Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 27, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

RIOTS IN GAZA....The CNN headlines out of Gaza City have been getting steadily more dire all day. Here's the latest one:

Mob demands leaders pay for election thrashing

A mob of up to 2,000 furious Fatah supporters took to the streets Friday, burning cars, firing guns and demanding the resignation of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas after the militant group Hamas trounced their party in parliamentary elections.

....Waving yellow Fatah flags in the flickering light of bonfires, protesters swarmed around Abbas' home in Gaza City, where they shot in the air and accused him of being a "collaborator" with Israel.

I'm not really sure what this all means, but I thought I'd open it up to comments anyway. Is this good? Bad? Impossible to say?

Kevin Drum 7:31 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (74)

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Comments

Kerry and Gore supporters are saying: we should have thought of that!

Posted by: Al on January 27, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Am I first?

Posted by: yep on January 27, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

I could picture Howard Dean with an AK-47 protesting in front of the RNC.

Posted by: Patton on January 27, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not totally sure how riots and shootings be good.

Posted by: Boronx on January 27, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

yep: nope.

Posted by: Al on January 27, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

For once I agree with Al. The earth can now resume turning.

Posted by: Barry on January 27, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly, they're a little more vocal about holding their failed politicians' (and in turn their political strategists') feet to the fire.

Posted by: manowar on January 27, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Give every Palestinian a Tivo and an iPod- things will calm down mighty quick, no more of this yucky dissension. Harrison Bergeron lives.

Posted by: clb72 on January 27, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

You have two terrorist organizations vying for power in a terrortory.

And you people wanted to make it a terror state.

Posted by: Patton on January 27, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly, they're a little more vocal about holding their failed politicians' (and in turn their political strategists') feet to the fire.

Ain't no Bob Shrum's in Palestine, huh?

Posted by: Al on January 27, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Civil War... and to those of you who thought Iraq would be first.. not to worry. Iraq won't be a bridesmaid for long.

Posted by: Dilapidus on January 27, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

It means that for the immediate future, the thugs that usually spend all thier time trying to kill the joos are about to spend all thier time slaughtering each other. Good for Isreal not so much for the people stuck in Gaza and the West Bank.

Posted by: Jon Black on January 27, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, if similar riots were happening in Ethiopia or Rwanda or Haiti, would you be blogging about them?

If not, why not, and why are you blogging about these riots?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

CIA initiated. cleve

Posted by: cleve on January 27, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Patton,

You have two terrorist organizations vying for power in a terrortory.

And you people wanted to make it a terror state.

Actually it was President Bush who was talking about a two state solution.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2003/20062.htm

A performance-based roadmap to be sure but it was a certain American Republican President willing to make it a "terror state". :)

Posted by: Detlef on January 27, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Dilapidus:

Civil War...

What between Fatah and Fatah? No, I think this is extremely violent venting, but not a sign of imminent civil war. Iraq is a lot farther along that path than Palestine.

Boronx:

I'm not totally sure how riots and shootings be good.

Well, its probably better -- in terms of what it portends for the near future -- than larges-scale Fatah riots directed at Hamas, see the above comments.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

It means that anything less than "pushing them into the sea" is still seen by a majority of the Palestinians as selling out the cause -- which is why a war criminal like Sharon got elected in Israel. His view of the Palestinians has been utterly vindicated by the Palestinians themselves, and the Israeli peaceniks have been proven to be, at best, dupes. Unfortunate, but that's the way it is.
So. Let the Palestinians slaughter each other and demolish their "economy" behind the barriers; if any survivors eventually show up who are willing to accept unequivocally the right of Israel to exist and of Israelis to live, they can be dealt with at that time.
Don't hold your breath.

Posted by: smartalek on January 27, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

democracy is on the march in the middle east.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on January 27, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Very little of the middle east follows the traditional boundaries that arose over centuries. Iran was still Persia less than a hundred years ago. It is unique in the region that it survives intact and Persian is still the dominant culture.

The countries that comprised the middle east before WW-I were wiped out with the stroke of a pen and new countries (such as Iraq) were established, one for each oil company. (What a handy arrangement!) A few people got rich and held power (the Al Sauds?) and the rest of the people were brutally oppressed. Saddam was a thug, but thuggishness gets you everywhere in the middle east.

