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Gaza War Leads to Drop in Palestinian Support for Hamas:

There is a commonly held view that taking military action against terrorists has the counterproductive effect of strengthening their popular support. Recent polling data suggest that Israel's recent action in Gaza had precisely the opposite effect. It turns out that military defeat (Israeli forces killed hundreds of Hamas fighters and damaged its infrastructure, while taking few losses of their own) actually lowered Hamas' support among Palestinians. A new poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion found that 51% of Palestinians and 56% of those living in the Gaza Strip now believe that Hamas is leading Gaza in the "wrong" direction. Only 28% of Gaza Palestinians say they support Hamas, down from 52% in a survey conducted in November, before the recent conflict.

These survey results may well actually overstate the degree of popular support enjoyed by Hamas in Gaza. We know from previous experience that polls conducted in repressive societies are often unreliable because respondents are afraid to express views critical of the government, for fear of arrest or other punishment. Hamas, of course, has often killed or imprisoned supporters of the rival Fatah faction (see, e.g., here), and is currently engaged in a new roundup of their political opponents occurring around the same time as the PCPO was conducting its poll. As one Gaza Palestinian recently told a reporter when asked whether he thought that the war had weakened Hamas' support, "If I talk about this, I'm afraid that Hamas will come and kill me." I'm sure that the PCPO researchers make every effort to ensure the confidentiality of respondents. But some Gaza Palestinians may be unwilling to bet their lives on it.

To say that the Israeli success reduced support for Hamas is not the same thing as saying that it caused Palestinians to take a more favorable view of Israel. The same poll shows that 54% blame Israel for the recent hostilities, with only 15% blaming Hamas (though these results too may be affected by lying due to fear of retaliation). But the Israelis don't need Palestinians to like them. Their more immediate need is to persuade Palestinians to stop supporting terrorism.

It is not surprising that military setbacks have reduced Hamas' popular support. We can see similar patterns throughout history. German support for Nazism collapsed because of Hitler's massive military defeat. In the Arab world, previously strong support for Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser's ideology of pan-Arabism plummeted after his defeat in the Six Day War. Here in the United States, support for neoconservative hawkishness declined greatly as a result of setbacks in the occupation of Iraq. Most people are highly biased in their evaluation of political information, and tend to reject anything that cuts against their preexisting beliefs. But clear military defeat is such an obvious setback that all but the most committed ideologues find it difficult to ignore or explain away.

The fall in Hamas' popular support does not by itself justify Israel's recent policies. But it does provide an important data point in the longstanding debate over the impact of military action on public support for terrorists. It turns out that you can cause that support to drop - if you win.

NOTE: I know from previous experience that comments about issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict produce a very high ratio of heat relative to light. As per my usual practice, I'm not going to aggressively police the comments. But I would suggest that we will have a better discussion if commenters focus on the specific issue raised in the post rather than on the broader rights and wrongs of the conflict. I highly doubt that we can say anything about the latter that hasn't already been repeatedly stated elsewhere.

UPDATE: It's worth noting the contrast between these poll results and data showing that the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah led to increased Lebanese popular support for the latter. I conjecture that the difference is due largely to the fact that Israel was perceived as the loser of that war, or at least as failing to win.

Soronel Haetir (mail):
We didn't even need to get into the comments before Godwin's law is active!
2.11.2009 10:08pm
FantasiaWHT:

Here in the United States, support for neoconservative hawkishness declined greatly as a result of setbacks in the occupation of Iraq.



clear military defeat is such an obvious setback that all but the most committed ideologues find it difficult to ignore or explain away.


I don't know anybody who would consider anything that happened to the U.S. in Iraq as a clear military defeat, I think there's other explanations for the drop (related to the setbacks, but not based on your clear military defeat theory)
2.11.2009 10:25pm
DangerMouse:
But clear military defeat is such an obvious setback that all but the most committed ideologues find it difficult to ignore or explain away.

It's broader than the Arab-Israeli conflict. Libs in general have an ideological commitment towards seeing any military attack against non-Western interests as only strengthening those non-Western interests. They believe in it because their ideology demands that everyone view the West, and America specifically, with the same contempt that they hold.

I don't recall seeing it discussed on this blog, but someone asked why libs/Democrats are so easy to make peace with ideological enemies like terrorists, while only believing that confrontation is the proper response to American conservatives. The approaches are entirely inconsistent, unless you take into account that the overriding premise is to weaken/destroy/have contempt for Westernism (of which conservatives largely support and liberals largely detest). Then the approaches are completely consistent.

But in the end, you're right, military victory &defeat is an overwhelming reality that all but the most deluded will recognize. And it's why libs should generally be ignored when they trot out the argument that a military attack will only strengthen the enemy. They say that because they know it's a lie and don't want the enemy defeated, so that they can make "peace" (that won't last) with the enemy and both weaken the West's power.
2.11.2009 10:26pm
cognitis:
Law Professor Somin argues principally that contenders of popular support convince better by arms than by words; very ironic is a law professor who rejects the Law and adopts violent force in convincing a populace. The civil persuade with words and petition international courts in international disputes, while barbarians convince with violent force and govern through fear.
2.11.2009 10:54pm
DangerMouse:
The civil persuade with words and petition international courts in international disputes, while barbarians convince with violent force and govern through fear.

How do the civil deal with barbarians, then?
2.11.2009 11:10pm
ArthurKirkland:
We voted for Democrats.
2.11.2009 11:19pm
cognitis:
Civil nations petition the UN for Peacemakers, the soldiers sent to Bosnia and Somalia and others.
2.11.2009 11:21pm
Ilya Somin:
I don't know anybody who would consider anything that happened to the U.S. in Iraq as a clear military defeat, I think there's other explanations for the drop (related to the setbacks, but not based on your clear military defeat theory)

Certainly, the setbacks in the occupation in 2003-2006 constituted a military defeat relative to what the US government set out to accomplish.
2.11.2009 11:22pm
Matt_T:
Law Professor Somin argues principally that contenders of popular support convince better by arms than by words; very ironic is a law professor who rejects the Law and adopts violent force in convincing a populace. The civil persuade with words and petition international courts in international disputes, while barbarians convince with violent force and govern through fear.

I think you would do yourself a great service by picking up the most recent edition of Webster's (unabridged) and looking up the words "normative" and "descriptive".
2.11.2009 11:22pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
But clear military defeat is such an obvious setback that all but the most committed ideologues find it difficult to ignore or explain away.
The Falklands are another example; the Argentinian defeat at British hands led to the collapse of the Galtieri dictatorship.
2.11.2009 11:24pm
Ilya Somin:
Law Professor Somin argues principally that contenders of popular support convince better by arms than by words; very ironic is a law professor who rejects the Law and adopts violent force in convincing a populace. The civil persuade with words and petition international courts in international disputes, while barbarians convince with violent force and govern through fear.

Military force is often persuasive. That may be an unpleasant reality, but it is a reality nonetheless. "Words" and courts can work sometimes too. But their effect on supporters of terrorism is often limited, at best.
2.11.2009 11:24pm
movie (mail) (www):
i don't know
2.11.2009 11:31pm
DangerMouse:
An international court is useless without the threat of force. Courts in this country work because when they find you guilty, you are forced into jail. Or when they hold you liable, you can be forced to accept judgment. Sheriffs are tools of the courts and an international court without a sheriff holding a big darn gun is a complete waste.

A court doesn't have to persuade ANYONE. All it has to do is give an ORDER. If you were merely involved in the business of persuasion, there'd be no need for a court. Adopting the trappings of western civilization without the need for western power will get you precisely nowhere.
2.11.2009 11:31pm
FantasiaWHT:

An international court is useless without the threat of force


ALL law is useless without the threat of force behind it. If the cops couldn't physically capture and detain criminals, what use would laws be?
2.11.2009 11:38pm
cognitis:
Matt:

Professor Somin didn't use the terms "normative" or "descriptive" at all, but he did use "military defeat" (arms) and "popular support". I didn't use "civil" and "barbarian" as jargon; so consult American Heritage Dictionary for standard usage of "civil" and "barbarian", and don't confuse subjects, and don't use jargon.
2.11.2009 11:46pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
One thing I will add on the differing outcomes regarding Hamas and Hizbollah. Unless I am mistaken, the social stuff that Hizbollah does was not effected greatly by the Lebanese war. Hamas however has been greatly pinched by the Gaza embargo.
2.11.2009 11:47pm
cognitis:
Mouse and Fantasia:

You two are confusing issues: Professor Somin disputes the effect of violent force on popular support, while you dispute the implication of violent arrest within the Rule of Law. While your subject interests me and others, dispute only this blog's subject for the blog's coherence.
2.11.2009 11:57pm
Sagar:
Civil nations petition the UN for Peacemakers, the soldiers sent to Bosnia and Somalia and others.

what if the UN Peacemakers/Peacekeepers are like the ones sent to Rwanda or Congo?

OR if they are like those sent to Darfur ...

oh, wait.

and, are you seriously suggesting what happened in Somalia as a model for what is a desired outcome?
2.12.2009 12:14am
DangerMouse:
coggy,

In referring to international courts, you alluded not to force but to their persuasive appeal. Implicitly in your statement was an assumption that force, per se, was bad because the civil use tools like international courts to persuade people, whereas barbarians use violent force. But that is complete nonsense. International courts are feckless because they don't persuade anyone and because they lack violent force. And I said that courts in general aren't a persuasive tool but a means of order with the threat of violent force behind it.

Courts don't have to persuade anyone. With force backing them up, their word is law. The only thing that makes a court's law different from a thug's law is that the court is supposed to be an open and unbiased forum that follows certain rules (but that doesn't always happen). When was the last time people obeyed a court because they were persuaded? I'll bet they obey in part because they know if they don't, force will be brought against them.

And for the record, bucko, I haven't disputed Prof. Somin at all. I completely agree with him. If you want to dispute him, however, you'll have to be more... persuasive.

You're the one who seems to think courts are merely persuasive because the civil have no need of violent force. What rubbish. And the Prof is right about something else also: violent force is persuasive in itself as well. Nothing convinces someone of the fallacy of their ways more quickly than violent force brought against them.
2.12.2009 12:18am
NTB24601:
The results of this poll are mixed. Note that more of the respondents said that their support for Hamas increased (25.9%) than said that it decreased (12.8%). Also, a much higher percentage of respondents said that Hamas won the war (34.1%) than said that Israel won it (10.5%). I'd be curious to see the questions from the November poll to check if there's any difference in the wording of the questions that could account for the different results.
2.12.2009 12:30am
cognitis:
Sagar:

Don't confuse the civility or rectitude of gesture with its effect; for as UN international soldiers did not attain their object in your example of Somalia, so did US national soldiers not attain their object in Vietnam or--as cited by Professor Somin--in Iraq.
2.12.2009 12:38am
Blar (mail) (www):
Have the Palestinians who lowered their support for Hamas become more moderate or more extreme? Are they moving towards Fatah or towards Salafism? As you say, Israel needs "to persuade Palestinians to stop supporting terrorism." Hamas =/= terrorism. A few years back, Israel decided that they couldn't work with Fatah &the Palestinian Authority and tried to undermine them. They succeeded, and you can see where that left us.
2.12.2009 12:46am
cognitis:
Mouse:

You clearly did not peruse my post, and you still confuse using violent force to apprehend a criminal with using violent force to accept popular support. Since you babble with examples and demonstrate defective reasoning with principles, I'll offer an example for you: LAPD used force in a civil way in apprehending a convicted felon and suspected criminal Rodney King; had LAPD burned innocent South Central residents with white phosphorus bombs in order to deter rioters and compel obedience, then LAPD would have acted barbarously. Let me admonish you: in the future, don't use "weasel words" like "alluded" or "implicitly assumed" or I'll bet"; use only words that the disputant used rather than speculate about what the disputant would've or should've kinda like maybe said; adopt these rules, and your posts will become clearer and more concise
2.12.2009 12:56am
DangerMouse:
coggy,

Oh please. You clearly said that barbarians persuade with violence. If the LAPD arrests someone, they're persuading with violence. If the LAPD firebombs a neighborhood, they're persuading with violence. The only difference is degree, not kind. The police would convince people with force by arresting someone or bombing a neighborhood. Tell me why I'm supposed to worship at this false dichotomy that you've created between police action and persuasion? Whether you personally consider some degree of force to be civil, and a different degree of force to be barbaric, is irrelevant. And your precious dictionary won't help you there.
2.12.2009 1:29am
gue5t:
cognitis,

Leaving aside the merits of your argument, I have to tell you that I've rarely encountered anyone with a writing style more bombastic than yours. It doesn't help your cause.
2.12.2009 1:30am
A.:
It's nice that support for Hamas fell. Now the question is which faction's support rose; if the support just shifted to even worse extremists (on the thinking that Hamas is too weak and too moderate to win a war with Israel), it's hardly an improvement.
2.12.2009 1:47am
Ilya Somin:
It's nice that support for Hamas fell. Now the question is which faction's support rose; if the support just shifted to even worse extremists (on the thinking that Hamas is too weak and too moderate to win a war with Israel), it's hardly an improvement.

The polls show that support shifted to Fatah, which is more moderate than Hamas, though far from perfect. More importantly, both Hamas and Fatah now must reckon with the reality that provoking a further round of conflict with Israel is likely to hurt their support if they get hammered again.
2.12.2009 1:53am
duckhawk:
Another poll indicates that Hamas has only gotten more popular: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3667302,00.html

Granted, that poll seems less about absolute popularity and more about Hamas vis-a-vis Fatah, but in terms of political outcomes these are basically the same thing.
2.12.2009 2:16am
rrr:
The polls show that support shifted to Fatah . . .

Actually, the polls (plural) show no such thing. As a commenter above noted, in this same poll that suggests that Hamas support dropped from the last poll, more respondents also said that their support for Hamas increased than said it decreased (and more said support for Hamas increased than support for Hamas decreased). Meanwhile, following much of Israeli media, you cite this poll but fail to make any mention of another poll, by the JMCC, which showed almost exactly opposite results to those claimed for this poll.

Finally, I should add that the PCPO wildly underestimated voting for Hamas in the 2006 elections.
2.12.2009 2:24am
jim47:
You mention both the damage done to Hamas and the tendency for people to avoid criticizing a repressive regime, and I wonder if those two things are related to this.

Perhaps people avoid expressing criticism for a powerful repressive regime, and to the extent that Hamas has been neutered, this may be having the effect of allowing people to think and say things critical of Hamas.

This might also explain a difference with the Hezbolla story: as far as I understand, Hezbolla did not see a comparable drop in its capacity to project power in its home turf.

Of course that narrative doesn't fit with the Iraq War/neocon analogy. But this is speculating, so it doesn't have to explain everything.
2.12.2009 2:31am
Perseus (mail):
The civil persuade with words and petition international courts in international disputes, while barbarians convince with violent force and govern through fear.

The "civil" are naive fools: "A prince...should not care about the infamy of cruelty, because with very few examples he will be more merciful than those who for the sake of too much mercy allow disorders to continue."
2.12.2009 2:39am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
cognitis:
Law Professor Somin argues principally that contenders of popular support convince better by arms than by words; very ironic is a law professor who rejects the Law and adopts violent force in convincing a populace.


The two parts of this sentence are entirely unrelated. Professor Somin did indeed argue that arms are convincing (though he said nothing about the relative persuasiveness of arms as opposed to words). However, that does not mean that Professor Somin supports the use of arms as a persuasive tool. Do you see the difference? It's the difference between "descriptive" and "normative" that earlier commenters mentioned. Just because B happens when A happens (descriptive) doesn't mean that one should invoke A for the sake of bringing about B (normative).

