my own experience, I cannot fathom the choices being kicked around by the Iraq Study Group. What a bad hand of cards to work with.

The Arabic people I knew were very set in their ways and unbending toward their goals, Americans might cal it rather stubborn, resistant. I never saw a sight before like my arrival on campus just before 6 am many mornings, when we could all hear booming across the campus from the basement of the Catholic Church, the prayer chanting coming from the Mosque established in the Church basement. It also made quite an impression, when traveling out by Ocean Beach in San Francisco many early mornings at sunrise or evenings at sunset, seeing many of these same Arabic students bent in prayer facing toward Mecca on the beach, there so long the waves and sand had begun to wash over them.

It is a kind of fanaticism that is very hard for an American to understand -- until you become immersed in this culture for about 4 years or more.

Although about 90% of all Muslims are Sunni, a large block of them (Iraqi government-Iran-Hezbollah) are igniting a LOT of violence.

I, for one, did not agree with the President's idea of going into Iraq. But he did. And now here we are caught in the middle of enormous problems that could cause loss of the oil in Iraq -- as well as topple the Saudi ruling family. And, China is in Nigeria, and Venezuela is not on overly friendly terms with us. In sum, a major portion of America's oil supply is at stake.

If we pull out of Iraq now, it will likely solidify the Iraq Shia-Iran-Hezbollah block -- not good for either Israel or Saudi Arabia. And, Iran wants nukes!! Lets not forget that Iran controls the Straight of Hormuz, too.

So what to do? It is a real disadvantage that we do not have a much much larger military. That would take a draft. But leaving Iraq is not a very good option, and could set off a chain of events causing sudden and catastrophic loss of the majority of the supply of our oil. The unthinkable.

If I were the President, I know it would be a bit provocative to the Arabic countries, but I would declare that we need a base in Iraq because of this conflict and escalating violence, we want their oil, pay them for the oil like China does in Angola and other places, and find a way to greatly increase the military troops there on the stated premise of protecting the base and oil, needed of course to protect Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Israel. And I would concentrate the increased troops around the base and oil infrustructure (a smaller area), not try to police the entire Iraqi conflict or expend an inordinate amount of money shoring up the Iraqi government.

How to increase troops (people joining the military)? 100% student loan foregiveness for those who commit to serve. Gas supply for people who drive SUVs and other gas hogs or have an excess of vehicles if they commit to serve; otherwise if they are not willing to serve, then their gas supply will be limited to a fuel efficient car's needs (allowing for exceptions for vehicles people demontrate they need for their livelihood or business). A guarantee of housing ownership for those who are renters or homeless who commit to serve (should be easy with all the speculator vacancies now being generated by the crashing real estate market). I could probably think of other incentives.

So, though I could go on, Visitor Again, it is not Israel that "will be the death of us all." It is how we decide to handle the mess we created in Iraq in light of the stability of the entire Middle East. It is just too bad those critical thinkers equipped with useful skills to be of help in analyzing this situation are disregarded for their inability to pass a standardized test.
11.25.2006 2:28am
Visitor Again:
I would have, and did, say Israel will be the death of us all long before the latest Iraq war. It is surrounded by millions of Islams, many of whom are fanatics and will devlop weapons of mass destruction. It is not up to we Americans to decide the destiny of the area. We will not stand by a suicidal defense of Israel in the end. If perchance we did, the costs will be horrific--hence, the death of us all. It is you who are naive, cursed by a world view that still has the U.S.A. dictating world affairs. Your mind will change long before mine does if you live long enough.

I regret this is so, for I long hoped for Israel's continued existence and some kind of permanent truce. It will not happen, regrettably.
11.25.2006 3:23am
Visitor Again:
I said Israel is a racist state, and it is. I did not speak of other racist states, so your attempt at diversion and obfuscation fails. There are many other racists statew, including the U.S.A., although it has made some improvements. Please confine your response to my comment as to whether Israel is a racist state without talking about other states.
11.25.2006 3:28am
StevenK:
Visitor Again, as far as I can tell, by your standards, all states, even those that explicitly oppose racism, are racist, so there's no reason for you to single out Israel.
11.25.2006 4:07am
davod (mail):
Mary K (Do you dress in pink) I am surprised it took so long for someone to blame Bush for the ills of the world. Do you have your talking points on MSWord so you can cut and paste or do you just do stream of consciousness typing. Either way you really need to order your thoughts a little better.
11.25.2006 4:53am
luagha:
The biblical scholars are laying it on pretty thick nowadays about how Revelations says that the armies of Persia and Russia will team up, and then fire will blossom in the skies and burn their eyes out. And just today the Russians are sending in their anti-missile defense systems into Iran, likely with plenty of advisors to help them out on it.