As for the Palestinians - I have a Jewish mother and a Catholic father - therefore I am Jewish - but I can empathise. How pissed would I be if one day they took my home and the homes of my neighbors and said "We are setting up a separate state for the Baptists here. You have to go."

The thing is, before oil was discovered and westerners flooded into the middle east, bloody fucking little was known about the people and even less was understood.

I am starting to believe that the western-rationalist way of viewing the world makes it impossible for most westerners to understand the middle eastern world view. It is so different as to seem schizophrenic to our western way of thinking and we just deem the people over there crazy. Makes it easier to kill 'em and exploit that way.

Fact of the matter is, although this is the cradle of civilization, it is also the birthplace of modern warfare. It is a region of scarce resources. This causes warfare. In a desert environment, he who holds the oasis holds the power. His camels will live. His children will have a greater chance of survival. He will not know hunger the way his fellows who are not so lucky will. And he will have to fight to keep it on a regular basis, because in an area of limited resources it's every man for his own clan, and winner take all.

Western meddling has led to a burgeoning population of uneducated, disenfranchised, religiously gullible young men with no prospects and a chip on their shoulders. They are idle and restless and volatile. And this is in an area of the world where blood has always spilled easily over even imagined slights or insults.

As the elders who held their artificial countries together tenuously die off, we will see a hell of a lot more of this.

No, Kevin. This is not a good thing. But the die was cast long ago, and it is going to get a hell of a lot worse before it gets any better.

I haven't been to Israel since the last intifada started, and I do not forsee a time that I will return. But hell, even Israelis fight amongst thimselves. It's a brutal part of the world and the sooner we figure out that the cultures there will not only fight to the last man, but that there a more of them than there are of us, maybe we will stop sacrificing our most precious coin on the alter of the petro-dollar and develop a sensible policy of alternative energy. We have reached critical mass on this one.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 27, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

What was the question?

Posted by: Jeff II on January 27, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

As of a few months ago all these Hamas leaders (religous, politcal, military, etc.) were targets of Israeli missiles -- so I'm waiting to make further comment until after the first meeting of the new legislature.

Posted by: B on January 27, 2006 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK
It means that anything less than "pushing them into the sea" is still seen by a majority of the Palestinians as selling out the cause -- which is why a war criminal like Sharon got elected in Israel.

Or, conversely, that any dealing with a war criminal like Sharon is impossible, hence Hamas's election.

His view of the Palestinians has been utterly vindicated by the Palestinians themselves, and the Israeli peaceniks have been proven to be, at best, dupes.

Or, again, Hamas's view of Israel has been utterly vindicated by Israel's response to every attempt of Fatah to accommodate and make concessions to move peace forward, and the Fatah accommodationist have been proven to be, at best, dupes, and at worst collaborators.

But that's the problem with cycles of retribution; once they've gone on long-enough, anyone looking backward can feel justified in any act by the the other sides past bad acts.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Marwan isn't looking so bad now, is he?

Posted by: toast on January 27, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

I think in the long run this can only be a good thing, because, for the first time, the large percentage of Palestinians who identify with or support Hamas will find themselves in a position of having to be actually publicly accountable for the things they say and the things they do.

They have never had before to actually live with the self-consciousness that their own actions have consequences.

Posted by: cld on January 27, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen wrote: It is a region of scarce resources.

Except one.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Now that we get to see the true Palestein, how can it be a bad thing?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 27, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

except one

That would be that burgeoning population of young uneducated, disenfranchised young men...

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 27, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is just venting at losing all their power. They probably accuse Abbas of selling out Palestine, and thus Fatah, to fruitless Israeli negotiations.

Posted by: Elrod on January 27, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

a little more vocal then moving to canada eh?

Posted by: supersaurus on January 27, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

It's good to see what's said in English is finally matching what's spoken in Arabic.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 27, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

It's good to see what's said in English is finally matching what's spoken in Arabic. An Israeli I know said exactly this today when I asked her what she thought of Hamas' win. She was for it, and said that now everyone would see what was actually going on. And then said what you said.