The civil persuade with words and petition international courts in international disputes, while barbarians convince with violent force and govern through fear.


This is an error in description. When the barbarian encounters violence, he hits back. When the civilian encounters violence, he warns the other party that continued violence will provoke retaliation, then retaliates if violence is continued. The difference is that the civil society implements that intermediate step, not that one type of society employs violence and the other one doesn't. That would be the civilian warning repeatedly that he just might think about maybe retaliating sometime soon while the violence continues. That is totally ineffective and therefore normatively suboptimal.
2.12.2009 3:17am
josil (mail):
I don't think the poll reflects much to hang a conclusion on. At best it is an attitude solicited under the most unfavorable circumstances (a war, an authoritarian regime). The predominant attitude in most of the Arab world is that Israel should disappear. And lately, that Jews should be gone as well.
2.12.2009 3:26am
TokyoTom (mail):
But it does provide an important data point in the longstanding debate over the impact of military action on public support for terrorists. It turns out that you can cause that support to drop - if you win.


Sure; but I`d venture a guess that it`s also done much to reduce popular support for Israel in the US as well (not to mention undermining remaining sympathy elsewhere and inflaming public opinion in Arab/Muslim countries). There`s some cause for optimism that results are just what are needed for the US to get serious about pushing for a meaningful political solution between Israel and Palestinians.

But it might not be the "win" that the Israelis seem to have in mind.
2.12.2009 4:20am
randal (mail):
Ilya, you have a terrorist-centric worldview! You have two categories only: terrorist and other. It's so strange to you that every generalization doesn't apply equally to all people you call terrorists!

Perhaps the reason the Palesinian people have lost faith in their government isn't because you call them terrorists, but because they elected Hamas as their government. Like how the US people didn't like Bush when our government was losing a war! Oh wait that last sentence doesn't have the word "terrorist" in it, how can you understand it?
2.12.2009 5:49am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Hard to say, Tokyo, about US popular support for Israel.
It is clear that some nations are allowed to defend themselves--Iran--and some not--Israel and the US. Those who believe such need no further convincing by seeing Israel defend itself. They're already annoyed at its existence.
Those who think Israel has a right to exist without being assaulted aren't much changed, given the circumstances leading up to the IDF's move into Gaza.

Someplace in between are the hopelessly confused. Some may be convinced by the first group, some by the second. As with swing voters, the struggle is for just over half of a very small group.
2.12.2009 8:22am
usajo:
All I am going to say is Hamas is a TERRORIST group They teach their children hate from birth.. All they had to do to stop Israel from kicking their A**ES is stop firing rockets at them. But NOOOO! they continued and while they hide behind civilians and use civilian homes using them as human shields. COWARDS!!! All of them. they call any kind of retaliation illegal.. wake up folks this is a group of miserable cowards theives murderers rapists. you want to know the truth about their fearless leader (prophet) SCOFF,, mohamed go to this website and you will learn the truth he was a murderer rapist coward who sent people to do his killing for him he never once participated in any battles. www.thetruthaboutthekoran.com.
DUMBA**ES
2.12.2009 9:16am
autolykos:

Since you babble with examples and demonstrate defective reasoning with principles, I'll offer an example for you: LAPD used force in a civil way in apprehending a convicted felon and suspected criminal Rodney King; had LAPD burned innocent South Central residents with white phosphorus bombs in order to deter rioters and compel obedience, then LAPD would have acted barbarously.


Your distinction is one of degree with respect to how directed violence is, not of civility versus violence. Make no mistake, the police will use any degree of violence necessary to quell violence (ever hear of the North Hollywood shootout?). Had the Rodney King rioters continued, it's unlike the LAPD would have resorted to indirect force (such as white phosphorus), but they certainly would have used any force necessary to control the violence (indeed, 4,000 soldiers and marines were deployed - it's amazing how much more persuasive "civil" people can be when they have 4,000 marines standing behind them).
2.12.2009 9:18am
Alchemist:
As someone else noted, here's Marc Lynch with poll results opposite of these.
2.12.2009 9:34am
ArthurKirkland:
The best course for the United States and for Israelis might be to move every Israeli to west Texas, New Mexico and perhaps Arizona. It would cost less than propping up the current Israeli situation. New Mexico would become an economic powerhouse. The emigrants would move from constant jeopardy to one of the most secure positions in the world. Texas' collective IQ could gain 15 points.

It would make more sense than the original decision to locate and populate Israel.
2.12.2009 10:07am
Elliot123 (mail):
"How do the civil deal with barbarians, then?"

Who knows? Natural selection took care of them.
2.12.2009 10:54am
Ariel:
Probably more interesting than this result is the result of the Israeli elections, showing the other side of the coin. Many have said that if we fight the terrorists, we only make them stronger by moving their population to support them. The Israeli election shows that if the terrorists fight us, even after making extraordinary concessions (handing over Gaza), the terrorists move the counter-population rightward.

The Israeli election is ~65 / ~55 right / left, which is a switch of over 10 seats - and that's counting Kadima as part of the left. Given that Kadima is a Likud splinter, that's arguable. A democratic, civilized polity can get fed up with relentless terrorism.
2.12.2009 10:59am
11-B/2O.B4:
By all means Arthur, enlighten me. How much does it "cost" to prop up the Israelis? Because I happen to know that it's less than what we spend on "propping up" the Palestinian Authority (given the fact that loans and aid are not exactly the same thing, only one is repaid). Why not relocate the Palestinians?

And lets clear up something historical while we're at it. The only decision to "populate" Israel with jews came from the Israeli government after they had declared independence. Prior to that, the British Mandate had harsh restrictions on jewish immigration, even to the point of sending boatloads of jewish refugees back to Nazi Germany during the war. The jews that were present in palestine pre-state were mostly either legal residents dating back to Turkish rule, or illegal refugees smuggled in violation of British law. The decision of the UN to partition Palestine was a de-facto recognition of the state of affairs, not a program of resettlement. Have you ever looked at the map of partitioned palestine and wondered why it looked like swiss cheese? Because it was cut out around the existing jewish settlements.
2.12.2009 11:03am
Tritium (mail):
Unbelievable. I think the last thing I want to do after watching my home being demolished is a phone call asking me to participate in a poll to determine what the approval rating is at. Then again, I wouldn't want to answer incorrectly in case a missile was targeting me.

It's almost like being a fireman from 9/11 getting a call on 9/12 asking how Bush was doing in office. (Trick question, at that point he hadn't spent much time in the office.)
2.12.2009 11:13am
Sarcastro (www):
I dunno, Conan the Barbarian was pretty badass. Civilization had some real trouble dealing with him.
2.12.2009 11:34am
howie1 (mail):
put me in the confusion group and being pulled from both directions. the time.com article with just the opposite results of this poll seems to make for a different conclusion. it did just make for a hamas-fatah comparison and all conclusions concerning our bretheren in the middle east location known as israel-palestine are wayside journeys at best.i am sure as this article has hamas losing base the times conclusion is that hamas is now favored over fatah in the west bank. two totally different things. yes we texans could do well with a few more good citizens in our mist so send'em on authurkirkland.
2.12.2009 11:35am
appetite4deduction (mail):
I must say, the people in this forum are a helluva lot more rational than most other bloggers on this subject. So maybe my words won't be wasted here.

It's not a million-dollar question, how do you negotiate with an entity sworn to your destruction. The answer, of course, is that you can't. The U.S. feds didn't negotiate with organized criminals during the mid-20th Century. No "Land for Peace" negotiations took place during the American Civil War. There is no reason to doubt that an organization with a charter to destroy you--actually written down--is somehow only meaning that message in jest.

Does anyone remember when Clinton tried to do a last-save effort at Camp David to give back huge amounts of territory to the P.A., and yet it still failed? People say it's him trying to preserve a legacy, but the reality was much simpler than that. He had received intelligence of a second intifedah building, and he was doing everything he could to try to head it off.

But he couldn't do it. Because, Arafat had planned it all along. That, people, is the principal reason for Israel's hawkish leanings now. Negotiate? Who can Israel negotiate with, exactly? If it's a choice between people who want you dead 100% versus people who want you dead only 95%, it's not much of a choice, is it?
2.12.2009 11:47am
Soccer Dad (mail) (www):
I would guess that there are a number of factors that explain the difference between the reactions of the Lebanese and Gazans.

One is that Israel controlled media access to Gaza. The media did not get the same opportunity to spin Israel's war against Hamas (against Israel) as it spun Israel's war against Hezbollah (against Israel) two years earlier. I know that media folks were outraged, but Marvin Kalb wrote in the aftermath of the 2006 war, that the media played a major role is defining the war as a defeat for Israel, so Israel did its best to take media perceptions out of the equation.

Because of the media bias Israel was very sensitive about casualties. But following the Gaza war, Israel accepted the higher casualty figures, showing the great disparity between Israelis and Gazans killed. Israel reported that it identifief 75-80% of those killed as fighters. This undermined any claims form Hamas that they won.

Plus Israel set up an IDF Spokesman's blog, started a facebook account and twittered information making sure that an informal legion of bloggers could disseminate information the promoted Israel.

In addition to preparing better to fight this war on the ground, Israel also chose to fight the media faced perceptions, and I think this helped a lot.
2.12.2009 12:01pm
DG:
{By all means Arthur, enlighten me. How much does it "cost" to prop up the Israelis? Because I happen to know that it's less than what we spend on "propping up" the Palestinian Authority (given the fact that loans and aid are not exactly the same thing, only one is repaid). Why not relocate the Palestinians? }

Why not relocate the Palestinians? Well, not to be harsh, but who would you rather have as neighbors? The arabs have not proven to be particularly hospitable, nor would they be a net benefit for the US. I'm not a fan of this sort of relocation, but if it ever came down to it, the average american would probably see 6 million Jews as a great acquisition. Hamas? Fatah? Less so.
2.12.2009 12:04pm
ArthurKirkland:
My general understanding is that a substantial portion of the United States' foreign aid budget -- billions of dollars each year -- is devoted to Israel. I expect that I -- supporting a family of five, with relatively high income -- send hundreds of dollars to Israel each year in foreign aid (grants for military and other purposes), and that the per-capita subsidy received by an Israeli is larger still.

I doubt those figures address the amount of the U.S. military budget devoted to protecting Israel. They certainly don't address the various costs associated with positions the United States is forced to take consequent to its support of Israel.

The rearrangement of that part of the world decades ago
has created an unstable, violent, tragic, expensive situation whose bill is often paid by the United States in more than one way. That rearrangement seems, after decades of experience, to have been poorly conceived and/or implemented. Would improving Israelis' lot by bringing them to U.S. jurisdiction be any less sensible than the original decisions and actions that generated the current clustermuck?

I don't expect inviting Israelis to our southwest to occur. I don't think it is a great idea, except perhaps in comparison to the current dysfunction. But, as Otter said to Flounder, "it's gotta work better than the [current] truth."
2.12.2009 12:13pm
Yankev (mail):

We can see similar patterns throughout history. German support for Nazism collapsed because of Hitler's massive military defeat. In the Arab world, previously strong support for Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser's ideology of pan-Arabism plummeted after his defeat in the Six Day War.
I am reminded of Mad Magazine's primer of 20th Century World History from the early 1960's. In the chapter about WWII, the author (was it Larry Siegel?) wrote:

"After the war, we learned that the people of Germany and Japan did not like the foolish things their leaders had done.
Like losing the war."
2.12.2009 12:28pm
Yankev (mail):
DangerMouse,

Cognitis gave me some excellent advice a few threads ago, inviting me not to respond to what he admitted were his childish and illogical arguments. We could perhaps all benefit from that advice, and I share it with you in a spirit of kameradshaft.

As to the silly idea of using persuasion against those engaged in violence, I can add nothing to the able refutation that you and others have advance, except to quote the self-evident observation of a fictional law enforcement officer and civil servant Ruben "Rooster" Cogburn:


"Mr. Rat, I have a writ here from Judge Parker's court ordering you to cease and desist from eating Chen Lee's corn. It's a proper writ wrote in rat."
(Rat continues eating the corn and ignores the lawman. Lawman fires a shot from his revolver, killing the rat.)

You can't serve a writ on a rat. You got to either kill him, or leave him alone.
2.12.2009 12:37pm
John1234 (mail):
DG, it was a rhetorical question. Your response effectively makes its point. Because the Israelis are the reasonable ones, they are the ones we naturally ask to make concessions necessary to resolve the conflict. The folly of this view is that it ends up rewarding the irrational aggression of the Palestinians.
2.12.2009 1:01pm
Yankev (mail):

Because the Israelis are the reasonable ones, they are the ones we naturally ask to make concessions necessary to resolve the conflict. The folly of this view is that it ends up rewarding the irrational aggression of the Palestinians.
And that as each concession fails, we ask Israel to make concessions that are more and more unreasonable.
2.12.2009 1:08pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Yank.
Besides, the Palestinians are scary. They could blow you up just for asking. Easier to deal with the Jews.
2.12.2009 2:13pm
luagha:
ArthurKirkland:

The aid and loans you refer to are a result of the peace treaties brokered between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians some time ago, and are mandated by the law of the ratified treaty we signed with them. While they've had their ups and downs since then, Israel is at a reasonable peace with Egypt and Jordan. With the Palestinians? Not so much.

Part of the problem is that if we open up renegotiations on that money due to not getting value for value, we risk screwing the whole deal, including the parts that are reasonably working (Egypt and Jordan).
2.12.2009 2:15pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Their more immediate need is to persuade Palestinians to stop supporting terrorism.

And how would they do this?

Their current strategy reminds me of "The beatings will continue until morale improves."
2.12.2009 2:24pm
Smallholder (mail) (www):
Dangermouse writes:


It's broader than the Arab-Israeli conflict. Libs in general have an ideological commitment towards seeing any military attack against non-Western interests as only strengthening those non-Western interests. They believe in it because their ideology demands that everyone view the West, and America specifically, with the same contempt that they hold.


Dangermouse attributes this to "Libs in general."

Really?

I think one of the greatest harms right-wing talk radio does to American discourse is it's demonization of the other side - it isn't enough that the liberals are wrong on issues x,y, and z - they are bad! Impute evil motives to them!

I wonder if Dangermouse's worldview might change if he recognized that liberals don't hate America - they too love America but have different ideas about how to improve it.

Some on the left do the same thing. "Conservatives hate black people!" Those people are, like the motive-imputers on the right, (fill in negative description here that pushes right up against your civility barrier).

Perhaps, and this is just a perhaps - political discourse would improve if we stopped this nonsense. We'd have to persuade based on evidence instead of name-calling and discover common ground.

As an example, many opponents of gay marriage impute to their "enemies" the evil motive of "destroying marriage" and claim the good guys are "preserving traditional marriage." This isn't persuasive or even useful. If someone who is a moderate is told that, he'll look into his heart and say "um, I'm not against traditional marriage - what is this guy going on about."

Here's a proposal: Let's assume everyone has good motives. Maybe Obama really believes that a Keynesian infusion of cash is the best way to revive the economy and he isn't secretly plotting a communist dictatorship. Maybe Bush really believed that we could create a beacon of democracy in the Middle East and wasn't sooper-sekritly bent on Imperialist world domination. Maybe liberals legitimately believe that government can play a positive role in improving society and don't malevolently want to establish a politically-correct dystopia. Maybe conservatives really do believe that, a la Friedman, economic freedom does lead to overall better economic outcomes and aren't just hiding behind Adam Smith because they want poor children to go to bed hungry.

But what do I know? I'm just a dirt farmer who, through Dangermouse's prism, hates America, loves terrorists, and wants to force straight people into polygamous gay love triangles.
2.12.2009 3:10pm
ArthurKirkland:
First, I doubt the entirety of U.S. aid to Israel -- tens of billions of dollars expected in coming years, on top of tens of billions already spent -- is mandated by treaties involving countries other than Israel.