Pretty scary stuff. Dang them ancient prophets.
11.25.2006 5:29am
luagha:

And as another aside, a type of argument I've never seen taken up with people like jvarisco and Visitor Again (though I admit I must only guess about some of Visitor Again's attitudes) is the idea of eminent domain.

There were some ten actual arabic landowning families in the partitioned territories. Incoming Jews were purchasing land in ordinary legal manners. The vast majority of other arabs who lived on the land were renters and tenants of those ten families. Those families were actually compensated for the land in the transition and those land boundaries and areas are known.

Under standard theories of eminent domain, the government, in this case Britain as guided by the UN's partition plan, can buy your land from you at the current market value at any time for a public use. (You can challenge it in court but good luck.) And here the public use was the partition plan and the creation of two new states.

I'll have to try bringing this one up some more every time I hear the 'kicked out of their homes' deal. Sorry, eminent domain, that's the breaks. There's some people in Connecticut who'll be real sympathetic to you right now, but they aren't likely to keep their homes either.
11.25.2006 5:42am
A. Zarkov (mail):
"I said Israel is a racist state, and it is."

You still don't tell us which races you are talking about, and of course you can't because you know it doesn't make sense in this case. Both Israelis and Arabs are of the same race.
11.25.2006 7:42am
Visitor Again:
You know damn well what racism I;m talking about.
11.25.2006 10:18am
Passing By:
Why should Palestinians be allowed to harass Israelis, even doctors and professionals, at checkpoints? Isn't it obvious? Oh no, that would be silly, wouldn't it. You only make your bigoted, sweeping generalizations about Palestinians.

Don't you ever get tired, Prof. Bernstein, of finding ways to reinforce your own contempt toward Palestinians? Don't you have even the slightest inking that you aren't even slightly objective on these issues? (Your pattern of closing comments on some of your more hateful posts suggests that you do.)

I could only wish that the other conspirators would find your screeds as tiresome as I do, and ask you to take them elsewhere. There's not one thing you could say about Israel-Palestine, or about the Palestinians, that anybody who is even slightly familiar with your writings doesn't can't anticipate with 99.999999999% accuracy.
11.25.2006 10:23am
Pantapon Rose (mail):
Yeh, Bush was naive in thinking we could impose freedom and democracy in the mideast, something we haven't even been able to sell in Europe.

Well, the alternative is coming with Baker, the guy who betrayed the Iraqi Shia and accepted the 1989 Taif Accord that ended the Syrian-sponsored Lebanese civil war by sacrificing Lebanese sovereignty to Syrian fascist occupation in the name of regional stability. That's already working out well...
11.25.2006 11:18am
Passing By:
Prof. Bernstein, your "update" only digs you into a deeper hole. I have heard, and have deplored, that same rhetoric coming from the Palestinian side of the debate, rationalizing why all Israelis are fair targets, why Israel is a corrupt, terrorist state led by war criminals, etc., etc., etc.... ad nauseum.

No wonder you don't like it when people hold up the mirror to your anti-Palestinian posts - you see a Hamas propagandist leering back at you.
11.25.2006 12:25pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Passing By: Why wouldn't Professor Bernstein be contemptuous of Palestinians?

I am.

But you are welcome to list all their admirable qualities.