Posted by: jerry on January 27, 2006 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

The following is from an L.A. Times op-ed dated July 16, 2005, about the overwhelming preference for Hamas:

On the streets and in the shops, people seem to prefer the security presence of Hamas or Islamic Jihad to the irregularly performing Palestinian Authority police officers who, in part because of their low salaries, are often corrupt. Hamas' private neighborhood watch patrols, in contrast, constitute a seemingly more reliable outfit that metes out tough justice according to its interpretation of Islamic law.

Palestinians in Gaza increasingly look to Hamas, not Fatah, for vital services and, in many cases, jobs, in the albeit limited but expanding realms where the group operates as a government within a government, running health clinics, day care centers, internet cafes. Unlike the Palestinian Authority, Hamas operates a meritocracy, whereas the Palestinian Authority's jobs are given out based on cronyism.

My question: when's the next election?

Posted by: godoggo on January 27, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't mean much of anything.

They rioted in Gaza when Israel withdrew. They tore up buildings, torched cars, and trashed what was now their own city. So now they're rioting again. It only means they have a very low frustration threshold, and like to express it violently.

I haven't heard about any riots in the West Bank cities. That, to me, is more significant.

Posted by: CaseyL on January 27, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

CaseyL captures the essence.

These people have the sophistication of a three year old dealing with their frustration. But unlike 3 year olds they have greater destructive capabilities.

Frankly, it's pathetic.

Posted by: Lone Wolf on January 27, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Well, its probably better -- in terms of what it portends for the near future -- than larges-scale Fatah riots directed at Hamas, see the above comments.

Sure, but things are never so bad that they can't get worse.

Posted by: Boronx on January 27, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not really sure what this all means, but I thought I'd open it up to comments anyway. Is this good? Bad? Impossible to say?

WTF?

What's up cat blogger?

Did you just find out that the CIA, the FBI, NSA, and the Emperor's Mother have been reading your emails and following your every click for the last 5 years?

She-la-la....

Listen up pal: It's still okay to express your opinion and be damned for it in modern America...

So please... belly up to the bar, express your opinion, and put your neck in Bush's guillotine with the rest of us.

[Stage whisper:
Pssst: I hear tell that the large, swarthy guy under the black hood is Abu Gonzales.]


Posted by: koreyel on January 27, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Civil war?

Actually there's been an ongoing civil war in that region since 1948. Since well before that in fact. What else can you call the ongoing struggle between Jews and Arabs for the same piece of land?

I'm no expert on the region but I can't see any substantive civil war breaking out within the Palestinian population. Civil wars almost always result from ethnic/religious differences (Bosnia & Lebanon), ideological/economic issues (Vietnam, El Salvador, etc.), or geographical differences (American Civil War). None of those root causes are present in the Palestinian terrorities. A violent power struggle between armed factions? Perhaps. But that's not a civil war.

Posted by: texasdiver on January 27, 2006 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

cmdnicely,

Not so hasty, if you please:

http://go.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=11004237&src=rss/topNews

Posted by: Dilapidus on January 27, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

They have never had before to actually live with the self-consciousness that their own actions have consequences.

So much ignorance. For those in the reality-based community the following might be of interest. Hamas has been in power in many cities for some time. Their record, not perfect, has been pretty decent. Some of the Hamas officials do work with Israel on operational matters, some ignore them. In Bethlehem, Hamas works under a Christian mayor and has been open about wanting the Christian tourism to continue.

Has Hamas officially renounced violence? No. However, Hamas has been pretty good about observing the truce, in fact, some Israeli officials say Hamas has been better than Fatah on that score. Neither have been perfect.

Shouldnt Hamas officially renounce violence and admit that Israel has a right to exist? Well, Israel has not renounced violence, and de facto does not admit Palestines right to exist. And of course, Israel has killed several times more civilians than have suicide bombings by Hamas. George Bush hasnt renounced violence, in fact, he is claiming the right to do more and more of it all the time. Only the victims are expected to be pacifists.

Posted by: JohnN on January 27, 2006 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

The Palestinian people have been carefully cultivated by the rest of the Arab nations in the area to be exactly what they are, a miserable, frustrated, angry people--a living weapon against Israel. Cannon fodder for wealthy sheiks and other Arab leaders who send them just enough money to keep them armed. They have been isolated by Arabs, expelled from Arab nations, and kept hungry, literally and spiritually, in refugee camps when they could easily have been assimilated into many other nations.