If it is, perhaps some of the other parties might agree to reductions? The Palestinians might go for it, for starters.

Or, if we offer Israelis a chance to move to the United States, the reasoning underlying the massive handouts could dissolve. I doubt it would cost much to shelter a few million additional people in New Mexico or West Texas -- I instead expect those new Americans would more than earn their keep.
2.12.2009 3:45pm
JoeSixpack (mail):
I remember when elections were held in Gaza and Hamas was elected the liberals and paleocons were both waiving it as a perfect example of why pushing democracy around the world does not necessarily lead to good results or results in our interest. But what they seemed to believe was that the Palestinians would elect leaders and the rest of the world would simply be forced to accept their vote. The reality of democracy though, is that you make your choice, the choice has consequences, and you consider those consequences the next time you have to choose to hopefully make a better choice, and eventually the populace learns what is in its better interest and moves in that direction. Here, the Gaza voters chose Hamas (for whetever reason - I have heard that Hamas offered more social services for the people) and are experiencing the consequences of that choice and will consider it the next time they are given a choice. I don't know if this is what is happening in Gaza, but I hope it is.
2.12.2009 3:52pm
Seamus (mail):
In the Arab world, previously strong support for Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser's ideology of pan-Arabism plummeted after his defeat in the Six Day War.

After the Six-Day War, Nasser submitted his resignation as president, but masses of people went into the streets in what appeared to be a genuinely spontaneous demonstration to ask him to reconsider. He did. When he died three years later, again the Egyptian masses poured into the street in what appears to have been a genuine outpouring of grief.

That public reaction is somewhat inexplicable, given that when King Farouk's regime was whipped by the Israelis in 1948-49, it lost the support of the people and was easily pushed aside by Naguib and Nasser in 1952.
2.12.2009 3:56pm
Michael B (mail):
Related issue - re, the UNRWA in Gaza and the West Bank. Excerpt:

"Crooks. Whores.

"That's what they call each other in polite company.

"UNRWA, the massive United Nations bureaucracy that administers assistance to the Palestinians, is locked in an unseemly epithet-laden battle here with some pro-Israel figures who say the relief agency should be shut down because it has been co-opted by radicals. They challenge not only the legitimacy of UNRWA but the refugee status of the 4.3 million Palestinians it is charged with serving, including 1.6 million in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."

Also, re, the update concerning Hezbollah/2006: keep in mind that Hezbollah decidedly did not join in the fighting recently, last month. In fact, at one juncture at least, they took pains to emphasize they did not wish to even be perceived as doing so. It seems likely they were refraining from doing so at the behest of Iran's regime (which latter has also been weakened recently on the financial front), which supplies both funds and munitions to Hezbollah and Hamas, in addition to some other groups such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
2.12.2009 4:37pm
keypusher64 (mail):
First, I doubt the entirety of U.S. aid to Israel — tens of billions of dollars expected in coming years, on top of tens of billions already spent — is mandated by treaties involving countries other than Israel.


It's my understanding that the Camp David accords in 1978 included a commitment from the U.S. of aid to both Israel and Egypt of aid in a set ratio. I don't know if it is in a treaty or not, but the aid has flowed ever since. (Does anyone know?) The quote below is from 1998.

The modern era of aid to Israel and Egypt was born following the October 1973 war and came of age with the huge sums committed in the wake of the 1978 Camp David Accords. The current levels of assistance — to Israel, $3 billion per year ($1.8 billion for military, $1.2 billion for economic); to Egypt, $2.1 billion per year ($1.3 billion for military, $815 million for economic) — have varied only occasionally since 1980.
2.12.2009 6:00pm
ArthurKirkland:
Sounds like, if we could entice Israelis to move, we could stop sending handouts to Egypt as well as Israel.

As the Beatles observed, "It's getting better all the time."
2.12.2009 6:06pm
Yankev (mail):

Their current strategy reminds me of "The beatings will continue until morale improves."
As opposed to the strategy of demanding the destruction of a neighboring country and an entire ethnic group, shutting down entire cities for years at a time with random rocket attacks (particularly concentrated when children are coming to or leaving school) and ensuring that no one in those cities can be more than 15 seconds from a bomb shelter at any time, dispatching suicied bombings, smuggling in ever more powerful and accurate missiles, murdering your own people when they dissent, mining your own civilians' homes and using your civilians as human shields so that you can score a propaganda victory when they are hurt or killed, using truces to smuggle in new weapons and generally rearm and to dig tunnels for kidnapping and sniper attacks, launching or tolerating the launching of rockets and missiles during "truces" and accusing your neighbor of violating the truce by taking steps to end your own violations, hijacking food and medical aid meant for your civilians, blowing up border checkpoints, attacking people who are trying to send you aid, and then cynically complaining when the country you target dares to close its borders with you or uses military force to stop your attacks.

Yeah, that's a confidence building measure. I can't begin to understand why anyone thinks its useless to negotiate with those folks.
2.12.2009 6:20pm
cognitis:
Professor Somin observes the following as an ancillary to his principle argument cited in my first post:
Most people are highly biased in their evaluation of political information, and tend to reject anything that cuts against their preexisting beliefs. But clear military defeat is such an obvious setback that all but the most committed ideologues find it difficult to ignore or explain away.
Here, Professor Somin renders "trial by combat": violent force as both solvent for contending rationes and also impulse for convincing. Again, very ironic is a Law professor who submits disputes not to Courts but to Arms; ironic too is the Law as a destroyer of alien rationesrather then a provider of equity.
2.12.2009 7:00pm
Yankev (mail):

Here, Professor Somin renders "trial by combat": violent force as both solvent for contending rationes and also impulse for convincing. Again, very ironic is a Law professor who submits disputes not to Courts but to Arms; ironic too is the Law as a destroyer of alien rationesrather then a provider of equity.
People have done an excellent job of explaining to cognitis the difference between what is and what should be, as well as the difference between law and war. Well, as Dorothy Parker said when challenged to use "Horticulture" in a sentence - - -
2.12.2009 7:29pm
Yankev (mail):

People have done an excellent job of explaining to cognitis the difference between what is and what should be,


Meant to post

People have done an excellent job of explaining to cognitis the difference between describing what is and describing what should be,


Clearly time to go home.
2.12.2009 7:34pm
neurodoc:
cognitis: The civil persuade with words and petition international courts in international disputes, while barbarians convince with violent force and govern through fear.
The United States declared war on Germany and Japan without efforts to "persuade with words" or "petition(ing) international courts," and only "convince(d)" them after using all the "violent force" it could muster. The United States was doing the barbarian thing, the Germans and Japanese the civil?

"International disputes" take place between sovereign states, or at least across internationally recognized borders. Israel is a sovereign state, but there is no sovereign Palestinian state (unless we count Jordan as that), and the Israelis and Palestinians are not separated by internationally recognized borders.

cognitis: Civil nations petition the UN for Peacemakers, the soldiers sent to Bosnia and Somalia and others.
Bosnia and Somalia are testimonials to the effectiveness of UN "peacemakers"?!

[Yankev, I know it was me who cognitis called a "troll," but was it you he told to stop responding to his childish and illogical arguments or was Richard Aubrey he told that? In any event, how wicked your "horticulture" crack, though amusing, and well deserved.]
2.12.2009 8:17pm
Perseus (mail):
Again, very ironic is a Law professor who submits disputes not to Courts but to Arms; ironic too is the Law as a destroyer of alien rationes rather then a provider of equity.

Not ironic but wise in recognizing the clear limitations of persuasion and law.
2.12.2009 9:34pm
cognitis:
Perseus:

Be Wisdom governing a populace through terror, of what use would be law professors and law schools?
2.12.2009 9:59pm
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
cognitis:
Here, Professor Somin renders "trial by combat": violent force as both solvent for contending rationes and also impulse for convincing. Again, very ironic is a Law professor who submits disputes not to Courts but to Arms; ironic too is the Law as a destroyer of alien rationesrather then a provider of equity.


Look, if you're not going to bother reading the many explanations of the difference between positive/descriptive and normative arguments, why are you here at all? Professor Somin notes that it's easy to dismiss political information unless it's so clear-cut as a military defeat; you misinterpret that to mean that Professor Somin supports the use of military action to send a clear-cut message. This is simply not the case.

Be Wisdom governing a populace through terror, of what use would be law professors and law schools?


1. Somin never said or implied that governing a populace through terror is wise.
2. The Palestinian population is held in terror by Hamas, which persists in shooting rockets at Israel from civilian sanctuaries when Israel has made it abundantly clear that violence on Hamas' part will not be tolerated and will be reciprocated if severe enough. The Israeli population is held in terror by Hamas, by the constant need to stay within 15 seconds of a bomb shelter, by Hamas' destruction of their normal way of life. Israel, on the other hand, holds no one in terror. There is no terrorism in stating that if Hamas shoots rockets, Israel will retaliate. All that Hamas needs to do is stop shooting rockets at Israel from civilian areas. That's hardly an unreasonable demand.
2.12.2009 10:39pm
cognitis:
Mage:

Only two posters here used "normative" and "descriptive", and I'd already responded to one, Matt; so read my response to Matt first or just shut up. You don't read carefully in general, and you clearly didn't read carefully my post that you yourself cited. I'll read closely Somin's cited observation for you, since you desire instruction:
Most people are highly biased in their evaluation of political information, and tend to reject anything that cuts against their preexisting beliefs. But clear military defeat is such an obvious setback that all but the most committed ideologues find it difficult to ignore or explain away.

Above, first Somin observes people to be "biased in their evaluation"; so how does one discern the truth among many various evaluations? Somin argues that "clear military defeat" makes the truth "difficult to ignore or explain away". Look, avoid future disappointment and pain: you probably attain high scores on standardized tests, but you're not nearly as smart as you think you are. regarding your point 1, I'd responded to Perseus directly not Somin, so again you read carelessly; Perseus had earlier cited Machiavelli's Il Principe in response to my post; since you haven't read Machiavelli, I'll again instruct you: Machiavelli advised Princes to better rule by terror than by love. In the future, either read my posts carefully before attacking me or just shut up and don't respond to my posts at all.
2.12.2009 11:26pm
TokyoTom (mail):
It is clear that some nations are allowed to defend themselves--Iran--and some not--Israel and the US. Those who believe such need no further convincing by seeing Israel defend itself. They're already annoyed at its existence.
Those who think Israel has a right to exist without being assaulted aren't much changed, given the circumstances leading up to the IDF's move into Gaza.


Richard, you posit that Americans either believe that Israel has a right to defend itself or does not, with others "hopelessly confused". I disagree, but find it interesting that you made no mention of Palestinians anywhere in there.

My own view is that Americans nearly universally agree that Israel has a right to exist and to defend itself, but disagree with/are troubled by Israel's (1) dealings with its own Arab population and with the the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories/Gaza and (2) its modus operandi of killing whom it wishes and through punitive strikes (Lebanon/Gaza) that are very costly to civilians.

Essentially we are unipolar, with an array of differing opinions, degree of sympathy for Israel and views about US policy. It seems to me that there is a growing sense that our own "war on Terror" has been overly expensive, and a similar sense that US aid to and support for Israel has made it easier for Israel to back off from reaching any political accommodation with Palestinians.

Israel is at peace with all of its neighbors, but continues to have problems with those who it shares Palestine with, but refuses either to share power with or permit to form their own state. What is the most productive policy for Israel, and for the US?
2.13.2009 12:37am
Perseus (mail):
Be Wisdom governing a populace through terror, of what use would be law professors and law schools?

Laws (and lawyers) are among the various useful "creatures" with which a good prince arms himself--so long as the prince remains the final arbiter of the meaning of law (cf. Hobbes, a progenitor of legal positivism). Unfortunately, laws require terror to remain effective, but a prudent prince also understands that economizing on terror is best policy: cruelties well-used are those that are "done at a stroke...and then are not persisted" lest they become routine and less effective.
2.13.2009 1:42am
neurodoc:
...so read my response to Matt first or just shut up...In the future, either read my posts carefully before attacking me or just shut up and don't respond to my posts at all.
From the person declaiming on the subject of the "civil" way versus the "barbarian" one you expected a civil response?

You needn't pay any attention to the "just shut up," but maybe all of us should go with the "don't respond to my posts at all."
2.13.2009 1:48am
TokyoTom (mail):
Ilya, I note that the questions Gordon Levy is asking at Haaretz seems to be resonating with a fair number of Jews abroad (judging from comments). Have you or anyone else seen an opinion poll about how Jews outside of Israel view the Gaza action?
2.13.2009 3:18am
Tony Tutins (mail):

As opposed to the strategy...

I think we can agree that bombing one's neighbors is not the path to persuasion for anyone.

"International disputes" take place between sovereign states, or at least across internationally recognized borders. Israel is a sovereign state, but there is no sovereign Palestinian state

Whoa. Is neurodoc taking up the argument that the West Bank and Gaza are Israel's Bantustans? Carter got in trouble for provocatively titling his book, Peace, Not Apartheid. Or is he arguing that the Hamas-Israel conflict is a civil war? International law (e.g. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions) does apply to civil wars.
2.13.2009 3:19am
LM (mail):
Elliot123:

"How do the civil deal with barbarians, then?"

Who knows? Natural selection took care of them.

Which ones?
2.13.2009 3:27am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
cognitis:
Only two posters here used "normative" and "descriptive", and I'd already responded to one, Matt; so read my response to Matt first or just shut up.


Yeah, I read that "response." The problem with it is, Matt never contended that Somin used the words "descriptive" or "normative," but rather that Somin's post is descriptive and not necessarily normative. But you blew by that issue and continued harping on the "civil"/"barbarian" distinction.

And although only Matt and myself used those particular words, Professor Somin responded directly along those lines, commenting on the "unfortunate reality" that he was describing. Yankev also commented on the difference between "what is and what should be." If you think the absence of the words "normative" and "descriptive" in the OP is sufficient answer for all four posts, you need to reread them.

Above, first Somin observes people to be "biased in their evaluation"; so how does one discern the truth among many various evaluations? Somin argues that "clear military defeat" makes the truth "difficult to ignore or explain away".


Yes. However, that does not imply that Somin supports the use of military force simply to make such truths obvious. Just because someone comments that abortion has certain positive effects in a society does not mean that that person therefore supports abortion. It's the same principle.

Look, avoid future disappointment and pain: you probably attain high scores on standardized tests, but you're not nearly as smart as you think you are.


Who cares what my scores were on standardized tests? And since I think you were incorrect on the other issues you discussed, why am I supposed to take seriously your wild-ass guesses about my intelligence and self-esteem? Is your ad hominem supposed to make the rest of your comment more credible?

regarding your point 1, I'd responded to Perseus directly not Somin, so again you read carelessly; Perseus had earlier cited Machiavelli's Il Principe in response to my post; since you haven't read Machiavelli, I'll again instruct you: Machiavelli advised Princes to better rule by terror than by love.


You're right there, and I apologize for not noting who you were responding to. However, that point and my second point are both relevant in the context of your responses to Somin, so although I put them in the wrong place, I'd like it if you would respond to them anyway.

In the future, either read my posts carefully before attacking me or just shut up and don't respond to my posts at all.