We can then balance these against their unadmirable qualities. Among these: blood feud, violent religious intolerance, oppression of women, martyr schools, and -- oh yeah -- cold-blooded random murder of people and a political ideology of genocide.
11.25.2006 12:35pm
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
Yes, 'Passing By' has seen "that same rhetoric" coming from both sides: (a) Palestinians explaining why all Jews who choose not to leave their homeland must be killed in spectacularly gruesome ways, and (b) Israelis explaining why all Palestinians who choose to cross the border into enemy territory must be frisked for bombs before they are allowed in. Are (a) and (b) really the same thing, or do you have to be a flaming bigot to think so? (Or perhaps to say so, without actually thinking so?)
11.25.2006 12:53pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
First of all the label of 'racism' is almost never helpful in any discussion. What we want to know if whether the behavior is morally acceptable and bringing up the charge of racism just bogs everything down into a fight over what the word means. Moreover, in circumstances significantly removed from the classical examples of racism (Jim Crow, anti-semitism in early 10th century europe) the fact that something qualifies as 'racist' is not sufficient to show it is obviously immoral. For instance affirmative action clearly qualifies as racism but if I was convinced it was effective I would support it as a means to reduce racial tensions and bad feelings.

So it really isn't very useful to just make emotional smears about Israel being racist or terrorist being racist/anti-semitic. Similarly it is totally useless to argue about who did what to whom 50 years ago. No matter how badly someone treated your grandmother or what their ancestors stole from your ancestors it doesn't become right to go kill them or start a war. As someone pointed out above the terrible way we treated the Indians wouldn't make it okay for them to use terrorism to demand ownership of major cities on what used to be Indian land. Likewise Israel wouldn't be justified in attacking Germany for the holocaust, nor would it be reasonable for europe and the middle east to resume a war over who did what to whom in the middle ages.

All that matters is what policies produce the best results now. The only valid justification for causing harm or taking life is preventing future harm. Thus the Israeli policy of searching old women and giving them a hard time is justified if and only if it prevents more pain/harm than it causes, regardless of who owned what land when. If, as Mr. Bernstein claims (and I believe), not doing this to old ladies results in old ladies being used as suicide weapons then it is probably justified (means less Israelis and old women die). Similarly policies like supporting settlments in the west bank that avert no suffering and cause much more are totally unjustified.

Basically Israeli actions that are reasonably likely to reduce terrorism and cause less suffering than the terrorism they prevent (including the indirect effects of terrorism to spark retaliation and block peace) are justified otherwise they are not. Some Israeli actions are some are not. Virtually all terrorist attacks by the Palestinians fail this test, there is no way that a suicide bomber on a bus is somehow going to deter future violence rather than fueling it. What makes all the Palestinian terrorist actions against Israel so particularly immoral is that they, like Israeli settlements, are so obviously ineffective at making the other side back off.

--

I just don't understand this whole argument between supporters of Israel and Palestine. Showing the other guy is doing bad things doesn't mean you get to do them as well. We should be looking to history to figure out what is effective in reducing violence not who is 'justified' in doing bad things to the other one.

I mean the whole premise the arguments I keep seeing in the comments are based on is absurd. Who did what to your parents or what land they own simply doesn't have any direct bearing on what is right or wrong for you to do. Sure we ought to punish wrongdoers and deny them their ill-gotten fruits but only to discourage such behavior in the future. It wouldn't make one jot of difference if Israel had really been created by space aliens who planted false memories in everyone's heads. The right and wrong actions now would still be the same
11.25.2006 2:56pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Okay, Passing, let me know exactly what I said that is not factually accurate and also explain HOW POINTING OUT WHY ISRAEL CHECKS OLD WOMEN AT CHECKPOINTS IS THE logical or MORAL EQUIVALENT OF Hamas advocating killing civilians, and then actually doing so. [Sorry for the caps, keyboard acting u.]
11.25.2006 3:30pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano

"It is a kind of fanaticism that is very hard for an American to understand -- until you become immersed in this culture for about 4 years or more."

You have given us some good examples that help dispel the myth of multiculturalism that so grips the elites in America and Europe, especially in the media and academia. The adherents to multiculturalism deny racial, religious, ethnic and national differences to a point where they think all groups are necessarily compatible when given enough education and enlightenment. What they fail to understand is that many groups either have to be physically separated, or ruled with an iron fist. For example Saddam and Tito both ruled with an iron fist. If you relax the fist, the tribal, national, religious or racial forces will tear your conflicted country apart until you either physically separate the groups or allow one side to exterminate the other.