There are more Palestinian citizens of Israel (about 1 million) than there are in a lot of Arab nations (I think Jordan is one exception). While there's no doubt that they are not always treated equally in Israel, they still have more rights than they do in many Arab countries.

Last time I looked, aid to the Palestians from outside the Arab world, particularly Europe, dwarfed the contributions made by oil-rich Arab nations.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 27, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

The 'Palestinians' should be commended, as they have actually created a nationality out of nothing; but it's a nationality based on only two shared ideas, destroying or incommodating Israel any way they can, and complaining about how victimized and mis-understood they are.

In this Palestinians are the central fact in the Muslim world, and the perfectly ideal Republicans.

Posted by: cld on January 27, 2006 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Is this good? Bad? Impossible to say?"

you've fricken lost it kevin. how can riots, mobs, and shots in the air possibly be good?

Posted by: gak on January 27, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

They have been isolated by Arabs, expelled from Arab nations, and kept hungry, literally and spiritually, in refugee camps when they could easily have been assimilated into many other nations.
Posted by: tbrosz

this completely ignores israel's role in the ethnic cleansing of palestine. ... why would the palestinians want to go anywhere else??? ... they were removed from THEIR land, and are being kept out of it by religious fundamentalist zealots from brooklyn who somehow feel more entitled to that land than those who actually had it stolen from them.

Posted by: Nads on January 27, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it's so bad. There are members of Fatah who are upset at the electoral rebuke, but the ones going to the extent of rioting are more likely pissed off at losing their share of graft. Fatah could have had a political program, as hawkish as Hamas or maybe something else, but under the duplicitous and utterly corrupt stewardship of the late rais Yasser Arafat it stood for no political principles at all. That became evident when Arafat's acquiescence in the intifada became clear, not to mention the participation of various factions (e.g., Tanzim) nominally under his control.

Posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on January 27, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks gak for the backup.

For a second... I thought I was losing it with my post.

Posted by: koreyel on January 27, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Nads - see my comment up-thread. I'm a Jew, and I can see the point. I have lived in this area for five years and I wouldn't want to be uprooted so the Baptists could have their own private Utah. I can't imagine how many orders of magnitude that feeling would take on if my family had lived on the same patch of land for hundreds of years.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 27, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

JohnN,

They've never had to live with the self-consciousness that their own actions have consequences because in anything that happens they can always imagine a nefarious Israeli plot behind it, or they can shrug and say, that's just the way the world is. Or they can blame Fatah and it's thousand deals with the devil.

Now that Hamas is in power, the people can watch while the same things they blamed on Fatah corruption, or deals with Israel, or the inherent evil of life, continue just as before, and they will no doubt blame Israel, or the West for it; but, in time, democratic pragmatism will mellow them out, as they evolve somewhere past plain vulgar tribalism. Probably.

Posted by: cld on January 27, 2006 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen - don't get me wrong ... there is no functional "right of return" anymore. ... It would be, at this point, fundamentally unjust to Jewish Israeli settlers in large parts of the disputed areas. These people are stuck together for the forseeable future.

But it annoys me to have halfwits offer up the argument that other arab countries wouldn't accommadate the palestinians ... I mean, who the fuck would willingly take in thousands of displaced refugees into their already less-than-stable countries???

... the subtext here, of course, is that they see all arabs as the same, and cannot comprehend how palestinians wouldn't want to go to other arab countries, but actually want their land back.

this isn't to say that arab leaders don't recognize this, and exploit it ... but at least be honest, and acknowledge these basic facts. i.e., when I kick tbroz out of his house, I wouldn't expect him to apply for german citizenship based on some misplaced sense of his heritage.

Posted by: Nads on January 27, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

If the Fatah is anything like the American republican party they are accusing Abbas of what they themselves are most guilty of.

Posted by: patience on January 27, 2006 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Nads,

Israel occupies 20% of the British Protectorate of Palestine, which was identical to the Ottoman area called Palestine. Which is to say that 80% of Palestine is today called Jordan and a hunk of Syria.