I don't intend to silence myself on your say-so, especially when your contention - that I don't read carefully - can be more accurately applied to yourself. How else to explain your misreading of Somin's post and several replies to your comments?
2.13.2009 3:55am
Yankev (mail):

Yankev, I know it was me who cognitis called a "troll," but was it you he told to stop responding to his childish and illogical arguments
That was me. It's tough to improve on Dorothy Parker, though.
2.13.2009 9:04am
Yankev (mail):

Look, avoid future disappointment and pain: you probably attain high scores on standardized tests, but you're not nearly as smart as you think you are.
Psychologist, heal thyself. Or as the Sages (of blessed memory) pointed out, anyone who points out a blemish in others most likely has the same blemish himself. (Somewhere in Kiddushin; anyone here care to help me with the precise reference?)

or just shut up and don't respond to my posts at all.
Cognitis' standard response to anyone whose refutation of his posts he does not care to acknowledge.

Congratulations, Math_Mage. Cognitis has just awarded you the second (AFAIK) Yankev Award.
2.13.2009 9:15am
Yankev (mail):

Who knows? Natural selection took care of them.





Which ones?
With the "civil" who thought that persuasion was adequate to protect themselves from barbarians.
2.13.2009 9:19am
Yankev (mail):
Tokyo Tom,


its modus operandi of killing whom it wishes and through punitive strikes (Lebanon/Gaza) that are very costly to civilians.
It does not "kill whom(ever) it wishes; it kills terrorist leaders and operatives, whom the PA not only tolerates but encourages and aids (and who in many cases are PA leaders or employees), notwithstanding PA's sworn obligation under the Oslo accords to arrest and punish them. In some cases they have been killed when they opened fire on IDF troops attempting to arrest them. But in any case, if the PA were doing what it promised, Israel would not need to kill them, or anyone else, and would be just as happy (happier, in fact) not to.


refuses either to share power with or permit to form their own state.
Israel has offered them a state many times, along with both economic development assistance and humanitarian aid. Each time the response has been increased violence. The PA does not want a state of its own, it wants an end to Israel. That includes the "moderate" Abbas and his faction as well as Hamas, but unlike Hamas they recognize their own weakness and are willing to lie about their ends, except when speaking in Arabic.

What is the most productive policy for Israel, and for the US?
I'm not sure I know, but I do know that it is neither the Clinton approach of pretending that your enemy's goals are benign, nor the Carter/Reagan/Bush 41 approach of pressuring Israel because that's the only party that will listen to us.
2.13.2009 9:33am
ArthurKirkland:
Israel is the aging gunfighter trying to leave his complicated past behind on a ranch. He has a deed dating back to the '40s, but that deed was signed in vaguely shady circumstances. Some memories of what happened a half-century ago have faded, others have intensified, most have become more myth than accurate recollection. The gunfighter and his friends want to bury the past and enjoy the current arrangements; descendants of the former property owner still chafe actively against the perceived injustice. Even those without a direct stake in the feud are bothered by the unsettled and unsettling circumstances; the exchanged claims of wrongs, the occasional gunfire, the constant risk of an explosive turn.

The gunfighter is a crack shot, and he has made powerful friends who can help when his six-shooter isn't enough. He has his once-impossible dream -- his ranch, the deed, his standing in the community -- but he can enjoy none of it. He gets winged once in a while, and despite his intense self-reliant streak becomes increasingly dependent on his friends. He knows that -- and why -- his pursuers are unlikely to relent.

I have seen parts of this plot unwind on the cable movie channels. Anyone know how it ends?
2.13.2009 9:34am
Yankev (mail):
AthurKirkland, you left out that he became a gunfighter only because those who claimed to be the former property owner had either no deeds or deeds even shadier than those of his parents, and butchered his parents and family who were peacefully homesteading. And that the "descendants of the former property owner" have so swallowed the myth of their own family's ownership that they will settle for nothing short of butchering the gunfighter, the gunfighter's immediate and distant family (ancestors as well as descendants) and everyone who looks like the gunfighter, no matter where they find him.

You walked into this movie in the middle, and skipped the five sequels. There's a lot of backstory you are unfamiliar with. Go get yourself a beer and a sandwich.
2.13.2009 9:43am
Yankev (mail):

You walked into this movie in the middle, and skipped the five sequels.

Not to mention the eight "prequels".
2.13.2009 9:51am
ArthurKirkland:
The Nazis lived on the ranch just before the gunfighter showed up at the courthouse with a deed? I missed that part of the movie. Are you sure you remember it correctly?
2.13.2009 9:56am
ArthurKirkland:
Wouldn't it be a happy ending if the gunfighter retired to Las Cruces and his children built a nice technology company?
2.13.2009 10:00am
Yankev (mail):

The Nazis lived on the ranch just before the gunfighter showed up at the courthouse with a deed? I missed that part of the movie. Are you sure you remember it correctly?
First, read about the treatment of Jews in Arab lands and Muslim Spain and North Africa from the time of Mohamed through 1948. Then read about the expulsion of 600,000 to 700,000 Jews fro Muslim lands in 1948.

Then read about the history of the Jewish community in Palestine from about 1000 or 1200 under the Turkish Ottoman empire. You will also learn that the Arab population of the area was largley nomadic and transient, and that when Jews fleeing Europe in the late 19th century bought land in Palestine -- with permission from the Ottoman rulers -- and began to develope agriculuture and industry, Arabs began settling nearby in greater numbers because of the improved ecomomy.

Then read about the Arab anti-Jewish riots of 1929. And the mutual admiration that the Grand Mufti ofJerusalem and Hitler had for each other, and the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood as the form that fascism took in the Arab middle east, and the collaboration between the Arab leadership and the Nazis. Read about the influence that the fascists had on the Baathist movement, and the sanctuary that Nazi war criminals were given by Syria and Egypt, and the role that some former Nazis played on the Arab side in the 1948 War of Independence, and in creating anti-Jewish propaganda for them after the war.

While you are at it, learn about Pan-Syrianism and how it gives the lie to the historic Palestinian identity.

Then maybe we can talk. Right now your misconceptions outweigh your information.
2.13.2009 10:29am
Seamus (mail):
AthurKirkland, you left out that he became a gunfighter only because those who claimed to be the former property owner had either no deeds or deeds even shadier than those of his parents, and butchered his parents and family who were peacefully homesteading.

The former owner may not have had deeds, but he had adverse possession going back so long that the statute of limitations for bringing a suit to quiet title had passed long ago. (Unless you want to start entertaining lawsuits from American Indians who think that Manhattan was never validly conveyed.) Oh, yes, and it wasn't the former owner or his ancestors who butchered the parents and family; it was those Roman guys, also many years back
2.13.2009 10:34am
TokyoTom (mail):
its modus operandi of killing whom it wishes and through punitive strikes (Lebanon/Gaza) that are very costly to civilians.

It does not "kill whom(ever) it wishes; it kills terrorist leaders and operatives, whom the PA not only tolerates but encourages and aids (and who in many cases are PA leaders or employees), notwithstanding PA's sworn obligation under the Oslo accords to arrest and punish them.


In Lebanon and Gaza, Yankev? "Targeted killings" in those places kill thousands and do billions in damage, and lead to filmmaker awards for animation about dancing.

But in any case, if the PA were doing what it promised, Israel would not need to kill them, or anyone else, and would be just as happy (happier, in fact) not to.
If the PA were doing what it had promised, Hamas wouldn`t have been elected. And if Israel had chosen to stop the expansion of setttlements, and to deal with Hamas would we be any further along?

Israel has offered them a state many times, along with both economic development assistance and humanitarian aid. Each time the response has been increased violence.
I obviously need to do more reading, but it seems clear that Bibi/Israel deliberately killed the peace process when it left Gaza.

The PA does not want a state of its own, it wants an end to Israel.
Get real; the Palestinians are no threat to the existence of Israel. And is trash-talking really a surprise, if not a mortal threat? But in any case the real question for Israel is what kind of state do the Jews want, and are they headed in the right direction? Avrum Burg and Gideon Levy ask the right questions.
2.13.2009 11:00am
ArthurKirkland:
I acknowledged, at the outset, that the complications were vague. The Arabs have a version. The Jews have a version. Both versions have been warped and reinforced by passion and self-interest. Worse, both versions (and others) are clouded by supernatural factors, making "reason" an inapt word with respect to all or most of the argument. From that foundation, neither side possesses much moral force today, unless one's moral compass has become so unreliable that it can identify those who afflict innocents with unguided rocketry or cluster bombs as good people.

After six decades of strife, perhaps the strongest (or even the only) reason one would repeat the decision to place Israel in its current location is a religious reason. (Which, of course, has nothing to do with reason. It's like trying to argue that one fairy tale should be accepted as a true story before all others.) The resultant strife was predictable and avoidable. The current trajectory, unsatisfactory and unsustainable, is good for no one . . . except, perhaps, sellers of weapons. As Hans Gruber noted, and any dispassionate analysis of the Middle East seems to indicate, "this time, John Wayne does not ride into the sunset with Grace Kelly."

Nor does Gary Cooper, by the way.
2.13.2009 11:01am
neurodoc:
Yankev: Yankev, I know it was me who cognitis called a "troll," but was it you he told to stop responding to his childish and illogical arguments
That was me. It's tough to improve on Dorothy Parker, though.
Well how about that! You have managed to find something that cognitis and I agree on, namely that you shouldn't respond to his admittedly childish and illogical arguments. (But if you can't resist the temptation, do continue to make the responses as rapier-like as they have been, and feel free to invoke Parker, the Sages, or whomever you deem useful.)

I think your time would be better devoted to the real world than to ArthurKirkland's fictive one. If you want to spend time at the movies with him, though, or editing his faux-Western scripts, that's your choice to make. (Why not send AK off by himself, or perhaps in the company of cognitis, to see that informative documentary about how it really was in the West, Blazing Saddles?)
2.13.2009 11:10am
David M. Nieporent (www):
I think we can agree that bombing one's neighbors is not the path to persuasion for anyone.
Not really, no. Bombing Japan persuaded them to, you know, stop attacking people. Bombing Serbia did the same.

It's a blunt method of persuasion, but it can be effective at times.
2.13.2009 11:10am
Yankev (mail):
Arthur, read up about 1929. And the gunfighter's adverse possession goes back at least as far. And at the least, please acknowledge that there were indeed Nazi collaborators among the leaders of the Arabs prior to and during the war.
2.13.2009 11:25am
Yankev (mail):

Arthur, read up about 1929.
Sorry, should have addressed that to Seamus.
2.13.2009 11:26am
neurodoc:
Yankev: ...read up about 1929...And at the least, please acknowledge that there were indeed Nazi collaborators among the leaders of the Arabs prior to and during the war.
You mean like Yasser Arafat's cousin, the Mufti of Jerusalem?
http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=
10007666
2.13.2009 11:39am
trad and anon (mail):
Courts don't have to persuade anyone. With force backing them up, their word is law. The only thing that makes a court's law different from a thug's law is that the court is supposed to be an open and unbiased forum that follows certain rules (but that doesn't always happen). When was the last time people obeyed a court because they were persuaded? I'll bet they obey in part because they know if they don't, force will be brought against them.
This is not actually accurate. People treat the law as having normative force all the time, and will frequently obey the law whether or not they have a significant chance of getting caught. (See, e.g., all the people who don't commit small-scale tax evasion).
It's not a million-dollar question, how do you negotiate with an entity sworn to your destruction. The answer, of course, is that you can't. The U.S. feds didn't negotiate with organized criminals during the mid-20th Century. No "Land for Peace" negotiations took place during the American Civil War. There is no reason to doubt that an organization with a charter to destroy you--actually written down--is somehow only meaning that message in jest.
This is more quibbling, but as a historical matter neither the Mafia nor the Confederates were sworn to the destruction of the federal government. The Confederacy had no interest in conquering the North, and the Mafia wasn't interested in starting an insurrection. Threatening and/or corrupting the federal officials who could have gone after them, sure. But insurrection? No way.
2.13.2009 11:43am
Tony Tutins (mail):

Bombing Japan persuaded them to, you know, stop attacking people.

Are you advocating that Israel should nuke the West Bank and Gaza?

Bombing Serbia did the same.

Serbia, a country whose leader demonized his neighbors as being led by "Islamic fundamentalists." A country whose politics were dominated by ethnic nationalists; a country who did battle with the regional Liberation Army of an opposing nationality until NATO intervened.

The region, Kosovo, has recently declared its independence, while still being administered by the UN.

Considering the many parallels, I conclude DNP would solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem by having NATO bomb Israel until they cease hostile operations in Gaza and the West Bank. Then Palestine would be put under UN administration until they can manage things on their own.

A bold suggestion, but I don't know how it will play with the VC commentariat.
2.13.2009 11:56am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Are you advocating that Israel should nuke the West Bank and Gaza?
I'm not advocating anything; I'm correcting the mistaken notion that force can't persuade.
2.13.2009 11:58am
Yankev (mail):

If the PA were doing what it had promised, Hamas wouldn`t have been elected. And if Israel had chosen to stop the expansion of setttlements, and to deal with Hamas would we be any further along?
Probably not, given that Israel was repeatedly blasted figuratively and literally for not stopping the natural growth of existing settlements even though Oslo did not require it, while the PA got a free pass on every Oslo pledge it had made. And given that every unilateral concession Israel made was met with increased, not decreased, violence. And the PA currently controls over 95% of the land over the green line; the "settlements" were built on land that was purchased, not confisated, take up less than 5% of the land in dispute, and 95% of them are within 5 miles of the green line. Hamas and Fatah, as you know, consider Tel Aviv, Sderot and BeerSheva to be settlements every bit as much as they do Efrat, Kiryat Arba and Chevron.

By the way, have you ever been to any of these "settlements"? Many of them look a lot like what we in the US call "neighborhoods", "suburbs" and "bedroom communities".

I obviously need to do more reading, but it seems clear that Bibi/Israel deliberately killed the peace process when it left Gaza.
If you had done more reading, you would know that it was not Bibi that left Gaza. You would also know that Sharon left Gaza because he concluded that the peace process was already dead, and this would be the best way to protect Israel in light of that fact, reduce international pressure on Israel, and give the Palestinians a chance to show what they could do in governing themselves. Sadly he was right about the first, wrong about the second and third, and the fourth was about what one could expect.



The PA does not want a state of its own, it wants an end to Israel.
Get real; the Palestinians are no threat to the existence of Israel.
First, I said what they wanted, not what they are able to accomplish. If they do not want a state (and they don't), and have been offered one and turned it down (remember the 2001 intifada that immediately followd Clinton and Barak offering Arafat 97% of everything he calimed that he wanted?) My offering you something you don't want is not going to stop you from doing what I don't want you to.

And you get real, while we're add it. I know of no principle of law or morality that says a state should not defend itself against those who cannot destroy it. Try living your entire day knowing you may die if you fail to get to a bomb shelter within 15 seconds. Try looking at some pictures from Sderot and not just those from Gaza.

Avrum Burg and Gideon Levy ask the right questions.
And you tell ME to get real?
2.13.2009 11:59am
Tony Tutins (mail):

there were indeed Nazi collaborators among the leaders of the Arabs prior to and during the war.
You mean like Yasser Arafat's cousin, the Mufti of Jerusalem?

First, according to wikipedia, Arafat's al-Husseini clan is separate and distinct from the Mufti's al-Husayni clan.

Second, the Nazis had a policy of cultivating relationships with nationalist groups in British colonies, for example, setting up high powered radio stations to beam propaganda into the Middle East and India. The Mufti would be drawn to the Nazis because "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
2.13.2009 12:10pm
neurodoc:
Tony Tutin: Are you advocating that Israel should nuke the West Bank and Gaza?
Silly. David M. Nieporent repeated your assertion
that "...we can agree that bombing one's neighbors is not the path to persuasion for anyone," then offered counterevidence in rebuttal of your universal proposition ("Bombing Japan persuaded them to, you know, stop attacking people. Bombing Serbia did the same.") But you realize that, don't you, you were just trying to recover and twist his meaning.
2.13.2009 12:27pm
neurodoc:
Tony Tutin: First, according to wikipedia, Arafat's al-Husseini clan is separate and distinct from the Mufti's al-Husayni clan.