Extermination is nothing new in human history. About 95% of pre state societies practiced continuous warfare, and extermination was common. Bands, tribes and chiefdoms knew that mere victory in battle would leave your an opponent with a grudge itching for revenge, so you had better exterminate them to avoid a future war you might lose and get exterminated yourself. Even the settled communities and national states of the ancient world practiced extermination. For example after the third Punic war, the Roman general Scipio Numantinus utterly destroyed Carthage. Both the harbor and the city were burned. Anything that did not burn was plowed under. All those not slaughtered outright were enslaved. The 20th Century too is no stranger to extermination. It started with the Turkish slaughter of the Armenians, an event the Turks still deny.

One viable alternative to extermination is separation. Cyprus provides a good example. After many years of conflict between the Greek and Turkish communities, Turkey invaded in 1974 in response to a coup by Greek Army officers seeking to unite Cyprus with Greece. The coup was reversed restoring president Makarios to power, yet the Turkish Army has remained in North Cyprus till this day in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. Turkey established an unrecognized national state in the North of the island and expelled 200,000 ethnic Greeks to the south. Ethnic Turks then migrated north. In violation of the Geneva Convention, Turkey also moved over 120,000 people from the mainland into North Cyprus. So today Cyprus remains a divided island with a "green line" separating the ethnic Greeks from the ethnic Turks. Not a good solution, but a better solution than continued conflict, civil war and invasions by the parent powers of the warring ethnic groups.

It's time to come to grips with the failure of multiculturalism in all its manifestations both foreign and domestic. You can pretend that somehow everybody is the same and will get along and enjoy the fruits of a pluralistic society, but reality has a way of creeping in to contradict your illusions.
11.25.2006 3:45pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"It is you who are naive, cursed by a world view that still has the U.S.A. dictating world affairs. Your mind will change long before mine does if you live long enough."

Is this a threat on my life for speaking my point of view?

First of all, I am not at all naive. I am not all for the United States dictating world affairs. However, I don't want to see the gas pumps run dry, and affect my ability and the ability of everyone else I depend on, to earn a living necessary to survival and our way of life. I also don't want to freeze in the winter and sufer extreme hat stroke in the summer when electricity runs out. That is a business necessity, not a political view, as you way miss the mark in understanding how many Americans look at the necessity to protect America's oil supply.

You appear to be indoctrinated by Arabic, Anti-American sentiments.
11.25.2006 5:55pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"sufer extreme hat"-suffer extreme heat
11.25.2006 5:57pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Mary K (Do you dress in pink) I am surprised it took so long for someone to blame Bush for the ills of the world. Do you have your talking points on MSWord so you can cut and paste or do you just do stream of consciousness typing. Either way you really need to order your thoughts a little better."

That would be an actionable disability slur. I do the best I can with the state f my current speech recognition assistive device. The last time I heard such an aversion to disabilities from someone who does not apprear to be a medical doctor, was from United States District Court Judge James D. Whittemore (also from the euthanizing Terri Schiavo disability fame). Why don't you quit attacking people with points of view you personaly find unpopular, and while you're at it, how about identifying yourself as required by Federal criminal law instead of posting under an anonymous blog ID?

It is obvious you have no ability to engage in an intelligent debate on the merits.
11.25.2006 6:04pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"f "-"of
11.25.2006 6:06pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"And just today the Russians are sending in their anti-missile defense systems into Iran, likely with plenty of advisors to help them out on it."

Yeah. The Russians already sent their anti-spy critic pollonium 210 isotopes into the UK. I also took the Russian language. And Putin is extremely handsome. But I still speak my critical point of view when I think my perspective can be helpful to America.
11.25.2006 6:09pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
I don't have any criticisms of Russia or Putin, but it is extremely interesting how a critical evalution of the Iraq conundrum brings forth such attacks on any critical thinking point of view.
11.25.2006 6:11pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"No matter how badly someone treated your grandmother or what their ancestors stole from your ancestors it doesn't become right to go kill them or start a war."

Thank you, logicnazi. Well said.