In the early part of the 20th century the immigration of the ancestors of the 'Palestinians' into the area was sponsored by external Arab groups trying to screw with the Jewish settlement. Arafat was an Egyptian. Their origins are not indiginous to the area in any way, though they plainly choose not to remember that.

Posted by: cld on January 27, 2006 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the Hamas leader is s lot easier to find with the little drone airplanes.

Posted by: Matt on January 27, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, maybe I didn't make myself very clear. I am sympathetic to the Palestinian plight and I was talking about attachment to the land from their perspectives.

I may be a Jew, but I have no love for those Zionists from Brooklyn.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 27, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Civil war? What we have in Israel is a race war.

At least in America, we hate on those who look demonstrably different from us.

Posted by: MNPundit on January 27, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Global citizen - we're on the same page.

Posted by: Nads on January 27, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

Is this good? Bad? Impossible to say?

Four words...

Kevin Drum - Eternal Optimist

Posted by: justmy2 on January 27, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Nads - we usually are. Us god-damned over-educated science types who aren't above reminding others that, well, god-damnit, I do know more than they do, at least about some things!

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 27, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I got called in to work at 0430 this morning, so I'm calling it a night.

Later all.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 27, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

Is it possible that any electoral outcome would have resulted in burning cars in the days following the polls? CaseyL captures it very well.

Posted by: Dawson on January 27, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Latest Palestinean bumper sticker:
DON'T BLAME ME. I VOTED FOR FATAH.

Posted by: Deuce on January 27, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Your post is very similar to a comment I heard a news commentator (our former ambasador to Israel) on WB11: "Our enemies are using the democratic process to gain power". From his indignation one can presume that democratic process should be suspended. Abu Mazen got what he deserved, and now Hammas will get what they asked for. It's neither good nor bad.

Posted by: calhoun on January 27, 2006 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, when is the next election? Presumably this information is online somewhere, but does anyone know?

Posted by: godoggo on January 28, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Americans are idiots. FYI, the crowds are angry because the US government poured money towards the Fatah to influence the election. When this became known to the Palestinians, they voted en mass for the Hamas. This intrusion was the reason the Fatahs lost and also the reason why after the election the Fatahs rioted. Kevin , do not be dumbfounded! This is "democracy" in action. Good work!

Posted by: terry k on January 28, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

They have never had before to actually live with the self-consciousness that their own actions have consequences.
Posted by: cld on January 27, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Unlike Americans, who saw the consequences on 9/11.

And will see them again as soon as oil permanently hits $100/bbl.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on January 28, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Well, calhoun, I guess we got what we asked for too. Please discuss the "It's neither good nor bad" aspects of that.
TIA

Posted by: jay boilswater on January 28, 2006 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

This was expected.

I remember reading something last week, in some newspaper, that there would be conflict between Fatah and Hamas in the areas where Hamas gained political control from the election (if they gained), mostly due to Fatah militants not wanting to give it up.

As for excoriating Abbas, I'm sure it will die down.

Is this good or bad, overall, who knows? It can't be great, and Israel may even decide to help feed the fire.

Posted by: Jimm on January 28, 2006 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

Insignificant. An MSM mirage. Hopefully. A demonstration of the inherent problem of Fatah's emotional militancy, without reflection, without reason. It is not Hamas. It demonstrates the reason Hamas won an overwhelming majority. Ululating assholes shooting guns is not what the people want. Assholes shooting and demonstrating militant Chauvinism is what Likud and Bush want. Since acting out open aggressive hostility as public display and policy communication is the antithesis of Hamas, Fatah's behavior is an exasperation of the last gasp of fifty years of failed policy. Pray to no god for peace.

Posted by: Hostile on January 28, 2006 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

Hamas is an Islamic organization financed mostly by Islamic charities. It is therefore a rare exaple of a wildly successful....religiously based iniatative.

Posted by: eric on January 28, 2006 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

Liked your postings, Global Citizen. Thanks for the insight. I support your ideas all the way.

I think you have to know how to deal with the absurd when thinking about the Middle East. Just two brief examples: one, Fatah supporters call Hamas a collaborator with Israel! Uh,uh... And, two, a Hamas official was quoted today that they are going to institute single-sex education because Sweden has integrated education and has "the highest rate of suicides". Uh, Palestine has a thing about suicides too, and if you really care about suicides.....