Second, the Nazis had a policy of cultivating relationships with nationalist groups in British colonies, for example, setting up high powered radio stations to beam propaganda into the Middle East and India. The Mufti would be drawn to the Nazis because "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Arafat claimed the Mufti was one of his cousins. Are you branding Arafat a liar? If so, we have discovered a point of agreement.

Yes, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" would explain in part why the Mufti might have allied himself with the Nazis rather than the Allies, but are you saying it all came down to no more than a kind of marriage of convenience? The Mufti, before he was the Mufti, was encouraging murderous attacks on Jews, almost two decades before the advent of Hitler. And the Mufti was a font of antisemitic venom before the Nazis got into the business, though to be sure they outdid him in effecting a great genocide. The Mufti encouraged the Nazis in their genocidal goals, and urged other Muslims to assist the Nazis. Understandably, the Mufti found Berlin a comfortable place to live.

Tony, thanks you for your help in bringing these points out and underscoring their significance to the current Israeli-Palestinian/Arab/Muslim conflict. Even arrant nonsense like "Are you advocating that Israel should nuke the West Bank and Gaza?" is useful here.
2.13.2009 12:43pm
Yankev (mail):

And the Mufti was a font of antisemitic venom before the Nazis got into the business, though to be sure they outdid him in effecting a great genocide.
Then again, the Mufti did not have the resources of a modern, Western industrialized state and military at his disposal.
2.13.2009 12:54pm
neurodoc:
Yankev: Then again, the Mufti did not have the resources of a modern, Western industrialized state and military at his disposal.
Your point is that the Mufti and his followers lacked the means, but not necessarily the enthusiasm for it? If so, I agree and would add that it is an oft-expressed sentiment in the Arab world today that it is too bad Hitler didn't finish what he set out to do.

(It is claimed that the Mufti actually paid a visit to a concentration camp to see how the Nazis were progressing with their genocide, and I have a dim recollection of a picture of the Mufti there. I don't know if that really happened or not, however. And there is enough to indict and convict him as one of histories villains without it.)
2.13.2009 1:21pm
cognitis:
Violent force doesn't "persuade", but rather it deters or compels. Nierpont should read the blogger's argument, as he demonstrates his confusion by comparing use of violent force against Japan--sovereign country--with the use against Gaza Palestinians; here, the blogger observes the effect of violent force on popular support not the effect on hostile nations.
2.13.2009 1:39pm
neurodoc:
cognitis: Violent force doesn't "persuade", but rather it deters or compels.
Surely a distinction without a difference for these purposes.
cognitis: Nierpont (sic) should read the blogger's argument, as he demonstrates his confusion by comparing use of violent force against Japan--sovereign country--with the use against Gaza Palestinians; here, the blogger observes the effect of violent force on popular support not the effect on hostile nations.
The confusion is clearly yours. David M. Nieporent was responding directly to Tony Tutin's assertion that "...we can agree that bombing one's neighbors is not the path to persuasion for anyone." Go back and read it for yourself.
2.13.2009 2:04pm
Yankev (mail):
neurodoc,


If so, I agree and would add that it is an oft-expressed sentiment in the Arab world today that it is too bad Hitler didn't finish what he set out to do.
I would agree further, and add that the sentiment is often coupled with the assertion that the Jews made the whole thing up anyway to get sympathy and to distract the world from the injustices the Jews commit agains the Arabs. It's amazing how some minds can entertain not only two but three or more mutually contradictory idees' fixes at the same time.

And the 1:39 pm post offers a splendind opportunity for us all to take advice that has been proferred by you , me, cognitis, and so many others. In fact, so far, it is the only cognitis and I have agreed upon.
2.13.2009 2:26pm
cognitis:
Neurodoc:

Don't assume my references or render another poster's arguments, since--as I've admonished you before--such assumptions and renderings precipitate in your case incorrect renderings like strawmen. In my recent post, I responded directly--not to another poster's rendering--to the following Nieporent post:
Not really, no. Bombing Japan persuaded them to, you know, stop attacking people. Bombing Serbia did the same.

It's a blunt method of persuasion, but it can be effective at times.
Your use of "distinction without a difference" is nonsensical; what you'd meant was "impertinent or immaterial distinction". You estimation of the distinction between "persuade" and "deter" or "compel" as "impertinent" demonstrates defects in your comprehension of this blog's arguments generally and my arguments specially. Following is my first post defining my arguments:
Law Professor Somin argues principally that contenders of popular support convince better by arms than by words; very ironic is a law professor who rejects the Law and adopts violent force in convincing a populace. The civil persuade with words and petition international courts in international disputes, while barbarians convince with violent force and govern through fear.
The "distinction" between persuading by words and convincing by violent force not only pertains to my argument but constitutes in part the crux.
2.13.2009 2:39pm
Yankev (mail):
Neurodoc

Your use of "distinction without a difference" is nonsensical; what you'd meant was "impertinent or immaterial distinction".
Do you find this as opaque as I do? I would be pleased to know the distinction between the two. Apparently your crime, Neurodoc, as to say six of one when you meant half a dozen of the other.


The civil persuade with words and petition international courts in international disputes, while barbarians convince with violent force and govern through fear.
Wait a minute. "Convince" influences thought; "peruade" influences action. So cognitis is telling us that the civil use words to get someone to change his actions and barbarians use violence and fear to get someone to change his opinions. And we are the ones who are confused?
2.13.2009 4:09pm
neurodoc:
cognitis: ...shut up...don't respond to my childish and foolish arguments (or something like that)...shut up...sputter, sputter...
Define your arguments however you wish, and if you wish, stick with them no matter how thoroughly they are rebutted by other posters. What you can't force upon the rest of us, though, are your flawed syllogisms, no matter how much you insist upon them and abuse those who attempt to answer you. (Before it was that gem you kept arguing: that Hamas is in effective control of Gaza; Israel will not allow that Hamas is in any way a legitimate representative of the Palestinians, or at least of those in Gaza; ergo, Israel cannot hold Hamas responsible for what happens in Gaza and must shoulder all of the blame itself.)

But don't leave us. Like Galileo's Simplicitus, you serve a useful role on this board, so do stick around. (Again, David M. Nieporent was responding on point, and effectively, to Tony Tutin)'s assertion. He wasn't engaging with your "persuading by words" versus "convincing by violent force," and the difference between "normative" and "descriptive" has been explained to you clearly enough by Math_Mage. It's your "crux," not our crux, nor Ilya Somin's, though you would like it to be.)
2.13.2009 4:43pm
Yankev (mail):
Neurodoc,

It's your "crux," not our crux, nor Ilya Somin's, though you would like it to be.
Well put, but I guess we all have our crux to bear.

Or, now that you have exposed cognitis', to bare.


Before anyone throws anything, I'm going to leave and wish a Good Shabbos to all to whom that pertains.
2.13.2009 4:48pm
neurodoc:
Yankev, you're not fooling me. cognitis admonished you not to respond to his childish and foolish arguments (a bit more civil than the "just shut up and don't respond to my posts at all" he directed at Math_Mage). So, you pretend to be addressing me, when your purpose is really to address cognitis through me. Well, either ignore cognitis or engage with him directly, as Galileo did with Simplicitus. (Galileo had to write both his own lines and Simplicitus's lines, but cognitis is eager to write and speak his own lines.)

Now Yankev, shouldn't you be spending more time editing ArthurKirkland's "movie"?
2.13.2009 5:07pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

("Bombing Japan persuaded them to, you know, stop attacking people. Bombing Serbia did the same.") But you realize that, don't you, you were just trying to recover and twist his meaning.

But the US had bombed Japan, including firebombing, for well over a year, without persuading Japan to, you know, stop attacking people. Not until we dropped atomic bombs on Japan did this means of "persuasion" work. When you really need to persuade an adversary, only nuclear weapons will do.

The smallest lesson from Serbia is when two sets of ethnic nationalists are fighting it out, who the good guys are is not blatantly obvious.
2.13.2009 5:31pm
neurodoc:
So you do acknowledge that in the end it was the bombing that proved to be "the path to persuasion" in the case of those two aggressors, Japan and Serbia, forcing them to give it up when they had been unwilling to before. That is to say, the more "civil" finally persuaded/convinced the less "civil," or even "barbarians," not "with words and petition(s)," but through "violent force."

Now, I'll tell David M. Nieporent that you have finally conceded the obvious. You should tell your guy cognitis that it is silly of him to go on sitting on his crux and contesting this like one of those soldiers out there in the jungle who never heard or simply didn't believe that Japan had finally thrown in the towel.
2.13.2009 7:12pm
Seamus (mail):

Arthur, read up about 1929.

Sorry, should have addressed that to Seamus.



I know about 1929. You seem to think that the fact that a mob of Arab private individuals, not acting as the agents of any Arab government, killed a bunch of Jews that year entitled the Jews to bring in a bunch of their co-religionists and displace the Arabs. By the same reasoning, I guess the fact that a bunch of Kikuyu killed a bunch of Englishmen in Kenya in the 1950s would have entitled the British to deny self-determination to the Kenyans (or at least allow the white Englishmen to partition Kenya to give themselves a state). And the fact that a bunch of Arabs killed a bunch of pied-noirs in Algeria in the 1950s would have entitled the French to deny self-determination to the Algerian Arabs (or perhaps to partition Algeria into an Arab state and a pied-noir state, along the lines of the 1947 Palestine partition resolution). And the fact that a bunch of ZANU or ZAPU terrorists killed a bunch of white Rhodesians in the 1970s would have entitled the Rhodesians to partition the land between a Rhodesia for the whites and a Zimbabwe for the Shona and Ndebele, if not just keep the whole country for themselves.

And when you suggest that Jews in 1929 had the land by adverse possession, you are mixing up title to scattered parcels of land in Palestine (which various Jews held by much better than adverse possession) with dominion and sovereignty over the whole country, which the Jews didn't have in 1929, by adverse possession or otherwise, and of which they had been deprived many hundreds of years earlier--and not, incidentially, by the Arabs.
2.13.2009 7:47pm
ArthurKirkland:
Let's turn from fiction to reality. The original decision to locate Israel is easily questioned. The course from that point has been ugly. The current condition is rickety and, for nearly everyone involved, unsatisfactory. Continuing the current course seems unlikely to be pleasant, certain to be expensive and bloody.

So far, no one has explained -- unless I missed it --
why offering every Israeli safe haven in West Texas-New Mexico-Arizona would be a bad idea. (Water scarcity seems to counsel against large populations in some parts of that region, but that horse is out of the barn, over the fence, past the horizon.) The emigrants would be safer and probably happier; those at risk of life or limb for the protection of Israel, within and without, would be especially strong beneficiaries. The United States, and some relatively fallow portions in particular, would stand to benefit greatly from the immigration. A flashpoint that hasn't calmed in 60 years would be diminished. Many financial costs would be averted. The United States would have fewer constraints in international affairs.

In what way is the current situation, whose intolerable (from nearly every perspective) aspects are so well-known that no description is required, better than Tel Aviv-on-the-Rio Grande?
2.13.2009 8:34pm
trad and anon (mail):
ArthurKirkland—the Israeli Jews are there now. Most of them are not terribly interested in packing up and moving to Texas. Some would come if we offered Israeli Jews instant American citizenship for permanently relocating to the U.S., but I doubt it would be many more than move here today. So how else are you going to induce them to come? Enormous cash payments? You'd have to compensate them for all their real property--if all the Jews are leaving, who is someone who wants to leave going to sell it to? If the payments were large enough you might be able to get most of the people to leave, but you'd still have a significant minority who aren't interested in leaving their homeland, especially the elderly. How are you going to get them to leave?

Ultimately, there is only one way to arrange a mass relocation of populations, and that's violent force. Moving the Israeli Jews somewhere else sounds good if you don't think about it very hard, but it's not actually a solution to anything.
2.13.2009 10:24pm
ArthurKirkland:
What inclines them to stay? The exhilaration of observing the "stay within 15 seconds of a shelter" rule? The excitement of wondering when their U.S. benefactors will tire of the various subsidies on which Israel relies, or choose a different strategic direction? The skin-in-the-game aspect of wondering whether and when an adversary will breach their defenses? The thrill of being surrounded by enemies? The invigoration associated with predicting if and when a majority of their country's residents will be less enamored of a Jewish state? The titillation caused by the knowledge that any national misstep -- a lurch to the right, a drift to the left -- could be suicidal?

Their residence in Israel is a luxury they probably can't afford, one sustained in substantial part by the grace of others' charity. They confront substantial risk that seems unlikely to abate -- they live in a figurative New Orleans, below political sea level, relying on elaborate levees created and maintained by imperfect man. They rely on others to pay their tab, in many ways.

It is a bad situation, traced to a dubious decision in the late 1940s, aggravated since by tribalism, religious zealotry, and a depressing series of tit-for-tat offenses. It is difficult to see a likely path to improvement. I recognize that transplantation is a strange and severe option -- what are the others? I am open to any arguments, with a preference for those that don't rely on unsupported optimism, huge subsidies, armed encampments, misery as far as the eye can see, and similar factors.
2.13.2009 11:10pm
TokyoTom (mail):
And if Israel had chosen to stop the expansion of setttlements, and to deal with Hamas would we be any further along?

Probably not, given that Israel was repeatedly blasted figuratively and literally for not stopping the natural growth of existing settlements even though Oslo did not require it, while the PA got a free pass on every Oslo pledge it had made.


Yankev, thanks for the acknowledgement that the peace process might have been further along if Israel had stopped the settlements or chosen to deal with Hamas. As I keep pointing out, Israel is responsible for its own choices, even those not required by Oslo.

I note you also knowledged that the PA is not in control in Lebanon and Gaza, where carefully limited "targeted killings" kill thousands and do billions in damage, and lead to filmmaker awards for animation about dancing.
Sharon left Gaza because he concluded that the peace process was already dead, and this would be the best way to protect Israel in light of that fact, reduce international pressure on Israel, and give the Palestinians a chance to show what they could do in governing themselves.
Yes, Sharon, not Bibi; thanks for your correction. I can understand the objective of taking pressure off of Israel, but how sincere was the desire to address the long-term goal of protecting Israel, or to give the Palestininas a chance at self-government? Israel refused to interact with Hamas, which meant closing the border crossings and turning Gaza into the type of problem that Arnon Soffer warned about: "The pressure at the border will be awful. It's going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill." Would we really have been here if Israel had decided to deal with Hamas, which would then have to deal with having an actual economy to govern, as opposed to relief supplies to siphon off?
If they do not want a state (and they don't), and have been offered one and turned it down (remember the 2001 intifada that immediately followd Clinton and Barak offering Arafat 97% of everything he calimed that he wanted?)
It seems to me that the failure at Camp David represented a failure of will on both sides, but I see no basis for your conclusion that the Palestinians didn't want a state, as opposed to Arafat wanting a better deal and thinking he could get one through violence. And did Arafat represent Hamas? In any case, it doesn't look like Israeli unilateralism has really been productive or conductive to a long-term resolution.
I know of no principle of law or morality that says a state should not defend itself against those who cannot destroy it.
Again, I'm not disagreeing with you over legalities, but over whether Israel really wants to be what it is turning into, and whether there are not more productive policies to pursue.
2.13.2009 11:54pm
neurodoc:
TokyoTom, we have very different views on this conflict. I agree with little, especially the arguments that you have constructed, but your last comments are not venomous, outre, incoherent, or otherwise unworthy of response. So, let me engage with pieces of it, if I may.
...I see no basis for your conclusion that the Palestinians didn't want a state.
I have no doubt that the Palestinians did and do want a state. The problem is that most of them and their Arab confreres want only one state encompassing everything west of the Jordan (Cis-Jordan as opposed to Trans-Jordan) that the British ruled between 1920 and 1948 and was to be divided between the Jews and Palestinians in a way never settled on.
the Palestinians...as opposed to Arafat wanting a better deal and thinking he could get one through violence.
The Palestinians as opposed to Arafat, lionized by the Palestinians as their Founding Father? That sounds as strange to my ear as would be "the citizens of the United States of America, as opposed to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, et. al." Arafat wasn't truly representative of the Palestinians and their thinking? He wasn't acting in concert with their goals and aspirations? He was not negotiating on their behalf? If your answer to any of those is "no," would you please explain what I find so implausible.