And, A Zarkov, thank you, too, for the intelligent discussion my initial post was meant to provoke. I did not make my initial post to engage in Bush-bashing; rather, we have to recognize the reality that going into Iraq created havoc, a spreading mess threatening to destablize the Middle East and abruptly sever our supply of oil. Oil we depend on to run our economy and survive. If the reality cannot be acknowledge, we cannot move on to find a solution that will best benefit our country, the United States. I did propose some solutions. I am sure I could think of more ideas. Every American should be thinking of solutions to this pandora's box, because even the welathy VIP tax cutters will go down if the ship sinks. And I, for one, don't want to be on a sinking ship.
11.25.2006 6:39pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"welathy"=wealthy

I know may be a pun for those who have read my postings for some time, but perhaps I should have said "I for one already live on a leaky boat."
11.25.2006 6:42pm
wb (mail):
May K. -- you say you would increase the troops in Iraq. Colin Powell long ago estimated that the kind of occupation force that could assure stability would require ~500,000 troops. That is far more than the US can sustain in the Middle East evven if it strips all its troop out of other hot spots like North Korea.

You are correct in saying that the invasion has created a crescendo of instability. At present NO good solutions exist that can be imposed by the US acting alone. Many doubt whether any workable soution can be created without the full cooperation of Iran. And that is not happening without security guarantees.

You ask what of the increasingly worried Sunni states such as Saudi Arabi. Yes, at least some powerful representative Sunni states must be included. And they are not models of democratic freedom either.

What the US has done and what Israel has amplified with its Lebanon offensive is tight the security of the entire region in a rather tight knot. The tightness is nicely reflected in the back-and-forth anti-hominem attacks that typify comments to David Bernstein's middle east posts.

At this point the only leverage the US has with countries in the region is the threat to immediately remove troops; some do belive the US presence slows the escaltion. Time the US starts to figure out how to play the only trump it has left in its hand.
11.25.2006 9:56pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Gee, since the original post was about Israel-Palestine, I, too, concluded that Day-Petrano's lengthy screed was just gratuitous Bush-bashing. If it had gotten back around to offering some course of action that would not only retrieve's Bush's failure but also have the Israelis and Palestinians living in brotherhood, then I might reconsider.

But it didn't do that, so I won't.

logic, whether I agree with the rigor of your assessment or not is beside the point. At least one side in the dispute does not play by your rules. Starting from the same set of 'facts,' they derive a much different 'result.'
11.25.2006 11:44pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
HE, I did offer a course of action. But you have too many complaints.

Like you think I can solve the Isreali-Palestinian problem so they can live in brotherhood. You ask for so much.

I tell you what, maybe the Isrealis should stop their raids against the Palestinians, the Palestinians should not raid the Isrealis, both the Isrealis and the Palestinians should build big walls around their territories to keep out Hezbollah, and then the Isrealis and Palestinians should sit down together annually for their own Thanksgiving. It worked for the Pilgrims and the Indians.
11.27.2006 1:23am
Harry Eagar (mail):
My only complaint was that you were ridiculously off topic.

I BLAME BOOSH! is not helpful discourse.
11.27.2006 4:29am
o' connuh j.:
if Israel had really been created by space aliens who planted false memories in everyone's heads


That would be the Israelians, no?
11.27.2006 4:52am
Ralph Phelan (mail):
"How about I come to your country, kick you out, make you live in a refugee camp for forty years, and then offer to give you back a a bit less than half. Still sound generous?"

If I was a Cherokee I'd think that was the sweetest deal I'd heard offered in over a century. But you don't see them killing random white kids at pizza parlors, do you?

The Palestinians have a right to fight a war against Israel if they want to, but the fact that they're losing doesn't give them the right to engage in wide-scale war crimes. Fighters out of uniform, deliberate targeting of civilians ... I wonder what fraction of the Gaza population would get the death penalty under Nuremberg rules?
11.27.2006 1:26pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"My only complaint was that you were ridiculously off topic.

I BLAME BOOSH! is not helpful discourse."

What a bore *yawn*
Like the last six years repeating the same mistakes over and over until civil war in Iraq threatening to engulf the entire Middle East, and threatening our oil supply.

Of one thing I am certain -- you are a true Bush trooper --"stay the course," even when you walk off cliff.

You sound rather Arabic, yourself. A Sadr Shia, I suspect ...
11.27.2006 3:40pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"if Israel had really been created by space aliens who planted false memories in everyone's heads


That would be the Israelians, no?"

And I was off topic???!!!!!

Wait, I forgot, it is almost finals exams time for some ...
11.27.2006 3:43pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
I'm pro civil war in the Middle East. There are only 10 states there. If we believe our own American founding principles, there should be at least 19. Bring it on.
11.28.2006 12:45pm