Posted by: Bob M on January 28, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Is this good? Bad? Impossible to say?

For peace: Bad.

For Bibi Netanyahu: Good.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on January 28, 2006 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

I feel about the "Democratic leadership" just like those rioters feel about Fatah. Incompetent, corrupt and mealy-mouthed- Senators Baah, Bidden, Squintin and Squerry want to please everyone. Windsurfer Squerry called in a filibuster from Davos.

There is good reason to filibuster Alito, whose speeches to the federalist society tell us that he favors expanded Presidential Power. However, you have to plan these things if they are to be effective- why did Squerry suddenly come to this decision?

Why didn't Democratic Senators prepare for the Alito hearings instead of bloviating? Will they study, prepare and rehearse for the judiciary hearings on warrantless spying- not bloody likely. Those of us who worry about Presidential Power are stuck with the incompetent poll-driven DNC. Can we filibuster the DNC? Riot against Reid and worthless quartet of Senators?

Posted by: malvolio on January 28, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

The riots certainly aren't good. But the fact that it's looking like we're going to see a relatively peaceful change of power is a good thing. It doesn't look at this point like Fatah is going to try to hold power by force. I'm not excited about Hamas taking power, but there are a few positive points. It may serve to moderate them. It's easy to be radical when you don't care about keeping power, but it's harder to be radical and still try to maintain 50%+ support in a country. Secondly, Fatah were a bunch of corrupt bloodsuckers. It's time for them to have a bit of intraspection and housecleaning. And if Hamas leads to a functional economy, perhaps Palestine can get over it's victimhood mentality, which would help the peace process in the long run. Lastly, the idea that issues can be resolved by legal processes rather than by force may serve the peace process as well.

Posted by: Tom on January 28, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

The land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean was not empty. Nablus, Jaffa, Gaza, Nazareth, Acre, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, and Hebron had been inhabited for centuries. Why do you think that the Zionist settlers settled along the coast and not in the historically-significant Judean and Samarian highlands? Because those areas were already densely-populated by Arabs.

The argument that "Jordan is Palestine" is completely dubious. While it's true that the towns on the east bank of the Jordan were culturally part of the same sphere as the Arab towns in the West Bank, the territory of Transjordan was largely desert and largely populated by Bedouins. The vast majority of the Arab settlement in the region was West of the Jordan River. Transjordan wasn't carved out to give the Palestinians a state - it was carved out as compensation to the Hashemites who had been kicked out of Nejd and Hejaz (now Saudi Arabia) despite having been promised support by the British.

Hardcore Zionists also often make the claim that there is "no such thing as Palestinians," a claim that is a complete red herring. It is true that many of the local identies are quite recent. Nobody until the second quarter of the 20th Century saw themselves as "Iraqi," "Saudi," or "Jordanian." Yes, the historical region of "Syria" was much larger, encompassing all of present-day Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Mandate Palestine, and much or all of Iraq. Yet arguing that this somehow negates the Palestinians' right to a home is ridiculous. A genuine Palestinian identity has long-since emerged in the region, and even if it hadn't emerged and Palestinians simply viewed themselves as "Arabs" or "Syrians," it still wouldn't justify expulsion from their territory. They are still people, with homes and rights. What they choose to call themselves is irrelevant.

Posted by: Andrew on January 28, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

In the early part of the 20th century the immigration of the ancestors of the 'Palestinians' into the area was sponsored by external Arab groups trying to screw with the Jewish settlement. Arafat was an Egyptian. Their origins are not indiginous to the area in any way, though they plainly choose not to remember that.
Posted by: cld

I'm sure in your version, the seminoles always lived in oklahoma, too. really, this just smacks of the same rhetoric used by holocaust deniers.

And, two, a Hamas official was quoted today that they are going to institute single-sex education because Sweden has integrated education and has "the highest rate of suicides". Uh, Palestine has a thing about suicides too, and if you really care about suicides.....
Posted by: Bob M

funniest posting of thread ... hands down.

Posted by: Nads on January 28, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

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流行音乐,华语歌曲
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Posted by: 343 on January 29, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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