Yes, Arafat wanted a better deal and thought he could get one through violence, we are in agreement on that. Disingenuous, to put it gently, wouldn't you say? The Palestinians through their representatives, with Arafat their lead, did forswear violence as a means to their ends in the '93 Oslo Accord, didn't they? Do you think that the Israelis and their leader/negotiator Ehud Barak were disingenuous and not eager to establish a Palestinian state and put an end to the conflict when they sat down with Arafat, Clinton between them, in 2000?

Arafat is of course gone now. (Good riddance, may the corrupt, mendacious and perfidious bastard rot in Hell. Agree or disagree?) So, he's history so to speak and with him went responsibility for the failure to conclude a peace back in 2000 (or earlier)? Or the Palestinians, whose elected and admired leader Arafat was, are not to be charged with any responsibility for that failure to conclude a peace and the continued violence?
And did Arafat represent Hamas
Arafat represented the Palestinians (see above) and to my knowledge Hamas is comprised solely of Palestinians. I didn't vote for George W. Bush in 2000, but he became my representative and the representative of every American citizen, both those who voted for him and those didn't, including those who were very, very unhappy that he did so. The fact that Bush is now out of office, succeeded in the White House by someone of a very different political stripe, is neither here, nor there with respect to who represent whom from January 20th, 2001 until January 20th, 2009.

And if it were otherwise, so that it could/should be said that Arafat did not represent Hamas, his political rivals, then what? How for these purposes is Hamas different from Arafat, except more implacable, if that is really the case? (Perhaps you will say something like Hamas is less corrupt and runs a tighter ship than Arafat, which I might give you. But does that make any real difference here?)
Lebanon and Gaza, where carefully limited "targeted killings" kill thousands...
"Targeted killings" refers to Israel's practice of going after those individuals directly responsible for the deaths of Israelis to take them out of action (i.e., assassinate them). It is a "carefully limited" practice, as you not, even if mockingly, and one of which I approve and think easy to justify. I very much doubt there have been "thousands" killed, and would ask you to adduce proof if you can that any number approaching your "thousands." (Or was that supposed to be understood as hyperbole?)
Israel refused to interact with Hamas, which meant closing the border crossings...
I'll just observe that the border crossing stations are there and Hamas has repeatedly attacked them, leaving the rest for Yankev when he returns (e.g., how Hamas profits from smuggling, how they use the crisis situation they are so much responsible for to their political advantage, etc.)
2.14.2009 9:11am
TokyoTom (mail):
Neurodoc, I thank you for your engagement. It`s pat my bedtime, so I`ll be brief:

-Border crossings: Hamas obviously considered such attacks to have been in its advantage. Would it have thought so if Israel had accepted Hamas as its counterparty in administering the crossings, instead of insisting on a non-present PA? How likely would it have been that Hamas would have attacked itself?

- Targeted killings/strikes on Lebanon/Gaza: if you look upthread you`ll notice that my point was that American have been disturbed by both by Israel`s extrajudicial killings and by its punitive strikes (Lebanon/Gaza) that are very costly to civilians. You of course may view either or both "easy to justify", but my simple point is that many Americans (including American Jews) appear to disagree with you. I don`t have the link to the decision handy (though I posted it on a previous Bernstein thread), but I`ll note that the Israeli Supreme Court did NOT find targeted killings "easy" to justify.

- Frankly, one of the things that has plagued Palestinian - Israel relations and negotiations has been questions as to who represents them and with what degree of legitimacy and support. The simple fact that the Palestinians have no state and the West Bank and Gaza are physically divided simply compound the problem. Arafat may have led the terrorism and physical fighting against Israel, but he was physically absent most of the time. What schools, hospitals and other social infrastructure did he build? And has Israel tried to encourage the development of united leadership, or sow division, as it did with its initial support for Hamas?
2.14.2009 11:49am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
cognitis:
Violent force doesn't "persuade", but rather it deters or compels.


Since both Professor Somin and David Nieporent are talking about the ends and not the means, this is an immaterial distinction in both cases.

Nierpont should read the blogger's argument, as he demonstrates his confusion by comparing use of violent force against Japan--sovereign country--with the use against Gaza Palestinians; here, the blogger observes the effect of violent force on popular support not the effect on hostile nations.


As neurodoc pointed out, "Nierpont" was replying to Tony Tutins' contention about using force to persuade (/compel/deter) one's neighbor's, not the original post, making this point irrelevant. Again you fall victim to careless reading.

Don't assume my references or render another poster's arguments, since--as I've admonished you before--such assumptions and renderings precipitate in your case incorrect renderings like strawmen. In my recent post, I responded directly--not to another poster's rendering--to the following Nieporent post:


But since Nieporent was responding to Tutins, and neither of them was talking about either the blogger's argument or the various types of means that may be used to achieve certain results, your discussion of violence as a means involving force (presumably as opposed to words, which don't) remains irrelevant.

You estimation of the distinction between "persuade" and "deter" or "compel" as "impertinent" demonstrates defects in your comprehension of this blog's arguments generally and my arguments specially.


neurodoc's estimation was a reflection of the discussion between David Nieporent and Tony Tutins, and had nothing to do with "this blog's arguments generally and my arguments specially," so why do you talk about the latter rather than the former?
2.14.2009 9:37pm
Yankev (mail):

So, you pretend to be addressing me, when your purpose is really to address cognitis through me. Well, either ignore cognitis or engage with him directly, as Galileo did with Simplicitus.
Okay, Neuordoc, I'll leave youout of it, but it would be rude of me to respond directly to cognitis when he has asked me not to. Myabe I'llmake like Galileo and create a Simplicitus to address.
2.14.2009 10:28pm
Yankev (mail):

Yankev, thanks for the acknowledgement that the peace process might have been further along if Israel had stopped the settlements or chosen to deal with Hamas.
I said nothing of the kind. I said that most likely the stituation would have been worse, not better, that the settlements are a phony issue, and that every Israeli concession has been met with inreased, not decreased, violence.

And as Neurodoc pointed out, Hamas has an interest in making thisngs worse for the Palsetinians, not better. (When I hung around the fringes of SDS in the late 60's, we called this "polarization".) I see very little in your last few posts that merits a response.
2.14.2009 10:37pm
Yankev (mail):
Seamus, your knowledge of 1929 is incomplete. The actions were not of "private individuals", but a well orchestrated effort to which the British deliberately turned a blind eye, and were aimed at all Jews in Palestine, whether or not Zionist, recently arrived or settled for centuries, of European of middle eastern provenance. It has nothing to do with whether allowing more Jews into the area was justified, but is one more example of Arab hostility to Jews that predates the establishment of the state of Israel.Jews were one of many ethnicities who lived in the Ottoman empire, and many of them lived in the area called Palestine. The League of Nations, representing the victors in the WOrld War, set aside the area for establishment of a Jewish state. Some people do not like living among Jews. Some people will put up with living among Jews provided that the Jews are subservient by law and in fact. Some do not like Jews living. Apart from those facts, there is nothing to mark the Jewish state as any less legitimate than any of the other states carved out of the Ottoman empire after the World War. Perhaps we should move the Hashemites back to Arabia where they came from and leave Jordan to the Bedouin and Palestinians. Perhaps we should abolish Lebanon and make it a province of Syria. (Oh wait, Syria has already done that.)

Your history of the region is about as accurate as Arthur Kirkland's.
2.14.2009 10:47pm
cognitis:
Math:

You still haven't responded to Matt's post above: Somin's blog doesn't use "normative" or "descriptive", both jargon; Somin had already responded to my original argument confirming it as follows:
Military force is often persuasive. That may be an unpleasant reality, but it is a reality nonetheless. "Words" and courts can work sometimes too. But their effect on supporters of terrorism is often limited, at best.
Above, Somin confirms my argument to be included within this blog's scope, and he also concedes his support of military violence against supporters of terrorism. Since you and neurodoc have finally conceded to my arguments regarding this blog's scope and definitions, perhaps some time still remains for intelligent dispute. I never cited this Tutin's argument, since I don't care about it. I simply indicated Nieporent's incorrect usage and had nothing to do with my argument or Tutins, a point even a child could comprhend; since you evidently lack a child's comprehension, I'll cite below both my only post and Nieporent's and also the AHD definition of "persuade:
David M. Nieporent (www):
I think we can agree that bombing one's neighbors is not the path to persuasion for anyone.
Not really, no. Bombing Japan persuaded them to, you know, stop attacking people. Bombing Serbia did the same.

It's a blunt method of persuasion, but it can be effective at times.
cognitis:
Violent force doesn't "persuade", but rather it deters or compels.
Here's AHD's "persuade" definition:
TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: per·suad·ed, per·suad·ing, per·suades
To induce to undertake a course of action or embrace a point of view by means of argument, reasoning, or entreaty: “to make children fit to live in a society by persuading them to learn and accept its codes” (Alan W. Watts). See Usage Note at convince.
ETYMOLOGY: Latin persudre : per-, per- + sudre, to urge; see swd- in Appendix I.
and here's AHD's definition of my "compel":

TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: com·pelled, com·pel·ling, com·pels
1. To force, drive, or constrain: Duty compelled the soldiers to volunteer for the mission. 2. To necessitate or pressure by force; exact: An energy crisis compels fuel conservation. See synonyms at force. 3. To exert a strong, irresistible force on; sway: “The land, in a certain, very real way, compels the minds of the people” (Barry Lopez).
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English compellen, from Latin compellere : com-, com- + pellere, to drive; see pel-5 in Appendix I.
Now, do you need me to read you the AHD entries, or can you find "entreaty", "reason", and "force" yourself; I could use the dictionary as a child, but you and neurodoc have demonstrated repeatedly yourselves to be defective.
2.14.2009 10:54pm
cognitis:
Neurodoc and Yankev, don't comply with instructions. Professor Somin, cognizant of the trite and provocative nature of any blog with Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as subject, expressly admonished all posters to constrain themselves within this blog's scope with the following instruction:

NOTE: I know from previous experience that comments about issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict produce a very high ratio of heat relative to light. As per my usual practice, I'm not going to aggressively police the comments. But I would suggest that we will have a better discussion if commenters focus on the specific issue raised in the post rather than on the broader rights and wrongs of the conflict. I highly doubt that we can say anything about the latter that hasn't already been repeatedly stated elsewhere.
Professor Somin defined this blog's scope in--aptly and as expected and according to convention--in the his first paragraph as follows:
There is a commonly held view that taking military action against terrorists has the counterproductive effect of strengthening their popular support. Recent polling data suggest that Israel's recent action in Gaza had precisely the opposite effect. It turns out that military defeat (Israeli forces killed hundreds of Hamas fighters and damaged its infrastructure, while taking few losses of their own) actually lowered Hamas' support among Palestinians.
Following Professor Somin's instruction above, all Yankev's and most of Neurodoc's posts should be deleted.
2.14.2009 11:20pm
neurodoc:
cognitis, people sometimes speak of convincing logic, at other times of logic that is persuasive or compelling. How exactly do those differ from one another? I look forward to your answer.
2.15.2009 12:21am
neurodoc:
cognitis: ...all Yankev's and most of Neurodoc's posts should be deleted
Why should all of Yankev's posts be deleted, while less than all of neurodoc's deserve that fate? Which of neurodoc's do you want deleted and which would you let stay?

And what about gue5t's post in which he said he had "rarely encountered anyone with a writing style more bombastic than yours," shouldn't that be struck too? Or how about Math_Mage who has tried to engage with you, only to be told more than once by you to "shut up"? Why should Yankev be completely censored and neurodoc mostly censored, while gue5t and Math_Mage, who you suspect probably "attain(s) high scores on standardized tests, ought not be censored even a little?

(cognitis, in elementary school were you ever a hall monitor?)
2.15.2009 12:49am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
cognitis:
Military force is often persuasive. That may be an unpleasant reality, but it is a reality nonetheless. "Words" and courts can work sometimes too. But their effect on supporters of terrorism is often limited, at best.


Above, Somin confirms my argument to be included within this blog's scope, and he also concedes his support of military violence against supporters of terrorism.


You're still imputing motivation where none exists. Somin writes, "Military force is often persuasive," and you interpret it as "Somin supports military force as a tool of persuasion." Let me quote to you from the OP:
The fall in Hamas' popular support does not by itself justify Israel's recent policies. But it does provide an important data point in the longstanding debate over the impact of military action on public support for terrorists. It turns out that you can cause that support to drop - if you win.

(emphasis mine)


The professor isn't arguing that because Israel's action reduced Hamas' popular support, the action is therefore justified; rather, he is noting that Israel's action reduced Hamas' popular support. There is nothing in Somin's comment to contradict this, or to express support of Israel's military actions in Palestine, unless you think that was the motivation for his posting this data point. And since neither you nor I can read his mind, that's not a valid supposition.

I never cited this Tutin's argument, since I don't care about it. I simply indicated Nieporent's incorrect usage and had nothing to do with my argument or Tutins, a point even a child could comprhend


First, since the rest of your post discussed Nieporent's apparent failure to distinguish between the impact of military force on popular support and the impact of such on governments, you clearly did not "simply indicate Nieporent's incorrect usage." That's the part where I made it clear that Nieporent was talking to Tutins, since it was relevant in that context. And since I never cited Tutins when rebutting your distinction between "persuade" and "compel," you're fighting a paper tiger here.

Second, if you want to argue about whether or not "persuasion" includes force, you should also take that argument up with Somin, as he uses the word "persuade" in the same context:
But the Israelis don't need Palestinians to like them. Their more immediate need is to persuade Palestinians to stop supporting terrorism.


Finally, the validity of the word "persuade" depends on which definition you use. The first definition that appears on a Google search, from wordnet.princeton.edu, states:

persuade (cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of action; twist somebody's arm) "You can't persuade me to buy this ugly vase!"


According to this definition, which does not distinguish by method of persuasion, Nieporent's and Prof. Somin's usages were perfectly valid. Not to mention the countless jokes regarding the use of force as "a persuasive argument." If you're going to argue definitions, at least make sure you're right first.

Now, do you need me to read you the AHD entries, or can you find "entreaty", "reason", and "force" yourself; I could use the dictionary as a child, but you and neurodoc have demonstrated repeatedly yourselves to be defective.


Do you think talking down to me is more likely to "persuade" me? Never mind that you're only right when you read minds and use a ridiculously narrow definition of "persuade." It'd be like if I took the wiktionary definition of "convince":

to convince [snip]

1. To make someone believe, or feel sure about something, especially by using logic, argument or evidence


...and used that to scold you for improperly using that word in your first comment. Then when you protested that "convince" is just like "compel" for your purposes, I'd start talking in a ve-ry slo-w vo-ice and tell you to go look up the definitions of "logic," argument," and "evidence." Is that persuasive or convincing at all?
2.15.2009 12:53am
neurodoc:
Yankev: Your history of the region is about as accurate as Arthur Kirkland's.
In fairness to ArthurKirkland, it should be noted that he freely admitted that was only a "movie" running in his head, one that largely he imagined on his own. (I thought you were going to return to help him with the editing of his movie, which cries out for a complete re-write.)
2.15.2009 12:55am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
Neurodoc and Yankev, don't comply with instructions. Professor Somin, cognizant of the trite and provocative nature of any blog with Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as subject, expressly admonished all posters to constrain themselves within this blog's scope with the following instruction:


Because surely Neurodoc's and Yankev's posts were more "trite and provocative" than your immediate conclusion that Professor Somin supports barbarianism over civilization! Glass houses, logs and all that.
2.15.2009 12:59am
cognitis:
Math:

Again, you have neither addressed my arguments nor have you even supported your own, which are immaterial to anything either I or the OP posted; your OP citation doesn't even apply to either your own argument or even less to rebutting mine. Again, my first argument has been confirmed to be within the scope of tis blog; thanks for finally dropping your inept argument about "normative" or "descriptive" legal interpretation. Your argument that American Heritage Dictionary is defective I simply laugh at; I chose AHD definitions in part because this site's founder serves on AHD's board. Again, you didn't even address my argument, but you instead insist on invoking some Tutin's argument; learn to read: I don't care about Tutin's argument, since I only extracted Nieporent's post (which I notice you again did not bother to read). Look, Nieporent's usage is just incorrect, OK? We're done already. Next. Now do you intend to ever dispute any arguments for once within the constraints defined by the OP or not? If not, just shut up.
2.15.2009 1:13am
cognitis:
Neurodoc again posts having not even read my entire post, since he evidently didn't even read my cited AHD definitions. Neurodoc also evidently doesn't yet discern between accepted fact and opinion or between hearsay and testimony: he gives as an example of accepted fact, "people sometimes speak...". Neurodoc, you've exceeded your past inanities with that one. Is "people sometimes speak" a variation of "My brother's wife heard her cousin say that her friend claimed that a boyfriend had it on good authority that his elementary school teacher had told him it was good usage."
2.15.2009 1:26am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
Again, you have neither addressed my arguments nor have you even supported your own, which are immaterial to anything either I or the OP posted; your OP citation doesn't even apply to either your own argument or even less to rebutting mine. Again, my first argument has been confirmed to be within the scope of tis blog; thanks for finally dropping your inept argument about "normative" or "descriptive" legal interpretation.


Here's what I wrote:
"The professor isn't arguing that because Israel's action reduced Hamas' popular support, the action is therefore justified; rather, he is noting that Israel's action reduced Hamas' popular support."

Or, shortened:
"The professor's discussion of the situation isn't normative; rather, it is descriptive/positive."

Apparently, you don't even bother to read what I write. And I'm supposed to accept from you that my arguments are "inept" and "immaterial"?

By the way, I wasn't borrowing "normative" and "positive" from legal interpretation, but from economics; meanwhile, "descriptive" was borrowed from linguistics. It's a valid distinction in all three areas, though, and your dismissal of it as "jargon" is incomprehensible to me.

Your argument that American Heritage Dictionary is defective I simply laugh at; I chose AHD definitions in part because this site's founder serves on AHD's board.


1. I said "narrow," not "defective."
2. Popular usage does not necessarily conform to exact dictionary meaning.
3. The validity of the AHD definition is independent of the validity of the Princeton definition, because they may be describing different usages of the word according to regional/historical variation.

Again, you didn't even address my argument, but you instead insist on invoking some Tutin's argument; learn to read: I don't care about Tutin's argument, since I only extracted Nieporent's post (which I notice you again did not bother to read). Look, Nieporent's usage is just incorrect, OK? We're done already. Next.


1. I never discussed Tutins' post when talking about definitions. Again, you're fighting a paper tiger.
2. You claimed that Nieporent's discussion of force's effect on governmental decisions was irrelevant to Professor Somin's discussion of the effect of force on popular opinion. I pointed out that Nieporent was replying to Tutins and not Professor Somin. It's exactly like when I mistook one of your posts as replying to Prof. Somin, when you were actually talking to Perseus. I apologized when you pointed it out. Maybe you should do the same, instead of dismissing it with an "I don't care."

Now do you intend to ever dispute any arguments for once within the constraints defined by the OP or not? If not, just shut up.


I've been disputing YOUR arguments. If you'd read my posts, you'd know that.

Neurodoc also evidently doesn't yet discern between accepted fact and opinion or between hearsay and testimony: he gives as an example of accepted fact, "people sometimes speak...". Neurodoc, you've exceeded your past inanities with that one. Is "people sometimes speak" a variation of "My brother's wife heard her cousin say that her friend claimed that a boyfriend had it on good authority that his elementary school teacher had told him it was good usage."


No, it means "people sometimes speak." JFGI. Then answer his question.
2.15.2009 1:57am
cognitis:
By the way, I wasn't borrowing "normative" and "positive" from legal interpretation, but from economics; meanwhile, "descriptive" was borrowed from linguistics.

You confused two special words from two distinct disciplines? You're kidding, right? You've exceeded your past errors; I'd assumed till now that you'd been at least coherent. Only the illiterate would even try to use special terms from economics to describe or define the effect of military force on popular support. Next.
The fall in Hamas' popular support does not by itself justify Israel's recent policies. But it does provide an important data point in the longstanding debate over the impact of military action on public support for terrorists. It turns out that you can cause that support to drop - if you win.
This citation actually confirms my argument. The fall doesn't by itself justify, because Israel clearly had even more just causes for invading Gaza according to Somin. Again you desire close textual reading of the following post:
Military force is often persuasive. That may be an unpleasant reality, but it is a reality nonetheless. "Words" and courts can work sometimes too. But their effect on supporters of terrorism is often limited, at best.
I assumed that Somin estimates terrorism to be a bad thing, a thing to be avoided; Somin observes that courts don't persuade supporters of terrorism; Somin observed, though, that military force--while unpleasant--often persuades supporters of terrorism; Be my assumption true--Somin estimates terrorism to be bad--then Somin argues that sometimes military force should be used to avoid a bad thing. In the future, I'd rather not be required to closely examine every word in order to prove the obvious any more than being required to prove 2+2=4 in deriving algebraic functions. Again (I am required to use this word often with some posters), Somin confirmed my first post to be within the scope of this blog; I'd rather dispute a pertinent matter than consume time with bullshit.
2.15.2009 2:27am
cognitis:
I just checked your wordnet site. Did you even know that wordnet is not a dictionary but a research project for computer scientists? You've now demonstrated a totally defective judgment and an inability to read at even a basic level. Send wordnet's director, George Miller, an email asking whether he intend wordnet to be an authoritative dictionary; while you're at it, send this site's founder and AHD board member an email telling him that American Heritage Dictionary is "narrow". Next. Let ask you, given your interest in Go and Chess, your residence in Silicon Valley, and your memorization of tons of stuff at an early age without any comprehension at all; I have to ask: have you been diagnosed with Asperger's? That you suffer from Asperger's would explain much of your behaviour.
2.15.2009 2:52am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
cognitis::
You confused two special words from two distinct disciplines? You're kidding, right? You've exceeded your past errors; I'd assumed till now that you'd been at least coherent. Only the illiterate would even try to use special terms from economics to describe or define the effect of military force on popular support. Next.


I wasn't describing "the effect of military force on popular support." I was describing Prof. Somin's post. If you'd looked up the words "normative," "descriptive," and/or "positive," you'd know that. Hell, if you'd read my last post, you'd know that, because I used them in reference to the professor's posting and not to Israel's military action.

I am not confusing my terms. "Positive" and "descriptive" both refer to describing what something is; "normative" and "prescriptive" (the opposite of "descriptive" in linguistics) both refer to describing what should be. Because Prof. Somin's post is descriptive and not normative, therefore he is not expressing support for Israel's military action, or military action generally, but describing a data point that may (or may not) affect one's opinion of Israel's military action. How could you have discussed this argument for 120 posts and not even bothered to look up the associated terms? How then could you condescendingly send ME to the dictionary?

Finally, although I first heard thes words in specialized contexts, they have the same meanings outside of those contexts. So quit it with the "jargon" and "special terms" baloney.

This citation actually confirms my argument. The fall doesn't by itself justify, because Israel clearly had even more just causes for invading Gaza according to Somin.


Again you impute motivation where none exists. The data point supports Israel's action, but clearly isn't sufficient justification. If I were writing the post, I would write it basically the same way, even though I don't have any strong viewpoint on whether Israel's action was justified or not.

I assumed that Somin estimates terrorism to be a bad thing, a thing to be avoided; Somin observes that courts don't persuade supporters of terrorism; Somin observed, though, that military force--while unpleasant--often persuades supporters of terrorism; Be my assumption true--Somin estimates terrorism to be bad--then Somin argues that sometimes military force should be used to avoid a bad thing.


This is simplistic. Single motherhood is (often) a bad thing; abortion clearly reduces single motherhood; but that by itself doesn't justify abortion. Clearly an important data point in discussing the social consequences of abortion, but not overwhelming in the larger context.

Now, can you tell which side of the abortion debate I'm on from that paragraph? No more partial is Somin's description. Even if you can, with strong logic (unlike what you just used), conclude that "Somin argues that sometimes military force should be used to avoid a bad thing," you've concluded nothing, because most people believe that military force should SOMETIMES be used. That kind of conclusion doesn't support your statement that Prof. Somin supports barbarians over civilization.

Again (I am required to use this word often with some posters), Somin confirmed my first post to be within the scope of this blog; I'd rather dispute a pertinent matter than consume time with bullshit.


If you don't take the time to understand other posters' arguments (as happened with "normative," "positive" and "descriptive" above), I imagine you have to use that word quite a lot. If you often misinterpret the original post such that the best you can come up with is marginally topical (but unsubstantiated) musings on the author's political positions, I suppose the word "bullshit" comes up a lot too.
2.15.2009 3:11am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
cognitis:
I just checked your wordnet site. Did you even know that wordnet is not a dictionary but a research project for computer scientists? You've now demonstrated a totally defective judgment and an inability to read at even a basic level.


"WordNet® is a large lexical database of English."

Do you know what a "large lexical database of English" is? Hint: you said Wordnet wasn't one. You might also notice that it's not for computer scientists, but COGNITIVE scientists.

But forget I said anything! You're right. I can't read the words "cognitive scientist" or "lexical database," and you clearly have the capability to read these words and judge their meaning. Please, oh mighty master of words, enlighten me as to the meaning of English.

Send wordnet's director, George Miller, an email asking whether he intend wordnet to be an authoritative dictionary; while you're at it, send this site's founder and AHD board member an email telling him that American Heritage Dictionary is "narrow".


While I'm at it, I might ask that AHD board member whether the AHD is meant to cover every possible correct use of the word "persuade." I'll also ask him what the difference between a word's definition and a dictionary is, because I remember describing the AHD definition of "persuade" as narrow, and you told me to ask about the whole damn dictionary.

Next. Let ask you, given your interest in Go and Chess, your residence in Silicon Valley, and your memorization of tons of stuff at an early age without any comprehension at all; I have to ask: have you been diagnosed with Asperger's? That you suffer from Asperger's would explain much of your behaviour.


Dude, are you kidding? I'd write about sh*t like that. It'd make great blog material. I'd like to ask where you got the idea that I memorized "tons of stuff at an early age without any comprehension at all." I don't remember any such event or process in my childhood. Truly you are godly, to create events that never happened!

Oh, and by the way? Concluding that a person who doesn't agree with you must have a mental disease? NOT classy.
2.15.2009 3:25am
cognitis:
Again you've contradicted yourself: you earlier stated you'd used "normative" from economics and "descriptive" from linguistics, two distinct disciplines. Now you claim
"normative" and "prescriptive" (the opposite of "descriptive" in linguistics)
here you claim to use both terms from linguistics, "normative" defined as the opposite of "descriptive", both used in linguistics; so now you've converted incoherence into deception, a turn for the worse for you. In any case at first I'd assumed you to have meant the terms "normative" and "descriptive" used coherently in a single discipline of legal interpretation; you didn't even know that this legal interpretation existed, did you? The above poster Matt meant the terms in the legal interpretive sense, as this is a law blog, and as my argument pertained to the law. In other words, you now claim those terms' use not from choice but out of ignorance of the correct application regarding this blog. Why else would you mix two unrelated disciplines in dealing with a third unrelated discipline? And, no, the difference between "normative" and "descriptive" pertains to much more that just "is/ought"; if it only meant is/ought then , gee, we could just use "is" and "ought", couldn't we? Your assertion that special terms have the same meaning out of context just shows again your ignorance and lack of education: special terms are special precisely because they have a certain well defined meaning within a fixed context. The meaning of "normative" in the legal sense is not exactly the same as in the linguistic sense any more than "Right Wing" has the same meaning to Rush Limbaugh and to Cindy Sheehan. You err again on speaking for Somin asserting that Somin estimated Israel to have lacked "sufficient reason" on just popular support; Somin simply stated that there were other reasons, and he never hinted, in fact he certainly disagree with you, that Israel needed additional reasons in diminishing Palestinians' support for Hamas. Again, your confusion about the wordnet site, your confusion about the use of special terms, your confusion about whether you yourself used "normative" from economics or linguistics, your confusion about another posters use of special terms, and your demonstrated lack of judgment on the wordnet site; no wonder your arguments lack coherence or meaning: you use terms incoherently by your own admission and you deceive and change your argument (economics to linguistics), so that it's impossible to define any argument. You're like a guy in a sinking boat with holes; you drill more holes to let water out but you let more in. really, you're deceptive, lack judgment, use words carelessly, when trapped lash out at authorities (AHD as "narrow" that was a good one); you'll lie, cheat and steal rather than just shut up or admit error. just admit error and move on, because you've now with me have no crdibility left; the ognorant mixing of terms from distinct disciplines was really stupid, but then claiming
Finally, although I first heard thes words in specialized contexts, they have the same meanings outside of those contexts.
Ask any professor on this blog whether special terms used outside their special contexts have the same meaning. Also this canard
I wasn't describing "the effect of military force on popular support." I was describing Prof. Somin's post.
To this I'll cite Somin's defining first paragraph again, since you evidently still haven't read it and clearly don't even know this blog's subject:
There is a commonly held view that taking military action against terrorists has the counterproductive effect of strengthening their popular support. Recent polling data suggest that Israel's recent action in Gaza had precisely the opposite effect. It turns out that military defeat (Israeli forces killed hundreds of Hamas fighters and damaged its infrastructure, while taking few losses of their own) actually lowered Hamas' support among Palestinians.
So now clear is that all your arguments were made with your not even knowing this blog's subject; this blog is all about "the effect of military force on popular support". Perhaps all your posts should be deleted, but in any case, all your arguments are invalid regarding this blog.
2.15.2009 4:02am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
cognitis:
here you claim to use both terms from linguistics, "normative" defined as the opposite of "descriptive", both used in linguistics; so now you've converted incoherence into deception, a turn for the worse for you.


You misinterpret my listing: "normative" is from economics, the opposite of "positive," while "prescriptive" is the opposite of "descriptive" in linguistics. The distinctions are essentially the same, though, in that both distinguish between describing what is and describing what should be.

In any case at first I'd assumed you to have meant the terms "normative" and "descriptive" used coherently in a single discipline of legal interpretation; you didn't even know that this legal interpretation existed, did you? The above poster Matt meant the terms in the legal interpretive sense, as this is a law blog, and as my argument pertained to the law. In other words, you now claim those terms' use not from choice but out of ignorance of the correct application regarding this blog. Why else would you mix two unrelated disciplines in dealing with a third unrelated discipline?


I was not the first person to use the words "normative" and "descriptive"; I borrowed them from Matt because I knew what they meant and because they fit. If that is "ignorance," then knowledge is truly elusive.

And, no, the difference between "normative" and "descriptive" pertains to much more that just "is/ought"; if it only meant is/ought then , gee, we could just use "is" and "ought", couldn't we? Your assertion that special terms have the same meaning out of context just shows again your ignorance and lack of education: special terms are special precisely because they have a certain well defined meaning within a fixed context.


Yes, yes, "evolution" != biological evolution and all that. The essence of the term "descriptive" does not change much over the various disciplines in which it is used; neither does the essence of the term "normative." Can you stop waxing eloquent on words whose usage you misunderstood for half a week to begin with?

You err again on speaking for Somin asserting that Somin estimated Israel to have lacked "sufficient reason" on just popular support; Somin simply stated that there were other reasons, and he never hinted, in fact he certainly disagree with you, that Israel needed additional reasons in diminishing Palestinians' support for Hamas.


What Somin stated was, "The fall in Hamas' popular support does not by itself justify Israel's recent policies." That implies that there are other reasons, but does not indicate that he supports Israel's military action. Nor does it indicate that he opposes that action. He does this "descriptive" thing pretty well.

And in fact, this directly contradicts your claim that Somin "rejects the Law and adopts violent force in convincing a populace." Somin states quite clearly that the convincing done in Palestine "does not by itself justify" Israel's military action, which means that "convincing a populace" is NOT, in his view, sufficient reason to employ violent force. What other reasons are required? He doesn't say. He doesn't have to, because that's not the point of his post.

Again, your confusion about the wordnet site, your confusion about the use of special terms, your confusion about whether you yourself used "normative" from economics or linguistics, your confusion about another posters use of special terms, and your demonstrated lack of judgment on the wordnet site; no wonder your arguments lack coherence or meaning: you use terms incoherently by your own admission and you deceive and change your argument (economics to linguistics), so that it's impossible to define any argument.


So I've gone from using "jargon," to not having "read carefully," to having Asperger Syndrome, to being an incoherent liar. All of this based on untruths that I have refuted multiple times, such as the nonsense about Wordnet being an invalid source and my use of "special terms" from other disciplines, and now this foolishness about my "deception" regarding whether "normative" pertains to economics or linguistics. Tell me, do you make a habit out of demonizing your opponent, or does it just come naturally, like breathing and bloviating?

really, you're deceptive, lack judgment, use words carelessly, when trapped lash out at authorities (AHD as "narrow" that was a good one); you'll lie, cheat and steal rather than just shut up or admit error. just admit error and move on, because you've now with me have no crdibility left


Yeah, your opinion of my credibility is really important to me now, after you fundamentally misunderstood my arguments for 100+ posts. Maybe you'd tone down the rhetoric a little, after figuring out that you're not always right? But no: reasoned debate is going to go right out the window from here.

Ask any professor on this blog whether special terms used outside their special contexts have the same meaning.


I didn't make a general claim that special terms have identical general meanings, but a specific claim that those four particular special terms mean essentially the same thing outside of their particular disciplines.

And, uh, yeah, I'd go ask a professor and then reply to you, but your default assumption would be that I'm a liar, so why bother? I'll let you look them up yourself. Unlike you, I assume you're a mature thinking person reasonably able to use the Internet.

I wasn't describing "the effect of military force on popular support." I was describing Prof. Somin's post.


To this I'll cite Somin's defining first paragraph again, since you evidently still haven't read it and clearly don't even know this blog's subject:

[snip past what I've already read]

So now clear is that all your arguments were made with your not even knowing this blog's subject; this blog is all about "the effect of military force on popular support". Perhaps all your posts should be deleted, but in any case, all your arguments are invalid regarding this blog.


Since all my arguments were counters to your arguments, I don't see how you can claim that my arguments are invalid but yours are topical. Furthermore, if I'm not allowed to discuss Professor Somin's post in the comment thread for Professor Somin's post, then why the hell is there a comment thread? Remember, YOU were the one who first departed from "the effect of military force on popular support" and started discussing Professor Somin's political stance on such, so if we're going to play this ridiculous game, we start with YOUR posts.

Finally, though this is a quibble, I was talking about how I used the words "normative" and "descriptive" in my posts, not the entire subject of my posting. Odd how you conflate my use of two words with my entire contribution to this thread. But then, since I'm rebutting you, I can't have contributed, right? I must be an incoherent lying idiot who can't stand social interaction, read, or make topical comments, right? Because you've laid all that on me, while I've made no assertions about your character. Since this is a public forum, I'll refrain from reciprocating, but I find it sad that you spend time on ad hominem rather than reasonably addressing my arguments.
2.15.2009 5:01am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
Heh. One more cute term for you to interpret: "meta-discussion." That is what we've been having, and it's not off-topic.
2.15.2009 5:08am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
Oh, one more thing:
The above poster Matt meant the terms in the legal interpretive sense, as this is a law blog, and as my argument pertained to the law.


Wrong. He meant them the same way I meant them. Yes, "normative" can be applied to your comment, insofar as your comment is "normative" in describing certain behaviors as civilized and others as barbaric. But Matt was plainly describing Prof. Somin's post, not your comment, because he saw the same thing Prof. Somin, Yankev, and I did. That is, he saw that you were interpreting Prof. Somin's post as normative when it is clearly descriptive.

Also, your argument pertains to "the law" no more than Prof. Somin's comment pertains to nuclear weapons in Iran; thus, Matt's comment couldn't have been addressed to yours in any "legal interpretive" sense.
2.15.2009 5:36am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
Couldn't resist:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_and_economics

Damn right I can apply "normative" and "positive" to legal discussions!
2.15.2009 5:39am
neurodoc:
Math_Mage, in chess, when a strong player is up against a weak player, there is no upside for the former - they will get little credit for disposing of the weaker opponent, no matter that they may do so quickly. At the same time there is downside for them - if they fail to dispose of their weaker opponent quickly, they will be diminished even if they win as expected of them; and in the absence of a truly serious challenge, they may not stay focused and blunder in the most silly ways as a result.

Think about this before continuing to go more rounds with someone who has three times told you to "shut up," that you are not as smart as (he imagines) you think you are notwithstanding (what he imagines) your scores have been on standardized tests), that you probably have Asperger's, etc., someone who insists over and over again on his own rigid thinking and does his laughable Humpty Dumpty thing about words meaning exactly what he says they mean. But I do understand the temptation to do it just one more time with him anyway, and it may be seen that I have yielded to that temptation myself.

(BTW, I missed it. Where did cognitis explain the differences between "convincing," "pesuasive," and "compelling" logic?)
2.15.2009 11:13am
Yankev (mail):
I will follow cognitis' instruction not to respond to his childish and ilogical postings. (His description, not mine), so I address this post to whomever.

Cognitis charges that Neurodoc and I are not following instructions because we have discussed the rights and wrongs of the conflict. But anyone following the discussion will note that both Neurodoc and I were responding to others who had taken a position on the rights and wrongs of the conflict, and who were relying on false, inaccurate or incomplete "facts". We simply corrected a few of their more egregious mis-statements, though I suppose we could have simply observed that they were getting off-thread.

I'd rather dispute a pertinent matter than consume time with bulls**t.
Sadly, that has not been my experience with Cognitis, not on this thread and nor on any other.

By the way, a friend of mine with Asperger's teaches history at a Big 10 university and could teach Cognitis a great deal, not only about history, English, logic, philosophy, linguistics and self expression, but also about intelletual honesty, human relations and common courtesy.
2.15.2009 11:19am
Yankev (mail):

Math_Mage, in chess, when a strong player is up against a weak player, there is no upside for the former - they will get little credit for disposing of the weaker opponent, no matter that they may do so quickly.
Since AK has taken our thread into Westerns, I will quote Mattie Ross's words to Rooster Cogburn: "I will not bandy words with a drunkard,", to wichi Texas Ranger LaBoeuf adds "That's real smart. You've done nothing when you've bested a fool."

And as Winston Churchill once observed "In the morning, madam, I will be sober." Cognitis, sadly, will be no wiser.
2.15.2009 11:25am
TokyoTom (mail):
Hamas has an interest in making thisngs worse for the Palsetinians, not better.

When it was the PLO and Fatah that Israel preferred to deal with, it was Hamas that was making things better for Palestinians.

Perhaps that`s why, when the Palestinans voted Hamas in, Israel decided not to deal with Hamas? Is al Qaeada next? Seems that Israel has been very successful in keeping Palestinians divided.
2.15.2009 11:49am
neurodoc:
Yankev, FWIW, I find you to be persuasive, convincing, and even compelling, all in the absence of force or the threat thereof, except the force of facts and logic. Of course, cognitis, stuck on his crux, may disagree.
2.15.2009 2:20pm
nit (oick me):
:)

cognitis the inept pedant strikes again. He has a history of being pedantic, while making a mess of word definitions himself. The awful, teenage quality of his arguments are embarrassing as to be cringeworthy.
2.15.2009 3:46pm
LM (mail):
cognitus,

Is English your first language? I don't mean that as an insult. English isn't EV's first language, and he's obviously mastered it pretty well. I ask because I find something disorienting about your "voice," and that makes it difficult for me to get inside your head. I wonder if knowing that you think more naturally in some other language, and if so, which one, might lend some useful context. (I do disagree in substance with most of what you say, but this isn't about that. I'm sincerely curious.)
2.15.2009 5:23pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Ralph Peters, to digress from the bitching about cognitis and others, said he was an effective intel officer because he had read a lot of science fiction as a kid.
That meant he was not shackled to the presumptions that everybody wants the same thing, reacts to negative and positive stimuli the same way, sees the universe the same way, follows logic the same way. These presumptions led his peers to make mistakes in analysis and policy recommendations.
Cultures vary, said Thomas Sowell, and differences have consequences.
Unfortunately, to make that case when dealing with people of different cultures calls out accusations of racism, cultural imperialism and brownpeoplephobia.
We can't understand how Palestinians view the recent unpleasantness, including the major players, by using our own world view. Unfortunately, few of us understand theirs. Which means we will always be surprised.
In the meantime, we argue about that which will, for sure, happen and whom to blame when it doesn't.
2.15.2009 9:20pm
neurodoc:
LM, you may be right in your speculation that cognitis is not a native English speaker. I can't rule out that possibility, but I do think the evidence in support of it is weak. (cognitis stumbles syntactically every now and then. Might that not be a reflection, though, of the agitation he regularly manifests?) A many times more probable explanation, in my estimation, is that what you are trying to understand is in fact a true expression of cognitis's persona.

Look back through this thread and the month-old one nit (oick me) linked to and count up the number of clues that might tell us something about this individual. Do you see examples of rigid, concrete thinking; inclination to go at interlocutors rather than what they have to say; projects ("you probably attain high scores on standardized tests, but you're not nearly as smart as you think you are"); frequent rudeness when contradicted (three "shut up"s to Math_Mage, one to nit (oick me the last time around, and similar responses to others); fair predictability, and easily baited; grating on even those who have not taken diametrically opposing positions (gue5t: "Leaving aside the merits of your argument, I have to tell you that I've rarely encountered anyone with a writing style more bombastic than yours."); non-acceptance of feedback (gue5t: "It doesn't help your cause."); etc.? Both Math_Mage and cognitis display erudition, but which of them displays it unselfconsciously and which strains to make a display of it, blowing up at the other ("you're not nearly as smart as you think you are")?

Again, I can't exclude the possibility that cognitis is a non-native English speaker. I don't see it as an explaination, however, of what I think you are reacting to in cognitis's posts.
2.15.2009 11:13pm
neurodoc:
Richard Aubrey, that was a very apt observation, IMO, at 9:20 PM. Would that it were easier to understand the minds of others, and projection can cause us to get it very wrong.
2.15.2009 11:18pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
neurodoc.
It was Ralph Peters' observation. Good point. More to the point, few of us who aren't as broad-minded, in the real sense, know we're more or less blind in these areas.
However, one does not need to understand the minds of the others if attention is paid to their actions. After a bit, a pattern may emerge which is just as useful as understanding their minds, and cuts out a step, too.
But if we're tied to trying to understand them as if they were us, we miss the pattern because the facts don't fit the theory, or each divergence from our prediction is an anomaly. Thus, it doesn't count against the theory.
2.16.2009 9:26am
Yankev (mail):
Neurodoc, thank you for your kind words, which I take all the more kindly from their having come from a scholar and a gentleman who consistently employs well developed skills of persuasion.

To my embarrassment, I doubt that anyone finds my words well typed or proofwritten, but if I have choice, I'll forego those two.
2.16.2009 11:35am
neurodoc:
Richard Aubrey, I think my "projection can cause us to get it very wrong" and your "few of us who aren't as broad-mind, in the real sense know we're more or less blind in these areas" are complementary. If we were not "more or less blind," but rather fully cognizant that not everybody wants the same thing, reacts to negative and positive stimuli the same way, sees the universe the same way, follows logic the same way," we wouldn't project our own thinking onto them, asking ourselves consciously or unconsciously "how would I think about this if I were they." It is not how we would think if we were they, it is how they in fact think, the divergences potentially very consequential.

Is this OT here? I don't think so, though it may be a bit removed from the particulars of the OP. How "we" think versus how "they" think is very much at the heart of this. (I might have said it was the "crux" of it, but someone else has effectively pre-empted use of that word in this thread.) Many accept or reject polling data not on the basis of how reliable was the methodology employed, and trustworthy the people reporting the results, and plausible the data, but instead according to whether the results do or don't comport with how they would respond if they were in what they imagine to be similar circumstances to those who were polled. And that's projection at work.

What are our chances of really understanding suicide/homicide bombers whose objective is to kill as many innocents as they can manage by asking ourselves what we would do if we were they? That is not how psychiatrists are trained to go about understanding human behavior, and I think we have to take a psychiatric approach if we are to understand the death cult that is part and parcel of Islamofascism. (Yeah, "death cult" and "Islamofascism" are somewhat glib characterization of complex matters, but they serve for these purposes.)
2.16.2009 11:37am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
neuro.
New fact for the mill: Apparently the mother of Iraqi boombitches arranges for them to be gang-raped. She then counsels them that only suicide bombing will wipe out their shame.
Now, there's her, and there are the rapists. Those varieties of pure evil exist. The strange thing is that she manages to convince the victims. It's the victims' inculcated mindset which makes this work. It wouldn't work with a western woman.
Also it appears the same is being done with guys. Same result. Same question.
I imagine this is a major inconvenience for those who think suicide bombing is a sign of otherwise inexpressible resistance to western imperialism.
2.16.2009 12:40pm
neurodoc:
Richard Aubrey, you really are an enemy of multiculturalism and one-worldness, an Islamophobe, an unapologetic misanthrope, and no doubt more. What do you do when others around the campfire break out in Kumbaya?

Do you have a link describing this approach to the recruitment of shahids for the cause? It is not new news that many are cynically manipulated by Islamic terrorist organizations. In the past, it has been reported how young males in training for their suicidal/homicidal missions are indulged in all sorts of sinful pleasures and shown pornography to impress upon them what they may look forward to in the afterlife as shahids. What you relate now, though, would appear to up the ante of evil still more.
2.16.2009 5:35pm
Yankev (mail):

Do you have a link describing this approach to the recruitment of shahids for the cause?
neurodoc, Richard Aubrey may have a more direct link, but Phyllis Chesler reported the story last week at Pajamas Express on pajamasmedia.com.
2.16.2009 6:08pm
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
Richard Aubrey:
Now, there's her, and there are the rapists. Those varieties of pure evil exist. The strange thing is that she manages to convince the victims. It's the victims' inculcated mindset which makes this work. It wouldn't work with a western woman.


Are you sure? Rape victims are in a very vulnerable mindset, all the more so if they are young. I'm not certain cultural backgrounds would make much difference at that point.
2.16.2009 6:17pm

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